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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Games That Travel Well 317

hipernoico writes "Wired has a summary of good portable RPG games for the end of this year. 'What better way to travel than in the company of a dragon-slaying knight? ' " I've travelled thousands of miles playing various Game Boy Pokemon titles. Although lately WarioWare Touched and Meteos have taken the place of my usual RPG travel companions. What games will you be playing while dreading arriving at your parents house?
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Games That Travel Well

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  • by TooCynical ( 323240 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:21AM (#14308590)
    I remember nightmare roadtrips with my parents filled with sibling fighting, incessant "Are we there yets" and parental death threats like they were yesterday. When my husband determined that a family roadtrip was a good idea I had horrid flashbacks but he would not be swayed. I prepared by buying ear plugs; he just stocked up on strategy guides, headphones and batteries. As much as it galls me to admit - he was right. We drove 1500 hundred miles without a peep - it was incredible.

    Who knew that you could log hundreds of blissfully silent hours playing various Pokemon titles?


  • Uuuuh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by k3v1n ( 262210 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:22AM (#14308597) Homepage
    What games will you be playing while dreading arriving at your parents house?

    This is Slashdot, I live at my parent's house!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:24AM (#14308610)
    I don't know if I have enough time to play a game walking up the stairs from the basement.

    Just kidding, I don't live in my parents' basement... I live in the attic.
  • by xoip ( 920266 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:25AM (#14308614) Homepage
    Hangman...tic tack toe...crossword puzzles...no sound is great for driving:)
    • Headphones are what you seek.

      One can only play Hangman four to five times before boredom sets in.

      Tic-tac-toe is amusing two or three times.

      Crossword puzzles are only entertaining for a maximum of 1.3 hours.

      Video games can be entertaining for 20+ hours straight.
      • 1.3 hours is fairly specific. Any reason why crosswords only entertain for 78 minutes? Pen and paper is also not so great on roads with corners and roundabouts
        • Any reason why crosswords only entertain for 78 minutes?

          Because that's how long it takes for you to realize you just spent 78 minutes doing a dull, monotonous crossword puzzle.

          And that's not 78 minutes for the trip. Its 78 minutes for your whole life.

          Yeah, pen and paper games don't really seem like such a good idea to me. It seems like another extension of those lame car songs they sang in all those Chevy Chase National Lampoon movies. I can see what would happen:

          "Take that pen out of your sister's eye, or so help me I WILL STOP THIS CAR!"

          "The window is not a sketchpad! Don't think that I can't take this belt off while driving."

          "No, you can't get high off the ink. I don't care if you drink it. We're not stopping to get you a coke."

          "No, the dog doesn't like it when you put a pen there. DON'T PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH AFTER THAT!"
        • by Anonymous Coward
          The average person writes one letter ever 1 second. When you are playing a crossword puzzle, you are constantly visualizing yourself writing letters, even if the words make no sense. The average person will also spend about 5 tries on a word (which has an average length of 5.5 letters) before moving on, where there is a 5 second lag. With an average number of words in the puzzle of 66 and with a 30% first try efficiency (with successes taking an average of 2.5 tries), this accounts for 35.75 minutes. In
    • Save the batteries...Pen AND Paper Games...

      Amen. There are even some more advanced games that can be played on the go. Ghoulash [ghoulash.com], for example, only requires two printed sheets and two pencils. Scenarios take about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, and you can pause at any time.

      I've also heard of people taking printable board games like Battle for Moscow [grognard.com] and mounting them on thick cardboard sheets. They're then able to put pins through the pieces to keep them in place at all times.
    • You also forgot Logic Problems and those magazines that have the assortment of puzzles. I go through a lot of those.

      There's also a game I used to play as a kid on pen and paper. The way it worked was that each person had three battleships drawn out on a base on an edge of the paper. There were islands in the middle. On each persons turn, they could opt to move one battleship 5 spaces or move one battleship 3 spaces and then shoot at an enemy ship. The spaces were just dashes on the paper and shooting i
    • "Save the batteries...Pen AND Paper Games..."

      Recharge the batteries, save the trees.

      "tic tack toe"

      The only way to win is not to play.

      "crossword puzzles"

      Yeah, throw a twelve-year-old kid today's New York Times crossword puzzle and see how many they're actually able to complete before "I don't understand any of these, this sucks, are we there yet?"
  • Advance Wars (Score:5, Informative)

    by BushCheney08 ( 917605 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:26AM (#14308634)
    I've found that Advance Wars 1&2 are good travel games. Each level takes about 30 minutes or so, and you don't need any volume. Great for airports, planes, or sitting around after xmas dinner. I don't have a DS, so I can't comment on AW on there, but I imagine it's just as good, if not better.
    • Re:Advance Wars (Score:2, Informative)

      by Hitto ( 913085 )
      It's the best!
      And you can also unlock extra stuff if you insert the GBA titles in the DS's GBA slot.
    • Advance Wars DS is godly. According to the game's History screen, we've clocked over 180 hours on it already. (Over the years we were playing AW2, we probably put in at least five times as much!)
    • by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @02:02PM (#14310561) Homepage
      The DS version is awesome. In 2004, I spent a good amount of time playing through AW and AW2. When I would play AW after AW2, I would miss out on the updated art work and extra CO moves. AW:DS does this much better by making everything truly 3D. It's not that obvious at first (it's a subtle 3D), but going back to the old GBA ones is really noticable.

      The have the new dual-strike CO mode + CO swaps, which adds a whole extra level to the gameplay. You can really save yourself from a tight spot. On the flip side, it makes the COM tougher in some situations. Careful strategy still wins the day. The extra units are kinda neat, although the new tank is silly :)
  • by puntloos ( 673234 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:26AM (#14308635) Journal
    Traditionally the PocketPC wasn't really seen as a serious contender to things like the PSP, however times are a changin, methinks.

    Adventures: With scummvm - http://www.scummvm.org/ [scummvm.org] you can run any old lucasarts adventure perfectly:
    • Sam and Max
    • Day of the Tentacle
    • Full Throttle

    And modern PocketPC's are starting to have 'doable' processing power too.. Dell Axim X51v has 640x480 screen plus a true 3D accellerator, for example. I bet PSX-1 emulators will start to work soon enough...
  • Super Mario (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aglassis ( 10161 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:27AM (#14308644)
    As far as I'm concerned, the Game Boy Advance versions of the Super Mario brothers games are the perfect travel games. They don't require a large time commitment and are infinitely replayable.

    But when I get bored of those I usually play a Metroid game or a Zelda game.

    A massively in-depth RPG would seem to me to be a poor travel game. They require too much time and memory (your memory) to be able to jump in whenever you wanted.
    • i got my wife a GBA for christmas, she'll love it. all the classic NES/SNES games we used to love, zelda, final fantasy games, mario brothers...all sorts of stuff. 800 games for the gba, or something like that, and many can be had used on the cheap. going to be hard to beat, if you ask me.
      • You could have got her a DS, they play GBA games too ;) But well done, that really is a gift that keeps on giving. I just hope she doesn't read Slashdot, specifically the comments where you reveal what she's getting as a gift.
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:28AM (#14308649) Homepage Journal
    The lady and I play this fun game on our drives. It basically starts with me saying something insightful or interesting or funny, and then she thinks about what I said and she replies with something contextual to what I said.

    Imagine it is like slashdot, but without moderation and only between two or 3 people. I had a feeling it would supplement and even replace gaming and web forums, but I don't think it will catch on.

    If you try it some time, remember that is might be trademarked or patented, so be cautious who you do it around.
  • No Pacman or Space Invaders?
  • What games? (Score:5, Funny)

    by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:29AM (#14308659) Journal
    What games will you be playing while dreading arriving at your parents house?

    Obviously, Need for Speed Underground 2 [eagames.com] .

    No, not on a game console. I mean fighting my way through holiday interstate and city traffic.

  • GBA/DS Games (Score:5, Informative)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:31AM (#14308677)
    Golden Sun is an enjoyable GBA RPG, although a bit annoying in places (I still can't complete the final battle)

    Fire Emblem and Advance Wars (DS or GBA) are games that make journeys appear to pass in a flash: I've nearly missed stations on the train because I was too involved in the game. They're both turn based and easily suspendable, so interruptions don't matter.
    • Figure out who's weaker and defeat them first.

      Golden Sun 2 is also excellent - but I'm a bit lost right near the end...

    • You must not have enough Djinn, or are aligning them wrong. I didn't have any trouble with the last guy. Align Earth to you, Fire to Isaac, Wind to Ivan and Water to Mia. You will have much better stats. I was short 1 Djinni, but the last guy was still pretty easy if you use your powers correctly. One djinn in particular is incredibly useful, since it blocks almost all damage. Unfortunately, it has been quite some time since I played, so I don't remember their name. You get it right before you go to
  • Let's say a 1.8GHZ/512RAM/64Video....

    So far I have found:
    Diablo II runs well
    NWN runs ok if you turn everything down

    • Certainly the Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale series should work. The single player of either of those is better than the main campaign in NWN (although the followups to NWN were quite good). Rather than RPGs on the laptop, I prefer the Civ games. Rather than using Civ to keep me awake until 4AM when I have to work the next day, I like to take it along to play in airports or on planes. You don't have the security risk of playing FPS (hint - yelling "SET THE BOMB" may be ok when you are playing Counter Strike
      • Yeah, I loved both BG & IWD, but never played them on the go. On a laptop with only the touch pad, control is a little difficult because you have to micromanage your characters. Civilization 2 Gold is a good road game though, as is Heroes of Might & Magic 3 Complete. I played HOMM3 for about 6 hours on a plane trip to Florida and back, and it really makes the time fly (no pun intended).
    • Get DOSbox and those old RPG collections (if you can find them). Some guy posted up a few in another thread: Ultima Collection - Ultima 1-8, expansions Ultimate Wizardry Archives - Wizardry 1-7 Ultimate Might & Magic Archives - Might & Magic 1-5 Forgotten Realms Archives - All SSI D&D Gold Box Games Ultimate RPG Archives - Bards Tale, Ultima Underworlds, Wasteland, etc.
  • Definitely, NetHack! (Score:5, Informative)

    by RicochetRita ( 581914 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:36AM (#14308719) Homepage
    Yup. It's turn-based & runs on damn near everything.

    (Of course, it helps to have the portable hardware to carry it around on...)


    • Dammit, you beat me to it. I'm just starting to play around with Nethack Biodiversity, it's got lots of new monsters without being quite as shameless with its additions as Slashem....
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:38AM (#14308736) Homepage
    My kids will be armed with digital cameras and a handheld GPS back there. They will be encouraged to track our progress on the GPS as well as find waypoints as well as taking photos of a list of items.

    Both of which keeps them somewhat quiet except for real interaction that should be welcomed by any parent. And teaches them valuable skills.

    Otherwise I could simply load up on dvd's of cartoon-network recordings and let them waste their brain on the built in DVD player.

    • They will be encouraged to track our progress on the GPS as well as find waypoints as well as taking photos of a list of items.
      Shit. Lumpy is already breeding the next generation of bloggers. :)
    • by ianscot ( 591483 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:15PM (#14309605)

      My kids will be armed with digital cameras and a handheld GPS back there. They will be encouraged to track our progress on the GPS as well as find waypoints as well as taking photos of a list of items.

      Both of which keeps them somewhat quiet...

      Your tenses are inconsistent, but I'm getting the distinct feeling that your kids are hypothetical, or at least that their potential game playing days are in the future.

      I'm a single father of 12-year-old boy/girl twins, having raised them alone since they were born. On long car trips -- we do a 17-plus hour drive from Minnesota to our Colorado cabin every summer -- you find a balance of things to do and think about, or to sometimes zone out over. Not everything has to fit the program. Kids will not fit your program anyway.

      Concentrate on providing them with positive stuff to do -- and helping you figure out the map is a great one -- rather than laying into anything they enjoy that doesn't meet your standards for edutainment. The kids'll be much happier, they won't regard learning as a burden because you'll have lured them to it rather than cracking down and forcing it on them, and you're going to be oh so much saner.

      With respect to video games in particular, I would suggest that borrowing a gameboy sort of thing for long-distance trips isn't such a bad deal.

      In all seriousness, the only parent I know well who actually attempts to constantly make every experience into an educational wonderland actually is a control freak whose child is pretty miserable. Kid has a reading disorder of some sort, and the father is unreal about it. It's sad to be around.

      Just my advice based on experience in the past (and present).

  • Cards. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gowen ( 141411 )
    No, not Magic: The Dithering or Pokemon, but good old fashioned Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades. You can play literally countless variations, skill levels range from the simple (SNAP!) to needlessly complex (have you ever tried to understand Duplicate Bridge rotations), and you can play with any number from one, to more than a dozen. Add in the rules of Texas Hold'em and some gambling chips, and you can even be a bit edgy by running the risk of being arrested (but only in the Land Of The Free).

    On top o
    • Add in the rules of Texas Hold'em and some gambling chips, and you can even be a bit edgy by running the risk of being arrested (but only in the Land Of The Free).

      It's perfectly legal to play poker in the US, even for money. The only time you may run afoul of the law is if the house collects money from the players or rakes the pot. IANAL, but I do have a regular game going so I've investigated this a bit.

      I think geeks who haven't tried it should try playing some Hold'em. A lot of it is calculating od

    • A bit off-topic, but you can find many women on the internet today, and a lot of them are into gaming. The thing is, a lot of games are simply not designed to appeal to the majority of women, having testosterone-fueled themes like tons of violence and not a lot of social contact. Go into an online game like Puzzle Pirates [puzzlepirates.com], where team (crew)-based pillaging and working together is the way to make POE (money), and socio-political contact is the only way to truly advance within one's crew, and you'll see an
  • by VitrosChemistryAnaly ( 616952 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:41AM (#14308758) Journal
    Okay, I just read TFA. Um, there are only 3 games in this "summary". Don't you think they could have gone over more games?

    Basically the article boils down to this: Final Fantasy IV is good for the GBA. Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time is good for DS. PoPoLoCrois is good for PSP.

    Any other /.ers recommend any more games?

    I find the summary quite lacking.
  • ...once I get to my parents' anyway. But the 6 hour flight is gonna kill me. I gotta find some way to get WoW on the plane. Please, stewardess, you don't want to make me stop using my cellphone. If I miss the MC raid, I'll cry.


    I can feel the withdrawal symptoms manifesting already.
  • Sudoku (Score:3, Informative)

    by jaf ( 121858 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:47AM (#14308802) Journal
    Sudoku on my Treo650 works well for me when I need to pass the time..
  • by Quirk ( 36086 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:49AM (#14308823) Homepage Journal
    I play the attentive, successful son encased in emotional armour. My mother wields guilt like a rapier cutting through any protective armour I've constructed over the years and bleeds me emotionally dry to the point of a death by a thousand cuts. My older sister plays the perfect daughter while casting down upon me a litany of aspersions recounting my every wrong doing. My father plays God, distant but willing on a moment notice to bring down justice in the voice of command.

    As always my saving strategy is to drink heavily, hopefully inconspicously, while waiting for the Good Mother, the Saintly Daughter and the Rigtheous Father to fall asleep and allow me to spark up a phat doobie on the deck and watch the ocean rock the Christmas lights strung on the masts of the sail boats.

  • Toys R Us (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BushCheney08 ( 917605 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:50AM (#14308834)
    And don't forget to hit Toys R Us tomorrow [fatwallet.com] for some cheap games.
  • TETRIS! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cyborg_zx ( 893396 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:52AM (#14308842)
    I mean common, you don't need anything else to occupy your time than the endless satisfaction of clearing line after line and trying to pass 300 lines when you're working in the top third of the screen and blocks are coming in at breakneck speeds...
  • I travelled throughout South America last year, from Buenos Aires to Los Angles. Overground. That meant a lot of coach and what better travelling companion than, in my humble opinion, the finest Fighting Fantasy Gamebook of them all: Caverns of the Snow Witch. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caverns_of_the_Snow_W itch/ [wikipedia.org]
    Dice. Paper. Pencil. Playing the game properly: which means making every roll and resisting the temptation to 'go back' to the last location if I made the wrong choice. For an old-school, dice-
  • Well there are a few games that are probably on the good ol' xmas list anyways. Though these are the ones that i have played ober the past few xmas's Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls: An excellent throwback to the elder of the Final Fantasy series. The new dungeons and exceellent redrawing of the characters is just enjoyable. The mix of old and new bosses within the first game are worth it alone....not to mention no more inneffective fighting. ;) Unless you count the battery failing ;) The remakeof FF2
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) and Dawn of Sorrow (DS) are two really great games. Neither have totally unlimited replay value, mind you, but they will keep you occupied for a nice loooooooooooooooooong time.
  • by matt me ( 850665 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @11:08AM (#14308978)
    Don't knock it.
  • Maybe I missed something somewhere along the line, but doesn't RPG stand for Role Playing Game? The article discusses video games, yet makes no mention of any role playing games - no Traveller, no D&D, no Twilight 2000, nothing. Help me out here.
  • Any time I travel down to my parents house I take the DS with me. My mother always asks what new games I have and she always wants to play something. She enjoys Wario Ware, Pac Pix, and her favorite is Trauma Center. My father had me take him to Gamestop to point out Trauma Center. I think he is planning on getting her one along with a DS for Christmas.

    I have trouble playing any games in the car but I did take the DS with me on a cruise last week. That was only to play Animal Crossing though. The
  • What's wrong with paper RPG's?
  • Thoughts? I've got a 2 week training semilar I've got to attend in a few weeks and I want to pick up a portable system. I've never owned a portable in my whole life, so I figured at 25 it's time to get one.

    GBA looks like it's winning so far with Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy Tactics, Advance Wars 2, Fire Emblem, and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.

    But, the DS also has Castlevania (forget the name) and Advance Wars 2, but I don't see any Final Fantasy on there.

    So, keeping in the realm of good travel games (a
    • Re:DS or GBA? (Score:2, Informative)

      Well if you're torn between the 2 and are considering a DS anyways, just get that since it plays both DS and GBA games. That's what I have and I love it. Own probably twice as many GBA games as DS(all my gba are RPGs).
      • So the DS plays GBA cartridges? Awesome!

        Is the screen on the DS that the GBA games play on any bigger/smaller than the single screen on the GBA? Meaning, is there any compromise in playing quality when playing a GBA game on a DS?
        • The ergonomics of the DS are different. I have big hands and they cramped up after playing a DS for a while.

          Personally, I also always had nagging guilt that I should be playing a native DS game rather than a GBA game, and I don't like that feeling.
        • Is the screen on the DS that the GBA games play on any bigger/smaller than the single screen on the GBA? Meaning, is there any compromise in playing quality when playing a GBA game on a DS?

          The DS can play GBA games on either screen (selectable in the system options). Each is slightly larger than a GBA screen in terms of size and pixels, so the DS puts a thin black border around the game when playing to keep it pixel-perfect. It's quite nice, really.

    • DS, you can use both GBA and DS games! :)
  • Travels very well. They never call it.

  • Totally serious -- no foolies! Though you need the magic of a rewritable third party cart in order to actually have it on your Gameboy (which run over $100 for the good ones). Some of the best coffee cup portable titles that I've ever played have been homebrew titles from the fine folks at gbadev.org. Rogue is easier to play than Hack due to having fewer controls, but they're both pretty swank conversions. For those curious as to how it works, pressing the L button opens up a key list. Takes some doing
  • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:38PM (#14309814)
    Why are you dreading arriving at your parents house? Are you an adult, or a child with no control over your life or relationships?

    This year my family are coming to my home. If I need some space, I will do what I would do if I were visiting my own parents: go and meet some friends in the pub. The time together will be great though: we will talk, eat, play board games, visit other family and friends, go to the movies, go skiing, go and see Body World II, etc, etc.

    Don't forget: time with your family is precious and you can't get back the time you waste today. If your parents are still alive or together, maximise the time with them. Life passes too quickly and they're only getting older. You dread seeing them - how would you feel about your own children having that sentiment?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @01:05PM (#14310060)
      Maybe people don't have families that are a joy to be around? Maybe being around their family during Christmas time is pure pain and suffering? You might want to step off your high horse for a minute and realize not every family in America is functional, nor every set of parents/siblings great and loving. Maybe some people dread being with their parents because they are verbally abusive and self centered?

      There can be a variety of reasons why people dread being around family, and a lot of them can be rather legitimate. If your family is functional, and isn't a pain to be around, that's great. But realize not everyone has the opportunity to have such an experience.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"