Remember when you had to seek out other people or at least dig out a board or pack of cards before you could play a game? Now you don’t even have to look for a disc. Online gaming has made everything much easier. Whether you’re looking for something short and simple to refresh your brain between pieces of work or something ongoing to distract you over days when you have little to do, there’s plenty out there to entertain, and it’s only a click away.
Simple solo games
Many enduringly popular games like chess, Othello, and Go have transferred well to computers and are great for playing alone against an electronic opponent. If you like mentally challenging games you can enjoy puzzlers like Tanglet – a sort of online version of boggle – or classic electronic challenges like Tetris, Twenty or Candy Crush Saga. You’ll find free online sudoku, crossword puzzles and logic puzzles at varying levels of complexity. They are ideal when you have ten minutes to an hour to spare and want something to fully hold your attention.
Short multi-player games
Classic games have also made their way online, so you can always find an opponent somewhere in the world who’s ready for a game of Scrabble or Settlers of Catan, whether or not it’s someone you know. If you want something a bit more dynamic, Altitude, Quake Live or Starcraft 2 would be perfect, and none of them take very long to learn. For fans of first-person shooters who like to team up with other players to go after human opponents, Android’s Project INF is a must.
There’s often an expectation that women aren’t as enthusiastic about the sport as men, but this isn’t the case nowadays. Women will often have a flutter or place a bet on an online sporting event. Studies show they are just as keen as men, even if they approach it differently. When you’re feeling sporty but you don’t want to get too sweaty in your lunch break, you can check out mobile-friendly games like NBA 2K16 or Madden NFL Mobile, or practice your swing with WGT World Golf Tour. Real Racing 3 is now free to play and is ideal when you feel the need for speed, and it’s tough to beat classics like Football Manager, especially if you’re excited about the 2018 soccer World Cup.
Ongoing adventure games
If you have an adventurous spirit and you’re looking for a game you can play over time, there are of course established favorites like World of Warcraft and Minecraft, but it’s also worth checking out the likes of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Goodgame Empire or Viking Warfare to connect with different people and take on challenging quests. Maple Story, Tera and Final Fantasy XIV online are some of winter 2017-2019’s biggest hits, so make sure you don’t miss out.
With so much to choose from, you need never be at a loose end again. What’s more, research has shown that playing games can improve your cognitive functioning and help to keep your brain healthy, so you’re not just having fun, you’re also exercising.