In January last year, I published a quick post all about board games, and just how beneficial I found playing them to be. As regular readers of this blog know, I spend a lot of time at home caring for my loved ones and just trying to manage my chronic condition as best I can. Well, since I enjoyed my journey into board gaming so much last year, this year I thought I’d embrace the technological revolution and give playing online and smartphone games a try.
I discovered that playing these games is also really beneficial; as well as alleviating my boredom and providing some excellent entertainment, regular gameplay can improve cognitive skills and short term memory. It was also a delight to discover that video gaming isn’t just for certain age groups either. There are all sorts of games out there that really do appeal to a grown up market.
I’ve had a lot of fun these past few months trying out loads of different games on my computer and my mobile. Here are four of the best that I’d recommend giving a go. And since they’re all either games you can play from your computer or on your mobile, you won’t need to go out and buy any games consoles or special equipment.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
This is easily the most adorable game on my list, and it’s pretty addictive too. Pocket Camp is a smartphone version (iOS and Android) of the Nintendo Switch game, and it’s completely free to play and download.
You take on the role of the Campsite Manager in the camp, and you can completely create and customise your campsite with the aim of getting the park’s cute animal residents to come and visit. Throughout the game there’s also the opportunity to help the furry creatures out, for which you’ll earn bonus rewards like extra craft materials.
iGaming (online poker, casino, and sports betting) is becoming a lot more popular with female gamers recently, so I thought I’d give this platform a go as it’s highly rated and licensed. I played in the web version, but there’s also a mobile app that can be downloaded for Android devices.
The platform itself is fully equipped with a range of online casino games, including blackjack, various slots games, and table games like roulette. It’s a real money gaming site, which means you can spend and win money playing the games. What I particularly liked about this platform is that there are quite a few free games that you can play to learn the rules and understand the gameplay more, as well as tutorials and articles explaining more about the games and the history of the casino industry.
The Escape Game
I’ve been reliably informed that escape rooms are now very popular, although they do sound like hard work. Players need to follow clues and solve puzzles in order to make it through themed rooms in the game – a bit like The Crystal Maze – and although I’ve never tried one out in real life I enjoyed this virtual version.
The Escape Game follows a simple format, so anyone will be able to join in and play. You follow the clues and attempt to solve the puzzles within the allotted time frame. I played a premium themed version in two-parts called The Heist, where I took on the character of a secret agent who was out to stop a suspected art thief. There are plenty of other themes available though, including a free to play Harry Potter one.
I even managed to find some of my beloved board games online at Tabletopia, which is a bit like Netflix for games. This “online sandbox arena” has around 1000 board games available via its platform, which can be played through a desktop browser as well as on Android and Apple phones. You can even try building your own game through the platform if you’re feeling brave enough.
Admittedly, I didn’t even come close to playing all 1000, since I opted for the free bronze package, but I broadened my horizons by trying Scythe and Clans of Caledonia instead of opting for something like Chess. There’s also the option to sign up for a monthly subscription, which will give you access to more games depending on the level.