Good non-addictive arty videogame recommendations?
August 10, 2014 11:35 AM Subscribe
What are some good videogames for the PC that have the fewest grindy, behavioral "Skinner Box"-y qualities?
In other words, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush Saga, Farmville and other games that are essentially designed for the player to mechanically self-stimulate are the exact opposite of what I'm looking for.
Preferably shorter games, now that I am a grownup with a job I unfortunately don't have forty hours to spare for a single JRPG. I used to subscribe to the indie bundles but now there are way too many of them to keep up.
To give a few examples of games I've enjoyed in the past few years:
Braid - Beautiful art, elegant gameplay, fascinating puzzles
Bastion - Ripping action game, slick, stylish, short
Cave Story - 8-bit aesthetic hides a compelling (and tragic) narrative with very effective gameplay
To the Moon - Amazing demonstration of what can be done with the videogame as a narrative artform
Plants Vs. Zombies 1 - Self-contained, charming, funny, also much shorter than the bloated sequel (which isn't even released for PC anyway)
Portal - What's there to say? A perfect videogame.
Psychonauts - Very funny, ingenuous level design, pushing it a little on the length but easy to put down when needed.
Papers Please - I hate this game in the best possible way, it's literally designed to give you the experience of working in an unpleasant, stressful, morally difficult Soviet bureaucracy and it succeeds in spades.
In other words:
-Has either a definite ending or a good stopping point
-No more than 20 hours to complete
-Generally not first-person shooters, Portal being a notable exception
-Preferably arty but doesn't have to be
-Inventive, clever, novel design is preferred, even if it's unpleasant like Papers Please