Offline computer games to bring to exotic places
September 4, 2008 2:07 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find some downloadable offline games for young people?

I’m looking for simple, fun games I can download to a laptop which are easy to learn, do not require much RAM/memory, and are easy to play on a laptop. For example, Tetris, Bejeweled, etc. Please no card games or games relating to gambling.

I’m preparing for a trip to Peru in just a few weeks where I will be doing some fieldwork with indigenous populations. Many of the young people there travel every so often to nearby cities and so know what a computer game is, last time I came there they asked if my laptop had anything fun on it (it didn’t, aside from mindsweeper which, let’s face it, is not so entertaining). As I am bringing some solar cells this time, I thought it may be interesting to download some games. It will help those young people and teens feel more comfortable around me and give me a chance to get to know some of them better. I think it’ll be a sort of ice-breaker.

Please don’t judge me for this approach. I’m not damaging their culture or anything, rather sharing an aspect of our society with them. I’ll also bring documentaries, books, and so on. This is just one component!

Googling keywords just brings up way too much noise…

posted by mateuslee to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Get DOSBox and some good old, classic, DOS games like Commander Keen and SimCity.
posted by SansPoint at 2:44 AM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite] tags a lot of their games kidsafe. They have a focus on flash-based browser games, but they also have lots of downloads - look for the download tag.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:10 AM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if they still offer it, but PopCap used to offer a whole collection of their downloadable games for a relatively small price, and they're my go-to source for totally addictive, but simple games. It didn't include Peggle, as I recall, but it would have had Bejewelled and probably Zuma amongst others.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:54 AM on September 4, 2008

I've had a lot of luck with saving web based flash games to play off-line. Some kids love geography games, which will also give them an idea of the larger world around them. You could also download an SNES or Atari emulator and a thousand bootleg ROMs pretty easily. Those games are always fun.
posted by ChrisHartley at 6:09 AM on September 4, 2008

What age group are the kids? Try, they have free flash online games and download offline games. There is also Playtoad and Playfirst both are focused more on offline games.
posted by stephiecafeg at 8:56 AM on September 4, 2008

@stephiecafeg: the kids are let's say between 15-30
@Chrisharley: Where can I get this emulator? So just install it and then download some bootleg ROMs? This may give me a ton of options... Thanks
posted by mateuslee at 9:28 AM on September 4, 2008

NES emulators, or better (think no joystick/game pad needed) MAME + a bunch of arcade ROMS = lots of fun, but you have to remember to put the "quarters" in to make it work. Play with it a bit before you leave to make sure you know how to work it. I think it's 1=1 player, 2=2p, 3=add credit/quarter, esc always exits. Some old-school classics like PacMan, Frogger, etc. are always fun but please remember that downloaded ROMS are not free, they're stolen, and although a few games have been released as free not all of them have.

I'm not saying "don't do it or I'll call the DMCA on you", now, don't get me wrong - just pointing out that downloading a ROM you don't own isn't legally kosher. If you own a bunch of old Nintendo games and download the equivalent ROM images for an NES emulator, you should be within your rights, but not many people have a basement full of arcade ROMs...
posted by caution live frogs at 11:38 AM on September 4, 2008

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