Distract Us
January 29, 2009 12:15 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I need a distraction from the gloom of current events. We're looking for a collaborative online game we can play together. Something relatively addicting would be nice, but not a World of Warcraft or Second Life. Not a RPG, but not a board game where we play against each other, either. Any ideas?
posted by Yakuman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Valve's newest FPS, Left 4 Dead. It is the finest example of a cooperative shooter, if that's your thing.
posted by Diskeater at 12:18 PM on January 29, 2009

A Tale in the Desert is a little more puzzle-based and community-oriented than, say, World of Warcraft-- more like Civilization. They have a 24-hour demo, after which it's $14 a month per account. A friend of mine plays and seems to enjoy it well enough.

Mr. F and I play City of Heroes, which is kind of level-grindy and so on, but the RPG aspect is optional and it's not a fantasy setting. CoH has a sort of steep initial learning curve, but it's fun, kind of like Diablo with superpowers. (Have you considered Diablo II? It's playable over the Net, and it's still pretty fun, if dated graphically. Not an RPG, just a kill-shit fest.)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:27 PM on January 29, 2009 [2 favorites]

Real-time strategy or turn-based strategy games? Newer RTSes - and by "newer" I mean basically anything from the generation after Warcraft/Starcraft/C&C - have alliances in multiplayer mode which would allow you to team up with wifey and blow away the computer. I happen to like Sins of a Solar Empire, but any of the Command and Conquer/Red Alert series games are fun. Total Annihilation is a little dated but was a big favorite for quite awhile. You can do the same with Civilization/II/III/IV or Alpha Centauri.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:40 PM on January 29, 2009

Puzzle Pirates was the favourite with Mrs Morte and myself a couple of years back. It's incredibly addicting (we were often up at 5am on a work night) and is essentially a combination of resource-management and puzzle-type games which you play either single or against other pirate crews.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:45 PM on January 29, 2009

Let me be the first (I will by no means be the last) to suggest Team Fortress 2. A large group of us MeFites play together, we can be found at MeFightClub.com, where you'll find server info and a lot of well-meaning, fun-loving players.
posted by lohmannn at 12:55 PM on January 29, 2009

Spore? I don't know if it qualifies as an RPG. Basically you design little creatures and then help them evolve into little creatures who can create fire, or drive a bus, or develop interstellar travel. My sister and my mom both play it avidly (in addition the time-suck WoW).
posted by LunaticFringe at 12:58 PM on January 29, 2009

Ages of Empires.

My wife loved to take time and create a nice city. She spent hours and hours building her castles. I spent the time amassing an army that destroyed her city in a couple minutes. Fun stuff.
posted by bleucube at 1:49 PM on January 29, 2009

You said not an RPG, but I played the first two Dungeon Siege's with a remote friend in co-operative mode and it was great fun, much more so than it would ever be alone. Teamwork and chatting and such, and good to pick up and play for an hour at a time, then return to later. Took up many months.
posted by rokusan at 2:17 PM on January 29, 2009

FreeCiv - just like Civilization but free. One or the other of you can host the game and you can play against yourselves or other friends or against the computer. Beware - the computer is really, really good, even at the lowest setting.
posted by AquaAmber at 2:18 PM on January 29, 2009

hmm if you have a wii then boom blox is a great game .
posted by majortom1981 at 3:59 PM on January 29, 2009

To add to the MMOs-that-aren't-quite-RPGs, I play EVE Online. Everyone in the world who plays it is on one server (apart from those behind the Great Firewall of China), so it never feels dead. Roleplay in it is entirely optional, mostly it's a space game in the tradition of Elite, with trading, industry and combat. Be prepared for a learning curve, but once you get to the top of it, there's no game that has anywhere near as much depth and sense of vastness.
posted by fearnothing at 6:10 PM on January 29, 2009

Ikariam on the Beta server. It's not as cutthroat as some of the other servers and those of us that play, generally have a pretty good time.

It's not really cooperative, and game play is a little harder now that our colonies share many of the same islands... we tend to target/attack the same people, which isn't working out so well when one of us neglects things that need to be done to attack while the other puts off an attack for to do things like, cook dinner or ... whatever.

Ideally one of us would not have moved all of our colonies into the immediate area of the other so we weren't competing for targets.

Cooperatively, we are in the same alliance, help plan each others attacks (one of us is more detail oriented and has quite the memory for facts and figures) or find targets for those that are better prepared than others.

There are rules about people playing from the same IP, however, so if you are interested look those up - we can't have any 'fleet contact' with one another and we have to identify everyone who plays from this same IP (we have had up to 8) or they give you the boot.

Good times. Really.
posted by Incognita at 9:13 PM on January 29, 2009

everyone is going to laugh at me, but pogo.com has card games, word games, board games, time management games, and if you join their "club" you can earn ranks and badges...totally addicting and there are enough different games that there will always be something to play depending on how you feel
posted by legotech at 4:08 AM on January 30, 2009

Get a PS3 and Little Big Planet. Yes, I'm addicted. Trust me on this.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:47 PM on January 31, 2009

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