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August 9, 2009 10:12 AM   Subscribe

I finally found a flash game that my gaming-averse partner likes (William and Sly)! Help me find more like it.

I dedicate an indefensible amount of time to finding games that my partner will like so we can play them together, and I finally have an unqualified success! She loves William and Sly, a laid-back flash game in which you play a fox who explores the forest and collects "fairyflies," mushrooms, etc.

Here's what I suspect contributed to her enjoyment:

-Relaxed atmosphere (music, rain effects, etc.)
-No character death -- the only enemies are monsters who steal items you've collected, and the setbacks are minor
-Simple controls (you run and jump with the arrow keys, that's it)
-Exploration-based, rather than point-based or boss-killing, progression

Do these criteria bring any other games to mind? Anything PC is good (we don't own any consoles), and single-player is fine.
posted by hayvac to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm answering this without having played William and Sly. I'm one of those people who dislikes first person/shooter games. I love games that are exploration- and puzzle-based, though.

If your partner is also okay with solving puzzles, I recommend the Nancy Drew line of games (there are nineteen at current count!). Those are all point'n'click PC games. They are relaxed in that there's no time limit to solving the game. The only drawback I've found with them is that the end game sometimes requires 'fighting' the villian (in a slow motion type of way). Nancy doesn't ever die in the game (unless you cause her to drown) though sometimes you might do something that gets her fired from the case. If that happens, there's always the "Second Chance" button.

If she likes those, then Myst and Riven might also be to her liking. I have a whole list of other games as well... I might have to pull those out and re-play them!
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 10:27 AM on August 9, 2009

Bart Bonte's games? (His games are on the left, the blog is random casual flash games.)

How about the huge collection of hidden object games? That's like playing I Spy, which is fun in pairs. The Mystery Case Files selection is good, there are lots of options at the casual gameplay sites. Jayisgames reviews a lot, but tends towards very positive reviews, so take with a large grain of salt.

I enjoyed Kaleidoscope Reef and Anika's Odyssey, and Daniel Ben makes interesting fiction-y exploration games.

Then you can go to interactive fiction -- Emily Short makes fairly easy, exploration based ones.
posted by jeather at 10:32 AM on August 9, 2009

Oh, and LucasArts made a lot of don't die type games. Monkey Island, for instance, has no setbacks and no unwinnable positions (well, you can, if you work hard at it, drown yourself in the first game), and it's about exploration and puzzles. The X Quest games (King's, Space, Police, Quest for Camelot etc) have death, but are mostly about exploration. (You get points, but they tend to the meaningless.)

I enjoyed Pandora's Box, which is just a pile of puzzle games, with a bit of a plot jammed on top.
posted by jeather at 10:35 AM on August 9, 2009

Perhaps Knytt / Knytt Stories?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 10:44 AM on August 9, 2009

Maybe Braid?

I think it matches well with most of what you suspect she liked: the controls are simple, it's a relaxed atmosphere, setbacks are minor; arguably there's character death, but not really: pretty much the only control other than stuff like up/down/left/right is the ability to rewind (i.e. to make time go backwards). So if you fall off a cliff or something, you just rewind a little bit.
posted by Flunkie at 10:59 AM on August 9, 2009

posted by cheesegrater at 11:26 AM on August 9, 2009

Cave Story is an absolutely legendary freeware PC game that fits all your criteria. It's a "Metroidvania" game where you explore a large, 2D world gathering items and following the story. The art, music, tone, and gameplay are all fantastic, but what really makes it remarkable is that the whole thing was made by one guy from Japan. Seriously, this game is on par with Symphony of the Night and Super Metroid, and those are both contenders for best videogame ever.
posted by martens at 11:47 AM on August 9, 2009

Cave Story is an absolutely legendary freeware PC game that fits all your criteria.

Cave story is awesome and all, but you really didn't read the question: "No character death -- the only enemies are monsters who steal items you've collected, and the setbacks are minor"

You can die in knytt too. Although as far as I can remember, it at least doesn't have boss fights like cave story does.

I'd recommend seiklus maybe. It's been a while so I don't remember whether you can die or not, but I redownloaded just now it and tooled around for 10 minutes or so and it doesn't seem so.
posted by juv3nal at 12:15 PM on August 9, 2009

An untitled story is a cave-story-like that I heartily recommend in general, but like Cave Story, has boss battles and dying.
posted by juv3nal at 12:18 PM on August 9, 2009

Seconding Braid. The theoretical absence of character death places much more emphasis on puzzle-solving and thinking outside the box than adept enemy killing/dodging. The ease with which you can rewind a death turns even the toughest jumping puzzles into simple obstacles. And the game is structured so that you don't have to complete most of the puzzles to continue, so if one is particularly hard you can just skip it and finish it later.

You can download a PC version of the game here.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:24 PM on August 9, 2009

Maybe a game that came up on Metafilter a few days ago called Tranquility? I think it fits your description pretty well.

According the Wikipedia article I just linked you to it's a "non-violent musical platform game". I downloaded the demo when the last mefite mentioned it and it's pretty fun and relaxing.

The music is nice, and the world consists of colorful polygons floating everywhere. There's no death, and the only controls are only the mouse and a single keyboard key.

The goal is to find and get to these little spinner things. You do have to find them, so it's somewhat exploration based, but there's a "there it is, how can I get to it?" aspect as well. Not sure if that's something your partner would want.
posted by losvedir at 12:25 PM on August 9, 2009

Best answer: Have a look at The Endless Forest by Tale of Tales - it's a really beautiful game in which you are a deer, you can explore the forest and do various activities. Plus there are other players around (also deer).
posted by adrianhon at 12:35 PM on August 9, 2009

Best answer: Check out Orisinal Ferry Halim makes some of the most beautiful games out there. I am the Winterbells queen.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:40 PM on August 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm not a gamer, but I'm married to one, so I can definitely relate to this situation; my husband gets so excited when he finds a game I like to play. Anyway, I really dig the Harvest Moon series - it's a cute farming sim game. Very nonthreatening. You plant crops and buy cows and mend your fence and so on. I think it's only for consoles, but you can always play it on an emulator. Even the old Super Nintendo one is still fun. Has she tried other sims?

You might want to also consider cooperative board games. I find it much more fun to play *with* my husband rather than against him. In particular, we have really enjoyed playing Pandemic and Arkham Horror (though the latter is fairly complicated).
posted by hishtafel at 12:42 PM on August 9, 2009

Yeah, I just re-installed Cave Story and it's super hardcore and you have to massacre hordes of cute animals. Whoops! Still a great game, though.
posted by martens at 1:06 PM on August 9, 2009

Seconding Orsinal. My favorite is These Little Pigs. There's nothing more pleasant than plopping pigs to Canon in D.
posted by litterateur at 2:24 PM on August 9, 2009

I recommend any of the famous adventure games like the Monkey Island series (the first two are much better than the rest). Don't play Sierra made adventure games (dying is a distinct possibility). Unfortunately, a lot of these games are too old and can only be played on modern computers with emulators like Dosbox. Telltale Games makes adventure games that are current including an update of the original Monkey Island (one of my all-time favorite games). You can find free adventure games at Adventure Game Studio. Search the net for recommendations on which ones are good.
posted by qmechanic at 8:03 PM on August 9, 2009

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