Baby needs new games!
May 24, 2010 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Netbook games? There's got to be at least a few...

I recently traded up from an iPod Touch to a netbook for productivity purposes. A good trade, but one thing I miss are the games - what are some fun games to play on a netbook? Any genres are fine, although the computer is usually offline when I'm on it (so no games that require an internet connection to play). Downloadable games are the preferred type, for the obvious reason. Free is the best price, but I don't mind paying for well-made entertainment.

FWIW, it's an ASUS EEE PC 1001P. Completely happy with it - long battery life, practically full-size keyboard, yadda yadda yadda.
posted by chrisinseoul to Computers & Internet (20 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
What kind of games are you into? Pretty much any low requirement game is going to be fine.

I like playing Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup on my netbook.
posted by ODiV at 9:28 AM on May 24, 2010

I ran Railroad Tycoon II from steam on my netbook with no trouble, though you may want an external mouse. It was quite cheap as I recall.
posted by ghharr at 9:30 AM on May 24, 2010

I'm running on a MSI Wind U100/Ubuntu 10. What OS are you runing?

The deal is over, but all of the games from the Humble Indie Bundle run very well under Windows. (The linux native Aquaria runs piss poor on my netbook, but the windows version via wine runs splendidly).

I found Transcendence through an askme suggestion and it's pretty awesome.

If you are into older RPGs, Diablo 1and 2,Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, Dungeon Siege 1 and 2and Neverwinter Nights (1, not 2) all run great.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:31 AM on May 24, 2010

There are thousands and thousands of Windows games going back many years that can run on your netbook. Card games. Puzzle games. FPS games. Action games. Platforming games. Etc. Okay, the latest and greatest games that have demanding GPU and CPU requirements aren't going to run. But that still leaves a lot of games. You might need to be more specific. Are you looking for games specifically designed for netbooks as a distinct subcategory of Windows games?
posted by 6550 at 9:32 AM on May 24, 2010

Like classic arcade games? The download MAME and some roms.
posted by furtive at 9:34 AM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've recently been enjoying Torchlight (action RPG) via Steam on my MacBook, but noticed it has a "Netbook Mode" setting in its preferences pane, so I assume it would run on your EEE.
posted by dantekgeek at 9:34 AM on May 24, 2010

Netbooks are great for emulation. I like the SNES a lot, myself.
posted by box at 9:35 AM on May 24, 2010


All those '90s games can be downloaded for free, and run in DosBox. I've been retroing the Microprose F-117A Stealth Fighter on my Asus 901.
posted by orthogonality at 9:36 AM on May 24, 2010

I like strategy and roleplaying games, so I've been playing Arcanum on my netbook recently. It's graphic limitations are really only a drawback on desktops.
posted by JaredSeth at 9:46 AM on May 24, 2010

Master of Magic.

Make it happen, then thank me.
posted by BobbyDigital at 9:53 AM on May 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

Pretty much any emulator for a pre-2000 console or arcade game should run fine. Hell, you could probably pull a software-graphics PSX emulator on it.
posted by griphus at 10:04 AM on May 24, 2010

Torchlight has a netbook mode. I've only played on full-size PC so I don't know how well it works in netbook mode.
posted by sanko at 10:05 AM on May 24, 2010

Also, look into abandonware - full versions of classic PC games, "legally" obtainable because copyright considerations for them have been, well, abandoned. You can find some at Home of the Underdogs (make sure you have noscript and adblock running before visiting) and Abandonia.
posted by griphus at 10:08 AM on May 24, 2010

Seconding Torchlight for some quick fun, although it bored me after a few days. You might want to look past the indie games and go for a real game instead for longevity reasons. Arcanum is a great RPG if you can look past the graphics; same with Baldur's Gate (1, but start with 2 if you never played it).

You could go here and select platform PC, review date 'all time'. Ignore the newer games, but look what's on the first pages: Grim Fandago, Deus Ex, Civilization, GTA: Vice City, Freelancer, Mafia. Those games were awesome back in the day and I bet they still are.
posted by wolfr at 10:24 AM on May 24, 2010

If you want to keep it easy to start, hit Good Old Games. There's getting to be quite a selection there of excellent older titles that should all run fine on a modern netbook -- I personally ended up recently buying copies of Master of Orion I/II, Master of Magic, and Heroes of Might and Magic II there for similar use (I actually already had all those games on older CDs anyway, but it was cheap enough to be worth it to me to get them in handy installers -- and in MOO1's case, with the copy protection check "fixed!").

PopCap will also have many simpler games you could run that might feel more "iTouchy" if that's what you're used to playing. Try out Peggle and thank curse me later...
posted by Pufferish at 10:52 AM on May 24, 2010

I would suggest real-time strategy games that came out in the late 90s. Warcraft 2, Starcraft, Age of Empires 1 and 2. Those should work well on any netbook and they still look great.
posted by i8ny3x at 11:47 AM on May 24, 2010

The only thing that won't run on my EEE is Sims 3.

Pufferish recommended my obsession favorite game, Peggle. Prepare to lose time.
posted by catlet at 12:24 PM on May 24, 2010

Nethack (and other roguelikes, like Dungeon Crawl in ODiV's answer)

If you like text adventures, there's a never-ending supply of great games, most of them free, and clients for pretty much every platform ever.

posted by Zed at 2:27 PM on May 24, 2010

I have an Eeepc 1000h. I spend most of my time-wasting-time playing flash games on Kongregate, and have run into zero problems whatsoever there, except for the occasional need to press F11 or ctrl+scroll wheel. (I know you said you won't be online with the computer, but if you can connect occasionally, you don't usually need an internet connection for the games to run -- just to load them.)

Offline, seconding abandonware sites. Older games will be better. I used to trawl Home of the Underdogs all the time. I also have a couple of Steam games I've purchased - Audiosurf runs fine on my Eee, and is a super-fun way to pass time (it's a music game that you can play with your own library of mp3s). I also downloaded Portal when it was free recently. I'm on level 15 or so, and at this point the game slows down occasionally, but it's still playable.
posted by Gordafarin at 9:30 PM on May 24, 2010

If you enjoy puzzle games and haven't heard of it yet, get Deadly Rooms of Death! The first part of the series is available for free via sourceforge and the latter parts are available pretty cheap at Caravel Games (Link)
posted by Glow Bucket at 12:41 AM on May 25, 2010

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