Avatar + LOTR + a hookah= video game?
October 26, 2010 2:52 PM   Subscribe

I don't know ANYTHING about video games, but is there one where you "explore" or are otherwise in a rich "forest-type" environment -- i'm thinking it would be something a bit psychedelic or trippy, where a players aren't required to kill things, but discover/explore "LOTR/Avatar-ish" worlds, with hidden surprises perhaps....
posted by mrmarley to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (27 answers total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
So something like the Myst series?
posted by kickingtheground at 2:55 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

You want "Within a Deep Forest".
posted by foursentences at 2:55 PM on October 26, 2010

Endless Forest (I haven't played it, and there may not be much to actually do.)
posted by ecurtz at 3:03 PM on October 26, 2010

Came here to say "Myst and its sequels".

Maybe Endless Ocean would scratch your itch? Not a forest, but the ocean. No real combat, just exploration including human ruins. Very trippy especially if you play "deep ocean" at night.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:06 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Myst and/or Riven, which are both many yrs old and are played using CDs in your hard drive.

otherwise, online, there's second life, which is free to play and pretty interesting once you get into it. http://www.secondlife.com it's "more than a game" to lots of people but you can just mess around in there and play with it.

My user name is Omega Moo, you can put me down as your referral and I'll show you around in-game. :-) haven't played in a while but was thinking about it lately.
posted by ChefJoAnna at 3:07 PM on October 26, 2010

The Hunter is very beautiful - free, too. It's technically a hunting game but there's no need to actually shoot anything if you don't wish to.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:08 PM on October 26, 2010

The Path is exactly this. Wikipedia page. Lots of hidden surprises, things which may or may not interact with you, which may or may not still be there when you come back as a different character. Little flowers to pick, to no apparent end. The Depending on what you've done in the forest, grandma's house is more or less horror. Nothing to attack. In fact, you can only run or walk or pick the flowers. If it's possible to interact with an object, it will happen without your input.

It's more Time Burton than Avatar, but I love it. It's not for everyone--many people find it frustrating or dull--but it's very atmospheric.
posted by crush-onastick at 3:08 PM on October 26, 2010 [3 favorites]

Oh, the wikipedia page on the Path has lots of spoilers. Slate review here; NPR review here.
posted by crush-onastick at 3:10 PM on October 26, 2010

Love is rather psychedelic. You can explore and craft. In Minecraft, you can set the difficulty to peaceful, and explore around as well. I do this sometimes, the world generator creates some great sights. It too though, is focused around crafting, so if you find that enjoyable, I definitely recommend trying it out.
posted by SollosQ at 3:42 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Samorost. Definitely trippy, unusually engaging graphics, and fun - little surprises but no death/combat.
posted by pants at 3:44 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Check out Katamari Damacy for the Playstation consoles.
posted by neuron at 4:13 PM on October 26, 2010

I can't believe I'm the first to mention Shadow of the Colossus. Lots of atmospheric, almost meditative exploration with lovely little discoveries, interspersed with intensely dramatic combat. Plenty of surprises as well.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:16 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Oops. AREN'T required to kill things. I'll go away now.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:17 PM on October 26, 2010

You can play Shadow of the Colossus without killing anything if you want to.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:32 PM on October 26, 2010

Flower (PS3)—has a very immersive & beautiful world.

And I'd second neuron's Katamari Damacy (multiple platforms) suggestion—it's more on the "psychedelic or trippy" side of things rather than "LOTR/Avatar-ish," but fun nevertheless.
posted by 0x88 at 5:35 PM on October 26, 2010

My bad, goofed on the "Flower" link in my previous post.
posted by 0x88 at 5:37 PM on October 26, 2010

Okami isn't exactly what you're talking about, but I think you might enjoy it.
posted by box at 7:36 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

There is And Yet It Moves (available on Steam) which has a very psychedelic forest stage.
posted by polyglot at 8:08 PM on October 26, 2010

Seconding Endless Ocean if ocean exploration would work for you, but would specify the second game, Endless Ocean: Blue World. It's got several features that make it much more fun to play than the first game. I think of these games as being like a vacation in a box. There is a story, but you can do everything in the game at whatever pace you like, there are no permanent penalties for failure at anything, and the exploration's great fun.
posted by asperity at 9:08 PM on October 26, 2010

I would definitely recommend Mincraft, and especially multiplayer. The Mefightclub server has some pretty amazing things on it to discover. There's no killing yet (this will change on the 31st) and there is an infinite amount of forests and mountains and caves to explore and build anything you want in. If you're interested, memail me and I'll send you the server address so you can take a tour.
posted by Jawn at 11:56 PM on October 26, 2010

Myst and Riven are available on Steam now... and for way less expensive than they were on CDs!
posted by cathoo at 3:44 AM on October 27, 2010

Seconding Minecraft. Here's a fanmade trailer that does a pretty good job of showing what the game can offer. It's not like LOTR or Avatar, exactly, but there can be floating mountains and you go around exploring vast forests/oceans/caves/mountains/hell and building stuff. You can play on "peaceful" mode and the monsters will not attack. Even on non-peaceful modes, you can play for hours without running into a monster if you want.
posted by msbrauer at 9:09 AM on October 27, 2010

Look into Machinarium (by the guys who made Samorost). Fun point-and-click adventure game with a rich environment and cool music.
posted by achompas at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2010

Team Ico seems to be the font of metafilter-favored exploration-based gameplay. Perennial mefi-favorite Ico is one to check out, as well aforementioned Shadow of the Colossus. They also have a third game slated for release 2011, the Last Guardian. Looks like one to look forward to, with you puzzling your way out of some beautiful ruins, while trying to coax a huge and sometimes unwilling creature to come with. While, it looks like there may be some killing involved, it doesn't appear to be central to the gameplay, and presented in a more intriguing way than your usual stab-stab-stab, oh, look there's a river of blood way.
posted by ultrabuff at 2:11 AM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Morrowwind is an RPG, but depending on the character choices you make, you can play the game without killing anything ever. You can play as an alchemist who spends all his/her time wandering the forests searching for ingredients, or as a thief who sneaks through dangerous situations and lives off proceeds of stolen goods. It is very open ended (much more so than its big brother, Oblivion), and pretty. I played it through a few times, treating it mainly as an exploration activity rather than a game with a goal or a kill-fest.
posted by lollusc at 4:57 AM on October 28, 2010

Anything by Nifflas. Just exploration and beautifully atmospheric games. Knytt and Knytt Stories are some of the best games I've played.

The Endless Forest also sounds like something you'd like, it's all about exploring online a rich forest with no way to communicate with other players other than with animal sounds. Haven't tried it personally but apparently it's good.
posted by litleozy at 5:07 AM on October 29, 2010

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