Need lots of win7 arcade Games for 3rd world, non-english, non-computer savvy 10 year olds
July 5, 2012 1:26 AM   Subscribe

Where can I download lots of win7, laptop compatible arcade-ish games for non computer savvy, non English speakers with no internet. Can't you buy a bundle of like 400+ classic arcade games from somewhere?

I am giving a new windows 7 laptop as a gift. I want to fill it up with lots of games. I have already cherry picked some of the great free games I can think of (Minecraft, Free Indi Games, free games from GoG, etc). But I want more variety, both of genre and difficulty level.

Imagine you were going to give games to non-computer savvy, non-English speaking 10 year olds who have never played any sort of digital entertainment in their life and will be playing w/o a mouse and no internet access on a laptop keyboard that only accepts 2 key inputs at a time (IE most laptop keyboards apparantly). That is who I am giving this to, literally (well some of them are older than 10 and have used a computer before, but you get the picture).

Simple, non text based, visual but not too complex, key driven. Classic arcade games, platformers, tetris/brick-breaker clones, etc would be perfect. I would do emulation but DosBox is too complex since they need something that is just click and play (I won't be around). Trying to find legitimate game downloads one by one is... difficult

Any thoughts? I could have sworn you could buy "Arcade bundles" of 400+ games at one time, but I cannot find anything that does not look like a rip off. Willing to put a bit of money behind this if needed.
posted by DetonatedManiac to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would think a Windows version of MAME would be good.
posted by zippy at 1:28 AM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

The "no mouse" limitation you've added makes it really tough.

There are sites which collect flash games in huge numbers, but nearly all of them require a mouse.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:46 AM on July 5, 2012

Nothingbutsoftware has a 15,000 game disc and a 3,333 game disc, each under $10 Many or most will need a mouse, but many won't. Of course the interface will be English, but most games not so much of any language. I don't know these two specific packages, but many of the games may be the first few levels of (old) shareware games. Also see there the Hoyle package of board games. You could set it up to run all the games from the hard drive.

Staples still sells similar game collections in the store on their $9.99 rack (the last time I noticed).

Here's a bunch of downloadable free games - but some of these listings go all the way back to Windows 3.1 days.
posted by caclwmr4 at 2:08 AM on July 5, 2012

If you're already getting a laptop I would strongly recommend getting some controllers. Limiting it to multiplayer keyboard games is harsh, but the two-button requirement makes it too much. On it looks like you can get Super Nintendo style wired USB controllers for two to ten bucks apiece.

If you really can't do that, "one button games" are a thing. You may also have success looking for games for disabled people which usually restrict input.

All those arcade bundles you refer to were total rip-offs - they were either illegal, 90% shareware, 90% crap, or all of the above.
posted by 23 at 2:10 AM on July 5, 2012

I know those collection games were generally poor, but there were always a few or several decent enough games so a disc didn't feel like a ripoff. For kids totally new to computers it could be OK.
posted by caclwmr4 at 2:19 AM on July 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the ideas so far! Keep em coming! Let me clarify:

I am giving a mouse. But given the circumstances I am betting on it getting lost or broken. So I am aiming for resiliency for most of the games.

This is not a "game only" machine. It is primarily for web-chatting with my girlfriend via Skype. But her family and extended family don't have a computer so I'm guessing she and the kids (her nephews and nieces) would like some games. If it is a big hit maybe I will send them a game-pad.

She understands English just fine and is surprisingly computer literate. "No English" is not a hard requirement, just strongly suggested. But she is NOT a gamer and this is the first time she will have to interact with computers beyond Facebook and Skype at a net shop, so games that are not rather straight forward probably won't strike her fancy.
posted by DetonatedManiac at 3:20 AM on July 5, 2012

Response by poster: Oh, and the "two button input" was a bit of an overstatement. It is a normal keypad/touch pad, but I quickly discovered that it is far from full n-key rollover, and simultaneous touch pad/click/key-input is less than what a gamer would stand for. Also the up/down arrows are half keys (which I didn't think about when I purchased).

So essentially, a netbook.
posted by DetonatedManiac at 3:26 AM on July 5, 2012

I'll say that as someone who received more than a few of those 500+ game discs as a child, the few good games did not wash out the amount of crippleware and garbage I waded through.

Your explanation of the use case of the machine makes more sense now; it's not much, but a couple of good hotseat multiplayer PC games are Liquid War, Kajaani Kombat, and Achtung, Die Kurve! are all excellent and involve no language. Kajaani Kombat is the more complex one, but the others are easy to get into. Acthung in particular has a habit of getting people who don't play games at all very involved and excited.

Hope that helps.
posted by 23 at 4:29 AM on July 5, 2012

Humble bundles are bunches of six or so well chosen games from small publishers and individual creators. Each bundle includes one or two 'hits', but all the games are usually worth fooling around with. The types of games vary, but arcade types are probably their most popular. Games are DRM-free and can be installed by download or via Steam. They won't need a net connection to play the games.

You pay what you want for the games, even a penny. The games are donated, with the proceeds going to charity. One just wrapped up---they're time limited offers---but they will likely be running another very soon.
posted by bonehead at 9:07 AM on July 5, 2012

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