I need a new immersive game to play
October 9, 2013 1:25 PM   Subscribe

I want to find an adventure game that's easy to become obsessed with and has tons to discover and explore.

The best example of what I love is Kingdom of Loathing, which I do and still play. I love it: It's humorous and quirky, there's an incredibly large wealth of content, there's always something to do. I can craft weird shit and go on adventures. It's easy to get obsessed with for a while, read pages upon pages in the Wiki, drop it for a few months, then come back. There's a big fan community out there, which I love. I play it in-browser, but it doesn't work on my iPad (too many frames and popups make the experience pretty crappy). I'd like to play before falling asleep or during breaks in the day, and I don't like to take my laptop from my desk.

Another GREAT example, until its tragic demise, was Glitch. (Still mourning!) Community elements, lots of interesting and fun stuff to find.

I also (kind of embarrassingly) have enjoyed city-building-esque games like Happy Street and The Tribez on iPad, but STRONGLY disapprove of IAP, unless it gets me a real-life kitten or something. I can ignore it in a game, but I'd prefer it's super-minimal and doesn't exist. (I did drop $10 on a Mr. Accessory for KoL, but that was to support the developer!)

I'm okay paying some money for the game itself.

Basically I just want another game with a world that feels as quirky and expansive and addictive as Kingdom of Loathing that I can ideally play on my iPad, although in-browser (or even OSX compatible) is OK. Quests, crafting, exploration = all awesome.

Also have a Wii and a PS2, but don't really like playing games with them. I need something I can do while doing other things.

I have a feeling Animal Crossing: New Leaf would be great, but I don't have a 3DS and won't buy it for one game. Fleck, also, looks like it was super cool, but it's no longer around.

I don't care about graphics. Great graphics are great. Just text and stick figures is great.

Other games I have enjoyed:

Minecraft, Junk Jack X, Terraria, although the constant digging gets a little rote.
Any and all of the Zelda games.
Any of the Sim/Maxis games—SimCity, the Sims, SimTower etc.
Skyrim: Huge open world, but only have been able to play on other people's consoles
Bully for PS2: Open-world, not quite as gun-violent as GTA
Dragon Age: Great story and personalization (although much more of a straight-up RPG than the others on the list)

Other games I have tried and don't really like:

Pocket Planes, Tiny Tower: too much "do this and then wait," and not enough interesting stuff
Kairosoft games: Just not a fan
Zynga games: For obvious reasons
Pixel People: Fun at first but quickly got old & required too much waiting
posted by good day merlock to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
Are you at all interested in roguelikes? You didn't mention any, but they sound like they'd be your cup of tea.
posted by griphus at 1:27 PM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

I don't know if this works with your operating system requirements, but the game that has gloriously scratched my Glitch itch is Don't Starve. . I read about here and I've been thinking about making a post that was basically, "Give me more games like Don't Starve," but I imagine the responses you'll get to this question will serve my purpose well!
posted by pretentious illiterate at 1:31 PM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Er, sorry, if you are interested in roguelikes, try Dungeons of Dredmor for OSX. It's the closest to KoL's sense of humor in a game I've encountered, and just a genuinely good and deep game with tons of crafting and character build options and so on.

However, like most roguelikes, it has no storyline (short of "descend into the dungeon and kill monsters until you reach the big monster, then kill it") and the levels are procedurally generated.
posted by griphus at 1:32 PM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Animal Crossing is worth buying a 3DS for...it takes at least a year to do everything...and some people end up playing for years! It all happens in real time. And it's hilarious and quirky and awesome. I bought a 3DS for Animal Crossing mostly...I was anxious about buying a 3DS for just one game, but I don't regret it at all. I play for hours almost every day. And there's a huge community. I just helped host an Animal Crossing meetup this last Saturday.

Also Harvest Moon is on the 3DS, and I think it would suit your taste as well.

And Zelda is on the 3DS. The 3DS is awesome!
posted by hotelechozulu at 1:34 PM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I second getting the 3DS just for Animal Crossing, if it's at all within your price range.

Other games for the 3DS that might interest you: Shin Megami Tensei IV, Etrian Odyssey IV, Fire Emblem, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Rune Factory 4, and... honestly? Pokémon X/Y. These are all fairly large RPGs with tons of content.
posted by aparrish at 2:01 PM on October 9, 2013

Response by poster: If I had the money, I'd be all over the 3DS/Animal Crossing hybrid. But nearly $200 for the console and game is, sadly, far beyond the moneys I've got. Someday.
posted by good day merlock at 2:05 PM on October 9, 2013

It is very hard to get a good answer to questions like this. I asked a similar question and got a very cool looking answer that wasn't at all what I am after but may be to your taste: Bastion. The game I have played that I'd guess you might like is Middle Manager of Justice. Here are two more.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:10 PM on October 9, 2013

Try A Dark Room. I don't think it's open-ended, but it's free and will scratch the itch for a while.
posted by asperity at 2:10 PM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

You might like Proteus
posted by hellojed at 2:13 PM on October 9, 2013

For iOS I really liked LostWinds and LostWinds 2. Sometimes they get listed as platformers, but I think that's because they're 2D; however they aren't the timing-jumpy-twitchy-fally kinds of platform games, which I don't like because I keep dying. They're more about exploration & puzzles, but more story-driven than open ended. Other iOS games in that 2D adventure genre might be Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery and Aquaria, although I keep dying in the latter one. I didn't like Bastion, again because I kept dying.
posted by troyer at 3:19 PM on October 9, 2013

All those games I mentioned have good stories and are inventive but are pretty short as these things go, so maybe they don't satisfy the "tons to discover" checkbox.
posted by troyer at 3:30 PM on October 9, 2013

If you like platformers at all, check out Rogue Legacy. You play as successive generations of a knight's lineage attempting to retrieve the macguffin from a procedurally-generated castle/dungeon/etc. Each generation, any money collected can be used to improve the family keep or buy gear. It's not Glitch-level deep, but then, very few things are...

Also Nthing Dungeons of Dredmore.
posted by chaosys at 4:44 PM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Fallen London! Primarily text-based, but has amazing worldbuilding, a delightful and slightly creepy sense of humor, and with some imagination it's fairly easy to come up with a consistent character (the clothes you wear/weapons you carry, the skills you develop, the social circles you move in). Unfortunately after your initial ten actions you then only get an action every ten minutes, but if you are only playing a few times a day that shouldn't be an issue.

Plus, more content is constantly being added, so getting bored is rarely an issue; I am only now feeling as though I have run out of things to do, though I have been playing every day for seven months.
posted by jeudi at 4:54 PM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Swordigo came up when I asked a similar question. I was obsessed with that game for weeks. Just checked and it's available for iPad.

More here and here.
posted by bunderful at 5:25 PM on October 9, 2013

Not iPad, but is available on OS X: Dominions 4. Fantasy 4x turn-based strategy, with scores of themed nations, hundreds of items to create, and thousands of monsters to recruit or summon to take over the world. Just recently came out, gold download should be available starting tomorrow. It's an incremental update to it's predecessor Dominions 3, which has a free 40-turn demo available to try it out. That is just enough play time to begin to get a taste of all the content available. And it has a good sized fan community based around modding, multiplayer, story-telling based on games played (AARs), etc.

There is also Portal and Portal 2, lots of good one-liners in both. There is also a community aspect of designing test-chambers outside of the main storylines, though I have not tried much of those, so I cannot comment on how good it is for getting obsessed over.

I would also recommend Dwarf Fortress, though the learning curve is a bit steep. And I recall needing to compile from source to get it to work on OS X a few years ago. Support for Macs may have improved since last I tried.
posted by jraenar at 6:01 PM on October 9, 2013

Don't Starve is great.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:43 PM on October 9, 2013

I am currently completely obsessed with Fallen London. It is free and web based, though there is the possibility of paying for certain types of in-game features if you really want to.
posted by Sara C. at 10:07 PM on October 9, 2013

Are you me? I'm in the same Glitch-missing boat and the best I've found is Happy Street. I have been doing New Leaf and it's okay; the community is entertaining, but it's no Glitch for sure. I also like Godville, which has no depth whatsoever but can be pretty funny.

Have you maybe looked back in time a bit? Morrowind is a really, really big world with crafting and such. Baldur's Gate might work too-- 2 is better than the original by a long shot.
posted by NoraReed at 11:28 PM on October 9, 2013

Thirding Fallen London. It plays in a similar way to KoL, except with a darkly-comic Victorian skin instead of a silly stick figure D&D parody skin. There's long story arcs that will take months to slowly work through (”Ambitions"; mine is pursuing a magical card game where you can bet your soul for Whatever You Want - I've decided my character is a broken automaton of mysterious origins passing as human, who mostly just wants to know if she HAS a soul to bet), lots of different places to go, some light crafting, all kinds of stuff.

Also it's quite playable on the ipad browser.
posted by egypturnash at 8:02 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

A bit left field here, but how about Gone Home?
posted by prufrock at 12:08 PM on October 10, 2013

Give Card Hunter a try. It's a browser-based card/tactics game that has quests and humor in spades, and a form of crafting in its unique deckbuilding system. It is free-to-play with IAP, but I've played a ton of it without paying a cent, so that shouldn't be a problem.
posted by eggplantplacebo at 3:07 PM on October 10, 2013

Response by poster: Hi guys I just wanted to update: I got a 3DS for my birthday after my boyfriend noticed my pining. Loving Animal Crossing. So, so much--perfect for what I wanted. Also, Fallen London, Godville, and Don't Starve have been wonderful (along with Gone Home and Swordigo, which I LOVE but already owned and completely forgot to mention!). I've been going through the others slowly. Thank you all!
posted by good day merlock at 11:41 AM on November 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

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