iPad Games for Long Term Care
January 3, 2015 6:37 AM   Subscribe

I have a family member who has been in the hospital for over a year now. He is going crazy from boredom. He needs games to play on his iPad, but there are snowflake details inside.

My family member has been in the ICU, Emergency Care, and how a rehab facility, for well over a year, due to complications from pneumonia and a lung infection that are complicated by muscular dystrophy and an inability to cough crap out of his lungs once it gets in there. There is not a lot to do there, but he does have an iPad, and a slightly flaky wifi connection. He has played approximately 18 billion games of solitaire so far, and could use something new.

First Limitation: not games that require a lot of quick dexterity and reflexes. He's not going to be able to respond as quickly as people with better motor skills.

Second Limitation: He has some cognitive disabilities, so we are not looking for brainiac puzzlers, or anything too tricksy. For example, I considered but discarded the idea of 2048.

While we're willing to pay a few bucks for anything interesting, we'd like to avoid games with in-app purchases wherever possible.

posted by instead of three wishes to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Ticket to Ride is a turn based board-game with a nice iPad version. My niece is developmently delayed and enjoys it, and the computer opponents have varying difficulty.

I'm actually a big fan of iPod/iPad board games: they are all turn-based, so they aren't about reflexes. Carcassonne might also be a good one, as the rules and game play are very simple.
posted by jb at 6:57 AM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I also have iPod/iPad versions of
- Settlers of Catan
- Stone Age
- Bohnanza
posted by jb at 6:59 AM on January 3, 2015

Carcassone and Settlers of Catan are a lot of fun, as noted above. Maybe a language-learning program like Duolingo might be interesting as well? They have an iOS app.
posted by The River Ivel at 7:03 AM on January 3, 2015

I am moderately addicted to jigsaw puzzles on the ipad... a new picture for free every day.
posted by hippychick at 8:24 AM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I loved 80 Days. It's like a choose your own adventure book, but you can't really die - you just make it in 80 days or not, and you can always try again. I still haven't seen lots of the cities in the game - each play through is slightly different depending on the route you choose.
posted by pravit at 8:27 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I waste oodles of time on Words with Friends. You can now play solo against the game instead of needing someone to play with.
posted by cecic at 8:46 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hive is fun. I play by myself on the iPad for practice (the AI is not as smart as my husband, though, so I still do not win that often in real life :). You can take as long as you like for your turn.

A few months ago someone asked a similar question on reddit, and it has a lot of suggestions. People are always asking that question, and the answers there are what I'd say are the usual recommendations for good solo games on the iPad.

There is also iPad Board Games, which lists a bunch and has ratings & information for each (i.e., does it have an AI for solo play, can it play more than 1 person, etc.).
posted by AllieTessKipp at 10:21 AM on January 3, 2015

Knights Of The Old Republic is a long ( you can get 100 hrs out of it with the different alignment playthroughs and side quests) Star Wars RPG. The acting and writing is great. The fighting and puzzles require moderate intelligence but not twitch skill- the fighting is turn based. One of my all time favourites!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:42 PM on January 3, 2015

The iPad adaptation of FTL is amazing, and can be played very sedately, as it auto-pauses any time you select a UI element. It's a space exploration/combat game, and it's great.

Any of Telltale's iPad games would be great. I've heard their Game of Thrones game is really good.

Minecraft for iPad is fun.

Great Big War Game is turn-based and a lot of fun.

Super Stickman Golf 1 and 2 are both excellent.

Waking Mars is a beautiful, slow-paced sci-fi puzzler.

Frozen Synapse is a turn-based tactical game, and great fun.

Seconding 80 Days, mentioned above, it's a wonderful steampunk choose-your-own-adventure/trading game. It has pretty much endless replay possibility.

I use an app called AppsGoneFree (that's their website, can't find the app at the moment), which has new games pretty much every day. I've picked up lots of really good games that way.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:15 PM on January 3, 2015

Plants versus zombies is addicting but didn't require fantastic coordination.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 4:03 PM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Star Realms is a card game that's really fun!
posted by RandyWalker at 4:39 PM on January 3, 2015

Dots and 2 Dots are pretty good I think. The regular Dots is a lot easier to avoid the in-app purchases for than 2 Dots, which does have the annoying Candy Crush-like model of slowly regenerating lives and boards that require some luck to win. Dots has a timed mode and a turns mode, and as a hater of twitch games, I usually choose the turns mode.
posted by that girl at 5:19 PM on January 3, 2015

I don't know whether these are too brainy or puzzly, but I have had hours-and-hours of excellent, soothing replayability with:



Wurdle -- this is a timed boggle game but you can set up the timer for long games

Bejeweled 2 -- but perhaps that's not available for purchase any longer.

None of these have in-app purchases.

Also look for games with "Zen Mode" where you can just play on and on.

I would caution against the Telltale games--I've played Game of Thrones and Wolf Among Us and if you don't have decent reflexes and decision-making skills these games can be very frustrating.
posted by Hypatia at 5:37 PM on January 3, 2015

Are these games available for a regular old desktop computer also or is it necessary to have an iPad?

I recently found 2048, thanks to MetaFilter, and I love it; I play Bejeweled 2 every night (haven't yet crashed this time and I'm over 4 million - whee); I've purchased and played through and enjoyed lots of hidden object games, but once they're through, they're through. So I'd like to try some of these others but if they're pretty much iPad only, I'll have to dig deeper.

With Bejeweled 2, there are ways for this young man to play that don't require speed and super coordination, which is the way I play. In fact, you can play a game that doesn't ever end, but I like the "classic" game, which I'd suggest for this fellow.

I hope he's soon out of the hospital and able to expand his horizons a little, but I can imagine how deeply grateful he is to you for your help finding something to make life more interesting.
posted by aryma at 6:07 PM on January 3, 2015

I don't have game suggestions, but if your relative would like something to read definitely look into BookShare.org and their easy-to-use Read2Go app. They have books on all levels, including some with images, and the app can read them to him if need be.

Also, as someone with a neuromuscular disease who has spent far too long in hospitals myself, I was wondering if his doctors knew about in-exsufflators (brand name: CoughAssist) as a non-invasive means of clearing excess secretions? If you'd like to MeMail me with more details about their situation I may have plenty of advice. I'd love to help you guys in any way I can.
posted by Soliloquy at 7:22 PM on January 3, 2015

I don't like most physics games, but I love Where's My Water (and the sequels, but WMW is a great place to start). It has a light version so you can try it out. Most puzzles are easy enough to finish. Some may be a bit tricky to 3-star, but that's not necessary to progress. They do not require fast reflexes.
Trainyard is fun too. It has a free version with lots of puzzles. The later puzzles (in the paid version at least) are difficult, but I found the earlier puzzles lots of fun and there's no reason not to enjoy just those puzzles. The difficulty per puzzle is mentioned by stars (more stars=more difficult).
Paint it Back is a very good picross-like game. It has an easy difficulty mode for the bigger puzzles (the small puzzles are easy enough as they are).
Blendoku is a nice color blending game. It's free to try, it does have IAP, but not of the consumable coin kind. It's worth checking out if this is the kind of game your relative might like.
posted by blub at 9:34 AM on January 4, 2015

« Older What we have here is...   |   Amateur Gardening 101 Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.