PC Games with a good story and lots of dialogue to read
December 14, 2020 2:02 AM   Subscribe

My kids really dig Costume Quest 1 + 2 and Donut County. They like the non gory and playful stories, and are actually working on their reading speed when reading all the back and forth dialogue. What other PC games are similar and have lots of text to read? We are not interested in the later tortured-logic Sierra games like Gabriel Knight, although Day of the Tentacle might work. Kids are not into Final Fantasy style RPGs and need some level of silliness in the game.
posted by benzenedream to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps West of Loathing? Very much dependent on taste and opinion and the age of your kids.
posted by Mizu at 3:09 AM on December 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Day of the Tentacle is probably a bad one for tortured logic, unfortunately.

This is kind of difficult, because the most silly games I can think of tend to be voiced or not have a lot of dialogue, and the stipulation that the game design also hold up to modern standards is a killer. It kills me that I can't recommend Dropsy, because Dropsy was considerate enough to be language-neutral.

The Secret of Monkey Island was a game I played around 7 or 8, and it's a classic for a reason. There is a voiced remake with more modern art, but they're optional, and some of the best-known puzzles revolve around reading lines of dialogue and picking the funniest response. The sequel is also good, a little harder but still pretty achievable (although if you are not American, you will have to tell your kids about monkey wrenches). The later games have mandatory voice, and while the third (Curse) and fifth (Tales) are quite decent, they are a notable step down.

Undertale is a violence-optional RPG, so you can read descriptions of enemy behaviours and find ways to convince them to be friendly, and it's generally not too serious. Your kids might find it unattractive - it's got a very deliberate, low-fi art style to it.

Maybe Outer Wilds? It's got kind of a goofy aesthetic to it but most of the silliness come from the way you're on a rickety spaceship that will unexpectedly run into a planet, and there's big chunks of text to read. The big mark against it (other than it not being a game with a lot of funny text) is that there's a pretty scary bit when you need to fly into a dark planet infested with space eels.

The Dragon Quest games are lighthearted, pun-filled versions of the Final Fantasy style RPGs. They might work, but they can be an acquired taste.
posted by Merus at 4:43 AM on December 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Stacking is another game from the game studio behind Costume Quest, so that might be worth a look. It's an adventure/puzzle game with a whimsical story and art style, and plenty of dialogue to read.
posted by apparatchik at 4:57 AM on December 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

If they get a little older, the Phoenix Wright games might work, actually - there's a lot of text, it's pretty lighthearted (at one point you cross-examine a parrot) and if the kids talk it out they shouldn't get too stuck. The big problem is that it's a game about catching murderers in a lie, which means that there's a little bit of blood. It's not gorey, but it's probably too much for a six year old. I'd say probably ten to twelve would be the right age.
posted by Merus at 4:59 AM on December 14, 2020

Maybe A Short Hike? It doesn't have all that much reading but there is a bit, and the look and feel is very sweet and it has a lot visually in common with Donut County.

Also: Katamari Damacy and We ❤️Katamari are the spiritual predecessors to Donut County, and they have TONS of zany silly text. I bet they will love it, looks like there's a version called Reroll for pc.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:43 AM on December 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Later Alligator!
Lots of dialogue and charaters and silliness and minigames!
posted by wellifyouinsist at 7:32 AM on December 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

OK Maybe Spiritfarer could work, depending on your family and how you talk about death. As it is literally about ferrying lost spirits to complete their final goals until they are ready to pass on to whatever comes next. It is the weirdest combination of sweet, funny, cute, silly & bittersweet. But it is also super cute, with lovely characters you'll fall in love with with, lots of reading & fun mini games, exploration & building houses on a boat for the cute characters. Oh and both kids could play at once. Maybe watch part of a playthrough to see what you think because, again it's about what happens when people die.
posted by wwax at 8:02 AM on December 14, 2020

80 Days?
posted by johngoren at 8:14 AM on December 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

More votes for Stacking, Monkey Island, and 80 days.
posted by _DB_ at 10:05 AM on December 14, 2020

Broken Age?
The Inner World?
posted by february at 12:36 PM on December 14, 2020


The remastered 'Sam and Max' games.
posted by porpoise at 2:51 PM on December 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

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