Do I want a Nintendo Switch? Something else? Just stick to my phone?
April 30, 2022 6:34 PM   Subscribe

First Up: I have zero (less than zero) interest in playing video games on my TV or computer. I play games on my phone a lot, but it's small, and limited, and I am very VERY over all the video ads playing between levels and static ads around the sides of games. I like simple games, I like collecting things, solving puzzles, matching things, running a "garden", tetris-y style games, stuff like that.

Right now on my phone I'm playing Pokemon Go, Wizards Unite, Evermerge, Nonogram, a tile matching game, and a coloring game. I think maybe I'd like Animal Crossing?

I do not like killing things, I do not like games that require me to be deep in to a some sort of plot or mythos. I just want to turn on, play something amusing, and put it down when I'm done.

It's not an amount of money that is a concern to me so if I do get it and hate it, that won't be the end of my world, but just thought I'd get a second opinion. I have literally never owned ANY "gaming system" in my life so this would be my first.

Also, if I do get one, what games would I like?
posted by magnetsphere to Technology (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The only way to avoid ads in games is to pay for them or a subscription - apple arcade is only a few dollars a month and has quite a few simple games of the type you describe. No ads and no in-app purchases. If you don't have an iphone (or if you do and the screen is too small) an ipad would be ideal for this.

(We also bought a switch recently and only have 3-4 games so far but seems like there are plenty of non-killing type games. However, this is a gaming system and as such requires a bit of a buy-in - the games aren't cheap - and spending a bit of time getting familiar with the controllers. Probably best to try one in a store before committing).
posted by piyushnz at 7:04 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]

Stardew Valley is a delightful game that is available on mobile. If you have an Android phone, Play Pass costs $5 a month and includes a bunch of games with no ads and any IAPs in those included games are free.
posted by wierdo at 7:04 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]

Stardew Valley is what you want. Animal Crossing exists within real time which means your villagers and your island will guilt trip you once you return after being away for even as little as a week.
posted by The Adventure Begins at 8:44 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]

If apple arcade is anything like google play pass, and I assume it is, the subscription to that has been well worth it for me - mobile games are, once again, without the adds and horrible in-app-purchase pushing.

If you do get a switch, it might be worth checking out story of seasons (which used to be called harvest moon - there is another game now called harvest moon, which is hilariously not the same game but a differnet one by someone that bought the name....) - it's a lot more chill around the time thing than animal crossing is (which I actually had to stop playing because it was making me angry)
posted by jaymzjulian at 9:05 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]

Yeah I would just ditto that apple arcade has no ads and that generally if you want to avoid ads you should be looking for games that you pay for outright instead of ones that are but contain in-app purchases.
posted by juv3nal at 1:34 AM on May 1

If it's at all the kind of thing you're into, Williams Pinball is on mobile now. Lots of good classic pinball tables and you can pick up for a few minutes at a time.

Poly Bridge is also the sort of game that works well in short doses. The challenge is to build a bridge with a limited set of parts that will get a vehicle across without collapsing.
posted by wierdo at 2:20 AM on May 1

A bit off topic (sorry) but you CAN in fact block most ads in mobile games, but it requires a little bit of effort (some command line stuff, re-configuring your device and/or router to use a new DNS server). You can run your own DNS server on a cheap Raspberry PI using and app called PiHole, which will allow you to block requests for the servers that serve the ads . See for example: How to block mobile ads with Raspberry Pi and Pi-hole
posted by tiamat at 6:24 AM on May 1

I've been playing Knittens from Netflix and there are no ads. It is a classic match 3 with yarn and cats.
posted by soelo at 7:23 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]

It sounds like both Apple Arcade and the Switch could be good options for you!

If so, you might enjoy Wylde Flowers, set in a multicultural seaside town that “mixes together farming cottagecore goodness and witchy magic with a deep character-based story”. It’s super cute and a lot of fun for a fairly simple game similar to Animal Crossing.
posted by KatlaDragon at 8:55 AM on May 1

It sounds like you might get a lot of use out of a Switch Lite - there are tons of great games that range from mobile-level casual to deeper things (Stardew can be played a "day" at at time so it's very manageable) and I find it more comfortable for anything more than a match-3 type game.

Also you can easily resell a Switch Lite for a little below its retail price if you decide it's not your thing. If you buy cartridge-based games rather than downloading them you can resell those, too.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:30 PM on May 1

Response by poster: Thank you all! I’m going to start with Apple Arcade and then (knowing me) probably end up with the pink switch lite as well at some point. Thank you for all the game recs too, I can’t wait to try Stardew Valley and Knittens and Wylde Flowers.
posted by magnetsphere at 1:54 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]

Note that the Nintendo Switch lite isn't compatible with all games (e.g. Switch Sports).

Animal Crossing is fun, but the game sort of manipulates players by rewarding daily game play.

If you don't care about playing the most recent titles (nor any sort of online player mode) than you could possibly get a lot of mileage with a used Wii.
posted by oceano at 4:13 PM on May 1

On Apple Arcade, there’s also Cozy Grove (similar to Animal Crossing without the guilt-trip). Though it has a light story, Guildlings might also be up your alley.
posted by sincerely yours at 11:07 PM on May 1

Seabeard is a really cute and humorous little game, in the same genre as Animal
Crossing and Cozy Grove. I found it has less time pressure than Animal Crossing, and is better balanced than Cozy Grove.
posted by keep it under cover at 2:05 AM on May 2

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