Computer games for two on a long flight?
August 24, 2007 5:38 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I are flying Boston to Sydney in the near future, and we'll have my laptop on the flight. I'm looking for some games (preferably free, or at least cheap) that I can install on the laptop, and we can both play together at the same time (more inside).

I'm looking for some games that will provide entertainment for as much of the flight as possible, within the following criteria: (a) be playable by two people at the same time, either on opposite sides of the keyboard, or in quick turns, (b) hopefully be relatively light on power consumption (low CPU & CD/DVD usage would be nice) and (c) are fun/quirky/engrossing/not-your-standard games (so not the mini-games you can download from Yahoo). Bonus points if it's a game we can play *with* each other instead of *against* each other. If there's a game that would keep us occupied, and into the storyline, through the entire flight, that would be spectacular.
posted by um_maverick to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Are you willing to bring controllers? A pair of cheapo ones, plus one of the Sega Genesis or Super NES emulators, plus a bunch of ROMs, could make a lot of time pass quickly.
posted by toxic at 6:02 PM on August 24, 2007

Won't your battery die long before you get there? Or do you have multiple backup batteries, or is there a plug-in option on some planes?
posted by GaelFC at 6:19 PM on August 24, 2007

Maybe some old adventure games? Find a copy of some old Infocom or LucasArts adventure games.

Or just get some Nintendo DS units and good multiplayer games like Mario Kart DS and Advance Wars: Dual Strike.
posted by formless at 6:36 PM on August 24, 2007

Charred Dirt! tank combat, turn based, exciting and fun, tons of weapons!
posted by PowerCat at 6:56 PM on August 24, 2007

Capture the flag, an old DOS game, turn based, hey it's worth a try!
posted by PowerCat at 6:59 PM on August 24, 2007

The first Heroes of Might and Magic game is simple, turn based. It's about teams trying to beat the other team. It's kind of slow paced, but enthralling.
Play with DOSBox
posted by PowerCat at 7:05 PM on August 24, 2007

Seconding old adventure games!


Jump 'n' Bump, and LieroX are quirky and fast paced, but I can't see either lasting 20 hours.

If you like strategy games you might want to try one of the many versions of Civilization (including freeciv), or Heroes of Might and Magic (I recommend 3). Both are turn based and have hotseat options.

Oh also, Gazillionaire is a lot of fun to play hotseat. It's a ridiculous interplanetary trading game.
posted by benign at 7:20 PM on August 24, 2007

Puzzle games (The 7th Guest comes to mind) might lend themselves to cooperative play. There're even instructions on getting t7g running on a modern machine.

Or, especially handy if you have a three-across seat, you could engage a third player in some You Don't Know Jack!, a hilarious trivia game that'll probably annoy the poor schmucks in adjacent rows who can't join in. For this reason, headphones and a splitter may be advisable.
posted by Myself at 7:23 PM on August 24, 2007

Freeciv is the open-source version of Civilization, which will meet your quick-turn requirement. A single game of that could potentially last the entire flight. I've found the AI to be much more difficult (or, at least requires a completely different strategy) than the Civilization AI.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:54 PM on August 24, 2007

There is a free/open source version of StarControl2 (one of the great classic games). In single player mode, it has a fairly engrossing storyline despite being somewhat non-linear.

There is also a melee mode, which is surprisingly addictive, where two players can play (against each other) using just the keyboard - each player selects five keys on their side of the communal keyboard (for left, right, thrust, fire, and special-weapon) with which to control their ship.

Because almost all keyboards are wired such that for most keys, they are unable to differentiate more than three of four simultaneous keystrokes, the game includes a utility that displays the keys that you are pressing, and you can use that to find a set of controls that you like but which don't interfere with themselves (since each player will use up to three of their controls simultaneously, you don't want your keypresses "locking out" the keypresses of your partner), then you define your control keys accordingly and play!
posted by -harlequin- at 9:20 AM on August 25, 2007

Some of these might fit the bill:
posted by mecran01 at 9:58 AM on August 25, 2007

More: boardgamegeek
posted by mecran01 at 10:00 AM on August 25, 2007

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