My grandma likes to play with the intnernets.
August 13, 2008 5:13 AM   Subscribe

What are some good online games for my 84 year old grandmother?

In the last year, my grandma has learned how to "use" the internet, which for her means emails and clicking on links I send to her in emails. She really gets a kick out of it and I know it makes her feel really with-it, and I think she'd really enjoy playing some games that aren't solitaire.

The requirements:
-The games must be intuitive--play by either simple clicks of the mouse or use of the arrow keys/spacebar.
-Explicit directions are given for each task (i.e. no escape-the-room games), or they are based on well-known games. Simple puzzle games are great, but something a little more spectacular than a crossword puzzle or word search.
-Grandma safe. No bad words, limited violence (I think she'd be fine with "killing" a really cartoonish character, if it were funny), no extreme flashing colors, no heinous music (though a cheerful tune and/or sound effects are great).
-Must not be time-limited. A timer tracking how long she takes (where she tries to beat her own fastest time) would be just fine, but something where she can't win unless she goes a certain speed will cause her to click wildly and the next thing I know I'm getting a phone call saying that she'd "love to email me but she deleted the google".
-Must be pretty. (She has all the standard plugins installed and I can walk her through a new one without much issue, so go hog-wild.) Let's show her how nicely the internet has progressed since 2002 and give her something her 84 year old friends haven't seen yet so she can show off after bridge club.

posted by phunniemee to Computers & Internet (27 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
posted by gwenlister at 5:24 AM on August 13, 2008

The Orisinal games are really pretty. Some of them are timed, but some aren't. They're simple and safe and really quite lovely.
posted by bluefly at 5:29 AM on August 13, 2008 [5 favorites]

You might try some of these games out to see if they would be suitable.
posted by ptm at 5:38 AM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

All game sites are blocked at work, but I always liked Bejeweled, and Collapse (clicking frantically might actually help in this one, but it is timed). Bejeweled make sure she plays the classic one not action (action is timed as well). She may also like slightly slower paced strategy "Tower Defense" type games, there are plenty of those that are fun, easy to play and learn, and slow paced....
posted by Grither at 5:38 AM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Music Catch
posted by Daily Alice at 5:57 AM on August 13, 2008

Oh, also perhaps "Boomshine" might be good, with neat music, and a super simple concept, but lots of fun....

(cutest question ever, btw)
posted by Grither at 6:05 AM on August 13, 2008

Text Twist

(click on "Play Web Game")
posted by mpls2 at 6:08 AM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

AARP has a bunch of free online games.
posted by ferociouskitty at 6:23 AM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]




Curling (right-hand menu under sport. Can't direct link to it. Tons of other games on that site too.)
posted by essexjan at 6:41 AM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by mothershock at 7:00 AM on August 13, 2008

posted by LuckySeven~ at 7:11 AM on August 13, 2008

A bit more advanced, but definitely worth a try Fantastic Contraption . It's a physics based game where the aim is to get a block to a goal. Absolutely no time limits, it's can be used with just the mouse and is fantasticly creative.
posted by Mattat at 7:18 AM on August 13, 2008

I love the Orisinal games (especially Bubble Bees and the UFO one) and Bejeweled would be right up her alley.

Splashback is lots of fun.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:27 AM on August 13, 2008

Puzzle Pirates?
posted by Comrade_robot at 7:31 AM on August 13, 2008

Definitely Pogo. Tons of old standbys, plus some newer ideas.
Card games, casino-type games, puzzle games, a few easy sports games, to name a few. A healthy portion of their games are free for anybody to play. If she ends up liking playing there however, you can buy her a subscription and she'll have access to many more games and they'll all be ad-free.

It's a great time waster for people of all ages.
posted by cgg at 7:31 AM on August 13, 2008

I've found Miniclip's online version of sudoku to be one of the simplest to use. They have an easy, mediumm and hard one daily and its got a timer for beating your own scores.
posted by biffa at 7:58 AM on August 13, 2008

posted by mattholomew at 8:13 AM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

If she finds word games fun, she might enjoy Babble.
posted by esilenna at 8:13 AM on August 13, 2008

posted by MsMolly at 8:18 AM on August 13, 2008

I came here to recommend The Egg Game, which is an Orisinal game. bluefly's right: the Orisinal games rock. A handful are pretty confusing/difficult, but a lot of them are super-intuitive and would definitely be well-suited for grandmas. Soothing background music, addictive but simple game play, and lots of fun. Definitely the type of thing you're looking for.

(Pro tip: the HTML page for each game is just a basic template that embeds the game (.swf) in a small size, so if you find it too small as I did, you can pull up the source code and search for the word "embed," which will give you the path to the game you can play full-screen: is the egg game full-screen, for example. You probably don't want to try to explain to your grandma how to find <embed> tags in HTML, but thought I'd mention it as something you might be able to do if she complains things are too small.)

Starry Night is another simple, intuitive one that's pretty fun.

Oh, and you can't forget Floats (I always called it "The Bee Game"). It does require fast mousing skills to do well, though; if she's still pretty new with computers, it might be frustrating. (Just be warned that when I played it for hours on end one summer, I found myself instinctively trying to circle groups of icons on my desktop for a minute, or having patterns in wallpaper and whatnot jump out at me.)
posted by fogster at 10:17 AM on August 13, 2008

Neopets. The site is designed for kids, but there is a great range of games from difficult to easy-peasy. I'm an adult who plays it with the kids I babysit for, and admittedly, I enjoy it as much as they do!

The only downside is that it's more than just games, you need to create a "pet" and feed him, and you get "neopoints" for high scores on games that you can use to buy food or toys for the pets... If that doesn't seem like Grandma's cup of tea, then I throw in another vote for Orsinal.
posted by polyester.lumberjack at 11:26 AM on August 13, 2008

<self promote>Pelmanism!</self promote>
posted by gaby at 12:57 PM on August 13, 2008

I get sucked into Sudoku Slam all the time.
posted by susanbeeswax at 1:01 PM on August 13, 2008

Thirding Boomshine.

It's pretty, no timing, makes pretty noises that can be disabled, and you can't lose. There are 12 levels, and if you don't make it, you just do the same level until you either make it or get bored, and mostly you can make it. Perfect timewaster.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 1:09 PM on August 13, 2008

The Grow games
posted by Four Flavors at 3:46 PM on August 14, 2008

My granny likes Dolphin Olympics. (2)
posted by floam at 2:17 PM on August 15, 2008

Very late to the party, but Virus 2!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:30 AM on August 17, 2008

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