Topic of the Week: Desert island games | PCGamesN

Topic of the Week: Desert island games

Tuesday Topics: Desert island games

We kicked off last week's Tuesday Topics with something heavy: early access. A divisive yet increasingly popular trend that you lovely folk had a lot to say about. But let’s change pace this week - as well as change the name to Topic of the Week - since some of you are probably a wee bit tired after getting all fired up while watching the Dota 2 International grand final yesterday. 

So on this relaxing Tuesday, let’s have a wee gab about some of our favourite PC games. Your desert island games. Your house is burning down, the Rapture is upon us, aliens have invaded or you’ve been stranded on a tropical island: what are the three games you’re going to save, keeping with you come hell or high water?

I’ll get the ball rolling. 

The first one is a game that I haven’t played in years, yet I know will still provide endless enjoyment: Neverwinter Nights. BioWare’s first 3D RPG was a bit lukewarm, with a story and cast that were instantly forgettable. But it had a trick up its sleeve that the roleplaying veteran has yet to even attempt to replicate. 

The Aurora Toolset transformed Neverwinter Nights from a run of the mill fantasy RPG into a gargantuan campaign creator. The games and modules created by users, many of them based on D&D campaigns, ensured that there were adventures without end. A heavy dose of nostalgia and thousands of campaigns would make sure that I’d be kept busy on the desert island. The expansions were actually very good to boot. 

Crusader Kings II is a game I simply couldn’t live without. With all of its DLC, it’s one of the largest and most ambitious grand strategy titles out there, mixing things up considerably with roleplaying elements and murderous dynastic shenanigans. 

I could easily lose myself in my goals of creating the first Hindu Vikings or conquering Europe as a Scottish king, making my slow descent into madness, stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere, all the more tolerable. 

And finally, there’s Rome: Total War. My love for this game is unending. My brain reminds me that it’s not even the best in the franchise - that goes to it’s younger sibling Shogun 2 - but the heart wants what the heart wants. 

Creative Assembly’s first foray into antiquity set the standard for titanic clashes. It’s equal parts thoughtful and flashy, and I can’t imagine ever getting tired of burning down Roman cities with angry Germanic hordes or spreading the standards of my legions throughout the known world. If I can sneak a copy of De Bello Gallico onto the desert island, then that’s a bonus. 

Okay, that’s my lot. What about you lovely people?

Subnautica
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ColMustard avatarFraser Brown avatarShriven avatarOcid avatarDog Pants avatarMountain_Man avatar+5
Jezcentral Avatar
536
3 Years ago

Dragon Age: Origins. A great game. A long game. A game with an SDK, so I can make even more of it.

Hitman: Blood Money. Just bliss.

Unreal Engine 4. So I can make Hitman: Blood Money 2.

4
Fraser Brown Avatar
960
3 Years ago

Normally I'd say that the last one doesn't count, but I so desperately want Blood Money 2 that I'm going allow it.

3
Shriven Avatar
3488
3 Years ago

Football Manager.

I think I have spent more hours in my life on Football/Championship Manager than I have at any other game. I played the first Championship Manager on my friends Amiga we have been hooked ever since. The infinite replay-ability of the game keeps me coming back for more and I can easily spend the rest of my life playing it! (also, I am shit hot at it and hope to Jebus they bring back a MMO version someday.)

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Dragon Age:Origins.

I think the best RPG of the last 10 years.The first game where my choices matter since the very start in choosing the race all the way up to 'The Sacrifice'. So much of the game is perfect for me, mainly The strategic/tactical combat and the RPG Character development. I still haven't seen all the consequences of some decisions, even after several play-throughs and hundreds of hours.

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Doom.... It scares me so much that I can only play a little at a time to this day. Its the sound the Imps make when they are nearby that it takes me right back to being 10 years old on a 386 at midnight with the lights off...I'd play that on a desert island mainly as a sort of exposure therapy.

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Crusader Kings 2.

It finally have the time to sit down and learn to play this properly. Even thought I know next to nothing about the game right now, Ive still put nearly 100 hours in the damn thing.

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Special Mentions:

Civ 5.

Obviously a Civ game needs to be there in some capacity.

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Virtua Fighter 2 (Saturn)

Only because no matter how perfect I played the game on ranking mode. (Perfects up until the last boss, used every move in the characters command list) I could NEVER get rank 1. Im not even sure It was possible.... I wanna be sure :D

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Rome 2: Total War.

Finally got it running smooth on my new rig and it deserves a second chance. The game is RIDICULOUSLY large..... Id challenge myself for a full map domination.

Edit for layout.

3
ColMustard Avatar
7
3 Years ago

I tried Crusader Kings II but couldn't get into it. I gave it a good 12 hours or so, but I spent much of the time trying to remembeer who was who and reading tool tips. I can smell the great game in there, but I just couldn't push past the learning curve.

Now Mount and Blade Warband on the other hand, that's my desert island game. I've yet to actually finish a single play through, but I've gotten to the point of owning more than 50 per cent of the map and decided to start again several times. Again the mods make for an endless amount of content. Prophecy of Pendor alone saw me sink a couple of hundred hours into it.

If I can bring a COOP partner too, I'll take Monster Hunter Ultimate. I put nearly 400 hours into Tri on the Wii, and the Wii U version is holding up nicely. With all the weapons to carve and new monster variants, I'd be busy for a long time.

Maybe the original XCOM too if I want to punish myself.

2
Fraser Brown Avatar
960
3 Years ago

Mount & Blade: Warband is an excellent choice.

1
Mountain_Man Avatar
731
3 Years ago

Crusader Kings II doesn't really have a learning curve. It's more like a learning cliff. I really didn't have a good idea of how to play it until I read the 140 page strategy guide by a fellow named Meneth, which is basically what the official instruction manual should have been. It was originally a series of forum posts that can still be found on the official forums, but someone compiled it into a PDF manual at one point which I transferred to my tablet for easier reading.

Once the learning curve/cliff is behind you, you'll find one of the most amazing strategy/role-playing games you've ever played.

1
Ocid Avatar
272
3 Years ago

Eve Online for sure.

Other 2 not so sure about.

Could go with a management sim like Dwarf Fortress, Theme Hospital, Theme Park, Football Manager, CKII.

Then an fps of sorts CS:GO, BF3, UT, etc.

Other than Eve I'm not sure. It's such a loaded question. Would need time to think of the other 2.

1
Dog Pants Avatar
1389
3 Years ago

Civ V was my immediate thought when I saw the question. I've been playing one iteration or another of Civ for around 20 years, and I know I could sink many hundreds more hours into it.

I'm going to cheat a little with my second choice and say Starcraft II. I wasn't that taken with the single player game, and I'm worse than atrocious at multiplayer, but with access to the arcade it's almost a platform in itself.

Lastly, and on the assumption that I was still connected to everyone else's islands by the internet, I'd take Planetside 2. I need a FPS in my life, and for me this is the one which keeps on giving. If there's no internet I'll take Minecraft instead.

1
Mountain_Man Avatar
731
3 Years ago

Are we allowed to have an internet connection on this deserted island? If yes then Diablo III would be at the top of my list. I'd also want Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV, and Civilization V. Maybe X-Plane 10 for some peaceful flight simming.

1
unwanted Avatar
788
3 Years ago

Dragon Age: Origins. That was a looog game. It was also when I realized that it's not a good strategy to be aggressive all of the time.

Civ V. I bought it when it fisrt came out. Played about 10 hours and put it down. Then, when the first DLC came out (don't have either) I installed it again and there were so many changes. I played for a few more hours. Well that's what it felt like. In actuality, I have 77 hours. I don't even know how that happened. i uninstalled it for my sake.

1
Willyum77 Avatar
2
3 Years ago

Crusader Kings II/Europa Universalis IV, EVE Online, Football Manager. I know all of these game shave already been mentioned in various combinations but they're simply the best for uniqueness of every playthrough and the hours you can pump into each game.

In future months I might include Dwarf Fortress when I've worked the bloody thing out, but for now this would tide me over until a rescue boat arrived or I starved to death. Not that I'd notice.

1
Shriven Avatar
3488
3 Years ago

Can we get a few of the writers to post comment here? Id love to see the games the love.

1
Julian Benson Avatar
181
3 Years ago

I should probably aim for longevity but my three would Hostile Waters, Super Hexagon, and Peggle.

I can't escape how much I love Hostile Waters, the Carrier Command-style RTS/3rd person action game sparks something in me no other game has managed. I wouldn't want to live on a desert island without it, even if I would complete the campaign in a day and have nothing else left to do with it (lack of multiplayer and skirmish modes is its biggest sin).

Super Hexagon has a similar grip on me. If my island had access to global leaderboards then I could happily spend months edging my high score up and up.

The fact I've sunk more than 300 hours into both Peggle and Peggle Nights suggests I'll have no issue playing that game over and over.

Looking at my choices I readily admit my brain will molder into a pile of reactionary goop by the end of the second week but that's price I'm willing to pay.

1
PCGamesN Dev Avatar
92
3 Years ago

Well modding certain improves the longevity of a game so my first would be easy.

Minecraft -

Initially running the FeedTheBeast modpack alone would give me hundreds of hours gameplay, if I got bored I could download a new modpack, maybe some adventure maps. Always a game I would come back to

Mount and Blade Warband

This was unknown to me until I saw our article on the Warsword Mod, I'm a huge fan of Warhammer and this is probably the best Warhammer game at the moment. Why no-one has actually made a proper Warhammer (fantasy) game yet I do not know and how many times can I write the word Warhammer in a single comment?

Kerbal Space Program

Another game I come back to after each update and again it's so moddable that the content is endless. I can see as the days go on the rockets would get more and more bizarre. Such a good concept and implemented very well, I've had many a conversation with Jeb on those long journeys, perhaps in the time I have I could learn to speak Kerbal?

Oh yeah... Warhammer...

1