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  1. #1

    the best games for low spec PCs?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm currently living away (in Peru!) and using a laptop to get my gaming fix. Does anyone have any recommendations for games? Any indie games I might have missed from the last couple of years would be great. Especially anything I can sink a lot of time into. I imagine this might be of interest to other people as well so here are a few recommendations from me:

    OpenTTD - 2D train management game, it's very simple to start with but can end up creating brilliantly, absurdly complex systems.

    Battle for Wesnoth - 2D turn based strategy game with persistent development over campaigns

    Tales of Maj'Eyal - Simple intuitive roguelike with loads of depth

    Defender's Quest - tower defense with persistent development of towers over a huge campaign

  2. #2
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    Well you already mentioned the two that came to mind immediately (Wesnoth and Tome) so I guess other than that:

    -Combat Mission:Barbarossa to Berlin/Afrika Korps
    -Talonsoft campaign series (West Front, East Front II, etc.)
    -Close Combat series
    -Panzer Corps
    (basically a lot of wargames in general)

    Roguelikes are a good fit, I don't have much experience in the genre though other than Tome though. DCSS is very popular so look into that if you haven't.

    FTL is a good buy if you haven't got that yet.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Pharaoh and Zeus - classic city builders, on sale on GOG at the moment. 2D, undemanding to run, but they still look great.

    Unreal World
    - Currently free, iron age survival sim roguelike.

    Paradox games, maybe. My laptop can just about run EU3 with a low end dual core processor and integrated graphics. EU2, Victoria, HoI 2 and Crusader Kings are all 2D and good games, though they lack some of the refinements of the later ones.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noxnoctum View Post
    FTL is a good buy if you haven't got that yet.
    FTL may not be, actually. That and Hotline Miami just about run on my laptop, but I get significant slowdown at times.

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    Hmm ok nevermind. It looks like it should run smoothly but I guess not!

    I would just go check out GOG's library too there's loads of stuff on there that would run on an old laptop.

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    Any of the Vogel RPGs. I started with Avadon: The Black Fortress myself. They're well written. Other than that I'd suggest interactive fiction. It can be pretty awesome.

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    Also I've heard good things about The Spirit Engine 2. It's supposedly one of the best free indie RPGs out there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by karthink View Post
    Any of the Vogel RPGs. I started with Avadon: The Black Fortress myself. They're well written. Other than that I'd suggest interactive fiction. It can be pretty awesome.
    Anything in particular?

  9. #9
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    Most things on the current GOG sale are worth playing and should run on practically anything.

    Of Paradox games, EU2, Victoria 1, Crusader Kings, and probably Hearts of Iron 2 will presumably run fine. Anything more advanced is a little risky.

    In practice almost any strategy game or RPG from the not-too-distant past tends to run reasonably well on non-gaming laptops.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  10. #10
    Cool I'll give those Pharaoh etc. games a go! Unreal World looks intimidatingly complex, is it still playable at least?

    Other recommendations:
    Populous the Beginning - God game with incredibly open gameplay with spells including terraforming
    Fallout 2 - Old but doesn't feel at all dated, the most superbly dark game I've ever played

  11. #11
    Network Hub Protoman's Avatar
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    Warning: Long list incoming!
    This is basically a list of everything that plays on my barely functioning old laptop and I enjoyed.

    Binding of Isaac
    Dungeons of Dredmor
    Braid
    Cave Story+
    Super Meat Boy
    Limbo
    They Bleed Pixels
    VVVVVV
    Trine 1/2 (I remember this being a little bit of a stretch, having to play in the lowest of the low specs, but it worked on a discount laptop I bought in 2007)
    Spacechem
    World of Goo
    Audiosurf
    Bit.Trip Series
    Sequence
    FTL - Faster Than Light
    Bastion
    Mount & Blade: Warband
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
    Terraria
    Minecraft
    Defense Grid: The Awakening
    Cthulhu Saves the World
    Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy
    Little Inferno
    Proteus
    Scribblenauts Unlimited
    Botanicula
    Machinarium
    The Walking Dead
    Titan Quest
    Altitude
    Star Wars Battlefront II
    90's and early 2000's FPS games
    Lone Survivor
    Chantelise
    Fortune Summoners: Secret of the Elemental Stone
    Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
    Ys: Origin
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
    Analogue: A Hate Story
    Aquaria
    Jet Set Radio
    Osmos
    Wizorb
    Blocks that Matter
    Noitu Love 2: Devolution.
    And, last but not least, EMULATORS.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Anything from 2005 and prior should work. Just pick the top X games from 1970 - 2005 and you will be fine.
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    PC Specs: I have a big e-peen

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hexagonalbolts View Post
    Unreal World looks intimidatingly complex, is it still playable at least?
    It's not the simplest of games, but I don't think it should be too difficult to learn if you don't mind starving to death your first couple of tries. I wrote half a game diary about it.

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    Made a thread about this a while back.
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...Netbook-gaming

    Long story short, don't be afraid of trying everything on it. You might be surprised at just how much power you can get out of it.

    As for specifics, well all these come with my highest recommendation.
    Unity of Command
    Elven Legacy
    Space Chem
    SimCity 4
    The Infinity engine games (special mention to the much overlooked Icewind Dale 2. Best dungeon crawl I've played in a long while)
    Rayman: Origins
    Anachranox
    KOTOR 2

    It can also be a good chance to catch up any of the old (pre PS2) console games you never played. No laptop should be without Znes or Espx.
    Last edited by Bhazor; 09-03-2013 at 10:47 PM.
    “People will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases, like “be realistic”
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Bhazor View Post
    Made a thread about this a while back.
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...Netbook-gaming

    Long story short, don't be afraid of trying everything on it. You might be surprised at just how much power you can get out of it.

    As for specifics, well all these come with my highest recommendation.
    Unity of Command
    Elven Legacy
    Space Chem
    SimCity 4
    The Infinity engine games (special mention to the much overlooked Icewind Dale 2. Best dungeon crawl I've played in a long while)
    Rayman: Origins
    Anachranox
    KOTOR 2

    It can also be a good chance to catch up any of the old (pre PS2) console games you never played. No laptop should be without Znes or Espx.
    Is Unity of Command as brutally difficult as the RPS writers make out?

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    It is difficult, but it's also accessible. The AI puts up a proper fight and will exploit your mistakes, but you won't struggle to learn the rules. There's a demo also.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    In the realm of puzzle platformers, I can recommend Closure, Gateways and Waking Mars as ones that haven't been mentioned yet. For arcade games, I've enjoyed Shatter very much on my own laptop and I imagine QRTH-PHYL will run pretty well too. Sword and Sworcery is a good fit.

    I would also recommend Antichamber, Mark of the Ninja and Fly'n, but I'm not 100% sure their performance is consistent and adequate on really low-end machines.

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    AvP Classic 2000 (see: Steam)

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    Mount and Blade. That said, it runs quite well because it's ugly as sin.

    Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory seems to run quite well with just about all the bells and whistles turned on with a circa 2006 machine. The same can be said about Homeworld 2, which I think stands up remarkably well for a game from going on 10 years ago.

    I seem to remember when I was 14 (it was 2004 then) my computer was... indisposed for a period I got my gaming fix by playing the Firearms mod for Half-Life 1 on my mom's computer (which while having a 2.4ghz Pentium 4, still had used an integrated 64mb Intel graphics processor).

  20. #20
    If you like TBS games, you'd be insane to not grab Eador for three currencies right now. I'm a couple of hours in, and the way the game slowly reveals the depth of its mechanics is remarkable.

    Beyond that, you weren't too specific about "laptop," which can mean a lot of things these days, so it's hard to know what to recommend (for instance, someone suggested Mark of the Ninja, which I definitely don't think counts as "low spec" quite yet).

    If you haven't played the first two Max Payne games, they are wild fun, and the second one is a masterpiece.

    If you like city builder/management games, Pharoah and Startopia are probably the best in the genre.

    For platforming, Iji, Unepic, and Knytt Stories are all pretty fantastic, and two of them are free.

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