Good Games To Play Over Christmas

N.B. I’m posting this outside the paywall from the get go because I’m hoping people will add their own suggestions in the comments and it will become a Useful Resource for those who don’t know what to play over Christmas!

Whether you celebrate or not, chances are you’ll have a bit of extra downtime in the coming fortnight and you might be looking for games to play. For me I tend to pick multiplayer things which I can use to get a chunky bit of time with friends even though we’re all scattered around the country. If I want to be on my own I tend to go for puzzles because it means I can watch Midsomer Murders at the same time.

Here’s what I’m planning to hunker down with over while the festive season is in full swing but it would be great if you share your own plans as well…

Dota 2

It’s a comfy, familiar multiplayer game so it helps with keeping in touch with friends. I find that really important at Christmas, not because there’s anything wrong with my family but because going home means going to a tiny village where only one or maybe two of my schoolfriends will be within driving distance. My parents are pretty busy so my social life tends to become “two cats, a third cat who is sometimes mistaken for a dog because she is fat like a little barrel and her weight loss is not working, and the slow cooker full of mulled wine”. I miss the Christmas Dota from a few years ago, though, where they had a special event called The Greeviling. In The Greeviling you started the game with a Christmas stocking and that had a special whistle you could use to turn yourself into a Greevil and play as this daft-looking monster. The river had been reworked so it was iced over and you’d slip and slide and whistle and tit about. I remember it incredibly fondly.

For various reasons I ended up putting Dota 2 to one side for the back half of the year, trying to find a way to make it fun again. I’m hoping that having taken a bit of time off and with the 6.86 patch it will be a sufficiently different prospect and I’m hoping it taps into happier previous Christmas memories instead of current stresses. Also the thing about Dota (and League) is that it means definitely being out of commission for the giving of lifts and the doing of babysitting for a whole hour at a time!

Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring

Murder mysteries are what Christmas is all about for me. You will find me curled up in a chair, laptop warming my legs and mug of wine warming my hands as I role play a famous detective. There will probably be hats because there are always hats. This is how I will cope with there not being a new David Suchet Poirot to watch.

Bound By Flame

This one is less of a certainty but the free time I have tends to be limited in a way that massive games – I AM LOOKING AT YOU WITCHER 3 – are a nightmare which I struggle to even start let alone finish. I played a preview of Bound By Flame maybe a year and a half ago and it seemed solid and, importantly, medium-sized. Manageable. If I do RPG it is likely to be this one. I miss games feeling manageable.

Picross/Sudoku/any number of other logic puzzles

These are the ones I’ll play when there’s only a little time to kill or I want to keep my hands busy while watching a film or something. Solid logic puzzles. If I’m honest I think I’ve mined Hexcells dry at this point so it’s far more likely to be one of the others for me but I’m listing it here as a good option if you’re into those types of puzzles and looking for Christmas fodder. Jigsaws also have a similar place in my Christmas routine. Good for chipping away at while the telly’s on or the cat won’t move from your leg.

Animal Crossing

What’s that? Not on PC? I couldn’t give a monkey’s. I love Animal Crossing at winter and I’m so excited to see New Leaf on Toy Day and see if I can make snowmen and get nice furniture and just have a lovely time. I also want to bring my old DS home as a gift-in-waiting for my little niece. Eventually she will be able to play it and then I can spend a few years being better than her at Mario Kart (before strategically “losing” my DS when she develops enough motor control for snaking).

How about you?

This article was published as part of, and thanks to, the RPS Supporter Program.


  1. yogibbear says:

    Going to play through games I’ve missed / haven’t finished yet: Bloodborne, Life is Strange, Undertale and Dirt Rally.

  2. Disgruntled Goat says:

    I really should get back to Fallout 4. I played 10 hours and found it quite boring.

    • Premium User Badge

      Philippa Warr says:

      Maybe you should do the opposite of going back?

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      67 hours in roughly a third or so I guess in the main quest and I’ve taken a long break. Wasn’t actually boring but it’s not exactly addictive either.

      • MikoSquiz says:

        I found it addictive and boring, like Cookie Clicker or Pokémon. I kept feeling compelled to go back and play more, but I was bored to some degree for most of that time, and annoyed by janky interface and mechanic issues for the rest. So I uninstalled it.

      • Carra says:

        I’m also at about 60 hours in. I’ll probably take a break and play something else.

    • brucethemoose says:

      This is exactly what I was afraid of, which is why I’m waiting until ~1 year after release so modders can patch up the game and spice up the mechanics/visuals while Bethesda adds more content via DLC.

  3. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Personally I’m looking for something I can dig into and focus on. Like an rpg. Pillars of Eternity, in this case.

    • Sleepery says:

      A fireside and mulled wine game!

    • Le blaireau says:

      You should check out UnderRail. It came out today actually and seems so complex, atmospheric, with intelligent systems and dirt cheap for a 60+ hour game. If you liked fallout 1 & 2 you’ll love this.

      • demosthenes777 says:

        I bought Underrail because of the things I’ve heard about it in the comments section on this site and have requested a refund because the main font is illegible and there’s not an option to change it. I can’t justify spending 60+ hours staring at text that gives me a migraine.

    • teije says:

      Divinity Original Sin playthrough for me. Never finished the original, since I stopped once I heard the EE was coming out.

      And maybe the Long Dark, their new update sounds good.

      But who am I kidding, it’ll be whatever I pick up in the Steam Xmas sale because it’s such a “great deal”. Sigh.

      • SamLR says:

        I was going to play this until I realised that the mac edition isn’t out (apparently it’s due this month so maybe soon?) either way will have to look for something else instead…

      • krixxor says:

        Lol. I know that feeling. I buy a half dozen games a year during the steam sale, because they are such “Good deals”. I have quite the backlog of games. Probably won’t get to any of them, until windows 50 comes around.

  4. Beernut says:

    As far as logic puzzlers are concerned, I liked Squarecells a lot, although it doesn’t hold a candle to the Hexcells-games. I’m not sure that I’m motivated to replay it any time soon, but I enjoyed it while it lasted and it provided the Hexcells’esque “aha”-moments when you’d figure out the next move after having stared at the board for five to ten minutes. Highly recommended!

  5. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    I’m going to see if I can will my non-gaming family into playing Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes. Outside of that I’ll be doing the ‘try to cram every game you missed during the year into the last two weeks’ thing.

    • MiniMatt says:

      That actually sounds like a good idea. For many years our Christmas tradition was Monopoly – you grow up under Thatcher and some things stick – seems that bomb disposal is a nice modern retelling.*

      * although I also grew up under the tail end of the IRA so perhaps the world ain’t so different

  6. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    You can do a lot better than Silver Earring for your Sherlock Holmes fix.

    • Premium User Badge

      Philippa Warr says:

      Top tip: This post was about sharing fun things not criticising games other people are looking forward to playing

      • rocktart says:

        I enjoyed ‘The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief’ which had a similar vibe to the Sherlock games.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        Top tip: Sometimes people talk about the relative merits of games on this blog. Chill out.

        • Llewyn says:

          Good luck in one day learning to do so without sounding like an asshole.

          • rabbit says:

            i don’t think his original comment came across as asshole-ish… i don’t know. it wasn’t helpful exactly but i don’t think that it necessarily warranted the reactions it got.

  7. lowprices says:

    I will be celebrating Christmas at my mum’s, and won’t have a pc. Instead I’m going to be playing the Banner Saga on my Kindle Fire, as shepherding miserable, doomed souls across a chilly wasteland feels quite appropriate for Christmas in Yorkshire.

    Also Steamworld Heist on the 3DS, but I don’t have a good punchline for that.

    • Zekiel says:

      Hey me too! (Except replace “kindle fire” with “ipad, assuming the game actually runs OK without crashing all the time”)

    • syllopsium says:

      damnit.. I didn’t know about Steamworld Heist, and loved/got addicted by Steamworld Dig on the 3DS. Looks like I’m bringing my 3DS along this xmas

  8. Gordon Shock says:

    I will finally dive into Dark Soul 2 and I expect I will reemerge beat, broken and scarred.

    • raiders says:

      You know, I plan on doing the same exact thing? Except in a car. Dirt Rally.

    • exile2k4 says:

      I’m replaying DSII again at the moment, which I’ve done for the last few Christmasses – good luck! If you’re playing the Scholar of the First Sin edition I’d suggest summoning help when you can, I found it pretty tough going in some areas.

  9. LionsPhil says:

    Well I’m going to finally build a new box, so it’ll probably be “waiting for Windows Update”, “trying to remember all the places to turn off StickyKeys et. al.” and “oh god, what now, I thought I’d fixed that”.

  10. Foosnark says:

    I’m going to play… whatever works on the slow cheap laptop I’m bringing on our week-long trip to my parents’ and in-laws’ homes over questionable internet connections.

    Previously that was Torchlight, but I’m hoping I can coax Rebel Galaxy to run decently. It might be amusing to see if Dirt Rally works on that laptop, in much the same way it might be amusing to see how much sriracha I can squirt into my eyes.

    • Foosnark says:

      And indeed, once I wrangled a whole bunch of annoying things slowing down the laptop, Rebel Galaxy runs acceptably enough.

      Path of Exile doesn’t even get past the initial loading screen though. Ah well.

      • krixxor says:

        Had the same problem on my laptop with guild wars 2. Try looking up sweetfx. Its been awhile, but once I installed and configured it, I could play with acceptable framerates.

  11. MiniMatt says:

    Elite – because the last time many of us played was about this time last year and shooting things with laser beams is basically the spirit of Christmas. Or something. I may have paid insufficient attention in assembly. It’s a good few hours fun is what I’m saying.

    There’s also “zombie game of your choosing”. Because, yes, I’m comparing your family to brain dead zombies. Look at them. You agree with me, you know you do. Uncle Len especially. He’s got to be one.

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      Nah, he’s the one everyone -thought- was a zombie but actually had the keys to survival if only they hadn’t bashed his head in.

  12. spaced says:

    I’ll be continuing my addiction to Rainbow 6 Siege, but also checking in on my FOB and some single player missions in MGSV.

    Hopefully I can finish Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, AssCreed Black Flag, and Wolfenstein the New Order before new year’s!

  13. barelyhomosapien says:

    As one of the 4 people in the UK to own a wii u I’ll be taking it with me to play Mario kart, mario 3d world and so on.

    Then when everyone gets bored/starts watching rubbish I can play my freshly minted copy of Xenoblade Chronicles on the game pad.

    If it’s any good that will probably be the next week of gaming as well. If there are any steam vouchers in envelopes, or if I crack I will probably pick up waves 2 as I adore the original.

    • barelyhomosapien says:

      Play Mario and so on with my sisters and try to convince my wife to join in.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Do you have Nintendo Land? Nothing quite lights up the room like it. I’ve yet to meet the gaming abstinent who can resist getting in on daft mushroom kiss-chase or the opportunity to get in touch with their inner evil ghostly mastermind.

  14. Darth Gangrel says:

    Bound by Flame is actually worth playing? It looked promising, but the bad reviews and the not-low-enough price always held it off even my “sure, someday perhaps in a sale” mental list of games to buy.

    I don’t know what to recommend, but perhaps any nice game will do to while away the dark and cold outside reality.

  15. 9squirrels says:

    Just bought a new PC, so if I get any time for games, I’ll be trying out some pretty games from my backlog that it’ll do justice to. Elite, Skyrim and Arkham City. So much backlog.
    Also, planning to set up Minecraft so my son and I can play together now that we have ² PCs.

    • 9squirrels says:

      Oh, and Planetside2 of course. Some of this is contingent on the weather though. I’m in Australia and my computer room has no air con. If it hits 40C like it’s supposed to today, I’ll have to sit it out, or move the PC somewhere else.

  16. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Minecraft modded with HQM = sandbox with quests for focus.
    Roguelike: ADOM steam release.
    Roguelite: The Binding of Isaac again!
    Idle game: Crusaders of the Lost Idols.
    Driving: Euro Truck Simulator 2 with Scandinavia
    Puzzle: Squarecells or Paint it Back

  17. Mud says:

    Risk with my family.

    • lowprices says:

      I’m going to try and play The Resistance: Avalon with my family. It may end up going horribly.

  18. pertusaria says:

    I don’t know if Samorost 3 will be out before the New Year, but if it is, that’s what I’ll be playing (at least for a bit – neither of the previous Samorosts having been long).

    Aside from that, I’ve bought Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective on the recommendation of Shut Up and Sit Down, so I’m looking forward to some sleuthing, either with my boyfriend and/or his parents. There’s also a copy of El Grande in the house we always spend New Year’s in, and I still haven’t played that, so I’m going to insist on getting that out.

    I have a lot of things on PC and DS that I keep meaning to do more than dip into. We’ll see what catches my eye first. It should be possible to polish off Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons this week, f’r instance, and I need to beat the clock tower boss in Luigi’s Mansion 2.

    Enjoy Animal Crossing, and have fun introducing your niece to the joys of DS! I’ve finally bought one for my mum, despite misgivings over her eyesight and arthritis, because she loved the original Game Boy and the first thing she asked about for her iPad was “How do I get Mario on this?”. I wish I could be with her to help smooth over any issues, but I’m hopeful she’ll manage.

  19. SuperDion says:

    Real-Life Dating Sim with Thomas was Alone.
    Setting the mood

  20. TheAngriestHobo says:

    I’ve got nothing. The past four or five months have been pretty terrible for New Games Wot I am Interested in™, so I’ve been replaying some oldies but goodies and gradually moving Steam’s “Hours played” counter for CK2 into more and more embarrassing territory.

    By the way, am I the only one floored by the dearth of decent game releases prior to the holiday season? Most years, this is when all the most anticipated games come out. This year, all we got was Fallout 3.5 (Bethesda loses half a standard deviation for reusing an engine that should have been mothballed four years ago).

  21. Llewyn says:

    I have masses of backlog to play, and will undoubtedly fail to play any of it.

    However I’m looking to the commentariat for multiplayer suggestions for a small, geographically disparate and middle-aged group. The only common reference point we have is WoW – that’s where the core met (almost 10 years ago, distressingly) – so MMOs are the obvious thing to look at, but we’re hoping for something we can have some meaningful fun with in only the next two weeks.

    Any suggestions? What do you all play with your loved ones?

    • pertusaria says:

      Discworld MUD? I made some enduring friendships through that, while also playing it sitting around with friends and family (each on their own laptop… yeah, we’re nerds). You and your friends would have to be prepared to do a lot of reading (in English), and ideally but not necessarily be Pratchett fans.

      • Llewyn says:

        That is indeed a wonderful suggestion – it was fellow Thieves who lured me into WoW in the first place, and I still talk almost daily to a few of them. I might suggest that to the others – I’ve been meaning to go back and see how the place has changed for years now, and I suspect at least one of them would feel very much at home there.

        • pertusaria says:

          Ah, excellent – I wouldn’t have been so patronising if I’d realised you were a fellow mudder. I have likewise been away for a long time, but maybe I’ll bump into you at some point! (Witch here, but Spontiff (thief) is my other half.)

          • Llewyn says:

            Hmmm, that name rings a bell at least, possibly from the early safecracker or smuggler monitor elections. I used to be Xythenium, assuming I can still spell that correctly :-)

            And I didn’t take it as patronising in any case – it was useful info for anyone unfamiliar with the Disc and a useful reminder for me too.

    • gracie says:

      Coming from a WoW background, I have to say that Guild Wars 2 is an interesting take on the MMORPG. I’m not sure how punishing the free to play system is, but I know it doesn’t lock you out of vanilla content or levels. It’s a gorgeous world to poke around in for a while, though. Just make sure you all pick the same region (EU vs. NA) because they don’t have any physical overlap.

  22. mineshaft says:

    I’m playing a joint game of Life Is Strange with my spouse. So far it’s good, although there is a little friction because I want to click on ALL THE THINGS and she gets stressed by CONSEQUENTIAL DECISIONS.

    Else Heart.Break() has had a couple of intriguing first hours, although I’m still getting my feet wet and know there has to be a lot more going on. Is this that One-City-Block game that we have been waiting for? It has felt more like it than anything I’ve played in a while.

    I saved Undertale for a rainy day and it looks like the best thing in my queue that I haven’t touched yet.

    I think I’m about ready to quit Hearthstone. I have more fun watching people create and run weird decks than doing my own.

    Rocket League has been sheer enjoyment. I swear a lot, but it’s usually because I almost did something awesome. Or, admittedly, when my teammate rear-ends me. When I actually do something awesome, it is an incredible rush. The skill ceiling feels high, even in pick up games.

    I do have a few greats that have been sitting for a while, like Dark Souls and Arkham Asylum. Maybe this is the year.

  23. derbefrier says:

    a buddy of mine bought a 4 pack of table top simulator and gifted them out and its been a blast. tonight we delve into the dungeons of Hero Quest!

    this has been a pretty weak year for games for me. 2015 seems to be the year i got bored with pretty much all of the big epic open world AAA games. I think i’ll work on beating Axiom Verge and probably experience some more bugs and crashing in star citizen.

    • theslap says:

      Now that sounds fun! 2015 has been disappointing for me as well. I have very little interest in any of the AAA titles (Witcher III excluded of course) and the indies have not drawn me like previous years.

      I really wish I had more friends to play board games on tabletop simulator with but it seems everyone is in different timezones/schedules. Until then, I’ll probably being playing Path of Exile in hardcore talisman league until I die a few times and give up.

  24. Turkey says:

    I’m going to start working on a Lovecraft comic I’ve had on the backburner for the last 6 months, but I also bough Apotheon on Steam and I think I’m going to finish that up during the holidays too. It controls terribly with a gamepad, but I found it works pretty well with a mouse and keyboard.

  25. Cei says:

    I’ll mainly be playing board games, as the backlog is ridiculous. For video games I’ll continue ploughing through Fallout 4 a few hours a day, finally start the next play through of FF VII and likely end with a bit of Anno.

  26. Carra says:

    Been playing a lot of Fallout 4 lately so time to play something else from my backlog. I’ll probably play an adventure game such as Republique, Her Story, Lost Horizon 2, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter or Dreamfall (really should get back to it).

    Still got some shooters to try: Wolfenstein the New Blood or Far Cry 4.

    And still haven’t gotten around to playing Infinifactory. Considering how much I loved Spacechem, I should give it a try.

  27. PancakeWizard says:

    Final Fantasy 3(Steam version), for me. I’m a PC only household now, but my fondest Christmas Day memories involve binging on a new Nintendo console or game and FF3 having sat in my Steam library ignored for ages, fits that Japanese charm my nostalgic brain craves this time of year.

  28. moms says:

    I have a feeling it will be mostly a single player Christmas for me, so I’ll probably finish up the Blackwell series (got a bit of Deception left, then Epiphany) and would like to finish Grim Fandango (I don’t know what distracted me from completing it), I’ve also got a bunch of Dishonored left, and while everyone’s outa town, I may secretly practice Rocket League.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I have no idea what I’ll play, since I somehow always plan to play certain games and then play something totally different over Christmas.

    For example, one year I had a Crusader Kings II campaign that I wanted to finish over Christmas. Instead I played through most of La Mulana – I didn’t even know I had that before I discovered it by chance in my Steam list and spontaneously started playing.

    But maybe this year will be different – I plan to continue my Fallout New Vegas playthrough (haven’t played it before, seemed like a good time to start) and I have a Terraria world to explore (haven’t played that for years). Also, Nuclear Throne. Lots of Nuclear Throne.

  30. geldonyetich says:

    I’m playing “clean up after a toilet flood” for Christmas this year. It’s a rubbish game, I don’t recommend it.

  31. SaintAn says:

    Normally I play Skyrim with around 30 mods during December since my family all goes to Disney without me every year since my granddad died about 3 years ago leaving me alone to take care of their pets for the holidays, but I feel burned out on Skyrim this year so I have no idea what to play. Seriously nearly broke down crying yesterday not because I am alone on my birthday and Christmas, but because I’m not going to get to see the new Star Wars movie until they get back in a few weeks (No car and no money). ; ;
    And spent the last of my money getting one of my sisters a Pip Boy edition when they were in stock at Amazon a few days ago as a Christmas present to surprise her when she gets back, so I’ll be missing the Steam Sale too. Sucks being a fatherless bastard and the punching bag to everyone when they’re in a bad mood and need someone to treat poorly and blame.

    So yeah, don’t take your holidays with your family for granted folks.

    Maybe I’ll continue my Witcher 3 game, and replay through KOTOR I & II.
    Thinking of getting into SWG Emu once I find a guide and figure out if I want to be a Bounty Hunter or a Creature Handler Wookiee.
    Been reading Warhammer books so probably some Warhammer Online RoR private server if the servers will stay up.
    Would like to play the new Battlefront, but that game is either broken or empty because I haven’t been able to find matches in the matchmaker for the last 4 days.
    And of course drinking a lot of alcohol that I liberated from my grandmas house.

    • JimmyG says:

      That sounds pretty crummy, man, but I bet your family really appreciates the help you’re giving them. I know your sister will when she sees her present.

      Re: Star Wars, I’m in China myself and can’t see the movie until it releases at the end of January. But last night I watched the much-maligned 1978 Holiday Special for the first time, and I’d highly recommend it if you can enjoy absurdly bad television. Awkward, misguided, curious, and just a bit heartwarming.

    • jnqvist says:

      Hey pal. I just wanted to take a break while scrolling through the posts and say that,first of all,your situation is not your fault. Family is one of the things you cannot change in life. Rare things,I might add; we have much more power to change the things that we dislike than we think,but that power is shuned until we figure it out. Then it changes everything,and you start seeking other possibilities,unafraid of the consequences,because this day will not come back; might live it through the best you can then.
      To me,it sounds like you need a partner,somebody to share your time with and care for him/her. Finding a person that suits you doesn’t happen when you figure out that you need it,but without giving it a chance,it might be hard for it to happen; go out,take a walk,enroll a class or do something else,change your surrounding if it chokes you and does not give you a chance to be yourself. Give people a chance to feel better and inspire them and they will feel grateful and wish to be beside you. Emanate positive energy and you will attract similar people,some of which you might like and wish to spend more time with.
      Oddly enough,of all the games,I’m thinking of playing KOTOR II next week,after a long hiatus from video games broken only on rare occasions when I had lots of free time. Old loves never die…plus I haven’t tried the restored content.
      These are my five cents,with best intentions. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!

    • Grimwood says:

      Hey buddy, I want to say , as someone who’s family is severely fucked up: your family sounds severely fucked up. And they may not all -be- assholes to the corr, but they absolutely are -being- assholes to you.
      It’s ok to know that and acknowledge it. It’s important to do so.

      You deserve better. Full stop.

      That may hurt to admit. It should. They have been really rotten to you, and that has filled you with pain. You just scoop it into your holding tank, instead of expressing it to them, because you love them, and that is probably what they have trained you to think you’re supposed to do for people you love.

      Fuck that. They don’t get to do that to you.
      It’s also no good for them to be rotten to you, whether they know it or not.

      I want you to hear, from a reformed/ing fellow family punching bag / shit absorber, that it is not right.

      That’s the main thing.

      To recommend a potentially helpful course of action: Go to an Alanon meeting. You don’t have to talk. And there does not need to be any alcoholism in your family – at Alanon you will simply hear people who are in abusile families, and hear them talk about it with each other.
      You need other people to hear you, and you need to talk to people who are not your family not associated with them.

      Have a merry Christmas, and may it be the last one you spend as anyone’s punching bag. You deserve better.

    • Betamax says:

      It’s dangerous to go alone, take this! *sends virtual hug*

      Also, have a high five for still playing SWG. As one of my best buds when I played was a creature handler Wookiee, that gets my vote. Oh, and definitely think about going back to Witcher 3, I just finished and it was quite the thing!

      It doesn’t matter how slow things go, so long as you do not stop. I hope you have happy holidays and some good gaming. :)

  32. Baranor says:

    Probably Minecraft, LOTRO, a bit of airsoft and 5th ed DnD. And lots of things with my kids.

  33. Pizzacheeks McFroogleburgher says:

    Looking thru my extensive catalogue of bought but not played… Looking for something extraordinary and fun.. I know… Fez!

  34. TehK says:

    If your looking for a nice puzzler (with a wintery atmosphere even), you may want to have a look at Puzzle Agent. They are really more like puzzles stitched together with a (quite nice and sometimes even a bit scary) story than actual Point&Click Adventures.

    Well, I for one quite liked those 2 Telltale Games from before they created those storytelling games.

    • rmsgrey says:

      If you like Puzzle Agent, and have a (3)DS, then I strongly recommend checking out the Professor Layton series of games – the puzzles are generally a little better, even if the plot is still a little thin.

      For people who aren’t familiar with either series, they’re video-game equivalents of the old Usborne Puzzle Adventure books – you have a LucasArts-style point and click world-navigation, but rather than inventory puzzles, you get an assortment of logic puzzles to solve in order to progress – including classics like peg solitaire, towers of hanoi, or getting three cargo items across a river where the boat only carries one, and two of the three pairs can’t be left alone together.

  35. Sinomatic says:

    As I’ll be visiting the folks and using their PC, it’ll likely be Rocket League, Eurotruck Sim 2 and creating endless pink horsies in “the game with the little boy” (as my niece likes to call Scribblenauts).

  36. twaitsfan says:

    It’s never a good time to play Dota 2 – I’ll pass on getting cussed out by 8 year old Peruvians.

  37. Rikard Peterson says:

    Others have mentioned boardgames, but I can’t see any mentions of games that are fun for several people together on one screen. (I have a long HDMI-cable to hook up my computer to my parents’ big TV when I get there.)

    To me, SpeedRunners is the obvious Christmas game.

    Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Rayman Raving Rabbids are also fun. Jazz Jackrabbit 2 will probably also get some time. It’ll be interesting to see how much Gang Beasts has evolved since I last played it a few months ago.

    Split/Second is also a good one here, and I have GRID Autosport in that section of my Steam library too, but I haven’t tried it in this context yet.

    ibb & obb, Rayman Origins and Lara Guardian of Light works well for coop. (Octodad and Trine are also in this category.)

    Worms games would also be fun, but I can’t seem to get my family interested in those.

    We have been playing a Bomberman clone called Dynamite, but it was tricky to get working on Windows 7, and doesn’t appear to run at all on W10. Any suggestions for a replacement? I found a thing called Bombing Bastards when I looked around – is that any good?

    Other suggestions for good “couch games”? (I’ve got four XBox controllers…)

  38. pfig says:

    Order of Battle: Pacific, Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy, and Hacknet were my original plans, but now it looks like I will have to add Element to that…

  39. syllopsium says:

    Games over Xmas? You want Hyper Princess Pitch, a Smash TV like freebie for Windows, with a Santa theme.

    link to

  40. syllopsium says:

    I suppose also, seeing as I’ll only be on a Thinkpad X61 or 3DS whilst away, the game of Icewind Dale II I’ve been playing since 2007. Maybe Fallout 2.

    Have also asked for three controllers and a Gameboy Advance link cable for xmas, so I can play Pacman Vs. on the Gamecube – it’s a brilliant party game.

    Will also be rebuilding my retro gaming PC at home (Privateer, Sam and Max, and Tie Fighter are the most likely games to play). Possibly also some Saints Row 2.

  41. kalzekdor says:

    I’ll be playing a bit of Fallout 4, (using the Pip-boy app on my tablet exclusively, nothing quite like frantically tapping through menus trying to load up on Med-X/Psycho after being ambushed by a bunch of flaming ghouls, it’s a different game when you can’t just pause to load up on food/chems in the middle of a fight), some Doom, a bit of NetHack v3.6.0, doing a co-op Dead Space 3 run with a friend, and maybe playing Dark Moon if I can get enough people together.

  42. Betamax says:

    This Christmas, I shall be mostly playing: Whatever exits in the void after a 250hr Witcher 3 playthrough.

    Oh and Towerfall, probably.

  43. Calden Parker says:

    Bound by Flame is totally “manageable!” I played through most of the main story and its not huge like Skyrim or The Witcher 3, so it should be a cinch to finish it before the new year! :) its hard, though!!

  44. Calden Parker says:

    GTA 5 usually does some Christmas stuff, like make it snow and sell santa hats :)