‘Terrible’ only in the sense of their gaming capability. Honestly, I’m sure your laptop is lovely to look at and it was definitely a extremely sensible idea to spend all that money on it instead of buying a holiday or helping to save the pandas. Truth is, though, that playing recently-released games on the vast majority of laptops is about as effective as starting an online petition to uncancel your favourite television show.
A little discretion goes a long way, however. Sure, you may be denied the glossiest of exploding viscera, but it is entirely possible to keep up with the Joneses even on a Terrible Laptop that has no dedicated graphics card. Here are but twelve contemporary games – either recently released or still-evolving going concerns – that will indeed run on your glammed-up toaster. Additional suggestions below are entirely welcome.
The exact definition of a Terrible (for gaming) Laptop clearly differs, but for the sake of argument, my test system has a dual-core cpu that runs at between 1.9 and 2.9GHz depending on load and heat (and thermal throttling to prevent overheat means it’s usually the former figure) and Intel HD 4400 integrated graphics, which borrows memory from the laptop’s 8GB of RAM. Absolutely fine for general purpose computing then, but as useful as a mohawk on a lobster when it comes to games.
The Intel graphics on your Terrible Laptop may well have a lower or higher-sounding number than that, but in most cases don’t expect a great deal of variance. In some cases, though you might get excited about the mention of your laptop having AMD or NVIDIA graphics in it, the chip in question could still be so lowly as to offer you few extra options – and, as such, you are still the proud owner of a Terrible Laptop.
As for performance, my criteria is a game that looks and feels playable at lowest settings and a resolution of 1280×720. Depending on the exact nature of the game in question and of your own Terrible Laptop, you may be able to go a bit higher than that. Oh, and ‘playable’ here means a minimum of 30 frames per second. Some games, particularly turn-based ones, are absolutely fine at lower than that, but 30 is our benchmark for this piece.
Onto the games, anyway. Use the arrow keys above/below the images to navigate the list, or the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard.