During the winter months, with short hours of daylight and bitterly cold temperatures getting out and about is sometimes not as practical as at other times of the year. That evening stroll you take in the summer, or the weekend trip to the beach are not feasible in freezing air and blizzard conditions. We therefore need something to keep us entertained whilst we find ourselves house bound, without the reprieve of outdoor activities. One solution is to pick a new game to play, if you choose the right one it’ll keep you busy right through to spring, and bring you hours of enjoyment in the meantime, here is a look at some of the options.
Grand Theft Auto
One of the best selling games franchises of all times, Grand Theft Auto has seen blockbuster hits for nearly every console and games platform released since the original game debuted in 1997. With the game built around an open world, where the player can go where they want, when they want, to do whatever they want, there is literally no limit to the fun you can have with it.
If you’re a console gamer, the latest title Grand Theft Auto V provides photorealistic graphics, and the most detailed world ever created by Rockstar Games. As well as a living, breathing city that seems like it would carry on existing even if you didn’t play the game, Grand Theft Auto V has a functioning stock market that fluctuates depending on the actions taken by the player. Grand Theft Auto V was the first version of the game to place great emphasis on online multiplayer games. Although online play was included in Grand Theft Auto IV, GTA Online in the latest release is in a totally different class and could be a game on its own.
If you’re not a console gamer, and you’re looking for a more casual gaming experience, there are several Grand Theft Auto titles that have been released on mobile devices too. All of the Playstation 2 era titles, including Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto Vice City and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas have all been ported to iOS and Android. A version of the game especially designed for touch screens, Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars is also available: originally released on Nintendo DS, Chinatown Wars contains features such as using the touch screen to hotwire cars.
The open endedness of Grand Theft Auto means that you will not tire of completing missions, side jobs, racing, creating chaos in random ways and escaping from law enforcement with your ever growing wanted level.
Card games are one of the oldest forms of gaming entertainment, with card games being traced back to early Chinese dynasties. Whilst a lot simpler in terms of playing options and rules than modern video games, card games can be quick to learn but take a very long time to master. There are many different varieties of games, including Blackjack, Baccarat and Poker, all of which have many different versions of rules and game play.
Taking Poker as an example, there are numerous versions including “Texas Hold’em” and “Omaha”, each version as different rules that change the number of cards drawn, whether there are “community cards”, where cards are played face down or face up, and how players interact with each other. The most common game played by new players is “Five Card Draw”, where players are dealt five cards, some of which they can exchange. Meanwhile, in 7 Card Stud players get a total of seven cards, four face up and three face down.
All card games have very low barriers to entry, with a deck of cards being available from stores such as Amazon for as little as $5. Wagering can be a part of card games, but it is certainly not a requirement with many people playing just for fun and to socialise.
Although now over 10 years old, Wii Sports, and many of the similar games that were released in the following years are great winter time activities. As well as allowing you to play indoors, they encourage you to move and be active. Staying active during winter time can be more difficult than in spring and summer because of the cold and wet weather.
Wii Sports, which shipped with every new Wii console sold by Nintendo allowed players to partake in sports like tennis, baseball and bowling by using the revolutionary “Wii Remote” controller, which used accelerometers to detect movement and translate it into game play.
The game “Wii Fit” released a few years later encourages healthy living by using the “Wii Fit Board” to track your weight, improve your balance and guide you in different exercises. This game, which built on the success of Wii Sports can coach you to meet your fitness goals from the comfort of your living room.