With the holiday season upon us, more of us will be looking to relax and unwind by playing games. This will be especially so this year as millions rush to get their hands on Sony and Microsoft’s latest game consoles.
While you may have your favourite go-to title, you may also be on the lookout for something new to play. If the latter is the case, here are some games you may want to try this December.
In 1999, Chris Sawyer released RollerCoaster Tycoon to the PC gaming market. It was a huge hit as people became fascinated with the prospect of building roller coasters and managing theme parks.
However, this was not Sawyer’s first game. The Scottish developer released Transport Tycoon five for PC in 1994. The premise was similar to SimCity, though instead of building an entire city, your job is to manage a transport company that moves people and freight within and between cities.
Designed in 1994, the game was designed to run on DOS-based computers. In 2001, Microsoft stopped basing its operating systems on the then-20-year-old software when it released Windows XP. This meant that Transport Tycoon would no longer be compatible.
However, with so many fans of the game, a project known as OpenTTD (Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe) was launched in 2004. It set out to completely recreate the game using open source code.
Today, OpenTTD is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and other operating systems and has a multiplayer mode as well as the original single player functionality. It also includes many major improvements to AI, graphics, and support for add-ons. It also introduced “path signals” for the train tracks, making them more efficient.
You can still build rail, road, air, and sea networks, just like in the original, but you have more features and functionality.
PokerStars is one of the oldest and largest online poker sites in the world, a position it has built by sponsoring and organising many live events, including the European Poker Tour and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
After beginning by offering its online poker games through software for desktop computers, the company now offers mobile apps for both Android and iOS that let users play in the same poker games on the go.
The company’s mobile apps contain all the same features as the desktop version but in a mobile-optimised format. Cross-platform play is also possible, so it never matters what device you’re using.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars is a fantasy MMORPG game that launched in 2006 and is similar to World of Warcraft in its style. It was superseded in 2012 by Guild Wars 2 which was equally as popular.
It sold more than five million copies by the summer of 2015, after which point it became a free-to-play game. Because of this change, Guild Wars 2 lives on today as an incredibly popular title, receiving regular updates and expansions.
Like other games in this genre, you’re given the freedom to create your own character. This is a very important step with choices made affecting the way you play the game from that point on.
Guild Wars 2 is only available for Windows and Mac OS X.
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Mini Motorways is a sequel to the incredibly popular Mini Metro puzzle game. Like OpenTTD, it’s themed around transport, but doesn’t include the business management elements that require you to manage profitability.
Instead, your task is to ensure the road network is sufficient to meet the demand from the ever-increasing number of cars wanting to travel between the houses and the shopping malls that pop up.
You’re given a limited number of road tiles to use, with more added after each in-game week. You’ll also be given the option to choose between extra tools like a motorway or traffic lights.
More buildings pop up randomly around the map as you progress, placing more and more strain on your infrastructure. Eventually, it won’t be able to cope and one of the malls will become overcrowded, ending the game.
It’s a simple concept, but incredibly fun to play.