Have you ever started to play a new video game and found yourself completely overwhelmed? All the button combinations you have to learn, navigating your character through a huge world without clear direction, and the sheer difficulty of enemies in your path can leave even the most seasoned gamer defeated. Now let’s imagine that you’ve never played video games in your life or have little interest in them. I’d wager that you’d give up pretty quickly out of frustration. Well, for those of you who want to share your gaming hobby with a newbie friend, significant other, child or parent, put away your copies of Dark Souls and Call of Duty. Here are a few games that are easy enough to get new players started, but fun for every level of gamers.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Available on: Wii, Wii U
The platforming genre is always a good place to start for any beginner. Set off from point A and try to make it to a goal of point B. Kirby games have always been the most gentle of the Nintendo platformers since Kirby can fly. In this iteration, you help Kirby stitch together the torn up Patch Land. He doesn’t have his normal abilities like copying enemy attacks and flying but there are new yarn transformations. This game is just as fun and as it is forgiving, a perfect recipe for the novice. In fact you can’t even die! You’ll only lose gems when you are hit or fall in a pit, which will make the consequences virtually zero. Epic Yarn is 2-player, so you can help your partner through things that might be too punishing. This one should be appealing to the newcomer because of its simplicity, but also because the pink puff ball is cute as hell!
Streets of Rage
Genre: Beat ‘Em Up
Available on: Master System, Genesis, Game Gear, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, Steam
The streets are in dire need of a cleaning! Littered through out the city are waves of thugs who want to take you down. So grab your gaming protege and prepare to rage! Smash some buttons, smash some faces. It couldn’t get any easier. No combos to memorize, not too fast paced, but plenty of stress relief. You can grab weapons to assist in your beat downs, stick to fists or if things get tough you can always call for back up and rain down a storm of fire! Again there is only one direction you need to move in, which limits what you need to think about, and it’s long enough to not overstay it’s welcome. An excellent title for the fledgling gamer.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Available on: Nintendo DS
So far the games have been pretty simple in terms of control, but maybe some out there are saying: “I can’t even play those! Controllers feel weird in my hand!” To those of you who can’t handle (heh) traditional controllers then this is for you. Professor Layton games are as easy as you can get. No time limit, no buttons, just a classic point and click adventure. You use the DS stylus to click through logic puzzles and brain teasers. If you want to put the game down for while and think about it, you can do that too! The game moves as fast as your brain can and you’ll be feeling pretty confident solving the tricky ones. The Curious Village provides not only an awesome gameplay experience but a compelling story with fully voiced cutscenes and a unique soundtrack. Great for those who prefer brains over brawn.
Genre: Action. It’s Actiony. Who really knows with this game?!
Available on: Playstation 3
Katamari Forever is like a greatest hits version of Katamari games that came before it. All the best levels are remastered in glorious HD and the addictive gameplay is still at the core of this giant ball of stuff. That’s what this game is about. Taking a ball, rolling it around into stuff, and anything smaller will attach and make that ball bigger and bigger. Bigger is better and if it gets big enough, it will move “The King of the Cosmos” to tears. The insane dialogue and ridiculous visuals are sure to get some laughs from a new player, if nothing else. Controls are allocated to the two analog sticks, which will move you in 3D environments. Completely effortless to get the hang of, even if you’ve never played a game with 3D directions. And if you don’t really get it at first, thats ok because bumping into things is actually part of the game!
Parappa the Rapper
Available on: Playstation 1, PSP, Playstation 4 (2017)
Parappa The Rapper is credited with being the game that revolutionized the rhythm genre. You don’t have to move characters or learn controls, you simply press buttons in time with the beats in the song. Couldn’t be more straight forward and all you need is a little internal timing. Why on earth would this be considered fun? Well, it’s focus is the music, and in Parappa the Rapper, the tunes are a smorgasbord of silliness. Having rap battles with anthropomorphic onions, frogs and moose, while you sing about karate, baking cakes, and trying to make it to the bathroom before you explode. What’s not to love? Even if you have little to no musical ability you’ll be able to conquer the game, while hearing one of the best video game sound tracks ever.
Each of these games are from a different genre, but they can be enjoyed by gamers and non gamers alike. Are there more out there besides this list? Of course! Just make sure when you plan on introducing someone to our little hobby of video games, whatever you pick, don’t put too much pressure on them to perform well. Keep it simple and keep it fun!