No, I’m not talking about “sexy” games, necessarily. But what games feel like they were made for mature, discerning adults?
Some games feel like they’re made for the whole family. Nintendo games spring to mind, of course, and a sterling example is Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics on the Switch.
Other games feel like they’re obviously made for kids. You could argue that licensed games fall into this category, but that’s hopefully only true of kids with clueless parents or gift-givers. Maybe a better example would be the best Kirby games (again, Nintendo, I know), which are gently challenging, but still mostly forgiving.
Way too many games have historically felt like they’re designed for white or Japanese teenage boys, though thankfully, this trend seems to be going away.
Anyway, now that I’m an old (35) man with two little kids, I find myself appreciating games that feel as though they’ve been tailored to someone with my declining appetite for intensity. I am very nearly Outside of the Target Demographic, and enjoying it! I’m not at the point where new music sounds like “just noise” to me, but I do listen to a lot of new stuff and think, “well, I hope the kids enjoy it, but it’s not for me.”
Recently, I’ve been getting into Gran Turismo Sport (Spec II), and it’s what inspired me to talk about this topic. It feels less like a “video game” and more like an expertly-crafted “consumer experience.” The menus are slick and navigable. The in-game text reads like it was written for a sensible human being, and not someone who’s spent years (or decades) internalizing what an R3 button is. The soundtrack is a lot of smooth jazz and easy-listening (with some edgier stuff thrown in occasionally). But above all, it feels expensive and luxurious.
If Super Mario Odyssey is a tropical fruit smoothie, then Gran Turismo Sport is aged Macallan Sherry Oak whisky.
Gran Turismo Sport feels like it was made for the kind of person who’d gladly spend hundreds of dollars on a copy of the game, a PS4 Pro, maybe a steering wheel controller, and be satisfied never purchasing another game.
What other games feel like they were made for grown-ups?