Games for non-Game Enjoyers who wish to become Game Enjoyers

I have this friend who REALLY wants to get into video games. He finds them real cool but he's never had much contact with them. Added to that, he suffers from OCD, and because of that many games end up giving him anxiety, specially games that require collecting a shit ton of stuff (SPECIALLY when that stuff is a bunch of text logs that he feels like he has to read front to back).

I recommended him A Short Hike, which he loved. He's also a fan of Call of Cthulhu and The Sinking City. So I figured a nice idea is to recommend some more cozy and/or more narrative focus games.

That being said, I saw he gawking at DMC 5 the other day, so I think he wants to become a hardcore gamer type of game liker. I figure it would also be nice to slowly recommend more action focused stuff that won't stress him out by having complex upgrade systems and whatnot (he despises skilltrees (as we all should)).

Any recommendations? He's playing on PC btw!

(also this can be a thread for nice introductory games in general)

I would consider myself a DMC series fan, and also really enjoyed the Ninja Theory DmC. I think the definitive edition might be a good entry point into the character action genre if that‘s what he has his eyes on, but the style is really gonna clash with whatever he’s seen of 5, so I dunno.

not an action game but 80 Days I think (narrative game, branches choice but playthroughs are short you can just try different choices next restart)

what about _Ico_ and _Shadow of the Colossus_? Action games but simple inputs and nothing really to collect or upgrade

edit - not PC sorry maybe they can emulate

What about testing the waters with some good, modern beat-them-ups? They're simple and satisfying.

Streets of Rage 4, Ninja Turtles Shredder's Revenge, River City Girls 2, etc.

I think a perfect gateway into action games would be Bastion. He can play on keyboard and mouse, it‘s very tutorialized, and its a good game to bond over. Plus if he likes that, I think it’s a good stepping stone to something like Hades which has good meta progression so, even though he won‘t be good at the start, he will get rewarded for it, and it has a very satisfying learning curve. I think there’s also an assist mode.

Probably best to just try a variety of classic games with long lasting appeal. Shining Force II, SMB3 and SM64, Wave Race, Final Fantasy 6, Resident Evil 2, your Zeldas and Dragon Quests, Deus Ex, any fighting games. Any game is entry level when it costs 3 bucks on GoG or you can warm it up in an emulator.

This might be my own game-liking biases coming through, but perhaps point-and-click adventure type games might be interesting for them? Perhaps not the older ones with brutal puzzles, but last year‘s Return To Monkey Island, Excavation Of Hob’s Barrow, and Case Of The Golden Idol may all be good to try.

(Golden Idol isn't really an “adventure game” but it fits here for this discussion just fine I think)

If he wants to play DMC feels like it is too much, try Bayonetta. On default difficulty it will definitely be too much but it has very customisable difficulty settings and casual mode does auto combos. This will let him get used to the bombast and the flow of an action game and then he can up the difficulty.

Resident Evil 4 or 5 are slower paced shooting action games that might be good. You can't move and shoot so the pace of the game is slowed right down. 5 has lots of difficulty settings and a coop partner that will take some of the pressure off.

i wonder how he'd take to a cinematic platformer like inside.

and i'd second @"rejj"#455 's suggestion of a point and click adventure. my first thought from the title was _riven_, which, yes, is sorta partway through the story, but not really and it holds up better than _myst_.

along similar lines is what's-it-called, _superliminal_. that and _inside_ could be good because they can be played in one or a few sittings.

has he ever played _minecraft_? everyone likes it.

oh, also everyone likes red dead redemption 2, but it's got lots going on.

@“pasquinelli”#p102556 RDR2 is a weird one, cause I think the cinematic/storytelling elements are really appealing for non-gamers but the dated Rockstar game design could be a very confusing experience. Like, you get turned around in the mission and run off in the wrong direction, suddenly the screen goes black and white and you've failed the mission. There is a lot of gamey stuff like that which I think to most “gamers” is just an annoyance but to someone new is completely baffling.

Having a wee browse through my Steam library a few spring to mind that may be suitable:

Sonic Generations
Recettear
Mighty Gunvolt games
Momodora games
Never Alone
Gunpoint
Steamworld games
Guacamelee

it's always interesting to hear how different people approach these things and what people respond to.

my gf is not much of a gamer but if she ever does play a game she'll only play shooting games (and sometimes sim games) and she's immediately off-board if there's too much story. like we played left 4 dead 2 and that was perfect, but then i saw Gears 4 was on game pass and had PC split-screen so we tried that and after 30 minutes she was like "i hate all these scenes where you're not playing the game, can we stop?" then we played a bunch of back 4 blood. also played cod multiplayer for a while.

i dunno man, elden ring got my gf (who usually sticks to animal crossing and mario kart) to the end game boss rush. she did then declare “too hard” and hasn't touched it in a while. we also beat both resi7 and 8 controller-swapping.

honestly i think a prior non-gaming interest is the real gateway. how many people buy a new console primarily for fifa/racing games and only then get into more game-liker-y games? you like star wars or spider-man? batman? check out those games. they have accessibility options now!

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@“IncompatibleKaiser”#p102540 Any game is entry level when it costs 3 bucks on GoG or you can warm it up in an emulator

I agree with the spirit of this, though have found it somewhat counterintuitively difficult to engage with more complex games that demand so little buy-in from the player. You download Fire Emblem 4 and go "whoa buddy, this is a WHOLE VIDEO GAME, I am not ready for this." Deus Ex for example might just roll right off you if you aren't ready to sit down and figure it out for an hour or two. Fear of buyer's remorse can be a pretty strong motivator to figure a complex game out, so when everything is free or otherwise easily available (AS IT SHOULD BE, don't misunderstand) what is a good way to quickly, elegantly forecast how much energy a player needs to put in to get on board with a game?

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@“Chopemon”#p102553 Resident Evil 4

Great answer. The inventory management system might not jell right with your buddy's OCD _or_ it might scratch an itch he never knew he had... (hello)

@“captain”#p102586 well, might I suggest to you Save Room. A pretty cheap puzzle game based around the Resi 4 inventory. Great little puzzler.

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is it ethical to help a non-gamer become a gamer though? should we be doing this

@“yeso”#p102600 no ethical recommendations under capitalism

@“yeso”#p102600 no.

I will second Bastion is a good one, because its somewhat limited in what you can do. I'm fearful Hades has too many things to unlock.

I have not played DMC5 but I did play all the earlier ones and they were pretty good because it was mostly like, if you win you win, skill tree is just like linear almost?

I would avoid any game with secrets because what is a secret, if not something that must be discovered at all costs and ruins your life? I would avoid any game with the illusion of making decisions, because what is a decision if not a requirement that one must go back and replay that part of the game to determine the other outcome. I would avoid cyberpunk 2077.

so much stuff!!! thank you so much for all the recommendations everyone <3 i'll give updates regarding my friends pro gamer career

@"yeso"#p102600 i mulled over this for a while but he just seemed so excited. i saw in his eyes the gleam of a child who just got their xbox for christmas filled with innocence and ignorance that they're about to become a bonafide racist thanks to xbox live