Looking for a Computer Game Recommendation

As I’ve commented in the past, I am not a computer gamer. However, I’ve recently become curious about it. Can anyone recommend a good “starter” game that I could try? Capable of single player mode. Decent to demanding graphics (in terms of FPS). Playable from the keyboard. I don’t have any particular preferences about the subject.


We’re going to need more information about what you like?

Are you after a good story?
Do you want just was highhend graphics, or more artsy games okay?
What sort of pace? Very slow like chess, or fast like football?
What setting?
Do you want to just consume the game or ‘create’ stuff in it?


Call of Duty. The older remastered versions have single-player modes and timed missions which you complete within a short time. Loved it, sucked at it, and don’t play it anymore.


Hmmm… Guess this is more complicated than I thought. A well-developed story is obviously a plus, but I don’t mind good, clean, mindless fun (i.e., no coherent story). Also, don’t take that “clean” thing literally! I mentioned demanding graphics only because frame rate seems to correlate with how enjoyable some games are. I guess artsy is OK since this is sort of a trial for me. As for pace, I tend to be more deliberate rather than more hasty, but maybe a more action-oriented game would be a good change of pace? If by setting you mean the type of game… no clue what to say about that. Finally, I’m looking to consume the game, not create stuff (e.g., not Forge of Empires… I don’t think…)

Helpful, huh…?


Thanks! I’ll take a look at it…

Well, I just backed the Girl Genius: Adventures In Castle Heterodyne game on KickStarter, so feel I have to mention that:

and I’ve previously mentioned:

(and it’s currently on-sale)

For my part, my gaming is mostly role-playing games, and I mostly play on the Nintendo Switch, so options are limited to Xenoblade Chronicles (there are others, but none of the other games I was playing on the Wii made it over to the new system), and of course, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (though I’m still raging that Red Steel 2 didn’t get ported/doesn’t have a sequel) — I feel better about gaming when it’s motion-controlled and I can justify it on that basis. That said, I really need to start playing Ring Fit Adventure.

One venerable cross-platform option which I spend way too much time playing is Diablo 3 (I’d previously played 1 and 2 on PC) — it’s quite convenient to play on the Switch and is a pretty much mindless Rogue-like, though there is a story after a fashion.

The biggest time-investments are of course full-fledged RPGs, and I’d hate to think how much time I’ve spent playing the SSI Gold Box AD&D Games as well as Bioware’s Baldur’s Gate and its sequels and related games and mods. There’s a new v3 which I’ve chosen not to play, and I never managed to be successful with the 3D Neverwinter Nights games (though the first seemed promising when I first tried it on my Mac).

Every so often I wonder if I should track down some old arcade favourites, Joust, or Robotron, or Defender, or Tempest, but then I look at my list of unfinished projects/tasks…

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@SteveS Not sure if you’re into open world games, but Cyberpunk 2077 has apparently become decent. Starfield looks pretty nice, but people complain about the overuse of fast travel. Both games are kind of dark though, maybe you want something sunnier.

Loved Call of Duty. Ultimately, my life got so busy that I had to give it up. COD 4 was the last version I played. Best multiplayer shooter ever. It takes time to get good at, it’s better with a decent gaming rig and takes practice to maintain skills.

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I find myself drawn to very simple games you can play and be done with in 20 minutes. Tower defense stuff is a favorite. “Bloons 5” is silly and fun. Monkeys defending their lands against invading…, well, balloons.

I miss the days of Macromedia Flash. -But there are some which were ported to HTML 5 or otherwise survived the holocaust.

There’s a little game called, “Kingdom Rush” which still runs today. (Kongregate?) is a game server which still has it, I believe.

There’s also one called simply, “The Space Game”. It’s all about mining asteroids and setting up defense canons against invading pirate fleets. It’s cool. Last time I explore that, you needed something called…, um…, Flashpoint Infinity. It’s an emulator with a huge archive of Flash games.

The big games where you run around with a rifle from the player’s point of perspective are the big go-to if you want to be like all the cool kids.

I hear excellent things about the new Baldur’s Gate (sp?) release. D&D to drool over. I live next to a gamer, and he was practically dancing as he described it to me. The development was apparently a big global affair involving studios from around the world pouring their best and brightest into it. Might be worth a look.

@WillAdams @JoeS @Bronsky @thatcomicsguy

Thanks for all of your very helpful comments! I think this is clear proof why our site continues to flourish amid a sea of so-so “help” sites.

A few reactions:

@WillAdams : Thanks for your extensive comments. Inkulinati looks kind of interesting; I’ll check it out. I’ll put Diablo III on my short list, as well.

@JoeS : Hey, dark is OK. I’ll look at Starfield.

@Bronsky : COD is already on the list, but I’m not sure a shooter game will be most interesting to me because that overlaps somewhat into my real life.

@thatcomicsguy : You sound like we were brothers separated at birth! As an aside, I think it was interesting that you mentioned the “done in 20 minutes thing.” Unrelated to the subject of this thread, I’ve been interested to observe the rebirth of popularity of vinyl records. I’ve found that, at ~20 minutes playing time per side, a record is just about the perfect length of listening time while I complete some random task or chore around the house. I can’t say the same for CDs, which have always seemed too long to me. I always end up stopping them well before they are done. I must have tens of CDs that I’ve never heard the ends of !! But I majorly digress… I’ll take a look at Baldur’s Gate.


I’d recommend Civilization, a staple in the turn-based strategy genre. All the games in the series are excellent, though my favourite is probably II and its sci-fi spinoff, Alpha Centauri.

Civ II unfortunately doesn’t have a modern release, however Alpha Centauri is available on GOG.

As for what’s great about the series, they are the classic “thinking man’s” games without being overly tedious, capturing a mix of macro and micro-planning, set against a backdrop of human historical appreciation. Alpha Centauri in particular, adds to this formula a very rich and well-considered setting coupled with fantastic voice-overs.

For a more modern experience, I’d recommend V or VI, however there is something to be gained I think playing through the each entry in the series.

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I haven’t played desktop games in a long time. As far as full fledged desktop games goes, Civ III is probably the last one I played. At least, I think it was III, but Civ is fun, and I highly recommend if you like that sort of game. Another oldie but goodie is Skyrim.

Like @thatcomicsguy I’ve also done my fair share of short play tower defense games. Bloons is fun. My personal favorite was Desktop Tower Defense. I don’t know if there’s a way to play it nowadays.

A friend of mine who very much enjoys PC games told me about Hades sometime last year. It sounds pretty fun. IDK how many of your boxes it might check though.

My wife brought home a dusty turn table from her old bedroom at her parent’s house, along with a stack of vinyl records. One of the little fun things we’ve discovered to do together is raking through old record sections at novelty shops which sell that kind of stuff. (Posters and Tee shirts and stickers, and all the guys working there are waaaay cooler than any of us; they have tattoos and ear piercings).

I recently (and rather too enthusiastically) picked up a copy of the first Men at Work album, and Rush’s “Moving Pictures”. Showing my age. I also noticed that the 20 minute run time of a record is really appealing.

Also…, Tom Sawyer is somehow better on vinyl. And Men at Work isn’t an Australian band. They’re frickin’ Irish! Mind Blown.

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I’d honestly give Starfield a miss. It’s the same Bethesda stuff, just even more poorly written. It only gets somewhat better with NG+, which is about 20-30 hours of gameplay to unlock. The worst part is it’s a load of loading screens. I also think it looks ugly.

If you want an action adventure, then The Witcher series, Sleeping Dogs, Watch Dog series, Yakuza series (has lots of fun minigames in), Far Cry series, Just Cause series, Assassin’s Creed series (just choose one with a setting you like), Red Dead Redemption 2.

Shooters: Battlefield (I love Battlefield I), COD, Alpha Protocol, No One Lives Forever. James Bond Bloodstone is surprisingly good. Hitman might fit in here.

For turn-based: Baldur’s Gate, XCOM, Mario + Rabbids (Switch).

For strategy/sim builder: Tropico, Civilization, Total War (love Shogun 2), Anno, Evil Genius. Age of Empires is a classic - you might like IV, but I don’t.

Indie/small: A Short Hike.

If you have or get a Switch, or emulate those games (make sure to buy a copy), then Nintendo have a good selection.

That’s just a small selection of the many games and my personal preferences.


I’m a fan of the game Gone Home. It didn’t take too long to finish, solid graphics on an Intel IGP & a story that I liked. https://gonehome.com/

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Not an easy game to master but a great one nevertheless. Hitman sounds interesting. Assuming it is a shooter.

Well Hitman is… being a hitman.

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Always a dream of mine.

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…and in this dream someone pays you to run over an innocent Surface device.

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Horizon Zero Dawn was a good one I played recently. It had an engaging story, beautiful art style/graphics and I enjoyed the combat mechanics.