Your favorite newbie gamer is back with some new recommendations for you! The theme of this post: late to the party. Not only am I discovering gaming later in life than most, I’m discovering the most popular video game genres later than most people. Read on to discover which iconic video game universes I finally tried and loved in 2020. (Not mentioned: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — see Wes’ great post about that one.) The second theme of this post is: never too late! If I can achieve my childhood dreams through gaming as an adult, you can too. So don’t be afraid to give these games a try; they’re tested and approved by the clumsiest new gamer there is — me.
First: I heartily recommend Zumba: Burn It Up as a fun exercise game. Yes, I’m definitely late to the Zumba trend, but it was worth the wait. What I really liked about it was the ability to practice Zumba moves and get comfortable with them in the privacy of my own home, on my own schedule. With the video game format, there’s even a degree of feedback that you get to help you improve. Maybe someday I’ll drag my hermit self into a Zumba class, but right now I love being able to do fun things on my own without having to schedule it in and survive crowds and awkwardness. If you’re like me and you’ve always wanted to try Zumba but never had the time, check out this game for a nice intro.
Second: I’m not proud of this, but it’s taken me until now to finally break into Pokémon. Again, I always wanted to be a part of the fandom, but could never figure out how. Well, now I’ve found at least one way to experience it: with Let’s Go Pikachu or Let’s Go Evee for Nintendo Switch. It’s an accessible game for those new to both video games and the Pokémon universe, with good tutorials and fairly intuitive gameplay. It’s low-pressure with achievable goals, and for that reason fairly addictive! Also, as I always suspected, the Pokémon are incredibly adorable and fun to interact with, which never hurts. If you want to finally achieve a childhood dream (like me), relive your fond childhood memories, or introduce someone new to a cute and fun world of training and battles, I definitely recommend one of the Let’s Go games.
Finally, as a bonus for anyone who’s super bored with my newbie enthusiasm for established games, I want to share a quick summary of a fun genre I’ve discovered that hopefully is new(er) to you: the visual novel game. In my opinion it’s a great fusion of video game and novel. The story is engaging, the visuals are good, the mood is restful, but you have to take action to move the story forward, immersing you in the narrative. My favorite from the library is Arcade Spirits, a romantic comedy visual novel where your customized character finds purpose, friendship, love and fun working at the local arcade.
Another type of visual novel game is the murder mystery. As a big reader of murder mysteries, especially historical or classic murder mysteries, these games’ style and story are a great fit, and the gameplay gives me good practice working through puzzles. For a version of this game genre available from the library, try Deadly Premonitions: Origins, where you help a detective investigate the murder of a young woman in a small town.