As someone who has logged thousands of hours playing various flight simulation games, it's safe to say that I have a love for aviation. I've always been fascinated by airplanes and can name all the different models. When I used to fly, I would listen to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) over my earbuds whenever possible, although it's a shame that most planes don't allow that anymore.
One of my earliest memories of aviation was going to the EAA Airventure air show in Oshkosh with my grandfather. It was an annual tradition for us to attend, and I was always in awe of the incredible aircraft on display. As I grew older, my love for aviation continued to flourish. When I was 16, I even drove my grandfather across the country from Utah to Oshkosh so that we could attend the air show together. We camped outside and had a blast.
So, it's no surprise that flight simulation games have always held a special place in my heart. They allow me to experience the joy of flying without leaving the comfort of my home. One of my all-time favorites is Microsoft Flight Simulator. I've played various versions over the years, from Flight Sim X to the more recent Microsoft Flight and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.
Flight Simulator 2020 is a true masterpiece. The graphics are absolutely stunning, and the attention to detail is remarkable. From the cockpit controls to the scenery below, everything is so incredibly realistic. It's easy to lose yourself in the experience and forget about the world around you. For me, playing Flight Simulator has always been a form of dissociation. When life gets tough, I can just hop in a virtual plane and soar above it all.
Despite my love for aviation, I've never actually pursued a career in the field. But flight simulation games have allowed me to live out that dream in a small way. They've provided me with countless hours of entertainment and a much-needed escape from the stresses of everyday life. And for that, I'm grateful.
I'm so excited to tell you all about one of my all-time favorite games, Chibi-Robo!: Plug into Adventure. This game has a special place in my heart, and I've spent countless hours playing it over the years.
Released almost 20 years ago for the Nintendo GameCube, Chibi-Robo!: Plug into Adventure is a hidden gem that's worth discovering. It's a game that's often overlooked, but those who have played it know just how special it is.
At its core, Chibi-Robo!: Plug into Adventure is a game about family, relationships, and the struggles of everyday life. The game's story tackles some heavy themes like ending relationships, abuse, neglect, danger, and uncertainty, but it does so in a way that's still fun and enjoyable.
You play as Chibi, a small robot who's tasked with cleaning up a house and making its inhabitants happy. Along the way, you'll meet a cast of colorful characters, including Jenny, the neglected daughter in the story who becomes the real hero of the game.
The gameplay is excellent, and the 3D world is put together nicely. The sound design is especially noteworthy, with textures that you can feel through your ears. It's a unique experience that you won't find in any other game.
Over the years, Chibi-Robo!: Plug into Adventure has received positive reviews for its storytelling and gameplay. It's not afraid to tackle real-world issues, and it does so in a way that's both entertaining and meaningful. The game even spawned a sequel in Japan called Chibi-Robo!: Clean Sweep! and a spin-off title called Okaeri! Chibi-Robo! Happy Richie Ōsōji!.
If you're looking for a game that's more than just surface-level fun, then you need to check out Chibi-Robo!: Plug into Adventure. It's a Nintendo classic that deserves more recognition, and I can't recommend it enough.
I gotta say, I'm not an RPG person. No matter how many times I try to get into one, I get lost in the 10-20 minute non-playable intro. I get bored and uninterested in the characters, story, and setting before they even become manipulatable by the player. But there's one RPG that always brings me back: Mario Golf: Advance Tour for the Game Boy Advance.
You might be thinking, "Hold on a minute, I thought this was a golf game!" And you wouldn't be wrong - mixed into the story is the entire game of golf. But what sets it apart is how captivating the game is, even for someone like me who doesn't particularly enjoy sports. The story itself is lackluster and forgettable, but the golf courses are a lot of fun to play through stroke by stroke.
The Mario-themed courses are a joy to explore, and talking to all the Goombas and other characters you encounter along the way is a blast. The controls are simple and easy to pick up, but mastering the game takes real skill and strategy. Plus, there's just something about seeing Mario, Luigi, and the gang in golf gear that never fails to put a smile on my face.
Despite being released over 15 years ago, Mario Golf: Advance Tour has held up remarkably well. Critics praised the game's addictive gameplay, charming graphics, and excellent use of the Mario universe. It currently has an 85% rating on Metacritic, which is no small feat.
All in all, Mario Golf: Advance Tour is a game that I keep coming back to, year after year. It's the perfect blend of RPG and sports game, and it's just plain fun. If you're a fan of the Mario universe, golf games, or just great gameplay in general, I highly recommend giving this classic game a try.
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ is a classic game that has kept my attention for years. It's a collection of super short "microgames" that last only a few seconds each, and every few seconds the game switches to something almost entirely different. This keeps my brain engaged and my attention focused.
The game starts off easy enough, but as you progress, the microgames get faster and the difficulty increases, throwing you into pure bliss. I feel concentrated and able to manage each tiny game so well. I've played this game in various forms throughout the years, from the Game Boy Advance to the DS.
One of the things I love about WarioWare, Inc. is the cast of quirky characters. There's Wario, of course, the greedy and mischievous owner of the company, as well as his friends and employees, like the ninja duo Kat and Ana, the alien Orbulon, and the disco-loving couple 9-Volt and 18-Volt.
This game has a worldwide following and has even spawned several sequels and spin-offs. It's the perfect fidget toy for my ADHD brain, and I've spent countless hours playing it. I even remember bringing it with me on a family trip to the Florida Keys and playing it throughout the entire journey, except when I was diving below the ocean waves. Give it a try, even if it's just for 10 seconds at a time, and I'm sure you'll find it just as addictive as I do.
I have played Minecraft off and on for the last 11 years or so. I remember rushing home from school to go play this game in my friends home theater. It was in the earlier days of the game when simple was simpler. The first time I ever played, my "friends" didn't tell me any controls. I fell down a pit with no understanding of how to escape. I distinctly remember not sleeping the night before. IDK, maybe it was that I was experiencing a lot of shit. Maybe it's my nicotine addiction that started at this time. My sleep deprivation was stronger than my will to escape the pit. I passed the fuck out on this persons couch. I woke up hours later to the mom of a friend just saying everyone left. They did not give two shits about me. I don't think about them anymore now except moments like these.
They weren't my friends for very long yet I still played hundreds of hours of Minecraft with these people. Our relationship came to a halt when I secretly coreographed the ass-whopping for someone in the outer circle of the group. Honestly, I too was in the outer circle of the group so it was easy for them to kick me out of their boyband. These mormon dumbasses had nothing better to do than judge me as an outsider the entire time. Judging me for my decisions as a failing adolescent. Pricks.
Despite my negative experiences with some of the people I played with, Minecraft has managed to capture the hearts of millions of players around the world. It's been translated into multiple languages and has gained a massive following in countries like China, where it has sold over a million copies. Its success can be attributed to its simplicity and endless possibilities. Whether you're building a massive castle or exploring a vast cave system, the game allows you to create your own unique experiences.
Over the years, Minecraft has received numerous awards and accolades. It won the Game Developers Choice Award for Best Debut Game in 2011, and has since won several more awards, including the BAFTA Games Award for Best Family Game in 2015. Its popularity has even led to the creation of Minecraft-themed merchandise and spin-off games, like Minecraft: Story Mode and Minecraft Dungeons. It's clear that Minecraft has left a lasting impact on the gaming industry and continues to be beloved by players of all ages and backgrounds.
Cut into my existence like you're examining the cross-section of a sandwich featured on TikTok. Examine the gooey, soft bits and the crunchy, crusty bread. What do you see?
In every which way, I see video gaming in my life. Games have always been there to dissociate me from some early pains as a child. My DS Lite kept me company and hushed my cowering mind. It reassured me that my current existence was not the only one available. As such, I've molded my life into a funnel and filter. I direct all my energy towards what makes me most comfortable. Video games make it through to the bottom and pass the filter. They bring me lasting relief, comfort, and escape.
As you read about these games that mean so much to me, please consider what makes you happy and excited. Let's celebrate our shared love for the joy and comfort that video games bring into our lives.