The Five Games I Shouldn't Have Been Playing During My Holidays

When you finally get the chance to go on holiday and take a break from your 9 to 5 routine, it's generally a good idea to distance yourself from things that remind you of your job. For me there are two big ones: the internet in general.

And video games.

I recently took a holiday and I had a grand plan: I would not play video games for two weeks. This would be a nice, healthy little break from all the things I associate with work.

I failed miserably, and five specific games were the culprit.

Here they are in order of the time I spent playing them.

1. 2048

Well this is embarrassing.

I truly wish there was another game atop this list, but there isn't. Friends, this is the game I spent most gaming time playing over my holidays. I am so ashamed.

There is an explanation. I spent a lot of my holiday on the move. I went to the Sunshine Coast for a week, I visited multiple different tourist attractions, I sat on ferries, on trains, in cars. Whenever I was bored (which was often) I would start playing 2048.

But let me clarify something: I'm not ashamed of playing 2048 because it's 'not a real game' (I hate that kind of thinking). I'm ashamed of playing 2048 because it's a dirty, dirty goddamn clone that I've somehow found myself getting addicted to. I can't help myself. This game is like meth. It's cheaply made, bad for you, bad for society, and it's a crappy, lab made derivative of something far better.


2. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

This game has been quite the palate cleanser.

When Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was first released, I was knee deep in Dark Souls, wading through the first game in anticipation of the second. I knew I would come back to Tropical Freeze, it was just a matter of time.

I wasn't disappointed. Tropical Freeze's predecessor set quite the precedent — I believe it might have been the best 2D platformer of the last generation — but this game somehow seems to ramp up the brilliant level design and continues with its ballsy need to implement one new mind-bending idea per level. Incredible.

Hopefully, Tropical Freeze doesn't get lost. I'm hoping that the grand success of Mario Kart 8 will drag people towards the game in droves, because it really deserves to be played. Retro Studios remains one of my favourite studios currently making video games, this is just another feather in their cap.

3. Mario Kart 8

I think we can all agree that Mario Kart 8 is the dog's bollocks. We can agree on that, can't we?

But strangely enough, I spent my first hour with Mario Kart roundly dismissing it. Boring, flaccid, same-old-shit. These are the words that populated the mini-mind-map I created in my imagination as I raced around the first couple of tracks. Then, at one point, I just began vomiting rainbow moonbeams. Mario Kart 8 is probably my favourite Mario Kart since at least Mario Kart DS, possible since the original Super Mario Kart. Yeah. I went there.

Why is it so great? I'd say it's a combination of two things: the controls (which are the end point of decades of tweaking) and the level design, which is completely sublime.

4. Bonza

My parents are over from Scotland visiting, which was the reason for my holiday to begin with. My Dad likes crosswords, so I showed him the Australian iOS game Bonza.

Just to be clear — my Dad hates games. All games. He doesn't understand technology. He literally does not know how to turn a computer on.

But all he does now is play Bonza. Therein lies the problem. My Dad gets stuck. A lot. Therefore I've been constantly helping him out so he doesn't spend all of his money on goddamn microtransactions.

I am a good son.

5. Trials Fusion

I 'accidentally' turned this on for five minutes. Everyone glared at me. My wife told me to turn it off.

I turned it off.



    Is it wrong I enjoy Trials Frontier on mobile more than Fusion?

    Last edited 05/06/14 10:03 am

      I'm still having issues connecting so the slot machine isn't working often, but that game is pretty good. Sure you have to work with the F2P mechanics and non skippable ads are going to upset some people. In total I've spent $3.49 on that game for the bundle of diamonds and coins that are on special and that's worth it just to make it a little easier. If you don't get all ragey at the F2P stuff it's an awesome game. Because of all the bike unlocks and upgrades, I don't focus on leaderboard times as i'm still progressing, but it has HEAPS of content, tons of tracks and it's just fun. I look at the challenges like I did with the missions on Jetpack Joyride and just a good way to kill some time and give you a goal to work towards.

      Once I get my connection issues sorted and start commuting to work again, I'll get back into it more.

        I found (on Android) if it's giving you internet issues you do a proper force close (not using an app killer, you go into the settings and proper force close it) this usually gets the internet back in sync. I haven't had any major issues with the uplay integration but it's a major pain and it's good to see its as bad on mobile as PC.

          ahhh, the good 'ol - "have you tried turning it off and on again"

          I second this suggestion - If you don't hook up to uplay when you first turn on the game it is glitchy for all the online stuff. Also I found the android version less annoying than the ios version for some reason - it felt less grindy, but it is probably exactly the same but felt quicker because I didn't waste cash or gems second time around. I have just unlocked the tier 3 tracks, and it is ridiculously addictive because I just know there is going to be a crossover with fusion at some stage that I want to know about..... I am playing frontier more than fusion because a) I still have some story to do on frontier, b) fusion is deeply irritating me (rock of rages, I hate you), and c) my tv is stuck on ABC2 and ABC3 (Slugterra.... new addiction of my 7 year old and 4 year old... if you have young boys, iview it.... it is pretty cool (yes I have got to that stage of enjoying kids cartoons and have chosen to embrace it....)
          The F2P aspects of frontier are a necessary evil - As a gaming society we have chosen to force people down this route. I would prefer more ads in games to grindy mechanics, but everyone feels differently on this so it is a no win situation for the makers.... whatever you do you irritate people....

            There is already a cross over ;) you unlock a new rider suit for each game lol

          still not working. I've already uninstalled also but no luck. I also tried on wifi and 4G. I've raised a support ticket so I'll see if they have any suggestions.

      I was enjoying trials frontier - until it told me that "upgrading bikes is a serious business and requires an internet connection". WTF. Why do I need an internet connection to upgrade my bike? I have the money, I have the part I need, let me upgrade it.

      I mostly play these games on my WiFi Nexus 7 while on the train, hence no internet access unless I tether to my phone.

    I make games for a living. In my spare time, I like playing video games.

    I don't think you should distance yourself from your passions and stuff you enjoy when away from work if you actually work in a field you enjoy and have passion for.

    Hopefully, Tropical Freeze doesn’t get lost. I’m hoping that the grand success of Mario Kart 8 will drag people towards the game in droves, because it really deserves to be played.

    I picked up a Wii U last weeked as Mario Kart was finally the game to convince me to get one...however I've had my eye on DKC: TF ever since it was first announced. So I picked it up as part of my Wii U purchase, and will be getting into it soon!

    Last edited 05/06/14 10:24 am

    I had the same reaction to Mario Kart. At first I was like "Is this it?", but once I dialed up the difficulty to 150cc I loved it. I think its because they keep mixing up the handling, forcing us to remaster it.

    Side note, I'm loving that the Gamepad is subverting excessive motion controls in all the Wii U games.

    Dog’s bollocks are... a good thing? Crazy Scotsman.

    EDIT: And I just got to the end of the article. Genuine belly-LOLs. It's just so true! God I frigging love/hate Trials.

    Last edited 05/06/14 10:47 am

    I've got a question about 2048: Have you bought Threes? If it's basically the same game, why don't you shift over to Threes, give the devs some love, and rid yourself of the guilt?

      Hilariously, I bought the game just so I could feel less guilty, then went back to playing 2048.

      I got 2048 yesterday (being a Threes guy since the android release) and it's crazy how simple it is compared, in my third game of 2048 I reached tile 1024 just using the left, right, left, right.... Stuck, down method. This is compared to only reaching something like 500s in Threes

    I thought MK8 was pretty great, until I played it online with friends. Now I realise it's absolutely incredible and I think about it all day, it's all I want in life right now

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