Earlier this year we ran a list of games that are really good to play on low-end laptops. But something that's just as important when you're away from home or travelling are games that you can play without having to use a mouse at all. So to avoid the horrors of scrolling on trackpads, here's 11 games that play just fine with a keyboard or arrow keys.
Epistory stars a girl and a giant fox, who journey together trying to battle a corruption throughout the land. It's an adventure game controlled entirely by typing the words on screen, wrapped around a colourful paper world.
Released last year by Fishing Cactus, whose since moved on to Shift Quantum, the action/adventure has a 96% user rating from almost 700 reviews on Steam. Mikey also played it on release, and you can read more about what that's like here.
I've never typed so hard in my life.
One Must Fall: 2097
True story: Epic's classic robot brawler was the first thing I installed when I bought my first proper laptop. (My actual first laptop was a Chromebook, which couldn't run DOSBox.) I've made sure there's a copy on every laptop I've ever owned since, because it's the perfect travel companion.
It's the best fighting game released on PC, period. If you wish to argue, continue so below.
I'm going on a flight to Japan over the weekend, and as a result I'll be needing something to occupy me should the in-air entertainment be a bore. Fortunately, there's been one game happily residing on my laptop ever since I purchased it, and that one game is what I'm paying tribute to.
If you're after modern games that only use keyboard controls, indie platformers are usually the place to go. Super Hexagon has been around for years, so you can pick it up - at full price - for a measly $US2.99.
It's a game about handling pressure, maintaining your grace while under the pump. Be warned: it's pretty addictive.
A roguelike game where you move - and attack - to the beat of the music, Crypt of the NecroDancer is just really, really clever. The core mechanic means the player and enemies get to move with every beat, but if you skip a beat, then different penalties start to come into play.
The footage above is a good indication of how a regular NecroDancer run can go. Make sure you watch through to around 6 minutes 35 seconds in the run when the player meets the shopkeeper for the first time. It's brilliant.
Crypt of the Necrodancer is already tough, but what speedrunner SpootyBiscuit recently pulled off is remarkable. No one has done it, and not even the developers can really believe it happened.
If you're the kind of person who gets super stressed by timers and deadlines, Cook, Serve, Delicious! is probably best avoided. But if you're the kind who relaxes through a lot of fast paced repetition - like typing or lots of rapid button presses - then the chef's life is for you.
Both CSD games are on Steam, and the first is on mobiles. Neither requires any mouse input. The game is really about pattern recognition and remembering what buttons equate to what ingredients every time an order comes in. Everything is clearly explained, but the quicker your memory, the easier you'll deal with orders.
I mean, it's Pac-Man. But if you're going to play any PAC-MAN, Championship Edition DX+ is as solid as they get. There's a free demo on Steam as well, if you don't want to invest in the full thing.
Modern racers are better with a controller, but you don't play Burnout Paradise to hit every apex perfectly. Paradise will run on integrated graphics reasonably well with the settings down, and there's plenty of billboards to smash and races to bugger up to last you many, many train trips or flights.
It goes without saying that a game reliant on typing words to kill zombies doesn't really need a mouse.
Even still, everyone really should play Typing of the Dead. The only thing that could make it better would be, well, more Typing of the Dead.
Sure, you could play this with a mouse. But you can also play the ancient shoot-em-up just fine with a keyboard, the way most people did back in 1995.
Terminal Reality's classic is on phones as well, but it's best played when your thumbs aren't blocking half the screen.
If you're at a LAN in Australia, and your mouse is buggered, never fear. Because as soon as the sun starts to drop, you can bet the house that someone in the room will eventually fire up the time honoured classic, FlatOut 2.
I've actually only ever see one person play this with a controller at LANs. I'm sure it's probably better, but when you're trying to t-bone a ute with a school bus, that's not really the point.
Like Super Hexagon, there's a ton of platformers over the last few years that can be played rather competently with just a keyboard. Campbell from Gizmodo suggested Super Meat Boy, but something that's even more native to the SHIFT and SPACE keys is the Japanese indie Downwell.
If you're the kind of person who enjoys Spelunky, Nuclear Throne or action roguelikes in general, this should be in your Steam library. You can play it on phones as well, and so it just depends on what experience you like. Personally, I'd rather not be stressed while sitting on the loo.
Falling down in video games is usually a bad thing. Spikes wait for you at the bottom of many a playfield, along with bottomless pits, pools of lava and other instadeath hazards. But, falling down is a joy in Downwell. The deeper you go, the better -- and harder -- it gets.
The story of Binding of Isaac's ARG is perhaps the best when it comes to ARGs, second perhaps only to Trials. And while you don't have to play the game to enjoy the amount of detail behind McMillen's mysteries.
But Isaac a ferociously tight action RPG. And the more you play, the more enjoyment you'll get out of this insane tale.
Last time we checked on The Binding of Isaac community, a glitch caused people to believe the game's missing content was part of a giant conspiracy. Instead, it was just a glitch. But in the last few days, culminating in a real-life search of Santa Cruz, California, fans did band together to solve a grand mystery.
If you're stuck to keyboard controls, retro games are generally your best bet. They were designed with the keyboard in mind, but not all of them play that well in 2017.
Case in point: the recent remake of Raptor: Call of the Shadows. Another title published by Apogee back in the day, it's the original version of the top-down shooter that plays best. Good Old Games only sells the updated version, but you can buy the original for bugger all on Steam.