I want to find a game my dad will like.

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#1 Posted by Slaps2 (638 posts) -

Ok, dudettes and duders...

My dad was born in 1948. He just turned 70. My mother, at the spry age of 67, loves Tetris. I'm going back home this winter and I want to find a game that the old man will finally like. Suffice to say, he does not have the hand/eye skills to play too many modern games. He's kind of a workaholic and this (admittedly) is a real impossible task, but I think with the help of GB, we can find a piece of interactive entertainment he will like.

About him, he knew Arthur C. Clarke personally. Gravity and Apollo 13 are his favorite movies. He played flight sims about 15 years ago. He might like science fiction with a slight lean towards science. Even so, I am open to hearing about any games non-gamers tend to like, generally.

To Be Updated: I know he is a sucker for movies. He gets hit real hard over father-son stuff. Even more generally, I will try to update the thread with stuff that I know he likes via bulleted list.

  • Iron Giant
  • Super 8

To Also Be Updated: This is another bulleted list of games I think my dad may like.

  • Portal
  • Ori and The Blind Forest on easy (might be a stretch)

I would really love to see him beat a game without any help or at least find some game he really loves. It would be a real amazing moment between us. He has 44.5 years on me and I would love to share this awesome hobby with him. Thanks guys.

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#2 Posted by Charongreed (111 posts) -

I would first suggest something easy and coop, like Brothers or Castle Crashers. Maybe Human Fall Flat, if he's into goofiness? Or Stardew Valley. If its something you guys can play together, I think he'd be more apt to stick to it. Space wise, Kerbal Space Program sounds like he could have a lot of fun with it, but I wonder if he has the patience to learn the interface and everything else to get to the fun of it. You could screen share it and still sort of play together, but the work to set that up is on his side so that might be rough. The Room and the Room 2 are both pretty simple and really interesting, but they can be difficult to puzzle out if you aren't really very comfortable on a mouse and keyboard.

If he's a sucker for movies, more heavily story driven game might play too. Is he primarily into space or science stuff, or does he have a broad range he likes? Maybe Rebel Galaxy? Vertiginous Golf is a little more strange and steampunk but is sort of in that vein. If he likes comedy, Jazzpunk or McPixel are fast and goofy and easy to understand.

How computer literate is he? If he's at least comfortable on one, then something like a 4x game or a tactics game could appeal, but I think your best chance is approaching it as something you guys can do together, hopefully even something your mom will enjoy watching/playing too.

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#3 Posted by MetalBaofu (1705 posts) -

You saying he likes movies made me think about stuff with more story than game play. Specifically, A Way Out. It has to be played coop, so you could play together, and I enjoyed the story a good bit. Been awhile since I played it(when it came out), so I don't really remember how demanding any of the action sequences are, though.

You didn't mention platform, but I thought about Detroit, too. It has the science fiction thing and even if he messes up during an action sequence the game just keeps going. Also, Until Dawn, but replace the science fiction part with horror/suspense.

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#4 Posted by Anthenagin (10 posts) -

Do you think he'd be into turn based stuff? If he hasn't played many games in the past I'd consider Into the Breach, XCom Enemy Unknown.

If not turn based maybe , Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, The Witness, Until Dawn

all of those games are pretty easy to play and probably pretty safe for most people who don't play games.

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#5 Posted by The_Nubster (4233 posts) -

Do not let him play Portal. FPS games are a very, very rough introduction for people who don't play games, and the mechanics of Portal don't ever show up anywhere else in video games ever, unless your dad somehow has played Narbacular Drop or until the end of Darksiders. I tried to have an ex of mine play Portal and she got stuck floating between a floor and a wall, got motion sick, and threw the controller in my lap so I could do it for her.

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#6 Posted by Dichemstys (3928 posts) -

Do you think maybe there's a JRPG out there for him?

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#7 Posted by BoFooQ (1113 posts) -

I would suggest the tell tale games, you could pick which one fits his personality best. walking dead is great and borderlands was also good, but I like borderlands. I have gotten my sister who doesn't play games but loved walking dead to play two seasons of that. There is very little action, its more like interactive movie. So if he hasn't played many these can be easy way to get started and don't take long to get all the way through. QTEs will help teach buttons too. If he gets all the way through one game he would like want to try another than slowly push more involved games.

I love Xcom too, and turned based stuff should be good cause there's no rush and you can move at whatever pace or put controller down whenever. The only thing I would say against xcom is they're a little janky, and not the best at explaining everything. However put it on easy and almost everyone can get through.

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#8 Posted by wollywoo (281 posts) -

Bit of a stereotype, I suppose, but most 70-year-old men I know, such as my dad, would not be into games that

- require fast reaction times

- involve camera management or dual-analog controls

- have convoluted stories or long cut scenes

He might like games that involve puzzle solving without having to directly control a character. I'd recommend Fantastic Contraption. A great free flash game involving building things to solve physics puzzles. Can confirm that this is one of a very few games that my dad likes, and he is over 70.

Into the Breach might be a good suggestion too, as the chess-like gameplay is pretty straightforward to pick up. It will take him longer to learn than someone who often plays games, since we are trained to quickly scan the screen to pick out all the relevant cues, but after the initial hour or so he might be hooked.

Also, maybe

The Room

Opus Magnum

Human Resource Machine

Cities: Skylines

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#9 Edited by Narx (221 posts) -

Having just had a 62 years old who just started gaming himself, I put him on Donkey Kong on the NES. Keep playing until you get pass level 3 and 2 weeks later he did it and was crazy about it. He started looking at videos about how other people do it and he got himself a huge confidence boost on the handling on the controller. He said he played about an hour per day here and there.

He's now moving on to Super Mario Brothers on the NES and is going nuts about the fact that Mario runs and thrilled about the mushroom giving him an additional chance. He seems interested by Castlevania as well but understood the additional complexity of "attacking" enemies and stuff.

My goal is to eventually move him all the way up to the Nintendo Switch. I don't think he's ever gonna get interested with big story games but he seems to connect a lot with run-based games or those focused on the gameplay purely with minimal story.

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#10 Posted by MerxWorx01 (871 posts) -

I'm going to say David Cage games, like starting off with Heavy Rain. The story is literally a father trying to save his son. It's like a movie where he gets to interact with things that usually don't require intense familiarity with the controls... Barring a few scenes. There are key prompts everywhere and if there is a way he can play it on easy that would be best.

I'd also recommend something like Mario vs Rabbids if you have a switch. Easy to explain but not all that cerebral.

Also I would most definitely suggest Subnautica on easy or creative mod. It's a beautiful exploration game with strange biomes to explore and creature to see. Turning off the difficulty will turn the game into a fun sightseeing game...

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#11 Posted by Jaalmo (1750 posts) -

I'm going to say Civilization? Hearts of Iron? Railroad Tycoon? Football Manager? Cities Skylines? When I think of a typical 70 year old man. I think something that is very down to earth, based in reality with little to no story. The listed games will allow him to take his time learning the controls, mechanics. They are relatively easy to play, or can be made to be.

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#12 Posted by meteora3255 (681 posts) -

Does he like sports? I mean like at the level of keeping his own stats in baseball or dreaming up fake NBA trades. If so there are plenty of games where he can manage a team without having to master the complex controls of the game. Even the big boys like Madden and NBA 2K let you sim/coach games and run the team.

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#13 Posted by nutter (2193 posts) -

Being his age, with little-to-no game experience, I’d suggest staying away from anything that moves too quickly, requires significant hand/eye coordination, or is in the first-person. Even with the flight sim experience, first-person screws with people who aren’t used to it.

Science, maybe light-sci-fi, with father-son elements and maybe some space exploration or flight...

There’s the recent “dad games” movement, with games like The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, God of War...I wonder if he’s into mythologies at all?

Gears of War is a bit hokey (he likes Gravity, so maybe?), but there’s very much a family throughline in those stories, complete with how the protaganist and his father figure into the central conflict (by Gears 3). Gears 4 has another father/son relationship feature prominently. If he can get past the mole monsters, that game COULD fit the bill on easy...

The Metal Gear Solid series can be overly complicated, but it’s got some military action, scifi, and heavy father/son elements. It’s also story heavy.

Mass Effect can be played on story difficulty. Kerbal Space Program is daunting, but in a tinkery way. I haven’t played it yet, but No Man’s Sky?

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#14 Posted by carlthenimrod (1635 posts) -

Wii Sports Bowling or Peggle

I would try avoiding handing him a PS4/Xbox controller altogether. All the buttons are intimidating.

I would avoid most modern games unless you are there to guide him.

Someone mentioned Donkey Kong on NES, you need to think more along those lines. RBI Baseball, Pac-man, etc.

Sports games are good because if they are a fan of the actual sport they will have an idea already of how the rules go.

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#15 Posted by Rejizzle (1124 posts) -

Something turn-based might be a good introduction. Your dad ever play chess? Maybe give Into the Breach or new Xcom a try?

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#16 Posted by Belegorm (1848 posts) -

My dad is only 47 (kinda a young dad I guess) but he finds modern controllers incredibly intimidating. Maybe on an older console with simpler controls. Or if he finds that annoying (you're giving me the old shit because I'm old hahaha!) than maybe turn-based mouse-based games on PC. Most people have used a PC at some point.

This brought a smile to my face, I need to call my dad :)

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#17 Edited by avantegardener (2374 posts) -

Given the criteria and his interests, I might suggest Stellaris.

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#18 Posted by berniesbc (250 posts) -

If he's anything like my dad, Civilization II should keep him occupied for 25 years.

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#19 Posted by colourful_hippie (5907 posts) -

Donut County

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#20 Posted by berfunkle (186 posts) -

Go for broke and get him one of those psuedo-porno visual novels on Steam. It'll either turn him on or off to video games. I can assure you, there would be no middle ground.

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#22 Edited by BoboBones (273 posts) -

I think Firewatch would be absolutely perfect for him.

Some other suggestions:




The Witness





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#23 Posted by Thursday1977 (127 posts) -

Mini Metro could be a good one. Minimalist rail line development. No budget, just connecting stations. I encourage you to look at videos of the game, because describing it in words would sound ridiculous. Because of the simple-yet-challenging nature of the game I could see this as something that he and your mother could enjoy.

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#24 Edited by Crazy_Tinker (34 posts) -

If he follows sports (and may be OK with stats/management) maybe an Out of the Park Baseball iteration, or Eastside Hockey Manager, Football Manager (Soccer), Front Office Football (North American Football), Motorsports Manager? No reaction times needed and it may play into an sports interest he has.

Edit: I see a few others already suggested sports, so my apologies for the repeat - some of the games I mentioned may not be repeats though =)

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#25 Posted by TheHT (15870 posts) -

Maybe that Civ game that had you go to space?

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#27 Posted by Bonbonetti (108 posts) -

He knew Arthur C. Clarke? Wow, that's cool.

I'm mostly thinking adventure and puzzle games: Detroit, Sherlock Holmes (Crimes & Punishments + the Devil's Daughter), The Long Dark, Abzu, The Talos Principle, What Remains of Edith Finch, Firewatch, The Witness, Kona, Obduction, Rime, The Turing Test, Lifeless Planet, Maize, The Gardens Between, The Spectrum Retreat, The Station, Gorogoa, Infinifactory, Prominence, ... are a selection of my favourites.

If you include point & click games, there's an abundance of really good ones on GOG: Syberia, Sam & Max, Broken Sword, Gabriel Knight, The Dig, Blackwell and so on. You don't have to worry about reflexes and coordination with these games, since they focus on storytelling and thinking.