Suggestions for games to 'zone out' to?

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#1 Posted by huntad (2407 posts) -

So I'm always playing games in my spare time. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of spare time, and have a big backlog of Jar time videos, bombcasts, etc to listen to. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for games that don't really require a whole lot of concentration, or are generally good for podcast listening.

Note: I'd appreciate if the game could be played with a controller (console preferable), and is not completely unfocused like Minecraft. Let me know!

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#2 Posted by Nightriff (7199 posts) -

For me it is Borderlands because it is just shoot things and don't worry about anything else. So I catch up on videos and podcasts while I play that at work. Also Civilization games work the same way. The are turn based so you can take your time, burned tons of hours on that.

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#3 Posted by huntad (2407 posts) -

@Nightriff: Oh right, Civilization! It's not console based (the advanced ones), but it's so slow-paced that it doesn't matter all that much. Thanks!

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#4 Posted by oneidwille (161 posts) -

I would say almost any driving game. I was suggest all the Need for Speeds.

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#5 Posted by floydeo (453 posts) -

Play some Just Cause 2. It's huge and the story is not worth paying attention to.

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#6 Posted by Julmust (1650 posts) -

I usually play Picross 3D now when I listen to podcasts. Before, Borderlands. Probably will be Borderlands 2 when that shit gets released.

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#7 Posted by jacksukeru (6785 posts) -

Dark Souls once you've already finished it once.

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#8 Posted by sagesebas (2465 posts) -

@huntad: Peggle is good and pacman championship dx

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#9 Posted by D_W (1857 posts) -

Droplitz is a good for zoning out into once you get the hang of it. Binding of Isaac, Dungeons of Dredmor, Chime... Indie games on Steam... so many... so many...

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#10 Posted by Seastalk (129 posts) -

Puzzle Quest and what D_W said.

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#11 Posted by huntad (2407 posts) -

Wow, awesome! Thanks for all the responses guys. I'm gonna keep checking back in here, because there's already suggestions that are super obvious that I missed.

@D_W: So I was looking into getting the Binding of Isaac, but I'm not sure if it'll chug on my laptop. It sounds crazy, but the flash game (demo) on newgrounds got choppy on medium settings and I had to put it on slow for it to be playable. Are there graphical settings on the steam version?

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#12 Posted by ghost_cat (2290 posts) -

Nobi Nobi Boy is definitely a zone-out game. But if you need a little bit more action, Luxor or Wizorb are pretty good too.

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#13 Posted by CazzTheKing (2 posts) -

If you have problems with your pc and still want something you can zone out to, with fixed goals and loads to do, try Baldur's Gate. They're re-releasing it soon, total workover. Can also be played on smartphones, so should fitt well in bed.

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#14 Posted by D_W (1857 posts) -
@huntad: Hrmm it runs fine on my 9 year old laptop. There is some slow down when lots of enemies are on the screen, but it's seems pretty well optimized.
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#15 Edited by PenguinDust (13092 posts) -

Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning is great for podcast listening. There's rarely much conversation and even when there is, you can read the subtitles. Quest locations are highlighted on the main map and mini-map so you never have to wonder where to go. Just travel to the yellow circle, kill everything there and then return to another yellow circle to turn it in. I like the game because it requires nearly no concentration to play.

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#16 Posted by DudeSupreme (247 posts) -

Most MMOs are good fodder for podcasts. Traveling always seems like it takes forever, the story is unimportant, and combat usually isnt very engaging unless you are in a group.

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#17 Posted by huntad (2407 posts) -

@CazzTheKing: Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I'll definitely check that out.

@PenguinDust: But does it get boring? I guess being able to customize your class between 3 archetypes would be kinda cool.

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#18 Posted by mewarmo990 (855 posts) -

I always like to fire up the Batman Arkham games for the combat challenge modes when I just want to melt into my chair for 20 minutes to an hour. They do require some attention for the counterattack timing, but I don't think it's too bad.

Unless you plan to talk to people. I can never play well and talk at the same time.

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#19 Posted by Wemibelle (2645 posts) -

@DudeSupreme said:

Most MMOs are good fodder for podcasts. Traveling always seems like it takes forever, the story is unimportant, and combat usually isnt very engaging unless you are in a group.

This. I zone out so hard when I play MMO's and have probably listened to 80% of the Bombcasts while playing them.

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#20 Edited by SerHulse (710 posts) -

I play Minecraft as sort of a "Podcast Game", a game that I can just do something while most of my attention is placed on the Podcast/Audio Book/Radio show.

Other games that I use as a Podcast Game:

  • Dungeons of Dredmor
  • Forza 4
  • Team Fortress 2 (I usually play as a Medic so it isn't as fast paced for me)
  • Torchlight
  • The Yakuza games (after I've beaten the story and I'm mopping up side stuff)
  • Pretty much any open world game (Just Cause, GTA, Elder Scrolls, etc.)

There is something to be said for games that are fun to play but require very little attention to play well.

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#21 Edited by PenguinDust (13092 posts) -

@huntad: Not too much. I like leveling and getting the next power-up or skill in games, and Amalur has a decent amount of that. It's low on loot variety (in appearance at least), so I invested in blacksmith and sagecraft to make my own better armor & weapons. Gathering the parts for that is fun, too. If you stick to the main quest and faction quests as well a handful of side quests (I suggest Canneroc because it gifts you a house), then you should be reasonably entertained throughout. This is a game you'll be playing while listening to a podcast, so don't expect something super compelling.

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#22 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4569 posts) -

Skyrim. Just walk across the whole map going into all the undiscovered caves and dungeons.

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#23 Posted by EuanDewar (5160 posts) -



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#24 Posted by matti00 (677 posts) -

Not sure if this is your thing, but I find sports games pretty good for this. Low impact mentally, no real need to be listening to the sound, chill as fuck.

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#25 Posted by A_Dog (760 posts) -


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#26 Posted by Sherlock_Pwnz (54 posts) -

Avseq, new game on steam is pretty zoney outy. Puzzle game with super chilled ambient music.

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#27 Posted by Yummylee (24646 posts) -

Dead Rising 2: Off The Record's sandbox mode is fun to just mess around in without paying much attention.

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#28 Posted by NoobSauceG7 (1418 posts) -

Darksiders 2 is pretty good for that since it is mostly exploring and not that much talking for story.

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#29 Posted by deactivated-589cf9e3c287e (1984 posts) -

Games that you actually play are good for any podcast.

  • Torchlight
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Guild Wars
  • Saints Row: The Third & 2 if you're into an inferior game
  • Skyrim
  • Borderlands
  • World of Warcraft

Stuff like that.

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#31 Posted by Modedude (38 posts) -

Any RPG that requires some sort of grinding.

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#32 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

I've found Western games to be good about this, especially if they're from a first person perspective (Skyrim, Dead Island, etc.).

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#33 Posted by Nux (2890 posts) -

GTA, Sleeping Dogs and Saints Row the Third are pretty good for podcast listening.

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#34 Posted by That1BlackGuy (219 posts) -

As others have said I'd go for any MMO influenced game or games that require some sort of grinding if you're in to that kind of thing.

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#35 Posted by _Mattallica (294 posts) -

When I want to listen to podcasts I always put on sports games. Either Fifa 12 or NBA 2k12 for me. Dont require sound so they're perfect for me.

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#36 Posted by Sless (68 posts) -

I think the Ratchet and Clank games are very fun ways to zone out.

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#37 Posted by pyromagnestir (4505 posts) -

Risk Factions

Lately I've been playing Ticket to Ride on my iphone when listening to bombcasts or watching quick looks, don't know if that's an option.

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#38 Posted by ThePickle (4572 posts) -

I've had success with Fallout 3, Skyrim, THPS3, and Madden 2005 lately.

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#39 Posted by toowalrus (13405 posts) -

...World of Warcraft.

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#40 Posted by Cube (4410 posts) -

Noby Noby Boy and GTA IV.

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#41 Posted by monetarydread (2890 posts) -

Geometry Wars / GW 2

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#42 Posted by Justin258 (15676 posts) -

Borderlands and Just Cause 2 are fantastic for these things. You can figure out what to do in both of them without completely diverting your attention from whatever you're listening to.

Racing games in general are good for podcasts.

Fast-paced multiplayers that don't depend a lot on sound or teamwork, e.g. the Call of Duty series or Quake 3/Quake Live.

Doom is also a pretty good podcast game.

Terraria and Minecraft are pretty good for zoning out to while you tend to more menial tasks. Actually, these two are probably among the most appropriate podcast games because you spend a lot of time doing the aforementioned menial tasks, i.e. gathering materials and making tools to gather more materials.

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#43 Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie (1244 posts) -

Geometry Wars.

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#44 Posted by thedj93 (1260 posts) -

borderlands tetris forza counter-strike call of duty hl2 deathmatch garry's mod uncharted series (post-completion) assassin's creed (post-completion) GTA series

but tetris is the best

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#45 Edited by wumbo3000 (1300 posts) -

I'm surprised nobody mentioned Diablo.

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#46 Posted by RedRavN (418 posts) -

Yeah diablo 3 is my go to game for zoning out. I just started listening to the giantbomb podcast and other radio stuff that I never tried before while playing diablo and it makes the grind more fun.

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#47 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6805 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Skyrim. Just walk across the whole map going into all the undiscovered caves and dungeons.

I listened to so, so much Neil DeGrasse Tyson stuff while doing this.

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#48 Edited by Jeust (11739 posts) -
  • Alan Wake
  • Force Unleashed
  • Prototype
  • Uncharted 1, 2 and 3
  • Catherine
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#49 Posted by beepmachine (631 posts) -

Any MMO. Nah, just kidding.

There are a lot of smaller games on steam that are great for zoning out. Audiosurf, Peggle, Shatter, Super Meat Boy, Waveform

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#50 Posted by huntad (2407 posts) -

I've actually been getting into football games, so I'll try one out. I'll also try Civilization, Forza, open-world games, and some 'grindy' rpgs. I'm not really into playing MMOs though, and I don't think multiplayer games in general would work because I tend to focus on winning in almost any online game, haha. These suggestions really helped a lot!