381 Hours and Counting

As we enter November, I find myself joining the ranks of those who find themselves grateful for the things they have around them: family, friends, health, work, Mini Metro…yeah, no, but seriously…I mean, I truly do love my family and friends, but have you played Mini Metro?? Dinosaur Polo Club nailed that one, my hat is off and my money is in their pocket.

I have a few other games that I’d like to thank the developers for, if by no other means than to pass the word on to you fine folks. These particular ones have saved my sanity, or even some “customer service” employees’ eardrums, by providing an outlet for me to unlatch from the daily grind, or to fill the dreadful space of a 30-minute wait to speak to a representative so that I can cancel my service to any number of conglomerates who find every means possible to soak up my money and then my time and have the audacity to tell me they pride themselves on being the best at whatever thing it is that they’re supposed to do…..deeeeeeep inhale….but back to being thankful!

I know this is what they’re doing at the other end of the line


You may know all of these, a couple, or none, but here are a few ways to pass the dull moments of your day…

Civilization 5

I’ve played on: Mac OS, Windows

So I also played Civ 4, and have no idea how many hours I actually spent on the game, but with what my Steam account says is my total time on number 5, you can assume accordingly. Thanks to Steam, I know that I have spent 381 hours playing Civilization…to do the conversion for you all, that’s approximately 16 complete days of building, appeasing, random barbarian incursions, war declarations, city-state wooing, and nuking Ghandi.

This fuckin’ guy

Civ 5 built up into a beautiful game, both graphically and in expanse of playability. It’s also (obviously!) replayable, if that’s even an appropriate word considering the countless paths you can choose and random events that can occur. It’s incredibly easy to begin playing, and you can take it as deep as you want to. For me, I enjoyed challenging myself to some extent, but Civ became a fantastic way to just sit down after work and spend some time letting my brain decompress.

Plague Inc.

I’ve played on: Android, iOS

Plague Inc. is one of the darker app-based games out there, what with your entire purpose being to act as some form of communicable disease, and to develop it until humankind is wiped off the planet.

There she goes again…

In the game, you have the choice of enhancing the mortality rate by choosing to be one of the following: Bacteria, Virus, Fungus, Parasite, Prion, Nano-Virus, and Bio-Weapon. From there, you pick a starting point anywhere in the world, and then watch for bubbles to spring up that you pop to gain DNA points. Those points are spent on giving your disease characteristics that will allow it to evolve, or to give it symptoms that help it spread. The trick here is to avoid doctors picking up on how dangerous you are until it’s too late…otherwise, expect for researchers to develop a cure and put your ass in a CDC vault.

Not on MY watch!

The nice thing about Plague is that the game can move very fast, or very slow, depending on what you have time for, and the fun part is that you get to pick whatever name you want for your outbreak (I got SUPER creative with “mahdick”…chuckle chuckle).


Mini Metro

I’ve played on: Windows, iOS

For its simplistic minimalism, attention to detail, and smart blend of enjoyability with growing challenge, I am in love with Mini Metro. I stumbled across it on Steam during its beta phase, and decided to check it out. I immediately saw how great it was for just turning your brain off and making connections so that your elementary-shaped passengers get to whichever station their shape correlates to.

When connect the dots can actually get frustrating

The interface is clean and set up intuitively, and since I was able to see the progress from Beta to official release, I saw how the dev team paid attention to the feedback players gave them in the subsequent updates. The best part was that, even though you can use this as a time waster, the longer you’re on a level, the more you’ve gotta get your logic in gear…especially when one of those 6 damn circles suddenly changes into a star (thanks Obama).

My true day of happiness came when I saw Mini Metro had made it to iOS, allowing me to take my shapes and colors with me everywhere, connecting the dots with my finger and hoping the clock moves fast enough to keep my overflowing station from crashing my progress.


Airport Mania/Airport XP

I’ve played on: Mac OS, iOS

This game filled with happy, cartoon airplanes jumped on my radar almost 10 years ago as I looked for Mac OS widgets, and was known as Airport Mania. I gave it a trial run and after exhausting that rather quickly, I opted to spend the money on the full version….worth it. The developer decided to make an iOS version, as well, so this is another one that resides on my phone.

If only airport travel looked so happy!

Similar to how Mini Metro builds in difficulty as you have to manage higher volumes and random changes, Airport XP pushed the same concepts: fog/ice-covered runways, 3 terminals for 4 different colors of airplane, higher-capacity aircraft, and even an occasional presidential visit. Airport XP came at a perfect time, giving me something fairly mindless to play after long days slaving away for the man, and a break from Civ.

It’s always the Russians.

I’ve downloaded countless games, across various platforms, but these 4 have managed to stay in the cycle of gems I’ll always come back to. If you have time to kill, each of these are highly recommended from me.



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