If you are reading this (thanks to all three of you!) you almost certainly enjoy video games. Enough, in fact, that you are willing to read an article about video games written by a nobody on a unknown site. So in that vein it is logical to assume that you find video games to be fun but also a way to pull yourself from reality for just a short time. Rough times have fallen upon The Brain Trust here at GameDrunk, and I know that I, personally, have sought solace in the games of yore.

I’ve taken the dive into all-games retro, completely immersing myself in games that I never played much before or never beat. One of those games was Maniac Mansion for the NES, which, after owning for over 20 years, I finally completed. I’d never devoted the time and energy to figure out this game’s amazing puzzles, so creative and intuitive. I completely underestimated the level of brilliance of this game for so long because I had no idea that video games played in such a way. It never once dawned on me, for instance, to use the Hunk-o-matic weight-lifting machine to grow one of the characters stronger which, in turn, allowed them to open the heavy garage door.

Along with this gem I’ve been playing through games like Final Fantasy IV (DS) and Earthbound, both games heavy on story that try to pull you away. And with a glass of bourbon in hand, pulling away from reality with games like these is not difficult. So, thinking on this begs the question: What are your favorite games to immerse yourself in, evading reality?

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  1. avatar Eric DeBusschere says:

    I’ve been playing some Masters of Orion lately. That’s an addictive strategy game. If you like the Civ games, this is Civ in space. You get to shoot black holes at colonies, what’s more to love? It’s like 5 bucks at Good Old Games.

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  2. avatar Jacob says:

    Maniac Mansion is an all-time favorite of mine. I played it first on NES, then later got the revamped PC version. I believe it’s freeware now and not hard to grab. I loved that the game could be solved differently depending on which kids you decided to use. The writer could clean up the manuscript, the rocker could microwave the hamster, etc.

    If you haven’t played the sequel, Day of the Tentacle, then drop what you’re doing and go make that happen. You’ll likely need ScummVM to run the old games on a newer computer.

    As for an escape? The Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series (3 and 4 at least) is pretty much as escapist as you can get. There are few games I’ve been completely absorbed into like I have these. I highly recommend both of them.

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  3. avatar Dorin says:


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  4. avatar Andy says:

    Now I know this is hard to do, but try to imagine yourself as a goofy little 12 year old, and then remember how games felt back then. Zelda was scary. Dragon Warrior was the most exciting adventure ever. Ninja Turtles seemed like a sweet game.

    Now picture Maniac Mansion. There’s so much crap you can do in that game, and only a fraction of it is possible in a playthrough. And the worst part? Depending on who you choose to play, that game can be super impossible.

    But for a little kid, that game seriously gave me the creeps and made me excited in a way that I’m not sure any game can do for me anymore.

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