That beautiful first week of being at Exeter University… those are days we’ll never forget. Friendships formed, parties partayed, and the squash… er, squished, you’ll soon find yourself looking back at this week with glittery rose-tinted specs. But whilst some may assume that videogames should be put on the back burner during this time, we believe that, when used in the right context, they can be a great aid in your university development.
What more is there to say about Portal which hasn’t been said already? I don’t know, but I’ll wax lyrical about it regardless. Portal sees you create reality-warping windows in order to solve some fantastically-designed puzzles courtesy of the good people at Valve. Arguably as much a work of art as a game, shoving this in front of some innocent bystanders is like pinning them down and injecting an Escher drawing into their eyes over and over again. Backwards. Except in this case you don’t wind up in prison.
Show off your arty-farty indie credentials to your newfound drinking buddies with this outstanding platformer. Following the exploits of smartly-dressed protagonist, Tim, as he tries to rescue the princess from a horrific monster, Braid is the best slice of platform-puzzling since, well, Portal (see above if you’ve already forgotten). Tim’s ability to rewind time is expertly exploited as each of the game’s six mindbastardising levels provides a different slant on his temporal trickery. Top tip: throw in the word “postmodern” every now and then for extra cool points.
The recent Xbox Live Arcade re-release of this rock-hard, old-skool (the “k” makes it cool) vertical shooter from the professional sociopaths at Treasure gives you the perfect opportunity to display your hardcore gaming prowess to stunned onlookers as you pilot your miniscule craft through alien war machines which are so big they dwarf God himself. Even better, you can rope in an accomplice for a spot of co-operative play, allowing both of you to bond whilst swearing excessively at the screen once your flimsy vessel bursts into kaleidoscopic flames YET A-BLOODY-GAIN. Ahh, sweet memories…