Think gaming is all about narrative video games? Think again! There are all sorts of gaming experiences that you can play online these days, many of which you may not expect.
The global gaming industry is estimated to be worth $197 billion by the end of 2022, and currently, there are approximately 3.2 billion gamers in the world. Only some of these people play eSports titles like League of Legends or video gaming staples such as the Grand Theft Auto series. Some people may not even class themselves as gamers at all, whether that’s because they play infrequently or they only interact with games on their mobile devices.
While it’s true that the industry is constantly evolving and that most leading development studios focus their efforts on creating cutting-edge games that harness the latest technology, there’s still room for older games in the digital realm.
Old-school games are suitable for players of all demographics and experience levels. You may be looking to shake up your regular routine, or you could be a beginner dipping your toes into the world of gaming. Or maybe, you’re a die-hard fan of one of the titles featured in this article and are seeking a more convenient way to play that doesn’t involve setting up a board game or rolling out the card table.
Wherever you are on your gaming journey, you have to check out the following old-school games.
Like physical sports, mindsports test human potential, apart from these games of skill test mental agility and aptitude rather than athletic prowess. Mindsports include universally-adored games that people have been playing for decades and even centuries. Games like chess, backgammon, poker, and sudoku are now classed as mindsports, with the official Mind Sports Olympiad featuring them and many others in their annual events.
Such games are globally recognized as both cerebrally challenging pursuits and competitive events. Some mindsports bodies are even campaigning for chess and Scrabble to be included in the summer Olympic games. As such, you’d expect that they’d be widely available to play digitally too. Well, you wouldn’t be wrong. Games classed as mindsports are pretty ubiquitous in the digital realm.
Take the first mindsport we mentioned, for instance. Chess is everywhere! You can play high-level chess games online at platforms like Tabletopia, download the latest chess gaming app for instant gratification on your daily commute, or even play against AI on your PC. Plus, with so many helpful resources available online, from hints and tips style articles to video tutorials, playing mindsports digitally is a great way for beginners to find their feet.
Electronic versions of casino games have been around since the early days of console gaming. Back in the 1980s and 90s, titles like Vegas Stakes and Caesar’s Palace were available to play on the Nintendo Entertainment System and SEGA Mega Drive. And while these games didn’t quite capture that authentic casino atmosphere, nevertheless, they were the closest that some people came to playing blackjack at the Bellagio.
The dawn of the internet brought about massive changes to the industry, one of which was the emergence of iGaming. Thanks to both connected and advanced technologies, digital casinos began to flood the market. More recently, iGaming platforms have started offering hyperreal casino games featuring live dealers, which transport players into live casinos without them needing to leave their living rooms.
Casino games like roulette and blackjack are some of the oldest pastimes still in play. According to legend, blackjack used to be a 16th-century Spanish game called veintiuna. But that hasn’t stopped developers and publishers from modernizing the whole gamut of card and table games fresh for digital play. Don’t worry, however, as even virtual reality digital casino games still follow the traditional rulesets; plus, in games like blackjack, you can even play out land-based bets and strategies like the blackjack insurance wager if you so wish.
If historians are to be believed, we humans have been playing board games in some form or another for at least 5,000 years. The Egyptian game of Senet is one of the oldest board games to have been discovered, and it’s likely to date back to 3500 BC. Early board games may have been crude, especially when compared to what we have today, but we only have to glance at the development of this pastime over millennia to see how interlinked board games are with human development.
Whether they’re the highlight of festive celebrations with friends and loved ones (who among us hasn’t gotten a tad bit competitive when the Trivial Pursuit box comes out?), or a pastime that you study and practice until you could take the title of grand champion in a competitive event, we simply can’t get enough of playing board games. And, just like the other games that we’ve featured in this article, they’re also a genre that has been seriously updated for the digital generation.
What are the first few options that spring to mind when you think of board games? We’re pretty sure that Monopoly is one of the most obvious; after all, it’s been translated into 47 languages, and there is anything between 300 and 1500 versions of the game. It’s also been immortalized in 5 different video games, including the console-friendly Monopoly Plus, and is available to download as an iOS and Android gaming app.
It’s not just mainstream board games that have made their way online; even more niche games like Catan (aka The Settlers of Catan) have been digitalized and now reach new generations of gamers. In fact, Catan Universe (the online version of Catan) immerses players even further into this classic trading and building game, enabling them to play against AI and even making Catan’s card game, The Duel, available to play.
Retro Video Games
We couldn’t finish this article without mentioning our favorite retro video games from years gone by. While they may be pushing into their fifth decade in existence, there are some classic video games that we can’t stop playing right now, even though we have more brand-new games at our fingertips than we could play in a lifetime.
While there’s certainly a market for retro gaming consoles, if you can access an internet browser, you can take a trip down memory lane by playing the likes of Sonic The Hedgehog, Street Fighter II, and Crash Bandicoot instantly.