Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Games People Play

Hubby came into the room the other day where I sat at the computer. He assumed I was working on something. I was, but not what he expected.

"You're playing a GAME!?" he asked, somewhat incredulously.

"Yep," I answered with a grin. "Keeps me sane."

And it's true. We all need to take time to play. Sometimes you can't go outside and play. Sometimes the old brain just needs a different type of task to help unwind from work or whatever else plagues you. And you know me, if I'm going to take the time to "play", I still want my brain involved.

I am addicted to "Hidden Object" games.

At first I wrote it off to the fact I like a challenge. Mental gymnastics aren't something I find at work, where it's more like dodge all the co-workers running away from work as fast as possible. And studies have shown that if you continue to engage your braincells as you get older, they'll keep working for you rather than against you....keep that old, "Now what DID I come in here for?" routine at bay.

Hidden Object games are an art all their own. Take an ordinary scene, than hide everything in "plain sight". Except the lines of the objects you're looking for often merge with the lines of say a table leg or the curve of a tree. There are a variety of this breed of game, some being fairly easy in that they offer you loads of hints, to those where you have to earn the hints by finding something else in addition to the list of items you need to look gather. The best ones have a storyline and often mini brain games involved, so that when you solve the first group of puzzles, you have a mini puzzle to solve before going to the next level. You can play timed or relaxed mode, without that clock ticking in the corner. Personally I like the clock for it indicates where my brain is quick...and where it is a few IQ points lower.

Okay, so I do get tired of listening to someone narrate a tale that my eyes don't really need. Thankfully, someone has added the "Skip story" button. That may sound evil for someone who likes to write, but the stories are usually geared toward younger folks who don't know how to skim text to reach their goal.

Yesterday, having been caught playing instead of working on the computer I wondered why of all the games available, I like Hidden Objects best.

And then the voice of childhood whispered with a giggle, "I Spy".

When I was a kid and we were a one car family, we would drop Dad off at work on Saturdays so Mom could keep the car to run errands. We'd always arrive a few minutes before Dad got off work, which wasn't too bad. But if he had to work a few minutes later, a Mom trapped in a sweltering car with three bored kids called for creativity. So she had us play "I Spy."

She never announced it. She simply stated, "I spy with my little eye something that is green."

And then the race was on. We actually took turns, never talking over one another. As soon as a kid guessed correctly, they got to pick an object. My brother, the youngest, was the most devilish as he picked out items with the smallest amount of color possible in order to torture us longer.

Playing is good. And the games I've been playing are free. Well, for an hour. After your hour is up, you're given an opportunity to purchase the game. I usually don't but I know there are dozens of levels left to conqueror so if I find one which is extremely intriguing, I might just part with the cash.

If you want to give them a go, here are a few sites which are safe {as in no harm comes to your computer and no bugs jump on to terrorize you later}.

www.gamehouse. com

Hey Susan! I played one last week called "Robinson Crusoe". I was just getting to the chapter about Friday when I ran out of time. I might have to buy that one. :)


Terence McDanger said...

I only ever seem to get the 'Shoot the George Bush' type games that pop up on my sidebar. You can actually install silly little games like this on your blogger page if you like.

Must check some of these out...although brain training type games depress me because I've always been slow as a mouse wearing wellies wading through treacle.

Poetikat said...

Great. So, Hope have I told you about my addictive personality? How I can sit for hours and play solitaire (with a deck of cards) or answer dumb trivia questions for no particular reason, or play online scrabble? I deleted my "Twitter" account, abandoned Facebook and now you want me to try these? Sure! Thanks! I will check it out!

By the way, anytime we head out on a road trip, the first thing I say is, "Let's make up a game." My husband groans and bids for the radio, but I keep nagging until we end up making up a movie trivia game or play 20 Questions or anything to keep my mind occupied. It's a curse. Or is it a blessing? I can't decide.


P.S. No Blasts yet this week, but there's tons of stuff you might find interesting at "Keepsakes".

Susan said...

Oh--hey! These used to be my favourite-ever games when I was a kid; my mother used to be me magazines and books full of them. I'd forgotten all about them too. (Now I play about thirty games of Scrabble a day...Poetikat and I should hang together perhaps?? LOL)

I should stay away, absolutely, so much work to do.

But erm...Friday you say?
Thanks for those links!!

hope said...

Terence, they have shoot other things games as well. :)

Kat, I LOVE 20 Questions! I play it with the kids at work and you'd think I'd invented the wheel. :)

Susan, the nice thing about this is, if you find a game you like, when your hour is up, you can go to another one of those sites and usually find the same game..play it again. :)

Poetikat said...

Okay, so I played this one in a castle with different rooms and I was doing really well - had some keys and a shard of mirror and all and then my laptop juice ran out and then I plugged in my laptop and then I only had 38 minutes left and they backtracked me and then I didn't have enough time and I was just getting good, you know and then Kevin wanted to watch "Jeopardy" and then I had to shut down my laptop (and no, I'm NOT crazy - honest!) and then I told my mom about these games and I'll be signing up for another trial after lunch.

Oh, and Susan - we should TOTALLY hang out! Haven't I been to your blog before?


hope said...

Kat, it's addictive but at least it's good fun. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh! Escape Rosecliff Island at Gamehouse is awesome! Not only do you get to find hidden objects, but they do fun things like finding the skull and then finding crossbones somewhere else and matching them together. Also at the end of each session, you have a really fun puzzle to gain bonus items...love this game :) It is on GameHouse.com I actually purchased it (well, 12 fun tickets actually...LOL) so Hope, you may be getting a game for your birthday....(late or early, you decide)

hope said...

I LOVE that game! And of course about the time I got the hang of it, I ran out of time. On 3 different game sites. :)

I propose a trade. I purchased "Azada", which is fun but didn't have as many levels as I'd hoped for...so I'll be glad to send it your way. It's a find the objects, then figure out how to put them together to make another object work...then mini games in between before you can get to the next level. Be forewarned, some of the mini-games will drive you nuts.