originals\ Feb 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm

5 Types of games that will win over non-gamers


We all have someone in our lives we'd love to see become a gamer. Whether it's a friend, a family member, or a significant other, it's great to share your passions with the people you care about. Unfortunately, it isn't always easy to convince non-gamers to give gaming a try. What comes naturally to longtime gamers can feel pretty awkward to someone who hasn't been holding a controller half their life.

That said, if you can find the right game, almost anyone can learn to love gaming. Use this guide to find the perfect title for the non-gamer in your life.

Story-Driven Games

Beyond Two Souls

What connects games to other entertainment mediums is the story. Anyone who loves to curl up with a good book or marathon a TV show can appreciate a game that spins a good tale. However, you need more than an engrossing story to win over non-gamers.You need a game that puts the story front and center and lets gameplay take a backseat.

David Cage's games are often compared to movies, which makes them a terrific choice for someone new to gaming. The Ace Attorney series is fun, lighthearted, and accessible to those who might be turned off by other visual novels. Turn based RPGs suck players in with their stories, but don't require them to have great coordination. Look at the sort of entertainment your non-gamer likes, then look at some of your favorite story-driven games. You should be able to find something that's a good fit.

Simulation Games

Harvest Moon: A New Beginning

From tiny Facebook games to major Maxis franchises, simulation games have been winning over non-gamers for a very long time. In some ways, simulation games are like a more adult version of pretend. Users can play at living a life completely different from their own, and have a great time with it.

While The Sims series is an obvious choice, there are other simulation games that may be able to capture the heart of non-gamers. Harvest Moon allows players to live out their farming fantasies in a manner that puts Farmville to shame. Trauma Center: Under the Knife makes being a surgeon feel intense, exciting, and slightly insane. Combat sims like Apache: Air Assault can be hugely appealing to the right audience. Pay attention to the things a person gravitates towards, then seek out a simulation game that matches those interests.

Controls That Are Easy to Master

L.A. Noire

Hardcore gamers may not mind a steep learning curve, but newbies will. When it comes to non-gamers, you want a game that they can figure out almost instantly. One of the reasons the Wii was a smash success was that it was incredibly easy to pick up and play. If you can find a game that someone feels comfortable with, it'll be easy for you to get them hooked.

The right kind of controls will depend on the person. If someone easily picks up puzzles, something like Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes could be a great fit. If they're good with motion controls, try something like Flower. You could ease them in with a game like L.A. Noire, which allows players to skip action sequences all together. Once someone's grown more comfortable with basic controls, it'll be easier to introduce them to new titles.

Games That Don't Feel Like Games At All

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

There's not much of a point to Animal Crossing. There are goals to achieve, like filling your museum or paying off your loans, but there are no objectives you have to meet. You can simply explore your town and do whatever you please. Games like this can be a huge hit with non-gamers. Not feeling like they have to do something takes the pressure off and allows them to have fun.

Although sandbox games offer a much more complex experience than Animal Crossing, they can be appealing in the same sort of way. It's a ton of fun to just wander around a game like Red Dead Redemption or Skyrim. They give players a chance to gradually ease themselves into a game's world before ever participating in its more game-like components. Let them spend some time in one of your save files and see if they want to start their own.

Games That Star Popular Characters

Batman Arkham Asylum

Know a non-gamer who loves Batman, Pixar, or Star Wars? Congratulations. You've found the perfect game to introduce them to. Playing as a beloved character can make it easy for a person to overcome any discomfort they might feel. Instead of worrying about what they should do, they can enjoy exploring a world they love.

Licensed games have a bad reputation, and you should pick the games you introduce them to with care. Batman: Arkham Asylum is a great choice. Batman: Dark Tomorrow? Not so much. That said, there are plenty of solid licensed games out there, and as long as you avoid the obvious duds, they should be able to win over any fan.

The success of casual games is proof that anyone can learn to love gaming. If you put them in front of the right game, your non-gamer will be a gamer in no time.

About The Author
Mandi Odoerfer RPG lover. Boss fighter. Definitely not Daredevil.
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