So you're a gamer, but you also want to go traveling. The prospect of leaving behind your swanky gaming rig, or not being able to play certain games getting you down? Worry not, for the official list of Great Games to Play on the Go is here. This list was made in mind for laptops; however, all the suggestions have iPad/mobile versions as well should that suit you better. Sadly, as far as I know, there is no cross-play or save files between PC and mobile versions of these games so you'll have to start over or re-buy them accordingly.
I find hotel WiFi is pretty garbage, so despite being able to do some multiplayer gaming on the go if you really wanted to, I find the experience to be sub-par. Also, the games in mind can easily be played in the back of a car, on a bus, train or airplane.
I feel any recommended "on the go" game should meet the following criterion:
- Does not require a mouse to play, can be done through a trackpad or keyboard.
- Can easily be paused, saved, or interrupted.
- Is single-player, or has single-player options available.
Darkest Dungeon is a grim, unforgiving dungeon crawler that I can't get enough of. I've never played the iPad version, but have sunk over 100 hours into it on my iMac. Whether you're skulking around hallways, about to land the final blow on a boss or upgrading your town, the game permanently saves all the time, so you never have to worry about interrupts or lost progress. Expansive DLC, 100's of mods and a lengthy base campaign provides lots of content on this one.
Civilization V or VI
The longstanding Civilization series is still going strong in 2019 with a significant expansion for Civ VI released earlier this year. I'm giving two options on this one since Civ V was pretty much universally loved while Civ VI received a lot more of a mixed reception. Not all 4x games are suitable suggestions here (looking at you Stellaris), but I find Civ's strategy and depth is doable even if not situated in the comfort of your home. Don't forget to load up on mods from the Workshop before your road trip or plane ride.
If you're wanting to play on mobile, Civ VI is your only option. There seems to be a "60 turn trial" you can do if you're unsure how it will play on a tablet or phone.
Faster than Light
Faster Than Light, or FTL, is my all-time favorite game to play on the go. It's easy on the battery, and the gameplay flow is perfect for quick bursts or pausing. I may have spent more time playing this not home, then on my iMac. Considering the graphical style, it doesn't age the way some games do over time with more realistic visuals. With each run randomized, there's always a new galaxy full of danger and adventure.
XCOM 2 is some years old now but continues to deliver with endless community mods and extensive campaign options to keep each new run fresh. While the game itself is very involving on the strategic level, the turn-based nature of missions and the downtime of managing your base make this one pretty easy to play on the move. Just because you aren't home, doesn't mean you can let aliens invade the earth amirite?
XCOM 1 is available as an iPad app, and I hear it's pretty good.
While Telltale may have gone extinct, their long list of game releases hasn't. Despite the abundant presence of "pick this choice now" moments or QT cutscenes, all Telltale games are easily paused or saved, making them reasonably ideal for playing on the go. Their episodic nature also lends itself well to playing in smaller chunks. I recommend The Wolf Among Us or Tales from the Borderlands as my top favorites, but you can also hop into Game of Thrones, Batman and many more from the Telltale library.
Bonus Mention: Total War games
Just about every, if not all, Total War game is available on Mac and could be a decent game on the go. My top pick is TW: Warhammer 1 or 2. Campaign management is turn based, while battles are real time with pause available. Still, the complex nature of battles and longer-term campaign management could make it tough to play, since short sessions don't accomplish much. There are several mobile variants; however, that could be more appealing.
That concludes my list of recommended games on the go. What do you like to play when not at home?