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Ten Games to Play with Non-Gamers

Updated on February 26, 2015

So your friend is over for the first time and he drops a bombshell on you: He is completely clueless when it comes to video games. Well don’t panic. For you see, you do not have to succumb to going outdoors. Here is a quick list of games that anyone can enjoy. I also added why these games appeal to a large audience and the most common gripe you will hear from that non-gaming buddy of yours. Let's take a look.


10. Tetris

From Russia with fun! This soviet classic brought the world from the brink of nuclear annihilation and proved to us in the Western Bloc that an afternoon of manipulating geometric shapes is far more entertaining than hiding under a desk.

Mass Appeal: Your hard work is paid off with a fireworks display. In addition there is a beautiful composition known as Type A.

Most Common Complaint: “Why are they falling so fast?!”

9. Bubble Bobble

Bub and Bob, AKA the green one and the blue one, are on a mission to save their girlfriends from the weirdest assortment of enemies ever conceived. And what god given powers do these dragons have at their disposal? Bubbles.

Mass Appeal: Making up your own words for the music.

Most Common Complaint: “How do you bounce on the bubbles without popping them?” You may also hear, “How many damn levels are there?”

8. Duck Hunt

Whether on a standalone cartridge or in the classic Super Mario Bros. bundle, Duck Hunt is the quintessential light gun adventure. Your friend will love aiming that grey or orange gun at the screen as he watches the ducks fall and clay disks explode. Just keep your distance from the TV, cheater.

Mass Appeal: Duck Dynasty without the made-for-TV controversy.

Most Common Complaint: "Why can't I shoot the dog?"

Bonus: In the arcade version you can shoot the dog!

7. Wii Sports

A copy given with every Wii purchase, Wii Sports shattered Super Mario Bros. sales records along with everything made of glass in your living room. This game got the most unlikely people into gaming (according to the commercial). Just make sure your friend has the wrist strap on.

Mass Appeal: The illusion of possessing athletic abilities.

Most Common Complaint: “There is no way your TV cost that much.”

6. Dr. Mario

Essentially an 8-bit drug overdose, Dr. Mario will show your friend that not all Mario games have that pesky platforming element. I mean, how is he supposed to know that holding B makes you run? This challenging puzzle game is sure to get anyone addicted to those bi-colored pills.

Mass Appeal: Cure disease by simply not being color blind.

Most Common Complaint: “The computer is purposely not giving me the colors I need."

5. Donkey Kong Country

DKC isn’t one of those I swim and you sink type of co-ops. As long as you put in on Two Player Team, you can do all the dirty work and your non-gaming friend will still have the shared satisfaction of seeing his character progress.

Mass Appeal: It is just a really damn good game.

Most Common Complaint: “Why did I just follow you off that cliff?”

4. Bomberman

Rarely does a game of such a competitive nature become popular among non-gamers but alas the brilliant, quaint design/gameplay that is Bomberman makes for a wholesome evening of addictive murder-by-bombing. Chances are your game noob of a friend will end up frying himself when caught between his own bomb and a hard place, making your victory taste an awful lot like ash. Dead nemesis ash.

Mass Appeal: A very simple design.

Most Common Complaint: “How are your explosions bigger than mine?"

3. Mario Bros.

This is a classic example of building a game around screwing the other person. You just wait until your clueless friend is sneaking up on a capsized Spiny only to have you hit the POW box. It never gets old.

Mass Appeal: Only need one button and a d-pad.

Most Common Complaint: Probably something about the aforementioned POW box.

2. World Class Track Meet

So your friend tries to explain to you time and time again that his lack of gaming allotted him time to become a magnificent athlete? Well put him to the test (assuming you have not only an NES but the Power Pad…. and a copy of WCTM) by putting this sucker in the NES. If you guys can master the most physically demanding Nintendo peripheral of last century, then surely you are in for an afternoon of manly jogging in place. And always remember, it is extra points if you can jump over a hurdle without the game freezing upon landing.

Mass Appeal: Gimmicks.

Most Common Complaint: “I’d win if we were racing in real life.”

1. Pong

Ok. You really did it now. Pong consoles are (or were) about as common as overweight cosplayers. Multitudes of electronic companies tried to bank on this fad with their own “unique” renditions of two lines passing back and forth a square. Some were good and others not as much. In my opinion, you are going to want to stick with Atari’s Pong Sports which features 50 different variations. 8 of which are truly excellent.

Mass Appeal: It’s Pong for Christ’s sake.

Most Common Complaint: “Are we really going to play to 21?"

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