Even though traveling is always an awesome experience, it also comes with drawbacks such as a lot of downtimes.
In the old days, crosswords, sudokus, and quizzes were the main activities to pass the time. However, now we all carry some kind of electronic device, especially us remote digital workers, which offers a wide range of ways to entertain ourselves.
Let’s drift away from the typical information and tips about the digital nomad lifestyle, and explore one of the many ways to fill that free time, video games!
Rest assured, I’ll be covering games that are available on low to mid-end PCs and MACs, portable consoles, and lastly mobile phones. Stick till the end to see a great game on the rise!
Single-Player & RPG Games
The Legend of Zelda Games – any of them except the one on the Wii U
One of the most famous series of games on the planet and my personal favorite. You play as Link, the Hero of Hyrule, and you have to save the Kingdom of the evil Beast that is Ganon with the help of the princess Zelda (although not all the time). These games always have incredible soundtracks and are very accessible for beginners. It is a fair mix of action, puzzles, and great storytelling of Good versus Evil.
I recommend starting with the last one on the Switch, Breath Of The Wild, as it is a very relaxing and fitting game to play while traveling.
The Curse Of Monkey Island – available on PC and Mac
A good ol’ classic from 1997 developed by LucasArts. It’s the third of the series although it won’t be a problem if it’s your first playthrough. You play as an apprentice pirate who needs to travel the world of seas to save his fiancee. Don’t hesitate and set the sails, landlubber!
Final Fantasy VII – available on PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, and PSP
You might like FF VI or FF X more, but there’s no denying that FF VII is the most popular of the series. It’s an RPG game with turn-based combat. You’ll play as Cloud Strife and make friends on your way to tear down a corrupt megacorporation that tries to transform the planet’s essence as an energy source. Great soundtrack and stunning visuals for a game made in 1997.
Half-Life 2 – available on PC and Mac
There is a lot of notable FPS games but nothing quite as exceptional as Half-Life 2 is. Set in 2020 (we all remember that year, don’t we…), you are Gordon Freeman, a scientist and also a force of nature, and you arrive in a dystopian society controlled by the Combine, an alien empire. Your mission, obliterate anything suspicious that comes at you with unique guns and physics. The story is nothing short of remarkable as well.
Papers, Please – available on PC, Mac, Linux, PS Vita, and iOS
Maybe some of you will relate to that game because some countries in the world can be difficult to get into. In this game, Arstotzka is a fictional communist country and you the player supervise the comings and goings of future residents. Every decision that you make impacts the security of your country, for that reason you have to be careful about who you let in.
Stardew Valley – available PC, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS Vita, iOS, and Android
A fantastic role-playing and simulation game, where the player inherits the farm of his dear departed grandfather. You’ll have to take each step with all the wisdom you can muster and develop your home alongside the local community. It can also be played online with up to 4 players.
Strategy, Puzzle & Sandbox Based Games
Minecraft – available on PC, Mac, Linus, Nintendo Switch & 3DS, PS Vita, iOS, and Android
Except if you have lived the last ten years under a rock, you have probably heard of Minecraft. It is the biggest sandbox/survival game of our time and unsurprisingly so. Explore an infinite world made of cubes and ever-changing scenery, build and fight different types of mobs while listening to the melancholic beauty that is the score of Minecraft.
Poly Bridge 1 & 2 – available on PC, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android
As the name indicates, this is a bridge-building simulation game. The further you go the harder it gets. You have the responsibility to respect a limited budget for each construction. A relaxing yet experience.
Age Of Empires II – available on PC and Mac
Age Of Empires II is a reference for real-time strategy games. Released in 1999, it has since been remastered (Definitive Edition), in 2013. The goal is to develop a civilization by gathering resources, generate armies to defeat your enemies. I recommend the original for any PC and Mac that isn’t highly performant, especially for Apple users as the remastered version is not available on Mac.
Terraria – available on PC, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch & 3DS, PS Vita, iOS, and Android
The 2D brother of Minecraft, Terraria has all the things you would hope from a sandbox/survival game. The graphics, as well as the music, remind the style of the Super Nintendo. Search through randomly generated worlds, anything that can be useful during your trip. It is playable online with friends.
Among Us – available on PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android
Among Us has risen remarkably in popularity in 2020, due to its ability to connect people in an online social environment. Players find themselves on a space station, where most people are crewmates except a given number who are imposters. These latter have to kill crewmates without getting spotted, while crewmates have to unmask them.
Pokemon GO – available on iOS and Android
This is an augmented reality game that relies on a steady internet connection and a mobile phone’s GPS function. Pokemon has been a worldwide phenomenon for a few decades now, and it’s nice to see some innovative ideas from Nintendo and Niantic.
Genshin Impact – available on PC, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android
Also called “Breath Of The Waifus” because of its similarities with Zelda: Breath Of The Wild’s gameplay, Genshin Impact is an action-RPG game with Japanese anime graphics. You’ll need a reliable internet connection as it is online-only and a fairly performant phone. Here’s a link from TheAxo to help you decide.
Geometry Dash – available on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android
Geometry Dash is a horizontal runner-style game with exhilarating music to listen to. You take various forms such as a cube, a ball, or a spaceship and have to clear the course without crashing.
Multiplayer & Online Games
World Of Warcraft – available on PC and Mac
Set in the Warcraft universe, World Of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online RPG game. You start like similar MMORPGs, by creating your character before going to explore the world of Azeroth. The game encourages players to work with others to do quests, dungeons, and so forth but is also playable solo. If Chuck Norris approved this game, there’s a high chance you might too.
League Of Legends – available on PC and Mac
In League Of Legends, you play as a character with a unique set of abilities and view him/her from above. Additionally, you’ll have teammates and enemies in an online battle arena. The goal is to destroy the enemy team’s base, called the Nexus, by sheer will or forcing their capitulation. Important note: it is free-to-play!
Mario Kart 8 – available on Nintendo Switch
If you’re travelling with a Nintendo Switch in your backpack, you have all you need to play Mario Kart 8 with a friend or a fellow coworker. All it takes is to take one Joy-Con for each player and set the Switch on even terrain. Trust me, this game is timeless and brings fun to anyone that plays it.
(Not so) Hidden gem
Friday Night Funkin – available on any Web Browser and Android
Let’s finish with an outstanding rhythm-based game, Friday Night Funkin!
The gameplay is centred on hitting specific arrow keys at the right time, just like a Dance Dance Revolution arcade. You control the beautifully named “Boyfriend” and need to beat a variety of characters for the purpose of dating…”Girlfriend”!
It’s cute and the soundtrack is always jamming. On top of that, it is free of access on many platforms such as NewGrounds.com.
- Buy a Nintendo Switch: Nintendo Website / Amazon
- To play games on PC and Mac: Steam Platform / Steam App
- To play retro games on PC and Mac (Warning, you must own a real copy of the console and game): Emulator Zone
Do not feel any guilt if while travelling you feel the need to play your favourite video games 🙂