When it comes to leisure pursuits one of my guilty pleasures is gaming, in particular retro-style games. I sometimes play the current games like FIFA, Mario Kart and Rocket League but the sad truth is I’m not very good at them. My daughter thrashes me every time when I play her and playing online humiliates me even more. Physically and mentally my many weaknesses are soon exposed. I would have to practise for years to be any good and even then I know I still wouldn’t cut it against today’s teenagers when playing the latest titles. However, playing retro games is a leisure pursuit anyone can enjoy.
I grew up with retro games and I still love their cuteness and simplicity which often leaves me with a warm glow of nostalgia. This is very much my happy place!
I’m always on the lookout for new games but I don’t want to have to spend ages having to learn any complicated instructions. That’s one of the beauties of retro games, they are generally quick and easy to learn and play. This makes them ideal for older players as well as young children.
Usually, you can play them alone so your aim is to just complete them while trying to beat your best score. So there’s nobody to remind you of your inadequacies!
I recently came across some great retro games on a mortgage calculator site.
One game I’ve enjoyed playing on it is Pizza Baker. In this scenario, the baker is played by a polar bear! Already, I’m hooked on the quirkiness of a polar bear working next to a hot pizza oven.
At the start, you are provided with a picture of the first pizza order. You have to select the correct pizza base, sauce and toppings before clicking on the bear for it to bake in the oven and serve to the customer.
Sounds simple enough you may think but you’re on a timer and it’s easy to get the ingredients wrong, as some look similar to others and there are 16 different toppings alone. The pressure mounts especially when you have three orders waiting to be done. If you do make a mistake you can click on the bin button and start again if you still have time.
For each pizza successfully delivered you will receive the money indicated but three missed deliveries will lead to the game ending.
If that game isn’t challenging enough for you then you could try Mahjong Solitaire which has certainly tested my grey matter of late. I had not played this version of solitaire before so it has taken me a while to get used to it.
In the game, you are presented with a pattern of tiles laid out on a map. On each tile, there is a picture and the object of the game is to pair matching tiles until there are none left and in the fastest time possible.
It’s not as easy as it sounds as the majority of the tiles are stacked and so most tiles are hidden and not available to be paired until they are revealed. To pair tiles you have to click on one and it will then turn blue if there is an available match. You can’t pair tiles that sit adjacent to each other.
If you feel you’ve made a bad move there is an undo button which is particularly useful towards the end of the game. If you do fail to match all the pairs there is a shuffle button that should help you to complete it although you will incur a time penalty.
You have the option of choosing between six maps and four different tile layouts.
I’ve been playing this for a while but I’m still learning the best tactics and nuances of the game. It’s been a fun process though and I’ve found it quite addictive!
Games such as these can help relieve stress and keep your mind sharp. A lot of focus is put on physical fitness but mental fitness doesn’t get the same kind of attention. But it’s believed that any kind of regular mental stimulation can help slow down age-related cognitive decline.
So my advice is to find yourself enjoyable challenges that test your brain and gets it thinking!