Many a music fan has played this game – you’re sitting around with your friends at a pub or perhaps on a long road trip – and the conversation turns to what three albums you’d bring to a deserted island.
Well, what about video games? Yes, assuming there’s a console or computer, television – oh, and a little ‘ol thing called electricity – what three games of yesteryear or today would you toss in your suitcase (presuming, of course, you knew you were going there)?
Well, Digital Trends thought it would be interesting if we turned to a handful of video game luminaries of our time to ask what three titles they’d bring to a deserted isle, and why.
We caught up with eight famous game designers to find out their picks. Here are their responses – in their own words.
Also let us know in the comments section which three games you would pick if stranded on a deserted island.
Warren Spector, Junction Point Studios
Best known for: System Shock, Deus Ex, Disney Epic Mickey
The scary thing is, I think about this a lot.
1. Number one would be Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past for the NES [Nintendo Entertainment System]. While it plays the same way exactly the same way every time you play, it’s a game I play every year to refresh myself and cleanse my palette, as it’s an elegant little jewel of a game. Because I play it over and over again so I might as well bring it to the island.
2. Second game would probably be Diablo 2, because it’s still on my hard drive – that’s rare for a game of that vintage and yes, I still play it. This influential game is different every time you play, provides replayability in a very thrilling package, and it defines quality in every way.
3. My third game would be Tetris because infinite replayability — we’ve all played it on every platform that has ever existed and it’s still so state of the art. There’s lots of imitators, so why not the original. If you’re going to be stuck on an island, Tetris would provide endless amount of fun, which is what you need.
Oh, and if there’s an Internet connection, I’d bring World of Warcraft as I’d want a MMO [massively multiplayer online game], even though I’m not an MMO guy, as it means I’ve got contact with people.
Cliff Bleszinski (“CliffyB”), Boss Key Productions
Best known for Unreal franchise, Gears of War
1. Tetris, because it allows me to backchannel solve all of my day to day problems, and it’s infinitely replayable.
2. Borderlands, because it’s got nearly an unlimited amount of guns.
3. And, shameless plug, our upcoming game Bulletstorm, because you can toy with your enemies in a seemingly endless manner.
Todd Howard, Bethesda Game Studios
Best known for The Elder Scrolls series, Fallout 3
1. Civilization V: Like the other games I’ll mention, you can play this game forever. Almost unlimited depth, A.I., and ways you can play. Need my strategy fix.
2. Gran Turismo 5: My hope is this gets released before I hit the island. Also a huge game with excellent replay value. Feeds my love for sports, competition, and cars.
3. World of Warcraft: Not sure if I have the Internet here, but figure this is the best way to have some human contact. Again, another huge deep amazing game that feeds my desire for a fantasy RPG.
Tim Willits, id Software
Best known for Doom and Quake series
1. World of Warcraft: With 8 million people online I wouldn’t feel so alone. The game has so much depth and replayability that it truly can entertain me for a long, long time. The game has been around for years and it just keeps going. It is “the” definition of what a service based MMO should be and it is the high water mark for every other MMO. With each new expansion the game just keeps growing and growing. I can think of very little else I would need.
2. Quake 3: Quake 3 by itself is such a simple but pure game to play. It only takes a few minutes to learn but truly takes a lifetime to master. The precise skill development needed to achieve greatest is no easy task. I’ve seen professional gamers practice hours a day for months only to get out-matched by someone else. Another great aspect of Quake 3 is the engine, which has powered some of the biggest titles in history (Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, etc.). The flexibility of what is possible in the engine is limitless. Just making mods for the core game could entertain me for years, developing an entirely new game on a deserted island would actually be fun!
3. Fallout 3: One of the best single player games ever made. With its depth and gameplay you really can’t go wrong with this. The game world is so big and there is so much to do that by the time I get finished playing it I’d probably be discovered…
Will Wright, Stupid Fun Club
Best known for The Sims series, SimCity, Spore
[Editor’s note: Will, one of the most successful game designers of our time, wanted to participate in this story but was so busy he only had time to jot down a couple of words. He apologizes for the brevity but here are his picks, nonetheless.]
1. Advance Wars: It’s relaxing to play.
2. Battlefield 1942: It’s funny. Makes you laugh. [Er, ok – Ed.]
3. A good computerized game of Go: It makes you think.
Alex Rigopulos, Harmonix
Best known for Guitar Hero, Rock Band
1. Kinect Adventures with the optional Game Boat accessory from Atomic. Though it’s not supposed to be used as a real boat, it seems like a good place to start.
2. Any Rock Band bundle or standlone drum peripheral, so that I would have two sticks to rub together to make a fire.
3. Rock Band mobile, specifically a new version that designed to be compatible with all leading models of satellite phones.
Alternate: Myst. Because what’s better when you’re trapped on an island than to play a game where you’re trapped on an island!
Ed Boon, NetherRealm Studios (formerly Midway Games)
Best known for Mortal Kombat series
I don’t know why I would be on a deserted island but if for some reason I was, the three games I’d take with me would be games that focus more on “high score” than a linear episodic adventure. With that in mind, I would bring along…
1. Millipede – This game was a sequel to an Atari arcade game called Centipede. While it didn’t sell more than Centipede, I thought it was better in every way. So fast, frenetic and non-stop that to this day it’s one of my favorite arcade games from the 80’s. No co-op, no online, just the kind of game where you keep trying to beat your personal best high score and nobody else is involved but you. A true classic.
2. Robotron – I would choose this one for the same reasons I picked Millipede. Robotron is the mother of all adrenaline games, one of the few were you end up sweating while you play, and was also an arcade game. Trying to beat your personal best high score is what this game is all about and to this day I’ve yet to become bored with it – and it was released in the early eighties !!
3. Grand Theft Auto 4 – I never even came close to finishing any of the GTA games, so what better situation would allow me the time to finish a massive game like GTA4 than to be on a deserted island! As a matter of fact, if I was able to, I’d probably bring all the GTA games with me so I could start from the beginning and go all the way through to the fourth one. These games are put together so well it’s just ridiculous and I can only imagine the amount of work that went into making them.
Shinji Mikami, Tango Gameworks
Best known for Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe and Ace Attorney
On a deserted island, it’s obviously important that the ability to play for a long time is important. I excluded online games because I figured it didn’t match the theme of a deserted island.
1. God Hand — Apologies for it being my own game. But, not having played the game for a while, I have become a little rusty. Now I can re-train myself from the beginning.
2. Family Circuit — This game also is a game that is worthwhile to master. When I become bored of life on a deserted island I can enjoy a thrilling race battle and bring a bit of balance to my life. Should be fun!
3. Derby Stallion — I don’t think it was released outside of Japan. This is a very addictive game; so addictive that I have forbidden myself from playing it in real life.