Video game options to meet your social distancing needs

Many students are coping with social distancing by playing video games.

The coronavirus outbreak has canceled events, closed schools and put social distancing orders into place.

One thing that it hasn’t canceled is video games (thankfully).

Home video game consoles as we know them have been around since the ‘70s. They’ve been a way for us to escape to another world, and now is the perfect time to do so.

That’s why here you’ll find games that will give you hours of fun gameplay. These games can be played on game consoles, PCs and mobile. They’re also available digitally, so you don’t have to go out and get them.

Hopefully you’ll find one or a couple that suit your social distancing needs.

ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW HORIZONS

Let’s start with the game that has been a social media sensation since its March 20 release.

The latest installment in the Animal Crossing series is the definition of immersing yourself in another reality. The game allows players to create their own paradise on a deserted island as they explore and customize it to their liking.

Oh, and you’re surrounded by friendly animals, so what could be better?

To take it a step further, the game also matches real time and seasons. So if it’s April 1 in real life, it’ll be April 1 in the game. If it’s summertime in real life, it’s summertime in the game.

If you’ve played other installments of the game, you’ll find friendly faces such as Tom Nook and Isabelle.

There’s also an online feature. Animal Crossing: New Horizons allows up to eight players online so everyone can show off their personalized island.

Available on the Nintendo Switch. Buy it here.

CALL OF DUTY: WARZONE

Call of Duty, the renowned first-person shooter franchise, released Warzone on March 10. The objective of the game is to be the last one standing out of 150 players.

Like most battle royale games, players drop into a large map with no supplies, and there’s a circle that forms around a section of the map. If players are outside the circle, well, they’re out.

One of the best parts of this game is the rush you get when you’re one of the few people left standing. It’s intense.

The fun part is players can either fight on their own or have friends tag along.

By the way, did I mention it’s free-to-play on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One?

Available for download here. Also check your respective console’s in-system online store.

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM

Arguably the greatest video game ever, Skyrim is the peak role-playing video games. Initially released in November 2011, this game takes gamers on the adventure of their virtual life.

Set in the fictional land of Skyrim, your character is known as the “Dragonborn,” which basically means players have the power to shout like dragons. The main storyline focuses on dragons returning to Skyrim and the protagonist needing to stop them.

Beyond the main story, there are countless side quests and side projects players can do instead. In my current playthrough, I’ve spent the majority of my time creating different types of armor and weapons as well as buying a house and decorating it. Oh, I also adopted a child.

There’s countless options with this game, and you’ll never be bored of it. I’ve played it since its release and it continues to surprise me.

If you’re going to play this game on the PC or a current-gen console like a PS4 or Xbox One, you can add mods. These are user-created modifications to the game, and some mods make this game even better.

Currently, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is available for PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.

Available for the PC here. Check your respective console’s online store for purchasing options.

MINECRAFT

This sandbox video game has been around since 2009 and hasn’t slowed down.

Minecraft is simply one of the best at making you forget about your real life home and instead worry about the one you're building in the game.

In the game, builders can mine for some diamond, fight off some creepers, build a whole village or get a pet dog. Players can literally do whatever they’d like.

And during these times, that freedom is welcoming.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch, Android and iOS.

MOBILE GAMES

If you don’t have a console, don’t feel like spending money on one or don’t want to buy a new game, here are a couple of mobile ones you can try out.

Clash of Clans: Free on iOS and Android, the objective of this game is to build a base with defensive buildings and troops and attack other player bases to gain resources and trophies. Players can also start their own clan or join one.

Clash Royale: Free on iOS and Android. From the makers of Clash of Clans, this is a card-based game where the objective is to collect the most powerful cards so when you go against your opponent, you can obliterate them.

The Sims FreePlay: Free on iOS and Android. It’s The Sims but made to be handheld. Players can make an entire town of sims and decide how they interact and what they do.

Call of Duty: Mobile: Free on iOS and Android. I never thought we’d have Call of Duty on mobile, so take advantage. Play either Battle Royale or a 5-v-5 based combat.

Fortnite: Free on iOS and Android. A Battle Royale specialty. We all at one point have heard of Fortnite and all the goofy dances. Now is the time to take your chance at being the last one standing.

@Brian_L8

features-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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