By Chris Hammond
When a blogger turned up on Reddit to say he’d been playing the same game of Sid Meier’s empire building epic Civilization II for ten years it really got us thinking.
If you’re familiar with the Civilization titles you’ll know that they’re addictive and at times devilishl difficult. Kicking off with a handful of settlers it’s up to you to guide your people – like an all powerful God – through the ages till you fulfil your victory conditions.
Bogged down in a never-ending war the Redditor claimed that he was unable to seize victory and was just carrying on a couple of hours a day to see how it all panned out.
Dystopian future vision aside, what’s really fascinating is how many hours of entertainment have been had from this one saved game. For £20, Civilization II certainly proved to be good value for money for that individual.
And here’s the thing, what does £20 get you in the cultural stakes these days? A couple of cinema tickets. Two Blu-Ray films. A round of drinks with friends. A fortnights SKY TV. A pass for a day’s paintballing. A ticket for a First Division football match. Not much really.
If even an average game keeps you occupied for 20 hours, think about how much bang for your buck you’ll get from a classic title?
If you’re feeling the pinch and want to maximise your money here are five games that will eat all the hours you can find.
Everyone is still talking about the epic fantasy RPG from Bethesda and rightly so. With well over 100 hours of questing in the original game the first expansion adds a further 20 to that. You could just about get through it all in a week; if you skip sleeping and eating. PC players are particularly lucky due to the fact they can utilise an endless number of mods.
Sins of a Solar Empire
This real time strategy set in space is pretty gargantuan in its scope. Set it up right and you’ll spend an age before you actually encounter any enemies. You’d better be prepared for first contact though because when you do bump into your competitors they’ll be hell bent on blasting your planets and spaceships to bits.
This block building game will last as long as your imagination so provided you have one you’ll be just fine. As with Skyrim, PC users can enjoy a whole host of cheeky mods which will improve and entertain in equal amounts.
Sacrificing relationships, losing friends, developing a fear of daylight and learning to live without sleep or sustenance were all part of the package when you chose to take Aldershot Town from the cusp of relegation to the heady heights of Champions League glory. You have been warned.
Erm it’s a fiver and you get not one game but five, including cult classics Portal and Half-Life 2. A no brainer really.