When I hear the word “vacation” I feel happy and relaxed, but the word “travel” often evokes just the opposite. Earlier this month, I took a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. In order to keep myself occupied during travel, I packed a carry-on bag full of fun diversions, including music, books, and video games.
Despite the compact size of portable video games, I still had to choose carefully among my favorites. I settled on games for the differing circumstances in which I might find myself. Apart from my smart phone, I also limited myself to one portable platform, the Nintendo DS.
First, I made sure I had short games I could easily stop without the worry of losing any experience points. These I chose mainly for the airport, so I didn’t become too distracted and could still listen to announcements. My preferred title of this grouping was Solitaire Overload Plus, a 2010 Nintendo DS game published by Telegames. It contains more than 700 traditional card games, Mahjong formations, and tangram puzzles. Since each game takes only a few minutes to complete, I found it the perfect way to pass the time while waiting for my flight. For even quicker games, I turned to my preferred Android apps, such as Halfbrick’s Fruit Ninja, which contains an engaging 90-second speed mode.
The second collection I packed included more involved games. Since the flight durations lasted for several hours, I didn’t have to worry about being certain I could end the game at any moment without penalty. I played a title for the sake of nostalgia: New Super Mario Bros, a 2006 game for the Nintendo DS. Since I’m not a fan of flying, I found this familiar platformer particularly soothing and happily distracting. When we encountered some turbulence on the second leg of our flight, I switched to Bejeweled 3 on the DS, one of my favorite games of all time, in order to help relax my nerves.
I packed my third and final set of games on a “just in case” basis. My travel took place right after Hurricane Isaac unleashed its wrath on Louisiana, and despite assurances from hotel staff that everything was up and running again, I wasn’t completely convinced that lingering water and wind damage wouldn’t impede my sight-seeing plans. So into my suitcase went longer games that would keep me busy in the event that I found myself spending the majority of time in the hotel room. These included my newest DS game, Magical Starsign, an anime-style RPG published by Nintendo in 2006. Luckily, the majority of the city was cleaned up and I had plenty to do outdoors, so I didn’t play this very often, but it’s always best to be prepared!
These and other games allowed me to have a more relaxing travel experience, which in turn put me in a great mood at the start of my vacation. Whether by plane, train, or automobile, what games do you take with you during your travels? Share your favorites with us.