Games to Play With Your Friends When You Don't Want to Think

Go-to games with low barriers to entry

Games to Play With Your Friends When You Don't Want to Think
Photo by SXRIPTX / Unsplash.

My friends and I have a Discord server that we use to play D&D, watch movies, listen to music, post memes, and, more often than not, play video games. During the pandemic, that’s become more common than ever.

Source: Steam.

Do I need to mention that the last few years have been tough? I think everyone knows that by now. I don’t think I need to explain why you'd want to play silly, low-stakes games with your friends. But I do know that sometimes, you don’t know where to start.

What do you want to play?

I figured that there are probably quite a few people out there who are getting a little sick of Minecraft, and who don’t necessarily want to pay $60 to play Mario Kart with their buddies. So, I’ve put together a list of my favorite indie games to play with your friends when the world is too overwhelming to do anything else.

The number of times I’ve yelled at my friend with the map ability to come back only to get hopelessly lost is astounding. Source: Steam.

Never Split the Party

If you’re a fan of rogue-like combat and yelling at your friends for abandoning you, Never Split the Party is the game for you. Released in 2018 by Legend Studio, NSTP is a social dungeon crawler.

You play in parties of four or fewer, with each member gaining a different class and special ability. You gather coins, keys, potions, and other items while avoiding animate tornadoes, ice monsters, and goblin-like creatures that can chuck you rooms away.

Your goal? Get to the bottom of the dungeon and defeat the boss!

Don’t Starve Together

I can’t think of anything more delightfully infuriating than playing Don’t Starve Together with my friends. Don’t Starve Together, released in 2016, is the multiplayer follow-up to Klei Entertainment’s Don’t Starve.

You’ve got all the fun of a farming and exploration sim with the added joy of the constant threat of insanity and destruction. Never have I been more terrified to explore my surroundings at night than when my friends yell in terror, “WHAT IS THAT?!” from the safety of the camp I just left.

DST has clockwork monsters, a playable spider, randy bison with valuable poop (yes, you read that correctly), and a gorgeous Tim Burton-esque landscape full of creepy lore for you to enjoy.

The insults frequently come out completely incomprehensible and I love it. Source: Steam.

Oh, Sir! Insult Simulator

I grew up on the dry humor of Monty Python, so when I first saw this game, I knew immediately I was going to love it. Oh, Sir! The Insult Simulator was released in 2016 by Good Shepherd Entertainment. It is, affectionately, the most ridiculous game I’ve ever seen.

You play as one of a variety of strange, quirky, occasionally pop-culture referential characters ranging from a classic Englishman named Shufflebottom to literally H. P. Lovecraft. Square up against one of your friends and chuck insults at each other, with extra points for rudeness!

It looks incredibly epic until you’re being rocketed off the stage by a snake with wings. Source: Steam.

Stick Fight

Have you ever watched those Animation vs. Animator videos on YouTube? Have you ever wanted to do that, but look significantly less epic and definitely goofier? Stick Fight is what you’re looking for, friend!

From Landfall in 2017, this glitchy endless battle royale game is exactly what it says on the tin. You’re a stick figure fighting against other stick figures in complex, physics-based arenas that cycle between rounds. You’re armed with knives, swords, guns, and, occasionally, flying snakes, as well as a few other surprises that can sometimes break the entire game.

I have no way of telling you how absolutely hectic and thrilling this game is, as well as how undeniably hilarious. Trust me when I say it’s well worth the money.

Let Your Brains Take a Break

Sometimes you want to play something challenging and rewarding. You want to devise a complicated strategy or deceive. Or maybe you want to engage with your friends in a game that covers a serious topic or requires a high level of skill.

Other times it’s just fun to have a simple task to do that you and your friends can joke about. Maybe you just want to throw a stick figure around a screen, hurl nonsensical insults, set an entire forest on fire, or fight your way through a dungeon. That’s perfectly fine!

Get out there and beat up your friends…virtually, of course.


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