Taking a break, and turning to tablet gaming?

I’ve been doing “TGIF” gaming summaries here at Dragonchasers for a few weeks now, and I often rough them out on Thursdays since not much is going to change between Thursday night and Friday evening. So I was checking my Raptr profile and it shows that in the last week I’ve played 1 hour of TERA and 30 minutes of Diablo 3.

Apparently, I’m taking a break from gaming. I was wondering why I was feeling so relaxed.

See, with sunset so late in the evening now, I’ve been getting in from walks with Lola at about 9 pm. Trying to then compress catching up on RSS feeds, catching up on emails and writing a blog post and leaving enough time to get into a ‘real’ game like TERA was really starting to stress me out, and I kept staying up much too late to try and fit everything in. I was tired and grumpy at work, where I was trying to juggle keeping up with G+, getting in some RSS tracking and, y’know, doing my actual work, all while feeling like I could put my head down on the desk and go right to sleep.

So this week, I just stopped gaming. At least, I stopped playing TERA which is the only ‘real’ game I’m interested in right now. Instead I’ve been gaming on the iPad.

WTF? What have I become? I’m the guy who is always ranting and raving about how we need true handheld systems and true consoles because “mobile gaming” just doesn’t cut it. So have I switched teams?

No, actually I haven’t. I’m not playing action-based games on the iPad and I still think the lack of physical controls makes action-y games not great on a tablet. Instead I’m doing a bunch of asynchronous multiplayer strategy gaming (back in ye olden tymes we’d call that “Play by Email”) with friends. Friends who, like me, were hardcore gamers at one point (and possibly still are) but who (and I’m doing a bit of assuming here) find it hard to squeeze gaming in during the week these days. But grabbing the iPad to play a turn of Ascension or Hero Academy? That, they have time for.

So I chill on the couch, send off a turn and do some work until I get the notification that one of my buddies has taken his turn. Then I bounce over, make my move and go back to working. It’s a great way to fit some fun into the evening without making it into a stressful thing. And it’s been a great way to re-connect with my gaming friends, who’re scattered all over the world.

I’m Dragonchasers in GameCenter and pasmith in Hero Academy. I still suck at both games so if you want some easy wins send me an invite.

I’ve been really happy with the 3rd generation iPad even though I really still prefer Android over iOS. For multiplayer gaming, iPad vs Android is like Xbox vs PS3. What matters isn’t the actual platform so much as being where all your friends are. When I had an iPad 1 I was kind of on the bleeding edge and not many friends had tablets (nor were there many MP games out there). But now, iPad ownership is common among my old friends and, while we’re focusing on just two games right now, there are plenty of others for us to move onto if we get bored.

Angela and I are planning on moving in a few months and we need to start planning and packing for that. The days are still getting longer and Lola is showing no signs of losing her ‘puppy energy’ any time soon. Packing and long walks aren’t going to leave much time, so I’m not sure I’ll be getting back to doing much ‘real’ gaming before the fall. I do plan to keep Saturday nights as my big ‘gaming’ night though (Sunday is the 1 day of the week I can sleep in so I can stay up late gaming…when I don’t fall asleep by accident!)

I’m actually kind of looking forward to coming back to gaming reinvigorated after taking a semi-forced semi-break.

7 thoughts on “Taking a break, and turning to tablet gaming?

  1. I added ya pete, and started a game of HA with you. Dinna worry – I suck pretty badly too. Also, I just picked up Ticket to Ride for the iPad, and am looking for some other real people that I know to play it with. And by the way I pretty much completely agree with your assessment of tablet gaming. I have downloaded and played some actiony games, but I almost always put them away a short time later. Plants v Zombies is about as actiony as I want in an iPad gaming experience.

  2. I’ve never played Ticket to Ride. I think we talked about this somewhere else at one point but a weird thing about mobile gaming is how cheap we get. I mean, Ticket to Ride is like $6. SIX DOLLARS!!?? I gotta be sure before I splash out the big bucks like that!!! 🙂

    But I won’t think twice about buying a mediocre Xbox 360 game when the price gets slashed from $60 to $30. I’m saving $30… how can I NOT buy it!? 🙂

  3. Hey guys, I’ve been playing HA, Ascension (+expansions), and (recently) TTR on my Touch a lot lately.
    I think I have you guys added, but I’m Wininoid in Game Center and in game.

    I agree re: games on handhelds. These are some of the top games. Probably they are so good because they came from board games. Most games are poor clones of console games or annoying clones of Facebook games.

    Re gaming burnout in general, I hear ya. What gets me is trying to keep up with twitter and G+ and facebook and and and. I’m learning to let go and just look at recent stuff instead of always going back and reading everything. It’s hard though. The best thing for stopping my game stress has been to stop playing subscription games. With F2P, I feel no pressure to log in all the time. Now I can play when I want or when I plan to meet up with friends. D3 is great for quick pickup games. And raptr/steam are great for seeing someone in a game and being able to jump in a join.

    I think I’m Winin on raptr and Winin[mp] on steam.

  4. Oh yeah, TTR is $2 on the iphone/touch. And it goes free ever few weeks. You could try it on that. I find it easy enough to play on that size, and I only played the board game once, 5 years ago.

  5. My night to burn the midnight oil is Friday. I tend to abandon rationality and stay up way past my bedtime gaming. Its something I very much look forward to: when the rest of my world has gone to bed and its just me and my games. But I generally dont have the luxury of sleeping in on Saturday, so I pay for it each and every weekend. Somehow my 4 year old son doesnt get the come on buddy, daddys tired thing.

  6. Agree on the action games on tablets. I’ve steered clear of those and all the trashy arcade remakes.

    I do feel the tablets are an exceptional platform for board games though. They present so well with slick graphics and intuitive interfaces. The touch controls make feel like you are moving pieces on the real board. Add an AI and online multiplayer async and i’m a very happy camper. Especially with the best of the Euro Games.

  7. Eh, I’m actually a fan of reading your TGIFs. To me, it’s kinda a fleshed-out version of your weekly Raptr summary. Instead of bullet points or a mere list of games, I get to read if you had fun on anything, had any memorable occasions, whatever. I don’t really concern myself with what genres you’re playing or which platforms you’re playing them on. I sub to your RSS to see what you’re enjoying (or not, if that happens to be the case) not to only see you prognosticating MMO idiosyncrasies or whatever other limiting topic anyone can think of.

    Hell, you mentioned having fun with that Shadowgun tablet game, so I bought it that very day for no other reason than you wrote about it.

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