It’s exam time. This means one crucial thing: the desire to play video games has increased by around 5,000 per cent (at least that’s what scientists probably say). Let’s face it, at some stage you’ll cave in and take a well-earned break or at least a well-reasoned procrastination session. So which titles can you dip into safely, and which will drown away the hours until you inevitably ruin your degree? Here’s The Saint’s shortlist:
‘Safe’ revision games
1. Shark Attack Deathmatch
This Xbox 360 indie game is absolutely terrifying. Shark Attack Deathmatch match does exactly what it says on the tin; putting you in control of a hapless diver surrounded by bloodthirsty sharks and up to three fellow gamers, each armed with deadly harpoons. If that wasn’t enough it also boasts a zombie shark survival mode. Here the player has to stay alive for as long as possible against wave after wave (excuse the pun) of undead, underwater beasts. After just a few short matches your nerves will be so shot that you’ll likely desire nothing more than to return to the company of your gloriously inanimate books. What’s more at a mere 69p Shark Attack Deathmatch is very friendly on the student loan, leaving you with more money to spend on those lovely overpriced highlighter sets ‘crucial’ to any serious revision session.
2. Trials Fusion
Trials Fusion is the latest in an excellent line of arcade motorbike races by studio RedLynx. Its co-op tournaments take less time to complete than is usually required to decipher a single sentence of Immanuel Kant. Furthermore this is a game that’s best when played with friends, friends who may remind you that you that it’s time to get back to work.
3. GTA V (if completed)
There is perhaps no better way of letting off pre-exam steam than a session of Grand Theft Auto. Menacing the citizens of Los Santos by bike, plane, or explosive lined automobile is almost certainly the next best thing to meditation. Fortunately you will likely eventually tire of cold-blooded murder and reluctantly return to the library. That is, of course, if you have no story missions remaining (and to be fair why you would by now?). If you do, however, prepare to risk losing days into GTA V’s gripping, varied and dangerously lengthy campaign.
4. Hannah Montana: The Movie
Not much to be said here. This title is so bloody awful that you’ll never wish to take a revision break again.
The top ‘unsafe’ revision games
1. Flappy Bird
‘Fortunately’ this iOS download has now been removed from the App Store. But be wary: countless equally punishing and equally moreish rip-offs still exist deep within its pixelated depths. I myself can confess to recently spending many an hour attempting to get a score in the double figures in the uncannily similar title Flappy Wings.
2. Football Manager 2014
Though the world cup is fast approaching, this is no time to start living out your managerial fantasies, especially when they can be so addictively realised by Football Manager 2014. Having probably observed the utterly distressing number of hours friends and peers have spent on this game, I suggest you take note and avoid it like the plague.
3. Any decent MMO or RPG (or MMORPG for that matter)
These games require hours to get the most out of and can have anyone hooked within minutes. Be warned: as appealing a place League of Legends’ Summoner’s Rift is right now, you’ll be very sorry you went there come June.
4. Metal Gear Solid 4
Hideo Kojima’s 2008 masterpiece holds the Guinness world record for the longest cutscene sequence in a video game. It comes in at a monumental 71 minutes and is accompanied by many scenes of a similarly ridiculous length. Thus, unless you’re taking a module in ‘great ideas’, avoid this title.