UPDATED!–9 Video Games for the Classic Introvert

(B’s Update–Oct 16, 2020: Greetings, all! I’ve been playing more games as of late–quarantine will do that, I suppose. I’m always on the lookout for ones that stick out as a true introvert gamer’s dream. Welp, a new one made the list. 😃 Please feel free to check it out below!)

Click here to go straight to the list of games.

I have been a gamer since I was five years old. In the late 1980s, my family was one of the first in our neighborhood to own an Apple Macintosh computer. And boy, did we use it.

The first game that my sister and I played on our brand new, state-of-the-art Apple II was the pixelated puzzler, Think Quick!

Think Quick promotional screenshot
Image courtesy of Moby Games. Ermagosh, the feels.

Just doing a Google search on this game has brought back a wave of nostalgia of the likes I didn’t know I could feel. Perusing the castle mazes to find the keys that would help you build the knight who would destroy the dragon…turning doorknobs to block the dreaded slime worms before they ate you…customizing your own castle levels for your friends to try… kc%^ne9*8r5RT…

But I digress.

The reason I bring up the notion of video gaming in the first place, is because I noticed a serious gap in games that I don’t feel are celebrated enough across Let’s Play communities these days. Maybe because they’re not the most exciting or visually astonishing, or maybe because they’re old. I will hold onto my love for games long after even their publishers went bankrupt.

It goes without saying that everyone is a different kind of gamer.

My entire family are all different types of gamers. Even my parents.

Like, seriously, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen my mother (well in her sixties) rage quit over a range of games like Crossy Roads or Burnout Paradise.

I re-digress.

My personal preference of games are puzzle-solving adventure games. Give me an evenly paced, story-rich game with developed characters, clever dialogue, and an intelligent, relevant set of problems to solve, and I am a happy camper for weeks.

In short?

Give me a game that plays like a good novel. Give me a game that promotes a sense of quiet and comfort as I play it–a game that a good friend or two might sit in the room with me and do their own thing while simultaneously keeping me company.

I’ve come to realize that my favorite kinds of games are what a lot of quintessential introverts might go for. As is commonly reputed, some of the most well-known behaviors of an introvert (courtesy of Introvert, Dear) are as follows:

  • Your inner monologue is hard to shut off.
  • You do your best thinking alone.
  • You notice details that others miss.
  • You can concentrate for long periods of time.
  • You live in your head.
  • You like to people watch.

All of which go famously when playing classic puzzler adventure games.

I think non-introverts often assume that introverts might need to move slower, because we think slower.

We don’t think slower; we take more time to process the thousand-and-one ways in which we can respond to the situation at hand.

So, nyah to anyone who thinks that way.

But I re-re-digress. Let’s get to the good stuff.

With 31 years of game-playing experience, I’d like to present the list of my favorite, super introvert-approved video games. Click on each tab to read the brief synopsis, as well as why it may work for a classic introvert. Though I linked the games to their versions on Steam, some games can also be found through gaming consoles and even in mobile format.

So find, get lost in the story, and enjoy!


NOTE!  While I do call this list a list for introverts, I also recommend trying this list if

  • You’ve always wanted to try a video game but weren’t sure what to start with.
  • You don’t like violent, scary, fast-response or first-person shooter games.
  • You can never play at the speed you need to actually solve puzzles in other games. (*raises hand*)
  • You panic in games. A LOT.  (*RAISES HAND*) 

Classic Video Games for Introverts

Blackwell Bundle poster

Premise:  Roseangela Blackwell is a young woman with a family secret she initially would rather forget: a ghost by the name of Joey Mallone whose soul (ahem--sole) duty is to help lost spirits to move into the next existence.  As this unlikely partnership finds their groove across 5 games, however, they realize that simply leading ghouls towards the Light may be the least of their problems.

Why Introverts will love it:  Roseangela is the quintessential awkward, reluctant (and yes, introverted) heroine who must learn to overcome her social issues just to get to the next puzzle.  Pairing her with her more extroverted spectral sidekick makes for some fun exchanges and pleasantly unique gameplay.  How ironic that the one of the pair who would love to chat up everyone--can't.

Also, if you are a fan of immaculately pixelated point-and-click puzzle games from the late 1980s - 1990s (think King's Quest, Space Quest, Legends of Kyrandia, and a host of others), you will absolutely adore this series.

Edith Finch poster
Artwork and image courtesy and property of Giant Sparrow and Annapurna Interactive. Click the image to go to the game!

Premise: Sometimes, you have to look at someone's death to learn about their life.

[Sorry, lil morbid. Bear with me!]

In What Remains of Edith Finch, that is all you have left as you return to the mysterious and eccentric Finch home to explore your legacy. What secrets are nestled in the creaking nooks and crannies of an island that housed countless generations?

And why is there only one left?

Why Introverts will love it:  The beauty of Edith Finch is that you play not as one, but as multiple characters, each on the last day of their lives. This isn't a spoiler; this is literally written in game synopses. But for an introvert, this can only begin a path of pondering that continues long after the game is done.

With dabbles of fantasy elements thrown in and gorgeous artwork styles customized per character, you can't help but be emotionally drawn into the legacy that the Finch family left behind.

The Longest Journey poster

Premise: Your name is April Ryan. You are a young, small-town girl who was accepted into art school in one of the most bustling cities around. All you want is to make a name for yourself in the art world, dress stylishly, and enjoy your big-city living.

But fate is literally cruel. You are troubled by nightmares--nightmares that bring whispers of prophecy and promises that you will bring balance to the dual worlds of chaos/magic and science/order. Suddenly, with the help of a strange mentor, you are (literally) thrown through a portal into a world where science doesn't exist--and where you are expected to save all worlds.

Why Introverts will love it:  This game can literally be summed up by its title--it is a long game. But personally, I found it to be a game that has easily stood the tests of time. Its playability is awesome; its dialogue and daring to stick a horde of backstory in is refreshing; and its puzzles make sense--which makes getting from point A to point B a heck of a lot less frustrating.

Though The Longest Journey is only the first of a trilogy of games (check out Dreamfall and Dreamfall Chapters, if you like), I found TLJ the only one that didn't have any cliche elements or try to play up to any trends at the time. For example, slight spoiler: Dreamfall played to the popularity of the time with adding a horror-esque "mysterious girl from the Ring" trope. They also added quick-response fighting gameplay. If you are into that, great. But if I'm reading a novel, the last thing I need to do is suddenly toss my book aside and MMA fight one of the characters just to turn the flippin page.

Blackwell Bundle poster

Premise: What if you could have one wish granted? Any wish at all? For Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts of the Sigmund Corporation, this act is their bread and butter: fulfill the last wish of their dying patients.

But this fulfillment isn't easy--especially when the patients themselves don't divulge all of the needed information. In this (current) two-game series, Dr. Watts and Dr. Rosalene must figure out a way to break through all the internal, proverbial red tape just to grant the wishes of two of their more difficult subjects. Oh, that, and get out alive?

Am I joking? Muahuahua...

I mean...why not?

Why Introverts will love it:  Surprisingly sweet, surprisingly funny, and surprisingly original, this game is another one with the makings of "book reader" quality. Though the gameplay itself is pretty linear, the game does a tremendous job of making you mentally double-take and think harder about what could happen than you'd ever expect.

Also, did I mention the re-playability of their soundtracks? Seriously, I'm listening to them right now.

Myst 25th poster
Artwork and image courtesy and property of Cyan Worlds, Cyan Worlds, Presto Studios, and Ubisoft. Click the image to go to the games!

"I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written."

Premise: An ancient, mysterious book lies at your feet. You open it and are stunned to find strange, moving images fluttering the page. Entranced, you can't help but reach out and touch it. Suddenly, your home, your family--your life--fades into nothingness, and you fly instead towards a remote island full of peculiar structures, deceit, entrapment and revenge.

You have been called, dear friend. The world you left, you may never return to. All you know for sure is that the story of the future is now unknown and yet to come.

Why Introverts will love it:  This, dear introverts, is THE GAME that lauched the success of a thousand first-person, single-character, adventure puzzle games--and for good reasons. With a first-person vantage point beyond its time, you were not force-fed into being a random character in a game. You were YOU--and it was YOUR job alone to solve the puzzles hidden across MYST isle. Nor are there other characters to meet and chat to get your clues. Using only torn letters, book portals to other worlds, and the power of your own mind, you have to uncover the MYSTeries all on your own.

This, ladies, gentlemen, and all others, is an introvert's dream game.

(Also, note that I only recommend playing the games through Myst IV: Revelations. There's good reason for that. It's kinda an unspoken rule amongst Myst enthusiasts--Myst V does not count. Myst IV was the end of the series. That's my story, and we're ALL sticking to it.)

Syberia Bundle poster
Artwork and image courtesy and property of Microids. Click the image to go to the games!

Premise: You are Kate Walker, a New York attorney with a rising professional future, a fastidious fiancé, a loyal best friend, and a doting mother. So why and how, pray tell, did you end up stuck in the middle of a miserable French village, just because the owner of a toy (sorry--AUTOMATON) company whose signature you need to complete a high-stakes merger, JUST died?

Oh, but it gets better. When Kate learns that there is still an heir wandering the surrounding tundra, she must embark on a wild goose chase just to find him and finish her mission. But she has nothing to worry about, right? After all, her firm, her future, her fiancé, her friend, and her...mother 😒...are no more than a phone call away.

Why Introverts will love it:  Despite being a third-person clicker with plenty of characters to select for attention and aid, the Syberia games still manage to play with a heavy sense that everywhere you go and everything you do is something that has been long forgotten. One of the major components of the game is a fully automated train that takes you--who the flip cares?! It's fully automated and taking you to an unknown destination! Get the freak outta mah way! *shoves you aside and scrambles onboard*

(Oh, and yes, there is a Syberia III game that was released in the last year. Have yet to play it, and probably not gonna. Why, you ask? Please see my note under The Myst series for explanation. Kthxbye.)

The Beginner's Guide poster
Artwork and image courtesy and property of Everything Unlimited Ltd. Click the image to go to the game!

Premise: You have an hour and a half to explore the inner workings of a creator's mind. What does it look like? How is it structured? What would you do while you're in there? As you are guided by a friend of the creator through a maze of creative processes, you might be surprised as to what you uncover--not of the creator, but of yourself.

Why Introverts will love it:  I'm not gonna lie. The first time I started this game, it went momentarily intense on me--so much so, that I turned it off immediately and didn't reopen it for weeks. When I did, I highly regretted stopping it at all. This game affected me harder than many of the other games, but for different reasons.

I can't say any more without giving something important away, but I will say that by playing it, dear introvert, you will not be disappointed.

The Room poster
Artwork and image courtesy and property of Fireproof Games. Click the image to go to the games!

Premise: You are known only as the player--the one chosen by some knowledgeable predecessor to follow their footprints deeper into the unknown. Clues are left to you in the form of letters, and you can only move forward, deeper into the rooms--and the secrets--by solving clever puzzles embedded within intricate boxes. But are you wiser for going deeper, or for finding a way back out?

Why Introverts will love it: Let me tell you. If any game ever nailed the Myst-like aesthetic and atmosphere, it's the Room Series. Unlike the other games on this list, this compliment stands true to all four of the games in the series. There is only one player--you, in first-person--and though there are memories and letters of people long gone, you know that you are fully alone. And as an introvert, that leaves you to ponder, explore, and solve in the peace of your own mind.

As an added bonus to these games, they were originally designed for mobile platforms. So, if you want to get the experience that Fireproof originally intended, I recommend heading to Google Play or the App Store and checking it out.

Night in the Woods Banner
Artwork and image courtesy and property of developer Infinite Fall. Click the image to go to the game!

Premise:  Your name is Mae. You're a free thinker, a rebel, a wild spirit who refuses to be held down by standard society.  In fact, you've decided to take a break from college life and head on back to the sleepy old miners' town that you've always called home.  It's a town where nothing changes--or rather, nothing should change, because that's how you like it.  As you reconnect with your closest friends, your family, and the very town itself, your days are filled with limitless exploration and remembering what you've left behind.  But it's the nights--oh, the nights--that truly call to you.

Something lurks deep in the woods beyond the town, something that only you seem to notice. It's calling you and you alone, urging you to heed the call even if your loved ones are too distracted by normal living to follow.

Of course, you'll heed it. After all, you're a free spirit.

And it was only a matter of time before the woods called to lead you away.

Why Introverts will love it:  At times delicate, at times so freakin real it hurts, Night in the Woods draws you into a seamless blend of casual, intuitive gameplay and onion-level layers of character depth, dialogue, and enthralling mini-game fun.  What remains at its core the "slice of life" tale of a naive young woman struggling to find herself, NitW does a thrilling job of snagging you at just the right moments and making you rethink what you thought you already knew.  You can choose to built certain relationships--and you can choose to destroy them.  You can delve into the underbelly of town and uncover secrets that, while they may not exist in real life, exists for these characters.

And because I adored these characters (note: Angus the bear is a sweetheart when he smiles), I looked forward to my Friday evenings after a long week of work, where I knew that I could put a couple of hours into the game, enjoy my time getting lost in its atmosphere, and truly appreciate an interactive work of art.

Have you played any of these games? Which one(s) is/are your favorite?

Or, if you know of a game that is perfect for introverts that you didn’t see on the list, please recommend it in the comments! I (and I’m sure others) would love to know what games we should try next!

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2 Comments

  1. K.

    Am I missing the list of games, or is it not there? Looking for some introvert gaming inspo. Thnx!

    1. The Mind

      Ooh, good catch. I recently updated my blog’s design and must have missed this.

      I’ve refreshed the post; the games should be showing now. 😁 Thanks for letting me know; hope you enjoy!

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