"What is your favorite evergreen game?"
Fellow Blaugustian Void posed this good question over on the Nook, and one I shall answer for Blaugust Day 3. An evergreen game is basically one that, much like the tree, continues to thrive on our gaming agenda. Even if it gets pushed to the side in lieu of another title, it'll grow its way back into our recently played.
There are a couple ways this can happen, and may occur in both the player's perspective and/or the game design. The player side may simply be for whatever specific enjoyment they get from playing that game. Heck, if Fairy Solitaire keeps sucking them in, it's their evergreen. It's something so personal that it can't really be put into quantitative words.
The game itself may provide some means of continually drawing the player back in, and should be the standard studios strive for when designing their game. Replayability is a big factor, and helps to extend the life of a game through some fresh means. A random, single-player-only first-person shooter may not keep the player wanting more. However, add a unique multiplayer mode, or perhaps a new game (NG) experience with enhanced gameplay, and you may see your audience returning time and time again.
Adding the options and toolsets for modding may also net you a long-lasting crowd. By allowing the public to build upon your original design, the sky is now literally the limit (and beyond, for space titles). The community you'll see sprout from some mod-supported games are some of the most passionate folks you'll see for that title, and no matter how bizarre some mods get, you'll bet it just made someone's day.
All that being said, it's probably not a huge surprise to hear me say my evergreen title has embraced a nice combination of replayability through RPG elements, story, and mod support. Fus ro dah, it's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I'd imagine some may share the same sentiment. It is an immense game that could potentially provide an endless number of hours for just a single run. I went through a similar phase with The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Skyrim always gives me those immersive chills when I go to boot it up - from the first hit of the loading screen music, to the first-person experience, developer Bethesda hit the nail on the head with the Elder Scrolls series.
Now, I'll admit I don't go FULL immersion with the game. You won't see me delving into each word in the many books offered in the game (it ends up being more of a "will this novel boost [X] skill?"), and I don't shun the use of the quick travel, but there's just something about the massive world and the many dungeons that continues to wet my role-playing appetite.
|That troll fat will make for EXCELLENT beef stew!|
Evergreen clip art by ClipArts
Skyrim Mammoths by ElderScrollsSkyrim.org