Drinking while gaming is probably not good for you; the booze will ruin your liver and the games will ruin your eyesight (and your moral compass, if you believe certain politicians). However, getting the alcohol flowing and games spinning with a group of friends is one of the best ways to pass a night, day or weekend.
Bringing new meaning to the term ‘drinking games’ here’s our pick of the top ten multiplayer games to play while pissed off your face. Get the beers in!
Mario Kart Wii
Cartoony graphics, silly weapons, iconic characters and simple controls, Mario Kart is arguably the quintessential game for the drunken gamer. The familiarity of the gameplay means that everyone in your party will likely know the basic mechanics and controls and the rubber-band AI means, no matter how bad someone is, they’ll always be in with a chance of success.
We’ve highlighted the Wii edition because of the inclusion of motion controls, a feature that can make the least entertaining of games enjoyable when in the hands of intoxicated individuals. If you’ve got the luxury of giving everyone a Wii Wheel then all the better.
Any of the Rock Band games will do for this one. Depending on how lucid you are, you may want to consider playing on one of the easier modes – you’ll score fewer points but you’ll actually finish the track and have more fun. Perhaps the most important thing here is to have someone using the microphone at all times as there’s nothing more entertaining than listening to someone sing Duran Duran’s ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ in a tone even worse than the original.
Of course, the problem with Rock Band is that it takes a lot of setting up. We recommend sorting all of that out when sober rather than struggling with the multitude of wires after six double whiskeys and a bottle of wine.
Like Mario Kart, Worms is one of those games that has been around long enough for almost everyone to understand the concept and the control scheme. You’re better off plumping for one of the 2D Worms games (the proper ones) rather than the most recent 3D editions – the extra dimension adds a layer of needless complexity to the tactics and controls.
Worms is a great one for building drinking games around, too. For example, you have to drink every time you miss a shot completely, every time a Worm dies, every time someone goes in the water and you have to down a whole drink if you get knocked out first.
Not that IncGamers is in favour of irresponsible drinking you understand… know your limitations people.
Dance Central 2
No matter how silly you may come across drunkenly belting out a tune in Rock Band, it can never compare to you awkwardly busting out the dance moves. The intoxicated never look cool doing their own boogie in the club, so imagine how you’re going to look trying to copy the (surprisingly complex) manoeuvres of Dance Central 2.
Dance Central 2 is the superior game to the original when it comes to playing as a group as it allows you to play with two players on screen at once, providing even more entertainment to bewildered onlookers. You may be one of those people that say “I don’t dance and I never will”… that just means you’re not pissed enough (again, drink responsibly).
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Like Mario Kart, it really doesn’t matter which Super Smash Bros. game you plump for here but we’ve gone for the Wii edition because it’s the most recent and comes with the motion controls. Furthermore, Brawl gets the nod because it houses characters that are not owned by Nintendo. That means those friends of yours who spit at anything Nintendo out of ‘principle’ (we all know at least one person like that) can play as Sega’s Sonic or Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake.
Brawl also features some rather handy multiplayer modes for playing in a group, including tournaments and rotation matches. Tournaments can be played by up to 32 players so, unless you’re trying to entertain a wedding party, that should satisfy most in-house gatherings. Rotation switches out players automatically based on their wins/losses – a good way of preventing arguments by having the technology make decisions for you.
I don’t even know why I’m writing all this about Super Smash Bros., everyone knows it’s a great game…
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded
The single player is atrocious (see our full review of the 360 edition tomorrow) but Reloaded’s split screen multiplayer is a whole lot of fun. Trying to catch that same sense of competition and fun as provided by the N64 original on which it’s based, Reloaded shuns many modern FPS conventions and is all the better for it.
Four player split screen brings back the immediate social element that has been lost in most multiplayer titles. While the fact that you can cheat by looking at your opponents’ screens reminds us that games are not all about fair play and strict rules. It was always going to be impossible for Reloaded to match the impact of the N64’s GoldenEye, but its multiplayer does a decent enough job.
Originally, we had Kinect Sports Season 2 pegged for this spot, but we deemed it a little too fiddly to recommend for groups under the influence. Wii Sports strikes that balance between being easy to pick up and providing genuine competition. Plus, like the majority of games on this list, the controls are intuitive and minimal.
In particular it’s the boxing and the golf that represent your best bets for group play. Their pass-and-play format makes them perfect for either sorting out another drink and/or taking a moment to sit down and stop your head from spinning. Just remember to wear the Wii Remote wrist strap…
NHL 3 on 3 Arcade
Silly, over-the-top imaginations of real life sports often make for good party games. Where the likes of Fifa Street, NBA Street and NFL Street fail as pick-up-and-play games for the idiotic/drunk due to systems that require explanation, NHL 3 on 3 Arcade succeeds in amazing fashion.
The winner of each game is the first team to score a certain number of goals, meaning it’s impossible to ever have a bore-draw. Combine this focus on attacking play with power-ups that make goalies massive, players tiny, shots super fast and another that freezes a player in place. There are a good number of bugs in here (hence the generally negative reviews), but after five or eight beers you won’t care or notice.
Plus, you can download yourself a copy for about £6 which adds more than a couple of bonus points for those that have spent all their money on Tequila, lemon and salt.
Power Stone 2
To get the most out of this you’re going to need a Dreamcast – playing the PSP edition is not quite going to cut it. The often forgotten gem in Capcom’s fighting brigade, Power Stone is a 3D fighter set in larger-than-usual arenas and featuring a whole bunch of oddball elements. Objects in the arenas can be picked up and used as weapons, collecting gems transforms you into an all-powerful monster and your power-ups are ridiculously overblown.
The character set should also appeal to anyone experiencing a Jaeger Bomb induced breakdown of reality, ranging from Apache Indians to sexy Persian princesses and WWII-esque fighter pilots. Power Stone 2 is not quite as impressive as the original in terms of the overall experience, but it does allow you to play with four players simultaneously.
While Fifa 12 is undoubtedly the superior game for your hardcore football fan, PES 2012 is the better post-pub product. Despite what Konami may say regarding the increased level of realism in this year’s edition, PES 2012 still allows you to regularly score from ridiculous distances, dribble the ball around the entire team and execute skills and tricks that even Maradonna and Messi would consider silly to attempt.
You’ll need to make sure you’ve got four controllers to get the most out of the PES-plus-alcohol combination as the enforced teamwork between smashed mates is where half the arguments fun rests. Play Fifa 12 drunk and your games are going to end scoreless, play PES 2012 and the score will resemble an American football match.
Kinect Sports Season 2
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.