Great games for long winter nights


Berlin (dpa / tmn) – In winter the hour of the sprawling film and board game evenings strikes. However, anyone who has long since looked empty at the streaming provider and had to postpone the board game session to the next year due to the risk of infection should take a look around the world of video games.

Because here you will find fascinating backdrops and exciting stories that are made for long winter nights.

The dream of your own zoo

There are plenty of theme park managers and zoo simulations in the game world, but “Planet Zoo” stands out from the crowd – and for two reasons: On the one hand, “Planet Zoo” looks fantastic and stages the virtual animals, their enclosures and them hopefully a gigantic stream of visitors, extremely realistic and loving to detail.

On the other hand, the game comes with a huge construction kit that allows the new home of over 50 different animal species to be adapted down to the last stone. With a little practice, huge enclosures with underwater tunnels, climbing castles or sand dunes can be created with just a few clicks of the mouse – there are hardly any limits to your imagination.

And this care is also necessary. Because every animal has its own, species-specific demands and needs that it places on its environment. If these are not met, there is a risk of animal dissatisfaction, stress or illness – and that in turn drives the valuable visitors out of the “Planet Zoo”.

Hunt for treasures and feelings of happiness

At first glance, “Darkest Dungeon” may not be a quiet game for Christmas and winter: After all, players lead a group of heroes through underground caverns, threatening castles and dark caves, where they have to fight nasty monsters and plunder treasure chests.

And “Darkest Dungeon” lives up to its name in other ways as well: It stages the often fatal adventures less as an exciting expedition, but more as a dark journey into the unknown, the participants of which can even go crazy in extreme stressful situations.

But the darkness also has a downside: When after hours of fighting in dark corridors, the brave warriors crawl to the exit with the last of their strength and carry valuable treasures with them in their trouser pockets, then there is always a huge feeling of happiness. And then the horrors you have just experienced are quickly forgotten – and the next cave beckons with new, valuable riches that have to be recovered.

Great power with even greater responsibility

The strategy game “Crusader Kings 3” turns players into the heads of a medieval dynasty. The kingdom in which it rules can be freely chosen on a world map: From the county of Oldenburg to the Spanish kingdom or the Arab emirate, everything is included. Once you have finally decided where in the world you want to earn your spurs as ruler, the great struggle for small successes begins, which makes “Crusader Kings 3” so special.

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Because if you want to be successful in this game, you have to constantly make new decisions – and do so as far-sightedly as possible: from marrying your son to making new alliances to the question of whether you should ingratiate yourself with the Pope or rather become a Satanist, the player has all the reins in hand.

But every decision has consequences – not only political, but also for the reputation of the court, who sometimes forges a plot against the player if they are too dissatisfied.

The only drawback of this ruler simulation: “Crusader Kings 3” requires a little training time due to its complexity. But once this is done, a game opens up that, in terms of its scope and degree of challenge, has hardly any equal competition.

Freedom of choice drama

In “Yes, Your Grace”, too, players become king, but there they experience a completely different story than in “Crusader Kings 3”: Here the small development team has come up with an entertaining, dramatic story that puts the player as the ruler of a small one Fantasy kingdom leads from one difficult decision to the next – while one’s own empire seems to steer inexorably into a devastating war.

It is now up to the player to make the best decision for his own kingdom as far-sighted and well-considered as possible, but not to lose sight of the wishes of his own family. Should your own daughter be married against her will to the leader of a powerful clan, who then become allies? And is the little son allowed to play with his wooden weapons in the throne room during important audiences? What can go wrong there?

These many dramaturgical ingredients result in a winding story with a high replay value, which is told in a visually appealing way thanks to the beautiful and detailed pixel graphics.

Smart tactics in the Wild West

In “Desperados 3”, players are the leaders of a colorful gunslinger gang that is experiencing a great adventure in the Wild West. The game is divided into individual, huge levels, which the Desperados must cross as undiscovered as possible.

This can only be achieved with a lot of foresight, clever thinking and sensible use of the special skills of each gang member: From seducing attentive guards to pushing into the laid out bear trap, the Wild West bag of tricks is large and extensive.

The game is not particularly easy, on the contrary. However, it is sufficient to play through the tutorial carefully to become familiar with the basic elements of “Desperados 3”. And those who have played through the third part can then devote themselves to the older predecessor games, which in turn also tell successful cowboy stories.

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