After Math: Take a mental health break from this crisis with these games
It’s been a brutal week. We started it with a historic space flight promising to unite the American people under a banner of hope and optimism. Then the police rioted. All of them, I think. Now we’ve got protests running throughout the nation. Calls for radical police reform have even spread online where brands left and right are declaring their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. If you feel the need to take a breather from this hellscape reality before diving back into the political fray (or even doomscrolling through Twitter again), this week’s headlines have your back.
You can finally play Maxis’ long-lost ‘SimRefinery’ oil simulator
Oil refineries in Northern California have been polluting the San Francisco Bay Area for decades, at least when they weren’t busy blowing up for any and all reasons. But thanks to a single, long-lost Maxis floppy disk you too can now try your hand at being an oil baron for the Chevron Corporation. Learn the in’s and out’s of how refineries work and how quickly the entire system can be taken offline once you start disabling specific bits. Or, if you prefer a more anodyne 8-bit gaming experience, try your hand at NASCAR racing with the recently unearthed Days of Thunder NES game.
‘Doom’ and ‘Doom II’ are free for some Chromebook owners
The dread and helplessness many of us feel is a painful, yet perfectly reasonable, response to the mad times we are living through. But rather than giving in to your anger and doing something you’ll regret in real-life, take out that pent up aggression on invading demon spawn from hell. If you’ve got a Chromebook, you can pick up and play the OG Doom and Doom II games for free, at least for a limited time. Conversely, if you prefer a more cultured method of response, the Criterion Collection has released an archive of movies from black filmmakers for your free perusal.
The first ‘Pokémon Sword’ and ‘Shield’ expansion arrives June 17th
I, for one, take exception to the entire premise of the Pokemon series. But, if you’re the sort of gamer who enjoys pitting enslaved animals against one another in violent combat for your personal prestige and amusement, the first expansion packs for Sword and Shield drop in just 10 days.
Sega’s Game Gear Micro lives up to its name with a 1.15-inch screen
If you’re looking for a distraction while being detained and zip-tied in a police van for nine hours because you committed the “crime” of being the streets 10 minutes before curfew, the Sega Game Gear Micro ain’t it, unfortunately. Once October rolls around, however, these brightly colored, minuscule throwback systems can help you make it through the coming second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks, each with its own unique set of classic 16-bit titles.