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WolfAmongWolves

Best games for players of different skill levels

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When I was a kid playing Atari with my friends, there was almost always the issue of unbalanced game time. Since most two-player games with alternating turns switch to the second player only when the first player dies, it's a real bummer for a novice playing with an expert. Usually whoever owned the game had the home advantage, as they'd had much more opportunity to play the game than the friend who was over for a visit. When I was over at a friend's house who wanted to show me his new game that he'd been playing the heck out of for the past two weeks, he played for several minutes before dying, after which I got between 10 and 20 seconds of gameplay before biting the dust, and then he'd be at it for several minutes again, etc. When I had friends over at my house the roles were reversed. It was one of the main reasons I never got my little sister to play Atari with me back in the day, as she simply got bored watching me clear five screens of Pac-Man on one life while she barely made it to the first power pellet. 

 

That's why I was so pleasantly surprised when I got Shark Attack, because that game broke the mold by switching to the second player each time the first player cleared a maze. Gone was the time of endlessly waiting for the other player to die before you got your turn. I recently noticed that Towering Inferno does something similar; it switches to the second player each time the first player clears a floor.

 

Besides Shark Attack and Towering Inferno, are you aware of any other two-player games that switch between players in that way, i.e. without the other player necessarily having to die?          

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Hmm... well, it's a little different, but there's Entombed. Two players play at the same time, and if one player dies then you both stop and restart the level. The player who died loses a life, and if either player loses all three of their lives then the game ends. So it's cooperative if both of you trying to help each other survive as long as possible... or its competitive if you're trying to be the last survivor.

 

And this isn't exactly what you're looking for either.. but my son and I like playing Mines of Minos because it has the option for the second player to control the enemy monsters. It's a pretty neat feature which ensures that both players are always playing.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for your response, Somebooks. You're right, it's not exactly what I was looking for. There are many great two player games with the players playing at the same time, usually opposing each other, e.g. Combat, Outlaw, Surround, etc. Then there are a few like Mines of Minos where the second player controls the enemy, e.g. Dodge'Em and G.I. Joe. I was interested to know if there were any other games where the players take turns playing consecutively, but don't have to wait for the other player to die before they get their turn. Those seem to be very rare indeed.   

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On 7/4/2021 at 5:28 PM, WolfAmongWolves said:

Besides Shark Attack and Towering Inferno, are you aware of any other two-player games that switch between players in that way, i.e. without the other player necessarily having to die?          

Interesting topic, Wolf.  I think you're right, in that there probably aren't very many 2600 games with this 2-player feature.

 

Well, I have another one for you.  Lost Luggage - where players alternate with each cleared wave.

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Posted (edited)

M-Network's Frogs and Flies was a great one when I was a kid. I'd play that with my mom all the time (she was no good at video games), both on Difficulty A.

 

Sure, someone without skill won't catch a lot of flies, but it's so much fun watching your frog jump into the pond, you really don't care.

 

This is technically a "competition" game, but there is no real pressure and it's so much fun.

Edited by keithbk

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Oh, I thought of another one that almost-but-not-really fits your description: Dark Chambers. It’s two player co-op… but if one player dies they just wait for the other player to complete the level and then they rejoin on the next level. Again, not exactly what you’re describing with taking turns and whatnot… but close. And its definitely another one that doesnt require a long wait time and is good for pairs of players who have uneven game-playing experience.

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Sneak N Peek - it's a hide and seek game for two players.  The second person goes when the first person hides.

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Demon Attack alternates players after each wave and for some crazy fun try games 9 & 10 where you play together and alternate control every 4 seconds.

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