Desert Island Discs, Disks, Carts and Cassettes

And so it begins


You come to, lying on the shoreline of a tropical beach with the sun caressing the back of your neck. White sand stretches away on either side of your bruised body and vanishes in a distant haze while ahead, a jungle beckons, its dense interior filled with a cacophony of stereotypical sounds and undoubtedly deadly creatures.

Among the debris lapping around you from the remains of your luxury ship from a notoriously shady ‘second hand shipyard’, there is a large, waterproof crate. How extremely fortuitous.

>Examine crate

You can’t examine the crate, you haven’t opened it yet. Duh.

>Fuck off

I don’t know how to fuck off, I’m a collection of loops and wilfully obtuse subroutines. I also have a bad attitude.

>Open crate

You fumble the catch open and wrench the lid off. It is conveniently padded on the inside, making a perfect gaming seat.

>Examine crate

Inside the crate are a small fusion generator, 52” LCD HDTV, and a selection of consoles, handhelds, and computers, past and present. Tucked safely away at the bottom amid tangled cables and a neverending tube of Pringles are seven games which are perfect for a long spell on a deserted island. Also present is one game, presumably included by some sadistic gaming deity, which is best used as fuel or perhaps at a push, could be fashioned into an eating utensil or plate. These games, handing the baton to the Gaming Lives writers, are…


Fallout 3 – Fallout 3 is a fantastic journey from beginning to end, and can either be a leisurely stroll through a disgusting wasteland (I grew up in Paisley, so I felt very much at home) or a somewhat thought provoking wander through a beautifully poignant world of unwritten stories and forgotten memories. I prefer the latter. As depressing as it may be for some, I could easily play this game over and over and never lose pace.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – Oblivion just kicks arse in terms of longevity… three complete playthroughs and over 200 hours PER playthrough later and I could still see myself going through it all again several times over… except I’d maybe have Martin bound to a tree before certain missions as he’s a pain in the arse. By the way… I choose this, along with Fallout 3 on PC rather than console so I can use modded maps and weapons :p

UFO: Enemy Unknown

UFO: Enemy Unknown – UFO is an awesome game that literally IS different every time you play it, every level is uniquely terraformed and the enemies are unpredictable. The game can either take weeks to complete or months, depending on whether you want to go for the completionist angle of researching each and every possible weapon and creature.

Two Worlds – Two Worlds just makes me smile more than any other RPG in recent years… it’s hokey in places but still wonderful. It has a varied mix of terrains so you’re not just looking at forest or city the entire time, and that makes for a much more interesting play. If I have to be brutally honest… I just love kicking ass with two swords rather than one!

Burnout Paradise – Burnout Paradise seems to be a neverending run of challenges, always different and always a lot of fun. Granted, it can be more fun with multiplayer but I guarantee that I will NOT allow myself to be stranded on any desert island that’s incapable of piggy backing on someone else’s unsecured wifi network, so I will use my valuable online time to thrash it out on XBL rather than call for help.

Command & Conquer: – The First Decade Thankfully this comes as one complete set or I’d be in trouble for breaking the rules! If I DO get into trouble… then I’ll just go with Generals and the Zero Hour expansion pack as I love the laser weapons. Overall though, the entire series captures my attention because you really DO need to strategise to get through certain areas unscathed, and that’s all part of the fun really.

Theme Park – Theme Park was one of the first sim games I played after Sim City and I spent almost ALL of my time just building coasters, I didn’t care too much about the park itself or keeping the campers happy… I just wanted to build my own coasters. I can’t think how many I’ve ended up building, most of which were too extreme for anyone to enjoy anyway, but damn I had a good time.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

I actually managed to sneak in an eighth game in my “plane crash and ship wreck proof box”, which was Sim Jizzgloo. Unfortunately, some bastard on the plane saw the game and became envious enough to spill Kia Ora on my lap, forcing me to go to the cramped toilet and attempt sponging it off with a sick bag. During my time in the toilet, they switched the game disc with the “Johnny Vegas – Who’s Ready For Ice Cream?” DVD instead… so I’d probably use that for firewood. Having said that though, if the desert island was inhabited by a vicious cannibalistic tribe then I’d hang it around my neck as an amulet that would scare them off whenever they looked upon his face, forcing them to cower in the darkest recesses of the island, in utter fear. I’d then pick them off one by one and eat them, whilst wearing my “Alanis Morissette – Ironic” t-shirt. Don’t you think?


World of Warcraft – For when those cold and lonely nights kick in nothing will bring comfort than rolling a new alt and starting the levelling process again.

The Orange Box – Half Life 2, Portal, Team Fortress 2? What more could you ask for!

Starcraft 2 – Base building, resource management and one of the best level editors around to boot.

Civilization IV

Civilization IV – One more turn, one more turn, one more turn, one more turn.

Mass Effect 2 – One of the finest RPG’s I’ve ever played, and one that I could happily play over and over again, if I got bored the musical score would keep my company, so too would one of the best audio casts to date.

Pokemon Soul Silver – 450+ Pokemon to catch, train and level up = one of my favourite RPG series to date and would simply eat away the hours.

Crackdown – So much fun to be had, and besides – it’d probably take me an eternity to find all those hidden orbs anyway.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 – Simply because there comes a time when hype just gets out of control, it’s not even that ‘good’ a game and with millions still buying it despite the higher RRP and over priced DLC (2.5mil sales!) it’s just sheep gamers sending a message to Activision that stuff like that is ok – it isn’t.


Galactic Civilisations II: Ultimate Edition – Wonderfully deep turn-based strategy and empire management, and no two games ever the same with randomly generated galaxies and customisation options.

Command & Conquer: The First Decade – Includes some of the most enduring and fun real-time strategy games ever, endless replay value.

Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition – Massive, massive RPG world to explore, endless side-quests and things to collect and blow up.

Anno 1701

Forza Motorsport 3 – Best driving game to date, with something like 600 cars and 30-40 tracks including the DLC, so also the most varied and replayable racing game.

Mass Effect 2 – Another massive RPG with plenty to do and explore, and no two replays the same if you choose different moral solutions to major decisions.

Anno 1701 Gold Edition – The never-ending sandbox mode means a single game can last months, and it’s a terrific strategy/management game to boot.

X-COM Special Edition Anthology – I’ll never get bored of the first game on the disk; 17 years on and still playing UFO Enemy Unknown. X-COM Interceptor, the fourth game, is an underrated, fun little space flight sim too.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

Final Fantasy VII. It’s over-hyped, the characters are two dimensional, the story is mediocre… VI and VIII were much better games. And it’ll really piss off the fanboys, heh.


Theme Hospital

Theme Hospital – There was something very satisfying in knowing that instead of killing people, you were helping them. Bullfrog really did it with some style though, I personally thought that Elvis Impersonator disease wasn’t all that bad. That said, it taught you some wonderful things about the Medical Industry, namely that you just can’t get staff without a bad temperament. To have this with me out in the middle of nowhere would probably take the edge off the more serious diseases that I was likely to pick up.

Crackdown – It’s senseless, it’s loud, it’s fun. I’d imagine that being lumped on my own on a desert island, I’m eventually going to go stir fry. With an entire city at my mercy and enough more gang members than you can swing a lamp post at, this is the ultimate in stress relief. Throw in the 500 Agility orbs, hidden orbs, rooftop races, streetcar races and vehicle impounding side-quests and when you find yourself in the mood to actually do some collecting (without throwing a single Pokeball), I think Real Time Worlds will have me covered.

X-Wing Alliance – Flight simulators can be dull at the best of times, but put in space and have John Williams score the music and all will be forgiven. The final game in the X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter series featured a much improved ‘Space-Opera’ storyline and allowed you to really immerse yourself in the Rebel cause. With the game being set in the cold dead of space, I’d guess that it would make me feel better about it being so damned hot.

Uplink – It would be nice to think that even when placed on a deserted island that I could still pretend I’m networked to the rest of the world. That said, I’d still be looking over my shoulder the entire time just in case I was actually hacking my way into the International Social Security server and the FBI were onto me. It’s such an intense yet visually simple game that that through it’s basic audio and visual style has you completely lost in the underground world of Cyber Crime. I think that would make a lovely distraction from all the desert-islandyness of it all.

Age of Empires II – Gold Edition – RTS’s have all gone down the ‘back to basics’ road and stripped away the micro management in favour of giving it an guns blazing fight for whichever flavour of democratic process you represent. Age of Empires, way back in the summer of 2001, really let you build a civilisation that matched the size of your armies. I’ve spent hours literraly co-ordinating my villagers to cut into specific parts of a forest, just so my land is all squared up nicely and I can have a nice place to build a castle. The insanely creative AI in the game would always do it’s best to distract you from your virtual episode of Grand Designs and unless you had some Welsh Longbow-men about the place to keep an eye things. Seeing as I’d probably be living in a hole in the floor with Palm Leaves for bedding and roofing, it would be nice to sit and peacefully construct a productive empire.

Morrowind: GOTY Edition

Left 4 Dead – When you’re all on your own, you’re going to miss your buddies and dare I say it, you’re probably going to miss all of the assholes in life too. So what better way to get back some sense of reality than a Zombie Invasion with 3 of your closest and dearest friends acting as the last bastion of society. It may not have the greatest length to a video game, with only 4 campaigns delivered on the disc, but it has a ton of re-playability and even more variety in every run.

Morrowind: Game of the Year Edition – As well as being that game that I’m sorry to say that I’ve never finished, Morrowind goes down as being one of the biggest and most detailed worlds I’ve ever had the pleasure to explore. Sure, Oblivion might have done it with more colour and a lot more style, but Vvardenfell had so much depth and character it was hard not to fall in love with the game. As well as that, anytime I’ve ever met someone that has played it, they’ve always had a unique tale to tell and it would be nice to actually have the time to see if any one of them were able to be bested.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

The Sims 2 – Whilst I applaud Will Wright’s truly unique life simulator and it’s highly polished and ever expansive delivery, I can never forgive the game for what it did it to me. You see, I played it once and I was quite enjoying it. I had a nice job, a modest house, a loving wife and a wide social circle. Everything was going just great, life could only get better, I was ready to take the next step, I was ready to get married. And so I proposed, she said yes (she was even expecting a child). I threw a party. We invited our friends. We drank. We danced. We broke the Stereo. Not to worry, I fixed the cooker not long before, I could fix the Stereo. Only I couldn’t. It electrocuted me, I died. Death appeared and my Fiancé pleaded for my life. Death thought about it. Death said No. That I could handle. I’d led a full life, I’d been happy, my friends would take good care of my true love and they’d support her after my daughter was born. What I couldn’t handle was Death offering to take my wife’s hand in marriage now that I was dead, to which the bitch accepted and the party continued whilst my corpse smouldered on the floor of my modest home!

Burn you evil game. Burn, burn, burn.


Sonic Mega Collection

Sonic Mega Collection – He is the blue hedgehog I grew up with and if I could not play Sonic ever again I would probably tear all my curls out, which in turn will probably make MarkB0SS cry.

Devil May Cry 3 – The best Devil May cry/Hack and slash game to ever grace the planet. This is the title that got me into hack and slash games. This is the only game that will help my hack and slash fix.

Bioshock – The original Bioshock for me has to be one of the best FPS games to ever grace the planet. Why number one though and not two? Well the atmosphere is better, the way rapture is portrayed in this title is better in my opinion, and nothing says awesome like the original tommy gun. That and I would just spend hours trying to kill every single big daddy and just make Jack god like, good way to pass the time.

Doom II – First FPS game I ever got really, really into and to have this piece of childhood nostalgia taken away from me will probably end in the same result as me not being able to play Sonic.

Tetris - Yes I know sounds silly, but I want something simple to play to while away the hours. with lack of story line and replay value through the roof, this could probably amuse me for about a week.

Halo 3 – Even though the campaign mode ain’t that great, the multiplayer is fantastic, believe me just slaying countless amounts of people online is fun. Must have grifball, I need Grifball to live.

Burnout Paradise – It will take me several centuries to ever get my Elite licence, and believe me if I am stuck on an island and that was available to me. I would take it. Time flies when you’re wrecking up Paradise City.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

Well I guess it would have to be those bloody Imagine games on DS…you know the girly ones like Imagine Teaching. I would prefer to burn Imagine Babies or whatever the hell it’s called *shudders*.


Fieldrunners (Ipod/Iphone) – Newish game, and my first real dalliance with the tower defence genre, it still gets me all excited when I think of it. Have spent 100+ hours playing it, and you know it’s bad when you are trawling Google for the optimum pattern layouts. I actually bought a PSPGo only to play the expanded version of this game, then they updated the Ipod version a couple of weeks later to match it, grrrr.

Software Star (ZX Spectrum) – Obscure game which I don’t think anyone other than me has given cult status. For me a genre defining strategy game with a near perfect balance between decision making and influence. Incredibly simple, but I still play this game at least once a year – for hours.


Dungeon Master (Atari ST) – My first experience with a true role playing game. Devious puzzles, EP harvesting, smashing a portcullis on top of a skeleton’s head, it’s all there. Got so involved in this game in my teens, that I thought it was a devilish otherworld piece of software created by demons, like those spooky toys in the oft-ignored Halloween 3 movie. Also the only game I ever finished on two formats, Amiga an ST, and I keep hoping someone will convert it to Ipod soon.

Zelda Ocarina of Time (N64) – This game took me nearly nine months to finish, I lived with it for a long time, and got to know every location like they were in my own town. An incredible adventure which every gamer should experience one day, truly tearful ending and sublime musical inspired atmosphere. I long to return to Hyrule one day.

Geometry Wars Evolved 2 (X360) – If I was on a desert island, I’d need a shooter, and picking the best one used to be a tough ask. I always loved gravity based shooters, like Oids or Thrust, but the sheer intensity of GWE makes it the most addictive shooter I can ever remember. The Pacifism mode not only comes close to creating a whole new gaming genre, it’s also the only experience I can remember where I’ve turned down sex to carry on playing.

Deutros (Amiga) – Creepy, wondrous and mysterious sequel to Supremacy. This space strategy game still urges me to play again. Why did all the developers who carried on making these style of games make them so complicated! Duetros is lean, mean, and incredibly clever, and I’ve still got 100s of hours to while away with it.

Just Cause 2 (Xbox360) – I know, a brand new game in my top seven. It was a toss up between GTAIV or this, but Just Cause wins because it’s just so vast and amazing. Reviewers have derided this game for not having more structured missions, but for me, the freedom of Crack Down mixed with a world almost as well defined, but much prettier than that of GTAIV, makes this the ultimate sandbox adventure game. It’s got great driving, great flying, a Zelda inspired grappling hook. Helicopters, jumbo jets, jet fighters, it’s about twenty games wrapped into one, and it would be mad not to take something containing so much entertainment yet to explore.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

Ok, the game I hate the most is ‘Spawn of Evil‘ for the ZX Spectrum by DK’Tronics ( It’s a really diabolical shooter, and I’m still gutted that I wasted my birthday money on it back in 1983. I’d been spoilt by having Atic Atac and Manic Miner as my first two Spectrum games, then blew all my cash on ‘Spawn’ in our local WHSmiths. I thought the green blobs on the box looked really cool (not sure why now), and felt seriously cheated. I can still feel the pain, and begging my Mum to take it back to the shop for me ;o)


Starwing 64 – This game just kept on giving. The one game I wish had an online leaderboard, because you could spend the rest of eternity eking out a higher and higher score. The very definition of muscle memory gaming. If you were even a centimetre out at the start of a wave of advancing enemies, you could put yourself out of the running for a humungous score. Unforgiving, at an advanced level of play.

Ninja Gaiden 2

Ninja Gaiden II – Cruelly overlooked as game of the year in the relevant year, this game has the distinction of catering for people who like a challenge (on easy and medium) and also people that like to experience the pain of a dungeon (on hard and even harder). If I was on a desert island, I’d have the time to become fluent in the art of decapitations and 7 deadly weapons. I’d also have the time to hone my reflexes to be able to deal with ninjas that have embraced the modern age, have done away with katanas and other outdated sh*t and go for shoulder-mounted bazookas with a rate of fire that increases the closer you get to them. And also never have to reload.

Blue Dragon – This game can torture you in a different way. Even though it has an art style which should have made it a system seller, you feel for this game and the fact that it was overlooked in favour of inferior JRPGS. But then you look at it a little closer and notice a few things which you thought were eccentricities, but are actually annoying design decisions. The annoying voice actors for the English language track. The annoying rock song that kicks in for EVERY SINGLE ENCOUNTER. Think intro music of Street Fighter IV (“in-de-struc-tible”), but even more grating. The evil achievements that require about 400 hours of gaming. Perfect companion for a gamer not going anywhere for a long time.

Batman – Even on a desert island, my gamerscore whore tendencies would not be neglected. I would take advantage of the strange decision to make each edition of Batman its own unique game, in terms of achievements and gamerscore and bring the following with me Batman, Batman GOTY, Batman (PC), Batman GOTY (PC) and Batman (jap). 5,000 gamerscore for essentially the same game, because somebody registered it incorrectly.

*sensing some cheating going on here from Mr VanFu…this reads suspiciously like five titles as opposed to one here…punishment will come on swift wings* – Ed.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance – It has the distinction of being the game that I have actively played for longer than any other game. And I still have not got all 1250 achievements. I get the impression I would need to spend all my playing time on a desert island AND the afterlife, to finally get all the achievements.

Forza 3 – This game seems to have enough info in it to base a thesis on.

Virtua Tennis 3 – I’d need the time to learn how to beat Pete.

Game I would happily use as firewood?

I have too much respect for my medium of choice to diss the work of the huge numbers of developers, audio engineers, marketing folk, etc and so on, to burn a game. I’d just not play it. But if I had to choose, I would say Splinter Cell. Any of them. Take your pick. I hate them all equally.

>Burn Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

As you throw the game onto the fire, a rogue spark flies out and catches your secret stash of rule-breaking Batman games. Before you can react, the Pringle grease on the cases catches alight and every one of your Batman games is burned to a cinder. Told you punishment would be swift.


Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – There was so many locations on the map I never visited and more to find I’m sure if I explored the map more. I still had at least one mission to complete and I had only just found the town of Split in The Shivering Isles, so I had whatever missions those townsfolk would have offered.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The Orange Box – Half Life 2 is a great FPS and lasts twice as long as other games in the genre. Then there’s episodes I and II and hopefully III by the time I am on the island. It also comes with Portal (my favourite puzzle game)

Super Mario World – probably the Mario game I played more than the others. Excellent example of 2D platform gaming.

Any good Guitar Hero game – If I have a limited stock of games, then maybe I’ll have time to learn how to play the higher difficulties and learn the drums too.

Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time – This was one of my favourite games to play and I’ve have only played it through once, so I would like to play this again. Although Wing Waker on the Gamecube came with OOT too, although master challenge/dungeon so it might be better to take as then I get two Zeldas in one box.

Resident Evil 4 – one of my all time favourite gaming experiences.

Vandal Hearts II – a turn based strategy game that I played for hours. A friend was surprised I was still playing it having not yet completed it after 100 hours. It had a story the whole way along and never got boring.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

As for the firewood game, that would probably be any Pokemon game. In fact I’d probably burn them even if I didn’t need to have a fire to keep me warm or cook my food. Never played them, but I can’t stand Pokemon.


Mass Effect 2 – Because it’s amazing and what being stranded on a desert island I could replay it all the different ways possible. And if push came to shove it could almost double up as porn :D


Quackshot – Because Adam was lying his arse off when he said he could finish it in two hours. That game went on forever. So I need to play it and finish it so I can prove him wrong.

Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 – It’s a Sunday game. Nobody ever wants to play rollercoaster tycoon you just think “awww I’ll stick it on for a bit” you waste a whole day on it before going way over the top with a giant rollercoaster and your laptop crashes but it’s ok because you didn’t care and you can always start again next week.

Peggle – why, well I’ve been asked not to put answers like “because it is teh awesome” so I won’t. I want Peggle because I like the errrrrrrrrr….. the user interface. Yeah Peggle’s user interface was ‘teh awesome’.

Doodle Jump – why? It’s simple and addictive and it’s driving me crazy that I can’t break 36,000 and if I end up having to get a job on a desert island I’ll need something to do while I’m there. I have a bit of a sensitive digestive system when it comes to tropical foods so it’s good to have a game to play when you’re having a poo.

Left for Dead – Well I seen Adam put it on his list and I’ll bet a pile of coconuts that Kat will so I’ll have some buddies to play with and there’s not much better than a game of left for dead with friends. One of the best things to happen to games in the last few years is the witch, everybody goes quiet and whispers “ssssssshhhhhh witch” the torches go off everybody slows down “where is she? Where is she?” a panicking friend shouts and for that brief minute all four of you forget your playing a game. There’s a crazy as zombie in the room and she wants a cuddle. It’s beautiful and as best to my knowledge the only game… or well… anything that makes you feel like that time and time again.

Final Fantasy 7 – yeah that’s right there’s always one I’d like to think I could be a smart arse and leave it off and put something arty like Ico. Truth is though I’m a console gamer and I love this game, one of the best stories of any game, loads of variety, the highwind, Tifa’s boobs, motorbikes, magic and that stupid, stupid Trine Monster.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

Army of Two: The 40th Day because my hatred for that game knows no bounds. I won’t cover the whys again but you can read it all here


Ratchet and Clank (PS2) – Humour, likeable characters, challenging but not too hard for me! Also some cool weapons.

Theme Park (PC) – I spent hours as a kid building parks and managing it once open, It’s a time stealer. Days could pass on the island and I wouldn’t notice.

GTA IV (360) – When not completing missions I can just roam about causing all kinds of mayhem.


Peggle (XBLA) – Simple, addictive yet infuriating at times!

Beautiful Katamari (360) – Similar reasons to Peggle. There’s also something strangely satisfying in rolling up chunks of cities. After enough time on the island I may be mental enough to understand it all.

Left 4 Dead 2 (360) – IF I can have multiplayer then I choose this. Fantastic fun, how often do you get to play the putrid zombie in a game after all?!

Toy Story Racer (PSone) – A Mario Kart rip off but addictive fun. I’ll train a monkey to split screen with me.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

This is hard cos I don’t tend to buy games that I’ll dislike so my firewood game would be Tower Bloxx Deluxe from XBLA. I bought it when ill, I genuinely had a fever and lay slightly comatose on the sofa playing it for hours. Never gone back to it since. It’s terrible!


Dragon Age: Origins (with Awakening expansion and all DLC) – Because there are many ways to play through it with different characters, the story is excellent (you really get drawn in) and there are some great moments of humour. Very playable and time will fly.

Pharaoh Gold – Because building those complex Egyptian cities will consume your life.

Pharaoh Gold

Baldur’s Gate 2 (with Throne of Bhaal expansion) – I can’t tell you how many years I spent playing this game, or how many times!

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – It’s amazing how many hours you can waste poodling around the virtual countryside.

The Lost Crown – Because I HAD to include at least one point ‘n’ click and this is the best and longest. Plus it satisfies my horror fix!

Blue Dragon – Not only does this take serious time and work but it’s so enjoyable to play, the story is gripping and the cut scenes are outstanding. You have to put a lot of time in to develop your characters.

Pokemon Platinum – With all the breeding, training, different Pokemon available and the strangely addictive underground mini game you’ll have plenty to do.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

Hmmmm, I don’t own anything I hate enough to use as firewood but if I had to choose something it would most likely be something pink and girly… like Barbie or Hannah Montana. ;)


Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts – The first game that springs to mind is the most recent Banjo-Kazooie game. After the massive wait, I found myself initially disappointed, as did everyone, I guess. But then I played it more and realised it was in fact, a really magnificent, underrated game. And then I stopped playing it in favour of some other games. Now, considering there’s over 120 Jiggies for me to get, and loads of different challenges and a massive open world, with all the different levels being open world, it sounds like a good idea. It’s a massive game, and I think at my last count, I only had about 30 jiggies. So it’d force me to beat it, and it’d last me ages to boot. Sweet.

Freshly Picked: Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland

Final Fantasy 4 (DS Remake) – Another victim of my “Bought it, played it, got stuck/bored/thought I was playing through too quickly, played something else and forgot about it” habit. It’s actually really fun, if difficult, and seeing as I’d only have 6 other games with me, I’d have less excuse to not grind and continue playing.

Pokemon Diamond – See above: I got up to Dialga before christmas that year, then got so many other DS games that christmas and after I never got back to it. Also in severe need of forced grinding seeing as my team is about 10-20 levels above most enemies. And because I never beat it.

Banjo Tooie (N64) – It was either this or Majora’s Mask, as they’re the only N64 games I care about and own that I haven’t beaten yet. The only reason this beats out Majora’s Mask is because MM is entirely about time, and that’s the last thing I will want to concentrate on if I’m stuck on a desert island.

Evil Genius (PC) – I bought this for like, £3 off a Steam Sale, and it for some reason just will grab my attention for hours at a time. When I last played it (before getting stuck and having to restart 3 hours of progress again), I was losing up to 8 hours a day just playing it. This therefore will be an amazing timesink. And I haven’t beaten it yet.

Audiosurf – This game is literally as big as my music library. And considering my music library is extraordinarily large, it makes way too much sense not to insist I somehow have this. And it never ends.

Freshly Picked: Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland – Because despite the fact it should never have existed, it’s suprisingly big, deep, and hard. Also, it, like me, never takes itself too seriously. And when I lose my mind and eventually dash my brains out having realised I’ll never leave the damn island, people can blame the game for making me go crazy. For jokes.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2 – Modern Warfare 2 was too short, and disappointing. Granted, it wasn’t going to be the best game ever, but this gripe is stupidly specific and stupid: The story was a broken, horrible mess with plot holes the size of [allegory cut for taste reasons and to prevent lawsuits]. Not that bad, sure. But it took 6 writers to create it. 6. And a writing assistant. So 7. It took 7 people to write that horrible, broken mess of a story. And for that, the game must be burnt.

Also, cheap controversy.


Elder Scrolls IV:Oblivion (with all DLC) – The game that pushed me into Microsoft’s arms years ago. Stunning open world gameplay, countless and diverse quests, and endless roaming enjoyment.

Sims 2 (with all expansions, mods, and stuff packs) – Endless possibilities for character creation and torture…I mean, erm, gameplay. With all the expansions, there is much to do, create, and build and with at least 21 Sim deaths…many hand rubbing sadistic delights to provide entertainment.

Dungeon Keeper Gold – If evil is sexy, then this game could strangle you with its latex clad thighs. Presiding over a dungeon of minions and holding sway against heroic invasions has never been more entertaining. And watching the Dark Mistresses enjoying getting whipped in the torture room, well, all in a day’s work. With the added levels of Deeper Dungeons and the surprisingly good level editor, I could play this one forever.


Burnout Paradise – Tearing around Paradise City in the General Lee, this game could last forever. So many events, races, and collectables such as Billboards and smashes to occupy the time. The open world feel and free-roaming style makes this game an ideal choice.

Mario All Stars – Four games on one tasty SNES cart. I never did complete any of them. What the hell was with Mario 2 anyway?

Rollercoaster Tycoon (plus expansions) – A fantastically entertaining management game to eat away the time. When not cleaning up vomit stained paths and juggling hotdog prices, there are wild coasters to be designed and countless themes to employ to spruce up the various parks for whinging guests…just wait until that coaster comes off its tracks and plummets into the lake, then they won’t be moaning.

Zombies (Ate My Neighbours) – Would have to go with the MegaDrive version to avoid Nintendo’s childish censorship of anything resembling blood. Fun, kooky, and a game with a great sense of humour, these 55 levels of mayhem and the nasties who inhabit them shouldn’t be missed.

Game I’d happily use as firewood?

Any nauseating game with the word babies, ponies, puppies, or sleepover in the title. That covers most of Imagine’s output I would think.

After countless days, blending into weeks, becoming months, the long awaited rescue ship finally slips into view on the horizon. The crude radio that you cobbled together from that elastic band, Game and Watch, Macaw feather, and broken coat hanger was a success! However, with night falling once more, and no exact coordinates given, not even a powerful spyglass will pick out your madly waving form from the shoreline.

You look at the dying embers of your fire and then your gaze falls on the pile of your seven beloved games, your constant companions through these lost days. There is only one more choice to make. Do you sacrifice them all to the flames in order to be rescued, or do you let the ship and hope slip from your grasp, perhaps forever?

>You cruel bastard

True, but you are a gamer…how many games have you played? You should know all about choices, consequences, and sacrifice. This is no different. Welcome to the endgame, we have fizzy cola bottles. They taste of evil.

At least record the new series of GamesMaster for me...

Last five articles by Lorna



  1. Samuel The Preacher says:

    Great to finally see what other people put for their list, and the text adventure setting made me laugh too… oh Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, how often did I instruct you to fuck off, only to be implacably stonewalled? Too many times, but surely not enough.

    Looking through these, though, I’m STILL agonising over my final picks. Seeing people put down games like Dragon Age, Oblivion, Baldur’s Gate, Blue Dragon, Zelda, Theme Hospital, Audiosurf, etc, just makes me think I’m mad not to have chosen them myself. I recall spending an hour sat in front of my monitor being utterly stymied between Mass Effect 2, Assassin’s Creed II, Dragon Age and Arkham Asylum. In the end I just picked one of them randomly; the reasoning I gave for Mass Effect would totally apply to Dragon Age as well.

    You know, I think this article is also the first example on the site of my giving brief responses. To anything. If I’d thought that it would transcribe me verbatim, I’d have waffled on a lot more and been very prosy about the games I finally selected.

    @Adam – That wasn’t really Death. It was me in a costume. Your virtual fiancée was very tasty. I always knew that electronics course would be helpful for electrocuting people with a little stereo tinkering, heh.

  2. Rook says:

    That last image, the shaded area appears animated when the image is seen on my tv screen. I guess I never read the e-mail request correctly as I didn’t put down anything specifically for multiplayer. Not really a fan of multiplayer, but it you have online access then although you may be stranded on the island, you are not alone.

    I could of included EDF so I could play through it again with Lorna, as long as we were on the same island, but I feared it would be the game she would burn. :D

  3. Adam Adam says:

    That Game litterally broke my heart. I’d never felt so cheated.

    Don’t get me wrong, I salute the game for it’s diversity and genius. But it can Still Fuck off.


    On a brighter note, what a lovely and cruel piece Lorna. Kudos :D

  4. Victor Victor says:

    Nice insight into the gaming habits of our fellow writers. But I have to to ask this. If me picking the 5 different editions of the same game constitutes breaking a rule, then I would put it to you that going for Mario All-Stars breaks the same rule. 4 different games on one cartridge means that you have more than 7 games on the island with you. Rule broken.

    Or you can concede that I didn’t choose more than 7 different games. 7 games, where one was simply brought with me on multiple formats. As…, backup.

  5. Rook says:

    @Van – Mario All Stars is a collection of games, all on one cartridge as you recognised. If you want your five versions of Batman, you’ll need to find a boxset. This does not include you writing Batman Boxset on a random box. :D

    (Or you can try sneaking the extra discs in the boxes of your other games, but don’t tell Lorna)

  6. Victor Victor says:

    But she did not say that it the crate only contained 7 types of media. Be they cartridge or disc. She has gone against the spirit of the predicament and found a loophole. One cartridge that has 4 games still means that she has more than 7 games with her.

    I have the same game, only more than once. But it is the same game. We are as bad as each other.

  7. Victor Victor says:

    Okay, I have read the original email again. Lorna asked for “Your top seven stranded-on-a-desert-island discs(or cart or cassettes)”. I concede I read what I wanted to read.

    Punishment is fair and just.

  8. Rook says:

    @Van – So you are taking 7 games/discs with you and 5 of them are Batman. You are also happy to burn any Splinter Cell game as firewood (there being 3 on PS2 and 2 On Xbox 360 ), meaning you could burn one of 5 Splinter Cell games.

    Wait… 7 games.. 5 Batman.. 5 Splinter Cell… 7..5..5.. That number is following you to the island too. It’s like your own version of Lost. :D

  9. Lorna Lorna says:

    I should take this chance to say a huge thanks to everyone who sent me their picks and who spent time agonising over their choices – I know I did.

    Thanks for the positive comments so far, the text adventure stuff just came to me and gave the whole piece a great framework rather than a dry list.

    @Victor…I clearly stated in the email that multiple games were only acceptable if they appeared as a collection on one disc or cart such as Mario All Stars or Sonic Mega Collection ;) The exception being to this, DLCs and expansions, of which you an have any number with one title. At least you accepeted your punishment graciously. (better than a defeat in Virtua Tennis anyway ;) )

    Also, sorry to the folks who deliberately didn’t pick multiplayer games, I should have perhaps outlined whether they could be included. In the end, I left it up to you anyway. Also, I know some folk wrote more than others but it was so good that I had no intention of cutting any, so apologies to those who only wrote a few lines and now wish they’d had a chance to say more. Perhaps instead, the forum thread for this post would make a great expansion area for just such a purpose…also for anyone wishing to change their mind.

  10. Victor Victor says:

    I also wholeheartedly agree with Tania’s choice of firewood. Burning is too good for that turd of a game.

  11. Kat says:

    Loved this article! Very funny way of doing it too.

    Adam and Lee, quickly switch to L4D2 and we can link up for some multiplayer ;D The thing stopping me from choosing L4D1 was that I <3 being a Spitter.

  12. Ben Ben says:

    Good piece as always Lorna and interesting to see what others choose as their games of choice.

    @Tania Pharaoh Gold was recently re-installed on our machines for the ba-jillionth time, timeless classic although as Knikitta sways towards Pharoah I was more a Zeus person.

    @Ed ‘w00t’ for someone else burning MW2!

  13. Lorna Lorna says:

    Thanks guys :D

    Pharaoh Gold nearly made it onto my list too, though I never got into Caesar 3 as much I don’t think. For some reason it wasn’t as colourful as it could have been, at least as far as I remember anyway, so perhaps should rustle up a budget copy. Still, great games and addictive at that.

    As each person’s choices came in, I was thinking, ‘ah, I want to take that’, and ‘oh, I forgot about that’. Pah.

  14. Lee says:

    this made me laugh and @vic your such a bloody cheat.

    thinking about it fizzy cola bottles do taste of evil

  15. Lee says:

    and i cant belive I was the only one who picked doodle jump, that games crazy addictive

  16. Lee says:

    ohh theres two of me – opps
    @Kat I thought You’d of gone for L4D1 thats why i picked it

  17. Pete says:

    Great read!! Loved the nod from Victor too and the replay of his video!! :D

    Just sorry I didn’t get my own thoughts ordered in time lol

    @Tania – Baldur’s Gate II… now why the fook didn’t I think of that?? :( Didn’t know they did expansion packs either…. *le sigh*

    Great stuff Lorna!!

  18. Kat says:

    Lee – I much prefer the characters in L4D1 but being Infected in 2 kicks arse!

  19. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    An hour. That’s how long it took me to read this bloody article!! Ok, so I was re-reading certain aspects and musing over the game thinking “yeah… yeah… I can understand that” or “eh… seriously? Noooo!” in others but was a great read, finding out what everyone else selected as their picks. One thing struck me though, and that’s the level of repetition… surely it’s the sign of a great game if multiple writers (out of fourteen who replied) picked the same game? Some great games in there though, seriously.

    The one and only time where I thought “hmm.. I could have selected that” was Preacher’s decision to go with the XCom Collection rather than just Enemy Unknown but, as I thought about it again, I remembered that I really only liked the first one so I’d be selecting the Collection just for the sake of it rather than for gameplay itself.

    Civilisation IV looks like something I could get my teeth into, as does Anno. I may give them a shot this year, I’m sure we own both of them anyway.

    Rook… way to go on finding another legendary 755 reference :D It may have been a bit of a stretch to get us to that point, but yeah… the numbers never lie.

  20. Lorna Lorna says:

    Yeah Pete, I was surprised you never thought of Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale :D

    Oh, and a massive thanks to Markuz for doing the wonderful 4 bit images :)

  21. Pete says:

    Dammit…. yeah, IWD1 and 2…. BG 1 and 2….. Burnout Paradise, Borderlands and Trials HD :D

    there we go lol

  22. Samuel The Preacher says:

    I think some of us would have had a problem if we’d been allowed our top 100 desert island games, what with being constantly reminded of games we should have picked if we’d thought about them at the time. That it was just seven is freaking miraculous that anyone was able to choose, because just from the ones people have mentioned here, I’ve said “oh bollocks, how could I have forgotten that one” about a dozen times.

    Thanks to Lorna for organising this, anyway, great fun. You can never have too many lists, and it’s always amusing to compare notes.

  23. Tania says:

    @Victor – hmmmm, and there’s me thinking you LOVE Hannah Montanna! And you are right about that song in Blue Dragon being overused, I was hearing it in my sleep at one point! Though I actually think the song itself is ok.

    @Pete – the Shadows of Amn expansion for BG2 was awesome, it really completed the story, and if you were in a romance you got an epilogue so you could find out what became of you both.

    I’ve still never come close to finishing Pharaoh Gold. Every few years or so I start it over from the beginning!

    Loved the text adventure format, so funny! I can’t remember how many times I’ve told various text adventure games to fuck off because they wouldn’t let me do something without the EXACT wording in the EXACT order.

    It’s great to see other people’s choices and see if anyone chose the same as you. Excellent article!

  24. Mark Boss says:

    lol, awesome awesome post. I have to give props to ‘Ed’s mention of Banjo: Nuts and Bolts, that game was underated. Along with the fact that if Rob did cut his hair, I would indeed cry. :)

  25. Adam Adam says:

    Theres some interesting ‘Showdowns’ tucked away in that article.

    Left4Dead vs Left4Dead 2

    Morrowind vs Oblivion vs Fallout

    Batman vs Batman vs Batman vs Batman vs Batman vs Lorna

    I think it’s great to see such a collection of everyone elses Incase of Emergency titles. It really does make you look at your own and question if you were wrong.

    Kudos on the Images Markuz, didn’t know that was you till I got through the massive responses to this one. Nice work Lorna :D

  26. Lorna Lorna says:

    A very belated thanks again for the comments :) It seems that this was a popular format article and perhaps one which would be good to revisit in the future for other multiple answer themes.

  27. Debra_beretta says:

    Wow, it’s nice to see people including Pharoah Gold. Having to build the Pyramids was such an arduous task, it almost felt like I’d built one in real life. (How many mud bricks? That will need at least 10 storage yards! Argh!). I’m not a huge fan of city builders, but playing Pharoah (And the expansion Queen of the Nile) took me well over 200 hours of awesome fun and hard graft and I’ll still return to it now and find it just as good a game as the first time I played it.

    I adored Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom too, particularly when the gods decided to incarnate and start walking around my city. >:-D

  28. Adam Adam says:

    Welcome to the Site Debra :D

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