Because they provide a needed break from the rigors of academic life, video games can be a lifesaver in college. Your brain is on overdrive at least 20 hours of every day—why not take an hour out every once in a while to let your gray matter rest a little? Playing a mindless video game can provide a good outlet for academic stressors. But while gaming by yourself can be fun, there’s nothing better than playing games with a bunch of other people. Below are some of the best party video games that every dorm floor or apartment should have.
Everyone knows Guitar Hero—even if you haven’t played it, you certainly understand the concept (and if you’ve been living under a rock, go to http://www.guitarhero.com/ and check it out). Take a plastic guitar and start ripping out chords to popular songs. Just press the colored buttons on the guitar as they come up on the screen and you’ll be jamming. Sounds easy, right? Wrong—be prepared for one of the most challenging tests of hand-eye coordination that you’ve ever had. Fortunately, the game provides four levels of difficulty so that you can hone your skills before trying to show up the greatest guitar players of all time on songs from Avenged Sevenfold, Nirvana, Slayer, Pearl Jam, Fall of Troy, Guns N’ Roses, Senses Fail, Van Halen, and many others. . A group of friends, a big TV and stereo, and some beer will make for a Guitar Hero battle for the ages!
This is a classic party game that has been around for a long time. And why not? What could be better than racing at ridiculous speeds around brightly-colored animated tracks and blasting the hell out of each other as cute cartoon characters like Mario, Bowser, Peach, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi? Mario Kart is tough to top for sheer fun factor. Playing on the Wii adds a new dimension to the game, as you can now use a wheel to direct your kart instead of the directional pad on a traditional controller. Don’t be fooled by the whimsical environment of this game—it can get very competitive very quickly and lead to some pretty serious rivalries!
This may not appeal to as many people as Guitar Hero or Mario Kart, but it cannot be left off of a list of the best party video games. N64’s GoldenEye was a pioneer of the multiplayer shooter game, paving the way for games like Halo, Gears of War, and Call of Duty. Instructions are simple: choose your character, then stay alive as long as possible while taking out your opponents. You can choose a variety of levels and weapons. As it’s a very easy game to become familiar with, all you need to do is fire it up and start shooting!
These are only a few of the popular party video games; as you spend more time at parties, you’re likely to see more games. A great way to get a lot of people together is to have an old-school video game party: play games like Duck Hunt, Sonic, and Mario Brothers. It’s like going back in time for a few hours!
Blinding light. As you slowly open your eyes, you feel the gentle breeze fanning your cheeks and notice the horizon slowly revealing its blue and silvery expanse before you. Somewhere nearby, you can hear birds flapping in unison. As you get accustomed to the light, you look sideways and see those birds up close. You are flying! Over the mountain ranges, deserts, and seas. You continue flying until you see land no more but water. Everywhere. A whale suddenly appears, bobbing up and down with your pace. You heed its invitation and plummet down. Splash! As you hit the ocean’s surface. Swoosh! As you continue to dive deeper. Then you see colors, many moving colors of varying sizes. What are they? Schools of fish! Marine life in your face. This is nothing close to what you see in your high-definition TV. Oh no, your TV, which now you remember, you forgot turn off.
WAKE UP! It is only a dream!
Luckily, you can live that dream. In fact, you can encounter more than what your subconscious mind can think of. With unique adventures, dream adventures can be real-life experiences.
Travel up, down, or horizontal and experience adventures that you will treasure for the rest of your life. Read on to get a preview of these unique adventures so you can plan your first experience.
Hot-air balloon may be a common item on the TV but wait until you get yourself into one.
In Albuquerque, the Balloon capital of the world, the temperate weather allows for year-round hot-air balloon rides. But its best if you time your visit in October during the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and you’ll see hundreds of balloons rising together, their burners glowing the sky in their mass ascensions.
Elsewhere, hot-air balloon rides normally last three to four hours, of which flight time is approximately an hour to an hour and a half, depending on wind conditions. Soar through breath-taking sceneries and stunning panoramic views. Your gentle movement makes sightseeing matchless and thrilling that even the world’s tallest skyscrapers cannot offer.
But if thrill is your game, go microlight flying. See what pilots view from the skies. Microlighting requires flying skills though. You need to undergo about 36 hours of training on air plus on-ground lectures. You also need to take tests to be an eligible flyer. The good thing about microlighting is that owning one is a lot cheaper than owning a private plane. Or, you can rent one. If you want to try something close to microlighting, try paragliding and parasailing.
Now if you’re an astronaut wannabe, or simply a space fanatic, how about a zero-gravity experience? A plane will take you to the skies where, for approximately one-hour flight, you will experience ten parabolic descents, each giving 40 seconds of weightlessness.
Mystified by the underworld? The exotic marine community never fails to fascinate even those who fear the seas. Whether you love water sports or not, discover marine life from the best vantage point, under the sea! Stay in one of the world’s so-called underwater hotels and your yard is the sea.
Some underwater hotels require that you scuba dive. The Jule’s Undersea Lodge in Florida is one. Despite having only two rooms, each equipped with audio-visual and communications gadgets as well as kitchen equipment, its business is thriving. Visitors can enjoy the view from 42-inch round windows as well as from the common room.
As of 2005, there’s only one underwater hotel that does not require scuba diving. This is the Utter Inn in Lake Malaren, Sweden, which has only one room.
For want of more available rooms, reserve in one of the 220 suites of the proposed Hydropolis in Dubai, UAE. In this highly anticipated and ambitious project expected to be completed in 2007, all rooms are to be located in the sea bottom at a depth of 20 meters or 66 feet. With these incomparable accommodations, you can discover vibrant colors below and calming movements of the marine community. Don’t get too hypnotized though or you might end up not sleeping at all!
With the possibilities afforded by architecture and engineering technologies, many underwater resorts with accommodations are being built and are being conceived as of this writing. They promise to give a visual experience of the underworld that is so ancient, using the most advanced technology.
But what if you don’t have such luxury of time and would just like to snatch a few glimpses of the depths?
Try submarine tours. For instance, the Atlantis Submarine Tour offers a fascinating view of Maui’s natural coral reefs, fish and marine life from an air-conditioned and state-of-the-art submarine. It is hailed as the world’s first and most technologically advanced passenger submarine, carrying up to 48 passengers per underwater trip down 130 feet of the ocean. Plus, be mesmerized in a whale-watching journey from ship to shore.
For a more exclusive and more personalized tour, rent a minisub. Most resorts offer submarine instructions and a 30-minute minisub dive that even uncertified divers can try. Also a tool in marine archeology, use this minisub to discover captivating coral reefs and “swim” with exotic fish.
Ever tried a hotel that goes with the change of the season? The canonical Ice Castle located in Jukkasjarvi in Sweden is one ice castle in the literal sense. One season it’s there, the next season it’s gone; melted, only to be rebuilt with ice and snow the next winter. Catch this novelty accommodation between November and May. It has more than 60 rooms and suites, a bar, reception area, and a chapel where you will be enthralled for everything, except the bed, is made of ice.
Or, experience how our cavemen ancestors lived. There are several cave hotels around the world like the Desert Cave Hotel in Coober Pedy South Australia and the Cuevas Pedro Antonio de Alarcon in Guadix, Spain as well those hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey. Some of these hotels have rooms underground.
Furthermore, many ecotourism tours offer the public unusual encounters with the wild. Watch the 1-meter tall emperor penguins warm the single egg nestled under their happy feet in Antarctica while their mates frolic in the ice-cold seas. Or, observe the diverse environments of Africa or the tropics. Take a peek at how animals behave in their natural habitats.
Any of these unique adventures are sure-fire hits to your personal lifetime experiences. Any of these mediums will leave you totally stunned, exceptionally thrilled, and completely satisfied. Well, perhaps not completely satisfied to mean “you’ve had enough”. For you will want to re-live them again. In your dreams and in your conscious state.