(This suggestion from @evilnoob)
desert island game
I could be flippant here and describe my favourite game set on a desert island, rather than the implied request to supply a game I’d like to play whilst stranded (presumably indefinitely) on a desert island. But evilnoob is lovely and so I won’t.
Actually, I will: Doshin the Giant for the Gamecube. OK, so technically it isn’t all a desert island, but some of the game is. And it’s great.
As for the game I’d spend the rest of my days playing, whilst being waited on hand and foot by monkey butlers, as I slowly go insane talking to a volleyball, that’s a more difficult ask.
It would need to be a game that is endlessly playable, as it may be my only entertainment for decades. Even a game with a lot to explore would eventually run dry of new stuff, and I suspect even games with randomly generated elements would become stale given enough time. Ideally, the game would also require no electricity, but I think we’ll have to assume the monkey butlers have that worked out.
Perhaps narrowing it down would be the way to go. Pretty much all platformers are out, as they’re finite, usually pretty short, and although some have a fair bit of replay value I’m not sure they have years worth. “But what about Spelunky?!” I hear you cry. Sure, there’s a lot of play there. Lots to discover. But is there really so much that I can play just that for what would probably be the rest of my life? I doubt it. Mario Maker is a possibility, providing I have an internet connection and they provide more levels via it until the end of time, but that isn’t going to happen.
First person shooters are in much the same boat, for mostly the same reasons, and sports games – even those I like – are out too. There’s only so much one-player Sensible Soccer a man can take. Unless I can train up the monkey butlers? I fear I’m relying a lot on having these monkey butlers, and I’ve not even seen the brochure yet. I digress.
I think I’ll have to rule puzzle games out too, because although I could play Puyo Puyo or Jewel Quest for a very, very long time, I can see a point where I don’t want to any more, especially without an opponent. Action games like the Lego titles won’t last more than 50-60 hours, and there’s no fun to be had replaying (especially since, in order to get 100%, you have to replay the whole game more than once anyway). GTA, IV and V especially, are vast sandboxes full of fun, but I suspect the fun would wane once milked enough.
In fact, the only genres that fit the bill are simulations and role playing games. Things like Civilisation V are not only long anyway, but indefinitely replayable. Every game is different, with varied generals to change how it plays out, random landscape and scenarios, difficulty levels, and endings. Role playing games are usually more limited than this, but some allow variation in how you play. Take Fallout 4, for example – you can play as a different sort of character (stealth, melee, sniper) for a different experience. You can tackle tasks in different ways, sometimes for alternative outcomes, and there’s a lot to play with in terms of modding and building.
Obviously other sims and RPGs exist (Oblivion, Sim City 4, for example), but I think Civ V and Fallout 4 represent the most likely from each type of game to entertain me until I succumb to the loneliness, get off my nut on coconut schnapps, and tie a rock to my waist and jump in the sea. Monkey butlers probably can’t swim.
Of the two, and it is hard to choose, I think the one that’ll keep me from intentionally drowning the longest is Civilisation V, especially if I have access to all the expansions and extra modes and scenarios. I’m pretty sure I could play that, without getting bored, forever. Not only that, but it has actual desert islands in it! How very meta. So that’s it – my desert island game.
Oh god, what if the monkey butlers rebel and chuck my laptop in the sea?! Damn dirty apes.