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Better
With A Notebook
 

Many games present a substantial challenge. This is often about quick reflexes or your ability to deal with multiple systems at the same time. There is a specific set of games that focus on the challenge of a layered, complex conundrum you need to decipher to succeed.

This complexity might be about the game world you are playing in. It might be about the obtuse clues you find along the way. Or maybe it focuses on piecing together evidence to solve a crime. However it works, these types of games are much better, as Clayton Ashley says in his video for Polygon, when you play them with a notebook at your side.

"We use notebooks to give form to the intangible," says Paul Walker-Emig about video game notebooks, "jotting down half-formed ideas and strategies with the aim of corralling them into coherence. We record and reflect on events in our lives, a ritual that narrativises our experiences and makes them comprehensible." Running with this though we group our notebook-enhanced video games into two areas:

  • Notetake: These are games that are better when you take notes about them in a real physical notebook while you play.
  • Keepsake: These are experiences that encourage you to create your own hand-crafted in-game virtual notebook while you play.

 
This list includes 43 games from the last 41 years, with 756 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to take notes while you play. We break them down into the following areas:

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Keepsake

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us.

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States.

Notetake

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an adventure game with a wild west theme and a prequel to Red Dead Redemption.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an adventure game with a wild west theme and a prequel to Red Dead Redemption. As you explore a vast and varied open world, you partake in shootouts, heists, and elaborate chases across the wilderness.

Minecraft: Story Mode is a point-and-click narrative adventure set in the Minecraft universe where Jessie, an inexperienced adventurer, sets out on a grand quest with their friends.

Minecraft: Story Mode is a point-and-click narrative adventure set in the Minecraft universe where Jessie, an inexperienced adventurer, sets out on a grand quest with their friends. As you watch their story unfold, you make choices that affect the way the narrative unfolds across the episodes.

The Rise of the Golden Idol is a point-and-click murder mystery set in the 1970s.

The Rise of the Golden Idol is a point-and-click murder mystery set in the 1970s. A sequel to The Case of the Golden Idol, you investigate different crime scenes, search for clues, question suspects, and make informed accusations to reveal an overarching story linking all the murders together.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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