The rise of increasingly powerful gaming laptops like the HP Omen is changing the way we can game on the go. With an Nvidia GTX 860M GPU at its heart and a crystal-clear 15 inch screen, the Omen gives you free rein to play any game in your Steam library, anywhere. That leaves you with a lot of choice, so here are some great games we’d recommend downloading if you’ve got a long journey ahead, and want to play some top class games on the way.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Turn-based games are great for gaming on the move, because you don’t have to rely on trackpad twitch skill to get by. Enemy Unknown is one of the most action-packed turn-based strategy games of recent years, casting you as the general of Earth’s elite defence forces facing invasion from a mysterious alien menace. Back at base you dissect captured extraterrestrial specimens, research new weapons, hire special forces and then take them to the battlefield to face the psychic little grey men that threaten the world. The slick 3D battles should run great on the Omen’s 4th generation Intel processor.
Why not spend your commute playing one of the most beautiful platformers ever? Rayman Legend’s painterly style brings the colourful world of Rayman to life as he dashed, jumps and punches his way through dozens of levels. The gentle pace means you won’t lose much progress to the distractions of travelling. If you’re after even more gorgeous platforming, Ori and the Blind Forest makes a magnificent substitute.
If you just want to escape into another world and experience a story, the gentle exploration game Dear Esther delivers a potent literary fix. Pick your way slowly through the gorgeous cave networks of the mysterious island, uncovering scraps of poetic narration as you go. Every line sheds light on a hidden tragedy. A short but bittersweet and memorable experience.
FTL: Faster Than Light
Thanks to its low system requirements and pause-based combat, FTL is a great game to play on the move. It's also a game about being on the move; in a spaceship that's constantly jumping into the unknown. Each jump promises danger and possible reward, and FTL's best moments are when a plan backfires. You're frequently forced to extinguish fires, fix systems and fight back intruders, but at any moment you can pause the action and take time to plan out your response. It's brutally difficult, but its random generation means that no two attempts will be the same.
Pillars of Eternity
As with the Infinity Engine games that inspired it, Pillars of Eternity lets you pause combat. Not only does that lend itself well to travel, it allows for a complex and demanding challenge that forces you to think through your party's abilities to really take down that wizard. It's huge, too, with a variety and scope that'll keep you occupied for potentially hundreds of hours. Add in great quests and excellent writing, and you've got a travel diversion that will keep you engrossed throughout. You can even take advantage of the Omen’s gaming keyboard, with its dedicated gaming keys and custom game profiles, to keep better track of your party’s combat abilities.
Thanks to their measured pace and thoughtful action, point-'n-click adventures are well suited to gaming on the move. The Blackwell series is a high point of the genre. It tells the story of Rose Blackwell, a freelance medium, and her expired sidekick Joey. Rosa's job is to help souls cross over to the other side, and in doing so she meets a large cast of quirky and mysterious characters. Blackwell Epiphany is the final and best game of the series, but each of the five parts is worth spending time with.