The holiday season is starting to approach and people might be looking for gift ideas for people in their lives. Some of these people could be gamers. Some of these gamers, like me, might have a giant ADHD planet resting on their shoulders. And as anyone with ADHD will tell you, ultimately there is something they all want. You guessed it, dopamine.
You see, dopamine is that funny little neurotransmitter in our bodies that gives us little blasts of happy feelings. People with ADHD try to swallow hits of this stuff like Pac-Man lozenges. Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy for us, especially when our brains almost force us to lose interest in something when the rewards start to dip. This is why I have so many games that I have loved at one time without being finished. That’s why I never finished Persona 5 Royale. That’s why I never finished Final Fantasy XV. That’s why I never finished a lot of games that I really liked because, eventually, the end of the game became less rewarding and I completely lose interest.
Obviously this extends beyond the realm of gaming, but oh my god isn’t this the website for reading about my particular weaknesses. Oof, you don’t want it, trust me.
But there are games that work great for people with ADHD if you want that dopamine to stay strong.
Here are five that from personal experience I have found total joy to play over and over again.
I absolutely loved Miitopia. Originally it was a gift for my kids to play on their Nintendo Switch Lites, but I ended up playing it religiously until I beat the game. In Miitopia you constantly get little micro quick tasks, especially when entering a new area for the first time.
You see, in Miitopia, Nintendo got all-in on the âMiiâ bit. You use a Mii to build your character. You use a Mii to build each member of your party. It goes beyond that. Whenever you enter a new area or meet a new character, the game describes the character you’re about to meet and then you design it. That alone gave me little dopamine boosts as the courageous elderly shopkeeper became Betty White. The cowardly little man who wanted to flee the city when danger struck became Ted Cruz. Building and releasing these characters into the fictional world gave me that quick hit of ‘I’ve done something’ energy. And that’s not even the âplayâ part of the game.
Miitopia’s meat and potato gameplay involves you entering small dungeons and facing enemies in turn-based battle. You have standard classes like Warrior, Cleric, Mage. You’ve got some weird characters like Cat, Scientist, and a tank class that’sâ¦ literal tank. And if you want to go all-in, you can even unlock hard-to-get hidden classes like Vampires and Elves.
Dungeons don’t last too long, most of the time a few minutes, allowing you to complete a dungeon in a relatively short amount of time to keep your flow going. You don’t have too much control in combat beyond your main character. The rest of your group gets in control, largely based on how much time they’ve spent spending time with other group members and what kind of personality you’ve given them. So maybe a character who’s hyper will want a second round orâ¦ maybe they’ll be distracted and not realize they’re about to be hit. I was here.
And while the endgame content might be a bit tedious and lost my interest, the guest going through the main story and defeating the final villain was something I enjoyed doing by making this one l one of the first âRPGsâ that I beat the main story for almost a decade.
Fun bonus, it also helped me cope last year when my kids were taking distance learning lessons and their teachers kept playing Jack Hartmann videos feeling nauseous.