This following is just a list of the best games we have discovered so far. There will be many others that we haven't found yet, please contact us with your suggestions.
Aim FTW Steam - Mac and PC
This is a free game available on steam that is designed for gamers to practice their mouse skills. It features a series of challenges with moving targets that you need to track with the crosshairs . Really simple and a great place to start.
3daimtrainer.com - web browser, Mac and PC
Much like the above game but with a different selection of games. Some of these are really challenging, but the harder they are the quicker you will improve.
quickdraw.withgoogle.com - web browser, Mac and PC
Play pictionary with Google AI. It’s that simple. A really good way to casually improve your operating skills whilst inadvertently training skynet to take over the human race.
IS Defense. Steam - PC only.
This is by far the greatest game ever for playing with hand wheels. It is pure frantic violence, and will teach you to operate under pressure in no time at all. You have to fight of waves of terrorists from a static machine-gun turret.
First things first, map the controls so that you can use aim and fire (left and right mouse) on your primary buttons. Your right secondary (middle mouse) can be mapped to fire rockets, and your left secondary can engage Turbo mode. This will come in handy once it gets a bit crazy.
The aim of the game is to survive as long as possible, and you can only progress to the next level once you've killed a certain amount of terrorists and vehicles. You level up by getting more kills, and this can earn you upgrades like infinite ammo and explosive rounds. However it doesn't get any easier once you get these perks, because the enemy just comes thicker and faster.
It's useful to have a second person assisting you to act as a spotter and call in supplies. If you look at the left hand side of the screen, there is a bar that goes for 1 to 5. As you get kills the level goes up, and at each stage you get to select a bonus. If you call one in at level 1, you get health and rockets, which land in crates that you have to shoot. It's worth doing this a few times, but try to save the health crates until you really need them. Level 2 is infantry who fight for you and protect your back, they are really handy and help you survive longer. Levels 3 and 4 are artilliary and airstrikes, they're not really worth the effort. It's better to wait until level 5 when you can call in an Apache gunship, and suddenly your survival rate increases dramatically.
Have fun but remember it's just a game! I've seen people sweating and shaking after 5 minutes of IS Defense.
Spiral Splatter Steam - PC and Mac
This is the best game for testing your technical skills. The object of the game is to drag a small white dot around a simple course, which is much harder than it sounds. The trouble is, this game was developed to be played with either a gamepad or regular mouse. Playing with hand wheels is significantly harder, so progressing through the game is virtually impossible. That doesn't stop it being completely addictive.
You only need one button so it's a good candidate for playing with plain handles and foot pedals. That button is the main left mouse button, and used to click and drag the white dot around the course.
To progress through each stage you need a certain amount of stars. It's relatively easy to complete each level, but you then have to go back and do them in a certain time to get enough stars. This requires a lot of practice, time and muscle memory. It's a great game for teaching hand discipline, because it's as much about stopping the wheel in the right place as it is about moving the wheels in sync. It's also fantastic for practicing diagonals, curves and split-second timing.
At the time of writing I'm stuck with 97 stars and can't progress beyond that. Maximum respect for the first person who gets 100 stars and l makes it to the next level, and if anyone ever completes this game with hand wheels they get bragging rights for life!
Beach Head 2020 Steam - PC and Mac
Beach Head 2020 is a similar style game to IS Defense, with the added bonus that is available on Mac as well. The action itself is not as frantic as IS Defense, but it does come with a variety of aircraft that need shooting down. This is great fun on the wheels, and makes you feel like an anti-aircraft gunner, which is what hand wheels were originally designed for.
There is no way of changing the keyboard bindings for you will need to switch to config 4 or 5 (see the manual) in order to access the secondary weapons. When you're in this mode you get additional cannons and heat-seeking missiles which will help you survive a lot longer.
Once you get through the first few rounds you get mounted on a moving vehicle, which is very much like operating a remote head with no pan stabilisation (ie back-pan off ) This will really test your operating skills.
You need to pick up health crates and ammo, but these are just dropped at random intervals rather than having the call them in. Apparently this game is also available in VR, and features multi-player options, but we have yet to try this out.
Tasty Planet Forever Steam - PC and Mac
This game is all about casual gameplay. It's basically a kind open-world pac-mac, it that you guide a character from above that roams around eating things.
You start out as a kitten, as you eat things you grow, and as you grow you can eat bigger things. Eventually you progress to eating people, cars and entire city blocks. You become different characters throughout the game, each with their own quirks.
It's not really competitive but it is fun and addictive. It takes a bit of getting used to the idea of steering the character with wheels, but the skill set is essentially the same as regular operating. And the sound track is very lounge jazz, which is perfect for passing time.
Donut County Steam - PC and Mac
This is a similar game to Tasty Planet, in that you roam around gobbling things and growing, but there is a fun physics element to it too.
You play a hole in the ground, which you steer around and consume things. That's about it. Don't overthink it. You sometimes have to consume things in a certain order, that's about as complex as it gets. The soundtrack is fun and the characters are amusing. This is probably the most casual game on the list.
oOo-Ascension Steam - PC only
This game is the most stylish and well thought-out maze-style game on the list. It has awesome neon graphics, incredible technical levels, and an awesome electronic soundtrack.
Each level is set on a simple sphere that rotates as you move your spaceship, meaning you actually stay in the center of the screen and the world moves around you. It's not particularly intuitive to begin with, but I assure you it is the same skill set as all forms of hand wheels operating, and definitely the most satisfying once you get it right. It is similar to Spiral Splatter in that you cannot touch the walls, but it's much more about the fluidity and rhythm. You also get chased by things, which means you can't hang about.
As the levels get progressively harder it becomes incredibly frustrating, but you can usually start off wherever you die, meaning you can slowly work your way through the levels. However, every 10th level you have a boss level, meaning you have to get all the way through it without dying, and that's where the frustration begins. The 1st boss level probably took me 100 attempts, the 2nd boss level may have taken as many as 300 goes, and the 3rd boss level was virtually impossible. I'm currently stuck on level 4.3 and can't see myself ever getting beyond that, as most of my progress to this point was done during the great lock-down of 2020. Hats off to anyone who gets beyond this level without cheating!
Playing this game is a bit harder than just plug-and-play. It's designed to play with a joystick, but to play it with a mouse you have to click and drag the spaceship in the direction of the cursor. This works with a regular mouse, but with Rexy wheels is doesn't work at all. Therefore you need to download a program called ReWASD to make it work.
ReWASD is a gamepad emulator that enables you to remap a mouse and fool the computer into thinking its a gamepad. It takes a little while to get your head around, and I will be posting some tutorials coming up. If you really want to try this game and get stuck then contact me on email@example.com and I'll talk you through it.
Galaga Wars + Apple Arcade - Mac and iPad
This is a classic 2D scrolling shooter that sees you fly a space ship through a series of environments, shooting baddies and collecting various power ups. It’s simple mindless fun.
Blek + Apple Arcade - Mac and iPad
One of the most unique games I’ve ever seen. Draw a simple shape, watch that shape repeat and avoid obstacles. It’s hard to explain, even harder to play, but very addictive.