Chromebook supercasual gaming for old man

As my father gets older, I worry that he needs more mental stimulation. I got him a Chromebook (and a nice mouse), and he's never been a "gamer," but he's played some things like solitaire on older computers.

He's kind of a technophobe and generally reluctant to intellectually challenge himself. (He doesn't even have a smartphone.) He does not even know how the Chromebook works yet, or how to do a web search, or how to type very fast; I'm easing him into that.

I'd like to get him some solid, stimulating games that he won't immediately refuse to play or bounce off of. This should be good for his mind, and get him more comfortable with using the Chromebook. Good versions of solitaire, maybe some crossword puzzles, that sort of thing. Nothing mindless or too much of a time sink: I also want him to leave his new apartment more.

Bonus question: board games he might be willing to play with my (learning disabled) sister, who lives in the same apartment complex. Stimulating but not complex.

Bonus bonus question: what am I not asking for that I should? Any activities that would mentally stimulate him. (Yeah, I'd love him to have a dog, if they were allowed. He needs exercise too. Hoping to get him into mall walking.)

Please don't throw a bunch of random recommendations for things you kinda like at me. My father's well-being, and my own sanity, are at stake; please only give recommendations that you are very sure about.

Sudoku or my favorite Ken Ken. I also love cryptograms. There are apps out there with thousands of quotes to decrypt.

Meditation and/or tai chi would be good activities.
Get him an HBO go sub for a few months. There is a metric ton of amazing documentaries on HBO.
Look into a museum membership or perhaps find some volunteer activities you think he might enjoy.

My father has been in the philanthropic group Rotary for a couple decades. The minority of the clubs are "drinking clubs" so he should find one that is more than that but also at the level of participation he desires.

Community theatre should be a lot of fun to see with the right expectations that the performances have little to no budget and the look of the actors may not be traditional. But the quality of the acting may surprise you both.

I have found 'non-gamers' of that age usually like versions of games they are already familiar with. You said solitaire which is a good one. I would look at other 'classic' game packs like that; dominoes, mahjong, backgammon, etc.

Does the Chromebook have the Play Store?

It's got too. I think that is how you download any app - productivity, utility, etc. not just games/entertainment.

Older Chromebooks don't have access to the Play Store, which is why I'm asking. Most everything post-2018 has access, but I'm not 100% certain which is why I've asked.

Let me start by saying, thank you for responses. This means a lot to me.

fangblackbone wrote:

Meditation and/or tai chi would be good activities... Look into a museum membership or perhaps find some volunteer activities you think he might enjoy.

These are good ones. He's unstable on his feet, finding tai chi appropriate to his age and condition might help. He's also a "giver," I should try to hunt down volunteer activities.

I love the museum idea but he's pretty skittish about coming into the city proper. (He's in a suburb about 45 minutes to an hour away.) He's only been willing to visit my house once in about 20 years despite being so close, so I doubt a museum will draw him in. (But "you come to me, I don't come to you" is typical of Boomer parents, right?)

LeapingGnome wrote:

I would look at other 'classic' game packs like that; dominoes, mahjong, backgammon, etc.

Agreed, that's what I was thinking. Particular apps ("this particular solitaire app is easy to read and doesn't have a ton of intrusive ads") are welcome.

garion333 wrote:

Older Chromebooks don't have access to the Play Store, which is why I'm asking. Most everything post-2018 has access, but I'm not 100% certain which is why I've asked.

Oh, I did not know that was the case! Yes, it does.

Can you gift an app? I know I could buy a gift card.

Not a recommendation for a game, but I did a similar thing for my mom after my dad passed, and it was important to make the process of accessing the games really simple.

1. Turn it on.
2. Click here.
3. Play.
4. Quit (This was a hard one, required accessing the menu. She just unplugged the computer a lot instead.)
5. Turn it off. (She couldn’t stand the thought of “just leave it on”.)

She got creatively stuck in the simplest of places and trying to troubleshoot with her via phone could have been its own comedy series.

Not sure if this applies to your dad but thought it might be worth mentioning.

Good luck!

My dad's been playing the games on EA's pogo.com for the last few years (wow, maybe even 10 years by now?). They're all Flash and Java-applet games, so may not all work on a Chromebook, but it might be worth checking out. Actually, I just checked and it looks like they're in the process of rebuilding their Pogo games library in HTML5 (click to enable "early access" mode), so this might actually be a more viable option on Chromebook.

Pogo has a pretty good variety of games to play*, most of which are available for a free user; my dad's been paying the $40ish/year, which gets access to all the "premium" games and eliminates ads, and he really enjoys it. It has daily and weekly challenges to earn badges and points, which encourages him to play a broader range of game, rather than just doing the same thing every day. Most of the games are chat-enabled (which he completely ignores - it's not his thing), and can help give just a bit of social interaction, even while sitting at home by yourself.

Edit: *Examples: Various solitaires, multiplayer card games, sudoku, majong, jigsaw puzzles, crossword, hidden objects.