We like podcasts. The idea of listening to your favourite personalities while travelling, working, at the gym or just at home, is something that more and more people are latching on to. Some research even points to podcasts becoming more popular than radio and reading.
Rather unsurprisingly our particular favourite podcasts are Formula One and gaming podcasts, but we branch out to History, and even politics–if they don’t make us want to claw our eyes out in despair. Our ears latch onto the dulcet tones of our favourite personalities and don’t let go until we’re told to get back to work, or we fall off the treadmill in fits of laughter.
While listening to podcasts while working or working out can be dangerous for your wallet and your health, listening while playing games causes no danger at all–at least none we can see.
Not all games are conducive to listening to a podcast, though. We can’t imagine playing a story-based game like Gone Home or a fully involved shooter like Overwatch while listening to a wrestling podcast. Some games, however, are ideal for checking out and listening to your long list of podcasts. And for your pleasure, we will list our favourites.
5. CIVILISATION 6
Civilisation is, in some ways, the perfect game to play while listening to a podcast. A game that does need its fair share of attention, yes, but is also a more methodical, slower game, that means you aren’t so invested in making sure you aren’t killed by some maniacal monster thingy. Shifting your units around, ordering them to do different things, managing your economy or your diplomatic relations is part and parcel of the game. Yet, none of them is that intensive.
Add to that the fact that the methodical turn-by-turn approach of the game, with no focus on voice acting or sound of any kind, means you are open to choose your own soundtrack. That soundtrack could easily be a podcast.
Podcast we listen to when playing: Dan Snow’s History Hit or the History Extra Podcast
4. LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
When we say breath of The Wild, what we really mean is any open world game where you can explore for hours without being accosted by an NPC. In Zelda, you can go anywhere in any order and without any purpose; exploration is its great asset. You could find yourself climbing a tower, or exploring a shrine. You could even do a spot of cooking to replenish hearts or as simple preparation. It’s a quiet, almost tranquil game, even in combat. There aren’t any loud noises or audio cues, just a simple dodge and hit mechanic.
Because of all this, you can simply pop in those earphones and drift away into the clutches of your favourite podcast while playing one of the great games. That fact the game is portable makes it even more compatible for an avid podcaster like ourselves.
Podcast we listen to when playing: Any game-based podcast– y’all have your favourites.
3. NO MAN’S SKY
In a similar vein to Zelda, No Man’s Sky is a game all about exploration. Now, listening to a podcast while your are exploring the literally infinite galaxy would be doing a disservice to the games excellent sound track. However, turning the volume down doesn’t detract from the game (you can get away from the awful “warning woman”, as I like to call her) rather it improves it. No Man’s Sky is a game you can quickly get lost in. Infinite, huge planets, each with their own diversity means you can spend hours walking, discovering, improving and documenting. Feasibly, you could spend an entire play session on a single planet, so why not couple that with a podcast?
Podcast we listen to when playing: At this present moment, we’ ve found ourselves listening to Game Of Thrones Podcasts.
Simply put, FIFA’s voice commentary is annoying. Even more so if playing in career mode where the gentlemen (Geoff Shreeves) who runs down the list of the scores after every game has actually caused us to audibly ask him to shut up, in less polite terms.
With terrible commentary that you need to turn down, FIFA is ideal for listening to something else while playing. While the game itself can be very intense (2-0 down at half-time against Man Utd can be as tense as they come) most of the time, it is a leisurely game of football with brilliant gameplay mechanics that we couple with real-life pundits discussing the real-life football in our ears.
Podcast we listen to when playing: Any BBC 5live podcast
Could it be anything else? The whole point of Minecraft is to create your world, and in our world, that includes a good podcast. Whether you are mining, building, killing or exploring, Minecraft is a game that, although it has a soundtrack, is improved by adding your own. Like many of the games above, Minecraft can be played with no sound at all, and the player not suffer for it. Ok, you might not be able to hear the undead or the spiders or the creepers, but dependant on your objective, you might not run into them anyway. Instead, just spending time in Minecraft merrily building away while your favourite personality lights up your ears is an almost perfect gaming experience. If you’ve never tried it, you owe it to yourself to give it a go. Oh, and if you play on the move on the Switch, even better.
Podcast we listen to when playing: Literally anything.