There is a bewildering and growing range of choices when it comes to purchasing Internet games. Unfortunately, most of us can't afford to buy them all, so here are some things to take into consideration before parting with your money.
System RequirementsPay careful attention to system requirements before buying computer games. Some games will run on systems that don't meet the requirements, but generally speaking, you must exceed requirements to get the game running optimally. If the game is a gift, make sure they have the hardware to handle it first.
Internet ConnectionsAn online game can be a real drag without an Internet connection. Remember, not every computer game has a single player version these days, many of them are online only. Furthermore, not all Internet connections are created equal. A broadband connection will often improve the performance of an online game substantially over a standard dial-up connection. Note that some services, such as Xbox Live, require a broadband connection.
Game ControllersFlying an F-18 with a mouse is very different from flying an F-18 with a full-featured joystick. Consider whether or not you are going to need to purchase additional equipment to enjoy the game.
Try a Demo
There is really no better way to decide if you like a particular game than to take it for a test drive. Game developers know that a playable demo is a great way to raise interest in their product. Online games frequently offer free trial periods, and beta testing is also a great way to see if a game suits your taste, although beta opportunities are limited.
Compare GamesUsually several games within a genre are competing for your affections, so it's worth comparing demos, and seeing what is about to be released, before making a final decision. Looking at screenshots and watching videos of the game in action can be very helpful.
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to the latest game. There are plenty of magazines and Web sites that offer game reviews, and it's quite easy to find reviews written by fellow gamers. Be careful though, because people tend to either love a game or hate it.