It was just a matter of time until I lured them into my hobbies. Abby and Riley have both been playing Torchlight on the Xbox lately.

I sat with Abby as she chose her character and went through the first 6-7 levels of advancing her character. Her choices were interesting. When choosing a character to start, there are only three options – two male characters, and one female. She chose the female character reluctantly, saying that she was wearing too little clothing. Abby doesn’t care for immodestly dressed women. I’m not sure where this comes from, but she doesn’t care for most magazine ads, either. I told her that as she played the game, it was likely that she would be able to acquire different clothing for her character, so this worry passed.

Probably the most difficult thing to convey to her was that you need to pick up everything in these games. Especially in Tochlight, where you can send your animal companion back to town to sell your junk, there’s no reason not to pick up every last thing you find in the dungeon. It was difficult to get her to stop killing monsters and pick up the things she found along the way. Of course, this led to another interesting problem.

It was difficult for her to choose between the things she found in the dungeon to determine what she should keep and what she should sell. I think this is difficult for any player. Torchlight tries to make this a bit easier by using indicators to show which thing is better or worse compared to your existing equipment, but this only uses the absolute attribute of the item. So a helmet with an armor rating of 4 and no magic is shown as better than a helmet with an armor rating of 3 that can obliterate your enemies at will. As a base determinant, this isn’t bad, but it gets a lot more complex very quickly, and figuring out what you should sell or keep of all the junk you pick up is a real challenge.

Riley played the game for a while when Nana was home. I didn’t see how this went. I imagine Nana spent a lot of time reading the prompts for him, and being frustrated by having to sit through another video game, even if she wasn’t playing. Riley occasionally makes Nana play Lego Batman with him, which she’s not a fan of. Riley says he read most of the words himself, but Nana was helping. This could be a nice gateway into Riley wanting to read for himself, not that he doesn’t, but he doesn’t really seek out activities that demand that he read. Anyway, Riley did reasonably well with his lizard companion, getting to 3rd or 4th level. He enjoyed killing lots of huge monsters.

I’m anxious to get back to my game as well. Torchlight was a lot of mindless fun when I played it on the PC, and I want to see what awaits me at higher levels than what I was able to achieve there.