Home Gaming The lights go out but we still play games

The lights go out but we still play games

2 min read

Eskom collapse

Have you been faced with ridiculous load shedding? I had a bit of unexpected time without power today, and I thought I’d share my gaming insights with you. A bunch of us will be without power this weekend, at least for a few hours, so here’re some recommendations.


It’s amazing how doing dishes or taking out the rubbish becomes a more appealing job once you’re without power. I was happily packing my bag for an upcoming secret mission that will see me winging away for a few days. However, these activities are about as much fun without power as they are with, so you probably won’t do them for long before deciding to move on to bigger and better things.

Board/card games

Settlers of catan

I absolutely adore board games, and plenty of card games, too. These don’t require any electricity and can be a whole bunch of fun. My favorite board game is always Settlers of Catan, and I’m a huge fan of playing Spades (it’s kind of like Bridge but slightly easier)… but only if playing with four people. Spades between two just isn’t as much fun, and with three it’s a big old mess. Either choice is excellent, and filled with plenty of fun and strategy. Of course, these only work if you have someone to play with, so what do you do on your own?

Mobile gaming


We know this will be a time of load shedding, so I strongly recommend keeping your mobile devices fully charged. Obviously, everyone has their favorite mobile games, and we mention them often. However, here are some that don’t require any internet connection to play, and I found more enjoyable in a blackout.

First up is the omni-present Plague Inc. Nothing like killing off everyone in the world to make you feel better about sitting alone in the dark. Get your revenge!

I thoroughly enjoyed having some extra time with Kingdom Rush while the power was out – it was the ideal time to pick up those extra difficulty achievements and random levels that I hadn’t completed to 100% yet. Reinforce!

However, this time around, I found myself hooked on Peggle. Something about the music, sound effects and bouncing a ball off of pegs just made the time fly for me.

Of course, you could always just get out of the house during a blackout, but we all know that traffic turns to hell when the power dies and all the lights turn off. Best to just stay home and play games. Right? Now, here’s hoping one day they make load shedding simulator and my life will be complete in these moments.

Last Updated: January 4, 2017


  1. Alien Emperor Trevor

    December 5, 2014 at 22:07

    I make 100% sure my phone & Kindle are charged.


  2. Kromas, Guardian of Cenarius

    December 6, 2014 at 00:10

    Generator + PC … done.


    • Captain JJ in theory

      December 8, 2014 at 08:00

      Money = little
      Not so done.


      • d

        December 9, 2014 at 13:21

        makro + special = R799 for generator


  3. Jack

    December 6, 2014 at 00:57

    Mike Naicker – Escom ๐Ÿ˜‰
    “Don’t supply Mugabe his a poes switch of his juice” Lolz xD


  4. Geoff Murphy

    December 6, 2014 at 08:30

    Eskom: The only service provider who wants you to use less. We pay them to tell us to turn everything off.


    • Marc O Polo

      December 7, 2014 at 08:18

      Only company in the world’s who says please don’t use our product


      • CAE9872

        December 7, 2014 at 10:02



        • TrishaJRodriguez

          December 8, 2014 at 00:44

          my roomate’s ex-wife makes $86 /hr on the computer . She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her check was $19896 just working on the computer for a few hours. go


          ?????? http://GoogleHomeJob/2014/12/EarnMore….



  5. Reid

    December 6, 2014 at 09:12

    When the power goes out I just keep playing games or watching movies on my laptop.


  6. BacchusZA

    December 6, 2014 at 09:56

    I’m starting to contemplate investing in a genny or some other alternative?

    Does anyone have an idea what it takes to keep a PC, 3 monitors, the fridge & kettle, and the lights powered in a 2 bed flat?


    • Mark Treloar

      December 6, 2014 at 10:26

      Anything between R25000 to R50000 if you want to do it right


      • BacchusZA

        December 6, 2014 at 23:51

        So we’re not talking pocket change then, sadly :/

        Thanks guys, appreciate the input ๐Ÿ™‚


      • goswald

        December 8, 2014 at 07:39

        Not that bad… only issue would be the the kettle. The rest could run off a 2.5KVA easily for a 2 bed flat. Those go for around R1500 – R5000. I run my stuff off a 1000W Inverter Generator. LED TV, PS4, DSTV, Router, iMac and a couple of lights.


    • Ceyber, Slayer of Trolls

      December 6, 2014 at 10:30

    • Tina Butler

      December 6, 2014 at 18:19

      Anything from 10 to 15 kw will do. You can choose which circuits in your house/flat you want on it. Price depending on auto start, silent, surge protected, three phase or single phase. Can be anything from around R8 000 to whatever. The diesel model range is more expensive, but more stable and reliable.


    • HvR

      December 8, 2014 at 10:06

      The big problem is the kettle, in the 2000+W range it needs a genny on its own. I also will not typically bother with a fridge load it up with a couple of cooler blocks and it will be fine for 2.5 hours but included it in any case.

      Double check your own equipment ratings but I estimate:
      300L A rated combo fridge = 200W x 2 (double up for load variance and start up, triple if it is an old fridge)
      3 21″ to 23″ LED monitors = 40W x 3
      PC with 1000W supply = 1000W
      4 x EFL bulbs = 100W
      2 or 3 small extras like routers, chargers etc = 100W
      Total = 1720W + 20% (for start ups etc) = 2064W

      So get 2.5KVA generator, ~R4000 for off the shelf entry level (Ryobi, Ellies, Jon Yin Dong) + R700 for 2 good quality high amp rated extension leads.

      If dragging the genny outside every time and putting in leads is to much of a hassle you can start looking at permanently hooked up very good quality genny with auto-start, UPS, etc etc etc then it become very expensive.


  7. Lynley James

    December 6, 2014 at 11:53

    I make sure my iPad, 3DS and Vita a fully charged. Already cleared my mobile backlog of one game this week


  8. Kensei Seraph - 5 more days

    December 6, 2014 at 12:53

    If I get hot by load shedding I will study, play Icewind Dale II on my laptop or catchup on all that missed sleep during the year.


  9. Dexter

    December 6, 2014 at 15:13

    I play games on my iPhone whenever the power goes out… I need to play games!!! LOL


  10. Merle Owen

    December 6, 2014 at 16:07

    Hooray! Someone who sees the load shedding in a positive light. Carry on enjoying! I also use my laptop until I run out of battery…….


  11. Brady miaau

    December 6, 2014 at 19:45

    Settlers is awesome, true. Even better (but much longer playtime) with Seafarers expansion pack


  12. Tulipdame

    December 7, 2014 at 09:26

    I usually do some cleaning and sleep. These two weeks have been a little different though, with the parents-in-law visiting


  13. CAE9872

    December 7, 2014 at 10:04

    I work on the laptop ๐Ÿ™ But then I have deadlines damn you Eskom!

    I agree – chores WAY easier when no power! But Vita/iPad/iPhone fully charged…oh yes!

    And yes that is a helluva lot of exclamation marks!!!!!!!


  14. CAE9872

    December 7, 2014 at 10:05

    In other news – anyone on Playstation can get 3 free EA games but hurry as apparently only until tonight or so? NFS Most Wanted (Vita); Mirror’s Edge (PS3) and Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare (PS4).

    Thanks EA – that is mighty kind of you and appreciated.


  15. Ottokie

    December 7, 2014 at 18:19

    Gameboy 3DS saves me every time!


  16. Wraith

    December 8, 2014 at 07:44

    I managed to finish Steamworld Dig on my Vita this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚


  17. Spaffy

    December 8, 2014 at 07:44

    I stare at my monitor until it goes on…


    • Splooshypooh

      December 8, 2014 at 11:46

      Me too ๐Ÿ™


  18. Hammersteyn

    December 8, 2014 at 07:49

    I need to find my damn Vitas charger cable.


  19. Captain JJ in theory

    December 8, 2014 at 08:00

    Now to find someone who will play board/card games with me.


    • Brady miaau

      December 8, 2014 at 08:40

      There is always my wife, but she has a nasty habit. She wins. A lot. Settlers, risk (never again, too long), Ankh Morpork game, stuff like that.


      • Captain JJ in theory

        December 8, 2014 at 10:44

        Lucky you. My gf isn’t fond of card games. Sadly. Loves video games, but this still leaves me with a problem when the power is out.


        • Brady miaau

          December 8, 2014 at 12:06

          It should not be leaving you with too big a problem when the lights are out.

          Perhaps some cold salad and some other foods, preprepared, some wine, some music from the cellphone and a blanket on the floor of the lounge. Some candles around the lounge. A nice quiet meal, alone and relaxed.

          I try, but having a one year old puts paid to that idea.


          • Captain JJ in theory

            December 8, 2014 at 12:15

            I need to take more advice from you. You clearly have better ideas than me. I’m trying this.

          • Brady miaau

            December 8, 2014 at 12:20

            My wife says I am full of clever ideas for other people.

            And power is out here, thanks Eskom

  20. Raptor Rants A Lot

    December 8, 2014 at 09:29

    To date we have not had load shedding in our complex.


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