As someone who has fond memories of 3D Monster Maze on the ZX81 it’s fair to say I’ve be around for a while and have played my fair share of computer games over the years.

Nowadays, apart from the occasional flight on Microsoft Flight Simulator the only game which I play on any sort of regular basis is ’Team Fortress 2’ on which I probably spend  45-60 minutes  every couple of days. This game has kept me coming back for more since I originally purchased the game back in early 2010 – a length of time that few games have ever held my attention for.

If you’ve not heard of TF2 then your favourite search engine will give you the details – basically it’s an online, team based, third person shooter – with various game play modes such as capture the flag, attack/defence of control points, etc.

The thing about TF2 is that there are a couple of character classes that are important members of any team which, assuming you can play at least competently, can have you making a worthwhile and appreciated (usually) contribution to your team -  without the need for you to be you some sharp-eye’d sharp-shooter with the reflexes of a 18 year old Ninja.

The various character classes are well documented elsewhere on the web but the two which are worthy of note here are the Medic and the Engineer.  These characters will suit the gamers with less than lighting reflexes or ones who prefer a slightly more stand-offish style of play.

The Medic’s primary role is to heal his team mates – this is done be simply selecting his ‘healing gun’ and ‘firing’ it at any team member in need of assistance. He also has the important ability to ‘Uber Charge’ a team mate for a short period of team – making them both invincible whilst the effect lasts – this ability is crucial in many situations to break through enemy defences with would otherwise be impregnable.

The Engineer also serves in support role. He can build 3 main items to assist his team. A ‘dispenser’ which the team can use to stock up on ‘ammo’ and ‘heath’, a automatic sentry gun – an important defensive tool, and teleports to get the team from their starting point on the map to the front line quickly – without having to run all the way.

Both these character classes have weapons (i.e. guns and/or hand weapons) so you can ‘get involved’ when needs be, but it’s not their main task.

So if you’re an ageing gamer like me who wants to mix it up with the youngsters give TF2 a try – its available free (yes free) on the Steam platform – found at

Team Fortress 2