Hello, all. This is my March 2017 “monthly report.” Please see my profile for more info.
All of the games I’ve played this month are listed here. I’d like to discuss them below:
A few notes on this month's games
- I’m happy to report that my non-idling game time was 84h in March compared to 63h and 60h for the previous two months. This is because there were no NFL playoffs to distract me (January) and, well, I guess a few more extra days and some cold/rainy weekends in March gave me some extended play sessions with the kids.
- Only two out of the seven games I played this month were Steamgifts wins (Black Sails & One Night Stand).
- I played some of the games either or entirely or partially with (e.g., with an audience of) my 5-year-old twins (Harry Potter, Hue, Amulet of Dreams, and Samorost 2). We did all of the “story mode” levels of Harry Potter together, but I did some of the Hogwarts and other overworld areas on my own.
- This was the first time I have completed a game for the Monthly Theme! Granted, it was pretty much a coincidence…but I’ll take it.
LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7
As you can see, I spent more than half of my monthly playtime with LEGO Harry Potter. If you’ve played the genre, you understand why. We started from ground zero and got to about 80% completion (including all of story mode) this month. I expect to finish off the rest of Free Play mode to get the remaining 20% in April. Harry Potter 1-4 was my daughter’s favorite game, so I’ve been saving this one until they got a little older (5 1/2) and we could try it co-op. So about halfway through (and one at a time of course) I taught them how to play…unfortunately this meant I had to switch from controller to keyboard controls, as I have only one controller. This was a significant but not overwhelming change for me. The harder part was all of the crazy split-screen action which made my eyes hurt eventually. Truly, the game was much more fun in single-player! But I’m glad they got to play and they really enjoyed it. And for the most part they knew what they were doing…switching to the correct character to accomplish certain tasks, etc. So it’s something…
As I wrote last month, it’s a fun little puzzle-platformer where you choose a “pen color” to change the world’s background color so that obstacles appear and disappear when you need them to. It does a really good job introducing new mechanics and includes narrative sections to move the story along. As I suspected, the difficulty ramped up, but not so much in the “action-platforming” sections as in the “puzzle-platform” sections. (The game contains both kinds.) A few of the puzzles were real stumpers, but I only consulted a guide on 1 or 2 levels. We also needed a guide for 3 or 4 of the collectibles (“beakers”) for that last achievement. Highly recommended if you like the genre.
Black Sails (SG win)
This game has been on my Attack Plan for months, but for one reason or another kept getting pushed back. Nice little point-and-click, somewhat of a “period piece,” if you know what I mean, although it actually plays more like a game from 2009 than 2015. But I enjoyed it. Nice plot and atmosphere…graphics good enough not to be distracting (although as I said they look older than they should). Nice puzzles– not too hard but not too easy. Had to get help twice– once was my fault and one was the game’s fault. :P
Amulet of Dreams
Not the best HOG in the world, but okay. The story is weak, the voice acting is godawful at times, the music is more than repetitive, and the puzzles and HOG scenes are average. But it’s pretty enough. Puzzles were not too hard but will make you have to think at times. The achievements work and you don’t have to collect 357 butterfiles, buttons, morphing pygmies, and hidden paperclips to get 100%. There is a progress-halting bug late in the game, but I was fortunate enough to have a nice Steam friend tell me about it before I encountered it. It’s 100% avoidable if you know how, and you might get lucky and never experience it even if you’re unaware…it depends the order you do things.
One Night Stand (SG win)
Nice little VN with multiple endings. The Steam tags include “Nudity” but don’t get your hopes up. :P It’s just that one screenshot of a lady’s bare back from the Store Page. I got all but two of the endings of my own accord, but used a guide for the rest, as well as some of the seemingly more obscure achievements. In my first playthrough, I got the “You became friends” ending. Story of my life. :P
It was late in the month and I wanted a short game to round out the month, so I rewarded myself with the first game from my Itching to play list that I’ve played since I joined BLAEO. Loved the game…not too hard, but so fun and rewarding when that next secret compartment opens. I got stuck a couple of times, but never had to resort to a guide. Still took me 5 hours though (the rest was idling time from months ago). Now I get to replay it with my kids….they won’t be able to do the whole thing, but they’ve gotten parts of it and my son in particular is enjoying the locks, secret compartments, and puzzles.
Actually, now that I think about it, this game might have been on my Itching to Play list, but only because I wanted to play #2 before entering giveaways for #3. I loved Machinarium and particularly Botanicula. This one actually didn’t do it for me as much…not because it’s short, but more because it seemed to involve a lot of careful timing, walking back and forth, and finding hotspots you’d have no reason to mouse over. Oh well…it still had that great art style and animation.
It's Spring Again
I actually “completed” this a few months ago, but this month I let my each of my kids play it. Even though they’re actually a bit too old for it (funny to think), they still enjoyed being able to do something completely by themselves.
Plan for April
See my Attack Plan. I plan to complete Harry Potter 5-7 and Supreme League of Patriots Issue 3 (an SG win). There’s also a very good chance I’ll at least start The Turing Test (my most recent SG win) and/or An Octave Higher (Secret Santa gift). Lately with the kids I’ve been playing Scrap Garden and A Boy and His Blob, but I’ve been using my son’s account (he doesn’t know he has) so it won’t show up here.