Traqie

September 1st, 2021

Hey hey hey people,
it’s been a while.

I had pretty grand plans for this year, gaming wise, but a new DLC for Isaac made them impossible. I clocked another 100 hours in this game and I feel like I’m gonna need another 100 to get back my 100%.

I even managed to start Yakuza Kiwami few days before release of Repentance DLC for Isaac but later I completely abandoned it.

And to make things worse I started Forza Horizon 4 which is probably gonna take at least 100 hours to complete. Yeah, I might as well make a list for 2022 already and just copy paste games from 2021 list!

Below is what I managed to beat between today and my last march post, before Isaac and Forza consumed me…


NOTE: I beated Samorost 1 before it got a steam re-release. I played the old flash version using BlueMaxima Flashpoint. If for whatever reason you want to play old flash version, below is how to make it run, if you gonna play steam version, just go straight to review.

This used to be hosted on a website and it used Flash, but as we all know Flash is no longer supported so to play this one requires small effort. You’ll need BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint preservation software. I recommend downloading Infinity version as you most likely just want to play this one game. The ultimate version contains all games and their assets and you only need to download that and then can play instantly any game. But it weighs almost 500gb. Infinity is 500mb download, but this contains just a launcher. When running any game for first time you’ll have to download it via launcher (for me, Samorost launched instantly). But after than can be played without internet connection. Is Samorost 1 even worth all this effort?

Half-Life 2

Samorost 1

6/10
0.2 hours
no achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used – Read above the review

Samorost 1 is an introduction to our little gnome(?) character in white pajamas that we’ll play as through the trilogy. I’ll do something different and go more into details about world etc. in Samorost 2 review. But back then Amanita Design had visuals and feel nailed and not much changed in 2 & 3 (this is good).

In this part a “planet” is on collision with our home, so we go there to try and change its path. It’s very short, which makes the whole effort of installing a soft and etc. questionable. If you don’t feel like it, just watch a walkthrough on YT. You don’t really have to play it, as the planet we visit re-appears in S3 but we don’t go to the same locations. Also a character from this part re-appears in S2. But the story is not connected in any way to S2 and S3, just a small one time adventure for our little gnome, you don’t need to play this one.

It’s very basic even for point’n’click adventure. There’s no inventory system, no dialogues, all you do is click on objects. Puzzles are easy here.

I had one technical issue and that was whenever I transitioned to another screen, the game would go back to windowed mode. That’s an issue with the launcher ofc, but still it was a little annoying.

Half-Life 2

Samorost 2

7/10
0.8 hours
13 of 13 achievements

08 – Planina
09 – Jezevec
Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

We once more return to our little gnome. This time when chilling on our planet/spaceship, some ugly looking aliens land next to our house and steal our dachshund. Naturally, we go after them to rescue our dog.

Gameplay is mostly unchanged, however we sometimes have to combine items to do something. But you will mostly do everything through clicking, no dialogues etc.


I absolutely love the design of pretty much everything in this game. It’s mostly unchanged from first game, just with better visual quality. It’s very organic, planets/spaceships are these giant mushroom looking things, or like if you would cut out a part of forest with the ground underneath it and throw it into the space, but everything still lives there, air is present etc. It’s as it retained the atmosphere and was shielded from horrors of space despite being a tiny object. But technology is present in this world, albeit it’s very simple. It’s honestly very difficult for me to describe this, screenshots from this and S3 will do better job than me.

Do you need to play the first game? Nah.

It’s longer than 1st game, but you can finish it in one sitting. If you have it, don’t skip this one. It’s not necessary to play this part if you’re interested in 3rd game, but I think it’s worth it anyways.

Half-Life 2

Samorost 3

7/10
5.6 hours
30 of 30 achievements

01 – Samorost 3 Theme
03 – Mushroom Picker Dance
04 – Behind the Cosmic Curtain
Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

The last game in the series, at least for now… This is the biggest and longest adventure for our little gnome yet. Samorost 3 is much prettier and much more expanded than the last two games.

It starts very innocent. A magical instrument (Wikipedia calls it a flute, but to me it’s closer to mix of trumpet and saxophone based on the sounds it makes) suddenly drops from the sky onto our property, waking our hero from his sleep. This is also where we have short tutorial for the instrument, movement etc. The instrument is the key tool in this game, as our hero quickly finds out we can use to listen to spirits but also communicate with them by playing. And what spirits you may ask, well spirits of nature – trees, mushrooms etc. Not all puzzles involve our instrument, but a lot of flute puzzles reward with beautiful tunes and often spirits will join too making their own sounds creating this awesome concert of saxophone and different sounds. The songs are often composed of instruments and people making weird noises, here’s a sample of what I’m talking about. The OST is fantastic and different mini concerts you hear are awesome. Another game where I had troubles picking the few favorite tracks!


Mushroom spirits.

Monke.



To be honest I’m writing this months after finishing, so I don’t remember exactly how the story is told and when you learn about the instrument, but at some point you learn there is another person that has not one, but three instruments like you and they use it to control a 3-head mechanical dragon that can consume every spirit. Naturally, your mission is to stop him but you can’t do it alone but I won’t spoil further. So you travel to different planets or beings, trying to piece story together and so on. There’s plenty of puzzles in every area, not all of them make complete sense which is normal for these type of games. I would get stuck few times and had to use a guide, because I could not see the solution. It’s why I give it a rating like that, I had way too many moments where I got bored, despite this game being much better than the last two.

World design is the same, but it looks even more HD than S2. Every screen is so beautiful and every animal, insect, plant fits perfectly into this strange world. Only our little gnome and some human characters stand out a little.

Something I noticed in S2 is that this game feels very Czech. I don’t know how to describe it, but the creature design + the sound design of pretty much everything feels like something from a Czech cartoon. My feeling was correct as the devs are indeed from Czech Republic. I’m not sure how I made that connection tho, when I was little you could sometimes watch Czech cartoons and maybe that’s why I felt that? Regardless, sound and overall design is great.

Definitely recommended to all adventure fans and/or fans of previous games in the series. You don’t need to play previous games if you haven’t, but I would recommend playing S2 at the very least. The dog you rescue in that game is back in this one and yes you can pet it :)

Half-Life 2

INSIDE

6/10
4.4 hours
14 of 14 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

“What the hell did I just played” will be the last impression this game will leave you with, whether you enjoyed the game, because of a really weird turn near the end. Ahem, but back to beginning!

INSIDE is a very interesting and fascinating game thanks to the world devs created here and all weird things you see, but at the same time it’s quite boring at times because of unchanged gameplay from LIMBO. Although it looks 3d, it’s more of a 2.5D game, backgrounds are fully 3D but you move from left to right like 80% of game. We play yet again as a young boy, but I’m not sure if this is set in the same world as LIMBO. There’s one element that “returns” from Limbo ( the mind controlling worm ) for just one scene and the overall feel and world of the game reminds me of LIMBO. I could see this being a prequel to LIMBO, but I’m not entirely sure.

It even starts like LIMBO. After you launch the game, you are instantly dropped in the game. As a young boy in red shirt, we start in a forest and the only way is forward (or, the right side :P). We quickly stumble onto people dressed in black and in white masks catching and taking people that look like they’re drugged. Shortly after you’ll run into them again and this time they will notice. Don’t get caught or they will kill you. If they catch they will strangle you to death, yeah this game is brutal. We play a boy who looks like he’s 10-12 years old, but you will get strangled or shot by adults, or if the dogs catch you they will cut your throat and feast on your body.


Underwater section.



While the world looked completely deserted in LIMBO, there are some signs of civilization here. After surviving the chase in forest and a walk through abandoned farm, we make it to heavily guarded city. More questions arise though than answers. After that there’s a underwater section where we use small submarine to move and sometimes we have to leave it to solve puzzles, it’s also where we can move vertically as we are underwater. There’s more of course but I’ll stop here.

OST is way less noticeable than in LIMBO. I actually have LIMBO OST on my PC because I like some of the tracks there but here not a single track was noticeable. Sadge.

Lastly I want to talk about story. Again comparing it to LIMBO, it’s very strange and you’re not told much. There’s never any dialogue or texts to read, you mostly learn through environments and watching what happens on screen. The world seems to falling apart, majority of population is under some kind of mind control and there are few cities/communities where people are in control of themselves. But at least one city seems to be using mind controlled population for their own purpose. Another one has a huge section with laboratories but you’ll stumble into controlled slaves too. And they’ll all very hostile to outsiders, including you. Everything else seems to be abandoned and left to rot. You could view this game through political glasses and it would make sense as sometimes it’s a little too on the nose as to what devs are trying to say, at least that was my impression, but I won’t get into that. There’s also this guide that tries to explain what exactly is happening, in what country is the game set etc. pretty impressive work and it makes sense. But it’s all spoilers so don’t read it before playing.

I think I can recommend this, especially if you liked LIMBO, but man I hope devs try to do something different for their next game.

Half-Life 2

The Witness

2/10
14.0 hours
2 of 2 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

Not a game for me. In The Witness we are stuck on an island that despite its small size, is very varied – it has a small desert, a jungle, some signs of civilization from different ages like a castle, modern greenhouse, lumbermill and few more. And looming over everything and the final goal of this game – a mountain with the final puzzle inside.

The puzzles in this game – I find them extremely boring. They are super simple at start – just think of those “escape the labyrinth” puzzles you maybe saw in newspapers if you’re old enough. You draw a line from start to exit. Simple enough. But as you wander around the island you’ll see puzzles with new icons, shapes etc. You are free to move around the island after leaving the first area, but if you stick to main road you’ll wander into puzzles with two new rules. One, black & white blocks – to solve that you need to draw a line that separates all black from white, it sounds simple but they obviously get more complicated over time. Oh and the line you draw, it stays so you can’t loop so you have to solve it and don’t cut your way to exit. Next, dots – you need to draw a line that cuts through all the dots before going for exit. Again, simple at start, gets harder later. There’s more of course – puzzles where you need to draw tetris blocks with your line, multiple colors of blocks, stars that liked to be paired together etc. A lot of puzzles also require you to use the environment. For example a shadow may be casted on puzzle panel and you need to reach the exit without touching it. Or you’ll need to use nearby branches that will show the correct path for a puzzle that seems to have no rules.

I have to admit, a lot of care and work has been put into the game and puzzles. There’s A LOT of them and no duplicates, I had over 400 solved when I reached the end and there was more left somewhere. There are also a lot of hidden puzzles right in the environment. But the score is based on my personal enjoyment and solving all that was just boring to me, so hence the low score. Not gonna lie, I finished like 20% on my own and I just speedrunned with a guide open to be done with this game.

Another positive I can say is that this game is gorgeous. I don’t think I took so many screenshots in a game that I didn’t enjoy. I even played with that Nvidia photo mode a little.

Story – well I’m not sure if there is any. There are audiologs scattered all over island, usually with a woman or a man reading a quote or passage. I don’t know if this all somehow connects, because I was too bored to pay attention. There are also stone statues of people all over. Most of them frozen as doing normal activities – talking, painting, admiring something etc.

As I understand, this was inspired by Myst, series of games I haven’t played but have vague idea what they’re about. I believe you’re also stuck on an island but the puzzles are more familiar to other games of that genre. If playing Myst with “escape the labyrinth” type puzzles sounds exciting to you, you will really enjoy this. If not, stay away.

Zelrune

Congrats on your assassinations!
Woah, you beat The Witness in 14 hours? It was absolute hell for me. I enjoyed like, 8 hours then I needed to peak at guides, and then it got more frustrating to play than anything. I wish they put actual books in rather than the philosophical babbling voice tapes. The endings didn’t make any sense.
I loved Inside though, I lowkey wanna play it again since it’s been enough time for me to forget most of the gameplay. I love that you beat Samorost 1, 2, and 3 and put them in the same post. I aspire to reach that level of organization.

900+ hours in The Binding of Isaac, that’s incredible.

Traqie

Thanks!

Like I said I used guide for the witness, I beated like 20% of puzzles myself then speedrunned with guide. Idk about books, I think audiologs were better idea because you get to listen something in the background.

As for Samorost I usually try to beat series in order and not have long breaks between games so I don’t forget what happened in previous games as I play another one in series. And it was easy with Samorost since first two games are very short.

Q09066930

Wow, you finish off those games fast. :-)
2022 is coming, only 4 month left. Actually, a good time to start some grand planning.

Mskotor

:sweatsmile:

Traqie

Is that a real steam emoji because I can’t find it on steam market ;o

Mskotor

No, this is SG discord emoticon :D

https://commons.ishtar-collective.net/images/emoji/emoji_one/sweat_smile.png?v=5

Traqie

😑
Meh, I’ll make a list sometime in december.

Q09066930

I love planning more than actually doing stuff, so I start early, lol. Four months is about right to make a plan I won’t hold on to!
Sorry, I guess it was a, let’s say, weird suggestion on my part. 🥴

Mskotor

I would also need to go with guide to beat Witness and I asked myself - what is the point of puzzle game when I need to use guide to keep me going. Because game feels like a hassle than anything else. So I did drop it.

I do love puzzle games but Witness is not for me.

Traqie

I just don’t like to abandon games after I started them. Completeting it was boring, but easy. Well except the challenge, that took me like 2 hours and I had to use my brain D:

Mskotor

I hate abandoning games. But I know it’s bad thing and I fight it :sweatsmile:

VitoStippkow

Wow, that’s an enormous amount of hours for Isaac. I applaud your dedication. Isaac is one of the games I’m never gonna touch out of respect!

Traqie

Thanks! Don’t get me wrong, it’s super fun but it can be a completionist nightmare if you don’t enjoy it as much as I do :D