Kaleith's Neverending Nightmare Kaleith’s profile

I don’t think I would be able to stick to any “X games in Y time” kind of plans.
I’ve found that writing about games on this page after being done with them is a great feeling, so I’m more inclined to keep using BLAEO as a log of sorts.

Currently participating in:

Past Challenges:


November/December 2018 Update

I never stood a chance.

Looking at other people’s posts I remembered that one of my resolution for my 2018 on BLAEO was to keep track of games backlogged and played to make a proper balance at the end of the year.
Surprising no one I forgot about doing that, but I still cobbled something together by looking at my product activation page on Steam and going from there. Let’s just say it was not pretty…

I thought I’d be more bummed out that I am when looking at the numbers, but I’m actually fine with how things went, considering the circumstances. I like to look at the positive side: I have some nice games to look forward to play whenever I’m in the mood for some, so all’s good :3
It’s just… a little disappointing there was no month in which I gained any advantage on the backlog, but that has more to do with my chronic wishlist feeding addiction >_<

As for the Nov/Dec blacklog kills there’s not much to see, so I’ll just plug an honorable mention for Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death, a game that I would have never heard about if not for Totalbiscuit’s video about it several years ago. It was the right kind of cheesy fun I was looking for to lift up my spirits ^_^

September/October 2018 Update

Spooky threats

To keep in line with Spooktober I received multiple scary threatening messages like the one pictured above. I guess I’d better post a new update :3

Sooo… In the past couple of months I’ve (sorta) come back to having some time to play, so I’ve taken down around a dozen games.
While that sounds pretty great on paper, it was mostly pretty short titles and I’ve been really weak in the past 6 months, adding close to 50 titles to the backlog (yes, I know T_T)

Still, I hope plan to have more free time early next year to get more slaying done, and in the meantime I’ll keep nibbling at the beast whenever I can squeeze some gaming in.

It’s nice to be back, now let’s slay some games again! he blatantly lied, again, not having played a single game so far this month

The Red Strings Club

3.8 hours, 9 of 19 achievements
↓ click to expand

In my previous update I mentioned the fact that I was looking forward to going back to finishing The Red Strings Club, and boy it did not disappoint.
I could talk about the gorgeous pixel graphics or the amazing soundtrack, but what absolutely steal the show are the storytelling and the themes.

The vast majority of the game's mechanics pivot around its dialogue system, and your choices definitely do matter in shaping the narrative. I don't think I've ever found myself stuck so many times at a dialogue choice, carefully weighting the possible options and comparing them to my own ethical and moral stances.

If you're into narrative-driven games this is an absolute gem, definitely recommended.

Life Is Strange

14.5 hours, 60 of 60 achievements
↓ click to expand

I won Life Is Strange: Before the Storm on SG so it was the perfect time to go play the original :3

After playing it I can say I'm surprised that it stood up to all the hype and raving reviews I saw coming into it, and I'm actually excited to play other games from the developers.

I didn't like many of the younger characters at first, but then it dawned on me that it meant they were well-written and I'm just an old fart :v

The game was a rollercoaster of emotions and unexpected twists, all compressed in a package that while a bit clunky at times still puts to shame the tired Telltale (RIP) formula seen in so many games from this particular "choices matter" genre.

I hope Before the Storm will be a worthwhile game to play next, although the reviews and the first impact I got by playing the first 20ish minutes do not bode well :/

SIMULACRA

7.6 hours, 24 of 24 achievements
↓ click to expand

I don't mind horror games. I like "found phone" games. Games with cheesy FMVs are my guilty pleasure.

Based on those 3 sentences and on the fact that I replayed the game multiple times to 100% it you might guess I liked the game, but I can't say I did.

The main reason for that is the overuse of jumpscare attempts, with the seeming intent to make you drop your phone on the floor by startling you with sudden blaring noises, strong vibrations and fullscreen creepy images.

Needless to say most of those effects are lost in the PC adaptation I played, with the vibration replaced by sound and the "fullscreen" images only appearing on the small portion of your screen taken by the virtual phone you interact with.

I don't find jumpscares scary as much as I find them annoying, and there were so many of them in this game that I felt pulled out what could have been an otherwise engrossing experience. It's a shame, as I genuinely did like some of the mechanics of the game and as I said I don't mind the bad acting in the video clips. Oh well :v

Subsurface Circular

1.5 hours, 13 of 13 achievements
↓ click to expand

Mike Bithell's Thomas Was Alone was a critically-acclaimed mix of narrative and platforming gameplay.

A few years later, Bithell does away with gameplay completely, presenting a dialogue-driven narrative that is short and straight to the point, only taking 1 to 2 hours to paint an interesting world without having your character ever leave its seat in a subway car.

The ending was maybe a little bit disappointing, but the journey there was still worth it if you're into narrative games.

Little Nightmares

3.6 hours, 8 of 22 achievements
↓ click to expand

After the disappointment I had with SIMULACRA, here's a Spooktober game that does horror right, with hardly any reliance on jumpscares and a focus on creating a creepy and disturbing atmosphere.

The game has a nice mix of platforming, puzzling and exploration though a set of 5 long levels each inhabited by a monster.
While I didn't love the controls which were occasionally unresponsive - especially trying to grab stuff - the issue didn't detract too much from the experience, which was engrossing all the way to the end.

It doesn't rely on trial and error but you're still expected to die quite a bit. Checkpoints are plentiful but sometimes a little too spaced apart, meaning that I had to replay some 2ish minutes-long sections several times because I was messing up right before the next checkpoint.

Definitely recommended if you liked games like INSIDE or Black the Fall, or even if you disliked the latter due to it being infuriatingly trial-and-error. It's not as bad, I promise :p

Burly Men at Sea

2.5 hours, 25 of 25 achievements
↓ click to expand

I feel like this should have been right up my alley but instead, at least for me, Burly Men at Sea fell right on its face.

Burly Men at Sea is a choose-your-own-adventure game with just 3 "choices" to make during each story, which at the end loops you back to the start, expecting you to embark on a new journey.

After the first couple of rounds you realize that you're mostly going to have to sit through the same few scenes over and over just to reach the point where you can make a different choice. Many multiple-paths games do that, but they usually include a skip or fast-forward option. That feature is missing, and sorely missed, in BMAS, making it a chore to experience it fully.

Everything feels sluggish, with glacial walking speed, unresponsive interactions and so on; I'm not sure if I should blame an incompetent adaptation from a clearly touch-oriented interface or a willing attempt to mask the fact the game doesn't have much to offer besides the neat aesthetics and the occasionally humorous dialogues.

I don't know if I'm being too harsh but I kinda regret having spent the time replaying the game to completion, expecting a payoff that didn't really come.


  • The Red Strings Club

    4 hours playtime

    9 of 19 achievements

  • Abandoned

    7 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • The Music Machine

    5 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • Far from Noise

    73 minutes playtime

    4 of 9 achievements

  • Life Is Strange

    15 hours playtime

    60 of 60 achievements

  • SIMULACRA

    8 hours playtime

    24 of 24 achievements

  • Old Man's Journey

    83 minutes playtime

    no achievements

  • Subsurface Circular

    2 hours playtime

    13 of 13 achievements

  • Little Nightmares

    4 hours playtime

    8 of 22 achievements

  • Burly Men at Sea

    3 hours playtime

    25 of 25 achievements

  • Caligo

    51 minutes playtime

    2 of 3 achievements


April 2018 Update

Oh, April’s over :p
I spent a lot of time both off and online with people I enjoy being around and I’m starting to work again in a few days. Those are the 2 reasons the time I have to play games has slowly been shrinking, so there’s not a whole lot to show in this month’s update. On the other hand, that’s a pretty nice tradeoff so I’m not really complaining ^^

I think I will hold off buying bundles and entering giveaways until I figure out whether or not I can squeeze some gaming time in over the next few months. he lied, knowing full well to have no actual power over the backlog addiction
I’m not sure if I’ll have enough content to make a meaningful monthly update, we’ll see I guess :3

I did manage to take down a couple of SG wins early this month and I started playing 2 more in the time not sucked by Slay the Spire my free time, so I hope to report on those in the next update at least. One of the 2 games I started in particular - The Red Strings Club - is what I’m eager to get back into as soon as I’m back in the mood, as it has surprised me so far.

AER Memories of Old

3.6 hours of playtime, 11 of 20 achievements
↓ click to expand

I was sold on the game the moment I peeked out of the tutorial cave you start in and was allowed to fly for the first time.

AER is overall a pretty average puzzle adventure game with a charming aesthetic and some awe-inspiring moments. There is no combat whatsover: the focus is instead on the exploration of different hidden temples via some not-too-difficult platforming.

I'd probably never recommend it at its full price as it's pretty short, but I picked it up cheaply in a bundle split and I didn't regret the purchase ^^


Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale

7.4 hours of playtime, 10 of 13 achievements
↓ click to expand

I'm conflicted about the possibility of recommending Among the Innocent.

On one hand I think it's a decent first person puzzle exploration game and the location chosen (South Africa) is pretty under-represented in videogames, making it more interesting.

On the other hand it's pretty clear that during development \*something\* happened that made the studio rush the game out with an abrupt and unsatisfying ending that soured my perception of the game.

Reading the Steam page you find out that the game is only the first in a planned 5-entries series, but as of now the second entry hasn't even entered pre-production, so I wouldn't hold my breath that the "series" will get anywhere. Such a shame, it's not a bad game overall :/


Seraph

8.7 hours of playtime, 13 of 30 achievements
↓ click to expand

Seraph is a 2D platform shooter with some nice ideas ruined by some questionable choices.
The first thing that makes Seraph unusual is its focus on platforming and dodging, obtained by doing away with aiming completely (replaced by an auto-aim system). It was a bit hard to get into it at first - as very few games ask you to learn how to dodge stuff right from the very beginning - but after a couple of hours I was starting to string together pretty satisfying killstreaks without getting hit, which in turn increase the challenge of the game thanks to a dynamic difficulty system.

The more difficult the game gets, the higher the drop multiplier becomes, meaning that by getting good at the game you are rewarded with more currency that you can then spend to permanently power up the titular character Seraph. That upgrade system itself is one of the flaws that I find with the game: although there's a plethora of options to make your character more powerful, almost all of them are merely small percentage increase of stats (e.g. +2% damage with pistols) that you'd be hard-pressed to even notice during gameplay.

Another flaw is in the level design: it gets pretty repetitive pretty fast due to the fact levels are all procedurally generated (meaning that they never feel cohesively structured or interesting) and partially because there's a very lacking graphical variety in the "skins" used for said levels - they all look mostly the same.

I wish I could recommend Seraph but despite the alright gameplay it gets way too repetitive after a while :\


Marie's Room

0.4 hours of playtime, 7 of 7 achievements
↓ click to expand

A short and sweet walking simulator with hardly any walking, as the entirety of the experience is contained within (you guessed it) Marie's room.
People in the forums and the reviews seem to think this has a Life is Strange vibe to it but I can't really confirm as I've only played 1 chapter of it (I should really get back to that).
I'd have a few complaints about the interface and the voice acting but it doesn't seem too fair to point those out when the game is free and it only takes around 20 minutes. Just go play it if you're into the genre :p


  • AER Memories of Old

    4 hours playtime

    11 of 20 achievements

  • Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale

    7 hours playtime

    10 of 13 achievements

  • Seraph

    9 hours playtime

    13 of 30 achievements

  • Marie's Room

    23 minutes playtime

    7 of 7 achievements


March 2018 Update

March, also known as “the month that disappeared thanks to Final Fantasy XV and Slay the Spire”.
As you might have guessed, this month I made no progress on the backlog, which actually gained ground on me thanks to 3 SG wins and a bundle I picked up T_T

I’m not too unhappy about it though as I hit my target of getting FFXV out of the way. I might not have that much free time in the next few months so I really wanted to take that behemoth (pun intended, not a spoiler~) down and I did that - with days to spare :3

I don’t have much else to add other than writing this has been pretty hard due to a killer cold and headache, I hope it will be gone soon >_<

Shoutout to kubikill for their game bar generator, it will be useful once I’ll be back to playing and showcasing more than 2 games in an update :3

Orwell: Ignorance is Strength

5.0 hours of playtime, 11 of 19 achievements

I really liked the first game released by Osmotic Studios so I had high expectations for the sequel.
I was a bit puzzled when they revealed there were only 3 episodes planned (compared to the first game’s 5) but I was weirdly reassured when I saw the game’s price was still 9.99, almost as if they were stating “yes, we are confident this shorter game will still be worth just as much as our previous one”.
After playing it, I’m not entirely sure I would agree with that.

Let’s talk about new stuff:

  • time now passes every time you upload something to Orwell, meaning that you are at times encouraged to choose carefully what to upload and what to ignore;
  • some websites let you use datachunks that you’ve already uploaded to Orwell as input, meaning that you can potentially access new data by guessing a password or looking up the right name
  • there’s a new tool (called Influencer) that you can use to craft a narrative based on the info you fed to Orwell and then spread it using a hashtag and a small description

The big theme of this second game (and what much of the marketing effort from Osmotic focused on) is the concept of the creation of fake news and how they can be used to mislead and manipulate the public opinion.
It goes without saying that the new Influencer tool goes hand in hand with that, and using it is just as awesome (and terrifying) as it sounds.
There’s one fatal flaw with it though: it comes up too late: you get access to it only during the last chapter, leaving you a little confused and disappointed you didn’t get to use it more. It would have been fine to introduce it in Chapter 3 out of 5, but as I said before this one only has 3 chapters T_T

I liked the overall message they were trying to go for, a warning about the way stories and facts can be presented and manipulated to create and/or fit a narrative.
It’s a shame that they didn’t quite deliver a 10/10 execution, and it makes you wonder what went wrong, if it was merely a lack of funds or if they ran out of creative juice at some point during development.

Orwell: Ignorance is Strength feels incomplete and a bit of a step back: the scope of the game is narrower, the stakes are not as high, you get to investigate and know fewer and less interesting people, the voice acting is utterly terrible and the ending feels like the game just ends too soon, without managing to engage you emotionally or making you feel like you had an impact or as much agency and you would have liked.

Still, I would still like to see more games in the series, as despite all the flaws Orwell: Ignorance is Strength is still a decent game and I think there’s a lot of untapped potential for future episodes.

FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION

69.2 hours of playtime, 60 of 90 achievements

3 of my friends and I had a small dream: just getting in a car and going on some adventure for a couple of weeks, with no destination. That dream ended up never becoming reality, but it was what attracted me to Final Fantasy XV and what pushed me to jump on it right away, despite the fact I very rarely buy games at launch (the sub-30€ offer GMG had was also part of the reason, it was too good :D).

I wrote and deleted entire paragraphs and I'm not sure even multiple pages would be enough to put into words how I feel about it.
I could spend hours focusing on complaining about the crappy magic system; the disconnected pacing of the narrative; the important plot points glossed over or hidden in a DLC episode or in the movie or the animated series; and so on.
I could also spend that time focusing instead on the attention to detail and the love that was poured into the game; the top notch world building; the amazing graphics; the believable group-of-friends dynamics; the epicness of the monsters and boss battles; the show-stealing antagonist...

All of that would be... pointless. I don't want to convince anyone to play the game as I am aware that it's a "love it or hate it" one. I just want to say that I greatly enjoyed my time with it and that the overall story and world they've built are among the best in the series, even though the narrative is delivered across multiple pieces of media and in a sometimes confusing manner.

If you end up picking up the game at some point, do yourselves a favour and watch the animated series (it's less than 1 hour long) before starting, then the movie Kingsglaive after the end of Chapter 1 (you could watch it before too, as it doesn't really contain spoilers). Those two give a lot of information that is sadly not explained quite as well in the game by itself.
As for the playable DLC episodes, Episode Gladio can be played after chapter 7, while the other 2 episodes can be left for the post-game or at least after chapter 12 (Episode Ignis) and 13 (Episode Prompto) respectively. While Episode Gladio is mediocre and potentially skippable, I definitely recommend playing the other two, especially Ignis' :3

I was half-tempted to just link this 45 minutes long review of the game and calling it a day, just commenting on how much I agree with a lot of the points that are brought up. One of their quotes is a fitting way to close: "Final Fantasy XV is probably the worst game I've ever loved".


  • Orwell: Ignorance is Strength

    5 hours playtime

    11 of 19 achievements

  • Entschuldigung

    4 hours playtime

    9 of 10 achievements

  • Frosty Kiss

    9 minutes playtime

    6 of 6 achievements

  • Crystal City

    5 hours playtime

    6 of 6 achievements

  • Who Is Mike

    44 minutes playtime

    no achievements

  • FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION

    69 hours playtime

    60 of 90 achievements

  • The Fan

    37 minutes playtime

    no achievements


February 2018 Update

February was cold, rainy and windy, so that meant a lot of time to spend inside playing games :3

I’m really satisfied with this month’s progress, as I beat 3 SG wins while also finding time to play the games that were given to me as birthday gifts and some extras that I just felt like playing. Great month overall (^・ω・^ )
I wanted to prepare a full post with reviews like past months but I kept procrastinating, so I ended up being late and still without a proper update T_T

The month started with 2 more games for the monthly challenge, Tacoma and The Norwood Suite, played again with a still anonymous sheep. I was really glad to see both of them when they popped up in the Monthly, as I had both of them wishlisted.

Anyway, stay warm and keep slaying your backlog, cat out :3

Tacoma

3 hours, 12 of 12 achievements

Tacoma, from the creators of Gone Home, felt like a straight-up better version of the latter, with a really nice setting and a lot of characters that you get to really care about. It’s not going to change the mind of anyone who’s not already into Walking Simulators, but for those that like them it’s definitely a good way to spend a couple hours.

The Norwood Suite

2 hours, 17 of 17 achievements

The Norwood Suite is harder to recommend, not because I didn’t like it but because I believe the completely surreal experience of this game would be very hard to stomach for most people. I liked it enough to actually look into the dev and their previous work (which seems to be a less-refined free game with a similar style).

Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?!

18 hours, 48 of 101 achievements

Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! was a bit of a weird one for me: I saw it pop up in a bundle and I just thought “even if it doesn’t seem like my usual cup of tea, I have to get it and play it right now”. Maybe it was the space cat, who knows! I just know that I ended up sinking 18 hours into it and I had a lot of somewhat mindless fun. I wouldn’t want to play any game like it any time soon but it was a nice little obsession for a week or so.

Finding Paradise

6 hours, 1 of 1 achievement

As you probably could tell from my Rakuen review last month, I have a really soft spot for games like it and Finding Paradise, which I won and played right away.
I had high expectations after loving To The Moon but I also felt A Bird Story wasn’t up to par, so I went in rather cautiously. Without spoiling anything I have to say Finding Paradise manages to tie the previous games up in a really nice way while also delivering a beautiful story of its own.
I find it really hard to pick a favorite between Finding Paradise and Rakuen, but I’m absolutely glad I got the opportunity to play them ^^

Monster Slayers / Slay the Spire

10 hour, 6 of 22 achievements / 12 hours, 16 of 32 achievements

Monster Slayers and Slay the Spire fill both a very similar niche, so it’s kind of weird to see them both on the same update post.
What happened is that I got obsessed over the idea of Slay the Spire but I didn’t want to jump in this early, as I felt like it was not anywhere near finished and content-complete, thus I wanted to wait a few months.
When I saw Monster Slayers in a bundle I bought it right away and sunk several hours into it. While the interface didn’t feel as polished as StS’s it’s still a very valid game and I had fun playing it.
Then… my birthday arrived, and a dear friend of mine bought me the real deal Slay the Spire, triggering 12 more hours of playing card games in the span of a week :D
I’m adding both to the “beaten” list for this month but this is definitely not the last time I play Slay the Spire, I think it will become my “filler” game for a long time ^_^

  • The Norwood Suite

    2 hours playtime

    17 of 17 achievements

  • Tacoma

    3 hours playtime

    12 of 12 achievements

  • Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?!

    18 hours playtime

    48 of 101 achievements

  • Tavernier

    5 hours playtime

    4 of 15 achievements

  • Magic Flute

    3 hours playtime

    22 of 23 achievements

  • Pavilion

    2 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • Finding Paradise

    6 hours playtime

    1 of 1 achievements

  • Monster Slayers

    10 hours playtime

    6 of 22 achievements

  • Thing-in-Itself

    43 minutes playtime

    10 of 10 achievements

  • Lily's Day Off

    2 hours playtime

    19 of 19 achievements

  • Slay the Spire

    12 hours playtime

    16 of 32 achievements

  • Shark Dating Simulator XL

    19 minutes playtime

    no achievements


January 2018 Update

A bit of a weird month, with a few days of furious gaming intertwined with 2 week+ long periods with no playtime whatsoever. I thought I would end up playing only 2-3 games, instead I got 8 kills. A good start of the year :3

Part of the merits go to this month’s great theme and the support I had from an anonymous sheep.
It was surprisingly fun to play 2 games alongside them and share stories and impressions. It also helps that I mostly played very good games, once I started them I couldn’t stop ^_^

Night in the Woods

13 hours, 16 of 31 achievements

What do I even say? Night in the Woods is nothing short of a little masterpiece in character design and storytelling, and I loved it so much because of it.

The problem I find in most videogames is that characters seem to be conjured out of thin air just to fill a certain role, and have no complexity or background to them.

What NITW does differently is have the various characters hint at past events and experiences, use inside jokes and nicknames to make them and their relationships look real and believable.

What's also believable and incredibly relatable is the topic of those events and experiences: this game doesn't have a story filled with dragons and princesses to save but it's simply what happens in the everyday life in Possum Springs; the only demons in the game are inside the heads of the rural town's folks, worried about their debts, an ill relative, the possibility of losing their job and so many other common, down-to-earth fears.
It's really surprising how I kept telling to myself "oh, I know someone that's experiencing that exact thing" over and over whenever I found out something more about every character; that's a testament to how REAL this game gets ^^

My final point is about the attention to detail, with small things like animations and subtle sound cues sprinkled here and there to emphasize some of your actions (one of my favorites is walking on a rope, with your character spreading her arms to keep her balance and short string sounds whenever you take a step). Those really show that a lot of love was poured into this game, making it an absolute joy to experience.

Rakuen

11 hours, 15 of 15 achievements

Speaking of absolute joys to experience, here comes Rakuen, another game that gets a huge recommendation.

Rakuen gets compared a lot to To The Moon and there are definitely a lot of similarities: they're both story-driven games made in RPGMaker with nice music and they make you cry a lot. After playing both I firmly believe Rakuen is my new favorite when it comes to this particular subgenre.

The story is about a young boy that lives in a hospital and reads every day, with the help of his mother, from the titular fantasy book Rakuen.
In the book a young child goes on a journey to wake up Morizora, the forest guardian, which has the power to grant his wish to ride on a magical ship and reach the island of Rakuen, where the rest of the child's tribe is.

The Boy and his mom decide to go on the same journey between reality and fantasy, and in the process they learn about and help the other patients in the hospital.

If that description looks a bit vague it's because I don't want to spoil much. I'll just say the characters and story are great and those are supported by (sometimes) gorgeous art and an absolutely amazing soundtrack. The pacing is just right once you get past the first boring 30-40 minutes, so if you end up trying it out (you should) just bear with it :)

Cat Quest

8.2 hours, 6 of 12 achievements

I cat believe how many cat puns they managed to squeeze in this thing. Unlike most “cat games” on Steam though, this one is actually decent.

At its core Cat Quest is an Action RPG game with dozens of sidequests to complete and dungeons to explore. The mechanics are very simple (there’s even a phone version available!) with combat basically boiling down to slashing the enemies and get out of their attack and spell patterns, which are helpfully highlighted before striking.

It’s not a game that I’d recommend if you’re looking for hardcore gameplay and challenge (although there are challenge modes unlocked for new mew game+ but it’s definitely a good pick for some casual-ish fun and A LOT of eye-rolling to cat puns :3

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

4 hours, 6 of 60 achievements

I only played one run of the game, and I enjoyed the trip down memory lane to when I used to play some RPG game books. I used a guide to get through it, which kinda defeats the original intent of them being sort of “trial and error” but I don’t really have the patience to have a lot of time go completely wasted for no fault of my own anymore.

I don’t think I can judge the game from that experience, so I’ll just say that the fact that the game shows you a lot of cool characters to start the journey with, but most of them are only available after either buying a dlc or grinding some profile-permanent currency left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth >_>.

Ambre - a heartbreaking kinetic novel

51 minutes, 6 of 6 achievements

This very short visual novel was (sort of) recommended by some people here, which were careful to mention that you should keep reading past the first 10-15 minutes to “get” the game.
I would have dropped the VN without that warning, but that’s not to say I actually liked it once done with it. I believe the “plot twist” doesn’t add anything to the story but is actually a detriment to it, although I guess it can be plauded for experimenting…?

Gravity Ghost

2 hours, 8 of 19 achievements

According to the store page Gravity Ghost is a “gravity hopper”. A weird definition, but it effectively describes the main mechanics of the game ^_^

The game has almost 100 levels and the goal of each is to reach a door unlocked by finding the key (a star). There are planets scattered around and you use them to navigate the levels, using them as platforms or making use of their gravitational pull to orbit around.

As you progress you unlock some special abilities to help you navigate levels more accurately, and there are also several types of planet - each with their own unique properties -
to help things stay fresh.

It was a very relaxing and “zen” experience, so much that I was surprised at seeing I played over 2 hours of it as time seemed to fly.

Papo & Yo

3.7 hours, 6 of 10 achievements

A 3D puzzle adventure sort of-platformer with a “kid and creature” interaction à la The Last Guardian and a serious story narrated through allegories.

It was recommended to me as a short but nice game to beat in a gaming night, and boy it was nice :)

The gameplay has a series of pretty straightforward puzzles and some light platforming to it.
What steals the show is the warped and unexpected representation of elements of the world the protagonist Chico lives in, which makes it a joy to keep playing and seeing new whimsical stuff.

I don’t understand why the game made a big deal of the “reveal” at the end, as the topic of the games is given away right in the opening scenes >_>

December Update


I hope you all had a nice time during the holidays so far :3

I beat a really good amount of games this month (17 according to BLAEO), although most of my backlog progress was easily wiped over the past week due to gifts :P

As the year comes to a close it’s time to look back and see how the backlog slaying went. I wish I had the foresight to keep a full log of my data to make comparisons and graphs like other BLAEO members did, but unfortunately I only know the number of games I’ve taken off the backlog this year.

130.

Although it includes a decent amount of very short games it still looks impressive to me, as if I were asked how many game I thought I’d beat it this year I would have probably guessed half of that ^_^

I’ll only write about some of the games I’ve played as I don’t have enough time to write about every single one of them, maybe I’ll address the rest in a follow up post or in the comments if anyone’s interested in a game from the list. Have fun and happy 2018 ^_^

Harmonia

5 hours, 14 of 14 achievements

From Key, the masters of tear-jerking VNs, comes Harmonia, a tear-jerking VN ^_^

While reading I kept thinking “whatever Harmonia is doing, Planetarian did it better”.

While I can’t exactly refute that thought after completing the novel, I have to admit that it picked up a bit of steam in the second half.
I’m not sure if that warrants a recommendation though, as I honestly think there are better novels in the sub-genre like the aforementioned Planetarian and eden*

Doki Doki Literature Club!

4 hours

“This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.” Kind of a weird warning for a dating sim ain’t it? :3

I didn’t know much going into it but I saw a lot of hype about it. I initially thought that I would end up disappointed by a merely ok game, hyped out of control thanks to word of mouth and its 0$ price tag.

While those elements certainly played a factor in the success of the game, I definitely think every praise DDLC is getting is well deserved, and if you haven’t already you should probably check it out. Just take that warning seriously if you don’t think you can handle it and go into it without too much research. Also stay away from the fandom, it gets really weird :3

Home is Where One Starts...

30 minutes, 6 of 8 achievements

Home is Where One Starts… drops you in the middle of a lifeless and non-descript country place, and as you aimlessly wander around you sometimes get some audio when getting near “plot items”. I usually enjoy Walking Simulators, even bad ones, as long as they have a story that interests or touches me in some way; this one definitely didn’t have an interesting story.
It’s hard to even find words to describe how dull of an experience it was, but at least it was short >_>

Bulb Boy

3 hours, 7 of 12 achievements

It would have been good for last month’s theme as it’s completely devoid of text… Oh well :3

Weird, dark, gross, funny, disturbing. These are some of the words that can be used to describe Bulb Boy, which at its core is just a pretty average point-and-click game with some action-y boss sections.
It’s short and unique enough that I can easily recommend it to people looking for something unusual, despite some shortcomings in the gameplay department.

Dreaming Sarah

2 hours, 22 of 22 achievements

Another short and weird game that was brought to my attention thanks to the recent bundles.

The titular Sarah is a girl currently in a coma and the game is supposedly going on in her head (thus “Dreaming” Sarah :P).
The game is a non-linear puzzle platformer at its core, with its level design being the absolute star of the show.

The devs really did a lot with the “dreaming” theme, giving you a nice amount of differently themed levels which explore Sarah’s mind, with surreal and sometimes a little disturbing imagery which lets you piece together her story.

I followed a guide to get through it as there’s a bit of backtracking involved at times, but it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out where to go next even without one.

A Normal Lost Phone / Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story

1 hour, played on OnePlay / 2 hours, 10 of 10 achievements

I signed up for the “1$ for 1 year” OnePlay deal and I was wondering when I’d finally decide to start playing some of their games.
A friend of mine saw the sequel to “A Normal Lost Phone” in my wishlist (I had removed ANLP when I saw it on OnePlay :p) and they decided to gift it to me, so I guess it was time to tackle both!

I actually need to take the word “sequel” back as the 2 games have nothing in common except their name and core mechanics.
In both games you are presented with the screen of the titular “lost phone” and you have to look around notes and conversations to find out more about the life of the phone’s owner.
The novel idea (which would admittedly work best when playing on an actual mobile device) is executed well, and the stories of the owners are pretty unusual for the videogame medium even though they are told with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, which ticked me off a bit.

BAD END

2.3 hours, 14 of 14 achievements

…more like BAD VN amirite? -.-
A mysterious phone game that promises you’re gonna die in real life after making a wrong choice. A bunch of people seemingly kick the bucket after playing and you as the main character decide to look into it.

With a plot device like that, which at this point can be considered extremely cliché, BAD END needed to do a lot to stand out and be considered good.
Unfortunately I can’t say it succeeds at doing that, and the result is a simply boring experience.

November Update


*drum roll* Divinity: Original Sin 2 is finally down!

With D:OS2 out of the way I had a lot more time to invest in backlog-slaying, so I got 8 more games done, 4 of which were SG wins.
Really happy about progress this month :3

For this post I’m gonna start lifting taking inspiration from other people to make it a bit more readable. Whoever came up with this layout first, thank you :3

Divinity: Original Sin 2

115 hours, 61 of 97 achievements

I have yet to take a good, hard look at the games I played this year, but if I had to snap-decide on what the “Game of the Year” was for me, it would definitely be Divinity: Original Sin 2.

The original D:OS was carried by the combat but suffered heavily in the story and roleplaying departments past the first town zone. D:OS2 fixes both of those issues, with a lot of subplots and sidequests that you can explore, some of them tied to the premade characters which you can select at the start of the game or recruit as companions later.

The excellent combat system is still there and better than ever; the character progression system encourages you to mix and match skills from multiple skill families and experiment with them; the writing is top-notch and fully voiced; the choices you make feel impactful… I could keep going on with the praise :3

I 100% recommend it and I hope they keep selling copies beyond the recently-announced 1 million mark. I’d definitely help Larian Studios again if they happen to need Kickstarter for their next project :p

World to the West

19 hours, 16 of 36 achievements

I haven’t picked up the Humble Monthly the past few months as I don’t want to spend “real” money on games at the moment. I had a weird gut reaction when I saw the unlocks for this month: while I didn’t really want them, there were several that looked interesting and that I wanted to check out.

One of those games is of course World to the West, a game in which you control a team of unlikely heroes in a vast world full of places to explore, with the usual array of themes (desert-y, snow-y, cave-y, temple-y, futuristic-y and so on).
Each of the 4 characters is pretty well-developed, each having a different set of skills and ways to traverse the map quadrants and solve puzzles.
You control one at a time - switching them at totems scattered throughout the world - and you’re often required to combine their skills in order to progress.

Totems act as a way to fast-travel too, but a character can only teleport to a totem that they themselves have reached, meaning that any time you need a different skillset to help open a passage or solve a puzzle, you need to switch to the correct hero and travel by foot to your destination.
This is both a strength of the game (because it lets you notice the clever tricks devs used in the map design to make them traversable with all 4) and its greatest weakness, as all the backtracking really bogs down the experience.

The combat is mediocre at best but it’s not really the focus of the game, and the occasional glitches (character stuck in a fall or unable to move) didn’t hinder the experience thanks to the generous checkpoint system.

Despite some shortcomings it was an enjoyable little experience.

The Room Two

5 hours, 7 of 7 achievements

Pretty much similar to The Room 1, same gorgeous graphics and satisfying progress throughout each level.

Unlike the first one there’s less of a focus on a single, evolving “box” full of puzzles, as you’re instead placed in a small room that you’re somewhat free to virtually walk around and check for clues and puzzles. This adds a bit of exploration and a very nice variety of puzzles, which were definitely improvements over the previous iteration of the game.

I kinda wish The Room 3 was on Steam too, I would have picked it up last sale :p

Contrast

8 hours, 19 of 22 achievements

I was challenged to play this a couple months ago but I didn’t manage to squeeze it in my gaming time back then (damn D:OS 2!) so I fixed it this month. I’m glad I did.

Contrast is at its core a 3D puzzle platforming game with the unique twist of being able to transform into a shadow and enter any sufficiently well-lit surface, making it a 2D puzzle-platformer as well.

The game is very clever with its puzzle design, that very often requires you to change the placement of lights and objects in the 3D world in order to manipulate the shape and size of shadows and make them into platforms you can then use in your shadow form.

The OST is great as well, with a nice collection of Jazz-style music that perfectly matches the theme of the characters and the overall feel of the game.

Another game that is 100% recommended, it’s not too long and it doesn’t overstay its welcome :3

Why Am I Dead At Sea

8 hours, 27 of 27 achievements

The premise of the game is really interesting, as it’s essentially a murder mystery from the unusual perspective of the ghost of the victim.

You wake up on a ship with no recollection of who you are, and to find out what is going on you have to possess the various passengers (each with their own “skills”) and “use” them to interact with other passengers and the environment.

While all of that sounds great in theory, everything is somewhat ruined by the game mechanics.
To progress you end up having to talk about the same topics over and over with the various passengers to make sure you get all the details, which is repetitive and makes you have to backtrack at a slow pace over and over in the restrictive space offered by the ship setting.

I think the game is still worth playing for fans of murder mysteries, but I wonder if the story would have been better told in some other form.

The Uncertain: Episode 1 - The Last Quiet Day

3 hours, 30 of 32 achievements

3D point-and-click game based in a distant future where humans went extinct and robots slowly evolved to take their place.

I can’t say a lot without spoiling stuff, but despite some clunkiness in the controls and some sub-par voice presentation I moderately enjoyed it.

I had tried the demo, which piqued my interest, and the rest of the first episode made me look forward to the next one, which is still unreleased and is supposed to fix some of the issues that I had with Ep1.

Baobabs Mausoleum Ep. 1 Ovnifagos Don´t Eat Flamingos

2 hours, 8 of 13 achievements

The game’s so weird it’s hard to even describe. It feels random for the sake of being random, switching game genres and even perspectives (overhead 2D, then first-person 3D, then side-scrolling 2D and so on) between chapters.

While there’s definitely an audience for this kind of unconventional game, this one is plagued by multiple issues related to collision detection (I had to repeat an entire chapter multiple times due to falling to my death) that make it hard for me to recommend it.

True or False Universe

28 minutes, 109 of 110 achievements

I was bored one day and checked it out, it’s just a series of trivia questions you can answer True or False to. That’s right in the title I guess :3

Humanity Must Perish

47 minutes, 8 of 8 achievements

A supercomputer shaped like a teenage girl built by an old man to pass judgement on humanity did I really just write that
For something that I only downloaded as a joke with a friend, it wasn’t that bad.

The premise of the story is that humanity has tried over and over to build supercomputers capable of calculating the optimal way to fix the world issues, and invariably the objective answer given by them is to destroy humankind.
Kyuu (the supercomputer/android girl protagonist) is tasked by its creator to spend 24 hours with humans before giving her final judgement on whether or not to give a chance to humans to redeem themselves, or to instead proceed with releasing a deadly toxin capable of exterminating human life.

The novel doesn’t take itself too seriously and bases its humor on how Kyuu approaches the various situations she ends up with (in a cold, purely logical manner) compared with the humans that she meets during her short journey.

October Update

Just like September, this month a lot of my time went into my co-op campaign in Divinity: Original Sin 2, so it goes without saying that I have very little to show.

I don’t feel too bad about this month’s progress, as I’ve still beaten 3 SG wins (South Park: The Fractured But Whole, The Room and Mainlining) and a small gift from a friend (Lines). My only regret was that I ended up not participating in the Monthly theme, as I liked it a lot. Sorry Blue >_<

Anyway, now that I’m done with the “big one” South Park I actually feel confident I’m going to get back to play a lot more games for November, so stay tuned for the next report ^_^

  • Mainlining

    5 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • South Park The Fractured But Whole

    25 hours playtime

    28 of 35 achievements

  • The Room

    5 hours playtime

    5 of 5 achievements

  • Lines by Nestor Yavorskyy

    53 minutes playtime

    400 of 400 achievements

  • Lines Free by Nestor Yavorskyy

    23 minutes playtime

    100 of 100 achievements

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

I really enjoy the TV series, I liked the first game and so I was kinda bummed there was absolutely no way I would have been able to afford buying it anytime soon, especially considering that Ubisoft seems keen to milk fans of the series as much as possible. I was VERY happy to win it in Jexel’s event on SG, so I ended up going back to it every day and dump almost 20 hours into it in the span of a little over a week. Worth it :D

If you liked the first one you’ll definitely like this one too. The combat in particular is much improved, with the Paper Mario-styled you-and-a-buddy traditional JRPG combat of Stick of Truth replaced by a party of 4 that you need to control over a tactical grid. Having to constantly think of positioning both offensively and defensively and combo-ing together abilities feels really rewarding and is required in some of the most difficult battles.
I also really appreciated the fact that they streamlined equipment management, taking some of the unnecessary fluff out and making the costumes (the game’s about superheroes after all) completely cosmetic, encouraging the played to pick whatever they like instead of whatever gives more stats

The Room

I considered pulling the trigger on it over the course of the sale, it was just 50 cents after all… And then I won it on SG, so I dived into it right away. There’s something hypnotic about seeing an inconspicuous box open up into a myriad of small compartments and drawers, barraging you with a non-stop stream of small puzzles. I wouldn’t say that having to look closely to check for interactive parts is particularly entertaining but the puzzles certainly are, so I ended up buying the sequel The Room 2 myself before the end of the sale.

Mainlining

It’s pretty unique compared to other hacking games, as unlike most of them you play on the “side” of the law, on a quest to solve cases by finding evidence and culprits with the usual mix of deduction and command-line magic. Despite the many meme-y references, it wasn’t bad, although I would not recommend it to anyone other than genre enthusiasts.

Lines / Lines Free

Shorter than I expected, I ended up going and finishing the free version too. Just a chill puzzle game in which you have to link together the dots with the same color, while also utilizing all of the board space. Nothing else to write really ^^

September Update

Did someone say “pathetic progress”? Yeah, I just did.

Only 4 notches on the backlog slaying rifle for this month, and one of them barely qualifies. I’m not too surprised by the very little progress, as this September is Divinity: Original Sin 2 month. I backed it on Kickstarter after loving the first one and I was eagerly waiting for it. I don’t think I was that hyped for a game release in ages.
I played the first one solo and I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy co-op that much but after trying a co-op campaign with a long-time friend I did a complete 180 on that thought. I’m having an absolute blast!

It will probably take my friend and I a few more months to beat D:OS2 as we tend to be really methodical in the exploration and pretty slow at everything, I’ll try to get more backlog slaying in next month, but I can’t really promise much :3

Anyway, the good news is that the other 3 games for this month were all really enjoyable ೭੧(❛▿❛✿)੭೨

Game of Thrones - A Telltale Games Series

This was a surprise. It’s not the game I see cited whenever someone gives their “top 3 Telltale Games” list (which is almost invariably a permutation of Tales from the Borderlands - The Walking Dead S1 - The Wolf Among Us) but it really took me for a ride.

After beating it though, I have to say that I think I liked it despite it being a Telltale game. The setting, the characters and the plot were all great, but in the end it feels really crippled by the usual “almost none of your choices really matter” curse that plagues games from TT.

In short: bad Telltale game but holy cat the setting is great. I think I might start the TV series soon :p

Sonic Mania

I know it sounds a little broken-record-ish by this point as so many other people have said it, but Sonic Mania is really the game that original Sonic fans have been waiting for ages. While playing I am 100% sure I’ve worn a wide grin on my face multiple times whenever something made me think “oooh that’s clever!”.

The only gripe I had with the game was the 10 minutes time limit.
I get the whole “gotta go fast” thing the series is based on but it feels really counter-intuitive in a game with much bigger and expansive levels like Sonic Mania. I think they could have just removed it completely or at least bumped it up a little, or maybe kept it only for boss fights.
It’s not a huge deal but I’ve triggered it twice, and it was infuriating (╯ರ ~ ರ)╯︵ ┻━┻

I’m terrible at the minigames so I’ve only unlocked the “bad end” and barely anything else, so I think will go back to it “on and off” in the next few months and unlock the true end, or try out playthroughs with Tails or & Knuckles

Evening Surprise

This was an easy 100% to add to the collection (I’m not going back to that addiction, I promise ^^). The game is based on one joke and it gets it out of the way pretty quickly, clocking at around 10 minutes for every possible “path”. Very little to add, it’s entirely based on a misconception that is revealed for what it is at the end but at least it doesn’t drag it out for long.

Machinarium

This would have been a pretty run-of-the-mill point and click game without the outstanding presentation. The game manages to introduce a cast of characters and a world full of personality without a single word written or spoken, just using its art, animation and music.


  • Game of Thrones - A Telltale Games Series
    Game of Thrones - A Telltale Games Series

    14 hours playtime

    48 of 48 achievements

  • Sonic Mania
    Sonic Mania

    12 hours playtime

    5 of 18 achievements

  • Evening Surprise
    Evening Surprise

    11 minutes playtime

    4 of 4 achievements

  • Machinarium
    Machinarium

    6 hours playtime

    12 of 12 achievements