Q09066930 Q09066930’s profile

I have been a fan of turn-based strategies and turn-based tactics games since Heroes of Might and Magic III (1999) and Space Rangers (2002). I am also an avid Rocket League player, though it is the only competitive multiplayer game I enjoy. My other interests include RPGs, Metroidvanias, roguelikes, top-down shooters, and any games with compelling stories.

When I don’t play games in my free time, I am probably birdwatching 🦉 or travelling with my family. 💜


Monthly Report - Sep 2021


Gaming with the kid.

For me, September has been a month of playing together with my kid. My wife is building her carrier: she’s working, studying, and taking courses simultaneously. Thus, most of the time, I take care of our child. Naturally, we play a lot of different games together, including video games. We managed to beat three in a row with lots of laughs, and I can safely say that I enjoyed all these games as much as my child did.


Finished
 

Half-Life 2

Songbird Symphony

3/5
8.4 hours
11 of 11 achievements

Songbird Symphony is a game made by bird-lovers for bird-lovers (with little kids). Although it lacks some polish and the gameplay is tedious, we enjoyed its rhythm puzzles (tough ones), lighthearted story, and bird nerdiness. It was amusing to collect and identify different feathers and learn about bird species from the Southern Hemisphere. Quite educational.

Half-Life 2

Yoku's Island Express

5/5
12.0 hours
31 of 31 achievements

Yoku's Island Express is a game we both enjoyed immensely. Everything is superb: the gameplay, the art style, the concept (mixing Metroidvania with pinball is such an unusual idea). We fell in love with it and played it every evening together till the very end. It was such a big hit for my kid that she had tears when the game ended because she felt it was too short (and it was 12 hours, mind you, the longest game we have ever played to date).

Half-Life 2

Samorost 3

5/5
5.8 hours
30 of 30 achievements

Samorost 3 is...well, there are no words to describe how phenomenal the game is! Especially its sound design. It is brilliant, magnificent, unparalleled art suited for all ages and every intellectual level, considering the availability of a cheat book (yeah, we used it more than once, lol). Another game I cannot recommend enough, which is something I can say about every Amanita Design game I have played.

Acquisitions
 

I purchased some games again, so my backlog keeps growing up. This time nothing big - only a handful of decent indies, old and new, that I am looking forward to trying out.

Have a great month! 😊

Monthly Report - Aug 2021


Getting those wins played.

There is nothing personal to share (except for one acquisition story below), therefore just a gaming summary. It is not a monthly one, as I did not report anything during the summer.


Finished
 

Half-Life 2
SG Win

Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth

4/5
15.2 hours
41 of 41 achievements

I won The Pillars of the Earth in a Playing Matters group giveaway back in June and decided to play it straight away. Wow. I knew it should be a good game, but I was not expecting a compelling story and beautiful visuals like that! It was like reading a great historical novel with animated illustrations. Well, that is what it is, right?

Half-Life 2
SG Win

Thea: The Awakening

5/5
95.7 hours
31 of 31 achievements

Thea is an unusual mix of story-driven turn-based strategy and roguelike set in a dark fantasy world (heavily inspired by Slavic mythology and J.R.R. Tolkien). The game has an interface straight from 1998 and lacks decent tutorials and explanations, so it was not easy to get into mechanics. It all clicked for me after one full playthrough on Easy. After that, it was pure joy to grind it through several times for everything it has to offer! You have to survive a hostile environment by guarding your only town and gathering various resources needed for eating, crafting, and building long enough to be ready to reclaim Earth from evil creatures.

Half-Life 2
SG Win

Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones

4/5
25.7 hours
31 of 98 achievements

Stygian is a Party-Based RPG with some point-and-clicking faithful to Lovecraftian lore with peculiar turn-based combat and outstanding visual style. Like in Thea, the main goal of the game is to survive its horrors. In this regard, Stygian works great. Every detail is so well-written! Unfortunately, it is also full of bugs and strange technical inconsistencies that can ruin the fun. Good thing I read about it beforehand and made backup saves every so often. These backups saved my playthrough more than once due to playthrough-ruining crashes. Anyway, the game is an experience! I am a fan of H.P. Lovecraft and enjoyed it very much!

Acquisitions
 

I bought Kingdom Come: Deliverance Royal Edition and Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition during Steam Summer Sale 2021 and Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider - Deluxe Bundle during Quakecon 2021. Prices were so low I couldn't resist, although I probably won't play them anytime soon. Oh, well. A common story.

With Space Rangers, though, it is quite a tale! The game has been absent from the stores due to legal issues (the game's data includes files compressed to mp3 audio format without licensing it) for nine years now. Too bad, because it is one of the best games ever made! I have loved it since childhood. I was desperately nostalgic to try my luck in exchanging keys on barter.vg for a 9-years-old key from Indie Gala 7 Bundle with a high chance of not activating. To my surprise, I found just the right person, and their key worked! The game still runs fine on Windows 10, believe it or not. I couldn't play it right away because I was on vacation traveling with my family for two weeks, and later I had to bury myself with work. Anyway, I am glad to finally have it in my library as I have wanted it for years.

I also bought Broken Age, Silence, and Yoku's Island Express for dirty cheap this summer to play something together with my kid.

That is all from me. How do you like the new styling? Have a great month! 😊

Appreciation Post - Hades


I am a volatile person. I can do something for months and then abandon it for something else. You know, I can read 50 books in a year and then read none even longer. That is why I cannot do blogs on social networks: I cannot post regularly enough. The same is true with video games; I haven’t played anything for months. And now, Hades…whew! I have been playing it for two weeks straight instead of sleeping. :-)

And how are you, guys?

87.6 hours
Played on Steam


Monthly Report - Feb 2021


Small games month.

I started February by playing with my little daughter together, choosing short and colourful games she might enjoy. And she did! Then, one of my SG wins, Dicey Dungeons, consumed my attention for the rest of the month. Some runs we played together too, but, for the most part, I was playing it alone. It is a deckbuilding roguelike with different scenarios depending on your hero; there is nothing particularly interesting for children except cute monster animations. That is it. Everything is fine, and nothing is interesting to tell. I also play a physical version of Wingspan with my sweet wife nearly every day, so my life is peaceful and filled with joy.


Finished
 

Half-Life 2
Free game

Tukoni

5/5
0.7 hours
8 of 8 achievements

It is not a whole game experience; it is a free demo consisting of one short chapter with a cliffhanger. It reminds me of Amanita Design games: it looks beautiful and fits short playing sessions with kids. The game's storyline follows children's books written by Ukrainian author Oksana Bula. I am happy that great fiction is still possible in Ukraine (I am Ukrainian myself, so I know how sad and depressive it can be). Support this game, please, so there might be a full one in the future.

Half-Life 2

The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game

3/5
0.9 hours
6 of 6 achievements

It is a short, linear and uninspiring game that is not even particularly beautiful or funny. Or that is what I thought as a grumpy grown-up. My three-year-old child thought completely otherwise: she enjoyed this game so very much! She found it to be curious, humorous, and right up her children's alley. Yeah. xD

Half-Life 2

Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard

4/5
1.7 hours
6 of 6 achievements

This one is better, in my opinion. There is a notebook you can decorate with stickers, and there are some things that are not so obvious now. You can even make some decisions and find secrets. I enjoyed playing this one. There is one big problem, though: unskippable dialogues!

Half-Life 2
SG win

Dicey Dungeons

5/5
56.5 hours
47 of 53 achievements

Wow. Such a great roguelike deck-building game! I enjoyed it so much. It is intelligent, humorous, and very balanced. It is all about luck, strategy and tactics combined in a simple dicer concept. The funniest thing is, I won this game in a group-only giveaway for Unlucky-7 members as my seventh win overall. How lucky is that?! Lady Luck wanted me to play it, so I played it to the end and had a great time doing it.

Concluding this post, I am currently at 46% of games never played. I have about ten more waiting to be activated as soon as I am sure I will play them, with Valfaris first in line. Thanks for reading.

25% (43/171)
4% (6/171)
13% (22/171)
46% (78/171)
13% (22/171)

Monthly Report - Jan 2021


Fighting with fears.

It was a tough month for me. Very tough. I was fighting with phobias to the state of severe panic attacks, nearly ruining myself in the process. I did not even realize I had them and that they were in control of my way of life! My dog almost died from poisoning. There are problems with my residence and work permits. On a good note, I have not only recovered but conquered (in a way) my fears and their influence on my life by changing my thinking patterns. It was painful and scary, yeah, but there is no other way to deal with it. My dog recovered after a week of fighting for life too. He is small and old; he had sepsis as a puppy and two heart attacks as a grownup, but he is one tough doggo despite everything! On another good note, my wife’s relatives gifted me a used PS4 Pro with games like The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Days Gone and a couple more, so I will be playing those soon.


Finished
 

Half-Life 2

Wingspan

5/5
30.8 hours
31 of 31 achievements

As a birdwatcher and tabletop games fan, I wanted to play Wingspan very much! I decided to play the digital version first to learn all the rules and mechanics. After that, my wife and I started playing the physical version together. It is my favourite game right now! Review on Steam.

Half-Life 2

Wandersong

5/5
15.6 hours
75 of 75 achievements

This unbelievably optimistic game was one of the reasons why I had an escalation of fears. It was a gift from a person who knew something I did not. The themes and the general mood of the game impacted me badly when I started analyzing myself. Review on Steam.

Half-Life 2
SG win

Thomas Was Alone

5/5
4.9 hours
35 of 35 achievements

Here is proof that a well-made story is always better than a well-made appearance, even in a game medium. It is truly fascinating how one vivid imagination can bring geometric shapes in a 2D environment to life and make you empathize with them! Another point to the narrator for his outstanding work!

Concluding this post, I am currently at 47% of games never played. Thanks for reading!

24% (40/168)
3% (5/168)
13% (22/168)
47% (79/168)
13% (22/168)

Monthly Report - Dec 2020


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This month, I have been busy with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor most of the time. It is such a fantastic antistress game! I was practically chilling while playing it. Also, I am impressed by the 2020 Steam Winter Sale. Not because of the sale itself, though; because of the stickers! My face immediately lit up when I opened my first sticker and saw a beautiful woodpecker in its place. I also look out for games related to birds in my Steam group called The Birdwatchers’ Cabin.


Finished
 

Half-Life 2

Headlander

5/5
10.2 hours
31 of 31 achievements

It is a wonderful Metroidvania from Double Fine with lots of silly moments and weird mechanics. I enjoyed its art style and humour more than I anticipated; the gameplay was pretty fluid too. Add to this one more point for not including stupidly hard achievements with speedrunning or "no damage" requirements. In my opinion, there is simply nothing to dislike about this game. Maybe the absurd story if you are picky? Review on Steam.

Half-Life 2
BLAEO Challenge Me

The First Tree

3/5
3.4 hours
14 of 14 achievements

Simply beautiful! I did not enjoy the collectathon, though, and the saving system was awful. Therefore, I played it with a walkthrough to enjoy the story (good one!) and not invest too much time walking around to gather some stars.

Half-Life 2
BLAEO Challenge Me

Scribblenauts Unlimited

4/5
14.2 hours
25 of 25 achievements

I played this game with my three-year-old child for two weeks. She liked the idea behind the game very much, so she waited patiently to play it together in the evenings. I appreciate family-friendly games like this; there are too few of them.

Half-Life 2

Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™

5/5
47.8 hours
74 of 74 achievements

Middle-earth has been my guilty pleasure this month. To clarify, I have not read Tolkien's books and have not watched Peter Jackson films to this day; I cannot even tell why. I did not like fantasy when I was younger; now, I dare not invest my time in this big world. Anyhow, I liked the game very much! Slaying orcs allowed me to vent my accumulated anger peacefully. And I also completed a bunch of rare achievements before the game's server shutdown (planned for December 31, 2020).

Half-Life 2

140

2/5
3.5 hours
5 of 8 achievements

I could not appreciate this rhythm platformer with very positive reviews even though I like rhythm games in general (Crypt of the NecroDancer, for one). It is overly contrast, simplistic; the gameplay felt too demanding in movement preciseness. I struggled with bosses and mirror levels way more than I enjoyed it. I am no musician nor dancer, and my internal metronome is far from ideal. The game is just too hard for someone like me.

Concluding this post, I am currently at 45% of games never played. There were several additions to my library, so no overall progress. Thanks for reading. I wish you all peaceful holidays!

23% (37/159)
6% (9/159)
13% (21/159)
45% (71/159)
13% (21/159)

Monthly Report - Nov 2020


Being productive.

Last month, I said it should take me years to descend from 67% of games never played to 50%. I have done it in a month, although I have cheated a little by deleting some games I consider not worth keeping. I have also marked some others as “won’t play” (those are grand strategies by Paradox and tabletops by Asmodee, which I would like to keep). Lastly, I have played and completed a great bunch of games, so it is safe to say that November has already been very productive for me.


Finished
 

Half-Life 2
SG win

AVICII Invector

5/5
8.4 hours
24 of 24 achievements

Awesome rhythm game! I did not know much about AVICII before it, as I listen to rock/metal, but I have to say that the songs were good enough. The game itself is fantastic, with multiple levels of difficulty, reasonable controls, and beautiful visuals.

Half-Life 2

GRIS

5/5
6.7 hours
17 of 17 achievements

This game is something else. The art, the music, the story...so much passion here! I think GRIS deserves a place in a museum of modern art instead of those weird things they usually showcase. Review on Steam.

Half-Life 2

Kathy Rain

3/5
4.9 hours
20 of 20 achievements

An amusing take on old-school point-and-clicks and David Lynch. Straightforward, imitative, but still a fun game to click through the whole story. Review on Steam.

Half-Life 2

Toybox Turbos

2/5
5 hours
16 of 16 achievements

I remember days when Micro Machines, R.C. Pro-Am, Eliminator Boat Duel were my favourite games to play. I thought Toybox Turbos might give me some nostalgia, but it failed. It's too short, easy and generic to be something more than a snack for one evening. Codemasters release these racing games without putting much love into it like they are selling hot dogs or something.

Half-Life 2

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

5/5
14.1 hours
34 of 34 achievements

I love the first game in the series very much. I knew I should play this one, as it might add more depth to the characters. I was not disappointed. The backtalk challenges were a lot of fun! Overall, this is a pretty neat prequel for an already beautiful story.

Half-Life 2

RiME

4/5
9.0 hours
31 of 31 achievements

Wow, such a beautiful yet harrowing game! I was not ready for it. Visuals are stunning, puzzles are okay, collectables are all over the place, and the plot twist...well, I should have known.

Half-Life 2
SG win

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

4/5
21.8 hours
no achievements

I played it a couple of times before, but I decided to play it again as I have won it on SG this month. I speak Russian, so I played it in its original Russian localization, which is the best way to experience it (it has good voice acting). The game is strange. It has this mystic atmosphere that draws you in despite all the awkwardness. There are many weird places to explore and clever quests to complete. However, the game does not have women characters, or older people, or kids. There is no diversity at all. I did not think about it much back then when it was released, and now I understand how it speaks volumes about Ukraine, my home country, in general. Anyway, the game is fun to play, and it has aged well (minus the lags when you enter areas with multiple NPCs).

Half-Life 2

Neo Cab

5/5
8.7 hours
18 of 18 achievements

Our fellow assassin Lengray gifted it to me to try a decent visual novel, and it happened to be a pleasant experience! Neo Cab touches upon many topics that I find interesting and thought-provoking. A very memorable game indeed. Review on Steam.

Concluding this post, I am currently at 46% of games never played. Thanks for reading.

21% (33/154)
5% (8/154)
14% (22/154)
46% (71/154)
13% (20/154)

Appreciation Post - Uurnog Uurnlimited


Happy Halloween! I managed to beat one more game this month. It is Uurnog Uurnlimited, a bizarre puzzle-platformer that reminds me of Starbound for some reason. I loved it! And a bonus point for not having any achievements at all: I almost forgot the feeling of simply beating a game without the necessity of making weird or “smart” decisions in the process, speedrunning, playing new games+ etc.

7.0 hours
None
Played on Steam


Monthly Report - Oct 2020


Hey, guys! First post here.

I don’t know how you make all those beautiful infographic posts with simple markdown syntax. I cannot find any guide here, so I will be making it old-school.

In my first month at BLAEO and PAGYWOSG, I completed three games: INSIDE, Mother Russia Bleeds, and Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York (a recent win on SG). Another game, Vampyr, is in progress, but I doubt I will complete it in time. I tend to play FPS & action games slow and, to be honest, don’t like it that much.


Finished
 

INSIDE

INSIDE

5/5
5.3 hours
14 of 14 achievements

INSIDE is a minimalist masterpiece. I played it before on a tablet, and this time I went purposefully for all achievements. There is so much story told without a single word! The "true" ending is deep and satisfying. All in all, I enjoyed the game a lot.

Mother Russia Bleeds

Mother Russia Bleeds

4/5
21.7 hours
33 of 33 achievements

Mother Russia Bleeds is a straightforward beat 'em up with bloody art and a strong soundtrack (as always with Devolver Digital). It requires skill and a second player to unlock some achievements, so my wife's brother helped me with that. It was fun but somewhat tedious to stomp through the same levels, again and again, to complete everything. Sigh.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York
SG win

Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York

4/5
15.5 hours
28 of 28 achievements

Usually, I don't play visual novels (I even have them filtered out on Steam), but, as an old fan of Bloodlines, I had to try my luck with Coteries of New York. To my surprise, I enjoyed the experience quite a lot: it stays true to the World of Darkness and has a decent story overall. Yet another great game made in Poland!

Concluding this post, I am currently at 67% of games never played. With my crawling pace, it will probably take me years to reach the 50% mark. There is a long road ahead.

16% (26/159)
3% (5/159)
14% (22/159)
67% (106/159)