Back once again for the... Renegade Master’s profile

My favorite game genres are turn based strategy or tactics, RPGs, and simulation/management/building but I enjoy a variety of mostly single player games. Rocket League is my most played game on Steam that I still keep up with on occasion.
I’m a patient southern US gamer who buys bundles regularly and often gives away what I don’t want to SteamGifts groups like mine (Balancing Act Guild). On occasion I accept trade offers and may buy games during seasonal sales.
My rig is evidently a beefed up gamer build from 2012: Intel i5-3570K, GTX 1060 6GB, 24 GB RAM (~7GB RAMDisk), Samsung 860 EVO 540 GB SSD, Seagate Barracuda HDD


August 2019 - Mid Month Update

Making okay progress this month.
In my queue, I swapped out Aporia for When Ski Lifts Go Wrong in my queue, as Ski Lifts became my first Playing Appreciated win on SG thanks to the MouseWithBeer 🐭🍺
PA requires playing won games within a month. So far they put me at a playing score of 94%, so hopefully I’m on track to 100% it as far as PA is concerned by the time I’ve tried all the levels.

Games I Beat

    911 Operator

    911 Operator

    21 hours playtime

    I recommend the game on sale with all DLC if you who wants basic simulation of 911 calls and are ok with micromanaging location/dispatch of emergency vehicles. If you expect an RTS game or advanced simulation, you might have a bad time. I only used “Unique Stories” and custom cities mode since Unique Stories was recommended for a first playthrough and progresses through the different cities. It does some things well and others I wish it did better but nothing that breaks gameplay for me, on Hard difficulty. That doesn’t make me eager to play it much more.

    Evolvation

    Evolvation

    4 hours playtime

    Basic 6 DOF space fighter with a relatively dead multiplayer community but has decent bots plus thorough tutorials. I loved older 6 DOF games like Descent, but there's nothing to do other than basic pew pew here - Not even a campaign mode, hence why I marked this "beat" as a multiplayer only game. Would not recommend buying unless you have friends to play with who are really into that kind of game.

Games I’ve Been Playing

    Road Redemption

    Road Redemption

    14 hours playtime

    Nails the Road Rage vibe and satisfying combat with good progression early to mid game. Roguelite fits okay, but in mid game to get enough XP per run to get meaningful unlocks requires lots of replay of very early levels. So I’ve labelled this as “Stuck” for now and playing other games instead. Procedural missions & tracks are okay, but dont add a lot to gameplay.

    When Ski Lifts Go Wrong

    When Ski Lifts Go Wrong

    10 hours playtime

    Seems like one of the more unique bridge building games available which not only has bridge type building, but also different kinds of ski lifts, in winter & summer. I’m through 60 of the 100 levels. After that I may try some non-expert custom levels available through the workshop. There’s a good variety of people, who you can sometimes move or control: Snowboarders, snowmobiles, bikes, BMX, etc.

    Quantum Break

    Quantum Break

    7 hours playtime

    Made it through Act 2 and got most of the way through the beginning of Act 3. I’m still really enjoying the story while the time effects are getting bigger and weirder. Now for some minor technical gripes: The one time I want to skip an in-game cutscene (not sure if its pre-rendered or not) before a boss-type battle, cutscene skipping results in a loading screen that took just as long as the damn cutscene! That is despite the game being on an SSD and having plenty of RAM & VRAM. Also, I started noticing that the show video between acts isn’t great visual quality when it comes to darkest of colors & blacks. Not sure if that’s because the Steam version streams the video instead of downloading it or not? Bandwidth shouldn’t be an issue since I have 100mbps down. Streaming via Steam presumably saves ~100 GB of storage compared to non-Steam versions given that the Steam version only takes up 70 GB. I wonder if the streaming is Steam/Valve hosted, or Microsoft hosted? That would suck if Microsoft decommissioned streaming (no different than decommissioning other games’ hosted online lements) and Steam owners would miss out on the show videos.

Games Still Queued for This Month

July 2019 Progress Report

I am very grateful to get recently added to the BLAEO Steam group. There’s two things I’ve wanted to contribute to it: A link to my 100+ Steam Reviews that I’ve posted here (I wish there were an easy way to extract the name of all the games I’ve reviewed) and a first giveaway to create for the group sometime soon :)
EDIT: Here and here are my group giveaways

Compared to the prior month, I didn’t beat or complete as many games but I am just as satisfied with the quality of the games I played. So I’m happy with my selections for July :)

For the new month, I’m trying to focus a bit more on games that I’ve won on SG or that seem to have an active multiplayer player base (according to SteamDB) before they dwindle down. See my August queue at the bottom of the page.

End of July stats:

618 games (+30)
73% never played (-0%, -4 games)
9% unfinished (+0%, +1 game)
12% beaten (+0%, +3 games)
2% completed
4% won’t play

Click a game’s bar to see its short review.

Games I Beat or Completed:

    Riff Racer – Race Your Music!

    7 hours playtime, 11 of 38 achievements (28.95%)

    I recommend Audiosurf 2 or Distance INSTEAD of this game unless you really want to race against friends’ ghosts or want something mindless to play while listening to music, as those two games have more varied visualizations and modes.
    This is a game that visualizes beats and procedurally creates tracks based on the music, which allows for two people to play the same exact race for the same song, but beats are the only thing it appears to account for. Its beat visualizations don’t “pop” as much as other games I’ve mentioned, and it doesn’t do anything different for low/mid/high frequency sounds. The “sync” to music system makes ghost racing work, but its somewhat confusing exactly how to get multipliers other than keep up to the racing lines that designate the current beat. Losing multipliers is clear: Don’t fall behind, don’t hit barriers, don’t fall off the track. XP seems useless except for maybe achievements?

    Train Valley

    26 hours playtime, 19 of 39 achievements (48.72%)

    A polished semi-simple train & track puzzle-type game which is relatively relaxing and I recommend on deep sale to fans of puzzle & strategy games. Its a micromanagement puzzle: You build tracks, control track switches, choose when a train leaves a station, and can stop or reverse a train. The latter may be limited with certain train types or levels, but that was never explained in-game. There are no notable differences between trains of different eras, nor can you choose between train types to deploy. You can only choose whether a train deploys early, which costs money because the sooner a train reaches its destination the more money you get.

    Robot Squad Simulator 2017

    8 hours playtime, 9 of 12 achievements (75%)

    Its an okay but seems legit simulator. The bots wouldnt be fast & super responsive as things in other games, as I expected. Keyboard controls are awkward but get the job done. Music is decent, but graphics are meh, with occasional pop in when turning fast. I like playing with robots, so I thought playing through the missions was worth it.

For the Train Valley review click here because my HTML skills are too rusty for fixing a panel and its a pain to re-generate 3 panels with reviews.

Re-beat with newly purchased DLC:

    Turmoil

    47 hours playtime, 20 of 31 achievements (64.52%)

    Heat is On is a great DLC which is basically a different campaign that has more tech, more gameplay options (like using magma), more artifacts to discover, and a different auction system for buying town shares. It’s kinda easy to beat as long as you consistently use gas to boost profits for part of you oil haul, but still rewarding and maintains its partially relaxing western vibe. There is a New Game+ mode available after beating it though, but I’m not so hooked on the DLC or base game for me to play it again.

Games I didn’t finish, but will keep playing (including any DLC):

    Quantum Break

    4 hours playtime, 8 of 42 achievements (19.05%)

    Loving the story & game so far. I made it to Act 2 and finally got from Scene 1 to Scene 2 - I just needed to use time power better to stun & damage big enemies. Now I just need to be more strategic when taking on bigger groups of enemies.

    911 Operator

    17 hours playtime, 9 of 18 achievements (50%)

    I recommend the game on sale with all DLC if you who wants basic simulation of 911 calls and are ok with micromanaging location/dispatch of emergency vehicles. If you expect an RTS game or advanced simulation, you might have a bad time. I only used “Unique Stories” and custom cities mode since Unique Stories was recommended for a first playthrough and progresses through the different cities. It does some things well and others I wish it did better but nothing that breaks gameplay for me, on Hard difficulty. That doesn’t make me eager to play it much more.

Games I marked as Stuck:

    Knights of Pen and Paper 2: Free Edition

    5 minutes playtime, 13 of 33 achievements (39.39%)

    I reached the point where gaining gems (in game currency is too slow after reaching the end of the mid-game quest pack I unlocked. I can only get 5 gems per day through an ad, then maybe get 5 per level up, and I need like ~150 gems to buy the next quest pack. I could tap a 5th character slot to aid in this, but I dont want to grind lower level enemies to catch them up to my other characters at level 20+, and I already have a ninja with low threat so I’d have a hard time making another low threat character suited for leveling up against higher levels. I’m not uninstalling it from my phone just yet, as I might play it when I’m waiting in a line or something boring, but I’m not optimistic that I will get unstuck. It was otherwise a decent well balanced game better than I expected for F2P except for the “level 15” daily challenge dungeon that has many higher level monsters in it, and the literal dungeon of the unbalanced.

    Card City Nights

    3 hours playtime, 1 of 8 achievements (12.5%)

    A cute animated CCG sim that I recommend to hardcore CCG players, but the deck building is too complicated for me: Cards have a variety of abilities, but cards can only be chained with other cards based on the arrow(s) printed on their sides, and chaining cards to do attacks or heal is critical to the game. There is no tutorial, aid, or more meaningful groupings of cards in deck building. So I’m putting this in the “stuck” pile and might pick it up again after I get some other card games under my belt, if that can even give me the experience or knowledge I need to build better decks in games like this.

    FORCED SHOWDOWN

    29 hours playtime, 28 of 81 achievements (34.57%)

    I recommend this game on sale to people who enjoy twin stick shooters & card elements while comfortable with roguelite elements. I wanted to love this game more, but I feel kinda friendzoned by it because of how slow card-earning progression feels at random times. I do NOT recommend DLC unless you can beat the first two regular “shows”. I’m having a hard time beating the second show.

August 2019 queue

July 2019 - Mid Month Update

Making some decent progress for the month so far.

Games I Beat

    Riff Racer – Race Your Music!

    Riff Racer – Race Your Music!

    7 hours playtime

    I recommend Audiosurf 2 or Distance INSTEAD of this game unless you really want to race against friends’ ghosts or want something mindless to play while listening to music, as those two games have more varied visualizations and modes.
    This is a game that visualizes beats and procedurally creates tracks based on the music, which allows for two people to play the same exact race for the same song, but beats are the only thing it appears to account for. Its beat visualizations don’t “pop” as much as other games I’ve mentioned, and it doesn’t do anything different for low/mid/high frequency sounds. The “sync” to music system makes ghost racing work, but its somewhat confusing exactly how to get multipliers other than keep up to the racing lines that designate the current beat. Losing multipliers is clear: Don’t fall behind, don’t hit barriers, don’t fall off the track. XP seems useless except for maybe achievements?

    Train Valley

    Train Valley

    26 hours playtime

    A polished semi-simple train & track puzzle-type game which is relatively relaxing and I recommend on deep sale to fans of puzzle & strategy games. Its a micromanagement puzzle: You build tracks, control track switches, choose when a train leaves a station, and can stop or reverse a train. The latter may be limited with certain train types or levels, but that was never explained in-game. There are no notable differences between trains of different eras, nor can you choose between train types to deploy. You can only choose whether a train deploys early, which costs money because the sooner a train reaches its destination the more money you get.

Games I’ve Been Playing

    Quantum Break

    Quantum Break

    3 hours playtime

    I made it to Act 2, but can’t get past a section of warehouses on Medium difficulty. I retry it periodically, and am trying to avoid lowering the difficulty for this section. Loving the story & game so far though.

    FORCED SHOWDOWN

    FORCED SHOWDOWN

    18 hours playtime

    This fantasy based rogue-lite twin stick shooter with card game elements is a game I want to love, but I'm kinda friendzoning it because the game isn't putting out all the features that work for me. The core gameplay is good but progression within an arena depends quite a bit on what cards you earn, which is only one-half to 1.5 cards per won “battle”. An arena has 4 to 8 battles, and each arena consisting of 8 levels and one boss. Every battle has random sets of modifiers that most of the time you can pick from, which increases gameplay variety & card playing strategy, but can make it more difficult depending on your deck which cannot be changed between battles - Only between arenas. After beating an arena, a base set of difficulty modifiers are unlocked, and can be used to earn a slight bonus to coins used to spin the fortune wheel for cards.

    Robot Squad Simulator 2017

    Robot Squad Simulator 2017

    5 hours playtime

    Its an okay but seems legit simulator. The bots wouldnt be fast & super responsive as things in other games, as I expected. Keyboard controls are awkward but get the job done. Music is decent, but graphics are meh, with occasional pop in when turning fast. I’m two thirds of the way through the 20+ missions.

Game I Previously Beat But Replaying with DLC

    Turmoil

    Turmoil

    37 hours playtime

    Heat is On is a great DLC which is basically a different campaign that has more tech, more gameplay options (like using magma), more artifacts to discover, and a different auction system for buying town shares. It’s kinda easy to beat as long as you consistently use gas to boost profits for part of you oil haul, but still rewarding and maintains its partially relaxing western vibe. I am two thirds of the way through the DLC campaign.

Games I Have Labelled as Stuck

    Knights of Pen and Paper 2: Free Edition

    Knights of Pen and Paper 2: Free Edition

    5 minutes playtime

    I reached the point where gaining gems (in game currency is too slow after reaching the end of the mid-game quest pack I unlocked. I can only get 5 gems per day through an ad, then maybe get 5 per level up, and I need like ~150 gems to buy the next quest pack. I could tap a 5th character slot to aid in this, but I dont want to grind lower level enemies to catch them up to my other characters at level 20+, and I already have a ninja with low threat so I’d have a hard time making another low threat character suited for leveling up against higher levels. I’m not uninstalling it from my phone just yet, as I might play it when I’m waiting in a line or something boring, but I’m not optimistic that I will get unstuck. It was otherwise a decent well balanced game better than I expected for F2P except for the “level 15” daily challenge dungeon that has many higher level monsters in it, and the literal dungeon of the unbalanced.

    Card City Nights

    Card City Nights

    3 hours playtime

    A cute animated CCG sim that I recommend to hardcore CCG players, but the deck building is too complicated for me: Cards have a variety of abilities, but cards can only be chained with other cards based on the arrow(s) printed on their sides, and chaining cards to do attacks or heal is critical to the game. There is no tutorial, aid, or more meaningful groupings of cards in deck building. So I’m putting this in the “stuck” pile and might pick it up again after I get some other card games under my belt, if that can even give me the experience or knowledge I need to build better decks in games like this.

Backlog Prioritization

Next month, there are 3 types of games in general that I am going to prioritize playing sooner rather than later:

  • SG wins

  • Games that might have non-dead online multiplayer based on steamdb stats - Any feedback here is appreciated

  • Games that are quick to beat (a few hours or less)

Low priority games in my backlog will be older games that seem not to age well, and games with free mobile equivalents.

August 2019 Queue Preview

June 2019 Progress Report

Aside from the games I initially planned to play in June, I was very happy that I had some extra time at the end of the month to get a few more quick wins done, and start some extra games for July. Evidently I’ve gained 26 games since the first of June: ~10 from barter, 6 wins from SG, and 10 from a few bundles or Steam Summer Sale. Aside from the DLC I said I’d purchase with Steam wallet funds, I bought a few games that were $0.50-$1 each with my remaining wallet funds. Comparing my month-to-month numbers, it looks like I’m chipping away at my unfinished games, yet any progress on “never played” and “beaten” games has been cancelled out by my increased game count.

End of June stats:
588 games (+26)
73% never played
9% unfinished (-2%!)
12% beaten
2% completed (+1%!)
4% won’t play (+1%)

Early June games

For details on these see my mid-month update.

Late June games

Games I stopped playing or got stuck on:

    Gladiabots

    Gladiabots

    6 hours playtime

    This has been too cerebral of a game for me to play on mobile, and with the other games I’ve been playing on PC its not as blatantly exciting as my other PC games.

    Lethal League

    Lethal League

    5 hours playtime

    I tried playing the single player challenge with a controller, but I actually did better playing with a keyboard. That’s actually the same experience I’ve had with Rocket League. I still couldn't get past the halfway point of the single player challenges, so I am officially marking this game as “Stuck” for now.

Games I beat or completed:

    Dreamstones

    Dreamstones

    27 hours playtime

    I recommend Dreamstones on sale to fans of brickbuster games or someone looking for a unique mostly chill game. It is a unique cartoonish brick busting RPG with city builder elements and a lighthearted text narrative driven story, which I completed in ~20 hours. My in-game completion % was 90%, but there were many in-game “all the X” achievements that puts my achievement % much lower.

    Chroma Squad

    Chroma Squad

    17 hours playtime

    I recommend this game on sale to anyone who enjoys tactical RPGs and even casual players given the wide variety of difficulty settings and charming story. There’s little to complain about within the context of it being a 2D game, as there are tons of different abilities, weapons, and gear that can be bought or crafted.

    Kabounce

    Kabounce

    14 hours playtime

    Kabounce is a well polished pinball-based parkour & multiplayer game that I can easily recommend if you have friends to play this with, but it is difficult to recommend to anyone else who isn’t a fan of parkour or at least multiplayer games in general. Multiplayer is cross platform with PS4 which helped me find a match relatively easily even late at night in the US.

    King of the Eggs

    King of the Eggs

    38 minutes playtime
    no achievements

    I played every mode on every map. No way I would recommend this at retail price, and this is tough to recommend even for couch multiplayer fans at a historic low price for several reasons: No configuration settings for audio or video, Four 4 player games in 4 different areas, The games are really simple with not much strategy. Would be good for kids to play I guess?, and Doesn’t work well with keyboard, needs controllers.

    Indecision.

    Indecision.

    25 minutes playtime

    Some cute pixel art style, but too obscure & abstract for my tastes, and at less than an hour I can only recommend it to achievement hunters who like indie arthouse games.

Game I started:

    Knights of Pen and Paper 2: Free Edition

    Knights of Pen and Paper 2: Free Edition

    4 minutes playtime

    This is another cross-platform game which I play almost entirely on Android mobile, but this one is F2P. Playtime here only reflects time on Steam, but achievements & progress between platforms carry over.
    So far the game has been relatively fair as long as I’m not super aggressive in taking on enemies that are higher level/power than my characters are. Plenty of side quests, main quests, and variety of monsters so far. There have been some times, especially early on, where I had to just fight enemies in order to move to a different location (movement costs gold) or level up, but hasn’t felt tons grindy yet on mobile.
    Earning in-game currency of gems is slow (upon level up and a ~daily video), but was enough for me to naturally buy mid-game adventure when my main questline was running low. Now that I’ve done that, I am concerned that I might run out of the main questline before I get enough gems to unlock one of the other 2-3 adventure packs with gems. One other gripe is that the “daily challenge” dungeon and the “Unbalanced” dungeon have inaccurate level indicators, but maybe they assume I should have 5 characters instead of the 3 I currently have?
    I didn’t want to fill all my character slots because they cost lots of coins, and character types/classes are unlocked with adventure purchase or progression.

July 2019 preview

Games I plan to play this coming month:

Games with newly acquired DLC I plan to play this month:

Summer Steam Sale and June 2019 Progress Preview

Are you tempted to buy additional games during the Summer Sale like I am? Here are some things to consider:

  • Is there any hardware or software you could buy that would make your games more enjoyable to play? For example: Earlier this year I got a different GPU, I got an SSD, I got a somewhat faster CPU for cheap, and I had to replace some RAM so I ended up with 24 GB total. I spent less on games so I could spend more on my hardware.

  • Do you have any extra trading cards or marketable Steam items you can sell? Augmented Steam browser extension can help make that easier. I reached Steam Level 30 recently through crafting badges and decided I didn’t need to craft anymore badges from cards. So I started selling the 700+ I still had. I now have ~$15 in my Steam wallet.

  • Are there any games you don’t want to start playing until you have DLC for them? I keep a list of these games and use ITAD to notify me when their DLC gets cheaper.

My 2019 Summer Steam Sale shopping cart (so far)

The Summer Sale drag race game is damn confusing other than which teams are ahead (go team Corgi!). I understand the “Driver’s Manual” and read all the FAQs but different terms are used in many different places on the Grand Prix page.

June 2019 Progress Preview

Here is a sneak preview of my progress, but without short reviews - Those will be posted near or after the month’s end.

Newly Beaten games!

Other games I’ve been playing:

Games I’ve been playing but have added to my “Stuck” list:

June 2019 - Mid Month Update

I thought I would share my progress part way through this month since I had many games on tap, and I have beat two games! A few minor rig related things to share first:

RAM issue resolved - Thanks Corsair!

So after being stuck with 8GB RAM for weeks, I now have 24 GB RAM, and next month will get back into my higher performance games such as Jurassic World Evolution (previously beat but has new content) and Quantum Break (completed Act 1 of 3). That’s because I resolved a RAM module issue with my rig. I was stuck with 8 GB, had to get used interim 8GB RAM (yes they match my replacements), then ship my 8GBx2 kit to Corsair to get replacement modules since I didn’t trust doing an advance RMA that would put a whopping ~$150 USD hold on my credit card until I returned my faulty RAM. I mean what if they were like “oh your DIMMs have water damage or some other BS that totally didnt happen”? After the RMA was done though, I have to say Corsair was otherwise awesome in handling my limited lifetime warranty with receipt & UPC, and I would trust them with an advance RMA in the future.

Dimmdrive?

I was tempted to get Dimmdrive, but the benchmarks I’ve seen from LinusTechTips put loading times on par with SSD? Perhaps it helps more with games that constantly read/write on the fly as opposed to many other games that load things right before you actually play a game mode?

Games Recently Played

    Worms Pinball

    Worms Pinball

    73 minutes playtime
    no achievements

    I recommend this game on deep sale only if you are a fan of Worms AND pinball. I don’t have the heart to thumbs down it because it seems to me like a pretty good single pinball table compared to many other real tables, and its not a bad pinball table - Its just not something I would play for hours. Good thing I got this in a bundle.

    Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons

    Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons

    4 hours playtime

    This is the best story rich game I have ever played without understandable verbal or written narrative/dialog that I recommend to practically anyone. It is only ~3 hours long, but that was just right for what it is: A wonderful 3D platformer adventure with simple innovative controls & gameplay mechanics for the brothers.

    Tower Unite

    Tower Unite

    66 hours playtime

    I’ve already played all game modes, but returned after fishing and a new global mini-game event was added (wooden plane shoot-em-up). Fishing was tough to get the hang of initially, but has gotten much easier after the 20 casts. Sea Dollar drops from fish are too rare for me (1 out of 60 catches?!) to want to grind those for sea pets or becoming a sea creature. I’m keeping all decent looking fish and saving them for my oversized aquarium in my highrise condo’s club room.
    Dunno that I’ll be back in Tower Unite again until the massive Arcade update, which is looking awesome so far.

    Dreamstones

    Dreamstones

    18 hours playtime

    This is my go-to game at the moment: A unique cartoonish brick busting RPG with city builder elements. I recommend it if that seems of interest to you. I’m on the 4th out of 5 worlds, which seem to have 20-50 levels each. ~63% complete according to the in-game stat. After the 2nd world, I was optimistic that I can 100% the game, but each world is definitely getting harder despite getting better passive and casting abilities.

    Spelunky

    Spelunky

    11 hours playtime

    It is a well done platformer with simple mechanics & procedural levels, but its steep difficulty has only resulted me getting past the caves ONCE is really annoying. It has been cool to buy new things to put in my journal, but that’s about it.
    So this is now on my “Stuck” list, but I’m not abandoning it completely.

    Rocket League

    Rocket League

    237 hours playtime

    (Previously “beat” this game) RL wasn’t in my initial list of games for this month, but I learned about their summer event and wanted to earn two items: Hoverboard and Karate Kid headband. So I earned those. Whats interesting about this event is that it will sell you unlimited level ups if you redeem lots of event credits. I personally have no use for that.
    I did manage to tier up my rocket pass once or twice. I was mildly annoyed by the rocket pass challenge that required a specific item I didn’t have, but at least it had the lowest Rocket Pass reward instead of the highest like prior challenges…

    Gladiabots

    Gladiabots

    6 hours playtime

    There are 3 different game modes, all with multi-bot teams run by AI that you or the CPU define: Elimination (death match), Collection (get orbs & return them to your base), and Domination (capture bases for the longest amount of time).
    Elimination mode has gotten really tough for me at only 2 of 20 chapters in, despite trying new AIs based off two examples on the official wiki. So I switched to Collection, which I’m doing much better at having reached chapter 3 or 4. I also tried (async) multiplayer for the first time on Elimination and Collection, and played a couple of matches, then stopped when it was clear I was heading for <50% win rate. I plan to alternate advancing chapters in single player with advancing in multiplayer. I’ve earned some new colors and a pattern for my bots so have a metallic & camo look. I’ve only played a little on my mobile phone, but might play it more if I get bored or stuck on my other games this month.

    Chroma Squad

    Chroma Squad

    9 hours playtime

    I think I’m on the last or second to last season of the game on the second easiest difficulty. The combat is getting samey for me, but I don’t feel motivated to play on the medium or harder difficulty. Its a well done game, its just that varying your tactical choices aren’t critical unless maybe you play a hard difficulty. So as I get bored with other stuff this month I’ll chip away at episodes/levels for this until I finally beat it.

    Lethal League

    Lethal League

    5 hours playtime

    I’ve played some of the single player challenge, and can’t get past the fourth or fifth enemy out of ~10. Its a great concept and have wishlisted the sequel, but I guess I haven’t gotten the hang of this yet. I can’t remember if I tried this with a controller or not. So I may do that if I get through the other games I’m more focused on.

So I am starting to use BLAEO lists to tag games on tap for the coming month, and also lists for some reasons that games are in certain states. Ever since Steam purged all my library categories when I went into settings and did Clear Download Cache (wut) troubleshooting my primary steam library being unavailable when my secondary HDD with my non-primary Steam library failed (I now have a replacement drive), I am only using Steam to flag games I am currently playing as “Favorites”.

My New Lists

Stuck

Games I have played for a while where I got to a point where I am unable to progress further, and I am not motivated to retry again for quite a while.

Progress categories: Unfinished.

Notable examples: Distance (~3/4 of the way through single player/story mode) and Crypt of the Necrodancer (can’t pass 2nd or 3rd dungeon).

Awaiting updates before playing

If I know that a game will have significant updates (DLC or not) in the near or mid term, which includes almost all my Early Access games, I prefer to wait for such updates or release to occur before playing them or continuing to play them. This may include waiting for the release of DLC within any season pass I may have purchased.

Progress categories: Never played (17/19), Unfinished (2/19).

Notable examples: Battletech (played some, but waiting for additional DLCs to be published), This War of Mine (played non-DLC content, waiting for third and final Stories DLC to be released, overdue since 2018 presumably because dev focused on Frostpunk…), Startup Company (not played yet, might be what’s been stuck in Early Access hell the longest out of all my games)

NOTE: It was a pain to find out which games in my library are in Early Access, because the Steam library/game list does not denote which ones are or are not early access, nor allow for filtering on such a thing. The closest I could get is the Steam library filters site, but Early Access is merely a filterable user defined tag, and so far that tag shows up for any game that has EVER been in Early Access regardless of whether it has released out of Early Access or not - That’s ~80 out of my 500+ games!

DLC wanted before playing

There are some games I own where I don’t own some DLC but I know that will have a significant impact on gameplay. So I want to hold off on playing those until I can get such DLC.

Progress categories: Never played (15/19), Unfinished (3/19), Beaten (1/19).

Notable examples: Civ IV (seems with Civ that there’s often one more expensive DLC per release that’s must have), Subnautica (waiting to buy the ice world DLC), Turmoil (beaten before DLC, waiting to buy DLC)

This month’s list of games (June 2019)

Here is what I might be playing this month from my backlog - I already beat two short games this weekend (Brothers and Worms Pinball), and I’m revisiting Tower Unite thanks to its recent fishing update in which I’m collecting fish and putting them in a giant aquarium next to the club room of my highrise condo. I’ll try to post a progress updated with mini reviews by the end of the month.

For my first BLAEO post, I will go over my use of BLAEO categories, first impressions about my initial stats, recap the games I have played for the past month (May 2019), and what I might start to play for June 2019:

Use of BLAEO Categories

The different categories available are relatively straightforward, but there are certain types of games where the line between Unfinished, Beaten, and Completed is kinda in the eye of the beholder - So I will explain those situations here:

Unfinished

Multiplayer Only Games: Any progress that falls short of Beaten category. Examples includes Rising Storm/Red Orchestra 2 Multiplayer where I have completed training, but only played a few matches.

Beaten category

Multiplayer Only Games: If at the time I played it I had played every major mode available, have made significant progress, and played any limited training modes, I will consider the game “Beaten”. Therefore, it is possible for content to have been added after I “beat” it that I have not played yet. Examples include Rocket League where I have reached level 70+, Warframe where I reached mastery level 20+, and Tower Unite where I have played every game & every level as well as purchased the most expensive condo.

Games played outside of Steam: If I previously beat a game that I own outside of Steam or prior to getting a Steam account, I will mark it as “Beaten” or “Completed” depending on progress. Examples include Worms which I owned before Steam was a thing.

Remastered games: If I beat the original game, and the remastered edition does not add much to the gameplay, then I will consider the remastered game to be “Beaten” but not “Completed”. Examples include Full Throttle and Mark of the Ninja

Games without a clear end game condition: If I am reasonably sure that I have unlocked everything available within a game and progressed significantly in it, then I will consider it “Beaten”, but not “Completed” unless I have 100% achievements or if no achievements I am 100% certain I have maxed out the game. Examples include Game Dev Tycoon, Mad Games Tycoon, and SimCity 4 Deluxe.

Completed

Games without achievements: If a game I beat did not have achievements and I am reasonably certain I unlocked all things & modes available, then I will consider the game to be completed.

Won’t Play category

Original editions when Enhanced/Complete editions exist: When there are games that I own that come with both an original and an enhanced edition that significantly alters some gameplay elements, I will mark the original as Won’t Play, and then will mark the Enhanced edition appropriately. Examples include Divinity Original Sin 1 as well as Ori and the Blind Forest.

My Initial Stats

562 games
73% never played
11% unfinished
12% beaten
1% completed
3% won’t play

My First Impressions

I expected my stats to be more like this:
69% never played (off by -4%)
20% unfinished (off by +9%)
5% beaten (off by -7%)
1% completed
5% won’t play (off by -2%)

I am relieved that I have beaten more than I thought and don’t have as many unfinished games as I thought, but my never played games doesn’t surprise me given how active I am with trading and gifting games. I would say that at least half of the “unfinished” games are ones that I am “stuck” at a certain point on, but can’t bring myself to consider actually abandoned.

Game Activity for May 2019

    Hand of Fate

    Hand of Fate

    35 hours playtime

    I recommend this deck building action RPG to anyone who enjoys action RPGs, as it combines them really well, although the action elements aren’t perfect (but they’re not terrible either). This is one of the few games where it was beneficial to go back to a prior level/stage in story mode, which is due to them being a lower difficulty. I eagerly await a sale for the sequel to see how they change and improve upon this deck building action RPG format.

    Do Not Feed the Monkeys

    Do Not Feed the Monkeys

    10 hours playtime

    I recommend this voyeuristic game on sale to fans of other big brother-type “choices matter” games after having played through it twice in 6 hours with a desire to play it again maybe once or twice more (a rarity for me). Gameplay well illustrated by the 2 Steam trailers seems well balanced when not feeding monkeys, as I only had to rollback to 2-3 days twice in order to reach end game (~15 in-game days), wherein “game over” is not unlocking enough cameras by the designated day #. It is worth considering “feeding the monkeys” in the early game.

    Rocket League

    Rocket League

    235 hours playtime

    So I have a love/hate relationship of advancing Rocket Pass levels: I love that it is not exclusively tied to how much you play through some secondary pass-specific XP level, but I hate that there have been multiple weeks where one of the basic three goal/achievements requires owning a specific item that needs to be purchased from a prior seasonal event.
    I’ve maintained my Gold division for competitive Rumble and Ice Hockey modes. The traditional competitive game modes have been much tougher as well as far more toxic.

    Tower Unite

    Tower Unite

    62 hours playtime

    Tower Unite is a collection of mostly party-type games that branch off of a virtual world, some of them more integrated with the core Plaza area than others, all of which is free of microtransactions. Almost everything is purchased with in-game currency earned through playing games and getting achievements, with the exception of some unlocks or random drop opportunities (spin a wheel, cat pouches, etc). You have lots of cutomization options for your character and condo, including custom player & condo items that can be brought into the game through the Steam Workshop. I recommend the game to midcore gamers as well as achievement hunters, but casual and hardcore gamers may not enjoy it.
    My personal favorite games are Minigolf, Virus, Laser Tag, High Stakes Texas Hold Em, and Balloon Pop.
    I built a penthouse type condo with a club area, and a trampoline basketball & volleyball courts.

    60 Seconds!

    60 Seconds!

    4 hours playtime

    This is a largely narrative based survival game that I unfortunately can only recommend at historic low prices for survival enthusiasts that love achievement hunting.
    It is fun to spend the first 60 seconds trying to grab as many people and things as you can to survive nuclear fallout, but grab & Go Controls feel kinda clumsy, even after adjusting sensitivity to your liking. That’s partially because there are some scenarios where one item can appear above the other, like on a shelf, but there are no controls for which one to pick other than left or right and hope the item you want winds up getting highlighted. Items don’t seem balanced, because some may be more vital to rescue & survival than others. The different events and choices are interesting…for a few hours. I played through every mode several times and all challenges.

    SIMULACRA

    SIMULACRA

    4 hours playtime

    I never play horror games, but this was somewhat more of a voyeur-centric game in that the game is played entirely through someone else’s cellphone and you communicate with people that the phone’s owner knows. I recommend it to people that are okay with horror and voyeur elements of games while enjoying some choices that matter. The story doesn’t branch though, as it stays pretty much one set of rails, but your interactions with people change based on your choices.

    Gladiabots

    Gladiabots

    4 hours playtime

    This is a unique cross platform single & multiplayer (asynchronous) bot combat arena strategy game that runs entirely using AI logic and command sets that you define. It does not require programming knowledge by any means, but it may require the patience or willingness to “troubleshoot” kinda like one given that there is considerable trial & error. Intro tutorial is decent at teaching the basics, and the official wiki is even more helpful in terms of other strategy tips & options.
    I have only focused on Elimination mode in single player with only a few multiplayer matches, and will get into the other two base & capture modes once I have a fully fleshed out Attack AI from beating Elimination mode.
    The Android version is free, and progress can easily be synced between the PC and Android versions when an account is registered with the game’s site.

Games I Might Start in June 2019

Spelunky, Lethal League, Brothers - A tale of two sons, Dreamstones, Worms Pinball