RikkiUW’s profile

Despite attempting to work on my backlog, it was still growing faster than it was decreasing so I’m now only entering for SG games I really want, and only keeping bundle games I genuinely want to play. And I’m determined not to let my VR backlog grow much, despite seeing so many good games.

As you can see from my favourites list (which is in no particular order) my taste is varied. I tend to like games with story. I also like games that are unique in some way. I tend to play more short/medium games than long games as I get bored easily (which explains my large ‘unfinished’ list :P). I will stick with a game if it’s good enough though. I’ve never been into massively multiplayer games. Actually I play single player almost exclusively, but I’m usually willing to try multiplayer/co-op for games I like.

I don’t consider myself an achievement hunter. I generally try to get as many achievements as I can in one playthrough and leave it at that. I do want to improve my % though. I’m on truesteamachievements.com, if anyone has an account there feel free to add me.

My intention is to create a post for every 3-4 games beaten, including a review on steam. I find other people’s reviews helpful, so why not help other people.


February '19 Play Log

I got sick of making such slow progress on my backlog so started trying to beat one short game every evening I had time. Sadly most don’t contribute to my goals, but I enjoyed most of them nonetheless.


12 is Better Than 6

12 is Better Than 6

8/10
9 hours playtime

Overall a very enjoyable top down shooter. Generally I avoid these in favour of third or first person shooters. This one works very well though.

Pros:

  • The unique pen and paper art style works very well
  • Challenging, but once you’ve died a few times and figured out where everyone is/where they move, it’s not too bad
  • Good weapon variety - I particularly enjoyed the bow

Cons:

  • Calling Native Americans ‘gringo’ doesn’t seem right to me
  • The protagonist’s few one liners get tired quickly
  • The story is kind of all over the place, and just sort of ended. It was really just an excuse to kill a whole lot of people. It isn’t bad, but it could have been much better.
  • I think a bit more humour would have made this much better
  • There should be more variety in terms of where the random side missions are, instead of just having two or three and changing where you start.

Verdict: 8/10

SG win, Pay or Play, and ABC list. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this game and am glad I won it.


Reflection of Mine

Reflection of Mine

6/10
14 hours playtime

I was somewhat torn on whether to recommend this. It’s not bad, but it’s fairly difficult in parts and gets boring quickly. I’d recommend this primarily for people who are very enthusiastic about puzzle games and like a challenge. If you’re more of a casual puzzler and/or the story is a big part of the appeal I’d recommend you skip this one. I frequently went to play this after work and found my brain was just too tired to work out any of the puzzles. Overall I think this could benefit from being shorter, cutting out maybe 20% of each level.

Pros:

  • As each of the 4 levels progress it introduces new mechanics to keep things interesting, starting easy and getting harder.
  • The story is interesting for the most part.
  • The next level is unlocked half way through the current level, so you can skip the harder puzzles if you find them too difficult

Cons:

  • I was expecting a game that also teaches you about multiple personality disorder and what living with it is like, but that’s really not what this was. It seemed to just using the disorder as game mechanic.
  • Towards the end of each level it gets very difficult. Expect to spend a lot of time repeating levels until you figure them out.
  • The ‘hints’ show you exactly how to get through the level, so even when I was stuck I didn’t want to use them
  • Maybe there were too many personalities, or maybe I was just sick of it, but found the story got lost towards the end.
  • More emphasis on each personality not knowing what happened would be beneficial for the story I think. Something as simple as panicking because suddenly everything is on fire and not knowing what happened would be good.
  • It’s entirely unclear how to unlock neurosis mode. Turns out you need to say ‘yes’ to the final question first, then no. If you do it the other way around you’ll need to replay the level and answer no again (at least I think this is how I finally managed to unlock it).
  • If you move on to the next level without completing the current level you’ll end up skipping a significant chunk of the story, including how the next personality emerges.

Verdict: 6/10

SG win that sounded interesting but didn’t live up to my expectations. Infuriatingly 100%ing hard mode doesn’t unlock the achievement for normal mode hence the one missing achievement. It dragged on a lot so I’m glad I’m finally finished with it. Now if only I could finish Munin…


I wasn’t sure what to expect with this series, but thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s quite funny and doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest. Sadly it doesn’t seem there’s going to be a season 2. If you’re open minded and enjoy point and click games it’s worth playing if it’s in your library. Click for individual reviews.


Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story

Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story

6/10
1.4 hours
10 of 10 achievements

This isn't a bad game, but it's not good either. It's too predictable and lacks surprises of any kind. Nowhere near as good as the first one. These types of games require the story to be good for it to be enjoyable, and this doesn't pass that test.

Pros:

  • Generally the puzzles are neither too easy nor too difficult, but there were a few that had me stumped for a while

Cons:

  • I had a guess as to what would happen within the first 5 minute of playing. Granted it wasn't quite correct, but it wasn't far off. From there there was nothing surprising, and the overall story wasn't terribly interesting either.

Verdict: 6/10

I was quite happy when this came up on chrono as it was on my wishlist. Glad I didn’t spend money on it though. It was predictable without an interesting story.


Well that’s it for now. Only a few days left in the month but I have plans for a few more games, including some that are actually on some of my priority lists. I bought Budget Cuts for my Rift last week and am really, really enjoying it. Looking forward to playing it this weekend, but not looking forward to it being beaten. Hopefully I can find more equally good VR games.

January '19 Play Log II

Overall:

8%
16%
14%
57%
5%

SG:

13%
38%
9%
30%
10%

ABC:

4%
8%
27%
62%
0%

A bit late, but here’s the last game I beat in January. Sadly I’m not starting the year off well in terms of backlog progress.


I, Hope

I, Hope

4/10
2.5 hours
no achievements

I feel bad giving this game a thumbs down, but I just can't recommend it. The proceeds go to a good cause so if you want to support that by all means get it, but don't expect the game to be worth the money.

Pros:

  • Great soundtrack
  • The simple and cutesy graphics are quite fitting
  • Supports a good cause

Cons:

  • Poor voice acting
  • The fighting is still not great - some enemies seem to hit you even if you're standing beside them, others rarely hit you if you stand still right in front of them
  • The fighting is overly simplistic - making this more challenging/interesting would have been better. As it is you have your main attack, dodge, and a secondary magic-type attack that seems to kill most non-boss enemies in one hit.
  • Both the fighting and the puzzles are for the most part very easy, there was never any challenge thus no feeling of achievement on succeeding.
  • Dying doesn't seem to matter. Don't get me wrong, having to restart a level every time you die would be frustrating, but there's no 'oh no I died' feeling. You just pick up where you left off - killed enemies are still dead, whatever you were fighting is back to full health. Taking Zelda Majora's Mask as a random example, Link generally had some sort of groan/sound effect, there was sad music, and the camera zoomed in on him as he died, and you restart at the begining of a small area. This just restarts where you left off.
  • You're never invested in the story (perhaps that would be different if you were personally affected by cancer). At the beginning you're told there's a celebration (a celebration of what?) and oh no cancer has attacked, now you have to save the village (there's a village?). Having the game start during the celebration in the village, allowing you to see even a small square and talk to people to find out more about the village, it's history, and what the celebration is likely would have made me much more invested in saving it.
  • It felt a little to cliched (is that the right word?). This is entirely a matter of opinion - maybe it would be great for those personally affected by cancer, but for me I would have preferred a more metaphorical, read between the lines type of experience. Battling cancer using inner strength as a weapon in a game felt silly, even though it is true in real life.

Verdict: 4/10

To be honest part of the reason I’m late is that I didn’t want to review this game. Given that proceeds go to a good cause and was loath to give it a bad review, but it just wasn’t good. The voice acting was easily the worst I’ve heard. The game would have been much better with no voice acting at all. It’s understandable; the develop did the voice acting himself presumably to save money, but it really takes away from the rest of the game (not that it would have been great without it).


I’ve joined Pay or Play and am working on two other SG wins as well, so hopefully February will be more productive.

January '19 Play Log

So now that the new year has begun, I’ve decided it’s time to set some goals. Previously I had said 3:1 beaten:activated ratio. I’m at exactly 1:1 right now (11:11 since December 1st), so that’s not exactly going well. In my defence though, Christmas, sales, VR, and whatnot have resulted in more activations that usual (I hope). I think I’m going to keep tracking that ratio, but instead of keeping 3:1 just make sure I really want a game before I buy/enter/trade for it.

8%
16%
13%
57%
6%

Goals

I’m really hoping these goals aren’t challenging enough, because I would like to make much more progress on my backlog. I don’t want them to be unachievable before the end of the year though.

70% beaten SG wins ratio: I’ve been on SG a bit over a year now, and have a beaten/completed ratio of 50% (in fact I ended the year with exactly 100 games on my SG list). Not half bad considering I went a bit nuts at first and entered anything I had a chance at winning and didn’t look awful. Unfortunately that means there’s some less interesting games to play, but there are also some that look quite good. I hate marking games as won’t play so I’ll continue trying to avoid that, though it may seem silly.

Max 30 Wishlist Unplayed games: I’ve recently started using lists. One that I track is games I had in my wishlist at some point and have gotten through some means but haven’t played. There’s a shocking 41 games on it right now. I’d like to reduce that.

Much fewer abandoned games: I don’t have a specific goal for this one, but I have over 60 games I’ve started and abandoned. Some of these don’t have a ‘finished’ point, but most do. I’d like to get this down to a more reasonable level, maybe 40 this year?


ABC Challenge

Now that there’s a new ABC Challenge, I figure it’s high time I did the old one. As per my goals I’ve picked from SG wins, Wishlist Unplayed, and abandoned games. I may switch up a few as I go, we’ll see. I don’t have any X games and the only thing I could do for V was complete Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior as I had missed one achievement. I have every other letter though, and nearly every one of the games on there covers one of my goals.


The 7th Guest

The 7th Guest

3/10
4.9 hours
no achievements

First, a disclaimer that I was very young when this game came out. I played it partly out of curiosity, and partly because I (generally) like puzzle games. I'm not sure if this is just too dated or too difficult in general, but I really didn't enjoy it. It seems to have been designed with the intention of people spending a long time not just on how to solve the puzzles, but on how they work and where the next one is. Perhaps this was more interesting before we could just google everything, assuming people had more patience. Unless you are familiar with this game or are very good at puzzles and have a ton of patience I suggest you steer clear.

Pros:

  • you can skip puzzles (if you can figure out how!)
  • some puzzles are solvable without extreme amounts of frustration
  • the lack of instructions adds a challenge (though it's not always welcome)

Cons:

  • bad acting
  • no subtitles
  • unskippable cutscenes/animations
  • no instructions for the puzzles
  • several of the puzzles are very difficult
  • It's not obvious there's a hint/skip book. I found it early on but couldn't figure out what it was for since I had just completed a puzzle. It wasn't until close to the end of the game (and after much googling) that I came accross instructions on how it actually worked.
  • the 'hint' book just gives instructions (for at least the puzzle I used it for)
  • perhaps it was because some of the puzzles can be done in different orders, but I found the 'story' entirely unclear

Verdict: 3/10

PA/SG win. I feel like I should have known I wouldn’t like this, though maybe I’m being too hard on myself. I always feel bad about winning games and then not liking them. Especially when there are clearly people who would have enjoyed it.


Hard Reset Redux

Hard Reset Redux

7/10
15.1 hours
83 of 115 achievements

A decent cyberpunk terminator-type shooter with a boss battle every two or three levels. There is a story, but I find it sort of gets lost among the action. As much as I enjoy shooters, I think they're difficult to put a good story in because I immediately forget what's going on as soon as the action starts.
Word to the wise: keyboard/mouse is much easier to play on (this coming from someone used to controllers)

Pros:

  • decent graphics (I played redux, apparently the original has slightly better)
  • variety of weapons
  • quicksave makes life much easier
  • voice acting is pretty decent
  • good soundtrack
  • the hidden "secret" nano (xp/currency) is a neat addition

Cons:

  • no quicksave on controller
  • Redux has slightly graphics, but has dash (which the origianal lacked), you can't have both
  • I foud it difficult to change weapons during a fight as you have to take your hand off the movement keys (I'm used to playing on a controller though)
  • he makes the most rediculous noises - his groans of pain lmost sound mixed with moans
  • you groan when something explodes near you/etc, even if it's not close enough to do damage (so you're groaning alot during fights)
  • You always explode then groan when you die, no matter how you die. Sliced in half? Expload, then groan. Fall into a bottomless pit? Explode then groan. It's rediculous.

Overall my feelings were a bit mixed. I played on hard which I usually don't do. Great for achievements since most of them have one per difficulty. If I had used keyboard/mouse from the beginning it probably would have been better.

Verdict: 7/10

Another PA/SG win. Part of the reason this month has been less productive in terms of number of games beaten. I grudgingly give keyboard/mouse FPS control fans permission to say ‘told you so’. But only once. After that I’ll throw my still-sometimes-superior controller at them. I grew up on consoles so controllers are what I’m used to, plus now that I got a Steam Link I can play on my much larger TV. I really wish I had started with keyboard/mouse for this one though. I don’t usually play games on hard but I wanted to get more achievements. I wasn’t enjoying it because of the difficulty, but it was much easier once I switched to keyboard and mouse, which also allowed me to use quicksave/quickload.


Alex Hunter - Lord of the Mind

Alex Hunter - Lord of the Mind

4/10
4.7 hours
no achievements

A ripoff of Artifex Mundi HOGs but without achievements. Everything else is the same - grab random objects you have no apparent use for and then find a use for them, do hog scenes, and puzzles. Not saying that's a bad thing though. If you like HOG games and aren't there for the story you may enjoy it. Personally I found there where way too many 'why on earth would you ever consider doing this?' moments.

Pros:

  • If you like Artifex Mundi games you'll probably enjoy this
  • Voice acting is arguably better than Artifex Mundi, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it 'good'
  • Has hints
  • Has a complete walkthrough guide in-game

Cons:

  • Some of the puzzles are too difficult
  • It's often not obvious which item to use with what
  • Story is not remotely interesting
  • There's frequently no logic to the puzzles or what you're doing - it's not obvious that it serves a purpose until much later

Verdict: 4/10

Old SG win & ABC challenge. Honestly just played it to get it off my SG list. I’m sick of HOGs. If you enjoy them though this isn’t too bad, but I think Artifex Mundi is slightly better, especially with the story.


That’s it for now, hopefully a few more to come this month though. I’m 17 hours into Talos Principle VR, but with the DLC I’m probably not half way through yet so I doubt that’ll be done the month.

Does anyone use keyboard & mouse with Steam Link? I’d love to know how well that works, particularly from a comfort point of view.

December Play Log & 2018 Summary

December 2018 Overall:

7%
16%
14%
57%
6%

June 2018 Overall:

4%
13%
18%
61%
4%

December 2018 SG:

13%
37%
7%
33%
10%

I only joined in June, so it’s not been a full year, but already some progress. Not as much as I’d like but actually more than I expected. I know I’ve made more progress on SG but sadly I don’t have the stats for that and I’m too lazy to figure it out manually.


The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

7.5/10
22.4 hours
75 of 95 achievements

I thoroughly enjoyed this. If you enjoyed Diablo III you'll probably like this.

Pros:

  • Decent graphics
  • Good voice acting
  • You don't have to use both melee and ranged weapons, but if you do want to you can switch seamlessly
  • Katarina adds some funny commentary
  • Never feels grindy

Cons:

  • If you want to use both melee and ranged, you won't get enough levels to level them both up terribly well
  • In fact, I did every side quest (I think) and didn't get enough levels to unlock the later spells/abilities/etc, though I levelled up the main ones all the way. You can unlevel earlier ones by paying but I never really saw a reason to switch and try the others.
  • One of the achievements is to not kill a certain type of creature, but there's no way to tell if you have or not so if you kill the first one you come across without realizing it you're left to tiptoe through the areas where they are even though you may as well just kill them.
  • If you use a controller you can't compare a ring against the off-hand ring

Verdict: 7.5/10

Longest SG win I’ve ever beaten. In fact longest game I’ve beaten in recent memory. Curse my short attention span… as it is it took my longer than I intended it to. I quite enjoyed it though so I’m happy I got through it, and am very happy with my achievement score. I actually managed to get the ‘But they are so cute!’ achievement for not killing any Igors! I was somewhat tempted to start a second run through and get a few more. I’d rather get through my backlog though.


Moebius: Empire Rising

Moebius: Empire Rising

7/10
7.6 hours
30 of 30 achievements

Overall a decent little point and click. There were a few points where I consulted a guide but for the most part I did it without help. Worth getting on sale if you enjoy the genre, especially if you have an interest in history.

Pros:

  • the main character develops throughout the story (which is good because he's obnoxious at the beginning)
  • puzzles aren't overly difficult for the most part

Cons:

  • There are some glitches where the game will sort of freeze you from moving/interacting temporarily. They seem to be worse when skipping dialogue/teleporting but they occur without that as well. This can be a problem near the end where timing is relevant. Luckily restarting the game seems to solve them.

Verdict: 7/10

Another SG win. I had intended to only play SG wins this month to drive down that unplayed list, but got sidetracked by recent purchases and VR, unsurprisingly.


Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice VR Edition

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice VR Edition

10/10
9.3 hours
13 of 14 achievements

A truly amazing game. There's a lot of depth to the story which I'm not terribly good at deciphering (I'm too literal), so I had to look at an explanation after, but it makes sense. I hope there's a sequel, but at the same time from the point of view of the story I'm not sure if there should be. Maybe a sequel that's a different story (i.e. not a continuation of Senua), or a prequel, would work (yes I'm thinking of LiS). I'll definitely be looking into the developer's other games though.

Pros:

  • the story is amazing
  • the combat difficulty is dynamic, it adjusts to you as you play so it's never too hard or too easy
  • good graphics
  • I enjoyed the lorestones' stories and how they were often relevant to what Senua was doing at the time
  • the combination of puzzle and combat is good and well balanced
  • superb voice acting (I know I recognize Druth's voice from somewhere…)
  • great soundtrack

Cons:

  • Sometimes when opening doors if you are not in the exactly right spot Senua glides to the right spot instead of moving naturally
  • At certain points Senua is supposed to be (and does sound) emotional, but if you actually look at her face her expression is often blank.
  • The game is divided into sections, as are the lorestones. It turns out though that the rune on the lorestones isn't fixed, it just takes the next rune for the section. I thought I could use the rune to tell if I'd missed one within a section. I didn't realize this until the second last chapter that wasn't the case, and ended up missing a single lorestone. If the runes on teh stones were fixed it would make it easier to tell if you had missed one and could (often) go back and get it.

Verdict: 10/10

First beaten VR game! I’ve been waiting to play this for a while, and it was worth it. I’m still miffed I missed that one lorestone though. I’ll probably go back and replay it to get it at some point. And of course I’ll have to play the non-VR version to… can’t have that on the ‘won’t play’ list. I can’t recommend this highly enough, especially if you’re good at reading between the lines, unlike me.


Back to the Future: The Game

Back to the Future: The Game

8/10
10.6 hours
no achievements

As a fan of the movie I thoroughly enjoyed this game. If you're a fan it's well worth purchasing if you can find a copy.

Pros:

  • Christopher Lloyd is back as Doc Brown
  • Marty's voice acting sounds extremely similar to Michael J. Fox
  • Most (though not all) of the other voice actors are good, with voicing fitting for the characters they play (Jennifer was probably the only bad one)
  • Quite funny, especially at the end
  • Good hint system means you can get progressively more obvious hints and likely won't need to consult a walkthrough

Cons:

  • I'm not a fan of the episodic format for this game, it feels very episodic, like it's several separate adventures instead of one. In a way it kind of is.
  • The controls aren't great, I constantly got confused and ended up going in the wrong direction

Verdict: 8/10

I’m at my parents’ place for the holidays and am borrowing my mum’s computer which is a potato. I’ve had this on my mind for a while so this was the perfect time to play it. They left this open for a sequel at the end. Too bad it’ll never be made.


Also Completed
Click for review.

November Play Log IV

7%
15%
14%
59%
6%

So I got an Oculus Rift a few days ago, finally got around to playing it today. It’s really immersive. I was playing Robo Recall and the part at the very beginning where they all jump at you made me jump, I almost dove out of the way IRL. I’m looking forward to playing some more games on it, I think it’s going to get me in slightly better shape though because I’m not used to standing for that length of time!


Orwell

Orwell

10/10
5.5 hours
19 of 27 achievements

This is a truly amazing game. It really gets you thinking about mass surveillance. It's hardly impartial, but you get to see both the good and the bad aspects. If you have an interest in privacy, play this game. If you have never given it much thought, play this game. If you've ever said 'I have nothing to hide, it doesn't matter', play this game.

Pros:

  • really gets you thinking about mass surveillance
  • you control how the story unfolds based on what information you pass on to the government
  • the story has some really great twists and surprises that I didn't see coming

Cons:

  • Playing involves dragging and dropping pieces of information onto profiles of people you're investigating, but sometimes the drag and drop function is finicky, I occasionally had to retry multiple times to grab a piece of data. Not a big issue, but a minor annoyance.

A warning to achievement hunters: do not look at any 100% achievement guides before playing, they will ruin the story. You'll need 2 playthroughs anyway. Just play through normally the first time and you should be able to get all remaining achievements the second time.

Verdict: 10/10

I won the second one in a PA giveaway then realized I hadn’t beaten the first. This is an amazing game, definitely one of my favourites. It probably helps that I have an interest in privacy and security, but I still think everyone should play it if for no other reason than the fact that it’s thought provoking and lets you see both sides of the mass surveillance coin.


Lethe - Episode One

Lethe - Episode One

7/10
7.3 hours
15 of 19 achievements

This game started off strong but got a bit lost along the way, perhaps because it wasn't clear what was supposed to be going on. Why on earth go down into the mine in the first place? Why not go back the way you came when it became clear something wasn't right? Maybe it would have helped if I had gotten all of the notes. If you're a fan of suspense/horror it may be worth picking up on sale. Personally I probably won't bother with the next episode if it comes out.

Pros:

  • Genuinly suspenseful atmosphere
  • The few puzzles there are aren't too difficult
  • Not ruined by constantly dying as I found Outlast could be at times. The only exception to this rule is when you haven't figured out how to solve a puzzle (i.e. there's no 'guess you'll have to run faster/hide better and hope they don't see you' moments like I found Outlast & DLC had at times)

Cons:

  • I get that a hud can detract from the overall feeling, but a map (e.g. in the pause menu) would be good given that the achievements focus on exploration. I did my best to explore everywhere but still ended up missing a lot of notes and several areas
  • Candles and torches serve to light the place in areas, but if you go to close to them they'll burn you. This serves no purpose beyond being annoying.
  • Some parts don't make sense (one particular enemy attacks you during the last chapter of the game, then leaves you alone at the very end seemingly for no reason)

Verdict: 7/10

SG win. Decent but not great, not much more to say than that.


Orwell: Ignorance is Strength

Orwell: Ignorance is Strength

7/10
3.5 hours
10 of 19 achievements

Good, but doesn't add much beyond what the first game had. Maybe I'd have enjoyed it more if I hadn't played the two back to back though.

Pros:

  • Adds a time mechanic so you can't blindly upload every piece of data you see.
  • Takes place at the same time as the first, so if you've played it you can link your character from the first and have that same story appear in headlines.

Cons:

  • The story isn't as good as the first.
  • The link to the first game doesn't serve any really purpose I found beyond 'hey, that's neat'.
  • The choices frequently feel like you have to choose between doing several bad things, whereas the first felt like there were 'good' options at times (even if it didn't always turn out that way).
  • In the first game you're investigating a terrorist attack. In this one it's claimed this department is 'more important' but it felt to me like they were interfering without enough reason. The first game had a sense of urgency, this game failed to provoke that for me.
  • I found the first game really thought provoking. Apart giving you a new scenario to think about, this one doesn't really present any new ideas/moral dilemmas/etc for you to think about beyond what the first one had.

PA win. My biggest complaint is the options. A lot of them, particularly in the last chapter, felt like ‘how would you like to be an asshole?’ Whereas the first game felt like there were less morally questionable options that you could choose if you wanted to (try to) be the good guy.


Human: Fall Flat

Human: Fall Flat

9/10
15.8 hours
51 of 51 achievements

This is a great game, there should definitely be a sequel or more levels via DLC. If you enjoy puzzle games this is a must have.

Pros:

  • Levels start off easy and brief, but gradually get harder - the difficulty curve is good.
  • A unique concept in my experience.
  • Most of the puzzles aren't too difficult until you get towards the end.
  • Playing local co-op with a friend is a lot of fun.

Cons:

  • Particularly difficult parts can get frustrating enough without having to wait 15 seconds after a respawn for your marshmallow man to get up again.
  • If you get stuck in an area too long a general indicator of where you should be headed would be helpful (e.g. 'go to this point' could help you figure out how to cross the gap, etc).
  • I get why the climb mechanic was removed, but another shortcut in the Water level (the worst one IMO) would be nice, especially for those trying to get the head-first achievement. Having to play all the way through the level 4 times takes the fun out of it.

Verdict: 9/10

A friend was visiting and we were looking for local co-op games to play and arrived at this one (and Goat Simulator). It was a lot of fun. I’m not a big multiplayer person generally, but I highly recommend playing this with a friend if possible. You’ll have a laugh, you can still replay solo because it becomes more challenging with only one person.


That’s it for now. I quit my job recently and have a week off before starting a new one on the 10th. I’m planning on getting some painting done, and of course plenty of gaming. My original plan had been to tackle my SG backlog, but the Rift may throw that plan off a bit! I hope everyone enjoys their December/Holiday Season as much as one can enjoy such a cold, dark time of year.

November Play Log III

7%
14%
14%
60%
5%

So after five an a half years working at the same company straight out of university, I handed in my resignation on Friday. Mixed feelings overall. I used to really enjoy working there but changes over the last year or so meant that was no longer the case. I’m done at the end of the month, and on the 10th I’ll be starting a new job with a significant raise and (more importantly) more interesting looking work. During the week off I’m hoping to make some good progress on painting my house, and of course playing an unhealthy amount of video games.


Space Pilgrim Episode I: Alpha Centauri

Space Pilgrim Episode I: Alpha Centauri

7/10
1.1 hours
7 of 7 achievements

Very brief (completed in an hour), but a decent little story with some humour. I'm intrigued and will likely pick up the rest of the series at some point.

Pros

  • likeable characters
  • funny in parts

Cons

  • no full screen

Semi-recent SG win. On the plus side it was better than any of the games I played in my last post. On the negative side, I now have to get the rest of the series. They’re cheap, but my backlog really doesn’t need extended any more than it already is.


The Magic Circle

The Magic Circle

10/10
9.3 hours
14 of 14 achievements

Brilliant game. One of my favourites. Definitely one of the more 'out there' games I've played, so if you enjoy unique experiences this one is definitely for you. IMO worth the full price.

Pros

  • voice acting is easily the best I've heard, especially Pro
  • unique art style
  • you can customize creatures endlessly in completely ridiculous ways
  • interesting story
  • LOTS to explore and collect

Cons

  • no sequel

I absolutely loved this game, and highly recommend it for anyone looking for recommendations for the winter sale. A lot of games these days are ‘more of the same’. This game? You’ve never played anything like it before.


Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger

Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger

5/10
1.9 hours
no achievements

I have mixed feelings about this game. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't very good either. If you like point & click/HOG type games there are better ones out there. It's vaguely reminiscent of an Artifex Mundi game but with far fewer HOGs. The HOGs in this game aren't the 'collect a bunch of things in the scene' type. Instead you have to get something and use it on something else to get something, etc, until you get something useful. Personally I find HOGs boring so having fewer wasn't a bad thing for me, but the story wasn't terribly interesting either. I also found nearly all of the puzzles really obvious.

Pros

  • no game breaking bugs
  • few/no points where you get stuck on puzzles

Cons

  • a few bugs, but nothing that prevents you from playing the game
  • voice acting isn't very good
  • boring story
  • no challenge
  • in-game achievements (all story progression) but no Steam achievements

SG win. TBH I really only played it because it’s short and I want to reduce my SG backlog. Definitely falls under the ‘why did I enter for this?’ category. Thankfully I’m getting better at avoid those. I said in the review there was no challenge but I also was lazy and used a lot of hints so that may not be entirely true. But all of the solutions were reasonably obvious so I still think it’s easier than Artifex Mundi games.


Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)

Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)

8/10
5.5 hours
15 of 19 achievements

I thoroughly enjoyed this game. It wasn't too difficult and learning about the Iñupiaq was fascinating

Pros:

  • Good graphics style
  • interesting puzzle mechanics
  • not as difficult as a lot of platformers
  • interesting learning about the Iñupiaq

Cons:

  • there was a certain event in chapter 7 that while necessary for the story, as an animal lover I really didn't like

Won this on SG Sunday morning and beat it the same day. Hurray for keeping up with wins! Except I won 2 other games in the last 3 days so I’m not really keeping up. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it for anyone who enjoys learning about other cultures. I intend to pick up the DLC next time it comes on sale.


Coming Up Next

November Play Log II

6%
14%
14%
60%
6%

This wasn’t really a great week for games. Thankfully I have some that look pretty good coming up next.


How to Survive

How to Survive

3/10
8.6 hours
12 of 43 achievements

Even on 'normal' difficulty this game is an exercise in frustration. Health plants are few and far between. The camera can't be controlled and frequently positions itself at awful angles giving you no visibility. With a decent weapon most things can be killed in one head shot, but head shots require more time to aim which you don't have if you're being mobbed by several dozen zombie ostriches (zostriches?). There are probably better ways to take care of mobs so I could get past that part, but it gets boring going back and forth over the same fairly small maps looking for supplies to craft better weapons. If you enjoy very challenging games and don't mind dying very frequently in parts then you'll probably like this. If dying constantly just frustrates you, I suggest you move on.

SG win that I’m finally giving up on. I’m not a fan of really difficult games where you’re constantly dying. This game did have potential and at first I quite liked it, but I kept running into sections I’d have to retry over and over. Eventually I got to a section I couldn’t get passed and realized I wasn’t enjoying the game and was playing it just to beat it and get achievements.


The Tiny Bang Story

The Tiny Bang Story

4/10
3.2 hours
no achievements

I think the entire story here is that an asteroid hit the moon and broke everything and you have to fix it? I dunno, not really much of a story. One of the puzzles relies on you being able to tell the difference between colours with very similar shades. Thankfully I have two monitors because on my main one most of them looked the same. When dragging the window around or alt tabbing though, all colours on that puzzle disappear and you have to start again. Basically it's mediocre if you like HOGs, but if you're not a fan stay away as that's basically the entire game.

If you like HOGs you’ll probably enjoy this, don’t expect a story though. I got this recently, I don’t remember where from though. I liked Artifex Mundi games at first but more because of the story. The HOGs in this game are much better than the more typical ‘here’s a cluttered picture and a list of objects to find’ style. Instead they’re all hidden in the environment. There’s no story though despite the name.


Old Man's Journey

Old Man's Journey

4/10
1.9 hours
no achievements

First let me say that this is a very well made game. I feel bad not recommending it, but I just didn't enjoy it. I suspect I'm in the minority though. I generally enjoy story driven adventure games, but this one just didn't resonate with me. The gameplay consists of moving parts of the landscape around so that the old man can continue his journey. Every once in a while he'll stop and reminisce about his life, which shows you how he got where he is (and hints at where he's going). It arguably has a happy ending, but I just found the story depressing. The gameplay does provide the occasional challenge, but solving them never felt particularly satisfying.

Pros:

  • unique art style that I quite like
  • great soundtrack
  • consistently smooth/bug free gameplay

Cons:

  • personally I found it depressing

I feel bad for giving this one a bad review, but it seems silly giving a good one when I didn’t enjoy it. I think I’m probably in the minority there though. I’d be curious to hear other people’s thoughts.


Escape From BioStation

Escape From BioStation

5/10
1.8 hours
1 of 11 achievements

This game has potential but I reached a point you have to get past a bunch of monsters, but it was just too difficult and couldn't be bothered to repeat it several dozen times before i got past it. It wouldn't have been so bad if the save point was right before that area, but it was a few minutes earlier which made retrying it that much more annoying.

Pros:

  • somewhat humurous
  • has an old-school feel

Cons:

  • too difficult in parts
  • doesn't cooperate nicely with multiple monitors (constantly clicking on the other monitor, had to disable it)

Again, I hate dying repeatedly. It’s not as bad when you start right before the fight, but when you have to trek for 2 minutes to get to it every time it’s just annoying. This game does have potential and I’d like to continue if I could get past the fight I’m stuck at. I may give it another try at some point but for now I’m done with it.


Coming Up Next

November Play Log I

6%
14%
14%
60%
5%

So I already have enough games to make a post and we’re not even a week into the month. Hopefully that means this month will be more productive than the last!


Advent Rising

Advent Rising

6.5/10
5.8 hours
no achievements

First up, fair warning: this game does crash occasionally and it took some forum surfing to figure out how to make it work at all. Also, this is hands down the worst control scheme of any game I've ever played.

That said, it's still worth playing if you don't mind older games. The graphics haven't aged too badly and it has a somewhat interesting story. Horrible controls aside the gameplay is pretty good too, and the music is brilliant. Apparently it was intended to be a trilogy, so the storyline isn't wrapped up at the end, but it does get left of in a logic place as opposed to the random unexpected 'to be continued' sometimes seen.

Lastly, one more (less relevant) criticism. This game appears to have been made by aliens, and the only humans they've ever seen were very tall, very skinny runway models, and were told they were both shorter and fatter than the average human. That's the only conclusion I can reach for why the people in the game look so ridiculously out of proportion.

SG win which I beat a few hours after my previous post. Arbiter Libera pointed out that this was supposed to be part of a trilogy. It’s a pity they didn’t learn from their mistakes in this game and make a sequel, because this could have been a fantastic game if the controls were less frustrating.


Oknytt

Oknytt

8.5/10
4.0 hours
10 of 10 achievements

A charming little game that I thoroughly enjoyed.

  • Very well narrated
  • Great voice acting
  • Nice art style that fits well with the themes
  • Puzzles aren't too difficult
  • Good ending with a nice message

SG win for Playing Appreciated. I thoroughly enjoyed this game. If you enjoy story based point & clicks I highly recommend it.


Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location

Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location

3/10
1.0 hours
no achievements

Crappy attempt at horror:

  • relies on hearing things but is so soft you have to crank the volume
  • cranked volume means the jumpscares are less because you were discovered and more often because the narrator suddenly says something but your volume is way too high
  • you have to wait 1 minute before restarting after being discovered
  • no autosave beyond each day
  • no pause
  • if you alt+tab out of the game you won't be able to use your mouse
  • the atmosphere is less suspenseful and more 'this is ****ed up'

I got this in a humble bundle and regret keeping it. I originally intended it to be for Spooktober but but annoyed when I exited (because I couldn’t alt-tab out) and discovered that the save took me back to the beginning of the night. Given the positive reviews though I decided to give it another try, but trying to beat this game just felt like it would be a repetitive exercise if frustration. Granted I wouldn’t say I’m a ‘fan’ of horrors, but I played through Outlast and quite enjoyed it (of course it helped there was a story there). From what I played, probably 15-20% of the time you’re actually doing something, and the rest you’re simply waiting for the ‘monster’ of the area of f-off. Not my idea of fun.


Maize

Maize

10/10
4.6 hours
no achievements

One of the best games I've played in a while. It's completely random, especially at first you really don't know what your goal is. It's really hilarious though. I also managed to get through the whole thing without referring to a guide. There were a few sections where I got stuck for a while, but it's not overly difficult. A bit expensive for the 4.5hr play time, but definitely worth buying on sale.

10/10 may seem a bit generous but it’s honestly the most enjoyable game I’ve played in a while. Don’t play it if you like feeling like you’ve ‘achieved’ something at the end of the game though. Both the story and gameplay are really random, but it’s a lot of fun. I’m not sure how else to describe it without giving anything away, so you’ll just have to play it.

October Play Log II

6%
13%
15%
61%
5%

Still not as much progress as I’d like :(


I Can't Escape: Darkness

I Can't Escape: Darkness

6/10
5.4 hours
10 of 12 achievements

Somewhat intriguing. Overall the game was well done and the way of providing story/background/etc was good, but also easy to miss some of it. I did find it somewhat repetitive though, and I doubt I'd have figured out how to get through it without a guide. Thankfully this game isn't grindy. If you're patient and enjoy dungeon crawlers then worth considering, if you pass on it though you're not missing an incredible time.

An SG win that I had abandoned. Finally beat it for Spooktober. Overall meh. Guess I’m not a fan of dungeon crawlers.


Outlast

Outlast

7.5/10
15.6 hours
10 of 12 achievements

Overall a really great horror game. This game has both jumpscares and an overall creepy atmosphere/story. There were a few parts where I got stuck or had to try over and over again to proceed without dying, but I think it still struck a reasonably good balance. The one thing I didn't really like was the ending. It's not that I disliked it so much as I found it unsatifying.

Pros

  • good graphics
  • great atmosphere
  • good story (if you collect the documents and notes)

Cons

  • the main characters loud breathing sometimes annoyed me
  • the ending could have been better (or at least less ambiguous)

I don’t recall where I got this. I think I may have bought it on Steam a few years ago. I had started it and forgotten it so I decided restart and beat it for Spooktober. Overall a very good horror game…


Outlast: Whistleblower DLC

Outlast: Whistleblower DLC

3/10
3.2 hours
7 of 8 achievements

No, just no.

Cons

  • way more difficult than the base game
  • way more gory than the base game
  • way more disturbing than the base game
  • much more difficult to hide/escape from enemies
  • you'll spend the majority of the game running from enemies, much less exploring, solving puzzles to advance, etc
  • 3 main enemies - the first 2 don't eventually die and the third's death is anticlimactic and not remotely satisfying
  • you spend most of the second half of the game crippled and walk/run really slowly

Pros

  • the ending is somewhat more satisfying

… the DLC, on the other hand, sucks.


Almost Finished

  • Advent Rising
    Advent Rising

    5.5 hours playtime

    no achievements


Coming Up Next


If I Don’t Get Too Distracted By

October Play Log I

6%
13%
15%
60%
5%

Not much progress so far this month. Partly because I have a friend staying with me for a while, partly because I’ve been spending some time on longer games.


Anna's Quest

Anna's Quest

7/10
7.0 hours
39 of 39 achievements

This was a cute little game that I quite enjoyed. The characters are likeable, the story is good, it's not too tough. I did use consult a walkthrough a few times but I think for people who are better at point & click type puzzles or are more patient it wouldn't be necessary. I wouldn't rate this as a 'must have' for fans of the point & click genre, but IMO it's worth buying if the price is good.

I entered a load of giveaways for this on SG, but never won it so I ended up trading for it. It’s fairly good but not ‘play this now if you have it’ good.


Case #9

Case #9

3/10
0.5 hours
no achievements

This game was strange. It does have potential but it's too incomplete as is. Overall it plays as more of a rough prototype/proof of concept than a full game. I hope the developer learns from this because IMO they could make a decent indie horror game if they took more time to complete it.

  • It's completely unclear what to do when you start the game. I found a playthrough on youtube to figure it out.
  • You find logs around the prison that tell a story, but there is bad grammar at times.
  • The story could be much more fleshed out; as it is it has the bare minimum details.
  • The jumpscares give more of a 'haunted house' vibe than the story the logs tell.
  • It would also be spookier with some background music.
  • It crashed to desktop once while attempting to load.
  • I had to reload and replay the end before I realized that the game was over because I didn't see the small exit sign and there was no ending cutscene (though the youtube playthrough I found did have a nonsensical one).

I really don’t remember where I got this, but it was short and fits with the monthly theme. It does have potential but it’s woefully incomplete as is.


Subsurface Circular

Subsurface Circular

9/10
2.7 hours
13 of 13 achievements

I absolutely loved this game. The entire game takes place with your character sitting on a subway talking to other characters as they come and go. The play style is unique and more enjoyable than it sounds. I really hope the developers make a sequel as I think there is potential to follow up on the story or tell parallel similar stories in the same universe.

An SG win that I’m really glad I won. If you’re a fan of story driven games I highly recommend this.


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