The Evergrowing Backlog stef’s profile

457 down and 328 to go!

Hi! 🙋 My name is Stefani. I’ve been on BLAEO for seven years now. This site has motivated me to play my games and share my love for gaming.


progress

Games Beaten in 2023

Games Beaten in 2022

Games Beaten in 2021

Games Beaten in 2020

Games Beaten in 2019

Games Beaten in 2018

Games Beaten in 2017
 


Steam stats

Total Games: 948 games
Beaten: 364 games
Completed: 93 games
Won’t Play: 196 games
Games left: 328 games
-negative increase in games :)
(Last updated 08/30/23)

Blaeo Stats

Joined: December 2016


End of 2023 Report!

Better late than never. I beat 30 Steam Games this year. It’s less than last year but I have lots of plans to tackle my backlock in 2024!

Here are some games I’ve beaten in December:

Sticky Business

11.9 hours, 26 of 36 achievements
7/10 Dinosaur Stickers

Sticky Business is a simple and cute game where you start your own online sticker shop. You design different stickers using the designs that the game provides you. Make a sticker, add it to your shop and the customers will buy them from you. Then use the in-game currency to buy more designs, packing materials, etc. The game is relaxing and you can move at your own pace. It's a good game if you enjoy art and general creativity.
Sticker Business does get very repetitive after a while. They are consistently updating the game with new stickers, but the overall gameplay mechanic got boring to me towards the end of the game. I would still highly recommend this game if it sounds like something you'd like. It's just so darn adorable and we need more wholesome games that help you unwind after a long day.


Choice of Life: Middle Ages

1.3 hours, 16 of 19 achievements
5/10 solid choice game

Choice of Life is a medieval Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game. It starts when you are born and provides you with two different choices throughout the game. The choices you make will either branch to another path in the game or lead to your demise. It's a simple VN with a good amount of variety.I bought it for $1 and it was fun. It's a short game. I got most of the endings in less than 2 hours. If you like those choose-your-own adventure books, then I'd recommend this one. Especially on sale.


Choice of Life: Middle Ages 2

2.6 hours, 6 of 22 achievements
6/10 a notable improvement from the original

Choice of Life: Middle Ages 2 is similar to the first. A choose-your-own-adventure story that branches to several different paths. This sequel improves on the first by adding more choices, more branching paths, and more endings. In this game, you play the Prince of the Kingdom, and you have to choose how to rule the kingdom and keep yourself alive. The gameplay is the same. It's a VN where you read text and make a choice. You get more variety in the locations you want to visit, which branches the story even more. It's still a short game but its a lot longer than the first one. It's about triple the time if you get all the endings for both.

Overall, if you like choose-your-own adventure books, I recommend this game, especially on sale!


I just wanted to say, thank you all for the wonderful year. I’ve loved reading all of your reviews, even if I haven’t commented on most of them (which i want to do more). BLAEO has gotten me through some tough times and this year has not been an exception. I can’t wait to continue this backlock defeating journey! And with that, here are some–

end of the year stats 🥳

Favorite Game Beaten This Year:

I loved everything about this game, flaws and all. I know its hit or miss for people, but its a truly unique experience that gave me everything I was looking for in a game.

Favorite Runner Up!

I didnt quite understand the story, but the rest was chefs kiss. The animation, the gameplay, the variety of levels, and the clever fourth wall breaks.

Least Favorite Game Beaten This Year:

“Inspired” by the game OFF but with no clear intention. A bunch of random = funny humor and an annoying game-breaking bug that involved messing with the files to fix.

Biggest Surprise:

  • Anglerfish

    4.8 hours playtime

    no achievements

Never heard of this game before getting it on heavy discount. Such a unique, strange, and unpredictable experience. A surprise in all the right ways.

Biggest Disappointment

I was between this and Afterparty, but the more I thought about this one the more disappointed I was. I enjoyed the idea behind the story, but the execution was just so boring. I can understand why people like it, but I think games like Life is Strange did much better with the narrative. Also I bought this full price and it became free after.

Hope everyone has a Happy 2024!

End of October/November Update!

 
October is the month I play as many horror/halloween themed games as I can, but lifes been busy so I extended this to November as well. Most of my time has gone towards BG3 and Alan Wake 2 but I’m excited to participate in some of the recent BLAEO activities.
 

Afterparty

8.2 hours, 10 of 23 achievements
5/10 Not enough drinking

Afterparty is a dark comedy game that was made by the same developers of Oxenfree. When this game was announced, I was extremely excited. I love Oxenfree and the premise of Afterparty seems so ridiculous and fun. 

In Afterparty, you play as best friends Milo and Lola, who have been recently sent to hell and now must outdrink the devil in order to escape. The game had some good moments, but overall, I thought it was disappointing. The hook is great, but it never lives up to it. The main characters aren't very likeable, and the drama is lacking. Where the minimal gameplay in Oxenfree was still engaging and carried by the atmosphere and plot, Afterparty feels like a chore. I got to a point in the middle where I thought I was going to get to the meat of the story. Instead, it told me I had to do this, get that, and take it to this, and do that, and this…. it felt like a short game that was still trying to pad out the time with tedious quests.

As harsh as I am on the game, I didn't hate it. I love the art and the atmosphere. The voice acting is good, and some of the humor hits. I don't think it's a bad game, and if you play it before Oxenfree, it's probably even better. Especially since I do compare games, whether I like to or not. Overall, I think its an average game. Between the thumbs up and thumbs down. I personally would not recommend this game unless youre a big Night School Studio Fan. 

Steam Deck Compatibility: Afterparty is verified on the steam deck and it works great! I didn't have any issues


Anglerfish

4.8 hours, no achievements
8/10 would die again

Anglerfish is a good game, and I'm surprised it's not more popular!

To celebrate a bachelor party, you and your friends go to a bar called Anglerfish. From there, some crazy sh*t happens. The game has some interesting mechanics. You will die many times while playing, and every time you die, the game saves, and something changes. Keep dying and keep going until you can get to the end of the mystery. 

I want to be vague in this review. My advice is to go into the game blind. Anglerfish is weird, creative, funny, random, and spooky.  I didn't really understand the story, and I'm not sure the story even mattered. I think it was more about the journey than the destination. I was along for the ride the whole time. The atmosphere was spot on, and I managed to do multiple playthroughs even though I'm not the type of person to do so. 

This game isn't for everyone, and it can feel like trial and error at times. There will be a lot of repetition of the same tasks. To counter that, the game does change to make it easier or less choresome if you are struggling at a part. 

Anglerfish isn't for everyone, but I would recommend it both on sale or off sale. I had a blast and I can easily see it catching popularity at some point.

Steam Deck Compatibility: The status of Anglerfish on the Steam Deck is "unknown." It's not verified, but I didn't have any issues. There is a short section of the game where you have to aim a weapon with crosshairs and use quick reaction time, which was difficult with the trackpad. Luckily it didn't last super long. Other than that, it works great on the deck.


Sally Face - Episode One

1.6 hours, 3 of 35 achievements
6/10 promising start

Sally Face: Episode 1 is a side-scrolling horror game where you play as a young boy with a prosthetic face who just moved into some new apartments with his dad. As he gets to know his neighbors, he discovers a mystery involving a murder.

I only played Episode 1 of Sally Face, but so far it has had a promising start. It raised a lot of questions and definitely had a creepy atmosphere. The art is nice, and I have no idea how the story will continue if I decide to purchase the rest of the game.

The puzzles are pretty straightforward. The first episode is just about going to different rooms and talking to different neighbors. It wasn't super engaging, but I can tell it will improve as the episodes go on. Overall, a good start. I would recommend checking it out.

Steam Deck Compatibility: Sally Face is verified on the Steam Deck and I didn't have any problems.**


The Typing of The Dead: Overkill

4.6 hours, 13 of 33 achievements
7/10 I can finally win fights with words

Typing of the Dead Overkill is an on-rail shooter, but with your keyboard as the weapon. You are in a zombie apocalypse and will visit multiple areas infested with zombies. Words will pop up on the screen, and successfully typing out the words will kill the zombies. The game perfectly imitates low-budget 70's-80's action horror movies.
The humor isn't my cup, especially because I didn't grow up with cheesy horror movies, but it's a perfect way to practice something useful while never making it feel like a chore. I took a typing class in school. I'm a very fast typer now, but the class was so incredibly boring. I wish I knew about this game back then! 
The game is great, but I do have one complaint. The final boss battle was designed horribly. For all of the boss battles, you have to type out words to defeat the bosses, but in the final fight, it gives you a prompt and tells you to type out as many words as you can relating to that prompt. It makes the fight either impossible or the easiest fight ever. The reason is because thinking of answers to the prompts is too hard. The story and characters are generic, which makes specific adjectives hard to find in the short time you have. On the other hand, the game registers any word you type in, so you can just spam anything (not even words, just alskdfhlaskhdfsh) and it will register as a word and win you the fight. It was a fantastic idea in theory but the execution failed.
Other than that, I can't say anything bad about the game. It's corny and dumb, but that's the point. It's great for improving your WPM and even better for beginner typers. It has different difficulties, so it's suited for any skill level. There are also extra modes that I didn't even explore. I recommend this game for improving your typing!


Next Time:

  • Baldur's Gate 3

    124 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • Higurashi When They Cry Hou - Rei

    3 hours playtime

    3 of 7 achievements

  • Far Cry Primal

    40 minutes playtime

    no achievements

  • Cleo - a pirate's tale

    0 minutes playtime

    0 of 24 achievements

  • Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth

    2 minutes playtime

    0 of 41 achievements

  • Slay the Princess

    45 minutes playtime

    0 of 97 achievements

  • Echoes of the Fey: The Last Sacrament

    5 hours playtime

    4 of 21 achievements

  • Marvel's Avengers - The Definitive Edition

    0 minutes playtime

    0 of 50 achievements

  • Night Call

    0 minutes playtime

    0 of 45 achievements

End of the Month(s) Stats:

Games Beaten This Month (oct-nov) Afterparty, Anglerfish, Sally Face - Episode One, The Typing of the dead: Overkill
Least favorite game this month: Afterparty
Most Exciting New Edition: Alan Wake 2
Best Contender for Next Month: Baldur’s Gate 3
Biggest disappointment: Afterparty
Hidden Gem: Anglerfish
Biggest surprise: Anglerfish

Late End of September Update!

 
I’ve been too lazy to make this post but now I have to because its spooky game season and I’m excited to play as many horror games as possible! I’m also going to be tackling my PoP games and try to beat them all. I hope everyone has a great October!
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Cat Cafe Manager

13.9 hours, 43 of 62 achievements
6/10 Can Pet Cats

Cat Cafe Manager is a cozy little cafe management game where you rebuild your grandmother's cafe from the ground up. Different types of customers will visit your cafe (such as Witches, Punks, Artists, etc) and each type will give you a specific type of currency as payment. You can use the currency on specific stores to purchase things for your cafe or cats. Each type of person also likes certain types of food.

It's a casual game with minimal story. The fun comes from customizing your cafe. You can choose your employees, which cats to adopt, and what type of furniture to decorate with. There is a large variety of furniture options to make your cafe feel like your own. There are also some fun and creative cat designs.

Overall, its an adorable and fun game. You serve food, decorate your cafe, interact with cats, etc. There isn't really a penalty for doing badly other than taking longer to obtain currency. It's perfect for someone who wants a casual relaxing game. It does get repetitive fairly quickly and goes on a bit too long. I would recommend it on sale.

Steam Deck Compatibility: This game is Verified on the Steam Deck. Overall, it worked very well. There was a bug when adopting and trying to name a cat; it would freeze up sometimes and erase the name, causing me to retype it again. It could be just a game bug.


Inscryption

22.4 hours, 22 of 40 achievements
8/10 A mix between Undertale, Slay the Spire, and Hand of Fate

Inscryption is a deck-building puzzle card game with a strong and unique narrative. You find yourself stuck in a cabin with no idea how you got there, and you're forced to play games with a being called Leshy. The game is full of fun strangeness and adventure, and it kept me hooked throughout.
I'm usually terrible at deck-building and card games, but the game does a really good job at explaining how to play. It also has an interesting story with meta undertones. The graphics are great, and the gameplay provides plenty of variety. If you like unique and strange narratives like Pony Island or the Hex you will probably like this game.

I would have given Inscryption a higher score, but there are some things that hold it back. The beginning of the game is actually my favorite, and I didn't enjoy the rest of the game as much. I still really loved it, but it starts out the strongest in my opinion. Also, after finishing the game, I looked up the lore to clear up some confusion, and I discovered that a chunk of the lore was not presented in this game and had to be discovered elsewhere. I believe part of the story comes from the game "The Hex" (which I didn't remember the story) and maybe some other source. I personally like the full story to be discovered in the game, unless it is said to be a direct sequel. Even if there are just clues to the story, I don't mind as long as all the stepping stones are in the game to lead me to the right conclusion. This is just a personal pet peeve of mine and might not affect anyone else. Either way, I definetely recommend this game off sale or on sale!

Steam Deck Compatibility: Inscryption is "Playable" on the Steam Deck but not yet verified. It did work very well, but it took me some time to get used to using the trackpad for the entire game. Its slower than a mouse, so its playable, but it might be more enjoyable on a PC. Also, there was a moment where you had to type in the game, and I had trouble pulling up the keyboard without pausing the game. A workaround for that is to press the keyboard buttons one at a time slowly, instead of at the same time.


Mythic Ocean

3.2 hours, 15 of 33 achievements
6/10 Has a fun and unique concept

Mythic Ocean is a narrative-driven choice game. You find yourself in the ocean with no memories of who you are. You then meet different gods and discover that you have a choice to change this world and choose who builds the new one. The gameplay is mainly exploration of the ocean and talking to different NPCs. You make choices that change the ending.

I think this is a very creative concept, I really enjoyed it and I would love to see an update or sequel that expands on it! It feels a little to short, and I could see a bigger and better game coming from this. Overall, fun game! Moving through the ocean feels satisfying and fluid, and I liked the different characters. I'd recommend it more on sale just because of the length.

Steam Deck Compatibility: Mythic Ocean is "playable" on steam deck and not yet verified. It works great though! Movement is great and I didn't have any issues at all!


Life is Strange 2

17.1 hours, 21 of 46 achievements
6/10 These games continue to make me emotional

This game is very divided among LIS fans, and I can totally see why. Overall, I did enjoy it, but I was on the fence for a lot of it. I played this game after Life is Strange 1, Before the Storm, and True Colors. I liked those games more, so playing this last probably affected my opinion. I'll write a spoiler review at the bottom to share all my opinions. 

Life is Strange 2 follows two brothers: Sean and Daniel Diaz. After an incident that went horribly wrong involving the police and the death of their father, the two brothers are on the run, and Daniel has discovered he has a new power.

First off, I really liked the main character. You play as Sean Diaz. He's the older brother to Daniel, and he has to lead the two to Mexico to evade the police. He is way over his head, but he still tries his best, and he cares about his little brother. 

The game also tackles some heavy topics, like racism and religion. It also features some very lovable side characters. I think the game does a great job at introducing characters throughout your journey and having them stand out in a positive way. They also do a great job at making the terrible, hateful characters stand out in a horrible way. 

I loved the atmosphere. I wish there was more soundtrack since these games like to use indie sounds, and it would have worked so well with the different locations and the open nature throughout the game. The tension is also great. I felt a lot of anxiety while on the journey. The atmosphere switches between both beautiful and nerve-wracking.

There are a good amount of choices in the game that actually do effect the game. I didn't realize a lot of choices existed until I got to the end of the chapter and compared my choices to others. Most choices were not very polarizing, but maybe it depends on what playstyle you're going for. 

A big thing I didn't like was the pacing. I felt bored playing a lot of the game. The other LIS games felt more interactive. You can't play as Daniel, so you don't get to play with the powers or solve puzzles. The gameplay feels very basic, other than finding collectibles. I usually don't mind minimal gameplay, but it is coupled with poor pacing. Some chapters are a lot of fun, and others  draaag. Some chapters are very long, and others are very short. 

Another problem i had was with Daniel himself. I'll add more in my spoiler review, but the game makes him a little too unlikable for too long, to the point where it's hard to fix his character later on. I spent most of the game feeling sympathetic towards Sean and hoping that Daniel improved as a character. I also have some thoughts on the ending, but I'll include that at the bottom. 

Overall, I've enjoyed every Life is Strange game and I'd recommend this one on sale. . 

Steam Deck Compatibility Life is Strange 2 is verified on Steam Deck and works great! I had zero issues. 

Spoiler review:
I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. I'm open to hearing other people's opinions on it. I hated it at first because it felt like my good choices led to bad endings. I know LIS 1 had a sad ending, but that was more of a mystery game in which you solved the mystery only to realize the tragedy of it all. It was meant to happen the whole time.

This was an adventure where you had one goal in mind, which was to get to Mexico and stick together. It seems like every ending has you failing that mission. I taught Daniel to be kind and not to hurt others, but because of that, Sean had to separate from him, most likely never seeing him again and always watching his back. If he teaches Daniel not to care about others, then Sean either ends up dead or with a brother who uses his powers for bad things. Either that, or Sean ends up in jail for 15 years as a cop killer. I figured that was one of the worst ending since his childhood is wasted; he could get physical or psychological damage from that, and it ends up on his permanent record. I didn't want to spend this entire journey getting to Mexico just to get arrested at the last second, like a Monty Python skit.

Also, they didn't tell us until the last chapter that Daniel would not face any repercussions from any of it (except house arrest), so instead of going on the run with Daniel, he would have been way safer staying behind at the beginning. He risked his life and lived outside for nothing.

I guess I wanted some kind of good ending since it felt like a long journey where so many sacrifices were made, just to end with a depressing conclusion. I am glad that my choices in the game did impact the ending and that there were so many different endings which is really nice.

Other than the ending, my only other problem was how they wrote Daniels character. I really wanted to like him more. He's young, and he's been through trauma, so it's understandable that he lashes out. The problem is just that they made him way too unlikable for far too long. The more I had Sean root for him, trust him, and support him, the worse he acted. He would do all the wrong things, go against my judgment, and take everyone's side but mine. I did get the high morality ending, but it was like Daniel was fighting Sean the entire way until the last chapter. I feel like my choices should have had more impact on helping him cope while also not being his punching bag. Sean also deserves happiness. Most of the conflict was caused by Daniel purposely not listening, which kept causing real consequences.

On a positive note, I really liked the side characters. Chapter 3 was my favorite. All the characters in that chapter felt like real people, and it was nice to see Sean and Daniel adapt to these different situations. Also, it was really exciting to see Chris again from the Captain Spirit game. I enjoyed that game a lot and I really wanted to see a full game with Chri-.. er..  I mean Captain Spirit!

Also David made a return from Life is Strange 1. It made me tear up hearing about Chloe. Overall enjoyed myself, would like to see a remake fix some problems though!


End of August Update!

Hey everyone. Hope things are going well. I’ll probably do less gaming this week since the hurricane is giving us some real bad weather. Other than that there’s been work and a whole lot of Baldurs Gate taking up my time. I wish everyone a fantastic September!

 

Bayonetta

16 hours, 21 of 50 achievements
7/10 strawberry lollipops

Bayonetta was chosen for my PoP and was also a SG win.

If I'm totally honest, I don't like hack n slash games. I think I've tried three different games in the Devil May Cry series because I wanted to like it soo much. I could never finish a game. With that in mind, I did at least finish Bayonetta. I'll try to judge the game based on its quality and not my preferences. 

The very first thing that happens upon hitting "new game" is that you are thrown into a giant battle of epic proportions with no idea how you got there. That really sets the tone for the whole game. The game throws you in the middle of this story, and it is unapologetic about its approach. At first I was confused, but now I absolutely love that about this game. As you play, things get more clear, and you can learn a lot about the witches and other parts of the lore.

Let's get this out of the way. Bayonetta is a sex icon. A girlboss if you will. There is a lot of fan service, and she's always showing off her… assets. She owns her sexuality and uses it to murder her enemies, so I 100% support all of Bayonetta's decisions. 

My least favorite thing is the gameplay, and that's just because I don't like this type of gameplay. I'm sure its fantastic, and I'm just terrible. There are a lot of fun combos you can do and spells you can unlock. There is a LOT of fighting, so make sure that's something you like before going in. It takes up most of the game. I didn't even care about the score I got at the end of the chapters because it didn't change. I stayed in the stone/bronze range the whole way through. I am a failure and I'm proud.

My absolute favorite thing about the game was the scale of everything. So many areas were massive, and the bosses were even more so. The game was beautiful, and the level and character designs were on a whole other level. It looked amazing, and I couldn't believe how well they were able to scale these arenas and bosses to feel like this big epic fight.  The game is incredibly hard (or at least it was for me), but it's very much worth it for that sense of accomplishment you get after every fight. 

Overall, this isn't my type of game, but I'm glad I played it. I don't think I'll play the sequels, but it was fun to try something outside of my comfort zone and gain an appreciation for this genre. If this is your type of game, I 100% recommend it. Also I did not play this on the steam deck, so no comment on how well it works there.


OXENFREE II: Lost Signals

7.4 hours, 11 of 27 achievements
7/10 triangles in the sky

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals takes place 5 years after the first game. It does stand on its own, but having prior knowledge of the first game does add a lot of context to the sequel. I'd recommend playing this one after the first. 

We play as newcomer Riley, who just took a job setting up radio transmitters to help study radio anomolies. She is joined by a new coworker named Jacob, who will travel with you on this journey. This is mostly a creepy walking simulator with dialogue choices, and the gameplay consists of setting up these transmitters. 

I have a mostly positive opinion of this game. It's hard to make a sequel live up to such a great first game, but they do a really good job. 

I like the narrative and the main characters. Oxenfree is a very story-driven game, so it's important that the narrative carries the game. There are moments that definetely impacted me. The game is also fully voiced, like the first game, and the voice actors do a very good job at bringing their characters to life.  

There were a few things that made me like the first game better. I thought the first game was a lot creepier. Maybe because I know what to expect going into the sequel, but I was hoping it would surprise me. It just didn't add enough new mechanics to set the bar higher. It's also a little boring, for lack of a better word. There is a lot of walking and backtracking, but not enough engaging things to fill that gap time. It definitely picks up in the second half, though. 

Overall, I still think this is a great game. The story is great, the characters are likable, the visuals are fantastic, and there are some truly creepy moments, even if the first one scared me more. I also like that the walkie-talkie and radio play a bigger part in this game. If they make another Oxenfree, I will gladly play it!


Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

3.3 hours, 9 of 9 achievements
6/10 colorful birds

Alba is a wholesome, cozy wildlife game about a young girl named Alba. Alba loves animals, and during her summer vacation to her grandparents house, she decides to study and help every animal on the island. Meanwhile, a big corporation is planning to replace the wildlife preserve with their fancy new hotel. Together with her best friend Ines, Alba tries to stop the hotel while also meeting lots of animal friends on the way.

This game is adorable. Alba has an app on her phone that displays an animal's information when she snaps a photo of it. The game consists of you going around the island, taking pictures of different animals (mostly bird species), and helping the community with different tasks. The gameplay is minimal but very relaxing, and it hits that part of the brain that feels good about positive accomplishments.

If I had a small gripe, it would be that when you take pictures of animals, they show up as a premade image of that animal instead of the picture you captured. It's not exactly a photography game, so I understand that it would be hard to implement that, but I played a lot of Toem before this so I'm spoiled.

Overall, Alba is a cozy game that is worth your time. I recommend it when you are stressed or just want to unwind after a long day.


Boyfriend Dungeon

12.6 hours, 45 of 45 achievements
7/10 dateable weapons

I don't know what I expected when I went into this game, but it was even weirder than that. Boyfriend Dungeon is a Rougelike… Dungeon-Crawler… Romance Sim?

Your family is worried about you. You're shy and awkward, and you've never been on a date in your life! Your cousin lets you stay rent-free in his old apartment at Verona Beach, encouraging you to socialize and meet some new people. You also take up a job fighting in the dungeons and leveling up your weapons, which also serves as therapy to help tackle your deepest fears and insecurities. Did I mention that your weapons are human/weapon hybrids and you have the potential to fall in love with all of them? 

Dungeon Boyfriend is strange, and it knows it. It embraces its strangeness, which leads to a pretty memorable game. I don't want to get into the mechanics too much to avoid spoilers, but it's half dungeon crawler and half dating sim. There are a lot of characters to romance, or you can choose to just be friends. The game is very lenient about letting you choose how you want to approach each character. Even the dungeon-crawling portions are very forgiving. The game is not very difficult and is better for casual players of the roguelike genre. 

I enjoyed this game. I thought I'd hate it but I ended up getting all the achievements, which is not something I usually care about. I can see opinions being very divisive about the characters. Some were good, and others were… not boyfriend material. They each have very different personalities, so I can see the ranking being vastly different for everyone. The game is also LGBTQ-friendly, which is nice.

I ended up romancing everyone to get the achievement, but also because the most fun part was completing everything I could in the game. There were definitely some things that held the game back. There are only three dungeons (two are needed to complete the game) with around 12 floors each. Once you find everything, there isn't any replay value. The characters also felt like they fell a little short. Each romance had an anticlimactic conclusion. It's like the game had some really good ideas but just kind of… felt short. I can see a sequel really improving on this initial concept. 

Overall, the game is a gimmick, but the gimmick is fun and interesting I also recommend it for casual players. I found myself enganged in this universe and accepting every weird thing that was revealed to me. Also, Pocket is best character. Both weapon and character If you know, you know. 


Next Time: (always subject to change!)

  • Baldur's Gate 3

    58 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • Blacksad

    59 minutes playtime

    1 of 39 achievements

  • Maneater

    38 minutes playtime

    3 of 44 achievements

  • No Place Like Home

    6 minutes playtime

    0 of 158 achievements

End of July Update!

 
Hope everyone is doing well! Work has had me stressed out lately so I decided to hook my old gamecube up again. I found some games for it recently and I was feeling nostalgic. Maybe I’ll do some classic gamecube reviews. Other than that, I’m working on my Challenge Me and POP games. There are so many great choices so I’m excited for next month. GLHF everyone!
 

TOEM

10.4 hours, 39 of 48 achievements
8/10 a cozy wholesome photography game

Toem is a hand-drawn photography game. You are on a mission to get to the top of the mountain, but on the way, you visit different areas, take lots of pictures, do missions, and meet quirky and fun characters This game is absolutely adorable. The puzzles are creative, and there is so much little detail in the game. The art style is perfect for the tone. It truly feels unique in every way. The gameplay consists of you helping the community in each area to move on to the next one. You have to take pictures of your objectives, but you are free to take pictures of anything and everything you want. You can even name the pictures :D

It's cozy. It's wholesome. It's perfect for a bad day. If you want games like A Short Hike but with photography, then definitely check this out.

Steam Deck Compatibility: Toem is Steam Deck verified. It works great with no issues, unless you choose to name your pictures. You have to do it manually by pulling up the deck keyboard with steam + x. Unfortunately, even if hit at the same time, this also kept pulling me out of the game and into the library, not closing the game entirely but causing a minor inconvenience. Also, typing can be slow when naming multiple pictures, but it is well worth it!


Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure

5 hours, 21 of 36 achievements
3/10 Not terrible, but not good either

Ice Age Scrat's Nutty Adventure is a 3D platformer, starring our favorite annoying little squirrel, Scrat. I've only seen the first Ice Age movie, but this looks like a stand-alone story with little plot, so no prior knowledge is necessary. This game wasn't awful, but it just felt kind of… lifeless. There are a lot of bugs, the levels were boring, and the combat was very surface level and repetitive. It just feels a little awkward to play. The graphics looked okay, and the humor seemed to be on par with the films. There isn't anything inherently offensive about the game; it just felt like one of those soulless movie tie-ins. If you are a big fan of Ice Age, then maybe give it a try. If you are just playing because you love 3D platformers like I do, then maybe wait for a better option.

Steam Deck Compatibility: This game is playable but not verified on the Steam Deck. Everything worked well, and I had no issues playing it on the deck. 


Shelter 2

3 hours, 3 of 26 achievements
5/10 a wonderful idea but could be executed better

Shelter 2 is a survival game in which you are a mother Lynx who must survive and keep her babies alive until their adulthood. I have a love/hate relationship with this game, which is why I gave it a 5/10 rating. I love the idea behind Shelter, and I really enjoyed the first game. The first game was more linear, whereas this one allows you to openly explore the map. I didn't like the fact that there wasn't a clear goal. Unless you enjoy getting the collectibles, there wasn't any incentive to really explore since you gained nothing from it and it usually led to more deaths of your cubs. The game is very vague on what to do, which is a point of enjoyment for some but a point of heavy confusion for me. 

The art style is very beautiful. All of the Shelter games have this art style. It's very cute and unique. The Lynx cubs look absolutely adorable. I used to love playing the game "Meadow" before it lost most of its playerbase, so the art is very nostalgic to me. My only issue with the style is that the cubs really blend into the background, making it hard to see them and keep them alive. I thought there was a way to pull up the cubs names since you can name them. I tried everything, but as far as I know, you are not able to see the names you gave them. 

Overall, Shelter 2 struggles with the balance between realistic and boring. I say this with a very opinionated review since the game has received very positive reception. I thought the areas looked very bland, and the gameplay was way too simplistic. There is also a balancing issue. Believe it or not, during the entire first run of the game I played, I didn't run into a single enemy or threat to my cubs. Absolutely nothing happened. I did explore the whole map, but still, I only lost one cub due to hunger or cold.. It was a little unclear. But no enemies. no threats at all, other than their insatiable appetite. I then played it a second time, and ran into a few predators. This left a bad first impression because I was very nervous but disappointed at the same time. I didn't have an objective, I didn't have a threat. I spent the whole time just running around and biting animals. If you remove the threats, the game is very barebones. 

On the positive side, once you beat the game, you can replay it over and over by using the children of the previous Lynx you were playing. You can create an entire family tree the more you play the game. That's a really neat way to do a new game +. I still love the idea behind Shelter. The fear and hopelessness of raising your cubs in the dangerous tundra. Especially when they are so frickin cute. Who doesn't love lynxes. I would still rank this lower than other games in the Shelter series made by Might and Delight. Just for fun, I'd rank Meadow first. Back when they used to have a large playerbase. Now you can't really play Meadow at all. But that would have been first, followed by Shelter 1. After that, I'd put Paws, and lastly, Shelter 2. I haven't played Shelter 3, but from the reviews, I'm guessing that would probably be in last place.

Steam Deck Compatibility: Shelter 2 is not steam deck verified. The status is "unknown." I had a lot of issues playing with the steam deck. I wasn't going to blame the game itself since it's not Steam-verified. But after googling, it looks like the issues are happening to everyone who tries to play the game with a controller. The game says it is compatible with controllers, but it doesn't seem to be. The biggest issue is about 30 seconds into the game. The tutorial that pops up shows you how to jump, but you can't bypass that on the controller. You are stuck on the jump screen forever. I Googled a workaround and fixed it, but that and many issues appear if you play with controller. Overall, I do not recommend using a controller or a steam deck. Play on the keyboard and mouse instead!


Next Time:

There are plenty of games i’ll be checking out next month. These are just some of them. Happy gaming everyone!

  • Bayonetta

    4 hours playtime

    5 of 50 achievements

  • Re:Call

    7 hours playtime

    9 of 11 achievements

  • Higurashi When They Cry Hou - Rei

    3 hours playtime

    3 of 7 achievements

  • OXENFREE II: Lost Signals

    2 hours playtime

    1 of 27 achievements

  • SteamWorld Dig 2

    5 hours playtime

    8 of 34 achievements

  • Mr. Saitou

    0 minutes playtime

    0 of 10 achievements

  • Cyberpunk 2077

    13 hours playtime

    3 of 44 achievements

End of June Update!

 

My Child Lebensborn

5.6 hours, 48 of 64 achievements
7/10 hard to play and hard to forget

Warning: I will be talking about tiny little spoilers in this review. Not plot points, but more like the gameplay and the tone of the game. 

My Child Lebensborn is a story-driven simulation game about raising an adopted child. The game takes place after World War 2, and you get to decide if you want to adopt a German boy named Klaus or a German girl named Karin. The game consists of caring for your child, comforting them, dealing with hardships, and trying to give them the best life possible. You choose what actions you want to take throughout the day, whether it's buying and cooking food, reading bedtime stories, going out, etc. Your time is limited, so you have to choose wisely. There are other choices you can make, but they don't lead to multiple endings. The choices are mostly dialogue options that can change how your child reacts to things. 

There is a clear message the developers wanted to convey with this game. It could have felt moralizing or like a bad history lesson, but it doesn't. It puts you in the shoes of someone in that time period and in that situation. My Child Lebensborn does a fantastic job at spreading a message, educating, and having me glued to the game the whole time. This game truly makes you feel like a parent. Every happy moment is exciting, and every emotional moment hits like a ton of bricks. Just be aware before you play, there are some difficult topics in this game. 

Overall, this game is not a masterpiece, but to me, it is masterfully crafted at having you walk in someone else's shoes and see the world through someone else's eyes. 


Growing Up

4.2 hours, 19 of 62 achievements
5/10 good ideas but needs to be longer

Growing Up is a life simulation game where you start out as a baby and end the game at your high school graduation. You pick skills you want to learn and train them, and then after each day you access a tree of traits such as intelligence, strength, etc. You pick which traits you want and then use those to unlock more skills that you practice. There is also a story where you can make choices that lead to different endings. This leads to a Candy Crush-like minigame that decides your grade for the year. There are probably a lot of differences depending on which skills you decide to learn and who you interact with in the story. I didn't love the game, so I only did one playthrough. I'm sure it's a lot better if you do more than one. 

For me, the game just went by way too fast. It didn't feel like I had time to explore or decide what skills I wanted to focus on. I would enjoy the game a lot more if I could take my time and explore a little more. On top of the skills, you also have to keep your mental health high by doing fun activities, but a lot of fun activities upset your parents. Then you have to keep your parents expectations high, accomplish the goals that they give you each week, and focus on chores if you want to buy things that help your skills. There are also rewards that can take up entire days, and you can visit different areas, which unlock more things. Basically, there is a lot to do in the game and not nearly enough time to do it all, or even a portion. I know that replayability is highly encouraged, but I like to get the most out of my games on the first run. 

This game has a lot going for it, and it's well done, but I liked the idea more than the execution. 


End of the Month Stats:

Games Beaten This Month: Imposter Factory, Untitled Goose Game, A Story Beside, Scheming Through the Zombie Apocalypse, My Child Lebensborn, Growing Up
Favorite Game This Month: A Story Beside
Least favorite game this month: Growing Up
Most Exciting New Edition: Higurashi When They Cry Hou - Rei
Biggest disappointment: Growing Up
Hidden Gem: Scheming Through the Zombie Apocalypse
Biggest surprise: My Child Lebensborn

Next Month

  • STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order™

    8 hours playtime

    3 of 39 achievements

  • Resident Evil Village

    9 hours playtime

    11 of 56 achievements

  • Sun Haven

    27 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • TOEM

    9 hours playtime

    33 of 48 achievements

  • Bayonetta

    4 hours playtime

    5 of 50 achievements

  • Re:Call

    3 hours playtime

    6 of 11 achievements

  • Maneater

    35 minutes playtime

    3 of 44 achievements

  • Dead Island

    2 hours playtime

    0 of 48 achievements

  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky

    2 hours playtime

    0 of 27 achievements

  • Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure

    25 minutes playtime

    5 of 36 achievements

  • No Place Like Home

    6 minutes playtime

    0 of 158 achievements

  • Road 96: Mile 0

    81 minutes playtime

    0 of 15 achievements

  • Higurashi When They Cry Hou - Rei

    0 minutes playtime

    0 of 7 achievements

  • Mr. Saitou

    0 minutes playtime

    0 of 10 achievements

Mid June Update!

Were a little more than halfway through the month and I finally beat enough games to make a midway update.
 

Impostor Factory

4 hours, 1 of 1 achievements
7/10 another emotional journey from Freebird Games

Imposter Factory is a game made by Freebird Games and is the fourth game in the "To the Moon" series. It isn't required that you play the other games to understand this one. You will get more out of the story if you have played the others because there are little Easter eggs that refer back to previous games.

The game contains three major acts. The first part was the most interesting to me. It has the most mystery. The next two acts are more straightforward and story-heavy. The final act was my least favorite, but in the end, it still hits you with a powerful conclusion. 

Imposter Factory is, in my opinion, beautifully written and just as emotionally impactful as the others. I would personally rank it in second place. Behind "To the Moon" but in front of "Finding Paradise." The gameplay is very simplistic. It has even less gameplay than the others. Walking and reading make up all of the gameplay. It's pretty much a visual novel or a walking simulator. If that doesn't bother you then I definetely recommend the game. Especially if you are a fan of the others!


Untitled Goose Game

3.5 hours, 5 of 25 achievements
6/10

In untitled Goose Game, you play a menacing goose who is on a mission to terrorize the locals and cause fear amongst your neighbors, one honk at a time.

The game is short, fun, and very indie. You are given a check list of things to do, which usually involves messing with the people in town. The gameplay is mostly finding solutions to the puzzles on the checklist. The real appeal is getting to play a meddling goose. 

Even if there is a list of objectives, you can still go around and trigger other events that aren't listed on the paper. The solutions are fun to solve, and if you want to maximize gameplay, you can ignore the list and try to find the solutions on your own. I'm not a huge fan of puzzles, so I just breezed through it, but the game could probably be stretched to more than double my playtime. There are also post-game objectives that I haven't completed yet! 

Overall its very short but also very charming. I recommend it, but maybe on sale since it has been out for a while now. 


A Story Beside

6.7 hours, 13 of 16 achievements
7/10 another game that masters emotional storytelling

A Story Beside is a story-driven rpg-maker game with choices. It takes place in a world with warriors, brave heroes, and treacherous villains. Shadows that plague the town, causing death and destruction….  but you don't need to worry about any of that.. You play as a girl named Lyric, who runs a cozy inn with her family in a quiet mountain village called Pyreside. Lyric doesn't care much for warriors and definitely isn't the type to go on adventures. She is content just living the small village life.

What makes this game different from others is that it's an rpg fantasy game told entirely through the eyes of a bystander. An innocent civilian who just wants to live a cozy, normal life in a small town. As you play, you jump through different time periods of Lyric's life and make choices that affect the villagers, your life, and the town you live in. After tragedy strikes the village, you will grow and connect with your character, Lyric, and all of her neighbors. The choices in the game actually do make a big impact on the story. There are choices that you don't know are choices, and there are choices that affect the game hours after you've made them.

Overall, A Story Beside has a beautiful and touching story. It touches on subjects such as family, friendship, tragedy, sacrifices, struggles, and just how we view the life that we live every day. This game isn't for people who want an action adventure game. It has minimal gameplay and is very story heavy. 

I would give the game a much higher score if there wasn't a few issues I had with it. It does have a few bugs. Most of them minor but there is a very annoying one that made me restart the game at least 3 times. Occasionally, when I clicked on something to examine it, the game would get stuck on the dialogue box and freeze.

Another issue is the replayability. It actually has great replay value due to the choices, but there aren't any settings that make it easier or more fun the second time around. The walking speed for Lyric is slow, and there isn't an option to skip the long scenes that play out. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this game. If you want to know what it's like to play a civilian in a hero centric world, this is the game for you. 


Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse: The Beginning

2.8 hours, 10 of 19 achievements
6/10 a hidden gem if you enjoy dark comedy

Scheming Through the Zombie Apocalypse is a story-driven comedy game about a dog and an old rabbit trying to survive the apocalypse. You spend most of the game convincing other animals to scavenge resources and occasionally making small choices. It's labeled as a point-and-click game, but it's more like a visual novel. The appeal comes mostly from the comedy and characters. The voice acting is surprisingly good and incredibly fun. The humor is hit or miss, but if you like dark and somewhat crude humor, you'll probably enjoy it. The jokes mostly land, and the voice actors do a great job at landing them. There isn't much to say, but the game is just a fun time. I had a lot of fun playing it. It feels like a proper hidden gem, and I hope they eventually make a part 2.


Currently Playing:

  • STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order™

    8 hours playtime

    3 of 39 achievements

  • Resident Evil Village

    9 hours playtime

    11 of 56 achievements

  • Sun Haven

    24 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • Clustertruck

    7 minutes playtime

    1 of 19 achievements

  • </li>

End of May Update!

36.8 hours
9/10 An almost flawless reimagining for both new and old fans

Resident Evil 4 (2023) is a reimagined version of the classic (2005) Resident Evil 4. You play Leon S Kennedy who is sent to a mysterious, secluded village to rescue the president's daughter. While doing so, he runs into some new (and old) characters while attempting to escape the unhinged villagers.

The original Resident Evil 4 was my first (and is my favorite) Resident Evil game. Meaning this one had big shoes to fill. I started the campaign with heavy skeptism and hope. I am blinded by nostalgia so I can't personally say this version is better, but it does 100 percent live up to the original and surpass it in many ways. Just like the Re2 remake, this version does right by the original and doesn't take shortcuts. The combat is improved, the atmosphere is just as unsettling, and the characters were expanded on. Luis and Ashley got one hell of a glow up in both appearance and personality.
Although I really do miss Leon's corny lines, they respectfully kept some in while also giving him more depth. There is a little more replay value in this version and they even kept the silly outfits you can unlock.

Honestly, my only issue with the game is that it didn't have the "Separate Ways" campaign. I read that it might become a DLC, but it's unfortunate that we'll have to wait and see.. Also, the voice acting for a certain character was weaker than the rest. Or possibly the sound design for the character. I know people are being cruel about it, which is terrible, but I just wanted to make note of it in case that would ruin the immersion for some people. 

I would recommend this game to pretty much anyone. My boyfriend and I played at the same time. He has never played the original and we both equally enjoyed the game. If you like survival horror, third-person shooters, the RE2 remake, or classic RE4, you will probably enjoy this game. When Resident Evil 4 (2005) came out, it was a fantastic achievement for its time. This version gives the original respect while putting its own spin on the story and characters. I miss some things from the original but some other changes were greatly needed. The fantastic thing about this reimagining is that I can enjoy the original and this version at the same time and know that both represent what I love about resident evil. A campy and creepy series with loveable characters.


 

DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR'S CUT

230 hours, 55 of 63 achievements
8/10 not a game for everyone, but perfect for me

Side Note: I started with the original Death Stranding and then switched to the Directors Cut. The hours played are a combination of the two. My review will also be of both versions combined instead of talking about each separately. Although I do recommend paying the extra 10 dollars to upgrade to the director's cut since they added a lot of fantastic additions and changes to the game. Alright, moving on. 

Death Stranding is a Hideo Kojima game about an apocalypse and the people in it trying to figure it out and rebuild the world, one delivery at a time. There is obviously so much story in the game that I wouldn't be able to sum it up. There are over 7 hours of cutscenes, with one cutscene lasting around 31 minutes. Point is, if you don't like cutscenes or story-heavy games, then this may not be for you. The story is beautiful, weird, unsettling, and unique, but it is definitely not for everyone. 

Another part of the game that is not for everyone is the gameplay. Death Stranding consists mostly of delivering packages with the occasional combat. You start off with nothing, and as you play, you get more gear, more tech, better abilities, and more fun. This is a strange comparison, but it reminds me of Kingdom Come Deliverance. The only similarity being that you start off as a nobody with nothing to your name and slowly gain a reputation, which leads to you obtaining more things to make the journey more fun. If I were to explain the gameplay, it mostly consists of walking, driving, delivering, building, and fighting.

The story starts off slow and is very cutscene-heavy. You are thrown into this fascinating world with lots of questions. The first few hours are very slow and tedious. These are the moments when people are usually turned off by the game. For me, the slow build made things more exciting, but I 100% understand why so many people stopped playing at the beginning. You have to get past 3 chapters and several hours before the game starts picking up. 

To name some things I loved about Death Stranding, I loved the soundtrack, the connection to other players, and the freedom to strategize and play the game how I want to. I'll try to be as vague and spoiler free as possible. Throughout the game, you can interact with other players in several different ways. You can't actually see or talk to the players, but what you do in the world will affect them, and vice versa. It fits both thematically and adds a unique element to the game. Even more unique than if you could just be there with the other players.

The soundtrack is also fantastic. Kojima features artists that are not as well-known or mainstream. A few different songs are original to the game, and playing the soundtrack while delivering is such a vibe. I'm someone who suffers from pretty bad anxiety, and the soundtrack (the whole game, really) has been incredibly helpful in helping me relax. The game gives you the freedom to choose which deliveries to pick up, which path to take, what to build, how to traverse the world, and when you want to move on or not. 

Personally, I give this game a 10/10 because it puts me in a good mood and hits the right buttons for me. It does have its faults, so I am giving it a 8/10 just because dropping it even lower would make me sad. It's a fascinating experience, but it's absolutely not for everyone. It's such a niche game that I would suggest playing a demo, watching gameplay, or talking to people who have played it to see if it's your thing. 


Tell Me Why

10.1 hours, 21 of 30 achievements
5/10 nice story but tedious approach

Tell Me Why is a choice-driven story game from the creators of Life is Strange. You play as two different twins who are trying to solve a mystery involving the night of their mother's death. This game has two familiar qualities from recent Dontnod games. Young characters with superpowers and LGBTQ representation. In Tell Me Why, one of the playable characters is Tyler Ronan. Tyler is transgender, and he and his sister Alyson have twin telepathy. This lets them talk to each other internally but also helps them relive their former memories. Reuniting for the first time in years, Tyler and Alyson use their powers to solve the mystery surrounding the night their mother died.

First, I will talk about what I liked about the game. The story is heartfelt. You can tell the developers and writers put care into the narrative they were telling. The LGBTQ characters were nicely represented, and you felt for the struggles each character was going through. I appreciate that Dontnod has made games that people can relate to. This didn't feel like a game that was made to sell a bunch of copies or appeal to a mass audience. It seemed like a passion project from the developers to us. It's also a nice story about sibling relationships. The siblings care about and protect each other while also getting to know each other after years of separation.

Now for the things I didn't like. The game felt very slow. So slow that I almost quit playing a couple times. Where other games like Death Stranding  or Life is Strange hooked me with their engaging stories or tough choices, Tell Me Why is very linear and kind of boring. I love story-heavy games like Life is Strange, Beyond Two Souls, The Walking Dead, etc. The problem with Tell Me Why is that the choices weren't that tough to make, and the story wasn't very exciting. The mystery of the mom is interesting, but most of the game is about the twins trying to recover their memories, and that just isn't as exciting of a concept.

Overall, I give this an average score of 5/10. These story-driven choice games are very similar to movies. Some people will hate this game, and others will love it. If you normally like this type of game then I recommend watching some gameplay videos to see if this one is for you.


The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog

2 hours, no achievements
7/10 The sad part is, this free April Fools joke is one of the better Sonic games

Oh no, Sonic is dead! It is a murder mystery train, so it's alright… right?

Who Killed Sonic The Hedgehog is a free visual novel game that was released on April Fool's Day. It features a whole cast of Sonic characters who are playing a murder mystery game to celebrate Amy's birthday. After Sonic's body is found, it's up to you and Tails to find the culprit! 

I never thought I'd play a game of Murder on the Orient Express featuring Sonic characters, but here we are. 
I love how weird this concept is, and I think this game is delightful. The art is very cute, and the characters perfectly represented their personalities from previous Sonic installments. 
It is a visual novel, so the gameplay is simple. Mostly reading and pointing at objects around the room. There is also a little Sonic minigame every time you want to solve a mystery. Your character is helping Tails by questioning suspects and piecing together the evidence to find the killer. It's really simple, and anyone of all ages could play, excluding the slightly dark subject matter. 

The game is about two hours long depending on how fast or slow you read. I think this game was written more for people who know these Sonic characters than for newcomers, but both would enjoy it, I think. There were a couple characters I've never seen before playing, but overall, it was a great experience. 

 I recommend this. It's free, it's fun, it gives off ace attorney vibes, and the art style is so cute. 


Next Time:

These are the games I plan on playing next. Jedi: Fallen Order was next on the list but I was informed that I need to watch the movies before playing. I just watched Episode 4 so I hope to get through those soon to start playing the game. My boyfriend also surprised me with Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom so that will also consume my time. I hope everyone has a great rest of the month!

  • STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order™

    0 minutes playtime

    0 of 39 achievements

  • NEEDY STREAMER OVERLOAD

    4 hours playtime

    8 of 33 achievements

  • Resident Evil Village

    9 hours playtime

    11 of 56 achievements

  • </li>
  • Sun Haven

    4 hours playtime

    no achievements

End of March Update!

I hope everyone is having a great start of April! I thought it would be cool to do a fun fact at the beginning of every post so here it is,

Marilyn Monroe And Queen Elizabeth Were Born In The Same Year. They both met at 30 years old at a London Movie Premier in 1956.
 

Ghostrunner

13.8 hours, 20 of 45 achievements
7/10

Ghostrunner is a fast-paced cyberpunk parkour platformer. You run through intricate levels at top speed while performing parkour, platforming, combat, and puzzle solving.
This is a hard game. Keep this in mind before you buy or play it. There are assist settings you can turn on to make it easier, but those settings broke rather quickly after I turned them on. I'll elaborate on that later. Mostly just to vent :P

In Ghostrunner, you parkour through the world while attacking enemies. Most enemies die in one hit, but they also all kill you in one hit. This makes the game very challenging, as you have to master how each enemy works so you can dodge them while also not falling off the map. You have to clear all the enemies in each section to move on to the next one. If you get hit by one bullet or enemy attack, you have to start that section over. Each enemy has a unique way of attacking, and not all of them are easy to take down right away. It's very strategic, and you'll be restarting the game A LOT. Get used to the "Press R to restart" prompt. 

Let's start with the things I loved about Ghostrunner first. The cyberpunk aesthetic is incredibly fun. The world looks unique, and the worldbuilding sucks you in. The voice acting is wonderful, and you really feel like a badass playing the Ghostrunner. I couldn't wait to keep playing to learn about the world and about the ghostrunner himself. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the creativity. Each section of the game adds new abilities, enemies, and platforming levels so that the game is never stale. I can't state enough how refreshing it is to see a game constantly changing the way you play so you never know what's coming next. You are constantly learning how to fight new enemies and master new levels in the game. Plus, the visuals are just beautiful. 

Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. The game does have some bugs. It wouldn't be so bad if most of them weren't towards the end of the game. especially the last level. The last level of the game is torturous in so so many ways. Most of my pain and anguish with Ghostrunner comes directly from the very last section of the game.

The final level is just horribly designed, extremely hard, and very broken. I fully understand that the final level should be difficult, but the difficulty jump is just unreasonable. One second I think I've got the game down, and the next I feel like a beginner who has never played a video game in her life. It just felt very rushed and lazy. This was proven even harder because of the bugs. The final level involves a lot of wall jumping. Suddenly, I just kept clipping through the walls or simply not sticking to them at all. The poor Ghostrunner would simply fall off the wall without a chance to even slide or wall jump.

Speaking of bugs, The assists I mentioned earlier would not work. You can turn on assist settings that give you an easier time while playing. There is one that makes your ghostrunner slower, so you can perform platforming better. Then there is one that lets you take one extra hit in combat before dying. I'm okay with platforming, but the combat was slowly sucking out my soul. I enabled the extra hit setting, hoping it would make my experience a little less daunting. The first time I played was on my desktop, and about an hour in, the settings stopped working. I tried several fixes, but none worked. I switched to my steam deck but had the same issue shortly after, so I decided to continue on without the assists. It's not a big deal, but I wanted to mention it for people who may buy the game because of these settings.

Overall, I really did enjoy my time playing this. Once I started, I wanted to continue to see what lay ahead. Ghostrunner is exactly what it sets out to be. If you watch the trailer and it looks like something you'd like, chances are you will like it. It does give you that accomplished feeling after you beat it. It's like a less forgiving Mirror's Edge with a cyberpunk twist. If the last level didn't exist, I would be less angry writing this review 😂

 I personally recommend Ghostrunner on sale, but the full price is justifiable too. It has its issues, but it also shines where it matters. 


🧠 OUT OF THE BOX

5.6 hours, 15 of 28 achievements
6/10

Out of the Box is a "Papers, Please" inspired game where you play a bouncer who was just released from prison. You decide who to let in the club by following the rules given to you each day. Throughout the story you can choose to redeem your character and follow the law or to help your new employer by contuining your life of crime.

I think this game is a hidden gem. It's not spectacular but its a fun little game that deserves recognition. The story is interesting and It's a good length. The gameplay does get a little repetitive but the length of the game keeps it from dragging to long. I'm not sure what the other paths are but I enjoyed how my story turned out.

If I were to have a complaint, its just that they should balance the fakes a little bit better when letting people in. You have to let a certain amount of people in the club to raise the popularity, but sometimes the game throws fake after fake so that its impossible to get the amount of people you need, forcing you to let underage or drunk people in the club just to not fail out. Not a big deal, but worth noting.

If you enjoy games like Paper Please or Not Tonight and you want a similiar game, this is the one for you. it's a lot of fun. It's a little expensive so I recommend it on sale.


Up Next:

These are the games I have my eye on next. I do sometimes change my mind but for now, here’s the plan!

  • Days Gone

    4 hours playtime

    5 of 61 achievements

  • Resident Evil 4

    23 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR'S CUT

    20 hours playtime

    39 of 63 achievements

  • Tell Me Why

    8 hours playtime

    16 of 30 achievements

  • 112 Operator

    2 hours playtime

    6 of 45 achievements

  • Heavy Rain

    3 hours playtime

    6 of 56 achievements

  • STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order™

    0 minutes playtime

    0 of 39 achievements

  • The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog

    1 minute playtime

    no achievements

End of February Update

 
This is definetely not late.. nope….
 

Big Thinkers Kindergarten

2.8 hours, no achievements

"Hello there! How are you? It's great to see you here! I'm Ben… and I'm Becky, let's start off with a cheer!"

Big Thinkers Kindergarden is an educational game for toddlers to young kids. You follow the two hosts (Ben and Becky Brightly) as you play minigames and learn things like colors, numbers, spelling, etc.
I played the demo of this in Elementary school so when this got picked for my PoP, I just had to ride the nostalgia train and relive a part of my childhood. Overall its a very cute and fun little game that teaches kids beginner level education.

I don't have much to say about it being an adult and all, so I thought it might be funny to write a review on each minigame for dramatic effect. So here we go!

Time Telling: In this game you learn how to tell time. Ben's head will turn into a clock and the player has to turn the hands to match the time that Ben gives the player. Do this three times and you win! This game actually made me wonder, will telling time be a useful skill to learn in the future when most clocks are digital?

Measurement and Estimation: You and Becky explore the kitchen fridge where you will learn how to estimate height. Becky will turn into various things (such as a cat or rocket) and then ask you to stack food items next to her that match her height. For examples, how many olives match Becky's height. Since Becky tells you what items to pick and has you stack them next to her, it's not as challenging or educational as it should be, even for the chosen demographic. It does do good at teaching counting though.

Thinking Skills: This is one of those puzzles where the picture is jumbled up and you have to move the tiles around to fix the image. When the picture looks as it was intended to, you win! I wish I practiced this skill as a kid. I'm terrible at puzzles. Especially those sliding picture ones. ughh they are the worst. Thankfully Big Thinkers Kindergarden made me feel temporarily smart :P

Art Creativity: This one is fun, and exactly what it sounds like. Ben jumps into a painting and allows you to use him as an art experiment. You can drag different facial features on him like different mouths, noses, eyes. You can paint on him and change colors. It's your basic art minigame, but who doesn't love being creative.

First Letter Identification: We've moved onto the playroom now and were jumping head first into the fish tank. Ben and Becky turn into fish and ask you to finish the word at the bottom of the screen. You have to choose the first letter that will finish the word. For example the word is -at. You can choose either an "L" to make the word "Lat" or an "H" to make the word "Hat." I remember the spelling games being my favorite as a kid. Overall, great game for learning how to spell.

We've been having so much fun inside, but I think its about time to head outdoors…

Spelling and Phonics: We head out into the forest (not the safest idea, but okay..) but no worries because we run into some friendly talking squirrels and a big tree. This is the perfect time for Ben to empty his Tardis pockets that contain 12 items. He throws them on the tree and asks you to pick which items begin with the letter he gives you. For example: Which items begin with the letter Z. You would click on Zebra and Zipper.
I really enjoy the animation on this one. Once you get the correct items, the squirrels vaccum up the other items. The whole game is just cute and fun.

Geography and Directions: Were back in the safety of our backyard when Ben decides he wants to play hide and seek. Ben we just got back in one piece! A map will appear with locations you can click on. Becky will give you clues and you have to choose where you think Ben is hiding. This game humbled me. I took way to long to find Ben. Way… to.. long.. It was definetely Becky's horrible clues and not my problem with directions :P

Garden Maze: I don't remember which category this one falls under. It's start off simple enough and gets more interesting. You start off in a garden maze and you have to lead Ben to the exit. Then in the next maze there is food blocking the path. What are we gonna do?!? Luckily Ben has the power to temporarily turn into an animal. You are given a choice of two different animals and you must match the animal to the food. For example: Horse eats hay or monkey eats bananas. This is like a two for one game. You solve the maze while also learning about animals.

Alphabet Skills: In this game Becky and you take to the sky and land upon a fluffy looking cloud. Becky presents you will three letters and asks you to put them in the order that they appear in the alphabet. After that, you can click on any letter in the alphabet and Becky will tell you what the letter is. Then she'll turn into something that starts with the letter. For example: If you click on a B, she'll turn into a balloon. Then you repeat the same two segments again and again. This one is straight to the point and very helpful when looking letters. There is a different animation for each letter so it's neat to see them all.

Reading and Sentences: We excitedly run to the library and find books! So many books! You open a book thats containers a beginner level story. There are some words in the story that are highlighted green. If you click on the green word, you can change it to a different word! When you change the word, the image in the book also changes to match the word you chose! Each time you play its a different story with a different title and image. This is such a creative game and it's probably my favorite.

Counting and Computation: Alright so in this game, we are in space on what looks like one of those board games where you have to move your pieces forward to win. Each space on this path is a different color and Becky wants to get to the end of the path. Ben will spin and give you two random colors. You have to choose which color will get Becky farther on the path. So if the path has a red, blue, grey, and yellow spot and Ben spins a grey and blue, you would choose grey since its farther then the blue on the path. I explained it badly but you are basically picking the color that will get Becky farther on the path. Once you win with colors, the same game is played but with letters. The letters are not in alphabetical order so it takes some thinking. Although it sounds easy in theory (especially for a grown adult) the way the game is set up is pretty advanced for young kids. I appreciate that they threw a harder game in here to challenge the player.

Environmental Science Were back in the forest, but were here on a mission to do good! Some nasty people left a bunch of trash in the forest, so Becky and Ben turn into a trash can and a recycling bin. You then just have to figure out which pieces are trash and which you can recycle.

Music Creativity: We head into the music room. Yes they have a music room…
I want to know more about Becky and Ben. Where do they work? Who are there parents? Are they from this world? Anyway, the three of us have a jam session. You pick an instrument for them to play and then you can choose how fast or slow they play it. You can have them both play at the same time to mix and match your music. There is a concerning moment where if you pick violin, Becky fuses with the violin. She stretches her upper half and her neck becomes the neck of the violin. They do this with other instruments as well, but its not nearly as creepy. I'm still trying to get the human/violin hybrid out of my head.

Sequencing and Patterning: This is a shape and color pattern puzzle. There is a pattern above Ben's head of shapes and colors. For example: a blue circle, a yellow triangle, etc. It may be my hatred for math (which I think this falls under) but this felt more like work then fun. I think there wasn't enough creativity in this minigame to mask the educational part of it.

Counting and Computation: Were still doing math, but back outside. Birds will land on Ben and Becky's arms and you have to count how many birds there are in total. This game is all about adding or counting, no subtraction. Easy stuff and there's cute little birds.

We just completed all 15 games… that can only mean one thing….

WE ARE A BIG THINKER!

I'm not sure why I spent so much time writing this out but if you are a teacher, parent, babysitter, etc, I think this is a good learning tool. There is probably more up to date educational games out there but this really provides that level of nostalgia and wholesomeness. It's just here to teach and it does a fairly good job at it. Now if they decide to make one of these for adults then I'm all in.


Chicken Police

6.9 hours, 16 of 31 achievements

I'm not gonna lie, I wrote out a big review for this game and then everything crashed and I lost it. So I'll be more breif and to the point.

Chicken Police is a noir style visual novel following detective Sonny Featherland. Everyone in this world is an animal, including Sonny, who was once part of the famous (maybe somewhat infamous) chicken police. After taking on a new case, Sonny must recruit his former partner while being careful not to get entangled in the crime and mystery that surrounds clawville.

This game could have easily been a gimmick, but it perfectly encapsulates the Noir style. Everything from the atmosphere to the dialogue and characters are what breath life into this game. Every voiceline is fully voiced and every single character has a unique voice. The voice acting is wonderful and no matter what you click on, it has dialogue attached to it. Even revisiting locations will earn you new dialogue. The characters are so interesting that you want to learn more about them and the story follows the Noir genre to a T.

The gameplay is nothing out of the ordinary for a visual novel. There are parts where you can put the evidence together, but the game doesn't allow you to continue unless you have it correct. So its less like you're solving the story yourself and more like you're figuring it out as the story progresses. There is gameplay where you can question the suspects, but I'm not sure if it changes the story or not if you fail. I've always done pretty well on those parts.

Overall, the atmosphere, dialogue, characters, and voice acting carries the game in all the right ways. If you enjoy the Noir style, you may really love this game. It just depends on if thats your cup of tea. If was picked for my Challenge Me and I'm very glad it was!


Suits: A Business RPG

4 hours, 14 of 35 achievements

The final game I played in February. This one is a bit of a two parter review.

Suits: a Business RPG is a hand-drawn rpg-maker game. To review this game, I need to go back to the roots. The inspiration behind the whole thing. Suits is heavily inspired by the game OFF by Mortis Ghost. OFF was an rpg-maker game that was released in 2008 and popularized in 2012 when it was translated into English. Suits shares a common theme, artstyle, and character design. Plus you can find the Batter from OFF in Suits if you explore the rooms.

Suits is a fun little game. I like the simple hand-drawn art and the fact that it's short. The jokes were very hit or miss. A lot of it random and some political. It was a unique little game that felt more like a fan project if anything. I did run into a game breaking bug towards the end that required me to rename a file to fix. I'm pretty sure that will pop up for everyone who plays so I wish the developer would fix it. The ending was abrupt. I thought there might be multiple endings but when I watch others play it, everyone got the same ending. It felt very incomplete.
The story didn't make much sense anyway. It's $1 and probably a very small team so I don't mean to be harsh on it. I really wanted to see how it stacked up against the game that inspired it.

I just got done replaying OFF and although it is old, it's still a fantastic game. The art, the sound design, the music, the characters, the story, everything. It throws you into this strange and surreal world where you piece together the story as you go. It has so many unique elements and the ending absolutely sticks the landing. I haven't played the game since 2012, but replaying it still left me with that uneasy feeling. If you've played it you know what I mean.

Compared to OFF, Suits is a bad imitation that misses on everything that made OFF unique. Both are fun little games, and although Suits is $1, OFF is free. With the game breaking bug and the ending, I probably would not recommend Suits, but I do appreciate it for convincing me to go down memory lane (again).


In other news, I finally got a steam deck! It was a birthday present. I played all of these games on it and had a blast. Here are some games I’m currently playing. The games I decide to play always change though so who knows what I’ll play next. I hope everyone has an amazing day

  • Not For Broadcast

    2 hours playtime

    6 of 63 achievements

  • Disney Dreamlight Valley

    7 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • This Is the Police 2

    18 minutes playtime

    0 of 12 achievements

  • DEATHLOOP

    5 hours playtime

    1 of 58 achievements

  • Inscryption

    7 hours playtime

    10 of 40 achievements