Hello! I am Zelrune! I like to play story driven games like RPG’s and VN’s but sometimes I stray to other genres if the game looks interesting enough.
I have four dogs and one fish!
My curator group is here.
Fun fact: I fostered a lost sun conure for a week and it was traumatising for both of us.
(He was happily returned home.)
Joined on 04/03/2017 but didn’t start seriously working on my backlog until COVID.
October 2022 Progress Report
Happy late halloween! I meant to post this yesterday but at the time I hadn’t finished writing all my reviews so…
I had a pretty good time beating games this month, I finally, finally finished Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch after a couple months of me attempting to force myself to complete it, and the rest of the games were, really good picks. Go me! I bought a healthy amount of games from the Halloween sale, The Room 3 and 4 and replayed the entire series since it’s worth being replayed, I also bought The Gardens Between and The Last Campfire since I’ve wanted to play those for a long while; as well as a couple games I’ll be finishing next month I’m excited to talk about!
Halloween was good, I passed out candy dressed up like a pirate. It was a bit disappointing because I only really saw, maybe 7-10-ish kids in costumes and everyone else just, either didn’t bother or just wore a mask. It ended fairly quickly as well, so I ended up having some unwanted leftover sweets. My pumpkin also went missing; but I’ll still do it again next year because I like to dress up and it’s good fun for the kids.
Hope everyone had a fun time this month!
Games added to backlog: 8
Games 100%: 9
The Room Two
3+ hours to complete, The Room 2 continues from the first game, trapped in a forgotten crypt. Your mysterious ally is now sympathetic to your plight, considering that you are just as trapped as they are in this strange, mysterious world. The atmosphere and theme is more darker and Lovecraftian than the first game, increasing in intensity as you move through the seven chapters; the puzzles have also expanded to the entire room than just a table. I wouldn’t classify it as a horror because nothing is particularly scary; there is a rather minor jumpscare in chapter 6, but The Room 2 is an excellent continuation and I wouldn’t bother waiting for a sale to play, as it’s an excellent game.
The Room Three
After freeing yourself from being trapped in the manor, once again investigate The Null. After hitting wall after wall on finding a lead to this mysterious power, a note is slipped into your jacket; with a location circled on some far away exotic island and notes on the thing you seek. Taking a train the next morning, a puzzle box appears in front of you. It might be harder to leave than first anticipated.
6+ hours to complete with 5 chapters, The Room 3 is a continuation of 2, and this is the last in the trilogy! There are 4 endings. Puzzles are now multiple rooms that interact with each other and even if you are not good at puzzles, they have similar mechanics as 1 +2 with some new stuff. Chapters 1 and 2 are the tutorial chapters and can be breezed by in 30 minutes, after that, the real fun begins! I had an absolute blast playing and while I’m a bit saddened that the journey is over, the multiple endings ensure everyone can pick their favorite one. If you get stuck or want to change your fate, ask Maggie!
Note: There is The Room 4, but there are different characters and storyline.
The Room 4: Old Sins
Investigate the disappearance of a couple in London, one of whom was reportedly working with something dangerous right before both vanishing in their home. Police have searched the area and have noted nothing of importance, but you and your employers are convinced that something is there they just cannot see or understand. Explore the house, locate the missing object, find the residents, and pray you do not become one of the lost yourself.
4+ hours to complete, 9 rooms to explore, The Room 4: Old Sins is a hidden-object puzzle mystery game that can be played separately from 1-3 as it is not part of the trilogy. Unlike the other games, these puzzles expand to the entire house and is not separated by chapters, but by rooms completed. Like the previous games, the puzzles are extremely fun to play and absolutely gorgeous! Lore is heavier here and the story is very well written, the ending especially surprised me! While you can start from The Room 4, I suggest 1-3 first as it will let the story make more sense; even if you are poor at puzzle games, you will definitely find yourself enjoying everything The Room has to offer! I sincerely look forward to playing any more of this series.
100 hidden aliens
100 Hidden Aliens is a 7-minute hand-drawn hidden object game where you look for aliens; each one looks different and many pretend to be other things, so while simple, it may be tricky enough that you would need to look twice! The music is very upbeat, and matches well with the theme.
This game also offers a nightmode by hitting the “N” key, as well as an option to reset all achievements with “Del” and “Esc.”
The Last Campfire
6+ hours to complete, The Last Campfire is an honestly cute and heartwarming adventure, exploration, and puzzle game. There are three areas, each with a cold campfire to rekindle and Forlorn to rescue before you move on to the next chapter; Forlorn are like you! Lost souls who found themselves stuck here, a place between places, but gave up, lost their ember, and turned to stone. Touch them to delve into their mindscape and find their fire that was so deeply buried; and bring them back so that they may continue their journey with you! The road is long, but don’t give up hope!
Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch™ Remastered
Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch is colorful, charming, and incredibly shallow. While absolutely gorgeous, it’s not very fun to play and has some rather significant flaws, most notably the pacing and combat. Random difficulty spikes, bosses thrown at you with no warning or consecutively, and a terrible party AI makes for some frustrating gameplay and frequent grinding for levels. In battle, party members collide with each other and are unable to attack, and occasionally despawn their familiars and attack monsters themselves, meaning they do 1 damage and have basically no defense to speak of; to fix this you need to take over their character and force them to summon something so they don’t die in seconds. Occasionally a monster or boss shows a warning when doing an AOE, and since your group can’t block on time, you may be tempted to use the “All Out Defense” button; but all it does is makes them stop attacking and stand there instead of defending, meaning they always take the most damage. I find it depressing and amusing that if you look at the global achievement status, 40% of players dropped out sometime between fighting the first boss and merely collecting 20 familiars; and only 12.6% have actually completed the main storyline.
Other issues are the familiars themselves; they are not created equal. Characters are more effective with specific familiars, and most are straight up not worth using while others are deliberately overpowered. In a monster catching game, all should be viable options for the end-game bosses when you care and level them, not just a handful. For quests, every single side quest is either an extermination or fetch quest; and many of the fetch quests have a unique function. “Take Heart” and “Give Heart” are special to Ni no kuni; if someone has too much confidence, boundless enthusiasm, and overflowing kindness, you can ask and take a piece of their heart to give to someone who is broken hearted and needs it; but you need to ask. You can only carry one type of heart, and you don’t know which piece they have, and if the npc has a type of heart you are already carrying? That’s right! You get scolded. For being greedy. This is completely unnecessary.
I do however, love and recommend the sequel, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, but there are some parts of Wrath of the White Witch you really need to know before playing! I suggest you watch all the cutscenes on Youtube and then read the wiki on The Conductor before diving into Revenant Kingdom, it’s a completely different game and significantly better in every way than this one.
The Gardens Between
2+ hours to complete, The Gardens Between is a memorable puzzle adventure game about Arina and Frendt; two childhood friends. Explore about 20 islands created by their childhood memories together, from when they first met to some rather fantastic adventures. The goal is to carry a lantern to the end of the islands, with Arina having the ability to carry and use the lantern to dispel fog, and Frendt being able to clear the way of obstacles by moving them forwards or backwards in time.
A very charming experience and well deserving of its reviews, The Gardens Between is an easy game to love and an even easier game to recommend.
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
Reluctantly joining the schools Literature club after selling your soul for a cupcake with your childhood friend Sayori; become friends and read Manga with Natsuki, intricate and sprawling fantasy books with Yuri, and write poems for Monika! Just Monika. With the upcoming festival, work hard with everyone to get your club set up making banners, baking cupcakes, and practicing poems! Everyone wants to spend more time with you, and you might want to spend more time with one person than another! It’s important to be friends with everyone equally! Or just be friends with Monika. Just Monika.
Welcome to the Literature club!
4-14 hours to complete, Doki Doki Literature Club slowly turns from a dating sim to a psychological horror; and with multiple endings, there is a lot of replayability and side stories to explore! While this is an excellent game, most of the story’s enjoyment comes from the plot points, and the less you know walking into this, the more enjoyment you receive. If you’ve been spoiled some or most aspects of the storyline… I’m not sure you will like this very much, since it’s admittingly a bit boring in the beginning and you already know what’s coming. Doki Doki is an incredible VN, a bit definitely overhyped, but still a solid read.
September 2022 Progress Report
So this month was a thing. :)
First of all, huge thank you to Adam1224 for telling me what jump scares were in Draugen without spoilers so I could actually get my nerves together to actually play it instead of constantly putting it off! Jump scares are either easier or worse depending on what they are and if you know it’s coming, but in this case it was significantly easier. Also knowing there were no chase scenes. That’s nice. Also; it turns out I really, really dislike Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch? Playing it is just generally an unpleasant experience, the constant bosses, phase 2 bosses, and oh- whoops! It’s phase 3 now! with random pacing issues leading to grinding is, a bit irritating, so I set it aside and put 40 hours into Skyrim before jumping straight into Cyberpunk 2077! Because I deserve nice things.
Cyberpunk 2077 so far is a pretty intimidating experience, so far a lot of the quests have been anti-stealth, which is unfortunate because that’s typically what I end up defaulting to, but it’s a very, very gorgeous game so I’m more forgiving at the moment. I really didn’t do great this month. I was sick for the first two weeks and bought The Companion at 1-2am-ish because I sure as heck couldn’t sleep and breathe at the same time. My lungs and my nose was generally pretty gross leading to a bit of sleep exhaustion but things worked out and I never lost my sense of smell so I’m fairly certain it wasn’t COVID! Yay!
Other than Finishing up Doki Doki Literature Club, working on Cyberpunk, and dungeon diving/book collecting in Skyrim, I have no plans for October, except that Halloween sale and passing out popcorn balls to whoever shows up at my door while I look like a pirate.
Games added to backlog: 2
Games 100%: 6
Lovingly stalk a family of 5 as they take a work-vacation to a dense and isolated forest; find out the reason they are there and follow them back home.
6+ hours, an open-world exploration walking sim with collectables. 7 areas, 7 chapters, 91 collectables (Runic Stones) and sort-of multiple endings. The graphics, voice actors, story, and music were really good! Interacting with a Runic Stone releases a spirit animal to wander around the map, and the more Runic Stones you interacted with the more abilities gained such as Sit, Lay Down, and Become Corporeal. The spirit animal you play as isn’t visible to humans in the beginning, so it makes for some fun reactions.
My only real complaint is the endings; in which they play one after another once the game ends, like the developers didn’t know how to end the game so they tacked all of them on at the same time; and some clearly had cut content because they made absolutely no sense, and almost dragged this review down to a negative. The Chapter 7 area is very linear, but it was definitely rushed. Buildings were missing walls, roofs, sides, but not in a “This building is destroyed or dilapidated” way, like it was straight up unfinished. There also were, quite a few loose ends never wrapped up, some story elements introduced and never expanded upon. I do want to make it clear; that this was a really, really good game that was genuinely fun to play until this point in the story, and I still hesitantly recommend The Companion.
Play as Edward searching for his sister in an old costal village nestled in a Fjord; formerly a mining town turned fishing called Graavik, the only way in and out is by boat. Your young and energetic ward Lissie has come along with you on this grand adventure, but arriving at this cozy seaside area, it’s immediately notable that something is amiss; every person has mysteriously vanished including the inviting hosts for your supposedly short stay. Search for clues, look at evidence, and draw conclusions as to why so many people are missing, and look for traces of your sister among them.
Set in 1920’s Norway, Draugen is a pretty entertaining 3+ hour exploration and walking sim with some dark themes. There are mentions and depictions of suicides, murder, and severe mental illness; and two sort-of mild jump scares in the game, with one being a figure backlight by lightning, and another a crow in the mines when you peek through a hole to look into a room. Visually stunning, it’s a bit regrettable that Draugen takes place in such a small explorable village -It would have been nice to see and enter more houses. The ending is open, there are dialogue choices and while they don’t change any gameplay or the ending, it changes how your character perceives things. Overall, for a three-hour game, it’s pretty good and worth checking out even if you don’t like games with darker tones.
100 hidden hares
100 Hidden Hares is an incredibly easy 10-minute Hidden Object Game in which you look for hares in a hand drawn background which, upon a closer look, resembles a lovely winter village that was bombarded unmercifully with furry fluffballs and presents. Clicking each hare results in an achievement; and it’s satisfyingly simple to finish this game with it’s interesting music and cute animations.
Pressing “N” turns the game into night mode for easier viewing, and “Delete” then “Esc” to reset all the achievements so you could earn them again if that’s something you wanted to do.
The Lonesome Fog
Four sibling cubs are playing a game called “Wolf”; the eldest cub doesn’t like this game because she is afraid of many, many things and consults her mother; who proceeds to make things worse by saying if she is afraid of something The Lonesome Fog will come and get her. Very, very afraid now, she blindly runs away when it gets foggy and must overcome her fears to see her family again.
6-10 minutes long, The Lonesome Fog is absolutely not worth $8; but it does occasionally go on sale for $0.99 so I would, maybe, recommend it then. There is an interactive grab and click feature that’s essentially useless, you can’t take any screenshots, and the store video and photos are 50% of the entire book. I assume this is for children, however the way it’s written makes me think an adult is supposed to read this out loud unless their kid can read and understand full written paragraphs.
Also; the fact that you need to buy this to 100% Meadow irritates me.
Fables from the Den
This review is neutral.
15+ min to complete, Fables from the Den has 9 short stories with two art styles, watercolor and the pattered style Might and Delight is known for. Each story has a moral and is told by a different animal, with others commenting on it after it’s finished. While cute, it doesn’t have enough content to justify a $7 price tag, so get it on sale.
August 2022 Progress Report
Welp, this month absolutely got away from me. I meant to only play 5 games, but then I got a SG win, bought the HB monthly, and got some rather fantastic trades, and gave into a Horizon Zero Dawn sale. I had to stop playing Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch just to keep up with my backlog since I already had two bigger VN’s I started, so, next month? Aside from Klonoa, nearly every game was “just ok” so it was a sorta boring month for me since nothing I played really stood out as worth replaying.
September is looking pretty good though, I plan on finishing Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, and playing Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Draugen, Doki Doki Literature Club+, and hopefully Hitotsu no Mori or My Dangerous Life; and then I can finally check out Cyberpunk2077 in October. Plans rarely go well, but fingers crossed!
Games added to backlog: 7
Games 100%: 8
Saku Saku: Love Blooms with the Cherry Blossoms
Asaba Yuma is a handsome boy who, quite frankly, isn’t interested in love or romance; it’s pointless, and typically both parties involved have their heart broken by the end; but he likes to make people smile. With a growing popularity amongst the girls in his academy and working as an assistant in the nurse’s office, his hours are regularly misused as girls often come to him with their romantic troubles; but the more he hears about other’s failing relationships, the less he’s interested in having one himself. A “Love Fairy” takes interest in his personal life and approaches him, insisting that she can help him get a girlfriend to make him happy.
The conspicuous Reaper’s Scythe in her hands makes him skeptical.
Saku Saku: Love Blooms with the Cherry Blossoms is a 17-50 hour 18+ adult VN with full voice acting. Slow-paced and mostly slice-of-life, everything is pretty basic except for the fantasy elements. There are 4 routes with 1 hidden route, and plenty of CG’s. There is an incest route which is fortunately skippable, and is unnecessary to complete to unlock the hidden route. Overall, Saku Saku is a fairly decent romance Visual Novel that has plenty of content, and it’s worth checking out if you’re interested.
Fortissimo FA INTL Ver
Returning to Tsukuyomi Island after training in martial arts for four years, Reiji returns to his adopted family to transfer into High School and see his sister Sayuki again; only to be pulled into some terrible starry dimension and forced to take part in a survival game with 12 others. Every time someone is pulled into this beautiful dimension, one person must be sacrificed or killed to exit it, if no one dies within 13 hours, all life on the Island will be destroyed, including Reiji’s precious people. Everyone is granted a special power dependent on their personality, and the survivor will have a wish granted by Odin; Reiji’s power is to summon a girl named Sakura, a “living weapon”; survive, and end the game.
15-60+ hours to complete, Fortissimo FA INTL Ver is definitely… something. Full voice acting and a rather interesting story, I can definitely see why it has so many positive reviews; but it also has its issues. You can’t take any screenshots, spelling errors and confusing sentences are a common sight; but overall the VN is still understandable. Character design is cute but mostly leans toward odd; everyone has a different school uniform for some reason and hair styles are strange; one girl has what looks to be a… bag(?) on her head with a gigantic safety pin, one has her hair cut at 5 different lengths, and another tied her hair together in front that resembles a beard; to name just a few. The story is interesting, but very, very convoluted and I ended up glancing at a wiki to get some information straight. Play it if you want?
A Building Full of Cats
Recently hired to look after a building full of cats after all the residents decided to travel for the holidays; it’s your job to make sure none of the cats are missing! Some are very skittish and will hide, so seek them out while seeing what a sneaky cat named Fofino wants from you.
40+ min to complete, 6 floors to explore with some relaxing music, A Building Full of Cats is a rather nice hidden object game. There are bonus cats hidden in the menu’s for extra achievements and despite it being short, there is a story with a satisfying ending.
Waking up utterly alone in a marsh with no recollection on how you got there except a memory of a civilization making a sacred pilgrimage to the golden door that leads to paradise; start your own journey to find your people and see what exactly is behind this door that no one ever returns from. Make an unlikely friend, and find your own definition of utopia.
4+ hours to complete, 5 chapters, one really good ending. An atmospheric adventure game with simple puzzles, the gameplay is pretty smooth; I didn’t experience any errors or bugs. You learn a couple skills to make exploration more fun and gain access to bigger maps, Float, Surf, Teleport, and Navigate. In each area, you need a minimum of 3 “energy sources” to move to the next map, with achievements for getting all of them. A lot of the story is told through “Memory cubes” of a previous pilgrim making the same journey. I enjoyed Omno more than I was initially expecting, the skills were fun to use, especially surf, and the ending was honestly very surprising and I loved it! Omno is an easy game to play and an even easier game to recommend.
Vella Tartine and Shay Volta are two people who live in separate worlds and yet somehow inexplicably connected. Vella is a baker who lives in the Badlands in the small but delicious town of Sugar Bunting; chosen as a sacrifice for a terrible monster that appears every 14 years from behind The Plague Wall and eats young girls from various towns in a ritual called “The Maiden’s Feast;” while Shay is the only passenger on the spaceship, the Bassinostra, looking for a suitable world to live in since his home planet of Loruna is dying. With two AI parent’s, MOM & DAD, who keep him safe from anything and everything at all times, Shay is wanting a real adventure! Fortunately, there seems to be a strange stowaway who needs his help “rescuing” innocent creatures from evil forces.
Let’s get this good time over with!
5-10+ hours to complete with 2 chapters, Broken age is a point and click adventure game with excellent writing, voice acting, and difficult puzzles. Act 1 is fairly simple and straightforward, but for Act 2 I recommend following a guide. Broken Age was made by the creators of Grand Fandango, another fun game with notoriously tough puzzles; and it shows. Solutions are not obvious and even if you are a creative thinker, some of these will leave you confused. Despite the drawbacks; I still have to recommend Broken Age for its fun storytelling, writing, and voice actors, but beware, there is a speedrun achievement and while you can save/load sections to shave off time, it’s still not super fun to do.
The Deer God
You start as a hunter, staying up late and looking for a deer to shoot for an easy meal; two come along, a big stag and a young fawn, and you line up your shot! Unfortunately for you, wolves attack and lightning strikes you at the same time and the baby fawn is shot instead. You definitely died; but the next time your eyes open it’s directly into the floating form of The Deer God, and they look pretty miffed. Appalled by your accidental cruelty, they reincarnate you as a baby deer and the only way to become human again is to redeem yourself. Good luck?
3-7 hour pixel platform side-scrolling adventure game where you play as a deer. Start as a baby and stumble your way to adulthood, complete easy push puzzles to gain various power ups; and use them and your platforming skills to beat some simple bosses. There is a karma system in place, if you’re good other deer will assist you in fights and follow you, but if you murder too many bunny rabbits you get reincarnated as one next time you die. I didn’t experience any bugs, and while the game is pretty easy, you could still die in a moment of carelessness. The only thing “unbalanced” is the Hail skill, where you have a Hail AOE that lasts a couple seconds you can actually stack/spam; I recommend it against one of the last flying bosses. Overall, The Deer God is a fantastic game and I don’t understand why the current reviews are mixed.
Our World Is Ended.
Play as Reiji Misaki, a college guy conned into working for a hellish video game company who can only make terrible games called “Judgment 7”; and you somehow end up really liking it and the other 6 employees despite the unethical hours and absolutely abysmal pay. Everyone who works here has their own sin, ranging from Perverted, Delusional, Chaotic, Childish, Airhead, and Plain; and together, this group of misfits has delved into VR to make a brand new, trashy 18+ game with their brand new W.O.R.L.D engine that- hang on, that’s not right; this new program traps the user into a fictional world, and randomly summons characters, creatures, and evil organizations from the previous games created that are at of risk being brought into reality! Save Japan before it is overwritten and destroyed while you try to escape from this false reality!
25-40 hours, 7 routes and 8 endings, a fully voiced VN with multiple options, I have a love-hate relationship with Our World is Ended; on one hand, the art is gorgeous, the world building is incredible, and I already mentioned but- this 40 hour game is fully voice acted and frequently goes on sale for $3.99? What? I’ve only seen two spelling errors and quite frankly, that’s pretty incredible. On the other hand, you will statistically hate all the characters until they grow on you and learn more about them. They are flawed, terrible people who become more human but at the beginning it’s really irritating communicating with everyone.
All the routes are similar except for the endings, but “skipping through all read text” of a 40-hr VN isn’t easy. There really, really needs to be a “skip to next choice” button otherwise seeing all the routes and getting 100% is absolutely exhausting. I wouldn’t recommend Our World is Ended at full price but at $3.99? Absolutely.
July 2022 Progress Report
I did it! It was rough but I beat a couple games I had planned from last month and then participated in Cjcomplex’s event, so, I’ve knocked out 10 games! Woo! Time was kinda tight working on Ni No Kuni 2’s DLC but thankfully it was a Friday and Saturday, so I was able to pull through.
Working on Wrath of the White Witch for August but I don’t have any solid plans until I see the HB monthly and the new events going on. I’m soooo tempted to buy myself Stray, but I’m going to leave that as a reward for myself along with some other games when I beat my new years resolution. (Beat 80 games, complete more than I buy, etc.) I feel kinda burned out tbh because I’ve never beaten 10 games in a month before so I’ll probably re-read something I like or pick up a new book. Looking forward to next month!
Games added to backlog: 1
Games 100%: 10
As a small shark with a traumatic entry into the world, become the greatest apex predator! Survive, evolve, and grow from a pup, teen, adult, elder, and mega shark; everything and anything is on the menu! Take your revenge on Scaly Pete, explore and become the underwater queen of the 8-9 locations on the Gulf Coast, and lure bounty hunters out in the open as you gain infamy points to unlock special perks and abilities. This world is yours!
8-12+ hours, Maneater can be played in a few different ways. Yeah, you can go all out and be super aggressive but the best moments I had were just, swimming around and enjoying the beautiful and realistic graphics. Later on, you get a perk which makes things smaller than you ignore you and swimming with the sharks is just, really fun! I went out of my way to find the albino versions of every animal and the Orcas are super cute. I named my character Ophelia and I really did have a great time. There are plenty of sea caverns and ecosystems to check out and many are just, absolutely gorgeous.
The game does have a couple cons and work-arounds I would like to mention to anyone interested in playing, the narrator is fun but can get super annoying 2+ hours in. He can be muted in the settings thankfully; but comes back in the DLC; which I actually recommend you skip. When I bought it, I thought it would just be silly but, is just, really annoying with all the conspiracy theories and ridiculous objectives. Fighting the final boss was good, but everything before then just made me thankful it was over.
Yen is the first god, father of mankind. He filled the middle worlds with spirits, animals, and men; seeded the forests with trees and filled the rivers with fish. He married and had 7 sons before leaving his wife and taking them on a long journey to become skilled hunters and slay the greatest of beasts; Vorsa. Vorsa is a legendary six-legged moose who carries Shondi’s fire, the sun, in his antlers and was created with the beginning of the world; and after a long hunt, was slain by Yen. With Vorsa’s death, the sun fell into the lower realm and Yen told his seven sons to draw lots among themselves, with each day a new son journeying to the underworld to bring a fragment of light back to the middle world so that the sun may rise again.
The Mooseman is 1+hr game that is largely an artistic reconstruction of myths and lore of the real-life Komi Permians, Komi Zyrians, Mansi, and Saami people who live in north-east European Russia around the basins of the Vychegda, Pechora, and Kama rivers. Artifacts represented in game are stored in the regional museum of Perm Krai in Russia. You play as one of the sons making their journey to the Underworld to collect a fragment of light and bringing it back to the middle world. Gameplay is very easy, simply move forward or backwards while switching between your mortal eye and spiritual to complete puzzles, progress through physical objects, and hide from the more dangerous spirits. Plenty of optional puzzles and riddles to collect secrets and artifacts.
The House of Da Vinci
7+ hours to complete, 8 chapters; House of Da Vinci is a well-made 3D puzzle adventure game with a large variety of mechanical puzzles and fabulous inventions! Solve your way through the House of Da Vinci and find the reason behind his mysterious disappearance. In nearly every room, there is a hidden blueprint which grants you both an achievement and a collectable that can be interacted with in the achievement room.
The world is peaceful and the Devil is bored; so, he jams a troublesome soul into a carved pumpkin that’s on fire and sends them to the human world to cause as much chaos as they can. This unfortunate- or fortunate? Soul is none other than Jack; the man who became a legend after tricking The Devil on multiple occasions; has made yet another deal with the devil; In exchange for hunting down The Wizard, The Champion of Humans, Jack can then leave Hell and wander the world once more.
6+ hours to complete, 6 chapters. Playing Pumpkin Jack was really easy and satisfying; the gameplay isn’t difficult and the puzzles, boss fights, weapons and power-ups are fun. My favorite character is The Cowardly Crow, a bird companion you meet almost immediately and spends the rest of the game with you. There are collectables but none of them are missable unless you choose to not explore an area or ignore them, the gramophones and outfits especially! I didn’t note any errors or sudden difficulty spikes, but there are some parts of the game where it’s easy to get vertigo; Either way, Pumpkin Jack well deserves its positive reviews.
Call of the Sea
Nora Everheart sets sail on the steamboat, the S.S Caramel after her wayward husband, Harry Everheart, and crew goes missing on an expedition to a strange island 74 miles east of Otaheite. He left in search for a cure for Nora’s strange genetic illness; and after searching for clues he is convinced that somehow, this island is it. Nora arrives, and immediately feels something is… off. There is a reason sailors won’t speak of this island except to warn you away, and it’s time you find out why.
Call of the Sea was such an awesome game, 7+ hours to complete, a good and interesting story with excellent puzzles and plenty of charming characters. A walking sim with gorgeous and colorful environments, and despite the well-deserved Lovecraftian tag, not a horror! 6 replayable chapters, two endings, and a lot of fun discoveries; Call of the sea is absolutely worth playing if anything I’ve written sounded interesting to you.
Arriving at one of many islands to take over your retired aunt’s calico cat café, meet and make friends with the animals and residents of Heart Village. Complete requests and errands from the villagers to collect various furniture and 21 recipes for your shop! With numerous animals, horses, foxes, cats, dogs, crows, bears and more, have up to 10 animals living with you in your café. Carve out a space and life for yourself on this gorgeous island, and make it your home!
There is a lot to unpack here, so I’ll try to keep it short. 6+ hours to complete, slow-paces and LGBTQ+ friendly yet with no romance options; Calico is purely a pastel slice-of-life and relaxation game. Every piece of furniture and apparel is fully customizable with a huge color wheel with apparel having numerous patterns. The baking minigame is very fun and there is such a huge variety of things to do on the island you can pretty much do whatever you like; with my favorites being relaxing in the hot springs with the capybaras and running the café. The music is a bit repetitive but it’s very enjoyable and in particular I love the NPC designs and dialogue; the game is however, very feminine.
For the cons: as stated before, it’s very feminine. Making a character is supposed to be androgynous but making a male character is fairly difficult due to the body types/outfits; this game is marketed towards women. Another is at the time of this review, cake decorating as shown in the steam store video was removed due an issue and it’s not certain if it will be re-implemented. There is a bugged quest with Kai; you have the option to give her a dog or cat for her to feel more comfortable living alone at the lighthouse, and I chose to get her a dog, but going to bed resets the quest and defaults to giving her a cat instead. Riding horses is fun because of their quick speed, but dismounting them while they are running makes them continue at that speed until they hit a wall or unclimbable area. While this can be hilarious, chasing down a horse zooming across the map is just fun for the first few times it happens.
Overall; it’s a fantastic game. I really enjoyed playing and while I wish there was a bigger display case for pastries and sandwiches you can make, it’s a very fun 6+ hours and it would be interesting if they ever decided to add multiplayer.
TLDR; 6+hrs, LGBTQ+ friendly, a pastel slow-paced slice-of-life game where you run a cat/animal café. 21 recipes and a ton of customization for your character and furniture is available. Very feminine and relaxing.
A girl wakes up alone in a strange place with floating blocks, missing walls, and a void below her. The floor crumbles as she discovers her unique abilities – The power of precognition and time manipulation; Team up with a cat to repair broken paths, open doors, and hide from the dangerous sentinels that roam the floors, and make your way home; Wherever that is, anyway.
Timelie is a very enjoyable 5-7+ hour stealth puzzle and strategy game! Absolutely worth it to get all the relics for the True Ending! My only complaint is that I wish it was longer, or a book. A bit hesitant to play at first since I’m not a huge fan of the strategy game genre, but it quickly grew on me - Time manipulation is fun to play with – and is worth checking out if you’re even slightly interested.
Milo and the Magpies
Poor Milo! On his way back inside from a wonderful day of sunning on the roof, some pesky Magpies drive him away! Slightly lost but not too far from home, Milo needs to make their way back through the neighbor’s backyards and outsmart those Magpies to get back home before that storm rolls in!
1+ hours to complete, Milo and the Magpies is a hidden object point-and-click adventure with original music created by Victor Butzelaar. Hand-painted and created by the developer Johan Scherft, there is a lot of love put into this! Solve puzzles, find all the collectables, get into your neighbors’ catnip and meet some new friends on your wayward adventure.
Szymon is a 12-year-old boy, left alone after his mother passed away. Exploring the nuclear wasteland that was Poland created from an alternate reality WWII, he stumbles upon an abandoned massive Nazi bunker that had its own city and civilization deep underneath the earth. Learn about its origins, the reason for its existence, what happened to the original occupants when it was eventually attacked and taken over by Polish rebels, and the colony they created inside from the ashes; and perhaps, make a home for yourself here too.
I had a really fun time playing Paradise Lost, I also however, love walking sims and haven’t experienced the bugs mentioned in other reviews. Aside from a visual glitch that in no way affected myself or the story, I had a great time! 3+ hours to complete with four endings and decent replay value. I highly suggest when you start the game you turn off head bobbing and severely reduce the camera sensitivity. There are no jump scares, nothing terrifying, nothing ever chases you. Fantastic game, play it if you want.
Something to note: In chapter 1 you have an option to walk through the station gates directly or take a detour through boxes and luggage – I suggest you go through the gates the first time and on your second playthrough; should you choose to do so; go through the luggage for a more fulfilling experience. (also, it makes more sense story-wise.)
A Very Late June 2022 Progress Report
umm… I have an excuse?
So lightning struck the tree 10-13ft outside my doorway, kinda traveled down from the top, sorta exploded the tree in the middle, and then hit my house; and my PC, washing machine, and fish tank heater died. I had to get a new motherboard, processor, and other good stuff so I dropped it off at a repair service to fix it, BUT, I had to travel to Arkansas at 5am on the 1st and then I just got back 6 hours ago! Still nauseous from the plane; actually. I did attempt to sleep but cece09 said cj’s event was up so… that definitely didn’t happen. Also the tree is somehow fine!
Moving on, I failed my new years resolution of not buying more than I 100%, but since it literally wasn’t my fault I’m just gonna super casually add the missing games from last month to this month; ima be busy. Despite only beating 3 games, I did put 85.3 hours into Ni No Kuni 2 and beat that but it’s not completed yet (DLC) so I’m not counting it.
Games added to backlog: 7
Games 100%: 3
Katamari Damacy REROLL
Katamari Damacy REROLL, a 4-30 hour colorful and quirky game where you roll up objects to restore the stars in the sky. Levels are around 10 min each and the game can be completed very quickly, start from rolling up small household items, to entire towns. Create constellations, occasionally collect gifts from the king, and explore and discover new things in the world.
Warning for keyboard players, this is a lazy port and getting started is difficult enough to put you off from playing. You can skip the tutorial, which I recommend you do immediately upon starting, and then go talk to the giant bird on your planet to re-bind the keyboard to WASD so the game is actually playable.
Flood of Light
Play as W-02, a small girl left behind in a flooded and forsaken Hope city. Waking up in unusual circumstances with an interesting power to control and move electricity, collect wisps, repair the decommissioned robots, re-power the cities cores, and light the lanterns. Find the truth of what happened that left you alone abandoned in this lost city; and go home.
I loved Flood of Light! It’s an extremely cute game with a curious story with some rather creative and fun puzzles with a couple flaws; The text is mostly broken English and there is a fair amount of spelling errors, but the art, graphics, music, and puzzles more than make up for it. 4+ hours to complete, for the low price, it’s absolutely worth picking up and a great gift to send to a friend. Consider picking up the soundtrack as well!
May 2022 Progress Report
Well, this month was remarkably underwhelming.
I either disliked the game or it was good but had it’s issues. Going through my steam sale receipts, I’m going to try and focus on the three visuals novels I bought in the wintersale 2020 despite not really being interested in them anymore; I’m half tempted to just remove them from my library; if I end up doing that I have some summer 2021 sale games I would really like to play.
Eastshade was a clear winner this month despite the numerous bugs and how easy it was to softlock yourself out of stuff, still an absolutely gorgeous game with a good ending, I wish the developer worked on it a bit more though. It’s almost the Steam summer sale so I’m definitely ready for that, the two games I want to buy this year haven’t yet been released yet but I’m ready for them; the only game I think I’m going to be buying is the Talos Principle but I really hated The Witness so we shall see!
Games added to backlog: 3
Games 100%: 5
Fable is the story of a young boy whose village was burned down, his family either dead or scattered. Rescued by a mage named Maze from the Heros guild, he is taken in and taught to defend himself and take quests from the nearby town of Bowerstone. Searching for signs of his family, he sets out to rescue his sister and mother from the clutches of Jack of Blades.
Recommending Fable would be difficult for multiple reasons. Fables age aside, the keybindings are absolutely terrible and it’s recommended you either play with a controller or make some sacrifices on what you can and can’t do. Unable to key anything to the numerical keypad, (1,2,3) I gave up on blocking, dodging, flourish, and the bow to make the game more playable. The save checkpoint system in particular tends to cause quite a bit of backtracking and you need to leave the area to a new region to make a new checkpoint. Map areas you can enter are too small and numerous so loading screens are frequent; the combat is clunky and bows take too long to be drawn, there are not a lot of armor and weapon customization options, and some skills like (magic) Physical Shield are overpowered and unbalanced.
The biggest cons Fable has however are two things, the age system and the giant hole in the storyline. If you explore Fable and take your time, you’re going to be age 60+ by the end of the game while your sister still looks 20. You age so rapidly every time a day passes and you even age while learning skills in the guild. For the stoyline, it literally does not make any sense, while I suspect this is a “go and rescue your mom and sister, again” sim considering how many times they get kidnapped, it has bigger issues such as obvious solutions and character motivations not matching the storyline (spoiler text elaborating.) Bugs are absolutely rampant, the head bobbing is annoying so you need to zoom out on your character all the way, and the guildmaster is perhaps the most annoying character in the entire game. Whenever your mana is low, he tells you this via the guild emblem you are unable to toss, and whenever there is a new quest, he won’t shut up about it, especially if you are in a minigame, he repeats “Dun dun duuun! You’ve received a new quest card” until you leave it. I ended up muting the entire game and using a playlist due to the frequency of notifications.
Fable isn’t all bad however, the graphics are fairly decent, the housing system and upgrades are enjoyable, the rent system unique, and some of the minigames are actually fun. Some of the bugs in particular are my favorite, such as the item duplication bug, which sped up the game and likely saved me about 10 hours according to HLTB.
For the story flaws (SPOILERS; obviously.): Maze was working for Jack of Blades, Jack of blades was looking for you, and Maze obviously should have taken you to him instead of the hero guild. The story explains this as, “Maze isn’t strong enough to beat him but you have a special bloodline so he wants you to do it.” But this doesn’t make sense either, as while Jack is pretty strong, so is Maze and they are of comparable strength since you end up fighting both in the storyline. Maze also has high standing and powerful friends in the guild, so it doesn’t make sense for him to not call upon Thunder, or Briar Rose, or the Guildmaster, or even Scythe. Dude has options. Your mother. Former arena champion, is frequently mentioned to be incredibly strong, and then… gets taken out by Balverines? Is this a joke? She obligingly gives out valuable information to enemies and makes it stupidly easy to capture her multiple times during the story and does not put up a fight or draw a weapon at any point in time. Jack of Blades. He is specifically, for some reason, looking for you. He needs your family’s special blood from your mother’s side to get the special sword but has your mother readily available as a captive, and lets your sister go after he blinds her. In the end, he uses your mothers’ blood to get the sword, proving he was absolutely wasting time the past 10+ years. The story says he needs a key of which your mom only knows the location, gets the key, and then it’s straight up never used or mentioned again. You don’t need a key to enter the chamber of fate, the sword is already in the chamber. The key is never shown actually doing anything, jack suddenly just has the sword.
TL;DR: Perhaps the positive reviews are from people re-living out their favorite childhood game, because from my perspective it has too many flaws to be decent. If you’re still interested in playing Fable, either use a controller or be aware of all the bugs when you start it.
ISLANDERS is a 2-7h strategy city building game that features randomized islands, various environments, and sandbox-like qualities that will let you explore and challenge yourself. Created by a team of 3 people, for $5 it’s a solid game that you can come back to time and time again. Placing buildings gives you points which unlocks new buildings and Islands, but beware – once you leave an Island to create another, you cannot return.
I like this game, it’s very enjoyable; there really is only one issue I have with it. Placing buildings give you points, placing them next to or far away from other buildings give you even more points, and while there is a Sandbox mode, inevitably all my cities started blending together and looking the same. This was somewhat offset by the creative uses of plateaus and the randomized environments, but it’s also a notable downside. Regardless, for its price and the fun you can get out of it, it’s an easy buy even if you end up not putting a ton of hours into it.
Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?!
Play as Patatalata Kartoffel P. Aardappel Papa, or P.K.P.A.P! Your grandfather, Batata, has passed away leaving you, as Batata’s only grandson, to inherit his blacksmith shop! Or at least, 0.01% of it. Fortunately, another Spud, Agent 46, who is your grandfathers’ best friend who owns the rest of the shop is here to help! Agent 46 gives you a short introduction and hires you 3 smiths to get started making starch and valuable weapons to heroes across multiple worlds, good luck!
This isn’t a horrible game but I wouldn’t tell a friend to play it. When you first start out, it’s pretty boring because you can only make a couple items and it takes time to unlock new items to research, and then you get to the fun bit 3-ish hours in, unlocking new items and working through quests… and then it quickly spirals into tedious. The gameplay is too repetitive, you make weapons, enchant and sell them, send someone to explore and find more ingredients, get all the hero’s levels to max and them move on to the next world. Completing the game takes 11-27 hours and it really does start to get flat.
While Holy Potatoes does have some interesting aspects such as various crossovers and references to movies and popular myths, blacksmith shop redecoration, and neat weapon designs, it’s not entertaining enough to make you forget that it’s going to take you 16+ extra hours to get all the achievements to see all the content.
Aporia: Beyond The Valley
Play as the Warden of life, Ina. Waking up after a long slumber, you find yourself completely alone in an overgrown and abandoned remnant of a broken city. Move forward an explore to see what happened to this lost civilization, using your vial of glowing light to brighten the way. Discover your own adventure and put the ghosts of the past to rest!
Aporia: Beyond The Valley is an honestly gorgeous game, 5 – 17 hours long, the puzzles are interesting and pretty fun! Despite there not being any text in this game – the story is you learning while exploring – it’s pretty intuitive. The only thing I recommend is you actually need to look around; there are a couple people who absolutely lost the plot because they never bothered to investigate the first room which the story builds on. There are 5 chapters and two endings.
If I had to complain about Aporia, it would be about the ghost. In chapters 3 & 4 you get hunted and you need to find a couple items to unlock the next area, and it really cheapens the game. Story wise from my perspective (no text, remember?) it doesn’t make sense and it’s rather annoying. If you go for 100%, beware; there are 96 collectables in chapter 4, which is a significant increase from the 20-30 in previous chapters and avoiding the ghost is pretty hard, but you need to do it without getting caught or you lose out on the Ultimate survival achievement, although you could just reload a previous save.
April 2022 Progress Report
I’ve had an amazing time this month, assassinated two (!!!) big games out of my backlog with Okami being a fond & beloved childhood game of mine; and Terraria, a game I set aside for far too long. Townscaper I’ve had my eye on for a bit so when it got bundled I had to snap it up and had a fun 2-ish hours of playtime; it’s certainly better than Islanders. Thinking of games to play next month, once again I don’t really have anything in particular I’ve picked out, I did win a new game from SG, Fable Anniversary, so I hope to play it next month! I’m a bit nervous, some of the achievements looks difficult but I’ve seen it referenced a couple times and people seem to talk about it positively.
Games added to backlog: 3
Games 100%: 5
Edit: Forgot to add my progress bar!
Terraria is an absolutely huge 50-175 hour 2D sandbox survival exploration with some rather fantastic biomes, boss fights, housing, furniture, weapons, and mounts – the survival mode is optional; as starting the game on Journey Mode gives you access to time & weather changes, enemy spawn rates, item duplication, and a godmode option you can turn on and off.
Starting the game, you create a world, and you choose how large it can be, how difficult you want it, if you want the crimson or corruption, or random. After that, it’s all randomly generated with an ocean on each side, floating islands, a huge dungeon, perhaps some living trees that you can make some rather fantastic treehouses with, and of course, The Underworld. Beating bosses unlocks new content, new npcs, new weapons and mounts, more biomes, and some neat events. Much of the content is optional and I will freely admit most of my time was me building a large apartment complex that went into space; with some individual houses for my favorite npcs in their preferred environments.
While Terraria’s strong point isn’t the storyline, the sandbox aspect is honestly enough to let you roleplay your heart out and come up with your own conclusions. Between fighting off the occasional pirate invasion, flying around with rainbow wings, and occasionally fighting my favorite boss, The Empress of Light, I honestly had a fantastic time by myself without even touching the multiplayer option. Spending 100 hours in this game is easier than I expected, and it’s easy to recommend.
TL;DR – A 2D sandbox game that’s easy to sink 100 hours into, optional boss fights, a rather incredible amount of weapons and item customization, pets, mounts. Fight god, or fish the entire time. Multiplayer is optional. 50 -175 hours to complete.
Townscaper is a cute city-builder, create a town on an island in the ocean, on stilts, floating in the sky; or some odd combination of everything. Sprawling cities and gardens, cozy houses, looming castles, huge apartment complexes, build your town block by block.
Fairly enjoyable, regardless of what you build the art style is enough that you’re going to be satisfied or happy with whatever you make. Place a house; and trees, benches, grass, and other things pop up making your town look lived in. More of a toy than a game, choose colors and discover combinations by building things, building things in a specific order can create some unique areas. My only complaint is that sometimes a house does not have any doors, or the door is in an undesirable location, like the back of the house instead of the front.
Bottle: Pilgrim Redux
Warning: mentions of alcoholism, depression, gross negligence, and death.
A man seeking redemption for his past mistakes takes this pilgrimage every year, walk with him down the mountain to the oceanside and listen to the story of his wife, how she passed away young from cancer; his difficulty connecting to his daughter while they both deal with the heavy weight of grief; struggles with the bottle; and how he tries to redeem himself from an unforgiveable mistake, year after year.
Bottle: Pilgrim Redux, a lovely walking sim accompanied by decent instrumentals and some rather fantastic graphics. The game is almost completely linear and the storyline is easy to follow along, there are no parts or puzzles to sit around where you can get confused. 1-2+ hours to complete, if you’re looking for a good walking sim to spend some time in, this one isn’t bad.
100 hidden fish
Find 100 hidden fish in this rather enjoyable 10+ min hidden object game. Everything is hand drawn and you look for 100 different fish hidden in the environment with some classy upbeat music in the background. There are moving animations, such as bubbles and moving mechanical fish, making everything very entertaining to look at. “N” will give you nightmode if the screen is too bright, and you can reset all your achievements by hitting “Del” then “Esc”.
March 2022 Progress Report
It’s my birthday!
And therefore I’ve played a bunch of walking sims and assassinated one of the larger games in my library, small things. Pluviophile took the cake(!) for being my favorite game this month, the other two games in the “Poetic ones” series wasn’t too bad either. I’ve also finished the three games in the Nephise series, and I’m planning on checking out the bottle series, or one of them at least, since some have mixed reviews.
For next month… I don’t really have anything planned? Okami, definitely, maybeperhaps Trails in the sky second chapter? I miss it. Bottle: Pilgrim Redux? To the Moon? It’s a mystery. Mostly waiting to see what cjcomplex’s event is and the theme for the “Play a game you won on SteamGifts” event.
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
Bottle: Pilgrim Redux
Games added to backlog: 6
Games 100%: 7
Chionophile, a charming and short 40+ minute walking sim accompanied with a poem by Archibald Lampman, an 1880’s Canadian poet and lovely instrumental music by Pınar Karabaş. Explore a beautiful winter day in two chapters, find glowing Crocus flowers and place them on their pedestals to reveal the next part of the poem and unblock the next area.
The first part of the game is very linear, but the second is a very big open area. Certain flowers go to certain pedestals which unblocks an area where another flower is, which can add a couple frustrating minutes as you try to find which flower you can grab next. Graphics are very pretty, and with classical music in the background and snow crunching underfoot, Chionophile is still a very nice game even if it makes my computer fans work overtime for some reason. There is an option to run instead of walk.
A charming exploration game that isn’t really a walking sim. 30+ minutes to complete; enjoy exploring two areas full of flowers; there are many glowing orbs on the map and touching them will increase your movement speed and make you feel like the wind of spring. Collect glowing Crocus flowers and set them upon their pedestals to unveil a poem; collecting all of them will open the next field to explore.
Finding hidden poems on the map manually is very difficult, but right clicking will mark the locations as well as show where the flowers and pedestals are. Collecting and placing all the crocus flowers to leave the area will introduce you to a sort-of game of tag; avoid the moving lights while trying to tag the green one; however, there is an option to turn the moving lights off in the menu. Loverowind isn’t bad for its price but I consider the other two games in its series “Poetic ones” to be more of a walking sim if that’s what you’re looking for. (Chionophile & Pluviophile)
Nephise Begins is a beautiful exploration and walking sim. Traverse a rather small area of a forested valley, collect mushrooms and animal skulls, investigate an abandoned but tidy house, and stay a healthy distance away from the giant fox blocking a rather interesting and mythical looking cave lest you get eaten.
30+ min to complete, despite this game being about how Nephise started on her orb collecting adventure series, the actual story is… disappointing and sparse; the ending is strange and quick. Despite its faults, I can’t really give this a negative review because the game is cheap and the graphics are gorgeous; I did like walking around for 30 min taking screenshots.
Play as Nephise, an adventurer who explores forests, valleys, and ruins for precious orbs of light. Traverse a small forested area, rotate the statues, and somehow convince the giant wolf to leave so you can reach the precious cave entrance they are hiding.
20+ minutes to complete; Nephise was honestly a bit boring. The story itself and the ending is very weird; the only pro I can really think of is that the area is very nice to walk around in and take screenshots of. Even for the games cheap price, I’m not really convinced it’s worth it, because there is so little to do and the area was extremely small.
Play as Nephise, an adventurer who explores hidden glades, deep caverns, and misty forests. While out exploring, Nephise has gotten herself lost in Dragon Valley; find four statues to unlock four gates, each with their own challenges and make your way home.
Nephise Ascension is a huge credit to the entire series, 1+ hours to beat, beautiful graphics, fun gameplay, easy puzzles, fine music, it’s a good game to recommend. The weather effects could have been nicer but the huge open areas were fun to explore and actual gameplay progression is really linear and easy to follow along. The last area in particular was stunning, and the ending and beating the last boss was more enjoyable than was expected.
Build the roller coaster park of your dreams. With more mechanics, options, and editing than you could possibly use in a game, you can make pretty much anything. Base models are available if you don’t want to create your own hotels and stores. Manage employees, store pricing, hotel rooms and how much salt you can add to the fries, there isn’t really anything you can’t mess with and edit to your liking.
While there is a lot of things you can do, the game isn’t perfect. Creating a plaza or an open area is pretty difficult and you mostly just set roads next to each other and then cover the weird areas with bushes; and the game particularly hates it when you try to make stairs or underground areas. I seriously recommend playing in Sandbox mode to start out to learn all the mechanics and how to manage rides and employees since you have unlimited money and can’t make any serious mistakes.
February 2022 Progress Report
This month didn’t go super well for me game wise, I only beat 5 games when I planned 7, and tbh I wasn’t terribly impressed with anything I played. For some reason I just felt burned out and never got to the games I had scheduled so next month is a self-care month with my favorite genres that will let me RP a bit. I was supposed to play Crosscode and a few VN’s but finding the motivation to play sidequest sim and a few dating games was difficult. I haven’t really chosen what I’m doing in March, but The Outer Worlds, Slime Rancher, and perhaps Planet Coaster? None of these are short so I’m already kind of dreading how many games I can complete.
Games added to backlog: 1
Games 100%: 5
A Sky Full of Stars
Akito is known as the astronomer who never looks at the stars. Left alone after his parents and grandfathers deaths, Akito works part-time at a convenience store and lives in the astrology clubroom as it’s only member - if only to save it from being cancelled and to have a roof over his head. Life changes however, when the former club president requests Akito to meet up with another astronomy club president at an all-girls school. With that, an ambitious idea leads you on a quest to resurrect The Six Stars; six astrology clubs in six schools on the verge of being disbanded! Reconnect with your childhood friends, and embrace a budding romance that’s written in the skies!
A Sky Full of Stars is a slow-paced “slice of life” 25-50hr VN with minimal choices, four love interests, and no bad ends. While I did feel like the length was a bit excessive, it wasn’t horrible as the writer did a fantastic job building up the story and relationships. The entire VN is fully voice acted, which I didn’t expect because of its length, and the CG’s and movies are high quality. The only thing I really disliked was that Akito is a bit of a pervert, so some of the text involving him was cringy. Regardless, if you want to read a slow paced VN that will take you all day to finish, this is definitely a good option.
You are Crab Rangoon, the dashing-est bard in all the lands. Your D&D session is coming to a close as your group makes its way to the final boss – Vulcuzar! But trouble strikes, your friends are trapped and you are the only one left to fight… The only thing you can do… IS BARD HARDER!
Robin: I flirt with Vulcuzar.
Alden: Here we go.
Nia: Omigod! YAY!
I love this! Bard Harder is a VN with a short playtime (less than an hour!) but the entire time I was cackling! Well drawn, fantastic music, incredible writing and story set up, I am very happy with the quality and enjoyment I’ve gotten out of it. There are multiple endings, and if somehow the store opening video didn’t convince you to play Bard Harder, I hope this review does!
A Story About My Uncle
A simple request for a bedtime story from your daughter has you remembering Uncle Fred; a man who has long since vanished on a spontaneous adventure with no one knowing exactly where he wandered off to – except for you. Retell a magical adventure full of mysteries and intrigue, of strange creatures, enchanting caverns, dangerous beasts, and otherworldly places; the story about your uncle.
Warning: this game can give you motion sickness; this issue is resolved by going into options and removing motion blurring and/or speed lines.
Before you buy, I’m going to note here that I only recommend it depending on why you want to play A Story About My Uncle. If you want to play for the story, or you like speed runs and optional timed challenges, then yes, you’ll probably like this! If you’re playing with the intention of getting 100%, I doubt you will. A handful of achievements are actually kind of difficult to get, beating the game will take about 3+ hours, but 100%’ing it? 10+. One is getting a gold medal on all timed challenges and the time constraints are… not going to be giving you much room for mistakes.
With that out of the way, the story is pretty good, the gameplay itself is really fun, you fly around 5 areas with a grappling hook and the speeds you can hit are exhilarating. Some of the paths you need to take aren’t obvious and there is a bit of room for exploration, but all stages are linear. There are a bunch of collectables and story objects to interact with to enhance the world building, but the game ending is a bit disappointing. While I don’t fully recommend A Story About My Uncle, I definitely don’t hate it enough to give a negative review.
TL;DR: 3-10+ hrs, good story, fun gameplay, exhilarating speeds. Optional timed speedrun challenges and plenty of story collectables. Hard to 100%; ending falls a bit flat, play it if you want.
NaissanceE is a curious atmospheric horror game where you are alone in a huge structure that seems to have once carried a civilization that has vanished. Enjoy hostile architecture, strange yet familiar structures, unusual but unsettling pathways all while getting the rather strong feeling that you are being hunted. Run, hide, wait, explore beautiful and abnormal scenery, and just try to escape this seemingly endless world.
Important note if you are on the fence about playing! There are no jumpscares, nothing is going to eat you, and you are completely alone. Don’t worry about it. My only real complaint is that I wish there was more story or clues that might give you hints about what happened so you’re not just making it up as you go along. While there are a lot of Easter eggs, none of them seem to have any connection to the story from what I can tell, sort of making this a guessing game. Then again, the biggest fear is fear of the unknown, so perhaps it’s not all bad it’s never stated? This game is pretty big on atmosphere. Anyway, it’s a fun if unusual game, play it if you are curious and don’t mind exploring.
January 2022 Report
AHHHH! It’s the new year! I don’t really have a schedule set up like I did last year so I’m mostly picking games at random that would also fit themes for events, while trying to strategically assassinate my leftover backlog! Unfortunately it didn’t start super well, The Unfinished Swan was something I was super looking forward to playing and I wanted it to be my first game of the new year, and it turned out to be a huge headache and a major disappointment.
I’m trying to work on my gifted games but I don’t really recall which games of my library were given to me and what I bought, but I know six “for sure” I want to work on this year! Dishonored, Dishonored 2, The Outer Worlds, Crosscode, Planet Coaster, and Edge of Eternity! Seems like at this rate I’m never going to finish my Trails in the Sky series though… Who knows. I don’t.
Games added to backlog: 5
Games 100%: 7
The Unfinished Swan
Play as Monroe, a young boy recently orphaned and left with a paintbrush and single painting of a swan his mother never finished. In his first night in the orphanage, before going to bed, the swan leaves the frame and goes through a magical door that mysteriously appeared. Enter a white kingdom, splatter paint to find your way and follow the swan.
Not only is this game massively disappointing, it inspires headaches and motion sickness. The puzzles are barely that, the story is 1-3+hours long, unremarkable, the ending was inadequate, and the only reason I can think of why this game has so many positive reviews is because it’s a side story of a character in What remains of Edith Finch, Milton Finch. There is an open ending and aside from showing you what happened to Milton you learn absolutely nothing about the character you play as or interesting story elements that were shown in gameplay.
If the puzzles were better, I could give this a positive review, but they are so mind-numbingly easy you can complete them without realizing they were supposed to be an obstacle. In one notable example, you are shown this huge and elaborate maze, and I was actually excited to see and explore it to find more story text, but once you enter it, you teleport to the finish line, and you move on to the next chapter. I wish I refunded this game then.
Dogs Organized Neatly
Dogs Organized Neatly is a very relaxing and enjoyable 2D puzzle game that takes 3+ hours to complete. There are 8 chapters, 80 puzzles, and 30 dogs. None of the levels are impossible or excessively difficult, all can be completed within a few minutes. Controls are simple, right click to rotate and left click to drag. There is an optional dark mode. Overall, it was a very cute and fun experience and it’s an easy recommendation from me!
Alone in a bar you get picked up by a magical fairy named Kyu to be her next project; turning a loner into a playboy and helping you get a date or several. With your phone now upgraded to increase your stats and a fairy whispering tips in your ear, go after 12 targets and find your happy endings.
6-25+ hours to beat, Huniepop is a dating sim, puzzle game and RPG rolled into one. Surprisingly enjoyable, there are multiple CG’s, full voice acting, plenty of activities and match-3 games to complete. You have 12 girls to woo, 4 of them hidden until specific actions are done, each with their own fully fleshed backgrounds, personalities, likes and dislikes. Warning: This game can be a huge time sink and is not appropriate for minors.
Warnings: Drug dependence, mentioned domestic violence, and casual mentions of suicide(s).
5 years ago, scientists said the sun was about to explode. Governments quickly announced the “Ark Project” where less than ten thousand people boarded a ship into space and quickly left the solar system with no direction in mind and billions of people left behind. Genesis was one such person, left behind with nothing to do for 5 years but to fill out mock exams, every day is pretty much the same… Until classmate Eva gets fed up with your listless attitude and makes you ask her out.
Face your doom together in humanity's last love story.
3-4+ hours to complete. While Dream Ending is a dark/sentimental story, it honestly wasn’t that bad. The CG’s were nice, the sprites were cute, the art is good, my only complaint is that the kiss CG was overused and had no variations. There were some basic spelling errors but they were infrequent and only one sentence was unreadable. Other than that, the voice acting was pretty good, and there is an extra story at the end you can read. Dream Ending is very cute and worth the price tag.
The Shadows of Pygmalion
Play as Mina, a young girl who discovers a doll gallery called Pygmalion and learns of the secrets hidden inside, where you gain awareness of a hidden and ongoing war to decide the direction of the world. As one of four emissaries to the Doll Ruka, destroy your opponent’s Marionettes while keeping your identity a secret to your four opponents and their Doll. Forge friendships with your three allies and make unlikely friends with your enemies, shine light on and scatter The Shadows of Pygmalion.
“Where do we come from? Where do we go?”
15+ hours to complete, The Shadows of Pygmalion is a LGBTQ+ Yuri/Girls love fully voice acted Kinetic Novel. There are 4 endings, three “bad” you need to choose before unlocking the “true” fourth ending. I loved playing, but there are a few negative aspects you should know about before committing to purchasing. The first 3+ hours are slow paced as it’s setting up the story, you get words and knowledge dumped on you that you don’t understand or know the meaning of until later on, and it can be confusing. And while I guarantee after you pass that 3+ hour mark the story gets significantly better, that’s still a big chunk of time. Regardless, I still enjoyed the rest of the KN and I absolutely recommend it!
Note: The main character and person of affection are both in high school, there is no 18+ action so if that’s what you are wanting look elsewhere, it’s all soft touches and hesitant kisses. There are no “you pick the love interest” routes.
Blush Blush is an idler dating sim that is mostly a clicker game. LGBTQ+ friendly and a lot of content, raise your hobby levels to get more hearts per click and increase your jobs and get promotions for more money for gifts. Raising lover levels is rewarded with a better relationship status and eventually outfit unlocks! Go on scenic dates and collect various CG’s! Also featuring Phone Flings, where you can message guys not yet in the game.
While pretty fun, there is not really anything to do or keep you occupied after you max everything out. Despite coming out in 2019, there is a noticeable lack of new characters, and many of the outfits are locked behind a monthly sign-in reward or you buy them with Gems, which you can earn in game or buy with irl money; so while it is an idler game, you need to sign in at least twice a day to start a count down for your reward, (1hr) and then play again to collect it. Alternatively, ignore it and check in once a week.
Regardless, It’s still an enjoyable game.