September Challenge on SG
back. Pretty much the only thing keeping me
sane." – Kathy Rain
I’m participating in the September is “play a game you won on Steamgifts” month challenge on Steam Gifts. I got challenged to 5 games and beat 3 of them, posted below. Two remaining challenge games are Undertale and Alien: Isolation.
The Stanley Parable★★★☆☆ (3 hours | 8 / 10)
A fun, short game, but I think a bit overrated. Basically a choose your own adventure in 3D. The real draw is of course the narrator’s philosophical musings with the player. I found the game more than bit boring. Felt a bit played out after the first 10 minutes.
Grim Fandango Remastered★★★★☆ (8 hours | 47 / 47)
A great classic point-and-click with a fresh coat of paint. Great characters, decent story, and some interesting episodes thrown into the mix. Stumbles because some of the item combinations are unexpected, can’t fast travel between screens, mandatory animations on certain screens, and could be more straightforward and polished. Still, I’d recommend it to anyone.
Kathy Rain★★★☆☆ (4 hours | 20 / 20)
A modern point-and-click with retro graphics. Cool main character, pleasing graphics, and the first few days of the story were decent enough, but from there it went downhill. The main plot of the story was not worth hearing, and our protagonist went through like five revelations in her character in quick succession. When a game puts story ahead of everything, I want it to rise above the average video game story, and this just doesn’t deliver.
I liked the references, which I now get some of having played through a few classic point-and-clicks. Corley Motors, tombstones for p&c protagonists, and a whole lot of theme borrowed from Twin Peaks.
Star Wars Episode I: Racer★★★★★ (4 hrs 23 min | 100%)
One of the best arcade racing games I’ve ever played. Tons of unique characters with unique racers, upgrades for your podracer, different places to buy upgrades, a buy-trade system if you know how to use it, great tracks, and epic sound effects. A couple of the tracks are actually quite hard too, so there’s a nice difficulty curve. My main complaints are the upgrade system isn’t perfect, and if you don’t know about the buy/trade system you can be strapped for cash with no way of getting more because each track only pays winners once, ever, so if you don’t get first place you’re going to be low on funds.
The Waiting and Abandoned
These are games which I’ve left hanging and not found the time or inclination to finish, or ones which I’ve abandoned. I feel bad for not finishing a game I’m gifted on Steam Gifts, but some of them I can’t help but move on from.
What makes you abandon a game?
How long do you give a game to improve before calling it quits?
I made it a slow and boring 30 minutes in, closed the game, and never reopened it. When I went over to tactical games like SteamWorld Heist and XCOM2 which were a lot more polished, it was hard to ever go back. The reviews aren’t stellar, so they don’t inspire much confidence that it will improve. How can I bring myself it give it another chance when there’s so many other unfinished games on the stack that seem more promising? Last played June 3.
Whenever I glance upon this in my Steam Library, I tell myself I’ll return to it. I’m about halfway through, but the game has mostly been repetitious, and another 8+ hours of repetition doesn’t sound very alluring. I like the D&D references and the humor, but the combat and shitty platforming leave much to be desired. People are still making mods for it, and the devs still posting updates, so there are big fans out there. I just don’t get why I’m not one of them. Last played June 12.
19 hours in. I’m pretty good at this one, so it seems strange I abandoned it. The puzzles were fun at first, but now it’s been a lot of more of the same. Looking at the global achievements, seems a lot abandon it pretty early on. I finished Snow Drift putting me in the top 1.2% of owners. I’ve still got 3 worlds left, so you can imagine how few people actually complete this game. I’ve considered uninstalling it, but I keep thinking I’ll find time when I’m bored to finish another world. I just never do. Last played July 28.
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
I’ve read enough slobbering reviews to know this game must be amazing. But without the benefit of thick-framed nostalgia goggles, the game feels like what desperate PlayStation owners had to comfort themselves with while their arch enemies playing SMB64 were donning wing caps and flying through the clouds. Every single mechanic feels wrong, like the PlayStation owners had different shaped hands that controlled Abe better than I can. Given the rave reviews this one receives, I really wanted to be able to enjoy it. I just think it would have to be 1997 for that to be possible. Last played July 3.
RIVE: Wreck, Hack, Die, Retry!
Shoot ‘em ups aren’t usually for me, but this one had a lot of platforming and awesome graphics so it seemed promising. About 2 hours in and only 2 hours to go, I just stopped enjoying myself and never started it up again. About a month ago I decided that since I didn’t enjoy it, it wasn’t worth playing anymore and I uninstalled it. Abandoned June 4.
Wait - Extended
Played this one for 30 minutes and knew it wasn’t for me. The reviews were good, and people on the forum seemed to genuinely enjoy it. I could look past the graphics, but the game is a terrible bore with very, very scripted/linear progression. I strayed too far in my playthrough and after reading a guide realized I’d done everything all wrong. That or the dev had. Uninstalled July 30.
Cities in Motion 2
Played for a couple hours. It’s not bad, just not good. The reviews were good enough with many players putting in over 100 hours. Surely there must be something to do the game for people to spend so many hours in it? It felt very sterile, monotonous, and uninteresting. Abandoned July 31. Maybe one day I’ll go back to it.
August Recap Part 2
AGON - The Lost Sword of Toledo⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ (7.5 hours)
AGON - The Lost Sword of Toledo is a captivating well-told point and click puzzle game. The story is top-notch and has a nice proper arc. People compare this game to a movie and I think story-wise that fits, though there is a ton of gameplay! I wouldn’t call it a movie simply because there is so much gameplay. The voice acting fits the game well. The puzzles have a lot of neat parts to them, though some are too complicated for my liking.
Few main problems with the game: can’t skip dialogue, the game doesn’t help you with the puzzles and investigation enough, and the transitions between movement and areas can’t be disabled making backtracking really slow.
Space Run Galaxy⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ (59 hours | 28 / 30)
Great tower defense game. I like that it’s actually difficult, and not just throwing a million pieces on the ship and everything works. You have to plan your strategy and react in real-time to incoming threats. I was close to 100%ing the game, but it would take probably another 5-10 hours, and I’d rather spend that time playing a new game or two. Wish they’d make it easier to 100% games.
Fez⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ (4.5 hours | 6 / 12)
Cute puzzle game, but the difficulty is all over the place, and not all the content can be experienced in one playthrough.
Shoppe Keep⭐⭐✰✰✰ (12 hours | 18 / 31)
Decent shop keeping game. You design and stock a shop, complete sale quests, kill thieves and barbarians, and upgrade junk. It kept me occupied for longer than it should have. If you’re bored it’s worth a try, but there’s not much to it.
Big Action Mega Fight!⭐⭐✰✰✰ (0.5 hours | 14 / 45)
Very simplistic beat ‘em up. I couldn’t bring myself to continue it. It wasn’t horrendous, just not fun for me.
Bridge Constructor Medieval⭐✰✰✰✰ (1 hours | 6 / 14)
After playing Poly Bridge and then trying this, it’s like night and day. I don’t know what the devs were doing with this one, but it’s so shit compared to Poly Bridge it’s unplayable. I couldn’t even begin to finish it.
I beat 8 SG wins in August.
Death Skid Marks★★★★☆ (13 hours | 11 / 30)
This was one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played, but also one of the most rewarding. When you first start out, it feels like RNGesus has your balls in a vice grip, but as you learn more and more about the game, you come to realize that if you make the right choices, the RNG is mostly a scapegoat for your own failings. There’s a lot less twitch skill and a lot more knowledge-skill involved than I first expected. This game is very addictive, highly challenging, and fucking awesome.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior★★☆☆☆ (4 hours | 18 / 24)
Far too many bugs and poor gameplay to really enjoy this one. Skip it and play the second.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2★★★☆☆ (6 hours | 26 / 38 )
Enjoyable FPS with pretty simple gameplay. This one greatly improves on the first with much smoother sequences. The visuals are incredible. It’s worth a play for them alone.
Call of Juarez★★★★★ (7 hours)
One of the best puzzle-platform FPS I’ve ever played, and I’m a big fan of the sub-genre. Great characters, story, environments, platforming, and decent gunplay. If you liked Half-Life or games like it, give this one a shot. The game shows its age in some aspects, but don’t let that stop you from one of the best FPS experiences.
Monster Loves You!★☆☆☆☆ (3 hours | 2 / 14)
I thought this game was going to be like a CYOA, and it is, but it’s clearly for young kids. I didn’t enjoy it at all.
Got 100% for the first time in a game! Then got three more perfect games! I’ve also been making a lot of giveaways on Steam Gifts and got to level 4.5. I never used to beat many games until I started on Steam Gifts and BLAEO, maybe 3 a year. Since joining I’ve beat 10 games.
I am currently 2 hours into Rive, 7 hours into Unepic, and 3 hours into Freedom Planet. I will definitely finish Freedom Planet, but I’m not sure about the other two. They were both Steam Gifts wins so I feel like I should complete them, but Rive just isn’t very fun and I’ve pretty much given up on it. It’s really not for me. Unepic has been decent, but there’s still about 10 hours more and I’m not enjoying it as much as I was. I worry that if I take a break from it I’ll never return to it. Should I continue with Unepic? When do you decide to call it quits on a game?
I think this might be my favorite Half-Life game. I played it through with the tough achievement Rare Specimen where you have to carry a purple hat throughout the entire game all the way to Xen. This was difficult but fun. I used a guide for the other achievements, which are just little things you snag along the way. This is the first game where I got 100% of the achievements. Black Mesa was my first real Steam Gifts win and I was ecstatic to receive it. Much thanks to the Steam Gifts user who was kind enough to create a giveaway for it for the Playing Appreciated group (open enrollment if you want to join).
I saw this game on an /r/speedrun post about a 7-way deathless Any% race among the top 6 runners vs the developer. I won the game on Steam Gifts from the Giftropolis group. Big thank you to the gifter! The game is hard but beatable by anyone because of the death mechanic: whenever you die, your corpse stays in the world and helps you defeat traps to help you progress. But the speedrunners play on Rainbow mode where they have to restart the entire level if they die. If you play this game, you will appreciate how good these speedrunners are. Their skills are really unbelievable.
Here is the developer’s stream of the speedrun.
And here is a link to second place’s stream.
This was really addictive and a fun tower defense game to pass the time. It might lack some depth though, and some of the difficulty is a need to grind more to progress. I didn’t like that. I would want every level to be beatable and tone down some of the power that progression grants you. Big thanks to the leader of the Tower Defense Giveaways group who gifted me the game.
I played this after playing Myst, and it doesn’t even compare. Sure this one had more cutscenes for storytelling, but that didn’t improve the game or story, just a different way of telling it. I liked the mystery of Myst a lot more. Full Throttle was boring and forgettable. Lots of clicking random things trying to get stuff to work, and a boring cliched story to tie it all together.
Not sure who will read this, but… I collect far more games than I’d ever want to play, and I don’t force myself to finish games I don’t enjoy. I’m probably not the best backlog assassin because I usually just remove a game from my backlog when I’m not enjoying it rather than finish it.
I recently played through The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the first time, so that’s crossing one off my backlog. It was a lot better than I expected, and playing it through echoed for me how true RagnarRox’s video was comparing Dark Souls to a grown-up version of Zelda. This is not meant as an insult, but rather an expression that Dark Souls is a more adult-oriented game while Zelda has wider appeal. I played the 3DS version emulated on the PC using Citra.
The other game I played through recently was realMyst: Masterpiece Edition. After playing it, I see why it is so well liked, but I’m surprised it sold as well as it did given how confusing, difficult, and strange it is. I would not have expected it to be the top selling PC game for its time.