Spacefall's Backlog Battle Subs (SF)’s profile
OK, an update!
It’s a loooong time since I’ve posted a text update, but I’ve been updating my BLAEO account through the past year. As usual, I’ve fallen into bundle-gathering ways, and indulged in some new games, but that unplayed percentage is (slowly) getting smaller. I’ve left it so long that most of these will be a quick list, but I’ll highlight some of my favourites.
Sorcery! - Nostalgia for a childhood spent re-reading an old Lone Wolf book. Nicely recreated.
Say NO! More - Weird little game that I loved (especially the crocodile.)
Whispers of a Machine - Beautiful design and art; story didn’t grab me as much as I’d hoped.
New Tales from the Borderlands - New entry in a game universe I’m obsessed with. Mixed feelings about it.
Opus: Rocket of Whispers - Picked this up long ago (probably in a bundle?) and went in with few expectations. Surprised by a story full of thwarted hopes that went right to my heart. More to play in this series now.
Press Any Button - got emotional about a computer.
Mind Scanners - Enjoyed the style and storytelling in this curious scifi game.
Unpacking - The way this game uses its mechanics to tell a story and immerse the player in a sense of places and things and belonging… I loved it.
Deep Sky Derelicts - I got so much enjoyment from this little Mignola-looking scifi deckbuilder. Simple in some ways, but the idea of the hulking ships and risky jaunts really hooked me.
Stray - Nice scifi short, but wish I hadn’t let myself get so hyped for it. Made me really, really motion sick every second I played it!
Return of the Obra Dinn - Absolutely hooked me from beginning to end. No time pressure, just a giant spooky logic problem that had me making notes on people’s socks. Creepy story. Great audio. Beautiful.
Sally Face - Short horror that I meant to play for ages and finally checked out the story.
Alex Hunter: Lord of the Mind - I have so many hidden object type games in my backlog from bundle-hoarding. This wasn’t a particular favourite, but decent enough.
Inscryption - Totally hooked me during the time I was playing it. Much more than I was expecting.
Psycho Train - More hidden object that I’d abandoned previously after running into problems. Got through it this time, and enjoyed the replay.
Queen’s Quest 2 - Hidden object again. Not really one that interested me, but passed some time finishing off the story I’d started.
NORCO - beautiful, and some top notch storytelling and scifi. Wasn’t sure how I felt about it by the end. Revived my hunger for point and click storytelling.
Outer Wilds - I saw a video that told me to stop watching and go and play Outer Wilds spoiler free. Did so. Had one of my most amazing gaming experiences. Spent weeks afterwards watching other people have that experience on stream to re-live the emotional journey.
Citizen Sleeper - The themes of this game are so up my street I can’t even say, and I’m rubbing my hands in anticipation for the next game.
The Pale Beyond - I bought this thinking it looked like The Terror Simulator, and it sort of is, but I wasn’t expecting to get so invested.
Monster Camp - Got in a bundle and not really my thing, but I enjoyed the artwork.
The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante - Caused a variety of sufferings to Sir Brante.
Eternal Threads - OK, this game had some pretty impossible competition given some of the games I played this year, but I enjoyed it all the same.
Cave Crawler - Short VHS-tape-like experience about being a little robot in a creepy cave.
Still There - I love games about figuring out how to make things work. This one reminded me a bit of Tartarus, but more point and click.
Iron Lung - Simple game with shedloads of atmosphere. Loved every horrifying minute.
Mutazione - Quirky and characterful.
Knights of Pen and Paper II - old bundle title that was enjoyable enough.
Hypnospace Outlaw - this game about an alternate-history sleep-based internet recreates the feel of the Geocities-era web more than anything I’ve ever seen. In theory a little bit like Orwell, but so much more immersive and absolutely full of character. I really loved this one.
In Other Waters - fiddly interface, but lovely and delicate little scifi story.
Orwell: Ignorance is Strength - Hypnospace Outlaw ruined this sequel for me - it couldn’t live up to how much I enjoyed that game!
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine - clunky controls at times, but really lovely and unusual game about people telling stories.
Detroit: Become Human - I’d heard this game dealt clumsily with real-life themes, but wasn’t ready for how much so. In theory full of themes I love, but turned out not to be for me.
Assemble With Care - Nice enough, but I felt like I was meant to be playing on a tablet.
The Little Acre - odd little point-and-click. Loved all the animation, despite the story not quick sticking for me.
Love Thyself - super short game spinning off… Endless Space? Can be a dating sim, though I just played it as a weird little story. Free. Good. Amusing.
The Murder of Sonic The Hedgehog - carrying on the theme of free weird spin-off visual novel things. No idea why it exists, but it was fun.
Death Stranding - got it in a bundle, and went in just to give it a try. Absolutely loved the experience. It reminded me of playing Fallen Earth back in the day, but with a whole other layer of weirdness, solitary box-lugging, and pizza. Got completely attached to all the characters, silly stuff, and messed-up world, and now waiting like Oliver Twist for another helping.
Suzerain - Turns out I would not be good at uniting a political party, or staying alive while trying to do so. Enjoyed this a lot.
If Found - Beautiful short story about coming out, family, and some scifi twists I was’t expecting.
Sable - long part of my off-steam backlog, but I ended up getting it on steam too and using the momentum to start a new playthrough. I wanted more from the lore and background, but it’s a beautiful and atmospheric game.
Beecarbonize - free game about fighting climate change. Good.
We Know the Devil - unusual visual novel where the mechanic is choosing to include or exclude. Hard to say too much without spoiling, but really liked this one.
Divination - very short but intriguing scifi game about predicting the future. Warning for themes of suicide throughout this one. Fascinating mini-story.
Hardspace: Shipbreaker - got totally immersed in this to the point where it was quite therapeutic! Loved the gameplay, loved the little family of shipbreakers on the comms (albeit the protagonist is a silent one), and was fascinated by all the hints of AI in this setting. Would love to see more in this universe.
Rocket of Whispers: Prologue - played because I loved Rocket of Whispers, but this was incredibly buggy.
Boyfriend Dungeon - This was a bit ‘social pressure simulator pro’ to me, but I befriended a cat and hit a lot of things with swords.
Machine Heart - free, short, occasionally janky but also moving scifi short.
Batman: The Enemy Within - played a silent Batman who alienated everyone around him equally.
Transistor - Some haunting voice stuff in this. I’m glad when a game with a really interesting story makes it so terrible gamers like me can still play and fully enjoy it.
Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture - This captures the feel of a certain kind of small British place so well. Only thing that threw off my immersion was the odd bit of music, but the rest of the game really drew me in.
The Almost Gone - This game has a lot of sadness and bitterness in the story, and I found it hard to play on at times, but it was interesting.
The First Tree - on my backlog for ages, I never really found the things in this game that others seemed to find appealing. Not for me, but glad I persisted.
Phew, that’s a lot, but I’ve played some absolutely gorgeous games this year - some that will probably stick around in my favourite games of all time. Now back to the backlog.
Well, I’m making progress with the backlog again, as well as making some decisions about what to keep in my library. I’ve removed a handful (I think about 6?) more titles from my ‘won’t play’ list that were either unplayable or just not something I can actually enjoy. I also made a category for games that are currently not playable on my machine, but which interest me - something to give another try with different settings when I have time. I’ve been avoiding adding lots of new games, but I still pass on the good deals to friends. I do still have a lot of old classics that I may have played on other devices long ago, and part of me wants to just mark them as complete, but I’m also interested in checking some of them about anew. We’ll see.
Two Point Hospital
Finished off all the base game levels to three stars. I was an avid player of Theme Hospital back in the day, and enjoyed this update.
Finished off the main levels (may go back to 100% the daily cheevos) in this relaxing puzzler. There’s something really pleasant about solving these, and it’s a good game to pick up and put down. I ran into a save game bug, but fortunately there’s a way to restore progress from cheevos.
Had this one on the go for a while. Some of the levels are enjoyable, others frustrating - I decided to just look up hints for levels I found boring.
Rusty Lake Hotel
Short, morbid, and enjoyable. I’d like to check out more of these at a later date, but no rush to add more titles to my backlog just yet.
Planet of the Eyes
Sweet little Limbo-esque robot story. I found this one much more engaging than Limbo, though I wasn’t thrilled at the time-padding rotating jump puzzles near the end. I found the game’s story touching.
Forgot to check this out when I first got it. It’s really an interactive Devolver trailer (and not even a new one) but it was a fun outing - imagine if games expos were like theme park rides, and also full of robots.
Batman: The Telltale Series
Decent Telltale stuff. Tales from the Borderlands is my favourite Telltale title, but this was a good enough adventure. Mostly limited for me by my frustrations with the source material, as I find it hard to get really invested in the protagonist. I have the following title and look forward to checking it out.
With all that, my unplayed percentage is down below 25% again. That’s … still a lot of games, but we’re getting there.
Finished Hazardous Space - at least as far as the game has been completed. I don’t expect to see any more as the game has vanished from the Steam store. It’s an entertaining enough side-scrolly turn-based combat/energy management sort of rogue-lite thing. I feel like I missed most of the plot as it appears in a small text box in the corner of the screen while you play.
Finished off The Artifact - a point and click scifi game that reminded me of old titles such as RAMA but much shorter. I had some save issues with this game on the first couple of attempts and got fed up with it, but managed to whiz through it today.
Also finished up Layers of Fear 2. This was a real slog for me, to my disappointment. I really enjoyed Layers of Fear, and I’m pretty into shipwrecks, disaster, and horror… but this just didn’t do anything for me. I found the writing cliched and sort of wooly, and neither the characters nor the horror really grabbed me. I guess it just wasn’t the game for me, maybe because I thought SOMA handled that flavour of creepy much better. The visual design was very beautiful in places though.
Finished The Hex - very good, and got me emotionally in unexpected ways. I enjoy a lot of games-about-games but that’s a particularly good one.
Finished off The Darkside Detective - really enjoyable as a fan of oldskool adventure games. Packed with media references and gaming tropes, and it’s short, pixelly fun.
I’ve been doing some VR gaming recently, and also completed Void Bastards on another platform (good!)
Forgot to log a first playthrough of Beckett the other day (didn’t love it, didn’t hate it), and have also been putting a lot of time into The Blackout Club - a multiplayer quest-based stealth/horror game that surprised me with its depth and replayability. I’ve maxed out my levels and completed most of the quests, so marking it as beaten, but still going back to pick up some of the challenges/items.
Well, I started actually playing my backlog again, though it’s grown and I need to recategorise a LOT of games. Currently playing The Signal From Tölva and loving the world that the creators have built. Even though bundles have left me with a huge backlog, they’ve also exposed me to loads of games that I would never have otherwise played. Now I just need to play more of them.
I’m not doing well at this because:
- I had to go through a break-up
- comfort-bought a bunch of games
- Borderlands 3 came out
So, basically I’m a bit of a mess, further behind on my games, and temporarily stalled. I haven’t given up on beating the backlog though, even if progress will be slower. Gaming can be good therapy.
Beaten: The Red Strings Club
This was a great trip into a cyberpunk world with some really interesting moral quandaries. Short, yes, but the worldbuilding left me full of things to think about.
Beaten: Heaven’s Vault
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Made me smile, broke my heart, filled me with wonder… this is my favourite kind of story. Just amazing.