What game are you playing?


Puzzlers, puzzlers, puzzlers. There’s been a lot of family trauma in the last year, and concentration = escape for me. Glass Masquerade (simulated jigsaw puzzle, very pretty); Baba is You, which is as good as everybody says it is; Pictopix; Samsara. Mix in Klei Entertainment’s fiendish builder/survival games, Don’t Starve/Together and Oxygen Not Included. Klei hits a wonderful sweet spot in its art: somewhere between adorable and terrifying.

It’s interesting what people’s designated comfort/restoration genres are.


I have so little time to game I’m just playing Azur Lane on my phone during down time moments, and Path of Exile when I have time on the TV.


Playing Sekiro when I have access to my TV. Beat Lady Butterfly after like 15 tries and involuntarily jumped off my couch and did an arm pump/dance thing. Only played for like 10 minutes yesterday but that was enough time to run into Headless and be entirely confused. The sheer blackness surrounding the character, the feeling of “oh god idk what’s down there but it can’t be good” was the most Dark Souls thing I’ve felt in this game so far.

When I can’t get to my PS4, I’m playing Hollow Knight on my Switch. It doesn’t seem as difficult as its reputation suggests, and (I think?) I’m pretty far into the game – I’ve found two Masters (or whatever the things with the masks are called), I’ve just finished Kingdom’s Edge, and I’m now in The Hive – and I haven’t once died without recovering my stuff first. I don’t say that to brag, I’m really not good at platformers. Does it get harder or something?


Playing Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines: Revelations: Electric Boogaloo (with the basic fix patch mod, not the plus version) and I have very mixed thoughts.

The 90s/00s edginess that made me dislike it the first time I played it isn’t bugging me as much now, and I love the clan system (I am definitely going to do a second full run as Malkavian), but I dislike it when the game forces you into combat because the combat system is kind of bad and does not make roleplay as focused as it should be. I’m only surviving with my crap combat skills by buffing the hell out of myself when I deal with a boss.

Also, what were they thinking when they designed the Sibling Rivalry quest? It’s not just that you get the best outcome by getting on the good side of both focused characters, but you have to have the EXACT SAME RELATIONSHIP VALUE FOR EACH OF THEM, A VALUE THAT IS COMPLETELY INVISIBLE

You can pick every correct choice to get them to like you and the game is like “no you get the bad end because you didn’t do enough math with the equations we’re not showing you to do this right.” Eventually gave up after doing the whole quest chain twice and used the command console to match the values.

I can see how this game is influential, though. I can see it putting together a lot of ideas and design elements from the immersive sim genre and focusing it into a more traditional RPG build, a lot of those ideas getting reused (and much better) years later in stuff ranging from the dialog heavily questing in the Shadowrun games, to Obsidian trying to merge 3D action elements with level design that gave you several options in Alpha Protocol and Fallout: New Vegas. It is impressive in a lot of ways, and some of the writing is pretty strong at points, especially with the dark sense of humor.


If you’re into the Hive and haven’t had a failed recovery run yet, you’re going to be fine up to the endgame probably. There are some hard platforming areas (where I would lose stuff regularly), a couple before the endgame, and a bunch after it. And the endgame bosses are super super hard. But they are the hard part, not getting to them usually.


I’ve been playing a fan translation of the first King’s Field game, and it’s fascinating. Some of the ways the design leans into its technical deficiencies are really clever. They don’t have a lot of textures for the world, so they apply them to areas with unique geometry.

For example, the first floor has 5 major sets of textures used throughout. You’ve got a set that looks like stone walls and dirt floors that gets paired with regions that are generally straight and feel carved out, but that occasionally take odd twists and turns, like they were just digging around the environment. Then you’ve got a big area with a kind of brutalist design that is huge, angular hallways made of stone that stretch off into the black fog draw distance. Shops and homes get divided up into rooms with a wooden-plank texture over everything. A couple of special areas are related to the dragon shrine that was originally situated in the graveyard, and they are much nicer looking and more elaborate than the rest of the floor, with carved pillars and insets in the walls for decorations (that are gone). But then you get the tunnels. These use a strange, blue-ish texture and are very difficult to navigate compared to the rest of the floor. They twist and diverge constantly, and until you can find the map (which took me quite a while), it’s extremely easy to get lost in them. I eventually found a little room where a pyramid juts down into the room from the ceiling, that serves no purpose (for now, maybe they’ll be important later). Later, on the second floor, more blue tunnels appear, and it becomes apparent that they cut paths through and around the rest of the geometry of the shrine (and even more inverted pyramid rooms show up). It gives the tunnels a weird, alien feeling, like they were made by something uninterested in the existing pathways.

What gets me about all of this is how the game manages to evoke not just a sense of place, but a sense of history to the world. With just 5 simplistic sets of textures and some thought put into the geometry, they’ve managed to make a space with a sense of history, where you can feel how new structures were built around old ones and passages between them are cut through.

I’m a bit of a sucker for early 3D games, and I love seeing how they manage to overcome their limitations with this sort of clever design. It’s really cool.


I recently started playing Hitman 2, and noticed that the elusive targets I missed in Hitman 1 have become to cycle back around. If you’re not familiar with the release details of the game, Hitman 2 includes all of the levels from Hitman 1 as DLC, and were free to people who owned the original at launch. When I went to do the recent elusive target that was set on the Paris map, I found that none of my progress and unlocks from Hitman 1 were available; they don’t carry over.

Now some people would bristle at this, and I understand that, but I enjoyed the hell out of Hitman 1, and I’ve had a lot of fun tearing through all the old challenges and achievements, relearning the minute details of the levels, and realizing the how the little improvements that IOI back ported to the old game change those levels.


Huh, I had no idea it was that complicated in that quest. No wonder I’ve always failed at balancing it out lol.


Cook Serve Delicious! 2!! for the Switch, which came out yesterday, and Vaporum for the Switch which came out today.

The controls for CSD2 are going to take some getting used to, especially during high pressure dinner rushes. How are burgers so hard to make???

Vaporum is a first person dungeon explorer, there’s some interesting mechanics I wasn’t expecting like the ability to change time so it’s turn based instead of real time.

So many games continue to be ported to the Switch that i’ve always wanted to try but didn’t have a PC or the right console.


The Switch really kinda is a haven for “weird game that i never played but always was curious about.”

Speakkkkkking of that, i’ve hopped on Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy. I’m having a pretty solid time with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Its a game that really feels like it came out in 2001, in many respects. From the positive, that its a genuinely weird, purposefully comedic in a way you don’t see from a big publisher anymore. More negative, the investigation phases are kinda ehhhhhhh, lots of long fetch quest chains that involve lots of scrolling through the same menus to move places.

Still, that trial phase, so satisfiying. Catching people on lies, is great, and is bolstered by stellar music and audio cues. i’m only a few trials in, but there have already been several moments of me going “Oh damn, shit just got REAL-REAL” I’m having a good time!

EDIT: I just went through a sit through of someone explaining what this incredible new techonology, a “Digital Camera” was. This is peak 2001


Hopefully the first game is enough to hook you! The games only get better and better with each release (more or less). The series really elevates its own formula to an art form and it’s fascinating to watch the evolution over the years.

I recently picked up Dragon Quest Builders on a whim and I’m very pleasantly surprised. It’s somewhere at the intersection of Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress, with more focus on linear progression and ease of access. Adding a storyline and a colorful, living world to the survival/crafting formula is exactly what the genre needs to pull me in. And thankfully, this game benefits from the same stellar localization as mainline DQ titles.

The game’s core cycle is basically to adventure out for new materials, build new objects with them, and add them to your town to increase its functionality. My favourite aspect of the building is “rooms”; much like in Dwarf Fortress, furnishing certain rooms with certain objects will cause the AI to populate and use them productively, eventually filling up chests with food, materials and crafted goods.


I just wrapped up Dandara, which was rad as hell. It took about an hour to get a handle on exploring a Metroidvania with no “up” or “down,” but I was all in after that. Highlights for me were the exploration-based “how do I get there” puzzles, gorgeous surreal pixel art in the set-pieces, and that one boss in the core of a huge machine. My only real complaints are that many of the upgrades are a bit too lock-and-key, and the last boss is kind of bad. I haven’t been this tilted at a giant evil meatball since the last boss of Tiny Barbarian, and that at least had the decency to give you a permanent checkpoint after the first phase.


Generation Zero is more and more broken the more I play it. I haven’t found a rocket launcher in 30 hours of gameplay. You get stuck in a reloading Portal death loop if you jump in the water. Structures are invulnerable but robots clip through the walls. Autosaves remember how much ammo I burned through but not that I already took down that Tank. Homes and barns are so cookie cutter it’s architectural deja vu every five minutes.

And yet.


I forgot I had subscribed to Origin Access to play Anthem, so I have access to a bunch of games I never played.

Decided to try the 2015 Need For Speed despite negative reviews because:

A) nostalgia

B) the car selection is pretty dope

C) ive been deep in forza horizon 4 again lately and wanted something a little different

but folks
this game ain’t great.

At least I can drive an 86 thats basically a recreation of the one I drove in Intitial D in the arcade, so it has that on FH4.


Finished Hob this weekend. I really liked it up until the end. It sort of forces an emotional payoff I don’t think it earns and makes you make a choice between two things that I don’t see as mutually exclusive. Very frustrating.

Tried out and early Access Gane called Deck of Ashes afterwards. It’s a really interesting take on Spay the Spire. The exploration is more freeform and combat and progression feel a bit more like a turn based rpg in some cool ways.


After having no interest in grinding in the post-game of Dragon Quest VIII, I started playing Dragon Quest Builders on Switch. No surprise that it reminds me of Minecraft, but I’m more a fan of the art style (which is what I wanted after DQ8), and really appreciate the ease of crafting. I’m a bit frustrated by the length of the day-night cycle, it feels super short (but that might just be me getting into a zone). I’ve got mixed feelings about the chapter system: I like getting a chance to build a bunch of different settlements and go back with no repercussions, but am not a fan of how it gates the materials in each chapter. I just really want to put wooden beds in my Cantlin penthouse made from obsidian, is that too much to ask?


I played all of Superhot VR yesterday and man am I feeling it today. In my arms and legs. What a workout. I’m totally on board for VR as a workout now. Usually I’ll workout for a pre-determined time, but in a game, I’m more determined to see it through. Must have played for three hours.

Will probably get Beat Sabre next.

Superhot VR definitely one of the best things on PS VR along with Astro Bot and that Star Wars X-wing mission from the first Battlefront.


I finished up Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and i had a really good time with it! That last case, that i read was inserted in just for the DS re release was of stellar quality, both on a story and mechanical level, that i’m a little sad we are going to go back to in the sequel. I played about 10 minutes of Ace Attorney: Justice for All this morning before work, and since its just the intro case, there wasn’t much to talk about, but i’m hoping for a few qol upgrades in the investigation phases at least.

Also still thinking about how i want to wind down my time with Sekiro What i’m thinking i want to do is to beat all the bosses. What i’m not sure is if i want to start a New game Plus run and get the last few bosses that way, or if i want to start a brand new save and finish it that way.


After mostly wrapping up Sekiro (just need to do the last couple of bosses of ng+), I’ve started trying out Path of Exile on PS4. I don’t think it translates as well to console as Diablo 3 did but I’m still having fun building a sunder gladiator.

And after listening to the Three Moves Ahead about it, I dived into Dota Autochess and… I think I like it? I need to play more but I’ve had a real boom or bust set of runs.


Playing as Robot in Nuclear Throne has never not ended with me right clicking in a hectic situation eating my good weapon. Robot is the worst character!