Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Just like The Next Penelope, this is another gorgeous and colorful game that first drew me in on a superficial level. It really is beautiful to look at, with a fun design aesthetic throughout. The gameplay itself is fun at first – and a super neat idea – but playing alone I did start feeling a bit stressed when I was getting surrounded by a lot enemies, and was frantically trying to control both characters to the various stations on the ship. I’m sure this game is a million times better when you do play it co-op, but I do appreciate that they still included a way to play it solo. I’m not done with it yet, but we’ll see how long I last.

The Next Penelope

I played a bit of this the other day on Steam, and really like a lot of it, although aspects of it make me feel like I won’t really have the patience to keep playing a lot. The overall look is fantastic, but the racing itself, done in the style of “track racers” where you just move your joystick left or write to change direction, can be fun at first, but when things get fast and you’re trying to shoot other racers at the same time, I find myself having a really hard time to stay in control – it’s the same reason I don’t tend to like combat driving games. But because I like the aesthetics so much, I do want to try and play it a bit more, see if I can somehow get better at it.

Duelyst

I came across this for the first time when I was browsing through Glixel’s top 50 games of 2016 list. Since it’s free-to-play, I took it for a spin at lunch time, and had a pretty good time even just going through the tutorial fights (and then a few practice matches). It’s got a great look to it that mixes pixelized characters (all the creatures you summon when you play) with very slick interface and environments. It’s a turn-based battle game that plays like a card game (you draw a hand of creatures and spells, and cast them on the battlefield), with a tactical map overlay. I don’t know if it’s going to keep my interested for a long time, but I definitely want to play it a bit more.

Kentucky Route Zero (Act 1)

I’ve been meaning to play this for what seems like forever (and have had it in my Steam library for a while now), and finally got around to it this week. I’ve played through Act 1 (there are 4 acts available so far, out of an eventual 5 I think), and OK, I definitely see why it gets so much praise – and this year’s Act 4 release has been on many a person’s year-end “best of” list. It’s a beautifully atmospheric point-and-click adventure game, with a haunting story (so far), and incredibly well executed animations. Such a fantastic game so far, and I already know that I’m going to love playing through the rest of it.

Jenny LeClue: The Journal of Professor Zazer

I just found out about the upcoming Jenny LeClue adventure game today (through this article), and when I saw there was a free playable teaser available, I quickly gave it a try during my lunch break. This is a decent length demo (about 30-45 minutes), and I really liked what I experienced, from the art direction and sounds, to the story bits and exploration. Definitely a game I want to play once the full release is out.

Gwent (Beta)

I surprisingly still haven’t played The Witcher III (I’m thinking of getting to it during the holiday break), but I have heard plenty about Gwent, the in-game fully realized card game this is now spinning off into its own game. I was pretty excited to try this – as I’m a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, and generally enjoying card games – and was pretty happy to get into the closed beta last month. To my surprise though, I didn’t get into it. Maybe I didn’t give it enough time, but I just couldn’t get a good handle on a proper strategy to use, having trouble wrapping my head around when to stop playing cards, or pushing my luck (and then being left with almost no cards for later rounds). I’m currently down on it, but who knows, I might be tempted to give it another try someday.

Watch Dogs

I’d never gotten around to playing the first Watch Dogs, and got access to it about a week before Watch Dogs 2 came out, and so I decided to finally dig in. The weirdest thing was that for a while, I was playing Watch Dogs at lunch time every day (on my PC at work), while playing Watch Dogs 2 at night at home, and it was really screwing me up because of the changes in controls, and also because there’s just so much more you can do in WD2 – I’d be playing WD1, and keep wanting to do stuff I just couldn’t (different way to hack stuff and people). I definitely much prefer WD2, especially because of the more colorful world and fun cast, but I’m still having fun with the first one (I haven’t finished it yet). 

The Touhou Project

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I really like shooters/shmups, yet I wasn’t really aware of the Touhou Project, a fascinating indie series of bullet hell shooters, and in fact so much more. I now know all of this thanks to this great article on Waypoint — and here’s a primer video too. I really need to play a bunch of these, which I’ll need to do on my PC at work because I don’t have a PC at home — thankfully, that’s what lunch time is for.