In a way I had a year off from gaming last year - I took a lot of time out to figure out what I was actually enjoying and whether or not I wanted to play at all. At the start of the year I’d pretty much planned to get rid of my gaming PC, but by the end of it I’d upgraded it and I’m excited for next year. Its good to take time to evaluate what you do.
As such, I played a lot of small games, old games, and toy games.
Kojima accurately portrays what it feels like to live in a pandemic. I loved this game and I was grateful for it at the time that I played it. I’ve written a longer piece about it.
A very kind friend bought this for me for Christmas. It’s a lot of fun, but I feel bad for not having completed Spelunky 1! I can’t decide if I should go back and do that or play this more. They’re both brilliant games.
I fired this up to show my daughter. We didn’t play it much but she liked the mushrooms. She couldn’t really grasp the controls - we’ll try again next year.
I found myself with an urge to play a city builder so I went back to learning Cities. It’s great, but I do think that after a few hours it becomes a game that I don’t entirely understand and as such don’t enjoy. I need to learn a lot about traffic management. It’s closer to Dwarf Fortress than you’d expect.
Lego Jurassic World
My daughter and I completed Lego The Movie The Game and enjoyed it, so I thought I’d try this next as she likes dinosaurs. She didn’t really stick to it.
Very cool 2D skateboarding game. Extremely difficult at times! I set out to finally finish all the challenges in this, and… Didn’t. Maybe next year.
I loved Gone Home, so I was very excited to finally get round to playing this. It’s brilliant, I really enjoyed it. It isn’t as good as Gone Home, but very little is. I don’t think that Tacoma does anything particularly interesting with its environment, which is a shame because the ship is a cool place and within the individual conversations the spatial aspect of the game is really neat.
I wanted to love this game, but I just didn’t. The gimmick of only having 1 minute to live sounds good, but just became really annoying to me. It just stopped me from having fun. I gave up on it.
Defense Grid: The Awakening
I had a random urge to tick off something on my backlog, so I installed this and completed it. It’s good! Not life changing but I had fun. I love tower defence!
When the legendary edition came out I decided to finally play these classic games, as I had somehow avoided them all these years. Mass Effect 1 is definitely dated, but the story is excellent and I found it easy to put up with the rather old school gameplay. I’m not someone who likes RPGs in general but I was very impressed by this. Who’d have thought it, universally loved game is good.
Magic The Gathering Arena
I finally played a bunch of games on Arena and got my head around it. It’s a nice version of Magic and I really like the way they handle digital cards - they’re very generous with them and you can have a lot of fun as a free player.
It took me a while to get used to how it plays, particularly with very active decks, but the learning curve isn’t very steep.
Lonely Mountains Downhill
Cute mountain biking game that manages to feel like biking without taking itself too seriously. Very lovely. I didn’t finish it.
Dead By Daylight
I decided to play this 4v1 asynchronous multiplayer game for Halloween. It’s a really fun concept! When you get into a good chase it is really tense and heavily skill based. The only downside is that being good at the game as a survivor doesn’t really involve what you’d expect - running in circles is the primary skill you need, and understanding the map generation algorithm is very powerful.
I think it’s really interesting that this is a multiplayer game where the canonical experience is entirely solo - there’s no in game chat, you are not meant to communicate. The survivors are working together but ultimately they act alone.
I love this game and I think I’ll come back to it from time to time.
I loaded up Dota again a bit. I still love it, it’s only getting better, but the time commitment is still huge for me currently.
Payday had a 10th birthday so I fired this up for a few rounds. I love this game so much, I wish I had a group of friends to play it with. It is, remarkably, quite good fun with random strangers.
Mass Effect 2
I haven’t completed this yet, but it’s a marked improvement on the first game and I’m enjoying it. They fixed most of the things I didn’t like about ME1 and didn’t ruin much that I liked in the process.
Forza Horizon 5
I got gamepass so I downloaded this to put my new PC through its paces. It’s a super fun driving game. I love the accessibility options. Ultimately I put this down and didn’t pick it up again, even though I’d probably enjoy it a lot.
Back 4 Blood
This is 100% Left 4 Dead, again, but who cares, Left 4 Dead was great and this is great. It features some really cool set pieces. I can’t wait to see how this game grows - I know a lot of people abandoned it so I hope it keeps getting updates.
This is most of Destiny’s multiplayer without an MMO hanging off it, it’s free, and it’s excellent. What an absolute joy. The best multiplayer shooter in years. I’m going to play more of this in 2022.
I played Halo 2 a whole lot in university and loved it. Back then the idea of matchmaking was completely new and I still don’t think most games do it as well as that game did it. The idea of playlists with different game modes really appeals to me, it keeps things interesting and keeps you from getting bored.
Back on this nonsense again for the Christmas holidays. I started a 1.0 game and I’m loving the improvements made in recent patches.