Hey! Thanks for reading! Just a reminder that I wrote this some years ago, and may have much more complicated feelings about this topic than I did when I wrote it. Happy to elaborate, feel free to reach out to me! 😄
🎵 The song for this post is Kevin Level from the Overcooked 2 Soundtrack, by Oli Wood. 🎵
Shit sucks and I'm protesting. But here's a post I drafted last week, on games I've been playing recently.
This game… can't be explained. I mean, I can try:
Do you like tasks, for no reason? Do you like doing them with other people, under pressure? Oddly, it works! It's a game where you and others are playing as chefs having to cook on a clock, and the mechanics only makes sense when you play it with friends. It's "Dependency Graphs: The Game," and Saurya tried to get Karen and I to play it and I hated it.
Then our California friends were playing it, and after a few hours, Karen and I hit a rhythm where I could tolerate it. After a few more hours of that, it's been fun ever since. Like partner dancing, it's a great way to mind-meld with someone; the art is adorable and the kitchen designs are maddening, creative, and fun. We bought all the DLCs, and playing a few levels has been a great way to wind down an evening.
That said… it's not relaxing! Make sure you and your friends are ready for it! I laughed when I saw this article:
Also, some videos suggest it's very possible to mod Unity games with the skills that I have, I thought it might be fun to make a "vegan recipes" mod, though that would require custom 3D assets, which, is way out of my league lol.
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark
I think I got this from an Indie Bundle? Anyway, it is to Final Fantasy Tactics what TimeSpinner was to Castlevania: SOTN: a fat, sloppy kiss of a tribute with its own little spins. Like FFT, you'll spend 90% of the game in menus, though unlike FFT, some non-game elements (the music, the story) aren't quite so compelling as what it's cribbing, IMO. Some of the art is beautiful, however.
It's also extremely tweakable on difficulty, so you can make it a cakewalk or go full XCOM. I played the first 4-5 hours and enjoyed it well enough, but don't know if I'll continue; even though I can tweak it to make it easier, I used what I thought "default settings" should be and am now stuck in a place where I have to grind lol.
It's also made by what looks to be a married couple, which, like "Ilona Andrews", is the dream: make fun creative things with the person you love. I'm sure making the sausage is messier in practice, but still, you love to see it.
Return of the Obra Dinn
Remember how I said I want to like Adventure Games, but just can't seem to make them stick? Yeah, that! This game is, frankly, a delightful piece of art, so well-executed, and you feel like a genius when you "solve fates." But after the first 10-20 I hit a few walls and felt fatigue. It's easy to cheat, but that feels… mean, especially since the game can really only be played once.
I also have this beef with inefficient interfaces, and the main puzzle-solving mechanic (going into flashbacks) has just enough busywork and transition screens to make it feel like a bit of a chore. Have a notebook handy. I imagine this is more fun for experienced players of the genre; much like ultra-hard platformers or roguelikes have an audience who loves them that isn't "most people," completing this with no hints feels a bit like the Adventure Game version of that.
A Case of Distrust
On the opposite side of the table, I loved this game, and it only took me 2 hours to cut through. Maybe use it for a "date night" with some wine or something, or play it alone like I did. It's also an "Adventure Game," but IMO the puzzles are much more straightforward, and the writing is delightful fun. I have the lightest of beefs with some of the character work, but there's something very satisfying about a well-scoped work.
On Adventure Games
I've linked his work before, but I sincerely do like it: Ian Danskin did a great video ostensibly about Adventure Games, but about video games and genre more generally, that I found very instructive. I feel like just playing/watching all the cited media would be a hell of a fun way to spend a few months.
He did another, shorter video about two specific adventure games that, as before, make me wish I liked adventure games more than I did lol
These are a fun use of a lunch break.
Thanks for the read! Disagreed? Violent agreement!? Feel free to drop me a line at , or leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you 😄