I recently had the opportunity to do a bit of traveling, which afforded me the time to play through a couple of Steam games I hadn’t gotten around to yet.
Gone Home is a well-crafted story-based game where all you do as the player is wander around an empty house. You never encounter another person. There is no violence. The game is all about finding clues about what is going on and piecing the story together yourself. You are a college-age girl, who has come home after spending a year abroad in Europe. You come home to an empty house – your parents are missing as is your younger sister. Your family had moved into this house while you were away, so you are unfamiliar with the house. The main story focuses on your younger sister, but there are stories about your dead great-uncle (who left the house to your father), your father and your mother as well. All of the stories are excellent – the main story is compelling and will keep you engaged throughout the gameplay. The side-stories aren’t critical to completion of the main story and one of them is quite subtle; I found it worthwhile to take the time to find all of the stories available in the game.. The entire gameplay took me about 4 hours to complete. I don’t want to ruin anything about this game – but if this sort of game appeals to you I highly recommend it.
Papers, Please is a game called a “dystopian document thriller”. I admit, I’d never run into a game quite like this one before. The music is fantastic and the graphics are crude but support the overall sense of Soviet-era repression and scarcity of resources. You are a border inspector and it is your job each day to review the papers (passports, passes, work permits, etc.) of people requesting entry to your country. You approve or deny their request. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? With each passing day, the amount of things you have to remember to check on various documents increases. You are paid by the person that you review, so the slower your review goes, the less you get paid. You have a family at home for whom you have to pay rent, food, medicine, etc. I enjoyed playing this game a couple of times. The first time I didn’t make enough money, my family got sick, and I messed up so much I was thrown in prison. The second time I got through about 15 days of story and discovered the game was starting to feel more like work than like a game. You have to keep track of a LOT of minutiae related to the documents. I appreciate the story, and how awful a bleak, repetitive job like that would be — the game does a great job conveying that. I didn’t find the game particularly fun.Read More
I would like it if fantastic comic legends would stop passing away for a bit. This last week has been rough. We lost both Sid Caesar and Harold Ramis in the last two weeks. Both men were legends and influenced generations of comic talent.
Here are some things of interest I found online in the last week:
- Mel Brooks and Conan O’Brien pay tribute to Sid Caesar
- Harold Ramis BBC Obit. Ash Vickers (Megacynics) drew a tribute to Ramis – I love this picture.
- Awesome geek jewelry? You bet!
- Ira Glass has excellent advice.
- Ever heard of a sheng? It’s an ancient Chinese instrument. Check this out!
- Do you know the legend of the Slenderman? Want to see a scary movie?
- I liked Alec Baldwin on 30Rock. He writes a thought provoking essay in New York Magazine about the nature of public life.
- Guardians of the Galaxy trailer. I honestly never read the comics, but I’m pretty excited about this mad crazy raccoon.
- What do Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe and Elizabeth Olsen have in common? This amazing looking Godzilla movie, coming out this summer. Never thought I’d ever find myself happily anticipating a giant monster movie, but this one has me pretty pumped up.
RIP Mr. Caesar and Mr. Ramis.Read More
Hey all – I’m getting ready to head out for a short vacation to Miami, FL, so I wanted to toss the things I’ve found so far online this week up on the site. Enjoy!
- My Little Ponies meets Doctor Who? Yes, and it’s hilarious!
- The guy responsible for the exhaust ports on the Death Star speaks his mind.
- A visual guide to Marvel character movie rights. Just in case you didn’t know why the X-men or Fantastic Four won’t be appearing in an Avengers film anytime soon.
- I don’t know Guardians of the Galaxy from a hole in the wall. But this test footage has gotten my attention!
- Lastly, there’s a Kickstarter project going on that I found interesting. It’s for a live-action Webseries set in the world of Portal called Portal:Secrets of Aperture. Give it a look. Back it if you’re interested!
Have a great week!Read More
Hello everyone! Here is a list of amusements I found online this past week. I hope you enjoy them!
- LEGO Star Wars Microfighters
- Sad, Microsoft. Just sad.
- The 16 Most Awful LEGO Sets Ever Assembled
- Gaiman themed clothing? Prints? Stuff? Yes please!
- Do you need to rhyme a word? Any word? Check this site out for help.
- How to travel the entire country without ever getting in a car. Now, we just need to convince this country that an American version of RailPass would be a good idea….
- NFL + Star Wars Helmet Mash-Up
- Kotaku convinced Felicia Day and Freddie Wong to Interview Each Other
- Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime
A bit of a mish-mash this week!Read More
Yesterday’s Tabletop episode featured the board game Fortune and Glory. The players are Felicia Day, Ryon Day, Wil Wheaton, and Brandon Routh.
My first exposure to Fortune & Glory was on the game review site Shut Up & Sit Down. They did not favorably review the game, saying that there isn’t much strategy to the game and that if a player happens to roll poorly on a consistent basis they can end up not having a lot to do for the duration of the game. My favorite quote from their review is “This game, this beautiful game, this landfill of components, cards and color, this crush of cliffhangers, is everything that’s wrong with Ameritrash.”
As a quick aside, Shut Up & Sit Down is a fantastic gaming review site and I think it’s a great compliment to Tabletop (and On The Table) for gaming news. They’re raising funding to keep their website/content production going, so if you feel like tossing them some monetary love I think they’re worth it.
My thoughts about the game from this episode of Tabletop… well, 7 minutes in Wil cuts in and admits they got the rules all wrong throughout their gameplay so the episode isn’t really a representative sense of how the game plays. So, it’s hard to gauge. They certainly seem to have fun playing the game. But there are a LOT of bits involved… games with tons of bits can be a headache. There also seem to be a TON of rules and rules variants.
I think this is a game whose theme (Indiana Jones-style adventurers traversing the world to gather artifacts and fight Nazis) is very appealing. I will probably rent this game from my local game store to give it a try before thinking about purchasing it.
If you take the time to watch this episode, I recommend you take an additional 10 minutes to watch SU&SD’s review as well.Read More
Today is the final day to participate in Patrick Rothfuss‘s Worldbuilders charity event for Heifer International. A donation as small as $10 will enter you into a lottery full of awesome books and you’ll help Heifer fight hunger and poverty across the world.
There aren’t many charities out there that I regularly give to. A limit on funds available to donate is always an issue. But Heifer is one organization I try to give to every year. They make a difference in the world. And it’s neat to be able to give someone a beehive or a flock of chickens or sheep or a cow or a water buffalo. You can also give irrigation pumps, clean water, stoves and the like.
Patrick Rothfuss is an author of a great series of books called The Kingkiller Chronicle. I don’t know him personally, but from his posts on Facebook and his blog he appears to be a great guy who really cares about doing good for people. He runs the Worldbuilders event and gets donations from authors and artists to auction on eBay for the charity as well as to put in the lottery for contributors to win. The items in the lottery are mind blowing – lots of rare editions of books, autographed books, things you can’t get anywhere else. And the items that have been sold on eBay have been really neat too – there’s a listing for Len Peralta’s Geek-A-Week card sets that it breaks my heart I don’t have the cash to bid on myself – and there’s lots of other neat books and prints currently up for auction as well.
So, if you have any interest in checking this great opportunity out, please do so. It’s a great cause, and you’ll get a chance to win something really neat as well.Read More