It’s been a minute since I did a check-in on the video games I’m playing, so I actually have a number of updates! I’ve played a number of smaller indie games in the last few months, including finishing HAVEN, a mostly interactive novel with some light combat elements, and the puzzle game MAQUETTE. (Unfortunately, my roommate and I put pause on MAQUETTE due to motion sickness issues, which is not a problem I usually have with games). My foray through ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA continues (75 hours and counting), though I’m approaching a point in the main campaign where some players have encountered a game-breaking bug that STILL has not been fixed months after the game’s release. I’ve been doing some side quest content to put off dealing with it, but at some point I’m going to need to roll the dice and see if I’m lucky enough to not have the bug.
Here’s some of the other games I’ve been enjoying lately!
THE LAST CAMPFIRE
In my quest to pick up more games for my Switch, I picked up this charming little puzzler, which sees you wandering about a world helping lost souls. There’s some ZELDA-like elements in the puzzles, pulling on blocks and arranging beams of light to bounce off mirrors to open doors. It’s a fairly short game, less than ten hours, but I quite enjoyed my time with it.
Also in the Switch department, I picked up FEZ, a puzzle platformer newly arrived on the Switch. It’s hard to describe this one, but basically it’s a puzzler that plays with perspectives. It has a 2D appearance, but the character can “rotate” the world to see what’s on the other side of things. Imagine the computer screen is one face of a cube, and you can spin the cube to see what’s on the other faces. Doing so allows you to see doors that were out of view, or could change the perspective on some pillars, making them closer together, allowing you to jump across. I’ve found it completely addicting, and am already through almost 60% of the game, despite having it for less than a week.
This was my indie pick from the Xbox Game Pass library, and SURPRISE, it’s a puzzle game. You are a cartographer searching for your grandmother, and the way you navigate the world is by picking up the pieces of the map and rearranging them. Say a character tells you to meet them by the lake. You have to figure out how to arrange the map pieces you have so that a lake is formed. There’s lots of tricks hidden in the tiles that require more thought than simply “put the water together,” and it was a lot of fun figuring them out. If you’re looking for a quick five hour or so game, this one is worth a look.
It wasn’t ALL puzzlers these last several weeks. I’ve been dipping into this new shooter from Square Enix, thanks once again to the magic of Xbox Game Pass. You are a mercenary on a colonist ship that has landed on a new planet, and of course things go horribly wrong. On the plus side, you now have super powers! On the negative…well, if you don’t like nihilistic tropes of cults that do brutally horrible things to people, give this one a pass. I certainly did a little bit of eyerolling at the over-the-top evil on display, but the gameplay itself is fun, even if the black humor runs a little bleak. Unlike games like DESTINY, the developers swear this is a fully self-contained package, so I’m looking forward to finishing this in the next month.
THE OUTER WORLDS: PERIL ON GORGON
THE OUTER WORLDS released its second and final DLC recently, which gave me incentive to finally pick up the season pass and play the FIRST DLC that came out last year. I was struck by how much I missed my crew when I popped back into THE OUTER WORLDS. Although I definitely default to taking certain companions out on missions (Parvati never leaves the party. That is the rule.), THE OUTER WORLDS does a great job of making you feel like you’ve got a found-family crew milling about your space ship, discussing tv programs and complaining about the state of the bathroom. As for the DLC itself, it actually contained a healthy amount of content, involving not just the new planet you can explore, but criss-crossing to some previously explored parts of the galaxy as well. I’m looking forward to tackling the second DLC, MURDER ON ERIDANOS, later this summer.
That’s what I’m up to – what are you playing?