17 votes

What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them?

What have you been playing lately? Discussion about video games and board games are both welcome. Please don't just make a list of titles, give some thoughts about the game(s) as well.

18 comments

  1. [2]
    jcdl
    Link
    Dorfromantik. I can’t say enough good things about this little chill puzzle/strategy/city builder game. The idea is to optimize the hexagonal tile placement in such a way to allow for further...

    Dorfromantik. I can’t say enough good things about this little chill puzzle/strategy/city builder game. The idea is to optimize the hexagonal tile placement in such a way to allow for further expansion while also getting perfect adjacency bonuses.

    After about 8 hours I was able to get a high score of just under 20,000 points which is in the top 1,200 players, apparently. Most popular YouTubers cap out around 10k points so I’m pretty pleased with myself. :^)

    7 votes
    1. Tlon_Uqbar
      Link Parent
      That looks pretty cool. Think I'll check it out. I like the trend of more "relaxed" city builders. As much as I like diving deep into something complex and nuanced (Dwarf Fortress, e.g.), these...

      That looks pretty cool. Think I'll check it out.

      I like the trend of more "relaxed" city builders. As much as I like diving deep into something complex and nuanced (Dwarf Fortress, e.g.), these days I don't usually have the time to go down those rabbit holes, at least not regularly. Like something that can scratch that itch in a more "snackable" format.
      Was a fan of Islanders, which is something in that vein. Though, it was pretty short, didn't take too long to find the optimal strategies.

      5 votes
  2. Pistos
    Link
    Kingdom Come: Deliverance, of course. Still. (I've been playing for over a month now) previous posts So, in Hardcore mode, I got to the same part I was at in Normal mode, and now I'm a little bit...

    Kingdom Come: Deliverance, of course. Still. (I've been playing for over a month now) previous posts

    So, in Hardcore mode, I got to the same part I was at in Normal mode, and now I'm a little bit past it. I made mostly the same key decisions as in the previous playthrough, but I notice that completing some things that I failed at in the first playthrough has been to my benefit in this later part of the game. One thing surprised me, though: There's a key scene in the main storyline. In my first playthrough, an NPC was alive, and I talked to him, and we walked out of an area together. But in my second playthrough, I was "too late", and the NPC was breathing his final breaths when I was talking to him, and he died in that area (i.e. didn't make it out). I'm impressed that they designed the game so that main storyline events can also change depending on your actions (or, in my case, inaction and tardiness). I've assumed up to this point that the main storyline quests are mostly set in stone, and it's just a matter of getting to the cut scenes in sequence. But apparently that's not the case, and this only serves to make this game more intriguing.

    I'm shaping my character to be more focused on archery than on hand-to-hand combat. As such, I try to engage hostiles from a distance, and run or ride away when they chase. For the most part, this strategy is yielding good results. I'm also able to buy or brew poisons, and then apply them to my arrows. This is pretty cool, because I have my Alchemy skill high enough that I'm able to craft a fairly lethal poison, and so I am able to down most enemies with just one or two arrows, because they soon die from the poison even if I can't get a third or fourth arrow to hit. As mentioned in a previous post, I like how challenging the archery system in the game is. You can't just line up an on-screen crosshair, and click to kill. The arrow shaft shown on screen when you draw your bow is not perfectly lined up with your character's line of sight; it's about 10 degrees askew. So you have to do some geometric measurements in your mind to shoot accurately. Plus, there is "bullet drop" (well, "arrow drop", I guess we would call it) -- and, arrows arc horizontally a bit, too. The flight path isn't just within a perfect vertical plane, 90 degrees from the ground. Flight path and arrow speed are also influenced by your strength, the power of the bow you're using, the arrow you've notched, and how long you draw back (longer for more power -- but holding too long tires you out and you lose power). You can use a bow that is just at the limit of your strength, but then it takes you longer to draw back to full (or even 3/4) power, so you decide whether to have more a powerful ranged attack at the cost of slower shooting rate. Hitting a very distant target is quite challenging, but very satisfying when you do get that hit. The thrill of 15th century sniping? Haha.

    I got pleasantly surprised by a very interesting twist in the storyline. Spoiler follows...

    One of the mainline quests has you needing to infiltrate a monastery to complete a mission. However, it isn't just a ninja type quest, where every NPC inside is hostile, and you sneak in, assassinate someone, and sneak out. The mission has you join the monastery -- be a monk! -- and act as a spy inside. You literally put away all your equipment, inventory and money. All you get are monk's robes and some slippers. And then you take part in the monastic life, including rising early for morning prayers, communal meals, doing scribing work, and so on. As a lover of history, I found this really really cool. However, most of the monastic stuff seems optional, in case the player might find that too boring or uninteresting. I don't know what happens exactly (because I've been following orders so far), but it looks like the game is designed so that, if you avoid your monk-ly chores and responsibilities, you get in trouble with your superiors, and some kind of punishment happens. Possibly solitary confinement, possibly even moderate physical punishment (beatings or lashes?).

    Again this game's reputation for deep immersion comes through with this spotlight on monastic life. The audio changes to have increased reverberations as you walk through the stone building, with high ceilings, and vast open spaces like the main church area. The meals are eaten in a large hall with very long tables. There is some nice-sounding chant in the game, too, with two-part harmony. (Well, "nice" depending on your taste in music, I guess.)

    Anyway, this post is getting long, so I'll wrap it up. I'll just add that I added to my Steam wishlist a few more items related to the game: A behind-the-scenes video on swordfighting, a free mini sound track compilation, and a making-of documentary. I look forward to watching these once I finish the game.

    5 votes
  3. rogue_cricket
    Link
    I've put some more time into Monster Hunter: Rise on the Switch. I'm only Hunter Rank 2, but I have the Rampage quest to upgrade to 3. I've tried and failed with the defense quest three times so...

    I've put some more time into Monster Hunter: Rise on the Switch. I'm only Hunter Rank 2, but I have the Rampage quest to upgrade to 3. I've tried and failed with the defense quest three times so far, although the first couples times were due to having literally no clue what was going on and I've worked out a bit of it on my own since then. There is an ingame tutorial available (I think?) but it may be through either the village quests, which I am going through intentionally kind of slowly, or hidden in a sub-menu somewhere. I'm planning on trying to find it tonight then giving it another shot.

    A couple folks gave me some tips last week - what helped me most was the acknowledgement that most of the ingame weapons guides were, in fact, pretty useless. I found some videos about what roles each weapon has and some basic combos. I'm having fun right now with Gunlance and I feel I have a pretty good handle on Sword and Shield, and I understand a bit more about Longsword. Not sure if I have clear favourite among those three so far though. Next I'd like to try out the Heavy Bowgun.

    I'm also enjoying just exploring and gathering resources, especially trying to track down the little hidden messages throughout the levels! I think as a result I'm quite low rank for the amount of time I've put in, and my inventory box is pretty stuffed with resources that I'm not sure whether I'll need or not, but it's a fun learning process. I also spend a lot of time designing custom dogs...

    I plan on playing a bit with my brother tonight when we meet up for dinner... I think he's settled on Bow for his current favourite weapon.

    If anyone is interested in playing with me send me a PM with your friend code and I'll add you! I often try to play online.

    4 votes
  4. Tlon_Uqbar
    Link
    I've been playing a ton of Monster Hunter Rise. Me and my usual hunting buddy got a couple of meaty sessions in last week, and the game got it's hooks in us. I think it strikes a pretty damn good...

    I've been playing a ton of Monster Hunter Rise. Me and my usual hunting buddy got a couple of meaty sessions in last week, and the game got it's hooks in us.

    I think it strikes a pretty damn good balance between classic MonHun and the more "modernized" and Westernized MH: World. The quality of life and UI improvements they brought back are very much appreciated, and thankfully it uses the classic MH lobby system (the way multiplayer worked in World was the dealbreaker for me).

    I am a little disappointed in some of the streamlined gameplay choices (read: they made it easier than I'd like). Finding a monster and keeping it paintballed to keep track of it was an integral part of the hunting experience, wish they'd kept that in. Also giving a straight-up notification and icon for when a monster is capture-able is pretty lame. Learning monsters' behavior/animations is Monster Hunter. I mean, I get why they made it more handhold-y, the classic games can feel pretty impenetrable. But it was those quirks that made the series unique.

    Still, the core hunting in Rise is fantastic. Highly recommended.

    4 votes
  5. asoftbird
    Link
    I've been gaming little lately, but spent some time in Factorio, with friends. It proves that difficult/complex tasks don't necessarily go faster as now there's four people who have no idea what...

    I've been gaming little lately, but spent some time in Factorio, with friends. It proves that difficult/complex tasks don't necessarily go faster as now there's four people who have no idea what they're doing instead of one, along with mismatching systems. Still, it's refreshing to learn how other people tackle certain problems.

    I've spent most of my time making 3D models and renders to mod the game, and with the help of some tools the devs themselves use l was able to replicate the inhouse art style pretty closely. l'm a game artist, and it's not just "object has to look like it fits the game" but also potentially "hey l can work in your style, hire me" type stuff :)

    Currently l'm working on a redesign of the burner mining drill, while reading the original design considerations & trying to avoid the same pitfalls. They need to look complicated and technical, but also need to leave the floor clear as much as possible so the player can still see the ores, and need space for the output chute to fit in & be visible. Those constraints make design pretty difficult and l'm starting to realize why the original model looks the way it does :')

    4 votes
  6. joplin
    Link
    I downloaded a bunch of the classic games that Apple Arcade added last week. It's a mixed bag: Star Trek - This is a really confusing turn-based game. The plot is that the Nexus has reappeared,...

    I downloaded a bunch of the classic games that Apple Arcade added last week. It's a mixed bag:

    Star Trek - This is a really confusing turn-based game. The plot is that the Nexus has reappeared, which feels like a really forced way to let you play a bunch of characters from the various different shows all in the same universe, even though they happened centuries apart. It's another game where there are a million options to choose from in setting up your characters and figuring out what to do, and it ends up feeling more like work than a game because I can't possibly understand everything involved.

    The Oregon Trail - I played the Apple ][+ version back in the day. This looks like it's based more on the later CD-ROM version, though it's definitely updated. The game play is similar enough in that it's a mix of skill and random events. It involves a little bit of strategy (but more manageable than what the Star Trek game mentioned above requires). It won't change your life, but it's a cute diversion.

    Good Sudoku+ - I usually play the "hard" levels of Sudoku, but not the "intense"/"master"/"extreme" levels. (Well, I dip my toe into those levels and usually end up frustrated when I can't solve them.) This version purports to teach you techniques for playing the harder games. Unfortunately, the system they came up with is itself so confusing that even going through the tutorial of things I already know how to deal with, I failed repeatedly to perform the assigned task. They want to put notes on the board of every possible number that can go into every possible cell then have you cross out the ones you've determined can't be there and highlight the ones that you know must be there. This makes the board overwhelming. If it only showed the ones you have determined must be there, it would convey the same information much more sanely, in my opinion. (But I'm biased because that's how I already solve them.) I'm going to try to go through some of the tutorials on the harder concepts and see if I can make sense of them.

    Solitaire + - Just a simple solitaire game. Nothing fancy, but passes the time how you'd expect.

    Blek + - This is a really interesting puzzle game. There are several colored dots on the board and several black dots. You trace an animated path with your finger, and that path gets repeated. The goal is to have the path cross every colored dot and avoid every black dot. It's pretty tricky, but pretty fun!

    I also downloaded but haven't yet tried Wonderbox and Don't Starve.

    3 votes
  7. vegai
    Link
    Elite: Dangerous, which I almost fed up with in the last week, but then something clicked and I'm managing battles rather well now. I think the knack is avoiding unwinnable fights, which ED has...

    Elite: Dangerous, which I almost fed up with in the last week, but then something clicked and I'm managing battles rather well now. I think the knack is avoiding unwinnable fights, which ED has plenty.

    Now grinding empire ranks in a Python, so that I can move to a Cutter later.

    2 votes
  8. [3]
    Thrabalen
    Link
    Lately, Star Dynasties. Found it thinking I'd have a new 4X game to play. Turned out, not so much, as it's a "Crusader Kings in Space" kind of game. Didn't like it at first, was really bad at it....

    Lately, Star Dynasties. Found it thinking I'd have a new 4X game to play. Turned out, not so much, as it's a "Crusader Kings in Space" kind of game. Didn't like it at first, was really bad at it. About 40 hours in, I started figuring it out. Now, I'm having trouble putting it down.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      emnii
      Link Parent
      That's a bit funny as I only heard about Star Dynasties because it was pitched as CK in space.

      That's a bit funny as I only heard about Star Dynasties because it was pitched as CK in space.

      1 vote
      1. Thrabalen
        Link Parent
        Well, I knew nothing about Crusader KIngs, so that didn't dissuade me. I'm glad I tried it, but if I knew then what I do now I probably wouldn't have. Which it's why it's good to get out of your...

        Well, I knew nothing about Crusader KIngs, so that didn't dissuade me. I'm glad I tried it, but if I knew then what I do now I probably wouldn't have. Which it's why it's good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while.

        4 votes
  9. [3]
    vord
    Link
    Picked up Mad Max for $5. Not the best game I've ever played, but it's fun and I'd love a more refined sequel. The Mad Max universe is one of the best possible to implemem GTA mechanics.

    Picked up Mad Max for $5. Not the best game I've ever played, but it's fun and I'd love a more refined sequel.

    The Mad Max universe is one of the best possible to implemem GTA mechanics.

    2 votes
  10. bub
    Link
    Since Evil Genius 2 just came out, I was reminded to go back and replay the first Evil Genius (2004). It's part of the niche "Dungeon Keeper-inspired" genre of games. Having tried the other few...

    Since Evil Genius 2 just came out, I was reminded to go back and replay the first Evil Genius (2004).
    It's part of the niche "Dungeon Keeper-inspired" genre of games. Having tried the other few games that fall into this genre, I think Evil Genius is still my favorite. The humor isn't so utterly hamfisted as it is with the others.

    2 votes
  11. emnii
    Link
    Narita Boy - I didn't spend a whole lot of time in this game. I love the way it looks but sort of hate the way it plays. Movement is pretty slippery and some of the platforms, even in the early...

    Narita Boy - I didn't spend a whole lot of time in this game. I love the way it looks but sort of hate the way it plays. Movement is pretty slippery and some of the platforms, even in the early game, are tiny. Combat's fairly simple, but something about the dodge doesn't feel responsive. I put it down for a bit, not sure if I'll go back.

    Resident Evil 6 - I really wanted to get through this. I previously played some of it on Xbox 360, right after I got an Xbox One, and XB360 RE6 wasn't backwards compatible. This time I started it on PC and it is just not very fun. It's clearly a coop first game, and every level I played of the first two and a half Leon chapters felt like I was supposed to run from the beginning to the end as fast as possible. There's nothing to pick up except ammo and health. Enemies are constantly spawning. There's no narrative between cutscenes. Just get through it as fast as possible. This just isn't what I want to do in RE.

    Outriders - I just got started on this. I wasn't sure if I really wanted another stop-and-pop cover shooter, but I don't think this game is that, at least not yet. I liked Painkiller and Bulletstorm a lot, and this game starts off a bit slow but very strongly. It turns out that slowness was on purpose. I'm looking forward to putting more time into it.

    1 vote
  12. feigneddork
    Link
    I've been playing/replaying some games: Tropico 6: I played Tropico 5 on PS4, and it was okay but a bit hard to understand its systems. Tropico 6 for me makes it easier to understand it's systems...

    I've been playing/replaying some games:

    Tropico 6: I played Tropico 5 on PS4, and it was okay but a bit hard to understand its systems. Tropico 6 for me makes it easier to understand it's systems via the tutorial and there is so much more depth. I originally got it for PS4, but after I found it lagging early on, I got it for PC and replaying it there.

    Ultrakill: I've talked about this before, and I absolutely love this game. I finally finished it, although I had to use some pretty major assists just to beat Gabriel. I absolutely love it's endless zone mode.

    Amid Evil: I tried this after someone recommended it to me, and... I just can't get into it. I don't think it's a bad game - in fact I really think it's a good game - I just want to shoot guns and having to fight with a sword/axe is really not what I wanted. I wanted more Quake, less Heretic.

    The Last of Us 2: Good game about horrible people.

    Saints Row The Third Remastered/4/Agents of Mayhem: Bought them on a sale for the PS4, absolutely loving them (yes, even AoM). I will say that I appreciate the look SR3 Remastered has, I just don't think it fits its comical style - in fact I think it counteracts the comical, outlandish tone of 3. But hey, it's still a fun game.

    1 vote
  13. Luca
    Link
    Picked up Outriders on launch, been having a blast with it.

    Picked up Outriders on launch, been having a blast with it.