Some Gaming in the Summer
At best, I am a sporadic gamer; I can game every day of the week or not for weeks to come. During the summer, it’s actually worse; I just don’t feel like it. If I can get away with it, I might not even turn on my laptop for a week. Instead, I like to read and take walks around the city or in nature, travel, craft and cook, and so on. So, essentially, everything besides gaming.
In the Mood for Gaming
These days though, I am in the mood for gaming. What, with the Steam Summer sale happening and me picking up a bunch of games while I still have a mountain of titles to catch upon? Additionally, I’ve been devising ways to clear up (a little of) my backlog. I’ve been doing it for a while because I’ve gotten into a trap of buying and collecting more than actually playing. I’ve done all sorts of mental tricking – starting with some of the oldest games, completing the long ones, or choosing one at random or the one I wanted to play. The problem with the last one is that all of the games I have are games I want to play.
Now, I am trying something new. I’ve installed a bug chunk of Steam backlog games, whose installation file is under 2GB. Well, and a couple of bigger ones. I will not play them all simultaneously but try to play a few. Usually, I only play one game until it’s finished, and I am the same way with books. But trying something new is fun, and I might “savor” the game longer. The silly thing is, while my backlog gaming habits sound like a chore I need to do, once I start playing, I enjoy it. It’s just that there are so many fun things to do, especially during the summer, and yet so little free time for it.
Since I’ve had a considerable hiatus from gaming, I have much catching up to do, so my backlog is mostly older titles. For example, I’ve just completed the Trine trilogy and am now working through Trine 4. I am enjoying it a lot, and I was thrilled to hear that the developers are working on a 5th instalment. Since I’ve just played the previous three games, I can say that the fourth game is a vast improvement over the third and well worth the wait.
Some Detective Games
Despite being a great fan of classic point-and-click detective games, such as the Broken Sword and Monkey Island series, I’ve only recently started Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders. I wholeheartedly agree with Paula’s “I like it a lot” verdict in her excellent review.
Besides the detective genre, I was attracted to the game because I was curious about what Microids has been releasing recently, and I’ve played a lot of their early catalogue. After I finish this one, I’ll be quick to play the next one, Agatha Christie: Hercule Poirot – The First Cases. And just in time too, because, did you hear? A new one is coming at the end of August, Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The London Case and another one in October, Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express.
Another detective game I am playing right now is Marlon’s Mystery- The Darkside of Crime, which Yvonne mentioned in Gaming News a few months back. It is a hand-drawn point-and-click detective game with a sense of humour and a female protagonist. We play as Abby Marlon, who, along with her apprentice, Jared Evans, is hired by the Taylor family to investigate a murder case involving the youngest daughter, Eleanor, who has allegedly murdered her father and ran away with the inheritance.
If you like the genre, let me recommend another game I recently played and loved – Voodoo Detective. It is yet another hand-drawn point-and-click detective game with a sense of humour. If LucasArts still made classic adventure games, they would’ve made something similar to Voodoo Detective.
Point-and-click, but not Detective
From my backlog, I have this duology I was really looking forward to, The Whispered World and Silence. Both games look gorgeous, with hand-drawn visuals, and are best described as point-and-click adventure games. In the first one, The Whispered World, we play as Sadwick, a sad circus clown, who must save his homeland, and in Silence, as a pair of siblings trying to escape a magical realm.
Some Puzzles and Plants to go, Please
A few days ago, I completed A Little to the Left; what a treat that was! The artwork, the music, and the different ways a puzzle can be solved made 3 hours pass me by without realizing it. And in that vein, just recently, I did my first playthrough of Unpacking, and I can see why some people are obsessed with that game. I can only dream of a DLC or even a sequel.
I am also collecting the achievements in Cat Lady – the Card Game and enjoying it. It is a fun light card game where you play against a bunch of more experienced cat ladies or your friends (in a local multiplayer) by adopting cats and collecting food and toys for them. The happier cats, the more points for you.
I am also looking after my pot of succulent heaven in Viridi. Granted, I’ve missed all the fun daily and seasonal events, and I am just watering the same plants every day, but I still enjoy it. It teaches me things about slow gaming that I didn’t think I needed to learn.
Taking that as inspiration, I am also slowly playing another oldie, Battle Chef Brigade. When inspiration strikes me, I play one game day a sitting and move on to something else. So, that game is taking a long time, but in a way, I think I appreciate it more.
In Battle Chef Brigade, we play as Mina, who aspires to become the best battle chef, which means we hunt for ingredients and compete in cooking competitions against other battle chefs to make delicious meals. And it has puzzles, too! The cooking itself is a classic Match-3 puzzle. The game style is anime-like, and for some reason, I always feel like watching Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle or Kiki’s Delivery Service afterwards. It’s probably the breakfast scenes.
I’ve also recently started Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective. I’ve seen and played the demo before, but I can’t say I was obsessed with it. I know it’s based on a series of children’s books that recently have been translated even into my native language. But that wasn’t the reason for me starting the game.
The author and illustrator, Hiro Kamigaki, is having an exhibition in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, of his illustrations of Sofia. So, yes, that was what inspired me to try the game. And it’s entertaining with its lively music and numerous pop culture references. And I am yet again reminded of Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s probably the parade scene.
That’s how my summer gaming is shaping up, somewhat slower than usual, which fits perfectly with the summer heat.