Finish 52 Challenge (2020)
Or some other amount maybe
1. Trine 4 (PC)

Better than the tripe that was trine 3.
1) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Xbox)

Castlevania without the name. It’s good but I swear there’s some lag or something in there because it never felt “snappy” enough for a twitch action platformer. I got both endings but I needed to resort to a guide just to push me along the true ending cause I’d lost the patience to search out certain things. 7/10
Thanks Dave. I knew *you* wouldn’t let me down
I had to finish something first! Can’t be making be making garbage threads willy-nilly.
1. Faraway: Galactic Escape: more Android puzzley goodness from Snapbreak.
2. Last Day of June: 'cheery' indie puzzler in which your wife dies and you get crippled in the first ten minutes of the game. You're later gifted the ability to play through that day as the various other townspeople to try and change the circumstances of the crash because it turns out they all contributed. Um, or could have. Depending on stuff. I suppose?

Never gets massively complex but I did get stuck at one point because I had to do something mildly counter-intuitive (i.e. 'break' the solution to an earlier section in order to unlock something else, plus get an alternative solution to the broken thing) but aside from that it was pretty straightforward.

Overall, interesting enough stuff but it could do with some streamlining; each playthrough of a person's day takes a very short amount of time once you've done the first one, but you still need to sit through an annoying cinematic and some setup stuff every fucking time which ends up discouraging experimentation with the timelines. Given that's essentially the point of the game it's annoying they didn't think to give you a bloody 'skip' option.

Also, the characters never speak but just make appropriate noises which gets a little irritating over time, especially the kid's giggle which gifted me the unique experience of desperately wishing for the ability to punch a sound in the face.
1. Titanfall 2 - Poor WarBot :(
1. Little Nightmares (Switch)

Runny jumpy sneaky puzzler-platformer-horror. I liked it a lot.
On track for 52!
3. Manifold Gardens: PC puzzler with a couple of gimmicks separating it from the pack of 'place coloured block on switch' sort of things.

First up is the ability to switch gravity (almost) at will. Each gravity direction has an associated colour and blocks can only be interacted with when gravity is pointed in the way associated with their colour. This results in puzzles wherein you can 'lock' a block in place by switching gravity away from it's colour and thus using it as a platform or way to lock another block in place. The whole thing also makes navigating the levels more interesting as you can generally just switch gravity around and walk up walls/ceilings to get where you want to go.

The next and much more interesting aspect of the game is that each level repeats; often in all directions at once. So say you're on a platform and you want to get to the one above you. Oftentimes the easiest way to do this is just to drop off the one you're standing on and plummet down; you'll fall through the level and as you go it'll repeat so that what was above you is now below you and you can land on it. This generally work sideways as well as you can just flip gravity 90 degrees and fall down to what was previously over to the side. It's one of those things that's really difficult to describe but incredibly simple in practice.

It also gets a bit more interesting when the concept of water is introduced. You'll often need to get a flow of water to a specific place and you need to leverage that fact that when the stream falls off a platform edge it'll eventually end up reappearing somewhere else at the same level (because everything repeats, remember?). This means puzzles where you need to really looks at the vertical layout of the level as it interacts with itself and there'll generally be a 'eureka' moment when you line everything up.

None of this is to say that it's a particularly difficult game at heart and the devs have certainly shown restraint in not making the impossibly fiendish puzzles they could've done. Indeed most of the time I found myself struggling was just with finding the stuff I need in the mad layouts. Ultimately everything begins from finding the trees that sprout the blocks you need, and a few times I burned time just not noticing one sitting on an edge I hadn't explored. Nothing's really hidden as such, it's just sometimes difficult to know where you have and haven't been because unlike a 'normal' game all surfaces in all directions at each level are fair game.

The gameplay aside it's a fucking triumph of presentation. The sharp-edged graphical style suits the infinitely repeating levels perfectly and in parts it looks like an architects blueprints come to life. The only thing I've seen that looks similar is that other head-fucking puzzle game Antichamber but this is so much more impressive in my opinion. The sound design is also a lovely minimalist affair with just your footsteps and some subtle musical themes accompanying your navigation of these impossible alien spaces. Also the ending is ten minutes of some of the trippiest fucking shit I've ever seen in my life and feels like a proper genuine reward for finishing it; something that's not very common these days it made me realise.

It's definitely a little bit of a 'design over substance' because the gameplay isn't quite as gripping as the visuals are beautiful, but it's got enough original and interesting stuff going on that I'd recommend it as a package. And frankly the look and feel of it's almost worth the entry price alone.

4. Krystopia: A Puzzle Journey: Android puzzler that I suspect is aping the Faraway games but with a smaller amount of longer levels rather than much more plentiful bite-sized challenges that the Faraway games go in for. Things start of pretty easy but the difficulty ramped up a good chunk for the fourth and final level, to the point that I'm still not sure how I was supposed to work out the solution to two of the puzzles. Overall decent stuff although the laser-based puzzles--which are otherwise the most satisfying aspect--were pretty fiddly to interact with.
Grim... wrote:
1. Little Nightmares (Switch)

2. Little Nightmares: The Kid DLC (Switch)

I'm going to count it as it lasts as long as the main game. As soon as I got near the end I guessed what was coming up, but Christ - what a fantastic, fantastic ending. What a great little game this is.
One more off my backlog..

Luigi's Mansion 3 - This was great and full of charm. I finished it in 13 hours and 31 minutes according to the in game timer. My only criticism (and it a small one) is that sometimes the perspective was a bit weird when working out where you were and where you had to go. Still, I enjoyed it. I might go back to the first one now and see how that holds up.
1. Trine 4 (PC)
2. The Witness (PC)

The Shitness more like.Extraordinarily pretty, but the puzzles rather blew. Felt like something of a never ending chore in a world which promised much more.
Satsuma wrote:
1) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Xbox) - 7/10

2) The Division 2 (Xbox) - 8/10

It’s the seminal Ubisoft looter shooter.

Looting: not that intrusive at all. I took a weapon that was 8 levels below my current weapon and it still slapped.

Shooting: really solid. The normal enemies aren’t spongy at all (which was my biggest worry) and sure the bigger guys soak up bullets but a box of lead can make short work of most guys. I felt it was a bit easy and was disappointed I couldn’t jack up the difficulty (since it’s all based on your level), but the campaign isn’t that long and the post-game is much harder.

Graphics: Fucking beautiful. A desolate Washington DC looks fan-yabba-dabba-tas-good. Why do the artists spend so much time and effort making these great environments and then we walk by them in seconds without giving two shits? Crazy.

Sound: Good. Bullets could be meatier but I was happy enough.

Story: I wasn’t listening.

Post-Game: so you complete the game and then a bunch of hard nuts rock up and have to clean the map up again but with harder guys who have robot dogs and suicide drones. I gotta say it’s been fun doing the post-game; you do the same missions but with way more guys and harder guys in it. You get specialisms, more dark zone, gear score over levels and a bunch of shit I’ve not even fully acquainted myself with. It seems quite interesting. I might even do a raid. Can you believe I’ve never done a raid. Has anyone done a raid ever? Fuck is that all about aye? Who’s got time for raids, hmmm?

Disclaimer: played the game entirely in coop. No one in their right mind would play this game on their lonesome. Get some friends (it’s been reet cheap lately) and have a blast.
1. Trine 4 (PC)
2. The Witness (PC)
3. Sunless Skies (PC)

Got the wealth ending. Verrr. wealthy, me.

Much more forgiving than sunless seas (I only died once in skies, many, many times in seas)... Not sure if that's a good thing from my perspective, but probably for others. End was a little grindy, but generally enjoyable.
5. My Memory Of Us: puzzle game with stealth elements in which you control a paid of kids as they progress through a world being take over by Nazi-analog robots. Each child has a couple of unique abilities and you need to switch between them to solve certain puzzles but it's all very easy stuff and was only ever 'challenging' when the game required me to use abilities that I'd forgotten even existed because they were so rarely used. It's absolutely nothing to write home about but it looks lovely and was essentially free so I don't regret the time I spent on and off with my Switch playing through it.
Satsuma wrote:
1) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Xbox) - 7/10
2) The Division 2 (Xbox) - 8/10

3) Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) - 6/10

It’s the PlayStation exclusive everyone was raving about! It is good and fighting dinobots is great fun. Unfortunately if you’re following the story you’ll be immensely disappointed with how trite it becomes and how it’s told in the most boring possible way.
Satsuma wrote:
1) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Xbox) - 7/10
2) The Division 2 (Xbox) - 8/10
3) Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) - 6/10

3) Horizon: Zero Dawn (DLC - The Frozen Wilds) (PS4) - 7/10

7 hours long to do the main campaign and zero side missions, cause they just weren’t interesting for me. But I liked this! I probably liked it a bit more than the main game since it was more combat focussed. I couldn’t give two shits about the story again. Guerrilla aren’t Naughty Dog. Not even fucking close.

Some thoughts:
* New weapons: new bows, flame thrower and spear. All very yawn
* New robots: just variants on the main game animals to be fair. The scorcher was a tiger thing with a fucking dragon punch move. They were pretty tough to be fair. But the best one...
* New Boss: Singular. It’s a big ape thing. You fight one and it’s pretty satisfying to kill. Then you fight three and it’s a tough ole battle. Then the last boss is just a heavily armoured version and, to be fair, it’s a pretty epic battle and I really enjoyed it.
* New Environments: the frozen wilds are very good, it’s very pretty but Deaths Stranding and God of War smashes it for snowy goodness. The internal bits of the volcano aren’t very good though: just metal box arenas. Oh and the fucking god awful platforming? Just no. It was shit and boring. Thankfully there isn’t that much but it’s still too much.
* Story: No idea, mate. Bland as fuck.

It needed some more exciting animals but it was a pretty decent romp. It you enjoyed the combat in the main game you’ll probably get your kicks out of this but if you’re invested in the story first then I can’t help you; you’re just a boring cunt that doesn’t know good dialogue if it told you to fuggeddaboutit. Or something.
1. Luigis Mansion 3
2. Far Cry 5 - I played this entirely in Co op with a friend and we enjoyed it. It was quite easy and the ending is a bit bobbins but I am looking forward to playing New Dawn so it didn't wear me out entirely.

Also, I'm on track to finish 12 games this year! Exciting times.
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