The Holidays have already come and gone, and I didn’t even get a chance to write anything down before they were over. Family and friends were everywhere, parties were attended, parties were hosted, escape rooms were conquered, and a lot of games were played. I wanted to highlight some of there here, in rapid succession, before moving on to more detailed pieces throughout the next few weeks. So, this is what I’ve been playing to wrap up 2019!
PictoQuest: The Cursed Grids
I picked this indie game up on sale for the Switch back near the end of November, and have been enjoying it’s mix of picross and role playing since. Though not revolutionary in any way, PictoQuest offers up some satisfying picross for those looking for it.
The RPG elements come in the games story, theme, and ability to collect gold and powerups. In traditional picross games you’d be using your knowledge and deduction skills to determine which block is marked, and which isn’t. That is still largely the case here, but there are a lot more rounds later in the second half of the game where you’re going to be guessing blindly, as there aren’t enough hints to tell you definitively which blocks to mark. Using items, which you can earn by playing some levels or by spending gold, can help reveal these blocks. You’ll either find this reliance on items a cool feature, or incredibly unnecessary.
Regardless, it’s been a fun pick up and play game that’s worth your time if you like picross puzzle games.
Overwatch (PS4 and Switch)
The past several weeks prior to the Holidays has been dominated by Overwatch. My friend group and I got back in to playing when we randomly decided to hop on one day and complete our competitive placement matches. After getting placed criminally low, we all decided to work our numbers up to a more respectable rank. Fast forward nearly two months, and we were still playing, albeit in higher tiers.
It’s been fun playing again! I’ve never really dropped the game, though I have been playing a lot less than years past. But I’m looking forward to continuing playing the game even more! As of this writing, the next competitive season has just begun as well. So now we can do it all over again!
Also, I was fortunate enough to receive Overwatch on the Nintendo Switch as a Christmas present! I wanted the game to be able to play on the go and while Laura may be watching TV. Playing a few games so far, the gyroscopic controls take some getting used too, and the visuals are good, but noticeably fuzzier and not as crisp as the PC and PS4 counterparts.
The biggest change, though, is the apparent skill gap. Being a new account on a new console, I have to start my Switch career at player level 1. Well, a lot of new people to Overwatch are at the same level, and they have no idea what they’re doing. I get it: I used to be there too. But their game awareness, character skill, and overall understanding of the game is lacking. This has resulted in heavily skewed games, where I and maybe one or two others absolutely dominate the game.
Not gonna lie here, it’s pretty fun to destroy in a game like that. I can see why the trolls like doing it…
Man of Medan
The followup to Supermassive Game’s future classic Until Dawn was everything I was expecting: impressive visuals, interactive storytelling, and memorable moments with friends. Man of Medan has a neat mode which encourages you to play the game with a group of friends, with each friend taking control of one of five characters. This made for a lot of interesting group discussion, and some extra buy-in to the decisions made between characters. It was something I didn’t know I wanted, but was glad to have received.
I won’t spoil any story here, but we did complete one play through of the game in about 4’ish hours. It was worth every minute, as it made for a memorable experience with my friends. I’m not one to really want to replay a game once I’ve completed it, but this game does look like one I’d be interested in playing once again just to see how different the outcome can be (From what I’ve heard there are many different choices and outcomes).
The Outer Worlds
The most recent game to be eating up my time is Space Fallout. Sorry, I mean The Outer Worlds. If you know of the game, then you know it’s made by many developers of the Fallout: New Vegas game. And if you know me, you know how much I adore the entire Fallout franchise. Combine those two and throw in some space themed storytelling, and you’ve got a game that is right up my alley.
So far the game has been everything you’d expect from an action-adventure RPG game: shooting enemies, looting through rubbish, leveling up, interacting with lots of characters, and exploring what the world has to offer. I’m about 5 or so hours in to the game, and just got off the first planet. I can see where the complaints I read previously about the game’s size come in to play: there are definitely already instances where an NPC will say something is far away or hard to get, only for you to discover it literally 200 meters away. It’s a bit jarring, and can take you out of the experience if you linger on it for more than a minute, but I was able to get past it and just enjoy the ride.
Expect a lot more from me and this game soon!
Between the amazing gifts and awesome deals at GameStop this Holiday season, I came in to several new video games, including a lot of Switch games I can’t wait to get my hands on (I’ve heard this “Fire Emblem” game is supposed to be goood???). But that is for a later time.
What have you all been playing this holiday season? What are you looking forward too in 2020? Let’s hear it!