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2017 GOG Christmas Treasure Hunt (Linux/WINE)

Very neat graphics and game-play, mean game-design that sometimes punishes you for finding and doing stuff. :P
Nice community integrated RPG maker game.
Getting the A ending and Witcher 3 GOTY wasn't easy, getting Alan Wake and Mount & Blade was even harder though.
Peggle: Deluxe

A fun little game involving sending balls down from the top to hit pegs as they fall to the bottom, the idea being to hit all of the orange pegs before you run out of balls. I do a bad job of explaining it, so you should go play it, it's not that pay to win rubbish you get on smart phones. Great game, doesn't take that long to finish all levels, only about 2 days. I played the PC version, there were no obvious glitches and everything worked fine. Would recommend, but probably wait until a sale to buy it.

Finding Paradise

I have played many of the 'Walking Simulator' type games, prior to today there was only 1 of these types of game I would say wasn't a waste of money, that game was To the Moon, the prequel to the following game. This is probably because unlike the majority of people, I find music is more important to a game than graphics, and that game has a brilliant soundtrack to it that totally fits with the story, which is also great. The Sequel, released 6 years later, also has these things. If you don't know what the games are about, it follows the going on's of two employees of a company that specialises in changing peoples memories, specifically those on their death bed, so they can die with no regrets. This game there's a new patient, with a different life and a different regret, but still a story that tugs at the heart, the music accompanying it is great as well. My only regrets with the game are that it can get slow at times, the game does make you walk from the top floor of a block of flats to the car park, twice, which kinds of ruins the pace of the game as it is a long walk, also the lack of a target number of moves for the puzzles. I would thoroughly recommend this game but only if you've played To the Moon.


A puzzle game about manipulating different coloured particles to cross over bars on the screen to fill it up, each bar is part of a melody and filling all the bars completes the melody. It's a good puzzle game, and some of the puzzles are really difficult with fiendish solutions. I had to use a walkthrough for about 5 of the 60 odd puzzles, but some levels require just precise positioning of objects the walkthrough acts more like a hint, and you spend the next 10 minutes moving each thing one pixel at a time. A hint function would've made this game great, but overall I still enjoyed it.
Post edited December 19, 2017 by magejake50
Command & Conquer: Red Alert (Base Game)

Just finished the original C&C Red Alert (Both allied and communist campaigns but only the original content, not the expansions) this is a playthrough I've been working on, off and on since about 2012!
You don't have a build queue and the pathfinding can be a bit ropey but other than that it still holds up - still a must for any RTS head
Full list:
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Liked it but somehow less so than the last Tomb Raider. It's fun to run/climb around but all the collecting stuff to upgrade your weapons and craft ammunition get's old fast. Also I hate when I have to go back to areas time and again because sections are blocked off and can only opened with newer gear you get later in the game and that happens quite often in RotTR and although you don't have to backtrack the completionist in me wants to do it anyway and feels like unnecessarily loosing time by fast traveling and scouring already completed sections time and again :/
Still fighting is fun (though the way you have to fight the end boss wasn't at all my cup of tea) and the jumpy climby parts also the puzzles are awesome and gave me a great time in the game. Also everything looks beautiful :) would recommend.

Much, much shorter than I anticipated (2 hours at most, and that’s with me getting stuck on some elevator level for 20 minutes), but pretty fun overall. I suppose the additional gamemodes unlocked after completion do add replay value, yet the game still struggles to justify its pricetag in terms of value. It’s alright, I suppose.
Mark of the Ninja: Special Edition (base game, normal mode)

The ninja protagonist here is one of the best, most fluid, cool 2D characters you'll ever control and one of the best stealth characters in any number of dimensions too!
I'm not normally a huge stealth fan but this game is great at making you feel as cool as fuck when you work out how to either a clear of dodge past a room full of guards, it also has some very cool trap-base puzzle sections for a welcome change of pace too
I don't think I'll go back to grind the levels for the seals and the secrets to unlock everything and normal mode was tough enough for me so New Game Plus doesn't excite either but I WILL return at some point to play the 'Dosan's Tale' old-timey levels that were added (I believe) with the special edition
You should give this one a go if you haven't already!

Full List
Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together (PSP)

My favourite PSP game played so far, probably because it's not a downscaled PS2 game like the others I've played, though it is a remake of a PS1 game. This is an Isometric turn based strategy game made by Square, and is the direct inspiration for the Final Fantasy: Tactics series, which I am also a big fan of. The game has a branching storyline split between 4 chapters, at the end of each chapter you are usually faced with a decision which will alter what events you will come across in the following chapter. My first ending... was a disappointment, which was down to one poor decision, however, once you complete the story for the first time you unlock the ability to travel back in time to previous points in the story to change the future (I may spend the next few weeks trying to unlock every choice). The story see's you star as a soldier, part of the Wallister resistance, a small group aiming for equality in a severely fragmented kingdom, there are numerous betrayals and many tough decisions to be made, that will determine your kingdoms fate. Gameplay is similar to any Isometric Strategy game (Disgaea etc) each unit moves one at a time, in an order that depends on speed and actions taken in previous turns. Each unit is an individual, permadeath is a thing in this game, fortunately once a unit dies you have 3 turns to either revive it or complete the mission, and even then the unit is allowed to die 2 more times before permently dying. Units have different classes (Warrior, Ranger, Mage) that have their own advantages, Dragoon has fairly weak attack against human units, but can deal massive damage to dragons. The levelling up system is fairly different to most other games, you don't level up individual characters, you level up the classes, so if you level up a mage, all mages level up, however individual units gain skill points in battle that they can spend on individual skills to increase their damage or resistance to certain attacks.

This is a brilliant game, I know Final Fantasy: Tactics is basically the spiritual sequel, but this game often feels like the sequel instead, FF:T seems less polished, with unfairly balanced classes and horrendously difficult missions, whereas the only real issue is the levelling up system, which in my opinion isn't the best and means if you want to change a units class, you bring them back to level 1, and grinding is slow and hard. Other issues are some ridiculous events in the story (In one chapter you retake the same fortress 3 times, because each time you forget to leave it defended afterwards) and the abuse of the petrify spell by enemies late game (You can only cure one at a time but enemies can petrify 5 of you at a time). However those issues are minor, and this is an absolutely brilliant game, and one of the only reasons I got a PSP in the first place, I would highly recommend it.
Owlboy's an interesting action-adventure game in which you owlboy who has no offensive capabilities of his own, but he can carry a friend who does. So you start out with your human buddy who carries a pea shooter, and later you get another buddy who has a powerful but short-range and long-recharging weapon, and then another guy who basically has Spider-Man's webshooters and you switch among them depending on the situation.

There's a hub world in which you can travel to more linear levels that advance the story. It looks like it's going to be an open-world game at first but it's really quite linear and what exploring of the areas you do is mostly just to find collectibles that allow you to buy some weapon upgrades and see more of the game's lore. It's not brief but not an especially long game, either. The story is simple and basically well-done and Owlboy and his friends are a likable bunch. The main attraction, of course, is that it has really lovely pixel art. Definitely a rung or two above the usual stuff you see in such games today. The music is also very good.

My overall feeling about the game is that, aside from the graphics and music, it doesn't do anything outstandingly well, but it does what it does well enough to give you a good feeling about it while you're playing. Its whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

A black and white puzzle platformer involving a kid who walks along minding his own business when suddenly: Beartraps, giant spiders, a settlement straight from Lord of the Flies, mind control slugs and not even any music to keep him entertained. I almost got through the game without having to consult a walkthrough, then I got stuck at the very last puzzle. It's very similar to Another World, Bioforge and those sorts of games, many deaths, fairly short if you know what you're doing. I wouldn't buy it if it wasn't on sale, and puzzle/platformers aren't really my favourite genre of game, but I guess it was a good experience. I'd recommend it if you're into that sort of game, but otherwise... nah.

Defense Grid: The Awakening

A tower defence game, pretty decent for the genre, it can get quite difficult but once you learn the tactic it becomes simpler, though I did have to use a slightly cheesy tactic for the last level. It's sci-fi themed, you play a colony on an alien world, you have to defend your cores (Basically batteries that power your British Ai Companion), Aliens can take them but unless they take them to the edge of the map you always have a chance to get them back. It's a nice change from the HQ with a health bar that you need to protect that's usually the case. Anyway, I had great fun with it, and would recommend it.
Finished Ultima 8: Pagan this afternoon.
Very rough 2 play game, it badly needed more coherent maps, and about 2-4 more months of development time. 4 different spell systems in the game, 3 of which the game required you to master.

Ultima 8 is not recommended for play unless you are a serious Ultima series fan....even then I'd suggest looking at youtube & ultima fan sites beforehand and definitely use the Ultima 8 cluebook (you will need it just for the gameworld maps).
Post edited December 23, 2017 by morrowslant
Crayon Physics: Deluxe

A short little puzzle game that requires you to get a ball to roll into a star, you do this by creating a variety of different shapes using crayons. To see the credits you need 120 stars, you can get a maximum of 158, I'm not sure if it's actually possible to obtain all 158. There are 79 levels, you get 1 star for beating a level any way possible, and you get another if you managed to fulfil 3 different conditions: Don't create more than 1 shape, Don't use pulleys and make it awesome. How does the game tell if a solution was 'Awesome', well it asks you. I'm sure there are some levels that are impossible to beat with only 1 shape, and even so, the majority of my solutions with 1 shape required glitching shapes out of position. The other reason I think it's impossible to get every star is because once you beat the last level, my stars from that level would disappear after the credits rolled. The music is nice... but there's only 3 tracks, and it gets dull fast, the puzzles can be solved easily by just building a big pile of blocks underneath the ball, the hard part is getting the 2nd star in each level. It was a fun, quick little game, I'd recommend it if it was on sale and a good game to get kids into puzzle games.
Gonner (Linux) - 6/10

Well, it's a perma-death roguelike platformer with very short levels.
The graphics are more style than practicability since the splashy effects make it impossible to move pixel perfect although that's basically what you need to do.
The balance isn't good, most weapons are too weak or need a combination of other items you get later, as soon as you get the hidden scythe (usually with a walkthrough), it becomes very easy, especially in combination with the fin.
It's not a bad game and if you like a challenge it's something nice for in between but a lot could have been improved in my book.

Strawberry Jam - Chapter 1 (Linux/WINE) - 5/10

It's the latest of Daniel Remar's (Ittle Dew) freeware games (Iji, Hero Core, Hyper Princess Pitch, etc...) and only has the first chapter until now.
It has no violence, his usual social criticism and some not very extensive exploration (no "Knytt" by a long shot). Many things build up to a second chapter which hasn't happened yet and could take a long time to be made.
Scanner Sombre (2017)

I loved that! And I want more!
It may look like cavern edition of walking simulator, but it's something much more. I loved the atmosphere, outstanding immersion, interesting levels causing claustrophobia and agoraphobia attacks, nice story and mistery you're revealing. The whole idea is simple - you're underground, you see nothing but 3D space models created by your laser gadget. The results of such game design are great! After watching the trailer I wanted to play and I'm not disappointed.

List of all games completed in 2017
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - 4/5

I very much appreciate this game's existence. And for the most part, I really did enjoy it. However, I'd say it overstayed its welcome; towards the end, I started getting pretty sick of the puzzles and combat.
Just finished Risen 3:Titan Lords. Pretty typical PB game, and a fun one, but I tihnk I liked the first Risen the best of the three. This one definitely has its good points, but aside from the first few levels where you're weak as a newborn kitten, once you get a good weapon and a little bit of experience under your belt, it becomes pretty easy. By end game, when you're facing what essentially amounts to a god (or demigod), if you've done all the side quests you can find, you'll have easily maxed out all your stats and you can defeat the final boss without breaking a sweat. Still, I really enjoyed the game and found it was worth the 60+ hours I put into it.

As an aside, I also played Shadowhand in conjunction with R3 and thought it was a damned fine card game. Well worth picking up and playing. There is definitely a noticeable random element which can force you to replay some hands, but the hands can be played quickly and the randomness can just as easily turn to your favor as it can for the AI, so it's not nearly as annoying as it may sound. Solid game, with actually a decent story to it and the RPG-lite elements thrown in do make a difference that the player can notice.

Updated List.

Austrobogulator: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - 4/5

I very much appreciate this game's existence. And for the most part, I really did enjoy it. However, I'd say it overstayed its welcome; towards the end, I started getting pretty sick of the puzzles and combat.
I thought this was an excellent game, and for me it was just about the right length. Had trouble with one of the puzzles that took me a long time until i finally gave in and looked it up on-line. But other than that, an A+ game in my book. Cheers, and Merry Christmas. :)
Post edited December 24, 2017 by GR00T