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Glass Masquerade

NIce little game. It is jigsaw puzzle of broken glass artistic clocks. They are in art deco style and I really liked how they look.
The game only features 25 pictures and they are fairly small (max around 80 shards I think) and they took me something between 2,5 to 16 minutes. The whole game took me some 3 hours.
I would like more of it but there is no DLC available, neither has it mod support.
For less than 2 Euros (on sale, is 5 its regular price) it was certainly worth it.

Complete list
Post edited January 16, 2018 by Vitek
Just finished Prey (2017). Glad I did too. It feels like a proper successor to System Shock 2, but given the years between of course the world looks more fleshed out and generally nicer. Also while System Shock 2 managed to make a rather well believeable ship you could see people living on, Talos 1 feels even better designed for this.

The combat is a bit less deep, and the open backtracking nature of the game kinda kills the pace at points. All in all I'm glad I didn't let the fact it uses Denuvo deter me from playing it.
Finished two shorter games this week:

Hero of the Kingdom II

A casual game with simple story and simplistic mechanics, but I enjoyed it nonetheless, because it was well done for what it is, and what it is, I hadn't seen before yet: something like a Hidden-Object-Game inspired more by RPGs than adventure games. Of course, it's stripped of all the more complicated RPG elements like numbers, stats, leveling, and there is no action or tactical combat either. It all boils down to doing quests for the people of the kingdom, and the main gameplay element here (beside clicking on hotspots) is resource management. Advance by accumulating fame, gain fame by solving quests, solve quests by gathering the required resources and building up strength by resting which also costs resources; collect, buy, sell, transmute, rinse and repeat. Since it shares one aspect that makes RPGs so addictive - there's always some small task or other you can do to advance the story or your status a little further before quitting - I found it entertaining despite being so casual. Granted, it's memorable only for being the first game of the sort that I played, not much else, but it's a nice time killer, and I did have some to kill while traveling and being limited to my low-end laptop (good for 5-6 hours of mindless entertainment).


Beautiful little game about the story of a mysterious (fictional) valley and the research scientiests and military were conducting there in the 40's. The gameplay is somewhat similar to A Story About My Uncle, a mixture of Walking Simulator and 3D platforming/parkour. You've got a special suit that gives you abilities like running faster, jumping farther, grapple onto specific targets, take life energy from your environment or shoot it back into it (or at certain opponents that appear occasionally). The game's most blatantly obvious inspiration though is BioShock's storytelling via old slideshow instructions and audiolog (they even named the leader of the megalomaniac science project "Andrew Fisher", which I thought a bit too much). So there are a lot of familiar elements, and that might suggest that the game is not very original, but even though none of the elements is very impressive on its own in that regard, it all fits together quite well. The premises of the story are rather classic, not unheard of, but it's a good story nonetheless and very well told. The gameplay, while simple, is also quite a lot of fun, especially if, like me, you can appreciate just exploring beautifully crafted 3D environments (in a fast pace, while running and jumping around). The setting is interesting, the levels are varied and atmospheric, and new abilities are added during the course of the game. Graphics are very nice to look at, the soundtrack is really, really good, and so are the voice-overs.

The game is comparatively short, but longer than I expected - took me around 6 hours to play through, but I'm slow and thorough, so I'd say about 4+ hours for the average player? -, and it didn't overstay its welcome at all, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. I probably won't go back to it in order to hunt for the 34(!) collectibles I missed though (it's possible that you can reach some of them only during post-game, with your new abilities). My only (minor) gripe with Valley is that the game is not clear about what happens when you quit it during a level. There is no manual saving, and no warning about losing progress when you quit, and indeed it saves all the collectibles you've found and your current quest status as well, but it still puts you back at the start of the level next time, so you'll have to backtrack all the way to where you were before. The one time this happened to me (I quit because I fell and got stuck in some place I couldn't get out of anymore - a problem in itself but not very common in Valley), it turned out to be not such a big deal, but it's a risk factor for potential frustration. Other than that, I thought it was next to perfect for what it is. A very nice surprise, considering that I got it very cheap.
Post edited January 12, 2018 by Leroux
First game of the year: Sword Coast Legends - picked it up a few weeks back during the 'it's going to disappear from sale' sale on Steam. I've read a lot of complaints that the game is bad, but I think many stem from people looking for the next NWN, which this definitely isn't. But overall, I thought it was a pretty solid game.

It uses the 4.0 rule set, so you're looking at abilities with cooldowns. This is something I don't particularly care for, but I can certainly cope. And I must say that there is at least a decent variety of abilities for many classes and I found many were fun to use during combat. Very reminiscent of Dragon Age as far as the ability mechanics (and some of the abilities themselves are very similar).

Not a lot of variety in races - you get the standard mix plus a couple others (Tiefling for one).

Standard classes as well. No multiclassing though.

There's a DM client/toolset, but not something on which I can really comment as I didn't delve into it. But from what I've read and the little I saw in-game it looks to be pretty rudimentary.

The story is fairly standard fare, but there were a handful of twists that popped up in it - a couple of which I pretty much saw coming but also a couple that took me by surprise.

One thing people may find off-putting is you pretty much need a Rogue as there are lots of traps and lots of locked items. Not sure if you can bash locked chests, but I don't think so. You may perhaps be able to grab lockpicking ability but that would be a waste of your skill points (you only get three each level and some abilities cost as many as all three, although most cost one or two). Anyway, I wasn't bothered much by this as I played a Rogue as the main.

Oh, and the item generation/classification system is a bit wonky. You have different 'tiers' of items, supposedly indicating their power increase/value. But I found on many occasions that an item that was a couple tiers lower than one I found was far better. Even found some upper tier items that were exactly the same as a lesser tiered item, property for property. Items from chests are randomly generated when you open the chest (with a few exceptions where there are specific items placed), so if you're willing to wait for the load times, you can save-scum until you get something you want. I have to admit to doing this later on in the game, as I wasn't finding anything any good in many of the chests.

Bah, I'm at work and rambling so have to cut this off. Overall, I thought the game was good value for the few bucks I spent on it, and while I'm not compelled to fire it up and do another run right away, I can see me giving it another run at some point down the line.
include me, please

Super Mario Galaxy - Nintendo Wii
finished friday evening on the 12th January 2018
Cayne is very interesting adventure with great atmosphere. At the beginning it took me while understand how this world works and I used a walktrough guide a few times. Since this is free I can recommend it to everybody, on the other hand not everything was logical (Why should I do something before I actually did it? Is not always rational for me.) and main question whether I should try Stasis remained open. Although story is good I do not like too much reading in games. In sum there are bright and dark spots on Cayne.
Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala (2016)

In this trilogy second one was definitely the best. This one has impressive beginning, but after that becomes a bit boring. even if gameplay brings some small innovations. Didn't like it very much, but it's still nice end of series and quite decent HOPA, if you want to complete something easily.

List of all games completed in 2018.
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2

You play mercenary Kyle Katarn, who learns that his father was killed by a Dark Jedi attempting to rebuild the empire. This is a fps, the s stands for shooter and also sabre, because you use both throughout the story. This game hasn't aged terribly, but it's still aged quite a bit. The story is alright, it's got the ability to choose whether to follow the light side or dark side, this changes what force powers you have, as well as a few cutscenes and 1 boss fight but this isn't uncommon in star wars games now adays. The boss fights are what ages the game worst, it is simply running forward, swinging your light sabre, then running back, you repeat this an absurd amount of times and hope the boss your fighting doesn't use one of their absurd force powers of which some can 2 hit you, the final boss regenerates as well annoyingly. The music is the same score used in the movies and is one of the strong points of the game. It's a good game, but there are better star wars games. I'd recommend it in a sale.
magejake50: The story is alright, it's got the ability to choose whether to follow the light side or dark side, this changes what force powers you have, as well as a few cutscenes and 1 boss fight
Did you get both endings? I thought the Dark Side ending was badass, but the Dark Side cutscenes perceding it were very much lacking compared to the Light Side ones.
Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation

I think? After doing almost every mission available for like 7 hours in total, and only half of the overland map used, the game seems to be over. I guess you're meant to replay it on different difficulties, but I see no real incentive to do so.

The D&D stamp on this game might lead some to the assumption that this is an RPG, but it's actually the videogame port of a cooperative tactical turn-based board game based on a 5th edition storyline ("Tomb of Annihilation" - no idea where that "Tales from Candlekeep" is coming from, the game is set in Chult, not the Sword Coast). To my knowledge the videogame is singler player only though and there isn't really much story to it, just the bare bones of one. Most of the missions - whether main or side missions - feel exactly the same, and also look the same, since there are only two tilesets, jungle and tomb, and the randomly added tiles are very similar and non-descript. It also sounds the same all the time, as there are only three pieces of music in the game or so. The mission goals are either killing a certain number of enemies, exploring the board for a certain number of tiles, finding a certain number of chests, disarming a certain number of traps, finding the exit or other special tiles amidst the ordinary ones, and sometimes defeating a boss.

The rounds are split in three phases for each character: 1. Hero Phase, in which you can move and do one action (attack, disarm, use abilities or items - some of them are free to use, in addition to your one action, but most are one use per mission only, unless reactivated); 2. Exploration, in which a new tile is added, provided your character is standing at the open, unexplored edge of a tile already on the board; if they aren't, you get a so called "Encounter" instead, which is mostly something dangerous, like a spell attack on your character, a status affect (Disadvantage or Stunned) or new monsters spawning. You can prevent this if you've build up enough special energy (I forgot what it's called in game) by defeating monsters, but if you've used up all that energy, you just have to accept the potential damage. 3. Villain Phase, in which monsters on old and new tiles attack. So the general idea is to end your turn on the edge of a tile and at the same time try to defeat the spawned monsters, so you can avoid punishment through "encounters". And that's mostly it.

The four heroes of which you can choose up to three for each mission once unlocked (which happens pretty soon, after the first couple of missions) are pre-defined and don't level up. The whole party "levels up" occasionally, but that only means you get rewards in the form of random loot boxes with crafting materials in it. You also get crafting materials from completing missions, and possibly from defeating enemies and opening chests on the board, I think, but it really doesn't matter that much, it's just random resource names thrown at you with no real relevance in the game; from time to time you've accumulated enough of that stuff to craft something that leads to an improvement of +1/+2/+3/+4/+5 for a hero's regular weapons/abilities, once-per-mission abilities and armor (but I have no clue what they are actually added to - your attack value? the damage value?).

The DLCs just give your heroes advantages that supposedly reduce grinding for resources; I played with the DLCs installed but disabled them in the game's main menu to see how the regular game is like first. But apparently this didn't prevent the heroes from already having some of the best stuff in the game equipped, as I later found out. So I can't really judge how the difficulty would have been without the DLCs. With the DLCs installed (though partially disabled), the Normal difficulty was very easy most of the times, but you could still be overpowered due to bad luck and unfair events occasionally. I found it also mattered a great deal who was in your party. The fighter, Dragonbait, is nearly invincible with his 15 hp and double attack (that can deal 2x6 damage if succesful, while monsters only have 1-6 hp most of the time; though maybe that was due to the DLC weapon). The other characters who have only 7-9 hp and in part only deal 3 damage with their regular attacks can have a much worse time when on their own; especially on higher difficulties. I tried that once and it was rather frustrating; they can die from just two hits and/or a bad encounter, in a single round (for each mission you get two "healing surges" to revive fallen heroes, if you run out of them and die again, the mission fails). All in all the difficulty didn't seem to be balanced very well, and the "cheat mode" DLC didn't help much either there.

I don't know why I kept playing - what can I say, I like tactical turn-based combat with fantasy monsters and D&D flair, I also like board games, and what is there is working fine, but there really isn't much variety or totally fair challenge here; I don't exactly regret buying it in a sale just to try it, but I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone else, unless you're a total fanboy of anything with the D&D stamp on it, regardless of how good it is and how much it actually has to do with the P&P system or not.
Post edited January 13, 2018 by Leroux
Fairy Tale Mysteries: The Puppet Thief

Like ciemnogrodzianin, I'm also starting my gaming year with some Artifex Mundi HOPAs. I'm a bit under the weather these days, and the casual playstyle of this type of games is what I appreciate the most right now, with a bowl of hot soup in front of me and a radiator by my side. So it's a good thing I recently discovered that all games published by Artifex Mundi on Steam can be easily made DRM-free and I started dabbling with SteamCMD, as I've been able to grow my HOPA collection a bit.

This is a remaster of one of the first games published by AM (though not developed by them), and despite any audiovisual enhancements it may have received, it shows its age and humble origins. The story is the usual magical/paranormal mumbo-jumbo (nothing surprising here), but the execution is a rather lackluster: the pace is extremely linear, the hidden object scenes are repetitive and bland, and the puzzles are extremely scarce and uninteresting.

On the other hand I hadn't played a HOPA game since late 2016, so I could tolerate most of this game's many shortcomings and I considered it a simple warm-up for the (hopefully) better ones that are to come. All tings considered though, this is probably not the best entry point to the genre so I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a 'HOPA veteran'.

My list of finished games in 2018
muntdefems: ...
Cheers, adventurer! :)

Spacechem (2011)
(gift from mrcrispy83)

After several dozen of hours I've finally finished one of the most surprising journeys in my gaming life. It was my first (but for sure not the last) game made by Zachtronics. I just loved the gameplay. I like programming, sci-fi and puzzles - and this game mixes all of these and is different then everything.

Actually I cannot say that I've finished the game on my own. On the last planet I strongly based on solutions found in Internet. In case of Defence Assigments (didn't like them) I've cheated even before. And last fights was totally beyond reach of my poor IQ. I've just copied others' solutions to check how the game ends.

But it was still a lot of fun! The game copy I played was a gift from mrcrispy83 - thanks, mate! Probably I'd never discover Zachtronics without Community Giveaway and your generosity, mrcrispy83!

List of all games completed in 2018.
Quantum Break (XB1X)

Loved this one. It has the Remedy style, one of my favorite and most dependable devs over the years when it comes to linear 3rd person story telling. I liked Max Payne back in the day and Alan Wake was probably my favorite Xbox 360 game and Quantum Break continues the tradition.

Story is what carries this one. It kept me playing, through what is pretty average 3rd person shooter segments, because I truly wanted to find out what was going on- not just to get to the next fight. You really need to scour every level to find all the computers and other documents to fill in the story between the TV episodes. SPOILERS!!: The story basically goes like this- Littlefinger somehow escaped from Game of Thrones and then managed to fuck time. And yes, I do mean proper fucked. It's your job to un-fuck time via some time travel here and there and shooting lots of standard corporate cannon fodder bad guys. Oh, and you have to develop your time bending super powers as well.

It's by far the biggest game install I've ever come across...almost 180gB! No I'm not joking. Of course that includes the 75gB TV episodes which you don't have to download if you're happy to stream them instead. It also includes the enhancements for XB1X which bumps the resolution up to 1440p instead of the usual 720p. The game does look stunning too, with a visual style perfectly matched to its TV mini series style.

I'll definitely replay this one later to choose the other options at the "junction" chapters. Only thing I didn't like was the final boss fight- one of those "run around avoiding insta-kill boss attacks whilst waiting for the boss to become vulnerable" type of affairs.
Post edited January 14, 2018 by CMOT70
Dust: An Elysian Tail (2013)
(gift from adamhm)

Done. After almost 10 hours I've completed the game. It's totally different then I expected, but in general quite fun. It's just fast-paced platformer with story trying to be deep (didn't like it), 2D graphics (quite liked it), crpg elements (quests, experience points, character development etc.) and some interesting gameplay solutions (like special abilities giving you access to previously unavailable places). It's nice that there is a lot of fight here and not much jumping around, which usually causes a lot of frustration in my case.

My feelings are a bit ambivalent, because the game itself is somehow inconsistent. Not sure who's the target audience. Too complicated, verbose and probably boring for kids, but too childish and shallow for adults. Some of levels and settings was awesome, some of them lacked interesting ideas.

The game's code was a solution of one of adamhm's puzzles from one of his Linux-promoting forum threads - thanks a lot for a gift! Unfortunatelly, the game caused some problems in my case - crashed a few times with ugly error message (during heavy fights with a lot of enemies). Probably performance reasons.

List of all games completed in 2018.
Tibetan Quest: Beyond the World's End

Second Artifex Mundi HOPA I've played in a row, and I'm glad this one was much better than Fairy Tale Mysteries: The Puppet Thief. It's still 'more of the same', as all AM games are, but this one offers way more variety of puzzles and hidden object scenes (although the fact that some of the objects you need to find appear and disappear at regular intervals did piss me off a bit). I played it in one sitting, and by the end I felt like it was beginning to overstay its welcome and become a little repetitive.

As per custom the artstyle is quite good (if anything, maybe more colourful than usual) and detailed, though the way the characters are rendered puts them deep into the uncanny valley: slightly superrealistic faces botched into hand-painted bodies, and eerily animated by distortion. I definitely prefer faces to be more cartoony and less photographic.

I still have a bunch of other HOPAs at the ready, but I think I'll play just one more before taking a break from them before I get HOPA burnout.

My list of finished games in 2018