Who knew another “What are we playing” would be late? I’m not the least bit surprised. Before even starting the article I said “It doesn’t stop raining in this city” — a peculiar finding, considering how much I complained about the lack of rain in August. There’s a constant in this: I’m complaining because I’m tired.
Not just physically, but emotionally as well. The last time I did a story about what I was playing, I mentioned that I won the COVID lottery. August was marked by considerable changes to my routine to make it even healthier, a battery of medical tests and a recommendation from my eye doctor to spend less time in front of a computer.
Personal issues, like a new job, have altered my sleep schedule, and it’s a process I’m still getting used to. Initially I took the opportunity to listen to audio dramas, but I noticed my dependence on electronic devices at bedtime and abolished them from the routine.
Perhaps what is talking the loudest at the moment, besides the obvious tiredness, is saturation. Between August and September I aimed to publish more articles and reviews. This must be the third or fourth time I’ve told myself that I’m going to slow down the “pace”… and I break my promise. I forget that I can’t divide myself into 100, and as much as I’d like to cover every indie game or major production, I can’t.
A review of Europa Universalis IV it takes weeks, another about orx makes me revisit some classic games to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. I don’t even get to the merits of Hearts of Iron IV: By Blood Alone — which is in the process of being finalized — and so many other games that I can’t mention here. was rereading text by Kerry Brunskill (Kimimi) that I recognized myself even more. There are simply too many games being released. Be it DLCs, updates, sequels. It’s the best and worst time to be a gaming fan — even more so if you have a varied palate.
Also, September was the month in which I finally got shame on my face and opened my profile on website’s instagram. It’s still in its infancy, and I still don’t know how I’m going to fit it into my to-do list for the week. These answers will come with time, of course.
To the detriment of that, most of the games I’ve played in the (few) spare time will be a little different than in the previous subjects, but no less important. I always try to make a list that is equally interesting for those who are not aware of everything that is being released, and at the same time demonstrate something that I am playing without much expectation or to pass the time. Although my time pass lately has been watching or reviewing movies. I promised myself I’d revisit Martin Scorsese’s Casino, and it’s still on the list. At least I got to see Kabul City in the Wind, which I highly recommend, and Cyberpunk Edgerunners.
I wish I had put games like islets, Fashion Police Squad, Cursed to Golf, Lost Fleet, Gerda: A Flame in Winter, the pet shop after dark and ask me why the hell I’m with Disney Dreamlight Valley installed, but I didn’t even get past the splash screen on some of them. Others are still in my Steam library waiting to be installed.
Once again, I am very grateful for the patience you have with the outbursts I release in each of these articles and for the support I see in twitterInstagram and Facebook. I also thank Roberto, my right arm here on the site, always reviewing the articles.
Without further ado, here are some of the highlights of what I played between August and September.
In theory, I was supposed to have my review of Moonscars in the air. In practice, I’m getting so much, but so much from metroidvania with elements of the souls series (yes, another one of those), that my sessions are being separated into 30 minute periods so I try not to go crazy. I am willing to go all the way, not only to write a review, but also because the art is wonderful.
I’ve written about Dorfromantik before, but now that the Switch version has been released, I see how excellent it is on a “portable” device. Short matches, a delicious combination of board game and puzzle game, elegant design, and plenty of upgrades and varied modes enough for me to lay down and roll. The perfect game for a rainy day and to help me turn off my head at the end of the day.
Kredolis fell into my lap in surprise. Made largely by a single developer, it manages to evoke elements of The Witness — at least the good part — and Myst and brings with it an excellent visual that reminds me of the Mediterranean. The puzzles start out simple but progress well in complexity. I think I’m already at the part where they get obtuse and I’m going to have to make notes in my trusty little notebook.
Although I still don’t have a fully formed opinion, Destroyer: The U-Boat Hunter is one of the very few games currently to use a sonar system in a more “realistic” way and also offer battles against German submarines. I have always found the absence of being “on the other side” of the maritime conflict in World War II bizarre. Now I know why: this game is too hard.
I’m in a tremendous mix of love and hate for Blackmill Games’ third game. Isonzo is the most beautiful in the WWI franchise, but it also adopts some terrible progression systems. Where Verdun and Tannenberg let you release gear at will, the need to complete Isonzo’s “objectives” is an unnecessary headache. If it was for that I would play Battlefield 1. I still haven’t given up the bone because I’m still hoping for an update that will improve the grenade spam that has been happening.
Another game on the list that, although not finished — far from it, by the way — has already proven itself to be excellent. Ctrl Alt Ego is the best Immersive sim that doesn’t look like an Immersive sim from 2022. Control a robot, transfer your consciousness, find clever or unusual ways to explore an area or defeat an enemy. Extra points for your movement system, the freedom you have to interact with the environment, and your mood.
Lakeside has a very simple premise: build a city and deal with random events. If you still haven’t fallen in love with the above aesthetic, you’ll surely be happy to know that it doesn’t ask for so much investment from you. It is not “easy”, so to speak, but it brings that fantastic sense of relaxation of just taking care of a small village and watching it grow.
Literally the only VR game I’ve played for more than 30 minutes and I dream they made a non-vr version of it. Exploring scenery with your kayak is relaxing and delicious. It was my August and September companion for the most stressful days.
I never paid much attention to Stardew Valley and the like. Potion Permit won me over in the first few minutes of the game. It’s not just today that I have an affinity for “making potions” games — see how much I like Potion Craft and the Atelier series. Couple that with a dash of exploration and combat and you have a combination that appeals to me. I look forward to exploring your systems more once you are more relaxed.
I didn’t expect to put Quake on this list, but after the Summer Map Jam and now the Brutalist Map Jam, it’s high time I relearn how to deal with all the monsters in the game and stop dying every time on each map. I’m still in the first stage of Brutalist Map Jam, but it’s already a hell of a map pack. It’s amazing how the Quake community has grown.
Beat Saber will appear on the ad eternum list by the looks of it. I only put it in the honorable mentions because I didn’t have as much time as I would like to play it, and someone beat my record on two Dua Lipa songs. That will not remain like this.
With the release of two expansions, Field of Glory Medieval has returned to my rotation because of its quick games and the ease I already have with most of its systems. Glad to see Slitherine expanding the systems so much, to the point that those battle problems that never ended are never a thing of the past. I only have one warning: if you pick up the latest DLC — Sublime Porte — you can prepare to protect your flanks. The Ottomans are no joke.
Did it take three months? Yeah, but I’m finally fine in Moss’s final minutes. The lovely VR adventure might be short, but my time was so tight that I didn’t even have time for it. I’m really looking forward to going back and jumping right into the sequel.
Now it’s your turn! What are you playing?