Play Journal 2013-05-08: TL;DR

by Thom Kiraly

I’ve fallen behind on the Play Journal after getting home from Knutepunkt. I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is. Instead of splitting this up into smart posts, I’ll just make a messy wall of text and leave it like that. Take that, dear readers and Future Thom Who’s Trying To Find Some Note About Some Game He Once Played!

Vesper.5 – Nothing much to say, really, other than noting that I have made a commitment to finish this game soon (if such a thing is possible with this (or any) game) I now try to incorporate it into my morning routine at the office and it’s been working out so far. I’ve checked out some water, for instance. Cool.

Water!

Water!

On Formalism – Following some internet disagreement stuff involving other people, I tried out this game. It’s a sort of comment on said disagreement and reminded me of my time studying digital poetry and things of that sort. An enjoyable experiment.

Monaco – “So, Thom,” you say knowingly, “how did your first session of Monaco go?” Well, imagined person not actually talking to me, it went well. For about 48 minutes. Then my kid vomited. Four times. Apparently there’s such a thing as too much pancake.
Anyway, I’ve gotten to play it a couple of times since then, both single and online and local multiplayer. Local multiplayer (to the surprise of no person anywhere) was superior. However, my partner in crime and I are hitting a wall where it feels like we need two more players to complete some levels. I hope to be able to throw together a Monaco party some time soon and just plow through a couple of levels as well as do plenty of shouting.
My favorite character is the Cleaner. He puts people to sleep. This only cements the fact that, deep down, I’m a pretty creepy guy.

The Cleaner, smoking his cigar.

Spaceteam – Played this twice recently. Once, I only demoed it quickly and not much can be said other than stating that it happened and was enjoyed by all parties involved. The other time, I played with only one other player. We decided to try switching on all challenges from the in-app purchases I’ve made. It broke us. I enjoyed it.

Singstar – I’ve had some good times with Singstar in the past, but this was not one of them. I sang this song and this one. What was missing in the new version was the unexpected surprises you got when buying the discs for the old versions. Sure, you knew what to expect of some of them, but there were always a couple of songs there to surprise you. The in-game store (the… SingStore! *slow clap*) killed the party mood, which is not what you want your party game to do, I guess.

Alpaca Evolution – This game keeps crashing on me and that’s really too bad. I want to experience how deep the insanity is. It seems like it’s fairly deep.

The Other Brothers – Removed it from my phone after my last try-out. If the game is available on some other platform, I may try it, but I won’t do it without a proper controllers. Emulating old scholl D-pads and A+B buttons on a touch screen just doesn’t work. At least not in the way the Other Brothers tries to do it.

LAZA KNITEZ – This game always makes my day a little bit better. I kicked my opponents ass, which was no surprise since I had the advantage of having played the game before (I’m not one for pulling punches). We then proceeded to get our asses kicked by the AI. That, too, was no big surprise.

LAZA

Spaceship With a Mace – Here, my opponent (the one from LAZA KNITEZ, remember?) managed to beat me, but then again, I find it hard to get good at this game or to even know what I’m doing, it seems.

Pole Riders – This was maybe not the ideal warm-up game to play while waiting for the two other Kult players to arrive, but anyway. It never fails to amaze new players nor make me laugh out loud like a silly person. I really like it and look forward to the new version that I’ve heard some twispers (which is what I imagine you would call whispers on Twitter) about.

Kult – This one is a true Swedish classic when it comes tabletop RPGs. This year, it’s been 22 years since it was first published and I must say that it’s a bit strange that I’ve never gotten around to actually playing it before. We didn’t engage with the system all that much and I still don’t feel I have a clear picture of how that would work. A lot of the stuff I saw in the book (in terms of mechanical stuff, the setting is solid) seems utterly unplayable and is probably a remnant from older days. This goes primarily for the things with mechanical consequences, not the setting material – which looks like it’s ace.
We set the game locally, in Malmö, which is always a nice change. We ended up quite literally playing it close to home with one of the buildings we visited in-game being one in my neighborhood. Often, in Swedish roleplay, we end up playing in the US or some other mythologized place and I think that sometimes takes the tension out of the game. It’s just too far removed from the players to feel important.
Funniest moment of the game: I didn’t get that we were running around at night doing weird stuff or why people, consequently, were so pissed off about it. It all had to do with me thinking the GM thought papers were sent to the printer in the middle of the day. I didn’t want to halt the game to point out that it doesn’t work like that and decided it was time for our reporter characters to do some reporter work.
Other good stuff: dismemberment scene. Picked up creepy stuff from Swedish criminologist. Was able to use it.
Also, a very suspenseful scene where our characters hid out in a wastewater treatment plant to record a cult meeting ended up sticking with me. I’m still not sure what about it grabbed me so, but we all got very much caught up in the scene. I think part of the appeal was due to our characters walking a fine line between immoral behavior, investigation and being caught due to very stupid slip-ups.

Death is only the beginning

Death is only the beginning.

Mass Effect 3 – I recently found myself to be a grass widower for a bit more than a week. In between mayday celebrations and work it took a good part of that period to realize I could have spent my nights playing Mass Effect 3 instead of doing useful stuff like cleaning the apartment. Anyway, I asked the internet to deliver me a Mass Effect 3 and the internet delivered… well, I had to bike across town to get it, so I guess “delivered” isn’t the right word, but you know what I mean. Shut up.
I’m only like 3 hours into the game and right now I’m mostly waiting for the whole thing to really start. I hope it does. Soon. I’m not yet invested in anything in the game. No characters, no places, no things. Also, the voice acting generally isn’t as tight as it is in the other games and that’s a shame. Until further notice, I’ll be relying on the fantastic voice of Jennifer Hale to keep me going.

Dots – Once again, I’ve been hooked by a game recommended in the Kill Screen playlist. That list is a danger to my health and well-being. Anyway, the app is available for free, which helped in this case since I’ve spent money on shit games off of the Playlist before and wasn’t looking to repeat that mistake. The price tag, thus, got me playing, but the game is very good in its own right and that’s what kept me playing. The design is very tight and elegant. It’s easy to get into and rather easy to get an overview of once in the game. Finally, there’s not a whole mess of levels and things to divert your attention from actual play. Imagine that, a game that doesn’t overdo it. Crazy.

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