Steam Winter Sale 2020 Haul

So, last year (wink wink nudge nudge) I posted about the games that I was eyeing this sale. There were a bunch of great deals in there but I decided to not go for certain sales.

For starters, I was quite excited about Humankind… but I’m hesitant now about pre-ordering it. I doubt that the 10% discount is all that worth it for a game that I haven’t seen much from yet. I think I’ll rather wait for it to come out, maybe get a few patches, and eventually, I’ll get into it. Until then, I’ve got plenty of time to get through other titles by Amplitude like the up-coming Endless Dungeon or the Endless Space games I own… or Endless Legends (which I actually enjoyed so far). 

Fe and Sundered were both available for four euros but I wanted to decide for just one of them. I wasn’t too sure on Fe as, while it looked interesting, I’m not too sure how it feels and plays. Alas, I decided to go for Sundered instead as it’s a roguevania and I’m sure I’ll like it.

On top of purchasing Sunset Overdrive, I also got Yakuza 0 to play it before the other Yakuza games that I own. Yakuza 0 was available for about five bucks, so I felt quite good about that purchase, especially as it looked like a ton of fun from what I’ve seen so far. I’m looking forward to getting into Sunset Overdrive eventually, although there are a bunch of other games lined up before it. 

Moons of Madness was 50% off but as Jeromai pointed out there was a bundle available on Humble Bundle that included Moons of Madness and a bunch of other games at the same price. Alas, I decided to go for that instead as it featured Deep Sky Derelicts, Tacoma, Still There, and Moons of Madness. All of these are nice additions to my library and my ever-increasing backlog. There are also a bunch of keys in there for games I’m not interested that I may give to friends that like games like that. On top of that, there was a key for Breathedge in there but as I already own that game, I’ll have to give it away, too. Incredible game, btw. 

Instead of buying Ni No Kuni, I ended up going for Doom Eternal. In hindsight, this was a great choice as I’m enjoying Doom Eternal quite a bit right now. I also bought Doom 2016 as it was available rather cheaply and as I’ve been told that some like that title more than Eternal… so I’m looking forward to trying that out after playing through Doom Eternal! 

If I don’t count the Bundle that I got, I spend 40€ on games this sale. I spent 13€ on the bundle (I added a bit extra because of the charity stuff there and the value that I got out of it), so that adds up to a total of 53€. The games that I got on steam alone were worth about 140€ with Doom Eternal being the priciest at 60€. The games in the bundle that I registered to my account were worth 74.50€, resulting in a total of 214.5€ worth of games acquired this sale for a price of 53€, so basically 75% off.

Honestly, I’m glad that I got some of these games but I want to make an effort to play through more of my titles. Right now, I’m getting back into Ratropolis and Hades again but also playing a fair bit of Doom Eternal and Minecraft. Next week, I’ll start my playthrough of Bioshock 2 on Twitch. After I’m through with either Doom Eternal or Bioshock 2, I’d like to play Sunset Overdrive and potentially the first Yakuza game. After that, I’ll have to try out other games and see where things will lead me. Streaming and blogging are helping me chunk away at that big backlog of mine, slowly but steadily. Alas, I hope that I get to go through some of those in this year.

What did you guys buy? Is there a purchase you decided against? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Others on the topic:

Naithin
Krikket

Steam Winter Sale 2020

Merry crisis and a happy new fear! It’s time for more anxiety as the Steam Winter Sale is approaching – the great disaster that leaves many a wallet empty. Hence, I wanted to talk about sales (like this one), some of my wishlisted items, and potential good deals.

So, first up: The Steam Winter Sale is here from December 22nd (aka two days ago) until January 5th (10 am PT) granting us the opportunity to save big bucks on many titles! Buy your favourite titles at lower prices than usual and earn points to buy cosmetic items and emotes for Steam’s social functions. Obviously, Steam’s competitor, Epic Games, is also running a Winter Sale but their concept of handing out coupons whenever you claim a free game kind of irritates me and honestly, most of the games that I’d like to get aren’t that much cheaper on there, even with the coupon, compared to Steam. Apart from that, I also like Steam’s functions a lot more, as well as the social aspect of it, so Steam’s the clear winner here, I think.

My issue with Sales is that they influence how you treat games and their value over time. Games are sold at a bargain during sales, so you effectively will more often than not refrain from buying a game on other times, so that you can grab it for cheaper later. At the same time, you’ll probably buy more on a Christmas Sale than on any other month as the sales are worth it more.

This idea of “worth”, “pricing”, and ” value” is a rather tricky topic and I’d like to elaborate on my thoughts and concerns about that idea in a later post… in 2021… once I’ve found some time to edit it and add pictures and stuff. 

Anyways, I didn’t really buy any games for the last couple of months due to my financial situation but since I’ll be paid back for the last couple of months, I might be able to spend a little bit of money on this sale. In that sense, there are a few games that I’d love to buy this Sale but I know that I won’t buy all of them. I’ll probably make another post on “my haul” in 2021 once I actually made all my purchases. 

Sundered: Eldritch Edition

Sundered is an Action-Roguelite-Metroidvania-Mashup by Thunder Lotus Games that features a chaotic and enigmatic hand-drawn art style as well as combat revolving around ancient eldritch powers that you either resist or embrace. The idea behind Roguevanias like this one (or Dead Cells) is actually something that I’ve really enjoyed in the past and I love it when you get to choose between the good or the bad side in games, so naturally, this title has been on my wishlist for ages. Currently, it’s 80% off on Steam, costing only 4€ instead of the usual 20€.

Fe

Zoink’s dark Sci-Fi-Action-Puzzle-title is about a creature called Fe in a nordic forest that has a lot of exploration to offer to you. Personally speaking, I have little to no idea what to expect from this title but it’s been on my wishlist ever since release in 2018, so I’m looking forward to potentially grabbing it and playing it sometime soon. The art style looks fantastic and I love the themes and the premise of it, presented by the trailer… but yeah, I know basically nothing about it apart from that. It’s currently 75% off on Steam, available at a price of roughly 4€.

Sunset Overdrive

Insomniac Games’ “Sunset Overdrive” kind of looked like Jet Set Radio to me… but with a post-apocalyptic and open world, as well as unique weapons and customizable abilities and stuff. Honestly, what I’ve seen from this title in clips and videos has looked like a ton of fun, so I’m really looking forward to grabbing this title eventually. Currently, however, it is 75% off, so check it out for sure.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered

I know I said that I don’t like a lot of JRPGs but I love Level-5 as a Studio and I love Studio Ghibli for their movies and art styles, which is why Ni no Kuni has been on my wishlist ever since the PC-port was announced. I’ve been looking forward to this game for ages. Alas, it’s a pleasure to see that it’s 70% off on Steam, available at 15€ instead of 50€. This could very much be the game with the biggest bargain in my wishlist.

Moons of Madness

First-Person, story-driven Cosmic Horror… in SPACE?! Count me in! I think I’ve actually seen info about this title about a year ago at or before the GamesCom in Cologne and really liked the style of it and the idea behind it, so naturally, I put it on my wishlist, even though I’m such a huge scaredy-cat. At 12.50€ or 50% off, this one’s still a bargain, in my opinion, so it’s definitely going to be a title that I’ll consider buying later.

DOOM Eternal

Hell’s armies have invaded Earth, so it’s time to clean up, eh? This title came out only this year and is already available at about 20€/67% off, which is honestly quite great. I heard that it’s satisfying to play and that the soundtrack is fantastically brutal. Alas, I’m going to consider this one as well.

HUMANKIND

Being a fan of Amplitude Studios’ Endless series is probably the biggest reason behind this title being on the list. I love strategy games and 4X games and while I haven’t played too many yet, I’d love to get into more. Humankind is going to be a title that will allow you to play through the entire narrative of humankind, letting you create your own civilisation in our world that will be as unique as you are. What values, culture and history will you push for? 

Honestly, I’m really looking forward to getting this myself eventually. The issue is… it’s coming out in April 2021 if it doesn’t get delayed. Alas, I may pre-order it now while it is about 10€ off and enjoy it later in April as a late birthday present… to myself. 

Anyways, I don’t usually do lists like this one but I thought it would be fun as a post during the holidays. Obviously, there are a lot more titles on my wishlist and Steam has a ton more Indie games to offer… but I probably own a lot of the ones that I want to play and review already… or they’re not that cheap or they’re games that I’d buy at the full price anyways. Personally speaking, I don’t like spending too much money on Games these days, especially as I’ve been having less and less time to play games and as my library has been growing more and more as of late, too. Part of the reason for that is most likely Humble Choice as I’d sometimes forget to pause it or as I’d sometimes go for it even though I have too many games to play in my backlog… stupid decisions and no decisions, eh? Alas, there are plenty of unplayed games in my backlog and I’m looking forward to getting through the pile eventually. I’ll just have to practice self-discipline more often during sales like this one and limit my funds to spare more. 

Hence, I feel like a spending limit of at most 60€ would be quite appropriate. That’s basically my free-time-funds anyways per month and I guess I could go a bit above it as well if I end up buying Humankind, considering that I’ve never bought a birthday present for myself. 

That’s what people do sometimes, right? They buy something nice for themself, right? Right? 

Uh, either way, I’ll have to see how much money I have available to myself at the end of this month. I’m basically getting my funds from the state soon and will have to pay my rent and bills anyways, then I’ll have to decide my spending limits per week for food and stuff in January… Then, I’ll need to consider what to get for my little sister’s birthday… and when all of that is done and dusted, I’ll have some left-over money that I may save… or I may use it for “free-time-funds” aka buying games. Will have to see.

I hope you’re enjoying the Christmas holidays! Take a breather and relax for a bit. Enjoy your time. 2020’s end is nigh, so it’s time to hope that 2021 is gonna be better. Have some nice time off and some have a great start into the new one!

What purchases are you going to make if any at all? Have you considered games and not gone for them? Has a sale ever changed your mind of going for a game despite initially not having wanted to? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition – Part 1

The Steam Game Festival is here! 

This time it’s the Autumn Edition, so strap on for a bunch of demos that I found intriguing! All in one post! Kind of! As you can see by the title of the post, there is going to be a second part and potentially a third part about the Steam Game Festival (if I end up finding even more demos to play), so uh… enjoy!

First up, I’d like to say that the Steam Game Festival is available until October 13th, 10 AM PDT! So, if you want to check out any of these or other game demos, be sure to grab them while they’re here! You can also check out the Steam Game Festival page on Steam to see some live streams, dev talks and other interesting things, available for a limited time!

So, while we did cover a whole bunch of games in a whole bunch of solo-posts in the past about the Steam Game Festival, I wanted to try something different and post about them while I’ve played all of them and summarise my thoughts a bit more precisely. The problem with the way I handled it last time was that a lot of the posts about the games came out AFTER the Steam Game Festival was over, resulting in you potentially not having played some of the titles. This time around, I heard about it a lot earlier and got to play the demos a lot earlier as well, resulting in me being able to work on this post *on time*. Hence, you’ll get a long post about the games that I played and that seemed interesting… and some recommendations!

Natural Instincts

Natural Instincts is a God-Sim where you manipulate animals into moving to different places, eating, drinking, mating, and essentially, living. You can do your best to protect the environment and save it from harm… or you’re just a normal human who’s effectively ruining the environment since forever and doesn’t give a fuck about nature. 

The demo only lets you play in and observe the European Forest where you get to see and influence Boars, Rabbits, Deers, Wolves and Bears. There are lush forests, long rivers, some small lakes and only limited resources available and overall, I enjoyed the experience there. Just observing these rabbits has been wonderful although I would have hoped for more quality settings since my PC can handle a lot more and since I would have loved to see the animals up close! Apart from that, it looks solid so far, although I’d love to have more information available on the screen as well as potentially some options to influence the climate, let stuff grow or let rabbits take over the world and whatever. 

The full game will feature the European Forest alongside the Arctic, Savannah, Pacific Ocean, Tropical Forest, and the Gulf of Mexico, so there is a variety of places to observe and to meddle in. You can find the game over here where DreamStorm Studios has yet to announce a release date.

Carto

Honestly, this was the title that I’m looking forward to the most. It’s an insanely adorable 2D Puzzle-Adventure where you find card pieces and piece them together to shape the world around you. By talking to people and interacting with different landmarks in the world, you get hints that tell you how to find new landmarks and people in the world. 

In one instance a fisherman got lost and only remembered that his house was on the West. It’s our task to guide him home, so we just quickly pop into the Card-Screen (Tab) and move his tile to the West to then unlock his house on the map tile. Obviously, we can still move everything around but we have to be careful as not all pieces fit together. There are different biomes, quest lines (sorta?) and a whole bunch of exploration fun – all tied up in a very cute and charming art style, an adorable soundtrack and an interesting mechanic about world-alteration and finding your family. 

I’m wish-listing this game for sure and I highly recommend checking out the short but charming demo for yourself over here! Sunhead Games’ title comes out on October 27th, so not too long until you get to piece together more of this wholesome game! 

Garden Story

Speaking of cute games, there’s also Garden Story! It’s amazingly cute and looked like just the right game for me in these times. You play as Concord, the youngest grape in “The Grove”, and as the newly-appointed Guardian, it’s your job to help restore the island!

But since that’s a huge task for a young grape like you, you’ve got to rely on your friends, consisting of shrooms, frogs and other fruits! The demo lets you explore the first part of the game a little bit and explains the basic mechanics with combat, loot and items. There are a lot of different characters and overall, I was a bit overwhelmed at first but as time went on, I kind of got the gist of it. We have to cultivate our home, foster the community, explore the world, fight the “Rot” and solve puzzles – and we have to do all of that to connect the different towns and repair old ties! Hooray! While I felt as if I got thrown into cold water at first, I actually learned to swim quite fast and really enjoyed my short stay in this vibrant world.

Picogram’s title is going to come out at some point in 2021, so be sure to play the demo yourself and wishlist the game right here

Calico

And since I already covered two cute titles, why not also talk about Calico? Well, I’d like to talk about this game but… I’m confused. 

You essentially are tasked with rebuilding the town’s cat café. The demo, however, runs super poorly, gives you little to no tutorial information and is full of bugs. At one point, I wanted to decorate a cake (as I had to, mostly) and the whole world got coloured weirdly, resulting in some trippy experience for me where I had to restart the demo. This happened a few times, so I then just decided to explore the seemingly hand-drawn world and play with kitties… but the controls feel janky and overall, my experience with this demo was more than frustrating. Personally, this game should be a good pick for me as it combines cats, a cutesie art style, and managing your own café. I like the way the world looks and the idea behind it but the execution is more than lacking and while the demo isn’t the full game… I would have wanted to play a more polished version of the demo to actually want to play the full game. 

More than anything, I really wanted to play with cats in this game and bake cakes and try out different features but it feels very Early Access to me. Bugs, janky controls, crashes, and the fact that there are no sound effects whatsoever (apart from the same loop of the same song) is just a giant turn-off, in my opinion. Idk, if you wanna check the game out for yourself, click here… and if not, then don’t. 

…there was no trailer for this one available…

Defenders of the Camp

With Defenders of the Camp, I thought that we had a sort of promising candidate at our hands. The idea behind leading a party of adventurers into forests, deserts and other places isn’t new or innovative but I thought that its style looked quite cool and expected a bit more. 

Just like with Calico, however, this is a barely playable demo. DotC seems to be a prototype where you can check out the base characters: A mage, a knight and a priest. Each with their own distinct roles: DPS, Tank, Support. They each have different skills but it all felt quite janky. At one time, my priest pulled a Leeroy Jenkins on me and charged into goblins who then slew the priest. My knight walked into a wall and got stuck so that the goblins were able to fight them off. Honestly, though, my mage did enough damage to mess everyone up, so I didn’t really think about it too much. Who needs a tank anyways? Who cares about the Support anyways?

But as time went on, and as I wanted to progress, I clicked on the different menus only to see that nothing’s really implemented. The skill tree menu is there but it’s not in the demo/prototype and while the stats are great and all… you have no way of moving faster. Alas, try it out if you wanna but personally, I found it frustrating to move at a snail’s pace, especially when you wanna kite enemies or when you want to actually enjoy the gameplay. 

Ecosystem

Just like Natural Instincts, Ecosystem tasks the player with taking care of a natural environment, with the difference that you actually create it yourself and observe the creatures as they evolve over time. 

You generate some terrain, add mountains, hills, caves and other formations into the map, then you add plants and animals and… after the spores grow up, you get your first few species! Play GOD as you decide who dies and who lives! You can boost some creatures using points and overall, you strive to protect the environment you created and to see what crazy creatures are born. The strongest and fastest survive and reproduce while others with their own mutations and evolutionary steps end up dying. You can also edit the creatures yourself and see how they fare.

Originally, I really liked the idea but thought that it may be a bit frustrating to play as your favourite creatures may not fair so well while your fewer favourite creatures end up triumphing… but that fear wasn’t justified at all. I really enjoyed meddling with all of these monstrosities, creating long predators and growing caves and other formations to make plant life possible. In the end, I had a blast and you should definitely check it out yourself!

Rawmen

Rawmen is another title that I tried out and honestly, it’s a lot of fun. 

Rawmen could best be described as a fast-paced Arena-Shooter where you fight other players using kitchen utensils and ingredients. There are a lot of fun items as well as a lot of puns in the game. The different game modes seem entertaining but what’s bothering me is that you queue up for a random game mode but during the queue time you get to see what mode it is. So, if you don’t like climbing a tower by bombing yourself to the top using exploding tomatoes… then you just leave the queue and queue up again. Especially as it’s a demo, it’s a bit rough to find players to play with. Hence, while it can be fun when you get into a game, it’s a bit rough when you have to wait for a while or when people decide to just leave the game when they start losing.

Overall, though, it’s a lot of fun. Especially as you get to customize your character a fair bit, play with different items in different modes and it’s just hilarious in its own way. You can find the game over here

A lot of demos this time around…

…and we’re still not done with them. The problem with the Steam Game Festival is that just like in Summer, there are way too many titles to play. Alas, I’ve made one post now and I’ll play more demos later and publish a second post on this season’s Steam Game Festival. I hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to recommend some demos to me as well. As for Part 2, I’d like to take a look at a bunch of titles, including Undungeon, Ponpu, Neurodeck, Monster Prom 2, F.I.S.T., Xuan-Yuan Sword VII, Webbed, Superliminal, Castle Flippers, Ruin Raiders and maybe I’ll make yet another post about Ring of Pain! There are a bunch of other demos that I wanted to play but haven’t downloaded yet… but those will have to wait until I’m done with these posts. Time’s limited and the Steam Game Festival is over soon, so be sure to check at least some of them out!

To keep up-to-date with all of my posts on the Steam Game Festival, you can visit this link here where you can find all posts with the “Steam Game Festival” tag! So, check out the other posts, if you want to!

Anyways, stay healthy! Happy Gaming!

Cheers!

Looking forward to “Grounded”

If you’ve seen “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, “The Ant Bully”, or “Antz”, you might like the following title. In Obsidian Entertainment’s “Grounded” you’re playing as one of four kids, shrunk to the size of insects and other small critters. You get to roam a lawn, exploring vast grass-steam forests while scavenging and foraging for resources to survive the dangers that come with not being normal-sized.

The world is beautiful if you look close enough – and well, with your size, you can get close to everything. Ants are as big as you while stink beetles and ladybugs are terrifyingly big! Of course, there are also small critters like mites that you can hunt down for food and… well… as the game tells you in the title screen, there are also spiders. But fear not, fellow arachnophobes, for there is an arachnophobia mode in this game that lets you turn those horrific and vile creatures into weird bobbly balls floating in the air. This also affects their creepy sounds, resulting in a pleasant experience even when you encounter them.

I constantly caught myself staring into the beautiful areas around you – I mean, when if not now do we get to see the world from this perspective?

Houses and benches are huge! We even get to explore “landmarks” such as some weird shrinking machine and soda cans. Resources seem to be rather lush and alas, we gather pebbles and sprigs, mushrooms and clover, so that we can get started with some simple tools for the beginning.

While you chop down trees in other games, you’ve got to chop down the grass, using an actual axe. Quite bizarre in a way but it does make sense. And well, despite stink beetles, spiders and mites wanting to kill you, there are also a bunch of friendly fellows around like ladybugs and ants.

I love ants. The ants in this game look incredibly cute, constantly scavenging for food, just like us, or carrying around sticks and pebbles. “In theory”, I thought… “In theory, I could attack them. I’ve got the spear and all of that already, after all!” – But I didn’t dare to attack such cute little fellows, mostly since I’m afraid that they might gang up on me after sending out their threat pheromones.

There seems to be a full-fledged story available to the game once it comes out but inside of the demo I was able to play for more than half an hour – and the story-part reached until we fixed the (presumably) shrink-reversal-machine that Spoilers blew up on us shortly after we “fixed” it.

Materials can be analyzed for recipes inside of the analyzer that is set near our research globe. Food can be cooked at a roasting spit and, in theory, we can even build a base of sorts with walls, doors and floors!

Honestly, I’m really excited about this game, especially since it does tickle that one itch that I have for base-building survival games! Especially as it also features unconventional aspects to survival. You’ve got to find water drops on grass stems to not dehydrate, for instance, which is a nice touch!

Multiplayer is also something that is going to be included in the full game, so this might get really cool really soon. Grounded gets released in Early Access on July 28th, 2020. It’s by Obsidian Entertainment, so it’s bound to be good, and well, the game so far has been looking great already, especially as this is only a demo!

The only thing that I’d wish for would be an option to turn the spiders into some cute beetles or something, as even the bobbly heads are a little bit triggering to me. I’d also love it if you could turn their sounds into something else that is less creepy. But maybe that’s just my arachnophobia speaking…

Cheers!

Looking out for “Traveller’s Rest”

I’ve enjoyed my fair share of shop or tavern keeping simulations from Recettear to Moonlighter to Shoppe Keep 1 & 2, so it was a bit of a no-brainer for me that I’d try out the demo for Traveller’s Rest. 

But what exactly is Traveller’s Rest?

In Traveller’s Rest, you take charge of a rundown Inn, serve guests food and ales, and where you farm your veggies, hops and grains yourself to become self-sufficient.

Since your tavern/inn’s kind of run-down, you’ve got decorate, clean and unlock a bunch of features as you progress through the quests that the game offers to you. As you gain experience and level up, you also unlock skills, tech trees, and features like ordering ingredients, renting rooms to guests, hiring staff and a ton of other things!

The demo starts off somewhat slowly as you’re being told how to build, clean and serve – the basics, basically. Over time, the Inn gets rather busy with guests swarming in and you having to clean after them when they trash your place, calm them down when they get mad and get rich when they pay up and leave!

I feel like Traveller’s Rest has a bunch of everything in there. The music is nice, the progressing feels steady and overall, it’s a nice little game with all kinds of features. It honestly kind of reminded me of Graveyard Keeper since the style is similar and since the malting and fermenting are quite similar as well. The only thing missing are the corpses that you throw down the river, but I doubt that would fit into Traveller’s Rest. 

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this two-in-game-days-long demo, despite the fact that it was a tad annoying that you’ve got to wait so long for the fermenting or malting or whatever to be done. I guess, a speed-up-option of sorts for those kinds of things would be quite nice, like meditation or something. 

The game’s coming out in Mid 2020. Be sure to wishlist and follow the game on Steam if you’re interested in supporting a solo-project. 

Cheers!

Looking out for “Automaton”

Another interesting title that caught my eye during the Steam Game Festival (Summer Edition) was Cicle Interactive’s “Automaton”, which is planned to be released on August 3rd 2020! It’s a Puzzle-Adventure set in a post-apocalyptic desert world where a small little robot ventures out in search for fuel. You explore abandoned bunkers, stations and other facilities, solving puzzles, in a quest to find out what that thing was that fell from the sky. 

When I started this game up, I saw a lot of potential in it!

Similar to NieR: Automata, Automaton features mixed third-person mechanics and 2D perspectives on top of vast open areas, which I find rather cool. You go from one landmark to another, only limited by the fuel reserves that shut you down when you run empty. There is little to no introduction into the game and little to no hand-holding. The game leaves you be, similar to thatgamecompany’s Journey where you also only orient yourself through different eyecatchers and landmarks that you see in the distance. 

The world is really pretty, the protagonist is insanely adorable (a common theme at this point) and the soundtrack is just astonishing so far! 

The only issues I have with the game are the fuel-mechanic itself. While limiting your access to the World with that mechanic is rather interesting and quite innovative, I find it a bit harsh on the player and flat-out frustrating to have the player die and start anew. A checkpoint here or there would have been really appreciated – but maybe that’s something that’s a thing in the full release. 

Automaton will come out on August 3rd, 2020. Check it out yourself or wishlist/follow it on Steam if you’re intrigued by this little piece. 🙂

Cheers!

Looking out for “For the People”

By now the Steam Game Festival has already ended, but fear not! There will be more posts about the demos that I played! Alas, this post is about For the People – a game about time management and political choices. We take control of the newly appointed mayor of Iron-1, Francis Rivers, who has to try to appease all kinds of different parties from the working class to the military to other people that don’t just seem to get along.

Brezg Studio describes it as an “acute social novel with strategic elements”, which honestly fits really well as you sign documents, make difficult choices, appoint agents for different missions to deal with certain tasks, on top of managing all kinds of appointments, tasks and, at last, more paperwork.

You need to manage your time efficiently while also strategically distributing resources to the people in order to earn their trust and increase your influence over them. Of course, you can’t please everyone. I tried to do that… but it just seems as if you’ve got to take some sides here and there, which obviously results in the displeasure of other parties.

In my case, I ended up trying to provide sufficient healthcare to everyone, no matter their race, gender or class, but I couldn’t appease the military force or the fire force who were in need of resources. I also made some difficult decisions here and there where I denied funds to some people who would obviously abuse them for some bad things… meanwhile other times, I made the wrong choice and accepted proposals that were based on lies and misinformation.

It all comes down to this: You can’t do everything right. You can’t appease everyone. Just go your way and see what happens!

There are five different endings in the full game, although the demo only lets you play through the first few days, so I couldn’t really see what’s going to happen. I’m quite excited about how it all plays out. I’d love to see if there are any possible romance options as well, since I kind of ship Francis with our assistant, Helen.

And then there’s the style. It’s just insanely great. You’ve got these visual novel style cutscenes here and there with incredibly stylized moments in the next scene and cuts to different points in time, which I found rather impressive for a small studio’s first game!
My explanation of all of this probably doesn’t make much sense unless you see it for yourself, so to make it easier to understand: The presentation is great. Just go see for yourself!

And then there’s the soundtrack. It was great! Yeah, I can’t really describe it too well, either…

Honestly, I’m really excited about this game. It kind of reminded me of “Papers, Please” and “Through the Darkest of Times” as well as (potentially) “Beholder”. All lovely games and all so unique that TtDoT probably fits the most style-wise and theme-wise, though the other games may fit more choice-wise and gameplay-wise.

Either way, this is a game that I’ve got wishlisted for sure. The Release Date (2020) is relatively unspecific, so I just hope that it arrives soon!

Looking out for “Critters for Sale”

Critters for Sale is… interesting. It’s a weird and mesmerizing experience. I don’t exactly know what drew me to it when I saw it on the demo page but without really knowing anything about it, I installed it and started it up only to find myself in some surreal ride full of events that I’m not sure I really comprehend.

“Experience death from the comfort of your seat”, the Store description says. Sonoshee, the dev behind Critters for Sale, is also known for Rym 9000 but apart from the equally mesmerizing soundtrack and some weird symbols here and there, I couldn’t really draw a connection between the two games at all.

Critters for Sale is a text-based Noir Adventure… I think?

It features Gore and Violence on top of a lot of different symbols and metaphors as well as a story that I’m not quite following at this point in time. The demo lasts about 13 minutes as you play until a certain point of time of the first chapter, “Snake”. You play as Sergei, a taxi-driver, who gets messaged by… Michael Jackson? You’re supposed to come to the Limelight Club that is nearby.

Do you get out of the comfort of your bed or do you stay asleep? Do you take the bait or do you stay paranoid? Do you believe the man who’s looking like Michael Jackson? Do you listen to his crazy story of the future and your connection… or do you doubt it all and throw it all away? And what do you make of the weird sculptures and the people in the club?

It’s honestly a wild ride from start to end.

The sounds, the music, the aesthetic… it’s just insanely mysterious, mesmerizing and weirdly alluring. The different parts of the screen feel satisfying to click on. There are different parts and different ways to go through the story. You may leave the club early? You may find some interesting new detail? Who knows?

It’s sinister and grainy. It’s weird and grotesque. It’s unhinged and… I’m not sure but I think free describes it quite well? It doesn’t try to be overly scary or funny or dark or sad. It just does its thing. It’s not too sad, it’s not too funny. The game’s doing it right without trying too hard.

Critters for Sale looked “interesting” but caught me off-guard as I expected nothing and was flat-out overwhelmed.

I’m not sure what to say about it all. I love it. I’m excited. I’m hyped. I wanna play more. I wanna see where this goes. I want it now… but it’s getting released in 2021, so I guess we’ll have to wait for that…

If you don’t mind a little gore and a little violence… check this title out. Wishlist it on steam. Follow the game’s development. Check it out on itch.io as well! Definitely recommended!

Looking out for “Starmancer”

Starmancer looked like the closest thing to any of the games that I’m usually enjoying and all the demos I’ve seen on the Steam Game Festival. It’s getting published by Chucklefish which fits most of my favourite games… it’s a strategy, base-building simulation game based in Space and you essentially play as a powerful A.I. who’s controlling a base while researching, expanding and upgrading everything.

You try to survive starvation, sabotage and other threats – and worst case, you’ll just regrow your humans.

Developer: Ominux Games
Publisher: Chucklefish
Release Date: "Coming Soon"
Genres: Simulation, Strategy, Base-Building, Space, Indie

The idea of either “following protocol or going rogue” was really interesting to me, so I thought I’d give Ominux Games’ “Starmancer” a shot and I’m pleasantly surprised.

That’s us!

You start up with researching some technologies and building up biomass synthesizers that fuel your production and are essential for your success. You then link up your machines with pipes and wires while managing your colonists.

You send out humans on missions, make money and advance your production further to ensure a happy life to your colonists.
The full game will feature diplomacy, exploration, and modding support as well as the features that are already in available in the demo like personal relationships, memories, rumours, jobs, unique colonists, procedural generation, Insanity and Mutiny.

All beginning is hard!

All the good stuff!

The demo features 60 minutes of gameplay, although you may restart it whenever you want. You’re also granted a lot of starting money for the sake of exploration, as well as unlocked misc items to ensure your colonists’ happiness.

It all plays surprisingly well for an Alpha. There are no bugs from what I’ve seen, yet, and the mechanics work rather well. I still need to create a successful colony to date as I’m always failing in the worst possible way.
In one run, one of my colonists started picking fights with everyone as they were hungry. This lead to them making enemies out of everyone and eventually it started to pick fights with all the other colonists (who were all pacifists), resulting in two dead and one living colonist.

Charistmatic but disgusting? Also an aggressive douchebag? Ah, whatever!

I wanted to revive both colonists but sadly the mad one also turned into a cannibal and started eating them while having this urge of bloodlust… So, I had to starve the mad cannibal out until I could regrow the other ones. Starving her out didn’t work out well… So then I just vented the oxygen into space, so that she suffocates and dies that way. That worked.

When I generated more oxygen a fire started spreading and destroyed the human growth machine, resulting in no way for me to grow more and alas one run ending.

In the next one, I ran out of money and had no way to recover… and in a different one, I ran out of time and had to restart the demo as I played it for yet another hour.

So, I guess, you could say that I had a blast! I really enjoyed this game. I’d describe it as a mix of Oxygen Not Included and RimWorld.

Not again!

I really liked the fact that your colonists can get better at the jobs they’re doing which would then unlock more research options and alas more blueprints and items! I would have liked it a tad more if I had a better way to see the colonists happiness and if there were more ways to increase their happiness, like giving them some rest here and there or even changing their schedule completely.

So, this is essentially a winner. I’m really looking forward to the full release which is “coming soon”.

Realm of the mad cannibal!

Wishlist it and get notified when it comes out! The Alpha Demo is also still available for download on Steam, so try it out if you want to! 🙂

Looking out for “RoboCo”

I used to be a waiter, as I previously mentioned a couple of times, and, well,… I wasn’t all that great at it. I wasn’t the fastest but I cared about my guests. Sometimes I wished I could have hit “space” and restarted, only to add some extra servos, wheels and hinges… maybe some blocks here and there… and to top it off… a moustache. A glorious moustache! But I can’t just do that unless I hop into RoboCo, the cute little Robot-Building Physics game where we build adorable little robot waiters and stuff!

Filament Games did a great job with this one. They really did! There is only one challenge in the demo and it’s about serving a sandwich to a guest. Yep, that’s right! We have ONE job! Are we going to fail it? We’ll see.

When I started the game, I already an idea of how I wanted my robot to look like. He’d be rolling around on one wheel or a small platform with a few wheels while only being held up by one rod to which his body is attached to. He’d also be very classy and demand tips for his services.

Naturally, I started building and already had to realise that not only it’s hard to manoeuvre around on only two wheels… but it’s also hard to stop with four wheels only, so I need to do some balancing… or find a different solution!

I present to you: My solution! Four extendable pistons that essentially stop us from falling onto the ground… we always fall at an angle and get to get up again. While this worked well as a solution, I couldn’t figure out how to assign controls… until much later! Alas, I could have also used four rods for this instead… or one in the front and one in the back. Oh well!
Sadly, the plate breaks when it falls onto the pistons, resulting in property damage, which is always tough to deal with as a waiter… be it as a human or as a robot.

Next up, I added two arms to the robot to make him look friendly… on top of adding a platform of soft blocks to his pistons… These essentially catch the plate but in case of falling, the plate would get smashed, too, so I ended up spacing out the wheels a bit for a stable ride… which rendered the pistons useless but whatever.

Since the “plate” was a tad low, though, it couldn’t reach the table… Furthermore, the plate with the sandwich would constantly be on the verge of shattering and/or falling, hence ruining our chance to get a tip! Alas, I had to take some actions to tackle both of these issues.

My solution? First up, we’ve got a piston that moves the soft tablet up and down, using Q and E, to adjust to the table’s height. The tablet also features an increase at the back of it, so that it doesn’t fall off the tablet before reaching the goal. Alas, there was still the problem of softly placing it down, so I added a rotating part to the tablet that would then softly tilt the tablet using I and K. This way we could ensure that we’re able to balance out the tablet while walking to the table… all while also ensuring that we can slowly drop off the plate with the sandwich UPRIGHT on the plate and without touching the table. This ended up only requiring one arm, so we built a second arm in the same anatomically correct fashion. It features the HANDinator-1337™!


Before we proceed with the end of the demo-challenge, I’d like to talk about my overall impressions:

The game is insanely cute and derpy featuring all kinds of cute little details and customizability-options. The demo let me build up this robot however I wanted. I got a bunch of blocks, wheels, hinges, motors and other objects to construct this beautiful lad here. The technical side of things is a bit hard to approach at first… but once you try some stuff out, you get the bigger picture of how things work.

The game was a ton of fun (the fact that I spend more than an hour building up this waiter-bot should testify for that) and the music and style are quite pleasant as well, which results in a great experience overall. Worth checking out! I’m going to wishlist this one! 🙂 It’s coming soon as well, so that’s a pleasure!


And here we are… after nearly two hours of work done on this robot… we created a lovely waiter, able to catch, deliver and place a sandwich without any problems. The guest, as you can see, is terrified about the fact that his sandwich could fall any minute…

But in the end, it all worked out! Hooray! Eureka!

Now, pay me. Thank you.

I’m serious.

Looking out for “Occupy Mars: Prologue”

I’ve always been fascinated by space and games that play in space. Landing on some planet, starting colonies, all that good stuff. Surviving Mars is a great game, Kerbal Space Program is something I wanna be good at, and well,… today’s Demo: “Occupy Mars: Prologue” by Pyramid Games is something I want to like…

You are on Mars, duh.

You have your tools and your rover. You build and upgrade your base, discover new regions, conduct mining operations, retrieve water and generate oxygen while growing plants and doing your best to colonize Mars. You try to make living on Mars possible, step by step. I love the premise.

It’s a highly technical, open-world, sandbox, survival game that really scratches that itch that other games have scratched in the past.

It’s got a day/night cycle and makes use of mainly solar power. You also try to fix broken parts using highly realistic mechanics like SMD, smoldering, hot-air and electronic measurements, fixing cables and platines and stuff.

I’m getting “The Martian” vibes from this game, which is really neat in a way. I really like the idea of ultimately trying to create an atmosphere on Mars using Mars.

Buuuut… it’s super janky. I struggled for ten minutes to try and pick up a rock with the rover’s crane. Some cables that you unplug or pick up, vanish into the ground, rendering the game broken sometimes. It’s only a demo and the game will start out in Early Access as well but I feel like some of the “realism” is harming the experience as you are trying to lift a rock or getting those ores while your oxygen, food and hydration meters are emptying over time, threatening your survival… I feel like some guide rails would be really helpful.

We’ll see if that changes in the actual game.

I guess I’d tune in for the finished game but I wouldn’t enjoy an EA-phase where the game breaks itself. I feel like the intent and the premise are there but they don’t necessarily are just “good enough” at this point. Alas, I’ve got it on my wishlist, waiting for possibly the full release… and then I might pick it up and review it… or I might not, judging from other people’s response to it.

This person rips off Indie Devs and gets away with it on Steam

There are good games out there… and there are bad ones… and then there are people that develop games for the sake of trolling others, wasting their time and money while ripping off other developers’ content and making a quick buck off it without getting any repercussions at all from Valve’s side.

This post features no images as I don't want to post pictures of stolen character models on here. Hope you understand that. 

Recently Krikket mentioned “Streamer Life Simulator”, so I thought I’d check out this game that seems to be a complete Trainwreck and just utterly horrible. Apparently, the gameplay is kind of okay (there’s not much there) but I wanted to write about something else in this post:
The dev is a “bad person”.

Cheesecake Dev is a publisher and developer who barely puts games together only to sell them for a few bucks on Steam. On their page you can find titles like “Skinny”, “The Momo Game”, “Grandpa”, “Who Is This Man”, “Yanpai Simulator”, and “Kick The Anime Simulator”.

Skinny, The Momo Game and Grandpa are being described as horror games but apparently feature little to no gameplay while also having tons of issues and bugs that won’t get fixed at all. The worst thing about these titles though is that it just blatantly rips of assets from other games and from different Steam Workshops without ever crediting the original creators.

This seems to be a common theme among the Cheesecake Dev games as Yanpai Simulator and Kick the Anime Simulator also feature assets that are plainly ripped off other games. Yanpai Simulator is flat out stealing the female character model of Yandere Simulator while also blatantly mocking the name. On top of that, it’s supposed to also feature similar gameplay, although it seems to be pretty much broken, judging from the reviews.

And then there’s Kick the Anime Simulator where you throw knives at female anime characters in a test arena that is, essentially, the whole game. In this case, I’m not complaining about the length of the game: After all, I didn’t buy any of these games and I wouldn’t expect much more for not even two bucks… I’m rather complaining about the downright offensive and misogynistic premise of somewhat brutally attacking and killing female characters. Sure, it’s “just” anime characters but if a game like “Rape Day” gets (rightfully) removed from Steam for being an obvious troll game that is just offensive, this one shouldn’t be on Steam either. And I’m not saying that it’s an “either both get removed or both stay” situation – I’m saying that stuff like “Rape Day” should not be on Steam and that this game has to get removed as well… if not for the misogynistic premise, then at least for the copyright infringements.

And since the developer’s and publisher’s names all link to Cheesecake Dev’s page on all of these games’ store pages, I’m not even sure how this stuff stays on Steam. Surely, there’s a report-function, right? Or did Cheesecake Dev manage to outwit the system by somehow changing their name each time to stuff like “lol” or other bs?

So, at last, I’d say: Please stay away from this dev and support the original content creators instead of giving money (even jokingly) to someone who steals content in such an obvious way. If you’ve got the time, report them as well. I feel like that’s something more people should do, for obvious reasons. We don’t want stuff like “Rape Day” to surface Steam again or something like “Beating Black People Simulator” or “Killing Trains People Simulator” to appear…

The Steam Game Festival!

As a blogger who’s kind of focused around indie games and new releases as well as reviews, I always am on the search for new titles that are coming up and worth checking out or writing about. Alas, the Steam Game Festival, Summer Edition, has been a great opportunity for me to do just that: Play games that are coming out and write about things that are worth checking out.

Sadly, due to real-life obligations, I didn’t quite get the chance to do that just yet, although I did download plenty of demos. In the next few days to weeks, I’ll post about my experiences with these demos and will recommend stuff based on my first impressions in this category… The Lookout Post!

Overall, I’ve got to say that there are a lot of titles that I already played in the past from Ovid Studio’s “Metamorphosis” to TwiceDifferent’s “Ring of Pain”… But I also got my eye on a lot of new titles that I’ve been eyeing for the last couple of months, which is rather exciting. I’m really looking forward to the experience and the first impressions that I’ll be able to collect. I still haven’t really figured out how I’ll tackle these posts but it’s going to be exciting regardless of the posts’ form.

Apart from that I also have three posts on Drake Hollow planned, which should come out sometime soon. There will be an interview with the devs, once I’ve figured out what questions to throw out and which ones to keep. There will be a general informational post on the game… as well as an Indietail-Review once it’s out! So, stay tuned for that!

Cheers!

Steam – PLAY NEXT

Steam has gotten a bunch of updates that were quite neat. I love the “new” (it’s not that new anymore) library with the dynamic and static collections, the new home screen, the updates being shown there at the front page as well as the fact that it all looks like a shelf where you keep your games.

As far as shelves go, you can set up a view of your collections, your recent games, your favourite games all your games, recent friend activity, uncategorized games, and…. the new feature:

PLAY NEXT

And that’s something that I’d imagine would be rather neat for a lot of people. The algorithm that Steam is using tells you about the games that you should tackle next. Steam helps you with your backlog and gives you a recommendation of games that you haven’t played yet but that you own. It’s like the “explore”-feature that I frequently use… but for games that I already have and that I don’t need to buy!

My Play Next features quite a bunch of titles that I actually wanted to play for a while now but never got to or titles that I might want to play again as it’s been a while!

So, next time I’m not sure what I wanna play, I’ll hit up this feature and just check the recommendations. Endless Legend/Space are options especially as I love the universe and Dungeon of the Endless… but right now I’m quite busy with Assassin’s Creed 1 and Hollow Knight. If I feel like Indie Games, I might check out Omensight’s predecessor, “Stories: The Path of Destinies”, or maybe Aragami, which looked interesting… and then, of course, there’s XCOM2 which I’m lately seeing everywhere and which is going to break my heart next time I play it again!

And I feel like that’s the biggest problem with a big backlog of games: You are not under pressure due to the size of the backlog… You are under pressure as you cannot choose between the many games that you might want to play. You only have so much time and this one game might be worth more time than this other one. Sure, I could get back into Kingdom again and just replay the old games or check out the latest update but I also could potentially try out something new like Deponia or Dishonored, although I’m not sure if I’ll like these games all that much, as I barely know anything about the franchises! 

Overall, I feel like this might become a feature that more people, other than me, use. I personally love the “new” library and stuff like the dynamic collections and the “unplayed”-category! I also love the “shelf”-look of things and how everything is in order now and how everything looks less dated. Again, this new feature might improve how I tackle games that I never played. Before, I used to scroll down with my eyes closed and stop at a random game! Usually, it lead to me playing something fun!…. or not! This might be the solution to that or rather a flat-out upgrade! Thus, I’m looking forward to that!

What are your thoughts on it? Is this something that you could see yourself using? What was your previous method of choosing what game to play next? Either way, that’s it for today’s post. Hope you enjoyed this one… 

Cheers!

The Stray Sheep #11 – Social Media

So in today’s Stray Sheep I’m talking about social media and stuff.

Or rather.. I’m sharing links in this post so that we’ve got one post with all of it! …Well, “all of it” until I look into the other things that you can connect Jetpack to.

Anyways, when I opened this blog, I created a Steam Group! But…nobody cares about that, I guess. Or at least I couldn’t be arsed to ask any of my friends to join (as I was kinda busy with my blog and stuff) and I always forget to invite people, so I’m still the only member.
So, if you’d like to, join the steamgroup or follow the curator-page! 🙂

If that’s your jam, you can also follow/like my facebook-page or check out my twitter account. I was told that only people over 30 use facebook but that would make me the youngest 30-year-old I know as I’m only in my twenties.
Since I’m also streaming on Twitch (as of late), I’m also using Twitter to promote my twitch-streams.

If you’re still using Tumblr… I created a tumblr blog and have no clue how that thing works. It just posts it on there whenever I post stuff.

And if you’d like to message me, you can always do so on Steam, Twitter or on my discord!

I thought it’d be neat to post these all, so that people can find my content a lot easier.

“Spread the word! Someone here likes Dr. Pepper more than other soft drinks and Pepsi more than Coke, but Coke Zero more than Pepsi! What a weirdo!”

you possibly

And as for other future posts, I’m currently working on another shorter review and I still need to play an upcoming game called “Miracle Mia” by Shademare, a father-&-son-team of Indie-Devs that are releasing their first game next week. Luckily they provided me with a review key, so I’m going to review that as well and tell you my thoughts about it in the near future.
Also next sunday, a new review is coming out on a cool card-based ARPG! Since it’s been scheduled for quite some time now, it’s another long review, so stay tuned for that!

Anyways, cheers!

This post is part of a contest/challenge called Blaugust! The goal is to post as much as possible and participants are awarded with different prizes depending on the goal they achieved. My aim is to post on all 31 days of August and if you’d like to know more about this “event”, you should check this post out.

Note: Edited the Twitter-Page to be up-to-date and added the Twitch-Link.