Games Played in 2017

At the end of 2016, I decided I didn't keep a very good log of the games I played throughout the year. I wrote a retrospective summary on Twitter—which I think contains most titles—but I'd like to keep a better log for 2017 (and the last week of 2016 because I was so excited to start this idea that I started early, shhh). So, here it is!

This game log will be updated throughout the year and include some basic information about the games I spend time with. I hope keeping this record encourages me to play more games, as it seems to be incredibly common for people in the games industry to spend all their time teaching, developing, and reviewing games, and rarely playing them for fun. I want to engage with games more, reflect on my experiences, and feel less guilty about the time I spend relaxing instead of working.

As such, I should point out that because this game log isn't 'work', it is therefore probably riddled with typos! If you'd like a better indication of my professional games writing, check it out here.


1. This is the Police

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Weappy Studio

Experience details

Date: December 2016
Playing / watching? Watching
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda (playing), Pontus (watching)

Thoughts

What a weird game...

Let's start with the positives. I really enjoyed the aesthetic, including the art style and the music/audio. The soundtrack and sound effects are cool, and I like the voice acting, despite (or perhaps because of) it being weirdly exaggerated and kind of terrible. There's also an incidental mechanic where you can choose a record/tape/CD to play while working in the police station, which I really like. The protagonist is inherently unlikable, which makes it a little easier to make questionable decisions, but it is incredibly tempting to reload a day when everything goes terribly wrong as a result of those risky choices.

The ending is a bit of a let-down, despite me understanding what it is trying to achieve. Twenty-ish hours of gameplay feels a little hollow leading to the resolution we had, and based on a little research, other endings don't seem much different. And the game is really weirdly sexist, racist, and all-round discriminatory. At first I was really hoping that the pressures from city hall to fire all your black employees was the beginning of some nuanced social comment, but then... nope, not really. The game contains quite a number of sensitive topics and they are handled with very little grace.

Overall, the game does interesting things, but I would have liked the see the police station strategy aspects pushed further, and the important topics handled with respect.


2. Armello

Game details

Year: 2015
Developer: League of Geeks

Experience details

Date: December 2016
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself (SP playing), Dakoda, Pontus (MP playing)

Thoughts

I have been meaning to play Armello forever (along with so many other games), so I was really excited to receive this from Pontus for Christmas. After playing the prologue and my first single player game, I'm sure I'm going to be revisiting this one a lot. The idea of a tactical RPG filled with fantasy elements really appeals to me, and the way the game uses dice, cards, and other chance games makes it feel like an awesome, complex boardgame that has been translated into a digital format. The characters all have unique personalities, and the mechanics seem to be really well balanced (with three of the four players being one turn away from winning with different victory conditions in the first game I played).

Playing with friends was also a lot of fun, with each of us attempting to pursuit different victory conditions to varying levels of success. In our first multiplayer game, the AI beat us... but in the second, I won with a spirit stone victory! The game creates just the right amount of tension and I'm really enjoying it.


3. Pay Day

Game details

Year: 1975
Developer: Parker Brothers

Experience details

Date: 25 December, 2016
Playing / watching? Replaying
Why? Christmas fun with my family
Who with? Dakoda, Pontus, Mum, Dad (playing), Dette, Kev (watching)

Thoughts

I played Pay Day a lot as a kid, usually with Dad, so playing with my family after Christmas lunch was a wonderful nostalgia trip. I enjoyed sharing the experience with Dakoda, who hadn't played Pay Day before. The game is similar to Monopoly in a lot of ways, but feels more light-hearted. Dakoda ended up winning by making a lot of last minute deals, and Dad just managed to get out of debt, despite being a little too keen on participating in the lottery.


4. No Man's Sky

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Hello Games

Experience details

Date: December 2016
Playing / watching? Playing, watching
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself, Dakoda (playing)

Thoughts

Dakoda started playing No Man's Sky one night, and I watched him play a little while I couldn't sleep. I started playing a few days later and I'm really enjoying the exploration. My first planet is beautiful and has a really dramatic day/night cycle. There are strange little winged, horned deer who trot around on two legs, which leads to a great fawn/faun crossover. Unfortunately, the game also makes me a bit motion sick, so I haven't been able to play for long; hopefully tweaking some settings will help with that next time.


5. The Sandbox Evolution

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: PIXOWL INC

Experience details

Date: December 2016
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

This game is basically Terraria with optional... everything. There are heaps of user created worlds that you can explore that have been made with a whole range of objectives in mind, or you can create your own worlds. You start out having access to a range of different particle types, and spend mama (in-game currency) to acquire other elements, items, etc. You are given ample amounts of mana to start with, but if you run out, you can complete the game's campaign or daily quests to earn more (and learn a thing or two about what's possible in the game).

Mostly, I learned how the game worked by messing around. I played for about an hour after I first bought the game, and made a waterfall using a multiply element and a void element. I'm not sure what I'm going to build next, but whatever it is, I'm going to destroy it with lightning and earthquakes once. Heck yeah.


6. Taps to Riches

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Game Circus LLC

Experience details

Date: December 2016
Playing / watching? Playing (continuing)
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

If I'm recording all the games I play this year, I guess I should mention Taps to Riches, which I started playing in my hotel room during Melbourne International Games Week 2016. It's a clicker game that kills a bit of time and doesn't require much concentration. It helps me while away flights or kill time during car trips, and has kept my attention longer than I expected it to. It also has silly names for advisors and, although it offers P2W options, gives you enough in-game currency for free that it doesn't feel hugely necessary. Will I ever make it to space? Nobody knows.

Update: So, I made it to space. Turns out space allows you to play basically the same game as Earth, but you have to start again with new currency, new bots, new advisers, and new items bought with in-game currency (but that are a lot more expensive). I think I might stop now before things get out of hand.


7. Refunct

Game details

Year: 2015
Developer: Dominique Grieshofer

Experience details

Date: December 2016
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

This is one of those games that you pick up for 98c in a Steam sale, completely unsure what you're buying. Refunct is a relaxing platformer, with a pretty (yet basic) art style. You cruise around, climbing and crouching, while covering each platform that you step on with grass. The objective is to press a lot of big red buttons, which make new colourless platforms appear. The game is really simple, and its few game mechanics aren't quite as polished as they could be, but overall it's a pleasant platforming experience.


8. TurnOn

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Brainy Studio LLC

Experience details

Date: December 2016
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

In progress! I've only just started this one, but it seems to be a nice combination of cute, clever, and challenging so far. It's not the type of game I'm usually very good at, so we'll see how long I manage to persevere before becoming frustrated! I think it'll be worth it just for the innovative concept / game mechanics.


9. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Game details

Year: 2012
Developer: Hidden Path Entertainment, Valve Corporation

Experience details

Date: December 2016
Playing / watching? Watching (continuing)
Why? Fun?
Who with? Dakoda (playing)

Thoughts

Oh, CS:GO... why are you such an arsehole? Dakoda has been playing this game almost every night for eighteen months or so now, and it's such a love/hate relationship for both of us. When things are going well, it's a great time! But when he's on a losing streak and that inevitable de-rank is imminent, it's the worst game in the world. Not to mention the hackers and the derankers and the smurfs, or those occasions when you get matched up with a team who doesn't understand teamwork... But I know a lot about the game nowadays, even if I've only occasionally played the non-competitive modes, and nights don't quite feel the same anymore without the sound of CS:GO calls from the lounge room.


10. Word Cookies

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: BitMango

Experience details

Date: December 2016
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

I was looking for a word puzzle game that didn't annoy me, and Word Cookies was off to a good start. Sometimes I find the controls of word puzzles difficult to use on my phone's touch screen, but this one made sense, and the mechanics remind me of the classic Text Twist that I used to play with my mum when I was a kid. However, it frustrated me too much that the levels will only accept the words it wants, not all the words I find. Too many times, the game would ask for a three-letter word and I would find one, only to be told it's not the right one. It became too annoying to persevere with.


11. Bonza Word Puzzle

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: MiniMega

Experience details

Date: January 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

After my frustration with Word Cookies, I turned to Bonza. This game asks you to construct crossword-like boards as though they are jigsaw puzzles. You have to move around combinations of letters in different shapes until they all form words that fit to a particular theme. I've really enjoyed this one so far, but I see it getting much more difficult. Still, this is less of a frustrating challenge and more of a rewarding one. You can stay on my phone for now, Bonza.


12. Life is Strange

Game details

Year: 2015
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment

Experience details

Date: January 2017
Playing / watching? Watching
Why? Fun (finally)
Who with? Dakoda (playing), Pontus (watching)

Thoughts

I have been meaning to play Life is Strange FOREVER. Well, for a couple of years, anyway. I've heard so much about this game—particularly during my Queerly Represent Me work—and I can't believe it's taken me this long to get around to it. I really enjoyed the bisexual representation in the title, as I expected I would given all of the wonderful things I'd heard. It just felt so natural and embedded in the story; I could easily relate to both Max and Chloe for a lot of reasons, that included.

Beyond sexuality, there was a lot about the game that resonated with me. The narrative arc was precisely the sort of narrative I love. I somehow managed to avoid spoilers for the couple of years that I didn't get around to playing the game, so I won't say too much just in case you haven't yet either, but boy oh boy does the narrative just get better and better as the episodes continue. The narrative structure is very clever, but there are some really strange writing mishaps. Some conversations have a character reply the same regardless of the dialogue options you choose, but those replies only really make sense with one set of options. There's a weird situation where a student is suspended / expelled—it's hard to tell which because everyone (including the principal and the student themselves) uses those terms interchangeably. All of that really irks me, but in a lot of ways, I felt that those details were redeemed by the big picture.

There's also some problematic representation of how responsible a person can be for the actions of others, but that's a long story for another day. Overall, I really enjoyed Life is Strange.


13. Overwatch

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Blizzard

Experience details

Date: January 2016
Playing / watching? Playing (continuing)
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda, Ben

Thoughts

After the Christmas period, we recommenced our weekly Overwatch nights. We get together on Thursdays to do some game development, eat sushi, and play Overwatch. I love Overwatch for all the reasons everyone does. It's a chaos-fueled FPS that doesn't require on offensive play and accuracy to win; I primary play support characters and genuinely feel like I'm contributing. And the lineup is wonderfully diverse, of course.

Before Overwatch, it was Rocket League. I wonder if something will come out in 2017 and become our new weekly game of choice.


14. Resident Evil 7 / Biohazard 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: CAPCOM

Experience details

Date: January 2017
Playing / watching? Watching
Why? Fun...?
Who with? Dakoda (playing), Evan (watching)

Thoughts

Nope.


15. Slime Rancher

Game details

Year: 2016 (early access)
Developer: Monomi Park

Experience details

Date: January 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Slime Rancher is super cute. You run around collecting slimes, breeding them in cool combinations, and keeping them on your ranch. It's fairly straightforward. It appeals to the parts of me that like exploring, collecting, and cute things. It's a winner.


16. Gardenscapes

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Playrix Games

Experience details

Date: January 2016
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Match-3 games need to have more than just match-3 mechanics if they're going to hold my attention. Gardenscapes makes you play match-3 games to collect stars that you then use to customise gardens. Fine, I'm hooked.


17. Fetch

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Brendan Keogh

Experience details

Date: January 2016
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Brendan is making a bunch of games this year, and this one is adorable. I enjoyed playing fetch with Brendan's dog, Harry. Generally Harry brings the ball back, and sometimes he doesn't. And on Windows, Harry carries the ball with his butt. Would recommend.


18. Road Trip

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Adrian Forest

Experience details

Date: January 2016
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

What a cool, artsy experience! The art style is cool, the music is cool, the premise is cool... This is an all-round awesome little game.


19. Piano Tiles 2

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Cheetah Technology

Experience details

Date: January 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Piano Tiles and Piano Tiles 2 use symbol, interesting mechanics to create a fun rhythm game. My main frustration is that I rarely want to play a game that requires music on my phone, because if I'm playing a mobile game I'm usually somewhere that doesn't allow for sound.


20. The Jackbox Party Pack 3

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Jackbox Games

Experience details

Date: January 2017
Playing / watching? Replaying
Why? Fun
Who with? Group of friends

Thoughts

The Jackbox Party Packs come out whenever a group of silly people and a few drinks are in the same place. The games included in this box set are silly, and can easily become inappropriate (which after a couple of wines just makes them all the more hilarious). This certainly won't be the only time a Jackbox game is played this year, but this will be my one entry about the series. These never get old.


21. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Game details

Year: 2014
Developer: 2K Australia, Gearbox Software

Experience details

Date: January 2016
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda

Thoughts

Very early on playing this game, but enjoying it so far! Loved playing Borderlands 2 co-op too.


22. Fairway Solitaire

Game details

Year: 2007
Developer: John Cutter, Big Fish

Experience details

Date: January 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Fairway Solitaire is an awesome solitaire version that I only just found on mobile. This game helped me through a couple of flights, and is a great time sink. I've always loved solitaire games, and the some of the unique mechanics in this version make it particularly engaging.


23. Family Farm Seaside

Game details

Year: 2014
Developer: Diandian Interactive

Experience details

Date: January 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

I recently found Family Fun Seaside for mobile, but the game just didn't hook me. I'm usually all for simulation games like this one, but the slow build wasn't slow enough and I became overwhelmed before I'd learnt to really care about the farm I was creating.


24. Build Away!

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Futureplay

Experience details

Date: January 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

To be honest, I found this idle game pretty dull. Usually I like incrementals, but this one just didn't do it for me. It may have been the over-reliance on embedding video ads into game mechanics, or the lack of explanation about what different upgrades really did. Anyway, I deleted this one from my phone fairly quickly.


25. A Normal Lost Phone

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Accidental Queens

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Research
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

There's a lot of good in this game, and also a lot of weird. The representation is insightful, but also removes a lot of agency from the people and groups being represented. The characters are interesting, but the premise is voyeuristic and... creepy. I wrote more about A Normal Lost Phone for QRM.


26. Abyssrium

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Cheetah Technology

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Abyssrium or Tap Tap Fish is easily the most addictive idle / incremental game I've ever played. Ever. And I've played a lot of them. I love this game. I love tapping pretty coral reefs and trying to unlock adorable fishies. The Valentine's Day event really cemented my interest in this title, and now I can't wait until Easter.


27. Fire Emblem Heroes

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Nintendo, Intelligent Systems

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Playing, Watching
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself, Dakoda (playing)

Thoughts

Dakoda encouraged me to download Fire Emblem Heroes just after it was released. I've never played a Fire Emblem game before, but this was a perfect entrypoint into a simplified version of the strategies required. At first, I really enjoyed this game. I became a little addicted, trying to win orbs so I could unlock new heroes. But soon the stamina required to complete new levels became too high and after four or five attempts to unlock a set of heroes gave me none with five-star potential, I lost interest. The collecting aspects that were spurring me on to start with reduced, and my engagement did along with it.


28. Pokemon TCG Online

Game details

Year: February 2017
Developer: Nintendo, The Pokemon Company

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

I only started playing the Pokemon TCG Online because I bought a bunch of new Pokemon cards and they came with codes for free digital cards. I wanted to see what I'd been given, so I went onto the website, found a bunch of dead links, had heaps of trouble logging on, and was then made to play through a tutorial. I made it halfway through the process, but was so frustrated I quit. Maybe I'll get back to it.


29. 2064: Read Only Memories

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: MidBoss

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Review
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

I've been meaning to play Read Only Memories ever since I heard about it, but it was just one of those games I never managed to get around to. When it was re-released, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to finally experience the game. I'm still in the process of playing this one for review (because finishing things is difficult) but I'll be sure to get to it soon!


30. For Honor

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Ubisoft

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Playing, Watching
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself, Dakoda (playing)

Thoughts

Now, this is a cool game. I just want to make approximately five million crests. I really enjoy the innovative combat, with its heavy reliance on blocking. I particularly enjoy watching Dakoda play with mates.


31. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Capcom

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Watching
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda, Evan

Thoughts

We drove to our friend Evan's place just to play Resident Evil. We played it basically non-stop over a weekend (although I had to sneak away in the middle of night while they stayed up to 2am to continue, meaning I missed out on the creepy kid's room). I really enjoyed the experience, even though I would have liked to see a stronger resolution. What started as a really interesting story felt a little bogged down in monsters by the end; I thought the more realistic horrors were creating a more interesting narrative.


32. Hidden Folks

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Adriaan de Jongh

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Hidden Folks appeals to the Where's Wally? lover in me. Interacting with scenes, trying to find adorable creatures and people, all while listening to hilarious sound effects is a wonderful stress-reliever. In case you haven't noticed, I love collecting things in games, so this sort of play really appeals to me.


33. Get Rich Quick

Game details

Year: ???
Developer: ???

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Replaying
Why? Class preparation
Who with? Dakoda, Vikram, Graeme, students

Thoughts

This game is a great time. I enjoy having my students play this in class—they always get so loud and competitive. Playing it during orientation with a headache was less than ideal, but still too fun to resist!


34. Concept

Game details

Year: 2013
Designer: Gaëtan Beaujannot, Alain Rivollet

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Replaying, rewatching
Why? Fun, class preparation, class activity
Who with? Vikram, Graeme, students

Thoughts

Concept is always a winner. I first played it with Colleen a couple of years ago, and immediately went out to buy it for my personal collection. Now we play it in the first week of classes for SGD100, and the students always love it. The house rules that come with this game are particularly awesome.


35. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Naughty Dog

Experience details

Date: February 2017
Playing / watching? Watching
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda (playing)

Thoughts

I didn't watch all of Uncharted 4, but I watched enough to know that it is freakin' beautiful. It's not really the sort of game I'm interested in playing myself, but I did love the way the narrative was constructed. Playing Crash Bandicoot at the beginning of the game was probably one of my favourite parts. So cool to see them reusing their own IP like that.


36. Dishonored 2

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Arkane Studios

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing, watching
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda

Thoughts

Dishonored 2 is a kickarse game. I really enjoyed both playing and watching this. The highlight was helping Dakoda get through the Clockwork Mansion and get the Silence achievement, using a walkthrough. The multiple pathways that this game allows you to take are really cool, and make walkthroughs fascinating because they never quite align with played experience.


37. Lolo

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: 101 Digital Co

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Lolo was one of those weird, free puzzle games I downloaded to my phone. Can't help myself. It's quite a cool little concept, and I enjoy playing it from time to time.


38. Post Knight

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Kurechii

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Post Knight is one of the coolest mobile RPGs I've ever played. It combines endless runner with RPG so seamlessly, and incorporates just enough player interaction to make you feel like you're in control of the situation. The balancing in the later levels is a bit wonky, which has led me to lose a little interest in continuing, but I maxed out my little Post Knight's level and we had a great time together while it lasted.


39. 7 Wonders

Game details

Year: 2010
Designer: Antoine Bauza

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing, watching
Why? Fun, class preparation, class activity
Who with? Colleen, Dakoda, Ben, students

Thoughts

We play 7 Wonders as part of SGD100. We have a class set, and are using it to teach students about systems this semester. I'd played it in part before, and watched my students play last year, but I played it in full for the first time before this semester and I became hooked. This could be my favourite board game ever, and it's awesome to be able to play this with my students this year. I love the mechanics of this game, the way it changes every time you play, and the overall theme. Always a different experience.


40. Thebes

Game details

Year: 2007
Designer: Peter Prinz

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing, watching
Why? Class preparation, class activity
Who with? Colleen, students

Thoughts

Thebes is another game we play in SGD100 to teach our students about varied game mechanics in board/physical games. It is a very luck-centric game, but the narrative is fascinating. Colleen tells me that it's her favourite game ever, which is more than enough reason for me to like a game too!


41. Tobago

Game details

Year: 2009
Designer: Bruce Allen

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing, watching
Why? Class preparation, class activity
Who with? Colleen, students

Thoughts

We play Tobago in SGD100 as well, as another example of unusual mechanics. It involves a lot of thinking, and I like its mechanics, but I don't enjoy playing it as much as the other SGD100 games for some reason. The logic aspect of this game is cool, but I manage to stuff up where I put the cubes a lot. Maybe it would get easier if I played it more often.


42. iota

Game details

Year: 2012
Designer: Gene Mackles

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda, Ben

Thoughts

Text


43. Sopio

Game details

Year: 2011
Developer: Alex Day

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Replaying
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda, Ben

Thoughts

Sopio is a really simple card game, that requires a lot of luck and a little strategy. Dakoda and I bought this while we were visiting Adelaide a few years ago, and it was a great game for playing on tray tables as we travelled back on the plane. It's a nice game to bring out at boardgame parties because often our friends haven't seen it before, Ben included!


44. Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor

Game details

Year: 1999
Developer: New World Computing

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Replaying
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor is possibly my favourite game of all time. I know, that's a big thing to say, but I have so much history with this title. I have fond memories of watching my dad play this game many years ago, and then of my several failed attempts ot play it myself at varying ages. I finally decided to give it another go. I've made it much further this time than ever before (making it through the Human/Elf war, choosing my side in the Light/Dark debate, making it to Celeste and navigating the trials...) and I am determined to finish the game this time. This is a year for finishing things.


45. Craft the World

Game details

Year: 2014
Developer: Dekovir Entertainment

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Replaying
Why? Fun
Who with? Ben

Thoughts

I loved this game when I first played it, and I played it kind of obsessively. The DLC (one introducing female dwarves, and the other introducing multiplayer) were on sale recently, so I bought them and fell down the rabbit hole again. One of my favourite crafting/survival Terraria-esque games.


46. Yooka-Laylee

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Playtonic Games

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Review
Who with? Dakoda

Thoughts

I had a lot of thoughts about Yooka-Laylee, not all of them great. Check out my review for more.


47. Innovation

Game details

Year: 2010
Designer: Carl Chudyk

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Ben

Thoughts

This is the sort of game I should love, but I think it's a little too luck-based and not enough strategy-based for my liking. I'd prefer a game (like 7 Wonders) where building up your points is a competition that cannot be pulled out from under you in a moment's notice as the ages are traversed. Still, cute concept (and gorgeous box art).


48. Agricola

Game details

Year: 2007
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Ben

Thoughts

This game was a little complicated, but not in a bad way; I just think I need to play it again some time to really get my head around it. It's the sort of game I like, but I did a poor job of strategising for the number of rounds in the game—mostly I just wanted to build the coolest, biggest farm ever, and didn't pay enough attention to how much time I had to do that. It also has a single player game mode, which I'm looking forward to trying out!


49. Factorio

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Wube Software LTD

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

This is a tricky game, with a lot of moving parts. It's sometimes difficult to determine what the many steps are that will lead from the beginning to the end, and the journey in this game doesn't feel as fun as it does in a lot of other construction-based games (for me, anyway). It feels a lot more like a to-do list. Still, I'm willing to give Factorio a little more time, to see if it gets easier and therefore more enjoyable with experience.


50. PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Bluehole, Inc

Experience details

Date: March 2017
Playing / watching? Watching
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda (playing)

Thoughts

I've absolutely loved watching Dakoda play PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS with his mates. It's the type of game that would cause me way too much anxiety to play myself, but I'm so invested when I watch this played. I particularly love the emergent narratives that come from the experience: every time its played, the same environment is used, but spawns are different, items are different, and other players are different. The ways these elements interact is always unpredictable, and creates wonderful stories.


51. It is as if you were playing chess

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Pippin Barr

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

This game is absurd and I love it.


52. Bubble Witch 3 Saga

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: King

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

I've seen so many ads for Bubble Witch 3 Saga that eventually I had to download it and give it a go. It's a cool time-waster.


53. Typeshift

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Zach Gage

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

I love words and I love games, but I have rarely found word games that I like. Typeshift is the perfect blend of thoughtful and casual/relaxing. I really enjoy the puzzles in this, particularly because all words count, not just the words that the designer has decided are the 'correct' words for a level (which is probably my biggest pet peeve in these sorts of games).


54. Board Kings

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Jelly Button Games

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Eh, this is a fairly ho-hum game, in my opinion. It mostly involves repeatedly tapping a big button, and collecting coins so that you can tap the button more. I think the game has potential (it's very cute, and the boardgame mechanic is quite unique) but at the moment it lacks the necessary interaction.


55. Make Hexa!

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: BitMango

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

I am very bad at this game. Like, it's laughable. I just can't quite work out what the best strategies are. It's a cool game in theory thought! I just can't wrap my head around the spatiality of it.


56. I Love Hue

Game details

Year: 2016
Developer: Zut!

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Colours are the best. I love colour palettes and gradients, and I Love Hue lets me stare at them while completing cool, casual puzzles.


57. Card Crawl

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer:

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Coming soon...


58. Charming Runes

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Mighty Games

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Coming soon...


59. Horizon Zero Dawn

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer:

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Coming soon...


60. City Clickers

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer:

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Coming soon...


61. Escape Room Z

Game details

Year:
Developer:

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda (playing), Ben (playing), Colleen (watching), Peter (watching)

Thoughts

Coming soon...


62. Escape the Room: Stargazer's Manor

Game details

Year:
Developer:

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda, Ben, Colleen, Peter

Thoughts

Coming soon...


63. Starwhal

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer:

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda, Ben, Colleen, Peter

Thoughts

Coming soon...


64. Tricky Towers

Game details

Year:
Developer:

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda, Ben, Colleen, Peter

Thoughts

Coming soon...


65. The Republic

Game details

Year: 2017
Developer: Ash McAllan

Experience details

Date: April 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Ash, Barbara, Karri, Joe

Thoughts

Coming soon...


66. Action Castle

Game details

Year:
Developer: Jared A. Sorensen

Experience details

Date: April-May 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Adam Koebel (GMing), so many people at GX Australia's goodbye party (playing), SGD120 class (playing)

Thoughts

Coming soon...


67. Heroes of the Storm

Game details

Year:
Developer:

Experience details

Date: May 2017
Playing / watching? Playing (continuing)
Why? Fun
Who with? Dakoda, Ben, Katryna

Thoughts

Coming soon...


68. Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Game details

Year:
Developer:

Experience details

Date: May 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Coming soon...


68. Riddle Stones

Game details

Year:
Developer:

Experience details

Date: May 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Coming soon...


69. Merge Town!

Game details

Year:
Developer:

Experience details

Date: May 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Coming soon...


70. Bouncy Warriors

Game details

Year:
Developer:

Experience details

Date: May 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Fun
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Coming soon...


71. Old Man's Journey

Game details

Year:
Developer:

Experience details

Date: May 2017
Playing / watching? Playing
Why? Review
Who with? Myself

Thoughts

Coming soon...


Bonus Round

This is where I will list games that I had a glimpse of, but didn't play or watch nearly enough to form any real opinions on. This list is probably incomplete because I encounter so many games in this sort of capacity just by existing in the game industry.

1. Satellite Reign
2. Invisible Inc.
3. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
4. Door Kickers
5. Tasjam games
6. Mount and Blade
7. Crusader Kings II
8. Icebreaker games (orientation + SGD100)
9. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
10. Card games for prevention of early-onset Alzheimer's (SGD100)
11. Team Fortress 2
12. Endless Space
13. SteamWorld Heist

Published
2017