Tag Archives: Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock

What I’m Playing This Week

I’ve played a lot of games over the past week or so (surprise). There was a Steam sale on and though I should be saving for Christmas, I gave myself a small budget to knock a few things off my wishlist.

Here’s what I’ve been playing…

Fallout 4

It’s finally over. It started out well, but eventually turned into a real slog. That happens with all the open world games, really. I may write up a real review of this one soon.

Dead in Bermuda

I started playing this game on a Friday night and basically didn’t stop playing until Saturday night, aside from a few hours of sleep. This game has a “just one more turn” factor, like Civ.  You play as a group of 8 people who have crashed on a desert island. While doing the normal resource management stuff – finding food, crafting, gathering materials – you also explore the island and run into some mysterious beings who mention a prophecy that you can fulfill which will grant you the power to escape the island. The goal is to find out more and fulfill the prophecy before you all die from starvation, injury, sickness, or from throwing yourselves off a cliff. The encounters while you explore the island are quite amusing, and each day ends with a discussion among the characters which may have implications on their physical and mental state.

Dead in Bermuda

The game is really attractive with a nice, clean interface. It’s not overly complex once you get the hang of it, and it does save your progress each day do you don’t necessarily have to start over if everyone dies. A big part of the game is leveling up the characters. There are 16 different skills that all impact some element of the game in some way – people with high gathering skills find more materials, people with high constitution get less fatigued.

There’s not a ton of incentive for replay, as it seems very little of the game is randomized aside from exactly where things are located and a few character interactions. Hawever, I had a lot of fun with it. I recommend it to those of you who are looking for a good survival/resource management game that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Jade Empire

After all the Bioware talk last month, I felt the need to play the one game from them I’d never tried – Jade Empire. It’s from the same era at Knights of the Old Republic, and it feels very similar. Rather than a user of the Force, you play as a Spirit Monk. Your village gets attacked at the start of the game, your teacher (who seems to be more than he appeared) disappears and you have to go find him to find out the truth about who you are and why you have strange powers.

As expected, the story and interactions with companions are the highlight of the game and there are a lot of interesting sidequests. The combat in the game is quite different than any of Bioware’s other games though. It’s mainly melee combat and each fight is a balance of weak and strong attacks, blocking and dodging. There are multiple different fighting styles and you can switch between them freely. I’m really enjoying this and it’s making me want to replay KOTOR.

Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock

I’m a sucker for an adventure game (or any game) set in space, so picked this one up not too long ago. It’s an okay point and click adventure. Your aim in the game is to repair your ship which has crash landed on a mysterious planet. The story is decent, as are the controls. It does run into the adventure game problem of having a bit too much inventory to deal with – it seems like it could have been reduced for clarity (i.e. do we need both a steel pipe and a steel rod to solve problems?) This resulted in some mindless attempts at combining objects to get past certain puzzles. Also, the voice acting of the main character wasn’t great. Overall it wasn’t bad, but I don’t really recommend this one.

Banished

Banished is a city building strategy game. While I generally like strategy games, this one made me realize how little patience I have for learning complex new games. There are so many features and things to build, it was overwhelming. After spending 20 minutes doing one tutorial and realizing there were 4 or 5 more to go, I decided this probably wasn’t the game for me.

BRoken Sword: Shadow of the Templars

It doesn’t really feel like it, but this point and click adventure game is 20 years old. It follows George, an American lawyer, and Nico, a French journalist as they solve a mystery that involves intrigue, murder, and Templars. I surprised I hadn’t played any of the Broken Sword games earlier, as I love adventure games and I was playing a lot of them when this first game out.

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the TemplarsThe game has it’s good and bad points. The writing is clever and well done, though occasionally too verbose.The puzzles are hit and miss. I had actually started this earlier in the year but quit after the first series of puzzles, which were particularly bad. It started with a sliding block puzzle – not a bad puzzle, sliding blocks are just my personal kryptonite – followed by a ridiculous inventory puzzle that involved using a bullet casing for pretty much everything and a lot of back and forth in order to get into a secret room.

I’m glad I came back to it, as the rest has been pretty good and there have been different puzzle types, like ciphers, which I’m particularly fond of. I think I bought the whole series at one point, and I’ll likely continue on with them when I’ve finished this.

What have you been playing?

Steam Summer Sale Haul

The latest Steam sale happened to coincide with me receiving a job offer after 3 months of unemployment, so I promptly purchased just about everything from my wishlist. There go my bragging rights that I’ve played more than 50% of my library. I’ve even had time to play a number of them. Funny how much gaming time I have when I take a break from The Witcher 3.

Here’s my haul:

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Hand of Fate – Roger wrote about this on CMP a while back and I’ve been wanting to try it. I’ve spent quite a few hours on this already. It’s a sort of card-based dungeon crawler with occasional combat. You go through randomly constructed dungeons, picking up armor and items, meeting merchants, getting quests, and fighting monsters with the goal of defeating a boss at the end. One of the things I really like about it is that it’s a game I can play while doing other things. I need more of these in my life. Making dinner? I can take a turn or two while I wait for water to boil or the oven to pre-heat. I can even chop things at my desk while I play. The combat is the only thing that really requires full attention (and both hands) and fights don’t take too long. Being able to play while distracted may not seem like a ringing endorsement, but I do really like it.

Invisible, Inc.

Invisible, Inc. – I heard the game referred to as XCOM-like, and that’s really all you have to say to sell me a game. I played this for a bit on Canada day. It’s enjoyable, the artistic style is great, the characters are diverse, the story is enough to grab me. It’s not overly intuitive though. Some things which should be simple aren’t. It took a bit to figure out where exactly I have to stand to revive a fallen squadmate. I’m still unsure about how I get more ammo for guns. Credits are used for all upgrades from character skills, to weapons, items, and augmentations, and I don’t feel like the game did a great job at giving me enough information so I know what to buy or know when I’m “prepared” for the end of the game.

Her Story – An interactive movie where you watch police interview tapes and learn about a murder that took place in the 90s. I really enjoyed this and am planning to recommend it in my next Short Games for Busy People.

Technobabylon – This is a point and click adventure by my favourite modern adventure game company, Wadjet Eye games. The games always have great characters and puzzles that aren’t too frustrating, and based on reviews this could be their best game yet.

Fallout 1&2 – I think I actually already own these on GoG, but they only cost $2 and it was right around the Fallout 4 announcement, so I was excited.

Dead State – Turn-based, zombies. Enough said. This one has been on my wishlist for a while.

Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock. Desolate alien planet. Adventure. Exploration. Could not turn down.

NaissancE. An experimental exploration game with a stark colour palette.

Sunset – Tale of Tales latest, and unfortunately, last game about a housekeeper in the midst of a Latin American revolution. Not totally sure I want to spend gaming time cleaning things, but I’ve appreciated Tale of Tales other gaming experiences.

That leaves my wishlist rather bare. I only have Gravity Ghost (I’m actually not sure why I didn’t pick this up) and Darkest Dungeon (which I refuse to buy until that early access tag is gone) are left.


How did you make out? Pick up anything you’ve been waiting for? Have you played any of the games I bought?