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by adam mathes
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Video Game Consumption, Q3 2016

Regency Solitaire

This game is so good I can’t really even explain it.

I’m not going to try.

★★★★★

Videoball

VIDEOBALL is one of the most completely realized thoughts on game mechanics ever made in any medium.

I like VIDEOBALL a lot. Even though it appears nobody plays it.

★★★★

No Man’s Sky

It’s not as good as any of the gameplay trailers which are basically aspirational ads and not actual gameplay, as the internet will gladly tell you.

I’ve played 46 hours.

It’s pretty amazing, and feels like some of the most incredible exploration moments in gaming.

And also terrible and boring and awful and monotonous and addictive and garbage.

It’s a masterpiece while simultaneously being a huge disappointment.

Maybe in a year it will be 5 stars. Or zero stars. I don’t know.

★★★

Shardlight

A post-apocalyptic point and click adventure game published by Wadjet Eye Games, so, yes I enjoyed it a lot, as all previous evidence would suggest I would.

Feels like a believable world, great character, good writing, acting, puzzles. It’s good!

★★★★

Event[0]

Finally a first person adventure mystery game where the main NPC is an MS-DOS machine with Dr. Sbaitso!

Event[0] is beautiful, interesting, and ambitious but the limits of its tiny world - both the dimensions and size of the ship and the limits of the “AI” Kaizen - hamper its ability to convey a complete, coherent, and rich interactive experience.

It’s not that I think games have to be “long” to have “value” – just that this one doesn’t feel complete, and ends up seeming a bit disappointing. I want more highly memorable, short 5 hour interactive experiences, I just felt this one didn’t quite hit, but applaud the effort.

★★★

Kathy Rain

A mystery point and click that feels like it’s trying to be Gabriel Knight but I felt ended up being only pretty good rather than memorable and awesome. Enjoyable but forgettable.

I expected I’d like the protagonist more but Kathy just sort of annoyed me after a couple hours.

★★

ABZU

The succession from Flower to Journey to this feels like each iteration the creative team gets closer to making the game they really want to make in terms of a visual interactive experiences.

But also maybe what they really want to make is just a movie?

But you can’t make a wordless cg movie of a dude swimming for a few hours, so, we have ABZU.

It’s very pretty and you can meditate on a rock while fish swim around you — proving that what consumers really want is just After Dark aquariums.

★★★

Abandoned

I was expecting that Quardrilateral Cowboy would blow me away like the other Blendo Games but it’s so finnicky I gave up after a couple hours feeling that it was too unfun.

I’m not going to talk about Mighty No. 9 other than to say I probably should probably just start blocking Kickstarter at the DNS level.

Virtual Reality

I bought an HTC Vive and played a lot of VR stuff that I’ll write about separately.