Saying Goodbye to my Ps Plus series.

Hi guys, I hope everyone is doing well!

Some of you may have noticed that I am extremely behind on my Ps Plus series. I have made the difficult and sad decision to stop. I know that no-one really followed it intently and most people will just think ‘ok cool’ or ‘do what you need to’ and move on, but I just wanted to explain the decision as it is super disappointing to me – even if it is the right thing to do – and what that means for the channel going forward!

There have been a few things that have lead me to the conclusion that stopping the series is best for me and my channel.

Firstly, I have been struggling to keep up with the number of games that we are getting. One extra game may not sound like a lot, but I struggle to get them all done in one session. I like to make sure I play each game for long enough that I get to see what it is about, for some this requires a couple of hours. That could mean 6 hours a month just recording the games. I don’t want to cut corners so I wait till I have time, which sometimes never comes and makes me behind (with the added stress of a broken capture card and some mental health problems I ended up months behind).

The playlist of my very first year of covering the Ps Plus games, 2019!

The same applies for my Monthly Round Ups. I love doing these, they feel like a marker to remember what happened each month. However, when I first started, I intended for them to be more heavily edited, interesting, fun videos. As I’ve gotten more into gaming and especially streaming (as well as doing video editing as a day job for a while), I lost the passion for the editing and it became a chore. I also started having more thoughts on the games and the industry as a whole, which I don’t think is a bad thing, but when you add that to 3/4 games per month, it makes the edit longer and longer. I feel like the quality declined in what I wanted to do and that tells me it is time to take a break.

By the time I have recorded all games and the Round Up, edited, scheduled, created thumbnails and made a social media write up, it adds up to a lot of hours and instead of catching up or doing something else, my YT Channel has just come to a stand still. I used to keep clips of all the funny things that have happened to make highlights, make a yearly video, rank the games etc. And as time has gone on, I have done less and less of that. I hate that I have done that because I still think it is a sound idea, but I feel that if I am not mentally all in then I should probably dip out.

The playlist of my second year of trying all of the Ps Plus games, 2020!

My third reason requires a bit of background. I had a few reasons for starting this series. It was back when I was a total noob (can you imagine me being even more of a noob than I am now? Jeez) and I didn’t own very many games. I had already been doing my Ps Plus coverage but in writing, so moving onto video seemed like a natural progression. It was an opportunity for me to get to experience all different types of games, and share that with others, bringing in a new perspective. Since then though, I have experienced MANY games. Back then I knew what I definitely liked, and knew what I definitely disliked, but not a lot in between. In the mean time, I have developed as a person and a gamer.. in no small part to this series might I add. This is a great thing, but on the other hand, there are now many games that crop up that it almost feels pointless doing a video for. Fighting game? Sport Game? Racing Game? More than likely I am not going to be into it. Horror game? I’ll quit after 10 minutes. FPS? Ill enjoy what I play but not feel compelled to go back. Third person open world adventure/shooter? I have either played it, am planning to play it or have watched someone else play it. Indie Game? Puzzle Game? Adventure Game? I probably want to stream it blind it so I don’t really want to make a video. Sequel? How do I even make a video for that? There are lots of patterns in the games given with Ps Plus and all of the above have happened many times. Occasionally there will be a game that I will add to my to play list which is great, but when my to play list is now already 100+ games long, it makes trying out all of these other games feel like it is probably not the best use of my time.

Here is the playlist for all of the Ps Plus games that I tried in 2021!

It is not all negative. I have 100% gotten what I wanted out of the series. I have tried some games that I was sure I was going to love that I decided not to play, like Control and The Witness. Equally, I have found some games that I never would have thought of picking up that I really want to play, like Days Gone and Hollow Knight. That was a huge part of what I wanted to achieve, and I am so glad that I know I have helped others achieve this along the way too.

This is a playlist containing all of the Monthly Round Ups I did!

I’m going to be so sad to see this series end. I love all of the random little moments that it has caused, I love the joy I hear from people when I try out a game they love, or a game that is most certainly not a ‘Noob game’. Maybe in the future I will be able to pick it back up, and of course if there was a demand for it I would love to keep doing it, but as it stand I think this is the best call for now. I do have a new super exciting project coming up with a really great friend of mine so please keep your eyes open because it will be starting in the next couple of months, and I am really looking forward to continuing my Indie Showcase series, as well as starting some Let’s Plays that have been on the cards for a looooong time.

And to finish, have some laughs with my Highlight video from last year 😀

Sign up now to stay up to date with the latest posts!

Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition 2020

The Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition 2020 is here! Usually I play many demos, record them for YouTube and make a video of my highlights and top pics. I’m extremely disappointed that – due to technical reasons – I will not be able to do that for this season. So instead, I am going to write about all of the demos that I play here!

I will keep updating is post as I try new demos! Right at the bottom of the post is a playlist of 12 demos that I played during previous festivals, that are available once again this week. Highlights for me that I would highly recommend playing are ‘NUTS’, ‘Superliminal’, ‘Backbone’, and ‘LOVE: A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories’.

The Tenants

Steam DescriptionBecome a landlord and deal with problematic tenants as you build your rental property empire. Decide how to react to annoyed neighbours or police interventions. Will you rent your apartment to a college couple or an older lady with four cats?

Developer – Ancient Forge Studio

Release Date – TBA

My Thoughts – This game was already on my Wishlist but I am not entirely sure how it came to be on my radar. Upon playing the demo I was pleasantly surprised. The best way that I can describe this game is this – It’s kind of like The Sims, but without the life sim part.

To begin with, you start off doing basic renovation tasks for other people. You have to clean a place up, then renovate and redecorate to their specification and within their budget. As you progress, you level up to unlock new redecoration and furniture options, as well as earning money that you can put towards your own projects. Eventually, you will invest enough into your own space that you can rent it out to your first tenants. While the game may seem quite basic at first, it impressed me that there is clearly more depth beyond the demo. Eventually you will earn enough money to buy more buildings, you can rent out house shares, choose your tenants, manage the social side of being a landlord, all while decorating and renovating the spaces how you would like.

This is going to sound strange but bare with me. Did you ever download a mobile game because you just wanted to do some mindless decorating and management, only to find out that it is a game full of in app purchases and you have to wait hours of real time to do anything? The Tenants is exactly the game that I hoped for every time I downloaded one of those games. No add, no waiting around, just the good stuff. It feels like the perfect distraction game while you are half watching tv.

+ Addictive gameplay loop

+ Good sense of progression through unlocking more decorating options

Some of the samples of walls and flooring looked very different when you actually used them, a testing system would be nice.

Would I play more? Yes

Lemon Cake

Steam DescriptionRestore an abandoned bakery and prepare pastries from farm to table! Grow fresh ingredients in the greenhouse, cook pastries & sweets in the kitchen and serve your baked goods to hungry customers in your own shop!

Developer – ÉloĂŻse Laroche

Release Date – February 2021

My Thoughts – Lemon Cake is another game that was already in my Wishlist and I’m not sure where the recommendation was from. However, the description sounded right up my alley so I was excited to try it. I have been looking for a Diner Dash type game since before I started covering the Steam Game Festivals.. one of those games where you can get into a strategic flow.

In this game, you are helping a ghost restore their bakery. Every day you earn money, which you can spend on upgrades to make your life easier, and you get more recipes as you go. The demo lasted around a week of game time and I enjoyed my time with it. Beyond the demo there seems to be a lot of upgrades left on the skill tree, as well as the idea that you will be able to customize your own recipe book. I don’t think this game is going to be a game that I would spend huge amounts of time on, but I would for sure be interested in continuing and seeing how getting more upgrades impact the game.

+ A nice example of the Diner Dash formula

+ Lovely art style

+/- I am unsure on the controls. Having to click the recipee with the mouse felt a little jarring sometimes and took me out of my flow.

The sprint was not very reliable. It would give you a sudden boost in a direction, but I would just prefer a toggle on speed boost. Especailly considering the ground you have to cover between rooms.

Would I play more? Yes, but only with a controller or on switch

Undying

Steam DescriptionInfected by a zombie bite, Anling’s days are numbered. She must now fight to survive, not for herself but her young son, Cody. Ensure Cody’s survival in this zombie infested world by protecting him, searching for safety, and teaching him valuable skills, at any cost.

Developer – Vanimals

Release Date – 2021

My Thoughts – As soon as I read the description of Undying I was very interested. I don’t often play games with zombies but I have never heard of a game that has this take on it. I have always wanted too see it, as a persons story doesn’t necessarily have to be over once they are bitten

I would describe this game as having a vibe similar to This War of Mine, but it is very different stylistically. It is primarily a survival game where you start off in your own home. From there you can venture out onto your street – and beyond – collecting items to aid your survival. Classically, you have to manage your hunger and thirst, but there are also some other cool mechanics. To access certain areas you need certain tools, but the tools and weapons only have limited uses. Most importantly, everything you do, your son Cody gains experience from you. Eventually this adds up to be able to buy abilities, which I guess is the aim of the game, to leave him in a good position by time you are gone.

I lasted for around a week of in game time before we starved to death, and felt like I learned a lot. There are areas to discover, some safer than others, some with more resources, and you can even set up a farm for more reliable food.

+ Gorgeous art

+ Atmosphere is perfect

+ A different take on a zombie story

+ Feels difficult, but it’s tempting to play again to have a better run. Nice progression

If you don’t like hunger and thirst in your games you will not like this game, it runs low pretty quickly

Would I play more? Yes definitely, if I was in the mood for a survival game.

Papetura

Steam DescriptionPapetura is an atmospheric point & click adventure game, handcrafted entirely out of paper. Little creatures Pape and Tura will face monsters that will try to burn down their beloved paper world.

Developer – Petums

Release Date – 2020

My Thoughts – The Papetura demo was very short, lasting for around 5 minutes. It contained light puzzles set in a very nicely crafted scene, centered around a little paper character, lights and moths. The closest comparison to another game I can make – although I haven’t played it yet – is Unravel. Having such a sharp image with a unique art style are the reasons I make that comparison, not the gameplay. Ultimately, I’m unsure if the demo made me want to play the rest of the game, just as it was extremely short, but it was a nice little taster.

+ Very good looking game

Demo just too short to really make an opinion

Would I play more? Probably yes but I’m not hooked.

Going Medieval

Steam DescriptionStake your claim in this colony building sim and survive a turbulent Medieval age. Construct a multi-story fortress in a land reclaimed by wilderness, defend against raids and keep your villagers happy as their personalities are shaped by the world!

Developer – Foxy Voxel

Release Date – Coming Soon

My Thoughts – Imagine Rimworld, but in a medieval setting, and 3D. That is Going Medieval. While I don’t quite think it is there yet, for reasons I will explain below, it is a great start.

It almost feels unfair to compare it to Rimworld – a game that I have spend my fair share of time playing – because not only was that game in early access for a long time, it has also been out for a while now. But it would be a injustice not to compare it, as they are very similar in the way that they play and it is clearly an inspiration.

I think the key difference between the two currently is that Rimworld, at its core, calls itself a story generator. The small, random events that happen are just as important as the base building, and the characters feel as though they have a personality, as well as the environment as a whole. During my playthrough of this demo, there weren’t a lot of social interactions going on (or I couldn’t find them) and that made me feel just slightly less immersed, and hence less invested. When I first begun the game I felt extremely excited at the prospect of building my camp, and I did enjoy what I played, but there were certain things that I found to be a little finicky. Nothing game breaking, just small things, like I couldn’t figure out how to get a roof over my building, or what exactly classes as safe storage to stop deterioration. I also couldn’t figure out how to move any furniture that I had already placed, which became troublesome. I will say though, this game does have enough of it’s own ideas to also differentiate itself. For example, the idea that ‘research’ is actually a physical item and can get stolen, and being able to construct multistory buildings.

I hope it doesn’t come across that I am being very negative. I only get very critical when I can see that something has a lot of potential and want it to be the best that it can be. This game is ambitious. They have a great base, and if they keep working at it (which they will.. this is just a demo of what they have got so far) then it could turn out to be fantastic. Either way I will be keeping my eye on it for sure!

+ Great potential

+ Great attention to detail

+ I liked the UI, it wasn’t too busy

Not much social interaction

Feels slower than Rimworld and not as much depth yet

Would I play more? I want to keep my eye on development. If they work on the things I mention above then I would jump straight in.

Suzerain

Steam DescriptionAs President Rayne, lead Sordland into ruin or repair during your first term in this text-based role-playing game. Navigate a political drama driven by conversations with your cabinet members and other significant figures. Beware or embrace corruption; shirk or uphold ideals. How will you lead?

Developer – Torpor Games

Release Date – TBD

My Thoughts – Suzerain is a text based game about being the President and leading a country. I had intended on playing this one during the last festival but ran out of time. Since then I have also seen it recommended elsewhere, so I had to jump in. When I begun playing I instantly thought this game was not going to be for me. I am not a very political person and a lot of the terms used went over my head. But the further in I got I became completely immersed and I had to know the consequences of the choices I had made.

The demo begins with a long stretch of questions that lead into the story of your characters past, shaping him into who he is now. It skipped between the key moments of his life but was also quite in depth. For a while I thought this was what the whole game was going to be. Then the rest of the game started. It takes place on a map of the fictional country that you are in charge of. All of the different cities and towns have markers, each of which can flag up with reports about their status whenever necessary. The gameplay consists of attending meetings and other functions, making the decisions that you think are best for your country, dealing with emergencies, balancing the opinions of your staff and country, and even spending time with your family. It is not all politics. In my opinion the game was paced very well and the fact that it had a story as it does took me by surprise, as well as how well it all ties together. I went in without a clue what to expect and honestly had a great, great time.

+ The game works brilliantly. If I need information about something, I am not afraid that anything is going to get broken when I pause a conversation to read through my files

+ The attention to detail and sheer amount of information is absolutely brilliant

+ Every decision I made felt extremely important and weighty

+ The story was engaging and even thrilling at times

+/ Gameplay is reading and making choices. This is not a negative and certainly not an issue for me, but it does mean it wont be for everyone

Would I play more? Absolutely. I played for two hours and was sad when it ended.

Insurmountable

Steam DescriptionConfront various terrains as a lonely mountaineer and endure the countless dangers of climbing! Many tough decisions await you in a risky environment. Make your way up and down the mountain, overcoming insurmountable heights!

Developer – Byterockers’ Games

Release Date – March 2021

My Thoughts – Insurmountable is described as ‘a strategic adventure game with rogue like elements’ and I couldn’t put it better myself. The aim of the game is to make it to the top of the procedurally generated mountain. Movement is tile and energy based, and there are other stats that you have to manage including sanity and temperature. Certain tiles have different random events that can help or harm you, and it is your job to navigate through them while keeping your climber alive.

I was instantly attracted to this game purely because of my fascination for mountains. I did manage to make it to the top, but only just. The game sort of just throws you in and lets you figure things out for yourself. Although it can be argued that some games benefit from that, I personally prefer a little bit more instruction when I am first starting out. Having said that, I think that I understood a lot of what the game is about by the time I reached the top. I wouldn’t recommend this game to someone who was looking for an action packed, fast paced strategy game. In my opinion, it felt quite slow. Having said that, I almost found it more therapeutic than anything else. It was a game that I enjoyed my time with and I am glad that I played, but I can’t say I am hungry for more. But don’t forget to take into consideration that roguelike games don’t tend to be my type of games.

+ I love the look of this game

+ Almost meditative

+/- Could use more random events, although I did like the ones I got

+/ Slow paced. Could use a fast forward button for climbing sections

No tutorial

Camera angle just felt a tiny bit wonky at times

Would I play more? If I heard they had made some changes then I probably would, however I actually feel satisfied with the experience I had.

Craftlands Workshoppe – The Funny Indie Capitalist RPG Trading Adventure Game

Steam DescriptionFrom the out-there imagination behind the Shoppe Keep series comes a brand-new fantasy business adventure set in the clouds. Craftlands Workshoppe is hiring! But can you run your store, master three noble crafts and solve the former owner’s mysterious disappearance?

Developer – Arvydas Ĺ˝emaitis

Release Date – Early Access – 13/10/2020

My Thoughts – In Craftlands Workshoppe you begin the game with a choice. Do you want to go down the Alchemy route, the Cooking route, or the Blacksmithing route? From my understanding you eventually get to try out and master them all, but I personally went for Blacksmithing, as it seemed the most different and I didn’t have to grow my own ingredients.

The gameplay loop of this game is something that I have wanted for such a long time. I have never played Moonlighter, but a section of this game is what I imagine the none combat section of Moonlighter to be. You basically get to do every part of running your own store. In order to smith things into items to sell you need ingredients. In my case, I had to hit stone for ore, chop down trees for wood and buy blueprints from another store. Next, you make the goods. It was a simple clicking game but I really enjoyed it. Then, you get to choose what to advertise, and sell the goods. Now though, the part of this game that I enjoyed the most is that you can plan all of that stuff out yourself. It is up to you how much of which item you want to make to sell. You have limited energy points to use so you have to make choices about whether you want to use them gathering more ingredients or making more stuff. You can figure out what is going to make the most profit margin, then you need spares too because people might ask for them too and even pay more. What I am trying to say is that the management in this game gives you a lot of freedom, and to me it felt very very satisfying.

Beyond the demo it seems you can expand into all of the different crafts, hire workers, and unlock lots more areas on the map. During the demo it was possible to explore a little and some of the other residents had quests. I did some of them and appreciated that they were there, but I never had the feeling that I wanted to go out of my way to help or talk to any of these characters. As much as I loved the game by the end, it didn’t click with me for the first half of the demo. There is something about the style that I cannot put my finger on, as well as some of the points that I will make below. Eventually though, I was addicted and dreading that it was going to end.

Once again, it may seem like I have a lot of negative points, but its only because I love the concept so much. I recognize that a lot of this is subjective and I hope others can see that I actually really liked this game!

+ Very addictive gameplay loop

+ Lots of freedom

+ Good feeling of progression and working towards goals

+/- Movement/Camera movement was very strange. However there were many settings to choose between

+/- I would love this on the Switch

+/ I liked that I could go to sleep just before 6am and still get my energy back. I’m not sure if it was intentional but I enjoyed it

I think I just don’t quite have the right sense of humour to appreciate the game properly

I wasn’t keen on the layout of the town in relation to my shop, would have liked a bike or something to be able to move around quicker

I found the character models very off putting for some reason

Would I play more? 100% Yes.

Sadly that is all of the demos that I got to play this time around. Hopefully by the next Steam Game Festival I should have a PC, and therefore be able to go back to making video content!

Full playlist of the Steam Game Festival: Summer Edition 2020, this time featuring 40 demos!

PS Plus – September 2020

September 2020 is here with a new line up of games! I asked for variety. I guess that was kind of answered? We haven’t had a fighting game for a while. In fact, I don’t think we have had one at all since I started covering PS Plus! After having lost of shooters and just coming from Fall Guys which is a variation of Battle Royale, PUBG is a little less variety.

Street Fighter V is going to be divisise, as I feel the Fighter genre is either one that you like or you don’t. There isn’t a lot in between.

I am not a fan of fighters, but as far as fighting games go, it feels like a good one! Lots of different game modes equals something for casual and serious players alike, and extra story modes add another motivation to play. The downside of this is that I was routing for UFC 3 to be a free game and it seems less likely now. Having said that, lately PS Plus has no worries about giving very similar games in quick succession.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is to my knowledge one of the first of the Battle Royale genre to blow up. but it is also one of the only ones that is not free to play.

For a more detailed breakdown you can check out the Let’s Try or the Round Up, but in short, I like the idea of it, but I found it quite hard for beginners to understand. Considering there are so many other options for the Battle Royale experience that are free, I feel like I would rather have had something a bit different. However, I am glad to now be able to say I have tried PUBG, and it will be a boost to their player base.

Overall, this is not the best month for me, but lots of room for discussion. I am finally caught up in time to be able to start doing predictions again! So here is my official prediction for October 2020. Man of Medan.. and Watch Dogs 2.

Playlist contains all monthly games!

Sign up now to stay up to date with the latest posts!

Let’s Play – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Back in the day when I was just a baby noob, I played Uncharted: Drakes Fortune. Fun fact – that was my second ever Let’s Play series! I had never really played a game like it and it showed. Three years later, it is finally time to dive into Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.

Since then, I have had bits of shooter experience through my Ps Plus series, but mostly, I am in full on adventure mode right now. I cannot wait to see what the game that is widely regarded as the best in the series has to offer!

Full playlist available on Youtube!

Let’s Play – Jessika

I was going to play this one for Halloween but got the opportunity to jump in earlier!

Jessika is a German, Indie, FMV Detective game developed by Tritrie Games. This game first jumped onto my radar at the Steam Game Festival, where it was one of my favourite demos of the Summer Edition 2020. I was instantly drawn into the immersive UI and I have a building fascination with FMV games after working in video IRL. Join me as continue beyond ‘that moment’ in the demo and attempt to unravel the mystery of what exactly did happen to Jessika.

Unfortunately, the first two episodes I had some technical difficulties on my end. The audio of the game did not record, so I went back and recorded all of the video logs and some background noise and edited them back in. Sadly (but also obviously) it is not as effective as the real game so please don’t judge the game on that! I had so many technical difficulties through no fault of the game, I think my play through was cursed 😅 The audio issues were solved by Episode 3!

Many thanks to Tritrie Games for the copy of the game, it’s very much appreciated.

Full playlist available on Youtube!

Review – Stardew Valley – PS4

Stardew Valley is a top-down, indie, farming game, developed by solo developer, Eric Barone. I had heard a lot about Stardew Valley being this amazing, relaxing and addictive game, but originally I was put off by the 2D graphics. Eventually though, I had a massive Harvest Moon itch and Stardew Valley went on sale. I took the plunge and never once regretted it!

This game has a lot to offer, especially to think that it was made by one guy! You control a little character who has inherited their grandfathers land, and from then, it is basically up to you what you want to do. Farming crops, farming animals, fishing, foraging, mining and crafting are all ways to make money. The village is full of characters that you can befriend by giving them gifts. The more hearts you get, you get new dialogue and can eventually marry certain characters. You can collect resources to upgrade your farm, just first you have to choose which upgrade you want to get.

The game runs in days. You have a certain amount of energy and a certain amount of time to get everything you want to do done. There are 28 days in a season, and in each season you get new crops, new fish and new dialogue. There are festivals on certain days and birthdays on others. There is a community centre you can help rebuild or a corporation you can invest in depending on your mood, and there are plenty of hidden areas that you can only reach with certain upgrades. By the time you set yourself some goals and commit to them, then after ‘just one more day’, you will realise its 3am and you haven’t moved for the last 8 hours.

The game is charming. It really is a great Harvest Moon substitute, and as I was playing I kept feeling surprised that there was still yet more things to discover. The artwork is lovely with the seasonal changes and the music fits well. Although there isn’t really a ‘storyline’, it is the perfect game to just pick up and get lost in. The trouble is, I have sunk into the organisation hole. I spent the first year of the game just going with the flow, but then by winter, I started planning everything out. Now, I know I am going for the Platinum so I only play when I know I have time to concentrate for a while. Overall though, this game can be whatever you want to be. If you want to farm, farm. If you get bored of farming, fish. If you get bored of fishing, mine. There are plenty of paths that you can take.

What do you think of Stardew Valley? Are you impressed or underwhelmed? Are you addicted?