Indie Showcase 1-50 – Top 10

It is slightly late but upon looking back over my Indie Showcase so far, I thought it would be fun to pick out some favourites. I originally planned to do this when I reach 100 videos, but picking out the 10 best is already proving to be difficult so I am going to go ahead and do it now!

For those who don’t know, during my weekly Indie Showcase series I try out an indie game for give or take an hour. It started as short, free to play games but evolved into demos, bundle games and games that I received a code for. I wasn’t sure how long it would last but as it turns out, I already have over 50 more games lined up! So, here are my top 10 highlights from my first 50 weeks, in alphabetical order so that I don’t actually have to rank them.

The Cast of the Golden Idol [Demo] Color Gray Games

‘A new kind of detective game that allows you to think and investigate freely. Discover clues surrounding 12 strange and gruesome deaths and build your own theory. Pick your suspect, deduce the motive, unmask the awful truth.’

I love being a detective. I love murder mysteries, figuring out the order of events, solving deaths, and this game is chock full of that. Recommended by Lucas Pope (Papers, Please and Return of the Obra Dinn developer) for people who enjoyed Obra Dinn, I agree that this is very worth playing. Each case had references and call backs to the other cases I worked, leading to a feeling that the full game is going to have a larger overarching story. Based on the demo this is going to be a fun game for logic puzzle enthusiasts and budding detectives alike.

‘Coming soon’ on Steam but you can Wishlist it here.

Cloud Climber [ Free to play] – Two Star Games

‘A surreal first person walking sim about the end of humanity. Explore magnificent sky-bound ruins, and learn why they were built.’

This one is a short, simple walking sim set at the end of an apocalyptic world. The atmosphere, setting and story were all enjoyable to me from the start and I would love to see more of this world. The unique art style only added to the experience, making me explore every nook and cranny of this small world. A solemn experience that I think is worth having.

Cloud Climber is free to download on Steam now.

Dagon: by H.P. Lovecraft [Free to play] – Bit Golem

‘Face unspeakable horrors. Succumb to madness. Welcome to a free daemonic narrative experience inspired by H. P. Lovecraft.’

I played other games that I enjoyed that were more involved than this one, but I just couldn’t bump it from the top 10. While the reasons are really subjective, I may not be the only one to have this experience and I would love to encourage others too. I am not familiar with Lovecraft’s works. I know of Cthulhu. I know that it is supposed to be mind-bending horrors. But the only experience I have had with any of his work is through games that have shared themes. This game is a short, point and click version of one of his stories, Dagon. In this visual novel, the story is told through a stunning set of scenes where the player can look around and click on interactable objects. Not only is the story presented to you, but there are collectibles that give you some insight into the history of Lovecraft himself. I had a great time getting to know some background about the guy who inspired so many works for so many years beyond him. It’s not the most interactive game or the longest, but what it does, it does really well and I encourage anyone who doesn’t know where to start with Lovecraft to give it a try.

It is totally free to play here on Steam.

Firework [Demo] – Shiying Studio

‘An accidental fire at a funeral forces the police to re-investigate a closed case of massacre. Lin Lixun participates the re-investigation by chances. As the investigation goes deeper, the past of the victims gradually emerges. However, the case becomes more bewildering.’

Firework is a Chinese horror puzzle game. Wait.. Horror you say? And Noob played it? This game had the perfect amount of horror for me. It was spooky, I was filled with dread about what might happen next, but none of it was too much. I managed to not only complete the demo, but wish to finish the rest of the game too. Playing games with a different culture to your own will always introduce a new flavour and it left me wanting more.

The full game is available on Steam now for £7.19.

Inscryption [Demo] – Daniel Mullins Games

‘Inscryption is an inky black card-based odyssey that blends the deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror into a blood-laced smoothie. Darker still are the secrets inscrybed upon the cards…’

I can’t believe I still haven’t played the full game. Not only is this a mash-up of a spooky escape room amongst other things, the card game presented in this demo was so much fun. Everyone that I know that has played the full game has recommended it. The only thing I am aware of is that there might be some surprises. But what they are.. I have absolutely no idea. Though, the demo hooked me well enough that I would like to find out.

Inscryption is available for £16.79 on Steam here.

Larry The Unlucky [Free to play] – Strongshell Software

‘Follow Larry’s life to find the source of his lack of luck. Discover his intriguing story and solve puzzles to understand how his life plays out.’

I am so glad that I stumbled upon this game. Heavily inspired by the Rusty Lake series, the first two games in this series are free and they both contain three chapters each. I enjoyed them so much that I will definitely be buying the third. In case you don’t know Rusty Lake, think – weird and morbid but humorous point and click puzzles, comparable to escape rooms. I don’t have a lot else to add except if that sounds appealing to you then they are definitely worth a playthrough.

You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here on Steam, completely free!

Storyteller [Demo] – Daniel Benmergui

‘With Storyteller you are the one writing the stories! Start with a title, characters and settings and create your own twist on stories familiar and new.’

This charming puzzle game was really fun to play. It is a game where the wrong answers can be even better than the right ones. The game tells a selection of short stories through storyboards. Your job as the player is to fill these storyboards with the correct characters and scenarios in order to complete the story. It is simple but deep, as placing the wrong person can change the entire course of the story. This was a very fine demo and I would love to play more. The release date is TBD and there has been no news for a long time, but it is being published by Annapurna Interactive so we can trust that it will be release when it is ready.

In the meantime, you can Wishlist the game here.

Strange Horticulture [Demo] – Bad Viking

‘Strange Horticulture is an occult puzzle game in which you play as the proprietor of a local plant store. Find and identify new plants, pet your cat, speak to a coven, or join a cult. Use your collection of powerful plants to influence the story and unravel Undermere’s dark mysteries.’

In the Strange Horticulture demo, I really enjoyed having an adventure and a business from the comfort of my own workspace. You can organise it how you see fit and have different panels for you desk and your shelves that you can see at nearly all times, as well as drawers to hide things in. It is a fantasy botany identification simulator with an overarching story. I enjoyed the balance of ‘exploration’ and figuring out which plant was which, hoping you got it correct so you don’t poison your loyal customer.

The full game released in January and is £12.99 on Steam here.

SuchArt: Creative Space [Free stand-alone demo] – Goose Minded

‘Paint on any surfaces with numerous tools in Creative Space — a free sandbox version of SuchArt: Genius Artist Simulator. Create masterpieces, complete commissions, and decorate your studio in the most advanced artist sim!’

Considering this is basically a demo, it contains so much content. Use the paint physics and tools to fulfil commissions and decorate your studio in literally any way you see fit. I had a great time playing around with paint, seeing what all the different tools do, and completing my masterpiece with absolutely no disasters at all. Just take a look at the steam page to see the type of art people have made. It really is a sandbox for the imagination. This demo is so packed full of stuff that it makes the prospect of the full game very exciting.

Both are available on Steam now!

Temple of Snek [Code received]Aetheric Games

Temple of Snek [Code recieved] – Aetheric Games

‘A snaky tile-based puzzle dungeon adventure. Defend the temple, monch the infidels, and grow and grow and grow…’

They managed to turn the classic snake (I am just realising that we are past the generation that grew up with snake being their first portable game) into a puzzle game with moving parts. Not only that, but they have done it with style. Part rhythm puzzle game, part dungeon escape game, you can gladly bob your head as your Snek swallows her foes whole, growing into the goodest, long, fiercest mama. Since I played they have added decorating your Snek too – ‘Mek-a-Snek’ – you can’t go wrong with some wonderfully customisable Snek fashion. I would love for more people to see this game becasue it really is a cool one. Just be careful not to touch your Snek with your Snek. Snek only knows what the consequences would be. Snek is such a great word. Snek.

Currently in Early Access, it is £9.99 on Steam here.

It was so difficult to narrow this down. There were games that I really liked that just didn’t make it onto the list. There is so much fantastic Indie content out there and it is all thanks to creative developers that take that step to turn their visions into reality. I thank them so much, and ask them to keep up the excellent work (but only at a healthy pace of course). All being well I will be back in another year to evaluate the next 50 and showcase some more highlights!

If you would like to discover more Indie games or stay up to date with the series, here is the entire playlist!

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Guest Appearance – Left Behind Game Club – The Nonary Games: Virtues Last Reward

I joined the Left Behind Game Club once again to continue our journey through the Zero Escape series. If we thought 999 was mind bending then we needed to buckle our seatbelts. Virtues Last Reward is the sequel, upping the ante in every which way possible! Beware, this episode is full of spoilers and I recommend playing through the series yourself if you have any interest at all!

Available on your platform of choice!

This episode aired on 15/06/2022. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Left Behind Game Club and give them a 5 star rating if you enjoy their content, it helps them out and they definitely deserve it! Have a scroll through their content and I can guarantee there will be some episodes for you.

Goals for 2022

Now that I have updated everyone about where I stand with regards to the future (if you missed it you can read it here but as a tl;dr, I’d like to try to earn enough financially to keep going), I can start to get my head into actually making it happen, with physical goals and practical changes for 2022!

First off, should we talk about the reason we are all really here?! Games! I am not setting goals for a certain amount of games to play or anything like that, but as everyone knows, I do love a game plan. This list is a none binding guide of games that I might play throughout the year. There are a mixture of gifted games, game pass games, requested games and backlog games on there. The real plan though is to keep it flexible. If a demo, open beta or free weekend pops up I will slot them in.

I love playing Indie Games. I love discovering them, I love getting to know what is coming out and I love sharing them with everyone. I have tried to share this passion in different formats in the past, particularly with the Steam Game Festivals and other variations. Sharing the full experience, making highlight videos, doing write ups etc are all things I have given a go. I still don’t have in mind exactly what I want to do yet, but it is one of my goals to find a good way to cover the indie game festivals. There are plenty of them throughout the year, I always have a really cool time with them, I just need to get better at sharing that. Following on from that, I would also like to make a special effort to ensure that I am consistent with my Indie Showcase. There is no reason that I can’t have covered 52 games by the end of the year. I have plenty on my waiting list that I am desperate to try out and this series was designed to be manageable.

I realise that the above is displaying some vague goals, so here is a tangible one. I would like to get to 250 followers on Twitch. I don’t usually focus too much on the numbers but there is a reason for this one. Keymailer is a service where you can request keys to upcoming games. I am on there and have gotten keys from there in the past, but you can’t actually get accredited until you have 250 followers. I am most certainly not going to get a lot of the keys that I might like even if I am accredited, but if I see a particularly interesting looking indie game I will request it. Being accredited really ups my chance of being accepted for a key and getting to cover a game, so this is why I would like to aim for the followers. I currently have 198. 52 within the year sounds do-able, and if I get there sooner then that should hopefully open up some content opportunities.

Another goal of mine is just to finish making my streams a really cool place to be. It does seem like it may be a never ending job, but if I can get on top of the basics then it will be a lot more manageable. Creating sound bits, more channel point rewards, using cam more often, potential community goals, using the fun tools that I can with the chatbot, more customised alerts. Basically, I want to try to use all of the tools that are available sooner rather than later. I also have 25 emote slots that I need to fill (or I will once I finally get my animated ones) and I am redrawing the majority of them. I cannot wait to share all the new ideas, for now I can share a sneak peek at the new style.

It’s really easy for me to get caught up in setting goals. I would like to do a lot of work on my YouTube as well as my streams, but I also have to try to be realistic. I have to prioritise Twitch because that is where I make my money. My YouTube isnt even close to being monetizable. But it is niggling away at me that I would love to do well in that too, and I have some ideas in the back burner that I would like to make a start on if I can get a handle on everything else first. I do understand though that I cannot expect that to be doing well when I am not putting all of my effort into it.

I have so many more content ideas slowly cooking away in the background and I haven’t even mentioned this blog, or my aspirations for this website. I would love to set aside some time weekly to do some writing. I want to write some thought pieces that I am passionate about. Maybe that can do some good in the world, or maybe it can help my content get seen. I can aim for the former, and if it even opens up one opportunity then it is worth it. I do think I am slightly better at written words than I am out loud, so hopefully people can take something new away from my writing.

So, since one of my goals is to put myself out there, maybe I should start here. If anyone enjoys my content I would love it if you could recommend it to a friend. If you watch my YouTube videos please give them a like. I’m not going to pretend to understand the algorithm but I hear that is helpful. If I do something you particularly like please reach out and let me know, feedback is very important. If you have a favourite series of mine please give it a share on the socials.

Finally, I’d love to hear any thoughts from anyone about a few things. What do you look for in a streamer? What kind of things do you like to get back in return for your support? Are there anything you like, like community goals that you would like to see on my streams? Is there any type of content that you would either like to see me dabble in or think would help me with my goals?  

I once again want to close this out with a HUGE thank you for everyone’s support. So many great things happened in 2021 and that is down to you guys.

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Channel Update – January 2022

I just finished up my 2021 Reflections thread on Twitter and started working on my 2022 Goals thread. It quickly became apparent that limited characters weren’t going to work for everything I want to share, so here we are! I’m going to treat this as a bit of a channel update post.

We did a LOT of stuff in 2021. You can see a bunch of it in the Twitter thread. The majority of it was on Twitch but there was a lot of extra stuff too. Something I should mention about this though is that I have been doing this pretty much full time for the entire year. It is not my full time job, but I have sort of been treating it that way just because that is what made me happy. Obviously, this isn’t totally sustainable so it makes the future a little unclear. But I will share my current thoughts and plans as best as I can.

I don’t earn much from Twitch, but I do earn enough that it is significant in my life. Between my low hour job and Twitch I just about manage to pay my bills. I don’t have any disposable income, which isn’t an easy way to live but I would take that over doing a job I hate 1 million times over. I do have savings but they are limited, so I am at a point where I am giving myself the rest of the year to see if I can make this sustainable. This is one reason that I don’t buy new games, everything that I buy comes straight out of the money that is supposed to be sustaining me for the next year, and I would really like to be doing this as long as possible.

Earning money doing this thing that I love never sat right with me. I couldn’t understand how I deserved it. People continued to be generous and helped me to understand that they like to support me because of the entertainment I have provided. Mid-year I was earning enough that I managed to come off my benefits (which is something I am entirely grateful for in itself). When that happened I started to slowly try to change my mindset, treating streaming as a job as well as a hobby. I still can’t say that I am fully understanding of the financial support people give me but I do trust that they wouldn’t do it for no reason, and although I do not feel as though I deserve more, I started to feel a little confidence in pursuing growth.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to be a huge streamer. My only goal is to be able to continue doing this as a job beyond the year with the understanding that not many people get to do this as a job. I am keeping my future work options on my mind the entire time. It feels kind of unbelievable that I had found the confidence to even try to pursue this. Whether I can grow a little or not, anything that I do contributes to putting me out there and finding new opportunities in the future, so that is win-win really.

Before New Year my head was buzzing with ideas. I was thinking of using sound bits so that at least people get more out of their cheers. I was thinking of using cam more because I know some people like that and we could do some fun stuff with channel points. I even got a ring light for Christmas for it. I was thinking that I should stop feeling so self conscious about putting myself out there. Try advertising myself a bit more, try tiktok etc.

Unfortunately, over the New Year I have lost almost all of that confidence that I had gained. I have literally been thinking about throwing it all away and quitting completely so I’ve been giving myself some time. But I had already set some plans in place, I know that deep down it is what I want, so I am going to try my best to continue working towards it, despite the intrusive thoughts.

So basically, what I am trying to say is that I am going to try to keep putting my all into this, it may not be forever but I am going to try my best to see if I could make it that way. There is going to be a separate post of practical 2022 goals, but writing this felt really important to me. I just wanted to make sure everyone knows where I stand with where I am now and any changes I make going forward. I want to make sure everyone knows that any support, whether financial, making a recommendation or even watching my streams is extremely appreciated by me.

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Noobs Top 10 of 2021

I like to consider myself a patient gamer. I don’t really buy new games, which means I often don’t have a lot to contribute to the Game of the Year conversations. I am however, an avid list keeper and would love to write about the top 10 games that I experienced this year! I am going to go in a descending(ish) order, but frankly, I really struggle to rank things so just remember that I loved every experience on this list!

10. Psychonauts 2

Oh hey, I am already contradicting what I said in the opening paragraph! Generally I am a patient gamer. BUT, when you have Game Pass and an anticipated game like this comes out it would be rude not to.. right? I was introduced to Psychonauts by The Left Behind Game Club Podcast and played it for the first time in 2020 (last year). Whilst I don’t have the nostalgia that some may have for a game of its age, it managed to charm its way into my soul and I loved my time with it. Needless to say, the prospect of a modern sequel was pretty hype for me and the fact that it was released day one on Game Pass was perfect.

The game was wonderful. Some of the levels felt more grand at the time, but others have stuck with me for their underlying messages. Overall, the psychedelic visuals, the fun platforming, the attention to detail and the thoughtful messages provided me with a lovely experience that I got to share with everyone. There are certain things that I think the game could have done to be higher up on my list, but they are personal preferences and I am going to try to keep this list positive. Perhaps I will write a post about it some day!

9. Hades

2021 unexpectedly became the year of the roguelike for me. This is not the first one that I played this year but it is the latest. Hades is so universally praised, both critically and within my social circles. However, whenever I tried to watch anyone playing I never had any idea what was happening and just decided it was not going to be a game for me. Fast forward to November with a little bit of experience, who could have guessed I would be getting my first clear? Certainly not me! I streamed my entire time from my first moments in Tartarus, to the many failures on the way. There were some absolutely nail-biting runs. Not only down to the game but my.. should we say.. chaotic style? There was progress, then there wasn’t. Every time I thought I was near the game would throw something new into the mix. It was stressful and adrenaline fuelled while also being a great, funny time. Every new milestone felt like a huge achievement, leaping yet creeping ever so closer to the goal of whatever the heck was going to happen when we finally escaped. 

Did it take me a while to pluck up the commitment to play this game? Yes. Did I love it very much? Yes. I feel like sharing the game with the community helped give me a higher appreciation, especially for the art. The music and entire vibe were cool. Every time I dropped into a new run my head would start bobbing. But is this game difficult? Yes. Have I played much since my first clear? No. Am I going to put it on God Mode (a sort of adaptive difficulty) because I find the later levels a bit tedious? Yes. Because despite the difficulties, I have really really enjoyed getting to know the Greek gods. Even with every failure there more story, and I feel pretty invested in it.

8. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I almost didn’t get round to this one this year. Thankfully my Game Pass coming to an end forced me to make some priorities, and this felt like a good December game. I played Ori and the Blind Forest earlier in the year. I really enjoyed my time with it, but I find myself struggling to remember anything too specific about the game. I know that I may have some recency bias for Will of the Wisps, but contrary to Blind Forest, I feel like there are many things from this game that are going to stay with me for a long time. In a strange way, it almost feels like they took the first game, but then tailored it specifically more to me. I think the main change that suits me is that there is a very forgiving checkpoint system which makes exploring so much less of a daunting task and much more freeing.

As well as 2021 being the year of roguelikes for me, it has also been the year of the platformer. During the year I have played Unravel, Limbo, Inside and more. And do you know what? I am so grateful that I did. I feel like all of this experience that I didn’t have last year really elevated my overall experience, to fully embrace everything about the game. The art is breathtaking. The music evokes so much emotion. The movement is very precise and extremely fun. The metroidvania aspects really release that dopamine when you get a new ability. The sidequests bring so much life to the world. And finally, the emotions. Gosh the emotions. I have never cried on stream before. This game made me cry twice. If I think ‘beauty’, I think of this game.

7. It Takes Two

The official Game of the Year! And the second none patient game on my list. Oops. It Takes Two is available on Game Pass via EA Play, and it also comes with a Friend Pass so only one person needs to have it! That is a pretty sweet deal for one of the weirdest, hectic, annoying yet smooth, heartfelt and creative co-op games I’ve ever seen. This game was made by the developers of A Way Out, and while I haven’t played that one, I have seen enough playthroughs to know that I would have had a blast playing it blind. Based on that, I knew I wanted to play what they made next. And It Takes Two did not disappoint.

This game has a totally different tone to the other games by the devs, but still contains the fun, co-op mischief that they are starting to be known for. It was great playing a split screen game for the first time in a long time, it felt nostalgic but still very current. I think the game is longer and has a lot more to it than anyone could have expected, and while it may look like a family game.. I would not recommend it for kids! I played with my good friend Brox. We had so many laughs, the game feels very designed for that. Plenty of ways to kill each other as well as innuendos left, right and centre. Particularly in the first couple of levels, I feel like we were close to dying laughing. Despite it being longer than expected it never gets stale. Every chapter gives you new environments with new abilities which provide new puzzle solving techniques. All I can say is, if you are looking for a co-op game, play it!

6. Disco Elysium

A game I was slightly intimidated by before starting – and infinitely more so after. Disco Elysium was a game that I was frightened that I wouldn’t be smart enough for, but instead it beautifully presented an insight into things that do go on in the world. When thinking back to this game I think sombre. I think gloomy. I almost think of hopelessness. But then I hear the music in the Whirling-in-Rags and feel at home. I think of Kim – one of my favourite characters in a game ever – a ray of the realest sunshine. I think of our different systems talking to us, but us ultimately deciding who to listen to. I think of those times we messed up but then carried on. I think of the times we shouldn’t have got by but did. I remember what we achieved in a world where everything was against us. Nothing, and yet something. I feel comfort. And I think that is all I want to say.

5. Bugsnax

Time is going so quickly and yet so slowly, to think that it has been nearly a year since we played Bugsnax! After not being too hyped by the trailer and the memeness of the entire thing, my interest was slightly piqued at the fact that it was going to be on Ps Plus. Little did I know I would be completely sucked into this strange adventure. It has become pretty clear to me this year that I am an exploration girl. Give me a map to explore and I am in my element. The other thing that I like more than a lot of folk is collectibles. If you strip this game down to its very core, it’s about exploring for collectables. But then when you look at the full picture it gets so much better. There is a seemingly surprisingly dark mystery on the Island. You are a journalist interviewing all of the characters. You get to customise characters with the collectables you gather. Every collectible is a puzzle to solve, some getting quite difficult towards the end. And one of the best parts of it is that you absolutely don’t have to catch them all if you do not want to. Based on my expectations, this game blew me away. We recently coined the term ‘compulsionist’ in the community. Sometimes I like to be completionist, but there are only a rare few games where I can’t stop, and this was one of them. We could have ended the game, but instead we spent a few hours catching them all and you know what? It was very worth it. I enjoyed every second.

4. Resident Evil Village

I have to start with a disclaimer for this one. This is not a game that I have played myself. However, I do sort of consider myself a RE fan. They are not games I would play myself but I enjoy watching playthroughs, and Village is no exception. Before the game came out it earned a place in my heart. If you were watching at the time then you may know where I am coming from with this. I believe it was the PS5 reveal event. The trailer premiered and it was my favourite moment in any game event I have ever witnessed. “It looks a little like RE7 in the graphics department.”. “Probably not, what is this weird story?”. “That looks like a puzzely statue.”. “Oh never mind werewolves.”. “This mansion looking place with a nice staircase looks very RE.”. “Na these frames are awful.”. “Was that an Umbrella logo? Could it be?”. Then the title ‘Village’ appeared. “Oh, I guess not then.” Then eventually the 8 appears over the Village logo and it all makes sense. Mannnn so many goose bumps just thinking back to it. That hype I was feeling put this game into a pretty bad position for me. I don’t get high expectations very often, but I was very much looking forward to watching the game. When I am that excited there is a lot of room to feel let down, but thankfully, it was even better than I hoped it would be.

I personally think it could be the best paced RE game to date. I was really excited to see how they were going to make RE7 but in an outdoors environment as my brain could not understand what that would look like. Exploring that village for the first time? That felt special. Then every time after coming back? Also felt special. The opening was so intense, followed by some completely new territory with no idea what to expect, I was horrified! I find the Lycans terrifying and I really do think the opening few hours of the game are a masterpiece. The game continues with new environments and themes, while still always feeling like a Resident Evil game. The idea that they were going to cross RE4 with RE7 (based on the trailer) left me excited. In reality they also threw in some RE2Make and in my opinion they delivered. If it isnt obvious this was my pick for Game of the Year.

3. 428 Shibuya Scramble

A game that I feel like no one has played! 428 Shibuya Scramble is a visual novel, where the artwork is photography and the characters are played by real actors. Unfortunately it isnt voice acted, and it is a long game which would be a heck of an undertaking for anyone recording or streaming it. Playing/reading it yourself though is so very worth it. A girl has been kidnapped, and throughout the game you will play as 5 different people, some more involved than others but their stories intertwined none the less. The story is full of twists and turns and I HAD to know what was going to happen next. Each character has their own visual and music style which gives them each their personality.

The game is played in 1 hour in-game chunks. You choose a character and read their novel, making choices as you go. You may get a bad end, which means you made a bad choice somewhere in that hour, but not necessarily on that character. Its a really fun way to add a puzzle element into a visual novel and some of the outcomes are fantastic. If you like visual novels, if you like creative games, if you like fun but dramatic/thrilling stories it is a must play.

2. Virtues Last Reward

Virtues Last Reward is the second game in the Nonary Games Series and I believe is the last big game that I recorded purely for YouTube. I had the most amazing time recording this series. It was hilarious, it was confusing, it was dramatic, and every time I thought I might have had it figured out I didn’t. Every time one question was answered three more arose. I enjoy all of the updates from its predecessor 999. It feels like it does a lot of the same, with a cool story, suspense and plot twists, but better. At the same time, it has less of the caveats. The way the Nonary Game changed from the first one opened up a whole new level of mistrust and difficult decisions. It’s not something I would have thought of myself but the second I learned the new rules I was entirely on board and it lived up to my hype.

I feel like the routes you take in this game are a little less random than the first game, which is a welcome change. But other than that the gameplay is the same. Make some choices and do some escape rooms. Some of which I found very difficult. The gameplay loop was enjoyable and the cliff hangers are killers, but it all comes together in a very satisfying way leaving me very excited to play Zero Time Dilemma. (Disclaimer: Zero Time Dilemma is coming at some point. I promise. I’m sorry for the delay)

1. The Binding of Isaac

Never in a million years would I expect my favourite game I’ve played this year to be a game like Isaac. I didnt even think I liked games like Isaac! It turns out there is so much to love about it and I haven’t even gotten to Repentance yet! The Binding of Isaac is a roguelike game where you play as a young boy, escaping from his abusive mother. You descend into the basement and beyond, fighting monsters with your tears. It is full of nasty things like abusive themes, infant death, suicide, religious extremism and poop. Lots of poop. I am very aware that I am not selling the game well and the problem is, the game has so much depth that I cannot do it justice in a paragraph or two. All I can do is try to point out why it clicked with me.

I feel like one of the things that makes Isaac special are the synergies. You pick up two or more items per floor of the game. Some of them are basic stat ups, but some can be game changing. Change your tears into scythes that do more damage. Get homing tears. Get tears that go through the walls. Get bomb tears. Get different status effects that each give every tear an individual look. Almost all of the items also give Isaac cosmetic changes. Another point I love is that every consumable can be used as a currency in one way or another. This means that you don’t always necessarily have to be good at the game to do well. There are ways you can game the game to ultimately get an insane run if you are so inclined, and I’ve got to tell you, it is a blast.

This is definitely the kind of game that benefits having a friend to share experiences with. It would be easy to believe that you have beaten the game pretty quickly, but at that point you have barely scratched the surface. I was lucky to have a friend to show me the game and tell me everything I wanted to know to get the most out of my experience. Once you know that the game isnt over when you win, it could then very suddenly seem overwhelming or intimidating. All I can say is if you are slightly interested you should give it a chance. You will learn as you go and although it is not an easy game, there are multiple ways to win. If I can do it, anyone can!

I hate that some games that I loved didn’t make the cut! I wanted to add them but I have to stop, otherwise I’ll just be writing a list of most of the games I have played this year. I do want to give a special shout out though to some multiplayer games as I don’t really feel like they fit well in the ranking lists.

Sea of Thieves might be my favourite game to just jump in and find some random adventures. Navigating and driving the boat is so satisfying. The slight added threat that there are other people out there is enough to keep you on your toes, but not enough to stop the grog and sea shanties. It’s really good for simulating the vibe of hanging out, and giving you something to do together.

Astroneer is the first game of its kind that I have really played (gather resources to make more machines to gather more resources etc) and it was a delight. I feel very grateful to have had friends there to show me the ropes. We completed the game but not for lack of mishaps!

Satisfactory is the second game of its kind I have played after Astroneer. There are glaring differences, but I would at least put them in the same genre. The game truly is satisfactory. It is dangerously addictive so I am going to have to limit my time playing, but it is very fun having the freedom to make not only functional but beautiful factories.

What were your favourite games you played this year? If you struggle to keep track you could keep a twitter thread starting now! I love looking back on my list throughout the year 🙂

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Guest Appearance – Cutscenes: A Video Game Movie Podcast – Resident Evil: Extinction

Now that this section of the blog is up to date, I can finally announce some current news, and that is that I am on another Episode of Cutscenes! This week was my second appearance, and the third in the series of the Resident Evil movies. Once again, I had an absolute blast, this time re-watching Resident Evil: Extinction and getting to chat to these wonderful people about it.

I am still confused as to my feelings towards this film. What I can say I have discovered is I think expectations highly influence my enjoyment and opinion of a media. If you go back to listen to the Resident Evil: Apocalypse episode you will hear a very different take on that to what I say here.. but is this a better film..? I DON’T KNOW. Please do check out the rest of the Cutscenes catalogue. It is fun, fresh and light hearted content created by wonderful people and they deserve all of the love.

Available on your platform of choice!

This episode aired on 18/03/2021. Please show them that love by subscribing on your platform of choice, leaving them a five star review, and recommend them to someone you think might enjoy! It all helps them grow and they deserve all the success they can get.

Guest Appearance – Left Behind Game Club – The Nonary Games: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

After taking part in the Psychonauts episode of Left Behind Game Club, I was lucky enough to be invited back on, this time to discuss a very different game. The Nonary Games: 999 is the first in a series of visual novels, full of mystery, twists and turns. It is quite a special series on its own, but in addition to that it was one of the first games that I Lets Played on my YouTube channel!

It was super fun to get to talk about a game that I love, and it was nice to have different perspectives on the show. I have to warn though, you must play the game before listening. We go heavy on the spoilers, and there are a lot! If you enjoy mysteries, a plot that keeps you guessing, unique vibes and escape rooms, it is a must play!

Available on your platform of choice!

This episode aired on 16/06/2021. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Left Behind Game Club and give them a 5 star rating if you enjoy their content, it helps them out and they definitely deserve it! Have a scroll through their content and I can guarantee there will be some episodes for you.

Guest Appearance – Cutscenes: A Video Game Movie Podcast – Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Jacob McCourt (host of The ‘Left Behind Game Club), alongside friends Katie Lesperance and Travis Colenutt, created a new podcast called ‘Cutscenes’. In this podcast, they talk about movies and tv shows that are based on or around video games. I like to say that they watch them so that we don’t have too! The show is a tonne of fun with amazing segments thought up by these amazing people, and I was extremely lucky to be one of the first guests!

The gang covered the first Resident Evil movie in Season 1 and it was my favourite episode, so I was extremely hype to get to join them for Resident Evil Apocalypse! As someone who remembers these films from growing up and is a fan of the games, doing a re-watch was quite a trip. If you would like to hear the breakdown – both of the film and in laughter – then you can listen below!!

Available on your platform of choice!

This episode aired on 18/03/2021. If you enjoy please don’t forget to subscribe to them on your platform of choice. They are a joy to listen to and there is a nice backlog there already for you to catch up on, as at the time of writing Season 3 has recently begun!