As you guys probably know, I find juggling everything I do hard, but I always want to do more. The update on Sunday talked about regular YouTube plans but I have a craving to make more content about games I love. I’m just not sure in what format or when I would do it, so consider this just me throwing my ideas out there without any plans of actually doing them yet. I guess I’ll chat about them in the order I have been thinking about them.
Idea 1 | The first – and the closest to almost having come to fruition – is a Podcast. I love talking about games, and I love listening to podcasts. I don’t really listen to variety podcasts or news or anything like that, I like game club Podcasts, where a group of people play the game and then talk about it together. Everytime I finish a game I do a search on the Podcasts I listen to (Left Behind Game Club, Watch out for Fireballs and Cane & Rinse currently) to see if they have an episode and listen straight away. I enjoy being taken through the game via another’s eyes and experiences in another medium. A problem that I run into, however, is that often the games I am looking for have not been covered. When I am not done with a game and I can’t find anything to listen – as daft as this sounds – I struggle to move on. I would love to be able to take my favourite elements from my favourite podcasts and reshape them into my own, so that I have a place to celebrate the games I love. I would like it to be long form with a heavy focus on the narrative of the game and the different elements of the game that help to create that. I would like a spoiler free section at the start to sell the game to anyone who is curious, then dive deep into the spoilers and what they mean. I would like to talk about a lot of the games that I maybe have a different perspective on that others, with guests who also love the games. I have put a lot of thought into this one and don’t know why I don’t take the plunge. The worst thing that can happen is that no-one listens but you know.. that is no reason not to try!
+ Already did quite a chunk of planning
+ Closure for the games that I have a lot of thoughts about
+/- Quite a bit of work
– I’m not convinced that anyone at all will be interested in listening
– These are much better with more than one host, it should be a conversation, not a monologue
Idea 2 | The second thing that I have spent some time thinking about is a YouTube series called something like ‘A Noob Guide’ (except there is already Noob’s Guide on YT 🙃). A lot of my YouTube views come from some little walkthroughs of Overcooked that I made years ago. What I would love to do (but has probably already been done) is do a series of short videos helping people either new to a game or new to a genre or whatever. The game in mind being The Binding of Isaac, but then with other games being options in the future. Part of the whole point of my channel was because I was very new to games and exploring what type of things exist and experiencing them for the first time. To this day I am still finding new genres that I love. It is undeniable that I have noobish qualities, so it just feels like a nice fit to do a series for noobs, from a noob. Because I am such a noob, I may be able to explain things in a way that would help other noobs that may be overlooked by veteran gamers. This would be something heavily edited and informative rather than for entertainment.
+ Did a bit of planning
+/- No idea if there is a demand for it on the internet
– Isn’t necessarily for the current community
– A tonne of work
Idea 3 | The most recent thought I have had is some sort of review series. Not for new games though. I haven’t thought of a name because I have barely thought of a format yet but some sort of backlog review series, or a look back in time, something of that sort. Again, the purpose of this one would be to celebrate the games that I like and show off why I like them (while also being critical). At first I was thinking three minute reviews but someone already does that too. Then I was thinking maybe something a bit longer. Then I realised I have been watching a lot of Skill Up I just wish I could make content like him 🤣. So yeah, not a lot of thought has been put into this one except some sort of highly edited thought pieces on some games I have played. Way shorter than a podcast but probably the same amount of work when it comes to editing a video.
+ Doesn’t need to be on a specific schedule
+ Could use a +/- format that I enjoy
– No planning done
– Lots of work gathering footage and editing
– I suck at reading a script
So, there is a little look into my somehow both over and under productive brain! If anything comes of any of these is yet to be seen, if anyone has any opinions please do let me know. Putting things out there is scary because little interest = probably shouldn’t bother and interest = pressure. On the other hand though, neither of those things would just be ignorance and I think it is better for me to know what others think, if anyone does, and if not then I guess I can take that as freedom to try anything!
Ideally I would like to try all of these but I have to budget my time in accordance to where I make my money, so streaming has to come first. In that sense, Let’s Plays and Indie Showcase would go into the same category as the ideas above, which means I really have to be choosey about what I do. But while I am on a roll with streaming and recording I cant get these ideas out of my head!
While I am still figuring out a schedule that works for me, I am going to be trying something out. Sometimes my three evening streams per week works fine, sometimes I can’t manage them all, and sometimes I would like to do more. I am going to trial some daytime streams.
I like my evening streams in general to be narrative focused, single player games that I can get immersed in and transfer to YouTube as Let’s Plays, so I like them to be somewhat coherent etc. I adore this structure but sometimes life doesn’t allow for me to be in the right frame of mind to do my best work. Having a daytime stream as an option will allow me to do my minimum of three streams per week, so if I have to cancel an evening for whatever reason I will still have plenty of opportunity to stream.
These daytime streams will be extras, their own separate thing. Instead of my evening games it will allow me to do shorter streams of other types of games. Ideas I have in mind are my endless games like Isaac, management games, life sims, puzzle games, other indies, one offs and game photography. Games to just chill with where I don’t feel like I have to be at 100% all of the time, as I am not doing a ‘proper’ playthrough. This may not be a permanent thing, but it is a nice for me to have a little flexibility if I need to skip an evening. We will see how it goes!
I make a lot of content, some more consistent than others, so I though I would write a post specifically to explain show all the different things that I do and what any donations/membership money goes towards creating!
My most successful and consistent content all comes from my Twitch channel. I have been streaming for a year and a half now, and tend to stream three times a week. I aim to start at 5pm UK time and go for around 4 hours, but the times are very flexible and if I get lost in a game, well.. time sometimes vanishes.
We play a wide variety of games, most of the time they are story based. I mostly play games on the shorter side with a few longer games here and there. I like take things slowly, getting immersed and exploring everything I can. We have the occasional never ending game that we will always go back to and other little streaming projects on the side, but that is generally what you can expect from Noob streams. I do prioritise my Twitch channel over my other content purely because it is the only avenue that is monetised for me, the more sustainable I get then that will hopefully free up time to do more projects in the future!
I have been doing my YouTube channel for years. If you were to look at my old videos (don’t do it) you could see how far I have come. I used to make full Lets Plays on my PS4, from recording to editing using the on console features. It was not the best but I loved doing it very much so I didn’t let the technological limitations stop me. Since beginning streaming I have barely made any YouTube specific Lets Plays. It is something that I really want to get back to and will as soon as I have the time. I used to cover every single PS Plus game in ‘Let’s Try’ videos, but now instead I have moved that focus on to indies. I have a weekly Indie Showcase where I play either a free short game or a demo that looks interesting. I also like to cover the indie festivals on steam. I do have aspirations for YouTube and I do see glacial amounts of growth even without putting in all the effort that I would like to. But it makes it difficulty to justify spending the time that I want on YT projects when I am earning my money elsewhere. I’m going to work hard to try to get sustainable, continue my passion projects on the side and then one day, I will deliver all of the plans that I have begun in my head.
I have a Blog that I use occasionally when I have updates or thoughts that I would like to write long form. My blog is like my YT channel in the sense that I have so many aspirations, but putting in the time is another matter. You should see my plans, I have so many post ideas raring to go. Sadly though, for now my blog is on my passion project list and I can only get to it when I have worked hard on making all of the stream improvements I would like to make. The plans include catching up on all of the posts that I neglected since I started it, game reviews, thought pieces about specific games – either about their narrative or their importance in the gaming world, other more obscure gaming related pieces and more. Currently I mostly use it as a place to share another hobby of mine, images from doing in-game photography which is another passion project that I would love to do more of.
I do have a discord server for the community and we have a few fun things on the go. Sometimes it is multiplayer games, sometimes its tournaments and then sometimes it is things not even related to gaming like our monthly creative prompt. I like to try to make it a nice place for people to be to spend some time and hopefully find some inspiration to do whatever it is that you would like to do.
I have other Social Medias like Twitter, Instagram etc. which are mostly used for keeping everyone up to date and sharing things that I have done, made, or anything else that might excite me. Twitter is more current thoughts and polls for future games, where as Instagram is more photography screenshots. I am thinking about dabbling in Tiktok and YouTube Shorts simply because I have so many fantastic clips. I have made a vertical video template so it seems worth a go, at best it is marketing, at worst nothing happens, so lets see how that goes!
I have a Merch store if anyone would like any Noob merch! I would like to do more with this but that would be something way in the future when everything else on the above lists are already on the go. More of a hobby for funsies than anything else. A chance for me to practice art or graphic design and share them with others. I did buy the Do It Noob Hoodie in a large size (I’m a relatively small person) and it is an extremely cozy hoodie, so if anyone was interested in that I would recommend buying one or two sizes up!
I do have two secret projects that I would really like to get going, but they would take a lot of time and effort that I would love to give but I just don’t have yet. When I do manage it then members will get the sneak peaks of the ideas hopefully coming to life 😊
Eventually I am going to catch up with all of the channel updates I would like to do on Twitch (emotes, fun things, channel trailer etc) and when that time comes, I will have more time to either stream more, work on my other projects, or a bit of both. So hopefully that is a good breakdown of the work I put into creating and how much I would love to do more, hence why memberships became a thing. Having somewhere to share the things that I am working on in advance has been super fun for me and I hope to keep it going for as long as possible!
If you are wondering how you can support me, there are many ways. Liking and commenting on my videos are a good way to give me engagement on YouTube. Sharing a video you like or my stream with a friend who might enjoy my content is fantastic. If you have Amazon Prime that means that you get a free subscription on Twitch. All you have to do is create a Twitch account and link it to your Amazon account. From there, you can subscribe to a streamer of your choice for no extra charge. So if you would like to give away your free money I will always be happy to receive it! Finally, if you would like to leave me a tip you can make a one off donation on Buy Me A Coffee. Alternatively, you can subscribe to my membership, which will get you some sneak peaks at what I am working on for £5 a month, or you can explore the other tiers through the link. Thank you so much for everyone’s patience while I work towards making this thing I love doing a think that I can continue long into the future, I appreciate you all.
Hello everyone, I am officially launching memberships! This is a way for people to support me on a monthly basis if they would like, where I get 95% of the cut. This is especially here for people who aren’t too bothered about a Twitch sub and would just like to show their support, or people that enjoy my other content that is not monetised, like YouTube or my blog. I wrote a piece explaining my current situation and goals here, so I have made this an extra option just in case anyone would like that option. A super helpful way to enable this Noob.
So what is a membership? It is very much like Patreon if you are familiar with that. There are different tiers for different fees. You pay monthly and I provide content. There is not going to be tonnes of content but there will be bits to thank you for your support.
Level 1 – £5/Month – You will get weekly behind the scenes posts of bits and bobs that I have been up to. Whether that is emotes in progress, random clips from upcoming YT videos, sneak peeks at stream updates or just random thoughts or insights about what I am doing. You will also get credited at the end of my YouTube videos and Twitch streams. Finally, you will have access to an Enooblers Anonymous channel in my Discord!
Level 2 – £10/Month – You will get the above benefits plus a fortnightly update post, summarising everything that I have been up to in the last couple of weeks in one place.
Level 3 – £69/Month – You will get all of the above benefits, plus memes.
Alien Isolation – £999 – I will play Alien Isolation on stream through to the credits.
And that is all I’ve got so far! I am very much going to be learning as I go. If you do not want to sign up to a membership but would like to give a tip, there is the traditional ‘Buy me a Coffee’ way. You unfortunately wont get the membership benefits for that, but any donation at all is immensely appreciated by me. If any of this sounds appealing to you, you can check out my page here.
If you are only here because of one area of my work and are wondering what other things I am speaking of, you can check out my Bio Link here if you would like, where you can find everything that I do in one place! There is quite the backlog of content there and I hope to continue to work full time producing more 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 🙂
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!
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.
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!!
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!
The ‘Left Behind Game Club’ is a a fortnightly book club style podcast. Hosted by Jacob McCourt, Mike Ruffolo and Moe Murtadi, every episode they play a game and get together to talk about it in an aim to recreate that feeling of discovering a new game with friends at release. In their ~1 hour show they chat about the game, their experience with it and their opinions via some fun segments. It is a nice easy listen with a great variety of games, it truly is a pleasure every episode.
I have been listening to podcasts for a few years now and this is one of my favourites, so you can imagine how it felt getting the message about being a guest! I was a ball of nerves but the guys were great, and through this show I was introduced to the wonderful world of Psychonauts. If you enjoy 3D platformers, interesting level design, humorous games and a story on acid then I highly recommend playing the game before listening. It is a PS2 game and while it does show its age in some aspects, it is still wholly playable. More than that, I think it is very worth your time! Then don’t forget to come back and hear our thoughts on it 🙂
This episode aired on 28/10/2021. If you enjoyed please do check out the rest of their work. At the time of writing they are 131 episodes in and still going strong! That leave a great backlog for you to catch up on, and it is available on most podcasting platforms of your choice!