In Review – January 2020

Where did January go? This month simply FLEW by! I spent far fewer hours gaming than usual, but as a result, I felt as if my leisure time was more balanced this month than usual.

Low Spend 2020

I am on track!

Ok, admittedly that’s not saying much. It’s been one month. That’s barely even self-control.

However, Temtem released in early access and tested my resolve, because the people I follow who are playing it seem to be really loving it. I assume this temptation will be back if it comes out in full release before the end of the year – I can tell myself that an EA MMO is fine to miss out on, but there’s nothing quite like an MMO at full release.

The Nope List

With only two games this month, I decided to put the Nope List back into my In Review post this month. I’ve already talked a little bit about why I ended up shelving Ori, so no need to rehash that other than to say I am still terribad at platforming games.

However, Hero of the Kingdom III was a huge disappointment. The first two games in the series weren’t life-changing, but they were enjoyable RPG-lite, hidden object adventures that were satisfying to play. The third installment managed to suck any iota of fun out of the concept, and after less than an hour, I realized that there are far better grinds out there, were I to be in the mood for grinding. I don’t expect this is anything I’ll go back to – it’s not a case of the being the wrong game for my mood, but instead, for being just wrong.

Community Game Along – #PlatforMonth

After shelving Ori and the Blind Forest halfway through the month, I instead played through Type:Rider and enjoyed it, not in spite of the lack of challenge, but because of it.

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

I put about 10 hours into Far Cry Primal, and it’s showing me to be at about 20% completion. It’s highly unlikely I’ll go for the full 100%, but I figure I’ll get another 20 or so hours out of it before I call it finished.

I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying it, especially since I got off to a really rough start with it. For the first couple of hours, I felt so very clumsy and aimless, but I’m glad I kept going because once it clicked, I found it a lot of fun.

Plus, I get animal companions I can (and frequently do) pet.

Of course, if I proceed at this pace, there’s no way I’m getting anywhere close to the 10 games I put on my list, but I also know my both my game time and interest tend to ebb and flow, so I’m sure there will be months where I put in 40-50 hours on this project, rather than the meager 10 for January.

Other Gaming

I can’t even blame it on playing too many other games.

I spent one evening on We Were Here Together with a friend of mine – this one felt way more challenging than the first two, but not entirely in the best of ways. I felt like there were several puzzles where it wasn’t clear at all what we were supposed to be doing, and having played the first two games, I don’t think that we were failing the communication challenge. It was just more obtuse than what I had been hoping for. Unfortunately, scheduling with my co-op partner is frequently a nightmare, so I don’t know when or even if we’ll get back to it to work on the second half.

I am close to being finished with Pirate Mosiac Puzzles – Caribbean Treasures, but I haven’t really been particularly drawn to it.

Lastly, I did spend a couple of days getting my Deathwing Mount in World of Warcraft. I expected to go back and poke at my reps for flying and start on my pre-expansion prep, but I haven’t so much as logged in. Still, I’m satisfied with having completed the anniversary event for the cost of a token that was just sitting around.

GoodReads Challenge (3/36)

Here again, I am also precisely on track. I’m poking at my Kindle library, just sort of picking things on a whim. All three of these books were solid reads, but none of them were anything I’d rave about.

Other Nerd Girl Stuff

What I have been doing a lot of that’s been keeping me away from my PC is finishing up the sort of our Magic: The Gathering card collection, and starting to build up a bunch of decks for the Commander (or EDH) format.

I’ve always enjoyed playing Magic, but if I’m being completely honest, I’m a mediocre player. What I do really enjoy, however, is the challenge of putting together strong decks, and both the larger deck size and more constricting rules have made this something I keep coming back to.

So far, I have completed four decks, and I have another half dozen or so in progress. I’m fairly certain all the money I’ve “saved” by not buying games, I have managed to squander away on MTG singles. The upside is, once I have everything put together (and I’ve satisfied my inner need for documentation by putting them into my ManaBox app), we can put the rest of our cards back in storage for awhile.


Well, for a month that seemed to fly by, I guess I did a whole lot more than I thought when I sat down to sum up my January!

Game Over: Type:Rider

It may have taken choosing an extremely short title for #PlatforMonth, but I managed to finish up Type:Rider in just over two hours!

If you’re looking for a platforming challenge, this isn’t it. If you’re looking instead for a lovely romp through the history of typography (or even if you just appreciate a clever use of letters as art and some pretty graphics), then you’re in the right place.

True confession: I didn’t push myself playing this game. I did make it a point to get all the asterisks, but I skipped over any letters I couldn’t immediately see a way to get to. I didn’t hunt down the ampersands either, but I grabbed a couple that I practically bumbled into.

I assume that one or both of these things are required to get to the “bonus chapter”, so I did not manage to unlock it. However, I actually started to struggle on the final chapter, and although I enjoyed my time playing Type:Rider, I didn’t feel an overwhelming pull to go back and try to hunt down all the collectibles.

The Tetris-style segment gave me a heck of a time!

For a budget game (full price is just under $5), I think Type:Rider was a worthwhile experience, but it probably will only appeal to a very niche audience.

Changing Direction for #platformonth

I was under the mistaken impression that I could play Ori and the Blind Forest on easy and it would be … well, easy.

Instead, I played it for several days in 10 minute increments, and quite honestly, didn’t get very far. Having been a PC gamer from a pretty young age, I never really worked on my platforming chops as a kid, and now that I’m over 40 and my reaction times aren’t what they once were, it’s really challenging to get to a place where most platforming games, even on easy, are something I can tackle without getting frustrated.

I have to believe this isn’t how MOST folks play.

Instead, I decided to redirect my efforts. Although I’d still like to participate in #platformonth with the Community Game-A-Long, I’d like something that I have a chance of completing before the month is out. So I dug through my Steam library and came up with another option.

Not only is Type:Rider totally my aesthetic, it’s also gloriously simple. Maybe too simple, because it gets reviews like this one.

A very simplistic platformer, with not much going for it. The only "challenge" to it is the controls, as the character follows inertiamore than player input.
A very simplistic platformer, with not much going for it. Sign. Me. Up.

But it’s lovely. And easy. And short. I will ride the inertia and gape at the stunning visuals, and any letters I miss on the way by will stay missed. I’m very okay with that.

Always Running Late

For someone who is meticulous about being timely IRL, I still can procrastinate for the Olympics. I feel like this post has a sort of an Inception-style thing going on for it, because it’s a short story about waiting until the absolutely last minute, and also, it’s written and posted more than a week after I intended to.

Sorry about that, folks.


It seems like it’s been forever since the information about the 15th Anniversary event in WoW came out, and I was pretty sure I was going to reactivate my WoW sub in November to take advantage of it.

Then, I saw that the event was going to be a long one, running all the way through January 7th, so there was no rush. And rush I absolutely did not. Before I knew it, November had disappeared, and then it was December and I was stuck in bed sick for over a week, and then it was the holidays, and that token just never got spent.

At the beginning of January, I again claimed I was going to get my act together and go get that Deathwing mount. Finally, on Sunday, January 5th, a mere 48ish hours before the even was over, I reactiavted my account.

And after approximately 10 months off, I had to remember how to play (thank goodness for muscle memory), scrounge up 10 item levels, and actually get through all three LFR events. Easy peasy.


Having missed at least a couple of patches, making up that iLvl was far easier than I could have hoped. One random world quest for a trinket, and several quick upgrades while opening up Najatar (not to mention the hella boost to my necklace), and I hit 380.

All in all, it was easier than I anticipated all around. Monday evening, my husband and I started queuing up for the LFRs (I know, I know!!!) – Outlands was flawless, Northrend was … less flawless (stupid dance, stupid defile, stupid old person memory for mechanics), and we only had one wipe on Cho’Gall in the Cataclysm content. The whole shebang, including figuring out how the heck one gets to The Caverns of Time these days, took about two and a half hours.

So, let’s say that this mount took approximately 5 hours of effort, and about two months of procrastination.

As it stands now, I have not logged back into WoW since then – I still have 20 days remaining on my sub – and yet, I’m still thinking about going back for real for Shadowlands.

Nerd Girl Goals – January 2020

I figure there’s no time like the a new year to mix up the format a little, right?

January 2020.
Subscription Game Service: XBox Game Pass for PC
Paid MMO Subscription: None
Community Game-A-Long: Ori & The Blind Forest - #PlatforMonth

GAMING

Play to Satisfaction

For me, saying “Play to Satisfaction” gives me explicit permission to drop a game that’s not working for me, but also to grind away for nerd points if I’m really loving something. I’m trying to make it a policy for myself that I will always play to satisfaction – no more, no less.

I decided to double up my goals this month by making sure I play something on XBox Game Pass for PC and by doing this month’s Community Game-A-Long so I decided on Ori and The Blind Forest for #PlatforMonth. Platformers really aren’t my jam, overall, but I’ve been wanting to check this one out for awhile.

Additionally, I’d like to start working on the list I set for myself for 2020 with Far Cry: Primal. It’s the shortest of the titles I’ve selected for myself, and I think that’s probably a good way to ease myself into some of these more overwhelmingly lengthy titles.

Even though I have less than a week to pull it off, I’d still like to hunker down this weekend and try to get my Deathwing mount in World of Warcraft. I’m not sure I can pull it off – I haven’t played for almost a year, and I have to get a significant boost to my iLvl before doing the event, and I only have a few days in which to do it. I guess procrastination doesn’t always pay off.

I’m really not sure what else I’m going to be poking at this month. I have a date set up to play We Were Here Together with a friend. Maybe I’ll dabble some more in Guild Wars 2. I also have a handful of new games from the Winter Sales, and the January Humble Choice releases on Friday. Anyway you look at it, I’m not short on options right now.

WATCHING

I’m actually hoping to spend less time watching television over the next few months. I’m trying to get back to working my mind, and creating things again. It’s not that I don’t think television and movies are worthwhile as media – they absolutely are – but they are also the path of least resistance.

No watching goals this month.

READING

I came in just under the wire for finishing my GoodReads challenge for 2019, and yet I still upped it for 2020. I set my goal for 36 books, which is a meager increase, but I am planning on at least half a dozen of those being non-fiction.


All in all, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. I’m painfully analytical, and I am always trying to smooth out life’s rough edges year-round. However, I do usually pick some sort of focus.

Last year, I went for monthly, to concentrate on things as they presented themselves.

This year, I’m trying to focus more on experiences, and less on things. This didn’t really solidify for me until after I decided to try out having a low gaming spending year, but it all fits together really well.

So this year, I want to play rather than collect. I want to try new things, and revisit old favorites with new friends. I might even take a few steps out of my comfort zone.