In Review – June 2020

This was absolutely a better month for gaming, although not really too great at keeping track of the days. I also spent part of the month idling games for cards to sell before the Steam Summer sale, so I don’t have my trusty “recently played” list to remind me what I actually did this month. Since I’ll be relying on memory, blog posts, and my Twitter history, I’m likely to miss something – or possibly more than one something.

Checking In on June’s Goals

First I need to ‘fess up about my return to The Elder Scrolls Online.

I didn’t.

I mean, I logged in for something like 23 days in a row to pick up my login rewards, but other than that, and actually getting my Dragonknight over to Morrowind, I didn’t play once.

On the upside, I was waiting to actually resub until I was settling in to play for real, so I didn’t waste any money there.

I played three different games for #RacingGameMonth, but only one of them actually had any kind of staying power for me. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed (and truth be told, am still enjoying) Carmageddon: Max Damage.

I’m not actually any better at it than I am any other racing game – the fun – at least for me – comes from the fact that the game just Does Not Care. In fact, you get more points from running over people and crashing into other cars than you do from hitting checkpoints and completing laps. I still lose a lot, but it’s rare I come in dead last in any given event. I’m currently about 30% through career mode, and can see myself continuing to dabble in it from time to time since events only take 15 – 20 minutes tops.

I did spend several days playing around with The Spatials: Galactology early in the month, but after the fifth colony that I lost to the evil robot faction (that showed up shortly after I researched any kind of robotics), I decided to move on.

Bundles, and Demos, and Festivals, OH MY!

On June 5th, launched a bundle to benefit the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund and Community Bail Fund. What was originally expected to be a little bundle that might raise a few thousand dollars exploded into a massive bundle with over 1,000 items included, and raised over 8 million dollars in about 10 days.

Obviously, that’s a lot to sort through, but I have already played one of the included games from start to finish.

Pendula Swing: The Complete Journey was a delightful little non-violent adventure game with some visual novel / dating sim elements. The art & music was a delight, but the big draw for this one is the story. Although I finished the game in about 4 hours, I know I missed a lot of side quests.

Then the Steam Game Festival 2020 Summer edition started with over 900 demos of new and upcoming games available to download and play. The 30 games I sampled was just over 3% of what was available! I discovered a handful of titles that went straight onto my wishlist, and a few more that I want to keep an eye on as they progress.

As that was wrapping up, yet another digital game festival launched via Utomik. The games selection was quite a bit smaller, but I did manage to check out the demo for Welcome to Beacon Pines, which seems charming, but I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about the hybridization of adventure game and card game.

Truth be told, I might be demo-ed out for awhile after all that!

Other Gaming

I put a LOT of hours into Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 again this month – bringing my chef level up to somewhere in the mid-60 range, and I’ve had to adjust my expectations. Gold medals aren’t easy to come by anymore, and I’ve already gotten most of the … reasonable achievements.

I put a couple hours into Reventure, which I found delightfully silly, but never got around to writing about. I also took another 10 turns in the Long Live the Queen blogger community succession game.

The only other game I put any kind of significant time in this month was Barn Finders. I loved the demo, bought the full game, and played about four hours before it started to get a little stale. It’s basically a giant 3D hidden object game, with almost no story, so I don’t expect jumping back in where I left off will give me any trouble.

Revisiting an Old Favorite

Not only am I finally fully caught up on Season 7 of the SPL (which is on break until the 24th of July), I actually started dabbling in playing the game again. Not much, mind you, and mostly against bots until I feel like I have my feet back under me again – it’s been about three years since I played with any regularity.

I am completely rusty, and still clinging desperately to the few gods I felt I had a really good handle on prior to my lengthy hiatus. However, with the need to social distance looking like it’s here to stay for quite a bit longer, it’s nice to have something to play with friends again.

Good Reads Challenge (34/36)

This was a much lighter reading month – I finished up the last three books in the Professor Everson Croft series, and actually picked up a paper book for a reread of an old favorite. Still, being only two books short of my goal for the year at the halfway point is nothing to sneeze at.

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