Game Over – Alekon

I really think there should be a word for when you are simultaneously surprised and also not surprised by something. Because that’s absolutely how I’m feeling about blowing through Alekon in a couple of days. It’s not that I expected it to have more content, but more that I didn’t expect that I was going to be starting it up every chance I got until I saw the credits roll.

Borrowing heavily from – and throwing some occasional good natured shade at – the Pokemon Snap games, you are tasked with taking photographs of critters, which in the Alekon-universe are called Fictions, in a variety of poses. Initially, you are tied to a path, where you have full range to look around, but cannot move or control the speed at which you move. Capturing good photos will award you with Creativity, which is necessary to open additional islands where you will find more Fictions to photograph.

That part of the game play loop was pretty much what I was expecting, and what I was looking for. One of the things I did really enjoy that I wasn’t expecting was that, once you do what you need to in order to open three different paths on an island, and you traverse each one at least once, you are given the option to explore the island in its entirety in Wander mode. This is exactly what it sounds like – you have full ability to move around everywhere, with no time limits or limits on how many photos you can take. When you want to return to the hub world, you just click on any of the many portals scattered about.

Upon returning to the hub world, your photos are automatically sorted, and the best one of each Fiction in each individual pose is judged, and the points added to your Creativity total. After judging, you can click on any greyed out outline on the wall to get hints for what other poses you haven’t captured on film yet.

Additionally, once you photograph a Fiction for the first time, a copy of that creature appears in the hub world, and every single one of them will – eventually – have a minigame for you to play to obtain even more Creativity. The minigames come in a lot of different styles, and there were some that I tried once and said “Oh, no, no thank you” and moved on. It’s important to talk to the Fictions, though, even if you’re not really interested in the mini-games, because some of them do grant you additional abilities that you will need to complete puzzle sections throughout the game.

I completed the game without capturing every available pose, or completing every available minigame. In fact, I don’t even think I discovered every single Fiction. The win condition of Alekon definitely gives you some wiggle room to prevent the game from becoming overly grindy or frustrating. You can, however, finish up the game and then return to the hub world and resume playing mini-games and taking pictures, even though the game does its darnedest to make you think that you cannot.

The story was serviceable for a game that is basically about playing with a camera and meeting fantasy creatures & helping them with their problems. A couple of times I got stuck trying to figure out how to open a path, complete a mini-game, or solve an environmental puzzle, and since the game is so recent, there aren’t any real guides out there yet. However, stepping away for a bit and coming at it with fresh eyes always did the trick for me.

While I might not have minded another island or two to explore, I can also appreciate that Alekon didn’t overstay its welcome, and I definitely left more than a few things unfinished, so there’s potential for a bit more play time without replaying the game in its entirety. I spent just under 6 hours with the game, and almost every single minute I was delighted by the art, the music, the game play and the character design. It really is just a lovely chill little game, and I honestly think I might have been more satisfied overall with my experience playing Alekon than I did with Pokemon Snap.

Why I’m Still (Sort Of) Playing World of Warcraft

I am not posting this to talk about the lawsuit that the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has brought against Activision Blizzard, nor about my personal reaction to the news (spoliers: it wasn’t shock). There’s very little that folks more eloquent and less jaded than I am haven’t already said much better. I considered letting my subscription lapse again in light of the news, and then I realized I was already considering letting my subscription lapse for totally unrelated reasons.

In the end, I made the decision primarily on the strength of one thing only, and it’s not a thing that Blizzard Activision can be given any credit for whatsoever – what I’m talking about of course, is the strength and longevity of our guild.

Let’s rewind a minute: Back in Warlords of Draenor, there was a lot of burnout in our guild, including almost all of our active officers at the time. It occurred to me that maybe, if we did a little bit of research, we could find another place where we could still hang out together, but enjoy the atmosphere a little more.

I did the research. I made polls. I made spreadsheets. We set up a Google calendar, and scheduled nights to try out pretty much everything the market had on offer, free or paid. We went on this way for weeks, but nothing stuck.

And although a few folks have successfully moved on for good, I think most of us keep getting drawn back in because of what we have built, not what Blizzard built for us.

For me, the 9.1 content was … fine, I guess? When I first renewed my subscription, I was super enthusiastic to dive into the new story & areas, unlock flying, get back in Torghast, and check out the new raid. For the first couple of weeks, I did just that, logging in every day, keeping up with my renown, and it felt really comfortable to be back.

Then, right before I unlocked flying, I hurt my hand. I couldn’t do dailies, I certainly couldn’t do anything more challenging than that. I missed our first raid night, and decided to switch mains for the tier to fill a hole in our raid composition. Once I was finally feeling up to playing again, I realized I had lost quite a bit of that new patch enthusiasm, and have since been logging on sporadically at best, to the point where I’m starting to feel bad about how far I’m falling behind.

In fact, the way I’m currently playing is a way I never let myself play in the past, and I think a big part of the uncertainty I’ve been feeling has more to do with the idea that I’m wasting money on something I’m not extracting adequate value from. I normally pay for my subscription by buying tokens with gold, but I’m no longer Azerothian-rich, so I’m actually looking at a cash investment for the first time in years.

I currently have 14 days left on my subscription, and I haven’t actually logged in since our last raid night on Wednesday, and yet, I’m still strongly leaning towards renewing. I don’t see my subscription as an investment in the game, but rather, an investment in the friendships I’ve formed over the past decade. Even if I am just logging on for raids, it’s not a waste.

Bonus Blaugust prompt idea: Do you sometimes play games you’re not actually that excited about because you’re playing with friends?

Have You Ever…

This week has been a rough one for me, anxiety-wise, so it’s made it awfully difficult to focus on much of anything, really. Sometimes, when the creative juices just aren’t flowing, it’s nice to have a list of questions to answer and just see where that takes you. So, without further fanfare…

Have I Ever…

Rage quit a game?

I’m sure that I have, but I cannot for the life of me recall any super-memorable bounce off. I do play a lot of puzzle games where I might just shut it down in frustration if I can’t figure something out and come back to it later on. I’m sure I have, from time to time, come up against a mechanic that just sucks the fun out of everything else and uninstalled. I’ve definitely quietly logged off of a multiplayer game from time to time after a particularly bad experience. I guess it really depends on what your definition of “rage quit” is – I tend to think of it as being overly dramatic, and if I have had one (or more) of those moments, I’ve blocked them from my memory.

Earned all achievements in a game?

Technically yes, meaningfully no.

Steam actually has this tab in your games list for “Perfect Games” which translates to games in which you have achieved 100% completion. I was actually surprised to see 10 titles in my perfect games list.

However, this is a bit misleading, since one of the listings is for something that isn’t even a game, and just about every other game on the list is one where achievements are just passed out for hitting milestones for playing through the game. Hence, the technically yes.

But it seems like there is always at least one achievement that is just beyond absurd, or frustratingly difficult, so I as much as I enjoy unlocking achievements, I’ve mostly given up on ever getting 100% completions. It’s just not worth it to me.

Pulled an all-nighter gaming?

This is another one I feel like I must have done, but I have no concrete memory of. If I have (and I believe that I have), it was definitely right after a World of Warcraft expansion drop trying to get myself up to max level.

I have also, most definitely, accidentally played a game I was really enjoying until the sun came up.

Livestreamed your gaming?

This is another one I can say yes to, but not meaningfully. I have definitely streamed, and I definitely had absolutely no one watching. Which is how I came to discover after playing a game on Twitch for a couple hours that I had no game sounds on for the entire time.

Honestly, streaming just isn’t for me. I understand the appeal, but I’m just not that social – I don’t even play a lot of multiplayer games without some serious arm-twisting from my friends. When I’m playing, I just want to play and enjoy, I don’t want to have to worry about chatting and being entertaining. Also, a webcam is not something I’m ever going to have, so even if I wanted to push myself, it’s unlikely I’d ever see any real success.

So if it’s not fun, and it’s not profitable, I just don’t see any point in it. Which is not to say I won’t pop something on a Discord stream if someone wants to peek at what I’m playing, but as far as any public streaming platform, I have no intention to be anything other than a viewer.

Pre-ordered a game?

If we’re taking Kickstarter out of the equation (which I’m assuming we are), this is something I’ve only done a handful of times, and mostly for games that I felt were pretty safe bets. The most recent title I pre-ordered was New Pokemon Snap, and the last game I pre-ordered that I had to pick up in a store was Skyrim.

I’m not opposed to pre-ordering, but honestly? I’m mostly a patient gamer these days, and there just isn’t any reason for it. Since I hardly use consoles at all, everything is digital, and it’s not like they’re going to run out if I wait.

Bought a game and never played it?

I don’t think it’d be an exaggeration to say I’ve done this hundreds of times, especially if you count games that come as part of a bundle. Sure, I might play the game that convinced me to buy the bundle, but I tend to activate a lot of other keys and then immediately forget they exist. Sometimes, the sheer mass of my unplayed games bothers me a little, but it also let’s me do fun things like pick through my library and find interesting titles I didn’t realize I already owned.

Been jump scared by a horror game?

Yes. And by an RPG. And by a FPS. And by just about any kind of game that could potentially have something startling happen. Really, I’m kind of a chicken.

Had a set squad for a specific game?

Well, the core of my World of Warcraft guild has been together for over 10 years now, if that counts. There was also a group of five of us who worked our way through the dungeon challenge modes during Mists of Pandaria.

I also had a regular five man group that played Conquest in SMITE many moons ago, and sometimes we’d also do some pretty wacky stuff.

Honestly, if I’m playing multiplayer at all, I’m either treating as 100% a single player game, or I have set days and times I play with friends. I’m not really into that PuG-life.

Bought a game on multiple platforms?

Being mainly a PC gamer, this isn’t a thing that comes up too often, but I did pick up a couple games for the Switch that I already owned on Steam because I thought I’d really enjoy them on a handheld.

I have, however, re-bought games for different launchers, which is probably worse.

Got a console for the games specifically?

I think this one I can actually say no to, since the only consoles I have personally owned, someone else either talked me into or handed it to me. However, once I have a console, I do tend to poke around and see if there are any console exclusives I really want to play, but for the most part, PC gaming is really what I do, and everything else is just extra.

Bonus Blaugust prompt idea: Um, there are questions up there. You too can answer them!

Cozy is the New Black: The Surge in Popularity of Chill Gaming

I can’t remember which of my Twitter friends was the first one to start talking about it, but around the beginning of June somebody discovered that there was a new MMO coming to town. Palia is being described as a community simulator rather than a role-playing game (the type of game that usually comes to mind when you’re talking about massively multiplayer online experiences). The game is currently in very limited pre-alpha testing, but the official Discord currently has more than 30,000 members, so obviously, the interest for this type of game is definitely there, and it’s not a small demographic!

A lot of people might point to Stardew Valley as being the beginning of the renaissance of cozy PC gaming going mainstream. The breakaway 2016 hit has sold over 10 million copies across multiple platforms over the past five years, and that’s pretty damn significant for an indie game by a solo developer. I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of other cozy options, outside of the Sims series, that can compare to those sort of numbers (although I admit, I haven’t fully committed to the research so I’m just guessing here).

Of course, there have been tons of life sims focused on farming and crafting released since then, and there are still even more muddling their way through early access and Kickstarters, some of which only have the vaguest of release dates. But it wasn’t until the past year or so, after the runaway popularity of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, which released around the same time as the start of Covid-related lockdowns, that I’ve been truly aware of just how much the cozy gaming category has been exploding.

Wholesome Direct 2021 featured 75 titles in one very short hour, and while I really enjoyed the variety of games they showcased, I almost feel like having the show be so short and cover so many titles did the majority of the games a disservice. Of course, I still pumped up my wish list with games that focus on mundane gameplay over heroism. Games in which you fish, farm, cook, tend to animals, and take oh-so-many photographs. Games in which you write letters, paint pictures, and explore interesting worlds. Games that don’t ask you to kill anything at all.

This feels like the wind is changing, and I’m not sure if there’s any single reason we can point to. It seems like every few years, a new genre pops up as the Next Big Thing, and if the Next Big Thing (or the Now Big Thing) is cozy gaming, I am so completely here for it.

Bonus Blaugust prompt ideas: Why do you think so many cozy games are being worked on and released? Do you think AAA game publishers are going to jump on this bandwgon? Is this a genre of gaming you enjoy? Do you have a favorite cozy game? Do you remember the first cozy game you fell in love with? Are there any cozy games you’ve backed on Kickstarter, or that you’re eagerly anticipating the release of?

Quick Look – Haven Park

Actually playing a game shortly after I purchase it is a new and interesting thing for me! Haven Park released on August 5th, I added it to my library on August 9th, and loaded it up to play the very same day. This has nothing to do with the game itself, however, it is certainly progress for me, and I felt it was worth mentioning.

I’ve really been kind of obsessed with cozy games as of late, and Haven Park absolutely fits the bill. You play as Flint, a wee duckling, who wants to help out his grandmother get their campground back into shape. It’s a nice, peaceful cycle of exploring, collecting resources, building amenities, and talking with the campers who arrive.

There are a handful of quests you will stumble across, but they don’t feel like busy work – they’re just things you would probably want to do anyway as you fix up the park. In fact, I found that actually finding adequate resources to build up the camp sites the most grindy part of the game – everything else feels well-paced and very natural. I’m currently about an hour and a half into the game, and I have yet to even find all the campsites.

As you explore, you gain experience, and as you gain experience, you level up and are allocated points to spend in skills that make maintaining and improving the park easier. The quick interactions with your guests remind me of talking with your neighbors in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but unlike in that game, progression is not gated by real time, and you could easily complete Haven Park in one long play session if you were so inclined.

So far, I’m finding it simple but pleasant, a fun story-lite place to wander around and tidy up. It’s satisfying, but there’s no risk of it ever becoming overwhelming or stressful, and would probably be a delight to play alongside a young child. Reviewers on Steam have also compared it to A Short Hike, a game I haven’t gotten around to playing yet myself.

If you’re looking for a long game, a difficult game, or a deep game, probably give this one a pass – there’s only about 3-4 hours of content here on a first play through, even if you are the type to aim for 100% achievements. Haven Park isn’t a lot, but what it is is pretty nice.

Origin of a Gamer – Getting to Know You Week

Much thanks to for giving me the inspiration for this post!

I am now Of A Certain Age, and if I’m being really honest, I don’t entirely remember the order of things from my childhood. I remember my uncle, who lived with my grandparents at the time, having an ColecoVision, which according to Google could have been as early as 1982. I remember many, many hours spent playing games on an Atari 2600, which was originally release a few months before I was born, and was, in fact, the majority of the console gaming that I did prior to being an adult. I definitely cut my gamer-baby-teeth on Space Invaders, Megamania, Pitfall, and yes, even E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. But I don’t think any of those were what really got me into gaming.

I didn’t really fall in love with video games until I spent some serious time with computer games. I vaguely remember having some sort of computer at home, with a few text-only video games accessed via cassette tape, but I don’t really have any strong memories of what exactly I played like that, or where that machine ever ended up. No, the first video games I remember getting really invested in, I wasn’t even playing.

From the time I started school until we moved after I finished fourth grade, I spent most of my afternoons with my grandparents and my uncle on my mother’s side. If I do the math (and boy, do I hate doing the math), in 1986, I would have been nine. My uncle, who I realize now must have had the patience of a saint, would have been around 25. I don’t know that Might & Magic was the very first game I watched him play for hours on end, but it’s the first one I remember that I can put a name to.

I can only imagine I asked a bajillion stupid questions, as children tend to do, and he was always great about talking me through whatever I didn’t understand. I remember using the code-wheel and game manuals to help him get through the onerous copy-protection. And I remember being absolutely entranced in this oh-so-pretty fantasy world he kept in a small box on his desk.

It wasn’t until I was in my teens that we had a computer at home that I had regular access to, and I didn’t have a machine of my own until I was in college, but playing games on PC always seemed like the “right” way to play. This is probably why I am, to this day, crazy clumsy with a controller, and really awful at platformers. I would occasionally play console games when I was at a friend’s house, but the games I really enjoy were all better suited to mouse and keyboard. In fact, some of those games I really fell in love with in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I still go back and play to this day. The very first game I ever purchased on Steam was a copy of a game I played to death when it came out in 2003.

Sometimes, I feel like this is a thing I probably should have grown out of by now, but mostly, I have a deep appreciation of the evolution of gaming just from having seen it grow as I have also grown. I cannot even imagine how different my life would have been if I hadn’t had my uncle to introduce me to this absolutely fascinating world.

Bonus Blaugust prompt idea: You all don’t need me for this one, do you?

Recent Acquisitions – In Which Krikket Goes on a (Smol) Shopping Spree

This is kind of an awkward post to be making so soon after talking about how my experiment last year made me more conscientious about how I spend money on gaming, but the past few weeks have been a lot, and arguing with myself about whether or not I actually need some random games just isn’t a big enough deal to be sweating right now. Which has led to a bit of a spending spree the past couple of days.

So what did I buy?

Fanatical’s Guardian Bundle 3 – $5.99

This one I primarily picked up for Afterparty, which has been on my wishlist for quite a while now, but I figured since I was there, I’d also activate a few other keys for games that looked moderately interesting. Lately I’ve been drawn more and more to games that can be completed in just a couple of play sessions, but I rarely want to pay full price. Spending $6 on this one felt pretty good, even if I never play anything else from the bundle.

Another short, low-pressure title that caught my eye was Haven Park, which just released on August 5th. I’m not sure exactly what made this appealing enough to grab immediately – normally this type of game would be one I’d wait for a deep discount on. I’ve played a little bit of it so far, and other than really struggling with making my way around the map, I’m really liking the vibe of it and the art style.

I played the demo of Alekon awhile back, and really liked the vibe of it, but I wanted to wait a bit after release for the reviews to come in. The reviews are pretty good thus far, and I do sort of have a Pokemon Snap-sized hole that needed to be filled up. If this sounds like your jam, there’s still a demo available!

Atrio: The Dark Wild was one of my favorite games from the recent Steam Next Fest back in June that I hadn’t already backed on kickstarter. It just released into Early Access today, and I knew this was one I wanted to play sooner rather than later, so I scooped it up on day one. I have a few things I want to wrap up before I dive in, but I expect I’ll likely be spending some time with this one before the end of August, which means this was actually a good purchase for me – in other words, one that I won’t just file away and forget all about.

Bonus Blaugust prompt idea: What games have you recently picked up? Do you play games fairly close to when you purchase them, or are you more likely to be tempted by sales or bundles even if you know you won’t get around to something for awhile? What is your decision-making process (if any) that goes into determining whether you purchase a game soon after release, or if you wait on it?

Nerding IRL – Chopped Challenge

Since subscribing to Discovery+, we’ve found quite a few shows that are pretty fantastic to just have as background noise in the house. There are oodles of seasons, and they’re fun to watch, even a few minutes at a time. Recently, our background show of choice has been Chopped. Personally, I’m not much for cooking, but I love tumbling ideas around of what could be made out of the mystery ingredients.

However, we have a friend who loves to cook, feed people, and play with new ingredients and flavor combinations. When he told me he would love to try making a meal Chopped-style, an idea was born, and I’ve spent more time than I care to admit brainstorming some fun “baskets”. This past Saturday, we finally got together and had a three-course Chopped-style meal together.

We worked out all the details and some rule revisions ahead of time. We decided to set “goal” times rather than firm times, and made those goal times a little longer than what the show allows for. We also tacked on a few extra minutes at the beginning for tasting and planning, and allowed for a couple of questions regarding the ingredients to be answered by anyone not cooking. Obviously, none of us are professional chefs, so Google was our friend in a couple instances.

Since a home kitchen isn’t going to have all the ingredients (or gadgets) you see in a cooking show’s pantry, I tried to make sure that a fairly complete dish could be made from each dish with just adding some basic staples & spices.

For me personally, there were two ingredients in the very first basket I’ve never eaten! I’m not a very adventurous eater, and I’m probably a less adventurous cook. But the dish we got was super tasty. The pork rinds got crushed up and dusted over the duck wing, the candy was turned into a sauce with black pepper and garlic that went on both the duck wing and over the lotus root. The lotus root was pan fried in chili oil and was a great vehicle for all those lovely flavors.

I honestly don’t know what I would have done with this collection of ingredients, but I never would have come up with this dish, and it was so damn good. He took the meat out of the patties and tossed the breading, and cooked that up with onions, lion’s mane mushrooms and some of the hominy. The chocolate, cactus pear juice, and more of the hominy went into an absolutely delicious sauce, and he served the whole thing in a big bowl over some white rice.

In the dessert round, there was another stroke of genius I hadn’t anticipated. He crumbled up the toaster pastries, mixed them with some butter, and put the whole thing in the over to bake like a cookie. Over there was a layer of apple butter and the melted cheese, The prosciutto was fried up in a pan, and the mangos were cooked in sugar and a little water, and then put on the top. Everything worked together, and not only did we all clean our plates, but we also kept going back for bits of that toaster pastry cookies until it was all gone.

Overall, we all felt like the night was a huge success. My friend rated the difficulty of the ingredients provided as being “just right” – challenging without feeling overwhelming, and everyone walked away happy and with full bellies. We’re considering doing this as a monthly event going forward.

Bonus Blaugust prompt idea: Do you have any regular bit of nerdery you get together with friends to do? Alternatively, if you were to take any game show or competition show and turn it into a real life event, what would you choose and why?

Quick Look – Ticket to Earth (#SciFiGameMonth)

Look, I know this isn’t the game I picked out to play for #SciFiGameMonth, but it’s super-duper-extra SciFi, so even though I still intend to sit down with Eliza sometime before the month is out, I’m counting this one anyway. Ticket to Earth is a turn-based RPG-lite with a tile matching mechanic that takes place on a non-earth planet in a strange dystopian world, with a fun comic book-inspired art style. That’s a mouthful, I know, but the way it all comes together, is so strange, and yet, at least for me, so enjoyable.

Bear with me here, because this is going to sound like a lot, but the game really does ease you into it gently. Each turn, you get two actions. The first type of action is movement, where you choose a color and can continue moving as long as there is another adjacent tile of the same color to move to – diagonals count. You cannot, however, backtrack. This not only moves you around the board, getting you closer to or further from enemies, it also adds damage to your basic attack, up to a cap determined by your equipped weapon, as well as charges up a special abilities based on the color tiles you’re transversing. The second type of action is well, an action, whether it be a basic attack, a special attack, or a healing or cleansing ability. There are other types of special abilities, for example abilities that provide buffs or debuffs or that change the color of nearby tiles, that do not use up one of your actions, and can be used at any point when they are charged. Each scenario will have a primary objective, and three bonus objectives. Initially, you start with one controllable character, but as you progress through the story, you will add more characters to your party, and be able to take more than one into battle with you.

Between encounters, there’s actually quite a bit you can do, again, doled out slowly through story-based unlocks. You can check the communications log, for information on what’s going on with characters you’ve met so far. You can upgrade or change abilities, purchase new weapons, forge gemstones and unlock talents, provided you have the adequate related currency to do so. The story is fed to you slowly between conflicts, and for me, feels just about right – you’re not getting bogged down in it, and since there is no voice acting, you can proceed through story beats as quickly as you can read; quicker, in fact, if you decide you don’t care about the story at all. Optional missions will pop up on the map from time to time, which are battles that aren’t required for story progression, but that you can take on in order to help your team get more powerful. Since I’m playing on the easier difficulty, I’ve mostly skipped over these thus far.

I’m about, and working on the second episode of the story. My party has grown to three people, which means there’s one playable character I haven’t met yet, since four character slots are shown. Individual battles aren’t overly long, so I’ve been playing this for an “in between” game when I only have a short period of time available. It’s not quite a coffee break game, but it’s also not unreasonable to play in increments of 30 minutes or less. I would say the weakest aspect of the game is probably the writing – so far, the dialogue ranges from fine to ridiculous, and the story is passable, but not memorable. If you’re not a fan of the combat style, there’s not really any good reason to push through playing this one.

Ticket to Earth was originally released in an episodic format, but all chapters are out now, so it’s a complete game, with an estimated play time of about 18 hours. Assuming that’s accurate, I’m not quite a quarter of the way through. The $15 price point seems pretty spot on, and the $3 I paid for it during this last Summer Sale was a steal.

Blog Features: What *Is* Working For Me

My last post talked about some of the things I’ve tried out on the blog that, for one reason or another, I stopped doing. In this one, I’d like to look at some of the stuff that I’m using to create structure without feeling constrained. These features have been pretty regular in one way or another for a couple of years now, and although my readers may disagree, I feel like they’re beneficial, either for the sake organization or for the content that comes out of them.

Quick Look and Game Over

My Quick Look and Game Over posts are basically the meat of this blog! Sure, I talk about my other hobbies from time to time, but mostly, I’m here to talk about games. I do some MMO content, but most of the games I play aren’t meant to be played forever. When I first start something, regardless of if I’m going to continue it or not, I like to give it a Quick Look, in which I’ll talk a little about what kind of game it is, my first impressions, and usually, whether or not I plan to continue playing.

Once I feel like I’m “done” with a game, I might write up a Game Over, although that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve gotten to see the credits. These posts are usually written when I’ve hit my satisfaction threshold, and I really feel like I’ve spent enough time with it to give a real review.

Nerd Girl Goals and In Review

Nerd Girl Goals and In Review are my monthly bookend posts, where I look at what I plan to do in any given month, and then what I actually got done. Sometimes, they even resemble one another! Even on my worst months as far as actually writing blog posts are concerned, I don’t think I have yet to miss either of these two.

Community Game-Along

Although I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled across CapsuleJay’s Community Game-Along, I’ve been at least attempting to participate every month since January 2020. I say attempting because some of the themes just really haven’t aligned with the kinds of things I usually play. Sure, it feels a little awkward sometimes, because I think I might be the only regular participant for whom blogging is my primary medium – most of the gamers seem to be more focused on streaming, video, and podcasts.

I’m keeping up with it despite frequently feeling a little bit adrift because it’s both encouraging me to play games I might never have gotten around to otherwise, and because it gives me at least one thing I feel like I need to do in the sphere of gaming each and every month.

Steam Sale Analysis

This is probably my least successful regular feature, but full disclosure? I do this one for me. I like to have a record of what I was considering, what I bought, and how much I spent. I absolutely treat the two major sales (Summer and Winter) as their own games, and even when they’re not that exciting, I still have a good time. I love looking for deals, finding hidden gems, and creeping on my friends list to see what everyone else is buying.

As much as I love the interaction that tends to go a little crazy around Blaugust every year, there’s 11 other months every year, and during those? I realize I’m writing this more for me than for any potential audience. It’s great to get feedback and spark discussions, but I realized pretty early on that I would probably keep doing this if no one else ever read another word. I love having a record of what I’ve played, what I passed on, what upcoming titles sparked my interest, and what I thought about all things nerdy. I don’t intend for Nerd Girl Thoughts to ever be profitable, or even popular, and for me, that’s super freeing.

I would absolutely considering adding more regular features, if I felt they’d be enjoyable or otherwise beneficial.

Bonus Blaugust prompt idea: What types of blog posts do you feel are integral to the experience of your blog? What are you favorite posts to write? Are you writing for an audience, and if so, who do you feel that audience is? How does your blogging benefit you (or how would you like to see it benefit you in the future)? Is blogging your only / preferred medium of content creation, or is your blog part of a larger package?