Quick Look – Pax Online 2020

I don’t think I ever realized just how many gaming expos there are until they all went online! PAX Online is just about wrapping up as I write this, but there were quite a few demos available on Steam between September 12 and September 20. Many of them I have already taken a look at during prior expos, but several were new to me.


Unpacking – Planned Release Date 2021

I’ve been following the developers of Unpacking on Twitter for quite awhile now, and this small little idea – of a game where you just take things out of boxes and put them away – has really been catching people’s imaginations. The demo felt good to play (although there were definitely items that I couldn’t immediately identify visually), and it was easy to start to make inferences about the character to whom all these items belonged. I’ll be looking to pick this one up close to release, assuming I’m comfortable with the release price.


Polter Pals – Planned Release Date Fall 2020

It wasn’t that I disliked Polter Pals – in fact, I found the whole aesthetic to be delightful. The actual meat of the game, however, felt weak to me. The idea of puzzling out murder was done far better in Death Coming (although that game is also not without its flaws). It felt too simple for my taste, and although I appreciated the social media humor, it just wasn’t compelling enough to earn a place on my wishlist.


Trash Sailors – Planned Release Date 2020

Trash Sailors was the one demo that I played that I really wished I had been able to play with someone else. As a single player game, it felt like it could be interesting, but that the true joy in the game would be from trying to coordinate with your raft-mates. The game is designed with local co-op in mind, but also takes advantage of Steam’s Remote Play Together functionality, so it might be worth a pick up if I can persuade my friends to give up an evening or two to try it out.


Neon Noodles – Available Now in Early Access ($14.99)

I don’t think I’ve ever realized just how many programming focused games there are (although Neon Noodles is more direct about being a programming game than many others). Playing the demo felt a little abrupt – the introductory levels are short and simplistic in order to introduce the player to the mechanics and the programming style used. If I’m still looking for more automation style games after playing similar titles in my queue, this is one I’d absolutely pick up.


Growbot – Planned Release Date Spring 2021

I’ve looked at this game during previous expos, but was never jazzed enough about it for it to make the cut. Growbot is super pretty, and the music in the very short demo is lovely, but there’s nothing about this puzzle adventure game that particularly excites me. Considering the sheer quantity of puzzle adventure games I already have in my backlog, it’s not anything I’ll be keeping an eye on.


Hell Architect – Planned Release Date 2020

This one was already on my wish list, but it came perilously close to coming off. I absolutely love the game play, but man, do I hate the aesthetic. The problem isn’t that the game wants you to torture people – I was expecting that, even if it is a bit gruesome. No, the thing that turned me off was the food & beverage production track; taking resources from the lavatory to produce water felt like juvenile gross-out humor that just didn’t sit right with me. It wasn’t enough to completely put me off the game, and I completed the full demo. More concerning is the planned release date this year, but with a Kickstarter beginning in November. I’m just not sure the devs on this one have it together yet.


Neurodeck: Psychological Deckbuilder – Planned Release Date End 2020

Normally, I would have skipped right over Neurodeck because I’m so not feeling deck builders anymore, but the conceit was so different I had to give it a shot. The idea of fighting phobias with coping mechanisms is very cool, but it plays just like any other deck builder (and not as well as some). For someone who is into this type of game, it might be an interesting twist on the formula, but there isn’t enough here for me to get over that hump.


Innchanted – Planned Release Date “Coming Soon”

Innchanted might be great when played with friends, and it might get more interesting later on, but the demo made me feel like I was playing a Diner Dash knockoff. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing – I’ve spent many hours with time management games. But I didn’t love the controls – a casualty of being designed to be played with controllers for local co-op – and nothing really stood out for me, as someone who’d be most likely to play this one on my own.


Industria – Planned Release Date 2021

The Industria demo feels really really early. The opening scene oozes atmosphere, but when the demo jumps you forward in the game (I assume so you can get a feel for the way shooting works), I got myself stuck in a train. I did manage to take a few shots – the shooting feels good, but I have no idea what I was supposed to be shooting at. Also, bullets have no effect on windows. I’m leaving this one on the wish list for now, but I’d definitely want to check in on it again closer to release.

Natural Instincts – Planned Release Date TBA

Natural Insticts wasn’t on my radar prior to PAX Online, but I find the concept intriguing. It’s (mostly) peaceful, with a strong lean towards being educational. The narrator’s voice is soothing, the graphics look pretty good, and I can see this being a game I might just boot up to chill out and take care of some bunnies. However, I think it also might be missing the mark a little bit – this would also be a great game for kids, but some parents might find mating and hunting behaviors to be a little too blatant for their comfort. It’s not necessarily a must have title for me, but I respect the effort at building something different.


On the one hand, I’m a little disappointed not to find a new title to get excited for, but at the same time, my wish list is already so long. I am still enjoying these online conventions, and the access to demos for all sorts of upcoming games, and I hope they continue in a post-COVID world for those of us unable to travel to conventions regularly.

XBox Game Pass for PC Leaves Beta

I’ve been an on-and-off subscriber to XBox Game Pass for PC, and yesterday (September 17th, 2020), I received an email from them that the service is finally exiting Beta.

Currently, the offer for $1 for the first month is still available, but the $4.99 per month cost is no longer unless you’re a current subscriber with a renewal date prior to October 17th. I happen to fall into that category, having re-subbed at the beginning of September to check out Spiritfarer and Hypnospace Outlaw.

Still, even at the increased monthly rate of $9.99, the XBox Game Pass for PC service still seems like a fantastic deal, especially for games you feel like you’re unlikely to revisit. I still expect that my subscription will be sporadic – there usually has to be at least a couple recently added titles that I’d like to play – but I can’t argue with the quality and quantity of games on offer.

Game Over – Spiritfarer

Spiritfarer is one of those games that I liked more and less than I expected at the same time. As a management game, it was … ok, I guess. The pacing was weird and frustrating. However, thematically and as a series of character studies, it was brilliant and heart-wrenching, and so much more powerful than I was anticipating.

You are put into the role of Stella (and her faithful companion, Daffodil), who have just being their tenure as the Spiritfarer – an entity responsible for rounding up spirits, and delivering them to the Everdoor. More importantly (and taking up the bulk of the gameplay), you are also helping them finish up whatever they need to do (or have done) before they can move on to their final rest.

I spent about 24 hours with Spiritfarer over the course of a couple of weeks, and that took me to the credits. There are things you can continue to do after the game ends, but I don’t know if I’ll go back. I only had two character stories left unfinished, and if I’m being completely honest, I actually wish the entire game was about half as long.

The art and music are lovely, the writing is excellent overall, and the characters are artfully depicted. But the mechanics of the game means that character development comes slowly as you muddle your way through fulfilling requests. For me, because some stories felt so drawn out, it lessened the impact.

That’s where the management flaws come in. Gathering resources can be tedious – traversing the map is especially slow early game, and resource nodes are limited and will need to recharge. You will need to get currency (Glims) as well as resources to perform upgrades to your ship which are needed to open up areas of the map, as well as increase the size of your ship and unlock additional blueprints. In case that’s not enough unlockables for you, you also need to collect Obols from the spirits in your care to deposit at shrines for new movement abilities, which allow you to go to previously inaccessible places.

It’s a lot, and it feels gargantuan what to prioritize because you just want to figure out where to get the one thing you need to move a quest along.

If you are comfortable with a some tedious and oh-so-slow gameplay, the emotional payoff is immense. I fully admit there were tears, and twice as many times when there were sniffles. Spiritfarer doesn’t just tug on your heartstrings – it ties them to a truck and steps on the gas.

If you are comfortable with the pervasive death theme, the slow pace of the game, and a story that’s told more through character development than plot, Spiritfarer is probably worth your time, but I hesitate to say that it would be enjoyable. There are a lot of things that this game does well, but – at least for me – fun never really entered into the equation. I was absolutely captivated and invested, but I don’t know that at any point, I was actually enjoying the gameplay.

Nerd Girl Goals – September 2020

SUBSCRIPTION GAMING

I’m planning to re-sub to XBox Game Pass for PC sometime this month, primarily to take a look at Spiritfarer and Hypnospace Outlaw (although there are still plenty of other titles on there I’d play if I found the time). Hypnospace Outlaw is the shorter of the two games, so I’m going to make that the priority this month.

Now that the release date for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has been announced, I am optimistic the 9.0 patch will drop sometime in September, and that’s when I plan to reactivate my sub. I skipped out on a lot of Battle for Azeroth, so there’s very little I’m going to do at this point to prepare for the next expac outside of leveling some alt characters so they’re ready to enter the new content. Plus it will let me see how much I enjoy playing again before I drop a bunch of money on the new expansion.

COMMUNITY GAME ALONG

Since I’m not overly familiar with much from Sonic Team, I didn’t have something prepared for this month. So when I saw the (very well reviewed) Sonic Generations on sale on Steam for a dollar back in June, I snagged a copy to dabble in this month.

I’m going into it with low expectations – I’m notoriously bad at platforming games, and I have no history with the Sonic franchise so I’m missing out on any nostalgia value.

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 feel like I’ve put a lot of stuff on my plate before even getting here this month, and I still plan on putting some more time into SMITE (both playing and finally blogging about).

Still, I like to poke through my library a bit, dust off a few titles that look interesting that I will (mostly likely) ignore all month in favor of some other shiny thing that caught my eye.

Automachef is one I’ve been looking at anyway, and I’ve been on a building kick, so I might dabble in that. Endzone: A World Apart showed up on Utomik recently, and I have been wanting to check that out. Pikuniku looks like a charming little puzzle game (and it’s short!) and Death & Taxes recent demo was raved about in a Discord I’m in, so since I have it in my itch.io library from the steal-of-the-century bundle, I might give that a whirl.

One thing I won’t be doing this month is diving into anything too lengthy, because if all goes according to plan, we’re getting new PCs this month, and I’d rather not have to worry overly much about migrating saved games. Of course, setting up a new system is also going to eat somewhat into my gaming time this month, but it’ll all be worth it in the end.

In Review – August 2020

Community Events and Projects

Yet another month where I’ve struggled with focus, and more specifically, with sitting my ass in the chair to write. Thank goodness for Blaugust Promptapalooza 2020! Although I didn’t do nearly as many prompts as some people, I posted four entries from the available prompts.

I also managed to complete (and write about) the single player story mode of Injustice: Gods Among Us for the Community Game Along. Although it didn’t get me jazzed about the fighting game genre, it was a fun way to spend a couple of evenings.

I took another set of turns for Long Live the Queen this month, and hoo boy, am I way in over my head at this point. Collectively, we’ve passed the 300 turn milestone, and I don’t expect it’ll go around too many more times, but at least we’re on track for victory. I think.

I actually put a lot of hours into SMITE this month (both on my own and with friends), but I found myself struggling to figure out how I wanted to write about the game. I started a couple of posts, but didn’t get very far. Hopefully, I’ll start to get all of that figured out in September.


I did lose most of a week this month to an expected (but suddenly rather urgent) home improvement project, so I didn’t do even a fraction of the other stuff I had planned on this month.

Other Gaming

I started out the month with Little Big Workshop, a game I had owned for awhile but hadn’t thought much about until it showed up in the August Humble Monthly. I played through the majority of the game twice, losing interest only after unlocking the final set of goals (but before completing them as they felt very anti-climatic).

shapez.io is another game I had picked up on a whim awhile back – I like the idea of logistics management games, but I usually don’t find them very compelling. shapez.io is slow – you actually need to produce a ridiculous quantity of items for each level after the first couple, but it kept me well engaged through most of its available levels, giving me a little more than 10 hours of playtime before I felt like it was starting to play more like an idle game than an active one.

I had been excited about Ruinarch since playing the demo back in June, and I picked it up as soon as it was available. It’s still in very Early Access – at this time, you cannot even save the game – but I’m enjoying it nonetheless, and look forward to seeing how it all comes together in time. I probably won’t even play through all the available scenarios before shelving it for a few months, but I have no regrets being an early supporter.

There were a couple of games I dabbled in this month that just didn’t do it for me. Book of Demons just felt dull – maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance, but nothing about it drew me back after a single short play session. Krystopia is a perfectly serviceable puzzle game with a mostly forgettable story frame, however, it relies heavily on the “connect up the circuit” type puzzles, which I don’t particularly enjoy.

Lastly, I played an embarrassingly large amount of the mobile game Match 3D on my phone. I tend to gravitate towards very repetitive, mechanically simple game experiences when I’m stressed out (or otherwise all caught up in my own head), and this absolutely fit the bill. I spent $3 to get rid of the ads in between each level, but otherwise, haven’t felt that the optional in-app purchases were even the slightest bit necessary to enjoy the game.


Indie Arena Booth 2020

I cannot resist a virtual game conference, although I tried to use some restraint this time around since the Indie Arena Booth at Gamescon was around for only a few short days.

I definitely spent the most time with To the Rescue!, but I also really liked the whole vibe of Lucifer Within Us. I also made sure to check out Gamedec since I had backed it on Kickstarter, but I spent just enough time with it to confirm that I’m far more interested in the complete experience than a short demo.

The rest of the demos I tried out didn’t really grab me, but I really am loving the resurgence of demos, even if they are only available for tiny windows of time.


All in all, August was a pretty intense month, even if I didn’t do much of … well, anything … that aligned with the goals I set at the beginning of the month. Still, I think I’d rather have a plan I don’t follow than no plan at all!

Indie Arena Booth 2020 – Lucifer Within Us Demo

I got interested in Lucifer Within Us because it intends to be a purely deductive detective game, without mini games or QTEs. You simple look around for evidence, take testimony, and find the contradictions in order to solve mysteries. Sure, it gets a little bit out there with motives based in demonic possession, but it’s completely up front with it. You play as an “digital exorcist”, but don’t let that put you off. You’re a detective, through and through.

The demo gives you access to the one case with two possible suspects, and thankfully, errs on the side of over-explaining how you do what you do. Even still (and I credit this to nothing by my super-short attention span), I got stuck near the end because a mechanic for obtaining additional evidence had slipped my mind.

If you’re not comfortable with a lot of reading, and with making a lot of mistakes, you probably want to give this one a pass. Pieces that felt like they should fit together often resulted in the suspect telling me he had no idea what I was trying to get at. I’m not sure if it’s intended to have more than one way to get to the proper conclusion, but I did find it slightly frustrating to not be able to structure the evidence in the way that made the most sense to me.

It took me about half an hour to muddle my way through the case to a successful accusation, at which point the demo ended rather abruptly (and required me restarting it to have a way to exit the game without force closing it). Lucifer Within Us is still in need of a bit of polish, but if the other cases are already pretty much finished up, I don’t see any difficulty with the team smoothing out the rough edges before an anticipated October 15, 2020 release date.

Indie Arena Booth 2020 – To the Rescue! Demo

As far as I can tell, this is the first glimpse we’ve gotten of To the Rescue: A Dog Shelter Simulator, and in fact, the demo describes itself as “an early alpha build”. I was particularly interested in trying this one out, as I backed it on Kickstarter last year. Unfortunately – at least for me – the demo was more frustrating than fun, although I can absolutely see the bones of a really delightful game here.

My struggle started in the tutorial – time is your biggest enemy here. You’re not given any time prior to opening or after closing to care for the dogs, so you have to do everything during the shelter’s open hours. As far as I can tell, nothing that you do stops the clock, which means if you want to take the time to read about the dogs in your care, you’re not actually taking care of them during that time.

I attempted two play throughs of the demo, and both times, I failed before the week was up. There just wasn’t enough time or money to take care of all the dogs being dropped off, and since I was so rushed trying to not screw everything up, I failed the adoption mini game more often than not. Between the lack of income, the cost of adding kennels for all the dogs coming in, and the fines for not properly caring for them all during my limited work window, I was bankrupt (and feeling really bad about myself) before day three.

I am really really hoping this is a tuning issue, and not a “realities of shelter life” issue, because making this game too realistic is going to make it depressing as hell to play. I realize that running an animal shelter is a whole lot more complex than just playing with puppies all day long, but if the outlook is too bleak, playing is going to be torturous.

I will be receiving a copy of To The Rescue: A Dog Shelter Simulator when it releases, due to having backed it, so I don’t have to make the hard decision of whether or not to purchase it. I am, however, really hoping that the event frequency in the early game gets brought way down to give the player time to acclimate to the things that need to be done, and that they consider auto-pausing the time when you are reading about the dogs in your care (since it seems like you can’t do anything when those windows are open anyway). The game looks delightful, but right now, is an unpleasant chore to play.


Edited 2:20pm 8-28-20: The developers are already tweaking the demo – my third try was considerably less hectic and overwhelming. Using the ribbons to move dogs between their regular kennels and the show kennels is also a game changer – this was referenced in the tutorial and I missed it! The fact that in one day the play experience is already smoother bodes well for the game, and I look forward to playing it upon release!

Promptapalooza #19 – Finishing What You Start

Blaugust Promptapalooza 2020 is this crazy year’s crazy twist on the August blogging challenge cooked up by Belghast over on Tales of the Aggronaut. Instead of writing every day, a whole bunch of us have committed to being “prompt-bearers”. Today’s prompt comes from Nogamara over at Battle Stance:

Do you “finish” games/hobbies/projects and move on or do you come back to the same things again and again?

Promptapalooza (August 18, 2020)

Finishing what I start is such a stumbling block for me that I once created a blog to try to get a handle on the issue. It lasted less than six months. I blamed the project’s failure on the fact that I returned to playing World of Warcraft, a game that is for all intents and purposes unfinishable. Really, I think it was just a meta reflection of the problem at hand.

Often the question is not whether or not I’m actually going to finish something, but why I’m not going to finish it. There are four major reasons why I might not finish something, and I’m going to touch on all of them in order from what I feel is – for me – most acceptable to most ridiculous.

New things are interesting, but sometimes, they’re only interesting for a very short period before they become tedious.

Although this does happen sometimes with video games, mostly, this is a problem I have with craft projects. I can usually power through making a scarf. I’ve even successfully finished a few baby blankets. But (I think) I’ve finally learned my lesson on full sized afghans – I’m sick of the pattern long before I’m finished, and now the goddamned thing is heavy and difficult to handle. If I get to about three quarters done before I realize I’m no longer enjoying something, the satisfaction of completion might be enough for me to push through, but even then, it’s not guaranteed.

I want to believe I am better at (insert hobby here) than I actually am.

While I logically understand that trying something that’s beyond your current skill set is how you learn something new, or improve at something, in practice, it’s often frustrating, and I usually like my leisure time to be more leisurely than that.

Something else came up, and now I’ve forgotten whatever I once knew about this. Guess I should start over. Then something else comes up. Repeat until the end of time.

I flat out refuse to even contemplate how many epic-length video games I have played the first few hours of more than three times. There’s been many, that I can tell you. It almost always is a combination of “story I have forgotten” and “mechanics I have forgotten”, but sometimes, it’s merely one or the other. I also tend to restart TV series for the same reason – I don’t remember all the details, and since I figure I liked it the first time, no reason not to start over. It happens less frequently with long books (thank god, I read fast), but the risk is there with just about any narrative with a serious time commitment.

I don’t want (thing) to be over, so I “save” the last little bit.

This is – by miles – the most irritating reason (to me) that I don’t finish something. Thankfully, it almost never stops me from finishing a game I’m enjoying, but it’s definitely prevented me from diving right into the next one of a series. But the last book or two in a series, or the last few episodes or even seasons of a television show? Yep, I do this, and it’s a huge struggle to then force myself to finish something I had – up until that point – been really really enjoying.


I admire people who (at least generally speaking) finish what they start, but it just isn’t me.

Promptapalooza #14 – Getting Excited

Blaugust Promptapalooza 2020 is this crazy year’s crazy twist on the August blogging challenge cooked up by Belghast over on Tales of the Aggronaut. Instead of writing every day, a whole bunch of us have committed to being “prompt-bearers”. I’m a little bit late on this one, but the prompt I’m writing about today comes from Heather over at Just Geeking By:

What are the things that get you excited in life?

Promptapalooza (August 13, 2020)

I don’t think of myself as a particularly excitable person – after all, if I get too excited too often, where will I get the energy to be an anxious mess about everything? But there are a few things that I know make my whole face light up and bring me a special kind of joy, and if that’s not excitement of a fashion, I don’t really know what is.

Dogs

Most specifically my dogs (that’s Dakota on the left, and Charley just chillin’ there on the right), but really, it’s just dogs in general. Despite realizing that yes, I am a dog person, a little bit later in life, I’ve rarely met a dog I didn’t immediately fall madly in love with and want to spoil rotten. I follow my groomers on Facebook because they do daily photos of all the dogs that were in that day. I follow WeRateDogs on Twitter. I stan Coconut Rice Bear in all her floof-y glory, and I can lose hours to watching pretty much any kind of dog video.

Sure, dogs can be kind of high maintenance as far as pets go, but god, they do bring multitudes of joy to my days.

Over-analysis of pop culture

More specifically, applying critical thinking to the kind of popcorn entertainment that people tend not to think too much about. There’s a certain subset of horror movies that fascinate me to no end, and I was downright giddy when I discovered there’s a text book out there with scholarly papers about exactly that type of thing.

I haven’t picked it up yet, because well, it’s a textbook and therefore ridiculously expensive, but it sits on my Amazon wishlist, waiting for me to be able to snap up a reasonably priced used copy or for me to decide that I’m okay dropping $35 for an ebook.

I’m most particularly interested in the paper by Ian Conrich on the elaborate murders from both the Saw & Final Destination franchises, which I have analyzed endlessly in my head. I am both shocked and delighted by the fact that someone else has actually thought about them even more than I have.

I feel like there’s not enough deep analysis of the fluffier parts of pop culture, outside of a few really intricate fandoms, and I’d love to find more of it.

Well-Constructed Mysteries

Regardless of the medium, nothing gets me jazzed like a plot that comes together perfectly in the end but that I also didn’t manage to figure out before the denouement. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy that feeling of when the pieces all fit and I have figured everything out myself, but it’s a million times better to be surprised, and then to realize that yes, I did have all the information and the answer is completely logical but I didn’t see it coming.

Unfortunately, as someone who’s loved mystery stories for many years, it’s a rare thing for a story to get one over on me in such a way, but when it does? I will not rest until I get someone to read, watch or play that story because it’s a damned high bar, and I appreciate creators that can fly right over it.

Giving a Perfect Gift

As much as I go into full-on Grinch mode during December, I actually like spending time trying to figure out just the right thing to gift to someone I care about. I find most actual holiday gatherings, whether family, friend groups, or workplace-related, put far too many restrictions on gifting which makes the whole thing a chore rather than a fun experience.

But when I have time to really think it over, shop around, and find or create precisely what I think the recipient will love? Giving gifts is such an incredible rush for me.

This is also why I play Steam Sale Santa twice a year – sometimes, I do just pluck things from wish lists, but there is no better feeling than giving someone their newest favorite game that they didn’t even know existed.

Long Live the Queen! Turns 281 – 290

The Project Explained

Long Live the Queen is a collaborative Civilization VI base game play through and blogging project conceived of by Naithin at Time to Loot. We have 8 players, and each player is responsible for taking 10 turns and writing about our progress. I drew fifth in the randomly generated line-up.

The Story So Far…

If you need to know how we got to where we are, just pop on over to Time to Loot, where Naithan has kept track of all of our shenanigans in a really nifty list of links.

Turns 281-290

The good news is that England is at peace, and we’re in good shape overall. Our empire has grown past my ability to fit it all into a single screenshot.

The bad news? We are VERY unpopular. If the opportunity arises to get ourselves some goodwill without any significant downside, I might take it. Just in case.

Right off the bat, Eridu requires me to decide on its next production, and I elect to go for a Commercial Hub because there is no such thing as being too rich or too beautiful, so more gold seems like a good plan.

Roosevelt approaches me asking to get some of our mercury – a luxury good – in exchange for some gold every turn. It’s not a trade I feel like we need to make, but we have tons of mercury. The money is nice, and we can spare the resource, and maybe America will hate us just a little less. Maybe.

Our troops make short work of the barbarian encampment to the south east, which I think we were just clearing out to be on the safe side (and to get some experience for our nearby troops). I promote our field cannon with Volley, and send our musketman to do some exploring of this thus-far unrevealed corner of the map.

Cleo pops in, also looking for a luxury resource we have in abundance (truffles), but she offers both a little bit of cash AND coffee, which we don’t seem to have. Deal done, lady. Let’s keep that friendship going.

We complete our research of Civil Engineering, which opens up another military policy slot. I fill that with Wars of Religion, since we have a lot of non-religious units this could benefit. I also start researching Scorched Earth, because our military strength is one of our biggest assets.

Now that both Teddy & Cleo have gotten something they wanted from us, the ridiculous demand twins try their luck. Pedro insists we need to pay him money every turn because … he wants it? I’m unimpressed with him and quickly refuse.

The next refusal comes with a little more thought – the offer isn’t great off the bat, and I also really hate sending military resources off to a country that hates us. So sorry, Gil, I’m going to have to pass on your not-so-generous-actually offer.

American founds San Francisco, down in that south eastern corner where we’d recently taken care of the barbarians. I don’t mind – pretty sure we had no real plans to settle there – but I was miffed when he got uppity about our troops being too close. They were there before your city, bub. I pull our musketman, field cannon, knight, and siege tower back towards Bradford.

We finish up Electricity, and I start us on Rocketry, with an eye towards a potential scientific victory. We get a boost to our research on Scorched Earth, and I get a few more productions online. Ur gets a granary, Sheffield gets a builder, and Birmingham gets a bank. I send a couple envoys towards Yerevan, with an eye towards maxing out our bonus with them, even though faith doesn’t seem to be too high on our priority list at the moment.

I wrap up my reign with one final grand gesture. I purchase a tile near Bristol and start work on The Colossus. Do we need it? Probably not. But I needed to do something on brand during my turns, and while it’s not a boat, it’s definitely boat-adjacent. The extra gold per turn and trade route aren’t too shabby either.


Since I actually remembered to screenshot it this time, here’s a peek into my process of documenting what happens on a per turn basis in case I can’t immediately get it all written up. As you may notice, I take a little liberty with exactly the order of things sometimes when it makes for better flow.


I have passed the torch (and the save file) on to UnwiseOwl to take us through to turn 300!