In Review – March 2020

We’re now in our third week of semi-voluntary social isolation – I say semi-voluntary because I was ALL ABOUT THIS before it was pretty much state-mandated.

I have learned that yes, I am among the most introverted introverts, and you would think that would have lead to an increased amount of time spent gaming but instead it’s been sort of unruly chaos as I try to deal with two energetic pups and a decidedly extroverted husband.

Low Spend 2020

Did I mention unruly chaos? Like everything else in my life, this has been kind of beaten and bruised by the inability to do things with others in any way other than virtually.

So there was a purchase of Tabletop Simulator times two. I’d be lying if I said I was unlikely to play around with it, but mostly, it was for the D&D game that went virtual. We also took advantage of the bundle containing Citadel: Forged With Fire for less than $2 on the off-chance we could get a couple evening’s fun out of it.

I also managed to convince myself that it would be A-OK to spend a few dollars on the Origin Pack for Warframe, since I wasn’t paying for an MMO subscription or a game subscription service this month. Lastly (and within the parameters of last month’s revision), I picked up Photographs for about a buck for my phone, only to discover that I’m very very bad at that sort of puzzle.

All in all, not what I’d call a raging success, however, I am reconsidering that I should revise again to say “paid MMO subscription or equivalent in-game purchasing”. This is harder than I thought it would be, but not for the reasons I originally expected.

The Nope List

Destiny 2: I actually really enjoyed the intro to this one, but as soon as I ended up in some random scenario with strangers, I was out. Unfair? Perhaps, but I just wasn’t inclined to figure it out.

Iris and the Giant: I wanted to like this game, but the rogue-like aspect of it really killed it for me. There’s only so far you can progress on limited turns, and I wasn’t patient enough to slowly grow my power.

Community Game-A-Long – #MitsudaMarch

Unfortunately, my Screen Time app doesn’t save far enough back for me to have tracked my time in game since I mostly played this over the first week or so of the month, but I would guess I easily got somewhere between 12 and 15 hours out of it – and that’s without coming anywhere close to finishing.

That said, the comparative ramp up in difficulty in Chapter 10 required a lot of grind leveling alternate characters, and it kind of turned me off. I stubbornly kept on until I managed to beat that boss, but I wasn’t particularly enthused to continue after that point.

I’m not saying I’ll never ever go back, but I’m also perfectly satisfied with the time I spent with it.

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

I hit a big zero in this category this month. I played a couple hours of Far Cry: Primal, and then … forgot about it, and have yet to start on anything else.

Other Gaming

There’s not a lot else to say here. The majority of my gaming time in the later 2/3 of March went into Warframe.

Sure, some of that time was spent AFK or with just the launcher open, but it’s been a hot minute since I put that kind of time into any single game. Over a couple of weeks, I got a few warframes built, and got up to sixth mastery rank. Mostly, I ran around and destroyed stuff. Lots of stuff. It gave me an opportunity to spend some time gaming with my husband and friends, and although I don’t think it is going to have too much more staying power for me, I’m glad I gave it a whirl.

I also dabbled in some demos during Steam Game Festival.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time on any of them, but I did confirm that both Quench and Spiritfarer absolutely have a place on my wishlist – not like that’s an exclusive club!


Basically for the me, the first week of March was pretty normal, and everything after that was a smattering of this and that with a big ol’ Warframe binge in the middle. I didn’t even pick up a book. I watched a lot of completely unmemorable television. I struggled with pretty much everything.

But #Blapril2020 has already started, and this is – at least for the foreseeable future – the new normal. I’m optimistic that things will start to smooth out now.

In Review – February 2020

Low Spend 2020

Despite spending a couple of dollars mindlessly, I didn’t just throw in the towel. However, it did lead to me thinking more about what I’m trying to accomplish, and making a small revision to the plan.

Sure, some of it is about spending less money, but mostly, it’s about spending less money on things I’m just not using. There’s a huge difference with how I treat PC games and how I treat mobile games. When I’m looking for something new for my phone or tablet, I usually select something that’s a free download, and if I really like it, then I’ll spend money on it, either by purchasing it outright, purchasing a “remove ads” option, or spending an equivalent amount on microtransactions that I would consider paying for a game.

As I see it, I only make mobile purchases when I’ve already played and enjoyed a game, and I’d like to continue doing so. Since my health often keeps me from being upright at my computer for long periods of time, and let’s be fair – mobile games are frequently not endlessly replayable, I’m going to allot myself a $10 per month budget that I can only spend on tablet or phone games.

Otherwise, though, it wasn’t a bad month for testing my resolve. When a few things showed up that I wanted in a Fanatical Bundle, I managed to trade some old keys for them instead of buying the bundle, and getting MORE keys I wasn’t going to use.

Although the All Star Bundle #12 was a fantastic value, I only wanted The Testament of Sherlock Holmes and Tales from Candlekeep from it.

Most of the temptations this month came more from a desire to buy than a desire to own, but a few things did get added to the wishlist, two of which aren’t even out yet.

For the second month in a row, I didn’t use my provision for a paid MMO subscription, and I also didn’t renew my XBox Game Pass this month, so as far as non-mobile gaming was concerned, I played games I owned, or that were available with my (gifted to me) Utomik sub.

The Nope List

Dark Asylum: Mystery Adventure – Tried it out on Utomik, and it felt very very much like a mobile game with timers and lives and that’s just not what I want in a hidden object game at all.

Tiny Force Deluxe – I didn’t hate it. I mean, it’s fun to toss your little guys into the enemy little guys and watch them all bounce all over the place. But I didn’t find it particularly engaging either.

Community Game Along – #DatingSiMonth

I really thought I’d enjoy this one more than I did, but I did manage to complete it. I also did a full write up here.

I feel like my biggest complaint – the need to replay to get the whole story – is a “feature” of the genre, and not specific to Purrfect Date. However for someone like me, who likes my stories to wrap up tidily in the end, it made me hesitant to invest my time in other dating sims. I often struggle with completing a game once, never mind multiple times.

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

On that note, I’m starting to worry that this was WAY over-ambitious of me. Of course, that’s also the reason I wanted to do this – it’s so hard for me to set aside dozens to hundreds of hours to play a game, no matter how awesome it might be.

I didn’t stop playing Far Cry: Primal because I wasn’t enjoying it. But once I took a week or so off, it seemed less pressing to go back to it. There’s always other things I want to check out.

After a whopping six-week hiatus, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t feel an overwhelming need to restart the whole game. Sure, I forgot almost all of the key binds for the game, but otherwise, I didn’t find it particularly hard to get back into.

I am, however, finding all the map markers a little bit overwhelming. I’ve decided for the time being to focus primarily on capturing outposts and bonfires, and doing major quests when I stumble across them. I already know that I’m not going to want to be bothered with finding all the collectibles and such.

Even if I put aside some time tonight to play, and I can get a decent session in without the game crashing, I might get 6 hours in for February.

Other PC Gaming

Cryofall kept me logging in for several days, but mostly, I played things that were super casual.

I somehow managed to play the third Snark Busters game first, and I found it rather enjoyable. Going back to the first in the series was a little jarring, and if I’m totally honest, a whole lot less fun. They’re hidden object / adventure game hybrids with utterly forgettable stories and a neat quirk with mirrors.

Pickers is something I’d dabbled in before, but never finished. I sat down one evening and just played through the 30 day campaign and really enjoyed it. It’s something I might play again down the line – there’s no real story to it other than “find the good stuff & make the money”, but it was a fun little challenge, and a good way to spend three or so hours.

Mobile Gaming

This month was rough for me in a lot of ways. There were a couple of days I barely got out of bed. There were many others that I was up, but only got as far as the couch. And on these days, being able to play SOMETHING on my phone or tablet was a lifesaver.

The surprise “must have” mobile game for me this month was BitLife. It’s fascinating and appalling, and many times, it’s just plain wrong. So far, I have mostly been playing it with an eye towards getting a “win” (a successful happy life), but I expect it won’t be long until I feel like exploring the seedier side of this life sim. A one-time payment of $4.99 unlocked all its features and got rid of ads.

GoodReads Challenge (8/36)

In anticipation of watching Netflix’s Locke & Key, I decided to run through the graphic novel series via Kindle Unlimited. This was great for the first five volumes. The main story has one more collection, but I decided against buying just the last book, which wasn’t available to borrow, and instead decided to just read some summaries online. I suspect this wasn’t the best of decisions, but I couldn’t justify the expense for a digital book I’d likely only read once.

I also hunted down some used physical copies of some of my all-time favorite books, and ordered the newest novel by my favorite author that no one has ever heard of, so I have those to look forward to.

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!

The Nope List – November 2019

The monthly Nope List will chronicle the games that I tried out during a given month, but for whatever reason, they just didn’t click for me.


This month’s Nope List is mostly just a selection of games that looked kind of interesting on Origin Access that I just wasn’t that into. Nothing particularly earth-shaking, especially in a month where I was either really into a game, or not really touching my computer much at all.


Unravel – I don’t know what I was expecting, but this wasn’t it. Really pretty, but just felt kind of blah to me. To be fair, I didn’t give it long to draw me in.

Vambrace: Cold Soul – I feel sort of like a broken record, but it just didn’t hold my attention. Unlike Unravel, this was exactly what I was expecting, I just apparently wasn’t in the mood for it.

Ghost of a Tale – The third Origin Access title that I meh-ed out of in less than 30 minutes. I do love the idea of stealth games, but I very rarely love the reality of stealth games, and the cuteness didn’t make up for frustrating game play for me.

Frostpunk – This one I very well may go back to when I can pick it up on sale because I think – with patience – I could get into it. It is brutal though, and even though the genre is in my wheelhouse, I am rarely in the mood for something quite this challenging.


And then – the only game NOT from Origin that didn’t hold my attention.

The Outer Worlds – It actually hurts to put this on the Nope List, because I know if I hit this on the right day, I will probably love it. I just haven’t hit it on the right day yet. It’s weird, because while I’m playing, it’s been enjoyable, but I can’t muster the interest to boot it back up.

The Nope List – October 2019

The monthly Nope List will chronicle the games that I tried out during a given month, but for whatever reason, they just didn’t click for me.

This month’s Nope List was made up of one game from Utomik, four from XBox Game Pass for PC, and two from my own library.


We Happy Few – Even for me, even for Hallotober, this was dark. It looks great, but it wasn’t particularly fun to play, and I just wasn’t feeling it. If it eventually finds its way into my library on the cheap, I might give it another go, but mostly, I just confirmed that this isn’t a game I want to spend serious money on.


Equilinox – I think this one was done in (perhaps too soon), by awkward controls. Every time I tried to look closer at something, I did the wrong thing, and it was just wholly unintuitive for me. No idea if or when I’ll give it another go – I can push past bad controls and UI when I’m really enamored with something, but having to plant grass and flowers on a blank canvas didn’t blow my skirt up.


Felix the Reaper – It looked and sounded great, but it wasn’t enough to keep me struggling to meet all the metrics on ever level. Just because I can memorize a series of moves and then replay levels doesn’t make it an enjoyable use of my time.


Ghost Cleaner – Like Peggle, but way less fun. It’s not awful, but it’s not all that good either.


Death Mark – I probably would have really enjoyed this, but I played for over an hour before hitting a place where I could save, and I somehow failed to save, and decided I wasn’t into it enough to play that first hour over. Ugh. If you’re not going to let me save anywhere at anytime, at least put the save points reasonably close together.


Creature in the Well – It just didn’t click for me. It’s a neat idea, but other than a neat gimmicky sort of combat, there just didn’t seem to be any reason to play it.


Prey – I don’t even have an excuse, y’all. Unless “I am bad at video game sometimes and kept dying a lot” is an excuse. I considered restarting and lowering the difficulty a notch or two, but … nah. Maybe some other time. On story mode.


Yet again, none of these games were so wretched I want to warn others off of them (and I have played some truly awful games from time to time), but for one reason or another, they weren’t for me, at least not at the time I played them.

Once I own a game, I usually give it a few tries to hold my attention before banishing it to the meh category of my Steam library. Games sampled on a subscription service might get another shot if I continue my sub or if they show up in a bundle, but I’m unlikely to purchase them in the future.

The Nope List – September 2019

The monthly Nope List will chronicle the games that I tried out during a given month, but for whatever reason, they just didn’t click for me.


Weirdly, my entire Nope List this month was stuff I tried out – mostly stuff outside of my comfort zone – on Utomik.

UnWorded – I loved the concept, but I couldn’t wrap my brain around the puzzles. It might be something I go back to someday if I’m looking for a challenge, but it wasn’t a game to relax to.


Dry Drowning – This one was a little to reflective of the current U.S. governmental climate to make me okay with using up my escapism time on it. I didn’t even play long enough to get a real feel for the game play – the story made me nope out really early.


Devil’s Hunt – Another game that just wasn’t for me. I like a good hack & slash, but for me the joy is just in mindlessly beating things up. I couldn’t get past the first boss (y’know, the TUTORIAL BOSS) on easy. I gave it a second spin, and then the game crashed. Moving on.


And then there was that night where NOTHING was working for me.

Flipping Death was just a little heavy on the platforming (at least for me) going into the second chapter. If I go back, it’ll be with a controller and a whole lot of patience.

Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones looks like it is going to be fantastic, but I need to start it up on a night that I have the patience for a slow start and a whole lot of reading.

100% Hidden Objects 2 is fine, if you want to find some hidden objects. Cool for a time-waster, nothing I’m going to play start to finish.

Cubis Kingdoms is totally on me. I thought it was going to be 3D tile matching and it wasn’t. Was in and out in under 20 minutes.

I loved the humor of Healer’s Quest, and I acknowledge I wasn’t having that great of a night, but man, it felt hard, even on normal.


It might look like a lot, but this is pretty typical for me. Some games get banished forever to the Great Graveyard of Nope – but more often, it’s simply a case of being the wrong game for that moment.

I will almost definitely take another stab at both UnWorded and Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones. Considering that I purchased absolutely none of these games, I am totally okay with the idea of never revisiting any of the others.