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Wow, I played a lot of really good games in 2019!
This took me longer than I intended, but I wanted to do my own write-up of all the games I beat in 2019, and I had a lot of fun remembering all of them - in fact, I was actually kind of surprised at how many of the games were really great experiences (though there were a few underwhelming ones, too). Since there are a lot, I categorized them by genre to try to make it a little easier to read. Some titles are hopefully familiar so you can also reminisce, but hopefully some new to you, too, that you'll be encouraged to play. So here goes nothing...
Fable - I'd been going through a period where I didn't want to invest in a lot of super time-consuming games, so that's probably the reason RPGs are largely absent from my list this year, and why Fable ended up being a really good fit. I think I clocked in around 15 hours or so, but even in that amount of time, I felt very satisfied with it. It's open world in a sense, but it's divided into smaller, self-contained areas, and it allows for some exploration and side content (including buying property and getting married) without completely burying you. I liked that the gameplay allowed for a battlemage build as I tend to gravitate towards a good balance of using magic and melee weapons. I didn't learn all the powers, but the ones I did were useful and not just something that felt like a useless attempt at adding variety. The ability to choose between the hero or villain paths is a bit more primitive (read: black and white) than some of the more advanced mechanics in today's games, but given it's one of the more amusing RPGs I've played that doesn't take itself very seriously, I actually appreciated its playful simplicity. If you're looking for a lighthearted romp in a fantasy RPG that doesn't get bogged down in superfluous content and complexity, Fable's a great experience.
Armed and Dangerous - This title sat for a long, long time in my library as something I'd gotten as part of a bundle and totally never meant to play, but I'm really glad I did. The gameplay and graphics do feel very dated, but this game is hilarious if you're into dumb, ridiculous humor. It also strays a bit from your typical shooter in that it gives you some really fun, outlandish weapons to play with, like a gun that shoots out land sharks that gobble up unsuspecting targets. I do remember there being a couple trouble spots that I had to play through multiple times to beat, but overall, it's just a plain ol' good time.
No One Lives Forever 2 - Speaking of hilarious shooters, I don't think it really gets any better than the NOLF series. I played the first game way back on the PS2 and had an absolute blast with it, so I was only too happy to finally get my hands on the second game. If you're not familiar with NOLF, think Xbox/PS2-era 1st person James Bond games, replace the protagonist with a witty female character, throw in a few unusual gadgets, and add a whole lot of charm, humor, and absurdity. It's going to feel outdated, yes, and there is the whole perpetually in legal rights limbo thing, but unless you're against experiencing pure joy, seriously, just play it.
Binary Domain - I bought this game hoping it'd hit some campy, over-the-top notes, and while there is some of that, it still left me feeling like this game had a lot of unused potential, particularly with the characters. The characters are super trope-y (in an entertaining way), and the game does poke fun at that, but the relationships felt pretty shallow - which is a darn shame because I would've liked to have seen the dynamics and interactions among this otherwise interesting, motley crew of characters fleshed out. The plot itself wasn't anything to write home about, either, but I think it could've been brought to a new level of enjoyment had it done more with the characters. Gameplay-wise, it's pretty solid - on paper, it seems like it'd be repetitive as it's a lot of shooting, but it's actually pretty satisfying because doing damage to enemy robots gradually wears away the armor of the targeted area so it almost feels like you're melting it down. I didn't do the voice commands as those seemed more like a gimmick, and the game is perfectly playable without them. There's an added dimension where certain actions you take will affect the trust level of your companions, which can affect the story, but I honestly couldn't say if it really makes any meaningful difference aside from the ending. If you're into the idea of a cybernetic third person shooter, I think it's worth trying, but it's not a top favorite of mine.
Spec Ops: The Line - This title has been thrown around a few times on this subreddit, and while it has been pretty hyped up and I wouldn't say it's a life-changing experience, I still echo any sentiments about this game being a must-play. Don't read anything about it; just play it. Even if you don't like military shooters.
Large open world games
Watch Dogs - I mostly enjoyed this game for being able to explore an impressively faithful rendition of downtown Chicago - the scenery is just fantastic and pretty on par with the environments in games like GTAV. The soundtrack was forgettable and the story was passable, but I didn't get terribly into it. It was fun to sneak around and hack into things (and also having the option to barrel in with guns), but the bloated mountain of side content eventually made it really hard to slog through until I decided I'd had enough and just went on to finish the main story missions. Feels good to have it completed, though.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - Another game where I had to figure out what/where I should cut myself off with the side content, heh. I'm not particularly one for historical fiction, but again, I think I mostly enjoyed this game for the exploration aspect. I liked Ezio's story in II (maybe because it was such a stark improvement over the first game), but while I can appreciate that Brotherhood is a great game, not so sure the AC series is my cup of tea as much anymore. I do enjoy the complex platforming portions to figure out how to get from point A to point B, but all the assassinating gets kinda repetitive. I have Revelations, Black Flag, and Unity in my backlog, though, so we'll see if/when I get around to those (will probably at least play Revelations because dat cliffhanger, ugh).
LIMBO - The black and white visual aesthetic of this game is beautiful, and the puzzles are interesting enough, but I can't say it left too much of an impression on me. I think I can see why it's a highly-regarded game, but perhaps between the vagueness of the story and the fact that 2D puzzle platformers aren't my favorite, it just wasn't entirely for me. Plus, I'm a bit of an arachnophobe, so those spider silhouettes were unsettling, lol.
The Fall - This was a neat little indie game. It's a side-scrolling, dark sci-fi adventure with some minor platforming elements and gunplay (which, honestly, not sure it was needed), but this game oozes a lot of atmosphere as a story about artificial consciousness curiously unfolds. If I remember correctly, it ended on a significant cliffhanger, but I enjoyed it enough to play the sequel someday.
Pony Island - I still don't really understand this game, but that's part of its delight. It's an odd mixture of side-scrolling action and puzzles about cute ponies that turns into something more amusingly sinister. Fun to play just for the H-E-double-hockey-sticks of it.
Downward - I loved Mirror's Edge, so when I saw that Downward was a first-person parkour game, I signed the heck up. At first, it does feel like the game has a lot of promise and seems like one big beautiful playground - it's definitely heavy on the eye candy. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for the game's flaws to surface. Mechanics can be annoying either due to glitches or requiring precise aiming/timing; story is basically non-existent; no real obstacles are present aside from the final boss, which was a headache in itself as it basically just amounts to a bunch of dodging by platforming that you'll probably end up having to retry multiple times. And ultimately, the game just felt empty, like a mere shell of the game it was meant to be.
Epistory: Typing Chronicles - I wasn't sure if this game would provide a real challenge for someone who's a pretty decent typist, but pleased to say it does indeed. Fighting back (or typing back) waves of enemies was probably my favorite part, and I liked how you could switch between powers (like lightning, fire, wind), as certain enemies and mechanisms can only be defeated or triggered by a specific power. The storybook art is unique, and the narrative has a very flowy, poetic feel, though I can't say it particularly moved me. There's an endless mode, too, so I can see myself coming back to that for a quick play.
Beyond Good and Evil - This was the first game in a while that really helped me enjoy gaming again. It's got a lovable, memorable cast of characters, simplistic but fun gameplay, and it's got a smaller open world - meaning that there's enough side stuff to do, but the game doesn't overwhelm you with it or try to detract you from the main story too much. I really, really hope BG&E 2 is released because I would love to return to that world again. It's got that "pure" feeling of not needing to take things too seriously or getting bogged down in a multitude of quests - it's just plain and simple fun.
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy - This game kind of feels like an Egyptian rendition of a 3D Zelda game, but I mean that in a good way. Throughout this game, you switch back and forth between two characters: 1) the young Prince Tutenkhamen who is turned into a mummy, but is luckily able to use his undeadness to aid the hero through a series of critical thinking tests, and 2) Sphinx, who fights baddies and navigates a bunch of platforming puzzles to find vases to help bring Tutenkhamen back to life and ancient crowns to summon the power to beat the almighty villain. One major downside is that there's no voice acting, so you have to read all the dialogue, but I'd still give it a solid recommendation to anyone who likes action/adventure puzzle games.
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within - I really liked the first PoP in this series, so I also really wanted to like WW, but ultimately I found it to be pretty "meh." To start with the good, the gameplay is very similar to its predecessor - the combat is generally pretty fluid, and the environmental platforming puzzles provide some interesting, fun challenges without being too frustrating - and of course you still have the same ability to bend time. Unfortunately, there was also a lot about the game that I didn't enjoy. I would've liked to have seen some improvements or variance from the first as the gameplay felt kind of old hat after a while. I have mixed feelings about the chase scenes - they got the adrenaline going, but still not a huge fan of them especially when you die multiple times in a row. Also, you could see the "twist" in whatever story there was coming from miles away, and the heavy metal music (or whatever that was) was simply atrocious and made the game feel like a complete tonal detour from the previous. As for the repeated masochistic, sexual comments from the female enemies - yeah, no thank you. It was like someone asked how they could make PoP as needlessly "edgy" as possible, though that seems like a common complaint. So overall I felt a bit unsatisfied with my experience, but I have The Two Thrones in my backlog, so I'm hoping that will be better.
Second Sight - I wasn't really sure what to expect from this older title, but I was actually surprised to find myself enjoying it. The plot is your typical "clandestine operation conducting scientific research for its own nefarious needs" kind of thing, as some random, seemingly unimportant white guy (who talks to himself too much) mysteriously gains psychic powers and then proceeds to get tangled up in a huge conspiracy trying to get to the bottom of it. But that said, the gameplay turned out to be rather fun, for the most part. You have the ability to use guns, too, but the core part of the gameplay involves using various psychic powers to manipulate your surroundings to sneak around, go on the offensive, and solve puzzles. Probably the most frustrating aspect, however, was the targeting system and its failure to quickly switch between targets when needed. All around, though, while I don't know that it's a great game, it's a pretty good one, and if you happen to have it in your backlog, it's worth digging up.
Star Wars: Jedi Academy - This was the first game I played in the Jedi Knight series (save for a couple hours of Dark Forces). It was fun to be back in the Star Wars universe again (I think the last SW game I truly played was KotOR or maybe Republic Commando forever ago), but overall it still felt like a pretty average game, though maybe the dated-ness largely affected my impressions. The lightsaber action was neat, but not perfect as the camera kept annoyingly switching around on me (not sure if that could've been fixed by a setting). Also, once you kinda learned the tricks with the force powers, particularly the shielding ones, it made the game a little too easy and more just a matter of waiting it out till you hacked down the enemies' health enough. Story didn't really mean a whole lot to me either, so my general opinion of the game doesn't amount to much more than a shrug.
No More Heroes - Honestly, it sounds weird to say it, but this game did lightsaber combat way better than Jedi Academy, haha, though there were times my wrist got pretty tired playing on the Wii! I'm somewhat familiar with Suda51's style as I've also played a good chunk of Killer7, and I knew this was a pretty highly-regarded hack 'n' slash title, but I had no idea it had a quirky, charming (small) open world aspect to it (sort of reminds me of Deadly Premonition in that respect). While the game is largely about taking on multiple bosses to become #1, each of those bosses requires a hefty entrance fee to fight, which means you'll have to take on some interesting side jobs (like mowing the lawn, neutralizing scorpions, rescuing cats...you know, the usual) to make money. There are a few other goodies you can get exploring the town of Santa Destroy as well. The downfall of the entrance fee aspect is that I just found myself doing the same highest-paying job over and over again, so there were points it got a bit monotonous near the end. But I will say there were a few bosses that provided a heck of a challenge - one in particular I probably had 30+ attempts under my belt before I finally beat her, and that was just on normal difficulty. It was fun to play something where I felt like I had to have some actual skill to overcome and not just win by button-mashing, but it did require a lot of patience at times. If you want an over-the-top, gratuitously zany action experience, No More Heroes is definitely one of a kind.
Point and click adventures
Sentience: The Android's Tale - This was a charming little sci-fi point and click game (made with RPG Maker, I think?). As the title suggests, you play as an android who's been given free will, and much of the game involves exploring a colony and talking to/doing quests for various people in a time where androids aren't terribly accepted or even despised. One neat feature of this game is that you have the ability to make choices can affect the game and its multiple endings. I wouldn't say it was the most memorable game, but I still enjoyed my time with it and the philosophical concepts it had to offer.
Deponia - A modern take on the classic point and click adventure genre. If you like Monkey Island, Broken Sword, and the like, I'd definitely recommend Deponia. The protagonist can be a bit of a jerk, but it's got a lighthearted story, a colorful cast of characters, and the type of puzzles you'd expect from the genre (most aren't too difficult to solve). It's not a priority, but eventually I'd like to play the other games in the series.
Secret of Monkey Island (Special Edition) - I can see why this classic point and click is so beloved, and the humor certainly helps it to stand out from some of the others. At the same time, I'd played enough adventure games by then that it didn't really do anything unexpected, so while I had fun with it, I wasn't enamored with it. Good for a few casual nights of gaming, but I'm not chomping at the bit to play the others in the series - Deponia's universe was a little more quirky and interesting imo. However, it was pretty neat how you could switch between the original pixel graphics and the cartoon art.
Syberia - "Charming, nostalgic, and whimsical" are probably the three words I'd use to describe this game. Syberia has a pretty long, slow beginning, but if you're patient, what starts as a banal assignment for a lawyer named Kate soon turns into a peculiar mystery as you're drawn into a strange, fascinating world of automatons wherein you attempt to track down their creator. I played this on the Xbox, so point and click controls don't translate so well to the console, but I will definitely get the PC version of the sequel at some point; the promising ending of the first game left me wanting more of the story.
Tex Murphy series (Mean Streets, Martian Memorandum, Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive, and Overseer) - I did a more thorough write-up of these games (including Tesla Effect which I played a few years back) here, but to summarize, while the first two games could be a pass (unless you're really into the pixelated old school adventure games), the others are worth looking into if you're a fan of point and clicks and/or campy humor, goofy sci-fi plots, and that sweet, sweet live FMV action.
Blade Runner - Blade Runner (both the original and 2049) are my favorite films, so I was super thrilled when GOG finally included this game in their library. I did enjoy the blast from the (future) past, but unfortunately I think it's another game that, while I'm sure it was impressive for its time, it doesn't leave quite the same impression today when playing it for the first time. It gets the atmosphere and the feel of the films right, the story is interesting enough to keep you going, and it does provide some twists on your standard point and click gameplay, but I suppose where I found it lacking was with the character development, which I found to be kinda shallow particularly with the character interactions (and in the realm of romance, some of which didn't even make much sense). Probably my fault for secretly wanting a '90s game to be on par with the films, but there it is. Still worth experiencing if you're a fan; just don't set expectations too high.
3D puzzle games
Kairo - A Myst-like game that's super heavy on the abstract. I picked it up because I like games that are an enigmatic experience of awe and loneliness all in one, and it definitely achieves that. But I don't have a whole lot of patience for puzzles that don't give you easily observable hints of how things work, so full confession - I totally used a walkthrough pretty much the entire way through.
Adam's Venture: Chronicles - I like game about archaeological adventures, especially those that take place in the first half of the 1900s, so that's really the only reason I picked this game up. And while there's some exotic historical locales to keep it visually interesting, the puzzles are pretty simplistic and characters largely one-dimensional. There's just so many better adventure/puzzle games out there, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you're scraping the bottom of the bucket for an Indiana Jones fix.
The Talos Principle - It took me a couple of tries to really figure this game out, but once I did, I loved how the puzzles felt a lot like Portal - challenging enough to make you have to think it through from different angles till you get that "aha" moment, but not too challenging to need a guide if you're persistent. The game turned out to be be much bigger and deeper than I expected, too, as the philosophical and existential themes were totally up my alley. My only real beef with this game is that some of the response choices you're given seemed pretty boxed in - I often found myself thinking, "Maybe, but that's not entirely accurate/how I feel" (a lot of it had to do with my theological beliefs not lining up with the game). While I suppose that's a natural limitation of games with multiple dialogue paths, I don't particularly enjoy that feeling of being cornered into responding a certain way just because it has to fit within the developer's worldview (a worldview I don't completely agree with). I think SOMA handled it better as it simply made you think about what you believe without assigning some sort of judgment or narrative consequence. But regardless, The Talos Principle was a really fun, super thought-provoking experience that would definitely be on my must-play list. I haven't played the DLC yet, but I did pick it up in the winter sale, so...TBC.
Thief: Deadly Shadows - I haven't yet played the first two Thief games, but I definitely will because of how much of a blast I had sneaking around in Deadly Shadows. Despite being dated, it's a surprisingly immersive stealth game; it gives you a fair amount of freedom in how to traverse the map, whether to be more non-confrontational or more of an assassin. In general, the levels were pretty well-designed, and the game gives you a decent variety of weapons and tools to use as well (and I actually enjoyed the lock picking mini-puzzle). What I liked the most about the game, though, was sneaking around and stealing special items/treasure. There's enough stealth games out there, but not too many actually focus on thievery. The one glaring point I'll warn you about is that with the PC version, near the end of the game, I experienced a glitch where the game would always crash and I couldn't get it to work no matter what fix I tried, so I had to resort to finding another save file online to finish the game. But still well worth playing in spite of that if you're a fan of the genre - and make sure to get the Sneaky Upgrade patch.
Dishonored - Dishonored is obviously a very polished game, and like Thief, I appreciate the array of options for approaching missions, particularly those that allowed for more creative choices than simple assassination (I took the low chaos route). The rune powers also added a dimension that does seem really interesting on paper, but using some of the powers, particularly Dark Vision and Blink, resulted in an unfortunate conundrum where those powers almost made the game too easy (and even ruined the atmosphere by changing the color palette and replacing the mood music with weird whispering), but also...they're really nice powers. I did end up using them for most of the game because I have no self-control and I wanted to be able to breeze through the game without too much trouble, but I think it might've been a good idea to make those powers a little less useful or provide some kind of disincentivization. As for the story, idk, I didn't really care for it, and the ending felt pretty anticlimactic, though I think that's a common risk with stealth-based games since there isn't necessarily going to be an all-out brawl with a final boss. Bottom line, I enjoyed Dishonored's gameplay, but honestly, I think I liked Thief: DS slightly more because of Thief's bigger focus on stealing pieces of treasure.
Dementium: The Ward - I regret not playing this game when I first bought it. Not because it's a great game, but because I think I would've enjoyed it more back when I was a bigger fan of horror. Now, it seems pretty blasé - you're stuck in a hospital fighting off zombies and other weird monsters all the while never really making sense of what's actually going on. What really got me was the absolutely terrible save system - it autosaves between every chapter and at certain points within the chapter - which might not sound too awful until you realize resources are limited and you have to be careful how you use them as enemies will respawn when you reenter an area. Not worth the trouble imo.
Observer - Being a fan of both Layers of Fear (a previous game done by same developer) and Blade Runner, getting this game seemed like a no-brainer. However, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Like Layers of Fear, Observer is a psychedelic horrothriller, and it does that aspect well, but I found it hard to follow. It's a heck of a mind trip as you jump into various memories of the deceased, and it's visually stunning, but it's very convoluted and definitely seems to make being artsy and experimental more of a priority than being coherent. Not saying that's a bad thing, but it didn't personally give me enough to grasp onto in order to have a desire to dissect the narrative and characters for the underlying themes and meaning. For that reason, I prefer Layers of Fear, but I did love the cyberpunk feel of Observer.
Fatal Frame - I'd never played any FF games before, but it hit a nostalgic button for me as it brought me back to the time I was really into late '90s/early '00s horror games like Silent Hill. For better or worse, it's definitely got the hallmarks of that gaming period - the grainy filter, the clunky controls/cameras, the morbid puzzles, the blurbs of informational text as you check out the objects around you - even the menu sounds brought me back. But though it wooed me in, FF at times can be a pretty unforgivingly difficult game. Restorative items and camera film (which you use to fight off hostile ghosts) are somewhat sparse, so I found myself needing to save often and restore older saves if I felt like I lost too much health (I ended up overcompensating, but still a good idea to be conservative). Despite the challenge, however, I still enjoyed uncovering the mystery of this disturbing ghost tale, which actually turned out to be rather sad - wasn't really expecting that from the story, so that was a nice element.
Murdered: Soul Suspect - So, yeah, this game didn't get the greatest reviews, but I'm actually kind of surprised at that. It does sort of play like a ghost version of L.A. Noire (without the interrogation stuff), and there's some weird stealth sequences where you have to sneak around demons, but even though it is a pretty mediocre game to some extent, I think the premise and the characters are interesting enough (albeit kinda hokey) to make you want to keep playing. I wouldn't necessarily run out to get it, but if you have it in your backlog, it's worth trying out.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs - Surprisingly, I liked this game more than A Dark Descent. It does take away a lot of what people liked about ADD and turns the franchise into little more than a horror walking simulator, so I definitely get the complaints (no more sanity loss, no real puzzles, not a lot of monsters to worry about and no real need to hide). But the reason I like it more is because the story was more accessible and better written. Despite the protagonist's madness, I could understand where he was coming from and what brought him to that point - I didn't really get that same feeling with ADD (not to mention the ending was completely ridiculous). And I think it's AMFP's narrative that helped make it even more bone-chilling and disturbing than ADD, at least in my opinion. Is it a great horror game? Hmm, probably not, but is it a great horror story? I'd say it's a pretty good one.
Dead Nation - I played this game at a point where I needed something I could play in small bursts between rounds of studying, and I'd say Dead Nation is good for that. It's a short game overall, and the basic premise is that you're just mowing down waves of zombies as you're trying to find a way to escape the city - pretty much your standard zombie apocalypse story. I haven't played a whole lot of isometric games, so that angled, top-down view took a little getting used to, but it actually did get rather fun to take down wave after wave of enemies and watching the bodies pile up as you rack up a bunch of points. But beyond that, there wasn't a whole lot to it - no real reason to use any gun other than the rifle you're first equipped with, and I didn't find myself needing to use a whole lot of strategy other than having lots of explode-y things on hand for crowd control. So not a game I'd necessarily recommend, but it kept me occupied while it lasted.
Detroit: Become Human - I've had a love/hate relationship with David Cage's prior games. I like games that are more like an interactive movie with a "choices matter" aspect, but a lot of the characters in Quantic Dream titles have been pretty wooden, with the focus being more on the over-the-top drama and forcing you to feel something rather than allowing you to feel some genuine sense of connection with the characters on your own terms. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that Detroit was a vast improvement over previous games. There's still parts of the narrative that are pretty ridiculous, of course, but I feel that Detroit does a much better job of developing likeable characters that you want to empathize with. And you can probably guess from my username which character is my favorite, haha. I really liked his dynamic and friendship with Hank in particular. Definitely want to play this again someday because I got a really bad ending with the Kara, Alice and Luther thread. :(
Her Story - I'd been curious about this "game" for a while, and it definitely lives up to the uniqueness I'd heard about. By searching for videos using key words from the spoken text, you try to uncover more and more of a woman's story about whether or not she actually killed her husband. It took some twists and turns that I didn't expect, but I was also expecting the game to have me piece together the evidence myself and provide a case for why she did or didn't do it. Instead, it really is just about listening to her story. It's interesting, but I wouldn't spend more than a couple bucks on it.
Shelter - Another short experiential, artsy game that got surprisingly emotional. You play as a mamma badger looking after her babies, and that means protecting them from the elements and predators. It's not as easy as you'd think. ;__;
Eastshade - To be fair, this game is more than just a walking simulator, but there is a lot of walking. Depending on your gaming interests, though, that could be a perfectly good thing. Eastshade is a real beauty - you play as an aspiring artist who travels far and wide through several lush environments to capture that one of a kind, picturesque moment in a painting. It's a super relaxing experience as there's absolutely no combat; you just amble your way through series of quests, some that are fetch quests, some that involve a little bit of puzzling or investigation, some that allow you to make choices in how to deal with certain character situations (but ultimately don't have a huge effect on the story), and of course, there's the painting quests in which characters commission to have you paint specific things (and there's also an overarching quest to paint certain places in memory of your mother). The painting itself just involves taking a screenshot of your choice, but the game does require a bit of light crafting as you'll have to gather materials to make canvases and a few other helpful items. I think some of the environments could've been a little bit bigger, but ultimately, I was pretty satisfied to clock in around 15 hours or so. There are few games I've played that are as wonderfully calming as Eastshade.
CLANNAD - I did not know what I was signing up for when I bought this as my first visual novel because it is HUGE. Looking back, I don't know that I'd recommend it to anyone looking to get into the VN genre - it feels like a lot of pieces are still missing when you only complete one or a few of the paths. But I did eventually get through all of the paths available, and the writing and character development was well worth the time; there are romances, but it's more about the trials and triumphs of each character, and even though it didn't make me cry, some threads did unexpectedly tug at my heart. It's a big time investment, but CLANNAD will warm you up from the inside out.
2064: Read-Only Memories - It's cute, it's pixelated, it's cyberpunk, but aside from the visual aesthetic, it was a bit underwhelming. It's a not-so-vaguely political narrative about whether robots should be given autonomy and the tensions between human purists and those who have had cybernetic implants. I never felt like there was some huge agenda being forced down my throat - I like exploring ideas of what makes someone human, but it isn't really my cup of tea when it becomes largely framed by the extreme opposite ends of social justice.
Doki Doki Literature Club - Despite seeing all the recs for this VN, I held off on playing this for quite a while because I wasn't sure how dark and twisted it would actually get - I like horror to an extent but not if it involves weird and disturbing fetishes - and with VNs you can never be too sure sometimes. Thankfully, that isn't what this VN is about, and it's another one of those that you just have to experience for yourself without reading anything about it (and it's free), but I will say it was delightfully unsettling once things got real. Just Monika.
I Love You, Colonel Sanders! - I don't even know. But I actually kind of enjoyed it? Whoever designed this VN definitely knew all the tropes, which made it more fun than I would've ever expected. It's still a joke VN, and I wouldn't have paid money for it if it wasn't free, but I got a good hour or so of entertainment out of it.
Reigns - I don't know why, but something compelled me to keep playing through this medieval strategy/choices matter game until I got the real ending (had to use a guide, of course). Probably had something to do with the addictive swipe left or right gameplay, lol. It was entertaining to see all the different possible threads, but bottom line, it was basically just a sufficient time-waster.
Organ Trail - You've probably heard of it before, but's pretty much what you'd think - just a mash-up of the old school Oregon Trail and a zombie apocalypse. Doesn't take terribly long to get through one run of it, but can be a bit challenging at times. I'd rate this as another good mobile time-waster.
A Dark Room - I started by playing the free browser version, and I loved it so much I bought the mobile app version and ended up being glued to my phone for a couple days straight. It's a minimalist, text-based incremental game, and I've never played anything like it before. The story is told through a series of short sentences that intermittently appear depending on your progress, and despite the few words, there's actually lot of mystery to them that makes you want to find out more. The gameplay part of it involves gathering and producing materials in order to build your settlement and help it grow, which the game gathers or produces automatically depending on how you have your resources allocated. Once you get far enough in, you can actually start exploring outside your settlement for other materials and maybe uncover more of the mystery. You can take a backpack of supplies with you, but you'll have to be careful - your food/water amounts and # of torches dictates how far and where you can travel, and you'll run into hostiles so you'll want to make sure you're appropriately geared up. Sadly, it didn't take too long to reach the end of the game; I would've loved to have played so much more of it. But I definitely recommend it to anyone especially since the browser version is completely free.
All Our Asias - This was a short title on Steam that piqued my curiosity because of its experimental, PSX-ish aesthetic. It's more or less a walking sim that's more of an experience than a game, but honestly, it kinda left me wanting more of it? Not necessarily because of the story - which I didn't follow completely - but just because of the exploration aspect. Like sort of a "small open world before there were open worlds" feeling with a very ethereal, otherworldly spin to it. However, it could be boring for people expecting more actual content.
Blameless - I downloaded this because I was looking for a short horror game, and while the atmosphere was nice and creepy, the puzzles weren't all that challenging and the story left something to be desired. But hey, it's free.
What Never Was - This was more or less a half-hour demo for a first-person puzzle game I'm hoping will be released someday because it was rather impressive. I'm a sucker for games with some kind of archaeological adventure/mystery. Apparently part two is currently in development; I just hope that its title isn't a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A Date in the Park - I can't really say anything about this game without spoiling it. It's a free point and click that takes maybe an hour or so, but if you like the kind of creepy where things feel just a little bit "off," it might be worth it just for the sheer experience.
Antenna Dilemma - This was basically chapter one of a pixelated point and click game (and not sure if more chapters are coming). It's charming and fun to click through, but underneath that cute exterior, there's a social commentary on our media consumption habits. The characters in the game are mesmerized by their TV sets, but the protagonist (who's an adorable grey cube) sets outside to find a life beyond. I could see this being a full-fledged story, so it was disappointing when there wasn't more.
Session Seven - This is another point and click pixel adventure game, but the narrative (potentially) takes a darker turn. You play as a guy trying to escape his basement with no idea of how he got there, but the more objects you find and puzzles you complete, the more you remember what happened, and much of it you process during scenes with a psychiatrist that come up periodically in the game. I say "potentially" as there are a few different outcomes depending on how you respond to the psychiatrist's questions. Unlike some of the other freeware, this is a complete story, and while it didn't blow my mind, it's a pretty interesting one.
So that's it for 2019! I think my main takeaway is that I need to play more RPGs for 2020, and I am kind of missing a good JRPG in particular, though sometimes those are hard to commit to because of the time involved. But I suppose it's not about the number of games we beat; it's about the amount of fun we have playing them, right? :)
10000000 - A Dungeon Crawling Puzzle RPG Matching Game. Run the dungeon, match tiles and run for as long as you can Achikaps - A simple economic strategy AFK Arena - Sit back and relax in a beautiful world full of epic tales, exciting adventures and an abundance of rewards. Rediscover the fun of mobile gaming again! Alluris - It's basically Choose Your Own Adventure with good graphics and a ton of content/unlockables. Paid offline with a demo. Almost a Hero - Is this idle RPG clicker game Almost A Hero actually any good? (LAUGH) Do chickens fly south in the winter? Of course it is. We have stacks of flawed and slightly brave characters for you to evolve and train. Epic battles where you can get killed as many times as you wish. Beguiling magic to be leaned. Dark secrets to uncover. Lurking evil to be defeated. Look, we’re not going to lie to you, only losers and oddballs fit into our family. A blindfolded archer, a shape shifter who never gets it right, an explosives expert who’s blown himself up more times than he can remember. They’re all here. So if you don’t think you’ve got what it takes to be a hero - this is the game for you! Almost A Hero! There’s never a dull moment with these nutters! They put the ‘ooh’ in kooky! Antiyoy - excellent strategic & conquest game, completely free, updates with user content, just great ! Arena Allstars - A turn-based strategy game where you compete with up to seven opponents in an epic real-time battle. If you are looking for a quick matchup, choose Team Co-Op Mode and take down your opponents in less than 10 minutes. Draft your team, execute top-level strategies and strive to be the last person standing! Compete in the monthly tournaments to earn rewards and ascend the ranks in Arena Allstars. Bleentoro - A simple logic game. It has no advertisements or microtransactions. Features: Easy to learn, Campaign and sandbox modes, Simple UI, Smooth animations Buriedbornes - Great turn based old-school RPG where you proceed through a dungeon generally with 100 or more floors. You choose your path between left and right and can face monsters, or get new equipment/skills and experience different events with curses or boons. Many character classes to choose from if you spend a decent amount of time playing and unlocking them. A large part of the game is deciding which equipment or skills to take when looting to replace what you currently have, with some pretty crazy abilities on both. Cado - Rotate the world to fall to the goal in an infinite amount of random generated levels. Find and collect fun and crazy gamemodes and try them out in the extras menu. But don´t touch these red obstacles or you will die a slow and painful death and burn in hell for eternity (and respawn after that). Maybe. Card Crawl - A solitaire-style dungeon crawler game played with a modified deck of standard cards. Clear the dungeon of 54 cards by using item-cards, slaying monsters and managing your limited inventory. On each run, you can use five ability-cards (mini deck building) to gain unique skills. By collecting gold, you can unlock 35 more ability-cards to access new tactics and even higher scores. Card Thief - Move through a deck of cards as a stealthy thief. Sneak in the shadows, extinguish torches, pickpocket guards and steal valuable treasures without getting caught. In your thief hideout you can use your stolen goods to unlock powerful equipment cards. Each heist you can use 3 equipment cards to become a skillful master thief. Cards Keeper - Challenge yourself in a brand new adventure to become the ultimate Keeper of Cards! Write your own legend playing by different characters with unique skills. Fight against dangerous monsters and mystical bosses, upgrade Heroes equipment, power up abilities, find rare artifacts and complete quests. Be sure, there're more indescribable mysteries waiting to be found... Chessplode - Chessplode is modern chess for everyone, it makes chess fun even if you're bad ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, one simply move... can change all game. Clash Royale - Enter the Arena! From the creators of Clash of Clans comes a real-time multiplayer game starring the Royales, your favorite Clash characters and much, much more. Collect and upgrade dozens of cards featuring the Clash of Clans troops, spells and defenses you know and love, as well as the Royales: Princes, Knights, Baby Dragons and more. Knock the enemy King and Princesses from their towers to defeat your opponents and win Trophies, Crowns and glory in the Arena. Form a Clan to share cards and build your very own battle community. CLICK-POCALYPSE II - CLICKPOCALYPSE II is an incremental/idle RPG. Create a party to bravely explore terrible dungeons and mercilessly exterminate every monster in the world. Find items, go up levels, learn spells, upgrade abilities, and earn achievements. Clicker Heroes - The massive hit game from Steam and PC browsers comes to mobile with new features! Clicker Heroes is the idle RPG that started the subgenre! Embark on your quest and begin a simple, yet incredibly fun adventure. Tap to attack monsters, hire and level up heroes to unlock their unique abilities. Slay monsters for gold, find treasure, and explore new worlds. Cookie Clicker - The original idle game where you bake cookies to rule the universe! This is the official Cookie Clicker app by Orteil & Opti. Accept no substitutes! Cryptogram - Decipher the hidden text to reveal the motivational quote! Can you figure out the pattern in each puzzle? You'll be rewarded with a thoughtful message by one of hundreds of different poets, preachers and prophets! Deep Town: Mining Factory - DIG DEEP and uncover the hidden story behind Deep Town and along the way dig deeper and build higher to produce more resources! 🔨🔧⛏ Destiny Child RPG - about collecting girls and create the best decks to fight in ragna raids, worldboss, pve or pvp. Digfender - Beneath your castle an enemy lies waiting. Grab your shovel and prepare your defenses! DOKU - Minimal Material Sudoku - A Sudoku Puzzle app for clean and casual gameplay. Master the classic puzzle game in the comfort of Android's native Material Design language. Doodle Jump - Journey up a sheet of graph paper, perpetually jumping from one platform to the next, picking up jet packs, avoiding black holes, and blasting baddies with nose balls along the way. Laugh with delight as you blow past other players' actual score markers scribbled in the margins. And be warned: this game is insanely addictive! Downwell - Its retro art style is really nice to look at, and the gameplay keeps you coming back. Definitely worth the 3 bucks. It's also available on the Switch for the same price too. Dragalia Lost - The only gacha I'll even consider playing at this point. Even with their generosity I still debate playing because of the addictive nature of gachas. I play very casually now. But this is the best gacha, bar none. And it's portrait when 99% of the rest are landscape. Dragon Ball Legends - Get ready for the all-new Dragon Ball smartphone game that fans around the world have been waiting for! Battle it out in high quality 3D stages with character voicing! Enjoy 1 on 1 action against rival players from across the globe! Dragon QuestV1 - V2 - V3 - V4 - V5 - V6 - V8 - The game that started the legend of DRAGON QUEST is here at last for mobile devices! Discover the RPG that won the hearts of two generations! Enter a fantasy world of sword, magic, and monsters in one standalone package! Enframe - portrait puzzle game (shameless self plug as I am the developer) Farm Punks - Grow hilarious fruit and shoot them down a mountain with your giant cannon! How far can you roll? Take control of each fruit as it rolls down the mountain and try and earn as much cash as you can before it turns to mulch! Feud - Feud is a turn-based strategy game made by some guys you haven't heard of yet. Originally a board game designed by Dave Cordell, it's been polished and tweaked and generally mucked about with to bring it to the glowing screen you're reading this description on. Unless you printed it out? Think of the trees. Please. Fire Emblem Heroes - Nintendo's hit strategy-RPG Fire Emblem series, which has been going strong for more than 25 years, continues its journey on smart devices. Fight battles customized for touch screens and on-the-go play. Summon characters from across the Fire Emblem universe. Develop your Heroes' skills, and take them to new heights. This is your adventure—a Fire Emblem that's like nothing you've seen before! Galaxy Warrior: Alien Attack - Guide your spaceship through the vastness of space destroying menacing aliens and powerful bosses. It would seem that there is nothing to discover in the Solar System. But in the most remote corners of the Universe mankind has come up against cruel resistance. You are the only one who can save the galaxy from an alien race of invaders! Golf Blitz - Great PVP golf game made by the same guys who made Super Stickman Golf 3. Though I wish they'd release a 4th installment, this is a good alternative. Hidden Folks - Search for hidden folks in hand-drawn, interactive, miniature landscapes. Unfurl tent flaps, cut through bushes, slam doors, and poke some crocodiles! Rooooaaaarrrr!!!!! A strip of targets shows you what to look for. Tap a target for a hint, and find enough to unlock the next area. Holedown - Dig deep underground by shooting balls and breaking blocks, traversing your way to the planet cores. With limited shots per round and some blocks fixed firmly to the wall, thoughtfully strategize and aim for maximum impact. Knock down as many blocks as possible while collecting crystals for upgrades and getting deeper beneath the surface. Hoplite - A turn-based strategy game focusing on tactical movement around small maps. Enjoyable if you like roguelikes that require tactical movement and almost puzzle-like combat. Upgrade your abilities or stats as you progress through each floor. Hyper Heroes - TAP, SWIPE & SLING your heroes to send them smashing towards hordes of monsters, unleashing explosive power on impact and looting epic treasures! Just Change Color - it's arcade title, every level takes less than minute to complete (but may depend on skill and level of character you play with). It was designed to kill few minutes on bus, toilet, in bed and similar situations Kittens Game - Kittens Game is a village simulation text game. You manage a village of kittens as they acquire resources and unlock new technologies. Over 30 different buildings, 50+ resources, hundreds of technologies and upgrades. No ads or micro-transactions! Lichess - Chess. Nice turn based game where you can select the speed of games and also have the option for correspondence play/asynchronous play. I also just enjoy trying to solve the puzzles built into the app as they really get you thinking. There's also plenty of stuff in game to help learn in the Study section and being able to analyze your games/openings. Magic The Gathering Puzzle Quest - Magic: The Gathering and the original Match 3 RPG are re-imagined in Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest, an epic deck building, strategy and deep leveling role playing game! Mario Kart - Mario and friends go global in this new Mario Kart as they race around courses inspired by real-world cities in addition to classic Mario Kart courses! These destinations will be featured in tours that rotate every two weeks! In addition to courses based on iconic locales, some of your favorite Mario Kart characters will get variations that incorporate the local flavor of cities featured in the game! Meteorfall: Journeys - Extremely polished card-based roguelike. Classes are each fairly unique, and each run feels great. Mighty Heroes - It's nice to have a card game that can be played in portrait mode. I just grabbed this off the play store myself so I'm not sure how balanced or nuanced the play is yet but I've enjoyed the 2-3 hours I've put into it so far. If you play you'll get serious Hearthstone vibes, but the combat is a bit different as your monsters only attack straight ahead, and don't generally take damage when they attack. Miracle Merchant - In Miracle Merchant you become the apprentice of a master alchemist who creates potions for thirsty customers. By mixing and combining different ingredient cards you create powerful potions based on the needs of your customers. Night of the Full Moon - A stand-alone card game. There is no mandatory beginners guide, no internet connection, no brush map, no ten strokes. The plot will be played in the card battle. Each NPC and BOSS are given a mission and a temperament. Different choices will bring different endings. NYTimes Crossword - Solve and enjoy the same puzzles printed in the daily newspaper in this app built by The New York Times. OK Golf - NEW COURSE! - Llyncapel Ruins, Wales. It's not real golf, but it's OK! OK Golf is the essence of golf, refined to a tee. Play a quick round anywhere, anytime on stylish dioramas inspired by classic golfing destinations. Easy to play, hard to put down, perfect for all ages and handicaps! Onitama - Immerse yourself in an ancient Japanese setting and discover Onitama, an exciting, fast-paced strategy game! Onitama is somewhat reminiscent of chess and rather addictive with its dynamic game mechanic in which warriors face off so their master may win the game. Concentration and luck are the only weapons you'll have at your disposal! You'll need to fully master mind and body to defeat your opponents. Ordia - A one-finger platformer where you play as a new life form taking its first leaps into a strange and hazardous world. Piczle Lines DX - The follow-up to the highly praised prequel Piczle Lines DX offers hours of addictive, mind-bending logic-puzzle fun! Create pictures (PICture puzZLE) by connecting the right dots. With an ever-expanding puzzle mode, as well as a gripping story mode Piczle Lines DX will keep you entertained for hours and hours! Ping Pong King - "I'm Ping Pong King" is a very fun and exciting table tennis game. The goal of this game is to beat 16 rivals and win the crown; these funny stickmen can be world’s best champion, your boss or super grandma. It’s an easy finger-tapping game, simply tap right or left of the screen to control your stickman. Be careful not to miss any ball, or you'll fail this contest! Pizza Boy GBA Pro - **This is Game Boy Advance emulator.... NOT a Game Boy Classic/Color emulator!** The finest emulator of Nintendo Game Boy Advance is here! Pocket City - Build your own city as mayor. Create residential, commercial, and industrial zones. Build parks and recreation spots. Respond to crime and disasters. Watch your city come alive! This is the FREE version of Pocket City. The full version contains more features, including a sandbox mode where everything is unlocked! Get the full version for the best experience! The Battle of Polytopia - An Epic Civilization War - The Battle of Polytopia has begun. Lead your civilization into war in this low poly turn-based strategy game. Adventure into this world of blocks: explore, gather resources, farm, mine ore... Build an empire of epic proportions, train your warriors and send them to fight with armies of other civilizations. A new take on the classic strategy 4X game with beautiful low poly art. Puzzle & Dragons - A gacha based puzzle game, where you build your team of monsters and try to overcome enemies with different abilities in dungeons. There's quite a lot of depth to the game but it can get super grindy if you are trying to keep up with the collaborations and events in game. Think bejeweled but where you can make multiple matches of 3 or more gems in one turn. Each of your monsters has one or more special abilities that can be used, and you have one "leader" with passive abilities and a friend's monster you can bring along that also provides a leader ability. I still come back to this but when I was first into it I couldn't put it down for the longest time until I burned out. It's nice that there is a coop mode as well. Really Bad Chess - Really Bad Chess is just like chess, but with totally random pieces. Try 8 Knights, 4 Bishops, and 3 pawns — why not? Reigns - Sit on the throne as a benevolent (or malevolent) medieval monarch of the modern age and swipe your royal fingers either left or right to impose your will upon the kingdom. Survive the seemingly never-ending gauntlet of requests from your advisors, peasants, allies, and enemies while maintaining balance between the influential factions of your kingdom. But beware; each decision you make might have implications and unfortunate consequences down the road that could put your reign and family’s dynasty at risk! Rising Empires 2 - 4X fantasy strategy - Rising Empires 2 is an epic 4X turn-based strategy game in a fantasy setting, where six races strive to build the strongest civilization and lay claim to all the land on the Surface and in the Netherworld. Rogue adventure - Rogue Adventure is an incredible fusion of turn-based deckbuilder card game, rpg and roguelike, with an old style game pixel graphic. Discover different worlds, each with unique enemies and dangers, defeat all the bosses to become a hero. Find hundreds of different cards and powerful skills to create your perfect deck. Unlock new classes to try different strategies and have unlimited fun. Each run is unique, choose your path, find enemies, elites, bosses, merchants and treasures, and build your perfect strategy. Shattered Pixel Dungeon - Best roguelike on the phone IMO and one of my favorites. Been playing since '15. ShooMachi - Is It Wrong to Try to Strike a Bonanza by a Shoot 'em up game? Retro JRPG style Bullet hell Shoot'em up game ShooMachi Shop Titans: Epic Idle Crafter, Build & Trade RPG - YOU are the new craftsman in town. Help the heroes in epic battles against fearsome monsters that lurk in the dungeons. Personalize and design your store, build epic armor, swords and gear for the heroes to defend your village. Team up with blacksmiths, tailors, priestesses, carpenters and herbalists to make your business prosper. Trade, sell or auction your products to the highest bidders from other shops. Sell your goods to warriors and even add a surcharge! Siege: Titan Wars - Similar to Clash Royale but much faster based and rather unique as well. I dropped most of my other games besides this one and COD. Skyforce Reloaded - The spirit of the retro arcade shoot‘em ups, captured with modern visuals and design. New entry in the series will keep you entertained with all the things you’ve came to love in scrolling shooters. Meaty explosions, incinerating lasers, collosal bosses and diverse aircrafts to pilot. Star Traders RPG - Play this free RPG before you upgrade to Elite and enjoy hours of turn-based strategy for free! The Trese Brothers never run ads in our games -- enjoy an ad free, permission free experience! Command your officers and crew from the bridge of your star ship to travel, trade, and battle across the immense Star Traders Quadrant. Employ a wide variety of strategies as an Assassin, Bounty Hunter, Trader, Pirate or Smuggler. Can you manage your resources, crew and officers well enough to turn a profit in the complex economy that’s sprawling across the on-going interstellar conflict? Sudoku - The Clean One - Basic Sudoku game. Don't play it all that much anymore, but it was the best of the bunch when I did. Super Fowlst - Great little roguelike that can get quite intense. I usually play more chill games but this one scratches that Action-game itch when I get it. Tap Healer - Healing Touch - A great game that gives you the feeling of playing a healer in an MMO. You'll have npc allies that will tick damage on the enemy as you use your different abilities/talents to keep them alive. If you enjoy playing as a healer in RPGs this game is worth checking out, there's not really a story but as you progress you can actually see what it's like to play a healer in small dungeons or eventually large raids. Tap Titans - The world has been overrun by terrible monsters and titans - It needs a hero to bring peace to the land, and that hero is you! As our leader, you must grab your blade and vanquish the terror. With the help of other warriors you can summon along the way, collect artifacts to make yourself stronger and destroy the dark forces to bring peace to the land. Tap Titans 2 - The battle continues! Grab your sword and gather your heroes to battle mighty Titans in more than 70,000 levels. Enter tournaments, collect pets and become the ultimate sword master. An immersive Idle clicker RPG experience for all. The Titans are back, so join the adventure and tap tap tap to victory! The Greedy Cave - In a land far, far away there once was a vast continent called Milton. It was a land where the power of rule came by the sword and the arcane, where Men who devoted themselves to the blade or to magecraft, could become the finest warriors, wisest wizards or the greatest adventurers. In this land, there are several kingdoms divided by borders but united through history. Countless stories of alliances, upheaval, and moments of peace bedeck this tapestry, but that is a tale for another day. The Quarry - Great resource management game. Where you mine and transport resources to build and mine more. Just like factorio! The Sequence 1 - A unique puzzle game. Build a sequence using special modules to transfer binary cell. Find solutions to solve 72 levels with simple and complex structure. Are you ready for a challenge? The Sequence 2 - This is the next chapter of successful puzzle game [the Sequence]. It features new modules and introduces new game mechanics. Create moving sequences to bring "Binary Unit" to the destination point. Many levels could be solved in different ways, which allows to improve one's results and get into a higher position in leaderboard. Think out of the box to get to the next level! Create unique mind-blowing sequences! Tower Fortress - A mysterious tower has risen! It emits plumes of noxious green smoke from its summit making people sick. Strange creatures infest the tower but if nobody tries to ascend it we will all be doomed! Are you that hero?..... Triple Town - An original puzzle game in which you try to grow the greatest possible city. The larger the city you build, the more points you score. You build your city by matching three or more game-pieces: combine three grasses to make a bush, three bushes to make a tree... until you've filled the board with houses, cathedrals and castles. Along the way, you'll have to outwit giant bears who will try to block your progress. Troll Patrol (Early Access) - A puzzle game which combines the tile-matching and RPG genres by offering a unique experience: Play as the last defender of the threatened troll den where vicious village people and heroes from far away castles and kingdoms knock down your door. Stand firm, take whatever weapon is close and fight them off to get your family and friends to safety. Protect what is rightfully yours, your home, your heritage. They come for blood, for revenge, to still their blood thirst. But you won't allow it. Trueskate - The ultimate skateboarding sim. Twinfold - Twinfold delves into the duplicity of duplication. A roguelike about merging golden idols and squashing angry faces. Manipulate a labyrinthine tableau with the swipe of a finger. Merge and munch on golden idols level up and gain game-changing abilities. Ulala Idle Adventure - Whether you’re sleeping, eating, or taking the subway - come play Ulala: Idle Adventure! Ulala is an idle MMORPG, which brings to life the excitement and adventures of the Stone Age in a fun and social way! Void Tyrant - Build a deck as you battle across the galaxy, gathering powerful cards along the way. With strategy and a bit of luck, you might be able to reclaim the Eyes of Chronos. A single-player adventure, play with 500+ cards and three unique classes to engineer a custom deck to your own design. Rooted in the simple hit-or-stand mechanics of blackjack, Void Tyrant is an easy to understand roguelike with engrossing depth. Battle quirky aliens, disarm traps, upgrade your spaceport, and face off with the sinister Wruut. Ware Wolf Online - Defend your village from the forces of evil or become a werewolf and hunt your friends! Join the mystery game, fight for your team and find the liars among your ranks. Werewolf Online is a multiplayer game for up to 16 players. Each game has different teams such as villagers or werewolves all fighting to be the last team standing. Use special abilities to uncover the roles of other players and convince your fellow players to work with you. You Must Build a Boat - Travel the world in your boat, from the top of the Mage Tower to the bottom of Hell
Kickstarter Roundup: July 23, 2017 | 17 Ending Soon (incl: Stonebound Saga, Swords, & Ducklings) & 44 New This Week (incl: Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 3, Renegade, & Out of the Woods)
What this is:
This is a weekly, curated listing of Kickstarter tabletop games projects that are either:
newly posted in the past 7 days, or
ending in the next 7 days (starting tomorrow) and have at least a fighting chance of being funded.
All board game projects meeting those criteria will automatically be included, no need to ask. (But the occasional non-board game project may also sneak in!) Expect new lists each Sunday sometime between 12:00am and 12:00pm PST.
Magilogical : A #HereBeDragons Card Game Magilogical is a simple card game that has been designed to introduce the concept of Logic Gates. Fantasy and Magic meet Computing. (Has currently earned £657 of £1,000)
Ancient Dice: 50,000 Year Old Dice Prehistoric dice, handcrafted from Ancient Kauri, the world's oldest wood - perfectly preserved since The Stone Age! (Has currently earned £7,124 of £1,000)
Bad Actors: Free Your Wild Side A party game where players answer questions acting as characters like geekiest tech nerd, mad scientist or fanatical sports fan. (Has currently earned $21,210 of $11,000)
Balzie the cat: ever.fun.game A fast paced card picking game; practice your telepathic, mind reading and poker face skills - all while tryin' to keep away Balzie's.. (Has currently earned $506 CAD of $3,500 CAD)
Blind Wizard Brawl Blind Wizard Brawl is a phygital game (hybrid tabletop game which requires a free app) about bluffing your spells to victory! (Has currently earned £1,562 of £2,900)
Books & Boards The first of its kind: used bookstore and family board game rental service. Get board - not bored. (Has currently earned $0 of $2,500)
Burning Rome Will you save Rome, or destroy her? A quick tactical card game with ancient battles, deck construction and lots of replayability. (Has currently earned £4,355 of £8,800)
Christmas Eve - The Board Game Christmas deserves a dedicated board game and this is it! A multi-aspect game including dice rolling, mini-games and card challenges! (Has currently earned £1,229 of £3,500)
Defense of the Citadel Around €76/US$88=HK$680. Pledge goal around €9000/US$10000. Customize your Citadel and characters to battle waves of evil monsters. (Has currently earned HK$269,994 of HK$80,000)
Diesel Demolition Derby A tactical drafting card game for 2-6 players. An underground fighting league for dieselpunk mechas in a society in Crisis. (Has currently earned $11,125 of $10,000)
Mysticards: Deck of Ancients Deck of Ancients is the second installment in the Mysticards line of games. It is a 2-6 player trick based card game. (Has currently earned $305 of $5,000)
Out of the Woods Out of the Woods is… a collection of dark and disturbing fairy tales adapted into a Card Game, Book, and compilation of Art Prints. (Has currently earned $91,510 of $175,000)
PALADIN: Warriors of Charlemagne Charge into the exciting medieval world as a paladin of the great Charlemagne! Based on the award-winning game King Arthur Pendragon! (Has currently earned $40,142 of $10,000)
Persist the Game A game built from the female perspective. Persist invites women to laugh, learn from each other, and connect meaningfully. (Has currently earned $3,635 of $10,000)
First| Previous | Next Tek’s first impulse was denial. This entity that made Seeker look like an infant couldn’t be real. His second impulse was rage. He’d overpowered Seeker, hadn’t he? Found a way to outmaneuver her at every turn, compensating for the fact she had started out being able to think faster than him, move faster, have a huge fleet, and more. Tek had broken Seeker, systematically and completely, and ended his fight just the way he wanted. Hand to claw, relaxing, proving she was just something to be hunted, after all. The stars were another jungle. Null zones were pit traps. Preparation, knowing your enemy, turning their habits into downfalls--all that was exactly the same. “Stars?” asked the Progenitor. “You think you are among the stars?” Tek couldn’t fight this. All his planning, and it was reduced to nothing the moment a zookeeper arrived. “I want to leave this system,” he said, simply, honestly, as the Progenitor dilated time around them, stretching words to the length of heartbeats. “I want to see the universe. Exit the garden you made for me. Teach me. Tell me why that is wrong.” “The universe wasn’t for you,” said the Progenitor. There was a twist, and Tek’s consciousness flew out of the Liberty’s Call bridge. Passed a hall where Jane Lee and Nith were fighting Morok, surrounded by fallen armored and furred bodies. Morok reared at Jane Lee, whose invisibility was stuttering, and would have torn her apart with his fangs, if not for the fact Nith, wearing marine armor, helmet setting just turned transparent enough for Tek to see her face, interposed. Morok took what he could get. Ripped out Nith’s arm, along with too much internal viscera. Tek heard the words in Nith’s mind, as the Progenitor showed him, all in the fragmented moments before Tek’s consciousness zoomed further away. Protect… First Hunter’s… Wife… Our future… Tek could feel Nith’s heartbeat slow, feel her dying, and then someone in the passageway threw a grenade. Morok batted it away before it exploded. Tek could feel Morok’s disgust about how Tek had used Morok’s training in the bowels of Liberty’s Call as a tool to infiltrate deep the super Titan, bringing Vendion closer to Seeker. Morok considered this a betrayal of his and Tek’s agreement. Morok thought that he had been the one to hew closer to the terms. Jane Lee took the moment to attack Morok again. Tek could hear her mind, too. I can’t let him down. I can’t let him down. These were almost the only cogent thoughts in Jane Lee’s mind, on repeat, and echo, as she used her jet to bounce off the wall, a sort of environmental move Tek might have done, and came around to the intersection between Morok’s abdomen and cephalothorax. The combination of jungle strategy and specops technique had slipped past Morok’s cor-vo-bitten leg, and his guard. From above, Jane Lee stabbed down with her microedge and rifle bayonet. Morok purr-roared, Nith’s heart stopped beating, and someone threw another grenade, or maybe a microcharge. The passageway went white. Tek’s disembodied mind continued to flee, and expand, until he found himself outside the Liberty’s Call, looking at the ship that had bitten it. And. Looking at the gargantuan, kilometers-long cor-vo that swam in space by the Titan’s side, needing no air, more true and beautiful than the battleships designed for void that hung like decorations around it. Your vessel, Tek thought to the Progenitor. You need a ship? I like the aspect you chose as its form. The Progenitor laughed, and it seemed nearby Titans themselves rattled in mirth. That’s just another part of me, Little One. Tek found himself staring into the false cor-vo’s beak, as it flickered into a lion, a dragon, and then a hundred other shapes from distant planets or philosophy that Tek had never learned. His consciousness, buoyed by the Progenitor, continued to expand, or maybe be merged with the Progenitor’s own, until Tek’s vision was filled with what seemed like a holographic view of the entire battlefield, almost exactly what he remembered from the display Seeker had put on to try to flatter him, spanning well beyond both ends of the null maze. The true scope of the cor-vo was apparent here. It was size of a planet. It was still just an avatar. Its gravitational pull affected none of the ships or stellar environment that swirled around, because the Progenitor had neatly diverted that effect to trouble a different dimension. A span astronomical units in all directions rippled, and the battle Tek had worked so hard to set to his favor stressed up and down, like the Home Fleet was conformed to the surface of a vicious ocean current, stretched almost unrecognizable, and yet unharmed, because this was exactly the way the true universe always was, and humans were just too blind to see. Tek had the distinct sense he was being offered just a fraction of what the Progenitor perceived. Do they see you? asked Tek, referring to the monolithic avatar. Did the fighting stop? They perceive, said the Progenitor. Not exactly as you do--their instruments warp and stutter, as if I am a singularity, or a sun--but they, and the hybrids on the bridge, did perceive a fraction of what I allow you to witness in more complete glory. Few flatlings--even not Seeker, who you terrified so--get to perceive a Progenitor so clearly. Most do not know us when we interact. You are lucky, perhaps, to see such a great percentage of the truth. Closer and you would be ripped apart. You can touch the totality of what I am no more than an organism trapped on a scientist’s slide can rear to the height of its tester. Is that what you are? asked Tek, as the binary stars themselves kaleidoscoped and spun, as Tek’s consciousness was pulled by the Progenitor even further outwards. All was nothing, and the light and dark was the same, and Tek was torn into pieces and everywhere at once. If he had to use a metaphor, it was as if the Progenitor had pulled Tek into a womb. Enough, agreed the Progenitor. My brethren do many things more interesting than observing the human stain upon its slice of the universe, but someone has to make sure the bugs don’t crawl in the house. Tek saw a fragment image that reminded him of Crystal Sector. All those colonists? he wondered. They were on someone’s lawn? The swirling lights that threatened to overwhelm Tek belched further accord. You are a quick one, said the Progenitor. The Icarus metaphor you thought, on Liberty’s Call*. An instructor in the Academy vids only gave that Earth mythological reference once, and you noticed the relevance immediately. You are amusing. Someone more sentimental than me might even call you a delight.* “Now,” said the Progenitor, abrupting sitting in a high-backed blue chair, behind a desk, surrounded by a gray void. It appeared in the shape of Weri, Tek’s mother. Not how she’d been, but how he remembered her, too beautiful to be real, smile larger the sun, formed warped, as if seen through a bubble, because Tek’s memories were old and faded. “We have business. The bugs, as you might say, are threatening again to get in the house. As part of the protocol, the tradition, I am supposed to examine one, and he who climbed to the top of the anthill seemed like the right choice. Seeker was fumigation chemical. The next fumigation chemical we make must be better.” Tek knew he had to keep the Progenitor talking. He knew the Progenitor was peering into his mind far more thoroughly than a neural link ever could, knew that his new stratagem had been dissected and understood the moment he’d thought it up. Tek could only hope the stratagem was the sort that worked even if the instructions were clearly broadcast from the label. “Fermi paradox,” he said. “That’s what you are. The answer to the riddle.” Tek was seated in front of the Progenitor, in an ancient leather chair. The Progenitor leaned forwards. “Explain.” “In the xenoanthropology lecture I listened to,” said Tek. “Professor Dewan was talking about the SETI project, and how for so many years, humans in the old days couldn’t find signs of sentient life around distant stars, even though they tried so hard to hear. The classic explanation, the pessimistic interpretation of the Drake equation, was that the chances of sentient life were so tiny that humans were alone in the universe. A quirk of fractional chances of star and planet formation rates, habitable zone location chances, abiogenesis, the nature of civilizational formation, and the nature of signal emission. No one had good numbers to put in the Drake equation, but much speculation centered around the idea that it was hard to create life from nothing. The pre-civilization odds, if you will. I think this is true, but I also think your species is ancient, and became lords of the stars far before Apollo went to the Moon. Why didn’t my ancestors detect you? Because the way you communicate naturally was far beyond the ability of the SETI electromagnetic receivers to notice. We were never alone, not for one day of our history, but we were unable to perceive.” “You’re not saying the part you think will annoy me,” said the Progenitor. “If you came first,” said Tek. “Because someone had to, you squashed all the others. Because they were bugs to you. Maybe your species was born extradimensional, and maybe the other species were likewise different from humans in ways mind-boggling to comprehend, but they were out there, just as you were out there, and you killed them. Maybe not intentionally. The sixth extinction of Earth, which occured around the time humanity developed space travel, involved, relevantly, the deaths of hundreds of animal species, with a special focus on animals that disturbed human hegemony on Earth. So many species, like the sort of tiger Larcery may have been made in the image of, survived only with human intervention. Or in zoos.” Tek couldn’t help but smile. “The garden worlds. You think you’re showing a kindness, don’t you? Sweep humanity out of the way, set up preserves, because otherwise, the industrialists among you, the poachers, the ones who want to kill for amusement, or merely because they want to build your equivalent of a highway, will wipe us out merely by going through the natural action of what it means to be a citizen or company in a civilization as fantastically advanced as yours.” “You are much less than a tiger to us,” said the Progenitor. It didn’t sound like a criticism. Not really. Just a statement of fact. “Are you sorry?” asked Tek. “You, who arrived to your sentience and power first? You who might have been us, had our times been swapped, had we come into our own billions of years ago, like your kind?” “We do not count time as you do,” said the Progenitor. “We count universes. I need to undo you now. Remove the chief pest, and set K-3423 back, mostly, to the way it was. You are amusing, just like your grandfather--” Tek saw a flash of this Progenitor hiding behind Uk’s eyes, terrifying Aratan into vowing to spend his life guarding the escape pod “--but you were not the first, and will not be the last. I have an itinerary. I ripped everything from your mind the moment we met, your permutations, possibilities, but while it is not a waste of time to watch a dog perform a trick you know it knows, I have a job to do. People to see. I am not alone in the universe, even if I will never recognize humanity as an equal. You were right about Progenitors having a civilization.” “Wait,” said Tek. “Why?” “The anthropic principle. Your kind will eventually be beaten. Even if by entropy. As you said, there will be many bugs after me. There is a value in keeping something like me. Giving me a larger preserve than just the planet. Scientific or leisurewise.” “Entropy?” the Progenitor asked. “A constant,” said Tek. “Just as the people of the Union flatter themselves to wear ornate clothing, which always thins, we are all worn by the universe itself.” “I know what entropy is, Little One. Let me show you.” The room was gone. Tek’s body was gone. There was nothing. Then an explosion. Quarks making atoms making galactic density variations making suns, which erupted into heavier atoms and built new suns and worlds. Tek imagined the elegance was better than what had existed in the universe containing K-3423-H1, and Earth. The creation of a new universe, as an art piece. Was it real? Tek found himself zooming towards a sun, feeling all the intensity of its heat, somehow without any pain. As a tickle. Perception. Pleasure. Flying through the corona of one of these yellow factories is like a bath, isn’t it? asked the Progenitor. It’s so much colder when you get to the chromosphere, only a few thousand Kelvin, but if you want the real hot tub, you just need to move through to the center. Fifteen million Kelvin. There’s a galactic collision in your universe I could show you that gets into the hundreds of millions, surprisingly accessible via tachyon currents, but if I brought you there, some of my kind would ask me why I wasn’t working. I hope the house I built is proof sufficient to show that my kind tamed entropy the way your kind tamed fire. The ‘house’ the Progenitor made wasn’t the sun. It was the entire little universe the Progenitor had created for Tek, just to prove a point. Tek felt it. This universe was real. Tek was standing on the closest the sun had to a surface, the dense plasma at its core, and, thanks to the way the Progenitor sheltered him, he could feel a facsimile of what the Progenitor was enjoying. The right metaphor was akin to washing one’s hands. To something on the scale of a Progenitor, a star was an appliance. They popped back to the room with the desk. “Don’t drop your matches,” said the Progenitor. “Every one of our children knows how to prevent the heat death of a universe. You have no idea what to even threaten me with. This is the end. You knew your mother as Weri. Aratan used a pet name for her, Nila. You never knew a fact so close to you. What other infinities are beyond your reach?” “Track-jeeps,” said Tek. “Tread-jeeps. Synonyms. Superficial. What words intend matter. Was I an idiot because I started off with an accent the people of the Union could barely understand? Entropy was a metaphor too, at least the way I meant it. Your kind has a relationship with the universes you swim through and build. If this is a formality, and I could never be of use to you kept alive, why have you spent so long talking with me?” “Zigfried Torgus thought as you did,” said the Progenitor. “He was memorable. He grew up on one of the planets pruned early from the edges of what the Union called the Prime Colonies. He launched a rebellion. Seized the world’s environmental controls and defeated two who were like Seeker, if at more of a remove than you did. He understood us as well as any human could. Thought he would escape our notice. Thought we would think he was amusing. Even began to commit the sort of brutalities our greater servants seem to enjoy, because he thought he could humor us through his revolution’s self-imposed restrictions. Several of his memory-clones are screaming in boxes, somewhere. We do not take kindly to those who think they know what we want.” “I have no interest in proceeding further while guessing at your desires,” said Tek. “I merely wish to point out that there is a use you can set me to, you, who find so many things beneath your notice, who has no interest in using the full might of the Progenitors to burn a house down looking for ants. I will not pledge to keep my rebellion within constraints, if you let me free. Laws of war such as were established in Hague or Geneva are not appropriate to the relationship between humans and Progenitors. As we are, we can never be equals. Nor will I pledge to be your mindless tool. You do not want that. You do not need that. What I believe you want are people like Seeker. I defeated her. You clapped. Consider that my audition.” “You fought so hard to tear us down,” said the Progenitor. “Why are you willing to give up? Go corporate? Be the opposite?” “Because I see you,” said Tek. “I look up at the totality of what you are, in half-wonder, half-confusion, just as I did when I first saw the Gyrfalcon in the sky. The Not-Bird. And, with time to think and reflect, I can change my approach. I came to the conclusion that I craved going the sky after feeling the loss of the outsiders disappear. Just as now, I come to the conclusion that the only salvage I can manage here is to offer the services of everything I have and may build. You know this is no lie. That, while I will always strive for the benefit of those who have vested any trust in me, that count includes you. Will be overwhelmed by you. And you do not need any trust, not really. Because even now, you are dissecting my mind, and see that I have made an iron vow that any permutation of my future will be for your benefit.” Strengths to weaknesses, thought Tek. One becomes the other. One as powerful as Seeker would never dare trust him. But for a Progenior, who had very little at stake, and could verify… “You will have other objectives too,” said the Progenitor. Tek inclined his head. “Of course. Just as Seeker did. But, as I was better than her, I think I can satisfy your desires more.” “You know I am an exterminator,” said the Progenitor. “The things I will ask of you will be both horrific and nearly impossible, because I would only want to get maximum use out of my tools. No point in sparing the brush.” “I will find a way to satisfy my morality and your will,” said Tek. “You know this. You predicted every word of this conversation. I thank you for humoring me, and not disappearing after the first moment, leaving me to wonder if our communication was real.” “I was not always unkind,” said the Prognitor, morphing to the visage of Brian Alves. “I have a family, you know. In my discretion as an exterminator in this sector of space, I dub you my hand. Pending the outcome of three trials. The first is simple, and I know you will pass, but you must hear it.” “What?” “You, who have fought for humanity, are not human. Tell me what you think of that, Tek of Zhadir’.” “Tell me what you mean,” asked Tek, gripping the armrests of the leather chair that was probably three thousands other things besides. “Did you ever notice that you and Aratan were a bit above mere mortals? That the only human who could keep up with you was a juiced MMA champion, and that, barely? Did you notice that she beat you in part because you allowed it? Did you notice that you absorbed more knowledge in the short weeks you spent knowing about the stars than most Academy graduates dream of? Did you notice that you matched wits with a part-machine that was supposed to be able to think faster than you, and with the bare advantage that Seeker didn’t know you were coming, kept it that way, and have already made one part in ten of her fleet your own? Does that sound human, Tek of Zhadir’?” “You will not take my accomplishments away from me merely by pointing out they happened,” said Tek. “I imagine I was lucky as well as skilled. The anthropic principle would suggest that there are any number of people who could have been me, who were so good at organizing that their forces raged on without them, but who were taken out before they reached full prime. If you wish to flatter me, and say I was destined, Elder Progenitor, I will happily give more commentary if you tell me why.” “Your lineage traces to certain eugenics programs from the early days of human spaceflight,” said the Progenitor. “Your ancestors who knew Earth were bred like cattle. One tech-head told to marry another. Olympic athletes too. Until the seed was so great that it persisted in the body of a passenger on the Procession of Paradise even after the program was shut down. Aratan’s grandmother, did not, after her mind was wiped, bear many children, and not all of those in the line of decent possessed the traits that human scientists worked so hard to build. Some did, in various degrees and expressions. Aratan. Sten. You.” “People who are similar sometimes have children,” said Tek. “Arranged marriages existed among clanfolk and among cityfolk, back on a certain world that I mourn. To be the product of ancestors who had their own adventures, or were bent to the whims of others, is to be human.” “You do not understand,” said the Progenitor. “There were gene therapies too. And the stock that made you had notable traits. A fairly large portion of your DNA is Homoneanderthalensis.” “A sentient species that grew up beside Homo sapiens humans on Earth,” said Tek, straining to remember. “Overrun, but not so different to prevent some from interbreeding with their conquerors. I am proud to continue their legacy. To merge the lines. I am still human. And so were they, in every way that matters.” “Gene therapies,” said the Progenitor. “That part can by no stretch be considered natural. You are no role model for children to follow. You were blessed beyond their ken. That which you have worked for, mildly, is beyond the abilities of many who would devote their lives.” “What is a identity?” asked Tek. “When a company drops popultants in the water and the next generation of fish are mutant fish, do those fish not deserve the title? When a person has an accident, loses a limb, and gets a prosthetic, stronger, does that person stop being human? When a person merges their decision making much with a link, does that make the person inhuman? I do not think in the worlds we live in, you can draw so bright a line. In this day and age, with the right backing, choices, or luck, it would not be impossible for any human alive to become at least a fraction of Seeker. Your kind doesn’t make it that easy to become a hybrid, but as far as I can tell, being a hybrid--stronger than me at baseline, mind you--is more a matter of choice for those living on Progenitor Administration worlds than you would care for me to remember. And I was told--Jane Lee told” (the Progenitor forced Tek to say the name) “that there are certain experimental Union military programs that do some fraction of the same. You try to make the science that made me sound unique, but the legacy continues, even if the specific program was canceled. And there were others who strove towards similar goals as me. You said it yourself. There are things I have been given that others do not have--the worlds are unfair--but they are unfair at all levels. A thousand barriers separating classes of those you would trivially consider human. Ten thousand different skillsets, and more, each with different cheats. Everyone has a unique combination of traits, everyone can improve from their various starting gates, and everyone is best at something.” “Tell that to a cripple,” said the Progenitor. “Cripple in what?” asked Tek. “Mind or body? Besides, compared to you, I fit the word without qualifiers. It’s almost as if I’m human.” One advantage of the Progenitor knowing Tek’s soul was that Tek figured the jab, once thought, was as good as said. “I said you would pass,” said the Progenitor. “I accept your delusion. The next trial is a sacrifice. Everyone who joins us must offer something. Initiation rituals are important, even for someone of your will. You must know how much you have given up to be my hand. You will be nowhere near as effective, otherwise.” “Make me a hybrid,” said Tek. “Make me like Morok, so I can mourn that I was not able to be a better friend. Take my body, do whatever you want to it, take it from me entirely, put me in a computer, split my soul in two-- I will suffer anything, and gladly. You know this.” “I will keep you just as you are, Tek of Zhadir’,” said the Progenitor. “I think I will go after your brother.” Tek stayed externally composed, but he imagined that for something like the Progenitor, he might as well have not bothered. The Progenitor, returning to looking like a dream version of his mother, nodded along. “I will offer a choice,” said the Progenitor. “To make your decision as painful as possible. It is not, ‘give me Sten, or die.’ It will be, ‘give me Sten, or go back to the way things were.’ In the option where you back out, I will restore K-3423-H1. Put the re’eef back, and all the other animals, plants, fungi, etcetera. Resurrect facsimiles of all the dead. Many of these facsimiles may be the real thing, by your estimation. Just as there are competing human standards of death--easier with the heart than the brain--the standards by which my kind judges end are pushed to the limit further still. You can have all this, be restored to the jungle, with Sten. I will even throw in a boon and make it so he will not die of illness. I will force you alone to keep your memories, of course, so you will always know. I will take the pod and the Paradise, and I will close a dome around the world, that pretends to be the sky, so nothing will enter or leave until long after you are dust. But you will be as happy as you could possibly be on that planet. You will probably get to retake Ba’am.” “Grandfather?” “I cannot say if he will be your grandfather,” said the Progenitor. “My standards are different than yours. But he will certainly think he is Aratan. I will undo every bit of the suffering that came with the Gyrfalcon, and his death counts.” “Or?” “Or you give me Sten of your own free will,” said the Progenitor. “I will pluck him from the Restoration where he sits, and make him mine. And with that small change complete, I will return you to the moment of your triumph over Seeker. Not that it is so impressive. Seeker was barely a newborn. You will need to finish Seeker, clean up her fleet, and be ready for my instructions, when they arrive. I will offer no assistance with this. If Seeker manages to save self, or if you falter, you are no instrument that can help me. At the start, you will be trapped on Liberty’s Call, surrounded by hybrids, and your battleships, themselves nearly surrounded in the null maze, will be outnumbered nearly by a order of magnitude. Sten, whatever I will do to him--he may be the only member of the Alliance who lives. Ripping out the heart of the Home Fleet, Seeker, does not guarantee victory. There are many who are anxious to serve. Even if you win, your dead will stay dead. And the survivors will, through you, be enslaved to a being that cares not one iota whether they live or die, unless of course, you make a mistake and fly to contaminate the wrong part of the universe.” “What is your name?” asked Tek. “I would like to know what to call the being to whom I swear allegiance.” “No hesitation,” said the Progenitor. “I knew it was coming, but it is still a sight to see. Amuse me further. Tell the audience why you would sacrifice your brother.” “It cannot be for nothing. Even if the result will be tainted from what first I wanted. The stars are worth fighting for. I will not falter now. I will break the Home Fleet.” “Once, you said it was all for your brother. For his future.” “Maybe that was a lie I told myself,” said Tek. “Or maybe it was always one of the reasons, because I am complex, like we all are. A reason you have forced me to drop because, as I am fallible, it is no longer the reason at the center. I notice you do not say what you will do with Sten. You do not say that you will kill him. I imagine you would not like the creature you made if you asked me to agree to that.” “The atrocities you would commit in my name, and for your grief, would make Seeker’s pale,” the Progenitor said readily. “I already have such tools.” “What will you do with him?” “Mold him,” said the Progenitor. “He is a child, and so very unlike you. You think everyone contains a demon, and contains good. He thinks everyone contains good first, then the demon. I can work with that until he becomes unrecognizable.” “Your name?” “I am what you scream for in a parched desert,” said the Progenitor. “I am Water.” Tek dropped out of the chair, onto his knees, as the seating and the table disappeared, and the gray void all around swirled like the gray goo it was perhaps always meant to ape. He pounded a fist to the floor, meaning every centimeter of his submission, because if he did not, it would all be for nothing, and he would not allow that. If being the slave of a Progenitor meant he would get to see the stars, see relics of the Union, and have a chance to learn all else that there was, as well as give the opportunity for millions of others from his planet to do the same… “I give myself to you in my entirety,” said Tek, staring at the ground that was not ground, because it was squirming and wriggling with myriads different shapes, maybe the figures of those who had died in the gray goo, who he had condemned to stay buried. He felt himself spin and churn until he knew not what direction down was, or how much of his posture was a metaphor, or a mentalism, or real, but still he radiated servitude. “I am the cup that brings your fraction to others’ lips,” said Tek. “I am the riverbed that lays down and allows your will to flow. I am the rainseeder that helps make a maelstrom, and, barring that, I am the elder with magic both false and strong, who hears your will and binds the masses to it. I ask no one to forgive me, least of all my brother, and not even the enemies I will tear down in my anxiousness to replace Seeker. I will use my position to make what good I can, ever hoping I make more than if I had chosen the opposite path, but I will be your hand knowing the decision is irrevocable. I will fight for your scraps as eagerly as I will fight to execute your whims, and you will discover you never had a better dog. Water. My sovereign. My unmatchable elder. My emperor.” Go, said Water, and Tek felt himself being flung back to the bridge of Liberty’s Call. Third test. Fix me a palace. First| Previous | Next *** I also have a fantasy web serial called Dynasty's Ghost, where a sheltered princess and an arrogant swordsman must escape the unraveling of an empire. If you like very short microfiction, you can try my Twitter @ThisStoryNow.
Implementation of blockchain technologies provided a solution that allows to refuse of use of central servers for storing the database and to entrust them to a distributed registry. For the first time it was implemented through the example of digital currency – Bitcoin. Then enthusiastic programmers, who focused their attention on the opened opportunities, went further. They began to implement their ideas and supply new tools, laying the foundation for the digital system of the future. In such a way, smart contracts and decentralized applications appeared, presented to the user as software products for wide variety of spheres: business, entertainment, communication… Virtual blockchain began to obtain visual outlines. https://preview.redd.it/utjl7ervb9u21.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=46f4ce45dbf1a3f3d84be8b027ebf10fb3374c30
Leaders in creation DApps
Ethereum became the first blockchain project that allows the creation of smart contracts and DApps. But programmers faced difficulty - low transaction speed, which was limited to 20 tps. In 2017, EOS and TRON acted as projects that found a solution. They collected millions with the help of ICO and drove by roadmap. On the one hand, indeed, the shown speed was significantly different and gave the opportunity to develop DApps (TRON - 1200 tps, EOS - 4000 tps). Although Ethereum took the lead in the number of created in its blockchain applications, taking a head start in two years, the competitors who appeared on the market began to drain-away developers to their platforms. For April 2019 EOS ranks the first in the number of unique users (171k) and transaction volume ($ 3 bln), TRON - the second (71k, 600 mln). This is despite the fact that more DApps allocated in Ethereum. The only thing is that transaction rate both TRON and EOS was obtained detriment of decentralization. Both projects work on the PoS consensus algorithm, and this is already a reason not to consider them decentralized. As for Ethereum, its blockchain with each fork also gradually moves towards the final transition to the PoS consensus. While the main developers justify their actions by that the PoW algorithm has already outlived itself and the distributed registry running on such a consensus cannot provide the characteristics, necessary for full-fledged DApps functionality. That is not so!
Attractive advantage of TERA
What DApps are on the TERA platform
What else would be nice to see on TERA
Virtual soil of TERA is just beginning to put out shoots of the first planted digital seeds, and in the blockchain space there is enough space for the flight of imagination when creating DApps. I will give as an example just the first that comes to mind, as well as taken from the statements of members of the TERA community on Discordapp.com. Thus, would be great to see: - platform for trading binary options, for a start at least on the same pair of TERA / BTC; - browser for work with DApps and recommendations for building applications; - a service for voting on the blockchain would provide transparency into the system of election in any sphere (such a proposal was received at Eurovision-2019, why not create it on TERA); - author's rights patenting services for works of art, inventions and other intellectual property; - a full-fledged forum where comments would be saved and could not be deleted (the foundation of such an application has already been laid); - chess, backgammon, bingo, durak and other classic games; - more games! Strategies, shooter games, exploration games... Suggest to take a deeper look to the hits of the 80s and 90s. Could be found what to remember and transfer to the decentralized platform TERA; - fully functional casino with a wide range of entertainment: 3-line and 5-line Slot games, roulette, blackjack, poker, bets and other services of gambling industry; - and so on and so forth. If such ideas do not come to developers’ mind, feel free to contact the author of this article and he will share his own in the field of gaming and gambling, and help with their realization with the creative approach! In the long run, what we need for everyday life? Tools to make money and ways to spend it. The unique features of TERA blockchain make it possible to place both in it. Plus they will be independent of any central administration and free of censorship. To inspire developers for actions, the Chinese TERA community announced a contest with a prize fund of 165,000 coins. https://preview.redd.it/ksrxovbbd9u21.jpg?width=720&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c2f16e877b7dac0cf2b4ef0bb249f98c0c6d0396 Those who are interested in placing their DApps on TERA will be helped by DApp Paper - https://docs.google.com/document/d/10yXAKxaU7YgrQnbdXu_L7WWovUoRtdJwo3tXXaGZGSQ/edit And a couple of words to the developers: You can choose TRON platform, you can choose EOS or Ethereum. But what are your priorities? All these systems are in the hands of corporate owners, which leads away from decentralization. And those who want to get away from totalitarian control and give the fruits of their creativity complete freedom should consider the TERA platform. The TERA Foundation website has a page with a special world map. It shows in real time how many full nodes support the blockchain operation- https://terafoundation.org/map.html. To be among the first means to participate in laying the foundation, that is able to withstand a powerful boost to the rapid development of future technologies. If there is no your city on the map, only a few minutes separates you from correcting it. Instructions for node installation will help to join the TERA community and make your contribution right now. It can be found here: https://sourceforge.net/p/tera/code/ci/mastetree/README.md https://preview.redd.it/zcq5ijbgd9u21.jpg?width=1246&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a3cdd4219a5904a89f5de59413d45d6769b07a54 Participation in the expansion of TERA encourages growth and development of the idea of freedom from central administration, which was stated when Bitcoin was launched. These are not just fantasies or dreams, there are authoritative representatives of science who consider blockchains to be the basis for the economy of future, which will have no boundaries. And with the help of active participants full decentralization will come much faster. This development has no limits, since it is fueled by the independent striving, own free will and potential that is inherent in each of us.
3 strategies to start making friends IRL - even if you feel socially left behind [repost]
At the beginning of my college years, I was alone a lot, it sucked. I had this gaping hole in, but didn’t know what to do with it. So I grinded away my time. Gaming, watching movies. Numbing myself. Feeling lonely. Yeah, I knew a few people. My stoner roommates for example. Cool guys, but not the relief from social isolation I craved. No offense stoners, but you are not that talkative while on a semester-long smoking binge :). A lot of people are familiar with periods of loneliness. Maybe even you. It can feel like everybody already has a great social life. But you are just left behind somehow. Why are you the one without normal social skills? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could have a group of cool friends? I sure needed a group of more active friends. Instead of watching Anchorman for the 5th time in a row, while blunts passed over dropping chemtrails. For you, it might be having a new cool group to hang out with. People to share and bond with. But where to start, if you know no one? I just moved to a new city, 12 years after first facing this dilemma. But now I know how to find and make friends! And it is fun! You want to know how? Yes! Great, you just might enjoy it as well. Let’s start with three basic strategies to make friends. Even if you feel like you lag in this area, soon you will have great friends to hang out with! To eat nachos while watching a game, or grab a beer at Friday reviewing the week! Geeking out on the newest episode of One Piece. Whatever floats your boat. Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, some clarification. Being a friend is not a binary status. With on the one hand stranger and on the other side best friend. It is a spectrum. From; not knowing, to stranger, to acquaintance, friend, good friends, best friends. And everything in between. Making friends is strengthening a bond between you and others. Shifting them from stranger, slowly to the other side of the scale. Sometimes it is easy to move up. Sometimes it is hard! People slide back on the scale or shoot forward through shared hardships. It is not an exact science, but a skill you get the hang of. Making friends is hard to learn but easy to master. At first, there is a steep learning curve, but after you acquired the basics it is easy to apply all the time. Know what you want or like, but also be open minded when exploring these strategies. So let’s get started, to make friends, you need people. Strangers. New people. 1. Where to go to meet new people There are infinite places where people meet. People mines to harvest. Some will be better suited for you than others. Starting from scratch asks for some advantageous circumstances. These beneficial circumstances start with a low threshold to enter. So not an exclusive club, or a place with incomprehensible mores. But a place where it is easy to go, without any hurdles. Preferably strangers are welcomed as part of the culture. A dynamic place where new people come and go all the time. In fact, it’s a place that looks for new people all the time. Furthermore, it is centered around something you like. An activity, interest or passion. Where you can learn or share a common interest. Another plus is a regular meetup. A small commitment to get together creates a healthy social atmosphere. But one of the best features; it’s open minded. Full of people open to getting to know new people, ideas, and passions. Where you can be yourself. So where do you find these conditions? First the easiest option of all. There are some great digital ways to join (or even create) communities. You could look at your local Facebook groups. Search what is happening around your interests. Probably there are some groups open to you joining. Especially if they have regular meetups this is a great way to start. Alternatively meetup.com is great for these kinds of groups as well. It takes a bit of digging. But using this tool, you can easily find new peers. Ideally, you search for a modest sized get-together. Let’s say you are interested in Quidditch. You search for local groups that do just that. Ask to join - chat a bit online, things click you can hang out. These are international examples, but undoubtedly there are local digital alternatives as well. As for the analog world, the most obvious place to meet new people is at work, school or college. A great opportunity. Here are potentially loads of unknown people, with similar (professional) interests. There can be an open atmosphere for new people. Look out for people you haven’t met yet at the office/class. You can also join clubs or associations. Think of sports, games, and culture. Join the newbie soccer team. Start going to philosophy meetings. Tag along with the theater guys. There are many societies that align with your interest. But even cooler, try to do something new! Follow classes. Learn to paint, or farm, or drive stick (I’m looking at you Americans). Preferably something you do with a group. Where you and other rookies get the hang of a new skill. It is fun and interesting to bond over shared fuck ups! Failing and messing shit up together, but eventually learning something new, it’s fun! Or better yet, try volunteering. Go to your local soup kitchen, or help at the local marathon. Give yourself to a community and help loads of strangers. People will appreciate your effort, and your fellow volunteers are happy you join them in their endeavor. A low threshold, enriching environment to meet and help people. A last potential option is reacquainting yourself with lost friends or classmates. You kind a know each other already. Which makes reconnecting easier. It may feel a bit awkward, but if you used to have a good bond but you grew apart, there is no reason you can’t reconnect. It is easy to find them on Facebook and reach out. Just ask if they are up for hanging out. Rebuild your friendship from there. As you see there are many options to find new potential friends. Find out what suits you best. Maybe you first try volunteering, but it doesn’t work for you. That’s cool. When you join the local fantasy book club, you might just fit in perfectly! I don’t know what works for you, but you can find out! Not everything will work for you. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just be flexible till you find a place that suits you best! These options are the easy places to start. As you grow more skilled, you’ll see you can make new friends almost anywhere. But first, try getting good. A big part of that is getting good at creating a relaxing atmosphere. 2. How to have comfortable interaction To lay the foundation of friendship, you want to get to know each other in a pleasant way. Therefore you need two things. A comfortable setting and friendly interaction. There are different types of friendly interaction. Four basic and four complex ways. As you start out with people, focus on the simple interaction first. As a way to get to know each other. As your relationship grows, moving up on the friendship scale, more complex interaction will be more suitable. But start with simple gestures of friendship. Besides friendly interaction, there are more types. Like romantic or professional, but those are meant for different kinds of relationships. The first basic friendly interaction is simple companionship, by doing work together, acting out hobbies or facing challenges. Secondly, you can provide small favors to one another. You give so that I give. The basis of cooperative groups. Exchange of information, contacts, and communicating. Helping each other out by sharing what you know. Like recommending books, or referring them to your network. And of course, hanging out, relaxing together and having fun. Go watch a movie together or grab a coffee at your local caffeine dealer. All simple types of friendly interaction. The more complex gestures of friendship are mostly used later on. But sometimes they just so happen at the beginning of a new friendship. First elaborate gesture is providing big favors. Like helping to paint a new apartment. Or picking people up from the hospital after surgery. Furthermore deep emotional support, in times of crisis, but also sharing their euphoria. As a way of showing your commitment, support, and integrity in the friendship. Part of that is the sharing of personal information and stories. Showing vulnerability, while respecting and trying to the understand that of the other. Telling about your frustration, how you feel about being dumped or how chickens scare you. Last but not least, is sharing an outlook on life. You can differ in many ways, but all friendships have (developed) a mutual view on at least a few subjects. Don’t think to binary about this. It’s not like; week 1-4 is for small gestures week, 5-6 for big, and we are done. No no no. Try to let it come more natural. Find out what suits the moment best. Moving on to comfort. You want to feel at ease when making new friends. But meeting new people is distressing. I mean, you feel anxious meeting strangers right? It can feel like everything is at stake (spoiler: it isn’t). It would be great if you could just feel comfortable. Well, most other people think so as well. They feel jittery when meeting new people, having a hard time to take the right stance. That’s why you focus on the comfort of the other when you meet. A lot of your discomfort stems from not knowing what others think right? (surprise, they feel that way as well.) If you can make them feel comfortable, that makes you more at ease. To feel relaxed, make other people feel relaxed. This starts by initiating contact. When you meet new people, say hi and introduce yourself first. Don’t wait till someone else does this for you. Whenever we have a new employee at our company, some immediately introduce themselves, others wait for the interaction to somehow arise. New colleagues who are assertive gain a lot of social credit. It makes it easier for us to talk to the new guy as well! In any social environment start by introducing yourself. It’s a big plus. After introductions, be genuinely interested. Cultivate a curiosity in other people. Ask questions concerning how they feel, what they do, how you can help them. Show interest in who the person in front of you is. And why they do what they do. Ask about what interests them. Focus on getting to know them. Don’t worry too much about them getting to know you yet. People will ask eventually. No biggie. Smile generously throughout your conversation. Introduction? Smile! Questions? Smile! Smiling makes YOU feel more at ease. As well as your counterparts. No need for a Joker grin all the time, but give them your gentle ‘opening up’ smile. Be helpful and kind to people. Do small favors. People really appreciate it. But don’t be a pushover. Especially amongst men only groups, there can be some testing out. They look for how far you can be pushed. So do something nice when you want to do it. Not when you are constantly pressured to do it. But in most open communities this won’t be much of a problem. Show integrity when talking to people. Don’t use stories you hear, to one-up others. Just for some social credit. Neither lie just to make yourself look better. Be honest, upright and don’t gossip. It might win you a few points in the beginning. But it will come and bite you in the ass. As you interact a while, share some stories of yourself. Show some emotional depth. A bit of vulnerability. Not too much when just meeting. It doesn’t have to be a heart opening story. But displaying your humanity makes people relate to you better. It creates a bond. As you go out and meet people, pump yourself up. Be energized! Excited about life in general. Nobody is waiting for someone who is feeling blue. Or someone who brings drama to a group. Show you are a positive addition to a circle of friends. No whining, be grateful, but most of all, enjoy yourself! If you do this, you will have a great and relaxed time meeting new people. So what’s next? Aaah yes. 3. Taking it from meeting to becoming friends Time to escalate. It’s so cool you have met new people. Which is already a victory. But we want to make friends :), not (only) meeting strangers. Before you move to the next step, gauge what kind of friendship they might want. Maybe they need a new close friend, but maybe they just want to be acquaintances. Not sure? If the place where you´ve met them has recurring events, meet them there a few times before moving on. (But don’t postpone moving on indefinitely!) So you think someone wants to be friends? Then when the social event comes to a close, tell your new buddies you had a good time. Then just bluntly ask them if they want to hang out again. If so, ask their phone number so you guys can meet up. Just as simple as that. Say you had fun, ask if they like hanging out more, ask their contact info. Ask for their phone number. It is more effective than their Facebook. A more personal and easier way to connect. Regular meetings at clubs can already form the basis of new friendship. Making it even easier to go out later. If you are doing group activities, and someone invites you to hang out afterward. Don’t turn it down! These are great opportunities. GO! The informal reflection and bonding afterward is friendship forging gold. Drinks with colleagues, relaxing with sports mates, whatever. The cooldown is a time to reflect on shared experiences. Together you can whine, relive and laugh about what occurred. If people don’t want to meet up. Don’t be offended or feel rejected. Some people just don’t have time or are not interested in making new friends. They just might be busy with an active life. It probably has little to do with you. Be okay with it and someone else you meet probably will like to meet up. Don’t be surprised if you are not besties all of a sudden either. It’s a scale remember. I have a few best friends. The one’s I made as an adult, took years to get to that level. It is a long process. But that’s okay, doesn’t mean you can’t be good friends in the process. So you got the contact information of a potential friend. One who is open to meeting up. Or a few guys, getting together in a small group can be easier and more effective. Give a call a few days after meeting. I know, this can be nerve wrecking! Remember, this is not dating, this is straightforward. It’s actually easy. Your potential friend already told you he wants to hang out. Besides you already had some fun or shared experience. If you’ve been asking questions a bit, you already know their interests. So give them a call! Just a simple: “Hey, what's up, want to hang out later this week? Thursday? Great, we will go [chilled out activity]. Great, see you then, I’ll text you were to meet up. Cool, Bye Bye.” Easy as that. Calling too nerve wrecking? Try texting instead. As for activities, really depends, but try to do something where you can be relaxed. Something you both like, or where you can get to know each other. Watch a movie, go gaming, have drinks, do some sports. Whatever fits. Don’t be too serious about it. Friendships are mostly fun! Again make people comfortable as discussed in the previous strategy. So both of you can enjoy yourself easily. If things go well, keep in touch. Give a call again a few day later, have fun, create a comfortable atmosphere, and repeat infinitely. This way you grow from simple acquaintances to good friends! So this is how you make friends. Be persistent, it might take a bit of time. But your patience will pay off. Keep showing up at your people source of choice, your people skills will develop from just that. You might get rejected a few times, but hey, you are (re)learning a skill. Don’t take it too personally, dust yourself off. Keep on learning, keep on developing! You can build on your foundation of knowing people. The great thing about making friends is, they have friends, that might become your friends as well. Before you know it, you might have a whole host of friends! Go out there, be positive be fun! You can do this! Tl;dr: The three strategies to making new friends: go somewhere where you can easily meet new people, make people comfortable and enjoy yourself, make plans for meeting up, have fun, repeat, repeat, repeat. This is of course only a segment of the social skill friend making. But if these tips helped you and you are interested in learning more about social skills and confidence. You can look here for more on this.