For the Puppies.

Unlocktopus — December 8, 2018



Airscape: The Fall of Gravity • Unlock a Containment Level

It’s Christmas Party season, so naturally that means my whole evening is hijacked with one or another party for one or another political event or social group. All that means though is that some good planning needs to be put in place – or, as is usually the case – the fortuitous overlap of a new game and an achievement in the early hours of the day.


Airscape was one of the few Steam games kicking around in my library that looked ‘OK’, and it had some achievements in it so I downloaded it without too much resistance. I was pleased to see this was fairly family friendly little puzzler, given it took about two minutes from me starting the game for my kids to come running into my study, wanting to sit on my knee, and either wanting to have a turn of the game, or make me start an episode of Peppa Pig on my second monitor.


The premise is essentially: you are an octopus, you need to solve a few puzzles to rescue other octopus. The end. There might be more to it than that, but I doubt it … even by the end of the first section the levels were getting fairly complex, so I suspect that it’s a matter of riding the steep learning curve for the duration of the game. And you know what? For a mindless little puzzler that’s OK to play with my kids – I might just do that.


I have high hopes of wrapping up these parties early, going home and playing some uninhibited Red Dead Redemption 2. I have high hopes – but not so high on getting an achievement, so it’s nice to get this out of the way early.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and be social.


Congrats! — December 7, 2018



AIDEN • Quest 1 Completed

I don’t know what it is about the use of small, young girls in video games to invoke a sense of terror. I suspect it has something to do with The Shining, the Grady Daughters and their impact on the horror genre, but in any case – I can say with some authority that being the dad of a small, young girl … I think they earn the moniker of being utterly terrifying.

I don’t know what AIDEN is about. I just don’t know. It seems to be a puzzle-lite game, but the motivation behind the protagonist needing to escape, what looks to be a school, is really left up to one’s imagination, at least in the early stages. There is a note in the first room that gives you a brief overview of someone escaping, but that’s it really. I don’t really know, but I suspect this is more of a student project than a genuine indie release. The ‘first puzzle’ involves finding something crowbar-esque and then opening a door to find a key. Once you leave this room, you then find yourself confronted with the aforementioned terrifying girl, who says something about the thing at the back of the class not agreeing (or something like that), and when you turn to see the end of the school hallway, you are promptly killed by … a thing.


I suspect that the low number of achievements in this game account for what should be a series of short, sharp puzzles designed for completion in a single playthrough. It seems like multiple deaths to uncover the ‘perfect’ run is where this game slots itself in terms of game mechanics, and that’s fine – I look forward to the challenge of 100%’ing it – but I certainly won’t be bending over backwards to recommend it as a source of AAA-level quality.

As I say: Every game is an experience.

Welcome to the club buddy — December 1, 2018

Welcome to the club buddy


Africa Hunting • Start the game

I can’t work out if this game, Africa Hunting, is supposed to be racist, funny, or a little from both column A and B … but in either event, the game was a 9MB download that had eight achievements – all of which I earned at exactly 1.17pm. I think that probably tells you all you need to know about the complexity of this game.


Still, I’m thankful for games like this, because it offers me twenty minutes of escapism, gives me some achievements, isn’t a huge download and it allows me to tick off my achievement for today. Everybody wins! Tonight is our local Carols by Candlelight, so there’s a good chance that I’ll be home too late to play a game and write a blog entry, so I’m pleased that I was able to lock-in this one today.

Ho, ho, ho.

Level 10 — November 29, 2018

Level 10


Rocks and Rockets • Start the level 10 (sic)

It’s not an uncommon phenomenon to have so many games to play and no real interest in playing any of them. I’m sure some psychologist could point to Freud or Pavlov or Maslow and reference some psychological phenomenon, but truth is it’s just a byproduct of contemporary society. The spoilt-for-choice culture has now inundated us with options, that our mind begins to shut-down and wants to choose none of them. Where it used to be the bastion of the gamer and their Steam Library, good ol’ Netflix, Stan and the variety of other streaming services have brought this condition to the masses … and aren’t we lucky for it?

As a result of this ‘mood’, I’ve settled for a quick-and-dirty game of Rocks and Rockets … which is a ridiculous indie title, but it has achievements so there. I wanted to play some Destiny 2 tonight on PC after listening to the latest IGN Fireteam Chat, but one round of Gambit (which I lost) was enough for me, and so I’m left clicking through the Steam store and seeing what options there are.

Spoiler alert: it’s not much.

Sometimes the universe is just telling you to go to have an early night and go to bed.

Merry Christmas! — November 27, 2018

Merry Christmas!

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Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star • Get to the end of the first episode

I am travelling with work today, so I’m taking a break from Xbox or console gaming, and I left my Vita at home … so it’s time for a bit of Steam Gaming on my Mac! Yes, yes, I know the age-old joke about gaming on a Mac … but I’ve been doing it for a long time so far, and I’ll probably do it for a long time yet. Sue me.

I’ve spoken about Hatoful Boyfriend before, having played it fairly extensively over both PC and Vita, but the Christmas Special Edition is … well … it’s no different really. The difference is, that this version seems to be a bit more linear, with ‘episodes,’ rather than a branching storyline. In either event, I have no idea what’s going on during the game itself … instead having to rely on well-crafted plot summaries from Wikia pages.

In either event, I’m not criticising. This was enough to get me over the line today – and I’m fairly happy with that. I don’t need to rehash my take on visual novels … it’s a well-beaten path … but needless to say, I’m happy with where I ended up with things today. And the best bit? I have a nice little sample of other episodes to go!

Completely nuts! — November 4, 2018

Completely nuts!


Train Valley • Complete 50% of any level at speed x4

Well, it finally happened. I pulled the pin on my beautiful Project Scorpio Edition today, and took it back to the shop for an exchange. The original purchase date on it was 7 November 2017, and after changing orientations, cleaning all the vents and even trying some airflow changes, the Xbox still shut itself down citing overheating. It was time. So, I now have myself a new One X under the TV, and have loaded on most of what I lost (thank God for an external HDD). What I didn’t have time for after all that, was more RDR2, and so I fired up the PC to see what I could find.


It’s kind of funny, but the thing that prompted me to download Train Valley actually happened on the way home from the Xbox exchange. On the drive home, I encountered a level crossing and had to wait a few minutes for the train to pass. As it did, I remember the reasonably OK time I had with Train Simulator, and for a moment I thought about being one of ‘those people’ who has a full setup on their desktop and who wore a little train driver’s hat. Well, it was a fleeting sensation, but I was nonetheless in the mood for something ‘train’y’ when I got in front of my PC, and rather than wait all afternoon for Train Simulator to download, 500MB taste of Train Valley was almost too hard to pass up. As such, I was up-and-running fairly quickly on this economic-come-puzzle game that thrives on good building and time management skills. Think a highly visualised version of Mini Metro (a terrible analogy).

This was more of an accidental achievement as a result of just trying to kick things along a bit in the levels, but I suspect there’s a few other quick wins to be had here. Even in my apathy, I could see that there were opportunities for me to improve my tactics, and so I feel like I can get a good battle rhythm going next time around.

Tonight, I’m angling for an early night, but there’s a few mobile games that I’ve recently loaded that could be good for a quick pre-sleep fix.

And trust me, once my head hits the pillow …it’s going to be very quick.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears — October 17, 2018

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

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Asphyxia • Roberta tells a chilling horror story

The game I was trying to think of yesterday was Victor Vran, which is the quasi-Diablo III knock-off, but it seems like my cursory look at the achievement list means I might have been optimistic grabbing one today. I’ll get something I’m sure, but the nearest achievement looks to be getting to level 10, so my twenty minutes of playtime and reaching level 2 this morning indicates to me I have a bit more work to do.

In the meantime, there’s visual novels.

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I didn’t realise how close I was to 100%’ing Asphyxia, considering out of the three achievements I had left, one of the playthrough gives you two and then it’s just another ten minute (if that) whip-through to completion. The same situation as last time, skip all dialogue and use a guide, but if it wasn’t for my out-and-out honesty, you’d never actually know.

Curse my ethics.

I want to make a bit of a final push in the story mode of Destiny 2 on my Xbox Account over the next few days, as I’ve started in on the Barons and I’m hovering in the early 40s level-wise … and I have a few 500’ish weapons willing me ‘over the line’ in terms of light level. I certainly didn’t have any problems last night playing Destiny 2, and – after a while – you begin to forget about the gorgeous graphics on PC and just settle in for the ride.

Maybe the universe is telling me to get a new TV?