Video Game Recommendations

So with the worldwide pandemic, a lot of people are finding themselves at home more than usual (if you can, please stay home and help flatten the curve). In addition to my book recs, I thought I’d recommend some video games. A lot of these can be played co-op, since that’s what Mr. M and I usually play. So find a friend and play together!

Phone/Tablet Games

All of the following are available on iOS, but I’m not sure about other platforms. Links are to the iOS App Store.

A couple of the phone games I play are digital copies of boardgames we like: Ticket to Ride and Pandemic. Ticket to Ride is nice because the game keeps score for you, so you don’t even have to do math. And while Pandemic might be a bit too on the nose right now, it certainly is satisfying when you wipe out the in-game viruses.

When I just need something to fidget with, I play Threes, 2048, or Spider Solitaire. I’ll often play these while Mr. M is watching TV because I can listen to the show and play a game at the same time.

We both also played a lot of Game Dev Story, Grand Prix Story, and Dungeon Village. These single-player games have an interesting interface because I think they were originally for phones with number pads instead of touch screens, but they are super cute if you like building and managing type games.

And if you like Harvest Moon-type games (virtual farming, romancing villagers, exploration), then check out Stardew Valley (also available on PC and game consoles).

PC Games

If you play PC games, these won’t be new, but these are my comfort games.

Stardew Valley is available on PC as well as tablets, but with co-op so you can build your farm with friends. And as far as building/exploring games go, Mr. M and I have spent literally hundreds of hours playing Terraria and Starbound. Both are co-op, so play together! Build yourselves a 2D palace of wonder.

We’ve also been playing a lot of Borderlands 3, which just recently came to Steam if you were waiting out the Epic Store exclusive. I don’t play too many shooters, because I generally prefer swords and sorcery, but BL3 is more of an action-RPG than a straight shooter. Plus the writing is terrific.

Our favorite oldie but goodie is Diablo 3, and we just started playing again for Season 20. We play in Adventure mode now because we’ve played the story so many times. It’s basically click monsters, get loot, and I find it very soothing. Especially because this season I’m playing as a Wizard—not my usual style because I prefer melee builds—but destroying huge swaths of enemies with spells is fun.

Switch Games

We also each have a Nintendo Switch and I’m currently obsessed with Rune Factory 4. It’s not co-op, but Mr. M and I are playing at the same time. It’s like Stardew or Harvest Moon in that you can virtual farm and romance the townsfolk, but you can also go slay monsters and build weapons and armor. It’s super cute and I want to play it all day instead of working. Alas, so far no one wants to pay me to play games.

We also own Stardew Valley on Switch (because of course we do) and the Switch build supports co-op. Yes, we have farms on every system, lol. :)

Need to get in some exercise but don’t want to go to the gym? Try Ring Fit Adventure. It’s not going to replace a heavy lifting routine, but it gets your heart rate up and has a little strength-building with the resistance ring. Plus it masquerades as a game, so it’s more fun than staring at a treadmill screen.

If you play games, what have you been playing lately? Stay safe, friends, and wash your hands!

A Stardew Weekend

My husband and I bought Stardew Valley a year and a half ago because we thought multiplayer co-op was “coming soon.” It’s still not here completely, but we spent the weekend playing the co-op beta and it’s awesome. I finally see what all the buzz eighteen months ago was about. :)

If you haven’t heard of it, Stardew Valley is a Harvest Moon-esque game where you start with a run-down farm that you have to fix up by clearing the land, planting crops, and tending animals. And fishing. So much fishing.

Because we’re playing co-op, I took over animals and fishing while my husband deals with the plants. Every day I go pat my chickens on the head and they get happier and produce better eggs. Continue reading “A Stardew Weekend”

Sleep Is For the Weak

So, with the addition of Fable into our Xbox collection, my daily routine has changed from “work, eat, sleep” to “work, eat, play Fable, play Fable, play Fable, oh crap! it’s 2 AM, well… ok, one more second, play Fable…” This has consequently changed the “work” portion of the day into the “sleep” time. So to counteract that, the “work/sleep” time has become the “YAYAYAYAYAY CAFFEINE IS GREAT!” time. Yes, I have everything perfectly under control. jitter twitch jitter

Well, let’s see. Fable. It’s not quite what I was expecting. It’s a lot more linear than I would like, especially after hearing all of the hype. I was hoping for a Morrowind type experience, which is probably why I was disappointed. The other disappointing thing is you can only play through the game as a guy. Not a terrible flaw, but it would’ve been nice to have the option to choose.

The game itself is beautiful. The graphics are well done and the changing of your character’s appearance is a very cool feature. Since I am playing as good, my character’s hair has lightened into blond and now I have a halo and ethereal butterflies hanging around. Dustin is playing as evil and his character’s complexion is turning dark and his horns are sprouting. You also acquire scars when you get hit in battle. After eight hours of play my poor guy is looking pretty sad.

I’ve heard the game is fairly short, by RPG standards, around 10-12 hours. That means I’m looking at about 2-4 more hours before the end. It seems much shorter than that. I really have a hard time believing I’ve played 8 hours already. At least the game seems like it will have high replayability (is that a word? it is now).

Should you buy it? Yes, definitely. Will you become addicted? Yes, definitely.