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The 2019 what we are playing thread


I “binge”-played it over the weekend. Which speaks in its favor of course, but if part 2 had been much longer I might’ve given up on the whole thing, like for whatever reason I did on Broken Sword 5 a few years ago.

I just ended in an adventure-gaming kind of mood thanks to Foxtail and Unforeseen Incidents. :slight_smile: Typically I read a bunch of books this time of year, but this December I basically read only two:

I’ve also been slacking on La septième fonction du langage.

Of course these interactive fiction games are somewhat book-like anyway, although mostly in the less advanced genre fiction kind of sense. Technobabylon is comparable to a run of the mill Gibson story, lifted higher through its art and game mechanics. Because I liked it better than mediocre Gibson, but reductively that’s the essence of what it is.


Never read Gibson, nor am I into Cyberpunk, but I guess it’s a theme that will only get more relevant in the coming decade(s). Incidentally, a colleague recommended Johnny Mnemonic (the film, not the book) to me last Friday.

Anyway, I liked Technobabylon, mostly because I could relate to the characters. That and the semblance of choice. I’m not sure if it made much difference in the end, but it helped keeping the story a little more personal. If found Its mood not too different from State of Mind, so you might want to consider that if you liked the themes broached by Technobabylon. It’s less of a P&C adventure, though.


Knowing the book, I was surprised to learn that Keanu Reeves plays the part. But that’s Hollywood for you. I didn’t realize until the 2012 Total Recall film that the one with Schwarzenegger was based on a classic Philip K Dick story that of course I’d read…

My favorite Gibson story is probably Dogfight, but then I’m not really into Gibson.



You must try Gemini Rue, a good game with a great story.


I will someday, but the last time I tried it was within a few weeks after TWP and I couldn’t stand it at all.

It’s probably not really any worse than the various games I played over the past month but the “use the mouse for everything” mechanic is really frustrating compared to the elegance of QWE/ASD/ZXC + mouse click. Which, I might add, was already present in Maniac Mansion and Zak, which miraculously control better than most games released after 2010. Especially if you use a third-party app to map scroll to J and K.



I was just about to ask why Gemini Rue isn’t number one on your list. Seriously, it’s a great game. It took me by surprise because I only wanted to check it out for nostalgia sake and didn’t intend to finish it. Better than Primordia (which is excellent) IMO and much, much better than Blackwell games (at least the four I played). I don’t get why people like this pedestrian series. Same thing with Shivah. Dave Gilbert seems like a great guy with interesting ideas but I think he should stick to producing.


Hear, hear!

Yes… later (It seems I have over 80 games in the P&C - and some text adventures- category) once I have completed the list by sifting through all my accounts and stacks of CDs/DVDs/5.25” floppies.


I decided to play Gemini Rue on Saturday and I thought it was indeed quite good, as you said. But I don’t like the controls at all, except for the gunfight controls which are reasonable. Compared to games with a superficially similar control scheme like Full Throttle, Curse of Monkey Island, and Day of the Tentacle Remastered, it’s just plain terrible.

The bad mouse controls would not be nearly as much of an issue if I could also activate the same actions with the keyboard, like in… drum roll please… the games mentioned above. Needless to say, the all too typical defect of not supporting keyboard interaction with dialog options is proudly present as well.

As a game it’s better designed than Technobabylon. It flows better and the puzzles make more sense.

Typing a savegame name followed by enter works, which is good. For some reason, in some games it doesn’t.

You have to push yourself to get past the controls in the beginning, but then you discover a diamond in the rough with overall good game design and a captivating story.


I don’t remember anything about controls so they probably didn’t bother me. As for Technobabylon, I agree. I thought it was decent enough, but generic. Also I found the recreation of 80’s, 90’s cyberpunk tropes and interfaces bit silly and couldn’t get into it. Gemini Rue handled it all much better. It’s incredible to think that the guy who made it, was still a kid at the time and I don’t think he has made a game since.


Finished Forgotton Anne. Can’t even remember when I had started it, and for my taste it dragged on a bit too long. Played it for 10 hours in total, which doesn’t seem much, but then there isn’t really that much gameplay either.

Started The Ballad Singer, a chose your own adventure type of game I had backed on Kickstarter (not that long ago, actually). Still in Early Access, but fully playable, mostly lacking polish and some minor tidbits. They just released the first DRM free build on, so I thought it might be a good time to give it a try.

So far it turns out to be a beautifully illustrated, professionally voiced, run-of-the-mill Fantasy story where 50% of choices tend to lead to your character’s untimely demise. Luckily, there are four of those to burn through, and on lower difficulties you’re even allowed to guess again a number of times (I used up 6 out of 10 retries for the prologue alone, however, which doesn’t bode well :skull_and_crossbones:.). Seems it’s not as casual as it appears to be …


Playing Foxtail chapter 2, I’m stuck on the egg puzzle.


Tonight I finished “Life is Strange”.

Well, I have to admit I have a mention for @milanfahrnholz
His post about this game tingled my curiosity.
I downloaded it one night I was victim of boredom.
That night would have then been a life-changing night. Not because of the game, obviously. But it is a fact my life changed while I was playing the first episode :grinning:

Well, what to say? Personal life apart, I liked this game immensely. Definitely more than expected. Definitely more than how much I thought I could like a game (I’m not such a gamer, nowadays).

The game is a first-person-3D-adventure game in which the puzzles don’t have the major role.
The major role is played by THE STORY. And by emotion. You can imagine it like a “multiple choice book”, where your choices affect the outcome.
I personally think it is is so-so, visually. That’s why it is incredible how I liked it emotionally-wise.
I mean, so-so art, naive puzzles, some design flaw (see below), but… what an involvement! This game plays with your feelings, plays with your dreams… and plays even with your most buried shames.
I really suggest the game to anybody.

Technically, it is quite a simple idea. You’re a teenager, and you have the power to rewind time.
It is cool, it saves you a lot of time and energy in saving and loading if you want to explore the best paths throughout the game… you don’t like what happened? Just rewind! The new result is even worse? Just rewind again, and let the future be as it was the first time. And it is a nice way to make an adventure game a lot easier!
But the game gets more and more complicated every time you rewind, and this obviously surprises the protagonist. Less obviously, this surprises even the player, who sometimes feels lost in the many parallel timelines he created…
At a certain point, the experienced adventure gamer who classified the game as “super-easy” has to change his/her mind. The game isn’t easy. But not because of the puzzles. Forget about the puzzles. This game has puzzles, but it’s not a puzzle game… It’s difficult because it is so unbelievably improbable yet plausible…
My suspension of disbelief never worked so fine.

I think this might go in the standings of the 5 most important games of my life.

So, thanks, Milan.

Now, some spoilers.

I didn’t understand if there’s a way to save Kate. I don’t know if I want an answer, maybe I’ll replay the game. My impression is that you could, but it will be a temporary effect and she would die any way. Her death seems too much important for the plot, to me.
Same with William who, on the contrary, I saved to discover it was a dead end. Is it possible to avoid saving him and so skip a whole section of the game?
And now, what I really disliked of the game: two major designs flaws, which got me really stuck and I had to (please, forgive me) look for a walkthrough.
First, when you have to unlock Nathan’s cell phone. You have the PUK but not the pin. Once you dieal the wrong pin for three times, the cell phone doesn’t simply say “phone locked - enter PUK”. That would be normal. And that would be a no brainer. Max says “I locked the phone”, but the phone display still asks for the 4 digits of the pin. If you want to insert the PUK, you have to go out of the room and back there again.
Maybe it’s stupid, but I spent there an half an hour.
The second design flaw is even worse, because it happens during the epilogue.
We love Ron’s storytelling, and we (more or less) agree that it is important that -after a strong key puzzle- the game takes you into a cooling down mood, with some super easy puzzles which drive you to the end.

I’m referring to the nightmare sequence. That’s one of the most strong emotional moments in the game. It literally gave me the chills while I was wandering in the dorm in the dream, with the candles and the ghost of Kate.
Suddenly, the magic is over when you land in a very elementary maze: 2 or 3 walls, water all around, and Mr. Jefferson chasing you. It is diffcult! I mean, the next sequences (eg. the locker room with Warren and the junk yard with David) are definitely easier. But since the concept of the scene is the same (stealth), you know what to do, and if the nightmare scene was supposed to have a difficult step, I’d have put it there. But in the first maze I just didn’t understand what I was supposed to do.
I wandered there for half an hour in which apparently there was no exit. That really killed the final climax, for me.

But, nevertheless, awesome game. I’ll play the other episodes games of the series.


Glad you liked it! :slight_smile: In my scenario Kate survives, but tell me how you like the remaining episodes. You ain´t seen nothing yet, though. You´re in for an emotional rollercoaster not least of all the cliffhanger of episode 3!

My life has changed too since I played it! I wonder if that means the game is magical or something… :sparkles: :smile:


Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I played all 5 episodes of the first game. I’ll play the sequel and/or the prequel.
What a bout the details? What you did like and did not like? Did you have a second playthrough?


Ah okay, I wasn´t sure because you mostly mentioned stuff from the first episodes.

Well, the teenage dialogue is borderline cringeworthy. I cannot really tell how authentic it is, but it made me roll my eyes a couple of times. But I really loved for instance the voice acting of Max. She sounded very soothing as did the whole soundtrack.

There are some really tricky parts, for instance there is a very very small chance that Chloe doesn´t shoot Frank and his dog. But I didn´t really went back (though you can and try as often as you want until you succeed).

Sometimes I was just wondering around not really knowing what exactly to do, but in general I really liked the gameplay too.

The story was fantastic reminded me of a mix of Donnie Darko and Ghost World with a little bit of Butterfly Effect thrown in.

Not yet, I´m also thinking if I should get Before The Storm (where you play as Chloe) and the second season that I think has two episodes out at the moment at most (where you play someone else entirely)


Well, it is so in movies, too for me. So I didn’t notice it so much. Anyway, often dialogues are slightly cheesy in games, so in a game you’re definitely more forgiving than in a movie.

shitstorm 3…2…1…

Yes, but I was quite confident it was not so important, so I decided to stick with the bullet in the tigh. The first time I killed him, the second time I killed the dog.
An injured limb seemed to me a good compromise :grinning:
Sometimes I deliberately chose some “cruel” paths kicking Victoria (figurately) and Nathan (literally) whan they were down, for example.

Which finale did you choose (it is quite obvious that you’re about to make the last choice)?


They’re all great. Chloe is done by a very good actress, too. And the nice voices of Mr. Jefferson and even Warren become haunting in the finale!


It is and I personally choose to save Chloe and sacrifice Arcadia Bay. I notice not many people seemed to do that. But I thought since the whole story was so much about the friendship of the two and Arcadia Bay was a creepy place full of weirdos anyway, I choose this! :sweat_smile:

But at least in the first few episodes it seemed like my choices were very mainstream. Only rarely did I choose the not commonly choosen option. But that seemed to change later on.


Yeah, many. Including me. But still not the majority. Strange huh? Everybody seemed a lot polite in there choices… I was surprise to be one of the few who deliberately chose those two “cruel paths” I mentioned.

EDIT: Sorry! I misread! see next post

Anyway, I loaded a savegame to see also the second finale.

For me it was interesting to note in which specific choices I wasn’t mainstream :slight_smile:


Yeah, I thought that was very interesting as well. One rare case where online connectivity is put to good use I think!