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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.