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The 2020 what are we playing thread

New year, new thread.

So, I picked Geheimakte Tunguska back up (see here). Some guy needs to be rescued from the bottom of a well. Now we know this is one of those adventure games where you don’t do the logical thing, so you can’t call 112, 999 or 911, but to my surprise the game didn’t block me from rowing back from the island to the mainland. But now the mainland is just the same 4 rooms it always was… just without any of the characters. Well then.

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Played Indiana Jones and the Relic of the Viking. Short and a bit rough around the edges, but overall nicely done. What baffled me the most was “Use” not being “Use … with …”. So it was basically of no use. Not sure if that was the same in Fate of Atlantis.

I’m also finally over the disappointment that were the final chapter and ending of Lost Horizon 2. Those really didn’t leave a good impression on the game as a whole. But with a bit of distance, I guess it comes down mostly to featuring the type of puzzles I simply do not enjoy, and plenty at that. I looked up two of them, and even with the solution at hand I could not figure out how to arrive there other than through tedious trial and error. Might be fun if you’re a fan of Myst-like games.

Anyway, that still doesn’t redeem the ending, which is kind of nonsensical. But then the same goes for much of the plot, even more so after the big twist.

As the bad memories recede, I’d say it’s decent up to and including chapter 5. From there, continue at your own risk! Personally, it has not left me very enthused to try the Secret Files games next, as I originally had planned. Time to dive into a pile of books and wait for some of 2020s game gems to emerge instead.

P.S.: And no, they didn’t put their macguyvering mechanic to good use again.

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Well, I started 2020 deep into Deus Ex 2: Invisible War.
Only now I managed to get around to it.
The game was fine, but nothing special. Inferior to its predecessor, but everyone said so when it was published many moons ago.

Currently I am playing the most cutesy game: Treasure Adventure Game.
Made by one guy only (+ composer) in the span of two years and it’s a plaformer adventure game with retro pixel graphics. I fell in love with it half way through the intro. It gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling of magic of adventure.

Even though I am very reflex challenged and don’t like platformers in general, this one is, along with the wonderful The Cave, not too hard to play for lamers like me. If anybody is interested, it’s available for free on GOG.

There was a remake with updated graphics and additional content called Treasure Adventure World but I don’t know whether it is as good as this one.

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I bought all Monkey Island games on GOG as well as Grim Fandango remastered. I’ll be playing them with my daughters. I have no intention of playing other games because I have no time at all :cry: and the only way I can play a game is with the daughters.

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Are they now old enough for Grim? :thinking: (Oh, I just noticed that the release of TWP was round about 3 years ago!)

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I decided to take another bite out of my GOG Telltale collection. Tales from the Borderlands was a fairly typical Telltale formula game, in its basic premise largely interchangeable with the likes of Walking Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy, but as usual it was fairly well executed. It didn’t take itself too seriously for the most part, which was decent enough. The end reminded me a bit of MI4, which was amusing.

There was a warehouse scene that I suspect was modified into a warehouse in Batman, unless it’s just a matter of warehouses being warehouses.

Besides that I’ve been playing a little bit of Half-Life. I accidentally quicksaved instead of quickloaded at 4 % health following a scripted monster attack, so there’s that. I prefer those games where the quicksaves don’t overwrite the old quicksaves. It’s not like you’re actually limited in the number of saves or anything…

I also picked up my Steam rental for the year, Life is Strange 2 (currently on sale on Fanatical and Humble). It’s extremely gameplay light, much more so than the previous installment where there were some pretty interesting puzzles as a consequence of the protagonist’s power. There is telekinesis at work in this game, but at the moment it’s unclear if there can really be puzzles other than morality ones. To be fair, I said that A Plague Tale would’ve been better without most of the gameplay, and that’s what this is. But that’s not what Life is Strange was. LiS started off straight away as an adventure game with fairly interesting time puzzles. I don’t think taking out the puzzles is really doing something different. But we’ll see where it goes.

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I did the same, but with Wadjet Eye Games. (Re)started Shardlight to begin with and plan to follow that up with Primordia. I don’t even remember why I had abandoned Shardlight the first time, since so far it’s actually quite nice. Despite the low resolution and post-apocalyptic scenery the graphics are actually pretty and the voice acting top notch. Puzzles aren’t difficult (so far), but I rather have it that way than getting stuck in the first hour of playing.

In addition, I took advantage of the Lunar New Year sale to make sure my backlog remains intact. Got Conquests of the Longbow: The Legend of Robin Hood and Simon The Sorcerer 2; games I should have probably played as a kid, but better late than never. And I also picked up the more recent Astrologaster on itch io.

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Shardlight is pretty cool visually and the puzzles are okay. I think I may have described it more positively than I should’ve in the past due to its comparatively short length, but the story/setting isn’t particularly good. In that sense Technobabylon was significantly better done, but it was given much more opportunity to drag.

PS At the risk of making you expect too much out of it, I consider Primordia an absolute must play. More so than any other Wadjet Eye-related game, including the outstanding Unavowed. Primordia is, however, a bit of a save scumming type of game.

Don’t you have autosave activated? Try to use this save state.

And since you are complaining about all the scripted stuff: Now that you know what’s coming it’s not such a big deal to make a fight without losing any health.

That’s not really something games did back then. I guess something like Fenimore Fillmore: 3 Skulls of the Toltecs does is a good example.
But what other games are actually out there with such type of save system?

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I did.

That’s what I said, I accidentally pressed the wrong key so it saved instead of loaded.

Many contemporary games didn’t offer quicksave, which was ultimately better. It’s only a second slower but so much more dependable. A non-broken quicksave system would keep at least the last two. I suppose this was simply a carryover Quake/id Tech 2 issue; not sure what Id was thinking there.

So far Half-Life is at its best managing flashlights.

I’m sure 4 HP is enough to win the fight. Just don’t lose any health and after the fight go get to some goodies.

It was, and there was a health station up the stairs a little after. :wink: That was all like two days ago, lol.

Where was is btw.? And where are you currently?

I think it was with the first guard you can drag along where there’s like 4 electricity monsters jumping at you. I dunno, maybe it was just me being stupid since I’m not entirely sure to what extent those things pop into existence based on scripts and to what extent they’re waiting around the corner. In the heat of the action I failed to realize I should stop dodging and shooting at 4 % health since it’s just single player HL and not Counter-Strike. :slight_smile:

I played up to a little after the scripted event where this scientist runs at a soldier and is shot in the face (come to think of it, I forgot to properly try killing him first; might be fun to be shouted at for being insane shooting our saviors or something). So far it’s not new yet, well, except not really remembering much of it. Had a little shootout with some soldiers, was reintroduced to the “oh shit a grenade” moment and right now I’m pondering how to deal with the next crowd of hitscanners.

I’m not entirely sure how much further I went 20/21 years ago. As I recall initially it was “oh wow these enemies feel so intelligent compared to Doom/D3D” but that feeling didn’t last long. Unfortunately in 2020 it only lasted a few seconds. They get stuck on the stairs trying to flank you, stuff like that. Still fun getting them eaten by ceiling slobberers or blown up by explosive wires, at least for a little bit.

It’s amazing how much worse it plays than Counter-Strike when that was initially just a mod. Or maybe CS 1.0 was just as bad and it’s just 1.6 with years of improvements playing tricks on me. :wink:

None of the puzzles was really challenging. There weren’t a lot of inventory items, and talking exhaustively with everyone usually meant there wasn’t any doubt what to do or where to go.

Yeah, I like Technobabylon way better. All things considered, Shardlight is pretty grim. I had to kill more people than in my last RPG! And more than in a lifetime of P&C adventures combined. Definitely no game to play with kids. (And I haven’t even mentioned all the corpses strewn about)

I heard good things about it. That last comment does make me a bit wary, though. I didn’t think it was a Sierra-type game :wink:.

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Not save scumming in the preventing death kind of way (maybe on occasion), but you’ll just miss parts of the game and you’ll almost certainly get one of the bad endings otherwise. If you’re a fanatic you could go through the game a few times but that’d just be repetitive, and some of those things are surprisingly easy to mess up even if your solution was essentially correct.

At the same time, also save scumming so you can see those bad outcomes. Because missing those would also be missing part of the game. Albeit a less important part. Still, I think I got most of the achievements. Not in GOG Galaxy 'cause I played it on Linux, but this game is one of the non-idiotic post-2010 games that knows you don’t need some stupid online system for achievements just like we never used to. That alone takes it up a notch even if I don’t care about the achievements… although in Primordia I kind of do because it tells you you’ve experienced the game in full. They’re not your typical modern “OMG you figured out how to click a mouse button” type achievements.

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This one didn’t take me too long to get stuck, mostly due to the puzzle mechanics surrounding your companion, Crispin. For one, he’s usable like a regular inventory item, and that’s obvious enough. What wasn’t so obvious, however, is that you can also use items on him to make him perform actions with the item that you cannot.

While this indirect mode of control is actually quite clever, it also feels a bit unnatural, as you cannot really express your intent of using an item with a hotspot by selecting the item and clicking on the spot. Instead you need to use it on Crispin while nearby and hope the game recognizes what you’re trying to achieve.

On the bright side, I’ve come across a variety of funny responses while trying to bruteforce my way through some of the puzzles. Though now that I know what the game expects on occasion, I hope progress will be smoother.

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I played the remainder of The Supper today. Guess I’ll have to get that artbook.

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Can you drag bodies? I should try that.

I am now at the point where there’s a giant crablike thing in a silo. And lots of screaming.

If I remember correctly the scientist did sleep with the solder’s girl friend.
Don’t worry. The soldiers will help you and save us all!

I don’t think I will ever try a no-death speedrun. It’s easy to get a grenade in your face and in later maps you will probably fall to your death a couple of times :slight_smile:

No, he kept him alive. He was hoping for a beer.

The tentacle thingies? That’s a nice one. Also one of those multi-map “puzzles” (which took quite some time to get working in Sven Co-op). Also: psssst!

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