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Recent Games

I seem to go in fits and spurts, reading a lot for a while, then getting absorbed by some kind of television, then getting suckered into games instead.

I came down from a reading kick when I finished blowing through Bujold’s Vorkosigan series back in January. It hasn’t been clear yet what my next spree will be, but I have been playing a few games since I last wrote about them.

Farmville (Facebook)
I haven’t actually played this very much. I added it because it seemed like everyone else was obsessed with it, so I reasoned it must be pretty good. Except… I don’t find it at all enthralling. You need to spam your friends constantly to make any progress, which I dislike. I don’t like the graphics. The interface is incredibly insanely slow. The UI is poorly designed. I can’t fathom why it’s so damn popular. There’s nothing about it that I like.

Country Story (Facebook)
Another one of the bajillion farm games on Facebook, this one had the benefit of not being an exact clone of Farmville. Instead it seemed to take more of its cue from Harvest Moon, easily the most awesome farm game of all time. They had cut out the RP portion of the game where you make friends with the villagers and woo yourself a wife, but the farming mechanics were very similar. The graphics were cute. And while the game itself was glitchy, goals were clear and there were multiple ways to play the game. Some recent misguided changes by the developers have made this less fun to play, which is a pity. (Shades of Packrat, which I still miss on occasion…)

Pirates: Rule the Caribbean (Facebook)
I include this because thus far it’s only Facebook game I have completely finished. I did every quest and mastered every feat. I did not upgrade all my weapons but that was pointless.

Treasure Madness (Facebook)
Basically, a collection of mini-games. Tetris, jewel drop, a marble shooter, match 3. But somehow, hiding all these games on a map where you may or may not trigger one by clicking and then having you collect ‘treasures’ after playing makes them more fun. Because frankly, I would never be interested in most of these mini games as mere games. In this game, I don’t hate them and sometimes find them fun.

Ace Attorney Investigations (DS)
The long awaited Miles Edgeworth game arrived and it was great. I was concerned that the lack of courtroom action would make this too easy or different from the other games, but it was fine. Plenty of returning characters to make everyone happy. And my congratulations to the team for continuing their efforts on keeping the Ace Attorney timeline in order. I wasn’t able to spot any continuity errors at all in this game, and it slotted in very nicely with the already established dates (chronologically, the third game wraps up in February, this game takes place entirely during March of the same year, and the earliest date mentioned in game four is April. What, no one else is crazy enough to have drafted a timeline while playing? I’m not obsessive on this point at all. Really. Though on my next run through I plan to add in the days and annotate by case…)

Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands (DS)
I didn’t get all that far into this game before I stopped to play the new Miles one. So far it’s all right, but I still have a fondness for the first Harvest Moon (at least the first one released in the US). The gameplay here has some tacked on bits which are sort of confusing (crop growth is not at all straightforward) and my farmer gets tired far too quickly. The latter should be able to be remedied in time, but it’s still aggravating.

Vorkosigan GURPS
I haven’t played this yet, but I thought it deserved a mention. The GURPS Vorkosigan guidebook is finally out, after years of delay. It’s worth purchasing even by those who aren’t into tabletop RPGs, because even more than the Vorkosigan companion, this is the Vorkosiverse equivalent to the DLG. Except mostly unridiculous! I’m given to understand LMB approved all of the character pictures drawn inside, too.

1 comment

  1. Doyle Banducci:

    Oh my god. My mom is on Facebook 24/7 playing Farmville, it’s just so scary. Farmville sucks you away and never lets you come back. D’8 Harvest Moon is much better and more realistic than Farmville

    (March 27th, 2010 at 12:27 pm)