Grim Fandango

Can I borrow your hole punch?


When I look back at the long list of point and click adventure games to have come from the 1001 list so far, I see a fair few titles that I actually want to play again. By 'play again' I mean 'carry on playing', and by 'actually want to' I mean 'have been surprised by and should ignore the fact that I groan when I come across the words point and click because there are now many more games I should'.

That's a long-winded way of saying that even with the ease of having a remastered version on two platforms, I still somewhat hesitated to get around to playing yet another LucasArts point and click adventure game, in the form of Grim Fandango.

I hesitated not because of the cast of characters who are nothing but skeletons and monsters, but because I didn't want to get frustrated by getting stumped on a puzzle, of which there seem to be many in this genre.

Despite the developers constantly saying that there are no fail states, and no ways to lose, I'm never filled with enough confidence to get stuck in and find out, frankly, what I'm missing. Because I've clearly been missing the likes of Grim Fandango.


Radiant Silvergun

There's a ship with a sword.

Source // Hardcore Gaming 101

Hey! Come here! We're going to play a space shooter! I know! Another one!

It is 2520 or so, and the world hasn't just gone to hell but has gone from the Universe. The only survivors are a bunch of space pilots and their robot, and they're not going out without a fight. This is Radiant Silvergun, a shooter that was said to have been released at the wrong time but has also been said to have been released at just the right time, to remind arcade players that the space shooter is alive and well.

Unlike the Earth.

Let's see just what's what.


Grand Prix Legends

"Cars slide, drift, bounce and skid with frightening realism."

When I found out that Gran Turismo isn't the only simulator out there, I wondered just what else could have been competing with the driving juggernaut. Nothing in my childhood came close to Gran Turismo, and my mind is drawing a blank at even naming more modern challengers. The Forza series, I suppose. Project Cars? But those are decades away. What was out in the late 1990s that did racing simulation as detailed as Gran Turismo?

As it turns out, it's a title I'd never know because I was a ten-year-old console peasant at the time. As in I was 10, not my console library. It wasn't even a library, I only had the PlayStation and the Game Boy and I'm off topic here.

For PC gamers, especially for fans of the motor-racing of the late 1960s, there was a simulator not to be missed, and it was simply titled Grand Prix Legends.

Dropping you into the 1967 Formula One season, you get to duke it out around Monaco, Silverstone and the Nürburgring against Jim Clark, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill and even more drivers you've never heard of unless you've an interest in the history of F1. The cars are engines with wheels, the safety standards are worryingly low and the noise of the engines is deafening. This is going to be fun.


Steam Spring Clean: Nostalgia

What games have I played in my library for more than two hours, but haven't played at all in a long time since? Well, Steam suggested this lot as part of its 'Nostalgia' category.

There are a fair few games to avoid for the moment from these suggestions. The Call of Duty entries will have their moment to shine in their 1001 posts, as will the likes of FlatOut and Football Manager. Some have already been played, including The 7th Guest and Star Wars: TIE Fighter, and I'm in no rush to go back to either. From what remains, one title did jump out, now that I'm more into my tabletop gaming, and that was Card Hunter.

In it, you play against Gamesmaster Gary in a game where the combat encounters of Dungeons & Dragons are played with handfuls of cards and unseen dice rolls.

I've actually reviewed it before, a long time ago, for BasedGamer, which now points to a site that definitely isn't about user-created game reviews, as was its intention. In that review, I eventually got to the point where I liked it, but it had its problems. Read on to find out what I meant.

Steam Spring Clean: Can't Wait

Sometimes - so I've heard - players get a game and simply can't wait to play it, doing so at the earliest opportunity. The 'Can't Wait' category is a little flexible in the definition of 'earliest opportunity', giving me a random selection of titles that I've bought in the last six months, and could do with playing.

Some unexpected titles in this bunch. I can't even be sure I own them, which must mean many of them came in bundles. I've played a lot of the Pathfinder Adventures game, so that's an instantly avoided one. Thought I bought it earlier, but evidently not. Firewatch has been completed too, so there's no need to hop into that, though I would like a second playthrough to approach the story differently. I've forgotten how I approached it the first time around, though, so that might be tricky.

Of the leftovers, Passpertout was a frontrunner for allowing you to pass yourself off as an artist selling crap on the streets, but it was Jalopy that won out, the car repair and road trip simulator.

Mixed reviews in recent days, but it was in the last Humble Monthly Bundle, so it's fresh enough for a 'Can't Wait', I think.


What Have I Played This Week? (Wk03)

Lots of games this week, thanks to the Steam Spring Cleaning event, an active local gaming store and the slow nature of snail mail. I do intend to get back to the 1001 list, whereupon this type of entry will get smaller, but until my post arrives and hopefully gets played (for it'd be a right joke if I couldn't get it to run or something), I'm left to see what else is out there.

Once again, let's get the games that you know about out the way. Dead by Daylight, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Sorcery! and Chroma Squad have all had an outing thanks to the Steam Spring Clean event. You can read much more detail about them in their respective posts, but the long and short of my time with them would be 'nope', 'neat', 'not ideal, but yeah' and 'nice idea, hope it pays off'.

The only other game that is old this week is good old Star Realms, which has seen quite the development - I've actually bought the full version. I say full version, for it's a little bit of a cheeky name. You don't get absolutely everything, you just unlock a few extra modes and options. I also bought the Colony Wars expansion for it, which effectively doubles the number of cards you can play with.

Why this change of heart on not buying the digital version? Well, myself, P2 and White Wizard Games are all in the same area at the same time next week, and there's a tournament for us to put our money where our mouths are and see just how good we really are. P2 is not expecting to progress far. I'm not expecting to get much further, to be honest, but anything can happen. It'll be my first tournament for anything of this nature, so it'll be an interesting line in the sand. Or an afternoon of getting my arse whipped. I don't know yet. Looking forward to it.

Now, I've been much busier than just those lot of games though. Mostly on the PlayStation 4, and there's a fair bit of VR in this lot too. See what I got up to after the fold.


Steam Spring Clean: Spin Cycle

The 'Spin Cycle' category is straight up randomness, and thankfully Steam has seen it fit to limit my choice to just four games - any more and they'd remain unplayed, I'm sure.

I can't even read what the first one is, so that can wait a while longer. The Walking Dead I'm well aware of, having seen but not played it. That too can wait, leaving just Chroma Squad and Skullgirls.

Now I remember buying Skullgirls, or a bundle that included Skullgirls, or through some other method which results in me not actually knowing how I got Skullgirls into my Steam library, and I remember getting it because I knew it was a 2D fighter with stylised characters. I'm no pro when it comes to fighting games, but the premise was interesting enough to warrant a look.

Chroma Squad, on the other hand, is an unknown title, but when I found out it's about a bunch of stuntmen forming their own TV series along the lines of Power Rangers, my inner child - who watched Power Rangers and wanted to become a stuntman (not because of Power Rangers, mind) - immediately hit the install button and got prepared.

Steam Spring Clean: Speed Clean

The daily 'Speed Clean' category is nonsense. It's not a cleaning category, for it tasks you with playing a game that is free for the weekend, with the assumption being that you'll find it worth buying come the end of the trial period, therefore having a new title in your backlog. It is the opposite of cleaning, but I'll see where it leads me nonetheless.

Joy. A multiplayer horror game I don't care about and a city-builder I've already pumped nearly 50 hours into. I guess I better go with Dead by Daylight then - better play it to see whether I actually like it or not, eh?

It's an asymmetric multiplayer game where one monster tries to stop four humans from escaping the map. It sounds like a simple formula and I haven't played anything like it, to my knowledge. Unless we count The Playroom VRs monster vs players level, which is much more interesting than Dead by Daylight and I want to play it more than write about Dead by Daylight. Am I biased? I think so. Better fire up the game to find out.

Steam Spring Clean: Trusted Advisor

The 'Trusted Advisor' category of the Steam Spring Cleaning event is a fancy way of saying 'People with far more time to play games than you have said that these games are worth playing and despite you owning them, you haven't gotten round to it yet'.

The suggestions just went on and on and on, but many were repeated, perhaps because multiple Steam Curators advised me and hundreds of thousands of other players to play them. Again, trying to avoid games I knew I'd get to at some point, for one reason or another (no, honest, I will get to some of these games, I know it's a Spring Cleaning event), I eventually settled on a title that I knew got all the attention a few years back, and that is Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

If memory serves, I got this at a heavy discount - an absurdly heavy discount, for what is a modestly priced game in the first place - but still had no need to urgently play it, even when I knew it was a short game.

If Steam wants to give me the kick up the rear I need to play it, then I'll spare a couple of hours and play it.

Steam Spring Clean: Another Chance

The Steam Spring Clean event gave me some motivation to spread out into my library further than I have been. While I wait for physical games to arrive in the post, why not download digital games to play right here and now?

First up are some suggestions from the 'Another Chance' category, with a selection of games that I've played for less than one hour and should think about playing again.

This is an interesting list because, so far as I can recall, I've played none of these for less than an hour, because I've played none of these for more than a second either. I suppose, technically, they count for being played for less than an hour then, in that case...

Anyway, knowing that a couple of those will be coming up in the 1001 list (A Boy and His Blob and Shadow Complex), and knowing that some are bound to be pretty similar to games I've already played (can't imagine the Quake Mission Pack or Tomb Raider II being too different from Quake and Tomb Raider), I eventually whittled down my choose to Aviary Attorney or Sorcery!.

So, the first game played could have been about birds solving crimes or a reimagining of a childhood game book. As much as one sounds interesting, the other hit my nostalgia alarm bells, and I'll be having a bash at Sorcery!, thank you very much.

No, I've no idea where or why I purchased it in 2016, but I'll be interested to see why it's in my library and to find out whether it'll stay there. Let's turn the page and found out.