Friday, November 27, 2020


So, Black Friday. What's that all about? As usual, I got a whole lot of links to things I wouldn't buy at any price, plus a whole lot more for stuff I might consider if it was cheap enough. Certainly not at these miserable discounts, though. Seriously, if it's not half price or less, who even looks?

And of course there was something from Steam telling me there were offers on five things from my wishlist. Like that's news. Something on my Steam wishlist is always on offer and still I never buy anything. 

I was thinking only the other day how I ought to go in and clear the whole thing out. I'm not sure I'd download most of the things on there if they were giving them away. And it's not as though I've wishlisted a lot of games. Seven, to be precise, and one of those I swear I had nothing to do with. I think it added itself when I downloaded an alpha build.


I'll tell you what the titles I have on there are. Why not? I'm not ashamed of any of them. They're all perfectly respectable titles. I'd be in a bit of trouble if you asked me why I'd picked them instead of any of a thousand others but I'm sure I had my reasons at the time.

The not-so-magnificent seven are

  • Kenshi
  • Legend of Grimrock II
  • Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
  • Past Fate
  • Flowscape
  • Kind Words
  • Fuser

Let's see if I can figure out why I put those on the list.

Kenshi's the kind of game that I dreamed of playing in the '80s and '90s. I read about it a couple of years ago and got a big nostalgia hit for the person I was back then. So I put it on the list. It's been up for sale several times since and every time I imagine actually playing it it's not nostalgic longing that sweeps over me - it's a wave of boredom. Imagine actually playing something like that in 2020. The world has moved on since games like this seemed like an amazing idea and I hope I have, too. If not, I don't want to know.

If Kenshi invokes nostalgia, Legend of Grimrock II is Marty McFly pulling up in your driveway in a deLorean and inviting you back to 1985. It's Eye of the Beholder II with slightly better graphics. I just think there are better ways to spend my time. And my money.

Steam, always parental, warns me Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (TABS for short) isn't like anything I've played before. That's the appeal, really. It looks like something you'd fire up for a few minutes for a laugh. I generally feel annoyed with myself if I spend much time on stuff like that, though, so it's a temptation I should probably resist.

Past Fate is an mmorpg in very rough alpha state. I played it a couple of times and wrote about it. I don't like it much, I'm not interested in playing it and I have no memory of putting it on this list. I'm guessing playing the alpha added it automatically.

Flowscape I had to look at again to remind myself what it was. It's not a game at all. Occupy White Walls looks like a theme park in comparison. I'm not sure how it ended up on Steam, much less on my wishlist. I think I must have seen it as some kind of replacement for Landmark, which, now I think about it, does make it sound quite appealing. Hmm. It's 35% off. and it wasn't expensive to begin with. I might buy this one. 

There's no real excuse for not already having bought Kind Words except that plainly I don't want to. It's almost always on some kind of offer and it's only £3.99 full price. Thing is, I just know I'd never "play" it, if playing is even what you do there. I think I drained all the value out of this one already when I read all the blog posts about it a year or two ago.

Fuser, though, now there's a different story. I really want to play this. Or mess about with it, more like. I got an email announcing it a few weeks ago because somehow it's an NCSoft (sorry, NC) game and apparently that means if you play Guild Wars 2 you have to be told about it. 

I was interested enough that I watched one of the tutorial videos and it did look like it might be fun. I was less than impressed with the list of licensed songs that come with it but in a way the weirdly disparate nature of the tracks - I mean, who hasn't dreamed of a Glen Campbell/Pixies/Fetty Wap joint? - just makes it more intriguing.


The price tag, though. £54.99. Yeah, right. I wouldn't pay half that. Maybe a quarter. Maybe. Which is a moot point because it's the only title on my wishlist that hasn't received any kind of discount yet.

There's one title missing from that list of seven because yesterday it was a list of eight. I cracked! Our corporate overlords got me. I bought something on a Black Friday discount. First time ever, I think.

As I'm sure anyone who's played it has already realized from the pictures, the game that switched from my Steam wishlist to my Steam library yesterday was Unavowed. I'd had it on there for quite a while, since I looked at it after someone in the blogosphere was raving about it. I ought to be able to remember who that was but I'm afraid I've forgotten. Sorry about that. It's my age (plays all-situation get-out card). If you'd care to out yourself in the comments I'll backfit a link. 

(And thanks to Jeromai, who points out in the comments that he was singing Unavowed's praises a couple of years ago (and I commented to say I was adding it to my wishlist, where it was then the only item) but that we both most likely first heard about it from xyzzysqrl, who called it "one of the best games I played in 2018". It's a good thing someone's paying attention!).

Unavowed is a really obvious, unadventurous purchase. Of all the games on the list it was always the one most likely to make it to "owned" status. It's a point&click adventure game, my second-favorite genre after mmorpgs. It's urban fantasy, a subgenre I think is just made for this kind of game. It has stellar reviews. It also looks to be more than averagely replayable, making it potentially good value for money.


And I was missing a good adventure game. As has been apparent from numerous posts here over the last couple of years, I get quite into them and also I get quite a lot out of them, not least material for the blog. There's only so many posts I can write about levelling in World of Warcraft, after all (although that particular well is nowhere near dry yet, trust me...).

So I bought it, installed it and played through the introduction and the first case. And I was planning to write a first impressions piece on it, only, last night, right after I finished playing Unavowed, I watched the fourth episode of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which gave me an idea for a post that would combine both experiences plus a bunch of others... and then this morning I sat down and wrote this instead.

So now I have two more posts to write. Three, when you count this month's song title round-up. I guess my mini-drought is over. Suppose I'd better get on with it.

I think I might just play some more Unavowed first...


  1. I took one look at the second screenshot and went "About danged time!"

    XYZZYSQRL got there first and turned us both on to it.

    And I ranted in my usual verbose form about it... two years ago.

    Well, no one can accuse you of being an impatient gamer. :)

    1. Aha! Thanks! At least it was a couple of years ago so I have some excuse for not remembering. I'll go add the links to the body of the post right now.

  2. I'm both pleased and always startled when something I write is actually helpful or motivating to someone. Lately one of my reviews I crossposted to Steam has been accumulating "community awards" and my first thought was "Is this some new, advanced form of sarcasm that I don't understand?"

    In any event, I do hope you enjoy.

    1. Thanks, as always, for the recommendation, even if I did forget where I read it. It's going well so far, although I have a few issues with the mechanics. I'll get to those in a post in due course, I hope.


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