Category Archives: Game Diary

Three Reasons you Should Play Winter Voices (Even Though it Kinda Sucks)

If you’ve been reading my not-reviews of Winter Voices: Avalanche, then you already know how I feel about the game. If you haven’t been reading them then I’ll humor you by legislating this introduction to the lowest common denominator ( you lazy reader, you). More studied readers can skip ahead to the next paragraph. To you, lazy reader, I say that I did not care for Winter Voices: Avalanche. It was boring and grueling and taxing and frustrating and exhausting.

It was also smart as a whip, ideologically brilliant, and well worth playing for anyone who considers themselves a connoisseur of electronic virtual gamez. Here are three reasons why the game deserves mad props, daddio, handily doubling as three lessons game designers could learn from it. Convenient how that worked out…. Continue reading

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Why I Quit Winter Voices Avalanche

I’m coming up on the end of Winter Voices: Avalanche, but I’ve decided that I’m done. I’m just done. “There is victory in defeat,” reads the only victory condition in this battle against my own grief — an obscure objective, but so cleverly simple in its true meaning: lose. Lose the fight to win. Easier said than done, or should I say, easier said than tolerated. Continue reading

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Game Diary: Arx Fatalis 05 — Oh Goodie, I’ve Always Wanted to Meet David Bowie!

Originally posted at Digital Hippos.

I’m off to meet David Bowie (the Goblin King) in order to settle the trolls’ labor dispute by retrieving the sacred troll artifact stolen by the goblins. That means it’s time to enter the belly of the beast: the goblin city.

I am unimpressed. The goblins live in a series of cramped stone rooms and passageways — not very different from their prison. I guess this is just what goblin decor boils down to: dank stone, stale air and dark passageways. Seriously dark — half of their torches aren’t even lit.

Right, then, first order of business: take time out of my busy schedule to use my “IGNITE!” to light the goblin torches and bring light to their dank, drab, soiled hovel. You’re WELCOME, gobbos! Continue reading

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Game Diary: Arx Fatalis 04 — Let There be Draw Distance!

Originally posted at Digital Hippos.

If you followed my last entry, then you won’t be surprised to hear how easy my retread through the goblin fortress is. With my gem dealer’s license and officially-signed goblin documents, I’m untouchable to my former captors (of course, that would change quickly if they found out who I was).

But why just move on to my next destination — the human city of Arx — right away? I don’t know about you, but I never move on to the next area of a game until I’ve explored all I can of the area I’m in.

I pass through a pair of giant, steel doors opening into a huge, dark cavern. A really, really, really, dark cavern.

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Game Diary: Arx Fatalis 03 — Answering the Call

(Originally posted at Digital Hippos)

Tragedy. Ascending back up the goblin gulag hits me with one of the stranger bugs I’ve ever seen: the opening of the game repeats itself. I’m struck with the blue light, dragged away by the goblin and wake up in a jail cell. Only, something’s different…. Continue reading

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Game Diary: Arx Fatalis 02 — The Envy of Kings

(Originally posted at Digital Hippos)

Emerging in the sub-(sub-sub-sub-sub-)-terranean tunnels beneath the goblin gulag, I find something I’ve been waiting for for far too long: pants! They’re being worn by a skeleton — not an undead monster skeleton, just a regular pile of bones — but they’re perfectly good pants and there’s no reason to let them go to waste, especially when this corpse doesn’t even have any legs. Continue reading

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Game Diary: Arx Fatalis 01 — No-Name

(Originally posted at Digital Hippos)

After a brief scene where I’m struck with blue light and dragged off by a goblin, I wake up to a familiar sight: a jail cell. But that debilitating glow had another effect: I can’t remember anything! Or was it the knock on the head from the goblin? Either way, it landed me right here, where I’ve so often found myself in the past: an imprisoned amnesiac.

Around me are the usual trappings: dank stone, dirt, a bare wooden bed, and a skull. Whether the skull is the last remains of a former prisoner or just goblin decor — there’s really no way of knowing.

This is my fellow prisoner. I don’t remember his appropriately convoluted fantasy name, so I’m just going to call him Wuzzles. I can tell from the way that he’s holding his midsection that he has really bad tummy ache, so it’s up to me to free us from the goblin gulag. Prying a loose rock and bending some bars (really shoddy workmanship, goblins) frees me from captivity, while a conveniently-located bone gives me the beans to bludgeon our goblin gaoler’s brain into putty.

Freeing Wuzzles, he gives me a new name: Am Shegaar (I think that’s how it’s spelled). It means … one who has no memory. Or is it one who has no name? Either way, it fits, but I think it’s going to be weird when I introduce myself to someone as Nameless Amnesiac.

Wuzzles tells me that he’s a member of the Traveller’s Guild. He says the the sun of our world fizzled out a long time ago. Since then, humans, goblins, trolls and dwarves have lived underground, while the surface has become a frozen wasteland. The Traveller’s Guild are the only people with the means to survive on the surface and travel between the various disparate subterranean settlements.

And with the obligatory world building exposition behind us, Wuzzles seneds me through a sewer grate to find a way out of the goblin gulag (I’m going to keep calling it that). His timmy hurts too much to follow, so it’s up to me to find a way out for the both of us.

Next time: rat-eating, spider-bludgeoning, glitched-elevator-dodging, and the triumphant return of Wuzzles — pugilist extraordinaire!

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