Open Gaming Thread: What are you playing right now? February 17, 2023 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Let's talk video-games, board-games, mobile games, mind-games, etc. What are you playing right now? :-)
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 12:10 PM (90 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Lately, I've been playing a lot of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, & Monster Hunter: Rise but I think tonight I'm diving back into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild b/c I really need to tackle some of these divine beasts before May 15th!!
posted by Fizz at 12:17 PM on February 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

Like you, Fizz, I think I’ll go back to BOTW. I have a game where I’m ready to fight Gannon, but I’m mostly doing side quests and picking Durian fruit and mushrooms, etc, rather than face the end!
posted by Samarium at 1:20 PM on February 17, 2023

I've been putting in some hours on survival-y stuff the last couple months: Icarus most recently (coming back to it after a year of changes and additions from my last deep-dive), but before that the much older 7 Days To Die which surprised me with how much janky charm it has, and end of last year the oddball Swedish Cold War Teens Vs. Giant Robots coop romp Generation Zero. That one is more narrative than open-world and much more actiony, but it still lives in the penumbra of open world survival stuff. It's fun with friends.

But I also just recently went back and played all the way through Prey, a game I remembered liking but getting distracted from five years ago, and, y'know, it's fuckin' great. I love Arkane's stuff in general so that's not a shocker, but man what a well put together combo of exploration and combat and suspense and narrative. Highly recommended if you like a moody, mystery FPS with lots of little things to pay attention to and doled out personal logs with good writing.

I am also playing Antimatter Dimensions, in the sense that one plays an idle game; I think it's my favorite mechanically in a long while, and does a good job of easing stepwise into truly idle play of "well I'll let that cook till tomorrow" after an engagingly fiddly beginning.

Also got back to Vampire Survivors after some time away and it continues to be just the best. For some horrible reason I'm also playing the blatant ripoff on my phone, too much. I think it speaks mostly to how good the core Survivors-like loop is that even a game that pushes a lot of my personal buttons about the mobile gaming landscape is still sucking me in.
posted by cortex (retired) at 1:21 PM on February 17, 2023 [3 favorites]

IRL: Rent chicken. Some unexpected expenses = scramble to time bills and bank balances juuust right :(
I distract myself by looking at incremental games but it ends up reminding me too much of real-life grind and stuff I'm putting off.

What I "should" be doing is playing Ostriv, the Ukrainian village sim I mentioned before, or actually cracking open the hoard of free Epic Games titles collected over...years? and never downloaded.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 1:29 PM on February 17, 2023 [2 favorites]

A really good boardgaming publisher is shutting down, so I'm going to get Encyclopedia off my Shelf of Opportunity this weekend in tribute.
posted by Etrigan at 1:44 PM on February 17, 2023 [3 favorites]

Wrapping up Cyberpunk 2077 and fighting a losing battle with my desire to not get back into Elite Dangerous. I have 1130 hours logged - surely that’s enough?

Problem is I now have a Vive Pro 2 kit, a machine that can make full use of it, and a Thrustmaster 16000 HOTAS setup. I almost feel like I owe it to the only “real” game that genuinely benefits from having VR support.

Next on the horizon is… Horizon Zero Dawn 2, finally.
posted by Ryvar at 2:24 PM on February 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

Been doing NG+ on Triangle Strategy. Progress on the main plot should be going faster since I can skip cutscenes but training up the new recruits from the alternate paths is taking up time. Next week Octopath Traveller 2 drops, so that'l be extra pressure on the backlog.

Also: been wasting waay too much time chasing ribbons on Super Auto Pets. The weekly packs provide a semi-puzzle that shifts over time as the meta reconverges.

IRL: filing taxes.
posted by pwnguin at 2:31 PM on February 17, 2023

I was a late arrival to Divinity: Original Sin 2, and haven’t quite completed it yet. Lost a bit of interest, not sure when I’m going to get back to it. Instead I’m currently replaying Nox Archaist (which I first learned about on MetaFilter, in anticipation of the upcoming expansion which is going to be released in a month or two.
posted by notoriety public at 2:45 PM on February 17, 2023

I'm replaying Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt and just enjoying the fixes and updates - I spend a lot of time wandering around and enjoying the landscape (not Velen). Also a bit of Minecraft now that I've managed to figure out how to properly mod it. Dorfromantik when I just need to zone out for a while - I find it hugely meditative. And a bit of Potioncraft, but it's starting to get annoying so I may leave it and see if it gets updates.
posted by ninazer0 at 2:55 PM on February 17, 2023

@ninazer0 Mind sharing what issues you're having with Potioncraft, I've been on the fence for that one, curious to hear your review. Thanks.
posted by Fizz at 3:22 PM on February 17, 2023

Fallout 76. I swore that I'd never pay to play it. Then it was a free download. So I got it and I liked it enough to spend $100 on Fallout First. It's a subscription that gets you some QOL perks. Really enjoying it. Feels like Fallout 5. With FO1st I can play on my own private server or with everyone else. If you are a Fallout fan I would recommend it.
posted by Splunge at 3:26 PM on February 17, 2023 [2 favorites]

A few months ago I got a Minecraft realm where Little eirias and I can play together. We built a home shaped like a Belgian waffle, and now we are painstakingly working on a more traditional Tudor monstrosity that requires infinite copper. I’m very content.
posted by eirias at 3:33 PM on February 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

FFXIV, free play, but it's just junk food. I haven't got anything else I really want to play right now. It kind of sucks.

I'm mad that PSVR2 is going to be over $800 Canadian (with the Horizon game), which plus the $500 PS5 that we don't have and isn't even in stock, basically means I'll be sitting VR out for the next few years at least, and I was kind of looking forward to not doing so.

I will probably poke at Elden Ring some more, but I know I won't actually complete the main quest because those last few fights are pretty much just bullshit and I'm not into bullshit fights. It's more fun to just wander around in the dungeons etc. Bloodborne is fairly good for that, too, with the chalice dungeons, but I do get tired of the perpetual darkness of that game. Elden Ring's overworld isn't as beautiful as Horizon but it's pretty big.

I feel like maybe I should try Red Dead Redemption but not actually play the game, just wander around. The Witcher 3 is nice for scenery also, yeah, maybe I should get back into that. I just kind of don't like the combat system in the Witcher much. I love Dragon's Dogma but I'd have to set up the PS3 to play it, which means I never do.

I'm not sure I've ever felt soo "blah" about gaming. What's wrong with me?
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:11 PM on February 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

The game I’ve played the most recently and will probably continue into the weekend is Wario Land 3. Thanks Nintendo for the gb/gba games.

If I finish it then minish cap or superstar saga is probably next.
posted by one4themoment at 4:42 PM on February 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

(Switch) Tetris Effect Connected. I cannot seem to find just good ol, plain ol Tetris anywhere and this version seems like it wants me to stay awake all night.

(Xbox Game Pass) I'm nearing the end Escape Room and just started Beacon Pines... I have no idea if I'll complete either of these games. I recently semi-abandoned Tunic (I'm at the last boss battle I think, but am both a bit bored by it and overwhelmed by the side puzzles) and also have Quantum Break freshly downloaded (because Control might have been the last game I truly enjoyed and completed).

But I don't know, I feel kind of blah and meh about gaming for the last few months. I have zero interest in the new Zelda game coming out and have just felt like it's hard to get into games lately.

(Board game) I bought Taco vs Burrito on a whim around Christmas but haven't opened the box yet.

yes, I AM all over the place.
posted by sm1tten at 4:44 PM on February 17, 2023

And I'm back into Monster Hunter: Rise, the hunt loop is so ADDICTIVE!!
posted by Fizz at 4:48 PM on February 17, 2023

Now that it's been released for the PS, I'm also on the Monster Hunter Rise train again. It's 100% the junk food of videogames.
posted by aspo at 5:45 PM on February 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

The Hitmans, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, and Phantasy Star IV have been the stars in the rotation for the past couple weeks. I had to take a break from Dwarf Fortress' engrossingness --

(One of my citizens, Shasar Arroslar, is a cougar woman bard who yearns for a life of extravagance, so I'm building her the fanciest rooms. There's a masterful poet hanging out in the above-ground, public tavern. He's a dwarven necromancer's experiment. I'm hoping he petitions for citizenship, though he's a member of a troupe, and I may have already rejected the troupe.

The trade and migrant caravans have stopped -- the fortress is under siege by a group of very powerful necromancers. Thankfully, the map has a river running through the middle, and the necromancers are trapped on the other side. But they aren't leaving the map. So the siege is ongoing. And I really need a more robust solution to the cave swallow people's relentless assaults from the depths. The dwarf squads are stronger, but the invading forces are far more numerous.)

-- but I'm sure I'll be back to it again soon.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:17 PM on February 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

I can't do Monster Hunter anymore because of how they gender the armor. It's.. it feels so fucking bad, I can't deal with it. BUT I just saw that EA/Koei came out with a MH clone so maybe that'll scratch an itch? I've spent probably something like two thousand hours on various MH games and I miss it as my "I have an hour, I'm going to go hunt a dinosaur and turn it into pants," snackfood game. (repeat, uh, 2000 times, I guess!)

I sunk a couple of weeks into Icarus but that is a game that does not respect your time even a little bit. I don't know if I can keep exploring that. I don't know if it's a problem I have with the whole game or if I'm just not in a place in my life for it. It's fine with a crew but I don't know if I find it more than "fine" and that's a hard thing.

Was playing Chorus (or Chorvs) and the spacefight gameplay is GREAT and fun but my goodness do the boss fights/sequences suck a really sucky thing.

Played through Prey and Prey: Mooncrash last month and they were AMAZING and I love them.

Eagerly awaiting next/final Citizen Sleeper chapter.

Been dipping back into Dorfromantik and it's still very charming.

The new Endless Dungeon (revamp of Dungeon of the Endless) is very different from its predecessor, but fun on its own, and looking forward to that full release.

Dug out my copy of Onirim and have been shufflin' cards a bit there, still have fun with it.

Semi-weekly cribbage games with a friend.

Been looking at various tabletop RPGs and wondering if I have that in me right now, I miss them.
posted by curious nu at 6:27 PM on February 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

I also just started playing Prey, which feels like a weird coincidence considering it's a game from 2017.
posted by simmering octagon at 7:33 PM on February 17, 2023

My partner and I have been playing co-op Rain World. I’m extremely bad at it. But those slugcats are so damn cute. And I love panicking and scrambling away from a predator and accidentally doing a cool backflip.
posted by brook horse at 7:46 PM on February 17, 2023

I've been playing a good amount of No Man's Sky, which is pretty good, although I think Starflight still did it better and also fit on one floppy disk. And I've been playing more Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition on Switch. Literally slapping hordes of monsters silly as a gigantic 8-bit Zelda fairy never seems to get old, which is good, because that game has over a thousand levels.
posted by JHarris at 9:10 PM on February 17, 2023 [3 favorites]

What I'm playing currently, by category.

Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Tuesday nights I am running a Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition game. I kind of... hate it? I like the setting just fine but the some of the rules are badly thought out (does anyone actually use the Hedge travel mechanic on a regular basis and if so why don't they love themselves?) and even the rules that are well reasoned are badly organized. But my players seem to be having a good time and that's enough for me to see this through to the end.

On alternating Wednesdays I am running Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition for a couple of new players. There are some edition warriors out there who are not fans of this edition and I acknowledge most of their complaints as valid (but get fucked, guy who shows up in every discussion of the game to complain how things are "too woke" now) but I'm having a blast and this edition does pretty much everything I wanted in the Vampire campaign. This is probably the most fun I'm having with tabletop roleplaying games at the moment.

On alternating Thursdays I'm actually a player! I'm a forever GM but when my previous five-year campaign ended one of my friends offered to run the game that night and I gratefully endorsed it. We were in the mood to play something in a science fiction of medium hardness variety. One of the other players said he had a hankering for something "rules light and elegantly simple". Yes, we all agreed, that is what we would like. How from there did we wind up playing Eclipse Phase 2nd Edition? Man, I don't fucking know. It's not at all the style we had in mind when we agreed on "rules light and elegantly simple" but we're all having fun and I like the characters and the world we're building together.


I recently started playing Twin Mask. It has the main problem that every LARP has (the need for bodies means being around some people who would be judiciously pruned from a home game group) but overall the community is pretty good and I'm having some fun with it.

Video Games

I have a Switch and I have been alternating between Breath of the Wild and Darkest Dungeon. I'm not really much of a video game person generally, but I can play either of these games as a sort of meditation damn near endlessly.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:33 PM on February 17, 2023 [3 favorites]

I started The Last Of Us game like 4 years ago but i quit pretty fast because i hate stealth and i am bad at it. i started playing again when the show came on bc i liked it the show and wanted to do a "i play the episode" thing. but i got too into the game AND I BEAT IT!!!!!!!!!!

then i played last of us 2

now i am playing minesweeper
posted by capnsue at 10:14 PM on February 17, 2023 [3 favorites]

I just finished my Nth playthrough of Fallout 3 and started my Nth playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas. Still can't be evil, though.

I've also just started playing Hi-Fi Rush on my Steam Deck, there's the Minecraft server that my 12 year old and I play on together, I'm still enjoying Magic the Gathering: Arena, and I'm stupidly deeply sucked into Marvel: SNAP on my phone.

AND my 12 year old asked me again to play D&D with him, so I started him on a solo adventure a couple of weeks ago. He loved the heck out of character generation and is DEEPLY involved in his backstory as a street urchin (chosen so he could have a mouse as a pet) and he is role-playing the crap out of this little one-shot.
posted by hanov3r at 11:08 PM on February 17, 2023 [4 favorites]

I've been playing a lot of Sailwind, which is a single developer open world sailing and lading sim, currently in early access. You might follow that link and see a game with the early access single dev Unity jank blues, and you'd be right, there's some jank. You can't drown at the moment. The graphics are fairly simple. The land areas feel pretty spartan, most of the npcs are shopkeepers, and on the (thankfully rare) occasion you see an npc ship, it is usually capsizing or glitching out.

But what I see is a sailing game where if you want to get to that island in the distance, you have to pay attention to the wind and weather. If it's upwind, you'll need to tack. If a storm comes up you'll want to take in sails. Your sail plan affects how your boat sails. The weight and location of cargo in the boat affects how your boat sails. There is no fast travel. Time compression is accomplished by getting drunk and/or passing out (which is dangerous, of course, because you might sail past your destination, or sink the boat somehow). Sailing at night is challenging, unless the moon is full.

If your destination is out of sight, you can try dead reckoning, or you can get out your chronometer and sextant. Celestial navigation is simplified, but I don't think I've ever played a game where it was a thing at all. Maybe Kerbal Space Program? But even there, you have a map view to help.

There's a thing in real-world sailing where it's actually kind of boring for long stretches, and then everything happens at once unstoppably, and you have changed course, or lowered your sails at just the right moment, or you are leaping onto the dock, and Sailwind captures that feeling. Every time I play, I think about the role of slowness in video games and how few games are interested in letting long stretches go by where nothing much happens.
posted by surlyben at 2:27 AM on February 18, 2023 [7 favorites]

Had a thought last night. I want to make a gaming resolution and my resolution is to pick a game I really enjoy but am pretty terrible at and focus on it and try to get to a place where I'm good at it or at the very least, competent.

I'm thinking Darkest Dungeon or Into the Breach. Both are super fun and deep with mechanics and a meta for me to untangle. I'm leaning towards Darkest Dungeon just because its fun & weird.
posted by Fizz at 5:00 AM on February 18, 2023

Oh, cool. Dragons Dogma is getting a sequel but it'll probably be a couple years.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:24 AM on February 18, 2023

My wife has recently gotten into Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen and that game is fantastic!!! It still holds up. Think of Monster Hunter style attacks with a French Medieval Skyrim universe. It also feels really scary. Going out at night has real high stakes and is not for the faint of heart! Excited to see how the sequel pans out.
posted by Fizz at 5:26 AM on February 18, 2023

My favourite game at the moment is where I'm putting my toddler to bed and I try and lower her in and I can't put her down. After a few attempts I say "hey! Who turned on the anti grav?" Or "someone's switched off the gravity on this cot!" I then mess with an imaginary dial on the side of the bed and finally I'm able to put her in.

The giggles on each lower/bounce back attempt are my favourite part.
posted by freethefeet at 5:28 AM on February 18, 2023 [8 favorites]

surlyben, I did a Q&A with the developer of Sailwind for Gamasutra (now Game Developer) just over a year ago!
posted by JHarris at 5:30 AM on February 18, 2023 [4 favorites]

My clearest memory of Dragon's Dogma is fairly early on taking my party on a little wander in the night, not able to see anything, and then I heard a squeaky sound (I'm sure you know by know what that means) and then i started taking mad damage, there were lines flickering everywhere and then ... i was tossed in the sky? And I died. And at that point I had no fucking clue what was happening, just that I'd made a very bad decision to go wandering around in the dark, and the game punished me for it. Such an amazing rush to just get wrecked like that, not like a video game hero at all.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:37 AM on February 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

A bit more about Dragon's Dogma. There's an original soundtrack, which is fucking fantastic, I've listened to it hundreds of times easily, and almost all of the music, incidental and otherwise, is on it. There are six tracks of battle music which the game will loop during random encounters, "normal battle" "pitched battle" and "hopeless battle" (plus variations of these) and it's so much fun hearing how the theme evolves between the situations. The music really makes the game feel cinematic, that it has real stakes. OK maybe I should play it again.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:43 AM on February 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

I'm leaning towards Darkest Dungeon just because its fun & weird.

I need to do another Darkest Dungeon pass - I've gotten pretty close, but I haven't beaten it. I spent quite a bit of time with a youtube channel refining my understanding of the strategies, and that helped a lot, but it's a genuinely difficult game.

Currently I'm wrapping up an intensive dive into Wildermyth, which I bought a year+ ago and then didn't play. It's neat! I think they did a good job building an engaging combat system and the procedural story stuff works pretty well. I am trying really hard not to touch the dev tools, though, because that's a rabbithole I could lose a year in and I have other creative projects I want to work on first.
posted by restless_nomad (retired) at 7:10 AM on February 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

Endless Sky. It's this comment's fault.
posted by jackbishop at 7:18 AM on February 18, 2023

My husband and I are slowly working on grinding out the last few things to 100% Stardew Valley and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. We both played the latter as teens, well before we met, and never quite finished it. Turns out we both also wanted to learn to skate as teens, and never did. I bounced off it hard, likely due to the combination of terrible ground where I was in Hong Kong, and a cheap toy shop board. So, after watching a bunch of skate videos on YouTube and reigniting an interest, we got a couple of completes on sale. I figured I'd be tagging along mostly, and would fail to be able to even go along, again. We've been out twice, and I can kinda push and go along, if in a very ungainly way. I can get into and out of rail stall without falling over like 40% of the time. I've only got... eight or so big bruises and one giant gash on my shin. I'm nearly 36. The only reason I'm in my flat on metafilter instead of out skating on my injuries like an idiot is that it's raining.

Uh anyway, I got sidetracked a bit there. THPS4 is super hard, even with another two decades of gaming behind us now. But we are so close...

(Apologies for the semi-off-topic comment!)
posted by Dysk at 8:16 AM on February 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

After realizing that I should have upgraded from XBox Gold to Game Pass ages ago, I did that. Playing a lot of Vampire Survivors. It's always fun when you get one of those runs going where you're so overpowered it's not even about the mobs anymore.

The best game I've played on there is Trek to Yomi, which is just like playing a chanbara movie. I'm so bad at the fighting, so I've had to play it in short bursts, but it's so well done it really does feel like playing a movie.

I added the Microsoft Solitaire Collection daily challenges, included in game pass, to my daily -Ordles — viz. Three Magic Words, Culture Tags, Globle, Worldle, Statele, Heardle, and Framed.

I knock out the dailies in Guild Wars 2. I broke my streak around the holidays, but so it goes. Very occasionally I take a turn as portal jockey at a jumping puzzle for the daily, but most days I get them done fast and get off. Although the last week or so I've been trying to do the Auric Basin meta so I can finally get Itzel poison mastery and finish the Tangled Depths map.

I saw a couple of incrementals go by on Mastodon yesterday, so I've been messing around with Exotic Matter Dimensions and DodecaDragons since last night.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:25 AM on February 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

to my daily -Ordles

My sisters and I have had a "friendly" competition going on for the last few months - every morning, we text each other the results of our daily Wordle, Framed, Globle, Mathler, Quordle, Octordle, and CineNerdle.
posted by hanov3r at 10:31 AM on February 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

Oh I've been playing Redactle most days with a bunch of Slack friends, and it's both genuinely good for my brain and an incredible overview of Wikipedia's weaknesses. Fun and sometimes completely fucking infuriating.
posted by restless_nomad (retired) at 10:39 AM on February 18, 2023 [3 favorites]

I'm running Journeys through the Radiant Citadel with my D&D group. It's a great idea that suffers from indifferent editing. I know coherence isn't the main point of adventure anthologies, but I'm still struggling to find a throughline for my players.

Video Games
Recently abandoned both Into the Breach and Marvel Snap as overly addictive. Went back to Pillars of the Earth after having gotten bored with it a year or two ago. Made it as far as the final battle, but I don't care enough about either the very in-world-jargon-heavy plot or the real-time-with-pause combat to level up enough so I can beat it. I went through a couple of the endings on YouTube in order to self-spoil it so I can go on with my life.

Inspired by the Go Back and Play podcast, I just downloaded Final Fantasy Tactics to my phone and am enjoying it thus far, a couple hours in.

HeroZero jr. (7 yo) was sleeping over at his cousin's (12 yo) and, as he was strictly told not to do, played Breath of the Wild on elder cousin's account. Broke all his weapons, ate all his food, and shot all his arrows, including the ancient ones. Elder cousin was about as amused as I was when HeroZero jr. did the same to me. :)
posted by HeroZero at 2:56 PM on February 18, 2023

@fizz Re potioncraft, it's the unfinished quality of the game. It's repetitive (possibly this is better at higher levels but I haven't lasted the distance) and the tutorials are super basic and don't cover what I consider essential things like game mechanics (minerals will teleport you through bone walls without damage, the whirlpools will teleport you a short distance if you sit on them and use the stir tool etc). Reddit has been very helpful with that but I dislike having to do research to find basic stuff.

The mechanics also feel unbalanced. The customers that you are supposed to serve consistently ask for impossible things (so, just like real customers then!) but it's super frustrating to need the money and then have to turn away several people in a row who are asking for, say, a nimble potion "containing only one ingredient and I'll pay extra if it doesn't include *random herb*". Refusing customers makes your reputation plummet and this reduces your money, so you're being penalised at a low skill level for things completely outside your control. This does no favours to my blood pressure.

Like I said, I'll come back to it from time to time to see what progress has been made.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:06 PM on February 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

Having tried out Elite Dangerous VR: the barrier to entry is impossibly high (easily a solid $4k worth of hardware - Valve Index or Vive Pro 2 to see everything clearly, plus the silicon to drive that resolution at 90FPS ) but holy fuck was that amazing. The obsessive physics of the flight model (with Flight Assist Off) + VR from a setting where you are naturally sitting in place 100% of the time (except the recently added on-foot sections where they sort of letterbox the view into a floating screen-with-depth to take a mulligan on fundamental first person camera VR issues).

It’s an easy home run as far as the VR holy grail of “presence” is concerned, and if you have 1100 hours worth of space dogfighting sim reflexes already dialed in and every min/max build in the current meta…it’s just fucking sublime. Nearest comparison I can think of is the Avatar ride at Disney World; E:D VR isn’t that good (nothing in existence is, not even reality, not even if you hate Avatar), but it’s right up there.
posted by Ryvar at 4:58 PM on February 18, 2023

I'd start a Fanfare thread about Burnhouse Lane, if I could. It's kind of like if Neil Gaiman made a video game, when he was particularly depressed. It tells a story about terminal illness, serial killers and an alternate reality accessed through a door in an old man's basement, and the characters are all sad little paper cut-out people. It's funny and heartbreaking and sweet and gory and amazing. Just... wow.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:51 PM on February 18, 2023

In the last year I moved from an apartment in San Francisco (with downstairs neighbors) to a house in Oakland (with no downstairs neighbors), so I recently dug out my old PS2 and my Cobalt Flux pads and started playing Dance Dance Revolution again! It's been a blast and I've been playing a lot and I honestly think this is probably the most likely to work prospect for me starting to actually get regular exercise.
posted by aubilenon at 7:17 PM on February 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

After Elden Ring I had nothing new that really captured me, so for video games I have fallen kind of randomly back into Rimworld. I’m sure that will change when Kerbal 2 comes out.

In the tabletop world I’m playing online Pathfinder and summon lots of creepy crawlies with my little goblin druid Ffft.

Also I have apparently lost my gosh darn mind, because I’m seriously thinking about buying a Warhammer 40k army ...
posted by the_dreamwriter at 12:48 AM on February 19, 2023 [2 favorites]

r_n, your comment inspired me to pick up Redactle today even though when I tried it in the past I was very VERY bad at it. However:

I solved today's Redactle (#318) in 10 guesses with an accuracy of 80.00%. Played at
posted by Night_owl at 6:04 AM on February 19, 2023

Niiiice. Beat me by a good bit. (You didn't beat our crew's top gun, who got it in four, but she's a wizard.)
posted by restless_nomad (retired) at 6:35 AM on February 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

I never thought I could replace the joy I found with World of Warcraft many years ago, but I'm glad I stuck it out.

I'm currently enjoying failing at Valheim. I'm not even at the second boss yet because the my biome has the freezing mountain biome in between my original camp and boss 2 so I had to build a boat, learn to sail, go around the zone, build a new camp, be murdered by Draugr, shampoo, rinse, repeat.

I am delighted by Slay the Spire. It's another game where I'm not setting the game on fire with my skills but it's my first ever deckbuilding game and I don't even mind losing most of the time.

I also hit the NYT crossword puzzle (have you seen this FPP?) and Wordle daily.
posted by kimberussell at 8:50 AM on February 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

Dipping into Warframe finally after by some hop and skip this thread reminded me (without anyone actually mentioning it I guess!) that several people have talked happily about it over the years. So far it's nice snack food, reminds me a lot of Destiny 2 insofar as the core running around and shooting loop feels really fun and fast in a way that makes the MMO-ish trappings I don't particularly care for not feel as intrusive as they would in something with slower and more fiddly core gameplay. Just being a silent bow-and-katana ancient robo ninja, stabby stabby jump shoot.
posted by cortex (retired) at 9:34 AM on February 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'm running an X-Crawl-inspired game with 13th Age right now, but leaving out most of the "edgy"/grimdark stuff from X-Crawl. Basically it's a modern world where the players are on a D&D themed game-show circuit and the violence is Professional Wrestling-Real and the magic items are sponsored by major corporations. I have this end-of-session move where each player says what moment from the session they're adding to their character's highlight reel.
posted by Garm at 9:49 AM on February 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

I never played it (or its sequel) initially because we have an informal agreement that I won't play scary games when my wife is around, but now that the show is on HBO and there's a cultural need to know the storyline I'm finally getting to play The Last of Us and I'm having the time of my life.
posted by saladin at 10:11 AM on February 19, 2023 [2 favorites]

I'm finally properly playing WITCH3R. I had several false starts where I got distracted and had to restart later because I had forgotten all the controls and story.

This game rules.
posted by brundlefly at 2:00 PM on February 19, 2023 [2 favorites]

I guess I've contracted to just old classics for the moment!

I've been playing the second quest of the NES Legend of Zelda, and my eight-year-old kid is mapping for me. I've memorized everything in the first quest, but I don't know where anything is in a second quest (I remembered where the first three labyrinths were and that's it), so we're both thrilled when we find a secret.

In tabletop, the regular D&D campaign I've been in for years, just had the first game of 2023. (We play the cursed but fit for our purposes 2E AD&D.)

A friend of mine suggested Undermine as a video game that has good secrets, so I might try that sometime in the next few months.
posted by ignignokt at 2:23 PM on February 19, 2023 [2 favorites]

My sister and niece randomly got back into Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and so I literally dusted off my Switch to play. My villagers told me they hadn't seen me for 2 years and 7 months. I was worried I wouldn't have any bells and have to buy turnips, but I had $7 million in the bank. I got turnips anyway. It has been a fun way to socialize with my sister and her #2 daughter. They live 1200 miles away.

I've played a bit of Minecraft lately. Specifically Skyblock. Twice now I've gone through the pain of trying to bootstrap villagers from zombie villagers + witches. It's a fun challenge mode but I've stalled because the next step is probably building a farm for drowned and I don't want to do it.

Somehow watching Cracking the Cryptic got me playing puzzles and sudokus a lot. My SO and I try to solve the ones on the channel together. We're not good solvers but it has been satisfying to go from utter newbs (neither of us had done a sudoku before) to merely mediocre solvers. We're about like 3-4x slower than a Mark video and about 2-3x slower than a Simon video.

TTRPG-wise, I was playing a strictly by the book 1E campaign. It was *so* by the book that we were correcting heresies in other supposedly hard core BTB things like ADDICT^ (iykyk). I quit because I wasn't really vibing with the game world or other players. I really want to DM, but I'm worried I'm just too antisocial now; I ran a Mausritter PBP game recently and it didn't go so well and I don't understand how I failed to get player buy-in. So I just tinker with a B/X heartbreaker thinking I'll get back on the horse sometime...

Our daily guessing games are: Heardle 90s-60s, Posterdle, Moviedle, Framed, and The last one can be an ordeal.
posted by fleacircus at 2:52 PM on February 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

fleacircus I'm still playing ACNH! If you want to come over to my island sometime and get recipes, art, cash or other things let me know! I'll visit your island too/instead at your option, if you want!
posted by JHarris at 4:27 PM on February 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

One of my ongoing goals is to become more brave, especially with games, considering I tap out at the first sign of anxiety. (I would like to finish BotW sometime this decade.) With that said, I just started playing The Quarry, because for some reason choose-your-own-adventure horror games are doable for me, like The Walking Dead. I have no idea if I’ve shot above my level, though. We shall see!

I’m also working through the silver medal level of my Scout in Deep Rock Galactic. Pretty soon I’ll have THREE stars. Very exciting.
posted by lesser weasel at 5:54 PM on February 19, 2023

Cortex: Warframe ate 1600 hours of my life, but it was some of the best gaming I’ve ever had. It contains all other third person action games within it: if you can think of a mechanic, it’s in there, somewhere. The sole thing it’s “missing” (and I use that term very loosely) is fucking Gwent. Seriously, other than an internal card game I can’t think of anything it hasn’t implemented.

It took me 300 hours before I had used 75% of the game’s systems: not content, just the major systems. At 600 hours I was at 95% and actually knew what I was doing, more or less.

At any rate, here’s my Mesa build: Everything I Look At Dies, which does exactly what it says on the tin.
posted by Ryvar at 8:21 PM on February 19, 2023

The best game I've played on there is Trek to Yomi

tbh this looks extremely like a game for me
posted by fleacircus at 11:28 PM on February 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

Recently finished Mundaun, an indie horror game with a hand-drawn aesthetic (Literally. The game is 3d but the textures were drawn in pencil). Highly recommended.

Also plugging away at Persona 5 where this dungeoneering stuff keeps getting in the way of hanging out with my buds in Tokyo and participating in drug trials with a back alley goth doctor.

And just started Alien: Isolation where in space everyone seems a little too murderey, but, videogames.
posted by rodlymight at 10:37 AM on February 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

I gave my partner a really upscale backgammon set for Christmas. He didn't even know how to play backgammon but I just had a feeling he would love it and it was a big hit! Backgammon is a sensual game, what with the sound of the dice in the cups, the clacking of the stones, etc., and to play it on a beautifully made set is such a pleasure. He is also enjoying the growing pile of my money on his side of the table.
posted by HotToddy at 10:52 AM on February 20, 2023 [3 favorites]

Trade ya, rodlymight - I'm preferring the dungeon delving parts of Persona 5 more than trying to navigate Tokyo.
posted by minsies at 11:29 AM on February 20, 2023

I've spent most of the past several months killing Nazis in Sniper Elite 3, 4, & 5. It's comfort gaming with just enough NPC backstory to occasionally cause a twinge of regret when I shoot a Nazi. Fortunately, they're Nazis, so the regret is short-lived.

I played through Deathloop many times over the month or two after it released. It's no Prey or Dishonored, but the world design is fabulous and I want Arkane to decorate my home in alternate history art deco furniture and gothic art. Seriously. I would pay money to have full size versions of many of the paintings in both Dishonored and Prey.

I'm looking forward to Redfall (also by Arkane), though it might lean a bit far into horror for my taste. I love horror, but I can't watch or play it. Go figure.

Also, I started playing sudoku yesterday. I'd avoided it because I generally don't enjoy math games. Then I realized that it's a logic game, and now I process-of-elimination the fuck out of some sudoku.

10+ years ago, a Mefite posted about an iOS logic game they'd published on the App Store. It used playing card suits, chess pieces, shapes, etc. as game pieces. Each board had a set of rules establishing the relationship between the various pieces, then you filled in a grid based on those relationships. It was fan-fucking-tastic, and I miss it terribly. So, thank you Forgotten Mefite, for the best logic game I've played on my phone.
posted by malthusan at 2:19 PM on February 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

I really hate that mobile games fall out of support so fast, and once they do it's not only essentially impossible to play them but it's even as if they never existed, app stores frequently just hide things that aren't for your device. 100 Rogues? Unplayable, invisible. Defense of the Oasis? Unplayable, invisible. Completely disposable software, absolutely gone now, Apple simply doesn't care if we loved it it's not the newest and latest.
posted by JHarris at 4:58 PM on February 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

In the computer world I pulled out a Civ-like called Old World over the holidays, I don't think it's a great game but it's got that mildly addictive "one more turn" quality. I'd treated myself to a medieval mystery cRPG called Pentiment (previously on MeFI) over Christmas too, which I do think is a good game, but having screwed up the Act I investigation I put it away for a while to try again "doing it right" before I proceed rather than watch a simulated friend hang for a murder he did not commit.

I drove down to a local convention, Dundracon, a couple days this weekend. I played a few Pathfinder games, tried a new board game, and GMed a session this morning (which went OK--not a given for me!) Really was hoping to try Scum and Villainy, a Blades in the Dark meets Firefly (or Han Solo) RPG, but the one session being run had like 25 signups for 6 slots.

For those wondering masks & vaccines were both mandatory--it's the most mask wearing people I've seen in a long time. (Most people too, I suppose, though it wasn't exactly jampacked.)
posted by mark k at 9:45 PM on February 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

We picked up one of those mini Playstation Classic consoles used for about $40. Pretty underwhelming out of the box, but we installed Project Eris and got it working as an emulator and have been playing a bunch of SNES and Nintendo 64 games and having a blast.

Currently, we're obsessed with Super Buster Bros.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:57 AM on February 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'm doing my 3rd play through of Breath of the Wild. This time around, I'm really focused on a few things:

1. Avoiding damage if at all possible. It doesn't matter how many bombs I need to lob. I've also gotten terribly good at dodging and parrying attacks.
2. Every Korok seed. For the record, this is really hard to do without a guide!
posted by rocketman at 2:10 PM on February 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

The Korok seed subquest is one of the most ridiculous things Nintendo's ever put into a game. There's 900 of them! (Of course, there's 1,000 moons in Super Mario Odyssey!)
posted by JHarris at 3:50 PM on February 21, 2023

I just finished collecting all the dinosaur bones in RDR2 (I followed a guide), and now I’m going after all the cigarette cards (also with a guide).

Someone said there is a vampire in St Denis. So that might be next.
posted by notyou at 6:11 PM on February 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

Having played a moderate amount of Elden Ring, I'm going to go back and try to play Dark Souls III. I always bounced off that first gimmick boss with the sword and the second phase rat monster that sprouts from him. It must just be some complex I have but I WILL. I AM. GOING TO DEFEAT THAT FUCKER TONIGHT!?!
posted by Fizz at 7:14 AM on February 22, 2023 [3 favorites]

We have been playing Wingspan for almost two months now as our child is a self-proclaimed "bird person" and doesn't really want to do anything else in their free time. Fortunately, it's an entertaining game with some great expansions.
posted by gofordays at 8:59 AM on February 22, 2023 [3 favorites]

Not really having fun with Alien: Isolation after maybe 5-6 hours. Game has impeccable vibes but the ai is a little too good for its own good, and the checkpoints a little too sparse.

Instead I picked up Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance on sale for my Steam Deck. Now this game is FUN. Feels like a Metal Gear game combined with a Platinum game, which is what it is, but it feels like a natural fit.
posted by rodlymight at 1:49 PM on February 22, 2023

I remember playing a demo of Revengence when it was brand new, and being, as a die-hard MGS fan who hadn't really played anything by Platinum, just totally turned off: I was expecting a game that was fundamentally different from the one they designed, and I was like borderline offended by the fact.

I've since played the hell out of some Platinum stuff and really enjoyed it and am looking forward to giving Revengence a proper shot at some point. It's still an incredibly dumb name tho.
posted by cortex (retired) at 2:47 PM on February 22, 2023

I'm not much of a gamer (Candy Crush aside, which has eaten far too many of my hours), but my kid is - his current favourites are Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program. He showed me how to play Minecraft Dungeons, and I have taken to it more than he hoped I would, so have been monopolising his PC :)

He's nine and it turns out he loves teaching, and is so proud when I do things he's advised me to do. That's been really nice to see in him.
posted by altolinguistic at 5:53 AM on February 23, 2023 [3 favorites]

We are a board game family. My brother and I live on opposite coasts so we have been playing Viticultre on boardgamearena. When we want to switch it up we play Lost Cities.

I've been wanting to learn Wingspan! Our stepmother is a birder so I thought we could learn and then teach her. When we're all together in person we usually play some version of Ticket to Ride or Splendor with the occasional game of Clue thrown in.
posted by lyssabee at 2:46 PM on February 23, 2023 [2 favorites]

I am having a blast playing tons of Pico-8 games after I just got a copy for my new Linux computer. It's weird the way some of these make me feel. I can't stand Minecraft but for some reason want to play a few hours of some silly 8-bit demake. Or beat my high score (40) in Beet'em up, a whole mini game devoted to endless SMB2 style root-throwing action. But also it's really fun (for now) to just check out 10 different weird/artsy/experimental games for 5 min each. It seems the platform is maturing nicely, and the offerings are far more numerous and higher quality than when I briefly checked it out some 6 years ago.

I feel like I have a few years to catch up on, please recommend any Pico-8 games that you like!
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:35 PM on February 23, 2023 [1 favorite]

lyssabee: “I've been wanting to learn Wingspan!”
Wingspan looks complicated but it really comes down to either play a bird, get food, lay eggs, or draw more birds. Sure there are nuances and strategies, et cetera, but you can just play some birds. Pick ones that look fun either to look at or to play, and play those ones.

I left out board games above. I play on BGA every Monday with a group, and that has been good. We played Wingspan this past week! I did good at 91 but the winner tucked like a jillion cards behind his pelican and beat me by 11.

I've got a stack of still-in-shrink games that is almost as tall as I am. My brother got me Jaws of the Lion for Christmas. I pulled the shrink off it two weeks ago and then didn't even open it. It's just sitting on the table. I have a whole bunch of games with just one play on them too. Bought inserts and sleeves for some of them even and then just… don't.

I had this Idea I wanted to make videos or do a blog or something and then just… didn't. I had a group here to play with but now I'm alone and it's made me feel some kind of way, I guess.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:22 PM on February 23, 2023 [1 favorite]

The Korok seed subquest is one of the most ridiculous things Nintendo's ever put into a game. There's 900 of them!

And the game knows it! If you find all of it, they give you what's described as a big seed, and that's when you find out korok seeds are literally poop

This is Nintendo telling you "you shouldn't have done this!"
posted by Merus at 8:43 PM on February 23, 2023

SaltySalticid, you could play cortex's own Ennuigi.
posted by JHarris at 9:03 PM on February 23, 2023 [2 favorites]

Thanks! I remember when that was posted here but wasn't able to play it at the time (nor did I realize it was his).
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:20 AM on February 25, 2023

I finally picked up Roadwarden and the time is flying by. This is wonderful. Serious Lone Wolf/Fighting Fantasy/Sorcery! vibes, all vaguely-sinister wilderness and villages and the occasional hard-won friend.
posted by curious nu at 7:06 AM on February 25, 2023 [1 favorite]

Covid+ means I'm finally finding all 120 Breath of the Wild shrines with HeroZero jr. He's very excited about it. I'm glad for the relatively low-effort interaction while I'm feeling poorly.

On my own, finally getting to Divinity Original Sin II, which is shockingly well-acted.
posted by HeroZero at 9:56 AM on February 25, 2023

I've got one regular and one semi-regular game of Gloomhaven on steam because the people involved are a bit scattered. It's a lot of fun having the computer handle all the fiddly bits so we can focus on learning how to really team up together and kick ass.

We like to play on boardgamearena with friends who are further away, and have others closer by over to play. Wingspan is a favorite, as is Lords of WaterDeep,. In person we're fans of The Crew, and a few years belatedly we are exploring 7th Continent. I like it, but I'm glad one of our more procedurally oriented friends is helping us stay on target.


I have a long running Fate Condensed game, and a few irregular get togethers where we try out different systems that look cool, but we're not sure on committing to. So far we've played several very entertaining TTRPGs that I highly recommend:

Good Society you want to play Regency drama with star-crossed lovers, ridiculous misunderstandings, and lots of spilled tea? This is the story-telling game for you - diceless with tokens, it is nevertheless structured to faithfully let you reproduce Wildean farces or steamy Bridgerton social dramas, this is the game for you. We laughed so hard we were almost crying

Wanderhome: Another fantastic indie game, this is for when you're just not up for high-stakes anything, and would rather play a game where you wander (as a sentient animal wearing clothes) through the countryside for serendipitous interactions with people you meet along the way. It's charming and fun, nd also using tokens instead of dice, so a little more story-game than TTRPG 'proper'. Lots of fun.

Apollo 42: It's the only one page game that has a thousand page supplement (actual NASA apollo manual if memory serves.) You play the astronauts, mission control, etc, parties trying to solve simple problems (open the hatch! perform a task - so lots of repeating stuff back to each other with helpfully supplied technobabble... it's hard to explain how entertaining this can be.
posted by canine epigram at 7:05 PM on February 26, 2023 [3 favorites]

Been making my way through Octopath Traveler 2 on PS5. Started with the merchant, since that was a pretty OP build last time and am now speedrunning late stage capitalism.
posted by pwnguin at 5:38 PM on February 27, 2023

So this weekend I tried two indie ttPRGs for the first time: Wanderhome (which canine epigram describes above) and Swords without Master.

I'd read the rules for Swords before I'd really played any indie games, and (a bit like Wanderhome) it's on the extreme storytelling end of the story vs. game RPG spectrum. You roll dice, but only to determine the mood ("jovial" or "glum") of what's being narrated. And that's pretty much it, as the story moves from player to player around the table. I was amazed how well it worked, we finished with nice tight little sword-and-sorcery tale of betrayal and corruption.

This was at a small, free, online, beginner-friendly convention run by Indie Games on Demand which I'd never tried out before, I'd encourage people who are intrigued by this stuff to check it out next year.
posted by mark k at 6:07 PM on February 27, 2023

Arkham Horror has been hot for a while, because Lil Ubu is a competitive little SoB (or insert your preferred Aussie curse of endearment) so cooperative games work better for family harmony.

Cat Lady is a fun recent discovery for a quick card game. Cute as, and has that Wingspan / 7 Wonders style of pointscoring where you don't really know who's winning until you finally count the scores. I find this also leads to less Spielschmerz.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:22 AM on February 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

Oh I've been playing Redactle most days with a bunch of Slack friends

Had to retire from Redactle after getting the answer in one (a Redactawhack? If Googlewhacking is still a term) because everything's a disappointment after that.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:59 PM on February 28, 2023

Someone tell me, whats a good redactle score? I feel pretty happy to get it in under 100, but admittedly I have zero strategy and quickly resort to common english language words just to get more context. Also: where are the boundaries for Redactle cheating?
posted by pwnguin at 7:46 PM on February 28, 2023

Well, no matter. no longer resolves an A record.
posted by pwnguin at 7:55 AM on March 1, 2023

Oh no! We played a lot of redactle last year, I'm sorry to see it go if it has in fact died.
posted by JHarris at 9:17 AM on March 1, 2023

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