Our choir of gaming Christmas carollers is back again for the second day of Blogmas, where creative conductor Athena from AmbiGaming is leading us in a rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas – but with a video game twist. Check out her blog to see what she’s written for her third answer, and keep your eyes peeled for all of the other bloggers out there taking part.
Yesterday we looked at 11 games we love and return back to time and time again. With the choir clearing their throats and warming up in the background, let’s see what the subject of today’s verse is:
1. If it’s a point-and-click
Anyone who visits Later Levels on a regular basis will know just how big a fan of the adventure genre I am. This started when the event described for my first memory in Wednesday’s post took place: an Amiga 500 arrived with The Secret of Monkey Island one Christmas when I was very young, and it was love at first sight. I’ve adored point-and-clicks and wannabe pirates ever since and actively seek them out (point-and-clicks that is – not pirates!).
2. If it’s narrative-heavy
Remove genre from the equation and the main reason I’ll play a game is because I love getting engrossed in a good story. Take titles such as To The Moon with its heartbreaking tale of life being too short to have regrets, for example; its extremely limited gameplay won’t appeal to some people but it’s perfect to me as it is. I don’t often watch films as I find it difficult to focus on them for so long, but give me a video game with a strong narrative and I won’t move for days.
3. If I enjoyed playing a demo at an expo
A lot of the titles I add to my wishlist are those I’ve had the opportunity to try out first-hand at expos. Guns of Icarus is just one example: this airship-shooter isn’t something that would usually appeal to me but after getting roped into a game at Rezzed in April, I bought a copy the following week. I haven’t played for a little while now but earlier this year I was totally hooked, and ended up spending so many hours playing as an Engineer on standby with my trusty wrench.
4. If it’s recommended by a blogger with good taste
I’ve come to know some great bloggers over the past few years and there are a number who enjoy similar video games so I listen to their opinions. For example, Bradley from Cheap Boss Attack told me to play Stories Untold last year and it turned out to be absolutely awesome. Will from Geek Sleep Rinse Repeat and Luke from Hundstrasse have also given me good recommendations in the past – these guys have good taste.
5. If it’s a sequel to a game I liked
As much as the high-percentage of video game sequels churned out each year concerns me, I can’t deny that I’ll probably play a release if it’s a follow-up to a title I really enjoyed. This was why I picked up Fable II (another game featured in yesterday’s post) on its release date back in 2008 and am likely to buy any further entries in the series, regardless of how many problems Fable III had. Here’s hoping for a better fourth instalment…
6. If it’s by a developer I like
It’s not just sequels I’ll watch out for: I’ll also keep an eye on future projects by developers who have made a previous title that had an impact on me. The Longest Journey creator Red Thread Games is currently working on psychological horror Draugen and No Code, the team behind Stories Untold, is putting its efforts into Observation. Both games are high on my wishlist and will hopefully be released in the not-too-distant future.
7. If I like the art-style
If a video game’s visuals appeal to me, there’s a good chance I’ll give it a go even if it’s not the sort of thing I’d usually play. Photo-realism may look awesome but I’m a sucker for good pixel art as it works well with point-and-clicks, along with styles that have something a little different about them. Journey and Firewatch were absolutely beautiful in their own way; and more recently, Night in the Woods and The Gardens Between held my attention.
8. If it features a kickass female protagonist
Although I wouldn’t not play a game if it didn’t star a woman in its lead role, the experience is always enhanced if you’re able to play as someone you can identify with – and for me that means stepping into the shoes of a female protagonist. Although there’s still some work to be done, we’ve come a long way from the days of having to choose between only Chun-Li or pointy-boobed Lara Croft and there are some fascinating female characters.
9. If it’s a couch co-op
My stepson has just reached that age where all he wants to do is stay in his bedroom and play video games, so anything we can do to get him out of there and engaging with my other-half and I is fine by me. The promise of a game the three of us can play together and chocolate usually does the trick. His current favourites include That’s You! for its photographs and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes… even though we get blown up more often than not.
10. If it seems like it could be good for a laugh during GameBlast
Having some cooperative or humorous games lined up for a marathon stream is a good idea: your teammates can lift you up if you’re falling asleep and nothing wakes you up like a good giggle. This was how I ended up playing Hidden Agenda and That’s You! during this year’s 24-hour session for GameBlast18. Dad Quest for GameBlast17 was a highlight too – enhanced by the fact we’d all dressed up as the title’s main character. Dad-tastic!
It’s time for the choir to take a short break so we’ll be back for the fourth day of Blogmas tomorrow, with the games on our to-play list. In the meantime, why not tell us the reasons why you would play a video game in the comments below?
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Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.