Welcome to April’s editorial post, a monthly progress report which rounds up all the happenings here at Later Levels in case you missed anything. With the sun starting to break through the clouds in more ways than one, let’s have a quick recap of recent events.
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Pete managed to track down a copy of this beauty for me. Now to try and get it working... https://t.co/4u4EWP4M7M—
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) April 17, 2021
Blogging has always provided its challenges, but it has got a lot harder over the past six months. The attendance at blog parties and other collaborative events has been dwindling for a while now and the cancellation of the annual gaming expos due to COVID-19 has impacted a lot of my usual content. It doesn’t feel as ominous as writers’ block just yet thankfully, but I’m certainly struggling to find things I want to write about because of a lack of new experiences.
The fact that I’ve been yearning to revisit older releases from my childhood lately hadn’t helped, probably a subconscious desire to seek nostalgic comfort in memories. The results have been mixed though. I had fun with the over-the-top acting in The 11th Hour after receiving the game as a gift from Darkshoxx, but Dragon’s Lair just wasn’t as magic as it as it seemed to be when I was a kid. My other-half got hold of a copy of The Black Dahlia for my birthday this month so expect to see it on stream soon if we can get it to work.
Although these games have enabled me to create content in the form of reviews, there are only so many of these that one blogger can publish before they want to do something different. The news that gaming events are due to be back on this summer is pleasing but I can’t help thinking: will the UK really be ready for large-scale expos like that again by July? I guess there’s no harm in being cautiously optimistic and starting to look ahead to brighter days when I get to meet up with my blogger-friends at the usual events again.
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Later Levels (@LaterLevels) April 15, 2021
My other-half’s quirks have provided a welcome break from writing reviews this month after I started to notice how different we are when it comes to gaming. I always find it hard to be evil in video games and end up choosing the ‘good’ decisions; Pete on the other hand has no qualms about slaughtering innocents in every town he visits. He always uses fast-travel whenever the option is available whereas I’m more likely to take to my feet or a mount, in case there’s something to be missed on the journey.
It seems that a lot of people have been considering their careers or trying new hobbies during the latest lockdown, as the number of projects on Kickstarter and their quality has been on the increase. Two more have been added to my backed list this month. GHOSTS is a modern full-motion video (FMV) horror which, going by the trailer, looks like it’s going to be as scary as hell; and Invasive Recall is a futuristic point-and-click adventure which isn’t aiming to reinvent the wheel, but celebrate the classics.
Speaking of adventure games, this year’s LudoNarraCon took place on Steam last weekend and I managed to find some great games to add my to wishlist so stay tuned for more about those coming in early May. I also had one of the most interesting gaming experiences so far this year with Hitchhiker, which won’t be to everybody’s taste but left me thinking about it long after the credits rolled. And then there was Nanotale – Typing Chronicles, a typing game that I really enjoyed but still needs a few bug fixes.
It's official: Pete is a speedrunner. https://t.co/HGRkPDzOyo—
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) April 24, 2021
I’ve been able to take quite a lot of time off work during April and the break has been appreciated. Pete and I had a lovely Easter alone together during which we went for a walk through the woods, completing several video games and ate far too much chocolate. We spent my birthday finally playing The Balthazaar Stone, an escape-room-in-a-box I backed on Kickstarter last August and received in February, so look out for a round-up of our thoughts coming next month.
We also had the opportunity to briefly meet Darkshoxx in person! While making his way from Germany to Scotland for a new job, he spent his 10-day isolation after arriving in the UK in a nearby town which allowed us to take some books and cider to him (following all appropriate guidelines). He was also kind enough to guide Pete through a speedrun master-class during a stream one evening. We’ve both now got the speedrunning bug and have been trying to beat our fastest times in Myst.
That’s not the only kind of running I’ve been doing this month: after signing up for new event StrideQuest, I’m aiming to complete 100-miles by the end of May for SpecialEffect. This has done wonders for my motivation when it comes to fitness and I’ve been more eager to get on the treadmill at 06:00 in the mornings than I have been in a long time. At the time of writing, I’ve got less than 20-miles to go and a new pair of trainers to break in. Let’s do this!
And now over to you guys: what have you been up to lately, and what have you got planned for the coming month? Is there anything the community can help with or get involved in? Let everybody know in the comments below so we can show our support. Thanks for reading!
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.