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2022.12.31

Books From 2022

Every year I try to compile a list of games, books, and movies I experienced. For the complete list, check the Ratings. Here we go (sorted by rating)!

I continue reading (mostly listening to audiobook versions, in fact) almost every day for the past few years. It’s in my daily routine when I walk the dogs. It’s a very different proposition from laying down and dedicating some time to read them. I have an urge for a secondary task when I am performing a no-brainer routine, such as… walking the dogs. Otherwise, I feel like wasting my time by walking and not thinking.

This is the list of this year’s books that I ingested. These lists are -definitively- not comprehensive ones. Since I always forget to update my GoodReads personal records or write about them on this blog, they are just the ones I remember. I will edit this post in case I remember other entries.

This year I’ve already compiled a mid-term list back in July, so it’s just the books from the second semester.

Fiction

  • The Silver ShipsThe Silver Ships (Silver Ships #1) (S.H. Jucha)(9★★★★★★★★★): Great recommendation from Steve Gibson in the Security Now podcast. The author tells science fiction stories with rich details about the character and ordinary tasks. The protagonist is clever, to say the least.
  • LibreLibre (Silver Ships #2) (S.H. Jucha)(7★★★★★★★): The second book captures a character trait I do not like: constant winner. Alex Racine faces rare and extremely low-odd events and surpasses them daily. At some point, I started to care less and less about him because I knew very little was at stake. The higher note is the rising of artificial intelligence characters.
  • MéridienMéridien (Silver Ships #3) (S.H. Jucha)(7★★★★★★★): 3rd book. SADEs (the artificial intelligence characters) shine. The main character, again, is too much powerful/lucky. The timeline jumped several years in the future, giving a fresh look for each character.

Non Fiction

  • MindsetMindset: The New Psychology of Success (Carol S. Dweck)(5★★★★★): One could summarize Mindset into a single slide. People either have a fixed mindset (believe people do not change, things are what they are) or a growth mindset (everything is changing and evolving, including ourselves). It’s interesting, but the book is self-indulging (a common trait for self-help books). Dweck repeats her mantra over and over, exploring her theory in a variety of scenarios. Most of them are ad hoc: she justifies the known past as the mindset of the people involved was THE reason why things happened as they did.

Some books for the next year

  • Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson
  • How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt
  • The Law by Frederic Bastiat
  • Essays on Political Economy by Frederic Bastiat
  • Quiet by Susan Cain
  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kadneman
  • Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Silver Ships 5-10 by SH Jucha
  • Mistborn 3-4 by Brandon Sanderson

For more books, you can check my online read list on GoodReads.

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2022.12.31

Game List 2022

Every year I try to compile a list of games, books, and movies I experienced. For the complete list, check the Ratings. Here we go (sorted alphabetically)!

This year my game library is over 1000 games. 1/3 I’ve never touched it. 1/3 I’ve barely played. So I can stop buying games for a while and still have a lot of fun.

Finished

  • 3 out of 10 Season 2(7★★★★★★★): the same as the first season. Funny and awkward.
  • A Plague Tale Innocence(8★★★★★★★★): it’s a stealth game with beautiful production. Finally, played the whole thing. The supernatural mixes with religion, knights, and kings.
  • A Total War Saga: TROY(8★★★★★★★★): one of the Epic Store exclusives (for a time), it impressed me. I finished my first campaign, playing the Amazons. It takes so much that I prefer to play another thing. But it was good. The siege mechanism drags the game progress (it is accurate historically, but it does not translate well into gameplay).
  • Amnesia: Rebirth(5★★★★★): I did not like either the game old mechanics or the story.
  • Before Your Eyes(8★★★★★★★★): a sad and emotional story of a boy. The unique mechanism of blinking in front of the camera instead of using the mouse is gimmicky but works fine in the setting. It almost made me cry.
  • Blair Witch(7★★★★★★★): did not care much about the lore, but it’s a nice horror game. The dog is an enjoyable mechanic, and we get quite attached to him.
  • Borderlands 3(5★★★★★): Not fun. I would like to tell you that. The humor is repetitive from previous entries, and the gameplay is also derivative.
  • Crying Suns(7★★★★★★★): very similar to FTL, with a delightful story and context.
  • Elex(6★★★★★★): praised by Mortismal Gaming as being a clunky but very enjoyable RPG, and I agree. The story is unbelievable, and the character progression is steep, to say the least. Unlike Morten’s review, I do not recommend it, despite the recent Elex 2 release.
  • GTA V(8★★★★★★★★): years after the release, I started to play when Epic Game Store gave it for free. I’ve never bothered to play the multiplayer MMO, just the main story. It’s a technical marvel to use 3 protagonists in different places in the city. It’s far better than previous titles and full of hilarious moments (both scripted and spontaneous).
  • If On A Winter's Night, Four Travelers(6★★★★★★): a small 2-hour long game with SO much story and ambiance.
  • Man Eater(8★★★★★★★★): a mockumentary about sharks. The player controls the sharks, and the narrator always follows you. It was a surprise for me.
  • Monster Train(6★★★★★★): very much like a board/card game made digital (no coincidence that the board game community loves it). Rogue-like go until you die makes every match a life-or-death dire. I finished one time at least! But the core loop asks for more.
  • Nex Machina(7★★★★★★★): shoot-them-all frantic gameplay. It is difficult. I can imagine fans speedrunning and replaying for all the achievements.
  • Northgard(6★★★★★★): Steam has offered for free for a single weekend. I manage to play and play to the very end. I was expecting an open sim, but it’s more like a WarCraft in rails. Each scenario is a very narrow puzzle.
  • QUBE 2(7★★★★★★★): puzzle very similar to the Portal series. The story is mysterious with a nice twist.
  • Shadow of War(6★★★★★★): My saved game was corrupted by 2019, but due to the imminent debut of the Rings of Power TV show, I managed to play it all over again. This time, to the end. Very average. Too many systems that are not very relevant in the end.
  • Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments(8★★★★★★★★): the best game in the series. 6 cases with somewhat similar mechanics and styles.
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order(8★★★★★★★★): got in Amazon’s Gaming free January kit and I got very curious. It impressed me quite a lot. I even tried to get all possible achievements. In the end, you feel a very powerful Jedi. The story is cliché.
  • Star Wars Squadrons(7★★★★★★★): flying a ship from the Star Wars universe was always a fun proposition.
  • The Quiet Sleep(8★★★★★★★★): in this weird indie game, you play a guy’s mind during 3 life simulation scenarios. Decisions will generate stress, anxiety, and happiness, and the player has to chain them into the following process or decision.
  • Untitled Goose Game(7★★★★★★★): playing in two, with my wife. It’s a little puzzle game. Not all puzzles are obvious, but it was fun to explore the possibilities of being an annoying goose. It reminded us of our little dogs and the times they are nasty little creatures causing havoc around.

About to finish:

  • Beyond: Two Souls(8★★★★★★★★): start to play this story-driven with my wife. I bet it will be finished by the next couple of weeks. Heavy Rain probably coming next.

Not finished yet (for one reason or another)

Most of them I barely started. Installed to check the general flow or if it was working at all. Some It’s WIP. Few are collecting dust.

  • Assassin’s Creed 3(5★★★★★): it’s a big cut scene with some on-rails gameplay. Hated so far. :( Uninstalled and will hardly get into it again.
  • Astrologaster(8★★★★★★★★): indie small game. Crazy humor. I liked it very much so far.
  • Black Mesa(8★★★★★★★★): the official/unofficial Half-Life 1 remake. The original one I did not play at the time. This remake is superb! After finally playing Half-Life 2(8★★★★★★★★) until the end of last year, I was curious to check what all the fuss was about HF1.
  • Cloudpunk(7★★★★★★★): weird visuals and relaxing gameplay. You are a taxi driver in a special city.
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided(7★★★★★★★): liked the first title, Deus Ex: Human Revolution(8★★★★★★★★), but this one is a far inferior game. The story is not nice and the gameplay is not fun so far.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club: not my style, but I heard so many good things about it that I’m intrigued. Played for just a handful of minutes.
  • Ghostrunner(7★★★★★★★): 3D puzzle game action game. Think about 3D Super Meat Boy in first-person. The control scheme is odd, but the visuals are amazing.
  • GRIS: beautiful first level.
  • Heaven’s Vault(7★★★★★★★): highly anticipated game, played a bit and liked the story so far. As far I can tell, there is space for multiple run-throughs to explore all possible branches (not sure if I would do it tough).
  • Observation(7★★★★★★★): excellent storytelling, despite the clunky controls. While trying to install another game, I remove it to free up some space. After a couple of months, It’s going to be difficult to redo the narrative.
  • Supraland(8★★★★★★★★): from nowhere, this game is, to my surprise, harder and much longer than I anticipated. Still, I’m loving the sarcastic tone and the bucketload of jokes.
  • The Stillness of the Wind: installed.
  • Thronebreaker(8★★★★★★★★): a great RPG but using the core mechanics of the Gwent card game! Unique premise and a VERY fun game.
  • Unravel Two(8★★★★★★★★): still to finish with my wife. She struggles to use the joystick, but this game is quite forgiving, due to the slow pace. The light story allows infrequent plays.
  • While True Learn(8★★★★★★★★): logic programming puzzles. Amazingly fun and challenging for a programmer. The special bonuses for optimized solutions request multiple plays for each scenario.
  • Wilmot s Warehouse: it works. It’s all that I can tell so far.
  • XII: installed, played 2 levels. A first-person shooter with a unique visual comics-like style but old controls.

Not finished yet (still from previous years)

Yet, there are some games that I did not quit definitively, but they are still to be played (therefore, not yet fully rated). A few are installed even still.

  • Baba Is You(7★★★★★★★): played some levels. To the second or third “world”, if I remember. SUPER clever.
  • Shadow Tactics(8★★★★★★★★): I liked the thinking of this game. It’s definitively one that I will try to complete sooner than later.
  • Superhot Mind Control Delete(7★★★★★★★): played several levels already, yet to finish.
  • Surviving Mars(7★★★★★★★): played a couple of times but never could complete a single level. It’s dry.
  • The Pillars of the Earth: loved the book. I barely started the game, so maybe it should not be here.
  • War of Mine(8★★★★★★★★): I’m far in my third play-through, but I’m still to survive and see the game credits.

Continuous playing

I play them eventually. Most of them, are strategy games.

  • Cities Skylines(8★★★★★★★★): my friend mentioned that he has lost hours and hours designing his hometown. I reinstalled it and started to lose hours and hours too! :P
  • Democracy 4(8★★★★★★★★): it was special to play it while running for congress! Great game and a formidable educational tool. I have some contact with the developer, Cliff Harris.
  • Endless Legend: I install and play from time to time. The region/country approach to territory instead of individual hexagons is nice.
  • Hidden Folks(7★★★★★★★): Where is Wally/Waldo?-like is a success with small kids and non-gamers alike.
  • Overcooked 2(8★★★★★★★★): my family loved it, and I’m trying to play the campaign with my wife.
  • RimWorld(8★★★★★★★★): MUCH more complex than Prison Architect, offered a great variety of procedural content. I did not finish even a single play-through, but it’s really special. There is a dedicated fan base.
  • Rome Total War(8★★★★★★★★): I played a lot last year. But it’s quite a long game. Once I finish it once, I might close it once and for all. The Troy is heavier but ultimately better in every aspect.
  • Scythe(9★★★★★★★★★): the award-winning board game that I still have to give a beginning-to-end match.
  • Skyrim(9★★★★★★★★★): Because I’ve never finished the game, I was always tempted to replay it. After watching some hilarious videos of The Spiffing Brit channel exploiting its mechanics, I was convinced to restart. I installed a dozen mods to enhance visuals and UI. It’s much better.
  • Stelaris(7★★★★★★★): slow-paced super broad space strategy. The sense of exploration is still amazing.
  • Terraforming Mars(6★★★★★★): an award-winning board game that I played a couple of matches solo. Did not click on me, but I will still give it another try, maybe multiplayer.
  • Ticket to Ride(9★★★★★★★★★): one game that I play online with family and friends. My wife and I love it. Always a success.

Next games on my radar

Finally, here is a list of games that I already have in my collection that I plan to play in the next months.

  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: hope to be better than the 3.
  • Battlefield 5: I played B1 last year and loved it. Now it’s time to play the next in the line.
  • Ghost of a Tale: I’ve followed the development process for quite some time because it was made using Unity3D. I never played it, and it is now in my collection. It looks adorable.
  • Heavy Rain: I will play this critically acclaimed story-driven game from Quantic Dream with my wife.
  • Hitman: I’ve never finished Contracts, but just because I was obsessed with being perfect. I hope to play more relaxed this one.
  • Shadow of Tomb Raider: Like Battlefield 5 above, it’s the next Lara adventure to experience.
  • We Are There Together: I bought to play with my wife using the family feature on Steam (she shares all my games). However, it is not included in the Play Together, so I am required to buy it twice. :/ Maybe trying to convince another soul to play with me.
  • XCOM2: XCOM 2 received praises in the past few years. It’s time to take a look at it.
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2022.12.31

Movie List 2022

Every year I try to compile a list of games, books, and movies I experienced. For the complete list, check the Ratings. Here we go (sorted by rating)!

Slow year, I assume.

  1. CODA(10★★★★★★★★★★): a heart-melting story about a girl that wants to be a singer. Her parents, however, are all deaf and need her to manage work and fit in. It was my favorite movie for the 2022 Oscars.
  2. Being Ricardos(8★★★★★★★★): very interesting movie about the production of the “I Love Lucy” TV show that I did not know. Both Nicole and Javier are superb, deserving acting award nominations.
  3. Dune (Frank Herbert)(8★★★★★★★★): I read Dune to prepare myself as I did with Foundation. But unlike Asimov’s weird adaptation, this Frank Herbert novel movie is phenomenal. It’s just part 1, which leaves several subplots opened, still: gorgeous, fun, and well-written and acted.
  4. Marighella(7★★★★★★★): the first black leader against the military dictatorship in Brazilian history.
  5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings(7★★★★★★★): lighthearted MCU movie. Funny characters and a fun story. One of the best comic MCU movies. Yet, it’s not my cup of tea.
  6. King Richard(7★★★★★★★): the story of Serena and Venus Williams’ father and their beginnings in the tennis world. Nice performance of Will Smith (not my pick for the best actor performance, like at the Oscar), but the character is so annoying that I got annoyed.
  7. The Menu(7★★★★★★★): my first movie at the theater. Nice thriller.
  8. The Matrix Resurrections(4★★★★): meta meta meta. And boring. Despite the very first movie, the Matrix franchise is a big disappointment.

Documentaries

No one this year :(

Animations

  1. Forky Asks A Question(10★★★★★★★★★★): holy molly… I laughed out loud at this Pixar mini-series.

TV Shows

  1. Ted Lasso (S2)(9★★★★★★★★★): showrunners tried to innovate the formula by telling whole episodes from the perspective of secondary characters. Not all that great. Still, among our favorites.
  2. Bad Sisters (S1)(9★★★★★★★★★): A Rotten Tomatoes recommendation, it was a blast. The Prick is a prick. Recommend.
  3. This is Us (S1)(8★★★★★★★★): great premise and lovable characters. Themes of adoption, family bonds, and personal differences. I cried in several episodes. Great start.
  4. Sandman S1(8★★★★★★★★): I loved the comics. I read exactly the amount of the source material that was used in this season, so I knew the references. Very well produced. The side stories are odd at first but then we get the overall arch, just like the comics.
  5. Succession (S3)(7★★★★★★★): the worst season so far. It tries to give at least one full episode for each main character, but many episodes are fillers. Also, the number of cataclysmic events that are just ignored in the next episode is getting old. Unlike “Game of Thrones”, no one will die. One day the audience will not care because nothing is really at the stake. Kendall is too annoying for my taste.
  6. The Devil's Hour (S1)(6★★★★★★): Thriller about a woman and her boy having some kind of paranormal abilities. Murders and police investigations are in the mix. A Rotten Tomatoes highly rated that did not click for me.
  7. The Foundation S1(4★★★★): I loved the book, but this adaptation drifted from the source material to the point is unrecognizable. I could not pass the 4th episode.
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2022.07.08

Books From 2022 (So Far)

Every year I try to compile a list of games, books, and movies I experienced. Here we go.

I continue to read (listen, in fact) almost every day for the past few years. It’s in my daily routine when I walk the dogs. It’s a very different proposition from laying down and dedicating some time to read them. I have an urge for a secondary task when I am performing a no-brainier routine, just like.. walking the dogs. Otherwise, I feel wasting my time by just like walking and not thinking.

This is the list of this year’s books that I ingested. These lists are -definitively- not comprehensive ones. Since I’m not updating my GoodReads personal records nor writing about them in this blog, they are just the ones I remembered. I may edit this post if I remember other items.

  1. Piranesi (Susanna Clarke)(9★★★★★★★★★): Piranesi lives in a fantastic place. He has a memory issue but keeps detailed notes. A great mystery.
  2. The Well of AscensionThe Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) (Brandon Sanderson)(8★★★★★★★★): just after the events of the first book, the protagonists now have to maintain the power they acquired. Fascinating.
  3. Steal Like an ArtistSteal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative (Austin Kleon)(8★★★★★★★★): great super-short book about the creative process. He incentives people to leap forward in creative work disregarding self-judgment. Get inspired and try to copy the work of others to practice and find one’s voice.
  4. Keep GoingKeep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad (Austin Kleon)(8★★★★★★★★): another small but very motivational work from Austin Kleon. Do not stop creating. Do small iterative work until it’s done.
  5. Show Your Work!Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered (Austin Kleon)(8★★★★★★★★): another small piece of Austin. Create a blog, Twitter, Instagram, or Tiktok account and show people what you are working on. Even hobbies stuff, like sketches. Eventually, it could become your masterpiece.
  6. Parable of the Talents (Octavia E. Butler)(8★★★★★★★★): is the sequel of the excellent Parable of the Sower (Octavia E. Butler)(9★★★★★★★★★), telling about the protagonist is her daughter.
  7. The President Is Missing (James Patterson, Bill Clinton)(7★★★★★★★): modern cyber terrorism thriller. Very believable. Tips and checks are done by no other than Bill Clinton!
  8. The Power of HabitThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Charles Duhigg)(7★★★★★★★): a modern classic self-helping book. It starts preaching the power of understanding and controlling habits. Then it exemplifies, chapter after chapter, the different facts of habits interfering in our decision-making. Very good.
  9. DifferentDifferent: Escaping the Competitive Herd (Youngme Moon)(7★★★★★★★): essay about the competitive advantage of being different in the market. Curiously enough, in the second half of the book, she acknowledges that being different might not be important depending on the situation and market. Good book.
  10. Communication Skills TrainingCommunication Skills Training: How to Talk to Anyone, Connect Effortlessly, Develop Charisma, and Become a People Person (James W. Williams)(7★★★★★★★): comprehensive discussion about communication skills. Nothing fantastic. But very good.
  11. JusticeJustice: What's the Right Thing to Do? (Michael J. Sandel)(7★★★★★★★): several philosophical aspects, situations, and approaches of what is justice. It does not, however, present definitive answers about anything.
  12. The 4-Hour BodyThe 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (Timothy Ferriss)(5★★★★★): several tips about a proper workout, diet, and routines to get the body you want.
  13. The 10x RuleThe 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure (Grant Cardone)(4★★★★): salespeople kinda talk. Super aggressive, alpha behavior about using all your power and will to achieve goals and success. I tried to focus on the core messages and occasional motivation in his words, but it’s hard to not get pissed with the alpha male dominant attitude.
  14. Think Sex and Grow RichThink Sex and Grow Rich: How to use the power of your sex drive to succeed in business (Marcus El)(4★★★★): it tries to sell the idea that we are driven by sex and we should channel this constant desire towards business goals. It starts fun, then became very tedious.

From the second part of 2021 that was not on the mid-2021 list

  1. Dune (Frank Herbert)(8★★★★★★★★): read in 3 nights to watch the movie. Loved it.

For more books, you can check my online read list on GoodReads.

edited in 2022-07-14 because I forgot some books. Quite sure there are more.

2021.12.31

Game List 2021

Last year I published a post of my played games, but the title was mistakenly named Media List 2020. It was a games list so this year it was properly named. This year I wrote much less about each individual game, so I dedicated a small space to comment on each entry.

By far, the most important game I played was Cyberpunk 2077. At least, it was supposed to be the most loved and commented game. Whatever, here is a list of games of all games I played this year.

2021-01-13: Totally forgot to include both Battlefield 4 and Battlefield 1.

Finished

  • 3 out of 10 Season 1(7★★★★★★★): the self-mocking humor is funny, but the gameplay is monotonous.
  • Abzu(6★★★★★★): Underwater abstract exploration. Due to the short length, it was ok.
  • Battlefield 1(9★★★★★★★★★): the best in the series. The split stories, all good, allowed me to explore multiple gameplays.
  • Battlefield 4(6★★★★★★): awful. The invincible hero trope to the last moment. Cinematic after cinematic.
  • Control(7★★★★★★★): it was on my wish list for quite some time, then Epic gave it for free. However, I must admit it was a bit off for me. The weird story never fulfilled me, and the levels and flow were a bit repetitive. My impression is that Jesse, the protagonist, was at the same time omniscient and suffering from amnesia. Dr. Casper Darling (played by Matthew Porretta) was a fun character though.
  • Cyberpunk 2077(7★★★★★★★) I enjoyed quite a lot. Finished every single quest. Still, expectations were higher.
  • Gunpoint(8★★★★★★★★): quick, easy, and charming puzzle-platformer.
  • Hyper Light Drifter(5★★★★★): loved by many. Not me. Hard and confusing, despite beautiful. I gave up.
  • Imperialism 2(8★★★★★★★★): finally played to the end the other day. The clunky old graphics and controls get a bit in the way.
  • Little Nightmares(7★★★★★★★)Little Nightmares(8★★★★★★★★) (as watcher): I’ve made my wife play this, a bit every night. Despite the lack of gamer’s finger coordination, she did fine and loved it. We will definitively play the second installment eventually.
  • Offworld Trading Company(7★★★★★★★)(campaign mode): the campaign mode lacks openness and does not add a great story to compensate.
  • Quadrilateral Cowboy(7★★★★★★★): this very quirky game about hacking and programming. Very experimental, both for visual and gameplay.
  • Tell Me Why(8★★★★★★★★): my wife played this game with me. She loved the theme, but she really sucks with the camera controls. We talked about the themes and storylines for weeks. I decided to be by her side to help her play the amazing Life is Strange because she was liking the game but associated it with mental gymnastics to just make the character walk.
  • Tharsis(6★★★★★★): a survival digital board game. We have to manage action points, mitigate bad dice rolls and survive for about 5 turns. Short and agonizing.
  • Watch Dogs 2(8★★★★★★★★): after playing a couple of Ubisoft open-world games lately (1 FarCry, and 2 Assassin’s Creed in just the last 2 years), I was expecting the same generic main protagonist and blend story. But I genuinely liked this entry. Marcus is a likable dude and despite the exaggerated characterization of hackers, it had several storylines right.

Not finished yet (for one reason or another)

Most of them I barely started. Just to check the general flow or if it was working at all. Some It’s WIP. Few are collecting dust.

  • 3 out of 10 Season 2(7★★★★★★★): the same as the first season. Funny and awkward. About to finish.
  • A Plague Tale Innocence(8★★★★★★★★): beautiful production. Played just the first couple of levels.
  • Assassin’s Creed 3: It’s a big cut scene with some on-rails gameplay. Hated so far. :(
  • Astrologaster(8★★★★★★★★): indie small game. Crazy humor. I liked it very much so far.
  • Blair Witch(7★★★★★★★): did not care much about the lore, but it’s a nice horror game.
  • Black Mesa(8★★★★★★★★): the official/non-official Half-Life 1 remake. The original one I did not play at the time. This remake is superb!
  • Crying Suns(7★★★★★★★): very similar to FTL, with a delightful story and context. My current run is in Chapter 4 and about to finally finish.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club: not my style, but I heard so many good things about it that I’m intrigued.
  • Ghostrunner(7★★★★★★★): 3D puzzle game action game. Think about 3D Super Meat Boy.
  • GRIS: beautiful first level.
  • Heaven’s Vault(7★★★★★★★): highly anticipated game, played a bit and liked the story so far. As far I can tell, there is space for multiple run-throughs to explore all possible branches (not sure if I would do it).
  • Just Cause 4:(7★★★★★★★): repetitive like its predecessor. But it was crashing too many times. Hardly coming back.
  • Observation(7★★★★★★★): excellent storytelling, despite the clunky controls.
  • Overcooked 2(8★★★★★★★★): my family loved it, and I’m trying to play the campaign with my wife
  • Snake Pass(5★★★★★): 3D puzzle game, installed to play with my nephews, but its controllers, and especially the camera, are too clunky and annoying.
  • Supraland(8★★★★★★★★): from nowhere, this game is surprisingly hard and much longer than I anticipated. Still, I’m loving the sarcastic tone and the bucketload of jokes.
  • Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments(8★★★★★★★★): the best game in the series. 4 cases with somewhat similar mechanics and styles. Just one to go.
  • The Stillness of the Wind: installed.
  • Unravel Two(8★★★★★★★★): still to finish with my wife. She struggles to use the joystick, but this game is quite forgiving, due to the slow pace. The light story allows infrequent plays.
  • Wilmot s Warehouse: it works. It’s all that I can tell so far.
  • XII: installed, played 2 levels. Unique style but old controls.

Not finished yet (still from previous years)

Yet, there are some games that I did not quit definitively, but they are still to be played (therefore, not yet rated). A few are installed even still.

  • Baba Is You(7★★★★★★★): played some levels. To the second or third “world”, if I remember. SUPER clever.
  • Bad North(7★★★★★★★): nice but I still have to give it more time to shine.
  • Detention(7★★★★★★★): I was far in this indie horror game. I think I formatted the HD and lost the saved game.
  • Else Heart Break: it’s working. It’s all that I know
  • Everspace(6★★★★★★): FTL in 3D. You command a ship that has to fight, explore and trade point to point, in a similar fashion to the famous indie game. I liked it but did not love it. Probably I am not continuing to play.
  • Far Lone Sails(5★★★★★): I liked the concept, but I felt lacking.
  • GRID 2(7★★★★★★★): played A LOT. Top-tier racing games. Beautiful, despite the age.
  • Hand of Fate 2: I liked the first game, despite the flaws. This second installment is more complete at every level. I shall play it. I’ve read the developer closed doors.
  • Kentucky Route Zero: this acclaimed game I was super excited to try.
  • Shadow Tactics(8★★★★★★★★): I really liked the thinking of this game. It’s definitively one that I will try to complete sooner than later.
  • SOMA(6★★★★★★): I haven’t given it time to blossom, but I was not utterly involved either.
  • Subnautica(7★★★★★★★): it took me time to understand the whole open concept. But a saved save was lost, and I’m not in the mood to retry it.
  • Sunless Sea(6★★★★★★). The procedurally generated world is amazing, but this was not my cup of tea. Probably I am not continuing to play.
  • Superhot Mind Control Delete(7★★★★★★★): played several levels already, yet to finish.
  • The Pillars of the Earth: loved the book. I barely started the game, so maybe it should not be here.
  • The Quiet Sleep(8★★★★★★★★): in this weird indie game, you play the internal mind of a troubled guy during 3 scenarios.
  • War of Mine(8★★★★★★★★): I’m far in my third play-through, but I’m still to see the game credits.
  • Witness(7★★★★★★★): quite adorable. Some puzzles are difficult and make you feel smart. Yet, the lack of pressure makes it an eternal secondary game. It’s also difficult to put it in a “continuous play” category because you need to know at what point are you.

Continuous playing

I play them eventually. Most of them are strategy games.

  • A Total War Saga: TROY(8★★★★★★★★): One of the Epic Store exclusives (for a time), it impressed me. I’m about to finish my first campaign, playing the Amazons.
  • Cities Skylines(8★★★★★★★★): After my friend mentioned that he was lost hours and hours designing his hometown, I reinstalled it and started to lose hours and hours too.
  • Democracy 3(8★★★★★★★★): always in Vogue.
  • Hidden Folks(7★★★★★★★): success with small kids and non-gamers alike
  • RimWorld(8★★★★★★★★): MUCH more complex than Prison Architect, offered a great variety of procedural content. I did not finish a single play-through, but it’s really special.
  • Rome Total War(8★★★★★★★★): I played a lot last year. But it’s quite a long game. Once I finish it once, I might close it once and for all. The Troy is heavier but ultimately better in every aspect.
  • Scythe(9★★★★★★★★★): the award-winning board game that I still have to give a beginning-to-end match.
  • Stelaris(7★★★★★★★): slow-paced super broad space strategy. The sense of exploration is still amazing
  • Surviving Mars(7★★★★★★★): a loved board game that I played a couple of matches solo. I was not hooked, but I may still give it another try.
  • Ticket to Ride(9★★★★★★★★★): played online with family and friends. Always a success.
  • Wingspan(9★★★★★★★★★): immediate success with my family and friends. Special mention to my 6-year-old nephew’s comment: “It’s the best game I ever played”. He was assisted and played quite well.

Next games on my radar

Finally, here is a list of games that I already have in my collection that I plan to play in the next months.

  • Hitman: I’ve never finished Contracts, but just because I was obsessed with being perfect. I hope to play more relaxed this one.
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: hope to be better than the 3.
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided(7★★★★★★★): liked the first title, Deus Ex: Human Revolution(8★★★★★★★★). I hope to like this one too.
  • We Are There Together: I bought to play with my wife using the family feature on Steam (she shares all my games). However, it is not included in the Play Together, so I am required to buy it twice. 😐 Trying to convince another soul to play with me.
  • Heavy Rain: I will play this critically acclaimed story-driven game from Quantic Dream with my wife.
  • Beyond: Two Souls(8★★★★★★★★): another story to play accompanied.
Bruno MASSA