I Can’t Stop Playing Valheim

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. J dropped a link for Valheim into the group chat we share with our gaming buddies. I clicked and watched the trailer for a co-op survival game. It looked cool, but I was about a third of the way through Valhalla and a third of the way through my current WIP—the book I’m under contract for, the book that is due March 31. I figured maybe later. Next time. Whenever.

Then Mr. J told me about the axes.

Continue reading “I Can’t Stop Playing Valheim”

The Good Ending

Recently, I replayed Metro: 2033 with little doubt I’d get the good ending. I knew all about the hidden morality system and had confidence that I’d be able to work it to my advantage. I got the bad ending. Since, I’ve been wondering why—and what my ending says about me.

In the case of 2033, I didn’t accrue enough moral points to unlock the choice at the end. The bad ending comes without a choice; the good ending comes with a choice to take a chance or let the bad ending happen. I think it must have been close. Throughout my playthrough, I stunned where I could—rather than kill—and when given the option to do a good deed, I generally did it. I listened to conversations and tried to interact with NPCs. I found hidden items. But I didn’t do enough, and the question of why has a pretty easy answer.

Continue reading “The Good Ending”

My Favourite Things: 2020

For the past few years, I have begun my annual favourite things post by talking about what a hard year it has been and how glad I am it’s over. You would not be wrong in expecting me to start this year’s post the same way. After all, it is 2020. But although it’s been a difficult year (perhaps the most difficult), I have found much for which I am grateful.

My small family has always been close. We’re separated from our relatives by continents and oceans, and so used to celebrating holidays alone. To being three of us against the world. We didn’t, therefore, find isolation all too hard. We had moments of friction, as all families do, but I’ve never been more grateful for my husband and daughter. We held each other up this year. We forgave more easily, learned to communicate more clearly, and have almost mastered the art of letting each other exist in their own space for a while. (Or I have. Sometimes.)

I’ve also been amazed and delighted by the joy others have found over the past year. The news has often been universally bad, and yet someone, somewhere, has always had something to share. The wonder of small things has never been more true. 

The other aspect of being home all year has been more time to devote to my hobbies. And what I read and watched and listened to is a reflection of that. 

As always, we’ll start with what I read.

Continue reading “My Favourite Things: 2020”

Remember When I Said I No More MMOs?

I really meant it last time. I also really meant it when I said I was giving up cheese. (Why is it so hard?)

So, here I am to report failure on two counts. I’m still eating cheese. I’m also playing another MMO. In my defense, The Elder Scrolls Online isn’t the most MMO-y of MMOs. You could, quite happily, exist in a solo bubble. It’d be a sad way to play, though, because like the best multiplayer games, ESO is better with friends.

Continue reading “Remember When I Said I No More MMOs?”

What the Actual @#%&?

Part three of my series on (relatively) recent gaming disappointments. Part one covered Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Part two covered Outer Worlds.

There’s a board game I love that no one else in the family ever wants to play. It’s called Iron Dragon, and whenever I suggest a round, everyone groans. Part of it is that the game takes at least four hours to play. Usually more. Okay, a lot more. Another part is the absolute tedium of it. You start out with a small train and a bag of money. You draw a card listing a series of destinations, the cargo they’re after, and how much they’re willing to pay. Then you plan your route accordingly, building track as you go. First player to connect six cities wins.

Playing well—and winning—requires a careful balance of risk vs reward as well as luck. I love it. Planning out my routes and calculating exactly how much it’s going to cost me to build the track there. How much I’ll make by connecting the dots.

Continue reading “What the Actual @#%&?”