Been playing this casually a few weeks now and I have to say; it's like being sent back in time, but to a different time-line where Valve's focus on content was different.

TF2C is classic-lite, some QOL features from modern TF2 exist, but also so do some new weapons and game modes and while not every choice/weapon/mode sits right with me 100%, I've still been enjoying my time with it.

If you at all crave to re-visit the memory of TF2, but very specifically just before Sniper vs. Spy - then you gotta peep this.

There's a handful of "vanilla" servers that are regularly well populated.

A simple and somewhat short JRPG-like. Nearly unplayable on the higher difficulty, so I'd stick with the default.

Encounters play more like puzzles than actual adhoc strategy.

Story is fun, but nothing to write home about and doesn't wear out its welcome.

Semi-comfy city/farm/field/forest/sea/lake/river builder revolving around placing tiles. Has a self-contradictory approach where continued expansion and creation is based around placing tiles with conditions on them to get more tiles.

This often means a sudden switch to tactical and less aesthetic placements; which seems quite antithetical to what the initial aim is? Despite its best efforts to make you mix and match, it seems that the ideal plan is to have a field area, a town area, a river area, etc. than a natural intermingling scene.

Might just be a me-issue I guess.

A short and cheap comfy game based around building a small street. There's not much to say, 5 introductory missions - in which you'll see all the game has to offer before being let loose into sandbox to see the same things again but without incentive (e.g. completion) driving you.

The credits highlight that was made in a short dev time, and that's still impressive - but as a product it feels kinda hollow. The systems (recipe/menu catering, cats, bikes/etc) that are present are good and would be complimented nicely if the selection of builds, environments & more missions were bigger. I think I'd like a bit more interactivity, outside of clicking cats, cyclists and rubbish (trash to my american comrades) you aren't really engaging with the street you've made outside of the planning.

All of this said, it's like £4 so I feel bad asking for more. I would definitely pick up a small supporter DLC or further content release if one was made available.

Ultimately, it nails the comfy aesthetic, and the missions are simple and stress-free while still requiring some planning though I wish there was more to do or see after completion. The credits play over a nightime scene, for example, which would've been nice to experience whilst playing (and it's right there in the game already!)

Man, what happened to you?

TF2 was once the GOAT of multiplayer class based FPS(s), I have terrific memories of the game centred around playing frequently with small communities on dedicated community servers.

Since its launch it has had a series of changes of focus which have almost entirely altered how the game plays, how people engage with it, and even what the purpose of playing is.

Been dropping into it over the last couple of days and damn, alot of those changes were not for the better. The move away from community hosted servers means you're almost constantly playing against randos and the population of bots - putting it generously - is not insignificant. What servers do exist, are sparcely populated playing heavily modified game mods or are just for farming items.

The changes to the gameplay through item updates actually added alot of dynamic changes to each class (sometimes making the higher skill focused classes like Scout more approachable), but has ultimately resulted in an item/economy based grinding loop that detracts from the actual gameplay. The changes also gradually began to erode the consistent aesthetic the game strived for.

It's a shame, because even now there is clearly a lot of love for the game in what remains of the community, in its peak for me; this was a 4+ star game. These days, it feels like a cheap abandonware FPS.

Some kind of TF2C would be very welcome.

An unsetting eldritch abomination investigation and dog owned business patron simulation game. Each iteration of the game works through 5 individual (but sometimes interlinking) mysteries that have numerous endings each. Off the top of my head, there's something like twenty mysteries in total - each have different focuses and settings, some use the entire town, others specific locations. Some are more decision/problem solving, some are combat orientated.

Has a good roster of characters to pick from and let's be frank, that aesthetic has been absolutely NAILED. It's on-point, from the art style and analog aesthetic to the soundtrack - the vibes are exactly what they need to be.

The shortcomings come in the form of the choices in investigation, there are unchanging good/bad outcomes, in-contrast to the individual RNG/Skill check based decisions during events. This means, generally once you're rocking and rolling you'll be gunning for the better outcomes. It just kinda feels undynamic.

If you're any kind of fan of Junji Ito or Lovecraft era weird fiction connoisseur (and I am!) you'll be repeatedly doing the Leonardo DiCaprio pointing meme, until you've seen everything and get salty over a failed skill check.

I'm also told there's a decent amount of user made content, but I have yet to dabble. This is a game that I'll probably keep revisiting when I've got a swift hour to kill.

Cautious recommend to those who think they would like it.

Competent boomer shooter, but can feel very samey as time passes on. Entirely sure the last 2 areas are just quake maps, but overall feels like it lacks an identity of it's own.

Option to put the music in midi mode is brave and cool.

Short game with a interwoven and engaging thread throughout revolving around the titular golden idol. Engages with a lot of themes and has good world building around it - expanded in the DLCs.

Visually it's kind of ugly - but in a sort of detailed way that works, one of the central premises is the greed and ambitions of people driving them to heinous lengths, so like maybe that's an intentional choice.

Gameplay is fun, though easily subject to brute forcing if you get stuck - though I guarantee anyone playing will have a moment where the solution (or indeed twists in the plot) will click and you'll feel like Neo seeing the code of the matrix - I honestly wish one could bottle that feeling and sell it. It's likened to the Obra Dinn, which to my understanding (having not played) has a narrative reason for your investigation, this does not - you're very much an outside perspective.

Ultimately, the game (and it's DLCs) provide a short but engaging narrative journey. It doesn't overstay it's welcome and I look forward to future work by these devs.

An atmospheric and surreal "horror" RPG Maker game. Game is basically broken into three thirds - one a decision based choices & (immediate) consequences text "puzzle" based around actions being performed during your shift, which often gives away to the second third; a non-conventional turn based combat scenario (RPG Maker typical affair in terms of it's presentation), it's unconventional as only certain types of employees have attacks (which cost literal dollars) or you (the Manager's) health. Protip: load up on healing items and goof off enemies to death. (This sounds bizarre out of context).

The final third involves exploring various shops and urban locales for items to advance further.

Is it fun? Yes; it's a biting critique of retail corporate culture, with a surreal backdrop. It's also very atmospheric, and the musak playing in the store is going to be stuck in my goddamn head for weeks.

It's short and cheap at full price - so strong recommend from me - especially if you're curious what it would look like if David Lynch directed hit sitcom Superstore.

Let's start with the good first; it is rather pretty, the pixel art is crisp and functional, the sound design is nice - aesthetically it's there.

However; feature creep is just far too rife. I can confidently say I've never felt a game had too much content until now. Furthermore, the content is rather repetitive as the mechanics of doing almost anything don't change - though you can automate some things later.

It needs trimming in certain places; and filling out in others, it's just a weird beast.

That said if you're in to this sort of thing, it might be your jam. Not sure if I'll ever revisit it, but maybe one day I'll really crave a grave-digger themed isekai.

Wish I could go back and experience this blind again - a relatively simple premise that gets milked for everything it's worth (in a good way), lots of interconnectivity and trickery.

Strong recommend.

Also has an endless mode which, whilst fun, can be repetitive.

2021

Visually interesting but feels very clunky and mechanically stiff. Might just be me and I'll update if I revisit another time.

A short little choice and sometimes consequences experience around the concept of an old school messenger platform, not one that was prolific in my country however so some nostalgia is lost there.

That said it is almost depressingly nostalgic and put me in a bad mood, so it's effective I guess.

I'm like 90% sure it's free so have a go if you've got an hour to kill.

Played this through a few times and tried a couple of user made dungeons - but I'll rate the base game.

Good dungeon crawler that got me into the genre way back when, I feel the dancing with enemies thing takes me out of it a bit, and using magic in combat feels like texting whilst driving.

There's not much choice in designing builds for characters, only a handful of races/classes, but it's a small team and well, everything feels viable so that's great.

Lots of little systems and it can feel very comfy, though a few places on hard are a bit much.

Plot is nothing to write home about, but is it ever for this genre?

Heavily improved with more variation to areas and systems in the sequel, but both are strong games.

Went back to revisit this near Halloween after wondering if I'd mis-interpreted it. I hadn't; it's grim for reasons pertaining to let's call it... character motivation.

Plot is near nonsensical when you pause to think about it and it seems to be on the fence about whether paranormal is real, until very abruptly deciding it is.

The Shining is one of my favourite films and this draws a lot of inspiration from it; but then does almost nothing with it, using it entirely as a setting when there's other things that could be done. The reason I mention this is I wish the directions it took had been different.

The game-feel is there, but the narrative choices are misguided.

Give this one a miss.