What Did You Play This Week: Pains, Trains, and Something Else Clever

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Tap?

This week has been a fairly light one as my access to a computer has been pretty limited.  So things are going to have to revolve around basically two days out of a full week.  I had intended to break out some more portable games – Android, Unity Webplayer-based games, and my Nintendo DS.  As far as Android goes, in spite of several Humble Android Bundles, Amazon Free Apps of the Day, and even sales and specials, nothing’s quite managed to get their hooks in.  I’ve gotten close with Swords & Sworcery, but the headphones seem to slow me down on that front.

Harder than Super Meat Boy.

Harder than Super Meat Boy.

They Bleed Pixels. This game is hard. Seriously hard.  I think I made it through 3 worlds of Super Meat Boy before getting in to any sort of trouble but this hybrid of  ultra-tough-platformer and arcade-style-beat-’em-up is just too much for my reflexes at the moment.  I think I’ve only made it maybe 2-3 levels, and I’ve completely abandoned any sorts of bonus challenges scattered through the levels.  When I get the chance to play more I think I’ll begin to internalize the physics, which I usually do, as well as the moves list, which I’ve never quite been able to manage. It’s a fun game and far less frustrating for me than most people seem to think, as it’s something I know I’m not good at, and I’m trying to develop some more finesse-driven combat skills.

More like Ticket to Not Winning.

More like Ticket to  Losertown.

Probably the most punishing game on my list this week is actually Ticket to Ride. After picking it up in a fairly sweet Amazon Deal and having previously seen the game played both in physical form and on the Wil Wheaton-hosted Youtube series TableTop, I thought to myself, how hard can this be?  Boy I was wrong.  Without difficulty settings, the computer was completely happy to cut my  connecting routes and rip off 11-car trains over the course of two turns.  During the 3-4 game I played, I started to pick up a little bit – discard one of your three routes at the beginning, but pick up a third if you complete the other two early enough – that now I’m pulling off a consistent second place.  This game does frustrate me, and limits my play time, because “The rules are so simple, so why can’t I win!?”

Right before things started to go very very bad for Wilson.

Right before things started to go very very bad for Wilson.

A friend asked me what I thought about Don’t Starve and should he buy it during the Steam Summer Sale for $9. This prompted me to load one of my old save games, and I said, absolutely!  Playing through several days on my pre-latest update  copy reminded me how great the game was and how there was always some progress to be made or something new to discover.  So after dying and starting the next world my mind was blown by all the additional content that was included by the most recent patch. My friend wound up buying the game and began binge playing it – 32 hours in 5 days. Aside from the fact he’s apparently enjoying that he took my advice, we spent a lot of time discussing zero-spoiler strategy: base placement, things noticed, etc This resulted in a lot of new ideas, on topics ranging from resource management, the fact that I basically don’t have any skill when it comes to building bases, and the “hurry-up offence” for the early game.  I can’t wait until I get my hands on something that can actually run it… wait maybe this has Linux support… and doesn’t require much in the way of hard disk space… It runs! Guess I’ll see you guys here next week, feel free to drop me a note in the comments to let me know what games you’re playing.

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