As I’m browsing my Steam library looking for a game to review, I quickly realised that there’s a whole category of games which I started but for whatever reason, could not finish. So because I’m rather pressed for time, I thought I’d do a short blog post dedicated to all those games which remain uncompleted in my library. Of course, based on the fact that I haven’t completed them, these aren’t full reviews and should not be taken that way. They’re more first impressions, I suppose, or in some cases, just reasons why I couldn’t finish them. I haven’t necessarily abandoned these games because they’re bad or unplayable, but oftentimes, I just don’t have the time or I wasn’t engaged enough to see them through or they’re in a genre which I don’t particularly like. In fact, many of these games were well received in general and I can definitely see how I could be wrong in my assessment. Perhaps the best parts of the games are still ahead, and if that’s the case, then I strongly urge you to correct me in my ways and to message me about them and I’ll try and give them another go. I’ll put down how much time I’ve spent on them based on my Steam stats, so you can get a rough idea of how far I got. I’ll also explain why I didn’t like them enough to finish them, so if you vehemently disagree, feel free to drop me a comment!
Amnesia: The Dark Descent – 109 minutes played
The game which revived the survival horror genre, this game is just too scary for me. I’m sorry. I’m not someone who finds scary films particularly terrifying, but somehow, when you add this extra element of interactivity, I just can’t handle it. The first time I thought I saw the monster, I ran and hid in a dark corner and just noped my way out of the game and quit. I tried playing it last year when I shared a room and realised that screaming and crying every few minutes was probably not a desirable trait in a roommate. That being said, I’m sure this game is great if you’re into atmospheric horror games. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t invested enough in the character or story or the rather terrible puzzles to want to endure the horrors. I think this is a game I’d prefer to watch someone play than to actually play myself, because I’m just too much of a wimp to deal with it.
Anno 2070 – 4 hours played
Anno is described as a city-building game with RTS elements. So I thought this would be like Age of Empires, where you build up cities to support units which you use in the RTS combat elements. However, playing through the campaign, I just found it too restrictive in what I could achieve. The campaign/tutorial just did not explain stuff very well and I found myself incredibly confused. I just couldn’t work out what resources did, how important they were (every map seemed to value different resources) or how to use them to sustain a city. The maps were way too prebuilt for my liking as well. Even when there were building aspects, there didn’t seem to be much choice. I can place a mine in certain preset locations, great. If I didn’t adhere to how the game wanted me to build, I was penalised and the whole city wouldn’t work. It all felt far too restrictive. As for the RTS elements, they really weren’t very engaging at all. I think I just went in with the wrong idea of this game though.
Dear Esther – 10 minutes played
I’ve heard it’s a cool experimental game with a dynamic story and many interpretations. I usually love experimental artsy fartsy kind of games. So Dear Esther looked promising and I really gave it a go. Unfortunately what stopped me wasn’t the game itself but I could only play for 10 minutes because the FOV made me feel incredibly nauseous. Only two games previously have made me feel ill from low FOVs and that was Half Life 2 and Metro 2033 (the latter which I only watched on Youtube, and that still made me feel sick). I wish I could endure this game but the small FOV slider just doesn’t help and I can’t play for more than a few minutes at a time before feeling like I have to lie down. So yeah, consider this a warning for those who suffer from motion sickness in video games, I think this might be a big trigger. If someone could teach me how to fiddle with the settings to stop this nauseous feeling, that would be fantastic.
Little Inferno – 38 minutes played
It’s a game where you order stuff and then burn it. You can combo stuff by burning them together. I actually watched the Yogscast play through this game so I know how it ends. I got the game in the Humble Indie Bundle and played a bit, but it’s really not captivating enough to justify investing any amount of time in it. Especially if you already know how it ends. So yeah, it’s more like a one-gimmick iOS game than a full blown indie title in my opinion. In fact, I think the game is rather a bit of a joke: the idea that you just waste your time burning stuff for little-to-no enjoyment and to get achievements via the combos could be considered a kind of parody or satire on the way we waste time on video games in general. Hm. Unfortunately if that is the message of the game, it doesn’t manage to be particularly fun whilst preaching it.
Machinarium – 49 minutes played
The game is a heavily stylised, pencil-looking adventure game with puzzle elements for progression. I’m a big fan of point and click adventure and I especially love the puzzle aspects of those games. But this game just bored me to tears. After a few ‘levels’ (the world seems divided into distinct sections), I just couldn’t go any further. It’s really beautiful and pretty, but the world just seems so shallow to me. The robots try so desperately to have some personality, but I just don’t think the game is charming enough to warrant spending much time. Still, it was well received critically so I think it probably will appeal to some people. For me though, all the animations were so long and drawn out, that it makes the point and click aspect of it really quite tedious.
Reus – 38 minutes played
A kind of God-game mixed with puzzle strategy elements, I quite enjoyed playing it. I stopped though because every action takes an absolute age to achieve. I just don’t have the patience for it. The idea is that you have several Gods which have different powers to affect the spherical world surface you build on. Combining certain terrains and different abilities creates different kinds of ecosystems. I think the mechanics are pretty solid though and the potential is there, but it just really didn’t appeal to me. It was too slow for my liking and it didn’t feel like there was enough customisation for a God-game; it feels very much like there’s an optimal way to do something and solving those puzzles is how to win the game. I prefer a more sandbox approach but this isn’t it.
Super Meat Boy – 1 hour played
Did I tell you that I’m terrible at platformers? Yeah, this game is infamous for being an unforgiving platformer where you will die over and over and over in a cloud of bloody crimson spray. The game is really good and really addictive…I just don’t have the skill to progress any further than the very early levels. I probably could invest a lot more time into it and eventually slowly crawl my way through the gruelling levels, but I’m just not someone who’s ever enjoyed platformers particularly.
World of Goo – 40 minutes played
It’s a puzzle game basically where you can build structures out of gooey blobs which join onto other gooey blobs. It’s all about the physics of building tall structures to reach the end pipes which suck up a requisite number of goo balls and allow you to progress. Again, it’s a very well received game and it’s tons of fun, but I’ve just never been particularly keen on physics-based puzzle games. What I will say though is that the game has a ton of charm and that has surely helped it distinguish itself from the plethora of physics games available.
Well that’s it for now. Do you think I was wrong in dismissing some of these games? Do you love one of the games I’ve mentioned and are incredibly offended by my quick assessment? Do you agree with me on any of these games? Drop me a comment and let me know.