I had a pretty good week, both for my reading and gaming habits. In my weekly wrap-ups, I will be covering what I did last week, what I plan to play and read this week, and highlight some great stuff that other content creators have put out this week. Let’s get started!
What I Finished
I have finally finished A Game of Thrones and it feels like quite the accomplishment. This has been on my to-read list for years, but I’ve been put off by its length and the density of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy world. I have a full review here, but in short, I had a lot of fun with this. The characters are memorable and the world-building is nearly unparalleled. After a bit of a slow start, I couldn’t stop reading and can’t wait to pick up the rest of the series.
I was sent a copy of Thomas Wildus and the Book of Shadows for review from the publisher. This is a middle grade book that follows the titular Thomas Wildus as he goes on a search to find out if magic really exists in the world. A full review will be coming later this week, but I feel that this is a decent start to a new series. This is another title that is slow to get going, but once it picks up, the pace rolls much faster. While I didn’t formally pick this as a Harry Potter read-alike, I do believe that this would fit the bill for children that are looking for a new fantasy series to pick up.
I found this free-to-play game called Marie’s Room on Steam recently and decided to give it a try after seeing it compared to titles like Gone Home. This is a short adventure title that follows Kelsey as she reminisces about her childhood friend, Marie. Players interact with objects as they try to determine what happened to Marie on a fateful night twenty years ago. Since a full playthrough took me about forty minutes, I’m not going to write a full review, but I do believe that this is an interesting experience worth an hour of your time.
The Darkside Detective is the third game out of ten point-and-clicks I am working through this year, and it is the funniest experience that I have had in a long time. Detective McQueen, his partner Dooley, and every other character I came across had me bursting out laughing regularly as I went through a series of increasingly absurd supernatural cases. Look out for my full review later this week!
As I hinted at when discussing A Game of Thrones, I wish to pick up the sequel soon. Before I do this, however, I want to finish up all of the books that I am partially through. Therefore, in addition to City of Ashes, which I started reading last week, here are a few other reads I need to finish up.
I started The Lightning Thief about a month ago at this point, with the intention of reading it quickly. Unfortunately, A Game of Thrones came in from the library in the middle of reading it, so I had to set this aside. At the moment, I’m about a third of the way through, so I don’t think it will take me too long to wrap up. For bonus points, this is not only one of my designated Harry Potter read-alikes, but Rick Riordan is also one of my top ten unread authors.
I got about halfway through Unwholly and then got sidetracked. There’s no particular reason for this, as I love Shusterman’s books, but I need to make sure I get back to it before I forget what happened and leave the entire Unwind series unread.
I got a little overexcited when I first started requesting advanced copies of books from NetGalley, so now I am making it a goal of mine to make sure I’m reading at least one of my requested books each week until my ratio is back to an acceptable percentage. This week, I’m in the mood to read a thriller, so I’m going to read The Death and Life of Red Henley.
I’m continuing to chip away at Kingdom Hearts III, my replay of Fallout 4, and Disgaea 5. While I will sometimes discuss where I am with these games, it will be tedious to describe them every week, so instead, I’m going to focus on a few smaller titles that I plan to play this week.
I’m trying to polish off my ten point-and-click adventures by playing at least one per week. This week, I’m going to play Machinarium. Of the titles I picked out for this project, this is one that I’m a bit more uncertain about, as I found the puzzles to be on the more complicated side. Still, it’s short and I’m curious to see if it grows on me!
I received a review copy of Euclidian Skies and was immediately drawn to its interesting cube-style movement system. The idea is that players rotate the different layers of the playing field to eliminate enemies and beat each level. So far, I’ve beaten the tutorial and find the puzzles to be difficult, but rewarding. This will be perfect for taking breaks when I’m frustrated with a larger title that I’m currently playing.
Finally, though I am hesitant to add yet another larger title to this list, Crackdown 3 came out a few days ago and I can’t wait to get started! I’ve played through the first boss battle so far, and I’m absolutely addicted to leveling up my stats, scaling walls, and generally inflicting havoc everywhere I go. While I will admit to having an uphill battle with stability and performance, I’m far more impressed overall than I thought I would be based on the lukewarm reviews.
Around the Web
Design Doc made a great video on AI allies, giving both good and bad examples across a variety of games.
Merphy Napier explained what elements go into making a strong Booktube video.
In Third Person did a great post on how personal life lessons can be applied to video games.
Finally, in honor of Love Your Backlog week, I’m going to give a quick shout-out to Kim from Later Levels and her post on her backlog.
I have a busy week ahead of me! I’m just trying to make sure that I get some smaller games done at a steady pace while chipping away at some larger titles. Sometimes, indies get lost in the shuffle of open-world RPGs and want to be proactive in making sure this doesn’t happen within my library. As for reading, I’m really excited to pick up the rest of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but I want to get all of my half-finished books completed before I dive in fully.
What are you reading and playing this week? Let me know in the comments below!