Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: Unavowed

The state of my game in 2019

Normally, this is the time of the year when I start handing out game awards with goofy names. The criteria is not what I consider the best games of the year, but games that I liked the best. I very rarely play the games on the best of the year lists, especially in the year they are released, so I don’t have much to contribute to that conversation. The one exception, of course, are FromSoft games, and I promise I will get to that later–but probably not in this post. A few weeks ago, I started thinking about the games I played this year, and I realized that there weren’t many that really stood out for me. More to the point, there weren’t that many that I actually finished.

I tend to play one ‘big’ game at a time (big in terms of amount of things to do, not necessarily Triple A or story-wise or whatnot). Ian and I like to joke that he has an ADD approach to gaming whereas I have an OCD approach. However, I’ve been thinking lately that I am more ADD than OCD than I previously thought. Yes, I can focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else, but that’s the hyperfocus part of ADD. Anyway, this year, I played Sekiro at the end of March/all of April when it was released. I played it obsessively. I thought about it when I wasn’t playing it. I dreamed about it. It was in my blood, and I didn’t have room to think about anything else. We shall,  of course, get to that later.

One of my enduring quests is to find a mystery game that I can really sink my teeth into.  There are plenty of mystery games out there, but, unfortunately, most of them are…not great. I’ve written at length about my disappointment with them before (and the point-and-click genre in general), so I’m not going to rehash those points. I’ll just say that my experiences this year with the genre cemented my belief that those games are not for me. I tried Unavowed and Thimbleweed earlier in the year, and while the former held promise (the latter irritated me from the beginning), it inevitably fell into the trap that so many point-and-clicks do–namely, making me do elaborately nonsensical things to accomplish a quest AND showing me things I knew I would need later, but did not allow me to pick up the first time I saw them. This is the year I’ve given up on point-and-clicks, and I’m a bit sad about it.


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Point-and-click away from the genre

a ghost is taunting me.
KayKay is not impressed with my throwing skills.

I started Unavowed with cautious optimism because it had gotten rave reviews. It’s made by Wadjet Eye Games, and they are much revered in the world of point-and-clicks. As I mentioned before, however, I loathed their Blackwell series, which everyone else (who likes the genre) adored. I tried two of those, finishing one, and I hated every second. It’s a shame, too, because they should be right up my alley. Psychics and paranormal activity, people going crazy, all of it gold. Yet, the bullshit of the genre really stood out early on, and I could never get over.

To recap, the bullshit includes having to go to a ‘room’, doing one thing, going to a room three rooms away to do another thing, then pick up an esoteric thing and bring it back to the first room to do something else. In the beginning of Unavowed, they avoided this trope, and I was pleased. All the puzzles were logical, and, yes, you might have to traverse the same terrain several times, but it didn’t feel forced. The first two chapters were solid, and I was hopeful that it would continue to be a good game.

I liked the story, even if it was a bit contrived. My character, mulan rogue (I always name my characters that when I can), is an actor (could have chosen cop or bartender as my ‘class’), and the game starts with a demon being cast out from inside me. Then, we go back in time and find out how I happened to be inhabited by a demon, and the rest of the game is finding out what the demon was doing while in my body and for what purpose. It’s interesting to run into people who knew me from my demon-infested time and to see how they react to me in the present. I chose to be a woman, too, and I wonder what would have been different if I chose man or demon. I’m especially intrigued about demon, but I have a hunch it’ll just say something like, “That’s not your real self. Try to remember!” and make me pick man or woman.

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