It’s Steam Next Fest! What is that? I had no clue when Ian told me about it. I thought it was yet another Steam Sale, which, to be fair, it is, but it’s also a conference/festival/etc. Summer seems to be the time for this shit to happen, which is fine. In this case, that means many demos! I’m a casual gamer at heart and with casual games, demos are expected. Casual games are probably easier to make in general so it’s no biggie to have a demo, but it’s really nice to be able to play the first hour or the first chapter before buying. And that’s with a $7 game! With hardcore games being upwards of $70, it makes sense to want to check it out before buying.
In fact, that’s one reason Game Pass (Xbox and PC) is such a good thing. You can play the games for free and then buy them if you really like them. It’s pretty great that most of the stuff coming up on Xbox is going to be on Game Pass from day one. Which includes PC. I’m here for that and my Game Pass library is growing to the point where I have a pile of shame over there as well.
First, I’m still playing Cozy Grove by Spry Fox every day. It’s my comfort game and it’s my way of starting the day–well, continuing the day. I don’t do it when I first get up–that would be my taiji routine after feeding Shadow, but I usually do it within a few hours after that. Nowadays, it takes about an hour because I have so many resources to gather plus helping my spirit friends and, most importantly, Fashion Grove! I had to help one of my friends leave this mortal coil–look. This is difficult to explain, but they’re spirit bears who are caught in limbo. When they need help, they’re translucent as is the area around them. Nothing grows in the translucent areas and the animals are frozen. After I help them, they wave their paws in the air and become colored again–as is the area around them. Animals spring back to life and you can harvest fruits and flowers again.
Anyway, once you fill all five of their hearts, they are ready to move on. That happened with one of the characters and I was caught off-guard. I was trying to back out of it because I wasn’t ready and managed to flub it up so I didn’t get her final story scene. That bothered me and still does, but I can picture it in my mind (also, not going to play the game all over again just to get there because that would be two more actual live-time months). I actually said I wasn’t ready for her to go. Afterwards, she turned golden and she’s still there, but I can’t talk to her. Or rather, she can’t talk to me. She still sends me on fetch quests now and again, and I can still buy/sell from/to her when she does, but other than that, she’s just there.
Today, I had a task to do for another spirit bear and he said it was one last craft. I adore him and did not want him to go so even though I had the material he needed, I refused to give them to him until I had done absolutely everything else for the day. Then, I gave him what he needed and it wasn’t actually the thing that pushed him to being released. I was relieved that he was still going to be around.