When I was two weeks into New Horizons and didn’t yet have a vaulting pole while everyone else seemed to be growing turnips and creating whole islands full of tarantulas, I had to turn to the Internet to figure out why I couldn’t even cross streams of water.
Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones is a fantastic little horror game based in H.P. Lovecraft’s worlds made by Cultic Games. It has beautiful artwork, tactical turn-based combat, and rich roleplay. So if you like games with spoopy feels and great gameplay, check it out!
Personally, I’ve never read any Lovecraft (*gasp* I know, I know…). But I love horror and fantasy so this game was right up my alley. Stygian starts with the creation of a character, you’ll get to customize attributes, class, name, etc. letting you make the game more your own. The town of Arkham is pulled into a new, shadow-filled place full of terror. You set out to investigate what is going on and do your best to survive.
There is a lot of story to be had in the game, with plentiful options and characters to have dialog with. You can take your time and explore every dark corner of the game. Better yet you can play it again with a different character set up to try and do things differently. All in all, it’s about 15-20 hours of gameplay each time, a happy medium between short and long.
If you know me, you know I loooove games with great artwork. This War of Mine, The Long Dark, League of Legends are some of my favorite games because of the gorgeous art styles each has. Stygian has definitely joined the ranks with its artwork.
A hand-drawn 2D world that reflects the mood of Lovecraft and cosmic horror.
Quests and storylines which capture the iconic themes of Lovecraft. Take part in your favorite horror stories and shape their outcome according to your role-playing style.
Weirdest of companions will accompany you in your accursed journey. Lonely antediluvian of ‘The Outsider’, a dead WW1 soldier reanimated in the hands of Herbert West, a psychic narcissistic cat from Ulthar and many more will be among your eccentric cast of companions.
Sanity and the mental state of the character will have an influence on the dialog options. Mental conditions create benefits as well as hindrances. Sometimes being mad in a mad world helps!
Belief Systems determine how your characters handle the challenging reality around them and help regenerate lost sanity. Belief Systems also offer unique dialogue options thus extending the roleplaying possibilities that players can explore. A rational character gains sanity after completing research on a mythos creature while a divine believer gains sanity after converting a lost soul to the path of God.
A unique spell system which sometimes takes more than what it gives. The black magic of Stygian is very potent but will cost you your mind, health and sometimes your very soul. Being a master of the true occult is not like flinging colorful missiles from your fingertips.
Turn based strategic combat in beautiful 2D Heroes of Might and Magic-like perspective.
8 different archetypes with completely unique prologue stories and specialties to breathe life into the Lovecraftian archetypes.
The struggle is not for saving the world, that battle is lost already. Follow your personal goals for salvation or vendetta in a doomed world.
I highly recommend checking out this game if you’re looking for an interesting story with solid mechanics. Why don’t you join the other people who’ve picked it up on Steam? Or if you would like to save some dough, head over to Fanatical and use my affiliate link!
This game was provided to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Teamfight Tactics, brought to you by the people at Riot Games, is an auto chess game that gained popularity on release and has fluctuated quite a bit since. Riot is of course known for its hit game, League of Legends, a MOBA game that attracts huge numbers in the esports scene. The lore surrounding the characters (or champions, as we call them) of LoL is massive and has enabled them to make a lot more content based on that world.
Riot has capitalized on letting their fanbase play different styles of games with the same champions they are familiar with. Each season, called a set, of Teamfight Tactics has a selection of champions with assigned attributes. This week, on March 18th, the newest set releases with the theme of Galaxies.
WTF is Auto Chess?
Auto chess, or auto battlers, are games where you choose units, place them, and they automatically fight against another team on a set board. You are one of 8 players, fighting each other in a mini-tournament style, losing points each time you lose a match until a winner emerges. To win against the other teams you’ll need to not only build a solid team but also keep an eye on what everyone else is building plus learn to use your money wisely.
So if you like strategy and can think quickly, you might enjoy playing any of the auto chess games. And if you like League of Legends you’ll enjoy Teamfight Tactics in particular.
How to Play Teamfight Tactics
This week marks the arrival of the next set (or season) of Teamfight Tactics. Each season has brought a new dynamic, changing out what champions are available and what type of items and skills they possess. Every champion has an Origin, a Class, and can carry 3 items or buffs. A champion costs 1 to 7 gold to buy. And each champion can be combined to make a higher tier version – 3 to make a tier 2 champion and 3 tier 2 champions to make a tier 3 (that’s 9 tier 1’s to make a tier 3). Higher tier champions have higher stats and do more damage.
If you put together champions with the same origin or class, you get extra buffs. Things like increased armor, chance to do more damage, or maybe get mana or spell power. In addition to combining traits, you’ll get items in carousels and PvE rounds that you combine to give your champions extra fighting power.
What’s Special About Set 3?
Each new set brings new origin set, changes out what champions are present, and even what skins those champions wear to fit their origin/class combo. On top of the usual changes, Set 3 brings some new mechanics to the game. Set 2 introduced “Elements” to the game where each match was either wind (dodge), water (mana), fire (attack speed), or earth (health) and each gave a different buff for champions placed in spaces that contained that element.
Set 3 introduces a new mechanic where each match will take you to a different Galaxy, with its own set of rules. Some of these are Neekoverse: where everyone starts with two Neeko’s help (an item that clones any champion). Another other is Lilac Nebula: where every champion in the first carousel of the game will have a value of four gold. (Side note: this mechanic will release with patch 10.7 to give players the chance to adjust to the new champion sets first.)
This new set also introduces a battle pass system that will allow players to earn cosmetics for our characters, called Little Legends. Needless to say, as someone who has a history of buying all the skins, I’m super hyped about this addition.
Should You Try TFT?
I’m a huge fan of the universe Riot’s created. I’ve played League of Legends since beta and up until a few years ago, I was one of those people who picked up and learned every new champ that came along (I fell off the bandwagon when I had my first kid). TFT had a lot of hype when it came out and then kinda died off, so I didn’t end up picking it up until Set 2 released. I climbed my way from Iron 1 to Platinum 3 and have definitely fallen in love with it.
If you like strategy games and are willing to put in the time to learn the mechanics of the game then I definitely think you should give it a go! Prepare yourself for Set 3 with the 10.6 patch notes and make use of great guides found on Mobalytics and LoLchess!
As a final side note: I’m really excited to see Riot finally branch out, first with Teamfight Tactics and now with Legends of Runeterra – their card game, as well as their upcoming forays into FPS and an animated series. Maybe we’ll even get a Runeterra movie some time, like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy have produced.
As a lifelong fan of the Animal Crossing series of games I’m keeping a very close watch on Hokko Life. It looks like it could be the answer to all of the prayers of PC players wishing they had an Animal Crossing type game to enjoy. Hokko Life is being created by ex-Sony developer Robert Tatnell. I’m so exited about this upcoming game I decided to hop on board and support his Patreon.
About Hokko Life:
Hokko Life is a creativity-filled community sim game that invites players to escape the hustle-bustle and relax in their new home of Hokko. Build the town of your dreams with Hokko Life’s creativity tools, which allow you to customize and design furniture, clothing, and much more! Those creative juices not flowing? Why not relax and while away the hours at a local fishing spot; out hunting bugs; or tending to your garden!
Hokko Life Announcement Trailer:
🔨 CRAFT: Head to the forest or the abandoned mine to chop; mine, and dig for resources. Take what you’ve collected back to town and craft them into materials you can use in your own designs.
📐 DESIGN: Gather your materials and head into the workshop to put your own spin on every item in the game. Use the design table to build your own furniture, combining different shapes and materials in a simple but powerful editor.
🎨 PAINT: Pop on your overall, get out those brushes and throw some colour down. You can design wallpaper, flooring and even T-Shirts for you and the villagers to wear. Get everyone in town wearing your own unique designs!
🏠 BUILD & DECORATE: Enlist the help of the resident builder and start expanding the town. Place buildings wherever you like and get them ready for new villagers to move to town. Customize these new homes inside and out; choose designs and place furniture to make a home your new friends will love.
🌱 FARM: Turn any plot of land into a place to grow vegetables and other plants, use your green fingers to grow and sell the best produce.
🎣 FISH: Spend a quiet morning at the various fishing spots around the world of Hokko and build your fishing collection. Fish have unique habits, so you’ll need to vary your approach, with each catch providing it’s own challenge when you reel in.
🦋 BUG HUNT: Fluttering and scuttling about the world of Hokko you’ll find a whole range of insects for you to catch and build your collection with; keep a eye out, you never know what might be hiding in that bush!
The Hokko Life Steam page is live now for those interested in adding the game to their Steam Wish List: https://store.steampowered.com/app/824000/Hokko_Life/ Hokko Life has a planned early access release date for sometime this year with the full game hopefully launching early 2021.
1946. Europe lies in ruins, torn apart by “Plan Z.” The zombie Führer has been cast into Hell but Hitler’s hordes are back for more!
February 4, 2020
From the makers of Sniper Elite 4 and Strange Brigade, ZOMBIE ARMY 4: DEAD WAR rises today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC! The brand new installment in Rebellion’s cult horror shooter series is available both digitally and in boxed copies*.
While I realize this isn’t a family-friendly title I personally am an adult who enjoys playing pew pew zombie games with my friends. This one has my attention largely because of the up to four player co-op option. There’s something about venturing out to survive hordes of zombies with a crew that makes my heart happy.
Watch The Launch Trailer:
Zombie Army 4 features:
A harrowing Story Campaign for 1-4 players
Huge new levels across Southern Europe and beyond…
Epic weaponry, powerful skills and elemental enhancements
100 levels to rank up – build the slayer you desire
Gorge on the goriest X-ray Kill Cam ever
Horde Mode returns – bigger, better and tougher!
ZOMBIE ARMY 4 SUPER DELUXE EDITION
In addition to the main game, the Super Deluxe Edition grants access to tons of additional post-launch content. That includes:
3 new Campaign Missions
4 new Character Packs
9 new Weapon Bundles
5 new Weapon Skin Packs
4 new Character Outfit Packs
ZOMBIE ARMY 4 DELUXE EDITION
In addition to the main game, the Deluxe Edition outfits survivors with a crate-load of additional extras, all available Day 1, including:
It’s been almost two years since Frostpunk first released. So, naturally, I’m just now getting around to playing and writing about it. Over the years I’ve watched a fair bit of gameplay on Twitch and knew it was something I would enjoy. I finally gave it a go after getting a chance to try it out on the PS4 release. And now it’s got brand-new DLC called The Last Autumn.
What Is It?
Frostpunk is a resource management simulation game where you have to build a city and survive the elements. It’s made by 11 bit studios who make other fantastic games I love like This War of Mine, Moonlighter, and Children of Morta. And it’s available on PC, PS4, and Xbox – so pick your platform and get to playin.
With the base game, you build your city around a coal-powered generator. Research, set laws, build, and explore your way to survival… or perhaps doom. All while balancing hope and discontent of the people.
In order to do anything in the game, there is a cost. Buildings take wood, steel, and maybe some research or workers. Laws cause discontent or hope and make an impact on how your people go about their lives. They also unlock special buildings. Research takes time but unlocks upgrades, building types, and other necessary skills to keep your city from dying. Exploration also takes time but gives you people or supplies, or both.
Balance is key in Frostpunk. You have to keep a good eye on all your production for the times when blizzards come and you need the generator to work triple time or stockpile so you can upgrade and expand when bringing in groups of refugees. Maybe you’ll be really good at it and there will be no discontent… probably not though, people seem to hate soup round here.
Okay, I beat that. Now what?
DLC you say?! Other scenarios?! Yup, we got those. There are several scenarios you unlock by surviving 20+ days. And if you beat those, there’s an endless mode with different difficulties. Not enough? How ’bout customizing the difficulty of all of these modes? STILL not enough? Well fine then.
In late January, a new prequel expansion where you work to build the generator that is used to survive after the freezing cold arrives. This expansion is practically a whole other game in the same story, built on the same mechanics but capable of being its own stand-alone title.
And if you beat this and still want more then you’ll be happy to hear there is another expansion coming sometime this year called Project ‘TVADGYCGJR’.
What did you think, Divine?
If you’ve read my other articles, you know I’m a fan of 11 bit studios game This War of Mine. I think the studio does a great job telling stories and building games with solid mechanics. Frostpunk is no exception. I subconsciously put off playing this game cause I knew I’d get sucked in quickly, and I had CompTIA exams to get done ha!
So far I’ve played about 72 hours between the PC and PS4. I enjoy the ability to change difficulty levels and the different scenarios available. I haven’t gotten a chance to play Last Autumn yet cause money doesn’t grow on trees, but I’ve watched enough to know it’s just as awesome as the rest of the game.
This style of game is right up my alley and like I said, it’s been executed beautifully, so of course, I’m going to give it a glowing review. 10/10. If this style of game is not your usual jam, you might still enjoy it for the story and if you bump down the difficulty you’ll probably enjoy it more. Just like the snow and ice, the game is pretty unforgiving if you don’t pay attention.
How much is this addiction going to cost me?
If you’re smart, you’ll catch it on sale either on steam or through sites like Fanatical. Full price it’ll take $30 for the base game. You can then get a season pass for $35 (usually on sale) which gives you Frostpunk Rifts, The Last Autumn, Project TVADGYCGJR, a digital artbook, and soundtrack. Or you can bundle it all together currently for $50.
There’s no accounting for the time you’ll sink into it though, that’s priceless.
DISCLAIMER: I received a review copy of the PS4 release but purchased the PC version after falling in love with the game. This is my honest review of an awesome product. Thank you!
There’s something comforting about console gaming. Although the systems have gotten better and formats have changed, the machines themselves work pretty much the same way with every generation—you buy the games (either as a physical disk or cartridge, or through a digital marketplace), install them, update them, and play. You have an actual box, dedicated controllers, and probably a library of games you actually own and can use forever even without an Internet connection, if you wish. And with each succeeding generation, you also get more power; the recently announced next iterations of the Sony PlayStation and Xbox promise 8K resolution and historically high frame rates.
The media has been predicting the death of video game consoles since about 2012. And it’s true that cloud-based mobile gaming—high-octane content live-streamed to our devices in an instant through services like Google Stadia—is coming on up. Our music and our movies long ago became tied to streaming services like Spotify and Netflix, decimating our CD and DVD shelves. So why not expect the same to happen to our video games, especially when you can already buy and play games on your phone for $1 while console games cost $60?
The prognosis for cloud gaming is indeed good: Zion Market Research reports that the cloud gaming market is expected to grow around 27 percent through 2026, to an expected annual revenue of almost $7 billion. In the meantime, 83 percent of computer and video games were sold in digital form in 2018, compared to 17 percent in a physical form. As a result, the death of the next console generation was predicted by industry-watchers long before we had any news that Xbox Series X was coming.
But does the rise of cloud gaming automatically mean the death of consoles? Okay, yes, it’s likely—eventually. Microsoft is testing its xCloud service and Sony is investing in PSNow—moves that show that the big gaming companies are already planning for a digital future. Even today’s physical games are now enhanced with DLC and subscription services, allowing for continuing revenue streams that manifest digitally.
But instead of one technology destroying another, it’s very possible that this is a case in which a rising tide lifts all boats—at least, for a little while longer. After all, the gaming audience seems large and diverse, with a Pew Research study finding recently that 6 in 10 Americans enjoy video game time across all age ranges. In fact, adventure, shooter, RPG, sports, racing, and sim game players made up less than half of people who play video games, yet many of these are what Limelight Networks called dedicated gamers—and these gamers are the ones that buoy console sales.
Cloud gaming is seriously convenient in many ways, from eliminating the need for updates to seamless streaming on multiple devices. But there are drawbacks as well, including data caps and a dependence on Internet providers. In this moment, though, cloud gaming can’t always match the power, versatility or party aspect that a console offers—although it probably won’t be long until that is the case.
Given that, it may be too early to declare the demise of console systems. There’s just something solid and safe about them. Plus, having more options for new gaming experiences available for play is good and healthy. There just might be room for everyone, using different platforms for different situations. Bring on the next console generation—let’s enjoy it while it lasts!
In before January is completely over…whew! Carrie and Marcia are on track for at least one podcast a month for 2020. If you’ve ever questioned just how much content could possibly be packed into a short half hour show THIS is the podcast to listen to.
The ladies chat about Death Stranding, The Witcher 3, Animal Crossing New Horizons, Sea of Thieves and a ton of other games. TV chats run amok as well with Star Trek: Picard, The Good Place, whatever that new Dracula show is on Netflix, and Lego Masters.
To wrap up the show we chat goals for 2020, the new Byte app, and something about some Jersey guys meaty balls.
Love the podcast? Toss us a tip and get some fun rewards. There’s a Patreon support level for everyone starting at $1 to just say a little thank you for making this show, up to this weird foot picture one that is probably a joke…find out if it’s a lie here: https://www.patreon.com/themommygamers