A bunch more of small game reviews: Dredge, Dishonored, Farm Keeper
Blaugust is a month-long event that takes place in August each year that focused on blogging and other serialized content. The goal is to stoke the fires of creativity and allow bloggers and other content creators to mingle in a shared community while pushing each other to post more regularly.
Over the past few weeks, I've been playing new games and revisiting old favorites. Just like last time, here's three small reviews of them.
I was actually looking to buy Dave the Diver and while I was looking through a few reviews about it on Youtube, the platform recommended me a video I Played 100 Days of Dredge by floydson. I figured I'll probably not buy the game so I started watching without being worried about spoilers. I made it maybe few minutes in before deciding to stop watching and actually buy the game and play it through unspoiled myself.
It was a great decision. The game was on Steam Summer Sale for 19,99e and with Verified Steam Deck compatibility, I picked it up. The game is a mixture of playing as a fisher in a beautiful archipelago (this had some strong Stardew Valley appeal to me) and Lovecraftian horror game (I'm not a fan of horror in any format, it crawls under my skin too easily).
The art style is beautiful, the soundscape is brilliant and the characters and the story have real appeal. It has a similar super engaging daily loop that Stardew Valley has despite being a rather different game. But after every in-game day when you're docking to the safety of a dock, it's so hard to put the game away as you're always "almost there" to get to a next milestone like new upgrade to your ship or reaching a new part of the story.
Game breaks down to three main gameplay loops: fishing minigames where you travel around the archipelago looking for fishing spots and play small minigames to catch the fish; gathering materials, selling fish and ugprading your boat so you are better equiped to face the challenges of the world; and third, progressing in the story that introduces a lovely cast of different characters, all with their own distinct personalities and quirks.
I can highly recommend picking up Dredge, especially if you have Steam Deck. It's perfect for those short gaming sessions on the go but also works really nicely when docked on a larger screen at home.
Dishonored 1 & 2
I originally played both Dishonored titles when they came out and enjoyed them both a lot. Over the years, while watching other people play or speedrun the games, I've grown to realize how little creativity I have when it comes to games (Zelda Tears of Kingdom had similar effect) and finding alternative solutions to problems.
With the original one being on a big sale in Steam for 2,49e during the Summer Sale, I just had to pick it up for Steam Deck (I own the games for PS4 originally). I'm still daily amazed by how well Steam Deck works with such a variety of different games.
Dishonored games are first-person action games that put you into the shoes of an assasin called Corvo (and the daughter of the empress, Emily in the sequel) who has magical abilities (like dashing, force push or commanding rats to do the killing). The game offers a few different ways to play: you can either go around killing the enemies or take a more stealthy route avoiding being seen and dealing with enemies in a non-lethal way.
The gameplay is very spot on and the controls are fluent and the story still holds on after a decade. Even after knowing the story and remembering some bits of the game play and maps, I still managed to find new things, new routes and new ways to solve problems on my most recent playthrough.
Something completely different is Farm Keeper, which is a tile-laying farming game that asks you to put your puzzler hat on to figure out how to keep paying rent while growing your farm.
You start with a small farm, planting a few crops and each day, get an opportunity to grow with new tiles that introduce new crops, animal husbandry, fishing, fruit trees and all sorts of other options to grow your field.
It's not a chill "let me grow my parsnips while I ponder life" type of game as the rent goes up fast and you're constantly at the edge of trying to figure out how to make the ends meet. (If you're looking for a chill game like that, I'd recommend taking a look at two favorites of mine, Stardew Valley and Dorfromantik)
A single session doesn't take too long so once again this makes a great addition to my Steam Deck collection.
What have you been playing lately?
Comment below via Mastodon to let me know what you've been playing! I'd love to find new games, especially some hidden indie gems that are available for PS4, Switch or via Steam.
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