I've been playing a few games recently, just kind of want to write a bit about Gone Home and Hate Plus. I'll try to avoid massive spoilers but both are story based games so minor spoilers incoming I guess.
So this is a wonderful game that I've kind of been gushing about. Less so now because well that was like two weeks ago, but it's awesome and you should play it. I definitely think that going in as cold as possible is the way to play that game. It's a first person walk around and explore game. You play as Kaitlin Greenbriar, you've just arrived to the new mansion that your family moved into while you were travelling through Europe. What you do is go through this mansion, look around, pick up objects, letters, notes, cassettes (because it's set in 1995 where those things still existed) and through that and some lovely voiced monologues from your younger sister learn about what has been going on with your family this past year.
For me it was just a beautiful story and it's one of the best uses of environmental storytelling I've ever seen. It's not really interested in hand holding you, the game trusts you to connect many of the threads of the story together. Your sister's tale is told to you fairly straight forwardly, but if you miss one of the items with an attached audio monologue it doesn't give you any indication that was the case. What's going on with your parents however is never explicitly told but there's enough to piece together what's going on with both of them. Grrr..hard to say more without diving into actual spoiler territory.
There have been some people that have said that $20 is expensive for it, I don't think it is. I mean if your gaming budget is looking for something that needs to last a month or whatever then sure fine, wait on this one. But Gone Home has certainly been one of the most emotionally affecting games I've ever played. And it's something that doesn't have any fluff to it, you are constantly finding new things, reading and listening to your sister's story. Is the game only 2-3 hours, yeah but for me it was an incredibly valuable 2-3 hours and it's certainly a game that has stuck with me.
A Visual Novel, direct sequel to Analogue: A Hate Story. In short it's really well written and kind of wonderful, also this happened.
If you're wondering what exactly happened here, I baked a cake for a video game character, because I promised I would do so. Admittedly it was a pretty shoddily made cake because as it turns out, I didn't have some of the ingredients one normally associates with chocolate cake. For example plain chocolate, cocoa powder and you know, flour. In short it's a flourless chocolate and coffee cake using Ferrero Rocher as the base. It was actually surprisingly tasty, slightly too heavy on the coffee and it's certainly not the most presentable cake I've ever made.
It's also got a kind of strange save system, you only have a certain number of things that you can read per day. So after you're done you save the game and then that save file gets like a 12 hour lock on it so that you need to wait till the the day after while you're just "But I want to know what happens!". The reasoning fits in nicely narratively, so I don't mind too much, but in some ways it is just a tiny bit frustrating.
They haven't been the only two games I've been playing but both are super interesting and have gotten me to care about fictional characters in a way that I don't normally. Hate Plus (and Analogue: A Hate Story) is mostly just reading, but there are more than enough interactive elements to let you role play in that world. These aren't the only two games that I've been playing over the last couple weeks, just the two I most wanted to talk about.