This Week in Steve 10-22-2013

Last Thursday I went to board game night at SpaceLab.
Last Sunday I attended the Chicago Indie Game Developer’s Association meet up.
I’ve been trying my best to get geared up for the upcoming Chicago Game Jam.

When it rains, it pours, I guess.  With the game jam coming up, and this new explosion in my social life I have been a busy little bee.  That said, with the hours I did manage to find to relax, I made some fantastic choices.

First off, let me just say…I am NOT an adventure game guy.  I’m that guy who bought “The Walking Dead“, played an hour of it, and fell asleep.  I don’t mean to not like adventure games, it just happens.  I want to like them, I really do, I just…can’t.  Or can I?  Saturday night I was tired from working all day and I was supremely bored.  My fiance’ suggested I find something new to play, so I sat down at my PC and started perusing the Steam store.  I watched the trailer for “The Wolf Among Us” and decided to open my mind, and give adventure games one more try.  Needless to say, now I’m an adventure game fan.  At least, I’m a fan of this adventure game.

If you’re not familiar with this game, allow me to enlighten you.  It’s by Tell Tale Games, the guys who brought us the aforementioned, “The Walking Dead”.  Like “The Walking Dead”, “The Wolf Among Us” pulls from rich source material.  This time they’ve used Vertigo comics‘ celebrated series’ “Fables“.  You’re Bigby Wolf, sheriff of Fabletown, big bad wolf, loner, outcast. Your job is to keep the peace between fable characters, which immediately proves to be somewhat…difficult.  A fair warning here; though this game is about story-book characters, it is not, by any means, a children’s game.  Quentin Tarantino may as well have written the dialog, and Chuck Palahniuk, the story.  It’s a rough ride, but wow is it fun.  A murder mystery with plenty of that film-noir feel, it follows that same episodic formula as “The Walking Dead”.  As of this writing only episode one is available, but there should be five episodes in total.  I finished the first episode in about two and a half hours, so it’s not a huge investment.  I’d highly recommend giving this game a shot.

This has been a very open-minded week for me, I must say.  In addition to my new found love of adventure games, i’ve also discovered that I like collectible card games.  I never played “Magic: The Gathering“.  I never played it with real cards, I never played the PC version.  When Blizzard sent me a “Hearthstone” beta key though, I decided I’d give the genre a try.  If nothing else, Blizzard likes to make nice, polished products, so I knew I’d be playing a very pretty version of a collectible card game.  Despite sucking horribly at the game, I’ve managed to play a whole slew of matches against both the AI and other players, leveled my warrior, paladin, and mage decks to 15, and of course spend a few bucks.  Blizzard sure does know how to suck away my money, that’s for sure.

“Hearthstone” seems like a great game to me.  I’m not obviously not a collectible card game expert, so the game might be horribly imbalanced or less fun than other similar games, but for my money, Blizzard has me sold on these games actually being worth my time.  I’ve played several hours of the game, and I can say that I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my time.  I’m not sure how long it will keep my interest, but for now it’s something new and interesting.

Playing “The Wolf Among Us” put me on this story-book kick, so the lady and I marathon-ed the last 10 or so episodes of “Once Upon a Time“.  That show is so kitschy in the most wonderful way.  I’m pretty sure “true love’s kiss” is the answer to absolutely every single problem in that entire show.  It’s too bad everyone hates each other.  It should be another busy week this week, but hopefully I’ll have time to play some more new stuff.