I’ve seen so many posts and Tweets saying January lasted too long, but personally I don’t feel like I had enough January. Considering I go back to work on February 18th, I’d quite like a bit more January – as there’s still so much for me to fix in my house. In all honesty, I had plenty of time to do it while I was off, but it’s been bitterly cold and the last thing I wanted to do on a frosty day was paint my garden wall, or repaint the cold hall. Instead, I played a lot of games. Some of them only kept my interest for a few hours, but below are the five I played the most during January.
Come back, January…
I’ve been playing Vikings for a long, long time. Vikings is a simple MMORTS like every MMORTS you’ve ever played before. You build a city, you farm resources around you and you attack other players. You can form clans (which are essentially Guilds) to take part in large events like battling other clans, taking on whole Kingdoms, and battling for the world throne. Events take place every three days, so you’re always in a constant state of battle – and a constant state of getting rewarded. There are in-game purchases which do help, but if you’re involved enough in the events, you’ll get the pay-to-win items as rewards anyway.
I’m quite motivated by winning these in-game rewards, but found I wasn’t winning enough on my own. After much persuasion; I managed to get Matt involved, got him to join my clan and we’ve actually started making some real progress within the game. It’s not very time-consuming, it’s not very difficult but it stops the boredom and it feeds my competitive soul. If you’re interested, you can download it on the Play Store or the App Store, join Kingdom 105 (Olandby) and join me!
Not content with owning 3 fish tanks in real life, I decided to download Fish Tycoon. The premise, as with all tycoon games, is for you to start off your business with the bare minimum and build up your empire through selling products. Fish Tycoon kicks you off with a falling down pet shop, one tiny tank and some basic fish. You breed the fish, you make new breeds, you sell them. You upgrade your shop to improve capacity and advertising, and you improve your tanks to reduce the tanks getting diseased, and improve the health of your fish. It sounds simple, but actually this game is a ballache. There’s no real pattern to the fish you’re breeding, fish sell for the bare minimum while all your upgrades; fish medicines and research, is incredibly overpriced. I only got as far as I did by watching ads, which reward you with 50 coins a time (but it takes 120 coins to buy the most basic fish eggs.) The game got boring fast, and I feel it gets worse as it goes on to force you into an in-game transaction. I doubt I’ll still have this game installed by next week.
I have to be honest, I didn’t read any reviews of PLG, I didn’t read the plot, I knew nothing about it. I just knew that I wanted it because it was a Pokémon game. PLG combines the nostalgia of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow with the catch ’em all attitude of Pokemon Go. You start your adventure in good old Pallet Town with your new buddy Eevee, and are sent out into the wild to become a Pokemon master! It all sounds familiar, but rather than have one Pokémon battle at a time to weaken a wild Pokemon before catching it, you simply chuck Pokéballs at it, catch it, and everyone gets some XP! You can train your party by catching everything you see, and then trading them to Professor Oak for stat-raising candies. Battles still occur, but (as far as I’ve encountered) only against other trainers, which seems a bit more…friendly?
You can also interact with your party a bit more. You and Eevee can wear matching hats and run around towns together so everyone can admire her. Eevee can also ride around on your shoulder while another Pokémon follows you, which is quite enjoyable. Watching a little Bulbasaur chase you around could warm even the coldest heart. It’s definitely a nostalgia hit but with a twist, and is a great game to add to your switch collection if you haven’t already, but even with the new features, the feeling of ” I did this 20 years ago” creeps up and makes long play times difficult.
Side note – Pokemon can be imported from your Pokemon Go account – but not until Fuchsia City, and as I’m not there yet, I can’t comment on how or why you do it.
Let down by Fish Tycoon, I took my search to Steam – where I found Megaquarium on offer. Megaquarium is exactly what I wanted from a game – trumping Fish Tycoon in every way. Megaquarium takes you through various levels of difficulty in a campaign seeing you grow from aquarium worker to the world’s No1 failing aquarium rescuer. You can design almost every aspect of your aquarium, but are challenged constantly with heating, water quality, food supplies, equipment repairs, tidiness and making a profit, all while trying to gain enough eco-points to unlock your next fish. You can also play in a sandbox mode – which is great practise for the higher levels. It can get monotonous, and it can get frustrating, but if you’re the kind of person who plays Civilisation games (like me) then Megaquarium will seem like a constant rollercoaster of fun.
Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity in its design, though. Somehow, Megaquarium has become a challenge for my mid-range laptop to play. You might experience some stutters or crashing if you’re playing on a lower spec.
I’ve followed the Monster Hunter series for a while, and I’ve played a few games; but they’ve usually had some kind of odd obstacle that I haven’t been able to overcome. A few had teeny tiny user interfaces, which on an old, 19-inch TV couldn’t be read. Some seemed weirdly complicated for a game that is, essentially, a hack’em and smack ’em RPG. Despite having very little success, I’ve stuck with the series in the hopes it’ll on a day click in my head – and it finally has. Monster Hunter World has been my most played game of January – battling thousands of monster/dinosaur hybrids, making armour, collecting bugs for scientists, catching creatures to turn into exotic pets and all the usual Monster Hunter gameplay I’ve never been able to succeed at before. You play a silent Hunter, surviving an attack which wrecks your ship, you manage to land on your destination island – a land inhabited by fellow hunters studying an Elder Dragon. The main task is to capture this Dragon, but it’s the smaller hunting tasks that take up most of your time. Your camp and the surrounding areas are plagued by aggressive monsters who need to be…taken care of…so you can live in safety. These tasks are never-ending, but rewarding enough to not become a chore. I believe MHW was made to encourage you to play online in groups to complete the harder quests, but if you’re like me and that fills you with dread because you’re so bad at games, you can complete it as a single player, it just might take you a few more attempts. Or, in the case of your just Anjanath battle, a good 50 attempts.
Other games included World of Warcraft, Civ 6, Minecraft, Dragon Age Inquisition, Pokémon HeartGold, Spyro the Dragon and Lords of the Fallen.
Do you play any of these game? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know!