No Control on the Horizon (IntPiPoMo #4)

What a clever post title, you say, since this week I’m looking at my Steam Library Games Control and Horizon Zero Dawn.

Horizon Zero Dawn

This is a photo-realistic adventure game wherein you’re a hunter in a post apocalyptic society. You hunt robotic creatures (so far) called Striders (horse shaped) and Watchers (somewhat bird like, as in deadly ostrich) for their spare parts. You can also apparently hunt “real” animals for meat. I’ve gotten a little obsessed with the mechanical beasts though.

Your character is an Outcast from the Matriarchal (?) society in the area. Because of the crime of being “motherless”.

At the beginning there’s a Naming Ceremony. attended by kindly Rost and baby Aloy. Baby Aloy is adorable.

Unexexpectedly one of the Elders shows up and blesses the ceremony though she’s immediately gained the ire of her counterparts for it.

Rost, the guardian, teaches Aloy to hunt and how to survive. He seems caring, but child Aloy hates being unable to play with the other children, and wants very much to be told she’s loved. A bit resentful, one day she runs off after being scorned by the Mother’s Heart folks.

She ends up in a cave, which she explores, eventually finding a scanning device that she wears always afterward.

Rost tells Aloy of The Proving, a test she can take when she comes of age that could end her status as an Outcast. She spends years training with Rost, and then it’s time to test her skills.

Of course you’ll need to prepare for the Proving by gathering robotic parts for Fire Arrows. I super need to make myself a sheet of PC controls. All the in game directions for combat, eating and crafting are for a game controller. Not helpful.

This is my excuse for sneaking up on my prey, then whacking them with smooth melee moves of the type I learned way back when my only weapon was a wrench. System Shock and Half Life, I salute you. Haven’t died yet, needer, needer.

The Quest log is nicely complete. No vague “go the way of the moon in winter” directions here.

The map is very handy as well. I find I’m getting intense about finding the campfires which are your save points.

Flame Arrow parts gotten and crafted. Off to get a Tripcaster from a semi-friendly trader, practice with it a bit then meet Rost to enter the Proving.

Figure A Weasely Trader.

Likeable heroine, interesting world, controls are fine once I make my own list of them. Love sneaking around in the grass for some reason.


The other game this week is Control. I meant to play Metro Exodus but it didn’t like my video card, wanted to use Safe Mode, which I didn’t do, then it solidly froze my PC. Poof! Uninstalled.

Control is a weird, paranoia filled shooter. I noted it is somehow tied to the Alan Wake story. I was very pleased then, to be able to stroll the dark spooky hallways of an innocuous but messy government type building without being afraid at all. Yay me.

You’re the new Director of the FBC, or Federal Bureau of Control. You see the previous one in a cutscene shoot himself. Oops.

As you make your way through the deserted building, there are a few notes and helpful signage.

The building is deserted until you hear a voice–singing? No problems, it’s only the obligatory Creepy Janitor. He directs you to the Director’s Office but, the Director is dead on the floor.

Hey, there’s a test! Use those jumping skills! You’ve got a great melee attack (again, my favorite). You have unlimited ammo! There’s a catch. Your gun shoots slowly (I thought) and it recharges slowly. If you’re shooting one guy, and have a little distance, the gun is an easy choice. Get multiples, and whack whack, hit em in the back 🙂

After passing the test, you make your way through the building again. This time guided by the Voice and the Shadow of, you guessed it, The Dead Director.

Don’t worry though, YOU are the new Director. Your picture is plastered all over the building!

If you’re the Director, why can’t you open this door? Look at the hallway just to the right. Earlier there were three sets of legs dangling down here, as if people had been hanged. Nope! Three guys dropped down. I feel the door should have opened for me right then. But no.

I want to report I’m still not scared. However, I do need to consider tactics. In the next room, a large office space with lots of desks, I had a challenge or two. In the picture below, note the legs hanging down, which I did not pay attention to, doh.

So, I go around the corner to the left. About halfway down the room a guy with a gun is shooting at me so I shoot back. Run out my ammo. Go to whack him. However, I’m killed myself instead because of the dangling legs guy dropping down. In the game I still didn’t notice it, and thought someone had come from the corridor to the right.

On re-load, I turn right to confront the guy but he’s not there. In the middle office with big glass windows you see straight ahead here, a guy pops up, guys pour in from the left. Things go badly.

Don’t worry, I am now completely prepared for the drop down guy, because working with these screenshots, I see him there.

When you die, there’s an annoying long load screen that I think is supposed be swirling blood (almost certainly yours). Here they give you little tips. Below you see they recommend Sprinting. So, I’m supposed to Sprint through the big Office to the left. I’ll be able to dodge bullets and grenades (mentioned in an earlier tip. FYI you should back up when you are aware a grenade has been thrown).

Sneakily intriguing. If I make it through the office area ahead, I’ve got the game bagged.

21 Screenshots in this post. IntPiPoMo Total is 61. Got it.

Puzzles, Maps and Logic, Oh My! (IntPiPoMo #3)

I’ve no logic. I like puzzles. I’m impatient, though, and need to slow waaay down. I’m so used to fighting my way through every game, I’m prone to missing the simplest things.

The Darkside Detective

I started The Case over again. Examining every pixel, I saw I had missed quite a few things. Don’t forget to look under the bed.

I’ll need to get in the habit of talking to people several times in case they suddenly have some new information. Backtracking has always bugged me, but it’s a built in feature to the kinds of games I’d like to play, apparently.

With the proper tools, you can decipher a “demonic doorway” as they call it in the game.

And stepping through, the Detective rescues the sweet little Alice.

Case Closed. It turns out I did miss a few things, but I wasn’t trapped in the room, you just need to pixel hunt a bit at the bottom of the screen to get the down cursor.

Sherlock Holmes The Case of the Silver Earring

I looked up how to use your inventory after my last session. A right Mouse click opens your inventory and journal. It turns out Sherlock says “I need something” when he wants you to make available his magnifying glass or test tube or something from inventory.

Now I could retrace my steps and properly pick up items, and read the notes in the journal. The house is a maze of closed doors. I’m printing the map and labeling the rooms, argh.

I felt like I’d exhausted conversational options with everyone and looked in every room carefully, but Sherlock can’t leave the mansion because he hasn’t examined all the clues. Let meeeeee out!

Nancy Drew and the Tomb of the Lost Queen

This is my favorite of the three. Before heading to the tomb, there’s an Antiquities tent that’s full of useful items and information. One is a grid map of the tomb itself.

Puzzles abound. I thought I was pretty good at jigsaw puzzles, but this one just didn’t make any sense, though I got it eventually.

The inside of the tomb itself is impressive, just beautifully illustrated.

I haven’t explored everywhere yet, but so far there was an unusual sliding tile puzzle. Not my specialty, but I didn’t whine for my Sliding Tile Puzzle Master Spouse, did I? No. I got it.

There’s a hieroglyph puzzle that I got about halfway through, and I went to find him. He had it solved so fast. Logical minded soul that he is. I think he would really like these Nancy Drew games.

I did try looking at hieroglyphic alphabets , but the puzzle gives you three letters to start. The symbols were the same as used in hieroglyph alphabets I found, but they give you three beginning letters in the game puzzle and those did not match the alphabets.

I like them all, I’ll keep playing. May logic come my way.

12 Pictures in this post and we’re up to 40 of 50 for IntPiPoMo so far.

Tales of Detection IntPiPoMo Week Two

I thought I’d look at three of my detective/mystery games from my Steam Library for this week’s IntPiPoMo. I chose games I haven’t played yet at all. I did some real house cleaning of my installed Steam Games, including uninstalling ESO, to my surprise, which I apparently don’t plan to play again for awhile. So poof!

The Darkside Detective

The DarkSide Detective is a game I followed while they were in development. It turns out to be a slightly humorous take on Hard Boiled Detectives.

There are two case files to choose from. Very old school graphics.

I like to start at the beginning, so I chose Malice in Wonderland.

At the scene, Officer Dooley pretends to be shocked by the sudden appearance of Detective McQueen. He’s just goofing around.

There’s been a disappearance. The father of the child is a weird, hard man who isn’t interested at all in what may have happened to his child. The mother is in the daughter’s room in hysterics, the Nanny is inexplicably hanging out in the parents bedroom.

I made my way as far as a closet with a Darkside Doorway, but it appears I missed an object in my investigation. Now, I’m stuck in this room and can’t get back out to look for it. These things happen to me. I’ll start the case over.

I know it shouldn’t, but the lack of facial features on the characters bugs me. Just a couple of dots for the eyes, even…

Nancy Drew The Tomb of the Lost Queen

Nancy is off on a dig in Egypt as an assistant, when a dust storm wipes out much of the dig and hospitalizes the professor in charge.

Another of the assistants, Lily, decides to take immediate charge of herself and Nancy. There’s a new Boss in town. So busy! So efficient!

She tries to block Nancy’s exploration of the tent, particularly the bunk belonging to the Professor.

So much for non-linear, I tried twice in a row to look in another guys luggage and got Fatal Error! You’ve lost the game! or some such. Hmpff.

There’s a bit in Nancy’s own Spartan trunk, but I’d expect a cooler room for her, frankly.

Finally there’s access to the Professor’s trunk and its loaded with books, and more importantly his notes. Someone, however has torn off a page from them.

Also in the tent is an ancient board game. By chance.

Happily, our Nancy won over the sneering Lily.

Time to say goodbye to Home Sweet Tent for a bit. I think I’ve looked at everything in it I can get to right now.

Adventure awaits! I think the Dig site itself is next.

Sherlock Holmes: The Secret of the Silver Earring

Sherlock and Watson have been invited to a soiree at the home of Sir Bromby. As he takes the podium to speak to his guests, he’s shot dead. Good thing Sherlock is here to investigate.

All three of these games are point and click to move and to interact. Sherlock is a bit stiff in all ways. He asks most guests and staff the same questions. Wandering around the house (with an astonishing number of doors) he finds items that look interactive but he says he “needs something” with no clue as to what, instead of picking them up.

There were two bits of paper he picked up in the dining room, but I couldn’t see how to view those. This is my first Sherlock game, my first Frogwares game, so I don’t have the long practice with the UI most players would.

There are odd bits of “clipping” with characters half in and half out of furniture or architectural features. Note the Chef popping up (mostly) from the cellar.

Those are my three for this week. I’ll play through a bit more and Thursday evening I should have some progress and recommendations.

There are 13 pictures for IntPiPoMo in this post, for a total of 28 so far.

IntPiPoMo 2021

It’s that time of year, for you to show off those screenshots you’ve taken. For the month of November, you’re trying for 50 screenshots or other pictures, drawings, creations. No certain number of posts, no pressure to post every day. Visit Gamer Girl Confessions to get the full details and to sign up.

I am taking the opportunity this year as I often do, to dig around in my Steam Library and try out some of the games I’ve bought, or to revisit some that I paused in my progress in (yup, got stuck). I’m just going alphabetically down the list of what I have installed. Then I’ll see what I can install that’s new. I’m always low on disc space, somehow, so it will also be an opportunity to clean house and uninstall a few things.

Starting off with the exciting, dark, spooky, far too scary for me to play for more than 12 minutes (thanks for timing it, Steam) Alan Wake. There’s a remastered version out now, but if I can only play for a few minutes at a time, I think my current version will do.

Back to the lumber yard, where I left off. My goal is to reach “the path above”. I spent time in this area last round jumping up on and climbing up on various piles of lumber, trying to see where I could go next. I got nowhere.

This time around I found a ladder going up to what looked like the PATH!

And Pfft! You do go up a bit and there’s a creepy cabin which I tried to walk around and avoid going in. Because, yo creepy guys in there for sure. In was however the only place to go.

Inside, just a broken stove, and one interactive box with batteries. The cabin seems to just be on a landing by itself. I thought maybe I could jump up on some boxes and make my way to the roof and jump up to the path. No. I could jump on one box but not get to the next one. I tried jumping on rocks outside the cabin to get higher. Nope.

It appears I came up here solely to get those batteries and I have to go back to the lumberyard (where the Axe Man could leap out at any moment) to look for another way. I just left Alan by the creepy cabin for now.

Bendy and the Ink Machine

Here’s an interesting game. Your friend Joey Drew, who was also your former boss, invites you to stop by his studio as he wants to show you something.

The studio is completely a cartoon, and we can surmise Henry is one too, though you don’t see him.

Nobody seems to be around, certainly not Joey. Is that ink pouring in from the ceiling? Something seems to have gone awry.

Do the ink production notes add up?

I found Bendy and the Ink Machine to be slightly scary. I’m supposed to be finding clues about Joey, but only three objects were interactable. I’ll have to go back through and check every inch of the place.

On a lighter note, Crash Bandicoot n sane Trilogy

What a happy cheerful little fox-thing he is. Here my habit of hitting Print Scrn instead of F12 kept me from getting actual gameplay shots. I find it odd, but I had a much easier time on my son’s PS1 playing this. Even so, it is fun, and I was doing well, getting the moves down. Somehow, though, once I fell in a pit, I couldn’t stop falling in pits. Hmmm.

Dragon Age Origins. This is just not the game I remember, but I liked it. It looks to me as if I actually started the series with Dragon Age 2. In any case, I chose a Dwarven Warrior. If I’m playing a game of this type that I’m not familiar with, I always choose a Warrior as my class. Dwarves sounded toughest.

The game at first asked for a code then an EA login, but I was able to close those out and keep going.

Here’s my final character, awfully pretty for a Dwarf!

I made some careful dialog choices. Beraht is your crime lord/boss who sneers about selling your sister’s favors. So, no option to kill him on the spot?

As if that wasn’t bad enough, he sends you to see if one of his minions has been holding out on him and cheating him in trades with the surface dwellers. Again I chose the most reasonable options, but the guy was a slimer and was cheating, and he tried to bribe my character and my rogue pal. Really the only way to come out of the situation with honor intact was to kill the guy. I would have preferred being able to find a way out of the situation without bribery or his death. However, my sister would be endangered so, no.

Here’s the dazzling city of Orzammar.

I’ve taken the next quest from him. The Grey Wardens are holding combat contests to recruit for their numbers fighting the Darkspawn. Boink! As soon as I saw that it’s yo, off we go to prove ourselves and gtfo the Dwarven slums. I hope her mother and sister can come away with her.

However, there’s the task of drugging one of the competitors, so Beraht can win a bet on his chosen favorite in the contests. I sure don’t want to do that. I hope there’s a choice of dialog that allows my dwarf to compete without any drugging/maiming/killing.

There we are, fifteen screenshots.