GameNotes February 18, 2020

Mysteries, mysteries!

It seems to be a Golden Age of Mystery Games.   Ever since I searched out games with mystery elements at the Winter Steam Sale, I’m seeing reviews and notes about upcoming games everywhere.  It’s so exciting!  I want to collect them all in this window of time while they’re being produced.  I read mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I’ve always loved Mysteries as well.

They’re often an intellectual exercise as we attempt to solve a crime, there are puzzles to solve, justice to be meted out.   In a game environment, you step right into the shoes of the detective, you can be in danger, you must be observant, ask questions.  As a way to generate plot in a game, mysteries can be rich stories with all of humanity’s foibles and strengths portrayed.

If the game’s stories and plots and characters are engaging, you can have a series starring your detective solving cases, and enjoy a return to the world just as you do in novels.

In a recent article, PC Gamer asked Who is your favorite videogame detective?

They present some suggestions from their forums and staff, there are lots of good suggestions!   They also link to an article they did last year The Best Detective Games On PC, which has even more ideas.

There are others I’ve noted recently:

Backbone (Developer Eggnut)   Description from Adventure Gamers

The planet is sprawling with anthropomorphic animal species. Streets of Vancouver are overgrown with ivy and humongous trees, branches and vines piercing through the concrete, and huge flowers nesting on top of the roofs. Howard Lotor is a raccoon private investigator. His mundane life is interrupted with the appearance of a powerful technology that can blur the lines of conventional order and change society forever.

Visit Eggnut


From  developer Media Tonic Murder by Numbers

I saw it mentioned on Rock Paper Shotgun.

Their description:

Honor’s boss is dead and she’s the primary suspect for foul play, meaning it’s time to roll up her sleeves and catch the real murderer. Unfortunately, Honor’s no detective, she just plays one on TV.


Via Kotaku, Aviary Attorney from Developer Sketchy Logic.

Kotaku’s description:

A frog has been murdered, a cat has been arrested, and the cat’s father hires Jayjay and Sparrowson to exonerate his daughter. Bird puns ensue. Great bird puns. Then come horse puns. Jayjay uses his deductive reasoning. Sparrowson uses his tenuous grasp of how the law works.

The artwork is incredible.


Out last year on PC (but I missed it)  Draugen from Red Thread Games.

The developer’s game description:

From the studio that brought you Dreamfall Chapters, and the creative team behind The Longest Journey and The Secret World, comes a first-person psychological mystery set in 1920s Norway.

The year is 1923. You play Edward Charles Harden, an American traveller who’s come to Norway to find his missing sister. But you’re never alone: every step of the way, Edward is accompanied by Lissie: a lively and enigmatic young woman with a mind of her own.

Together with Edward and Lissie, you must explore a forgotten coastal community nestled amongst the dark fjords and towering mountains of rural Norway, and unearth the terrible secrets that lie beneath the picturesque surface. And what begins as a quest for a missing woman becomes a journey into a painful past.


Not a mystery, but looking intriguing, was a post from Rock Paper Shotgun

I love Arthurian tales, myself.

Inkle Studios did 80 Days, which I’m familiar with, and Heaven’s Vault, an “archeological science fiction adventure game”.  Sounds perfect to me 🙂

They have lots more on their page, including a beta of Inklewriter, Write Your Very Own Interactive Stories.


Atherne is back to iLevel 426 so she’s just hanging around waiting for Whiplash to spawn in Stormsong.  Speaking of Stormsong, one of her World Quest rewards there was a 420 Ring that I didn’t immediately notice had +35 Corruption on it.  I popped that thing right in the Scrapper.  I’ll have to look more closely at the item stats everywhere, it seems.

I got my Mage to iLevel 314, so thought she could handle Nazjatar.  Pretty easy for her, to my surprise, and she’s on her way.   I remember when I fist got to Nazjatar, everything seemed to hit so hard.

My Hunter, on her last Pandaria level, is doing the Nesingwary questline before leaving the area.  I’ll miss her farm (sniff).


Darkmoon Faire, Classic

It turns out I was south of Thunder Bluff and the Mulgore Darkmoon Faire.  Checking a modern map, I made my way along through a fairly thickly infested area.   Finally the Faire!

It is very small, but most of the most familiar characters are there.

It turns out you give them 5 Copper Modulators (Rinling) or 3 Toughened Leather Armor and 3 Embossed Leather Boots to earn rewards (Chronos).

I was very tired when I got there, and there was no repair, so I just talked to all the carnies and gratefully ported home to Darnassus.

No repairs, but TWO Outhouses!

All that damaged armor and weaponry only cost 8 silver and 96 copper to repair, because her stuff is no good to begin with.   There were many parts of the trip where I wished I’d brought spares of everything.

I’ll just visit the Faire when it’s in Elwynn from now on!

GameNotes December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas!  I hope you’ll find some good games under the tree or a Steam Sale Card in your stocking.  I looked at a few things during the “autumn sale” a few weeks ago, but nothing appealed at the time.  In a merrier mode this sale season, I had the best time reading about games I might like, looking specifically for RPGs and Mysteries, but also looking through current popular titles just in case.  By the time this posts (it was written longer than usual in advance) I will have peeked at a few of these.  I’ll save my thoughts till the December 31st game notes, so I have some interesting notes to finish out the year.

My purchases:

Bioshock Infinite (I have the disc but it was cheap and I thought it might be simple to just purchase and install on Steam)

Call of Cthulhu (While reading about The Sinking City, Call of Cthulhu kept coming up in comparison.  It also was well reviewed on Steam and came up in a few articles I read.)

Hollow Knight  (A platformer, but weirdly gothic looking and described as darkly atmospheric.  Well reviewed.  Wish me luck on the platform jumps.  Haven’t played a platformer in ages)

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (Mystery, well reviewed, cheap)

What Remains of Edith Finch (Mystery, well reviewed, a fair few bloggers seem to have played it. )

The Wolf Among Us (Telltale Games, have never played, always well regarded. A sequel in the works. Came up in Mystery game reviews.)

Sherlock Holmes Bundle!  (This has six of the games.  I was going to try the generally reviewed  favorite The Secret of the Silver Earring, but, yo, what a good deal.)

Jenny LeClue, Detective (episode one, it seems, but a Mystery, liked by Steamers.  Cute and has an attitude. Plink.)

Don’t tell my husband I bought all this. (Elder Scrolls just popped in there…have had for a long time….)


Looked at:

Blacksad, but lots of comments about poor controls, which can be maddening.  I’ll wait for a controls fix which will hopefully come.

Cuphead   I know it’s supposed to be super hard, but I may crack yet.

Disco Elysium  The graphical style is off-putting.  It takes place in a single city block? Isometric?

XCom 2   Not what I hoped it might be.  Thought more strategic, spy like.

Subnautica    May crack. I have dubbed the first person perspective games “hand games” because all you see are the creepy hands at the bottom of the screen.  It looked pretty, was well reviewed, seems to have interesting gameplay.

Dark Souls  The title comes up a lot so I thought maybe, but nope, looks all hack and slash.  Commenters mention the awesome armor…zzzzz….

Black Mirror 1  One reviewer compared it to the old game Sanitarium.  You won’t have played it, but it was fascinating, crazy, but very buggy.  I was compelled to play through despite constant crashes.  The trailer for Black Mirror was very odd, with this long sequence showing an old man writing in his study in a tower.  There appears to be something coming up the side of the tower towards his window.  The view switches between the two, and finally, finally the window bursts open and the old man gets popped out the window.  Reviewers on Steam liked the game but many mentioned how incredibly slow the narrator and everything in the game moved, which, if the trailer sequence is an indicator, could be torturous.

Return of the Obra Dinn sounded great but whoa, black and white graphics with an odd sparkling, strobing light effect.  My eyes hurt after a few moments of the trailer.

Nancy Drew  Jury is out on trying one.  I really like the CW series and am likely to try the first couple of books in the series too.  The games? Dunno.

Outer Worlds, another “hands game” that sounds so good but doesn’t look that great in clips and there’s the creepy hand thing.  On sale again though.


Need ideas?

From PC Gamer, the Best Detective Games on PC

Games Radar  25 Best RPGs to Cozy Up with This Winter

Rock Paper Shotgun’s Best RPGs on PC in 2019, but many of these just aren’t going to run.