This looks amazing, and yet I can already feel the nausea creeping in just from a screenshot.

Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

Something I started doing while I was trying to be a real writer [which, let’s not let Dave forget, he failed horribly at -ed.] I stumbled upon comedy. My best friend is a successful (in comedy, or writing, that means she gets paid, which only the most talented tend to do) actor in a local improv troupe and convinced me to give it a go. I quickly found that being onstage and being quick on my feet were squarely not in my wheelhouse. I sucked, hard. I did meet a lot of awesome people, however (for some reason, I’ve found people in improv and theater to be the nicest and most supportive folk out there) and a few of us decided to turn to the written word instead. We took sketch writing classes, wrote sketches, actually put on some shows and it was all a lot of fun. My writing time has dwindled since starting back at my “real” job, but this weekend I’m getting back on the sketch horse. Kind of. I’m taking another sketch writing class run by none other than Kevin McDonald of Kids in the Hall fame. I’ve loved KITH since college and am looking forward to spending an entire weekend learning and, maybe, getting the writing bug back to its old levels of creepy-crawliness. Anyway, I’m sharing all this because I know I won’t be playing much of anything this weekend. No board games and, hopefully, brainstorming and writing when I’d usually be turning on my Switch. All is not lost, however, as everyone else in the hallowed halls of Stately Play manor is set to regale you with their gaming plans for the next couple days. Head past the jump and then tell us what your weekend game plans are in the comments.

Elder Scrolls: Online and Nimbatus – The Space Drone Constructor

Most of my gaming time of late is spent in Tamriel. I jumped back into Elder Scrolls: Online recently and was quickly reminded why it is the best MMO out there. The world is beautiful, the questing is top-notch, and the character progression is deep without being convoluted. Oh, yeah, it’s also a premium game you buy once and play forever (though DLC and new chapters such as the recent Summerset require additional purchases).

Beyond ESO I do want to check out Nimbatus—The Space Drone Constructor. It’s an action-based simulation game where you craft drones to explore the universe and complete specific tasks. Nimbatus has been in my Steam wishlist for a long time and I was excited to see it launch into Early Access earlier this week.

-Nick Vigdahl

Tales of Maj’Eyal (what else?)

I… I can feel it… help… no, no, get away, save yourself, it’s too late for me… Tttttt…. tttttt…. ttales… of MAAAJ’EEEYAAAAAAAAALLL! (Did someone say something about Civ 6 being on phones now? Eh, probably just my imagination.)

-Tof Eklund

Strange Brigade, The Council, and Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Frīġedæġ. Praise be.

On the menu, to fend off the marvelously inclement weather, is a couple of things.

I picked up Rebellion’s underdog Strange Brigade last weekend, and have been getting right into its third-person pulp smorgasbord. It’s a simple game at the end of the day, but geared entirely as weekend catharsis. I mean, if your idea of putting one’s feet up includes blasting your way through trap-laden crypts of Egyptian antiquity. Tomb Raider, not so much. Tomb Breaker? Abso-ruddy-lutely. You and a few friends run a deliciously detailed gauntlet of revenant-ridden ruins, horror-strewn hollows and fright-filled chambers, playing up the interwar pulp with all manner of derring do.

It feels a console generation back, but in a good way. Just in the simplicity of it all. Shoot, solve a few environmental puzzles, shoot some more. The narrator channels just the right level of serial storyteller, with Bastion-esque compunction for responding to player action with hearty enthusiasm. It’s straight down the line action, no holds-barred. If the idea of bringing light to an Egyptian heart of darkness via an MP38 appeals, sign up…with the Strange Brigade.

Elsewhere, throttled by a far more languid but no less intriguing pace, intrigue continues with The Council. I’ve just meandered my protagonist into episode three, and in the wake of unfortunate events at Telltale, I can’t but help wonder if the studio would have survived by following in the footsteps of The Council. It shook up what is ostensibly an elaborate conversation sim, and even took the Telltale formula a step further by adding events beyond the mere binary. While a touch janky, The Council’s grand narrative of 18th century intrigue is cooking along quite nicely, weaving a Broken Sword-esque tale of secret societies and their lasting machinations. Historical characters loom large and their legacy larger still, so if the cocktail appeals, I say dig in. Episodic content thus far done right.

Finally, it is time. There has been enough sand blown around the Great Banded Desert. It is time I return to Kharak. Yes, Blackbird Interactive’s masterful prequel to its grand tale of prodigal exiles in search for home. I enjoyed the campaign of Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak immensely at launch, discovering nothing was lost in the intervening time and anchoring to terra firma in place of three-dimensional space. If anything, it’s a better mechanical game because of it, but retains the majesty of its forebears. As co-creator Rob Cunningham described, Deserts of Kharak is something of a colossal road trip. A fantasy of vehicles in the deep desert. Keep your tiberium, eat your cake. My pleasures lie in the desiccated wastes of a potential future, somewhere across the galaxy. There’s no place like Homeworld.

-Alex Connolly

Forza Horizon 4

This Saturday I will eat an entire frozen pizza and play Forza Horizon 4 until I pass out, either from exhaustion or from heat stroke due to the heat radiating from my overworked computer.

-Tanner Hendrickson

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Notable Replies

  1. I can’t find it, but the KITH sketch of the neighbour coming over and cheerily borrowing things until it escalated to “It’s okay if I make love to your wife, right?” reduced me to fits as a young chap. Funny fuckers.

    I’m mostly playing Valkyria Chronicles 4, and I’m back on Darkest Dungeon until I have to rage wank myself back to normality. On the cardboard front, it’s Obsession, Inbetween, Terraforming Mars Prelude, Rhino Hero Super Battle, Root, Cryptid, CIV…I’m tired.

  2. I’m housesitting for my parents this weekend and have been slowly developing an ulcer over Darkest Dungeon.

    @OhBollox How is VC4? I enjoyed the first back when it first came out.

  3. The sketch you’re referring to (I think) starts about 1:35 in.

  4. It’s really good. Really strange that they called it VC4, as it’s only the second game, but it’s more of the same of the first game with everything tuned a little better. I’m glad they didn’t make any offshoot games in the meantime, they wouldn’t have been very good at all. Everything good about VC is better here, but it has the same old flaws too. I do still love it though, and the game’s improved about sticking me with a main cast of bigots for the cutscenes who I will never use otherwise.

    @Neumannium Gold.

  5. My kids love Disney’s Lilo & Stitch and it cracks me up every time I hear Kevin McDonald in it.

  6. That is awesome to hear, Dave. Takes a lot of guts to do that. Bravo!

    I’m going to a 24-hour (though 12-hour in my case because I’m old and tired) board gaming marathon for charity tomorrow. May play a few games with the wife on Sunday. Not sure yet.

  7. Marvels Strike Force has remained a constant for me for almost 6 months now!

    Other than that, struggling to get some time. Kids keep stealing my devices to play plants va zombies heroes. They are doing okay, up to rank 16 with no intervention from myself.

    I want a switch.

  8. athros says:

    Switch: MHGU, Dead Cells. Still debating the digital version of Starlink: Battle for Atlas.

    iOS: I blame @Mirefox for my sudden urge to start Darkest Dungeon again. I’m trying to hold off until Color of Madness releases. I also picked up Steamworld Heist which is fun. SW:GoH keeps eating little bits of my time. Armajet is almost out of the beta (finally) and it’s a lot of fun for a quick arena shooter. My prototyping continues.

  9. Hey, good call on Armajet! This is sweet.

  10. And I blame @Neumannium. So really, you should be blaming him, not me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  11. My hat off to this fine piece of writing! (^.^)=b

    Having fun with it myself. Improved in some ways but has some pacing issues regarding the Story in the beginning. Thankfully they took the only one good thing VC2 and VC3 had and discarded all the other useless crap to make a VC1.5 how it should be :slight_smile:

  12. @athros Damn man, can’t get enough Armajet, and by that, I mean it’s such a time-friendly little multi romp. In and out. My phone is unfortunately not quite up to keeping a consistent framerate, or at least my home Wifi is such a lousy performer that it’s tough not just to wander over to the PC and get a game on with M&KB…

    Yeah, top notch. Used to - well, still do - play Nimblebit’s Altitude for a multi time-waster, and this just might supplant it.

  13. athros says:

    Hah yeah. I’ve been in it since the late Alpha, and since the last beta I’ve not played as much as I’d like, so all my skills are rusted. Once you start unlocking the weapons, secondaries and boosts that are farther along, the tactics change. Overall, I’m surprised it hasn’t been released yet - it’s been pretty close to this polished for a year now.

  14. Armajet looks fun! I don’t think I’d heard of it until now. There was a PS3 game back in the day that this one closely resembles and I had a good time with it (though I don’t remember what it was called).

    @AlexConnolly you’ve confused me a bit. Did you mean a company other than Nimblebit? Aren’t they the ones that do Tiny Tower and Pocket Trains/Planes?

  15. I believe @AlexConnolly meant to say Nimbly Games.

  16. Ah.

    Knowing nothing about the game other than its name as mentioned in this forum, I immediately thought of cute little pixel people flying little planes.

  17. I got in the Armajet iOS beta thanks to the recommendations here. It’s pretty good, I’ll play some more for sure. It’s a bit laggy (suddenly dieing a lot) on cell data, which I can’t really complain about. Runs fine on wifi, which is a pretty big deal considering the inherent latency problems when you try to play multiplayer action games from New Zealand.

  18. Thanks, yeah, Nimbly Games.

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