Last Week’s Gaming

Crossing the Haunted Mansions Dread Floor Plan to Roll Guardians

What a week! There was a lot happening that I am honestly still unpacking. Nothing bad or terrible, I am not being teasingly vague to build drama. I am just sorting through a bunch of stuff in various aspects of my life, and there is a lot to sort through.

Some of this will have an impact on the site updates, but I will talk about that next week. I will say this though – for someone in their mid-40s, you would think by now I would know change just keeps coming!

Enough of all that though – let’s have a talk about what gaming I got up to!

Floor Plan

Board Game Geek Link – Floor Plan

Got to catch up with Alpal which is always nice. It’s also nice when she introduces me to a new game! She has been playing Floor Plan, and from what she told me I was happy to give it a go.

The premise is simple – design a Floor Plan with certain criteria to score points. The catch – you can’t draw up the perfect design. No, Floor Plan is a Roll and Write, so you need to hope you can roll well!

Roll two dice, and everyone gets to choose. Draw one type of room of certain dimensions (as per the roll), or add features. If you complete requests, you can unlock power-ups to help you.

Each layout will be unconventional.

It might sound like I am glossing over the gameplay, but I do enjoy Roll and Writes general simplicity. You can jump into a game with minimal rules explanation, and they rarely take long to play.

Floor Plan is no different. I made a few false assumptions early on, but it was still simple to change strategy mid-game. A good Roll and Write will always allow for this – you need luck mitigation after all.

The objectives change each game, so you can’t look for a single design to win

I won’t be going out of my way to pick up a copy of Floor Plan, but I will recommend giving it a go if you get the chance. It’s a solid game I would happily play again.

It did make me regret not playing the new Cartographers game though. This will need to be rectified soon, and I think Rabbit will enjoy helping me correct this oversight!

Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion

Board Game Geek Link – Scooby-Doo: Escape the Haunted Mansion

Last year, Alpal and I got to experience Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion. It left quite an impression on me, as you can see from my review here.

Last week, I got to introduce the first Coded Chronicles game to some new players! I remembered a fair bit of what was going on, but I was good to teach and steer thinking in the right direction.

I didn’t have to push too hard. Rabbit especially caught on super quick with some of the puzzles. Coded Chronicles is not a game where players take turns, but work together to decide the next action. This took a little while to get into the swing of, but everyone got there soon enough.

Velma begins the adventure, researching everything

So the group is halfway through their playthrough, then it might be time to pass this title on. I am remembering far more than I thought I would.

It’s not the end of the world though. The second in the series fingers crossed will be available in December, and I have an order in for that.

Next year, bring on The Goonies: Escape with One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff! I see a name shortening coming on though .

Great games – Terrible titles though!

Roll for the Galaxy

Board Game Geek Link – Roll for the Galaxy
Played on – PC (Steam)

Super quick entry for Roll for the Galaxy this week. I have been enjoying a quick game during my workday, and I have started to get all the rust off my strategies.

During the week, I managed to hit a rare double end-game condition. During Roll for the Galaxy, the game usually ends because a player gets out 12 outposts or developments. The other condition is that all victory points are claimed amongst all the players.

Well this week, I managed to nab the last victory point as another player settled their last planet. Double endgame condition!

It’s not a very exciting screen, but being able to hoover up VP made me happy

By itself, this isn’t anything super special. There are no extra points or anything involved. It’s something that happens. But this also marked my fifth win in a row at max players, so it’s time to up the A.I. levels.

It always feels good when you get your confidence back in a game. And the combination of a win streak with a special condition has triggered this again for me.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Played on – PlayStation 5

I haven’t had as much time to sit and play Guardians as I hoped. The story has grabbed me, and I want to see how things go. But a week of Enzo ‘helping’ me wake up at 4-5 am meant I didn’t have much nightly game time.

So Saturday morning, I had a couple of hours of dedicated game time. My pick? Guardians of the Galaxy! It turns out last week I stopped at a perfect time. I was only a small stealth section away from a massive boss fight.

Start a game, get a boss fight. Sure, start with a bang!

It took me a few minutes to get back to grips with the Guardians control scheme. Luckily the first stage of the Dweller is forgiving, allowing me to come to grips with the buttons again.

During the battle, I did accidentally set off a huddle. As this allows boosts to the team, I wasn’t upset. Until the song played after the huddle.

Guardians of the Galaxy Rickrolled me. That’s right – Never Gonna Give You Up was playing while I tried to remove tentacles from the Dweller.

Four health bars – one per tentacle. Boss battles seem to be more problem solving than normal.

So far, I would have to say my biggest issue with the game is the controls. They don’t feel responsive when exploring, and combat is a button-mashing mess.

That’s not to say that Guardians is unplayable. Think early Resident Evil games or the first Uncharted. Sure, the games are playable, but you need to learn and work around quirks rather than simply playing.

It took me about 4 passes to collect these. It’s annoying, but not game-breaking.

I am 100% going to see Guardians to the end. I am enjoying the story and experience too much not to. Will I go for the Platinum? I doubt I could go back to back with another playthrough. And I would need to so I don’t have to relearn all the controls.

One more note – Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the few games I recommend playing with headphones. Playing with the TV up loud (Rabbit wasn’t home) wasn’t the same. You can only notice the impact of the amazing audio effects when you notice they are missing

Metroid Dread

Played on – Nintendo Switch

There wasn’t much time for Metroid this week. Next week, I am hoping to put aside some dedicated time Friday afternoon to see how far I can get.  I did beat another EMMI though, so I am one mini-boss closer to the end. 

I am in the backtrack/find new path loop, so I am firmly in the mid-game loop. And I am enjoying the experience still. Playing side by side with Guardians is interesting though.

Stopping to look for clues is easier when no one is trying to hit you!

Guardians story is being laid out before you as you progress. Metroid Dread is all environmental and you have to extract every lore piece yourself. Taking in the surroundings is rewarding in multiple ways, as long as you take out the enemies first!

I managed to dodge an EMMI twice in a row. I was very proud of this, as timing the EMMI break is a real challenge. There I was, thinking that real progress was being made on my part. EMMI’s might not be the same frantic run moving forward?

OK, so the kick didn’t work. Try again! It might work! (Spoiler – it didn’t)

Nope. I haven’t gotten close to getting the timing right since. I have seen the screen enough now to notice how the animation points out you failed.

Mistime the button press and watch Samus ineffectively fending off the robotic creature.  Your hand/foot sits against the chassis doing nothing. The attention to detail is amazing, but now not even trying to break stands out to me!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Played on – Nintendo Switch

Relaxing with Animal Crossing has been good at the end of the day. Thanks to Enzo waking me up all week at ridiculous o’clock, chilling on my island has been nice.

I was making good general progress with my island, but I thought I was falling behind. I was hoping to have K.K. Slider visit Game Room before the new updates. I did make the mistake of concentrating on my house first though.

Maybe I should take down some Halloween decorations? Nah.

Or so I thought. I unlocked the fifth expansion, and thanks to a brilliant turnip sale paid it off. I did this the same day that the updates were released. I thought that I had a fair bit of work ahead of me.

I was wrong. After completing a flower breeding area, Game Room hit a 3-star rating and the K.K. Concert!

[Flower Harvering Garden]

This is all I needed to get K.K. Slider? I could have done this last week!

There has been a lot happening since. Saturday, K.K. came and performed. Sunday, I found Brewster, so the coffee shop is coming this week. And I started decorating vacation homes in Happy Home Paradise. So many things happening!

This week, the plan is to spend a bit of time exploring the new islands with Kapp’n. I have only heard one song so far, but the serenade while travelling is enjoyable.

[Kapp’n singing]

Sailing to new adventures

I am also looking at earning money to spend time upgrading my island. I have a lot of design ideas running around in the back of my mind, and I am going to go for 5-stars before the Christmas break!

Other than that, I will potter every couple of days designing vacation homes. I am already at a point if I can get a few more homes done, I will open bonus buildings. That should be interesting to see what can happen.

Sort out my island design first though. Going to get it finished this time.

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until next time,

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