God of War Peglin’s my Paperback Adventures for 2022!
Well, that snuck up on me! Welcome to the last Journal for 2022! But not the last from the site this year. I have a couple of things to talk about still, like my gaming year in review and a couple of site tweaks for next year. And it seems appropriate that my last journal includes a new game called Paperback Adventures! Using words to progress through a story. Sounds like 2022 to me!
That’s for later in the week though. This week, all my gaming was basically squeezed into a couple of hours Thursday night and Saturday afternoon. Work has kept me on my toes, but all the gaming this week put a smile on my face for different reasons.
Want to know why? Then let’s see what I played last week!
During the week, I got a delivery I wasn’t expecting. Four boxes turned up, and it actually took me a few minutes to realise what I was looking at. My Kickstarter pledge for Paperback Adventures had arrived! I remember being excited about it when I saw it on Kickstarter, not least as it is targeted at solo adventures. If you want to play with a partner, don’t fret – there are 2 different two-player rule variants included for you.
Paperback Adventures can be tricky to buy if you don’t know what you are looking at. The game comes in modules similar to Final Girl by Van Ryder Games. So you buy the core box, and then you buy at least one character pack. So if you go looking online for Paperback Adventures, keep this in mind!
So the idea of Paperback Adventures is simple – make your way through a story defeating enemies. Think most dungeon crawler games like One Deck Dungeon or Slay the Spire. The difference with Paperback Adventures is you create words to attack and defend!
Setting everything up took me the better part of an hour. Not setting the board on its own! That hour included sleeving and sorting the core cards and two character boxes. Working out what to combine in the core box and leave separate in the character box was so simple, I kept looking for the catch!
I will say, looking for the catch is a common part of Paperback Adventures. You draw cards from the top of the deck – except for one. You use the symbols shown on the left or right of the card depending on how you build your word – except for the top card. Everything is a “Here is a simple general rule to follow, and here is where you look for exceptions”.
That doesn’t mean that Paperback Adventures is complicated. It does mean that Paperback Adventures targets very specific players. Those that want a heavier solo experience, and don’t mind following a set process each turn.
The actual gameplay loop is pretty simple. Fight a lackey, then a boss. Once you beat the boss, you finish that level (Paperback Adventures calls them books). After each battle, you have the ability for Character Development – basically levelling up. I am skirting over this because levelling up a character is something many gamers have done.
Paperback Adventures even has a game difficulty modification system. There are Plot cards included that give perks and have a negative score to make the game easier. Other rules have positive scores to make games harder. As you add these Plot points, add up the total. Think of a score of 0 as ‘normal’ mode, the more negative the score the easier the difficulty, and the higher the harder it is for veterans.
There are also secret cards that you get the first time you beat specific bosses. I won the first game I think, but I haven’t opened an envelope yet. I think I may have cheated. As an example, take this world I made in battle:
With the wild card, I made SKIDS. The last two cards have an ability called Sneak Attack that adds 5 damage. Sneak Attack is defined as when you have no cards in your discard pile – so something you can use rarely in battle.
I have assumed this means at the end of the Plan phase (making your word) but before Clash (resolving combat), if I used all my letters I can use Sneak Attack. This is from clarification from another keyword Plot that is timed the same way. Paperback Adventures has a FAQ page, but it’s only just released and there seem to be a few items to be added missing. So I will wait and see
But one thing I thought I would try and see is try Paperback Adventures on Steam! Looking for clarification I saw the demo was available, so I thought I would see what it does. It also meant another game using the whole table!
Well, this didn’t work quite as planned. I was using Damsel (fantasy rogue), and the Steam Demo uses Ex Machina (sci-fi robot). So I got to try another character at least. And then I got thrown a spanner – Paperback Adventures Digital works differently again to the board game!
I will probably pick up Paperback Adventures again over the holidays. There will definitely be a morning checking out the rules.
If you want to give the game a try and see what I am talking about, give the free demo on Steam a try. Sure, it’s got slightly different rules, but adjusting won’t take long and the computer takes care of all the bookkeeping!
Thursday night, I was sitting on the couch wondering if my second wind would kick in. The week was almost over, and I hadn’t played anything since Saturday. Not even a couple of games of Cartographers on my phone! Rabbit came in and checked on me, and asked about my plans for the night. That’s when I decided I would finally sit up and play God of War Ragnarok.
Tired, stressed, and almost making myself play games. Not a great place to start to try and relax from. But 10 minutes into God of War Ragnarok, I felt considerably more relaxed and content than I had in a couple of weeks!
I only played for the first couple of hours. My thinking was I would sit and get things in, and at worst restart on the weekend once I felt better. God of War Ragnarok was like putting on your favourite jacket. I was instantly pulled into the game. I enjoyed the no-nonsense straight into the deep-end introduction.
If you played God of War 2018, you have a pretty good idea of what I mean. God of War Ragnarok did dial this up to 11 though. There was action, emotion, mystery and of course tutorial prompts. It was amazing! 🙂
It might be Christmas before I play God of War Ragnarok again. There is a solid chance I will replay the first section again. Not because I was unhappy with my progress, but because I would like Rabbit to see the first hour especially. Also, I do need to cement the controls into my muscle memory. Bloodborne and Callisto Protocol coupled with being tired means dodging is interesting at the moment!
It will be good to make my way through God of War Ragnarok over the break. I don’t think I will finish it before 2023, but I intend to make a solid dent in the story at least.
I thought it would be a while before I made new headway in Peglin. Work has had me busy, and I needed to stop and think about a plan to try and balance damage, health and recovery. That’s how I got passed Criciball level 3, and it’s just stopping and thinking about it.
Tackling a roguelike and planning network/software architecture are surprisingly similar. Try and pick a path of least resistance, and try and plan for junctions that allow flexibility.
Yep that’s right – I compared picking paths in Peglin to designing computer networks and software. It might explain why it hits that spot in my brain the right way. I can pick a path and setup things (pick powerups), but then users hit the system (launch orb) and things go crazy quickly!
And after a week of planning and executing solutions for clients with… let’s say flexible understanding of their own requirements, I needed a break. Peglin called. I expected to lose, but watching the orbs fall down the screen soothes me.
What I didn’t expect on Saturday morning was to not only make my way through all three levels of Peglin, but to beat them! It was the little win I needed this week.
I would like to say it was my masterful Peglin play or general winning strategy that let me through. I have put some time into Peglin sure, but there was a huge dash of luck in getting the right mix of everything.
It also amazes me how brains work. I did play slightly differently in how I picked my path. I prioritised normal and boss battles more in an effort to get more gold to shop with. It wasn’t until the mines that I realised I was picking directions automatically.
I intended to sit down and think about it for a little while, maybe while taking the boys out the back. Instead, my brain seems to have worked on the problem in the background. I wish I could tap into that ability more often!
Either way, the next level awaits. For anyone curious, Cruciball level 9 increases the self-damage from the large red bombs and extra 5 points. That’s going to be interesting!
What about you? I hope you got some great games in. Or are you looking forward to a new one? Let me know!