Parable of the Golem Quarry Advance the Tea Party with Sushi

So no The Crew this week for games day. Alpal did remind me that I was going to try and bring it up to play, but that didn’t happen. This has been my first proper weekend off in weeks, and the mental gymnastics didn’t fit my attempts to relax.

But it was a good week overall. Some fallout from end of financial year, and a team that sorely needs a break, but that has started happening which is great. With a few days of rest under my belt, I have also been able to start catching up on things that I have been letting slip.

Rabbit and I have been catching up on some shows which is long overdue. Umbrella Academy Season 3 was fun, but the weakest season in my opinion. Spy x Family is amazing, and we have a few other shows to catch up on. Moon Knight, Kenobi and Ms Marvel I should want to jump on, but I am so meh about them.

Star Wars and Marvel burn out I think has well and truly set in. But a night on the couch cuddling up with blankets is always nice, so we will get through them. But that’s the future, let’s talk about what we played!

Century: Golem Edition

I don’t remember why we picked Century Golem to play this week. It’s pretty, we enjoyed it, something we hadn’t played a heap of lately. Can’t think of any better reasons!

Century as a title still makes me confused. Century is a single title that describes 3 (technically 6) games. Everything on Board Game Arena is Century Spice Road, but Golem Edition is brighter and makes me smile a lot more.

I haven’t been keeping up with the games, but the entire Century trilogy now has a ‘Golem’ variant. Not going to lie, if one of the games wasn’t out of stock I would have nabbed them Sunday. I will have to see when it comes back into stock.

Anyway – back to Century Golem! We had a lot of fun messing with gems and collecting Golems. I love Rabbit’s take on playing – just collect the Golems that she likes the look of. 🙂

20220711 - Century Golem - Golem edition has so much more life in it art wise
There is more of a story in the art style with Century Golem – at least to me

The last time we played Century Golem, I already talked about most aspects of the game I wanted to draw attention to. The game is fun, there are a lot of aspects I enjoy of it, but I would like to play some more of the Century series. Especially combined. Even in just a two-player variant, I think the Century variants would make this a lot more likely.

Not because Century Golem is a better game than Century Spice Road – they are literally the same game. I just prefer the brighter Golem theme, and Rabbit seems to think along the same lines. I can’t picture her happily collecting pictures of various markets shown in Spice Road. Golems though…

20220711 - Century Golem - Trying to work out how to get some extra points on my last turn
Trying to work out how to get some extra points on my last turn

Will we play Century Golem again soon? I wouldn’t have said so. But it did go down well, and we had fun this time as well. Maybe? I can’t picture Rabbit asking for it, but Alpal put it forward this time. Maybe it could happen again?

Dinosaur Tea Party

I went looking for a new game to end the BGA session with, and my eyes lit up when I say Dinosaur Tea Party. It had been ages since I played it at Alpal’s, and it was just the fun I had in mind.

Dinosaur Tea Party is multiplayer Guess Who. It might sound like an oversimplification, but that is the premise. It’s actually a remake of Whosit, but I am guessing most people won’t recognise that name.

Each player is a dinosaur at an exclusive tea party (hence the name), but no one can remember anyone’s name. What a social faux pas! So players look at the board and ask questions like “Are you wearing glasses?” or “Are you in a room with green wallpaper?”, and by process of elimination identify each player.

20220711 - Dinosaur Tea Party - Yorick is still my favourite character
Yorick is still my favourite character

There are some twist rules as well. There are usually three party members that have their own rules. One will always lie, one will alternate answers, and finally one always answers No. This adds a spanner in the works when eliminating guests!

There are some fun optional rules as well. I say optional – they are shown in the rules this way. When you ask a question, don’t do it as directly as “Are you wearing glasses?”. Be polite and make it idle chit-chat at a fancy vent. Ask instead “Oh the art here is wonderful. You do have your glasses on to help enjoy the fine details?”.

But not everyone enjoys role-playing, so I call it an optional rule. I actually missed this aspect on Board Game Arena. Playing this way, you click on the trait you want to ask a player, and the system answers with a tick or cross.

20220711 - Dinosaur Tea Party - Your options are highlited when asking for easier tracking
Your options are highlighted when asking questions for easier tracking

The winner of Dinosaur Tea Party is the first to guess three characters. When someone identifies you, another character is drawn so there is no player elimination. Because your answers are public, there isn’t any incentive to ‘pick’ on players either. The meanest aspect of the game is you can identify a player from questions everyone else asked them.

Dinosaur Tea Party was a fun way to end the day. Also, don’t play with Rabbit. She is a data processing demon, that will tell you who you are with scary accuracy!

Sushi Go!

Sushi Go! is a great break-the-ice game. There isn’t anything overly complicated to it. Pick some sushi, pass your hand on, and repeat until all the sushi is gone. Even if you play with non-gamers, almost everyone has experienced Sushi Train.

Rabbit had never played Sushi Go! (or at least remembered it), so I set her up with basic rules. You want to make collections, and the scoring is on each card. Wasabi is a modifier, chopsticks will let you pick 2 cards. It might sound like I threw her in on the deep end, but it’s the best way to get new players going!

And then, we ordered Sushi!

20220711 - Sushi go - All you have to do is pick things you like
All you have to do is pick things you like

Sushi Go! falls into a weird niche for me. Card counting kicks in out of habit, and I don’t mean this lets me destroy everyone, but in Sushi Go! it brings out something in me. Analysis Paralysis. Normally if I am dealing with a couple of players and set routes, I can do quick math and see the outcome quickly. Sushi Go! is so simple, the sheer number of possibilities grinds the old brain to a halt.

And this is even with just three players. Five players, I am even worse. Sushi Go! Party is worse again, as there are so many more scoring cards that can be involved. This simple high rated casual party game manages to bring me to a halt while bringing the mathematician out in everyone else!

20220711 - Sushi go - This also makes me hungry
This also makes me hungry

This isn’t a complaint, it’s actually a compliment. Sushi Go! is a game you can throw everyone into, and people will have fun. Sure, the first game will confuse new players a bit, but if you tell people they want sets they will get a reasonable score.

Plus, a game only takes 10-15 minutes, sone once the game is done and scoring is cemented, watch the scores and table talk soar on the second game! For me, Sushi Go! isn’t a game I would reach for with my normal group, but if you want to bring people into the hobby it’s a solid choice.

Advance Wars

I have been having fun with my Ayn Odin while setting up my retro games finally. My Anbernic 351 is great but had a few things that annoyed me a bit, including the inability to dock like the Switch. A title that I have been waiting for on Switch is Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, but that has been delayed again. So I decided to play the original Advance Wars with my Odin!

Advance Wars is a turn-based strategy game. Think of the original Command & Conquer games, but turn-based instead of real-time. You don’t play the commander though, you play an adviser to the commanders in each scenario. This allows for a range of commanders in Advance Wars, which allows for different powers in each scenario.

20220711 - Advance Wars - Still have a little setup to finalise but its been great playing with Zo sitting on me
Still have a little setup to finalise, but its been great playing with Zo sitting on my lap

It still amazes me that so much game is included in a Game boy cartridge! Intelligent Systems know how to maximise player satisfaction with limited hardware. This is also seen in their other well-known series – Fire Emblem.

The initial training missions do a good job of letting you get a feel for the game. There is a lot happening in a battle, and if someone started playing the campaign they would quickly get overwhelmed. But Advance Wars teach you one aspect of the game at a time in the ‘Field Missions’ (training).

These missions don’t overwhelm you but aren’t dumbed down either. Advance Wars starts each mission holding your hands showing you the aspect it wants to highlight, and this lasts for a few units. Then everything is up to you. The training missions feel like a proper game, so the ‘tutorial grind’ doesn’t really exist.

20220711 - Advance Wars - Adance Wars isnt a small experience its up there with the best strategy campaigns of all time
Advance Wars isn’t a small experience – it’s up there with the best strategy campaigns of all time

I was flipping up if I should put Advance Wars in my gaming journal. Most gaming has been up to an hour each week retro-wise, so I have been mentioning it but I haven’t gone into full entries. Advance Wars was a good 5 hours of my gaming this week – how could I not add it?

I am not sure how I am going to go with Advance Wars going forward. I have a few things I need to sort, not the least of which being my Odin’s R1 button. I will say, playing like this has made me even more excited for Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp when it does come out!

The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe

Another Tuesday, another round of Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe. Stanley Tuesdays have been a bit of fun the last few weeks. I have realised I have made a bit of an error though. I have been having a ball playing through the games, but I have not been keeping a log of how much I have been playing.

So I have no idea how close to playing 24 hours on a Tuesday I am! I could be one big Tuesday away from the platinum, or another month away! Whoops!

I might go for a guide within the next couple of weeks. I am at the point I am pretty confident that I have seen every ending, but it’s hard to know for sure.

20220711 - Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe - This ending is more fun with the bucket
This ending is more fun with the bucket

That might be a good way to finish off everything – specific runs for all of the endings. This adds a goal to the gameplay and ensures that I see everything.

Will it be riveting to play? No. But it should keep the fun alive in the Platinum run. This is the part of Platinum hunting that can put players off – the grind. The Stanley Parable definitely offers a lot of variety and left-field story points. But bottom line you play as someone walking around an office. There isn’t much variety when playing for hours on end.

But that is what makes carving up the Tuesday task into chunks makes the Stanley Parable Platinum run ‘bearable’. It’s a fun reward that doesn’t take much effort from me after a big day at work. Tuesday’s are my office day and include a couple of hours driving, so taking it easy after all that is very welcome.

20220711 - Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe - Its a little early for goodbyes
It’s a little early for goodbye Narrator!

I do want to avoid simply leaving the PlayStation 5 on for a Tuesday, but honestly, it’s tempting right now. Coming up with different ways of playing the Stanley Parable isn’t a good sign. But that is for later. Let’s see if I can do it all ‘properly’ first!

The Quarry

I can’t believe how long it took me to finish The Quarry. It’s been weeks. It hasn’t been due to lack of interest, but being tired and wanting to enjoy it properly. And this weekend, I finally did it!

Over the last few weeks, I have been talking about the type of story The Quarry is and general impressions. Little of that has changed. As I was getting ready to play the final chapter, a new patch was ready to download. I was hoping this would fix up a bug I encountered with the life system.

Spoiler – it didn’t. In fact, it caused a loop that killed one of the councillors and crashed when trying to use the feature. I preferred the old bug where Ma just disappeared!

20220711 - The Quarry - Ma has a mouth on her not that you can see it
Ma has a mouth on her – not that you can see it!

Do I want to try a Platinum run for The Quarry? Similar to the Dark Pictures Anthology, I don’t think so. Not quickly anyway. I have played ‘my’ story and seen it to the end. Spookedshibe wants to give it a try, so I might play a multiplayer run with her like Man of Medan. I don’t know when or how that will happen though.

I will say there is one aspect of The Quarry that concerned me more than normal. Looking to movies for proper firearm handling techniques is like looking at fast food for healthy nutrition guidelines. I can almost give the ‘dumb kids’ a pass because they have no training. I don’t think a lack of understanding of dangerous items should be glorified, but I can understand it in the story context.

Having ‘experienced hunters’ walk up to someone with a shotgun and try and pull it towards themselves is basically suicide. And yet we still see this kind of action shown as the hero move. People do try and replicate what they see, and removing this kind of bad decision should be a priority.

20220711 - The Quarry - Always be behind the end the bullets come out of
Always be behind the end the bullets come out of

Rant over though. Bottom line, I enjoyed The Quarry very much, and I may play a bit more next week. Stray doesn’t come out for a couple of weeks, and I could try some Movie Mode. Now is the time to try one more run, because I don’t want to pick up a new game before Stray. At least I can put The Quarry down without any guilt.

No matter how it works out, I have finished this run of The Quarry. Two councillors down, one by misstep and cemented by a bug. What bug? Well, you will have to watch the YouTube channel to see what happened!

20220711 - The Quarry - Story Mode Complete
Story mode complete

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know! 

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Until next time,

JohnHQLD