2022

Behind the Frame

Behind the Frame is an interactive fiction game about a woman about to submit the final piece of her gallery submission. Her dream is for her work to be displayed in a New York gallery, but it turns into so much more. As we complete the painting we uncover moments of the artist’s history and, as we piece them together, the emotional backstory is revealed.

This game is beautiful from the art style, the animation style, the music chosen and the sound effects, it’s so satisfying to play and watch and unwind from the day, start the day or just to get away. It transports you into this world. It’s a short game, but it’s very moving. I loved everything about it and I’m so glad I played it.

Simulacra iPad Front Cover

Simulacra

Simulacra is a found phone horror game that takes place entirely on the interface of a screen of a mobile phone. The phone found belongs to a young woman named Anna. Almost immediately we’re directed to view the last video Anna took on her phone. She is distressed and she begs whoever is watching to not look for her. Whilst investigating the phone we end up chatting to various people in Anna’s life, trying to track her down and figure out what happened to her. Something strange is happening though, and your choices affect everything.

This game is so fun and honestly, you don’t quite realise how important the choices you make are to the story, right up until the end. They’re tough choices to make, and the story is weirdly thought provoking and so fun to play. I thoroughly enjoyed this game start to finish.

What Remains of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch follows a young woman named Edith Finch who returns to her ancestral home for the first time in seven years. Edith is there to discover her family’s history and fate and write it down in her journal. Upon seeing the house, we’re told stories of her family that Edith already knows. Now she’s been given the key to discover even more. As we move from room to room we learn more about the lives of each member of Edith’s family who is no longer with her and what that could mean for her own life and fate.

This is such a sad story but it’s told so beautifully. As we’re learning about Edith’s family, we are taken back to their last moments and, sometimes, the gameplay means you are an active participant in them. The game is visually stunning and incredibly creative. The way you interact with each persons story was so powerful and I genuinely can’t stop thinking about it.

Until Dawn

Until Dawn follows a group of eight friends who are returning to Blackwood Mountain after two friends went missing there one year previously. This year something is happening on the mountain and the eight friends must survive Until Dawn.

This is a choice based game where your decisions and gameplay determine the fate of each of these characters. Whilst trying to keep them alive you also learn more about what happened last year. About the friends who went missing and what happened to them.

The way this story is told and comes together is fantastic. It keeps you engaged from start to finish. As with many of these games, there are some characters you like and some you don’t but you do want to keep them all alive, all while unravelling the mysteries surrounding Blackwood Mountain.

The Quarry

The Quarry follows seven camp counsellors on the last day of summer. The camp has closed and everyone is ready to go however, Jacob (a camp counsellor) sabotages the van home in order to spend more time with his summer fling. Chris Hackett (the camp owner) instructs them to stay in a cabin and lock the door before leaving for the night. They ignore him and instead look for beers, start a bonfire and decide to have one last blowout. However, there’s a reason Chris wanted them inside. Now your choices will determine whether they survive the night.

This was such a fun game to play. I love games where your choices impact the storyline. Usually I’m not too bad at these games however, for The Quarry I failed miserably. Miserably. But thankfully I wasn’t miserable whilst playing it! I actually enjoyed it a lot. I was very invested in each of the characters. Some I liked, some not so much but I had my job – to keep them alive. So that’s what I tried to do. Tried. And I had a fantastic time trying!

Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe

Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe follows a man named Stanley, an employee in a generic office building. He’s tasked to monitor data and do exactly what is instructed of him. One day, no further instructions come through and Stanley doesn’t know what to do. Upon further inspection, Stanley discovers that his workplace is completely abandoned. From here, what happens in the story is entirely based on the players choices and then you can choose again, and again, and again.

Stanley Parable is without a doubt the strangest game I have played on stream to date, and it was brilliant. There are so many little easter eggs and things going on throughout the game which mess with your head completely. I really enjoyed working my way through the story. The narrator is brilliant and often breaks the fourth wall. Really enjoyable game, one I’d even be tempted to play again because I’m almost certain I didn’t see everything the game has to offer.

Little Nightmares 2

Little Nightmares 2 follows a boy named Mono. We meet up with Six and once again we must avoid various creatures who want to capture them, this time with the help of a friend.

This game was so fun to play and the story blew my mind. I had so much fun with it and I still think about it to this day. This game is still talked about in other streams to this day.

One of my favourite clips from stream came from this game: https://clips.twitch.tv/SpinelessWealthySnailRlyTho-EqYGtsT8pbyF0KRq (!baby in chat)

It’s so fun and sad and shocking and I loved every second of it.

The Turing Test

The Turing Test follows an International Space Station engineer working at a research station on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. Ava is awoken by an artificial intelligence monitoring the project. It tells her that her crew mates are already awake and in danger and she must help them. In order to help her colleagues Ava must puzzle her way through each room with creative problem solving.

I really enjoyed this game. I played my way through it slowly because it can become a little repetitive however, the storyline kept me engaged throughout. Adding the story to the fact that I love space, this game drew me in completely. My one complaint I suppose is that I wish we’d gotten to see more of space or Europa, but aside from that it’s a challenging, but not impossible, game with a great story to go alongside it.

Coffee Talk Nintendo Switch Front Cover

Coffee Talk

Coffee Talk is a visual novel which follows the sole barista of a coffee shop. Over the course of two weeks we get to know the people, elves, orcs, mermaids etc. who visit this night-only shop to discuss their concerns and issues going on in their lives. Playing as the barista, you brew the patrons drinks using ingredients and coffee art they’ve requested. Occasionally you must give them drinks they need, rather than want.

I adored this game. There’s a sequel coming out and I am excited! The gameplay is rather simple but the story was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed myself learning about each of the different patrons of the cafe, and even the barista. It was so fun and I loved watching the story unfold.

Outlast

Outlast follows an investigative journalist who is looking into a derelict psychiatric hospital that is overrun by homicidal patients. You must run or hide from enemies and in order to see you need to use your night-vision camera, and find batteries in order to keep it working. Whilst trying to survive you find documents (like pages from patient diaries or notes by hospital staff), record footage and make notes to find out what happened at the facility.

This game was so much fun to play! Jump-scares galore and trying to run away from enemies, while terrifying is exhilarating and figuring out what happened and watching the story unfold keeps you intrigued and engaged throughout.

Little Nightmares

Little Nightmares follows a 9 year old girl named Six. With only a lighter, Six must make her way through an underwater vessel, all whilst satiating her intense hunger and avoiding various creatures who want to capture her.

This was the first story-based game we played and completed on stream, and was so much fun! The gameplay was fantastic. It’s somewhat challenging without feeling impossible. It isn’t a scary game, but I do remember a jump-scare or two and it makes the game so much more fun.