Stardew Valley Review | An Addiction Blossoms

Getting Started in Stardew Valley | Stardew Valley Review

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always really loved the idea of taking a step back from “modern life” and getting absorbed in the simple life of farming and living off the land. For that reason, the adorable new game Stardew Valley really appealed to me from the get go — a cute, pixelated indie game that focuses almost entirely on farming? Sign me up!

Now that it’s been out for around three weeks, and I’ve become thoroughly addicted to it, I’d like to share my thoughts in my Stardew Valley review.

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First Impressions: Magicite

First Impressions: Magicite - Spawning with monsters right in front of you, pretty dangerous!

First Impressions: Magicite - A variety of biomes makes the game surprisingly pretty.

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for 8-bit, pixellated or voxel games. They tickle my nostalgia bone, and with focus being thrown away from graphics you can generally find some little gems with amazing gameplay. I picked up Magicite after seeing some screenshots from Jewel at Whimsical Zombie and knew immediately I needed to try this game.

Without really noticing, I’ve already clocked in almost 8 hours of this adorable little game. It’s fun, and ridiculous at the same time. At the weekend, we played as a group of three and the first thing I did was smack my friend round the head with my axe. Good job, self! I didn’t know that party-damage was on, so a few more smacks happened before we realised we were all damaging each other.

First Impressions: Magicite - Some of the monsters you encounter are a bit crazy. I mean, come on, a dinosaur?!

Magicite features procedurally generated dungeons, meaning you never see the same layout twice. The game features a variety of biomes each with their own set of nasties; little mushrooms armed with axes and shields, tiki-masked beasties firing little blue magic missiles at you, and even dinosaurs that cause giant green balls of…something to fall from the sky. The environment is pretty unforgivable. Somehow, despite how simple the concept of the game is, it’s insanely addictive, and fun whether you play with friends or alone. I find I generally get further by myself, or with one other person. At least then I’m not competing for resources and mourning the fact that my buddy has an iron pickaxe while I’m still beating rocks with a glorified stick.

First Impressions: Magicite - Something I see a little more often than I'd like to admit...

I definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for a fun, easy to pick up crafting adventure. Magicite is just €8.99 right now on Steam!

Just Sayin’: Early Access Sucks

Just Sayin': Early Access Sucks

Hi guys! I’d really like you to read my blog post about why Early Access sucks, but it’s not quite finished yet. So for the low, low price of my hosting costs, you get to read this post before anyone else! Aren’t I generous?

No, for real though. Something that’s been grinding my gears for some time is this Early Access phenomenon. Back towards the end of 2013, a few games were announced, primarily on Steam, and were marketed as “Early Access.” Just like Minecraft; remember that? Before we gave Notch all of our money? It was cool. Really, it was. A game goes on Kickstarter, people get to show their faith in the developer and help fund the development costs of the game. Miss the campaign? No problem, you can pick it up in early access, possibly for more than the Kickstarter pledges cost, and still join in with the early adopters. I struggled a bit with games like Planetary Annihilation that were charging what I thought was an extortionate amount, but fans explained the reasoning and I got off my soap box.

Then we entered 2014: arguably the year of the Early Access. Not a day goes by that I don’t see a new game pop up on Steam, advertised as “Early Access.” Many of these games are incredibly, awfully broken, and use the Early Access stick to beat you away with your complaints. Most of them would probably be better suited to the title of, I don’t know…”beta”? Maybe even “alpha”, at some points. At this point, it’s becoming an invitation to pay to test a game that simply isn’t complete.

So what, I hear you say? I want the game now, and I’m willing to pay! Who are you to tell me what to do with my money? Remember Cube World? I paid for the “Early Access.” I played, and it was buggy. But that’s okay, they’ll fix it, right? Nope. The developer decided he wasn’t going to bother communicating with the community any more, and seemingly all but ran off with the money, with a few token tweets here and there after people begged him to come back. I’m not sure where that game is as far as development is concerned. To tell you the truth, I lost faith in the devs after they buggered off with not a word and only a broken game in their legacy.

Early Access genuinely did mean something. Now, it’s just an easy way out for developers. I’m not saying stop supporting indie studios, far from it. I know someone who is currently one-man-army’ing his own games engine and first video game. I think supporting indie studios is the way forward. But can we just start calling it like it is? Beta testing was honest, it was fun, and it was a free way for people to test your game and give you valuable feedback. Charging for that feedback feels cheap.

Just sayin’…

Autumn Steam Sale must haves

I’ve been a terrible blogger lately, and I must apologise! Work has been very busy, and I’ve been having so much fun in my downtime that I’ve been very bad at keeping up with my non-gaming hobbies. Thank you for sticking around!

Now, it is that time of year again! The Steam Autumn Sale has graced us with its presence, much to the dismay of our poor wallets and bank accounts. Every time a Steam sale rolls around I both simultaneously wince in anticipation, and squee as I add the new games to my library. This is the reason I have such a huge gaming backlog! So, what have I picked up so far?

Steam Autumn Sale purchases: Papers, Please Steam Autumn Sale purchases: Rogue Legacy
Steam Autumn Sale purchases: The Walking Dead Steam Autumn Sale purchases: Gone Home
1. Papers, Please | 2. Rogue Legacy | 3. The Walking Dead | 4. Gone Home

I’ve only started playing Papers, Please so far and have been having a ridiculously fun time, which is surprising considering most of the point of the game is to stamp passports! But it’s become much more fun after a coworker joked about his conspiracy theory that secretly, people playing the game are actually working for Heathrow. I hope not, as I’ve unwittingly let a few shady characters into the country if that’s the case!

And now for the absolute must-haves, in my humble opinion, for this sale.

Steam Autumn Sale must haves: Game Dev Tycoon Steam Autumn Sale must haves: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Steam Autumn Sale must haves: XCOM: Enemy Unknown Steam Autumn Sale must haves: Outlast
1. Game Dev Tycoon (€4.49) | 2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (€7.49) | 3. XCOM: Enemy Unknown (€9.99 | 4. Outlast (€6.45)

I personally adore all of my suggestions above, but if you only pick one of them I will forever recommend The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. On top of the original game only being €7.49 right now, the Legendary Edition, which contains the base game and all expansions, is only €13.59 right now. This game tops my list of favourites at the moment; those of you who know me, know I’m an Elder Scrolls fiend and have been since Morrowind. I did, indeed, shed a single tear of joy when I saw the teaser trailer for Skyrim!

I do also recommend Outlast pretty heavily for you horror game nuts out there. That might be because I’m cruel and want everyone to share in my pain, though…

What games have you picked up this sale?
Let me know in the comments!

Spooky Halloween stream!

You are invited to the Psyche Plays Halloween stream!

You are cordially invited to join me on Friday 1st November at approximately 9:00pm GMT (time to be confirmed) for a spooky Halloween stream! The stream will run “until late”, meaning I will basically stream until I fall asleep or all my viewers have run off to bed. I was originally planning on this being an all-nighter stream, but as I’ll be going up to visit family the next morning I’ll need to get a little bit of sleep for the journey!

Streamed Games:

» League of Legends (Harrowing skins only!)
» Diablo III
» Outlast
» Stop It, Slender!
» Don’t Starve

I may add more creepy games (Nightmare House 2 is a distinct possibility!) as the night goes on, but this is the list for now. To take part, simply go to my Twitch.tv channel, and make sure to click “Follow” if you want to receive a notification when I go live! I would love it if you’d come hang out with me! Feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me your game suggestions.

Psyche Plays Outlast…and fails at it

If you missed my first post about Outlast, let me give you a quick recap! Basically, I’m a wuss, and I decided it was a great idea to pick up indie horror game Outlast and give it a shot. Not only that, but I thought, “Hey, since I’m going to play Outlast anyway, why not record it? Or better yet, why not stream it live so everyone can laugh at my stupid face as I scream?!”

So that’s what I did. Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos. I release a new horror game video every Saturday for Scaredy-Cat Saturday! You know what that means…there’ll be a new one later on today! Oh, joy…

Can I outlast Outlast?

The answer to that question is probably a resounding, “No.” I cannot outlast brand new indie horror game Outlast. My first playthrough, above, I barely lasted 16 minutes excruciating minutes. Apologies in advance for the dark webcam and very loud mic.

I am a scaredy-cat by nature. Horror movies are usually okay, but I have incredibly severe nyctophobia (fear of the dark) and it’s not just what might be in the dark that scares me, but the darkness itself. Horror games get me involved in the action, which is inherently scarier than just passively watching. I tried to play Amnesia: The Dark Descent, another indie horror game and one of the most infamous, and also F.E.A.R., but have not finished either. I thought it was a great idea to pick up Outlast for some reason!

I’m determined to finish this one, so I’ll be adding videos to my Outlast playlist as they come out, and will also be livestreaming on my Twitch.tv channel for Scaredy-Cat Saturdays!

I’d love it if you’d subscribe to my YouTube channel, I’ll be putting out horror videos every Saturday (or Sunday) and other gameplay videos throughout the week!