Grab A Beer: What Are You Playing This Weekend?


I was going to start up this series last weekend, but I wound up getting gifted some tickets to go see one of my favourite bands, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, in Glasgow. It was awesome. That’s all. Just thought you should know.

Anyway, the point here is that while I’m beyond privileged to get loads of viewers on this site I’d love to see more comments and chances to chat to people, so I’m hoping this will encourage some folks to jump on and start chatting.


Firstly, I’ve been ramming my head repeatedly against a wall, a wall named Dead Cells. It’s a pixellated 2d rogue-like/rogue-lite (I really need to learn the difference) where death is commonplace and every little step forward is earned via gallons of your own blood.

So far Dead Cells has gotten itself a load of critical praise from a bunch of sites and even managed to create a small scandal in the form of an IGN employee committing plagiarism, and I have to agree with the positive views; it’s a bloody good game that is probably going to make me go insane. I adore the feeling of pushing harder and harder to get anywhere, but sometimes it can be mind-numbingly annoying when you get bad run after bad run, making no progress despite spending another hour or two at it.

With that said, man does it feel incredible when you get a good run or three going, hoovering up new blueprints and Cells. Review for this one is coming soon.

I’ve also got Monster Hunter: World waiting for me. I decided to go ahead and buy a copy with the goal being to review it at some point, but it could be a while away because it’s a massive game from what I can tell and because I’ve come to two important realisations this month; I tend to take on far, far too many things to review at once, and playing games so quickly is just a bad idea. Take Dead Cells and its sometimes frustrating progression; it’d be a lot less frustrating if I just stepped away for a while and spread the experience out, which is what you’re meant to do. You aren’t meant to play an entire game in a marathon, or at least I can’t imagine that’s what most designers think. A lot of reviews for Monster Hunter mentioned lots of grinding, and I can’t help but wonder how much that problem would have been lessened if reviewers didn’t have to cram a massive game like that into a tiny span of time. Often they have to play 8-10 hours or day and even take their work home with them.

I’ve been firing up some racing games lately as I picked up a Logitech G920 steering wheel and a shifter to go with it, and man has it been a blast. My favourite so far has to be DiRT Rally. It’s just so much fun to sling cars around with the full wheel and pedal setup. And since I don’t drive (not yet, anyway) I’ve actually been learning how to shift gears and use a clutch as I go, so I’m hoping that when I go to sit my test I’ll at least be able to get the movement right and judge my shifts.

A review of the G920 will turn up at some point, along with a review of the Next Level LITE wheel stand system.

On the board game front, I’m finishing up a review of Azul as well as World of Smog: Rise of Moloch, a sprawling miniatures game from CMON. Coming down the line are reviews of Dice Throne and History of the World, too, but the one I’m really excited about is Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective which was first published way back in 1981. I’ve played the first two cases so far and they have made me re-consider how smart I thought I was. Basically, I’m an idiot. It’s such a fantastic game played either with a group of friends or even alone during a quiet evening. I honestly can’t say enough good things about it.

And while it may not fit into the theme of my site I wanted to give some love to Scotty Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastard’s series of books which follows the adventures of Lock Lamora and his chums as they rob, steal, fight and get poisoned. I’m on the third book, which currently is the latest release, and loving every page of it. I’d argue that thus far the third isn’t managing to match the brilliance of the first two books, but even then it’s still a good read in its own right.

So, what have you guys been playing, watching or reading this weekend?