Steam Stars – Passpartout: The Starving Artist

Genre:  Creative
Platform:  PC

Passpartout:  The Starving Artist might be an easy game to overlook on Steam.  The graphics aren’t much and I don’t think the publisher did a good job “selling” it on their store page.  However, at $9, I have gotten my money’s worth.

In this game you play as a starving artist.  However, you are really the artist!  That’s right, if you’ve ever played with Paint and wished it was a game, look no more.  You draw pieces of art (or pieces of crap) and put them up for sale.  Eventually, critics will come by, insult you, and customers will buy your works of crap art.

It’s a simple game.  There is some progression, but I didn’t really care for that.  I just enjoyed being creative.  Here’s a few from my gallery.

So pick this one up!  It’s fun to stretch your creative muscles or to just see what pieces of crap some video game people will buy.

Genre:  RPG/Dungeon Crawler
Platform:  XBone, PS4, PC, Vita

I have spent plenty of time with Darkest Dungeon over all four platforms listed above.  This is a dungeon crawler at its most brutal.  You start with a small party of adventurers and pick your dungeon.  You have a specific goal to complete each time you enter the dungeon.  Complete it and you get valuable cash and usually a trinket for one of your party members.

This may sound like your typical dungeon crawler, but this game is not.  It is also a rogue-like, meaning that if anyone in your party dies, they are gone forever.  This doesn’t sting so much in the beginning, but when you have a level 4+ that dies, it hurts.  In addition to that, your party members get stressed while going through the dungeon.  If you can’t mitigate that stress, they risk a heart attack and could die.  Don’t pick a dungeon that’s too hard for them, or they will be stressed if you have to back out.  You can rest them when you are in town, but it costs money and an entire turn.  Which means that you need to maintain a party big enough for at least two full crews (4 to a crew) at any given time.

This game is so challenging that I’ve started it over on four different platforms and have improved greatly each time.  However, I always seem to get a bit too greedy and end up doing more than I can.  I either lose a member or end up with them seriously afflicted (very expensive to cure).  You can use the rewards that you get from quests to permanently level up either buildings, weaponry or skills.

This game is a constant balancing act, but it is very rewarding if you can get good at it.  I have probably sunk 40+ hours in it thus far, but I’m just barely scratching the surface.  I’ve only killed three bosses.  If you like dungeon crawlers and are looking for a challenge, definitely pick this one up.  Be warned, it may make you go crazy…

Steam Stars – Pivross

Once in a while, I am going to share with you some of Steam’s hidden gems that are fairly cheap ($10 or less).  The first one that gets my nod is Pivross.

Pivross is actually a free game, but if you want to unlock 100 levels (which I did), you’ll need to pay a bit extra for it.  I felt it was worth it.  I am currently on level 80 and it is getting just hard enough to make it a challenge.  There are achievements and they are all related to the quantity of puzzles you finish and how many you perfect (no mistakes).

If you see my review for Picross 3D, this is pretty much the same game, just for PC and not the DS.  You start with a block of cubes.  You need to use deduction and logic to whittle away at the cube until you have the completed object in front of you, which might look like this:

Pivross Solution

It’s simple once you get the hang of it.  I have enjoyed it a lot and feel that I’ve gotten my $5 worth.  If you like logic/puzzle games, check it out!

Oldies but Goodies – Acrophobia

Genre:  Word
Platform:  PC

Back in the early days of the internet, we didn’t have a lot of options for online gaming.  There were chat rooms with various solitaire games, online pool was popular for a while, and there were word games.  The games had to be small and efficiently programmed to allow the required communication over *gasp* dial-up modems.

One such game was Acrophobia.  This was a fun game in which you were presented with an anagram, such as ACRO.  Every player had a short amount of time to come up with what this anagram stood for.  For example, ACRO could be Anyone’s Capable Roman Orangutan (I didn’t say I was good at it).  All players would then anonymously vote on the one that they thought was best.  Players got points and eventually, someone won!

Here’s the voting round:

Acrophobia 2

Both my mom and I spent a lot of time playing this one.  It came out in 1995 and lasted for a few years.  I think it pops up every now and then online still to this day.  It was a fun game and certainly was an oldie but goodie!

Chey’s Top 25 – #17 – Gems of War

Genre:  Puzzle/Match-3/RPG
Platform:  All (mobile, PC, PS4, XBox)

For the first time in Super Fun Time Gaming Girl blog history, a game is being replaced in my top 25 list.  I know the list isn’t fully done yet, but in this instance, the former #17, Puzzle Quest, is being replaced with Gems of War.

Puzzle Quest deserves all of the props that I gave it in my original post.  I have since fallen in serious like with Gems of War, however.  The game takes the mechanics that made Puzzle Quest great and really ran with it.  It’s the natural evolution of the game and it is oh so sweet.

This is a match-3 game combined with a card-based troop system with several different modes.  It has an active online user base and is available on every platform, which makes it very accessible.  I play it on all platforms but mobile.  It’s fun to create my different play styles over the different platform.  For example, I play a bit of a trickster goblin party on my PS4, but a more serious dragon-based party on my XBone.

The developer is constantly making great updates to the game and it doesn’t appear that they have plans to stop.  Since I’ve been playing, they’ve added pets, weapon crafting and a completely re-done class system.  One of my favorite modes is treasure mode, where you combine pieces to form bigger pieces and get more loot.

Gems of War Treasure

As you play, you can also conquer kingdoms and add troops to your arsenal.  I am always adding, upgrading and maintaining new troops to my collection and tinkering with my lineups.  There is also a PVP mode, although you aren’t actually playing a live person.  You are playing a person’s team.  I would love to see a live PVP and I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up one day.  The map of kingdoms is quite large and is growing:

Gems of War map

Anyway, if you like match-3 games, this is the mother of them all.  It will keep you busy for hours on end and you will keep coming back for more!

It’s that time of year!  Twice a year, Steam has ridiculous sales on most of the games, some up to 90% off!  This is when I load up on games that I had placed on my wish list.  There are a lot of games that you can get for under $5 and it’s worth it.  This ends July 5, so check it out!

Shut-up-and-take-my-money

 

Oldies but Goodies – Coaster!

Genre:  Simulation/Builder
Platform:  PC

I really like roller coaster building games.  I have played nearly all of them and I’m about to venture into one of the newer ones – Planet Coaster.  My love for the genre first started with a game called Coaster by Disney games.  This was one of the first coaster sim games.

This game was really ahead of its time.  It was released in 1993 and didn’t benefit from the internet for much endorsement.  I don’t think a lot of people know that it existed.  In this game, you could not only design a roller coaster and put it through computer simulations, you could ride it yourself!  It wasn’t the best graphically, but they get an A for effort.

Coaster 3

You could also have other people test it for you and they would rate it.  I tried so hard to find an image of the folks after they rode it, but didn’t.  Their faces would change based on the intensity of your coaster.  On your most insane (that didn’t kill them), they would have vomit on their faces.  It was pretty funny to my juvenile self.

I was able to find this game on gog.com.  It doesn’t run very well, however, as the speeds are just off.  I tried tinkering with emulation settings to no avail.  Try it for yourself, though, and enjoy the ride!