Genre:  Strategy/Simulation
Platform:  Playstation Portable (PSP)

What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord!? 2.  Yeah, that’s really the name of this game.  I was so excited to get it.  It looked like a lot of fun.  The premise is simple enough – you build a dungeon by digging out the earth and creating monsters to help the villain avoid the heroes.  Sounds easy enough, right?

Wrong.  Totally, completely wrong.  This is the hardest game I’ve ever tried to learn.  I started by going through their numerous tutorials, but I could barely pass those.  This game requires you to start, develop and maintain a very delicate ecosystem below the ground.  Your basic monsters are eaten by the next tier, and so on.  But you can’t run out of nourishment for them or you won’t have any future growth.  No matter how much I tried, I just could not get it and pass more than the first few levels.  I tried A LOT.

This game came with the original on the UMD (disk), so I tried that as well.  Failed there, too.  Only on this one, I can’t get passed the first level.  I have looked up tutorials online, but the consensus seems to be that this game is just stupid hard.  Here’s the thing, though – it’s still a really fun game!  There’s some sort of satisfaction digging in a large area and trying to thwart the hero.  The game uses humor very well, too.  I would definitely recommend that you try it for yourself.  Maybe you’ll think in a different way and be wildly successful.

Stinkers – Civilization V

Genre:  Turn-Based Strategy, Simulation
Platform:  PC

It’s been a couple of years since this game came out, and it still hurts to have to put it on this list.  I wanted to love this game so much.  I have played A TON of Civilization over the years between Civ 3 and Civ 4.  This game was a monster disappointment.

Civilization is a turn-based strategy game, which means that you take as much time as you need on your turn (you’re playing either other players or the computer).  Once you are done, you end your turn and the other players do the same.  Then it’s your turn again.  The goal of the game is to win the world – peacefully with a cultural, space race or democratic victory or by force with a domination or conquest victory.  You build up your civilization with new cities, buildings, technology and military.

There are many out there who say that this was the best Civilization game yet.  I just can’t agree with them.  It was not a fun game for me.  They took out a lot of what I found fun about Civilization 4.  First, I could not adapt to the new combat method.  In Civ 4, you could have “stacks of doom” on a single tile, which had its advantages and disadvantages.  It provided a lot of defense bonuses to your army, but if you were flanked, you could take heavy casualties.  I HATE the new system.  It forces me to play a new way, but I just couldn’t adjust.

They also removed religion from the game.  Now, if you know me, you’ll find it ironic that I have a problem with them removing religion from anything.  However, it really added a deep strategic element to Civ 4 and I really missed not having that as a tool.  Now, they did add this in an expansion, but I had no interest in buying it.

There were some good changes as well such as ruins in exploration, natural wonders, barbarian changes and city-states.  These were not enough to keep me playing, though, and I never finished a full game.  If you’re a fan of the Civ series, I would recommend playing it and making your own judgement.  It just wasn’t a good game for me.  I’m a bit nervous about Civilization 6, which is coming out later this year.

 

Chey’s Top 25 – #18 – The Sims

Genre:  Simulation
Platform:  PC

I had been a fan of SimCity since middle school, when we played SimCity original as a way to teach us the basics of city planning.  More SimCity versions came out, but you can imagine my excitement when a new level of granularity arrived, allowing you to actually control the people of your city.  This was Will Wright’s grand vision, and it was The Sims.

The original Sims still remains my favorite.  It seemed to me that you had the most items to play and create with and customizing your own wasn’t too difficult.  The concept of the Sims is this – you create people/families and control every single aspect of their lives.  You design their house, you buy them new objects, you decorate, you decide if they procreate, you choose when/if they use the bathroom or shower, you get them a job and help them excel at it.  You also control their social interactions.  If you are like me, you care for your Sims and try to make them as happy as possible.  Then again, there were always the players that chose this route…

Sims Evil

So, so cruel.

I always recreated the place I happened to be living at the time and my family/friends.  It was a lot of fun, but the game got challenging as you progressed as your game always tended to focus on making and maintaining friends.  I find this hard in real life, so it’s no surprise that I found it difficult and stressful in a game.  And then there were the seemingly endless expansions that were just money sinks:

Sims Expansions

Next expansion: The Sims, Just Give Us Your Money Already

I played Sims 2 and 3, and each added their own unique twists.  It was pretty impressive how much of a likeness I could get to my husband.  I haven’t played Sims 4 yet.  But, as I said, the original was good enough to make my top 25 and I would suggest playing it if you haven’t.