My Lockdown Gaming Diary #WYBG? - Hope Eliza
What Have I Been Gaming During Lockdown
The UK is now in its 19th week of Lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Although things are beginning to get back to normal, we still have a ways to go. I was one of many people who were unable to attend their job or work from home, this meant I've had around 138 days to stress, overthink and play video games!
So I've decided to give a brief overview of all the game's I've played during this scary, unpredictable time.
Animal Crossing New Horizons
I'm not saying that Nintendo predicted the Lockdown but releasing a game that requires a lot of hours to be sunk into it when most of the world is required to stay indoors was accidentally genius. I've been playing New Horizons pretty steadily since the 23rd March, only missing a few days here and there when I started to run out of things to do in game. I know for many, Animal Crossing has been what's kept them going during the pandemic and I am no exception to this. I started forming a routine on day's when I literally had no purpose which included doing all the morning checks, searching for new villagers or rearranging everything on my island.
My partner and I had been in talks about when to get this game as soon as it was released on PS4, we both had a few games in our backlog and as much as I was dying to play it, I'm too easily spooked to play it alone! After a few weeks of strict Lockdown where we were literally only allowed out for like an hour a day, we decided now is the time to sink our teeth into a new horror adventure. Although it started off a little slow, the spooks soon arrived and we were both hooked. I'd still recommend this game to any horror/Blair Witch enthusiasts!
April soon rolled around and guess what? The UK was still in Lockdown; with little clue as to how much longer we had to stay indoors. Some companies took pity on this, including Google who gave everyone 2 months of Google Stadia for free! As I have been dying to play Gylt (a Stadia exclusive) for so long, I jumped at the chance and enjoyed every minute of it. This deal is no longer available unfortunately, however if you have read my review of Gylt and feel like it is the game for you, you can still sign up for a free 1 month trial! (I wish this was sponsored by Google, it is not.)
Speed Dating For Ghosts
As per usual, whenever I am bored out of my mind I often scour the Playstation store and Nintendo e-shop looking for deals on indie games I may have totally missed or never heard of. On said search, I stumbled across Speed Dating For Ghosts, a ghost dating simulator. I had debated this purchase before and for some reason always passed up on it but considering the circumstances, I decided that it was time to give it a try. I ended up quite enjoying the game and it not only killed about half an hour but an additional 2 hours once I went back and tried out every possible dating avenue. It also then took a couple more hours to write this review for it!
Another month passed and I was still not back at work and still not able to see my friends and family. So I decided to go through our joint game's library to see if we had any games we had previously bought on sale and forgotten about. Luckily for me, I found Oxenfree; a game my partner and I had bought ages ago and totally forgot about. After asking if he was okay with me going ahead without him, I decided to play it without my partner and I couldn't believe we waited so long! Oxenfree is an exceptional game that I had a lot of fun playing not only once but twice over! You can actually watch my first playthrough here (it's in 3 parts!) and read my full review here.
I actually spotted Little Misfortune in the coming soon tab when I was searching the Nintendo e-Shop for Speed Dating For Ghosts back in April. I couldn't get over the game's adorable art style and creepy premise, not to mention Misfortune's hilariously endearing voice and personality! I made a note of the release date (not expecting to still be in Lockdown!) and came back on release day to play. May was a great month of gaming for me as I came away so impressed by the two new games I had experienced. I enjoyed this game so much I began doing research into the developers and decided to look into their previous works, more on that later! Like always, here's my review.
Night in the Woods
As I mentioned earlier, when I am extremely bored I like to go through digital game stores. I was familiar with Night in the Woods due to word of mouth and it's innovative art style. Again, my partner and I both wanted to play this so decided to buy it in June for me to play and for him to replay himself a little while later (he still hasn't...). Although I liked the story, the visuals and the dialogue, I unfortunately struggled to get really into this game due to the tedious gameplay. I just found it a bit dull repeating the same day over and over again. It was always a case of waking up, talking to my mum, heading to town, talking to my friends, going to an event, going home to sleep and repeating the very next day. But I guess at the time I wasn't actually allowed to do that in real life so I was living vicariously through main character Mae.
The Last of Us Part II
June also bought us a glimpse into our possible futures with the long awaited release of The Last of Us Part II. We of course pre-ordered it so were basically sitting by the front door like Scott Pilgrim waiting for his Amazon package all morning. With the threat of returning to work looming I was really worried that I wouldn't get a chance to fully enjoy this game but fortunately for me, I wasn't called into work on release day. My partner and I didn't do anything else the next few days except: play TLOU II, talk about TLOU II and talk to others about TLOU II. I'm sure I don't have to tell you but this game was phenomenal and so far has been my standout game of the year. You can read my reflection of the game here and listen to our Spoilercast here (as well as wherever else you listen to your podcasts!).
Ring Fit Adventure
July bought it's own challenges as this was the month that I was due to move back home to NOWO's hometown of Brighton. This meant the majority of my games and consoles were bubble wrapped and stored in boxes. We were both pleasantly surprised though when our local video game store tweeted that they had just received a couple of copies of Ring Fit Adventure which we had wanted for a while however had been sold out everywhere due to everyone wanting a copy in Lockdown. We mutually decided to grab one of the copies and couldn't believe just how much of a workout it could give you! If you don't mind splashing out for a new Switch game, I really recommend Ring Fit Adventure to keep you moving if you're still stuck indoors!
Overcooked/Star Wars Battlefront
What took off majorly in my family was online co-op games, this meant we could still connect but in the safety of our own homes. We actually began playing these games early on in Lockdown however I most recently played them in July. It started with Overcooked 2, a game that myself and my 12, 8 and 5 year old cousins could also get to grips with. We played it so much that we actually all grew sick of it and had to move onto another game. Luckily, Star Wars Battlefront II was recently put out as a PS+ freebee and so we all tried our hand at that. It certainly made my time in Lockdown much more social.
Speaking of Little Misfortune, this is Liittle Misfortune creator Killmonday's previous work; a point and click horror adventure Fran Bow. I actually started this game some time in July after picking it up in the Steam Summer Sale, however only finished it recently after I got delayed moving house. Fran Bow as well as Little Misfortune tailor to my taste perfectly, I am such a fan of creepy-cute video games and there are so many others out there like it! As you'd expect I also really liked Fran Bow and although it too felt a little tedious at times with all the dialogue, it did feel a little bittersweet when I eventually finished it.
Everybody's Gone To The Rapture
Now for the latest game I have tried whilst still technically in Lockdown and what a fitting one at that. Like most indie games on this list, I also have had the intention to play this but waited until it was on sale to finally take the plunge. I'm actually not even an hour into this game and I'm already hooked, it's had a similar affect to The Last of Us Part II which made references to quarantines, pandemics and just generally made me question the possibility of living in the middle of a survival video game.
What have you been gaming in Lockdown? Did any of our games cross over? Let us know!
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