Friday, May 16, 2014

Gaming Binge

I’ve actually been doing some binge playing lately … I finished a couple of old TMs I had in my ‘games’ folder. Especially, I finished “Viking Saga 2” after “Viking Saga 3” came out, figuring I shouldn’t finish part 3 before finishing part 2. Then I went on with other TMs, which is quite a good feeling overall, let me tell you. And now, I’ve gone on binge playing adventures with Nancy Drew.

I’ve gotten my email and download link for “Nancy Drew - The Shattered Medallion” (game #30) on Wednesday, since I had pre-ordered it in April. Then I realized I’m way behind with my Nancy Drew games, so I figured I should play some of the older ones before I tackle the newest. I started with “Nancy Drew - Ghost of Thornton Hall” (#28) since it was a) on my HD already and b) a scary one (I love those). I went through it in one feverish afternoon, as it were. And I will definitely play it again in a little while. Actually, right now it ranks up right beside my other two ND favourites: “Nancy Drew - Shadow at Water’s Edge” (#23 and set in Japan) and “Nancy Drew - The Captive Curse” (#24 and the only one set in Germany). All of them, as you can see from the titles, are on the scary side. I continue with the next one in the series, “Nancy Drew - The Silent Spy” (#29), which is not scary, but was very interesting to play, so I played most right after finishing #28 and only had about 1/3 to play today. I will definitely play that one again in a while, too.
“Nancy Drew - The Shattered Medallion” is next on my list, then I will go back with “Nancy Drew - The Deadly Device” (#27) and “Nancy Drew - Tomb of the Lost Queen” (#26). Afterwards? Believe me, if I combine the ND games I have from Steam, from HerInteractive, and from BFG, I have most of the series still to play. I have only finished a very few ND games so far (another I finished is “Nancy Drew - The Haunting of Castle Malloy”). I have a great many of the newer games (engine 2) and all of the newest (engine 3). I’m quite sure I will also buy the next in the series, once it comes out at HerInteractive.

It might surprise you, if you haven’t grown up in Germany, that Nancy Drew as a such is next to unknown over here. A couple of the novels have been translated over the last few years, but while I was still a teen (and would have loved a female detective who was not just part of a bigger group), there was no Nancy Drew book to be found over here. My first real contact with the character therefore was the first ND game I ever bought (which was, I think, “The Secret of the Old Clock” which is still on my to-do list). Over the next few years (yes, it’s actually been that long), I bought a couple of the games, either because the title sounded interesting, because there were sales during which I got them for a good price, or just because others recommended them to me. I hardly managed to finish them, however, since I’m possessed by a terrible ‘oh, shiny!’ reflex that cuts in whenever I find another game to play.
Lately, though, my urge to get new games has settled down considerably. I have ended my memberships at BFG and GH (those that cost, that is, I’m still a registered user at both sides) and instead started to buy games from the developers directly (in my case, as I prefer TM games, mostly from Alawar, Playrix, or Realore). It might now be the right time to actually play all those games I have bought and not finished so far. As if that is ever going to happen…

Adventures are among the first games I really played after discovering computer gaming. I remember fondly spending a lot of time with classics like “Zak McCracken and the Alien Mindblenders” or “Manic Mansion.” I even remember fondly - today, that is - playing old Sierra Games and dying regularly. It’s no surprise I was far more fond of LucasArts (Lucasfilm Games, as they were still called at that time), since you couldn’t die in those. I enjoyed “Day of the Tentacle” and played it until I could play the game in under two hours, since I knew precisely what to do next. Unfortunately, YouTube was not up and about then and I had no internet, so there is no proof of that.
I strayed to other genres over time, I had my brush with FTS games, I played strategy games, I discovered the joy of playing RPGs. I plunged head-first into the casual market and got caught by HOGs and TMs. I like the occasional Match-3 game. I became much better at simulations, especially at business and life simulations (patience comes with age, it’s true).
But all the time, I’ve never completely lost sight of the genre which I’ve always loved most, the adventure, the novel you can play. And, luckily, I live in a place where there’s still quite some being produced (German developers like Deck 13 still do a lot of 2.5D games).

I think I will continue to binge-play Nancy Drew a bit longer … I could also finally do “Nancy Drew - Legend of the Crystal Skull” (#17), which I always wanted to finish, but somehow never did finish. Not to mention all the ND games I have from BFG … I will be well-entertained (and probably dying from bad choices) for quite a while.

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