Fallout 4 Bro: "Oh man, have you played Fallout 4?"
Me: "No. I have not."
Fallout 4 Bro: "Oh man, the Super Mutants are really super mutant-y. Way more super mutant-y than Fallout 3!"
Me: "Like I said, I have not played Fallout 4 so I wouldn't know."
Fallout 4 Bro: "Oh, and you can craft anything with everything you find!"
Me: "I hate crafting systems."
Fallout 4 Bro: "Oh, well now you have a dog companion!"
Me: "The only thing I hate more than crafting systems are mandatory dog companions."
Fallout 4 Bro: "Cool, well in Fallout 4 you get power armor really early in the game!"
Me: "Wait, like you don't have to spend dozens of hours scouring the wastes for the best armor in the game?"
Fallout 4 Bro: "No, they just give it to you!"
Me: *Flips table*
Ok, so this conversation never actually happened with a real human person, but everyone is talking about their Fallout 4 experiences, and I do not own the game at this point, so this is basically how any conversations I do have go eventually. I love the Fallout games, and I'm sure I'll get around to playing Fallout 4 eventually and be a total Fallout Bro about my experiences, but it doesn't really fit in the schedule right now, as I know that if it's anything like Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas, I'll be putting dozens of hours into it.
So the holidays are coming up, which means I'll probably be spending a lot more time with other people, and less time gaming. I still have games that I want to play, it's just that they'll be less throw-away-your-life-for-a-week games and more what-can-I-play-for-twenty-minutes-before-guests-arrive. Fortunately, I have a hefty backlog of games that I've never finished that I'd like to knock out of the way over the next few weeks, so I've come up with a list of games that can be played in a relatively short bursts because of how the games are designed:
Time: 20-40 minutes per mission
Have you ever had an idea for a story or game, and then, some time later, that idea comes up in someone else's work and you just get mad that you didn't put it out there first? That's how I feel about Hard West. It's a series of stories about the American Southwest around the turn of the century, so you have the technological spirit of the early 20th century clashing with the superstitious romanticism of the end of the 19th century. Pacts with the Devil, curses, insanity, spirits, and some questionable science all meet in the hard landscape. It's like this game was designed specifically with me in mind. I am going to be playing this game quite a bit in the near future.
Time: 15+ minutes per mission
I love turn-based squad tactics, and while I haven't played much of Invisible Inc. yet, I'm eager to spend some time with the game. You run a spy agency that has been burned and is on the run, trying to secure the resources and equipment needed to get the agency in the clear. It a terrific premise--one that's been calling my name for some time.
Conquest of Elysium 4
Time: 5 minutes to several hours, depending
Conqest of Elysium 4 is not a pretty game. I don't think it will ever receive any awards for outstanding visual design. But what it lacks in flash and color it makes up for in deep fantasy tactics. The game isn't forgiving, either, so matches may last just a few minutes or a few hours as you try to conquer the realm of Elysium. The best part is that the game is incredibly replayable, with 20 factions, randomly generated maps, and varied faction abilities mean that you'll never have the same game twice.
Unity of Command
Time: 10+ minutes per turn
I've been wanting to get into some of the deeper wargames recently. Something about the days growing shorter and the nights getting colder drives me to thoughts of sitting by a fire, sipping whiskey while contemplating deep strategy. I don't know that Unity of Command will offer that experience, per se, but I like what I've played so far. The mechanic of encircling you enemy to cut off supply is one I understand, and look forward doing more of.
What games are you looking forward to giving some time to over the holidays? Let me know!