What I’m playing: Amnesia, GTA3, Lollipop Chainsaw, SimCity Social Edition

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been jumping between quite a few different games. Three games I’ve been playing more than others – Amnesia, GTA 3, and Lollipop Chainsaw.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

I got Amensia with the latest Humble Bundle. I heard it was pretty scary, and it definitely lives up to its reputation. It’s a first-person adventure game that came out about a year and nine months ago. It looked older than that to me in the way the interface works. When you approach an item with which you can interact, a hand icon appears. You can move things or hold them by clicking on them. If they’re not an inventory item for use later but are able to be picked up, they’ll float in the center of the screen. You interact with everything in a similar way. For example, you don’t go through a door by running up to it and pressing the enter-key. Rather, you press the left mouse button and either pull or push (depending on the door). This makes the game feel very immersive. The game revolves around solving puzzles… oh, and keeping your sanity.

Being the dark will slow drive you insane, which, among other things, will make you hear things that aren’t real. This is particularly scary because then you can’t be sure whether something’s really coming for you or not. Being in the dark drops your sanity, so you need to keep your lantern fueled or be able to light enough candles. When you see a monster, the longer you look at it, the more it drives you insane. You can hide in the dark from the monsters (but that drives you insane as well), but if it wants you dead, you’ll die. There really isn’t any fighting it.

It has a really fascinating story. Your character has purposely given himself amnesia and left himself with a letter telling him to kill someone. He assures himself that the person deserves to die even if he doesn’t like it. I can’t wait to find out more about the story.

The game suggests you play it in the dark with headphones. I don’t do either of those things. However, the fact that I’m playing without the brightness maxed out means I’m at least trying to play by the rules. There’s also the fact that I’m still playing even though most people I know gave up. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the game I think.

Grand Theft Auto

After playing the first GTA (and London), I tried GTA 2 once before jumping forward a number of years and playing GTA 4 and Chinatown Wars. I never beat any of the early games, so I picked up the classic pack on Steam. I tried playing the original, but I have to be honest, it doesn’t hold up. I like the core game type; I loved Chinatown Wars, for example. But the missions are just tedious. It’s all more of the same. The story isn’t very interesting. Worst of all, levels are very long, and alt-tabbing almost always will eventually lead to the game crashing. I even tried cheating by giving myself unlimited lives. That didn’t work because I didn’t have enough time to beat a level in one sitting, and like I said, alt-tabbing leads to crashing. I decided to write this one off. I won’t be returning to it.

Grand Theft Auto III

Instead, I’ll be playing GTA 3. It’s really telling that GTA 3 can be so ugly by today’s standards but still be so good. I don’t even think about it being old while I play it. It just feels like GTA 4. I’m really enjoying it so far. I’m only a handful of missions into the game – maybe around 10. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it later. For now, it’s definitely satisfying a third I’ve been having.

Lollipop Chainsaw

Lollipop Chainsaw is the one reason I’ve used a console recently. It’s Suda51’s latest game, and it’s an odd one. It’s about a cheerleader who’s also a zombie hunter. When her boyfriend gets bit, she cuts off his head with a chainsaw and takes it with him, allowing him to survive with magic. You hack and slash enemies sort of like Devil May Cry. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and I had a lot of fun with it. The claim to fame, beside being developed by Suda51 of course, is sex appeal. There’s a lot of talk about sex, and a lot of cussing. The sex is, honestly, not much worse than a bunch of B-horror movies anyways, and that’s the flavor the game seems to targeting. The over-abundant cussing just seems odd. Mad World had a lot of cussing, and it seemed appropriate. It doesn’t really feel appropriate here. There’s also a peculiar gameplay element. Control is removed every minute or so to show the player something. I understand the the game needs to let the player know what’s happening, but it should do it without taking the game away from me.

SimCity Social

I can’t believe I’m playing this. I swear, I don’t usually play Facebook games. It’s like normal SimCity, but with some twists. Each action you take consumes one energy, and energy regenerates over time. This means you have to stop playing and come back later. Money and manufacturing materials are also generated on a timed cycle. You have to log into the game to claim them, so this pushes players to stop playing but to check back in frequently. Certain buildings require staff to complete them. This means you have to hire friends as staff. You can only hire each friend once per day. If you don’t want to wait, you can spend diamonds, a rare resource that can also be purchased using real money. None of that for me, thank you.

Worms Crazy Golf

It’s Worms. It’s golf. And I guess it’s crazy. I’ve been using it as a nice way to get over the shock of playing Amnesia. What’s particularly great about it is that it supports local multiplayer.
Super Mario 3D Land
I’m pushing through the “bonus game” in this. I’m in World S5 now.
World of Warcraft
Of course, I’ve been playing this as well. I’m working on Grizzly Hills as well as PVPing and participating in the holiday.
Monsters Ate My Condo
Adult Swim Games brings one of the most fun iOS games I’ve ever played. You build a tower of condos while trying match their colors and feeding some to giant monsters. Mmhmmm. Totally great.

Zynga Slots and Zynga Poker

Two bad games by Zynga. Zynga Slots is a little addicting, and I don’t know why. Stay away from it.
Tap Tip Block
What if the zombies mode from World at War was cartoonish, featured monsters instead of Nazi zombies, was made by Capcom, and developed for iOS? It’d be Tap Tip Block. It’s short but fun.
Pucca Noodle Rush
I finally finished this little time management game. It wasn’t really very good, but I like Pucca.
SQUIDS Wild West
The sequel to SQUIDS, and a great iOS strategy game. Check out my recent Game Boyz review for more information.
Imaginary Range
Square-Enix making an interactive comic/game for iOS is great. Square-Enix taking a year to release a new issue is not. I doubt we’ll see an end to this story.
Shadowgun
Shadowgun’s a third-person cover-based shooter built in Unity for iOS. It looks great and is pretty fun. I only recently got around to returning to it to beat it.
Terra Noctics
Like Shadowgun, Terra Noctis is another iOS game that I finally got around to finishing. It’s a fun little platformer.