So, it’s been a while. I hope you’re doing well. Things are fine here; it’s just been busy. I suspect the mid-term time is busy for everyone, and our mid-terms come after Christmas break and unhappily coincide with a million snow days and more.
But things are slowing down as the third quarter has officially begun. I’m plugging away at school, trying to make what difference I can in 180 days. I’m happy to report one of my sixth graders took second place in the district middle school spelling bee. She lost to an 8th grader who she had on the ropes 3 times but just couldn’t close. Of course, I’m super proud of her, but realistically, I didn’t have anything to do with her success; she already knew how to spell really well before she ever got to me. I was particularly impressed when she got indocile as a word, clearly didn’t know the word or the root word, and still spelled it correctly. Good girl.
I’ve made a lot of strides in gaming, too, though some of those strides are rather short of length. I asked months ago when the garrison would stop feeling like a fun activity and start feeling like a chore, and I tipped over that scale some time since our last correspondence. I still log on every day or so and do a few missions and run to Stormshield to get my tokens once a week, but little’s been happening other than that in WoW.
In the meantime, I’ve played a lot of other games. I started and finished Escape Goat 2, which was thoroughly enjoyable as a platform puzzler. I’m proud to say I didn’t have to look up any of the solutions, though I did have to walk away a few times and come back later after a minor epiphany. The game was well tuned just ahead of the frustration curb, as I can only remember saying once that I was “done with the goddamn game for good.” Luckily, not long later I realized what I could try differently and finished that particular puzzle. It was a lot of fun, was very beautifully designed, and a very hip-retro soundtrack.
I also played and finished This War of Mine. It deserves the reviews and awards it’s received or has been nominated for. I’m happy to report that I successfully completed it on my second try. I won’t put any strategies here, but I will say this: don’t waste your food. I was wasting an ENORMOUS amount of it for the first two weeks or so, and knowing how to better conserve completely changed the game for me. I’ll write more on it later.
The moral and ethical choices you’re faced with in the game feel pretty real; I avoided killing people for a long time until I felt it necessary to intervene. After that, I tried to avoid killing people as much as possible, but there were a few situations where people just had to die. I tried to avoid stealing, too, but according to my epilogue I stole from two different groups and left them with “next to nothing.” I have no memory of either, but I guess that’s sort of the point; it becomes commonplace to take what you need, and if it was an electrical part, I probably took it. At any rate, it was another excellent game that I feel thoroughly privileged to play.
I’m still honing my skills in Crypt of the Necrodancer and waiting for more content as its released. I try to play a few boards a day until I win or get frustrated and want to stop. The music is still great and fresh to me; it reminds me of a Daft Punk album, and I’ve considered trying to play the game to Voyager.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. How about you? Any tips for This War of Mine? Any thoughts on games I should be playing?