Today’s prompt for BEDN is Something Different. This is actually trickier than you think when you’re a lifestyle blog, since it sort of covers everything you do. However after discussing it with Chris, he suggested I write about computer games.
I’m not much of a computer gamer but I do play some games. I think before life became so hectic with romance and children, when I was younger at least, I was probably far more into computer games than I am now.
As a child I remember having an Amiga – not to mention hardly ever being off it. We had so many games for it, some of the most memorable being; Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, New Zealand Story, Ironman Offroad, Iron Lord, Chaos Engine, Street Fighter, Lemmings – the list is endless really. Our family was also very early in getting a PC. I remember it was located in the lounge and my brother and I used to have to ask permission to use it, priority going to our parents. On this we would play Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and probably lots of other things which I can’t think of right now. When I was about 16 I had my own computer in my room, I was even allowed an internet connection. This was back in the days of dial-up, paying not only for the phone calls themselves, but also a monthly subscription. This was perhaps around the time my interest in games faded and social networking took over.
Now years and years on, I do still like to play but I often find that life sort of monopolises my time. One tiny evening each day to get everything done, from writing a blog, catching up with friends, tidying the house, watching tv and spending time with the ones you love. Where do computer games fall into that? Well for me they don’t really have a huge priority, but in this last year I have tried to find a little more time for them.
My main source of gaming is currently a platform called Steam.
Gone are the days of having to buy disks, with so many options to just download games these days. Steam is one of many platforms which allow you to download and store a variety of games, using a library of the ones you own and have installed. Despite the fact I don’t very often play games, I have still developed a medium sized library of games. I’m sad to say that I haven’t even played the majority of them yet either, but at least I know they’re there for when I fancy it.
On the left of this picture you can see all the games I have. The brighter white ones are the ones I currently have installed. Of this list I have probably only played 4-5 of them, but like I said, they are there for when you want them. The nice thing about Steam is that you can also create a Wish List of all the games you would like and then Steam will actually notify you if they become on sale. It also means that people you have on your friends list can see the things you are after and perhaps even give them to you as a gift.
My most recent game was actually a gift. Chris treated me to Chaos Engine, a game I actually mentioned in my list of Amiga games I used to play. Its not long been released and its pretty much exactly how it used to be when it was on the Amiga. Very retro. I have to admit that my heart lies with retro games really, again as you’ll see from my Steam Library, I have lots of old games such as Indiana Jones, The Dig, Commander Keen and so on.
That’s not to say I don’t like more modern games though. In fact I love games that used to be known as “Point and Click”, though these days are often just labelled as Adventure or RPG. My current favourites are a series made by Pendulo Studios. The first is Runaway: A Road Adventure. The second is Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle. The third is Runaway: A Twist of Fate. I’ve only recently started playing the first one, the second one I had played years ago before I had kids. The third is one I have been playing on my iPad but since the new iOS7 update, it hasn’t been working. Based on the fact I’ve enjoyed these three games though, I also downloaded The Next BIG Thing and Yesterday, both of which are games by the same Pendulo Studios, but completely new stories and unrelated to the characters. I haven’t played either yet mind you, but I know that I will.
Another great thing, that it just wouldn’t be write to post a blog about gaming without mentioning, is the Humble Bundle. This is an absolutely amazing site/company that offer a whole bundle of games, for as little as $1. The money goes to charity too, so its brilliant. There is not only a Humble Bundle every few weeks, but also a Humble Bundle Sale. You never quite know what you’re going to get but its good to keep an eye on because you never know what you might find. For example you may have spotted a lot of Worms games in my Steam Library. These game from last week’s Humble Bundle Sale. I paid $1 and got 6 games!
Of course I’m not really a gamer as such, since my only platforms are PC (and perhaps a little Wii) but I’m not completely against it too. Recently Chris bought me a Xbox controller with the hope I might actually play on his Xbox with him. Sadly it hasn’t worked as yet, but I have used my controller to play Chaos Engine! (one advantage of Xbox being Microsoft, it plug and plays with my laptop). Last night we had some friends round too and we all took to playing Scene It on the Xbox. This was a lot of fun and I’ve already ordered a more recent game, so we can play again soon with newer movie clips.
Finally the only other gaming I really do is on my iPad, as I briefly mentioned before. I don’t have a whole lot of games on it at the moment and in all honesty I barely use it to play anyway. However I do have the odd thing like Runaway, Bubble Bobble, Dizzy POYF and I’m almost a little embarrassed to add – Snow White. The kids really use it for gaming more than me anyway. In fact I just spent £4.99 on an app so Lily could play Minecraft.
The kids are far more gamers than I am – but perhaps that’s just the up and coming generation. Nothing keeps the kids quiet like Minecraft or Sims 3 on PC and Smurfs or Disney Universe on Wii. In fact we have about twenty games for the Wii, all of which gets played from time to time. Though we don’t use Chris’ Xbox often (I’m afraid to break it when he isn’t in the house), the kids also have several games for that too.
Perhaps some time in the future I’ll maybe to manage to branch out my blog to game reviews, but let’s not hold our breath. For now this was my “Something Different”, for BEDN!