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Surprise! Games Appear

On 07/01/2022 at 11:53 AM by KnightDriver

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I got totally fed up with Minecraft the other day. Mark and I had just turned the game from Peaceful difficulty (no mobs) to Easy (mobs with moderate damage) in order to hunt Endermen. In less than a couple of minutes my outdoor camping deck with trees for walls was surprise attacked by two creepers, one after the other, in broad daylight, destroying part of my deck and a chest full of stuff. I got so fed up, it led me to erase everything on my hard drive and start anew with random selections from my owned games, Game Pass, EA Play and Games with Gold. All of these groupings have a little button that says, "surprise me". I grabbed one from each section in turn and the resulting chaos is recorded below. 

Battle Worlds: Kronos (surprise from Owned Games): This is a game very much like Advance Wars but on a hex grid instead of squares. It's good, but I only got a little further than I did last time I played it, which is not even through the first major mission. I think I was supposed to create new troops but the game's hint system never told me how to do it. I poked around a bit trying to figure it out but no go. My troops did well, but were overwelmed eventually. Maybe next time. Zzzzrp! Off the drive. 

Omno (surprise from Game Pass): This is a 3D adventure/puzzler with no text to tell you anything. Everything is conveyed through symbols, which works fine. It has a lush alien world. You are a kind of magician with a staff and harvest glowy bits from the fauna and flora to activate towers that release a glowing orb that contributes to unlocking a final puzzle that takes you to the next area. Other orbs are hidden around the level.

The first time I played this, I didn't get even past the first environment, getting stuck on a puzzle. But this time I cruised past that, 100% completed three or more locations, disovered skiiing on my staff through the snow covered levels, and then got stuck on another puzzle that ended my lengthy, achievement filled, replay. Zzzzrpt! Off the drive. 

Planet Alpha (surprise from Games with Gold): The game had me continue from where I left off months and months ago, confusing me at first. This is a 2D, richly illustrated, adventure game. I think I was able to sneak past the giant spidery creature I got stuck on last time but got repeatedly shot by Lost in Space style Robbie the Robots in the next area. I couldn't figure out how to avoid them in the near dark. Ah well. Zzzzrpt! Off the Drive.

Gnomes Garden 3: The Thief of Castles (surprise from Owned Games): This is a resource management action game of the casual variety. Imagine the management of orc workers in Warcraft II as its own game. You play with one to three workers and strategize how to build everything in a level before time runs out, at least, for getting 3 stars because there really isn't any time limit. Before, I had gotten every achievement but the last, so I went after that. I needed 3 stars on every level and had maybe 10 left. I cut that number in half and kept the game on my hard drive to play whenever I had to wait for a download, which was often this day. 

Bejeweled 3 (from Games with Gold): To heck with that endless Gems of War for now, it's the great PopCap's match-3 from an age past. I tried for the remaining achievements I didn't have but failed at all of them. But, I played through all the new modes. Mark and I even raced each other on the Treasure Hunt mode. In this you match gems to remove dirt at the bottom of the screen. You have to remove a certain amount to move the screen down in depth and uncover treasures along the way. I loved it, but the timer is very short, making it kind of difficult to get to a depth of 200 for the achievement. Mark is better at it than me and got the achievement years ago. The many variations on this third Bejeweled game are all really interesting and fun. I really enjoyed it, but felt I would never get the remaining achievements, so. . . ZZZZrpt! Off the drive. 

Dirt 4 (surprise from EA Play): This offroad rally racing game was downloading the whole time. I kept favoring smaller games, pushing it back in the que. However, I got a few minutes in the trial area when the game topped 50%. The cars controlled really well and made me think this will be as fun as Forza Horizon. However, I suspect it might be more simulation oriented and keep me close to an offroad track and penalize me for every transgression. Dirt 3, if I remember right, did that. We'll see. It was still downloading when I stopped for the day. 




07/01/2022 at 06:39 PM

I bought the Capcom Fighting Collection. One of the games included is Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, and I've been playing that online quite a bit. I used to play it a lot when I had a 360.


07/02/2022 at 12:06 PM

Fantastic game! I forgot that it was in that collection, but I already have it from the Xbox 360 days, and it's backwards compatible. Mark and I still quote stuff the characters say in that game - more like sounds and exclamations, really. 


07/04/2022 at 12:17 PM

That sound for deleting stuff from your harddrive is great! Sorry to hear about your Minecraft woes though. At least there is so much other stuff to play!


07/06/2022 at 03:07 PM

I refilled my hard drive pretty quickly. 

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