Yes it's that time of year again. The end of the year. The end of the line. And once again I played some games. Not many games. Just a few. Probably the most played is Skyrim. Yes I've reached the decrepitude stage of gaming where that one dad game gets trotted out time after time. But I did play some new games and here's what I thought of them.

Darkest Dungeon is a good game with good atmosphere and interesting mechanics. Except it's far too long. The grind goes on too long and ends up spoiling the experience.
Dragons Dogma is not a bad game. I loaded it up, played a few hours, got to the big city and was all set to go. And then I dropped it because really I don't have that much time to devote to such a large game. I'm unlikely to come back to it in the future unless I get bored of Skyrim and Morrowind.
Dwarf Fortress oh dear. Yes it's venerable. Yes it's amazing. However it's not really a game so much as a simulation. I may come back to Dwarf Fortress again someday when I have a month to kill however my first 20 hours were mostly tedious setting up punctuated by all too brief moments of hilarity at the random gen.
Lords of Waterdeep probably functions better as a board game than a computer game. It seems rather technical despite the mechanics being straightforward with the result I bounced off it. You might say it has substance over style but I'm unsure if that's true.
Observer is the first game in this list I didn't bounce off. I played it through, which affords me a good overview of its missteps. Ultimately the advertising didn't live up to the game. They had a great world which they neglected to populate in favour of the 'horror'. I hesitate to say it but Rutger Hauer was wasted.
Space Engineers had a poor tutorial and an obtuse interface. We bounced right off this when trying it as a multiplayer game.

Conan Exiles is a deeply spiritual experience. There's no getting round it. The team that made Ark have come out with an epic that will one day be compared to the Divine Comedy. With the same number of dick jokes.
Gremlins Inc. is style over substance and as much random chance as strategic playing however it definitely makes waves as the strongest board game as video game I've seen this year.
Night in the Woods really made a mark on me, even if my completion faltered in favour of waiting on the new edition supposed to be coming out. It's got a wild blend of horror and slice-of-life. It's got deep and flawed characters. It could have been a book but they somehow managed to make it a game. Try it.
Total War: Warhammer II Total War is on the list two years running now. Does it deserve some kind of award? Warhammer II is the same as Warhammer I with different races. The DLC is about as effective as Games Workshop at emptying your wallet. It all works though, down to the last rat.

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