Typically playing games according to a schedule or backlog, lately Ive started to designate my weekends to games without any sort of planning or previous agenda, in order to break up my self imposed establishment. Having a particularly hard time thinking of something meaningful to hold my attention and skipping from various outlets, I found writing, and hopefully, a friendly outreach might give me a few ideas.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Thanks to the larger lull during the summer, Ive been able to plowed through most of my backlog, allowing me to reach out to the older titles. Banished to collect dust on my shelf, Kingdom of Amalur's hell was paved with my good intentions to leave ample time to enjoy the game. With nothing left in the way to rampart Borderlands 2 inevitable takeover, I popped in the ambitious fantasy epic, with hopes to get through as much as possible before I am pulled away by younger sirens. Accepting the challenge of 200 hour 100% completion, I've got plenty of enjoyment ahead.
Guiding my recently resurrected elf through his tasks for various village folk, jumping from person to person like the patsy these people couldn't otherwise trick into achieving their remedial tasks, or righting other wrongs they can't do for themselves, KoA:R has an old school RPG mentality for quest design. Though trying to pay attention, my concentration for their stories begins to wain, since most of it is pretty cliche or nonsensical. Despite the lack of interest in the context, the gameplay involved is surprisingly entertaining despite being archaic. I feel content running throughout the forest, killing anything with a floating meter overhead, searching each glittering plant or set of stones for any sort of ingredient. As long as there's another quest marker on the horizon, or someone with a thing to kill, collect, persuade or otherwise do, There will be a reason to retreat back to KoA, as long as interest changes.
An activity that's been invaded my empty thoughts frequently, minecraft has been jump-to game for several months. As millions know, the tranquil, block building game reminiscent of LEGOs can grow on you. Its a game that can be performed without forward thought, letting you complete mundane tasks, that wouldn't hold your attention in the real world, such as chopping wood, mining stone from the earth and practicing good house keeping without much consciousness.
Minecraft Journal: Day 1
Spawning on a small beach aside a virtually never ending forest, I began chopping enough trees down to build a small roof over a ditch in the sand and save me from the nightly monsters. Using this as semi-permanent safe haven, I shift from felling the forest to erect a giant tower during the day, to exploring and charting an uncovered chasm underneath my small house with hopes the chasm will serve as a mine and source for any amount of stone I could need. With plans to chop more of the forest down in order to expand a clear field in the forest, for no other reason to be able to spot my humble domain to prevent getting lost, and whatever happens to grab me afterwards, there's always something that will ultimately call me back to the expansive addicting world of blocks.
What have you played this weekend?
Other things I considered playing were scattered throughout genres. New Super Mario Bros. 2 would keep me entertained for a lever or two, but my obsession for completionism eventually gets the better of me, leading to impatience as I try and search for the star coins hidden throughout the level. Obtained through a Steam sale, TellTales' The Walking Dead, has been calling out to me, though I've yet to try it and the point and click style prevents me from hopping in, besides the devoted faith of others I hear around me. The zombie simulator DayZ can sink its infected teeth for several minutes for a lack of understanding the controls or mechanics keep me from spending any meaningful amount of time.
After rambling on about what I'm entertaining myself with, I want to know what you've been playing. Are you like me and jumping from interest to interest trying to find the thing to make the hours disappear? Are you sinking the final hours into an adventure that has kept you on the couch in front of the tv? Or are you populating the online battlefield, joining in the nameless madness to grab another streak? I'd love to hear what your playing, in hopes to give other player ideas on what to play after they've reached the credits screen, and open conversation among those sharing experiences. Please join in the comments below.