Review | 2023.10.01

Stray cat bucket rope zipline city alley zurks

In this post: after trying Horizon Chase Turbo, Danielle and I adopt Stray as our new 'daddy game', the squad tries Payday 3, and I play a little more BG3 and FO76.
The cats of us

Stray cat irrigation pipes

Danielle's activity requests are swing (30%), park (20%), tablet game (20%), draw/glue (10%), PJ Masks (10%), and daddy game (10%). Having beaten Astro's Playroom and a few 'Slay the Fire' (Slay the Spire) daily climbs, we tried Sonic, Wipeout, and Horizon Chase Turbo.

I recall Stray made a lot of GOTY shortlists a few years back. It looked like a puzzle game with a feline protagonist; exactly what a two year old would enjoy watching.

Stray cat butterfly sleeping Stray cat intro i-beams

So far so good; we chased a butterfly and frolicked with our cat buddies.

Stray cat dead city text alley Stray cat noodle shop neon sign ramen Stray cat night glowing city Stray cat city view cranes neon signs

Then our feline hero(ine) abruptly falls into the bowels of a cyberpunk ghost city inspired by the one in Kowloon. So, good lesson for the little one about playing on steel girders and irrigation pipes.

Can we go see the other kitty cats? Dani
Dani
Me
Me
That's what we're trying to do, I think it's the central conflict of the game.

Since we're not yet at the age of being afraid of the dark or alleyways or dilapidated arcologies, Dani was pretty unconcerned by the damp corridors and neon lights.

Stray cat alley zurks enemies

Similarly, having not played Metroid or Half-Life, the headcrab-like 'zurks' were just little bugs. The Stray game mechanics are these:
Stray cat computer screens follow me Stray cat meeting B-12 robot Stray cat meeting robot

The cat gets a robot friend and interacts with the androids that inhabit the city - it's not the lonely gameplay experience you'd expect. My little copilot was interested in the dialogue, the jumping puzzles, and knocking over paint cans.
Payday 2 remake (Payday 3)

Payday 3 bank robbery escape helicopter pickup

The lolbaters squad got a few Payday 3 runs in on launch day and, well, it's a lot like Payday 2. That's not the most flattering review considering it's been ten years but the same could be said for a lot of games. I can summarize Payday 2 in two bullets:
Payday 3 bank robbery shield shooting

In addition to the usual graphical upgrades and new/different content, Payday 3 improves upon its predecessor's police response mechanic. Instead of a steady stream of bad guys (good guys), they come in waves that have their own difficulty/characteristics.

So ultimately the game's funness comes down to how well-designed the heists are. I'll know more soon.

Payday 3 squad masks loadout Payday 3 bank robbery breaching Payday 3 dance club vault
The shadow lands

Baldurs Gate 3 Karniss moonlantern

Slowly working my way through BG3. I think I might try to take this guy's lamp.

Baldurs Gate 3 shadow-cursed lands shack chest Baldurs Gate 3 artefact glowing
Hyperbolic warning signs

Fallout 76 ski resort you can die boundary fence sign

Due to timezones, me and J haven't played much Fallout.

Fallout 76 Flavors of Mayhem Rose Fallout 76 dead raider jack o lanterns
Oh yeah

Horizon Chase Turbo racing Hollywood Los Angeles

Horizon Chase Turbo is basically Cruisin' USA.



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