The 10 Steam Games I Have Played The Most

19 04 2017

When I am bored or haven’t got anything better to do while my Laptop is turned on, one thing I like to do is open up my Steam Account and choose a game to play on. Sometimes this is harder to do than others, as sometimes I may not have a game installed that I would like to play, and sometimes I will put off playing a game as I will be afraid as to whether or not it will actually work well enough on my laptop. Fortunately there are still some games I know will play quite well on my laptop, well enough for me to install and play them without a second’s notice. Of course there are some games I have played more than most on Steam, and while they may not be among my top favourites, are still games I enjoy enough to play them in the first place. To this end I thought I would share with you which games I have played the most according to the play time records within my steam profile.

Now this list does not determine which my favourite game on Steam is, rather is a list of relatively enjoyable games on Steam which have a long play time attached to them. I could just do a list of my favourite games on Steam, but that could take a while to compile, and my collection is forever expanding, so I may wait until I have a good moment to sit down and think about it.

Anyway, here is the list of the games I have played on Steam the most plus the number of hours I have played on each game:

10. Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal (39 Hours) – The original Creeper World game was a largish flash game which I first came across on Kongregate. It was a nice strategic game where you have a map being infested by a blue liquid element called The Creeper which destroys buildings. Your task was simple, build a defensive grid to defend yourself against the Creeper long enough to escape the map. Much like the original Creeper, the game map takes on a plan view, and involves you creating a defensive grid with the intention of killing the Creeper. Creeper World 3 is a fun game and adds new elements and structures as well as new forms of strategy to assist you in completing your task; if you are like me though when it comes to strategy based games, you will take your time and find that levels can take over an hour to complete. It’s a real stretch at that time but really does grab your attention too as you work hard to complete the goal.

9. Borderlands 2 (45 hours) – I really like the Borderlands games; they contain an interesting combination of role play elements with the solid gameplay of a first person shooter as well as a well-crafted and intriguing story. Borderlands 2 is actually a game I have so far only played once, but with such a big and heavy game in its DNA, it does take a while to complete, but during that time am not bored out of my mind once. Much like its predecessor, it’s a game that has plenty in it, plus is also a lot of fun at the same time, and causes you to think more, than just run into a base all guns blazing, although it does not prevent you doing that either if you are bold/foolish enough.

8. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (51 Hours) –The Pre-Sequel at best is a pretty nice game, which strives to provide another fresh gaming experience to the venerable series. Set on the moon surrounding the planet of Pandora, the Pre-Sequel strives to connect the dots between the events of the first and second game. I have played this one twice so far, but have not completed it once. The first time I played it, I did it in the same fashion I had in the first two games, with the use of the gun drone skill character, but I got to a point where I had to fight a big spaceship like thing (Raum-Kampfjet Mark V) and could not get past it. Then, after playing Tales from the Borderlands, I decided to give it another go and played with Athena, just to try something different, and it was all going well, until once again I could not get past the big spaceship. So I just left it there.

7. Mini Metro (56 Hours) – What is a sort of random puzzle game with elements of strategy, Mini Metro is a game where you get to design the track layouts and routes of urban transportation in some of the world’s biggest cities, but not in the usual way. Basically; take the map of the London Underground but imagine that you are in charge of where the rails go by drawing the lines on the map, and then have to put the trains directly on the map lines you have just drawn. Basically, you have to create and manage the routes through this map form alone, and make sure that the railway is running in the most efficient way possible. It’s a nice easy game that can still cause plenty of tension and cringe worthy moments, plus could also be used as a possible screen saver, just maybe not at work.

6. ShellShock Live (58 Hours) – Much like Creeper World, this is a game I originally discovered on Kongregate. At its core, ShellShock Live is an online multiplayer flash-based game where you control a little tank which you drive across a graphically flat (and usually blue) landscape, and aim the trajectory of several ballistic based weapons at other coloured tanks on the map. It is a nice and simple little game and is one of the most enjoyable online multiplayer experiences I have ever played.

5. Borderlands (60 Hours) –The original Borderlands was a game I at first did not spot or think about, and was not until my brother bought it for me one Christmas that I did so, although at first I was not overjoyed, as looking at it made me think of Fallout 3; a game I had not had the best experience with. Well, I played it and although it was a game that took me some time to get into, I eventually did. Since then I have played it a couple of times and have wanted to do so again and again, but have been unable to, as for some reason, every time I have downloaded it from Steam, it refuses to actually work, so I don’t know if I will ever be able to play it again.

4. PAYDAY: The Heist (62 Hours) – Another good first person shooter game that can be enjoyed either solo or with friends. Payday: The Heist is a game where you are one of a group of armed robbers trying to make a living doing certain illegal tasks. It can actually be a tricky game at times and the difficulty level can get easier or harder from level to level as you take on the various ranks and specialty skills of the local rozzers. It is a really cool idea for a game and is also a thoroughly enjoyable one too.

3. Age of Empires II: HD Edition (74 Hours) – Age of Empires II: HD Edition is one of those old classics which has been provided with a new lease on life thanks to some clever person who has thought to update the game’s performance; much like other classic PC games have on GOG.com. I remember when this game was originally released the late 90’s, and the fun me and my brother had on it. It was a fun game then, but now is an even more enjoyable game now. The only thing that has changed is that I am now a lot older, and can experience the game in a different way than I used to. I don’t really play any of the game’s campaigns though; I just like to play the basic skirmish modes with different armies. It’s not necessarily the game which has been given a new lease of life, but my enjoyment for it.

2. Left 4 Dead 2 (78 Hours) –Left 4 Dead 2 is a game I have played in both solo mode as well as with others and is very easy to play as it’s a very basic first person shooter, where you and 3 other characters have to fight their way across a series of maps infested with hordes of Zombies. To make your way across this land though, the game has very kindly provided you with an assortment of weapons, from guns to melee weapons, and from grenades to health packs (although they are really for you). It is a pretty simple game to understand; they are Zombies, either run from them or kill them; nice and simple. The game takes you to many different locations too and uses them to create some unique forms of gameplay. It’s just a nice simple and very enjoyable game that I continue to enjoy no matter how many times I play the same level over and over again (also The Midnight Riders are a pretty cool band).

1. Prison Architect (266 Hours) – Originally Prison Architect was a game I was just wanting to try out; so I played it, and really enjoyed it. So I played it some more and continued to enjoy it; and before I knew it, a large amount of time had passed by. Prison Architect is a game where you the player are put in charge of turning a patch of land into a thriving correctional facility. I have played games like these a lot in the past, but those all involve giant construction projects such as building a Zoo, a Theme Park, a City, a Railway, etc. This game is very different as you are building something that on paper does not sound like a fun place, but in turn comes with its own challenges. Games like the ones briefly mentioned above all though have another aspect which is that no matter what you are building, those things happen automatically. In this game though, it’s the case that you are more designing the layout of an area of land, and then need to hire a group of builders to actually build and put things in place for you. It comes with a touch more reality than the others, but also creates realistic situations that you need to overcome. It’s at its best though when you have a project in mind, a goal or something you especially want to achieve and work to that in order to pull it off. It’s very similar to Minecraft in that respect, as it provides some sense of achievement, but in turn provides with you a virtual work bench where the limits of gameplay come down to not just your imagination, but also your problem solving skills too.

GENEPOOL (all above hours of play time were accurate at time of posting over a week ago, what they are like now; only me, and maybe my friends on Steam know).

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The Lost Reviews – Hook

19 05 2016

HOOK (Rainbow Train - 2005)

I have always loved those puzzles where you had to make a route from one side to another. You know the sort of thing, where you might have to direct a flow of water from the tank to the tap, but there are obstacles in the way; like those hacking puzzles in Bioshock. I just love the technical aspects of such puzzles plus the stress of getting it right first time (plus the fun of getting it wrong…on occasion). Well Hook is sort of like those puzzles, except instead of building a route; you need to completely demolish it.

HOOK 3

Hook is a 2D puzzle game where you have to click on switches, clear routes and send messages, all for the purpose of clearing the entire level of obstacles. Sound confusing, well it is. To play the game all you need is your mouse, and in turn you will be clicking on a black button to send a message to remove some sticks from a big maze of sticks. Some sticks though are blocking others and you will need to remove those ones first to remove the others. Once all the sticks in a level have been removed, the level is complete and you progress onto the next one. It’s sort of a mix between Pick up Sticks, and Kerplunk. As the game progresses, further little bits are added to increase game difficulty, ranging from circles that need turning to connect routes to one another, as well as wireless/Wi-Fi like messages to remote routes not connected to the main puzzle.

In terms of the game’s difficulty, the first few levels are all pretty easy, but by the end they are extremely complex. To begin with you don’t need to worry about making mistakes. Eventually though lives are added. Once all your lives are depleted, you have to start the level all over again. Hook’s graphics are simple yet effective. It’s a white background with dark greyish lines showing the routes and sticks. Nice and simple, but not at all confusing. Great work has been made to make them look nice and crisp and not jittery or block like. It’s a smooth looking game, and the animations are just as smooth. Even little things like sticks overlapping each other, to the sending and receiving of signals are nicely made. Hook does not really have a soundtrack as such; it’s just the sound of blowing wind. It’s like imagining yourself at the O.K. Corral. This lack of music though is nothing too bad, as the lack of sound really does help you to concentrate on what is happening. It’s not exactly peaceful though, as the level of silence and the occasional gust of wind can really increase the tension and frustration, the good kind.

HOOK 1

The only real problem I have with this game is that it’s a bit quick. The first few levels are nice and easy, but it takes a while for the levels to get harder, which is what you want. It’s a puzzle game; it’s meant to be tricky. It’s only really into the second half of all levels that it gets any trickier. These levels take more of your time to play, but the level of difficulty, gameplay, not forgetting the frustration, is what you want in a puzzle game. But as soon as you finally get these levels, the game is nearly over, and once you get the hang of everything, that’s it the game is over. All levels are completed. I have no desire to replay this game either. It was fun; it could just have been longer. The lives system is fun, but a higher level of consequence would have been nice too.

HOOK 4

Hook is an addictive game, and you will find yourself unable to do or think of anything else other than play Hook continuously until you have finished. It lacks achievement though; there is no real reward for playing a game that’s just too easy and too quick. At best, it’s a casual little game to play when you have a lunch break. On the other hand if you have a whole day off; I would suggest playing Borderlands instead, at least there is more to do in Borderlands, and it’s longer.

HOOK 2

GENEPOOL





The Steam Issue

25 03 2015

Steam (Valve Corporation, 2003 - Present)

Ok, I have had my problems with Steam in the past, but most of those old ones are more or less resolved right now. Anyway, most of them came as a result of Supreme Commander 2. No, my latest issue with Steam is trying to decide what to play. I now have a large collection of games on Steam but choosing what to play is becoming something of a problem, but luckily the reasoning behind it is rather simple to explain. Still rather hard to solve.

Payday 2

The issue is not knowing whether or not my laptop will be able to play them or not. Since putting Steam on this laptop, most of the games I have played have not had much of an issue in terms of the power needed to play them. But more and more games that I have recently acquired require an element more power and so while they are easy to install, their gameplay is a little lacklustre. A couple of examples include Brütal Legend and Payday 2. I really like the first Payday, I think it’s absolutely terrific and offers a little more in multiplayer terms than Left 4 Dead 2. When I played Payday 2 however, it was apocalyptically slow and the only way I could make it any quicker was to drastically reduce every setting, and that still wasn’t enough. As for Brütal Legend, while I have previously played it on the PS3, on the PC it took time from the press of a button to the action being committed. So in the driving scenes this became particularly annoying. Due to these issues I have begun to get a little put off before putting titles on the Laptop due to the unsure-ity of whether or not they will be playable.

Skulls of the Shogun

More recently I have been playing a lot of mini games, things I can enjoy briefly while taking a break. Games include; Kingdom Rush, Skulls of the Shogun and One Finger Death Punch. But I still want to play games that are big and contain stories. Games that are mostly (First Person is preferable) action orientated but more importantly involve stories. Something to get into and involved with. The 2 games that stand out the most in this are is the Borderlands games, of which I have played 1 and 2. I love those games, but I don’t want to just continually play them over and over again when I have already done them. I need a touch of Variety. More recently I played The Wolf Among Us which I enjoyed so much, it is questioning me whether or not it is my favourite game.

The Wolf Among Us

I do have a PC upstairs which was purchased to be a gaming computer, but there is a list of problems that are just growing with that one. More recently I used it to play GOG.com games as I found that it was hard to play both a GOG.com game on my Laptop and have Steam installed games too. So I use the PC for GOG.com Games. This is also a better option for it too as the Wi-Fi signal is rather weak upstairs, whereas the laptop serves as a better platform for some PC gaming on Steam, such as Co-op. Other issues with the PC are that it is getting rather old and due to my choice of operating system (Vista) for when I bought it in 2007, several online features are being lost. For instance, I can’t have the next version of Internet Explorer on it, so I can’t use Facebook, and now neither can I access my GOG.com Profile. So an upgrade or a replacement is probably due, but I don’t have the money. However the machine still allows me to watch my; Region 1, DVD Coding, collection of Godzilla Films (due to them not being released in the UK, almost at all). In an ideal world I would replace it with something much more powerful and then have a wired internet connection to produce top quality gameplay play back. But as said, I don’t have the money to do so.

GOG.com Logo

Back to the steam issue, I have a lot of games I want to play, but am in fear of they’ll work or not. Recently I did try to play Metro 2033, but after the initial install, it just wouldn’t play, can’t remember why now. It pretty much refused to just start and showed me a box with a red X in it. Other games I have a worry for include Dead Island because it looks too graphically powered, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (or sometimes simply referred to as KOTOR) but mainly because it’s for an old OS, Saints Row: The Third, because I played Co-op with my brother and it jittered a lot, but that could be an internet connection issue (also I don’t do well controlling things in third person), Just Cause 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Risen (mostly because I don’t know what it’s about, the same has to go to Sacred 2 and Sacred Citadel) and the BioShock games (however at time of writing, I was installing 1, which I had also played on PS3). It has become something of fear and disappointment to me as I don’t know If I can play these games or not, and if when I buy something on Steam, I’ll be able to play it or not.

BioShock

Eventually I am just going to have to buck up and try it when I get games because I can’t necessarily let this thing corrode whether or not I want to play something. I have had some recent help from friends who have said which games should be playable or not, so I suppose I should just get on with it really. Or I could just go back to having GOG.com games on my Laptop again. I may finally be able to play a proper online game of Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds in that case.

Borderlands 2

GENEPOOL (So far, Bioshock is working).





Game Dev Tycoon

14 01 2015

Game Dev Tycoon Logo

Several years ago I dreamed and tried to get into the Video Games Industry, unfortunately I was unsuccessful in achieving this due to me being terrible at programming (C++ in particular). While originally down hearted I moved on and decided to pursue a different career altogether. This past week however I stepped into the video games industry, by playing Game Dev Tycoon on Steam.

Steam (Valve Corporation, 2003 - Present)

Game Dev Tycoon (produced by Greenheart Games) allows the player the opportunity to start their own video game company and rise through the ranks in a 35 year period creating video games for a variety of consoles and research new techniques and topics in the hope of becoming the biggest video game company in the world. You start in your garage on a simple PC but as your company gets bigger and better, you obtain new premises. From your work space you can create your own video games. This involves choosing a topic, genre and platform. As you research new topics you can research new things to choose from including making your own custom game engine, target audiences and multiple platforms and genres. As the game progresses further you can unlock more options as to what kind of work you go into including work contracts and publishing deals and as your operation gets larger and larger you will need to hire more people.

GDT1

You don’t need to worry too much about detail though when it comes to making a game as this involves a little mini game where you chooses what you want it to be, give it a name and designation and then move little sliders up and down in certain topics and then attaching certain members of your team to work on certain elements when making a much bigger game. Then when it is complete you need to air out the bugs in the programme, then release it and wait for the reviews of it and see how it sells. Juggling all of these elements is hard work but if you’re capable of it and succeed you can make a lot of cash. But even then that is not an easy thing.

GDT2

Like other Tycoon games, Game Dev Tycoon isn’t exactly easy. The biggest problem is making enough money to stay afloat. The first few games you produce it is sort of easy, but you lose £8,000 (money denominations don’t really exist in the game and instead money is represented as standard figures with K representing thousand and M million) each week in operation. This increases the bigger your company gets and soon a few thousand won’t cut it. It is easy enough though to make a few hundred thousand but you will need to start making more. Bigger games offer this opportunity, but are expensive to produce, and while you could get a publishing deal (which helps garner more fans to your company and bigger titles less risky), the only problem is, is that if you don’t meet a certain level of requirements in the reviews stage they will fine you and you only get so much money in royalties from the publisher. Then next to that there is the money you may or not spend on marketing and then the cubicle at G3. Money is required to do everything and it is not easy to come by it, particularly if you are behind the competition.

GDT4

Research is very important in this game and research is harder to come by than money, but it needs to be done. In the early stages of your company you will use it to get basic things, like a custom game engine and other topics, but as you get bigger and bigger, it’s important to study more techniques and improve your games in the long haul as 2D and text-based games are not going to cut it on a PlaySystem 2. Oh yeah, that’s another thing, Game Dev Tycoon adds a little humour to the game industry, taking things that exist and then spinning on them. E3 becomes G3, Companies like Sega and Sony become Vega and Vonny and game consoles look like their real version but with a spin on design, colour and name, like Game Sphere (GameCube).

GDT6

Game Dev Tycoon is a lot of fun to play and relatively addictive as it is quite simple. There are several short comings to it though. In the early parts of the game, the only way to know what works in a game is to make it, wait for the reviews then write a game report. In those early stages it is easy to make a rubbish game and easily fluke a good one. Good reviews help with money, but if your game is rubbish, you have little chance of making profit. It was not until my third attempt (first to companies went bankrupt, third was the only time so far that I was able to get to the end of the 35 years and still not be in debt; the company name was Mighty Pigeon) that the research and studies into certain points helped that I got a knack in what I was doing and made good games continuously. But the reviews can still be pretty random and it is hard to get it exactly right. Game Reports do help with this though. The game also throws huge numbers of advice screens at you saying it would be easier to do publishing deals and get fan numbers before working on your own games; however the money isn’t really worth it. Other times the game does this is when it asks if you want to move to another studio and bigger operation. If you decide to wait some time, instead of giving you the option of a button to press when ready, you need to wait until the box comes up again, and if still not ready, it’s back to waiting (and some times the game buttons can stick when you click them).

GDT5

Making games can also get pretty tiresome and samey after a while and it’s only when you research new options that things get a little more interesting. However; in order to make these games with new options and possibilities, you need to put them into a new game engine and only then can they be used. So, you end up spending most of your research points you acquire on new things to make bigger and better game engines. And this can get really annoying, particularly as research is scarcer than money and you need it to train your staff as well. Hiring more people helps with this issue, but hiring is expensive and operating cash gets drier the more people you hire. In the end, you need to make compromises and try to figure out what is more important, and for me and the company it was the engine. Hiring staff though does mean you can put certain people on certain tasks that they are better at than others, but you will need to send them on vacation at some point.

GDT3

Game Dev Tycoon isn’t exactly what you would call easy, it’s easier than some Tycoon games but it is relatively a hard game. But in many a way it’s more a puzzle based game similar to some flash titles online than a tycoon based game. But altogether Game Dev Tycoon is rather fun to play and also can be quite addictive. Even if the game gets samey in spots, you still care about trying to get money (or like I did in my fourth game, tried to make rubbish games to go bankrupt). It can be interesting in places when you produce a game that the reviews say is mediocre but then goes on to become something of a hit, but most of these instances involve a publishing deal. While the game can also be horrible to you as well, sometimes it can give you surprises. While the game does have shortcomings including fewer options when it comes to research and the constant advice boxes and it’s reply value is rather small and only for the pursuit of doing better, and the story of the game is the same every time, I do rather like this game. It may not be to every body’s tastes or as big as games like Borderlands or Call of Duty; Game Dev Tycoon is a nice small game to play when you have some time to play something short, and also gives an insight into the world of Video Games Development also.

GENEPOOL








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