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).





The Lost Reviews – Big Pharma

19 10 2016

big-pharma (twice circled - 2015)

You know when you played Theme Hospital (assuming you did, because, you know; why wouldn’t you?), did you ever think to yourself: “I could be doing so much more here, why don’t I leave the life of being a Hospital CEO and go into Pharmaceutical Production?” Well chances are that you thought no such thing as for one; Theme Hospital was a game, not real life or an RPG, and for two; you were really quite content with the game you were playing at the time. If it were the case though that one day while playing Theme Hospital and you actually thought the above statement, well now you can – not in Theme Hospital, but in a game that focuses on the production of Medicine based products.

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Big Pharma (produced by Twice Circled) is a game where you the player are managing director of a pharmaceutical company. You start your company off with a small brightly coloured interior warehouse and a few inventions and ingredients at your disposal to which you can use to create cures for illnesses. All you need to do is put these assets into production and sell sell sell.

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Game play is very simple; in your empty warehouse you need to use one of the holes in the wall to import an ingredient, and then use machines at your disposal to meet certain requirements before either finishing off the ingredient mixture or upgrading it to be a cure for something else. Once that is done, you need to turn the current ingredient into a manufactured cure by putting it through a pill maker, and then transport it to another hole in the wall to name it and sell it. Later options at your disposal include creaming the drugs instead of selling them as pills, and even packing them. The game though is not as easy as it sounds as machines, conveyor belts and equipment take up space (turning it into a mini puzzle game in the process) and you have a limited area, plus in some cases are required to create a catalyst in order for some cures to be upgraded. The game though is not all about Medication Manufacturing, as it’s also a part business and research sim. You will be required to hire explorers and researchers to discover new ingredients and new machinery, while at the same time use their down time to provide you with upgrade points. At the same time however, you need to be concerning yourself with making money too, as production costs can be quite astronomical, and your company is in competition with others.

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Big Pharma is a nicely animated little game. The game graphics are nicely detailed, but not too detailed so can work on most machines without a fuss. The Animation though is superb. It can be quite mesmerizing watching the ingredients progress along the conveyor belts, changing form and colour as machines work on them, and watching the machines work is a nice little added extra, and comes with a form of animation very similar I find to that of Theme Hospital. Watching the water boil in the Dissolver, or seeing ingredients pulped in the Agglomerator, working their way down the production line and being made into either pills or as a cream. It’s really fun to watch and nice little bits like that really help this game to provide a detailed experience.

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The game; all be it relatively fun and still pretty unique, does have its short comings. For one, I like the idea of creating a production line, but the production line does seem to be rather slow, I did not know that Conveyor belts started and stopped every second, I thought they just kept going? It can take a while for the process to complete and when you need money fast, but the conveyors only move at one speed (which is sort of move and stop, move and stop), or the other cases where you are trying to reach a deadline in the game’s objectives mode, it can be very annoying. You can of course speed things up with the mystical speed change options in the bottom left of the screen, but you may as well just keep it up at full speed in that case just to speed up the game and make the conveyors more realistic. The objectives are not bad and it is pretty fun going through each one, just to give you something to do in the game, but with your mind on reaching a certain objective, you may as well ignore everything else in the game, and concentrate on what you need to do rather than what else you could be doing. Then once you have done enough and or have reached your goal, you do have the option of getting a better score than the basic score which is a nice added add-on, but by this point you may as well just speed up the game in places or end the level just to be done with it and do something else.

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Most of the cures you make can be upgraded relatively quickly on, but they require the use of machines you have not unlocked yet, in which case I found myself spending time and money in researching the things I needed each time before sending anything in production, just to be able to give the game the best I could. The other thing though is the Catalysts. The game comes with a very comprehensive tutorial mode which is very descriptive and also very fun, but each time I tried to do a catalyst in the real game, I would not achieve it. Making catalysts is supposed to be hard, but when you are doing everything right, the catalyst still does not make itself, and it can be very annoying, especially as sometimes you need that upgraded cure to move on.

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Big Pharma is one of these Production line games that have begun to make a real appearance in the industry along with other games like Factorio. Making a production line is a good fun idea and when combined with making product to sell turns the game not just into a factory based game but also a resources and economic game, where you need to concentrate on not just making a good product but also turning a profit. I like that idea, and when combined with the games look, idea and animation, it makes a good fit that is at least to begin with a fun game to play. But as the game progresses and its short comings come to light, it becomes a game that I was once excited to play but now don’t really see a future for. Maybe I like my games with a little more realism in its depictions of production, but for its slow speed, but also relatively pointless extras during its objective based gameplay, I feel that this game was once fun, but then just ended.

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GENEPOOL





Top 5 Supreme Commander Experimental Units

23 09 2015

Supreme Commander (Gas Powered Games - 2007)

Supreme Commander is one of my favourite games. I first played it back in 2007 (I think) and it very quickly became my favourite game. Designed by Chris Taylor and developed by Gas Powered games for the PC (originally), Supreme Commander is a Real Time Strategy game and is seen as the spiritual successor to Chris Taylor’s Total Annihilation released in the mid 90’s. In Supreme Commander; player’s build an army for one of 3 factions (United Earth Federation, Cybran Nation and Aeon Illuminate) in the hope of defeating one or many other armies in the local vicinity. It’s an absolute powerhouse of a game with loads of units and buildings to be built. One of the game’s most significant unit collections is its range of Experimental Units. These are big weapons that can give the user a strategic advantage over everyone else, provided that the enemy doesn’t have any also. While not completely invincible, most units and buildings don’t really stand much of a chance against them. For me the Experimental Units are the things I look forward to building most, as each one is unlike any other unit in the game. While more are introduced in the expansion and sequel, in this list I will only be mentioning the Experimental Units in the first game; so here are my Top 5 Supreme Commander Experimental Units.

Czar

5. Czar: Imagine a giant flying saucer; not as big as those ones from Independence Day, but still a really big one. Then imagine that it’s coming towards you, and then it starts to fire a giant laser on top of you that can destroy a house in one go. That’s what the Czar is: A giant flying saucer with a big downward vertical powerful laser. It’s almost like a giant flying donut, but because they are quick to build yet still pretty powerful I like to build them. Czar’s also have the advantage that due to their size, when they are hit so much they are destroyed, they fall out the sky, potentially destroying anything it falls on. The Czar also comes with the ability to house several aircraft, meaning that you can transport a fleet of planes to support it in combat, as well as to refuel any aircraft that need it (so sort of like the big ships in Independence Day).

Fatboy

4. Fatboy: Fatboy’s are large land based vehicles, like Giant tanks that serve two purposes. Firstly, they are like Giant Tanks. They can move underwater and on land thanks to 4 giant sets of tracks. They come armed with an armament of 4 pairs of three large cannons each; one on each corner. It’s like strapping three UEF battleships together and giving them tracks; it’s that big and powerful. It comes with a shield to protect it as it is vulnerable to air attacks and places on the top for two aircraft. The Fatboy’s other purpose though is that it is a mobile land factory. So you can land the thing near the enemy, then build an army with it for a full-fledged invasion. Most of the time though I just use it for the purpose of being a giant multi-gunned tank.

Monkeylord

3. Monkeylord: Possibly the weirdest sounding vehicle in the entire game, particularly as it looks more like a giant 6-legged spider with a big gun, but do not underestimate it for one second. The Monkeylord is an incredibly powerful machine. It has weapons that can be used on land, in water and defend itself against air attacks. It’s one of, if not the fastest experimental unit in the game. And above all else has access to a multi directional laser beam weapon that can cause lots of damage, very quickly and even (as I discovered a couple of weeks ago) can destroy something as big as a Fatboy, even when taking a pounding and eventually getting destroyed the second it finishes it’s attack. It is a really cool experimental unit that should not be ignored. While it may appear weaker compared to other experimental units, it’s just as deadly as they are.

Atlantis

2. Atlantis: The Atlantis is rather easy to explain. It is a submersible aircraft carrier. Whilst both Cybran and Aeon have aircraft Carriers, the UEF’s version is so different; it’s classed as an experimental unit. On the surface it can collect and hold up to several vehicles, but then for extra protection can dive underwater with its cargo safely inside. Of course it will need to surface again to launch them. I myself have not used them for much in the way of combat, but the AI has attacked me with them before, and they can be quite a serious threat, even when not underwater. I myself though use them as aircraft carriers and places to store and refuel aircraft when I need to. But the potential for their use is almost unlimited as they can be used as storage space, plus also help launch air support for an invasion, or even help launch a strike team when attacking an enemy base.

Galactic Colossus

1. Galactic Colossus: Out of all the Experimental units out there, there is one that stands mightier than all the rest. It’s a unit that can walk through any defensive line, trampling small units and buildings beneath its feet. It can survive near direct hits from nuclear weapons and the detonation of Commander’s. It can suck up and crush units with its hands…..or just destroy them all thanks to its great laser weapon. The Galactic Colossus can do all of these things. I am surprised at how much of a beating they can take, even surviving hits from nuclear missiles. When attacking you, it’s your greatest threat, but when you are in control of one; your enemy panics. They are incredibly dangerous and can bring about a quick end to nearly any fight, well…..when it gets there, it is rather slow. But, speed isn’t everything. Along with all that, it also looks like a big mechanical skeleton. It is a cool yet dangerous and destructive machine, and easily my favourite Experimental Weapon.

GENEPOOL








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