For the week of January 1 through 7.
Welcome to the first week wrap of the different games I played for the last seven days. This is a test project I’m doing for this blog where I’ll be playing a different game for the first time every day in 2024. I’ll give a brief rundown on all seven games for that week, with the plan to post a new blog each Monday.
With that introduction out of the way, here are the seven games I played this week:
January 1: The Exit 8
The Exit 8 is a “short” walking simulator on Steam in which you’re trying to find Exit 8 in a Subway station. This is more of a “spot-the-difference” game that requires you to pay attention to your surroundings. If it seems the corridor is normal, continue walking forward. But, if you notice something strange, then you must turn around. You have to do this correctly eight times to reach the exit.
While the game’s developers say it should take people 15-60 minutes, I took twice as long. This game requires paying close attention as the differences aren’t always easy to spot and not always instant. Also, you need to play with the sound on, as audio cues come into play for some scenarios. I got close multiple times, reaching exits 7 and 8 a few times before finally reaching the exit.
January 2: Cocoon
Cocoon was one of the many games I heard about in 2023 that sounded like it would be something I’d enjoy. I just didn’t have enough time to try it out until now. This is a puzzle adventure game where you play as a bug-looking thing and must solve puzzles to progress. It’s very minimal in its storytelling, but the visuals are incredible.
I only managed to fool around for a bit but could see myself playing more. This doesn’t appear to be a very long game, so if I dedicate a few hours, I should be able to see its conclusion.
January 3: Lunar: Silver Star Harmony
I came across the Lunar games by accident through my Google News feed. In the past, it was an RPG that I heard about in passing but didn’t know too much about. But, after seeing it in action, I decided to pick up the PSP version (playing it on my PS Vita) and I’m enjoying it thus far.
After about 90 minutes of the game, I’m still in the early parts without really knowing where the story is taking me. The prologue, which wasn’t in the original Sega CD version, sheds some light on the legendary characters our protagonists are meant to emulate. I can see myself returning to this from time to time as I slowly chip away at its story.
The combat system is easy to understand, and I like the AI command option where you let the game decide your next moves. I do wish the game had subtitles for its animated cut scenes, which it has quite a few early on. For a remake that is nearly 14 years old, it holds up well. I could see the developers/publishers re-releasing it a fourth time in the future and finding a new audience.
January 4 – Hollow Knight
Throughout 2024, I’m going to finally get around to playing well-received games that I just missed out on. One of the first to try is Hollow Knight. I like to start Metroidvanias, but I usually fall off after some time because they don’t always hold my attention. That’s very much the case with Hollow Knight.
From what I played, the combat is fine, but there hasn’t been enough new stuff introduced. I’ve only unlocked one ability. While it’s impressive, it feels like I’m either not moving at the pace I should be. There is no sense of direction, I’m kind of just wandering around to see what I might discover. Sometimes I like not having a direct objective, but it’s clear that there is a critical path here, but I’m not seeing it.
I doubt I’ll proceed much further. Even with the stellar art design, this isn’t holding my attention. It was nice to finally try it out, but I think I’m good with what I got to see.
January 5 – Sifu
Before I started Sifu, I thought it would be a game similar to Hotline Miami. I was expecting your revenge story to be focused on close quarters with minimal traversing. Instead, the levels I played are fairly large. I like that there are branching points where you can bypass certain sections if you manage to find the necessary item(s) to unlock said shortcut.
But this game is tough, especially in its standard difficulty mode. After the game’s first real level, I had died so many times that playing the second level (The Club) was impossible. I’ve lowered the difficulty to get a bit further. But even on the easiest one, it’s still a challenge that requires playing smart.
January 6 – House Flipper
My wife is critical of my cleaning skills, so if she knew I played a game that focuses so much on home improvement, she’d be shocked. I played Power Wash Simulator a few years ago, so House Flipper isn’t a new type of simulation game for me. I quite enjoyed the time I spent. I didn’t get too far, completing about four different jobs, so I didn’t get to the part of actually flipping my first home. However, I did spend a bit of time improving my bachelor/starter home, trying to see what I could fit and afford for it.
I know that House Flipper 2 was released in 2023, but as the first game was available on Game Pass, it was still good to give it a go. I’d consider playing the follow-up in the future and will consider more simulators in 2024.
January 7 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
I loved playing Left 4 Dead and its sequel back in the day with friends. I never got around to playing Evolve or any of the other team-based escape/survival games because, without friends, it is hard to work together with random people.
What I liked about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is that although you’re working with other players to some degree, you can more or less play this solo. If you play as a member of the victims, your goal is to just escape. While for the family, it’s to try to prevent the victims from escaping. Sure, victims can work together, but that could put you in a worse spot if any member of the family finds you. While, for the family, you’re mostly on your own, and you’re only really working together to collect blood for the Grandpa NPC.
I played about a half-dozen rounds, all but one as part of the family. It was easier to find matches that needed family members than it was to be a victim. Thankfully, I did have one match as the family where we managed to kill all the victims, earning a very satisfying victory. Not sure if I’d keep playing this long-term, but I did enjoy the time I spent with it today.
So, that wraps up my first week attempting to play a different game every day. A mix of genres. Most of the games this week were played through Xbox Game Pass, but I’ll try not to rely on that service too much moving forward. We still don’t have any major releases for 2024, but I do have a few more from last year that I should try to fit in now while I can.