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Week 2 of Playing A Different Game Every Day

For the week of January 8 through 14.

Click here to read the games I played last week.

Welcome to the second week of me playing a different game every day. This week’s slate of games includes a few high-profile ones from the last four years. We’re still going through the backlog of releases, but with new games coming right around the corner, we should have some new stuff to highlight in the next couple of weeks.

Peter from Pocket City who tasks you at planting trees in your city

January 8 – Pocket City

Over the holiday break, the Google Play Store was having a deal on their Google Play Pass program, their version of Apple Arcade. There were a few games on the list that seemed interesting, so I decided to sign up for the trial. The first game I played was Pocket City, which is a city builder very similar to Sim City.

It’s ok but didn’t manage to hold my attention for very long. While I like its quest system, which gets you to do specific actions as you build/grow your city, I wasn’t a fan of the UI. It takes up so much of the screen that it hinders your ability to build quickly. There is a sequel available on mobile, but I’m not too sure I’d want to jump in and try it.

The witches discussing the bonus your character gets prior to attempting a mission in Yaga

January 9 – Yaga

This action-adventure game is one I’ve had in my collection for a while. When games use Slavic mythology, I’m always keen to try it out. I was having a lot of fun, thanks in large part to its incredible soundtrack. The music adds to the atmosphere and how it changes depending on the situation our character is in is well done.

I also like the dialogue. While I wish games like this tried to incorporate more Slavic-sounding English accents (these sound too British for my liking), there are a lot of nods to my Slavic heritage that I understand and appreciate. It also runs and plays well on Steam Deck. This is regularly on sale, so for people looking for an ideal game to play on the go, this is an easy recommendation.

Dani driving a vehicle in an early mission from Far Cry 6

January 10 – Far Cry 6

Back in 2021, I put Far Cry 6 as an honorable mention of a game I was looking forward to playing. It be fair, I hadn’t played a Far Cry release since Blood Dragon, but it’s always a series that piques my interest. After the middling reviews, I waited to play this until it was either heavily discounted or available on Game Pass. Now, that it is, I downloaded it and played through the game’s first chapter.

To be perfectly honest, it’s not a bad game but it just doesn’t do enough to hook me in. I was hoping for something more. My character, Dani, isn’t that interesting. The first couple of characters I interacted with weren’t engaging, and I wasn’t invested in continuing the liberation storyline. 

What’s funny is that in typical Far Cry fashion, there is a secret ending and it happens at the perfect moment. It’s a pretty obvious situation where you can trigger it. Considering my lack of interest in the first few hours of the game, it felt like a logical place to stop playing. 

Sailing the seas in Sail Forth

January 11 – Sail Forth

When I can, I am going to try to play the Epic Game Store’s free game on Thursdays. Guardians of the Galaxy was last week’s game, which I haven’t played, but I want to save that for another day. Sail Forth is a game I never heard of but after having fun with Dredge last year, another game focused on traveling the high seas was an easy pick to try out.

I’m a little lukewarm on Sail Forth. I like its art style, but the controls of the ship are a tad bit frustrating. Early on, your boat is reliant on the wind, so traveling around isn’t always that easy. Also, the missions aren’t engaging me in a way that keeps me wanting to play. Again, I’m fine with travelling the seas, but there hasn’t been enough variety in the interactions are missions to keep me in the game. This was fun to try but I won’t be returning.

An example of someone's desktop from Hypnospace Outlaw

January 12 – Hypnospace Outlaw

I remember hearing about Hypnospace Outlaw back when it first launched. Its quirky throwback to the internet of the late 90s reminds me so much of the stuff I used to do online. I like the idea of a game around patrolling the internet ecosystem, which brings back memories of stuff like American Online. 

My only problem with the game is that I don’t see where this is taking me. Is this just an internet patrolling game or is there an underlying scheme or plot that we’re about to uncover? Again, it’s not clear and the opening “find these violations” missions don’t engage me enough. 

The second boss character you encounter in Solar Ash

January 13 – Solar Ash

In my growing Wishlist of games on Steam, Solar Ash is one I’ve been keeping an eye on hoping for a massive discount. With developers Heart Machine’s next game, Hyper Light Breaker, scheduled for release later this year, I wanted to finally play their second game. I found out this was on Game Pass and decided to try it out.

I love its art style. This game looks fantastic, with some incredible visuals where I was regularly just stopping to take it all in. The platforming is fine but it does take a bit of time to get used to the constant moving around. At the same time, I need to find a better way of handling the changing perspectives in high-activity moments. The tasks have been pretty much the same for the first two areas, so I’m hoping there is a bit more variety later on.

This is a game I could see myself continuing to fool around with. It has also made me even more excited to see what they’re going to do with Hyper Light Breaker.

Joel holding a guitar from an early cutscene of The Last of Us Part II

January 14 – The Last of Us Part II

When I wrote my looking back at Left Behind, the standalone DLC for The Last of Us Part I, I was a bit cautious about playing the follow-up. I had my reservations. Then, when all the spoiler stuff for the sequel got out there, I decided to wait. I had enough of the game spoiled, that I had no interest in playing it. No, I didn’t have feelings about the “shock twist” but too much was out there that I couldn’t see myself playing the game and enjoying myself.

With the remaster launching in a few days, I thought now was an ok time to finally try it out. Like a lot of the other games on this list, this game looks so damn beautiful. I’m playing the PS4 version on a PS5, and I don’t know how the remaster is going to look much better. I was blown away by the details, especially with the characters’ facial hair (Joel’s) and head hair (Ellie and Abbie’s).

My only frustration with the game so far is that the pacing is super slow. The first hour of the game moves at such a slog. You have one little section with Joel riding a horse, and then playing a guitar for a bit. As Ellie, you’re walking around. Other than a snowball fight, which was fun, it’s mostly exposition to give us an idea of some of the characters and their new setup in Wyoming. It’s not until we get to play as Abbie that we get to some actual combat. I stopped just after the supermarket section with Ellie and Dina, which admittingly was pretty interesting.

I plan to eventually upgrade to the remastered edition. Even though I didn’t quite reach the pivotal plot twist that isn’t a secret anymore, am enjoying the game so far and I want to see more. 

My second week of playing a different game every day is complete and I am already trying to plan my next two weeks. I leave for Europe on Thursday and will be there for the following two weeks. I plan to go into my Nintendo Switch backlog, but I may also use the opportunity to play some mobile games when possible. Also, there are a few new releases that I should be able to include. I’m looking forward to finally trying some games that I’ve had “collecting” dust and traveling always makes that easier to do.