What Games am I Playing at…?

So, as a 30+ gamer, with a soul-crushing, mind destroying job that steals 60 hours of my week, what games do I deem are worthy enough to fill those spare few hours a week? Not many, in fact I can usually get it to five at any given time. Playing any more than five different games  and the experience is spread too thin, and no progression is made on any of them and the whole thing just feels wasted.

So which are the five games I can squish in to this impossible tight space? Well in reverse time spent order, we have…

  1. The Sims 4 (Maxis)

I’m still a bit on the fence in regards to Sims 4. On the one hand, there is a lot of new stuff in there that I like, such as the emotions, the new career system, the removal of toddlers which was just plain annoying, and the easy to use interface.

However Sims 4 still struggles from a lack of content. Compared to the amount of content out for Sims 3, Sims 4 seems half empty and you can find yourselves running out of things to do. The lack of story progression for non player-controlled sims also lives your sims feeling less connected to the everyone else than they did in Sims 3.

Having said all that, I’m still going back to it. I’m playing it for an hour or so, then it might not get touched for days.

  1. The Wolf Among Us (Telltale Games)

The Wolf Among Us is a story-driven adventure game written by Telltale Games the company responsible for The Walking Dead games and more recently Game of Thrones. The Wolf Among Us tells the tale of a number of fairytale characters who, after being forced to leave their hometown have settled within a harsh modern city landscape, with only Bigby the Big Bad Wolf to protect the town and to investigate the decapitation of a prostitute. As you can imagine, despite the overall fairytale theme this game isn’t for young children. The storyline features strong violence, death, and sexual references. Like The Walking Dead the choices you make alter the ending of the story, but unlike Walking Dead there is no news of a sequel being made, so your storyline does not keep progressing after the 5 episodes.

Despite this game draining the batteries of my only-just-struggling-to-work-iPhone-4s it has been the staple part of my journey’s to and from work. However, for a mobile app game the price is a little steep at around £15 for all the episodes but you can try the first episode of The Wolf Among Us from the app store for free.

  1. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (Blizzard)

Ah, good old World of Warcraft. Where would I be without it? The latest expansion to Blizzards epic MMO World of Warcraft brings with it loads of new things to get your teeth into. 10 more levels, Garrisons, more raids/instances etc. And compared to Cataclysm it’s an absolute triumph.

Well, it’s sitting smack bang in the middle of my list and here is good reason for that. Although Initially I spent hours upon hours playing it, levelling my character, sorting out my garrison and getting gear I’m now faced with a bit of an issue. That is that if I want to progress with my main character further, then I am going to have to raid and that my dears is something I just don; have time for. It takes a couple of hours to complete any particular raid, on average and that doesn’t include the time queuing, so I just don’t have time for it. The only other alternative is to level up an alt, and there are already 5 on the go at various levels of nineties, but I found I couldn’t be bothered to deal with two garrisons at once, and levelling without managing it seemed like a poor show.

So, until I get more time, Worstial the Pandaren Hunter will have to be happy with basic garrison maintenance for a while.

  1. SimCity Build It (Electronic Arts)

SimCity Build It is another mobile game that has chewed up a fair bit of iPhone juice, not because it’s energy intensive, but because I keep going back to it.

Visually, and from a playability perspective it’s very similar to SimCity. You lay down your residential, commercial and industrial buildings and make sure that they have enough water, power, police, fire, and waste facilities in order for them to grow.

If you want your town to get bigger just use your factories and shops to make the required items. The more people who move in the more things you can make and the more expensive things you can afford. Like with the other SimCity games, providing you’re careful with your resources and don’t expand too quickly you should be able to keep up with the demand of your burgeoning city.

Things take time to build and you can use real money to buy notes that you can use to speed up building or buy premier buildings, but the game doesn’t need them. I’ve been playing for a while, and haven’t spent a penny.

SimCity Buildit for the iOS is available here.

  1. Dragon Age: Inquisition (Bioware)

Now we get to my number one game. The game that has been relentlessly chewing up so much of my time, and I completely let it like the RPG whore that I am. For those who don’t know, and you must show me around your rock at some point. Dragon Age Inquisition is the final game in the Dragon Age trilogy.

The Templar Mage war has rocked the nation of Thedas, and out of the embers storms a rather unpleasant chap called Corypheus who wants to end the world, sounds like fairly typical RPG stuff right? Yes. Well I’m not telling it right then.

The game is large. There’s the main storyline, then there are side quests, companion quests, collections, dragons to kill and crafting to fill up any spare years you may have in your life. DAI also uses your own decisions to alter the storyline and plot accordingly so each game can be drastically different. I’m getting near to the end of the storyline and I’ve racked up about 60 hours of game play, and I’m not even finished.

Don’t get me wrong the game is beautiful, massive and I love it, but it isn’t perfect. There are things wrong with Dragon Age Inquisition, or at least things I would want to be different.

  • I’m the Inquisitor stop making my pick flowers or mine ore; surely there must be lackeys for that. They have just repaired a fortress after all.
  • Combat is a little simple on normal. I can get through nearly every fight by just spamming Chain Lightning and using auto-attack. A little more complexity is needed.
  • I would like a few more choices around Skyhold that aren’t purely cosmetic. Some decisions that alter the game.
  • Sooooo many Codex entries. I like integration and a fully developed lore but my god there is so many of the things, I collect them because you never know if they’re important to the story but I stopped reading them a long time ago.

Anyway, it’s my top game at the moment and I am already planning my second play through, where I will take a different decision on everything. To me that’s where I’ll really see if they held up to their belief. If the end is significantly different depending on my choices, and i know it’s not some Mass Effect 3 different coloured energy crap thing, then there may even be a third play through.

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin is a freelance writer, living in Derby UK with his wife. When time allows he likes nothing more than losing himself in a multi-hour gaming session. He likes most games and will play anything but prefers MMO's, and sandbox RPG's.

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