Nov 21, 2017 Last Updated 12:18 PM, Nov 20, 2017
Kelsey Erwin

Kelsey Erwin

Kelsey seeks out RPGs with the narrative clout of Greek tragedy and strategy sims more punishing than QWOP. Their favorite part about being a gender neutral PC gamer and reviewer is that it's probably the only thing no one else on the site will put in a biography. Super saiyan special snowflake originality! Kelsey always keeps a pot of hot tea close at hand, and the sign of a truly great game is when it can monopolize Kelsey's attention so completely that the tea grows cold. While a dedicated believer in the PC Master Race, Kelsey also still spends time with their old favorite console, a cinderblock size Playstation 2.

Hand of Fate 2 brings the greatest strengths of its predecessor back in this sequel. Innovative gameplay combines action RPG combat with roguelike progression and deckbuilding, and small quality of life issues in the controls do little to detract from the masterful storytelling of this title.

The massively successful Kickstarter campaign for Re:Legend, developed by indie studio Magnus Games, is a testament to the gaming community’s excitement over Magnus’s product: a co-op-capable mix of the most addictive elements from farming, monster raising, and dungeon crawling games. Rich, bright visuals alongside promises of a dynamic environment and mod support paint a bright future for the experience Magnus Games aims to deliver.

Tauronos promises an intriguing story, but since running out of lives forces you to start your journey again from the beginning, few players will have the patience to persevere and experience more than a fraction of it. Even so, the perfectly fitted aesthetic supports a minimalist but hardworking narrative, guaranteeing that players who grow frustrated enough to walk away still do so with regret.

An atmospheric adventure called Growbot takes shape under the watchful eye of Lisa at Wabisabi Games. Classic point-and-click gameplay twines around puzzles like a clever vine. It’s all part of Lisa’s vision of integrating a diverse, dreamy score with biopunk illustrations and a picture book feel.

My drug dealer, “Dub,” runs an independent cafe in the Dallas metroplex. Keep in mind, my drug is black pu-erh tea, so he's not actually as sketchy as I've made him sound. His shop's a quiet place, and even when it's busy, he gets a lot of down time. He walks around, chats a bit with everyone, and then settles down behind the counter, where he keeps his unoptimized, but still respectable, PC. He plays turn-based strategy — usually single player, usually cheap or free.

Niche – a genetics survival game is a species sim with roguelike progression, played in turns on a hex grid. It includes enough novelty to charm fans still searching for the children of Creatures or Spore, but gambles with repetitive and predictable gameplay. It's as likely to frustrate you as it is to relax you, and small annoyances tip the scale in favor of the prior. Approach with reasonable expectations about its depth and variety, and you'll raise your chances of garnering an enjoyable experience.

War of the Chosen adds so favorably to the original XCOM 2 experience that fans should consider it near-perfect as well as essential. Although some features in XCOM 2: War of the Chosen,such as soldier bonds and propaganda, are inadequately manifested, most new features blend seamlessly with the base title and solve predictability and stagnation issues that once plagued early game. The titular Chosen adversaries enrich your gameplay with increased risk and challenge, even as resistance faction allies offer diversity in how you may combat them.

Rise of Industry's polygonal trucks and farms draw onto your map with a cuteness that belies their capitalist designs. Towns that once boasted a single grocery and tailor develop greater appetites, and then consume the countryside. Toxic fumes from factories pollute the air next to water supplies and chicken farms, because it was efficient for you to build them that way. Health risks? What's that? You don't have to care about pollution yet in Rise of Industry, or competitors, or zeppelins — but that'll all change before you can say “Newarktown needs more hamburgers,” according to the development roadmap [2] provided by this fledgling title's mama bird, Dapper Penguin Studios.

The same elements and design choices in Observer that make it a cerebral and provocative failed-future experience are those that prohibit satisfaction in its gameplay. Detailed world-building shines through in-game dialogue and lore, yet falls drastically short in any actual spatial embodiment of forces and institutions. The small space in which you're trapped is a quaint microcosm of Observer's world, but after rich promises of variety and exploration, it's ultimately too micro to satisfy.

Naturally, I named my brand in Startup Company “OPN.” Within four months, I took over the market with my flagship product, 'Rey Judges' (inspired by this gif featuring OPN's editor-in-chief), is now the most profitable and widely-used social media platform in the world. It even surpasses Friendbook in “Likes” on Friendbook itself. Take that, Zuckerberg.

Who's the hero in an MMORPG? How do you know when you accomplish a great feat? Can “winning” ever feel singular? When I raided with at least one crazy Canadian (you know who you are), a Discipline Priest who kept me alive over all the other DPSers (because dwarves gotta stick together), and a guildmaster who trolled us all by crafting arrows in the middle of boss fights, with this motley crew — like so many others — I “enjoyed” [1] experiences at once common to the player base, and unique to my team.