Stonemaier games got famous when the owner, Jamey Stegmaier, blogged every aspect of his upcoming Kickstarter campaign. People felt confident with his struggles, thoughts and solutions.
After some success, Stonemaier created another hit. This time the game was not design by Jamey, but by the first comer Elizabeth Hargrave. Wingspan (which is currently at the high tier in BoardGameGeek) let you collect birds that provide special powers, that accumulate turn after turn. I bought it as a last year Christmas gift for my wife last year and it became one of the most played games in our collection.
Components and art, OMG, are all high quality and adorable. The board, the cards, the dice tower, the eggs… ohhh… don’t even mention the colorful eggs. The color do not have any gameplay meaning, but they are adorable. People always react when seeing those little eggs.
The care in creating each bird card is astonishing. The flavor text is rich of details, and most of them have a real implication in the game itself. Bird size, breeding pattern, type of food… it’s all grounded in reality!
There are objectively better birds than others, but the external objectives and bonuses may increase the usefulness of birds on each play. Considering also the large amount of cards, at least for the sake of replayability, it’s a major plus.
The core value of this game is the engine building mechanism. Each time you get a new bird, it’s powers will be used in subsequent turns. So by the end of the match, some super powerful combos will be created. It’s very satisfying to activate a multi-point machine!
This game is a multiplayer solitaire: while you can somewhat manipulates resources and face up birds a bit, it is best to be occupied to “do your best”. My nephews were hooked all the time, but mostly commenting about the birds looks and imagining their next moves.
It is very difficult to keep track of other people’s boards. So it is really hard to counter act. None will take mental notes tracking other players. But for those who actually do this, it could represent a major strategic advantage.
The abilities are fun but and require a lot of reading to understand. While the text are not long, the font is bit small.
The dice tower, despite being cute, is prone to damage over time. I already not using it in my sessions, in order to preserve it.
I continue to read (listen in fact) almost every day for the past years. It’s in my daily routine when I walk the dogs. It’s a very different proposition from laying down and dedicate some time to read them. I have a urge of a secondary task when I am performing a no-brainier routine, just as.. walking the dogs. Otherwise, I just feel wasting my time my just walking and no thinking.
This is the list of this year’s books that I ingested. These lists are -definitively- not comprehensive ones. Since I’m not updating my GoodReads personal records nor writing about them in this blog, they are just the ones I remembered. I may edit this post if I remember other items.
For more books, you can check my online read list on GoodReads.
edited in 2022-07-14 because I forgot some books. In fact, I believe there are even more.
Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order was mouth-full sub-titled titled title. I don’t particularly like this cascading naming convention, but it’s rather common in big franchises. Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Pokémon all suffer from.
So, EA publishing another Star Wars game. The default expectation is TRASH game loop with micro transactions and paid loot. Battlefront 2 and FIFA will not let me lie…
But this one was… really good!
I got it “for free” in Amazon Prime deal. My original intention was to get both “free” shipping and streaming service for a fixed and low monthly fee. But they do give some video games for free too. And they are eventually good games. After activation in the yet-another-game-launcher Origin launcher, I decided to give it a try.
TLDR: it has all the mediocre elements of recent games. But visuals and gameplay hooked me in. I liked it very much.
The main protagonist is bland. Another white impetuous generic dude. The amnesia trope was also employed here. The guy, once fully skilled, now have to relearn everything.
The companions, however, are much more varied. They never are very relevant to the plot, nor we participate in their own journeys, but they add a great flavor to the story. Particularly the pilot Greez: funny, warm hearted but scared little creature. And, of course, your droid companion. The villains are good. Some visually memorable like the Ninth Sister. Some are, like Malicos, from those type that appears, brags and dies. Next.
The general assortment of goons are the stars of the show. From low rank troopers, big machines, monsters and fallen Jedis, the list is varied throughout the whole game. They provoke fear and anxiety and relaxation. They generally do not talk or express any particular personality, but all portrait a very specific role.
The appearance of iconic characters is definitively a high point to mention. But not spoilers here.
No much to add beyond you can see in screenshots and trailers. The game is gorgeous. EA at least have to praised in this regard: despite being bad games, all recent SW games are visually stunning. Squadrons, another Amazon free game that I’m still playing, is also amazing.
The main core loop is great. In the Metrovania style, maps are presented but inaccessible until the player acquire some special ability. It implies that, when acquired, the player must revisit the same areas over and over again. There is a kind of fast travel mechanism, but the travel points are sparse and will still require some time traversing.
The combat is challenging. Being a Jedi presupposes being god-like fighter. The game gives the player enough abilities to make one feel powerful but not overpowered. Even on late levels it’s possible to lose health fighting goons. Health that is important in order to face bosses and harder enemies.
Boss encounter do not change the general gameplay substantially, which is a plus. You fight using the same muscle memory developed until it. There are always the annoying pre-cutscene that will be played over and over if you die a lot on these fights.
Visiting 5 different planets gives the scenery a great variation, even to being particular different regarding the traversal challenges. Ice planet, fire planet, vegetation planet, futurist planet/installation, underground… And all are beautiful to look at.
I got it for free, but I would pay for it if necessary. The game is fun, front and foremost. The story is a bit lacking, the protagonist is definitively lacking but when I finished, I even tried to complete some extra objectives to extend the experience.
Last year I published a post of my played games but the title was mistakenly name Media List 2020. It was a games list so this year it was properly named. This year I wrote much less about each individual game, so I dedicated a small space to comment each entry.
By far, the most important game I played was Cyberpunk 2077. At least, it was supposed to be the most loved and commented game. Whatever, here is a list of games of all games I played this year.
2021-01-13: Totally forgot to include both Battlefield 4 and Battlefield 1.
Most of them I barely started. Just to check the general flow or if it was working at all. Some It’s WIP. Few are collecting dust.
Yet, there are some games that I did not quit definitively, but they are still to be played (therefor, not yet rated). A few are event still installed.
I play them eventually. Most of them, strategy games.
Finally, here a list of games that I already have in my collection that I plan to play in the next months.
Just a list of movies that I’ve seen this pandemic year.
Bruno Massa é político, programador e fotógrafo.