PC master race! Console peasants :3! Rabble rabble rabble rabble!
Jokes aside, there has been some non-PC gaming as well this year, and I reckon it warrants its own post. I’ll cover this in three sections: Switch, mobile, and other.
# Nintendo Switch
Well… I got one. After not really playing console games since Playstation 2, I’m back! I must admit I almost got hooked on the Wii/Wii U console after playing some party games, but I managed to steer clear of Nintento until now. Game-wise we’ve played Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Pokemon Let’s Go, and Overcooked, as well as some retro emulation games included with the online subscription. All in all I can highly recommend the Switch console to anyone looking for some casual gameplay.
It rarely gets to see some action outside of my apartment, although it does happen on occasion. Really nice piece of hardware, okay battery life compared to what you’d expect. My only two complaints is that you more or less need a screen protector (included in the carrying case though), and the signal strength on the joycons is quite bad. It works fine most of the time but it can be really annoying when keypresses aren’t recognised.
I’d use my Switch a whole lot more if it weren’t for the OK-ish gaming experience on my smartphone. This year I’ve discovered three really good mobile games, namely Flipflop Solitaire, Solitairica, and Holedown.
Flipflop Solitaire is a nice twist to the classic, offering both head-scratching complexity and relaxed mindless tap-tap-tapping; depends on the game mode. If you enjoy non-action games, then I’d highly suggest you try this one out.
Solitairica is some kind of solitaire-made-a-baby-with-an-adventure-rogelite-game. You defeat enemies by exhausing the on-screen cards according to some pseudo-solitaire-rules. Powerups, skills, and items included.
Those games are easy to pick up at any time, and pause whenever, which also holds true for the third: Holedown. Ever played breakout in reverse? Or, rather, have you played the free “Ballz”-game, and thought “huh, this could be good if someone gave it some more love”? Holedown is easily my most-played mobile game this year as it strikes a perfect balance between being simple, fun, and engaging. It’s easy to resume whenever you have downtime, and it taunts you to play just another turn, or another round, or ten.
And apparently the mascot is a communist.
While far from new, emulated games made a comeback in my life with the addition of a Retropie installation on a Raspberry Pi 3B+. Worked flawlessly with my wireless PS4 controller, and setting the rest up was quite easy. I’ve seen some issues with using multiple controlers, though I’m sure that could be made to work as well.
VR is still awesome. I’m waiting for the next generation before I buy some hardware, because the current one has been out for quite some time now. And I most likely need more compute power in order to drive one of those displays. With all of that said, I did have the opportunity to play some VR games on the HTC Vive, and I love it just as much as the last time I played.