January 30, 2023

It’s my first RPS Christmas Introduction Calendar, whoooo! I really feel so honored – and I’m fairly pleased with how the GOTY 2022 Calendar turned out, as most of my high selections made it into the roster. Nevertheless, nice video games are positive to fall by the wayside in any 12 months – which is why we now have our Choice Containers of honorable mentions this 12 months, proper? For my picks I’ve swept up three fairly completely different video games, however I feel they arrive collectively to offer a really Rachel vibe.

Beacon Pines

When Beacon Pines first launched, I used to be juggling a number of different video games on the time and had deliberate to reserve it for some cosy Christmas vacation gaming. However after studying and modifying Graham’s overview, I made a decision to start out enjoying it that very same day and positive sufficient, it’s develop into certainly one of my favorite thriller video games of the 12 months. And there have been loads of thriller video games this 12 months.

Beacon Pines tells the basic story of a gaggle of younger pals by accident discovering some conspiratorial shenanigans of their small, quiet city. Fairly customary thriller on paper, however what makes Beacon Pines completely different is its cosy horror vibe. Sure, you are enjoying as a cute animal character, however lower than an hour into the story that very same cute animal character hides in a rubbish unit and discovers that their bin-buddy is a bagged-up, leaking corpse. There are many horror surprises in Beacon Pines, however they are not tremendous darkish. It is extra just like the enjoyable, comfortable sort of hazard present in Miss Marple. Think about if Agatha Christie performed Animal Crossing after which wrote a thriller ebook starring all her villagers – that is Beacon Pines.

I am additionally a giant fan of the sport’s construction, which entails leaping between completely different timelines, however really in a really cool approach. The twist right here is that you simply’re not solely enjoying as important protagonist Luca but additionally the reader of the ebook ‘Beacon Pines’. Studying completely different chapters of the ebook allows you to soar between completely different plot paths, so you possibly can strive completely different story selections to determine the sport’s whole thriller. There’s no FOMO of lacking out on branching story paths or important items of thriller snippets right here.

This construction means there is no motive to replay it, however I really love that. The sensation of enjoying a recreation solely as soon as however understanding that you’ve got seen and accomplished every thing is oh-so scrumptious. Beacon Pines’ tight 5-hour thriller is like placing all of your Christmas leftovers in a single big sandwich – it is small however dense, stuffed with surprises, and can comfortably fulfill your urge for food.

I Was A Teenage Exocolonist

Sci-fi tales at all times make it look like shifting the whole lot of humanity to a different planet can be simple breezy. However I Was A Teenage Exocolonist is right here to inform us that it most definitely wouldn’t be, like, in any respect. It’s a life-sim RPG a few house colony making an attempt to start out a brand new life on an alien planet on the opposite aspect of a wormhole. The story spans a decade of the colony’s time on the planet and the struggles they face as they battle in opposition to the planet’s ecosystem. It’s huge, engrossing, queer af, and a unbelievable RPG that I shall be ceaselessly kicking myself over as a result of I didn’t overview it when it launched.

The place Beacon Pines seems like a brief, densely packed recreation, I Was A Teenage Exocolonist seems like a sprawling community of interconnected timelines and world-changing occasions. There are simply so many selections to make: who you make pals with out of the ten completely different characters, which of the 25 completely different colony jobs you choose, which of the 15 expertise you specialize in, who you get entangled with romantically (if anybody in any respect) – and it goes on and on. Do you intervene in a monster encounter? Are you quiet or abrasive? A peaceful thinker or a hot-headed go-getter? It’s sort of mind-boggling.

Quite a bit can occur through the recreation’s ten-year timeline – devastating alien assaults, family and friends members dying, exocolonist anarchy, the entire works. It was solely after a few playthroughs that Teenage Exocolonist actually began to sink in for me. One regrettable selection I made in my first run I acquired to amend in my 4th playthrough, a full circle second and a redemption arc 40 years within the making.

Its sci-fi narrative is grand, however Teenage Exocolonist shines in its smaller, tender moments too. It is simply as a lot a narrative about teenagers rising up as it’s concerning the survival of humanity, which is certainly one of – if not my absolute – favorite issues about it.


I’ve by no means felt so misplaced enjoying a recreation as I did with Signalis. I felt actually misplaced, wandering its maze of darkish, metallic corridors and enclosed passages uncertain what I ought to be doing. I felt figuratively misplaced, its cosmic story and surreal montages too disorienting to grasp. Even after ending the sport and considering again, I’m not precisely positive what occurred, like among the recreation’s finer story threads slipped by means of my fingers. However, my God, did I’ve a visit enjoying this recreation.

You play as an android named Elster who wakes up on an empty shuttle deserted on an remoted, snowy planet. From there she leaves the craft and begins to discover the decrepit underground services crammed with unknown horrors. Two mysteries start to disclose themselves: what occurred to the occupants of this doomed underground base?; and, who’s the lady that Elster is so fiercely decided to search out?

I’m planning on replaying Signalis. I really feel virtually compelled to. I want a second playthrough to pour over each line of dialogue, pay attention to each cryptic radio sign, study each retro tech object and visible clue. However even by means of its fever dream qualities, Signalis has sufficient tangible waypoints so that you can assemble its melancholy story.

Ahh there’s a lot extra I wanna speak about – however as an alternative right here’s a quick-fire checklist of what I favored:

  • Desires, reminiscences, and actuality – ooOOoo which is which??
  • Sapphic romance, hell yeah.
  • Brutalist structure that’s so claustrophobic it made me wheeze.
  • Cosmic dreeeeaaaad.
  • Cyborg identity-questioning stuff.
  • PS1-style visuals, however like really accomplished in a cool approach and never simply with a VHS overlay.
  • Evil, creepy surveillance state.
  • The heavy, clunky noises you make as you stroll round.
  • Enjoyable puzzles, just like the one which makes you take heed to the whispers within the radio indicators.

I may go on actually, however that is greater than sufficient.

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