Game Time - June

Here at The Geek Spot, I play a lot of games. My library is continually rotating with new AAA titles and indie one-offs that capture my attention. But I don't talk about what I'm currently playing as often as I would like. So I'm going to rectify this. Today's post is a peak behind the, err, post. A glimpse into my gaming life and what I've been playing. I haven't decided yet if this will join the rotation of scheduled blog posts ala The Weekly Link Round Up. This will be the first of many similar posts for the future. Hopefully.

- Rise of Industry (RoI). I streamed a bit of gameplay this past Thursday and had an active chatter asking a load of questions about it. This game is currently in Early Access on Steam. Meaning it's still in development and will continually be updated in the coming months/years until it's fully release. With Early Access, you are not getting the final game. What you are paying for is the opportunity to assist developers in finalizing their vision, knowing that the game will change multiple times before it's done.

Dapper Penguin Studios is the developer and, full disclosure, my brother works on their team. I did not get a free copy of this to try out. I paid for this game at full price (hindsight: I should have waited for the Steam Summer Sale). Regardless, I would have purchased this game because it scratches my itch for simulation/tycoon games.

RoI allows you to build a business from the ground floor. Utilizing the resources of the land, you can help the local economy by providing goods such as wheat, vegetables, and copper. Or you can develop yourself into a manufacturer for glass, booze, and car parts. The goal of the game is to not go bankrupt. And it is challenging. But it's a challenge I've been waiting for! A number of the recent tycoon/sim games are fairly straight forward: Build this. Research that. Make money. RoI instead wants you to focus on the economics of the world around you. What you sell can impact local businesses and change the market. Sell too much of 1 item, and you could see it's value drop. How well you interact with a local town/city can also affect your businesses - you could see a tax break in your favor, or poor road construction delaying your trucks. It's simple design produces elegant results with the type of active gameplay I've been looking for in tycoon titles. With an impressive roadmap for future updates, I'm curious to see how RoI will develop from here.

- Dragon Age: Inquisition. 185 hours were not enough to keep me away! I have no clue why I picked up this again. Maybe I missed the sordid adventures of my posse? I'm not sure. This is the first round where I'm doing some modding to create the Qunari I've always wanted to. With the release of some cool shaders and lighting effects, I may add those in too. No cheats. No 'Mary Poppins' bag of unlimited holding. Any mods I add will be purely cosmetic.

Curbing my natural instincts, and avoiding the romancing Cullen for the 10th time, I am playing this game very different from my past brushes with Dragon Age. I'll akin it to "renegade" mode on Mass Effect. My Qunari is a duel-hand warrior and will always make the most sardonic and aggressive choices. Pretty much everything I've never done in DA. Ever. Why? I like to test myself and review the results. It's the scholastic side of me that enjoys taking these risks.

- Final Fantasy XIV. I've accomplished a lot and not much in FF14 this past week. The major announcements involve the catfish beast tribe quests and obtaining the ultimate mount of greatness. And hitting level 50 on Dragoon to get that sweet, sweet armor. Aside, Dragoon is an odd job to play after Heavensward. It's best experienced while playing through that story - one of the primary figures in the job quests up to 50 is a huge plot point in the expansion. Now that I know what happens, it feels like the job is an odd time capsule that I'll never be able to fully appreciate after opening it.

My focus in the game is steadily shifting towards crafting jobs to get them to an acceptable level while unlocking master crafting/gathering books to utilize in the field.

Right now most of us are waiting for the next update to be released on July 2nd/3rd, which will finally bring us the new Deep Dive Dungeon, Heaven on High. A giant Jenga tower that has been teasing us since the launch of Stormblood last year. Soon we can visit it for more end-game action.