I have been as busy as hell. Don’t know if this affects my appetite for games.

Pan-Pan (PC)

A wordless puzzle/walking simulator happening in a bizarre world with nothing but polygons and colors, oh and some button and switch which makes no sense. There are 2 puzzles that jumps outside the box and makes me feel shameful for overlooking the simplicity of the game. But the whole walk through feels restricted and shallow. When word and context is absent, there is supposed to be something deeper taking place, but here I did not see them.

Obduction (PC)

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Just walked through the first half of it. So far, it did not catch my favorite elements in realMyst though it claimed to be its successor. Most of actions in this game is “searching” instead of “thinking”. Instead of fabricating a well-thought machinery and inviting you to tinker around, it took some very basic puzzles and diluted them into a vast environment which is interesting at first but turn into boredom as you traverse it on and on with your tiring eyes desperate for some clues.

Republique (PS4)

Look at the screen when you enter the pause mode: the PS4 version is like it’s from a PC master race’s laugh: look how inferior your controller is with such limited number of buttons. But the most serious problem is about the gameplay flow. Aside from unresponsive control, the frequent change and limitation of camera makes it challenging to associate the motion sticks with your character’s movements, a reminiscent of old Metal Gear Solid. More annoying is the uncontrolled switch of camera which constantly happens at the joint between rooms and corners, which as you know are the places you want to hold your characters in arms most in a stealth game. The writing is perhaps the only thing that can draw me further into the world.

Civilization VI (PC)

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There is a rivalry in this game. On the one hand it struggles to bring the diversity both in AI and player’s styles. On the other hand there is the persistent rule of this series which drives everyone thirsty for nothing but territory in early period regardless of their identity. The latter wins, as we have seen repetitively in this series. As the (heavily advertised) agenda says, Trajan admires you for your size of territory but in fact he will 1) hate you for warmonger 2) hate you for expanding near them 3) want to fight you because he likes expanding territory too 4) want to fight you whatsoever because he realizes he needs to win this game. For every reason that peace could happen, there exist ten reasons that lead to war. The inevitable conflict for territory and against barbarians in early periods left bad relationship between neighbors and a sizable army which leads to further war.

Though I am a little tired with this tempo of gameplay that exist since Civ III, it is still THE Civilization game which keeps me playing on and on. What it succeeds is that on the road to war you have the most fun ever in planing city and seeing them growth. You will have to evaluate between different factors to make choices full of impact. The visual is enjoyable with great details despite there is a conflict in style between the visible land and hand drawn map which made my mind switching between two modes constantly.