Game of the Month - August 2022

How is it 5 days into September already? Anyway before you keep playing what ever it is you are playing, let us all think back to August 2022.

What has been your primary game this past month? It could have been a recent title, a new discovery, or something from your backlog. Or perhaps an old favorite you returned to years later? Honorable mentions are also welcome, these would be other games that you enjoyed this past month, but not the one you spent the most time enjoying.

For August 2022 my game of the month is:

  • Days Gone - Not the best zombie game I’ve ever played, but I do like the pacific northwest setting, and zooming around on a motorcycle has been fun. A few tweaks , like weapons that don’t break as fast and unlimited fuel have fixed a few of the QoL issues I was having with the game.

Honorable mentions:

  • Farthest Frontier - I bought into early access on this one, gotta support Crate after the amazing Grim Dawn. So far I am not disappointed, and it sure does look good. But it will need more content and balance changes before this gets anywhere close to replacing the Anno series in my city builder heart.

  • Kingdom Rush - I required some tower defense in my life, so I started off with the first in this series, since I’ve owned it for like 5 years already, and never played it. Amazingly for so looking simplistic, it has a unique charm to it and its actually a bit of a challenge. Thumbs up so far!

  • Golftopia - Only messed around making one course so far with 3 holes, so I need to give it more playtime, but I am not sure this has the magic I am wishing for that SimGolf had so many years ago.

  • Bad North - This has been a fun island defense game, with lovely art , bloody maps, and simplistic yet enjoyable gameplay.

On the PC, it continued to be Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor. Just can’t get enough of the shotgun assassin.

On Switch, it was Diablo 3 thanks to its new season. Gimme that sweet necromancer action baby.

I guess I really love ARPGs right now.

I’m completely down the rabbit hole and loving it playing Field of Glory: Empire.

Starcom Nexus. It’s curtailed my XCOM2: WOTC playing. That says a lot.


I was heading into the end of the main campaign of a replay of Dragon Age: Inquisition on the PC when I ended up spending a couple weeks packing and moving to a new place. Am very much looking forward to jumping back in to finish up and go through Trespasser for the first time, not to mention finishing up the other DLC attached to high level play. It really is a fantastic game; only the length of it prevented me from playing again before now.

My daily Gran Turismo 7 race hit a snag for the same reason, but only missed a week or so of that.

I just finished up Outer Wilds. It was great, the perfect difficulty and length for a narrative experience - no filler or fluff.

During August I’ve probably gotten 20 hours or so into Distant Worlds 2 on the latest patch which is very stable, very fast, and quite fun. There are still some quality of life issues needed in the mechanics, UI, balance, but I think this version of the game is about what it ideally would have been at release. I see a spin through a new empire, and at future updates with bigger features, being part of my regular rotation every few months for a long time to come - kind of like what Stellaris has been every major DLC discount the last 5 years.

August was the month of Battletech, the new old turn-based strategy from Harebrained. I’d bounced off this one a couple times before, but this time I’d gotten all the DLC as part of a strategy bundle, and this go-around I’d put on a bit more of the classic careful mindset of inch forward and focus fire revealed contacts to death which is a bit more necessary at the beginning when your mechs are a lot more fragile and your pilots are horrible shots. Anyways, after a couple of successful missions, you start getting more mech and weapon options and gradually I fell into the classic rhythm of collecting mechs like pokemon, and poring over mech loadouts optimising them, switching out weapons to get the balance of heat buildup, ammo, recoil, damage and knockdown capability at various ranges. I do feel like it took a bit too long getting there, but it’s so addictive that I had no issues gearing up for the endgame. I’m glad I ended up liking it, given I was a huge Battletech fan in the past.

I also got back into Battletech, playing in Career mode using the Battletech Extended mod.

The mod opens up the timeline so you can play in more interesting parts of the setting’s history. I’m training up a company right before the vanilla game’s factions get invaded by a much stronger force, which spikes the difficulty and makes big changes to the game’s map and available equipment. I’m hoping to end the playthough by blunting the invasion at Battletech’s version of Agincourt.

Is the September thread not there yet?

Most of August I’ve played The Sinking City. A decent story and atmosphere. But it’s relatively cheap and more ambitious than it can handle. Gameplay is subpar too. I recommend playing it on Easy combat difficulty, it’s separate from Detective difficulty. Also has an issue with pixel hunting but what are you gonna do about it, it’s an adventure game.

Also I’ve been playing Civilizatoin 6 on Switch. It plays fine but I made a mistake of turning the length of the game to Epic and it feels very weirdly balanced. The early eras pass by quickly but then you get bogged down in a modern era, it feels like half of the game you play in recent times. The geopolitics are all stalled so you don’t fight and never use all those shiny toys. And of course, a lot of turns means lots of waiting on Switch. Next time I’m playing on a quick speed and small map, and probably scenarios instead. I enjoy Humankind on PC, too bad this game didn’t seem to get a lot of following.

Picked up Symphony of War later in the month, and it stands out over everything else I played. Definitely a case of a game being better than the sum of its parts. Very satisfying battles, very satisfying out-of-battle strategic level.

Got an Xbox Series X and played through both Halo Infinite and Gears 5. Love both of these franchises and had a lot of fun with their latest offerings. Also, played through a bunch of Banjo Kazooie, which has aged surprisingly well.

On the tabletop front, finally got to play some games of Horus Heresy with the newly released rules. While it’s not a perfect ruleset by any means, I find it much more enjoyable than anything else Games Workshop has produced lately.

Fun game and it is currently 60% off on Steam. Though I did get stuck at the Dyson Sphere and could not figure how to proceed

Star Valor by a light year. Addictive, arcadey fun and I don’t tend to prefer arcade-style games

Total Warhammer III. With the release of the immortal empires map, I have been having loads of fun. I think its is by far, the best war game of this type.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak easily for me. Nothing else came close in game time and amount of fun.

Cult of the Lamb gets an honorable mention. The game loops in this one are tight, and it’s very easy to play for hours without even noticing.

Witcher 3 playing on the steam deck now, finally making some progress. Although the combat is not nearly as satisfying as a souls game, the storyline and general world building is excellent. Helps that I have read all the books and seen the TV series as well.

Don’t sleep on Echoes of the Eye. I was apprehensive about it going in (‘Outer Wilds is perfect, it doesn’t need DLC!’) but it blew me away.

Me too! That’s why Rats, Bats, and Bones gets my game of the month. Bad North is sooo good too.

Got back on Deep Rock Galactic, which is such a great co-op game, annoying dwarves aside. The whole Steve thing consistently makes me laugh though.

It’s very notable how Witcher 3 achieved its place in the holy pantheon of gaming by being great only in terms of story in presentation (and Gwent). Its open world, itemization, character progression, encounter design and combat systems are all basic and not that great. It’s telling that Ubisoft’s attempt to make their own Witcher 3 - Assassin’s Creed Origins/Odyssey - is much more interesting and enjoyable in most regards except for story and arguably presentation - and that’s enough to make those games regarded as mediocre or good but nowhere as good as Witcher 3.

Serious play (not strictly limited to August):

PowerWash Simulator: This thing got under my skin. I recall an Atari developer saying about Asteroids that humans like creating order out of chaos. This thoroughly scratched that itch and had a whimsical and unexpected story behind it. I was disappointed to see it end.

Carrion: Metroidvania as the “bad guy.” Action mechanics were a bit awkward, lack of a map was annoying. Still, a well-done game for the genre.

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon Classic Edition: Still good. I don’t mind replaying good games at all.

MouseBot Escape From Catlab: A cheap little course-runner from Vector Unit, bought on their positive rep with me. Starts easy, elevates reasonably slowly with each new set of levels adding a new mechanic. Gets damn hard at the end. Worth the few bucks I paid.

House Flipper: Interesting idea, underdeveloped mechanics and mediocre implementation of options. Goals often made no sense and required counter-intuitive solutions. Played this after Powerwash Sim and found it lacking in comparison.

Disneyland Adventures: What the hell was I thinking? Easy achievements, I think. It’s Fetch Quest the game that plays strangely thanks to being made for Kinect and played with a controller. A time-waster for the kiddies that I played far longer than I should have because it was strangely engaging in a tick-the-boxes sort of way.


Boyfriend Dungeon: I see what they are trying to do here, mixing up a dating sim with a Hades-style rougelike. I just don’t click with dating sims, and it’s way below Hades in the action department.

Beasts of Maravilla Island: It’s supposed to be a charming combat-free photo tour of a mysterious jungle. Unfortunately, its engine is chuggy and its controls are clunky.