Game of the Month - January 2018

This is what happens when you play Subnautica for far too many late nights, and then forget to create the Game of the Month thread for an entire day…

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?

What game defined January 2018 for you? What was your Game of the Month?

Mine has to be Subnatutica, just a fantastic survival / exploration / escape game. Visually Stunning and the story has been interesting enough (via PDAS and Radio Signals) that I can’t want to find out where to go next. I will find you life-pod 6!

Honorable mentions for Aven Colony and Railway Empire and of course Antihero (Just recently won my 300th game!).

I had an absolute blast with Crusader Kings 2 last weekend to the point where it probably pips Subnautica for me. I’d be very surprised if anything pips it in February. Then I remembered I played Pyre back in the first week of 2018 and that has to be the pick for me, loved it. What a strong month!

I finished 4 games this month, I had a few days where I was playing very short games as a kind of mental health care thing, just something short and simple to get involved in for a bit. So on top of wrapping up Pyre I also finished Opus: The Day We Found Earth (basic gameplay tacked on to a nice story), Sinister City (a hilariously bad hidden object game with a bonkers story that made no sense at all), and timeFRAME, a very minimal walking sim that wasn’t really any good but it absorbed an hour whilst listening to podcasts.

Oh wait, game of the month was Philadelphia vs Minnesota.

I hate to admit it, but for me it was clearly EVE Online. Them adding a PVE finder, which works amazing well, was just the exact thing I needed to go back to the game, and it’s great.

UnderRail, Nioh. I was completely consumed by UnderRail until a friend gifted me Nioh out of the blue (we’re both Souls nuts but I had no interest in the game because I read how bad the port was when it was released on the PC) and now Nioh took over. The combination of Souls/Ninja Gaiden like combat and arpg mechanic is pretty great and I’m looking forward to delving deeper into the Abyss. If/when I get a little tired of it I’ll return to UnderRail for sure though, there simply aren’t many rpgs that can match the depth of its combat.


Tell us more. I have no idea what it does and can’t really imagine a scenario where I’d use it. Is it like LFG for various activities like mining and such?

For me it’s a tie between Grim Dawn and The Division.

I bought Grim Dawn years ago. Thought it was cool, but a bit too “grim”, perhaps. I had some fun with it, but I was a bit tired of mouse-based ARPGs. This month (and after a lot of patches and one expansion/DLC), I decided to try the controller and a new melee character. And suddenly the game is the best Diablo-like ARPG I’ve played in my entire life.

I bought The Division years ago. Thought it was cool, but a bit to grindy, maybe? I had some fun with it, but when I had display issues due to old drivers (that I had no intention to upgrade at the time), I uninstalled it and did not look back for a bit. This month (and after a lot of updates and a couple expansions/DLC), I decided to try it again since I updated my drivers and all. And suddenly the game is one of the best Destiny/Borderlands-like TSARPGs I’ve played in my entire life.

Hmmmm, I kind of see a pattern there.

Honorable mentions go to Mages of Mystralia, The Last Remnant, and The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition have occupied most of my time this past month. SFV:AE is a complete package now easily worth the $40 asking price if you enjoy fighting games. I have Dragon Ball FighterZ waiting to crack into so that might be February’s game.

My top spot this month is going to have to be shared between Steamworld Dig 2 and Aven Colony. Steamworld Dig 2 really does a great gob with progression and doling out new things to overcome. Most of the game isn’t terribly challenging but it somehow managed to keep it interesting. The challenge caves at the end are pretty brutal though.

Aven Colony is one of the better city builders I’ve played as of late. The systems seem to be balanced pretty well and aren’t as bland as Anno 2205’s.

The Regular Guests
Solar Settlers and Dungeon Warfare continue to be my games I go to when I don’t want to think of what to play. I’ve finally unlocked all of the races in Solar Settlers, so my playtime will probably trail off.

More Good Stuff

Tales From the Borderlands: It took a 40-60% of the game before I finally warmed up to the characters, but I really liked them by the end. There was humor throughout, but without the character attachment at the beginning it was just decent. By the end I was sad to be finished with this set of characters.

The Long Dark: I’ve started the campaign with low expectations due to people not seeming to like it here, but I think it’s pretty good. I like having short term goals handed out to me while I’m learning the game. I don’t know how much meat the developers think people need to eat to survive, but I think they overshot the mark.

Dominions 5: I think I like reading Bruce’s manual just as much as playing. Not sure how many games can match the character this one has.

Lords of Waterdeep: Seems like a good translation of the boardgame which I never played a lot of. The AI seems to play a good game.

Tachyeon Project: I think I enjoyed this twin stick shooter more than I had a right to for some reason. I finished the campaign now so I doubt it will see much more action. There are some endless modes with leaderboards, but @tomchick seems to be my only Steam buddy to have played this game - and it looks like he bailed part way through.

Straddling the Good and Meh

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light: No real bad games this month. This game had me teetering between quitting and wanting to continue. The environments were pretty good and some of the puzzles were fairly interesting / challenging. The biggest downer was that I felt like I had to travel around too much.

Even better! It’s called The Agency, and it tells you things around you, like combat sites, anomalies, agents, mining sites and more that are around you. It’s like a massive to do list, and I LOVE IT.

There is now controller support?!? That may get me to go back to it. For some reason mouse-based Diablo style play bores me to tears, but something like Victor Vran kept me engaged with its controller-based play.

Ohhh, I too didn’t know GD now had controller support. Guess I’ll have to return to it!

Yes, and it’s awesome. The game also switches seamlessly between mouse and controller, so you can use the mouse to mess with inventory, and then use the controller to play. Best of both worlds!

Didn’t have a ton of free time this month for gaming up until the last week, but the two standouts that consumed most of my gaming time were…

Slay The Spire - great fun, for $15 bucks I can’t recommend it strongly enough if you enjoy rogue likes and deck builders.

Total War: Warhammer 2 - Rise of the Tomb Kings - Great DLC with some unique mechanics. I really enjoyed this campaign.

That’s pretty awesome.

@rhamorim thanks for letting us know about GD controller support - added another game to my ‘play again’ list ;)

Wasteland 2. I enjoyed it but Underrail easily has the more detailed and robust tactical engine.

Dead Age came on late in the month. Tedious, slogging JRPG combat game but strangely addictive.

I would say far and away Hollow Knight. Difficulty is just right for me and I love the art style. It clicked with me a lot more than salt and sanctuary which was also supposed to be a 2D dark souls type of game.

Subnautica VR almost exclusively.

Gloomhaven. We’re nearly managing a session per week. So good.

Unsurprisingly, it’s Monster Hunter World. :)

I was completely absorbed with Subnautica. What an amazing game.