Monthly Archives: December 2016

Ranneko’s Favourite Games Played in 2016

With the clock winding down on 2016 it is time for me to look back at the games I finished playing in 2016 and talk about the ones I enjoyed the most. The only requirement for a game to enter this list is that I finished it in 2016, either by reaching the end or deciding I never want to play it again. As a result you won’t really see any multiplayer focused titles here, because they are generally unable to be finished and I am reluctant to admit I have stopped playing them. I actually construct this list as I finish games during the year, so if you want to see what is happening with it at any time, just check it out over here.

Read on for Ranneko’s Top 10 of 2016

A Brief Newsie

Hey, readers. Happy holiday period!

It’s Wednesday, so you might at this point be wondering where this week’s Indie Wonderland is. I’m wondering that myself, too. I usually try to have these things up by Monday, consistently, but… Let’s just say that Christmas interfered. I had plans to write a review in-between dinner sessions and then that just didn’t happen. Sorry about that! The final VNADS will instead go up next Monday, January 2nd. My first review of 2017. It’s going to be a great one to lead in the year, I can just tell.

Unrelated, but mildly related, it’s almost time for another Josh And Jarenth Wrap Up The Year stream-a-vaganza. We’re still locking down the exact time and place for this one, which is a fancy way of saying Josh hasn’t fully decided / written it down yet. Once we’re sure of the whole thing, I’ll post the exact times and streaming channel here as well.

And any suggestions for what we should play on stream are, of course, always appreciated.

– Jarenth

Update: the stream times have been decided. 3:00 AM Central European Time, 2:00 AM GMT, or 10:00 PM East Coast time, whichever denomination works for you. It’s one hour earlier than previous streams; blame Josh, as I do.

It's never a good sign when a game's title screen would make me alt-tab away if my mother suddenly came to visit.

Indie Wonderland: Loren The Amazon Princess

Winter WolvesLoren The Amazon Princess is another fan request for VNADS 2016, as well as a game I’ve been interested in checking out myself. It’s been on Steam since January 2014, and I think I remember that it’s one of the first self-identified visual novels I personally ever saw on the platform. It might even have been part of the seed that originally led to VNADS, who knows? I needed only the gentlest of nudges to check this one out.

To wit:

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, high, but only for the first third of the game. Mechanical, medium.)

(Game source: Patreon funds.)

After the break

Indie Wonderland: Solstice

Following an unprecedented two concurrent reader recommendations — I really hope this doesn’t come off as a mean-spirited burn, I love you guys — I’ve decided to this week take a look at Solstice. Created by MoaCube, developers of Cinders [official site], Solstice… looks a lot like Cinders 2.0? Both mechanically, and with respect to art style, I feel like I’ve seen this before. Except that Cinders was very clearly based on the Cinderella story. But Solstice… maybe it’s a Ice Queen adaptation, like Frozen? Am I going to be buddying up to existentially oblivious snowmen any time soon? Probably not. But still, only one way to find out.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, low-medium. Mechanical, fairly high.)

(Game source: Patreon funds.)

After the break: Solstice. I do appreciate the narrative disconnect between this snow-and-ice theme, and ‘cinders’. Let’s see if it lasts.

Indie Wonderland: VA-11 Hall-A

“Hey, wait a minute, Jarenth,” I hear you say. “You’re still doing VNADS! You can’t suddenly veer into Sukeban Games‘s VA-11 Hall-A, as that’s clearly a cyberpunk bartender action game! Says so right on the tin!”

To those people I say, good eye! I appreciate you trying to keep me honest. But also, maybe take a little closer look at the Steam page. See what it says, right there in the popular tags section?

IMG: VN (Read ’em and weep, nerds.//I don’t make the rules, I just rigidly enforce them for my own benefit.)

The larger Steam community has spoken. VA-11 Hall-A‘s a visual novel, and what’s the abbreviation for my winter adventures again? Visual Novels and Dating Sims month. Looks like I’m in the clear! So let’s get this party started before anyone thinks to bring up that it’s possible that I myself added that ‘user-defined’ tag.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, medium-light. Mechanical, light.)

(Game source: Patreon funds.)

After the break: VA-11 Hall-A. I didn’t actually tag it on Steam, but it’d have been cool if I did.