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Bell Buys Me Stuff Sometimes

Bell Buys Me Stuff Sometimes
  • On March 13, 2015

Clean out my Steam inventory week should be titled: Why do I have this game at all? Inevitably the answer is, “because Bell bought it for me or possibly for one of my kids.” Every game I have that I haven’t played showed up like that. She’s the most generous and random of friends.

Space Trader: Merchant Marine

I played this game for ten seconds, discovered it was first person, and turned it off. First person games are an automatic no for me. Thanks, inner ear! It looks like a resource management/trading kind of game, which could be fun.

Larva Mortus



This one is a fun, top-down action game. Basically a dungeon crawler, you go from room to room and shoot zombies (a lot, because when they turn into parts they keep coming) and monsters and try not to shoot hostages. Missions appear on the map, each one corresponding to a dungeon with specific end goals. The gameplay reminds me a lot of The Binding of Isaac, although you keep what you’ve earned in this one.

I did not enjoy the fact that I couldn’t use a controller with the game, I very much prefer that to keyboard and mouse gaming.


You can play on multiple difficulty settings. The website says the dungeons are randomly generated, so replay will be high as long as you enjoy that kind of thing.

Penguin’s Arena: Sedna’s World


Sadly this game is also first person, but I suffered through one round just to see what it was about.

Penguin’s Arena is a PVP (penguin vs. penguin) game. You’re on a team, and there are up to three other teams of penguins. You can play single player against a computer or multiplayer over Steam servers. The basic goal of the game is to stay on the map while flinging others off it in a giant, penguin marble game.


You get little buffs to help you out like snowballs, grenades, fish to toss and other things, and you run around flinging yourself into the opposing team’s penguins so that they slide over the icy surface of the arena and into the ocean. I played with teams of five, and the last penguin standing won the day. Needless to say, the A.I. won.

The rounds are quick and the entire game can be summed up as “wacky.” Super cute, and kid-friendly which is probably why it appeared in my inventory.

Tank Universal


Another FPS. Now we see why I’ve never played these games. This one I stuck with for about five minutes but now I’m nauseous and headachey.

I kept with it because it reminded me of a game called Spectre which I used to play hard in the early 90s. They share similar graphics and feels, rolling around in a tank shooting dudes with the most minimal of surroundings and textures. Spectre was not first person and thus did not make me barf, so that was nice.

Tank Universal has a cool, eerie feel to it. You start the game as a sick (maybe dying) human, and the doctor gives you a VR helmet to “take your mind off things.” You’re transported into this alternate reality wherein you’re a prisoner of some kind, required to drive a tank and shoot guys. I wish I could have stuck with it because it seems super fun, and it runs like a dream with pared down graphics. It also has that Tron/Spectre nostalgia feel going on. Sadly, I had to quit even before the shooting commenced.

Play this one for me and tell me how it is, will you?

At this point, the only games left in my inventory that aren’t ones I play are the RIP games. Also first person.So… I quit. I’m going to play Hand of Fate instead:


Have you seen Hand of Fate? It’s amazeballs. Bell did a Let’s Play for it a while ago. It recently came out of beta and is in full release on Steam. This game is so fun, guys. The art is beautiful, the narrator excellently snarky, and the game concept is unique.

It’s a combination dungeon crawler/deck builder. You don’t battle another player but the dealer, as he throws in his own cards and then you move from card to card on the board. You’re never sure what will happen in each “room,” you may wind up facing enemies in an action style fight or have to do a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style series of moves that might leave you richer or naked in a ravine.

Hand of Fate is by far my favorite indie game to come out in the last couple years. It feels fresh in a way that many don’t. This isn’t another platformer or collectible card game (with the bothersome in game purchase requirements) or even another action game. It’s all of those and none of those, and more to the point it’s put together in a way that’s challenging, interesting and just weird enough to keep you guessing.

Because we’re Can’t Talk, I feel compelled to note that I encountered no women in any of these games. Granted, I only played most of them for a few minutes. Hand of Fate has a few women in the deck, but there are far more men, and you do not have a choice to play a lady player. I’m looking forward to Bell’s posts this week. She has encountered some unique, interesting indie games with women leads like Analogue: A Hate Story and Journal.

To sum up: TIL I don’t buy games I don’t want, and I still like Hand of Fate best of all. Now I can’t talk, I’ve got the Jack of Plague to beat.

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