Surviving my commute to work thanks to video games

The iPad has given me the chance to allow myself play video games 1 hour a day

I have 2 jobs, my regular 8 to 5 job as a Unity VR Developer and my indie game developer job.

In the first one, I am just one of the Engineers, but I have the chance to speak and learn with the rest of the roles (Art, Design and Marketing)

In my other job, I get to experience all those roles just by myself. I enjoy both of them. I get up in the mornings and my mind runs wild with new creative ideas and things I want to achieve that day.

But there is a sad part on this story, I don’t have time for playing as many video games I used to. Even when I have a free hour, I keep working. I take notes for my next blog or my next tutorial or something to incorporate on the game that I’m working at the moment.

I mostly play indie games with some exceptions such as The Witcher 3 or other triple AAA games. But I am a fun of little indie games, because I want to support other fellow developers in their journey. Indie Game developers tries interesting mechanics and incorporate in their games.

They, or we try to offer something special and different.

About 2 years ago my commute to work increased in duration and now I spend around 1 hour each day sitting on the train. This is the perfect time to enjoy my free time, there is nothing else I can do in this time but read a comic or a book and why not? Play some games

I owe an iPad Pro, with a decent screen and it works phenomenal.

This piece of hardware allows me to play lots of different indie games. This is my chance to spend 1 hour every day enjoying my passion: video games.

My favourite genre is puzzle games, interactive story games and point and clicks. The Apple store offers endless games of this genre.

The new Apple Arcade subscription service includes new amazing and inspiring titles for a reasonable price.

I’ve spent the last 2 years experiencing many, many games, devouring one after the other and feeling satisfying with myself.

Here is a list of the most amazing discoveries of my past 2 years

Thimbleweed Park

What can I say about this one, and old school classic point and click adventure game.

You control 5 different characters with different stories that converges in the one.
I used to play old point and clicks such as Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max, and this one reminds me of those old good times.
Exactly like in the old days, you have a loooong list of commands and your goal is to discover what is the right one with the right item.

Progress through the story switching between characters and exchanging items that you collect.

Lots of jokes, completely voice acting, extensive dialogs and really good stories.

Most of the time you have to use an old telephone guide to call someone, I enjoyed but I am really bad at remembering numbers.
I keep writing the numbers I had to call.

As any classic old point and click I got stuck more than 1 time on the game and ended up checking the guide…
And there are some good twisted puzzles, I still remember that classic rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle.

Probably my favourite characters of this game are Ransome the *Beep*ing Clown who thinks is still a start, and Delores Edmund who ends up working as a game designer.

Shardlight— Wad eye games

The world has completely ended, people struggle to get enough food and water to survive day by day.
People are dying, a lethal disease is spreading rapidly, and you as a player are the hero of this story.

That is the premise of this excellent game. I’ve never played any games of Wadjet Eye games, until now.
I am now an unconditional fan of them and their work.

All their games have good quality, beautiful hand-painted characters and environments in pixel art, well written and a fantastic voice over.
I specially enjoyed how Wadjet Eye games, introduces class differences between The Aristocrats and normal people that are trying to live their lives the best they can.

This story brings conflicts, and some hard decisions that you, as a player, have to make.

I will replay this game in a couple of years.

Technobabylon — Wadeye games

The future is here, gadgets, advance technology, powerful AI, genetic engineering…
All you can expect from the not so far future.
These topics fascinating me, I keep looking for new articles of what scientists are discovering, right now.
I want to live in this future; I want to experience new technologies; I want to see all of this new form of living.
Thanks to this game I could have a glimpse of what might come in 50 years or even less!

Wad eye games gave has given me this past year the best stories, in the best possible way, a point and click.

The puzzles in this game are not very complicated, it’s all about talk to people and progress.
As a bonus, you switch between different characters, which leads to different stories.
That’s something that I’d appreciate in a good story.

The Blackwell Saga — Wad eye games

The Blackwell Saga go through 5 different games, where you unravel the story of the main character Rosangela Blackwell and her spirit guide Joey Mallone.

The complete story is touching, even sad at the end, but you can see the progress in every new game.

Every game improves over the previous one, not only on the dialog but on the game play mechanics as well.

In this game you can control Rosangela and Joey! Who doesn’t want to control a ghost and go across walls, discover secrets and… be cheeky and move an object to spook other characters?

On the first game Joey doesn’t do much, just wander around the sceneries and talk to other ghosts, but on the next games you can use his power to move small objects and some puzzles.

Your goal in these games is to send ghosts to the other side and give them peace once and for all.

The pattern on the games is very similar, you read the newspaper; you follow a lead for example someone has died in strange circumstances.
You go to the place and both Joey and Rosangela try to gather information about the ghost.
They often don’t know that they are dead and they are stuck between worlds.
It is a fantastic way to tell many different stories.

Pilgrims, Amanita Design

This is another one of those small games that I know how to categorize, I’d say it’s a puzzle game with a simple story. You are a pilgrim who lives in a tent, wakes up, visit different locations and meets new people.
Soon you meet a sad witch that tells you she's lost her singing bird and you agree to find it.
Your second encounter is with a bandit who enjoys drinking too much and he asks you to find him a pot of cooked potatoes.
And here is the catch about this game, there is no actual dialog, no subtitles, just simple animations with speech bubbles.
Amanita Design has a well established visual language that just simply works.

I’ve seen this system in all of their games, from the first one Samorost, to Machinarium (one of my favourite games of all times) to this latest one.

The story is simple and there is grateful surprise; you solve the puzzles and progress through the story with cards!

Amanita Design didn’t stop there, they also included something else; when you help certain characters, they join you in form of an extra card!

It was so much fun to try all the actions with this extra character.
Not only I was smiling from the first frame of the game until the last one, but I replayed the game until I got the 45 achievements

Tangle Tower, SFB Games

I felt like a detective, collecting clues in over 10 different locations. Deciphering codes, making connexions between the characters and their alibies…

I played the first Grimoire one a long time ago, and I was very surprised when I saw this new chapter on Grimoire’s life.
This game was the reason I tried the Apple Arcade, and I was not disappointed.

There are 6 different characters that you get to meet, each one of them with different personalities. There is a musician, a gardener who likes to grow peculiar plants, and scientist… And birds lots of birds (they are so cute)

Lovely graphics with lots of different details on the sceneries. I have to mention how the characters are drawn, they have a white outline that makes them look like stickers.

There are tons of sliding puzzles to unlock objects on the rooms, and worth to mention a recurrent mechanic to solve the clues, the sentence game.
When you have collected enough clues, and talk to most of the characters, you then can start discovering stories about them.
The game presents you with a selection of sentences and clues that you have to sort to get the right sentence.

Very good written detective game, I had so much fun playing it. I will keep an eye on future games.

Assemble With Care, Ustwo games

My most recent discovery and surprisingly good.
This one is more like a short story told by the female protagonist in a form of a diary with simple hand painted images.

As soon as you open the game for the first time, you know what it is about. You have to fix or assemble different objects. The first one that serves as a tutorial is an old cassette player.

You are Maria, a young lady who wants to explore the world and meet new people. You end up in Bellariva, a small town with charisma.

You meet different people and they ask you to fix small objects, sometimes they are electronics, sometimes they are reliques.

The interface of the game is clean, and the music accompanies the look and feel, it is peaceful.

The puzzles are simple; you have an object to fix; you use your screw drive to remove pieces and checks what’s wrong.
You have to rotate the object and keeps pulling pieces and replace for new ones.
Sometimes you have to upgrade the object with a new shining feature but nothing complicate.

But this game is much more that just restoring objects, it is about feelings.
A character asks you for help to fix a valuable object, for example, a watch, and they tell you the story about that watch.

At the end of the game you feel satisfying because not only you have fixed different objects but also help people to deal with their feelings.
It’s very satisfying.

And that’s all, these are my favourite personal ones of this year. I’ve played many amazing games, and I will keep hunting for new interesting ones.

Thanks for reading and sharing .

You can find me in:

I am Bee, an in indie developer creating Witchery Academ a life sim where you live the adventures of a wizard apprentice with your spirit companion

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