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Category: Articles

The home for the written work of The Bonus World

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Review: Adios

I don’t know if I’ve ever actually experienced anything quite like what I did when I played through Adios. I don’t mean to imply that I was awestruck by it by any means, because I genuinely found it to be an incredibly underwhelming game to play. Yet despite its numerous mechanical shortcomings, this narrative-focused, first-person adventure game delivered a really impactful story that left me feeling pretty raw emotionally…

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The Master of Disaster: Alternative Thinking – 19

One of the best things about tabletop role-playing games is just how much versatility a player has in any given situation. Any good GM should be able to accommodate any reasonable request from their players, but the real fun come in when a player completely sideswipes you with some genuine shenanigans. Having to adjust and improvise on-the-fly is an absolute thrill that really tests my abilities to honor the request of the player while adhering to the rules and story. It’s a tough thing to develop, but it’s a necessary skill to have when running a game…

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Gut Check: Outriders Demo

Recently a demo for the upcoming Square Enix game, Outriders, was released to the public in what I can only assume was to get people like myself to finally stop asking, “what the hell is Outriders?” Seriously, I had no idea what this game was or when it was announced or who was making it, but ads for started cropping up everywhere so I figured I’d just try the demo and seek out the answer for myself…

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Gut Check: Tastemaker

I recently spent some time playing a little restaurant management game that I found thanks to a post on Reddit by the creator themselves. Normally I don’t take game recommendations from the infinite void that is Reddit, but it was interesting and cheap enough for me to take the chance on this early access title. It’s called Tastemaker and it needs a lot of work, but there’s definitely something there that’s got me hopeful enough to keep an eye on its progress…

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Valentine’s Play

Even though our 2020 Game of the Year coverage is dead and buried with the rest of 2020, there’s still one list that I felt needed to be published in regards to the games I played last year. See, my partner and I started dating towards the end of 2019 and like most people, were put into a really challenging position when it came to maintaining our relationship while we were both quarantined. Luckily we both had Nintendo Switches and were able to have “date nights” where we’d just play games and talk for hours, something we still do only now in person thanks to them moving closer to my place. So in celebration of Valentine’s Day, here are some of the games we played and continue to play together that they have specifically called out as their most memorable games that we’ve played together in no particular order…

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Review: Cyber Shadow

There’s a moment when playing an action game where you fall into a rhythm and everything just clicks, making your deft dodging and precision platforming feel less like conscious choices and more like you’re just acting off of pure instinct. When a game manages to get you into that zone, it can be the difference between enjoying said game and loving it. Cyber Shadow is a game that’s filled with these moments of pure 2D action and platforming bliss, but it’s also filled with a lot of bullshit that can rip you right out of that rhythm. Yet none of the lows of Cyber Shadow are enough to outweigh its highs…

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Demos of the Steam Game Festival 2021

It’s times like these that I’m really grateful that my internet provider hasn’t saddled me with data caps, because I’ve downloaded a ton of demos from the ongoing Steam Game Festival that would certainly have resulted in some sort of additional charge on my bill. But the point is that as of February 3rd, 2021, you can open up Steam and download a bunch of demos for upcoming games. While I could never play all of them, nor would I ever want to be in a position where I had to, I did play some of the titles and have a few thoughts about what you should try and what you should avoid…

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The Master of Disaster: Holiday Havoc – 18

I currently play in two Dungeons & Dragons groups, one of which I run and the other I just play in. For my group, we’d been running the newly released Icewind Dale – Rime of the Frostmaiden, while my other was neck-deep in a Dragonlance campaign. However, as we crept closer towards the end of 2020, we found ourselves in the middle of one of the weirdest holiday seasons of all time. So with a lot of people unable to see family and get particularly festive this year, I wanted to do something special for them the only way I knew how to: A holiday themed one-shot. It was also an opportunity for me to move away from the lackluster module of Icewind Dale – Rime of the Frostmaiden, but that’s a story for another time. Instead, I’d like to tell you the story of Holiday Havoc: The Clausening, the holiday one-shot I ran for both of my D&D groups…

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Gut Check: Immortals: Fenyx Rising

When talking about Immortals: Fenyx Rising, it’s impossible not to bring up 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, an excellent game that was bound to inspire other developers to build upon its success. Enter Immortals: Fenyx Rising, a game that’s so clearly inspired by Breath of the Wild that at times it feels like plagiarism. However, for better and worse, Ubisoft did not make a carbon copy of Breath of the Wild, because that would be an insult to one of the best Zelda games out there. What we have on our hands is a louder, less subtle, yet still solid facsimile of a modern classic…

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Gut Check: Fuser

Somewhere between my first and fiftieth Smash Mouth and Carly Rae Jepsen mashup, the comedic flair that initially attracted me to Fuser faded into the background and was replaced with a genuine desire to make a song that actually sounded good. While Fuser isn’t much of a “game,” it is a pretty powerful and accessible piece of software that’s capable of generating some genuine ear-worms of songs in an easy and accessible way…

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Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a game that not only builds on the incredible foundation that was Marvel’s Spider-Man with a new protagonist and mechanics, but cuts out a lot of the bloat that plagued its predecessor. The refinements overall result in a tremendously well-paced experience that every Spider-Man fan should check out as long as they aren’t using a launch PlayStation 4…

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Gut Check: Watch Dogs Legion

When I think about my time with 2016’s Watch Dogs 2, I’m reminded of its many ups and downs both in terms of gameplay and story, but at the end of the day it’s a game that had a lot of heart and charm that managed to make it a memorable and satisfying experience. Watch Dogs Legion however, lacks any of the joy and fun that its predecessor had, contains repetitive and frustrating missions, and also runs like hot garbage…

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The Master of Disaster: God – 17

It’s been a bit since I’ve actually told a story from my D&D games, hasn’t it? Lately I’ve been prattling on about my ethos and how I prep for games, but sometimes all you need is a good story about players being overly confident. So buckle in everyone, cause this one is short but oh so sweet…

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Review: I Am Dead

Contrary to what its morose title might suggest, I Am Dead is a genuinely touching and pleasant puzzle game that has you uncovering the history of the small port village of Shelmerston in an effort to secure its future…

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Gut Check: Solasta Crown of the Magister

Not so long ago I wrote a lengthy piece about my issues with the state of the early access release of Baldur’s Gate III. Without rehashing that entire article here, the main crux of it focused on the mechanical liberties Baldur’s Gate III took with the rules of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. My initial thought was that translating the rules of D&D into a video game would naturally require a ton of concessions, however another CPRG named Solasta Crown of the Magister recently entered early access and proved that theory wrong…

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Some Notes About Baldur’s Gate III

Before I dive into the bulk of this article, it should be mentioned that no video game could ever truly capture the Dungeons & Dragons experience solely because there are static limitations to any video game. You can account for a lot of things as a game designer and try to cater to dozens of styles of play, but no game could adapt to the wild and imaginative things that players regularly ask of their DM’s quite like a living, breathing person present. Yet in spite of all of that Baldur’s Gate III already shows incredible promise when it comes to representing D&D and is a game I’m genuinely enjoying…