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Category: Articles

The home for the written work of The Bonus World

Articles 2

Exploring My Biases Against Certain Genres and Mechanics

Have you ever seen a trailer for a game and immediately knew it wasn’t for you? This happens to me consistently, and all it usually takes is a trailer or screenshot for me to see the mechanics at play to know a game isn’t for me. While I try to keep an open mind about every game, it’s a challenge for me to look at certain mechanics or genres and still feel compelled to play it despite what the critical reception is…

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Gut Check: Ghost of Tsushima

I went into Ghost of Tsushima knowing very little about what the game was outside of it being an open world action-adventure game set during a Mongol invasion of Japan during the 1270’s. A cool premise to be sure, but a cool premise alone wasn’t able to change the fact that I wasn’t having much fun with the game itself…

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Review: SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated

Towards the end of my time with SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, my opinion of it had soured so drastically from how I felt when I began it. Being a 3D platformer from 2003, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that you’re hopping from level to level, completing challenges and solving puzzles in order to obtain some sort of shiny object, which in this case are golden spatulas. Collecting enough golden spatulas grants you access to more levels, where you’ll do more challenges and so on and so forth. It’s a 3D platformer through and through…

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Review: BarnFinders

BarnFinders is a game that I am deeply conflicted about. It’s the exact sort of mindless, meditative gaming experience that I love so much, most of which involves you finding, repairing and selling various flotsam and jetsam at your own junk shop. It also is a game that is tremendously unfunny and at incredibly problematic in the way it represents various ethnicities and cultures…

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Gut Check: Among Trees

There is no denying that Among Trees is cut from the same cloth as the countless other survival games that have existed over the years, but leaving it at that would not only be dismissive and reductive, but fairly inaccurate as well. While Among Trees is one of “those” kinds of games, it sands down some of the rough edges of other titles of its ilk that usually lead me to avoid the genre entirely. But there’s something about this particular early access survival game that has me so fascinated and eager to continue playing it…

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Gut Check: Hardspace: Shipbreaker

Hardspace: Shipbreaker is a game that might have been made with me and my proclivities in mind. In Hardspace: Shipbreaker, you play as an unnamed “cutter” for a company that dismantles and salvages derelict space crafts for various clients, while making sure to pick through everything in an effort to get a little extra bonus cash. It’s currently in early access which is reassuring considering its various and completely understandable technical issues, that hopefully will be fixed as time goes on…

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A Look Back at The Steam Game Festival

As we watch the corpse of E3 gently float down the stream with golden coins placed over its eyes for The Riverman to grant it safe passage, we find ourselves in the midst of constant press events that look to fill vacuum E3 left in its wake. One of these events came in the form of the now concluded Steam Game Festival, where developers could directly market their upcoming games via Steam and allow us to download demos of upcoming games. I played a couple of these demos and wanted to provide a little bit of insight into each of the games I got my hands on…

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The Master of Disaster: Finding Your Style – 13

Recently my friends and I shuffled our roles, affording me the opportunity to play in a campaign rather than run one. It’s been fantastic both from a gameplay standpoint along with freeing me up creatively to focus on other projects. Simultaneously another group of friends expressed interest in running a starter Dungeons & Dragons campaign, so being the masochist I am I obliged and started running them through The Lost Mines of Phandelver. And honestly, both games have been tremendous learning experiences that I desperately needed…

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Review: The House of Da Vinci 2

Back in 2016 the first The House of Da Vinci was released on mobile devices and was received warmly by critics and myself alike. In 2019 a sequel was released on mobile devices, and despite my enjoyment of the first entry, I completely missed The House of Da Vinci 2. Now in 2020, The House of Da Vinci 2 has been released on PC and has proven to be another solid entry in the series, mixing both very creative and frustratingly obtuse puzzles with a largely forgettable story…

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Gut Check: Neversong

Neversong is a spooky little side-scrolling game that tries to blend so many elements together, but ultimately doesn’t succeed at most of them.  The spooky action, adventure and puzzle game has an interesting enough stylistic and plot hook to grab your attention, but many of the gameplay decisions are just dull…

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Gut Check: Beautiful Desolation

Beautiful Desolation is a point and click adventure game that puts you in the shoes of a gloriously mullet-ed man who is investigating the presence of a mysterious triangular object that’s appeared in the sky.  Through a combination of puzzle solving, dialogue trees and aimlessly wandering around gorgeously rendered landscapes, you start to peel back the cosmic mystery that’s upended your life…

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Gut Check: Umurangi Generation

Umurangi Generation is a stylistic and serene game about being a photographer in some weird dystopian, vaguely cyberpunk world where somebody is paying top dollar for your random pictures of birds.  It’s actually a really neat concept that fumbles the execution in certain spots…

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Gut Check: Maneater

Maneater is a genuinely fun game with an extremely unique concept that ultimately gets bogged down in repetition and monotony far sooner than you’d expect. One would think that a game about being a shark that’s hell-bent on consuming and destroying any and everything in its path would be more exciting to play, and while the moment to moment gameplay achieves that desired level of excitement, the objectives and grinding required of you become very tedious, very quickly…

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Gut Check: Wildfire

There will never be a time that I don’t find complete and utter joy in a game that allows me to mercilessly mess with my enemies by scaring the living hell out of them. Wildfire is a game that allows me to do just that, while layering in some awesome elemental powers and great stealth mechanics, while bizarrely asking me to be a pacifist and not burn dudes alive…