What I've Been Playing This Week (aka Pile of Shame Sunday)

Screenshot from The Long Journey Home
Using a jump gate in The Long Journey Home

The following post is part of a series of posts that are published every Sunday to update readers on what Mark G has been up to with respect to finishing off games on his "Pile of Shame". The games to target are picked by Choicest Games contributors Choona, Luke and myself. As I'll be talking about my progress through these games, there may be spoilers ahead, especially for games containing a narrative. Consider yourself warned.

Quake II: Quad Damage

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 100%
Yay! Another one bites the dust. Check out my review of Quake II here.

For Honor

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 10%
Didn't get around to playing this.

Stardew Valley

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 20%
On hold while I'm playing other games. 😊

The Long Journey Home

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 20%
I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to be doing in this game but it reminds me of a roguelike I played on mobile called Out There. This game is not what I expected a game by Daedalic to be like, but then again, I've always associated them with point 'n' click adventures, not roguelikes set in outer space which is what this seems to be. Besides the management aspect of the game, there are a couple of mini-games that are similar to Lunar Lander and Asteroids; you also get to meet a lot of zany aliens in the game which reminds me of Star Control II.

Anyway, I've jumped to a new cluster which is closer to Earth, but my crew are all getting infested with something and I'm not sure what…

Urban Empire

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 20%
This game has a lot of screens with data but I'm not sure if any of it is actually meaningful since in the end, it all comes down to convincing the City Council to do… well… just about anything to be honest! If you want to change the zoning for a particular suburb, you have to get Council approval. If you want to build a new suburb? Council approval. If you want to put streetlights up? Council approval. If you want to build a new train station that will surely help your city's economy? Council approval. It's like a highly restrictive version of SimCity.

I also haven't completely figured out the political aspect of the game since you can plead, demand or threaten other political parties to align with your views, but it comes at the cost of goodwill (which slowly rebuilds back over time). While it can help when parties are sitting on the fence, it's basically futile if they're all against particular measures.

What I do like about the game is that you'll have random events where you get to make particular decisions which sometimes has a direct impact on whoever becomes your heir (the game spans over a few generations I believe). Also, music changes between eras which is also a nice touch.

On the downside, games seem to take a long time to load and I still haven't figured out how to earn a steady cash flow for the City yet, unless I go crazy with raising the taxes (so far, I've only increased it by a few percent).

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

  • Picked by Luke
  • Percentage Complete = 73%
Since I really want to finish the game now, I slipped past a Level 2 fort in order to finally arrive at the port of Kingston. I completed a Templar Hunt there (I've now completed 4 out of 5 of them) and have started the next main storyline mission. I stuffed up soooo many times during the mission since there are soooo many guards (and you have to rely on stealth to complete the mission: my Achilles Heel).

After several retries though, I finally made my way through.


  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 100% (INCOMPLETE)
I managed to make my way to the Ark which required a whopping amount of materials (it took ages for me to grind my way in accumulating enough metal). I experienced several Crashes to Desktop (CTDs) on the way to the Ark: maybe the game can't handle a huge population, who knows? I ended up reclaiming land next to beaches in order to build new settlements, including a couple of builder settlements next to the Ark itself.

After completing construction of the Ark, you can launch it to discover a new world… where you can repeat everything you did on the previous world all over again. It was at that moment I decided to call it quits, and I moved on to check out Godus Wars.

Godus Wars

  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 5%
Wow, Godus Wars is a really basic RTS. You only have one unit type (archers) and the number you can build depends on how many citadels you have and how large they are (which is dependent on population - it's similar to building settlements in the original Godus). It seems like the extent of your god powers in Godus Wars (at least so far) is just flattening land in order to allow your followers to build more houses. Yay?

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