What Are You Playing This Weekend?

I am playing a game for love this weekend, Rock, Paper, Shotgun-eers. Or, quite possibly, unrequited infatuation. Dungeon of the Endless is my current poison of choice. I remember feeling a mild throb of interest, the first time that I laid eyes on the game. It was pretty but I wasn’t sure whether we occupied the same headspace. But then time passed and the game released. I picked it up because, why not?

And now I am hooked like a a fat trout in a lake filled with hungry fishermen.

The basic idea seems incredibly simple, at first glance. You need to climb up through twelve levels in order to win. To accomplish this, you spend each level trying to transport a massive crystal from its roost to the exit. There are challenges, of course. Peculiar monsters and rooms that are subject to environmental weirdness. Your friends. You deal with this by building modules, putting your party members in strategic locations, and just… moving. Always moving.

But, Dungeons of the Endless is a lot bigger than the initial description might suggest. Subtle strategies and the whims of the RNG make throwing yourself into the fray again and again an enticing option. There’s a certain artistry to the levels, to the way it oh-so-discreetly nudges you to think harder, try harder, work smarter. Dungeons of the Endless knows how to lull you into a false sense of security, surprise you, and then make you go one more round.

So good, and also so bloody, delightfully frustrating.

I’ll let you know if I ever tire of the plowing through the levels with the people I like most in this world. Nothing connects folks like constant, irrevocable death. In the meantime, let’s talk about competitive events that are going to be streamed. I don’t know about you, but I am watching Fantasy Flight Games’ World Championship Weekend this, er, weekend. Warhammer, Android: Netrunner, and Call of Cthulhu are just some of the games that will be played during this prestigious event. Honestly, I’m shocked this exists. Who knew that tabletop games did things like that? Who knew that the championship are streamed with a bucket of commentators in tow? It’s weirdly surreal, but still flippin’ awesome.

100 Comments

  1. karthink says:

    I am playing Hadean Lands, interactive fiction by Andrew Plotkin–he of “Spider and Web” and “Shade”.

    What it is: A complex puzzle piece about waking up on an alchemical spaceship stranded in no man’s space and attempting to repair enough of it to understand what happened. Your primary means of affecting the world is through alchemy: learning rituals, modifying them and applying them creatively to solve problems. It’s also got an Edge-of-tomorrow/Groundhog day situation going for it, and the game is built around the ability to reset time while retaining what you’ve learnt.

    I kickstarted it way back in 2010. It’s proving worth the wait.

  2. Faldrath says:

    I’ll play A Bird Story, new game from the To The Moon devs :D Looking forward to it!

    Other than that, some more Path of Exile (those masters won’t level themselves! Sadly.), and more games wot go fast. Mostly Game Stock Car Extreme, but also some Assetto Corsa, I believe.

    And maybe some quick dips into Hexcells Plus when my brain is not fried and Binding of Isaac: Rebirth when my brain is very fried.

  3. Alabaster Crippens says:

    Definitely a board game weekend round my way (although actually, I’m going quite far from round my way for todays games). Hoping to do some big gaming today, Game of Thrones board game, maybe Eclipse. Not sure what tomorrow will consist of, but possibly things like Caverna and Glass Road, as it’s the local Eurogame event (although before that I have a laptop screen to fix, so I’m not sure how long I’ll make it for).

    If there’s time, I want to sink in to the latest update of Invisible Inc, and start finding my way through Prison Architect a bit more. I complete I Inc on easy a few updates ago, and found hard too hard. Need to properly play around with the new stuff and see how it’s strange, but I find it weird how completing a game, even a rogue like early access that has since changed and doesn’t have a proper endgame yet, makes me demotivated to sink too much time in it.

    Weird.

  4. Morte66 says:

    I’m playing “read the Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition player’s handbook”.

    These days, that’s optionally a sort of videogame: link to youtube.com …but it could get slicker.

  5. unitled says:

    Video games is likely to be more Binding of Isaac and I might finally get around to a bit of Alien Isolation if I can get the TV hooked up to my PC! Just need to convince my SO to give me control.

    Also, there’s a Netrunner tournament tomorrow here in Edinburgh, so hopefully will break my streak of second places and finally win something!

  6. K33L3R says:

    Playing Alan Wake and for the first time Dragon Age Awakening, taking my time with both to savour and appreciate two excellent games. Its wonderful when games from your backlog exceed your expectations

  7. Heliocentric says:

    Ballad of Gay Tony and a trifecta of puzzle games: Closure, The Bridge, Project Temporarility. Additionally I installed Long War for XCOM:EW But I’ll probably just stare at it hauntedly.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Iamblichos says:

    Elite: Dangerous… because I finally gave in and bought the beta. I like the game a lot. There are serious connectivity issues that plague a lot of people, but the core of the game is solid. The impending launch has a lot of people worried that there’s not enough content, but if the devs get the networking component stable I expect what is there now will leave people happy enough for a month or two for them to flesh out the universe.

  9. melnificent says:

    Depends on pain management…
    Endless legend on pc when it’s under control
    Final fantasy x on bit when it isn’t.

  10. Ostymandias says:

    EU IV – I wish. lag is killing the gaming since 1.8…
    so instead I think I’ll read Virilio’s Speed and Politics

    • brotherthree says:

      Try the 1.8.1 beta hotfix that you opt into through steam.

      Fixed all the issues I was having.

  11. Muppetizer says:

    I’m amazed at how much I’m enjoying Dungeon of the Endless, it’s totally eclipsed BoI: Rebirth for me which is something I never would have expected. Given its genre-mashing I can imagine it would have been very easy to deliver a looser experience, but it’s such a tight and challenging one more turn title I’ve found it almost impossible to properly step into the wider and messier Rebirth.
    My one hesitant issue with it is that a lot of the deeper strategies I’ve found myself falling into sort of feel more exploitive than smart, you can perform some pretty weird manoeuvres using the second or two pause it takes for enemy waves to spawn in and it’s sort of at odds with the rest of the atmosphere and style of play.

  12. Premium User Badge

    bsplines says:

    Unfortunately, most of my time will be spent thinking of new obscenities to scream at CUDA/C++. In the downtime though, mostly Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. It’s faster, adds a lot more content and increased the randomness compared to the original. Other than that maybe a bit of Torchlight II.

    .

  13. dare says:

    Sunless Sea and Fallen London, like many weekends before ths one.

    • Continuity says:

      Still playing Fallen London huh? didn’t know it was still running.

    • jaheira says:

      Just discovered Fallen London. Beautiful writing. Which reminds me, I have to expel those rats from my lodgings.

    • plugav says:

      I played Fallen London during Hollowmass. Went crazy from too many nightmares. It was great.

      I also own The Sunless Sea and it’s charming, but so far I find it too deadly — which wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t also repetitive. I find myself starting the game in pretty much the same way over and over…

  14. Continuity says:

    Still plodding though Legend of grimrock 2, about 30 hours in now and its still as excellent as the first 10 hours, so very pleased with it. Also some CS:GO, maybe i’ll dip into a few other things too, who knows.

  15. revan says:

    After picking up Tie Fighter from GOG.com, and getting incredibly hooked to that game, I’ve decided to reinstall X-wing Alliance, mod the hell out of it, and enjoy my weekend playing it right along above-mentioned Tie Fighter. These games are so old and yet so easy to sink into. Yesterday, while working out a logical topology for a client, I found myself thinking about a solution to a four on one dogfight against some Tie/Fs instead of punching in access lists. :)

    I’ll probably sprinkle some XCOM: Enemy Within in between those two games.

  16. Gap Gen says:

    Well, I *was* going to go to procjam (link to itch.io) but instead my body is procedurally generating viruses, so I’m watching it on Twitch.

  17. RedViv says:

    Dungeons of Poop, Dungeons of Endlessness, and Dungeons of Running Shadows With Falling Dragons… Things… Those.

  18. Anthile says:

    I finally wrapped up Deadly Premonition and I’m about to start a second playthrough of Dragon Age 2 before the sequel comes out although that seems rather optimistic. I have been playing at snail pace lately.

  19. acheron says:

    Played a few rounds of Civ Beyond Earth, and while I still think there’s a lot of potential there, I kept having the feeling that I’d rather just go play Civ V BNW and/or Alpha Centauri again. So I’m on the “Civ V” part of that.

    • Taerdin says:

      If you’re looking for good scifi 4x games there is no shortage of them :)

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, the BE demo made me get SMAC going again under a virtual machine last weekend. It’s still great.

  20. Boosh says:

    Normally weekends are reserved or Elite Dangerous, however with the imminent end of beta/pre-release version there is little point now (due to the incoming associated wipe).

    I bought Wolfenstein New Order and Shadow of Mordor recently, both are brilliant, so I predict long dark afternoons with those.

  21. cptgone says:

    i misread the bit about “unrequited infatuation” as “inflatulation” and mistook that for “flatulence”.

  22. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Binding of Isaac Rebirth interrupted my FF13 playthrough so I’m going for that, it’s just badly addicting. And Rolemaster in the evening, death to the orcs!

  23. Mud says:

    Same as last weekend, Farm Simulator 15 ……. 100+ hours in ….. I need a life

  24. bills6693 says:

    I’ll be playing a bit of Starsector (formerly known as Starfarer) – link to fractalsoftworks.com

    Its in development but every single release is so ridiculously polished, its basically a full new game. Bug free, modding support, and lots of depth already. The fact that the developer still considers this ‘alpha’ and has a long way to go is promising. Its been going for a few years and I think is a very safe bet, if for no other reason than the game as it stands right now is good enough to be a full, 1.0 release in my opinion. More features coming is just icing on the cake.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Right, I ran across this one a little while back and was very much intrigued, but forgot to bookmark it. Thanks for the reminder. Those ship designs (and the art style in general, actually) are really rather lovely.
      I don’t think I’ll ever own enough space games, but I try really, really hard not to do the whole payed alpha/ early access thing, and this one’s a little pricey to gamble on for me…
      Will be keeping an eye on it.

      • bills6693 says:

        I understand what you mean by steering clear of early access games. However I’d say this one is actually different to the usual fare.

        Basically, it is a ‘complete’ game at every patch. There are more features he plans to add, but each patch is not just a few features thrown in – its months of work adding features, integrating them into the game, making them play fun, balancing them, bugfixing them, and playtesting them to make sure its a fun, complete experience (and this is all by the developer, not shovelled onto consumers). In fact, each individual ALPHA release has far, far less bugs and problems than full releases of most AAA games.

        And I have to say, to this point, it has not disappointed. I would, completely honestly, consider each update a ‘full’ game that, if the game finished development at that point, I would not only consider to not be a waste of my money, but one of the best games I own!

        I guess what I’m trying to say is that the developer really cares about the consumers, and makes sure each release is totally ready. If he fell under a bus tomorrow, (aside from the world losing an amazing developer) I would have a complete game that never needed to be updated again to be considered a great game. You can see from his posts in the forums that he cares about the consumers above everything, from his dev blogs that he not only works hard but he really things through the mechanics he implements, their effects, and the effects of those effects. Every feature feels integrated in a clever, interesting and fun way, and is well thought out. I have to say, this is probably THE best game development I’ve ever followed.

        Sorry if this seems like a sales pitch. Its my honest account as someone who not only really likes this game, but really respects its developer’s practices and cannot recommend this game more. Its probably one of my GOTY, every year (since each update really does make it into a whole new, better game!)

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          No apology necessary, one thing I’ve always loved about games is talking to/ hearing from people who love games. I have to say, between your comment and some perusing of the devblog and youtube, I’m very, very tempted. It’s not often I find a game that looks set to scratch so many of my itches at once. You might not have been making a sales pitch, but it’s very likely you’ve got the game another sale, so take that how you will~

  25. technoir says:

    Hoping to finish the original Thief. I can totally see why it’s held in such high regard but the realization that I could easily hack my way through most of the levels if it weren’t for the no-killing rule in the higher difficulty settings has made the stealth feel a bit artificial.

    Even in expert difficulty you can clear most levels of guards with no trouble at all using nothing but the blackjack and maybe some water arrows. Just stand in a shadow near a guard’s patrol route, knock him out when he comes close, throw him into an empty room, rinse and repeat until you’re the only thing still standing. Refraining from using the blackjack unless it’s absolutely necessary has made things more interesting, but it feels dumb to have to have this sort of self-made rules on your first playthrough. That being said, I can definitely appreciate the design innovations present, especially in maps like The Sword or Undercover.

    • Geebs says:

      If you haven’t played it yet – proceed to Thief 2 ASAP; it’s much, much more fun to stealth through than the first.

    • mr.earbrass says:

      The first Thief has way too many monster levels.The second is better.

    • fish99 says:

      It’s too late now but I’d personally recommend saving expert for a 2nd playthrough and just going nuts with all the lethal tools you have available on your first playthrough.

      As for whether the no-kill limit of expert makes the stealth feel artificial, the game is called Thief, and Garrett isn’t a mass murderer. Would it make sense for him to kill 30 guards per level when they’re just either regular town guards or hired to guard some private residence?

      One of the best levels from Thief 2, even being seen is a failure (and it makes sense for that level).

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Exactly. It’s not ‘artificial’ for the game to instruct you not to kill folks when you’re playing a master thief who has good reason not to kill folks. Just because you can, certainly doesn’t mean you should.
        Anyway, Thief’s at its most fun when you try to ghost levels, not even being seen at all. Although that’s not -always- feasible.
        Also to the other commenter above, some of us really miss the monsters.

        • technoir says:

          I just wish there was a more mechanics-driven motivation for you to not just rush through each map killing anyone who gets in your way, rather than just an awkward instant-loss condition. Of course things like spawning more guards to chase you if you engage in extended swordfights would lead to loads of new issues in AI and level design, so I suppose the no-killing objectives are a compromise of sort.

          Still, just making combat more challenging and dangerous would go a long way in alleviating the problem. I know the term is considered passé at this point, but I can’t help but think this is a pretty bad case of ludonarrative dissonance. As you said Garrett is supposed to be a master thief, but the most efficient way to beat most levels on normal is to act like a mad brute. It’s not like he’s restraining his godlike fighting abilities out of sympathy for his fellow man – he utilizes stealth because he’s just one guy and shouldn’t be able to take on dozens of armed guards by himself.

          Don’t get me wrong, though, I’ve enjoyed the game very much, especially when avoiding both lethal and non-lethal violence. It’s just that I would like it even more if that play style was encouraged by the game’s design rather than my own self-imposed rules.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            It’s an interesting one. The game’s mechanics certainly have to take a good amount of responsibility for the playstyle and, ultimately, the fun of the player, otherwise what are they even there for. Your design has to, if not discourage unsatisfying or boring playstyles, then at least not actively encourage them. I think you’re right to hold the original Thief up as an example of that, although it’s been quite awhile since I played it. An artefact of it being an early stealth game in an age of FPS, I suppose? (Or possibly an artefact of its originally not being a stealth game in the first place, who knows)

            On the other hand, and this is something I’ve thought about before, the game’s mechanics are really only responsible for so much of what you, the player, actually choose to do. If something is boring or un-fun, but you choose to do it anyway because it’s “optimal”, is the game at fault, or is it you? Since I tend to feel the whole point of playing games is to have fun, and therefor not having fun can’t be considered “optimal”, I’d lean toward blaming the player if they do stuff they find unsatisfying just because it’s easier or more immediately rewarding. (“Rewarding” here referring to reaching the next mission, levelling up, getting a new sword, so on, so forth, and not necessarily to enjoyment) The original Thief is almost certainly a terrible example for me to hold up, in hindsight, I absolutely agree with you. Just explaining why I reacted the way I did.

            Wow, didn’t quite mean to rant that much. Well, to get back on topic, fear not. As a commenter above me pointed out already, The Metal Age is vastly better at encouraging subtlety and discouraging wanton slaughter, for a variety of reasons that would all be spoiler-y in different ways.
            In closing, I’m jealous of you for getting to experience Thief for the first time, and now I think I might go play it again.

  26. SpacemanSpliff says:

    New Vegas playthrough. Something about Obsidian stories just seem better.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Of the big names in videogames, Obsidian are my number one for storytelling. It’s all about character, character, character.
      New Vegas is particularly special in the way that you can experience the different parts of its stories in just about any order, and have it make sense and feel natural, not forced. That game will always have a special place in my heart.

      • SpacemanSpliff says:

        I played on console at release time and was disappointed. Picked it up on steam sale because it was cheap and now it is quickly becoming one of my favorite RPG’s.
        That draw distance gets me every time.
        I am loving the way they use factions for storytelling and how everyone sees themselves as a good guy with an actual developed philosophy to back it up, not just some plot points they threw at you during the exposition driving the carnage.

  27. felisc says:

    I’ll alternate between Knock Knock and Bayonetta 2. And then I’ll eat a very serious soup and a flashy burger.

  28. caff says:

    I’m playing “stand in a hall and drink a load of different beers until everything goes wobbly”.

    And when I become conscious again on Sunday, I shall probably load up my Steam library and stare at the huge list of 200+ titles and not know what to play.

  29. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Well, it was going to be Alien:Isolation but I accidentally finished it in a late night session last night. What a game though, really just wow, can’t even agree with the complaints that it’s over long it switches up the gameplay constantly and the Alien is deployed sparingly enough it still had me sweaty palmed in the final sections. Best single-player FPS I’ve played since…since….Half-Life? It’s that good. Might just start again if the assorted unplayed sale purchases in my Steam library don’t grab me.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Hmm, RPS has the answer: The Talos Principle demo. Sounds intriguing.

    • Ulaxes says:

      A:I sounds fantastic, but since the Giger creature haunted me in countless nightmares through my youth and beyond, I’ll skip that game until someone is willing to sit next to me while I play through the horror.

  30. Ulaxes says:

    I’m shifting between Elite:Dangerous, Battlefield 4 and maybe some Divinity: Original Sin (I’m stuck at a super hard boss fight but I’m too proud to lower the difficulty). More or less casual interventions could appear in the form of Nuclear Throne and Darkwood.

    Or, if I’m convincing enough, I might finally finish Dead Space 3 in Coop mode this weekend.

  31. LTK says:

    It’ll be a bunch of Hearthstone Arena for me. Seeing as I just completed Teleglitch, that’s crossed off the list. Maybe I’ll pick up a game of Warlock 2 as well, there’s a custom campaign by the developers that I want to try out.

  32. Greggh says:

    Monster Hunter 4G, on my recently acquired New 3DS *gets booed off stage*
    I an completely illiterate in japanese, so it’s been quite a “procedurally generated” experience (i.e. I never know what’s coming next), not unlike the latest wave of PC gaming finest (and worst too). There, this comment was PC related (barely)

    If anyone else here plays that sort of thing, lemme know.

  33. Crusoe says:

    BOI: Rebirth, I’ve put 20 hours in already and it’s still surprising me with little touches and discoveries, and feels like it might do for some time.

    Not to mention the sea of unlocks I’ve still to obtain. Back to the basement!

  34. Joshua Northey says:

    Well I am going to sit on Civ BE until they polish it up a bit with an expansion or major patch or whatever. There is a fun game there once they get their act together.

    So I will likely be playing Dungeon of the Endless, Wasteland 2, maybe some Silent Service 2 to relive the old NES days (I loved Silent Service 1 on the NES when I was ~10).

  35. mr.earbrass says:

    I finished playing Thief Gold and I’m probably going to start Thief 2 The Metal Age.Also playing The binding of Isaac remake which is WAY better than the original.

    • captain nemo says:

      I think you’re going to have a good time :) (Thief Metal Age <3 )

  36. Laurentius says:

    Tie-Fighter / Starlancer / Alpha Centuari.

    • revan says:

      Full on sci-fi. Never got a chance to play Starlancer and can’t find it anywhere right now. Tie Fighter has re-awakened my space sim addiction. Playing that and X-wing Alliance simultaneously right now. Must try the original X-wing later. SMAC is always on the hard drive.

  37. fish99 says:

    Shadows of Mor……. nah still Skyrim.

  38. Insidious Mental Pollution says:

    Thanks to Civilization BE just not holding my attention, plan to spend some hours on Endless Legend. Glad I gave it another chance, it’s a superb take on the ‘Civilization’ formula and does enough differently to set itself apart.

    Beyond that? Working away on a game project…

  39. jonahcutter says:

    Lords of the Fallen. I’m really digging the bombastic, Warhammer-esque vibe and slower-paced, methodical combat. But the regular crashes have pissed me off so much I had to step away. I’ve probably played twice as long as I needed to to advance to where I am, because of the lost progress of crashes. The xp multiplier mechanic (xp multiplier increases further you progress without using a save point) is great, and one of the areas the game improves upon the Souls formula. And it’s entirely undercut by the technical shortcoming of the game randomly, repeatedly crashing. Teeth-grinding frustration.

    So, XCOM Long War. So, so good. So many more options in overall strategy and battlefield tactics. No need to rush satellites immediately. All manner of subtleties, and the time to explore them. It’s a masterpiece of modding. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take another stab at XCOM. It really opens the game up. Check out Beaglerush’s videos on it. He has a great ongoing Youtube series as well as sometimes streaming another playthrough. Fire those up and play Long War in windowed mode, while you watch/listen to him teach you the ins-and-outs.

    And occasional trips through the Sui Generis prelude alpha and combat beta. I’ve raved about it before, so I shall resist going into detail. But it is really something special.

  40. Simplisto says:

    Metro 2033 – because FREE! FREE! FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

  41. captain nemo says:

    ‘Wolfenstein New Order’, which i picked up in a Steam sale 2 days ago. I have fond memories of ‘Return to Castle Wolfenstein’, so was hoping of more of the same.

    I’m about 3 hours in now – The presence of stealth is a welcome surprise, although it is very po-faced and at times needlessly nasty.

    • oldfart says:

      Same here, and I loving it, altough sometimes I get too carried with the two weapon wielding and forget they won’t magically turn me bullet proof.

  42. dfuse says:

    While waiting for the Steam migration of Dark Souls so I can finally play it for the first time (I have played Demon Souls before), I picked up Dungeons of the Endless. Also bought Wolfenstein New Order in the Steam sale and I’ve got a new GTX 970 waiting to be installed. Also very tempted to buy Endless Legend after reading all the great reviews about it.
    But actually playing? I hope I find an hour somewhere to start up Dungeons of the Endless.

  43. Malleus says:

    I’m replaying Dragon Age 2 to warm up for Inquisition. Despite all its flaws, the game’s still great, I love it. I’m playing a witty Hawke this time (never tried that before), and it’s hilarious. :)

  44. NetsukeMonkey says:

    Finally clicked with Crusader Kings 2 this week so planning on living the weekend as the Count of Ossary (formerly King of Mumu). I’m hoping to regain my former Kingdom.

  45. Taerdin says:

    Been playing Wasteland 2. Very into it, I’ve been wanting a game where I get to manage various weapons and ammunition amongst my party, haven’t done something like that since Odium/Gorky 17.

    Plus answering distress calls as you bring the law as the Desert Rangers is pretty engaging as well.

  46. Premium User Badge

    pertusaria says:

    Playing Shovel Knight on 3DS now that it’s out in Europe. :-)

    I might get time for some PC gaming tomorrow, probably something shiny and controller-friendly for the big screen if so.

    Hope to keep seeing you around more, Cassandra!

  47. NailBombed says:

    Lots and lots of Isaac:Rebirth so far. The game’s freaking great – though I hope that Technology 2 gets a gamecode reworking so it doesn’t stutter the damn game EVERY 2 SECS.
    Don’t think it’s my rig – maybe it is, but it’s a brand new computer which is well within the specs and more to run the game. Anywho, never going to pick up Tech 2 ever again. Shame.

  48. Llewyn says:

    EU IV. I’d like to be attacking the backlog, but EU IV won’t let me.

    Argh, got to dash, I can hear it coming.

  49. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I’ve just replaced my out-dated machine with a spanking new monster, so like anyone that’s two or more years behind the curve, I am playing Crysis on maximum settings.

    To be honest, it doesn’t look that much different than it did on lowest settings. You can still punch melons into pieces.

  50. DumbOne says:

    Creeper World 3. Last weekend. This weekend. Next weekend. Creeper World 3.

    • phanatic62 says:

      I loved the first Creeper game. Has there been a significant change to the mechanics? I loved how it was one of the more unique takes on the tower defense genre while still being an unabashedly TD game.