Alice, your usual host, is away this week. The last I saw of her she was bricking up her chimney and muttering something about defensive perimeters. I'm sure it'll all be fine.
My Christmas preparations mostly involve a slight injection of colour into my wardrobe and a desire for all things cinnamon and ginger. I also spend quite a bit of time making sure the RPS Advent Calendar is fully stocked with lovely treats. But is there still time for games, I hear you ask? Of course there is.
What are you playing this weekend? Here's what's occupying our screens.
I've gone back to The Long Dark because being eaten alive in a cold lonely place seems like the most Christmassy experience of all. If I eat enough festive cookies and pies before the wolves get to me, maybe they'll get a taste for the season as well as for manflesh.
My weekend will be spent as the last four weekends have been spent - trying and failing to diagnose an audio problem in my PC that causes an 'orrible crackling in certain games and applications, and refuses to go away even though I'm on my third soundcard and second Windows installation. I CANNOT SLEEP FOR THINKING ABOUT THIS. Killllll meeeeee
[in her absence we can only assume Alice is playing "Now That's What I Call Christmas!" on the stereo at full volume
I'm playing 'try to get out of the blue ranks' in Tekken 7. But also 'try to learn some proper combos' and 'try not to get turned to mush'. They're good games.
Plunkbat's desert map is finally up on the test servers, and the allure of a whole new bit of terrain to hide in die in is probably too strong. Otherwise I've been plugging away at games I didn't have time for in the last two years. So far I've completed Abzu and Edith Finch and dabbled in Songbringer and a few others. West Of Loathing should be next.
If I get a chance to play anything that isn't Zelda with the boy, I'm hoping to spend a bit of time with a few Metroidvanias I need to refresh myself on, for a Thing.
Beyond that, I've just got review code for To The Moon 2! Goodness me. Might have to pop to B&Q to get buckets to catch all the potential tears.
In a bid to pretend I have loads of time to play all the excellent games that have just come out, I'll be channeling the spirit of Cavalier Games' Groundhog Day-style The Sexy Brutale this weekend, as it finally launched on Switch this week. Then I will rewind the entire weekend to play through the new Breath of the Wild DLC and cram in some more Xenoblade Chronicles 2, before eventually capping it off with Tokyo RPG Factory's Lost Sphear demo.
I'll be running, vaulting and climbing around merry Miramar for the better part of the weekend. The new map is at last available on the test servers, and given how excited I got about finding a climbing frame the other week I can't wait to have my Plunkbat senses overloaded with an entire map full of new locations.
I'm also hoping to finish Hyper Light Drifter and Hollowknight, which I've been plugging away at these past few weeks without mentioning. Plus there's more Barotrauma to play, and I'm only a couple of hours into the new Wolfenstein. I'd also love to get geared up for and maybe even complete the new Destiny raid, and despite/ because of how infuriating it is, the mountain from Getting Over it With Bennet Foddy is calling to me.
That's too many games, isn't it? [THERE ARE NEVER ENOUGH GAMES - ED]
But you, dearest reader, what are you playing?