Games I Can't Stop Playing: May 2014

I finally finished proctoring AP Exams today, so I can cement the content schedule for next week when I'm in Florida through Friday and then immediately jumping into PressManMode at Book Expo America. Just a quick post while I'm thinking about these things. I have a thing where I obsessively play games for months and months, sometimes because they last that long and more often because I fall in love and just keep beating/exploring them. These are the ones I can't stop playing in May.

Child of Light (Wii U)

A turn-based combat RPG with real life timing elements and stunning artwork? Yes, please. I'm admittedly bad at real time combat in RPGs, but I'll slay you with turn-based combat. For people who don't like waiting for turns, there is a very cool mechanic in Child of Light. Each character in a fight moves at a different speed. You're taking turns attacking, but some characters can recharge faster than others. You can also use your little fairy guide to slow down specific enemies. Attacking someone while they're loading an attack cancels their attack and sends them back to the start of the combat timing mechanic. It's super fun and challenging. And beautiful. Don't forget beautiful. Cry tears of joy over the moment you start to fly beautiful.

Our Darker Purpose (PC)

I had a serious Binding of Isaac addiction until I picked up Our Darker Purpose during the Humble Bundle Store Sale this month. Our Darker Purpose is a procedurally-generated rogue-lite dungeon fighter very much like Binding of Isaac. Here are the big differences. One, it's loosely inspired by King Lear. You play Cordy (Cordelia) after Mr. L (King Lear) mysteriously vanishes from the boarding school. You're fighting against the far more popular and aggressive Goneril and Regan, who quickly took over the school and went to war with each other. Two, the enemies are far more intelligent with much larger health bars. Three, there are multiple dragons to fight. Four, you choose your path through the boarding school as you fight your way to the top floor and the final battles. Meaning, instead of each new level selected for you, you have to choose which part of the school to move to next. Greater risks equal great rewards, but greater risks are significantly harder than more straightforward classrooms and dorms. Five, after you die, you can use the coins you collect to buy permanent upgrades and unlock advantages from a helpful teacher. Death is permanent and the layout changes each playthrough, but your base upgrades always carry over.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U)

I haven't played a Monster Hunter game since the series first came out in America. It's either a great or terrible sign when the store employees tell you that you will be sucked into a game for months on end. I already knew that would be the case with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Not only is it gorgeous, it features an incredibly large world to explore and tons of monsters to hunt. I usually take the gotta catch'em all approach on any game with even the slightest collection element and will be happily stuck in this world for months to come.

Cook, Serve, Delicious! (PC)

Another spontaneous purchase during the Humble Bundle Store Sale. Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a restaurant sim (one of my weaknesses) and the first one since browser game Taco Joe to include mandatory pest extermination with increasingly elaborate recipes. It's a huge micromanaging game as you get to buy all the equipment and change out the menu every day to deal with a variety of factors that impact your bottom line.

Luxuria Superbia (PC)

I don't even understand this game. It's shut your brain off and zone out to pretty colors gaming. I need that when I'm stressed out. You're basically riding through a flower, filling it with color to open new elements. Your run ends when you completely fill the flower too fast. It's...bizarre and beautiful and captivating all at once. There's a rhythm to the game and your scores are displayed in a graph format comparing your performance among, rather than within, levels. I've told you many times I like weird games. This one fits the bill.

Smite (PC)

I enjoy playing League of Legends with my friends, but chicken out when I play by myself. I need that boost of confidence on Skype to shine. With simpler mechanics and a much better camera system, Smite does not intimidate me like LoL does. It's a free to play MOBA where you battle as Gods from all different mythologies across many different game modes. I've been leveling up Neith, one of the default characters, and holding my own as a solo lane player with a character really meant for support. The 3rd person shooter only in bright light camera angle means even I can handle playing a tank or melee fighter if the team really needs one. I still prefer my distance mages.

What have you been playing this month? Sound off in the comments below.

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