Kill Your (Indie) Darlings

So partly because we hardware is lagging behind, and partly because I’m not very interested in what is coming out, I’ve sort of been off AAA gaming. Instead, I have been reveling in the world of quirky indie games instead. Somewhat sadly, I’m sort of off those too, because while I enjoy them initially, I get tired of the busywork that is involved in them. Here are my more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger complaints.

Rimworld: Rimworld is a very cool concept, and I have gotten a lot of mileage out of it, but it’s incredibly micro-managy, and the initial set of pawns (whose skills are absolutely critical to actually getting established) is either a crapshoot, or a tedious manner of rerolling characters until you get a combination that works. Combat, both when you are hunting or fending off raids is either incredibly risky or incredibly fiddly, as your pawns won’t even move to avoid grenades of their own volition. Pausing to set a path for them each time that problem arises is not fun for yours truly.

The hunting issue is more about the accuracy with which your pawns shoot, which is abysmal. Because of this, you can graze a dangerous animal even if you are careful to avoid selecting them as hunting targets. Because the map is so large compared to the travel speed of the pawns (which makes sense, it just makes this part a pain) it is very difficult to get your pawn to safety, or to bring over an ally to help fight off the attacking beast.

Hackmud: Hackmud claims to have a deep, nuanced, and engaging storyline, but before you can interact with it you have to do a bunch of timed-typing to earn enough money to make yourself a meaningful entity in-game. You do through this process in the tutorial level, but then you must start again once you reach the main game, which means to get anywhere you need to engage in the dullest part of the game twice. I’ve opened the game many times hoping that I’ll be able to enjoy the stupid money-gathering, but I don’t. Kind of a waste, really.

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