My very first experience with Minecraft, day 1

I don’t know how many parts of this I’ll be writing, but I started playing Minecraft, for the very first time, yesterday. And I got feelings.

We could talk about why I never tried it until now, but let’s just summarize it as “I was stubborn”, and it’s a familiar trait with me for people who know me.

What made me want to try it all of a sudden? I think it was a combination of things.

I got the time to ease into the idea of playing it, by outside influences. For the most part in the past when I’d seen Minecraft videos it would be from already established players (with the 5yr old exceptions), and I never got to see that early player experience. And that put me off. It often felt like you needed to know how to play the game in order to play it.

The influences around me that eased me into it were mainly two. Mr Samuel Streamer on YouTube playing the Better Minecraft modpack on his secondary channel. And ExcessiveProfanity talking about playing it with his young son. I had heard them talked about it in the past, but I think combined with Mr Streamer playing it and me enjoying watching that series, it just started to click for me.

Loa has been playing Minecraft since long before we met, and he had invited me to play with him a few times, it just never felt right though. I tried to not be too dismissive about it, but each time I basically landed on “I don’t feel it”. But the past few days it started to bubble up inside of me. So while Loa was asleep, I walked up to him and whispered “Do you want to play Minecraft with me?”, he was too asleep to hear me though, and maybe that was my thought too, that I didn’t want him to hear me because I was scared of the reality.

First screenshot in Minecraft
“How do I screenshot?” -F2. “Okay, thank you.”

Through the day I installed curseforge, the modpack (Better Minecraft), and the Minecraft Free Demo (as you can see in the above screenshot). There were a lot of cute moments which I wish I could’ve captured in a better way, but I also didn’t want to put a lot of my currently limited spoons to set it up. So I decided to just take screenshots instead, and tell you some small stories.

First pig I met

Yes, this was what I wanted to screenshot as my first screenshot. They are so cute, and it’s such a nice experience to meet them for the first time. I was basically just running around picking flowers, cutting down trees, freaking out about it being night time, and stayed in the safety of the field with the animals.

A sheep in pigs clothing

I met a very suspicious looking pig though. Turns out it was a sheep in pigs clothing. Adorable. Apparently rare?

Baby pig! I immediately ran out to get my other pig

Then, when I ran into the baby pig. And I immediately sprung out of my chair, as I’d recently been unpacking some boxes in the house, and ran into my room to fetch something. Loa was sitting next to me at the time and he was like “Do you have one?” and I was like “omg omg omg omg”, because yes, I have one, a small plushy that I actually got for him some years ago. I guess it’s both of ours now.

Classic Minecraft death: Player was blown up by Creeper

And then, a while later I had my first death, these are always important. Especially in a game like Minecraft where dying is just part of the game. And everyone’s been blown-up by a creeper once or twice. I saw it before it blew up, but I couldn’t move away fast enough and was already low on health. I’m honored that my first death was given to me by a creeper, and I’m sure there’ll be many more.

A very dark image, in a cave in Minecraft, and a lurker hiding behind a bush
Always lurking.

After this very well played trial I did buy the game. The reasons I played the trial first was that I wanted to be sure that I’d enjoy and continue to play it. And yeah I’m very happy with my first session.

The evening continued with me playing it, and not taking as many screenshots, but I’ll give you a house tour tomorrow.

The biggest jumpscare I experienced yesterday was not from any creepers or mobs. But rather, a friendly visiting caravan.

A trader with two llamas

I was head down digging something and I heard their very loud sound as they showed up out of no where.

See you tomorrow for more adventures.

Mini-review: Beholder

When Beholder became available to me on Twitch, a game I’ve been eyeing for a while, I didn’t have any excuses left. I had no idea what the game was about because I rarely look too deep into any game.

So I sat down with it yesterday, and quickly I started to get uneasy about it. We’re supposed to spy on the people in our building, and we’re a landlord. Just being put in the shoes of being a landlord is bad enough, adding to that with having to spy on the people, and write reports. I get it it’s dystopian, but I wasn’t sold on the narrative when I started playing.

I was very close to giving up, and calling it quits, when I realized there’s more to the narrative. And I continued playing. I’ve done 3 different runs, and the 3rd one I decided to stop. I was getting stressed by it, partially from the mechanics, and the time management. We’re able to be awake 24/7, conversations stop time, but writing your reports don’t. So occasionally you have to really stress in order to get the profile or report done at the right time.

Minor spoilers ahead.

Discovering that you can complete each “mission” in different ways is interesting though, and does allow for some replay-ability. And just realizing that we’re not only a bad person we’re just living under the circumstances that were handed to us and trying our best.

I’m still curious about some other characters, and figuring them out etc, but for now I’m going to put this game down and say I’m done with it, and I’m fine with what I experienced.

It’s possible that my current state of mindfog makes it harder to play the game, so maybe coming back to it some other time would be better. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll make a review in review series down the line.

Partnered link where you can buy this game: Beholder is currently available on Humble Bundle on sale the next 4 days and 20hrs for only €2.99!

If you’re enjoying reading these little articles or stories, consider throwing some support my way: via ko-fi or alternatives. I’m currently trying to cover my student loan debt payments and that will be my goal going forward too.

Kingdom Classic – as a shared experience + New Lands

I picked up Kingdom Classic from Humble Bundle when it was free. Both me and Loa picked up the game, and he started playing it the night before me. We had a shared enjoyed experience of it. Which is something I’ve missed. If we weren’t playing multiplayer together, we’d occasionally find a single player game and play it at the same time. And it’s such a fabulous way to experience a game with someone.

Over the weekend we kept sending messages to each other asking if we’d experience x, or maybe y, yet, and it was such a fabulous thing to have that between us again. We’ve been apart for most of the pandemic, and he’s working so much that we haven’t really played games together.

So what about the game, I’ve always been an avid fan of strategy games, of tower defense, and just banging my head against the wall as I learn how the mechanics of a game works. This game truly had it all! It was also incredibly pretty, and relaxing in it’s own way.

While I spend two days “off” this weekend letting myself zone out from everything, especially the election news, I luckily had this game on hand. I had already been eyeing Kingdom Two Crowns for quite a while, but I’d been waiting with buying it because at the moment I’m not buying games unless I know I’m playing it pretty much immediately. My library has become unruly.

I’m going to publish some pieces behind spoilers, after this, but first I’m going to say: If you enjoy strategy and tower defense-esque games, along with some minor resource management I highly recommend this game.

Game mechanic spoilers that I think are enjoyable to experience for yourself the first time. But also me and Loa’s interactions while playing the game.

First day of playing it myself, I shot a message to Loa fairly soon asking: Have you lost your crown yet?

His response was “lololol, yeah”

It was the first thing that happened to me because I wanted to explore the map, and just didn’t know what the mechanics were like

A followup, I also acquired Kingdom: New Lands at some point via Twitch. And I set out to play it recently. Since I had managed to beat the Classic version, I was excited to try out a different way to experience this game. And oh boy did I enjoy it! Exploring in a new way, and discovering “blueprints”, which I honestly thought were map segments in order to help you travel to another region. and then having a more wider variety for how you can experience the game.

I did end up looking up some details, because I wasn’t sure how they worked, and I am kind of at the point in my life that, if I can’t figure something out and it’s just driving me up the walls I’ll look it up, it doesn’t necessarily detract from my experience. And I believe that if you feel like it would detract, you could just NOT look it up. But I do appreciate that it can be difficult to know what is “safe” to look up. Will it spoil something.

I noticed something, that you may appreciate knowing, and that’s that most of the wiki for the game, has all 3 games in the same articles, because they built on the same architecture, and do certain things differently.

End game spoiler for Kingdom: New Lands

I unlocked everything and ended up on Skull Island, which is a lot closer to how Kingdom Classic is, but bigger (I think it’s with 3 portals on each side). And you can’t access some of the really cool features of the other maps, if you want something special you have to bring it.
This for me builds up replayability. And I’ll probably keep this game installed for a long while so I can experience it over and over again.

One nitpick I have is that there doesn’t seem to be a straightforward way to reset your progress entirely, like if several people use the same computer for gaming, and sharing the library. But I’m sure there’s ways around that if I really wanted to.

If you’re enjoying reading these little articles or stories, consider throwing some support my way: via ko-fi or alternatives. I’m currently trying to cover my student loan debt payments and that will be my goal going forward too.

Graveyard Keeper – the wrong way

I absolutely loved this game, and I got sucked into it immediately as I sat down with it. I want to share some of it with you, hopefully without too much spoilers. The things I truly loved was the things I had no idea were in the game. That said, I didn’t know what I was to expect, as I hadn’t read much about the game, or seen much of it. I may have seen a few minutes of a stream here or there, but nothing extensive.

I sat down about a week ago, and got completely enveloped in the game for the whole week, until I finished it. There are obvious similarities to Stardew Valley, including it’s addictive “just one more day”-vibe, but Graveyard Keeper offered something different. I think the morbidity of being thrown back to something of a medieval time, to become a Graveyard Keeper (and not necessarily a good one) appealed to me. Combined this with the similarities to Stardew Valley you get a stark contrast. I soon noticed that a lot of the things I had wished for with Stardew Valley was actually in this game. Some automation, some neat ways of making deliveries, planting more than one square at the time, and not relying only on one way of completing quests.

The quests in this game offer different solutions, which was something I only discovered by accident. You could often complete it with money if that was your preferred mode of playing, and thus you can keep focus on building your kitchen garden along side your graveyard keeping, rather than going dungeoneering.

However, for adding somethings which made the game easier, they didn’t necessarily go all the way with it. Some of them were spotty, like crafting sometimes you can queue several things of the same, sometimes you can’t and when you can’t it wouldn’t remember the settings you last used when it came to the quality of the production. This would slow a lot of work down, while also forcing you to tediously click. For me this ended up being one reason I didn’t want to write books (yes you can write books!) until the very end.

One of the first characters we meet is the Donkey, who also happens to be one of my favorites, probably because he was a comrade. I had prepared a bundle of carrots for him and was very excited to give it to him, on that fateful day (you’ll understand when you play it). I wanted to share my crop with him, because he was helping me run my business. In regards to the other characters, I mostly disliked them all. And it’s possible that that’s the point, since this is such a different world from where we come from.

I have some minor gripes with the game, but I don’t know how much of it was about me rather than the game or if the game actually didn’t tell me properly. I ended up getting locked out of continuing one of the quest lines because I thought I was waiting for a different solution than I was. Without saying what I was struggling with I will say this: I had already triggered an event which apparently wouldn’t happen again, so I could continue, but I thought I needed to find it how to get through that same thing being triggered again. I was wrong. This did lead me to just very slowly play the game, and I probably didn’t progress the story further from this point until I had a good 40hrs in the game, and I was loving how “slow paced” it was.

I appreciated that the tech tree had hidden items which wouldn’t reveal until certain stages of the game, it makes more sense in a lot of ways, because you’re in a place and world you didn’t really know anything about.

My mind has a tendency to skip things, and which will result in me not reading properly during tutorials. I was burying corpses willy-nilly, and yes I saw red and white skulls, knowing one was minus (-) points. I just didn’t quite figure out how to make them better until I actually unlocked some late game technology. But when I did I ended up in a full new focus and zen-ly tended to my graveyard.

I ended up playing the game my way, which is tempting to call the wrong way, but I had a lot of fun. I hadn’t only screwed with one quest line, but I didn’t realize this until the very end.

Compared to Stardew Valley, I would like to say that I didn’t feel as stressed out by the week, and time moving the same way. As in Stardew your always thinking about the season, the crop, and such things. However, I was having some trouble realizing some stuff about the days and how that worked. Eventually I let go though, and just didn’t try to complete each thing every week, but let myself get lost in something I enjoyed doing. One week it may be fixing the graveyard, one week it may be fishing, and another I may just start selling stuff that needs to be sold. This is definitely how I’d recommend people play the game, don’t rush too much to do the story, but catch it when you can and prepare if you want to.

When I slowed down my pace, and just focused on what I wanted to do and complete for my own sake, the game became very enjoyable in a different way. I loved the play-through in it’s entirety, but I had one session where I started to hate the game, and that made me sad, but again that was a me thing, not a game thing. And I did get over it fairly soon.

I would highly recommend this game to anyone who’s ever enjoyed Stardew Valley, but also if you’ve never played Stardew Valley, because this is definitely a game of its own. And I’m looking forward to playing a few DLCs in the future!

If you’d like to pick up this game, and support me, you can do so through Humble Bundle via this link.