Videos Game Recommendations of the Month (May 2021)

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So with my schedule being crazy and now I’m doing a ton of side projects outside of my own job, its harder for me to sit down and write an entire article on just one game.

As an experiment I’m doing this to see if it works better. Basically a round up of games I liked or at least tried with some thoughts. Let me know what you think of this format as it seems like people like quick reviews as well as more in-depth posts every once in a while.

These will not just be games that came out during the month but also anything in general that is recent-ish that I played.

1.) Siege Survival: Gloria Victis By Fish Tank Studio and Black Eye Games

This was a game for me personality that came out of nowhere. I know of the game Gloria Victis that was made by the same company as an MMO. Its been in early access and development for years now with a small but active player base from what I can tell with an average several hundred players a month (roughly 400 to 600).

The same company released a side project called Siege Survival on May 18th with a demo readily available before it came out and some hype stumbled up. I can say that the hype is not misplaced its a well put together concept and despite some questionable design choices and UI issues I had, its a solid game and premise.

You play as a small group of survivors after your home city is suddenly attacked by an army of invaders. You’re driven into the only stronghold left with another group of unseen soldiers protecting the keep in the walls above and around you. The central task is to keep the soldiers fed, bandaged, supplied with weapons, and materials to keep the walls standing. These soldiers and walls are the only think protecting you, once your soldiers are killed and walls brought down, you lose. To keep the enemy at bay, you keep production of materials going by crafting and scavenging the city through a series of hidden tunnels. However everywhere outside of the strong hold is under enemy control so you must not only collect as much food, water, and materials as you can but you must stay out of sight or face a painful demise.

The game has tons of modes to try, a robust but easy to learn crafting system, many mechanics and management systems that those who love management will be thrilled by and even the scavenging is well done. You can open up new ways of entering the city by gradually removing blockades and finding secrets throughout the city.

The game gives me major This War is Mine (by 11 bit Studios) vibes with a bunch of unlucky citizens building by day and carefully scavenging the reminds of their home city by night. It has a very similar tone of dread and making the best of a dire situation. Siege Survival is not as morbid as This War is Mine but the gameplay and idea similarities got my attention.

Some of the UI from my last couple of playthroughs does have some clunky aspects that makes the game kind of annoying at times. For example I would click to have one of the characters to go to sleep as they got injured and were tired. I would do that and if I forget to click of them I could accidently have them stop going to sleep and instead perform an action. Its mostly little things that got annoying but not totally game breaking.

Players have also mentioned this and it seems they are actively patching these up and have a roadmap for future development. As its now June, the plan is to have all functionality fixed with patches and then in June to start focusing on new dynamic events system in order to address the repetitive nature of the sieges against your soldiers which is actually I complaint I had so it seems they are aware and addressing it.

They do also plan to add a desert scenario called “The Lost Caravan”. Not many details were given except the following:

“We are creating a new scenario for Siege Survival, titled “Lost caravan”. Its action will take place in the far south, in dessert areas near the trade route between Sangmar Empire and the Central Sea which is imperial traders’ main path for export and import goods with other nations. We will not spoil more details about the story yet, but we can say that the gameplay will be totally different and the goals you would need to achieve to win the scenario will also be different. We hope you will like it! (Siege Survival Team, May 25th 2021, Post Release Summary)

Overall, I’m impressed with the depth and interesting ideas behind this experience. If you’re interested, the game is available on steam. I think for strategy and micromanager fans, this is one to try.

2.) Internet Court By Oh, a Rock! Studios

If the internet had a court room for violations related to internet behavior, what do you think it would look like? I would assume pretty close to this.

Created by Oh, a Rock! Studios, a indie team dedicated to humorous visual novels and off the wall games, Internet Court is their latest game to be released in April 2021. It’s an FMV (Full-Motion Video) game where actors play as internet attorneys, defendants, and finally the judge himself. There is a total of 4 cases to solve, each one becoming sillier then the last from an “unlawful” unfriending on Facebook to a fanfiction dispute.

You play as the defense attorney (named Super Lawyer 64) who is trying to keep his clients in his new position out of trouble from the judges gavel by answering questions correctly in a visual novel style with reviewing evidence presented and paying attention to how the stories unfold.

The entire premise is quirky and off the wall with the purposeful overacting and meme-ish humor of the actors. I loved how they took an “unfriending” as a reasonably suable offence with actual consequences. Its just so hammy that I found myself wanting more.

Its certainly a niche game with the lack of gameplay as its mostly based on enjoying the humor and actors but if you’re someone whos a fan of FMV games I highly recommend this one.

3.) Emily is Away By Kyle Seeley

This game is an absolute blast from the past if you were part of the first few waves of people to use Facebook in the late 2000s.

You start the game by scrolling a simulated modern day Facebook feed when you see an old photo of you and your high school friends from years back. Suddenly your thrust into a memory wormhole as the interface in front of you suddenly transforms back to the early days of what Facebook (or “facenook” as per what its called within the game) once was.

You’re taken back to the day you created your “Facenook” profile for the very first time and are greeted by your dear friend, Matt.

Its very much a visual novel dressed up as a typical social media account from the late 2000s. Even the links sent to you by your friends open in your browser and are styled to look like YouTube and other websites from that period of time. I was blown away by that detail as the developer really wanted to give you that simulated feeling of being back in time.

You play as a random senior in high school with a bunch of friends dealing with typical high school drama. Relationships, parties, breaking up, and so on. I found myself really enjoying talking to the characters within the messenger chats as it reminded me when “poking” was a thing and the lingo at the time. The smiley faces using only keyboard icons too, a time before gifs and emojis were widespread.

The story itself is simple enough and I cannot get over the overall presentation, truly this was a game meant for people in my age group. It reminded me of college and all those messages I shared with friends and classmates.

If you’re someone who was a teenager or college student when Facebook went live, this game is a treat!

So those are my top games of May 2021, let me know if you like this format a bit better to get bit sized chunks of posts in between the much bigger ones.

I’ll start working on June 2021 soon as the month starts to come to a close.

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