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7 thoughts on “Discussion: Unrecommended

  1. They say size doesn’t matter, but I’m really envious of your recent playlist. That thing is huge!

    (I haven’t read the actual newsletter yet)

  2. Grimsfield looks bloody great and I remember loving Brave New Old. FJORDS is one I keep meaning to check out.

    The rest of your list is almost entirely unknown to me! I think Rituals was included in the recent Humble Freedom Bundle and I was reminded of your Dabbling With post.

    I think my most recent Unrecommended was DEADBOLT by Hopoo who made the great Risk of Rain. DEADBOLT’s basically Gunpoint by way of Hotline Miami. It’s fast and brutal and cool in a lot of ways, and it leaves a great first impression, but unfortunately as the levels get bigger it only gets more painful as you bang your head against them repeatedly, going over the same motions over and over again just to try and beat that one bit. Hotline Miami at least had a check point system to mitigate the head banging. It’s one of the first games in a long time that I’ve just chosen to stop playing and uninstall.

  3. I feel like most of what I’ve played lately would fall under the category of “unrecommends”. Not that I’ve been playing vast amounts, anyway. But that may change with today’s surprise release of Tides of Numenara.

    Thanks for the heads up on Adam Wells’ work – I had no idea either. I’ll check out Grimsfield soon, sounds up my street!

  4. I think I really dislike when I run into a game that I would consider to be an ‘unrecommend’. My gaming collection is somewhat limited, so I find it very frustrating to run into something that I find so displeasurable. I can definitely think of several games that fall on that list though, ugh.

    (as a side note, I’m slowwwwwly working on reading basically every post on this site ever, and I am very much appreciating them. You write in such a fascinating style, I’m really enjoying reading!)

  5. What did you think of Back to Bed? By coincidence I was playing it recently too–I’d played it a fair amount when I bought it, and had put it down so long that when I picked it up again for no particular reason I had forgotten the control scheme entirely–I mean, I’d forgotten which character was your avatar. Then I went through the main levels in about an hour and a half.

    It’s not a recommend for me; it’s very slight, the voice-over is annoying, and the pacing within the levels was herky-jerk; sometimes when you had to rush around to set things up it felt like it added difficulty but not challenge, if you know what I mean. There are some Level Select thoughts, though; I felt not compelled to try to play through Nightmare Mode even though that’s effectively half the levels and probably the most interesting ones, because the credit roll comes after the second batch of levels and the level select screen fairly clearly marks it as “Here’s the same levels but on a different difficulty,” when they’re basically all new puzzles I think. (Though it’s not as extreme as “alternative mode” on NightSky, where you have to start a new game….) Interesting contrast with The Bridge, which has the same “Here’s the same levels” deal but where the bit in the overworld when you finish the current levels is clearly driving you on to the mirrored levels, though I can’t be specific because I just loaded it up to check and my progress was gone and ain’t no one got time for that which is to say I played through the first set of levels again. Also The Bridge has a bit of a story, I guess, and the main appeal of Back to Bed is in the artwork so getting the same artwork with different puzzles is not that exciting a prospect.

    Did I mention that I got this in the same Eye Candy bundle as Tengami? Fair dos, really, and also I got two games I really like + one intriguingly flawed one in the same bundle (Where Is My Heart?, Deep Under The Sky, 7 Grand Steps) so I don’t mind if others turn out to be just eye candy. Though Back to Bed really made me think “This could be a Flash game, if there were still Flash games.”

  6. Gregg

    It’s always amazing to see titles bubble up in the comments that I’ve never heard of. Deadbolt is one such title but, then again, I chucked in the towel on Hotline Miami so perhaps it’s all good.


    I play stuff to hopefully find something to write about but far too frequently I find nothing to excite the writing engine. It doesn’t mean they’re bad but…

    I really wanted to mention Adam Wells’ work again but I had nothing to “say” about Grimsfield.

    The Silent Age is also an “unrecommend” but I think I have something to write about there.


    I can imagine a smaller library would make this more frustrating although I still feel nostalgic for the relatively miniscule library of my early computering days when you made the most of what you got, inventing challenges and modes. Those days are over, though!

    I can’t imagine the horrors you might find in the basement here, sometimes I’m surprised at what I’ve written! Good luck and don’t forget to take a lamp because if it’s pitch black you might be eaten by a grue.


    I uninstalled Back to Bed so quickly that Google Play gave me a refund. I played through a few levels and it just didn’t grab me. I’ve played this type of puzzle before – although it is more of a reflux game – but for the life of me I don’t recall when. Perhaps I’m thinking of Lemmings.

    The art style is nice (why I picked it up) but I was a bit bored. And games like this are actually pretty terrible on a phone where you have to select the right spot in an isomeric view with a big thick finger. Probably better off on PC.

    Ah Flash games! I remember my youth.

    Edit: Matt, I meant “reflex” game.

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