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Author Archives: Crymson Pleasure

Crymson's Top 10 Completed Webtoons

Everyone knows that I am a big fan of Webtoons.com, with a subscription to over 150 comics. Here are some of my favorite completed comics.

10. Asuras Bride

‘On her way to an arranged marriage, a haughty princess is ambushed and held captive by bandits until she is rescued by a tired, hungry and pissed off soldier. All the accidental knight-in-shining-armour wants is to get some sleep after returning from the battlefield – but having a beautiful princess in tow is making it very difficult for him to do so, in more ways than one.’

This was a favorite of mine for a long time. However, the ending is a bit rushed. The artist, Lilyduck, could no longer continue the comic on top of their other endeavors, but they gave us a satisfying ending and that is all I can ask for. 

9. UndeadEd

‘After being declared clinically dead, traveling salesman Ed Zamsa tries to go on with his life regardless of his strange condition. As if things weren’t hard enough without being dead.’

I learned about this comic by reading Apocalyptic Horseplay, another comic by Boardman. It’s a cute adventure that made me very happy. It takes, what I think, a more realistic approach to the situation and introduces us to characters that we run into again in the author’s other comic. This made me want to cuddle the comics all the more. 

8. The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn

‘Follow the journey of the world’s greatest paranormal investigator – Oscar Zahn. Friend to lost souls, enemy of evil, he may lack a body but that doesn’t mean he’s missing a heart!’

Tri Vuong puts together a very well written tale of the odd and mysterious. You are taken on several adventures with Oscar as he tries to save humanity from the shadows. The ending felt a bit awkward to me but was a wonderful tale none the less. 

7. Catharsis

‘Fear is a powerful emotion that can end up overtaking one’s life. Leon thought he knew that. But when he’s thrown into the demonic realm that Catharsis governs over, he’ll learn that there is more to “true” fear than he could ever have imagined… But will he learn how to face it?’

This comic takes you on a wild ride. Filled with a rich history that leaves you yearning for more! Every time I felt like I had an idea of what was going on they threw me for a loop. I really hope that Ahniki has more in store for us from this rich and unique world. 

6. Live Forever

‘After a tragedy, Sarah’s conviction to never lose another loved one drives her to discover a formula for eternal life that provokes a fatal crisis’

I adored this comic for so many reasons. Greyscale artwork with reds. The rich characters that you connected with. The story, the heartache, the message. All very well done. It is a drama with horror elements that I highly recommend. 

5. Super Secret

‘The boy next door, friends for life, is actually a werewolf!’

Super Secret is super cute, weird and so much fun. I find myself loving all the characters surrounding the main character more than the main character at times. It is a wonderful tale that I loved the whole time. I may even read this one again. 

4. Refund Highschool

‘Do you want a refund on your life? Start earning karma at The Refund High School to reincarnate as an ideal version of yourself.’

LICO, the author, provided such an adorable idea here. Going to school to prove that you are good enough to reincarnate into a new life. I loved it. Again, didn’t love the main character all the time but all of the supporting characters are so rich and full of life that I loved them immensely. It’s a long journey with an ending that will sit with you forever.  Bring tissues. 

3. Noblesse (Also Noblesse: Rai’s Adventure)

‘Rai wakes up from 820-years long sleep and starts his new life as a student in a high school founded by his loyal servant, Frankenstein. But his peaceful days with other human students are soon interrupted by mysterious attackers known as the “Unions”.’

I devoured this comic! I stayed up late into the night, many times, delighted with all of the characters. Loving Rai and his friends more than I thought possible. Being brought to tears more than once. Laughing out loud and devouring more ramen thanks to his obsession. With over 500 episodes that spawned a Manga AND Anime, neither of which I have enjoyed at this moment. They even have their own wiki page. If you love vampires, please give this amazing comic your attention. 

Ok, I know you are confused. There is no Number 2. I love these both so much they are both equally amazing and deserve the Number 1 spot.

1. Rainbow in the Dark

‘Urban fairytale of gray vs color in a world of monsters, romance, and epicness! Within the world of gray lives a singular girl. Normalcy is a prison. Everything changes when a colorful band of rebels explode out of nowhere, blasting through the city streets. Swept up in their struggle, she finally finds the one thing that has always eluded her – purpose. Updates every Wednesday.’

Comfort and Adam are incredibly talented (and I’ve had the pleasure of gushing at them about it) and brought home a story that will always be with me. I am even purchasing the Graphic Novel from Amazon so that I can always keep it with me and even share it with others. The tale is rich, full of love, characters you want to protect forever and I was up late just sobbing. I don’t have the words to describe how amazing this story is. It’s definitely one you have to read. I am also reading their other comic The Uniques, waiting for Season 2 to start!

1. Dents

Dents is an apocalyptic journey to the year 2111, where more than half of the world’s population has been wiped out by an ancient plague. After a vaccination is developed, there is a massive increase in the birth of identical twins possessing extraordinary powers, known in society as “Dents.” Following an incident at school, Eleanor learns that she herself is a Dent, separated from her twin at birth, and is quickly swept into an underground society of other Dents trying to survive. Dents will be back with a brand new season!’

I’m not going to lie. I typically don’t read post-apocalyptic unless zombies are involved. I think I was having a bout of insomnia and looking for something to read came across this. I was immediately enthralled and had trouble putting it down. The range of feelings that I had, the characters, the message, the story. Not to mention the beautiful art. It really has it all. Hold tight to your heart and bring tissues for this incredible ride.

What are your favorite completed webtoons?

Happy 2020: A time of reflection

Good Morning.

As I write this, I am sipping my coffee at nearly 7 am New Year’s Eve morning. Not a typical time for me to be awake, but today I find myself reflecting. 

The end of a decade comes tonight. For half of that decade, I’ve been a mother. For almost a decade now, a wife. For over a decade, I’ve loved my husband and been loved by an incredible human who still amazes me. Near a decade, Vanri has been my best friend and so much more, my person. For decades Aiks has been my friend and guardian angel through some of the best and worst times. These are all blessings.

For most of the last decade, I have had the distinct pleasure of growing Real Women of Gaming. I saw us start as a Facebook page,  evolve to YouTube, then streaming. Grow into charity events, conventions. I’ve watched us help others, with tears of pride in my eyes. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the most amazing humans on the planet. They are my family and I wish I could impart to you how truly stunning each one of them is. How truly honored I feel at calling each of them, my family. These brilliant, courageous, beautiful human beings. 

In the nearly 7 years we’ve existed, I have learned so many lessons. Most about me, the rest about people in general. I’ve seen people come and go. I’ve made personal strides, gone on crusades (I’ll have my masquerade ball, damn it!), and made many, many mistakes. I’ve fallen, stood up only to be knocked back down, and I’ve had several hands help me stand again.

Tomorrow will be a new year, a new decade. Reflection is due at a time like this. Looking back at the years, we’ve worked, we’ve laughed and we’ve cried. It’s time to step forward into a new light. To take all the work that has been done by so many people and roll it forward. Not alone; never alone. To bask in the beauty not only of what we have accomplished, but also in what we have yet to achieve. And we will achieve it. 

I’d like to say that we are stepping into 2020 ready to kick ass and take names, but that’s not happening. We are holding out our hands, pulling up a chair and inviting you to come to sit at our table. We are playing games without judgment or prejudice; we are enjoying all that these amazing masterpieces have to offer while accepting you, and us, for who we all truly are. 

We are sending out our love and acceptance to all of you. You are all included at our table. We aim to show you the passion, sweat, and tears of some of the most wonderful creators on the planet. Epic human beings who’ve made these masterpieces in the little spare time they have while working full-time jobs and going to conventions on weekends for something they love. To show us their heart, sometimes wrapped in a box with game pieces and cards, massive tales of adventure and characters you’ll fall in love with.

So as we prepare to step into 2020, which will be the most incredible year, we offer our hand to you. We’ve done so much but I promise you, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Happy 2020. May all of your hits be a critical success. 

With Love,
Crymson Pleasure &
Real Women of Gaming

Triggers: Mental Health & Gaming

I love Horror. I don’t think that’s a shock to anyone. I’ve avoided a lot of horror games for various reasons, mainly because I’m a bit high strung and anxious. Reason for that? I live with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (c-PTSD), it comes with anxiety.

When I started my stream with The Blair Witch game, everything was fine. I was a bit anxious because I was going in a little bit blind. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything important. I explored and got confused, but as I roamed the woods the main character loses sight of his dog and begins to have a PTSD episode.

Most people won’t think anything of it. It’s just a stressed moment for a video game character. However, to me, it’s much more than that. I was unaware that he had PTSD and if I were aware I wouldn’t have started playing it. I confirmed with the chat that he did indeed have PTSD and apologized to everyone and switched the game. Had it not been for Vanri sitting in voice chat with me (to help ease my anxiety) suggesting that I stop playing, I may have tried to force my way through the game.

That would have been a terrible idea. My anxiety was high from watching him have this episode and as I continued on to look for the dog, it was getting worse. The visual effects were wonderful because his panic attack looks and sounded like mine. If I had continued further I probably would have been triggered into a panic attack or worse. So I jumped over to State of Decay 2 for the rest of my stream. 

The next night I decided to try Alien: Isolation. I was trying to get back into horror games and I’ve heard amazing things. About 2 hours in, I was overwhelmed by the atmospheric noise. I could feel a panic attack rising and I had to stop playing. Was there anything wrong with the game? No! The problem lies with my mental illness. I stopped playing the game and went back to State of Decay 2

You see, I like to think that I can do anything, but I have limitations. We found one when I played through Layers of Fear, an amazing game that I will always recommend. The subject matter was a lot more closely related to my own trauma than I realized. I wasn’t even aware that my attitude had changed toward everyone around me, but they pointed out that I was extremely agitated and my anxiety was high until I finished playing the game. So from that point forward, we had to look for specific elements in my horror games. If it wasn’t a first-person game, Vanri would play the game first to make sure that there wasn’t anything triggering in the storyline.

I assumed that it was the only thing I had to worry about, but to be honest, I didn’t even check to see if that was present in Blair Witch. Now, watching let’s plays or streams of these games are fine, but playing them is different. It’s the difference between watching and experiencing. It’s more immersive. I’d watched Layers of Fear on YouTube and Vanri’s playthroughs of it. I knew the story, but experiencing it was hard. I am lucky it didn’t bring up anything worse, like flashbacks. 

So a little extra medication this week and a hard lesson learned. There is a reason I don’t play horror games in which I can’t fight back. I’m not invincible and I have very real limitations. I need to research these games more before I jump right into them because I don’t want to trigger myself, whether I’m on stream or not. I have to make sure that there isn’t abuse, the characters don’t have PTSD or other mental disorders that could trigger mine, there isn’t abundant (though very well done) noise triggering anxiety.

More than that, I need to be okay with stepping away. I need to be okay with setting down the controller (figuratively) and putting myself first, putting my mental state first. To drop the tough act every now and then to ensure better mental wellness for myself and those around me. At the end of the day, that is my responsibility. I never know if something could trigger me, but how I handle those situations speaks volumes about the progress I’ve made and my self-awareness. I’m also thankful to have such amazing support that helps me make these decisions.

Again, and I cannot stress this enough, I am not upset at any of these games. It is not their fault that I was triggered. I am 100% responsible for my mental health in this regard. I view it the same way as a food allergy. Ask before you eat, just in case. Does this have nuts in it? Does this have abuse in it? 

So from now on, I will look into my horror games more. If everything seems okay, then I will play it, but if I am triggered I will allow myself to step back and stop playing. My community and viewers will understand and at the end of the day, I am more important. 

Are there any amazing games out there that have triggered you or things you should watch out for? Better yet, have a horror game to recommend that is void of my triggers? Let me know in the comments, but for now, back to Prey!

Crymson’s Top 10 Mobile Games

Let’s talk about mobile games a bit.

I’ve played a TON (and I mean a TON) of mobile games. Typically, for my mental health. They help my brain by distracting it. The whole using the tools we have thing. However, they are also a TON of fun. Gaming on your mobile device has evolved to epic levels, you can now play Fortnite, PUBG, Don’t Starve and so many others. So, here are a few of the ones I play.

10. Pokemon Go/The Walking Dead: Our World/Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

I know a few of you are confused. Follow me. These are games made by Niantic and they are all “on the go” games, meaning you walk, find things and interact with them. So they are similar (not the same) games, but it depends on what you prefer. Want a game that helps you get out of the house? Something to do on your walks? These are the games for you! I’ve played all three because I love Pokemon, zombies and the world of Harry Potter.

9. Food Fantasy

This game is IN DEPTH and not a quick-play-while-you-are-in-line kinda game. You are a chef in a fantasy land and have food souls that help you with your dream to have the best restaurant in the land.

This game has it all. There is a story, as well as side stories, missions, battles, guilds, catacombs, a restaurant to decorate, collecting, leveling… You know… I can’t even list everything that it has. With a very anime feel to it, this game offers you so much to do, all in one amazing place.

8. Gardenscapes/Homescapes

Everyone has their “match three” game and this is mine. Gardenscapes was the first. You inherit a large estate and, along with your butler Austin, you decide to bring the gardens back to their former glory. In Homescapes, you follow Austin back to his parents’ house and help them fix up their deteriorating property. These are great games when you are stuck waiting somewhere. On top of that, you get to make choices about the look of things, which is all I really want.

7. Hole.io

Ah yes, remember when all the .io games came out and it was the craze for… maybe 3 months? Well hole.io is my favorite and looks nothing like the other .io games. You are a hole in the ground that moves and must eat everything (reminds me of a webtoon I recently read). You have three game modes and three maps. You can compete (and eat) other players in this two minute match to become the biggest hole there is (there is a joke there).

You can play alone and try to eat everything on the map in two minutes (I have yet to get 100%) OR you can go head to head and be the last hole standing. Really, these jokes write themselves. Also you have your city map, pirate map and future map. PLUS your hole (stifle laugh) has different skins. I glide around as a flaming bat. *laughs way to hard*

6. Cooking Diary

Remember way back in the CD-Rom days, when Diner Dash was all the rage and you scooted around delivering food? Well this is the more advanced version. Your character wants to be an amazing chef just like their grandfather and make it in the chef world! You open different restaurants for different types of food. A burger joint as pictured above, a bakery for cakes, sushi/ramen, steak, pasta, and even an English breakfast place. You change some scenery options, upgrade your ingredients, add things to relax your customers and rush your way through the levels. This one has lasted the longest on my phone.

5. Merge Dragons

We all have a game about Dragons on our phones, right? I’ve had millions it feels like but THIS ONE has stood the test of time. It’s a plethora of different dragons, of course there is the element of merging three of the same type together it evolving to the next tier item. This counts for eggs, dragons, tress, flowers, you name it. They have frequent events for special dragons and regularly release new content to keep me interested. However, I don’t feel the need to log in every day so if I miss a day, no big deal.

4. Survival

It’s no secret that I love survival games. This is one of the few games that actually works on mobile and I’ve played many. It’s simple yet complicated and I’ve beaten it on all but the hardest mode. You are stuck in the woods and need to find your way through to survive. You will need to find food, shelter, warmth and all while you continue moving to find help. I may uninstall it from my phone but this is frequently downloaded again. If you are remotely interested in survival games, I suggest you try this free game.

3. The Witch’s Isle

This is a wonderful point and click type adventure on mobile. I did pay for the full version of this game. I adore the story, the pixel graphics, the multiple endings and even the character details. There is even a second story in the game. I really don’t want to reveal much but… you are part of a community that is trapped on an island by a powerful witch and you must break her spell before your lose your life.

2. BTS World

Don’t even act surprised. I love BTS, I love K-Pop and their game is like an amazing visual novel. You are thrown back to 2012 and it’s your job to get the group together and make them the amazing band that we know and love in present day. Not only do you get adorable cards of the members, but you take part in a visual novel style telling of being their manager. You level up cards, take place in events, make friends, play side stories for each member and learn more about the members. Win/Win!

1. Love Nikki

I have played this game every single day for well over a year now. Love Nikki is a visual novel style dress up game. Because you cringe at the words ‘Dress Up Game’ hear me out, because I used to think the same thing. They cater to just about every style. Want to be a Ninja? How about a Goth in Lolita dresses? Join the Navy? Traditional Chinese? Androgynous? Vampire? Ghost? Fairy? Princess? Pirate? They have them all. Your own house to decorate, a story to read, regular events, outfits to make from other outfits. You have Associations (think guild), friends, style competitions and so much more. This game is far past the simple dress up game and is full of fun things to do. I should know, I’ve played every day for years.

Do you play any of these games? Is there a game that you are SHOCKED isn’t on this list? Maybe a game you’d like me to try to add to a list in the future? Let me know in the comments below!

Review: Stardew Valley (2016)

Developed by ConcernedApe
Published by Chucklefish
Released: February 26th, 2016
Avabile: Steam, XBox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PSVita, IOS & Andriod

Let’s chat about Stardew Valley.

Years ago, I had gotten a GameBoy Advanced and found a game called Harvest Moon. I was obsessed with it. I would sit on the couch and play for hours, ignoring the world around me. I never thought I would find something like that again. I played other Harvest Moon games, but they weren’t the same. In comes Stardew Valley.

I was so excited when I saw it was coming out that I squealed and told everyone. I wanted everyone to hopefully experience the same wonder that I had playing Harvest Moon, I prayed that it would be amazing and was not disappointed. It blew away my expectations. 

Now that you know I love the game, let’s talk about the actual game.

You start off, unfortunately, with the passing of your grandfather, who hands you an envelope and tells you to open it when you are at your lowest. Next, you are seen working in a cubicle at Joja Corporation and obviously hating your job. You remember the note and open it. It’s telling you that you inherited a farm in Stardew Valley. Obviously, you drop everything and bounce. Peace, Joja.

You arrive in town and meet Robin, the carpenter, and Lewis, the mayor. They show you to your farm and tell you a few basics. 

There are 4 seasons and 28 days in each season. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. You plant crops according to the season. You go fishing, cook delicious food, upgrade your house, get farm animals, and, obviously, earn money. 

What’s better is that you are surrounded by these amazing NPCs that have their own stories, hardships and personalities. You can date and even marry several of them, regardless of gender. You can make friends with everyone. 

Their stories unfold and you really get pulled in, wanting to help these NPCs in their struggles. It’s really touching and extremely well written.

Not to mention fighting monsters in the mine, the festivals, the secrets and so many achievements. Also, the addition of multiplayer means you can farm with up to 3 friends. 

With several different farm map options, no real ‘end’ to the game, and the ability to decorate and change your farm around as you wish, the fun can be endless. 

I feel like Stardew Valley has something for everyone. It’s only $14.99 and with no paid DLC, the game is a steal. I only have 13 farms and over 300 hours in the game to prove it.

On a more personal note, this game has also gotten me through really tough times, depressive episodes, and moments when I had no strength left. I could turn it on and disappear for a few hours and come out feeling better. It’s always had a calming effect on me. I’m eternally grateful for that.

Oh, and if nothing I said above is impressive, this game was made by 1 person. The entire game, all aspects. 1 person. Let that sink in.

Do you play? What’s your favorite farm type? Who’s the best spouse? Show me screenshots of your farm!

Review: FAR: Lone Sails (2017)

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FAR: Lone Sails
2017

FAR: Lone Sails is an exploration adventure game by Swiss developer Okomotive. Available on PC, Xbox One and PS4. Where you traverse a dried-out seabed littered with the remains of a decaying civilization. Keep your unique vessel going, overcome numerous obstacles and withstand the hazardous weather conditions. How far can you make it? What will you find?

Now that that’s been said, I’ve beaten this game 5 times in 3 days and got 100% steam achievements. That’s something I rarely do. It isn’t a long game so beating it several times will only take a few hours. However, this game is full of magic.

Let me explain. In this game, you have an androgynous character traveling a grayscale landscape with red being the only other color. The art style is beautiful. As you side scroll in your large land vehicle, the scene is ever-changing. 

You start in a small house/workshop after taking a moment to honor the passing of, what I assume is your father or mentor. After leaving the building behind you walk until you come across a massive vehicle. It reminds me of many things, reminiscent of movies about a dystopian future, you do everything you can to keep your vehicle operating. 

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Stopping to gather items for fuel, solving puzzles to upgrade the vehicle, outrunning disasters. All while a quiet story is told in the background. A story without words, which can be the best story there is. As I travel, my mind races to try to fill in the blanks. Wondering if it’s a comment on our current society and where we are headed or it’s just a simple story to be interpreted how we wish. This was magic to me. 

As I stated, I played the game over and over, hoping to grasp more and get all 14 achievements on steam. Each playthrough I noticed something different, something I was surprised I hadn’t noticed before. Honestly, these discoveries excited me and now that I’ve achieved everything I may slowly go through one more time to see if I’ve missed anything else.

This is definitely a comfort game for me and I could see myself booting it up after a long/bad day. It’s stunning, well worth the price and time. I can’t wait to see what else this developer has to offer.

TL;DR: Great Game, Must Play

Top 10 Video Games I played in 2018

I know what you’re thinking, it’s June of 2019 Crymson, this should have been up in January.

Well, I’m a busy person who also procrastinates (and Vanri totally didn’t even edit this for 2 more months).

Also, this list isn’t about games that came out in 2018, just what I played.

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  1. Five Nights At Freddy’s – This stress-filled horror game is enough to make me punch actual things. I beat 1 & 2 on stream and haven’t gone back for 3. I loved playing them but the amount of stress that came with each night increasing was a lot and I needed a long break. Doesn’t mean I will never return to the series, just have to forget the horror to actively relive it.

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  1. 7 Days to Die – Why so early in the list for a game I play often. Because as much as I love this survival horror game it can get a bit repetitive, I do love that they are always updating and adding new things, and right now my goal is just to make 365 days… if it weren’t for the bear apocalypse.

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  1. Graveyard Keeper – A fun game I started playing last year, with adorable Mixer integration on Xbox. It’s a graveyard sim with a story? Fix it, bury it, burn it, fish it, the game has a lot of it. My only problem is the Xbox is behind on the PC updates and I find it challenging to remember what all I was doing if I take long breaks because there is SO MUCH TO ALWAYS DO. At least I am never bored.

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  1. Overwatch – I just got into the game last year and love it. It, like everything, is better with friends and now have it on PC, the list of people to play with is greatly expanded. I still am not sure who I main and I don’t play it constantly as to prevent burnout but I still get joy with my salt when I do play.

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  1. Creativerse – I played this game A LOT. Free to play on PC, this is a Minecraft inspired building game. I love building new things, playing with blueprints and running from the corrupted zone. However, breaks are a plus with this game given that the creative juices can run out.

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  1. Dead By Daylight– Easily one of my favorite games. DBD always has something interesting coming and it feeds my need for horror and my lack of time commitment. I can jump in and play a few matches without having to get invested in a story or remember what I was doing last time. Also for a game that frequently goes on sale, it is cost effective. Allowing you to play on maps and be hunted by new killers, even if you haven’t bought the latest DLC.

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  1. Assassin’s Creed: Origins – I never said I had to beat the game. Origins competes with Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag for my all time favorite Assassin’s Creed game. I’ve love ancient Egypt since I was a kid and this brought all that wonder right back to me. I love so much about it that I’m disappointed I never finished it but it’s massive and there is so much to do and I must complete it all. The story, characters, it is all magic.

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  1. Murdered: Soul Suspect – A highly underrated game. I enjoyed playing this immensely and finished it before my trip to Salem, Mass. Which looks nothing like the game. However, I was highly entertained and invested the whole time. I even enjoyed the side stories and collecting achievements. If you get the chance, play it.

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  1. Stardew Valley – I know it’s been out for years and I play it very often. There is a reason. It is an amazing game that I adore. For me the replay value is priceless. I also still have a lot of people to marry. Currently, I’m streaming this on Thursday nights on RWoG channels.

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  1. Vampyr – I absolutely loved playing Vampyr. It had to be my favorite of 2018. It was almost everything I want in an RPG and when the protagonist Jonathan got a little dominate I nearly melted off my chair. I was a bit disappointed with the ending I got but that just means I’ll have to play it again.

 

Do you agree? Disagree? Is there a game I need to play? Let me know in the comments!