Games That Didn’t Click Round-up Q1 2016

Originally published on Trevor Trove on March 20, 2016

In order to leave myself better prepared for eventual year-end awards and such, I’ve been keeping a running tally of all the games I’ve played this year. March isn’t done yet and I’m already up to 28 titles. I’ve beaten and/or gotten 100% of the Trophies/Achievements on 15 of these games. And while I plan to get back to some of them, here are five games that probably won’t get too much more playtime from me and why.

Crypt of the Necrodancer – I first learned of Crypt of the Necrodancer when I saw some people playing it at PlayStation Experience in December. The rhythmic dungeon crawling aesthetic caught my attention and seemed like it’d be right up my alley.

Why it didn’t click: I’m not particularly a fan of the roguelike genre. The music and rhythmic movement component of the game was a lot of fun but I just don’t have the patience to replay levels over and over until I’m strong enough to move forward before running into another wall. The repeated death wears me down too much in these games. The only one that has managed to sink its hooks in me was Rogue Legacy but I even put that one down once I finally beat it.

Lemmings Touch – I was a fan of the Super Nintendo Lemmings and put many hours into solving the game’s puzzles with those mindless little green-haired fools. So when Lemmings Touch was released as one of the Vita PlayStation Plus games for February, I decided I’d spend some time before bed playing god to those poor creatures once again.

Why it didn’t click: I played through a fair bit of the game’s early levels, enjoying the puzzles and the occasional brain-teasers I would come across. But the touch controls of the game were what broke me. Imprecise touch controls required to change the role you want to assign a Lemming mixed with some time-sensitive decisions make for a horrible combination. It wasn’t long before I was failing levels not because I couldn’t figure out the level’s solution, but because the touch controls made it nearly impossible for me to tap the correct Lemming and assign the correct role in a timely fashion.

A Boy and His Blob – Another throwback to my youth, the original A Boy and His Blob was one of the titles I highlighted in my Favorite Games of the NES. Like Lemmings, I spent many hours in the days before the easy-to-come-by strategy guides solving the games more difficult puzzles so I decided to pick up the Vita port of the 2009 Wii reboot.

Why it didn’t grab me: Somewhat of an inverse situation from my issues with Lemmings Touch, I just found myself bored with the games early puzzles and slow-moving mechanics. I didn’t run into the same issues of imprecise controls or a lack of time to complete a sequence, but the trade off was an incredibly slow-moving boy and blob. I might pick this one back up when I’m travelling in the coming months but I doubt it. I may just be better off leaving this series viewed through nostalgia goggles.

Unravel – Like many, I was utterly charmed when EA gave some of their E3 stage time last year to let a nervous man (Martin Sahlin – the developer and creative director) share his passion for Yarny, a new platformer character from Swedish studio Coldwood Interactive. For some reason (likely an unconscious coupling between EA and Microsoft thanks to the EA Access program) I thought the game was going to be an Xbox-exclusive pretty much up until launch when I saw it in the PlayStation Store and decided to give it a shot.

Why it didn’t click: While I very much admired the games beautiful design and backgrounds, the platforming itself felt too floaty for my taste. After playing through a couple of stages I kind of felt like I’d experienced enough. I don’t regret having dropped the money on the game as I want to encourage companies like EA to take more risks and support interesting new ideas and IPs, but this one just didn’t grab me.

Salt and Sanctuary – The newest entry to my catalog, I picked up Salt and Sanctuary as the first title of the current PlayStation Launch Party program. As I wrote about a couple week’s back, this game was basically pitched as a 2D Dark Souls game and based on my limited understanding of the FromSoftware games, that’s pretty apt.

Why it didn’t click: The Dark Souls titles have never appealed to me because I play video games to unwind and relax. I absolutely respect these games and the players who love them for the challenge, but it was immediately clear when I repeatedly died on the game’s first boss that it’s for the best that I stay away from these games. And I also hate how these games go out of their way to avoid telling you what things do. That said, I did appreciate the art-style of the game. It’s probably a little too on the dark and gloomy side for me to have enjoyed it much longer without some variation but I didn’t get tired of the look of the game before I got tired of the rest of it.

Given the number of games I expect to be playing throughout the rest of the year, I’m sure there will be more that just don’t click so I’ll probably revisit this kind of idea every few months. Let me know what games just haven’t clicked for you recently. Should I be giving any of these games another shot?

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