Cosy: Stardrew Valley

Written by: Semhar (Semi) Tesfazgy, Editor in Chief

When a day jam-packed with work and assignments comes to a close, there’s nothing better than unwinding with a game to relax and unwind with. In comes <i>Stardew Valley<i> – a pixel farming simulator. Don’t let the graphics fool you however – this game is jam-packed with hundreds of hours worth of content, where you can build a farm, befriend/romance the villagers, and face the mines/dungeons. This game is perfect for both short 30-minute spurts, or 7-hour grinds to get that last piece of iridium ore for your elaborate sprinkler network. 

This game shines in its versatility – play casually and build a picturesque farm, or become a min-maxing, dungeon-clearing god – the choice is yours. You’re also welcome to grab a couple of friends and play a multiplayer farm – if you want to subject yourself to the hell that is trying to get everyone to go to sleep at the same time. The game also features a massive modding community that has developed every mod under the sun – from minor cosmetic or quality of life changes, to complete plot rewrites and entirely new areas for you to explore. The game is only £10, and regularly goes on sale – so make sure to give it a try! 

Multiplayer: Jackbox Party Pack

Written by: Ada Carpenter, Senior Editor

There often comes a point in the evening – at least for me and my friends – where nobody quite has any gossip or conversation left, but also nobody is ready for the fun to end. This is the perfect moment to bring out the multiplayer party games on offer from Jackbox Games. The <i>Jackbox Party Pack<i>, which has 10 editions released annually since 2014, features exciting mini-games presented on your main screen that everyone participates in by joining on their own phones or laptops.

From unique spins on trivia quizzes to ridiculous T-shirt designing, Jackbox offers something for everyone. With several games focusing on individual fun facts or guessing other people’s responses, this game is a great ice breaker to get to know people better – or a way to craft crazy new inside jokes about your besties. My personal faves are ‘Quiplash’ – where you have to come up with the funniest response to a prompt to be voted on by your friends – and ‘Monster Seeking Monster’ – a speed-dating game where each player has a hideous secret. 

For new players, the most quintessential pack is <i>Jackbox Party Pack 3<i>, but you’ll be finding you want to try them all soon enough!

Mystery: Gone Home

Written by: Francesca Sylph, Senior Editor

Trying to identify the genre of <i>Gone Home<i> is surprisingly difficult. Technically, it is a mystery. You play as Katie Greenbriar, returning home after a year abroad to find an abandoned mansion and sinister letters from your older sister Sam. As you explore every nook and cranny of the creepy house, you’ll come across clues: telephone messages, handwritten notes, and diary entries. Slowly, the mystery starts to unravel, making way for an emotional finale in the attic. Initially, the game disguises itself as a horror: lights flicker, floorboards creak, and a fierce thunderstorm rages outside. You will soon find out, however, that there are no ghosts or monsters hidden in this house. At least, not literally. The only skeleton in the closet is the generational trauma which lingers in the corners of every room. <i>Gone Home<i> transcends genre because it is messy, complex and deeply human. It is the story of a queer teenager and the family that doesn’t understand her. It is the story of abuse and trauma passed from parent to child. Above all, it is about belonging. Where do we belong? Who do we belong to? And can we ever escape our first homes?

Categories: Arts Top Stories

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