Category Archives: Gaming

What I currently play, march edition

Roughly 5 years after everyone, I’ve started playing the Witcher 2. I don’t have much available time so I play in easy mode. The fighting system is good, despite requiring to memorize 6 pictograms for some sorts (I actually did not memorize them but bound them to some mouse buttons). The quest part is simple but interesting, with lots of content and a nice story.It probably would not win the game of the year but it’s good to waste some time that I don’t have. It’s super cheap on steam, so definitely worth the few bucks it costs if you didn’t try it yet.

As part of the previous of april’s monthly humble bundle, I received this War of Mine. It’s the same price tag as the previous game, but a very different kind of game. Instead of being a super badass, with nearly unlimited powers trying to kill their way to fame and fortune, you play a bunch of struggling civilians, trying to survive in the middle of a city in war, fighting for medicines, food, water, avoiding the various dangers represented by robbers, other scavengers, snipers. The game is black and white, with a very gloomy look and feel. The realization is definitely awesome, it’s interesting to play, but it has a psychological toll: you are constantly reminded that life can end without notice, that your hard-earned resources can be stolen by a group of robbers, leaving you with gashing wounds. I definitely enjoyed the few hours I spent on the game, but I would have a very hard time recommending it. While game usually translates you into an imaginary world, this one does its best to remind you in what environment some people live. On top of the survival struggle, should you choose the path of violence, your characters will start worrying about their fate and soul, making you actually feel bad for taking such a decision. Do you prefer to save the 2 begging kids mother or your friend? Cause there is not enough medicine for everyone. If you feel the immersion is not enough, your team is represented through realistic pictures, with a short bio explaining their struggles and evolving over time. And in case you’re wondering, death is final, there is no saving and reloading in real world.

I’ve played Jamestown which is a good old fashioned shoot them up. Not much to say, it’s hard, entertaining, good to empty your brain. Several ships with different weapons, an hair-fetched scenario. I had it for a while, rather a good surprise and one of a few games that can be played with the kids watching, thanks to the very cartoon-like/unrealistic feeling (easy to spot the bad : they’re ugly)

GRAVARK: Survival Evolved, Rust: these were games I really wanted to play. Open-world, mmo, sandboxing. I was really hoping for a feeling of collaboration, man against the environment, creativity. What I got was half finished games, full of bugs, almost impossible to play, with lots of gankers, fuzzy objectives, broken scenario. Clearly a huge deception and I don’t recommend investing time in these, which was a surprise for me.

Last, millie is a very nice snake-like game. I didn’t play much but it’s one of the few games which is really nice and playable by one of my 5 years old twin.



I’ve recently had to fly oversea (yesterday) and this is usually for me the opportunity to try new things: can’t really sleep, in-flight entertainment is usually crappy, so here I go.

I tried a new game called Chromasquad. Reason why I tried this is simple : I recently got it in a humble bundle (monthly one I guess), it’s DRM-free (I could get it from humble bundle website easily), it’s small (in 100 of MB at most) and runs decently on a mac book air, which has close to no power.

I tried and I got surprisingly addicted: pitch is pretty simple, a bunch of stuntsmen go out of their studio and start making their own power rangers clone. The game itself is close to XCom, enemy unknown : you work your team, improve it then play in a turn by turn. Gameplay is quite addictive, not as easy as it sounds initially. Graphics are… well, let’s say they fit with nostalgia with a nice principle of hand drawn, blocky old fashioned sprites. Either you love or you hate, it personally reminds me of my youth 🙂

Seeing how cheap the game is, I strongly recommend to buy it. Seeing that I missed the trophies (playing out of steam), I’ll probably redo it really soon and keep it as a plane friendly, low-power game.

Of course, the other games I did in the plane were less fun. They included tearing of my seat with the help of the steward to fetch my headphones converter, 45 minutes of turbulence in the middle of lunch and using a 10 inches screen to watch an SD movie. I don’t understand how in-flight entertainment can still be that crappy.

Monthly Humble monthly: december edition

Recently (november 2015), humble bundle decided to have a subscription based bundle: instead of buying a game bundle, you opt in for a flat fee (12 USD) and you got a surprise package.

I like this concept as it forces to discover and try new games while limiting the budget impact to almost nothing. Games are redeemed on steam, which is for me currently the most efficient distribution platform (with lots of efforts on linux gaming as a nice bonus). I was quite reluctant at beginning as I already own a whole bunch of cheap-ish games from steam sales or humble bundle packages (and they tend to have the same game included in many packages), but the cheap price got me.

After 2 bundles, I can say that I’m overly satisfied with this. Here is a quick review of what I got and how I felt.


  • Legend of Grimrock 2: old fashioned RPG, was on my wish list. Tried it, didn’t really play, seems that it requires some good hard core attention to detail
  • Towerfall Ascension
  • Besiege: was on my wishlist, it’s kerbal space programs on catapults: built your siege weapon and conquer the town (or die winning a Darwin award). Not tried yet, but clearly a nice one.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: a weird japanese mix between storyline, manga and fps. Played the tutorial, was not really convinced.
  • Lethal League: not tried
  • SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition. Not tried yet.
  • Saints Row IV: already had it from a previous bundle, never really played it. Seems a funny FPS, not really politically correct.


  • Banished. Hard-core city building game. Reminds me of settlers for the game mechanics: you act on your population by asking to build dedicated buildings and specializing your settlers. There is no colonization/war part, only economical survival. So far, seems pretty tough and fun, really for hard core gamer. Kinda like Eve online is spreadsheets in space, that one is very likely sheets in settlement.
  • Rust: MMO survival game, seems awesome, was on my wishlist, not tried yet. Games seems to be plagued by gankers and fairly hard, will see…
  • Chroma Squad: not tried yet
  • Neon deluxe edition: not tried yet
  • Company of Heroes 2 + add-on: not tried yet, seems to be a commando-like game, very strategic. Will probably give it a try over x-mas vacations.
  • PayDay 2: the games seems to have a lots of potential for fun team playing. The offline/single player mode involves playing with stupid bots and is not fun at all. Either I missed something(but I tried hard) or the game is just made only for multi. As I’m unlikely to find 3 friends to play with me, probably not going to use this one much.

Overall, for very little investment (24$), I got a bunch of games I personally wanted and some recent blockbusters titles. The ratio quality/price is awesome and if they manage to keep this track, this is an awesome deal,  much higher quality in my opinion than the average humble bundle.

This however points the fact that with a job and a family, getting 5+ games a month is just too much of me to try playing it. If someone wants to sneak at my profile, I can be found on steam as Darkbruce.


New computer hardware

I’ve had new toys to play with over the WE, here is a first hot status.

IMG_20150824_185318 (1)

The first one was linked to installing some new computer hardware. I have ethernet sockets in my wall,  only using 4 wires (2 pairs), hence limiting to 100mbps. As I have a NAS, I needed much higher bandwidth. I tried to build custom ethernet cables (basically, Y cables using both the cables from phone and the cables for ethernet) with a limited success. So I switched to using WiFi bridge to connect the wired network for home office and the other wired network for multimedia/internet connection.

My current setup is now working fine with enough bandwidth, documenting the tricks here:

  • cablecom modem, configured in bridge mode. This modem works fine in terms of bandwidth but is crappy beyond limit for anything else (it can’t handle the load of a home network). WiFi (including guest Wifi) is disabled.
  • Asus RT-AC68U as main home router. Great router, lots of functions, snappy and reliable. Definitely a good choice (albeit pricey). Configured with both 5GHz and 2.4GHz WiFi on different SSIDs (I have older hardware)
  • Asus EA-AC87 as WiFi bridge, to connect 5GHz WiFi to office network
  • small switches

It worked surprisingly well and was really easy to setup. Basically plug, press 2 buttons and play, almost disappointing.  Main drawback is my network map on my main router appears somehow broken (devices between the bridges are not correctly identified, not that I really care as it’s a wired network).

The other additions to the home hardware were a new set of keyboard/mouse:

  • keyboard is a Roccat mk pro: I use the same one at work and I really liked it. The work one use MX-Brown, the home one uses Mx-Red. The Reds are definitley more silent and less clicky, tough keeping the typing feeling of a mechanical keyboard. I don’t really care about key latency, I’m not a professional gamer.
  • mouse is a Roccat Tyon: it’s basically the opposite of minimalist design. Main reason to change is the batteries of my 4th Logitech wireless mouse died, I had the feeling that the quality of logitech, that I trusted for most of my PC devices over the last 10 years is really sinking.

What’s great about the new set:

  • there is a prefix key (replaces capslock on the keyboarD) that can be used to transofmr any button of the keyboard or mouse into a new set of functions. Great for gaming. (this gives 20+ functions on the mouse with the right hand)
  • keyboard has some macro and a very nice mechanical feeling
  • keyboard integrates a usb 2.0 hub, jack plugs for sound
  • keyboard weights 1.5+ kg and does not move. Ever, Whatever you’re doing with it. Actually, the keyboard itself is a blunt weapon made of steel. This fits with my subtle approach to computer science.
  • backlighting is great on the keyboard, nicely configurable but only blue.
  • firmware got upgraded on first connection, hopefully, more will come.
  • I’ve used the keyboard for 6+ months at work (intensive usage) and it looks brand new.
  • Despite not being wireless, the mouse is smooth and the cord doesn’t lock.

What’s not so good

  • profile switch do not display OSD, which makes it great not to get lost on all these buttons
  • mouse profile switching seems erratic (and dynamical DPI configuration can be a bit unseting)
  • it’s expert hardware, expect to spend a few hours per game to tune to your utter needs
  • Seems like the mouse backlighing is somehow flaky: each profile has its own color scheme (useful when switching profiles). However, it seems like mine is often stuck on blue. Maybe an issue with windows going to sleep ?

Overall, it’s all very pricey for non essential hardware (basically, all of this costs the same price as a cheap laptop), but it makes a great difference in user experience and feeling of quality. Hopefully, this will all last for a few years.

New interesting game


I use steam almost exclusively nowadays for my game purchases. There are many reasons behind that: I can buy whenever I like (undertand, late while wearing only underwear), they make nic offers from time to time (winter/summer sales), you can share the game amongst multiple computers/platforms.

One oif the feature I like is the wishlist : it’s basically a list of game which seems great but that you don’t need NOW. I put on this list “The Talos principle” a while ago. Actually, long enough ago that I forgot about it.

Yesterday, the marvellous god of marketing from steam let me know that game was currently on sale : this is even better than taregtted advertisement, I did let them know I was a potential sheep hoping for slaughter, Following the impulsion that any cattle would have, I rushed and bought the game for a bargain 14EUR, installed it  (6GB,m first useful information) and promised myself to try soon-ish.

Soon happened to be tonight, I’ver played only for 67 minutes (ahem) and I really love the game. It’s a mix of slow action arcade and thinking game, in a really beautiful environment. I guess last time the graphical marvels of a game let me forgot to slaughter a herd of {nazis, aliens, goats, russian, american, android, opponents} was when I installed farcry. This one hit the same chord. And there was not even foes I had to remember to kill (s ofar at least). Giving a feeling of holidays on a greek island is priceless and I actually enjoy a peaceful game that I can play with the kids around without worrying about them snapping a picture in their brain of a disembowled ghoul.

So far, the game is fast paced, the enigms pretty easy. The pitch, you’re in the far future, God is talking to you, there are traps and not enough jamming device for the traps. Find items which allows you later to unlock doors. It has a feeling of portal, maybe with less action and click at the perfect moment and more brain (but o zombie to eat them).

Pretty easy, but damn addictive. It has the same feeling as civilization does : I’ll play another quick turn / find an additional sigil then go to bed. Oops, was quick, I might afford another one. Oops, 3:00am

I managed to plug out (shamelessly noting that it’s to play something else which is hot right now). But I’ll be back.

If it’s still on sale, don’t hesitate, buy it. If it’s not, buy it however for it’s definitely worth the money (and it’s an indie game!)