Look, if you pretend that I didn’t get too ill last week to get a Round Up written, I’ll ignore that thing you did, that you’d rather I didn’t tell the authorities about! Deal? Right let’s quickly get to this/last week’s games.


DEVELOPER: Paul HartLee WilliamsAkupara Games
PUBLISHER: Akupara Games
Formats: PC
Price: £20.99
Steam Deck: Unknown (Not recommended)

Credit: Akupara Games

Where to begin here. Cryptmaster is one fine game and the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam are so well deserved. However, for those who like playing on Steam Deck, then you’ll not have the best experience, as despite the onscreen keyboard being ‘fine’, it just feels cumbersome to play. So with that in mind, unless you get a keyboard based setup, it is best avoided.

Now though, if you can use a keyboard, then you are in for one hell of a treat. Cryptmaster feels like a modern take on the original text adventure games I’d play at school. Where you’d sit there and type anything you could think of to see what response you’d get. We were young, so never realised there were only ever likely a few possible outcomes to every phrase… most of them being ‘I don’t understand’

This takes things to a whole new level. Where you can type in literally any word and it will have some effect. Whether that be in the various battle you’ll encounter during your dungeon crawling, or the puzzles you’ll need to solve to unlock the mysteries found within the game.

Again, this is another of those games where I don’t want to say too much, as I think going in and discovering everything for yourself is where this game really shines. Along with the ludicrous amounts of charm and character it has in its monochrome palette. Your ‘guide’ for the journey is simply brilliant and a real display of why it is important to think about design, rather than just going for the best graphics.

Everything is simple, but it has an identity that should stand the test of time. It is dark and gothic, but also got some very light-hearted moments. With nothing at all feeling out of place. But that’s just the base of it all. There is so much to discover as your progress that I’ve not even mention, because as I said before, the joy will come from your own sense of discovery.

2024 continues to be an amazing year for video games on the side of indies!

Still Joking

DEVELOPER: Purple Brick Games
PUBLISHER: Purple Brick Games
Formats: PC
Price: £15.99
Steam Deck: Unknown (Run perfectly)

Credit: Purple Brick Games

I though I was ready for a break from visual novels and choose your own adventure games, but Still Joking spoke to me for some reason and I couldn’t be happier that I took a chance.

The premise is that you play the role of an actress’ reflection after she is murdered. (No spoilers, this is literally the first scene). Who in the mirror world must find out the reasons for the murder and who the real world person behind it was.

This in and of itself would make for an interesting story for a game and I am a sucker for stories where the victim is the one to try and solve the crime… I think I am one of the few that thinks Murdered: Soul Suspect is criminally underrated!

However, it’s not just about solving a murder, it is something much grander than that and is more a story of finding closure and your place in the world. What happens when the life you know is taken away and you have to discover your whole being.

I’ve played through Still Joking one time and stuck to a path I felt was best, but there are many different paths to take that will lead to many different endings, both for Iris (the main character) and others you will build relationships with.

Still Joking is at once a very sombre affair, with some serious commentary on the way humans are, but also knows how to have some fun. Every character you meet leave an impact, be it minor and major and everyone also feels layered. You won’t like everyone, but that is human nature and this conveys that wonderfully.

Highly recommended for something that just slows the pace down for when you need a break from the more intense games in your library. A train/bus journey? An afternoon in the coffee shop? Stick in a pair of headphones, put on Still Joking and lose yourself and a wonderous story.

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