It’s a new month in the year, and this March we’re thinking of celebrating one of our favorite genres of video games. Simulation games have become some of our most played games recently, with games like Stardew Valley and the Sims franchise. The new Animal Crossing game is coming out this month, Rune Factory 4 was just recently released, and there are plenty of dating sim games to explore.
Simulation games are so much fun. Especially since you can have the kind of life you think you deserve. The possibilities are always endless in what you can do in a simulation game and you can spend hours and hours playing one specific game.
I enjoy trying to reach my own goals, be they specific to the game like a business management simulation or character-driven goals for your avatars in life simulation games. Simulation games have been getting a bit of a boost with virtual reality these past couple of years as well, such as games like Job Simulator and the Iron Man VR.
Right, you feel like you’re accomplishing something even though, in real life, it’s not doing much for you. Still, they’re fun nonetheless and we’ve decided to talk about it all month including a new challenge.
The new challenge has to do with one of our favorite games, Game Dev Tycoon. As a refresher, Game Dev Tycoon puts you in the position of CEO of a budding video game company. Throughout the game’s years, consoles will come and go, gaming trends will happen, and you’ll do your best to make your company a success. I believe we’re mainly just going to see who can have the most money by the time the game’s years are up, right Rachel? Or is there any other criteria that you want us to judge?
Yes, more Game Dev Tycoon! I believe we’re going to see which company comes out on top, yeah. I think the game runs for 35 years so by the end of that, whoever has the most money wins. I plan on keeping a list of my games so we can compare ridiculousness as well.
Keeping a list of games will be good too, yes! I know the game, at the end of the 35 years or so, gives you a list of stats of your company over the course of the game. We should try to screenshot and print those for the heck of it. Did we want to do the standard game length or adjust it for the shorter or longer game?
Might as well do the standard game length. Go big or go home! In the meantime, while we build our virtual gaming companies, we’ll be playing and talking about some other simulation games, so stay tuned!
Do you enjoy simulation games? What are some of your favorites? If you liked this post, please share it around!
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had a challenge on the blog. Kris and I have decided to do another challenge for the rest of the summer. Now that Super Mario Maker 2 is out and there are a boat-load of courses, we figured we’d challenge each other to a few – including some homemade courses of our own.
As creative as we are, I feel like Rachel and I tend to play others’ courses more so than make our own. I remember creating just a couple with the original Super Mario Maker game, having never really taken the time to fully explore all of the options the tools gave us. Super Mario Maker 2 has a lot more to offer, so I’m eager to really play around with it. Rachel, you can decide how many courses we should make for each other — two or three should be good, in my opinion — but I believe part of the challenge should include creating each course in a different game style.
I think we should make three each for each other. Creating the levels in a different game style won’t be a bad idea either. Also, we should totally have one auto side-scroller, one-speed run, and one general level. Or at least choose a variety and not have three general levels, you know?
I’m all for variety, although I’m not sure about my abilities to create a speed-run, haha! Maybe a good puzzle, though, or one with lots of twists… We shall see what I come up with. Going along with a variety of levels, perhaps we should try to give them different terrains, like having a level up in the air, one underwater, a dungeon, the plains… Try not to repeat anything.
That’s fair. I’m not too confident in my skills either. A puzzle would be good if we can think of it, for sure. Having different terrains is also a good idea. Not repeating anything is sort of what I meant with my last statement, you just worded it so much better! We’ll try to make these courses as unique as possible.
We’ll each make the courses under our own Switch profiles so we can’t see each other’s work. We’re aiming to livestream these levels on Friday, August 23rd for everyone to see. We’ll keep you all updated if the stream date happens to change between now and then but, for now, that will be our deadline to get these courses done. Anyone else who wants to share course IDs with us to play that day, just leave a comment here or hit us up on Twitter!
What do you think of this challenge? Feel free to join in and tune it on August 23 to watch us fail at each other’s courses! If you like this post, please share it around.
No matter the game, there are usually timed challenges along the way. In classic Mario games, each level is timed, though it’s subtle. You don’t notice it until you have 99 seconds left and that well-known jingle plays. Some other games have smaller parts like when you push a button to open a door and you need to rush to it before it closes again. Of course, there are also speedruns that people try out as well. Where do you stand on timed challenges, Kris?
I dislike them. I mean, if it’s a small challenge in an otherwise not-timed level, that’s fine. Even the Super Mario levels for those classic games, the time didn’t bother me since they’re so generous. However, games that always have that timer ticking down tend to bother me. What about you?
It definitely depends on the game for me. However, I get stressed easily and feel the pressure. Games like Mario don’t bother me too much because, as you said, the time is generous and it’s not in your face. With quick things here and there – like the door I mentioned – make me hold my breath but are okay. The first time I had to run from Tubba Blubba in Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64, really freaked me out. It’s not bad now, but then I didn’t know what to expect. Technically, that’s not even really on a timer, but it’s a chase scene so it’s kind of is timed in a way.
Chase scenes always ramped up the pressure, haha! To me, I always liked the freedom and exploration aspect of video games. It’s one reason why I prefer, say, Breath of the Wild over Majora’s Mask in the Legend of Zelda franchise, for example. I disliked the three-day limit to Majora’s Mask and much preferred the open concept of Breath of the Wild, and even Ocarina of Time, when it came to saving Hyrule.
Ah, yes. Majora’s Mask. Someday I will play and beat that game. But I know, the three-day time limit makes me sweat just thinking about it. For a gamer like me who can’t think quick on her feet, having an entire game be timed isn’t exactly ideal. I want to be able to explore the world and take my time as well. Though, it definitely works with Majora’s Mask. It’s supposed to be a darker game and there’s no taking your time when the world is about to end.
Oh, absolutely, the mechanics definitely work for Majora’s Mask. It’s just not my cup of tea. On the flipside, many mobile games — especially free-to-start games — put a time limit on certain events or make you wait to gain more energy before you can continue the game. What do you think of those?
Oh, that’s just annoying. Especially since I’m doing mobile reviews now, it really makes it hard to get the game started. You’re already level one and can’t do much so when you have to wait – even if it’s just 30 seconds or a minute or something – it’s annoying because the game is so stop-and-go.
I agree those are a bit annoying, too. I understand having some in-game purchases to help the game along but, when it comes to the stop-and-go aspects of the game, I almost wish we could just purchase the game outright. All in all, I could probably do without most timed challenges in video games!
How do you feel about timed challenges in games? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
Going to change it up a little this week in that I’m doing a post in response to the challenge that Rachel and I gave each other way back in October. Did any of you forget about that? I promise we didn’t!
Way back at the beginning of October, Rachel and I challenged each other to play a game from the other’s favorite laid-back franchise. I challenged Rachel to play a Harvest Moon game — Light of Hope for the Nintendo Switch — and she challenged me to play Animal Crossing New Leaf for the 3DS. My goal was to pay off my debt enough to get the biggest house expansion as well as have my villagers like me, have a great town, and a high mayor rating.
And I failed.
What I did accomplish was get a 100% mayor rating (although it’s probably gone down by this point considering I haven’t visited my town in a month), make some villager friends, and paid off enough debt to expand the first floor of my house. I didn’t get the side rooms, but the front room is bigger.
I didn’t do too badly, in my opinion, but I obviously did not meet all of the requirements to complete the challenge, and I have no real excuse for not doing so. We had chosen October to do these challenges because we figured we would have enough time to do them before the decidedly busier months of November and December. Instead, New Leaf became a chore rather than something I wanted to do. Being competitive didn’t make me want to pick up the game.
It was nice meeting and seeing the villagers and Isabelle. The characters are adorable and they made me chuckle with their animations and the way they talk. When I did play the game, it was relaxing. I especially enjoyed the music while running around bug-hunting and fishing!
Yet, I was bored with the overall premise of the game. Sure, it was cute, but there wasn’t anything to keep me sustained. While my Harvest Moon games tend not to have huge stories to follow either, I’m able to create my own and, for the most part, figure out how to accomplish my goals myself.
It was interesting to actually make more of an effort in an Animal Crossing game but, when the Switch version comes out, I’ll probably leave that game to Rachel.
What do you think of Animal Crossing New Leaf? How would you have done with this challenge?
I’m here with an update of Kris’s challenge to me… which was supposed to be the end of October, but better late then never, right?
Kris challenged me to play Harvest Moon: Light of Hope for the Nintendo Switch. She wanted me to complete the main story line, which… I did not do.
I was supposed to have the month of October to complete this challenge and instead we’re in the beginning of December. I had plenty of time in October and the November was hectic with NaNoWriMo and holidays and other obligations. So, not only did I miss the deadline, but I still didn’t even complete the challenge.
Harvest Moon is a series I’ve always wanted to get into. However, whenever I play the games, I get bored really quickly. I don’t know why since it’s similar to Animal Crossing and I love that. Still, no matter how hard I try, I was never able to get into it.
I love games that are driven by story with a few exceptions (Animal Crossing being one of them, of course.) Harvest Moon: Light of Hope has a story, but… I don’t care for it at all. With that said, I had a hard time getting into the game and I didn’t play it for a long time because I kept putting it off. Hence, the extended deadline and why I still haven’t completed the story.
Cons of Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
1. The beginning of this game is so slow.
The story definitely drags in the beginning and it takes a while for you to finally get into the game play. I just wanted to start my farm and casually play the game. There are sprites who come to you and ask for your help in addition to the townspeople. You have to rebuild the town and island before it sinks into the sea. In order to do that, there are five tablets to be found and collected to bring light and energy back to the lighthouse. The first tablet is handed to you pretty much. Each tablet gets “harder” and “longer” to get than the last.
This is all well and fine but I had nothing to start off with. I don’t expect to start the game with 10,000 gold, but to rebuild houses and bridges you need a certain amount of certain materials and so much money. I needed to spend money to get the materials, such as seeds for certain crops, and then I needed to hold onto those crops to build the house but in order to make money, I needed to sell those crops. It was a vicious cycle.
Honestly, I spent the majority of spring – the first season in the game – waking up, watering my crops, and then going right back to bed by noon because there was nothing else left for me to do. I couldn’t fish and the mines weren’t fixed (because I needed to fix them) so it was long and annoying.
2. Loading screens & cut scenes.
Speaking of slow…
3. There’s no direction.
Yes, I needed a walk-through for this game. There are so many things to do but I had no idea what I needed to do first to move on with the game. If I didn’t look it up, I certainly wouldn’t have the fishing rod or the mines and hammer, or even the third out of five tablets.
The island is huge and there are a lot of areas to explore and houses to rebuild. I could have just gone through them all one by one and check out which materials I had and could get versus what I couldn’t. But the beginning was slow enough, I just wanted to move on and be able to build my farm and have a casual play through of the game.
Granted, this is supposed to be a casual simulation game but if there’s some sort of story, I’d like to know what to do or where to go next.
4. I didn’t care about any of the characters.
None of the characters appealed to me at all. They didn’t seem to have any depth to them at all. No, I didn’t try to marry anyone or give anyone gifts, but I didn’t care to either. The sprites weren’t much better. They were cute, but they were also pretty annoying.
Pros of Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
1. The game did pick up.
Once I opened the mine, got the hammer, and got the fishing rod, I found myself being able to do a lot more. My character was actually staying up until midnight or so doing things and I even found myself playing on because I wasn’t able to get everything done I had wanted to in the previous day. So, the game did pick up a little for me and I certainly enjoyed farming, mining, and fishing. If that was the whole game, I’d be much happier.
2. Requests from the villagers.
I’ve always loved doing requests for the CPU characters. Waking up and having mail in my mailbox giving me a small goal or side-quest to aim for a new material or such is always a good time for me.
3. The music and sound effects were good.
For a casual simulation game, the music was relaxing and certainly on-point for certain characters. (I’m looking at you, Doc.)
I listed the pros last to end this post on a high note but, as you can see, this game has more cons for me than pros. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to this game to complete the story and possibly get to know the characters well enough to marry one of them, but I can’t see myself getting back to this game anytime soon. It was just okay for me.
Have you played Harvest Moon: Light of Hope? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!