Steam Mining

Having a new baby means having a seemingly endless rotation of house guests. Our house is conveniently split in two. Our upstairs loft living room has a bathroom and two bedrooms, so our guests can have a whole area to themselves. Unfortunately it’s also where my desktop PC, big screen TV, Xbox and PS3 reside.

Turns out newborns don’t do much outside of eat, sleep and poop themselves. Because I’m not about to boot guests out of the way to play games, I’ve been hanging out with Brooke, Parker and Berkeley in our bedroom. We watch DIRECTV on our 24-inch screen, and I goof around on my laptop, a Core i3 HP Pavilion. For entertainment I’ve been floating between Resistance Retribution on my PSP (fantastic game), and Steam games capable of running on my laptop. Here’s a bit of what I’ve been playing.


The Binding of Isaac

This game is crazy weird, but tons of fun. Everything about it is random. Every level, every enemy, all the item drops, even the bosses. Every time you play it’s different, which does a lot to lessen the sting of losing all your items when you die. I’ve beaten it once, but I feel like I’ve only seen a small fraction of what this adorably grotesque game has to offer. It’s only five bucks, and it comes with a great soundtrack.


And Yet It Moves

I picked this one up in a Humble Bundle several months ago and just now got around to playing it. The weird world twisting gameplay is very neat, but can get a bit frustrating since it’s not always clear where you’re supposed to go. I like the hand drawn torn paper art and the vocal percussion sound effects and music. Something about it reminds me of the Nickelodeon cartoon “Doug”.


Bit.Trip Runner

I got this during a summer Steam sale for $2.50, and I like to come back to it every now and then. I love the music and the dead simple gameplay. It’s super challenging and can get infuriating pretty quick, but it’s hard to stay away. The opening tune by Anamanaguchi is one of my favorites.


Thief: Deadly Shadows

Somehow I missed this game when it came out, which is weird because I was totally into Splinter Cell and other stealth action games at the time. It looks great, though it kinda pushes the limits of what my laptop can do. I’ve only played a bit here and there, but I can already tell it’s missing modern gaming touches like a good mini-map and intuitive contextual cues. Still, being a sneaky thief is fun, they should make a new Thief game.


Resistance Retribution

Thanks to Gamefly and my freelance game reviewing, I think I’ve played just about every “good” PSP game available that would interest me (that means I’ve stayed away from most JRPGs). Resistance Retribution is hands down the best shooter I’ve ever played on the system. It’s even better than the stellar Syphon Filter games, which were also made by the same developers. Unfortunately my copy started freezing up on me last night. Might have to take it back to GameStop.

So that’s what I’m dabbling in right now. It will still be a while before I get back to my Xbox, so I’m thinking about sending Alice Madness Returns back to Gamefly in favor of something portable. Any ideas? Maybe Kingdom Hearts for PSP, or Star Fox 64 3D? What about inexpensive Steam games? Let me know if you have any suggestions. Vegging out with games is a wonderful way to recharge in between changing diapers and soothing a fussy baby.