Video Games

Quench Alternative Video Game Awards

Saman and Tom dish out their highly credible awards to 2015’s line-up of games.

Most relatable game of 2015: The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt

The Witcher’s world can sometimes be surprisingly like our own

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Saman, you’re not a bad-ass mutated human, specifically created to rid the world of monsters. Alas, you would be right. But that’s not where the relatability aspect comes into play.

On Geralt’s epic quest to find his adopted daughter, you may stumble upon an island in Skellige that has an unusual curse on it. On this island, called Urriala, it never stops raining. Sounds familiar right? The inhabitants of this place are understandably annoyed and hire you to abolish this curse, accredited to a mysterious tower that appeared out of nowhere. Thus, using Witcher logic there must be a mysterious tower in Cardiff that we need to destroy in order to get wonderful clear skies.

Game most likely to save your life in the future: Fallout 4

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It’s dangerous to go alone, take this

Fast forward 200 years and the radiation has had severe ramifications. Cows and deer now have 2 heads whilst cockroaches, scorpions and mole rats are now multiple times bigger than their 2015 sizes. Humans have also suffered from the harsh nuclear fallout environment, some have transformed into zombie-like creatures called ghouls. Half their faces are missing, excessively croaky voices and worst of all, their hair has fallen out (which is definitely where the name of the franchise comes from). Playing Fallout teaches you how to take care of these feral ghouls and oversized creepy crawlies, usually in the form of a lovingly crafted baseball bat covered in barbed wire. You can also learn how to unlock doors with hair pins, hack computers and put buckets on people’s heads whilst you steal all their belongings. Thanks to Fallout 4’s new crafting system, I now know how to turn baseballs into grenades, trees into pictures of kittens and fertilizer into drugs that slow down time.

As you can clearly see, Fallout will help you survive the future, period. But if you’re not a gamer and don’t plan on picking up the game then the most important thing I can teach you is: don’t drink the green water.

Saman Izadyar

Game That Gave Me a Great Opportunity to Try Steam’s New Refund System: LEGO Worlds

Don’t let the pretty colours draw you in

It was very good of Travellers’ Tales to drop the stinker that is LEGO Worlds unceremoniously onto the Steam store at the same time as Valve released their refund option. Within two hours, I’d played enough to see that the game was really not worth wasting any more time on, even if it was still in early access. As it happens, that’s the maximum amount of time you can play a game before the refund option disappears. Seeing that tenner return to my account was extremely pleasing. If only all online stores had this function…

Lego Worlds (not to be confused with well-marketed and no doubt sizeably budgeted Lego Dimensions) released quietly onto Steam Early Access in June, with a full release expected for next year. Billed as Lego’s reply to Minecraft’s stealing of Lego’s block-game thunder, it promised large scale creativity with powerful tools for shaping a rich open world. However, there’s one problem- whilst Lego works great in real life, where you can accept the generally daft look of the blocks in exchange for functionality, there’s a reason that Minecraft uses straight up square blocks- it just works better on computers with a first person viewpoint. Everything about Lego Worlds is disappointingly done- it all seems so odd. Major thanks must go to TT for letting me test out that lovely new feature though; it’s almost as if the game was designed to make me want to return it.

Game That Very Briefly Lifted Me from the Depressing Disappointment That is Life: Super Mario Maker

Also wins the award for most talked about game on Quench Games this year

Sometimes, I feel like I don’t even like video games any more. Complicated control systems, little kids screaming me down on TeamSpeak for not training to get good at their game twenty-seven hours a day, flashy games with little gameplay substance, on-disk DLC, pay to win models, I couldn’t remember the last time I really felt like buying a game was worth it. Then, for a Quench review, I made the jump and bought my first full-price game in ages- Super Mario Maker.

SMM quite simply made me very, very happy to play. Worked all day, got back to the house, slapped down on the sofa and grabbed the Gamepad from its charging dock. Browsed through forums for levels to play, or made my own. After a while I gave up on the charging dock- the Gamepad started running out of battery every time I settled in for a six-hour session. It’s been a while since I wanted to play a game that much!

Tom Morris