I’ve not slept for thirty hours and I’m driving a truck from Aberdeen to Rotterdam.
I’m partly past the point I could actually get to sleep anyway, but most of it is that I have a tiny baby on my lap that is getting some much needed rest. I was told they always sleep, but I wasn’t told they always sleep on you.
Wait a minute…I can’t see my hands! AAAAAAAHHHHHhhh
I’m not allowed to go to sleep. If I go to sleep whilst looking after this tiny goblin wrapped in a fluffy blanket, then I don’t want to think about the end of that sentence. Netflix has been the answer so far, but I’ve just finished House of Cards and I’m in that between-shows limbo so I have turned to my old friend video games to bail me out.
That means I’m now driving a virtual truck from virtual Aberdeen to virtual Oslo in Euro Truck Simulator 2.
Super Meat Boy brings you right to the edge of launching your controller across the room in frustration. The game is a love letter to classic 2D platforming games and achieved widespread critical acclaim among the gaming press when it was first released five years ago, but was this due to the nostalgia strings it so aptly plucked?
Now that the dust has settled on Super Meat Boy and subsequently been disturbed once again by its arrival on the Playstation 4, launching itself onto the platform and going straight into the free monthly PS Plus games, is this really the masterpiece everyone thought it was?
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a game about trusting and bargaining with your friends. It’s probably not meant to be, but let’s face it, when it comes to co-op games, it’s never really co-op.
When you’re carefully tight-rope walking over a bottomless chasm and said rope is being held in place by your companion, you instantly remember all the times you “accidentally” pulled those levers whilst they just happened to be walking over that particular trapdoor. You might find yourself pleading for them not to let go and that you promise you’ll never do something similar to them again.
Temple of Osiris is of course more than an opportunity to be responsible for the accidental demise of all your friends. Aping classic adventure serials, with Lara Croft definitely studying at the Indiana Jones school of “shoot the place up” archaeology, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris follows this pattern by allowing you and your friends to cover ancient Egyptian ruins in storms of bullets and magical energy whilst you try and scoop up as many precious gems that aren’t nailed down. It’s your standard classic episode of Time Team.
As far as motivations to run go, being chased by zombies is a very compelling one.
Zombies, Run! is an app that blends fitness tracking with some light gamification to create a more interesting way of staying in shape. Pitching you into a standard zombie apocalypse scenario through audio snippets piped into your headphones, the game feeds you instructions and updates whilst your phone keeps track of how far you have run and how quickly you are running.
The gamification elements come from supplies that you ‘find’ whilst out for your run. Once you’re back at home and collapsing on the sofa in a sweaty mess, you can spend these resources to build up your virtual survivor town with new buildings to help other inhabitants of your post apocalyptic world.
Sometimes you want to eat your friends. Co-op games often further compound that and Evolve is no different.
Maybe the medic always seems to be off having a coffee whilst your limbs are being chewed on by playful jungle critters, or maybe the support keeps calling in an airstike at either the other end of the map or a millimetre above your head. Maybe the assault guy just hasn’t worked out that he needs to shoot at the giant house-sized monster as opposed to just running towards it and getting swiped.
A surprisingly agile monster leaping towards your face is also going to ruin your day.
Thankfully, Evolve has an excellent method of dealing with this. You can decide that what you really want to do is play as a giant house-sized monster that will eat your friends.