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Fifteen minutes of GAME: Prediction retrospection

I've cobbled together a few blogs recently based on the concept of playing games for only 15 minutes, in order to winnow down my backlog – there's no faster way to finish a game then by deciding not to play it. Instead of writing one this time, I thought I'd look back at previous entries and see what's happened since.

#1, May 29: Fifteen minutes of GAME

Entry here.

  • A New Beginning: Final Cut: I had a few misgivings, but was open-minded enough to leave it on the backlog for some remote point in the future. That turned out to be a few months later, still a lot sooner than I thought, but my early thoughts about the game were if anything too optimistic. I gave it two stars in a review. But I did finish it.
  • Machinarium: I thought this was incredible, and would never have guessed that I'd finish A New Beginning first. While I have played it some more, it hasn't been quite as good as that first amazing 15 minutes, and it struggles to capture my attention when I do play it (despite decent audio, the lack of voice acting or dialogue makes it too tempting to try and multitask with podcasts and the like). I still hope to finish it eventually.
  • 1953 – KGB Unleashed: I haven't touched this since, but I didn't expect I'd rush back to it.
  • Mars: War Logs: I haven't even thought about this one since, but I never gave it a fair try in the first place. It's still on the backlog.

There were two more games that I didn't even play for fifteen minutes – Bientôt l'été and War Operations – which is a decision I still agree with.

Accuracy: moderate

#2, June 5: Fifteen minutes of GAME II

Entry here.

  • Original War: After the effort I put into getting it working, I certainly haven't uninstalled it, but it has remained untouched. Then again, I've never been hugely into RTS games.
  • Megabyte Punch: I used the phrase "a weak yes" in the summary for this game; in hindsight, I was just too polite to say "no". From what I remember the game was fine, and I've long since found a suitable controller, but I'm just not interested in playing it.
  • DarkStar One: I was very enthusiastic about this originally, and was willing to overlook its few obvious flaws. Despite that, I haven't played it since. I'm still interested in it, I just haven't had the time to get into a story-heavy potentially open-ended game. My interest in space sims comes in cycles, and this will probably still be top of the list next time that happens.
  • Unium: The game captured my attention well, and was fun while it lasted. I even bothered to get the optional achievements! I've long since stopped playing it, finding the community levels largely uninteresting, but my prediction was right on the money.
  • Please, Don't Touch Anything: I also finished this game, though if memory serves I resorted to a walk-through for one or two endings. I also bought the soundtrack – not the wisest idea, since it doesn't make great music outside the game, but who cares?
  • Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb: my guess for this one was pretty accurate too – while it still seems interesting, I don't actually want to play it.

Accuracy: pretty great

#3, August 31: Fifteen minutes of GAME: Secret Chainsaw Caves of Cogmind the Flea

Entry here.

  • Secret Agent: I realise I didn't mention it specifically, but I expected to enjoy this when I tried it. I didn't, and I'm still happy to never try it again.
  • Caves of Qud: I agree with my original opinion here; I'm willing to try this again but not any time soon.
  • Chainsaw Warrior: I've played a bunch of games of this since, but have never come anywhere close to succeeding, even on the easiest difficulty. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and there are plenty of achievements to try for along the way, but after a number of failures the game started to lose its charm. It's not like I'm even making obvious mistakes anymore.
  • Flix the Flea: No regrets about my (negative) summary here. Still haven't bothered to add it to the wiki, either.
  • Cogmind: I've picked this back up a few times, but never got very far before I quit. I'd still much rather play it then Caves of Qud, but learning all the details of a new roguelike can be such a time sink.

Accuracy: basically perfect

#4, September 11: Fifteen minutes of GAME: September

Entry here. And yes, I just couldn't think of a good way to combine the titles.

  • Mayhem Intergalactic: I was 99% wrong here – or rather, I missed the point in the 15 minutes I played. The game lacks complexity, but not depth. The highest AI difficulty levels can be pretty challenging, and the various game settings can drastically change the gameplay (although the computer can't cope sensibly with more extreme combinations). I've had much more fun, and played it much more, than I originally expected.
  • Vektor Wars: In hindsight I think I found this game a little too stressful. I haven't returned to it yet.
  • Crash Drive 2: I did play this a little more afterwards, but ultimately felt my choice was correct – it's off the backlog permanently.
  • Ford Racing 3: I updated this in the original blog, but despite being a largely mediocre racing game I found it surprisingly entertaining, often just on the balance of frustation and fun. I eventually completed it and even bothered to fill out the wiki page here. I don't recommend going and buying it though, unless you really like Ford vehicles.
  • Trainz Trouble: I haven't missed this at all. Even playing it for that short amount of time has somewhat ruined my Steam recommendations.
  • Watch_Dogs: I haven't upgraded my computer in the past month, so unsurprisingly I haven't played this either.

Accuracy: moderate

Overall Accuracy: good enough to continue with the feature, I reckon

So how is my backlog looking overall?

According to my profile on How Long To Beat, since June 1 I've finished Please, Don't Touch Anything, Unium, Secret of Qwerty, Plug & Play, Knytt Underground, A New Beginning, J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars, Ford Racing 3, Thirty Flights of Loving (& Gravity Bone), Hook, Grey Cubes, 7 Wonders of the Ancient World and About Love, Hate and the other ones, and I'm well on my way to completing Puzzle Kingdoms – round up and say fifteen games. (Bolded titles are those from the blogs above.) I spent the majority of my time playing games without endings, though. I also tried and subsequently disapproved of some other games from the backlog without writing them up, but it's harder to find a list of those - at least half a dozen recently.

On the other hand, according to my personal database, in the same period I've purchased... uh, 121 games, not including one recent bundle I haven't yet added, but including all the games I finished except Ford Racing 3 (just outside the cutoff, on May 16). Okay, that's insane. It's also about 10% of the games I own, which seems just as insane. I don't remember there being that many good sales...

Left: Purchase locations for games since June 1. Right: Running total of games purchased since June 1.
Left: Purchase locations for games since June 1. Right: Running total of games purchased since June 1.

Overall Game Library Stats

Game being made29Games I can't play yet
Unplayed648Games I haven't started
Started25Games I've started and might finish
Completed98Games I've finished and might replay
Fun but unfinishable36Games without endings I might play
Not yet162Sequels to unplayed games
Played Out147Games I won't replay
Never Play75Unwanted and truly awful games

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