Waltorious Writes About Games

Game-related ramblings.

Scratching That Itch: Goopty Goo

This is the one hundred ninety-third entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our one hundred ninety-third random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is bouncing into view on little cubes of goop. It’s Goopty Goo, by Dylan Brown, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

Stomp goop cubes and avoid the floor.

Pesky floors. I try to avoid them whenever possible.

Scratching That Itch: POM SIMULATOR 9000

This is the one hundred ninety-second entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our one hundred ninety-second random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is hiding a lot of sharp teeth beneath its cute exterior. It’s POM SIMULATOR 9000, by d Marie, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

weary, transformation, dog, burger, comfort

I am intrigued by this selection of words.

History Lessons: The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (Part 2)

Other History Lessons posts can be found here. You should read my first post about Daggerfall before proceeding. Also, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

In part 1, I discussed Daggerfall’s absolutely massive open world, filled with thousands of towns and dungeons, with players free to travel in any direction they wish. It lends an incredible sense of scale to the game, but shows its limitations all too soon, lacking many ways to meaningfully interact with that world. I was left wishing for a modern game to take inspiration from Daggerfall and build a similarly vast world that has a little more to find in it. Let players travel the land, work for different kingdoms and duchies that are vying for power in the region, and stumble upon cool places in the countryside. In short, a game that would capture some of Daggerfall’s early magic.

But there are two things about Daggerfall that remain compelling even after the world loses its charm: designing and growing a character, and following the main story. Let’s tackle those in order.

Scratching That Itch: Brushwood Buddies

This is the one hundred ninety-first entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our one hundred ninety-first random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is cobbling together advanced magical artifacts out of raw materials. It’s Brushwood Buddies, by Steven Colling, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

An unusual puzzle game about crafting with a lovely atmosphere and some…

To solve these puzzles, we’re going to have to get crafty.

History Lessons: The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (Part 1)

Other History Lessons posts can be found here. As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

I’ve written a lot about Skyrim for this blog, but that’s actually the fifth game in Bethesda’s long-running Elder Scrolls series. The first one I ever played was the second entry, Daggerfall, way back in 1996. It kind of blew my mind back then, offering an impossibly huge world and the freedom to seek adventure in whatever direction I chose. I’ve followed the series since, but never played the very first game, Arena. I’d intended to start there for an eventual set of History Lessons posts about the early games, but then I saw the announcement that the fan-made Daggerfall Unity project — an open-source version of Daggerfall made with the Unity engine, making it easy to run on modern hardware and allowing for player-made mods and other cool features — had reached version 1.0. I couldn’t resist firing it up. I’ll play Arena someday, but not today.

Scratching That Itch: Heroic Asset Series: Icon Pack

This is the one hundred ninetieth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our one hundred nintieth random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is burying us under a thousand pieces of loot. It’s Heroic Asset Series: Icon Pack, by Aleksandr Makarov, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

Tiny 16×16 icons with 64 colors!

Reader, it is time to get tiny.

Scratching That Itch: Corinne Cross’s Dead & Breakfast

This is the one hundred eighty-ninth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our one hundred eighty-ninth random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is cooking up some breakfast. It’s Corinne Cross’s Dead & Breakfast, by Bad Chalk, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

A story-driven adventure game about a haunted bed & breakfast. A dead & …

There’s no way I’m going to let some ghosts ruin my breakfast.

Year Four Of Scratching That Itch

The Scratching That Itch series is where I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Has it already been four years since I started the Scratching That Itch series? How time flies. Last year, I was cautiously optimistic about the long struggle for racial justice, even though there wasn’t much solid evidence of progress I could point to. At the time, Donald Trump — a man who openly solicits support from racist hate groups — was facing prosecution for his role in the January 6, 2021 attempted insurrection in Washington, D.C., alongside many other criminal charges. A mere few weeks ago, the first of those verdicts finally arrived: Trump was found guilty of 34 felony counts for falsified business records to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election (specifically, by paying hush money to adult-film star Stormy Daniels so she would not go public about an affair with Trump). This verdict will not prevent Trump from running for president again later this year. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (which includes three justices nominated by Trump) continues to erode hard-fought abortion rights and rights for LGBTQ people. Overall progress towards racial and social justice in America remains poor.

Of course, the biggest events this last year happened outside the United States. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is ongoing, even though it’s largely disappeared from headlines. What has been in the headlines is Israel’s invasion of Palestine, which appears to be nothing short of genocide. America is supporting and arming Israeli forces in this conflict, and Americans who protested this aid were met with violence from police, including a particularly vicious crackdown on college campuses around the country. Games have been less of a respite from such grim news lately, with the industry rocked with mass layoffs, and many wondering if it’s about to collapse. Meanwhile, journalism outlets are suffering a similar fate, as executives buy them and push for AI-generated content to maximize revenue that destroys the very thing they purchased. These may seem like small concerns in the face of genocide and racial injustice, but the cause is the same: the rich and powerful exploiting the rest — be they laborers, minorities, or entire ethnic groups — and enshrining that exploitation in a capitalist system that perpetuates itself, enforced with violence. The one consolation I’ve felt recently is that this truth is becoming more obvious to everyone, which is the first step towards dismantling these unjust systems. But those in power won’t go down without a fight.

I also randomly picked and wrote about 25 games or game-related things from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. That’s a slower pace than last year, which was already slower than the first two years, but that’s partly because I had a ton of travel and other things going on this year, and partly because many of the entries this year were surprisingly hefty. That brings our total over four years to 188, more than 10% of the whole bundle! I’ve highlighted some of my favorite picks from year four below.

History Lessons: Clash At Demonhead

Other History Lessons posts can be found here. If you’re looking specifically for console games, those are here. As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

The timeline for this series has been somewhat jumbled, as I kept expanding the scope and adding more games to the list that were released before other games I’d already covered. But that’s all sorted out as of the last entry on Final Fantasy II, which released in December 1988. Now, we move into 1989 with Clash at Demonhead, a game by Vic Tokai for the Famicom/NES. It released in Japan on January 27, 1989, and was localized for a US release in December 1989. I’d never heard of it before researching early examples of Metroidvania design for this series, but apparently it got referenced in Scott Pilgrim. I was intrigued as I fired it up.

Scratching That Itch: Pichón!

This is the one hundred eighty-eighth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our one hundred eighty-eighth random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is bouncing into view. It’s Pichón! by Red Mage Games, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

Help Pichón bounce from platform to platform to get the gems and escape f…

Sometimes you just have to roll with the bounces.

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