Welcome to March’s editorial post, a monthly progress report which rounds up all the happenings here at Later Levels in case you missed anything. With spring on the horizon and Easter just around the corner, let’s have a quick recap of recent events.

Blog life

  • WordPress:   1,817
  • Twitter:   635
  • YouTube:   68
  • Twitch:   262
  • Posts:

  • Total published:   14 posts
  • Most popular:   Gamers blog party: spring 2021 invitation
  • Most liked:   Gamers blog party: spring 2021 invitation
  • Most discussed:   Gamers blog party: spring 2021 invitation
  • My favourite:   Do you need to complete a game to review it?
  • Traffic:

  • Views:   3,308
  • Visitors:   1,830
  • Likes:   572
  • Comments:   306
  • Best day:   07:00 on Mondays
  • Other posts worth checking out:

  • The “Choose Your Ending” Problem by drmabian from Abstracting Games
  • A Quick History of Fast Travel by Gavin from Bits & Pieces
  • Games for when you want to relax by Stephen from GamesandStuff
  • Most valuable Amiga games in 2021 from Ghost of Games Past
  • Bugsnax out of real food by James from The Gaming Dashboard
  • Community projects have taken centre-stage this month. The latest EXP Share hosted by Tales from the Backlog saw me share a post about some of the gaming moments that have shocked me the most; and next I made my way through Machinarium after buying it eight years ago, for the annual #MaybeInMarch event co-hosted with Ellen from Ace Asunder. We then wrapped up the month with the spring 2021 blog party during which 19 awesome posts by some talented bloggers were shared on social media.

    I spent some time outside of these events thinking about whether it was necessary to finish a game to review it. This subject came onto my agenda after receiving a review key for Mutropolis, a sweet adventure from a small indie team, and getting stuck at a certain point before any walkthroughs had been published. The consensus seems to be that all opinions are valid regardless of how much you’ve completed of release – but it’s important to be honest in your critiques when it comes to sharing your progress.

    This question and the limited success of the community projects mentioned above have planted a seed in my mind when it comes to Later Levels. Most of my content nowadays is filled with reviews due to the cancellation of gaming expos during the past year; and turn-out for the blog parties and other collaboration events has been dwindling for a while. Perhaps it’s time to do something different. An idea is forming but it’s something I’m going to need help with, and so I need to have some conversations over the coming weeks.

    Gaming life
    Games played:

  • Coloring Pixels
  • Corpse Killer
  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Five Dates
  • Machinarium
  • Murder on the Nile
  • The 7th Guest
  • The Curse of the Wolves
  • The Dark Side of the Moon
  • The Typing of the Dead: Overkill
  • Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery
  • World of Warcraft
  • Games previewed or reviewed:

  • Calling Card
  • Mutropolis
  • Shadow of Memories
  • The Dark Side of the Moon
  • The 7th Guest
  • I’ve been revisiting some classic games over the past month and reliving my youth. After receiving The 7th Guest as a Christmas gift from Ellen and playing part of it during our GameBlast21 marathon stream, I decided it was time for a proper playthrough and lost myself in its spooky nostalgia. And I shared my thoughts on playing Shadow of Memories on my PlayStation 2 last month, and the feeling that I’d played it before even though it was a release I don’t actually remember.

    My favourite title of March however was The Dark Side of the Moon, an awesome modern full-motion video (FMV) adventure that was added to my wishlist a while back as soon as I found out it was going to star two well-known names from the genre. Thanks so much to the guys from Tayanna Studios for surprising us by popping up in Twitch chat and sticking around to answer questions until the end of the game! This started me on a bit of an FMV binge and we progressed on to Five Dates the following weekend.

    Our 90-days of streaming for GameBlast21 continues, and we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has guided Pete for a ‘master class’ this month. Please do get in touch if you’re interested in teaching him how to play a game he has never tried before! It was a conversation which took place before Frostilyte’s Monster Hunter: World session with him that got me thinking more about character creation in video games: I tend to spent a lot of time on my protagonist whereas my other-half is more likely to click on the randomise button.

    Real life

    Although it seems like the light at the end of the COVID tunnel is getting closer, we’re still not out of the woods just yet. My motivation has taken a huge hit over the past few weeks and I can’t seem to work up the enthusiasm for most things. I remain grateful to the friends I’m in regular contact with because their jokes and memes make each day go a little faster, and I’d like to give a shout-out to the streamers whose lovely voices can usually be heard throughout the Later Levels’ household.

    Speaking of friends, I made the decision to remove some of the social media channels for both the blog and me personally this month. I talk to my good blogger-friends regularly and can be contacted directly whenever anyone would like to speak to me; and certain social media platforms have been incredibly negative and draining over the past year. What reason do I therefore have to keep them? The Later Levels’ Twitter account remains for now even though I’m not always incredibly active on it.

    Perhaps my mood will turn more positive as spring approaches, because the lighter days and milder weather make it my favourite time of year. Easter is coming soon too so that means some well-deserved time away from work along with plenty of Creme Eggs and video games. Pete and I still need to figure out a way to celebrate our birthdays next month because it doesn’t look as if we’ll be going out, but hopefully we’ll be able to come up with something fun.

    Coming up

  • 01-30 April: #DaysForDonations for GameBlast21
  • 01-30 April: StrideQuest for SpecialEffect
  • 01-30 April: EXP Share #6
  • 01 April: Shadowrun stream
  • 15 April: Shadowrun stream
  • 23-26 April: LudoNarraCon 2021
  • Take a look at the Side-quests page for more!
  • Posts planned:

  • My StrideQuest progress
  • Dragon’s Lair isn’t the game I remember
  • Why I find it hard to be bad in video games
  • Not so much a mystery in Murder on the Nile
  • A round-up from LudoNarraCon 2021
  • And now over to you guys: what have you been up to lately, and what have you got planned for the coming month? Is there anything the community can help with or get involved in? Let everybody know in the comments below so we can show our support. Thanks for reading!

    Save point: March 2021

    15 thoughts on “Save point: March 2021

    1. Thanks for the link, much appreciated! 🙂 I look forward to your Dragon’s Lair post and really enjoyed your 7th Guest one. That game absolutely terrified me as a teenager! My gaming plans for the coming weeks include trying to make progress in Fire and Ice, one of the Amiga platformers from my youth that gives me the strongest nostalgia feels, and which I’ve been pleased to discover on getting my hands on a copy absolutely holds up as a great game.


      • The 7th Guest scared me back in the day too, which I couldn’t help but laugh at after playing it recently. I’m going to start The 11th Hour next week to see how that holds up too. 🙂

        I adored my Amiga as a kid and the games bring back so many nostalgic memories. I hope you have fun with Fire and Ice over Easter!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you! Have a great Easter weekend too and enjoy The 11th Hour when you get to it. 🙂 I just remembered the other game of that ilk that spooked me – Phantasmagoria!


          • I remember playing Phantasmagoria with my brother… when we were *far* to young… and not having a clue what was going on or what we were meant to do. 😆


    2. I find life is more peaceful and so much more meaningful without social media’s constant buzzing and unnecessary demands for my attention.

      I’ve run into this situation a lot IRL: A friend expects me to know something that they did or what happened to them, and I have no idea what they’re talking about so they say “But I posted it on Facebook…” Then I have to remind them I don’t have Facebook. And then, this is the really cool part, they tell me the story about the thing they posted and we talk for a bit. That’s a hell of a lot more special than clicking a BS tracked like button somewhere. I’m so old and out of touch these days 😂

      But you’ve nailed it! My true friends know where I am if they want to talk to me. I’m not wasting my life trying to keep social media tabs on literally everything people do.

      Looking forward to seeing what Later Levels has planned for the future!


      • It was weird not having social media for the first week or so but now I don’t miss it at all. The thing I’ve noticed the most so far is how much time I wasted scrolling through posts and how much those ‘likes’ were being tracked. Feeling much more positive and productive now that I don’t have notifications constantly going off on my mobile!

        I’m glad you said you’re looking forward to what’s coming in the future. There’s an idea forming and you may get dragged into it… 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Thanks for the mention on my fast travel piece here, much appreciated! Really enjoyed your posts over the last month (and all the last year, in which for mysterious reasons I’ve had more time to read blogs than usual…). Always find something a bit thought-provoking about the topics picked here – felt quite self-conscious about my character creator decisions for Monster Hunter recently, though I ended up making the same guy I always make in the end.

      Looking forward to your posts through April and the rest of 2021!


      • It’s my pleasure! I always find the subject of fast-travel interesting for several reasons, and it’s another aspect of gaming which my other-half and I usually tackle differently… in fact, that sounds like a good subject for a future post so I think I’ll save it. 😉

        Have a lovely Easter!


    4. I totally get the lack of motivation.

      I’ve gone from doing 3 posts a week to sometimes only doing a post every 2 weeks.

      It’s a vicious cycle and it kind of depresses me a bit (even though I am trying very hard to internalize the “I’m doing this for my own enjoyment so I don’t owe anybody anything” mindset).

      I’m a boardgamer, not a videogamer, but it’s starting to drive me a little mad that I can’t actually get boardgames to the table with my friends right now.

      Light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re still far enough away that it’s still stressful.


      • I hear you! I appreciate all the effort organisers have put into digital expos over the past year but it’s just not the same. It’s hard to write anything other than reviews because there’s just nothing happening, but there are only so many reviews one person can publish. 😕

        You’re right though, the light at the end of the tunnel is coming. And it’s really important to remind ourselves that we blog for our own enjoyment, even though that’s difficult sometimes. I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met in the blogging community over the past year who have kept me going.

        Liked by 1 person

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