Welcome to April’s editorial post, a monthly progress report which rounds up all the happenings here at Later Levels in case you missed anything. With the sun starting to break through the clouds in more ways than one, let’s have a quick recap of recent events.

Blog life

  • WordPress:   1,836
  • Twitter:   645
  • Twitch:   280
  • YouTube:   71
  • Posts:

  • Total published:   14 posts
  • Most popular:   Finding it hard to be bad in video games
  • Most liked:   Finding it hard to be bad in video games
  • Most discussed:   Are you a walker or a fast-traveller?
  • My favourite:   My introduction to speedrunning: right game, right time
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  • Views:   2,664
  • Visitors:   1,741
  • Likes:   317
  • Comments:   168
  • Best day:   07:00 on Mondays
  • Other posts worth checking out:

  • A Case for Life in the Matrix by Athena from AmbiGaming
  • Favourite Game Aesthetics by Will from Geek Sleep Rinse Repeat
  • The Odyssey of Woman: Representation by Sarah from Just a Game
  • What Makes a Good Achievement? by Brett from Pixel Pricks
  • Does this need to be a video game? by Quietschisto from RNG
  • Blogging has always provided its challenges, but it has got a lot harder over the past six months. The attendance at blog parties and other collaborative events has been dwindling for a while now and the cancellation of the annual gaming expos due to COVID-19 has impacted a lot of my usual content. It doesn’t feel as ominous as writers’ block just yet thankfully, but I’m certainly struggling to find things I want to write about because of a lack of new experiences.

    The fact that I’ve been yearning to revisit older releases from my childhood lately hadn’t helped, probably a subconscious desire to seek nostalgic comfort in memories. The results have been mixed though. I had fun with the over-the-top acting in The 11th Hour after receiving the game as a gift from Darkshoxx, but Dragon’s Lair just wasn’t as magic as it as it seemed to be when I was a kid. My other-half got hold of a copy of The Black Dahlia for my birthday this month so expect to see it on stream soon if we can get it to work.

    Although these games have enabled me to create content in the form of reviews, there are only so many of these that one blogger can publish before they want to do something different. The news that gaming events are due to be back on this summer is pleasing but I can’t help thinking: will the UK really be ready for large-scale expos like that again by July? I guess there’s no harm in being cautiously optimistic and starting to look ahead to brighter days when I get to meet up with my blogger-friends at the usual events again.

    Gaming life
    Games played:

  • Coloring Pixels
  • Grim Fandango
  • Hitchhiker
  • I Saw Black Clouds
  • Internet Court
  • Nanotale – Typing Chronicles
  • Someday You’ll Return
  • The Balthazar Stone
  • The Cat That Got The Cream
  • The Darkside Detective
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • Several demos from LudoNarraCon 2021
  • Games previewed or reviewed:

  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Hitchhiker
  • Invasive Recall
  • Murder on the Nile
  • Nanotale – Typing Chronicles
  • My other-half’s quirks have provided a welcome break from writing reviews this month after I started to notice how different we are when it comes to gaming. I always find it hard to be evil in video games and end up choosing the ‘good’ decisions; Pete on the other hand has no qualms about slaughtering innocents in every town he visits. He always uses fast-travel whenever the option is available whereas I’m more likely to take to my feet or a mount, in case there’s something to be missed on the journey.

    It seems that a lot of people have been considering their careers or trying new hobbies during the latest lockdown, as the number of projects on Kickstarter and their quality has been on the increase. Two more have been added to my backed list this month. GHOSTS is a modern full-motion video (FMV) horror which, going by the trailer, looks like it’s going to be as scary as hell; and Invasive Recall is a futuristic point-and-click adventure which isn’t aiming to reinvent the wheel, but celebrate the classics.

    Speaking of adventure games, this year’s LudoNarraCon took place on Steam last weekend and I managed to find some great games to add my to wishlist so stay tuned for more about those coming in early May. I also had one of the most interesting gaming experiences so far this year with Hitchhiker, which won’t be to everybody’s taste but left me thinking about it long after the credits rolled. And then there was Nanotale – Typing Chronicles, a typing game that I really enjoyed but still needs a few bug fixes.

    Real life

    I’ve been able to take quite a lot of time off work during April and the break has been appreciated. Pete and I had a lovely Easter alone together during which we went for a walk through the woods, completing several video games and ate far too much chocolate. We spent my birthday finally playing The Balthazaar Stone, an escape-room-in-a-box I backed on Kickstarter last August and received in February, so look out for a round-up of our thoughts coming next month.

    We also had the opportunity to briefly meet Darkshoxx in person! While making his way from Germany to Scotland for a new job, he spent his 10-day isolation after arriving in the UK in a nearby town which allowed us to take some books and cider to him (following all appropriate guidelines). He was also kind enough to guide Pete through a speedrun master-class during a stream one evening. We’ve both now got the speedrunning bug and have been trying to beat our fastest times in Myst.

    That’s not the only kind of running I’ve been doing this month: after signing up for new event StrideQuest, I’m aiming to complete 100-miles by the end of May for SpecialEffect. This has done wonders for my motivation when it comes to fitness and I’ve been more eager to get on the treadmill at 06:00 in the mornings than I have been in a long time. At the time of writing, I’ve got less than 20-miles to go and a new pair of trainers to break in. Let’s do this!

    Coming up

  • 01-29 May: #DaysForDonations for GameBlast21
  • 01-31 May: StrideQuest for SpecialEffect
  • 01-31 May: EXP Share – Topic #7
  • 01-31 May: Zombie Awareness Month
  • 13 May: Shadowrun stream
  • 22 May: The Eurovision Division 2021
  • 27 May: Shadowrun stream
  • Take a look at the Side-quests page for more!
  • Posts planned:

  • A round-up from LudoNarraCon 2021
  • A celebration for Zombie Awareness Month
  • Our escape-room-in-a-box experience
  • Our puzzling time with Journal 29
  • Travelling though the UK in video games
  • 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: April 2021

    17 thoughts on “Save point: April 2021

    1. Staying hopeful some sort of event will occur this summer. Now they’ve held tests at sporting events and seemingly had no ill effects does give hope with lateral flow tests something could take place. Fingers and toes crossed.


      • I’m trying to stay upbeat about life getting back to ‘normal’ this summer – or at least more normal than it has been in the past year. It would just be nice to see something other than our kitchen table, garden or local woods. 😄


        • Just saw LFCC is happening apparently at the end of July so fingers crossed maybe MCM will happen in the autumn slot. Tempted to go to LFCC as always wanted to meet Andy Robinson after star trek and dirty Harry


          • Keeping my fingers crossed for you! I’ve missed volunteering at MCM so I’d be happy to hear that it’s going ahead and SpecialEffect will be having a stand…


    2. I’d be intrigued to watch Pete play one of the Fable games and just wipe out one village after another 😄 In other news, Mass Effect Trilogy is out in two weeks and it should (hopefully) be great!


    3. You should have gotten Darkshoxx to socially distance sign his autograph on something! It could be worth a fortune someday. 😁

      I am especially excited for your post about traveling the UK through video games. It will be great for research purposes since I don’t think Coronation Street is giving me an accurate representation of UK culture. 🧐


      • So right now, your impression of everyone from the UK is that they spend most of their time in the pub eating hotpots?

        (I’ll just point out that I haven’t watched Coronation Street since I was a kid, so I have no idea if this is what it’s like nowadays ha ha)

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Thank you for the link! It’s been a busy (but fun) month, it looks like!

      I’m in the middle of editing a fantasy novel, which has been taking a lot of my time, but I’m hoping to finish The Last Guardian and get back into GreedFall to find my jaunty hat 🙂 Sailing season is also coming, so I’ll be back out on the water in no time haha


      • I loved The Last Guardian… as with all the Team Ico games, there was a little tear in my eye at the end… 😢

        Hope you manage to get back on the water as soon as possible. I think everything is looking forward to getting outdoors and doing something active, after spending so much time in doors over he past year. At least that allowed us to play more video games, I guess!

        Liked by 1 person

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