Welcome to February’s editorial post, a monthly progress report which rounds up all the happenings here at Later Levels in case you missed anything. With Valentine’s Day out the way and GameBlast21 coming up this weekend, let’s have a quick recap of recent events.
February wasn’t just about spending time with your loved-ones for Valentine’s Day – it was also about showing your appreciation for your video game library with the #LoveYourBacklog event. Alongside my blogging-partner-in-crime, Ellen from Ace Asunder, we set out to encourage everyone within the community to show their backlog a little bit of affection by dedicating a post to it. Thank you to everybody who joined in this year; hopefully we’ll see you again when #LoveYourBacklog returns in 2022.
Coming up this weekend is GameBlast21 and I’m so excited! We’ve been preparing for the annual gaming marathon for several months and are looking forward to doing our bit to raise funds and awareness for SpecialEffect. Check out our press release for the formal details, and this post for information for what we’ve got lined up. We’ll be live on the Later Levels’ Twitch channel from 08:00 GMT on Saturday for 24-hours – and yes, Pete will be wearing his Pikachu costume for the whole thing.
I’d like to send my love to everyone who has donated through our JustGiving page so far and raised over £3,500 for the charity. This is a fantastic amount which will help SpecialEffect continue their work to support people with physical disabilities to play video games. Big hugs too to Ellen, Kevin from The Lawful Geek and friend-of-the-blog Phil for everything they’ve done to help with the event, and to the friends mentioned in my EXP Share post this month for keeping me sane throughout.
There’s no sign of digital expos stopping and the first took place at the end of January. The Big Adventure Event was successful for me as I ended up adding five more games to my wishlist, with my favourite being The Drifter. Next up was the first Steam Game Festival of the year. It’s getting harder and harder to find demos I want to play because I’ve tried so many over the past 12 months but I still managed to dig out eight; Blind Drive was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to streaming it in early March.
I still need to decide what to play for the #MaybeInMarch event though and no doubt this will end up being another stream. While writing my own #LoveYourBacklog post recently, I realised there are seven games I’ll have to choose between but it’s either Dragon’s Lair or Machinarium I’m drawn to most right now. There’s still some time to think about it though and more details about how you can get involved with #MaybeInMarch will be revealed on Monday.
My favourite game of the month was Chicken Police, a title gifted to me for Christmas by Phil. I’d recommend it if you’re a fan of visual novels and noir detective stories – but it’s worth taking a look even if you’re not because the black-and-white style and anthropomorphic animals are something special. After finally playing escape-room-in-a-box The Mysterious Museum during a power-cut last month, I’ve also been enjoying a break from video games with some activities such as jigsaw puzzles.
I’ve reached the point where it feels as though every day in lockdown-life is the same as the last and it’s hard to recall where we are in the week. But at least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now, with 15-million people being vaccinated here in the UK and the government revealing their roadmap to ease restrictions. I can only hope that people continue to follow the advice we’re given to prevent another wave and we can finally start moving forward.
Pete and I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day during lockdown but that’s nothing unusual for us. Neither of us are particularly interested in it, so we did what we normally do rather than partake in mass-produced romance: cook something nice for dinner, drink wine and play video games. He’s no stranger to a bad chat-up line or euphemism, but I’m very pleased to say he didn’t try any of the lines featured in my post about the worst pick-up lines in gaming.
Right now, we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to fit in those extra #DaysForDonations streams after GameBlast21 this weekend while still keeping some time free for ourselves. We’re really grateful to Phil for helping us out this year and to Ellen for joining us for weekly World of Warcraft sessions. We’re thinking of taking a break from both blogging and streaming once the event is over so we can have a few weeks to recharge… before coming back and starting to think about our plans for GameBlast22.
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!
We’re taking part in GameBlast21 to support SpecialEffect, the gamers’ charity.
Making a donation will bring you great loot, increase your XP by +100 and make you immune to fire.*