Quern: the closest you’ll get to Myst

Myst is one of my favourite classic adventure games. It’s beginning may be simple but I think it’s one of the best: I love the sense of confusion and amazement it inspires in the player, drawing on the same feelings experienced by the protagonist.

Despite some criticism, Cyan’s game caught the imagination of so many people when it was originally released in 1995 thanks to its ability to immerse them in its world. It won a number of awards and was the best-selling PC title ever until The Sims exceeded its sales in 2002. This success led to several ports, remakes and sequels, a series of novels that filled in characters’ backstories and now a virtual reality (VR) version – along with thousands of fans who still seek out Myst-like gaming experiences to this day.

After getting to know him while streaming Shivers back in October, I happened to be watching Darkshoxx on Twitch one day when he started up Quern – Undying Thoughts by Zadbox Entertainment. This was a title I’d added to my wishlist in December 2016 and then forgotten about so I was curious to see what it would be like. An hour later, and I’d purchased the game for myself because it reminded me so much of Myst; but after 20 hours of gameplay, I was also reminded of Beautiful Desolation for a reason I’ll explain shortly.

It begins when you wake up on a mysterious island, the strange portal behind you seeming to be closed and broken (sounds rather familiar). A letter from Professor William Maythorn on a wooden bench explains that he has brought you here to share his knowledge and he will eventually require your assistance in a critical manner. You must solve the puzzles he has left for you to uncover what’s going on, but there are two sides to every story and another presence on the island may have a different opinion.

Quern will most certainly appeal to you if you liked the challenges found in Myst. Think strange symbols painted on walls that must be deciphered, mechanical contraptions that need to be figured out and started up, and potions that must be concocted from glowing plants and sparkling powders. Several people who joined us in chat while we streamed the game on Twitch commented on how ‘grey’ the visuals looked, but this had the benefit of making anything in colour (and therefore important) stand out.

I’d say that this game felt like the harder of the two for me personally because of the way it’s laid out. The immediate objective in Myst is always known: link to a new location, find the pages, take them back to the library on the original island. But it’s not always obvious in Quern where you need to go or what you need to do next because there are so many places to visit and doors to unlock. It’s also necessary to backtrack quite frequently and we often found ourselves wandering around in search of the next puzzle.

Quern, Undying Thoughts, video game, rocks, sea, deck, sky, clouds

Thankfully, the in-game map kept track of where we were on the island and some awesome people in chat – Kristabzz, Darkshoxx and Attagoat – gave us little nudges in the right direction when we needed them. While I’m grateful for their help, I do wonder what Quern would have been like if we’d played it off-stream. I don’t think we’d have resorted to using similar advice from a walkthrough so quickly if there wasn’t the pressure of people watching us and perhaps it would have felt like experiencing Myst for the first time all over again.

I’ll never know now unfortunately, but what I did experience was a release that adventure-lovers and fans of puzzles that require the use of a pad and pen to solve will enjoy. Both Pete and I a great time in a world which felt so influenced by Cyan despite what seemed like an occasional lack of objective. We did find it difficult and the number of buttons, levers and symbols was a little overwhelming at times, but the game gives the player the logic and tools they need through their journey and then cleverly combines all of them in the final third.

In fact, the only real issue I had with Quern was its ending – and this is where that comparison to Beautiful Desolation at the start of this post comes in. I was asked to make the kind of decisions that meant the prosperity of one race and complete annihilation of another when I played The Brotherhood’s project in May last year, but I didn’t feel prepared for them in any way. The emotional impact was missing because I wasn’t given enough information to really care about the choices.

It was the same with Quern. The decision you’re presented with at the end of the title has consequences which are far reaching but, because you’ve not spent much time with either of the characters you’re asked to side with, we didn’t feel particularly bothered about either of them. And although the letters left around the island by Professor Maythorn reveal some of what has happened, there are no other means of sharing backstory and so it’s hard to truly care about the world you’re in.

The ending itself is short and you don’t get to see anything other than the immediate result of your choice (but this does give the benefit of being able to see both outcomes without too much hassle). The discussion we had with friends in Twitch chat after completing the game revealed that many of them like conclusions which leave something to the imagination; but personally, I do like a story that ties most of the threads together rather than leaves you wondering.

Maybe Quern – Undying Thoughts is one of those releases where it’s better to enjoy the journey itself, and what a journey it was. And if this is the sort of game recommendations I get from Darkshoxx then I look forward to more of his suggestions.

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Kickstarter rewards: let’s get physical

After turning digital due to COVID-19, I attended my first Mysterium last month. In my round-up about this gathering for fans for Myst fans, I mentioned I’d become a Kickstarter backer for the Myst 25th Anniversary Collection so I could get my hands on my very own linking book.

If you forget about the nine which were unsuccessful, I’ve now backed 39 campaigns on the crowdfunding platform since February 2013 (maybe I’ll have to do a post about them once I reach 40). These have mostly all been in the Video Games category and I’ve stuck to tiers which promise copies of the title. But every now and again I’ve branched out to make a pledge for something a little different; and talking about the Myst project above reminded me of some of the physical rewards I’ve had the pleasure of supporting in the past seven years.

May 2017: signed musical score from The Tomb Raider Suite

The Tomb Raider Suite, Tomb Raider Theme, Nathan McCree, music, notes, signature, scoreI’m not a massive Tomb Raider fan. But I do have a story about how the original game helped with my Dance GCSE coursework when I was 16, and it’s this which inspired me to back the campaign for a studio recording of the series’ music. I now have a signed copy of the first page of the score for The Tomb Raider Theme and this has developed even more meaning since my pledge a few years ago: my other-half and I had the the track made for The Tomb Raider Suite played during our wedding ceremony last year.

April 2018: a linking book from the Myst 25th Anniversary Collection

Myst, 25th Anniversary Collection, video game, linking bookI already owned a copy of each game in the series so why did I bother to back Cyan’s project? For two reasons: the original Myst is one of my favourite classic adventures and it gave me the chance to own a linking book. I was quite surprised by the size of it when it arrived through the post because it’s much larger than I expected, but I love the fact it comes with ‘secret’ compartments so you can hide stuff away. It’s going to go on display in our gaming room once we finally get around to finishing the decorating.

June 2018: a pin from The Doubleclicks

denim jacket, badges, pins, Sensitive Badass, lightning, wine, Save Ferris, Game Boy, GameBlast, heart, catThis is a bit of a random one because I only became aware of the campaign when it appeared in my recommendations while browsing through Kickstarter. I’d never heard of The Doubleclicks or their music before but, after listening to Sensitive Badass and seeing the related pin, I wanted to get on board. The lyrics to this song are perfect: “You have the strength, and though all of the scars may last, you can be sensitive and still a badass.” I’d also recommend checking out Afterparty for One (Frozen Pizza Song).

July 2019: a detective game from Missing in Jericho

Missing in Jericho, Kickstarter, team, table, papers, puzzlesThe reward I’ve received from this project may not be strictly physical, but it seems like I’ll have plenty of hardcopy printouts and scribblings once I’m done with the game. I love escape rooms and detective-based video games so backing the Missing in Jericho campaign was a no-brainer. It’s ‘an experience that will challenge you to become a real-life detective in your own investigation’ and, based on the demo I played last year, it seems as though it’s going to bridge the gap between reality and the digital.

February 2020: an escape-room-in-a-box from Key Enigma

Key Engima, Hack Forward, escape room in a box, women, puzzles

It was my love of escape rooms which made me back this campaign, despite it being one of the more expensive ones I’ve pledged to. A physical box full of mysteries is due to arrive at some point this year and players must use the materials, codes and clues hidden inside to match the objects and solve the case. Alongside traditional challenges such as working to reveal messages, there’ll also be digital puzzles where you’ll have to explore websites and even spy on security cameras, so it sounds like it’s going to be interesting.

August 2020: a mystery to solve from The Mystery Agency

The Mystery Agency, puzzle box, Balthazar Stone, chest, lock, map, papers, photographs, KickstarterMysteries-in-a-box seem to be the hot thing right now and this is the latest project I’ve backed on Kickstarter. It’s ‘an original and atmospheric story told through authentic objects and documents’ and I’ve opted for The Balthazar Stone version, where we’ll be joining Elsa Winslow on her journey to Sharkstooth Island to find an ancient treasure chest and break a curse. I’m thinking it could be a good game to stream once it arrives so keep your eyes on Twitch towards the end of the year.

What writing this post has shown me is that perhaps I haven’t branched out as much as I’d thought I had. I may have moved away from the Video Games category on Kickstarter in the past year or so, but I now seem to be making a lot of pledges to escape-room-type campaigns. Oh well. If I get the chance to help someone’s vision come to life and have a bit of fun with their projects once they have been released and delivered, then I’m not going to complain.

Have you received any physical rewards from crowdfunding campaigns? If so, which has been your favourite?

Mysterium 2020: a round-up

The classic Myst is one of my favourite adventures. I remember playing it for the first time back in the early 1990s after being introduced to it by a friend at school and knowing immediately that it was something completely different to all other games, and therefore very special.

The opening to the title is one of the best created, despite its simplicity. I love the sense of confusion it inspires: what is this falling book, how did I get here, what do I do now and how to I get back home? These would all be questions you’d ask yourself if you were mysteriously transported to a strange land with no clue how you arrived there or how you were going to leave. And they’re the same questions you’re now asking yourself as a player, creating a connection between the people on both sides of the screen.

When the Kickstarter campaign for the Myst 25th Anniversary Collection was announced in April 2018, I became a backer so I could get my hands on physical copies of each game in the series along with my very own linking book. It was also though this project that I learned about Mysterium. This yearly event has been running for 20 years now and features a weekend of talks by those involved in making the games, presentations hosted by fans, artwork submissions and other activities.

I’ve never been able to attend myself as it takes place in cities across America but, with COVID-19 making travel and large gatherings too dangerous for the past few months, the Mysterium Planning Committee decided to move it online for 2020. Although back in June I felt drained by the numerous digital expos taking place this summer, I can’t deny that one benefit of this shift is being able to participate in events located further afield that I may not otherwise have had the chance to go to.

There were two sessions scheduled for last weekend that I was particularly interested in: A Chat with the Miller Brothers along with Ages Before Myst, a presentation about earlier multimedia CD-ROM games which laid the groundwork for the Myst series. Time differences between the US and UK meant I was unable to watch these sessions live or attend the Zoom social discussions, but the videos made for good viewing the following morning while in my pyjamas with a cup of tea.

The first talk featured co-designers Rand and Robyn Miller in a rare appearance together and it was wonderful to hear how they viewed elements of the Myst titles differently. For example, when asked what they’d consider doing differently if they were starting afresh now, Robyn Miller said he thought that the minecart section in the original game was a cool concept but needed to be scraped or made to work better. Rand on the other hand said that he loved how this puzzle was based on ‘messing with sounds’ and drew on concepts featured in earlier challenges.

My only issue with this session was that I would have liked to have heard more about the brother’s thoughts and less about the Kickstarter campaign for The Myst Documentary. Director Philip Shane said he would only mention the project once but it was continuously brought up throughout the talk and he spoke over the Millers on several occasions. Perhaps I can understand his concern though: at the time of writing, the campaign only has three days left and still over £24,000 to raise so there’s a possibility it won’t be successful.

The next talk was held by Phil Salvador, author of the blog The Obscuritory, and Ages Before Myst took viewers on a journey through some of the releases that came before along with those which were influenced by it afterwards. Did you know that 1987’s Inigo Gets Out, a black-and-white game made using HyperCard about a little cat’s adventures, inspired the Millers to start looking at video game development and led them to create The Manhole in the following year?

Salvador also mentioned The Labyrinth of Time, a title released in the same year as Myst and created in the same spirit; and Lighthouse: The Dark Being, produced by Sierra Online after CEO Ken Williams showed his team a copy of Myst and asked if they could make it. Despite my love for the adventure genre, these are both games I’ve never played or had heard of before the talk; but I’ll be downloading them from GOG.com very soon and giving them a try.

As an extra, I also decided to check out the Fan Art session recording and find out how the speakers ‘create within someone else’s universe’. Particularly impressive were the Catherine cosplay photographs from ‘Moiety’ Jean Fioca, who likes to ‘make things that reward you for looking closer and closer at them’. Concept artist Claire ‘Shoom’lah’ Hummel also showed off some of the t-shirt designs she has created for Mysterium along with her character concepts for Obduction, which were lovely to see.

I might not have been able to go to America this year but at least I got to attend the event online and see what the Mysterium experience is all about. It’s amazing to think that even after 25 years since the original Myst release, there are hundreds of fans the world over who are still celebrating the title, their memories of it and what it means to them. I’d recommend giving at least the first game a go if you’ve never tried it – it’s highly likely you’ll notice elements that inspired future games even outside of the adventure genre.

Did you manage to catch any of the Mysterium talks this weekend? If so, what were your highlights?

Best of friends: video game buddies

Next Tuesday is International Friendship Day. It’s a time for celebrating the positive effect your friends have had on your life and showing your appreciation, as well as participating in activities which bring people from different backgrounds together.

Good pals are just as important in video games as they are in real life. When you consider all the situations that could be thrown at a protagonist – armed enemies, deadly curses, scary monsters and more – it makes sense they’d want someone along for the ride who’s got be their back. So in honour of the event, I’ve put together a list of some my favourite friendly people. These guys are always there for each other through whatever digital dangers thrown at them.

Ben and Dan from the Ben There, Dan That series

Ben There Dan That, video game, Ben, Dan, home, sofa, living room, television, aerialYou know there’s always that one friend who’s completely on the same level as you? One who knows what you’re thinking, can finish your sentences and snorts at your crude jokes? Well that’s Ben and Dan. Whether they’re attempting to fix a broken television antenna so they can watch Magnum, P.I. or interrupting their time-travelling future selves in achieving world domination, you can guarantee they’re having a laugh while doing it. You get the feeling that they’re still going to be the best of friends and causing mayhem well into old age.

Ico and Yorda from ICO

There may not be anything romantic about this couple but it’s definitely a friendship built on trust – a theme throughout Team Ico’s releases (a subject for a future blog post perhaps). Although the game may start with Ico saving Yorda from a cage and leading her by the hand through a huge castle overrun with shadowy spirits, by the end it’s clear he needs her just as much. That moment after defeating the evil queen when the princess says goodbye to her friend is almost heartbreaking, and it makes their reunion scene after the credits even more uplifting. What does the future hold for them?

Commander Shepard and Garrus from the Mass Effect series

Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3, video game, men, Commander Shepard, Garrus, alienFriends should be there for you no matter what and this is proven by the undying loyalty between Commander Shepard and Garrus. From saving the world from an evil alien invasion to uncovering the secrets behind the fabric of our existence, whatever is thrown at them brings these two even closer. They tend us that true friendship doesn’t look at sex, race, species or any other differences – all that matters is that you’ve got someone you trust completely. As the Commander says: ‘There’s no Shepard without Vakarian.’

The stranger and Atrus from the Myst series

This pairing may be the most unlikely on today’s list considering they’re literally worlds apart, but the friendship between them has lasted through the years. Atrus calls on his pal’s assistance regularly, telling them things he’d confide in nobody else, and the stranger has answered every call. In return Atrus has given them the opportunity to expand their horizons and experience amazing adventures through beautiful worlds. They may have had to deal with some wicked family members along the way but not even time can break this bond.

Sam and Max from the Sam & Max series

Sam & Max, Hit the Road, rabbit, dog, detectives, Sam, MaxIn some ways these two couldn’t be more different. Sam is a verbose anthropomorphic dog who stays calm in most situations and rarely loses his temper. Max on the other hand is a ‘hyperkinetic rabbity thing’ who’s impulsive and indulgent, and loves nothing more to solve any problem in front of him with violence. They may be like chalk and cheese in terms of their personalities, but when they come together they form one of the best crime-fighting teams either – along with one of the strongest friendships we’ve ever seen in video games.

Mae and the rest of the gang from Night in the Woods

Mae, Bea, Gregg and Angus may have had their falling-outs over the years but regardless of what happens, they’re always there for each other. Whether it’s rescuing their town from some creepy cult dudes who sacrifice people to a god-like entity or helping someone who’s going through some mental health issues, they always support their friends. I particularly love the relationship between Mae and Gregg: they remind us how good it feels to get up to some mischief with your best mate and just be silly for a while.

That’s not all you’re getting for International Friendship Day because there’s another post coming next week! While you’re waiting, share the love by telling everybody about your own favourite video game duos in the comments below.

On the second day of Blogmas

Our choir of gaming Christmas carollers is back again for the second day of Blogmas, where creative conductor Athena from AmbiGaming is leading us in a rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas – but with a video game twist. Check out her blog to see what she’s written for her second answer, and keep your eyes peeled for all of the other bloggers out there taking part.

Yesterday we looked at 12 gaming memories that keep each of us feeling warm and fuzzy throughout the year. With the choir clearing their throats and warming up in the background, let’s see what the subject of today’s verse is:

On the second day of Blogmas, the gamers said to me:
What are your 12 favourite gaming memories?
Tell us 11 games you love!

1990: The Secret of Monkey Island

I’m sure many readers were expecting this one to appear on a list of games I love. It’s the title that started my fondness for the adventure genre as a child, after realising that worlds I thought only existed in books could be brought to life through pixels on a screen. It’s also the series that’s home to one of my favourite characters: Murray the skull is simply awesome because he doesn’t let anything hold him back. Sometimes all you need is an evil mental attitude.

1993: Myst

Myst makes my list because it features what I think is one of the best beginnings in gaming. I love that feeling you get when you start a new game and have no idea where this curious journey is going to take you, what obstacles you’re going to encounter and who you’re going to meet along the way. Despite being incredibly simple, the opening cutscene effectively inspires a wonderful sense of confusion in the player which perfectly mimics the character’s emotional state.

1999: The Longest Journey

I adore the story told by the Dreamfall series – so much so that I haven’t been able to finish the final instalment – and no other title has captured my imagination in the same way as The Longest Journey. Rather than share an individual story in each episode, everything is connected in ways which aren’t at first obvious: separate elements that appear unconnected are eventually weaved together in a way where it slowly dawns on you how significant they actually were.

2008: Fable II

So the Fable series may have taken a downhill turn when sequelitus hit the third instalment, but the second game is one of my absolute favourites. It was the title that got me back into gaming regularly as I was hooked after the first half-hour; I spent the rest of the week ploughing through it trying to find every side-quest, figuring out how to get past the demon doors and meeting as many residents of Albion as possible. This is the reason I’d love to meet Peter Molyneux.

2011: To The Moon

One of the first indie titles I ever played after being introduced to this side of gaming was To The Moon. It broke my heart and I was genuinely in tears by the credits; and it taught me that video games are much more than entertainment and pixels. Here’s a storyline that shows the player that life is too short to have regrets so if there’s something you want to do, get out there and do it. Chris from OverThinker Y and I both played the follow up, Finding Paradise, earlier this year.

2012: Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller

Here’s a grown-up murder-mystery and not a game for children, and it’s one of those titles which is so deserving of a sequel. Protagonist Erica is an FBI Agent with ‘psion’ powers that enable her to see the past. With potent abilities like this it would have been all too easy for the developer to resort to them to push the plot along but instead, her powers aren’t the solution for every problem. It’s due to some great voice-acting and wonderful writing that she’s one of my favourite characters.

2013: Gone Home

Gone Home won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but it’s hard to deny that the writing and voice-acting are top-notch – full marks to Sarah Grayson for her portrayal of Sam Greenbriar. This was the first ‘walking simulator’ title I’d played and I was totally blown away. The teenager comes across as smart and snarky yet insecure and relatable; and both she and her story will have left a lasting mark on you by the time you’ve spent the three hours needed to complete the title.

2014: The Elder Scrolls Online

I’ve had an on-off addition to The Elder Scrolls Online since its release and I always seem to return to it during the winter months. I love the way it’s just so easy to go back to: you can fit in a quest or two during a spare hour after work and then put down the controller. With the purchase of a second PlayStation this year, the other-half and I are planning to set up another television in our living room over Christmas so we can go adventuring though the land of Auridon together.

2015: The Last Guardian

Yes, it can be extremely annoying when you need Trico’s help to reach a ledge and all he wants to do is clean his feathers or play with a nearby chain. But at the same time, The Last Guardian manages to create one of the most believable bonds between a human and an animal within a video game. Trico hardly ever does exactly what he’s told but if the player was able to order the creature around like a tool, the game wouldn’t be nearly as effective or pack such an emotional punch.

2017: Stories Untold

When I played text adventures as a kid, I always had this feeling I’d start to see elements of the title in the real world if I looked up from the screen; and it’s this atmosphere that Stories Untold manages to recreate so well. It’s extremely hard to resist the urge to look over your shoulder as you play through The House Abandon episode or not to expect your phone to ring when the handset does in-game. I’m really looking forward to the developer’s next interesting project, Observation.

2018: The Red Strings Club

The Red Strings Club is one of the best titles I’ve had the pleasure of playing this year and I can’t recommend it highly enough, although this ‘narrative experience’ is highly likely not to be to everybody’s taste. It asks the player to think about how far they’d be willing to go to suppress the worst aspect of our personalities for the good of the population, and whether it’s worth sacrificing emotions such as sadness and anger. This is one game which stayed in my mind long after I completed it.

It’s time for the choir to take a short break so we’ll be back for the third day of Blogmas tomorrow, with reasons why we’d play a video game. In the meantime, why not tell us about your favourite titles below?

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Doing so will bring you great loot, increase your XP by +100 and make you immune to fire.*
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All I want for Christmas

Christmas is less than a month away and we can’t wait for copious helpings of turkey and roast potatoes. There’s still some preparation to do first however and some of you may still have presents to purchase. Never fear however because you’ve come to the right place: the following gifts are sure to bring a smile to the face of the gamer in your life.

Before we launch into the list however, I feel I must make a confession. I did try to bring you a varied gift guide that would cater to a whole range of gamers’ tastes, and completed plenty of research online in order to make it as comprehensive as possible. I can’t help feeling that it’s just ended up being a wishlist for myself however so I probably owe you all an apology – but on the flipside, hopefully my other-half and stepson are reading this post and will get a few ideas. Hint hint.

Under £10

Luck potion, candle, Gametee, dish, peaches I’m a big fan of Gametee and have bought plenty of their products including t-shirts, bags and tin signs. The one thing I don’t yet have though is the Luck Potion candle to go with the Health and Mana versions I already own so it would make a nice addition to the collection.

Horizon Zero Dawn, video game, mug Pete and Ethan both have their own special mugs but when I want some tea, I’m stuck with one with a picture of a cartoon cow on it. Yes, a cartoon cow. I think it’s time I got a new one and seeing as Aloy is still my girl, I think this Horizon Zero Dawn version would be perfect for a cuppa.

Blue Shell, Mario Kart, badge, pin, Etsy, Fuck You, PinMeRightRound I know it’s a little rude but I think this Mario Kart pin by PinMeRightRound on Etsy is awesome. I’m starting to get a bit of a collection and it would make a great addition to the Sensitive Badass badge I picked up through Kickstarter – my denim jacket is going to look great next summer.

Under £20

Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us (about life, philosophy and everything), book I saw the book Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us (about life, philosophy and everything) when my other-half and I visited the Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt exhibition at the V&A recently. I’ve had it on my reading list since and it could be great for whiling away a few hours during the holidays.

The Secret of Monkey Island, glass, grog, Etsy I’m sure everyone’s aware by now of how big a fan I am of The Secret of Monkey Island. So what better way to serve your mulled cider this Christmas than in a personalised pint glass from LittleGiftstudioGB on Etsy, which even comes with groggy gift box.

Myst, video game, t-shirt, falling, Fangamer I’ve been playing through the Myst series after receiving my rewards from the Kickstarter campaign for the 25th Anniversary Collection. I may not have had much luck with Myst V: End of Ages last month but it doesn’t stop me from wanting this excellent t-shirt by Ian Wilding on the Fangamer website.

Under £40

Duck Hunt, video game, artwork, Etsy My other-half would tell you we already have too many pictures up around our house, but can you ever have too much video game artwork? I love this Duck-Hunt-inspired altered painting by jamesBit on Etsy because it’s the perfect blend of kitsch and pixels.

The Elder Scrolls Online, ESO, book After buying a PlayStation 4 Pro in October and deciding to keep the previous console, Pete and I are planning to set-up a second television in our living room so we can play The Elder Scrolls Online while we have some time off. Volumes I and II of these books are sure to help us on our adventures.

Humble Bundle, Humble Monthly, video games, website If you’re not sure what to get the gamer in your life then how about the best possible thing: more video games. You can grab a three-month Humble Monthly subscription to whet their appetites for a longer subscription, giving them access to around nine titles each month.

Blow the budget

I’ve already got my tickets sorted for next year’s Rezzed event but if you haven’t yet picked up yours, you can grab a Super Pass for under £40. That’ll get you access to all three days, hundreds of games, developer sessions and project creators – the chance to bump into me.

Xbox, Adaptive Controller, XAC I got the chance to try out the Xbox Adaptive Controller when I volunteered for SpecialEffect earlier this year, and it blew me away. It’s great to see companies such as Microsoft starting to consider accessibility in gaming and thinking of ways to ensure everybody can play.

Tetris, video game, earrings, gold Got several hundred pounds to spare? Then why not consider this range of Tetris-inspired 18k gold earrings by OctaHedronJewelrySF on Etsy that really will blow the budget. You’ll no longer have to long for that straight piece ever again when you’ll have one attached to your ears.

Disclaimer: the list above consists of items which caught my eye but I’m unable to comment on their quality or the performance of their sellers. Later Levels isn’t affiliated with the sites mentioned and I won’t receive any money as a result of clicking on the links in this post – although if the sellers read it and would like to send me these items, I’m not going to complain and would accept them gratefully. Thank you.

UK Blog Awards, UKBA19, logo, voteHello there! If you like what you see in this post, why not take a moment to vote for Later Levels in the UK Blog Awards 2019?
Doing so will bring you great loot, increase your XP by +100 and make you immune to fire.*
(*Not guaranteed.)