Indie darlings: just not getting it

I love indie games. Since being introduced by a friend years ago, they’re the releases I pick up most frequently. They give me more of what I want from my hobby than the triple-A stuff: creativity, great storylines and interesting characters removed from the limited representations.

When Red Metal from Extra Life very kindly nominated Later Levels for a Sunshine Blogger Award last month, one of their questions got me thinking: what critical darling do you feel completely failed to live up to the hype? There have been a number of indie games in the past that the critics have gone crazy for, declaring them to be pinnacles of gaming – but I just haven’t been able to understand what all the fuss was about when I’ve picked them up. Here’s a round-up of some of those titles.

2010: LIMBO

I realised that LIMBO was the game which had spent the longest in my Steam library while hosting #LoveYourBacklog week with LightningEllen from LividLightning in February. So after almost five years, I decided to rectify that by scheduling a stream for #MaybeinMarch the following month. I was looking forward to finally trying out the title critics had said ’empowered players to work through puzzle solutions themselves’ and which ‘offered up what feels like a world of meaningful possibilities’.

Four months later and I still don’t get it. Yes, I like the art-style and the way you can never guess what’s going to happen on the following screen; but it feels as though Playdead’s project is trying to tell the player a message in a vague and slightly pretentious way. I understand that not all games need to be completely explained but unanswered questions frustrate me, and I like at least a nudge in the right direction. I had a go at trying to figure out the ending but I still don’t feel the explanation I came up with truly fits.

2012: Dear Esther

It’s strange this title made it on to today’s list because I absolutely adore narrative games, but Dear Esther was one I didn’t gel with. A friend suggested it to me shortly after being introduced to the indie scene and I’d read several news articles which had intrigued me so I was keen to give it a go. Critics had said it had ‘an impressively ethereal atmosphere’ and were praising it for what it did differently: tap into unhappiness, an emotion that few games at the time dared to approach.

I thought it was boring. It was pretty and the soundtrack was good, but the story didn’t click with me and my main thought when I reached the end was: ‘Is that it?’ I went on to try The Chinese Room’s next release, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, in 2015 and it was the same experience. I still haven’t managed to complete the game because it doesn’t hold my attention – although I keep being told that its storyline is a fascinating one and I should try to stick with it.

2015: Undertale

I ended up playing Undertale long after its release, after so many friends and bloggers had told me I needed to give it a try. I could see why they’d enjoyed it: the twist on gameplay mechanics was clever, the soundtrack was excellent, and its story about determination and never giving up was very sweet. It had quickly gained a cult following, critics had said it was ‘unconventional, clever, and occasionally really difficult’, and more than a few ‘Best Game’ recognitions were awarded.

But it just wasn’t for me. Yes, the 12 hours I’d spent with Undertale were pleasant enough but I couldn’t see why everyone was going so crazy for it – and I certainly couldn’t face repeating the process so I could get the alternative outcomes. I thought this would be an unpopular opinion but when I tweeted a question about unliked indie titles recently, several blogging friends agreed. It seems as though Toby Fox’s game may have won the hearts of many but there are a few of us who it just didn’t click with.

2016: The Witness

I was so looking forward to The Witness. Jonathan Blow’s Braid was one of the first indie releases I ever played and I’d really enjoyed it, finding the narrative twist at the end to be unlike anything I’d experienced in the bigger-budget titles I’d been playing. After waiting eight years for the developer to release his second project, I was incredibly excited because the promotional screenshots looked stunning and critics were calling it a ‘beautiful, powerful and cleverly-designed puzzle game with a wealth of mysteries to unravel’.

And I did enjoy it to an extent. But during the 30 hours we spent playing, I kept telling my other-half that some big secret was going to revealed and he kept warning me to not be disappointed. He was right to do so. There was no big pay-off after completing all those challenges and even the secret ending wasn’t particularly fulfilling. I understand that The Witness is an experience – kind of like a mental holiday – but I came away feeling as though this was a work created by someone who spent too much time in his own head.

One of the best things about video games is that there’s a release out there for absolutely everybody, so I’m sure the titles above made it onto some peoples’ favourite lists! Which indie games have you just not been able to get?

Purrfect protagonists

Canines are having a moment when it comes to video games. With the advent of the Can You Pet the Dog? Twitter account, gamers are finding out whether they can stroke their furry friend in their favourite titles. There’s nothing like venturing into an online world with a pawsome partner by your side.

But let’s not forget about their feline counterparts: don’t they deserve a scratch behind the ears and a tickle on the tummy too? Thanks to Jonez from NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog, a fellow cat-lover, and a very kind Sunshine Blogger Award nomination recently, I’m giving these cool kittens a chance to shine by creating a list in his honour. Put down the controller and pick up the catnip, because it’s time to paws and show the following furry friends some love.

The hero from Cat Quest

We first came across RPG Cat Quest at last year’s PC Gamer Weekender where my stepson quickly fell in love with it for its witty use of catty puns. Heavily inspired by series such as The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy, the hero pounces into the massive continent of Felingard to search of his catnapped sister and purrsue the evil Drakoth. Although I haven’t finished this game, what I have played is incredibly cute; and it’s very family-friendly so there’s sure to be hours of fun for cat-lovers of all ages.

Alvina from Dark Souls

Similar to my own cat, Alvina can usually be found crouching on a window while watching over the garden and staying alert for intruders. Choose the right options when speaking to her and she’ll allow you to join her gang, even giving you a Cat Covenant Ring. Who doesn’t want to be a member of a cool cat club and summon a giant kitty to help them luck the butts of anyone who has wronged them? Sure, doing so might be considered a sin in-game but it would be totally worth it for that sweet membership card.

Evil the Cat from the Earthworm Jim series

The first ‘present’ my cat ever brought us was a worm so it’s quite fitting that Evil the Cat appears on this list. Despite his super-villain status, he can often be found licking himself or playing with a ball of wool when he’s bored – even going so far as too groom himself between shots of his huge fireball gun. Because he is the personification of malevolence and all immortal, Evil the Cat can never truly be destroyed; his ways are shrouded in myth and darkness, so it’s better for all worms to simply steer clear.

Khajiit from The Elder Scrolls series

When you consider how addicted I was to The Elder Scrolls Online and how much I love cats, it’s weird that I’ve never played an Elder Scrolls game with a Khajit character. I’m just not a stealthy player and that’s what this race is good at due to their natural agility, acrobatic abilities and night vision. These skills lead many Khajit move outside of their home province and become bandits or professional assassins – perfect for stealing your last sweetroll when you’re not looking.

Meowscular Chef from Monster Hunter: World

Unfortunately I didn’t get on well with Monster Hunter: World and stopped playing after a couple of hours, but there were a couple of things I did enjoy about it. First was being able to customise my Palico companion to look like my own black-and-white cat; and second was meeting the Meowscular Chef. Encouraging hunters to ‘bulk up’ by eating at his canteen in Astera throughout the day, I’m sure he goes home at night to a bowl of kibbles and an hour with a catnip mouse like any good cat does.

Every cat from The Cat Machine

My stepson and I watched a friend stream The Cat Machine one evening a couple of years ago, and for the next few days Ethan answered everything with a ‘Meow’. The machine itself is a secret underground contraption which maintains the stability of the Earth’s orbit around the sun and you’re in charge of designing of it. It works by having cats of various colours ride around on trains that can only go on certain tracks and it’s up to you to make them all fly into the ether in order to save the planet. Obviously.

The panther from Torchlight II

After being introduced to Torchlight II, I spent the entire day playing it and wracked up 16 hours in the first weekend alone. My Embermage character and her panther pet roamed the world, fighting beasts and exploring dungeons while I constantly clicked away until the early hours of the morning. I haven’t played the title in an incredibly long time and writing this makes me want to revisit it, so I might see if I can rope a couple of friends in for a stream in the very near future (Tim and Jake, if you’re reading this!).

Burgerpants from Undertale

Burgerpants works at the MTT-Brand Burger Emporium inside a fast-food restaurant – and he thoroughly hates his job. He originally wanted to be an actor, which explains some of the dramatic facial expressions he pulls when talking to him. Although he can be sarcastic and maintains a cynical view of the world and his future in it, he can be rather hopeful at times and gets some of the best lines in Undertale: “Never let hot people think you care.” Now that’s some good advice.

Our very own Zelda

What kind of cats-in-video-games list would this be if I didn’t include my very own fluffball? We adopted Zelda almost three years ago after she’d had a bit of a rough time, and we wouldn’t do without her. She can often be found sitting somewhere on the sofa while we’re streaming or lounging on the table next to the laptop in an attempt to distract me whenever I’m trying to blog. And if you can’t find her, all you need to do is shake her packet of cat-treats and she’ll quickly come running.

Thank you once again to the pawsome Jonez for the Sunshine Blogger Award, and to all the developers who decided to add feline friends into their projects. Hopefully some of the characters on this list are furmiliar and you think this post is purrfect, no kitten around. I’ll stop now.

Real Neat Blogger award: a personal adventure

Last month, Bandicoot Warrior nominated Later Levels for a Real Neat Blogger award. Head over to his site so you can stay up-to-date on his progress towards convincing me to finally play Fallout! He himself was nominated in December by Hailey from A Dame’s Gotta Game, and she came up with some great video-game-related questions which put us in the centre of the adventure as the main character.

Bandicoot Warrior opted to stick with Hailey’s questions so here’s how our story begins: “You awake in a strange house, surrounded by things that seem familiar, yet new in their own way. Your head hurts and you can’t remember who you are or anything about your past, but the memories soon begin to flood back and you begin to be able to piece together qualities about yourself and your life by looking at the objects around you.” It looks as though we have a big adventure ahead so let’s find out where this journey takes us…

Question one:

After getting out of the bed you just woke up in, you begin looking around the room and notice a framed family portrait on the mantle. You glance in a mirror on the wall and back at the family portrait. The person in the middle of the photograph is clearly you, but the people on either side of you look familiar, but you can’t remember much about them and who they are. You assume that they must be your parents and you suddenly remember them from a game. Who are your gaming character parents?

Night in the Woods, video game, kitchen, cats, conversation, Kandy, Mom, Mae

Dad would be the Hero from Fable, because he’s a master of Strength, Skill and Will; plus everyone would want to be your friend after seeing him turn up at the school gates in his armour and wielding Avo’s Tear. And mum would be Candy Borowski from Night in the Woods, because the random stuff she comes out with reminds me of the stuff that my real-life mum says. I might need to rethink this combination however, considering the Hero has a dog and Candy herself is clearly a cat-person… hmm.

Question two:

After figuring out and remembering a bit about who your parents are, you hear a loud growl from your stomach. You are starving! After a quick trip to the kitchen, you open the fridge and your eyes widen at the assortment of foods on the shelves before you! Everything looks delicious, but you notice your favourite video game food and it just looks too tempting not to eat first! Which video game food do you choose to eat first and what makes it such a delicious treat?

The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild, video game, Link, fire, cooking pot, recipe, hut, trees

This question is similar to one posed as part of 2017’s Creative Christmas collaboration. For day eight we had to come up with a menu made entirely from video game food and, although there were a number of tasty options, the one I’d be most likely to eat in real-life would be the Hearty Salmon Meunière from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If I was still peckish afterwards I’m sure I could make some room for a slice or two of Butterscotch-Cinnamon Pie courtesy of Undertale, because it sounds as though it would be amazing.

Question three:

Now that your stomach is satisfied, you realise that you are so thirsty! You head back to the fridge and peer inside once again. You spot your favourite video game drink on the shelf, ice cold and looking delicious! You grab one, pop it open, and take a big drink. Which video game drink did you choose to satisfy your thirst?

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, video game, sweetroll, cake, lizard, plate

Following on from the menu above, I also included a couple of beverages within my Creative Christmas post but neither are what I’d want to drink. Both grog or root beer are horrid so instead, I’d go for something different but still alcoholic: Honningbrew Mead from The Elder Scrolls series. I had the opportunity to try mead for the first time as a Christmas market a few years ago and really enjoyed it; plus the alcohol in it would provide some much-needed Dutch courage for the rest of this adventure.

Question four:

Now that your thirst has been quenched, you decide to look around the house a bit more and see what you can remember about yourself and the world around you. As you step into the hallway, you hear a loud crash and many other terrifying noises. Fearing for your safety, you step into the nearest room and close the door quietly. As you turn and place your back against the closed door, you glance up and see a terrifying creature standing before you. You immediately recognise the monster from a video game and begin trying to remember it’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities to help you survive! Which creature and from which game stands before you?

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, video game, zombie, face

Which creature appears in so many video games, even those where you’re least expecting them? Zombies. Even quieter non-action titles such as The Vanishing of Ethan Carter have their fair share of the shuffling corpses. Fear not though because I’ve done an awful lot of research on the zombie apocalypse and evidence shows that gamers are well-equipped to survive the undead horde. All we need to do is stay out of the cities, aim for the head and blame the pharmaceutical conglomerates for all of this mess.

Question five:

The creature growls and positions itself to attack! You glance to your right and see a formidable weapon. You recognise it immediately from a game and quickly grab it before attacking the monster and ultimately winning the battle. Which weapon did you see and what makes it your main choice?

The Secret of Monkey Island, video game, ghost, pirates, LeChuck, Guybrush Threepwood, root beer, grog machine, Stan's Previously Owned Vessels, boatyard

Root beer has long been known among voodoo practitioners to be a powerful weapon; and with that well-stocked fridge mentioned in question three above, there’s bound to be crates of the stuff in this place. LeChuck exploded into a firework display when sprayed with the stuff at the end of The Secret of Monkey Island – but perhaps that was less to do with this beverage’s anti-zombie properties, and more to do with the fact that it tastes simply disgusting. Who knows?

Question six:

After cleaning yourself up from the battle with the creature, you decide that it’s time to get out of this house and to find someplace safer! You find the door to the garage and upon opening the door, you find a variety of vehicles, mounts, and transports, all of which are vaguely familiar. You only have time to choose one, so choose wisely! Which video game method of transport do you choose and what makes it the most reliable for ensuring a safe getaway?

The Last Guardian, video game, Trico, animal, beast, phoenix, griffin, boy

This one is easy: it would have to be Trico from The Last Guardian. He can provide transport over long or high distances as well as support; he’s loyal and strong; and all that fur would be great for keeping both of us warm if we have to venture into colder climates on this adventure. When you’re trapped on the other side of a canyon, he’ll mewl at you to give you the confidence to make the jump and catch you just before you plummet. Now that’s a relationship built on trust.

Question seven:

As you speed away from the house on your chosen method of transport, you notice the scenery around you is also familiar and you spot a familiar person. You are unsure if this person is a friend or a foe, but currently, you can’t worry about that. You need help! Which video game character do you see first and what makes them a friend or a foe on your journey to the unknown?

Horizon Zero Dawn, video game, woman, warrior, Aloy, mountains, sky, photo mode, clouds

Aloy has plenty of qualities to make her an amazing friend and she’s someone you can’t help but admire. She laughs at anyone who doubts her skill; tells men her ‘eyes are up here’; questions the rights of the matriarchs to take power; and pulls apart any stupid traditions that don’t make sense. Plus she always looks perfect regardless of the situation so maybe she could give me some tips and do my hair. She loves a bit of technology too so maybe she’d be up for some co-op gaming on the sofa after battle.

That’s it: we’ve completed our adventure and arrived safely in a new world! Thank you to Bandicoot Warrior for the nomination, and to Hailey from A Dame’s Gotta Game for a set of awesome questions. How would your own adventure pan out?

The Later Levels Official Album

Other than hearing the radio alarm go off at a ridiculous time in the morning, I don’t often listen to music. My other-half, stepson and I have tastes which are so completely different that it makes finding something we all want to hear pretty hard.

That makes responding to the Shuffle the Music Tag from Halsdoll a little difficult. But there are plenty of tracks which bring back memories of times spent with family, events with friends and playing excellent video games, that would go into my list. So for your listening pleasure, may I present to you and dedicate to Halsdoll

The Later Levels Official Album

1. I Feel For You
By: Chaka Khan
Released: September 1984
Reminds me of: Going too see ZoonNation perform Into The Hoods in London and wanting to do the robot whenever I hear this song since. Although I’ll never be able to do it as good as the dancers in this video.
2. Waterfall
By: Toby Fox
Released: September 2015
Reminds me of: Christmas last year and playing Undertale for the first time. I love the way the song builds into something that captures both the loneliness and hope of Frisk’s journey at that point in the game.
3. Be the One
By: Jack Peñate
Released: June 2009
Reminds me of: Buying my first flat and feeling very grown up doing so; it was so tiny but I loved being in that place. I had the Everything is New album playing while unpacking boxes and getting convered in dust.
4. Hold My Hand Very Tightly (Very Tightly)
By: Whistlin’ Rick Wilson
Released: August 1989
Reminds me of: Watching my other-half play Lumo while writing blog posts last year, dying a hundred deaths and screaming a thousand curses. This song has an interesting backstory and ended up getting stuck in our heads for days.
5. Turning Japanese
By: The Vapors
Released: 1980
Reminds me of: My other-half and stepson. Wherever this song comes on the radio, they do this stupid dance where they kick their legs and wave their arms as fast as they can – they can be a pair of loons sometimes.
6. Shop Theme Acapella
By: Smooth McGroove
Released: March 2013
Reminds me of: Introducing my stepson to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and curing his Minecraft obsession. Plus Smooth McGroove’s cat (a minute into the video) looks just like our very own furball Link.
7. Music Sounds Better With You
By: Stardust
Released: July 1998
Reminds me of: Being a teenager before adulting became necessary. Dodgy nightclubs, luminous alcopops, too-high heels and singing at the top of your lungs – don’t look at me like that, I know you’ve all done it.
8. Moves Like Draugr
By: JT Machinima
Released: March 2012
Reminds me of: Naughtily showing this to my stepson and watching him almost wet himself laughing! It features a guy in homemade armour, dancing around a forest with a sword – it’s immature but what’s not to love?
9. Little Bit
By: Lykke Li
Released: May 2008
Reminds me of: Getting dressed up for a Christmas do with friends and getting the chance to wear a purple 1950s-style evening gown. An aerial hoop artist performed to this track at the event we went to.
10. Everything’s Alright
By: Laura Shigihara
Released: November 2011
Reminds me of: Playing To The Moon, one of the first indie games I tried, and crying my heart out at the end. I now can’t hear this song without getting a little tear in my eye – let’s see how I fair with Finding Paradise.
11. Never Too Much
By: Luther Vandross
Released: July 1981
Reminds me of: Going to a Halloween party with a few friends and my other-half. Pete dressed up as a zombie, had a few too many beers, got drunk and serenaded me with this song on the dancefloor at the top of his lungs.
12. Passing Breeze
By: Hiroshi Kawaguchi
Released: September 1986
Reminds me of: Stealing my brother’s Game Gear when we were kids (I had a Game Boy instead) just so I could play Outrun; and then getting into many arguments with him when I ran the battery down.
Bonus: Young Hearts Run Free
By: Candi Staton
Released: 1976
Reminds me of: Take me to a karaoke bar, buy me a few glasses of wine and this is the song you’ll hear. I’m not going to say anything else right now for fear of incriminating myself further.

Undertale: digital resolutions (a QotM answer)

January’s Question of the Month is brought to you by Chris from OverThinker Y: creative blogger, talented composer and all-round nice guy. To find out more about him and his site, as well as how you can get involved, take a look at this post.

Whenever the clock strikes midnight at the end of December, millions of people attempt to better themselves over the next 12 months. They set out to ditch bad habits and adopt new regimes, feeling optimistic for the future and eager to make their mark on the new page before them. Sadly though that sentiment is short-lived: last year one in five people failed to keep their New Year resolutions in the first week alone.

Perhaps that’s because our goals are unrealistic and we bite off more than we can chew. But do we really know what it’s like to be challenged? Do we truly understand what it’s like to have the fate of the world on our shoulders, to face countless foes because we want to do the right thing for those we care about? Do we get how important it is to come up against adversity yet remain strong and positive?

One person who does is Frisk from Undertale. The kid in a striped t-shirt might seem not seem like the hero we need at first but wait until you get to know her (him?). This is one protagonist from whom we could all learn a few important life lessons.

Don’t let anything hold you back

Undertale, video game, Toriel, Frisk, ruins, goodbye, door

Did Frisk let her fear hold her back when she fell through the barrier on Mount Ebott? Not at all. Many would have been terrified at finding themselves trapped in the Underground but she was determined to make her way through the kingdom of Monsters and return home. She may have had an uphill battle in front of her, full of danger and difficult decisions, but sometimes all you need to do is take the first step on the journey ahead of you.

Take small steps and celebrate your successes

Undertale, video game, kid, Frisk, ghost, Napstablook, music, bedroom

That journey may be an incredibly long one, so it’s important to recognise how far you’ve come and reward yourself for the progress you’ve made. Frisk saves regularly and takes time out from her quest to enjoy the fun things in life like eating ice-cream, petting dogs and listening to music with friends. Giving yourself mental boosts like this before turning your attention back to your goals will make you all the more prepared to achieve them.

Everyone is a potential friend

Undertale, video game, skeleton, Papyrus, date, tension, Cool Dude

Frisk may have entered the Underground alone but by the end of her journey, she had many friends standing by her side (if you played nice). She could have attacked the Monsters she encountered along the way, turned her back on them because they were different and showed them no mercy; but instead she chose to talk. Even a human-hating skeleton can turn out to be a ‘Cool Dude’ capable of friendship if you give him a chance.

Stay determined

Undertale, video game, heart, determination, quote

Instead of letting the graveness of her situation overcome her, Frisk takes joy from the small things: playfully crinkling through leaves, hearing the sound of muffled rain on a cave-top, knowing that the mouse might one day hack into the computerised safe and get the cheese. All of these seemingly small acts fill her with determination and give her the strength to continue, showing us that sometimes we just need to look at the positive side of life.

Here’s one character who’s got her act together and will be able to achieve whatever she sets her heart on. Maybe we should all embrace our optimistic sides and be a little more like Frisk.

Creative Christmas: game of the year

It’s the final day of the Creative Christmas collaboration, where a group of bloggers have joined forces over the past two weeks to tackle 12 video-game-related questions based around a loose festive storyline. After yesterday’s answer about our gaming resolutions for 2018, the last challenge is:

You wake up the following morning, hungover but happy – you have an entire day of gaming ahead of you. You start thinking back over the video games you played during 2017; what was your game of the year?

My answer

The ‘game of the year’ question is one I always struggle with. There are so many great titles which offer unique experiences and that makes it hard to pick a single entry out of those I’ve played; and with adult responsibilities often getting in the way of gaming, I tend not to play new games immediately upon release.

This post therefore won’t be about an individual title or even ones which were released during 2017. But here are five games which stood out for me for various reasons over the past 12 months and are well worth a play.

Most touching: The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian was criticised for its poor controls and camera angles, and I agree: it was extremely annoying when you needed Trico’s help to reach a ledge and all he wanted to do was clean his feathers. But at the same time, it created one of the most believable bonds between a human and animal within a video game. The relationship between the creature and boy strengthens over the course of the title and is a lesson in trust.

Most addictive: The Elder Scrolls Online

I decided to pick this one up on a whim after not touching it since 2015 and I’m addicted all over again. TESO contains so much lore and the books scattered around the environment create a world which feels living, with its own history and colour; and when you’re tired of venturing into dungeons and slaying the monsters within, you can head in any direction and just run. You never know what you’re going to find.

Most unique: Stories Untold

Advertised as ‘four stories, one nightmare’, this experimental title manages to create something new and unique. It cleverly combines text-adventures, point-and-clicks and psychological horrors into a rather remarkable experience which is likely to stay with me for some time to come. If you’re a fan of series such as The Twilight Zone and Stranger Things, of 80s nostalgia and retro games, or text adventures in general, you need to play it.

Most reflective: Undertale

I was very late to the party: Undertale was released in September 2015 yet I only ended up playing in at the end of 2017, and I’m so glad I finally did. The retro graphics hide an innovative title which on one hand is hilarious and on the other is incredibly heartfelt. It contains numerous moments which cause the player to reflect on their choices and their own nature in a subtle way – something rare in video games and all the more sincere for it.

Most stylish: Horizon Zero Dawn

Aloy became one of my favourite protagonists this year. I should hate her for that makeup-that-looks-like-no-makeup thing she has going on and her ability to come out of any scenario with an immaculate appearance. But I just can’t; her attitude and independence make her one of the most likeable characters. I’m looking forward to picking up The Frozen Wilds DLC in the near future and spending even more time in photo mode.

Other answers

🎁   Thero159 from A Reluctant Hero
👪   Joey from AlunaRL
🎅   Athena from AmbiGaming
🦌   Morgan from Fistful of Glitter
🎄   Luna from GamersUnitedGG Blog
👗   Log 1932
🤞   NekoJonez from NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog
🎉   Dan and Jon from
🎁   Chris from OverThinker Y
👪   Austin from Reaper Interactive
🎅   Retro Redress
🎄   The Gaming Diaries
🦃   Kevin from The Mental Attic
👗   The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

This post sees the end of the Creative Christmas collaboration – who knows, maybe it will be back again in December! A huge thank you to the amazing bloggers who joined in and to the awesome readers to read our answers to the questions. May 2018 be good to you all.