The latest craze to come screaming round the corner with a roar of engines is Automobiles, which has taken my gaming group by storm. It's a deckbuilder that's been mutated into a bag-and-cube builder, neatly removing the fuss of shuffling and sorting that accompanies games in that tiresome genre. And with the addition of a board, some interaction and lots of excitement it's really quite the thing, the sort of game it's hard to imagine anyone disliking. Review over at Shut Up & Sit Down.
We're not playing much else except for Risk: Legacy which just makes me ever more excited for Seafall every time it comes out. Daughters seem to have given up on gaming for the moment in favour of My Little Pony cartoons. They'll get bored of it eventually.
The chance to write about Clash Royale got me back into the game again. It's still good, but often when I lose I have no idea why, and I worry that it's almost too addictive. Between them, those two facets of the game make losing streaks unpleasantly frustrating rather than fun. Especially since you can't play without risking your rank, and all the other little annoying gameplay tweaks to try and squeeze you to spend, spend, spend. I might give it up again soon. Games should make you happy, not angry.
Hearthstone is a different matter. The new expansion feels like it's almost reset the game to day one, so playing has the sense of rediscovering the joy all over from scratch. I love it so much that I've written about it more than once. If you've somehow avoided the lure so far, there's never been a better time to get involved, now that Standard Mode has limited the card advantage enjoyed by long term fans.
On the PC I've mostly been playing Skyrim and it's mostly gone like most Bethesda RPG's before it. Fifteen hours or so of exhilaration followed by boredom when you realise the beautifully drawn world is fundamentally flawed. I tried avoiding all enchanting and alchemy this time, since previous Elder Scroll games are just too easily broken with those skills. It still wasn't enough. Maybe I'll go back to it one day. The scenery is pretty amazing with a bunch of texture mods installed.
Finally, I wanted to talk about Scott Walker. A recent musical discovery, some of you may know him from 60's pop balladeers The Walker Brothers. Some of you may also know that after the group split, he pursued an increasingly bizarre and unhinged solo career. Then, after a decade of silence, he released Tilt and The Drift, two of the bleakest and most beautiful records you're ever likely to hear.
Do listen, even if only for the song where the only percussion is someone repeatedly punching a dead pig. You might never listen again but, then again, you might never hear anything else like it in your life.