Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

A wonderful reconceptualization—or indeed, rebirth—of a beloved story. While I was a little cool on the first part of the remake, I found this a work of love and a lot of fun to play. The story, well, the story is a little incomprehensible, but boy, I am enjoying the ride.

The World of Yayoi Kusama, 1000 piece puzzle

So much fun! This is the first puzzle I’ve done that included an almost one to one sized poster which made assembling the puzzle really delightful. And as a bonus, the back of the poster explained the story of Kusama-san’s life. The centre provided quite the challenge, involving a bit of bifurcation, whereas the outer edges were more straightforward. Thanks, Claire, for the loan!

Edition K, 1000 piece puzzle

During the pandemic I had the idea of getting into jigsaw puzzles. I saw this for sale and bought it. It sat in a cupboard in the intervening time, which has actually turned out to be quite a good thing, for the quality of this puzzle is so low it may well have put me off the idea of jigsaw puzzles entirely if it was the first I tackled. So many pieces were bent, and even when they weren’t, they didn’t always fit together well. The board had a horrible chemical smell, and the cutting of the puzzle made it harder than it should of been.

Pokémon 1000 Piece Puzzle, Ravensburger

I had a blast with this, as I imagine all kids who grew up in the 90s would. Compared with the last puzzle I did, I found this much more enjoyable and a nicer balance of progress to challenge. I added a layer of challenge to the experience by refusing to refer to the completed image on the box. Well worth playing!

My Neighbor Totoro 1000 piece puzzle, Ensky

My first jigsaw puzzle (since I was a kid). I liked this one—the Studio Ghibili art is, as expected, amazing—but I was a little put off by the white border around the image. Putting together white jigsaw piece puzzles is pretty tedious, especially for a beginner. The result was very impressive.

Infinite Craft, Neal Agarwal

This took me by surprise; a simple game where one combines basic elements (fire, earth, wind, water) to get to increasingly absurd places, like Super Drow Jesus. I love the energy and fun of this game, from such simple set up so many surprising things happen. The little dopamine hit of making the first discovery. Play it!

Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian Studios

It’s a big game, a very big game to misquote the ad from the early 2000s. A steep learning curve if you’re not familiar with how to play D&D, like me, but a joyful, sprawling, engaging adventure for those who persist. A real maximalist delight and a success at that.

Cocoon, Geometric Interactive

A triumph of a puzzle game, wherein you jump between interconnected worlds to solve problems. Minimal storytelling in a game that features essentially no text. It ended just as it was getting good which is better, I suppose, than hanging around too long.