Tuesday, February 6, 2024


The opening salvo for my brand new Steam Deck has been Toem: A delightful indie game about taking pictures and solve basic puzzles… by taking pictures. A photographic adventure, if you will

Toem has been developed by a small Swedish studio (not terribly distant from Malmo, where I used to live) and seems one of those smart projects with clear ideas and execution. In other words, the game doesn´t try to be more than it can be. Visually speaking is basic, but cute and with personality. Gameplay wise it´s a mix of exploration and taking pictures. The world is small but fairly packed with content (normally associated to a quest or nice flavour animations/characters). The camera mechanic is a bit over-used, but it´s a short game and you don´t get to be bored of it

If anything, the game doesn´t have an engaging story. It doesn´t try to, but I suspect it could´ve been better if they´ve done a bit more work on that. Also, most of the quests are puzzles. In this genre, difficulty tuning is a common issue: If you make the puzzles too easy the game has no challenge and lacks engagement. If too difficult, most players will get stuck and quit. Toem leans towards the easy side, but there are still some quests I had to check on internet walkthroughs or I wouldn´t have found the solution

Luckily, you don´t need to finish ALL quests to get to the ending. It´s just that I´m a completionist. You can have a great time in your own terms, it´s a short but rewarding experience and not too expensive. Highly recommended, specially for those on the casual segment

Monday, February 5, 2024


So… I finally felt for the Steam Deck. It´s been in my agenda for a year, but I was hesitant. I´ve enjoyed portable devices in the past (in the most recent years I had a Nintendo DS and a PSP, aside from the iPad and cell phones) and I like the idea of being able to play whenever you feel like it. Particularly if had to commute daily, or travel a lot

The Steamdeck might fall in that category, but in these last 11 immigrant years I´ve gone through I´ve managed to live reasonably close to my workplace – generally within walking distance. That´s why I´ve been reluctant to buy another portable device aside from my mobile. Also, I love to have some sort of recording of my playtime – in other words, trophies/achievements – so I don´t feel I´ve thrown that time away - and Nintendo won´t offer that

Just recently my bosses got me into a conversation about how good the Steam Deck was, and I got the itch. Also there was a new model – the OLED – with better screen and longer battery life. So I said “what the heck”, and decided to buy it and see how can I make it fit into my life

We´ll see how it goes…

Thursday, January 18, 2024


As a follow up from LN1, I just finished the sequel (unsurprisingly named LN2 :D). 

Overall, it´s a smart product: Being the second instance of the LN franchise they obviously inherited pillars/main gameplay elements from the first game (setting, ambiance, most mechanics) and they added some extra sauce: A multiplayer/coop mode

The singleplayer campaign is as satisfying as it was the original game, with minor but well implemented twists (mostly related to the playpal). You again control a child-like character moving through platforming scenarios, escaping from monsters and traps. No dialogues, story just hinted by animations and player actions. And just like LN1 the game length (around 4h) feels right, it probably wouldn´t be as satisfying if the game was longer – as most commercial products aim to be nowadays

One benefit of the coop mode (in singleplayer the playpal is controlled by the AI) is a sense of responsibility the game develops in you towards the other character. The relationship between both protagonists is not complex, but based on time (you end up feeling both belong together). This is wisely used for dramatic purposes in the epilogue (no spoilers)

The only minus point is probably the frequent animation glitches. They´re not terrible – nor blocking the experience – but noticeable and easy to repro. Example: Characters don´t excel when dealing with collisions or interaction edge cases

I couldn´t test the coop mode, but I can imagine it´ll be nice. There are many gameplay situations requiring both players to sync their actions

I´ll give it a shot to the Platinum, I´m only 5 trophies away after my first playthrough. Otherwise, highly recommended if you like this type of games (i.e. Inside, Limbo)