December 23, 2018: Resident Evil & Nancy Drew

Sunday. It’s a slow weekend for work with the holiday upon us. So today I set up the Steam laptop in the upstairs living room at the Grices’ so that I could play some video games myself.

I played Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for a little while. This game has been in my library for a really long time, but I have never played it and really had little idea of what it even was. But I wanted something different so I downloaded it and checked it out. It’s not my kind of game exactly, but it seems fun. Just an action game set in the Star Wars universe where you play the Sith and get to do lots of light saber battles and use force powers. It seems to tell a story, so we will see how it goes.

I didn’t play for long before Liesl and Garrett came up to watch me play. They were both very interested in the game. It’s pretty simple, nothing but a basic hack and slash set in the Star Wars universe. But it seems like it could be fun.

After I played for a while, I installed Resident Evil 4 and tested it out. I got it working and then Garrett played it for a few hours. He really loved it and says that it is now his favourite game. It is very hard, though. All of the “middles”, as they should now be called (Garrett, Liesl, Clara, and Luciana) came up and sat on the couch with me watching Garrett play the game.

After a few hours, Garrett couldn’t take it any more and needed a break. The girls decided that they wanted to try playing a Nancy Drew game and Garrett thought that that sounded interesting. So I installed Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall and it was an immediate hit. Garrett got to control it for most of the time, although Liesl and Clara both did at least some, and the five of us all played it together for many hours. Clara fell asleep about halfway through the evening of playing. Luciana fell asleep towards the end.

Garrett likes the Nancy Drew games so much that I think that he completely forgot about Resident Evil because of it! This is not a kind of game that he is ever exposed to and I think that it was really exciting to have a mystery to solve, puzzles and challenges to make it really hard, and to have to learn about a lot of different things. GTH teaches about the civil war, female spies during the war, how homemade batteries work, some southern culture, and the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Everyone had a great time. Nancy Drew games are so good for playing as a group. This was totally perfect. It’s a game where it is often better not to be the one controlling the action, but rather just paying attention and thinking. I prefer not having the controller myself. So it made for a great day and the whole family was super happy and impressed that I managed to keep the four kids happy and quiet for an entire day! Garrett is planning on buying some more Nancy Drew games after Christmas during the Steam sale. He was really interested to learn about what ones we had played, how the stories vary, the history of the games, etc.

It was pretty late when Garrett, Liesl, and I finally turned in. Dominica had been asleep for probably an hour before we quit gaming for the night. At best we are only halfway through this Nancy Drew game. Garrett was very surprised by how much gameplay that there was. He expected the game to only be two or three hours. But most of these newer ones seem to be closer to a dozen or more. Especially when we are trying not to use any online guides or hints. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out where to go next.