In Praise of Virtual “Work” (aka Football Manager)

Some people play games to relax, to escape the tedium and/or stress of their jobs, to challenge their reflexes — physical and mental. Football Manager is a bizarre combination of both, which really should not be appealing at all. It can be stressful and tedious, while also challenging your mental abilities because, at the end of the day, it's a glorified spreadsheet with multiple pivot tables — and I love it so much, it's taken me a week to stop playing it long enough to write this post about it!

Shadowrun Subverted? A First Look at Subversion RPG

Remember the "This is the world liberals want!" meme? Subversion is the game they'd be talking about, and I mean that as high praise. While it has the requisite cyberpunk trappings of economic dystopia and extreme power imbalances, it flips Shadowrun's integration of fantasy on its head, imagining a world that a) always had magic and fantastic lineages (aka, races), and b) building upon Babylonian mythology as its foundation instead of the usual European inspirations. In Neo Babylon, magic has ruled for eons and technology is trying to level the playing field, disrupting the balance of power while crushing the underprivileged between them. In this world, the cops (Lawjacks) are implicitly a gang.

On Shadowrun: Nostalgia for a Game I’ve Never Played

I honestly don't know how Shadowrun escaped me all these years, but its combination of D&D, The Matrix, and Mission: Impossible is 100% my shit! Imagine: fantasy races, magic, cyberpunk, and elaborate heists sitting atop an intricately fleshed out near-future world that uses the Mayan Long Count calendar and corporate greed as its main pillars. It's as problematic, corny, and compelling as you'd think — and I'm totally digging it.

OH, SNAP! My Games of the Year for 2022

I'm rarely playing the newest releases so most annual lists don't often reflect my favorites, but thanks to Game Pass, my 2022 playlist included a broader range of new (and new-to-me) games than usual, including several I probably wouldn't have played otherwise. After all of the above, it might be surprising that Marvel Snap isn't at the top of my list, but as much fun as it is, Citizen Sleeper was better in different ways.