Overview of (blog) life in June 2022

June 2022 was a great month for grabbing free games.

After a short break, a new overview of one streaming service made it into the list, although the movies it covered weren’t so great:

Disney+ watchlist: May 2022
New additions to the media collection in May 2022
Overview of (blog) life in May 2022

Game releases mainly focused on indie titles:

Born Punk
City Game Studio: a tycoon about game dev
Dungeons of Edera
Dying Light: Definitive Edition
Good Company
The Hand of Merlin
Hellslave
Knights of Messiah
Please Fix The Road
POSTAL: Brain Damaged
Ruggnar
Silt
Sumatra: Fate of Yandi
The Triumphant Return of Diabolos
Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy

GOG had a big summer sale and quite a few new additions:

Alien: Isolation – The Collection
Chorus
DOOM 64
“Gas Station Simulator – Can Touch This” DLC
Golf Club Wasteland
Prince of Qin
Pronty
Rustler (Grand Theft Horse)
The Stillness of the Wind

The Polish company also had some other specials:

GOG celebrates Warhammer Skulls 2022 with free game “Warhammer 40K: Chaos Gate” and digital goodies pack
GOG midweek sale: “Family-friendly games and a mixed set”
GOG weekend sale: “Games to play before summer starts”

The number of free games was vastly increased thanks to GOG:

Amazon Prime Gaming free games in June 2022
Epic Games Store free games: “A Game Of Thrones: The Board Game – Digital Edition” and “Car Mechanic Simulator 2018”
Epic Games Store free game: “Maneater”
Epic Games Store free game: “Supraland”
Epic Games Store free game: “Wolfenstein: The New Order”
GOG free game: “BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION”
GOG free game: “Flashback” (2018)
GOG free game: “Sanitarium”
GOG free game: “Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse”
GOG free game: “Venetica – Gold Edition”
GOG free game: “VirtuaVerse”

There was only one game review, but it was a surprisingly fun one despite its casual target audience:

Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of The Baskervilles

Last month started out rather less stressful, but came to a 3-articles-per-day finale. This wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t have my left wrist/thumb broken. The healing process is still going on, but it’s probably more of a pain that I haven’t been able to play with a controller anymore… Fingers crossed (pun intended) that this/next month I’ll be better.

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Disney+ watchlist: May 2022

Disney+ in May 2022 paid questionable tributes to a classic series of murder mysteries with two modern movies.

Movies:
Murder on the Orient Express (2022) [6/10]
Death on the Nile (2017) [4/10]

Murder on the Orient Express is a perfect example of why remakes can be a safe winner if they stick to the original, at least for most of the time. It’s also a perfect example of why some slow-paced movies might better have been left in the past for good.

Kenneth Branagh has always been an eccentric actor with his Shakespeare adaptations or even Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in which he played the lead roles. So it’s no surprise to have him try to imitate Peter Ustinov as the world’s (or Belgian’s) best detective Poirot. It soon becomes clear that it’s more like a one-man-show, making all the other great actors and actresses get out of his spotlight. So in the end, it’s a matter of taste: There’s nothing much surprising, including the ending, for those who have already watched the original movie. Those who can stand Branagh will have an entertaining time of a classic that is a bit dusty, though.

Death on the Nile is a very bad example of modernizing a classic, as its constant use of CGI makes one wonder if one isn’t sitting in a movie studio. With so many scenes having shots from outside, it’s quite uncanny seeing people move around with the ever-present knowledge that they’re only standing in front of blue or green screens.

However, that’s not the worst part about the movie, as there’s way too much jazz music that doesn’t fit the atmosphere and only feels as if it’s used to make it more inclusive. It doesn’t work, because it’s forced, adding even more empty runtime to a long movie. Some over-sexualized scenes are also completely out of place in a classic murder mystery. Of course the original concept is still there, but the modern touches make one wish to return to the good old times when things felt more real and less aimed to all sorts of audiences. The original movie was a bit too dialogue-heavy, but now the various character monologues are even longer, making it a tedious and boring “adventure”.

I’m always open to remakes and I’ve tried to give various “classics” a chance, but these two murder mysteries didn’t do much for me. While I appreciated Peter Ustinov’s portrayal of Poirot and enjoyed the original Murder on the Orient Express and Murder on the Nile, the remakes with Branagh did very little for me, except putting me to sleep and again affirmed my dislike for him as a narcissistic actor.

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Amazon Prime Gaming free games in June 2022

June 2022 is almost over, but there’s still time to grab some freebies thanks to Amazon Prime Gaming.

I know I’m a bit late with this news (and there’s also a special Prime Day selection going on for some time I have to write about), but there’s been too much going on lately (see the recent three-news-articles-per-day routine), while I’ve been suffering from a broken hand and I’ll have a gastroscopy today, which won’t be much fun, either. So let’s get this over quickly before I have to cover next month’s freebies.

This time, there’s a new online store involved, namely Ubisoft Connect. Having an account there allows open-world FPS Far Cry 4 to be added to the library for free. The other games can be played via the Amazon Prime Gaming account: 3D adventure game Escape from Monkey Island (see the review), racing simulation WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship, (cat cafĂ©!) community simulation Calico, narrative comedy game Astrologaster (see the GOG release news), and interactive music visual novel Across the Grooves.

All games can be added to the Amazon Prime Gaming account for free until tomorrow, July 1, 2022.

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Epic Games Store free games: “A Game Of Thrones: The Board Game – Digital Edition” and “Car Mechanic Simulator 2018”

Epic Games Store‘s newest freebies are Dire Wolf/Asmodee Digital‘s fantasy strategy title A Game of Thrones: The Board Game – Digital Edition and Red Dot Games/PlayWay‘s simulation game Car Mechanic Simulator 2018.

A Game of Thrones: The Board Game – Digital Edition was already featured in this GOG release news and is a digital conversion of Fantasy Flight Games’ original board game, tasking the player to take over the land of Westeros with one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms.

With only 10 rounds, strategic planning is required, which means using diplomacy and warfare to one’s advantage, as one tries to take control of resources to expand and conquer the next part of the land.

Official website

Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 is probably what happens before the The Fast and the Furious vehicles start their engines, as one tries to find classic cars and repair as well as modify them.

Most of the work takes place in a garage which can be upgraded for each new challenge. However, one can also go on race tracks later on to see if the cars can handle the speed or fall apart in a test environment.

Official website

Both games can now be added to the Epic Games Store account for free until tomorrow, June 30, 2022, at 5:00 PM.

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GOG release: “Golf Club Wasteland”

Demagog Studio and Untold Tales‘ narrative sci-fi sports game Golf Club Wasteland lands on DRM-free green of GOG.

Golf Club Wasteland is a very peculiar game about an astronaut who has had enough of Mars and returns to Earth for playing golf. It’s not an idyllic place anymore, though, because there’s not much left of humanity or the world itself.

Being part golf game that requires some strategic throwing and putting as well as part exploration title about the past of a world that has gone downhill, the atmosphere isn’t what one would expect from the sports. It’s not relaxing, but quite depressing to play in abandoned museums or delapidated shopping malls for sure, making it a rather bleak version of the future that is all the more important as a reminder of what we have now.

Golf Club Wasteland was originally released in September 2021 and is now available DRM-free on GOG with a 70% launch discount that lasts until tomorrow, June 30, 2022, at 1 PM UTC.

Official website

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Using the GOG link and buying the product also helps ;).

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