Today, I’ll be looking at games that I played this year that are not video games. Most of these are journaling games of some type or another where you are given a world and writing prompts to respond to. Some of these games include tarot cards.
Pilgrimage of the Sun Guard by Amanda P. This is a journaling game about being a knightly character taking a pilgrimage and committing deeds, good or bad, along the way. I enjoyed this game so much that I played it several times.
Chalice from Monkey Paw Games. I bought the physical book of this zine and loved it. The book looks like a medieval manuscript with gorgeous full colour pages. In this journaling game, you’re a knight attempting to seek the Grail. Failure is embedded in the game: you aren’t meant to complete the Quest. As you can see, knight games are an interest of mine!
Hopelessly Devoted by A Devil Like You. My third knightly game that I played this year–you’re a squire. You get in and out of trouble as well as in and out of bed on your last year of training. This is definitely a game to play alone with some candles and chocolates nearby.
Tending by Tori Truslow. This is a sweet game about being a pilgrim tending to and helping to build a new shrine. I have only played the demo of this game so far.You need a standard set of playing cards to play this game. The prompts help you design the structure of the shrine. The game includes multimedia–you could easily create collages, maps, and other media while you build the shrine. As time passes, events happen that effect the progress of the construction. It’s a beautiful game that made me tear up more than once while playing. I am sure the full game will be excellent.
Field Guide to Memory by Jeeyon Shim and Shing Yin Khor. So this is a 20-day journaling game. You’re a scientist of some sort (your choice) who is trying to understand what happened to your cryptid-biologist mentor. You get prompts each day. The game is a keepsake game which means you’re meant to customize and decorate the journal you’re writing in, so that when you’re done playing, you are left with a kind of keepsake to remember your gameplay. It was a really thoughtful game, but I found it hard to maintain a consistency of play. This is in part because I was in the middle of my winter semester of grad school. Perhaps if I was less busy, I would’ve been more focused on this.
Vampyres Are People Too by Paul Czege and Son. This is a brief cute journaling game about trying to make a positive life as a vampire. It was written by a young boy and polished by his father. The funds you pay for the game help the boy save up to buy himself a Chromebook so he can play Roblox.
A Mending by Shing Yin Khor. This was another keepsake game. I’m actually not done playing this one! This game is a map printed on fabric. You sew your way from your “house” (a button) and make your way to your friend’s “house” (another button placed somewhere on the map). The game comes with a deck of card prompts. It’s an extremely sweet game. I’ve played it three times so far, and I think I have enough room to play twice more before I am going to wash the fabric and hang it above my bed as a gorgeous memento. Thankfully, the game also comes with paper copies of the map, so you can keep playing after you complete the fabric map.
Skyworthy by A Couple of Drakes. You are a skyship cycling between captains. You tell the story of the life of the ship. Your ship changes as the years pass and you catalogue what happens. This game was really interesting to play. I’ll have to replay it again one day.
Games I Have My Eye On
Thousand Year Old Vampire by Tim Hutchings. You are an aging vampire. Shit happens to you or you happen to other people. Live your life and its immortal consequences. I would love love love to get the print copy of this game. I think I’ll buy it for myself for my birthday in the spring.
The Good People (Na Daoine Maithe) by Moirai Myths. This is a visual novel video game but deserves a mention because it’s indie. This is a romance based on Irish mythology and faerie tale. It’s on Kickstarter right now!
I LOVE YOU ALIVE GIRL by anna anthropy (who makes amazing tarot journaling games as well). This game involves leaving cryptic reviews that are actually love letters on Amazon and Ebay. The concept of this game is really rad and I want to try it.
The Magus by momatoes. You are a wizard seeking P-O-W-E-R. You journal your descent into
madness cruelty and strength. This game looks deliciously dark and I’m excited to play it this month while on medical leave.