March 2024

This might just be the shortest recap yet! I was pretty focused on one game for most of the month though as we head into April that has all changed.


The first half of March was all about Dying Light 2. I played nothing else until I hit the end credits, then I wrote a post about it so nothing much to recap here.

With that put to bed I went back to Horizon Forbidden West; I think my save there is at something like 60 hours and the PS5 tells me I’m not even 50% through it yet (which kind of tracks based on what I know about the main quest and by looking at how much of the map is still hidden). But HowLongToBeat says it has a 30 hour campaign and their “Completionist” figure is 88 hours so, yeah, just me being me and managing to turn every game I touch into a 100 hour marathon.

The weird sidetrack this month was Match-3 games (like Bejeweled). I suddenly got the itch to play one of these and went looking. The match-3 landscape is bleak, or I was just in the wrong aisle of the virtual game store. First I tried Gems of War which has fun gameplay but the most predatory microtransactions that I have ever seen. A great example are shrines. As you beat levels you get a certain in-game currency that is used to fill up shrines. Once you finally fill one you can PAY REAL MONEY to open it and get whatever is hidden inside (I did not pay). So yeah, you grind to earn the opportunity to spend money. And there are CONSTANT pop-ups to spend $5 or $10 or $50 for some item or other.

Screenshot of Gems of War taken around easter when the skulls have bunny ears
On the plus side, the skulls got bunny ears for Easter, so that was fun.
Screenshot from Gems of War prompting a $49.99 add-on purchase
On the negative side, about every 3rd screen you’ll see is something like this. I don’t think we can call these micro-transactions any more!

Then I tried Puzzle Quest 3, a much-maligned game just because folks enjoyed PQ1 & 2 and both those games used that old-fashioned “buy it & then play it” commerce model rather than being free-to-play microtransaction farms. I haven’t played as much PQ3 but so far it doesn’t seem quite as awful as Gems of War in terms of trying to pry open your wallet. It also has an interesting mechanic (I don’t recall if this was in the earlier games) where you make 3 (or more based on buffs) gem moves before anything happens. So you set up your moves, then gems go poof, then the enemy does the same thing. Otherwise same basic principles apply. Gems give you mana to cast spells, and skulls cause direct damage. Erm, which is how Gems of War works…I guess I didn’t mention that, did I?

Screenshot of the character sheet from Puzzle Quest 3
Puzzle Quest 3 feels a little more RPG-ish than Gems of War. For example here is a character sheet which feels like it could be from any rpg.

I also looked around on Apple Arcade for a good match-3 game that didn’t have microtransactions but by the time I got around to doing that I was reaching a point of Match-3 satiety so I didn’t get too far there. I havent’t tried it yet but from what I’ve read you can sync Puzzle Quest 3 progress between Xbox, PC and Mobile (but not Playstation cuz Sony) so maybe I’ll just go with that.

And then on March 28th Diablo IV hit Game Pass so I’ve been playing that, but since it’s just been a couple days I don’t have much to say beyond that I’m having fun so far. I’m also kind of obsessed with the look of my character, Petra (the header image for this post) named after the character in Horizon Forbidden West, not the character in Destiny 2. Not that it matters!

And that is all the gaming I’ve done! I didn’t even play Snowrunner this month! *gasp!*


Not a lot here either

Constellation (Apple TV+) has a slow burn sciencey-ghosty story. I have to admit we almost bailed after like 2 episodes but we wound up sticking with it and it got pretty compelling. But if you’re a “it has to hook me in the first half hour” kind of viewer, don’t bother. Also it has such a generic name that I always have to Google to double check I have it right.

Halo Season 2 (Paramount+) was really good this season, we thought. Apparently Paramount is about to fall apart so I dunno if we’ll get a 3rd season or not, but I hope we do!

And that’s it for new(ish) stuff. We’re now re-watching S1 of Sweettooth (Netflix) because at some point a 2nd season came out and a 3rd and final has been announced, but we’d both forgotten everything about the show so are doing a full re-watch. It’s about a kid who is like 80% human, 20% deer, hanging out with an ex-football player in a post-apocalyptic world. Yeah, it’s weird, but pretty good.

Other than that I’m watching a lot of football [soccer] what with the EPL closing in on the end of its season and MLS and NWSL both just starting. Watching a lot of football [soccer] has me for the first time wondering why we Americans assign the name ‘football’ to a sport where the (non-spherical) ball is more often carried or thrown rather than kicked. Sometimes I consider using futball for the kick-the-ball sport and football for the NFL sport, but then that makes me seem like I’m posing as a European or something.

New Toy Segment

Oh and tangential to what we’re watching… I decided to buy an Apple TV. We’d been using a Google TV w/Chromecast streaming device and it worked well, but a few things aligned. First, for some reason Halo on Paramount+ on the GTV stuttered a lot. As weird as this sounds I found other reports of this specific show (and one other, which I’ve forgotten) on this specific service streaming on this specific device, stuttering. So it wasn’t just us. Second, I discovered there’s a free service called NWSL+ that lets you stream replays of all (I think?) the NWSL games, but the app isn’t available on Android devices, but it is on iOS devices. Third, the GTV was full and I kept having to remove apps to install new ones (there are work-arounds for this involving external USB storage), and fourth, I just was having that “Need a new toy” itch.

So I bought the biggest, fanciest Apple TV 4K with 128 GB of storage and an ethernet port. @partpurple was dubious; this thing is stupid-expensive ($149) compared to the GTV 4K ($50) but it turns out, I was right for once. It is super snappy to use and we both swear content looks better. Maybe this is observational bias or maybe I had something set wrong with the GTV, but we’re both pretty happy with the purchase so far.


Slowing working through Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski (it’s one of The Witcher novels) but mostly just while I’m out walking the dog and she decides to flop down in a patch of grass for a while.

And that’s the recap for this month! Guess it was longer than I expected. I just talk too much.

2 thoughts on “March 2024

  1. I need to watch the second season of Sweettooth. I liked the first but when the second dropped I started on the second and immediately remembered ther very disturbing ending of season one, which made me drop it immediately. It’s a good show though so I ought to get over that and see how it turns out. I’m sure it won’t be totally horrible or no-one would come back for season three.

    1. I honestly don’t remember the ending of Season 1 so now I’m worried!!

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