Game Challenge 2020 - Whalee Review

I wanted to avoid hitting this point, as I felt I “failed”

Midway through November I have come to realize I will not complete my 2020 game challenge. Well that is in regards to the “tiers” or"modes". Whilst the “challenge” might be a failure the goal was not.

My First Game
My first game off this list was one I never would have played without the push from categories. I recall looking at “magic satchel” thinking wtf could that possibly relate to - upon googling I found the “bag of holding”. I know this bag from Dungeons and Dragons tabletop but I have never come across within a game, so I went searching. Eventually I found “Heretic” a game by ID after their success of Doom, when I looked further I found the greatness of modding communities and I could play it in an updated engine.

At first I found it difficult to get into as I had not played an FPS from that era before, after a while this changed and I got hooked. Once I got towards the end of the levels turn more into puzzle, similar to what I have seen in games like Dungeon Keeper. This change was wonderful and I loved jumping in to try and “solve” them. I loved every moment and this was the moment that the real goal of the Game Challenge clicked - find those games you would have never played but provide the gameplay you never knew you needed.

When I set the goal to add one of these games to the list, it filled me with a determination not to give up and move to another game as I have been so prone to do. Games like Long Live the Queen, that I had played and enjoyed but got distracted and never came back to, suddenly I could stick to over multiple nights and, all I can say is it was worth it. Again, I found a lot of games I had enjoyed but never stuck to, and suddenly I was getting all this extra from them which in most cases, again, was wonderful.

Overcoming Fear
For a long time I have been easily startled and this has limited my ability to play games regardless of how interested I am in them. As an example, I usually play Fallout in 3rd person or in endless sneak so I know when to expect enemies without them “scaring me”. This challenge helped me set a new goal.

Stop being scared.

I realize this is an odd statement, but for me, this was always limiting whenever I saw games I was really interested in the setting of, but I could not play as I would get spooked. This started with games like Bioshock and Prey (prey being a game I always loved from afar as I was too scared to play). At first I would get scared quite frequently needing to play in bursts or run away from the computer, eventually this moved to games like Metro Exodus and the Stalker series, I even completed F.E.A.R 1 and 2 (though Stalker games were far scarier imo). In FEAR 2 and Stalker Clear Sky I found I was not being startled as much so I tried another game someone recommended as quite spooky - Dead Space. The amount of times I felt scared during dead space was minimal, and I found I had overcome another situation that usually scared the hell out of me - characters running at you.

I feel I still need to play a scarier game to test my growth, and Alien Isolation was free on EPIC today, so I know what’s next! I even want to take this idea further and use it to overcome my illogical fear of spiders, at times they quite literally paralyze me with fear IRL and it would be great to remove this issue from my day to day life.

2020 Overall
Like many I began to stream (no self promo), I have no desire to become a streamer (i have a pretty good job) but the mentality of “streaming” a game really helps me stick to games until their completion - despite few or no viewers I feel an obligation to complete a game once I start.

This year I have completed many series, alot kicked off due to the challenge and a partial issue with why I did not complete the challenge. Next year I have a better idea of how to take part, where I filled in as I went this year it in ways limited my experiences - I didn’t go looking. Next year I will set out my base categories and games and go from there, hopefully helping my completion!

I look forward to seeing how the rest of you have fared!

Link to Game Challenge 2020

Link to Games Completed 2020


This is really interesting to me. One of the reasons I’ve shied away from doing these challenges is that I never wanted to be tied into playing something I didn’t “want” to play. I sort of have a similar experience of enjoying unlikely games from when we used to do a game club podcast here once a month. I would have never played Danganronpa, except we chose that for one of our monthly games, and I ended up loving it. Even knowing that experience, I still have this thing in the back of my mind that I don’t want to be forced to play things. Reading something like this reminds me to get out of my comfort zone sometimes.

You’re welcome to promo if you want! I don’t know if it’ll help much, but I like seeing regular community members posting their stuff occasionally. It’s also interesting to read that you felt like it gave you a push to finish games despite a limited audience. I’ve often wondered if we should do some kind of regular Grouvee stream, but I’ve got the same fear of being forced to play games when I don’t want to. I hope it’s a positive feeling for you!

We need to figure out a way to get more people involved in these challenges. The people that do them I think get a lot out of them, but I realize that it’s really hard for people to stick with them. Thanks for sticking with it and posting your thoughts!

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I definitely had some that I just hit “nope I am never playing this game” with, but mostly it helped me get over the hump where the game starts to click and become enjoyable. Definitely want to avoid playing a game you don’t want to, i’ve done it in the past and it just led me to stop playing games because there was one I was “supposed” to play haha.

Yeah stream is pretty much more for me to help get through games haha, I have had people be like you should play this. Nup, this ain’t that kind of stream :’) But, I am not aiming for any type of success with it, if anything that would just make it more annoying imo.

The challenges are great, I was pre occupied so didn’t take part in the monthly retro or anything but regular “check ins” seem like it’d be cool to discuss with people thoughts on games and the like

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