Games in June... Post-Surgery Distractions

I had gallbladder surgery at the beginning of June, and between low energy and shoddy vision that left me unable to read for more than a week, video games and TV were my only way to pass the time. I watched several seasons of Great British Baking Show, played many many hours of Hearthstone, and tried a few other games for a change of pace. I may be forgetting one, but these are the games I played during my weeks of recovery.


Stardew Valley on Steam 

Stardew Valley

I’ve known about Stardew Valley for years but never really bothered to play it because the mood wasn’t right, I guess. I decided to give it a go, being stuck on the couch as I was, and for the most part, I really enjoyed it! It was a really nice distraction from post-surgery pain and brain fog, but only just. It’s a very grindy game, which is fine, but after a few days of playing, I got a little bored with it. I don’t know if more of a story develops at some point in the game, but I got bored of the repetition, with no real end goal in sight. I think it’s a fine enough game to pick up now and then, but not one I want to dedicate a lot of attention to at once.

Heaven's Vault for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Game Details 

Heaven’s Vault

I so badly wanted to love this game. It’s an award winning game by Inkle, the same studio who did the Sorcery! games, which I absolutely loved years ago, so I thought I would really enjoy it. The concept hooked me immediately—archaeology, lost languages, puzzles, interplanetary travel, and a mystery to boot! It’s everything I love! However, when I started to play, I almost immediately lost interest. I don’t know if it was the combination of post-surgery brain fog, pain medicine, or the difficulty of reading the text from the distance between the couch and the TV, but I found it really boring. I tried picking it up a few more times after that first week, but I could never really get into it. The puzzles with the language translations are really obtuse, and for the most part, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing or where I was supposed to go at any given time. The art was really pretty, but the gameplay itself was too jarring, awkward, and difficult to follow. I gave up on it.

Untitled Goose Game on Steam 

Untitled Goose Game

An easy favorite for most people who pick it up, Untitled Goose Game is a relatively mindless game, solving puzzles while causing chaos and being a silly goose. I greatly enjoyed playing through it, though I didn’t come close to finding all the hidden quests or completing it 100%. It was probably the best distraction in those early days of recovery.


Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity trailer and image gallery | Nintendo Wire

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

I came back to Age of Calamity after the trailer for the sequel to Breath of the Wild aired at Nintendo's E3 event, craving more Link and Zelda adventure, but I only managed to play a few bursts of 20-30 minutes before putting it down again. I think I'm just not the kind of gamer Hyrule Warriors and that style of game is intended for. It's way too intense and demanding, even on the easiest possible mode. It's not difficult. It's just too stressful and fast-paced for me to truly enjoy it. There is just so much going on. I want to keep playing because the little bits of story that are interspersed throughout the game are really great, but I think it's something I'll have to tackle one level at a time. Maybe I'll finish it before the next game in the series releases.

Donut County - Original Soundtrack on Steam 

Donut County

This was a weird one I found on Xbox Game Pass. You start the game as a raccoon donut delivery guy, who instead of delivering donuts, delivers a hole to the address that you then control to consume everything in sight. It’s like a weird version of Katamari. It was a fun little distraction, but the levels are too small and too short, I think, and the game is bogged down by a lot of back-and-forth between characters. There is a little bit of a story, but I feel like they could have scaled back on the dialogue quite a bit. It’s a silly game, and you can pretty quickly skip all of the dialogue, so if you have the Xbox Game Pass, you might give it a go. (Though, it just made me want to play Katamari again.)


Call of the Sea | Xbox 

Call of the Sea

This was probably my favorite game that I played during recovery, by far. I did a write up for the blog last month, in case you missed it, but it was absolutely everything I could have asked for in a puzzle-based mystery adventure game. It delivered on everything that I had hoped Heaven’s Vault would be and totally blew me away. I highly recommend it. 

Mass Effect™ Legendary Edition - EA Official Site

Mass Effect

My husband and I had our anniversary while I was recovering from surgery, and he gifted me Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. He’s played through all of the main games, but I never have—not being the biggest science fiction person. When the Legendary Edition was announced, I thought it could be cool to play through them for the first time, but I held off on buying it as I was busy playing other games at the moment. I haven’t gotten very far (I just left the Citadel on my first mission as Commander of the Normandy) but I’m enjoying it a lot. I like the focus on dialogue and spending as much time as you want exploring an area, or a subject, and the number of side quests available so far. I made an older, gray-haired Commander Shepherd named Selena, and I’m leaning toward Paragon. (Though I accidentally messed up one quest and ended up getting some points in Renegade. Oops.) I’m looking forward to continuing the story.