Three Games That The Agent Is Playing Now: Chrono.gg Edition

Well, I’ve been keeping busy these last few day with Halloween preparations and new management at work (we actually have a meeting about it today, so I have to make this quick), so I’m just going to put out one of my short and simple lists today because I’m not a fan of not having anything for you all on Thursdays.

So, I’m going to talk about the games that I’ve been playing lately… but with a twist. The catch is that all of these games were obtained through Chrono.gg.

For those that have not yet heard, Chrono.gg is probably one of the most useful resources a PC gamer and Steam user has at their disposal. Every day at noon (Eastern Standard Time), they have a new flash sale with one game marked down at a ridiculously low price – often 50-90 percent off the original price.

Even if there isn’t a game on sale that day that you’re interested in, it’s still worth logging in to check because you get daily coin rewards that you can use to get other games FOR FREE. These games are sold in limited quantities and new games get added every two weeks. So, there’s always a reason to show up every day.

So, today, I’m going to give this amazing service some free publicity by showcasing the games that I got through them that I haven’t been able to put down.

Loot Hound

Some of the most consistently enjoyable games I find on Chrono.gg are simple time wasters that are useful for just chilling out after getting home from work. Hence why I keep coming back to Loot Hound.

You play as an enthusiastic treasure hunter/dog lover in search of random bobbles and bric-a-brac. You have to train your three dogs – Marley (who specializes in digging through rocky terrain), Wifi (who’s small enough to fit into small hidey-holes) and Mr. Anderson (who can scare off stubborn wild animals in your way) – to be the best loot hounds they can be while dodging park security.

There’s not much in the way of strategy; the answer to any problem often boils down to use the right dog for the task and make sure they’re trained up properly to overcome obstacles. But, I can appreciate a game with a simple premise if it’s done right. And this game is just so bright and cheery with a light-hearted sense of humor (at one point, your dog will dig a steak out of the dirt and the game will call it “GROUND Beef”) that it’s quickly becoming my go-to title for unwinding at the end of the day.

Odallus: The Dark Call

Shifting away from bright and cheerful for just a second, let’s have some fun with old school, dark gothic fantasy.

Odallus: The Dark Call is a lot of things. It combines the level progression of Ghouls & Ghosts, the branching paths of Demon’s Crest and the overall visual aesthetic and many combat mechanics from classic Castlevania games. You’d think that would be a case of the game trying to do too much at once, but if you can ignore the clumsy writing and dialog, it plays extraordinarily well and handles exactly like you would expect a retro throwback game would.

By the way, I didn’t pick those three game comparisons at random; the developers REALLY want you to know that they were inspired by those games in particular. In addition to ripping the overworld map directly from Ghouls & Ghosts, they recycle a lot of art assets from various Castlevania games and modeled quite a few bosses from baddies in Demon’s Crest. What’s more, when I bought this from Chrono.gg, it came bundled with three DLC skin packs – the Vampire Hunter, the Royal Knight and the Red Gargoyle.

Creative bankruptcy aside, this is still a fun play and was a steal at only two dollars.

Plasma Puncher

Ending back on the cute and silly, I’ve heard of Endless Runners, but this may be the first case I’ve heard of an ‘Endless Beat ’em Up.’

Plasma Puncher puts you in the role of a lone white blood cell fighting off a seemingly endless army of viral infectors. It’s your duty to fisticuffs every one of them into oblivion and save the body you call home.

As you progress, you’ll have to upgrade your little badass antibody, learn how to use various power ups to maximum potential, and quickly acclimate to new enemies with every incoming wave that alters their strategy. It’s pick-up-and-play style of game that still provides a fair amount of challenge.

If you seek out any of these games today, this would be the one I’d recommend the most.

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Reader Request: Thanksgiving, Shopping, and The ‘Black Thursday’ Push-back

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My feelings on Thanksgiving shopping summed up in a quick drawing. (side note holidays were REAL interesting back on campus).

A reader requested last week that I take some time to discuss the current climate of the retail sector and it’s attitude towards Thanksgiving in a, “fact-based article.” I couldn’t deny that it was a topic that fell in several of my wheel houses, so I agreed to give it a go.

For those not in the know, several big name stores started moving up their Black Friday sales to Thanksgiving Day. The logic of this change is that retailers are afraid that most of the spending cash that people have will be gone by Friday.

But this movement has been met with quite a bit of disgust by employees and consumers alike who believe that holidays like Thanksgiving should be spent with family according to interviews by WCPO.

Of course, it seems that many stores share the sentiment. As a result, the list of retailers that refuse to open on Thanksgiving Day trump the list that will and continues to grow. Even GameStop, a retailer that I despise as a gamer (note to self: consider writing a take-down article on GameStop in the future), earned some respect from me by giving their workers the day to stay with their families.

The fact of the matter is this; the entire concept of the Thanksgiving/Black Friday sale is antiquated and obsolete. The advent of modern telecommunications and online shopping renders the need to camp outside of stores for hours and trample people to death (Seriously, check out the stories. It’s a damn horror show) completely unnecessary.

And what about the fears of people running out of disposable income before the sales? Well, most Americans tend to get paid biweekly on a Friday. So, wouldn’t you think that the best time to go for someone’s wallet would be that coming Saturday – usually the second or fourth one of the month? That’s when people have the most cash to spend AND when they are actively looking to spend it.

Now, I am willing to give a few businesses a pass on staying open on Thanksgiving and other holidays. After all, the grocery stores need to provide those last minute fixings for the family dinner they forgot about. Also, speaking as someone who works in the hospitality industry at a local inn/spa, families rejoining across states or even countries need a place to stay. That being said, there are ways to give everyone what they want.

Using myself as an example, everyone has to work on thanksgiving at the inn. However, we are given the opportunity to choose when we would like to come in (seniority has first dibs, naturally) and we all only have to work for half of our normal shift. What’s more, we earn double our normal rate of pay for our trouble.

So, in terms of the counter-response to this ‘Black Thursday’, I’m glad to see so many people joining in on the movement. Many of us do the work we do to support our families to begin with, so it stands that we should be given time to enjoy the company of the people we work for on the days when it matters most.

Don’t forget; you can submit your own Reader Request ideas on my Twitter and Facebook pages. Just send your topic to one of them with the hashtag #AARequest. If I like it, I’ll be sure to use it.