12th of August, 2022
Hello! Welcome back to our regular feature where we write a little bit about some of the games we've found ourselves playing over the last few days. This time: donuts, imps, and stealth Destiny.
If you fancy catching up on some of the older editions of What We've Been Playing, here's our archive.
Donut County, Xbox
Donut County is a game about controlling a sink hole. You move around encouraging parts of the landscape to fall into it, and over time the hole gets bigger so you can encourage bigger things to fall into it.
This is deeply pleasing. Donut County obeys the Katamari rules of escalation - incrementally you get to work on a bigger scale, so while you start with rocks and grass and tins, by the end you're swallowing the Griffith Park Observatory.
My favourite part of the game is probably the material change that comes over things once you're big enough to damage them. Things are heavy and fixed at first, but once you're a hole to be reckoned with they become bouncy and knockabout, like plastic tubs.
Donut County's a wonderful puzzler with some intricate late-game stuff. And I've discovered this week that it's impossible to see it on a telly without being drawn in.
Among Us, Xbox
Among Us' language entered our house before the game did. My daughter was suddenly talking about things being sus, and accusing us of being the imp. This went on for weeks, and then we started to play and it all makes sense.
This is one of those massive games that had completely passed me by. My daughter watched videos about it and chatted to friends in the playground - I think they even played a bit of live action Among Us. But now we have it on Xbox, we're all transfixed.
You know the deal by now, I'm sure: if you're innocent you knock about the map doing your jobs and trying to stay alive. If you're the imposter, you try to look innocent while isolating people and then murdering them when nobody's looking.
Regular meetings - sometimes triggered by the discovery of bodies - encourage you to vote on who might be the impostor. We are very bad at getting this right in our house. But the best bit of the game - the part with the most mystery and pathos - is when whoever got the most votes disappears out the airlock and into space.
Destiny 2, Xbox
Out of all Destiny 2's seasonal events, Solstice is by far my favourite. Perhaps because it lands during the quiet summer release period, allowing myself to sink into Destiny 2 guilt free, or that I'm a sucker for new glowing armour sets, but Solstice is one of the few Destiny 2 grinds I become fully invested in.
Unfortunately, this year's event was a bit of a misstep. There were some significant changes to how things worked, and most not for the better, turning what was a lengthy but pleasant checklist of pottering around the solar system into something far more repetitive and cumbersome. At least the EAZ, a fun, gravity-defying map which sees you ping around rooftops and floating rocks, remains largely intact.
All the same, as an excuse to check back into Destiny 2, I embraced Solstice with open arms. I'm now caught up with the Season of the Haunted storyline - it's been a pleasure to return to a (literal) old haunt with the Leviathan - and on the meta side of things, I've discovered Resilience is a stat I should really be paying attention to. In this regard, this was something the event was useful for, allowing you to re-roll rewards with this in mind, allowing you to rely less on luck to get the perfect armour set.
There's something about Destiny 2's layers of busywork during these events - writing a checklist of event requirements, lining them up against any outstanding season challenges and daily bounties, then ticking them off as efficiently as possible - that I can't help but find very satisfying. Even if things don't improve much next year, I'll always carve out some time in my summer for Solstice. More glowing armour alone will be worth it.
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