How about the video game Silent Hill 2?
“Yahtzee, did you play Signalis?”
“Yahtzee, have you heard of Pentiment?”
“Yahtzee, are you aware of the concept of video
Yes, I am somewhat cognizant of video games,
many I haven’t reviewed because what ends up
getting the Zero Punctuation treatment is decided
by a highly complex algorithm, a very small part
of which is affected by commenters dribbling in
my ear like a watering can trying to fill a sinkhole.
2022 probably set a record for most number of
games people kept vocally recommending at me,
usually on the basis that they’re like other
games what I like, which is flawed logic.
“Oh Yahtzee, you like masturbation, have you
tried taking a sausage roll out of its casing
over and over again?”
So I figured, let’s cover them in the 2022
roundup of games I didn’t review and maybe
they’ll finally shut the fuck up.
And as long as I’m dreaming, I’d also like a
Phwoar crikey could nobody shut the fuck up about
this one, probably because it’s like Silent Hill
2 and liking Silent Hill 2 is the closest thing I
have to religion.
But Signalis isn’t merely influenced by Silent
Hill 2, it feels more like the result of someone
having played nothing but Silent Hill 2 for ten
years and assuming that’s just how you make games.
So it’s this retro-style survival horror about
robot anime girls in an oppressive vaguely
Germanic space future that cribs a few plot
points and quite a bit more than a few gameplay
elements, motifs and atmospheric touches from
Silent Hill 2, right down to the glowing red save
points and jumping down holes fetish.
Still, it was doing enough to forge an identity
of it’s own, but I didn’t finish it because I
lost patience with the limited inventory system
that meant I could explore all of about three
rooms before my robot anime girl’s Hello Kitty
branded fanny pack was full and I had to head
back to the save point room to offload six ammo
clips I had very little use for because I swiftly
learned that combat is a mug’s game when the bad
robot anime girls are rude enough to keep getting
back up after a very firm shotgun to the anime
knackers but weirdly polite enough not to pursue
you through doors.
It was all a bit too obscure for me, as well,
although that might be because the game wouldn’t
let me carry a flashlight without using up an
What, you couldn’t hold it in your fucking mouth?
Or is that a faux pas for robots?
Like, it’s the equivalent of performing
cunnilingus on a small dog?
Case of the Golden Idol
Next in the world of things what you’ll like ‘cos
it’s like what you already like, like, a game
like Return of the Obra Dinn if it was smaller,
less cohesive and depicted entirely with Fuzzy Felt.
In Golden Idol we play a hypothetical bodyless
essence that for each mission must flit around
the final moment of some poor bugger’s life
rummaging through the pockets of everyone present
and then fill in some blanks on a form to show
that we comprehended the text.
So it’s a deductive puzzle game with slightly off-
puttingly MS Painty graphics.
I wish it had better ways to catalogue the
information we find, and I didn’t have to keep
ducking in and out of people’s trousers to
confirm the details in the incriminating diaries
they’re all ill-advisedly carrying.
But it’s an amusing little brainteaser while it
lasts and it builds a story that’s fun enough to
look back on and piece together once you reach
As long as you can get past the fact that it
looks like my old Amiga 600 threw up on a
Victorian decorative hearth rug.
Continuing the theme, this one’s like Disco
Elysium, except it’s about a cyborg in the future
and instead of watching a pair of sideburns self-
sabotage for fifteen hours you watch the exterior
of a space station for five.
It’s a neat little automated D&D campaign text
adventure sort of game where you’re a tiny
confused scrap of a person temporarily passing
through this vast, incomprehensible world full of
different threads to follow until you can find
some continued existence to fall into, your path
decided by dice rolls against your stats.
It suffers a bit from letting you level up enough
to be basically good at everything by the end,
but I found it an absorbing and ultimately very
human story about space people with egg whisks for feet.
Sunday Gold is a point and click adventure set in
dystopian future London and transparently not
made by people from London because everyone
pronounces “twat” wrong, and attempts to merge
the point and click puzzling stuff with turn
based role playing.
Doing anything costs action points, you have to
end your turn to get more, and there’s a risk
baddies will spawn in when you do that.
It certainly stops me brute forcing puzzles by
going down every key, piece of paper and rotting
chicken carcass in my inventory and rubbing them
on everything in the environment, but you use the
same action points in the turn based combat and
if you end combat with no AP left and go back to
point and click land, you immediately have to end
your turn and there’s a chance of getting
straight into another combat.
Potentially infinite combat but limited healing
items doesn’t add up on your game design tax
return, I’m afraid, Sunday Gold, so swing and a
miss, but I admire an experimental spirit.
That’s why I tried to mix rose petal liqueur with
In my last video I began to open up about my
struggle with soulslike fatigue, and it was while
playing Thymesia that I realised I had a problem.
It’s kinda like Bloodborne but with a plague
doctor motif, and I stopped playing at the game’s
first actual boss fight after I finally
gruellingly nibbled their first health bar away
and it unzipped its trousers to reveal a second
one, at which point I went “This is too hard and
I’m not having fun.
What happened to me?
I used to happily slam myself up against the
Gaping Dragon all night long.”
It could be that I hated Thymesia’s unique
combat gimmick where your hits only count if you
get your other weapon out to give a second
opinion, but Soulslikes in general have been
fighting this arms race to keep pushing things
even harder and borderline unfair, and at some
point I feel I got left behind.
“Why does everything have to keep beating me up?
Why can’t I play a game about…
being a friendly bear who makes pancakes?”
Bear and Breakfast
Well that’s more like it.
Bear and Breakfast is about as cozy as cozy games
get without being printed on a tea towel.
We play a bear who lives in the woods on the
fringe of human civilization, who in stark
contrast to basically 100% of everything else
with this setting, really likes human
encroachment upon nature and wants more of it to
happen so they can have more of our delicious trash.
So they set up and rent out a bunch of holiday
cabins in a light crafting management game.
I want Bear and Breakfast to get together with
Endling: Extinction is Forever, they’ll probably
end up fist fighting in a car park.
Anyway, it was providing the cozy light sim
experience I wanted until about the two thirds
mark when I realised that since furniture has
different stats and there’s no real shortage of
materials, optimal play is to just furnish every
single room with the same shit, and I wanted to
play a game about a bear who makes pancakes, not
one who has to single-handedly construct a chain
of budget motels where the staff spend three
hours every morning cleaning out the suicide victims.