So a few years ago I did monthly recap posts, and honestly they mostly stressed me out because I felt like I needed to recount EVERYTHING I did in that month and also I couldn’t possibly publish ANY other blogs before my monthly recap and ALSO if I didn’t get the blog out on day two at the LATEST then I was a FAILURE and well…
Let’s try monthly recaps again. But waaay less pressure, mmkay?
We’re also, to reflect the pivot my blog has taken in the past year or so, going to focus on the gaming / geeky stuff I’ve done, and any general life stuff will just be a fun addition. So let’s get on with it!
Games I played
February is the shortest month, but you wouldn’t guess by the list of things I’ve done this month. Honestly, when I decided to go back to monthly recaps, I was a little worried I would be lacking for things to report on… not likely!
So this is likely to be a big feature most months – although I tend to prefer megagames, escape rooms and other immersive experiences, board games are a lot easier to fit into a busy life!
Right at the start of the month, Becky and Matt’s wedding got us off to a great start. Rather than boogieing away on the dance floor til the early hours, we played a range of games, including, but not limited to: Klask, Age of War, Codenames, Carcassone and Eye Poo Cats.
Despite saying that we would fit in a game of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective or two before going back to our old favourite, Tim and I started another run of Arkham Horror. This time we’re playing as William Yorick (me) and Akachi Onyele (Tim) and taking on Return to the Dunwich Legacy. It’s already not going great…
And later in the month, Tim and I met up with Becky and Matt as part of our trip to explore Manchester, and squeezed in a quick game of Ascension. It’s also kind of a video game (well, a mobile game in fact), but we played the board game version.
Also in Manchester we visited The Gem Runner at Lucardo Manchester. It was a fantastic room, featuring tons of cool puzzles and innovative ideas, and I’m itching to share my review of the room with you!
Although Gem Runner was the only “proper” escape room I did, I decided to group Key Enigma in here. Although the version I played was their online-only demo, they have recently launched their “Escape Room In A Box”, and if it’s half as good as the demo then it will blow you away. The demo is still available on their website – omg do it.
Tbh I don’t think of myself as a video gamer particularly. But apparently I’m more of one than I thought, given the range I played last month. Honestly though, I think that boils down to the fact that I visited my younger brother, Geran, in his new house!
Geran has a busy YouTube channel (which I thoroughly recommend you check out), so he was happy to introduce me to a few of his recent discoveries. First off, we played Gang Beasts, a “jellybaby fighting game” as he describes it. Think Super Smash Bros but you’re a grabby jelly blob.
Seeing him also inspired me to check out a few of his videos, and it was his First Impressions of a particular ship-based mystery game which introduced me to maybe my favourite video game of all time – which unfortunately you can only play once. Return of the Obra Dinn allows you to explore the conundrum of what took place onboard this ship which has floated back into harbour. Some of the controls are a bit clunky but it’s so so worth it if you’re into problem solving and mystery games.
We also finally scheduled in some gaming time with Ellie and Callum, our friends who are living in Japan at the moment. We usually play board games like Arkham Horror LCG or Battle of Hogwarts, but long-distance means video games are far easier.
We chose Jackbox, a boxset of various party games including Push The Button (similar to Werewolf, work out who the alien is), Quiplash (a respond-to-the-prompt game) and Rolemodels (a social game where you decide which person in your group is Most <ATTRIBUTE>). Will definitely be playing those again, so let me know your Jackbox suggestions.
I’m also going to mention the mobile games I’ve been playing. I get addicted to quite a lot of reasonably crappy mobile games – this month it’s been Godus and 2048 3D.
We kicked off the Pennine meeting calendar this month with a meetup in Leeds. It was a super successful meeting where we managed to hammer down the process for 2021 games already, and got to playtest some elements of Patrick Rose’s upcoming Running Hot pre-cyberpunk megagame. Unfortunately I will be off on honeymoon when it’s run, but it’s great to see it shaping up!
Aaand right at the end of the month we managed to squeeze in our first megagame of the year. Last time I played Crisis in Elysium, I was the Governor of Mars. This time I was High Priest of Church of the True Martians, and was delighted to discover that not only did the True Martians exist, but we managed to obtain a magical
mind-control truth-revealing crown that would instantly convert anyone to our faith!
Crisis is actually the only megagame I’m making it to before my wedding, so I think my megacount will be down a little this year.
TV shows, films, music, etc
February has been the month when I’ve got obsessed with two fantastic musicals. First it was Six The Musical, which is a modern retelling of the six wives of Henry VIII. The songs are EPIC, particularly those of my favourite two wives, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard (what do you mean, you don’t have favourite wives of Henry VIII?). I’ve also booked to go see the show when it comes to Leeds in June, yay!
The second musical I’m now obsessed with is Hamilton. Yes, I’m very late to that bandwagon. Tim has been telling me I’d love it for probably at least a year, and I finally listened to all the songs. Fave character? Obviously Angelica Schuyler. Favoute song? Tbh it changes daily and right now it’s Quiet Uptown.
For Valentine’s Day, Tim and I went to see 1917 (so romantic, right?). It was actually my suggestion – I really like the sound of the innovative filming technique where it all appears to be a single shot – note that the longest shot was actually about 8 minutes (which is still pretty long tbh). It actually reminded me a lot of a third-person video game due to the filming style.
I’ve also been LOVING the latest season of Doctor Who. While I’m not the biggest fan of the companions (they’re all a bit one-dimensional), I’m loving Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and Sacha Dhawan’s Master. And pologies for the spoiler, but when Jack Barrowman appeared on screen I literally screamed then burst into tears. Happy tears <3
A bit of a pivot, but I also really enjoyed The Masked Singer, a singing competition show. The celebrity contestants competed wearing elaborate costumes that disguised their looks and speaking voice – the only thing real was their singing! They also took part in VTs where they gave cryptic clues to their identities. I only wish I knew more celebrities so I’d been better at guessing them.
February also meant it was time for my annual watching of Groundhog Day natch.
Quick wedding update
This might be more interesting if I’d been doing this all along – with under two months to go there isn’t much left on our to-do list! (That’s a lie.)
It was a very tasty month – we not only got to choose the food for our own wedding, but we also got to attend a tasting evening at the venue for Ellie and Callum’s wedding, since they couldn’t exactly nip over from Japan for it. We also tasted the brownies which we’re having rather than a traditional wedding cake. Om nom.
We’ve also been working on the table plan and the table centres, as well as putting together various bits of stationery. And most excitingly we’ve been working on our wedding game. It’s a bit of a venture and I think it’s going to be a little more complicated than we originally planned, but I don’t want to give too much away before the day.
And we’ve also received our wedding rings from Philip Stoner (same place as my engagement ring is from), and I bought my something blue – a TARDIS bouquet charm!
Other stuff I’ll remember
This section is just to list some of the other weird stuff that happened that I’ll remember from February 2020.
First up, did it seem to anyone else that EVERY weekend in February was a big storm? From Ciara to Dennis to Jorge, I was so sick of wind and rain by the end of it. My road even flooded during Ciara, which was dramatic, but it had all dried up by the next morning, so no flood day from work.
Aaaand naturally it’s been the month that coronavirus tensions have really amped up. Here’s hoping that by the time I publish the next one of these, we’ll know a lot more about the disease and its spread will be more under control.
But in happier news, February also meant Pancake Day, where Tim and I suitably stuffed ourselves with Smores pancakes.
I’ve got lots of exciting plans for March! As of right now, I’m on my way back from London where I attended four completely different gaming events: Moonlight Hustle as part of the Vault Festival, an escape room at Time Trap in Reading, a murder mystery party with friends, and a meeting with the Megagame Makers.
I’m also looking forward to attending Airecon, an analogue gaming convention in Harrogate. Along with some friends, we’re taking part in the Contact Starship Training Program (a spaceship simulator game), plus I’m sure there’ll be tons of board gaming opps.
And finally, we’ve got a few more exciting wedding milestones ahead of us, including our final meeting with the venue, my dress fitting and my hair and makeup trial!