Weekend Whammy: Anno 1800 Is Ace, And More Weed Chat

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The weekend has somehow been and gone yet again, leaving me naked in a puddle with no idea who I am, why I am or just why in general. To be fair, though, it isn’t just the weekend that has this effect on me. Mondays do, too, as well as Tuesdays. Wednesdays as well, now that I think about it. And Thursdays. Oh, and Fridays.

So this week I put out a review of Weedcraft Inc which proved to be a fun little strategy game about growing cannabis and selling it on for a profit. As much as I enjoyed the game, though, I found myself more intrigued by the story of how publishing it was a pain in the arse. Devolver Digital spoke to Techcrunch and said: This is definitely the hardest game I’ve had to market, and that’s saying something. It has been a fucking nightmare. The fact that we’re still so afraid of a topic like weed instead of the murder simulators you can market any time, anywhere, it’s shocking.”

He’s not wrong. Devolver Digital has faced problems with social media bans and Youtube videos being demonetized, yet incredibly violent games don’t even raise an eyebrow. But the game industry as a whole has always been rather strange: shooting is fine, but sex is terrifying! While the movie industry has no problems with things like sex, violence, drugs, booze and other things, the gaming industry continues to shy away from topics like those. It holds back games as a whole. Thankfully while console platforms informed Devolver Digital that their game would never hit the “featured” parts of their stores (which is a death sentence, really) Steam and GOG didn’t have any objections.

The point is, there’s still a fear within gaming to explore topics and ideas that have long been widely accepted within other industries. Maybe there’s still a feeling that gaming is for children, hence Sony and Microsoft’s dislike of anything remotely risqué. It’s something we need to get past, though. If mowing down dozens of people in shooters, running over people in cars and other acts of violence are perfectly okay, why isn’t sex? Or weed?

I also got sent a copy of World War Z for review, a new co-op third-person shooter based on the film from a few years back. It draws plenty of inspiration from Left 4 Dead. And really there’s not a lot to say about it: it’s basic gaming action, but has a few cool things I’ll detail in my review.

Anno 1800 also came in for review. Last week I mentioned that I had no prior experience with the series and due to a lack of funds I wasn’t going to be covering it, but with review code available I fired it up and…I dunno where my life went. I love a good city-builder and by god Anno 1800 is a good city-builder. There’s a lot of information and concepts to absorb, though, and the campaign doesn’t do a great a job of explaining a lot of it. For any readers out there already playing Anno 1800 I’d suggest checking this video out if you’re struggling.