January 2, 2023 | 07:40

Year in Review: 2022

I have never done one of these before, but based on inspiration of other blogs I have read recently, and the Steam Replay. I figured I would go over my year in Books, Games (both video and board), and Hardware.

A little note, I became a father at the beginning of the year, and it might explain the weird skew of gaming, books, and hardware. Just food for thought. I rarely give 5/5s, they are reserved for exceptionally good things. a 3/5 means its generally good, but has issues.

Video Games

I will start with Video games, since I have support from Steam on what I played. I will go in order of time played. I will be kind of short on some of these, there isn’t much to say outside of what is said in general reviews.

Lost Ark

This was a fairly anticipated launch, and it went just about as well as any MMO launch, and that is not so well. But, being the experience MMO enthusiest, I was prepared for the enevitability and managed to enjoy myself through the game.

This also launched just as my daughter was born, so a good 75% of my game time was with 1 hand, while I held my sleeping baby in the other, it was a good time. I had to buy a special mouse to deal with this (more on that later.

Now, for the game, it’s a fairly fun grindfest with a cash shop. I spent little money on it, and it eventually slowed me down enough where it wasn’t worth the effort, plus my daughter was transitioning from a sleeping lump, to a more active human being, so my time quickly depleted for gaming and side projects.

Overall, the game is good for 3-4 months, the classes are fun, the dungeons and boss fights are engaging and different, but it gets very very repetitive and easy to fall behind if not spending a little money every month.

Doesn’t help that it runs on Unreal Engine 3, and has a lot of performance issues.

Another reason I stopped playing, is I switched fully to Linux on my gaming devices, and Lost ark devs have not flipped the switch to allow Linux EAC to work. In regions where they don’t use EAC, it works flawlessly on linux, so its purely a corporate decision to not let Linux work.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

New World

More recently, I played quite a bit of New world at launch, and then with the new revamped release.

I do have to say the game is VASTLY improved from launch and quite a lot of fun. I made it much much further, lots of quests, new things to do, new player experience is much better, and so on. I only really stopped playing because of the WoW expansion launch, many other games, and some side proejcts, which just ate up the little free time I had.

I definitely enjoy some of the new weapons, but a Hatchet is still one of my preferred weapons.

I played quite a bit of this on my SteamDeck, works fairly well though, but definitely some frame skipping on more hectic scenes. But I got to level 40 exclusively through the Deck.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Disco Elysium

This one took me a while to finish, I did it all in July, but it was quite fun. It a bit dark and brutal, but there is a nice philosophical angle to everything, lots of things to ponder and develop about yourself, let along the protagonist.

There is quite a bit of customization to the progression of the story, and your choices do matter for a lot of things. It is well worth the time, as long as you are ok with playing a darker setting, with an alcoholic bastard that is the main character.

The game is an 2.5D isometric view, lots of puzzles, conversations, and dice roll mechanics. This game is lots of thinking, and introspection.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Citizen Sleeper

Ok, this was an unxpectedly good story, and was very fun to play. It is very story focused an somewhat linear, but it has a lot of interesting mechanics. You play kind of on an overworld map of a space station, and involves going around doing tasks at nodes, and talking to various npcs at map nodes. You never control a character directly.

If you are ok with that gameplay, definitely give this game a shot, its quite good.

The story itself is well done, and really gets you invested in the side characters, quests, and the events happening.

Played this entirely on the SteamDeck

Overall Rating: 4/5

Coffee Talk

Ok, this might be one of the best games I have played in a while. The premise seems simple, you are a coffee shop owner, and you serve drinks to customers based on their wishes or needs.

But the this quickly evolves into something more. You start getting regulars, friends, you help with life events, and there are story twists, and many surprises. You get really invested in the characters.

It takes place in an alternate reality Seattle coffee shop, but the events that happen can easily correlated to our every day lives.

Its a casual game that doesn’t take much brain power to play, but can really make you do some soul searching.

It was a real shame to learn that the original developer on this died after the games release, but the company he founded is soldiering on and even releasing updates.

Played entirely on the SteamDeck

Overall Rating: 5/5


There are many reviews on this game, but I greatly enjoyed it. At times it was spooky and gave you an unnerving feel, other times hope and intrigue. It is really well done from that point of view. The cat part was whatever, it was fun, and the tiny face huggers were honestly more annoying and detracting from the game, but did provide that sense of gloom.

The story overall was fantastic though, and I quite enjoyed my play through, but I wouldn’t do another as some do.

This game was also when I switched my gaming computer, and all my devices to Linux for that matter, so it was nice to play something so flawlessly on Linux out of the box.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Kraken Academy

Quirky fun 2D rpg-like game. Funny dialogue, good story. Short, but fun.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5


OK, this is a great story, some interesting mini puzzles, and fun mechanics. It does have a 2 character switching mechanic, and its used fairly easily. Game runs great and has a lovely 2D aesthetic, and low combat too.

Story is engaging and makes you think a bit if you relate to the real world. Has a good length, and worth the money

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Twelve Minutes

I think this game is intriguing. Midway through you get a bit lost at what to try next, but once you push through that, the culmination of the story is interesting.

I will say that it is a bit reptitive by nature of the game, and if you get stuck it gets a bit annoying. Overall good game though.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Behind the Frame

This is another one of those games about introspection, but focuses on the beautfy of painting, colors, life, aging, love, and the fleeting moments with others.

It can pull on heartstrings if you can get invested into the emotional side of the story, but it really well done, and a positive outlook on things. Really worth it if you want that experience.

Only downside is it is kind of short and very on rails, but a good journey. Think of it is a story book in game form with wonderful art. Cozy.

Overall Rating: 4/5

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight

I have been playing WoW on and off since vanilla launched. At this point, I try every expansion, and this one is doing very well compared to Shadowlands, its fun, engaging, lots to do but doesn’t feel like a grindfest of reputations and bars.

And Dragonriding is really fun, especially when fully upgraded. Hopefully they let us use it outside the Dragon Isles in the future.

Majority of playtime on the Steam Deck using hte ConslePort addon.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Board Games

Normally I play a lot of board games, but for obvious reasons, my wife nad I didn’t have much time to invest in many this year. We did play some magic, we like to do Winston Drafts with 8 packs.

But my mother gifted us a detective game, and while we only did 1 attempt, it was a blast, but definitely needs to be played while the little one is sleeping either for naps or bed time.


Official Website

The game itself is just called Detective but it is really really good. You are an agent in a special new deparmtent for crime solving. And the crims and investigative work actually requires you to take notes.

There is a webapp that you can load up on a laptop, tablet or phone, tat just makes it easier to track police files, dna, and other stuff, but the game can be played without it, just a bit harder.

The pacing is good, and it really makes you think and follow clues, some of which lead to dead ends.

It is super well done. If you like detective/crime solving stuff, this is a great game to play.

They even give you extra stuff to make a crime wall thing like on TV shows if you desired.

Overall Rating: 5/5


This year, I have had quite a good run with technology and gadgets. I will go over some of the more noteable stuff.

Steam Deck

This has let me play so many more games in such a short amount of time. This was after my Linux switch, so I was already comfortable with adding games from GoG and Epic to it, or setting up WoW on it, and so on.

I have a gaming laptop that has a Nvidia RTX 2070 in it. I like to game on the couch with my wife and kid nearby, but as our little one gets older and more active, there is a lot of chasing around and getting up. And even with that, wires, lap pads, mice, etc. It gets a bit annoying.

My SteamDeck, which on paper and probably in practice is vastly less powered, I have played more of in such a short amount of time. Even when plugged in, easy to put down and chase a kid around, and easier to just jump in and go.

It play so much more of my backlog now, and I only buy games that I know I can play on it now or have Linux support at minimum.

Love this device immensely. Its not perfect, but it is for me and my usecases, which is couch gaming with easy access plugs, because we all know its battery doesn’t last long, especially for demanding games.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Logitech G600

I bought this mouse specifically for MMO gaming with 1 hand, early in my daughters life. It let me enjoy WoW and Lost Ark with no limitations. I had all the buttons I needed to do combat easily and effectively. The customizations software worked well.

Now, this was on Windows, before my switch, and I havent used it sine I stopped playing Lost Ark and no longer needed to use 1 hand.

Good mouse, for a reasonable price.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5


We managed to get our hands on one midway through the year. I am not much of a console gamer, but my wife is, and she loves it. She has enjoyed both the God of War games and Horizon Zero Dawn on it.

There isn’t much to say otherwise, good console, great graphics. We have an XBOX Series S, and it all kind of overlaps.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Surface Pro 7

I got this shortly before my daughter was born with the idea that it would be fanless, no noise, quite keyboard, and even got a Logitech Pebble M350 for a quiet mouse, so that I could stay up in bed and do stuff without disturbing wife and baby.

Did not realize how little I would use it that way due to overall tiredness from a newborn.

BUT, it does run Linux well and I use it as my quick goto coding machine or browsing/chatting device. It is synced with my desktop using SyncTHing, so all my code is readily available in both places nearly instantly.

Good device, and hte fanless nature of the i5 version really is cool, thought I have gotten it to throttle a bit.

I will say, it obviously doesn’t play super nice with Linux, but the community effort around it and the linux-surface kernel is fantastic and this model works well.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5


I haven’t really read much this year, but I will mention 1 book I managed to finish this year.

Starless Sea

This was a wild ride. If you’ve read Cloud Atlas, and had no trouble following the interweaving stories, this will be similar, but more fantasy-esque and a bit more intense than Cloud Atlas.

The story itself is wonderful and a bit of a fantasy love story, but it focuses less on the love part and more on the fantasy romp of doors, worlds, and keys.

Can’t really say much without revealing key plot, but its good if you are into this kind of adventure.

I will say the only detractor is it sometimes goes a bit deep on the crazy interweaving mystery adventure part and can get confusing if you aren’t paying attention.

Barnes & Noble


Overall Rating: 4.5/5


And thats a wrap for this, hopefully there is more interesting stuff in 2023, and we will see what I get to.

© Yulian Kuncheff 2022

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