STREAM SCHEDULE – From 12th July Onward

Hello Mid Life Crisis fans! There’s one or two of you out there, still, right? Well, we are back with a brand new, although admittedly relaxed schedule!

EVERY MONDAY – Valorant – Competitive Climb

Watch as Jamie attempts to climb the ranks in Valorant, the fps shooter oft described as “a mix of CS:GO and Overwatch” while not really being a lot like either of them. It’s a lot of fun to play and so Jamie is going to strip away that fun by going full sweat in ranked play, with a little help from some of the guys. Should be…interesting is one word.

EVERY WEDNESDAY – #Raise4Rosie Lego streams

We’re continuing our fundraising efforts for wee Rosie (if you’ve not already, read here for more info) and working our way through the Lego games. All of them. Brick by brick, folks.


We’re going to be a lot more impromptu streaming, working it around our various projects and that pesky thing called life. Coming up, we’ve got a return to Phasmophobia, some World of Warcraft completionism from Al and Jamie is finally going to try Final Fantasy. Honest, mister.

Basically, watch this space and we’ll do our best to entertain.

A title image reading "Family Friendly Fundraiser in aid of Raise For Rosie"

Raise4Rosie – A Family Friendly Fundraiser

UPDATE: We’ve made a few changes to the article below to reflect the change of date due to conning scum, a couple updates to giveaways, etc.

A couple of weeks ago, Alan told me about Rosie, a very brave wee girl who is going through a hell of a tough time.

He wanted to do something to help and as we’re both utterly devoid of life skills, we decided to do the only thing we know. We’re going to stream for a very long time and we hope that you’ll be entertained and inspired to help.

On Saturday the 3rd of July, starting at 12 noon, we will be going live with A Family Friendly Fundraiser marathon stream, in which we’ll play our way through a whole pile of the Lego titles from TT Games (some of our absolute favourites!) while trying very hard not to swear.

We’ll be giving away a number of keys for Lego games thanks to our friends at CD Keys! We have three copies of Lego Marvel Avengers and five copies of Lego City Undercover to give out during the stream! ALSO…you can win a bundle of three amazing Lego games by retweeting the tweet below:

All codes are for PC and winners will be selected at random. If you’re not lucky enough to bag one, you can click our affiliate link below to check out a list of all the Lego games available on their site.

We also, thanks to ever wonderful Dan at Bleading Marvelous (dear lord please check out their store, they have some of the finest geekery on the planet and Dan is an amazing artist to boot!) have a £20 voucher which we’ll be giving away during the stream. So many goodies!

Our aim for the stream is to go for at least 24 hours, but so long as the donations roll in and people are having good times, who knows? We’ve done longer! This is going to be a relaxed and fun stream throughout though so we’re not doing this one under official world record rules, we’ll take the odd break where needed but rest assured, you’ll get to watch us slowly go insane with exhaustion as per.

Join us, tell your friends and please do all you can to help Rosie through a very difficult time.

DONATIONS: The Raise4Rosie GoFundMe Page


TWITCH: AMidGameCrisis

CD KEYS: Affiliate Link (Lego games)





We figured it was high time we laid out what we’re doing and when, so here’s our proposed stream schedule for the forseeable future. There’ll be random streams in between and we may well need a night off now and then to deal with “real life” but 90% of the time, this is what we’ll be up to.

A comic image of Jamie in a deerstalker and pipe

MACABRE MONDAYS – Every Monday at 8pm

Jamie makes an absolute arse of criminal investigation as he steps into shoes of some of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Nancy Drew, if they’re in a poorly made game with a ludicrous plot, you can bet we’re going to stream it.

You can catch up on previous Macabre Mondays by checking out our Macabre Mondays Stream Highlights playlist.

A cartoon image of Jamie and Alan playing video games

TWOSDAY! On a Wednesday. – Every Wednesday at 8pm

Alan and Jamie continue their endless search for the co-op game that will finally make them decide that this friendship has just about run it’s course. This series used to be on a Tuesday and that pun name was glorious.

Each stream will be uploaded to Youtube, in it’s entirety, shortly after it ends. You’ll find them all in the Twosday (On A Wednesday) playlist.

WE AINT AFRAID OF NO GHOST! – Every Thursday at 8pm

Thursday is Mythic raid night for Alan and the guildies, so while he’s safely tucked away in a pile of spreadsheets and discarded coffee cups, it’s time for spook hunting shenanigans! Join Jamie and friends for Phasmophobia every Thursday night.


Our flagship chat show will be going live on Saturday nights so join Alan and Jamie for some relaxed nattering. Our two crabby old geezers chat about whatever springs to mind while playing whatever tickles their fancy. Political discourse one moment, health benefits of masturbation the next and at some point, they’ll probably even talk about video games. This is basically the live version of our podcast. Oh, did we not mention that?


YES! We’re finally going back to our old flame, audio entertainment. We’re recording our first episode very soon and will have a release day for within the next week. Watch this space! Or listen to it, at least.

As well as all that good shit, you can expect word on new Youtube series, one off streams and written content in the next few weeks.

World Of Warcraft Marathon for British Lung Foundation

World Of Warcraft Marathon for British Lung Foundation

We’re doing it again.

Back in May, we broke the world record for longest WoW stream. We did. Unfortunately we had a few issues with the VOD so we might never get the recognition we so richly deserve but that’s fine. We’re not bitter.

angry man slamming fist on desk

It’s all good, though. We did it all for charity and we raised a nice chunk of change for Macmillan, so we’re happy. That being said, with Shadowlands dropping in a handful of days and with so much craziness going on in the world right now, we decided we’d once again dose up on enough caffeine to make a mannequin do the macarena and see if we could raise money for another incredibly worthy cause.

The British Lung Foundation have been researching lung conditions for over 30 years and aim to improve care for sufferers of such conditions while also researching cures and treatments for lung disease. The Covid-19 situation has seriously impacted their ability to fundraise throughout 2020 and yet their work has never been more important. This is a cause very close to our hearts and so we’ve decided to do our bit and hope you’ll support us.

So join us from 18:00 GMT on Friday 20th as we begin a truly stupid undertaking. We’re going to attempt to level twelve Alliance characters, one of each class, from starting zone to max level, back to back.

We’ll be live streaming the entire debacle, following world record rules. That means we’ll accrue a 5 minute break for every hour of streaming and those breaks can be built up in order to take a longer break further into the stream. There will be a timer on screen permanently, too. Just in case…

If you’re able to donate, please go to our JustGiving page and give what you can. Every donation is hugely appreciated. Even if you can’t donate, you can support us by tweeting, sharing on Facebook, posting on Instagram, phoning your old nan, painting a sign by the side of the road or sending a flock of carrier pigeons to all corners of the globe. Spread the word!

"World Record Attempt" over a World of Warcraft title screen

WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT: Longest World of Warcraft Stream! (and it’s for charity, too!)

We’re doing it.

We’ve been planning this for the past couple of weeks. We’ve set the dates, we’ve checked our subscriptions, we’ve bought really good coffee and a wee bag of doughnuts. Folks, we’re going for a record.

To round out our month of fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support, we’re going to attempt a truly mammoth streaming session and have a crack at beating the world record for longest World of Warcraft stream. Currently, the official record stands at 32 hours and 36 minutes. Pfft, child’s play.

Starting at 09:30am on Friday May 29th, Alan and Jamie will attempt to stream for at least 33 hours, under official World Record attempt rules. The livestream VOD will be submitted for consideration to the good folk at Guinness World Records and hopefully we’ll be able to leverage our new found fame in order to raise a butt-tonne of cash for cancer support.

Throughout this two day streaming event, we’ll be starting brand new characters and taking them through from scratch. We’re randomise faction, race and class and will go for a mix of questing, dungeons and raids and exploration.

During the record attempt, we’ll have a pile of giveaways and some really fun audience participation, so get active in the chat for fun and freebies!

I cannot stress enough just how important this is to all of us. Macmillan Cancer Support does incredible work and right now this is a very personal issue, so please give if you can (click here to head to our Game Heroes page) and share the ever-lovin’ crap out of these posts. Any and all support is greatly appreciated.

Well, wish us luck!

Woman writing on chalkboard, with the word SCHEDULE featured prominently

Streaming Schedule – From 18th May 2020

As we scream towards the end of May in this fundraising bus from hell, three wheels blown and the engine on fire, it’s time to start looking at our streaming schedule for the future. That’s right, we’ve enjoyed this charity streaming so much that we’re back for good. You know, like The Rock when he came back to wrestling, only we won’t do one stream and sod off for eight months.

After a late night Skype conversation, fuelled by coffee and a desire for world domination, Alan and Jamie have finally sketched out a schedule for the coming weeks. Here’s what you can look forward to from our rag tag bunch of lunatics.


Macabre Mondays returns!

Yes, starting from Monday 18th May (EDITOR: Tuesday 19th May for the first week, because it takes Jamie roughly 24 hours to build a flat pack anything) Jamie will once again be scraping the bottom of the gaming barrel to find murder mystery titles and bizarre horror games. He will be streaming these every Monday (EDITOR: Except when it’s Tuesday) from 9pm onwards. Expect rage.

On Wednesdays, we dig holes…

Every Wednesday from 9pm onward will be Minecraft night. For the forseeable future, watch as the guys turn the barren wastelands of Macmilland into a rich and prosperous realm. Well, when they’re not too busy falling in ravines and being butchered by Phantoms as they soar the skies in the Air Ship Sparrow. Gods, we do love the A.S.S.

Free Play Fridays

We’re really excited about this one. Friday nights will see Alan and Jamie dive into the weird world of free play games on Steam. There’s a treasure trove of terrible titles just waiting to baffle our boys, so be sure to tune in on Fridays from 9pm!

Saturday’s are just like, meh, whatever man

We have no idea what will happen at the weekends, but we know there will be streams. These are the days for feature streams, weird random mini series and manic multiplayer sessions!
Pencilled in so far, we’ve got Zombie Army 4 co-op (thanks Sold Out!) coming up on Saturday 23rd May and the week after… well, that’s a very special surprise. More on that later.


Tuesday 19th May 2020 from 9pm – Troublesome Tuesday! (replacing Macabre Monday) – Jamie plays… Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. This one is going to suuuuuck.

Wednesday 20th May 2020 from 9pm – Minecraft Realm Night

Thursday 21st May 2020 from 9pm – Hatoful Boyfriend! (Giving away one month of Funimation Now and a code for season one of Goblin Slayer, thanks to our friends at Funimation UK!)

Friday 22nd May 2020 from 9pm – Free Play Friday (title TBA)

Saturday 23rd May 2020 from 9pm – Zombie Army 4 co-op with Alan and Jamie (cheers to Sold Out for the review codes, looking forward to this one!)

Sunday 24th May 2020 from 10pm – HOSTED STREAM – Let’s Terrify Tom! Our youngling plays Slender. We’re sorry, Tom.

Monday 25th May 2020 from 9pm – Macabre Monday! – More consulting and detective-ing with Jamie.

Wednesday 27th May 2020 from 9pm – Minecraft Realm Night

Friday 29th May 2020 from… We can’t tell you. Surprises!

Macmillan May Marathon Madness – SCHEDULE

We’re still going! Throughout May, we’re streaming as close to 24 hours a day as we can possibly manage and it’s all in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Everything will be streamed or hosted on our Twitch channel (, but we’ll post individual links against scheduled streams below where they’re happening elsewhere. Go show our friends some love!

Here’s what’s happening and when:


Gamer Tagged are kicking it off early! The ever amazing Ross Pollock from Gamer Tagged is going live on stream before we even finish our showers and wolf down a slice of toast. (Editor’s note: Couldn’t find that Ace Rimmer “what a guy” gif from Red Dwarf, sorry)

TWITCH: gamer_tagged


The Marathon Stream! 26 hours of all sorts of games which will open up with the beginning of a brand new Mid Game Crisis Minecraft realm and slowly descend into madness. Expect to see some Mount Your Friends, an intense Civilisation session and quite possibly some bizarre nonsense on Tabletop Simulator.


Al is going to attempt to beat Donkey Kong Country in just two hours! CAUTION: Scenes of swearing, extreme rage and further swearing.

WRASSLECHAT – SUNDAY MAY 10th 23:00 to MONDAY MAY 11th 04:00 approx

WWE Money In The Bank hangout – We’re going to be watching Money In The Bank live and we invite you to join us and shoot the shit, while maybe chucking a penny or two in the pot.
Please note, we will NOT be broadcasting the Money In The Bank PPV. You’ll just be getting us on cam, talking utter crap about wrestling and having a right old laugh.

ETERNALLY DOOMED! – MONDAY MAY 11th 21:00 to 23:00

Alan is live with Doom Eternal. Watch the adventures of a beautiful unicorn charged with murdering everything that moves. It will make sense when you join the stream.

THANK YOU, NURSES – TUESDAY MAY 12th 10:00am to TUESDAY MAY 12th 12:00pm

12th May 2020 is International Nurse’s Day and marks what would have been Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday, if she had lived to be ridiculously old.

We would like to thank all the nurses working with Macmillan Cancer Support for their incredible work, as well as every nurse (and all the keyworkers) worldwide who are currently doing an amazing job under terrible circumstances during the Coronavirus pandemic. Jamie would also like to offer a personal thank you to his wife, Michelle, a nurse who is working her arse off right now.

To honour these heroes and also to give them something to keep them smiling, Jamie is hitting Two Point Hospital at 10. Come and watch as this bumbling fool makes medical emergencies ten times worse. Oh, he’ll be probably be wearing a nurses outfit…


Makka hosts the ultimate State of Decay 2 session on Super-Ultra-Jesus-Christ-We’re-Dying-Out-Here-Nightmare-Mode. This is a challenge of his own devising which includes:

Fresh community
No Legacy Boons or Characters
No Supply Drops or Vehicle call-ins
No Personal Markers

We are assured that this promises to be utter hell. In fact, we’re wondering why Jamie agreed to join in.

We’ll be alternating between hosting Makka (link below) and streaming Jamie’s perspective for this one. Don’t miss it, we predict rage like you have never seen.

TWITCH: RealCastCuraga


Jamie and Makka will be live in Macmilland, our beautiful realm, doin’ the diggin’ and the fundraisin’ and all that.


Al has promised to make Jamie’s entire year by playing some scary games (This is the man who got scared of his own hand, once. That’s a story for the stream!) and he’s opening things up with the legendarily horrifyingly PT and when his heart can’t take that anymore, unwinding with a little Alien Isolation! Oh, this is going to be so, so good.

GIVEAWAY – One lucky viewer will snag a copy of Alien Isolation and can scare themselves silly at their leisure.


It gets better! This one might actually break Al and we’re excited to watch it happen. We might be bad people…

GIVEAWAY – We’ll be throwing out a copy of Blair Witch for one viewer so you too can squeal like a pre-pubescent teen.

OK, I’LL PLAY MORE HATOFUL BOYFRIEND – Date to be determined

You asked, we answered. Jamie will once more test his vocal range by playing (and voicing) Hatoful Boyfriend. This time, he’s going for ALL endings, including having sex with that ghost pigeon. Yes, that’s a thing that you have just read.

GIVEAWAY – Thanks to our friends at Funimation, we’ll be giving away a code for one month of Funimation NOW during this…whatever this is.

Keep checking back as this schedule will be constantly updated.

Macmillan May Marathon Madness – Details

Macmillan May Marathon Madness – Details

Hi there. Thank you for your interest in our ridiculous fund-raising scheme for Macmillan Game Heroes.
You’re here to find out what’s going on and how you can help, right?


It all started with a simple idea. A 24 hour marathon streaming session for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Then it became 26 hours. If a marathon is 26 miles, a marathon stream should be 26 hours, right?
Then it got silly.

Now, we’re trying to stream for as much of May as we possibly can, across multiple channels, with gaming, hangouts and lord knows what else. It’s an evolving perma-stream which will hopefully bring people a little joy and in return, they’ll help us raise a little cash.


There’s so much going on, we had to put it in a seperate post!

You can check the full, constantly evolving schedule right here.


Really? I mean, it’s for charity, dude. Jeez. Well, let’s see what we can tempt you with, shall we? How about a giveaway? In fact, how about a buttload of giveaways?

The wonderful team at Insert Coin clothing have provided us with a 20% discount code for everyone who views the stream, as well as three vouchers which will be given away during the course of our fundraising efforts. Check out their range online, it’s absolutely gorgeous stuff. I need all those pins…

We’ve got a £20 online gift voucher for Bleading Marvellous, thanks to the awesome Dan! Folks, check out their online store, they’ve got some amazing horror and geek goodies. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, too!

The super talented Ben Cameron has donated a three month subscription to Pin Badge Club. I just signed up to this one myself and it’s absolutely brilliant. Drop Ben a follow on Twitter and thank him for us, he’s an absolute gem!

Thanks to our lovely pals at Bethesda UK, we’ll have DOOM codes to giveaway! Drop them a follow on Twitter and say thank you!

You like awesome t-shirts? Yeah you do! The good people at Qwertee have given us three codes to giveaway, each of which can be redeemed for a t-shirt of the winner’s choice!

Ross from Gamer Tagged (and Creative Ramble, your soon to be favourite podcast) is not only streaming for us tomorrow, he’s got a couple of PSN gift cards to give away. What’s more, he’s given us a couple too, along with a Steam code for Doom PC. Ross, you are the stuff of legend sir. Follow him on Twitter and tell him he’s gorgeous, will you?

Many thanks to our lovely friends at Funimation UK who have given us a free month code for Funimation Now to give to one lucky winner! They’re awesome, check them out on Facebook and Twitter and tell them you love them.

More to come, keep checking in.


Absolutely. There are links below to the justgiving pages, plus every sub to AMidGameCrisis on Twitch throughout may will be donated to the cause.


Ah, that. That’s a separate thing but you’ll probably hear it mentioned from time to time, so i’ll explain.

We’re doing all of this because it’s a good cause and we’ve all had people in our lives who have been affected by cancer, but what really spurred us on was the recent diagnosis of a very dear friend. In a bid to cheer him up and support him, we started a Paypal fund to throw some pressies his way and cover any costs he might have, should need arise. That’s something we did between friends and family and it’s not something we’re expecting any of you to throw into.

That being said, there will be people tuning in who know who we’re talking about and would like to support him, or who are just very generous and kind-hearted and so we’ll be popping the link to the Paypal below. Every penny we collect in there will be used to support our friend and his family during a difficult time and anything left will be donated to Macmillan, so that’s all good and lovely. Got it?


Yes! Glad you’re aboard. OK, here’s where to go to watch the streams:



Here’s where to go to give money:

MID-GAME CRISISGame Heroes (James McLellan)

MAKKAGame Heroes (CastCuraga)

And here’s where to go to throw a few quid at our pal:



Not quite.

We’d like to thank a few people, if we may.

Thank you to Sold Out Entertainment for giving us the two review copies of Zombie Army 4 for our spooky streaming session, it’s very much appreciated and bound to bring in those essential viewers!

Thanks to The Attitude Era Podcast for a lovely shoutout, we’re big fans and it was great of you to share our efforts with your following.

In fact, thank you to EVERYONE who’s shared, retweeted, liked and generally just spread the word. Whether you have 10 followers or 10,000, it’s the same to us. Sharing equals potential new eyes for the stream, which equals potential donations. So, thank you so very much.


Almost! We still need some help, folks. If you would like to join in by streaming a couple hours so we can take a break or perhaps you’d like to host us on your channels to get out to a wider audience, maybe you’ve even got something you’d like to chuck into the giveaway pile? Please drop me an email at, any time, day or night. I won’t be asleep, obviously…


Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and check us out on Facebook for updates.


Thanks. Love you.

The Ultimate Marathon Stream – Macmillan Game Heroes

The Ultimate Marathon Stream – Macmillan Game Heroes

This is getting rapidly out of hand…

On Saturday the 9th of May, at 10:00am, we will be streaming a marathon gaming session in support of Macmillan Cancer Support. Originally, the plan was to stream for 26 hours, one hour for every mile of a marathon. I like stuff like that.

Well, Alan dared me to go further and said he’d jump in, a couple of the guys said they were up for a spot of streaming and what with one thing or another we’re now streaming for the whole of May. What? OK, here’s the deal. We’re going to begin with our 26 hour intro marathon and then we’re going to try and keep the stream going for as long as possible, with the ultimate goal being to go non-stop for as much of May as we can.

We’re not idiots, we know that constantly streaming without sleep would probably prove slightly detrimental to our health. The idea is that we’ll be swapping in and out in shifts and will be hosting streams that our gaming buddies are running. So there’ll be a constant stream, but we’ll still be able to sleep, eat and do all the other things you have to do to continue to function. Simple enough?

This is an evolving process but expect surprises, laughs, giveaways and a whole lot of money for really good causes. Speaking of which, there’s something else we’d like to run past you all.

This charity effort was spurred by a dear friend of ours, who is currently going through a very tough time. We’re obviously raising money for Macmillan and that’s the main focus of the streams but within our wee group, we decided to create a Paypal pot to help him out with any financial issues that might occur, plus buy him a couple of treats to keep his spirits up while he drags cancer out of the metaphorical pub and kicks seven shades of crap out of it. You got this, Pabs.

If any of you would like to support this, you can hit our No worries if you’d rather not, this is one hundred percent a side pot started by us as a personal fundraising effort. Any monies in that account which don’t wind up being used to help out our amigo will be donated to Macmillan. So that’s all a good time, right?

One last thing. If you’d like to help us out but are short on funds, there are a few things you can do. Retweets, likes and shares are a huge help, but also if you happen to have an Amazon Prime account you could consider throwing us your free Twitch Prime subscription for this month. This will help because every single subscription to throughout May will be donated to the Macmillan Game Heroes page. Every. Single. One.

So, what can you expect return for your love, support and cold hard cash? Well, here’s the schedule of definite content thus far:

Saturday 9th May at 10:00am to Sunday 10th May at 12:00pm – The 26 Hour “MARATHON” Stream

Minecraft, Mount Your Friends, lord only knows what else but it’s all MidGameCrisis, all the time.

TWITCH: AMidGameCrisis

DONATE: Macmillan Game Heroes

Tuesday May 12th – 24 Hours In The Apocalypse

Our buddy Makka will be fighting for his life in State Of Decay 2 for 24 hours of zombie mayhem.

TWITCH: RealCastCuraga

DONATE: Macmillan Game Heroes

We’ve got a lot more in the pipeline so we’ll be updating this as we go. Tune in, tell your friends, toss a coin to your…us. Yeah.

Close up of an Xbox controller

Top Five Games Pass Titles To Counter Cabin Fever

I don’t get out all that much anyway, what with the gammy leg and all, but there’s a world of difference between choosing to stay at home and being told to. Waking up to a text message from the government, demanding that we all remain indoors, shows what a raging dumpster fire the world has become. Life feels a lot like a SyFy made-for-TV movie special, from a director who’s only ever seen Outbreak and V For Vendetta and has a real thing about edibles. It’s all very weird and it’s easy to let it get to you.

Well, don’t let it get to you! We’re here to help, with a run down of five titles from Xbox Games Pass(1) which will help to distract you from the nightmarish prison that your living room has become. Raising spirits all over the place, that’s us.

A light box showing the words "You Got This"
See? Inspirational as all hell, mate.

5) Grand Theft Auto V

One of the things that people are finding particularly difficult to deal with right now is the curtailment of certain freedoms. While we’re stuck in lockdown, you can’t just go for a drive, hop out and take a wander along the street, pop in to the nearest store to rob it blind at gunpoint and then flee into the hills, pursued by suicidal police officers and army choppers. The simple things which make life worth living.

With GTAV, you can scratch that extroverted itch from the comfort of your own sofa. I fired it up a couple days ago and went for a blast around the city, tearing along the streets at full pelt in my modded Banshee, screaming at pedestrians to get the hell inside because they were breaking lockdown. Then I appointed myself Quarantine Judge and began to issue stern warnings to those who broke my newly imposed rule of law, warnings in the form of bullets! It was at this point that I became very aware that I had been awake for 24 hours, had drank far too much coffee and was just driving along pavements, cursing and eating Wotsits.

If you haven’t already succumbed to madness, GTA is a great way to pass the time and have some laughs with friends. Fire up the online mode, start a private game and invite everyone you know. Blitz round the city or just go for a walk along the beach, whatever works. Just know that if you invite me, there’s every chance you’ll be crushed under the wheels of a stolen city bus, as I mumble “social distancing baby” through a mouthful of cheesey snacks.

A woman sat on the floor, holding bags of Doritos

4) Riverbond

For a complete change of pace, why not give the ridiculously adorable Riverbond a whirl? It’s absolutely the cutest thing and incredibly relaxing to play. You bimble around the world of Riverbond and yeah sure, things might attack you, but you just bop them with your weapon of choice and if they kill you, you respawn with all of your progress saved. There are literally no consequences to your actions.

As a lifelong gamer, there is something incredibly liberating about a game that lets me charge in, without stopping for even a second to consider what might happen as I dive headfirst into battle, knowing that whatever the outcome i’ll just pop back up and can resume where I left off. Even in boss fights, you get smushed and then just reappear with your damage dealt maintained.

The game is super pretty, sounds lovely, plays like a dream and it’s 1000 gamerscore in a day for the cheevo hunters out there. No brainer, get it downloaded.

A puppy sat in a red and white mug
“Cute. Riverbond is cuter. “

3) Two Point Hospital

The whole point of this top five is to give you some ideas to take your mind off Covid-19, so I understand that featuring a game themed around illness and hospitals seems counter-intuitive, at best. Allow me to persuade you, gentle reader.

Two Point Hospital is the spiritual successor to Theme Hospital, a wonderful little game which stole many hours of my life during the heady days of my youth. The summers were long, the stars shined brighter and I was locked in my room, avoiding the balmy days and sparkling nights while I smashed away at my keyboard like a pianist on speed.

It was during these formative years that I discovered the phemonenon I call Gamer’s Temporal Flux(TM). Basically, it’s the absolute certainty that you’ve only been playing for an hour, maybe two, which is shattered as realisation dawns and you find that six days have passed and you’re severely dehydrated, caked in your own filth and coated with a thin layer of dust. Man, those were the days.

Normally, i’d advise against any game that can induce GTF(TM) as it tends to disrupt normal life but hey, normal life is not only disrupted already, it’s been thoroughly kicked to pieces and scattered over the landscape. Might as well spend some of that time gaming and GTF (TM) will certainly make the time fly by. Because science.

A gloved hand holding a beaker full of blue liquid
“Nope, this omelette is knackered”

2) Dead Island: Definitive Edition

The streets are empty, save a few shambling bodies, moving without purpose and seemingly devoid of higher thought. In this post apocalyptic landscape, it’s kill or be killed. You lash together some basic electronic components and attach them to a machete, creating a heated blade which will slice the flesh of the undead like butter. You are finally prepared.

Then, instead of venturing out to Tesco to try and bag a loaf of bread and a four pack of Charmin, you settle in for an all night session of Dead Island. Four player co-op means you can socialise as you brutalise, cutting a bloody swathe through the holiday makers turned zombies as you attempt to answer the greatest mystery of all. Who do YOUR voodoo?

Dead Island is so much fun played with friends and offers more than a few laughs solo. The open world, makeshift weaponry and multiple quest options are just what the doctor ordered for some mindless, brutal fun.

A large wooden mallet positioned above an egg, on black backgroun
This is the only stock photo that comes up if you search ‘brutal’ on Pexels. So…yeah.

1) Power Rangers: Battle for The Grid

This little beauty just hit Games Pass on Thursday 27th March and it’s better than it has any right to be. It’s got that Marvel vs Capcom feel, but with a cast of familiar heroes from the Power Rangers world. Plus some less familiar. I’ve no idea why the Black Ranger is “Mastodon Sentry” now but I figure it’s something to do with the story mode. I mean, he’s got a gun for the love of…

Look, this isn’t a review so I’ve not played it all that much. What I do know is that this game has that senseless button-basher feel with an absolutely incredible remix of the Power Rangers theme blaring over the menu and at one point, I called in the Megazord and it trod on a guy. Just straight up stomped him and raked the remnants with a sword. That’ll do you, hey?

It’s a scary world, folks. Not in the Power Rangers game, i’m concluding here. There’s a lot going on out there and it’s not much fun but stay home, stay safe and play some damn video games. That Pile of Shame is finally going to get a kicking.

(1) I’m not forgetting about Playstation. I just don’t have one.

Stock images courtesy of Pexels.