Rachel Watts played some of the demos available on Steam last week, including dog-adoption sim Best Friend Forever (opens in new tab). You choose a pet then train them so they'll pass Paws Academy. At the same time you can date other dog-owners you meet through an app, but even when Best Friend Forever becomes a dating sim your pet is still in the corner of the screen, available for scritches and just to be adorable.
Christopher Livingston has been playing Hunting Simulator 2 in advance of its actual release, another game about enjoying the company a dog. In this case a hunting beagle named Muttonchops. He's not just a cute hound, he's a valuable partner who identifies tracks so you don't have to walk everywhere with your face in the dirt like Geralt with his Witcher vision. Seems like a good idea, and a good boy too.
Emma Matthews has been playing Apex Legends during the Lost Treasures event (opens in new tab). There have been significant changes to the way various characters play, with Octane and Lifeline in particular now notably more fun to play. Not that they weren't fun before, of course. (I say this as a former Lifeline main.)
Lauren Morton played Summer in Mara, a farm-life sim with sailing (opens in new tab), but that neat combination of ideas unfortunately hasn't held her focus. The lack of even minor threats, the plain-ness of the sailing, and the absence of things to do but sleep while you wait for plants to grow doesn't help it stand out in a crowded subgenre.
James Davenport played Hylics 2, an unusual RPG where you are a moon-headed golem named Wayne. The art is a mix of claymation and animation, with a very DIY feel. Though there's a JRPG combat system and overworld, complete with airship, it's like the most psychedelic parts of Earthbound, all the time. Which seems nice.
Enough about us. What about you? Did you try some more of the demos that suddenly arrived on Steam, or were you overwhelmed like Fraser Brown (opens in new tab)? Have you been getting together with friends in Deep Rock Galactic or Sea of Thieves? Let us know!