Are you saying Burns night or Boo-urns?

We were a little late, but this year we celebrated Burn’s night, Haggis and all.

The haggis, just before dissection

Burn’s night is celebrated on the birthday of the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns, the 25th of January. Traditional Scottish food is accompanied by poems, bagpipe music, and a series of addresses.

While we waited for the haggis and accompaniments (neeps and tatties) to cook, we enjoyed a haggis cheese bake for an even more immersive experience. Despite what my younger self thought of the idea, haggis is actually quite nice. To accompany the main course, I made a Famous Grouse Smoky Black whiskey cream sauce.

In the traditional manner, dinner was followed by cocktails (the very Scottish Singapore Sling), and a few hours of Death Squared. Death Squared is a multiplayer puzzle game where the aim is for you and your teammates to get your robots to their respective home squares. It sounds easy, but the puzzles quickly climb in difficulty and some are down right nefarious. Death and failure is not the end – the level quickly resets and avoids taunting you too much. If you’re into logic puzzles, give it a try. (Warning: does not pair particularly well with alcohol, unless you want to die excessively!)

Signalis and the gun targeting system. Simple but effective.


Since finishing Resident Evil 8, we’ve been seeking our horror fix in a different place. Signalis is a retro-styled survival horror game which gives off classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill energy, with plenty of opportunities for puzzle solving. You play a Replika, a biomechnical humanoid, searching for her human partner (or Gestalt).

Most of the game is played out in a top down 2.5D perspective, with occasional first person segments. The graphics evoke a lot of 90s nostalgia, but without the performance issues of early 3D games.

This lift feels very Resident Evil meets Metal Gear Solid. So much PS1 energy…

The futuristic space setting will be familiar to fans of Dead Space. I find abandoned industrial settings quite effective in the horror space, particularly those set in space or on distant planets. There is a certain Alien-esque quality. Ammo is sparse, and your inventory capacity is extremely limited, further adding to the challenge. Do you risk carrying a healing item if it means you can’t carry more ammo? Do you have enough space for that key you need to pick up?

We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the story. Something has gone deeply and terribly wrong, and there are hints along the way as to what that could have been. Occasionally puzzles will flick from overhead to first person perspective, and certain narrative segments do the same. The mechanic is used with an unsettling brilliance that I haven’t seen in this sort of game before. If you have any interest in survival horror games, I thoroughly recommend you check out Signalis. It’s quite reasonably priced too. (£15.99 on the PS Store at the time of writing for the PS4 version)

One of the first person segments. A memory? A vision? Teleportation?

Addendum: Signalis is currently available on Xbox Game Pass (at time of writing), which is an even better reason to give it a go, if you weren’t feeling inspired enough already.

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