What is “Only Solitaire / St. George’s Games Herald”?

This SubStack site is essentially a blog-mirror of my ongoing historical review project, set up for (a) quick and easy public access to all newest content and (b) interactivity with my readers (comments and discussions). While this format is currently quite convenient, it is not intended to be permanent. Finalized versions of all the reviews (with a few extra bells and whistles, e.g. external links and numeric ratings) are stored, in HTML and PDF formats, on separate websites:

Only Solitaire Music Reviews
St. George’s Games: Reviews of Classic Story-Driven Video Games

Consequently, if you are a veteran reader more interested in recent content and discussion, feel free to mainly just surf out here. But if you are a newcomer to Only Solitaire / St. George’s Games and want to really feel the Force, I recommend you to check out the above links before anything else.

What’s up with the music review project?

In the past, I have toyed with various reviewing strategies, from randomly picking favorites (on the old Only Solitaire site) to reviewing everybody and everything in rigid alphabetic order (on the Only Solitaire blog). With middle age advancing, I have currently settled on something more rational and sensible — namely, writing something like a personal history of rock’n’pop music, starting with the rock’n’roll explosion of the mid-1950s and ending… well, at whatever point fate would have me stop any time in the future: whichever point that will be, the project will still have an aura of at least “partial completeness”.

For a bit of comparative perspective, I alternate between American and English (+ other European, sometime in the future) artists, starting with Bill Haley, the father of rockabilly, for the former and Lonnie Donegan, the father of skiffle, for the latter. All reviews continue to be centered on LPs rather than singles for convenience, but since the emphasis is now more on the time period than the artists, I will probably not strive to be such a completionist as I used to be (though weaker releases by major artists will still get their due).

And what’s up with those game reviews?

While probably not everybody knows this, video games, most specifically plot-based adventure, RPG, and action-adventure video games, have been one of my biggest hobbies since I was about 12, and I have, for quite a long time, dreamt of adding these games to the list of things I’d like to write about. Now that the old flames have been rekindled after Mass Effect and The Witcher actually helped recently pull me out of a depressive quagmire (and no, I’m not at all joking), it is most likely now or never. As of now, I have already broken the seal with several reviews of old Sierra On-Line and LucasArts classics, and more are on the way.

Amusingly, to prove that I actually do play this stuff before writing about it, I have even set up a personal YouTube channel where I upload my “longplays” — I can hardly imagine anybody being interested in such things, but if you ever feel like taking a trip down DOStalgia lane without going to the trouble of installing the old games, some of the videos might be worth a stranger’s peep.