Tired Old Hack: a word on the coming months

Well. It’s been quite the fortnight.

Over the past two weeks I’ve posted nine reviews (a round-up, Layton’s Mystery Journey and Mario & Luigi), two videos and a tips special on the site: given that I’ve been juggling that with a 9-to-5 job and other freelance work that’s a lot of work.

That’s about to change, though. Continue reading “Tired Old Hack: a word on the coming months”

“Draw, pardner” – introducing the TOH illustrator!

A week or two ago I got an email from a chap called Jonathan Traynor.

Said chap is an illustrator in his free time, and he came to me with a proposition: “Let me draw the utter fucking piss out of things on your site.”

Granted, those aren’t the exact words he used – he was far more polite and comprehensive in his pitch – but that’s how I interpreted it.

Since I liked the cut of his jib (even if that was an alternative jib I conjured up in my head), I’m happy to announce yer man Traynor is now on board the good ship Tired Old Hack. Continue reading ““Draw, pardner” – introducing the TOH illustrator!”

The first ever Tired Old Hack live review!

The first ever review I wrote in my career. They got better

I’d estimate that over the course of the last 11 years I’ve reviewed just short of 1000 games (thanks very much, ONM’s monthly Virtual Console and WiiWare section, for bumping that figure up).

Reviews are arguably the most important aspect of games journalism – at least in the traditional sense – because after the news announcing a game and the previews giving a taste of it, the review is the final verdict: “Now it’s finally with us, and here’s whether you should get it.”

Because of this, one of the questions I get asked most often (other than how to become a games journalist) is how to properly review a game. The answer is one you might not like, because it isn’t a catch-all solution: there’s no ‘proper’ way to review a game. Everyone does it differently and everyone has their own style.

What I can do, however, is try to help by telling you how I do it my way, and hope that by doing so you can maybe pick up some tips to use when developing your own style.

Or, rather, instead of telling you, I could show you. Continue reading “The first ever Tired Old Hack live review!”

The Great Tired Old Hack Survey™

Tired Old Hack turns two years old next month, and truth be told I still feel like the site’s in its early stages.

Since January 2015 I’ve been messing around with different ideas and article types, trying to see which ones stick and which are roundly ignored or disliked.

Now though, it’s over to you. I’ve put together a 20-question survey and I would massively appreciate it if you could fill it in.


It’s entirely anonymous (though you get the chance to put your name in at the end if you want me to know it was you), and there are loads of comedy GIFs in there in case the idea of surveys bores you to tears.

Thanks in advance folks.


The return of Gemhunter

If you’ve been following me on social media you may know that I’ve been suffering problems with my wrist lately.

Worst Ken cosplay ever
Worst Ken cosplay ever

Long story short, for the past five weeks or so, my right wrist starts ‘clicking’ after about 15 minutes of computer use (be it keyboard or mouse), and if I continue to do it, it gets to the point where my hand locks up and can only ‘snap’ into an open or closed position. It’s not nice.

My doctor is treating it as a bad case of RSI for now and he’s instructed me to take the next few weeks off work and refrain from any typing (I’m writing this out on my phone with my left hand – bless you, Google Keyboard).

I really don’t want to stop doing Tired Old Hack stuff, but writing long articles is now out of the question and doing edited videos is too (because I’d be using the mouse for hours at a time).

My solution, then, is to bring back Gemhunter. Continue reading “The return of Gemhunter”

I’ve started a Patreon! (also: why I’ve started a Patreon)

Earlier this week I clocked up a full ten years as a video games journalist (as you’ll know if you’ve already read my article on my favourite memories).

It’s a milestone I’ve wanted to hit ever since I started back in May 2006, because it’s one thing to get your dream job but another to do it to a decent enough standard that you get to stick around for a long time.

Me as a child. Trust me, it was Halloween
Admit it, this photo of me as a child is more than enough reason to throw money at me in pity

At the end of my recent article, I said “here’s to another 10 years”. And I do have a long-term plan that will, all going well, mean I’m still writing about games in 2026.

That’s assuming video games still exist then, of course – for all I know we could just end up paying to have Steam achievements injected into the base of our spines.

The first step of my plan is a potentially controversial one: I’ve launched a Patreon account. To address this, allow me to reuse the tried and tested ‘fake Q&A’ technique in an attempt to convince you that I’ve thought this through properly and that, if you aren’t interested, your Tired Old Hack experience won’t suffer as a result. Continue reading “I’ve started a Patreon! (also: why I’ve started a Patreon)”