Trying out some new themes, pardon our dust if things look unexpected this weekend. Very well may come back to our current theme, but as we’re growing, things are looking a little too busy, so I’m going to be testing out some more minimal designs. Thank you for your patience!
I received this game for free in exchange for writing an honest review. I played through Frisky’s route and received his Normal Ending.
Title: Cat President
Genre: Otome Visual Novel
Developer: Oh a Rock! Studios
Where to Buy: http://store.steampowered.com/app/474980
Geeky: 3/5 – On the fence with this score… Production values are fairly low and it shows, also not much “gameplay” as is the nature of visual novels. But it does earn a few points for geeky internet “meme-like” humor.
Sweetie: 5/5 – High marks for being an otome game (a game with a female protagonist) and for having cute cats. Also has pretty good character development and surprisingly good writing.
Concept: 8/10 Cat President is an otome game in which you get to help one of 6 different cat candidates (spoiler: one of them is a dog) become the nominee of their political party. You might also fall in love with your chosen candidate by the end of the game. Like most visual novels there is little to do aside from click and read. I like this genre of games a lot, but if you’re not used to this format, it may not be your cup of tea. On the plus side, Cat President takes a fun, whimsical, and light hearted approach to the visual novel genre. Most of the routes are short (around 2 hours each). There are multiple endings including normal, good, and bad endings which adds some more replay time. If you get all of your desired endings in one try, I estimate this game will take 12-15 hours to complete. Because of the light hearted nature, and short length of this game, it may be a purrfect game to give visual novels a try. However, if you’re a visual novel veteran, you might be disappointed by the “fluffy” nature of the plot, or by the somewhat amateur artwork, especially given the lack of poses of each sprite.
Story: 9/10 You play as a young girl who has been out of work for some time when she decides to attend a debate with her best friend and you are called upon to give a question to the candidates. You mention how you’ve lost your job and want to know how the candidates will help people like you. They all have the purrfect answer, by offering you a spot on their campaign team. These are no ordinary candidates however, as they are all cats (and a dog). This is how the game opens. The backstory explains that politics became so corrupt 20 years ago that humans are no longer allowed to hold any type of political office. It’s also eluded to pretty early on that cats can (and most do) become human (if they can afford it). Although the story does take itself lightly, and has some genuinely WTF moments, it’s not without more serious and delicate moments as well such as relationship drama, political scandals, and very likeable characters who have very human-like flaws. I was very surprised by how relateable the characters felt to me. I could see qualities in them and in myself, in my cats, and surprisingly most of all, in my past relationships with other humans. I went into this not expecting much other than comedy, so I was really surprised when I felt myself identifying with or nodding in understanding/agreement with many of the characters and situations in this game. Plus, if you like comedy (who doesn’t like comedy right?) and even more-so if you like cats, and are familiar with the internet memes, then you will really appreciate the humor in this game.
Gameplay: 5/10 – Unfortunately, as is the nature of visual novels, there’s really no “gameplay” per say, however the game does have all of the basic functions one expects in a visual novel such as being able to review different scenes or endings and gallery items. It does feature a lot of different endings and have high replay value. I’m not really so much of a fan of the “choose which route you want at the begining of the game” it seems to me only cheap “mobile games” use this mechanic, while “real” visual novels like Clannad for example, let you dip in and out of different characters’ routes, so you might experience different parts of the game each time you play. Locking into a route right out of the chute, limits then which stories and experiences you can enjoy in each play through. I’ve noticed this mechanic becoming increasingly popular, but I’m just not a fan of it. I like the “challenge” in trying to get with the guy (or cat in this case) that I want to be with, and putting me on his route right away takes away this challenge, and therefore, in my opinion, diminishes the fun a little bit for me.
Graphics: 5/10 – This is probably my biggest complaint with this novel. The game could have been really “cute” I think if it had “anime” style drawings for the characters and cats in the game, similar to Dandelion Wishes Brought to You, or other Otome games featuring cats and animals. The photographs of the cats are cute, but my biggest complaint is they are COMPLETELY static, they needed to have more photos in different poses, or different expressions. As a cat lover and owner, I find my own cats and those we watch on youtube etc to be extremely expressive. These static sprite images don’t capture much emotion or charm of these cats. They could have used different poses or angles, or tried to get their cats to be more expressive for some of the shoots (but well cats do what they wanna do so I understand maybe it was more difficult lol). I did critique the artwork when I left a brief steam review, and I was told that it was intentional to be more humorous and fit the theme and feeling of the game, and also because the creator wanted to include his friends’ real life cats. I did write back and suggest maybe just adding some more varied photos/poses would help – but I still think anime, ultimately is the way to go – it’s what the target audience wants, and what we expect. I am not a “graphics whore” – and I play all sorts of indie games (sprite based etc) and retro 8 bit and 16 bit games — but with a Visual Novel, the art work becomes highly important, because you don’t have that “gameplay” you need the artwork to help tell the story, hence the name “VISUAL” Novel, right? So the art was disapointing, if for no other reason, than it felt too still / stiff and wasn’t emotive or expressive. Although the writing was full of charm and did a great job defining the characters, the art didn’t help draw out that charm in any way.
Music: 6/10 – Music “gets the job done”, the main track is Hail to the Chief, the official presidential anthem of the USA. It’s really the only track I remember hearing consistently throughout, but I do remember hearing different tracks, including a vocal track even, but they’re ultimately not very memorable. The good news is, since each route is short, they can get by with a very limited number of music tracks, and the music itself does its job by providing background noise while not distracting or detracting anything from the focus of the story.
Replay Value: 10/10 – The replay value is exceptional here due to there being 6 dateable candidates, and each one having multiple endings. The characters are also diverse enough that each route feels like a fun and unique experience. The relatively short nature of each route makes multiple playthroughs easy and enjoyable.
Overall: 51/70 73% “C Good Game for Girls” – If you love games like Hatoful Boyfriend, and love cats, furries, internet humor, memes, youtube, or just want a fun, light hearted visual novel with great characters and a surprisingly warm and touching, though ultimately hilarious story, then you need to check out Cat President – a More Purrfect Union.
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I’m really excited about the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7. I had an old Samsung Note 2, and I loved it. It’d been awhile since I’d played with a newer Samsung smart phone so I was really excited to get to check out the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 at Best Buy‘s Booth at Blog Her. I found a lot of improvements have been made over the years in this device.
My favorite improvement is how responsive and natural the new and improved S Pen has become. It makes navigating websites or controlling apps a snap. It’s great for artists too! As a web developer and graphic artist, I would totally use this phone and the mobile adobe apps to work easily on the go. Writing texts or notes and reminders also feels very natural now with the improved stylus sensitivity and responsive new feel. The new S Pen is super light weight now too! It’s much more comfy to write with or use for long periods of time.
In fact, the entire phone is MUCH lighter than my old Note 2. As technology in general keeps shrinking and becoming thinner, the new Note 7 weighs just under 6 ounces.
As always, one of the best features of the Samsung Note handhelds is the large screen. And the CURVED Dual-edge, 5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen on the new Note 7 makes watching movies and playing games an amazing experience! As a gamer, the new screen truly is amazing. And with Google’s Open Play Store, there are millions of games to play, many for free! Or apps to watch your favorite shows like Netflix, Crunchyroll, Hulu, or Dramafever.
Of course, that would drain your battery, but fear not, because the new Note 7 also has greatly improved its battery life and also implemented quick charging to keep your device going longer and working harder than ever before.
The Galaxy Note 7 also really improved the camera – especially in low light settings. I love to take pictures when I’m out with friends and family. The new and improved camera makes capturing fun memories easier than ever and makes those memories look brighter, crisper, and clearer than ever before.
Best Buy makes shopping for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and choosing the best wireless plan for your new smartphone, super easy too! You can visit any Best Buy store to use their Mobile Plan and Compare tool. This tool will help you save money on your wireless plan by guiding you through understanding what features are most important to you! This doesn’t always mean just choosing the cheapest plan, but instead, choosing a plan that provides enough data, texts, minutes, long distance calling, visual voicemail, or other options that you regularly use. If you just go for the cheapest plan out there, you might be disappointed when your internet speeds are suddenly throttled, or worse yet, receive a huge bill from overages when you exceed your data limits.
It also helps you determine which features you don’t need so you don’t pay for what you won’t use. About 50% of people overpay on their cell phone bill. See how Best Buy can help. Best Buy lets you easily compare plans from a wide variety of different carriers including Verizon, Tmobile, Sprint, and ATT. They also offer numerous prepaid plans and options for those who wish to bring their own device.
The Mobile Plan and Compare tool at Best Buy helps you understand the different tiered data plans offered by carriers such as Verizon and ATT. These allow you to pay a set fee for how much data you or your family expect to use each month and then charge an overage fees for any additional data use. If you don’t want to worry about overages, many of the new smart phones have built in controls to turn off wireless data when you near your limits, or you can explore various prepaid or unlimited data plans if you are a heavy data user.
The Mobile Plan and Compare tool also helps you understand the new installment type plans that most of the big carriers offer. With these plans you pay a small fee every month in addition to your other wireless charges to essentially “lease” the cellphone which then allows you to upgrade sooner than you would in a traditional contract.
Best Buy offers this Mobile Plan and Compare tool in every Best Buy store. They also have resources available via bestbuy.com to help you calculate your estimated data usage.
Best Buy is also offering a special deal on the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 which includes a Free Gear Fit2 or 256GB memory card when you purchase and activate the Samsung Galaxy Note7. Plus, you can get $20 in rewards with your first qualifying Samsung Pay purchase.
Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
I began playing Smite with a friend last week. It’s my first time playing a MOBA game. I’ve avoided them because I heard how competitive they can be, such as league of legends. I’ve been playing it for a few weeks, but only last week for any real length of time or effort. Sorry if you played with me the last few weeks; I’m sure that I cost you to lose some matches, because I had no idea how to play for the first few weeks. I still don’t really, but I’m getting at least a little better. It does have a kinda steep learning curve, well for me at least. You have to understand, I typically go for “artistic” games which emphasize story over action – in fact some have no action at all, while others have “turn based combat” – so for me to be in real time combat and have to be “situationally aware” also known as “standing in stuff is bad” lol, well it takes some getting used to!
But eventually, you do get used to these things. And when I stopped dying every five seconds, and learned how to play, and also, bought a mouse (I was playing only with keyboard at first), well then I began doing better, and having fun.
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbone
Developer: Hi-Rez Studios (they’re also the publisher of this game)
Geeky: 5/5 – High marks for achievement systems, variety of characters, classes, game modes, UI system, fluid controls, skill system, items and inventory, and production values.
Sweetie: 3/5 – High marks for character customization and “cute” graphics and characters. Loses a few points for no story (not that games like this need one).
Overall: 69/90 77% C+ “Good Game for Girls”
Concept: 10/10 After about “20 hours” of play time, here are my initial thoughts on this game. First off, it’s free which is great! There’s lots of different game modes which makes it fun. You can play with people online, which could mean, you can group up with your friends, or join a search to get matched with random users online, and then also either play against friends, random users, or even AI computer controlled opponents. There are a ton of different characters, fitting different “roles” such as tanks (called guardians), mages, rangers, assassins, melee DPS, or hybrid roles. Not only are the roles diverse, but so are the characters’ appearances, and made even more diverse by unlocking or purchasing dozens of different “skins” for each character. There are achievements, both within the game, as well as steam trading cards, and different ways to progress through the game. You get rewards even just for logging in every day (like a lot of free or mobile games give to their players), so you could unlock different characters and/or costumes without having to purchase from the cash shop if you wanted.
Gameplay: 8/10 – As I mentioned, there is a tiny bit of a learning curve if you’ve never played a MOBA, or if you’re not used to fast paced competitive and action oriented gameplay. However, through trial and error, you’ll quickly learn to play (and not stand in stuff) (and learn when to run back to base to heal lol).
In the game’s defense, there is a really nice tutorial that walks you through many different game modes. I should have spent more time in the tutorial before rushing out to play with other people online, but let’s be honest, playing with other people is more fun.
There are different game modes including Arena, where you kill gods and minions or escort your minions to the other team’s “goal” (which is a giant portal), while defending your own portal. The other game modes all involve pushing past the enemy defenses by destroying their towers and defending your towers. The other game modes differ in how many “lanes” each map has. Some only have one lane, while others have 2, or 3 lanes.
Some game modes allow you to choose which character you want to play as, while others randomly assign a character to you. You have to be fast to select your character, for one thing, you’re timed, but more importantly, if someone else chooses that god, it becomes unavailable to you for that match, first come, first served.
The different characters all have different abilities and different strengths and weaknesses, so finding one that matches your play style, can be a bit of trial and error at first. I prefer rangers because I can attack and be mobile at the same time, and I can let others take the brunt of the damage.
Anyways, gameplay typically consists of dividing up who to go where in the “lane style” games. You’ll likely be asked to help defend and push through one of the different lanes. Since most matches have more players than lanes, you might have another player to assist you, but not always. The game however, will spawn minions for you (as well as for your opponent), and you can let them charge ahead to take the damage from the enemy towers while you help destroy their towers, gods, and minions.
If at any time, you find yourself overwhelmed, your minions defeated, or low on mana or health, you can return back to your base to heal and also to purchase items, equipment, or upgrade your skills (you can also upgrade skills outside of the base too but inside the base you can take a few minutes to plan your next move.). You can also set skill and item purchases to “auto” which is the default setting. This allows you to not have to worry about remembering to spend skill points or gold, but forces you to give up the customization aspects of building your own character. Because of the fast action nature of this game, I find it easier to just leave everything on auto which lets me focus on the action instead of worrying about the particulars of my character.
These “lane style” games end whenever one team’s “Titan” has been destroyed. To reach the titan you must focus on defeating towers and phoenixes. There are also smaller camps of monsters that award various buffs to your team members.
Arena is much more “free for all” – it’s a small map with no lanes, no towers, no phoenixes, etc, just you against the other team, in an almost olympic sport like event as you try to feed minions into the opponent’s portal while keeping minions out of your own, and killing as many enemy players as possible to earn more points. The arena matches end whenever one team’s point total is taken to zero. The team who still has points remaining is the victor.
In all game modes, your character will always start at level 1 and then quickly gain experience and gold. As you gain levels your character becomes stronger and you can spend skill points to upgrade their abilities or use the money you’ve earned to buy new gear.
There are ranked matches and “tournament seasons” as well for more competitive players – I’ve not tried these features yet.
As mentioned, the game lets you play online with friends, with random users, or with, or against, artificial intelligent “bots”.
There are also special in-game events that unlock gods for you to play temporarily or award you with new skins, icons, and achievements.
Story: 1/10 – There’s really no story, which is no surprise given the nature of the MOBA genre. There is some loose overarching theme and a bit of backstory for each character – the main idea being that they are all different gods from different cultural mythology, ranging from African, Egyptian, Roman, Chinese, and many more. This concept is rather interesting, but by no means has any real impact on the game.
Characters: 8/10 – Although there is no story (aside from a brief blurb about the mythos that your character represents), so no character driven dialogue or much personality here (aside from each character being voiced and having numerous taunts and sayings that they will repeat as you play), there are a ton of characters.
Character customization is also fascinatingly high in this game, both from a visual standpoint (if willing to spend money in cash shop or work to unlock skins), but also from a technical standpoint by allowing you to choose your characters’ skills and progression as well as equipment each game.
There are dozens of different character classes as I mentioned above, ranging from melee, to tanky types, to ranged or magical DPS. Each one, although maybe similar to some of the others within their “class”, also displays it’s own unique abilities and strengths and weaknesses.
Many characters will be locked and unavailable to you unless a special event is going on, or you choose to purchase the character via the cash shop or with special in-game currency.
Graphics: 9/10 I’m giving this high marks due to the different skins, also the animations and effects are cute and clever. The graphics aren’t amazing by any means, but they’re not bad either, about average, or what would be expected of “next gen” games these days. The graphics show a lot of personality and endear the characters to the players.
Music: 8/10 The music is actually pretty good! But I have to deduct a few points just for a lack of variety in the soundtrack, either through a low number of tracks available, or a general feeling of “sameness” between a lot of the music. However, the music is fitting well with the theme, of mythology and gods and mystery. It has a large and vibrant feeling like you might expect when walking through temple halls dedicated to Zeus or Ra or some other long forgotten god.
Voice Acting: 7/10 The characters are all uniquely voiced and it adds more personality and charm (something this game has in spades). Your characters will spout off short one-liners when you take down an enemy, when they get defeated, or when using different abilities. There’s not a ton of voice acting, and there aren’t any deep, emotionally driven lines delivered here, but the charm that it adds to the game makes it that much more fun and unique.
Replay Value: 10/10 – This is a game that you pick up and play for 20 minutes, or easily sink several hours into at once. There are so many different characters to try, as well as different ways in which to customize the abilities and equipment of those characters. Combine that with the several different game modes and the ability to unlock achievements, skins, and new characters as you continue to play. This keeps the game fresh, exciting, and accessible which makes replaying the game very enjoyable.
Overall: 69/90 77% C+ “Good Game for Girls”
Title: Cosmic Spacehead
Genre: Point and Click / Puzzle Solving
Release Date: 1993
Platform: (For this Review) Sega Genesis (there were also other versions including NES and Gamegear).
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Geeky: 4/5 – High marks here for the graphics and production values, losing a point for the sometimes challenging/frustrating puzzles as well as challenging platform minigames which create more frustration than enjoyment at times.
Sweetie: 4/5 – High marks here for charm and whimsy – losing a point for weak story and lack of replay value
Concept: 8/10 This is a very cute and cheeky point and click puzzle solving adventure game with a lot of humor and mischief. It also had amazing graphics for its time and technical limitations back in the early 90s. What I like about Cosmic Spacehead is how colorful and detailed the game world is and how it mixes sometimes crude and adult humor into a rather childlike game setting. However, the story is pretty “out there” and if you’re wanting anything serious or emotional or thought provoking this game is not for you🙂. But if you’re looking for something “different” or just simply “fun” you should check this game out.
Gameplay: 7/10 The 90s was the hay-days for point and click adventure games, however, Cosmic Spacehead takes a slightly different approach to the genre by also combining different game mechanics in the form of dozens of fun minigames, from platforming, side scrolling, even racing. These cute and fun minigames helped breakup some of the tedium which often plagued other point-n-click games of the 90s. Aside from the minigames, the controls in Cosmic Spacehead are your typical run of the mill point-n-click fare. You explore different locations, examine objects, pick up and use objects, talk to various characters, and solve puzzles to continue on your journey.
One of the pitfalls in the gameplay is that many of the puzzles make no logical sense and leave you backtracking or just spending hours via trial and error which takes some of the fun out of the game. There’s also not a large number of puzzles, so assuming you do not get stuck, you can easily complete this game within a few hours.
At the end of each level, you’ll encounter a mario-style platform minigame which is often criticized for being extremely challenging as if you get hit or miss a jump it’s instant death.
Still, it’s the experience of playing a virtual cartoon and enjoying the humor along the way which makes the game so much fun and unique. In an era of a lot of “sameness” this little game was brave enough to be different. It didn’t always pan out, but taking risks, is worth a few brownie points in my opinion. Cosmic Spacehead is a game that wants to make you smile. And it does that very well. It may have been a parody or attempt to mock the success of point and click adventure games at large. Nothing about this game takes itself very seriously.
Story: 5/10 You are Cosmic Spacehead, and you’ve just returned from discovering an ancient forgotten planet called Earth. However, when you get back home, no one seems to believe your story. To make matters worse, you’re dirt poor and have no way to get back to Earth to prove everyone wrong. To remedy this, you begin to carry out errands and odd jobs which leads to earning in-game currency and puts you closer to your goal to prove Earth exists. The story like everything else in the game is very light hearted and has a tongue and cheek style of humor which may appeal more to adults than young kids despite the simplistic gameplay. Although the story is zany and bright, there’s just not much substance to it to merit giving it a higher score. It’s a fun and enjoyable experience, but not amazing by any means. The story definitely takes a back seat to the gameplay here.
Characters: 7/10 – Although there are few characters in number, they are very unique and memorable. The humor and colorful graphics helps to endear anyone friend or foe that you meet along your travels.
Graphics: 10/10 – One of the best looking games on the Genesis. The world is bright and colorful and animated to help bring the characters to life. It’s a playful and vibrant world and is one of the most charming games you’ll see on this system.
Music: 7/10 – The music in cosmic spacehead is bright and bold and strangely addicting. It helps set the futuristic theme and like the story itself, it keeps an upbeat and sometimes unexpected tempo that seems to fit the game world quite well.
Replay Value: 3/10 – The game is short and linear. However, there’s really no other game like it, and it’s worth replaying just to revisit the colorful worlds and characters. Once you know the puzzles though, replaying games such as this becomes not nearly as fun, therefore, I recommend waiting a few years between replays, so you might forget some of the solutions along the way and get to have fun solving them again – well fun, or hours of frustration – either way, Cosmic Spacehead is a really quirky and cute game that you’ll want to revisit at least once again for nostalgia’s sake.
Overall: 55/80 69% D+ “Average Game for Girls” – While this is my objective review, I’d still recommend this game anyways – it’s short and sweet, and cute and whimsical enough that it really should be considered a must play as it’s oddly addictive and endearing in so many ways.
Title: Talos Principle
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Puzzle Solving
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform: PC, Mac, or Linux, also available on PS4 and Android
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Concept: 8/10 Many people have compared this game to Myst, but not me. In my opinion, this game is much closer to Portal than it will ever be to Myst. The nature of the puzzles, at least in the first many, many hours of the game bears a striking resemblance to the gameplay in Portal. It’s also these early hours in which I feel the game begins to fall apart, because the puzzles become so much the “same” throughout the first several “worlds” that you explore. However, looking past the often tedious gameplay, this game has a truly amazing story, especially if like myself, you’re fascinated by the philosophical and ethical questions surrounding artificial intelligence.
Gameplay: 6/10 The gameplay in Talos Principle consists of solving more than 100 puzzles. The problem is that probably more than half of those puzzles are so similar that once you’ve solved one, you can easily solve the others. It doesn’t really challenge or require much thinking, which sort of defeats the appeal of a “puzzle solving game”. For example, the first 3 or 4 worlds you will enter consist of puzzles which require you to pick up “jammers” and activate these devices in order to shut down orbs (which travel a predictable patch), or turrets which are firing at you, or use the jammers to open and close gates. Sometimes you’ll only have one or two jammers and 5 or 6 obstacles that need cleared, but it’s still not too challenging once you figure out the patterns and what to expect. Later levels tend to add a few more elements into the puzzles such as letting you climb ontop of boxes, or fling yourself across different areas. However, overall, for there being 120 puzzles, these puzzles lack variety. It wouldn’t matter if there were 50 puzzles or 500 puzzles, if they’re all similar, where’s the fun in that?
However, the game is not without merit, it does feature an extensive open world and for the most part allows you to travel freely (aside from some areas which require key items from other areas first) and solve or return to different puzzles at your own pace. This game does not hold your hand. In fact, that’s part of the charm and it works for creating immersion in this case. You awake into the world with the same knowledge as the main character (which is knowing nothing at all). You begin to piece together what is happening in the world at the same rate as the character himself. In this aspect, it almost becomes a psychological experience, and that I feel, is really the point in playing this game, and not the rather dull puzzles themselves.
Exploration is also another highlight of the gameplay as you travel through multiple worlds you will find clues left behind by other people before you and also clues about your own existence. But it’s up to you to read and explore and interact with every object, every nook and cranny, and complete every world and puzzle.
Story: 10/10 – Story is where the game shines, but it’s up to you to seek this story out. Often times, it’s not what the narrator says, but instead told through files in a corrupt computer system or found by scanning “QR codes” on walls or hidden locations throughout the world. The story itself is about the difference (or sometimes lack there-of) of man vs machine. At what point (if any) does artificial intelligence become “human” – what does it mean to be “human”? The story is told in cryptic bits and pieces and leaves you wanting to explore more and play more to figure things out. Often these are clues left behind by the creators of the AI system, and at other times, they are legends and mythos from ancient times about gods who were made of stone or metal but none the less had characteristics of man. The story also focuses on creation and how man can become a god, by creating AI and AI worlds. And then, what would happen if that AI also went on to create it’s own worlds and own creations. It’s a very deep and thought provoking story. I’ve always been fascinated by artificial intelligence and these questions that it brings. I would recommend playing this game, despite the slow and tedious gameplay, simply because of this story, but only if you are the type who likes exploration and uncovering these clues yourself. This game handfeeds you nothing. But for those willing to put in the effort, the game is full of rich history, lore, and an emotionally deep story.
Characters: 7/10 – Largely, you are the only character present, though other characters are hinted at from an early point and on throughout the game, including your creators, and even a “god” like figure. You can find emails and recorded messages from these characters and look up project information which details their role in the creation of the AI system. Despite there being a lot of details about these people – largely, this is a solo experience, and therefore character interaction or development is not a highlight here.
Graphics: 5/10 – I don’t see anything that special here. And as with a lot of the puzzles being similar, a lot of assets get re-used multiple times. It’s not very visually appealing or interesting in my opinion. Though there are many worlds, they all largely look the same. This game tries to be large and exciting, but just kinda falls flat in a lot of areas due to repetition.
Music: 6/10 – The soundtrack has a lot of ambient sounds and some key music pieces, but none of them are that impressive or memorable.
Voice Acting: 10/10 – The voice acting is actually really solid in this game which is a big plus. There are not many scenes which are voiced, but it is a nice touch.
Replay Value: 9/10 – There are actually three different endings in Talos Principle, but once you’ve solved most of the psychological questions and encountered most of the story elements, it makes it less enjoyable to replay this game on multiple attempts.
Overall: 70/100 70% C- “Good Game for Girls”
I received this Japan Mini Funbox full of yummy Japanese snacks in exchange for providing an honest review on my site. All of the opinions below are my own. Thank you Japan Funbox for allowing me to review your monthly subscription crate! You can learn more or sign up for your own Japan Funbox at www.japanfunbox.com
One of my favorite treats in the mini funbox were these fruity grape hard candies. When you blow through the center of the candy it makes a fun whistle sound (hence the name “Whistle Candy”). But really my fave part was the surprise toy box that’s included with the candy.
Next up, Ume-pachi, this fun and super sour plum flavored snack. It’s quite similar to “Pop Rocks” and the plum flavor is super good.
One of the only snacks I’d heard of before or familiar with before receiving this box. Pretz are light thin pretzel sticks that come in a lot of different flavors. This box contained Tomato Pretz. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really care for the tomato flavored ones. But it was neat to get to try a new flavor. My favorite Pretz are still the strawberry ones though which I’ve had a few times before.
Shuwabo – In terms of chewy texture and appearance, these cream filled rope-like treats reminded me of an American sweet called “Cow Tales”. If you like “Cow Tales”, you’ll probably like these too.
YUM!!!! Pizza flavored potato chips called simply “Pizza Potato”. Does anyone remember pizza flavored doritos here in the States? 🙂 These are like that, only better.
The item at the top of this list of things to be included was actually not in my box 🙁 Sadness. I assume it was a packing mistake. My box also arrived kinda disheveled so it could have been lost in the post I guess. It’s called Alfort and it’s supposed to be a chocolate “biscuit” which I assume would be similar to Milano cookies – a type of hard biscuit cracker in the states which people soak in tea or coffee.
One of the best things about Japan Funbox is it comes in 3 unique sizes to fit your needs and budget. The minibox which we reviewed here starts at $14.99 a month. The original is $32.99 a month and has 15-20 items (compared to 5-7 items in the mini). The original box also garuntees at least 1 DIY type candy and 1 “special item” (like a toy or “Adult candy” (whatever that may mean?)) The largest subscription is designed to be enjoyed by your whole family and costs $49.99 a month. In the family box you will get at least 2 DIY type candies and 2 special items and a total of 25-30 items. If you’re buying it just to enjoy by yourself this gives you a different candy every day! that’s pretty neat.
Overall, I think Japan Funbox has plans to fit any budget, and their price is fair when you consider how expensive shipping and importing Japanese snacks can be! There are some things in each box which are hit or miss in terms of flavor, but it definitely is one way to expand your horizons if you’re feeling adventurous! If you love trying new Japanese snacks you can get introduced to new flavors and new brands that you may not order for yourself normally. Or if you’re new to Japanese sweets and don’t know what you might like it’s a good way to introduce yourself to some new snacks. I also like that the box contained a pretty even balance of salty and sweet snacks to please both those who crave sweets and those who like salty flavors.
Feeling hungry? head over to https://japanfunbox.com/ and sign up for your own funbox today!
Top 10 Anime Casino Games
Many people enjoy the excitement of “winning big” from the comfort of their own home. These games help recreate the feeling of being in a real money casino with exciting slot machine gameplay.
- Manga Girls 25 Line Slots.
This game features dozens of cute anime girls across 5 reels and 25 lines. Other features include auto play, free spins, wild symbols, scatter symbols, and a bonus round.
- Nine Tailed Ninja.
This slot is unique because it features different seasons and different bonus rounds which correspond to the seasons. You find yourself fighting large demons and monsters in the summer bonus round, while in the winter you must correctly choose between a ninja and a shadow clone. The slot features progressive payouts, free spins, auto play, wild and scatter symbols, and the aforementioned bonus rounds.
- Koi Princess Slots
You get to feed fish in a relaxing Koi pond while playing this game. It also has a kawaii (cute) Asian anime girl mascot who will help cheer you on. Koi Princess Slots features 5 reels and 20 lines. As with most of the games on the list, it also features free spins, video slots, auto play, and bonus rounds.
- Toki Time
Toki Time is a very popular slot machine game with 5 reels and 11 lines. What I love about toki time are the kawaii cute graphics which resemble Tamagotchi virtual pets. The cute and colorful graphics make this a beloved favorite on many different sites. Toki Time is featured on nearly 200 sites in my state alone. This expanding wild slots game includes auto play, wild symbols, video slots, and free spins.
- Bikini Anime Slots
My favorite thing about this IOS Slot Machine Game is that it features popular characters from several anime and game series and beautiful graphics such as Sonico from Sonicomi. As the image suggests you can choose from 3 or 5 reel slot games and play on as many as up to 30 lines. It has free coins for starting out, free daily spins, and an optional in-game cash shop to purchase more coins when you run out. There are exciting bonus rounds and lots of cute girls to see.
- Sakura Lady
Sakura Lady is developed by Konami, makers of popular games such as Suikoden and Metal Gear Solid. It was one of the first anime themed slot machines to be released in real Las Vegas Casinos and gained almost immediate success and attention.
Sakura Lady is a 5 reel slot machine which can be configured to opperate with 20, 30, or even 40 lines.
It’s fully animated with video slots and super cute, colorful and high quality artwork from leading video game developers and animators in Japan.
The main theme of Sakura lady is about a girl watching cherry blossoms grow in her garden. At times, “Sakura Lady Symbols” will appear on the reels which can award up to 20 free spins.
Check out the video (not my video, just linking to it) to see how cute this game is in action.
- Slots Anime – Vocaloid Hatsune Miku Games
This game features really great vocaloid graphics and includes all the fun features you’d expect such as free spins, wild symbols, bonus games, and more. Not only does it feature Hatsune Miku, but it also includes many of the other, lesser known, vocaloids as well. Vocaloids are so cute. I got to see Miku perform live a few years ago when she went on tour with Lady Gaga. I’m a big vocaloid fan, and if you are too, you’re going to love this free anime slot machine game for IOS.
- Anime Slots Free Casino Pokies
This game is one of the top rated slot machine games in the Android Play Store. It features lots of great high quality anime graphics, including popular characters from hit anime tv series and popular video games. There are wilds, scatter symbols, and exciting bonus rounds. It also includes free spins and sticky game mechanics.
- Star Ocean 4 Pachinko Slots
Just last month, Sqaure-Enix announced that they were entering the Pachinko Slot Machine market (a style of Japanese slot machine game units.) Unfortunately no images or media have been released yet, however trademarks exist for slot machines, slot machine housing, and pachinko electronics which all seem to indicate that progress is being made. Along with Star Ocean 4, Square-Enix also announced that they are working on a Lord of Vermillion Pachinko slot machine. I wonder how long it will be before we see Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest slot machines as well?
- Chibi Vegas Slot Machine – Anime and Manga Fan Edition
Chibi Vegas Slot Machine – Anime and Manga Fan Edition takes my pick for the top spot in today’s round up of kawaii anime themed slot machine games.
This game allows you to connect to facebook to try to obtain the high score on the leaderboard which makes playing the game competitive and fun and gives you a sense of playing with other people.
Chibi Vegas Slot Machine features super cute “chibi style” (big head, little body) anime characters with tons of personality.
But it’s not just all about looks either. This game is packed full of many different features, including 9 different game modes each with a different cute anime theme. There’s also lots of different bonus games.
Out of all the games on today’s list this would be my pick for the best anime slot machine game. If you like anime, and slot machines, do not miss this app.
I was not into Pokemon Go when it first launched. It wasn’t until my mom began playing that I took interest. For a few reasons, first, when the game first came out, there were numerous game crippling bugs which made it almost impossible to play. It’s also a rather difficult game to learn at first, it gives absolutely no guidance, direction, tutorial, etc. This combined with the bugs in early days made the game frustrating and a lot less fun than it is now.
Second, I’m not one to enjoy exercise. It’s not that I’m “Lazy”, but well… exercise is “painful” and “tiring” and “annoying”. When I started playing Pokemon Go, I thought how annoying or stupid it was to have to go outside. This was when I was playing it alone in the first few days of the launch. This began to change when I found someone (my mom) to play the game with. It’s much like the thought of having an exercise buddy.
When I was in college (10 years ago now, wow.) I went to the same school as my best friend. We’d spend our breaks swimming, playing badminton, and even (cringe) running laps. I was also doing atkins diet at the same time, and I ended up going from 200+ lbs to 127 lbs and a size 6/7 in jeans. After college, and my best friend moving to the other side of the state, now a 5 to 6 hour drive away, and going back off the atkins diet, I gained all of that weight back slowly over the years, due to lack of motivation to get out there and exercise.
I did have an xbox 360 with Kinect, and a Wii with some games which tried to add gamification elements the work out experience. I’d play them for a time, but always ultimately get bored and go back to other less “demanding” and more “rewarding” games. I will say out of the “work out” games I own, my favorite has always been “Walk It Out”, a very obscure Wii game that blasts 90s/2k pop music as you walk around a rather empty world at first; and as you walk you unlock new songs as well as begin to see the world come to life. I also enjoy DDR (although I suck at it really badly.) and Just Dance (slightly less challenging than DDR). I even had Wii Fit, and I did love the charting/tracking aspects of that game and even being able to weigh my cats lol.
But ultimately, none of those games held my interest. Was it because I didn’t have anyone to play them with? Perhaps. Was it because I still wasn’t “getting out”? I was still “at home playing videogames” something I’ve done for almost 30 years of my life.
It’s still too soon to tell how long it will be before I get “bored” with Pokemon Go. But it has some elements that are so unique and different from the other work out games I own. When I try to describe Pokemon Go to people who don’t already play, I tell them “It’s basically geocaching with pokemon”. I’d never gone geocaching before but the idea of it had always appealed to me in theory. It encourages you to get out and explore some new and sometimes remote or far away locations and you’re rewarded with small treasures (usually coins) (but in this case, it’s pokemon instead of coins).
Pokemon Go is a social game. Recently, a new dating website opened up and had such overwhelming response that they had to shut down their servers temporarily. This dating service aims to connect Pokemon Go players in their area both for playing Pokemon Go, but also for finding true love (or friendship). I’m also single right now, I’m kinda taking a break at the moment, seeing a few people but nothing serious, and find I’ve kinda backed off a bit on the dating or seeking of a mate at the moment, but when I’m ready again, in a few weeks, or months, or whatever the case may be, I have a feeling I’ll be using this Poke Date service. You can check it out here: https://www.projectfixup.com/pokedates/ – There’s also another site here: https://t.co/7sOATzdApr and probably numerous meetup.com Pokemon Go groups as well (though there weren’t any close by in my area last time I checked.).
Even if you’re not using such a site to interact with the Pokemon Go community, chances are you’re going to run into other players out in the real world, whether it’s at poke stops, gyms, or just walking around your parks or college campus, etc trying to catch pokemon. If you’re like me, you’re probably a shy introvert, who avoids other people (remember that part about sitting at home playing videogames?). I still haven’t started a conversation with anyone while playing Pokemon Go, but I have had people come up and start conversation with me, and I find it’s easy to talk to people when you have a shared interest, common goal, hobby, passion, etc. Pokemon Go can make you more comfortable in social interactions, help to break the ice, and put you in the “right place, at the right time” to meet new friends or potential romantic partners.
Pokemon Go does just that, it makes you GO places. You might find new places nearby that you’ve never visited, or it may encourage you to take a road trip, day trip, weekend trip, etc to go discover new pokemon. While playing the game, you might stumble upon new restaurants, museums, nature trails, parks, or other exciting places. Travel is fun! And Pokemon Go gives you another excuse to get away, take a vacation, take the scenic route, relax, and reconnect with nature while exploring new places and trying new things.
Pokemon Go is fun, relaxing, and addicting. Ignoring the social, psychological, and health benefits of playing the game, the game is just plain fun. The obsession to “catch them all” and to find “rare” Pokemon is a huge draw that keeps you wanting to play more and more. Just imagine if Shiny Pokemon get introduced sometime in the future, or special limited time events with special exclusive Pokemon to catch. This obsession to keep playing, keep seeking out new places with new pokemon, and “catch them all” is what keeps you motivated and interested in the game and continues to reinforce the “good habits” (exercise, social interaction, etc) that come from playing the game each day.
Pokemon Go is free. Yes, there is a cash shop, but you definitely don’t need to spend any money to enjoy this app. You can just visit your closest pokestop, and sit there for an hour or two collecting the items you need. Once again this just encourages you to keep getting out there. It’s win/win.
Pokemon Go is good exercise. It’s even being used in nursing homes to help the elderly. Gamers are not known for a love of working out or healthy habits. I’m no exception. But Pokemon Go makes me want to exercise in order to play the game. I went from being sedentary, to now walking 5 to 7 miles almost every day. I couldn’t tell you the last time I walked even a mile, let alone 5+ miles. Almost daily. Two days ago we walked ten and a half miles which so far is the farthest/longest I’ve walked while playing Pokemon Go. Of course, I am hoping to lose weight. Who doesn’t want to be more fit and healthy right? But even if that never happens simply from walking a few extra miles, I’ll tell you, this exercise has already had several benefits. The main benefit it has had is curing me of my insomnia.
Pokemon Go will help you sleep better! If you’re not used to physical activity (like me), and going through a “hard time” where your mind is just turning non-stop most nights, Pokemon Go will make you fall asleep from the physical exertion and exhaustion that comes when you increase your activity levels. The last 2 weeks I’ve been sleeping like a charm, when most of June was spent in angst and anger and disappointment and hurt feelings, I no longer have TIME to think about that. Pokemon Go keeps me busy! Keeping busy keeps me happy!
Pokemon Go will improve your mood! Exercise creates endorphins which are scientifically proven to create feelings of happiness and euphoria. It also as I mentioned helps “clear” (or otherwise occupy at least) your mind which makes you forget about your worries and troubles. It gets you out into the sunlight and sunlight is also scientifically proven to boost your mood. It helps you connect “spiritually” with nature, or helps you connect “emotionally” to other people. It reminds you you’re not alone. Pokemon Go is a comforting experience for anyone dealing with loss, death, grief, heartbreak, or other traumas.
Yes, there have been some scary stories in the news recently about Pokemon Go, either from neglect and a lack of paying attention to one’s surroundings, such as walking into traffic, falling off a cliff, or criminals using Pokemon Go to identify Poke Stops and wait for passer by to mug/rape/attack/whatever. There are also cases of people playing Pokemon Go at inappropriate times such as while working or driving. – but these incidents are few and far between when compared to the millions of players who are benefiting in some way from playing this game.
Pokemon Go means different things for different people, but for me, it has given me that little boost of motivation that I need to be more active and get out in my community.
Editor’s Note: Today’s Guestpost comes from Jeremy at http://www.stylinonline.com/ who shares how he believes the Big Bang Theory helped make nerds “cool again”. If you’re a nerd too, check out Jeremy’s shop for awesome pop-culture tshirts and more.
Eight Ways The Big Bang Theory Made Nerds Cool Again
Eight Ways The Big Bang Theory Made Nerds Cool Again
Geeks have taken over prime time television with their own show, and have lovers of all things nerdy and scientific tuning in. Ever since the first series premiered in September 2007, The Big Bang Theory has captivated and entertained audiences with its clever yet wholesome comedy. Centered on the social lives and work of a young group of scientists, the show revolutionized the way we see comedy and made being a nerd cool again. So, hold on to your pocket protectors, because, as avid fans of the hit television series, we have a comprised a list of 8 ways The Big Bang Theory Made Nerds Cool Again.
- It Makes Science Relatable
Let’s be honest. Most people only paid attention to science when we were still making volcanoes out of baking soda and vinegar. Very few can honestly say they genuinely enjoy sitting through a two-hour lecture on the “The History of the Periodic Table.” The Big Bang Theory, however, offers the audience a far more compelling and entertaining view of science and the world around us. In the first episode of season seven, when Janine was dealing with infidelity, Raj compares her marital issues to that of penguins who in the wild also have “commitment issues.” Humorous and oddly relevant, we learn an interesting fact while still enjoying this awkward moment of small talk.
- It Shows Nerds Can Find Love Too
We all know the universal stereotypes that most nerds will become forty-year-old virgins or live alone with their action figures or comic book collection, but The Big Bang Theory helps smash that concept. The plot thickens when Leonard, the experimental physicist at Caltech, ends up falling for and eventually marrying the hot girl next door. Even Sheldon, the socially awkward king of all things scientific and nerdy lands himself a girlfriend while still living life as a full-blown geek.
- It Makes Having a Big Vocabulary Cool
Despite the down to earth style comedy of the show, the audience find themselves coming across new words and important scientific terminology daily. Who would have thought that a show can successfully use words like “render” and “catatonic” in a joke, and it is still funny?
“Raj: I don’t like bugs, okay? They freak me out.
Sheldon: Interesting. You’re afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.” (Episode: The Jiminy Conjecture)
- It Makes Graphic Tees Trendy
Although one would not typically look at a modern TV sitcom for fashion tips, The Big Bang Theory does a lot to influence today’s style. With millions of viewers watching at home, the wardrobe we find the cast appearing in mimics the very own fashion tastes of today’s population. Sheldon, who is almost always sporting a graphic tee, not only expresses who he is as a character through his clothing, but also serves as a prime role model for casual, carefree clothing trends.
Novelty tees and other apparel are a growing trend in today’s fashion industry that even the producers of the Big Bang Theory are hip to.
- We Learn the Truth About Robots
Whether you are a self-declared nerd or not, one cannot deny the fact the idea of robots is kind of cool. With a bucket load of apocalyptic-style robot movies out, we cannot help but wonder “what if.” Fortunately enough, thanks to The Big Bang Theory we learn that although mankind has the power to create robots, they do not have the power to make them truly human. We are taught that the brain uses quantum mechanics to create consciousness, and robots are unable to do so, and therefore we can thankfully put to rest the fear of a machine-induced apocalypse.
- It Shows Pretty Girls Can Be Nerds Too
The Big Bang Theory is breaking down gender roles, one episode at a time. We tend to picture the average computer nerd as a skinny, acne-prone young man, but, contrary to popular belief, no one is safe from catching a cold case of “the nerd.”
During the second season’s third episode, Penny is introduced to the world of internet gaming and transforms into a full-blown, video game addict. She becomes consumed by online gaming, neglecting her job, hygiene, and health completely, submerging herself in the world of a computer geek. Eventually she finds release when she sees the errors of her ways, but, for a while, she was a complete nerd, reinforcing the idea that such roles are not solely limited to men.
- It Makes Fantasy Obsessions Cool
Let’s face it. Part of what goes into being a nerd besides extreme wit and high academic performance is the innate obsession with fantasy. The Big Bang Theory does an excellent job of making comic books and fantasy seem cool. So much so, that a lot of the action takes place at the local comic book store. Sheldon himself prides himself on his own personal collection of comic novelties and action figures.
Even during the first season’s sixth episode, when the authors showed off their Halloween outfits, we find the group of friends dressed as Frodo from Lord of the Rings, Robin Hood, Thor, and even The Doppler Effect, making eccentricity less bizarre and more expected when it comes to this group of nerds.
- It Makes Great Accomplishments Seem Normal
Usually a trip to outer space would seem like an opportunity of a lifetime and, in most cases, it is. During one episode of The Big Bang Theory, however, Howard returns home from space and, instead of being greeted with love and admiration, most of his peers are too busy dealing with things going on in their own lives. Because every character is used to dealing with each other’s greatness, what the audience may view as a major accomplishment is to the characters just another part of ordinary life.
In the end, The Big Bang Theory is more than just your average television sitcom. Its unique and intelligent humor sets it apart from any other comedy in its category, and brings its characters to life with its brilliant yet comedic dialogue and composition. Not only does the hit TV series bring validation to all those nerdy enough to identify with the main characters, but also transforms the way we ultimately view the world and one another.