What’s Cookin’?: (Almost) Everything in Moderation…


 

Yep, I’m still alive. My brain has been percolating a lot these past two weeks on stuff galore, so it’s been tough to focus on being too entertained. That said, I do like what Nintendo is up to on a few fronts despite me not even being interested in Super Mario Run because I don’t own an Apple device (yuk!), have zero plans to buy it on Android and even it it rears its cute run ‘n jump head on Switch, it’ll be a “meh!” as far as making a dent on my playlist. While a decent platformer gets played here and there by yours truly, I just don’t get that same thrill I used to back in the arcade to 32-bit era. A new Mario game gets the same sigh and pass as a AAA first-person shooter from me, Miyamoto magic or not.

Yeah, it’s cool and all, but I just can’t. The good here (it’s only ten bucks! – take THAT, $99.99 mobile game DLC!) is counterbalanced with the need for an always online connection to play. But given that ALL mobile games need to connect online at some point during play and Nintendo’s strict requirement is to prevent piracy and cheating, it comes off as a necessary evil more than a draconian law being laid down.

Well, to me at least.

On the other hand… The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Yep, sold. I’ve even gone and bought a few Amiibo to use in order to take advantage of the freebies that drop if you’re smart enough to have a few lying around. Hell, I was Amiibo-resistant until Hyrule Warriors revealed you can get five random gifts per day just by tapping figures on the Gamepad.

Anyway, let me close here for now and get back to cooking my actual dinner. My mind clears up a lot when I cook, so this post is a result of a meat sauce with ground turkey playing the part of beef. That’s going with some linguini that…(taste!) just turned al dente. Back in a bit, a trip to planet Nom awaits.

-GW

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Review: Ember

N-Fusion’s nostalgic, gorgeous love letter to classic CRPGs hits most of its notes perfectly and is one of the nicest surprises this year in terms of value for the money and how well the team has pulled off much of what it intended. 

Ember-752x430 Platform: PC (also on iOS)
Developer: N-Fusion Interactive
Publisher: 505 Games
# of Players: 1
Release Date: 9/9/2016
MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: A (90%) BUY IT!

 

ember-angel 

Back in the earliest days, there was no sun and the world was dark. The heavens opened up and stars fell like beacons into the pitch black world, and they were known as “Embers”. Powerful and wise druids of a primordial race, “the Lightbringers,” roamed the land searching for this luminous matter. They performed a ritual of awakening to call the “Embers” out of their deep sleep. Suddenly the world became bright, and the veil of darkness was lifted. The Embers were the embodiment of magical flame, light, and life, but as word spread about the sheer power of the Embers, they came to be hunted and captured…and so the War for Ember began…

 

Given this site’s moniker I’m probably the last person who should be reviewing Ember, as I fell head over heels for the game after first seeing it just over two years ago at a 505 Games media event. Back then, it was an iOS exclusive and after spending time chatting with N-Fusion’s Jeff Birns and seeing the game in action, I was all set to drop my non-Apple stance and throw good money into taking the iPlunge. Fortunately, my brain started slapping itself in the face, which got me to ask if the game was coming to other platforms. Flash forward to the game hitting Steam first, followed by iOS a few days later and yours truly sinking a few dozen hours into the PC version, loving every nostalgic minute.

You play as a freshly revived Lightbringer, brought back to life after a lengthy period of interment in order to save a pretty troubled land called Domus from destruction. Yes, the game deliberately checks off a long list of CRPG tropes with slight amnesia, bantering siblings, a bad pirate gone good and others swirling through the plot. But this is exactly the sort of game that’s been made by a team who knows what it’s doing and it’s been done so well that everything’s more than acceptable once you get it. Or get over it, if you’re one of the wags who goes into every game expecting “innovation” from everything you touch. That said, the game works excellently as a casual to hardcore play because you get to control how easy to difficult your own experience will be.

Continue reading

Dungelot: Shattered Lands – A Cuter, Stabbier Minesweeper

Dungelot_Screenshot-2015-06-23-19.47.08 


 

Dungelot 0Another of tinyBuild Games‘ upcoming titles is Dungelot: Shattered Lands from Red Winter, a two man studio based in Russia. Shattered Lands is their third game, but unlike the much maligned Dungelot 2 (which got lots of guff for its micro-transaction heavy gameplay), it’s available on iOS now and coming to Steam later this year as a single player game worth keeping an eye peeled for.

While I’m not a big Minesweeper fan in general, it’s the super cute art style and familiar rogue-like RPG aspects that have my interest piqued. Hey, who doesn’t like loot drops and increasing difficulty? Well, that and it’s got a rather large and unholy cow as a beefy boss that needs to be taken down:

dungelot-shattered-lands-gif Moo! Of course, that means that Cow from Hell above is udderly a female fiend (last time I checked, bulls are udderless), but hey – equality goes as good for evil as it does for good when all is said and done. If that sentence made no sense it’s because I’m still zonked out from the snowstorm we had two days ago. I could use some hot milk right about now, so that bovine behemoth-ess (MOO!) is looking mighty attractive about now.

But I digress. Go pick up the game if you have an iOs whatever to play it on or slap it on your Steam watchlist and go hide in a corner until it appears in that store at some point down the road. Here are some screens to ogle below while I nap through the rest of this post:

Dungelot_1 

dungelot3 dungelot4 dungelot5 dungelot6 dungelot7 dungelot8 dungelot9 Dungelotcast2
 

Divide By Sheep: It’s The New Math, Kids!

(thanks, tinyBuildGAMES!)
 

If they taught math this way back when I was in grade school I’d bet a heck of a lot of kids would probably be a lot smarter. And probably vegetarian or vegan not to mention not afraid of death at all. Anyway, great and prolific indie developer tinyBuildGAMES does it again with another hilarious slice of pure fun with a twist. Divide By Sheep is a math puzzle game that combines Death, loneliness, sacrifice and too cute to chop up sheep in a game where every move counts. Okay, it’s nowhere as grim as that last sentence sounds at all although a sense of humor is going to be needed in order to get full enjoyment from this one.

divide by sheep art
 

If you feel like counting sheep now and getting Death some new wooly pals to play chess with, the game is available on Steam and iOS NOW. Even better (well, if you’re an iOS user), you can get tinyBuild’s Spoiler Alert for FREE and Fearless Fantasy for a mere 99 cents. Those are both hard to pass up deals, I’d say.

A Powerskin Pop’n For A Penny? GRAB IT!

PSK-POPN-LTG-WE_3Qtr-Back_800px_081414-500x500If you’re in need of a great little hybrid phone charger for your iPhone or Andrioid phone, Powerskin has a NICE deal ready for you. But only if you act FAST. You can grab a Powerskin PoP’n portable charger for a PENNY plus shipping ($9.99), a great deal because these babies usually go for $49.99 at retail.

All you need to do is click HERE, pick ONE and check out using the code ONECENT. That’s that. The big caveat is this deal is for Continental US residents ONLY and of course is limited to ONE per person. Hey, Powerskin doesn’t want you opening up an eBay shop to try and rake in a profit on their great deal, now. Anyway, you’re buying one of these, right? RIGHT? I thought so. You were busy ordering one and missed that question is all…

Firefly Online: The “Little” MMO That’s Gonna

Even though I don’t play online games these days, Firefly Online has had me intrigued every since I heard there was an official game underway. Oddly enough, no one from any PR firm contacted me about covering it, so I assumed that was some sort of warning sign or worse, someone not wanting to do the hard work of getting the word out on something they thought was going to be too niche for its own good. Well, I was wrong on both counts as I found out when I bit the bullet and signed up for Firefly Online Cortex, the companion pre-game app currently available on Steam, Google Play and the App Store.

firefly online cortex 

There’s not much to do in Cortex other than collect digital trading cards and points playing mini-games on a map of The Verse or reading news updates. That said, the cards are cool, there’s a second series coming soon and you can also score some even better bonuses by ponying up five bucks to attain Big Damn Hero status. This status will get some some great perks for the main game when it launches this spring on Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android OS. What kind of perks? Well, exclusive gear for your crew mates, access to items non-BDH players won’t have and some other neat stuff. Hey, they got my five clams without hesitation. I’m not here to babble about anything you can read in the FAQ here other than to add I like where this is all going and if you ever were a Firefly fan at some point in the past, you may want to think about signing up yourself.

What I like about the game based on the descriptions and video above it that it’s NOT at all forced social interactivity. You can play along with your virtual crew as you rise up in the ranks, taking your customized ship into charted and uncharted territories for fun and profit. The game is in fact, a single-player experience that just so happens to have some social elements added in like the ability to create and share quests with others. As it’s also powered by Unity, this means there’s a slim chance it may end up on other platforms (as in consoles) if it does well enough on the initial platforms it launches on (and there’s enough demand for a port in every port, of course).

Right now, my own personal choice will be what to play this on when it does ship. I’ve been eyeballing a few inexpensive tablets recently (primarily for gaming purposes) as well as dinking around on devices owned by a few friends while I decide to make up my mind. I suppose I could just run the game on the laptop just fine. However, I want to keep it freed up to write and have something else dedicated entirely to FFO. So, it may be a mobile platform after all that’s bigger than a phone and smaller than a breadbox. We shall see, but whatever I choose, Firefly Online will be played. At my own pace, of course.

Marvel Mighty Heroes Teaser: Your DeNA Just Got An Adrenaline Shot

Here’s a BIG kick in the pants for a Monday, courtesy of the Merry Marvel Marching Society. Okay, not really. it’s actually a brand new mobile game on the way from the folks at DeNA and developer ngmoco. Their upcoming F2P game Marvel Mighty Heroes looks to bring fast-paced tactical co-op action to iOS and Android devices soon. That teaser video above should get you fans motivated enough to pre-register for the game, but I’ll drop the press release below the jump if you need a tiny bit more convincing. Continue reading

About Love, Hate and the other ones: Black Pants’ Mobile Puzzler Arrives on Steam

About Love Hate and the other ones logo
Black Pants Game Studios‘ formerly mobile-only title About Love, hate and the other ones is now on Steam for $6.99 and I’d say you should buy it for the title alone. I just completed downloading it but haven’t had the chance to play, but that title made me smile because I immediately thought of the great Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter delivering that classic speech:

(Thanks, TheOdusseus!)

However, the game has nothing to do with that should have been a classic when it was first released Charles Laughton film, folks. The press release and that video below should give you a better idea of what to expect:

Description

About Love, Hate and the other ones is a puzzle game, in which you influence your surroundings by the force of Hate and the power of Love. They shouldn’t have pushed the button! Life on the hill was just perfect for Love and Hate before that shiny red device appeared. Suddenly, they are trapped in a dark and spooky cave, far away from home. Now it is up to you to control the opposing forces of Love and Hate. They will soon meet a lot of Other Ones, wondering how they might react when Loved, or when Hated. Find a way through caves and ice, castles and factories, all by the might of your puzzling! If you ever return to that hill, life will be sweet again…

 

The game was developed by Tobias Bilgeri based on a short film series he did during university studies. Positive feedback on the game had him teaming up with indie developer brush&bear (two students at the University of Kassel) for the iPhone version, published by Black Pants on the App Store. A few screenshots for you? Of course!

AboutLaH_MainMenu AboutLaH_LevelMap AboutLaH_TheCastle AboutLaH_IceWorld AboutLaH_TheCave AboutLaH_MachineRobots

The quirky visual style and initially simple gameplay should appeal to you puzzle fans out there, but I also like the interesting love-hate dynamic. Now, to shut up, post this and try to get in a some game time at some point today. Back in a bit…

STM Wants To Keep Your iPhone 6 Non-Bendy – Let Them, I Say…

STM Harbour 

Eh, you’d figure Apple would give a nice sturdy case away for free with that new expensive phone they sell, but we’ve been “trained” to pay out the nose for something protective that SHOULD come in that box. Yeah, yeah, I know people like to have variety in their first or third-party phone protection solutions, and in the words of one Apple-head I know who lemmings up for each new model “They’d probably just give you something cheap you’d want to throw away” (ouch!). But if you have to buy a case for that new every-phone, let me be the first to say STM will never steer you wrong. Their new Harbour case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has a hardshell frame and soft rubberized lining along with a hinged base that doubles as a handy stand, allowing for easy removal. At a mere $24.99, it’s a must if you like your tech less bendy when it’s not supposed to budge. Yeah, you know what to do, right? I thought so.

And Just Where Is That iPhone Made, You Ask? Have a Seat & See (Er, Take Your Phone Out of That Pocket First!)…

Ha. Nothing in this rather helpful infographic on why Apple-heads who spend hundreds of dollars or more on each new iteration of the iPhone continue to jam that expensive device into their back or front pockets and complain when the screen cracks or with the iPhone 6, the dang thing BENDS (oops!). Or why the heck Apple doesn’t supply a sturdy case to go with that new tech toy. Oh well – bring on the iPhone 7, I guess!

where are iphones made

Made available by: comparecamp Author: Alex Hillsberg