Sunday, 30 August 2015

One Minute Gaming #61 - Endless Pacman 256

Endless Pacman

This week, I've been playing a game called Endless Pacman. It's the old Pacman game but with a twist - instead of individual maps to beat, this one just keeps scrolling and disintegrates behind you.

This makes it really difficult to clear a whole area of dots but the good thing is that the ghosts disappear too if they are in that part of the board.

There are all the original power ups and bonus items but in Endless Pacman, you also earn weapons and other useful power ups. The first one you earn is a laser so when you eat a laser dot, you shoot everything in a straight line in front of you. It's great fun seeing a whole line of ghosts die to your laser!

The graphics are true to the old game and so are the sound effects. It took me a little while to remember how to even move - I was trying to drag my Pacman around but of course, it doesn't work like that! You have to swipe a direction and he will take the next turn in that direction when he gets there.

I enjoyed it for the first 10 minutes or so but then it all came back to me why I never really liked the original game! I probably won't be playing this one regularly but for fans of old school games it's a definite 8 out of 10 at least. It's also a great way to show your kids some of the origins of video games too.

If you have a game you'd like me to try, you can contact me on Twitter @NevAHAddict or you can leave a comment below.

So until next time, have fun!


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Blaugust Day 30 - Wrapping Up Early

Almost Made It To The End of Blaugust!
Last weekend, I did a whole bunch of posts to catch up with the days I had missed the week before but this last week was even busier than the previous one so here we are on Sunday morning and I haven't posted for a week. I think it's safe to say I didn't quite manage to post every day but I'm not disappointed.

I knew the timing wasn't great, with my job kicking my butt as I'm flying solo there now (after just 4 weeks training!) and I'm sorting out all my stuff, ready to emmigrate to the USA. I've taken 2 bags of junk to the dump already but it doesn't look like I've touched anything! I guess I'm more of a hoarder than I realised!

The thing that has hit me most about Blaugust is the traffic boost. My best month ever here on She Rides Dragons was in April last year when I did the A to Z Challenge but Blaugust was on track to beat that. I'm about 6 days short of my best month ever which means that if I had kept up last week, going by average daily visits, this would have been best month ever.

But although that's great, it has made me realise that writing regularly for the sake of posting because my traffic is down is not a great reason to be writing. When I do my sporadic posts, it's usually because I think I have something to say on a topic or something I find interesting to share.  I started this blog as a side place for WoW stuff that wasn't gold making related like AH Addict but even that blog has suffered this mental block I have currently.

Having said all that, I'm not going to stop writing, this is just a bit of a brain dump today as I realise that when I'm in the right frame of mind, I can write for hours, just like I can talk for hours, given half the chance! I'm quite pleased with myself for writing 6 posts last weekend even if that isn't the idea behind Blaugust! I felt good getting them out and I didn't feel like I was waffling on.

Next time I talk about starting one of these writing/blogging challenges, someone please kick me - hard! I have enough going on anyway, I really don't need to be adding more stuff to my to-do list! lol

Big congratulations to all those bloggers who managed the whole month of Blaugust. I've found some interesting new blogs to read, followed a few new people on Twitter and I enjoyed the whole process - up to the point where I got snowed under anyway!

Image © Tim Norris under Creative Commons licence


Saturday, 22 August 2015

What If I Fall?

My Spitfire image, Erin's words.

What If I Fall? - Blaugust Day 22

I've seen this quote a few times now and it inspired me to dig out some of my flying related photos. I was going to put the quote on them and sell digital inspirational quote images in my Etsy shop so I thought I'd better check out the source first.

It turns out, it's from a short poem by Erin Hanson. I checked out her website The Poetic Underground and spent hours reading her poems. What an amazing talent this young lady has. Strong, heartfelt and pretty deep thoughts from a 21 year old!

I guess I'll need to find other quotes for my inspirational posters range but in the meantime check out her website. I still made a poster pic but I won't be selling it on Etsy! I'm hoping she won't mind me using that little bit of her poem for my image on this post as I'm pretty much advertising her stuff!

The other thing I like about Erin's site is that she has made her poems into images like the one above. Each is just a bit different from the previous one and makes for great pinnable images on Pinterest. So not only is she young and talented but she's got her brain working too!

I'm playing catch-up on my Blaugust posts but there are plenty of other bloggers still on schedule so pop along to the Blaugust nook if you'd like to check out a whole bunch of blogs & maybe find some new favorites.


Friday, 21 August 2015

One Minute Gaming #60 - Brawl of Cthulhu

Brawl of Cthulhu - Blaugust Day 21

This week, I've been playing a fun new game called Brawl of Cthulhu. It's a modern take on the old side scrolling platform games but with great graphics and a cool soundtrack.

You play a cute Cthulhu who is awakened from the deep ocean and comes to land to rain death and destruction on civilisation. You have to collect stars, keys, power gems and star maps as you run around punching things to death. If you collect the right power-up, you also get a cool tentacle whip to play with!

It's not just a side scroller though - the wonders of modern technology mean that it has more depth and you can move to the back or front of the screen too. That actually makes it kind of hard to control with the on screen joystick controller.

There's a shop full of power ups which you pay for with the stars you collect but there's also lots of fun hats available too. The hats are very expensive in stars so of course, you can buy star packs for real money. You can also get rid of the adds for 99 cents but I haven't actually seen any so don't waste your money there!

I found it fun but frustrating so I'll give Brawl of Cthulhu a 7 out of 10. Younger kids might love it but my fat fingers just can't handle the controls.

If you have a game you'd like to suggest, you can contact me on Twitter @NevAHAddict or leave a comment below.

So until next time, have fun!


Thursday, 20 August 2015

iPad Games I'm Playing

iPad Games I Play - Blaugust Day 20

Nonmail often asks how many of the games I review on One Minute Gaming am I still playing - well, here's a screenshot of my iPad just this morning. I had a big clear out a couple of weeks ago when I removed about 20 other games that I still played but not very often.

My morning routine is fairly simple - wake up, stagger to kitchen to start the coffee then PC on and head to the bathroom. Once I have my coffee in hand, I open my Twitter feed and whilst scrolling back to the previous evening, I open Clash of Clans to collect my resources, start a new build if I can & catch up with clan mates chat. Next, I open my Cooking Fever as there's a daily bonus of 2 gems - woo hoo! It's not much but it adds up over a few days to the next upgrade for whichever restaurant I'm playing at the moment.

Then it's on to my Mini Warriors - this one I've started playing a lot more recently. I find that I can gain almost a full level of XP in the time it takes me to catch up on my overnight Twitter feed. I only need to start each battle and leave the rest on automatic - I'm grinding levels a bit to get the upgrade materials for my army.

My Fallout Shelter is still a bit temperamental - crashing regularly but not so often as before. I'll probably be deleting this one soon - it just hasn't grabbed me like some of the others.

The game I'm playing the most right now is Twenty - I hit a high score of 20 about a month ago and I'm still trying to beat it! It's taking about 20-25 minutes for each match now though so I'm trying to cut back - I get dead legs after about 15 minutes (yeah sorry, maybe too much info there huh?), 1010 and 2048 are all games I can play while hanging out on Skype with Cold or on the telephone with my Dad - they don't take too much concentration so I can still hold a conversation.

I haven't reviewed the Mahjong Free game yet - I actually paid for the expansion pack when I first got the iPad so this is a game I've played for a couple of years now. I don't play it regularly but when I do, I tend to get hooked for a week or two then just stop playing it again.

The next tab on my iPad is full of games I haven't played yet but want to for my One Minute Gaming segment on Eviscerated Gaming Podcast. You can check out reviews for all the above games and loads more too by clicking the tab in the menu bar.

If you have a free iPad or iPhone game you think I should try, you can leave a comment below or link me on Twitter @NevAHAddict.


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

My Perfect Day

My Perfect Day - Blaugust Day 19

Today we have another writing prompt - My Perfect Day - from Ariellalphabet at Comics and Cookies blog. This one was actually quite hard to do as there are so many little bits that would add up to my perfect day. I'd have to suspend laws of distance and time to actually achieve a perfect day so I guess it's more a list of perfect moments than any real possibility!

I'd start my day by waking up with the furry face of his cat in my face, even including the fishy breath. I've never had a cat before, I've always been a dog person but there's something comforting about waking up with a cat snuggled close to you or being woken up by purring & whiskers tickling your nose.

If the cat woke me at a reasonable time, I'd gently wake him up with a kiss & mumbled good morning. I'm not that good at mornings usually but I can make coffee on autopilot so I'd stumble to the kitchen so we can have coffee in bed, catching up on our twitters together - showing each other funny things to start the day with smiles.

In this day & age, the cellphone or ipad is everywhere so you may as well accept it. I'm just as bad as he is for grabbing my phone first thing - it kind of eases me into the day. Besides, I have several games that need logging into daily for bonuses so I kind of have to, you know? lol

After a couple of coffees, we'll probably be awake enough to think of food which is when I drag him to the Diner. It's just across the street and I've made friends with many of the staff there so it's my favorite place but he eats there regularly when I'm not around so tends to get bored of it a bit. This is my perfect day though so Diner breakfast it is!

If it's the weekend, we'll head back to the apartment and settle down in the computer room - he'll start making a mix and I'll be on my iPad just enjoying the music & watching him really get into his mixing. I love to watch him so absorbed in his music - I've never found a passion quite like he has for music so it fascinates me and I just love watching him when he doesn't realise it too! I'll take any chance I get to ogle my man after all!

Now this is where I'd ask Scottie to beam me up - I'd grab my scuba gear and head out for a lazy, tropical water dive. Just being under the crystal clear waters of the Maldives soothes the soul and with my trusty (make believe) underwater camera gear, I could easily lose hours if my air tank would last that long! The marine life is amazing even now although I would love to have seen it before the coral bleaching that happened back in 1998 and has hit again since.

Back to St Louis and time for a nana nap before our evening meal. My favorite place is Pappy's Smokehouse, the ribs are to die for but there are so many great places to eat, I'd chose somewhere we've never been before. We both love trying out new restaurants and finding a new favorite. A couple of cocktails with our meal and I'm ready for more music and lots of dancing!

Sadly, St Louis doesn't attract the really big names in EDM music but there are some great gigs happening more often now. Luckily there's a nightclub within walking distance of our apartment so for my perfect day, there'd be a big name DJ there and we'd dance until the early hours of the morning. Now you know why I needed a nana nap after my dive!

A long slow, slightly drunken walk home and drop into bed together would be the perfect end to my perfect day. Snuggled up with my man, I'd fall into an exhausted but happy sleep and look forward to doing it all again tomorrow. Sweet dreams xoxo


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter - A Review

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter - Blaugust Day 18

Another game I played recently is The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. I've never played a game like it so it was confusing to me but oh man, the graphics were fantastic! I think I spent more time taking screenshots than playing!

If I had to explain it, I would have to say it's a little bit like the old text adventures where you just had a black screen and text instructions, except in this game, you do have scenery to look at and you physically move around.

I played for about an hour (maybe a bit longer) but both Cold and myself got stuck on a puzzle at the first village. It is a single player game but we fired it up at the same time and were chatting on skype while playing so it was kind of fun.

It's a mystery, horror, detective story that's been brought to life by fantastic graphics. You play as a psychic detective, invited to a small town to investigate the mystery of the missing boy, Ethan Carter. You have to explore the area and pick up clues that will help you solve the mystery which doesn't sound too difficult but there are twists and turns to the story that will keep you guessing.

It doesn't look dark in the graphics but with supernatural and occult overtones to the area, it's definitely a dark story with some blood and gore to it too. To get the full story, you have to complete a series of puzzles. I've read a couple of reviews since trying this game and I think I may have missed the first one all together - perhaps that why I got stuck!

It's estimated as a 3-4 hour game but without even a basic tutorial and no experience of this kind of game, I have to admit, I got a bit bored. Knowing that I may have missed the first puzzle and I have to walk all the back doesn't really make me want to play it again either. I spent so much time just moving around the start area looking for clues that I got bored even before the game really got going.

It definitely got the photographer in me hooked too - I even have the sunrise screenshot as my desktop background. I'd love to visit this area in real life with my camera - I wonder if it was modeled on a real place?

For the few dollars that it cost me though, I'd definitely recommend it if murder mystery puzzles are your thing. The graphics are phenomenal, almost photorealistic and if you like that feeling of unease that H.P. Lovecraft created so well, you may well love this game too.


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