Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Farewell, Funny Man


Yesterday I cried - all day. I woke up fine, did my usual early morning stuff then opened Twitter on my PC and the first thing I saw was a RIP Robin Williams tweet. That on it's own made me tear up, I've always loved his movies, even the not-so-great ones, but then I saw the cause of death and that he'd been fighting depression and then, then it hit me - hard!

I have no idea why it hit me so hard - I wouldn't have called myself a big fan, I haven't even seen one of his movies in the last 5 years or more, but I felt like I'd lost a member of my family. I honestly howled & sobbed so hard I gave myself a headache and hiccups!

As I calmed down to more gentle weeping though, I realised it brought back the panicked trip to the hospital, following an ambulance and arriving 5 minutes too late. How I drove my husband & brother-in-law home that day, I don't know.

It brought back the day the police knocked on my door and asked if I knew my brother-in-law. The younger policeman had to dial the phone and hold it for me so I could tell my husband to come home.

It brought back all my teen years when I sat and stared at bottles of pills for hours, never quite having the courage or desperation to open those containers.

It brought back the fear - the fear that this monster black dog inside me might come back and sweep all my current happiness away. As if some wicked being somewhere is keeping score of how many days of happiness and sadness I've had and it will soon be time to head back into sorrow.

I want to scream that I've only just woken up again, I don't want to go back. I want to live in the sunshine, not the grey, noiseless, tasteless, emotionless void that I was in before.

Maybe I'm a bit silly but I've been reading a lot of the blog posts that people have been writing - I think of it as innoculation - read all I can about depression, get upset about it now so if & when it does happen to me again - and I'm pretty certain it will, one day - then perhaps I'll be better equipped to deal with it.



Attitudes to mental health are definitely changing - my time working for ecdp has made such a huge difference to my own attitude about all disabilities and they are working to continue pushing that change forward. For all the joy & laughter that Robin Williams brought to the world, I am grateful and I am so, so sad that he's gone but maybe now, he can find some peace and rest at last.


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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

One Minute Gaming #20 - Fates Forever

Fates Forever
This week I've been trying out a new MOBA for the iPad called Fates Forever and I have to say on first impressions, I'm pretty impressed! I've been playing League of Legends this year and this Fates Forever feels very very similar.

The graphics are a bit cutesy  but as it's based on animals as the heroes and set in a woodland environment, I guess cute is not really a surprise! I do like the music & voice acting too.

I've played through the tutorials and I have to say, I think they are some of the best tutorials I've come across - a total MOBA newbie could easily pick up the basics and enjoy playing straight off.

There's the usual gear shop within the game which uses gold earned in a match - that will be familiar to MOBA players but there's also a way to earn Ore by playing. Jade is the Real Money option and you can buy it to use instead of Ore to unlock characters to play.

But there's no need to pay to unlock characters - each week has different free ones and earning Ore works just as well for most purchases even if it takes a little longer!

If you're looking for a portable MOBA to get your fix between League of Legends or Smite fixes, this could well be an option for you - I love it and give it a 9 out of 10. I haven't actually played it very much but with a long journey coming up, I'm pretty sure this game will help pass a lot of time in the air!

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

so until next time - have fun!


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Saturday, 26 July 2014

One Minute Gaming #19 - PewPew!

PewPew!
This week I've found a new version of an old favorite arcade game - it's called PewPew and is an updated version of Asteroids and yes, it does have pewpew sound effects too!

The graphics are simple line elements and the basic controls are direction on the left thumb and shooting direction with the right but that really messes with my brain! In the old arcade game, you could only shoot forward of your ship so you had a direction button and a fire button - I remember hours of spinning in one place and only moving when I really had to!

There are 4 other variations of the basic game you can play - Pandemonium, Dodge This, Assault & Chromatic Conflict - all great fun but Chromatic Conflict is my favorite - you can only kill enemies the same color as your ship & you have to get to colored bases or 'pulsars' to change your own color!

I've only just started playing it but I think this could be a great game for those 5-10 minute gaps, especially if you want an adrenaline boost. I'd give this an 8 out of 10.

"Edited to add - it's 2 weeks later and I'm still playing it a lot! I feel like a big kid again!"

I found it on the iPad App Store but PewPew is also available on Android - Yay! That's good news for me as I have an Android phone 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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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

One Minute Gaming #18 - Megapolis

Megapolis
This week, I've been playing Megapolis - a city building, resource management game very much like the old Sim City game I had on my Amiga 1200 years ago!

You start off with some basic buildings and resources available and lots of coins to spend but don't get too carried away! The other currency in game is the megabuck - you do earn some of these each time you level but you can also buy them with real money and as so many game developers do these days, it's the megabucks needed to buy the really cool stuff.

It took me a while to even scroll around the map out of curiosity - I'm so used to the limited play space on some games but this map is huge! The roads to the airport, baseball stadium and loads of other buildings are already in place so there is some structure already laid out for you but I don't think that will restrict your creativity too much!

With over 500 different building in the Infrastructure category and 200 in the residential buildings category, there's definitely stuff here for everyone! If you liked Sim City, I'm guessing this game might just fill a gap on your phone or ipad and even better, Megapolis is available for Android too!

I'm going to give this game a 9 out of 10 - it's already sucked me in!

If you have a game you'd like to suggest, you can contact me on Twitter @NevAHAddict or send an email to auctionhouseaddict@gmail.com

Until next time - have fun!




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Sunday, 13 July 2014

One Minute Gaming #17 - Dwarven Den


This week, I've been playing a game called Dwarven Den. It's a puzzle adventure game, set in a lost buried city. You are a dwarf, destined to dig out the treasures and rescue lost citizens.

You start with 3 lives and a set amount of energy and tech points but you use at least 1 energy to dig each block out. You navigate the maze of buried tunnels and sometimes you find extra energy (red) or tech (blue) nodes.

level start
The tech nodes let you use lights to expand the dark areas or place bombs & traps to blow up the spiders or mummies that are trying to stop you.

There are treasure chests to find and gold blocks to dig up too. You can also forge better items by combining two of the same - they increase your visibility, slow monsters or increase your gold & tech rewards.

level finish map
Each level has a specific challenge - dig all the gold (like these screenshots) or to find a missing person perhaps. Luckily there's no timer on the levels so you can take your time to work things out and there are loads of levels to play through. If you need some extra gold to buy an upgrade, you can go back and do some easier levels very quickly.

I'm really enjoying it and for someone who likes puzzles, it's a pretty good game. It's one of my favorites so far & I give it a 9 out of 10.

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!


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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Titanfall Reviewed - A New Player Perspective


First off, it was Nonmail then Rez of Eviscerated Gaming Podcast who started talking about Titanfall and slowly but surely, Cold got sucked in too. I resisted as long as I could but when I saw that Origin were doing a special 48 hour free pass weekend, I thought I'd surprise Cold by joining him in game.

I've played Call of Duty with my nephew on a console many years ago and I sucked at it so I didn't think I'd enjoy Titanfall either, hence my resistance but much to my surprise, I'm actually enjoying it!

The tutorial is pretty comprehensive for the types of moves you can make and things like wall running and double jumping are all covered, as is control of your Titan. That doesn't make it any easier when you play your first match though! Running at a wall and sticking to it long enough to run along the side of a building onto the roof of the next building is great fun and so is leaping off and landing fairly gently with the aid of your rocket pack to land. As someone who used to fall off random edges in WoW, a rocket pack is a great bonus!

Initially you go through a series of scenarios in Campaign mode - these are proper matches but varied to give you a taste of the different types of matches. Attrition is kill as many opponents as possible faster than they kill your team whilst Hardpoint Domination involves three bases you need to secure and hold - much like Warsong Gulch in WoW.


Once you are through both versions of the campaign mode, the multiplayer options open up, allowing you to play which of the Campaign scenarios you chose or to focus on one style of match. In addition to Attrition and Hardpoint Domination, there is Last Titan Standing, Pilot Hunt and Capture The Flag types too. I haven't tried any of those yet, I'm still shooting at computer driven grunts and spectres whilst feeding the opposing team with Pilot kills (me!).

The landscapes are, to me anyway, typically futuristic space type scenes - from seemingly dusty alien worlds to space stations and futuristic cities in decay - lots of nooks and crannies to hide in as a sniper or derelict buildings to drop through and surprise opponents when you land on top of them!

Not having played any other First Person Shooter (FPS) games in recent years, I have nothing to compare Titanfall to but although it's taken a while to adjust my mindset to multiple deaths, it feels a little bit like very high graphics in a WoW battleground scenario - I hated dying all the time there too until I adjusted my thinking. Obviously you don't want to die too often but if you do, it doesn't really matter too much in the overall scheme of things.

I didn't want to play with Cold initially because I always feel so useless and like I'm letting the team down - Titanfall doesn't make me feel like that. I can't keep up with Cold even if I try so I'm in the same match and on the same team but my dying doesn't affect him - well, except for me swearing excessively on Skype of course!

I'm still not very good and I'm not sure I'll ever be more than an average player but for now, I like it enough to splash out and buy the game! I'm playing on PC as is Cold but Titanfall is available for XBox One and XBox 360 - the great thing about it for us, is that US & EU players can play together - none of this separate server nonsense we usually struggle with.




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Monday, 7 July 2014

One Minute Gaming #16 - Disco Zoo


This week I downloaded a game called Disco Zoo - it has four and a half stars on the app store so I wanted to have a look. The graphics are really basic - kinda cutesy pixellated style and the play mode is also very basic.

The idea is to jump in your helicopter and go out to capture wild animals to stock your zoo. Capturing them is a battleships style event - you have a grid of boxes, 10 attempts and a hint as to how many boxes each animal needs. Click on a box and if it reveals an animal, you then click around that square to find the other segments.

You quickly run out of attempts but they have thought of that - just watch a free video ad to get 5 more free attempts. The ads really are short though so they aren't too annoying!

After you capture an animal, the builders back at the zoo will build an enclosure for it. Meanwhile the visitors are leaving tips and earning you gold.

The Disco part is the stupidest part though - for the low price of 1 note you can start a disco - all the animals jump around, there's a disco ball & the streetlamps flash and you earn double the amount of coins!

It's a silly, very basic game but if you have toddlers, it might keep them amused for a few minutes at a time. Overall I'd give it a 3 out of 10 - nothing to keep me playing and definitely not going to pay for more coins or notes either!

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

Until next time, have fun!
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