Q: What do you call a gossip?
A: Someone with a great sense of rumor.
Q: What do you call a gossip?
A: Someone with a great sense of rumor.
Q: What do you call it when you dream in color?
A: A pigment of your imagination.
You Might Be a Redneck If…
…you are one armadillo away from a new pair of boots.
…you clean your fingernails with a stick.
…you never need a menu at Dairy Queen.
…something hisses at you every time you peer into your crawl space.
…the Salvation Army declines your mattress.
…your four-year-old grandson has ever said, “mommy won’t let me light the fireworks with grandpa’s cigarettes anymore.”
…you always take a penny but never leave one.
…your dog and your wallet are both on a chain.
…your child’s first words were “Attention K-Mart shoppers.”
…your wife’s “indoor voice” can be heard a block away.
…someone hits your parked car and you don’t care.
…your idea of talking during sex is “Ain’t no cars coming, baby!”
…your belt buckle weighs more than three pounds.
…you regularly light your cigarettes off a stovetop burner.
…you use a ShamWow as a doily.
…your wife has a beer belly and you find it attractive.
Materials: Rubber bands for each person
Number of Players: Alone or with a pal! (1-2)
What you do:
– Locate a convenience store with an assortment of hanging products on the slat walls.
– Shoot a rubber band at the supplies from across the room towards the wall.
– Depending on where the rubber band hits and lands, you get points. Has to hit an actual supply item to count.
– Can be played for a certain amount of rounds or up to a certain amount of points. Suggested: 10 rounds or 50 points.
Points are dispersed in two sets — by what the rubber band hits and what it lands on. You lose points if you under-perform. This is known as the “Hit + Land score” on a per turn basis. A designated scorekeeper is preferred, but not required.
4th row = +4 / 3rd row = +3 / 2nd row = +2 / 1st row = +1 / Nothing = 0 / Above or Below all rows = -2
Floor = -2 / On top of a shelf = +1 / Hangs on Something = +2 / Hangs on a slat wall hook = +3
Something Amazing! = +5
Lose Rubberband = -100
A college convenience store is a magical place. So magical, in fact, that proper physics do not take place! Hence the word, “Magical.” It is magical in ways that you can only experience as it happens. Not through traditional scientific method, rather through make believe. One of the major dictators of physics within your convenience store is the old lady who complains about noise coming from your convenience store. For the sake of this article, we will call her Pamela. Ms. Pamela runs the building your convenience store is located in, and within this building is the little world she has created. Your convenience store is part of this creation, as your employer has rented a space from this lady and put you to work behind the counter.
One aspect of this magical building is the bending of physics of sound.
Ms. Pamela’s intentions are questionable. Whether she is truly a human within a rotting sack of flesh or an alien in an unconvincing human costume. Anyway, that’s for later. The point of this lesson is about Sound. And boy does it ever make no sense.
If you ever have the radio/music on while in your convenience store while Ms. Pamela is in the building, she will always come and tell you to turn it down — no matter what volume it is. She claims that the sound waves from “the radio,” which is pointing toward the trash can, is actually bouncing up into the air ducts, through the elevator shaft and into the study room (that is about 30-40 feet away from your convenience store) in enough amplitude that it is possible to hear it! Not only is this clearly bullshit, but simply impossible. On many occasions, the radio is nowhere near as loud as the refrigerators and slushy machines that are inside the convenience store!
Because she rules the building with an iron fist and we rent the place from her, she wants to always feel like she’s in control of everything that is going on. That imperialistic, alien, sound adept masterbitch.
Fazzlepene’s Law – n. a philosophical axiom which states “to trigger an unlikely event, make changes in anticipation for it to not happen again as soon as possible, so that it does trigger.”
In July 2022, maintenance of the Queen Mary fell behind. Retrofitting of the 50 caliber artillery rail guns was behind schedule. This was the tactical advantage the aliens needed to destroy The Queen.
In the midst of battle an ancient civilization, named the Risk and Insurance Management Joint Officiants Bond (aka RIMJOB), rose from the aftermath to challenge the aliens and reclaim what is rightfully theirs, the Workers’ Compensation industry.
Their leader, Grand Imperialist Sobby Mardon was soon hit with fraudulent longshore claims due to the sinking of the Queen Mary. Eventually, Sobby Mardon employed the services of WeSuckAt Investigations to investigate these claims and was immediately regretful. They sucked.
Moral: If you’re going to hire someone to investigate fraud, hire a good company.
Developer: Epsilon Games | Publisher: Green Man Gaming Publishing || Overall: 8.5/10
Destination Primus Vita – Episode 1: Austin is one of those games you’ll always have to copy and paste their full name because it’s too long. When you have to have a dash AND a colon, you know you’re in for a “trip.” Destination Primus Vita aims to be an episodic series of introspective analyses of characters who are off to fight the good fight against water-stealing rock aliens. But enough about those aliens. The real point of the game, at least with this episode, is the surrealistic simulation that our first character Austin is put through during cryosleep on a 4 year space trip.
While there are puzzles and exploration involved throughout, some fairly complex and unique, the main focus is obviously on the story. The story is actually written pretty well, to my surprise, and is leagues ahead of the game I reviewed earlier this year, called The Station. I was fully expecting it to go full ham or make some stupid political point, but it ended up just being a nice story wrapped in a science fiction foil. The characters we were introduced to were all unique and also written very well.
At times, the puzzles were actually pretty complex and really made you sit and think about how to complete them. There is also a nice variety of the type of tasks you have to do, even with some being timed. As you complete certain rooms, you are introduced to memories in Austin’s past. This changes the pace of the game as you take “breaks” from the main task at hand of researching armor to fight the “Shattered.” During these interludes you’ll have to “make sense” of the memory by discovering details. Some details do not appear until others are found, which can make these parts feel a little more linear.
Dialogue choices occasionally come up when conversing with other characters, prompting you to choose the correct ones to “progress” Austin with her relationships with them. There doesn’t seem to be a payoff for getting these answers correct other than hearing what they say. There might be some sort of point to this system once more episodes are released, but sometimes these things don’t come to pass with episodic games…
The puzzles usually require you to collect a set of clues to help you complete them. There is always an exploration area that allows you to roam around, find clues, interact with the other characters, and find “mementos” that give information about the lore of the game, which is quite developed. The developers took the time and care to create an interesting story and think through the aspects of how the events that occurred affected human civilization. The only laughable thing is that despite rock monsters stealing practically all of the water from Earth, 400 years later the humans are still trying to find them and take back their water… without much of a plan. It sort of doesn’t make much sense as they’ve been able to survive 400 years, have intergalactic space travel, and probably could just get water from comets or create it by collecting hydrogen and oxygen. There’s a lot of those chemicals in the universe, by the way. So it does seem a bit petty so long afterwards to go after the aliens “for the water,” when the goal of hunting down the Shattered should have been a bit more grander than that. But, I digress.
The art, voice acting, and sound design really compliments everything else that’s going on. The surreal mind program simulation thing ends up being a really unique storytelling device and a good excuse to just put whatever the fuck they want into the game. The functional purpose of having Austin experience this simulation slowly reveals itself; it certainly didn’t make sense why they were doing it at the beginning of the story. Many of the rooms started to utilize 3D space in such a way that walls became the floor and the ceiling would eventually be where the next section of the level was. I was starting to get a headache with all of the angle turning, which doesn’t usually happen, but if you get motion sickness it can potentially be unpleasant. As an aside, Austin’s voice actor reminded me of Claudia Christian from Babylon 5, which I am currently trying to get through.
Despite some of the misgivings about where the story may eventually lead, I did enjoy this title quite a bit for what it was. It was a quick play of about three hours, but your mileage will vary. It could probably be done in two hours. I’m really looking forward to what’s coming next and hopefully the writers don’t get lazy along the way, otherwise it’ll be yet another episodic series that should never have been episodic.
Developer/Publisher: Artifex Mundi || Overall: 8.0/10
My Brother Rabbit is a pretty standard point-and-click Hidden Object game with fun puzzles that have some challenging aspects. The one thing that is far and away the best part about this title is its imaginative, hand-drawn style of art. The lack of any dialogue throughout gives you a lot to play out in your head, but the “show don’t tell” aspect of the game is executed well, so you don’t misunderstand what is going on in the story.
While My Brother Rabbit feels and plays like a game for kids, the subject matter of the story isn’t made for them. I wouldn’t recommend this game for kids under the age of 6 or 7, since some of the imagery is a bit on the surrealistic side with eyeballs and other less-than-friendly looking things. The story is about the Rabbit helping his friend, a flower lady, from the sickness she has by venturing through five different areas which have quite a bit of variety to them. The “real-life” metaphor that plays out in cutscenes, is about a little girl who is struck by some sickness and the whole time you think she’s going to die due to said unknown sickness.
The game is mostly a treasure hunt; the scenes are packed with multiple collection items that are collected at different steps of the story. For example, you may see some pearls that are clickable at the moment, but you won’t be able to start that collection quest until you complete another three collection quests. This gives you a “new” reason to head back into the different scenes and look at them in ways you possibly hadn’t previously. Most of the collection quests end in a light puzzle, which are variations of common puzzles you may have seen in other games. I did get stumped a couple of times throughout the game and would usually have to quit and come back a couple days later. Doing so usually allowed me to finish the puzzles in a way I hadn’t thought about before.
Spending about three hours on this game, it is definitely worth playing if you enjoy this genre. While it isn’t as “exciting” as other Hidden Object games, such as a HOPA named Adam Wolfe it was still quite a bit of fun. There are missable achievements as well, so the replayability, while limited, can be there for achievement hunters.
For context of this quote, this dating profile has about ten pictures of a girl in her progression from going “fit to fat.”
“Im currently taking part in a paid study for a company based in the United States. they’re testing a new food additive that creates addiction in whatever its placed in. they ship me specially made food with this additive and im supposed to eat it whenever I crave it and until im satisfied. So safe to say ive put on a few since I started 😛 I know its odd so if you wanna know more just ask!”
– excerpt from a girl’s dating profile
Two blokes living in the Australian outback saw a couple of jobs advertised by the Queen of England. She was looking for footmen, to walk beside her carriage.
They applied and were very happy to be flown to London for an interview with Her Majesty.
She says to them: “Because my footmen must wear long white stockings, I must see your ankles to be sure they are not swollen or misshapen.”
After they show her their ankles, the Queen says: “It is also important that you don’t have knobby knees, so I need to see your knees too.”
Once she has seen their knees, she says: “Now everything appears to be in shape, so I just need to see your testimonials.”
Nine years later, when the pair are finally released from prison, one of the blokes says to the other:
”I reckon, if we just had a bit more education we would have got that job!”
Developer: Midnight Sea Studios | Publisher: 3D Realms || Overall: 6.0/10
From 2 guys named Josh and one guy named Joshua, comes ZIQ, the runniest arcade runner you’ve yet to play. Featuring a snarky, talking… thing, you are his experiment, supposedly named ZIQ, and you run, jump and die hundreds of times getting through a game that feels like it was made for a phone. The whole point is to rank on leaderboards, I guess, cause there’s not much else to do other than master the challenge put forth.
The idea behind ZIQ is that you get through a certain set of obstacles while changing polarity, between blue and orange, and collecting the correct sequence of colored orbs. All of the orbs become the color of your polarity, so you are “in control” as far as that goes. Along with that, you move left, center, right, jump, and perform all of the combinations of those actions you can think of as you progress through the stages. The pace of the game doesn’t break until you die, at which point you reset the current stage you are in (there seems to be some sort of checkpoints involved, though) and try not to die again. The stages also seem to be randomized so you’re not progressing through anything that is “designed,” preventing any memorization from occurring.
In one run you have three lives, and your ultimate goal is to score as much as possible. The speed of the game is actually quite fast so you’ll have to think pretty quick. After a few tries, I was getting the hang of it and my points began to progressively get higher. With less than 100 people on the leaderboards, you can get pretty high on the list with minimal effort.
The music is fine, but it feels like there’s only one, maybe two songs that keep playing so it gets pretty redundant. The voice actor of the guy who keeps saying snarky things every time you die is fine, but there also doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of variety in what he says. The theme doesn’t change, but new elements pop up every now and then that you didn’t see before, so you’re able to focus more on the puzzle aspects of the running than needing to appreciate a range of locales you may run past.
So, is it fun? Sure, I had fun for a little bit once I got the hang of it, but there’s literally nothing else to do or work towards in this game. You’re not unlocking any cosmetics or new areas or new game modes or anything. The game reminds me of a less fun version of Audiosurf, which creates levels out of music you load into it, and I played enough of that.
Developer: Chibig | Publisher: 101XP || Overall: 9.0/10
Deiland is a fantastic game. Think 3D Harvest Moon in space, or a more timely analogy, Stardew Valley in space. Though, not as complex or farm-focused as these titles, Deiland takes a more streamlined and narrative approach to the farming sandbox genre. An extremely charming and interesting game unfolds as you perform your typical farming/crafting tasks.
The basics of the game are pretty easy to grasp. You have three plots of land to plant food. You plant trees to cut them down and gather wood. You hit rocks and get stones. You use these resources to build. Where it gets interesting is that there is actually not that much to worry about when it comes to how to build your farm, or what things to plant, or where to put things. You can certainly pay attention to those things, but the way the game treats them is much more in the guise of “accomplish these quests/tasks” rather than the “customize it and make it look good” thing that most titles in this genre emphasize.
There is a greater sense of purpose in doing the “normal sandbox tasks” that you see yourself doing. You’ll meet around ten different visitors/friends to do quests for, making you figure out how to use the tools you have been given in pursuit of completing them. Nearly every quest teaches you a new item to craft, and as you gather more materials, you’ll learn more about the visitors themselves. Since they actually “visit” your planet at random times, they can also overlap, which allows them to interact with one another; this gives the little planet of Deiland a much more communal feel to it. You’ll also visit a couple of different locations off the planet, such as another planet called Ankora, so it gives the game a bigger feeling; though you’ll feel homesick for the quaint life of farming carrots in short order.
By far the most unique aspect is the planet of Deiland itself. Your entire planet is your “farm.” The planet is also very small and you can run around it in less than a minute. You have all of your normal sandbox features, such as a mine, plots of land to plant food in, and a lake to fish in. There’s plenty of empty space to plant as many trees/bushes as you like. Your house is upgraded to include more types of items to craft, along with upgrading your tools. All of the upgrading and new crafting items occur through the story, so as you progress through quests, your planet will develop further. Meteorites will hit the planet as well, creating a mini-game where you have to rotate your planet so that the meteorites don’t hit anything valuable, or they will get destroyed. When it rains you can also rotate your planet or the clouds themselves over your plants to make them produce faster.
A much appreciated quality of life inclusion is contextual actions. For example, if you go over to a tree, you will immediately use your axe to cut it; same with stones, you will immediately use your hammer to hit them. There is much less fumbling around with selecting tools than in Stardew Valley, and for this reason alone I generally enjoy playing Deiland more, which is a pretty big compliment. Why this wasn’t an obvious design choice in other games, I can’t answer, but I really do like it.
While most of the quests can be completed by creating something on your farm, you can also buy your way through many of the quests by trading with the different visitors. Each visitor will buy particular things at a higher price, so it is good to wait to sell certain things until you visit a particular character. The characters themselves are all interesting in their own way, and about half of them don’t actually have models — they are just character art hiding inside of their spaceship or a building. This isn’t a big deal for me, but it would have been nice to see all of them have their own models and give more personality to the characters you befriend.
The mystery of the player’s character, Arco, is slowly unfurled as you progress through the storyline. You find several pages of the Prince’s “story” which alludes to the main villain. The story is a bit dark, with an unknown entity communicating to Arco through his dreams, saying creepy things. You also learn about previous “Princes” and the fact that your best friend, Mun, may have ulterior motives. It took about 10 hours for me to complete the main story, but unfortunately the ending is a bit sudden and you don’t expect it to be the end. Supposedly, there is free DLC planned for December, which gives at least some hope that the story is planned on being concluded in a satisfying way.
As far as the bad things about the game, there isn’t too many, but there is some obviously underdeveloped aspects. It would have been nice to have a couple more buildings to build on your planet. After upgrading your house and building the barn there isn’t very much to invest your most common resources, Wood and Stone, into. The fighting system is also pretty barebones, as your character basically only has one attack animation. Having to kill enemies feels more like a chore than something fun. Additionally, a few substantial ability unlocks occur at the end of the game, at which point you’re pretty much done playing, so new magic spells, for instance, have very low use. For some reason you’re also not allowed to even use magic in the “boss stage” which doesn’t make much sense. If you aren’t going to use it then, when would you want to use it? Not that this is required, but there isn’t any sort of “endless dungeon” or meaningful combat progression system, so there’s not as much emphasis on the combat aspects despite being something you have to do a lot.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the game’s story conclude with whatever free DLC is being planned. While I’m not a fan of releasing unfinished games, Deiland is far from being unfinished — there’s plenty to do and I had a lot of fun for the time I put into it. It would have been nice to at least know that something more was coming immediately rather than having to research online about it.
xegmrao – v. To draw fan art of your significant other’s dad
Developer/Publisher: Abyssal Arts Ltd || Overall: 5.5/10
When I think of City of the Shroud, I think two words: boring and frustrating. City of the Shroud gets just a smidgen above “playable” since it tries a couple of new things. Though these “new things” are executed poorly, there’s a layer of uniqueness underneath that feels like it should have been something better than it is. Essentially, City of the Shroud feels like two different games mashed into one, and neither part is necessarily fun, and in fact are quite frustrating.
City of the Shroud touts itself as having a real-time, combo-based battle system. My big problem with the gameplay is exactly that. What City of Shroud actually is, is your typical turn-based strategy game, except it all progresses in real-time, so it’s all just a giant mess of things happening at once. The combo-based wheel control system takes up half of the screen, so you can’t see anything, and it is also clumsy to use. Perhaps this feeling may change later in the game (if your interest holds), but the inputs take way too long for the pace of which the battle is going. There aren’t any special abilities outside of what is being commanded on the wheel, so as long as you are setting up the combos on the nearest enemy, you’re doing what you need to do. The combos are class-specific and deal a lot of damage, so they are mandatory to use since everyone’s HP values are very high.
Once you are actually past the tutorial levels (which takes about 1.5 hours for some reason) your first legit battle is just a bunch of your characters standing around while you are fiddling with the combo wheel for one of your characters. The fighting itself is not very satisfying at all, so it doesn’t really motivate you to keep fiddling around with the big stupid wheel that covers half of the screen to see less-than-exciting combat. This is the default, normal game mode, and there are ways to modify the speed/difficulty of gameplay, but the enterprise is largely the same despite that. There’s also a multiplayer Vs. mode, but on account that the battle system is no fun, I’m not sure why anyone would want to use it. There is matchmaking at least, so you don’t have to rely on a friend being on to play.
If you can deal with the combat system, there’s also another big issue. Enemy variety. There are a set number of classes and that’s it. There aren’t even technically enemies, as you are just fighting pallet-swapped versions of the same classes. The player character is some poor farmer dude in a cloak, but then he is represented by a generic “warrior” class sprite, which looks nothing like the character, or even the picture they use in the dialogue screens. The reason why it’s like this becomes obvious; at a later point they let you change your main character’s class to any of the other classes, and thus their models. There are also monsters invading from another dimension, but, again, they are just pallet-swapped versions of the same models we’ve seen, so why are people scared of these “monsters” exactly? Not really sure. Eventually, you are able to assemble a four-person team of additional generic characters, and all of them are nothing more than stand-ins to fill out your team. They have customization options, at least.
The story premise at its core has an interesting set up, as there is a city that people are not allowed to leave once they are in it. Reason being, the aforementioned monsters are coming through portals and killing/abducting people. So, what you do is run around town doing menial tasks and meeting poor/rich people, learn about the politics, and eventually figure out which faction you want to become allies with. The battles that occur in the storyline sort of “interrupt” the story in not-so-exciting ways, like “HEY THERE’S A PORTAL RIGHT NOW OMIGOD GO BATTLE IT” in the middle of a conversation about decorative jewelry for a hat. This happens a lot, so it feels very lazy.
Anyhow, there seems to be very little reason to actually want to do battle, since there is no leveling system per se. At the end of a battle, you have the possibility of getting gems for character progression. One set of gems is for the “combos” so you can deal more damage in the battles that are no fun. The other type of gems are for character stats, which are placed into sockets; there are only so many open sockets of each type, so some decision making seems to occur there.
Additionally, the story sort of doesn’t take itself seriously, with the main character and the main supporting character being goofballs, and everyone else being super serious. There’s also a lot of politics involved, and they re-use the dialogue pictures for different characters, so it feels yet again like there’s some corners being cut in the presentation. The story will supposedly be influenced by what players do in the game, as far as who they align with and which faction pulls ahead by whatever metrics the developer has in mind. They intend to craft the story around these decisions and release new story content in four chapters total. There are a few decisions to make, but they aren’t complex by any means.
The different areas of the map are represented by a single picture and a box in the bottom right corner for whoever you need to talk to. Eventually you get to a point in the story where they allow you to randomly battle in each of the areas you unlock. There’s so much useless dialogue, I was getting fatigued trying to keep up with it all, and the story isn’t even that complex. This is no Masquerada, where you are learning about the ins and outs of your player character and his interactions with others and society, and feeling like you are investing your time into learning about a well thought out universe. In City of the Shroud, with all of the “extra” dialogue included, it is hard to know what specifically you should be focusing on and why. Extra stuff needs to be left to optional quests or compendiums.
A quick note about the art style, it is actually interesting at times, such as a “priest” being represented by a machinist with a huge backpack full of spare parts in it. I’m unsure where all of this imaginative visual storytelling went when it came to the dialogue. The music is fine, but is repetitive, as it feels like there’s only a few songs and the tracks change depending on what area of the map you’re in. You hop around a lot, so you’ll be familiar with all of the songs quickly.
While City of the Shroud has some interesting aspects, it is a complete let down in its execution. I don’t often yell “I don’t want to play this anymore” out loud, but this is one of those times. I think I’m more frustrated with what the game could have been if there was a better vision behind it.