Friday, February 26, 2016

Playing games here and there

My internet, that blessed fount of procrastination, has been restored, restored after no less than five Bell technicians and uncounted phone conversations. What a kerfuffle! But now that it is here, surrounding me, binding me to the outer world, I have drunk deeply from its waters and have been fairly actively playing video games. Peace, when have I done otherwise?

For the computer, I have thus far played:
- The Book of Unwritten Tales: Downloaded this one way, way back and finally got around to finishing it. Really a lot of fun, with intricate hand-drawn graphics and lots of self-referential humour. Worthy point-and-click adventure.

- Convoy: I Kickstarted this one, intrigued by the notion of a FTL-like in a Mad Max-esque world. The combat employs a novel engine that plays like an RTS on rails. Fun, but graphics leave much to be desired.

- The Curious Expedition: Lovely, tiny pixel figures crawl around the world, annoying (and sometimes befriending) the locals while pillaging their sacred treasures. Though I would never condone such blatant looting I do find the game fun, what with its many flavorants and procedurally generated maps. Combat (for there are lots of nasties crawling around) uses a Yahtzee-like system for rolling combinations attacks.

- The Fall: I'd heard good things, and the game lived up to them. Excellent mystery and voice-acting in a gloomy, shadowed world. Slight annoyance with the odd UI, particularly in its offering of actions that cannot be performed. Highly recommended.

- Kingdom: Gorgeous. Simple, intuitive UI. Fair amount of replay value as you learn the game's tricks and events. I have put many hours into this game and have yet to finish it. For those who like to peel away layers of a game so that they may master it, and who enjoy building something from nothing.

- OTTTD: Over The Top Tower Defense! Or, at least I think that's what it stands for. Tower Defense with cartoonish graphics and a bit of RTS thrown in. Mindless fun.

- Skyhill: I'm not sure what prompted me to get this one. I do like the idea of a survival horror inside a building, but the implementation makes me wish it had more -- the map is too simple so there's little exploration, and the combat is just a series of die rolls. Curious that the game offers so many weapon options -- how many people that survive an apocalypse are also weapon aficionados?

- The Typing of the Dead: A blast from the past with a profane voicetrack! I actually enjoyed the regular point-and-shoot version (which is included), it being a very satisfying shooter. Upgrading the weapons gives some replay, but I tired of the game after finishing it.

- Void & Meddler: An interactive fiction game set in some rainy, Blade Runner future. A lot of hunting down items and speech options to solve puzzles. Perhaps I'll find the momentum to try this one again soon; I do like its story and look.

On mobile there are two poisons:
- Clash Royale: Holy cow this game is addictive! I mean, really, really addictive. As someone who used to pour hours into RTS (Starcraft, Command and Conquer, and all their ilk), this game combines that with card collecting and deck-building. A dangerous triple-threat to my daily life.

- Trivia Crack: I tried this one out late last year at the suggestion of my friend David. As a pure trivia game it's hard to fault, though the genre itself has little lasting appeal.


And... I'm sick! Or at least, coming down with something fast -- fever, sore throat, cough. I look forward to a night of sleep, of uninterrupted roborative sleep.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Teksavvy sadness; my knee is broken; a bow in hand

My ADSL connection has gone way off, rarely any connection at all now. A lot of back and forth between Teksavvy, myself, and Bell, a maddening circle of bureaucracy to which I wonder if any relief can be found. If I say I don't have internet but the company desires that I prove it, what is the conclusion? I would more seriously consider dropping the whole thing if I didn't so enjoy watching videos, though I suppose I could get used to foregoing even that if it meant I could satisfactorily escape this hellish cycle.

January has now past, and my age has increased again. What more is there to speak of?

I had my MRI for my knee on the 5th, and it confirms our fears -- my ACL is torn, and surgery is required if I am to contemplate karate, or any activity that requires sudden changes in direction. I have tentatively booked an operation for the 10th of March, to be followed by a couple weeks of rest followed by rehab. I am nearly used to the idea of going under the knife, though a remote part of me still fears the worst, a most illogical and unlikely conclusion.

January also saw me become the proud owner of a bow! Olympic recurve, with 18 lb limbs. I am slowly warming up to it; indeed, I am rather enjoying my life in archery and am getting passably proficient at it. Pity then that I shall be forced to miss a month, what with me using crutches in March.

Though Timeful is no more, it taught me the value of making reusable to-do lists, which I have now incorporated in my weekly life -- 4 sessions of workouts, 3 sessions of piano, a couple for cleaning, a couple for the cats, and a blog entry. But fear not, I shall strive to update again soon.