iPad Casual Games #hazm8playsgames – Q2 2018

The S.O. says I play “a lot” of iPad games – not sure if it’s something to be proud of – and suggested I could do recommendations for casual players.

My short-lived Instagram hashtag #hazm8playsgames was actually similar in intention. It was meant to be a compilation of games that I felt were less mainstream for the casual player, one who might not really browse the App Store regularly or install new apps, etc.

I don’t like putting star-ratings on games, as I think it depends a lot on what kind of games each person likes. These are my preferences:

Genres
  • Puzzles, especially word and logic games. I don’t like physics-based puzzle games.
  • Strategy/Simulation, which is code for “I have a stupid weakness to time management games”, like Cooking Dash 2016 (here I am, playing the game for x years).
  • RPGs, though they aren’t really casual – I’d love to play more, but I only seem to manage to finish one every few years!
  • Not platformers. I’ve found, over the years, that I don’t really enjoy them. I’d play a few levels and then tend to lose interest.
Styles
  • Cute or cartoonish art or animation style, over realistic or, hmm, less cute styles. (I’ve never liked the Ren and Stimpy art style, for example)
Other
  • Casual games, because however much I want to think of myself as kind of a gamer, I never seem to spend time playing “heavier” games. Which leads me to…
  • Free / Freemium / $0.99 Games, partly because casual games tend to be cheaper and I can’t justify spending more money (straightaway) on games that I might not actually play. Yes, this means I have probably missed out on a lot of wonderful indie games!  🙁

So it’s not exactly book reviews – I’m still struggling to read, thank goodness for fembookclub! But let’s give it a go…

Games this quarter

Wheel of Fortune: Show Puzzles / Free Play

Words / Trivia
Thoughts

I had no idea that the sound clips of original Wheel of Fortune TV show, occasionally watched in my childhood, were embedded in my brain. The game makes use of the sound clips – new word, letter found, letter not found – which set off a nostalgic spark within me. Weird.

Website

Tiny Bird Garden

Idle / Pets
Thoughts

I found this game through an interview with the developer(s), which I haven’t been able to find again, aww. </3

The art is super cute, and although it very obviously models its gameplay on Neko Atsume, it expands the concept with human friends and other features, like hats and adorable messages from each bird. Birbs are frens!

But Neko Atsume was a game which, despite playing it patiently for a few months, eventually lost my attention. So with Tiny Bird Garden, I also struggled to stay interested. I appreciate the “idle” nature of the games, in an era where so many games fight for your constant attention, but it doesn’t quite work for me.

Website

Cat Condo

Idle Clicker
Thoughts

More cute animals and cute art but this is a clicker game and I do not recommend clicker games because they are just so mindless but I’m still playing this one so it is on the list but you really should not play clickers okay gonna drag more cats around bye

Games revisited

Sometime this year, I was forced to reformat my iPad, losing quite a lot of game data, I’m sure. Before you chime in about iCloud syncing, one of the reasons I had to reformat was that I had been unable to sync or back up my iPad/iCloud data, so I was sure that some of my game data would not have been survived.

Bloons Tower Defense 5

I hadn’t played Bloons TD 5 in over a year! (I’m aware of the release of Bloons TD 6, but I’m not sure I’ll be getting it) So after a long break, I re-downloaded the game – all my data was lost after the reformat, sniff – and found that it was still pretty satisfying to destroy masses of “evil” balloons. Poppity pop.

Website

 

Next post will be for games in Q1 2018!

Trying out foodpanda Brunei (2014)

This post hasn't been updated in over 3 years.

So I’d been hearing about foodpanda – and as a mobile app enthusiast of sorts, I do take interest – but although many of my friends and acquaintances had heard of it, none of them had actually tried the service.

food panda avatar

I’m not much of a food enthusiast (boo, bad Bruneian), but was interested in the process of ordering from foodpanda. As easy as it is to use the service, some parts are still not straightforward. I’m sharing my experiences here for anyone who hasn’t tried it out.

Before we start, let’s get some things out of the way:

  • How the service works, in brief:
    • Download the app
    • Select your location via the app
    • Select the restaurant and your items
    • Place your order
    • Wait for delivery
    • Pay cash on delivery.
  • I’m ordering from the Brunei-Muara district.
  • I was informed beforehand that delivery time is generally an hour for all restaurants.
  • I used the foodpanda app on iPad, hence SMS notifications and calls from foodpanda arrived separately on my Android phone. So there’s a mishmash of screenshots below.

1st Try: The code

The first thing to do is to pick a location. The eligible locations for delivery was limited. This can be mildly confusing if you’re not sure which area you’re in.

For my first try, I used the BANDAR CITY area; the second time, I used SERUSOP. Geographically, my location was close to those areas though not exactly in the area. There didn’t seem to be an issue with this.

As of writing this post, though, foodpanda has added on a substantial list of locations for the Brunei-Muara district, including villages (all prefixed by “Kampong”) and Government office buildings:

Screenshot showing some of the locations, such as: Jabatan Sekolah-Sekolah, Jabatan Telekom, JERUDONG, Kampong Anggerek Desa, etc. Yes, I took the screenshot at 1:31 am.

List of locations for Brunei-Muara district

Read more…

09
Nov 2014
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Three to-do apps and types of task management

This post hasn't been updated in over 3 years.

As the preparations for B:READ’s Mabohai Bookswap were in full swing last month, I found myself using managing tasks using not one, not two, but three to-do apps in that same period. I admit that I enjoy keeping lists, and they help me keep track of things in my head; but at one point, it did occur to me: “Why am I using three different apps to handle my tasks? This is kind of ridiculous.”

So I took a closer look at the apps, and as it turns out, there wasn’t a problem of redundancy – the tasks recorded in each app were mostly different. Each app served a different purpose, depending on what tasks I wanted to achieve.

1. Weekly goals

I am terrible at keeping to any weekly goals – yes, I find my day job a challenge, thanks for asking – but I keep trying!

Workflowy is a web app and an iOS app. Its specialty is that you can have tasks at different levels, which I can break down or move up as I wish.

For example, here I have a list of things I meant to do within a week:

Screenshot of Workflowy app, shows higher level tasks under 'By 16 June 2013'. One of the tasks is called 'Finished Documentation for [x]'.

If you have ever found it difficult working towards such high-level tasks, you may understand that vaguely defined list items like “Documentation” just aren’t helpful when you’re panicking or procrastinating, because they seem like such big tasks. Read more…

12
Jun 2013
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Information Design: Cyber Safety Tips, 1st Page

This post hasn't been updated in over 3 years.

I dropped by the AITI Cyber Security Awareness Week this weekend, and picked up this year’s booklet. (They’ve had other brochures and booklets before, in their online safety campaigns from previous years.)

[Edited 13-Nov-2012: There were actually two similar booklets distributed at the event. The covers are shown below. The rest of this post refers to the one on the left, which was published by AITI. The other one is from BruCERT.]
Cyber Safety Tips

Booklet by AITI

A Parent's Guide: Online Safety for Children

Booklet by BRUCERT

Maybe I’m nitpicking, but even with the playful fonts and the colourful cartoons, I feel that the information in the booklet could be a lot clearer with better layouts and less specialised IT terms. This is about “awareness”, after all.

Here is the “Introduction” page:

A long introductory paragraph; No illustrations or anything else to break up the text; Disclaimer in same font size as above paragraph

Introduction

That introductory paragraph may sound great as an opening to a speech, but this is the first page of a booklet. With nothing breaking up the text, it just looks like a text dump. Someone had made the effort to write it up, but its purpose didn’t amount to anything more than a dull block of text.

The paragraph probably isn’t even necessary, as most people are likely to just skip through to the different sections. I mean, it’s a booklet of “tips”! Let me get to the tips, already.

So I decided to redo the text to improve readability:

Blocks of text positioned in various spots; Illustrations; Sentences are shorter for better emphasis

Obviously it could be prettified even more, but I hope you can see my point.

I placed the text in a different layout so that text is broken up and allowed to “float” around the page. I also threw in a few drawings.

You may have noticed that I not only used shorter sentences, but changed the types of words used. This was not so much to dumb it down, but to create a better flow for the reader.

It felt unnecessary to be told that ICT has “changed tremendously” or that the wonders of the Internet is available “all around the world” at “the click of a button”… we know!

“Every good thing has its flaws” – yeah, OK; the “exponential growth” of the Internet is a factor – well, yes. But I feel like the only purpose of the these sentences, is to justify why there are “bad people” on the Internet. I don’t see why it has to be said.

*

Lastly: No offense to AITI, other organisations participating in the campaign, or even the graphic designer that was involved. I’m also not directing any criticism to the Cyber Security Awareness Week itself, as I didn’t hang around long enough to experience its activities. My points are made in the interest of making information more accessible.

11
Nov 2012
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More. Emotion!

This post hasn't been updated in over 3 years.

I consider myself a Final Fantasy fan. I have played FF5 up till FF9, finishing only 2 of those, with brief tries on FF4, FF10 and FF12. For the purposes of this post, you can consider me inexperienced with the recent Final Fantasy offerings from the last, oh, 10 years. (That’s Final Fantasy X, i.e. FF10, and everything after it!)

So I have been playing Final Fantasy III on the iPad, and I still cannot get over the fact that, for the first time playing a Final Fantasy game, I can actually see expressions and emotions on the character’s faces at such a close range:

Refia: Toads!? *ughhh you-guys-suck face* Read more…

05
Jan 2012
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