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

Developer Website

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.

Information

 

Next post will be for games in Q1 2018!

iPad Casual Games #hazm8playsgames – Q3 2018

Sooo this quarter turned out a lot less active for me, as I got pretty busy with work, but also, I started playing this non-iPad and arguably non-casual game:

Pokemon Ultra Sun Box Art

Pokemon Ultra Sun (Image: Nintendo)

Look, sometimes you gotta spend money on a good game that lets you walk through every metre of tall grass as you wish, or chase dozens of side story arcs and mini-games and feel rewarded by connecting these pieces of a virtual world.

Short digression here

I’m honestly pretty happy to get my head out of my mostly freemium games, which just have zero story or world-building. It’s their nature, yes, but we’ve allowed them to define mobile and casual gaming; to normalise limit, narrow gameplay and a million ads and forever grinding to earn in-game currency. But wait, isn’t this a post about casual games to recommend? And do I just have terrible taste in casual games? Ah…

But seriously: If your casual games ever start to feel empty, and your finances allow, It’s okay to put aside your casual games for a month to instead play games with richer gameplay and writing, actually designed for your delight.

Anyway, for those who just want to get back to it:

Continuing my #hazm8playsgames series! Here’s the first post if you want to know what it’s all about.

My preferences (click to view):
  • 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).
    • Not: Platformers, Shooters. I'd love to play more RPGs but I only seem to manage to finish one every few years!
  • 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, even wonderful indie games. 🙁

Games this quarter

Woven Words

Words
Thoughts

Sudoku meets words? It’s something you might think at a glance, but the game actually works that way. It always seems like only that one exact letter can fit into a row or column, to form a specific word.

Blue Ox also developed one of my earliest iOS favourites, 7 Little Words!

Website

Twenty48 Solitaire

Puzzle
Thoughts

This game is a curse that my sister, well, cursed upon me.

I’ve never played 2048 (or its variants) and this game gave me a glimpse into the kind of addictiveness of those kinds of games.

Status: Deleted

Developer Website

MemoPoly

Puzzle
Thoughts

A pretty game in a 3D polygon art style, with a Mastermind-ish concept: Figure out the patterns of colours, in order to proceed through the level. Each level starts out with a 3D graphic of simple object and a single colour, but the object also evolves as you solve more patterns, adding more elements and colours.

The sounds and music are relaxing – until you move between levels and find the calm atmosphere interrupted by a video ad.

I can’t say I got through much of this game, only trying out the Easy levels. Despite the unique premise, I did not find it that intriguing. Worth a look if you like the concept!

Developer Website

Games revisited

Flipflop Solitaire

Another solitaire, but closer to what most think of as ‘Spider’ (or Klondike, as it says on the game website). It’s a version of solitaire where you’re allowed to stack cards in reverse order – think a ‘K’ on top of a ‘Q’ that is stacked on top of another ‘K’. It’s also flexible about undos, and whether there are any empty spaces when redealing.

The reverse itself adds a new, welcome dimension to the game. You can plan your moves differently, while traversing the new complexity of having reversed stacks. And you can make it more challenging by playing with up to 5 different suits!

Status: I liked this game so much that I paid for the full game unlock.

Website

Cooking Dash 2016

Do not talk to me about this game. I have spent $ (redacted)  on Gold and still grind for it on a weekly basis. I lost my game data in a reformat this year, but I still re-downloaded it anyway because I just want to keep torturing myself unlocking more food and getting those stars.

Website

More screenshots of the above games, if you’re interested! (Click to open in a Google Photos album)

Google Photo
Google Photo
Google Photo
Google Photo
Google Photo
Google Photo
Google Photo
Google Photo
Google Photo

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading back to Alola to build up my Pokedex!

Blog traffic for the wrong reasons & archiving my older posts

I finally did it. I archived an old post about feminism and a popular cartoon (and game) character who I shall not name.

Okay, the game was actually Kingdom Hearts II, but I won’t mention the cartoon name or the character.

That post got me a lot of traffic, y’know? Mostly from people searching the cartoon character by name, rather than the title of the cartoon show or Kingdom Hearts II (KHII). I’m comfortable mentioning KHII, by the way, because I still am interested in sexism and representation of women in games (“video games”, say the Western peoples) and in media – I have a tag for ‘women in media‘ on my Tumblr.

It was not traffic I particularly valued, eventually – no one tried to have a dialogue with me about it, and I became less interested in having a dialogue about it myself.

But blog traffic for the cartoon character specifically? I was tired of it. It was not traffic I particularly valued, eventually – no one tried to have a dialogue with me about it, and I became less interested in having a dialogue about it myself. This specific point is perhaps my main reason for archiving it. I usually am a believer in keeping your old work up, but it’s held less and less value for me throughout the years.

The attention seemed accidental, to be honest. WordPress is so good with SEO; my straightforward post title ‘[Character Name] & Feminism’ was enough to drive the post to Google searches. Ultimately, it got significantly more traffic than my other writings.

I don’t want it to represent my blog anymore. I’d rather people read my blog for my other thoughts and ideas; I don’t mind losing blog traffic if it means having a more relevant readership.

Which brings me to… this blog itself. I know. I never knew how to angle it. “I guess my blog is my book diary and my projects?” I asked myself, again and again. It was probably why Tumblr came as a relief – I could post content without sticking to a theme, which I had never quite clearly defined in my head for this blog. Tumblr’s structure allows you to be random, with only tags stringing your posts together. WordPress, and everything I’ve ever known about blogging, seemed to require consistency and regularity, which I struggled with. (I wrote about this on Tumblr too, here.)

But I love WordPress, and I’ll probably always find a home for myself in it. I love it as CMS, as a container for content; I like building and maintaining other websites with it. I update it from version to version with reluctance, but I delight in finding new plugins that extend its user experience. It’s still one of my favourite platforms for reading longform writing.

I’ve started restructuring the categories on this blog. I hope the new categories make sense. While moving posts and categories around, I archived other posts too, a small number of them. You won’t see them again unless they were caught by Wayback Machine and the like. They never fit in anyway, and seemed more Twitterish or Tumblrish in spirit. You won’t miss them.

And to all who look for feminist discourse around that certain cartoon character – thank you for finding me, but this blog was never a good place for it. I hope you found better articles and insights out there. Thanks for the website hits.

Into the archives she goes - Thanks!

 

Written with StackEdit.

23
May 2017
POSTED BY
POSTED IN Blog Meta
DISCUSSION 0 Comments

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
POSTED BY
POSTED IN Games and Media
DISCUSSION 0 Comments
TAGS

Pocket Frogs: hopping, breeding, that’s it

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

One of the first few games I started playing on the iPad (not mine) was Pocket Frog.

It’s easy to see what drew me to it. I like “collecting” things in games, and the app is pretty smooth, and its gameplay is simple. What I was going for in particular were the awards, for example to collect 8 frogs of a specific species in the same habitat.

I found myself playing for hours… until I finally let go of the iPad, looked at the clock, and concluded Read more…

10
Feb 2011
POSTED BY
POSTED IN Games and Media
DISCUSSION 0 Comments
TAGS

, ,