Saturday, February 27, 2016

OnlineBookClub.org and a $100 Giveaway!

I've been working from home for several months now for a site called OnlineBookClub, and the owner of the site, Scott, has started a giveaway to encourage folks to sign up for his book's newsletter! All you have to do is click the link below, find the section to enter your email and subscribe! Not only do you get to enter your own four-digit guess at a future CT pick four lotto (that's how a winner will be randomly chosen, not some random.org pick), you'll also be notified when his book is released. Scott and his site are both awesome, and winning $100 is awesome too, so good luck and enjoy looking forward to an awesome book release! :D

Here's the Giveaway Link!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Five Tank: Desert Scorpion (iPhone/iPad)


Platforms: iPhone/iPad
Genre: Arcade/Action
Rating: 7/10

TL;DR: A fun game with minute-lengthed levels and some interesting concepts that doesn't quite flesh them all the way out. Can be very brutal, sometimes requiring numerous plays through a level to memorize enemy patterns. Sometimes hard to control due to small phone and big fingers, probably easier on an iPad.

Five Tank: Desert Scorpion has a very simple concept: press one of the five tanks at the bottom of the screen to shoot at whatever they might come across, making your way across a stretch of desert without running out of tanks. This simple mechanic had me both worried and excited for the game, wondering just how much could be done with such a restrained system over a whopping 60 levels!



The game is quick to add two more controls: a downward swipe uses an item and an upward swipe uses your "support" - an air strike that does major damage to all enemies on the screen, for example. Tanks and support can be upgraded using coins found from defeating enemies and desert obstacles ranging from simple cacti and barricades to enemy soldiers, super evil worms and gigantic tank bosses, although unfortunately not much is earned per level, so replaying levels to earn money takes quite a while.

While the game offers a good bit of variety, some of it can be rather annoying. On my iPhone 5c, it was rather hard to tap two tanks right next to each other at the same time, and some enemies seem rather unfair, shooting an impossible-to-defend bullet that knocks out half of a tank's life only a second or so after it appears. About half way in, levels take place in a particularly windy part of the desert where a crazy sandstorm is going on, and your support is a sensor that lasts for a few seconds. One of these levels has me so stuck that I had to give up entirely, so I was unable to review the entirety of the game. 


Despite these flaws, the game does have some unique fun. There are four different tanks to choose from once they're unlocked, and sometimes you even have to go back to earlier ones to defeat a boss or different enemies in a level. Every ten levels has a boss fight that ends up being quite hectic, and typically earns you a new tank or support. 

All in all, the game was pretty fun to play, and if a sequel came out that was a bit less twitch/memorize-patterns based I'd be very happy to give it a shot! For more screenshots, including my own progress over the first 30 levels, slide your eyeballs a little lower!











Friday, April 24, 2015

One Year Later...

So, a lot has happened since last June when I wrote my last blog post! I changed jobs, I quit that job, my laptop broke so I gave up on video game dev for the time being and moved on to tabletop games and, most obviously, I stopped blogging. That changes here and now, but I've decided to change things up a bit - I'd always focused on trying to get views, which isn't necessarily bad, but it really makes blogging feel like a chore instead of a privilege. 

From here on out, I'm only going to blog when I want to, instead of like it's a chore. My favorite part of blogging was sharing the awesome games I found and exposing more people to them. That's what I really want to get back to, and that's what you'll get here!

And a final note: I received a BUNCH of games to review from some really great developers, and I never played or wrote about them. I feel awful about it, I've felt awful about it ever since in fact, and now that I have no working laptop I can't even play them at all. I just hope you can all forgive me!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

F*ck This Jam Entry (And Beyond Probably) - Calorie Quest!

After a 7-month hiatus I'm gonna work on making a game for the F*ck This Jam. The concept is to make a game in a genre you hate; my chosen genre is "fitness games." I don't particularly hate the genre, I simply haven't found a good one yet, so I'm gonna see if I can make one in the week that the jam gives me! I'm gonna share my progress on here as it goes, although in all honesty, with a full work week at my "real job", I'll probably take more than just one week to work on it.

I realize I've been far behind on this blog, and especially on the huge collection of games I need to review, and I really appreciate your patience! Gamedev is just an irresistible thing, no matter how time consuming, difficult, hair-ripping-out-ing and challenging as it is.

The concept of the game itself is pretty simple and subject to change: think old-school RPG meets exergame. You fight different enemies, but you're given a few different choices for each attack, and each one is a different exercise and time amount or reps. For example, you might be able to choose between jogging in place for two minutes, doing 5 push ups or 10 sit ups. Of course, the game doesn't actually KNOW when you've done it (except for timed things, the game will have a timer that you can start when you're ready), so it will trust you when you click that you completed it.

I'd also love to add modes where you can enter your total # of calories for the day and then face off against the calories you've eaten, or where you can just set a target number of calories to attack, etc. The tough part about this will be actually finding out the number of calories - there are sites, like SparkPeople, that can track it, but I really don't want to make people go over there to figure it out and then come back to the game. We'll see! :D

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Song of the Day: "Mordred's Song" by Blind Guardian

LOOK! It's another non-cover! I'm so proud of myself :D

Anyway, Mordred's Song comes off of an awesome album - Imaginations from the Other Side - by an awesome band - Blind Guardian. The song is all about Mordred, of King Arthur infamy, but tells the dark tale from Mordred's side. The song is rather light and anyone can enjoy it!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Song of the Day: "War Ensemble" Ukelele Cover by Rob Scallon (Slayer Instrumental Cover)

Yep, I already missed a day! But you know what? This will absolutely make up for it! Slayer's "War Ensemble" covered by UKELELE!!!! And it's AWESOME! I'll just leave it at that. :D


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Song of the Day: "A Tout Le Monde" by Megadeth



Well, today is World Suicide Prevention Day, so here's the saddest suicide song that I know: Megadeth's "A Tout Le Monde". Despite their name, this song is NOT particularly heavy, and is easily enjoyable by anyone!

Note: According to wikipedia, Dave Mustaine has stated "It's not a suicide song. What it is, it's, you, it's when people have a loved one that dies and they end on a bad note, you know, they wish that they could say something to them. So this is an opportunity for the deceased to say something before they go. And it was my impression of what I would like to say to people, if I had say, 3 seconds to do so in life before I died I'd say to the entire world, to all my friends, I love you all, and now I must go. These are the last words I'll ever speak, and they'll set me free. I don't have to say I'm sorry, I don't have to say I'm going to miss you, or I'll wait for ya. You know, I'll just say I loved you all, good, bad, indifferent, I loved you all." Despite this, and despite MTV banning the video because they thought it was PRO suicide, I've always considered it an anti-suicide song because of how sad it is to even think of some random person taking their life this way.

For those curious, the french translates to: "To all the world, to all my friends, I love you, I must leave."


Monday, May 12, 2014

Song of the Day: "YYZ" by Rush (Drum Cover by 7 Year Old Avery Molek)

Yeah, yeah, it's still a cover sort of, but YYZ has no lyrics so it's not like it's a completely different song. Besides, the fact that a SEVEN year old is doing a drum cover of one of the hardest songs to drum is just insane. Avery has a whole bunch of other songs he's done as well, including Judas Priest's "Painkiller", Avenged Sevenfold's "Beast and the Harlot" and Metallica's "Master of Puppets".

"At the Hard Rock", AGE 5!!!! 

YYZ is a pretty crazy song anyway, and for those who don't know what it is (or who Rush even is, shame on you!), the video is worth checking out just for the song. For the rest of humanity, again, seriously - 7 years old! NOT Rock Band drums, REAL drums!

Make sure you check out the rest of his Youtube channel, as well as the webpage (http://www.averydrummer.com)


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Song of the Day: "Mama Said Knock You Out" by Five Finger Death Punch (LL Cool J Cover)


Happy Mother's Day! To celebrate, I figured I'd find a Mother's Day related song, and while the song is technically about LL's grandmother, the song is still far more fitting than I ever would have originally imagined. See, James (Ladies Love Cool James) was inspired by his grandmother to "knock out all his critics." She, like many of our mothers who inspire and keep us going, still had faith in his talent.

Of course, what's more fun than sharing the original? A cover of course! This one is by Five Finger Death Punch, the guys who did "The Bleeding", "Never Enough", "Stranger Than Fiction" and at least two other awesome covers - "Bad Company" and, more recently, "House of the Rising Sun".

Enjoy the song!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Song of the Day: "In The Navy" by Alestorm (Village People Cover)

The last couple days, I shared a "Song of the Day" on my personal Facebook page, and I figured it'd be fun to bring it over here to my blog as well! The first song I shared was this one - "In The Navy" by Alestorm. Yes, that "In The Navy", the one by the Village People. You know... "In the Navy, you can sail the seven seas!"

Anyway, this one HAD to be my first song of the day for a few reasons:
  1. When else can you headbang to "In The Navy"?
  2. Alestorm is a "Scottish Pirate Metal" band. Yep, that's what they call themselves, and it's perfectly fitting for them as well with songs like "Heavy Metal Pirates", "Keelhauled" and "Of Treasure".
  3. Good covers are ALWAYS worth sharing!
Enjoy the song!



Monday, April 28, 2014

Mother's Day Coffee Giveaway - 40 Cups!

Note: This is not my giveaway and I didn't write the post, I'm simply happy to share it, take part in it and let you see another awesome prize! Yay caffeine!

Prize 2 is a Huge Box of 40 cups of coffee in 16 different flavors!
To see all the Prizes Click Here.
Sponsored by Brooklyn Bean Roastery
Hosted by A Small Village
Decisions, decisions. This morning are you in the mood for some pizzazz or chill? Do you crave some bold slap you in the face flavor, or mild taste? Brooklyn Bean Roastery says who cares... have them all! Our 40 Count Brooklyn Bean Roastery Sampler Pack includes four samples of the following light, medium and dark roast blends: breakfast blend, boardwalk blend, brooklyn Bridge, Comlumbian, Cyclone, Donut Shop, Fugheddaboutit and French Roast. - Brooklyn Bean Roastery giveaway
 
 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Popup Dungeon - Papercraft Roguelike Awesomeness - on Kickstarter

I'm not really a patient person. When I buy something, I'm not against spending an extra few bucks to get it in the store instead of waiting for a week to get it in the mail (unless, you know, it only costs a few bucks anyway). This is always the problem with Kickstarter projects - with very few exceptions, you'll be waiting months or even over a year before you get your hands on what you supported.

It's with that strong impatience for awesomeness that I have to say: Popup Dungeon looks AMAZING! Now that I'm making some money at a decent job, I was finally able to back my first video game project. Someone else in my friends list had backed it, so I clicked the link from my email and began drooling almost immediately... The art is glorious and the features seemingly never ending! I was already ready to back it when I saw that it's being developed by the folks who did Ring Runner as well, which made me even more psyched.


Now, this isn't just another dungeon crawler RPG, no siree! You get to choose from some awesome playable characters [Note: this also includes special characters like Isaac from The Binding of Isaac and Juan Aguacate from Guacamelee!], import others from other players or even create your own and watch it come to life, folding together in front of your eyes! The game also offers the ability to "play as the wizard", taking control as the dungeon master, create and edit items and all other sorts of nifty things.

Kitty can has cheezburgers... From the corpses of his fallen enemies!

And again, there's the art! It's so gloriously fun and amazing! It reminds me of Herocraft from back in the day, playing the game on an actual board and using tiles for the "pieces", except that these are 3D (ish!) and fantastically animated!

The game is releasing for Windows, Linux and Mac AND IS ALREADY GREENLIT ON STEAM! If stretch goals are reached, Wii U and mobile (Android and iOS) will be made available as well.

Available for: Win/Linux/Mac, Wii U and mobile possible with stretch goals
Lowest Pledge for Game: $15 ($20 for Ring Runner as well!)
Estimated Release: Q2 2015 for "Backer Only Beta" (available to all at above $15 pledge), full game Q2 2016

Sunday, April 20, 2014

TOEFL Test - iBT Practice Free App

Note: I was unable to try this app out myself, so the below comes only from developer info, the app's page and other online sources.

A few years ago, I ran a word-of-the-day game called Million Dollar Words: Daily Edition. It was a lot of fun to put together, and despite the fact that 80% of the words I use on my blog (and more like 90% in real life) are either "awesome", "sweet" or "amazing", I really do enjoy learning new words! Since vocabulary apps are small, they're pretty much the only things my 3 year old phone can handle, and I'd download them to try to find even more delicious words of awesomeness.



What I never considered, though, was searching for TOEFL apps! TOEFL - the Test of English as a Foreign Language - interestingly includes a whole slew of words that lots of us who speak English as a primary language don't even know!

For those who aren't big fans of learning new vocabulary, and for those of you who want to read about the app and not my own life experiences, TOEFL Test - iBT Practice is an awesome app! Instead of simply using virtual flash cards or reading a list of words and their definitions, you also get games to play in addition to the quizzes, flash cards, charts and so on, perfect for people who learn all sorts of ways!



The free version includes all of the features of the full "pro" version but with fewer words (150 instead of 3000!!!), so you can easily see what the full app has to offer for free! If you decide to go for the pro version (hint: you should!), it's only 99 cents anyway, far less than the cost of a boring book.

Available For: Android and iOS (Free version; Pro version $0.99)
Developed By: MediaAgility

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

$100 Target Gift Card Giveaway "In The News"

Welcome to the In the News April Fool's Day $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway sponsored by the USA Herald, the Daily Globe, Indyposted, and the Daily Digest and hosted by The Parenting Patch.



Keeping up with the news is no joke. Unfortunately, busy parents often do not have the time to sit down a read a newspaper each day. The USA Herald, the Daily Globe, Indyposted, and the Daily Digest are here to help. Each news site offers a slightly different view of the news happening around the world each day. Plus you can stay up-to-date from your computer, smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device!

 One lucky reader of The Parenting Patch and YOUR BLOG HERE will win one (1) $100 Target gift card compliments of the USA Herald, the Daily Globe, Indyposted, and the Daily Digest. To enter for your chance to win the In the News April Fool's Day $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway, simply use the following Rafflecopter form. Be sure to stop by each day to claim your daily entries. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The In the News April Fool's Day $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway is open worldwide. An international winner will receive $100 minus any PayPal charges via PayPal in lieu of the specified prize. The In the News April Fool's Day $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway ends at midnight CST on April 22, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. The Parenting Patch and YOUR BLOG HERE are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Target is not affiliated with the In the News April Fool's Day $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

$300 Paypal Giveaway, Schism: The Battle for Darracia

Note: I didn't write this article, nor is it my giveaway, although I did edit it a bit. I'm just happy to be a part of it, and to help promote it to all of you! :D

Welcome to the $300 Cash Giveaway!

Sponsored by Michael Phillip Cash.



                                                  


Schism was recently chosen as a BOTYA 2013 Finalist in Science Fiction. To celebrate, Michael Cash would like to offer a everyone a chance to win $300.

On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world. Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V'sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior's heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen's lust for supremacy. Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia?



Dii, an Amazon reviewer said:
"Does intolerance of people’s differences go beyond our planet? What of jealousy and the quest for power? Is it thicker than blood? Schism by Michael Phillip Cash is a fascinating and intense dark fantasy/Sci-fi filled with everything that makes for excellent, magnetic reading! Prejudice, love, greed, trust, the lust for power, deceit, cruelty and bloodshed, it’s all here in the first book of what looks to be an amazing journey to another planet somewhere in the heavens.

The ever-widening gap between the different classes is causing unrest to the once peaceful plant of Darracia, the haves get more, the have-nots lose what little they have and are beginning to fight back. Considered inferior to those around him, young Prince V’sair struggles to be seen as warrior material, in spite of his smaller stature and different skin coloring. He is a half-breed, part Darracian, part Planta. Smart, filled with knowledge from books, he still longs to feel the power of the Elements in the Fireblade, a weapon that can only be wielded by one blessed with a warrior’s heart. Forbidden to risk his life in a quest to find the powerful weapon, V’sair chafes at being trapped between wanting to help his people and needing to obey the King and Queen. But there is more to the unrest among the classes than meets the eye. Someone nearby is a traitor and it may be up to V’sair to save his world, but how? Unprepared for what awaits him outside of his castle, V’sair finds strength in love, honor and in believing in himself as he stands against the odds and the evil betrayers around him.

No doubt about it, Michael Phillip Cash can build a world with depth and clarity and then populate it characters that one can see in their minds. Soar above the clouds on a flying horse-type creature, feel the tension, feel the fear and wonder of V’sair as he runs into danger, faces near death and the love of a girl whose skin is as red as his is blue. Mr. Cash introduces each character with ease and enables the reader to see who to watch for, who to root for and who to hiss at. He has created magic with his words that transport you into another world as good battle evil in the takeover of Darracia and a boy becomes a warrior with heart. As the foundation from which this series will build, Schism is a powerful testament to the power of the imagination when guided by a masterful storyteller."

Book 2, Collision: The Battle for Darracia (Book 2) (The Darracia Saga) is now available on Amazon.

After the success of his first three books (Brood X, Stillwell, and The Hanging Tree) Michael Phillip Cash is fulfilling a dream and creating his own epic fantasy world. The third book in the series is coming soon!

Enter to win $300 Cash via PayPal


Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.
Refer your friends using your unique link to earn even more chances to win.
Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EDT on April 8th, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was coordinated by Giveaway Promote.