POETRY [UNTITLED SERIES] – 9

Slash and Burn Tactics

_____________

I couldn’t tell you when it started

When I decided to destroy my mind.

I couldn’t tell you if I was the one who put the torch to timber or if I was just burning from the inside out.

The hand may have been mine

but the oil was yours

and the fires you bore as your sigil was what finally shot us a blaze.

How does it feel now to burn my love?

Is this what you wanted?

You preformed for years with that glowing orb in your hands and I never thought that it would be used to strike me

but here I am

In a grove that I’ve raised

engulfed in your flames once again

I forget you’ve danced with flame so often

you were never going to get hurt

A symphony of light and sound and movement

You bob and weave so gracefully in my minds eye that all I can do is stare

While the flames grow higher and higher.

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Bite Size Reviews – Dream Daddy

Dream Daddy is a visual novel created by popular Youtube Channel Game Grumps. Dream Daddy is a Dad dating simulator. You move into a new place with your beloved daughter Amanda as she is finishing up her final year of school. With a new move to a cozy cul-de-sac you have the option to create the Daddy of your Dreams and date your very own Dream Daddy.

Dream Daddy is a wonderful experience. Short in its narrative with 7 different datable Dads all with different routes and outcomes. It’s a showcase of what diversity and respect for the LGBTQ+ community cannot be overstated. The scenarios feel real and fundamentally grounded in reality. You experience the trails and tribulations of being a single father trying to navigate their way in a whole new phase of their lives.

Bite Size Review – My 49 Days with a Cell

Sometimes it’s hard to be honest about what you want and what you need, with yourself. I didn’t think to myself that this was something that was going to teach me anything when I landed on My 49 Days with a Cells in the Apple Store. A bit like the Eggs game (which is a time waste, and a very good one at that!)

That’s it. 49 days of these cell’s lives. You are the person who has to take care of them. Easy.

Well, not so much. It turns out that taking care of these little cells is about as difficult as it is to look after ourselves.

For a little while now I’ve been on a journey where I’m trying to learn how to take better care of myself. I’ve had very drastic changes in my life. Just a lot of life happens in a very short time. I suddenly lost my dad and as a result of his death I moved home 4 times in 3 years. During that period, I would have worked two jobs at the same time, just to get the ends meet.

Then, I started to suffer massively from health problems. Two months after I got married, I had a lump removed from my breast, as they thought it was cancerous. I was at the time in a job that was pursuing a dream I wanted but it made me slowly sick and stressed because of the working environment. Since quitting the job due to sickness and being burned out,I decided to go back to college to pursue a Masters degree and work at the same time. More health problems, however, occurred to a point where I wound up having to leave both my college degree and what work I was doing at the time. I had major surgery in January where they removed my uterus and not even a full 2 years later and I’m pending another surgery next month to figure out why things are still wrong.

TL: DR Needless to say, I know the strength of what one of those little cells holds firsthand.

We are back to the land of simplicity, gameplay wise. You’ve got bonus energy to spend on the first cell. What ‘s great, it gives you the freedom to see what you might want to do with your cell, and then you’re going to plan your first week with it. At first, your choices feel endless; food, exercise, culture, rest, play, study and wash are all your main categories and then they are subdivided into categories. So, my first week has started. Through my little cage, I tried to live vicariously, wanting to fly, read and play without end. However, it did not turn out that way.

There has always been a trade off doing too much without caring about other needs such as feeding or sleeping in the cell. Around the time I was halfway through my first lifecycle of cells I recognized that I was making the same mistakes that I personally made.

I just didn’t take care of it. The little cell couldn’t eat properly, couldn’t rest and had barely planned time to take a bath! I was so focused on putting everything in its existence that I would have forgotten to take into account what it wanted or needed. I just didn’t listen to it.

I was so focused on doing what I thought it was important, and wanted me to take notice of the fact Nobody was listening to them.

Ultimately, it was too late to rectify the error by the time I realised that I had left it undernourished, deprived of sleep and stinky. Fortunately, it didn’t die (well, it depends on how you look at it), but on its 49th day, it decided to turn it into a stone.

I started my second round with its previously divided cell (which carries all of the previous cell stats) disappointed, and equally a little mystified. A cell’s life cycle is from 15 to 30 minutes of playtime anywhere, so I was startled when I realized the cells respond to you when they’re in an event — if they don’t like an activity, they ‘re going to tell you.

It took me some time to understand that in some respects life imitated art. These little cells had hopes and aspirations and I forgot the key things to make this a success in the pursuit of that achievement.

Through listening, loving, and caring.

Like how I had forgotten to listen, to appreciate and to care for myself.

They say you should talk to yourself as if you were talking to your friends and I have never been good at taking advice like that. But something really hit home with me about My 49 Days with Cells, it taught me a lot about myself and I’m sure it can teach you something too.

My 49 Days with Cells are available on both the IOS App Store and the Google Play Store for free.

POETRY [UNTITLED SERIES] – 7

Shoes and Coats

________

People ask if it’s time.

“Time to pick up his things?”

His shoes, his coats, his clothes.

Washed and as he would expect to find them.

But words cannot detract from the miles that we’ve walked together.

Your Wedding Shoes.

They’re stacked like worlds coliding each taking up a portion of my mind.

The shoes you got for being his best man.

The shoes you got for walking

Each miles and miles and miles of stories and life and stories of life.

They say if you take a mile in my shoes will you understand.

I’ve walked in your size 9s for 3 months now and I’m no closer to finding you.

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Women in Tech – Gaming & Technology Edition

In a world that is so dominated by men there is precious little more daunting in a journalist’s career than being a woman or non-binary person in tech. My background is in technology of all forms; mobiles, laptops and gaming. You may have already found me around the internet and on Twitter as @ThisIsSpecious and on websites like Big Boss Battle or Android Central.

As part of my new series on highlighting people who you need to know in the industry, I will talk to you about the women & non-binary people in technology who you should keep your eyes on!

Gaming

There are a tremendous amount of women doing wonderful things in gaming journalism at the moment. So, when making these lists it is nearly always impossible to narrow them down to a top three. To bring new people to your attention, I’m making sure that in these listings these are the women who don’t have a huge following and whose work deserves more attention.

Amanda Farough

Amanda is one of those unique people in the industry who will have been behind a lot of your favourite sites and yet you may not have realised it. She has been a founder of her own discord where she helps young writers in their journey through journalism. She is an endlessly giving and nurturing person, and a phenomenal writer and editor. She is a determined person, dedicated to her team and to delivering precise and informative content.

You can find a link to all of Amanda work right here.

Reb Valentine

I will always have a soft spot for Reb as I have had the pleasure of working with her in other publications but that is for a great reason. Reb has a writing style that is just a pleasure to read and connect with. Now she has found a home with Gamesindustry.biz she has found a space where she deep dive into the heart of the gaming industries biggest issues and will take you with her for that journey.

You can find Reb and her work over at Gamesindustry.biz.

Tayna DePress

Director of I Need Diverse Games, Twitch Partner, Conference Speaker, Diversity Liaison for GaymerX, Tayna is someone who should need no introduction – but somehow still is one of the most underestimated women in the video games scene. You don’t have to look too far to realise that this woman is in everything that is worth having a name on; DnD streams, Logitech team. Tayna’s ambition in life is to make the gaming world a more inclusive one for everyone to enjoy.

You can find out all about Tayna and how to support her work here.

Julie Muncy

Commonly found chatting to me about anything and everything to do with Kingdom Hearts, you will also find her work over at Wired, and Weekend Editor over at @io9. Presently is ready to be snapped up by the best outlets out there. You can find her contact details over on her Twitter.

Mim McDonald

Mim is the wizard behind some of your most beloved gaming magazines being Operations Editor, @OPM_UK and @edgeonline. A wonderfully gifted and gentle human, who is just one of the most sincerely beautiful people I’ve ever met. When she’s got some down time from being the backbone of her work force she’s interested in all with a vintage, alternate reality or retro-futuristic theme. You can find her personal blog here

Sam Greer

Sam is the hugely talented producer of Glass House Games. Her work can be found through various places on the internet, seriously, everywhere. A hugely talented and capable human who is worthy of so much acclaim it’s silly. When she’s not busy doing that you can be assured she’s over on Twitter trying to squeeze as many gifs about Lightening from Final Fantasy 13 as is humanly possible. 

Sam Loveridge

You might know Sam best from her work as Global Editor-in-Chief for @GamesRadar. When she’s not busy running the show over at Games Radar she can be found being her very awesome self over on her twitter

Mobile Technology

Some argue there aren’t a lot of women in mobile journalism. I’m here to debunk that myth and showcase some of the best and brightest that the tech scene has seen. By there being more women writing and talking about tech, we can unravel the complicated knot that is women in technology. There are lots of reasons women don’t get a predominant say in mobile technology. Much like games, they see us as being non-existent in the space, however there are many women being involved from all levels. I will introduce you to some of the best women in the mobile space you may never have heard of.

Florence Ion

You may recognise Florence’s name from her Android Central days where she was one of the most influential writers on the platform. We can also find her work in PCWorld, Ars Technica to name but a few. If there was a major publication, I can guarantee you that Florence has written for them. A monolith in the tech world, she has now gone freelance with her own work. Bringing her unique style and flare to her new podcast All about Android.

You can keep an eye on Florence and all of her work over at https://florenceion.com

Trisha Hershberger

One half of the Newegg Livestream crew, Trish is one of those women who can put her hand to anything she touches. A talented Youtuber, she dissects everything you need to know about tech, gaming and everything in-between. As an avid PC fan, she can bring her unique perspective to the Newegg family to talk about the best and worst of mobile and PC hardware. If you haven’t looked at her content and you are a PC person – you are missing out.

You can catch Trisha over at Newegg.com or at her personal YouTube.

Lory Gil

Lory is the powerhouse behind iMore. As managing editor for iMore she runs a tight ship with getting the cutting edge of Apple content out for you all to read. All this hard work can often come under acknowledged given she is the gears behind the machine. If there is a post on iMore, you can be certain that she has had something to do with it. Be it; editing, scheduling, she’d had a hand in making that site work as streamlined as it is. So will throw her a follow and tell her that Spec sent you.

You can find Lory and all of her work over at iMore

Ara Wagoner

Ara Wagoner is a Writer at Android Central. Chromebook ifficiando and force of good. When she’s not writing help and how-to’s, she’s off dreaming about Disney and singing show tunes. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

You can find her gushing about Chromebooks and all of her more recent work right here.

While I know that there are plenty of people who I’ve missed, who are the people who you think deserve recognition? Let me know in the comments down below with their twitter handles or articles so we can all share the great work that’s created by women in the industry.

Bite Size Reviews – Mom Hid My Game

If were growing up like me, you might have experienced Mom Hid My Game’s base scenario. Your Mom has stolen your game console, as the name of the game would imply, and you have to navigate an ever more elaborate way to get your game boy back to in order to play.

The puzzles were often intuitive. Checking the game boy behind a bookcase, or distracting your mom on the couch so you can get the game boy back. But often they were equally bewildering; cultural signals such as looking under a cushion that would be used to sit on were for someone who could be dealing with someone who wouldn’t be so in tune with other cultures.

One aspect that was credit to Mom Stole my Game was the fact that all the levels are short in nature. For each puzzle the rooms are the same (by in large) so you get a sense of where things are easily placed. Every time the game makes it clear what the threat to your success is, and it has very straightforward clues to your success.

Failure states are always quick and if you don’t find the right answer the first time around, it’s easy to leap back into action.

The only downpoint I can say about it is for accessibility. 

This can become one of the biggest frustrations of the game, as these have been hard to time, even for someone who is ablebodied. And there was no way to make it any easier! Ruling out some of the final act of Mom Stole My Game

Not to get spoilers-as it ‘s not worth spoiling this ending. I would encourage players to see Mom Stole My Game ‘s journey through to its end, however. In the final act, there is a marvelous piece of game design and narrative direction that brings the players through a journey of connection to technology and how it affects your relationship with those near you.

Top 10 Nintendo Switch Games of 2020

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This list has no strict rules except for one – where possible to avoid remasters. I’ve also tried to keep the list specifically to one entry per genre where possible. So that there is a variety of options for people with all tastes and interests.

#10

Super Mario Odyssey

Join Mario on a huge, globe-Join Mario on a huge, globe-trotting 3D adventure and use his awesome new abilities to gather Moons to power up your airship, the Odyssey, and save Princess Peach from Bowser’s wedding plans!

#9

Katamari Damacy Reroll

An exception to the rule of no remasters has to be broken for Katamari Damacy ReRoll. This is a piece of art that needs to be experienced by every Switch owner. When the King of all Cosmos destroys the universe in a drunken haze, it comes down to you, the Price to put everything back together again. How do you do that, I hear you ask? By rolling up the entire cosmos to make back up the sky.

#8

Xenoblade Chronicles

If you only play one JRPG on the Switch, let it be Xenoblade Chronicles definitive edition. Yes, I know it’s technically a remaster too, but its an important addition to your library. Xenoblade Chronicles is easily one of the finest games ever created, and if you don’t believe me, take a look at some lets plays or some walkthroughs. You will not be disappointed.

#7

Stardew Valley

While Stardew Valley can be played on many platforms, on Switch is where it shines. It’s perfect for pottering around the house and then slipping it into the dock. Or take it on communities where you can get lost in your own little farming world where you can do nothing at all or focus on restoring buildings and delving into mines.

#6

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was not what most people were expecting. For a series that is so linear in its narrative and progress the last thing that long term fans were expecting was an open sandbox experience. This allows the player to approach Breath of the Wild in a whole new way, which is any way they want. If you wanted, you could march straight out to contend with Gannon straight away. Or you can lurk in forests to try and find the master sword and everything in between. It is as limited as your imagination is.

#5

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

If you own a Nintendo Switch and you don’t own Mario Kart 8 what are your reasons? This is a wonderful kart racing experience one that stands up to all of the series additions so far. Race solo or connect with friends the choices are you! You can also participate in online tournaments to test your skills against other players.

#4

Pokemon Sword

Pokemon finally makes its long-anticipated arrival on the Nintendo Switch. First, with Pokemon Let’s Go! A warm-hearted and gentle introduction for new and old players alike to experience Pokemon for the first time on Nintendo Switch. Pokemon Sword and Sheild offer an experience unprecedented in Pokemon history. A feature-rich experience, from its world’s descriptions, visuals, to the Pokemon you encounter in the wild. The world feels real and vibrant, with little touches throughout so that you know that the love and care you expect from this 20-year-old franchise is right here. From online battles with other trainers to the upcoming expansions arriving in Summer and Winter of 2020. There has never been a better time to step into the world of Pokemon.

#3

Captain Toads Treasure Tracker

First debuting in Super Mario World 3D World, Captain Toad was an optional character for people who could find and help guide Toad through some puzzles. This is a full-fledged installment for Captain Toad where you are whisked away to a charming world. While it may look a little child like there is a lot to love about it and a lot to complete in this sweet and generous installment.

#2

Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Could you really call this a top 10 list without Super Smash Brothers being at the top spots? The legendary battle brawler comes to Switch, a series that needs no introduction. Regardless if you are new to the series or a veteran in the Smash scene. There is no doubt what so ever that there is a lot of life to be found when you find your character.

#1

Animal Crossing: New Horizon

Easily one of the games that took the world by storm during what has been an insane 2020 was Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Friends, family, lovers, and friends came together in a way that we haven’t seen in years. Building and creating their own islands. It has brought people together from all across the globe to an experience that otherwise with the global pandemic that struck the world would never have been able to accomplish otherwise. 

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Top 10 Xbox Games of 2020

There are affiliate links in this post: any purchases make through these links helps support me in keeping this blog alive.

As we are getting into the Xbox One latter years and with the announcement of the Xbox Series X launching in the holiday season of 2020, it’s time to take a look back into what games are the must plays of a generation. This list has no strict rules except for one – where possible to avoid remasters. I’ve also tried to keep the list specifically to one entry per genre where possible. So that there is a variety of options for people with all tastes and interests.

#10

Gears of War 5

Players step into Kait Diaz’s shoes for the first time who, after the events of Gears of War 4, is struggling to come to grips with her mother’s demise, unravel her family tree’s warped origins and cope with her own emotional baggage. Meanwhile, humanity is once again being attacked-this time by the Swarm, the heir to the Locust horde.

#9

Halo 5 : Guardians

Of course, a franchise that has long defined Xbox as a platform is Halo and Halo 5: Guardians is a worthy addition to the series and our list of the best Xbox One games. This is the Halo game for Xbox One you don’t want to miss, with both a single player campaign and the usual thrilling multiplayer combat.

#8

Sea of Thieves

Rare’s Sea of Thieves swashbuckling adventure lets players take on the role of a pirate sailing the seas of a fantastic world – either alone or as part of a crew of up to four. If you want to concentrate on trade, treasure hunting or plundering others’ loot is up to you. This is a perfect title for those who want to play in an open-world setting with others, plus it doesn’t look too shabby at all! A recent Anniversary Update has also breathed new life into the World of Thieves.

#7

Sunset Overdrive

As it was a launch title for the Xbox One, it is quite possible that people have slept on Sunset Overdrive. Sunset Overdrive is a shooter action-adventure game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Microsoft Studios. The game is set in 2027, in Sunset City, a futuristic metropolis. The player controls a FizzCo employee who has to fight off the OD, short for Overcharge Drinkers: humans who have become mutants after drinking FizzCo’s energy drink. The player character can run wall-run in the dystopian Sunset Area, use zip-lines, and grind rails to navigate through it quickly, with a wide arsenal of weapons to be used.

#6

Fortza Motorsport 7

One of its best is also the latest entry from the celebrated racing series of Turn 10 Studios to speed its way onto Xbox One. Especially if you are someone who likes to spend time tuning all kinds of real-life cars and then enjoying their results on the road, Forza Motorsport 7 will surprise you with its 700 car range and almost unlimited ways to customize them.

#5

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Easily an all-time fan favorite. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is just a joy from start to finish. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a Metroidvania video game platform adventure developed by Moon Studios and released by  Xbox Game Studios for Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Unlike its predecessor Blind Tree,  Will of the Wisps relies on “soul ties”  that are positioned manually rather than autosaving. 

For a system of “shards,” which can be bought or found in the game to update or change Ori ‘s stats and attacks, the sequential update scheme of the first title was discarded. Ori’s attacks can be managed through a convenient radial menu, and orbs can be found throughout the map to boost Ori’s health and energy.

#4

Hello Neighbour

Hello Neighbor is a survival horror stealth game developed by Dynamic Pixels, a Russian videogame developer, and released by tinyBuild. The goal of the game is to sneak into the basement of the neighbor’s house in order to discover the secrets of your mysterious neighbour. Taking on the lore and theory crafting following games with simular mysterious themes like Five Nights at Freddys and Bendy and the Ink machine. Hello Neighbours themes and overall style is promised to leave players scratching their head.

#3

Dying Light The Following

Dying Light is an open world first person survival action horror adventure video game developed by the Techland Polish game studio and published by Warner Bros. It features a dynamic day and night cycle enemy-infested, open-world city with climbable structures that support a fluid parkour system. The day-night cycle dramatically changes the game, as the zombies become more aggressive and harder to deal with during night time.

#2

Minecraft

You can’t talk about Xbox games and not mention Minecraft and just what a sensation the game has been since Microsoft acquiring Mojang and the behemoth moved into Microsofts care. Explore endless worlds and build everything from the simplest to the greatest of castles. Play in creative mode with unlimited resources or explore the world deeply in survival mode, craft arms and armor to fight dangerous mobs.

#1

The Outer Worlds

Lost in space while traveling to the furthest end of the galaxy on a colonist rocket, you wake up decades older than you thought, only to find yourself in the middle of a dark plot that seeks to overthrow the Halcyon world. As you explore the farthest reaches of space and find a host of factions all wrestling for power, who you decide to become will determine everyone’s fate in Halcyon.

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POETRY [UNTITLED SERIES] – 6

As soon as these shackles come off you’ll come home,

Little do you know the shackles were never locked,

as the only person who bound you was yourself.

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