Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fun & Pretty Games!

I wish I can provide in-depth analyses and geek-critiques about these games. Unfortunately, all I have are my personal preferences and predispositions. So if you're looking for Plusses and Minuses, Pro's and Con's -- don't expect them here. All you'll read about are why I grew to love these games, and reached points of productivity trade-offs.

Clash of Clans
According to creator Supercell: "Clash of Clans is an epic combat strategy game. Build and defend your village; Dominate the Realm; Battle with thousands of players across the world!" I guess that's the game-marketer's way of putting it, but I love this game for its super-cute depiction of what is usually dark, edgy, and, violent. The background music is light and whimsical, the sound effects enchanting (coin- and elixir-collecting galore!), and there's almost always something to tinker with at any time of day (build walls, train troops, upgrade artillery, clean-out plants and bushes!) And what's a game without a goal? Clash of Clans offers loads of mini-achievements for a player to chase after...But really, the cute graphics win it for me. I could watch those Giants exercising in their Army Camps the whole day.

Isn't he a friendly-looking giant?
Click on him while he's in the Army Camp and he'll do some calisthenics!

Candy Crush
I've always fallen prey to puzzle and arcade games. In particular, I've spent more-than-forgivable-time playing Zuma, Insaniquarium, and Diner Dash, even reaching their "ends" at a certain point. (I think I finished Zuma more than 3x over, and had no trouble repeating the special final "space level"). So when I met Candy Crush, I knew right away that it was the addictive-type -- and addicted I got. I really don't know how to explain these games' addictive nature, except that they always seem to push me to outdo and outperform myself. They provide the precise balance of being challenging enough but not demoralizing, while giving some form of passive amusement with their adorable graphics. For me, the addiction ends when I either finish all the stages, or the game gets too tough and frustrating. At least, that's how Candy Crush ended for me. Damn those candy-eating chocolates!!!Fc&Xp8eu$!sf#!!

I can totally relate to whoever edited this image.
These chocolates made me give up on Candy Crush. :(

Did I mention I love arcade games? Here's another. "2FUSE is a fast and furious arcade-styled game which pits players against the clock to match and fuse as many similar icons as they possibly can within 60 seconds." I love 2Fuse because beating your record is a matter of practice. There are no levels and no surprise elements (damn those candy-eating chocolates!!!) Just one stage to challenge your quick-thinking and reflexes. Sure, the boosters can boost those points, but I'm stubborn and like to push for best times without the "help" of any special features. Plus, each run lasts just around 60-seconds, which makes it a good excuse to play in between whatever other important things I am doing. Tutal, 60 seconds lang naman, diba?

Frustrating at first, but addicting later!
Just fuse the similar tiles together...and do it FAST!

I'd put Dots in the same family sa 2Fuse in that it's also a 60-second game with just one stage and the concept of "boosters". But Dots requires even less mind work (I hope I didn't offend anyone with that statement) because the rules are so simple -- you just connect the dots! And they're SUCH pretty-colored dots! I learned about this game from my graphic designer/illustrator-sister, and if you look at Dots' interface, you'll understand why she got addicted to it too. With Dots and 2Fuse, 60 seconds feel like 10, and before you know it, you've spent 30 minutes straight trying to beat your high score. Or just trying to get out of a looooong series of bad runs.

Such a minimalist, whoever designed Dots. So visually delightful.
Even the "how-to" part only takes like 3 swipes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

It's Times Like These...

One of 'em songs that get me emotional! Especially on days (or even just moments!) when I feel like I'm on the verge of something huge...and huge isn't necessarily good, or bad. And that's what makes me so antsy, how the future is so unknown...

NO MATTER...It's for these emotions that we live. The fears, the anxieties, the excitements...the nerves and butterflies-in-the-stomach....If every result or ending was known to us, what a boring life it would be! Don't you think?

The last time I've felt this much apprehension was over 13 years ago, when I was a 3rd year high school student, and a friend invited me to be part of the school's "team" for a climbing competition. I was flattered by the invite, but at the same time freaking out inside, because (A) I'm not accustomed to being with people other than my own circle of friends, and (B) I've only climbed maybe twice in my life before that, which gives me a smaller-than-nil chance of NOT embarrassing myself on competition day.

But amidst all my jitters, I also knew the value of stretching myself. Despite the initial discomforts brought on by my terrible shyness, I also sensed how being involved in the sport of climbing would lead me to something different, something I've never experienced before in my life, even if I didn't know what that something was. So, armed with nothing but faith, out of my comfort zone I stepped.

I climbed. I trained. I attempted the different walls at Power Up, and cried when I didn't finish Into the Woods. I met people that weren't my batchmates. I met people who weren't from my school, and older/younger than me. (Take note that those meant a LOT to me as a timid high schooler, haha!) And yes, I joined that inter-school climbing competition, where I surprised myself by managing a 2nd place finish. Just goes to show how little I knew about my own capability!

And the rest? It would take a lot more time and words to describe how "the rest" changed my life. Not all changes were easy to swallow; in fact, even as I tried to manage my expectations, I would find myself caught off guard many times.

But ultimately, all changes had been for the better. Everything was automatically charged to experience, and shaped how I live and the person that I am now.

it's times like these you learn to live again /
it's times like these you give and give again /
it's times like these you learn to love again /
it's times like these time and time again

On repeat, until this emo-ness goes away.