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Grey Cubes - This is a Breakout/Arkanoid-style "break the blocks by bouncing a ball" game, but a very clever one. There are 60 set stages, an assortment of power-ups, and while you have limited lives, you can sacrifice some accumulated points to regain them. While there was an occasional issue with a 3D setpiece blocking my view of the board, in general I thought this was well-designed and fun.

Close Order - A relatively slow-moving space shooter in which you control a small fleet that always flies in formation; searching for the remnants of a lost humanity but mostly just trying not to get blown up by waves of enemies. Meh.

AXYOS - An early access FPS online-arena game. The character customization is nonexistent (apparently the game isn't even really in beta yet) so it's mostly just "run around and shoot some dudes". It's playable, but that's all I can really say about it.

Stigmat - A "masocore" platformer, where not only are you likely to die a lot, that's pretty much the gimmick of the game, and it's clear in the very first level that they'll resort to nasty tricks to kill you early and often. The thing is, the graphics are dark and not very clear, and the controls are a bit janky, which means that many of my deaths just felt unfair due to the poor system, not because I was incompetent or because I was tricked.

Slipstream 5000 - A DOS-based flight sim/racing game where you apparently can shoot down foes--I say "apparently" because I could barely tell where I was going, much less find anything to shoot.

Broken Dreams - More like "Broken Fourth Walls," am I right? A puzzle platformer featuring a couple who try to get together with help from temporal shadows and similar trickery. It’s super-short, with only 25 levels and 5 bonus levels, most of which can be taken down in a minute or so. Not bad, but nothing I haven’t seen done better elsewhere.

PING 1.5+ - Get the bouncing ball (cube) to the exit in each level with a limited number of shots/bounces. There are vastly superior approaches to the concept; Luna’s Wandering Stars is the most prominent in my mind.

Vapour - A horror exploration / FPS game that has lovely graphics that are too dark to see, wonky controls, and apparently no HUD—which meant I couldn’t figure out how much health I had or, even with the “hints” activated, what the hell I was doing. It’s also full of jumpscares and inexplicable combat, did I mention? (Apparently, you’re playing a demon/human hybrid created by a cult but who escaped to terrorize them. Who likes to curse a lot.)

Doodle God - Combine the four base elements to make everything else in the world in a puzzle/casual game. Most of the combinations aren't terribly intuitive (at least to me), but randomly trying combinations is moderately fun. I think the biggest problem is that it's a guessing game more than anything else, and there are a LOT of combinations that do nothing but you'd think would do something. Why on earth does Sand + Egg make Turtles, for instance? Shouldn't that be Lizard + Stone or Lizard + House?

A Wolf in Autumn - A horror exploration game in the vein of The Moon Sliver. Warns you in advance that it has no save system and takes about an hour to complete, which is helpful to know. The strange story of a girl in a shed with an abusive mother who speaks via transmitter boxes, as the girl solves various puzzles to break out. I think I’ve found other games in this genre most intriguing, but it’s moderately interesting and technically decently designed.

Overall: Grey Cubes won me and Doodle God was entertaining. The rest of the lot I’d generally recommend other examples of their genres over them.
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These were all games with some potential—I do rather like rpgs—but also likely to be not worth the time to play through.

Hero of the Kingdom - This is a strange melding of point-and-click adventure / hidden object game, and a storybook rpg like Sorcery! You can’t actually lose; the game is mostly about finding all of the hidden objects and managing your resources to complete all of the quests. Which means it’s very simple, but in turn strangely entrancing.

The real key to the game is that there's an infinite money loop that you can access fairly early on. If you buy sacks of grain from the farmer on the north map (30 gold) and have the miller turn them into flour (5 gold), the farmer's wife on the north map will bake them into six loaves of bread each. Those loaves can be sold on the game's second screen for 9 gold each (54 gold, for a profit of 19 gold for each bag). This radically cuts the amount of hunting and fishing you need to do to afford hiring and outfitting soldiers, which in turn makes the game more pleasant.

Bardbarian - Arena fighting / defense game in which you play a barbarian warrior who traded in his axe for a lute, and now commands a group of warriors against the endless goblin hoards. Each time you fail, you can spend the gold you'd acquired on various upgrades. Moderately entertaining as a casual game.

Stick RPG 2: Director's Cut - So, the "stick" part is that all of the characters walked out of an XKCD comic. The game world, on the other hand, is a general-life rpg, in which you wander around trying to earn money and increase your stats. My starting stats were barely enough for a job at Starbucks, which decreases your stats randomly as you do it. There are much better approaches to this style of game.

Demonicon - Action RPG, third person view, gigantic files and an attempt at pretty "real is brown" graphics. (Though the character models hit the uncanny valley hard.) We open in a world when the summoned demon was overthrown but most of the land is still held by dark wizards, and our protagonist is entering an evil mountain to find his sister, who is fleeing her arranged marriage. The combat is rather clunky, and I was barely twenty minutes into the game when I apparently went into the wrong path and triggered a battle but not a trap, which meant there was no way to get out of the trap once I took the right path. And it auto-saved there. I'm not playing ten hours with more risk of that bullshit.

Sudeki - Action RPG, with a style that reminds me a bit of the land-based Drakengard combat. I found the timing for the combo hits obtuse and if you can't get combos down, then the combat is just boring and repetitive (run into an area, kill everything that spawns there, repeat). There was something about the world being split in two and legendary heroes returning from a battle against the dark god, but that didn't really matter to a soldier on the ground.

Drakensang - This and Demonicon are apparently both based on a German tabletop rpg system called "The Dark Eye", originally created because the developers were too cheap to license D&D. I was potentially interested, but this won't run properly on my PC, and given my lousy impression of Demonicon, I'm not going to go out of my way to make it work.

This bundle also included Deep Dungeons of Doom, which I played in a previous bundle. Key is available if anyone wants.

Overall: The games that were trying to be something other than traditional rpgs actually were much more fun; though to be fair, I’m going to be a lot more picky about games that require dozens of hours of investment to get through.
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Orion lives in a remote village where he is the youngest person, as few children have been born and people keep dying off. His wedding to the youngest woman in the village is meant to bring hope for the future. But a chance encounter with a strange blue woman indicates that much more needs to be done if the world is to actually be saved.

Read more... )

Overall: Very short, relatively easy, a little clunky but some interesting ideas, and it stands out from the usual Exe-Create/KEMCO games in a bunch of ways. And I couldn't argue with the price.
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Many years before the events of Alphadia, but after the events of the Energi War that rocked that world, clones are attempting to integrate into society, and a guildman named Fray is tasked with figuring out why some of them are going rogue.

Read more... )

Overall: This is the most “more of the same” I think I've ever seen. The system is basically identical to half a dozen other Exe-Create KEMCO games, and the plot is generally a retread of every other pseudo-medieval magitek fantasy jrpg. There's nothing bad about it, it's not a bad game by any means, but there's absolutely nothing special or standout about it.
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So, most of these games actually came onto my list in 2015. I played some of a bunch of these games when I bought them, then got distracted. Some of them I managed to get back to; most of them I decided I wasn’t that interested in revisiting given everything else I have to play.

The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom - A puzzle platformer with a cute aesthetic. (Winterbottom is a Victorian pie thief with a Snidely Whiplash bent, who lucks into time-travel powers while chasing a floating pie.) You can “record” actions and then clones of Winterbottom will do them until cancelled, and you can use those clones to hit switches, act as platforms, knock you around, and more. The actual puzzles (after the intro chapter) are NOT easy.

Fearless Fantasy - A short and sweet, goofy, anachronistic story about a Princess and a pair of bounty hunters killing the evil king and his pet giant snake-thing. The gimmick is that the battle system, while it has levels and advancement, is 99% dependent on taping and swiping "timed hits" to deal and avoid damage. If you enjoy that system in, say, the Paper Mario series, then you'll likely enjoy this. I'd recommend the Android version of the game over the Steam one, because swiping to fight is much easier on a touchscreen than with a mouse.

Saturday Morning RPG - Morty dreams of a video game world where The Wizard gives him a magic trapper keeper that allows him to turn mundane items into video game attack powers. The graphics are fancier than you’d think at first glance—sprites are 2D, but the screen is a pseudo-3D that gives everything a “cardboard standup” kind of feel. The RPG aspect is mixed—it’s not clear how effective any of the attack items are until you use them, and the battles rely more on clever use of charging up and making effective timed hits for attack and defense than they do on grinding. (It also seems like enemies—and therefore XP and money—are finite in each area.) It is positively swimming in Saturday morning cartoon references, as one might expect: Early available weapons include the Sword of Omens and Rainbow Bright’s belt; the very first sidequest is a Smurfs send-up.

Beat Hazard Ultra - This is a mouse-and-keyboard bullet hell shooter with a twist: The levels are defined by the song in the background, and it can pull in any mp3 from your collection. The genre isn’t really my thing, but I was willing to go a couple of bucks for the gimmick. (Note: It doesn’t run well under Windows 10.)

Paper Sorcerer - A curious eastern-western rpg blend, where exploration is first-person mouse-and-keyboard, but battles are turn-based and very reliant on summoned helpers. (It includes a “1980s” difficulty level!) It has an interest black-and-white art style that is explained by your character being a villain trapped in a magical book by heroes. I’m very reminded of Wizardry 4 in terms of the setup.

A New Beginning - Final Cut - A puzzle adventure game in the grand King’s Quest tradition, where you must pick up everything and attempt to use things on other things in vaguely logical ways. In the future, the world is dying and humanity is all but gone, and a small team of time-travelers are sent back to try to head off the disaster before it starts. I’m nominally interested in the plot, but the mechanics of this style of game tend to irk me.

Grimind - Puzzle platformer with a horror theme and strange physics that make it very hard to throw things where you want them. I really didn’t like it.

The Stanley Parable - This I played recently, and it’s a delightful FPS/puzzle exploration game that plays out like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. It is insanely meta. I quite enjoyed it.
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Mr Nibbles Forever - A cute little side-scrolling runner in which you play a tiny hamster zipping around, collecting corn and trying to avoid spiders. It actually reminds me a bit of a less-offensively-oriented Sonic the Hedgehog. You can either go for distance, or take on challenges to try to unlock extra skins. There's a random wheel of prizes, but they seem to mostly be one-use (Magnet and Double Jump both vanish after one run, and you can only use an extra life once per run). Not a lot to it, as the stages don't vary much and there are only a couple of areas (that all link together), but amusing.

So Much Blood - A dungeon-crawl shoot-em-up which only allows you to fire left or right; you try to collect enough "blood points" to buy better weapons and more life hearts so you can reach and beat the boss at the end of each area. Every 30 seconds, more enemies spawn. I applaud them for building a "respawning enemies" shooter into something that actually has a goal, but that doesn't mean I found it fun for more than a few minutes. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the graphics scheme: It’s right there in the title.

Virtual Rogue - I think there should be a rule that if you use the word "rogue" in your title, you need to have made a roguelike to some degree. This is a survival shooter (with an “inside the computer” theme), in which you travel through randomly generated maps, fight enemies, pick up power-ups and periodically face a boss. The only roguelike part is that there's permadeath.

Curvatron - Do you remember the "snakes" game that typically came with QBASIC installs on old computers, where you needed to eat numbers but your tail kept growing and you needed to not hit yourself? This is that, only the snake automatically curves and you constantly need to be moving with a "wave" motion to avoid hitting yourself or other obstacles. It's a gimmick puzzler that didn't win me.

Cosmic Leap - Help the former rebels / current game show contestants circle and jump from planetoid to planetoid in individual puzzle-ish levels that usually end with them getting blown up. Cute concept and framing story, that actual action gets old fast.

Spunk and Moxie - A hybrid runner / puzzle-platformer where you try to guide a bouncing blob of goo through various obstacle courses and collect gems while doing it. The graphics and bright and cheery and the controls are one-button simple. It didn’t grab me for long, but I think it’s a decent little game if your reflexes are up to snuff.

Raining Blobs - Variation on the "Mean Bean Machine" concept, for when you're in the mood for that. (The main variation is that some blobs have stars, and you need two stars to make a set disappear. This makes the strategies for setting up chain reactions slightly different.) They get credit for having arcade, versus and puzzle modes, but the “crazy speed up” every few levels gets out of hand quickly.

Super Ubie Island REMIX - A level-based platformer where you play as a little green alien trying to collect various coins, gems and bugs and eventually the pieces of his crashed spaceship. The controls are good and the graphics are cute (and non-pixelated), but this doesn’t have anything that makes it stand apart from the platformer crowd.

This Book Is A Dungeon - This is effectively a text adventure (just one with a few pictures and a map) with a horror exploration theme. You find a mysterious book and are drawn into a horrible dungeon world, where you have opportunities to solve puzzles and/or die horribly.

Mazement - The evil Pyramid has enlisted the foolish Squares to lock up all the Balls...except you! You need to roll around, avoiding enemies and rescuing everything round. If you remember the old marble-based labyrinth game (or have ever played Super Monkey Ball) you'll be well-suited for the control scheme here. There are a dozen levels in the prison, then half a dozen more in the witch's dungeon where she turns you into an egg for spilling her brew. Decent fun.

This bundle also included Overture, a shoot-em-up which I already had.

Overall: I definitely enjoyed Mr. Nibbles. Most of the others were thoroughly middling; not so bad that I have anything against them, but not so good that I was really hooked by them.
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Occasionally, I look at my backlog and say, “Man, I don't even know why that's on there. I don't really want to watch it.” And even more occasionally, I'm smart enough to remove things. There's more than enough media to consume without forcing myself to watch things I added on a whim but don't enjoy.

Lost Girl (TV Series) - It's like somebody watched Charmed and thought it was the best show ever, except that it needed less of the lovey-dovey "family" stuff and more sexy-sexy. So with a similar off-brand fast-and-loose approach to mythology, but a succubus instead of three witches as the protagonist, we have this show. I found myself irritated that the Fae are "dark" and "light" when the perfectly-good and much less hokey (and loaded) term "seelie" exists. A subplot of the first few episodes could have been shortened to "Can you teach me how to control my hunger?" "Yeah, boink the werewolf." It's not funny enough to watch for the comedy, and the characters (and their drama) aren't interesting enough to watch for them. Oh, and it initially aired on network TV, so you know the sexiness is just going to be cheesecake tease rather than anything of note (either in terms of titillation or plot value).

Shameless (US TV Series) - I made it through half of the first episode before I decided this didn't actually appear to me. Embarrassment squick and a misery parade for a struggling family doesn't appeal to me, even with the sexiness. (Especially since it managed to be wince-sexiness multiple times in half an episode.)

Fuller House (Netflix, Season 2) - Twenty-one years after Full House ended, the second generation of the family still lives in the old house, now with Kimmy’s once-and-future husband Fernando joining the main cast, DJ’s former suitors acquiring other girlfriends, and Stephanie falling for Kimmy’s long-unseen brother Jimmy Gibbler. The 30-minute episode length makes them feel much more “full” than the classic 22-minute episodes, with more plots per episode and more time to stuff in both new and old jokes, but I think I wore out the nostalgia value with season 1. I may go back and watch the rest of this season in a few years, when I'm feeling the need for late-80s sitcom goodness again, but for now I've had my fill. (And I suspect that when season 3 drops, I'll at least look through the episode list to see if there are any guest stars I want to see.)
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Why did Hannah Baker kill herself? Clay has just received a box of cassette tapes she recorded as a suicide note, and he's going to learn why. Hannah wasn't the only person who was hurt, and she's not the only one who's going to be.

SPOILER WARNING

Read more... )

Overall: This is dark and hard to watch, but fascinating. It skirts the edge of a misery parade for multiple characters, but if you like teen drama, it's probably for you. HELLA TRIGGER WARNING.
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Jethrien and I saw BNL in concert at BergenPAC in Englewood last Friday. It occurred to me that they've been performing for over 25 years at this point, and their special guests noted that they'd been performing for 55 years.

The oldest member of the Persuasions, incidentally, is 91 years old. And he's still got hella charm. When the lead singer started talking about whether their style of music was doo wop, or gospel, or motown, the older guy piped up, “We're folk musicians. We sing music for folks!” They did a lovely opening act of their own stuff, then came back for a bunch of sets with BNL—they apparently cut an album together, which I'm likely to buy.

Back to BNL, I think the group lacks some of the energy they had when I saw them 15 years ago, but that's logical given both time and the fact that Steven Page stopped touring with them some years ago. They dropped a bunch of the stage banter and goofiness I remember from that earlier show and their published live tracks. Ed took over some of Steve's classic vocals, and members of the Persuasions covered some of them. They did a nice mix of new and old material, and hit all of the classic hits. I think they realize that much of their audience is only middling on their latest albums and still want to hear “If I Had $1000000.”

As an aside: Jim Creeggan is the single ganglyest individual I think I've ever seen. I think he's only gotten ganglier with age.

Overall: Not the best concert we've seen, but we've also seen some really fantastic concerts in the past few years, so the competition there was fierce. Still a lot of fun.
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Time travel is real, and all of history is vulnerable to attack. Which is why we must travel through time to stop the spread of these so-called "time aberrations" and to erase their damage to history. We are a team of outcasts and misfits, so please don't call us heroes. We're Legends.

Read more... )

Overall: Apparently the creators felt the biggest problem with the series was that it wasn’t quite crazy enough—and I think they were right! While one could argue that the show is overall still pretty dumb, it's all the fun you would want from a time-traveling, dysfunctional superhero team.
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The destined hero is pulled from his homeland to defeat the Dark Lord, but it’s too early and neither he nor his spirit companion are terribly enthused by this. But was he truly pulled from another world? Did they travel in time from the lost city of Crystareino?

Read more... )

Overall: Middle-of-the-road for KEMCO games, runs about a dozen hours with decent pacing but nothing strongly standout.
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While the history of the World of Darkness is always a conflicted and mutable thing, I appreciate books that attempt to nail it down in a coherent (and at least self-consistent) fashion. This is one such book, detailing the history of the werewolves and other changing breeds from the prehistoric times through the modern era; and providing plot hooks for major events and points in time.

Read more... )

Overall: There are some really fun ideas here. Is this the “true” history of the WoD? No, of course not, there is no such thing. But it (or pieces of it) might be for one campaign, and does anything else really matter?
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Daphne has just won a major award for her performance in her MMORPG of choice, Eternal Reign. Unfortunately, in doing so, she committed the crime of appearing female on the internet and the wolves descended. It’s “love in a time of GamerGate.” Fortunately, this is a romance novel, so it’s a reasonable assumption that by the end our hero will manage to find love, if nothing else. And that they won’t be arrested for forcibly removing chunks of sensitive bodily tissue from the fedora warriors.

Notes on content: This is hella queer, with pretty much the entire core cast being some flavor of LGBTQ. And as you might guess from the blurb above it includes (in a manner that makes it clear to the reader that they’re terrible) sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, rape threats, death threats and stalking.

Read more... )

Overall: Buy and read this book--unless you actually believe that anyone ever cared about ethics in games journalism, in which case feel free to buy forty copies (preferably direct from the publisher at full retail price) and set them on fire.  
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Siela and her sister own and operate Kamerina's Bar, but the nefarious Gustav, owner of the most popular restaurant in town, wants to buy them out and shut it down. Siela vows to make her restaurant so popular that Gustav can’t touch them. But that requires the freshest ingredients from all the local monster-infested dungeons. Can she really do it?

Read more... )

Overall: This is more of a casual/simulation game than a true rpg, but it blends both game styles pretty well. Might be worth a go if you like that sort of thing.
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Earth, 2471 AD. The only thing that matters is The Game. As a Player - a trained Professional or a conscripted Amateur - you Port into The Splinter with an audience of millions watching your every move. In a VR mega-dungeon of infinite size, you will struggle in conflicts dire, for your very life, and for the entertainment of the masses.

Read more... )

Overall: I strongly suspect I’m going to use this setting, or a bunch of major elements from it. But the system is a hot mess that I can’t imagine my players tolerating. (I suspect this needs a “second edition” by an experienced game design team who can streamline the rules.)
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As it fell right at the beginning of ARR’s spring break and we had plans to rent a car for adventures anyway, we decided to check out Lunacon. An hour from our house made for an easy day trip, and the listed activities put it about on par with Philcon for activity. So that’s how we spent Saturday.

Read more... )

Overall: I’m not sure we’ll return, at least not until ARR is older. But there was enough entertainment to make the day worthwhile, and I consider an afternoon with Xavcat worth the price of admission.
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Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz - Easily summed up as “Breaking Bad meets Mage: The Ascension.” Paul gains magic powers but his daughter needs expensive medical care, so he learns to make a probability-bending drug called Flex. The “child in danger and parent needs to do insane things to save them” aspect is well done, but hard for me to handle. (Steinmetz’ goddaughter died of cancer while he was writing this and clearly that had an emotional influence.) The fact that the limits of magic are never clearly defined beyond “push the world and it pushes back” (not even rough areas of expertise like Mage spheres or Fullmetal Alchemist’s individual styles) creates plot holes, but it’s clever and very vivid in its descriptions. I may look up the sequels at some point.

Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations by Garson O'Toole - This was clearly O’Toole’s blog/hobby, that he wrapped up into book form with hopes it would make a good gimmick book. It’s clearly well-researched, but he doesn’t put and useful amusement value or “oomph” behind the entries—it’s not fun reading, like Snopes, just dry breakdowns of the histories of famous quotes. I might look to it as a reference book for a specific entry, but it’s not fun reading.

Miniatures by John Scalzi - A collection of his short fiction. He has obvious themes that he loves, mostly regarding humorous human/alien interactions and misunderstandings. These are all fun little stories that it’s just as well he didn't try to build into novels.

Final Girls by Mira Grant - An elaborate VR psychological tool can make people experience horror movies as a way of healing psychological scars. Things go terribly wrong in a new and exciting terrifying way. Novella-length and appropriately disturbing.

Split Second by Douglas E. Richards - A book for techbros, by techbros. Includes several impassioned speeches about how smart people are superior, a digression about Islamic terrorist “savages,” a magnificent showing-off of every buzzword the author knows about physics, and a single female character who constantly notes that while she’s smart, her fiancé made her look like “special needs.” Oh, and an actual main character who’s ex-military and the fastest, toughest, cleverest guy who ever did anything. Really, everybody who does anything of note in this book needs a page of explanation of why they count as a Randian Superman and are therefore allowed to accomplish things. (The author, like many hard science “smart guys” needs to stop thinking that taking Econ 101 makes you an expert on economics. Because the philosophical and economic implications of post-scarcity are much more than “we must keep this away from the masses because terrorists will make lots of enriched uranium and blow us all up.”) This is a solid contender for worst book I read this year, possibly beating out Blue Limbo.

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch by Lewis Dartnell - Did you know that a key component to building your own wind or water power source is the alternator from a car? It's the most easily-available tool for converting irregular circular motion into 12 volt DC electricity. As you would suspect, though, this book doesn’t really have step-by-step or hand-holding instructions for anything; it’s mostly just a “you can do this thing” that assumes you’ll either figure it out by trial and error or you’ll get a more detailed book. Distillation, for example, is critical to pretty much all the chemistry suggested here, but if you want anything more complex than three buckets and a cover, you’ll need an actual guide to distillation. Smoking and canning are presented as methods of preserving food, but you’d have a hard time managing either if you hadn’t actually learned to do them pre-apocalypse. The book in general is an interesting thought experiment, and a fun “how things work” bird’s eye view, but not a particularly useful how-to guide.
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Months ago, on a damaged spaceship, six people emerge from stasis pods with no memory of who they are or what they’re doing, but at least some useful skills intact. They’ve subsequently learned a lot—though possibly not enough—about their pasts as ruthless mercenaries, but they’ve also been captured and imprisoned by the Galactic Authority.

My review of Season 1 is here.

Read more... )

Overall: While this season was a little more uneven and “out there” in terms of sci-fi technobabble, I reiterate my earlier opinion that it’s solidly entertaining.
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Greene Hook just opened down by my office, so Mith and I gave it a try. The Yelp reviews noted the fried chicken, which was indeed really good—the breading was more herb-y than you usually see. That came with biscuits, which had an excellent flavor but were dry; and spaetzle mac-and-cheese, which was a heavy-duty truffle-and-herb affair. Very tasty, and I ended up taking a bag of leftovers back to the office. A little pricier than some of the other nearby options, but I suspect we’ll return.

When my lunch plans got cancelled last week, I instead stopped by the Omniburger food truck, which touts vegetarian food in portable form. The beet and bean-based omniburger was okay, a bit dry. Their lemon-vinegar slaw that was the side dish, on the other hand, was really good. And I suppose I felt virtuous for eating it.

I had lunch with B and J at Liberty Prime Steakhouse, which I’ve been walking past for years but had never tried. I was actually underwhelmed, because while I had a burger, my burger was over-grilled, which bodes poorly for the steaks. B had a “grilled cheese” which was actually a steak sandwich with cheese, bacon and tomato. (This is not to be confused with the three other menu items that, anywhere else, would be called “steak sandwich”.) The Lobster Bisque was respectable; the wedge garlic fries were tasty but super-heavy.

Similarly, Mith and I tried Taste of North China, as Chinese cuisine had been a gap in our lunch rotation. The General Tso’s chicken was decent, the mei fun noodles were very good, and the chicken dumplings were good but not great. Respectable all around; I’d be tempted to branch out and try the Szechuan chicken or something when we go back.

Jethrien and I hit up New Thanh Hoai with ARR from dinner last week. Which we’ve done before, but now that he’s over the peanut allergy, it’s a fantastic choice. Pretty much no dairy in anything, and lots of things he really likes. We got the seafood lo mein and it included four types of seafood and at least six different fresh vegetables—and nothing gets ARR to chow down like variety.

As a side note, I reiterate my opinion that you should get kabobs from Rumi, schwarma from Gypsy Grill, and falafel from Ibby’s.
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The people of the surface kingdom of Illumica fear a disaster coming from the underground world of Laft, and dispatch a group of Rivell soldiers to investigate. These soldiers can partner with the Guardian Beasts of the High Beast Lord. But will their power be enough to stop the flood of Darkness?

Read more... )

Overall: I mostly played this as a casual game, grinding for sidequest completion and periodically advancing the plot, because as a plot-based rpg it falls flat. This particular developer of KEMCO games hasn’t been winning my love.

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