My Gaming Apps: Vol. 1

Hello, friends. For today’s blog, I thought I would share with you a few of my guilty pleasures, specifically, the current gaming apps that I’ve been playing on my phone. I’ll preface this post by saying that I currently own a hand-me-down Samsung Galaxy S3, and it is on it’s last leg of life. It has memory issues, crashes constantly, and isn’t good enough to play cool games like Pokemon Go. So, at the moment, these are the four games currently on my phone. I play a lot of other games, mostly hidden object or puzzle games, but they don’t stay installed for very long. These are the ones that have been here the longest, and that I play the most. Yes, they are all fairly casual games, and I know that they aren’t for everyone, but if you’re into those, read on!

Let’s begin.

1) Kim Kardashian Hollywood

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I know. I know, you guys. But let me explain. I am by no means a fan of the Kardashian/Jenner/West clan, but I am a sucker for a good fashion game… and this one is a GOOD fashion game. The character customization alone blows everything else out of the water with hundreds of fashionable outfits, hairstyles, makeup, and accessories, but it is so much more than that.

You can complete modeling/movie/TV/etc. gigs for money, fame, and K-stars. You can buy apartments, condos, and houses, and customize them. You can travel all around the world and complete gigs in exotic locales (Tokyo, Dubai, London, etc.). You can go on dates, fall in love, get married, have kids, and adopt pets. You can get exclusive clothing and accessories in weekend and holiday events. You can own your own stores to sell your own fashion line. You can shoot your own reality TV show. You can own your own hotel, gym, and club, and more. You can battle your evil rival (her name is Willow, and she is the worst) to get to the top of the food chain. You can befriend Kim, her entire family, and a few other famous folks, if that is your cup of tea. You can also compete in random fashion competitions with other users to win prizes.

There is so much content, and the game is constantly getting updated. The app can be played totally free, but there is the option to spend real money to buy energy, money, K-stars, and VIP status to make the game easier, but I’ve chosen not to give my money to a family of millionaires. If I had one major complaint, it would be that there are SO MANY ads. Every couple minutes, your game is interrupted as an ad pops up on your screen. It’s really annoying. Other than that, I’m addicted to this game, and it to this day has spent the longest time on my phone, reigning above all my other gaming apps.

2) Township

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Everyone knows what FarmVille is, yeah? Same thing. One of the hundreds of farming apps on the market, but so far, this one is my favorite. Pretty basic stuff for the most part: Plant crops, harvest crops, make things from crops, fill orders via the trains or plane, grow your town, etc. Well, this game has some fun extras that a lot of those other farming games don’t have, including Co-ops and chat windows, a zoo, mining and collecting gems and artifacts, and really cool holiday events.

There’s not much to say on this one, since everyone has played this type of this game on some platform, but it is really fun, and the graphics are cute, and I have been playing it for many, many months. Highly recommend.

3. Eden

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My most recent download, and honestly, I am addicted to this game. It’s another casual, gather/build/upgrade style game. You start out with a bonfire, and just a few settlers, and from there, you can forage in piles of leaves, sand, and rocks, hunt for animals in the woods, cook foods, go fishing, gather wood and water from the woods and creek, build and upgrade shelters, storage buildings, fields for planting crops, carpenter shops, and more. I’ve only been playing for a few days, but the graphics are gorgeous, and it is a fun, cute time waster.

My one and only complaint, is that it tends up lag a bit during bad weather scenarios, i.e. rain and storms, but that might just be because my phone is garbage.

4) Magikarp Jump

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This one is a weird one, and probably not everybody’s cup of tea. From the creators of Pokemon Go comes a silly, little game about… wait for it… Magikarp. Yep. You play a gender neutral, childlike character, who lives in a world where Magikarp are revered, and entered in jumping competitions, all across the land. You fish up your Magikarp, feed it different, upgradeable berries while it swims in it’s little pond, train it using various, random training exercises, level up it’s jumping ability, and battle other trainers. That’s about it.

The game is a bit slow, and I don’t particularly like that you can only use one Magikarp for so long (not long at all) before you have to retire it, fish up another one, and start all over. You do get bonuses o help level the Magikarp faster, and your level keeps going up, so you can keep higher and higher level Magikarp before having to retire them.

It’s got cute, bright graphics, and it a simple, casual game for young kids, as well as adults who want to waste their time. Sometimes, you can get a peek at some other Pokemon who come around to cheer on your Magikarp as well. No real complaints from me!

And there you have it! The four games currently installed on my horrible, dying phone. Hopefully I’ll be able to get an upgrade in the near future, and will be able to play some better games, but for now, I’m quite enjoying these, and recommend them all.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Daily Prompt 6/7/2016 | (Dis)Connected

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/7/2016 | Connected

For the last several years, I’ve basically been living in a cave when it comes to modern technology. I am 26 years old, which means I fall into the age range commonly referred to as the “Millennials“, and we are supposed to be the generation of technology and social media. In fact, nearly everyone I know, who is around my age and younger, own the latest iPhones, iPads, the latest gaming consoles and devices, play all the latest games, etc. They’re also on every social media platform you can imagine, like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, and all those other ones out there that I’ve probably never even heard of. Not me. Not even close.

Did I miss something here? Is 26 the new 40? When did all of this happen, and how did I miss it?

Up until around 2012, when I was 22 years old, I was pretty up-to-date on everything (good lord, I sound old). I had a Samsung Galaxy (yes, those were relevant then), a good gaming PC, and a profile on all of the major social media sites, a podcast, and a large group of friends, who I spent hours talking to on Skype, as well as in the various games that I played. Unfortunately, as some of you already know, 2012 is the year that the long-term relationship that I was in ended, and my life crumbled around me.

I lost my home, my computer, my phone, my internet access… basically everything that people need to function properly in first world countries these days.

First world problems, folks, I know.

I went without internet for two years. Two. Whole. Years.

During this time of living on my own, I was unable to pay for any sort of luxury, such as internet and phone, and spent the majority of my time working at my full-time retail job, and reading. I had absolutely no contact with any of my online friends, and my Facebook and Twitter profiles could only be accessed whenever I was able to get to Kyle’s parents’ house and use their internet (this was early in our relationship, when he was living in Wisconsin, and was only able to visit me every/every other weekend).

I wasn’t able to buy a new phone for a year and a half, and when I found one that I could afford, it was far from an iPhone or Samsung, and it was a month-to-month plan. I still had no internet at home, but was able to use Facebook and Twitter from my phone, as long as I had any sort of signal, or WiFi… which, honestly, wasn’t all that often.

In November of 2014, a month and a half before my son was born, we were finally financially stable enough to buy new phones, and get internet in our apartment, something we had kept putting off due to how often we moved around. I tried to get back into my old routine of social media, vlogging, blogging, and gaming, and reached out to the same friends that had been in my circle just a few years ago… but, unfortunately, it all fell apart. With the arrival of my son, and the overwhelming feeling that everyone had moved on from me, I retreated back into the life of being a hermit, and chose to focus on my newborn.

Everyone around me had moved on to bigger and better things, and left me behind, stuck in the Dark Ages.

By the way, do you know hard it is to dig yourself out of a hole, and get yourself back into the present, when you lack the finances to do so? I’ll be stuck with this 2 year old, knockoff Samsung phone, and this ancient, hand-me-down computer that can barely handle Flash games.

Once again, first world problems… I know.

Anyway. I feel like, at only 26 years old, I’m turning into one of those middle-aged moms who has no idea what the cool kids are doing these days, and tries to join in on social media, despite being completely irrelevant, and only posting things for my 14 followers. Ugh… but, hey, you should all totally follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

I’ll never catch up. I’m getting too old for all this. I guess the good news is, since I’m so disconnected from the online world, I’m more connected to real life than most? Maybe? No… probably not.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Don’t Kick Me When I’m Down

Hello, friends! Liam and I are feeling much better as of yesterday, as we finally slept (mostly) through the night! He did wake up 4 times, all before 1:30 in the morning, but he slept until 7:30. His cough is gone, and he is much less fussy, and much more energetic, than he has been in over a week. I’m glad the antibiotics kicked in quickly! We seem to be in the middle of a developmental leap, as he has been increasingly clingy the last few days, add this to his teething, and it has been a bit frustrating not being able to do anything during the day. My apartment is a mess, and now that I’m feeling better, all I want to do is clean, but he just won’t let me.

Kyle still hasn’t been able to find a new job, and our funds are starting to run low. His department at his one remaining job decided to cut his department’s hours, and he has only been working 2-3 days a week, which is nowhere near enough to pay our rent, let alone the rest of our bills. I am trying to stay positive, but things are starting to get tight, and I am starting to panic a little. He’s been filling out applications every day, but hasn’t heard anything back from anyone. I filed an application for EBT yesterday, and tomorrow I will go to the WIC office and get back on that. We had both up until Kyle got his job at the Walmart DC, but we lost them when he was hired. We more than qualify for assistance now that they have (wrongfully) fired him.

Things have been frustrating here. Very frustrating. I am exhausted, and I have been getting migraines again, most likely triggered by my blood pressure, which I am willing to bet is higher than normal. And stress.

Also, my phone is missing. Liam was playing with it this morning, as he normally does, and now it is gone. I made the mistake of allowing him to play with it, since he no longer puts electronics in his mouth. I have been looking for it all day, but really started tearing the apartment apart an hour ago, while he was eating dinner, to try and find it. I’ve looked in all his usual hiding places (under my desk, under the kitchen table, in the shoes, etc.), but I can’t find it anywhere. Oh, and of course, it is on silent. Grr.

In other news, I have been playing the game Stardew Valley quite a bit lately in my free time. Kyle bought it for me for our anniversary last month, and I am completely addicted to it. I’ll write up a longer review later when I have time. I also have 4 dream journal entries, and 3 blog ideas, that I need to write out. I just never have a second to get on the computer anymore, unless Liam is sleeping, in which case, I am either bathing myself, or cleaning the apartment. Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc., have all taken a backseat to life. I feel like I’ve missed out on so much of everything. It has been nice, in a way, having Kyle home, as it has freed me up a bit… but it comes at a cost, obviously.

That’s it for now. Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes and kind words. I’ve missed you guys, and I’m sorry I haven’t been active lately. I have SO many posts to read and catch up on! I hope to be back soon.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Daily Prompt 3/17/2016 | Technology Shelf Life

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/17/2016 | Shelf

“Technology has the shelf life of a banana.” ~ Unknown

Everything has a shelf life. Everything. Technology, specifically expensive items it seems, such as computers, phones, cameras, etc., seem to have shorter self lives than most. Why is it that the more money we spend on computers and phones, the faster they become obsolete? It is infuriating, especially since these days you need to have a smart phone, or a tablet, or convenient access to the internet in your possession to even function in society, but not everyone can afford to run out and get these things the second society demands that you have them.

Recently, I have been having some problems with my computer. Long story short, it isn’t really my computer. Well, kind of. I guess? It is a 7 year old hand-me-down that I got from a good friend, over 3 years ago, that he gifted to me when my ex threw me out, keeping my computer. Unfortunately, like most things technology, it has quickly become outdated. I have been having a hard time running more than one or two programs at once, even internet browsers, and forget playing any game that isn’t a Flash game, or has very low graphics requirements. The kicker? The drivers on it are so old, that they don’t even make updates for them anymore.

Yesterday, as an anniversary gift, Kyle bought me the game Stardew Valley, which he knew I have been crazy anxious to get my hands on. I quickly installed it, and played it for a majority of the night with no issue. It is unbelievably fun and addicting, which I will write about later on, hopefully! Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning, the game refused to launch, and keeps getting stuck on an “Preparing to launch Stardew Valley…” screen. This has sent me into a downward spiral of updates, forum searches, and failed installations.

Currently, I am installing Windows updates that I have put off for far too long, which I only have myself to blame for. After over an hour of downloading, I am finally installing update 15… out of 114. It has been an hour and 45 minutes total thus far, and since this process is pretty taxing on my computer’s system, I am unable to do much else. A friend of mine offered to send me one of his spare graphics cards, which would be a huge upgrade for me, but who knows how long that could take. I’m hoping that updating Windows helps, and I am able to play the game again.

It worked PERFECTLY last night, you guys. I’m so sad. Ugh.

Kyle get off work at 2:30 today, so hopefully we can get out of the house to take my mind off of this. First world problems, am I right? I really need a new computer, I know that, but they are so flippin’ expensive! Anyone have one they’d like to donate? Haha.

Thanks for reading, friends! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Jan

Clicker Heroes: The Most Addicting Game I Have Ever Played

Clicker Heroes, you guys. Clicker Heroes.

For those of you who have never heard of this game, you probably don’t have a Steam account. If you do have a Steam account, and still have never heard of Clicker Heroes, then you probably hate amazing, addicting, free games, and WHO ARE YOU?

You actually do not need a Steam account to play this game, though that is how I downloaded it and I recommend going there to see all of the videos and images of the game, but you can also play it directly on the Clicker Heroes website.

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Developed by Playsaurus, Clicker Heroes is a casual, indie, RPG, adventure-style game, which has been rated one of the top free games on Steam, with an impressive 90% positive rating and just under 27,000 comments. It is also completely ad free! It is a popular game, guys. In Clicker Heroes, you simply click these silly, adorable monsters to kill them, collect their gold, buy new adventurers, and level them up with the gold that you earn. That’s it. It sounds horribly stupid, but it isn’t. The monsters don’t even fight back you guys. You just click. And click. And click. You actually DON’T even need to click if you don’t want to, or if you want to let the game run overnight, as you have base damage that does damage over time automatically, as well as your click damage, which does significantly more. The higher the level of your heroes, and the more abilities that you unlock, the more damage that you do, and the quicker you kill monsters to get all the shiny, shiny gold.

I haven’t closed this game since I downloaded it, you guys. Five days ago. It is running in a window next to this one as I type, with my cursor on the game so I can collect gold. I have a problem.

Every 5 levels you get to fight a big boss, with obscene amounts of health, and they get more and more challenging as you progress. As you level your heroes, and unlock all of their abilities, you will get even more special abilities, with various cooldowns, which are essential for killing the bosses later on. You also earn achievements for a variety of different milestones, such as killing a certain number of monsters, collecting a certain number of gold, or clicking so many times. Once you reach a certain point, you can also create your own nickname and join a clan to participate in daily Titan raids (no idea what that is yet) with other players to earn rewards. You can create your own clan for  50 gems, which can be obtained by clicking this silly goldfish that occasionally pops up on the screen, or you can search for a clan that already exists. Unfortunately, and I’m not sure if this is just for me or not, the button for finding a random clan in the downloaded game seems to be broken, and gives me an error every time I try to search. Boo!

I’m no pro, and I’m still learning as I play, but I’ve already gotten through the first 100 levels (which you get a cool reward for), and have a total of 24 heroes under my belt, all of which are over level 100 except for two. I feel like I would be further, but I keep getting distracted by, you know, life and whatnot. There are quite a few walkthrough and playthrough videos on YouTube, but I have been avoiding them, as I want to get a feel for this game on my own.

It is so addicting, you guys. Did I already mention that?

For anyone looking for a fun, free, addicting, silly game to destroy your life, and slowly suck out your soul, I highly recommend Clicker Heroes.

I give it a 9/10 (fix the damn clans!).

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to go click some more.

Thank for reading, friends!

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/17/2016 | Secrets

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/17/2016 | Evasive Action

What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?”

If I told you that, I’d probably have to kill you. That’s the point of a secret, right?

Okay, in all seriousness, I am basically the Keeper of Secrets to everyone. Though most of the secrets that I have been keeping are no longer secrets, and the owners of said secrets have brought them to light, I still choose not to tell them. Personally, I don’t have secrets. I have one secret, that is mine, that I have not told anyone. I want to, but I honestly don’t know how, and if it would even make a difference in the effect that this secret has had on me.

But, I will tell you all a secret now that I am finally comfortable telling. Some of you may not understand, or even care, but it is important to me.

I have a friend, who is very near and dear to me. I won’t say his name, because I’m simply not sure if he would want me to. We met online, through Twitter, as well as the World of Warcraft community, and have been friends for years. My friend was married to a wonderful man for 4 years, and they played WoW together. On January 1st, 2013, my friend’s husband passed away suddenly, and unexpectedly, and he was absolutely devastated. There was nothing that I could do to comfort him in his time of need, as I was so far away, and being a friendly ear can only help so much.

During this time, I was also the host of a World of Warcraft podcast called Something Suggestive. While my show wasn’t big, I had made a bit of a name for myself in the community, and decided to go out on a limb, and talked to one of my favorite community managers about possibly having an NPC (non-playable character) added to the game in his husband’s memory. Blizzard is amazing when it comes to in-game memorials. After a little bit of back and forth between this community manager, as well as a game developer, we decided on a model, name, and location for his character.

In patch 5.2.0, the model, who was named and modeled after my friend’s late husband’s own character, was placed in the Seat of Knowledge, in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

Elloric

Very few people know that I did this, and I kept it quiet for years, even after the YouTube videos, WowHead article, and blog posts came out, talking about the tribute. I asked my friend not to name me. I didn’t want credit, or attention. I wanted to help. I wanted to do whatever I could to do fix some part of this horrible tragedy.

In the following weeks, there were beautiful in-game tributes and meet-ups on several severs, and you can still find the videos on YouTube, years later. I went to a handful of these as well.

aa-hunt-580

The way that the community rallied around our friend was incredible. Strangers, too, came from all corners of the world to pay their respects to our fellow community member.

It was beautiful. And I was so proud to be a part of the large group of people who reached out to show him that he was loved, and not alone.

And to my friend, if you are reading this right now, know that you are still so, so loved. ❤

And now you know my secret. Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan