Games

Candy Crush Saga Review

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Last weekend, I got to play some Candy Crush Saga on my friend’s phone. It was interesting enough, and different enough from Bejeweled, that I decided to download it and give it a more thorough try.

Candy Crush Saga screenshot, courtesy of Albert Hsieh
Photo credit: Albert Hsieh. Click the photo to see the original on Flickr.

Here’s the short version: the game isn’t necessarily bad. However, since it’s free-to-play, the designers have made some choices that I don’t agree with. They’ve created a game which requires strategy to beat, but luck can mess up all of your strategy. Their monetization strategies are also finely tuned to really eke money out of the players, for better or for worse.

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Games

TorqueL, the Rolling Box 2D Platformer

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I originally posted this on April 18, 2013 on my blog on Gamasutra. Cross-posting here because this game looks great. It’s on Steam Greenlight Concepts with a demo available, and I urge you to check it out.

Overcrowding at BitSummit meant that in the short time we had for looking at game demos, there was no time to see them all. I did see quite a few. Most of the games I saw interested me in one way or another. However, a simple platformer named TorqueL took first prize for being fun to play.

TorqueL screenshot
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Reviews

Beauty and the Beast (TV, 2012)

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Two nights ago, right before bed, I got caught up on watching Once Upon a Time and found myself surprised by one of the, “if you like this show, maybe you’ll like one of these” recommendations.

Beauty and the Beast 2012 - Title

Beauty and the Beast? The font didn’t make it look like the 1980s show, but… a quick Wikipedia disambiguation search confirmed my suspicion that someone had rebooted the classic TV series. (It wasn’t until later that I realized I probably could have just clicked through the recommendation to find this out, but hey. I’m a nerd. Google FTW.)

I went to sleep, but not before posting this.

Beauty and the Beast Tweet

When I got up in the morning, one of the first things I did was start watching the show. That ended up being just about all I did with my day. Because for all the ways this reboot differs from the original, it still retains the core premise and feel of the original love story.

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Cartoons

Tangled, Part 3

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This is the third and final entry in my series of rants about the animated movie, Tangled. I liked the movie, but was disappointed that it wasn’t better. I believe it could have rivaled anything out of Pixar’s studio. Check out parts one and two, and keep in mind that there are spoilers ahead.

The Horse

Maximus, from Tangled

Maximus. Stalwart steed. When his human master fails to catch the thief, he carries on, doing a much better job than the incompetent guards can manage.

Until he decides to act like a dog.

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Cartoons

Tangled, Part 2

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Sorry for the delay between the first post about Tangled and this one. Spoilerfest!

As I mentioned in part one, I have a healthy amount of respect for the backstory of the movie. The changes they made from the original tale left them a lot of room to maneuver while keeping the core story elements intact, and sometimes strengthening them. However, it raises moral conundrums which are never addressed in the movie.

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Games

FrontierVille

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Zynga, the controversial developer of a cluster of successful Facebook game applications including FarmVille and Mafia Wars, recently rolled out their newest moneymaker: FrontierVille. They’re billing it as “Oregon Trail meets Little House on the Prairie meets FarmVille.” While I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, FrontierVille is definitely a step up from Zynga’s other offerings.

You start out with a covered wagon, three chickens, a sheep, and some coins. A few introductory quests introduce you to the game mechanics and give you a bit of direction. They’re worth completing for the rewards, and completing a quest can unlock another. As you go through the quests, you’re encouraged to take certain steps to gradually turn your plot into a town. The population eventually grows to three, since your spouse follows you out and a child comes along shortly after that.

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