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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Chuck's LiveJournal:

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Monday, September 26th, 2016
4:42 pm
Supergirl (TV series, Season 1)
Kara Zor-El was sent to Earth to look after her baby cousin Kal-El…but she got stuck in the Phantom Zone for 24 years and arrived when Kal-El was all grown up. A decade later, she’s out on her own and decides it’s her turn to be a hero.

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Overall: While not as highly recommended as The Flash, I thought this was a fun superhero show and I had a good time with it.
Sunday, September 25th, 2016
2:42 pm
Sick Day and picnic
On Wednesday afternoon, my throat started getting scratchy. I figured it was allergies--even though it was worse the next day, plenty of other people seemed to be having bad allergy days too and the pollen count was way up. I stumbled through the day and game night. By Friday morning, it was clear that I was not well. I called in sick and went back to bed...and slept until 12:30. Then flopped on the couch and watched Netflix until dinnertime. Yeah.

(Side note: We went to Miso Ramen for dinner, and I found that their shoyu broth is much better than their miso broth. Amusingly.)

On Saturday, I still felt kinda lousy, but improved enough to not cancel my plans. So I met J and Cubby for lunch on the upper west side, and then met up with Jethrien and ARR to go to the meme picnic that Mith and Puel organized. This was an outgrowth from a lunch conversation Mith and I had months ago, about the various foods one could make to match memes. The party included a cake that was a lie, precious cinnamon roll ice cream (too pure), Georg's spiders (an outlier that should not have been counted), creepypasta salad, some breadsticks we stuffed in a bag, the Harlem Shake, some cheezeburger we haz, and my contribution, None Pizza with Left Beef.

This morning, I took the early shift with ARR, but then went back to bed for three hours. I'm still not 100%, but I'm definitely on the mend. And in retrospect, that was one of the nastier colds I can remember having in years.
Monday, September 19th, 2016
9:22 pm
Final Fantasy IV Alter Destiny
A fan game, made in RPG Maker, that painstakingly reproduces the visuals and events of Final Fantasy 4. Well, mostly—the plot isn’t quite the same, and the gameplay has to approximate at points.

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Overall: I thought that FF4: Unprecedented Crisis was a much better execution of a similar concept, but applaud the sheer amount of effort that went into this.
Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
4:42 pm
Android Games Reviews: Ad-Supported KEMCO Games #1 - Bonds of the Skies
The four elemental Grimoas created the world, but when three of them split off child-Grimoas, the Fire Grimoa made a grab for power. Now, the other Grimoas must band together with human Partners to revitalize the world’s faith in them and stop the Fire Grimoa’s plans to burn the world.

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Overall: I wasn’t enthralled here, and I think there were a lot of factors to that. The increased emphasis on grinding versus other games; the simplistic “find all the elements” plot; the emphasis on status ailments that you need limited items to cure; and the mild irritation of the ads. If the game had otherwise be great, I’d have paid the $5 to remove the ads. I opted to stop playing instead.
4:40 pm
Humble PC and Android Bundle 14
Please Don't Touch Anything - A relatively straightforward puzzle game in which you’re seated at a console with a big red button and asked not to touch anything. There are 25 different “endings” to find by touching everything. Some of the puzzles are maddeningly obtuse, but it’s not like you can lose this game.

You Must Build A Boat - A pure sequel to 10000000 with slightly more plot (you’re sailing from place to place, trying to recruit crew and build a larger boat) but the exact same mechanics (“run” as far as you can in the dungeon by matching tiles to defeat monsters and open chests). It has a nice, smooth difficulty curve and a bunch of extra variety versus 10000000, but it’s essentially the same game. Tile-matching makes numbers go up. Works for me!

Knights of Pen & Paper +1 Edition - This is less a real rpg and more a “numbers go up” casual game; the plot is fourth-wall-ignoring fluff (you can buy items for the room your players are in to enhance their battle prowess; and the GM and table are always visible). I give them credit for there being a decent amount of strategy to the battles (in terms of ailments / debuffs you can inflict and the roles the different classes can fill) even though you can choose to fight more, easier battles rather than fewer hard ones at almost any point in the game; and you can always grind as much as you want. It goes on a bit too long for its conceit: I suspect that the “+1 Edition” added too much bonus content without actually giving me a credit roll to delineate the postgame segments.

Knights of Pen & Paper 2 - A true sequel in that it cleans up some mechanics, improves the dungeon-crawling segments and presents a new plot, but is otherwise unchanged. Upon reflection, I should probably have waited longer after playing the first game to play the sequel, as it’s so very similar it gets tiring. (Though if you were going to play one or the other, you can safely jump straight to this one.)

Desktop Dungeons - I found this very similar to DungeonUp: To quote myself, “A pseudo-roguelike dungeon crawler with randomly generated (but persistent) puzzle-ish levels--and I think calling it a resource-management puzzle game wouldn't be inappropriate.” This has a different frame story (town-building) and more variety to classes and special abilities, but the fundamental strategic gameplay of “figure out what order to fight things in so you’re strong enough to beat the boss; and hope you’re lucky because otherwise you’ll die a lot” holds true. I think there was some vital strategy that I managed to miss, as I managed a number of runs where I could reach the boss, but with nothing else left on the screen still couldn’t beat them. Fun for a couple of hours, but ultimately I found this frustrating.

Badland - An interesting puzzle-platformer where there’s only one control: Tap to go up. It’s amazing how interesting you can make a game based just on that. The aesthetics are lovely and the gameplay falls into the “simple but interesting” category; but for whatever reason it didn’t grab me. I may revisit it.

Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon - Another spin on the puzzle-platformer concept: In this one, you’re a spider who must go from room to room in a manor house, spinning webs (with a limited number of strands) to catch all of the insects and get the most points doing so. Again, it’s pretty and it’s clever, but for whatever reason it didn’t really grab my attention.

I’m interested in trying Unmechanical, but it won’t install on my tablet and I can’t get the Windows version to run.

This bundle also included SPACECOM (which didn’t interest me at all), Asdivine Hearts (which I reviewed under the KEMCO bundle header) and 10000000 (which is delightful in a simple way but I played it a year ago).

Overall: An assortment of delightful casual games. There’s nothing here you’ll play 40 hours of, but there are multiple fun time-wasters here and I’d recommend trying either game in both the 10000000 series and the Knights of Pen & Paper series.
Thursday, September 8th, 2016
4:42 pm
Voltron: Legendary Defender (Netflix, Season 1)
“Form feet and legs! Form arms and body! And I’ll form the head!” - Keith, original series.
“I’m a leg!” - Hunk, new series.

America’s first real exposure to combining mecha anime has returned. No longer a bastardized recut several unrelated anime series, this is the cartoon we all imagined we were watching back in the 80s.

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Overall: Much like the Thundercats reboot, this is an excellent distillation of the nostalgia value of the original while carefully removing a lot of the things that were kinda terrible about it. I’m totally in for season 2.
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
4:43 pm
Weight Loss
So, I’ve hit early September, which was the original estimate on Lose It! for when I’d hit my 170 lbs goal. I’ve been averaging around 179 for a couple of weeks now, despite hitting my calorie goals. That’s frustrating, given how well I was tracking for the first three months of calorie-counting. Granted, I’ve still managed to lose 17 pounds off my high weight (13 from my pre-cruise average) and two belt notches, which succeeds in my goal of making my pants fit again. I’m in much better shape than I was before my big weight gain last fall. But I’d still rather have a margin for error, given I know my weight is going to creep back up over time.

I’ve made a decision that I’m not going to track this week at all; I’m just going to try to eat sensibly and keep to my normal routine. Next week I’ll weigh myself and see how that’s affected things. If I jump back up five pounds, I’ll resume calorie-counting. If I stay stable, I may just lay off dieting for a while and let my body get used to a new normal. If I somehow manage to lose more weight, I’ll be very confused.

Bodies are weird, yo.
Tuesday, September 6th, 2016
4:55 pm
Android Games Reviews: The Second KEMCO Humble Bundle #5 - Fanatic Earth
In a world where an alien bacteria known as the "Achratoth" nearly wiped out mankind, Xilleon City was created using a particle shield to protect many of the remaining inhabitants. Join forces with a brash amnesiac hero, a detective in the local police force, an android, and a young girl with a mysterious past as "defenders of justice" and take on Cyphatek, the largest corporation in Xilleon City, to expose their corruption!

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Overall: I can’t really claim that this is particularly stand-out as a game, but it gets a lot of credit for having a plot I haven’t seen before. You’d think that there’d be more sci-fi buddy cop rpg stories, actually.
4:53 pm
Humble Eye Candy Bundle
I bought this bundle mostly because I’d been waiting for Evoland 2 to go on sale, and then I could buy it via bundle for $10 (half-price) and also get a stack of other games.

Evoland 2 - A more refined, more story-driven (as opposed to gimmick-driven) game than the original Evoland, it’s primarily a top-down action-rpg in the Zelda or Mana vein, with plenty of puzzles and fighting. But if you like genre changes, there’s also stealth sections, platforming sections, shoot-em-up sections (top-down and side-scroller), a fighting game section, a beat-em-up section, auto-scrolling platforming, Bomberman-pastiche, Fire Emblem-style tactical maps, and even a rhythm game segment. And the original conceit of the graphics changing as you travel through time remains just as amusing, with four major eras that each have their own style, and a puzzle dungeon that requires actively swapping between them. This game was really made for video games fans of a certain age (mine, thankfully) and level of experience—you need to be at least passable in all of the above genres to get through all of the required areas. (Though there are three difficulty levels, and on “easy” the abundance of save points makes most things less frustrating.) The plot is heavily inspired by Chrono Trigger, but stands on its own very nicely with a mix of serious story and wacky parody…and then you need to piece together the fan theories to figure out everything that actually happened, because it’s all a closed time loop that the heroes are mostly at fault for.

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Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut - This is the second game in the Shantae series; I played the third on the 3DS. The third game made very good use of the 3DS' extra screen by giving you a constantly-accessible map. I miss that. On the other hand, this game’s maps are designed in a pseudo-3D manner so you can go "in" or "out", and that's an interesting switch. Instead of pirate equipment, your special abilities in this game are transformations triggered by bellydancing. I found the difficulty curve a bit unpleasant: The first real boss requires an absurd 120 hits to take out—what is that about? And then I got to the Battle Tower, and couldn’t get through it despite a dozen tries. It’s not as good as the sequel, but that makes me very excited for the fourth game, because the designers are obviously learning.

(The original game in the series was apparently a late-cycle Game Boy Color game. I pulled the rom and gave it a try...it's kinda lousy. It drags and the platforming mechanics are unpleasant. I'm impressed they managed to make a sequel.)

Human Resource Machine - This is a programming puzzle game from the makers of Little Inferno, which means that you're playing a wage-slave using limited programming commands to move things from an inbox to an outbox, and outside the world is burning. I was reminded uncomfortably of Comp Sci 126 back in freshman year of college, but I suspect for anyone else with an analytical mind but relatively little programming experience this would be both fun and a decent tutorial. (Heck, I may actively push ARR into playing it if he shows an interest in programming or puzzle games in general.)

Mini Metro - A casual/puzzle game in which you try to design a subway system that doesn’t overcrowd passengers waiting at your stations. Each of the maps is based on the real map of a major city, though attempting to match the real thing probably won’t get you very far. Credit for being something unique and original; good for an hour or two.

Mushroom 11 - An interesting take on a puzzle-platformer, as you control a green blob of fungus that you can erase parts of and have it immediately grow back elsewhere. The inability to jump (you instead have to either bounce or stretch upward creatively) makes it distinctly different from many games in the genre.

A Boy and His Blob - A remake/reimagining of the NES classic, in which you play a boy who has a pet alien blob, which can shapechange when you feed it various jellybeans. In this version, the graphics are really splendid and the jellybeans seem to be unlimited, which makes the game feel appropriately modern as a puzzle game that doesn't hate you. Unfortunately, the boy is still a one-hit-point-wonder with really lousy jumping abilities, and the delays of calling for the blob and waiting for it to eat the damn jellybeans mean it's not particularly fun for me. (I had similar problems with the original.)

The bundle also included the arena-shooter / local multiplayer game TowerFall Ascension, but I wasn’t particularly interested in playing that.

Overall: This bundle was basically my excuse to purchase Evoland 2, but definitely earned its keep with the rest of the collection.
4:53 pm
iZombie (TV Series, Season 1)
When Liv Moore is turned into a zombie, she opts to take a job at the local morgue to deal with her hunger for brains. As those brains give her flashes of former owner’s memories, she uses her talents to help hunt down murder victims.

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Overall: It bears little resemblance to the original comic, but I enjoyed it regardless. I worry it may outgrow its premise, but I’m definitely willing to give season two a shot when it becomes available to me.
Friday, September 2nd, 2016
4:12 pm
Another Metroid 2 Remake: Project AM2R
To ensure that the Space Pirates can never obtain any more Metroids, the Galactic Federation sends several teams to the Metroid's home planet, SR388, to destroy them once and for all. However, when each of the teams disappears, the Galactic Federation contracts Samus Aran to finish the mission.

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Overall: This is really, really well done. Basically, if you like 2D Metroid games, this is totally worth your time.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
4:48 pm
Con Plans
We are registered to attend PhilCon on November 18-20, 2016. We'll primarily be there on Saturday, 11/19.

I received an email claiming that I-CON would be returning March 17-19th, 2017. I'm not holding my breath, but odds are good we'll attend if it happens.
4:47 pm
Mixed-Media Reviews
The Book of Mormon - It’s interesting in that when Jethrien and I see a play that’s terrible, we can pick it apart for hours, but this one left us without much to say. It was fun, it had some clever bits, it is, as I noted at intermission, “exactly what I should have expected.” It’s thought-provoking only if you’ve never had your ideas about religion or your white privilege ever challenged before, and it does both in a very soft way. Despite the toilet humor and cursing, this is as family-friendly as it gets—they want to get middle America to think about what religion means without scaring them, and that succeeds wildly. (Heck, the Mormons themselves apparently ran ads in the programs for a while.) I’m glad I saw it, I had fun; but I see no reason to buy the album and I’ll probably forget most of the details within a month.

The Tomorrow People (2014 TV Series) - It’s interesting to watch this following Sense8, because it’s a very similar premise (people with telepathic superpowers are hidden among normal humanity, watch these characters discover that they aren’t normal), but where Sense8 reveled in breaking episodic TV tropes, this plays them entirely by the book. White boy “chosen one” with daddy issues turns out to be more powerful than everybody else and saves them all, but decides to try working for the villains to hunt down the truth about his missing father. I made it two episodes before deciding that, although I thought the overall concept was cool, I didn’t care about the characters or the actual events.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey - While this is arguably a “thriller”, I’d really put it more in the thoughtful sci-fi category. We get a variety of viewpoints about a post-apocalyptic world and the people who live in it, most notably that of the brilliant-but-weirdly-sheltered Melanie. (It’s a zombie story, and I’m frankly sick of zombie stories, but it’s a wonderful take on the genre.) I devoured it in two days; and I totally recommend it.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
10:36 pm
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
David Sedaris has lived an interesting life. And by “interesting” we mean “not quite a garbage fire, but close.” This is a collection of his writing about various events in his life.

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Overall: Not every one of these worked for me, but the ones that did really did. Are his other books also about drug-addled misadventures and terrible mistranslations? Because I’d love to read those.
10:35 pm
Android Games Reviews: The Second KEMCO Humble Bundle #4 - Revenant Saga
All around the world, revenants--demons inhabiting human corpses—are causing mayhem. Albert’s parents died of a plague; and then his best friend’s parents caught the plague as well. The mysterious scientist Dr. Moreau claims that he has a cure, if Albert will volunteer for his experiments. Unfortunately, the plague is a front and Dr. Moreau was actually creating the revenants the whole time. When Albert wakes up with a demon named Magnus in his soul, he decides try using his newfound powers for good.

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Overall: For all my complaints, I rather liked this one. It didn't outstay its welcome; it tried a bunch of inventive things and some of them worked; and I had a lot of fun snapping it in half.
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016
8:22 am
You Know What Else is Dangerous? BundleStars – Part Sixteen: Dragon Brawl Bundle
Dragons, fighting…most of these games have some of those things, I guess?

Angels of Fasaria: Version 2.0 - A RPGMaker game in which you're a priest/knight looking to save Fasaria from an evil Order of Dominion...or something. It's not terribly well translated. The major gimmick is that you collect Mana from defeating enemies and meeting angels, and you need Mana to unlock the various quest areas. The game doesn't alert you when you level up, and the battle system is simultaneously simple (you can basically attack and heal until special attacks sneak into your list) and obtuse (enemies are both visible and random on the map screen; you sometimes get double-turns in battle; attack and defense numbers don't clearly correspond to anything, etc). The balance for attacks and weapon strength is really wacky (your healer basically can't do damage, but she's a super-tank compared to the knight.) Oh, and you can't read the HP numbers on the battle screen because the character art blocks them.

MP costs are very high, but most dungeons (at least early on) have healing fountains every 2-3 battles. The difficulty curve goes kind of insane, as you can make your characters basically invincible to random battles, but have a boss wipe them all out in a single attack. (Which is exactly what happened to me on the second continent. The ghost king's Double Attack wiped me in two turns, despite no other enemy in the area being able to scratch me.) Basically, it’s a hot mess, but it was entertaining for a while as such.

Pizza Express - A pizza restaurant simulator, where you play the chef who has to fill pizza orders quickly to satisfy customers. It's clearly in the "casual game" genre, as mostly you're trying to arrange ingredients in the right order and hit the "restock" key at the right time so you don't run out (but also don't spend all your profits restocking). Fun for a little bit, but I didn’t find it addictive.

Signal to Noise - A music-based shooter that seemed interesting, but crashed upon loading in Windows 10 (including in compatibility mode, which was the only fix offered online). Oh, well.

Pongo - A 3D shooter/platformer with lousy controls that seems to revolve around a pogo stick that doesn't bounce particularly well. Nope.

Pester - A standard bullet-hell space shooter; I didn't really see anything to distinguish it from every other game in the genre.

Invasion - A collection of small pixelated levels in which you must shoot a certain number of aliens before dying. The aliens drop coins when you kill them, and you can buy upgraded weapons and armor for absurdly high sums. (Or...you can edit the save file. It's in plaintext.) Meh.

Uncanny Valley - Tom is having a lousy life: He has terrible nightmares, and just took a job as a security guard at a closed research facility in the middle of nowhere. As the title suggests, yes, there's a terrifying android. I found one ending (of something like a dozen); it moves rather slowly and the "falling asleep after ten minutes" thing is annoying.

The I of the Dragon - Did you every play Drakengard and think to yourself, "Man, I love these dragon-flying areas but I wish the controls were worse and the plot was dumber." Then this is the game for you! Controls are clunky, unintuitive and non-responsive; graphics are middling; plot is generic fantasy mishmash. (This was probably the most disappointing game in the bundle, because the concept has such potential and the execution is so crappy.)

The Adventures of Mr. Bobley - A ¾-view action-puzzle game in which you play as Mr. Bobley, a construction worker who needs to get around a huge construction site by jumping, rolling and operating machines. I wouldn’t say it’s bad, it just didn’t get interest me? I wonder if ARR might like it in a year or two, once he can handle the controls.

The Dark Stone from Mebara - A Lovecraftian RPG Maker game (which I give them credit for--it's not something you really see) that uses darker, more mood-appropriate graphics that most and seems to have a reasonable (if overly purple) story. That said, the difficulty level is insane--the battles are very hard, healing is very limited, and you apparently can't run away from fights. If you survive until you're teleported and manage to gain a few levels, you can net recover in cultist battles and actually get stronger. But then solving the puzzle in the pump station dumps you into a battle against much stronger evil cultists, and I’m not sure if grinding will necessarily help. I'm curious as to where the plot is leading, but the difficulty is completely out of wack and there are a number of odd glitches. This might be worth revisiting after an update or two, as it does seem to still be in development.

Rubber and Lead - A driving-sim shooter. Buy a car, head out to the wasteland on courier missions, shoot down the cars that try to destroy you and steal your cargo, and hope that you earn enough to pay for repairs and gas. Repeat as necessary. I don't find it necessary.

Air Brawl - An arena-battle flight simulator. The controls are odd...or maybe it's just that I don't handle 1st-person-ish 3D flight very well? After I succeeded in locking onto an enemy exactly once in ten minutes of play (and got shot down a dozen times, and crashed a few times on my own) I decided that maybe this wasn't for me.

The Adventures of Tree - Side-scrolling rpg/adventure with kinda crappy, overly-complex keyboard controls. It seems loaded down with "get me 10 logs" and "find a red bird" but without a plot structure around that; and the battle system has weird hitboxes and no combo system. Oh, and a food meter. I hate food meters. Pass.

(This bundle also included Schein, which I'd already purchased. Anyone want the key?)

Overall: This bundle didn’t have anything amazing, but included a couple of rpgs that were trying very hard to be inventive and a bunch of sim/fighting games that didn’t quite live up to their decent concepts. Certainly nothing I’d say to rush out and buy, but I definitely got my couple of dollars’ worth.
Monday, August 15th, 2016
4:47 pm
Dragons in the Waters by Madeline L'Engle
Simon Renier had been living with his elderly Aunt Leonis since being orphaned. A distant cousin named Forsyth Phair appears on their doorstep, interested in buying a valuable portrait of Simon Bolivar to donate to a museum in Caracas. Eager to expand Simon’s horizons, Leonis sends him on the boat passage with Forsyth. There, he meets members of the ubiquitous O’Keefe family, and gets embroiled in a ring of mystery and murder.

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Overall: I think it’s safe to assume at this point that I prefer L’Engle’s sci-fi over her attempts to write what are essentially YA mystery thrillers (with mild fantasy notes). This didn’t really work for me.
Thursday, August 11th, 2016
4:47 pm
Sense8 (Netflix)
In eight different cities in seven different countries, eight strangers suddenly start getting glimpses of each others’ lives. Soon, this becomes having conversations and sharing skillsets, which in turn becomes necessary for the unholy messes their lives become.

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Overall: While there were definitely a few stylistic choices I objected to (particularly regarding gore and repetitive exposition) I thought this was a very interesting idea with a reasonable execution. It seems likely that I’ll watch season 2 when it comes out, though I worry the series will outrun its premise fairly quickly if they’re not careful about it.
Thursday, August 4th, 2016
4:48 pm
You Know What Else is Dangerous? BundleStars – Part Fifteen: Killer Bundle 6
I don’t think there’s really a theme to these games, but it was an interesting collection.

Battle vs Chess - This took me about as long to get running as I eventually spent playing it (You need to set in to WinXP3 compatibility mode and also disable your 3D graphics card). Then I discovered that for all the fancy skins and animations, it's just chess and chess-themed puzzles. I don't particularly like chess--I'm not practiced enough to be good at it, and not excited enough about it to practice.

Cast of the Seven Godsends - Holy crap, it's Ghosts 'n Goblins! Okay, there's a slightly different story about seven gods granting you their powers so you can save your infant son / prevent the raising of a demon; and the jump physics are significantly better; but that's the majority of the differences. There are elemental armors you can wear and an assortment of weapons you can pick up, and each combination gives you a different attack style. You get three lives and unlimited continues, which you'll need because you can take three hits at most (and lose your power-ups from doing so). There's no save feature: Like a classic NES game, you start at the beginning each time.

Monstrum - So...it’s first-person horror exploration with an emphasis on stealth. I got a brief tutorial and looked around what appeared to be a cruise ship, and then a flaming demon came out of nowhere and ate me. Documentation informs me that this has procedurally generated levels, permadeath, and AI driven predators and is intended to be insanely hard. While I think this would be an interesting demo for an Oculus Rift (which it supports), I don't think I'm going to play any more of it.

CrossCode - Action rpg, more Zelda-like than most. You're playing Lea, an amnesiac mute heroine in a future semi-real MMO (the people and places are a real moon, but you're riding a robot-avatar). Among the gimmicks are your ability to shoot bouncing balls to attack or solve puzzles (in addition to a fast-combo melee attack) and that there's no jump button: you automatically jump on anything low enough to jump on. (But in turn, that means there's no edge gravity. It takes getting used to.) It's unfinished, but totally playable as if it were an MMO--once you get through the introductory sequence and the Noob Dungeon, there are a lot of "kill 10 monsters" and "gather 6 materials" quests. Apparently future upgrades to the game will add more customization and special moves, and their blog indicates new areas are in the process of being built. I played a few hours, now I'll put it on my "to revisit after update" list.

Super 3-D Noah's Ark I knew most of the history of this going in, I'd just never tried it before: It's a "Christian" clone of Wolfenstein 3D using the same engine (but where you "feed fruit" to the animals on the ark so they "go to sleep"), and apparently was never officially sanctioned by Nintendo regardless. It was fun to play for a few minutes for the absurdity value--and the random biblical trivia that gave me a health refill for answering correctly--but it's also just a relatively primitive FPS and that's not my bag.

Lichdom: Battlemage - Very interesting concept and decent execution (on my gaming laptop, at least) for a game that I'm not particularly interested in playing a lot of. It's an FPS where you play as a mage, empowered by magic gauntlets to cast various elemental spells and create shields. The controls are decent (and fairly standard) and the scenery is very pretty, if a tad repetitive. The difficulty slider means that I actually found it playable with my crappy FPS skills. The story revolves around the wizard who empowered both your character (the Dragon) and the character you didn't choose (the Gryphon) as you attempt to exact revenge against an evil necromancer Duke for kidnapping your sister/killing your wife. And ghostly apparitions reveal that there's more to his motivations than he's revealed. If I wanted to play an FPS, I'd play this one.

The 3D Realms Anthology is actually a collection of games, a few of which I remember from back when they came out (most notably Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure). I suspect this deserves its own entry.

This bundle also included GemCraft - Chasing Shadows, which I reviewed under a separate header because I played so damn much of it. (Killer Bundle 6 also included Flying Tigers: Shadows Over China and Horizon Shift, which didn't interest me.)

Overall: This bundle paid for itself several times over via Gemcraft, and certainly provided a plethora of entertainment otherwise as well, even if a lot of the games fell into the category of “this is a decent game, just not my thing.” A solid use of $2.
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
6:34 pm
Android Games Reviews: The Second KEMCO Humble Bundle #3 - Asdivine Hearts
Zack and Stella are living in an orphanage and generally getting along fine, but the world of Asdivine isn’t about to stay quiet: The two deities that rule it have just gotten into a major tiff and now they live in interesting times.

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Overall: A lot of the reviews think this is one of KEMCO’s strongest games; and from a system perspective I can’t really disagree. There are a lot of battle options, variety of encounters, decent dungeon design (though it could use a minimap), and a very good difficulty curve (at least until the postgame). But even though the world-building was interesting, the plot and characters were so “harem anime” that it made me uncomfortable.
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