Aside

So today I got my first ever article (or well… anything really) published in print! It’s only a small piece in an opinions section of my local paper, but I’m proud!

One small step for man, one giant leap for Claire Kind!Image

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Godus Review: 7/10

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Godus

Godus

As soon as I saw the beauty and uniqueness of Godus, I wanted it. I just wasn’t paying the full £14.99 for it.

It went on sale at the beginning of January and I snapped it up right away. Godus is a game where you literally play God (if you couldn’t guess from the title). You can mould the land, build houses, farms and… well actually that’s about it.

No I’m kidding, there’s more to it than that. You begin in the Primitive Age, and your first aim is to get a certain amount of population, which when achieved gives you more land to build on, or upgrades for you people. Once you have progressed enough, you’ll move onto the next age.

It is partially a card based system, in that you collect cards, and once you have enough cards you can use your upgrades. You can find some of these resource cards in chests dotted around the vast map (I’m not kidding, the map is HUGE. I still get a bit lost sometimes).

But the primary focal point in this game is the land. It is the source of all your power! Crush homes, build homes, make pretty cliffs or even art…

Pacman Island

Pacman Island

It comes in several beautiful layers of colour, that you can shape to your heart’s desire… providing you have collected enough Belief from your followers, which is essentially your money.

This is a very clicky game. You have to click a lot to make the land go where you want, and even then it will sometimes pick another layer by accident. This can get annoying, but it’s not a major issue.

This is especially annoying with houses. I’ve lost count of how many times I accidentally destroyed a building with land whilst collecting Belief. And yet if you TRY to destroy a building in the same way, it won’t let you.

This game was addictive, and before long I’d racked up 21 hours on it, just in the Primitive Age. Because the game is still in Beta (and according to them only 41% complete), it only currently has two playable ages: Primitive and Bronze. Primitive I enjoyed very much: I got to explore and build and play around to my heart’s content.

The Bronze Age is not so fun. As soon as you reach it, a storm begins. This was terrifying because it was the first real change to happen in the game. The visuals were quite cool though. Until it stopped and you realised half your buildings were damaged.

So I set to work repairing them all, and found out instead of population goals, I now had agricultural goals. Apparently if you have a plot of land near a town, it will become a field for harvesting, and only the houses in settlements are safe from the storms (because we all know that farms are most common in towns, and wind can’t damage houses when they’re together).

So yeah. The storms come back. On a regular basis. Every night, in fact. There really isn’t a point in fixing your houses, and there’s not really a point in the houses at all in the Bronze Age. You just need to farm. This was where I got bored in the game. I knew there was nothing after the Bronze Age yet so there was no point in continuing with it.

There were a few glitches in the game, such as the three land expansion cards I received that didn’t do anything. I could see the unavailable land, and it stayed that way. It was quite frustrating because I’d run out of space and couldn’t do anything about it.

Another was the timers on buildings. They would randomly freeze so I couldn’t use the people in them, or during the AI challenges the clocks would reset when I needed those people most. The bots also glitched out several times. They would try to move land but it would be blocked by my houses. They’d keep trying and not get anywhere, which gave me free time to win the battles.

Another annoying thing were my followers. They need stairs made for them to get to any level higher or lower than they already are. But these stairs need to be perfect to them; many times they looked at my stairs, pointed at them, and then died after walking around doing nothing.

The Pointing

The Pointing

The noises in this game are also quite peculiar. There is a heartbeat sound effect when you near your goal, and it’s quite unnerving, like you’re about to be ambushed. Then there’s the noise if you collect a lot of Belief all at once and then stop. It’s the most disappointed sound ever, and I found myself taking it slowly when collecting Belief to avoid this noise. And the followers make a noise like a choking duck when they die.

And dare I mention the creepy conversation the bots have in the battle challenges! You get the impression someone rather old created these people and tried to talk like a youngster. There are even some on-purpose mistakes thrown in too for realism.

The main storyline is that one guy fancies a girl but gets rejected, and another girl’s cat gets hit by a car, then she gets made redundant and potentially commits suicide… and these are meant to be Godus players. Seems promising!

But all in all this is a really fun and addictive game. Because it’s only in Beta, the glitches and bad stuff are forgiveable, and I can’t wait to see what they do with the other ages and multiplayer. I would seriously recommend it.

Godus

Isn’t It Pretty!

 

League of Legends: To The Feels of Justice!

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As season four looms on the horizon, I can’t help but hope they’ll finally make ranked games fairer.

Because right now they suck.

Ranking:

I myself have only played twelve ranked solo/duo queue games, and I got into Bronze II (and I’m perfectly happy being “bronze scum”). I’ve played so few because I’ve gotten bored of all the angry, whining people. If you do the slightest thing wrong, they go ape.

And don’t even get me started on afk-ers and rage quitters.

And yet these all count towards your rank; if your whole team fails, you fail.

Don’t know if this is a dumb suggestion – feel free to comment telling me I’m wrong – but couldn’t they create a system based on personal scores rather than victories and defeats? Like being ranked on your own kill/death/assist ratio?

You currently get about what, 10 LP for winning a game, and lose about 30 for defeats? It makes it nigh on impossible to get any higher. 

I mean, I know people who are in Bronze V who deserve to at least be in Silver V, but the people they’re paired with make it extremely difficult to get anywhere, and I’ve seen Gold players play worse than me, which begs the question: are the divisions fair?

Division Names:

These annoy me too. I know they’ve taken the names of the champs and put them next to words like “Guild, Tornadoes, Cyclops (I mean really, when is Cyclops gonna make a division sound good?)” etc, but it would be so much cooler if they made them more personal.

Like this:

http://leagueoflasers.tumblr.com/post/73423784482/how-the-divisions-should-be-named

Until they make some awesome changes, think I’ll stick to normal games. To the feels of justice!

Review: Dark Inside

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As an aspiring author of teen fiction, I’ve currently been picking up any books that catch my eye in WHSmith. Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts had a blurb and front cover that drew me in; mostly because it mentioned nothing about supernatural love triangles, which was nice and refreshing.

The story follows the lives of four teenagers as they fight to survive by any means necessary. None of the four know each other, but when a global disaster brings something out of the dark, their paths intertwine. Suddenly husbands turn on wives, children murder parents, and strangers fight to the death.

The darkness reaches out to all the suppressed urges of the brain, whispers to the mind until people give in to them. Usually these urges tend toward the murderous side. Most of them seemed crazed and unreasonable, but a narration simply titled “Nothing” explains how some of them still regain consciousness on occasion.The darkness is punishing humanity for the sins it has committed.

One particularly gruesome point is Clementine’s introduction. Whilst sat with her parents in a town hall meeting, some of the villagers turn their weapons on their neighbours and begin the massacre. Clementine’s mother receives a premonition (which is unexplained as to how or why she knows what she does), and she saves her daughter.

The other three protagonists’ introductions are less horrible, but equally as depressing. Mason’s mother dies in a car crash, and shortly afterwards his school is bombed. The other two protagonists spend the entire book wondering whether their loved ones are alive… but don’t seem all too upset by it.

All four of them manage to find other survivors along the way. Aries meets the mysterious Daniel, and for the majority of the book I was left wondering how he knew so much about the apocalypse. She also finds several of her classmates (none of which had much personality) and I was surprised so many of them survived. Mason meets two people; one of which has diabetes, but insulin is a rare thing because of its expiry date.This was a nice touch, showing that despite the end of the world, some problems in people’s lives still remained.

Michael accidentally led a group of survivors to their sticky end. Michael left them to die in order to save his own neck. People do things they regret when they panic, and this came across well in this scene. Michael then met up with Clementine, who had been alone up until that point, and had a rather horrible experience with a urine-covered shirt.

The beginning set the scene nicely, but the middle of the book dragged a little with the they-found-us-but-we-escaped scenarios. Eventually though, it became apparent that all four of the main characters were heading to the same destination: Vancouver.

Sure enough, fate led them to one another, and in a final stand against the “Crazies” a nicely timed Earthquake occurs after three weeks without one. The infected fall to the ground and everyone escapes to the beach. Two of them stay behind to ‘create a diversion’ and join the rest of the group only a few minutes later covered in blood. This fight isn’t narrated, and I wondered how two teenagers managed to fight a horde of what was described as ‘dozens if not hundreds’ without being hurt or killed.

Once on the beach, the small group of survivors find they are not alone. A bigger group of survivors is nearby, and it is suggested that they’ve made it to safety. Daniel once again disappears, but this time his disappearance makes sense. I guessed the plot twist just before I turned to the final page, but I was glad I hadn’t figured it out sooner.

So overall, I found this book compelling and an interesting story. I would have liked some more differentiation between the four narrators, as the two girls felt similar to one another, and Michael sort of faded away towards the end. The ending felt rushed, and it was never properly explained as to why particular humans weren’t plagued by the darkness. However, these answers may be in the somewhat unnecessary sequel.

However, the concept was interesting, it was well-written, and it made me contemplate how unimportant most things in everyday life are. If a book can make me seriously consider a point of view, it is well worth reading it. I hope to see more from this author soon.