kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I feel personally attacked by this Liz Climo comic.


The post-dinner game of the moment is Monopoly Cheaters Edition, in which I literally cannot cheat blatantly enough for the kids to catch me. That's mostly because they're not sufficiently vigilant (SteelyKid was playing with slime all during tonight's game), but they also never cheat themselves. I feel like collectively those things probably say something.


Quick on various family games:

  • Sorry. Surprisingly enjoyable yet kid-friendly from really quite a young age? We've been playing it since at least the Pip was in kindergarten and probably earlier. Also, if you deliberately attempt to let kids win or lose less badly--I realize there are things to be said on various sides of this question--it's fairly easy to do so here by tweaking your strategy or flat-out stacking the deck.

  • Hanabi. Cooperative card game, we play without the timer element just because it seemed complicated and I was looking for something very low stress. I don't find it very interesting but the kids enjoy it, so I'm willing.

  • Exploding Kittens. Fun, quick & easy silliness.

  • Qwirkle. Place tiles to match colors or shapes. The rules say have 6 tiles in your hand at a time, we play with a dozen to speed things up. The Pip has thoroughly and legitimately kicked my ass at this on multiple occasions.

  • Incredibles Save the Day. Cooperative board game; very little strategy but, again, cooperative and low-stress and the kids enjoy it.

  • Sushi Go Party. Card game where you assemble sets to score points, while passing the cards around the table. This is really fun, and the difficulty can be adjusted by judicious selection of the menu (and stacking the deck).

  • Monopoly Cheaters Edition. The thing that interests me most about this is the rule tweaks to make it faster (though that's relative, tonight's game was still 90 minutes). An unsold property goes to auction if the person who landed on it doesn't want to buy it immediately; once all properties are sold, the game stops once everyone's gotten back to Go; and one property on each side of the board has a starting boost (free hotel or reduced purchase price). All of those could be imported into regular Monopoly just fine.

    The Cheaters part: there are cards in the center of the board with allowed cheats, like taking an unsold property card or moving someone else's piece. There are specified penalties and rewards for cheating with and without getting caught. I adjust the difficulty by quietly not playing Chance & Community Chest cards that would be too mean and--unsuccessfully, as mentioned above--trying to get caught cheating.

  • Bonus: Blokus Trigon. Place differently-shaped colored tiles on a board so that the same colors touch only at points, not along their sides; try to get as many on as you can. Can be played cooperatively or competitively; we haven't played this enough to really get a feel for it, but I can see the potential. Also I'm very bad at spatial things so I think that will level the playing field.

If you have any recs for board games of similar difficulty, please comment!


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kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I am attempting to avoid obsessively playing Reigns today instead of finishing the other things that need doing, by quickly writing up Reigns and some other Android games I've spent considerable amounts of time playing!

It's been . . . more than two years since I last did this, so this will be fairly long and behind a cut tag.

Many of these are paid apps; some of them have appeared in Humble Bundles over the last couple of years, or go on sale (I toss things I'm unsure about, that don't have free versions, into my Google Play wishlist and then check what's gone on sale regularly). Some are on sale right now!

cut for length )
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
If you're playing Zen Koi on Android and you're loss-averse, you need to separately back up your app data: while you can log into Google Play Games or Facebook, that doesn't sync your progress, and apparently the developer can't or won't transfer games between devices.

If your device isn't rooted, you'll want to use the Helium app (free, but you'll have to get the resulting files off your device by going into your file manager of choice and sharing them to email or the cloud; it will back up to cloud storage if you buy the app). This is a little fiddly to deal with, unfortunately; among other things, it requires you to hook your device back up to your computer whenever you restart Android. But it does work for Zen Koi--I tested it by transferring my game data from my tablet to my phone successfully.

Note: any app data backup, as far as I can tell, only works for data associated with the primary user of the Android device. If the game is being played on a restricted account or even a regular account that isn't the one that was originally set up, you can't get the data off.

(I have no idea what the situation on iOS is.)
kate_nepveu: ASCII symbols representing creatures in the game NetHack, text: "Mines of Moria, NetHack-style" (LotR (NetHack style))
After a 10+ year hiatus, indeed.

I almost certainly won't be playing, because I have so little time for games at the actual computer [*], but wow, the nostalgia hit when I heard that. There is a rather small but real circle of the Internet in which I am not "the one with the wood cat icon" or "the runner of Con or Bust" or "the Tor.com LotR rereader" or "SteelyKid's mom," but "the one with the Demogorgon, Elbereth, and Monk FAQs."

It's probably for the best, because I literally gave myself RSI ascending an extinctionist in law school, but still. I think I'm going to load all my old ascension posts now (which I still have as text files) onto my tablet and reread them later.

[*] Yes, I know that prior versions have been ported to Android, but I tried them and it's just too weird, I can't remember any of the commands without muscle memory and that makes it work not fun.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

That I have played and liked since the last time I wrote about this. A lot of these are really well-known, but I just beat 80 Days and thus was in the mood to jot down quick notes.

  • The Room and The Room Two, puzzle-box (usually literally) games. I have zero idea what the purported story is, and don't really care, but the moving things around to open/unlock/etc. is great. I don't think there are any jump scares, despite the horror trappings, but I'm open to correction on that.
  • Monument Valley, in which you use optical illusions in impossible architecture to travel through a very pretty world. Occasionally I felt like the solutions were more brute-force than something I could reason out, but then, my spatial skills are really weak, so maybe I'm just not good enough. Beautiful, though.
  • Another Case Solved, via [personal profile] rosefox. Mixes single puzzles of different types with "cases" that use multiple puzzles (see the screenshots for examples), has actual ongoing narrative with a definite ending. Does have in-app currency for purchase but you get enough of it just by playing (open the thing up every day) that you don't need to pay to win.
  • Out There, in which you are a frozen astronaut newly-woken in the far future and trying to make your way... home? I wish it wouldn't force you to play as a straight dude, but the combination of exploration, resource management, and tiny snippets of SF worldbuilding, were pretty addictive. After I got all three endings, I set myself to visit every solar system on the map (hey, I once ran an extinctionist in NetHack, I have these completionist urges, okay)? Ended up being 181 of them. So, it's a big map.
  • Quick Logic Problems, you know, the kind with the grids that you check things off. Includes a free puzzle every day.
  • 80 Days, a choose-your-own-adventure in which you're Passepartout but in an AU world with lots more gender parity and steampunk machines. I got this free from Amazon and then, when I couldn't get it to install on my phone, bought it so I could have it on both devices. Great writing, fabulous worldbuilding (I suspect Verne is rolling in his grave at my Passepartout kissing a mixed-race man in New Orleans), slightly fiddly inventory management system, and a incentive to bone up on my geography so I can ask characters about plausible routes to take.

What have you all been playing lately? (I wish I could play Sunless Sea, but the pace and the need to be at my desk is just no good.)

kate_nepveu: portion of map from browser-based game (Fallen London)

1.

Back when the news that Ben Affleck was going to play Batman broke, I said elsewhere,

The thing is, I don't really care about casting for Batman because Batman is fundamentally a boring character. All he is, is a vehicle for manpain and an opportunity for more interesting people to aggregate around him. (Usually people who deserve a better protagonist.)

Superman's boring too. So there.

*drops mic, walks offstage*

And I stand by that. But [livejournal.com profile] glvalentine's Strange Horizons column Ten Worlds About Ben Affleck's Batman is still awesome with awesomesauce on top. (Why aren't we in world #5?)

2.

Know anyone starting law school or thinking about it? Recommend to them A Student's Guide to Law School, freshly-published and written by a co-worker and one of the smarter people and better attorneys I know (and I know a lot of smart people and good attorneys).

3-4.

A writer at the A.V. Club is dismayed to revisit the first Xanth book (because it may not be obvious if you're not familiar with Piers Anthony's work: trigger warning for discussions of pedophilia):

Here’s how this article was supposed to go down: As a kid, I lived in Florida. Back then I loved the books of Piers Anthony . . . . For this installment of Memory Wipe, I was going to reread A Spell For Chameleon . . . . Then, in poignant prose, I would revisit the magic of my own Floridian childhood, even though that childhood was actually pretty fucked up, but maybe not quite as fucked up as it seemed at the time. The big takeaway: Thanks, Piers Anthony, for the swell book, not mention giving me a tidy epiphany about how fantasy, geography, and nostalgia overlap in the hazy mists of reminiscence.

Instead, this happened: I reread A Spell For Chameleon, and during those excruciating hours all I could think about was what a sad, misogynistic piece of shit it is.

It seems like realizing the awfulness of Piers Anthony is a rite of passage among people who read SFF when young, so I offer it to you all for the sympathetic wince/cathartic rant factor.

Also because of this:

Ultimately, Anthony is the worst kind of misogynist: one who defends his offensive views by saying, in essence, how could he possibly hate women if he’s drooling over them all the time?

I'm not convinced that that's the "worst" kind, but it is a particularly infuriating kind, and it strikes me as relevant to sexual harassment. And that is on my mind because of recent revelations of sexual harassment by Bora Zivkovic, a very prominent man in the science blogging community (context). The most recent report (with links back to others) is by Kathleen Raven. Among other things, this prompted a massive Twitter conversation of people sharing personal tales of self-doubt caused by even much milder forms of harassment (on Storify, or try #ripplesofdoubt if you hate Storify for long things the way I do). Difficult stuff, but worth reading if consistent with your well-being.

(To be clear: Bora is not, at present, using this defense, though I am morally certain that someone somewhere has offered it on his behalf. Reading these links in the same day merely made an association that seemed a useful transition.)

5.

Fallen London players, follow this link for a tiny gift from a Rubbery Man (one not generally available since 2010, can you believe this game has been around that long?), and check out your Lodgings for some seasonal content.

6.

I think about unfollowing Elementary's writers on Twitter every Thursday, when they live-tweet the show that I don't have time to watch. But it doesn't seem worth the effort, and they do things like last week's "feud" with the writers of Sleepy Hollow, which was adorable and hilarious. And then this afternoon they started in with the knock-knock jokes and I gave up and followed @sleepywriters too just so I didn't miss anything . . .

(I have not seen Sleepy Hollow; I appreciate the comparisons everyone's making between it and Elementary regarding the dynamics of the lead pairs, but I've given up trying to watch anything but Elementary and Face Off, and I'm also a little dubious about the mythological elements that [livejournal.com profile] abigail_n points out. As for SHIELD and Korra, I'm letting those scroll off the DVR, and if someone tells me they get to be worth watching, I will pick them up from that point.)

7.

A Dark Room is a really neat minimalist web game about discovery and exploration. I hesitate to say too much about it because of those themes, but it's not too long or demanding and has a definite end, and the minimalism works very well for it. (You should run it in a browser tab that can stay open while you're away from your computer.)

ETA: now some spoilers in comments.

ETA 2013-08: apparently there are some content differences in the iOS app which sound very much not my thing.

8.

‘12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Mother of George,’ and the aesthetic politics of filming black skin, a fascinating article at the Washington Post about the racism embedded in the very "technology and grammar of cinema and photography."

miscellany

Dec. 9th, 2010 10:52 pm
kate_nepveu: ocelet in profile, lying on shelf with head hanging slightly over edge (ocelet)
  • I have a Starveling Cat in Echo Bazaar now! Thank you again, [personal profile] yhlee. I can't express how much this amuses me. Anyone who's playing that I don't already know, leave your username in comments and I'll follow you under my game account.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (recorded off cable, half-watched while stitching) is not a very good movie. Granted, it wasn't a very good book. But I wouldn't have thought it possible to make the action sequences of the ending so boring on-screen.
  • Reinventing the stitching wheel, part 25 in a series: linen turns out to not be a good fabric for blackwork.
  • My car needs major repairs for the second time this year. I will not have put enough money into it to equal the payments I would have made on a new car this year, but I'm worried that I'm on the downward slide (it's a 2003 Prius with almost 94K miles). And I'm sad that I no longer love it. Any suggestions for feeling happy with one's older car again?
  • The problem with Horton Hatches the Egg is that Horton is a Mary Sue, specifically the kind where the virtue of the protagonist is demonstrated by piling absurd pain and indignity on top of absurd pain and indignity. (Like an early Mercedes Lackey novel, or an SGA post-"Trinity" fic, except that Horton hasn't blown up a solar system.)
  • I haven't done a SteelyKid post in ages, so those of you who don't follow Chad's blog won't have seen this recent picture. I have to point it out because it is so characteristic: open book, bare feet (she will not wear socks if she has a choice about it), random item of clothing she saw and insisted on wearing, stuffed animals, and big grin. That's our toddler.

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