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Monday, 27 January 2020

=== Mobile Game Review -- I Monster - RPG Adventure - 6/10 ===

What Are We Reviewing?
Today we have I Monster by DreamSky.

Last Updated: December 20, 2019
Price: FREE
Genre: RPG / Adventure
Rating: Teen

I Monster is available on Google Play and currently has over 100,000 downloads. I'm having a bit of a hard time with this one because I both love it and hate it at the same time. There are good things about it, and there are bad things bad things about it the rest is rather... meh. I do enjoy RPG-type games because it's fun to progress into a powerful super-being and this definitely is one of those games... though I think maybe the balance is off somehow because something just doesn't feel right about it. Let me explain...

Beginning from what I would call the hub we can see an ominous tower in the distance which is where we will be doing our adventuring. Nearby is a large rock upon which sits a bird with a diamond. This rock seems to deliver quests to complete with each adventure while the bird gives advertisements and pays for your time with diamonds.

Before heading off on our adventure we'll check out the Equipment Store for possible new equipment and of course be sure to keep anything of importance in the Warehouse... which I suppose is just a different way of describing a chest. There's also a village area nearby where more services can be given, though at this early point in the game we have only unlocked the blacksmith who is able to upgrade equipment to be stronger.

We begin what is for us yet another adventure into the tower starting from the first level. At this point it is quite easy to complete these early levels of the tower thanks to some equipment which is quite strong for the early spaces as well as having at this point reached level 7 in experience.

Each battle is rather simply done by tapping on a target which causes our character to approach and fight said target. Longer fights are somewhat more interesting by being more back and forth trading blows as well as giving opportunities to use abilities. In our case we've chosen a lightning strike ability which of course uses some mana to do so.

That... is really it. I'm not sure if this game is supposed to get more interesting as the game goes on, but it seems to just be a simple kind of RPG game. Movement is done on a grid and not everything must be fought, only what is in the way or what is required due to being a boss. So I mean, the thing about this game is that I wouldn't say there's anything wrong with the gameplay... it's just... not all that interesting.

I Monster works as a game in that there seems to be a goal and a progression into a more powerful state as there should be in an RPG, but I just don't feel like what's happening in this game is good enough to keep my attention. I'm not driven to want to explore more into this game than I have at this point. Watching advertisements gives Diamonds which can be used to reset the equipment shop as well as unlock more backpack pages. But really it feels more to me like it only wastes time and interrupts gameplay.

Graphics / Sound:
Sort of a cartoony type of style. I really like the hub screen and the menus are nice to look at, but maybe it's because of the combat being so fast... or maybe it's because of the advertisements interrupting gameplay (because we all know getting as much of that special currency is highly important in any free game)... but in any case, there just isn't anything all that special to note. The graphics are nice, no glitches, nothing to complain about; just really nothing special.

The sound is a similar situation where there isn't truly anything special about it, but I have noticed that there is a sound or two "borrowed" from Diablo II when using a health or mana shrine.

Well, I suppose as long as you enjoy exploring the same sort of thing with different layouts over and over again... this can be replayed forever and ever and ever. So far as I've been able to experience, the only thing stopping a player from continuing to continue forever would be the boredom of experiencing the same thing with little to no difference.

I don't know, maybe I'm being a little harsh on this game. It seriously isn't a bad game, I just find it doesn't have much special going for it and that really is a bit of a drawback these days. I suppose I'll give it a bit more go and see how I feel about it from there. But at this point my feeling is that the score I'm giving will be 6/10.

Points would be lost for sound being taken from another WELL KNOWN game as well as gameplay not being all too interesting. All in all, I would still recommend this game to try out if you're looking for something ENGAGING; bonus points for not having the entire game be played by turning off the game as many other free games tend to do. I suppose I would say I Monster is average with a recommendation to at least give it a try, which is why I've decided upon this score.

~ DaemonVirus

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Sick News!

Hey everyone, I have sick news! Carley isn't sick today! :D

Okay, now I don't want to make this into too big of a deal too soon, but we MAY be over the hump of sickness!!!

You seriously have no idea just how big of a deal this is for us to be at a point like this even for only one day because Carley hasn't had a single day of not being sick since like back in August when she first got pregnant. We tried all sorts of different options including Diclectin / Gravol, sleeping in all day, getting up at the crack of dawn, eating, not eating, and so much more! The result? Nothing worked. Only sick sick sick was found each and every day and it was weighing down upon her beginning to cause depression and anxiety.

The past couple days though... has been a miracle. See, Carley recently took herself into the hospital because she didn't know what else to do. She was feeling so sick and depressed that she felt she needed their help and was admitted into the mental health ward for assistance. The service there was absolutely fantastic, they listened to her and sought out a medication which would be safe for pregnancy which would help out with her depression and anxiety. She wasn't sure about taking any kind of medication but having trouble sleeping during the night drove her to try the suggested medication as it was supposed to help with sleeping at night as well.

This choice led Carley to waking up the following morning in the hospital with less than 8 hours of sleep, but feeling well-rested, mentally better.... and NOT SICK! Crazy, right? Now we won't know FOR SURE if this is a miracle solution until more time passes, but I'm pretty sure if this is still working after a month from now, we're probably in the clear. I know so far she's super happy even to have just a couple days of peace from puking and let me tell you I've seen such an improvement over only two days of happiness that I'm so hopeful for her to continue to feel amazing because I've missed seeing such a big smile on her face.

What have your experiences been like with pregnancy? Good? Bad? Share with me your stories and solutions of pregnancy and parenthood!

~ Kyle Welykholowa

What A Trooper

Back to Family / Life

Saturday, 4 January 2020

My Wife Is An Absolute Trooper!

For anyone who doesn't know, my wife is the most absolute trooper ever!

You may ask... "Why is your wife so awesome? What makes her so tough and amazing?" Well first of all, she's pregnant; that's enough right there that she has to go through that process and make it out the other side! Let me tell you it was pretty bad with the first one on the way how sick my dearly beloved Carley was feeling each and every day... pretty much like morning sickness on crack! This one will be our second child together and oh my goodness, I didn't possibly think it could ever get worse!

It's a special thing when your wife isn't able to get around and do as much as she wants to... not because it's hard to move around when pregnant, but because she's just so sick that she can't get out of bed without puking almost every morning. Medications don't make the sickness go away; they only serve to make her tired and keep her locked in bed like a caged animal instead of spending good time with her family as she would prefer to do. I can't imagine what it would be like to go through that each and every day, but I would gladly share the burden with her if I could even up to the point of taking the full sickness upon myself if for nothing else than to give her a much needed break.

Now of course we can't be sure of the final result, but perhaps the reason for the increased sickness is due to this child being larger than the last? Our first daughter was quite small... I believe 4th percentile if I remember correctly? And... based on the ultrasound results from recently, this one MIGHT.... be around the 94th percentile mark. Of course there's still a few months to go before we find out the end result, so maybe that size will level out to be closer to her older sister, but I do still think that an increased size may be the cause.

So here I am trying to help out by doing dishes, laundry, transport the child to daycare, and make enough money to get by... only hoping that I'm able to do a fraction of what needs to be done to make it all the way. I can't imagine where I'd be without such a tough woman in my life right beside me each and every day.... that I wake up in bed.

Wish us luck with our upcoming second child. I've heard it gets more difficult when more come along and I haven't yet figured out whether I'm excited or scared for what's in store for us.

~ Kyle Welykholowa

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

=== PC Game Review -- Infested Planet - RTS Tower Defense - 10/10 ===

What Are We Reviewing?
Today I bring you Infested Planet by Rocket Bear Games.

Released: March 6, 2014
Price: $17.49 CAD
Genre: RTS / Tower Defense

This game has a good number of very positive reviews on Steam... and for good reason; I was pleasantly surprised by this title. I don't normally go out looking for games which include the tag "Tower Defense" in them because quite honestly, I usually find them to be incredibly boring and dull; in my opinion, most Tower Defense games get old very quickly usually because there isn't enough to do as the game progresses or because the game eventually comes down to figuring out how to optimally build for the scenario to get the 3 stars available on each level. It's difficult to describe just how nice it is to find a game of this type where that finally isn't such a big problem.

Infested Planet comes with a nice campaign that introduces all the new mechanics of the game one at a time from new units, to new buildings, to new powers. This picture below shows the campaign progress which branches into different mission types.

Additionally there are some weekly challenges which can be done for a score to get a rank matched up against other players around the world. These challenges also have different mission types such as exterminating the map as quickly as possible for the highest score, or surviving as long as possible.

Much of the gameplay revolves around the squad units available with each mission. From left to right (starting on the right of the building in the picture and going counter-clockwise) you'll see the different unit types: Minigun, Officer, Scout, Flame, Sniper, Shotgun, Rifle. You can imagine by the name what each is capable of doing and what they're likely best at, but they all have their different uses in different situations; I found that many of the missions can be completed with a combination of Officers, Rifles, and Shotguns.

So, at first glace one might wonder how this is a tower defense game if you're using a squad of troops? Well, the gameplay has much to do with capturing and defending resources and bases. As seen below, there are hives which spawn alien creatures which must be defended against, destroyed, and captured. Each base point unlocks more points which can be spent on more marines (Rifles by default) and base defenses. Each marine has an increasing cost as more are hired and each one can have more points spent on equipment packs (such as a shotgun or a flamer) which changes their unit types.

As more points are captured the difficulty tends to increase as well. Yes, more points are unlocked for a more powerful squad or more powerful base defenses, but the other hives across the map may respond by mutating for a different unit type of their own (such as a ranged unit or one that explodes) or may start spawning MORE units to fight back against.

Enemies across the map have defenses of their own either to defend their hives or to defend resource crates which can be brought back to any base location for additional usable points.

The art-style here as you've seen is very familiar to the flash-based games of the past mixed with what I consider to be a hand-painted look. I can confirm it runs quite well and looks very nice on the eyes; nothing is too bright or dark or hard on the eyes and all actions respond very well to the inputs. 

I wouldn't normally think of a tower defense game to be very replayable... only because once you've completed a scenario there isn't much use in playing it again unless there's some type of achievement to be unlocked or a higher score to be achieved. Luckily there are weekly challenges available which give at least a weekly reason to reopen the game and compete against other players.

Also available are a couple DLCs - Trickster's Arsenal and Planetary Campaign. I haven't had the luxury of being able to play either of these myself, but given the opportunity, I would gladly open Infested Planet once again to try out the new content. Planetary Campaign seems to include a new procedural campaign creating a different experience each time. This is super interesting to me and might just be the reason I put more money into Infested Planet by Rocket Bear Games even though it was released a couple years ago.

I love RTS games and the real-time strategy portion of Infested Planet is very nicely done along with the Tower Defense aspect of it. I am in fact so happy with how it meshes together that... especially because I'm not normally a fan of tower defense games... I'm happy to give Infested Planet 10/10. This is probably a game I'll be coming back to in the future once I get my hands on the available expansions and you can bet if that happens that you'll see it on my livestream over on Twitch.

~ DaemonVirus

Friday, 6 December 2019

Age of Wonders -- Keepers Scenario 8 - Part 1

Finally starting to post more Age of Wonders videos; the start of an Elven fight against the Undead! Let's get back on track with all this stuff shall we?


This campaign and more can be found on my Age of Wonders page.

Check out more of my stuff!
- On YouTube
- On Twitch
- On Twitter

~ DaemonVirus

=== Mobile Game Review -- Bricky / Blocky Farm - Farming Progression - 7/10 ===

What Are We Reviewing?
Hello everyone, welcome today to a review of... Bricky Farm? Blocky Farm? I'm not EXACTLY sure which one is the truth at this point as the game name on the app store says Bricky Farm, but when the game is loading it says Blocky Farm. The game at this point appears to have a little over 70,000 downloads on the app store as a free game.

Farming. Farming games are quite popular these days. It's an easy concept to understand where you plant a seed and it takes time to grow dependent upon what kind of seed it is which determines how long it takes to grow, what it's worth, and potentially what it can grow into. What a fun style of gameplay!

There's even options for customizing the look of your animals including chickens, cows, and pigs with sunglasses and hats and things. Animals are quite important as the crops which are grown can be made into food which is fed to the animals who then produce resources which are used along with other crops to bake cookies and make cream and all sorts of other options which all takes more and more time as things get more and more complicated.

What I don't really get is that there's a pet dog in the game which you're given to take care of and some quests are given every once in a while to take care of the dog as well... I haven't really found much use in this though other than it spends money and gains experience in the process.

Speaking of quests and things... a lot of the gameplay revolves around completing orders from people who visit the farm and ask for things or by a nearby board of orders to be delivered by your own truck. There appears to be more which can be unlocked including a train, a fishing boat and possibly even more!

If you've played anything like Crossy Road or other voxel-designed game, then that's the art you're looking at. Definitely a cute design which has been done well in the past and is still done well to this day. Personally I prefer anything which has a painted look to it, but I don't mind the bright colours coming at me in Blocky Farm.

This game... is... alright. I would actually say it's one of the better mobile games out there, but it still tends to lose my interest. Not because the game is bad or poorly designed, but because of the time limits on everything. When I play a game, I want to be able to lose myself in it without having to take pauses all the time... which is exactly what free-to-play games tend to do. ESPECIALLY when they rely on advertisements to make money which all requires people coming back over time when new ads are available to watch. So yeah... I get it. I would come back to this game and play it more if there weren't other games I'm interested in playing.

It's an alright game that I would again say is something I'd come back to much more if I didn't have other games on my radar. I'm happily giving Bricky Farm or Blocky Farm (whatever you wanna call it) 7/10 because I think it's well-made, but seemingly unfinished and unfortunately it may never finish based on the research I've done. I guess we won't know until we wait on it for a little while.

~ DaemonVirus

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

=== PC Game Review -- Dungeon Siege - Action RPG - 7/10 ===

What Are We Reviewing?
This is a game dear to my heart as one of the older games I got myself into back in my younger years. This game is the original Dungeon Siege developed by Gas Powered Games back in 2002. So keep in mind that I'm reviewing a game from a while ago by how it holds up (in my opinion) by today's standards on today's technology.

As an action RPG game, you start as a tiny character and build your way up through combat and experience gaining great power and equipment along the way. Dungeon Siege differentiates itself from games like Diablo by having a party system of up to 8 characters. Each character can level up in different skills including Melee, Ranged, Combat Magic, and Nature Magic. In this game, the way experience works is that experiences is gained each time an enemy is hit by the character, so in theory... a single character would have tons more experience than a party of 8 due to being the only character hitting all the targets would generate much more experience on one character. Unfortunately other than the spells which I believe have a max scaling to their skill level, melee and ranged attacks seem to be unaffected by the skill level.

It is certainly possible that one could beat the game as a single character without a party... though I'd think that would be quite the challenge even for the seasoned veteran of these types of games. I personally enjoy doing fun challenges in games, but even I think that would be an insane thing to try to do.

The game can be paused and unpaused at any time and commands can be issued in either state. Most of the commands required outside of having the right weapon or spell equipped is only to move the characters around to avoid damage rather than standing and fighting strong monsters or getting hit by projectiles. This starts off pretty nice, but I found it started to get rather tedious as the game went on with 8 characters in the party.

As you can see, the graphics are a little older and boxy. Seeing as the game came out in 2002, I would say the boxy 3D models with the ability to turn the camera 360° at any time... that's completely reasonable compared to the iconic Diablo II (2000).

I will however say that some of the enemies are difficult to see through all the vegetation and some of the effects can be difficult to catch as well with all that's going on. For the most part I'm quite happy with the look of the game all things considered.

I have no complaints about the sound design of Dungeon Siege. There's good feedback on actions being taken and nothing seems very out of place. The only complaint I have is that sometimes that sound bugs out a bit with repeating of earlier played sounds when going back along the path you came for some... unknown reason.

Would I call this game replayable? Sure... if you wanted to try different compositions of groups, whether that be in numbers or types, then yes I would say this game is replayable to some degree. For most people however, this game is a play once and you're done sort of thing.

Dungeon Siege seems to run just fine on Windows 10 and is still a fun experience to play through as it was so many years ago. Compared to the newer games out there these days, it's getting a little bit older and is certainly showing its age, but other than that, it's still a pretty good experience and for the low price of only $7.79, it's really not a bad buy to keep a person entertained for many hours of gameplay.

My score for Dungeon Siege at this point of it's life will be 7/10 as it was a well-made game and is still good to this day.

~ DaemonVirus