Game Title: Homescapes Platform: Kindle Fire Hours Played: maybe an hour
About The Game
Homescapes was released in 2017 for mobile platforms; I played on my Kindle Fire. In this game, you help a balding, middle-aged butler (named Austin) with a creepy ass smile restore his parents’ house to its former glory. I guess he moves back in with his parents and you are just some weird, unseen entity that plays a match-3 game so that the butler can earn stars that will magically pay for all the stupid shit this shitty house needs to be awesome again.
What I Liked
Despite my crabbiness, it is kind of a cute concept for a game, and I liked the idea of methodically moving through the house and restoring each room. The house itself was pretty big, with lots of rooms to restore. That’s… about all I liked.
What I Didn’t Like
Unfortunately, Homescapes falls prey to the typical match-3 bullshit that a lot of games seem to be fond of. There are a lot of gimmicks that quickly grew tiresome and sometimes, if your luck is shit like mine, you’ll fail the same level over and over.
This game definitely had potential, but really ends up falling flat. Why you have to play a shitty Candy Crush clone to restore rooms is beyond me. It would have been much better had they implemented different mini games or puzzle varieties. I wanted to like it, but after getting to Day 3 in the game, I got annoyed and uninstalled it. Sorry Austin, looks like you’ll have to find some other sucker to help you with your parents’ house!
P.S. I hope all my US friends have an awesome Thanksgiving! I’m really looking forward to it, although I have laryngitis and probably won’t be able to chat with my family much. Well, at least I can still eat! 😉
Game Title: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Platform: Apple iPhone Hours Played: oh lord… probably over 120 or so
About The Game
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a mobile game that came out in November 2017. I was SO EXCITED for an Animal Crossing game to play on my phone- I remember I couldn’t wait to get off work so I could download it and play!
This game is a bit different from other AC games in the fact that you “manage” a campsite and invite the villagers to hang out there! You can also decorate you campsite and your rv (and later on, your cabin), collect fish, bugs, fruit and shells, and participate in one of the many events that are always going on!
Note that there really isn’t an “ending” to this game. I considered the game beaten when I invited all of the available animals to my campsite, though more animals are added into the game every so often!
What I Liked
At its core, this game is just… so cute. Seeing so many of my favorite villagers at my campsite is awesome and I love giving them gifts and treats! The more you interact with them, the more they level up, which in turn increases YOUR overall level. As of my time of writing this, I’m at Level 142… after almost 2 years of playing, that’s not too shabby! The level cap is somewhere over 200 right now, though that changes depending on how many villagers are in the game.
I also really like the fact that there are monthly events that keep you wanting to come back and check in. The game has gone through a few evolutions since its inception, but as of now, there are 3 different events each month- a gardening event, a scavenger hunt, and a fishing tourney. These events allow you to collect themed furniture. Last month it was all Halloween furniture, which was awesome!
What I Didn’t Like
Ha… the main gripe I have with this game? It’s a mobile game, and therefore falls into many of the same traps as other mobile games. There is, of course, premium currency (Leaf Tickets) which can be spent on premium items. At first, Leaf Tickets were pretty easy to come by, and it was easy to buy whatever you wanted. THEN they introduced fortune cookies, which can only be purchased with Leaf Tickets (although they do occasionally sell them for Bells, the game’s standard currency). To make matters worse, the item you get is completely random, so you may end up with several of the same item that you don’t want!
I want to point out that I haven’t spent a single dollar on this game. I refuse to participate in gacha type gambles with my real money, so I just earn Leaf Tickets organically as I play the game. Sure, I miss out on stuff sometimes, but oh well.
One other little thing about Pocket Camp… I kind of wish it were more like a mini Animal Crossing town. The villagers don’t really do anything but stand around and sometimes interact with items in your campsite. Even when you visit them in other areas, they are pretty static most of the time. The have little tents, but you can’t go inside and look around like you can with their houses in the core games. With that being said, I know there are probably restrictions placed on the game because it is mobile.
Despite the fact that the gacha mechanics are absolutely ridiculous and the game can be a bit repetitive, I still find myself logging in every day! I just ignore what I don’t like about the game and I don’t feel pressured to spend money either. Animal Crossing has always been about living your life the way you want… don’t want to fish? Don’t bother. Love interacting with villagers and redecorating your house? Do it all day long and no one will try to stop you. Pocket Camp retains some of that charm and doesn’t force you to participate in anything you don’t want to. Many people have Fear Of Missing Out and have to collect ALLTHETHINGS or else their life is ruined, but not me. I’m content to check in on my little buddies, participate in events as much (or as little) as I want, and go about my day.
P.S. The only thing I HAVE to have in this game is all the animal buddies. In the past, new villagers would just randomly appear and you would have to meet them and craft their favorite furniture in order to invite them to your campsite, which was cute and fun. That mechanic has been replaced by a shit mechanic where you have to send Gulliver away for a chance to get an animal map back, and it’s a bit annoying and tedious. Patience is a virtue, though, and it is possible to do it without spending money, so I just take my time with it 😉
Last month, my featured Gaming Goodie was my first Pokémon card! This month, I decided to go back a little bit farther and revisit the console that started my gaming obsession… the Nintendo Game Boy!
Now, I did write a bit about how I got the Game Boy and my fond memories with it back in 2017, so check that out if you want! For those who haven’t read that article, here’s the lowdown: basically, I saw an advertisement on TV for the Game Boy when I was 6 years old and told my mom “I think I would like one of those.” My mom got me one for Christmas, and the rest is history!
I don’t know if my mom ever imagined what a huge part video games would play in my life from there on out. I was OBSESSED! I would play the Game Boy constantly, asking for “5 more minutes” when it was time to go to bed and no doubt costing her a small fortune in batteries!
I have so many good memories attached to that Game Boy. Playing Tetris and Kirby’s Dream Land over and over. Taking it to my friend’s houses down the street and us taking turns playing while the rest of us crowded around the tiny screen waiting for our turn. Spending the night at my friend’s house and us staying up until almost 2am trying to beat Tetris Blast. I could go on and on.
That clunky gray box has been with me for 27 years now, and though it isn’t in working order anymore (at least not until I attempt to fix it like I’ve been meaning to for like 2 years) it sits proudly on my shelf as the first handheld gaming console I ever owned. It started an obsession with my favorite hobby, and I’ll always treasure it!