Monday, April 9, 2012


...and we're back. Ha, I wish. In all honesty we've all grown past what this blog was intended for. Personally, I barely keep up with indie games any more, for reasons of interest and time. But, a real live indie game developer by the name of Christine was so kind as to inform me of her game that I felt I had to share.

SlimKicker is a brand new fitness app that helps you watch what you eat and motivate you to exercise. With a slick, simple interface SlimKicker is easy to navigate but is still robust in features. To start with, it provides a relatively simple and intuitive interface to track what you've eaten and what exercise you've done. It not only keeps a history of what you eat but also informs you of that food's nutritional properties and your total nutritional intake (and what your goal should be) for the day. Now, fitness apps are not rare, dieting has become a huge commercial market, but, SlimKicker isn't only a diet and exercise tracker it also adds goals and social media. With the ability to manage a profile, invite friends, and find new groups you never have to feel alone in your weight loss endeavors. You can also set goals for yourself or participate in group challenges.

The only troubles I've had sticking with this service are because of myself. Being in fraternity now most of my meals are home cooked by others, this means that they aren't typical foods on the list (or at least they were prepared differently) and I don't know precisely how they were made. Now, I could find out all this information and type it in to the "Make your own recipe" feature, which would be very easy for anyone preparing their own food, but I'm lazy and there really isn't any better way to do it. SlimKicker does all that it can to keep you going though, with points to level up everything is very satisfying, whether entering in what you ate that day, logging a well earned exercise or completing a challenge.

SlimKicker is definitely the service I'd use if I was serious about watching what I eat and losing some weight, which fortunately I may be doing this summer, so if I do end up using it more I'll come back with an update of how it worked. Besides that, there really isn't any reason for me to post any more. I guess it doesn't really matter, this blog hasn't updated in ages and I doubt it will be starting again any time soon. Either way, hopefully this will assist at least one or two people looking for weight loss help, and if you do start using it feel free to find me on SlimKicker @L23. Oh, and there's a SlimKicker mobile app too (for IOS).

Back to hibernation,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

20cc reviews: V

Recently, I've decided that multiple APs, College Applications, and other school related responsibilities have failed to eat up enough of my time. To cope with this boredom, I am reviewing the pilot episode of a new show, the background of which I know little about, which is a reboot of a miniseries that I've seen part of. Obviously I should be considered an authority on the subject.

The series, for those who didn't read the title, is V, based on an 1983 miniseries. The basic premise of the series is that aliens arrive above Earth, calling themselves the Visitors and offering the secrets of their advanced technology in exchange for a particular chemical that can be easily obtained on Earth, but of which the Visitors' planet is starved. It also happens to be a giant metaphor for the resistance fighters in Nazi controlled Europe.

The remarkable thing is, in many ways, the original series was more subtle and suspenseful than the new one. I don't know why this surprises me, given the average modern American's inability to perform complicated procedures like independent thought. Perhaps I'm simply biased, based on the fact that the '80s produced something in the area of absolutely nothing of value. (This is of course hyperbole, since several noteworthy graphic novels and a few good movies are indeed from the '80s, but that decade's crimes against music significantly outweigh the positives.)

For instance, it was some time into the miniseries that we discovered that the aliens are trying to take over the world and that they are--spoilers--actually reptiles with manufactured skin to make them appear human. Granted, the discerning viewer should be able to figure this out much sooner since, obviously, the planet spanning, super advanced empire couldn't be all good.

Sadly, today's viewer is not expected to have this presence of mind, so the Visitors' great secret is revealed in the pilot episode.

That flaw aside, I honestly don't have all that much to complain about. The show falls prey to a few typical character stereotypes, but in reality, that is preferable to the '80s stereotypes we were forced to endure in the original. The main characters are, so far, a little less likable, but this could easily change. Furthermore, there are a few things that appeal to the easily pleased sci fi lover in me. A couple of instances showed some very impressive special effects--something I feel is almost pointless to complement in an age when just about any show with a decent budget can have near flawless special effects. Also, Morena Baccarin and Alan Tudyk (from Firefly, for you poor uninitiated) both have semi lead roles.

All things considered, it's a show I'll keep watching, if for no other reason than I'm easily attracted by portrayals of alien technology, i.e. floating spy orbs that fire volleys of crystalline spikes. Should make for good times.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just another note

So, I know it's been a while, but I was feeling bored today, waiting for the spookiness tonight, so I'm deciding to post now. The first thing I want to talk about is the DSi XL. Yes, Nintendo is a money making machine who is caring less and less about their costumers, but I never bought a DSi, so this might be a good update for me from the lite =D. I don't play the DS much these days, but maybe if I get a flash cart... well, lets just say I love me my classic GBA games, and I don't like carrying around a bunch of cartridges.
Second thing I wanted to talk about is Linux. Recently I have installed Ubuntu with the intent of dual-booting it with Vista... but Vista refuses to boot. So, for the past few weeks I've been stuck with Ubuntu exclusively, but it hasn't been too bad. There's a bunch of games which have Linux versions, like Toribash, World of Goo, Lugaru and Tee Worlds (an online 2D CTF game) as well as many which work inside Wine, such as Knytt, Runman (which you should all get!), and I'm sure there's others which I haven't tested yet. Oh, there's also flash/java games and emulators, which I would only use for the most legal of reasons, of course :). I have really been missing Steam though, I've installed it through Wine, but I don't have enough space on my Ubuntu partition to download TF2 =(.
Anyway, hopefully I'll get Vista up and working soon, or replace it with Windows 7 (which I've heard is "less bad than you expected") in time for the TF2 Halloween special (they have special maps and stuff, and they're selling the game for $2.50!). That's about all I have to say now, I hope this blog isn't totally dead, it should still be manageable as a place for the authors to share ideas with each other. So, I guess from now on I'll be the indie games and Linux guy, oh and maybe I'll throw in some classic games too (ones that were released in America). Sorry for any spelling or grammar errors, I've gotta go now, I hope you guys start posting about some stuff too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Leaked Indiecade Finalists

Yesterday Edmund McMillen (creator of Aether (one of the finalists), and Time Fcuk) leaked a list of Indiecade finalists. Looks ligit to me, and I trust the guy, here they are:
Aether, Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel
Akrasia, Team Aha!
Classic Night, Akarolls
Cogs, Lazy 8 Studios
Closure, Tyler Glaiel & Jon Schubbe
Dear Esther, The Chinese Room
Deep Sleep Initiative, The, ARx
Eliss, Steph Thirion
Everybody Dies, Jim Munroe
Global Conflicts: Latin America, Serious Games Interactive
Gray, Mike Boxleiter & Greg Wohlwend
Maw, Twisted Pixel Games
Mightier, Lucas Pope and Keiko Ishizaka
Minor Battle, Andre Clark
Moon Stories, Daniel Benmergui
Nanobots, Erin Robinson
Osmos, Hemisphere Games
Papermint, Avaloop
Path, The, Tale of Tales
Radio Flare, studio radiolaris
Ruben & Lullaby, Erik Loyer
Shadow Physics, Steve Swink & Scott Anderson
Sowlar, Odd Man In
Spectre, Vaguely Spectacular Team
Train, Brenda Brathwaite
Tuning, cactus / Jonatan Soderstrom
You get me, Blast Theory
Zeno Clash, ACE Team Software
Modal Kombat, David Hindman

We are also delighted to be featuring two invited social games:
Urban Bingo, David Jiminson
CBCG, The Copenhagen Game Collective

Also some of the finalists have posted videos about their games
(Aether =
(Closure= )


please post this information places so people go.

That's a direct quote from his post:

As far as I can tell this is the only place that these have been posted so far. I also recognize most of those names (a lot from IGF), so I don't doubt this list. I might be completely wrong, but this is a small blog and I'm sure a mistake like this doesn't matter that much. Anyway, thanks Edmund! Everybody should check out those games and two vids.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Extra Life by Sarcastic Gamer

There is a wonderful cause out there to raise money for children with cancer known as Extra Life. All you have to do to raise money is complete a marathon. Sound hard? Well, it's probably the easiest marathon I can think of, and I haven't been running in a few years. All you have to do is get some people together and play video games for 24 hours. I know I'll be participating in it, and hopefully my co-writers, 20cc and 23 will join me in this. To learn more about this cause, and how to sign up, visit

Thursday, July 16, 2009

GERARDAMO is writing a review?

Well... No.

I was all set to do a review of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger this week, but in a 20cc-esque turn of events, not only was that not available from my GameQ on GameFly, the first 11 games on my list weren't available. So was next? Animal Crossing: City Folk. No, I don't remember how it got there, but it was anyway. Well, GERARDAMO, why can't you just return it and get another game? I was all set to do that, but I give any game I get the benefit of the doubt and play it anyway. It has now been 5 days and I'm still playing it. How very disappointing. In fact, I would probably do a review of it if it wasn't from last year, but alas, it is. For sake of getting a review up, I'll write a quick 2 sentences.

GERARDAMO Reviews - Animal Crossing: City Folk (Nintendo Wii)

Animal Crossing: City Folk is the Wii's version of Animal Crossing for the Gamecube. Does that sound like weird wording, let me explain it better. Animal Crossing: City Folk is the exact Animal Crossing that you played on the Gamecube, and also the same exact game that you played on the DS. The furniture is the same, the neighbors are the same, everything is the same.

Originality: 0/50
Innovation: 0/50

Overall, Animal Crossing: City Folk scores a 0/100

Okay, joke review aside, this is indeed the same game that I saved my allowance for months for way back when I was in middle school. I'm not entirely sure why I haven't returned it yet. But if I ever do, I should have a review up for BlazBlue sometime soon. For now, I have to get back to mailing my neighbors the garbage that I found fishing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sometimes, Actual Walking Can Be A Bit Overwhelming

Have you ever had the thought, "It's a beautiful day outside! I'd love to go out walking, but that's just too gosh darn difficult!" I know I have! Lucky for you, Konami is here to save you from the trouble that is going outside and walking with their latest project, Walk It Out!

Okay, seriously, time to end the Splenda-sweet sarcasm. Walk It Out is Konami's latest adventure into "exergaming." Using a Wii Balance board, you can get all the excitement of real walking without leaving the house! You can also use the Hottest Party/Mario Mix (I mean... Mario Mix? What's that. It never happened. Continue reading.) dance pad, and if even THAT seems too daunting, you can go ahead and use your Wii-mote and nunchuk. Now, it seems to be at least PART rhythm game. You have to walk in time to what is promised to be over 100 songs. So, maybe if DDR seems too difficult as well, this two direction version might be more appealing? Still not interested? Yeah, good luck with this. Maybe Liz, the personal trainer will get you more motivated to walk in place.

If nothing else, that trailer is pretty hilarious. As far as I know, there is no release date set yet. I hope we can all manage to hold back our excitement to walk in place until this comes out.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

So This One Time It Was Summer...

Yeah so it's been a month or so since anyone posted anything. But don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you. In fact, we've been working hard to revolutionize the world of aB (all five of you people out there who pretend to care). We've got some new ideas that might freshen things up a little bit, and GERARDAMO put us a website together.

That's right, we're actually moving. Remember when we first mentioned the possibility back in March or whatever? Well it should actually be up and running soon, which means I can unleash the power of my ocd on the limited-but-slightly-less-so-than-a-blog posibilities of a low budget website.

Also we have a Twitter, which none of us will ever use (except maybe GERARDAMO), but it'll keep all you posers from pretending to be us and saying things like "Today I saved three newborn infants from falling out of a tree into a hole that led into the firey pits of Hell." Who wants that kind of shit on their Twitter? Seriously.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

23 preview: No Quarter

Exclusive Preview: No Quarter

This is the title screen, sorry about the lazy crop, for some reason NQ doesn't like full screen screen captures

You may or may not have heard about Edmund McMillen and Alex Austin's newest project; No Quarter. No Quarter is going to be a game compilation that will play with 6 different games, or "tracks," much like a music CD. The game is still in fairly early beta, so I'm just telling you of what it's like so far, which may be very different than the final version. So, I managed to get my hands on a copy of the indiecade beta, with my awesome indie games press skills, and here's what I think of it so far.

Sliding on a platform while shooting zombies out from the air... yeah, this game is pretty awesome

The first track, Hitler Must Die!, is a 2D action/shooter/platformer. In this game you play as a Russian agent assigned with the awesome task of killing hundreds of invading Hitler clones. After the opening scene (done in stills) explaining this, you start right in the middle of an open, rocky terrain in the middle of the night. The art style is completely black and white, except for the blood. The moon shines in the background, occasionally getting blocked by the foreground. Light shines from the moon and from lightbulbs and windows inside, the lighting engine is as good (if not better) than that of Gish's. The game play is kind of slide-y and squishy, but that makes it perfect for sliding through halls filled with retarded Hitler clones while mowing them down with your Uzi. You get 4 guns (so far), your pistol, the Uzi, the shotgun, and grenades, all if which have infinite ammo (for now). Expect there to also be a flamethrower and to get these items randomly from enemies in the final version. One of the main features that makes this game really stand out is the physics system. When you kill an enemy, they don't just die, they fall (or if hit by a grenade, fly) backwards. This is very rewarding, especially with enemies that fall off ledges or get shot midair. So far, this is the high point of NQ, fun, addicting, and unique. Also, it has a good sound track.

GOOD COMBO!!! woohoo! ...these are common when you try to play as fast as you can...

The second track is Trivium. (20cc says: That's a band!) Trivium plays like Tetris with physics. The point is the connect 3 of the same type blocks and they will disappear, with new types of blocks appearing each level. So far it's fun, but a little slow. The bouncy physics make for a semi chaotic experience, controlling with the arrow keys gives you enough control to put the blocks where you want them, but still is inexact enough to always keep them moving. And, once again, this game also has a nice sound track, sort of a techno version of the Tetris theme. If you want to play it's already in a released beta version of NQ, and there's a very similar game Alex made a while back named Triptych. Oh, there's also a high score board to keep track of your scores.

THWOMP! The red center is a explosive, but hard to get to, also for some reason this one covered the toolbar

The third track is Epic Flail. EF is pretty early in development, but the concept is still established. You play as a small spaceship which has a huge bolder attached to it by an extending cable. You use the bolder to smash the one huge piece of space debris, eventually reaching the exploding core. The goal is to smash the falling debris into small enough pieces that it will burn up in the atmosphere, and not destroy the city below (or move the falling pieces far enough away from the city). In my opinion, this is the second best game of the track, and after it gets multiple levels, ships, and debris, it's sure to shine.

So... I filled in the outside... even playing on the small board can be tough

Track number four is Hext. Hext is very similar to Scrabble; it's a word game where you use your given letters in spaces on the board to make words. There is one very big exception though; all the pieces are 6 (hex) sided. The end objective is to fill the whole board with letters that combine to make as many words as possible and have the highest score (based on which letters you used). There is a handy in-game dictionary in case you want to check to see which words the game recognizes (almost all words are accepted), or to plug in some letters and see if it's a word. This game has a small and large board size, and also features a high score board.

My very unimpressive tree... atleast it didn't tip over

Track five is Seedling. So far Seedling is just a toy in which you build and grow a tree. It does it pretty well, although it's hard to make a sturdy tree that actually looks like a tree. The mechanics work fairly well, although you are able to make severely messed up trees. It's surprising how well a bunch of triangles can represent the growing of a tree. Anyway there isn't much else to say about this, because there isn't much there; build a tree, triangle by triangle, make it grow, and give it leaves and roots to catch sun and water. Hopefully this game will eventually emulate the life and hardships of a growing tree, full with competing wild life and environmental effects.

This is after the shuttle has split up in to three parts... believe it or not, this is what NASA uses...

The sixth, and last track of NQ is a work solely created by Alex. It is called Odyssey. Do you remember that game from way back when, the one where you had to land the spaceship on the moon? Well, this game is a lot like that, only that it feels like a bigger scale, and it's been updated with better physics and the idea isn't just to land, but to also drop off the rover and return to the base (i think). It's a lot more forgiving then the original (or the dozens of versions made with the same mechanic), and I think with the right music it could turn in to a very atmospheric, space-y, and somewhat lonely game.

So that's No Quarter. For all the beta testers, expect to see this version in about a week, and for everyone else, well, lets hope they release it by, idk, before the end of the year? Anyway, this game looks like it could be a real winner, hopefully it will get the attention it deserves when it comes out. Expect to see more footage up once all the testers get it!

P.S. Here are some more Hitler Must Die! screens for being a good reader and getting all the way to the end of the article!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Battle for Wesnoth, by BoltAction

Battle for Wesnoth
Real-Time Strategy for the Thrifty and Fun-Loving

Battle for Wesnoth is an open source strategy game available for download here. While I'm not a huge TBS fan, I was drawn to this simple and unpretentious strategy game pitting fantastic medieval armies against one another over a hex-grid. Gameplay is simple enough: you have a leader who sits in your castle, recruiting troops that hop around the board grabbing villages for income, slaying baddies for experience, and taking enemy castles in your name. As your units reach experience thresholds, they advance, becoming more specific and effective troop types, often far better at what they do and frequently just a bit worse at everything else. For example, a human spearman is a general unit, capable in melee and passable at range. Its upgrade options include javelineer (tough shooters that retain melee combat capability), swordsman (eschew first strike options for heavier damage), and pikeman (no ranged capability, but first strike and front-loaded attacks). Swordsmen upgrade further into royal guards, and pikemen into halberdiers, further specialized in their forms of attack. Units have their damage split up over multiple attacks, which they trade in the course of one combat, meaning that while the royal guard deals the most damage over his five strikes, the halberdier is much better at disposing of an enemy without being wounded himself, dealing only slightly less damage but using only two or threee attacks.

The mix of terrain and time-of-day options adds more interesting ways to play than just overwhelming an opponant. Chaotic units, such as undead, are more effective at night, while lawful ones, such as humans, are better during the day. Needless to say, elves are better at fighting in forests, and so on. Some units, such as the undead shadow and elven ranger, gain additional options depending on terrain and time of day, which encourages flexibility of play style and awareness of positioning based on the battle conditions. Of course, all too often the campaign simply ends up as "I've got a ton of experienced troops from previous scenarios - let's roll over the enemy like a steamroller over a turkey!" One quip: why is a side dependant on its leader's hanging back in the base recruiting units when logically he should be mopping the floor with the blood-soaked corpses of his enemies? Especially for orcs, the idea of an administrator-lord seemed inappropriate.

The game's graphics are a little bit cartoonish, and the plotlines of its many campaigns are fun, if not very original. Though these slight faults can diminish enjoyment for the connoisseur, the multitude of campaigns, sheer number of online scenarios, and variety of units and factions combine to give Battle for Wesnoth excellent replay value. The game's simple play style makes it fun, accessible, and, unlike many of the strategy games out there, transparent. On the whole, well worth the brief download and install time.

Gameplay: 18/20
Storyline: 16/25
Graphics: 1/5
Streamlined: 10/10
Innovation: 7/15
Fun: 18/25

Overall: 70/100

For the Optimists:
-Fun, comprehensible strategy game
-Cute + free + simple = kid-friendly
-High replayability

For the Pessimists:
-Graphics unimpressive
-Story uninventive
-Not very exciting

I, BoltAction, recommend Battle for Wesnoth if you're into open source games, like turn-based strategy fantasy, or are just looking for a simple, free game to suck up some time.