Dirty home, clean home
I decided to play a quaint little game called House Flipper and, I have to say, it is the most OCD satisfying game I’ve ever played. House Flipper is a single-player simulation game developed by Empyrean and published by PlayWay S.A. The whole plot to the game is pretty simple. Clean up different homes to make a profit.
The player starts the game in front of a messy shack, which turns out to be your office. Before you can even open the door, the player has to remove the trash blocking it. When the player finally gets in, they are confronted with the tiniest two rooms full of trash and dirt. On the desk in the corner is the players laptop. This is where the player gets into the nitty gritty of the game. The player gets given jobs to complete at different houses. This starts off with removing rubbish and cleaning. Then goes on to installing sinks, baths, showers, radiators, etc. Painting/tiling the walls, relacing furniture in all the rooms and replacing doors. I will admit, the best part of the game is getting the sledge hammer out and destroying the walls. Once you’ve completed enough of the jobs, the player can then start buying homes and flipping them. This is where the game gets interesting. But I’ll get back to that in a bit.
One thing of the good things about House Flipper is the ability to gain XP by completing the jobs. This XP helps to level up certain areas of the game, so the jobs can be completed faster and better. Which is great when you’re doing paint jobs, as this can get quite tedious at first. The same can be said with some parts of the gameplay at first, especially when installing radiators and bathroom sets. It’s so slow, messing about with all the bits that need to be screwed in and put in place. So this XP is a blessing.
I know what you’re thinking, calling XP a blessing is a bit much. But, you’ll understand why as soon as enough money is earned and then go on to the house listings to buy another property. Once the property has been tidied and cleaned, the player can then start renovating and redecorating it. This is where I really appreciated the games upgrades, because it made all the cleaning, painting and tiling so much easier and quicker. When the house is ready, it can then be sold to the highest bidder. It’s this part of the game that the player can really make the most profit. I eventually spent more time just flipping houses than completing all the actual jobs.
The graphics actually aren’t that bad. Yes, they aren’t the best. But, lets be honest, they don’t need to be amazing for this kind of game. Is that a house, yes it is. Is that a unit, table or sofa, yes it is. The graphics may be basic, but it’s easy to see what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. So, they do actually complement the design of the game and it has been designed well. Especially with all the type of houses that are used. Each one bigger and more alleberate than the rest. The big houses are lot of fun to go inside of, because they look so eccentric. Some of the decor is a bit crazy, but it just adds to this game’s elegance.
I can honestly say that I love playing House Flipper. It’s a very calming game that aids in stress relief. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve put thus game on simply because I’ve had such a bad day that I needed to just detach from everything going on around me. I don’t think I need to say it, but just to make sure everyone is on the same page as myself, I definitely recommend this game. I’d give it 7 out of 10.
The Thrill of Living Underwater
Considering Subnautica was released on PC January 2018 and on PS4 and Xbox 1 December 2018, I have’t played the game till recently. The one thing I said to myself was, ‘why didn’t I play this game sooner’. Even though I knew of the game, it was a friend who said I sould give it a go. So, yeah. Kicking myself pretty hard. Unknown Worlds Entertainment developed and published this open-world survival action-adventure. The game is played using a first-person perspective. Which, I’ll be honest, I’m still getting used to. I’ve played third-person games for years and I do prefer that perspective. But, do you know what, Subnautica wouldn’t be as good if it had been third-person. The game wouldn’t have been as immersive.
The game begins with the player getting into an escape pod and landing in the ocean on planet 4546B. I soon realised I was the sole surviver of the devestated spacecraft Aurora. I could see what was left of the crashed spacecraft when I left the escape pod. The idea of the game is not only to survive on the planet, but to find a way to escape. This is where the survival part comes in. A large part of the game is based underwater, farming items. With any survival game, I soon got to know where I had to go to find certain items. I also learned that the three most important tools I had to make are the repair tool, the beacon and the scanner. Don’t get me wrong, all the tools are important. But the repair tool was needed as soon as I started the game, to repair the escape pod. The beacon helped me navigate back to certain places. And the scanner was used at every wreck that was found in different areas of the ocean, where bits of debris can be scanned and new blueprints can be accessed by the player. Making it easier to explore the depths of the ocean.
The graphics for the game are just wonderful. There different biomes in the game to explore, each with their own unique look. Some of them are colourful and calming. They are a joy to just stop and stare at. While others are quite dark and unnerving. Even though the terrain looks terrifing, it’s hard not to explore all of it. One thing I will say is Unknown Worlds did a great job at using the players paranoia against them. The further down I went to exlore, all I could hear was the noise coming from this huge sea creatures. They are majestic to look at, but absolutely terrifying.
Subnautica isn’t just about survival and farming materials. The games does have a story mode. The only way off the planet is to complete the story. Even though it may seem a simple story, it is very enticing and an important part of the game. I have completed this game on survival mode and I’d be quite happy to play it all over again. Survival mode is having to maintain my food and water intake, oxygen levels and my health. There are three other game modes, freedom mode is the same as survival mode but without monitoring food and water intake. Hardcore mode is the same as survival mode, but the player only has one life. Creative mode, on the other hand, has all the monitoring disabled. There is no need to farm materials. This is basically a sandbox more and the player can do anything and everything without dying.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m pretty obsessed with this game. If you’re not obsessed with it after only 30 minutes of playing it. You’re definately playing it wrong. I would certainly recommend this game.
Subnautica rating : 10 out of 10
Queer Eye: Netflix Review
I know it’s been a while since I last wrote a blog. But, I needed to take time out to continue doing what I love. Gaming and watching Netflix. So, I decided to watch season 4 of Queer Eye. I’ve enjoyed watching this programme from the very first episode on Netflix. The ‘Fab Five’ are quirky and fun to watch. But the show can bring the viewer to tears as well. The Fab Five include Antoni Porowski (food and wine specialist), Bobby Berk (interior designer), Johnathan Van Ness (grooming consultant), Tan France (fashion designer) and Karamo Brown (culture expert). These five talented men visit the homes of people, from different walks of life, who have been nominated by friends or family. It is usually people who need help to change their lives for them better. Or are so busy caring for other people, that they forget to care about themselves.
I have to say, this is one of my ‘can’t wait to watch’ Netflix series. Simply because it is so easy to watch. It has that good wholesome feel to it. I will admit that Johnathan is my favourite out of the fab five. He’s just so confident and flamboyant. You’ll watch him walk in heels and a skirt and he’ll own it. He just radiates confidence. The other four are no slouches either. When they meet the person they’re helping, they just seem to know exactly what to do to change this person’s life for the better. In my opinion there’s nothing better than watching people help others to increase their quality of life.
It’s also nice to see how welcome the fab five are in each of the homes. I know it seems a strange thing to say. But all five of them are so confident, loud and outgoing, that it could shock some people at first. But, I’ve watched them completely redesign a house and give it a fabulous modern look. Give a person a total makeover, showing then what suits them and what doesn’t. Help that person’s mental health. By working out why they feel they way they do and then help them gain the self-esteem they need. You actually see this person’s transformation. It really is amazing.
If you’re after a show that’s easy to watch, funny, serious and all-round enjoyable. I would definitely recommend Queer Eye on Netflix.
What Remains of Edith Finch Review
I had heard a lot of mixed reviews on this game. I knew it was a short indie game, that basically involved walking around and looking for things. But, some people raved about the game. How good it is and how emotional it can be. While others claimed how boring it was. So, naturally, I decided to find out for myself. I’ll admit, I’m glad I did. I always prefer adventure games. Even though this games is classed as an adventure game, it is so much more.
The whole point of the game is to walk with Edith Finch as she finds out the truth about what happened to her family. She went back to the Finch Family home after her mother died and left her a key. But didn’t tell her what it opened. The walk to the house so calm and peaceful. When I saw the house in the distance, I found it quite surreal at first. I didn’t expect the house to look as quirky as it did. It isn’t until I started exploring all the rooms that I found out why it was so unique. I have to admit, the design of the house and the surrounding areas is fantastic. I love he graphics of this game. The designers seemed to have captured all the weirdness within Edith’s reality so well. Every corner I turned showed a new surprise.
I think the hardest thing for me was seeing Edie’s (Edith’s grandmother) version of all the deaths. It seemed like she wanted to sugar coat the truth. I won’t lie, finding out how each of them died was quite emotional and on occasion, confusing. There are a few of the death stories that are so out there and how they were killed is just lost in translation. At least for me. Other people probably got the gist of then, straight away. I’ll be honest. Some of the deaths were so heartbreaking. Like the one year old, drowning in the bath and one the children being killed in the storm.
The game is as heartbreaking, as it is good. It definitely deserves a play through. If you’ve got a few hours to yourself and you’re after a short game, that will get you thinking. What Remains of Edith Finch is absolutely the game to play.
What Remains of Edith Finch rating 9 out of 10
Job Simulator Shows How the Real World Works
It’s an over the top title, I know. But I think there are parts of this game that shows parts of the real world that some of us try to put a smile on and pretend never happens. Take the office worker for example, as I played through this area of the game, I got promoted. As part of my promotion I was told to hire and fire employees. I had the chance to fire the employees that I hired. Which is just mean, but it didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it.
I played Job Simulator on PlayStation VR and when I first began the game, it started in a museum. Seeing the museum for the first time was pretty crazy. Everywhere I looked there are Bots going around the museum. They look just like the old computer monitors, floating around. To the side is a box with four cartridges. Each cartridge will take you to your new job. Now, if you don’t start by throwing the cartridges at as many Bots as possible, you’re obviously more sensible than I am. Throwing items at the Bots is my favourite part. The only downside is, I can’t move around. I’m stuck in this one area and I have to use the items within arms reach. Which isn’t as bad as you think. The game is still playable and fun.
The four job choices are office worker, auto mechanic, gourmet chef and store clerk. I can’t say that I have an absolute favourite, since all the jobs were fantastic. To be honest, I did the same thing when I started each job. I threw something at Job Bot. I couldn’t help myself. If you don’t start office worker by throwing something over to the other cubicles, just to get a reaction. You’re not playing it right. While playing store clerk, I purposely threw items into the bathroom doors, just to see what was inside. In auto mechanic, I chose the wildest items to put on the cars. Simply because I could. It’s the same with gourmet chef. I put anything and everything in the blender and microwave. Then served it. I mean, why wouldn’t you.
That’s the great thing about this game Owlchemy Labs developed and published. As a gamer, I can play it properly or play it like an idiot. It’s enjoyable, no matter which way you choose. One thing I will say is, you really do need to complete the game. Once all the games are complete, you get access to the job genie cartridges. These cartridges are put in with the job cartridges and you can play with even more fun. So far, I’ve added the bouncing genie and the zero gravity genie. There is nothing like seeing a tin of food bouncing along the floor or floating in mid air, to bring your inner child out. If you have VR and fancy a game you can loose yourself in. Job Simulator is the game you need.
Job Simulator rating 9 out of 10
Cooking Fun and Mayhem with Overcooked! 2
Overcooked! 2 was developed by Ghost Town Games and published by Team 17. I played the cooking simulation game on the PlayStation 4, but it is also available on the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and on Steam for PC. Overcooked! 2 is as fun as it is infuriating. The levels show a wide range of places for the restaurants. Such as a sushi restaurant, a hot air balloon, on the rapids, galactic worlds, a wizard school kitchen and the mines. The earlier levels have more straight forward meals, It’s the later levels that have the more complex meals. These meals include the use of pots, pans, mixers and ovens. On some levels I had to make pancakes and cakes. Some ingredients for the pancakes had to be chopped before being put in the mixer with the rest. Then taken to the frying pan before it can be plated and sent out. Where as the cake ingredients where put in the over, after the mixer. Then there’s the issue with the plates. They don’t come back quick enough. So, by the time the plates have been washed and the food plated up. The customer has become impatient and left.
If there is one thing I like, it’s a daft game I can lose myself in. Overcooked! 2 definitely falls in that category. Overcooked! 2 is the more testing sequel to Overcooked! The levels are more difficult and the recipes are more challenging. On the plus side, the player can throw raw and sliced food to the other player. Or, if you’re really good, it can be thrown to the chopping board or in the pans. The main reason I wanted to try this game is because I can play co-op with a friend to complete a story mode. I always find this makes a game more fun. The game also has an online multiplayer, which works quite well. In order to communicate with online players, other than in party chat, players have the use of an emote system. Which is probably for the best. Especially if you’re like me and spend most of your time shouting profanities at the screen.
Now, if you’re a bit of a trophy hunter, like myself. Then this can put a stop to collecting them. Especially if you’re playing the game solo. I’m determined to keep trying until I get three stars on all the levels. But, if I’m going to be honest with myself, it could take a while. It can be easier with as many as four players, but only if they all work in sync with each other to get the meals out. Of course, it’s kinda fun to just throw the food at each other. But, that would just be childish. Oh well, I’m not ready to grow up yet, anyway.
When it comes to the game play, it’s very frantic. So I had to be pretty fast with the buttons. The controls aren’t difficult, but it can be easy to forget which button is which. Especially when your player is running around like a headless chicken. The game does have a tutorial level, but if you haven’t played Overcooked! before Overcooked! 2, it will take longer to get to grips with how the meals are made. Most importantly, the way the meals should be made. Overcooked! 2 has an arcade and verses mode. This can be played as a co-op, public online and private online. The game can be played by four players on either setting. The arcade multi-player is pretty funny, especially when you end up making difficult meals, in a purposely annoying restaurant. I found I either spent most of my time bumping into other players or getting the orders mixed up.
I’ll admit, I had a preference for the single player mode and the couch co-op. But, I think that’s because they’re the type of games I grew up with. The online multiplayer is fine and is still fun to play. But, for me, there is nothing better than playing a game with someone next to you and having tears streaming down your eyes because everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. I would definitely recommend this game. It’s fun for all ages.
Overcooked! 2 rating – 9 out 10
Netflix Reviews – Bird Box (2018)
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019 and what better way to start the year than with something different. If I’m not watching Netflix, I’m watching Amazon Prime Video. So, it makes sense to incorporate that part into my blog. As soon as Netflix sent a ‘we recommend you watch this’ in my inbox, I was spending most of my time wondering if I should watch it. It wasn’t until I was sitting in my kitchen, preparing the family buffet for New Years Eve, that I decided to give it a go.
Bird Box is quite new to Netflix. Although, the concept isn’t. I found a lot of people have different ideas on films or programmes it’s similar to. Personally, I found it was a cross between The Walking Dead and an episode in season one of Dollhouse, Echoes. The film starts off with the female lead whos single and pregnant. Now, I have a preference for dramatic and action filled films/series with a strong female lead, but even I thought, ‘really, that’s how you’re going to start the film’. Sandra Bullock plays Malorie who you see on own with two children at the very start, before it jumps to five years in the past. Here you see Malorie watching a news report about an epidemic sweeping Europe, before she goes to the hospital with her sister. When she’s at the hospital, she leaves her appointment seeing a woman hitting her head against a window, repeatedly. It’s then she realises the epidemic has arrived.
I don’t mind flashbacks as long as they are relevant to what I’m watching. The flashbacks are done well in this film. We get to see Malorie’s dangerous journey with a young boy and girl, dubbed Boy and Girl. Then it jumps back to how Malorie ended up on her own with the two of them. The flashback explains how it’s something that people see that causes them to want to hurt themselves. That’s why it’s so important to keep the blindfolds on. Yet, it doesn’t explain why people who have been certified as insane can see whatever it is and it doesn’t cause them any harm. The insane just want others to see, by any means possible.
Malorie’s journey to the safe haven is a dangerous one. But, overall, it was a good film. Don’t get me wrong, it seemed a little over the top at times. I can understand why she was so harsh and detached from the children. It just a shame there were holes in story. Such as, who or what was causing everyone to hurt themselves. If you have a bit of free time and fancied watching a soft horror, I’d definitely recommend this film.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy Review
I couldn’t believe it when I found out Spyro was being remastered. I thought Crash Bandicoot was amazing, but Spyro was the game in my teens. I brought the original games when they first came out. Infact, I’ve still got them. Even now, I still play them on my PS1 occasionally. I used to think Spyro was wonderfully squishy then. But when I saw him for the first time, I’ll be honest, I squealed (I know, I’m a big kid). He was made so life-like, I couldn’t help but want to squeeze the cheeks on his squishy face. What made it even better was The fact that three of the best Spyro games were remastered. Spyro The Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon.
The game was developed by Toys for Bob and published by Activision. I realise I’m biased, but they did an amazing job. The gameplay was as I expected, virtually the same as the original. But that’s exactly what I was hoping. It was the graphics that did it for me. They were just so detailed. You could actually see the worlds as they were ment to be seen. There was so much more definition and depth. It was easy to see how much time and devotion has been given when remastering the levels. When Spyro went through the snow, he left prints behind. When using his fire attack, the ground and surrounding area would become scorched. The fire even illuminated a darker room. Then, of course, there’s Spyro. When I took my first look at a more sleek, defined Spyro. It was like looking at an old friend the way you always imagined he’d be. Spyro pranced and charged with much more elegance. Spyro’s wings and horns were more emphasized and much more prominent. I was just overjoyed with how Spyro looked. Yes, once again, I’m biased. I don’t care.
The game music was basically the same as I remember. I couldn’t help but bop along to it. It was like a walk down nostalgia lane. Even the smallest of details, such as the sound as the gems being freed from a strong chest. It’s became my favourite sound. The controls used were practically the same as the original games, so I found handling Spyro very easy to do. To be honest, if I was playing the game for the first time, I’d still find him easy to control. Spyro is such an easy and fun platform game, that is easy to get lost in. Even Spyro’s charge movement was the same as I remember. It’s still easy to lose control of Spyro when he’s stampeding, especially around corners. I can’t count the amount of times I ran off the edge or head butted a wall. It took a number of tries to get it right. It was worse on the Tree Tops level, on Beast Makers home. Almost every walkway was a supercharge ramp. It was quite confusing, trying to work out which supercharge ramp to use to get to the third dragon. In the end I needed to use three different supercharge ramps to get there. Then, of course, there’s the speedway levels. These are the levels where Spyro glides along a course, using spot-on precision to hit every item. The rings and arches were relatively easy. But items like the chests, lamps, aeroplanes, etc were a lot harder to hit. I found these levels took the longest, if I wanted to get all the items in one go. In one speeches level, I finished it completely with less than a second to spare.
The one thing I noticed with the reignited trilogy is the game seemed easy in some places and then difficult in others. I don’t mean unbeatable difficult. I mean an annoying, I want to throw my controler, difficult. Yet, as soon as that part was completed I start thinking, why did that take so long. The game has been made child friendly. Personally, I think that makes the game even better. It means that a new generation of gamers can understand why myself and my peers loved Spyro so much. I noticed there were only a few differences between the original games and the reignited trilogy, as well. But this was mainly the cut scenes in the game and tweaks to some of the characters. Such as the dragons Spyro had to find in the first game, they had clothes on. It’s these small things that can only be noticed by someone who played the original games.
When it comes to Spyro, I can’t help but say how fantastic the games are. I enjoyed the time it took to play all three of them. Even the annoying parts were worth completing. All three games were fun to play and I found it difficult to put the game down. It doesn’t matter if, like me, you played Spyro when they first came out or the reignited trilogy is the first time you’ve played it. The game is perfect for gamers of all ages. If you like platform games that are easy going and relaxing to play (for the most part). I definitely recommend this game.
Spark Reignited Trilogy rating: 9 out of 10
Red Dead Redemption Review
With all the hype Red Dead Redemption 2 was getting for months, I decided it was time to have a go at Red Dead Redemption. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve known about this game since it first came out and how much people enjoyed the game. I just never got around to playing it until now. I have to say, I was not disappointed. I knew the game was published by Rockstar Games and I’ve played a few games published by Rockstar, including Grand Theft Auto. So, part of myself knew that it would be a fab game. You know what it’s like when you see a new game, sometimes you take it at face value. That’s what I did, origionally. Oh, was I wrong.
The game itself, is based on the wild west, but it is so much more. Yes, I was galloping around on horseback and I got thrown off a few times before I realised the horse had a stamina bar. As soon as I worked that out, the horse started behaving itself. The open world aspect of the game is what I found the most enjoyable. Being able to ride from town to town, engaging in activites outside the main missions. These can be side missions that help gain extra money, taming wild horses or, my personal favourite, gambling. I must have spent more time playing poker and blackjack, than I did playing the missions. I have to say, I was pretty good at poker, even if I do say so myself. But that’s the difference between games and real life. I was never very good at the good samaritan jobs that I rode past. By the time I turned back, the person needing help was already dead. Yep, great job, TJ. I think one time, I even killed the person needing help by mistake. In the end, I gave them up as a bad job and just continued on.
The main missions, themselves, we’re fun to do. They weren’t over the top or too difficult to complete. The missions help to, not only shape the main character, but show what John Marston was capable of. Which, apparently, was a whole range of dangerous, vicious things. But, if my family was being held hostage by the government, I think I’d be capable of a few things as well. I tried to play the game as an honerable person. However, there were still times when I just decided to shoot rather than hog tie someone. Espacially De Santa, the second I had the channce to get rid of him, I didn’t give it a second thought. The annoying, lying little toad. Personally, I thought the best missions involved the train, it felt like a throw back to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. “All you had to do was follow the damn train, CJ”.
The gameplay wasn’t too bad, the controls flowed quite well. Except when I needed to shoot, while on horseback. Having to aim, shoot and ride at the same time was just annoying. I did it, obviously. Or I wouldn’t have completed the game. But most of the time I had to slow down to be able use the aiming system properly. The only other annoyance I had was the save point. I could only save in a property I had purchased or rented for the night. Which is fine, when it was close by. But, I was always left where I completed the mission and since it was normally far away from where I started. I had to ride for miles just to save the game. To be honest, they were the only problems I had with the game. Which isn’t bad.
Red Dead Redemption was a really fun game to play. I can’t believe it took me so long to actually play the game. But I’m glad I did. I’d say I recommened this game to any gamer, but I’m probably one of the few people who hadn’t played the game until now. Definately playing Red Dead Redemption 2 now.
Red Dead Redemption rating: 9 out of 10