Archive for October, 2016

Neko Atsume (review by Tanner R.)

Posted in Games, Uncategorized on October 28, 2016 by Mr. Winch

Did you know there’s an easy way to attract cats to your yard? Just leave out a couple bowls of cat food on your porch and a couple of fun toys, and hopefully, cats will come. Of course, they don’t always come immediately, and cats can be very shy, so if you sit outside and wait for them, they probably won’t come. Attracting cats takes time and patience. Of course, not everyone can attract cats in real life, be it because of pets you may have or because of allergies, however, there’s a game that emulates this simple concept that serves as the next best thing.

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Neko Atsume, or “Kitty Collector” in English, is a game that’s available on iOS and Android that revolves around attracting cats to your virtual yard. Now, while it doesn’t sound exciting on paper, there’s a simple charm to leaving out food for cats to eat so they can come to your yard. There’s no story to the game at all, and the tutorial is minimal, but the simplicity of the game is refreshing and it’s not a game you have to put intense time and effort into. You can just close it and come back to it whenever you feel like it.


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Gameplay is incredibly simple. You leave out some food and some toys, and then you close out the app and wait. That’s it. You can just open the app again later whenever you have time. You don’t have to take care of the cats or be responsible for them. You don’t breed them, groom them, or anything. You just leave food and toys and then wait. While it seems boring, the game is great as a time killer or as something therapeutic due to the lack of actual tasks or thought of responsibility, as well as the cheerful, relaxed atmosphere. The game is very popular with older teens and adults for this reason alone, as most adults have jobs that cause them stress and other such ailments, and the game offers a calming, peaceful experience. When you come back, there might be a cat or two in your yard, and the more toys you have, the more cats will come. Depending on the food given to them, rare cats may even show up.

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Of course, buying the food and toys isn’t free, and the game knows this, so when the cats leave, they leave behind the game’s currency: fish. Yes. Fish. You’d think you’d be feeding that to the cats, or that the cats would be eating the fish, but, shockingly, this isn’t the case. With the fish, you can buy food and toys. There are special goldfish that can buy special toys and food to attract rare cats. Hilariously, you can use the fish to buy sashimi for the cats to eat. You’re essentially buying fish with fish. How this works, one can only wonder.

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This game is recommended for cat lovers, people who are interested in attracting cats but cannot, people with anxiety disorders, and people who don’t have that much free time. Any age group can play this and the game is free on the app store. Overall, Neko Atsume is a wonderful game that you can put as much or as little time into as you please.


Ensemble Stars by Tanner Radcliff

Posted in Games on October 27, 2016 by Mr. Winch


In Japan, there is a recent trend of high school students joining musical groups and gaining fame during their time in high school, sometimes carrying on into their adult life. These individuals are called “idols”. Japan has a huge obsession with idols, to the point where there are entire anime and games dedicated to these rising stars. One of these games is Ensemble Stars!, a visual novel-style game about a private school called Yumenosaki Academy, which has several courses, including an idol course, which is filled with teenage boys and idol groups of varying themes and personality. You, the player, are the sole student in the producer course, and thus it is your responsibility to oversee these groups and make sure they do well and rise to stardom.


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The main story follows a recently formed idol group named “Trickstar”, which serve as the protagonists of the game, and their struggles of rising to fame to compete against the academy’s strongest and most influential idol group, “fine” (pronounced fee-nay). Other idol groups include “UNDEAD”, “2wink”, “RYUSEITAI”, “Akatsuki”, “Knights”, “Switch”, “Valkyrie, and “ra*bits”. The characters are all mostly likable with unique personalities and quirks. They also have side stories that go more in-depth into the characters.


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Gameplay is simple, yet very hard to describe. The core of the game is the “Producer Lessons”, which sort of serve as the rehearsals for the idols and include tasks to complete. You take a unit of five boys in the form of cards with one of three different attributes into these lessons and collect “fragments”, which help you get jewels which you can use to improve your idols and unlock several different things on their “Idol Road”. You have a limited number of days to complete these tasks, and on days 11 and 1, your idols perform in lives, which in reality, plays out like a game of rock paper scissors, with each of the three attributes – Voice, Dance, and Performance – being strong or weak against another.


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In addition to Producer Lessons, there are special events that happen at regular intervals throughout the year that can allow you to get points to get rewards and better cards. Another way to get cards is by “scouting” in one of several boxes. There are two boxes for Points Scouting, which uses the regular in-game currency of “producer points”, and there can be up to three boxes for Diamond Scouting, with two boxes being dedicated for special, limited time event scouting. Cards are ranked from 1 to 5 stars, 1 being the most common and 5 being ranked the rarest. 5 star cards contain a number of different things for you to unlock on idol road, while 1 star cards have very little. 1 star cards tend to be very weak as well, and have a very low level cap, while 5 star cards tend to be very strong. Points Scouting tends to only give 1 to 2 star cards, though the more expensive box has a chance of giving out a 3 star. All Diamond Scouting boxes give out 3 to 5 star cards, though 5 stars are a very rare drop.

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Currently, there is no way to download Ensemble Stars! in North America legally, so if you want to play it, you have to pull some strings and download it from a special app. Furthermore, the game isn’t translated, so you have to rely on translations from the internet to navigate it, though it isn’t very hard to navigate it in the first place. This game can be recommended for anyone who likes idols or cute boys, but it’s mostly for recommended for teenagers because of the language a few characters use.

The Fate of Ambar: a review by Tanner Radcliff

Posted in Games, Uncategorized on October 13, 2016 by Mr. Winch

The Fate of Ambar

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The Fate of Ambar (or Amber, spelling is inconsistent) is a Dungeons and Dragons-style choose-your-own-adventure game in the style of a book made for Android and iOS.

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The plot kicks off with your character being chosen by an entity called the “Great Goddess” to save your village from a seemingly incurable disease called the Sighing Sickness, named for the last breath taken by the afflicted before they die. The village’s druid can’t seem to do anything about it, and because the village is secluded on an island, they cannot get the help they need without leaving it, so they send your character off the island to go find a cure. Gameplay is simple. Most of it plays like a choose your own adventure book, with you selecting with what you want to do in response to a situation and going to the appropriate page.

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Your character is given gold and experience for completing story-related tasks or fighting monsters and other people. In terms of character customization, you can choose your name, sex, and class. Sex does not affect your character’s stats at all, nor does it keep you from picking certain classes. There are two classes:; Warrior and Ranger. Each class gets a certain set of special skills that only that class is able to use, as well as weapons and armor you’re allowed to use.


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Combat is simple and turn-based, and there are three stances you can switch between at any time:; Neutral, Offensive, and Defensive. Neutral is a balanced stance, Offensive focuses on attacking and doing damage though it will weaken your defenses, and Defensive will strengthen your defenses while reducing the damage you do. In combat, you can also attack, doing damage to your opponent, or use a consumable item, which is good if you are low on health. On the enemy’s turn, you have to defend against their attack. When your health reaches zero, you die and it’s game over.


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The game is great for people who enjoy fantasy settings and simple gameplay, and the combat system is simple enough for anyone to grasp. It’s a great game, overall. It’s recommended for teenagers and young adults, since some of the language is not suited for younger children, and the grim atmosphere of the game as well as the detail put into describing your deaths may scare some children.

Dungeons and Dragons by Tanner Radcliff

Posted in Games, Uncategorized on October 13, 2016 by Mr. Winch


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Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game initially developed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson (Wikipedia) and is published by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro. The game follows a ruleset known as the “d20” ruleset, meaning that most things are solved with a special set of dice, the most important one being the twenty-sided die, or, the “d20”. Players put numbers into their skills and abilities, and add those numbers to their rolls. Depending on the difficulty of the task and how high they roll, the player can either succeed or fail in what they’re trying to do. This applies in and out of combat. Depending on the edition you play, these situations, as well as combat, can either be short and fluid, or long and complex, especially when taking the difficulty into account. Editions up to 3.5 are very complex, whereas editions 4 and 5 have changed things to make it them simpler for newer players to grasp while also making sure older players are satisfied. 4th edition failed in that last department, and it is considered to be the worst edition of Dungeons and Dragons thus far. For newer players and players who aren’t too interested in the roleplaying aspect of the game, 4th edition is absolutely perfect, as it focuses on combat and making your character ridiculously overpowered. For other players, 3.5 and 5 are greatly prefered. Both tend to balance roleplaying and combat nicely, and thus, for most players, they’re favored.


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Florence, Oregon by Anthony Lucas Stinson

Posted in Uncategorized on October 7, 2016 by Mr. Winch


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Florence, Oregon…what can i say, a great  place for a vacation or family time. You can do many things in Florence including camping, boating, riding quads/dirt bikes, and fishing.  My personal favorite is the fishing, and  there are some good places to fish in Florence: the ocean, lake, river…You can catch are trout, bass, salmon, and you can even get some crab. And riding quads… there is a massive land mass of sand there with many obstacles to overcome.  There are trails you can ride through and the flats where people race.  They also have a variety of good restaurants: Chinese, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a great selection of seafood places.  Or you can just barbecue some burgers. Florence also is a good place to go to for Fourth of July; the fireworks are unreal. Overall, Florence is an amazing place.

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