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Tuesday, 28 October 2014 17:03

Time Waster - You have One Chance'

In life, there are no 'take-backs,' no quick saves and no quick loads. You only get one chance. As in life, so it is in this pixel game.

You have created the cure for cancer, but in a tragic twist of fate, that cure also will kill all cellular life in six days. You have one chance. No take backs. No reloads.

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 14:56

Time Waster - The Quiet Place

The internet is full of meaningless distractions, from endlessly checking emails, to clicking on every 'like,' '+1,' or other notification that flows through on social media. We take them with us wherever we go; our phones become our constant companions.

The quiet place aims to help you let go of that. It advises you visit without your phone's notifications on, turn your speakers on so you can hear the soothing music and enter full-screen mode. And just read the text that you control with the space bar and let go.

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 21:32

Time Waster - Shadowscape'

'Shadowscape' is a fast-paced and fun platform game. You are trapped in a shadowy world. There are clues to a different landscape all around you, but you have to escape. And escape is difficult.

This game is both fun and challenging, walking that line between keeping you going and rage-quitting. And it's such a fine line. Everything about this game amps up the intensity, from the music to the stark shadowy background. You move fast, and you have to be careful because you can die in many different ways. But that's OK, because moving helps you earn new lives.

Published in Tekk
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 20:57

Time Waster Merry Clickmas'

Wasting time with a holiday theme is difficult. Finding a game that is both endearing and fun can be downright impossible. There are puzzles with Christmas themes, a game where you can paint Christmas ornaments various colors and patterns, and even a re-tooled zombie game with Santas. I just wasn't feeling it.

Then I found 'Merry Clickmas.' It's one of the simple clicker games (see past games like 'Cookie Clicker'). But with this one you are tasked with saving Christmas. This means you need to build toys and wrap them for everyone in the world. That's right, 7.1 billion toys need to be crafted and wrapped by you (in click form, of course). But don't despair - impossible as it would be to click 7.1 billion times, you have options. Like 'Cookie Clicker,' you can purchase upgrades with your wrapped presents. Hire elves, invest in training and horrible working conditions, machinery and tricks for fast toy creation and smoother wrapping. 

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:25

Time Waster - Run Dino Run'

Some games are so easy you finish them too quickly. You still have plenty of time to kill. Some games are so hard you give up without finishing it. You still have plenty of time to kill. But it's a rare game that is both challenging and addicting. Enter 'Run Dino Run.'

You are a small dinosaur (you can customize your little guy's color and hat. Yes, hat) attempting to outrun extinction. You have to dodge fiery meteorites and panicked dinosaurs and collect eggs. I would be lying to you if I claimed that I understood all the ins and outs of this game. There are super-eggs you are supposed to collect that I haven't been able to find, and I know there is more than one way to beat a level (and hundreds of ways to lose one).

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 22:28

Time Waster - 31 Days of Halloween'

Do you like scary stories? This is the time of year for it. Halloween is just around the corner. It's darker, cooler and just plain spookier. A great place to get some nice could-be-true scary stories is the Atlas Obscura's '31 Days of Halloween.' I found it on day 15.

The great thing about this ongoing collection of tales is that they are rooted in place. Each one is set in a different, very real location. You can see ossuaries (catacombs constructed from the bones of the honored dead) and books bound in human skin. You can find the reason why a severed arm is on display in a cathedral and other such unsavory bits of trivia. 

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 15:38

Time Waster - The Nicest Place on the Internet

Sometimes the internet can make you feel bad. It's full of trolls, flame wars, insults and terrible things. Have you seen Facebook during an election? It's a jungle out there.

But anyone who has spent any time online knows that for every bumper sticker political agenda there is a cute cat. For every post with bad grammar there is a funny cartoon that mocks it. If you need something uplifting, even just the thought that someone cares, that's what the Nicest Place on the Internet is for. It's for hugs. 

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Tuesday, 13 August 2013 19:09

Time Waster - Cookie Clicker

So, there are a lot of ways to waste your time on the internet. Some are fun, some are boring, and some are just weird. This is the latter. Cookie Clicker is not just the title of the game at http://orteil.dashnet.org/experiments/cookie/, it's the entirety of the game.

You just click on it. At first the text at the top of the screen tells you that no one likes your cookies. As you click and presumably make more, this improves and many people like your cookies. That's right, you've just been clicking on a cartoon cookie. 

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Friday, 09 August 2013 12:49

Time Waster - The Last Door

When was the last time a pixelated game scared you? I have horrific memories of being chased out of Hagatha's cave but a fast-moving, green-faced, cackling witch in 'King's Quest II,' but it's been a while since I've been truly jumped by a game that came from an 8-bit color palate.  Until 'The Last Door.'

This game starts dark you literally get to assist in an 8-bit suicide. But then the point of view changes, and you are a friend of Anthony Beechwood, who returns to the Beechwood Manor to investigate after receiving a cryptic letter from the gent who just offed himself.

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Thursday, 01 August 2013 12:09

Haunt the House

You're a ghost, and there are a bunch of real, live people occupying your house. This upsets you. So you do what any adorable, blue-collar (ruffly blue collar, I might add) ghost would do: you scare the pants off them so they leave.

Ah, but there's a fine line between spooking someone enough so they run screaming out the door and terrifying them to the point that they throw themselves out the window of the uppermost floor. Your goal is to get rid of as many as you can (otherwise, your peaceful existence as the lone haunt ends and you have to share space with the unfortunate people you drove to an early grave serves you right, really).

Published in Time Waster Weekly
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