Time Waster Weekly (348)

A game that you might have seen in this feature earlier this year – a widely popular one – was “Among Us.” It amassed a huge cult following and remains extremely active – well-populated with people and shenanigans.

“Suspects: Mystery Mansion” brings some of the heart and soul of “Among Us” into the murder mystery genre of party games. You know the ones, the games where your friends invite you over for a dinner party, someone is the murderer and everyone else must figure it out. “Suspects: Mystery Mansion” puts you alongside nine other real players who have the task of solving a recent murder inside of a mansion. One or more of the players is a murderer and the others are investigators who must carry out various tasks throughout the mansion to aid in their investigation.

During each round, while the investigators are out and about, the murderers must blend in and try to kill them. At the end of each round, everyone comes together to discuss everything that’s happened, and make a guess on the identity of the killer. Once the person is chosen, the game lets everyone know if they were right or if the suspect(s) is/are still at large.

The game has a fantastic art style; the little woodland creatures you play as for characters have a lot of creativity and personality poured into them. “Suspects: Mystery Mansion” is a great way to bring some friends or even some strangers together digitally and keep the spirit of game night alive!

“Suspects: Mystery Mansion” is currently free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021 09:44

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Knight Brawl’

Written by Matt Fern

What do you get when you put a bunch of sword-fighting knights together with wacky, bouncy physics? You get “Knight Brawl.”

In “Knight Brawl”, you play as a knight who battles other knights in gladiator-style battles. Instead of being a grim serious take on sword fighting, “Knight Brawl” instills physics that just plain don’t make sense, with a weightlessness that creates some hilarious battles for fun and enjoyment. Instead of slashing and stabbing, your sword swings around your body, which propels you in the air and lets you do somersaults and flips. This spinning of your weapon is both how you fight and move around.

In the beginning of “Knight Brawl,” you are armed and protected with a simple weapon, a barrel for armor and a plate for a helmet (no one said you were a WEALTHY knight). With some victories and gold collected under your belt, however, you get to upgrade your knight with better weapons and armor. When you face off against other knights, your goal is to smash their armor so that you can strike a final blow against them. You are just as vulnerable as they are however, so they can take you out just as effectively and easily as you can them.

There is a lot of scenery in “Knight Brawl,” with battles in many different locations, as well as different game modes. For instance, Tower Climb has you climbing to the top of a tower and fighting enemies along the way, simply using the wacky physics to go upwards. Castle Rush is the best one though; you storm different castles and rob kings of their greatest and most valuable possessions.

“Knight Brawl” has a lot to give and doesn’t ask for anything but your time. There are plenty of laughs to be had, which is a big part of what makes it one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played in a long time.

“Knight Brawl” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores, as well as free to play in a web browser on various websites!

Wednesday, 07 April 2021 11:16

Weekly Time Waster - ‘TV Empire Tycoon’

Written by Matt Fern

If you’ve ever watched television and said to yourself, “It would be so cool to be in the media business,” then I have just the game for you.

“TV Empire Tycoon” is a game about building a TV station from the ground up, starting as a small media entity and working your way up to becoming a huge multimedia conglomerate. It plays sort of like a “Rollercoaster Tycoon” or “Zoo Tycoon” type of game, one in which you basically just grow your business and make as much money as possible.

You’re put in charge of a news studio. It’s up to you to hire anchors and crew and even manage each show all the way down to the lighting and commercials. Your staff plays a huge role in your success, so your hiring, firing and management of your employees is a major aspect as well. Each presenter, camera operator, engineer and even makeup artist is working 24/7, and if you can’t pay them, they will go on strike, so profits are everything.

You begin by running a simple newscast show, but you can eventually expand your company to become the next NBC or CBS with cooking shows, and even reality shows. Eventually you will get “starred characters” – think Ron Burgundy – that have very specific needs to be met and believe they are extremely important to the station. They are fussy and needy, but they can easily bring huge profits. The game is an idle simulator, so you can only do so much per day by using energy, which replenishes every so often, which means you’ll have to wait to play after doing a lot of things at once.

“TV Empire Tycoon” will test your management wits for sure; much like Jack Donaghy, you must do everything in your power to make sure the show goes on and keep your people happy. It’s a huge task, but it’s an extremely fun one to take on!

“TV Empire Tycoon” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021 22:14

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Dive In The Past’

Written by Matt Fern

The ocean is a massive place. So massive in fact, that over 80 percent of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved and completely unexplored. There is much to learn from the mysteries of the deep, including things from the past that we might have no records of in the books. “Dive In The Past” attempts to recreate that mystery but in a smaller body of water, the Mediterranean Sea.

“Dive In The Past” makes you a deep sea diver, exploring the Mediterranean Sea and discovering all its lost and ancient mysteries. The game is an adventure quest in which you explore and discover mysteries – mysteries like the remains of ancient civilizations and the shipwrecks of the past.

The game begins with you receiving a mysterious diary that points you in the direction of different shipwrecks and remains. You discover these sites with different high-tech tools like scanners that map the floor of the water and help you discern remains from mud and seaweed. Once you discover these sites, you get to explore them as they tell you their stories and secrets from the past. To discover these secrets and study artifacts, you must solve puzzles.

The game is a very chill experience as you are mainly exploring against a calm musical backdrop. The graphics are pretty great for a mobile game; it really gives you a bit of an appreciation for what real marine archaeologists and oceanographers do in their quest for discovering the past and present in the deep blue sea.

“Dive In The Past” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021 09:45

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Kill It With Fire’

Written by Matt Fern

If there was a single movie that gave us a very deep fear of a common household pest, it was probably “Arachnophobia”, which fed on our fears of spiders. Well, what if I told you you could slaughter multitudes of spiders and you could do it without harming a single real one?

“Kill It With Fire” is a game where spiders have infested your home and it’s your job to get rid of them. However, you don’t use a simple tissue or the bottom of your shoe to do this. In “Kill It With Fire,” you are absolutely armed to the teeth with a ridiculous assortment of weapons. Handguns, frying pans, C4 demolition, flamethrowers, vacuum cleaners … the list goes on and on.

Of course, many of these weapons will destroy everything around you in the process, but it’s okay, because the spiders will be gone. Right? The game doesn’t just put you in a home, though – there are spiders all over the place, so you embark on a journey of complete destruction as you rid the area of spider. Said area includes, among other things, a gas station/convenience store.

There are eight different spider species to hunt and each one presents its own little challenge. They are always hiding too, so you have to find them (or just destroy everything of course).

All in all, “Kill It With Fire” is a nice simulation about a perfectly sane person having a reasonable reaction to a common household pest. In truth, take out the spiders and this game is about causing chaos and pure destruction – and every second is pure joy. Good luck finding spidey.

“Kill It With Fire” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 13:28

Weekly Time Waster - ‘War Thunder’

Written by Matt Fern

Modern warfare began with simple swords and infantry, evolving into firearms, mechanization, air superiority and naval domination. Between learning history and watching movies and documentaries, one can get a feel for how these machines of war developed into what they are now. What if you could experience this evolution firsthand? Well, Gaijin Entertainment has provided us (no pun intended) with the vehicle to do just that.

“War Thunder” is a massively multiplayer online game focusing on vehicular warfare. You start with WWII-era vehicles; as you play, you eventually end up in modern times. You participate in massive battles that utilize aircraft, ground forces such as tanks and mobile artillery and naval warships in the ultimate showdown of combined arms warfare. With over 1800 vehicles and many factions to choose from, there is a lot to unpack and unlock.

What’s nice about “War Thunder” is that with so many vehicles, some of the most iconic ones you can think of are right there in the game. To unlock them and play with them, all you gotta do is waste some time. Now, it’s a massive game and it can be very overwhelming at first, but just like anything else, once you get into it and play, it all makes sense. There are tons of tutorials in the game; you can even test drive vehicles before you buy them which is cool.

Once you hit the battlefield in “War Thunder,” the fun really begins. With realistic sounds, graphics and damage models, you’re instantly immersed. Knowledge about your enemies can be key on the battlefield; a well-placed shot on a tank or a shell against a destroyer out at sea can disable crew or detonate a compartment full of munitions, disabling or destroying a foe.

Naval battles are my personal favorite in “War Thunder,” as naval battles aren’t really touched upon in many games. It presents naval battles in a fantastic way; a torpedo can open your hull up, filling your ship and slowly capsizing it as you make a last-ditch effort to lob shells at the enemy.

“War Thunder” is a great game. The best part? It’s free. I’ve drilled countless hours into it and each battle always feels different than the last. You learn about every war machine ever made and you get to try them out on the battlefield. Take to the skies, land or sea and vanquish your foes.

“War Thunder” is free to download on the PlayStation and Xbox stores, as well as Steam.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021 12:12

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Family Feud Live!’

Written by Matt Fern

One game show that’s been around since well before my time – one that I always thoroughly enjoyed watching – is “Family Feud.” Since 1976, it has graced our television screens and made us laugh, cry, and occasionally question the types of people who were polled to provide such out-there answers.

Well, get ready – you’ve got another way to play the Feud … from the comfort of your own home!

“Family Feud Live!” brings the joy of the gameshow to your phone screen, and lets you compete against other people around the world, to answer surveys and see who is the ultimate Feuder. There are six total game modes to play, led by the classic version where you just go one-on-one against an opponent. Whomever has the most points from correct answers at the end of the game, of course wins it all!

“Family Feud Live!” is the most fun when you can play with friends of course, but playing with strangers is fun as well; the game features an in-game chat system to trash talk your opponent or congratulate them on a well-played game. In my time with the game, I never saw a repeated survey so each game definitely felt fresh and new. However, there are sometimes answers that are a bit too similar, which can be frustrating.

“Family Feud Live!” does limit how much you can play each day as well, as you have to use tickets to play a game; it takes an hour to regenerate one ticket back for free. It wasn’t really a detriment as playing through five games at once was a decent amount of time spent. You might not get to meet Steve Harvey while playing “Family Feud Live!”, but you certainly get to experience what the Feud is all about.

“Family Feud Live!” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

We all remember the movie “Cast Away.” Our dear friend Chuck Noland, sole survivor of a Fed Ex plane crash, washing up on the shores of an island where he struggles to survive while also going crazy to the point of befriending a soccer ball. Well, wouldn’t it be fun to do that in a video game too?

“Raft Survival: Ocean Nomad” sees you waking up in the ocean, with nothing but some wooden planks holding your body from sinking into the bottom of the ocean. With no land in sight and sharks circling around you, you must build a raft and survive. Eventually finding land, you must accumulate resources, craft survival tools and be on your way to more islands as you struggle to find home. The raft, which starts as a few wooden planks, can eventually be built up to be basically a floating home, with furniture, living spaces and more. And hey - if you never find home, you might as well float comfortably!

Armed with a grappling hook, a spear and more, you can pick up floating barrels and resources out of the water and fight off sharks that try and destroy your raft. To eat, you can fish off the raft to make a hearty meal. On the islands to which you sail, the dangers don’t vanish; they can be filled with poisonous spiders, giant crabs and more.

Floating around on a raft in the middle of the ocean might sound like a boring mundane thing, but with many quests and loads of room for exploration, “Raft Survival” is a game that will help you waste plenty of time.

“Raft Survival: Ocean Nomad” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021 12:48

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Repair Master 3D’

Written by Matt Fern

Have you ever broken your phone or laptop and sent it away to a repair shop, then wondered what kind of magic the repairman did to make your device work like brand new again? Well, in “Repair Master 3D,” you get to play that repairman.

“Repair Master 3D” puts you in the shoes of an electronics repair technician who is tasked with opening up electronics, swapping out broken parts, cleaning dust, soldering, reassembling and more. The goal is to repair as many electronics as quickly as you can so you can earn money and upgrade your workshop to take on bigger tasks. The bigger the task, the more challenging it becomes. The later electronics and tasks in the game can become quite a thought-provoking repair as you must remember how to repair certain systems to make other systems work.

To repair electronics, you simply swipe, tap or hold your finger on your screen to perform different tasks. What is fun about “Repair Master 3D” is that you might not learn exactly how to repair an electronic device, but you can get an idea of what kinds of issues might arise and how much work can go into repairing said electronics. Now, I’m not gonna lie – there are a lot of ads in the game – but at least in the end, watching those ads will give you benefits like more money or upgrades.

“Repair Master 3D” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021 13:18

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Zombeast’

Written by Matt Fern

A pop culture genre that has blown up in recent years – and hasn’t really gone away – is the zombie genre. Cinema, television, video games – zombies are everywhere. Our worst fears brought to life on the digital screen, swarms of reanimated corpses in destroying all life as we know it. Spectating the zombie apocalypse on the big screen is one thing; being able to destroy and dismember zombies in a rampage in video games is another. It’s a great stress reliever, and so, this week I bring you “Zombeast.”

In “Zombeast,” there is one simple objective - kill them all. The zombie apocalypse has broken out and you are left to survive in a city full of the undead. So what must you do? Wield various weapons and get rid of the scourge of zombies walking through your city of course!

“Zombeast” sees you running through various environments and atmospheres, ranging from a city, all the way to a foggy forest. Your player was bitten three days after the apocalypse started, and while you run and gun on your zombie rampage, you must also stave off your infection with coffee and dark chocolate (apparently that’s the remedy for turning into a zombie in this universe).

With over 170 missions, and millions upon millions of zombies to destroy, with lots of skills and weapons to master, “Zombeast” provides a large amount of fun in a big package. The game is simple to play, with an auto-targeting system to shoot zombies. All you have to do is move left and right and fire at will. There are lots of creative zombie designs – 13 total – in this game to keep the horror factor up; each type of zombie has their own characteristics in how they behave and attack. So keep your distance and fire at will!

“Zombeast” is free to download on the Android store.

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