Time Waster Weekly (348)

Wednesday, 23 December 2020 12:12

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Fruit Ninja 2’

Written by Matt Fern

About a decade ago, when mobile gaming really started to take off, a game called “Fruit Ninja” took the world by storm. It was a great game that showcased the ease of playing on a touchscreen; fruit was thrown in the air and with a swipe of your finger, you could cut it. It was so popular, it was even featured in a “Mythbusters” episode.

Well, it’s back, it’s bigger, it’s juicier – it’s “Fruit Ninja 2.”

“Fruit Ninja 2,” like its predecessor, is just one of those games that’s a joy to play. Even when you someday delete it off your device, you’ll most likely find yourself coming back to it at some point.

“Fruit Ninja 2” doesn’t do a whole lot more than the original game did. Everything is there to have the same fun; it just looks better and has a few new game modes. One of the new notable game modes is called Fruitar Ninja, which is, of course, a reference to the “Guitar Hero” games. It is a rhythm-based game mode that has you slice fruit to the beat of a song; each week there is a new featured song. Fruit is dropped down from above and when it gets to the line, you cut it and it plays the notes to the song. It’s a nice change of pace from the traditional game modes.

What else does “Fruit Ninja 2” have? Well, you can customize your ninja character with outfits and different swords. Plus, you can also play online against friends. It’s that simple, and sometimes, simple is all you need with a video game.

“Fruit Ninja 2” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores!

Tuesday, 01 December 2020 14:13

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Rogue Company’

Written by Matt Fern

Hey console and PC players – I have one for you this week! I’ve given a ton of love to the mobile game world, but from time to time, a free-to-play game pops up on normal gaming platforms … and this is definitely one of the fun ones.

“Rogue Company” is a 4v4 multiplayer title that puts you in the shoes of an elite agent, part of a ragtag company trying to save the world. Taking on a third-person perspective, you hit the arena in a few multiple different game modes, including Team Deathmatch and, favorite of many, Demolition (plant the bomb).

There are many different characters to choose from in “Rogue Company,” each with special attributes and abilities. There are certainly some cool ones, like a character named Dima who wears a gold mask with purple LED eyes who specializes in breaching with a grenade launcher. Each character has a small backstory which lets you get to know their background a little bit.

A game of demolition starts you and your squad in a drop ship; this is where you choose your loadout. At the beginning of the first round, you start off with a small amount of cash to get your playstyle started; as you play each round, you make more money, which lets you equip better weapons and abilities. When the round starts, you and your squad drop onto the map and you either plant the bomb or defend it. If you eliminate the entire other team, the round ends. If you are still standing and your team wins, it’s always nice to throw some shade to the other team spectating you by doing a victory dance.

Each round, you only get one life (unless it’s a normal Deathmatch mode). The game is a lot of fun, and it runs smoothly regardless of what you play on. There are certainly cosmetics you can pay real money for in the game, but other than that, the entire experience requires no pennies at all.

“Rogue Company” is free to download on the PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo and PC stores. In the words from the developer: “Save the Day, Look Good, Get Paid.”

Wednesday, 25 November 2020 13:06

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Retro Bowl’

Written by Matt Fern

As the NFL season chugs along, I’ve tried to find more fun football games outside of “Madden Mobile” to pass the time between the weekly slate of games to watch on TV. My latest discovery is not only fun, but might even appeal to those who remember playing a certain football game on their NES back in 1987.

“Retro Bowl” is modeled after the classic “Tecmo Bowl” game. Everything in “Retro Bowl” is based on the NFL, including all 32 teams. The players are all randomly named; however, you can manually change their names to model the players on your favorite NFL team.

“Retro Bowl” is simple to play – games only last about five minutes and you can play through an entire season in just a few hours. You only control the offense, as the defense is handled by the computer and tries its best to defend against whatever the other team does. The goal of the game is to take over a team as the manager, making front office decisions and playing games to get your team to the trophy.

In terms of front office decisions, you can draft, make player acquisitions, determine salaries and trades, hire coaches that will give your players extra stats and attributes and even participate in press conferences after games. On the field, you control your offense through passing by dragging back your finger and throwing or by swiping across the screen to outrun the defense as a running back.

That’s really all there is to “Retro Bowl.” The visuals are that nice NES era aesthetic and the music is top notch ‘80s gaming. You might not win the trophy in your team’s first season, but if you’re like me, once you get a few seasons in, you’ll wonder where the time went and you’ll be happy with how much your team has grown.

“Retro Bowl” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 16:53

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Brawlhalla’

Written by Matt Fern

As someone who used to play the life out of the “Super Smash Bros.” games, it’s nice to see an amazing alternative pop up outside of having to own a Nintendo system. This game is called “Brawlhalla” and all I can say is that this game is well worth fighting for.

“Brawlhalla” is a free-to-play platform fighting game in a similar style to “Super Smash Bros.” The objective is to fight, either by yourself or with teammates, and knock your opponents off the map and take down all their lives to win. It plays almost exactly like its Nintendo counterpart. This game is single-player or you can play with friends online. If you play it on a gaming console, you can hook up a few controllers and play with family and friends!

In “Brawlhalla”, you can select one of many different and unique characters and take to the battle arena to show off your strength and skills. With different gadgets and weapons that spawn on the map, there are many ways to “beat up” your opponents and win the match. "Brawlhalla” offers a super-rich array of characters; I won’t name them, but I’ll describe a few to give you an idea. There’s a character that is a sentient suit of armor powered by weapons-grade plutonium. One character is a gun-toting, law-enforcing, female version of Chuck Norris’ Texas Ranger persona. There is a large muscled, long-bearded Viking with a teeny-tiny sad looking sword and even a few pirate characters with flintlocks.

“Brawlhalla” is a superb and well-rounded game with many features, game modes, characters and a lot of general, overall charm. The only monetary investment the game wants you to make is buying costumes for your characters. Other than that, everything is 100% free to enjoy.

“Brawlhalla” is free to download on the Android, IOS, PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and various PC gaming stores!

Tuesday, 10 November 2020 12:18

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Mutiny: Pirate Survival RPG’

Written by Matt Fern

If you’ve watched any of the “Pirates of the Caribbean”movies, then you know being marooned on an island is one of the worst things to happen to a pirate. Left alone with no food and just the clothes on your back, you get to spend your days hoping to survive.

Well, “Mutiny: Pirate Survival RPG” gives you a bit of a taste of that. Turns out – it’s quite fun!

“Mutiny: Pirate Survival RPG” puts you in the shoes of the captain of a ship who is left on an island after a mutiny along with a few additional sailors who chose to join you. You must explore the island, gather materials and food and try to survive. You command your crew and you build a base in any arrangement you chose. You build this base to basically start your own pirate haven on this island, turning disaster into opportunity. Eventually, you can begin looting ships and traveling to other islands when you develop the capabilities. You can craft items such as axes and swords, you can build various facilities on your island to process materials. Basically, you might have been marooned, but you’re a crafty pirate, and this is just a new adventure for you!

As you explore your island and others, you also get to experience fighting like a pirate as well, as you will come across a range of enemies from wild animals to skeleton monsters. As you and other players build your bases, there is a nice online PVP option; you can attack other people’s bases and steal their loot! Just like a real pirate.

“Mutiny: Pirate Survival RPG” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores!

Wednesday, 04 November 2020 12:25

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Demolish!’

Written by Matt Fern

Sometimes, you just want to decompress – and what better way to do it than with the destruction of inanimate objects!

Like picking up an axe, for instance, and chopping some wood in the backyard to watch the splinters fly. Maybe even firing a few rounds down the range at some soda cans or targets. Or perhaps you just want to destroy an entire building. Well, you can’t really do that in reality, but that’s why we have video games!

In “Demolish!”, you get to control a catapult; you are tasked with destroying various skyscrapers and buildings that need to come down in the city. It’s pure fun, and as the game is physics-based, it’s extremely satisfying to watch chunks and parts of a building fall down as you hurl different objects at it.

Your goal is to destroy every building using the allotted ammunition provided. If you don’t, you just have to start again. Each building is structurally different, so some need a quick thought on what the most effective way to crumble it to the ground. It’s a bit hilarious, the concept of being a wrecking crew with a medieval catapult instead of a traditional wrecking ball, but somehow it just works.

As you destroy each building, you begin to unlock different types of ammunition to use on your catapult. You begin with basic stones and eventually unlock a “mega-laser” that vaporizes skyscrapers like a miniaturized version of the Death Star. At the end of the day, you get to “retire” virtual buildings and you don’t even have to leave your couch. That’s a win.

“Demolish!” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020 11:48

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Eyes: Scary Thriller’

Written by Matt Fern

Well folks, Halloween is just around the corner, so it seemed only appropriate to find something scary and unsettling to play as a time waster. Boy, did I come through.

“Eyes” is a game that is reminiscent of the old “Slenderman” games, where you must walk around a map, collect things and avoid a scary monster. In this case, you walk around a creepy mansion, collect money bags and run away from a horrific, flying serpent head with teeth. Emphasis on the horrific.

This game is weird – and I mean SUPER weird – between the sounds, the eerie music and the atmosphere of the game in general. That’s what this spooky time of year is all about though, right?

You use a virtual joystick to move your character and pick up objects by tapping on them. I will admit though, as easy as it sounds, if you plug in a pair of headphones and play in the darkness of your living room, mustering up the courage to do that sort of fades away. Every room has an ominous look to it. The wind howls and your footsteps are loud. Clocks tick in rooms and hallways. Doors creak when opened. However, when you hear the warning sounds to let you know the monster is nearby (I won’t tell you what they are, you need to experience the sounds for yourself), you know it’s time to run! There are a few other levels and monsters to experience, but they all play the same – just some different scenery!

“Eyes: Scary Thriller” is available to download for free on the Android and IOS stores. As I said, headphones and a dark room are highly recommended.

As Halloween approaches, we often find ourselves diving into spooky movies, mysterious stories and even games that allow us to explore the unknown. “Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery” does just that in a small package that is simple, yet also extremely fun.

“Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery” puts you in the shoes of a detective who returns to his father’s town, only to find it completely deserted. Of course, being a detective, you take it upon yourself to figure out what happened and where everyone went – straight out of your typical mystery movie.

You do this by exploring the town, which has many interactive 3D levels that you can rotate and inspect. These levels are filled to the brim with clues to find and puzzles to solve. This game has a great mix of playing through different escape rooms and general quests to get you one step closer to solving the mystery of the town. It’s the type of game that is easy to play, but also makes you think a bit.

You might find a house that has no electricity and needs a fuse, which you find in another location, hence leading you back to where you were to continue to explore. You might find a mysterious bookshelf that needs the books arranged in a certain order to unlock what is behind it. You could be looking for a missing mailbox on a property and find it where you would never have expected.

There is so much variety and so much to solve, you’ll be busy for quite some time. It’s a great themed game during this mysterious and spooky time of the month, so get out there and find out what happened to this detective’s father.

“Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020 12:01

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Monster Dash’

Written by Matt Fern

If you’ve ever played any “endless runner” styled games, then you have definitely sunk a few minutes of your time into a classic called “Jetpack Joyride.” Well, the creators of that also made a game called “Monster Dash,” and it’s quite fun.

“Monster Dash” as stated, is an endless runner game, with the point being to see how far you can get into the never ending level, every time you play. Each time you play, you are hoping you can beat your personal best. What makes “Monster Dash” a nice change of pace from endless runners like “Jetpack Joyride” or even “Temple Run”, is you get weapons, and yes, running and gunning is the name of this game. Most endless runners just see you trying to survive by not being touched by hazards in the game, but at least in this one, you get to destroy them.

You play as Barry Steakfries, the typical Hollywood ripped-sleeves, five o’clock shadow, hair spiked badass. You must guide Barry as he runs and dashes on his quest through the endless level, where you will meet hordes of zombies, mummies, demons and more. As you run through the level, you pick up coins, which can be used to purchase both upgrades and cosmetics for Barry. As you run, you also find different gadgets, weapons and power-ups along the way, to assist you with getting farther than your last attempt.

“Monster Dash” has no real point to it, seeing as there is no real endgame. However, that’s what makes it so much fun. There is nothing to work towards, but your own enjoyment when you need to kill a few minutes of time. Trust me, “Monster Dash” will end up taking a fair amount of it.

“Monster Dash” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 07 October 2020 11:50

Weekly Time Waster - 'Among Us'

Written by Matt Fern

It’s not often that a game slips past my radar these days, especially during these crazy times where gaming is a large part of what I’m doing at home. Apparently, I’m late to the party, as “Among Us” released over two years ago. However, between my discord group and seeing multiple streams on YouTube as of late, this game suddenly became some huge cultural phenomenon out of nowhere, and I had to be a part of it.

“Among Us” is a free-to-play multiplayer title developed by InnerSloth. You are an astronaut, part of a group of 5-10 other cute little astronauts that must repair your ship and keep it in good running order. What’s the kicker? One crew mate is actually an imposter, an astronaut who doesn’t want to fix everything and leave. The imposter must pretend to do the tasks of repairing the ship, while killing off every other crewmate, one by one, and making sure no one else on board the ship suspects them at all.

If a body is found on board the ship, a crewmate can call a meeting, and everyone on board the ship chats to try and figure out who the imposter is. It’s a fun murder mystery, only in the depths of space where no one can hear you scream.

Playing as a basic crewmate, you move from room to room of the ship and complete goals while making a case that you aren’t the imposter – making sure you have an alibi and proving you are in the clear. As each meeting is called, votes are tallied; whoever gets the most votes is booted out. When you are booted out, you become a ghost who gets to spectate how the rest of the match plays out. This is where the game shines, as during meetings, people throw out some of the most amazing (and sometimes borderline insane) accusations against each other I have ever seen in a video game chat. Some people are indeed lying and some people are plain telling the absolute truth; it becomes a fun group effort to sift through the lies and deceit. The accusation chat is half the entertainment.

For a free game on my phone, “Among Us” might be the most addicting I’ve ever played. Grab some friends, because it’s immensely more fun to play with people you know and laugh at how each match ends. You also get to find out which one of your friends and family is the best at telling lies, and who has absolutely no lying bone in their body.

“Among Us” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores!

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