Time Waster Weekly (348)

Tuesday, 03 March 2020 12:20

Weekly Time Waster - ‘ID Please’

Written by Matt Fern

One of the caveats of going out to the club on the weekend, is getting past the bouncer with not only your identification, but sometimes your appearance and personality. Have you ever been to a club before and your entrance to a fun night of dancing to loud bass music was denied by the bouncer?

Well, in “ID Please,” you get to be that very bouncer … and now YOU hold the torch of decision.

In “ID Please” you are the bouncer of a night club, and your job is to deal with any incoming patrons seeking entrance to the newest, hottest club in town. However, the owner is picky on who can come into the club on any given day, so not “everyone” gets to come in. Each day, you are given certain criteria to decide who enters or who does not. You can break the rules of course, but it can cost you in score. For instance, one night, the club owner might only want people with blue shirts and no drunks. Anyone with a blue shirt and isn’t a drunk, you let them in by swiping right. Anyone else, they get a left swipe.

While you have your set of stipulations, you will also have tricksters try to get in, people fighting that you have to tap the screen to break up and you might even get the occasional bribe to let someone who doesn’t fit the criteria enter the club. At the end of each day, based on the goals you completed, you get money and stars. You can use your money and stars to customize your characters house, as well as appearance. With over 50 levels to try for three stars, there’s plenty of time to waste here.

“ID Please” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020 13:09

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Dip Master’

Written by Matt Fern

As someone who spends way too much time on YouTube, I often stumble upon things that I wouldn’t otherwise have found. The “recommended videos” in the sidebar often leads down a rabbit hole of randomly unconnected videos (and occasionally into the “weird” part of YouTube).

However, one of the types of videos I’m always recommended to watch for no apparent reason is videos on “how to hydro dip.” There are all of these people out there devoted to “hydro dipping” everything you can imagine. Shoes, gaming controllers, even their various favorite sporting equipment. Basically, hydro dipping (also known as water transfer printing) is a process where you can apply different color patterns or graphics onto just about any object. You do this with the use of a special hydro film that sits on top of water into which you dip objects. And since it’s all over the internet, someone obviously made a game about it.

“Dip Master” is exactly what it sounds like. There isn’t much else to say – it’s a hydro dipping simulator that takes you through 20 different levels where you hydro dip various objects in any way, color and/or design that you like. As you hydro dip each object, you are graded on your end product and you move on. Your goal is to become the “dip master.” That’s it!

This game was an extremely relaxing experience. You get to be both artistic and creative with the various items and the colors you can mix, as well as pretend to do something that I now want to try on some objects of my own. Thanks a lot video games and YouTube – now I’m into hydro dipping.

“Dip Master” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020 13:43

Weekly Time Waster - ‘AI Dungeon’

Written by Matt Fern

If you’ve ever played a text-based adventure game, you know that you play through a story where there are choices you make along the way; these choices eventually lead to one of multiple endings based on your influence. But what if the story never ended or just kept evolving into something that doesn’t even utterly make any sense anymore?

That is the joy, comedy and frustration of “AI Dungeon.”

“AI Dungeon” is controlled by an artificial intelligence (oh no, not Skynet!) that creates and adapts an adventure story based on what you type in. It’s like talking to a chatbot on a business website, except that this one writes you fun stories instead of telling you it can’t solve your problem.

You start off by selecting a story genre ranging from fantasy to apocalyptic to science fiction to anything you can think of with a “custom” option. From there, the AI takes over and crafts you the beginning of a random adventure, seeking your input for each encounter.

In my first playthrough, I was aboard the USS Enterprise as the captain of the vessel, encountering the invasion of a planet by Klingons. By the end of the story, I somehow was a ruthless galactic tyrant who was helping the Cylons from “Battlestar Galactica” enslave humanity.

Based on your input, a story can deviate and go completely off the rails; if you are unsatisfied with the direction a story is going, you can either type “/revert” to go back and try a new input or you can just start over. Playing this game was like doing improv with a partner, except your partner is either super into the story or just completely drunk and spewing out hilarious nonsense.

“AI Dungeon” is absolutely a blast if you want to waste your time, and hey, what more can you ask for from a game that lets you survive the zombie apocalypse with your best friend Indiana Jones while catching Pokémon in the wild?

“AI Dungeon” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores!

Tuesday, 11 February 2020 11:45

Weekly Time Waster - ‘World Robot Boxing 2’

Written by Matt Fern

Remember “Real Steel,” the movie about robot boxing being a staple sporting event in the future? It was cool, it was unique … and I kind of wish there was a sequel. Of course, what would be a movie without some type of game based on it?

“World Robot Boxing 2” is basically a game version of “Real Steel,” just with no Hugh Jackman. Set in the not so distant future, you control a boxing robot looking to become the next robot boxing legend. With many different classes of robots to choose from, ranging from slow and heavy robots, to very agile robots, there are many different options to fit your specific style of play. There are 67 robots in all, and six classes to choose from. The game features 14 different countries to represent, which is a cool feature.

The game starts with you fighting in the illegal underground matches, letting you rise through the ranks to eventually becoming a world champion on the grandest stage. With lots of different abilities to choose from and ways to train your robot, your fighter eventually starts to grow on you. You control your robot by performing various swipes and taps on your screen; you string together combos to take down your opponent. You also can also choose from 48 signature moves to finish off your opponents; every fighter needs a signature finishing move, right?

“World Robot Boxing 2” is super fun to play; it starts you at nothing and challenges you to rise to the top. There is plenty of time to be wasted in the 12 different battle arenas. The game is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Tuesday, 04 February 2020 11:07

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Army Men Strike’

Written by Matt Fern

When I was a kid, I used to stage massive battles with bags upon bags of green and tan army men. You know the ones; you can find them at the dollar store and just about every toy store. My dad and I even built a command center out of wood and spray painted it camo colors; it was always used as the base being attacked or defended in my childhood scenarios. There have been plenty of video games over the years that portrayed this childhood memory on the big screen, but I finally found one that does it in the palm of my hand.

“Army Men Strike” is a strategy game that features you as the captain of the green army, tasked with fighting a successful war against the evil tan army. You must recruit soldiers and obtain vehicles and drop them onto the battlefield in a tower defense-type scenario. Basically, there will be a tan base on a carpet in a kid’s room; you have different areas around the carpet where you can deploy your troops. You want your heavy vehicles/soldiers to deploy near bunkers and hard-to-defeat targets and then roll your infantry into areas where they can attack other infantry.

And would it be a kid’s room without toys other than green army men? You also can deploy toy jets, transformer robot and more! With many different scenarios and different tactics to try, you truly get to feel like a kid again playing with plastic army men. While you’re attacking the tan army, you also get to whistle along to military tunes such as “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” and “On, Brave Old Army Men.” Oh, and there is a multiplayer aspect; you can attack other people’s bases if you so choose, but it is not necessary.

“Army Men Strike” is available to download on the Android and IOS stores. Head out there and melt down that evil tan army!

Wednesday, 29 January 2020 14:10

Weekly Time Waster – ‘Mobile Legends Bang Bang’

Written by Matt Fern

One of the most played video games in the world is “League of Legends.” At over 80 million players a month (an impressive figure), “League of Legends” continues to grow and thrive; it has spawned gaming tournaments that bring people together to play from all over the world. However, you can’t find it on a mobile device, but here’s the next best thing!

“Mobile Legends Bang Bang” is one of the best 5v5 multiplayer online battle arenas on the mobile platform. Yes, the name is cheesy, but the game more than makes up for that. The objective of the game is to destroy the enemy team’s base while also defending your own. You do this by fighting on three-lane maps - a top, middle and bottom lane. Each lane has a few towers within it that must be destroyed to advance down that lane. On your journey to the enemy team’s base while defending your own, you will face five other players with the same objectives, as well as computer-controlled minions that will try and fight you. You want to push together as a team to win, so strategy and teamwork are very important.

What’s nice about this game is that each match is only 10 minutes long, so it won’t take a lot of your time. In “Mobile Legends Bang Bang” there are over 80 heroes to choose from (although not all are free of course - eight heroes in my experience so far are free to play); each one has unique attacks and abilities to master. The characters range from tanks, mages, marksmen, support characters and more.

With such variety in both maps and characters, there is a lot to try. The graphics and music are also a treat! If you aren’t familiar on how to play these games, there is even a beginner’s tutorial that tells and shows you everything you need to know.

“Mobile Legends Bang Bang” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores!

Wednesday, 22 January 2020 14:11

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Garena Free Fire: Winterlands’

Written by Matt Fern

Every month or so, a new battle royale game seems to pop up, and while most of them are cheap rip-offs that barely function, there are also a few diamonds in the rough. “Garena Free Fire” is one such diamond.

Even though “PUBG” and “Fortnite” mostly control the market, they can also get stale after a while; “Garena” has a massive player base due to its recent release and I had no problems and barely any wait time to load into a game.

Just like most battle royale games, the premise is simple. You parachute down onto a map and must scavenge materials to build the best loadout you can with weapons, armor and grenades, all in an effort to be the last man standing. You’re inside a circle that slowly closes, bringing everyone together in a chaotic shootout.

But this game changes up the pace a bit. Instead of the typical 100 players, there are only 50 in each game. The rounds also last 10 minutes on average, compared to the grueling 30-minute matches involved with something like “PUBG.” This keeps each round you play short and sweet and extremely tense. There’s a good selection of vehicles to drive and lots of different ways to play, from stealth to guns blazing. You can play with your friends in a squad of up to four or you can go solo against 49 other people all by yourself. The choice is yours. I’ve had a blast playing it, and I hope you do too!

“Garena Free Fire: Winterlands” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 14:16

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Rock Hero 2’

Written by Matt Fern

Back in 2005, a game called “Guitar Hero” took the world by storm. You picked up a toy guitar controller and jammed out to your favorite rock songs at varying difficulties. You not only got to listen to the songs, but you got to feel like a real guitarist up on the big stage. Well, “Guitar Hero” might not exist on mobile, but I found something comparable.

“Rock Hero 2” gives the same general feel as “Guitar Hero,” but puts it in the palm of your hand. In “Rock Hero 2”, different non-licensed musical tracks are available to play, and you must tap the right notes on the screen at the right time to build up a note combo and set a high score for the song. Each song also has varying difficulty levels, adding in both speed and more notes to hit or hold; you sometimes need to press multiple notes at a time or drag the notes across the screen. Miss too many notes and you fail.

There are over 10 songs to play provided by the game, but the kicker is that you can play any song that is downloaded on to your phone! Say you want to play “Enter Sandman” by Metallica; just download the song onto your phone and voila! This is possible due to the game having an “intelligent system of beat detection.” Because of this, the possibilities of songs to play are basically endless. Now, it doesn’t work out perfectly every time, but still – the possibilities are endless!

“Rock Hero 2” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores. Get ready to rock!

Tuesday, 07 January 2020 12:02

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Forge Ahead’

Written by Matt Fern

I finally started watching “Game of Thrones” on HBO. Late to the party, I know. And as I’ve watched, I’ve fallen in love with medieval times again. What would it be like to be a blacksmith, having to make enough armor and swords for an entire army to defend a castle with? Well, the mobile gaming world gave me my answer, as it usually does.

“Forge Ahead” puts you in the shoes of a blacksmith shop owner. While skipping a few steps in crafting medieval weaponry, you are tasked with mining metals, melting them down, molding them into various swords and then hammering them into shape. Once your sword is complete, you sell it for money. As you play this game, you learn to combine different metals to create more expensive or even exotic swords, being able to price them high. This game is extremely simple and very inviting as far as time-wasting is concerned. The two best parts are mining the ores and actually hammering the sword into shape. It is quite relaxing putting a red-hot warped sword on an anvil and hammering it out.

There are also missions that come along while you play. For instance, one of the first missions I received was a tax collector coming into my shop and asking for a weapon within 10 minutes to protect his mother’s gold in the north. I completed his sword, he paid me; later, he visited again to tell me he completed his mission in protecting his mother. It was nice of him to check back with me, it made me feel like a competent, helpful blacksmith.

“Forge Ahead” is free to download on the Android and IOS stores.

Monday, 23 December 2019 22:41

Weekly Time Waster - ‘Minecraft Earth’

Written by Matt Fern

With each month that passes, its seems like we get a new entry added into the augmented reality genre of games. The launch of “Pokémon Go” really sparked the genre into full force, but the next chapter in this genre comes from another familiar game name – “Minecraft.”

“Minecraft Earth” takes the coolest parts of “Minecraft” and puts them into augmented reality. If you don’t know what “Minecraft” is, well … call it an adventure building game. You play in a pixelated world placing blocks into any creations that you would like while also going on adventures. To build, you must collect resources such as wood, stone or dirt by mining them; you place blocked forms of those resources on top of each other to build. While doing this, you must defend yourself against enemies called “mobs,” which range from zombies to creepers (who explode if you get really close to them, destroying all your hard work).

“Minecraft Earth” takes these concepts and drops them into augmented reality, letting you build what you’d like and then putting it into the real digital world. In tabletop mode, you can build something that you’d like in detail and then blow it up life-size for others to see. Maybe you want to build a castle wall around your real-life home or put a pool in the backyard. You can do that, and anyone walking by your house playing the game will be able to see it.

What’s fun about the game is that everything persists, so what you build is there to stay unless you destroy it. If you play the game around neighbors who are also playing, you might watch their creations evolve over time. There are also the “mobs” in the game, so you can grab a bow with some friends and go hunting for enemies around your neighborhood if that sounds fun.

“Minecraft Earth” isn’t the greatest augmented reality game we’ve seen so far, but it certainly offers a way to waste plenty of time as you build your dreams into reality. “Minecraft Earth” is free to download in early access on the Android and IOS stores.

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