It’s almost February 14, the time of the year to act all sweet to your partner or partners (we don’t judge) and shower them with presents like flowers and chocolate. At least that is what a lot of people want you to believe (read: the e-commerce). Reality is that you can celebrate however you want with whoever you want! And since you are visiting our blog we assume you want to do something geeky! So here are 14 tips for a not so Lovey Dovey but geeky Valentine’s Day!
Looking for interesting baby names from The Witcher? We’ve got your back. Ivey and Perzian sat down and went through the entire character list of one of the most talked about book, games and Netflix series called The Witcher. In part one of this series we made a list with my favourite baby names from Skyrim. If you haven’t read it first, make sure to check it out!
It’s been quite a while since we wrote an article about (upcoming) live action movies based on anime, comics or videogames (read the last one here). Especially considering that it seems that almost every movie released these days is based on the former. Or did the Marvel franchise just got inside our heads? Time to analyse what’s happening in the wonderful world of movies right now.
It’s almost januari 1st, and for most of us that means we are already reviewing the past year and setting goals for the next. For many people, losing weight or getting more active is a returning favourite on the goal-list. And what better way to focus on reaching your goals than getting a new fitness tracker or smartwatch ^^.
Being a gamer and a gadget freak, I’m always trying to keep myself up to date on the latest geeky gadgets. I first got into the smartwatches when the original Pebble got released. When the follow up, Pebble 2 got released, I immediately backed it on Kickstarter. Unfortunately, Pebble got bought by Fitbit. I was angry for a while, because one of my reasons to back Pebble was that all of their software was open-source, so that anyone could make apps for the watch. This resulted in quite a few really cool apps and games. Also, when Fitbit bought Pebble, they announced that they wouldn’t continue the line so that meant no replacements or repairs in the future. So after my Pebble 2 broke down, it was time for me to again dive into the world of smartwatches.
I ended up buying a fitbit Ionic in the end (despite me still being kinda angry with them for buying Pebble). While the Pebble 2 was a big upgrade from the original Pebble because it finally had a color screen, Fitbit Ionic was a HUGE upgrade. The Ionic had (and still has) beautiful graphics and while you of course don’t really need that on a watch, it’s still pretty cool and of course that’s what counts.
After the GPS on my Ionic broke down and I couldn’t use it to track my running anymore (true, this was only an excuse to buy something different) I ended up buying a Garmin Vivoactive 4s. I didn’t put in much research and mainly wanted a watch that was great at tracking runs and various kinds of sports. I wish I had researched it a little further, because after I had already bought it, I found out that Garmin has really geeky watches that I would rather have bought (and now I feel sad!). So, to prevent you from making the same mistakes, I present a list of watches for you to buy to express you geekiness. There are even a few games you can play on those watches. Because why not!
Legacy Hero series
The Legacy Hero series has two versions: The First Avenger and the Captain Marvel. They both have the exact same specs and only differ in looks. Specs wise, they are similar to the Vivoactive 4 (see why I’m sad… 🙁 ). Personally, I like the First Avenger watch a little more than the Captain Marvel one, because the back of the watch is inscribed with the words: “I can do this all day”. Both watches have themes to customize the look of the watchface with, and based on your fitness efforts you can achieve theme-based goal stickers.
Legacy Saga series
The Legacy Saga series also has two versions: A ‘Rey’ version and a Darth Vader one. Similar to the Legacy Hero series, they are modeled after the Vivoactive 4, but with customizable watch faces. There are custom StarWars avatars for you to use in the Connect App and new watch faces are still being released. This line also has theme-based goal stickers you can achieve by reaching your fitness goals. Even if you didn’t like the new Star Wars movie, the watches are still cool ^^
Vivofit Jr. 2
The VivoFit Jr. 2, while targeted towards kids, is the most geeky gadget Garmin has. While technically not a smartwatch, but a mere fitness tracker, Garmin has three geek-inspired lines: StarWars, Marvel Spiderman and Marvel Avengers. It tracks your step count, sleep and movement during the day. But the coolest feature this ‘smartwatch’ has, is the software that goes with it. By completing goals you can unlock activities you can play on your smartphone. The more physical activity you get, the more games you get to play. You can also collect colorful gems based on the amount of steps you get. That’s all we want in life, right? Parents (or your friends) can also set goals in the app, which you can unlock by getting enough exercise.
If you want to look at the other watches Garmin has, check their site.
So, what smartwatch will help you work towards your health-goals in 2020? Let us know in the comments!
Christmas time is just around the corner. People are soon off to buy tons of gifts for their loved ones. At the same time, a lot of gaming companies will release games during this period, so that they can make the Christmas wish list. This might be a good time to have a list of money saving ideas for gamers at hand.
Now, you might have cool friends and family members who are getting you all the games your little gamer heart desires. However if you are like the rest of us unlucky plebs, expect to get loads of socks, scented candles and sweaters. Don’t get me wrong. I love all these stuff, too. But between spending money on gifts for others and receiving your fifth tube of body lotion, you have to figure out how to save enough money for the upcoming sales and newly released games.
Waste Not, Want Not
The golden rule for saving money applies for gaming too: Waste Not, Want Not. Meaning, don’t waste money on new games when you have a bunch of old games in your Steam list or for your consoles that you haven’t played (in a while). You got those games for a reason. Don’t you think that they deserve your attention? Also, many games have replay value in the form of achievements, extra content or a have (online) multiplayer version. Use. Them.
And perhaps you should stop pre-ordering games to avoid ending up disappointed. Make sure to buy games you really want to play! Ask your friends if you can try a game they have, before buying your own copy. Buying games just because of a hype or your friend thinking you ‘might like it’ is risky and might leave you feeling disappointed. And don’t forget, there are a lot of free to play games that you might not have tried yet. Here is a list of the most popular and viewed free to play games at this moment in time on Twitch:
- League of Legends
- Fort Nite
- Dota 2
- Guild Wars 2
Get rich or die trying
Saving money is better than finding a way to make extra money. But if you have cut down all of your expenses to a minimum, you might want to explore ways to make some extra cash. PC gamers might already know, but you can sell stickers on Steam for money. This might not be a lot, but every penny counts! In World of Warcraft you can sell ingame money for game time. This might require some grinding and farming, but it can come in handy during this expensive month. In Guild Wars 2 you can buy Gems with ingame money. This is a nice feature that the game offers, because players can use Gems to buy game expansions and other cosmetic items that make life just a little bit better.
SALE! SALE! SALE!
Do you have gaming stores nearby where you can buy and sell old games? Find out! Because these stores are a life saver if you have loads of games you no longer want or if you are looking for cheap games to buy. They might even have a sale during the holiday season. Perfect!
And if you live in the middle of nowhere, there are a lot of websites where you can buy and sell hard copies of used games or consoles. You can even go a bit further, by going to thrift stores and yard sales and buying games at really low prices. And in case you didn’t know, retro games are still a big thing. Here’s why! And if you want to buy a new game, you might want to wait till it goes on sale just before Christmas time.
What are your money saving tips?
Are you still in school and too young to get a job? Do you have a large family that requires a lot of gifts? Or are you just a frugal gamer, because it’s sensible to be? Do you have any money saving ideas for gamers during the holidays? Leave a comment below or let us know on Instagram!
Ever wondered why the NES Classic Edition was so popular? Why so many people are playing World of Warcraft Classic? Or why it seems that Arcade Halls are popping up everywhere? How come these retrogames are still so popular?
33 million players
One of the most popular games of the past months, according to various websites, has been World of Warcraft Classic. Even the dutch newssite NU.nl had an article about it, and for our non-gamer-country, this is rare. 33 million people played one the game by Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft. That’s 0.5% of the world population! The success of this retro-version of this game (I’ll talk about this later) falls in line with the recent success of the NES Classic Mini and later the NES Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES CLassic Edition console sold out, selling 2.3 million copies in just three months. And even if you don’t want to spend your money on the original (well, more a re-printed version) there are plenty of rip-offs going around offering the same ROM’s. And to be honest, I couldn’t resist those Facebook Ads and bought one of the rip-offs too. It’s greatly satisfying :-).
So what makes these retro games so popular? One reason is that modern, full priced games can be very overwhelming for less experienced gamers. etro games are easier to jump into than their more complex counterparts. Even for me (and I consider myself an experienced gamer) it was really overwhelming when I tried to jump back into the current state of World of Warcraft. Jumping in at level 100 is really different from starting out your new character at level one, fully experiencing the game.
Older retro games had little to no story. You could just jump into action, hit some buttons, and be done. For me, there’s rarely a time when I feel like putting hour upon hour into a single game. Now, when I feel like playing a video game, I just want to play something I can fire up quickly. Classic arcade games don’t require the sort of time commitment modern games do. Nothing compares to the classic game of twisted metal 2 and getting twisted metal 2 cheats makes the game a lot more interesting.
Retro-games were games you could actually finish in a reasonable amount of time. No DLC’s, no updates, you just bought the game, played it for a few hours (or a few dozen hours, depending on the game) and then you’d actually reach the end. They are a complete experience that won’t change in any way after you plug it into the machine.
So what are other reasons people still play retro games?
In a poll on our Facebook group, 14% of the people say that some old skool games are more awesome than current new releases. But the biggest group, 86%, just want to play games from their childhood again… Nostalgia is a huge reason for people to play retro games.
Consider the age of the average gamer, which is somewhere in the range of 34 to 36 years old. About half of all gamers (give or take) are in their mid thirties or older and you can bet a huge portion of this demographic grew up playing video games on the early consoles like Nintendo, Sega and Playstation.
Personally, I have great memories of staying up late with my niece playing MegaMan 2 and writing down the passwords for the different levels we completed so we didn’t have to start all over again. It’s not a surprise that many want to relive those memories and remember the good old days when games were games and nothing ever sucked… However when attempting to relive these games, you’ll realise memories are misleading. The classic titles were not perfect and many probably return to modern games.
Split screen and LAN are uncommon these days. Older games had the split screen and LAN capability to play with your friends at home. Today you need to have two copies of the same game, two consoles, and sometimes even pay for online connectivity in order to play with your friends. The Nintendo Switch in that regard is even worse than their 8-year-old counterpart Nintendo 3DS, where you could play online multiplayer games even if just one of you had a copy of the game. Nostalgia kicking in again: playing Need For Speed with my brother, him playing with the arrow keys and me playing with WASD, still kicking major ass of course 😉
The current price for a game, be it for PC or console, varies from 30 to 60 euros. Games by bigger game studios tend to be expensive; smaller studio’s or indie games are often more affordable. But compared to the hundreds of retro-games you can play online or download for free, it’s no surprise that people love to go back to those games on occasion.
Having previously written about the DOOM release for phones and tablets, people who remember the great fun it brought back in the days are probably pleased to find that you can still buy DOOM on Steam. At €5 per game, or €15 for the DOOM Classic multipack (4 games in total) it brings hours of gameplay at a fraction of the cost. Even console classics like Halo, one of my favorites on XBox, are being released as a Steam Multipack. For just €40 you can buy 6 Halo games to enjoy for hours and hours.
But you can even go much, much cheaper. Dosgames offers a lot of DOS games for free. Of course, you need DosBox to run them on your state-of-the-art gaming pc (but that is also free). DOOM, Commander Keen, Blood, Quake and even one of my personal favorites, Jazz Jackrabbit, all for free! Seriously, this website can be a HUGE time sink if you want to escape your daily life.
What are your reasons to keep playing retro games?
Let us know in the comments or leave a message on Instagram!
Let’s face it, we don’t have enough time to game. When we grow up to be responsible (ahem) adults, life gets in the way. We have to go to work, commute, clean our houses, water our plants (unless you’ve read this article and bought gamer-friendly plants), prepare food (or go out for dinner), interact with our partners, take care of our furry friends, hug our kids… You get the picture. When you are a teenager or a student, you don’t have as many responsibilities and there is a LOT more time to game. Also, for some reason, when you are a teenager or an adolescent, you apparently don’t need as much sleep. Gaming ‘till 01.00 am was totally fine a few years ago, even when I had to get up at 7.00am to go to work. Now,I stay up ‘late’ when I make it past my bedtime of 22.30pm … and the repercussions are harsh.
Anyways, how to get in as much gaming time while also taking care of all our ‘adult’ responsibilities? Take advantage of mobile gaming! There are a lot of games that once used to be PC or console games only, that have been ported to our phones (either iOS or Android). It makes it easier to combine the necessary stuff like commuting to work with the enjoyable stuff like playing a game. And it also gives you a nice little break from reality from time to time.
Games to play while cooking
While of course you need to pay attention while chopping veggies and meat, once you’ve put everything in a pan to boil or fry, you have some time to spare. And I even have to admit that I sometimes try to play a game even while chopping… you just have to do things a little more slowly 😉 Ace Attorney, for instance, works perfectly while cleaning brussel sprouts. Just click on the next available speech option and read the lines while you chop away. Once you’ve put the brussel sprouts in a pot to boil, you can either continue or start playing one of the other ‘cook-friendly’ games, like Game Dev Tycoon (no need to constantly watch the screen and you can pause it easily), one of the various Layton games (checking if your meat is cooked through gives you time to think about how to solve that puzzle) or Machinarium.
Games to play while in public transport commuting to work
While you may pretend to be an environmentalist by taking the train or a bus to work, the true reason is that you have plenty of time to game while commuting to work in public transport. Whether you like RPG’s like GTA III, DOOM , Knights of the Old Republic or maybe survival games like Ark: Survival Evolved or Minecraft, or even simulation games like Stardew Valley, you can put on your headphones and dive into your own perfect little simulated piece of reality. Once you get the hang of the touch-screen controls, all these games are pretty impressive ports to phone. Nothing beats killing pixelated monsters to drive away the smell of wet raincoats and the sound of whiney kids in the seat next to you.
Games to play during boring meetings
Of course all of the above games can also be played during boring meetings. That is, if you remember to nod your head once in a while to let your co-workers believe you are fully engaged in the meeting. The RPG’s might be a bit hard to focus on, but Stardew Valley will probably work just fine. If you are really bored but also not really wanting to look too into the game, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp might be a good solution. Not really a ported game, but rather an adaptation specifically for phones, but fun none-the-less.
Plants help turn any living space into a real home. They look nice in pretty much any room of the house. Plus, indoor plants can help purify the air in your house, create oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide.
But some gamers, like us, struggle with keeping indoor plants alive. Are you an infamous plant killer, in dire need of easy tips and tricks to keep your green housemates alive? Then you are in luck! We have done all the research. So sit back and take a look at all the ‘Gamer Friendly House Plants’ we found.
Low effort plants for the win
You could turn any gaming room or gamer pad into a pleasent homey enviroment. The question is: What are you willing to do for it? I, myself, absolutely suck at creating new routines. And watering a plant is the absolute last thing on my mind after a long day of whatever the heck I was doing that day. But that shouldn’t be a reason to not have any plants at all. Some plants are more ‘low effort’ than others. So for our lovely, but somewhat busy gamers out there: here are a few plants that require zero to almost no care to survive. The Chinese Evergreen, the ZZ plant or the Hoya plant. These plants are very resilient plants that do not need constant care and light. Needless to say, perfect for beginners!
Light is not always essential
Let us ask you this: Do you watch a lot of movies? And play a lot of games? Do you need your curtains drawn at all times? Or do you just simply not have a lot of windows near Houston in your house? You might be interested to know that not all plants require a lot of day light. I’ll say it louder for the people in the back: Light is not always essential, making these plants the most gamer friendly house plants that ever planted on this semi green earth! These plants can thrive in a dark gaming room: Lucky Bamboo plant, Spider plant, Snake plant. These plants do not need much lights, open curtains and large windows. In the wild, they can thrive even in shade.
As dry as your sense of humor
It’s good to keep in mind that gaming rooms tend to be very dry. The monitors can get really warm and the fan needs to keep fanning to keep your appliances at optimal performance. This could mean that you have to water your plants more, because the moisture evaporates faster. And doing more of something is simply something I cannot get involved in. So for my fellow lazy pandas: These are plants that do not depend on much water. Yes, you heard it right. Some plants actually prefer dry air and almost no water. Succulents, air plants and Ponytail palm do not need water because they filter it out of the air or store it in their leaves. This makes it hard to kill them.
Show us your gamer friendly house plants!
Ofcourse there are a lot more plants that are near impossible to kill. Do you have other gamer friendly house plants worth sharing? Tag us on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram! Or leave a comment below!
When Guildwars 2 got released in august 2012, I was immediately hooked. I first heard about it through Felicia Day’s facebook page, which I still follow (If you, by any chance, haven’t seen her youtube series ‘the Guild’, go watch it right now, it’s awesome). Somehow I got myself a beta key and couldn’t wait to start playing. It was amazing. Great art, great story, lots of fun. I vividly remember killing a giant dragon as part of my introduction to the game and I still get warm and fuzzy feelings when I play that part of the game. Maybe because I’ve played it as beta first, it feels extra special to me.
When it got released, I started playing kinda hardcore. Back then, I was still in college and only had a few part-time jobs, so time was plenty. I started doing dailies in the morning, coming back online in the afternoon for dungeons, leveling, and of course, random guild chat and quests with newly made friends who where as crazy about the game as I was. Within a few months I was promoted to being an officer in the guild and helped organize missions and recruiting new guild members and stuff. Great fun.
Then, life got in the way. I realized I was playing way to much, I switched jobs, started another studies, and in the end stopped playing. I got back to it when the Heart of Thorns expansion got released, played actively for about a month or so and quit playing again, because it quickly turned into a really big time-sink again.
But it kept itching. Every time I saw another RPG on steam, I tried it out. RPG, MMORPG, survival games… anything. And sure, it would keep me busy. I spend a lot of hours in Avorion, trying to create a really nice looking spaceship for myself and killing pirates and aliens in the meantime. I’ve captured a lot of really awesome looking dinosaurs in ARK. I’ve created a massive castle with multiple stables for all the different animals in Minecraft. Played LOTR online (and of course spend too much time in making my house look fancy), Elder Scrolls online (fun, but somehow I still prefer Skyrim), The Raft, Rust, Mist Survival, The long dark … All really fun games and enjoyable, to a point. And I realized something. For me, all these games are kinda similar. It’s all about creating your own adventure, your own history, your own alternate reality. When playing any of these games, I really like to create my own story. It’s all about storytelling. A way to escape reality.
(Some battleships in the game Avorion)
For instance Avorion. I imagine myself being a space pirate who is chaotically good, killing pirates and aliens, but if one of the other factions pisses me off for trying to be a trader without a trade license (no, other random faction, that is NOT the same as smuggling!), I just as easily kill them (and of course take all their loot). Or Mist Survival, where I try to create a really well set-up base with all necessities for survival, and I imagine myself being the lone survivor in a world full of zombies, trying to live a happy and comfortable life till I die. Even Fallout 67, where you can not only build a great looking base but also play guitar and have a coke along the way.
(One of the cabins in the woods of Mist Survival. Don’t you want to go camping now?)
But I always get bored of these games. I start playing them really vigorously, and then get bored after a while (might be hours, might be weeks). I love the genre, I love the gameplay, it’s missing something.
Well, this week, I’ve finally figured out what was missing. They were not Guildwars 2. I’ve started playing again this week, and god, I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed this game. ArenaNet did a great job creating a immersive world where there’s always something new and fun to do and to explore. It’s a game that will appeal to a lot of different players. Do you like hard-core PVP? You can do that. Do you enjoy puzzle games? Try to solve the jumping puzzles (I can guarantee you will get frustrated, but it’s very rewarding in the end) or give Fractals a try. Do you want to roam the world on your own and explore the vast regions of Tyria? Go ahead! There will be plenty of other players almost every map you go, because not only are there different elements of the game to complete on each map, they’ve also found a way to make lower-level maps still interesting for higher level characters. Oh, and it’s really easy to get max-level.
(Divinity’s Reach, one of the major cities in Guildwars 2)
The fun is in exploring and doing quests. Or fashion wars (yes, that’s a thing ;-). Whether you want to look totally badass with flames coming out of your ass, of really cute fairy-like with butterfly wings and a pink unicorn-bow, it’s all possible.
(Yes, it shoots unicorns. And rainbows. No, I don’t want this bow)
(Ofcourse, your boobs are on fire, makes perfect sense)
Also, the player base in general is really friendly and helpful and social events happen all the time. Try killing a massive dragon with over 80 people, and see people lighting fireworks, playing songs, sitting in 8-bit-style chairs and dancing while waiting for the boss to spawn. It’s fun. Great fun.
(An Asura sitting on a Super Adventure Box chair in Guildwars 2)
Anyway. I’m glad I’ve found my way back to Guildwars 2 again, and I’d love to write some more about survival/rpg/scifi games in the future as well. Great to be a part of the Girl Gamer Community 😉
With the release of Avengers: Endgame just around the corner, the group has to rally against Thanos and undo the effects of The Snap as seen at the end of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. And they probably will. However, the Avengers will not regroup without Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Steve Rogers (Captain America) make up. But what happened between these two heroes in the previous movies? It’s time for a recap!