Picross Puzzle Game

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

I enjoy my fair share of puzzles and logic games that help exercise the mind. Am I necessarily good at them? No, but I still get them done eventually and have fun doing so. 

Picross Puzzle Game | Picross | Puzzle Games | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Word Search puzzles are fun. I’ve always been a fan of Sudoku. I love word puzzles (just not crosswords or word scrambles unless I have a word bank) and jigsaw puzzles. One type of puzzle I recently got into was Picross.

I had never heard of the game before until Pokemon Picross came out in late 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS. To this day, I’m not very far in the game. It of course has “energy” so if you use it up you need to wait a certain amount of time before you can play again. That said, I often went into puzzles, got stuck, and exited out of them to try a new puzzle. Thus, using up my energy in just a few minutes without actually accomplishing anything.

I understood the concept of the game pretty well though. The numbers on the left side and the top needed to match in the order and the numbers couldn’t touch each other. For example, if the grid is 12×12 and the numbers are 2 and 10 in that order, then you know automatically the row will have two colored squares, an X, and then then ten colored squares to fill up the rest of the row. Those rows, that equal the amount in the row, are the easiest to figure out. From there, you can figure everything else out.

Of course, it’s not easy to explain the game through a blog post. Even in person I have a hard time explaining the rules of the puzzle. It’s just something you need to play and practice in order to understand what to do.

I found a Picross app on my iPad and I’ve been playing it for a few months now. There are nearly 2,000 puzzles. There are two packs containing 64 puzzles, five packs containing 100 puzzles, and two packs containing 400 puzzles. I’ve completed them all and am about halfway done with the first 400-puzzle pack. I need to complete all those puzzles into order to unlock the second and final 400-puzzle pack.

The funny this is, while writing this post, I went onto the app to count the puzzles and noticed they updated the game. I thought I was going to beat the game fairly soon but they added a new pack that has 225 puzzles. So, I guess I’ll be playing for a while longer.

There’s a hint option for each puzzle that costs 250 coins (which you get by completing the puzzles). When I first started playing, I used the hint option a lot – to the point where I ran out of coins and I just needed to scratch my head and really think until I got more coins.

Now, though, I have a ton of coins because I haven’t needed to use the hint button in a long time. It’s amazes me how much your brain can learn and figure things out when you do the same thing over and over again. Even if I get super stuck, I sometimes exit out of the game and immediately jump back into it. Right away, my mind finds what I was missing just a minute ago.

While I have nearly 800 puzzles left to solve, I’ve completed more than half of what’s on the app. I’ve been playing for months, but it tracks how long you’re on the app for. According to it, I’ve played the app for almost four days. This means that it’s taken me a little less than four days to solve all the puzzles I’ve solved. I’m pretty impressed with myself.

Picross isn’t an easy puzzle to solve or to even understand in the beginning. I never thought Picross would be my go-to puzzle, but I’ve been enjoying it more than I thought I would. I definitely need to look up the Picross games on the Nintendo Switch and give those a try.

Do you play Picross? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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The Sims Freeplay [Mobile Game Review]

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

Last month I said I was going to start playing more mobile games and do “mini” reviews on them. So, here’s the first one.

Mobile Game Review: The Sims Freeplay | iPad Games | The Sims | Game Review | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

The Sims Freeplay is a free mobile game developed by EA Mobile. It was originally released for iOS on December 15, 2011. This is a game that I had originally discovered on Facebook. I was in my second year of college at the time and I used to play it in the library on campus when waiting for my class to start or simply waiting for my friends to get out of class so we could go home. Overall, the Facebook game was a much simpler version of The Sims Freeplay… even though The Sims Freeplay is already pretty simple.

When it comes to game play for The Sims Freeplay, there’s not much to it. Once you open the game, there’s a tutorial that takes forever to get through. It’s such a simple game and most people have played The Sims, that I think we’d be able to figure out how to make our Sim go to the bathroom. Once you do get through the tutorial though, there’s not too much to do in the game. The tutorial maxed out your Sim’s needs and already had you build a new house and a career area.

The map, or neighborhood, in The Sims Freeplay is fairly big. Nothing is build and you have to do it all yourself. However, each building – which can be houses, careers, or general places such as a park or pet shop – needs to meet certain requirements. Every building costs a certain amount of money and you need to have a certain amount of Sims in your town in order to build it. Plus, some don’t unlock until you get to a certain level. Also, by building you up the worth of your town as a whole. This means, anything else you build after that, will go up in price as well the amount of Sims you need, etc.

This makes sense and normally wouldn’t be a problem, but everything is so expensive too. You start off with one Sim and even if you give them a job, they don’t make nearly enough money to save up. So, you create more Sims. But, of course, creating more Sims means more money to build houses. I ended up creating lots instead of houses because they were the cheapest. I had all my Sims at one house and bought a bunch of beds so they were “unofficially” moved into their friend’s house. It saved me a decent amount of money, anyway. Also, you can only build one thing at a time. Lots were the fastest because they were the cheapest so I was able to play longer.

Building takes time – real life time. So, if you want to build the Stadium so a Sim can become an athlete for a career, but you need five Sims in town, then you need to build a house first which could take a few hours. Once you get that, building the Stadium will take even longer.

In fact, everything in the game is real-life time. If my Sim needed to go to the bathroom, it took about six seconds. Not bad, right? But if they were hungry, it would take them 20 minutes to cook a hamburger. The more food they learned to cook, the longer it took. Eating the food afterward took 10 minutes. It got to the point where I’d have them do something and then I’d exit out of the game to play something else. I barely played at all.

When the Sims go to work, which they have to because I already talked about how expensive everything is, the time various from six hours to ten hours. Yes, these are normal work hours in real life, but… really? I guess I could send my Sim to work at the same time I go to work, but what about the weekends? The game count real life time but not real life days. Days don’t exist in The Sims Freeplay. There’s no day and night cycle – they go to sleep when they’re tired and I tell them to (sleeping varies from eight to 11 hours as well). So, if they get home from work, the game will wait a few hours and then the work button will continuously blink telling you they should go to work. It’s annoying.

Despite all this, I wanted to get far enough in the game to have two of my Sims get married, have kids, and get a pet. Well, The Sims Freeplay has “quests” that you need to download. You need to complete these quests in order to unlock certain things your Sims can do. So, even though I had spent money on building the Pet Shop, when I tried to get a pet, the game told me to download a certain quest, complete it, and then I would be able to use the Pet Shop. It was the same thing when I tried to romance two of my Sims.

The downloads are free, but takes up so much storage space. The game, without the quests, takes up a good chunk of space as well. With the other games and work apps I have on my iPad, I really didn’t want to download the various quests. I thought of doing one or two for the sake of this review, but… I really didn’t care enough to. Because honestly, as soon as this review goes live on the blog, the game is getting deleted from my iPad.

The Sims Freeplay gets a rating of…

Play It | Download It | DELETE IT

Overall, The Sims Freeplay isn’t a bad concept. I know things are limited for a mobile game, especially when it’s free. However, the game play was too minimal for me and the things I were able to do were too constricted. It was because of this I wasn’t able to have fun with it.

Have you played The Sims Freeplay before? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Throwback Thursday: Dragonvale

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

I can’t believe February is just about over. Since I’ll be starting mobile reviews next month, I decided to talk about a mobile game I used to play all the time.

Dragonvale | TBT | Throwback Thursday | Mobile Games | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Dragonvale is an IOS and Android game that was released by Backflip Studios in September 2011 for IOS. I had gotten my first iPad in May 2015 as a graduation present. I had downloaded a fair share of social media apps, WordPress and other “work” type apps, plus writing apps. I also wanted to look at the games because – let’s face it – that’s what everyone did on their phones and tablets at that point.

Not that the technology was new, but it was new enough. It was especially new to me.

I had found Dragonvale by accident. I was just scrolling through the games and when I saw dragons and how you can breed, hatch, and collect all these different dragons, I thought, sure. Why not?

Thus, a can of worms was opened. Normally, when I download a game on my iPad, I play it for about a week or two, get bored, and then delete it. Dragonvale was different. I played this game for quite a few years before I lost interest in it and deleted the game.

It was fun – being able to buy habitats and collecting dragons of various kinds and elements. The game was only four-years-old when I got it and there wasn’t a whole lot to do other than collect the dragons. However, they were always updating, changing, and adding things to the game. I watched the game grow and continued to play feeding off their additions. New dragon elements were added as were dragon races, a special material dragon for the nests when hatching, a guardian, gem dragons (dragons that make gems instead of money), and so much more.

It completely sucked me in.

When I was searching for games to play for my mobile reviews, I came across it again. I downloaded the game to check out where I left off and how different the game was since I had last played a couple years ago. I was level 74 and now, after playing it again for about a month, I’m almost level 80. I’ve been suckered in again.

I also found a newer version of Dragonvale by the same company and had downloaded that as well. I’ve been playing both and plan on doing a mini review of both as well as comparing the two to each other.

Dragonvale itself isn’t that great of a game, but I do love collecting this and I remember getting my friends and cousins involved with the game as well so we could send each other gems. It does, oddly enough, hold some fun memories.

Have you ever played Dragonvale? Are there any mobile games that sucked you in? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Top Tuesday: iPad Games To Try

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

As you may already know, I’ve been playing some iPad games lately do mobile game reviews on the blog. I’ve gone down a rabbit hole of iPad games and made a list that I want to and will be trying.

Top Tuesday: iPad Games To Try | Mobile Games | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Tycoon Games

Business tycoon games such as Game Dev and Roller Coaster Tycoon are, surprisingly, on mobile. I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because they’re popular games and mobile games are… well, popular. I enjoy simulation games and plan on making my way through the various tycoon and simulation type games.

The Sims

So… The Sims Free Play is a thing. I used to play it in college on Facebook. But there’s also the actual Sims on mobile. I have it downloaded and have yet to try it out. I’m slightly afraid to.

Pokemon Games

Do you know how many Pokemon games there are out on mobile? I didn’t. There are a ton and I plan on playing every single one of them.

Random Games I Find

You know those mindless games like Angry Birds or Flappy Bird that take the world by storm? If I happen to come across any games as such that tickle my fancy, I’ll give those a try. I’ve tried plenty of .io games that have suckered me in so I’m sure I’ll talk about those at some point – maybe not individually, but as a whole.

This whole mobile games ride is going to be interesting for sure. My iPad and storage… I’m ready though! The first mini review will come in March.

Do you play mobile games? If so, let me know which are your favorites and I’ll look into them. Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Introducing Mobile Mini Reviews

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

I have an iPad, as I’m sure many of us do. However, the more work I do online, the more apps I download – business, social media, etc. I used to play a good amount of games though and I decided to get out some of the games I used to play. Which, in turn, led me to find newer games to try. Some are mobile versions of consoles games, which is interesting.

I’ve decided to branch out a little and start talking more about mobile games, even though they’re not typical games I’d normally gravitate towards.

Introducing Mobile Mini Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Mobile Games | Pokemon | Nintendo | DoublexJump.com

I remember playing a lot of mobile games when I first got my iPad almost four years ago now. I also used to play a lot of “Facebook” games as well. I went onto the app store recently to look something up and I noticed some games that I’ve been wanting to try on PC or console was on there. They were free, so I downloaded them.

Then I looked up a couple of games I used to play in the past and re-downloaded those to see how they’ve changed. After I looked up the Pokemon mobile games and realized there’s a bunch I have yet to try.

I went down a long rabbit hole, guys.

I downloaded quite a few games before forcing myself to stop. But I made a list of games I didn’t download that I want to try once I’m done with these other ones. It was then that I decided to begin a new feature on the blog: Mobile Mini Reviews.

I’ve never been one for mobile games, but I want to try out all the Pokemon ones and playing games I used to way back when has been refreshing to go back to. So, I decided I’m going to play through these mobile games and do a mini review on them about once a month.

After I decided this, Nintendo announced a Dr. Mario mobile game as well as hints that there will be another new Pokemon mobile game in the works. I figured these mobile reviews are coming at a good time. I’ll be checking out the good, the bad, and the ugly of the mobile gaming world.

Wish me luck and I hope you guys are looking forward to it. I am… oddly enough.

Do you play mobile games a lot? What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around.

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Google’s Project Stream

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

While every gamer has their favorite console, PC games and services that help to stream the games to computers have always been a contender in the “console wars” as well.

djgooglestream

Google is joining the streaming field with a little thing called Project Stream. It aims to be able to successfully run any game on any laptop or PC. It’s in beta mode at the moment and only runs Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but if it works like it promises, it could be yet another platform to play games.

Has anyone tried out Google’s Project Stream? I’ll admit that I haven’t. The writer of the article that I saw about it found it favorable, though. It’ll definitely be an interesting option when it comes to playing video games. We have Steam to help keep our PC games all together, but just going onto our browser to play a game may be the simpler way to go.

How would this change the home console scene? If we could just stream games from our laptop browsers, would home consoles become obsolete? Not only that, but more and more games are coming to mobile. In fact, Microsoft is starting a project as well that will bring AAA games to mobile, helping to broaden where and when players play their games.

It’s a wonder how browser streams will effect the home consoles.

Have you tried Google’s Project Stream? What do you think of browser streams for video games?

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First Impressions: Hogwarts Mystery

Double Jump Kris MiiI always adored the Harry Potter series growing up — they were a stable of my childhood. Even now, I enjoy rereading a book or two of the series every so often. When Pottermore came out, I was excited to take the quizzes detailing my Hogwarts house and wand, as well as my patronus and Ilvermorny House when they became a thing as well. With the app game Hogwarts Mystery finally released a couple of days ago, I got the chance to start it up and try it out.

 

harry-potter-hogwarts-mystery-980x551

I don’t play too many app games. I’m one of those few people who don’t have a tablet so, if I wanted to play app or mobile games, I’m stuck using my phone. Don’t get me wrong, my phone is nice and I don’t have too many mobile games that I’m interested in playing, but it can still be a little annoying on the smaller screen. I have Fire Emblem Heroes and, now, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery on my device.

The idea of becoming a Hogwarts student was always a fun fantasy for me as a lover of the books and the world that J.K. Rowling had cooked up. I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical about how Hogwarts Mystery would be able to pull it off, but I’m enjoying it so far.

You start the game with a little introduction that is narrated by the great Maggie Smith herself, reprising the role of Professor McGonagall. After a brief moment of customizing your character (seriously, there’s not much customization unlocked) your character is meeting a new friend in Diagon Alley, where you obtain your books and wand in a tutorial of the few controls before heading to Hogwarts and choosing your house.

The simple controls include tapping and swiping a finger across the screen. That’s really it. The tasks are generally using energy by tapping on objects, such as books to “read through” or your broom to “summon.” When learning spells or brewing potions, you may have to swipe your finger in a small shape, usually a spiral or arch of some sort, in order to perfect the spell or potion.

The story itself is okay so far. I’m not too deep into it, but apparently your character’s brother had gotten expelled and disappeared at some point before you were accepted into Hogwarts. Therefore, you already have a besmirched reputation, thanks to whatever your brother had done. Your personality is based on three attributes — courage, empathy, and knowledge — that will supposedly affect your relationships with other characters in the game. These attributes may give you different response choices with speaking with characters and, depending on which choices you choose, may or may not help better your family name in the school.

I presume, going deeper into the game, that the Hogwarts Mystery is all about what happened with your brother. I’m already interested in the writing, and I’m impressed with the graphics of the game even on my phone screen, so we shall see how everything works out.

Being a mobile game, it’s “free to play,” but there are of course in-app purchases, where you can use real money to buy game currency, gems for longer story missions, and pieces of energy to keep the game moving. The currency and gems also unlock more clothing items to customize your characters. The customization is something I’m disappointed in — you gain levels as you go about the story, and certain clothing options are “unlocked” at certain levels, but many you still need to spend currency or gems on to actually wear them.

Other than that, I’m amused at the game so far, able to play it in a few minute intervals before losing all my energy and needing to wait for that to replenish. As long as the story is intriguing, I’ll probably keep the game around for a while.

Did you download Hogwarts Mystery? How are you enjoying the game?

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