Monday Memories: Storybook Weaver

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Going down Memory Lane again this week with another Monday Memories. This time, it’s about an old game that has helped shaped my being even through today.

Monday Memories: Storybook Weaver | Video Games | Windows | PC Games | Memories | Storybook Weaver | Doublexjump.com

If you really know me, you’d know my loves are chocolate, animals, video games, and writing. It was actually video games — Legend of Zelda, to be exact — that inspired me to start writing. I still have my original Legend of Zelda fanfiction notebooks tucked away. They exist solely to prove to myself how much I’ve improved in writing over the years.

Yet, I recently remembered another game that had prompted my love of writing even before those old fanfictions became a thing. Way back in 1994, a game called Storybook Weaver was published for Windows and Mac computers. This game allowed you to create a story with pictures. The pre-made backgrounds and characters were available for the top half of the “page,” while the bottom half of the page was space for you to type your enticing tale.

My stories tended to be about three sisters who, of course, were based off of my sisters and myself. Our old dog Casey, an English springer spaniel, also tended to have starring roles in these stories. There were a plethora of sprites available to represent us all, including seasonal sprites in case you needed to have a snowy scene in your story.

Pretty sure part of my favorite aspect of the game was just imagining the pictures, creating my dream bedroom with the sprites while imagining a story to go along with it. Thinking on it, Storybook Weaver may have also been partly responsible for me dipping my toes into drawing.

Nowadays, my love of writing and video games are tied into this blog, but my writing also shines through my stuffed physical notebooks and digital documents folders. I have a handful of first drafts of novels complete and I’m focusing on actually getting better at editing and rewriting my stories to, hopefully, publish them — either online or, perhaps, in a more traditional sense — one day.

Never would have thought a little educational game from the 90s would have helped foster creativity in my life.

What game from your childhood has directly influenced you today? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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What We’d Love To See In The Sims 4

what we'd love to see in the sims 4 | PC Games | video games | gaming | blogging | DoublexJump.com

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On January 8, 2019, EA made a special announcement for The Sims 4. They hyped it up fairly well with people getting excited and expecting something like a new expansion or game pack. However, when we watched the 38-minute live stream after the fact, the announcement was less than anti-climactic.

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We love the Sims franchise, ever since an old co-worker of mine lent me her Sims 2 game and expansion packs (she brought them to work for me in a garbage bag because she had so many!). Sims 4 sucks out hours of our days whenever we find ourselves addicted to it, so it was interesting to hear that there would be a major announcement. What was odd to me is that the Sims 4 just had a recent expansion pack with Get Famous back in November, so I wasn’t quite sure what the big news could be.

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Honestly, despite that, I was wondering if there were going to announce The Sims 5 coming or something. Instead, the added an Amazon Echo to The Sims games. Your Sims can have it play music or play trivia. In addition, our Amazon Echos in real life can learn a new skill for The Sims. Alexa will “play The Sims” and you can play trivia about The Sims or play music from any and all of The Sims game from one to four.

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Essentially, EA and Maxis struck a deal with Amazon in order to have the Echo family appear in their games. The announcement for this big news was only about 40 minutes long, with the hosts seemingly trying to stretch it out by playing around with the new Alexa skill both in and out of the Sims 4 game. It’s interesting news, but nothing that we found too exciting.

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Maybe someday we’ll give our Alexa the skill, but it wasn’t interesting to us at all. Which, made us think about some things we would love to see in The Sims games. Honestly, I would love more career choices. You can hire a maid, gardener, and a nanny. I’d love to try out those as actual careers. Plus, a vet. I was streaming The Sims the other day and apparently being a vet isn’t an actual career choice, it’s a retail job. That would have been great to come along with the pets pack.

krismii
Ah, yeah, they stuck vet as one of the “owning your own business” careers, so it lets you buy a vet clinic to run how you want. You would rather it be a rabbit hole or active career, like scientist? Something I miss about Sims 3 that I wish they kept for Sims 4 was to give them more traits for more of a personality. Unless you spend time going through all the aspirations that allow the sims to earn another trait (or you cheat like I do), the sims only start with 3 traits from an underwhelming supply from the create-a-sim.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yeah, I’d love it to be a true career and go to work with them and such. I agree, having more traits would be nice. At least give me four traits to start off with – there are four categories, I’d love to give my Sims at least one trait from each. I also wish they would bring the Sims’ temperature back. I remember in The Sims 2, I believe, for the Seasons pack, my Sims would show me if they were too hot or cold. It’s easy to tell in The Sims 4 when they’re too hot or cold and the thermostat is a cool item, but I do miss the gauge.

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There’s quite a few things that we’d like more in Sims 4, some throwback some from previous installments of the franchise and just other ideas for the future of the series. Having an Alexa Echo in the Sims is interesting and all, but definitely not something that deserved all that hype. We were just like, “…Eh.” I find that happening more often than not with the Sims franchise, I feel like. The announcements aren’t as exciting, yet we still get suckered in whenever we happen to turn the games on.

Did you hear about the latest Sims 4 announcements? What are your thoughts and what’d you like to see in the game? Let us know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Throwback Thursday: Bubble Struggle

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

It’s the final Thursday of 2018! I can’t believe that! What better way to celebrate the final Thursday of the year other than with a throwback to a game I used to played years ago.

TBT: Bubble Struggle | PC Games | Old Games | Throwback Thursday | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Bubble Struggle, which used to be called Bubble Trouble when I played it, is a PC game where you played as a devil-like character. His job was to destroy bubbles by shooting them in the air as they bounced around. The bubbles came in various sizes. Once you hit a big one, it’d split in two. Then you’d hit those and they’d split in two as well. Keep hitting them all until all the bubbles are gone. Then you move onto the next level.

It was a simple game. If I remember correctly, you just moved left and right with the arrow keys and hit the space bar to shoot. There wasn’t much to the levels either. The backgrounds were solid colors or gradients but it looked pretty enough. Some levels started with one bubble while others began with multiples. Again, they were various sizes so sometimes it would take a while to get rid of one bubble and it was very easy for the levels to get chaotic.

I remember there were power-ups for your gun that came out of the bubbles sometimes. This could be a laser which was much faster or it could be spikes that would stick to the ceiling and wouldn’t go away unless a bubble hit it – but that also meant you couldn’t shoot again unless something got rid of the bubble.

I can’t remember how many lives you had. I believe if you got hit three times by the bubbles then you lost. I also can’t remember if, when you lost, you had to start back at level one or if you just restarted the level you were currently on.

Wow. I’m honestly shocked I remember so much of the game. I wasn’t sure how I was going to write a blog post on this but once I started talking about it everything started coming back to me. I definitely want to track down this game and play again. Maybe, if I’m able to download it, I’ll stream it sometime. Though I’m not sure how entertaining that would be.

Bubble Struggle was the game that everyone in my entire school would play whenever we had computer time in elementary school. I mean, kids would fight over the three desktop computers that were in each classroom just so they could play Bubble Struggle. If you didn’t get to a computer fast enough, you’d have a crowd of kids behind you watching and rooting for you… or heckling you. I had a weird class.

I had completely forgotten about this game until Kris and I played The Bug Butcher. She mentioned how the game sort of reminded her of “that alien bubble game” I used to play. Naturally, I had no clue what she was talking about and Google somehow knew exactly what she meant when she said, “alien bubble game.” This is definitely one I need to try playing again. I just hope I don’t get addicted to it.

Have you ever heard of this game or played it? Let me know in the comments below!

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Kris’s Favorites Games Played in 2018

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

It’s the end of the year, and what a great year it has been for video game nerds like us! Today I’m sharing my list of games that I enjoyed playing the most this year. While some of them came out in 2018, others were old favorites that I’ve played for the first time, either ever or just in a long while.

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10. Harvest Moon: Light of Hope

This is not the greatest Harvest Moon game in existence, but it went back to simpler mechanics and a quick, but cliche, story from old-school Harvest Moon games. It was a calming game with cute graphics that relaxed me after long days at my day job.

9. Sonic Forces

This wasn’t the greatest game by far, but… I did have fun with it. It was quirky for a Sonic game, I was amused at the avatar inclusion, and I enjoyed most of the levels, as well as the music.

8. Overcooked Duo

We’ve played the two Overcooked games for the first time this year and we had a blast playing them with our cousins and friends! The puzzles, teamwork, and all of our characters running around like headless chickens against the time was awesome!

7. Batman: The Telltale Series

I love Batman. He was one of my first introductions into the world of superheros and comics, and he’s been one of my favorites ever since. The Telltale Series episodes bring a great experience as an action, visual novel game staring the Dark Knight.

6. Octopath Traveler

This game is so pretty! Having a brand new RPG is always a treat to me, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played of Octopath Traveler so far. The graphics, the music, the characters, the battle mechanics, I like it all.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

Along with starting Twitch streams this year, Rachel and I were able to get the necessary accessories in order to hook up and play our GameCube games again, including this Legend of Zelda title. One of the true co-op Zelda experiences, Rachel and I have had a great time reliving this adventure again.

4. Deltarune

While I also played Undertale this year for the first time and was introduced to most of the characters that were featured in Deltarune, I enjoyed Deltarune’s game mechanics much more. Of course, they’re a polished version of Undertale’s mechanics, and I enjoyed seeing how Toby Fox grew as a creator.

3. Game Dev Tycoon

One of my all-time favorite games, this business simulator was completely addicting to me when I first started playing it. I’ve gone back to it quite a few times throughout the year as well, picking it over even newer games at times.

2. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate

One of the most anticipated games of the year, Smash Ultimate did not disappoint. Rachel and I have been having a fantastic time unlocking the characters, exploring the different modes, and hearing how much fun everyone else is having with the game.

1. Let’s Go Pikachu/Let’s Go Eevee

This game is just freaking adorable and I absolutely love it. Pokemon Yellow was one of my first forays into the gaming world and, while Let’s Go is like “easy mode” when it comes to Pokemon RPGs, the sheer amount of nostalgia this game gives me makes it one of my favorites.

What were your favorite games that you played this year?

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Our Thoughts On The Epic Games Store

First Thoughts: The Epic Games Store | Video games | PC games | gaming | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, a game we have not gotten into at all, has their own PC game store. Considering the PC gaming scene is dominated by Steam, seeing another store pop up is going to make things a bit interesting.

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I enjoy Steam though I know there are a lot of people out there happy that Steam is getting some competition. I’ll be honest – I don’t pay too much attention. Steam works for me so I like it. So, I don’t know why people complain. However, I do think it’s cool there will be more than one store. This means more games for us.

krismii
I haven’t really heard many complaints about Steam itself — rather, I don’t pay much attention — but a little healthy competition would keep both Steam and the Epic Games Store accountable when it comes to their customers. Both companies will want to continue to work to be the best they can be due to the competition. Epic Games is still a small store, though, so it will be interesting to see how it grows.

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I’m looking forward to seeing how the Epic Games store grows. I don’t care about Fortnite at all, but I have nothing against the company itself. Even though it’s small for now, they seem to have a decent selection of games so far. I downloaded Subnautica, which is free until December 27. That’s a game I’ve seen others play and have wanted to try myself. Also, Hades is in early access, which was announced at The Game Awards.

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Hades was actually the game that made us interested enough to go and check out the Epic Games store. While I wasn’t thrilled with seeing the store in my browser — I ended up having a horizontal scroll bar because the resolution wouldn’t fit my laptop’s screen — as it just looked like a block of multiple game’s screenshots, it looked cleaner in the Epic Games Launcher.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The Epic Games Launcher looks similar to Steam in a way with the Library of games, Friends, and more. However, it’s a lot more bare than Steam, obviously. Also, seeing the screenshots of the games seems a bit overwhelming and “messy,” but it’s definitely more eye-catching than how Steam is set up. Since there are so little games on the Epic Games store, I think it works for now. Once more games are added and there’s a lot though, I can’t imagine it’ll look as pretty.

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Right, I understand that the Epic Games Launcher is still new and they’re trying to showcase what few games they have so far, but I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing more organization on their part. A search bar, categories for genre and price, that sort of thing.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’m sure they’ll get to that soon enough. I’m interested to see how they grow and I’m certainly curious to see what kinds of games they’ll be showcasing.

Have you checked out the Epic Games store? What are your thoughts on it? Let us know in the comments below!

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Friday Favorites: 2019 Game Releases

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The end of 2018 is only in a couple of weeks! Are you already thinking of your 2019 video game lists? What kind of games are you looking forward to for the new year?

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Untitled Pokemon Nintendo Switch Game

Okay, I know we just got the Let’s Go titles, but I am still looking forward to the next Pokemon Switch game. I’m presuming it’s another core title in the main series and will give us a new region and a new generation of Pokemon to capture. I was a bit indifferent when it came to the Alola region, so I’m crossing my fingers that the untitled Pokemon Switch game will capture my attention much more than Sun/Moon did (along with the awesome mechanics that Let’s Go has brought to the table… Or at least the mechanic of having your Pokemon follow you).

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem is one of my favorite franchises. That’s honestly enough reason for me to be excited for the new Switch title. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Echoes title back in 2017, and the Warriors title wasn’t the best when it came to a variety of classes and characters, so here’s hoping Three Houses will be better than both of them!

Anthem

Anthem was actually showcased in the Game Awards last week and I thought it looked interesting. Being able to play both in single-player or multiplayer mode, taking on the part of a exosuited-up hero to explore a contiguous open world. It’ll be a different kind of game than what I’m used to, so I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

I love this series so much. Honestly, we probably don’t need the Ace Attorney trilogy on our Nintendo Switch — not when we have it on our still-working Wii and I have it on my 2DS XL — but… it’s Phoenix Wright. You have to have Phoenix Wright on your Nintendo Switch. I would love a new Ace Attorney game, but I’ll take this to tide me over until we get that.

What 2019 releases, so far, are you looking forward to?

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Cool Tech: All-in-One PC SmartDesk

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

How many of you are PC gamers? What kind of set-up do you have for your monitors and computers for your games? Considering how dependent everyone nowadays on their computers, I’m sure everyone has a dream set-up for their tech station.

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One of my coworkers at the office has a standing desk. You know, those desks where you hit a button and it rises up or down depending on the level you’d like? It’s supposed to be much better for your health (and back) to stand while working on your computer instead of sitting at the desk for six to eight hours a day. A standing desk is something that is on Rachel’s and my wish lists.

And then I found this article about a certain All-in-One PC called the Cemtrex SmartDesk that is built into a standing desk.

And it has three monitors. Not just one, but three touchscreen monitors that also have some sort of sensor that allows you to scroll between documents and the like with a wave of your hand like Star Trek. There’s also a built-in scanner right on the desktop, which is nifty.

Aside from the hefty price — which is about $4500.00 — I do balk at the idea of the keyboard also being built into the desk. Like, it seems like it’s flush with the desk surface and I can imagine not having a raised keyboard may be a little interesting to get used to. The other major potential issue is something that the article writer had pointed out — if part of the all-in-one PC breaks, would the parts be interchangeable enough to fix individually, or would one need to send out the entire desk and three monitors back to the manufacturer to fix or get a new one?

Either way, this computer desk looks insane and I would totally want one for gaming, writing, and art. And, of course, to pretend I’m in Star Trek.

Would you be interested in an all-in-one PC like this?

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Flashback Friday: Dogz II

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

If there’s anything else I’m passionate about beside video games, it’s animals. One of my earliest video game memories involves a certain computer game about virtual dogs.

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Dogz II was one of the very few — if there were any others — game programs on the solitary computer in my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. When I wasn’t trying my hand at the SNES (or bothering my uncle to play said console), I was probably playing with the virtual dogs on the desktop.

Dogz II was one of the many installments of the Petz franchise developed and published by P.F. Magic back in the mid-nineties. Since then, sequels have been published, up until Dogz 5 and Catz 5. The games were virtual pets that you take care of from puppies and kittens to adults and, in the later installments of the series, you could breed and raise their offspring from newborns.

This particular installment was one of the simplest. You were able to adopt one of a handful of breeds, name them, and then care for them. Toys and food were available to let you interact with the pet, and your mouse icon turns into a hand to pet, snap to call over, and pick up your pet. Aside from the playpen mode, where your dogs are in the windowed mode of the game, you can also let them run around on your desktop.

Supposedly, you were supposed to let them loose on the desktop while you’re working, but I’d be hard-pressed to get any work done while watching my virtual dog chase my cursor, dig holes into my background, or carry around the icons. Of course, I’d never get mad at the dog — it was too cute!

Despite the Petz games being for Windows 95 or so, rather than Windows 7 or 10, I still have my CDs of Dogz II and Petz 5. For kicks, I tried to install Dogz II on my Windows 7 laptop, and guess what?

It works:

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Now I’m trying to decide if I want to dive down this rabbit hole and adopt a virtual pup or two to have running amok while I work…

Have you played any of the Petz games? What did you think of them?

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Mystery & Puzzle Games

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

Halloween is my least favorite holiday. Yet, whenever this holiday comes around, I find myself in the mood to play certain games.

Mystery and Puzzle Games | Video games | gaming | pc games | DoublexJump.com

I’m a huge fan of mystery and puzzle games. I’ll admit, there hasn’t been a lot of mystery-orientated games I’ve played. I’ve mostly stuck with Ace Attorney and Professor Layton. Most recently, Kris and I played A Case of Distrust on the Nintendo Switch, which was a lot of fun. It was a visual novel mystery game similar to Ace Attorney, but less choices to make and things to do.

I typically have Twitch or YouTube on in the background while I work and lately I’ve been re-watching one of my favorite YouTubers play some of the Nancy Drew games.

They’re so bad, they’re good. The voice acting isn’t great, the graphics aren’t well done, and some of the context of the puzzles don’t make any sense. Yet, I definitely want to try playing these games myself.

I found the collection (I assume it’s all of the games – there are a ton) of the Nancy Drew games on Steam.

I certainly don’t have enough games on my backlog right now (nope, not at all) so getting a couple Nancy Drew games is no big deal, right?

I’m not sure if I’ll get them anytime soon, but I definitely think they’d be fun to stream sometime.

Have you played any of the Nancy Drew games? What are some of your favorite mystery and puzzle games? Let me know in the comments below!

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Multi-Platform Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Being a gamer is an expensive hobby. It doesn’t help that, sometimes, awesome games are available in multiple platforms, either as updated versions or just ported to a system that may be better suited for it.

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Do you have any games on multiple platforms?

We have Stardew Valley, Death Road to Canada, and Undertale on the PC through Steam, but all three of those games are available for the Nintendo Switch as well. Fortnite is available on all consoles of the current generation (and all of them can now play together, finally). PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is also another game that crosses platforms.

Then there are ports of games — such as the Legend of Zelda: Windwaker and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — that get updated for the next generation console.

Assuming you enjoyed the original game, are you the type to buy games for multiple platforms, if you have them? Or the updated ports when they are released?

We have gotten Death Road to Canada for the Nintendo Switch when it came out, mostly to make it easier to play with friends. However, we’ve been toying with getting Undertale and Stardew Valley for the Switch as well, especially since the Switch makes it a little easier to take those kind of games on the go. To be honest, if Undertale came to the Switch before PC, we probably would have just gotten it for the Switch. Stardew Valley is in the same boat, but the PC version does have the co-op mode…

With that said, there are so many other games that we wish to play and buy that are already stretching our wallets thin. I suppose if a game we own is ported to another platform, we’d prefer if it was substantially updated to make it worth buying again.

Any games that you’ve bought multiple times for different platforms?

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