Category Archives: Games

April/May’s reading/watching/playing

As a result of travel, a busy entertaining schedule, and some work stuff, I’m way behind. On everything.

In March and April I watched a number of Marvel films. I’m well into “Phase Two” now, having watched Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Ant-Man. I’ve even dipped a toe into “Phase Three”, with the second Guardians of the Galaxy.

I finished Meditation for Fidgety Sceptics. I recommend it. I got the audio book, and admit I had to relisten to a few passages, but I’d recommend going that way. If you’re already familiar with mindfulness meditation, it’s not going to really teach you anything new. It’s a good primer, though, and the central message is a good one: just start, start again if you mess up, and even a little bit helps.

Dead Space 3 is still happening. It’s too stressful, given that I mostly game just before bed. Instead, I’d get all lazy and play Destiny 2.

Currently reading: Annihilation (on my lovely new Kobo Aura, which replaced my refurbished second-gen Kobo which literally fell apart)
Currently watching: The Good Place

Media plan for 2018, and what I’m reading/watching/playing now

For a wide variety of reasons in 2017, I really neglected my media consumption. Neglected in the “garden gone to seed” way, not in the sense that I didn’t do any. I finished a few books, but ended up doing more comfort rereading than anything else. Similarly the TV was mostly on when cleaning, cooking, etc., so that was mostly reruns. I hardly watched any movies. Music was selected by playlist or algorithm. So for this year I’m actively planning what I’m going to watch, read, and play. Music may be a part of it, but I haven’t figured that out yet. (For what it’s worth, I’m trying some of Spotify’s “Fresh Finds” playlists of artists and genres I’ve never tried before.) For January, here’s what I have teed up:

PC/Console: Night in the Woods
Book: Seveneves
Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2
Comic: The Star Wars
Mobile Game: Monument Valley: Forgotten Shores and Monument Valley 2

Terry Cavanagh’s insanely hard games

After my post yesterday on Flappy Bird, my brother pointed out that a big part of the attraction was the punishing difficulty level, and bragging rights. If need a really hard game that’s insanely addictive, you can’t do better than Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon.

You control a triangle dodging rapidly rotating walls in a hexagonal pattern. The controls tight and responsive, and are well suited to a touch device. The game is $2 on the app store. You can try the original game jam version on Cavanagh’s site.

And in a lovely bit of serendipity, I just saw that Cavanagh has posted a Flappy Bird clone called Maverick Bird that borrows from Super Hexagon’s aesthetic. (via Rock, Paper, Shotgun.)

All in a flap

The big news this week amongst nerd circles seems to be the disappearance of Flappy Bird from the App Store. I never tried it, so I don’t get the attraction to such a simple and kind of ugly game. For folks mourning the fact they didn’t get on Flappy Bird in time, I’d like to offer two similar suggestions that I think are much better.

Jetpack Joyride


Jetpack Joyride puts you in the role of Barry Steakfries as he tries to escape from some kind of evil genius’ lair. In the basic configuration, you tap to fly, but different power ups will change the mechanic. You can control a dragon, put gravity-reversing boots, and pilot a giant robot. Like Flappy Bird, there doesn’t seem to be an end to the game, it just gets more challenging as you get further in the lair. Jetpack Joyride is free, with in-app purchases, but the game is really fun without dropping a cent.



Badland isn’t free, but it is currently on sale. Badland is one of the best looking games I’ve seen on the iPad. In addition to the art style, Badland’s big selling point is the multiplayer. Up to four players can play on the same iPad, turning it into a kind of party game. At $2–the proverbial “cup of coffee” price point–this game is deserving of your time and money.