Stardew Valley is my new obsession!

Scene from the fair in Stardew Valley

I started seeing tweets from Twitter buds Friday about a new game called Stardew Valley. I almost NEVAH get a game when it first releases but, because I really wanted to be one of the cool kids for a change and see what this game was about, I bought and installed it, mostly on a whim. It was exciting, the idea that I was playing this new release along with several other friends and, I imagined, gobs of people, so I eagerly fired the game up to check it out.

I didn’t like it at first. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was supposed to be doing with my time. I was taking over my Grandpa’s very over-grown farm, had very little to plant and the idea of hacking up sticks of wood on the ground or pecking away exposed rocks so I could uncover more farm land, it didn’t appeal to me. Especially since I’d already planted what few seeds I’d found. I decided my time would be better spent exploring. I hoped I’d find something else to do and maybe the game would start to make sense.

I walked everywhere I could, walked long after dark, into the night, because I was lost. SO. FREAKING. LOST! According to the in-game map I was at my farm but I couldn’t get back to the farmhouse to save my life. It finally occurred to me that I left my farm equipped with my trusty pickaxe as well as my axe and if I started clearing a path in the direction I believed the house to be in, perhaps I’d get home. That plan would have worked well had I not passed out from sheer exhaustion. And probably anxiety.

Nah, the anxiety didn’t hit my little farmer until she awoke 50 gold lighter. That’s right, I lost 50 gold because I passed out and someone rushed me to the doctor. You’d have thought that the country doctor would have taken pity on my farmer given she was a new comer, a city slicker lost in the over growth of her dear Grandpa’s seriously neglected farm, and NOT charged me. I soon found out a 50 gold doctor bill wasn’t so bad.

I was in the mines hunting copper ore and killing mobs when I hit the MOTHER LOAD of copper ore! I had around 45-50 pieces of copper ore in my pack when I passed out. In the mine. Because I was so excited over my copper find I forget to keep an eye on my energy level. When Linus woke me up someone had absconded with all my copper, (and I mean ALL of it) my sword and six other items I had in my inventory pack. That kind of ticked me off a little bit, if I’m honest. I really needed that copper! And what kind of adventurer looses her sword???


Guys, I love this game so much! I started a new play through Sunday. My first one, the one I lost Friday and Saturday to (I could NOT stop playing! I just one more day‘d myself right into Sunday!), was fun but I felt like I’d missed something vital and wanted to start over. I was about to hit Winter, Year 1 in the first one. This second play through, I’m waiting on my most awesome melons to grow the last bit so I can harvest them. (Summer, Year 1) I named my farmer Condi for my first game. Condi didn’t have too much trouble working up her social skills and had a couple of friends. Ranni, my second farmer, isn’t have much luck at all. Ranni’s even been yelled at by Pam for tracking mud in the house. (?) Condi kept running out of money. Ranni understands the value of hard work and is raking it in on the garden front! That said, Ranni’s usually in bed for the night by 2pm. Hard worker, that Ranni!

I have two chickens so far but no silo. I’m not sure what triggers the silo recipe but I haven’t gotten it in either game. I’ve completed a couple of boxes for the community center on Ranni but when I saw that one requires me to fish I stopped working on it. I hate fishing in this game. I do not understand what to do and would say it’s impossible to catch anything other than broken glasses, algae, soggy newspapers and trash but my son sat down and caught two fish for me. The fishing system absolutely escapes me! ARG! There’s so much else to do, however, that it doesn’t bother me for now.

I’m not sure exactly how I went from not really liking the game to not being able to put it down but Stardew Valley has it’s hooks in me. Deeply! I can’t wait to see Winter in game! I also can’t wait until I get the hang of some of the mini-games. I’m working towards saving for a kitchen add-on to the farmhouse so I can, hopefully, start cooking with all the recipes I’m learning from the TV in the mornings. Would make my trips to the mines a bit cheaper if I can make my own food rather than buy from the Saloon every time.

Stormfall: Age of War is the RTS game I’ve been craving!

Map screenshot from Stormfall: Age of War

I have not seriously played an RTS (browser/flash) war game in a couple of years. I’ve wanted to, so badly have I wanted to, but I hadn’t found one that felt right. I think it was Stargrace posted about a game she’d found that sounded interesting. I didn’t hold out much hope as I’m very particular about RTS games (there’s a ton out there, most of them are blatant cash grabs with very little substance) and, as I said, I’ve looked and just not found one I liked. I checked it out anyway, two days ago I think, and OMGAMIHOOKED!

Stormfall: Age of War has much of what I want from an RTS. It’s a F2P with a fair cash shop, meaning, there are items for sale to help you advance but you don’t have to buy them. You can earn your way up, albeit at a slower pace than if you had endless pockets, but it’s a viable way to play the game. The graphics aren’t super hokey. Matter of fact, some of the buildings are very nice looking! The chat system isn’t too complicated. You’re allowed to play on more than one server. Leagues, otherwise known as kins or tribes or guilds, to name a few, in other games, are ranked, begging you to work with your league members to better each other. The saying ‘You’re as strong as your weakest member’ only goes so far in games like this but if you find the right league, a group of helpful and friendly people, you’ll be stronger for it. I lucked out on my second server and found a lively, friendly and very helpful league to join. My first server … the league is dead quiet. I have no qualms with them, they just don’t … talk.

Back to what I like about this game, there are objectives to both give you something to do while waiting on your building queues to finish and reward you for doing so. Stormfall: AoW takes this to levels I haven’t experienced myself yet. There are ‘no risk’ quests you can do where you only have to click a button and wait a timer out. One quest may ask you to shave a dwarf’s eyebrows, for instance. You accept the quest and go do something else while you wait the timer out. You won’t lose a single fighter or any resources “doing” the quest! Once the timer is up you’re rewarded with a few resources. These ‘no risk’ quests pop, as far as I can tell, twice a day.

There are also events that offer bigger rewards. If you’re in a league (something I can’t suggest highly enough!) there are events your league can work together to achieve, such as building your armies. You may get an event that only rewards you if you raid someone’s castle and pilfer a certain number of resources. I’ve seen a few different event offerings so far and I do my best to achieve them because the rewards are pretty sweet! You also, once a day, have quests through a building in your castle called the Eagle’s Nest. The Eagle’s Nest locates all the orc camps, refugee camps and what-have-you and tells you what type of battle, the level and where the camp is. You click a button within the Nest interface and from there can pick your troops and send them off to deal with the scourge around your castle. Here, also, the rewards are sweet and usually include a few resources, points toward the different ranking systems, troops, paragon status, shard chests, …

There’s so much to this game! The scroll system is a ‘talent’ or research system that allows you to learn new technologies. It has a tree and some of the techs have levels you’ll need to work up. Once you’ve got the basic ones started you have to collect scrolls to open new techs. You’re granted one random scroll a day but you can, if I’m understanding this correctly, trade via the market, friends or league mates for up to two more scrolls a day. I understand the basics but I’m still a little confused by the system at the same time. A league-mate gave me a quick run down but I didn’t think to specify questions  at the time. I will later!

Most all of my neighbors are now enemies as, unless it’s an ally, I’ve been raiding them for resources. Heh. I think only one of them is playing seriously so I may test the waters of the almight olive branch with that one. I under estimated them today and, although I wiped their troops, it wiped half of mine to do so. I should have known better! Anyway, we’ll see if this neighbor wants to play nice. Won’t blame them if they doesn’t, but … I’m hoping.

This was just going to be a quick post but my word count is over 800 already. Hmm. I’m having a blast in the game with an ear to ear smile plastered on my face as I play. I’ve pretty much lost the last couple of days to this game and I couldn’t care less. (I’m still getting real life stuff done but only because we have to eat and need clean clothes.) I think my second server league is more of a defense-minded group where as I usually play a hard offensive type of game, but I really like them so I want to stick this out, see where it goes. Want to play with me? I think this (friend) link will work. See you in game!

Oh, and I believe you can play this on your phone or tablet. I’m playing on my desktop but I want to get it on my tablet as well.

LotRO: The Treacherous Hole!

The Treacherous Hole yard decoration Bingo Boffin item

Little bit of snow outside my Hobbit hole

I did last week’s Bingo Boffin episode with Minni and found I didn’t have enough Bingo Badges to get everything I wanted off of Bert Bartleby this time. I decided to run Condi through and collect more badges so I could barter for all the decoration items I wanted. The Treacherous Hole was NOT one I wanted but, after buying the other large map and getting the Moria Hatrack I still had more than a few Bingo Badges left so I decided to grab it as well. I placed it in the yard of my kin house and thought, ‘Oof, snow. Doesn’t really look like it belongs.’ and then exited out of decoration mode.

And, without realizing I was about to, right clicked on the Treacherous Hole.

Standing in the Morfil cave in Angmar, LotRO


See, I was talking over my shoulder to my husband while I put my new Bingo shinies into place. When I clicked on the Treacherous Hole I wasn’t looking at my screen. So when I casually glanced towards my monitor and saw Condi standing in Morfil, an orc cave in Angmar, I was stunned. Actually, it took a moment for it to sink in. I snapped my head back in a double take and had to really stare at my screen to understand I was no longer in The Shire. I grabbed this screenshot, at first, so I could submit a bug report … I thought something had gone very wrong to port me away from my home so … quickly! Once I’d thought it through, that I’d been standing by my new yard decoration after turning deco-mode off, it started dawning on me.

That darn hole!

Sprigley's cellar, Archet, LotRO

I decided to go back home and see if I could reproduce this strange teleport to make sure it was the Treacherous Hole and not another crazy bug. My second treacherous teleport landed me in Sprigley’s Cellar in Archet and the third, in the Mirkstone Tunnels in the Thorin’s Gate area. How cool is that?? It teleports you to random caves in the game!! I can’t tell you how much I love this hole! I did a search on the forums and found there’s a list of ten discovered places. I don’t know if there’s more than ten or not but I can tell you I will treacherously teleport to each and every one of them. Know what I really want, though?

I want to teleport to an underground river and ride that sucker down while in a barrel. I don’t want for much, do I?

I don’t know how they’ll top this deco item. Then again, I thought the same with each of the teleporting kegs! Bingo will be in Mirkwood this week and I have both Minni and Condi ready for him. Not sure I’ll take them both through but at least Condi is ready to earn more badges should the need arise. Though, I think she still has 50-70 some on her at the moment.


LotRO: Mirkwood’s made me feel like a BOSS!

Bingo Boffin in Caras Galadhon

I logged into LotRO thinking I’d do the next Bingo Boffin episode and then log off. Bingo and I continued our grand adventure (he’d be little more than a memory were it nor for I!) and managed to pull off a meeting with the Lord and Lady of the Goldenwood themselves! When I first started the Bingo quests I really didn’t think he’d make it too far out of The Shire, if at all. Color me surprised! Next week’s episode gives a suggested level of 63 and advises to have the Mirkwood Intro completed through the Hillside Assault finale (of the Mirkwood Intro). Minni decided she’d go ahead and knock that out before heading to bed, and that’s exactly what we did!

We being Minni and I.

I’ve done the Mirkwood Intro on many characters but never have I felt more like a BOSS than this time! It could be that I actually enjoy Mirkwood, or perhaps it’s that I’ve done it enough times to be able to soar through a lot of it without thinking, running on auto-advance (to the next objective). I think it’s that Minni and I click in a way I haven’t experienced with most of my other characters. The times I’ve not felt that she was a beast are few, the most notable to me having been a surprise encounter with Garn in The Fanged Pit.

My Minstrel fighting Garn in Moria, LotRO

Cropped a ton of distracting screen junk out of the picture …

I didn’t see Garn there until it was too late. I’d completely forgotten he existed but because Minni typically runs in beast-mode I didn’t even consider running. I almost had him, too, getting him down to, if I remember correctly, 2-3K health before he killed me. It felt so sudden that the memory still stings a bit! Personally I think he cheated somehow but that doesn’t really dull the sharpness of my death.

Anyway, running the Mirkwood Intro on Minni restored her faith in her beast-mode abilities nicely! She blew through the Head Count deed in record time (for me), completing it, I think, 15 minutes into the Intro, well before I finished the encounter. Now, she’s level 61 and a red-line Minstrel, but, still. Bragging is her thing so …

LotRO, Mirkwood Intro finale quest turn in


I’m a little tired of leveling Minni at this point and wanting to either get Condi running through the Bingo Boffin quests (for more tokens, Bart has a LOT of nice things on him this week and I want them all NOW!) or break out my Hunter and continue doing whatever she was doing last I played her. LoneLands maybe? I think Minni’s level, 61, will be fine for whatever trouble Bingo can find for us next week. Playing an alt for a bit might just hit the spot! It’ll at least scratch that alt-itis itch I’ve been trying to ignore.

Little bits of gaming here and there

DKC:Tropical Freeze

I haven’t gamed a lot since my surgery last week because I’ve not wanted to strain my eye too much, but I’ve gotten a little time in a few different games. The difference post-cataract is STUNNINGLY AMAZING! I can see the vibrancy in colors again, the grains in textures, light … and see it all with clarity! I knew the first game I wanted to break out was DonkeyKong: Tropical Freeze. My save file was gone so I started over and, after battling for control of my Wii U with my three-year old Grandbaby (not kidding, she’s addicted to Mario Maker and wants to play it all the freaking time!) got a couple of levels under my belt. This little minion of mine trolled me pretty hard when I kept missing a vine I was trying to jump up and grab. She went as far as to say, “Let me do it, Grandma. You suck.” I think we need to watch our trash-talking tongues a bit more around this one. That kid, I swear!

Standing at the Rotting Cellar with Sylfa, an NPC dwarf

I finished up the Waterworks in Moria and headed to Lothlorien to level for the next installment of Bingo Boffin’s crazy adventures. I think Minni is level 59 now with this week’s Bingo quest’s suggestion of level 62? Either way, I’m in love with the Bingo Boffin quests and have adapted playing Minni around them. My reward for leveling is another episode of Bingo! Wondering if I can get in some serious game time today to get her to 60 … I will attempt such an endeavor with the vigor of the stoutest Dwarven miner around!


A Kingdom for Keflings on Xbox Arcade

I wanted to start A Wolf Among Us, a game I bought via Xbox Live some time ago, but found I’d neglected to download it. Bummer! Saw A Kingdom for Keflings on Xbox Arcade so decided to give it a go instead. My Xbox 360 avatar was in the game, the character I was controlling, and that tickled me PINK! It wasn’t too long, however, that I realized I didn’t know what to do. I was supposed to build a house for the Keflings and I’d made all the necessary parts. I just couldn’t figure out how to get that sucker together. I ran around mining stone, harvesting trees, found a book (that I’ve no idea what to do with), a crystal picking rod thing, some shoes and I think another item. Still was clueless on the house and had decided the game wasn’t fun and I should exit. Which is how I found the ‘help’ file that filled me in on how to read the blueprints like a thinking person … once the house was finished I started having fun! I worked on my town a little more and then hit the ‘this was just a trial’ thing. I didn’t see that coming!

Seriously thinking about getting the game at some point if it’ll let me. (went to a dead link or some sort of error when I tried to see how much the game cost) I love city builders and this one has ME in it. What could be better than that?

I’m excited about all the games I can experience now that I can see so much better. I wish I could play them all RIGHT NOW! What’s on your shortlist for gaming? I need to pare mine down a bit … Thinking DK, LotRO and either getting back into Bioshock or starting A Wolf Among Us. Hard to settle on a few when I have so very many games waiting on me!


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