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Category Archives: Gaming

Hercules and Keto

12 Labours of Hercules screenshot

That was my day yesterday, researching more in-depth on Keto and playing The 12 Labours of Hercules. We started Keto again yesterday, January 2nd, and I found myself wanting to eat just for the sake of … eating … I guess, so I distracted myself by finishing achievements in this super cute little game. I am trying not to buy anymore games until I’ve played more of the ones I already have. I’m assuming I got this game on a sale at some point and wish I’d gotten the others as well. They’re great for distraction and when you don’t want to deal with a super involved ‘break out the notebook so you can keep track of your characters’ kind of game. The graphics are cute, the game play (on some levels) takes a *little* strategy and the achievements come easy. There’s three more games in the series and I WANT THEM ALL! You have to gather resources: food, wood and coin. You need food to keep your energy up for gathering and building. You use the wood to repair bridges and eroded or otherwise destructed bits of pathways so you can finish your tasks. Sometimes you have to free prisoners who, in turn, work for you giving you extra man-power to complete your tasks on time. You also free other Greek mythological peeps who, also, become part of your team. It’s a simple yet, to me, satisfying game to play and it did the trick to keep me out of the fridge!

Since starting this post I’ve had to quiet and play with a crying baby while his mother took a shower, get lunch for 4YO and sit for discussion with one of my kids. This is why I rarely blog anymore … no quiet time to devote to a post.

Anyway, I wanted to talk Keto for a bit. All five of us are doing it but not in the same way. Three of us are doing no more than 20 carbs a day. One is trying to stay under 50 a day and the other is limiting themselves to 100 carbs a day. So! I’m cooking for 20 carbs a day and the other two can do whatever with the rest of their carbs. I’m using a guesstimate on how many proteins I need. I do not know my body fat percentage, nor do I care to if I’m honest (shudder!) so I’m using a min/max based on approximates to determine how much protein I can eat without kicking me out of ketosis (once I’m in it, that’s VERY important). You multiply your weight in pounds by 0.6 to get your minimum and by 1.0 to get your maximum amounts of protein per day. Going under your minimum can cause you to lose muscle and going over your maximum can kick you out of ketosis. I stayed well under (and over!) yesterday so I’m on the right track with both carbs and protein. What worries me is the amount of calories I ate yesterday.

My day end totals yesterday were 1,741 calories, 19.5g (net) carbs and 159.8g protein. If I’d remembered the amount of chili that makes a serving correctly my totals would have been 1,512 calories, 17.25g carbs and 126.8g protein. I wish I hadn’t goofed on the chili because those calories feel high to me. I’ve read calories aren’t the MOST important thing to watch on keto, that following keto properly tends to keep you from overdoing it on calories. But, 1,741? If I want to lose weight, isn’t that a TON? I’m confused and disappointed in myself and, try as I might, couldn’t find a definitive one-way-or-the-other answer on this after at least two hours searching JUST for that answer last night. Frustrating!

Lazy Keto chicken and steamed broccoli

Breakfast was a slice of quiche, lunch was (2 servings) of chili and the above picture was dinner: Lazy Keto Chicken and (overly) steamed broccoli. By the way, I’m not sure if my vision is messing up or if I just took a bad picture. I’m changing some settings in my phone and, hopefully, it’ll help. Anyway, I also had three cups of coffee, each with a tablespoon of heavy cream and two drops of liquid sucralose and, after dinner, made pesto keto crackers and ate three of those. I *really-super-badly* wanted a cheddarwurst last night but that would have added another 200 calories, 2g carbs and 8g protein. UGH. I love eating cheddarwurst at night. I really, really, really do! But, not enough to give up my coffees.

/Sigh

I started this post several hours ago. Should have been posted at least two hours ago. Such is life. I have laundry waiting and need to eat lunch. Have a happy!

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ACNL:Welcome amiibo

Animal Crossing New Leaf's Tex, my favorite resident

Saying goodbye to Tex, my buddy.

If you’re not into spoilery information you may not want to read this post because I’m so excited over a new feature in the update, Welcome amiibo, I’m going to talk about it. Actually, I’m going to talk about a couple of new features so, if you’re still reading, consider yourself warned.

I read on Twitter that it was possible to sell your town in Animal Crossing: New Leaf and was confused. Since when, and, to be more specific, why on EARTH would I want to sell my town after putting so much work into it? I read about Welcome Amiibo, the update for ACNL and, as much as I didn’t want to admit it, was intrigued. The idea of starting over really does appeal to me. It’s why I have so many low level alts in LotRO, after all. My altism is caused by the urge to start over fresh, have new and maybe different adventures … second chances! The more I thought about it the more I was game, but not until I ran all over my town to find Tex, my all-time favorite resident, and take a picture with him. For memories sake, you know.

Once my decision was made I ran to Tom Nook because I’d read he’s the one who bought your town. He made no offer whatsoever so I ran to Isabelle who also knew nothing of selling my town. If you’re not sure how to sell you do so through Isabelle when you start the game. When talking to her before loading into your town you’ll get the option to “Recreate” or “Delete” your existing town. Choose the recreate option and she’ll hook you up with Tom Nook who will offer to buy your town and your catalog. You can sell your town and keep your catalog but I opted to sell both because I was starting over fresh and, well, I’m an ‘all-or-nothing’ kind of person when it comes to starting over. Who cares if it’s more work? All. In.

Starting fresh in Animal Crossing New Leaf Welcome Amiibo

Freshly pitched tent. This thing is ON!

I made just shy of 30 million bells for both my town and catalog. I may be starting fresh but I can promise you town building will go much quicker this round! I was officially welcomed as mayor and then ran around to meet my five residents. You must have a rating of 100% in order to get your building permit started, something I didn’t realize the first time. I’d read in the release notes (I skimmed them, really) something about daily quests and MEOW coupons. You’re given 10 MEOW (Mutual Exchange of Wealth) coupons to start with and can earn more via the daily quests system. I have earned a few coupons but I’ve yet to pull up my TPC, Town Pass Card, to see the daily quests. I keep forgetting. The dispenser, or ATM for the MEOW coupons, is right by Town Hall. You use the coupons to buy furnishings and apparel from Harvey and his RV guests in the RV park that’s now in your town. I’ve spent a few coupons already and bought a bunny hood from Zipper T. Bunny who’d come to the RV to sell goods in the off-season. How cool is that?

Picture taken with the amiibo camera in Animal Crossing New Leaf

Ranni meets Geralt and Ciri. Aww.

I don’t know if the amiibo camera is new or not but, when starting your game there’s a list of options after pressing the ‘start’ button (A) and the amiibo camera is in that list. You can take pictures of your ACNL self out in the real world. I was sitting at my desk when I saw the camera so I had to get Ranni on Ciri’s shoulder (yes, people, that’s still my desktop background because I ❤ Geralt!!!) for a quick picture. That’s the only one I took as this isn’t something that interests me, but I can see how this could be fun.

Animal Crossing New Leaf Welcome Amiibo genie lamp

I was busy shaking trees when a text bubble from ??? popped up asking me to find them. ??? was kind enough to tell me when I’d walked in the wrong direction as I looked for them and it took me a bit to finally find the lamp sitting on the ground not too far from me. ??? had me take the lamp to my house so we could talk.

Wisp the 'genie' in the lamp in ACNL Welcome amiibo

WISP!!

Once inside I interacted with the lamp and Wisp popped out! Wisp can’t stay out of the lamp in this form for very long so he asks that you use an amiibo card and allow him to take the form of whichever card you use. I have an NFC reader (got mine with AC:Happy Home Designer but you can buy a reader separately) and a few amiibo cards so I grabbed Roald, an adorable jock penguin and swiped his card over my reader.

Wisp taking the form of Roald from an amiibo card

Wisp in Roald form

Isn’t he cute? Wisp will grant you one wish daily and give you a few MEOW coupons. I’ve used the lamp twice now, the second time with Isabelle. She gave me the option of asking for a gift or ‘anything else’. The anything else option was a tea set. Not bad. Roald, however, gave me the option of moving in to my town as a resident!!! Oh, and, of course, getting a gift. The gift was a foosball table. ANYWAY. I got to thinking about the option of moving in as a resident. Isabelle already lives in town (Town Hall, assuming she has a cot in the back or something) so, naturally, she couldn’t offer that option. BUT. What about Tex, my most favorite resident in the history of ever??? I could get him back in my town, perhaps, if I had a Tex card! OMG, this blows my mind! Sadly, I don’t have a Tex card and I’m not paying $10 bucks (USD) to get one. I’d pay that for a couple of 6 packs of cards, yes, but not just for a Tex card, even though I love him so.

Tex is in Series 4 of the amiibo cards so I ordered two sets of them from Amazon. There are 100 cards per set so who knows if I’ll get a Tex. Or when. They’re out of stock at the moment. HNNNGGHHH! I’m hoping he moves in to town on his own. My town will most likely be full by the time I get his card!

I have fossils to find, rocks to smack and trees to shake so I’d best be off. If you want a new friend here’s my friend code: 2509-4065-3801. Be sure to leave a comment giving me your friend code as you have to ‘friend back’ in order for it to work. Now, to go work on my town!

Civ6: AND, zee science victory is MINE!

Screenshot from Civ6

Click the image to make it bigger so you can read my notes on the screenshot.

… BUT, the game wanted me to think it might not happen! I was close to a science victory and knew it, but was afraid some other civilization would beat me to a win with a religious win. The Missionary game they had going was inTENSE! Germany’s religion was Catholicism, Scythia’s was Islam and Peter, from Russia, went with Eastern Orthodoxy. They sent hordes of Missionaries and Apostles out to the masses! Everyone’s religion, as shown on the name plate for each city, was constantly changing. Most of the week this made me happy and I wanted to see them fight it out because if they were focused on converting all the civilizations then I could focus on Arabia and try to beat them to the science victory I so desperately wanted. The count for who had the most religious followers changed every time I checked the ingame scorecards. Then Scythia lost any chance of winning and started declaring war on both City-States and Germany. Repeatedly. I lost count of how many Generals she managed to acquire. Germany and Russia, however, stoked the fires between them and continued to battle it out for Jesus and I grew bored keeping up with them. I had my own win to make happen, after all.

Religion score card showing Russia was close to winning in Civ6

Then I got the warning Russia was close to victory! I quickly checked the score card and saw that Russia had overtaken Germany and was close to a win. I read that you need to be the dominant religion in every civilization and saw that mine was still a mix of two religions (Russia and Germany) but that most people in my civ still followed the Pantheon I’d started, Divine Spark. Feeling pretty good about that I then reread the alert about Russia’s impending victory and saw it was for a culture win. Culture? Really? I don’t understand that win just yet because, when I look at the score card for it, I see myself having more tourists by number.

Scorecard showing culture standings, in my game of Civ6

If I’m reading this correctly (spent some time this morning staring at it) my tourists to America are FROM America, and those don’t count? I wasn’t doing much to attract them intentionally as I was focusing my efforts on researching tech and launching rockets and pod units into space, but I thought I was doing better with the culture requirements because my numbers were higher. Arabia led the game on Culture, a good half of the game. The first couple of days playing this game, I led in Science, Culture and Score. How Russia came up and snagged the top spot (when it looks like Arabia still has it to me), I dunno.

Science victory with Teddy Roosevelt in Civ 6

Either way, Teddy and I worked very very hard to pull out this Science Victory!!! I think I could have achieved this win sooner if I had paid better attention to my research in the beginning of the game. It wasn’t until after turn 250 that I realized I might not be on the path I’d thought I was and had to buckle down if I wanted to win. I ran with five cities (Scythia and Arabia each had, like, a billion and fifty!) and focused my trade routes on science until I started building rockets. Then I switched them to production focus. I had Spaceports in three cities but only used two to build so I focused the other three cities on research grants to try and earn the last bits of research quicker. When my last pod launched and earned me the win, a turn or two AFTER the message Russia was close to winning, btw, I didn’t do my usual victory dance. I was so exhausted I gave a quick thought to just sleeping in my chair so I wouldn’t have to climb the stairs to bed. It was worth it though. Teddy and I both are very happy with our Chieftain progress.  Can we do this at the next level (is it Warlord or Prince)? I have no idea. The other civilizations are so intense and aggressive! A win on a higher difficulty would be SWEET!

 

Civilization VI: Boy do I have a lot to learn!

Game and options select screen for Civilization 6

I can not tell you how excited I was to see this screen Thursday night! I LOVE the Civilization games SO HARD and having to wait for this one, a wait that felt like it would never end (my excitement was insane!), oh man, I was dancing in my chair. I’d bought Civilization:Beyond Earth and while there’s a lot to enjoy in that game, I had high hopes Civilization VI would be more along the lines of Civilization V. I played as much as I possibly could the last couple of days, trying to complete a game before writing this post and, I can tell you, it really is more like the fifth Civ game than Beyond Earth. The difference is in the systems.

Freshly platted Washington city, starting point for my Civilization 6 play through.

I wanted to play as Theodore Roosevelt and grow America to the biggest and baddest country I possibly could. I had to do a quick restart because in my hurry to send my Warrior crew off to investigate for Barbarians close to Washington, I accidentally sent my Settlers off instead and lost a round of ‘city building’ (meaning, instead of settling a city on the first turn I’d have had to wait until turn two). First thing I noticed on settling my first city was the background around my city was a map. Cool! Then I noticed unexplored areas would fade in and out depending on where my people/boundaries were. I didn’t like that and thought it might ruin the game for me. Happily, it did not! I got used to it. I’m still iffy on how countries and city-states look to you if you’re not friendly or, as with city-states, their Suzerain. I get it as it’s a very real indicator of relationship but, ugh. I battled with Peter of Russia, my immediate neighbor, for Suzerain of the city-states around us CONSTANTLY! Matter of fact, ole Peter hit me with a surprise war (that he wasn’t prepared to fight) over, I believe, me taking Suzerain of Lisbon back. It was a very short war that only ran ten rounds before he offered gifts for peace.

Completion notice for building the Great Library Wonder in Civilization 6.

I didn’t focus on building wonders much but did construct a few. I love the way you’re completed build is announced to you. The above screen shot of the Great Library Wonder is from the end of the animation that plays once it’s finished. How neat is that? Even better, that’s exactly what it looked like in MY game. My eagerness to jump in and play thwarted my ‘let’s read about what’s new’. There are bonuses (?) for placement that I haven’t sussed out much yet. I did see that Campus districts do better (at what?) when placed near a mountain so I built all of my campuses at the foot of mountains even though I’m still not sure why I should. Oh, and did I mention you can zoom in and see much greater (and gorgeous) detail than in previous Civ games? So sweet!

Civilization 6, animation screen for completing another Science victory requirement.

I wanted to go for a Science victory because I thought it’d be easiest; work Science tech, construct science-type buildings, focus on policies that are skewed towards science points and, of course, build the rocket. There’s SO much more to a science win than that now! I generally shy away from spoilery info so, if you’d rather find out for yourself, understand I’m about to talk in more detail about what’s required for a science victory. If you’re okay with that, keep reading. It’s a lot of work!!

Civilization 6 screen showing steps and progress toward a science victory

So here you see the screen showing who’s completed what for each step needed to achieve a science victory. Russia was my only real threat in terms of beating me at anything and, before I found this screen in game, I thought I was trailing behind! I’d received intel from my trusty gossip source that Russia had completed building a Spaceport before I’d even unlocked the tech for one. As I was building my Spaceport, a LONG wait (think it took 30-40 some rounds in my capital city) my gossip guy told me Russia had completed a second Spaceport. This confused me but, by then I’d already found the victory conditions progress reports and decided to just focus on what I was doing and not worry about Tsar Peter. I thought perhaps he didn’t know what he was doing?

Ha. He so did. You want more than one Spaceport because there are a total of, IIRC, five rockets you have to launch (and, IIRC, five specific techs you have to research) in order to win a science victory. I was working on my third rocket launch at turn 500. Peter was still working on his second. Neither of us won on science! I wonder if I had him snowed on research because I went with trade-routes that gave the most science points (was Seoul for me) over gold or production. My next attempt at a science win, I’m going to split my trade-routes between science and production points. I *think* I could have built faster if I’d paid more attention to production point counts.

Civilization 6, culture victory progress screen

I kept working at the science conditions, not because I thought I could win (I did not build properly, in any way shape or form, to complete a science win!) but because I wanted to see how much time it took to do this and that. With no chance of a science victory I considered Culture. I was leading in both science and culture so, why not? The above screen is everyone’s progress towards a Culture victory … at turn 500. You can’t wait until late game and then try and win a specific like that! You have to plan your research, city placements (for resources, of course), how you build your cities, policies, … it feels, to me, more involved in this game than it has in previous ones. Involved as in everything absolutely affects everything, if I’m saying that write. I LOVE THIS!! but it does take getting used to. Anyway, no chance of a Culture win for me OR Peter.

Civilization 6, victory ranking screen

Teddy and I did, however, win the game. On score. America had the highest score, 595, which puts me along the lines of Nero in the victory rankings. Not very high but high enough! Russia was closest to me with a score of 542. I changed the number of players in the Advanced Options and elected to have 8 instead of the 6 it wanted to default with. I wonder if this is why we were all up in each other’s business, so to speak. I never did meet player 8 because Rome wiped them off the map before I’d explored the entirety of it. Matter of fact, I was close to turn 300, if not passed it, before meeting any players outside of Russia. I did not have a good ‘Scout’ game going. At all. I’m fairly certain the map completed itself once I’d hit a certain point in the game rather than me having explored the whole thing.

One thing I really didn’t like was that your workers (called Builders) can only do three jobs before retiring. This drove me NUTS! I considered dedicating one city to making Builders and Army troops but that didn’t work at all. If you don’t build enough housing and amenities, your city can (AND WILL!) revolt. Not sure if my citizens in that city called Barbs to attack me or became the barbs, but I had to fight them off. Oh, and an oddity, the background music in the beginning was plunky and parts of it had me singing the “Baby Bumble Bee” song. Out loud. It wasn’t a bad thing, just struck me as odd.

Civilization VI is the perfect addition to the Civ series if you ask me. It’s enough of the same game so that you know how to play it, but different enough so that you must (re)learn how to play it. It’s gorgeous, the voice overs from Sean Bean are LOVELY!!!, the quotes in game are perfectly pulled from and placed (very fitting to the time you’re in) and the other civilizations are a bit more involved in the goings on of things this go round. I can’t wait to start another game! I could today as everyone is home and can take care of the kids, but I played so much yesterday I’m not sure I should.

Are you playing? How’s your game going? OH! And, who’d you start with?

 

Gaming: What I’ve been up to lately

I started looking through screenshots to help me remember what I’ve played over the last few months and found I not only haven’t been blogging, I haven’t been taking many screenshots either. Frustrating as I don’t remember the games I wanted to talk about, specifically, for this post. So screw the last few months and let’s skip ahead to more recently played.

New (unlocked) heroes in Clicker Heroes

I’m not seriously into Clicker Heroes at the moment but I have been playing a bit. I took a look at the gilded hero screen to see how many new heroes were added last update and saw there are five new ones. WAY COOL! Then I saw how much the first of the newly added heroes costs to hire for a single level and wanted to cry. Tsuchi costs 7.076e499 to hire. That’s just his level 1. Holy cow, there’s no way! Now, if I were to go ahead and transcend (can do so for 12 AS currently) and get back to seriously playing, sure. I could hit that. Eventually.

Title screen from Port of Call

When pulling the screenshots I was going to include with this post I noticed that all of the Steam game screenshots are from F2P games. Port of Call is a short adventure (more story than adventure really) game that has an odd little story that, by the end, poses a surprisingly deep and serious question of choices. Well, it could pose that question if you give it thought. Which, I did. Vague enough for you? I hate being vague but I don’t want to ruin it for you should you decide to play. I enjoyed it, though it’s a little rough around a couple of edges. I’d recommend giving it a go. Not a combat game, more of a story game with achievements.

Screenshot of a girl talking about sheep from the game Moirai.

Someone on Twitter tossed the name of this game out, suggesting people play it. I completely get why now! Moirai is an experimental game that, in order to fully experience it, you need others to play. It’s a single-player game with a twist and, as hokey as the graphics are, you really should give this one a go. The ending is the most fun part of the game and I’ve played it two or three times now just to cause/see different results. It takes minutes to play but, I think, it’s well worth it. I’d love to see more games that depend on others playing without having to play with others. If that makes no sense, it will if you play the game.

Sitting at the bar in the Golden Perch in LotRO

I started a new Minstrel in LotRO, another Hobbit lass, and have had a blast playing her. She’s in her 30s best I recall and working the Evendim area. I don’t know when the Minstrel class became my favorite to play but I have several across the servers now. I don’t heal anyone, mind you, as I prefer to solo-play, but if the circumstances were right, I might would try healing again. It’s been YEARS so I’m a little scared to try. DPSing, however, is FAST and fun! I have no idea who the Dwarf is in the screenshot but I saw him sitting there, AFK, when I went to turn in a quest. I sat down just for the screenshot when the little Hobbit in the background asked someone if their friend had shown up yet. Made the shot even better, in my opinion.

There have been a few attempts at saved games as well. I fired up A Kingdom for Keflings on my 360 and after tooling around for a good 10 minutes, unable to remember what I’d last worked on, I logged out. No idea what I was doing in that game. Same with Unholy Heights. Matter of fact, I logged into that one thinking it’d be the first time ever playing it only to see I had a game in progress. Again, no idea what I was doing or needed to do so I logged back out. I tried The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth but, after 8 minutes of playing, I stopped. That’s one heck of a game and I’ve had incredible fun playing it, but, sometimes, it’s too frustrating. I have a game going in both Murdered: Soul Suspect and Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas but I haven’t gotten back to them for fear I’ve forgotten where I was in them as well.

Sigh.

Lords of the Fallen was free last month on PSN so I picked it up. Beautiful game but I need to go back and beat that first boss. Again. I *did* beat him (after 5 or 6 deaths) but he killed me as I killed him so it didn’t count. I’d have played this a lot more if 4YO didn’t bomb me with a million questions when I play. She’s SO curious and wants to play the game with me. Nay, FOR ME. She says she’s asking the questions so she can learn how to play. I think it’s to keep me from playing so she CAN play. (Not that I’d let her, prefer her to stick to games like Mario Maker.)

OH! There’s one more. Animal Crossing! I started it back up after having not played for 10 months. I was afraid my favorite neighbor, Tex, had moved away but he’s still there! WOOT! I ran around and spoke to all the residents, picked weeds and decided to get back to playing daily. That was last week, mind you, and I haven’t played since, but I do plan to! Love that game!

So, what have you guys been playing lately?