Posts categorised ‘Games’

Three (Very Different) Browser Games

It’s been a bit quiet here on the blogging front recently and part of that is that I’ve been playing a few different browser games, and finding some of my time consumed by that instead. I think browser games have definitely declined in popularity since their peak (probably related to the rise of smartphones, and people playing casual games on those instead) but I still like them, as …

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Link: “Say it with us: #NoNeoNFTs”

Original post found at: https://www.jellyneo.net/nfts/

This is likely to be of interest mainly to people of a certain generation (that is, late Millennials/early Gen Z) but among Neopets’ small remaining playerbase there’s serious anger at the moment over the decision (apparently undertaken by Neopets’ parent holding company) to partner with cryptobros and start this new Neopets NFT project. Leading fansite Jellyneo explains what’s going on, and why people are so pissed off, well.

Overall, people are suspicious that this is something of a last-ditch moneygrab before the parent company shuts down the long-neglected and currently half-broken Neopets website for good. Personally, to indulge the nostalgia I have for Neopets in the Good Old Days (that’s circa 2005) I made a user account on Neopets Classic(external link), which is an ongoing fan project to re­cre­ate the site with the vibe it had at that time (except without ads, and swearing is allowed, lmao – I laughed so hard when literally the first secret avatar I unlocked read “I NEVER FUCKING LEARNED HOW TO READ.”). Copyright is a bitch but honestly, I think it’s fan projects like this one which have the potential to be satisfying in a way that the “real” website is unlikely to ever be again.

Note also: an effort to archive as much fanwork as possible(external link) from the almost 1,000 editions of the Neopian Times.

Vivian bought himself a new second-hand Nintendo Wii. While Gidget here has kept him under strict supervision, he’s been enjoying kicking back with The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time while he has a few days off work between his old job and his new 😄

a tabby cat stands on her hind legs to examine Nintendo Wii boxes on a coffee table. a guy has a drink in the background

Thoughts on Turn-Based RPGs

Without question, one of my favourite genres of game is the humble turn-based RPG. In the main, it’s not a very fashionable genre these days,1 and I’ve even seen some people argue that the fact that it ever existed at all was only as a “compromise”. Early gaming consoles didn’t have good enough hardware for action RPGs to work – only by separating out all the battle …

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Wiki: Neopets

Neopets is a browser game and a franchise, the core part of which is based around having and taking care of virtual pets. It was founded in 1999 by Adam Powell & Donna Williams, and grew rapidly to become one of the most-visited sites on the internet.

Neopets was a pretty major part of my childhood (late primary school years) and with the sheer amount of stuff the site offered, it gave me the …

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Link: “2003: The Kingdom of Loathing” by Aaron A. Reed

Original post found at: https://if50.substack.com/p/2003-kingdom-of-loathing

Kingdom of Loathing is a game I played a lot over at least three separate stretches when I was younger, and TBH I think even mechanically it’s one of the most enjoyable games I’ve ever played (a turn-based RPG that doesn’t succumb to the pitfall of battles getting longer and more aggravating over time; a run-based game with gradual macroprogression for your character…). This piece highlights some of this game’s strengths (like its satirical nature) and weaknesses (its creator’s apparent misogyny). A lot of the “edgy”, gamer bro kind of humour that used to be in the game has been removed over the years, and the community never seemed to be dominated by that kind of “gamer” (I mean lol, it’s a text-based browser game) – but it’s still fair to point out. Overall a fair description.

I started playing Cozy Grove today (through Apple Arcade, although for non-Mac platforms it’s on Steam) and I really like it 🥰 They’ve made an interesting choice to limit how much you can do each day – after a while you stop getting new quests, characters run out of new dialogue, and so on. I know when I was playing Littlewood, I would sometimes play it for hours because it had such a compulsive loop. This game feels similar, except for the loop fizzing out after 1½ hours or so. It makes it harder to, y’know, lose sleep cos you just couldn’t put down your game 😌

Another thing I’ve found is that they had to change a joke when localising the game(external link), because the concept of “crowdfunding basic healthcare” doesn’t translate well outside the US. Apparently the game has a satisfying left-wing bent overall(external link). I think I can see myself happily dipping in and out of Cozy Grove for a while.

Recently I found, and started playing, Melvor Idle(external link). I’d been looking for a game I could play mindlessly while listening to documentaries or podcasts (I seem too fidgety to just listen and do nothing else, and if I do something more “active” like scroll social media I focus on what I’m reading and don’t listen 😂). This game hasn’t been too bad – as an idle RPG you can just leave it farming when you have better shit to do, and choose a more micromanagey task like combat when you need something to zone out with. Is it the most enthralling game ever? No. Indeed, if they even jazzed it up with a bit more flavour text, I think that would go a long way to making it feel more satisfying. But “enthralling” is not the niche I was looking to fill, and for what I wanted it for, it’s been fine.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.