My Best Purchase in 2018

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First of all, I feel guilty that I broke my promise to only read written-on-paper books. I’ve always liked the smell of books so accepting this new device took some time. On November Amazon released the new Kindle and I decided to get it so I can read more instead of just paper books.

I ordered it through Souq instead since it’s owned by Amazon and in UAE which is next to Oman -my country- so it got delivered really fast. I never really used a Kindle device so the whole experience was new to me and I feel stupid that I didn’t research it enough to know it’s not your average tablet. The concept of the screen itself was new to me as I’m more used to colored screens so learning about E-Ink displays was very exciting to me. The battery of the device stays for about two to three weeks if I read 2 hours a day, the customization of your reading experience is pretty convenient and makes it more personalized. What I liked most about it is that, the screen doesn’t really strain your eyes like normal lit-type devices would. When I opened Kindle for the first time it offered me 6 months of free Kindle Unlimited subscription to try it out which was a great deal for me to refuse, it offered for me a large buffet of free books along with Amazon Prime ones that you can borrow for free as well. If you’re looking for an alternative to Kindle app that offers free Ebooks and audiobooks as well, I recommend reading this excellent post that explains Libby.

I consider Kindle to be my best purchase in 2018 because it sparked my love for reading once again and it helped me reach my daily goal of reading at least an hour a day.

 

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Let’s Talk About Little Dragons Café

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Let me began this post with a short might-be-amusing story. I was waiting for this game for awhile and it supposed to be released by the end of August, so I thought of getting it after giving birth. Around October I went to a game store to ask about it since I didn’t see any gaming store in Oman posting about it on social media. The man working there told me he’ll ask other branches and will contact me if he finds any update. He called later on to tell me and I quote “The game is too old that’s why” and I was very confused, I was telling him it was released recently how is it that old. I figured they are clueless about the game anyway and they didn’t want to bother themselves to check it, I decided to buy it from PS Store since the game -to my knowledge- was released on PS4 and Nintendo Switch only. While it was downloading, I found out it was also released on Steam which confused me because I didn’t see it announced that it’ll be released for PC as well. The game hasn’t exactly get that amount of promotion and exposure, I was interested only because it’s created by the same creator of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory which I’m a fan of both.

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Little Dragons Café opens with a twin brother and sister learning to cook and manage a small café with their mother. All was routine until one morning when the twins discover that their mother won’t wake up. Suddenly, a strange old man appears and tells them that they must raise a dragon to save her. Working with three quirky café employees, the twins must wrangle a dragon and run the family business while finding a way to save their mother.

One of the things that attracted me the most to Little Dragons Cafe is the art style, it looks like a hand-drawn storybook. It definitely has the Harvest Moon vibe without the tedious farming tasks, while it also takes from Rune Factory in resource gathering.  Now about the story … It’s … disturbing honestly. I’m not sure how does it all correlate that the mother is sick and won’t wake up because she’s half dragon so they need to raise a dragon in order to save her ? The plot is somewhat lacking and confusing in my opinion but maybe it’ll make sense as I progress.

 

As the story starts to unfold with different characters in each chapter, the gameplay really focuses on one loop that goes basically like this: gather ingredients,  help in the cafe, find recipe fragments and repeat. That’s the whole gameplay part explained, you can get those ingredients from different areas so as you expand your exploration radius in each chapter, you’ll have to memorize from where you got each ingredient. Along with gathering resources, comes the responsibility of taking care of the dragon who needs to be fed from time to time. It gets annoying sometimes because I forget to cook before setting off to find ingredients. The dragon color changes depending on what its being fed, and my dragon currently teal-ish between blue and green. As the story progresses, the dragon grows and obviously becomes less cute but it becomes more helpful in removing obstacles and attacking certain creatures.

I want to say that I like the game like Harvest Moon but sadly I can’t because I feel it needs more gameplay elements. I’m enjoying it though so it’s not that bad…

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YumeTwins – November 2018

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Let me be honest with you, it took me a long while to write this post and it’s not because I was busy, it’s because WordPress implemented a new editor and I was absolutely lost in it. I really tried to like it but I couldn’t so I finally found the button to switch back to the old editor, now I’m back in my comfort zone. Now on to the main purpose of this post …

YumeTwins is a monthly kawaii box which includes 6-8 kawaii items ranging from plushies, squishies, practical goods, kawaii stationery & more. For November theme, it focused on “Twinkling Transfomation”  (get $5 off your first YumeTwins box).

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Costume Pet Plushie

The plushie of this month is an adorable dog wearing a duck costume with a hoodie. It’s confusing my son, he’s not sure if it’s a dog or a duck which I found hilarious.

Sailor Moon Cleaner Cloth

First of all, the packaging of this cloth is very creative, I didn’t even want to open it. I got Sailor Mercury cloth, instantly kept it in my bag so it would be easier for me to clean my glasses from time to time.

Sumikko Gurashi Peg Set

When I saw these pegs, I had an idea of using them to hang photos of my kids at my office when I’m done with my maternity leave. The characters on these pegs are so adorable and I can’t wait to use them.

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Sheep Microfiber Cleaner

I’ve always wanted something to remove the dust off my laptop’s keyboard easily and I finally got it. This adorable sheep got microfibers that helps remove the dust plus it contains bamboo charcoal  which absorbs unwanted scents, that yet to be tested but otherwise it looks so cute.

Kawaii Mini Mini Memo

This is a super tiny memo pad that I doubt is going to fit anything more than 5 words per paper. It has a design of Mochi Mochi Panda but those penguins in the cover are too adorable for me to not notice.

Kawaii Changing Pouch

Now the feature item of this box is this changing pouch .. wallet ? And I got Rilakkuma which is my favorite from San-X. It’s big enough to hold my phone and my daughter’s diapers -of course not to put both at the same time- It’ll be very useful for me to keep items I need without letting them get lost in the black hole void of my bag.

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Overall, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite box because I feel it could’ve been better. My favorite items would be the changing pouch and the sheep cleaner because I know I would be using those more frequent than the rest of the items.

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Games to Revisit: Jazzpunk

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Jazzpunk is a comedy adventure set in an alternate reality Cold War World, plagued with corporate espionage, CyberCrime, and sentient martinis. Gameplay is inspired by spoof comedy films and cartoons of yesteryear, with a focus on weird gadgets, exotic locales, and open-world style exploration.

So originally I didn’t want to try this game because it wasn’t my cup of tea but the art style had me intrigued. When the game started … Let’s just say the intro is quite colorful.

Now that I’m very interested in this game, it starts in a first-person view and opens up a world to interact with apart from the main quest. The game is absolutely hilarious, I found myself tearing up from laughing. I honestly tried focusing on the main story-line but I couldn’t because I was interacting with NPCs and trying most of the mini games so I’m still not exactly sure what’s the end goal was, maybe I’ll focus this time revisiting this game.

I highly recommend trying this game, it’s relatively short and has simple controls so you can try it to pass time.

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YumeTwins – October 2018

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When you think of October, usually Halloween pops first in your mind. I was expecting this month’s theme to be Halloween related but I got more excited when I saw Spirited Away item as a hint last month because it’s my favorite Ghibli movie.

YumeTwins is a monthly kawaii box which includes 6-8 kawaii items ranging from plushies, squishies, practical goods, kawaii stationery & more. For October theme, it focused on “Magical Halloween”  (get $5 off your first YumeTwins box).

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Kawaii Rabbit Plush

I didn’t expect getting a bunny for a Halloween box but I won’t complain because it’s really adorable. Like every plushie sent in YumeTwins, it’s incredibly soft and squishy.

Pokemon Hand Towel Set

The set comes in three hand towels, it’s quite soft to be called a towel honestly. I love the designs of each one, I got Pikachu, Eevee and Mimikyu. I’ll probably use those as burping cloths for my daughter if they were nearby. Sorry Pikachu.

Ghibli Cup

I got Kiki’s Delivery Service Jiji cup, and I feel it’s fitting for a Halloween theme since it’s a black cat. I’m glad it’s plastic not ceramic because I could let my son use it without him breaking it accidentally, also I’m quite clumsy so it’s a win-win situation.

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Spirited Away Origami Set

Spirited Away is my favorite Ghibli movie as I mentioned before so I was very excited to see those papers with the movie design. It comes in four different designs in a set of 20 sheets, I honestly want to keep it that way and not use them because I’m quite bad with crafts even if my life depend on it.

Cute Cat Paw Gloves

These gloves are so adorable, they are quite soft as well. The weather is getting a little chilly so it would be great to use these gloves to warm my hands while I pretend to my kids that I’m turning into a cat.

Nyanpire Clear File

I like the word play Nyan-pire, I think that’s quite creative. This file would be very useful for me to use when I’m back to work from my maternity leave, so I could keep my papers more organized since I have a bad habit of throwing them randomly in my drawers.

Nyanpire Halloween Stickers

This last item came as a bonus in the box, I never thought of collecting stickers before so this would be a great start for me. I’m becoming a fan of Nyanpire from this box.

Overall, I thought Halloween box would be filled with spooky stuff but I’m not going to complain for what I got this month.

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Let’s Talk About OneShot

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was released recently and of course I was excited to get it, unfortunately my internet speed isn’t the fastest so I had to wait couple of days for it to finish downloading so I could actually play it. During that time, I bought a game I found on sale by that time called OneShot.

I decided to go ahead and try it while waiting for Assassin’s Creed since it wasn’t a large game and it finished downloading fast, and let me tell you I’m so glad I played this game because I honestly think this game is an underrated gem.

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OneShot is a surreal top down Puzzle/Adventure game with unique gameplay capabilities. You are to guide a child through a mysterious world on a mission to restore its long-dead sun. The world knows you exist.

The game starts by introducing the main character, a cat-like child named Niko. The game is created by RPG maker and pixel graphics are my weakness.

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The end goal of this game is to restore the sun to a decaying world that is mostly inhabited by robots, but here’s what caught me off guard … The game acknowledge your existence as the player and address you by the name (I think it uses your computer login name) and that’s when the game starts to bleed into reality, making you check files in your computer in order to proceed at some locations which I thought is pretty smart and creative.

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I think that what made me start forming an emotional connection with the game characters as if it was personally speaking to me at some parts of the game.

The game contain few puzzles but they aren’t too hard to solve, the music and the whole game atmosphere reminded me of Undertale for some reason. It gave me that feeling I had while playing Undertale, the emotional connection to the characters and tested my personal choices in the game but unlike Undertale, it doesn’t have any combat moments just story-rich content.

I personally enjoyed the game and I think it’s quite underrated seemingly because it’s indie and made in RPG maker. I highly recommend playing it, it’s also quite short because I finished it in 5 hours.

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Games I Played While Waiting For Labor

Waiting for labor can be nerve wrecking, you’ve reached the end of the line and you have to be patient for few more days while you already feel you’re just done with this whole pregnancy and miserable. I’ve been praying for every contraction I feel to be more stronger and painful so I could be done with this, I’ve read numerous articles on ways how to induce labor and obviously failing in every one of them. Nothing really worked for me and I was just fed up, I’ve given up and said “you know what, my daughter is going to be a stubborn if she’s that comfortable inside and doesn’t want to leave yet

To ease my mind off labor and just wait for it to naturally happen, I decided to game more whenever I feel a contraction is happening whether it’s false or real. So here’s the list of games I played religiously while waiting for labor.

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There’s something about those simulator games that triggers your brain into addiction, I’m sure of it … based on my science. House Flipper is a simulation game which lets you buy wrecked houses where you can repair and remodel then sell them for profit, and so on. The concept is pretty simple but I found myself addicted to this game, I enjoyed remodeling the houses, painting the walls, installing floor tiles and getting creative with the colors and decor of the rooms. It’s a great game to spend time on, I highly recommend it.

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Every article you’re going to read about this game is going to compare it to Stardew Valley and rightfully so, just add a graveyard to take care of and a massive checklist to do which makes the gameplay very long. I won’t say I love this game, I just like it. I have this weakness against pixel art games, and Graveyard Keeper is just gorgeous I won’t deny it. The music is what attracted me the most, it’s very soothing and calm that I had to complement the creativity infused in the tracks and ironically the composer thanked me and followed me on twitter. I know this game isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea and it has mixed reviews on Steam, but I would honestly recommend it maybe less than Moonlighter but it’s a good game.

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If you played World of Goo and Little Inferno, you might be familiar with this game. I’m all for games that challenges you with puzzles but sometimes they make me feel stupid even thought the answer is pretty obvious, that’s how Human Resource Machine made me feel. I studied Software Technologies so I’m accustomed to programming flow, and that’s what this game made me feel basically writing pseudo codes for a program that include numbers. It gets frustrating at times but it helped keeping my mind off of labor while I played it.

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