What’s Up Wednesday? Revenge of the Angry Birds

October 23, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! Of course, I try to post on Wednesdays, but apparently I was so busy with other things that I forgot to finish the draft yesterday, or sign up to the linky list. *Headsmack*

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:
I finished Xanth ‘Board Stiff’, and the four stories I hadn’t already read out of Larry Niven’s “Neutron Star” collection. (The four I’d already found were the ones featuring Beowulf Shaeffer.) After floundering for something new to read, I tracked down my paperback copy of Jim Butcher’s “Furies of Calderon”, and I’m loving it so far!

What I’m writing:
I finished my quick revision of “Return to Civilization” and sent it off to critters for some feedback. Still plot bunny ranching for Nanowrimo–the “Sufficiently Advanced Magic” class has gotten into structure now, and somewhat to my surprise both books I’m working on fit pretty well into a three-act outline as far as I can see.

What works for me:
Working on the bus means even when the bridge is up, that’s just more time to work on your outlining homework! 😉

What else I’ve been up to:
Well, struggling to keep Angry Birds games from taking over too much of my free time. First, I got sucked into “Angry Birds Transformers” on my iPhone, which is this crazy side-shooter. Your bird-Autobot (or pig-Decepticon) gets dropped into the level by a shuttle that turns into a train car, and you have to shoot down pigs and automated guns  before they wear your armor away, shoot at high-tech buildings to get Energon cubes (which immediately turns the buildings rustic,) and use your limited time in vehicle mode to avoid toppling statues. There are rockets that turn you into a helpless bouncing washing machine if they hit you for some reason. 😉

And Angry Birds Epic just launched a new crossover invasion tournament with another game, so I’ve been sending my bird paladins, druids, and wizards up against dragons and cartoon blobs. Let’s see, what about non-gaming activities? Got started watching Leverage, on the suggestion of some TNEO friends who thought it could help me with ‘Never Found’, loving it so far. And getting ready for Nano! The Hamilton Kickoff party is this weekend, and so Elizabeth Twist and I spent a few hours on Sunday collating hipster PDAs and stuffing gift bags.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.

I crashed on Piggy Island…

May 3, 2014

So, friends and followers, you may ask what I’ve been up to since the A to Z challenge and Camp Nanowrimo wrapped up this year.

The plan was to dive into critiques for the TNEO workshop and short story revisions.

Instead, I’ve been spending a lot of time gaming on my iPhone. 😉

Back in March, I downloaded Angry Birds Epic. It’s currently in an iOS soft launch for the Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand App Stores only, so you might not be able to get it on your own mobile device until the wider release later this year.

But I’ve been having a lot of fun with it, and losing a lot of time to it. Instead of the usual Angry Birds slingshot game format, this is a turn-based adventure game. You start as the Red bird, a level 1 warrior, in the bird’s nest on South Beach, as the pigs have carried off all his friends and their eggs. Gradually you explore the map, which is full of locations where you can fight pigs – generally referred to as ‘dungeons’ even though they’re not underground.

During the first fights, you have only a few choices each turn – attack a pig, (by dragging your finger from Red to the pig you want to attack,) or defend (by tapping on Red.) Each pig gets their own chance every turn, either to attack you or maybe use a special power.

During the fight, a chili icon at the bottom of the screen gradually fills up with red light until it’s full to bursting, letting out steam. Then you can use the chili with Red during his turn, unleashing a super-power attack on the toughest pig left standing.

As you proceed through the map, you can rescue the other birds, who join the group with their own special skills; Chuck the yellow bird is a sorcerer, Matilda the white bird a cleric, Bomb the black bird a pirate, the three inseperable Blue birds are thieves. Once you have more than three birds in the party, you have to pick which three go into any particular fight.

There’s a lot more going on in the game; tracking resources, weapons and other gear, treasure, wave battles and so on, but I think this gives you an idea of why it’s kinduv compelling. Hopefully while the phone is charging, I can actually get some real work done this afternoon!

The Birds – they are Angry!

May 3, 2012

I’ve spent quite a lot of time this evening staring intently at my iPhone, catapulting birds at pigs and their walls made out of wood, glass, and stone – and then angrily hitting the ‘replay’ button when a particular angle didn’t work out quite as I expected them.

My usually mild obsession with Angry Birds only started around Christmas. I’d downloaded the ‘pusher’ free sample version of AB from the App Store quite a while before, but never got around to playing it, partly because I thought that you needed to register with Angry Birds separately – instead of just using my apple ID and password. But once I tried it, I quickly grew interested enough to pay up the 99 cents for the basic version.

I’ve now cleared almost every level that comes with that basic version of the game – all eight sequences: “Poached Eggs”, “Mighty Hoax”, “Danger Above”, “The Big Setup”, “Ham ’em High”, “Mine and Dine”, “Birthday Party”, and “Surf and Turf.” I’ve also unlocked and cleared eight out of the ten crazy ‘Golden eggs’ levels.

The last two golden eggs are rather challenging to earn – for each of them, you have to get a perfect record on every single level of the first two sequences – all 63 levels in “Poached Eggs”, and all 42 levels in “Mighty Hoax.” A perfect record, in this case, means earning a score that is considered to be ‘three star’ worthy for each level.

Thanks to considerable effort this evening, (and some helpful how-to videos on youtube which I do NOT consider to be cheat resources,) I now have 3 stars in 62 out of 63 for Poached Eggs. Surprisingly, level 2-12 is the tricky holdout, just over halfway through. I haven’t given up for good, just for tonight.

There’s a lot that I love about Angry Birds. It isn’t a game with a very complicated plot, but you have some very simple elements – a half-dozen or so different bird types, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, against pigs from big to small who just sit there, hunkered down in their best-built houses and wait for the birds to come at them.

The physics of the game play is intuitive and remarkably realistic, and it demands incredibly fine control of your catapulting angle and split-second timing to best utilize the special abilities that most bird types bring to the game. Red bird and his Big Brother Bird unfortunately have no unique powers of that sort – Red is just the plucky bird who isn’t better than his friends at anything, really, but throws himself into what he needs to do with enough heart that he almost makes up for that, and Big Brother’s specialty is just his size and weight that can often smash through or drag down the strongest fortifications.

Wish me luck! I’ll try to remember to let you know when I unlock those last golden egg levels.

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