Dropbox Makes Life Easier

Posted in Review with tags , , , on February 27, 2012 by thedavewsc

Say you wrote a paper on your computer that you need to print out at the library. You finish it up, save it, and head off to the library to print it off. Suddenly you realize you forgot to put it on eCampus or a jump drive! So you have to go all the way back to your room to do one of those, wasting your time.

Dropbox is a program which you download to your computer, and set up on a folder (it can be an existing folder, or you can make a new one). From then on, everything you save or copy into that folder is automatically uploaded to the Dropbox website, allowing you to get it at any time. Also, if you have multiple computers (or a Droid phone), you can put Dropbox on them as well, and your files will automatically download to those computers/phones for access on them! This basically eliminates the need to log onto eCampus and upload things to your drives there, because they will be automatically uploaded to Dropbox, even while you’re walking to the library (or watching TV).

Another nice thing about Dropbox is that if you have friends who use it as well, you can share a folder inside your Dropbox folder with them, and then anything you put there, automatically goes to their Dropbox, and vice-versa! It makes it very easy to share notes or photos.

This is a basic explanation of what this incredibly handy tool is, and I’d recommend at least trying it out. I use it almost daily, and certainly any time I need to have schoolwork available outside my dorm room.

To download Dropbox, simply go to this address in your web browser: http://db.tt/Jnnvv96B (You can also go to Dropbox.com, but if you use this link instead, you will get an additional 250MB of space for free, just for using that link instead of the normal Dropbox.com! Full disclosure, that’s my referral link, but we both get extra space, so win-win, right?)

Cloud computing is the future, and it is now. Get yourself a Dropbox and join the revolution!

Addition to original post: Here are multiple ways to increase your original amount of storage space from 2GB (or 2.25GB if you use my link) to much more!

  • Click the “Getting Started” tab on the site, or just dropbox.com/gs , complete the steps – 250MB free
  • Go to dropbox.com/free – Up to 768MB free
  • Go to dropbox.com/edu and link a .edu e-mail account –Double the space you get from each referral (500MB each!)
  • There are many more ways, including special events – Keep your eyes open for opportunities!
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Robot Unicorn Attack: Evolution

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on February 27, 2012 by thedavewsc

Guiding a metal unicorn on a magical journey through the stars. Doesn’t that sound lovely? Well that’s what you get to do in Robot Unicorn Attack: Evolution, the newest form of Robot Unicorn Attack (others include the original and Heavy Metal versions)!

In the original Robot Unicorn Attack (available on Facebook and iOS), the game is simple enough. You’re a robotic unicorn and you run nonstop, getting faster and faster, all to the song Always by Erasure (a very whimsical tune). All you do in the game is jump and dash. Jumping to avoid falling off cliffs, and dashing to turn into a rainbow of hatred and fire yourself through giant stars blocking your path, destroying them instantly. It’s one of those games that’s really easy to play, but very addicting to try to get better and better scores.

Robot Unicorn Attack: Evolution is Facebook-only (as of now), and it’s basically the same game, except that after every four giant stars you destroy, you evolve into a different animal: Unicorn, Panda, Wolf, Gorilla, Sabertooth Tiger, and finally Dragon. By the time you’ve hit dragon you’re going at a pretty good pace, and it will be hard to control. And, of course, as with all Facebook games, you can compare high scores to your friends’ and try to outdo them.

Another nice feature of the game when played on Facebook is that you get to use powerups, at the cost of some in-game currency (fairy dust). Powerups include letting you not get going ridiculously fast, an automatic-lifesaver if you fail to dash into a star (normally your ‘wish’ would be over), and so on.

As far as these “go for the best score” games go, this is one of the best, and I highly recommend it. It’s fun to play, really fun when you beat all your friends (which I did after only about seven times playing), and it’s great just getting to listen to the song for a while. Overall, I’d give this game an 8/10 rating.

Triple Threat! (Angry Birds, PvsZ, and Doodle Jump!)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on January 13, 2012 by thedavewsc

This is a series of mini-reviews of Angry Birds, Plants Vs Zombies, and Doodle Jump. I will be reviewing the mobile versions of these games unless otherwise noted!

If you want more information on any of these three games, let me know and I can simply reply to your comment or write a more in-depth review. I just figured: First of all, since this is three reviews in one, I didn’t want it to be a huge post. Second, these are three incredibly popular games, so I’m not sure how much these reviews are needed.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds is a game I discovered when I first got my iPod Touch (third generation, my first mobile gaming device aside from actual Gameboys and Nintendo DS. I fought it for a while. It had been number one in the app store for so long, I thought it must be overrated. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Angry Birds is an incredibly addicting “smash-em” game. Essentially, you fire birds out of a slingshot to knock down little wood/glass/stone constructions (buildings and other things) in order to kill some pigs (green pigs for some reason) who stole your eggs.

Where the game really gets some depth is the variety of birds (but no variety in their level of anger, which is just fine).

  • Red bird – Normal. Fire him out of the slingshot, he smashes into stuff with his face. Some days, I know how he feels.
  • Blue bird – Fire him out of the slingshot, tap the screen, and he splits into three blue birds! They’re small but have a nice area of impact, and are perfect for breaking glass.
  • Yellow bird – Fire him, tap, and he suddenly multiplies his speed by three or four times, smashing right through glass and wood with ease.
  • White bird – Fire him, tap the screen, and he lays an egg. An explosive egg. Fun.
  • Black bird – My favorite. He’s heavy, first of all, so he can smash through stone on his own. But the fun comes when you tap the screen: He explodes causing a huge amount of damage to the area.

There are a couple other birds. One is awful, the other is really good, and you won’t even see the third unless you get Angry Birds Seasons.

My recommendation is to get the free version of all three Angry Birds games, try them out, see if you like it. I think you get to experience almost all the birds in the free versions. Buying it just gives you a ton more levels, and the nice thing is they add levels all the time!

Angry Birds gets an 8.8/10 rating from this reviewer!

Plants Vs Zombies

Plants Vs Zombies is the game that brought the tower defense genre to the mainstream. Many of my friends play Plants Vs Zombies while still insulting the tower defense genre, completely unaware of the fact that that is exactly what they’re playing. I think of PvsZ as an introductory, sort of dumbed-down version of other tower defense games, but that’s an incredibly insulting description, and believe me, I intend no offense. I have PvsZ on four different systems and I am still as addicted as ever.

The basic idea is that you own a house. Suddenly, zombies start attacking your house and trying to eat your brains, so your defense is to make a bunch of plants! Plants range from peashooters (the basic attacking plant) and watermelons (launch huge watermelons with a lot of power and splash damage) to sunflowers (produce ‘sun’ which is how you buy your new plants) and walnuts (absorb a ton of damage so your other plants are safe).

Another element is the variety of zombies. Zombies can come in normal form (slowly walking toward you, eating anything in their path), football player form (can take a huge amount of damage and move very quickly), polevaulter zombies (jump over the first plant they encounter, making walnuts ineffective), and so on.

I really can’t say enough good things about this game. And, if you end up liking it, I encourage you to try some other tower defense games (The Creeps is a good one for the Apple app store, and so it Bloons TD 4. I don’t play any others on my Droid, but I’m sure they’re out there. Let me know if you see one that interests you and would like a review!), as it really is a good genre of game. And one of the most addicting, in my opinion.

Plants Vs Zombies gets a 9.4/10 rating from this reviewer!

Doodle Jump

Doodle Jump was one of the first games I got for my iPod Touch (and it is also available on the Amazon app store for Kindles and Droids). I think it was the first I saw to knock Angry Birds out of the top spot, or maybe it was out before Angry Birds was. Either way, it interested me.

It’s an amazingly simple game. Your character jumps constantly, and you tilt your device to make him move left and right, jumping higher and higher, landing on relatively small platforms, avoiding dangers along the way. I don’t know what else to add to make it sound more complicated.

While jumping, you encounter various things, good and bad. Sometimes the platform you try to land on simply breaks beneath your feet and you fall right through. Some things will kill you on impact, but if you tap the screen you can shoot up at them (the real danger there is the disctraction, and suddenly you end up tilting your device while shooting and fall to your doom).

This game is definitely best played “against” other people, especially your friends. My girlfriend and I battled for high scores for a long time. She would get a high score, I would beat it in a few days, she would beat mine in a few days, and so on. Typing that made me realize I think she has the last high score, so now I need to go back and beat it again.

There are other games like this (Abduction and Abduction 2 seem to be the most popular alternatives), but none compare, in my opinion. Doodle Jump just has a very nice feel to it, you can customize the skin for everything (there’s a winter theme, a Halloween theme, etc.), and it’s just plain addicting.

Doodle Jump gets an 8/10 rating from this reviewer!

Hiatus

Posted in Review with tags , , on January 3, 2012 by thedavewsc

So soon into the lifetime of the blog? I know. But what can I say, I’m on vacation, away from my computer, and can’t make a decent post from my phone (which is what I’m doing now).

So today’s episode is simply a micro-review of the Kindle Fire, which I got my girlfriend for her birthday.

Turns out, I’m jealous of it, despite having a Droid phone and an iPod Touch. What it amounts to in my terms is a bigger, nicer iPod Touch (as far as having games goes), but is also way better at books and movies. Arguably worse at music (which I would hope, comparing it to an iPod).

Overall, I think I will get myself one. Or someone can donate one, whatever.

If you get one, definitely order a portfolio case thing to go with it. It feels very exposed with nothing in front of the big… What, 7″ screen? Something.

PS – Don’t pay the extra $4 for the HD Angry Birds. I didn’t notice a difference. Definitely make sure you get the Kindle Fire edition of Doodle Jump though (if you have a Kindle Fire). I didn’t know that exiated, got the normal one, and it was all choppy. Also I might review those two games in the near future.

Poll time! Next entry: Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, or Plants Vs Zombies? Or mini reviews of all three?

Tiny Tower For Gaming On The Go

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on December 31, 2011 by thedavewsc

Tonight’s review refers to something I’m currently experiencing: Gaming on the go. I’m currently traveling around a lot, on Christmas break from college (my last one…), so almost the only gaming I’m doing is mobile. The devices available to me, for the record, are an iPod Touch and a Droid Incredible (I don’t recommend the latter).

Tiny Tower is a game I recently discovered through the suggestion of a friend of mine (known only as DJ RiVal). The premise is simple enough. You own a tower which contains apartments and stores, and you continually add floors to it as you gain money from these floors. It’s one of those sort-of-addictive-but-ridiculously-addicting things.

Part of the genius is the humanization of the Bitizens (the name for the dwellers and other customers of your tower). They are all randomly-generated, with apparently possible combinations numbering upward of four million, so they all look different, and you can change each of their appearances through a little menu. Alternatively, you can give them fancy little costumes (like a surgeon or a big heart) for a small cost of in-game money. Another layer on this subject is the inclusion of Bitbook, which is the Facebook of the Tiny Tower world. You get to go read status updates from your Bitizens, which range from, “We really need to restock the candle shop,” a helpful little reminder, to, “I just like smiling, smiling’s my favorite,” an admittedly less helpful but funnier comment.

There are also countless different floors for you to get. When building a new one, you choose a category (residential, food, service, recreation, retail, and creative), and one in that category will randomly be built. I have no idea how many options there are for each category, but people with towers of at least 100 floors have had no repetition. For example, in my tower, for food I have a pizza place, a smoothie shop, asian cuisine, and a pancake house, and they each look exactly what you’d expect them to, and you can change the colors (my entire tower has a blue theme).

Another layer to this is that in each shop you can have three Bitizens employed. And you don’t want to do this randomly. Each Bitizen has a ranking of 0 to 9 for each of the categories, and the higher the rank, the more of a discount you get on the product they watch over. And on top of that, each Bitizen has a dream job, and if you place them in their dream job, they become overjoyed and you get two tower bucks (in the game there are coins, gained from selling goods and used for stocking more goods and buying new floors, and there are tower bucks, which are gained from special events and can also be purchased with real money).

Basically there’s a lot to this seemingly simple little game. And best of all? It’s completely free!

In my research for writing this review, I even found a wiki specifically dedicated to the game. And it has hundreds of pages. I had no idea.

As far as mobile, addictive gaming goes, Tiny Tower gets a 9/10 rating from this reviewer.

Hello World… Finally

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 30, 2011 by thedavewsc

Hello everyone. Let’s call this my introduction post. Hell, maybe I’ll just manually change the post date to make it look like I actually did things in the correct order.

Basically I wanted to explain what this is. I intend this to be a blog about video games, and occasionally other forms of entertainment. Reviews, news, sometimes just talk or rumors. Most of these early posts have been a bit rushed, so expect things to get a little better; a little cleaner.

I invite you to give Alternate Reality a try. Follow it. Read it. Love it? In any case, basically I want some followers and I’d rather be open about that than be all douchey.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments. See if the blog is right for you. I intend to write it for a long time, and I can review games you request, if you’d like. I’ve played them all (seriously). If it keeps growing, I’ll get my own domain and all that, but that’s a ways off. Like. At last one comment on any post on this.

So. Yeah.

Here’s the first thing that comes up on Google Image search for Altered Reality. So you know it’s good.

Bit.Trip Runner Review

Posted in Review with tags , , , on December 29, 2011 by thedavewsc

Bit.Trip Runner is self-described as a, “Rhythm-based Action Platformer,” with, “Classic NES-Style Controls,” and a “Pounding Chiptune-Inspired Soundtrack.” There’s really no other way to describe it.

The game stars Commander Video (for the record, I highly approve of the Dallas Cowboys-esque stars) as a running (constantly), jumping, and sliding hero who you must guide through over 50 levels, avoiding dangers along the way. One wrong move sends you right back to the start of the level, which can get frustrating as the game gets a little tricky relatively quickly (by level 6 I had to repeat each level multiple times).

I’m a very music-oriented person, so I really like rhythm games, and while you can play this game on mute, I find it much more entertaining with the sound blasting. Each action you must perform syncs with a beat of the music, which is constantly going and keeping you pumped-up.

I haven’t yet beaten the game, so I can’t tell you about replay value or any sort of story (which there doesn’t seem to be), but I’ll tell you I’m addicted.

Bit.Trip Runner gets an 8.5/10 rating from this blog.