Making Apocalypses Fun – Doomlings

Doomlings Box Cover

My friend sent me a message a few months ago about a game she backed on Kickstarter. Based on what she told me, I thought the game seemed interesting but wasn’t wanting to back the campaign until I played it. After driving to visit her a few weeks ago, she finally broke out her copy of Doomlings, so I could try it out. I was a big fan. Doomlings is a simple card game about outlasting the end of the world.

Doomlings has a fairly simple concept. The goal of the game is to earn the most points at the end of the world. There are certain cards that have a number on them indicating how many points the card is worth. Some cards are ability cards with no points or if there is a really good ability card, it might provide minus points because the ability is that good. There are several rounds that are broken up by catastrophe cards. Catastrophe cards have outcomes on them, so they provide unpredictability to the game. Some catastrophes can help players while that same catastrophe could harm another player’s board. Each game takes about 20-45 minutes which is perfect for a quick game.

Doomlings has some of the cutest art. This reminds me of Unstable Unicorns, the normal edition (not the NSFW edition). The art features these cute creature cards. I found myself taking a picture of a few of my favorites that came up during gameplay.

I had such a time playing Doomlings. I’m sort of regretting not backing it, to begin with. However, Doomlings does have its full selection on the website to order. I’m tempted to order my own copy because I can see my brother really enjoying this game. Doomlings is perfect for anyone who wants a short game that’s extremely easy to learn and teach.

My Favorite Roleplaying Memories

Zehiri & Hellish Rebuke

Last weekend I was playing Adventurer’s League with my Tiefling Paladin, Zehiri. This was the first game where Zehiri was a level #5 meaning she could attack twice. I had a blast being able to not only attack twice but incorporate a smite into one of my melee attacks for extra damage. As I reflected on the session, I realized I have had quite a few memorable roleplaying moments from various sessions I have played in. I wanted to share a few of my favorite roleplaying moments from various types of roleplaying games.

Using a Saxophone as a Weapon – Call of Cthulhu

I played in a one-shot Call of Cthulhu game where our characters were trapped in an “abandoned” asylum. Our characters had nothing as far as weapons, money, or accessories. Our group was investigating the music room before being attacked by supernatural beings. I asked our keeper (Call of Cthulhu terminology for a Dungeon Master) if there was a saxophone in the room. He agreed that there would be. I picked up the saxophone, slung it on my back, and prepared to use it as a club against these beings. It led to a fun conversation about how much damage could a saxophone carry and it led to our group escaping with our lives. It shows how roleplaying can bring out creativity between both the keeper and the players.

Hellish Rebuke – Takedown of an Ogre – Adventurer’s League

During one of our Adventurer’s League sessions, we were going to rescue hostages from some ogres. As I ran into battle, I was face to face with an ogre champion. She swung her club at me and dealt close to 20 damage. I was ready. I had Hellish Rebuke lined up. Hellish Rebuke is a reaction spell that forces the enemy to hit you to make a saving throw. No matter what, the opponent will take damage. The ogre failed her saving throw and I ended up rolling extremely well. This dealt the last remaining damage needed. One of the items the ogre had were the “Gauntlets of Ogre Power” which gives the wearer a strength score of 19. The group agreed that I could have the Gauntlets which have proven useful in future sessions.

Successfully Punching a Nazi – Call of Cthulhu

In this one-shot, our setting was in the 1940s when our characters were on a ship. As our group was investigating disappearances in the crew, I noticed a group of Nazis at the bar. I immediately beelined to them and told our keeper that I wanted to slap one of them. Everyone in our group didn’t think this would go well and was preparing to defend me if needed. I ended up rolling a critical success much to the keeper’s delight. I was able to slap a Nazi and get away with it.

As I was writing this post, I was flooded with memories of memorable sessions. I’m going to save a few of them for a potential part #2 post. I would love to know some of your most memorable roleplaying memories in the comments below.

Animal Crossing One Year Anniversary – Photos

I felt myself missing playing Animal Crossing New Horizons. I go through a spurt where I play daily and then I don’t play for a month or two. I decided to return to MaplePeaks and continue my work in beautifying my island. As I logged in, I was reminded that it was my one-year anniversary of starting Animal Crossing and I wanted to celebrate by posting photos I have taken in-game.

The first photo I ever took!

Before building a full house, there’s a starter tent. I took this photo on one of the first or second days I started playing Animal Crossing. I didn’t have any cute clothes and my island is filled with weeds. My island has come so far!

One of the biggest parts of Animal Crossing is catching insects, diving for undersea treasures, and fishing. There’s an encyclopedia that can be filled in and badges are earned for catching everything. I still have a long way to go to complete the encyclopedia, but I’m for sure halfway through.

In Animal Crossing, there are several buildings you can build. One of those is Nooks Cranny, a general store of sorts. Right next to Nooks Cranny is the Museum run by Blathers an owl wearing a brown sweater. The buildings provide heart to the island and help generate bells and donate all the items that can be collected.

Animal Crossing has an Easter event where you can run around the island and collect eggs. The eggs can be used to craft Easter-themed furniture and outfits. I was wearing a green egg dress and shoes while I collected eggs. I hope Animal Crossing does a Halloween-type event because I missed it last year.

To help navigate my island, I can build bridges or inclines to make it easier to hike. This is a photo I took pretty recently. There are several options, but since I’m wanting a Fall themed island, the red brick fits my island’s aesthetic. I created a brick pathway to help match the brick stairs to the brick path.

One of the most memorable parts of Animal Crossing is the animal villagers. Genji is featured in this screenshot I took today. Genji is one of my favorites. Genji was one of my first villagers and for whatever reason is the villager who most often visits my home.

The last photo is the one that makes me laugh. I love how in Animal Crossing you can carry whatever you catch in your pocket. I caught a Great White Shark and I’m just holding it, absolutely no big deal. This was short when I stuff my Great White Shark into my pocket to carry. Every time I look at this photo, it makes me laugh.

Animal Crossing never fails to make me happy. It’s such a light-hearted game to get completely lost in.

Raccoon PI – Backbone

I have been playing a lot of animal-themed games lately. Earlier this year, I played Donut Country and now I have finished Backbone. Playing as a Raccoon is entertaining, to say the least. Backbone is a neo-noir game focused on a Raccoon PI uncovering corruption at every turn.

Backbone begins with Private Investigator Howard Lotor as he’s preparing to see his first client. He’s greeted by Odette, a well-dressed mouse who’s missing her husband. The case seems pretty standard to Howard. Through Howard’s investigation, he discovered Odette’s husband died under suspicious circumstances. Howard flees in terror and realizes this case may be much more dangerous than he previously thought.

One of the first things I noticed about Backbone was the music. I don’t normally pay attention to music in video games, but the music in Backbone was unsettling. For a game starring animals, I found myself on edge as Howard slinks through the town. There’s a part of the game where Howard is captured and the music becomes more intense where I found myself sitting on edge throughout that moment. The music helped capture the neo-noir experience Backbone was going for.

Besides the music, I liked the options throughout the game. For example, Howard is tasked with breaking into a nightclub. He can either go through the backdoor or go onto the roof. I liked being able to pick and choose how I wanted to proceed through the game. I chose the roof and that seemed to work out splendidly. Additionally, there are different dialogue options with different characters. Depending on the dialogue options chosen, this can lead to secret achievements being earned. I liked that about Backbone because it leaves some replay value to the game.

Backbone was a fun surprise as I wasn’t expecting to like the game as much as I did. Backbone can be downloaded on Xbox Game Pass or purchased through Steam.

Controllers & Coffee Gaming Update #5

It’s been a bit since I posted a Controllers & Coffee gaming update! This is one of my favorite posts to write because it keeps me accountable and on track with my gaming goals. I wanted to share what I have been playing and what’s next on my gaming backlog.

Consoles

I was planning on 100% completing LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga until my game glitched. It’s unfortunate because I still think this is a fun and well-made game. Since my game glitched, I’m going to move on to play Jedi Fallen Order. I originally played Jedi Fallen Order back in 2020 during quarantine, but I never finished it. I’m debating going back to my original save file or if I should start over and get the full experience. I’m leaning towards the latter. I can always change my mind and go back to my other unfinished save.

After Jedi Fallen Order, I could pick up Far Cry 5 again. I’m notorious for starting games and not completing them.

I’m also planning on going through Xbox Game Pass and seeing if there are any games on there I want to play. I like having options depending on what type of mood I’m in.

PC

I haven’t played any PC games for a while now. Coffee Talk is a great game, it’s just not enticing me to keep playing. I do want to look at either playing through another Nancy Drew game in my Steam library or potentially starting a new game.

Board Games

The only game I played recently was Doctor Who Fluxx which was a quick and easy-to-learn card game. I’m hoping to do a board game day soon with family and have more updates on this end.

Roleplaying

I’m still playing Curse of Strahd every other Thursday at Bad Wolf Adventure Studios. I’m loving it! It’s been nice being able to play DnD on a regular basis. Once Curse of Strahd is over, I definitely want to hop into another campaign at Bad Wolf.

I haven’t been able to play Adventurer’s League in a while, so Zehiri (my Tiefling Paladin) has been left in the dust. I am planning on signing up for a session soon as I miss it.

I have also been getting back to watching Critical Role Campaign #1 Vox Machina. I took a bit of a hiatus when I prioritized Star Wars content last month. I’m on episode #70 right now which was right after the resurrection of one of the characters who died in battle.

Miscellaneous

As far as gaming news, a new trailer for Stray – the game where you can play as a stray cat was released. I’m a big cat person, so I think this concept is cute. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the sequel to Jedi Fallen Order, had a trailer drop during Star Wars Celebration. I want to finish Jedi Fallen Order so I can be prepared when the game releases in 2023.

I’m looking forward to playing Jedi Fallen Order, getting inspiration in PC gaming, and finding something new to play on Xbox Game Pass. Let me know what you’re playing through in the comments down below.

May the 4th Be With You – 2022 Plan Recap

Summer is in full swing and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I love the sun, the smell of sunscreen, and not needing a jacket every time I go outside. With the end of May, it comes my annual “May the 4th Be With You” recap. This month didn’t go exactly as I had planned, but I still think it was a great month regardless

Books and Comics

Unfortunately, I never received the rest of my Barnes & Noble order. I ended up missing Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, Leia, Princess of Alderaan, and Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume #1. The only book that arrived was Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse. It’s unfortunate because I wanted to have a big reading month and it didn’t work out.

Resistance Reborn takes place between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. The book centers around recruiting former allies to fight for the Resistance and an action-packed mission. Poe, leader of the Black Squadron, is tasked with retrieving a Resistance prisoner list and breaking a prisoner out of a secure First Order facility.

Resistance Reborn was an enjoyable read. I will say there was a lot of story build-up. For some, this might be boring to read, but I like all the information and context. The last 100 pages are where the action intensified. I rated Resistance Reborn 3 1/2 stars on Goodreads.

Regarding comics, I only finished Star Wars: Princess Leia Vol #1. I do have the complete run of Star Wars: Poe Dameron to read, but I didn’t finish it in May like I thought I would. I’m looking forward to the coming months because I have fewer weekends booked solid like I did in May. I’m hoping for some free Saturday mornings to read comics.

Movies & TV

I’m sad to say that I didn’t finish The Clone Wars. I did watch The Clone Wars on my drive to and from Milwaukee, so that helped. I’m now on season #3. I’m determined to finally finish the show by the end of the year. I didn’t get to re-watch The Mandalorian or re-watch The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, or The Rise of Skywalker. I still feel accomplished for the month and I’m invested in watching more Star Wars content by the end of the year.

Gaming

I did play through LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga, however, my game glitched!! I am on the last episode, The Rise of Skywalker, and I’m forever stuck in light speed traveling to the next level. I looked on Reddit, and apparently, if you accepted a cargo side mission, the cargo doesn’t load at light speed, so you have to complete the cargo mission and it should fix the glitch. The problem is that I have no idea what cargo mission I accepted. I would have to go back and go through every individual side mission to figure out which one I accepted. Plus, this isn’t a guaranteed fix. There were some comments where players did this and it still didn’t fix the glitch.

I have invested so much time in this game that I’m so sad that I can’t even finish the story. The only hope that I have is if a patch is released that will fix my game save. I’m not willing to go through all the effort listed above and have it not work. I’m going to discontinue playing through the game which is such a bummer.

Since I’m done playing through LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga, I’m going to go back to Jedi Fallen Order. I played through the game back in 2020 and I never finished it. I’m going to start over and devote the time to finishing the game.

Miscellaneous Star Wars Content

I’m adding a section for the “miscellaneous” Star Wars content that I listened to or discovered this month. Thanks to Anakin + His Angel I discovered the Youtube channel, Always Believe. Always Believe is hosted by Ash and Bryan who share their love of Star Wars, Disney, and Marvel. I love their channel! They are both in their mid-30’s and I like to see people carry their interests as they get older. I’m genuinely excited to see when they release a new video and I like listening to their videos while I do various chores or tasks throughout the day.

While I’m at work, I discovered two Star Wars podcasts to help me get through the day. The first is Force Toast Podcast. Force Toast is hosted by Alyce and Laura and they are based in Chicago. They talk about Star Wars content, and Star Wars trivia over a drink. The other Star Wars podcast I found was Star Wars STUFF This is more of a Star Wars news podcast versus Force Toast being a casual Star Wars chat. Both podcasts I can see myself listening to throughout the coming months.

Overall, I think this was a successful Star Wars month despite some challenges I had. I do want to carry more Star Wars throughout the year as I find that once May ends, I find I don’t discuss Star Wars nearly as much. I do want to add Star Wars books to my TBR (to be read pile) along with continuing my re-watch of The Clone Wars. Let me know what Star Wars content you’re reading or loving in the comments down below.

Creating DnD Campaign Sheets – DnD Podcasts

I love listening to Dungeons & Dragons or roleplaying podcasts. The frustrating part about them, however, is getting lost within the story. Each podcast has so much world-building that I find if I’m not paying attention to every second, I might miss something. Some podcasts may use recaps which are super helpful while others have opted out of that altogether. I wanted to share what’s been working for me to keep everything straight in the roleplaying podcasts I have been listening to.

I started this with Critical Role specifically. I started keeping a google doc per campaign where I write down my favorite moments, key NPCs (non-playable characters created by the Dungeon Master), and memorable bits from each episode. I started this google doc last year and kept up with it even when Critical Role began airing campaign #3. It’s been fun keeping a record of moments I don’t want to forget and it’s helped me get into the world that’s being created. This document is now 11 pages long! This is including moments from campaigns #1 and #3, so I may end up breaking them apart into two separate documents.

If anyone else is a fan of roleplaying podcasts, I currently have a google doc created for both campaigns #2 and #3 from NADDPOD and campaign #1 and campaign #3 of Critical Role. I’m happy to share them if anyone is interested.

May the 4th Be With You – 2022 Plan

May the 4th be with you! May the 4th has a special place in my heart because I’m a big Star Wars fan and I look forward to this month every year. Every May, I dedicate the whole month to Star Wars. I wanted to share my official plan for this year as far as the books I want to read, the shows I want to watch, and the video games I want to play.

Books and Comics

I have three books on my list to read for the month of May. The first book is Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray. This book highlights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan before the events of The Phantom Menace. I have a soft spot for the prequels, so I like that more of the Canon Star Wars books are taking place during this era. The second book on my list is Leia, Princess of Alderaan (Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi) by Claudia Gray. This book focuses on Leia as a sixteen-year-old girl who starts to begin her dive into the fight against the Empire. The final book on my list is Resistance Reborn: Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rebecca Roanhorse. This book focuses on Rey, Finn, and Poe before the events of the final movie in the trilogy. This book has mixed reviews, so I’m going into reading this book with a mindset of wanting a fun adventure between the trio versus this being the best book I have ever read.

As far as comics, I have three graphic novels on my list: Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol #1, Star Wars: The High Republic Volume #1, and Princess Leia Volume #1. I have a few comic book store trips planned this month, so I may pick up Star Wars comics as I see fit.

Movies & TV

My number one priority is to finish Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I typically only watch the show during May, but we shall see if this is the year where I finally finish it! Besides The Clone Wars, I do want to do a re-watch of The Mandalorian. There’s also The Book of Boba Fett and Bad Batch. My focus this month will be on the Star Wars TV side of things, however, I would consider doing a re-watch of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX. I did a move re-watch a few years ago, and I don’t think I made it through those three. I know for a fact that I haven’t watched The Rise of Skywalker since I saw it in theaters, so I may add that to my list. There’s so much content and such limited time to watch it all.

Gaming

This should come as no surprise since I wrote about this recently, but I’m still going through LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. I’m at the end of episode III right now. My goal would be to complete all episodes by the end of the month, but that seems like a huge task. I do have Jedi Fallen Order on my list to play as well, however, I don’t think I will have time to complete both games.

May the 4th be with you and don’t forget that May 5th is “Revenge of the Fifth”!

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – First Thoughts

I had my eye on LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga since the game was announced. I’m a fan of LEGO games as I think they are a relaxing game to play in between something more intense. I wish I would have pre-ordered this game. As it turns out, it was difficult to find a copy. I lucked out because I was able to find a last-minute copy at Best Buy on the PS4. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is an extravagant rendition of a nostalgic game.

The first thing that jumped out at me was how open-world this game is! I’m on episode #2, Attack of the Clones, and I like that I can explore Coruscant in great detail. There are bricks to collect, side missions, and characters to unlock. It seems every Star Wars planet will get this same overhaul. This goes beyond being a LEGO game. My husband walked in while I was playing through this game and laughed when he realized I was simply walking around collecting bricks and not advancing through the story. I love that there is so much to do.

Speaking of collectibles, there are at least 1,000+ blue bricks to collect throughout the game. I’m a completionist which means I like collecting everything and unlocking every single trophy. It’s going to take me forever to unlock everything, but it’s a challenge that I have accepted.

I wanted to keep this post short and sweet. Once I complete the game, I will write a more in-depth review. My first impression of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is that it’s a game well worth the money and perfect for any Star Wars fan of any age.

Donuts and Sinkholes – Donut Country

Xbox Game Pass is so worth the money. I mentioned Xbox Game Pass before and I will keep reiterating how much I love it. There are so many games to choose from and I like being able to try a game to see if I like it. During the week, I like playing relaxing games such as Animal Crossing or visual novel games like Coffee Talk. I don’t want to have to concentrate on something as work at times leaves me feeling drained. One game I decided to try was Donut Country.

Donut Country is a puzzle physics game in which players play as a sinkhole that will suck up various buildings, animals, and people in this town. The story follows Mira who along with her raccoon friend, BK, works at the local donut shop. BK started doing donut deliveries in order to save for a remote-controlled helicopter. Mira learns that instead of donut deliveries, sinkholes have been dispatched and sinking various residents. BK realizes that something is amiss as he doesn’t want to sink the town, he only wants his helicopter. How will Mira and BK revert the town to the way it was before the sinkholes?

The gameplay in Donut Country is where the game thrives. I had a lot of fun maneuvering this sinkhole around. Since some of the objects are larger in size, the sinkhole has to be appropriately placed to complete a level and capture the objects. Some levels have a puzzle component where certain levers have to be pulled and objects are catapulted out of the sinkhole to complete the level. I liked the puzzle aspect of the game as I think it added a layer of complexity to the levels. Besides the puzzle aspect, I liked the graphics. They were cute, colorful, and had their own memorable art style. It’s clear the town takes inspiration from LA. The boss level is similar to the Griffith observatory which I have been to before! I thought it was a nice touch to see where the game draws its inspiration from.

The only downside I can think of to the game is the story. The story at times felt a bit convoluted. I’m still not sure where the sinkholes came from. It’s revealed who summons the sinkholes, but I’m not following how they randomly popped up. I think that the point of the game is to be unrealistic, so I think it’s worth suspending some disbelief while playing Donut Country.

Donut Country was an entertaining and relaxing game to play. I probably wouldn’t have played this game had it not been on Xbox Game Pass. Donut Country is available on Xbox Game Pass.