Category Archives: Mobile Gaming

Mobile Gaming — AstroNest

I play a few mobile games.  Not many, since I don’t need all my time being eaten up by them, but a few.  Until recently the list was Minion Rush, DomiNations, Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, and Clash Royale.  Clash Royale and DomiNations were more due to inertia than anything, and tbh in CR I was just logging in for the free chest every 4 hours, donating cards to the clan I was in, asking for some in return, but not actually you know… playing… the game.  So I dropped out of the clan and uninstalled Clash Royale, but that left a hole in my icons on my phone to fill.

astronest-800x350Since I tend to like casual space combat games, when I saw an ad on Facebook for “AstroNest” with the picture above associated to it, I thought “I’ll give it a try and if I don’t like it I can uninstall it easily enough.  Turns out I quite like it.  I’m still figuring a few things out about it, and some things are level-locked and I’m not high enough for them yet, but at its core it’s something of a rock-paper-scissors game in how you set up your fleets, but nobody uses paper, and I’ve found out how to be both rock and scissors.  Okay, bad analogy, but … I win a lot more battles than I lose, even against people who the game says are significantly stronger than I.  That said, I can also lose horribly to people who the game indicates are weaker than I am, though that’s not unheard of, but rare.  Basically I leverage high evasion to “tank” by not getting hit, while using high-accuracy weapons to make sure that I almost never miss.  Doesn’t always work, but close enough.

So yeah, I’ve come to quite enjoy it and am looking forward to playing it for some time to come yet.  I like it enough that I spent $10 on one of their starter packs so that I’d feel like I was buying the game that I was having so much fun with.

Now to find that level 45 alien fleet.  I found the level 50 already, but I still need to find the level 45 one……



I learned you can sit while fishing

On the FFXIV front, I’ve completed the lore set for the tank jobs and have taken to tanking the expert dungeons as a paladin in order to make my queue go faster.  Carpenter and Culinarian are both level 60 now, with Blacksmith coming up at 57.  Weaver is 46 now as well, so once it hits 50 and BSM hits 60 it will take over as the Moogle class while I work on…. probably Leatherworker next.  On the gathering front, MIN and BTN are both 54 now and climbing steadily so it won’t be too long before I hit 60 on them.


Nice looking room my daughter found during her explorations in the Goblet.

Honestly, I don’t really plan to do much with crafting or gathering once they’re all 60.  don’t even plan to gear them up or anything in order to make the “advanced” recipes.  I’m really just doing the crafting stuff in order to be able to say to myself that I’m still advancing my character.


Ewww! Married people . . .

More exciting to me is that my wife finally decided to start playing the game also.  She’s spent hours in the character creator getting her character just right, and I made an alt to play with her at the same level.  She’s never really done video games at all, so the WASD movement is still throwing her, and when she had to avoid telegraphs during her 1st combat quest that threw her off, but she’ll get better.  We’re level 4 on those characters, is all, but there’s no rush for them whatsoever, just a way to pass time some evenings in the same room.  Should be nice.

Happy gaming out there.

The Year of the Gamer

I would have to say that this is certainly the age of the gamer. There are so many different types of games these days, and such a wide variety of people playing them, that it’s hard not to someone playing something. So what are your favorite games? Where do you spend your time? Here’s where I’ve been spending mine.

Browser based games – I haven’t started playing any poker sites for money yet, there is only one browser based game that I have been playing, and it’s Glitch. Even though the game is being brought back to its beta stages in order to further development, the game is still a huge hit with me.

PC based games – as always the largest number of games I’m playing happen to be for the pc. These include Skyrim, Sims 3 (pets is a fantastic expansion), World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, and a few others that are not constants but are still on my desktop (there’s a good 15 titles in that category depending on my whims).  I filtered to and from League of Legends for a little while, but it got a tad bit frustrating to me. Magicka was the same way.

Mobile Gaming – these games always have a hard time trying to keep my attention. I really like bejeweled for some strange reason that I can’t even pinpoint, but I don’t enjoy angry birds at all. Plants vs. Zombie is a great title, and I actually have it on my PC now thanks to a generous Christmas gift. My ipad and iphone are almost empty of any games, I seem to prefer using those systems for organizational tools and media. If you know of any mobile games that I may enjoy, please feel free to let me know in comments! I’m especially fond of RPG games, although I have been known to play a few other types as well.

Mobile Gaming: Pirates and Traders

This is one that’s been in the Android Market for a while but I’ve been spending a lot of time with it recently and thought it deserved a look. Pirates and Traders is a non-linear strategy game in the same vein as games like Wing Commander: Privateer. It’s a game in which you make your own way, choosing to play nice and be a trader between the outposts of the four Caribbean powers or playing as an outlaw boarding and taking control of other merchant ships you encounter.

You start the game as a young captain in a ship of your choice and are cast out into the world to make a career for yourself. As a Frenchman, I began my career in Tortuga with the choice between a Barque with a large cargo hold or a Sloop with fast sails and extra cannon. The game is played by moving from port to port with your ship, maintaining food stores to keep your men happy and stave off mutiny, and making money trading goods you’ve bought or stolen. By carefully listening to rumors in taverns you can capitalize on shortages of one trade good in a port and surplus in others. Occasionally you will find someone in a tavern who wants goods moved or a transport to another port of call, which are often easy money but you should check first if you can complete the job in the allotted time.

Life as a pirate is a hard one. Ship combat is modeled in a turn based fashion where you begin trading cannon fire at range, then close the distance to either pelt your opponent’s rigging to prevent them running or decks to destroy their cannon and crew. In the beginning of your career you will encounter captains who are more skilled at ship combat than you and who often defeat you. I had better luck after I made enough money as a trader to buy a bigger ship, a Large Brig to use in my piracy career. There are no pirate ports of call, so even as a pirate you must still play nice with at least one of the four factions to have a place to sell your ill-gotten gains.

As a strategy game Pirates and Traders has depth to keep you coming back for more. I would like to see it expanded, with more missions available and perhaps more ship upgrades. If you’re looking for a good trade simulation this one is worth checking out. The game is available in a free (ad supported) version and a gold version on the Android market.

Mobile Gaming: Tangram Moment

In my quest for new ways to waste time with my Android phone I’ve recently found a puzzle game by the name of Tangram Moment. Created by H.Jin and free to download from the Android Market, this app is a version of the popular puzzle known as Tangrams.


In Tangrams, the goal is to use seven geometrically shaped blocks called tans to recreate a given design. Some designs, like the one in the image above are easy while some are quite tricky. Tangram Moment has been recently updated to include over 450 designs which are arranged into categories and are progressively unlocked as you complete them.

It’s nothing new, but it’s well done in that the controls to rotate and move your tans are very smooth and the puzzles offer a good mixture between simple and tricky. It scratches the puzzle itch I’ve had lately, and it’s good for when you have a few moments and want to do something to relax. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a puzzle to work through on their phone.

Mobile Gaming Review: Alchemy

Today we have a rapidly expanding and pretty popular puzzle game available on Android called Alchemy, created by Andrey Zaikin (Blog mostly in Russian) Alchemy is a simple concept puzzle game that has surprising depth once you dig into it.

Alchemy begins as a black screen with four icons representing the four elements, Earth Air Fire and Water. For example, dragging your starting Fire icon onto the Water icon makes Alcohol, while dragging your Water icon onto the Earth icon makes a Swamp. Doubletap in a blank area to get a new set of four elements and you can combine Air and Earth to make Dust, or Fire and Air to make Energy. By combining these you make ever more complex items, eventually making Life and Man, as well as fun things like Vampires, Frankenstein, Walking Trees and 1UP Mushrooms!

Dragging an icon to the ? symbol will give you information about it (usually a Wikipedia link) and combinations that create or use it. When dragging an icon the + symbol becomes a trash can you can use to discard excess icons and unclutter your workspace. Tapping the + opens a menu listing the elements you’ve created which you can use to bring one onto the workspace as an icon without having to recreate it from the basic four. On the list of your unlocked elements ones marked with a red * are end line creations that can’t be used to make anything new.

The joy in this game comes from deducing what combines to make something, and in the current version there are 300 elements to puzzle out. I have to admit I am still under 150 elements, but really enjoying jumping back in with a clear mind and trying new things when I have spare moments.

If you’re looking for a puzzle game with an interesting twist then give Alchemy a try! It’s a free download on the Android Market.