Wednesday, November 30, 2011

nerd alert : big fish sampler 3

So I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the Big Fish Game Club. Basically you get games at a discounted price, and for every few games you buy you get "punches" in your card - punches equal free games.... its kind of a lot to think about, but I am going to give it a shot so I have an excuse to buy the games instead of just playing an hour of them...

Let me tell you a little about the three I played this past week...

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek Collector's Edition

flash light // sink knobs // rope bracelet
You, an FBI agent, wake up and vaguely remember you are looking for a missing person, a girl, in a town called Maple Creek. Though your memory only returns to you in little bits at a time, you begin to piece your case back together again. There are strange connections to a case from years earlier.

This game reeks of mystery. After the hour I was so sucked in, i needed to know what it all meant. The character you play has a real voice, instead of a subtitled inner voice, so its really easy to forget the game costs less than $15. This game also slightly reminds me of silent hill, or at least its church goers do... but not nearly as spooky. The inventory items are really great, and the wall where you put your case together is a nice home base i feel a lot of games are missing these days.

Overall strength of the games story line 5/6
Quality of the graphics, especially in the seek and find elements 5/6
How far through the game did I feel I was after the hour 5/6
Odds that I would buy the full version of this game 6/6


hotel sign // teacup // piranha
Your car crashes (come on big fish this happens to me in EVERY game! have some more faith in my driving ability) and you are stranded in an isolated area. After running into a girl who you find nearby, you try to call for help from the spooky neighborhood hotel. Well what kind of game would it be f the phone worked, am I right? You get a room and start unraveling the mystery of a town devastated by flood... but there's more tragedy and mystery afoot to uncover!

This is one of those games that you just want to fly through in order to get to the bottom of things. Who are the people in the hotel? Why can't you leave? What exactly happened with the flood and the town that's now mostly out of water. Also the hidden object sections of the game can be subbed out for a bejeweled inspired mini game! such a great idea! also props for the character monologs.

Overall strength of the games story line 6/6
Quality of the graphics, especially in the seek and find elements 6/6
How far through the game did I feel I was after the hour 6/6
Odds that I would buy the full version of this game 6/6

Grim Tales: the Bride
silver sun // engagement ring // white gloves
Your sister dies on her wedding day, and you think something sinister is afoot (again, I feel like this storyline is overdone) Convinced her death was no accident you head to her isolated mansion to search for answers.

Very bride oriented, as you may have guessed from the title. but the scenes are nicely done and the puzzles are heavely based on inventory, which i love. overall not much to write home about - but a quality title none the less.

Overall strength of the games story line 3/6
Quality of the graphics, especially in the seek and find elements 4/6
How far through the game did I feel I was after the hour 5/6
Odds that I would buy the full version of this game 2/6

So.. which one would I buy? I actually bought 2! Phantasmat and Enigmatis. (not surprising i know). I'll be sure to update when I finish them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


LOVE this printer by Artefact - super genius and such great interactive design.

SWYP: See What You Print from Artefact on Vimeo.

Monday, November 28, 2011


constantly troubled by which drink to pair with which tunes? fret no more!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving! In my opinion it's the best holiday. Turkey, stuffing, sales, early Christmas decorations with all the great leftovers from Halloween (Indian corn and pumpkins!) I hope you have a great day. I know I will!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

nerd alert : super mario bros. wii

Bowser is at it again! This time crashing Princess Peach's birthday party disguised as a cake. She has been taken hostage on his airship and his many minions stand between Mario and Peach's freedom. Lets'a Go!

01/ piranha earrings $sold out //  02/ bob-omb usb $29.95  //  03/ goomba hat $16.18  //  04/ toad slippers $15.99  //  05/ super mario bros. wii $43.99  //  06/ coin box tin $3.80  //   07/ pipe bookshelf $99.00  //  08/ controller lamp $84.95  //  09 pipe mug $sold out  //  10/ bullet bill belt buckle $sold out  //  11/ bob-omb ornament $10.00

This game is the latest and greatest take on the classic super mario brothers games we know and love. It keeps the linear levels, but introduces a more 3D look to each world.

Don't brush it off either, its pretty difficult.

I really appreciate how they have kept producing this kind of game instead of going 100% to the completely 3D style introduced by Mario64 (which we get in the mario galaxy games).

// from here
If anything, the 2d levels will make kids more willing to go back and play the old games, which are all available on wii! you can even buy a wii compatible controller for each nintendo system that plugs into the top of the system. From the Nintendo64 three prong controller to the gamecubes playstation rip-off - and since Nintendo bought Sega you can also play all those games too!)

The nostalgia around the mario legacy is huge, i mean the products made by fans is enough to show that. and I am glad you can still go buy a game that is just as awesome as super mario brothers was in the 80's.

6/6 Toes // Overall

1 // Graphics
The 2D levels pairs well with the 3D worlds, and there has been a noticeable facelift to the worlds and elements. I do however wish the end of each level was the 3 item boxes instead of the flag pole.

1 // Storyline and Characters  

The storyline is the classic peach gets kidnapped, so not much to be upset about there. My favorite addition to this particular game is the new suits mario gets to wear - the copter hat and the penguin suit are great. And i still can's decide if I prefer fire or ice balls. and did I mention all the yoshi's are here? and they have the extra boost jump that you loved in Yoshi's Island!

1 // Soundtrack and Sound Effects 
all classic, but the soundtrack has been updated and the villains in each level even stop what they are doing to dance along with the beat.

1 // Length of Game and Price  
You are guaranteed days of game play, you also have the ability to travel between the worlds you have beaten to unlock more content. They also threw in the element of going back and saving toad from levels already played which makes the game last longer. It has the potential of being just as addictive to uncover as Super Mario Brothers was for Super Nintendo. Its not too pricey for a wii game, but don't be shocked at the $50.00 stickers. Luckily the game has been out for a while and you can probably pick up a used copy at gamestop for less $. 

1 // Replay Value 

I will be replaying, or unlocking content in this game for months (or years) to come.
bonus! you can play this game with up to 4 players! And no waiting around for your turn, all players play at the same time.

1 // Puzzle Difficulty
The overall game is pretty difficult, and i don't know if its the fact I am not accustomed to the horizontal use of the Wii remote - or I am just so use to the old games i have them memorized. the new levels (and the 3 star coins hidden in each) have secrets and hidden 1-ups so keep your eyes peeled. the new suits and their special uses also add to the puzzles.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

simons cat : santa claws

Well, once again its time to put up the Christmas tree! I know its early, but I have people coming for Thanksgiving, and not for Christmas. So this way its not just me and Smith who get to enjoy it. Harve and Polly may have a direct impact on how long it actually stays up though.... don't worry, we only have plastic non-breakable ornaments for this very reason.

// from here

Thursday, November 17, 2011

speaker headphones

speakers and headphones all in one. genius? yes. If i didn't have such amazing headphones already (and if i also didn't have the huge problem of getting headphones to fit my insanely tiny head) i might just try these puppies out.

// from here

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

nerd alert : warnings at waverly academy

The Nancy kick continues!

Nancy Drew # 21 : Warnings at Waverly Academy. 

There's something magnetic about this time of the year. Pair it with private school, a century old mystery, and some threatening notes from someone calling herself the Black Cat - and you've got Nancy Drew's 21st mystery from HerInteractive.

The valedictorian candidates at Waverly are all competing for a full ride to the college of her choice. But it seems that someone wants to get them out of the picture. Threatening notes, followed by some dangerous accidents have sent a few of the girls home. Now its Nancy's turn to try to solve the case. Undercover (with a fake name and everything) she gets to spend mid-winter break at Waverly Academy - the upscale New England girls boarding school. Help Nancy figure out who the culprit is before the black cat strikes again.

01/ brass apple bell $6.00  //  02/ white squirrel $120.00  //  03/ star necklace $15.00  //  04/ plaid skirt $44.50  //  05/ edgar allen poe collected works $13.59  //  06/ cello $585.21  //  07/ vintage book laptop case $79.99  //  08/ trunk $?  //  09/ cat nap duvet cover $135.00  //  10/ dart board necklace $26.00  //  11/ school ring $66.00

I really enjoyed this game, its got enough characters with secrets to keep you guessing to the end. Also, the whole bording school in a new england setting is somewhat romantic to someone like me who always loved the preppy, old building, uniform, school history thing. maybe I watched too much Gilmore Girls, but I always wanted to go to a school steeped in history and tradition.

HerInteractive also created a website for the campus in the game - talk about going the extra mile for the players. see it here

6/6 Toes // Overall

1 // Graphics
The environment in this game is what made it really cool. An exclusive New England private school for girls. The details of the building were great. wood paneling, a cozy library, and dorm rooms to boot. The changing weather also gets extra points. 

1 // Storyline and Characters 
Nancy is undercover as Becca Sawyer, a transfer student from way of France. The gossip between the girls is really driven home with the constant texting of rumors and happenings. Each girl is unique, and its great getting to talk to all of them throughout the game.

1 // Soundtrack and Sound Effects 
Appropriate for the game, nothing too special. Did like the cello music through the walls (very realistic) and the piano was pretty fun.

1 // Length of Game and Price 

This game is pretty long, takes me a few evenings (Instead of a few hours) to play through. probably around 8-10 total. Available as a direct download at $19.99! 

1 // Replay Value 

This is at least the 5th time I've played this game. Its more about the general story, like i said before the whole private school thing is pretty untouchable in my biased perspective.

1 // Puzzle Difficulty
Not overly hard, but all the puzzles interlock to a larger riddle. keep a pen handy, this game always has me taking lots of notes!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the harve

hello. This is Harvey (aka the harve) and he's pretty good looking.

I think he may be the guy in the dos equis commercial reincarnated. He's kinda mean (he bites, and numerous vets have had severe things to say about his demeanor) but sometimes he's sweet and lets you take glamor shots of him. This isn't photoshopped - he really is this gorgeous. I keep telling him if he was more social he could be in a fancy feast commercial, or i could get him an eye-patch and he could play the cat from the last unicorn.

a little over a year ago harve had a bit of an accident (he took a huge jump down the stairs and got caught in the hand rail) long story short he needed to get an FHO - which is basically a surgery that removes the top of the femur and scar tissue forms a kind of joint between his leg and his hip.

I remember googling it an only coming up with results for small dogs with arthritis and hip problems. But we did it anyway, and one year later I have to say you cant even tell he has a handicap. he can jump from sitting position to counter tops just like before, and he can chase polly at lightning speeds. (he comically slows down so she can catch him). 

That's actually why we ended up getting polly. Harve was severely depressed during recovery, and all websites suggested physical therapy (aka another cat). Not to mention she looks just like him (but smaller with extra toes) and is pretty much his opposite mentally (she snuggles and purrs and doesn't bite people).

all in all a happy ending. so if you are considering an emergency FHO - i say go for it. worked for us.

Monday, November 14, 2011

mouse house

Harve and Polly keep the apartment mouse free - but i do like that with our super high baseboards i could put up one of these mouse house decals, just for the irony. (I love the one with the window and flowerpot!)

// from here

Friday, November 11, 2011

vicrorinox tomo

Have you seen the new Victorinox Tomo knives? I love them so much I think I need to buy one.
now comes the hard part.... choosing a color.

Available at for $24.00

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

nerd alert : shadow at the waters edge

I have been on a nancy kick for the past few weeks... replaying all the games from herinteractive. They are really good. you can tell each is treated individually - they vary so much form each other. Some are short and sweet, others are long and detailed. Some make you jump, others well i digress..

// from here
well, this game is very original. It's the longest game in the series, the navigation is pretty standard, but the story is the spookiest nancy drew so far.

The Ryokan, or traditional Japanese Inn, that Nancy is staying at is rumored to be haunted. but is it real? Explore Japan, get some help from Bess and George - and make new friends who know more than they re willing to share.

nancy drew #23 : shadow at the waters edge

01/ japan subway map ipad case $52.90  //  02/ mini zen garden $18.00  //  03/ owl origami lamp $53.00  //  04/ cell phone charm $5.00  //  05/ origami book $3.95  //  06/ sushi iphone case $20.00  //  07/ zen desk organizer $171.32  //  08/ puzzle box $49.00  //  09/ crane cushion $270.00

Lots of puzzles, silly little puzzles, sudokus and renograms. i love silly puzzles. i loved this game.

6/6 Toes // Overall

1 // Graphics 
The graphics in this game are on par with all the other HerInteractive games. The game environment was very large, lots to discover, fun to traverse. 

1 // Storyline and Characters 
Nancy is trying to do a little R & R in Japan, but of course she is plunged head first into a guarded mystery that revolves around the family that runs the ryokan she is staying at. 

1 // Soundtrack and Sound Effects 
This games sounds made me jump more than once, the pond in the garden has a nice ambiance, and there is no lack of fun sound effects. 

1 // Length of Game and Price 
Its the longest nancy drew game out so far. If you take advantage of the mini games within the story there are days of gameplay to be had. at $19.99 that's a good deal. 

1 // Replay Value 
high, i have played this game 4 or 5 times since it came out. the mini games are fun - and the plot is involved. 

1 // Puzzle Difficulty 
I'll never look at bento the same. The puzzles we know from Japanese culture are a huge part of this game. the mystery itself is a great puzzle. you wont be disappointed

Bonus // Claws
This game gets the claws for its spooky goodness - the entire game takes place at night, and there are ghost sitings to boot! play it in the dark.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Recently, i purchased the Redstone Inkblot Test from chronicle books. It comes with 12 inkblot cards with interpretations on the back of each. I have had no small amount of fun testing myself, and smith.

After I have tested everyone to the point of annoyance, I was thinking about framing each inkblot card to hang in the apartment.... and i really think I might need to pick up a few of the below items to complete the look!

01/ mugs $32.00  //  02/ iPhone skin $15.00  //  03/ pillow $68.00  //  04/ the Redstone inkblot test $14.95  //  05/ coasters $45.00  //  06/ pink plate $15.00  //  07/ necklace $10.70  //  08/ blue plate $32.00

Friday, November 4, 2011


I love england. in fact, i have believed (quite ardently) that i was wrongfully born on this side of the pond since i was a kid. Starting very early, probably around age 3, i continuously accused my father of driving on the wrong side of the road.

But since I am pretty much as close as I can get to London without leaving the USA - I will enjoy these 3d mini vacations until i can make another trip.

You can find more pictures here

Thursday, November 3, 2011

william morris

totally in love with these gorgeously patterned tools by William Morris. They are available on and are very reasonably priced; all under $15.00.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

nerd alert : 1001 video games to play before you die

a book about video games... what will they think of next? well, now that I own this huge volume (which the cashier at the bookstore told me i could probably throw at intruders as first line of defense) I feel a both happy and sad about this book.

I am sad because there aren't very many of MY favorite games in it... but this also makes me happy because it means there are more than 1001 games for me to spend my life playing!

Anyway, here's the rundown....

5/6 Toes // Overall

0.5 // Pictures/Screenshots  
Almost all the games had a screenshot. but some of them, well, didn't. I am guessing this is because the games are old and therefore not playable anymore. which makes me question whether they even should be in this book if you can't technically play them before you die.

0.5 // Breadth of content

There was a severe lack on the adventure scene, and i don't want to be sexist, but come on guys, how about something other than shooting games? i think every FPS ever made was in here.. but no Douglas Adams Starship Titanic?! WTF that game was a milestone!

1 // Chapters and breakdown 
Each game sports about 150-300 words explaining the overall plot. each game is categorized by time period, and also labelled by genre. I like this because it becomes a graphic evolution flip book of sorts, and I love comparing game graphics.

1 // Writing 
The game summaries (for the ones i have played) were spot on. The individual writers were all very passionate about the content, and it shows. Their opinions are true to the industry and its great to see a such group of game lovers all in one place.

1 // Replay (reread) Value  
I will be referencing this book regularly for gaming inspiration, and ideas for nerd alerts... but it is also nice to revisit some of the time periods for games i no longer have the ability to play.

1 // functionality as a doorstop or weapon  
This is one of the heaviest books I own, second only to my art history textbook from college. and I think it might be possible to kill myself with it accidentally, or at least break my foot if dropped.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

my all time favorite dance videos

if these don't blow your mind... well then i don't know what to tell you. (and yes, video #2 is how I do all my grocery shopping). and you should probably crank the sound.

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