Recommended #42 Leap Day Special

The following are my opinion and do not reflect the opinion of any organization or person.

It’s Leap Day! That means a special set of recommended links!

I saw in my YouTube feed that Hermicraft Season 7 had begun. It looks like it’ll be an interesting one. There are already feuds and practical jokes!

Mumbo Jumbo
Grian
iskall85
BdubbleO100

Don’t forget to show these creators some support by liking and sharing their hard work. And please consider subscribing to their channels.

Do you have any recommendations? Tell me in the comments.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

A Reader’s Journey

A while back I worked on a list of my Top 10 favorite authors. I had a hard time picking the ten; there have been so many enjoyable reads. For the most part I chose those that had a big or lasting impact on my life.

Encyclopedia Brown and Wayside School got me interested in reading. They were the first books I did for book reports–much to the mocking of my classmates. Ironically, I would later figure out that they probably didn’t even read a book. I also got some grief from my teachers who saw pop culture literature as “low.” They also didn’t like sci-fi or fantasy, not even the classic fantasy or science fiction. That left the classics. Frankly, they were boring.

It wasn’t until the Wishbone series that I started enjoying the classics. The series made the classics more interesting, relatable, and understandable. 

Then when Wishbone and Animorphs ended, I had to look for something else to read. I did read books based on DC and Marvel characters; but since the authors for those change with each book, I couldn’t find any more. 

Eventually, I wondered the aisles looking for something (that couldn’t be found). Later, a made-for-TV movie aired called Sole Survivor. I watched and found it interesting. Soon, I learned that the movie was based on a book by Dean Koontz. As soon as possible, I headed to the bookstore. I found another book by Koontz called Odd Thomas. I tried it out; found it great; and wanted more. Too bad there weren’t any more at our local bookstore.

Seemed like my adventure was over. 

Enter the library book sale. I found some other books by Dean Koontz. But it was one book that interested me in particular: Mr. Murder. I knew of this one. As I looked at the other Koontz books, I learned that I’d read others of his and enjoyed them. I’d been a fan before I knew it.

The trouble was Koontz was still a contemporary author. According to pretty much everyone I knew, if it wasn’t a classic…it wasn’t good. Or if it wasn’t some deep-thought story or some story that could make you look good by reading it, it wasn’t “proper.” So in the beginning, I kept my interest secret; but eventually, I said, “I like what I like. Get over it.” You can like the classics or the philosophy stories if you want, but I liked these.

I find it funny to this day that while growing up when I told people I liked stories with werewolves, vampires, wizards, and zombies, they would laugh at me or call me a loser. They would again say that I wasn’t spectacular like them because I read the “low forms of writing.” Then, one day…Harry Potter. Everyone loved wizards and then vampires and zombies. Science fiction and fantasy became popular.

So, I had to give Dean Koontz the top spot on my list because if I hadn’t found any of his books, I probably would have given up on reading. It is really difficult to find a new book to read when you don’t know any author names or don’t know what kind of genre you like. Or in my case, everyone telling you that the genres you like are “not good enough” or “lowbrow.” It really doesn’t encourages people to read when you tell them the stuff they like is uncouth and silly.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Today’s Amazon Affiliate links: 

I get a percentage from any qualifying purchase; doesn’t have to be the ones listed below. Thank you for helping to support my blog so I can continue to tell stories, write reviews, and more.

From Dean Koontz…comes an epic thriller about a terrifying threat to humanity and the singular compassion it will take to defeat it.

Buy now

For the first time in twenty-five years, Wayside School is back in session in this brand-new, fourth installment in the perennially beloved and bestselling series by Newbery Medal-winning author Louis Sachar.

Buy now

Recommended #41

The following are my opinion and do not reflect the opinion of any organization or person.

Antonio Deidda

BruceCarbon

SaskiaSketches on Instagram is doing a Draw Your Characters. Tag a picture of your OC (orginal character) with #sketchmyocsaskia and she might sketch your character in one of her upcoming YouTube videos. 

Top 40 Artist
AustinMcConnell
Ghost Paper

Do you have any recommendations? Tell me in the comments.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


If you enjoy futuristic science fiction, urban fantasy, or heroic adventures, consider following me on my Amazon Author Page. If you follow me, you’ll notified of new eBook releases.

You in Fortnite | Theories

After watching a video by TheLlamaSir on YouTube about the new season of Fortnite dealing with parallel universes, I started forming my own theories about what could happen. (Probably a lot of wishful thinking on my part.)

In the video it mentions how you can see the vault IRL by using Google Earth. It also mentions the time that Epic Games took objects out of the game and into the real world. So, my idea isn’t that far fetched.

My idea is that Epic Games will make it so the player can be added into Fortnite

We’ve seen them do something similar with the TikTok emote contest. The winners of the contest got their dance/emote added to the game. Epic Games has also added real life people like Marshmello and Ninja. 

TheLlamaSir

I could see them adding a character creator. I would imagine they would charge to use it or have the basic character forms for free then charge for clothes, pickaxes, and so on. I’d love it if you could select your character’s hair, skin, clothes, and so on.

Another possible, though less likely, theory/idea is that Epic Games promotes some new character skins by having people show up as the characters IRL. Who wouldn’t want to see a real life Fortnite battle? And who wouldn’t want to see an IRL Peely?

What are your theories about the Chapter 2 Season 2? Let’s talk in the comments.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


Today’s Amazon Affiliate links: 

I get a percentage from any qualifying purchase; doesn’t have to be the ones listed below. Thank you for helping to support my blog so I can continue to tell stories, write reviews, and more.

Other links you might like:

Video Game Deals

Fortnite Toys

Mysterious Space Signals

The following is inspired by a news article about signals from space that return every 16 days. You can read the article here.

Brain yelped a cheer interrupting my nap. 

Ever since the news story about strange signals from space every 16 days, Brian’s been at his equipment trying to decode the blips and static. It was interesting for about the first 15 hours. 

“I did it!” said Brain. He adjusted dials and knobs as I yawned and scratched my head. “In a matter of moments, we will discover the nature of these pulses.” Brain continued to adjust wavelengths and double-check readouts; I moved from Brain’s cot to the seat next to him. “Scientists are debating if the pulses are caused by an orbiting object blocking the source or if the source is orbiting an object. Another possibility is the source itself is pulsing.” 

The machine whined for a minute, which woke me up even further.

“Translation of cosmic pulses complete,” said SPOT, the artificial intelligence.

Brain and I fell into a deep hush. The machines beeped a couple times before the answer came.

“Eat at Joe’s,” said a friendly voice bouncing out of the speakers like a used car salesman who’d spotted a customer from across the lot. “Save 20 percent on your first online order. Offer expires 500 million years from broadcast date–Galactic year 2151.”

A hologram calendar appeared above my watch. “Drat!” I said. “It expired yesterday.”  

“Remember,” the ad continued, “if your order doesn’t arrive in 30 parsecs, it’s free.”

I sighed. “Why does everyone get that wrong? Parsecs are not a measurement of time!” I glanced over at Brain; he stared forward like a fish that’d just learned hooks are bad. “What’s wrong?”

“The greatest scientific mystery of our age…and it is a commercial.” He covered his face with a hand. “Why is the universe such a cruel mistress?”

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.


Never Gonna Stop | Top Run Review

It’s finally here. Top Run by Katata Games is available pretty much everywhere: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Steam, and mobile. But ever since I got my copy, I’ve had Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” stuck in my head. I can’t figure out why though.

Maybe it’s because Kevin, the protagonist of Top Run, says something similar to “I’m never gonna give you up” when you free Joy from her cell.  Or maybe it’s because I got on Fortnite and they have the Never Gonna emote where your avatar dances while the song plays. Or it could be because Valentine’s Day was a few days ago and pretty much everyone was singing it. 

But, maybe it’s because Top Run is as much of a “brain worm” as “Never Gonna Give You Up.” I just can’t stop playing the game! 

In the game, you play as Kevin as he runs endlessly to save his hometown from bad guys. 

Use my Amazon Affiliate link to buy the song for yourself. That way you can help support my blog and listen to it forever and ever and ever and…I’m not really helping my case here, am I?

I think that might be part of why I enjoy the game so much. There’s no big mystery; no having to search through the website’s code (that I know of); no messing with image brightness to see the hidden message. You just run. I don’t feel like I need some kind of masters in cryptography to understand it. In a time of shared universes and theory-hunting AR games–where everything has to have a cliffhanger, it’s nice to see one that doesn’t have all that…weight. The game does have a backstory; it tells you how Kevin got his powers and that’s all you need.

Also, the controls are simple and easy to master. It did take me a couple minutes to change over from the app controls to controller buttons; but once I figured out the button layout was basically the same as it was on the app, I was back in my groove.

I also appreciate that once I pay the purchase price, I don’t need to pay out more. The skins and upgrades are purchasable by collecting pixels. The upgrade/skin prices are also fair. I don’t feel like it takes forever to collect enough pixels to buy a skin, but the price isn’t so low that I can purchase all of them after only a few runs. They are a difficult goal to reach but not impossible.

Speaking of reachable goals, the objectives are similarly difficult yet obtainable. None of the game objectives seem that difficult–some are harder or take longer to complete than others but all seem doable. 

img_2674But enough gushing for a moment. I have noticed that some glitches have carried over from the mobile game. Sometimes the cell holding a friend will fall through the floor. Other times the cell will just be laying on its side. Coming from my own time coding programs and games, I’m sure this glitch comes from the cell’s random generation. The cell generates in an open space and falls. Even with a billion numbers to choose from, sometimes you get a one.

Another glitch is a little more comical. Sometimes the dash wears off and I end up running right into a foe, usually a Bikey Mikes; but instead of dying, we collide. Kevin and Mike run into each other and just stop. Kevin continues to run and Mike continues to ride but they aren’t going anywhere. It looks like two people going, “Get out of my way!” “No, you get out of my way!” “Why don’t you move?” “Why don’t you move?!” A couple seconds later, the game catches up and it’s Game Over.

The last error I can find is that the invincibility after a power-up wears off or when you rescue a friend can sometimes feel a little random. Sometimes, it seems to be only a second; but one time, I was able to survive a blast from a Hack like five seconds after freeing Ben.

However, for like 99.9 percent of the time, the game runs smoothly–unlike some other games that have a tendency to crash now and then.

So…I’m still not sure why I keep wanting to play Top Run over and over. It could be the simplicity. Or it could be the added perk of annoying everyone around me by playing the Beckett soundtrack endlessly.

But, I think it might because Mr. Schnitzel (the cat) has added subliminal messages within the game–why else would there be so many neon lights. It’s all part of his evil plot. Today, he gets us to buy Top Run; tomorrow…endless catnip.

Nah, I think it is because you can feel the hard work and passion of Katata Games and Fantastico Studios. 4.9/5

PS: If any TV/movie producers out there are reading this, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Top Run series (or at least a comic). Now, I’ve got catnip to buy.


Today’s Amazon Affiliate links: 

I get a percentage from any qualifying purchase; doesn’t have to be the ones listed below. Thank you for helping to support my blog so I can continue to tell stories, write reviews, and more.

No Badniks Allowed | Sonic the Hedgehog Review (Spoilers)

Well…it’s here. The genie is out of the bottle. The Sonic the Hedgehog movie has arrived. After controversy and redesigns (we’re not going to talk about that other image), the movie is out for all to see.

I was a little more than worried about the new movie. Game-to-movie adaptions rarely work out well. The original design didn’t help Sonic’s case. From the first trailer, the movie looked like it was a buddy cop/road trip type movie than a superhero hedgehog movie.

But, I was willing to give it a try. I didn’t want to judge it too harshly before I saw it. Sonic is one of my favorite video game characters right next to Mega Man and Kirby. I really wanted to see it succeed. If it did, maybe there’d be more–like a Kirby or Mega Man movie.

So, I was a bit nervous setting in the theater waiting for the movie to begin. Luckily, I wasn’t nervous long.

While the character’s personalities were close to how they normally act, they were a little over-the-top. 

Some other reviews:

IGN
Vailskibum94
IGN

Robotnik is usually a goof, but at times this version was too much. Sonic was a bit confident, but it was more of a fake confidence from not having any social interaction.

As for the design of Sonic, it was pretty good. He still had that furry look to him, but it was much, much better. He looked more like Sonic than some kind of diseased creature that needed to be put down.

The humor was great. I really liked the banter between Tom and Robotnik; the war of words seemed authentic and flowed well. It didn’t seem forced or rehearsed. 

img_2674One of the best parts about this Sonic is that he seemed to be there. He seemed to have weight and speed. It was a little cartoony at times; I could still tell he was CGI, but it was a lot better than other CGI characters. Also, Sonic’s cartoon look just made his CGI appearance look more real. Any odd moments could be explained by the fact he is a cartoon character.

I enjoyed the nods to other Sonic versions, such as him tapping his foot impatiently or playing pranks at super-speed. He would also outsmart foes/turn their own attack on them. Also, when Robotnik is fixing his circuit breaker, you can see a label that says “Badniks.” 

When they announced that the character would be redesigned, I was worried that the final movie would seem rushed. It wasn’t it. It did not seem like it was thrown together in a panic. The actors and crew seemed to care about the movie and enjoy making it.

Of course, the best part was the credits scene with a special Sonic character–my favorite character. The credit scene set up another movie, and I’m hoping there will be one.

While it wasn’t everything I hoped for, it was better than I thought it’d be. I left the theater laughing and I couldn’t stop talking about it. I wanted to see it again the next day. 4.4/5


Today’s Amazon Affiliate links: 

I get a percentage from any qualifying purchase; doesn’t have to be the ones listed below. Thank you for helping to support my blog so I can continue to tell stories, write reviews, and more.