STREAMER SEASON | Dogboy Chronicles Short Tail

This story is inspired from jokes and moments during the livestreams of Blitzwinger, Katie Wilson, and Aaron Plays.215.


“Hello world and welcome to the 10th annual Livestream Day,” said George, one of the commentators. “Livestream Day is when every creative and their hyper-intelligent dog is broadcasting a livestream of one sort or another.”

Maggie, the other commentator, joined in with, “That also means it’s open season on streamers. Thousands of stream snipers and trolls have descended upon the Virtual Net in the hopes of bagging a streamer or two.”

“That’s right, Maggie,” said George. “But it means a good day if you’re a grinder. Every grinder has been hired out for today’s event. The grinder’s job, of course, will be to protect the streamer from snipers.”

Maggie smiled a little too brightly. “And how might they do that?”

“Many ways, Maggie, but the most common is the grinder will make a decoy account. The grinder will look exactly the same as the streamer, right down to the gamertag, or the grinder will squad up with the steamer and act as a human shield protecting the streamer for as long as possible.”

Meanwhile at Spydrone base camp…

I paced across the small stage; an American flag acted as the backdrop.

“Troops,” I said looking over Sally, Brain, Danny, and Bandit—my human intelligent dog, “today is Livestream Day. We’ve been hired to protect Spydrone.” Spydrone, a female-looking robot wearing a black trench coat and fedora and carrying a briefcase attached to her back, waved. “We must protect her at all costs. I won’t lie to you; it’ll be war out there, and some of us won’t make it.”

Danny gulped. Brain rolled his eyes.

“Danny!” I pointed at him suddenly causing him to jump. “You will be our decoy. You’ll dress up as Spydrone and hopefully lure many of the snipers away. Sally, Bandit, and I will act as bodyguards. Brain will remain here and act as our monitor.” My pack of friends nodded in agreement. “Everyone have proximity chat enabled? They nodded. “Are we all connected to TinCan so we can talk even when we are away from each other?” They nodded again. “Alright then; let’s do this!”

***

Streamers from all around the world arrived at the stream lobby. Sally, aka Kickbutt98, looked amazing as her avatar. Her outfit consisted of a camouflage cheerleader uniform and black war paint under her eyes. When she equipped her shock-gun, she looked even hotter.  

The host for the event appeared on the stage via a burst of log-on-light. “Welcome everyone,” he raised his hands in a greeting gesture, “to Livestream Day. To better assist you, all available bandwidth was transferred here for two hours, so you have two hours to complete your livestream.”

He cleared his throat. “And as you might guess this also makes you easier targets for the stream snipers and trolls.” He offered a quick shrug. “Oops.”

Oops, indeed.

“The livestream session,” the host pointed to a large holographic clock overhead, “begins in ten seconds. May the algorithm always be with you.” The clocked buzzed resetting to two hours. “I’m outta here.” The host vanished in another burst of light.

“Hello, web-heads,” said a streamer talking to a floating sphere that acted as the camera, “and welcome to today’s livestream. We’ll—”

BANG!

The streamer screamed as he derezzed into pixel blocks. More shots rang out from all around us.

“It’s an ambush!” I shouted.

“The host set us up!” said Sally.

“Go, go, go!” I waved.

Sally, Bandit, and I took up positions as we ushered Spydrone out of there. One streamer got shot in the back. He fell; he held a pleading arm out to everyone. “Tell my viewers,” he coughed weakly, “to subscribe.” He collapsed into pixels.

Explosions hit around us as I tried to plot the safest course. Suddenly, a sniper dropped from their position in a tree. She aimed her rifle at Spydrone. “End of line, streamer,” she said.


We’ll be right back after these messages.

The adventures of Joe and his friends continue in the Dogboy Chronicles. The Dogboy Chronicles is a multiverse of sci-fi action and adventure for young adults. The book series is available at select retailers. Paperback copies are available at Amazon.

And now back to the story.


Vroooom!!

A yellow car came out of nowhere and smashed into the sniper derezzing them. Time slowed for a moment as I saw Danny, dressed as Spydrone, behind the wheel; he gave us a thumbs-up before disappearing down the path with a swarm of motorcycles, hover vehicles, and jet pack riders in pursuit.

A few feet away, we rested near a park bench. Bandit, as Silent-Paw—his ninja-dog avatar, sniffed out the area. He gave us a head nod to indicate it was clear. Sally and I caught our breath while Spydrone began her intro.

“Thanks for asking me to come along,” said Sally. She leaned back in the bench resting her arms on the backrest and staring into the sky.

I was leaning forward resting my face in my hands. “Sure,” I said, lowering my hands. “You’re a great gamer and fighter, why wouldn’t I invite you? You’re also my friend.”

She rested a hand on my shoulder; my face flushed. “I’m serious; not a lot of guys would let a girl—”

“Wait,” I said. I stood. “Something’s wrong.”

Sally stood too. “You’re right. It’s much too quiet.” She scanned the area. “Joe! RPG!”

A rocket-missile whistled as it shot towards us like a bat with a grudge. We gathered around Spydrone.

“Barrier!” I said.

A bubble appeared around us as the missile hit. We ran for it using the blast’s smoke as cover. Soon, we were out of cover; bullets started pinging around us.

“This week’s theory,” said a nearby education-entertainment streamer. He stood before a chalkboard with a crudely drawn elephant, “will be on how the elephant in Epoch’s Curse was in fact an alien lifeform.”

Team Spydrone took cover behind the chalkboard. The streamer stopped speaking; he leaned around the chalkboard so he could address us. “Excuse me, I’m trying to tear apart an award-winning movie so that I can earn a few coin in ad revenue.”

Three shots hit the chalkboard and the streamer dove behind the chalkboard. More shots came from the trees, bushes, and I could hear incoming vehicles.

“Hey!” shouted a new voice, which drew everyone’s attention. A streamer wearing ripped jeans, a denim jacket, and sunglasses waved his arms. “I’m doing a charity livestream for the BLT Foundation. For every $1,000 donated, you get a free shot at me!”

The air filled with the sounds of thwips as money bags materialized next to the streamer. His donation counter jumped to $3 million. The next sound was thousands of gunshots. A moment later, the charity streamer had more holes than Swiss cheese.

“Worth it,” he groaned before derezzing.

“Jeffery!” shouted Spydrone. “No!!”

“We need to go,” I said putting a gentle hand on her shoulder. “We can’t let his sacrifice go in vain.”

She nodded, and we were on the run again. We passed by two streamers standing by a sign attached to a tree. A sniper stood with his rifle aimed at them. One of the streamers, a blue skinned humanoid, ripped the sign off the tree. Underneath was another sign saying, “Sweats Season.”

“Sweats season,” said the streamer.

The other streamer; a sweat dressed in tights, headband, and leg warmers, pulled the sign off. He pointed at the sign. “Streamer season.”

“Sweats season,” said the streamer pulling down the sign.

“Streamer season,” said the sweat.

“Sweats season.”

“Streamer season.”

“Sweats season,” said the streamer.

The sweat streamer pointed the sniper’s rifle at himself. “Sweats season.”

The streamer jerked the sniper’s rifle back towards himself. “I’m sick of arguing with you! It’s streamer season!” He faced the sniper. “Now, fire!”

The sniper shrugged then fired.

POP!

The fooled streamer glanced down at the hole in his chest. “Dang it,” he said before falling into a pile of pixels.

The other streamer, the sweat/try-hard, chuckled for a moment. The sniper turned his rifle on him. “Uh-oh,” said the sweat.

Both took off with the sweat jumping to avoid each rifle shot.

A man in a business suit logged in right in front of our group. He held up a hand in the “stop” gesture. We screeched to a halt. He presented a badge. “I’m from the Internet Censorship and Protocol Department. I’m afraid we cannot allow this to continue. This level of violence is not suitable for this target audience.” He reached inside his jacket seemingly to put away his badge; but instead, he pulled out an oversized mallet. “This, however, is appropriate levels of violence. Death to the streamer!”

He swung. I jumped forward activating my power gloves. A quick-time event activated as we fought for the mallet.

X, X, X, X, X… I thought as the game responded with flashes to my “button mashing” input.

I won the duel and wrestled the mallet free from the censor. I bonked him on the head sending him back to whatever log-in spawn point he came from.

It was time to run again. Sally, Bandit, Spydrone, and I panted as we made our way across the map. Spydrone then slowed.

“I have a donation,” she said.

“Don’t respond,” I said. “It’s a trap!”

“I have to,” she said. She stopped and addressed the camera sphere. “Thanks for the $10 donation, XMonke. I really—”

BANG!


We’ll be right back after a quick word from our sponsor.

Please consider following Joe Rover at Amazon or Smashwords for updates on book releases.

And we’re back.


The shot came from the bushes. Spydrone vanished. Sally, Bandit, and I looked at the ground as the sniper leapt out from their hiding spot; they pumped the air in victory.

Spydrone then reappeared.

“Whaaaaa?” we all said.

Spydrone blinked a couple times, confused by our reactions. “What happened? My Internet lagged.”

Sally and I glanced at each other then back at Spydrone. “That’s the first time I’ve seen lag save a life,” I said.

The sniper kicked the ground in frustration; steam came out of their ears. A moment later, we were surrounded by vehicles of all kinds. A gang of stream snipers exited the vehicles. One shot the sniper who failed instantly derezzing them. The gang parted so a figure in a dark cowboy suit could step forward. He had a five o’clock shadow and chewed on a toothpick. We instantly recognized him as theRezzmaker, the most notorious stream sniper in the land.

“I’ve been looking for you.” He pointed to Spydrone.

“Wh-wh-why mm-m-me…Why me?” said Spydrone.

theRezzmaker flicked away the toothpick. “Because you said you left the crusts on your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That ain’t natural.” He cracked his neck. “And with you as the last streamer standing, I’ll have my third in a row Livestream Day victory.”

He signaled his crew with his head. They equipped their weapons. They took aim.

“Not even this pathetic group of grinders can save you,” said theRezzmaker. “Ready, aim…”

“Wait!” said Spydrone.

“What is it?” growled theRezzmaker.

“An ad is playing.”

The crew lowered their weapons; theRezzmaker relaxed. We saw a holographic message informing us that three non-skippable ads were playing.

theRezzmaker groaned. “MyVideo gets greedier every day.”

Finally, the ads ended. theRezzmaker’s crew raised their weapons. “Ready,” said theRezzmaker. “Aim. Fffff…”

The crew and theRezzmaker moved in slow motion.

“What…is…hap…pen…ning?” said theRezzmaker painfully slow.

Brian’s voice came over TinCan. “That would be me. I am currently spamming the stream like Danny during March Madness.”

Sally looked to me. “Brain’s still here? I would have thought he’d be distracted with some new invention by now.”

I rubbed the back of my neck. “Honestly, I forgot he was even here.”

Brain continued, after a slight insulted grumble. “My spamming is slowing then down for now. It won’t be long before the moderators boot me.”

Sally and I nodded to each other.

I jumped into the air with my power gloves raised; I slammed back into the ground with a shockwave attack. The sniper crew flew into the air…slowly and fell back even slower. It was kind of fun listening to their slow motion, “Whoa!” While the crew were still airborne, Sally used her bow and arrow to take out the foes. Each dissolved into pixels before they hit the ground.

Sally and I were about to do a victory high-five when we turned around.

“You think you’re pretty clever with that little trick,” said theRezzmaker. Where’d he come from? He started to reach for his pistol. “I’ve bested the best. I will not be taken down by a couple punks and a puppy dog.” Bandit huffed. theRezzmaker had his hand on his gun. “I am the greatest stream sniper the world has ever known. You are just grinders. I have—”

Tzzzttt.

theRezzmaker jerked around like fish on land. I glanced to my side. Sally pointed her shock-gun. Smoke trailed off the gun’s muzzle. “He talks too much,” she said. She blew way the smoke.

“Congratulations!” said a disembodied voice that sounded similar to the host. “You’ve survived! All the snipers have been defeated! And you have a whole two minutes to finish your stream.”

Spydrone looked panicked for a moment but then became a professional again. “I hope everyone enjoyed today’s stream. Don’t forget if you want to show support for my channel, you can become a member or subscribe. I’d also like to thank Joe Rover and his friends for protecting me during this stream; they were awesome—especially Sally Pine, go girl power!” Sally raised her arm in a half-heart fist pump. Join me for tomorrow’s stream where I’ll show you how to use duct tape to keep intruders from using vents to move around your base. Bye for now.”

Copyright Joe Rover 2021. All rights reserved.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

The Hottest Toy of Christmas | Writing Warm-Up (ft. A FNAF Fanfiction)

The following is a Five Nights at Freddy’s fanfiction. I do not own any rights to the characters. Please consider supporting Scott Cawthon and the games. The jingle tune is similar to one used by MatPat in his FNAF videos.


It’s fun; it’s wow; it’ll haunt your dreams. It’s Nightmare Freddy.

Yes, Nightmare Freddy, the toy on every Crying Child’s Christmas list. Whether they’ve been bitten by a rouge animatronic or have had their soul scooped out so a combination of robots can wear their body like a meat suit, your child will absolutely love this new toy from Fazbear Entertainment. 

Nightmare Freddy comes with everything a parent could want in a child’s toy: sharp claws, jaw bite strength equal to a bear trap, and lots of pieces that’ll fall off causing various choking hazards.

Nightmare Freddy also comes with a nighttime feature where he’ll roam the halls stalking your child.

That’s Nightmare Freddy from the same people who brought you the family-friendly Sexy Chica doll.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


Smashwords End of Year Sale Dec. 18-Jan. 1

Golden Freddy’s Vengeance | Writing Warm-Up (ft. A FNAF Fanfiction)

The following is a Five Nights at Freddy’s fanfiction. I do not own any rights to the characters. Please consider supporting Scott Cawthon and the games.


Hi there, it’s me, Security Guard #28. After a hard night of surviving attacks from wonky animatronics possessed by murdered children, I like to sit down with a relaxing cup of Golden Freddy’s Vengeance. It’s just the thing I need to get back out there AND NEVER REST! Thanks to Golden Freddy’s Vengeance, I can keep coming back over and over and over…

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


Click to see how you can purchase books or help support me.

Be the Salt | Writing Warm-Up

Are you a MyVideo creator who’s tried everything and still can’t get any views?

Try Blue Light Technologies’ Box O’ Salt. Take a teaspoon 15 minutes before your next recording session and BAM you’re the saltiest person on the server. Watch those views pour in as the salt rains down upon you. 

Not intended for use by non-gamers. Does not guarantee an increase in viewer count. Side effects include: rage quitting, broken controllers, loss of subscribers, hate comments, and dislikes. 

Box O’ Salt, pick it up at your local BLT store and become the Salt you were always mean to be.

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


No Wrong Turns at Albuquerque | Fortnite Season 5 Review

Season five of Fortnite (chapter two) started off with a bang—literally, as the Zero Point is exposed. With it exposed everyone is trying to escape the loop. To stop the players from escaping, Agent Jones hires hunters from all across the multiverse, including The Mandalorian.

The new season has many enjoyable new features. One is the crystals that allow players to dash-teleport for a limited time. Another is the introduction of NPCs (non-playable characters) that offer upgrades and bounties.

Speaking of bounties, you can be assigned the task of eliminating a random player in exchange for gold bars. This means you can also be targeted. Any gold bars collected can be used to purchase weapon upgrades or hire a hunter to help you in battle.

I do like the cleaner lobby UI. There isn’t as much competing for your attention. I also like the new quests menu; I like how the quests and challenges are in the form of text messages from characters.

Thankfully, the punchcards have been integrated into the quest system. With the new system, you don’t feel overwhelmed by 50 punchcards displayed all at once; now, you are given the tasks a few at a time. The missions also seem like little stories instead of just challenges.

I really enjoy how much easier it is to check quests, eliminations, and the map while in the match. I like how you don’t have to guess at the controls to switch between tabs.

It did, however, feel like all my settings were reset between seasons. It seems like the aiming is off and that the camera moves faster, but that could be because I’m just bad at the game.

I do like the auto-run feature; I’m not constantly redoing the button press for running each time my fingers slip.

But, my favorite new feature so far is the sand tunneling. In the sand covered middle of the map, you can sink into the sand and move around at a fairly high speed. You can use this ability to get around, hide, or sneak up on players. I do wish they could turn off the feature once the match is over. If you are standing on the sand when the match ends, you still sink which prevents you from doing a victory emote. Update: It seems that Epic Games did fix this bug. In a recent match, I was standing on the sand at the moment of victory but didn’t sink.

I also wish they would fix the bug where you get a message saying they can’t find your preorder even though you didn’t order anything.

With new features, bounties, and The Mandalorian beskar armor quests, the latest season of Fortnite is looking interesting. 4.5/5

What are your thoughts on the new season? What hunters do you think they’ll add? How do you think the season will end? Reply in the comments below.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


The Smashwords End of Year Sale begins Dec. 18

From Dec. 18-Jan. 1 many of my eBooks will be 50%-100% off!

Bonus Level | Power Play Book Sample

The following is a sample from a current work in process called Power Play. This segment comes from the chapter “Bonus Level.” This is a work in process and the final result might be different. Happy Fourth of July!


“NOOO!!” shouted Mason. The machine spewed sparks and flames better than a Fourth of July beach party. He fell to his knees and began to sob. I felt somewhat bad for him. Yes, he was trying to suck the life out of the tournament contestants in order to power his dimension drill, but he was only trying to find his lost friend.

Over Mason’s sobs, I heard a new, disturbing sound: laughter. Cold and cruel laughter coming from Christine, the assistant/Cleaner queen.

“My queen?” said one of the spider-people raising himself a little higher on his six legs.

“Fool!” hissed Christine, and I thought she was going to smack the Cleaner-subject across the face. “Your queen has been gone for many years.”

Christine pulled her fire-orange hair upwards. Along the back of her neck were what looked like black and white mushrooms. I could see pulsating black vein lines along her neck and running down towards her back and up towards her head.

She returned her gaze to us and her eyes, all four of them, were fully black. “You animals have ruled too long. Even the plants and insects have had their time to shine.” She raised her arms towards the ceiling; the drill machine launched more explosions behind her adding to the drama and making her look like some singer during a fireworks show. “Now, the fungus rises!”

The news of this new threat finally reached Mason as he stopped sobbing and slowly returned to his feet. The queen faced him with a vile and mocking expression. “Thanks to you,” she said, “I gained access to the Wyrm. Now, my lovely spores can grow across the Omniverse and once again destroy it.”

“On-once again?” asked Mason.

“There have been forty-one Omniverses before this one; each destroyed in a great Catastrophe.” She then pointed at me. “And it is all your fault.” I felt weak in my knees. How could I have caused some disaster? The fungus-Cleaner queen snapped her fingers. Three more spider-people arrived pushing in an object.

The three spider-people looked similar to the Cleaner queen; black and white fungus grew along their bodies and their eyes were all black like giant pupils. The object looked like a simple transport machine, but it also looked like a child designed it. It was made of cardboard with drawn on levers and buttons. Duct tape held up the corners and joints, and it looked like bubblegum had been placed in areas to act as patches. Laying on top of the toy machine was a familiar looking ratty red baseball cap. I knew it was the one Danny always wore. The one…I gave him as a going away present…back when we were kids.

“Behold!” said the fungus queen. “The machine that caused the time loop.” She sneered at me. “Created by you.”

Mason faced me; his mouth nearly dropped to the floor—and with how decayed the lower portion of his head looked, I wondered if his jaw might actually hit the floor. “You…made a time machine…out of cardboard?”

The ex-assistant ran a clawed finger across Mason’s cheek. “Why so surprised? Humanity can create or destroy worlds with a stroke of a pen; why not a time machine out of cardboard and tape?” She chuckled for a moment then snapped her head towards me. “That is why humans are so dangerous. They possess the most dangerous fuel source in the multiverse…imagination.”


Hope you enjoyed this brief look into an upcoming book (coming after the one I’m currently editing).

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Copyright Joe Rover 2020. All rights reserved.


Do you like sci-fi and fantasy? Hungry for adventure?

From July 1-31, many of my books will be on sale during the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. The participating books will be anywhere from 25% to 100% off. While there, check out some of the other participating authors.

The Last of the SpongeBobs | Video Games

If you’re like me and enjoy video games but also don’t have a lot of money to spend on them, you can check out some of these YouTube videos. All of them are pretty good and you’ll get a general idea of the game so that you can talk to your friends about the games and not feel left out.

These are not the only ones; these are just to get you started and give you the idea of what is possible.


The Last of Us Part II

With Commentary

The Last Of Us 2 PART 1 Gameplay WALKTHROUGH – 3 HOURS! (Last Of Us II-Last of Us Part 2 Commentary) by GhostRobo

THE LAST OF US 2 Walkthrough Gameplay Part 1 – INTRO (Last of Us Part 2) by theRadBrad

No Commentary

THE LAST OF US 2 Gameplay Walkthrough Part 1 [4K PS4 PRO] – No Commentary (FULL GAME) by MKIceAndFire

Selected Cutscenes

All Joel and Ellie Playing Guitar Scenes (The Last Of Us 2) 1440p by Gamer’s Little Playground


SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom–Rehydrated

With Commentary

SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated – Part 1 – Shiny Things Everywhere! by Blitzwinger

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


My merch store is finally open! You can buy spiral notebooks, stickers, t-shirts, and facemasks with images designed by me. More to come!

Feeling Lonely | Minecraft Dungeons Review

Blitzwinger
UnlimitedMagic

A recurring gag during a recent Minecraft Dungeons livestream by Blitzwinger was the “Feeling Lonely? Teleport to a Friend” dialogue box. The box would appear every time Blizwinger and UnlimitedMagic separated, even briefly. The joke gave me an idea for a parody on the song “Mr. Lonely” by Bobby Vinton.

Lonely, feeling lonely?
My party is on their own.
Feeling lonely?
Press F1 to teleport.
Wish I had someone to message on Discord.

(I know it’s bad, but it’s still funny…or cringey.)

What I’ve seen of Minecraft Dungeons, it looks pretty good. I don’t think it is groundbreaking; I’ve seen other dungeon crawlers. But, I do like the simplicity of it. It doesn’t seem like a game that takes hours to master. I think most people will be able to catch on quickly, even if they’ve never played a dungeon crawler or Minecraft.

I also enjoyed how the game continued in the tradition of allowing you to craft your own lore. Just like the OG Minecraft, you are given just enough to make your own theories and stories about Minecraft. That is what I like about Minecraft; there is no official lore–my story is just as valid as anyone else’s. Not only do you craft in the game, but you craft the lore.

Granted, there is a little more lore in Dungeons, you are told the Arch-Illager was exiled, but you aren’t told why, as far as I know at this point. You aren’t told where the Orb of Obedience came from (I think). you can still fit it into the universe of Minecraft; it doesn’t necessarily have to be some parallel world. Maybe the events of Dungeons takes place before Minecraft proper or maybe after.

It is kind of odd coming from the world of Minecraft where you can do just about anything you want to a more restrictive world like Dungeons. You can’t mine or craft; and as far as I know, you can’t create your own avatar–you can only chose the ones unlocked.

I do, however, like the ability to choose your difficulty level on every level. You can adjust the level according to your needs; you don’t need to constantly return to a menu screen. The limited number of respawns adds to the stress of the game. Knowing that you have a limited number of tries can push you and make the game more challenging.

Minecraft Dungeons is a nice prototype showing that Minecraft can be more than just a sandbox survival game. It can fit into other genres. The developers did an excellent job of bringing some freshness to Minecraft while staying true to what made it unique to begin with–somewhat; it is still weird that you don’t mine or craft in the Dungeons game. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Rapid Reviews: Google Stadia and More

Google Stadia Pro 

Not long ago, Google announced that newcomers to their video game streaming service, Stadia, could receive two months of Pro membership for free. I tried it out and it was an adventure.

It took me hours to sign up because it was a little confusing on what I needed to do and what equipment I’d need. One article sounded like I needed the $130 Founder’s package while another said Stadia was free. Another article would say that Stadia worked on everything, yet another would say it didn’t work on iOS systems. I went to the sign-up page; it said I needed to download he app; I downloaded the app and it asked for my activation code. “I never got an activation code,” I said.

I ended up nearly quitting many times before I finally found the FAQ page and learned that I could use Stadia if I had a computer with Chrome. OK, I have Chrome and the right version, but it is on my Surface. Could a Surface handle Stadia? Also, I didn’t want to deal with using W, S. D, A keys to play. There were many articles stating Stadia was compatible with many game controllers. I finally found the list of controllers it worked with.

Thankfully, I finally got my account set up. I was also able to connect my controller. Seemed like I was ready. Now, I just needed to see how Stadia would react with my Surface.

It worked well. 

I don’t have the best Internet or the best computer, yet I found Stadia to work well. It didn’t lag; I could get into the games with ease; and the graphics looked as good as any console. The images were sharp and bright. I pressed the left stick and the character moved immediately. I seriously thought about using Stadia for all my gaming needs. According to Google, there is no need to get a new console nor do you need to wait for downloads or updates.

I then had some problems purchasing games. Unless I was on an Android device, I couldn’t use Google gift cards. I also couldn’t use Paypal unless I was on Android. All I could use was a credit card; not a big issue but very limiting. On PlayStation I can add to my wallet through Paypal (or credit card) or I can use gift cards. Also, Google has said that with Stadia you can play anywhere. That’s true, as long as you have an Android. Right now, you can’t use the iOS app to play games…or buy them. Google has stated that they are working on this shortcoming.

If Google ever does work it out so that I can buy games via Paypal on my computer or use gift cards (on something other than Android only) or make it so I can purchase games through the Apple app, I just might not need an Xbox or PlayStation. Instead of spending money on a $399 or more console–that you have to update every five-ish years–I’d put money towards the $130 Stadia package where I can get a controller and plugin so that I can play on my TV. Hopefully, on my TV…I’ve heard from some that not all TVs work; yet another issue for Google to work out.


Disney Sorcerer’s Arena by Glu Games Inc

I ended up liking the mobile game right away, and it wasn’t solely because they had Ian and Barley from Onward as unlockable characters. The art style was refreshing. It kind of made the characters look…mystical, like they were part of some artwork that you’d see in a magic school. 

I also liked that I could control the characters. I’ve played the Disney Heroes Battle Mode game. I like the game, but you don’t get to play as the characters. The game is 99 percent auto-play. What’s the point of having Goofy, Darkwing Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Baymax, and Stitch on a team if you can’t play as them?

What I like about Disney Heroes Battle Mode over Sorcerer’s Arena is that Sorcerer’s Arena really plays the in-app purchases game. Every five seconds is an ad. They’ve also really *cough* rigged *cough* the game in a way that you want to pay for diamonds so you can unlock characters. They also have a season pass program. Finally, unlocking characters is a little harder in Sorcerer’s Arena. When I was playing Battle Mode, I’d unlock a couple characters a week without having to spend money and/or very few diamonds (which I didn’t have to pay money for); in Sorcerer’s Arena, I feel like it takes me weeks to just unlock a one star character.

But, a Disney crossover game where you actually get to play as the characters is hard to pass up. Also, the many limited events, such as the current (as of this writing) Toy Story event, makes it feel like there is always something to do. The events also allow you to get character tokens for some of the more difficult to obtain characters.

What are some of your favorite mobile games? Let me know in the comments section.

Until next wormhole…thanks for reading! (and wash your hands–even when the lockdown is lifted)


Good news! The Smashwords Authors Give Back Sale has been extended to May 31! 

You have another chance to buy The Beast of Camp TimberWolf, Gift of the Minion, and now Who Pranked JR for 60% off!

Rapid Reviews: Tower of God and More

PlayStation Play at Home Initiative 

From April 15-May 5 everyone with a PlayStation can download and keep Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey for free. 

It was pretty nice to return to the Uncharted series. I’d bought the collection when it first came out (or soon after), but ended up trading it in because I needed the money for another game. I am also terrible at shooter games and got frustrated within the first few chapters. Fortunately, I started playing Fortnite and got “better” at shooter games. Now, I can actually make it through multiple gun battles before dying. (Usually, I only die because I threw the grenade at my feet or because I missed a platforming jump.)

As for Journey, I haven’t had much time to play it; but from what what I’ve seen, it does live up to the hype. The game is pretty amazing. It is hard not to just sit and enjoy the scenery. It did take me awhile to figure out what was going on–controller and story plot-wise. There isn’t much in the way of a tutorial. Also, a clone of my character appeared out of nowhere and started moving around. I’m guessing it is some kind of online feature showing me other players, but it was still very confusing. But, I still enjoy the serenity of the game. I feel like I could find the soundtrack and mediate to it or have it play in the background. I also wouldn’t mind having a few screenshots for desktop images. Finally, I enjoyed the fluidity of the controls. It made it feel like my character was gliding at times.


Tower of God by SIU 

Unfortunately, I can’t watch The Tower of God on Crunchyroll because of a lack of subscription, but I can read the comic on Webtoons, so I can’t say much about the cartoon. As for the comic, it’s the classic story of a boy trying to find the girl; but in this case, it might not be because of romantic love but friendship love.

To tell the truth, if I’d heard about the series during a time where I had other comics or shows to watch/read, I wouldn’t have given Tower of God a second look. The plot seems pretty standard: boy loses girl; boy must face tough challenges to find her. Even the climbing the tower seems normal for an anime. It seems like there is always a tower or some kind of series of levels the protagonist must pass. The art style was also a little weird; however, from the glimpses I’ve seen of the more recent chapters, it looks like it has improved while not completely revamping itself. 

The strange thing about the series is by a logical-review standpoint the series is not that special. Like I said, a young man going through challenges to find the woman he likes, the protagonist possessing some strange gift, and the fact that he has to hide he is different makes the series seem more tropeish than original (though it is extremely difficult nowadays not to be cliche–when you look at anything too hard you’ll see how familiar it is). I’ve read and seen countless series that followed this formula. Yet, there’s something interesting that I can’t put my finger on. Even the fact that while others are climbing the Tower for money, power, or the thrill of the hunt, the protagonist is doing it out of love is a common story line.

Right now, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic. 

How about you? Have you heard of Tower of God? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments section.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading (and stay safe out there).


Good news! The Smashwords Authors Give Back Sale has been extended to May 31! 

You have another chance to buy The Beast of Camp TimberWolf, Gift of the Minion, and now Who Pranked JR for 60% off!