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October 28, 2006

REVIEW: Fashion Fable

While my daughter likes games like Sly Cooper and LEGO Star Wars a good little bit, she also enjoys the occasional fashion-focused "girlie" game, like Fashion Cents and, for better or worse, Paperdoll Heaven.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned in passing that she and I had been playing Fashion Fable together.

Just now, as I linked to that there Fashion Fable website above, I saw that they had a gameplay video which takes you through most of the points that I was about to make, so I'll just run those down quickly:

There's a backstory (which we really didn't pay much attention to) about a clothing designer whose clothes were echanted and turned into mischevious imps, and your task is to capture said imps, via a match-3 puzzle game.

While the match-3 game may have been done to death in the casual game space (see Bejeweled. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.), it's pretty varied and entertaining the way they did it here. There are lots of vibrant and colorful animals, flowers, and other fun stuff.

In addition, every few levels introduces the player to a new imp with unique properties which affect your strategy.

The one element of the puzzle portion of the game that annoyed the hell out of us was the music - the horribly repetitive, schlock wedding band music (as someone who has played in wedding bands, I knows it when I hears it), which never seemed to stop. The same song played over and over and over again, driving us freaking nuts. They finally switched to a different song, but that was only after we'd played it many many times.

Now for the fashion. Depending on how quickly you finish the puzzles, you earn money every time you capture the required about of imps, which completes the level. With your money, you can buy (and eventually sell) dresses, blouses, pants, shoes, hairstyles, and special items like teddy bears and bunny rabbits. You can also customize the colors of all of those items (even the teddy bear).

My daughter likes the puzzles, though she sometimes needs my help (which I'm only too happy to give) to clear the levels. But she loves the fashion stuff - putting together outfits and hairstyles? Fugghedaboudit.

Best of all, though, it's a special thing that she and I share for 20-30 minutes, after homework and before bedtime, just the two of us. And that, my friends, is as good as it gets.

October 22, 2006

Back To Work

Ah, the end of a great weekend hanging out with my wife and kids.

A little reading books, a little crazy eights, a little Toy Story Monopoly, a little "tackle Daddy", and of course, a little LEGO Star Wars II. The full version of the game arrived on Saturday, and we've all been enjoying a great gaming adventure together.

Tomorrow begins another week of work, and not only do I work on games once I get to EA Chicago's offices, but I also spread the gaming gospel during my commute. On the days when I don't get up early to go to the gym, a friend gives me a ride, and naturally, we sit together on the Metra train.

The first time we shared a ride a few weeks ago, I pulled out my Nintendo DS Lite (or Fruit Loop DS), for a little gaming joy. Intrigued, my friend asked me some questions about this little hinged wonder, and after answering them, I asked if he wanted to take a swing at Big Brain Academy.

Fast forward to the day after tomorrow, the next time we share a commute. My friend will decide whether he wants to ignite his competitive fires, to see if his brain is heavier than mine (Big Brain Academy), or just relax with a little Ms. Pac-Man action.

Either way, it's all good. And I while my friend is a perfectly happy person with a terrific family, it's always nice to see other folks from my generation getting reacquainted with the joys of gaming, one train ride at a time.

October 15, 2006

So Yeah...............

...............the whole blogging thing.

Holy crap, it's been a while since I posted anything here. Sorry 'bout that.

I have a good excuse, though. I've been at EA Chicago for 3 weeks now, and I couldn't be happier. I'm definitely in the right place at the right time. I walked into a milestone crunch my very first week, and it was a very cool way to feel like a part of the team from the git go. But I'll go into more detail about the ol' joberoo in future posts.

Despite the tough initial schedule, which eased up considerably after that first week, my wife and kids and I have been able to carve out some great quality time together. So far, so good.

We've been playing a lot of the LEGO Star Wars II demo, which, as I predicted a while back, is magically delicious. We also played a little of Pac-Man World Rally, but while it was pretty good, it's on its way back to GameFly for the full version of LSW II.

My daughter and I started playing a new game called Fashion Fable recently, and I'll write more about it in a future post.

That's all for now. In the future, I won't let so much time go between posts. 'kay?