The Maw is the Most Adorable Apocalypse Ever

Maw and Frank being totes adorbs.
Maw and Frank being totes adorbs.

Most apocalyptic video games are bleak and depressing. They’re set during a time where things are going or went horribly wrong. Twisted Pixel managed to take those aspects, cover them is pink frosting and sunshine, tie it up in a bow and deliver The Maw. A similar yet very different kind of game about the apocalypse and friendship.
The main, playable character in The Maw is Frank. Frank is an alien on an alien planet. He’s abducted and crashed on a strange world with a strange, purple fellow captive. This giant, one-eyed, purple creature has the affect of a puppy. Like any good dog, he’s hungry and loving.
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Due to his giant mouth, the purple fellow is called Maw. Maw is tethered to Frank via a collar-bracelet situation. I guess that’s just so he doesn’t fall off a cliff because when Frank wants him to come closer her just hollers, “Maw!”
Frank takes Maw under his wing and goes about trying to escape this planet. On their way Frank discovers that Maw loves to eat the Yums native to this planet. Oh well, whatever keeps the slobbering beast happy.
Frank and Maw make their way across the planet with Maw eating everything he can and Frank kindly keeping him alive. With each Yum Maw eats, he grows. Some things he eats cause him to take on their characteristics—a very useful skill when traversing rough, unknown terrain.
Spicy food can sometimes have adverse reactions.
Spicy food can sometimes have adverse reactions.

Maw and Frank face enemies and obstacles of all kinds while trekking across the planet. As Maw’s size increases it starts to become clear that this might become a problem. How big will he get before he tops off? Will he top off? Will he start eating asteroids and planets? What if he eats a sun…
Oh, snap. Now I get why these intergalactic mercenaries wanted him destroyed.
Aside from the cutest best friends ever, The Maw also offers a relaxing game with solid mechanics and challenges worth taking on.
He seems to be getting bigger...
He seems to be getting bigger…

Neither Frank nor Maw speak aside from Frank calling Maw (which is good because bad voice work can really ruin a game) but the story is fairly clear and engaging. The game is quick, but not too easy.
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Personally, I think being eaten by Maw is a perfectly acceptable way to go. I’m a huge fan of the game and the characters and the feeling I get when playing it. I even have a Maw plush toy, and my best friend has a Frank plush (he shouts “Maw” when you press the telepathic orb on Frank’s head.
Buy The Maw; play it; love it; buy it for your friends.

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Math Apocalypse is every student's worst nightmare

If the only way to save the world is for me to do basic math, we’re all going to die. Math Apocalypse is an Android app game that tasks you with the tremendous pressure of solving math problems to defeat aliens invading earth.
Seems pretty straight forward and totally plausible to me.
Aliens walk in with a math problem over their head. You tap in the (correct) answer and your character zaps them to death with a bolt of electricity. Seems easy enough. That is, until you realize math is hard.
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Math is especially hard when you’re being pressured because the problems are coming at you, threatening your life. Then the problems get bigger and harder and some aliens have multiple math problems.
This is truly a sick and twisted kind of apocalypse. … But I really enjoyed it.
Math Apocalypse was written by someone who, while strong in the math department, is  probably not a native English speaker. The introduction story has a number of grammatical issues, so if you’re thinking of handing it to a child for training you might want to keep that in mind. Other than that it’s a fun mix of academic challenge and apocalyptic fun.
It reminded me of playing Number Munchers when I was in grade school. It’s not bloody or violent but it gives purpose to brain training in a distracting way that’s enjoyable and makes you want to strive to do better.
You can set the game to just addition and subtraction or include multiplication and division in the mix too. If you want to trick your kid into being smart or you’re looking to exercise your brain muscles instead of just your color-candy coordination, Math Apocalypse might be just the thing you’re looking for.
Best of all, just like the intuition that let me make it into adulthood without the ability to do basic math without my fingers, it’s free!
(It’s also available to play on the web Here.)

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Defiance [the show]

defiance - irissa and nolan Defiance is a SyFy original show about a race of aliens who sought refuge on Earth only to accidentally terraform the planet into a whole new, and dangerous world for everyone. The show is set 33 years after the arrival of the aliens where they’re now integrated into the world in a semi-hostile land-share with Humans and newly evolves wildlife.
Defiance is a new city build on the bones of what use to be St.Louis. The city is a (mostly) harmonious blend of “the eight races” suffering from the same power struggles found in most post-apocalyptic rebuilds. Everyone thinks their way is better and everyone wants to seize the next opportunity for power.
Nolan and Irisa are the first of the cast we meet. They’re average grifters looking for a hearty pay day any way they can get it. Irisa, an Irathient, refers to Nolan as her father in the journal but rarely speaks enough to others to divulge anything personal and Nolan, a human, refers to to her as his traveling companion. Nolan is “one of the defiant few” who fought in The Battle of Defiance where soldiers on both sides stopped fighting to save civilians. He eventually divulges the fact to the mayor, explaining that Irisa was an orphan in Denver and he took her in and raised her.
Defiance - Team Tarr
In the pilot we see a number of groups clashing inside and out of Defiance. The Sprint Riders are a wild band of Irathient thugs who run about looting and generally being dickish. The ones with dark hair don’t like the super pales ones, they bald ones are industrious and unassuming, and the large ape-like ones are usually body guards or oh-so-gentle giants.
The set up is interesting but the dynamics and interpersonal conflicts are a bit too … dynamic. There’s a lot to catch up on because we’re just peaking into into a lit of lives already in progress. There’s a mafia and a mine overlord and political strife and Ark falls and one black guy.
Defiance isn’t really about aliens or New Earth or man vs. nature. Defiance is about people and power in the face of limited structure. It’s an interesting lens to look at people and relationships through; part western, part crime noir (Nolan is the quintessential anti-hero) all set in a futuristic post-apocalyptic wonderland.
The show is  beautiful and the Pilot takes about an hour to warm up to the major plot point:
[wpspoiler name=”SPOILER” ]Aliens are coming and they’re only goal is to conquer and destroy and the sweet old lady who use to be mayor is helping “clear out the town.”[/wpspoiler]
[rating:3/5]
It’s good but not amazing. Check out the Defiance pilot  for free on defiance.com and if you can sit through it, the show might be for you.
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Tower Offense? Yes, Please; I'll Take ANOMALY 2.

ANOMALY 2 from 11 bit studios is going to be available for demo at PAX East this weekend and I’m stoked!
Why?
Obviously, I’m for anything thing that leads with “build war mechs,” but this glee is mainly because I’m a huge geek for tower defense games. Ninja Town is for real my favorite game. I lent it to my mom and then strongly considered buying a new copy because I missed it.
But ANOMALY 2 isn’t a tower defense game. It’s a tower offense game! You build troops to push through the enemy’s defenses and ultimately breach their base.
As the story goes, aliens came to Earth in the first ANOMALY Warzone Earth  game and they won. They beat everyone handily and now the planet is theirs and the responsibility to take it back is yours.
I plan to make a meal of this at PAX East and let you know how it preforms against expectations.
Check out the trailer and the official summary from 11 bit studios:
Continue reading “Tower Offense? Yes, Please; I'll Take ANOMALY 2.”

The Land of The Video Game Apocalypse

Video games and the apocalypse go hand in hand. Player One is always that one guy with shit to do and an appointment on Tuesday trying to make his (or her) way through this mess and help all these people out—how’d they survive before Player One came along?
But, we keep coming back to these needy people in their dangerous world because of some romanticism that we can hack it, fix it, or beat it into submission.
Of all the video game apocalypses, which is the worst; which is the best? Is it the overwhelming zombies of Resident Evil, the galactic invasions of Mass Effect, the aggressive extermination in Halo, or some other hellish scenario?
If given the choice, I’d find this Unicorn Apocalypse from the Samsung Mobile commercials and be there. I don’t know all the details of Unicorn Apocalypse I just know those are two things I need to see in one place in order to die happy.

Some of my favorite and most feared video game apocalypses

Continue reading “The Land of The Video Game Apocalypse”

Post-Apocalyptic Would You Rather

Would You Rather is a game where you’re tasked with choosing between two terrible things you don’t want. Today’s Theme: The Apocalypse!

Would You Rather is a game where you’re tasked with choosing between two terrible things you don’t want. It’s usually nasty things like, “seeing you parents have sex or your parents seeing you having sex.” Ew. Not a game I like playing.
So I changed it up a bit. I’m curious about what everyone thinks is a better or worse apocalyptic scenario. Keep in mind, my day job is in market research so I’m kind of curious and inquisitive by nature AND training.

Would You Rather: Aliens or Robots?

Aliens could swoop in and just burn this place to the ground, or they could infiltrate and slowly destroy us from the inside out.

Robots, usually through some failing or hubris or man, would likely become a vital part of our societies then snap like JLo in Enough.
[poll id=”6″]

Would You Rather: City or Country?

Surviving in the City would not only mean scavenging and crumbling structures, but also pre-made everything to use or live in.
Surviving in the country would mean starting from scratch, catching or growing food, and braving the wildlife.
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 Would You Rather: Slavery or Rebellion?

Both seem like so much work! At least with slavery you have food and shelter and consistency. On the other hand, rebels can take naps and drink and fornicate at will.
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Would You Rather: A Dictator or Anarchy?

While I never paid much mind to government, I hear dictators make it their business to be touch the lives of all their subjects in some way. Fall in line and it could be a good way.
Anarchy could be chaotic and upsetting, or you could just slip out the back and go check out the country living. And when the bandits come to raid your homestead you’re free to shoot them and string them up as a warning to any who come after.
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 Would You Rather: Lose everyone at once or Lose everyone over time?

It’s like pulling of a band-aid, do it fast and then get over it.
Alternatively, you could utilize the skills and build relationships with people overtime.
Both would probably drive you mad. *shrugs*
[poll id=”10″]

Would You Rather: Eat People or be a Vegan?

They both have their downsides. Murder on the one hand and being Vegan on the other…
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Would You Rather: Lose an Arm or Lose a Leg?

Things are going to fall, lasers might be fired… Which do you value the least, your arm or your leg?
[poll id=”12″]

Would You Rather: Survive with your Mom or you Dad?

Yup. When you think of people the least likely to survive an apocalypse, you’re parents are probably on there. Mine are. Bare in mind that you’ll probably have to watch them die when they lose their glasses or stop and ask a bandit for directions.
[poll id=”13″]

Would You Rather: Your Co-Workers or Your Neighbors?

Honestly, I wouldn’t know my neighbors if the walked up and punched me in the face. They don’t look especially durable…
Co-workers, well, I spend eight hours a day with them and certainly don’t go home and miss them…
[poll id=”14″]

Would You Rather: Candy Forever or Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables Forever?

Imagine you and your band of survivors come across a factory that you can defend and live in. Inside is a nearly unlimited supply of food… Kind of.
[poll id=”15″]

Would You Rather: Be Hunted and Loyal or Be Safe and a Traitor?

So say there’s an antagonist, be it the government, or aliens, or an oligarchy, or Amazons. This antagonist finds out that you and yours are not playing like they’d like you to be.
They offer you a choice, give up the goods and help them find the others or take a head start and try to protect your neck.
[poll id=”16″]

If you have any suggestions for other tough choices or would like to elaborate on your decisions above, talk to us via the comments below.

Watching Falling Skies? There's an App for That.

Falling Skies, the TNT show about fighting back after a devastating alien invasion. The aliens are serious dicks. they don’t just invade and kill us, or harvest us, or even experiment on us. No, they kill the adults and enslave the children with mind-controlling, DNA-altering harnesses.
Falling Skies chronicles the resistance movement, based it the best state in the union– Massachusetts, as they try everything from Molotov Cocktails to diplomacy to take back their planet.
Gritty and dark without making you feel too gritty or dark the show is well worth watching and talking about.
Well, if you’re looking for company or a bit of interactivity while you watch check out the official Falling Skies app available for both iOS and Android.

Open this free app while watching season two of FALLING SKIES and get trivia, polls, behind-the-scenes info and more, all matched up with what you’re seeing on your TV. The app will detect where you are in the program and serve up content to enhance your viewing experience.
And you won’t be alone—there’s a live, in-app chat for each episode, where you can share your own theories and thoughts with your fellow fans.
Be sure to keep the app open after the episode for the official FALLING SKIES post-show, 2ND WATCH, hosted by Wil Wheaton!

If you want a bit of extra information about the show and the characters, you can check out the other official Falling Skies app. though I’m not sure why they had to split all this into two apps or how long the utility of an app that’s based on what you can get from other sources like IMDB or Wikipedia or the official website or in other apps will last. But it exists.

The aliens have decimated our planet, but the fight isn’t over yet. Get the inside scoop on the battle for humanity by downloading the Falling Skies App from TNT.
Download the official Falling Skies app to access sneak peek video content, behind-the-scenes videos, cast bios, episode guides, Falling Skies comic book from Dark Horse Comics, full episodes, Falling Skies Facebbok and Twitter, and the 2nd Mass Defense Game App.
Download the app for free and join the fight for our planet’s survival!

So if you don’t feel like doing the leg work to find out more about Falling Skies and have to space to spare on your device, grab one or both of the apps for before, during, and after Falling Skies.

This week in the real world

First of all, sorry for being absent as of late. I just didn’t have anything to say and so I didn’t say anything.  But I have been busy. Not buying a house like Char or getting good grades like Ann. Mostly I’ve been playing video games and reading comic books and I got a new phone (almost immediately after, my work phone died).
While its always important to plan for the worst the current situation can’t. Come second. Sometimes that means making steak for dinner instead of hardtack. Or just going for a drive because its nice out. However you can keep in the back of your mind all the lessons you’re. Learning while doing these things.
What I’ve learned from the pre-apocalyptic world: Continue reading “This week in the real world”

Post-Apocalyptic Reading – Impressions: THE INFECTION by Craig DiLouie


Description of Craig DiLouie’s THE INFECTION[1. This book was provided for review by Permuted Press]

A mysterious virus suddenly strikes down millions. Three days later, its victims awake with a single purpose: spread the Infection. As the world lurches toward the apocalypse, some of the Infected continue to change, transforming into horrific monsters. 
In one American city, a small group struggles to survive. Sarge, a tank commander hardened by years of fighting in Afghanistan. Wendy, a cop still fighting for law and order in a lawless land. Ethan, a teacher searching for his lost family. Todd, a high school student who sees second chances in the end of the world. Paul, a minister who wonders why God has forsaken his children. And Anne, their mysterious leader, who holds an almost fanatical hatred for the Infected.  
Together, they fight their way to a massive refugee camp where thousands have made a stand. There, what’s left of the government will ask them to accept a mission that will determine the survival of them all—a dangerous journey back onto the open road and into the very heart of Infection.

The best part about apocalyptic survival stories is the rogue, make-your-own-rules mentality the characters get to embody. The worst part is the reality behind why they now have this mentality. Everyone they know is dead, missing, or has been murdered (possibly at their very own hands).
Unfortunately, The Infection has much more of the latter than the former. There are at least half a dozen characters, and most of them are sad or damn-near suicidal — actually someone in their party killed himself before we, the reader, join the story. Continue reading “Post-Apocalyptic Reading – Impressions: THE INFECTION by Craig DiLouie”

5 Reasons Earth Might be Invaded by Aliens

One of the many possible types of possible apocalypses is the vague and terrifying Invasion by Aliens.
Aliens might invade Earth for a number of reasons. These reasons might be tactical, commercial, political, evolutionary, or simply expansionary. Continue reading “5 Reasons Earth Might be Invaded by Aliens”