App Games are Underrated

phone being usedThere are those who will only play a video game if they can do it on their computer. Their gaming world starts and ends there.

App games are seen by many as inferior. There is this perception that those who play app games are not “real gamers”. The problem here is that this concept is presented by people who don’t play app games and have a strong bias against them.

A vivid example of the strong bias some people have about app games happened at BlizzCon 2018. Diablo Immortal was announced by Wyatt Cheng, Lead Designer of the Diablo Immortal Team. It was completely unexpected. The moment it became clear that Diablo Immortal would be an app game – and would never come to PC – the crowd reacted negatively.

App games are underrated. Everyone who attended BlizzCon 2018 had the opportunity to play Diablo Immortal. I found it to be incredibly fun, and fast, and could not wait to find out what lore this game would reveal. Those who didn’t try it – because they don’t play app games – were missing out.

Pokémon GO is an app game that can only be played on a phone or tablet. It is an extremely popular game, worldwide. Nostalgia plays a role in this, as people who played previous Pokémon games when they were younger want to relive that experience. The game is fun, can be played without making any real-money purchases, and (before COVID-19) encouraged people to go outside and get some exercise.

D&D Beyond launched the D&D Beyond Player App. It enables players to view all of the characters they have on D&D Beyond. Players can manage health stats and spell slots, make skill checks and attack rolls, track conditions, and more. I can see how this app would be useful for players who are away from their computer on game night.

App games aren’t inferior to games played on a computer or console. The purpose of gaming is to be entertaining, to give the player an interesting world to explore, and to make it easy for people to play with their friends. The best app games provide all of that.

(Image credit: Ketut Subiyanto)

Kobolds In Space! – Adventures in Lawn Care

Kobolds in Space LogoKobolds In Space! is a game where players become kobolds who are tasked with a mission that requires space travel. What follows is a story version of one of the beta tests of Kobolds In Space!

Our spherical ship is called The Green Moon. It heavily armored, but very slow. The AI on our ship, SNIV 3000, is extremely annoying. Our mission is to seek out a friendly asteroid and mine it. Maybe. Most of us weren’t really paying attention.

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DnDBeyond’s Digital Dice Make Gaming More Inclusive

D n D Beyond Dice RollerD&D Beyond recently introduced Digital Dice. Players can access the dice directly from their character sheet. The digital dice are an excellent alternative for those who don’t want to use a bot in Discord to make a roll for them. They are also good for when you are playing D&D at night, and don’t want physical dice rolling to bother your roommates or family members.

Advantage roll totalFor me, the best part of the digital dice is that it accommodates my dyslexia. I have, over the years, figured out ways to work around my issues with spelling and language. Numbers, however, continue to perplex me. No matter what I try, I just can’t make the math work in my head.

Digital Dice make things easier for people like me. For example, let’s say Ownka, my half-orc cleric, wants to cast Mass Healing Word at Level 5. The character sheet says 3d4+3 and has a little heart symbol next to it (indicating this spell heals).

Withblue 20 sided dice one button click, Digital Dice rolls three d4 die across my character sheet. At the bottom, it adds up all the numbers for me. At a glance, I can see that Ownka just gave her party members 11 hit points back.

When my kobold Path of the Berserker barbarian Zax wants to hit an enemy with their Hammer of Thunderbolts, the damage area on their character sheet says 2d6+8 and has a little icon that indicates this action can cause bludgeoning damage.

When I clicked that box, Digital Dice rolled two d6 for me, and added up the totals with Zax’s bonus included. Just like that, I know Zax did 16 bludgeoning damage to whatever was making them angry.

Another really cool thing about Digital Dice is that the come in different colors. Those who were in the alpha test have access to “Old School”, a white die with black numbers. This one is my favorite because I find it easiest to read numbers (or letters) that are in dark print on a light background.

Tour of Gox’s Barbarian Dojo

Gox the Kobold Barbarian, by JenGox is a Zealot barbarian kobold that I played in the Pack Tactics campaign. After that, Gox decided to open a Barbarian Dojo. This blog post is from Gox’s point-of-view, explaining why he opened a Dojo, and giving the reader a tour.

Hi! I’m Gox. Welcome to my Barbarian Dojo! I’m a follower of Bahamut, and my understanding is that Bahamut wants us to protect the weak. One really great way to do that is to make the weak stronger. That’s what my Barbarian Dojo is for.

Let me show you around! This grassy area out here is used at night for training practice. Things like practicing battle stance, learning how to use different types of weapons, and some light sparring with a partner. There’s always a few clerics of Bahamut standing by, just in case someone gets hurt.

The Dojo was built with kobolds in mind, so you might have to duck after we go inside. The entryway is always kept clear, to make it easier for groups of excited kobolds to get in and out without trampling each other.

Gox the Kobold Barbarian, by RhysThe passageway to the left leads to the barracks. Every kobold gets their own bunk bed. I can’t take you in there right now, because kobolds sleep during the day. They’ll start waking up for breakfast when the sun starts going down.

The cafeteria is off to the right. It takes a lot of food to feed all these barbarians, so I’ve got some partnerships with local farms. They provide surplus food in exchange for protection from thieves, zombies, and the like. We have a rotating group of cooks that are sent here by a local cooking school. I hear they consider feeding this many barbarians to be an interesting challenge. Something to brag about.

Let’s go check out the armory. We’ve got pretty much anything a barbarian kobold would need, from weapons to armor. The dinged up stuff is for the newbies, to get them used to wearing armor and carrying a weapon. As they improve their skill, they get access to heavier stuff.

This hallway leads to a gymnasium, where one-one-one challenges can take place and barbarians can show off their skills. Crowds will gather on the bleachers to watch. The rule is a match cannot begin without at least two clerics present.

Over there is a huge bath area. Turns out, many barbarians don’t really care much about personal hygiene. Trust me, there are some things that not even prestidigitation can remove!  Turns out barbarians can be enticed to get into what looks like a swimming pool with soap bubbles.

Down here is a huge amphitheater that was made thanks to the efforts of spellcasters who can do mold earth and barbarians who can lift heavy stone. This is where I turn into an ogre, or worst dog, or a dragon, and fight ten to twenty barbarians. It’s a safe way for them to learn what to watch out for when fighting a particular creature.

Escape from Triassic Park

Escape from Triassic Park is a game where players become dinosaurs and try to get free. Here’s what happened when we played it, from the viewpoint of my T-Rex.

Wake up. Head blurry. One people runs away.

I stand. Noisy metal tube people put me in is next to me. I hates it. I kick it!

Something moved. Friend Triceratops charges small door one tiny people went into. Makes hole. I try to poke my head into room with people.

Why they scream?

Watch friend Triceratops charge the big doors. We go outside!

Friend Triceratops eats tree leaves. I eat a people.

Loud, screaming, flashy thing on pole awakes. I hates it. Friend Triceratops and I try to break noisy flashy thing. We cannot. Feeling nervous now.

Large fast-tapping noise appears. In sky, metal creature with weird wings that go in a circle hovers. People inside bird holds up an ouchie-sleepy and makes tiny things fly out.

BIRD! I chomps it. I eat a people. Feel better.

Friend Triceratops moved fence. Find wide, smooth, rock. Black like night. Smells of burning. Yellow markings down middle.

Small metal dinosaur, with spinning feet, appears. Another people, holding ouchie-sleepy, is inside. I go towards metal dinosaur and chomp it.

Tastes awful! Smells bad! Shake head and spit it out. Friend Triceratops charges the other metal dinosaur with spinning feet. Flips it over. Bad smell gets badder. We go away.

Friend Triceratops charges new fence. Stands for a minute and… disappears? I am alone in this world! Kick the fence that took my friend and ROAR!

Something moves. Friend Triceratops has magically returned! Friend charges fence and breaks it.

We find place with people caves. Air smells of people food. Loud, screaming, flashy things on polls awaken. I wants to kick them.

What’s that? I put face closer to small cave. Baby dinosaurs are trapped behind barrier that I can touch but not see. We must set them free! I kick barrier and break it.

Cannot reach the baby dinosaurs with my little arms! Very nervous now!

Large fast-tapping noise appears. BIRD! I chomps it. I eat a people. Feel better now. I kick a pole that has screaming flashy on top. Sparky things come out. Air smells funny.

Friend Triceratops charges a screaming flashy pole. Misses. Runs through cave with baby dinosaurs. Comes out with baby dinosaur on nose horn, spinning around.

Carefully pick up another baby dinosaur with my teeth. It has no scent and don’t taste like meat.

We’ve been tricked!

Tail swipe small cave and break it more. All lights go out. Screaming flashy things are quiet.

We walk on. Find bigger, rectangular caves. Friend Triceratops charges through metal dinosaurs with wheels. One zooms away and we follow it to water.

Giant metal fish in water. Small dinosaurs with round feet crawl inside. I am confused.

Large fast-tapping noise appears. BIRD! Friend Triceratops runs up my tail, over my back, and to my snout. Charges into bird! Both fall from sky and into water.

We find forest with big trees and no peoples. Escaped!