10 Disney Weapons (That Won’t Turn You into a Singing Princess)

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Bang. Whoosh. Kerplunk. (That last one was a slingshot firing a stone into a pond. Get that toilet imagery out of your head.) The Disney franchise is just loaded with awesome weapons, amiright!? Clayton’s shotgun. King Triton’s trident. Jafar’s snake staff. Arthur’s sword in the stone. There needs to be a pen and paper RPG of the Disney universe up in the house pronto, yo. Still, if you wanna decorate your house, start a collection, or gift your relatives with some of the weaponry wielded by iconic Disney characters, you’re in luck! Just don’t break the beast’s magic mirror and get subjected to seven years of enchanted bad luck. You’d probably get transformed into his toothbrush. Blegh.

 

Princess Elena of Avalor: Scepter of Light (Deals 3 bludgeoning damage and grants OP light spells.)

Ah, the scepter of light, opposition to the scepter of night. Sure, it would make more sense for the former to be “day” or the latter to be “darkness,” but everyone just loves those counterpart weapons that rhyme while still sorta being opposites. The SoL has some pretty cool powers from rapid plant growth to seeing people across any distance, so who needs farming books and Skype if you plan on picking up this little beauty. The only real downside is that, the more the scepter is used, the more drained the user gets. But hey, if you’ve survived using the internet for years on end, I think you’ll be just fine.

View Scepter of Light on Amazon

 

Demigod Maui: Fish Hook (Deals 5 bludgeoning damage and self-casts polymorph. Prone to function as twin spell if confidence is depleted.)

Good old Maui. The guy whose name sounds like what comes out of a kid’s mouth if he or she sees a fresh batch of cookies on the stove but doesn’t realize the pan is still hot before reaching for one. “Mm. Owie!” But onto his weapon: Who needs Ditto from Pokémon or Mystique from X-Men or Chrysalis from My Little Pony when you can get yourself a magical fish hook from the gods that lets you transform into practically anything? Someone could start an animal poop removal service and then just keep transforming into a dog. Now that’s a lucrative supply and demand scheme! What can I say except, “You’re welcome”?

View Fish Hook on Amazon

 

Moana of Motunui: Oar (Deals 2 bludgeoning damage and always inflicts critical hits against oceans.)

It’s kind of ironic, really. Moana is friends with the ocean but wields an oar. Ya know, the wooden apparatus that’s specifically designed to repeatedly slap the water around you? But hey, if the ocean is into that kind of thing, who I am to judge. Now, you might be wondering what makes this oar unique, what makes it stand out from all the other oars out there. Well, I’ll tell you: This oar is wielded by Moana, the woman who orders a guy to board her boat, sail across the ocean, and deliver someone’s heart. Uh, gross. In all fairness, though, if my heart ended up missing one day, I’d kinda want it back too. But yeah, all that makes this special is the one who wielded it, and be glad she isn’t here right now. If she was, she’d probably say, “You will board Amazon, sail across the listings, and restore the oar of Moana to its proper place- your shopping cart.” Kids these days. No respect.

View Oar on Amazon

 

Mulan/Ping: Sword (Deals 5 slashing damage and increases female identity stealth by 50%.)

♪ Let’s get down to business: Got a sword to show.
Might there be some takers for a price so low?
It’s official and has lights and sounds.
And on these grounds, it’s pretty cool.
Reader, just don’t bring it into school! ♪

View Sword on Amazon

 

Princess Merida of DunBroch: Bow and Arrows (Deals 2 piercing damage and taunts all nearby male targets.)

I got ta thinkin’, tha’ I did, to beh makin’ this paragroph’s entoire gimmick jussa sorry e’scuse fer a Sco’ish accent, but- NAAAAAAAH! Would just be unprofessional, inaccurate, annoying, and possibly even offensive. I probably even combined multiple accents there, too. And no, I’m not stalling for space because there’s not much to say about a kid’s archery set of a bow and two arrows! Rude. Good news for parents by the way: This bow isn’t designed to really fire the arrows, arrows that aren’t sharp to boot, so it’s a pretty safe alternative for those wee young’uns a yers. I mean- your children. If you have a Merida from Brave fan in the house, this product will hit the bullseye.

View Bow and Arrows on Amazon

 

Queen Elsa of Arendelle: Ice Scepter (Deals 3 cold damage and has to be summoned from the Plane of Nonexistence.)

Time to take a look at Queen Elsa’s iconic ice scepter from- Wait. What ice scepter? I don’t remember Elsa having an ice scepter in Frozen. She was handed a regular royal scepter at her coronation, and it did start to freeze over a little when she touched it, but there was never any full-on scepter of ice in that movie. /Gasp I think somebody made this product up just to make a profit! The fiend! Who in the world would be so evil as to try to profit from a replica of an item that doesn’t even exist?

View Ice Scepter on Amazon

 

Maleficent, Mistress of All Evil: Staff (Deals 4 bludgeoning damage and emits an Anti-Scarecrow Aura.)

I wonder if Maleficent ever holds a staff meeting with Jafar. Either way, her staff has a pretty spot-on replica for sale, having vines and a colorful orb. Now all you need is a pet crow to nest on it, and your cosplay is complete. Measuring 56 inches, it’s taller than a lot of kids even. Thankfully, it can be broken down into two pieces to more easily store away. Magnificent, Maleficent.

View Staff on Amazon

 

Princess Sofia the First: Amulet of Avalor (Cursed item: Augments biological lifeforms but may ribbit I mean self-inflict random debuffs.)

This powerful Disney item capable of being used as a weapon may be a necklace, but it’s also a double-edged sword. Like an accessory in an RPG, the amulet grants powers to the wielder such as buffing strength or providing an active ability such as firing icy blasts. Unfortunately, if the bearer is bratty, he or she not only ends up on Santa’s naughty list but is also cursed. So yeeeeeah. If you still want presents at Christmas and wish to avoid inconveniences such as having a bird beak, becoming tiny, or croaking like a frog, you better be all nice and stuff while wielding this. But hey, even if you do mess up, at least it’ll always be a fabulous way to accessorize with a ballroom gown.

View Amulet of Avalor on Amazon

 

Captain Hook: Hook Hand (Deals 2 piercing damage. Prerequisite to equip: Must let small, flying boy in green tights cut off your hand and feed it to a crocodile.)

If someone asks you to give them a hand, you can now oblige more easily. A replica of Captain Hook’s hook is up for grabs here, and the best part of all is that you don’t even need to be missing your hand to use it. How handy! You could even dual wield these beauties and become Captain Hooks. There would be an extra s in your title because the whole hook thing would be all plural and stuff. And just think of all the things you could do with hook hands! You could go fishing without a pole, become a meat and coat hanger, and- um- like, so many other things that I can’t even begin to list them here. You certainly know how to accessorize, Hooky. Gotta hand it to you for that.

View Hook Hand on Amazon

 

Princess Star Butterfly: Royal Magic Wand (Deals 1 bludgeoning damage and bestows the god-level power of creation. Resting on the seventh day is not required.)

If you’ve ever sought the power to conjure anything whether it be slightly-burnt toast with reduced-fat butter or a unicorn that’s kinda decent at Fortnite, look no further. This wand may have worse battery life than my cellphone, but it at least allows the user to create objects and alter reality at will. Huh. Neat. And I mean, come on, a purple wand with a star, wings, and butterfly on it are sure to strike fear into the hearts of your enemies. Even more so when they learn it was wielded by an individual named Star Butterfly. Terrifying. Unfortunately, if you’re experiencing negative emotions, the wand’s spells won’t function correctly. This makes it unusable to nearly every human being on the planet at almost every passing moment. Good luck!

View Royal Magic Wand on Amazon

 

There you have it. A dozen minus two of the many weapons you can find throughout the enchanted world of Walt Disney. Melee and ranged, magic and metal, hooks and dinnerware- there was some mighty fine creativity at work to bring so many beloved stories to epic life. And I’m just so glad that the products from these tales don’t do anything like, I dunno, promote violence to kids or anything. I can’t even walk down the street without seeing children using their toy swords to advocate for pacifism and intermediary diplomacy. Not me though! I have the initiative. I pull out my Darkwing Duck gas gun and aim at Cruella Deville to put her to sleep. Rolling the dice aaaaand- it’s a one. Great, so now what’s gonna hap- Zzzzz…

JumpStart Dino Adventure Field Trip Video Game Review #5- A Competent Educator That Won’t Get Older Tails Wagging

A dog went and traveled through time.
He at once saw a terrible crime.
Eggs were brought to a lair,
But the moms didn’t care,
So the ending was not so sublime.

Once upon a prehistoric time, CJ the frog and Hopsalot the rabbit decided to test out a potentially-dangerous time machine on their dog companion Frankie as they remained safely back. Clearly, animals after Doc Brown’s own heart.

Also, please stay far away from anyone that uses that bunny’s face as a profile picture.

Frankie steps out in the past and suddenly meets a green pterodactyl that needs his help in recovering her lost eggs. Now, I’m all for turning to strangers for help in emergencies, but what could a dog do that she couldn’t do several times better? She knows the area and the residents. She’s stronger, faster, and can fly. What, was there a prophecy of a bipedal, red-sweater-toting canine appearing to save your children as foretold on ancient cave walls? If she needed something small to get into a tiny crevice she couldn’t fit through or something, I’d understand. This though is like the mighty Samson wanting some random foxes’ help to burn down some Philistine fields. Wait… Bad example, but you get the idea.

Frankie agrees, but while distracted, a blue dinosaur steals the time machine. Rather than giving chase, he just casually wonders how he’ll get home. Yeah, if my car is ever stolen, my reaction’ll be, “Golly, how will I get to work on time now?” He could have asked for the pterodactyl to pay him back for his assistance by helping to retrieve his transportation or- anything- but nope! Despite the genuinely-terrifying prospect of being stuck in ancient times for life, Frankie still decides to help the mom out. His aid comes in the form of four minigames which seemingly have no connection to finding the eggs yet somehow do anyway. Good to know, I guess. Next time I lose my keys, I’ll just play some Tic-Tac-Toe, and I’m sure they’ll show up.

All the minigames have to be beaten three times with increasing challenge. Rather than choosing from a trio of difficulties like in Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge from last time, you seamlessly go through them all from the easiest to reach the ending. Despite being full of animals, this game would have been much meatier and more fun if every game was different instead of rehashing them twice, but at least there are some alterations. Each time you complete them all once, you move onto a new area with a pterodactyl that looks exactly like the previous one who also happened to be the victim of eggnapping. It’s nice to see the different landscapes, but having the NPC you help at least look somewhat different would have been a nice touch. Well, at least Frankie clearly has to pee on the overworld. That totally makes up for the visual redundancy.

As for the minigames, you got Dino Driver for starters which teaches alphabetical order. You ride Barney the dinosaur over his dead brethren and knock the dinosaur over that has the next letter one by one which causes them to explode. At least the footprints appearing as you run looks neat.

Next up is Dino Bop which helps with matching, reflexes, and how to cause a concussion. This is the one game where the controls really stand out, as your hammer is always trying to get centered like there’s some gravitational pull, so you have to hold down the D-pad to hit other areas. This gets especially wonky if trying to whack several dinos in rapid succession. Otherwise, this entire title handles perfectly.

Third is Brain-O-Saur which is meant to help with memory. Just like Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge, it’s Concentration, but the difference here is that you are shown everything at the start and have finite tries rather than a time limit. Before you start, this “educational” game calls Frankie’s paws “hands,” so this experience could be quite devastating to children’s development if they planned to become a veterinarian.

Lastly is Feeding Time which helps with matching, counting, and addition. You throw food at hungry dinos, and for some reason, if the number you’re holding doesn’t match your target’s, they’ll get hit in the face with the projectile instead of eating it. In the end, all four of these are pretty much as easy and forgiving as it gets not counting those from video games rated EC.

After finishing each game, Frankie just magically has the egg and takes it back to the pterodactyl who thanks you and- wants each egg put back on the correct nest? Lady, I just saved your kids for you, you lazy omelet maker! Put them where you want yourself. I’m just glad she didn’t get help from the police.

“I’m sorry, officer. I appreciate you rescuing my kidnapped children and all, but you can’t leave until you physically place them in the correct beds from which they were taken.”

“Uh, ma’am, have you been-“

“Yesh.”

Furthermore, even though there is a system in place for the second and third areas in terms of placing the eggs in the correct spot, the first nesting ground lets you leave them anywhere and has all the bedding look the same. Maybe it was just easier to program the game by having the pterodactyl in each place say the same thing, but boy, was I confused at that initial one! I’m looking at the screen going, “Um. What.”

After all four of the games are completed, you unlock a fifth one involving flying on your pterodactyl client while hitting the matching clouds. Watch out for the evil ones from the Care Bears that got something in their eyes though; they don’t care about getting in your way.

After this process is completed three times, Frankie happens to spot a cave that he happens to think is noteworthy that happens to have the thief inside who happens to be non-violent and friendly. I just happen to need a vacation.

Turns out that the burglar wasn’t stealing the eggs to cause mischief or eat them or anything. He was just lonely. He only took the time machine because he thought it was also an egg. Everyone is totally cool with this, and Frankie tells him that he won’t be lonely again if he just starts being nice.

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

Where do I even begin? Okay, so, he took the eggs because he was lonely? How in the name of Zoboomafoo can unhatched babies ease loneliness? Isn’t that the modern-day equivalent of no one replying to you on Facebook so you go out and steal some ultrasounds? Was it just a matter of having something there whether it was sentient or not? If so, why not a rock or maybe the skeletons we saw earlier? Why take something that’s only going to cause him trouble later?

And he confused a time machine for an egg? I understand that it’s ovular; something living came out of it; and dinosaurs here have no concept of electronics, but even if that’s why he thought it was one, that would mean he took what he believed to be an empty egg, a mere egg shell. If that’s good enough to lift his loneliness, he really couldn’t have just taken nothing but egg shells that no one cares about instead of committing a heinous crime? They’re probably littered all over the place!

And I can maybe sorta understand Frankie being all chill since he had no emotional connection to anything here, but why didn’t that mother have any negative reaction to this guy? Seriously, there was no rebuke or anything. What kind of mom has nothing to say, do, or apparently even feel when confronting her children’s kidnapper? And seriously, my dog dude? The final lesson here for kids is that individuals stop being lonely when they’re kind? I guess I’m just a jerk then. Frankie then gives a radioactive thumbs up, and that’s an egg wrap. /Deep breaths Wow. That ending was- I need booze.

Okay, let’s just talk about the game’s features. To help players keep track of what minigames they already did per area, it very nicely shows an egg on the bottom corner if you hover over a completed task. You can even attempt to steal the eggs you’ve recovered, but the moms won’t let you get away with it; at least it shows they’ve upped their protectiveness and become mildly better parents now. Maybe. It also kindly provides the means to turn off the music if you don’t know what the volume knob does on your GBC. And best of all, it shows what Titans Tower would look like after being attacked by a slime monster.

The music is pretty well composed, and the opening track is especially catchy. I was sorely tempted to rap my right foot to the beat since my left leg was folded onto my other knee at the time. Sorta sounded like the thing you’d hear at a private Christian elementary school as the kids are walking up to the podium one by one to collect their achievement awards. The rest is also pleasantly endearing and elaborate enough for a really good effect during gameplay.

Oddly, though, the credits have no sound at all, not even any colorful imagery. Most people already have no interest in watching that part, so thanks for taking away any possible appeal for those that do!

Visually speaking, the game is bright and colorful but gets kinda weird sometimes. Frankie and the repeated pterodactyl model look very different on the cartridge’s cover than in the game. I mean, she’s purple on the front. I know the Gameboy Color is only 8-bit and all, but it’s like they didn’t even try to make them sync up. Speaking of her, she makes one of the oddest expressions when you’re at her nest. It’s like the kind of face you’d see if she hadn’t gotten a reply to the text message that she sent her boyfriend six hours ago, AND she’s trying really hard to hold in her diarrhea after all the chocolates she consumed from emotion eating.

Sometimes, she simply looks like she wants to eat YOU, ironically the face she should have made after meeting her kids’ kidnapper.

Oddest of all is what you see at the start: a message saying that this game was intended for private use only and that public performance is prohibited. Guess I better hurry and find a Get out of Jail Free card.

Ya know, for little little kids, this ain’t a bad choice to help develop a few scholastic skills; I think the intellect of a preschooler would be rather enhanced by this experience, and early development is the most important. The story, while very simple, is creative enough to hold a tyke’s attention I’d imagine. And if you want your children to join the UFC when they grow up, the violent head traumas, face smacking, and explosive pushing are sure to build a strong foundation for a highly-profitable, immensely-violent future. For anyone else, even with nothing better to do, I think people are gonna struggle to get engrossed with this beyond-easy title. If I were a dog, I definitely wouldn’t call this chocolate, but it ain’t exactly much of a treat either.

Well, I gotta get going. I’ve been feeling kind of lonely, so I need to nicely steal some snake eggs and shells. Thanks for reading, and God bless.

 

Score:
Fun/Replayability- 4.5/10
Controls- 9.5/10
Graphics and Sound- 8/10
Story- 4.5/10
Difficulty Balance- 4/10
Verdict- 61%

Very foxtastic indeed!

 

 

 

Next time on The Bad Wordplayer:

When a girl that dwarfed a woman’s beauty is put to sleep on fruit, dwarfs decide to dwarf the woman’s life without needing to sleep on it.

Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge (GB) Video Game Review #4- A Cataclysmic Puzzler That Can’t Quite Rumble with the Competition

There was a mouse dreamer named Mickey.
There’s a girl, but let’s make this a quicky.
With earthquakes that loomed,
A kingdom was doomed,
Yet the quest ain’t exactly that tricky.

Welcome to Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge, the puzzle platformer that can be completed without Mickey ever showing up at all. Yeah, kinda strange to name it that when you can play as Mickey OR Minnie. Other games have handled dual protagonists with names like “Disney’s Magical Quest 3 Starring Mickey & Donald,” but there was no such consideration here. The game’s apparent sexism continues multiple times, but we’ll get to them later. It was produced by Hi Tech Expressions, a company no longer around thanks to Thanos’ snap.

Movement, even during puzzles, is very fluid, and the sprite graphics are really crisp and detailed. Plus, the water in the background is actually animated, a really nice touch that helps make the atmosphere seem more alive. The mouths even move when they talk! Talk about going above and beyond for a Game Boy title. I also appreciate the clever foreshadowing caused by the protagonist actually looking upward whenever an earthquake interrupts gameplay. It was also surprising just how good some of the music tracks are. They were fairly elegant and really fit the medieval setting.

The controls felt just right, but they didn’t always perform in the same way. There was one platform where I would jump straight up to it over and over, and sometimes I’d land on it, sometimes not, and there was no difference in what I was doing with the button. Another weird aspect of the controls is the fact that you can duck. Why is this odd? Because you never once need to do so in the entire game. Furthermore, A is a high jump and B is a low one, but the entire game can be beaten using either one, so just like the ability to crouch, this inclusion was completely unnecessary.

The story is the same regardless of your avatar. Each mouse is reading a book about fairy tales, starts thinking about the world contained within, falls asleep, and dreams about being there. A clichéd transition without a doubt, but the twist ending wouldn’t have worked without it, so I guess it’s at least slightly above average. Upon arrival, you’re informed that this medieval land is doomed because of mysterious earthquakes. You’d expect the townspeople to be working on some solution, panicked, or trying to set their final affairs in order. However, they’re all quite chill about their apocalyptic future. Daisy Duck is actually more concerned that her paintings are dusty. Whatever these folks are on- please keep it away.

The dialogue options are quite plentiful. You have two choices at the start of the minigames which yield different responses, and some words also change depending on whether you picked Mickey or Minnie. The gameplay is nearly always unaffected though; regardless of how you answer, the minigames proceed in the exact same fashion. However, getting used to having no influence on events with your replies is all a buildup to a cruel trap which I’ll get to in a bit. On the flip side, my favorite thing about the speech here is that the weasel guard’s accent is left intact. Righto, gov’na.

You can choose your difficulty, but none are particularly challenging. The game tries to be hip by referring to easy mode as “cake,” but the medium and hard settings are untouched with creativity. They could have gone with something like “cake,” “bananas,” and “nuts,” but now I’m hungry. After the desired required effort for your experience has been chosen, you get a scene showing your character reading a fairy tale book then wondering about what life would be like there. He or she falls asleep, transitioning to the fantasy world, but not before you’re shown some satanic imagery. What devil worshippers won’t do to promote their brand…

You’re dropped off at a tower of a castle that serves as your central hub to reach the various levels. If you had fallen a little to the right, this adventure would have been over with pretty quickly.

Your movement is occasionally interrupted by the seismic activity as you explore the area known as- the Kingdom of Beanwick. This name is displayed with large capital B’s on tapestries that adorn the stone walls. What a brilliant way to save on paint! The state of Indiana should have just had a sign on the outskirts represented by an I.

As far as accessing the levels go, one is cut off until all the others are complete, and one can be unlocked after some progression; the drawbridge minigame with Huey, Dewey, and Louie opens a path to Goofy. However, there’s a secret route to him if you want to do his part early. Just head out to the docks and hold down left on the D-pad until a cutscene triggers which transports you over to who is now the kingdom’s blacksmith.

The game is comprised entirely of minigames hosted by familiar Disney characters, and most of them are just reskins of games you’ve likely played at some point in your life. You have Mastermind, Simon Says, Concentration (the same card game as Super Mario Bros. 3), a sliding puzzle, and two others I can’t generalize as easily. One is about pushing all the vials into a mirror, and if you get one stuck, you have to push B to reset. The other involves jumping back and forth on platforms to touch certain letters in order to spell a word.

The minigames fit into the setting via a small plot point you have to address. For example, the Simon Says game is used as an activation mechanism to start a flow of water to free Huey, Dewy, and Louie from a platform. However, you have to suspend your disbelief as to how the mechanics of some tasks actually accomplish your goal. I mean, who designed the pipe system to respond to a few rounds of Simon Says instead of a simple lever? It’s like rigging your toilet to only flush if you win a round of Monopoly. And they must love spicy food, as the buttons are all pepper shakers.

Not to mention, they’re a bit sexist too, suggesting that Minnie could find a use for the glass slipper just because she’s a female. What, boys couldn’t enjoy them and girls automatically would? You three get no ye olde marbles for two whole moons!

You have an inventory bar, and each completed puzzle awards you an object. Each item is then traded to a different NPC for a magic bean. The character that needs each item is handled very logically. For instance, Horace Horsecollar talks about having poor eyesight, so of course, he gets the spectacles. However, no thought or effort is needed for the swaps. If you just get the items then reenter the areas, the correct trade happens automatically after the conversation initiates.

Furthermore, the game breaks its own immersion with this trading system. Horace asked for your help because his eyesight was bad. So, if you go to his room after acquiring the spectacles for him, it no longer makes sense that you need to do the work for him anymore. Heck, even after you actually hand his glasses over, he still gives you the option of helping organize the books. If his bad vision was really the source of needing your help, this doesn’t make sense. Then there’s Goofy who gives you his blacksmithing tool. Um, how do you plan to carry out your duties without your hammer? It’s not like your life is about to en- ohhh…

Anyway, going back to Mr. Horsecollar’s area, it has the official what-the-heck imagery of the entire game. It’s not the nightmare-fuel level of the GBC Grinch game, but it will make your heart race when walking up basement stairs for a couple of weeks. His puzzle requires jumping on floating books in the correct order, and having tomes moving on their own is creepy enough. However, sometimes they tremble like there’s a lost soul inside trying to claw its way out.

Furthermore, in the center of his room is- a legless, female duck with sad, pupilless eyes rocking a D-cup. I mean, you could argue her eyes are just closed, but it’s more chilling to say otherwise, so I’m saying otherwise.

If you pause the game, the flying book you’re riding vanishes, making it look like you’re possessed.

And what lingers down below? Skulls. Lots of skulls. Gonna guess victims of the bisected duck lady above.

Lastly, all of this takes place amidst music that could fittingly accompany waking up in the middle of the night to chains that you struggle against which bind you to your bed as ghosts with glowing red eyes slowly rise before you and move closer with mouths that never stop opening wider containing uvulas that display images of you succumbing to your most feared way of dying, and every time you let out a scream, the sound of it comes from all the spirits’ mouths instead. Welcome, everyone, to Mickey’s Haunted Hellish Mansion.

After your inventory is filled with beans, the game does not give you any clue what you’re supposed to do next. Thankfully, the way to progress is pretty easy to stumble upon by accident. Once you approach the well, a cutscene triggers where you stupidly decide to throw all the magic beans you earned away without making any effort to figure out a use for them. I mean, Donald is a friggin’ magician. Your character could have simply asked him about them or something, but he or she just tosses them out mindlessly. Fortunately, they just happened to be hurled into the well which results in a giant beanstalk sprouting. Climb up it to confront the final “boss.”

Turns out that a giant was sleeping in the clouds, and his snoring was causing the quakes. You see a picture of an alarm clock that’s been scrambled and a magic wand that can shift the pieces around. If you enjoy sliding puzzles, you’ll have a good time. If you’re in the other 99.99% of the world’s population, you’ll- not- have a good time. It might have just been good fortune, but I managed to clear this on cake and medium rather quickly. On hard, however, I spent far more time on that part alone than the rest of the game combined. I recommend approaching the highest difficulty of this challenge with one of three things: knowledge of the mechanics of how to properly complete a sliding puzzle, a whole lot of luck, or aspirin.

One nifty thing that’s very easy to miss is that the programmers actually allow you to scale the various areas of the giant’s body. If you just walk over, the cutscene with the puzzle automatically triggers, so you have to jump over the wand to reach the climbing fun. Personally, out of grief for making me have to do a sliding puzzle of all things, I used my access to the giant’s face to make him kiss my tushie. Huh. I guess crouching actually was useful.

In the end, the giant rouses from his nap. Wait, waking someone up while you yourself are sleeping? Meta! Anyway, this is the only real part of the game where your dialogue choice actually changes what happens next. He asks if you woke him up, and if you say no, the puzzle actually partially undoes itself. The only time your choice ever gives you some kind of control over how you progress results in losing progress. Anyway, the kingdom is saved, and your character wakes up to reveal it was all a dream. …Or was it? Your character looks down into the book and sees the giant with the silhouette of a mouse. Coincidence, or did your character really travel to another dimension? The game uniquely leaves this open ended.

During the credits, you’ll get silhouettes of both characters, but regardless of who you play as, the final screen will always be of Mickey.

Yep. You can beat Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge without Mickey only for him to show up in the end anyway instead of Minnie. SEEEEEXIIIIIST! And speaking of the title, it really undermines all the other Mickey games, huh? As long as you beat this, any time anyone else ever completes a Mickey game, you can say, “Pfft, that’s nothin’. I beat Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge!” Should have been called “Mickey and Minnie’s Virtually-Nonexistent Challenge Until the Last Part but Only on the Hardest Difficulty.”

I think youngsters today who can appreciate a retro puzzle game will honestly have a very good time with this. Adults probably won’t find too much appeal with the extremely low challenge and lack of innovation or surprises, but I’d say it has enough charm to warrant a quick peak or return for all ages. It’s a pleasant, relaxing distraction that anyone can pick up and play through its very short runtime. I can’t say I recommend actually dropping money for this one, but if you see it lying around, I think I would at the very least- shake up some boredom.

Well, I gotta get going. I need to find my copy of Monopoly: The Walking Dead before my bathroom starts to stink. Thanks for reading, and God bless.

 

Score:
Fun/Replayability- 5.5/10
Controls- 9/10
Graphics and Sound- 10/10
Story- 5.5/10
Difficulty Balance- 4.5/10
Verdict- 69%

Very foxtastic indeed!

 

Additional credit:

Creative Consultant:
Jill

 

 

 

Next time on The Bad Wordplayer:

A dog embarks on an eggcellent, high-flying adventure just in time to aid the past in finding its future.

24 Kitchenware Items for Cat Lovers/Furries (That Won’t Try to Scratch You) Part 1

For Amazon Associates, I may get some dough.
I get a small commission if you click a link below.
When people make a purchase if they like something they see,
They won’t lose another cent, but there’ll be a prize for me.
I had to let you know ‘cause a disclaimer is required,
And following the rules to stay is kinda, ya know, desired.

 

Today we’re gonna talk about a meowtain of cat-themed products. If your kitchen was a member of the Felidae family, this stuff is basically catnip. Don’t worry, though. These won’t make your house roll around like it’s on something and bite and thrash what’s between its paws. They’re just a real treat that look fab and make life easier in some way. Folks might already have some of the tools on this list, but- DO THEY LOOK LIKE CATS!? HM!? Welp, these little beauties are sure to change any cooking station in a way that’s 100% paw-sitive.

 

Drink Coasters (Liquid Table Ring Purr-tection)

Whether you want to avoid moisture rings on a surface or just have something that rhymes with toasters, you can’t go wrong with coasters. And while you’re at it, why not check out this wooden set of four, cutesy, cat-face ones? Each sip of your drink is like playing peekaboo, and that alone is worth the cost. Uh- right? Either way, these will protect your countertops fur-real.

View Link Coasters on Amazon

 

Cutting Board (A Paw-some Place to Mince)

Don’t worry! It’s okay! This isn’t a board that cuts things. It’s a board that you can cut things on. Quite the relief, right? Plus, it’s shaped like a paw print with little grooves around the pads that can keep little bits from rolling off. For someone that does a lot of kitchen work, this slice and dice pad is the cat’s meow.

View Cutting Board on Amazon

 

Cheese Board (A Curdled Milk Holder with Purr-sonality)

If you can’t decide between a surf board and a cheese board, I recommend the latter. I’d much rather be serving hardened dairy products than trying to learn 90’s surfer lingo. “Time to shred these gnarly waves, my dudes!” The cheese option is shaped like a cat, made of bamboo, and even comes with a spreader shaped like a mouse. At about nine inches tall and five and a half inches wide, it’ll hold plenty of little snacks for you and your company. Any soldier pirate guests are nearly sure to behold this set and exclaim, “Shiver me whiskers! This spread is the whole kitten caboodle!”

View Cheese Board on Amazon

 

Stirring Spoons (Shiny Beauties That Won’t Be Met with Catcalls)

If you don’t know what stirring spoons are for, don’t worry; you’re not alone, friend. Their purpose is- stirring things. And when you gotta stir stuff, these sleek, metal, kitty paw spoons are quite mew-nique. Some are holey, and some- get this- aren’t! I guess Robin from Batman will only comment on half of them. Regardless, these are a great way to mix things up with your kitchenware today.

View Stirring Spoons on Amazon

 

Measuring Spoons (Happy and Catty Increments)

I know measuring spoons are used for something, but I can’t remember what right off. Probably replacing lightbulbs. In any event, these ones are adorable! Plastic, painted, and cat shaped (including ears), they have ¼, ½, and 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon all held together by a little bow. With these little tools at your side, all other ones will suddenly seem in-fur-ior.

View Measuring Spoons on Amazon

 

Measuring Cups (A Cute Way to Handle Cooking Cat-alysts)

If you’re like more than 99% of all households, you own cups for measuring, so advertising more of them makes total sense. After all, this exchange surely takes place in all families:

“Everyone, we do not stop cooking till nightfall.”

“What about measuring cups?”

“You already have some.”

“We have one set, yes. But what about a second set?”

With all the basic cup increments- ¼, 1/3, ½, and 1- on painted ceramics while being good for both dry and wet ingredients, this set is great for preparing elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, and everything else. And they’re mighty purr-ty, too.

View Measuring Cups on Amazon

 

Coffee Mug (For Adorable Meowthfuls of Caffeine)

Like I never say, “A morning without coffee makes you act like a cat.” Well, a mean one anyway. However, just having coffee is not enough. Nope. You also need something to put the coffee in. A container meant to both hold it and allow the content’s consumption. Thankfully, due to modern technology, there is an answer: a coffee mug. And if you always wanted to hold a cat by its tail without actually hurting one, this product has you covered with its unique handle. The face even looks toward it as if to say, “Why you touchin’ my tail, foo’?” This is one coffee-lovers gift that you don’t even need to paw-nder over.

View Coffee Mug on Amazon

 

Coffee Mug Couple’s Set (The Cattiest Pair of Cups)

A coffee mug is to a person as a pair of coffee mugs is to a romantic couple. Genius analogy, huh? If you know a lovey-dovey pairing or are even a part of one, this is one purchase great enough that gifters wouldn’t even give paws. They’re microwave and dishwasher safe, and the cats on the outside even come together to nuzzle. Just cross your fingers in hopes they don’t cough up hairballs, too.

View Coffee Mug Couple’s Set on Amazon

 

Bag Clips (A Handy Paw-ssession to Help Foods Last)

Chip bags need to look more emo. Can I get an amen up in here? And for the countless people that echo that opening statement daily, there are bags clips. Not just any old ones, though. These ones look like smiling cats. Actually, extract those claws and scratch that. They look like cheeky cats. Like, they just used something other than the litter box and ain’t sorry at all. And again, they cover all of your food bag, emo-look needs by clipping onto the lip. Oh, and like, they keep the food inside fresh longer and stuff, but meh, who actually cares about that part. Psh.

View Bag Clips on Amazon

 

Smartphone Holder (Compact Prop for Your Device’s Tail End)

No matter how smart a phone may be, I’ve yet to see one with enough brains to stand on its own. There is hope, however! For that, there’s this cutesy, lil, black, polyresin, cat smartphone holder. This is one way to keep your cell erect for recording, video chats, and more that won’t be bringing you bad luck.

View Smartphone Holder on Amazon

 

Wine Holder (Get Compliments at Adult Paw-ties)

Never trust a cat with a bottle of wine. Otherwise, expect to hear the sound of broken glass. On the other hand, this metal wine holder shaped like a cat will never let you down- or your booze. It even has a look on its face that just says, “I drank some of this stuff. And now I regret it.” Sturdy, reliable, and an eye catcher for those that drink from the grapevine and like felines, how can you not see this and say, “Me-hic-ow.”

View Wine Holder on Amazon

 

Wine Stopper (One Fur-midable Bottle Cap)

Wine doesn’t drive, so stop signs are out of the questions. Instead, if you want it to stay in place, wine stoppers are the go-to option. Now, these ones are advertised as being “cat butt” themed with their little tushes up in the air and all, but “cat suffocation” is what I would have thought. Does anyone else think they look like cats with their heads stuck and unable to breathe? Well, whether you prefer to look at them in a cutesy or absolutely horrifying manner, they serve their purpose purr-fectly.

View Wine Stopper on Amazon

 

Well, that’s a dozen cat products so far, and I have another 12 to show too! Let’s continue, shall- we… Oh crud. I just remembered that I put my cat’s scratching post away last night, but I left my electric guitar out. Gotta go, so we’ll just have to resume this next time. Have a pleasant d- Hey, get your paws off the neck!

The Grinch (GBC) Video Game Review #3- What Who Could See This Stealing the Show?

There once was a mean one, the Grinch.
Stealing presents was easy, a cinch!
So he took his dog Max,
And he quickly made tracks
To rob blind every Who-ridden inch.

If you load this page, put wrapping paper around your screen, and then tear it all off, this review can truly feel as intended: my Christmas gift to each and every one of you. I just know that everyone wanted a review of the Gameboy Color adaption of The Grinch instead of a PS5 or Switch or XBOX Series X/S, and I was more than happy to oblige.

Due to the Grinch’s plan to steal Christmas by robbing the Whos of their presents without getting unnoticed, this is understandably a stealth game. But not just any stealth game. A stealth game from Konami. If you die, I imagine your partner exclaims, “Grinch, what’s wrong? Answer me, please! Grinch? Griiiiiiinch!”

Now, while his scheme remains completely unchanged from all the movie and book adaptions, his execution is completely switched. Rather than taking the gifts in the middle of the night while the Whos sleep, he does it- in broad daylight right in front of their faces. I mean- I mean… I guess there wouldn’t be much to the gameplay if all the enemies were asleep the entire time, but- gosh, the game said he had a terrible plan, and by golly, he did!

Another change is the locations. Rather than just exploring a bunch of different houses, though there are plenty of indoor areas, a lot of the gifts are outside in the snow. Why was that changed? I at least understand the necessity to have foes awake, but why did the Whos decide to store most of their purchases in freezing weather where they’re bound to get soaked? Now they seem dumb.

The silliness continues, though! A cutscene at the start says that the Grinch has a plan to stop Christmas, but it’s not revealed. You control the Grinch as he steals several gifts, and then the Grinch declares that he plans accomplish his goal by taking all the presents. Um, wouldn’t it have made more sense to have shown the details of his idea before the player starts doing it? When he finally shared his plot, it’s like, “No kidding! You mean the thing I literally just watched you doing the last few minutes?”

Gameplay switches between the Grinch and Max, and thankfully, it’s not merely aesthetic. The aggressive Grinch has a bubble melee attack and snowballs to fire at long range while gentle Max goes full-on contactless with his ability to jump over his foes. However, Max can still stop NPC’s by getting two of them to collide, and he has the most OP ability in the game: an instant, unlimited, spammable, full-room stun with his bark. Both can crawl, and you need to do this to move under low ledges at the cost of speed; you can also duck to avoid enemy projectiles. There’s even more variety via kart levels where you drive around unable to fully stop until the level is completed.

You get taken out with one hit (though projectiles just slow you down), but the story behind getting attacked is pretty unique. The manual explains that the Whos wish to spread their goodwill, and if they spot the Grinch, they share their love by touching him. This causes the Grinch to be unable to bring himself to continue his diabolical plan; the damage animation actually shows his heart growing outside of his chest. Um. Ew. The game over screen even shows him holding hands with a smiling Max and Cindy Lou Who. He was literally foiled by the power of love.

Oddly, though, unlike the Metal Gear series, it’s actually beneficial to get seen on purpose. This causes an adrenaline rush allowing you to run and finish collecting gifts much more quickly. Sure, it ups the chance of getting hit, but it’s a risk/reward system that really hinges on the latter. The Whos give up on you pretty quickly, and the instant you change areas, the chase ends as well, so it’s not difficult to escape. If you’re patient, this game is very easy. If you’re impatient- it’s still pretty easy.

Top that off with unlimited continues, a password system, and T coins to increase your time limit, and you have a game that’ll only make you tense if you forget the first half of this sentence. The larger later levels might run out your time limit before you find a good route, but again, infinite tries without needing to start the game over from scratch prevent that from being an issue. Totally bringing some of those coins to my next math test.

Now, I would talk about the music, but I just can’t. I’m going to gush about it. Even if you don’t take the limitations of the GBC into account, it’s still just great. The opening track when you view the dark title screen is both haunting and foreboding. I daresay that, despite some lighter-sounding moments, I can imagine it being played while looking at a tombstone or haunted house or something; it’s more Halloween than Christmas.

The music then shifts into a faster, upbeat tune as the Whos are brought into the picture. It’s just so delightful and could easily make for the background music in a Pokemon city. Getting these two tracks back-to-back like this is perfect, too. You hear creepy, epic music as you stare at the Grinch’s name amidst a pitch-black background and then hear a cheery melody at the mention of the loving townsfolk. This gives a beautiful picture of the stark contrast between the two from the orchestration alone.

The levels themselves have great original music too. When the first stage begins, the sound is like watching the first glistening snowflakes of the season drifting down to find a place to rest on the fresh earth below, dancing faster and faster until the merry blizzard decides to stay for the evening and soak up the Whoville Christmas spirit.

This music variety is sublime; take note, Super Baseball 2020. There’s even a good rendition of “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The game also knew when not to play music, as there’s fitting a silent moment as the Grinch is taking in the Whos’ continued good cheer after he cleaned them out.

Unfortunately, there was one giant missed opportunity in the auditory department: When the Whos are seen singing, rather than the usual rendition of “Welcome Christmas,” we get music that’s- fine, I guess. But the original tune for that scene was so heartwarming and emotional and would have added even more weight to the clever placement of that earlier silence. Their version of “Jingle Bells” and so forth turned out great, so I’m sure that that song would have rocked too. Oh well. As for the sound effects, they’re good as well, and I especially like the Grinch’s laugh.

The controls aren’t bad, but they can get a little weird. In some areas, three directions of the D pad move you in the same direction. Like, you can be moving left through a passageway, and if you press up or down, you’ll keep moving left. One time when I was moving down, I mistakenly thought I could fit between two trees on the side, and when I pressed left, rather than stopping and walking in place leftward, I kept moving downward right into an enemy. Also, if you’re crawling when you move to another screen, you stay that way after the transition. Problem is, there’s never a reason to be crouched at the start of a new place, so it would have been a nice touch if you automatically reverted back to walking whenever you exited an area.

Visually, the creators did a superb job. Despite a lot of the game taking place outside covered in snow, details were added to the areas to keep them looking unique. Snow mounds here, a fence there, footprints trailing off, etcetera. The artwork in the cutscenes look beautiful too. I will say, though, we also get some bizarre and even terrifying imagery.

We start with a Christmas tree that looks like the Jolly Green Giant ate too many cranberries after throwing away his stash of fortune cookies.

Halfway into scene 1-2, however, things get even better. Now we have JGG cranberry runs amidst fortune cookies, AND they’re on Maxi-pads.

When seen by a Who or dog or robot, the Grinch’s and Max’s face gets pretty freaky, even more so during the cutscene where Cindy Lou spots the former in her house.

We also get Snapchat advertisements before it was even released,

fox masks with bull horns next to Sorry! board game tokens,

the angry door from Alice in Wonderland,

rotten krabby patties,

decapitated Who heads,

and most horrific of all: a shirtless, anthropomorphic donkey wearing a black toupee and bra with four empty eye sockets sitting in a chair behind a desk.

I now know what I’m going to see if I ever get infected with the Scarecrow’s fear gas.

The nightmare fuel of the artwork wouldn’t be an issue if it was intentional like a horror game or something, but the goal was clearly a charming aesthetic, not a I’m-about-to-take-a-number-two-in-my-pants one. Even the final scene of the Whos, something meant to be a heartwarming finale, looks like I was transported into the bowels of hell.

   

You finally complete the game only to learn that you failed to stop Christmas. Yep, it’s one of those games that even if you finish, you can’t win. Geez. This should have been called “Mission: Impossible.” (No one else is allowed to use that title; I’m getting it copyrighted immediately.) The game doesn’t try to add any flourish to the story, just majorly summarizes the Jim Carrey adaption, so if you’ve seen that or really any version, you already knew the gist of the scenes. But hey, it’s still a great, much-beloved tale.

It’s a shame that the points are meaningless like in most games, as unlocking something like a password that grants infinite snowballs in your inventory would have made the effort of ending with a high score feel worthwhile. Still, this game is great fun, easy to just pick up and play, remains enjoyable again and again, and there’s added replay value from self-imposed challenges such as never getting seen. Even if you haven’t checked out the other mediums through which How the Grinch Stole Christmas was told, I highly recommend boarding your one-dog open sleigh, sliding down into eBay, and snagging yourself a copy of this fun little mean one.

Well, I gotta get going. There was finally a blizzard out here, so I have Christmas presents to put out.

 

Score:
Fun/Replayability- 9/10
Controls- 9/10
Graphics and Sound- 9/10
Story- 9/10
Difficulty Balance- 5.5/10
Verdict- 83%

Absolutely positively foxtastic!

 

 

 

Next time on The Bad Wordplayer:

A mouse falls into a giant, puzzling mystery dooming a kingdom and refuses to quake amidst its quaky fate.

Super Baseball 2020 (SNES) Video Game Review #2- Futuristic Balls to the Wall Fun

The SBA seemed to have the elites,
Pitting robots against the athletes.
But they cheated hardcore
Now don’t run things no more,
Yet the cycle now sorta repeats.

People will universally agree that 2020 was the greatest year mankind has ever been graced with. And what a fitting time to review the game with a much higher score than my eyesight ever got- Super Baseball 2020. For starters, the opening sequence makes me dizzy, and someone stole Goku’s nimbus cloud.

In the demo, you’re greeted by Samus Aran in her baseball uniform cosplaying as Mega Man.

I will now attempt to relay the story as best as I can understand it: The Super Baseball Association has been pitting their robotic squad against the world’s best humans. However, the SBA modified their artificial players beyond just the normal advantages synthetic beings would have, and this ensured that they would always excel against their opponents. Thus, the association has been making a fortune off of constant victories. However, the general populace eventually discovered the unfair tampering and took action.

You’d think that they’d simply return baseball to its roots. No robots or enhancing gear or anything, just a test of skill between athletes. However, not only did the general populace continue allowing robots to play, but they also permitted upgrades to continue both for the robots and humans. Think sort of a sports team that used steroids, got caught, and then was shut down only for drugs to then be allowed for everyone without regulation. Well, if everyone can freely acquire buffs now and use them to their heart’s content, I have a question: Come ‘ere. Lil closer. Come on now. Just a bit more. ‘Kay:

 

 

 

WHY HAVE THEM AT ALL!?

This setup is such a bizarre thought process of the characters. If there is no rule against equipping more power-ups than the opposing side, things can easily go back to the unbalanced square one, the very scenario that caused the SBA to taken down in the first place. Seriously, what did the people actually change? With enough cash, your team can be maxed out, creating a huge disadvantage for the other team. The game is still about dominating your opponent by purchasing more gear.

Speaking of money, if you perform poorly, you instantly lose funds. I guess the umpire has the manager’s credit card and a mobile reader. If you do well, you earn varying amounts of cash to buy the boosts. Yet, if you’re already owning your opponent, they’re clearly the ones that need an extra edge, so again, the balancing gets all out of hand. Still, ignoring the implications of the world in the game and just taking up a controller as a gamer, the modifications do make for a cool addition to the gameplay.

There are two “races” so to speak. Statistically, robots have an advantage over people. While humans have a variety of gear to choose from, though, the robot players are simply powered up to a stronger one. Humans can even be upgraded to robots. I smell Dr. Wily.

Now, you probably know the basics of baseball, and this game stays pretty true to them. There’s the usual batting, pitching, catching and running, but they added minor differences throughout to keep things unique from real life and other titles in the genre. For examples, balls cannot be caught by the audience, as the viewers are covered by a sheet of glass that the baseball will bounce off of. The foul zone is much smaller to speed up progress, and the game transitions very quickly, making for a smooth, rapid pace. There’s also a “stop zone” where I guess time itself freezes; no matter how much momentum the ball has, if it lands there, it halts instantly. Newton’s first law of motion? What’s that?

On a dour note, there are some limitations and a wonky camera to be wary of. Despite the upgrades, there are no new equipment options for a different gameplay feel and/or aesthetic. No special abilities either. Despite the many pitches in baseball like a knuckleball, your options are kept very basic. When going to catch a ball, it’s not always clear where the character is who you’re controlling which can cause some disorientation; zooming out at these segments would have gone a long way. Even dashing for the ball with your jet pack after everything does come into view can be kinda janky, too.

Games are always played in the same place, the Cyber Egg Stadium, no doubt named by Dr. Ivo Robotnik. At least the baseball diamond isn’t referred to as Green Field Zone Act 1. Both men and women play together, so the game paints a beautiful picture of gender equality. As for the robots, while certainly proficient combatants, they go boom when overused. And when they go boom, all their stats drop to zero, so they gotta be powered up again to be useful. This does not happen to human players though. Pitchers can tire out, but having a relief brought in will perk them right back up. After hitting the ball, you run to the base automatically. It’s a shame you can’t freely move, as the field is clearly a prime area to catch Voltorbs.

After defeating the other teams, you simply- win. That’s it. No interesting cutscene, no other mention of the defunct Super Baseball Association, no unlockables. Replay-wise, with 12 different teams with varying stats and aesthetics, players are given a generous amount of material to go through, and having another person to play against adds another reason to pop the cartridge back in.

In regards to the story, it seems a shame that the SBA was limited to a prologue/backstory then dropped completely. Not that a baseball video game of all things needs some overarching antagonist or plotline or anything, but to set up a villainous group that was dethroned and do nothing interesting with it just seems like a waste. Heck, the SBA isn’t even mentioned in the software itself, only the manual, so there was bare minimum effort.

Imagine some competition where your team and that of the former SBA members were slowly fighting their way back to the top, and you had to put a stop to their plans of reigning supreme for the last time. After each victory on your part, you’d get a short scene of what your rival is up to, pimping their players, maybe creating some new super robot, and whatnot. But nope, the ex-SBA is so inconsequential that if you only bought the cartridge, you wouldn’t even know they existed. And don’t get me wrong. I do find the game’s lead-in to be an interesting, creative one. I just wish it was either fully realized or avoided completely to forgo the squandered potential.

If you like other baseball video games, I believe you’ll appreciate this one, too. The character graphics are gorgeous; the sound and speech are on point; the controls are super responsive; and the A.I. will not hold back from the very start, requiring you to get a handle on the nuances pretty quickly unless you feel like exploiting the option to steal bases without ever getting caught. And while the music is fairly lively and invigorating, there’s only one track, so get used to it; would have been so cool if each opposing team brought its own tune. Ultimately, this here is a pretty fun, beautiful, unique baseball gem that stopped just short of home plate.

Well, I gotta get going. Due to overuse, all the stats just dropped to zero on my toilet, so I need to get it upgraded.

 

Score:
Fun/Replayability- 7/10
Controls- 9/10
Graphics and Sound- 7.5/10
Story- 2.5/10
Difficulty Balance- 7/10
Verdict- 66%

Very foxtastic indeed!

 

 

 

Next time on The Bad Wordplayer:

Two furry boys decide to go to stop, all while getting presents that are a real steal!

Air-Sea Battle (Atari 2600/Switch) Video Game Review #1- A High-Caliber Blaster That’s da Bomb

I enjoy my first game from Atari.
I shoot ships and am not even sorry.
I’m a bringer of doom;
Ducks and faces go boom
In this air and sea battle safari.

Like a singing nun once said, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” Air-Sea Battle for the Atari 2600 was my video game debut on the initial console I played, set up for me by my uncle when I was just three years old. Plus, it was a launch title for the system, so we got a lotta firsts here. It’s easy enough for someone very young to grasp and still enjoyable and challenging for grown-ups. And now that it’s been ported via Atari Flashback Classics, it’s more accessible than ever.

It’s a fixed shooter, so I guess it was broken at some point. Ba dum tss! Gameplay is split between shooting targets upward as a submarine or ship and downward via airplane. There are several different modes of gameplay, such as firing up at targets or being in a boat trying to take down your opponent in a plane above. However, it always boils down to hitting targets without too much variance, so you’ll never enter a stage wondering what you’re supposed to do. No power-ups, techniques, secrets, or anything of that nature- just a basic but well-built shootfest. The background is a beautiful horizon which is fitting because everything moves horizontally. Enemies include the following:

TNT detonators,

Thing from The Addams Family,

face huggers,

and today’s episode is brought to you by the letter A.

Oh, and don’t forget floating ducks, rabbits, and faces, too.

After getting hit once, they all briefly transform into TIE fighters before disintegrating.




Despite having very few, the sound effects are clear, classic, and fitting while providing enough genericism to be applicable to many sources; if mice pooping was an auditory ordeal, I could easily imagine it being reminiscent of this game’s torpedo launches.

Each round of blasting lasts 2 minutes and 16 seconds. Why that amount, you ask? Because 2 minutes and 15 seconds would be too short! Duh. One style of play keeps your shots moving in the same direction while another allows your explosives to be steered post launch. Shots cannot be fired nearly as fast as you can tap the button, and it’s easy to point the cannon in the wrong direction before you get used to it, but it all works pretty well. For a greater challenge, your missiles can be reduced to ¼ their original size.

The challenge is well balanced. It’s generally not hard to hit targets, but it’ll definitely take good practice to avoid a bunch of misses. Winning is all about getting a high score, and destructible obstacles block your shots that give nothing. You can play against the game itself or a friend, but the latter amplifies the fun factor greatly. Young or old, newcomers would probably be on par with each other, so it’s a great source of competition for most any player duo. The computer can easily pull ahead if you get lax, but your fecal matter can pull ahead if you get Ex-Lax, so choose carefully. Don’t expect too much complexity from the A.I., though; it just keeps firing away and doesn’t really utilize the guided missile control.

There’s no plot, not even in the manual, but I imagine it would be something like, “One day, some trained pilots lost their minds and decided to compete in blowing stuff up.” Bottom line, though, with a plethora of mode variations, multiple difficulty settings, crisp sound and graphics (even if you can’t tell what some objects are), multiplayer capabilities, and rather functional gameplay that still manages to be fairly fun today make this an impressive beast, especially for its time. The fifth element summed this title up best when she said, “Big bada boom.”

Well, I gotta get going. I just heard some mice launch a few “torpedoes,” so I’ve got a little cleaning to do. Thanks for reading, and God bless.

 

Score:
Fun/Replayability- 6/10
Controls- 9/10
Graphics and Sound- 7/10
Story- N/A
Difficulty Balance- 10/10
Verdict- 80%

Very foxtastic indeed!

 

 

 

Next time on The Bad Wordplayer:

A baseball association struck out after fans caught them stealing victories, so they pitched a solution totally out of left field.

10 Lifesaving Items Almost Everybody Should Own (That Won’t Kill Your Wallet)

For Amazon Associates, I may get some dough.
I get a small commission if you click a link below.
When people make a purchase if they like something they see,
They won’t lose another cent, but there’ll be a prize for me.
I had to let you know ‘cause a disclaimer is required,
And following the rules to stay is kinda, ya know, desired.

 

Ya know, living is good. Living is very good. In fact, I like being alive so much that I try whatever I can to keep me that way. Sure, there’s looking both ways before crossing the street and not eating too many donut hamburgers wrapped in bacon filled with microwave popcorn drenched in maple syrup, but there are a few desirables on the market that can make a long life easier to achieve. Some people may find little to no use in some of these depending on their circumstances hence the “almost everybody” in the title. In any event, it certainly won’t kill ya to take a peek at a few things that are designed to do- well- the exact opposite. Three cheers for the continuation of biological functions!

 

Emergency Car Tool (Can Get Very Cranky)

Have you ever been trapped in a car? It’s sort of like being trapped in a house except- you’re in a car. Motor vehicles can supply multiple methods of undesirable restraint in an accident from the windows to the seatbelt, but there’s a tool that allows you to easily combat them and do much more. Introducing the Luxon emergency tool. Say “Hi,” Luxon emergency tool. Um… Okay, it’s kinda shy, but there’s a lot it can do for you: It easily cuts through seatbelts. The hammer component shatters car windows with relative ease. It has a red, glaring light to signal for help. There’s a nice flashlight built in so you can use your phone for something else at the same time. A USB charger is prominent on the side, and it gets powered mechanically through a crank, meaning you can fill its energy anytime, anywhere. (Just use your mouth if you don’t have hands.) Seventhly, it has a magnet because- I dunno- you might drop a paperclip between the seats or something. Hey, it can happen!

View Emergency Car Tool on Amazon

 

Bite and Scratch Gloves (Does Not Work Against Pokemon Moves)

Okay, just gonna say this now: It is best to avoid handling wild animals at all costs. Please call your local animal control center if a creature needs to be dealt with. However, if contact is unavoidable due to some emergency, such as a creature posing immediate harm to someone, it’s best you have at least some protection in the form of bite and scratch gloves; things like rabies are not preferable to contract. They won’t make you completely immune to animal injury, but they’ll at least provide some much-needed resistance. Plus, this could even make a nice gift for friends that bite their nails. I doubt they’ll be able to do much with these babies on!

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Water Purifying Tablets (Now Even People Can Safely Drink from the Toilet! (I Don’t Recommend It Though. :P))

Is it just me, or does giardia sound like a kingdom in a medieval fantasy RPG? “Brave adventurers, welcome to the Kingdom of Giardia. My third cousin twice removed was kidnapped by the morally-ambiguous duchess of the northwestern Shlomp Swamp in the Pooka-Barooka Desert surrounded by the Polar Ice Caps of Minty Freshness with a Hint of Cinnamon. Please rescue him at once, for he alone knows how to make my favorite jelly, and I can’t perform my royal duties until I’ve had my toast.” Anyway, giardia’s that thing you get when you drink bad water and get major diarrhea. Swallowing untreated liquids can even be fatal; like, your HP goes all the way down to zero. However, if you need to hydrate yourself and have no fresh source available or a means to boil anything, just plop one of these tablets into your bottle, wait four hours, shake it up a little, and you should be spared the squirts amongst other things. Unless you had too many burritos. Good luck with that.

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Fire Extinguisher (Can’t Help with Getting Fired from Work)

Alright, class, let’s review the alphabet’s short sounds. A makes the short “ah” sound as in wood, paper, and plastics. B sounds like “buh” as in liquids and gases. C goes like “cuh” as in electrical. D says “duh” as in metals. We are dealing with fire extinguishers after all. Just like English teachers taught us in elementary school, “When two fires go walking, the extinguisher does the talking.” In any event, if you’re not a big fan of your house burning down, you really ought to consider being prepared. It’s unlikely that an everyday house will need a type D extinguisher or the even more obscure type K (which is like B except on a grander scale such as a restaurant). If you do get one though, it’s best that it deals with A, B, and C fires in one container. With one of those nestled in a convenient location in your home, the level of safety is on fire!

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Dog Repellent (Dog Not Included)

Being mauled by a dog is a total bummer. I’ve never been, but I just have this inkling feeling that it’s most unpleasant. If the assailant is vicious enough, they can even bite and claw the very life right outta ya. But you’re in luck! Just like with mosquitoes, various repellents are at your disposal. Rather than a few sprays on your neck and arms though, this requires a more active approach. Just push the button on the remote, and a hostile canine should revert to a more docile demeanor. Even has a built-in flashlight to get a better look at any potential pursuers. Great for postmen/women, joggers, homo sapiens that still draw breath, etcetera. A lifesaving precaution to sink your teeth into if you don’t like dogs doing so to you.

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Emergency Alarm Keychain (Advertised as Being for Women, Kids, and Elders, so I Guess Young Men Will Just Have to Fend for Themselves)

Shouting for help doesn’t always work out. The shock of a sudden emergency could stifle your voice, you might not yell loudly enough for potential aid to hear you, a kidnapper might block your oral pathway before you have a chance to scream, or you might be playing the quiet game with your siblings while possessing a competitive spirit that just won’t allow you to lose. But hey, who needs a mouth when calling for help when you have fingers? This emergency alarm keychain emits a high-pitched sound to alert those nearby that you could use a helping hand. Makes for a thoughtful gift for family members and fits nicely as a stocking stuffer. Gotta have your kids believing that Santa’s elves are hard at work crafting defense mechanisms against hostile assailants, right? “Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a constant reminder that someone could come after you at any time.”

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Escape Ring (Probably Houdini’s Favorite Jewelry)

Handcuffs and zip ties and ropes, oh my! Heaven forbid this ever happen to you, but sometimes, but people are held against their will by a malicious host. In such an event, you’ll likely be searched for things like a phone, pocket knife, and so forth and then promptly relieved of said items. However, such a villain is unlikely to bother with a plain-looking ring on your finger, provided he or she even notices it at all. But I’m not talking about just any ring. Nah, brah, I’m talking about this sweet escape ring with a concealed saw and shim pick to help break free from numerous forms of bonds. Plus, even if you never need it to escape a life-threatening situation, having a little saw on your person for cutting through this and that is pretty cool too. Just don’t try to use this as an engagement ring. Your name will probably appear in the dictionary under the word cheap.

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Pepper Spray (Mm, Spicy)

No, it’s not a liquid version of those black specks you use to spice up your food. This here’s for eyes, not tongues. Have you ever played a video game where you can inflict the blind debuff? Your foe goes up to attack, but it’s often a swing and a miss. Well, now you can live out your gameplay experiences in real life. Is a mean old crazy guy coming after you? With this, he’ll transform into a mean old crazy guy that’s temporarily blind. Bet he didn’t see that coming! This is a fantastic example of non-lethal self-defense, my favorite type, mind you, and it can help ensure you escape with your wallet, jewelry, life, and even your lipstick. Can’t have somebody making off with your lipstick.

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First Aid Kit (Better Hope You Apply Aid First or This’ll Be Misused)

I wonder: Do they make second aid kits? If someone already got medical attention for a wound, wouldn’t it be wrong to pull out a first aid kit to administer additional assistance? If not, it totally should be. And why stop there? Ah, I can see it now: “Alright, let’s have a look. Your bandage was applied yesterday and then reapplied once, so I need to use a third aid kit this time. One sec. I think I put it under all the 2nd honeymoon brochures.” This particular kit is loaded, too. It contains medicine, tools, antiseptic, tons of bandages, and so much more. Has just about anything you could need for first aid, and it’ll last you a looooong time. In case of a serious accident, this could make all the difference. It can even be mounted on your wall to finally give you an excuse to take down that family picture you never liked. Whether first aid or seventeenth, this is one product that’ll be there to help save the day during those rare instances you can actually remember where you left it.

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House Alarm (I Guess People Will Just Have to Start Sleeping with Their Hearing Aids Turned on)

Some folks have no respect for private property. They’ll see someone’s house and be all like, “My mind may be all whack, but I’m breaking into that shack!” Well, if folks are gonna come bustin’ in, it’s at least better to know about it than not. For that, there’s a pretty cheap but quite effective means of transferring the knowledge of uninvited guests into your brain: a wireless, easy-to-install alarm. It’s activated by motion, so you just put it on a door or window and turn it on for the night. If someone comes a callin’ that ain’t on the list, an unpleasant noise will fill the air that will make the party crasher feel so unwelcome that he or she is likely to turn tail and run on the spot. If you always offer tea or coffee to visitors, I’m afraid that this device is likely to cause some missed opportunities.

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So yeah, these are a few thingies that’ll make your continued existence a bit more likely. Sure, the house alarm won’t do much good if you don’t have a home, and water purifying pills won’t exactly be necessary if you never explore the great outdoors for lengthy periods (video games don’t count). Each of these items has a time and place though that can get you out of a real jam, even if it’s blackberry; get some toasted, homemade white bread and butter with it, and it’s just- MM! Well, as the Vulcans say, “Live long and prosper, even if it means doing some extra shopping.” Or something like that.

15 Dragon Household Appliances and Tools (That Won’t Try to Eat You)

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I get a small commission if you click a link below.
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And following the rules to stay is kinda, ya know, desired.

 

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like dragons? Ha ha! You know, ‘cause dragons have scales all over and stuff? Ah, that was terrible. But you wanna know what isn’t terrible? Dragon household appliances and tools sold by Amazon.com! Just make sure your dragon gets all the necessary shots and the correct diet of 100 sheep a day, especially if it’s purple. Now then, let’s have a look-see as to what this digital hoard has to offer, shall we?

 

Pens That Are Gray

 

If you write with a quill and inkwell, you’re- actually pretty cool now that I think about it… But hey, these dragon-y pens are pretty cool too! There are even a few gargoyles thrown into the mix. The one on the right looks like he could use a good laxative though. With a nice weight to them and smooth writing, these pens were bred in captivity to delight. There is a downside, however, as they don’t have caps. But hey, despite their fearsome appearances, they’re very unlikely to come stalking you in the night. I think.

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Clock That Is Also Gray

What has seven hands, four feet, two tails, doesn’t move, and tells time? If you said a double dragon clock- you obviously cheated by looking at the above picture, so your answer doesn’t count. But this decoration does count, tracking the seconds, minutes, and hours with precision and grace. It doesn’t have an alarm, but it ticks pretty loudly, so it’ll add some decent ambience to a room. If you want a new clock to liven up your living space and turn a few heads, it might just be time to check this one out.

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Pocket Knife That Is Gr- Wait, It’s NOT Gray!?

Do you need a new pocket knife right now? Mm, probably not. But just- just look at that dragonish beauty! It’s all colorful and awesome and sharp and awesome and compact and awesome. And awesome. The blade locks securely into place, and it fits nicely in the palm of your hand even if you live in a state where palms don’t grow. Plus, this lil dragon’s looking kinda blue right now, and I’m sure some company would cheer it right up. So even though you may not need a pocket knife right now, even though it’ll probably spend a chunk of its lifetime sitting in a kitchen drawer next to paperclips, dried pens, rubber bands, old letters, mouse dropping, a couple of pennies, and a dime so discolored you think it’s a penny, come on now, it’s still pretty appealing anyway, ain’t it?

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Storage Compartment That Is Back to Gray

I like privacy sometimes. It’s so- private. Sometimes, I just don’t want people finding my stashes of 100% appropriate things. And for that, I turn to this hidden, dragon-y, book-y, compartment thingie. It may look like a mere decoration, but it’s not! On the inside, it contains- get ready for this- nothing! Isn’t that just wonderful? In the center of this handy item is pure space that you can use to conceal anything in plain sight. If you want a void of emptiness encased in a shell of style, you might want to look no farther than this.

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Lamp That Is- Have We Really not Had Enough Gray yet?

You like light? Well, here’s a bright idea for ya: a dragon lamp. It’s like a regular lamp except the whole, you know, dragon thing. It’s beautifully detailed and includes the bulb. Delightful. Grab a shield, and be on your guard, though! An item like this sometimes arrives with a piece broken off, so if it’s a gift for a special occasion, it’s advised to buy it early so it can be exchanged in time if need be. Plus, it doesn’t come with a bulb, so you’d have to snag one of those for this. Just wanted you to have an illuminated experience.

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Pen Holder That Is- Why Even Bother Now

There’s an awesome way to hold your pens: getting a pen holder! And if you’re gonna get one, why not have it look like a dragon? I mean, just look at that carving quality. It’s like the little guy is diligently guarding your writing utensils. He’s all like, “Yeah, some adventurers stole all the gold in the hoard, so now I’ve been demoted to guarding ink containers. I don’t even have dental insurance anymore.” And as earthshattering as this may seem, believe it or not, cross my heart, this could even be used- as a paperweight. WOW!

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Bookmark That Has Something Other Than Gray! Hooray!

Closing a partially-read book + not damaging pages = good. Keeping your place + bending the corner of a page = bad. And I checked my math on a scientific calculator, so those are definitely correct. There is hope to avoid the latter, though: Buy this epic, metal, dragon bookmark to keep your place in grand adventures. Then you could finally wave good-bye to your paper-creasing days. Or just text a waving emoji if you’re one of those people. Either way, if you’re an avid reader, this here’s a great way to quickly find where you left off and keep your books’ hit points maxed out in the process.

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Bookends with Another Color Too! Woohoo!

Gravity kinda sucks sometimes. It’s all like, “Oh, you want that book to stand upright? Well how ‘bout no!” Well, there’s a secret, super-powerful weapon that can defeat gravity without breaking a sweat. It looks at gravity and says, “I may need my cigarette lit, but you are no match for me!” That’s right. I am talking about none other than- bookends! Glorious, beautiful, affordable, draconic bookends! The craftsmanship of this item pair that keeps a row of books up is muwa! (You know, that sound you make when you press your fingers on your lips in a clump, quickly spread them apart while moving your hand away, and kissing the air.) Buy this bane of gravity designed to look like tough-as-nails dragons, and your books are sure to rise to the occasion. (Or stay risen at least.)

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Mug That Has Lots of not Gray- Safe at Last

The verb “mug” does not instill pleasant imagery. The noun form, however, can be pretty freaking sweet with the right design. Case in point, this gorgeous mug with the look of, you guessed it, a dragon. But not just any dragon. Nah, this sucka’s all steampunk, yo. Yeaaaaah. Made of copper and able to hold 13 ounces of liquid, it’s a beaut that even functions as a great decoration when not in use. You could even use it as a pot for steampunk flowers! Or regular flowers even! It contains metal, though, so be sure to avoid microwaves with it. The end result of that would be the opposite of fortunate; it would be unfortunate. Not to worry, though. If you plan to use this for coffee, just get yourself a drink heating pad and you’re good to go! That is, if you cough buy the cough mug.

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Coasters That Mean I Spoke Too Soon

If your drinking habits have been coasting along without these, then- you’ve probably gotten along just fine. But hey, these coasters not only do regular coaster-y stuff like keeping liquid off your furniture and- whatever the heck else coasters do- but they also perform their duties with that sweet look of the king of lizards, the mighty freakin’ dragon. It even has a dragon coaster holder which, in case you were not aware, not only holds dragon coasters but also regular coasters to boot. Crazy, huh? Even just sitting on a shelf, this setup is enough to make any room at least 20% cooler.

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Salt and Pepper Holder That Is- Yeah

You enjoy holdin’ yourself some salt and pepper shakers? Mm-hm. Didn’t think so. That’s why we have stands to do the work for us. There might be a salt and pepper holder uprising one day, but in the meantime, why not spruce up your kitchen with that special look that only dragons provide? It even comes with shakers that fit perfectly. But yikes, I mean, just look at his face! He does not look happy to be standing around all day holding up your shakers. Still, you’d be giving him a nice home, so it’s the least he can do.

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Toilet Paper Holder That at Least Has Red Eyes

You know what’s like, almost always incredibly boring? Toilet paper holders. The fine art of removing toilet paper to cleanse one’s lower cheeks is rather dull, and that’s a crime against sewage. But what if I told you that you could wipe yourself with the aid of- a dragon! Are you squeeing hardcore yet? I know I did! Only thing is the installation; it’s- not the most fun thing in the world. Still, picking up one of these laboring beauties means wiping that buttocks in style! Who doesn’t want that?

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Wine Holder That Is, of Course, Without a Doubt, as to Be Expected, Indubitably Gray

Does life frequently make you whine? Is something ailing you? Are you in poor spirits? Does it seem like someone is always fermenting a load trouble? When you try to make strides during bad times, does it seem you only make tiny hops? Do- Okay, okay, I’ll stop. But uh- dragon wine holder, everybody! Ain’t she just lovely? Doncha just love the pose that makes her look like she’s guzzling your precious booze away? She’ll hold your various alcohol bottles and look adorable in the process. Just be sure to check her I.D. to confirm she’s the legal drinking age in your area.

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Ash Tray That- SERIOUSLY, WHAT’S WITH ALL THE GRAAAY!?

Speaking of cigarettes, dragons and smokers are kindred spirits; they both exhale fumes, and passersby tend to keep away from them. And what better way to symbolize the bond these two groups share than with an ashtray in the form of a majestic dragon? Your cigarettes’ charred remains will go from wasted trash clump to pile of bedding for this resting critter. Don’t scatter your ashes to the wind! Let them comfort a carnivorous monstrosity instead.

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Stapler That Caused My Color-Based Meltdown

You wanna know a great staple of desk appliances? A stapler! And when it comes to piercing the flattened remains of trees, try this one shaped like a dragon’s head. It makes you feel like you’re binding papers together with dragon teeth. It might not hold too many staples at once or say, “Nom nom nom,” when you push it down, but by golly, who doesn’t want to look like a dragon tamer when documents need to be bound? Just try not to drop it on your foot. For a brief moment at least, you wouldn’t even look like a sheep tamer.

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All I wanna see now is a dragon porta potty, and I’d pay top gold for one of those. It probably wouldn’t appreciate its meals all that much, though. Welp, I hope this list had something you could sink your teeth into, and that’s all for now. Wouldn’t want this article to start- dragon on.