The Long Dark.

Welcome to the quiet apocalypse. Here’s my quick The Long Dark review.

The Long Dark is a first-person survival video game developed by Canadian Hinterland Games. Despite the survival genre being amazingly popular, this is my first real go at a survival game. Back in 2012, I dipped my toes in DayZ, which was one of the genre-defining titles, but it didn’t sit too well with me.

Most of the popular survival games are multiplayer. Hinterland has decided to take a different approach with The Long Dark, making it singleplayer only. This suits me just fine, because multiplayer stresses me out. I prefer to wrestle with fairly predictable NPCs, instead of having to worry about other players bashing my head in for the lulz.

The Long Dark features three game play modes: Story, survival, and challenges. So far, I’ve only played the story mode – Wintermute – for about 12 hours, and I’ve not touched the survival mode, or any of the challenges. So this is basically a review of game’s story mode, and not even the entire story mode. After 12 hours, I’ve got the feeling I’m roughly 2/3 through. That might, or might not be the case, through. At any rate, 12 hours of entertaining gaming is quite good value for money. And there are still the two other game modes to explore when I’ve finished Wintermute.

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“Ringworld” by Larry Niven.

Larry Niven’s Ringworld is a piece of classic science fiction that everyone interested in the genre should read. Here’s my review.

The year is 2850 AD. Louis Wu is celebrating his 200th birthday. To make the day last as long as possible, Louis moves west1 through transfer booths, when one of them suddenly malfunctions. He finds himself in a hotel room with a Pierson’s puppeteer, a peculiar-looking, two-headed alien. The puppeteer has an offer for Louis, and it’s an offer he can’t refuse.

The puppeteer propose that Louis joins him, and two additional, unnamed, crew members on a journey to an undisclosed location. Louis reward, should ha accept the mission, will be access to a space ship with quantum II hyperspace shunt engines. These engines, developed by the puppeteers, will cut travel time through space to a fraction of what it currently is. Any race with access to the engines would find themselves in a superior position compared to races that only have access to conventional, hyperspace shunt engines.

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Euro Truck Simulator 2.

Do you hear that? The open roads of Euro Truck Simulator 2 are calling.

When I was a kid, I saw the Kris Kristofferson movie “Convoy” with my dad. Kristofferson stars as the truck driver Martin “Rubber Duck” Penwald, and the movie tells the dramatic story of Rubber Duck and other trucker’s vendetta against an abusive sheriff, the comradery among the truckers, and, of course, big trucks. Huge, 18-wheeler rigs speeding through Arizona dessert. I was blown away by “Convoy”, and there was no doubt in my mind. I was going to be a truck driver when I grew up.

But life wanted things differently. I’m born with an eye condition that make it illegal for me to operate heavy machinery like airplanes, helicopter – and big rigs. I can still remember when the eye doctor told me this. For him, it was just another footnote in his otherwise normal day. For me, it was like getting all my hopes and dreams for the future ruined in the blink of an eye.

But now, 30 odd years later, with the help of Euro Truck Simulator 2 by Czech developer SCS Software, I can finally live my dream of driving those massive trucks across the continent. And there’s no risk of me running over pedestrians because my eyes are all over the place.

Euro Truck Simulator 2: Embarking from Stavanger, Norway, with some very heavy cargo.

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Airbnb Review: Alexis’ Cottage, Honfleur, France.

Are you looking for a place to stay in Honfleur, France? We spent a week in Alexis’ cottage this summer, and here’s what you need to know about the place.

Because love knows no borders, the entire family went to France for a wedding this summer. After the wedding, we joined the happy couple, and their toddler, in Honfleur by the French North coast. To find a place we – 7 people – could all stay at a reasonable price, we used Airbnb. We decided on Alexis’ cottage, also known as “Nafsica’s cottage”, just outside (1092 Chemin du Petit Saint-Pierre) of the Honfleur city center.

The cottage lies secluded behind a locked gate. A short driveway takes you to the cottage’s parking space, which has room for three cars – four if you’re a bit adventurous. You’ll have access to a huge garden with lots of open space, more than large enough for family football matches. In the garage, you’ll find some games for the kids, and a coal based barbecue grill. Inside the house, Alexis was kind enough to leave us a bottle of wine, and a little food, which was great because we arrived on a Sunday when most stores are closed.

The cottage sports everything you’ll need: Kitchen, living room, dining room, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (two with bathtubs and toilets, one with a shower), and 2 separate toilets. The bedrooms will house a total of 7 adults, 1 child, and 2 infants. In short, this place has room for everyone, and then some. It also has high speed wireless internet, because let’s face it, you have to share pictures of your vacation on Facebook.

Sounds like the perfect place, doesn’t it? Well, there’s more.

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911 Operator.

In PlayWay‘s job simulator 911 Operator you answer phone calls. How can that possibly be entertaining?

You might remember the adventure game slash job simulator This is the Police by Belarusian developer Weappy Studio. I reviewed the game late last year, and while it was interesting for a while, it started to feel like a chore after a few hours. This is the Police had two major gameplay elements. You managed resources as a police dispatcher by day, and growing your retirement slush fund by night. Now Polish developer PlayWay has taken police dispatcher element of This is the Police, and turned it into a game of its own; 911 Operator.

911 Operator builds further upon the basic features of This is the Police’ basic dispatcher mini-game. You’re managing all three branches of the emergency services: The police, the fire department, and the ambulance service. You also have to handle vehicles, staff and equipment, assign teams, and make sure the teams have the equipment they need to deal with every situation effectively. Through your 12 hour work shift, you have to use your available units as effectively as possible, while juggling both reported incidents and incoming 911 calls.

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