3 best games that your loyal netbook can handle easily

Is it just me or are the laptops nowadays just not made to last? Take my old MSI Wind U100 netbook for example. It has fallen out of my bag and onto the pavement. I have spilled coffee on the keyboard more times than I’d like to confess. I have dropped it from a height of at least two to three feet many times. It has lost almost all its screws and the casing is completely busted. Yet somehow it’s still alive!

Indeed, the MSI Wind U100 is one resilient beast. While all my other laptops have eventually worn out and died over the years, this ancient netbook still works. While most of the time it’s only useful for simple tasks like browsing the web or writing articles, I still find myself occasionally playing certain old-school games for pc on it that have low minimum system requirements. Continue reading to find out three of the best games you can play on an old netbook.

Max Payne 1Max Payne 1

If you like action packed third person shooters then you will absolutely love Max Payne. The entire game is essentially a flashback where the player finds out what happened to the main protagonist, Max Payne. A former NYPD officer who comes home one night from a hard day’s work to find his wife and their newborn baby brutally murdered. He also learns that the killers were high on a new designer drug called Valkyr.

Max gets transferred to the DEA shortly after the funeral in hopes to find the killers responsible and maybe, just maybe put an end to the Valkyr craze which has escalated into a full blown epidemic throughout New York City.

Three years later, as luck would have it, he finally gets assigned as an undercover agent with a mission to infiltrate a notorious drug trafficking ring, the Punchinello family. Unfortunately the mission goes south and he finds himself wanted by the NYPD for killing his colleague. He must also run from the mafia because they now know his real identity.

Tomb Raider 1 Lara Croft Core DesignTomb Raider 1

Wow. I still can’t believe that this epic third person action-adventure game is two decades old already!

In 1996 a British video game developer, Core Design, did what nobody had ever done before. They managed to gracefully combine beautiful scenery and landscapes with violence and gore typical to action games of the era.

On top of everything they stuffed the gun in the hands of a sexy female! With complex puzzles to solve and tombs of long forgotten kings to uncover, this game is unlike any other.

The plot revolves around a young woman, Lara Croft, who is on a mission to retrieve a mysterious and powerful artifact from the tomb of Qualopec somewhere within the mountains of Peru.

However shortly after she finds the artifact, she realizes that there are two more hidden away in different parts of the world. Additionally the rich businesswoman, Natla, who sent Lara on her quest seems to have her own hidden agenda.

GTA Vice City Tommy Wrecking CarGrand Theft Auto: Vice City

Released in 2002, Vice City is the 4’th edition in the GTA game series. For all the open world game fans out there, Vice City will probably stand out the most for many years to come.

The plot revolves around Tommy Vercetti who is a former member of the Forelli cartel. He arrives in Vice City to take care of a cocaine deal which unfortunately ends badly and he loses both the drugs and the money to unknown thugs.

Now he has to answer to Sonny Forelli, the head of the Forelli family, and recover the lost merchandise. On his quest for finding the cocaine Tommy makes contact with various criminals until he climbs high enough to find out who ambushed the deal.

As the game progresses, Tommy quickly becomes one of the most feared and respected men in Vice City. A fictional place that closely resembles Miami in the 80’s.

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Haunted Motel is a VR Horror Game For Android (Google Cardboard)

Virtual reality horror games have quickly gained popularity among gamers after Google introduced their first VR headset prototype, the Google Cardboard, back in 2014. Now, for the past two years developers of vr horror games have been busy working on their projects and we can already enjoy some of the most insanely terrifying games like Silent Home, 11:57, House of Terror and Sisters, just to name a few.

These games, coupled with my overall fascination in virtual reality technology, have inspired me to start developing my own vr horror game for Android phones. The game is called Haunted Motel.

VR Horror Games Haunted Motel Android Cardboard

Haunted Motel – A work in progress

I don’t remember the exact date any more, but I think it’s safe to assume that I started developing Haunted Motel somewhere in the second half of May, 2016. I know this because, earlier that month, I had published a very basic how-to guide on virtual reality game development.

On a side note, I didn’t intend to give the game a lame name (wow) such as this. At first, I was considering a fancier name like the Lakeview Motel, but because it’s a demo, I figured Haunted Motel will work just fine for the time being.

That, and I was just too eager to publish it on the Play Store to bother with the tedious name picking process.

horror games vr virtual reality haunted motel screenshot

Why do I say the game is still a work in progress?

Because I don’t plan on ending the game any time soon! In fact I’m hoping to get enough feedback and NEW ideas from gamers themselves and implement those directly into the game as we move forward.

I think it would be epic if this project would turn out to be a kind of social vr horror game where anyone can add a piece of their imagination.

Of course I am going to add more content to the game on my own as well, but that requires time and being “in the zone” which is, unfortunately, kind of rare to happen these days. Come to think of it, adding other people’s ideas will require the same amount of work, if not more. Damn. Anyone willing to lend a helping hand?

At this point, I am still unsure where the game will “end up” as I am planning to, eventually, leave the building altogether and get the player on the streets. You know, Silent Hill style, but as a vr horror game.

Haunted Motel’s Storyline

As of right now the game doesn’t have a decent storyline. Instead it’s meant to kind of show off my skills as a game developer in general.

The only real story that I have added into the game so far is the note which you can find under the main staircase. In the note the motel’s administrator briefly welcomes a newly appointed janitor.

Short walkthrough

That said, the game starts after you’ve entered the motel building. To your right you can see the administrator’s office (locked) and to the left there’s a small storeroom with a bloody newspaper on top of some shelves.

As you move forward, you’ll eventually find yourself in the center of the building with stairs going to the 2nd floor (unfinished) and two narrow corridors leading both left and right.

virtual reality vr horror games android haunted motel cardboard headset

At the end of these corridors, on both sides, there’s a small room where people can hang out and smoke a cigarette, for example.

Each corridor leads to two additional apartments so on the 1st floor there are a total of 4 apartments. But since it’s a demo, you can currently only enter one of them.

It’s up to you, the player, to figure out how to enter that room. All I can say at this point is that you will first need to enter the administrator’s office where you’ll find (surprise surprise) a key. It’s not really that difficult.

The hauntings

In the demo the player has a chance of meeting a ghost. Well, sort of. While you can’t interact with it directly, it is supposed to scare you from afar. For those afraid of jump scares, you’re in luck because right now there aren’t any. Promise.

Haunted Motel vr horror game virtual reality cardboard android

While not directly hinted throughout the game itself, the ghost is in fact a burned man who died in a fire a few years earlier. The 2nd floor is still unfinished, but *spoiler alert* there will be a room completely burned down. This is where the guy used to live. Anyone care to tell his story?

Future plans

For the more observant bunch, I’ve added a few subtle clues on the noticeboard in the main hallway. These should give you an idea on what to expect from the vr horror game in the future. You will have to actually play the game though. I’m not going to reveal anything else.

And, as I said earlier, I am eventually hoping to be done with the motel building and put the player on the streets where they can wander around and enter other, more interesting houses.

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Why hoverboards explode and how to choose a safe hoverboard

The Self-Balancing Scooter, or more widely known as simply the hoverboard, has quickly become one of the most popular toy-gadgets for both kids and adults alike. It’s fun, promotes outdoor activities and is an excellent alternative for public transport in the city. However with hundreds of seemingly identical hoverboards for sale on the internet, how can we be sure that ours is indeed safe?

In this article I will explain why most hoverboards have exploded so far as well as share a couple of tips and tricks on how to avoid buying a potentially dangerous hoverboard for yourself or your family.

Why do so many hoverboards explode?

Why can a hoverboard explode Ever since hoverboards caught the attention of mainstream media, there have been countless of reports of hoverboards either exploding or catching fire.

While most of the time these faulty self balancing scooters have ended up causing just minor damage to people’s homes, there have been some, more extreme cases where people have gotten seriously hurt because of these expensive toys.

So what’s the deal? Why are these things so prone to spontaneously combust?

Short answer: It has to do with the Lithium-Ion battery packed inside.

A faulty battery

When a piece of technology becomes popular enough, other, smaller companies will eventually build cheaper knockoff versions of said product in order to make a quick profit from the hype.

However the lower price isn’t an act of kindness on their behalf. Nope! The low price comes from using lower quality parts within the gadget itself and the vast majority of exploding hoverboards have had a bad battery stuffed inside of them.

Battery Cathode Anode SeparatorHow Lithium-Ion batteries work?

Generally speaking, all Lithium-Ion batteries work the same way.

When you charge the battery, the positive electrode (cathode) gives up some of its Lithium Ions to the negative (anode) and when it’s discharging (when in use) the Ions move back to the positive electrode.

The ions move through the separator between a cathode and anode and its purpose is to keep the two electrodes apart to prevent electrical short circuits.

Low quality batteries can cause short circuits

In cheaper batteries the separator could be misaligned or it may have small micro holes due to the impurities of the materials and therefore electrical short circuits can occur.

When this happens a lot of heat is generated inside the battery cell which leads to electrolyte boiling, the rupture of the cell casing and eventually (surprise surprise) a fire.

How to avoid buying a bad hoverboard?

Unfortunately there is no sure way of telling whether a board will explode or not because you have to actually use the device for a little while in order to “wear out” the battery.

That said, there are still a couple of things you can consider:

  • It’s a good idea to choose a reputable manufacturer who isn’t trying to hide the source of their batteries.
  • Another recommendation is to avoid anything that costs less than at least a couple of hundred bucks.
  • While you don’t necessarily need the IO Hawk that goes for more than a thousand dollars (unless you’re a show-off), you should still avoid cheap Chinese replicas that sell for just $100 on ebay, for example.
  • From my own research I can say that $300-$500 seems to be a reasonable price range for a safe hoverboard scooter.

*HoverBoardScooters.net is a reputable source for various self balancing scooters and hoverboard accessories. Their office is located in California and you can ask for more information simply by dialing this number: (323) 617-3657

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Silent Hill 2: Who was Maria and what was her purpose in the game?

Silent Hill 2, despite being more than 15 years old, is arguably one of the best old school psychological horror games ever developed with a solid, well written and highly engaging storyline. I could go on for hours at a time trying to dissect every aspect of the game’s twisted plot and I’d still be merely scratching the surface!

Below is a spoiler filled article which mainly talks about Maria and her role in the game. Bare with me as I try my best to explain who she was and, more importantly, who she was to James, the main character of Silent Hill 2.

Silent Hill 2: Introduction

Silent Hill 2 Director's Cut CD Cover For PC

The game begins with the main protagonist, James Sunderland, 29, arriving in a town called Silent Hill after receiving a letter from her wife who apparently has been dead for the past 3 years.

In the first scene we can see James talking to himself in front of a mirror in a run down public restroom. Naturally he is confused about the letter he got from his supposedly dead wife, but at the same time he’s hopeful that perhaps Mary (the name of James’s wife) is in fact alive thanks to some sort of a miracle. And so James begins his journey to find out exactly what happened.

Maria from Silent Hill 2Who is Maria?

Maria, a 25 year old former dancer at a club called Heaven’s Night, is the second most important antagonist in the game alongside James’s worst nightmare, the Pyramid Head (more on that later).

When James first meets Maria in a local park, he is stunned by how similar she looks to his late wife, Mary.

At this point it’s worth noting that the town (Silent Hill) draws upon the psyche of its visitors and ultimately creates alternate versions of itself for every character.

The fact becomes more clear later in the game when James meets a runaway teenager, Eddie, who experiences all of the same creatures that James sees as horrific monsters, as people laughing and taunting him towards violence.

Maria’s personality

While Maria is almost identical to Mary in every way (physically speaking), she has a much more sexually extroverted personality. She dresses in bold and revealing clothing and is found flirting with James throughout the game. She’s sensual, caring and more dependent than Mary.

Silent Hill 2 Maria Sensual Pose

In fact the game’s instruction manual describes her as being the complete opposite of Mary: a more fun, energetic and overall cheerful woman, albeit with a more clingy and intrusive personality which eventually leads James to reject her later in the game, at which point she tries to kill him by transforming into the final “boss” monster.

But… is she even real?

When you consider all of these personality traits in Maria and the fact that occasionally she seems to possess Mary’s memories of James and her being together, it becomes apparent that she is in fact a manifestation of Jame’s lonely subconscious mind that is desperately looking to fill the void left behind after his wife passed away.

In many ways Maria seems to be a “better” version of Mary, at least from a guy’s perspective, as she is much more easy-going to downright slutty, for lack of a better word.

Furthermore, we never actually see her around when James interacts with other people who are also lost in Silent Hill and coupled by the fact that she is desperately trying to remind James how “real” she is, all confirm the theory that Maria doesn’t exist in the first place.

For example when James first meets Maria in Rosewater Park, she says: “I don’t look like a ghost, do I? See, feel how warm I am”.

And then later, after being killed in front of James and then miraculously resurrected, she tells James that “It doesn’t matter who I am. I’m here for you, James. See? I’m real.”

She also happens to know James’s name almost immediately after meeting him for the first time even though he never told her his name. Of course James, being completely engulfed in his own delusion, doesn’t seem to notice it.

Not your typical “monster”

Silent Hill 2 Maria Smiling EerilyMaria, even though considered to be one of the two main antagonists in the game, is not necessarily malicious towards James (except for the part where she tries to kill him in the end), but she is definitely trying to keep James from leaving Silent Hill.

For example, in the Rebirth ending (yes, the game has multiple outcomes depending on your actions throughout the game) Maria says to James:

What?! But I’m what you wanted! Mary’s dead. Don’t you understand? She’s not coming back! But I can be yours… I’ll be here for you forever… I’ll never hurt you like she did! So why don’t you want me?!

Is she trying to keep James from learning the truth?

In the beginning of “Born from a Wish”, a prequel to Silent Hill 2, she mentions that she’s scared of being left alone and afraid of being in pain and in the main game seems to be highly bothered by the fact that James is more interested in finding out what happened to her wife instead of protecting and taking care of her.

At one point she lashes out to James and accuses him of being rude and selfish for only caring about his dead wife and not her by saying:

Why didn’t you try to save me? All you care about is that DEAD WIFE of yours!

Maria’s purpose in the game

Before we can start to understand the purpose of Maria in the game we have to dig a little deeper and figure out exactly what’s going on with James because, believe me when I say, It’s not all what it looks like!

James’s guilt

As James ventures deeper and deeper into the “rabbit hole” he eventually comes to terms with the fact that he was directly responsible of Mary’s death by suffocating her using a pillow some time after the doctors said there was nothing they could do to cure her illness.

Pyramid Head Abusing and Raping Two Helpless MannequinsSo he’s a hero then? No. James didn’t do it out of compassion. Instead he killed his wife mainly due to sexual frustration. There are subtle hints about this throughout the game, for example the infamous scene where Pyramid Head is seen abusing two mannequins.

Another reason for killing his wife was, of course, the sickness itself as it gradually changed Mary’s personality. In the end she was having constant mood swings and she would lash out at James in bursts of anger for no reason.

As Mary’s illness progressed, James started to resent her in almost every way, yet he still felt love towards her which in turn lead him on a downward spiral of self destruction and self pity. It took James 3 years to finally snap and end Mary’s life.

James’s delusion

After losing his wife, James’s life took a turn from bad to worse as he was now in complete denial of having killed Mary and so he created a story in his mind that she had been dead for 3 years because of her illness.

It’s very likely that the letter he received, which led him to Silent Hill in the first place, was just a hallucination and because of his numerous irrational and reckless actions throughout the game, it’s safe to assume that James was, in fact, suicidal and went to Silent Hill to kill himself.

Maria’s purpose becomes more clear

When you consider all of the above, it would make sense that Maria, being a figment of Jame’s imagination, was there mainly to provide comfort.

I guess, deep inside, James knew that he had killed his wife, but because what he did was so awful, he chose to ignore it and instead created Maria in the image of Mary so he could be together with her, oblivious to reality.

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Animal Keeper (animal clicker) Game Review and Getting Started Guide

An incremental game is a type of video game in which you are required to click or tap on the screen in order to acquire in-game currency. You can use that currency to upgrade various aspects of your game (usually the environment, tools used for clicking, etc) which in turn help you gain even more currency for every single click or tap that you perform.

While there usually isn’t a lot of action in these kinds of games other than having to furiously click or tap on the screen for long periods of time, they can still prove to be quite fun and have the ability to reduce stress mainly because of the short and simple repeating input from the user that doesn’t require a lot of brain power.

Animal Keeper

Ynef is killing it in Animal Keeper Clicker game Take the Animal Keeper, for example. It’s a free game available on Play Store and a great example of what an incremental game, or in this case, animal clicker, is like.

Introduction

In the game you are in charge of managing a farm and in the beginning you only have one chicken on your farmland. This, however, will soon change as you start to unlock more and more animals including cats, dogs, turtles and even dinosaurs! Very soon your entire land will be populated with a horde of animals who you now need to feed and protect from the evil huntsman.

Gameplay

As with any other clicker game, the gameplay itself is very straightforward as you are only required to do a lot of tapping and clicking on the screen.

You can tap anywhere on the screen to earn game currency which can be used to unlock new animals, upgrade existing animals or build houses which will provide protection and food for your livestock.

Getting ahead in this zoo game

The first thing you probably want to do is buy an extra chicken or two so click on the “animals” button located at the lower left part of the screen.

If you happen to have more money, you should definitely invest in more expensive animals as the more you have, the more in-game currency you will earn without having to click that much (also called an idle clicker game).

Protecting your livestock

By now you have most likely already seen the evil huntsman who occasionally wanders around the area. You should really get rid of him as soon as possible because otherwise he will start shooting your animals.

If you have enough, you should definitely consider investing in a guard’s house because when it finishes building, the next time that wicked huntsman comes back to shoot the chickens, your guard house will help get rid of him easily. You can of course upgrade the guard house so it will make even more damage.

Don’t forget to exchange your animals

Building the animal exchange will be very beneficial from the start because you can then exchange your basic animals into more fancy and expensive ones who are faster, have more health points and in the end generate more revenue for you.

Final words

There are hundreds of similar clicker games available on Steam, Apple Store, Play Store, etc. with game themes ranging from erotica to being a youtube star and even mining cryptocurrencies for riches, but this game is the first one I’ve seen that involves managing a farm in a sort of “zoo game” kind of setting.

It’s fun, it’s addictive and it definitely helps to get your mind off of things for a minute or two.

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Doblons.io review and a quick start guide for winning the game

Doblons.io is a fun new .io browser based game inspired by my favorite tank game, Diep.io, and a pirate ships game called Pirac.io. The game can also be considered a more sophisticated and digital version of the classic battleships game that you play with your friend and have to guess where their ships are located on a piece of paper. This article is going to be a quick overview on how to play the Doblonsio game and I’ll also share with you my personal strategy which always helps me climb the scoreboard quickly.

Ynef is winning the game again

Getting started

You start out as a puny and vulnerable battleship equipped with just two small side cannons which cannot fire all that far. Your first priority should be to collect the various gold, silver and bronze coins scattered around the sea as these will be used increase your wealth in order to upgrade your cannons and other features of the ship later on.

About the upgrades

Upgrades such as hull strength, auto repairs, cannon range and reload speed should all be familiar to most of us from the tank game Diep.io. These are the abilities that help your ship become stronger, repair itself, shoot cannonballs farther away and fire them at a much faster rate.

However there are a couple of quite interesting additional upgrades available in Doblons.io that you can’t find in other similar games. For example the fishing boat upgrade allows you to spawn a small fishing boat on the map which will then sail off, but not too far away, and will start to collect money for you.

The Battleship and Man of War upgrades help you by spawning an additional battle ship near you that will attack enemy vessels and protect you from them. The Battleship upgrade is a weaker version of Man of War and they cost 500 and 1000 coins to summon, respectively.

The strategy

My strategy usually relies on upgrading to better weapons as soon as possible and once I’m happy with the firepower (3 cannons on both sides), I start to concentrate more on maneuverability like turn speed and movement speed. I’d say turn speed is more important because most of your cannons are going to be on the sides anyway and with a high enough turn speed you can easily turn your battleship around and aim your weapons directly at the enemy.

By now I have almost always spawned a fishing boat to help me collect the coins. It really does make a difference! After that I start to work on my hull strength and of course the auto repairs which is incredibly useful in case you have just barely escaped from a battle with a much stronger enemy and need a moment to recover.

Final words

I personally found the movement a little annoying and had to spend quite a lot of time just to figure out exactly how the ship responded to the way I moved my mouse. It didn’t make sense to me for some reason and I’m usually pretty good at these types of games. Other than that it’s a great game with a lot of potential, but I still believe Diep.io to be the best .io game that’s currently out there.

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This portable ice maker machine will save the day on your next get-together

Imagine for a moment that you have just organized a small get-together among your close friends. Most of them have already arrived and taken their rightful positions around the living room table where you had previously placed your shiny new hookah and enough drinking glasses for everyone.

The drinks

You have the bar ready a little further away, near the wall, on which you have a small collection of middle-class beverages like Jack Daniels, a bottle of definitely-not-the-cheapest red wine and a couple of other no-name bottles just to make the set seem complete. It’s perfect!

The snacks

A bowl filled with pistachios, a few bags of potato chips, some cookies and a massive jug of orange juice for those who don’t like to drink, drove over with a car or just enjoy mixing it with some good  ol’ vodka- everything has been accounted for. You have taken extra care to strategically place all of these items in a way that makes them easy to access from every direction and the huge ass wall-mirror helps to finish the illusion of having just enough room for everyone in your tiny apartment.

The chillin’

The lights have been dimmed, your favorite song is playing on the stereo and everybody seems to be having a rather good time. But just as you’re about to congratulate yourself on a job well done someone opens their mouth and drops the bomb by asking: “Hey man, do you have any ice?”

Man, you forgot the ice!

Damn it! The ice. How could you forget the ice?! Not a problem. You stay calm, put on your poker face and tell your friends that ice shall be served in exactly 8 minutes. You stand up, manage to gracefully catch the hookah that you accidentally knocked over in the process and as you advance towards the kitchen door, you confidently tell your friends: “set your timers everyone, I will be back!”

Best home ice maker machine

Best ice maker machine portable and epicSince everyone knows that it will normally take at least a couple of hours for the water to freeze into those small cubes that you put in your drink, nobody really understands what’s going on when you pull “8 minutes” seemingly out of nowhere.

Naturally they’re curious and follow you to the kitchen to make sure you haven’t completely lost your mind and that’s where they’ll see the elegant beast in action for the first time in their lives.

After a brief moment of silence and awe, one of the more courageous observers suddenly points at the mysterious device and gasps: “What is THAT?!”

And as your home ice maker slowly freezes yet another batch of cool ice cylinders (no pun intended) you take on a more serious and professional tone to say: “That, my friend, is of course the TG22, a state of the art portable ice maker machine”.

Portable ice maker

From the see-through window at the top of the lid you get to see the ice maker freeze the water first and then push the final result in the form of small ice cylinders onto a holding tray. From there it will continue creating the next batch of ice.

All in all it takes roughly 6-8 minutes for a single batch to complete which means that in total you can expect to generate up to 26 pounds of ice every day.

It’s a completely automated and self contained system and it will recycle the excess water that is dripping down the metal rods around which the ice will form, making sure that all of the precious H2O is being used up and not discarded recklessly.

You can even set it to generate small, medium or large pieces of ice and there’s no extra plumbing required. Just stick it in the wall socket, add water and you’re all set.

The TG22 is a residential ice maker and yet another perfect example of how our every day lives can be just a little bit easier thanks to automated machines.

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