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Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Site Update

Welcome back again.  As you can see, we are starting to populate the site with new content.  There are few new writers and contributors waiting in the wings with new content.  If you are interested

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Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Site Update, GaMExpo, Nerdvana Con, Life Updates

What to Watch: You Tube

Top 5 YouTube video’s of the past week (with one blast from the past). Each week, on Tuesday, I am going to post 5 videos I think are worth watching on YouTube.  I’d love to hear what you

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What to Watch: You Tube

Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Welcome Bac

Welcome back to Killer Betties! It’s been over three years since I’ve made a post, but I am back. Before I get to what I’ve been doing for three years, I want to talk first about The

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Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Welcome Back, TWD, The Bar, and Other Random Thoughts

Football Manager 2017 Review

Football Manager 2017 is a football management simulation video game for the PC developed by Sports Interactive and published by Sega. Gameplay: In terms of gameplay, it is really fun. You can create

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Football Manager 2017 Review

Volunteers Wanted

Killer Betties is going through some growing pains and we need more bodies (and pens) to keep up with it. If you have any interest in writing video game reviews, previews, interviews or editorials, p

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Volunteers Wanted

Wedding Salon Review

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by on May 3, 2011 at 9:21 am

Developer Sugar Games, who has brought out games like the time management title Wendy’s Wellness and hidden object game Matchmaker: Joining Hearts, recently released a new time managemen title into the mix. Wedding Salon puts the player in the shoes of a wedding salon manager, who has to wait on eager brides and grooms and their wedding parties, making sure their clothes and hair is well done, jewelry is purchased and snacks are fed.

It’s a solid title with little replayability value – although for those who really like designing the dream wedding scenes, replaying it to check out the designs not picked might be fun. Other than that, there’s no real value to playing the game again and there are no advanced modes or alternate methods of gameplay - something unfortunate because an endless mode here would be pretty fun.

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Avenue Flo Review

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by on April 24, 2011 at 1:27 am

A new casual game from the makers of Diner Dash recently hit the market and this one isn’t a time management game. Instead, Avenue Flo is more in the style of casual adventure games with elements of puzzling and hidden objects. And it’s great fun too! There were only a couple of things I found frustrating. First, the game is far too short. It left me wanting more. I suppose that’s not really a bad thing, but hey, I have to point out something negative! The other thing was in the chicken singing game. The chickens moved off the screen too slowly. Go ahead, accuse me of nitpicking. I don’t care. The sad thing is, that’s all I can name as wrong with this title.

Everything else is so right. The story is predictable. Flo has to save the day again. This time, it’s Ms. Big’s wedding day and someone is trying to sabotoge the big (hehe) day. Flo has to fix all the problems the saboteur created and figure out who did it. From what I can tell, Quinn, who is the wedding planner, is just sitting at the boat waiting for Flo to fix her problems. I don’t know about you, but if a wedding planner had that many problems on their biggest wedding they are ever holding, they’d be out trying to fix it, but we all know Flo is a superhero, so just suspend your disbelief and go with it/

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Rooms: The Main Building Review

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by on May 12, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Rooms: the Main Building is a new puzzle game from Hudson. It has several different modes and options to choose from to allow for variety in game play, but don’t be fooled. Rooms is easy to get into, but surprisingly difficult to put down.

In story mode, you are Mr. X. You receive a mysterious gift: entrance into the Rooms Mansion. But as they say, getting in is the easy part. You slide sections of the room around to get to the exit. In the DS version, there are 100 rooms to explore and the puzzles get progressively harder, as you would expect. There are also hazards you’ll encounter when moving through the room. At first, it reminded me of those plastic slide-a-block puzzles you get as a party favor. But in Rooms they take it to another level, with one way entrances and exits, ladders, teleporters, room swappers and other fun tricks that make play more and more challenging without making you want to throw your DS across the room (like most of us did to those stupid plastic puzzles). And the sections are easier to move too, since all it takes is a tap on the screen to move them. You can also unlock achievements by completing certain tasks within the game.

For challenge mode, you have to solve the puzzle with restrictions. For example, you may have a time limit or some of the sections can only move a certain amount of times then you’re stuck. This is good for those times you want “quick and dirty” gameplay; no story, just a puzzle.

You also have the option of building and exchanging levels with other players. You can create and store up to 10 different levels. It’s pretty easy to use; just drag and drop the elements you want in the room onto a grid. You have a running preview of what your room looks like as you build it, so it’s very user friendly.

Graphically, Rooms is quite nice. On the DS, the images are predictably small, but not so small you can’t make them out. The background illustrations are great, with impressive detail on certain items. I was pleasantly surprised at the look of the wood-grain on the ladders. All in all, the graphics enhance your play time.

The background music is also good. It sets the mood very well, but doesn’t get annoying. Instead, it’s mild and soft enough that you don’t mind it running as background noise.

Overall, I really enjoy playing this game. I was surprised at how easily I was sucked into the world. I played through the tutorial and planned on playing a level or two. You can imagine my shock when I realized I’d put in another hour of play before I could pull myself away. It’s a deceptively simple game to play, but as they say, getting in is the easy part.

Plants vs. Zombies

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by on April 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm

When my brother talked me into installing Popcap’s “Plants vs. Zombies,” I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. He said it was a great intro to tower-defense strategy games. I said the sunflower was cute. He said just play the game. And I did.

And I can’t stop!

Plants vs. Zombies is a easy to master but majorly addictive game where you grow plants to defeat the zombies that want to come eat your brains. Since sun is the key to growing plants, the sunflowers (and later the mushroom) are the key to setting up the perfect defense against the zombie hoards. With solar power harvested from the flowers and occasionally from the sun, you can plants that block, shoot, blow up, devour, drown and otherwise destroy the invading zombies. Sounds easy, right?

As they say, it’s easy getting started, it’s harder to quit.

Graphically, the characters are cute, even the zombies. There are sunflowers that smile, squashes that frown, and even mushrooms that hide. On the Zombie side, there are plain zombies, armored zombies, even zombies that drive Zombonis. The music is great too, never annoying, just enough to set the tone for a showdown with the living-impaired.

And if you ever get tired of killing zombies, or more likely frustrated, there are mini-games that run the gamut of slot-machine plant placement, walnut-bowling, and one that lets you play zombie to the plants. Popcap also gives a nod to its other games with planty versions of Bejeweled and Bejeweled Twist. There’s even the no-stress Zen garden where you have a pet snail and feed it chocolate so it collects money for you. And the money is important, because it lets you upgrade your plants from re-peaters to gatling peashooters and from watermelon catapults to icy wintermelons of doom.

There is more than enough goodness in this game for everyone to enjoy. It’s addictive fun. The music video at the end is worth the wait, though you can find it on YouTube if you’re curious. Overall, just another fabulous game from Popcap.

Shockwave:

Big Fish Games:

Little Shop – World Traveler Review

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by on October 25, 2009 at 9:59 pm

There are many ways a hidden object game can be great. It can have the most amazing and compelling story. The Hidden Object portion can be stellar. There can be mini-games that just entertain for hours. Or it can be an average game that drives you to unlock every portion the game has to offer. Little Shop – World Traveler is just that. It manages a level of replayability that I’ve yet seen in a hidden object game and that takes this not so standout title to the next level.

First off, the story is a throwaway. It doesn’t really matter at all why you are searching the various scenes. As a travel writer, you are exploring exotic venues, from Venice to Antarctica to Madagascar. Each of the scenes does a fairly good job transporting you to those locations. There’s about 80 or so objects to find in each scene, although in the story mode, you only have to find 15 and are given a list of a 5 at a time to do just that. There’s also a plethora of collectibles, from question marks that give you hints to passport stamps to suitcases. To find the 15 in story mode, you only have 5 minutes. You will do each scene 5 times by the end of story mode, so that’s ample opportunity to find all the collectibles. However, I found at the end of story mode, I hadn’t done that yet, thanks to some well hidden collectibles. As for the objects themselves, they are usually pretty easy to find and the collectibles, like the cameras that flash all the objects and the special exclamation points that use a search feature special to each screen, make any particularly hard to find objects a snap to discover.

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Slingo Mystery Review

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by on October 25, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Every time I hear about Slingo making an appearance in another game, I get a little excited. I keep hoping the magic formula will appear and turn a Slingo game into the greatest thing since sliced bread. And I’m continuously disappointed. On the surface, mixing slots and bingo is a magic combination for me! I love both so much. But for some reason, when you actually sit down and play the game, it gets rather boring rather quickly. So when I heard about Slingo Mystery, taking Slingo and throwing it into a hidden object game, I was geeked! I thought, finally, a version of Slingo I can get behind.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It’s not that Slingo Mystery is bad. In fact, it’s compelling enough that I wanted to get to the end. However, I was never thrilled and amazed with the game. The basic premise is that Freddie Gold has died and his ex-wife wants to get back her ring. However, the current wife (aka the widow) is a royal b**** who doesn’t want to give the ex a thing. The players are cast as the ex as she gets herself in and out of trouble in the empty casino, while going on a scavenger hunt set up by her dearly departed ex-husband. Along the way, she is guided by a friend helping her through the many areas of the casino. The story was cute, but always predictable. The voice acting was also pretty distracting, as it was stilted and it really detracted from the game. I think pure text would have been better than the voice acting.

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Burger Shop 2 Review

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by on October 7, 2009 at 10:13 pm

When one thinks of time management, the obvious games that come to mind are the Dash titles. However, there are plenty of other types of time management games out there. Of course, most of them aren’t worth the code they are programmed in. Burger Shop 2 avoids that pitfall by doing something slightly different and ending up with a formula that is fun to play.

Right off the bat, I liked the story. Where else can you be given alien technology to make burgers, but also have amnesia at the same time? The ending was a bit confusing, but overall, I really enjoyed the path the writers took me down. Besides story, there’s more to love here. The concept is simple, it’s Poop. Yup, Poop. People order our patties. Basically, customers come in, tell you what they want with fancy little thought bubbles and you fill the orders, by taking items off the conveyor belt and combining them with other items on the belt, like making a burger using lettuce, cheese, meat and buns, or using the items on various machines, french fries, drinks, ice cream, to name a few.

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Princess Isabella – A Witch’s Curse Review

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by on October 5, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Princess Isabella – A Witch’s Curse has a simple name that doesn’t come close to explaining the game or how great it is. A better name would be Princess Isabella and the Awesome Hidden Object Game That Goes With Her. With that said, PIatAHOGTGWH is quite the game. The only downside to it is that it honestly ended too soon for me. I was having a blast and wanted to keep going. I wish there had been other modes to play around with.

The story begins with a Princess. And a witch. And a curse. I know, contrived right? But they manage to make it fresh and new somehow. Princess Isabella returns from – a horse ride I guess – to discover her palace has been cursed and everyone she knows is now turned into broken mirrors. On her wedding day no less. From there, through finding hidden objects and using objects to solve various puzzles, she unravels the curse and saves everyone, with the help of a fairy friend. I love fairies, so it sold me right off the bat.

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The Mystery of the Mary Celeste Review

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by on September 23, 2009 at 11:13 pm

It’s rare that a hidden object game has me guessing up to the end with the story. The Mystery of the Mary Celeste does just that. While not the greatest or most challenging of hidden find games, Mary Celeste has just enough to make me say it was worth playing. Of course, there was plenty to make me aggravated and disappointed as well.

The story is fun and where the game shines. At times, it’s a little confusing though. But at the end, it all comes nicely together and the twist at the end is a good surprise. The story is told by little tidbits given when finding certain items and in flashback episodes that take you outside the ship. The way the story is related ends up being well done, although halfway through, I wasn’t sure it was going to be worth it.

Where the game isn’t nearly as good is with the actual hidden find aspect. Nothing is ever hard to find. Add in the lack of penalty for randomly clicking and I just spent the first couple minutes on each screen clicking everything before looking at the object list, which was presented with pictures of the objects. True, this defeats the purpose of the game, but being essentially lazy, if a game lets me get away with it, I’ll do it.

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Youda Legend – The Curse of the Amsterdam Diamond Review

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by on September 18, 2009 at 12:57 am

The Curse of the Amsterdam Diamond leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was never bored. On the other, it was very short and not challenging. There were no penalties for misclicks and no time limits. The variety of puzzles and hidden object sections were very well done. Hence, mixed feelings.

The story was irrelevant, as so often happens with these games, so that was a bit disappointing. Basically, you are a treasure hunter on the search for the hidden treasure of the Flying Dutchman. The story is completely relayed in text. The music is throwaway and no voices were added to this title. It was a pretty barebones game with little in the way of bells and whistles.

Where it really shines is with the puzzles, making this more a puzzle adventure than a pure hidden object game. All the puzzle types are recognizable to any puzzle afficianados and none are repeated, so it stays fresh throughout. The hidden object aspect of the game was well done, although at times, I found myself ignoring the list and just clicking around at anything that looked like it might be on the list. That worked more often than not, but the last few items on the list were usually a bit of a challenge and I did end up using hints with a few of the objects. Disappointingly, when I did finally find the object, it was nearly invisible to the screen, so no matter how well I looked at the image, I would have never found them.

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