Chapter 4: The Heat Rises

Simothy: So, this legacy thing isn’t even difficult. Why couldn’t you finish your others again?

Don’t worry about it. Let’s just jump into this fresh new chapter of your legacy, shall we?

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6 of My Favorite Mobile Games

Hey, everyone! I hope you’re doing well on this beautiful Monday. I’m currently listening to raindrops lightly hitting my roof while I work. It’s overcast and cool, my favorite kind of Spring day.

Today I’m actually going to talk about mobile games! I’ve been wanting to write this for a while and really got motivated to do it this morning when I woke up and played mine. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been really big on mobile games in the past. I got a little into Candy Crush when it first came out in like 2010, but never got super far and lost interest pretty quickly. Video games are my jam, so that’s what I’ve stuck with.

This past year, though, I’ve been finding and playing mobile games more than video games, and there are multiple reasons why. What really started it all was when I was suffering from a really bad phase of depression (you know, those gosh darn down times). I was in bed the majority of the time and didn’t want to do much more than watch YouTube videos. I would want to play games every now and then, and I would sit at my computer and try, but didn’t get much further than turning my computer on before I lost the desire and got back in bed again.

Now that I’m out of that bad phase, I still end up playing these games more than video games. I joke about being an old lady who plays her mobile games before bed, and I’m totally okay with that. Jenna Marbles, fellow 32-year-old-lady, would probably approve (more on her another time).

I believe it was a Facebook ad that got me to download the first mobile game I have on my phone, and I’ve played it for about a year now.

My Cafe

My Cafe is a game where you run your own coffee shop. Now, I’m not actually a coffee drinker so I cAn’T rElAtE but this coffee shop is full of drama, which was definitely what drew me in to it. It’s probably incredibly unprofessional to stick your nose all up in your customers’ business each and every day, but that’s what you do in this game while also serving them delicious treats and drinks. You solve mysteries, hook people up, and even catch criminals. Then you grow your cafe, which in turn gets you more customers and more drama. It’s a wacky whirlwind of fun.

I’m not super far in the game (I don’t know how many levels there are, but as you can see I’m only on level 23) but there are a ton of reasons why I’ve kept playing for this long. One, the music is especially relaxing. After a couple of weeks of playing, I would be excited to hear it whenever I would play. Two, the stories, while often silly, keep you interested and sometimes end in unexpected ways. And three, it’s not pay to play. I mean, when I was working I definitely had moments of weakness in which I bought diamonds to get stuff (never more than, like, $3), but there’s not a huge pressure to, and overall the game is very chill. You don’t have to annoyingly beg your friends for lives or ingredients and you can play at your own pace. The developers update it for holidays and random themes as well. Currently the theme is Alice in Wonderland.

My Cafe was really the only mobile game I played for a very long time. And then BitLife happened.

BitLife

In BitLife, you live a life from infant-hood to death, with dozens of options and events inbetween. It’s way more than that, I actually don’t think I’ll even be able to fully explain, but I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now anyway. Before BitLife, there was InstLife, which was essentially the same thing. And before both of these was a globally educational game online called RealLives (which, upon researching, has recently relaunched itself).

BitLife gives you a detailed account of your life while allowing you to choose your own path. You can be bad, good, indifferent, or really anything you can imagine.

You’re able to choose your sexuality, education, career… Pretty much anything that happens in real life can happen in this game. It’s like The Sims. But not. I don’t even know how else to describe it.

The game gives you tons of situational decisions to make, but not everything is easy. Sometimes you’re predetermined to be stupid or unattractive or sick and life is harder for you. But you can go to the library, get plastic surgery, or eat a random toad given to you by a witch doctor and things may start looking up!

You can also pay about $3 and take ads off and get these fun perks and such, but if BitLife hadn’t shown me the ad for the next game, I never would’ve been delighted with the opportunity to play it.

Homescapes

This is where I really start to feel like an old lady because this is a match-3 game, the kind of game which old ladies are stereotypically addicted to. But it’s so much more than that, which is the only reason I play it.

In Homescapes, you meet this sweet summer child, Austin, who is a butler for some reason (it’s very cute, he likes to clean and organize!). His parents want to sell their old mansion because it’s horrifically run down, but it’s Austin’s childhood home and he doesn’t want to lose it! So with the power of matching games and a little butler magic, you slowly renovate this place and show his parents that it’s not all bad if they would just, like, TRY.

I’m not even ashamed of how far I am in this game because it is a gosh darn treasure.

The game offers plenty of boosters and bonuses to where you don’t get ridiculously stuck on hard levels for very long. You get to choose from 3 options of furniture when you’re redecorating, which is nice. Options are always nice. The music is also super relaxing, which is an added bonus if you’re using this game to bring yourself down from a hyped up day. It does ask you if you want to ask friends for lives, but playing in short bursts is really how mobile games are meant to be played anyway so waiting for lives without involving friends isn’t that big of a deal.

And of course there are other games like it, so you can switch back and forth anyway…

Gardenscapes

Gardenscapes is very much like Homescapes. You are once again with Austin, whose house has been renovated and is now looking to take care of the overgrown and broken down garden. The bonuses and boosters are similar and once again it’s a 3-match game. I can’t decide (and I haven’t bothered to look it up) if this game came out before the other or not. Story-wise it seems to have come after Homescapes (since the house is renovated), but some aspects of it seem less advanced. I’m not sure why.

It’s still fun, though. And again, you get to choose from different options to decorate, so your garden can look the way you want it to.

Both of these games like to give you rewards of infinite lives for a certain amount of time, which WILL keep you up until 4am… >_>

Game of Sultans

Okay, so this game is wildly different from the others, and at times I’m not even sure what it is that keeps me playing it. Originally, Game of Sultans was advertised to me on Facebook and what made me download it was the scenario that played out in the ad: You’re a sultan and you get a maid pregnant and omg drama, and then she has someone else’s baby and omg more drama. Immediate download.

I quickly learned that the ad had been misleading. That never happens in this game.

What DOES happen in this game is, like… a lot. I will try to break it down as best as I can without confusing the heck out of you.

You’re a sultan from the Ottoman empire and your ultimate goal is to grow your empire into a massive one. I guess. That’s the most basic way to explain. But there are tons of things to do along the way.

One thing you do is collect wives. Yes, you have a harem. And yes, they’re basically all big boobied ladies with different interests and personalities. You don’t get to choose them. You meet them around town and then marry them. Then you can “visit” them and they produce heirs.

I currently have 18 wives. I think you can have 19 or 20 without paying anything (there are wives as “VIP” perks). And, yeah, I guess I have some favorites.

I have 54 heirs, but 50 of them are grown and married – haha, what a bad picture of this one. There are only like… 10 or so different character designs for heirs so they don’t do anything with genetics. You train them as they get older, marry them off, and this strengthens your empire.

You also have a campaign to play through where you defeat other empires and slowly take over the world. And you have a number of viziers who aid you along the way – as you train them, your empire strength grows. You can also hunt, for some reason. And practice in an arena, make some sultan decisions, and a ton of things.

I think the variety and difference in this game versus the others I have makes me play it more. It’s a decent game at face value.

The Sims Mobile

Lastly, I feel obligated to talk about The Sims Mobile because, well, The Sims of course. I don’t know why but this game has not succeeded in capturing my attention like others. I haven’t played much at all (as you will see in the following screenshot).

I like some of it and I do intend to continue giving it a chance, but it’s not one of my routine games. I think I play it once a month or so, whereas the others I play daily.

If you had told me a few years ago that I would be sitting down to write a post about my favorite mobile games today, I would’ve laughed. But here we are! I am not ashamed. I think mobile games are useful for people with anxiety, who need distractions, who want to pass the time, and who enjoy games. Do you have favorite mobile games? Or further thoughts on these (any good things with The Sims in particular)? Let me know in a comment!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and the rest of your week! I have more I would love to talk to you about, so I should be posting again soon. Until then, take care!

So Many Dreams

Hey, everyone! I’ve been on a short break while I get some life things in order. I hope that you’ve been doing well. I’ve been thinking of so many new things to try and begin and I’m really excited about the process, but I’ve also overwhelmed myself with Stuff To Do. Show of hands if you are in the same boat. My heart goes out to you, my friend.

First, a bit of news. You may (or may not) have noticed that my blog is now called Confessions of a Lady Gamer and has a domain to go with it. Why? Well, let me just tell you… haha, it’s kind of a fluke. WordPress ran a discount on upgrades around St. Patrick’s day and I was like OOH, WHAT A DEAL. Then I got all signed up and changed my mind and got a refund. The domain is still registered for a year, so maybe this will become a new home. Idk.

Anyway, I guess that means I need to confess some gaming things at some point? More on that in a later post.

Until then, let me know if there’s anything you wanna see on here or tell me what you’ve been up to!

Take care <3

Always Take Your Meds

Hi everyone! I hope you’re doing amazingly so far this week!

I had something written but not finished for today and I had planned on sitting down to finish it tonight, but then I started having withdrawal symptoms due to forgetting to take my meds for a few days (I didn’t realize it had been that long). If you’ve never experienced this before, I think it’s different for everyone, but for me it starts off like motion activated dizziness/electric shocks through my body which then turns to jitters and awkward muscle spasms which makes it difficult to function in public or otherwise. I once forgot to take my meds for 6 days and when I went to pick them up I mentioned to my pharmacist I hadn’t been on them and he said, “I can tell.”

I mean, it’s kinda funny but it’s also NOT FUNNY DON’T BE LIKE ME, haha. It’s definitely not good to do this to yourself. This is part of self-care and learning.

I had my refill scheduled to be delivered because it’s been snowy and icy but I missed the email that told me my insurance doesn’t cover delivery. And I can’t find my backups, oops. Tomorrow I’ll get them and all will be well, no worries!

My heart goes out to you if you are someone who often forgets their meds. It’s hard sometimes, no matter how long you’ve been regularly taking medication. We’ll get there!

Until next time, I wish you all the very best. Take care!

Go Flailing, Yelling, and Stumbling in the Direction of Your Dreams

A few hours after my last post I realized it was actually Monday when I posted it so I was technically on schedule, LOL. Welcome to my brain, you guys!

I didn’t play many games this week (aside from Roblox omg lol), so today’s post is going to be about our week’s accomplishments. Those are more important anyway, right? I really hope that the week went well for you, and I’d love to hear if there’s anything that made you especially happy or proud of yourself this week, big or small. Drop a comment!

At some point mid-week I got tired of my hair and chopped it with craft scissors – don’t worry, this is a totally typical thing for me. Last year I bleached my long dark brown hair to platinum blonde, basically annihilating it.

6 months of my hair in 2018

Although I’ve cut and trimmed it a lot since then, the ends were still very scratchy and I was just done with it. I started cutting and my daughter heard, turned around and was like, “Omg, you’re gonna regret that.” So far so good, I think.

The two things I’m most proud of this week are related to graphics. I applied to be a contracted designer for a cute little company and created some samples, which was a little different and a tad more challenging than creating for myself (which is all I’ve ever done) because everything pretty much had to be from scratch. These images are meant to be wrapped around tin cans.

I’m not by any means a graphic designer, but I really enjoy making things so hopefully they like them. I haven’t heard back from them yet.

Then today I made my first cutesy little animation (it’s just a .gif so not a huge production) and I am so in love with how it turned out. It’s an edit of my business logo, which got a brighter, happier makeover for spring this week.

I watched it for a long time earlier and my son just came in as I was typing this and said, “Why are you still watching that?” I am so judged by my spawn, haha. I think next I want to make the necklace a bit bigger so it can be seen when the image is sized down, but I didn’t want to start with anything huge because that’s just overwhelming! Lol.

And that’s all my news this week. Again, I’d love to hear yours. If you didn’t have a good week, I hope that next week brings better things your way, I really do. It always gets better, and I’m living proof.

Thank you for reading <3 Take care.

Roadblox?

I’m a terrible, horrible person who didn’t blog yesterday or follow my PATH TO RIGHTEOUSNESS from the post in which I talked about doing what I plan to do. I don’t know if I’m more embarrassed about that or the fact that one of the reasons I didn’t blog is because I was playing Roblox. Have you guys played Roblox? My kids were playing it one day and as a joke I joined them. But then the joke

got

serious.

Anyway, I think I like it because, much like the sims, it’s a sort of mindless way to spend time. If you haven’t checked the game out for yourself or you want to see some posts about what I’m up to in that, let me know because there are some STORIES I could tell.

To be fair, I did start a post a few days ago, it’s just still sitting in my drafts.

BUT for the sake of future Starla, I just made the rule RIGHT NOW that even if I make my best efforts to post and don’t, I’m not going to dwell on it. This is still more posts than I make when I’m not trying, so it’s okay! It’s Tuesday and I’m posting off schedule, I’m so wild. So crazy.

Here is a picture of some random try-hard doodles I worked on this evening. Imagine me presenting it to you like this:

Welp, here's the art
Doodling helps art, or so I'm told...

Here’s to tomorrow’s post! Take care, everyone <3

Additional Note:

This post sat here for a minute while I went downstairs and while I was down there I realized that my desire to read Harry Potter started off as a joke too. I was grounded for, like, an entire summer and as a joke I asked my mom to get me the Harry Potter books to pass the time. This brilliant woman went to the store that week and brought home all 4 (that were out at the time). Then, well, I’m sure you can guess what happened.

I’m sensing a pattern here… I should joke less 😂

Planning VS Doing: My Struggles with Schedule Management

A wise man once said, “Don’t plan the plan if you can’t follow through.”

This wise man was Dr. Horrible, and he doesn’t even know my life, why is he judging me?!

I bought a planner with some of my Christmas money at the beginning of this year. It was actually intended as more of a practice planner because it was less expensive than the one I really wanted (some of them are so gosh darn gorgeous). I didn’t want to spend the money if I didn’t actually benefit from the thing, you know?

This planner is cutesy and comes with inspirational stickers, with fantastic motivational quotes scattered throughout.

You’re wondering if I’ve used it, right? I have. I really have. I’ve made an honest effort to utilize it in a way that helps me manage things in life, and I’ve written my to-do list in it every single day. But what I’ve learned so far is that a planner isn’t going to help you actually, uh, accomplish things for some reason?

There have of course been days where I’ve crossed off everything and have felt extremely good about it, but then there are others where one item on the list gets pushed from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday to Thursday and so on. It’s usually something fun, too, like updating this blog or making a YouTube video.

My original plan going into the year was to post here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and post on YouTube every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as write at least 150 words for my book each day. While planning this and coming up with content is easy enough for me, it just hasn’t played out that way. I can’t help but wonder if it’s my fault?

Haha, no, yeah, it is my fault. But I do have a theory about why.

One thing I think I need to work on, and I think everyone could benefit from thinking about, is prioritizing in a way that doesn’t just get things done, but that actually makes us happy. As a society, we have definitely become very production based, so our brains are almost wired to feel useless if we are spending time on what most would consider unnecessary or frivolous tasks. If we aren’t working on things that generate “real life” results, are we even working?

The truth is, I haven’t been strict on myself when it comes to these more enjoyable things because something in the back of my head says I don’t have to do them. It is not necessary that I work on my blog or channel or writing, so if it doesn’t happen, that’s not a loss. But at the end of the day, if working on my blog, channel, or writing generates happiness and a sense of accomplishment for me, it is a loss if I don’t do it. Because I genuinely want to do those things, that’s why they’re on the list.

My therapist mentioned this as well in regards to exercise. Oftentimes we are so busy throughout the day that exercise is an expendable activity. We make excuses about not doing it, push it back to another hour or another day. But if we treat it like an important appointment, same as we would a date or a trip to the doctor, something that shouldn’t be skipped, we could potentially train ourselves to never miss a day. It sounds weird to be scheduling (and following that schedule) hobbies or activities, but desperate times…

So Starla’s wise old advice to everyone today is to not just plan to do things you love. Planning is fun and sure looks pretty, but it’s not enough. Do the things you love. This weekend I challenge you to make time for yourself. Don’t push back the things you want to do and only do the things you have to. Do all of it! Make a plan for your happiness, your health, your mind, and follow through.

As the sweet little planner stickers say: Make it Happen!

Much love to all <3 Let me know if you’re able to accomplish this this weekend!