Category Archives: simpsons

The Dark and Gloomy Halloween World of Springfield

Halloween is over. Well, it’s over in most of the world. In Springfield, the world of the Simpsons, and especially the videogame The Simpsons Tapped Out, it’s still Halloween, until at least November 7th.

Halloween in Springfield is a little like Snake Whacking Day diversion in that you have extra things to do, or rather distractions to deal with. In this case, we’re talking about houses and other places being haunted by fellow players, ghosts to pop, and goblins to stop. There are also a number of bonuses you can get as well.

The problem with this version of the game is how dark and gloomy it is. Literally. There is a fog and mist that covers the screen so it’s hard to see stuff. At least it’s a little brighter in Krustyland. Let me tell you, as much fun as I’m having with Halloween, I can’t wait for clear blue skies again.

It’s all fun and games while it lasts. There are some things that I just won’t get because I’m not willing to put out the extra cash for the game, but that’s life in Springfield…

Now excuse me, I have some ghosts to pop…

Where Have I Been?

Yeah, I’ve been delinquent over here on The Non-Gamer’s Gamer’s Blog. It’s been at least since June that I’ve done anything here, and now it’s November. I haven’t forgotten you, I’ve just been busy.

I am still playing games. My recent purchase of an iPad Mini has attracted me to a few games that I continue to play. I am still addicted to Simpsons Tapped Out, currently cleaning out ghosts for Halloween, and of course, Candy Crush Saga. I’m also playing Avengers Alliance, a whole lot of Injustice and one or two others. It’s notable that I’m spoiled by the iPad, and no longer play any of these on my tiny iPhone.

Right now however, it’s November, and November is NaNoWriMo, so I will be very busy. So I just wanted to check in, and I’ll see you in December.

The Simpsons Tap Back!

The new update for The Simpsons Tapped Out opens up the waterfront for the summer, giving dozens of new options for new characters, new buildings, and new gameplay.

Take that, Candy Crush. Wait, what’s Candy Crush?

Different day, different addiction.

Candy Crush Wants My Soul

Some of you may have wondered where I’ve been.

 It is a sordid tale of woe and degradation.

 Let me just sum it up by saying that yes, you can play Candy Crush Saga until your eyes bleed. Yes, that is a thing.

Above, “Candy Crush Saga Is Evil,” as seen and talked about on the GAR! Podcast.

Candy Crush Saga is a deceptively easy and evil game, a cross between Tetris and Bejeweled Blitz, only with candy, it goes from fun to compulsive pretty quickly. You go from shushing from friends, “Shhh, playing game now.” to getting the shakes while waiting to play again in a snap of the fingers.

In just one short week, I went from playing harmlessly and cheerfully to full on screaming obsession. Now, here in rehab, I have the time to think, reflect and write, free of the fascist little candies and their lascivious lure.

At least Candy Crush broke me of my Simpsons Tapped Out addiction. But then again, I think meth heads probably have the same thought about their former coke habits.

Even now as I write this I can see the candies in my head calling me back. Candy Crush is more than a game, it’s an addiction, it’s a religion… Candy Crush wants my soul…

Arrow: The Undertaking

About mid-season of the “Arrow” series, the powers that be finally gave a name to the master plan that the bad guys of The List had for Starling City. They called it The Undertaking. It’s never been clear what it actually was, but we know it has sinister implications for The Glades – the ‘bad’ section of the city, and home to Roy Harper, the Verdant nightclub, and the ersatz Arrowcave. One supposes by the title of this episode, we’ll finally find out exactly what The Undertaking is.

From all indications, we might just find out what happened to Walter as well. A unique flashbacknot to the island, shows us a meeting of The List several years prior. It seems their original plan was to blackmail bad people into doing good things, but John Barrowman’s Merlyn suggests a new ‘undertaking,’ leveling The Glades and starting from scratch. No Glades, no crime. And there it is.

And OMG, the thing that’s going to level The Glades is called the Markov device. Comics readers know that half-siblings Brion and Tara Markov are Geo-Force and Terra, metahumans with earth elemental powers. Brion was a hero who joined the Outsiders and later the Justice League. Tara was a teenage psychopath who joined the Teen Titans in order to betray them to… Deathstroke, with whom she had a very unhealthy and possibly illegal relationship. Wow. I’m guessing The Glades go in an earthquake.

In the soap opera zone, Laurel goes to Verdant to cry on Oliver’s shoulder about her break-up with Tommy. Felicity’s awkward walk-in may have sent odd signals to Laurel. Sigh. To quote one of my favorite “Simpsons” lines, “When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?” In this case, fireworks factory equals superhero action.

In a slightly more high quality melodrama moment we get to watch Barrowman tell of his wife’s death in order to convince Oliver’s father to go along with The Undertaking. It really the first time “Arrow” has given the man room to act. Finally. And we get a glimpse into the making of a villain.

In the distracting secondary plot of the episode (because on “Arrow,” the overarc is always the main plot), Felicity goes undercover in a casino to find clues of Walter’s whereabouts. As I’ve said before, Emily Bett Rickards’ Felicity cleans up real nice, but then again I like her in and out of nerd.

With no Diggle for back-up, The Hood has to save her, doing so like a bull in a china shop. I counted at least four arrows to the chest, one a woman, probably some of them only patrons to the casino. Once again, I find myself rooting for the police to put this murderous Bizarro version of Green Arrow away.

At first it seems that Walter was dead, and then alive. The Hood saves him, plowing through henchmen to get him, but first parachuting down onto their hideout from a plane. I couldn’t get past that. Who was flying the plane? Wouldn’t they know it was The Hood on board, and jumping out? Seems like a major loose end here.

Things are heating up and finally coming together. Oliver makes up with Diggle. And he admits to Laurel he still loves her. And, most importantly, he knows that Merlyn and his mom have been lying to him, and they are behind The Undertaking. The secrets are out, time for the real game to begin.

Other shout outs to the comics in this episode include Ted Kord for whom a fundraiser was held in flashback. Ted Kord was the second Blue Beetle. And Walter was being held in Bludhaven, Dick (Nightwing) Grayson’s old stomping ground.

Yes, things are finally heating up, I can’t wait for the next episode. As long as they keep tying up loose ends, that is.

The Simpsons – Still Tapping

I talked about this one before, The Simpsons Tapped Out. Well, I’m still playing it on my phone. A lot of the folks who were playing when I started have stopped or just faded away, but really I continue to enjoy it.

I have tried other games of its ilk. A few Sims things, Megapolis, stuff like that. But it’s just not the same, and I don’t like them, so keep your Farmville requests away from me please. It’s the familiarity of the characters and the situations that appeals to me. So with that logic, I have to wonder why DC Comics with their amazing fictional cities or Marvel Comics with their fantastic Marvel Universe New York City haven’t jumped on the bandwagon. I would be all over either of those two games.

There is one thing I do wonder about however. Where do folks get all the donuts from? Donuts are the currency in this game, and you get one or two per level (currently 27 is the highest level), or you can buy them outright. When a new building is available I see folks who get it immediately, no matter if it’s only costs a handful of donuts or hundreds of donuts. Do people really buy that much for one of these games? That’s a serious cash put out…

New updates happen all the time, some relating to holidays, or upcoming episodes, or even very Simpsons-centric things like Whacking Day, currently going on. If you want to add me to your Other Springfields, you can find me at monsura2 or if you want, help The Bride out at glenifer. We’ll both still be tapping away.

Cartoon Crack

I blame Andy Burns, he’s the one who did this. I am addicted to The Simpsons Tapped Out.

Andy is a great guy, a terrific friend, and the editor-in-chief of the coolest pop culture website around, Biff Bam Pop!. Yes, I’m biased, I’m affiliated with the site, and it’s a shameless plug, but facts are facts, I only work with the best.

Anyway, Andy and I talk quite a bit across the internet. Friends, family, news, pop culture, anything that’s on our minds are the topics of conversation. We don’t always agree but I think we know what we each like. Andy has given me some great music recommendations and I’ve hipped him to some comics I’ve thought were cool.

Then he suggested I should be playing The Simpsons Tapped Out.

The game is one of a kind I dislike quite a bit. Like those annoying Mafia Wars and FarmVille games that I hate so much on The Facebook, it is a social media engine, not unlike a pyramid scheme, that requires the player to induct others into the game to rise in level.

I didn’t want it, but somehow I got sucked in. And I’m loving it. I’m having a lot of fun. The premise that Homer has destroyed Springfield, and now you have to rebuild it piece by piece. Building of course requires money, or donuts. If you don’t have enough donuts you may end up using real cash to buy more. That’s how this iPhone app makes money, you gotta buy the donuts.

You can’t wait until you have enough to build various landmarks and characters from the TV show, and that’s part of the charm. I mean, who doesn’t love “The Simpsons”? Especially after a quarter century on the air, it would be un-American not to love it.

Now I can’t wait to get my Android’s Dungeon built, and I need a Bart… Join the addiction. I’m glenn415, please friend me. Andy, this is all your fault.

“One of us… One of us… One of us…”

Yogi Bear 2010

Yogi Bear ~ This is the live action and CGI big screen movie from Christmas 2010 that pretty much bombed at the box office. Much like The Green Hornet a year or so back, I have to wonder if its because the current movie going audience has no point of reference for Yogi Bear any longer.

When I was a wee toddler waaay back in the late sixties, I have great memories of watching classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters like Yogi Bear with my dad. It’s a good memory, sitting with my father, seeing the five to eight minute adventures of Huckleberry Hound, Jinx the Cat, Pixie and Dixie, and Jellystone Park’s favorite pick-a-nick basket thieves, Yogi and Boo Boo Bear.

Later those good memories of semi-good kids cartoons were ruined by parents groups in the seventies, leading them to join together to fight pollution on “Yogi’s Gang,” and then later were sidelined as peripheral funny animal characters on “Scooby-Doo’s Laff-A-Lympics.” After that, except for a handful of forgettable appearances, Yogi was, well, forgotten. Maybe, after the seventies, with good reason. Still, the 1960s cartoon shorts have a warm spot in my heart.

That said, I doubt most of the folks who saw this in theaters even knew who Yogi is, um, was. Those that did, might have been put off as I was. The CGI Yogi and Boo Boo is kinda cool, until you see them next to live action human beings. Then the reality sets in that they are bears because the size ratio is correct and troubling. Bears, even those wearing ties, sometimes tend to eat people. I can see young kids being maybe freaked out by this.

The plot is much too long and complicated for the characters who work best in ten minute increments at most. Similar structure has ruined of films of this genre like Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right and even Looney Tunes and The Simpsons. Honestly, I would have been happy with eight ten-minute vignettes than one eighty-minute movie, but that’s me.

Intellectually disturbing (for me at least) is the fact they acknowledge Yogi and Boo Boo are not only bears, but talking, thinking, tie wearing bears. They even acknowledge its rare, but they never explain why. That drives me nuts. Maybe it’s just too meta for me to get past, but it bugs the hell outta me.

Then there’s also the voice casting of Dan Ackroyd and Justin Timberlake as Yogi and Boo Boo. Timberlake is not bad at all, but Ackroyd, once you know it’s him, never sounds like anything but Dan Ackroyd doing a bad Daws Butler as Yogi Bear imitation. Some folks may have enjoyed and praised us, but not me, I couldn’t get past it.

All in all, Yogi Bear wasn’t bad, fairly harmless actually, and did have the spirit at least of those original sixties cartoons. Anna Faris didn’t annoy the hell out of me, and it had Journey music, so it couldn’t be all bad. Good for the kiddies even though they might not even know Yogi or Boo Boo.

New Season Fail?

I hate to say it, but other than the “Wonder Woman” pilot from David E. Kelley that NBC did not buy, I haven’t really seen anything from this newest TV season that has impressed me, nothing.

I love Zooey Dechandel, so I checked out her sitcom, “New Girl,” on Fox. First I was curious what someone like her who has been so successful in movies would want with television. I mean, this had to either be a great show, or a lot of money, right? Well, it turns out it might just be money. She’s fun and hilarious, but her three male co-stars were unwatchable. The problem – there’s three of them and just one of her. Awful.

Also on Fox, I tried the much anticipated “X-Factor” from Simon Cowell, and again, I was unimpressed. For someone who wanted to make a show that wasn’t like “American Idol,” it sure seemed a lot like “American Idol,” and not in a good way. Here’s hoping that Simon, along with Paula Abdul, return to “AI” next season. It will be better for everyone.

As long as we’re beating dead horses, the show I most was interested in this new season was “Terra Nova,” which at first glance kinda looked like an American version of “Primeval.” If only it was. I’d take another rip-off of a mediocre British scifi series over this dreck any day. Where were the freaking dinosaurs? Damn tease.

Look, don’t show dinosaurs in your thirty-second previews of the show for the last four months and not put any damn dinosaurs in the pilot for over an hour. To quote Millhouse in one of my favorite “Simpsons” episodes – When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?”

There were other series that were disappointments. “Unforgettable,” “A Gifted Man” and “Person of Interest” all had intriguing concepts, and quickly displayed with second episodes that they were all three simply formula shows. I don’t think we will ever see any progress on the main plot that got us hooked on the show, but will just be case of the week series. Damn shame too.

I was even disappointed by “Homeland.” It reeked of predictability for me. Again, a fine concept that just didn’t do it for me on the screen. Wow. When the pay cable shows aren’t good, you know it’s a bad season.

“Pan Am” was a pilot that has to be seen to be believed, so if you didn’t catch it, check OnDemand and see it. Not just for the now anorexic Christina Ricci, you need to see this decidedly confused show. First it’s kinda “Mad Men,” then it wants to be a comedy, then it’s an Airport movie and finally at the end it’s a spy thriller. See it while it lasts, it could be the quirky fun hit of the bunch, so bad, it’s good.

The only show I thought had promise, was canceled before I actually got to see it, which shows you just how on the mark I am with these things. Like “Pan Am,” it’s a period piece, same time frame, but this one’s deadly serious. “The Playboy Club” is/was about a mob murder in, you guessed it, a Playboy club. It had much promise, but, unfortunately, dead on arrival.



It looks like we’ll have new replacement shows coming up quickly as I think many of these are headed to the same fate as “The Playboy Club.” Hmmm… maybe NBC should take another look at “Wonder Woman”…

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The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 9-21-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Allison (“I remember the 1980s”) Eckel and Glenn (“Hey you kids get off my lawn”) Walker (boss man Ed Evans returns next week!) discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The New DC 52 including Scott Snyder’s Batman #1, the multiple Robins and their heights, iffy Teen Titans continuity, Catwoman #1, Wonder Woman #1, Birds of Prey #1, Blue Beetle #1, Supergirl #1, J.T. Krul’s Captain Atom #1, and the rest.

The discussion continues in segment two including: We forgot about Ed, Hawaiian hot dogs, the Fear Itself comics of the week including Avengers #17, Brian Michael Bendis’ talking heads and dissing 9/11, Allison’s kids comics, Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man #2, Tiny Titans and Young Justice, Treehouse of Horror, more Marvels, a pair of X-Factors, Ultimate X-Men in a bag, the indies, and the trades.

Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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