Archive for January, 2012

Scramble With Friends

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Oh how excited I get when a new “With Friends” game from Zynga appears on the App Store. The joy of another word game to lose my time to! :) Despite the disappointment Hanging With Friends turned out to be (it’s just a weird game concept… and seriously, how is dropping your opponent in molten lava ‘family friendly’?!) I was eager to try it out :)

It looks much as you would expect it to look. The same old styling, but now in green! Oh, except there’s that odd Tokens bar at the top… which I’ll rant about shortly ;) Yes, we still get stuck with the Updating Games spinner in the middle of the screen for random lengths of time, and to me, it feels like there’s an awful lot of buttons on that opening screen. But at least it didn’t try to make me create a character like HWF did ;)

I found it slightly amusing that the Help screen doesn’t actually contain any help relating to the game, and it feels glitchy and unpleasant and not like an iPhone table view should!

It’s good that it’s been through QA and that there’s space for long names on the screen… oh wait, there isn’t! My name isn’t even all that long!

From the chat screen there are two back arrows… styled slightly differently… which go to different places! :(

And our favourite “Copy/Paste” error – “Your move”? Really? Fairly sure this game is played in turns, not moves, visit this link for more information!

Oh, I almost forgot the tokens… “what are they for?” you might ask, as we did too! There’s no explanation whatsoever. There’s an animation suggesting you use one each time you make a move take a turn, and a count down to you getting a new one. There’s also the option to buy more tokens… though we don’t know why we want them! Basically, Zynga don’t seem to think showing us adverts is making them enough money, nor is us buying the full version as that still has tokens as IAPs! Apparently, they feel a need to try and charge us to play the game so that they can show us more adverts. I’m completely confused by this!

Ah yes, and the other reason for tokens? To give you cheats in the game! One of the things many people said to us at various conferences was that players who spend more money shouldn’t get to cheat! Give them pretty things, or different ways to play, but don’t let them cheat!

Basically, totally unimpressed with the lack of QA testing which has gone into this game as within minutes Chris and I were both complaining about weird stuff happening, and obvious bugs! Also unimpressed with Zynga feeling a need to shoehorn extra IAPs into a game which don’t need to be there. I’ve not yet run out of tokens (though I’m not playing all that many games simultaneously) and I refuse to ever buy in game currency!

That said, I love Scramble games! Always have and I suspect I always will :) Feel free to challenge me to a game, I’m StarlitSkies (on all the Zynga with Friends games) and I’ll play you just as soon as I have enough tokens… ;)

Meet Sasha…

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Last Monday I took my friend Cleo to collect a kitten. Little did I know at the time that there were actually 3 little kittens looking for a new home as their owner is shortly to move to Australia. I should not be allowed little tiny bundles of fluff who need a new home… the following day I returned to collect one of my own ;)

She was born Nov 5th 2011, so she’s just over 2 months old now :) I’m sure you don’t need telling how adorable a kitten this age is… what with the extreme tininess… the chasing of everything… the vast amount of sleep required curled up on your lap… so cute! :D She also has these beautiful stripes which are a little hard to see without daylight, but this photo does a reasonable job…

Combine her cuteness with me finally finishing up two projects on Friday, and I couldn’t resist finding a project just for her :) So, most of Saturday was spent on a fabulous destashing project to make her a bright, fluffy bed. Most impressively, she seems to like it and keeps sleeping in it without me having to put her there ;)

There’s more photos over here and I’ll keep adding to that :)

A New Year – A New Start?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

It would seem I’m not very good at keeping a blog. I have a couple of half-written posts… a review of a local restaurant and a techy post about some issues I had with a translucent status bar. It seems unlikely I’ll ever finish them, but I can’t quite bring myself to delete them.

With the beginning of 2012 comes a hope that I could start blogging again and maybe even keep up with it. To start, a brief round up of what happened last year other than the trip to Vegas which is apparently all I wrote about ;)


Amy and Pixel joined the family. Two gorgeous kittens who were a complete surprise to the owner of their parents when she returned from a New Years Eve party! They’re now a year old and still gorgeous and cuddly :)


We’ve released a whole lot of games! In chronological order…

Moving In

I have basically moved in with Chris now. There’s still a lot of stuff in my house, which I still own, but hopefully we can get that all moved soon and start the process of trying to sell it. One step closer to finding a new house together, though that will be challenging thanks to our many and varied requirements :)


Chris and I went to Florida for a holiday :) We did a lot of theme parks, which was tiring! We saw a Bucs game at the stadium (I now not only understand the rules, but can occasionally be found shouting at the TV screen to a game!) We went parasailing :)

More photos on Facebook


After the fun of parasailing, Chris booked us a one day paragliding taster course :) It was awesome! Extremely exhausting, but awesome :) We were flying!! :D

Chris Paragliding
Me Paragliding


That probably covers all of the highlights of 2011, other than the Vegas trip which there’s lots of entries about already :) This year has already had some excitement… Meet Sasha…

Apparently, I can’t resist homeless kittens, particularly gorgeous ones! :) She’s only 8 weeks old and we’ve only had brief introductions between the cats so far. Fingers crossed that they all get along so we can keep her :D