I Was Supposed to Be Camping, but Instead I Played Sims4

We went camping for one of what was supposed to be three nights, and it poured. It was nice and sunny all day, and then at night, it felt like buckets were being tossed over the tent I was sharing with my son (daughter was in my parents’ trailer with them, husband was in a hammock). Despite the heat and humidity, I had to cover myself with a sleeping bag to prevent drops from landing on me as I tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to sleep.

In the morning, my child accidentally put his plushie cheetah into a tent puddle. The day’s forecast was cloudy with the Lake Michigan undertow too strong for swimming, with rain that night and the next day. And the next night. The next morning we decided to go back home.

After returning and setting all our camping supplies on the lawn to dry out, I quickly jumped into where I left off in The Sims 4: the Country Living expansion pack. Llama’s, y’all lamas.

Fluffy, the llama (along with my human sim)

I created a new sim, Sutton, with the new Country Caretaker aspiration. Whenever I make sims I always create their life story in my mind. Sutton is starting out with not much cash but an interest in rural living. But eventually she’s going to turn into an obnoxious lifestyle blogger.

Inspired by Aywren’s haunted house story, I decided to actually take some screenshots of my game. After moving in and getting her llama, Fluffy, settled in and her garden started, Aywren set out to get to know the people of Henford-on-Bagley, which is like cottage core on steroids. She meets one of the pub owners, Sara Scott, and some other sims. She takes them fishing, where they bond over not catching anything.

She also meets the mayor.

Love your hat, Ms. Mayor!

After selling much produce and llama fiber, Sutton is able to update her house with a bedroom and get rid of the tent she was sleeping in. After my ill-fated tent adventures, I was relieved for her. The next thing she needed to kickstart her homestead lifestyle empire was a husband.

Sutton kept going to town and meeting women. Women love the rural life, apparently. Sutton was making some great friends, but not meeting the ruggedly handsome photo prop of her dreams.

But then she met Michael Bell, the creature handler. Sutton was smitten.

Beard needs to be a bit longer, but he’ll do.

Michael must’ve seen something in her too, because he invited her to the Romance Festival. But soon after their arrival to the festival, Michael takes off for the bathroom leaving Sutton to herself. With the flirty vibe of the festival, it isn’t long before Sutton is approached.

Sutton and Dominic seem to be hitting it off, don’t they? We could have a love triangle on our hands.

Cover Image: screenshot of the current state of Sutton’s little farm.

Blaugust 2021 Introduction Post

Hi, my name is Alli, and it’s been about five months since my last blog post. I decided to participate in Blaugust, a month long blogging festival. I wanted to briefly introduce myself and give a little update on what’s been going on in my life since my last blog post.

I am not a llama. We’ll get to the llama thing at the end.

Except here’s the thing: not really much has been going on. My daughter is now one and my son is 5 (I used to call him “Indy” here because he was a very independent toddler, but now it’s a very inaccurate name–hopefully he’s just being 5.)

We bought a Switch.

We decided to move to Atlanta, and then we decided to stay in Michigan.

I’m hoping Blaugust can jumpstart a return to blogging for me. It doesn’t hurt that my WordPress subscription renews in July.

Cover Photo by Hugo Kruip on Unsplash because while I’ve pretty much abandoned PC gaming in favor of the Switch, The Sims 4 has llamas now. Llamas!

Life Update: Mid April, 2020

Hello and welcome to the blog where I, a busy working parent, discuss the multitude of reasons as to why I’m not playing video games right now.

Recently I started a knitting blog, and it was part of the same WordPress instance as this one. I realized I could comment with a link to the knitting blog, or this blog, but not both. This bothered me, so I created a new WordPress account, made it an admin, and transferred all the posts to this author. It was fun to revisit all my previous posts.

Like everyone else, we’re quarantined in our home. With me already working from home, my husband a stay-at-home-dad, and Indy not in school yet, it’s not a major change. The biggest one is that the two other humans never leave the house, which for me as an introvert who’s primary love language is being left alone, has been difficult. It’s hard for the kid because everything fun is closed: the library, playgrounds*, museums, the zoo, the dog park. Going to Grandma and Grandpa’s is definitely off-limits: we want to keep them healthy.

On the bright side, the weather is warming up. This means we can take Meabel outside to play. I’ve been teaching her how to play fetch with the Frisbee. She is not the brightest dog, but she makes up for it in enthusiasm!

I’d mostly been playing The Sims 4 during the first part of social isolation, then yesterday I decided what I really wanted to do was take my aggression out on pixelated monsters. I played Diablo III. My Crusader is so OP. The usual plot-heavy games that normally appeal haven’t. I want something more mindless. I’m thinking of picking up WoW Classic again, but this time I want to find a super casual (but still socially active) Alliance-side guild to chat with while leveling. If one even exists.

My husband and kid are currently watching old bike races because my husband is bummed some big bike race is canceled. We have resorted to more screen time since we can’t go anywhere–mostly tablet games, because the kid flips his lid when it’s time to be done watching TV. We’re going to give TV a try later this afternoon and see how it goes.

Cover image via pxfuel. I’ve missed the tree leaves so much, and I’m happy to see them budding again!

*Not really but we tell him they are.

The Parent Trope’s Top 5 Games of the Decade

Before writing this, I had to decide if I wanted to base this list on games I played from 2010-2020, or games that were released between 2010 and 2020. I ended up going with the release date, mainly because I couldn’t remember if I played Dragon Age: Origins in 2009 or 2010. (I think it was 2009.)

5. The Sims 4

sims4

I didn’t like The Sims 4 as much as The Sims 3, but 3 came out in July 2009. And even though I miss many things about 3, I’ve still enjoyed 4 quite a bit after I got over the fact that it just wasn’t going to have the create-a-style tool. The graphics in The Sims 4 are gorgeous, and even with more limited options I’ve had a lot of fun building various things in the game. Such that I’ve clocked a lot of hours in the game. I don’t know how to check that in Origin, and frankly I’m not sure I want to know.

4. Life is Strange

lifeisstrange

I like adventure games. Life is Strange is an amazing adventure game. I was completely hooked by this story, and the time travel piece added just the right extra element. I played quite a few adventure games in this decade, but this one has to be my favorite. The plot, the characters, the choices, the incredible length of the thing. It somehow manages to be a classic adventure game and a modern game at the same time.

3. Civilization 6

civ6-splash

Civ 6 was my game of the year last year, and honestly I thought about making it game of the year again for 2019, because it’s that good. The Gathering Storm added many fun new systems to the game that made it exciting all over again. It might even be my favorite Civ game, although I still have a special place in my heart for Civ 3.

2. Don’t Starve

dont-starve-cover

This is one of my favorite games ever. Top five for sure. If we’re just going by hours played it would probably be number two (after The Sims 3). Let’s not find out, though, because that would be embarrassing. The point is, I love this game. A friend told me about it when it was released in 2013 and then I spent so much time trying not to die.

Don’t Starve made me think I like survival games, but eventually I realized that I don’t. I just like Don’t Starve. I like the artsy graphics that look hand-drawn. I like the little characters and their quirks. I like the weirdness of it all. That’s what I like the best. Running into something and not knowing if it’s going to kill you or if you can chop it down or eat it. Maybe it will make you go insane and start seeing shadow creatures. If it chases you, jump down a wormhole and end up who knows where.

1. Mass Effect 2

MassEffect2_cover

Mass Effect 2 barely scrapes into the list having a release date of January 2010. I played Mass Effect 2 after finishing Dragon Age: Origins and hearing that Mass Effect was “like Dragon Age in space.” It did not disappoint. I don’t know why I started with 2 and not 1, but I loved 2 enough that I went back to play 1.

Mass Effect 1 had overly complicated combat and that terrible mako vehicle you had to drive around on occasion (see why I never got past the 4 hour mark in Mass Effect: Andromeda). But by now I was hooked on this whole universe and I wanted to start Mass Effect 2 with choices I actually made in the first game. Plus, I’d discovered the joy of playing renegade–and I really wanted to be able to recruit Morinth.

This game is, to me, what an RPG should be. Intriguing plot, exceptional characters, smooth combat, and not wasting countless minutes getting from quest point A to quest point B because someone decided all RPGs have to be “open world.” It’s the best. I don’t think we’ll ever get a game quite like it.

Cover image via xbox wallpapers.