Cube and Me - A Fresh Breath in Rogue-likes

Lately, when I check gaming news, I rarely see something unique I could get excited about. Survival sandbox game no. 2443, another Assassin’s Creed, the same old stuff. However, on Kickstarter, you can sometimes find hidden jewels. And Cube and Me is one of them. The gameplay is something I would best describe as tamagotchi rogue-like with the battle system similar to Marvel vs Capcom. And yes, it is every bit as awesome as it sounds.

In the opening scene, you find a crashed space vessel. And inside it, strange alien lifeforms — Cubes. You take them home, because who needs cats and dogs when you have Cubes as your pets, right? Your house constitutes one half of the gameplay. Inside there, you take care of your Cubes. In order to keep them happy, you have to wash them, feed them and so on. You can equip your house with TV, sofa, pictures and other furniture to make their life even more comfortable. And where do you get money for all of that? Well, you make living by folding envelopes. Yea, that’s right. As weird as it sounds, it actually makes for a fun mini-game and becoming an envelope-folding virtuoso takes quite the skill.

Just as you settle down a bit, you see the news about another spaceship crashing near California. Naturally, you decide to check it out and learn more about these mysterious creatures. Here comes the other part of the game, dungeoneering. If you have ever played a roguelike, you will be right at home. There are randomly generated rooms with monsters, treasures and all that jazz.

But what sets Cube and Me apart is the fighting system. When I say Marvel vs Capcom, I mean the craziness of dodging gazillion projectiles and enemies coming at you from all directions, blasting them with your hypers and calling for assists to light up the screen. It may not be as mechanically intensive, but it makes up for it with careful resource management. You can hold the Cubes with your mouse to move them around and enter hyper mode. But if you hold it for too long, you the cubes will overheat, leaving them at the mercy of your enemies. Which they will not show much of. In addition, you can leave your Cubes on elevated platforms to get some breathing room. But again, leave them there for too long and the platforms will crumble. And then, there are the temporary boosts. It is crazy, it is fun, and I assure you, you will love it.

Conclusion

The detailed and cute 2D pixel graphics is accompanied by an 8-bit soundtrack. Combine that with the slightly far-fetched sci-fi setting and you get a game that will take you right back into the SNES days. Cube and Me is currently in alpha state, with demo available. So, go ahead and try it. If you like it, do not forget support the game on Kickstarter, so it sees the light of the day.

Facebook in Kansaiben - Finally Here!

On 8th October, Facebook has rolled out a feature we have all been waiting for - Kansaiben version. (Everyone is a Kansaiben lover, some people just don’t know it yet ;). Here is the release statement in Kansaiben:

Facebook in Kansaiben, source: itmedia.co.jp

For example, like has become ええやん!, comment つっこむ and share わけわけ, along with bunch of other stuff. So head straight into your language settings and give it a try! And if you also like Attack on the Titan, there is Kansaiben version of that too!

Japanese Cloze Card Generation Plugin For Anki

Studying new vocabulary is only really good if you learn the words in context. And finding the proper context for multiple words can be quite time-consuming. So I have decided to quicken the process by writing a small plugin for Anki (a great piece of SRS software, if you have not heard about it before), that pulls example sentences straight from the Tanaka Corpus. I have been using it for quite some time. Now, I have finally come around to polish it, so that other people can benefit from it, too. So, what does it actually do? The plugin comes with a custom model, which searches the Tanaka corpus for examples and then generates cloze cards out of them. (If the you are not using cloze deletion already, you really should try it in some form). It also generates the readings, supports multiple clozes per sentence and user edits. In theory, it should cover all your needs. Using the plugin is extremely easy. Just search for a Japanese expression,

Searching a Japanese expression

choose an example sentence

Choosing example sentence

and voilà, here is your card.

Generated card

For any questions or bug reports, head over to the plugin’s page. You can download the plugin from there as well, but I recommend using the built-in Anki downloader - the code is 247705873. You can find other interesting stuff on my project page.