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Game Over: These Monkeys Just Crushed Humans on a Computer Game –

When it comes to winning games and solving puzzles, sometimes monkeys play smarter than humans.

Monkeys may show off their physical flexibility as they clamber over tangled tree branches, but the animals also display impressive "cognitive flexibility," or the ability to quickly change how they think about, and work to solve, a problem. Whereas monkeys can think on their feet, humans often become set in their ways and cling to inefficient strategies for problem solving, according to new research.

"We are a unique species and have various ways in which we are exceptionally different from every other creature on the planet. But we're also sometimes really dumb," study co-author Julia Watzek, a graduate student in psychology at Georgia State University, said in a statement. For the research, published Sept. 13 in the journal Scientific Reports, Watzek and her colleagues pitted capuchin and rhesus macaque monkeys against undergraduate students in a game of wits in other words, a simple computer game.

Related: 8 Human-Like Behaviors of Primates

In the game, four squares appeared on screen during each trial: one striped, one spotted and two blank. In training sessions, players learned that clicking the striped square and then the spotted square would cause a blue triangle to pop up in place of one of the blank squares. Clicking the blue triangle produced a reward in this case, an auditory whoop for humans to indicate that they had solved the puzzle, and a banana pellet for monkeys.

"They kind of like playing computer games and getting banana pellets," Watzek told Live Science. The primates voluntarily enter the testing compartment during the study and interact with the computer using a modified video game controller.

Partway through the game, the researchers introduced a shortcut: a quick-and-dirty cheat to win the game without following the established rules.

Suddenly, the blue triangle began to appear at the start of gameplay, alongside the striped and spotted squares. If a player clicked on the blue triangle immediately, they received their reward right away. This shortcut appeared in half of the subsequent trials. About 70% of the monkeys took advantage of the shortcut the very first time it appeared, and more than 20% used the strategy whenever possible.

In comparison, only one human out of 56 took the shortcut when it first appeared, and none used the strategy in every trial they could. Instead, they stuck to what they knew, clicking the striped and spotted squares in succession before daring to prod the blue triangle.

"I am really surprised that the humans, a sizable portion just keep using the same strategy," Watzek told Live Science. In a related experiment, the same human participants were shown a video of someone else employing the shortcut and were explicitly told not to "be afraid to try something new." Even when granted creative license, about 30% of participants wouldn't budge from their learned technique.

The authors suggested that educational practices may make humans more likely to cling to one problem-solving strategy rather than looking for alternatives. "We don't think this is necessarily the whole answer, but it's certainly an aspect," Watzek said. For example, the researchers noted that standardized testing and formal schooling in Western cultures "may encourage rote repetition and search for a single correct solution," the researchers wrote in the paper.

However, this so-called cognitive bias isn't unique to Western cultures. Study co-author Sarah Pope, then a graduate student in the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State, conducted a related experiment with members of the Himba tribe in Namibia and found that, though the participants used the shortcut more often than Western undergraduates, 60% to 70% still failed to adopt the strategy. Another study of schoolchildren ages 7 to 10 found that kids were four times more likely than adults to use the shortcut, though more than half still clung to the learned strategy. Baboons included in the same study used the shortcut "immediately and in 99% of trials."

Related: Photos: The Monkeys of Brazil's Atlantic Forest

Although the monkeys were clever enough to spot the shortcut in the new study, they did take longer than humans to pick up the original game rules, the researchers noted. This learning curve may have made it easier for the primates to bend those rules later on, though more research is needed to explore this possibility, the researchers added.

Comparatively, the humans learned the rules easily, so they gained little benefit from using the shortcut, the researchers said. When humans did use the shortcut, they made more mistakes in trials that required the normal, three-part strategy, likely because humans are "terrible at multitasking," Watzek said. The monkeys switched strategies from trial to trial and "didn't seem to suffer from using the shortcut," she added.

The new study highlights how learned biases can impair human decision making and limit our imaginations, the researchers said. "If solution strategies are so entrenched that new information is ignored, they can lead us to make inefficient decisions and miss opportunities," the authors wrote. And though monkeys outperformed people in this particular study, "that doesn't mean that they're just categorically smarter than humans," Watzek noted.

"Cognitive flexibility" represents a delicate balance between exploiting known strategies and exploring alternatives, she said. Comparing how primates and humans make decisions can clarify where biases in human reasoning originate: Does our evolutionary history make us prone to certain illogical tendencies? Or does human culture, education and language train us to play by the rules?

"It is interesting to think through ways in which we train our children to think a specific way and stay in the box and not outside of it," Watzek said in the statement. "There are good reasons for why we do what we do, but I think sometimes it can get us into a lot of trouble."

Originally published on Live Science.

(Image credit: Future plc)

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Game Over: These Monkeys Just Crushed Humans on a Computer Game -

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince Review: Laughs, puzzles and beauty – the AU review

Rarely do you find a puzzle role-playing game where the abilities you use to succeed are as eccentric as its cast of characters. Rarer still is the opportunity to share that experience with another player. This is why the Trine series is so important to me. With Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince, developer Frozenbyte has returned my children to me at last. Zoya the Thief, Pontius the Knight and Amadeus the Wizard are back in an all-new 2.5D adventure.

When the Astral Academy calls for aid, our heroes are reunited. The Academy has lost a student, the titular Nightmare Prince, and would like him back. Despite his reputation, the Nightmare Prince is not actually evil, but he is kind of a brat. The Prince struggles to control his growing powers and as the adventure continues, it becomes clearer and clearer why the Academy want him back.

Previous entries were content to offer only two difficulty settings Normal and Hardcore, the latter often added later in an update. The Nightmare Prince breaks the trend, offering Easy or Normal with an option on how long game will wait before dropping puzzle hints. The default hint delay is six minutes, but it can be turned off entirely if you dont want help. There are also multiple ways to solve each puzzle you encounter on your adventure, which is good because youll be solving a lot of them.

Trine has always featured excellentenvironmental design but here Frozenbyte has gone to another level. The backgrounds are GORGEOUS and the overworld map has a painterly, hand-drawn feel to it. Appearing as if hashed out on parchment, the map slowly fills in as you move from area to area. Character designs have been tweaked, appearing more cartoonish in The Nightmare Prince than in previous installments. They dont lose their charm though, their essence and quirks are not lost in translation. The all-knowing Narrator, voiced again by the great Terry Wilton, is the perfect cherry on top.

If The Nightmare Prince will be your introduction to the series, the first thing you should be wary of are their controls. Four games into this series and I still fumble with them. I still confuse the buttons for character switch and character skills, always when surrounded by enemies. I dont consider it a deterrant. Enemy encounters do tend to drag on, becoming repetetive, which is where the multiplayer shines.

Multiplayer inTrine 4 is available on a single machine, via local or online play. Multiplayer is at its best when you have a strong partner and great communication. Youll move through puzzles much faster if you can work together. Its a treat, and a great couch co-op experience.

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince continues the series legacy as a strong fantasy RPG with a great story, puzzle-solving and character work. Heartily recommended.

Highlights: Beautiful environments, Lovable characters, Non-repetitive puzzlesLowlights: Fights quickly get boringDeveloper: FrozenbytePublisher: Modus GamesPlatforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, LinuxAvailable: Now

Review conducted on Nintendo Switch with a retail code provided by the publisher. Check out more of our Switch reviews here.

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Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince Review: Laughs, puzzles and beauty - the AU review

Games Inbox: What would you want from The Witcher 4? –

Very recently Ive found myself in the fortunate position to buy a PlayStation VR. Since it launched Ive been really curious but Id never even seen one in the flesh until it turned up week before last. Id also only ever had a VR experience once for about five minutes with a Google Goggles cardboard visor and someones phone a few years ago, so I wasnt sure how Id take to it. But I chanced the motion sickness because I was really desperate to play one particular game. Thankfully, the gamble paid off. I have not been disappointed. At all. Quite the reverse. Its been a revelation.

The game in question is Moss. Im still in the early stages, but the adventures of little Quill are really some of the most captivating gaming Ive experienced in many, many years. The attention to detail in the environments and the adorable little creatures within them are really something special. So far, my only gripe with it is that I cant pick Quill up, put her in my pocket and go for a walk in the forest myself just to look around.

That, and the fact that I accidentally let her fall into a pond at one point and Ive felt like an evil monster ever since, as watching her drown was utterly heartbreaking. I actively had to stop myself playing it because there was so much to enjoy, I didnt want to rush through it. I simply dont want it to end. Surely a sequel is a certainty given its reception?

Thankfully I was able to distract myself with Astro Bot, which is pretty much 100% weapons grade fun. It genuinely feels like the true sequel to Super Mario Galaxy. Im only in World 2 and Ive already spent hours gawking at the level designs and laughing at all the little flourishes and details that adorn them all. Anyone whos played it will know about the level that starts on the beach but then things move on when you get to the robot dolphins so many Wow! moments.

I also tried WipEout, which was glacially cool, but will probably make my eyes bleed if I play it for long enough and although I havent quite built up the courage to try it yet, Im sure its only a matter of time before Resident Evil 7 gets a second play through as well. X-Wing VR Mission will have to be obtained at some point now, no question.

My only real-world gaming friend was about to join the fun. He suffers with terrible motion sickness with certain games, usually anything first person, but he also often gets it if he watches someone else playing anything third person too. Much to our surprise, the only thing he couldnt handle was WipEout. He was as taken with Moss and Astro Bot as I was and vowed to get himself one ASAP. Ive seen some of the things that have made him queasy. It doesnt take much. But PlayStation VR definitely seemed to agree with him. Basically, assuming it doesnt make you sick, and youve got a PlayStation 4, I really cant recommend it enough.

Im not sure if youve done this one before as a Hot Topic, GC, but how about which games sold you on a system? Was there a specific title you played, or saw, early or later in a systems lifespan that caught your eye and made you think, Thats it, I need that in my life. Were you previously loyal to a rival format and someone elses exclusives turned your head, or were you reluctant to take the plunge into any given generation and then something snagged you and dragged you back into gaming?yourhomeisatrisk

GC: Its a long time since weve done a killer app Hot Topic so, yes, well give it a go in the future. As for Moss, when we met the developer two years ago they implied theyd made a deal with a major publisher but theres never been an announcement. We wonder if Sony has maybe signed them up for the PlayStation VR 2, but thats just a guess.

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Games Inbox: What would you want from The Witcher 4? -

The Creepiest Haunted Attractions Around Pittsburgh – Thrillist

Most Haunted Places in Pittsburgh: Scariest Places to Visit This Halloween - Thrillist

Have you had your fill of pumpkin spice and apple picking? Do you detect an insatiable craving for the macabre brewing deep in your guts? Lift yourself from that picturesque pile of fall leaves you've been taking selfies in, because it's time for terror. Get ready to be pursued by serial killers and overly dedicated local actors sporting some truly impressive monster makeup. Metro Pittsburgh (and Western Pennsylvania in general) is full of haunted attractions that have something for everyone, even the real sickos you know who you are. Let this guide aid you in your journey to find the best scares of the season.

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Bethel ParkPrice: GA starts at $23 with add-ons available; Escape Rooms $22/personDates: Open every Friday through Sunday September 6 - November 9. Extended openings throughout October.Haunted Acres Manor is Pittsburgh's largest haunted house, covering over a mile of land, and hosting several different themed attractions every year. One of this year's standout haunts is The Host: a turn-of-the-century themed nightmarescape where guests will encounter serial killers, plague doctors, and other creatures from the dark alleys of London. For the price of admission, guests will also have access to five other attractions, including genetic testing gone wrong at Breach 2.0, and a cabin in the woods controlled by darkness at Curse. As if that weren't enough, Hundred Acres Manor also offers two escape rooms, the Scream Bar beer lounge, and a low-key wagon ride perfect for their Kids Day on October 20.

MonongahelaPrice: General admission starts at $20 with other packages available. Sunday admission $15.Dates: Fridays - Sundays from September 6 through November 3.With a convoluted and creepy history that would make any historian's head spin, Demon House doesn't need much to make it a terrifying destination. The 17-room mansion is over 150 years old, and is even feared by the owners themselves who have admitted they don't venture in alone at night. Each room in the house has its own story with a talented group of actors creating a unique and ominous experience for each guest. Those in attendance are also encouraged to explore the grounds where they'll find fires and, to lighten the mood, an outdoor movie theater showing classic horror movies. And don't worry, we're sure all of those rumors about the house being atop an old burial ground are totally bogus.

North VersaillesPrice: Individual attractions are $13 each and both attractions are $18 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Individual attractions are $15 each and both attractions are $20 Friday and Saturday. Group rates are available.Dates: Fridays and Saturdays September 13 - November 2. Extended dates in October.Following a dirt road off the main drag in North Versailles, you'll know you've come to the right place when you see a fire blazing in the distance and the sound of dad rock filling the air. Haunted Hills is back for its 19th year of classic scares in the dark forests of Western PA. Guests can choose to take a hayride, a walk through the woods, or both. The Haunted Hills Hayride takes you through Jurassic Park-style gates that lead to chainsaw clad maniacs lurking beneath the trees and plenty of scary characters that just might be able to hop up onto the hayride with you. Prep yourself for interactive theater. If you're looking to get a bit more up close and personal, The Valley of Darkness Haunted Walking Trail will lead you through 23 different stations including an abandoned school bus guarded by the scariest monster of them all: teenage boys. Proceeds benefit the Autism Society of Pittsburgh.

Strip DistrictPrice: GA for The Basement starts at $33. GA for Stalked by a Killer is $26.25Dates: The Basement runs Thursdays through Sundays from October 18 to November 9. Stalked by a Killer runs Thursdays through Sunday from October 18 to November 17.

Scarehouse is a Pittsburgh institution; this year, a whole new set of terrors can be found at their new location in the Strip District. Enter The Basement (but not before proving you're 18 and signing a waiver), where you get to become part of the haunt by engaging with characters in dark rituals, confessions, and a game of hide and seek with a killer clown. Unlike most haunted houses, The Basement has upped the stakes and allows only two guests to enter at a time for a more intimate experience. If you're looking to combine fear with strategy, look no further than Scarehouse's escape room Stalked by a Killer. As the room fills with gas and the clock begins to tick, you and your friends have exactly one hour to solve a series of puzzles that have been designed by a deranged lunatic. Grab a ticket before they sell out. Because they always do.

MonessenPrice: General admission $20 with upgrades available. Matinees $8Dates: Friday through Sunday all October

Built in the early 1900s, Castle Blood originally served as a funeral home. The historic house has been home to Castle Blood for over 25 years and is Pennsylvania's premier theatrical haunted attraction. If you've ever wanted to partake in your very own live-action game of Clue, you've come to the right place. Rather than jump scares and gore, Castle Blood challenges each guest to participate in the mysterious things happening around them. Stories and puzzles change every night with a rotating crew of classic monsters and archetypes to guide you through your haunting journey. And if you're looking for something family-friendly, Castle Blood hosts No-Scare Matinee Tours during the last two weeks of October.

PortersvillePrice: General admission $20Dates: Friday-Sunday from September 20 through October 27

At long last, a Halloween activity that combines your need for terror with an intense cardio workout. All guests start their night with a dark hayride on the 650-acre farm, and are dropped off in the middle of a distant cemetery. This is where the real fun begins: lurking in the distance is a group of ravenous, undead creatures, and every guest will have to run for their lives to make it to the first haunted house and ominous corn maze that lies ahead. Layouts and attractions change every year, so even the most seasoned guest will be in for new scares. Cheeseman Farms also features a pumpkin patch during daylight hours for the faint of heart (and kids, I guess).

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Julianna is currently turning her own home into a haunted house, one package of fake cobwebs at a time. She can't wait to permanently damage the children that live in her neighborhood this Halloween. Follow her @juliannalocal.

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The Creepiest Haunted Attractions Around Pittsburgh - Thrillist

Brain Training Games Market Report with Market Insights, Growth Opportunity, Recent Trends and Technology in 2019: Elevate, Lumosity, Posit Science,…

Global Brain Training Games Market statistical report provides a wide-ranging research on the key players and in-depth insights which includes the competitiveness of the trending players. This Market research report that evaluates its current value, size, performance and statistics. The report is an important dynamic of the market and gives an idea of the types, the process, and value chain that has been included in the report.

Brain games are fun and like going out. It is a system that exercises the brain to improve aspects of cognition such as memory, attention, concentration, and speed of the brain.

The geographical sector of the Global Brain Training Games Market comprises the leading regions in the market during the forecast tenure. The competitive landscape section of the statistical report presents information on major key players in the global market. On the basis of product profile, introductions, SWOT analysis and contact information, these key players are selected.

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Top Companies:

Elevate, Lumosity, Posit Science, Cogmed, Sudoku.

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Geographically, regions such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Middle East & Africa and Latin America can be segmented on the basis of the global Brain Training Games Market. Market drivers, restraints, and opportunities have been evaluated to explain the expected nature of investments and its impact on the global market in terms of future prospects. The report provides qualitative as well as quantitative researched data of the Global Market.

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In the last sections of the report, the recent innovations along with its impact on innovative growth that is expected to be introduced by the significant players form a core part of the report. This study is done by considering the demographics, regional trends, product demand evaluation in a forward-looking perspective on different factors driving or restraining market growth.

Table of Contents

Global Brain Training Games Market Research Report

Chapter 1 Brain Training Games Market Overview

Chapter 2 Global Economic Impact on Industry

Chapter 3 Global Market Competition by Manufacturers

Chapter 4 Global Production, Revenue (Value) by Region

Chapter 5 Global Supply (Production), Consumption, Export, Import by Regions

Chapter 6 Global Production, Revenue (Value), Price Trend by Type

Chapter 7 Global Market Analysis by Application

Chapter 8 Manufacturing Cost Analysis

Chapter 9 Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers

Chapter 10 Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/Traders

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250 Million People Couldn’t Play Fortnite for 2 Days. Here’s Why Everyone Is Talking About It – Inc.

A lot of people play Fortnite. In fact, over 250 million people regularly play the online battle. I admit, I've never played, and I honestly don't really understand the attraction, but when a 16-year old wins $3 million playing a video game, I'm willing to pay attention. Butright now everyone is paying attentionbecausefor almost two daysno one was playing the game at all.

Until early this morning, the online gamedisplayed only a black hole since mid-day Sundaythat consumed everything--the landscape, the players, everything.As the most recent competitive season of Fortnite(Season 10) came to an end, it wasn't a surprise that the game's developer, Epic, decided it wouldgo out with a bang, but it's fair to say this was unexpected.

Actually, while the specifics came as somewhat of a surprise, it wasn't unexpected that Epic would do something while the company performs server maintenanceto load in the next season of the game. This isn't the first time the game introduced antics, which previously includeda disco ball to ring in the new year in 2019and a meteor shower back in season four.

Around 4 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, Fortnite went completely dark. No black hole, just a "servers not responding" message while people continued to wait. That waiting finally came to an end with what the game's developers, Epic, are calling Chapter 2.

You might wonder why a game company would go through the trouble, but when you remember the sheer scope of how many people play Fortnite, it's not really surprising that the company wants to keep all of those players engaged. Italso helps that millions of people watching a black hole on a computer screen for hours--as absurd as that is--has millions more talking about Fortnite.

Of course, there's also a risk that if the company lets downtime go on for too long, that what is now a fascination and mild frustration could turn into a really bad experience. Someone once figured out that playing music over the telephone was a good way to keep a customer on the line while on hold. It was brilliant at first. Now, it's pretty much just obnoxious.

In the same way, the novelty of staring at a black hole in anticipation of playing a video game wears off pretty quick. You can debate whether or not people might find something better to do, but from the perspective of the game developers, the expectations are now high that after all that waiting, the game had better deliver.

Which, if you think about it, is a really interesting lesson.

That lesson is this: the experiences you create for your customers matter, even in the ordinary course of just doing what you do. If you've ever been to Disney World and waited in line, you've experienced this. Disney has turned waiting into an art form by making it a part of the experience and extending the theme of the ride throughout the queue where you wait. Instead of a two-hour wait, followed by a 90-second ride, it's a two-hour experience.

Find an interesting way to do what would otherwise be ordinary in order to engage your customers. There's plenty of great examples of this, but honestly, destroying the entire game into a black hole, and leaving it like that 39hours is next-level evenfor a gaming company. Actually, getting millions of people who aren't playing your video game to watch a black hole in anticipation, while millions more talk about it,is pretty, well, epic.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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250 Million People Couldn't Play Fortnite for 2 Days. Here's Why Everyone Is Talking About It - Inc.

Experience thrills and chills with friends inside the world’s only ‘Evil Dead 2’ escape room –

SEATTLE If you like puzzles and campy horror movies, a Seattle-based company has just the thing for you: theEvil Dead 2 Escape Room.

Hourglass Escapes launched the game over the summer and its quickly become the company's most popular offering. Based on the cult classic horror movie, its the only escape room of its kind in the world and has been featured on international sites like Movieweb and

"A couple weeks ago some folks came in from Michigan, and it was the only reason they came to Seattle, said owner Seth Wolfson. "Everything is geared for someone who's never seen the movie, but if you've seen the movie you'll get all the Easter eggs and you might have a little bit of an edge knowing what relates to what."

Ellen Meny, Jim Dever, Jose Cedeno and Kim Holcomb try to puzzle their way out of the Evil Dead 2 Escape Room.


Game groups can range from two to six players, and everyone becomes a character responding to a Craigslist ad. Participants are encouraged to dress up for their roles, which range from a ghost hunter to a realtor. Theyre also given special tools to help them solve the escape rooms puzzles.

Ellen is playing the "detective," Jim is the "historian" and Jose is the "ghost hunter" in the Evil Dead 2 Escape Room game.


The game itself resembles the Evil Dead cabin, and Wolfson said it took three months to build the set.

"We actually did our best to make it as much like the one in the movie," he said. "The floorboards are in actual specific directions. The patterns of the boards on the walls and the windows are specific."

Groups get 70 minutes to puzzle their way out. It isn't exactly scary, but it can be spooky. Wolfson recommends the game for players age 13 and up.

The escape room, based on a campy cult classic horror movie, isn't scary so much as spooky.


"Immersion is the key. You want it to be interesting. You want the puzzles to be challenging. We wanted it to be fun, Wolfson said.

Watch four members of Team Evening try their luck at the Evil Dead 2 Escape Room!

Four members of Team Evening pose for a photo at the end of their 'Evil Dead 2' Escape Room adventure.


You can book your own adventure online.

Hourglass Escapes | 3131 Western Ave suite 422b, Seattle, WA 98121

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Experience thrills and chills with friends inside the world's only 'Evil Dead 2' escape room -

The Aki midfield puzzle, Sexton’s double omen and restrained quarter-final expectation as Ireland head to Tokyo – RugbyPass

13 October, 11:23am

Samoa were viewed as a potential banana skin for Ireland in their final Pool A pool match, but that anxiety was misplaced as Joe Schmidts side made light work of the Islanders even though they had to play 51 minutes of the match a man down due to Bundee Akis red card.

The Samoans were one of the poorest sides at the 20-team tournament, their efforts corrupted by frequent indiscipline.

They signed off from Japan having conceded an onerous 50 penalties in four matches, seven yellow cards and one red. No wonder they never threaten to be a problem to the pools leading three sides.

Their plight, though, will be of no concern to Ireland as they head back to Tokyo after a trip south from Yokohama that included stopping off points in Shizuoka, Kobe and Fukuoka.

The Irish are back in the quarter-finals and while they have only progressed as a runner-up and not as the pool winner they were expected to be, they arrive into this latest last-eight appearance in a far better state of health than four years ago when they were pool winners decimated by injuries.

(Continue reading below)

The jury is still out on the reliability of their current rugby, though. Their 2019 form simply hasnt been anywhere near the stellar heights of 2018. But they will be relieved they will likely deal from a full deck with the potentially suspended Aki the only player of their 31 unavailable for selection to face New Zealand on Saturday.

Akis red creates midfield puzzle

Bundee Akis chances of beating the red card rap on Monday in Tokyo following his sending-off in Fukuoka appear very slim if the pattern of disciplinary hearings at the World Cup are anything to go by.

All five players previously handed a straight red card four high tackles and one tip tackle were handed suspensions that had a six-week entry point. Four were reduced by 50 per cent to a three-week punishment, with the suspension for Argentinas Tomas Lavanini set at four.

Any similar suspension would rule Aki out of the remainder of Irelands campaign. Only Samoan Ed Fidow, who was sent off against Scotland for receiving two yellow cards, managed to beat a ban.

Akis likely absence will leave Joe Schmidt with a midfield riddle to solve. Ever since he became eligible under the three-year residency rule to play for Ireland, Aki red-carded by Nic Berry who previously red-carded USAs John Quill versus England has been a mainstay in the starting XV.

He has worn the No12 shirt in 23 of Irelands last 28 matches. In the five games he missed, Chris Farrell (twice), Stuart McCloskey (twice) and Robbie Henshaw filled the inside centre berth.

Farrell would appear to be next in line for the 12 slot, having formed a partnership with Garry Ringrose in the defeat to Japan at the World Cup and for the August warm-up versus Italy.

However, with Henshaw, the regular pre-Aki era No12 selection, now back in harness following injury, there is every chance he will assume Akis role and link up with either Farrell or Ringrose wearing the 13 jersey.

The curveball, though, was how rusty Henshaw looked versus Samoa at 13, his struggles capped by his wayward pass being the cause for possession being lost in the lead-up to Akis carded high tackle on Ulupano Seuteni.

The legendary Brian ODriscolls favoured Ireland midfield even when Aki has been available is Henshaw/Ringrose. The partnership for me is if both players are fit Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw, he told RugbyPass before the World Cup.

Its partly because of their understanding of playing together provincially as well (at Leinster)Robbie and Garry are the starting partnership, all things being equal.

With New Zealand in Irelands sights, it could well be time to reprise a centre partnership that has been mothballed at Test level.

Sextons double has precedent to be repeated

Johnny Sexton scoring tries for Ireland is a rare sight. Before Saturdays double, the outhalf talisman had scored just two tries in his last 42 Test matches under Joe Schmidt, a barren run stretching back to a try in the opening 2014 June tour match versus Argentina in Resistencia.

Encouragingly, though, there is a precedent that his double in Fukuoka could be immediately backed up. When he scored twice versus Italy in Dublin in March 2014, he popped up the following week in Paris to grab another pair of tries and help Ireland clinch the Six Nations title win a win over France.

Packs ball carrying still needs improvement

Ball carrying by the pack is the golden currency regarding the potency of this Irish side. It was the shortcoming that devastatingly let them down in defeat to Japan, their starting eight managing just 63 metres off 53 carries. That was far too little.

Fielding a pack where the only change was Tadhg Beirne starting at blindside for Peter OMahony, they collectively managed 93 metres off 78 carries versus Samoa with tighthead Tadhg Furlong standing out with his 27 metres from seven carries.

Ireland, though, were still some way short of the peak aggressiveness that was achieved in the win 11 months ago versus New Zealand. That auspicious victory featured a 148-metre gain off 84 carries, the sort of eye-bulging numbers likely be required if World Cup history is to be made next weekend in Tokyo.

Look what might happen when its least expected

Boom or bust are the traditional emotions associated with Irish rugby, with the middle ground of a more balanced perspective all too often ignored. Look at this 2019 campaign.

Seemingly, heaps of money was backed on Ireland to win the World Cup following their comprehensive first match dismissal of Scotland, emotions that quickly visited the opposite end of the spectrum six days later when Ireland were ambushed by Japan to spark fears they would fail to make the quarter-finals.

Now they are safely qualified on the back of Saturdays trouncing of Samoa, they are preparing for a knock stage match that intriguingly wont be accompanied by the unsettling, giddy level of optimism that existed in 2011 and 2015.

When Ireland got to the quarter-finals four and eight years ago on the back of respective impressive round four pool wins over Italy in Dunedin and France in Cardiff, there was huge expectation that Wales and Argentina would also be brushed aside and Ireland would qualify for the semi-finals.

Those hopes were entirely misplaced, Ireland failing to live up to the favourites tag which is why next Saturdays billing as underdogs versus defending champions New Zealand could perhaps work in their favour.

Ireland arent expected to win which is the very reason why they could actually go on and win.

The difference an accurate lineout makes

Irelands lineout accuracy is a constant source of interest. When it goes wrong, it has the capacity to seriously hinder them but when it is on the money, it is a vehicle that can generate invaluable momentum, particularly at the maul.

A clean sheet with 16 throws in Fukuoka augurs well for the quarter-finals, especially the variety in the jumpers used by Rory Best off his 10 throws and Niall Scannell off his six. Iain Henderson fetched seven, Tadhg Beirne three, James Ryan and Peter OMahony two each, with CJ Stander and Jean Kleyn catching one apiece.

That should help keep the Kiwis busy in the analysis room in the coming days.

WATCH:Canadas squad took to the streets of Kamaishi to help the local community following Typhoon Hagibis

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The Aki midfield puzzle, Sexton's double omen and restrained quarter-final expectation as Ireland head to Tokyo - RugbyPass

LPU standing in way of San Beda’s automatic advance to NCAA 95 Finals – ABS-CBN Sports

(Photo by Josh Albelda)

These are the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament games from October 15 to 18 all of us just CAN NOT miss!

TUESDAY, 2:00 p.m., San Sebastian vs Arellano

After a big-time takedown of LPU, San Sebastian dropped a crucial contest to Mapua. Now, the Golden Stags will have to work double time to hold on to the fourth spot and the first step in doing so is taking care of business against also-ran yet still dangerous Arellano.

The Golden Stags and the Chiefs do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream.

TUESDAY, 4:00 p.m., CSB vs JRU

One more loss and CSB will be eliminated from contention this, after a school-best 5-0 start to the season. Still, the Blazers have a shot at saving their best for last, but that is if and only if they could solve the puzzle in front of them in the form of already eliminated, but still daring JRU.

The Blazers and the Light Bombers do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream.

THURSDAY, 12:00 p.m., Red Cubs vs Jr. Pirates

In essence, San Beda no longer has anything to play for the rest of the way in the elimination round, having been locked into the top-seed for quite a while now. That doesnt mean, however, that the Red Cubs would take it easy up against an LPU crew led by MVP favorite Mac Guadana that looks like one of their biggest rivals for the title.

The Red Cubs and the Jr. Pirates do battle and y'all can watch VIA LIVESTREAM.

THURSDAY, 2:00 p.m., Mapua vs Perpetual

Mapua is peaking at the right time in the season so much so that after a 0-5 start, it finds itself right in the thick of things in the playoff race. The Cardinals big win against fellow playoff hopeful San Sebastian will be all for naught, however, if they would not be able to follow it up with another win at the expense of Perpetual.

The Cardinals and the Altas do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream.

THURSDAY, 4:00 p.m., San Beda vs LPU

Finals rematch rematch! San Beda triumphed over LPU in the two teams first meeting since last years Finals. The Red Lions are only hoping for an encore an encore that would send them straight into the Finals via a clean sweep of the eliminations. The Pirates have other ideas about that, of course.

The Red Lions and the Pirates do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream.

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LPU standing in way of San Beda's automatic advance to NCAA 95 Finals - ABS-CBN Sports

I Fall Asleep To Puzzle Games And For Some Reason I Am Not Better At Puzzles – Kotaku

One of the poorer habits I have is playing handheld games in bed before I fall asleep. Its not the best moveeven with the brightness set all the way down, light has a way of messing with your sleep cyclebut sometimes it feels like the best way to slow my brain down after a long day of writing. (Something I do a lot of in my free time outside of work. Im a delinquent and dont recommend this.)

Usually I would play a JRPG Im neutral on, something pleasant and low-stakes that I dont unabashedly love or loathe, like Octopath Traveler. But this led to problems over time. Id fall asleep and forget dialogue or story bits or how I ended up in one town or another, and if I wanted to play earnestly during the daytime, Id spend a solid 20 minutes reorienting myself. So lately, Ive been playing puzzle games at night.

Inspired by Mike Faheys return to Puzzle Quest when the remastered version came to Switch, I started playing Puzzle Quest whenever I felt like a 20-minute game session was what I needed to wind down for the night. Puzzle games, it turns out, are superior games to fall asleep to.

In Puzzle Quest, you have one-on-one battles against enemies via match-3 puzzles. Matching gems of different types lets you accrue power, experience, gold. At higher difficulties, a battle can be a cerebral contest of wills thats tense and engaging. At lower levels, its low-stakes and just forgiving enough that, while I love playing Puzzle Quest, I dont care that much?

Thats not a bad thing. I love having a low-investment game thats as deep as this. Its nice to dial back, disengage, and spot patterns on a match-3 board while also doing some light strategizing. And if I lose? So what. Every battle is essentially the same, just harder or easier, with a few variable rules based on enemy skill sets.

To me, the ease with which you can walk away is an underrated aspect of a good video game. Like a lot of people, I want most of my games to be engrossing, to hold my attention and linger in my mind when Im not playing them. But sometimes I just want something to fall asleep to. Sometimes I want to just screw around in Puzzle Quest, or stare at a Baba Is You puzzle until I fall asleep, so I can wake up and wonder why Im no closer to a solution.

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I Fall Asleep To Puzzle Games And For Some Reason I Am Not Better At Puzzles - Kotaku

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