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Survivor: Island of the Idols: Ronnie Bardah Goes From Big Blind to Blindsided – Parade

Survivor: Island of the Idols has arrived! Every week, Parades Mike Bloom will bring you interviews with the castaway most recently voted off of the island.

Youve got to break your own heart in Survivor, Ronnie Bardah told me before he set out forSurvivor: Island of the Idols. But the record-setting poker player had no idea that his heart would be the first to break this season. After a chaotic scrambling at camp and a heavily emotional Tribal Council, the Massachusetts man of many jobs was shocked to add another one to the list: first boot.

Related: Survivor Host Jeff Probst Breaks Down the Island of the Idols Premiere

Starting off, Ronnie utilized a motto from his time at the poker table: Sit back and watch. And what he watched was Elaine Stott quickly endear herself to the Lairo tribe. Fearing her likability would make her an endgame threat, he plotted alongside Aaron Meredith to clip the factory worker. But Elaine was picking up tells from him as well, finding him untrustworthy. She then used her early bonds and alliances to make sure she would continue to spice up the game like cumin. Though Aaron and Ronnie swapped the vote to Vince Moua due to Lairos self-destruction on the puzzle, everyone else bluffed the poker pro and blindsided him in his first and last trip to Tribal.

Now out of the game, Ronnie talks with Parade.com about how surprised he was by his elimination, why the target turned from Vince to Elaine, the tells he picked up from his tribe members and the lifelong friends hes already made from Survivor.

I got to see in person how upset you were when you got voted off back in Fiji. What was it like last night getting to rewatch your elimination?It was brutal! Lets be real. But it was really hard to watch everything crumble again, to watch your dreams go out the window. Im very privileged and happy to have played the game. But ultimately, nobody wants to be the first one out. We all want to win, and everyones extremely competitive. It was extremely tough to watch, Mike.

As the votes were coming in, you were certainly surprised. Were you expecting your name to come up when you were going into Tribal Council?When I heard my name come out of Jeffs mouth the first time, I just told myself, Dont panic. I wasnt that surprised seeing my name come up one, maybe two times. The third time, I thought, Holy [expletive], this is not real. Was it a blindside to me? Yes, I was surprised. But I remember getting a read on Tom and Chelsea. They wouldnt even look at me. Tom was spooked, and Chelsea is a major tell box. I had a weird feeling something was going on. If Vince or Elaine looked at me like that, I would be fine, since I knew they would vote for me. But Chelsea couldnt look at me or keep a straight face, so I knew something was up.

Tribal Council was heavily emotional. Vince and Elaine were both brought to tears, and you expressed your hardships. What was it like for you to see your tribe members pour their hearts out?You want to relate to their life experiences, and I truly did. I genuinely felt them. But Ill admit when I put a hand on Vinces shoulder, it was sort of disingenuous. I remember feeling fake at the moment because I was writing his name down [laughs]. And to be honest, I wasnt really feeling him when he was pouring his heart out. But Elaine did pull on my heart. There was obviously a lot more not shown. It got to me. When I poured my heart out, it was real. And I dont regret it.

Considering you had targeted Elaine so early, what led to you and Aaron voting for Vince?Vince on the puzzle did nothing. He was holding the blocks up; he was extremely uncomfortable and didnt know what he was doing. He was like a fish thrown out in the desert with no water around him. I wish we could have swapped out; we would have done so immediately. Another thing came with the conversation you saw with me, Aaron, Karishma, Dean, Missy and Vince. We were in a five-way circle talking about what was going on, and Elaines name came up. We spoke a bit about Chelsea as well for being awful on the puzzle. We said she looked frazzled and couldnt handle the pressure. He went back and told Chelsea. And Chelsea couldnt hold it in; she came back and asked, Whyd you throw my name out there? We knew then that Vince couldnt be trusted. On top of that, Elaine came over with a good argument of why she should be kept. And she swayed us over! At that point, we didnt trust Vince because he made it extremely apparent he didnt want to work with us.

I was his target, to be honest, as soon as we hit that beach coming off the boat. I remember everyone introducing themselves and hugging. When I went over to him, I could feel the distance between us. He didnt want to be my friend or talk to me. The only reason why he ended up hugging me is that he had to. He didnt want to mess with me at all. He made a judgment extremely early without giving me a chance. I felt the same way about Tom too. When I came onto that beach, I was at a negative two. Based on how people judged me from my exterior, I was at a disadvantage without even saying a word.

On the note of perception, Before the season, we spoke about how you can look intense or calculating when youre not smiling. Did that happen in those first few days?Oh, for sure. They didnt really show me smile at all on the episode. We had some good times out there that wasnt shown. But I definitely fell into that. I wasnt able to develop relationships outside of Aaron and Karishma and possibly Dean. I wasnt able to show the softer side of me, which is really who I am. Im soft as puppy [expletive]. Im intense at the table, but Im a soft, loving guy. They all know that now. Its just brutal that I wasnt able to display that as much as I wanted to. The first few days of Survivor is a crapshoot. Its high variance because everything is so brand-new. Its like a game of Russian roulette. The chambers on you; then the chambers on Vince. If Tribal Council happened five or six hours prior, it definitely would have been Vince or Elaine. But before we left, it changed to me.

You just mentioned developing bonds with Aaron and Karishma. Can you elaborate on those?They were both personal and off of general vibes. Aaron seemed like somebody I grew up with, somebody right off the bat who I really got. Karishma as well. Dean played a game where he was calm and quiet. You couldnt get much off of Dean. Aaron and I hit it off right away. That was one of my downfalls. He and I were constantly together because we were working on the fire. As a tribe, we paired up when we worked. Elaine was with Tom; Chelsea, Missy and Elizabeth were together; Vince was all over the place; Karishma tried to help fix the shelter. She worked with us a lot.

If I could change things up, I would decide to step away from Aaron and go with Missy, Elizabeth and Chelsea. Watching back, it was three versus three. Karishma had to save face and they trusted her enough to tell her it was me. But out there, it was me, Karishma and Aaron versus Elaine, Tom and Vince. Aaron thought he had Missy, but we lost the battle. It was ultimately my fault. In those first couple of days, I wasnt able to form alliances or relationships with Missy, Chelsea and Elizabeth. It was like pulling teeth talking with Dean. It was so hard.

You targeted Elaine early for her likability. What led you to pursue that line of thinking?We can throw some facts out there. Elaine is pretty much a liability in physical challenges. It was one thing if she was extremely strong and good at challenges. But we knew she would weigh us down. Secondly, she was extremely likable. She was the life of the party and didnt hold back. She was out there being herself, which is great. Shes a great person and extremely funny and personable. She was cracking jokes and everybody loved her. Aaron and I were like, Holy [expletive]. You do want to think a few steps ahead. To think that far ahead is a bit crazy.

But everyone who was cast for this season is a player. They did a really good job this season casting gamers, people who think about the future that early. We didnt want her to go deep, which led us to say, Why not get rid of Elaine now? I thought about what if a tribe swap happened and it was her and I and four people on Vokai. They would most likely vote me out over her. Elaine easily grabs onto you and makes you laugh. There was nobody out there like her. Everybody out there was from the East Coast. We were all pretty similar. Then theres Elaine. Somebody unique and can charm with her Southern accent and hospitality. Hey, its just me, Im chilling out here. Its like we were watching a movie unfold in front of our eyes. It was entertaining, so we thought she had to go.

Speaking of East Coasters, Elizabeth comes back from visiting the Island of the Idols. How much did you believe her story, and was she ever on the chopping block with suspicion of her having an advantage?When she came back and pitched what happened out there, I was in a confessional. When I got back, she took me aside, because she wanted to speak to everyone. She told me exactly what you guys saw last night, and I didnt buy it for a second. She said that the card in the urn said, No game, you lose. We knew it obviously didnt say, You lose. I looked her in the eye and told her, Too bad, Im sorry. But I knew there was a lot more going on with the Island of the Idols.

To answer your question, nobody had a conversation with me about whether we should vote for Elizabeth because she could have an idol. I remember us talking about how we should put a lot of pressure on her so we could flush an idol if she had one. But at Tribal Council, nobody put any heat on her. They mentioned Island of the Idols really quickly, and then just dropped it. I was pissed! I dont have many regrets, but I do [laughs].I wish I could go back and ask, Why is nobody talking about this Island of the Idols? That being said, she also did a great job of being extremely likable. Shes a great girl and was very well-received.

In your Final Words, you spoke about how unforgettable this experience was. Are you going to take anything away from the few days you spent on Survivor?Of course! I loved being disconnected from technology out there and having that small personal journey outside of the game. It was huge for me to just journal and think about life. I was also happy to be a part of Survivor history and gain many lifelong friends. We all shared something that only alumni will understand. I gained a best friend in Aaron. Well be diehard friends until we hit the grave. Hes a great guy; we really clicked out there. If I met him when I was younger, theres no chance we wouldnt be great friends. We clicked right away. We knew when we had to lie to protect one another. The chemistry we shared with each other was insane, and that will last forever.

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Survivor: Island of the Idols: Ronnie Bardah Goes From Big Blind to Blindsided - Parade

Caring For My Sick Dad and Son With Autism Wasn’t Easy, But Here’s How I Made It Work – Yahoo Lifestyle

*As told to Adrienne Farr

My dad, Matt Robinson, the original Gordon on Sesame Street, was diagnosed with Parkinson's at the age of 45. I was a freshman in college, only 19 years old. I didn't know what to do. It was the '80s and there was no Google. I remember going to the library and looking up information about the illness. Through that research I found Parkinsons was neurological and incurable. I became the caregiver for my dad from that time until he passed away in 2002.

While I was caring for my dad I married Rodney Peete. As the divine would have it, the night of our wedding Rodney got traded to the Eagles, my dad's favorite team. Dad was so excited! A couple of years later my twins, RJ and Ryan, were born. There I was, a new mom of twins, a wife, and a caregiver for my dad.

I went back to work as an actress when my kids were just 4 months old. By that time, my dad was also suffering from dementia and wasn't really speaking. I thank my husband because even though it all felt so hard, he was the one that let me see how blessed we were to be able to care for my dad both physically and financiallythe amount of money it costs to take care of a parent is astronomical.

As I watched my dad's health deteriorate, I also realized my son RJ was falling behind in his development compared to his twin sister Ryan. When he wasnt conquering milestones the same way she was, I was concerned. The first doctor we took him to said we shouldnt compare our boy to our girl. He said every child develops differently, but I knew something was off.

RJ was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. This really knocked Rodney and I off our feet because we didn't know what we were supposed to do. Just like with my dads Parkinson's diagnosis, I tried to devour all the information I could on autism. I was a prime example of being part of the sandwich generation, a group of adults who are taking care of aging parents while raising children.

My dads health continued to decline and his dementia got a lot worse. He also began to wander and Id have to go get him. Autism is a lot of wandering tooits called elopement. One time RJ was missinghe got out and was on the roof. We were outside screaming his name but as a young boy with autism, he couldn't process the fear in our voices. So now everything had to be adjustedfrom refitting our house so my dad had the right bathtubs to making sure we had alarms on our doors. We had to tighten up and make sure that everyone was watched at all times.

In the midst of all this, my daughter Ryan was being left out. Shes in college now and is finally able to put a voice to all that she was feeling. Ryan had no margin for error. She had to go through a lot of therapy. I am trying to be more vigilant with Roman and Robinson, my two sons born after the twins.

As a member of the sandwich generation, it's almost a scary feeling to be so depended upon. You can get lost in the caregiving and if you don't take care of yourself, run the risk of having a nervous breakdown or stress-related illnesses. I used to feel tremendous guilt even thinking about taking time for myself. Friends had to kidnap me and take me to a spa or force me to slow down. I know this is true for many of you. I hope some of the suggestions Ive included can be of service to you as you continue on this journey.

Channel some time into something positive because you're no good to anybody if you're not good to yourself. If the caregiver doesn't get care then the caregiver can't care. So now I meditate, I get on the treadmill, I take a boxing class, or go in a room and just yell. Do whatever you have to do to vent your emotions in a constructive way.

My darkest moment came when RJ was diagnosed with autism as I was caring for my dad. Rodney and I sat and listened to all the things he would never do. He will never say, I love you, he will never go to college, he will never drive, he will never have friends. But kids with autism go on to do amazing things. They may not do it in the same way or at the same speed. They may learn and function differently, but these children have beautiful, unbelievably unique brains. RJ does everything we were told he wouldnt. I have met so many people with autism along this 19-year journey that have defied the odds too. That's one of the reasons why we wanted to do our reality project Meet the Peetes to show people what is possible.

I give Rodney credit for helping me realize we needed to begin a life of service as a result of watching my dad's struggle. Most people with a regular job do not have the money to take care of their kids and parents. With health insurance in this country as inexcusably terrible as it isit's really a struggle. We decided to start a nonprofit that would provide compassionate care and services to underserved individuals and families that were burdened financially and emotionally by a diagnosis. Our goal with the HollyRod Foundation was to help people get their medicines funded while they wait for Medicare to kick in. And once RJ was diagnosed with autism, we expanded our focus to include helping kids with autism and their families with assistive technology, vocational training, specialized job placement, and much more.

Holly Robinson Peete (right) and her mom. PHOTO: GreatCall

My mom Delores absolutely loves the aging process. She wears a neon sign with her age (83) on her shirt. If you look up the antonym for age phobica my moms picture will be right there. Shes very social and shes planning her next chapter of life. She moved down to Palm Springs and she's got all these fabulous men around her. But even though she wont admit it, she is slowing down. I have embraced her neighbors and her friends. I have all their numbers. So if your parent isnt living in your home or right down the street, you can call one of their team members thatll hopefully say, I checked in on her, she's fine. Get to know the people that your parents interact with, make them your friends, and put them on your team.

I dont need to worry about my mom as much as when I was an extremely hands-on caregiver for my dad. My mother and many actively aging parents are independent and the minute you try to pull that away from them, they rebel and you end up getting into situations that don't work for the caregiving scenario. Thats one of the reasons I partnered with GreatCall. They get who these adults are and the whole actively aging process. Theres 24/7 access to nurses and doctors, fun and challenging brain games, urgent response agents, and more.

We talk about self-care, but somewhere in the middle of all of that you have to find moments to take care of your intimate relationships too. Even something as simplistic as acknowledging the fact that you want to make time for them. I told my husband once, I know that I'm running myself ragged taking care of my dad and RJ but I need time for us as well. That alone opened up a stream of understanding. It sounds hard to do, but it doesn't take much. Expressing yourself can make things happen.

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Caring For My Sick Dad and Son With Autism Wasn't Easy, But Here's How I Made It Work - Yahoo Lifestyle

The 10 Best Xbox Puzzle Games You Should Be Playing Right Now – TheGamer

Complexity doesn't have to require hundreds of hours within a game. Beautiful visuals don't have to mean the latest graphics engine with the largest development team. And engaging gameplay doesn't necessitate online multiplayer with constant updates. Sometimes you can get all of that in a smaller package that still packs a punch.

RELATED: 10 Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting Borderlands 3

Puzzle games exist that meet all of those criteria and they're a blast to play. Xbox One currently has access to some of the best puzzle games in the genre. Our favorites are ones that you can easily pick up but can only put down with difficulty.

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

From the creator ofBraid, this superb puzzling experience jettisons the player on an island with nothing but puzzles around. Some are easily visible and simple enough to solve. Some require more dexterity and patience. But one thing is certain:The Witness is fantastic.

There are hundreds of puzzles to solve and as you progress they will become increasingly complex to the point where you might leave it partially complete before leaving to find inspiration. There isn't much of a story, but that doesn't detract from the exciting challenges that await you on the island.

One of a pair from the studio Playdead,Limbo is a 2D puzzle-platformer, and the atmosphere is soaked in tension and mystery. The indie title has received about as many awards and glowing reviews as an indie game can.

RELATED: 10 Awesome Accessories To Take Your Dungeons & Dragons Game To The Next Level

You have to experience it for yourself, though. The dark and grey world will pull you in and leave you breathless. The visuals alone deserve commendation, but the gameplay is also satisfying. Interesting puzzles block your path, and you have to navigate through and around them.

Inside proved that Playdead's first attempt at the 2D puzzle-platformer was not a fluke. Their mastery of the genre was on full display with their follow-up, and it was just as warmly welcomed as the first game, if not more. The story centers around a boy whobecomes enmeshed in a scary world from which he must escape.

The narrative will suck you in, though, and it will only spit you back out once you've invested in the life of this unfortunate boy. There's so much that goes right withInside. It deserves your time and attention.

From Valve (the guys behind Steam) comes one of the greatest puzzle games of all time and one of the most influential video games across any genre. This is where we met GLaDOS. This is where we learned that the cake is a lie. The pop-culture references alone demand that you playPortal.

RELATED: 10 Most Successful Kickstarter Board Games, Ranked

That doesn't take away from the addictive gameplay, however. Who doesn't want to make portals that you can jump through? One blue. One orange. And physics is never the same. Discovering how to solve the puzzles inPortal is so satisfying. Just take good care of your companion cube.

More of a good thing is a good thing. Which is whyPortal 2 makes the list of best puzzle games that you can play right now. The Perpetual Testing Initiative is back, except it's better than ever.Portal 2 introduced new puzzles and new ideas that made more challenging obstacles courses.

It also introduced the ability to play with a friend and to design puzzles all on your own. Really, anything that gets us back to the gun that shoots the orange and blue portals is fine. Also, GLaDOS is a potato. One of the smartest machines alive embedded into a potato. Priceless.

No Brakes Games developedHuman: Fall Flat, which isa surreal physics-based puzzle game where players explore a wacky landscape with humans that look molded from clay. The open-ended nature of the world is intoxicating, and you'll have to make your way out by solving puzzles. As expected, physics plays a part.

RELATED: 10 Games To Play If You Like The Resident Evil Series

You can play by yourself or with some of your friends, and the physics-based part is a really fun experience. The silliness inHuman: Fall Flat is not frequently present in the puzzle genre, so it's a refreshing change from some of the darker or somber games that you might play.

Puzzles are challenging. Puzzles are fun. But they can also be fun with a friend. Combining the intellectual and strategic prowess of two minds helps to break down the challenges in a puzzle game.Unravel 2 incorporates successful elements from the first game, but it introduces a new character so that two players can navigate the world in cooperative mode.

That option is enjoyable when you're wanting to relax with a friend and maneuver past obstacles together. There is something beautiful in playing as two Yarnys who are connected by a single thread.

A first-person puzzle game,The Talos Principle relies on philosophical science fiction to create a unique world. As a robot, your creator has built with a singular purpose: To overcome puzzling challenges and prove your technological worth. But existential questions arise as you delve deeper into the world.

RELATED: Top Ten Tabletop Games That Take All Day

You'll start asking questions about your identity and purpose outside of the restrictions your creator intended.That's some heavy stuff. Most puzzle games won't wade into the pool of philosophy, butThe Talos Principle is not most games. It's a journey that will linger in your mind long after you finish playing.

Episodic adventures are relatively new to the video game industry, but Dontnod Entertainment has the formula figured out. This series was so successful that it's almost finished with the second game already. The puzzles inLife Is Strange are fewer in number than in most games, but the adventure is still worth mentioning. There are mysteries that must be solved, and some of them are traditional obstacles past which players have to move.

In the game, you follow Max Caulfield, a senior in high school who discovers she can rewind time. That revelation alone would consume most teenagers' focus, but Max must also find a way to save her best friend Chloe. That's all we want to give away. The rest you have to find out for yourself.

Ubisoft is not the first studio you'd envision when thinking of an artistic puzzle game. The studio's devotion to history, though, is always present inValiant Hearts: The Great War. World War I does not attract the same amount of attention in the entertainment industry as the second global conflict, but this puzzle game strives to correct that.

It's a story of intertwined destinies in a place where love and happiness are hard to find.The protagonists whofeature inValiant Hearts are caught in the midst of trench warfare. A ghastly affair, indeed. Thankfully they have faithful dogs to accompany them through the horrible war-torn landscape.Get the box of tissues ready. You may not have dry eyes when this is done.

NEXT:Dark Souls 3: 10 Things To Do After You Beat The Game

Tags:Xbox,Portal,Xbox One

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The 10 Best Xbox Puzzle Games You Should Be Playing Right Now - TheGamer

Chewing It Over – Puzzle Design in The Meating – Gamasutra

Creating fun and unique puzzles can be, well, puzzling. The Meating is no exception to the litany of challenges that come with creating a puzzle game.

Andrew Marsh is one of the designers for The Meating. While Marsh has a tendency to draw influence from classic games like the Super Mario titles, for this game he looked to recent titles.

I decided to pull from more modern puzzle platformers for this game, he said. Games like Hollow Knight and Super Meat Boy were definitely big influences on me while I was coming up with ideas for the levels.

Theres always an urge and desire to create original content. No matter how many sources you pull inspiration from, originality is key. According to Marsh, The Meating has a unique spin to its puzzle design with the use of the abilities you can unlock throughout the game.

Throughout the game, youll be given five spectral ghost powers to solve these puzzles with, aside from the basic jumping, levitating and charging: telekinesis, thermokinesis, possession, projection and incorporeality.

The coolest one is definitely the possession ability that allows the player to take control of a nearby enemy to solve puzzles. There's something satisfying about seeing a platform that you can't reach and then possessing a spider to climb up to it, he said.

In addition to controlling enemies, youll have the ability to pass through objects, control the temperature and even phase from the spirit world into the physical.

Creating puzzles for The Meating was no simple task. One of the biggest and most unique challenges was working with the retro hardware, as opposed to modern digs.

In modern game development, a designer is able to open up a level in the game engine, make adjustments, and then test it right there seamlessly. This process isn't as easy to do with retro development, so we have to try to think ahead about where the player might be able to break out of the intended path that we are setting for them, Marsh said. Generally, that starts out with drawing a sketch of the level, whether that be on paper, or digitally so that we can try to visualize what will and will not work. From there we use either a map creation tool or image editing software depending on the project and we start to build the level out.

After the level is built, the game must be compiled to test it and see what works. Then its a matter of going back to the source, making adjustments, compiling again, rinse, repeat, until its perfect.

So, what makes a puzzle game perfect? To Marsh, the crown of all puzzle games goes to a classic, Tetris. However, there are other games he gives a hat-tip to.

If we're looking at something in the puzzle platformer genre, then I feel like you can't get any better than the simple fast-paced fail and retry gameplay of something like VVVVVV. The key to making the perfect puzzle game is to make something difficult, but you want the difficulty to be on the player. If the player ever feels like their skills aren't what's at fault when they fail, then there is a problem.

The feeling of trial and error and skill-based gameplay are reflected right in the gameplay of The Meating as you try, and occasionally fail, to use your ghostly powers to phase through each of its many puzzles.

Want more tips straight from the retro pros?Welcome to our Discord!

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Chewing It Over - Puzzle Design in The Meating - Gamasutra

Review: The Sojourn is a beautiful and truly challenging puzzle game – FemaleFirst.co.uk

by Daniel Falconer | 26 September 2019

Not to blow my own horn, but I think I'm pretty great at solving puzzles in video games. Whenever I've played a title side-by-side with a friend,the majority of the time, I'm the first person to solve a puzzle that seems to leave others challenged, or searching the web for a walkthrough.So, I of course jumped at the opportunity to tackle the challenges that new Shifting Tides video game The Sojourn had to offer, upon its launch earlier this month (September 20th, 2019).

Publishers Iceberg Interactive have a wide range of titles in their library, butThe Sojourn is without a doubt one of the most visually stunning. From the moment you're transported into this first-person shifting world of light and dark, you'll be left mesmerised by thescenery that often builds itself around you.

As a player, you are quickly brought up to speed with the mechanics of gameplay. Platforms are used to transport you between the worlds of light and dark, whilst statues which you must move to get to your destination, are shown to only work when you're plunged into darkness. Early stages are easy, but don't let them lure you into a false sense of security; they're very much there to submerge you within the game, before plunging you into the deep end.

In saying that, it does feel as though the difficulty flips back and forth from medium to hard at random stages of the game, rather than as a progressive movement. This will of course be different for each individual gamer: what is hard for one may be a breeze for another, and vice-versa.

At the heart of any good puzzle game is an overarching narrative. This is told inThe Sojourn through a series of statues of family members: two parents and a child.It's a very simple story, but one that feels emotional at its heart. There's never a point at which you'll not care about finding out what comes next, and that's the sign of good storytelling.

The same can't really be said for the bonus areas included in many of the game's levels. Whilst it can feel extremely satisfying to reach these locations and pick up the items housed there, each simply includes a message that feels as though it was ripped from an Instagram page dedication to inspirational quotes. This, and the occasional slow pacing of the game however, appear to be its only downfall.

Tackling a puzzle for an hour may sound like Hell, but for the completionists amongst us who love to get things done all by ourselves, it's sheer beauty - plus, you'll feel like one of the world's leading geniuses when you do make it through the gate.

The Sojourn is available now on Xbox One, Windows and PlayStation 4. A code for Xbox One was provided to Female First in exchange for an honest and fair review.

by Daniel Falconer for http://www.femalefirst.co.uk find me on and follow me on

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Review: The Sojourn is a beautiful and truly challenging puzzle game - FemaleFirst.co.uk

The Nintendo Switch Lite Beats Apple Arcade In The Mobile Gaming Wars – Forbes

This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Forbes Finds covers products and experiences we think youll love. Featured products are independently selected and linked to for your convenience. If you buy something using a link on this page, Forbes may receive a small share of that sale.

Nintendo Switch Lite Turquoise

By now you've heard that the Nintendo Switch Lite is delightful, fun and possibly the greatest handheld system Nintendo has ever produced, rivaling the GameBoy in importance.That might be a stretch, but the superlatives are earned, the whispers are true.

Nintendo Switch Lite is the true winner of the console wars.

Nintendo Switch Lite - New School meets Oldest School

Nintendo Switch Lite is the more portable version of the Nintendo Switch (which, yes, is portable ... but not this portable). The unibody device has fixed controls rather than removable Joy Cons, resulting in a more rigid body and pleasing in-hand experience.

It's meant to be a full-time mobile console, so it will not work with the Switch dock and doesnt have the ability to connect to your TV. The screen is slightly smaller than the Switch, but even tiny text is still readable. Once you start playing, you dont notice the difference (which makes senseboth consoles share the same processor).

In a word, yes. Nintendo has perfected the mobile widescreen form factor introduced by Sony years ago (may the PSP forever rest in peace). The regular Switch is an excellent portable gaming system, but its hampered by its own versatility. By having to accommodate removable controls, the system always feels a little wiggly in-hand. And even the smaller screen works better here, making the Switch Lite legitimately pocket-able and drawing less battery power (improving the consoles life by hours).

The Switch Lite also has the benefit of Nintendos well-established library of games. Since the Switch Lite can play nearly all the same games as the Switch, theres already an enormous number of A-grade games to choose from right now. The only caveat is that games have to support handheld mode; there are only six games that dont.

Nintendo Switch Lite with latest 'Zelda' game

Nintendo made sure there was an excellent in-house game ready to play on the Switch Lite for its launch. Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening is a classic GameBoy game, updated to showcase the power of Nintendo's portable gaming champion.

It may not be the most powerful system ever created, but as I mentioned in regard to its big brother in my Console Roundup, it doesnt have to be. It delivers games that you crave, in a portable form factor that you can comfortably play for hours without distraction.

That last part is the most important, because thats what gives the Switch Lite the edge over its true competitor, Apple Arcade.

The problem with gaming consoles in 2019 is that theyre fighting a war they dont even realize theyre losing. As people wait for levels to load in their console games, theyre picking up their phones and checking messages, or even popping open one of the new top-tier games in Apple Arcade and squeezing out a 30-second micro session.

Apple Arcade coming out the same week that Nintendo drops their latest system is no mere coincidence. Apple knows all too well what happens when someone has an engaging digital experience in their hands: They dont put it down.

Nintendo Switch Lite - 17-yr-old me is freaking out right now

When Im playing on the Nintendo Switch Lite, my iPhone might as well not exist. Even if I get bored with my current title (Okay, thats a lieits when I get frustrated with a puzzle in Links Awakening), Im 100% going to browse to one of the other games I have loaded on my Switch before I put it down.

The Switch Lite experience is so engaging that I have serious reservations about continuing my Apple Arcade subscription at the end of the free trial. This is what mobile gaming should be.

The Nintendo Switch Lites price point is its other major advantage.

Its only $199, $100 less than the Switch (and around $1,000 less than an iPhone 11 Pro Max). You can pick it up at Amazon or Best Buy right now.

Shop Amazon | Shop Best Buy

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The Nintendo Switch Lite Beats Apple Arcade In The Mobile Gaming Wars - Forbes

Untitled Goose Game The Garden to do list guide – Polygon

Untitled Goose Game is a short and rambunctious puzzle game. In it, you play as a goose on the loose turning a small town upside down. In each area, you have a set of small tasks to complete before you can move onto the next area.

Since you need to accomplish a handful of those goals and one final task before you can move onto the next area, you might get stuck. Heres a walkthrough of The Garden area that will get you through that section.

Well do some of the tasks out of order to make your life easier.

After leaving the forest, the first area youll encounter is the garden. Theres several tasks here that will teach you the basics of Untitled Goose Game.

You have a few options here. You can:

Going slightly out of order, you should do this task first.

As the groundskeeper tries to get the radio back after you grab it, slowly walk around him and grab the keys off his side. Run into the garden, completing both tasks. To set up the next task, leave the keys near the sprinkler.

After youve left the keys near the sprinkler, the groundskeeper will run to retrieve them. Head out of the garden and turn on the sprinkler while he gets the keys. You can also pick up an item like the radio and get him to chase you into the water.

Theres a rake located in the back of the garden. Grab it and walk around the planters on the right side so you can pull it through the garden without the groundskeeper seeing you. Then drag the rake into the lake.

There are a few steps in this process:

Bring all of those items to the picnic blanket next to the right on the right.

After doing these first five steps, an additional task. make the groundskeeper hammer his thumb, will be added. You need to do this one to move on. However, the only task you havent done, make the groundskeeper wear his sun hat, is easier to do after completing the final task.

After completing all but one of the tasks, the groundskeeper will pull out a sign and hammer it in. However, by the time this final task is added, the groundskeeper might want to bring back the items you stole from him from the picnic. If he does, help him out by bringing some of them back into the garden to speed up the process.

Right as he raises his arm to strike for the final time, honk, and the groundskeeper will get scared and hit his thumb. This will cause him to fall down and open a door for you to move on. Before leaving, pull the sign back out so he can hammer it in again and you can complete the last task.

As the groundskeeper gets up and tries to hammer in the sign again, head outside the garden via the door he opened in the last task. As he hammers, scare him again.

Now that youre outside, when he falls, youll be right next to his head. Grab the hat off his head and hide it out of sight. When he cant find it, hell go into the garden and put on his sun hat.

Thats it for all the standard missions in the garden.

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Untitled Goose Game The Garden to do list guide - Polygon

NYC Restaurant-Themed Escape Room Opens in Long Island City – Eater NY

Two seasoned restaurateurs have married their experience in the industry with their love for escape rooms, opening the culinary-themed Esscape Room in Long Island City which is centered on a nightmarish restaurant scene.

Its the citys first restaurant-themed escape game, with the first edition dubbed the Real Kitchen Nightmare, and its all thanks to married couple Kyle Radzyminski and Melanie Lemieux. Theyre the duo behind LIC bars and restaurants the Baroness and the Huntress, as well as the music school New York Stage of Mind, and after visiting escape rooms all over the world, they decided to open one of their own.

The six-room experience takes place in the same building as their music school, at 24-11 41st Avenue in LIC. Theyve built an eerie narrative surrounding a slightly deranged chef and his closed Michelin-starred speakeasy, which is now reopening and hiring new sous chefs the participants in the game.

The hourlong experience takes groups of two to six players through rooms outfitted in real restaurant equipment that the owners have stacked up over the years, like griddles, fryers, and an entire bar set up with liquor bottles. To make the game as real as possible, theyve hired actors to be part of the experience.

Sometimes theyre really cheesy, Radzyminski says of escape games. We went more immersive and more realistic.

As for the nightmare part of the game, Radzyminski says special effects are meant to mentally break down players; some rooms get hot all of a sudden while things jump out to scare them, and the puzzles are based on logic. Its even caused participants to drop to the floor, he says, because certain things kind of get to them.

So far, only one group has made it out, and others have returned to for second tries. Its had a very low success rate, but thats not a bad thing. You want it to be hard, Radzyminski says.

Radzyminski and Lemieux have been making strides in LIC for the last few years. They first opened the Baroness at 4126 Crescent Street six years ago and followed up with the Huntress last year, bringing nightlife options to a stretch of the neighborhood he says is lacking.

Next theyre gearing up to open the Dutchess, which will serve gourmet burgers with influences from Lemieuxs native France. Plus, there may be more escape rooms to come, once theyve got the first one figured out.

Each escape game costs $30 per person and can be booked online. The business runs from Monday to Saturday; games run from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday.

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24-11 41st Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101, ,

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NYC Restaurant-Themed Escape Room Opens in Long Island City - Eater NY

With its final puzzle, Untitled Goose Game becomes a masterpiece of the stealth genre – The A.V. Club

Huh? Just a box.Screenshot: Untitled Goose Game

The following contains spoilers for Untitled Goose Game.

Untitled Goose Game, the new Switch and PC/Mac title from the developers at House House, is a good environmental puzzle game about a bad goose. You play as the goose, and your mission is to terrorize a small village byfor lack of a better termbeing a huge asshole. You throw their clothes into a fountain when theyre not looking, you use the dedicated honk button to scare them into dropping and breaking glassware, and you orchestrate miniature disasters that cause very minor property damageall by just doing the things that a particularly cruel goose would do. To be fair, though, the vast majority of the people you encounter in the game are no better than the goose, with most of them rudely shoving you away even when youre not doing anything mischievous. Really, theyre all jerks and they deserve to have their lives briefly thrown into disarray.

Thats how things stand for most of Untitled Goose Games relatively brief runtime, at least up until its penultimate level (the game is sort of an open world, but you get specific puzzle-like tasks to complete in each area). After going through a garden and some yards, the goose arrives at a small pub with an outdoor seating area. The first task here is to get past a particularly overzealous anti-goose guard, and the game gives you a hint on how to do this by adopting an iconic piece of equipment from the stealth genre: a cardboard box. Whether its an intentional nod to Metal Gear Solid or not, the game is clearly indicating thatwhile it may have been a puzzle game beforethis is now a sneaking mission.

Stealth was an important component of the previous levels, but most of them were big enough that you could run away from the townsfolk or stash the items you were trying to steal far enough away from them without getting caught. The pub, though, is a much more confined space with a lot more people to keep track ofany one of whom may notice that something is out of place and disrupt your attempt to, say, set a little table by stealing a plate, a knife, a fork, a pepper grinder, and a candle (one of the actual tasks in the area). To make this easier, Untitled Goose Game even picks up another hallmark of the stealth genre by having crawlspaces that go under the pubs patio and instantly confound any pursuers, much like an air vent would in a traditional stealth game.

It uses a visual language that players may already be familiar with from outside of Untitled Goose Game in order to show them how to adapt the goose skills theyve already developed for a slightly more difficult challenge. Its a very clever sequence, but Untitled Goose Game doesnt stop there. For as well-designed as the pub is, everything after that is a wonderful twist on the rules that Untitled Goose Game has established up until that point. After the pub, the goose goes to a model village that is a miniature replica of the very town youre in, and some of the tiny figurines and recognizable landmarks from earlier in the game can be grabbed and ripped apart.

There are no guards or challenges here, but the game is doing two more smart things. The first is that its giving the player a chance to let loose and fuck up the town in a very direct way as a cathartic reward for having done well enough to reach the final area. The second is that its reminding the player of the path they took to get here, which is important for the games final challenge: retrieve a golden bell from the model village and carry it all the way back to where you started the game. That means going backward through each of the previous areas, keeping in mind how you were able to do it the first time and thinking quickly to figure out how to get past new obstacles that have been placed, all with the added challenge of the bell in your beak. If you move your neck too much or use that wonderful honk button, the bell will ring and summon any nearby townsfolkall of whom are very invested in getting their bell back.

Here, the entirety of Untitled Goose Game reveals itself to be a brilliant piece of game design. Every single thing youve done up until grabbing the bell has been a lesson, and you have to keep all of it in mind in order to make your way back through the village. Each person presents a new challenge that is informed by their original challenge, whether its as straightforward as knowing how to pass through someones yard without getting caught or as complex as knowing which specific item to hide in order to get a mans attention and divert him away from the only exit.

The initial puzzles, while very charming and entertaining (mostly thanks to the gooses animation and the way the music ramps up when the goose is in trouble), are all a bit simplistic. The game gives you a vague instruction to do a thing, you watch the people in that area to see how they interact with their specific surroundings, and then you do the thing. Taken as a whole, though, each of these puzzles fit together in the final mission and work to create a thoughtful stealth challenge that elegantly ties up the whole experience in a nice bow.

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With its final puzzle, Untitled Goose Game becomes a masterpiece of the stealth genre - The A.V. Club

ShapeOminoes is a puzzle game where you fill in abstract shapes with Tetris-like pieces that’s available now for iOS – Pocket Gamer

ShapeOminoes is an abstract puzzle game from Crazy Oyster Games and it's available now for iOS with an Android version on the way very soon.

ShapeOminoes takes its inspiration from games such as Pentomino, Tangram and just a good old fashioned jigsaw puzzle. So it's basically all about fitting shapes together. Each level will have an abstract image that you have to fill in using multiple pieces of the same shape.

But it doesn't end the first time you fill in the picture with the Tetris like pieces. Once you've successfully filled in the image the first time, you'll discover that each stage has a further two sub-levels to complete. Each sub-level will have its own different piece too, so it's kind of like remixing each stage with a different shape.

It won't just be a case of dragging the pieces or ominoes to use their correct name into the larger shape though. You may need to rotate them so they slot in the right way or mirror them to fill in the gaps correctly. This can be done by tapping once for rotating or twice to mirror the piece.

There are over 120 levels in the game, which if you take the sub-levels into consideration that actually amounts to 360 puzzles to solve. It also won't make any attempt to rush you or punish you for trying out multiple solutions. The levels aren't timed nor do they have a star ranking based on the number of moves you make, so you can just enjoy having your brain teased on your daily commute.

ShapeOminoes is available now on the App Store for $0.99. The Android version is expected to be released soon and you can pre-register over on Google Play if you're interested.

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ShapeOminoes is a puzzle game where you fill in abstract shapes with Tetris-like pieces that's available now for iOS - Pocket Gamer


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