Monthly Archives: June 2015

Fallout Shelter Tips for Success: Part Three — How to Thrive in the Post-Apocalypse!

Dwellers do not live on bread alone, they also need some fun. Once bellies are full and the immediate fear of extinction has waned, your job as the Overseer is to increase the happiness of your dwellers and focus on the business of repopulating the human race. Here are tips on how to go from alive to thrive.

If you haven’t reached this point, read Part One and Part Two of my Fallout Shelter tips.

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It’s good to be loved!

Security, Security, Security!

A bad RadRoach outbreak or an unchecked Raider Raid will wipe out your vault fast. You need to build your vault in such a way that dwellers from one room can easily support dwellers in another. Some rooms, like the living quarters, will not maintain high occupancy. These rooms must be adjacent to rooms with occupancy. For example, don’t have two living quarters side by side with only one elevator access or you might not be able to reallocate dwellers in time.

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Plan your Vault well.

Also, avoid getting everyone in one room pregnant at the same time. Pregnant women will run away from trouble – as they should – and won’t be much help during a crisis.

Keep guards at your vault entrance. May not be feasible in the beginning since every man and woman will be needed to produce, but once you get further along, it’s definitely worth it to have two strong and agile fighters as your first line of defense against Raiders.

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These guys do nothing most of the day, but you’ll be thankful you have them.

Most importantly, keep everyone armed and armored. You can use real money to obtain weapons and armor via Lunchboxes. I wish they had a room where equipment can be made – they have cola factories, but no weapons factories…. But alas, they don’t! Because the F2P masters want this to be P2P. So, if you’re not willing to shell out real cash, the best way to obtain equipment is to scavenge it from the Wasteland.

Explore the Wasteland

You need to explore for your Vault to thrive. The longer the scavenge, the greater the rewards. My #1 explorer, Harkness, spent nearly 3 days in the Wasteland. He brought back some of the coolest stuff not found in Lunchboxes. The man’s a legend.

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Harkness once went three days in the Wasteland.

Send 2-3 scavengers out at the same time. Equip them well with Stimpaks and Radaways. Give them the best equipment you have in your inventory. And monitor them or you’ll never hear from them again. The danger intensifies with each minute. They can easily end up dead and it’s expensive to revive them (1000 Caps).

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The Wasteland is cruel and unforgiving.

There is no danger during their return so push them and pull them back when they run out of Stimpaks or Radaways.

Dweller Development

In the beginning, you’ll have to settle for mediocrity. But as your Vault stabilizes, you’ll want to optimize the value of each Dweller. Build training rooms (there’s one for each SPECIAL skill) and rotate your dwellers through. For example, you’ll need to maximize each power station and reactor since there’s limited space. Since they are expensive to build and upgrade, one way to improve productivity is to increase each Dweller’s skill level. One at a time, send them to the weight room to build their strength, and return them to the station once their strength has gone up +3 or 4.

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Get your Dwellers off the couch and on the treadmill.

Happy Dweller, Happy Overseer

The real reward of playing this game is to see your Dwellers happy. There’s no coup or anything like that in this game, but there’s that deep satisfaction you feel in your gut when a dweller walks around with that big goofy smiles on their faces. They’re so happy, they’re smiling even at the edge of death. That’s why we play these games, right???

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This Dweller is so happy, he’s smiling even when he’s getting whacked.

To increase happiness:

Give your dweller a job that they want. Match specialties with the job.

Don’t get lax on food and water.

Have a radio station. It makes them nostalgic, probably, but also happy. Propaganda and diversion are awesome.

fallout shelter mobile video game

Happy to be happy.

Let them have a family. If a dweller is especially low, put them in a quiet room with a hot guy or gal, and then let them have a baby. That’ll boost their happiness level all the way to 100%. Ultimately, once basic necessities are taken care of, people live and work for their loved ones. True 10,000 years ago, true now, and true in the post-apocalypse.

Do these things and your Vault will thrive, and one day, once the Earth has repopulated, there will be a nation named after you and kids will learn about you in school. You’ll be a legend to these people and their ancestors. Hail, Overseer!

Fallout Shelter Tips for Success: Part Two — The Art of Breeding

To ensure the survival of the human race, you must force your dwellers to breed. And you, as the Overseer of your Vault, must be very smart about who mates with who. Forget about love, forget about age differences. Selective breeding is in full effect. All ethical issues are out the window. Survival of your vault, and the survival of the human species, is the only objective in the new mobile F2P, Fallout Shelter.

fallout shelter mobile video game

Yes, children are the future…but only if they’re useful and productive.

This is Part Two of the Tips. For Part One, click on this link.  For Part Three, go here.

Since outsiders come very rarely after the initial phase of the game, breeding is the only way to add to your Vault’s population. And the breeding game is surprisingly complex in Fallout Shelter. I had to learn by trial and error.

First of all, here’s how you make a baby: put a man and a woman in the Living Quarters. Eventually, they will start talking and then they will get friendly, and then more friendly, and they’ll kiss a little, and then hug a little, dance a little, and eventually, after several minutes, they will disappear to boogie-woogie. In a few short seconds, the dude will come running out, and the lady will slowly follow already in her third trimester.

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Use strong characters to breed. A professor and doctor will make one bright kid.

After a few more minutes, and if there’s extra room in your Vault, the baby will be born.

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New baby, but sadly, this one will never know her father because I had to kill him off since he was useless.

Easy-peasy? Not as it seems. The folks at Bethesda definitely invested time in developing the breeding game. Here are a couple tips to help you become a Master Breeder.

1) Don’t breed useless dwellers

Since the more valuable dwellers were busy working, I had the useless ones making babies. By valuable, I mean dwellers with high S, P, or A skills, and the useless ones have C, I, E or L specialties or no specialties at all. (For detailed explanation of skills, check out Part One.) I kept these dwellers in the living quarters mainly because I couldn’t employ them elsewhere. They bred like rabbits. One baby after another.

The problem is that the babies take after their parents. And so parents with high Charisma had children with high Charisma. In other words, useless folks making useless babies. I had an entire generation of dwellers that couldn’t be used for anything other than making babies (and maybe the radio room). Sadly, to make room for other more valuable dwellers, I had to kill some of these guys off (by having them fight RadRoaches and Raiders without weapons, or sending them off to explore the wastelands without gear).

2) Use different couples to breed

Another mistake was having two couples do all the breeding. I had the same pair of parents in the Living Quarters making baby after baby. When these babies grew up, they didn’t breed with each other. No in-breeding in the Vault, apparently. Basically, I had an entire generation of brothers and sisters who refused to sleep with each other. That’s one way to extinct a species.

3) Use studs to breed

If you have dwellers with high useful skills (again S, P, or A), then breed them together. If you get special dwellers from the lunch box, even better. I got super-stud Harkness from a lunch box. He’s my Number One Explorer. He can be out in the Wasteland for hours at a time and brings back awesome goodies each time. When he returns to the Vault, his only job is to make love. I give him a quiet room and a lady with high skills, some Barry Manilow perhaps, and he makes super-stud kids like the Harkness himself. And then he’s off again on his adventure. It’s good to be the Harkness!

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It’s good to be The Harkness!

Do the same with other high-skilled dwellers. Use them as breeders. You’ll need to take them out of their normal routine for a while, have them mate before sending them back to work. Eventually, you’ll create a new generation of good-looking useful kids.

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This is Harkness’s first born. He’s strong as an Ox and cocky as Kanye West.

Oh, and breeding always increases the happiness of your dwellers. So if someone is down, let them do a little loving. Happy times in the Vault!

Fallout Shelter Tips for Success: Part One

fallout shelter mobile video game

You are the overseer and your mission is to keep your dwellers alive. It’s not easy. There’s radiation, giant roaches, fire, vicious raiders and above all, the tragedy of the commons. Nuclear war will do that to ya.

Fallout Shelter, a new mobile F2P based on the popular RPG and shooter, is definitely not easy.

I failed twice. First time, my dwellers starved. Second time, they got wiped out by a swarm of Radroaches. Third time has been better, and I’ve grown to 50 dwellers. Here are some tips to get you going. This is Part One.  For Part Two, the Art of Breeding, click on this link.  For Part Three, How to Thrive, go here.

Balance, balance, balance!

Basic yin-yang stuff. If you pull here, then you compensate there, and so on. That’s the idea when expanding your vault. If you house too many dwellers, you won’t be able to feed them and they’ll starve. If you build too fast, you won’t have the power to keep the rooms running. If your population lags, rooms won’t be functional.

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Three basic necessities must be met:

1) Power to keep everything running (you’re underground after all)

2) Food

3) Water

Focus on these three rooms and make sure your meters stay green. Don’t upgrade or add living quarters until you’re consistently maxed out on all three. Then add dwellers slowly and stay lean. It’s better to be a tad under-staffed than have starving and thirsty folks in your vault.

Know Your Dwellers

The acronym SPECIAL indicates the skills you need to pay attention to:

     S: Strength (makes good Power workers)

     P: Perception (good for Water)

     E: Endurance (good for later in the game)

     C: Charisma (good for radio workers and breeding)

     I: Intelligence (good for later in the game)

     A: Agility (good for Food)

     L: Luck (good for handling random events)

Most dwellers will be good at one thing over another, and it makes a difference. They’ll work faster and more efficiently if they’re assigned work that maximizes their specialty. They’ll also be happier.

As expected, dwellers with specialties in S, P and A are the most valuable at the beginning of the game.  So focus on acquiring these folks because they’ll keep the place running in tip-top shape. There’s a reason why STEM workers get paid more than artists….

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At the beginning, there will be a line of outsiders waiting to get in. Don’t let them all in. Yeah, it’s sad to keep some folks outside, but your responsibility is to the Vault. Select only those peeps who can give you special skills.

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Everyone wants in, but shoot them if they try… Your vault depends on it!

Also, sometimes you need to have weak workers inside your vault. If these weaklings die by roach or raider, don’t revive them. Let them die. Again, sad, but the post-apoc world is full of tough choices to make.

Traits are also very important when Breeding, which is discussed in Part 2.  After that, learn how to thrive in Part 3.

Fallout Shelter Review (F2P on Mobile) — Nuclear Holocaust is FUN!

1) Game Experience: Very High

2) Game Value: Very High

3) Quiche’s Recommendation: F2P of the Year!

I used to have a fallout fantasy. A nuclear holocaust, an underground bunker, and nothing to do but kill time. There’d be a fully-equipped video game room. A movie theater. A soda fountain that never stops fizzling. It was one of my favorite day-dream fantasies during boring Geometry or U.S. History lectures. Of course, my fantasies never included any work. Nope, it was all about having fun.

fallout shelter mobile video game

Micro-manage everything!

But obviously, work would be a necessity in such situations. So is life and death. More death than life, probably. And that’s what Fallout Shelter, a new mobile F2P, is all about. The first two times I played, I got everyone killed.

My first vault, #479, starved. My second vault, #700, got wiped out by a RadRoach infestation. Yeah, that’s right: killed by BUGS! My fantasies never had giant roaches in them, either.

My current vault, lucky number 777, is doing better. I have three generations and counting.   What’s the secret? Go to the bottom of this post for links to my Tips for Success.

Here’s the Review:

Anyone who’s played the Fallout series knows the basic premise. Nuclear holocaust and the world is messed up. Only a few survived via underground bunkers sealed by a huge vault door. They eventually emerge to find a demolished and post-apocalyptic world. The other games take us outside to explore this Mad Max world. Fallout Shelter simulates life inside the vault.

Fallout Shelter is a sim F2P. You’re the caretaker of the vault. Actually, you’re a dictator and micro-manager. You choose what rooms to build, what resources to produce, and who gets to work where. You also get to choose who mates with who, and ultimately, who lives and dies. Complete North Korea, but the iron fist is the only way to maintain sanity in a crazy world.

Resources are key. You need power, food and water. Without these three, people will die. Once you’ve met these basic needs, you need to multiply. Put a man and a woman in a room and they’ll make a healthy baby each time. Easy peazy, even in a radioactive world.

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Need to breed to keep the species alive.

Eventually, you’ll make more rooms like a training room, a radio room, and others. But these are secondary to your first goal: life. Another way to grow your vault is to take in outsiders. You have to be selective because each person has a specialty, and each skill corresponds to how well they perform in a role. For example, Agility is needed for making food, and Perception for water-making.

You also have to gather items to help you succeed. Those who have played Fallout before know the common goods: stimpaks (healing), radaways (radiation recovery) and bottle caps (currency). There are also outfits and weapons to help you in your survival like the laser pistol and BB gun. Best way to get items is to win lunchboxes or explore the outside world. Exploring is the cheapest but also the most dangerous. Equip your brave dweller well or s/he will get killed.

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Exploring the outside world is dangerous, but necessary

Random events will keep you on your toes. RadRoach infestation is one. So are fires and Raider invasions. Raider invasions are especially brutal since they can quickly wipe out your entire dweller population.

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Fire is bad, but RadRoaches and Raiders are worse, much worse.

There are missions and other interesting features to keep the game feeling like a full game. It’s an F2P but it doesn’t feel like an F2P. There are no stamina meters. No pay to win. Real cash will help you but it’s not needed to enjoy the game. It buys lunch boxes which gives you some really cool stuff like rare items and characters, but the game doesn’t punish you for being cheap.

I love the Fallout series. Great art direction and one of my fave RPGs of all time. Fallout Shelter might just be an appetizer to the upcoming console game, Fallout 4, but it’s not a bad game in itself.

Happy dwelling and don’t let the radiation get ya!

For tips on how to succeed as an overseer, here are my other posts:

Part One – Getting Started

Part Two – the Art of Breeding

Part Three – How to Thrive


Madden Mobile 15 — I lost everything but will rise again!

I got evicted. Kicked out. For six months I lived the high-life enjoying the luxuries of wealth and fame. Then just like that, I had nothing. Rock bottom. I even lost my identity. No, this isn’t a Jason Bourne movie or a Count of Monte Cristo spin-off. It’s Madden Mobile.

Okay, it’s my fault. Madden Mobile is a great game. The best F2P on the planet. I used a guest account. I never intended to play six months. Just a few games, enough to write a blog post or two. But there I was, six months and thousands of games later, I was still a squatter. After just one month of playing, it was too late. I had invested too much. My team was leaping up the ranks. By March 2015, I was committed, couldn’t turn back.

Check out my earlier post to see exactly how far I got with that guest account.

I don’t know exactly what happened. This morning I was Gamequiche, ranked 91 in Head to Head. By evening, it was all gone. My phone or Electronic Arts decided to give me the boot. Still don’t know. So tonight, I started a new account, this time linking it to Facebook. Now I am Gamequiche, ranked 543,391. It was surreal looking at my old self still in the rankings. Like a soul looking down at its lifeless body still on earth.

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I was ranked #91, now I am not…very, very NOT!

I also had a maxed-out Season Score of 100%. Now, I’m at 10%. The game turns over on August 15. Everything resets, but the higher your season score, the more lovelies you get to start your new season. What lovelies? I don’t know, but I was all set and only had to enjoy the last two months trying to break into the 80s in the rankings. Now I have to work. How far will I get in the next 2 months? Will I get to 100%? We shall see.

madden mobile 15 video game

How high can I get by August 15?

The lesson here, boys and girls? If you’re just starting your Madden career or plan to in August, don’t use a guest account.

P.S. If any of my Don Keedix league-mates are reading this, I didn’t abandon you, fellas. I got the boot!

Star Wars Battlefront Gameplay — Battle of Hoth “Walker Assault”

The Battle of Hoth is a paradox. On one hand, it’s one of the coolest Sci-Fi battle scenes ever put on film. On the other, it’s a complete strategic and tactical blunder – on both sides of the ball. First of all, the pack-mule that is the AT-AT is the lamest war machine ever conceived. It’s slow and it’s huge. Common sense says the closer to the ground the higher the survival rate. But here’s this lumbering behemoth with long huge legs that exposes its vulnerable under-belly high up in the sky. Okay, it has thick armor, but guess what? You can take it out by tripping it. Yes, tie some string around its legs and there she goes!

And the strategy? March them across flat icy terrain in clear weather in a frontal assault.

So then, you would think the Rebels would easily knock them out. But not really because well…they can’t. The excuse? They don’t have enough firepower. Why the heck do they not have enough firepower? Surely, the Rebels know about these Imperial AT-ATs. Versions of the AT-AT go back to the Clone Wars. And they’ve been at that Hoth base for some time. So, why do they not have enough firepower to knock out these AT-ATs that are surely to be used in a battle like this?  Admiral Ackbar is freaking out again: “It’s a TRAP!”

Star Wars Battlefront has a new multiplayer gameplay video out, and it’s all about the Battle of Hoth. The game looks great. Battlefront has always been a fave and this definitely kept true to the original. It didn’t change stuff just to change stuff, which is good, but I wanted a little more wow-factor. The game is going to be fun, no doubt, but the look of it isn’t fully new-gen. Some of it doesn’t look that much different than N64 Shadows of the Empire from the 1990s. Actually, the Snow Speeder-rodeo-action is almost exactly Shadows of the Empire.

POV is whatever you want: first person and choose-your-angle third. Weapons, vehicles and equipment are all Star Wars arsenal including jet packs and rocket launchers. If you’ve played previous Star Wars Battlefront games, not too much different, at least not in this video.

Anyway, the gameplay is good enough and the graphics are stellar. We also get Darth Vader and Luke. That’s full-Jedi Luke, which we all know is not accurate since he hadn’t even met Yoda at the time of the battle, but let’s not nit-pick.

Back to the battle. The gameplay shows us some other tactical and strategic weirdness. At about 4:29 we get an orbital strike. An orbital strike is a bombardment from space, kind of like an off-shore strike from a battleship, except it’s from space, which means it’s direct fire. Remember Odin in Call of Duty: Ghosts? Yes, an orbital strike! It’s got to be the most effective weapon in this situation. If the Empire controls the space above the base, and can deliver an orbital strike, then why isn’t it doing it to start with? Why send in these turkey-shoot AT-ATs when it can orbital strike?

I love Battlefront. Superb replayability. It’s got war. It’s got shooting and Jedis. It’s Star Wars. And don’t get me wrong, Battle of Hoth is awesome…as long as I don’t think too much about it.

Star Wars Battlefront is out November 17 on PS4, PC and Xbox One.


ADR1FT Moonlight Trailer – How exactly do you survive in space?

The soundtrack of space is classical. Always. Strauss in 2001: A Space Odyssey or even Star Wars’ John Williams. It has to be classical. I love Queen but that isn’t space.

Moonlight Sonata captures space perfectly. It’s eerie, quiet and makes you a bit uneasy. That’s why it was featured prominently in the first Resident Evil game.

Adr1ft is a survival game set in space. The new trailer is called the Moonlight Trailer because Beethoven is all you hear. The piece plays as you float peacefully in space. It continues as the pace of your breath increases, and you pan right over Earth and to the space station. The music keeps playing as we first see the signs of destruction – fragments of your second home. The sounds of destruction and panic crescendos but the Sonata plays at its even pace. The last image is a cable – literally a life line. You reach for it…everything goes black.

Yes, it’s like Gravity, an overrated film about survival in space. But more intense in many ways, at least based on what we see in the trailer. We are that castaway in first person, and similar to the space sequence in Call of Duty: Ghosts, it’s hopeless. How do you survive in space? There’s nothing in space that can keep you alive except things human-made. Nothing of nature. People can’t live in space. That’s the fascinating nature of this game. How do you keep this concept intriguing? Will you be in a space suit the entire team? Will you be stuck on a space station following a linear path and looking for things like screw-drivers and freeze-dried peaches? How do you keep this game from going stale?

Throw a pebble and you’ll hit a survival game these days. Island castaway, zombies, and more zombies. Even seven years after The Great Recession, everyone’s just trying survive. They should eventually make a corporation survival game because the developer of Adi1ft, Adam Orth, didn’t. Microsoft axed the former executive over some un-survival-smart tweeting. Maybe that had something to do with him making this game, but guess we shouldn’t go there.

Adr1ft is out in September 2015 (PS4, Xbox One, Steam).

The Bard’s Tale IV on Kickstarter In-Engine Video

I need a good dungeon-crawler. Huge open world games are nice and there’s plenty of ‘em these days. But sometimes all I need is a creepy little dungeon to raid, hack, loot and get out with a pocket full of gold.

The Bard’s Tale was one of those awesome dungeon crawlers. It goes back 30 years and have had several sequels over the years. If you’re old enough to remember but you don’t, it’s the game where the interface kind of looks like a LinkedIn profile page for a fantasy cosplay community.


The best thing about the original Bard’s Tale is that you had to use your imagination. When it said, “you’re looking at death itself as you stand before a mean ugly dragon”, you have to imagine what that is, and after a while, your imagination will run wild, especially when trying to sleep after a long night of dungeon-crawling. It stuck in your mind. You see that fire-spewing dragon trying to devour you. It was better than a book because you were there, and you acted on it, and you fought it and perhaps got slaughtered.

There’s a new Bard’s Tale in development. inXile entertainment (cool name!) has The Bard’s Tale IV on Kickstarter. It’s got a month left but it’s already at $1.2 mil of $1.25 target. So safe to say, it’s funded. Which is a great thing – the In-Engine Video is out and the game looks great and from the description on Kickstarter, it sounds like it’ll be sweetness like the original.

The In-Engine Video walks us through the magical world. There are swarms of fairies, magical doors, and warlock bad guys that float around in the air and makes mean sounds. It actually is a bit spooky as you crawl through that dungeon. I can imagine all the little critters beneath my feet and perhaps the strong odor of sulfur. It looks great for a game that’s fundraising.

The only drawback? I like imagining things. The new game looks awesome, but it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. The original was limited because of technology and not artistic choice, but it left a lot of blanks for the gamer to fill in. There was a plus to that. The Bard’s Tale IV will have pluses of its own, but the tale that the Bard spins is painted in the mind’s eye, and the original captured that more closely. It left the visualizations to the gamer, and not the artists under the developer’s payroll.

Fallout 4 Official Trailer — Yes, the good old days of robot slaves and radiation-free air

Fallout 4’s official trailer is out and it’s got me nostalgic. Nostalgia is a recurring theme in the post-apocalyptic series, and it’s evident in the trailer. Cut into the wasteland reality are glimpses of the paradise lost – a bright colorful world of babies in cribs, white-picket fences and robotic housemaids.


Yes, the “good old days” included robot slaves.

Best thing about Fallout is the brand itself. Going back to the original PC games, the art direction and mis-en-scene are fairly consistent. The Leave-It-to-Beaver tone, the propagandish black-and-white programming, and the contrasting grittiness of the post-apoc world…check, check, check, all there.

The trailer shows us the world before the nuke holocaust weren’t your average 1950s. It’s a bizarro world where the big-car-driving, khaki-wearing citizens also had high-tech luxuries like robot maids.

Our guide in the trailer is a German Shepherd who leads us from a house to the streets to the deserted town where he meets up with our hero who is still wearing his blue vault suit. That suit is a brand in itself and gets my nostalgia hairs up and at ‘em. Yeah, the good old days of the late 1990s when all I had to worry about was chasing girls and flipping computer RPGs.

fallout 4 video game dog

Back to the trailer: Big Open World. Mysterious characters in the dark wearing Bogart trench coats and fedoras. Weird mutated creatures. And Fast Zombies!

Yes, Fast Zombies at 1:49 of the trailer.

I prefer hordes of slow zombies to fast zombies, but zombies are zombies, which is always cool school. And Fallout 4 is a true fallout with all the fan-service lovelies.

Can’t wait!

Coming soon on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Rise of Tomb Raider Teaser Trailer — It ain’t easy being Great

The Rise of the Tomb Raider teaser trailer is like a U.S. Marines recruiting video. I wanna get up and get doing. Lara urges us to “Aim Greater” like Amelia Earhart, and do something amazing. I’m inspired, but then I see Lara up in the Alps or Himalayas braving the cold and heights. She’s ice-climbing without a rope, at one point falling to near doom before she ice-picks to safety. At that point, I’m thinking “Greater” is sitting at home playing Tomb Raider on my Xbox.

The Xbox exclusive (360 and One) is a survival action adventure. Raiding tombs is a must in tomb raider but before looking for relics, Lara’s got to survive. That means crafting, which has come a long way in video gaming since King’s Quest. When it’s cold, a good coat is a must. To acquire the coat, you need to kill a special type of animal, like a wolf. To find the wolf, you have to wait for it at a certain place during a certain time. Remember the N64 Zelda games where you sit and wait for that one guy to come running in through town to finish your mission and if you miss him, you have to wait again, sometimes a full in-game day? Yup. Fun stuff.

Weapons are also crafted from things in nature. It’s like found art but more fun because you can kill with what you find.

It’s also a stealth game that requires you to optimize your surroundings to get things done, like sneaking up on people. Always fun to hide behind a bush and scare the pants off someone, or in this case, hack them in the back of the neck with your elk-bone axe.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is out Holiday 2015.