What strange beings these humans are, to designate species of their own planet – seemingly arbitrarily – as beloved companions to be invited into their homes, tended to and cared for, for no solid reason other than “they’re freakin’ adorable”. And when we can’t do that… or even if we can’t cram enough creatures into our home, we found a way to create artificial pets that fill the void that our three dogs, eight fish, two birds and half a cat simply can’t.
Here we gather some of the more adorable critters we’ve decided to take care of in our computer games, our Top 10 virtual pets… (more…)
Can’t afford the millions of cards required to get competitive at Magic? Don’t have space for a collection, or friends with decks? Well why not play Hearthstone?
I kid, I haven’t played Hearthstone either. I hear it’s free, but I look at a multiplayer game that big and I’m immediately put off, and to be honest I haven’t been enthralled by a Blizzard game in decades, the lore is lost on me and their style doesn’t draw me in like it used to when I was younger.
I had been dipping into Mojang’s card-game analogue Scrolls for quite some time, it had some great mechanics, but like everything that they try and do that isn’t Minecraft, it vanished in obscurity. Gwent sits firmly on my to-do list, but it does so along with the rest of the Witcher trilogy which I keep trying to get back into, alongside a few dozen other computer collectable card games that ought to be tried at some point, one day. (more…)
This time, we’re gathering up every thought we could think of, to create a collection of… Well, collectables. Because of just how broad the collectables collective truly is, we decided to limit these collectables, based on two major criteria. A collectable to be considered for this list needs to either be:
- A vast range of different things to get.
- Something you get lots of to get something special in return.
As such, we’re not going to accept really vague collectables, or objects that are put in game with no big reward. We considered just about everything we could think of, from video games, physical mediums, literature, tv series, films – You named it, we’ve thought about it. These are the Top 10 Collectables within geekdom, but this is such a broad subject, get your typing fingers ready, as you’ll likely know of one we totally forgot! (more…)
One of my favourite discoveries of recent months, the works of Creighton Broadhurst and his group Raging Swan Press have served as an inspiration and a great resource for me to call on in the quiet moments where ideas are running short and just need to be given a push until momentum takes over.
As it stands I am not short of ideas, but after spotting this headline I’m prepared to push a few planned articles back a week. Creighton‘s list and mine will differ quite radically though, I’m not so interested in running famous dungeons or campaigns, while I sit and peruse some of the classics from time to time I’m a firm believer in finding my own style and adjusting as I play, rather than finding someone else’s style and adapting it to my own, and after ten years and forty articles I’d like to think I know my style at this point. (more…)
It’s way too late to do a review of Skyrim, the game is fast approaching its 5th anniversary and there’s a major remaster on the way instead of an Elder Scrolls VI like most of us would rather see. Personally I want to see Elsweyr, never play Khajiit, I read Ahzirr Traajijazeri and I love the sound of the rebellion, maybe include Valenwood so we can see the walking trees that wood-elves make their cities in. Not a huge fan of Elder Scrolls Online because I’m not a fan of MMOs, and it sounds like it wasn’t all that popular from what I hear, I can’t find any population statistics which is quite interesting. (more…)
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the internet…
They do say that worse things happen at sea, but frankly any large body of water can hold a variety of toothy, poisonous, bloodthirsty or otherwise deadly aquatic horrors. And water… deadly, deadly water.
Whether you’re looking for a bite to eat, or looking for something far more adventurous than that, fungi are pretty cool. I mean they look pretty funky, they are called fungi and they’re somewhat… mushy? Well, okay then. You chose it, we grew it. But what mushrooms and fungi made it into our list? Were these mushrooms good for growth, or were they just too trippy to be forgotten?
Ah, I know, we’re getting too punny up here. Hey, don’t leave now I’m honestly a fun guy! Okay, on with the list :)
**WARNING** We do not advocate hallucinogenics… But in the contexts of mushrooms, it’s too funny to miss out on those puns. We’re so not sorry for this one. You’ve been forewarned!
10 – The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
Science Fiction, don’t you just love how one minute it can be very serious and telling you to prepare the proton lasers to blast apart the frigate… Then the next minute, it could be telling you the wonderfully imaginative story of two children who learn about an adventure to travel to the Mushroom Planet in a spaceship they build themselves. Of course, they couldn’t go alone, they had to take a mascot if they wanted to go into space. So two children and a hen go into space and travel to the Mushroom Planet.
Needless to say when they get there, they see a planet which is covered with mushrooms… Tree sized mushrooms, small mushroom bushes, you name it – Mushrooms everywhere. Nothing psychedelic about this experience so far. Instead, the boys meet the Martians of the Mushroom Planet, who aren’t doing so well. So, since this is a lovely child’s story, the two boys end up finding out all of the woes of these Martians and end up saving the Mushroom Planet. How… Lovely. I wonder if they brought any mushrooms home with them, y’know, for “sampling”?
9 – Glowing Mushrooms, The Elder Scrolls
Other than the fact that these Glowing Mushrooms are really good for your Alchemy skill and the fact they’re relatively common and easy to find, there’s no true reason to pick these over the other mushrooms in The Elder Scrolls. All things considered, they’re relatively simple for mushrooms, but hey, they’re certainly quite striking and memorable. I mean they show up nicely in Skyrim, so it only serves its purpose as the mushroom that most people remember from the series.
Some people might say the fungi that grows on the side of trees are more memorable, but hey, these Glowing Mushrooms look cool and they make a lot of really useful potions for you to use. Some of their uses include Fortify Health and Resist Shock! Pretty useful potions compared to some of them. Plus, these Mushrooms will see you through caves quite safely and happily. They’re useful as they help to light your way but only just. They’re only bright enough to be seen, but not bright enough to guide you around.
8 – Violet Fungus, Dungeons & Dragons
The Violet Fungus in Dungeons & Dragons are the type of enemies that really helps to get players into the habit of “Oh, let’s remember to keep our eyes peeled. There could be Fungi near us, ready to eat us!” These fungal monstrosities are completely neutral, because they seemingly have one purpose in their miserable lives – Flail their tentacle ridden arms around like it’s nobodies business. They’re particularly annoying enemies that can do some good damage to an unsuspecting player.
There’s not too much to say about them. They’re usually purple hence their name, but they sometimes take on duller colours. They sometimes work with other enemies, if it’s beneficial to the Fungus, but in truth, it’s not like the Fungus really even thinks about it. It just likes to whip things with its tentacles.
7 – Fungi and Mushrooms, The Sims 3 Supernatural Expansion
Exactly what you might think these Mushrooms are – They are possible to grow and require a good gardening skill to be able to look after them. They can be used in alchemy which exists in The Sims 3, because you know, real life. The fact they were included in the Supernatural expansion I think is just for the use of alchemy and nothing else… A shame, as it’d be nice to see what other properties they could have given these shrooms in the game.
Of course that isn’t to say that the modding community hasn’t had a crack at it. The modding community weirdly though have decided to stick away from the dangerous side of Mushrooms and have made it so they’re easier to look after and grow. Pity. I was looking forward to watching my Sims freak out! Know of any weird Sims mods? Let us know in the comments below!
6 – The Mushroom Men
There’s a relatively unknown game called The Mushroom Men which is for Nintendo consoles (DS and Wii). In this game, there are literal Mushroom Men who are around 3 foot tall and these pipsqueaks are in a war one another. To survive, the Mushroom Men had created tribes to be a part of, whilst humans basically just never noticed because a harmless green dust never needs to be investigated.
A typical little fantasy, but it’s such an unknown game it deserved a nod. It was a unique take on fungal people. You would play as Pax from the Bolete tribe and as you roam around the world, you collected different items to string together and create unique weapons. Considering this was around 2008, that’s quite innovative for its time. The game was met with very mixed reviews, but hey – It holds a place in my spore-ridden heart.
5 – Fungal Giant, World of Warcraft
Huge but slow, the Fungal Giants of Zangarmarsh are an imposing figure in the World of Warcraft. They are sentient fungi who actually are really good for farming if you want to get your Herbalism levels up too. Yes, once you kill them, you can gather herbs off of them, because who wouldn’t want to put sweaty Fungal Giant fungi in their potions? Still, these guys have a seriously fun back plot, revolving entirely around Zangarmarsh, but they have been found elsewhere. If you play the game, I would seriously recommend exploring Zangarmarsh fully as it’s so pretty! It was easily my favourite Outland zone.
These Giants are usually relatively tame creatures, but sometimes they will be driven crazy enough to invoke their wrath on those who would do damage to the spores of Zangarmarsh. Being a host of three hearts, these giants are durable and all around very unique looking. One more interesting thing about the Fungal Giants I read, was that their faces seem to resemble that of the metal band Mushroomhead. Feel free to look into that as you will.
4 – Mooshroom, Minecraft
Yes, the fungal bovine creatures get to make an appearance here on a Top 10 list, as they’re pretty unique and an all around fun creature to see in the game. The Mooshroom is literally a combination of “Moo” and “Shroom”, making it a mushroom cow. When you look at it, you can see the shrooms growing off of it and amusingly you can shear the Mushrooms off of a Mooshroom.
Mooshrooms are a great resource to farm if you’re looking to make giant mushrooms for buildings or just for decoration. They’re also useful for complimenting the brown mushrooms if you ever felt like farming those separately to red mushrooms. Then you can have as much Mushroom soup as you could handle. Colourful and they live in the Mushroom biomes, the Mooshrooms are certainly some of the strangest encounters in the wonderfully imaginative realms of Minecraft.
3 – Of Man and Manta
We’re going back into the realms of sci-fi folks and the lovely childrens story from earlier isn’t the only sci-fi book that covered fungi. No, there’s Of Man and Manta, a fantastic series of books written by Piers Anthony from the late 60s into the mid 70s. It’s a trilogy that’s well worth picking up and having a flick through. It has some really unique character devices in, from the inclusion of characters with strict dietary requirements
Omnivore, one of the three books, is focused primarily on the fungi on the planet Nacre Of these fungi, there are intelligent Mantas. I guess if there were truly sentient fungi, this would be the book to read! I’m going to look to the skies tonight to see if I can be like the three main characters and be able to see Nacre. If I can, I’m going to go and make me a couple of million for discovering it. Or I’m going to go to bed and wonder what is wrong with my vision when I am seeing things that just aren’t there.
2 – Toad
Toad doesn’t even need to be introduced to the majority of gamers and even a good selection of non-gamers, but I feel it’d be an injustice to not introduce this little Mushroom man anyway. Unlike all of our previous entrants to the Top 10, Toad does have serious story behind him. He’s also been in a lot of games, from Super Mario Bros, to Paper Mario and even to Mario Kart. Toad has been around the block and is certainly one of the most lovable characters in the whole Mario franchise.
There are times that you went to rescue Princess Peach, only for Toad to be there to tell you that our Princess is in another castle (Seriously, why are you in that castle Toad? Surely Bowser can’t be that into Mushroom men). Then how about in games like Super Mario 64, where Toad serves to tell you some useful information? What about the times you literally will see paintings of Toad around in different places. The only problem with Toad is we don’t actually know the extent of how many games he’s been in… For one, it’s uncertain if “Toad” was in the original Super Mario Bros.
1 – Fungus, Final Fantasy: Unlimited
A weird choice here, but hear me out. This is from an anime called Final Fantasy: Unlimited and this is a man whose name is literally “Fungus”. He is supposedly unable to die, as even if he is chopped up into teeny tiny pieces, he’ll reform. Amusingly, whenever this happens, he reforms a lot smaller than his original stature, so he has to wait for a while before he turns back to his full size.
He serves a major development in the plot. He appears humanoid, but he is actually a sentient fungus that seemingly serves the bad guys. He’s seen frequently at the start of the series, but as time goes on, you begin to realise that his aspirations throughout the series are slightly more noble… To a point. He wants to rebuild his destroyed fungus world, which sounds great until you realise that he was a powerful general of said fungi… And then he just turns into a power creep. Someone, go eat this man before it’s too late.
The fungi listed above were pretty damn good, but let’s now check all of the undergrowth of this shroom patch. Now put your hands together for some that deserves a nod, but aren’t quite good enough to be the star attraction of this delectable list.
Okay, this isn’t anything in particular, but it’s such a niche of fantasy and especially that of fairies that I thought it was a nice inclusion to the list. They’re nothing special, they’re relatively unremarkable, but the very idea that something has hallowed out a mushroom to live inside of is really quite cool. It does imply there are teeny, tiny people, lurking in the underbushes… They could even be outside, right now, with their tiny little aerial signal televisions and their chimney pipes blowing smoke out of their Mushroom…
Be right back folks, I’m going fairy hunting.
Mushrooms, Don’t Starve
You know you’re doing something right when picking up a Mushroom and eating it is truly risky business. In Don’t Starve, a game where you have to survive out in the wilderness all by yourself, (or with some other players if you play Don’t Starve Together, I guess,) you get the chance to see a variety of different kinds of mushrooms and depending on when you pick it up, the condition the mushroom was in etc, they can have different effects.
Of course, the whole point of games like Don’t Starve are to make you use your noggin a little bit and not pick up all of the dangerous mushrooms. Sadly, this isn’t the most dangerous thing you can uncover in the game, but at least they make you think twice before picking them up! There’s a whole wikia page dedicated to Mushrooms in the game.
I hope you’ve had your fill of mushrooms and fungi now. But of course, now it’s over to you – What did you think of the list? Let us know in the comments below and let us know if there were any mushrooms we forgot about! Don’t forget to let us know your feelings over on Facebook and Twitter and vote for next weeks Top 10!
We’re back ladies and gentlemen for another truly exciting Top 10, where this week we’re joined by our friend Kevin Kutlesa for another day of figuring out what should be in our top 10 and what just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Today then we’re looking at our Top 10 Dragons in Gaming. Quite an exciting feat even if we do say so ourselves. So take a deep flaming breath and be prepared to roar your scales off as we take a look what dragons are dangerous enough to make the cut!