Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Marin Umino (Cafe 0: The Drowned Mermaid) *Major Spoilers*

A while back, I reviewed Cafe 0 which is still one of my favorite visual novels due to its Twilight Zone feel.  I also recreated all three versions of the main character, Marin Umino, as best as I could using the Azaleas Dolls game (Snow Queen Scene Maker), which you can check out for yourself on  Despite the premise of Marin being a ghost who relives the past seven days of her life, the game is more tragic than it is scary.  For those of you who haven’t played it yet, be sure to check out the game on and be warned that there are major spoilers in what I’m about to say.

To me, what makes the game tragic is Marin and the characters that surround her.  To an outsider, it seems she has the perfect life.  Marin’s the most popular girl in school, she has a nice apartment, she’s the swimming team’s ace, dating the most popular boy in school, boys want her and girls want to be her.  However, just because she’s admired doesn’t mean anyone loves her.  Marin’s best friend, Ami, is only hanging out with her because they’re both popular.  Ami has no issue with stabbing Marin in the back if she benefits.  Marin’s boyfriend, Tooru, is only dating her to further his own ends and blackmailed Shou, her doctor who is also Marin’s secret boyfriend, into making Marin date him.  As for Shou, he’s an adult and Marin is a teenage girl.  So the fact that he’s involved with her in private means he’s basically committing statutory rape and also prostituting his girlfriend to protect his own career because Tooru made it clear that he will expose Marin and Shou together if Shou doesn’t make Marin date Tooru.  Keep in mind that Marin doesn’t even want to date him and is only doing whatever Tooru wants to make Shou happy.  Really think about that for a minute.  To anyone asking, “where’s her parents in all this?”  They’re off in who knows where and leave their kid to fend for herself without even a pet for company.  Even Marin wonders if she’s an unwanted child.  So this girl had no genuine love in her life.  Just people who took advantage of her and used her for their own ends.  Marin dies unloved and no one mourns her death.  I’ll admit, I’ve been used myself and I have trouble telling who my real friends are, but the worst that I ever happened to me was that I got called out on the internet, or I had a pool installed and people I’ve never even talked to suddenly wanted to be my friend.  Even if I was used to such an extent I know that, through it all, I’ll always have my mother and I also have pets that love me unconditionally.  I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in Marin’s shoes.  I’ll admit, usually, I hate the popular kid is sad trope, like how Smallville portrays Lana Lang, but here it works.  Marin is Lana if the writers of Smallville actually took the time to write her better.

I’m Back!

That’s right, back from the dead and I’ve got big plans for this blog.  As many of you already know, I review video games from Final Fantasy to Diner Dash. This time, I plan on reviewing dollmakers as well because, whether you think they’re art or not, they are video games in the loosest sense of the word. I’m also expanding my repertoire to board games and, like before, you can even request reviews.

This time, it won’t be just a review site. I’ll post anything related to video games or board games in even the loosest definition of the term. Who knows? I might post pictures of my time playing video games and board games with my friends. Maybe I’ll write fanfiction based off of them, such as narrating the Mice and Mystics game from the point of view of Prince Colin, the character I usually play as. I’ll even post what I create from dollmakers because, as I said before, they are video games.

The best part is, not only can you request video games and board games for me to review. You can also submit your own stuff to me to post on my blog. It can be anything from art, to fanfics and even your Let’s Plays of video games. Just don’t submit any reviews, because that’s my job.

Alice in Wonderland (

When a young woman named Rachael buys a house, she discovers many secrets hidden within its walls. One of them being that it holds a secret world called Wonderland where a little girl named Alice rules, holding ten little girls hostage. Can Rachael save those girls, or will it be off with her head?

That’s right, I’m back and I’m not dead. I also read both Alice in Wonderland books and truly have a feel for the story. Let me just say that I love the new take on Alice in Wonderland. I love the creepy aspects of the storyline and I love how a magical world used as a child’s fantasy to get away from their life is now used as a prison that enslaves children with no hope of escape. It’s very similar to Once Upon A Time’s version of Neverland.

The gameplay is your typical hidden object. You go around, collecting items to add to your inventory. Some items require you to participate in hidden object scenes. You can also participate in mini-games, such as spot the difference and connecting pieces of a puzzle. If you’re stuck, use a hint or skip the mini-game.
This game is entertaining and slightly creepy. I give it 6 out of 10, a nice little distraction.

R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek Online Memorial)


Well, today was the day of the online memorial for Leonard Nimoy’s death.  I went there as my character, T’Mara.

screenshot_2015-03-05-13-35-23It took me a while to get here, because I couldn’t log into Star Trek Online and had to exit out of twitch tv in order for the game to stop crashing.  After that, I managed to get back on twitch TV.  There were memorials on New Romulus and Qo’nos as well,but I attended the one on Vulcan as my Vulcan character because I thought that was most appropriate.  It started out as a simple service with everyone saying, “Live Long and Prosper,” including me, and giving the Vulcan salute, as shown in the screen shot above.  Then a few trolls came in and started having their fun.  One threw smoke grenades whenever he or she could.

screenshot_2015-03-05-13-41-01Another lit up a disco ball that made everyone in the vicinity of it dance.


Some people got mad, but I think they were just trying to keep the memorial from being too tearful.  After the fun was over, I went to Earth Spacedock and read the plaque for the people who worked on Star Trek that are no longer with us.


Though, I have to admit.  It took me a while to find it.

Now that the recap’s out of the way, I would like to say a few words.  My first introduction to Star Trek was The Next Generation and I didn’t watch the Original Series until I was in middle school.  I looked the series up because I was curious to see the show that inspired the Star Trek universe and watched reruns of it on the sci-fi channel.  While it was clear to me that Kirk was the looker of the group, I found myself literally falling in love with Spock’s intelligent and logical mind along with his struggle to be purely Vulcan while denying his human half.  It was the first time I ever heard of logic and found myself embracing the Vulcan way of life, which I did poorly.  I started forming an imaginary relationship with him in my head and, for a long time, I hated McCoy and anyone who dared to insult Spock.  I don’t hate McCoy anymore, so don’t post on here telling me to stop hating him.  After a while, Deep Space Nine became my favorite of the Star Trek series and I felt that Garak was the most developed character that Star Trek had to offer.  However, Spock will always hold a special place in my heart and I will always love him.  When I heard of Leonard Nimoy’s death, four thoughts popped into my head.  If Kingdom Hearts wants to keep using old Xehanort, they’ll have to find a new voice actor.  I’ll never hear another Leonard Nimoy voiceover on Star Trek Online again.  Spock Prime will never have another cameo.  Most importantly, I’ll never have the chance to meet Leonard Nimoy at Comic-Con and tell him what a huge impact Spock had on my life.  It was because of Leonard Nimoy’s ideas that Spock became the character he is today.  His death is the first time I ever cried for a celebrity, a man I didn’t even know, and now I never will.

Alice’s Tea Cup Madness (

When Alice chases the white rabbit, she finds herself in a magical place the citizens call Wonderland. In order to get home, she needs to get to the field of flowers. Unfortunately, trips like that cost money and, in order to get it, Alice has to sell tea and pastries with the white rabbit as her helper. Can she make enough money for the trip home?

The plot’s very simple yet entertaining. I recently read both Alice in Wonderland books and I love all the appearances of the characters. A comic page explains what’s going on in between venues.

I have to say, the way the comic’s designed makes it hard for the reader to tell who’s talking first. Still, the plot is just an excuse for the game.

The game play is your typical time management. You seat the customers and serve them tea and pastries. The latter, you have to make in advance. Hit the target score in order to advance to the next level but try for expert, if you feel lucky. Every once in a while, you get a break from the time management style by participating in a hidden object game or having to catch the falling treats.

This game is simplistic yet addictive. I give it 7 out of 10, a fun take on a classic children’s book.

Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! (Steam Store)

After Mairu finally starts her comedy club, a teen idol visits in order to join. Unfortunately, Chitose doesn’t want that to happen and will stop at nothing to destroy Mairu’s club once and for all. To make a bad situation worse, the president of the Classical Comedy Club has it in for Mairu, and wants to bring her club down.

That’s right; Cherry Tree High Comedy Club got a sequel. This game is unusual in one aspect. You know how, in some reviews, I skip the paragraph that explains the plot of the video game because there’s no plot to be found? This game has no game play to be found. It’s purely visual novel without even letting you choose where to take the story. Contrary to what the summary would have you believe, the main conflict isn’t about Mairu. It’s actually between Ai (the pop star) and Hoemi (Mairu’s best friend). Ai wants to be a comedian and replaces Hoemi as Mairu’s partner in a comedic duo due to having better chemistry with her. Hoemi has no desire to be a comedian but is afraid that Ai will replace Hoemi as Mairu’s best friend. Eventually, it leads to an argument between Hoemi and Ai with neither side being right and neither side being wrong. The game also has side episodes that explore the relationships between the other characters, such as Mai and Ravian trying to find a tutor for school subjects they are both hopeless at. That’s actually much better than it sounds. In other words, this is not a video game. It’s a slice of life anime in visual novel form.

This game is entertaining and amusing. I give it 9 out of 10; definitely worth looking at.

Princess of Ruin Preview (

This trailer is for the very first commercial game by Unbroken Hours that I was lucky enough to beta test!  When a stranger, Xallaun, saves a young girl, Raissa, from a prison, she has no idea who she is.  With her is Kione, a mysterious fire wizard, and Cyraen, an enigmatic boy with a doll he always carries around.

All they know is that they’re trapped in the ruins of a castle that two of them, Raissa and Kione, feel the urge to protect with their life while Cyraen feels the same urge for his doll.  Can Raissa, Kione and Cyraen get their memories back?  What’s the story behind the mysterious castle?  How does Xallaun fit into all this?  Find out when Unbroken Hours releases Princess of Ruin.

Worlds Apart: The Descent Beta Test

When your stepfather falls ill, it’s up to you to travel to the mystical world of Terra. Can you find a cure for him and uncover this world’s secrets?

Before we get to the review, I need to make an announcement. From now on, I’ll only be posting once a week and on Wednesdays. I recently started writing and I want to spend more time on that. Right now, I’m only working on fanfiction but I’m confident that, eventually, I’ll move up to original work.

From what I saw of the plot, it definitely looks intriguing. The game play is your typical hidden object. You go from place to place collecting items for your inventory. Some items require you to participate in a hidden object scene in order for you to collect them. You need to use these items in order to advance throughout the story. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is intriguing but not really addictive. I might buy the full version.

Off the Record: Linden Shades (

When a mysterious figure haunts the Linden Shades orphanage, the police immediately shut the place down and send the children to foster homes. As a reporter, your job is to investigate the former site of the orphanage. Can you discover what’s going on and help reopen Linden Shades?

Playing the beta test made me want to check out the entire series. I have to say, I love the plot in this game. You never know what’s going to happen. I also like how everything’s wrapped up and the ending of this game will shock you. If you want more of the story, buy the collector’s edition.

The game play is your typical hidden object. You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory. You have to use what you collect in order to advance throughout the game. If you’re stuck, use a hint. The one thing that separates this game from other hidden objects is that you also collect tapes to discover more about the mystery of the story.

This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 8 out of 10; one of the best hidden objects I’ve ever played.

Matchmaker: Joining Hearts (

When an old woman marries off her last single daughter, she finds herself with nothing to do. It’s not until an old friend tells her that she wants to get married that she finally finds her calling.

The plot of this game couldn’t be more simplistic. An old woman with nothing to do decides to badger other people about their lives. Instead of having her matches date each other to see if they’re compatible, she breaks into the houses of her clients and their candidates to see who should be with who. How this woman hasn’t been arrested for breaking and entering I have no idea.

The best way to describe the game play would be formulaic. You go to your client’s house to collect objects that tells you what kind of person he or she is. Then you visit the candidate’s homes to discover what type of people they are. You check off each person’s similarities to your client and collect items around the next location for a gift. Then you set up their date by putting objects in the correct location at the next scenario. You do this for 10 levels straight.

This game is addictive yet simplistic. I give it 4 out of 10; something to do when you’re bored.

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