On the shaming of “50 Shades”

So I followed a link earlier to Erika Moen’s defense of 50 Shades of Grey posted at “Oh Joy, Sex Toy”.

And it really touched on why I’ve been feeling unease at the fervent “50 Shades” bashing that has flooded the internet.

Now, let me be clear.  I have not read the book, don’t intend to see the movie, and have no desire to do either.   I understand that what is portrayed in the book isn’t anything like an actual BDSM relationship, and that Christian Grey is a stalker and rapist and all of that.  I get it.

But this really touched a chord: “I’m just not into policing what people find arousing in their fantasy porn.”  And I think that’s what bothers me with all the hoopla.  It doesn’t stop at being educational about safe BDSM practices and consent and abuse.  It’s gotten downright shaming of anyone who enjoys the book.

I keep hearing people say things like “all these women are reading this book and thinking this is what a man should act like.”  Which starts me wondering if men are assumed to not be able to understand the difference between fiction and reality as much as women are.   Do we all assume men believe everything about the porn they consume is true?  Are all pizza delivery guys expecting sex every time they deliver a pizza?

So why do we automatically assume that women who enjoy trashy porn (and it IS porn, badly-written porn at that) can’t tell the different between fantasy and reality?  Why is it suddenly different when the audience is female? The truth is that plenty of people enjoy porn that includes situations and acts that they would never pursue or enjoy in real life.   And that’s ok.

And there’s nothing new about anything in “50 Shades.”  There has been plenty of trashy erotica that has walked the same ground, probably with better grammar, many times before.  Anne Rice wrote a trilogy of BDSM erotica that STARTS with a sexy, sexy rape (Sleeping Beauty being…asleep) and goes on from there.  Plenty of women read that 20 or 30 years ago and are probably living perfectly normal, productive, functional lives.  (Hell, Anne Rice even wrote sexy “fake” rape into her mainstream books that I read when I was 14.)

So basically, I’m starting to find all this condescending blather about this terrible piece of porn is getting old.  Fantasy isn’t reality.  Porn isn’t reality.  Not everyone who reads trashy books is an idiot who needs you to tell them how to feel about something.  And even if they are, your facebook meme isn’t going to change their minds or prevent them from doing something stupid.

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Jamberry Application Tools or Ode to the Rubber Cuticle Pusher

So when I originally ordered my first Jamberry nail wraps, I didn’t get any of the tools because I figured I could fake it with what I had, and also I am cheap.  And I did mostly ok on my own, and still ended up loving the product so much I immediately went out and became a consultant.  

But with my consultant kit came the Jamberry application tools, and I’ve used them for several applications, so I’ll give you my honest review of them.  (Yes, I make money on these things.  No, I won’t lie about them.)

The application kit comes with everything you see to the left.  Buffing block, orange sticks, file, rubber cuticle pusher, alcohol wipes, curved scissors, and nail clippers.  It also optionally comes with cuticle oil.  Now you may already own most of these things.  You probablyImage at least have scissors, nail clippers, and a file.  And that’s enough, really.  You DO need something to push your cuticles back, something which I’ve never done before but which makes the world of difference in both how your Jamberries last and how they look.

But I do like having the kit, because everything is together, and everything is new and shiny.  The buffing block really helps smooth out your nails prior to application and I also use it a bit for smoothing the end result.  The file is fine, although I’m personally addicted to glass files.  I like to start with the Jamberry (courser) file and finish with a glass file.  

The alcohol wipes are fairly useless.  Although it’s important to clean your nails prior to application, I find it’s best to do so individually, which is impossible with a wipe because it dries out too fast.  But I bet you have alcohol in the house, so it’s not a big deal.  I DO really like the clippers and scissors because they are SHARP.  The ones that have been in my house for who knows how long are NOT nearly as sharp.  These cut the wraps SO much easier than my old ones.  

But finally, we get to the real gem of the kit.  The Rubber Cuticle Pusher.  Now, you can use this little tool for pushing your cuticles and it’s not quite as effective as an orange stick, but it’s more gentle.  But the actual purpose of this tool is for applying pressure to your wraps after heating.  Otherwise you are pressing with your fingers, which are not really the ideal tools.  The Rubber Cuticle Pusher can apply a lot of pressure very precisely and can get right along the edge of the wraps to make sure you get a good seal.  It really makes application a lot easier and more effective.  

I like this thing so much I went looking for them in mass quantities.  You can find them on Amazon, but they want $5 for 2 pushers, which seemed a bit excessive.  So I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply looking for them.  Nope.  They didn’t have a single one.  (I’ve heard some do, but I am sure mine did not.)   Plus I discovered as a consultant I could order a bunch of them from Jamberry for a really great price!  So I ordered 24.  I told you I love these things.  I’ll be giving some away in my Jamberry Facebook group, so you should come join if you haven’t.

I didn’t understand the point of the optional cuticle oil, especially since oil weakens the seal of the wraps.  But supposedly applying the oil to your cuticles while wearing the wraps keeps your nails healthy and from drying out.  Some say it prevents peeling upon wrap removal, although I haven’t had any problems with that, and my nails are very weak normally.  I have applied the oil sporadically and can’t say whether or not it works, since my nails have been awesome.  But if you are worried about nail damage or have dry nails, you should try it.  But don’t apply the oil for the first 24 hours of wearing your wraps because it can weaken the seal.

Finally there is the Jamberry mini-heater.  Really you can apply heat to Jamberries any way you want.  Bonding requires heat + pressure.  Hair dryers work, but are cumbersome because you have to hold it in one hand and keep putting it down and picking it back up.  I used my iron as a heat source once, and it worked ok, but I did burn myself a bit. Image Plus that means I have to apply my nails in my sewing room where my iron lives.  Some people use rice bags heated in the microwave, although I haven’t tried this.

The Jamberry mini-heater is actually larger than I expected.  I sort of wish it was as mini as I imagined.  It’s about 7-8 inches tall and puts out quite a lot of heat. (Apparently, the optimal level of heat for the wraps. I’d say you need to heat them longer with other sources.) It’s hotter than my hair dryer.  The nice thing is that it sits on any surface and is hands free, which makes application easier.  Also, although you still have to plug it in, it’s easier to move from room to room than my iron.  So I’ve been using the mini-heater since I got it, and although it’s not necessary, it does make applying the wraps slightly easier.  So if you’re an addict who is going to be doing this a lot, I’d recommend it.

 

 

Next time on Kim talks about Jamberry products, I’ll soon be trying out their nail lacquers.

 

Removing Jamberry Nail Wraps with Oil

So you’ve been wearing your Jamberry wraps for days and days and it’s time to remove them.  But they don’t just fall off, they’re really stuck on there.

On day 11 of wearing my laImagest wraps, I had one come loose after getting caught on my hair, so I removed it by gently lifting it while I was out and about.  So it was time to change my wraps (YAY NEW WRAPS!).  There are a few different methods of removing the wraps.  Jamberry says to either heat the wraps and peel them off or to soak them in hot water or nail polish remover.  But many Jamberry fans prefer using oil to remove them, because it avoids any toxic chemicals and is very gentle to your nails.

Step one of removing the wraps is to break the seal by lifting up the edges around the cuticles.  It’s easiest to do this if you heat the wraps first (with whatever heating element you prefer).  Then you can apply the oil.  Now many people use olive oil for this, but I prefer not to waste my expensive cooking oil.  So I happen to have some mineral oil sitting around doing nothing, so I’ve been using that. It doesn’t really matter what kind of oil you use, it will still loosen and dissolve the adhesive.  

You can either soak your nails in a little dish of oil, or if you’re trying to conserve oil, just apply the oil with a cloth to each nail.  Work the oil under the wrap while you gently lift the wrap and rub it off.  Whatever you do, don’t just rip off the wrap because you can damage your nails that way.  Some may be tougher than others, so just keep applying oil and working it under the wrap and they will eventually slide off.

You may be left with a little adhesive on your nails, but that will come off either with some more oil or soap and water.

I usually wait until the next day to put on my next wraps to give the oil a chance to soak in.  You don’t want  your nails too oily when you apply the wraps or they won’t adhere as well.

 

 

 

How’s Your Back

“Hi Kim.  How’s your back?”

I hear this a lot.  I think it’s kinda strange.  I realize we have a cultural habit of asking how each other are in greeting, and that making that question specific can be a sign that ‘yes we really are acquainted.’  “How’s your new job?”  “How’s your mom doing?”  Etc.   But it still strikes me as a little weird to greet someone by bringing up their chronic illness.  I can’t imagine walking up to someone in a wheelchair and asking “how’s the inability to walk?”

But it’s not really the fact that it’s an unpleasant reminder that is annoying.  It’s that it’s not an easy question to answer.  There’s the truthful answer, which is never simple, or the comforting answer, which is never wholly truthful.  ‘What question are they REALLY asking?’ I have to wonder.  ‘Do they want to know how I am at this very moment, or how I’ve been doing recently, or do they even really want to know at all?  Do they just want to hear something positive to make them feel good for asking?’  

Because the truthful answer may be “Well, two days ago I was in tears because the pain was so bad and it just wouldn’t stop no matter what I did, but right now I’m only in a mild amount of pain.”   By the way, that answer would translate in spoken words to “Eh, alright.”  Mostly the answer is “well, you can see me, which means I’m not in bed, which means IT COULD BE WORSE.”   Aka “not bad.”  

I know people mean well when they make inquiries, but it puts a weird pressure on me, honestly.  Maybe I’m feeling really good at the moment and not in pain and they ask and suddenly I start feeling guilty because I SHOULD be in more pain.  I’m supposed to be disabled, what am I doing out and about and functioning?  That’s obviously just the stupid thoughts in my head, but they hit you at the strangest moments.  

I’d just rather talk about something else, unless it’s somehow relevant.  I’d rather talk about how my business is doing, or what I’m working on, or the last book I read or really ANYTHING ELSE.  Because my back really isn’t that interesting.  It’s the same as its been for the last seven years: fucked up.  It’s still fucked up.  Sometimes it’s more fucked up than others, and no I don’t know why or when or how long or anything.  It just is a thing.  Honestly I have just accepted it and moved on.  I feel like other people are more bothered by the fact that I live with chronic pain than I am sometimes.   Yes, sometimes medical science can’t fix people.  I know that’s a scary realization, but I’ve been living with that knowledge since I was 17 and the surgeon told me to “come back when you can’t walk.”  I’m kinda over it.

So what if you are genuinely concerned and genuinely want to know how my back is doing?  Well, for one thing, if it was me asking a friend, it wouldn’t be the first or second thing out of my mouth when I see them.  I’d wait until a relaxed moment, or until the subject came up naturally.  If you’re only going to exchange a few sentences of small talk with me, well then maybe you don’t actually know me well enough to ask for details about my health. 

So if you ask me how my back is doing, be prepared for something non-committal and vague in response.  Or possibly the ever-so-helpful-but-true “it hurts.”   Either way, there will be a shrug involved.

 

Jamberry Nails Intro and Advice

So a few weeks ago I discovered Jamberry nails through a friends Facebook party.  I’ve always loved nail decoration, even when I could care less about makeup, but am continually frustrated by the fact that I can barely get pol
ish to last 24 hours.  I have finally found a solution!  I love these things so much that I’ve now become an independent consultant with the company, so maybe I can make a few bucks off the fact that I’m going to tell everybody I encounter about how awesome these things are.

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My first application of Jamberries in Black and white damask

What are Jamberry Nail Wraps?

They are a product unlike any other that I am aware of.  At first, I was all “Oh, they’re like those Sally Hanson things.”  Nope.  Those are essentially nail polish in strip form.  These are vinyl decals for your nails.  Yup, very thin vinyl that forms a watertight bond to your nail that last up to 14 days on your nails (or 5 weeks on your toes!) They are totally non-toxic and don’t harm your nails.

How do they work?

The Jams come in a sheet of 18 strips, each strip can do at least two nails.  The sizes are varied for everything from pinky to big toe and you can cut them to fit if necessary.  They have adhesive that bonds to the nail via heat and pressure.  

How do you apply them? Is it difficult?

Ok, I’m not going to lie.  Application is neither quick nor particularly easy.  The first time may be fairly frustrating, especially if you only go by the brief instructions on the package.  But I find I enjoy wearing them so much and they work so well it’s totally worth spending a little time while watching TV applying them.  There are a lot of different methods and tips for application, and I recommend searching around and watching some YouTube videos.  But here are the important things I think you need to know.

1. You need to push your cuticles back and not apply the jams to any part of the cuticle or skin.  This is the main mistake I made when I first applied, and I had to replace 3 nails entirely the next day when they came off.  The jams don’t bond to skin or cuticle, so if you overlap them with your skin, they will lift up, water and oil will get underneath, and the adhesive will loosen.  It’s better to have a sliver of bare nail showing than to place them over the cuticle.  This is the most challenging part of placing them, and I’m still getting the hang of it.

2. Clean each nail with alcohol or nail polish remover RIGHT before you apply the jam.  Any oil from your skin will make the adhesive not work as well, so prep each nail individually right before you place the jam.

3. Heat the jam for as long as you want.  The instructions I originally read said 3-6 seconds, but I would do more like 20 seconds, depending on your heat source.  At first I was afraid of warping or melting the jam, but they’re vinyl and that’s not going to happen.  Heat away.  You can use a hair dryer or the Jamberry mini heater (I’m looking forward to trying this as I’ll get one soon) OR you can use a household iron if you don’t want to fill your house with hot air.  Just be careful with the iron because I totally burned myself doing that.

4. Cut the jam with scissors or nail clippers as close as possible to your nail.  This is a bit awkward on your dominant hand, but I’ve gotten a lot better at it with 2 applications.  WAIT TO FILE your nail until it has cooled.  If you file it right away, you can lift the jam.  Also file ONLY in a downward direction.   

5. Once all of your jams are applied (or ok, as you do each one, but I think it’s easier to do it at the end) seal the edges of your nails by applying direct heat.  I learned this from YouTube, and there are a few ways to do it, but the way I like is to heat up something metal (tweezers or a small screwdriver) on your iron and then touch that to the ends of your nails, pressing down.  Just touch the tweezers or whatever to your iron for a few seconds and then hold it against the edge of the nail/jam.  This ensures the jam is sealed against your nail.  You can also use this to smooth the edges if they are ripply and it worked around the cuticle as well, just be careful not to burn yourself.  Normally the tweezers aren’t hot enough for that, but caution.  I’ve also used this method to reseal my nails if they start lifting around the edges after several days.  At a certain point (it was 9 days for me) the adhesive won’t stick that well, especially if water or oil gets under the edge, but it will give you a little longer.

Do they really last?

YES.  I wore my first set for 9 days before I removed them.  Only a couple of the jams were coming up at that point, and I could have replaced just those because the rest were really well stuck on.  And I am HARD on my nails.  I’m a seamstress and use my hands constantly, plus I’ve been hand-sewing, painting with my fingers, and I’m always typing AND wash my hands a lot.  My nails normally break, chip, and peel like crazy, but the Jamberries actually protect my nails and they haven’t broken at all since I started wearing them.  They make my nails SO MUCH stronger.

Obviously how long they last will vary depending on your nails, the application, and what you do with them.  The more you use your nails as tools, the more likely the ends will be to lift up.  But I think I’m pretty damn hard on my nails and I’m thrilled with how they last.  

Do they feel weird on?

At first they feel a little different from bare nails.  I also think they take a little while to really set because they feel slightly delicate at first.  So I try not to wash my hands immediately after applying and to avoid scratching with my nails for a few hours.  But then they either seem to really harden or I just get used to them because they feel totally natural.  Or actually BETTER than natural.  My nails naturally SUCK.  These things feel much better because I’m not constantly in danger of bending my nail back or having it splinter.  I really like how they feel.  So, yes, I’m totally addicted at this point.

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My second wraps.

How do you remove them?

Basically you have to lift the edges up (or wait till they lift on their own) and then soak them in either warm water, nail polish remover, or oil.  I used oil because it’s supposed to be the best way.  Mine were really stuck well still and it took some work to get them off even with the oil.  But it only took a few minutes and there was no damage to my nails at all.  

Aren’t they a little expensive?

Each sheet of Jamberries costs $15.  That is always the price, unless you get them free for hosting a party.  Each sheet will get you AT THE VERY LEAST 2 full applications of your fingernails, and probably also 1-2 applications for your toenails.  You can get more if you are willing to cut the larger ones down to fit your nails, or get creative in cutting to get more than two nails out of a strip.  So let’s say it’s 3 manicures for $15.  That’s a LOT cheaper than salon prices.  It’s more expensive than nail polish, but not by all that much, considering high quality polish can cost $10/bottle and how many times do you ACTUALLY use each color?  Plus they last SO MUCH LONGER than polish.  

I originally almost didn’t buy any because I do live on a budget and thought this was a frivolous thing to spend money on.  but I splurged with the rationale that they would be great for when I cosplay at conventions and my polish is always chipped by Saturday.  Now these make me so happy to wear on a daily basis, that I consider it an allowable luxury.  I love looking down and seeing that my nails look awesome, plus how much better my nails feel being protected.  

What’s with the parties?

Jamberry Nails parties function just like any typical direct sales party. (Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Avon) Parties can be either real life in person parties or Facebook parties.  There is always a party host, who invites the people who are attending.  The host receives free gifts/credit depending on the amount of sales at a party.  Facebook parties are super simple and just involve inviting your friends to a FB event that will last a certain amount of time and any sales during that period are added up to go towards hosting gifts.  Everyone orders directly from the website and their products are mailed directly to them.  If anyone wants to host any FB parties or even in-person parties, let me know.  I promise to be as non-obnoxious as possible while still trying to sell things.

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So if you want to try them, you can purchase any of the hundreds of styles at my personal Jamberry website.  

 

If you have any other questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.

 

 

Video Game Review: Heroine’s Quest

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In the midst of my health insurance crisis, there was one thing that made me feel a little better.  It’s nice when facing financial problems to find a really awesome game that is totally free.

I had heard of Heroine’s Quest in retro adventure game circles, but lost track of it.  Then I stumbled on it on Steam.  The game is an homage to the classic Sierra game series Quest for Glory (originally called Hero’s Quest, but changed after D&D sued them).  The Quest for Glory games are some of my favorite games ever.  They are hybrids of classic adventures and RPGs with traditional quests and random monster encounters.  I love the stats system of these games, since instead of earning XP and leveling up to increase your skills, you just practice them.  Need to get better at climbing?  Try climbing some trees.  Magic skills too low?  Practice your spells.  

Heroine’s Quest sounds like it might be some kind of statement piece about female video game characters, but actually it just means your player character is female.  End of deal.  No one even comments on your sex, they just call you heroine and move on.  Otherwise it’s extremely easy to believe you are just playing another entry in the Quest for Glory series.  It even includes lots of in-jokes for fans of the series.  The quality of the game is extremely high, absolutely up to the classic games.

There are a few differences from the QFG games, though.  Heroine’s Quest is set in Midgard, and the story revolves around Norse mythology.  Fimbulwinter has set in and Ragnarok is at hand, due to a frost giant’s machinations.  The game therefore includes a new problem to contend with: it’s freaking cold.  Your character can only be out in the snow for a limited time before they freeze to death.  The cold eats away at your stamina, making basic survival a challenge at times.  In fact, the game opens with your first task to find food before you starve, which is made more difficult by the fact that you can’t take much cold exposure.  My poor rogue died a couple of times before I finally managed to beg food off someone.  

It is possible to turn off the cold and hunger penalties by setting the game difficulty to easy.  I’ll admit that I did this at the beginning of the game because my rogue could barely walk around the woods.  I found there was a pretty big gap in difficulty between easy (which is actually way too easy: two hits and everything falls over) and the next step up, but eventually my rogue got skillful enough to handle combat. 

One fault I found with the game is that it doesn’t seem to have been designed for playing hybrid characters.  My first choice of character in QFG games is a magic-using thief, and although I was able to give my character magic and find some spells, I couldn’t use those spells in combat.  I also couldn’t complete some mage-only quests because I didn’t have access to the right spells.  So my magic ended up being useless.  

The thief specific activities were also really difficult.  I only managed to successfully pickpocket someone when I was about 90% done with the game.  Otherwise a fail is instant death, so that sucked.  Also they make it very difficult to burglarize any buildings by having guards and dogs outside all buildings almost all of the time.  If I hadn’t looked online I would have never gotten past them.

Another difference of this game from the classics is that all the NPCs move around all the time.  Which means that if you need a healing potion, oops the shop is only open at certain times of day.  I spent way too much time walking around waiting for people to be where I needed them to be to do what I needed to do.  Like, I need the thieves guild guy to be INSIDE the thieves guild so he can fence a stolen item, so that I have the money to then go to the potion store (the next day at the right time) to buy my potion.   It got annoying.  The end of the game got a bit tedious as a result of needing these kinds of specific interactions.  

But don’t listen to my nitpicking.  Overall this game is EXCELLENT and highly highly recommended for anyone who liked the Quest for Glory games.  And since it’s free I encourage others to try it out.   I’m looking forward to replaying as a mage at a later date.  (I never play as a fighter.  Hitting things is boring.)  

This also makes me really excited about the other QFG influenced indie games which are in the works: Quest for Infamy and Mage’s Initiation.

Video Game Review: Moebius: Empire Rising

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Moebius: Empire Rising is the new adventure game from Jane Jensen, the woman behind the incredible Gabriel Knight games.  I’m a rabid fan of hers, so naturally when she launched a Kickstarter to fund her own game studio I was all over it.  

So I’m in the position of having been a beta tester on this game for the last year.  I’ve had a blast doing it.  Getting each new chapter was so exciting.  So I haven’t actually played the final version of the game yet.  I’ve played parts of it several times, in different versions, and I’ve played the whole game in pieces.  But there are little bits I haven’t seen and there was some roughness in the versions I played (though a lot less than you’d think.)   I’ve downloaded my copy of the final game and played about the first 20 minutes of it, just to see what the final version looked like.  

So, the first thing to keep in mind about this game is that despite the fact that it’s made by one of the big names in adventure games, it’s an indie game developed on a small budget.  The game uses the 3D engine of Phoenix Online Studios, another indie studio.  It’s an ok engine, but it’s not going to win any awards for being state of the art.  The graphics of Mobius, therefore, leave a little something to be desired, IMO.  The backgrounds are gorgeously painted.  They’re realistic, but more colorful, prettier than photorealism.  My problem with the graphics is with the 3D character models.  They just are awkward and always a little off.  The arms and legs are too thin, the shoulders and totally weird…they kinda squick me in an uncanny valley way. Graphics, in my opinion, are one of the least important aspects of any game when it comes to quality, so I’ll shut up about them.  But like I said, there’s a tendency to forget this is a small budget game, but there are still little imperfections that will remind you.

So what is the game about?  The main character is a man named Malachi Rector (yes, really) who appraises antiques.  He’s basically the Sherlock Holmes of the antiquities world, using his massive intellect and observational skills to spot forgeries at a glance.  He’s also a total misanthrope and pretty much a total bastard.  It was entertaining during the beta process to see people become annoyed with the character for being too unlikable.  I think it’s a brave storytelling choice to have your main character be, essentially, a total ass at the beginning of the story.  It’s a starting point with the potential for real character growth and discovery.  

Malachi gets hired for a job by the mysterious pseudo-government agency FITA.  His job is to investigate modern day people and determine if they match any important figures from history.  The main idea behind the plot being that history repeats itself and people essentially match certain archetypes across different times in human history.  It’s obviously a difficult to explain premise, but one that has the advantage of being totally unique.  The entire situation is only slowly revealed over the course of the game, so I don’t want to spoil anything here.  

In the course of his investigations Malachi meets a man named David Walker and ends up hiring him as security.  Much of the character and emotional content of this game revolves around the developing relationship between these two men as they get to know one another and better understand what the hell is going on around them.  

The gameplay is pretty standard for a classic point and click adventure, although it’s fairly light on inventory puzzles compared to the classics of the golden age.  Instead there are two different unique puzzle interfaces (oh, actually make that three by the end of the game) that recur throughout the game.  The first is the way in which Malachi observes people (and sometimes objects) when he encounters them.  You’re give an image with several highlighted areas.  You have to select the area and then choose the conclusion that is correct.  For example “Her clothes are worn” and you select “she has low income.”   Sometimes these choices are really obvious, other times they are more obscure.  There’s no penalty for being wrong except you have to try again and you’re not told which selection is incorrect.  This interface underwent several revamps during development and I think it works really well now.

I’m not as happy with the other analysis interface.  When Malachi has to compare his subject to historical figure to determine if there is a match, there is a complex interface that compares the people across several data points.  The problem is that it’s very simple to see who the correct answer is very quickly so there’s no real challenge to these analyses.  I’m pretty disappointed that this issue was never solved, although some things were tweaked to slightly improve it.  But since this task is so plot centric it’s kinda a let-down that it’s so easy.

I think that will be a main complaint of adventure gamers about this game: it doesn’t offer enough challenge.  There’s a difficult middle ground between too easy and too frustrating and what you think of this game will probably depend on your gaming experience.  Personally, I’m here for the story, so I don’t care all that much.

As for the story, there are some really interesting things in this game.  The characters as they are slowly revealed and the developing friendship and trust between Malachi and David are really fascinating.  The mysteries of the plot are also revealed on a slow time-table.  That’s kinda the feel of the whole game.  It’s a leisurely introduction to these characters and this world and these ideas.  I like the pacing and that it doesn’t feel rushed.  Unfortunately it means that this game just feels like an introductory chapter, the first in a long series.  I was left desperately wanting more.  Some may consider this fairly unsatisfying if they expect a complete and finished story.   

It very much reminded me of the first book in an intended lengthy urban fantasy type series.  It does make me a little nervous, though, since it’s a lot more difficult to get game sequels and series made than novels.  I feel like I NEED more of these characters in my life, because I’ve just gotten good and attached to them.  Hopefully Jane can make that happen.  It was pretty obvious that she intended to make more Moebius games when the subtitle “Empire Rising” was added to this one late in the process.

Also, I have a code to share with you for 20% off this game for the next two weeks at the Phoenix Online Store.  Use code CSGMOEB20OFF to get your discount.  The game is also available through Steam and GOG, but without the discount.