Cole Rewatches The MCU

We suddenly have a whole lot of time in the house, don’t we? I don’t mind being indoors, but the sudden lack of choice about the whole thing is a bit jarring. What better time to start a frankly ill-advised project? (Or seven, if you’re me.)

Disney+ is here, and with it, the ability to watch all of the MCU. I have seen almost all of the Marvel films already. I am going to rewatch them in chronological order, because that is the sort of thing that is absolutely not productive at all but still allows me to tick things off a list that I crave so badly.

MCU Chronological Watch List

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Captain Marvel (2019)
Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Thor (2011)
The Avengers (2012)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2014)
Ant-Man (2015)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Black Panther (2018)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018)
Black Widow (2020)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Spiderman: Far From Home (2 July 2019)

Some things I expect will happen: I will get bored and not finish (ha!), I will hate Tony Stark so much, Thor: Ragnarok will be my favourite film and Steve Rogers will be my favourite character as always.

Hope you are keeping well in the strange times we live in.

Games to play when everything is dreadful

As we all know, everything is dreadful at the moment. Here is a list of my favourite games to play for escapism- most of them are chill and restful, but there are some absurd, escapist titles too.

Stardew Valley

This is probably the most recommended game for times when people need to forget their troubles and escape into a soothing, low-stress game- for good reason. There is nothing more satisfying then seeing your little pixelated farm grow. I have named my chickens after Shakespearean heroines and I feel immense joy every time my farmer self goes to hang out with them.

The Sims

I personally have The Sims 3 and The Sims 4, but any of the Sims games provide a fantastic escape from reality. I like to create my own little world and lose myself in the narrative I’ve made, but there are many ways to play The Sims, including burning them all to death or building a pool then deleting the ladder. Whatever gets you through- this is a judgment-free zone!

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Obviously, everyone is abuzz about the new Animal Crossing game, but I wanted to include something that is free. Pocket Camp can be played on your phone and is adorable and highly soothing.

The Witcher 3

Hear me out on this one, okay? Yes, The Witcher 3 is about slaughtering scary and gruesome monsters who frequently want to bite your face off. However, there is something very freeing about becoming Geralt, an all-powerful grump who is capable of slashing his way through any foe. The world is immersive and beautiful, and the narrative is complex and engaging.

Planet Coaster

As the world enters lockdown, and going to enjoy things like theme parks becomes impossible, why not create your own digital version? I think simulation games are perfect in times like these; you can be in charge of your own slice of pixelated existence and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your vision come to life before your very eyes.

Keep safe, everyone!

NaNoWriMo: Camp April 2020

Last year, in 2019, I wrote an entire novel in April. Fifty thousand words, which are sort of linked together with a plot. This works out at just over 1666 words a day.

I’ve always wanted to write a novel. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was a tiny child, my teacher used to let me write stories instead of taking part in maths class. (Irresponsible, possibly, although I did eventually get an A in GCSE maths, so it worked out for the best.) I used to spend hours playing The Sims and imagining little lives for my pixelated pals, crafting elaborate and dramatic stories in my head.

However, the first novel I ever finished was the one I wrote last April, at the age of 28.

It is still in need of editing. I keep meaning to go back to it, but life has been fairly wild for the last year. It is only just starting to settle down. Later this year, I intend to go through it and edit it. I’d like to publish it, I think.

The point of this post (and I have, classically, managed to write several paragraphs without addressing it at all) is to talk about Camp NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo!) is in November, and I have yet to manage to write a novel in November, despite committing to it pretty much every year. However, they run a couple of smaller events in the year as well- Camp NaNoWriMo. The idea is that you set your own goal, and so last year I decided I was going to write fifty thousand words.

And this year I’ve decided I’m going to do it again. I will probably write a bit more about my project later, but I’ve been obsessed with numbers stations after hearing a show on Radio 4 about them, so it’s about them, and some other stuff.

If anyone wants to add me on the NaNoWriMo website, my profile is here. (The stats are wrong and I don’t know how to fix them!)

Board Game Review: Unlock 3! Secret Adventures

I keep meaning to play more board games. Although I love them, I feel like there are many big, popular games I have not played. This is not one of those games; in fact, this is a game I have never heard of before.

The game basically takes the popular ‘escape room’ format and applies it to a card game- with surprisingly successful results.

There are three games in the box, plus a tutorial level. It’s worth saying first, I think, that there is absolutely no replay value here at all. Absolutely zero. Once you have solved these puzzles, I can’t possibly imagine why you’d go back and do it again while knowing all the answers. With that in mind, I’d recommend borrowing this game (from a library, perhaps) rather than buying it. It seems to be going for just over £20, and I think I’d resent paying that much for it. That said, it is fairly excellent fun, so perhaps worth the splurge.

The stories are Noside Story, Tombstone Express and Adventurers of Oz. All three are quite different in terms of tone and narrative; Noside Story is a fairly wacky mad scientist story, Tombstone Express is a western locomotive mystery and Adventurers of Oz is a puzzling retelling of the Wizard of Oz story.

All three follow the same core mechanics; you use the cards and have to find clues and solve puzzles. The cards themselves are beautiful and very well-designed. Tombstone Express also had a bizarre shooting mini game where you threw bullets at cards, which did not quite work. Adventurers of Oz was by far the most puzzle-heavy, and also the most satisfying.

This was a fun, collaborative game. I played with one other person, but I imagine it would be delightful with a bigger group. You can also play alone, and I think that would be fine, although I feel talking it through and sharing in the satisfaction of solving the puzzles is probably better.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and will be keeping an eye out for the other games in the series.

Rating: 4/5

blogging and whatnot

I often forget that I own this domain. I am not even sure how to go about not owning it, so I figure I might as well actually use it. So, hello! I am going to be trying to write some things on here semi-regularly.

What will those things be? WELL, you can expect to be delighted by reviews (of games, books, films- maybe even board games), writing about writing and probably some stuff about living in Newcastle.

See you soon!