Current Game Wishlist (Winter 2018)

Don’t get me wrong, I love talking about books, cruelty-free products, skincare and discussing mental health and how to deal with anxiety and such. That’s probably the main basis for my blog and what I aspire to share on here. However, I. freaking. love. video. games.

I’ve done one or two posts about video games before and mentioned my favourite games and characters, plus if you know me in person you’ll know how much video game related merch, consoles and games I own (I own way too many games on steam I have yet to finish, it’s a problem). I’m lucky enough to have had a year’s experience doing an apprenticeship practicing game art/3D modelling and my partner and housemates are all studying game design, so I’m surrounded by countless outlets of different games, consoles and styles which makes me happy because video games have given me years of enjoyment and happiness. Some games have even been great at reducing my anxiety and keeping me stimulated when I feel at my worst.

However it is kind of disheartening, especially if you even spend a minute on Twitter, being a female gamer sometimes. With the rise of stories of particular big name game studios turning out to have very toxic, male-dominated, sexist hidden cultures in their staff or studios firing female staff mainly on the basis of keeping a minority of their fans (the not-so-nice ones that form a mob and guilt their supposed ‘favourite studio’ into firing staff because they say they’ll stop playing) happy, it can be very daunting and upsetting but alas not surprising. 63% of women in a 2012 poll reported being called derogatory names during gaming and I’ve experienced and seen first hand female gamers being questioned on their hobby. You get women being accused of ‘liking games just for attention’ – do you really think we save up our own well-earned money to buy games and consoles just to impress someone else? These ridiculous, sexist assumptions need to stop.

So when it comes to buying and playing games now, it can be tiring to try to ensure I’m contributing towards decent studios but also not falling for the rampant act of pushing girls out of online communities and ‘male-dominated’ games. Girls should be able to enjoy whatever damn games they want, be able to play competitive online games without getting disgusting comments and should be able to express and bask in their hobby on their social media without being questioned. Go girl gamers!

So to bring a brighter side to my repetitive rant, I thought I’d share with you some incredible looking games that have been popping up lately that I am dying to get my hands on at some point!

Two Point Hospital – Two Point Studios and SEGA

If you played Theme Hospital growing up, this game is pretty much its higher quality successor. Two Point Studios was founded in 2016 by Ben Hymers, Mark Webley and Gary Carr. Carr and Webley had in fact previously worked for Bullfrog Productions (the original creators of Theme Hospital) and then went on to work for Lionhead Studios (best known for creating the Fable series). Two Point Hospital released at the end of August this year and since has been really basking in positive reviews on Steam. It is essentially a simulation/sandbox game where you create a hospital in the style you want, and as more patients arrive with strange diseases (some of my personal favourites being 8-bitten, light-headed and denim genes) you have to try to manage your hospital, your staff, your money and your patients as efficiently as possible. The absolute buzz of these kind of games is getting everything working smoothly and fine-tuned but the different level specifications and limits keep you glued to your computer for hours as you want to unlock everything and experience all the daft humour that comes with it. At the moment Two Point Hospital is available on Steam for £24.99, I’m not sure if it has any plans to release on consoles!

Steam Link

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Ooblets – Glumberland and Double Fine

Ooblets is an upcoming indie game made a pair of lovely people called Rebecca and Ben and together they’ve name their mini studio creating Ooblets – ‘Glumberland’. The game hasn’t got a set release date so far, but from the teaser trailers and images online, I know I’m going to be all over this game. For one, I absolutely adore cute, low-poly style game art and second, Rebecca and Ben describe Ooblets as ‘an upcoming farming, creature collection, and town life indie game inspired by Pokémon, Harvest Moon, and Animal Crossing’ – now that is literally three of my favourite games of all time put into one sentence! All my life I have loved relaxing games where you can customize your character and world to make your game feel like it’s personal to you and I also love farming games where you have set stuff to do every so often and it ends up putting you into a very dreamy, absorbing routine-like state (that’s such a weird way to describe it but if you’re a big fan of Animal Crossing you’ll get what I mean!). The game is said to have a ‘bustling town’ full of different characters and you can also join Ooblet Clubs! Everything about this game sounds very exciting and I can’t wait to see what the Glumberland duo continue to add to what already seems like a lovely, gorgeous game! You can wishlist Ooblets on their steam page and they also have plenty of links to social media, discords and a patreon to support them over on the game’s website!

Steam Link | Ooblets Website

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Donut County – Ben Esposito and Annapurna Interactive

Much like Ooblets, one of the first things that admittedly drew me to Donut County was it’s low poly, colourful, cute game art and environments. Donut County, made on Unity and developed by Ben Esposito, is a game with a goal very eloquently stated on the website as ‘Meet the locals, steal their trash and throw them in a hole.’ Already I’m sold. Donut County is a casual, indie game where you play as a cute but cunning raccoon named BK and his app that creates holes in the ground. BK ends up swallowing the whole of Donut County and his best friend Mira and other residents of the county demand answers as to why BK has gotten them stuck 999 feet underground! The concept is absolutely hilarious and bizarre but the gameplay itself is so satisfying! My only experience with the gameplay so far is watching someone play it on Youtube and it looks absolutely worth it. The characters are all so unique and well designed, it has hilarious humour in the ‘trashopedia’ (which you can look at when you’ve finished a level to see what ‘trash’ you swallowed in your hole) and also the soundtrack is incredible! Donut County released on the 28th August on Steam, PS4 and iOS and I can’t wait to try it!

Steam Link | Donut County Website | Donut County Soundtrack (definitely listen!!)

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So that’s my top three games I have on my wishlist right now! I can’t wait to hopefully download Two Point or Donut County because they look so fun, and it’ll be exciting to see anymore development on Ooblets! I could go on with some of the games out soon or recently announced (especially after last night’s Nintendo Direct) but I’d be here for ages! I definitely recommend having a look at these games because you’ll be supporting some incredible creators! Also p.s Annapurna Interactive if you ever see this – I’d definitely be first in theoretical line for some Donut County merchandise!

I hope you enjoyed reading this and feel free to share any games you’ve wishlisted recently or are looking forward to in the comments!

Thanks for reading

signaturejune18

Etsy Spring 2018 Wishlist

 

In 2016 (a while back now!) I made a post sharing some of what is on my Etsy ‘favourites’ list or wishlist in general and I really enjoyed making it and sharing some of my favourite artists off the website because I love bringing attention to artists and some of the amazing things they create! Lately due to University and other scenarios I haven’t been able to save up much money or treat myself to stuff off Etsy but hopefully in the future I’ll be able to splurge and make some purchases towards independent businesses and I definitely encourage other people do as well!

Purchasing from independent businesses can be pricier sometimes and I understand not everybody can ‘treat themselves’ over a certain budget but I definitely encourage browsing and following these creators because they put so much time and effort and love into their creations and definitely deserve recognition and reward for what they do! So here is a quick, illustrated wishlist along with links to each shop/creator and the product themselves!

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1) ‘Be Kind to Yourself’ A4 Print
2) Amelie A4 Print
3) Poirot A4 Print

SHOP: andsmile
INSTAGRAM: @andsmilestudio

The first creator is ‘andsmile’ who is based in London, England and creates gorgeous illustrations as prints to sell. I originally came across the ‘Be Kind to Yourself’ print on my Etsy recommended and fell in love with her style and would love to get one of her prints for my bedroom one day or I could totally picture one in my future dream study.

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1) Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte Quote T-shirt
2) Ophelia Shakespeare Quote T-shirt
3) Oscar Wilde Quote Inspired Necklace

SHOP: LiteraryEmporium
INSTAGRAM: @litemporium

The next store on my wishlist is a creator I’ve been really lucky to have purchased a t-shirt from them earlier this year. I already own LiteraryEmporium’s Pride and Prejudice quote t-shirt but I’d absolutely adore some more of their quote apparel, also I adore their jewellery ranges because I think how they are gifted with the quotes they are inspired by is a really lovely touch.

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1) ‘MADE IT THROUGH’ Print
2) ‘WHERE I NEED TO BE’ Print
3) Clarence and Sol Badge
4) Grow. Bloom. Badge

SHOP: emandtheearth
INSTAGRAM: @emandtheearthart

My last pick for this post definitely has to be the glorious artist Em and her etsy store which is filled with gorgeous positive art that promotes self-love, self-care and loving the environment. I absolutely adore the ‘Made it Through’ print because it’s the kind of reminder I need myself sometimes and I think her style is absolutely gorgeous. Her badges collection is also really adorable and affordable!

Feel free to share some of your favourite creators from Etsy or even Instagram, Society6 and other freelancers! I definitely recommend checking out these three shops and their social media and supporting what they do because there is some incredible talent right there!

 

Thanks for reading,

signaturejune18

 

Independent Artist/Etsy Wishlist

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If you know me, you’ll know I did art & design in college and still low-key vastly love art, illustration & all that jazz. I think it’s because I come from a family that are very creative and I’m extremely grateful for it! My amazingly talented dad loves doing woodwork in his spare time – he even built his own workshop at the end of our garden and I still think that’s one of the coolest things to watch him do when I was growing up. My sisters are also super talented and way more motivated than me, in their spare time despite one of them having two adorable kids and the other working a lot of the time – are working on their own Etsy/Craft store, in fact I believe they might be selling some of their pieces soon at an event in July! Their instagram that shows their work is @apocketfullofclouds and I definitely recommend you check it out!

I do envy my sister’s motivation and wish I could pick up the slack and make time to try and improve my art, because whenever I go on websites like Etsy I get so inspired because there’s so many amazing pieces that just make me want to spend all my money on it! Of course, I’m not rich and don’t have spare money lying around to get myself all these gorgeous pins and patches. So I decided to give these amazing artists a small shoutout and share with you all my current Etsy wishlist! These artists are amazing and I’d definitely check them out!

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1 ) Self Care Spell Patch
2 ) Wanderer Patch
3 ) Witchcraft Postcard Set

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1 ) Bitch Face Pin
2 ) Thunder Thighs Pin
3 ) The Truth is Out There Pin
4 ) Booty Brooch

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1 ) Smashing the Patriarchy is My Cup of Tea
2 ) Palmistry Hand Brooch
3 ) Spooky Banner Patch

Have you guys got any favourite Etsy stores or independent artists you think I should check out?

Thanks for reading,

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My To Read List before I start University

Recently I’ve been filling in my UCAS application to go to University in September next year. For people who don’t know what UCAS is, it is basically the online application to apply for up to 5 University courses, you attach a personal statement and reference and patiently wait to get interview offers from your desired places of education. I am eager to try and get into the University of Leeds or Manchester Met University next year and study a course that entails either English Literature or Creative Writing. I have been wildly motivated the past few days about my future University plans, I’ve even been gazing over prospectuses during my work breaks and daydreaming about what I will study.

Obviously to study English Literature you want to be a massive fan of Literature, which I am, just I am terrible with reading. I love reading and I love different pieces of literature including fiction, non-fiction and poems. I remember reading Carol Ann Duffy’s poem ‘Medusa’, in my GCSE English Literature and absolutely falling in love with it, the writing gives you Medusa’s own outlook of the curse she is given and I find the lines;

“Be terrified.
It’s you I love,
perfect man, Greek God, my own;
but I know you’ll go, betray me, stray
from home.
So better by for me if you were stone.”

Really powerful. You empathize with the woman and her feelings of distrust and anger towards Poseidon, who in traditional mythology, seduced her and when they were intimate, Athena cursed her for being un-loyal. However Poseidon was never punished and in this poem, it’s almost as if Medusa is warning him. Her curse makes people she makes eye contact with turn to lifeless stone. She is warning him to watch out and be scared because she loves him and she will look at him and yearn and he runs the risk of being turned to stone.

But this isn’t an essay on poetry. This blog post is me writing down a list to myself of what literature I want to read before I start any University in September 2016.

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (currently reading)
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  5. The Martian by Andy Weir
  6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  7. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  9. Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
  10. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  11. The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George
  12. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

So yeah! When I finish these books I’ll try and write posts about it to get back into the swing of reading deeper into stories and relating.

Thanks for reading,

Helena x x

Broke Girl Reviews: Cruelty Free Products on my Wishlist November 2015

Has anyone got the new layout for making WordPress posts on the PC browser?  Feels quite strange to use, doesn’t it! Or is that just me?

Good morning/afternoon/evening! Recently in the run up to Christmas I’ve been seeing lovely and alluring products in shops everywhere or on Instagram and Youtube and it makes me envious because unfortunately lately I do not have really any spare money to go out and treat myself to stuff from my favourite stores. So I thought I’d do a broke girl review/wishlist blog post on cruelty free products I have seen lately that I’d really like to get myself when money comes along! As well as talk about products I have used before and really want to stock back up on for people looking for new, cruelty-free products to try!

# 1 – Snow Fairy Shower Gel

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via @lushnewry on Instagram

Ahhhhhh!!! I get so hyped about Lush Cosmetic’s Snow Fairy shower gel every year when it is released. Snow Fairy is a limited edition bright pink shower gel that becomes available in Lush stores every Winter in time for Christmas. The product is a lovely cruelty-free, vegan mix and smells of all delicious candyfloss. For the past two years I have owned big bottles of this product and it definitely lasts me a long time. I only just ran out of my last bottle a month back and really hope to get the money to get another big bottle soon.

# 2 – Premium Chocolatiers Treats

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via @vrevolutionyeah on Instagram

 

I believe these vegan treats originate from the US but recently my favourite Manchester cafe ‘V Revolution’ brought in some of their stock and I got their ‘Peanot Butter No-Nos’ which seemed to be vegan alternatives to Peanut M&M’s! They were very delicious and sweet, considering how my slow transition to more vegan/vegetarian choices of food has been very hard in the sweets/dessert region (A lot of my favourite treats include milk) these were a really good find. I hope soon to be able to go back to V Revolution and maybe pick up some other Premium Chocolatier treats. I really like the look of their Peanot Butter Cups and No Whey! Candy Bars.

# 3 – theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer Highlight, Shadow & Shimmer

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I discovered the Balm’s cosmetics range mainly on a website called cutECOsmetics. According to the website they are a UK stockist of vegan, cruelty-free and organic products. Lately I’d really like to find a good powder to use as either blush or highlighter and I was drawn in by the Balm’s ‘Cindy-Lou Manizer’ highlighter. According to the website it is talc-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free. The pin-up, almost Benefit-esque art style of the packaging is really appealing and I love how dusk and peachy the colour is.

# 4 – Karma Bubble Bar

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via All Things Lush UK

I absolutely adore the new design of the Lush Karma bubble bar. I really liked it back when it was the orange swirly block but something feels a lot more eye-catching about this luxurious looking little purple pyramid. I absolutely love the dark purple colour on it and the smell is mouth-watering. I can’t help but pick it up and sniff it everytime I’m in a Lush store. Like most Lush products it is 100% cruelty free and it is also vegan! I definitely want to get one of these bubble bars before Christmas as it seems like the perfect scent for a relaxing Christmas eve bubble bath especially with the dreamy lavendin and patchouli oil.

# 5 – Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer

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I have heard a lot of youtubers rave about Urban Decay’s eyeshadow primer. I’m pretty sure almost all of the makeup-focused beauty youtubers and bloggers have or still use this primer for eye makeup and considering I have recently found out that Urban Decay is cruelty free, I really want to jump on the primer bandwagon! I really love putting sleek winged eyeliner and pigmented eyeshadows on my eyes when doing makeup however my eyes are prone to watering a lot or the makeup just sweating off during the day so I think I could benefit greatly from this little tube.

# 6 – Moo-Free Advent Calendar

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A December is not a proper December without an advent calendar for me. This year I was slightly tempted by some other forms of advent calendars that retailers do including the Body Shop’s yearly calendar, however I am not sure if I can quite commit to spending that much on a calendar this year. But recently I found out one of my favourite vegan chocolate companies ‘Moo-Free’ does a vegan advent calendar! The design on it is absolutely adorable and it is cruelty-free which is double the greatness! If I can find a retailer that does these advent calendars I am going to have to plead for my mum to get me one!

 

So yeah those are my top 6 cruelty-free things on my wishlist this month. All my fingers and toes are crossed that soon I’ll be able to get some money and a job and be able to treat myself! If not, people who know me reading this.. Christmas is coming. *wink wink*

 

Thanks for reading!

Lenah x x