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Gaming Update: Zombies, Glampires and Seaweed?

For those of you that know anything about me, you'll know my number 1 go-to hobby is gaming. I find video games beyond entertaining, beyond fascinating. They are such an awesome thing to experience when you find the right ones for you, so I decided to take the time today to talk about three in particular that have been taking up more than their fare share of my free time lately...

1 - State of Survival

Now I'll be honest, aside from a few rare gems, I'm not that big of a fan of mobile games. I've tried a lot (and I'm always down to explore more), but I've only ever found maybe a handful that have had real lasting power. Most recently, it was a game called "State of Survival". I downloaded it at random. Hadn't heard anything about it, had no idea what to expect other than the handful of screenshots on its download screen, but I've been hooked since the second I fired it up.

I've tried a lot of city-builder-esque games on my phone. Most of them bore me out of my mind inside a day. I absolutely loathe waiting 4 hours to pickup 15 steel for the building I'm trying to gather 400 for (lookin' at you SimCity), but I digress. Now State of Survival definitely has resource gathering, but that's fine. I friggin' love the Warcraft and Starcraft series's. I'll chop wood all day, but it has to be at a pace that feels like progress. I don't want to be held back by resources, I want to work for the resources so I can progress, so I can feel like I'm accomplishing something, being told to wait until the game's ready for me to get that stupid skyscraper.

State of Survival also has PvP, another trait I rarely like in these games (I've already had someone lay waste to my poor base already without mercy. However, I wasn't left feeling like everything I'd worked for was gone. The game has built in systems to ensure that you can very much get attacked without it completely ruining the experience for you. You lose some resources, you might get attacked by NPC zombies if you leave it burning for too long, but you have something to work with when it's all over, something to keep building with once Mr. Steamroller is done putting you in your place.

The last thing I'll say is that while it has unlockable heroes, the game doesn't leave you feeling like you'll never have them. It may take a while, but there are things you can actively do to try and help your chances. On top of that, they hardly feel necessary. You're not left feeling like you got crushed because you didn't have a legendary hero. You got crushed because you need to spend a little more time building up your base and your forces. Sure, you can give them money to speed things along, to each their own, but it doesn't feel like you won't get to enjoy the game if you don't.

Bottom line: State of Survival has been very addictive and a lot of fun to explore. I'm still learning new things about the game, having a good time supporting my alliance and slaughtering zombies. Plus, I'm doing it all for free! Hard to knock that selling point. If you're a fan of city-builders, real-time strategies or just zombies in general, I would definitely suggest this for those long bus rides or boring lunch breaks that make up far too much of at least my days.

2 - Code Vein

I love Bloodborne. As much frustration as that game as created in me, I often find myself looking back, yearning for one more go through Yarnham only to be immediately reminded of how much that game makes me want to throw my controller straight through my TV. So when I played Code Vein at PAX West last year, I was delighted to find something in a similar vein (no pun intended) that I could explore for the first time. My very thoughtful girlfriend was kind enough to gift it to me for my birthday last month and I gotta say, it hasn't disappointed.

Is Code Vein as good as Bloodborne? Not for me, it isn't. Is it an incredibly satisfying and challenging game? 100% yes.

Code Vein is a very pretty game with a heavily stylized anime feel to it. All the characters proportions are mind-bogglingly ridiculous, their eyes taking up like half their heads, their bodies roughly 70% leg. The character designer is impressive. It lets you not only make a character out of an astounding number of varying options/colors, but you can save each of your designs for later use. Even while you're playing the game, you're able to walk up to a mirror and switch out your looks on the fly, doesn't even have to be the same character. You could make a whole colle