Galentine’s Day Gift Guide

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Making purchases from these links may result in a commission for this site so that I can buy cat litter. You can learn more about my disclosure policy here.

As a kid, I had a hard time making and keeping friends. Actually, it’s something I still struggle with. I’m not 100% sure why that is, I’m sure there’s actually a whole lot of things working together, but over the course of the last couple of years, interacting with groups like Female Geek Bloggers, Pixelles and even Geek Girl Brunch, I’ve finally started to realize how important strong female friendships are and have started working harder at maintaining and nurturing my relationships with the awesome women in my life.

Which is why this year for Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to make up a little gift guide celebrating everyone’s favourite holiday honouring lady friends: Galentine’s Day. I’m sure most of you are familiar with this made up holiday, created for the show Parks and Recreation, but just in case you aren’t, Galentine’s Day is celebrated on February 13 as a way to tell all the amazing women in your life how much you love and like them.

In keeping with the theme I’ve chosen handmade items all inspired by Parks and Rec, focusing on things I would like to give to or receive from my best gal pals.

Galentine's Day Gift Guide

1. Pawnee Goddesses Patch – Ferdinand Works| 2. Be The Leslie Knope Mug – Charm & Gumption | 3. Leslie Knope Inspired Candle (Waffle Scented) – Folklore Fragrance | 4. Best Friend Waffle Necklaces – Scrumptious Doodle | 5. Sisters Before Misters Cross-Stitch – Bananya Stand

I’m extra excited for Galentine’s Day this year because Geek Girl Brunch Montreal is going to be hosting our first Galentine’s brunch, complete with waffles and mimosas!

How do you plan on celebrating Galentine’s Day this year?

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Friday I’m In Love #148

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Making purchases from these links may result in a commission for this site so that I can buy cat litter. You can learn more about my disclosure policy here.

Mass Effect-English Bay by Therealmcgee | Friday I'm In Love | Gamerwife.com
Mass Effect-English Bay by Therealmcgee available at Society 6

Hello sweeties! How was your week?

Ours was quiet but good. Started a new client project, kicked off month two of Indie Game Gang, and caught up with friends. Not sure what the weekend holds yet, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.

Link Time!
Wanna get into game design but don’t know where to start? Remeshed has an awesome list of resources for newbie game devs.

Stop what you’re doing and look at these cosplaying pugs. You’re welcome.

Man do I understand this: Imposter syndrome and game developers.

Such a cute pin OMG!

30 totally rad female game protagonists that aren’t Lara Croft.

Does the game part hurt or help so called “empathy games“?

Fight like a girl.

How video game romances can be a safe place to examine sexual orientation.

When the mini-games are better than the actual game you’re playing.

And finally, the greatest gif in the history of the internet.

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Wheels of Aurelia

Wheels of Aurelia | Gamerwife.com One the the things I love most about the indie community is their ability to mash together different worn out game genres to make something totally new and insanely interesting. So, when I first heard about a game that combined a narrative adventure with an arcade driving game, I knew I had to check it out.

Wheels of Aurelia is currently still in development, but has received some critical notice thanks to its appearance at last year’s Fantastic Arcade, where it had its own arcade cabinet, complete with steering wheel controller. The beta version of the game, which was the one demoed in Austin, is available to purchase on itch.io for $4.99, so I decided to give it a try.

The story and setting are also much more interesting than I expected from something that appears at first glance to be a total gimmick. Set in 1970’s Italy against a backdrop of political turmoil (kidnappings and riots where regular occurrences), you take on the role of Lella, a young would-be anarchist and Feminist on her way to France on the Via Aurelia across the coast of Italy. Your initial companion is a woman named Olga, who has her own reasons for wanting to go to France, but there are also a number of hitchhikers and other characters you can meet along the way, as well as car chases, illegal races and tense political debates.

Wheels of Aurelia Checkpoint | Wheels of Aurelia | Gamerwife.com Because the game is still in development, there isn’t really anything in the way of a tutorial, or much indication of how to play. However, through a bit of trial and error I figured out that I could control the car with A & D or left & right, or my mouse, choose dialogue with the up & down buttons, or the mouse wheel and that I could accelerate by pressing Space or Enter.

In the end, I found the easiest way to control the game was to use the directional buttons and the space bar, but there was still a fair bit of mental gymnastics involved in remembering what was what as you’re very often driving AND choosing dialogue options at the same time. As well, how well you drive also has an effect on what dialogue options are available, so if you press the wrong key and swerve into traffic one too many times, you could find yourself in for a very awkward ride to the next checkpoint as your options are reduced to silence, coughing or humming a tune.

Wheels of Aurelia Lella & Gorilla | Wheels of Aurelia | Gamerwife.com And, since this is a narrative game, after all, driving well and choosing different dialogue options are crucial to unveiling all of the different story arcs in Wheels of Aurelia. There are 10 different endings available, and dozens of different ways to get to them, depending on how you drive, which routes you take, and how you reply to different bits of conversation. Most of the endings I saw seemed to be accessible with 15 to 20 minutes of play time, but the final version does promise to expand on these significantly.

Aside from the fact that the game is basically two games in one, Wheels of Aurelia really stands out for me because of the frank way it deals with a range of difficult topics. From abortion to religious belief, no subject is too taboo, and yet the game never devolves into moralizing. The characters and their opinions are presented primarily as a product of their time, which is wonderfully reinforced by the swinging Euro-soul soundtrack and I found myself compelled to play the game over and over so that I could learn more about each of these fascinating characters.

Despite the bugs expected from a game still in development, Wheels of Aurelia is a stunning start of a game I can’t wait to see finished.

You can follow Wheels of Aurelia on Steam Greenlight, or buy the Beta on the game’s website or itch.io.

Full Disclosure: I paid for this game out of my own pocket. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Indie Game Gang: Jan Recap & Feb Game Announcement

Indie Game Gang | Gamerwife.com First off, I want to thank everyone who’s signed up for Indie Game Gang so far. I am genuinely blown away by the enthusiasm this project has been met with and I’m so excited for where this little community can go from here.

That said, I also have to apologize for being a totally crappy moderator. As much as I want to blame stress or other time management issues, the fact is I totally dropped the ball by not posting discussion topics when I said I would. I guess in a way I let my role as moderator overwhelm me and I got so stressed about providing good topics for discussion that I kind of freaked out and ended up only posting one discussion topic.

However, this whole thing is a giant work in progress and I can only say that I will do better in the future. I’m also making some changes as to how and where game discussion occur and making it clear that anyone can add a new discussion topic whenever they like.

And so, with that out of the way I’d like to announce the next Indie Game Gang game:

The game for February is:

Pony Island | Indie Game Gang | Gamerwife.com From the Steam Store page for the game:

Pony Island is a suspense puzzle game in disguise. You are in limbo, trapped in a malevolent and malfunctioning arcade machine devised by the devil himself. The devil detests having his puzzles solved and poor programming exposed; you will need to think outside the box to proceed and you will be insulted when you do.

So, basically, if you thought The Beginner’s Guide was weird… hold onto your hats boys and girls. Things are about to get freaky.

Average playtime to finish the game is around 4 – 7 hours depending on whether you’re trying to 100% it or not. Currently it is $4.99 US on Steam.

Discussions will begin on February 8, but if you have something to say before then (or after, for that matter) feel free to create your own discussion topics in the Pony Island sub-forum. I forgot to create a sub-forum for The Beginner’s Guide, which is why the discussions for that game happened in the General Discussion forum, but from now on each game will have its own sub-forum available in the right hand side of the Discussions tab.

Join us, won’t you?

7 Comments

Friday I’m In Love #147

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Making purchases from these links may result in a commission for this site so that I can buy cat litter. You can learn more about my disclosure policy here.

Mage Freedom by Watercolorteas | Friday I'm In Love #58 | Gamerwife.com
Mage Freedom by Watercolorteas available at Redbubble

How was your week, sweeties?

Mine was a off week where I let a bunch of opportunities pass me by. But I also joined a new game of D&D that Rick is DMing, so I guess it wasn’t all bad. Now for some rest and reflection so I can attack next week at full force!

Link Time!
Having trouble sticking to your fitness goals? Try one of these fitness games that don’t require a console.

Knitting helps me with my anxiety and depression by giving me something productive to work on when life is a little too much, but that’s just the tip of the health benefits it can offer.

How user research is changing the face of game making.

Exploring the metaphors in the games we grew up playing.

Yet another reason why it’s so important to choose your business partners wisely.

How Fallout 4 uses decorating mechanics to balance individual fulfillment and altruism in a post-apocalyptic world.

The purrfect tea set for my fellow cat lovers!

Not all game jams are the same. Why a veteran jammer opted not to participate in Global Game Jam this year.

Great list of video game scores to listen to when studying or working. I’m personally quite partial to the Life Is Strange soundtrack.

And finally, is character creation your favourite part of starting a new game? Here are 9 games you should try out.

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