Tag Archives: Mouse

Haven Review: Plantera

PlanteraTitleFirst up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

“Clicker/Idler” games have made a huge insurgence, especially on mobile devices. Interestingly enough, the game we’re about to review, while seemingly perfect on mobile, is currently just for the PC. It’s called Plantera; developed and published by VaragtP.

My initial intent was to play the game long enough to learn the rules, create a few strategies and collect a number of screen shots for this review. That didn’t happen. I instead lost track of time, completely mesmerized by what I was doing. The game is essentially a personal farming simulator, where you plant crops to earn money. The money is used to plant more crops to earn more money…rinse repeat. If that were all, Plantera would still be a fun diversion. The characters you meet are extremely cute and cuddly; even the adversaries. But there’s more to the story here; namely Steam achievements. There are currently 28 such achievements, and they are not easy to get. While the game itself is not difficult to play, it takes a LOT of time to rack up kudos. Fortunately you can walk away from the computer (once you get your little farm established) and let the game play by itself!

Consider the following screen shot:
FullHere we have a fairly built up farm. The star in the bottom-left corner indicates that I reached Level 7, which took about 15 minutes. One of the aforementioned achievements is awarded for reaching Level 100, so you can see what kind of time we’re talking about.

You start the game with a single blue farm worker and some errant butterflies floating above. When a glowing aura appears around a butterfly, you can click it for coins. After you’ve collected a few coins, open your inventory to see what crops you can afford to plant. Carrot seeds are the cheapest (6 coins), and each carrot harvested is worth 1 coin in return. Turnips cost 3 times as much as carrots to plant, but return 2 coins each when harvested. In the long run turnips are the better value, and this concept continues as you unlock more crops. You can trash unneeded crops at any time, so replace them with better ones when you have the cash.
CropsAs your fledgling farm grows, new items become available. Berry bushes and fruit trees are among the earliest; each offering decent returns. Remember though that your workers aren’t tall enough to reach high fruit, so you’ll have to click them (or wait for them to fall from the branches) to get paid.

Before long, livestock becomes available. Chickens for example lay valuable eggs, while pigs dig up renowned truffles. When you’ve collected sufficient coins, special items show up for purchase. Some of these will increase your farm’s productivity while others will ward off adversaries who are bent on destroying your farm. Who are these denizens? Let’s take a look:
BaddiesFirst on the enemy list is the mole. He pops up to temporarily prevent your crop beds from producing food. Click the mole to make him retreat underground. Next there’s the magpie, who attempts to swoop in and steal your ripe crops. Again, click on the denizen to make it fly away. Alternately, for 250 coins you can place a scarecrow to ward off magpies for you. Be aware that only birds coming in close to the scarecrow’s position will be frightened away. You may want to invest in multiple scarecrows, especially when you expand the width of your farm later on. My favorite foe by far is the fox. He waddles in to collect your chickens. You’ll have to triple-click the fox to send him packing. Optionally, for 1000 coins you can buy a guard dog to patrol your farm. He’ll scare away foxes and moles.
Specials

So as you can see, there’s a lot going on in this user-friendly, single button game. Plantera is definitely a great value on Steam at $3 (USD). The only thing I’d recommend before playing is to plug in one of your old generic mice. You’ll be clicking more in this game than in your other apps combined; not something you want on that 12K DPI device!

PlanteraScale-Chris Roberts-

Tech Editorial: SteelSeries Rival 700

SteelSeries has done it again; they’ve created yet another mouse. This new Rival 700 boasts a walloping 16,000 DPI tracking, as well as a unique feature among gaming mice. It has a small visual display of sorts where you’d normally place your thumb. Now just think about this for a second…indeed…a display covered up by your thumb!6Ig0fYa1BZVa.878x0.Z-Z96KYq

Now don’t get me wrong, SteelSeries does make great products for computer gaming and I absolutely love their keyboards and mice, overall.

But as car enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson says, “It’s stupid“. I’m looking forward to doing a technical review later this month on the mouse, outlining its pros and cons. But in the sense of professional gaming, the fact that it has a small display where the thumb goes is outright idiotic.

 

I’d like to quote Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO, if I may.

“We’re thrilled to deliver the world’s first smart gaming mouse,” said Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO. “By listening to gamers and eSports athletes, we’ve perfected professional gaming mice for more than a decade. The Rival 700 takes that expertise and meets gamers’ needs today, and grows to help them win in the future.”

That means that someone in the design department came up with this and thought it was a good idea. Let’s take a moment to consider this. You are a professional gamer. You are playing in a massive competition, going for a grand prize. But your health is low, so do you look at the screen? Of course not; you lift your thumb from the mouse and take a peek! Your health suddenly drops to zero because…

You took your #%#@% hand off the mouse instead of moving out of danger!

But being serious here, the actual specifications for the Rival 700 are pretty good. I stated earlier though, when we take a look at it in the future we’ll write and tell you if it’s worth the price. Although as always, they could have saved money if they hadn’t put that gimmick on it in the first place. This would mean the product would be cheaper for the end-market user. But that’s just my opinion.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

Tech Review: SteelSeries Rival 100

As gamers, we rely on the equipment we use to get us through hard gaming sessions. Microsoft has a $100 Xbox controller, and there are others relativity cheaper than that. PC gamers on the other hand rely more on the graphics cards they choose, as well as their keyboard and mouse.steelseries_rival_100_optical_mouse_4

I am going to be taking a look at the SteelSeries Rival 100 gaming mouse and truth be told, I wasn’t impressed at all when I first saw it. “Oh look, colors…a nice little gimmick that will definitely be a selling point” was my initial thought on the matter. But after giving it a test run in comparison to my CM Storm, I must say I’m quite impressed at its reliability…and more impressed at its cost.

Now let’s take a minute to examine a technical aspect of the SteelSeries mouse. In this case, a list of features:

What exactly can the SteelSeries Engine make this mouse do? It’s all about the customization of buttons, sensitivity, lighting and more:
• Map the 6 mouse buttons to custom game controls
• Adjust optical sensitivity for any style and speed of play
• Create custom lighting options with over 16 million colors
• Create personalized configurations for your favorite games
GameSense is part of the new generation of peripherals and real-time, in-game actions – Users can create illumination settings that directly respond to actions as they happen.

As a many people know, I play Dota 2. I really enjoy it and Njal (Zaceron) is our League of Legends player. In my runs with Dota 2, I started by testing the Rival’s response rate, and it was flawless. The only issue I had was with my keyboard. The mouse’s speed was spot-on and its accuracy was amazingly smooth.

The feel of the mouse is equally impressive. It fits to my fingers and hand as if they were made for each other, and the grip is the most comfortable feeling I have had on a mouse. In comparison to my CM storm, which feels rubbery and a little worn down, the SteelSScreenshot_1eries Rival 100 prevents my hand from sliding around; I feel really attached to it.

However I must commend them for the dumbest addition to a mouse I have ever seen.
Some mice love to go with a color scheme of sorts, and they make it their selling point. The Rival 100 does indeed do this…and it is pointless. You put LEDs into the mouse and if you are playing Dota 2, Counter Strike, and hell even Minecraft the lights will change color depending on how much health and or mana you have.

It’s a great idea on paper. In general its game sense and custom lighting options of more than 16 million colors is very pointless..The reason? I have a big hand, and thus cannot see the lights as my hand covers them up. Their inclusion could have been completely avoided, and the cost of the mouse therefore reduced. Although the savings would be small, they still could have saved money.

Adjusting the DPI settings is also quite interesting, mainly because it’s non-existent. In this case we’re just going to quote them directly:

Counts Per Inch (CPI) or Dots Per Inch (DPI) doesn’t carry any relevant weight on a great or better mouse. The CPI race is a way for gaming mouse companies to include an incredibly high number – outdoing their competitors –meant to dupe and confuse the consumer into believing a higher number is better.

The mouse’s instructions are even pretty interesting. When you open it up, a single piece of paper pops out that literally just tells you to plug the mouse into the USB port. Honestly, I wish I could say it was avoidable but I know a lot of people are quite remedial. I know this from experience as a computer support technician.SteelSeries Rival gaming mouse

In the end though the mouse really is amazing, despite the obvious flaw about the lighting.
If you’re not like me and have big hands compared to most people, the lights may even work for you. I know there are a lot of negative points about the mouse but overall?, As a gaming mouse it is possibly the best one I have ever used in my entire life.

Is it worth investing the $40? I think so. It’s built really well and I really did enjoy using it. If SteelSeries actually reads this they should put the lights on the side, underneath the side buttons, as that would be a better indicator.

-Daniel Clatworthy-