Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Shopping

Yep, it's an oft-cursed thing, but no matter your beliefs or traditions, every year we must all brave the crowds, if only to get to work or meet some friends for a coffee.

I've taken a few days of my annual leave to both get some editing done and to attend the National Crafts and Design Fair in the Royal Dublin Society. My wife and I went last year and loved it, so we decided to make sure to go again this year. We'll be able to get a good start on our Christmas shopping.

Christmas is really the one time of the year when my wife and I go ahead and spoil each other. My family tends to chip in so that each of us can get one thing we really like or need, rather than several things we'll never use, so most of what Jen and I get in is stuff we can both enjoy or share with others. We have a Christmas dinner for friends every year and it's really the highlight of the season for us. So we'll be looking for lots of things we can bring home to share.

What about you? Do you love or hate Christmas shopping? Do you prefer online, the crowded city centers, small market stalls, craft fairs?

Monday, November 28, 2011

AAQR: AudioManager (free, paid)

Audio Manager has a simple job: gives you full control of your various volume settings in your Android devices.

Did you know your Android devices has no less than SEVEN different volume settings?

  • Alarm
  • Media
  • Voice call
  • Alert
  • Ringer
  • System
  • Navigation

Yet there is no one single place to adjust them! Until now... with AudioManager. Just open the app and adjust the sliders to your liking!

You can even define "presets" (or profiles) for certain situations, like meeting, normal, driving, and so on.

There are two sizes of widgets you can use as well, and the Pro version allows Widget skins and shortcuts to presets.

Definitely give the free version a try. I am using it now.

AAQR: Advanced Task Killer

Advanced Task Killer, i.e. ATK, is a very popular app, but widely misunderstood. Basically it allows users to kill running apps and background services. Whether this actually do anything is subject to debate. I have my own view on this and it's explained somewhere else. [ see link here ]

It works, though I only use it manually.

It is free, and there's a $4.99 donate version (ads-free). You should have it loaded, but do not use auto-kill.
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AAQR: AdFree (root required)

Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseAdFree is an app that uses the built-in IPTable in Android OS to filter out ads, by basically bypassing "known" ad servers (route them to nowhere). Similar apps on the PC would be Adblock on various browsers.

AdFree works quite well, but it requires root access, as you can't get to HOSTS/IPtable otherwise. It will block most banner ads inside apps, unless the banners are provided by sources not known to the list.

It is free, and it will periodically check for updates to update the list.

Keep in mind though, that a lot of free apps rely on the ad revenue to keep them free. So this is a morally conflicting problem. Still, it is your device.

And yes, I do use this app.
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Hero's Journey: Thor

I figured it was high time I did another Hero's Journey post. I've been wanting to talk about this movie for a while. It's one of the best recent examples of monomyth in film, and a damn near perfect superhero story:

Because he's worth it
Many heroes in later interpretations of the Monomyth are blessed with some form of divine or unique heritage. Well as the son of Odin, Thor's got that covered. His story starts with what is to be his coronation as the new king of Asgard. One of the key moments in this scene is when the audience is introduced to Mjonlir, the hammer of Thor, forged in the heart of a dying star. Although Thor has possessed this weapon for some time by this stage, it still qualifies as his Talisman, the symbol of his right to be a hero and challenge the forces of evil. Mjolnir, and Thor's right to wield it, will form the heart of this story.

The Call to Adventure: The frost giant attack on Asgard spurs Thor into action, leading him to defy his father's orders and take his friends on a quest to strike back at the giants in the heart of their home, Jotunheim. On the way, we meet Heimdall, the watcher of the ways and the story's Threshold Guardian, protecting Asgard from invaders and acting as gatekeeper between the worlds.

Crossing the First Threshold: Heimdall agrees to allow Thor and his friends to pass to Jotunheim, sending them across the Bifrost. The battle against the frost giants represents Thor's first challenge, to establish him as a mighty warrior and cause the offence which results in his banishment to Earth.

Belly of the Whale: Thor's separation from his mundane world is completed once Odin strips him of his power and sends him to Earth. Here, in an unfamiliar place and without any of his powers, Thor must undertake the quest to redeem himself and, eventually, restore peace and safety to Asgard.

It's a hard life

The Meeting with the Goddess: Though not a literal goddess, Jane Foster represents a stabilising force in Thor's journey. Standing above most mortals by virtue of her theories on the nature of the universe, Thor sees in her a quality that could help guide humanity to heights to rival those of Asgard. His growing feelings for her help steer him on his path to humility and redemption.

Yeah, I can make out with him. I mean, if you really need me to, I can manage it, I think

The Road of Trials: Thor is put through several trials on his path, starting with acclimatising to life as a mortal, then his failed attempt to reclaim Mjolnir, and finally facing the worst possible outcome of his actions in the lie told to him by Loki: That his father has died and peace between Asgard and Jotunheim is dependent on Thor remaining in exile, an exile which his own mother insists remains in place.

Apotheosis: In order to ensure that Thor cannot come home, Loki sends the armoured Destroyer to Earth. Realising that it's him Loki wants dead, Thor sacrifices himself so that his friends and the other innocent bystanders can be saved. The Destroyer seemingly kills Thor with one strike. However, in facing death, Thor transcends his mortal form, having learned his final lesson and proved his worth.

Still, beats New York rush hour

The Ultimate Boon: Thor's newfound humility and willingness to sacrifice himself for the greater good prove his worth as a hero. Mjolnir returns to him and its power revives Thor, returning to him how power which he uses to defeat the Destroyer. With his power restored, Thor returns to Asgard to confront Loki.

The Crossing of the Return Threshold: Loki's plans threaten to destroy all of Jotunheim. Having learned the value of his responsibilities as heir to the throne of Asgard, Thor now knows he cannot allow this. Although the Jotun have been his enemies, not all are responsible for the recent attacks on Asgard, and it is wrong to destroy an entire race for the actions of a few. Applying his lessons of self-sacrifice, Thor does the only thing he can to save Jotunheim. He destroys the Bifrost, though it means he may never see Jane again.

You can't touch this!
Freedom to Live: His brother defeated and both Asgard and Jotunheim safe, Thor is free to live his life again, though not yet as king. He has learned to accept that he still has much to learn, and though he mourns for his brother and wishes to see Jane again, he neither holds on to guilt for the past, nor does he fear what trials are yet to come. Even as the story ends, he asks Heimdall if Earth is lost to them and he is told simply, that there is always hope.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Being Thankful

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. Even though I'm Irish, I think Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. People need to take the time to be thankful for the things in their life.

It's been a rough year. A damn rough year. But I think I'll talk about that some other day.

It has also been a good year in many ways. I've watched friends get married, have babies, start new relationships, take on new challenges, follow old dreams and discover new ones. I've seen friends rally around my wife and I. I've felt the thrill of signing a contract for my first novel to be published. I've learned that my wife and I can go through hell and come out still standing.

I am thankful for all of these things. For all of you who read my blog or follow me on Facebook or Twitter. For every comment I get. Every word of advice and support I've received as I carry on my writing journey. For every friend who just said "what do you need?"

It's good to be thankful, to see the things that are good in life and embrace them. It's good to hug a friend and tell them you love them. Or pass on a favour or good deed. We can make the world such a beautiful place just by taking small steps in our own little corner, and helping others be thankful.

So go do it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Threatening Language

It's not wrong to say that someone screaming and swearing is a very intimidating thing to experience. It's loud and aggressive and scary.

I find though, that swearing can be overused in fiction, especially movies and television. Take the show Deadwood as an example. When this show was being created, it was decided that period-appropriate swearing sounded a bit silly by today's standards. That's fair enough, modern audiences need to find something they can relate to in a story to feel connected.

But in the first scene alone, the amount of repetitive swearing takes over and it feels like dialogue has been replaced with swear words. This doesn't feel intimidating or edgy, it feels lazy. 

Take another HBO series, Rome as a different example. The writers used a variety of modern swear words and slurs, but in a very measured way. The menace and intensity of the characters comes across in smooth dialogue and sharp delivery. Sticking with westerns, watch Unforgiven and see if the lack of frequent swearing makes Gene Hackman or Clint Eastwood any less intimidating.

We have a beautiful, diverse language available to us. Why rely on quick fix words to get a brief reaction when you can take the time to build real tension and fear between your characters?

Monday, November 21, 2011


I'm deep in edits for Locked Within and it's hard to concentrate on much else, to be honest. Unfortunately I lost a chunk of last night's work because the file didn't save correctly for some reason. It's not an impossible setback to overcome, but it has doubled the amount of work I had left to do before I was going to move on to scene re-writes.

These re-writes have been burning in my head for weeks now. I'm really eager to get them done while they're strong in my mind and I have that enthusiasm to get them done. I may take a chance and just dive into them, leaving the last 40 pages of word-culling until I get back to them. The re-writes will be the most intensive part of the process, I think, and I already feel like it's taking too long to get them done. I really would like to have both the edits on Locked Within and the second draft of Silent Oath done by Christmas.

Have any of you ever felt such a strong desire to get re-writes done? Mine are going to have a really big impact on the course of the series and I'm so glad I had Silent Oath written before Locked Within came out so I could see what changes would be the best to make the ongoing story the best it can be.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Our Hero's Flaws

I've been thinking a lot lately about character flaws and how they're used. The kinds of quirks that flesh out a hero and make him feel more alive. In my experience there tends to be two main types of flawed character, around which their specific traits are defined.

On the one hand you've got the highly-capable protagonist who has skill and the wherewithall to use it properly, but who is in some way unlikeable. Antiheroes tend to fit into this quite well, and this kind of character is a staple of fiction. The ruthless assassin who redeems himself. The career criminal who turns on his old associates. The badass loner who reluctantly joins the fight against the villain. Scarface, Leon, The Killer, even X-Men, all feature such characters. These heroes's flaws are ones of character, in the real-world sense. They rarely make mistakes or fail when faced with a challenge, so the drama of their development comes from seeing them choose to do the right thing when everything about who they are tells them to do otherwise.

On the other hand, we have the person who wants to help and do the right thing, but who is either woefully undertrained or prone to making mistakes which create even further complications for them to overcome. The Dresden Files, Thor, Tombstone, and The Hunger Games feature heroes that generally want to do the right thing where they can, but because of rashness, denial, or simply not having all the information available, make poor chocies which lead them into trouble. Their failings are still personality flaws, but they get things wrong more often than their other counterparts, and their development becomes less about how they choose to become better people, but how they learn to do so.

The first type of hero tends to be more cynical and world-weary, and their stories often reflect this. The second fits a more idealistic type of story, though both can be mixed and there are certainly characters that fall between the two extremes.

Let's talk! Personally I find I relate more to, and sympathise with, the second type of hero. If I just plain don't like a character, I'll find it harder to care about their struggle and I'll usually start rooting for one of the supporting characters and become more invested in their story rather than the protagonist. Of course, there have been movies that have just swept me up in story and performances and made for forget the character's flaws. I'm less likely to experience this when I'm reading a book, though, probably because I like to get myself into the head of the hero and feel what he's feeling right along with him.

Do you have a preference for one of these two extremes? What examples do you know where the hero shares traits of both?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Hunger Games afterthoughts

Can I takeback most of the things I said about The Hunger Games’ style being jarring toread? Well, it still is, a bit, in the first book, but it works for theadventure style of the book. I guess it also means I wasn’t prepared for howthe writing improves exponentially in Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

There’s onething that is obvious: Suzanne Collins can write action, and write it well. Onceshe gets started on the actions scenes you can’t put it down.

The thingabout book 2, Catching Fire, though, is that it’s part 1 of book 3, Mockingjay.Mockingjay picks up almost immediately after Catching Fire, so if you stopbetween the two books you basically want to kill yourself because it’s at acliffhanger. So in part, it’s somewhat like the literary version of the two partsof the Deathly Hallows movies – the first part is exposition and lead up to thesecond part. Of course the first part ends with the climax.

I’m going tohave to go back and reread both Catching Fire and Mockingjay in more detailsbecause I was skimming quite a bit just to get through the story last night butI have to say that I’m sufficiently speechless by the fact that Collins writesthree books and manages to build such a world and such a story that sucks you in but is still so disturbing all the time. (And then the United States starts to come up with the Internet censoring stuff and I do wonder whether it's the beginning of Panem, if not even Oceania.)

I stillthink the love triangld is weak but the good thing is that then it doesn’toverpower the rest of the story.

That said, rightnow I’m just floored by the last paragraph(s) of the series. It’s still thesame direct, rather blunt prose, but there’s so simply beautiful about it.
Peeta and Igrow back together. There are still moments when he clutches the back of achair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over. I wake screaming fromnightmares of mutts and lost children. But his arms are there to comfort me.And eventually his lips. On the night I feel that thing again, the hunger thatovertook me on the beach, I know this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’sfire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I needis the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead ofdestruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses.That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.

So after,when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?”

I tell him,“Real.”
I’ll go offand search stuff about the movie now.

Faith, Hope and Love

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13:13

My wife and I chose Corinthians as part of our wedding mass. It's one of my favourite passages. That said, I've heard the argument that the passage is wrong, that in fact it is hope that is the strongest, because without hope what do we have left? I've considered how this applies in fiction for a while and I've come to the conclusion that, in fact, Corinthians is correct.

There are times when the hero has lost everything, when there's nothing left to fight for, even the hope that the villain can be defeated. A rational person would give up and let the bad guys win.

Luckily, human beings are far from rational.

Sometimes a person will keep fighting, despite all odds. They'll stand to protect someone because they can't stand to see them hurt and they'll do anything, even face certain death, to try and prevent their suffering. Not because they think they have any chance of succeeding, but because they love them. Sometimes, just trying to make a difference is what really matters.

And that is stronger than anything in the world.

The Hunger Games - First book, first thoughts

The thing aboutme is that I have this weird compulsion to resist reading popular books justbecause everyone keeps telling me I should read them. That is, until somethingabout it just gets my curiosity up so much that I cave in and read them anyway. Currently I’m trying to not read the Millenium Triology, which probably meansthat at some point I’ll read them anyway.

It was likethat back in 7th grade when my best friend carried Goblet of Fire around school for weeksand there was one guy in the class who was quite obsessed with the series and kepttalking about it. At that time, the school library also go the four (as wasthen available) books for the first time. Our school library was tiny and quitelimited and I probably was running out of things to read so I just rememberstarring at those four books, thinking, what the heck. I didn’t expect to getso sucked into it, because back then, honestly I was still reading Sweet Valley and Baby Sitters Club. The idea of a book about wizards and boys didn’t’exactly appeal to me. But I digress.

With Twilight, it was a different story.Facebook had come into play by then and too many people I know were havingTwilight-related statuses, but at the same time I’m hearing a fair amount ofcriticism for it.  So I read it just tosee what on earth people were complaining about. And apparently people whocomplain have a point. I’ve probably raged and ranted more about Twilight thanis healthy but I still can’t get over how much I hate Bella Swan. But Idigress, again.

Anyway, thepoint is, I’ve been seeing The HungerGames everywhere lately and people keep saying oh, it’s the next Harry Potter/Twilight and quite frankly,after hearing Twilight being described as “the next Harry Potter” and the disappointment that that resulted in, I’mtaking this claim with a fairly large grain of salt. I wasn’t planning to readit, even. It’s dystopian fiction – that much I knew - not my favourite genre,and I was forced into too much of that in school already. Then the movietrailer came out and Josh Hutcherson just looks so good that I ended up reading the first book of the triology.

I’ll saythis much first: it’s addictive and a page-turner which was why I didn’t get tosleep until 1am last night and spent about fifteen minutes contemplatingcalling in sick to work this morning because I was sleep-deprived and (moreimportantly :P) I wanted to keep on reading the second book – Catching Fire. But I didn’t.

I guess youcould call it 1984 for teenagers. I reallylove the world that Suzanne Collins built up, the premise of the Hunger Games,and how it reflects reality TV in the modern world. I don’t watch a whole loadof reality TV shows, because all the drama and backstabbing and crying justseem rather fake to me. I watch American Idol sporadically, only ever managedto get through Junior MasterChef because it’s so much less stress than theadult version and the only cycle of America’s Next Top Model I got through wasarguably the least dramatic – Cycle 13.  TheHunger Games basically just encompasses all that I feel about reality TV – the pointlessness,the drama, the babarism, and sense of so-what – and takes it all up a notch (orseveral notches).

I like that Collinsdoesn’t shy away from the truth of the matter – that the games forces teenagersto kill each other, and while survival instincts allow them to kill, it doesn’tever become ok, that you can be haunted forever. I like the ideas how “allies”can turn against each other when enemies are all eliminated, because it is afight to the death. I like the social commentary on the power of the state,freedom and poverty – which, let’s face it, are timeless themes.

I like theuniverse, the world building and the entire idea of the Hunger Games. It’s realand gritty and makes for an exciting story. The Games both simultaneously makes you want to just keep on reading, feeling disgusted if you think that this could happen in the real world, but at the same time you do have to get excited with all the suspense. That’s what was keeping me turningthe pages.

I love the fact that even in this life or death situation where you literally have to kill everyone to survive, Katniss still finds someone to care about - Rue. The relationship between Katniss and Rue is just heart-wrenching because you know it can't last, you know Rue will die, but the manner of death was just heartbreaking. Rue's death coupled with Katniss' first direct kill marks the loss of innocence (if you could even call Katniss innocent in the first place) for the character and it's the best chapter in the book, both in terms of writing and content. 

I’m not inlove with Katniss, the main character yet after a third of the series, but sheis a pretty fleshed out character. She is capable and cunning, and no fuss ismade about that, she’s not expected to lean on anyone to survive just becauseshe’s a girl. She’s got compassion and capable of cowardice, hatred and andguilt, which gives her depth. As far as character, even more, a femalecharacter, go, I don’t have that much to complain about. I just am at a placewhere I don’t really click with her just yet.  

What bugs meabout this book is the love-triangle-that-isn’t.

First off,Gale doesn’t make much of an impression on me, except that he’s a good guy, hecares for his family and he’s friends with Katniss and seems to have a crush onher. I guess, the book goes so straight into the Hunger Games – which Gale isnot a part of – that I don’t really get the idea that I’m supposed to care thatGale likes Katniss and how that’s going to affect her relationship with Peeta.

On the otherhand, Peeta is a saint. He’s kind, he’s caring, he’s patient, he’s wonderfuland totally in love with Katniss, and he’s the kind of guy that I wonder whyanyone would not want.  He’s bordering ona Gary Stu but without the annoying traits. Actually, the lack of bad traits(so far) from Peeta  could be kind ofjarring if I let myself get too into it, but I genuinely want to like Peeta,and the author’s making it so damn easy to like him.  

So I’m readingand wondering, not why Katniss is in a conflict between Peeta and Gale, but whythe author even bothers trying to paint up this love triangle. It’s kind ofobvious that Peeta has the upper hand here: the book is in first person, andKatniss is in the Hunger Games with Peeta while Gale is not. It means thatafter the first three chapters, Gale disappears off the face of the book,except in Katniss’ brief flashbacks, while Peeta is always there. Constantly.She’s supposed to kill Peeta. You get the idea that, after all the backstory andwonderful-boy-too-good-to-be-true  scenariothe author builds up, either he’ll die tragically, or that he won’t die somehowand Katniss and he will end up together.

But I guessit’s not fatal (yet) – I’m just wondering how much this triangle will play upin the second book, and the third, when Gale would probably appear more often.I just hate the idea that the triangle that everyone knows the end of mightsomehow end up shadowing the story, which is good.

The story isgood, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the writing is stellar. And this writingisn’t stellar. It’s not Twilight-quality, certainly, but it can be quite uncomfortableto read. I get the feeling that the author lacks finesse and subtlety,everything is stated out in the open, with comparisons between past and presentevents made too directly. It just feels like a whole load of telling in themost direct way possible. It doesn’t exactly lack poetry, the author can putout nice turns of phrase in certain places, but overall the writing approach isjust heads-on.

Though, now that I think about it, to be totally fair, the choppy, heads-on, blunt style of writing does work better in the Games where things are happening in the moment, people are dying in the moment. I guess Katniss has to be blunt there to get the narration across and it does create the mood for the Games. Still, it can be quite bumpy to read.

Then again,as I said, the story overall is good, so I can say that while I’m not overlyawed by The Hunger Games, I’m not disappointed that I read it. The story drawsyou in enough so that you keep reading despite the occasional bumps with thewriting style. I’m looking forward to getting more into this world with thenext books.   

Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Invincible Summer

Just last week I finished reading Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz. The following review will contain some spoilers.

Score: 5 out of 5

Now, Invincible Summer is not the sort of thing I typically read. But Hannah Moskowitz is awesome and following her on Twitter attracted me to her work.

We follow Chase, second eldest of a large family, over the course of four summers spent at his family's beach house. He and his siblings swim, play on the beach and roam the boardwalk. Their neighbours for the summer, the Hathaways, seem so close the families' teenage kids all assume they'll end up married to one another some day. However beneath the picture postcard exterior lie deep-seated problems which slowly envelop the summer and transform Chase's life forever.

The two families live in a state of denial about their own problems, leading to Chase playing the mature brother while his older brother Noah runs off for days on end and his young sister Claudia experimenting with displays of sexuality far beyond that which is appropriate. Finding comfort and guidance in the writings of Camus, Chase hides from his own maturity and uses memorised quotations to avoid developing his own sense of self.

Things just get worse when Melinda Hathaway takes an interest in Chase, while she's supposed to be seeing Noah. Their relationship is dangerous and manipulative. Melinda's use of Chase as a way to handle her own problems turns her into the primary face of the true antagonist - the beach itself, which allows Chase's family to run and hide instead of growing strong by facing their problems.

Through the course of the novel, Hannah Moskowitz excellently portrays the highs and lows of a teenage summer, from the initial sense of dread at the start of the holidays for fear it might not live up to expectations, to a teenage boy's feelings that being a virgin for even one moment longer will be a detriment to his lifelong happiness. There are several wrenching moments where members of Chase's family come so close to figuring out where they're going wrong, but then lose it again.

If I have any complaint, it's that the ending, while incredibly powerful, doesn't seem necessary. Chase's eventual realisation and salvation could come from the events leading up to, and including, how his relationship with Melinda ends. Still, while the climax comes a little out of left field, it is powerful enough not to take away from the overall story, and the effect it has on the characters feels true.

Invincible Summer really hit home for me, especially the climax and how the fallout is handled. It left me feeling a little numbed from the emotional trauma. I felt so much for Chase. He doesn't deserve the things that happen to him. I hope things get better for him when he goes to college.

Friday, November 11, 2011


No proper post from me today, I'm afraid. Been a little preoccupied getting ready for the two weddings we're going to today. The first is a friend of my sister's, and my wife is singing at the ceremony. The second is down in Wexford, for two friends of ours. It's going to be a long day, but it should be fun.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spookley the Square Pumpkin (audio-visual eBook)

Spookley the Square PumpkinSpookley the Square Pumpkin (Image via the Square Pumpkin is an illustrated children's book with audio narrations (complete with rhymes) that tells the story of this cute square pumpkin. Illustration are nicely done, and narration is good. It should keep your very young quite engaged... but it really needs to be played on a tablet. It's quite readable on a phone, but do you really want your kid to squint at a tiny screen?

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AAQR: Espier Launcher (home replacement)

Espier Launcher is a DIRECT clone of the iOS Launcher / home (I think it's iOS 5, as it's identical to the one on my friend's 3GS updated to iOS5). I imagine they are looking at a lawsuit from Apple any day now.

EVERY feature is cloned down to the pixel. If you scroll left until the end you'll get a "search pane", just like iOS launcher. They even copied the Safari browser icon for the browser.

If you insist on making your Android phone an iOS look-alike, or you want to play a trick on your friends and claim this is really an iPhone, sure. Try it. As for me, it crashes like crazy on my OG Droid, just quits with no explanation.

Worth a look at, but probably not to keep.

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AAQR: 3D Bio Ball (game)

3D Bio Ball is one of those "tilt and move a ball in a maze" type games in full 3D, and has pretty visuals, along with extra elements like light, spring pads, "cannon", and so on. There's a story mode too, about how "Bolt" freed you to do a few things for him.

Play is not that special, as the ball is a little small, but I guess you do need to see the whole play field. The extra features are interesting. There is a tutorial mode with some sample levels.

Not bad. 6.5 out of 10.
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Mariah Carey Shows Off Slimmed Down Post-Baby Body

Who's the most stylish musician