Humble Bundle – Grab Games Dirt Cheap & Donate To Charity At The Same Time!

 

humble-bundleGames, they’re great.  They’re even more great, dare I say awesome for geeks!  And we always love a bargain.

If you anything like me, you see a game that you kind of want (but not a lot) and think, if I can get a deal on it, consider it sold!

However, there isn’t only now somewhere that you can get a great deal on selected games – but, you can also donate part (or in theory, all) of the money you pay for these games to a charity of your choosing – double win!

Get the games to quench your thirst, support a great organisation and donate some money to the charity that you choose – you can’t lose!

Who are they?

The name is Humble Bundle.  They’ve got a new ‘humble bundle’ each month.  There’s also subscriptions and a standard game e-store but we’re going to focus on the monthly Humble Bundle for now.

Essentially, this is a ‘pay what you want’ model (with some minimums – albeit very low minimums).  The more you donate, the more games you get.

And with prices starting at $1 (approximately £0.76), you really can’t grumble and it’s worth having a punt with almost any game at that price!

How does it work?

View the Humble Bundle on the website, there’s a new one every month.  Decide what you want to donate, and what split you want between the developers of the games in the bundle, the lovely people behind Humble Bundle itself and a charity of your choosing.  The you get the games delivered to you in super rapid (pretty much instant, according to the reports we’ve heard) to your inbox.

Games are provided as codes – i.e. Steam codes.  Pop them into your Steam client and the game will start to download and install.  Easy peasy – much better than in the good old days of waiting for the Royal Mail to deliver you games to you a few days later!

What’s in it?

The contents of the Humble Bundle change each month, so even if you don’t like anything that’s in it one month, make sure to head back their next – there could be a game that you’ve been waiting for at a knock down price.

Let’s have a look at what’s in it this month.

For the bargain price of $1 (£0.76 approx) we’ve got:

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OK, so Duke Nukem Forever is the game that took the developers a bazillion years and is critically panned, but for 25p, it’s worth a go!  The Darkness II and Special Ops: The Line are also included.

Willing to pay a little bit more?  Well the middle ‘band’ is interesting – it fluctuates between the lower and upper bands based on what people have been willing to pay.  Currently the middle band and next tier sit at $9.28 (£7.05 approx).  For that, you get the three games from tier one above and also:

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Now, you get your money’s worth out of this purely for the inclusion of the superb Civilization V.  For those who haven’t played the others (and for those that have even more), Civ V is well worth a play – great strategy game that can lead to hours and hours of fun as standard!

For the basketball fans we’ve also got NBA 2016.  Thrown in for good measure is Mafia II – Directors Cut and the Battleborn Start Skin Pack.  Followed by Freedom Force, Freedom Force vs The Third Reich, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified and the secret guilty pleasure of many a person out there (yes, you know you’ve played the demo!) Railroad Tycoon 3.

£0.64 per game so far – great value I hear you say.  Truly exceptional value in my book.

And if you’ve got a little more cash, it’ll get you some more goodies – pay $15 (£11.39 approx) and they’ll throw in more Battleborn games and add-ons:

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Still not enough?  I hear you.  They’ll also throw these in on top of the tier three bundle:

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Conclusion

Awesome games, unbelievable price and you get to help a chosen charity at the same time – all for one low price.  Now our gaming habits can help good causes as well as enabling us to get our fix and save a ton of money at the same time.

With a collective RRP of $360, all yours for as little as $15, this is a no-brainer.

What are you waiting for?!  Go out and grab your bundle now!

Pokémon Go Plagued By Freezing App

 

pokemon-goPokémon Go – the new app craze that is taking the world by storm – is unfortunately, despite recent efforts, continued to be plagued by a freezing and crashing app to much frustration of Pokémon trainers worldwide.

The latest augmented reality craze that we covered recently has had numerous problems since launch including logins failing (particularly through the Pokémon Trainer Club) and the app being extremely unreliable.

Despite much fixing going on behind the scenes at developer Niantic, unfortunately the dreaded freezing app issue still remains.  What’s causing it?  Let’s take a look.

What’s Happening?

The app freezes – seemingly randomly.  But rather than crashing (i.e. the apps doing nothing or quits unexpectedly), most of the time the app continues to ‘play on’ but no longer responds to user input (i.e. touching the screen, attempting to open the menu or catch a Pokémon).

What’s Causing It?

Well, we can likely rule out a few things here.

Firstly, it’s unlikely to be demand on the servers.  By now, almost a month after the UK launch, we expect that Niantic have finally managed to boost capacity on their servers to cope with the numbers of players.  Also, as with any new craze or fad, things have likely died down a little recently, many people downloading and playing the app but who have since given up.

Secondly, Internet connectivity.  It’s unlikely to be the source of the problem as internet connectivity issues across so many different devices and so many different internet connections are unlikely to be coincidentally dropping out at the point the app freezes.  Furthermore, when the app ‘freezes’ it seems to continue to be fully operational apart from the fact that it no longer responds to user input (which, I admit, makes the app pretty useless – unless all you’re doing is walking to hatch your currently incubated eggs, in which case you should be OK).  Having tested this out, although the app does have a tenancy to stop responding and/or crash when your internet connection drops or you are switching from one connection to another (i.e. your home wifi to 3G/4G when you leave your home), the app also has a tendency to freeze when there’s no connection drop or switching of connection – so whilst this is a possibility (and more likely than the first reason), it’s still down there on the list of possible causes.

So… what’s likely to be causing it?

I’m putting my money on a bug in the application.  Yes, I know they’ve been working on it – but a developers work is never done!  And with the tendency to throw an app out there and then fix the bugs, it wouldn’t surprise us if this was the case.  Even once you are aware of the effect of a bug, the cause is not always evident or easy to track down.

To be honest, this bug has probably been bottom of the pile (hopefully, until now) because of the much more severe problems that Niantic have had to be busy fixing – namely people not being able to play the app at all, rather than it crashing during use (albeit fairly frequently).

What Can I Do (How Do I Fix This)?

This depends on the way you’re asking the question.

How do you fix this – as in, how do you resolve the problem / bug that is causing this to happen?  The answer is, you can’t.  We’ll have to leave this one in the hands of the developers at Niantic I’m afraid.

But fear not – there’s a relatively pain free solution as a temporary workaround – and it’s quite easy.

If (when) the Pokémon Go app stops responding to your inputs (i.e. when you touch the screen), simply quit the app and restart.  When the app starts again, you’ll notice that it is once again responding to your inputs and you can play normally again.  Please note:  if you are walking at the time of doing this, you may lose a few fractions of a kilometer whilst the app restarts.  Sorry, there’s little way to avoid this, unless you stop walking when you quit the app and don’t start again until the apps reloaded.  However, the impact of this is going to be negligible – particularly when you consider the dodgy straight line GPS tracking that Pokémon Go employs!

To quit the app on an iPhone, double tap the home button and then swipe the Pokémon Go app upwards.  Then start the app again as normal.

For Android phones, go to the Application Manager (in Settings), click the name of the app, and then select ‘Force Quit’.  Start the app again as normal.

Conclusion

It’s pretty annoying – I’ll admit being totally frustrated with this myself.  We’ve got to sit tight and pray Niantic answer our calls.  Until then, use the fix above and Pokémon Go should just be a mildly frustrating yet addictive app to play, rather than a totally unplayable one!

Pokémon Go Takes The World By Storm

Pokémon Go has beenpokemon-go out in the UK since the 6th July – so nearly a month into the craze, we take a look at where we’re at.

If you don’t know what Pokémon Go is – where have you been for the past month!?  Pokémon Go has literally taken the world by storm – with everyone of all ages out to ‘catch ’em all’.

Pokémon Go is an Augmented Reality app – free to download, free to play but with the usual options for in-app purchases to help propel you forward in the game.  This is really the first AR app that’s taken off to such a degree.  Well to be fair, on the world-beating scale of all apps, it’s up there with the best.  But the easiest way to think about it is it’s mixing the reality we live in, with the in game world.

Landmarks have now become Pokéstops – places where you can top up on much needed supplies, and gyms – where, rather than getting fit, you can battle other Pokémon and their trainers and try to capture as many gyms as possible.

Along with the new craze, has come new opportunities for thieves, as many people are now walking around with their expensive trendy smartphones in their hands and on full view (please be careful Trainers!).  Additionally,  as landmarks and places of interest in the real world are used in the game, that means unfortunately there’s been some unwanted attention at places including memorials and hospitals.

As with every new craze, there’s some controversy.  Only recently has developer Niantic managed to get the game in a broadly stable state where people can log in to it however the app is still unfortunately suffering from more-than-you-average amount of crashes.  However, we’re sure that after the initial ‘shock’ phase these problems should hopefully be ironed out, dealt with or avoided – it just takes time.

Just yesterday, a UK player who’s been playing non-stop since release has claimed to have caught them all (well, as many as are currently in the UK at least).

If you’ve not tried it yet, go on – you know you want to!  The extra exercise is proving a hit with health professionals worried about the UK’s growing obesity crisis and there has been some research to suggest that playing Pokémon Go improves people’s mood and helps with relieving depression.  For all of the current Trainers, keep on enjoying the game and remember to stay safe!