Things that have been occupying my mind time since I got back from Iceland! Well, besides work and comics.

First, the timely thing: Chu Chu Rocket is an old fun puzzle Dreamcast game and it’s free today for iPhone/iPod Touch! I never played the original but had heard a lot about it. I downloaded it at lunch and had a hard time tearing myself away. It involves guiding chu chus to rockets with arrows. The mechanic will seem more familiar these days, but it’s still refreshing and challenging and authentically retro. Do yourself a favor and download it for free while you still can if you have one of those devices.

A small to medium sized randomly generated level. Some take over the whole screen and have caterpillars!

An even retro-er (retroier? ok, fine, I’ll give up trying to make a new word and just say MORE RETRO) game, but totally new, is Forget-Me-Not. I bought this for the iPad ($2), but it’s available for the smaller iOS devices.

I’m loving this game. The graphics are elegant, and the sound is pleasant and indicative of what’s going on. You navigate a pacman-like maze, eat flowers (pellets) to rack up points, get the key, and head to the exit once you eat all the pellets. Creepy crawlies try to get you, and unlike pacman, you can shoot them! But don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. It can still be pretty difficult. When you’ve run through all your lives you have to start over. Such a defeating feeling, right? But what I love about this game is that each level is randomly generated. So even though I hate losing, I always love seeing a new level load, and starting over isn’t repetitive. I’m not very good at the game – obviously I need to learn how to grind. For more tips on scoring points and getting new lives, read the description in the App Store.

Both of the above mentioned games hook into iOS Game Center. My ID is Tototito, so feel free to friend me and see how bad I am.

Not game related: I’ve been listening to a writing podcast called Writing Excuses. It’s hosted by three guys: Schlock Mercenary cartoonist Howard Taylor, fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson, and horror writer Dan Wells. The guys are entertaining, full of writing wisdom, and concise – each podcast is around 15 minutes. I recommend this to any storyteller who has time to listen podcasts!