GGF#69: Vacation Mogul HD (iPad)

Gamer Girl Friday

I thought the last six iPad games I bought were going to keep me happy at least a month or so.

I still haven’t completed all of them and I still enjoy them. But App Store always manages to sneakily get into my line of sight. Seriously!

And App Store is to an iPad gamer what a candy store is to a kid. You want everything. You can’t have too many of everything.

That’s how I ended up with 24 games on my iPad at last count. (5 iPhone imports, 8 free/trial games, 11 bought.)

I want to talk about Vacation Mogul today and I’m quite long-winded about it so there will be two GGFs this week so I can cover more games.


Vacation Mogul HD (US$6.99)

Vacation Mogul HD

This was actually an accident. I was browsing iTunes when I acidentally bought Vacation Mogul for iPhone (US$2.99). I had just wanted to read the product description but clicked on the buy button, instead.

And the worse thing was that, a minute prior to that, I had thought to myself, “It’s so easy to accidentally buy apps in iTunes. Based on Murphy’s Law, it’s probably gonna happen to me one day.”

Talk about self-fulfilling prophecy.

(In iTunes, when you click on the price tag, it’s an instant purchase since they’ve got all your credit card details already. There’s no warning: “You’re buying this game. Accept? Decline?”

I mean, I like that cos it’s very convenient but it sure is risky for dodos like me.)

The good news is that the accident was a happy one. Vacation Mogul is so fun that, after doing the first few tutorial missions, I went and bought the iPad version.

Vacation Mogul HD

Because of my doofusness, I ended up playing through the tutorial missions four times (that’s 20 missions in total).

First time was on the iPhone. It was fun, so I decided to see how it would feel on the iPad’s bigger screen, although I had to put up with slightly blurry graphics from the stretch.

Then I decided to download the free iPad version to compare the difference. That’s a third playthrough. The gameplay is still the same but HD graphics just can’t be beat. It really enhances gaming experience (for me, anyway).

That’s when I impulsively put down another US$6.99 for a game I already own which I had accidentally bought in the first place.

Since there’s no data porting between the free and paid version, I had to play the tute missions a fourth time.

Fortunately, the game is fun enough for that not to be a huge chore.

Vacation Mogul HD

Vacation Mogul combines fun simulation gameplay with an interesting plot.

You inherit five islands from your recently-deceased uncle and are tasked to make thriving resorts out of them. Then, something happens to make you suspect that your uncle was murdered. So, in between being a future resort tycoon, you have to investigate your uncles’s death.

The game is mission-based, where you get a different goal to accomplish each level. Complete it faster to earn more money and experience points.

Vacation Mogul HD

Experience points are needed to make blueprints for new resort amenities (to attract more tourists), as well as game bonuses that help you do your missions better.

It’s really addictive. I mean, I’d rather be playing it now than writing this review but I’m sensible like that and know when it’s crucial to do the right thing, lol.

There are also fun little surprises along the way. One part of the plot leads to a hidden objects mini game. An easier one than a proper hidden objects game, but still cool. You’re allowed to skip this, though. It’s just for fun and doesn’t add to game progress.

If you have an iPad, I’d totally recommend the iPad version over the iPhone one. Both are mostly the same, but why squint your eyes when you can enjoy beautiful HD colours and feel assured that you won’t mispress anything on the iPhone’s tiny real esate?

The main difference between both versions (quite neglible if you’re not the fussy sort) is that you can see all five islands on one screen on the iPad. On the iPhone, you have to scroll through them one by one. Not a big deal.

Vacation Mogul HD

Likewise, on the research page where you buy new blueprints and bonuses, you can see the whole list on the iPad but only scrollable sections on the iPhone. This is slightly more important because you want to see at once what blueprints get unlocked next.


Vacation Mogul HD


Vacation Mogul HD

The missions themselves are the same. No scrolling required. And that’s the crucial part. But it does help when it’s on a bigger screen. It always does.

There’s a free version for the iPad which you can download to try. I think you can play through the entire game on it (although I can’t be too sure cos I only played one main island before getting the paid version).

The catch is that a pop-up message will interrupt you after every mission to persuade you to buy the game so you can get rid of the annoying message.

Anyway, I’m not writing a full review of this game because it’s already been out for months. Just wanted to talk about it because I’m quite pleased that an accidental purchase became a pleasant surprise.

Will introduce more iPad games tomorrow!

I dropped my iPhone on my eye

My nightly going-to-bed routine goes like this:

  • Turn off bedroom light.
  • Turn off computer monitors.
  • Lie down in bed.
  • Set phone alarm.
  • Turn on reading light and read a book till drowsy.

I didn’t get to read my book last night.

I had gotten into bed and picked up my iPhone to set the alarm. Because I was lying on my back, I naturally positioned the phone above my face so I could look at it.

While sliding the iPhone on, I somehow lost my grip on it and it fell right into my eye, the corner of the phone stabbing my right eye.

I shrieked.

Which startled the Goonfather awake. (He usually sleeps way before me.) He mumbled thickly, “What happened.”

I said, “I dropped my iPhone on my eye.”

It took a second for him to register what I said, and then he started laughing, the bastard.

I smacked him and called him an idiot.

My eye is fine, though, thanks for asking.

It wasn’t a very far drop. It just stung for a while, teared for a bit, and then it was fine.

Didn’t feel like reading anymore.

This morning, the Goonfather MSN’ed me: “You kena eye-phone!!! Hahaha.”

Sheylara humour; fuss over iPhone; maggots in McDonald’s

Hello World!

My first post in iTest is up!

Please go and read it. I promise you it won’t be a dry, techie blog. It will have a healthy dose of Sheylara humour to make it as painless as possible, especially for readers who aren’t very technical or aren’t very interested in technical stuff.

Go read it then come back here. =)

Now, I’m going to be quite random today because I’m bushed after a day of meetings and errands and writing that IDA blog.


The fuss over iPhone


Why are there still people making a big deal out of the 3G iPhone?

It’s so overhyped, with half of Singapore owning one, that I would think the response should now be: “Eew, you have an iPhone too?”

But, no. I’m still hearing: “Wow!! Is that the new iPhone???!!!”

Truly mind boggling.

In fact, I’m a little embarrassed to be seen carrying one because it’s so overhyped and common.

But it’s a pretty phone so I shan’t care.


Maggots in McDonald’s

In other news, maggots have been spotted in McDonald’s food products.

I received an e-mail written by one Judy Tan to the arts community e-mail group that I’m in.

You can’t read messages there if you’re not a member, so I’ll repost it here for you.

She says:

I went to the outlet at Compasspoint on 3 Sep 08 at about 10pm. I ordered 2 Double Cheeseburger and a 9 Pcs Chicken Nuggets. After which I asked for Curry Sauce and Chilli Sauce to take away.

When i got home, which was a short 2 mins ride, TO MY HORROR, when i opened the packet of curry sauce, i was greeted with a ‘smell’ and there were many tiny maggots crawling inside with a portion of the curry sauce which have turned black and harden and possibly rotting.

I wrote in to feedback to Macdonalds the same night, and this morning (4 Sep) i had a call from a Business Manager apologising for this encounter, the first thing she asked was if i had kept the packet of curry sauce! The maggots were crawling out, obviously i had it disposed as soon as i took the photos, and in our conversation she also mentioned that this is not isolated to the outlet at Compasspoint! It was island wide as it could be a supplier problem. I think it is ridiculous! She also told me there were a few complaints already.

Shouldn’t they stop giving out curry sauce while pending investigation? It was ‘fortunate’ for me that the rotting and maggots were visible. For those packets which have not turned black may have maggots swimming in the sauce which is not known to the consumer. I asked her if they do check the expiry date of the sauces, she mentioned that the turnover for curry sauce is very high thus unlikely it would hit past the expiry date. Then my question is, if it is not even past its expiry date and it is rotting with maggots, what’s going on???

This just serves as a warning to fellow Macdonalds consumers to watch out before dipping your food into curry sauce, you may not know what is swimming and growing in there…

This is quite troubling for me because McDonald’s happens to be my favourite fast-food joint. Now I can’t think about it without thinking of maggots. Sheesh.

There was a photo but the e-mail group doesn’t allow attachments so it got trunked.


The End

And that’s all for tonight. My bed beckons!

Except that I still can’t go to bed because I haven’t had dinner, haven’t showered, haven’t written my Xbox blog and haven’t logged into Warhammer Online for three days to take advantage of the Open Beta play for which I paid good money.

Well, nothing new there.

See you tomorrow!

I went for the iPhone launch…

…and decided to go home right away after seeing the insane crowd.

I started out quite excited to get my iPhone.

Arrived at Comcenter 10 minutes before launch.

Saw the queue.

It started from outside Comcentre’s main lobby, wound around the back of the building and then snaked towards the next wing, the hello! shop, and then continued past the next building.

There was an estimate of 600 people in the queue by the time the phone launched at midnight.

Some photos of the madness:

I couldn’t afford to stand around and wait in the queue for hours for my turn, so I decided to go home.

It’s freaking midnight lor… these people no need to work in the morning??

Ten minutes into the launch, the emcee interviewed the first few people in the queue, asking them what time they had started queueing.

The answer was: Since 12:30pm.

That’s 12 freaking hours standing in line!!


I’m thinking now I might want to give up my iPhone order and buy an Omnia, instead.