Feature 3 Ranked Agario skins

Last week I featured pictures of all the new premium skins on agario that can be bought with the in-game coins. This week they have released some new ranked agario skins that can only be unlocked when you reach a new rank in the game’s levelling up system.

Ranked Veteran Agario Skins 1 Ranked Veteran Agario Skins 2 Ranked Veteran Agario Skins 3 Ranked Veteran Agario Skins 4 Ranked Agario Skins 5

These skins can be unlocked each time you reach the level stated underneath. They are called the ranked or veteran skins and reward loyal players who take time to play the game and level up. The different ranks go in the order of the food chain, meaning the higher rank you get the higher up the food chain you are. So you start as a fly and work your way up to a kraken. Yes, a kraken. I really like this new idea, and I hope it encourages people to play to rank up. You can play with these great new ranked agario skins here.

part9

This is the last instalment of the comic industry posts. I hope you have enjoyed them.

Perhaps the worst decades for the industry were the ‘00s and ‘10s. Just after the highs of the millennium, the industry had a shock after Buster closed in 2000. IPC’s Goliath was beaten after merging with at least 20 other comics including Whizzer and Chips, Cor!!, and Radio Fun. Buster was IPC’s best rival to The Beano and Dandy, but ended up being mainly reprints during the last decade of its existence. It also suffered from a lack of readership towards the end of its tenure. One great touch in the last issue told the readers how many of their favourite stories ended, and also went on to reveal that under Buster’s cap he had a Dennis the Menace hairstyle, as a playful nod to their long time rivals.

last ever buster comic
How it all Ended in the Last Buster Comic

The Beano and Dandy also lost many readers during this period. These losses were mainly down to the new ways of reading like e-readers, and the many distractions for children like video games and television. Due to the lack of readers, the longest running British comic, The Dandy, closed in 2012. Because the comic had few readers, it made economic sense to stop the comic before it operated on a loss. Another contributing factor was its revamp in 2008. Dandy Xtreme, an aim to modernise the comic by focussing around television programmes and video games, lost the comic many of its readers who used to read it as a child. Parents would also not buy the comic for their children, as it was completely different to how they knew it. Therefore, when the comic went back to humour strips the brand had been spoiled. The last issue was on its 75th birthday on December 4, 2012. This issue featured the 75 best strips of the comic, and because of the many older readers who picked up a copy, it became very hard to find in newsagents to buy. Back in the 1950s, the comic was consistently selling 2,000,000 copies a week, but by the end it only had 8,000 regular readers.

last ever dandy comic 75th anniversary
The Last Ever Dandy Comic

These few bad decades did have some triumphs. Some new comics came out during this era but they either had a low budget or were Beano and Dandy specials or tributes. There are only three main comics left now: The Beano, still going strong, Toxic, started in 1991 and later in 2002 with more comic strips than the average magazine, and the Phoenix, which contains mainly adventure stories that was started in 2012 by some of the best contemporary artists. Children’s magazines today are here today and gone tomorrow mainly because they follow the latest trends or fads. The magazines rarely have comic strips or cartoons, and would rather centre on celebrities, video games, or films in an attempt to modernise the format. For me a country without comics is very sad, as many children now will never be able to enjoy the laughs, comradery, and enjoyment that a simple comic can bring. Children will also miss out the great artwork and the gripping storylines. School playgrounds will never be the same without the questions, “Are you a Whizzer or a Chipite?” or “Did you read Dennis the Menace this week?” Without a market for new comics, the main publishers now have to bring out nostalgic comics for their older readers. Just last Christmas a The Beezer, The Topper, Whizzer and Chips, and Roy of the Rovers annual were published with the old style of strips.

best of annuals Roy of the Rovers Whizzer and Chips Topper Beezer
The Best of Annuals 2015

The industry has not gone yet, though, and you can do your bit by reading and enjoying the comics out today.

The Phoenix – A Quality Weekly Story Paper – Buy Here

phoenix comic

Toxic Magazine – More Comics than the Average Mag – Buy Here

toxic comic

The Beano – The World’s Longest Running Comic – Buy Here

Beano Comic

Adobe Illustrator Logo

Last week’s suggestions were alternatives to Photoshop, so this week’s are alternatives to Illustrator. Illustrator deals with vector graphics and is pretty much the industry standard for design and graphics. I have been using it for a few years now, but before I bought it I had to find alternatives. These alternatives are either free or cheap and do a great job as an Illustrator substitute.

Inkscape

This is by far the best substitute for Adobe Illustrator. It has all the same features that Illustrator has, and it also has another great feature… it is completely free! For anyone who wants to design logos or t shirts, but doesn’t want to shell out a chunk of change for Illustrator, Inkscape is for you. I used this for a while before getting Illustrator, so I know how similar they are. You can find this great piece of software here. If you need any assistance this youtube playlist by Derek Banas should teach you the basics. You can download Inkscape for Mac or PC!

Inkscape User Interface
One of the many great things you can do in Inkscape.

Pixelmator

I know I mentioned Pixelmator last week, but bear with me. As well as being a good photo editor, Pixelmator also can create vector images. If you open up Pixelmator and press Cmd > Shift > V to open up Vectormator. You can now add simple vector shapes to your images. This is by no means a full piece of vector software, but it is really handy to have there while you are editing your bitmap pictures. You can find out more about Pixelmator here.

Vectormator
Vectormator User Interface

YouiDraw

This great online app is a simple way of creating logos, drawings, or paintings. It is the logo designer that can be used as a vector image creator. You can start of with any number of vector templates or you can start from scratch. The different tools offered to you make it a cheap and easy to use app that can be accessed online. The tools work as you would expect them and produce pleasing results. You can find YouiDraw online here.

youi draw vector
Logo Designer by Youi

What should I suggest next week?

cookieclicker

The last few years have seen an influx of clicking games where the aim of the game is to build up a fortune of different items that can buy upgrades  that will increase your fortune. No game has done this as well as Cookie Clicker. This game makes you click a large cookie to add to your total, and when you get enough you can buy upgrades to increase the cookie clickage. The more cookies you get the better items you can buy. Even if this game was not the first of it’s clicker genre, it certainly defined it. The gameplay and subject (who doesn’t like cookies) makes this game addictive to many. One word of advice… Don’t anger the Grannies! You have been warned. If you haven’t played it you can find it here.

Cookie from Cookie Clicker
Choc Chip to your taste?

 

Commodore Clicker

Based off the old Commodore console (if you can call it that) this game strips down the clicker to its simplest. This is a game for programmers who understand the ins and outs of the old Commodore system. Instead of cookies, this game makes you collect pixels that you can spend on upgrades for the console. The aim is to fill in the screen on the right with the pixels you collect. If you want flashy graphics this isn’t for you, but if you want a thematic clicker based on a classic console with a simple UI, this clicker is for you. If you are such a person, you can play it here.

Commodore Clicker
Like the Olden Days

Idle Web Tycoon

This game puts you in the shoes of a website owner (much like myself) who is struggling for hits on his site (again much like myself). You must keep clicking your site to refresh it and get more hits. Some of the upgrades you can buy are: a tab that refreshed itself, a friend’s computer that reloads 3 times a second. You can also add extra bandwidth for your site to increase the hits, or add more annoying ads to your page to increase the money you get for each hit you receive. I like the theme of this clicker mainly because I know the feeling of trying to get more hits to a site. Give some hits to armourgames by playing the game here.

Idle Web Tycoon
I need more Hits…

Cursor 10

Although not a game where you become a tycoon, but can be called a “clicker” in every sense of the word. Cursor 10 gives you 10 cursors that you must use to climb the 16 storeys of the tower. Each cursor has a minute to go as far as it can, before you get another cursor and have to start again. The cursor that ended is now operated by the computer and follows the path you set for it. With each new cursor the old ones should help them to get further up the building. To get a high score you can even click the triangles that appear to gain points. If you like Cookie Clicker I think you will like this game because it involves clicking, but also a bit of logic as well. You can try out Cursor 10 here.

Cursor 10
Try to Beat it!

I hope you like these suggestion posts I am making. If you have any games you would like suggestions for, feel free to leave a comment. In the meantime, happy clicking!

 

youtube-logo-1920

It looks like YouTube have changed the look of their player bar on their videos. Some websites reported this a while ago but you needed to change your browser settings to view the new transparent bar; whether I am a lucky one who has received this trans bar or whether everyone has now received it I don’t know. If you haven’t got this new design and you want it you can go to this link to find out how to add it to your browser.

http://www.cnet.com/uk/how-to/how-to-enable-youtubes-new-transparent-player/

I didn’t need to do anything to get mine so it may be worth waiting instead of fiddling about with your settings.

You should know what every button does, as it is very similar to the old one. The main difference is the transparency, but it also features a forward arrow that will take you, when clicked, to the next video in the playlist or autoplay even if you have autoplay turned off. You can see the differences between the two pictures.

The Old Look
The Old Look
The New, Edgier Look
The New, Edgier Look
Screenshot 2015-07-14 19.40.23

If you haven’t heard of agar.io first where have you been? and second go play it now at agar.io. If you have played it and enjoyed it I have picked out three web games that I think any agar.io fan would enjoy. They take a few of agar.io’s best bits and put them into a complete game. It should also help you practice and help you get up the agar.io leaderboard.

Pixel

An incredibly simple game but can teach you a lot about agar.io. It can help you dodge and shoot especially because the character follows the mouse like the cells in agar.io.

The aim of Pixel is to collect the pixels that are released from any enemy you kill. The most interesting thing is that once you collect some of the released pixels it then shoots out some more pixels that can kill other enemies. This gives you a chance to create massive combos to increase your score. I think this game is similar to agar.io in the way you have to collect the pixels or cells and that you control the character with the mouse and can shoot with the space bar. You can play it here.

Pixel Online Game
Pixel

Fishy

This game is a quick game that is easy to understand. You start off as a small fish and attempt to eat all the smaller fish to get increasingly bigger. Does this ring any bells? This game was created by XGen Studios and came out at least five years before agar.io. It will help you judge who is bigger and smaller than yourself and also help you dodge the enemies which are constantly coming in from the sides. Although not as involved as agar.io, fishy is a fun game to play when you have some time to waste. If you would like to play this game you can find it here.

Fishy Online Game
Fishy

 Bubble Tanks

Perhaps the best game similar to agar.io, Bubble Tanks makes you the controller of a tank made of bubbles that must collect other bubbles to grow larger, gain bigger guns, and increase your defences. You start in a bubble that has only a few enemies that cannot fire at you. These are easy to shoot at using the mouse and give you bubbles to help you grow. You can then move out of that bubble and into another to find larger and harder enemies that you must defeat. The more bubbles you pick up the better weapons you get. I think this is similar to agar.io because it makes the player collect bubbles to get stronger. You can play this game created by Hero Interactive here.

Bubble Tanks
Bubble Tanks
Online Games

Sometimes during the day we have some spare time that needs filling. This can be filled with online flash games but playing by yourself seems a bit “lonely,” so I have put forward 3 great online multiplayer games that you can dip in and out of as much as you like. I also hope to give you some tips and tricks from my own experience to help you reach the top!

Agar.io

I only found out about this game around 2 weeks ago. (Yes, I know, I am late to the party) Although no one knows the creator or when it was created it has since become incredibly popular over the last few months being featured on numerous youtube channels and its app is at the top of the charts. If you don’t know the aim of the game is to increase the size of your “cell” by eating all organisms smaller than yourself. It is easy to pick up and learn, but hard to master.

Agar.io Tips and Tricks
An Unnamed Cell About To Catch Me

You move around the screen using your mouse and you must eat other smaller cells to grow bigger. The smaller your are the faster you are, so when you get to a large cell your speed is slower making it harder for you to catch your prey. You have two other options; you can press the space bar to split in two giving you a boost to hopefully catch others, and you can also press W to release a small part of your mass. This can be useful to lure your enemies in and can also be used to shoot viruses. Viruses are the green spiky things dotted around the maps that are great protection for any cell smaller than it, but cause a larger cell to burt into smaller cells that are often eaten up by the hungry cells surrounding you. A virus can be grown by ejecting some mass into it 7 times. On the 7th time a new virus will grow in the direction you were shooting. I would recommend this to eliminate any large cells. The game has leaderboards giving an even more competitive edge to any situation.

Some tips and tricks that I have learned:

1. Use the viruses

If you are small you can use them as defence, and if you are large you can use them as a weapon to take down your competition.

2. Use the walls and corners

Agar.io Virus
A Virus

When crammed up against a wall a player has only two ways they can move – up and down so it is easier for you to catch them. If you are larger you can even trap enemies in the corners and this time they will have no space to run. Watch out though an even larger cell may be right behind you ready to use the walls to their advantage.

3. Use the space bar

This will split you into two and will give you a handy speed boost to catch your foes, or it can be used to speed away from an approaching cell.

The basic agario can be played with skins that can all be found here and the basic game can be played at agar.io

Tag Pro

Another game that can be played on and off is tag pro. This game is an online multiplayer capture the flag game. It features many maps and servers for many countries. The aim of the game is to capture the flag of the opposition and take it back to your flag while it is still there. The problem is if you are holding the flag and you are hit by another ball of the opposite colour you have been tagged and thus pop with a splat of paint. There are also power ups that speed you up, pop other balls, and become a bomb. The variety of maps is incredible with many pitfalls and traps on each for the players to dodge. The game also gives players a rank based on their ability which unlocks flairs for them to use in game. One thing I like about this game is the way you can play one game, and win or lose, you are free to leave again or play another.

Tag Pro Map
One of the many Tag Pro maps.

Some tips and tricks:

1. Check your flag

Before you go out on a hero mission make sure your flag is safely in position. If you are being chased by the opposite team and you have nowhere to put the flag they will catch you and take it away.

2. Use the power-ups

Some of the power ups I have mentioned are incredibly useful to any player trying to make in roads into the enemy base and can also be used while carrying the flag. Collect a power-up before capturing the enemies’ flag.

3. Recon the map’s

Before you go and get the flag make sure you have a way out. Try and spot a tunnel or passage way that will get you from their base to yours the quickest way possible.

4. Leave a ball defending

This is probably the most important and yet the most underused tip. If everyone goes for the flag at once no one is left protecting your flag giving your enemies a really easy catch. Always leave one man back to defend.

This game can be found at http://tagpro-chord.koalabeast.com/

Epic Mafia

Epic Mafia Lobby
Chat before a game.

Many people have played games like Mafia and Werewolf in their youth groups or clubs and now it can be played online. Epic mafia is by far the best place to play these style of lying and bluffing games. If you haven’t played, the basic premise of the game is that in a group of people some are mafia, some have power roles like cop, doctor, and gunsmith, and some are just boring villagers. The aim of the game is for the mafia to out number the villagers and power roles, and the villagers or town to kill the mafia. If you would like a better explanation try this video. I have played this game more than the other two put together and know almost every trick in the book.

Some tip and tricks:

1. Play unranked games first

When you create an account you have to play at least 5 unranked games before you played ranked. But if you want to get ahead play as many games of unranked until you feel comfortable. If you played ranked and cause your team to lose expect some annoyed people.

2. Learn some strategies

I would recommend learning at least 3 strategies that you can play when it is most appropriate. This saves you looking foolish when you do something off the cuff. For a good place to find strategies check out this site.

3. Don’t hold grudges

In a game where people vote off whoever they want it is easy to form grudges with other players. Don’t. If you hold a grudge people will hold one with you and will try all they can to get you killed even if it means them losing. It also works the other way. Don’t be horrible to other people otherwise they may have a grudge against you.

To play this game go to epicmafia.com