How To Take Care and Maintain Your Hearing Aid

Millions of Americans deal every day with some type of hearing loss. Although this product is tiny, it can be expensive, therefore requiring information to correctly preserve its function and situation. Millions of Americans still depend on these gadgets that are little to create a difference in their own life.

Within the years, some key improvements have been created by hearing products. In reality, it is often noted time, the unit have been created to be smaller and more successful over that the digital hearing-aid was stated in the 1950s and these small aids today can create outcomes that are huge. Directional microphones are put to enable the wearer to concentrate on one-on-one conversation as well as the capacity to converse in places. As you can suppose, these versions weren’t as helpful as suppliers and those to day discontinued their production till about the 1990s where engineering actually took a flip for the better.

Oklahoma City Hearing Aids technology gives a range of possibilities, meeting the requirements of people today. Some are more complicated or more costly than the others, but these digital or gadgets nonetheless need the assist of an experienced audiologist to select the correct item and proper-fitting. The price of the gadget can surpass $5 and can commence below $2,000. Combined with the installation comes good care, which may help keep it operating precisely and extend the life span of the hearing-aid. They’re an expense for particular.

As an expense, care makes your funds go quite a distance. Understanding repair, cleaning and the way you store your hearing-aid will keep it working and might avoid the need for recurring repairs over time. First, in regards to the shell, the top of hearing-aid has to be clear. Aids typically have particles from oil or dirt in the grooves. Chemical and water should to be avoided in your hearing aid. Tissue or a moist fabric needs to be carefully used to wipe down the hearing-aid. Many kits contain a brush that will be good use for earwax buildup. The microphone is acutely fragile, and it’s not required to poke the port. During cleansing, the microphone should constantly be facing the ground as well as the brush that is provided ought to be used. Wax buildup could be prevented by daily cleansing together with the brush .

In the event you have any queries or need further help on the appropriate cleansing techniques, it’s recommended that you simply ask your audiologist. They are the specialists in this area and will gladly evaluate these procedures along with one to ensure effective hearing-aid performance. As it pertains to moisture, a hearing-aid can lengthen their life and drying container or a support package will assist keep dampness from building-up inside the hearing aids. Be certain before putting them in a great spot so that you can help them as long as they possibly can to consider the batteries from the hearing-aid. This, also, will extend battery life. It’s recommended that a spare battery that ought to also be stored in a great location is usually carried by a person using a hearing-aid.

hearing-aidsAlthough batteries nowadays are made to last considerably longer lengthier than in the immediate past, drying is advised with all the use of possibly a forced-air blower (no, maybe not a blow dryer) or a can of compressed air such like the one used to clear a key pad. Moisture can occur from even sweat or rain. Climatic circumstances and your activity-level are a couple of the most frequent identified variables impacting dampness buildup. People with people who sweat or high ranges of bodily physical exercise are susceptible to moisture problems as it pertains with their hearing devices. Likewise, residing in locations of large humidity can also irritate its performance. Whether from external or internal sources, moisture ought to be averted as most useful you are able to. Some aids will stand as much as moisture than the others. Consult your audiologist to determine whether they advise drying containers or particular dry help kits and also discuss your particular life-style together. Your audiologist can assist you pick the correct aid that’ll support your present life-style in the event that you are a bodily individual and danger more perspiration than the others. This, subsequently, will assist you get the most from the hearing aid.

New Cosmetic Reconstruction App

Tech Insiders Report A New Augmentation App For Smart Phones

cosmetic reconstruction phone appWe all have used snapchat and other filter driven applications but there appears to be something new on the market for consumers to eat up like birthday cake. Apparently a software company out of Oklahoma is developing a new app that allows users to take a selfie then apply filters that represent surgical procedures. This app might hit the market if it catches on. They are currently trying to find plastic surgeons in the Oklahoma area to buy into the app and offer it to their patients as means to “test drive” the surgical procedure. What this means is that anyone looking to get plastic surgery procedures like liposuction, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, and botox can download this app to their smart phones and apply the filter on a selfie. So imagine that you were looking to get liposuction done around your waist area, you could snap a picture of your gut, apply the filter, and see what your post surgery stomach might look like. The same goes for nose jobs, boob jobs, and botox work.

How Technology Is Shaping Our Bodies

I love technology, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be writing about it. But with all the pros come many cons. It’s great that we can pick up a phone, snap a picture, apply a filter, and see what we might look like after cosmetic surgery. But what if we put down the phones and picked up some weights? Maybe we wouldn’t even need a new smart phone application like that if we were just getting exercise. I understand that this argument doesn’t necessarily apply to rhinoplasty or breast augmentation but it sure applies to liposuction!! It might be possible also if we weren’t so consumed with social media we wouldn’t be trying to modify our bodies to look like something else. Too much time looking at photos on instagram and facebook gives young people a false impression of reality. Well, such is life. If you are in need of cosmetic reconstructive surgery and want to see what it might look like before you go under the knife then this cool app is for you. Check it out and leave us some feedback in the comments section below and let us know how it worked for you.

Final Fantasy XIV Will Have New Game+, Here’s How It Works

A number of big additions and changes have been detailed for patch 5.1 in Final Fantasy XIV via the latest Letter from the Producer Live. This includes the Nier Automata alliance raid, the Grand Cosmos dungeon, and a bunch of class/job tweaks. These will all be implemented on October 29. While you can get our breakdown of a number of those new features in the upcoming 5.1 update, we’ll explain one in particular here: New Game+ for FFXIV.

It has been talked about for a while, and New Game+ will get its first iteration in the next patch. You’ll be able to replay story quests from all three expansions: Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers. Don’t worry about overwriting or resetting the work you’ve done; you’ll maintain your character’s overall story and job progress. Rather, it’s the system for which you can experience the story again. It can work as another way to level up other classes/jobs, but you will not receive the quest’s item rewards.

A look at the New Game+ screen.
A look at the New Game+ screen.

Both Heavensward and Stormblood quests will be divided into four parts–we’re not entirely clear which exact quest or story beat each part starts. However, we know that Parts 1 and 2 cover the main expansion story while Parts 3 and 4 cover the post-release quests. Shadowbringers, on the other hand, is divided into two parts, which makes sense since it’s the latest expansion with post-release quests rolling out at the moment. You won’t be able to freely jump between quests as each chapter must be played from their beginning, and you’ll have one auto-save slot for your New Game+ journey.

It’s an ambitious system for the MMORPG and there’s still more for New Game+ in the future. It is not yet incorporating anything from the base game, A Realm Reborn, though that is in the works. Considering that the team is currently tweaking A Realm Reborn to condense its questline, cut out some filler, and make it a better experience for new players, we may have to wait for the revamp before it gets incorporated to the New Game+ system.

Fortnite Finally Gave Everyone A Break And It Was Terrifying

On this week’s episode of the GameSpot After Dark podcast Jake, Lucy, and Tamoor are joined by Mary Kish, former GameSpot staff member, current Twitch employee, and all-around amazing streamer. The gang talks about the latest happenings in the world of video games, which includes the great Fortnite downtime of 2019. They also talk about their impression of Overwatch and The Witcher 3 Switch, as well as Disco Elysium, and Outer Wilds. Also, butt cheeks.

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Night Night, Fortnite

Tamoor: For people who don’t know, it was Fortnite; season 10 finished. They ended the world of Fortnite as we know it by sucking everything into a black hole, and then for around a day it was just that black hole.

Mary: The servers went down. If you started the game up, it allowed you to uninstall or quit, which was really shocking for a bunch of 12-year-olds, without a doubt.

Lucy: I’m trying to think what the equivalent of that was when I was a kid. Oh, Sims expansion packs would get to like 75% install, and then just break. Or, you could install a Sims expansion pack and you would load up the game, and the Sims would all just be completely still and not move. That’s the only frame of reference I have for wanting to play a game so badly and the game not cooperating, that I freaked out.

Tamoor: Losing internet connection when your mp3 download is at 97%.

Lucy: Oh, it’s when your friend used to send you songs that they downloaded from iTunes, and then you open it on your computer and it says, “You need the iTunes password of the person who bought it,” and then they wouldn’t give it to you.

Mary: It’s like being fairly through a game and then losing your save file.

Tamoor: But that happened and people freaked out-understandably, in some regard.

Lucy: What a PR move, though. I mean, that’s nuts.

Tamoor: It was, considering… I won’t quote it, but that game, some people have broken down how much that game makes on a day-by-day basis, and it is more money than we could ever earn in three lifetimes combined. People have obviously invested a lot of time into that game, a lot of money into that game, and they freaked out when it happened.

Mary: They asked for their money back.

Tamoor: Yeah. I think the thing that I struggle with is, it’s very obviously not going away. Kids aren’t going to be like, “Oh.”

Lucy: Kids don’t understand that, no.

Tamoor: Kids won’t understand that, but my hope would have been a parent would have gone, “It’s not going away. Relax. It’ll be back. It’ll be all right.”

Mary: I thought it was funny to watch them freak out.

Tamoor: I was like, “Oh, it’s a brief respite from Fortnite.”

Lucy: Not having to write new stories about Fortnite.

Tamoor: Yeah, because honestly, perhaps I shouldn’t say this, but I wrote through half of a story, which was basically about: this season has given me something I’ve wanted for so long, and that is an undeniable opportunity to not think about Fortnite for a while.

Because the reality of the situation is, wherever you are, there’s a whole group of people out there that has to think about Fortnite [constantly]. On our side, we write about it and make videos about it, and it’s… You can be like, “Oh, you don’t have to write about it.” Well, yeah you’re right, we don’t have to write about it. But then also, we’re giving up a lot of-

Mary: SEO juice.

Tamoor: … SEO juice, traffic. That sounds really cynical, but the way I see it is: Yeah, I will happily write about Fortnite until the cows come home because that traffic is what gives everyone else the opportunity to follow a passion project, and to make a video that probably won’t do as good numbers as a Fortnite video would, but it’s something they care about.

Mary: Jumping on that Fortnite grenade for your peers?

Tamoor: Yeah, exactly. It’s like some of the freedom to do that is afforded by what covering Fortnite does. That’s one side of it, but then if you’re a streamer… I was watching a streamer go through the transition process from one season to Chapter 2, which is what it is now, and those streamers have to be on all the time. If they have to play Fortnite all the time, their lives are consumed by Fortnite. I guarantee-

Mary: They get burnt out.

Tamoor: Yeah, I guarantee you there’s probably a few that are like, “Man, I don’t have to think about Fortnite. Nothing’s going to happen for at least 48 hours or 24 hours.” I imagine there’s some brief respite there, and even for people who work in marketing and various other ancillary industries that feed into Fortnite, it’s something like… It was a break, right?

Mary: Yeah. Fortnite is a machine, and you’re 100% [right] that streamers go through burnout just like writers or any other trade where they genuinely want to do something else. But you have to understand that especially a full-time streamer, someone who’s made a living out of it, they’re not just really good at video games, they’re gamifying their lives; they know that playing Fortnite min/maxes their chances at getting more subs, more donations, and more viewers. If you want to take that seriously and grow your channel, you play what is hot; you play the number one game, and the number one game for so long has been Fortnite and you cannot stop this. If you’re trying to grow, you have to play Fortnite, and that is exhausting for a streamer who is craving something new.

Tamoor: The interesting discussion is whether Epic is aware of that. They’re aware of the fact that they have an industry, or they have this massive group of people who are either relying on the economy that Fortnite has created within the game and within streaming as a whole. They know that there are established people, there are people who are halfway there, there are people who are a quarter-way there, and there are people who are just starting there.

What are the realities of taking that game offline? It might serve them a purpose, but how much responsibility do they have to think about those people? I don’t have the answer to that. As well as saying that, I bet you there are loads of Fortnite player-streamers that are probably like, “Oh, thank God I don’t have to think about Fortnite.”

Mary: You just play the next biggest thing. You just, now you’re Apex Man.

Tamoor: Exactly, but also it’s… You have to do your due diligence and say there’s also… there are Fortnite streamers there that were like, “Oh, God, it’s gone for a day. What do I do?”

Mary: Right. It’s probably both. I think it’s probably more relief than it is stress. I also think that, at the end of the day, we all know that the money machine, the million-dollar whale isn’t going to go away forever. There was no one who probably looked at that black hole, besides maybe a couple of youths, that were like, “It’s never coming back.” We all knew that it would come back, it was just a matter of time. But it is interesting to think about what a streamer would do if their cash cow, or the game that they play that everyone expects them to play is no longer around.

Jake: I might be getting the streamer wrong, but didn’t… I think summit1g, he was playing a lot of Fortnite because that’s what was big. Then finally, he had a breaking one day and he’s like, “I can’t play this game anymore.” Then he switched to Sea of Thieves, and that was part of the reason why Sea of Thieves had that up-trend for a while there. Because he was just so tired of it, and he’s like, “I don’t care. I don’t care if I don’t get any viewers. I don’t care if I lose most of my viewers. I cannot play more of this game, I am so burnt out.”

I don’t know if things have changed since then; maybe he’s back on Fortnite, maybe not, I don’t really keep up with that kind of stuff. But I found that story super fascinating, and also just kind of inspiring because you hear about that a lot, streamers burning out on the games they’re known for. It was kind of cool to hear someone who was just like, “You know, I’m just going to play what I want.”

Mary: I’m going to play something I want.

Jake: Maybe it won’t work out. He’s probably in the minority in the fact that, first of all, he was already pretty big so even that-

Mary: He can afford to. That’s the story you don’t hear, is that he can afford to do it. We also have really large streamers that for whatever reason, like xQc today was like, “I’m going to play Poly Bridge.” And you know what? He had 20,000 people watching him play Poly Bridge, and that probably really helped the devs of Poly Bridge and that’s rad, but he can afford to.

What you don’t see are all the people who are trying to get at that level that have to play the main games, and I think that’s that, as a company, we even are trying to encourage people to take a break from. It’s just very difficult to tell someone who’s trying to make it to also play what they want, and the statistics don’t lie.

Tamoor: Because I wasn’t playing the game but I was writing about the game and covering it, I wanted to find someone who would focus on what was happening but also had a decent community around there. Watching this person was like, this person clearly at some point cared about this game and enjoyed this game; but it was this weird situation where it seemed like he was an auto-pilot, where the basic function of his existence was to entertain. But that meant he was playing the game, and any time someone said a word he would take it, process it and try to make it somehow entertaining.

There was a lady on the other side talking just normal things like, “I’m going to get breakfast,” and then he’d be playing and sing, “Breakfaaaaaaaaast.” It’s like, this person’s just taking external stimuli and [automatically trying to turn] it into something even remotely engaging. I was watching it and I was like, “I feel so bad for this person.” it was simple things like someone would ask him a question and he’d be singing the question back and then going, “Oh, I need to answer this question.” And external stimuli like, “Oh, man, can see the shaking?” And like, “My phone’s ringing. Oh, isn’t that cool? The alarm is going off on my phone, isn’t that weird?” And you’re like, “No, dude. You don’t have to turn every moment of your existence into entertainment.”

Mary: Content, yeah.

Tamoor: That’s the scary part of it. But then this person reached 200k viewers and I was like, “I guess that’s what it’s all there for.”

Lucy: But at what cost?

Tamoor: Yeah, but at what cost? It was just like, oh, man. Fortnite is just a weird, sticky subject that-

Mary: It is.

Tamoor: For as much good as it does, it does a lot of things are questionable.

Resident Evil Producers Seeking Dismissal Of Lawsuit From Stuntwoman Who Lost Her Arm

The producers of the Resident Evil movie franchise are asking the courts to throw out a lawsuit from the stunt performer who sustained injuries so bad on the set of the latest movie that she needed to have one of her arms amputated. The legal team for director Paul W.S. Anderson and producing partner Jeremy Bolt filed documents asking for Olivia Jackson’s lawsuit to be dismissed.

Jackson’s “American lawyers are suing the wrong people in the wrong place,” the legal team for Anderson and Bolt said in its request for dismissal. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in August this year; Jackson is asking for unspecified damages to help pay for her medical bills, which are ongoing. Jackson suffered serious injuries on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter when performing a motorcycle stunt that went wrong. It was so bad that doctors amputated her left arm above the elbow.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jackson’s lawsuit claims that “Anderson and Bolt created an unsafe working environment on the set of the last installment of the popular movie franchise, and also failed to procure adequate insurance to cover the injuries that resulted from her crash.” Anderson and Bolt, meanwhile, claim that because Jackson was reportedly hired for The Final Chapter by an “unrelated” company based in South Africa, they are not responsible for paying damages.

The lawyers for the director and producer also state that this company, Davis Films, tried to get Jackson a $3.2 million liability policy from a South African insurance company called Hollard Insurance. However, Hollard reportedly would not pay Jackson’s claim because the terms apparently stated that the policy does not cover “all cast and crew.”

Davis did, however, pay $248,265 to Jackson to help her cover her medical expenses, according to the suit. Anderson and Bolt’s lawyers say Jackson’s attempt to resurface the issue in California court is a “publicity stunt masquerading as a lawsuit.”

Go to THR to get more details on the case.

Jackson also did stuntwork for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Performing a motorcycle stunt for Resident Evil actress Milla Jovovich in The Final Chapter, Jackson smashed into a camera after it failed to lift in time, according to her lawsuit. Jackson suffered serious injuries and was in a coma for 17 days before waking up to realize the extent of her career-ending injuries.

October 2015, Jackson released a Facebook post that detailed the extent of her injuries, which included “brain bleed[ing], brain swelling, severed main artery in the neck, crushed and degloved face, several broken ribs, paralyzed arm, shattered scapula, broken clavicle, broken humerus, broken radius and ulna, with an open wound and a 7.5 piece of bone missing, [and an] amputated thumb.” In an interview she stated: “My facial scarring is horrible and I wish I had my old face. But I’m truly grateful to be alive.”

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter was released in January 2017, and was the most successful movie in the series to date, making $312.2 million worldwide. In total the series, which kicked off in 2002, has made more than $1.2 billion worldwide.

AHS: 1984 – Episode 5 “Red Dawn” Breakdown

As sunrise approaches at Camp Redwood, Brooke and the camp counselors must find a way to survive the haunted campgrounds (and Mr. Jingles) for a few more hours. Greg and Ryan break down American Horror Story: 1984 Episode 5: “Red Dawn.” Let us know your favorite moments, references and theories in the comments!

Devs Behind Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, Cyberpunk 2077, And Avengers Talk About Crunch

Apex Legends developer Respawn’s new Star Wars game, Jedi Fallen Order, is coming up on its release in November. The time before release can be when developers push extra hard in what is known as a “crunch” period.

The game’s director, Stig Asmussen, has now shared his perspective on the practice of crunch and how the Jedi Fallen Order team worked to try to make sure its developers did not burn out. His comments came not long after top developers at CD Projekt Red (Cyberpunk 2077) and Crystal Dynamics (The Avengers) also spoke out about crunch, and you can see their thoughts further down the page.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Asmussen said Respawn never enforced crunch periods on Jedi Fallen Order–and that’s a change. For some of his past games (Asmussen was the game director for God of War III), he said he was part of teams that were forced to work extra long hours.

“Basically everybody said, ‘You’ve gotta work these hours,” and we realised that wasn’t a fair and sustainable approach [for Fallen Order].”

For Fallen Order, Asmussen said individual developers could decide what hours they wanted to work. “We left it up to the team,” he said. “It’s like, ‘Look, everybody I think carries their own responsibilities and their own tasks, and takes them very seriously, so why treat people like children, and say you have to be here at a certain time?'”

For those who want to work extra hours, “It’s your choice,” Asmussen said. Those who stay late were given “support,” including meals after hours, he added. On top of that, Asmussen said some of the project leads worked extra hours to show their team members that they are acting as a unit.

“We’re not going to tell you there are certain hours we’re going to be crunching at. You can make your own schedule, and the leads made a commitment to put in extra effort and extra hours as well to show that we’re all in it together,” Asmussen said.

“We understand your life outside of work is far more important than what you’re doing in the office, and we try to respect that.” — Asmussen

Even if Respawn did not enforce crunch or have their employees stick to strict schedules, some developers might feel pressured to work beyond what is normal to finish a project and demonstrate their commitment to colleagues and bosses. Eurogamer asked Asmussen if Respawn keeps a close eye on developers to ensure they are working in a healthy and safe manner, and the director responded emphatically.

“Absolutely,” Asmussen replied. “I know there are several times over the course of development where I told people to go home. You get so close to it you lose perspective, and not only that, you risk people burning out. At Respawn it’s a really big deal [that] we understand your life outside of work is far more important than what you’re doing in the office, and we try to respect that.”

Unlike the movie and TV industries, video game industry workers are largely non-unionized. People who work on movie and TV sets can typically only work a set number of hours based on their union contracts, but this kind of setup is considered to be rare in gaming. Over the years, various video game developers have been accused of demanding lengthy crunch periods, and the stories of burnout are prevalent.

Just recently, CD Projekt Red commented on the the vibe at the studio now with Cyberpunk 2077 entering the end of its production period ahead of its April 2020 release date. CD Projekt Red’s John Mamais, who heads up the company’s Krakow office, said everyone is “working really hard right now” to hit the deadline for Cyberpunk 2077. He said the team is excited by the positive reactions at industry events–like PAX Aus most recently–but that in turn creates pressure, and some developers feel like they are in a “vice.”

“You’re in a vice, in a way, which takes its toll on the team.” — CDPR Krakow’s John Mamais on how developers might feel

“I guess the vibe in the office is there’s always a level of excitement there based on results that we get from going to conferences like this [PAX Aus] and seeing people really excited about the game. So that keeps the hype up but it also puts some pressure on, so that’s kind of the vibe,” he said. “You’re in a vice, in a way, which takes its toll on the team but there is … a healthy, extrinsic kind of pressure to make [the team] really excel.”

Mamais added that working at CD Projekt Red is not for everyone–some have come in and found the experience too challenging. CD Projekt Red is trying to put practices in place to “keep the work under control,” Mamais said, though he acknowledged “it’s not always possible to do that.”

“There are a lot of people who come into the industry that are fresh; they don’t really understand what it takes to do it,” he said. “So we get a lot of new guys coming in, and they go, ‘Oh god, this is like too much.’ But then we have other guys come in from Rockstar Games, and they’re like, ‘This is not even crunch!’ We’re doing the best we can to keep the work under control. But sometimes when you’re doing some big-ass game like this, it’s not always possible to do that. It takes really hard work to make it really awesome.”

In October 2014, before the launch of CD Projekt Red’s acclaimed RPG The Witcher 3, the studio was accused of “crunching for over a year” in a bid to overcome development challenges.

Also at PAX Aus, Crystal Dynamics boss Scot Amos told GameSpot that the studio has a “family first” mentality for the ongoing development of The Avengers. “One of the things that I tell my team all the time: If you have a kid’s birthday, then go take care of your kid’s birthday, like what, what are you crazy?” he said.

Amos said he is aware of the “horror stories” about crunch in video games, but for Crystal Dynamics, he wants to have his team work in a “smart, balanced way.”

“We’ve actually changed everything from structures of how we do certain workdays with no meetings, go and get stuff done days which are very focused, ‘Hey, come in, and get your stuff done, we don’t want to interrupt you,’ we’ll provide meals free, whatever it is,” he added.

For more on these stories, check out GameSpot’s extended coverage below.

  • Marvel’s Avengers — Studio Head Talks Character Appearances, Crunch, And Squirrel Girl
  • Cyberpunk 2077 Dev Talks Multiplayer, Censorship, Crunch, And More

Apple Arcade Gets Another Cool-Looking Game This Week

William Chyr Studio has announced that Manifold Garden–first revealed as Relativity back in November 2012–is finally releasing this week. The game will be launching on The Epic Games Store and Apple Arcade on October 18, before following on Steam in 2020.

Manifold Garden is a first-person puzzle game that’s set in a seemingly infinite, physics-defying artistic space. Like several previous first-person, 3D puzzle games–such as The Witness–you must solve environmental puzzles within Manifold Garden’s world in order to proceed in it. The trick to solving many of the puzzles, however, lies in how you use the in-game gravity to your advantage.

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You might see a ledge you cannot reach, for example, but jumping off the side of the world will cause you to fall until you come back around and land on the ledge. Placing blocks in certain locations will adjust the shape or gravitational pull of specific spots as well. It’s a lot easier to see how it all works in action. You should watch the gameplay trailer embedded above for a better idea. Full warning though; it’s sometimes really trippy, vertigo-inducing, or both.

Apple Arcade has been on a roll since launch, delivering an expanding library of well-crafted indie games for a fraction of their total retail price. Just last week, the games subscription service got two spooky-looking additions in the form of Inmost and Stela, both of which seem intriguing in how well they use their environments and music to craft unsettlingly creepy experiences. But even before both were added to the service, plenty of Apple Arcade games caught our eye.

If you’re looking for more detailed recommendations, we’ve reviewed and written impressions for a few Apple Arcade games already. Those articles are listed below.

  • Sayonara Wild Hearts Review – Falling Star
  • What the Golf Review – Swing And A Hit
  • Overland Review – Road Trip From Hell
  • I’m Relentlessly Greedy In Grindstone, And It Makes Things Thrilling

Legends Of Runeterra — How Does The League of Legends Card Game Work?

Legends of Runeterra is a brand new digital card game based on the League of Legends universe, and from our time with it during PAX Aus 2019, it actually feels like it has some interesting new takes on the genre. Here’s how it works.

Naturally, Legends of Runeterra is based around Champions, many of whom will be familiar to League of Legends fans. Champions and other cards are associated with six of the major regions of Runeterra (Demacia, Noxus, Ionia, Piltover & Zaun, Freljord, and the Shadow Isles), which represent the idea of classes or colours, in other card games. But the game features plenty of aspects that will be familiar to players of other digital card games, too.

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GAME FLOW

Your mana pool increases steadily each turn, much like Hearthstone, which sets the pace of play. Mana allows you to play things like creature and champion cards, which have the typical attack and defense stats as well as other abilities or buffs which decide how they’ll fair in battle. You want to be able to attack your opponent’s Nexus (which every MOBA-fan should hopefully be familiar with) bringing its health to 0 to win the game. Games tend to last for about 15 to 20 minutes.

However, where Legends of Runeterra separates from other examples of the genre is in the finer details on how you can do Nexus damage. Spells, for instance, can do direct damage but they use a different mana pool from your character cards and can almost always be countered. Some spells will be fast or slow, and they queue up in the middle of the battlefield according to their order.

All cards are played out in turns, which is not something I’m used to seeing in digital card games. These spell turns are segmented into rounds, where one player will be on the offensive and the other defends. There are multiple turns in these rounds, where each player has a chance to play their characters and spells until the actual attack. This adds some interesting strategy–you can bait another person out by slowly adding to your arsenal, rather than playing everything at once. Then, the attack actually happens and unless a status on the card says otherwise, it’s blockers choice.

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CHAMPIONS

The champion cards have objectives on them, which allow you to level up those cards and become more powerful so long as they aren’t taken out during the battle. You can choose to use one champion to build your decks around or add more–which is limited depending on the game style–and the idea is to create a synergistic playstyle. This aspect feels reminiscent of Magic The Gathering and the choices it offers in mixing colours for new playstyles.

For example, a champion may level up after you’ve dealt a certain amount of damage to enemies and another may require you to have targeted a set number of enemies. Having both of these cards in the same deck would allow you to level them up and gain their heightened abilities at the same time, without wasting any resources. Perhaps stacking this deck with cheap cards so you can target enemies faster would help you level up even faster to gain an advantage. On the other hand, having different objectives might also offer more flexibility, so deciding how you build decks to achieve your own goals looks like it will add several layers or potential strategy to games.

For fans of the lore behind League of Legends, there’s also the promise of plenty of new narrative content. Fresh stories will also play out through Legends of Runeterra with plans to introduce new characters and champions as the game builds, which will also allow for new cards and playstyles. Legends of Runeterr and League of Legends share the same universe, so it’s not some weird spinoff where everyone’s just playing cards in a tavern.

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META AND MICROTRANSACTIONS

Legends of Runeterra all plays quite well, and as someone who’s quite familiar with different digital card games, I was able to pick it up quickly after a few rounds in the tutorial. It has the same drag and drop style you’ll likely be familiar with, and getting into it is just a matter of learning all the new terms, quirks, and cards. The game definitely struck me as the kind that’s simple on the surface, but with extra complexity stashed away in the deck-building meta, if that’s your jam.

The good, and somewhat surprising news is that when it comes to deckbuilding, there appear to be no purchasable random card packs. Legends of Runeterra is still a free-to-play game, however, and though you can’t spend your hard-earned real money on random cards, you can instead pay a set price for “wild cards.” These differ in cost based on rarity, but are a straight swap for whichever card you want in that tier. Even then, this system is limited to a certain number of purchases per week, and I was assured by Riot representatives that it’s not the kind of game you can pay-to-win.

Instead, the only way to get a substantial amount of cards is by playing, but it does look like these can be somewhat unpredictable. You can complete quests and level up to unlock cards from your chosen region, which can be changed at any time. Playing will also level up your weekly vault, which contains more chests full of more random cards. But the ability to pick and choose what you want to do to unlock cards was emphasised as a way to give players at least some agency over how they play the game.

The idea appears to be that those who put the time in–regardless of what they do–will have the most cards and diverse decks, while still giving players on the other end of the spectrum the ability to obtain specific cards with a level of certainty. There did seem to be a fair amount of cards available from the onset, at least in the build we played, but how this system fares for more casual players is something we need to wait and see.

You’ll also be able to use real money on cosmetics, and Legends of Runeterra is an intensely visual game. The card art is stunningly detailed and the board is very Hearthstone-like, featuring little interactive touches. Cards animate when played and sometimes even emoji-style stickers will pop on the screen. When champion cards level up, they’ll take over the whole screen to play an animation and even attacking seems a bit more extra than most other digital card games. I could still tell what was happening most of the time, so the flair doesn’t feel like it gets in the way but, it is a visual feast.

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ONGOING SUPPORT

While not being presented as an esport yet, Riot has promised regular monthly balance updates to keep the meta shifting, as well as a ranked system currently in development. The general synopsis seems bent against the level of randomness that can often be present in card games, so Legends of Runeterra could be quite competitive in a very different way to what we’re used to seeing in the genre.

If you’re curious about Legends of Runeterra, the good news is you can pre-register for your chance to play it now, and unlock the exclusive Moonstruck Poro Guardian at launch. The announcement comes as a part of the League of Legends 10th anniversary celebration and you’ll find a selection of folks with access streaming the game live as we speak. In a month’s time, there will be a five-day preview where more people who pre-registered will be allowed in, and then a larger closed beta in 2020 before launch on PC and Mobile platforms sometime during that year.