The Wandering Village – Video Game Review

TL;DR – We have a remarkable base with an adorable presentation. It is just missing a hook to make it excel. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for this game; the game was in Early Access when reviewed  

The Onbu

The Wandering Village Review –

There is a growing joke in my friend circle that if you want to get me involved in a game, then it better have some kind of farming mode. This stems from my early years growing up on city builders, and to this day, I am always ready to dive into a video game that presents a new twist on the city-building formula. The last one to do so was Surviving Mars, where you built a colony in space, and today we look at a game where you build a city on, checks notes, the back of a giant tortoise.

So to set the scene, you were part of a people that had lived their lives in peace in a small fertile valley full of wonder, but eventually, the same toxic spore that had collapsed the rest of the society found you and you were forced to flee. It was a perilous journey, and just when all seemed lost, you stumbled across a miracle, the last of its kind, a giant Onbu, woken by those same spores. Now you have to build a village on its back, and hopefully, together, you can survive the calamity.

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Humankind Cartographic Educational Database –

TL;DR – Links to every geographical feature mentioned in Humankind so you can explore them if interested

The Mediterranean Map

Database –

Back we I was working on my Civilization VI map, I started to document all the locations I was using as a basis for the maps, and on the whole, I got some great feedback for that Cartographic Educational Database. With hat in mind, when I was starting my Humankind map, I did the smart thing and put all this data together at the same time, rather than going back over it at a later date doubling up my work. It also is part of my sharing that fun that I got as I learned more about the world we live in.

Below you will find links to Cultures and their Cities, Independent People, Cultural Wonders, Natural Wonders, and Landmarks.

Most of these links will be to the relevant Wikipedia page, just because that is probably the most practical option for most people, but there are some links to other sites where it was the best fit. Also, while I have tried to find easily accessible links to every feature, some of them don’t have that access. There is the odd one here and there, as well as the whole Bantu city list, which you can see below. Before we start, I have to thank the Humankind Wiki for collating all the cities for me so I did not have to dive into the code.

You can see the Full Humankind Map HERE. So let’s dive into the geographical world of Humankind.  

To assist with searching, you can jump to

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Humankind – Map-It

TL;DR – We map all of the eras of Humankind all in one map … okay many maps.

The Mediterranean Map

Mapping Humankind

One of the joys I get is mapping out universes, while I have charted out movie universes like the MCU and Grand Designs. However, one of my favourite things has been charting how 4X video games explore the world and its history. Today we are looking at the next entry in this series, charting all of Humankind from Amplitude Studios and Sega.

I had started making this map several times before running into roadblocks, like how do you make a map that shows Russia/Soviet Union or England/Great Britain? The way I previously fixed this issue with my Civilization map didn’t work here, and I started to wonder if I was Wile E. Coyote hitting my head against every ACME invention. However, one day it all clicked together, so I started down this road.

I worked it out by having a separate map for each era, all the cities, cultures, independent peoples, and wonders. Then we smashed it all together at the end in a wild kaleidoscope of overlapping entries. While putting this all together, I was still concerned it would not work. However, it kind of does. Before we start, I have to thank the Humankind Wiki for collating all the cities for me so I did not have to dive into the code. With that in mind, let us dive into the world of Humankind, which includes all the information from the base game and the Cultures of Africa Pack and Cultures of Latin America Pack DLCs. You can also see links to all the information in the map in our Humankind Cartographic Educational Database.

While all attempts have been made to ensure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple sources, map projections, and sometimes not firm locations. As such, no matter how much you try, there might be slight discrepancies. With that in mind, let us dive into the maps.

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Resident Evil: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a silly, over-the-top, ridiculous show in all the right ways …until its not.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this episode.

Welcome to New Raccoon City.

Resident Evil Review

When the original Resident Evil video game came out, I didn’t have a PlayStation, so I was tangentially aware of it and probably watched someone play it at some point. Still, I would never consider myself a fan at any moment and never had the drive to try and work out the convoluted lore built up over the years. But then the films came out, and at least the first couple were … let’s say engaging, but then they got … well, they got Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. I don’t think it would be hard to say that I was not chopping at the bit for a new Resident Evil TV Series, but then I watched one episode out of interest … and ended up watching them all.

So to set the scene, we opened in a ruined London in 2036, 14 years after the world ended. There are probably only 300 million people left on Earth in small walled communities or the few remaining nations like Fortress Scandinavia or the Umbrella Corporation. But there are 6 billion zombies or zeroes infected by the T-Virus ready to rip anyone’s throat. In a small research camp, Jade Wesker (Ella Balinska) has spent six months researching the Zeroes to see if the virus is mutating and allowing more cognitive control when she accidentally cuts herself and becomes a target for the horde. Back in 2022, three months before the fall, Jade (Tamara Smart), her sister Billie (Siena Agudong), and her father, Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick), have just arrived in their new home in New Raccoon City in South Africa. It has a bland, corporate feeling, but behind the scenes, the new boss of the Umbrella Corporation, Evelyn Marcus (Paola Núñez), is pushing hard to get the new drug Joy delivered to the market. The only issue is just what did happen at their plant in Tijuana? Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.       

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Fortnite: Or How I Learned to Stop Building and Love the Shenanigans – Video Game Review

TL;DR – After years of frustration with this game, the no-build mode finally coalesces the game for me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – This is a Free-to-Play with microtransactions, and I paid for the Battle Pass.

A crew shot as things explode in the background.

Fortnite Review –

Back in 2017, there was this odd game that exploded onto the video game scene, it was not the first Battle Royale style game on the market, but its free-to-play model and big marketing push made it the example all others wanted to copy. I tried the game when it first came out, and my biggest feeling at the time was that ‘this was not for me’. I just did not have the time in my life to learn how to work the building side of things. However, with the announcement that there would be a build-free mode, I decided to give the game another look and discovered just what people have been talking about for all these years.

So to set the scene, Fortnite is a Third-Person Shooter Battle Royale game. This means that it is a shooter where the perspective is positioned from behind the character, over the shoulder, rather than as if you were peering out of their eyes. As well as this, there is a barrier slowly shrinking the map to a central point forcing all the players together. What this means is at the start of the game, all 100 players jump out of a flying bus landing across the map and have to scavenge weapons and ammo, all trying to be the last one standing while some dude in a banana costume snipes you … banana costumes … raises a fist to the clouds.    

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Halo: Season One – TV Review

TL;DR – While not a perfect season, the finale episode did leave me intrigued for more.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.

Master Chef about to jump out

Halo Review

When the first episode of Halo came out, it felt like it was a show of two halves. We got an exciting dynamic between Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) and the only survivor from a Covenant attack Kwan Ha (Yerin Ha). However, the show’s other half was some of the dullest paint-by-numbers military “intrigue” and “conspiracy”. I wondered which half of the show would dominate throughout the season because that would be a significant indicator of how the show would work. Well, now that I have seen the entire season, I have to say that we got some improvement, but not as much as it could have.

So to set the scene, at the end of Allegiance, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. Halsey (Natascha McElhone) turned the Spartans Riz (Natasha Culzac) and Vannak (Bentley Kalu) against John/Master Chief and Kai (Kate Kennedy). Meanwhile, Makee (Charlie Murphy) had rebuffed Halsey and was trying to trust Master Chief only to get a stun stick to the back of her head when Miranda Keyes (Olive Gray) realises that she was the one that killed the crew, which was bad. But even worse, Makee touches the artifact and sets it off, destroying much of the base. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Deep Rock Galactic – Video Game Review

TL;DR – Every part of this game build upon each other to create one of the best four-player co-op games out there at the moment

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I purchased the game

Deep Rock Galactic. Image Credit: Ghost Ship Games.

Deep Rock Galactic Review –

For a while now, me and my friends have been dipping in and out of this odd mining survival game from Ghost Ship Games. But recently, we have been going into a deep dive, exploring everything the game has to offer. Well, as their Season Two event is about to launch, I thought it would be an excellent time to jump in and have a look at the game as a whole. Before we start, I want to thank my friends Johan, Nikola, and Chris for helping to run through the game with me.

So to set the scene, in the far future, the Creus solar system is inhabited by Dwarves thanks to the powerhouse that is the planet Hoxxes IV. The planet is smashed apart, and its surface is a desolate wasteland. However, underneath, it is full of wonders, full of minerals, and full of dangers. Under the surface are great biomes that exist in the planet’s many interconnecting cave systems. These caves are full of life adapted to the rocky and dark world. However, those very lifeforms do not like large sounds reverberating through the rock, for example, the sounds miners make while digging up their booty.     

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Civilization: Full Map – Map-It

TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization Franchise (at time of posting) in one Map

Portugal Banner. Image Credit: Firaxis Studios.

Civilization: Full Map

I have been making pop culture Maps for quite a while now, but it all started when I thought it would be fun to map Civilization VI back in 2017. Since then, how I create maps has shifted and changed and dramatically improved, as has the Map I use. With the Vietnam/Portugal map being the probable last update from Civilization 6, there was a sense of completion, but also a feeling that there was one thing left I needed to do. So, I ad a random thought one day “Could I fit all of Civilization into one map?” After many months of work, I can say that “yes, yes you can” well barely, looking at you, Mesopotamia.  

With that in mind, today we have a 30th Anniversary present, or Christmas present, or a combination of both. We have every feature of Civilization, Civilization II, Civilization III, Civilization IV, Civilization V & Civilization VI. This includes civilizations, cities, world wonders, natural wonders, city-states, and geographical features.    

As always, a couple of notes before we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the Map are based more on clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been made to ensure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple sources, map projections, and sometimes not firm locations. As such, no matter how much you try, there might be some slight discrepancies here and there. We will be mostly going over the new additions and changes to the Map in this update. If you want to learn more about some of the location choices that we made, you can find more detail in our First Full Civilization Big Map and out Gathering Storm Update Map.  

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Civilization VI: New Frontier Pass – Full Map – Map-It

TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization VI (at time of posting) in one Map, this time featuring the new additions of Vietnam and Portugal.

Portugal Banner. Image Credit: Firaxis Studios.

Civ 6 Mapped –

When I started making my First Map of Civilization 6 all the way back in 2017, well, I’m not sure what I would have thought when we got to this point, but here we are at the end of a very long road with what I think* is the last addition to this Map. Today we will be adding the final two civilizations of Vietnam and Portugal to the Map and bringing a long saga to a close.

*Look, I am pretty sure this is the last update for Civilization 6 unless Kevin was trolling us, and that may have been the case.  

 As always, a couple of notes before we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the Map are based more on clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been made to ensure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple sources and map projections. As such, no matter how much you try, there might be some slight discrepancies here and there. We will be mostly going over the new additions and changes to the Map in this update. If you want to learn more about some of the location choices that we made, you can find more detail in our First Full Civilization Big Map and out Gathering Storm Update Map.  

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Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond – Video Game Review

TL;DR – A DLC that is full of exciting ideas but also some missed opportunities and frustrations.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for this DLC

Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond. Image Credit: Paradox Interactive.

Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond Review –

Over the years, one of the games I come back to once in a while has been Surviving Mars. This is a strategy game/ city builder about constructing the first human colony on Mars with drones, domes, and danger, oh my. While it was full of promise, it hit its stride with the Green Planet DLC, allowing you to terraform Mars into an oasis gradually. For a long time, this looked like it would be the final stop for the game, but recently there was a surprise announcement of a new DLC Below and Beyond, which we will look at today.

The essential overview of this new DLC is that while exploring the surface of Mars, you have come across these vents under the surface. Here there are large tunnels, old lava tubes, so large that you could both explore and even colonise them. The one big drawback is that they are very dangerous as cave falls can crush rovers and cut off passageways. You can use technologies found in the new Recon and Expansion tech tree to make exploring safer. Still, if you want to colonise down below, you will need sturdier materials, which is good because it just so happens that several asteroids are coming close to Mars’ orbit with Exotic Minerals just perfect for the new task.

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