Here’s a piece of shameless self-promotion.  Back in early February, the good people at approached me to write a guest blog for their website.  For those of you who have never heard of Mombo, they use Twitter to aggregate movie reviews.  The idea is so clever that I wish I came up with it on my own.  Honestly, they’re not paying me to say that.  The way I see it, having an engine that quantifies the opinions of the movie watching hordes probably makes for a hell of a market research pitch.  At any rate, I was humbled and surprised when I got a message asking me if I would be interested in writing a post for them.

So long as my words dealt with movies or social media, I was free to write about whatever I wanted.  After weeks of racking my brain, crumpling up paper and some frustration drinking, I finally came up with a topic that held water.  Rather than reproduce it here, I’m going to post a link and hope that you folk will be kind enough to go read my words on Mombo.

Come on, Shaftoe, you make people come here just to send them elsewhere?  You’ve got to give them more than that.  How about a little rage for the boys and girls at home?

Okay voice in my head that manifests itself through italic text, I think I can muster up a little pre-weekend rage.


Platform: iOS

Developed by: Kyle Poole

Cost: Free to download, likely micropay built into the game

Upon release, Kotaku touted Shadow Era as the first collectable card battle game for Apple’s iDevices.  Having spent more than a few dollars in my life on card games (Magic the Gathering, Warhammer 40k and a brief Yu-Gi-Oh phase), it seemed natural to invest some time in Mr. Poole’s offering.  I promptly fired up the game only to have it crash before I started my first battle.  Six more attempts to make the game work resulted in six more crashes.  Even deleting and reinstalling the app failed to yield the desired results.  Moments before leaving a 1-star review in the app store, I noticed a little note at the bottom of the game’s info page.

““A bug in this game may cause it to crash on iPhone 3G and other older devices.   We were not able to fix this bug before releasing the game.”

Guess who is a dinosaur with his older device?  A brief glimmer of hope came in the form of a promise to release an update to the game that would make it work with the iPhone 3G.  Rather than rage at Kyle Poole for releasing a broken application, I decided to wait this one out.  Every day I checked my apps for updates.  Today, my patience was rewarded – or so I thought.

Without reading all the fine print, I installed the update for Shadow Era. This time the game crashed without even being decent enough to load the main screen.  And just like last time, I only found the problem when I deleted, reinstalled and bothered to read the updated game information.

““This update requires iOS 4 or higher.”

What the hell, Kyle?  Just what sort of twisted game are you playing?  Since you wrote an app for the iOS, I assumed that you understood a little bit about it.  Namely that iOS 4 runs like crap on iPhone 3G.  iOS 4 ran so slowly on my iPhone 3G that I downgraded back to 3.1.3 without a moment of regret.  In my books, promising a 3G compliant version of the game only to update it so that it needs iOS 4 is a douche move.  I know that next month when I get my iPhone 4, I’ll likely still end up playing and reviewing Shadow Era. However, I’m going to punish the game for all of its discrimination against older devices.  Rather than starting its review score at a neutral 0, I’ll start it off at -2.  Why levy such a steep penalty? For the simple reason that horseshit like this only furthers the Fordist culture of planned obsolescence that drives Apple’s business model.  And don’t talk to me about android phones; I’ll stay well away from that Balkanized market thank you very much.

Overall Score: Pending, outlook not good.