Thursday, August 18, 2011


Can you be a hardcore casual gamer?  I used to play other types of computer games when I was younger, but now I don’t have the time.  Casual games are involving, challenging, yet can be shut down and abandoned at a moment’s notice. Perfect for my life now.

Chuzzle is my favorite. My go-to game. I play when I’m unhappy or stressed or bored or even when I’m happy or excited. It’s based on the standard match-three things-across. But in Chuzzle the three things across are tribbles.  Cute little cooing balls of fur.  And when you match three or more, they explode in a shower of fur. Not to worry, their energy (souls?) race across the screen and fill up a bottle that you are collecting. It is deeply disturbing and yet colorful, peppy and fun. Kind of like Hell decorated by Martha Stewart.  I strongly suspect that it was created by or for Klingon warriors. You get to destroy the greatest enemy the Klingon Empire has ever known and do it in a way that is palatable to humans. It’s the definition of win/win!  

The game has several variations, Classic which gets harder by locking the columns; Speed which is well, fast; Mind Bender where you have to match patterns; and my favorite, Zen. Endless, mindless hours of blowing up tribbles. The game is also my favorite because of how clever it is. Old school, Cave Adventure clever. It gets snarky in a visual and often sneaky way. If you leave your cursor on a tribble too long, it glares at you and blows the cursor off. Depending on where your cursor lands, the tribbles could blow it back and forth across the screen for several minutes. Chuzzle also gives you a hint option but you never need it because the tribble you need to move starts to get very excited and shake all over in anticipation of you moving it. If you get involved with something else and don’t interact with the screen for several minutes, the tribbles will fall asleep. Eyes closed, snoring, the whole thing. Sometimes I let them fall asleep just so I can watch them wake up. And when you must quit, a large tribble will ask you tearfully if you are sure. Makes me laugh every time.  What can I say, I’m twisted.

Usually I buy and use downloads, but I’ve had the Chuzzle cd a long time and it’s what I’ve loaded onto my current computers. My cd is older and doesn’t like to play with Windows 7. Luckily, if you try to open and run the installer 4 or 5 times, Windows 7 finally gets tired of it and asks if you want to run the program as an administrator. Nagging works! I’ve used several different download companies, but I usually stick to ones that do not require you to be online to play. Many, many times I’m playing while waiting for one of my kids to finish an event that has run over and I do not have access to wi-fi. Sometimes I do, but usually I’m in a dark parking lot in Santa Ana at 11 o’clock at night with my netbook balanced on my steering wheel and my cell phone tucked into my bra so I can hear it over the sound of the game.  With Chuzzle, for a few moments, I’m in full Klingon mode. For the honor of the Empire!

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