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Kingdom New Lands

Simple, challenging, and beautiful. Kingdom New Lands is a side scroller that focuses on resource management and self-preservation. The art design of this game is just stunning, with a beautiful pixelated style. You are a queen, and you have only three things: your crown, your steed, and your coinpurse.

Progression comes from investing money into different areas of the island to create watchtowers, walls, farms and more, offering peasants you find on the island a gold coin to join your cause, buying tools for the people to use in order to work for your kingdom, and collecting the profits that are made by the various characters under your rule.

But it isn’t all building and profiteering … once the night comes, it begins. Every night your kingdom will be attacked by gruesome monsters called the Greed. They hunt mercilessly for possessions – they will attack your people and steal their tools, their money, and your money as well if they are able to attack you. But if your coinpurse is empty and you get hit by one of these monstrous creatures? Your crown will be knocked from your head, and if they get their hands on it, it’s game over for you!

I have really enjoyed this style of gameplay, as well as the very real challenge the game offers you. As each day passes by, more and more of the Greed emerge from their portals to attack you, meaning that if you don’t pay enough attention to your defensive structures and army, you will soon find yourself getting overrun – which can be a devastatingly difficult situation to come back from. And this is not the only issue you will face. Eventually, winter will arrive, and your crop fields will die off, leaving your farmers with nothing to do and your kingdom with very little income.

There are a number of different islands, and you can travel between them by rebuilding a shipwreck on the island – something which will require no short amount of gold coins. But once you have successfully got it in ship-shape and docked, you may depart the island at any point to move on to a new island.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about the game, it is a small one after all – but it still ticks plenty of boxes for me. Beautiful visuals, fantastic soundtrack, satisfying challenge.

  • Platform: PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, iOS, Android
  • Release Date: 21/10/2015
  • Genre: Strategy
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Pokémon Shield – Nuzlocke Challenge

Part 8 – En route to Hammerlocke

Three badges in hand, Lockie is almost halfway through her Gym Challenge. But there is still a long road ahead, and it’s a long way to Hammerlocke. Crossing the Wild Area will take some time, and hopefully Lockie’s team can make it through all in one piece.

With several new routes to traverse, that means Lockie has the chance to catch some brand new team members, and she managed to do just that.

A well rounded bunch, with lots of different typings, each of these new additions will surely prove themselves useful at some stage of Lockie’s journey. For now, Vincent has been added to the team to get some training, as Lockie needs to have a reliable fire type now that we have had to say goodbye to Gloria the Growlithe.

Hammerlocke and the areas beyond will provide a much greater challenge than all the areas we have seen so far, so the team has had a lot of training to get everyone up to scratch. During this training, Chester and Beatrice both evolved!

As Lockie finally closed in on the city, a thunderstorm erupted all around her. The journey suddenly seemed a lot more perilous as wild Manectric started to chase her down, especially seeing as a number of her party are weak to electric attacks! But this didn’t stop her from braving the grass and find the wild Toxel who she was soon naming Tiffany.

An excellent throw by Lockie.

At last Lockie reached her destination, and is able to relax … until she sees exactly how powerful the trainers and their Pokémon are in this area! Safe from the wild and cautious of the trainers, Lockie plans her next move – it looks like another rigorous training session for the team!

Lockie finally makes it through the Wild Area to Hammerlocke


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A Hobbit’s Update

All my devices are telling me that it’s now June (well, June 5th), and I can’t help but feel like they’ve all got together to play some prank on me. Is it seriously halfway through the year already? Well I’ve been thinking about a lot of things that I want to write about, but I thought that maybe before I do any of that, I could write up a general update.

Life continues to be as strange and surreal as ever. I do my best to keep up with the news each day just the right amount – enough to be informed, not so much that I get dragged down with the sorry state of affairs. I think in the current climate, it would be all too easy to be dragged down – and my policy is that positivity is always best! It is my genuine hope that you are all keeping safe and looking out for others, and hopefully others are looking out for you too.


So what have I been up to in the games department? Well the main feature has to be Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. I have already put so much time into this playthrough, and I believe I am nearing the end. My previous save didn’t even reach halfway through the game before I got distracted by other things, and it eventually got buried. So it was a real joy to start afresh, catch up with the story that I had completely forgotten, and once I passed the point that I had reached previously, it became so clear to me how much of a mistake it was to have got distracted before. I already knew that Odyssey was a great game, but I didn’t put enough time in to see that it is a fantastic game. I am absolutely gripped by the story, I’ve been shocked by the things that have happened, and can’t wait to see how it will conclude!

I have also purchased the DLC Season Pass as the PS Store had it on sale, so no doubt once I have finished the main story, I will have a look into that.

But I have also been playing other games here and there. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is still a regular part of my daily ritual. I feel like I’ve gotten to a part where playing has become a gentle unwind. I have villagers that I like, so no need to try and get anyone replaced. I have pretty much finished decorating my island to exactly how I want it. All I’m missing is a few hybrid flowers, and that will come with time. I have completed the museum’s fossil collection, as well as having donated all the available bugs so far. The only thing I’m a bit short on is fish. June brought us plenty more species to catch, but on the plus side I have already caught all the shark species that were introduced this month. My house is fully upgraded and the mortgage is almost totally paid off. Once it is, I guess I’ll just have to spend all my bells on clothes … actually, I do that anyway. My main goal at this point is to befriend my lovely villagers and get their precious pictures. I talk to them every day, give them gifts, do their favours, and also my friends who have the game as well come over and I go to their islands too.

There has been the other odd game here and there that I’ve been occupying my time with. Prison Architect, Long Live The Queen, and Graveyard Keeper are all games that I have been playing here and there for a bit at a time.

Prison Architect is an old favourite that I just got the urge to go back to, but the other two are fairly new entries to my Steam library. Long Live The Queen is … an interesting one. It’s a sort of fantasy political simulator I suppose you could say, The premise is that you are a princess, and the Queen has died. As a 14 year old, you are too young for a coronation and will have to wait for your 15th birthday. So you have to survive until then. And trust me, that is not easy. As for Graveyard Keeper, think Stardew Valley, but instead of a farm, you have a graveyard. And it’s a lot kookier. And darker. I’ve only put 4 hours into it so far, and I wouldn’t say that’s enough for me to have a solid opinion yet. Seems good though, so I look forward to diving deeper into that.

I’m also looking ahead to what games I will tackle once my largest time-sink (AC: Odyssey) is out of the way. The most likely option is Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which I bought for a very decent price in the PS Store sale, and if it is anything like Odyssey at all, then that will be a real treat. Plus I find Egypt and their Gods and mythology incredibly interesting, so that will be a real treat. I also need to return to Luigi’s Mansion 3 – I have put so much time into Animal Crossing that none of my other Switch games have been getting much of a look in.


I’ve also been thinking about the content I want to get started on, and I have had various things in the back of my mind. I have plenty of drafts to start working on, all at differing stages of completion. I’ve got plenty of my favourite games that I want to offer my thoughts on, but also some series as well. My Nuzlocke challenge on Pokémon Shield is patiently waiting for me to return to it, and I actually started a Stardew Valley journal series – only I haven’t posted anything for that because I had PS4 troubles shortly after I got the first two posts finished. Lastly, I’ve been quietly brainstorming what other kinds of posts and series I could put together. I have really enjoyed writing the latest posts that I have produced, which have been quite different to my usual review format. It’s been very satisfying to scratch that creative itch by thinking of different writing angles. But then I guess I have been in a more creative mood than usual – writing, gaming, reading, sketching … you could say that my imagination has gone into overdrive somewhat!

So we’ll have to see what I come up with, but I definitely intend to return to the Nuzlocke series sooner rather than later. It’s about time Lockie ended her break and jumped back in to her high-stakes Pokémon career!

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Secret Blogger Santa – Community Event

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my readers! Earlier in the year I decided to take part in a Secret Blogger Santa, organised by Livid Lightning! And the Blogger that I was assigned for this festive fun was The Gaming Diaries!

For those of you who didn’t see the original post by Livid Lightning, here it is. Here’s a brief explanation: I must now gift a video game item to my assigned Blogger, explain why it is that I am gifting it to them, and just talk about them and select some of my favourite posts,

So here we go!

My Gift – The Gift Of Time

Bit of an abstract one, huh? The Gift Of Time is found in The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Seasons, and it is rewarded to Link once he completes the Snake’s Remains dungeon.

I have chosen this as my gift, because one of the sad truths of life is that it can be difficult to find the time to pursue your passions and interests as an adult – life so often tries to get in the way!

An avid lover of video games, Lego, and an excellent sketcher too, I’m sure anyone would appreciate more time on their hands to be able to fully indulge themselves in the hobbies that they love.

My favourite posts

Here are just a few of the great posts there are to be found on The Gaming Diaries.

Things Retail Workers Want You To Know

This one is quite close to my heart as a fellow retail worker. There are lots of frustrations in the retail environment, especially at this wonderful time of year. Sometimes people just need to be reminded that we are real people with feelings, and we always appreciate those who bear this in mind!

Sometimes You Just Have To Lego

As a fellow fanatic of Lego, not to mention Lego video games, this is another post that I relate to a lot. There are some rather sweet, personal anecdotes here, which I found quite amusing. Reading this also makes me recall the many, many hours I spent building houses, secret bases, and dungeons.

Looking For: Video Game Jobs

This is a really interesting take on a very real problem for some people (myself included). Not all of us know what we want to do in life, and this is a fun look at our potential career prospects in video games … no, not in the industry, I mean literally in video games!

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My Pokémon Gym

This post is part of a small collaboration project with Robert Ian Sheperd of Adventure Rules – see the original post here.

So what does my Pokémon Gym look like? First let’s start with where I would decide to set up shop.

Azalea Town would be my number one spot for where I would want my Gym. I love azaleas for a start (they’re one of my favourite plants) and I have always liked Slowpoke Well, and was amused by the idea of a city pretty much brimming with Slowpoke. Also, let’s face it: Bugsy isn’t all that tough. It wouldn’t take much convincing that I would be the better choice as Gym Leader.

Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver: Azalea Town

A theme? I don’t think I would want to follow a type theme – I certainly have my preferences, but part of me always wished the Gyms would have a bit more variety, for the sake of giving some extra challenge. It doesn’t feel that tough when you can steamroll all the Gym trainers and the Leader with a single Pokémon with a clear type advantage, without even needing to head over to the Pokémon Centre because this single Poké is now totally overlevelled…

I would probably choose a trio of types, and my gut reaction to this option is Water, Psychic and Ghost.

All good gyms have a puzzle of some sort to solve, or if not a puzzle then at least an aesthetic. I quite like the format of Norman’s gym from Gen 3, where you have a selection of rooms, each one warning you of what the trainer relies on before you enter, and you have to battle your way through the rooms to reach the Gym Leader. Well what if we combine this concept (although I might take the notes away, I don’t want to make my Gym too easy!) with an aesthetic that is borrowed from another game entirely … In The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time there is a particular room within the Water Temple where you fight Shadow Link. It appears to be a vast, mysterious, watery plain, with a ghostly mist hanging over it. Upon defeating Shadow Link, the illusion is lifted and it is a regular room. What if you enter the trainer’s room to an environment similar to this, and the illusion lifts once you beat the trainer? I feel like this would tie in really well with the Ghost/Psychic theming.

Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time – Mini Boss room in the Water Temple

Okay, so we’ve got the location, the theme, and the “puzzle” … I guess that just leaves one thing to talk about right?


  • Double Team
  • Rain Dance
  • Scald
  • Thunder
Starmie is one of my favourites, fast enough to get in there first, with a fairly high Special Attack that would prove to be threatening to any under-prepared team.


  • Double Team
  • Calm Mind
  • Stored Power
  • Morning Sun
Another one of my favourites, this particular moveset could be devastating if you can’t take him down quick enough.


  • Hypnosis
  • Nightmare
  • Dream Eater
  • Shadow Ball
Gengar boasts very high Speed and Special Attack, so you better take him out before he gets the better of you with this debilitating moveset.


  • Coil
  • Recover
  • Waterfall
  • Toxic
Milotic is a total tank, high HP and Special Defence, with fair Defence, it takes quite a beating before it goes down!


  • Superpower
  • Psychocut
  • Night Slash
  • Hypnosis
Malamar has an excellent design and I think he fits in with the theme here perfectly. Decent stats all round, but he becomes a real powerhouse when you combine Superpower with the Contrary ability!


  • Sacred Sword
  • Iron Head
  • Shadow Claw
  • Double Team
Aegislash has a great ability, Stance Change. Status moves trigger the shield stance with high Defences, and attacking moves trigger the sword stance with high Attack/Special Attack and Speed. Can you take it down before Double Team gets used?