Category Archives: annoyances

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp — What’s Wrong with the Game Designers?

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - Bunnie isn't taking your shit
Angry Bunnie

Edit on Saturday, February 17th, 2018: As of version 1.2.0, the quarry help, event creature catching success rates, and, to a degree, animal requests have been addressed. Hoping to see more improvements in the future!


I’m going to assume there’s more than one person involved when it came to designing the user interface and experience. It just boggles my mind that the following was given a pass by the designers and the folks that QC’d the app:

  • Sending Shovelstrike Quarry help requests to each friend individually.
    I literally have to spend 2 – 3 minutes everyday going through my list of 20 or so active players to ask for assistance. Did Nintendo honestly think players were going to just stop at 5 people? Maybe we would if we knew who would reliably send help every single time but as far as I know, that information isn’t shown.
  • No categories for flower trade.
    Some moron on staff decided it was a good idea to just lump everything onto one page and have everyone scroll for an eternity to look for the item they want to trade. To add insult to injury, the focus will jump back to the top of the list after the transaction is done. =____= Here’s what it looks like in action:

  • Constantly needing to re-initiate conversations with animals
    I realize that this is something from the main Animal Crossing games, but in those ones, you rarely had a need to speak to them multiple times in a row. In Pocket Camp, however, you’re trying to fulfill their 3 requests so why in all hell do I have to keep tapping on the animal over and over if I have everything they need? Why not just leave the dialogue topic menu open and let me close it myself if I have to go and get the items needed?
  • Abysmally low success rates of catching butterflies during Rover’s event
    I guess Nintendo made it nigh difficult to catch butterflies in hopes that players would spend leaf tickets (a.k.a premium currency) to get Lloid to catch them. If anyone did, it was most likely the whales and they’ll spend on anything to “win”.

    Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp -- Topaz butterflies from Rover's Crappy Ass Event
    A sight like this was not uncommon.
  • Useless “cutscene” of a Re-Tail delivery
    Unless you have severely short-term memory, you are most likely NOT going to forget what completed item you just tapped on in the Crafting menu so why show your character receiving it? It may just last a few seconds but it’s completely and wholly pointless. I’ve sent in a request to have an option to turn off the scene added. Who knows if it’ll ever happen?
  • The Market Box
    You can only see a preview of the first 4 items, you HAVE to go to the user’s camp to see the rest or buy anything, and you can’t collect all the Bells you made from multiple sales at once. It seems like the people involved in making the Market Box was thinking about the most inconvenient and roundabout way of using the damn thing.

Aside from the above, Nintendo also introduced the whole gardening bit without giving a thought of making life easy for everyone when it came to accessing other players’ gardens and identifying when a friend’s flowers needed watering.

They’ve addressed these two issues in recent updates, and they’ve released a notice not so long ago stating that they’ll be making changes to some things I’ve pointed out above. It continues to amaze me how common sense escapes everyone that’s involved with making Pocket Camp.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - Future improvements
Nintendo is too blind to realize what common sense user experience is and needs the community to tell them that.

Something I hope to see is a re-balance on animal requests since I run into situations where all 4 animals would ask for multiples of the same fruit, fish, or bugs.

I get that they want us to make use of the Market Boxes and/or stay in the game/log in a few times over the course of a 3-hour cycle to collect the necessary quantities. But realistically, that probably doesn’t happen often for anyone playing. And along with Boxes being annoying to access, a lot of players simply put in rare items so good luck finding the squids or monarch butterflies all the animals are simultaneously wishing for.

As for fruits, I’d use the fertilizer more often but that would require spending leaf tickets to replenish them so nuts to that.

Incidentally, if you’re finding certain things rubbing you the wrong way in Pocket Camp, be sure to let Nintendo know! You can access the feedback form from the game’s menu under More. Tap Misc. and then Customer Support. From there, choose Feedback. The rest should be self-explanatory.

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[Android] Fun Times with Removing SuperSU and Playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Please note that this post isn’t meant to explain methods of how to remove the SuperSU program or getting Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp onto your device. There are enough sources found through search engines for those.

Also note that everything I detail here wasn’t done for the sake of getting Pocket Camp to run. I really wanted my Android tablet to be back in its original, non-rooted state and this was a good excuse to do it. :3


After discovering Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp soft launched in Australia on October 25th, I decided to see if my pathetic ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME180A) could handle it.

I found the APK and loaded it up. I was pleasantly surprised that it could get through the character creation segment, but alas, that was as far as it would go. A pop-up box with the error code 802-5808 appeared and the only option was to return to the title screen.

It turns out the game can’t fully run on a rooted device. The thing is that is that my tablet wasn’t rooted anymore. I suppose I should have figured that not being able to uninstall the SuperSU application was a sign of future trouble. 😛 Continue reading [Android] Fun Times with Removing SuperSU and Playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Tiny Farm: The Event Lucky Bag Draw

Whoops. I meant to come up with something before September ended but forgot.  The silly thing is that I always have a lot to write about! However, they always end up as snippets on Twitter.

I probably mentioned it before, but one of the biggest deterrents in writing a blog post is that I feel the need to think up a theme or two and then write a few paragraphs based on that/those. Composing a blog post takes up a good part of the day too.

With Twitter, on the other hand, I can just toss up anything at the spur of the moment without worry that it has to be some sort of short prose. I like that sort of freedom.

Anyway, let’s talk about the pesky event lucky bag draw from Com2uS’ free-to-play mobile game, Tiny Farm, and how using it can get expensive.

Continue reading Tiny Farm: The Event Lucky Bag Draw

App Developers, Stop Asking for 5-Star Reviews!!

Back in 2012, I wrote a piece about the dos and don’ts of requesting and writing reviews on both Google Play and App Store. Nothing’s really changed from 5 years ago; people are still writing shitty useless one-word “reviews” and developers still put those prompts for a 5-star rating in their apps.

Once again, I will explain why I take issue to the latter:

  • The developer only has one thing in mind: A 5-star or perfect rating means better visibility in search results in the application’s store which ups the chances of it being downloaded. It doesn’t matter if the app is not right at the top of the results. The chances are many users LOOK for 4 or 5-star ones as it gives the impression that it’s a good product.
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  • Developers use the bullshit excuse that a 5-star rating will better motivate their team. If you actually valued user feedback, you’d be asking for critiques without tossing in the specific rating suggestion and incentive (or bribe as I like to refer to it as) to review.
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  • EVERYONE WANTS FREE STUFF — especially when it’s premium currency so of course most people will bite. Developers know this and they also know that they’ll fall for the following point.
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  • Users do what they’re asked to despite how they actually feel about the game.
    Poor user is made to think that the only way to get the gift is by giving the app full stars. :(
    Poor user is made to think that the only way to get the gift is by giving the app full stars. 😦

    PRO TIP: I’m unsure how it is with Android apps but with iOS, you don’t NEED to even rate or write a review to get a gift/bribe. Simply tap on the prompt box and allow the device to automatically switch to the app’s store page. Once there, don’t do anything! Just immediately go back to the app.
    .
    I believe this can also be applied to sharing on Twitter or other social services where you can just cancel the post and still receive the review incentive.

I leave 1-star reviews for companies that practices this sort of shit and call them out. I actually received a reply from one for a game I like playing which stated that players are free to give whatever rating they feel appropriate.

Well, gee. No shit. But as that example screenshot I provided showed, people a) rate 5-stars because they are told to, and b) believe giving a full rating is the only way to get the gift.

I’m not saying developers should outright stop asking for reviews and ratings or giving incentives. I’m only wishing they’d stop being dishonest and deceitful with the review prompts. Users will, in all likelihood, give the full rating and write positive comments if they’re happy with what they’re using. I think that should motivate the team more than all the blind & thoughtless 5-stars.

Tiny Farm: Forever Incomplete Collections

In 2013, Com2uS, the game’s developer, introduced the Heroic Animals. They’re the fifth and final animal needed to complete a regular (re: not event-specific) collection. Unfortunately, even after 4 years, only 14 out of the 60 collections waiting for a Heroic type can be completed.

Tiny Farm - Rabbit Collection
These bunnies have been around since the beginning of the game 5 years ago and, like many collections, are still missing their Heroic companion.

For some reason, there are also these impossible achievements that no one can fulfill because the requisite fifth animal doesn’t exist:

Tiny Farm - Rabbits and Hare Achievement
Collect them all … somehow!
Tiny Farm - Cat and Dog Achievement
Imaginary cats and dogs are needed for this.

Perhaps they’ll eventually be doable but it would be nice if they could remove these in the meantime. 😛

I believe Com2uS didn’t consider the bigger picture when they created the Heroic Animals since, unlike the typical ones that just roam around the map or fill speech balloons popping up above their heads with inane statements, they possess skills that can usually help gameplay aspects such as allowing animals to instantly level up or increasing the chances of successfully obtaining a higher tier animal through breeding.

Inserting a bit of a tangent here: There’s one oddity among the Heroic types. The Heroic Bearded Pig, also known as The Crazy Doctor, can actually harm crop efficiency by tacking on a negative percentage value to crops causing the player to lose out on profit and experience. Thankfully, its skill effect can be cancelled before any damage can be done. However, this would mean that the player wasted Hearts on the Heroic Bearded Pig for nothing. 😐

It could be my luck but I do end up with the negative result more often than the positive one. :/ Unless you have Hearts to spare, I advise against gambling on this nutty pig.

Here’s an image of it, by the way. 😀

Tiny Farm - Heroic Bearded Pig
One of my favourite heroic animal designs, but it also has one of the most annoying skills.

Anyway, new  Heroic Animals used to come out on a consistent basis, but it’s not surprising that this stopped a few years ago. After all, it takes time to think up useful abilities that will keep the game in balance. Still, this lull feels rather lengthy. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt since they did eventually come up with third dog for the Dog collection years after the first and second ones. (It’ll probably take another couple of years before the Talking Dog shows up. :P)

In the interim, Com2uS has opted to keep churning out new limited time and event-based collections with increasingly insidious money-making ways.

On Cables and Tablet Stands

There are two kinds of cables I despise: 3 feet cables and ones made of cheap plastic and wires that break apart.

I know short cables make a lot of sense if you’re using the device in a car or if you don’t plan on using your device while it’s charging. However, 99% of the time, I want to use it and in some cases, the power outlets in the house aren’t close enough to a table for me to place my tablet or phone on. Heck, even worse is when an outlet is near a chair or sofa; the pathetic length means I won’t be able to sit comfortably anyway.

For example, here’s my computer desk. Please excuse the terrible terrible mess. XD I’ll be getting a desktop in the near future so hopefully, the next photo I take won’t show the network cable goofily dangling about:

Power outlets in my computer room
A reason I despise 3 feet cables for my portable devices.

By using the power bar on the right side, I CAN put a device near the edge of the desk. However, I CANNOT make use of the power bar under the central opening or the wall outlet on the left the same way. In either case, if I use a 3 feet cable, I have to set the device on the floor.

But look! I have a 6 feet cable plugged into the wall outlet! I just received that today. :3 It’s the Anker 6ft Nylon Braided USB Cable with Lightning Connector and it works as intended so I don’t have much to say on that. I do hope it lasts longer than the cheap Monoprice cables. I went through 2 of those because of the following problem:

Monoprice 6 feet Lightning cable
If you read reviews of any cables with plastic jackets, you’ll see that this is a common issue . 😐 But the bigger issue is that the wires within the insulation are frayed which makes the cable impossible to use.
Monoprice 6 feet Lightning cable
It’s a piece of shit. :/

The residue on the jacket near the connector is from the electrical tape I put on it. Unfortunately, tape doesn’t help with BROKEN wires. =__=

The first Monoprice Lightning cable I had lasted about 7 months. The second one, which I got as replacement thanks to the lifetime warranty, worked for a bit over a year. Incidentally, I take it that “lifetime warranty” refers to the lifespan of the first cable so if the replacement goes kaput, you’ll have to buy a new one? I wrote to Monoprice to see if I can get a third cable last week but I’ve yet to hear back. 😛 It doesn’t matter if customer service ever replies though because I’m done with the company’s cheap crap. (The cable’s only $6 US so I’m sure you can imagine the quality that comes with that price.)

For the record, I did use the cables frequently since I charge the tablet everyday; I plug it in once the battery goes down to ~69%. I always grip the connector when inserting or removing it and never once pulled on the jacket.

I’ll be sure to update this post if the Anker cable suffers the same or similar problem some time down the road.

Now on to the tablet stand! Continue reading On Cables and Tablet Stands

Freedom Wars – Suggested Improvements That Should Have Been In the Game From the Start

I’m almost 130 hours in. It’s kind of funny considering I haven’t even finished the story yet. 😛

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how my experience of the game could have been better had the developer done the following: Continue reading Freedom Wars – Suggested Improvements That Should Have Been In the Game From the Start