Apps

How to play Travel Frog

Not as easy as you’d think

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If you need some help understanding how to play Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる), the addictive new mobile game, I’ve got you covered.

Before I hop into how to play this game, I’ll lay it out there: I can’t read Japanese. It’s a shame, really. If anything, I can understand some Japanese — holler at my young self-avoiding needing to read subtitles while watching anime. Back to the task at hand. Here are neat tips and tricks I learned from playing the game:

How you start off

When you first launch the game, I’m guessing you’ll be greeted with the terms of service of the game. You’ll then be asked to enter a name for your frog. This bit for me was easy enough to understand. I clicked through the buttons and went along.

Your frog will be preparing for his first journey when you are initially introduced. The game will walk you through three varying types of items you’ll need to pack for your frog for him to wander off: food, charms, and equipment. The clovers you find in front of your frog’s house are currencies in the game for you to buy more items.

Later on, I learned that three-leaf clovers are used to purchase items from the shop. Four-leaf clovers are collected and kept as charms to equip your frog when he’s on a journey. I had to learn that the tough way: running out of charms to give my frog.

The game then prompts you with this:

“Your frog will head out on journeys by himself, but if you prepare him as you did here in the tutorial he may bring pictures and souvenirs home for you.”

Not as simple as Neko Atsume

From here, it’s a waiting game. The clover garden will replenish over time. And you’ll occasionally meet some of your frog’s friends who visit.

If you’re the kind of person who has a staggering amount of separation anxiety, don’t play this game. Your frog will come and go without warning. If you want to be the overbearing mother, you can alter that in the settings by bumping up the frog icon (labeled “SE”) you see below. This will let the game prompt you when your frog is back from his travels.

This game will inevitably fool you into its simplicity by the cute graphics and seemingly simple mechanics but the longer you play, the more complex it becomes. There are detailed translations of the game but there’s something about just discovering the context little by little that makes it a bit more charming for me.

When you progress in the game, you discover the undeniable satisfaction of receiving postcards. Your frog sometimes (there is no guarantee!) leaves postcards from wherever he’s wandered off to. Even if it is a game contextualized in time, it teaches you the valuable lesson of letting things go and letting things be. It’s a great game to pass the time and it is unquestionably comforting to find rare photos of your frog accompanied by a friend.

More friends, more fun

And, remember your frog’s friends? They’re the animals that visit and show up outside your door. Each of them have four food preference tiers, ranging from “Pleased” (least favorite) to “Can’t eat anymore” (most favorite). The fuller they are, the more three-leaf clovers they’ll collect for you.

Maimai is the snail.

He loves chestnuts, tea leaves but most things will fill him. He’s a bit tough to please at first but once your frog travels more, you get to meet other friends too.

Bunbun is the bee.

Bunbun is loves peppers, cabbages, chestnuts, milk, gohei mochi, garlic, rice, baked buns, tea leaves, and hardtack. If you notice, Maimai is probably the most tough to please but once you encounter Bunbun, you’re more likely to meet other friends too. These are the two friends I’ve encountered so far but, I’ll keep this article updates once I find something new.

What’s not to like?

I mean, at least for me, it’s a game that requires minimal effort. If you want to dig balls-deep into the nitty-gritty bits of game, you’ll inevitably have to wait regardless. If you run out of charms (which sadly happened to me a lot), you can pack your frog’s bag without it. The food is the bare minimum thing you can have set-up for your frog for his journey.

I learned later on that combining different items, charms, and food can alter how many postcards your frog will bring back, where he travels, and what items he brings back from his trip. The game lets you adjust, combine, and customize every time you prepare your frog for its journey outdoors. Just don’t forget the basics of always having food for your frog! Play it with me here (Android, iOS)

SEE ALSO: Travel Frog: The new addictive mobile game

Apps

Barack and Michelle Obama join forces with Netflix

Are you ready to watch with the Obamas?

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Photo courtesy of Obama White House

Netflix announced that former US President Barack Obama and wife Michelle Obama signed a partnership with the streaming service under an entity named Higher Ground Productions over a press release and a twitter post.

In case you’re wondering why the former White House residents are teaming up with Netflix, the Obamas stated they want to share the experiences of the fascinating people they meet.

The two always believed in the power of storytelling. “We hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world,” said President Barack Obama.

Michelle added, “Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”

“Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly recognized public figures and are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, who’s proud to have the Obamas on board.

SEE ALSO: Netflix adds HDR support for new Sony and Huawei phones

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Android P: YouTubers React

Android Pineapple or Android Popcorn?

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It’s that time of the year again when we make guesses on what the next version of Android will be called. We saw some clues at the Shoreline Amphitheater and this is what your favorite YouTubers think.

Is it going to be Android Pineapple? Android Popcorn? Android Popsicle? Android Pie? Your guess is as good as ours. Sound off in the comments section what you think it will be called!

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Instagram will tell you how much time you spend on the app soon

Good thing or bad thing?

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Just how much time do you spend stalking on Instagram? You may not know the answer now, but Instagram knows. And pretty soon, you’ll be able to check.

According to TechCrunch, code hidden on the Instagram app showed a “time spent” feature under “Usage Insights.”

It’s still unclear how the function would work. When it was discovered, it was also unclear whether Instagram was testing out the option for eventual rollout, until Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom had this to say:

As of now, there’s still no news on when “time spent” would roll out, but the move is unsurprising. Tech companies are now moving towards features that allow users to monitor usage time and statistics. Earlier this month, Google announced similar functions on digital well-being for Android P that includes a dashboard that will give you information on your phone usage.

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