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Star Ratings – the trouble with using them

I have been going back and forth about whether or not to use star ratings for a while. I used them heavily in the past, removed them for a while, and added them back. I still use them on my Goodreads but honestly, I have been on the fence about removing those for fear of backlash. I feel bad about giving a low star rating to a book.

The reason I take issue is that I found them kind of arbitrary and entirely subjective. One person’s five-star read could be an abysmal one-star for others. On top of that, there is no good scale for rating a book with stars. Do I give a book or video game lots of stars because I enjoyed reading it, even though subjectively it’s not that good? Or do I give it lots of stars because it is well made, even though I personally didn’t enjoy it?

There were many instances where I couldn’t decide what to rate a book and did half stars. Or times when I rated a book low but found myself thinking about it and coming to appreciate it later because it is a beautiful piece of work that I couldn’t forget. This was especially the case for Fuan no Tane, a horror manga I found so underwhelming while reading it but had nightmares about for days after. Conversely, I found that I went from a dazzling four-star rating for The Road when I first read the book but lowered it over time. The more that I thought about the book, the more I disliked it; the author’s lack of punctuation drove me insane, and the dedicated fan base made me start to hate the book after seeing so much criticism of those that had the audacity to give the book a low rating. When I review anime and manga on MyAnimeList I find myself struggling every single time. Don’t even get me started on the times I gave a book a low rating, and an author messaged me to ask why. Opinions change over time, and I found myself regretting or not really feeling that the rating that I gave a book or anime matched what I ended up writing about it.

Let’s Discuss!

  • Do you use star ratings on your reviews?
  • Am I just full of it or do you feel the same?
  • Do you honestly put any weight to other blogger’s star ratings?
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Coloring Game: Little City

This was a bit of a random pick up, but Coloring Game: Little City was a surprisingly relaxing game that I didn’t know I’d love. The title says it all, it is a simple color by number game themed around an adorable little pixel city. I’ve always been into art, though I was never that good at it. Even so, I used to draw constantly growing up and in my teens eventually got into creating pixel art and web design, so the pixel style in this game was really appealing to me.

I was surprised that there were actually a few controls to this game, including the ability to hold down shift to keep your lines straight while coloring, and an undo button. The colors are locked, but that is understandable. The base setting has numbered boxes and the boxes will be highlighted when you click on the corresponding number from your palette. There are options to remove the numbers or the box highlights. You can also use your mouse wheel to zoom in and arrow keys to smoothly scroll across large images which was a really nice feature.

For the sake of experimenting with the margin of error, on an uncolored block you can swipe all you want with other colors, it will only fill in the numbered boxes that match the color you currently have selected. Once a square has been colored however, going over it with the incorrect color resets it to blank. Completing an image awards the player with a cute little animation with the image after and a matching steam achievement. The animations are simple, and a few are funny and a bit of a surprise. There is a few relaxing dance songs that play in the background while you play that can easily be turned off so you can listen to your own music on your music player.

Overall it was a good experience for me, it is a very simple game with a small selection of intuitive settings for the player to adjust to their preferences. It made me really happy to see an area of the picture that I was working on pop with color as I worked on it. I actually felt pretty satisfied when I finished an image, especially the larger and more difficult ones.

The base game is completely free and it comes with 15 different images of varying difficulty and detail levels. Additional DLC can be purchased for just $1.99 for a single expansion, or $7.99 for the season pass, which will give eventual access to 5 packs. All in all a pretty reasonable price considering you get an additional 15 images per pack, and it supports an indie developer. I think that it is well worth it to give the base game a try, whether you’re a gamer or not, if you’re just looking for a silly way to unwind or pass the time.

Let’s Discuss!

  • Have you ever done a color by number?
  • Do you find simple games like this fun or relaxing?
  • What are your thoughts on the DLC?

Game Information

strong>Coloring Game: Little City
Publisher: L. Stotch
Developer: L. Stotch
Release Date: Aug 16, 2019
Genres: Color by Number
Platforms: Steam

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Hello Sanrio Mystery Snack Box

This was a bit of a random pick up while browsing the mall with the family this past weekend. We spotted a display of imported snack boxes in a FYE store and picked this one out because it was Sanrio themed and was the heaviest of the boxes. My husband and I love imported snacks, and this box was around $35, so we decided to give it a try!

What We Got

  • 7 Kit Kat (cranberry & almond)
  • 2 Ramune (original & strawberry)
  • 2 Wafer Cookie Boxes (chocolate & strawberry)
  • 2 Yan Yan Sticks (chocolate & strawberry)
  • 1 Box Lotte Choco Pies (6 pies)
  • 1 Bag Rice Cracker (14 strawberry)
  • 1 ABC Cookies (vanilla shortbread)
  • 1 Yaokin Big Marshmallow
  • 1 Maruta Mini Ramune Bottle (lemon)
  • 1 Yaokin Pandaro (butter cookies)
  • 1 Furuta Dodeka Wafer Bar (chocolate)
  • 1 Yaokin Sweet & Sour Paper Candy (cola)

I LOVE Sanrio and I love snacks! We were really excited and pleased that we got so many snacks in the box, including some Ramune soda! A few of the snacks in here are ones that I have tried before, yan yan and rice crackers were some of my favorite snacks growing up so I was pleased to get a few. However a lot of them are a complete surprise for both of us.

We snacked on a few already, each snack had an English sticker label so we didn’t have to guess what each item was. Also included were expiration dates which was helpful for a snack box. Everything was in good shape and packaged well. The choco pies were a bit dry compared to the moonpies I’m used to. I also enjoyed the cranberry and almond kit kats that were included, it’s a unique flavor that I wish was available in the west (though I think that can be said about most Japanese kit kat flavors). I shared the vanilla cookies with my young daughter and they were surprisingly heavy on the vanilla, but it was a nice natural flavor that is entirely different from vanilla cookies you typically find in the U.S.

We’re quite happy for this box despite being a bit pricey. With the amount of items included I think that it is a pretty decent value considering everything is imported, and it was just cute to have so many Sanrio themed items. This has been one of the better snack boxes that I’ve tried with treats that were overall pretty enjoyable.

Let’s Discuss!

  • Are you a sanrio fan?
  • Have you ever tried a snack box?
  • Is this something that you’d enjoy picking up?

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