Metro Reviews: The Last of Us: Left Behind, Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy

Here’s my Metro News reviews for the week of May 18th

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy
By Sam Maggs
Kindle/Kobo

This playfully savvy and well-researched handbook offers a keen understanding into the many crafts and outgoing activities used by fangirls to cultivate and share personal interests. This isn’t about conforming to fleeting trends, but about expressing a unique identify within an ever-growing community around comics, games, books, movies, and TV shows.

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Qiktionary
iPhone/iPad
Free

Guessing four letter words is the task in this well-made puzzle game that helps you eliminate the letters as you eliminate wrong guesses and aim for a low score like in golf. The reward is a fun trivia fact from British TV series QI for each win.

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Fit Men Cook
iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch
$3.49

Drawing on Kevin Curry’s popular Instagram account, this collection of 100 recipes puts a focus on meal prep and nutritional awareness with instructional videos, scalable meals, and a shopping list. You’ll find cacao bites and sweet potato brownies amongst hearty selections of mushroom burgers and veggie wraps.

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Charity Miles
iPhone/Android
Free

Every step you take earns money from a sponsor towards the charity of your choice in this motion-tracking app for walking, running, and biking. Charities include the Michael J, Fox Foundation, (RED), WWF, Autism Speaks, and many more.

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The Last of Us: Left Behind
PS3/PS4
Rated: Mature 17+

Rarely has a video game captured a story-telling intimacy as this spoiler-heavy prequel. As teens Riley and Ellie slip out of a military boarding school for a coming-of-age adventure, game activities involving theme park rides and novelty toys evoke their exchanges about anxieties, hopes, and the need for compassion in a post-apocalyptic world.
That zombies lurk amongst the crumbled buildings and shadowy streets helps to build an interesting tension as the girls’ laughter echoes off the walls and as they lose themselves in each other they do all the things you shouldn’t; turn on the lights, start-up machines, and play music. You have the dangerous stakes of their situation constantly rising while their bond becomes more enjoyable. In this sense, Left Behind works as its own short story and one that reminded me a little of the movie Stand By Me.
Teasingly, Left Behind intercuts to action sequences from the ending of The Last Of Us and manages to fill in some important unanswered questions, which is why it’s best to play the main game first. Some may feel Left Behind favours story too heavily over action, but I hope other game designers follow suit as the way the story beats play out, not as interactive movies or cut-scenes, but as proper game activities, creates one of the finest experiences in our growing game culture.

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