It’s Game Time! … all the time.

Recently, I grabbed my significant other and escaped to the wonderful world of Seattle for a couple of days. It was a nice break from the usual mental energy I spend trying to figure out what’s wrong with me – though that could have been due to the elevation change.

We spent some time with my brother and his family, took in the tourist traps as well as more scenic routes, ate all of the tastiest foods (I had coffee for the first time in months! Only once from a non-Starbucks place, though. Mostly this was convenience – I’ve had a gift card that I haven’t used since Christmas, and since we were in Seattle, well, Starbucks sprout up like trees there. Afraid you’ve missed one? No, just look at the next building plot over).

But I came back with a gift that keeps on giving – and that is a mobile game that my 14-year-old nephew introduced me to. It’s called Clash Royale, and it’s become my new obsession.

I mean, I know what you’re asking yourself. “But Amanda,” you say, “Why would you devote your time to such frivolity?”

Oh, my friend. This allows me to channel the deep rivers of frustration that run through my veins. Can’t figure out why my body’s still fighting me? Game. Haven’t done anything with the wedding in a while? Game. Didn’t get that awesome job I was hoping for? GAME.

Staying true to form, though, I am also terrible at this. Like, this is a game that fucking 14-year-olds excel at, with the strategy and the timing. This, to me, is like chess.

I CAN’T FUCKING PLAY CHESS, YOU GUYS.

So, here we have it. You open the game, and there are these smiley dudes, like, “Hey! Let me pose for this while I look important and almost maybe joust NBD.”

And then you have this screen that shows you how badass you are. 

The trophies are what you get once you win a match. You have two side towers and a king tower, and battle other people (I assume they’re all 14-year-olds, tbh) and you try to destroy their towers using a deck of different characters before they destroy yours. You win trophies, chests (which hold characters that you can also level up), and gold (feel all that reward mojo? Don’t you want to play now, too? DON’T YOU?). The more trophies you win, the faster you level up (all this means is that you get to battle in different arenas and that your towers have more strength. I wish it meant that you got real cash money. Alas). Currently, I can’t get past Arena 4, because as previously mentioned, I am bad. It’s also worth noting that when you lose matches, you also lose trophies, so you can go down in arena levels (even though, luckily, you keep your tower strength).

I should also mention that you can’t really interact with the person you’re playing with aside from sending these (depending on how you look at it) well-meaning or passive-aggressive little notes and pictures. Like, you could start your battle with a “good luck!” or, if you’re the one getting your ass kicked (me) and some snotty 14-year-old fucker sends you a crying king face… it just… well IT JUST TAKES ON A DIFFERENT MEANING, OKAY?

Now, in the time span of three minutes, you try to murder the other person’s towers. If, in that time span, either party has not knocked down a majority of towers, you get a minute of over time. While this might sound like a pleasant exchange, each side taking peaceful turns, it’s really just shitty mayhem. For three minutes. While a kid is sending you crying faces and saying, “Good luck!”

(The reason why this screen looks different than the one above was because the game just had “clan battles” for the weekend, so you and someone on your team could fight someone else’s team. My nephew added me to his clan, but most of the dudes realized how bad I was, so he was the only one to willingly lose with me. I prefer to think of it as bonding.)

There’s definitely thinking involved, so naturally, I got Paul to download the game as well. Now we can both get frustrated at these kids who are better than us. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.

Have a good night, friends. Be kind to yourselves.

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