Christie’s Chronicles: Online games a feast for the ears

This is a level on Angry Birds Match called Smash the Marbles. Don’t let the violent name keep you from playing. (Screenshot by Christie Mastric)

There are definite drawbacks to being addicted to online games, but it depends on how you look at it. My poor husband is sitting at his computer, minding his own business (well, looking at his favorite websites all the time, but that’s a different story), when he hears snippets of carnival music coming from the couch where I am embedded.

The Simon’s Cat Crunch Time game requires the participants to finger — or in my case, thumb — around shapes such as little brown fish and pink hearts to drop milk bottles and remove from the board the desired number shapes of a different color, among other actions.

It can be quite intense. When you drop a milk bottle into the great Simon’s Cat beyond, it makes a satisfying exclamatory musical chord sound that allows you to revel in such an accomplishment. When you’re between moves, the game has a more lilting, questioning tune that urges you to continue, possibly out of sheer panic or disgrace.

I do keep the sound down so I don’t annoy people unfamiliar with the game, but I haven’t muted it yet; the lack of music detracts from the game, in my opinion. At least I don’t play with the sound full blast.

Not as musical is Words with Friends, an intellectual pursuit that keeps me sharp, or so I’d like to think. Where else can you use the words “za” and “qi” with such frequency? If you achieve “three-star mastery,” it gives you three glockenspiel-like chimes — a pleasant sound for the ears. You might also think your IQ has risen a bit.

Christie Mastric

Some of the cheeriest sounds in the universe, though, might come from Angry Birds Match.

Recently I was on Level 1191, otherwise known as “Pop the Pigs.”

A lively tune accompanies this level, as well as diabolical laughter from what I assume are the little green pigs taunting me because I haven’t popped them. I try to ignore the laughter. The music is much more reassuring, with what I believe to be a player piano, clarinet and adorable whistles, or synthesized versions of these instruments.

When you have five or fewer moves left on the level, a less-adorable whistling song fills the air. Sometimes you win, sometimes you give up, although the game urges you to not give up before you leave and forfeit your winnings.

“I know you got this, try again,” a message says.

What is this, a Peloton ad?

This can place me in a financial bind. My competitive nature wants me to continue, so in some instances I drop a dollar or so to keep going. Yes, this can add up. So far, it’s not a huge financial burden.

Bowling Crew is a relatively new game for me. One major difference is that the pins aren’t always laid out in a classic 10-pin fashion, so that’s an extra challenge. You also have to navigate slants in the lanes and hills on the side.

Depending on your success, you receive special “cases,” such as the Crown Case, and the game keeps blipping a three-note melody until you open them. I try to get to them as soon as possible since rewards await me upon opening.

For the most part, the game is pretty realistic. When you knock down pins, it actually sounds like pins are being knocked down. However, it also makes a “ke-thunk sound” when your ball misses and goes into the gutter.

How Bowling Crew, though, is better than real life has to do with the congratulatory sounds that emanate from your phone when you get a strike or spare. I doubt this would happen were I really bowling in person.

This game tends to be the most expensive for me. If you’re on a losing streak but are obsessed with continuing the game, you have to fork over some money. I don’t always want to do this, so I’ve been stuck in basically the same league for weeks now.

Just don’t tell anybody. The shame would be more than I could take.

The best sounds, in my opinion, come from the classic Angry Birds app. Not only do you get flute music, you get violent smashing sounds as well as whooping yells when you complete a level. Even if you don’t succeed, your little avian friend goes “wheeeee!” when you send it off to a target.

So, if you’re walking down the street or sitting in a restaurant someday and you hear faint noises that sound like Lilliputians are putting on a state fair, there’s a good chance I’m in the vicinity.

Just don’t bother me when I’m on a timed game.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Christie Mastric is a staff writer at The Mining Journal. Contact her at cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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