Where have I been? Paradise Bay!

The Botox for the levator ani pelvic muscle has worn off early. And even with medication, I’m in a world of hurt until my next set of injections. Excercise is out. Walking is out. Sitting is out. Lying down is in.

Everything seems to aggravate this pelvic muscle-walking, breathing…

So, to distract myself, one escape aside from research for my first adult fiction book, is a fun game by King called “Paradise Bay”.

At first, I got all math-nerdilicious with it, figuring out profit on growing cotton, bamboo, making nets, catching fish etc. with my notepad and Sharpie pen. There is something much bigger in the game: relationships.

The characters are annoying at first; an impish urchin boy who asks for the moon with hardly any money; the smarmy boat trader with a rose in his teeth demanding precious ore or chocolate. But then, these characters grow on a person and become endearing. My favourite is a crusty, pot-bellied ex-pirate named Pike who doesn’t ask for too much and speaks “Arggg”. I go above and beyond to get him what he needs, but now, I look after the kiddo too because he has a little place in my Trademaster heart, and helping all the islanders progresses the goofy story that makes me snork at various points of the day.

The programming is brilliant and involves such things as inventory assesment and the old “time is money” addage. God help you if you run low on wheat or sugarcane; for all incoming ships will demand it and it will take you a day to grow those if you don’t find these goods offered on the world market exchange. Players from all over the world play this game and I try to guess what the Chinese names mean. “Is that Mr. Mandarin Duck playing?” “She might be from Sichuan provence!”

The graphics and animation are simply adorable and the toys, animals, and decorations all do something fun and surprising like blowing bubbles, spinning or roaring.

Levels beget other levels and unlocking of things like beer, jewelry, ski parkas, and keys to secret relics. Ski parkas? Yes. There are snowflakes, ice, and penguins on these tropical islands, as well as green glowing ghosts of dead parrots and jellyfish.

Physically for now, I can’t be much a part of the real world, but I can be a Trademaster in Paradise Bay.

Think I’ll return to the sand, sun, and pommeganate juice for now and see what the little kid might need.

Image screenshot from Paradise Bay by King


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