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Part of our shower unit broke at the weekend and I like nothing better than setting to and repairing things. I did my usual thing, started to dismantle it to see how it works and indeed, it looked repairable. The small hose had split, to fix it all I had to do was retrim the hose and reattach it to the metal fixing, simple.

As you can see above the break is obvious, it was the top metal ring I had to ease out so I didn’t break the rubber seal inside. I opened my toolkit and took out a delicate set of tools that I normally use for electronics and started to carefully prise.

Snap. Oh, what should have been an easy fix turned into a replacement purchase. In their inherent cheapness, which by the way seems to pervade today’s society, the most important part that is going to get the most hammer, the part made of metal was in fact a con. High impact plastic painted to look like brass, how bloody annoying. Why do they do this? I know, I know, cost, so yet again I’m forced to throw something away because it has a non standard fitting made of an inferior material and pay yet again for something that I know is going to be even cheaper made this time around. It’s not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Anyway, what’s annoyed me today? Well, it’s this.

A game. I loved Plant vs Zombies when it came out and a few months ago I downloaded the new PvsZ 2 and enjoyed it immensely for a few weeks, they even chucked in a few Yeti levels and something called Piñata parties. For those of you that have never seen this game you essentially plant various plants each with its own defense mechanism to drive away zombies. A simple enough game but very entertaining none the less. It’s a free game too with options to make purchases to speed up your progress through the game, otherwise you have to invest a little more time to get all your goodies.

After three weeks I had virtually finished everything and awaited the next level pack to appear and it did in the form of a downloaded update and a mysterious key that appeared in the game. More fun! Exclaimed the update notes, better balance of levels it promised, new zombies it enticingly suggested.

Load of bollards I realised as I started up the game, everything I had managed to win in the game had been flattened and the layout of familiar worlds that the plants and zombies existed in had suddenly become more linear and frighteningly difficult without spending £££ on upgrades. Levels I had played before suddenly became cash hungry, it’s grasp for cash was hugely apparent. Why do this? I know, money, but really can’t it be done more subtlety, at least they had left the fun piñata party levels untouched.

Then two weeks ago all that changed too, I started a piñata party, which is essentially a conveyor belt of pre picked plants against a wave of zombies and was absolutely wiped out within thirty seconds. What had gone wrong? Even worse because I had failed to win the level it now wanted to charge me 1,000 coins to try it again or I had to wait forty eight hours for one more go. The levels had been ramped up without warning to frustration level. That became apparent when I decided to go all out and use all the free coins I had collected, 30,000 of them on one level to test the system. I threw 29,000 at it and still was overwhelmed in the game, why do this? My fun was well and truly spoiled as I realised that to get any further I would need to fork out anything up to £69.95 to get enough coins based on the rate I’m spending them to complete the remaining levels. That sucks, so I deleted it.

Many games are going this way and becoming either episodic or reliant on some kind of boosters,a good old honest game that relies on adverts for revenue is becoming harder and harder to find. I understand the need for revenue but come on, I have games that I have purchased that if I had also bought all the add on levels, weapons, character looks and numerous other additions I would have spent well over £150 on one game alone, it’s crazy.

So pay per play adds itself to pay per view, pay to listen and pay to read to give us our pay to live life.

I’m sorry Mr Smith you forgot to pay your monthly subscription for the air you breathe and I have been sent by British Air to cut you off, have a nice day.



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