Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Exploring Artisan Keycap Artists: A Review of O_OOHKey

May 08, 2024 0 Comments


O_OOHKey
, is located in South Korea, specializing in resin artisan keycaps and loves cats! The process of creating the little creations is fascinating: the artist posts sneak peaks of the process and it is mesmerizing to watch. So do check out their Instagram (or Discord if you have the app)!

There's actually an interesting backstory behind the artist's online persona: in Korean the word μŒμ•  means the cry of a baby, and when re-interpreted it was born as 'O__OOH ' in English.


I have not yet bought from O_OOHKey, so I am not able to put them in my Featured Artists List (yet). But I did win a giveaway from them and appreciated that the shipping cost was covered (not every artist does this), so here is this post to share about good things. 😍 


[Keycap Series: Featuring Artists of the Month

[Beginner's Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know]


The quality of the keycap and my interactions with O_OOHKey got me thinking to start another series, "Exploring Artisan Keycaps" where I curate (and possibly in the future purchase from as well) keycap artists with unique designs, good quality and interesting backstories for their keycaps, along with shipping which is not more than S$25


Doesn't little Ninku look so adorable?

Designs

O_OOHKey's current works (in 2024) revolve on different variations of the below:


  1.  O_OOH CAT: Kitten looking like suspenders but wearing a diaper. 😸
  2.  Ho-Raeng: In Korea, there is a culture called '12 gods'. To celebrate the Year of the Black Tiger, we made a tiger character by hand sculpting.πŸ’–
  3. SneakInKitty: Introducing SneakInKitty, our adorable new character! Watch as this lovable kitten playfully sneaks inside a stylish sneaker, bringing a burst of charm to your day. Shower lots of love on this little feline companion – a delightful addition to your world of whimsy and style! 
  4. Ryong-E: Dive into the mythical charm of the Year of the Blue Dragon with our exquisite Blue Dragon, Ryong-E! This blue dragon keycap created in celebration of 2024 boasts a captivating azure hue symbolizing strength and prosperity. Embrace the upcoming year with Ryong-E, whose horns will ward off all your hardships! Meet Ryong-E at Raffle!
  5. NinKu: A cute kid who dreams of becoming a ninja

There are also other occasional designs such as the Cloud Keycaps and Stingray which are priced at US$20-25. So definitely something to look forward to!

The Cloud & Stingray Series which are always available 

How to Buy

The mode of which the keycaps are sold is via Raffle Sales with Google Forms: where you sign up to win a chance to buy the keycaps. The form is usually open for a week and sales are conducted on a first come first serve basis. If payment is not made within 24 hours, then it gets cancelled and you would not be able to particulate in the next raffle. 


O_OOHKey announces the latest sales and posts about past creations on their Instagram. They also occasionally have giveaways, so do check them out! 😍

Artist Info

  • Style: 🐯 Fantasy πŸ‰⛅
  • Pricing (per keycap)an average of US$20 to US$60 (S$26-S$80+)
  • Shipping Internationally: Depends on your country and ranges from USD$15-$30 (S$20-S$50)
  • Wait Time: Not including the time it took to be processed / made, it took within 5 business days (total was 8 days if you count the weekends) to receive my adorable keycap from South Korea.
  • Material: Resin (Hand sculpted)
  • Location: South Korea
  • Payment Method: Paypal
  • Social Media: 

πŸ’— Loves

πŸ’— Fantasy / Animal Themes keycaps which are cool and adorable looking.
πŸ’— Light weight and easy to install. It fit my switch seamlessly.
πŸ’— Quality for coloring of the resin and the detail. The little detail where the artist has their logo behind the keycap is genius!
πŸ’— Has personality and unique.
πŸ’— Reasonable shipping price and overall pricing (coming from South Korea and in USD$). 

Monday, May 6, 2024

Beginners Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know

May 06, 2024 0 Comments


You just got your very first mechanical keyboard and discovered a whole new whole of  keycap sets and artisan keycaps. There are just so many options that you do not know where to start and what to do to get those adorable or fancy keycaps you see people posting about. 


If you're seeking guidance on purchasing keycaps without the hassle of scouring Reddit, forums, and endless Google searches (or Discord groups), then this comprehensive guide is just what you need!


Styles of Keycaps

  • Keycap sets: Perfect if you want to change out your old keycaps or simply want to give your mechanical keyboard a new look without having to buy a new one. Any design you can think of as long as it is not the "normal" looking keycaps and comes in enough pieces to fit your keyboard. 
  • Accent Pieces: Usually used on a lesser used key like "Escape" or simply a center piece(s) for your keyboard.
    • Custom: Anything you can imagine is probably able to be turned into a keycap based on your imagination and vision, along with the skills of the artist.
    • Resin/Polymer Clay/Blanks/Novelty - Based on the artists interpretation and inspiration they create their keycaps and you buy them if you like them from their store or google forms (via raffle sales) etc...

Price

If you are looking for value then getting keycap sets for more keys might be more worthwhile instead of an individual keycap which can cost about the same. 

In general, retail prices can range from S$10-90+ for a single keycap (depending on its detail, the price set by the artist and what you really think it's worth).


Where to Buy

For those of you who are in Singapore (or South East Asia) and are on a budget but still want an accent piece (or two), then Shopee is a good place to look for keycap sets and artisan keycaps which can typically range from S$10-60+. 

If you are wondering what is Shopee, it’s basically a shopping platform like Amazon but with pricing closer to Temu. They have an app for Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, mostly for the South East Asian countries. Besides the (probably) more affordable (cheaper) pricing, shipping is either free or less than SGD$2 (for majority of the sellers). The only downside is that you need a local number and address for each of the country app. 

 If you have not signed up for Shopee and want to get S$5 off your first order, sign up 🠊here🠈😊




For everything else, the keycaps can range from S$35-100+ for just one little keycap, and that does not include shipping yet:

  1. Raffle Sales: Usually, the artists will promote and open raffles sales on their limited designs on Discord, Reddit and/or Instagram. Interested buyers try their hand and sign up  for a chance to win the opportunity to buy those keycaps. Google forms are the usually methods for signing up and PayPal a very common payment method. No one knows how many actually sign up and only the artists knows how many pieces they really have for sale. If you get an invoice, you've "won" else try again the next time. These might be pre-orders or fulfilment orders where they just sell the limited amount they have made/will make.
    • ✅Pro: 
      • Most of the time the designs are limited and one of a kind. So perfect if you are looking for that perfect keycap.
      • Payment via PayPal is always good for buyers (buyer's protection).
    • ❌Con: 
      • For Raffle Sales, you cannot buy it even if you want to, you have to be "lucky" to win a chance to purchase the marketed one of a kind creations.
      • Depends on what the artist is selling so designs may be limited or no longer available once its run its course.
      • Usually in USD$ and can be pricey (that’s not even including the shipping yet). 
      • Tax is not included (explicitly), so there might be a chance for it to get stuck at customs.
      • The use of Google Forms and collecting your address might be a privacy concern for some.
      • As they are mostly made upon order, it might take a month or so for you to receive your keycap.


  2. Online Shops: Some artists choose to create their own online shop using Shopify, Wordpress or similar to sell their creations. Paypal should always be the preferred choice of payment as that would offer buyers a little more protection and getting their money back (just in case since they do have Buyer's Protection).   
    • ✅Pro: 
      • Sellers can provide better discounts or cheaper shipping due to (probably) lesser platform fees.
      • Some designs are only available on the online shops. 
      • Mostly ready stock, you might not have to wait so long to receive the keycaps as they are usually already made and ready for a new home.
      • Other than the above, there is no other benefit for buyers per se. But more so the freedom and flexibility for the sellers as they are not restricted by platform rules and fees etc...
    • ❌Con: 
      • Depending on the artist / sellers IT savviness, your data might be compromised if security fixes are not taken care of and breaches occur.
      • Not all online shops convert the currency for you. So make sure you check the final price and currency before check out to make sure you know the amount you are paying for.
      • Usually in USD$ and can be pricey (not even including the shipping yet). 
      • Tax may or may not be included, already so there might be a chance for it to get stuck at customs if it’s not included. 
      • Anyone can create their online shop and fulfilment of those orders can be a tad sketchy at times given the trend nowadays with online scams and security breaches. They can close shop and disappear with little to no avenue for any recourse if things go wrong.


  3. Amazon: You'd be surprised that Amazon also has keycaps for sale, but I rather go to Shopee instead as they are more reasonable in pricing and have greater variety. 
      • ✅Pro: 
        • Assurance and ease for refunds if things go wrong (most of the time). At least they have a contact us / support section should the seller go missing in action or the delivery did not reach you.
        • As a platform, it has a reputation to uphold and should have a higher sense to stay updated for security breaches.
        • Free shipping (for most sellers).
        • Tax is already included, so it definitely saves the hassle of calculation and payment.
      • ❌Con: 
        • Limited variety.
        • Expensive (overpriced most of the time on Amazon)
        • There’s always a chance if things going wrong when you buy things online. 


    1. Shopee:  For those of us in South East Asia (and Singapore), Shopee should not be unfamiliar to us. They do have a wide range of keycaps at affordable prices.  
        • ✅Pro: 
          • Assurance and ease for refunds if things go wrong (most of the time). At least they have a contact us / support section should the seller go missing in action or the delivery did not reach you.
          • You can search and look at different designs from various sellers all from one place without have to leave.
          • As a platform, it has a reputation to uphold and should have a higher sense to stay updated for security breaches. If anything goes wrong, they should be responsible. 
          • Free shipping (for most sellers).
          • Tax is already included, so it definitely saves the hassle of calculation and payment.
        • ❌Con: 
          • Long delivery times (sometimes 6 to 12 or more working days)
          • Taking a risk on sellers or listings which do not have any reviews. 
          • There’s always a chance if things going wrong when you buy things online. 


      1. Etsy: Some artists open their store on Etsy, a site which is essentially a platform for sellers to sell their handcrafted items (for a Singapore context, it's like Shopee and Carousell combined).
        • ✅Pro: 
          • Tax is already included, so it definitely saves the hassle of calculation and payment can also be via PayPal. 
          • The cool thing is there are occasional discounts which make it more friendly on the pocket. Discounts can be very worth it sometimes.
          • Unique keycap designs that you cannot find elsewhere, all in one place. 
          • Makes it easier to search across sellers all in one platform. Not having to look and search for individual seller's shop one by one.
          • Assurance and ease for refunds if things go wrong (most of the time). At least they have a contact us / support section should the seller go missing in action.
          • As a platform, it has a reputation to uphold and should have a higher sense to stay updated for security breaches.  If anything goes wrong, they should be responsible. 
        • ❌Con: 
          • Some sellers have really ridiculous international shipping fees probably due to the additional fees the platform imposes(?).
          • Some listings are really overpriced markups from Aliexpress or Taobao. So check with caution before you check out.
          • Lack of consistency -  Each store has different shipping pricing and policies. 

      Artists

      Enjoying art and fun shouldn't come with a hefty price tag; it can be both high-quality and affordable (as much as possible)!

      That said, I will be featuring keycap artists whom I have come across and bought from them as I love their designs. Their pricing and shipping options are also reasonable and worth it (to me), so here I am sharing them with you so you can support them too if you are looking for intricate, unique and reasonably priced artisan keycaps and shipping. 




      Remember to compare prices and shipping costs across different artisans and platforms to find the best fit for your budget!



      Thursday, May 2, 2024

      Deciding Against Joining the Etsy Affiliate Program

      May 02, 2024 0 Comments

      While the Etsy Affiliate Program may seem like an attractive opportunity at first glance, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully before committing. My first encounter with Etsy was for getting Artisan Keycaps as a buyer. The experience was relatively good as a buyer so I thought if they had an affiliate program it would be so cool sharing the shops  I enjoyed purchasing from and earn a little pocket money.


      So I went and researched about it and while there were some good points, these 2 main "bad" points stood out so much that I decided not to join it.


      1. To join the affiliate program by AWIN, you would have to leave a deposit which would be returned to you after verification. Although it is a refundable $5 application fee to join (Awin, not Etsy itself). You only get back your deposit once you make your first sale. This is the first time I have encountered signing up for an affiliate where you have to pay, and only get that amount back when you make a sale. That was not very welcoming, so I will be going it a miss. 
      2. The other factor was that although the program would pay 4% for “standard publisher” referrals and 2% per sale for referrals generated by user generated content (UGC), the sellers who have a successful sale might have to pay for more as part of "marketing" fees e.g. 12-15%. 

      That just defeats the purpose of my guide on affordable and reasonably priced artisan keycaps and shipping fees. I want to support my favorite artists but I do not want to be the one to drives up the cost (and end up paying more for it when I want to get something).


      As a buyer, the experience is alright and if you know what you are searching for, you'd get what you want at the price you are happy with. Or for those of us in Singapore, Lazada and Shopee are good alternatives as well.

      Since I am not a seller on Etsy, I cannot say how good or bad the experience using the platform is, but based on the terms and conditions for the affiliate program, it seems a little unfair for the smaller shops and indirectly increases the overall prices for items getting sold using affiliate links. Passing on the cost of affiliate marketing to sellers who have nor opted for such fees is unfair, and inadvertently drive up cost. In addition, buyers are ultimately penalized for it by having to pay more and the seller does not necessary have an increase in profit with all the additional fees. This might also explain why some sellers have really ridiculously prices items and shipping.

      The only ones who would truly benefit from the affiliate model from Etsy would be the company itself (saving in marketing costs), the bigger shops where the sellers are aware of and factor in these costs to drive up sales (increasing prices as a result), and the affiliates who hardly buy anything off Etsy and just promote items they like.

      As a result, Etsy links in my blog will not be affiliate links but just link references to bring you to the shops I have shopped at and enjoyed the products and experience. πŸ˜€

      If you are a buyer or seller (or affiliate) on Etsy, do share with us your experience in the comments below!


      Tuesday, April 30, 2024

      MACHENIKE K500W vs RK71 Mechanical Keyboards

      April 30, 2024 0 Comments

      Mechanical keyboards have become an essential tool for gamers and typists who demand precision and comfort. In this review, we'll be pitting two compact contenders against each other: the MACHENIKE K500W and the Royal Kludge RK71. Both promise a compact form factor without compromising on performance, but let's delve deeper into their features to see which one emerges as the ultimate compact mechanical keyboard.


      Design and Build Quality:

      The MACHENIKE K500W and RK71 share a compact, tenkeyless design, making them suitable for users who value desk space. The K500 boasts a sleek aluminum top plate that not only adds durability but also gives it a premium look. On the other hand, the RK71 features a more minimalistic design with a plastic case but still maintains a solid build.


      Both keyboards come equipped with a variety of switch options. For this review, we had the red switches for both keyboards; providing a smooth and pleasant linear experience. The MACHENIKE K500W offers customizable Cherry MX switches, allowing users to tailor their typing experience. The RK71, on the other hand typically features Gateron or similar switches, providing a similar experience and actuation force.


      Performance:

      Typing performance is a critical aspect, and both keyboards deliver a satisfying experience. The choice of switches, whether Cherry MX on the K500W or Gateron on the RK71, ensures reliable and responsive keystrokes.


      Both keyboards support N-Key rollover and anti-ghosting, crucial features for gamers who need every keystroke to register accurately. The compact layout might take some getting used to for users accustomed to full-sized keyboards, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Of course if you prefer more keys, then the K500W has more keys then the RK71.


      Functionality and Features:

      The MACHENIKE K500W and RK71 each bring their unique set of features to the table. The K500 includes dedicated media controls, programmable macro keys, and customizable RGB backlighting. The RK71, while lacking dedicated media controls, compensates with Bluetooth connectivity, making it a viable option for users who want a compact wireless setup.


      Customization options are abundant on both keyboards. The K500W's RGB lighting can be fine-tuned using dedicated software, allowing users to create visually stunning setups. The RK71, meanwhile, offers Bluetooth functionality, providing users with the freedom to connect to multiple devices seamlessly.


      Choosing between the MACHENIKE K500W and RK71 ultimately boils down to individual preferences and priorities. The K500W  impresses with its premium build, customizable Cherry MX switches, and feature-rich design. Meanwhile, the RK71 offers a more minimalistic approach with Bluetooth connectivity as a standout feature. When you have turned off the RGB settings on both keyboards, there is a light indicator to tell you the K500W being turned on, whereas the RK71 does not light up when you turn it on. Of course, if you did not turn off the RGB setting then this might not be something which would be a factor to consider which to get.


      If you prioritize a robust build and extensive customization options, the MACHENIKE K500W might be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if a more compact design are your priorities, the RK71 holds its ground admirably. Both models are Bluetooth and wirelessly compatible too. Regardless of your choice, both keyboards prove that compact form factors can indeed pack a punch in the world of mechanical keyboards.


      Choosing the right keyboard depends on your specific needs, preferences, and use cases. Both the MACHENIKE K500-B94 and the Royal Kludge RK71 have their strengths, so let's consider a few factors that might help you make a decision:


      MACHENIKE K500W 

      Strengths:

      • Build Quality: The aluminum top plate adds durability and a premium feel.
      • Customization: Cherry MX switches allow for a personalized typing experience.
      • Feature-Rich: Dedicated media controls, programmable macro keys, and customizable RGB lighting.

      Considerations:

      • Size: It is a tenkeyless design, so if you need a numeric keypad, this might be a drawback.
      • Wired: While some users prefer a detachable cable, others may find a fixed cable more convenient.


      Royal Kludge RK71

      Strengths:

      • Compact and Portable: Ideal for users who prioritize portability and desk space.
      • Wireless Capability: Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity allows for seamless switching between devices.
      • Versatility: Various switch options (Gateron, Kailh) cater to different typing preferences.


      Considerations:

      • Build Material: The plastic case might not feel as premium as metal alternatives.
      • Feature Set: It lacks some features like dedicated media controls found in the MACHENIKE K500W . But for everting else there are shortcuts. πŸ˜†


      [Royal Kludge RK71 Mechanical Keyboard Review: Compact Elegance with Versatile Performance]


      Decision Factors:

      Usage Scenario: Consider if you need a compact and portable solution for on-the-go use (RK71) or if you prefer a feature-rich keyboard for gaming and productivity (K500W).


      Budget: Compare the prices of both keyboards and see which one aligns with your budget while meeting your requirements.


      Ultimately, both keyboards are solid choices, so the decision comes down to your budget, personal preferences and how well each keyboard meets your specific needs.


      Which would be your choice? Let me know in the comments below! 

      Thursday, April 25, 2024

      Keycap Series: April Artist Featuring wildapplestudio

      April 25, 2024 0 Comments

      For the month of April, the artist of the month is Apple, who is based in Hong Kong. It's not too far away from Singapore, so shipping is relatively reasonable being under S$10. Her keycap creations range from an average of S$15 to S$80+, which when compared to the other options out there it was one of the pull factors for me (beside the beautiful design of course). πŸ˜† 


      [Keycap Series: Featuring Artists of the Month

      [Beginner's Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know]


      In addition to sculpting intricately cute keycaps, Apple also does charms and accessories. I first came across her works on Instagram and went to check it out. Miffy and a Totoro inspired keycap got my attention and I just had to get them as a birthday present for myself.


      They are my very first artisan clay keycaps and delivery was faster than expected. They even came with a cute card and 2 adorable stickers. Packaging was solid: the keycaps came in good condition and were protected with sufficient padding. They even had their little case for further protection to make their way from Hong Kong to Singapore.   



      Ever since the GST (goods service tax) increased to 9% this year in Singapore, and that all goods will be charged GST... it just gets too complicated for me. It used to be for only items over the value of S$400 having to get charged GST, but now with the new rule, even items below that amount will be charged (supposedly). I don't want to have to pay extra just to get my items from Customs or go through the trouble of having to do so. Hence, platforms which already include GST, such as Amazon, Shopee, LazadaQoo10 and now Etsy are a blessing in that aspect as a buyer. 


      The platform I chose to get them this time was on Etsy. It was relatively easy to log in, there are a couple of options to choose from signing up brand new or using an existing Google, Apple or Facebook Account. Apple has her own online website shop as well, but I choose to get them via Etsy simply because the tax was already accounted for (on the platform).

      The ordering experience was pretty straight forward and simple enough: pick what you like, add to cart and check out. Payment was via Paypal. 


      Apple was really responsive and updated once the keycaps were shipped out. It was a fantastic experience. πŸ‘


      Update: I succumbed to her recent April shopdrop. πŸ™ˆ The sleepy Eevee was too adorable, that my hand had a life of it's own and I bought it! 


      This time I tried purchasing it from her online shop instead of Etsy (since it was only available there at the time). It was easy (too easy πŸ’ΈπŸ’ΈπŸ’Έ) to purchase: no log-in was required, just add what you want to cart and check out. The only downside is that there was no estimated period mentioned on when the item would be sent out in the confirmation email. It would be nice to have that mentioned in the confirmation email. But a quick check on the FAQ section mentions that orders usually are shipped out within 7-10 working days, then about 11-14 business days for international shipping.


      In the checkout page, input the address and contact number, then choose the mode of payment - Paypal, Credit card or Apple Pay etc.. I chose PayPal and before I could blink, it was checked out. πŸ™ˆ It took about 4 working days for the order to be processed with an email to inform that it is on its way! 😍


      Once I get the little cutie, I would be writing about the experience from purchasing from the online shop vs Etsy. So do stay tuned for that! 


      [Review: Shopping Experience at WildAppleStudio Online Shop]

      [Unboxing of Sleepy Eevee Artisan Keycap by WildAppleStudio]



      Artist Info

      • Style: πŸ§š Whimsical / Nature-Inspired / Gaming / Anime / Food 🍲
      • Pricing (per keycap): an average of S$15 to S$80+ (US$11 to US$60+)
      • Shipping to Singapore: less than $10 (US$8)
      • Shipping Internationally: depends on your location but should be reasonable
      • Wait Time: Orders usually are shipped out within 7-10 working days, then about 11-14 business days for international shipping. My order via Etsy took  a total of 12 days (9 working days) to get processed and reach Singapore (it actually just took 6 working days to arrive from Hong Kong) which is quite good. 
      • Material: Polymer clay and protected with UV resin
      • Location: Hong Kong 
      • Social Media: 

      πŸ’— Loves

      πŸ’— Intricate details and amazing skills in fitting detail into a keycap.
      πŸ’— The evenness and smoothness (clean lines) of the end product.
      πŸ’— Does not look mass manufactured and has personality.
      πŸ’— Good quality.
      πŸ’— Amicable, responsive artist (to address and concerns or questions). 
      πŸ’— Reasonable shipping price and overall pricing.

      Remember to compare prices and shipping costs across different artisans and platforms to find the best fit for your budget!

      Have you gotten any keycaps from wildapplestudio? If the answer is yes, let me  know in the comments below what you loved and what did you get! 


      [Keycap Series: Featuring Artists of the Month

      [Beginner's Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know]


      Wednesday, April 17, 2024

      Paper Mario: The Origami King Review (with spoilers)

      April 17, 2024 0 Comments
      Do note that this blog post may contain product affiliate links. If you purchase something through a link on this blog post, we may receive a commission, which goes into the upkeep of this blog.

      Paper Mario: The Origami King is the sixth installment in the Paper Mario series. It was released on the Nintendo Switch worldwide on 17 July 2020. The game follows Mario, who opposes an evil army of origami characters known as Folded Soldiers. They are ruled by the Origami King, King Olly.


      This was my first experience with the Paper Mario series, and the ring-based system used to solve puzzles was a pretty interesting and novel way to play a game. Some gamers have said that it is a bit repetitive and pointless, but I think it's a relaxing way to play a game for the first time. 


      Your brain does not overwork itself trying to solve complex puzzles, and you have fun while following along the storyline (which by the way was pretty nice). The motion controls are relatively easy enough compared to the likes to Mario Odyssey or Zelda, so it's the perfect game for a first timer too. 


      Oh and did I mention that the animation and art transition is simply beautiful? The way Olivia transforms and folds herself into an elemental is a treat for the eyes!


      So back to the game's storyline.... In order to bring back the world to its original form, Mario together which his new friend, Olivia travel throughout the Kingdom to defeat the Folded Soldiers and their overlord, King Olly.

      The battle ring system might be rather repetitive at times, but getting those coins for shopping and confetti to fill up the holes was a motivation. It did help that the battles with the big bosses were more challenging and different from the usual. Instead of sliding the boss into position, you have to create routes for Mario to follow so that he can step on buttons to activate abilities to trump the bosses. 

      Depending on the direction he can turn certain abilities on. Once turned on, he can use the special abilities. The challenging part is that you need to get him to land on an attack icon to deliver a devastating blow. Miscalculating your movements or land on the wrong button might be a regular occurrence and Mario might not be able to attack.

      There are 5 streamers (big bosses to defeat): RedBlueYellowPurple, and Green.

      [Paper Mario Walkthrough Guide] -> this was a life saver clearing some of the challenging stages.


      The journey to each streamer leads to a different part of the kingdom and simply exploring the areas are a visual treat. Along the way, they pick up a Bob-omb with amnesia, whom Olivia names Bobby. He helps in some battles and is really handy to have around. 



      What I was not expecting was him sacrificing himself to save Olivia after he regains back his memory. I was totally not expecting that. I thought it was a happy feels game... till Bobby blew himself up. I did get quite attached to that little bomb. 😭


      After getting over my virtual grief (for about a month), there were some quirky characters which also grew on me. The Professor, who is a Toad who can dig up coins and treasure! If only I had someone like this in real life, my bank account would also be plush.


      In addition, Olivia, whom some (experienced) players might find irritating as she pops up to guide Mario (the player) to certain points in the game; too much hand holding they think. However, if this is your very first game, she is the perfect guide and to be honest, I kind of grew fond of her as we travelled the Kingdom defeating the foes. Just like Bobby, I was totally not expecting her (pointless) end. Yes, you read that right... she "died". 😭😭😭

      Of course they have an alternative or true ending, but both King Olly and Olivia are shown as origami people in their origami castle and it's up to you to imagine they are happily ever after. 



      Verdict: 3.5/5


      After 55+ hours invested into this game and after reaching the ending, I can say this game started out as a fun narrative with plenty of exciting locations and ended up a little bittersweet. As I progressed along the story, I started to get attached to the characters that when I realized they were no longer, it left a virtual void in my virtual heart. πŸ’”

      Because of what happened to Bobby, it took me awhile before I could continue on and complete the game. While I enjoyed the mechanics, gameplay and adorable paper animations, the ending could have been better. For a children's game, the theme starts out fun and cute but ends on a heavy note with a badly worded wish which ruined everything (for me).

      Happier times with Bobby 

      Also, the whole premise was a little weird: a Toad who is so good at making origami folded the antagonist, Olly, and using a forbidden technique gives him life only for his creation to turn on him. Olly is Olivia's brother, but he is the one who folded her and used the same technique to bring her to life. So instead of being Olivia's brother won't he considered more like a father? But no, he is her brother.... who then goes on to cause havoc to the Mushroom Kingdom and Olivia aims to set it right as it originally was, sacrificing herself in the process.


      A little google search also turned up some depressing news that as cute as the Paper Mario Series sounds, the endings are always "bad". The accompanying "new" characters never survive and must always sacrifice themselves for the greater good (of the storyline).  I mean.. like why though? 


      Does it have to have that morale to the story in order to make it a good game where such a (pointless) sacrifice is needed? 


      Life is already riddled with it's own challenge's so why would someone knowingly want to pay to play a depressing series which is disguised as adorable is beyond me. I am not against bad endings, they just have to make sense to be good. 


      At the very least they could scripted the game better, and given it a more satisfying ending which makes more sense. Then again, maybe that is why they included the alternate "happier" ending which still was lackluster. 


      Why do the accompanying mascot characters of the Paper Mario Series always have to sacrifice themselves for the greater good even if there could have been a better ending? Just because they will not have their own game series does not mean they have to be "killed off". They could happily live in their virtual worlds and avoid such needless "deaths" with the right smart choices.


      Paper Mario: The Origami King might be the game for you if you like the bizarre charm found within Mario's world and love participating in puzzles. Also if you can stomach the not so satisfying ending.  I would have loved it if the ending was more conclusive and obviously not just means to an end with the wrong choice of words and a whole lot of naivety on Olivia's part. 


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      Have you played Paper Mario: The Origami King yet? If so, what are your thoughts about it? Let us know in the comments below!


      Monday, April 15, 2024

      Unleashing the Power of Precision Typing: MACHENIKE K500W Mechanical Keyboard Review

      April 15, 2024 0 Comments

      In the ever-evolving world of gaming peripherals, finding the perfect mechanical keyboard can be a daunting task. The MACHENIKE K500W enters the scene with promises of precision typing, customizable RGB lighting, and a robust build. 


      In this review, we'll dive a little more into the features and performance of this mechanical marvel to see if it lives up to the hype. I got this on sales from Shopee so this will only be based on my experience. You can check out Shopee and check out more reviews before your make your decision to get your very own!


      If you are wondering what is Shopee , it’s basically a shopping platform like Amazon but with pricing closer to Temu. They have an app for Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, mostly for the South East Asian countries. Besides the (probably) more affordable (cheaper) pricing, shipping is either free or less than SGD$2 (for majority of the sellers). The only downside is that you need a local number and address for each of the Shopee country app. 

       If you have not signed up for Shopee and want to get S$5 off your first order, sign up 🠊here🠈😊


      Design and Build Quality:

      The MACHENIKE K500W immediately catches the eye with its sleek and modern design. The brushed aluminum top plate not only adds a premium touch but also ensures durability. The compact tenkeyless design is a gamer's dream, saving valuable desk space without sacrificing functionality.

      The quality of the keycaps and switches are comparable with the ones which came with the RK71

      The keycaps are made of double-shot ABS plastic, providing a satisfying tactile feel and ensuring longevity. The key switches themselves are customizable, we got the one with the Red Switches. Typing on the K500W is a delight, with the perfect balance of actuation force and smooth linear feeling.


      [Royal Kludge RK71 Mechanical Keyboard Review: Compact Elegance with Versatile Performance]


      In the end, I switched out the keycaps for pudding keycaps to highlight the RGB lighting effects. Of course, they were also on sale and under SGD$25



      Performance:

      The MACHENIKE K500W  does not disappoint with it’s responsiveness and smooth experience on the Red switches: whether you're engaged in an intense gaming session, or typing up a lengthy document, the Red switches deliver a smooth responsive and satisfying linear experience.


      Want a little light effect in your experience? Then look no further at the customizable RGB backlighting which adds a touch of personalization, along with a plethora of colors and effects to choose from. The lighting can be easily adjusted through the dedicated software, allowing you to create your own unique gaming setup. But we are happy with the default options and settings.


      Functionality and Features:

      The K500W doesn't just stop at performance; it offers a range of features to enhance the overall user experience. There are dedicated media controls, programmable macro keys, and a Windows lock, all of which are thoughtful additions that make this keyboard versatile for both gaming and productivity.


      In conclusion, the MACHENIKE K500W  Mechanical Keyboard is a good option for gamers and typists alike who are looking for something affordable and user friendly. Its sleek design, reliable  switches, customizable RGB lighting, and hot swappability (for both switches and keycaps) make it a standout choice in the crowded mechanical keyboard market. With a perfect balance of performance, features, and build quality, the K500W is a worthy investment for those seeking a reasonably affordable and good mechanical keyboard experience.



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      Sunday, April 14, 2024

      Guide: iPad + Wireless Keyboard Shortcuts

      April 14, 2024 0 Comments


      Ever since I dived into the world of mechanical keyboards, I started to use them (wirelessly of course) with my iPad. It does give an alternative experience versus using a Windows system. The good thing is that you can also connect a mouse via Bluetooth for a more laptop experience on the iPad.



      One thing I could not get used to was having to navigate my screens (the urge to resist touching the iPad screen vs just using the keyboard was challenging and definitely took time to get used to). When I wanted to go to the home page, take a screenshot or even switch to another screen or app, it was a bit intimidating and took some time getting used to it.  Now, with the shortcuts and my iPad, it’s like I’ve gotten another laptop.

      The main difference is that instead of using the control button (Ctrl), the Command button is used instead. Once I got used to it, copy / cut / paste / undo / redo were a breeze. But then came another question, the navigating between apps and screens. 

      So, I compiled these shortcuts below, hope it is useful for you as it was for me:

      Do you know another other useful iPad + Keyboard shortcuts? Let us know in the comments below! 😁




      Sunday, April 7, 2024

      Keycap Series: A Shopee Guide to Affordable and Good Quality Artisan Keycaps

      April 07, 2024 0 Comments

      This guide will be about sellers on Shopee selling reasonably priced and quality keycaps for Singapore buyers. The best part about Shopee is that there are vouchers which could be used to discount the final price and the best part is delivery is free (just ensure you remember to download the vouchers). 


      If you are wondering what is Shopee, it’s basically a shopping platform like Amazon but with pricing closer to Temu. They have an app for Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, mostly for the South East Asian countries. Besides the (probably) more affordable (cheaper) pricing, shipping is either free or less than SGD$2 (for majority of the sellers). The only downside is that you need a local number and address for each of the Shopee country app. 

       If you have not signed up for Shopee and want to get S$5 off your first order, sign up 🠊here🠈😊 Alternatively, if you already have an account but have not bought anything yet, you can still get S$5 off your first order with this code 7L6EM9H
      Do note that if you are viewing it on mobile it will check if you have the app first, if you do it opens in the app, just click ok and you would get to the listing page. Happy Shopping!


      Styles of Keycaps

      • Keycap sets: Perfect if you want to change out your old keycaps or simply want to give your mechanical keyboard a new look without having to buy a new one. Any design you can think of as long as it is not the "normal" looking keycaps and comes in enough pieces to fit your keyboard. 
      • Accent Pieces: Usually used on a lesser used key like "Escape" or simply a center piece(s) for your keyboard.
        • Custom: Anything you can imagine is probably able to be turned into a keycap based on your imagination and vision, along with the skills of the artist.
        • Resin/Blanks/Novelty - Based on the artists interpretation and inspiration they create their keycaps and you buy them if you like them from their store or google forms (via raffle sales).


      These sellers from Shopee below are ones which I have bought from before and find their designs matching my aesthetics. Their pricing is also wallet friendly ranging from S$5-$30+ per keycap. Hence sharing them with you because sharing is caring. So read on with caution (for your wallet). πŸ˜›


      If you do find any other artisan keycap sellers with affordable prices on Shopee, let me know in the comments below!

      Seller: wowking|Life Technology Digital

      Looking for adorable and good quality keycap sets for a reasonable price?  Spy x Family, Sanrio Theme or even the cute bear / cat ears keycap sets etc.. The list goes on... 

      Spy x Family Design the purple number keys were a mix and match with the Kuromi set

      I found this seller on Shopee and tried their keycaps. I got the Spy x Family, Pokemon and Kuromi designs and the quality is not too bad for the price.  The delivery experience was not too bad, taking about 8 days to reach me. The keycap sets survived the delivery process and came in bags.

      Seller: Rabbit Keycap Shop

      Cute, affordable and the best part is that it is customizable: you can choose the color of the keycaps! 

      The seller is also pretty responsive to the chat and there are many options to choose from. I've bought from this seller a few times and delivery times are within 6-9 days, which can be considered pretty fast. It is also well packaged and the keycaps came in good condition each and every time. 

      Seller: happykeycap89.sg

      Looking for something more unique and familiar? I stumbled across this seller on Shopee because of the adorable Winnie the Pooh designs! The heart also got my attention.

      Here you can also choose your own keycap color and the type of keycap used is different too, it's XDA which give it a different feeling and profile.

      Delivery time is slightly longer than the other sellers, taking about 8-12 days but each key is bubble wrapped and in a cute bag too.  Their designs are unique and adorable. Workmanship is also good.



      Friday, April 5, 2024

      Crafted Keys: Unveiling the Magic of Artisan Keycaps for Your Mechanical Wonderland

      April 05, 2024 0 Comments

      Artisan keycaps are fascinating in many ways: they represent a fusion of artistry and functionality, adding a unique and personalized touch to mechanical keyboards. The creativity and craftsmanship involved in making artisan keycaps are impressive, with artisans often pouring their passion and skill into creating intricate designs that appeal to a wide range of enthusiasts.


      One of the most appealing aspects of artisan keycaps is their ability to allow keyboard enthusiasts to express their individuality and personality. With an ever-expanding array of designs, colors, and themes, there's something for everyone, whether you're into gaming, pop culture, nature, or abstract art


      Moreover, artisan keycaps contribute to a vibrant and supportive community of keyboard enthusiasts. This community-driven aspect fosters collaboration, creativity, and a sense of camaraderie among artisans and enthusiasts alike,


      However, it's worth noting that artisan keycaps can sometimes be pricey due to their limited availability and handmade nature. Additionally, acquiring certain designs may require patience and persistence, as they often sell out quickly or are traded within enthusiast communities


      Overall, artisan keycaps are a testament to the creativity and passion of both their creators and the enthusiasts who appreciate them. They add a touch of artistry and personality to mechanical keyboards, transforming them from mere tools into objects of admiration and self-expression.


      Let's delve a little more into the enchanting realm of artisan keycaps, where each key tells a story and adds a touch of whimsy to your mechanical keyboard adventure. 


      There are various ways which artisan keycaps are being sold:

      • Promoting via Instagram and having Raffle Sales via Google Forms when a new design is out.
      • Artisan's own website, usually a Shopify, Wordpress or a similar platform
      • Amazon
      • Etsy
      • Shopee  (Both the app and website are relatively easy to navigate and use)
      • Lazada (Use the app and not the website as the website is hard to navigate and use)

      If you are wondering what is Shopee , it’s basically a shopping platform like Amazon but with pricing closer to Temu. They have an app for Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, mostly for the South East Asian countries. Besides the (probably) more affordable (cheaper) pricing, shipping is either free or less than SGD$2 (for majority of the sellers). The only downside is that you need a local number and address for each of the Shopee country app. 

       If you have not signed up for Shopee and want to get S$5 off your first order, sign up 🠊here🠈😊


      I will be consolidating a list of good quality, unique and reasonably priced artisans which I have tried, and making a more detailed guide for newbies to the world or artisan keycaps.


       So do check out the links below:





      Tuesday, April 2, 2024

      Royal Kludge RK71 Short Keys Guide

      April 02, 2024 0 Comments

      Did you know that there are so many short keys which are not in the manual which comes with the RK71? 


      Check the short keys before to take full advantage of your RK71!

      • FN + Pause = Print Screen
      • FN + Enter = Displays the level of battery 
      • FN + Shift + Esc = ~
      • FN +Del = scroll lock
      • FN + A / FN = S = Switch to Windows-/Mac-mode  


      The known short keys:

      • FN + F1 = My Computer
      • FN + F2 = Opens Windows Explorer

      I managed to get  keyboard from Lazada at a fairly good price during the Black Friday Sales, and so far I am happy with my Royal Kludge RK71 with red switches. The typing is smooth like butter and the fingers are less tired since they are using less strength to hit to keys. The only downside might be that they are too sensitive but after some getting used to it it's really good to use. 





      You can check out my review below:



      What other shortcuts do you know as well? Share it with us in the comments below!