Hey hi hello and welcome to my journal page, a cozy home for my thoughts & feels & rambles & soup! Expect some personal introspections, media studies, just-for-fun & funny reviews, and tangential ADHD gush about all the things that interest me. Stuff will get added as often as I remember to write!

The navigation and pages here can be scrolled!

Everything expressed on these pages are personal opinions. You don't have to take 'em too seriously if you're not vibing with me!

Recent Changes:

21/09/22 - Moved my little Neocities gush over from my homepage.

22/09/22 - Added the Ultimate Garlic Cheese Soup recipe... go make it!!

27/09/22 - Finished the page's look and layout. LittleBigPlanet themed!

17/10/22 - Started putting together my Bear Cub musings. Surprisingly hard to get everything together in a speech! Might need a little time.

24/10/22 - Added a Creatures of Sonaria Roast. Burn, baby, burn!

27/10/22 - Bear Cub ramble is up!

LEGO rambles have been (temporarily) flung onto my private CoHost due to my brain going splat.

(Tl;dr fandom has made me uncomfy.) Check back later!

Love Letter to Neocities

I love you single page profiles and carrd knock-off websites,

I love you javascript heavy and never-ending labrinthine websites,

I love you inexperienced coder making the ugliest website ever,

I love you experienced coder playing with CSS without any desire to make a website,

I love you websites that go on for pages about 'boring' topics,

I love you websites that document the simple joys in life,

I love you websites about original characters and fiction,

I love you fansites about guiding new players into a franchise,

I love you wacky layout websites made only for the website owner's enjoyment,

I love you accessibility focused websites with layouts for everyone,

I love you sparkly gif collectors, cheesy retro aesthetics, and scemo edgelords,

I love you users not concerned with upholding an imaginary standard of quality,

I love you users always pushing to make yourselves proud,

I love you users who do whatever you like for the fun of it...

I love you Neocities!!!

Ultimate Garlic Cheese Soup

Here's something I've slurped every birthday, Easter and Christmas of my life... the Ultimate Garlic Cheese Soup! If you're looking for something savoury and creamy to break bread over this season, look no further. Kind of an old family recipe, this dish has made my loved ones to scramble across the dinner table armed with spoons and bread rolls for years.

And it's easy-peasy!

Stuff You Need

1. One large onion

2. Two large courgettes

3. One pint of vegetable stock

4. 150g Boursin cheese (Garlic and Fine Herbs)

5. A blender, masher, or mortar and pestle

6. A cooking pot

7. A cooking knife

8. A large spoon or whisk

Stuff you Do

1. Cut the courgettes free of their tops and bottoms, then trash the ends.

2. Chop the onion and the courgettes into small chunks, then place into a pot with the pint of vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to boil (watch for bubbles!) then reduce to a simmer (keep it gently bubbling) for 20 minutes.

4. Puree or mash the result until it's liquidy and fine enough to sip.

5. Bring to boil and simmer for another 2 minutes.

6. Add the 150g of Boursin, then stir or whisk until it is entirely melted. Don't let it boil!

7. Dish up your cheesy concoction in your favourite soup bowl or dish, and for the full experience, serve with warm bread rolls and soft butter. Dip and dig in!

Serves four.

Musings of a Bear Cub

Bear - a larger and often hairier person who projects an image of rugged masculinity. The Bear community celebrates secondary and overlooked characteristics of masculinity, such as fatness, body hair, facial hair, sweating and baldness.

Cub – a younger or younger-looking version of a Bear, sometimes but not always with a smaller frame.

A person who aspires to have the build of a Bear.

I’ve been struggling to compose this page for a long time. The words are in me, scattered through from my heart to my fingertips, but putting them all in neat lines to form a whole is hard. I think when people write about their experiences with love, they feel like they've gotta be profound and deliver a real punch quote to prove their sincerity. Alas, art and love are things we do, not things we prove, so here I go again.

I love Bears. I love shoulder hair, I love happy trails, I love prominent paunches, rounded cheeks, and smiles that crease the chin line. In discussions of sexuality I find myself enamoured by the undivine masculine; the “side effects” and the unkemptness that is swept under the rug by mainstream and corporate. Inevitably, I hear the same old thing:

“Is this a fetish thing?”

“Are you into weight gain?”

“Do you have a fat kink?”

It’s not, I’m not, I don’t. It pains me as a queer person to always have to clip my sexuality into precise shapes for it to be understood, but I’ll do it for the sake of love: it’s not about food or gaining weight for sexual gratification, nor is it about objectifying the bodies of fat people. It’s about the unmitigated joy of presenting oneself a certain way; the combination of gender expression and sexuality that makes masculinity new and recreates it again and again in people who truly love who they are.

Yeah, I’m sexually attracted to Bears. Hair and muscle lingers in my lust and brims beneath my skin in an unrealized future - I can’t neuter this part of me. I’ve got no interested in “cleaning up” my queerness. But no, It isn’t sex that drives my attention, it’s happiness!

Masculinity without the trappings.

A home for men who love to be.

A gay man who is comfortable with himself just as he is.

A community of open-mindedness, size positivity and men embracing men.

There’s love, security and freedom in the bodies of Bears. In trans men, shirtless, with hairy breasts and bellies that hang low on their frames. In an acne-covered, hairless chin that smooths gracefully into a person’s neck and wrinkles whenever they laugh. In the shaved head of an Ursula and every pock-mark that mars it, from the nails of her lovers and the point of a tattoo needle. In the old and dry back fur of a Polar Bear, curling around his husband's fingers in rivulets.

It's all about running headfirst into masculinity, embracing it, and having it embrace you back.

When I was 14 and first learned the word “transgender”, I trashed all the old parts of me in a desperate claw for masculinity. My knee-length hair was cut at the neck and my wardrobe was a mush of black-green-grey. I searched up Macho Ways to Behave, started to talk louder, interrupt more, listen less and make rude jokes at the expense of others; retooling every bit of myself as if I could interchange enough parts to make a new person. It didn’t make me happy. I’d gone from playing one role to playing another, and the self beneath my skin suffered for it.

Fitting into a mould doesn’t work. Things like gender and sexuality are reinvented in every person that experiences them and embracing that is what makes our community divine. Of course, when you’re part of a community, there comes a feeling of obligation to blend in with the rest and form a status quo - but community is not antithetical to the individual. Only by being ourselves at our truest, strangest and rawest can we find where we belong. People overlap in more ways than we differ.

There is some debate as to what makes or breaks a Bear.

Do they need to be tall? Do they need to be strong? Do they need to be male, young, rugged?

No. Bears are bulky queer people who celebrate their masculinity and masculine features. They can be macho, effeminate, muscular, fat, male, female, cisgender, transgender, old, young, or anything in-between.

Bears inspired me. Starting with one bright yellow jacket, I remade myself. Now my transness is a thing that leads me into masculinity happily: not done at the expense of others or my feelings, just something that I love and embrace and perform with joy!

In my future I see a showy man, a confident man, the kind that smiles with his whole face and booms when he laughs. A man covered in hair from his head (his jawline, his neck, his chest) to his toe knuckles, sweaty and acne-ridden as testosterone takes its euphoric toll. Outfitted in bright, colourful clothes bought a new size up and surrounded by those who feel safe in his presence.

I’ll look how I love to look, how I love to see other people, and that joy will come across in my whole person. It'll inspire more love in turn.

Craig Byrnes created the Bear Flag in 1995 to unite Bears of all backgrounds. The colours of the stripes are drawn from bear species around the world.

I have words in me about being seen online. I'll put 'em here sometime.

Reviewing Kai's Hair

The preface for this entry is that I love Kai. I hold him close to my heart and I'm endeared to every version of him. I just also really love taking the piss, so here’s my 100% accurate and factual review of Kai’s hairstyles throughout Ninjago media.

Written with friendly input from Maunder and Doc Retro!

Kai’s hair entrances me. It’s simultaneously the worst and best thing I’ve ever seen, like an iconic Yu-Gi-Oh ‘do built in 3D. Far be it from me to mess with Kai’s iconic look, I wouldn’t change it for the world, but I can’t help thinking of it as jarring amongst the pre-made hairpieces present in the show. All sharp edges and random spikes, it’s more of an adorable fucking mess than the intended ‘plume of fire’, though I’d fully believe a man living without his parents would cut and style his hair like this.

However, the fact that it’s so complicated and nonsensical means it’s been interpreted a bunch of different ways across Ninjago media, and I think it’s a fun idea to list ‘em all off to figure out which does Kai’s original style the most justice.

Pilots and Seasons 1-7

Classic and beloved Kai hair. Having watched Ninjago so often, I’m way past used to this by now, but there are still occasions where I’ll snap out of my LEGO-loving daze and realise just how funny it is. There’s barely any shape coherency, especially at angles he clearly wasn’t meant to be seen from - watching him in motion is like playing a 3D Dragon Ball game and catching Goku’s head from the side.

I’ll always love this look, but his hair seriously sticks out like a sore thumb when seen among other LEGO hairpieces which are far more chunky and plastic-looking on account of being made for minifigures. Kai’s hair ends in sharp, brittle points, which is a tiny detail but important enough to completely alienate his hairdo.


Yep, this is Kai's hair.

Minifigure and Promotional Art

Now we’re getting somewhere. With Kai’s hair finally being fitted onto a minifig, we get a much more controlled mess - something that looks completely natural when lined up with other little guys in your collection. The clash from the show is solved and Kai’s style is looking more endearing for it!

However, having his hairpiece printed highlights how much the character seems to have been designed on paper. Rotating the bit in my hand, there's a clear-to-see struggle to keep all the parts of his hair interconnected, and the awkward bends between his spikes do nothing to give off the impression he’s got a head full of hair.


The ultimate Nutella boy.

Shadow of Ronin Cutscenes

An interesting thing: this is the first time we see Kai with lighter hair! The colour lends itself really sweetly to his red palette, though dark hair seems more fitting in-canon considering the rest of his family has black hair.

Anyway, this version of Kai is his minifigure in motion and it’s super solid! Honestly, it’s a shame the show never integrated this kind of thing because it clearly works and blends in much nicer with the rest of the art. The power of trusting in the style you’re working from!

This model also seems to have worked out the weird bends in his ‘do and made them into more pronounced spikes, which is still kind of weird if you stare at them for too long, but looks way less like his hair was sculpted by the tumblr chocolate guy.


Should’ve been canon.

Tomb of the Fangpyre

I don’t wanna say ‘I told you so’, but Kai’s hair works so well in 2D it feels like it was never intended for 3D. Yeah, it’s still wild, but it’s stylish and full of personality! It feels workable, with the stark black shadows bringing some depth to the ‘do by implying layering - a must-have for this kind of up-did style.

Each spike on his head contributes to a single, swooping shape to give him a confident and readable outline which does a far better job at giving off the impression of fire than twisting strands going every which-way. His design concept thrives in every panel.


I told you so!!

The Challenge of Samukai

A delightful Kai with delightful hair. The art in this book makes my heart sing and Kai’s hair is drawn especially playfully, coming across as spike-covered and scruffy without ignoring the artistic limitation of 3D LEGO: the perfect balance between plastic toy and cartoon character!!

It’s just shaped better! His fringe falls down over his face in a charming way, but leaves plenty of space for his eyes to be expressive. His top spikes are large and readable, but they’re accented by smaller and limper tufts to give the effect of an uneven, growing mess.

His hair also falls lower on his neck, with the base of it fluffing out and giving my overactive imagination the imagery of kindling. It’s an endearing style. Like the crackles of a campfire, it gives off warmth, and I wish we saw something like it in the show.


Anime protagonist hair.

Kingdom of Snakes & Warriors of Stone

The most fun thing about this hairdo is that it’s real similar to his remodelled hair from Season 8 onwards. It’s like an early peek into that messy, rebellious vibe that’s carried over from the LEGO Ninjago movie, but a bit more unkempt due to the freedom of 2D as a medium!

It’s not really comparable to previous hairpieces since it looks like a whole new style altogether, but to judge it as a new style, it's awesome. The fire effect is fully realised, same as it is post-timeskip, and Kai’s personality shoots off the end of every sharp, stylish strand.


He switched to hair wax.

Stone Cold & Destiny of Doom

This is where the comic series starts to attempt a more ‘on-model’ aesthetic and unfortunately suffers from it. The rounded tips of Kai’s hair don’t work at all, making it look like something with a lot of legs is hitching a ride on its head. The illusion of hair has been lost entirely, replaced with all-too-uniform brown tentacles that do little to give Kai his characteristic edge.


Unhappy medium.

Phantom Ninja & Comet Crisis

Like with the previous entry, this hairdo is more on-model, but this time pulling from the minifig. Sure, it flows more, with hard plastic edges and indents, but at the cost of its expressiveness. It’s funny how the medium of a single portrayal of his hair can matter so much!

Where previous hairstyles were perhaps not limited enough by LEGO’s 3D art direction, this is limited far too much. It’s overly compact, difficult to read, and his head looks like a mountain range.


Cole’s up there.

This Hands of Time Concept Art

Yeah, I know the point of concept art is to be simple, and this isn’t a dig at the artist for going that route! Just… judging Kai’s hair devoid of any context, this is way too basic. The focus is all on his upright spikes, without any attention given to the parts of his ‘do that flow down or fluff outwards. In place of his fringe, he’s got one very sad lop spike that’s desperately trying to touch down at his eyebrows, and it looks all kinds of wrong.

His hair is supposed to be extravagant and eccentric! The point of judging his hair on its messy shape language isn’t to boil it down to the bare basics, it’s to figure out which is the best way to communicate all its iconic sharp edges and softer strands!


Concept art could never.

This Tournament of Elements Poster

This one gives me a chuckle, because I’ve been there: it looks like the artist wasn’t sure how to interpret Kai’s hair after they finished his fringe and just started sticking cones on him. Overall it’s a nicely rendered piece of work, but his hair on its own is a nauseating mix between realistic and simple - overly solid in its shapes and far too generous with its individual strands. I assume this texture work was an attempt to emulate the plastic locks on other characters’ hairpieces, but it comes across way too detailed for LEGO. The style dissonance is weird.

I’m also just really intrigued by the decision to interpret the sides of his hairstyle as chunky sideburns.


Looks like an over-glued Yu-Gi-Oh cosplay wig.

LEGO Battles Ninjago Sprite

Objectively this is bad, but I can’t help but be charmed by the fact that it doesn’t even try to emulate his hair points. He looks like he just got out of bed. I love it.


Just a little fella.

LEGO Battles Ninjago Cutscenes


What the fuck is this?

Roasting Creatures of Sonaria

Creatures of Sonaria is a game whose success entirely gravitates around eye-catching player models and a community of autistic animal lovers desperate for a virtual experience to fill the animal-shaped hole in their hearts. I say this with love, as I’m one of those autistic animal lovers and I got duped hard and long - nodding along to empty promises from the development team and investing all my time in a constant rotation of predatory FOMO content - from rotation stores and ever-changing gachas to the new limited time quests.

The following article is a collaborative effort from three ex-players who, honestly? Just wanna vent some frustration. This shit sucks, and coming out the other end made us all feel pretty silly about getting suckered in the first place. Don't play Creatures of Sonaria, especially if you are prone to gambling addictions.

Gameplay and Community

The gameplay of Sonaria is pathetic. It promises a depthful creature survival game with a player-built ecosystem without putting any effort into the actual play feel - resulting in floaty, sluggish characters that differ from each other in only superficial ways. Players are rarely challenged to adapt to new and exciting scenarios, as combat amounts to a contest of spam-clicking and seasonal changes/creature abilities do little but uptick an on-screen counter that only drains when the player sits motionless for minutes at a time. Gravity doesn’t exist, and jumping is not a feature.

The game also has a measly two soundtracks which play very intermittently, resulting in a numb and empty audio experience. Creatures don't make footstep sounds, wing flaps or water splashes, and their vocalisations are constantly being recycled - which isn’t just cheap, but is also confusing when each sound is meant to correspond to a certain emotion and these don’t stay consistent for every species.

Each (beautifully designed, modelled & animated, it can't be denied) creature boasts a creative biography that outlines its unique behaviours and abilities, but they all play the same: you move around aimlessly, find food when you’re hungry, and click to bite things. A creature known for blending into its environment cannot do so due to scent trails, long claws and dangerous ornaments will never have an in-game use, and those who hunt in packs will hardly benefit from doing so or find willing co-op players. It’s all tell and no show, which only tastes more bitter with every new creature added to the game in favour of a new function or physics overhaul.

This failure to create a satisfying gameplay loop has nurtured a player culture that is entirely antithetical to the core premise of the game: nobody is allowed to kill and nobody is allowed to die. Risk-reward is nonexistent - more on that in a bit - because if a player dies, they lose hours upon hours of gameplay for absolutely nothing.

KOS is a term that means “kill on sight” and is used to describe a player who kills other players without getting permission first. This would be a moot point in literally any other competitive game, because taking down other players is expected and typically earns you a reward, with those who are killed being able to cycle back into gameplay and continue having a fun experience despite the disappointment of being bested. This isn’t the case in Sonaria, where dying can mean the permanent loss of a customised character or “stored” creature because characters can only be revived or recreated using convoluted Token, Tikit and Palette systems that confuse players by forcing them to juggle multiple currencies and menus to manage the things they own.

Dying in Cenozoic Survival, another animal survival game on Roblox:

• You go back to the character select screen and respawn as your desired animal. If the animal doesn’t have the skin you wanted, due to them being randomised upon entering the game, you can return to the menu and re-enter the game as many times as you like to reroll the skin.

Dying in Path of Titans, an independent animal survival game:

• If you die to another player, you lose two bars of growth progress. If you die due to starvation, drowning, or falling from a height, you lose one bar. You also lose 25% of your earned currency. You keep all your dinosaur species, characters, and skins, and can immediately re-enter the game as the same character.

Dying in Creatures of Sonaria:

• If you don’t own the species of your dead character, you must revive it or forfeit the ability to play as it until you can cash out for another one. To revive it you need a Revive Token - an item that costs 5 Tikits, which means recycling 125 species or spending 250 Robux (a payment of £4.49 because Robux purchases do not dip below 400). The only alternative is letting it sit dead and unusable in your character slots, of which you have a limited amount. More slots cost Shooms, which means spending more Robux or grinding. More on monetisation later.

• If the character is a Glimmer (a rare glowing variant that has a 5% chance of applying to a fully grown creature) you will need to revive it (repeat of the above) or try to get another Glimmer through grinding. Due to Glimmer only applying to grown creatures, this can sometimes mean playing for 2 hours for one attempt at Glimmering.

• If you do own the species, but don’t have a spare of its colour palette to recreate your character’s appearance on a new save file, you need an Appearance Change Token to get it back off your dead creature. That’s 1 Tikit (25 creatures) or you’ve lost the palette permanently. Palettes are earned during events and are in limited supply.

Due to this, the Sonaria experience amounts to sitting in one large social group and attacking anyone who dares to play the game as intended. Everyone is far too afraid of losing characters they’ve sunk hours of their time into and playing as a certain species is not incentivised by gameplay - it’s based entirely around clout. Players want to show off their rare, hard-to-earn, expensive characters that have Glimmer and pretty skins and not worry about sliding bills around to keep them alive.

Which leads into the second point:

Earnings vs. Entertainment

The game is secondary to its economy and always has been. The goal of every player is to collect as many creature species as they can - not to actually enjoy engaging with the experience the game offers them. Not actually playing the game. And to earn Shooms (the in-game currency) most efficiently, players simply have to be present in-game. Not only is this an obvious ploy to have as many people in the game as possible at any given time, which is the only way to boost a game’s notoriety on Roblox, but the developers also support the use of auto-clickers and dummy secondary accounts to keep the game running all night on a private server (which costs 500 Robux or £8.99), grinding for currency.

At this point, Creatures of Sonaria becomes nothing more than a glorified cryptocurrency miner. You're just earning dragons and plant-beasts to show off instead of monkey JPEGs.

Risk-reward is nonexistent and playing the game is actively punished. There is no incentive for players to engage with others, no reason to play as varied creatures, and no joy in indulging in the quest system - tasks are grindy, time-consuming, have stingy rewards, and don’t encourage natural play.

For example, healing from X amount of Burn Damage. People are not burnt this often in normal play, and it is rare to come across a creature with fire breath. The only efficient way to complete the quest is to use a dummy account or enlist the help of a friend, which defeats the purpose of the quest being a challenge.

The best way to play is to purchase a private server, create a small photovore character, hide in a hole with drinkable water, and turn on an auto-clicker. Expending more effort on growing difficult creatures and surviving complex situations is not rewarded, so why bother at all? It’s not even enjoyable.

Thing is, without mining like this, it is outright impossible for players to earn all of the in-game creatures without spending fat stacks on microtransactions.


To play devil’s advocate for a tick, I get why Roblox games need to be monetised. Roblox as a company is infamous for underpaying and undervaluing its developers no matter how much revenue they generate, so the odd microtransaction, donation box or paid-only feature is totally understandable. What isn’t understandable is creating a gameplay loop so unrewarding, tedious and droll that the only efficient way to progress is to turn your device into a Shoom miner or dip into your wallet!

And, of course, the primary way to earn creatures is through a gacha system.

Gacha is called gacha because they gacha money!

For those who don’t know, gacha systems are essentially slot machines marketed towards kids and teenagers that have become increasingly popular in video games of late. You spin a gacha by inputting currency and it randomises your reward, meaning that you can get doubles - triples - quadruples or more before earning something new to add to your collection. Each machine in Sonaria has a different troll toll, ranging from 65 to 3000 Shooms per spin, and players earn 150 Shooms per hour of gameplay, which is about two spins on the cheapest machine.

If this sounds like gambling to you, that’s because it is gambling, and Sonaria’s development team decided that gambling was the best way to earn creatures in their game where the only worthwhile goal is to complete your creature collection - and then added further monetisation methods! It'd be far too reasonable and intuitive to have just one method of paying for characters, which is why Creatures of Sonaria has six:

Gachas (50+ species earned by gambling Shooms)

Time Gachas (6 species earned by playing for a cumulative 412 hours and 30 minutes)

Stored Creature Store (no species, is essentially a trial store that costs Shooms)

Dev Creature Store (13 species bought with Robux)

Robux Store (6 species bought with Robux)

Rotation Store (23 species bought with Shooms)

For the most coveted creatures, look no further than the Rotation Store; a market front wherein the most common characters go for a whopping 1500 Shooms (10 hours of gameplay) and the best of the best sell for 10,000. That’s 67 straight hours for one character!

Common creature = 1500 Shooms = 625 Robux = £8.99 each

Uncommon creature = 3,500 Shooms = 1125 robux = £13.48 each

Rare creature = 7500 Shooms = 3125 Robux = £35.98 each

Legendary creature = 10,000 Shooms = 5000 Robux = £53.98 each

This predatory playstyle is utilised by the worst of the worst in the industry, as it’s designed for the explicit purpose of herding players towards microtransactions to “skip the grind” the developers have purposefully implemented and avoid wasting hours repeating boring tasks for a single desired item - an item that is, no less, on a limited timer and may be shuffled through Rotation or re-priced at any moment.

When faced with the options of either wasting weeks grinding, optimising trading by breaking down the in-game economy and hoping for a lucky trading partner, or reaching into their wallet for two minutes, many players are reasonably tempted to go for the latter.

Similarly, one spin of the Limited Gacha costs 3000 Shooms (20 hours of playtime or £13.48) and features two limited-time creatures that will be permanently retired when the time comes. This might sound promising - only 6000 Shooms for two rare creatures, what a bargain! - but like with all gacha there’s a high chance you’ll simply roll the same creature multiple times. This leaves you stuck in a loop of continuing to dump either your money or time into the game for a prize that isn’t guaranteed.

On top of all this, a number of creatures are available only for Robux. As of right now, buying every single creature in the Robux store would cost around £45 and buying every single Developer Creature would cost £300.

In summary, earning all creature species without trading would require a minimum of 213,625 Shooms at the time of writing. This translates to 1425 hours of gameplay total or around £789.95, assuming the player is present for all limited events and spins every creature on the first try.

Plus an additional £345 for Robux-only species.

The game even makes a light-hearted jab at its own ruthless payment practices and manipulation, with the title reward for earning 200,000 Shooms being “The 1%”. Kind of a sick fucking joke, if you think about it.


• This only covers the monetisation of creatures, not Tikits, Palletes, Plushies, or slots. For a little context into what we're missing, a single Plushie that increases poison resistance by 12% costs around £18.

• The game is still labelled as a Work in Progress. No incomplete game should be monetising this heavily, let alone in such a predatory manner that ties directly into its lack of completed features. If the only worthwhile feature in your game is collecting creatures and you lock this feature behind gambling and monetisation, you haven’t made a game, you’ve made a casino for children.

Discord and Developers

I would be remiss to not mention the mess of the official Discord server, which requires players to send messages in order to level up and “earn” the right to do things such as post screenshots, access certain channels, or enter giveaways. This has nothing to do with raid or spam protection, as the server requires users to verify their Roblox account in order to enter.

The devs say this is to encourage a social community, but all it really results in a constantly-active pingfest of a server filled with pointless spam comments and arguments about topics that have been debated to death without so much as a peep of acknowledgement from a single developer. Often, the only input a dev will give into a hot topic such as overpriced creatures or low-quality gameplay is a weak, watery promise of “we hear you” followed by a terrible decision that actively makes the game less fair and less fun to play.

A new monetisation method! A gameplay rewrite that is less fun than the original! A creature suddenly lowering or raising in price! Quest rewards being reduced! A crucial member of the team being fired! And on one occasion, an announcement that all Sonaria players who engage with rival survival games will be banned from playing!

A notable example would be the Easter 2022 debacle. The Easter event introduced a boss character that distributed currency among players who invested their time in engaging with a gameplay element - an astoundingly normal, expected thing, that of course had to be punished. The devteam claimed the boss gave away “too many” Shooms and upset the economy, lowering rare creatures to actually buyable trade prices and upsetting the very few in the top percentage of the playerbase. As a result, they introduced the gameplay equivalent of a money pit wherein players who had earned enough were forced to trash 62,500 Shooms each for a unique creature that would never be made available again.

Good job dipshits! You had to bribe vulnerable people with FOMO to “fix” the economy which upset more people than the fairer rates would have. Sonaria remains to be inaccessible to those who don’t cash out or currency mine and future players are locked out of yet another species.

The levelling system also bars important features away from the shy, socially anxious and otherwise neurodiverse, as messaging in the Sonaria Discord puts you immediately in contact with over 100,000 users.


It shouldn’t need to be pointed out, but Creatures of Sonaria is a game hosted on Roblox - an online space popular with children and teenagers that has no parental restrictions. Kids of any age can sign up to Roblox and access Creatures of Sonaria with one click, immediately getting suckered into the unsatisfying and competitive loop of grinding and clout-chasing that ends in frustration at best and money stealing at worst. There is no substance to be toyed with, no game to be played - only a lifeless cycle to be churned through that kids are especially vulnerable to due to having shorter patience and a greater desire to be seen as “cool”.

Every week there is a new creature. The creature brings nothing fresh to the table. It is another box to be checked in a list that cannot even be fully completed, as some creatures are exclusive to content creators or beta testers. It’s still a good idea to gamble for it now, as it'll only get harder to collect when another creature is added to the same gacha next week.

Every season there is a new event. The same event, dressed up in a slapdash coat of paint. Collect 10,000 this-or-thats around the map or miss out on another creature, another check in your boxes. It’s slow and mind-numbing and oh-so-easy to pay for.

I’m writing this on Halloween and the event is collecting wisps. I'd been grinding them for two hours on an empty server when the straw broke the camel’s back and I asked myself - what am I doing? This is painfully boring. I was floating soundlessly around an empty map, dizzied by the camera-based flight controls, collecting trinkets for a creature I didn’t even want but felt obligated to get because it was available for a limited time.

Countless similar stories have spawned from Sonaria: hours, days, weeks spent grinding for no joy, countless dollars spent spinning gachas for the one that got away, hard-earned creatures lost forever at the mercy of an unsatisfying gameplay loop. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has anything positive to say about the actual feel of the game - it’s all about the character models, the customisation, and collecting all the creatures “just because”. Dedicated players are only dedicated because they've already poured months of their lives into the game and sunk cost fallacy demands they don’t give in now, they’re so close to getting all the creatures they can, just a bit more mining, just one more purchase!

Nobody is invested in the game experience being offered because there isn’t one.

Even the verified age rating for Sonaria on Roblox admits that the primary feature of hunting and killing other animals is barely engaged with! Other survival games are rated 9+ for frequent violence.

And if you’re reading all this thinking, “Well, I don’t feel this way. I don’t feel forced to pay or grind. I’m not a victim.” consider that you are not the target. I mentioned earlier that the game was popular due to autistic people and I was being genuine - my neurodiversity makes me incredibly prone to addiction, to split-second decisions, to purchases based on emotional distress and frustration, and the development team of Sonaria are absolutely milking this for all it’s worth. Animal games are notorious for having largely young and/or neurodiverse communities, and Sonaria is using this knowledge to wring its content-hungry audience dry.

For anyone interested in learning more about the predatory nature of gacha, grinding, and gambling in gaming, I recommend this half-hour video by James Stephanie Stirling.


Ultimately, Creatures of Sonaria is a sink. It drains money, time and energy and spits nothing back out as a reward. I’ve been arguing with myself over this fact for quite some time, insisting that I HAVE had fun playing Sonaria and that the creatures I’d bought HAD been worth it - only to realise that all my enjoyment had come from the time I’d spent with my friends.

I would have fun playing with a bucket and a dead fish if I had my beloved buddies with me, and the things I’d bought had been temporary joys at best. Microtransactions - no, macrotransactions - that I’d indulged in on a whim for a creature I thought I’d truly appreciate, only to move onto the next one that was released and play no differently.

I regret every minute I spent on Creatures of Sonaria. It promises so much good, and its artists clearly work themselves to the bone creating interesting and charismatic creatures only for them to be hocked up and spat out into a play world that would sit nicely in the Metaverse. They’ve just added legs, didn’t you hear?

Sonaria has officially cancelled its plans to add jumping.