Humble Bundle just kicked off their annual birthday celebration which will run for the next 11 days featuring hundreds of discounted digital PC games from both AAA studios and indie developers. Some of the savings are up to 75 or even 90% off. In fact, they’re even giving you a free game just for visiting the website and registering or logging into your account.
Amazon just launched their Black Friday Pre-sale event. You can check back every day for new items at http://amazon.com/Black-Friday/…
Already they are offering up some pretty sweet deals for geeks and gamers. I recommend bookmarking and checking back as often as possible. I’m hoping for a PS4 Bundle or Console to go on sale. I have enough already to purchase, but since it is that time of year, saving some money never hurts, and I’ve waited this long already to get myself the newest consoles, so might as well hang in there a few more weeks and see what happens!
Last year, amazon had amazing black friday and cyber monday exclusive gaming bundles for all three major game systems including Xbone, PS4, and WiiU. This year the savings should be even greater since the technology continues to age and the market gets even more competitive with new consoles such as the Xbox Scorpio, PS4 Pro, and (soon to be released) Nintendo Switch, which means the standard Xbox One, PS4 Slim, and possibly Wii U will need to discount their inventory to see a strong finish this year.
PC Gamers are not to be forgotten, RIGHT NOW amazon has awesome Black Friday deals on headsets, lightup keyboards, game controllers, gaming mice, and more. There are some great deals such as headsets for 65% off, hot new release games for both console and pc at up to 75% off and many more.
Amazon even has a page set up specifically for gaming deals here: http://amzn.to/2evLcYi
or a general one for Electronics here: http://amzn.to/2evMYZH
I’m also needing a new gaming laptop, and Amazon has a page for PC and Laptop deals here: http://amzn.to/2elLmON
Video Games not your thing? Maybe you want some boardgames, legos, cute plushies, dolls, or figures? If so amazon also has a page for you here: http://amzn.to/2fp9ssJ
And the sales will continue into cyber monday as well and Cyber Monday has it’s own page for deals which will be located at http://amzn.to/2fk9JB3 once it goes live later this month.
Per Amazon’s site:
“Black Friday Deals–The Party Is Just Getting Started!
Black Friday 2016 will be here soon, but we didn’t want you to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to save on Black Friday deals, so we are counting down to Black Friday 2016 with exciting deals today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and…you get the picture. Stop by each day through November 24 for early Black Friday deals, including sales on electronics, low prices on DVDs, magazine subscription specials, toy bargains, and fashionable deals for women, men, kids & baby, and more. You’ll find our best Black Friday deals, and Deal of the Day bargains you won’t want to resist for holiday gifts.
Something else to be excited about–at Amazon, Black Friday 2016 isn’t just a day to us–it’s a whole week! We’ll kick off Black Friday Deals Week early with Black Friday deals and sales all day every day that week, including Black Friday, with those big after-Thanksgiving sales you’ve been waiting for. Trust us, if you love a good deal, you won’t want to miss it!
To continue the excitement, we have made Cyber Monday 2016 a whole week too! We’ll be kicking off Cyber Monday with a week’s worth of cyber deals, just in time for you to get back to work after Thanksgiving … and shop online. Shhh … we won’t tell your boss! You’ll find more great deals every day during Cyber Monday Deals Week.
So stop by any day, or better yet, every day. We’ll be here with great deals!”
Title: Cosmic Spacehead
Genre: Point and Click / Puzzle Solving
Release Date: 1993
Platform: (For this Review) Sega Genesis (there were also other versions including NES and Gamegear).
Where to Buy: //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=anisug-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B000035XIP&asins=B000035XIP&linkId=b422bee0e032003554dbe40667f760aa&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true
Geeky: 4/5 – High marks here for the graphics and production values, losing a point for the sometimes challenging/frustrating puzzles as well as challenging platform minigames which create more frustration than enjoyment at times.
Sweetie: 4/5 – High marks here for charm and whimsy – losing a point for weak story and lack of replay value
Concept: 8/10 This is a very cute and cheeky point and click puzzle solving adventure game with a lot of humor and mischief. It also had amazing graphics for its time and technical limitations back in the early 90s. What I like about Cosmic Spacehead is how colorful and detailed the game world is and how it mixes sometimes crude and adult humor into a rather childlike game setting. However, the story is pretty “out there” and if you’re wanting anything serious or emotional or thought provoking this game is not for you :). But if you’re looking for something “different” or just simply “fun” you should check this game out.
Gameplay: 7/10 The 90s was the hay-days for point and click adventure games, however, Cosmic Spacehead takes a slightly different approach to the genre by also combining different game mechanics in the form of dozens of fun minigames, from platforming, side scrolling, even racing. These cute and fun minigames helped breakup some of the tedium which often plagued other point-n-click games of the 90s. Aside from the minigames, the controls in Cosmic Spacehead are your typical run of the mill point-n-click fare. You explore different locations, examine objects, pick up and use objects, talk to various characters, and solve puzzles to continue on your journey.
One of the pitfalls in the gameplay is that many of the puzzles make no logical sense and leave you backtracking or just spending hours via trial and error which takes some of the fun out of the game. There’s also not a large number of puzzles, so assuming you do not get stuck, you can easily complete this game within a few hours.
At the end of each level, you’ll encounter a mario-style platform minigame which is often criticized for being extremely challenging as if you get hit or miss a jump it’s instant death.
Still, it’s the experience of playing a virtual cartoon and enjoying the humor along the way which makes the game so much fun and unique. In an era of a lot of “sameness” this little game was brave enough to be different. It didn’t always pan out, but taking risks, is worth a few brownie points in my opinion. Cosmic Spacehead is a game that wants to make you smile. And it does that very well. It may have been a parody or attempt to mock the success of point and click adventure games at large. Nothing about this game takes itself very seriously.
Story: 5/10 You are Cosmic Spacehead, and you’ve just returned from discovering an ancient forgotten planet called Earth. However, when you get back home, no one seems to believe your story. To make matters worse, you’re dirt poor and have no way to get back to Earth to prove everyone wrong. To remedy this, you begin to carry out errands and odd jobs which leads to earning in-game currency and puts you closer to your goal to prove Earth exists. The story like everything else in the game is very light hearted and has a tongue and cheek style of humor which may appeal more to adults than young kids despite the simplistic gameplay. Although the story is zany and bright, there’s just not much substance to it to merit giving it a higher score. It’s a fun and enjoyable experience, but not amazing by any means. The story definitely takes a back seat to the gameplay here.
Characters: 7/10 – Although there are few characters in number, they are very unique and memorable. The humor and colorful graphics helps to endear anyone friend or foe that you meet along your travels.
Graphics: 10/10 – One of the best looking games on the Genesis. The world is bright and colorful and animated to help bring the characters to life. It’s a playful and vibrant world and is one of the most charming games you’ll see on this system.
Music: 7/10 – The music in cosmic spacehead is bright and bold and strangely addicting. It helps set the futuristic theme and like the story itself, it keeps an upbeat and sometimes unexpected tempo that seems to fit the game world quite well.
Replay Value: 3/10 – The game is short and linear. However, there’s really no other game like it, and it’s worth replaying just to revisit the colorful worlds and characters. Once you know the puzzles though, replaying games such as this becomes not nearly as fun, therefore, I recommend waiting a few years between replays, so you might forget some of the solutions along the way and get to have fun solving them again – well fun, or hours of frustration – either way, Cosmic Spacehead is a really quirky and cute game that you’ll want to revisit at least once again for nostalgia’s sake.
Overall: 55/80 69% D+ “Average Game for Girls” – While this is my objective review, I’d still recommend this game anyways – it’s short and sweet, and cute and whimsical enough that it really should be considered a must play as it’s oddly addictive and endearing in so many ways.
Title: Talos Principle
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Puzzle Solving
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform: PC, Mac, or Linux, also available on PS4 and Android
Where to Buy: //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=anisug-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B00S6HVSV4&asins=B00S6HVSV4&linkId=020416e3c6f3b68524d6a493a265277f&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true
Concept: 8/10 Many people have compared this game to Myst, but not me. In my opinion, this game is much closer to Portal than it will ever be to Myst. The nature of the puzzles, at least in the first many, many hours of the game bears a striking resemblance to the gameplay in Portal. It’s also these early hours in which I feel the game begins to fall apart, because the puzzles become so much the “same” throughout the first several “worlds” that you explore. However, looking past the often tedious gameplay, this game has a truly amazing story, especially if like myself, you’re fascinated by the philosophical and ethical questions surrounding artificial intelligence.
Gameplay: 6/10 The gameplay in Talos Principle consists of solving more than 100 puzzles. The problem is that probably more than half of those puzzles are so similar that once you’ve solved one, you can easily solve the others. It doesn’t really challenge or require much thinking, which sort of defeats the appeal of a “puzzle solving game”. For example, the first 3 or 4 worlds you will enter consist of puzzles which require you to pick up “jammers” and activate these devices in order to shut down orbs (which travel a predictable patch), or turrets which are firing at you, or use the jammers to open and close gates. Sometimes you’ll only have one or two jammers and 5 or 6 obstacles that need cleared, but it’s still not too challenging once you figure out the patterns and what to expect. Later levels tend to add a few more elements into the puzzles such as letting you climb ontop of boxes, or fling yourself across different areas. However, overall, for there being 120 puzzles, these puzzles lack variety. It wouldn’t matter if there were 50 puzzles or 500 puzzles, if they’re all similar, where’s the fun in that?
However, the game is not without merit, it does feature an extensive open world and for the most part allows you to travel freely (aside from some areas which require key items from other areas first) and solve or return to different puzzles at your own pace. This game does not hold your hand. In fact, that’s part of the charm and it works for creating immersion in this case. You awake into the world with the same knowledge as the main character (which is knowing nothing at all). You begin to piece together what is happening in the world at the same rate as the character himself. In this aspect, it almost becomes a psychological experience, and that I feel, is really the point in playing this game, and not the rather dull puzzles themselves.
Exploration is also another highlight of the gameplay as you travel through multiple worlds you will find clues left behind by other people before you and also clues about your own existence. But it’s up to you to read and explore and interact with every object, every nook and cranny, and complete every world and puzzle.
Story: 10/10 – Story is where the game shines, but it’s up to you to seek this story out. Often times, it’s not what the narrator says, but instead told through files in a corrupt computer system or found by scanning “QR codes” on walls or hidden locations throughout the world. The story itself is about the difference (or sometimes lack there-of) of man vs machine. At what point (if any) does artificial intelligence become “human” – what does it mean to be “human”? The story is told in cryptic bits and pieces and leaves you wanting to explore more and play more to figure things out. Often these are clues left behind by the creators of the AI system, and at other times, they are legends and mythos from ancient times about gods who were made of stone or metal but none the less had characteristics of man. The story also focuses on creation and how man can become a god, by creating AI and AI worlds. And then, what would happen if that AI also went on to create its own worlds and own creations. It’s a very deep and thought provoking story. I’ve always been fascinated by artificial intelligence and these questions that it brings. I would recommend playing this game, despite the slow and tedious gameplay, simply because of this story, but only if you are the type who likes exploration and uncovering these clues yourself. This game handfeeds you nothing. But for those willing to put in the effort, the game is full of rich history, lore, and an emotionally deep story.
Characters: 7/10 – Largely, you are the only character present, though other characters are hinted at from an early point and on throughout the game, including your creators, and even a “god” like figure. You can find emails and recorded messages from these characters and look up project information which details their role in the creation of the AI system. Despite there being a lot of details about these people – largely, this is a solo experience, and therefore character interaction or development is not a highlight here.
Graphics: 5/10 – I don’t see anything that special here. And as with a lot of the puzzles being similar, a lot of assets get re-used multiple times. It’s not very visually appealing or interesting in my opinion. Though there are many worlds, they all largely look the same. This game tries to be large and exciting, but just kinda falls flat in a lot of areas due to repetition.
Music: 6/10 – The soundtrack has a lot of ambient sounds and some key music pieces, but none of them are that impressive or memorable.
Voice Acting: 10/10 – The voice acting is actually really solid in this game which is a big plus. There are not many scenes which are voiced, but it is a nice touch.
Replay Value: 9/10 – There are actually three different endings in Talos Principle, but once you’ve solved most of the psychological questions and encountered most of the story elements, it makes it less enjoyable to replay this game on multiple attempts.
Overall: 70/100 70% C- “Good Game for Girls”
I was not into Pokemon Go when it first launched. It wasn’t until my mom began playing that I took interest. For a few reasons, first, when the game first came out, there were numerous game crippling bugs which made it almost impossible to play. It’s also a rather difficult game to learn at first, it gives absolutely no guidance, direction, tutorial, etc. This combined with the bugs in early days made the game frustrating and a lot less fun than it is now.
Second, I’m not one to enjoy exercise. It’s not that I’m “Lazy”, but well… exercise is “painful” and “tiring” and “annoying”. When I started playing Pokemon Go, I thought how annoying or stupid it was to have to go outside. This was when I was playing it alone in the first few days of the launch. This began to change when I found someone (my mom) to play the game with. It’s much like the thought of having an exercise buddy.
When I was in college (10 years ago now, wow.) I went to the same school as my best friend. We’d spend our breaks swimming, playing badminton, and even (cringe) running laps. I was also doing atkins diet at the same time, and I ended up going from 200+ lbs to 127 lbs and a size 6/7 in jeans. After college, and my best friend moving to the other side of the state, now a 5 to 6 hour drive away, and going back off the atkins diet, I gained all of that weight back slowly over the years, due to lack of motivation to get out there and exercise.
I did have an xbox 360 with Kinect, and a Wii with some games which tried to add gamification elements the work out experience. I’d play them for a time, but always ultimately get bored and go back to other less “demanding” and more “rewarding” games. I will say out of the “work out” games I own, my favorite has always been “Walk It Out”, a very obscure Wii game that blasts 90s/2k pop music as you walk around a rather empty world at first; and as you walk you unlock new songs as well as begin to see the world come to life. I also enjoy DDR (although I suck at it really badly.) and Just Dance (slightly less challenging than DDR). I even had Wii Fit, and I did love the charting/tracking aspects of that game and even being able to weigh my cats lol.
But ultimately, none of those games held my interest. Was it because I didn’t have anyone to play them with? Perhaps. Was it because I still wasn’t “getting out”? I was still “at home playing videogames” something I’ve done for almost 30 years of my life.
It’s still too soon to tell how long it will be before I get “bored” with Pokemon Go. But it has some elements that are so unique and different from the other work out games I own. When I try to describe Pokemon Go to people who don’t already play, I tell them “It’s basically geocaching with pokemon”. I’d never gone geocaching before but the idea of it had always appealed to me in theory. It encourages you to get out and explore some new and sometimes remote or far away locations and you’re rewarded with small treasures (usually coins) (but in this case, it’s pokemon instead of coins).
Pokemon Go is a social game. Recently, a new dating website opened up and had such overwhelming response that they had to shut down their servers temporarily. This dating service aims to connect Pokemon Go players in their area both for playing Pokemon Go, but also for finding true love (or friendship). I’m also single right now, I’m kinda taking a break at the moment, seeing a few people but nothing serious, and find I’ve kinda backed off a bit on the dating or seeking of a mate at the moment, but when I’m ready again, in a few weeks, or months, or whatever the case may be, I have a feeling I’ll be using this Poke Date service. You can check it out here: https://www.projectfixup.com/pokedates/ – There’s also another site here: https://t.co/7sOATzdApr and probably numerous meetup.com Pokemon Go groups as well (though there weren’t any close by in my area last time I checked.).
Even if you’re not using such a site to interact with the Pokemon Go community, chances are you’re going to run into other players out in the real world, whether it’s at poke stops, gyms, or just walking around your parks or college campus, etc trying to catch pokemon. If you’re like me, you’re probably a shy introvert, who avoids other people (remember that part about sitting at home playing videogames?). I still haven’t started a conversation with anyone while playing Pokemon Go, but I have had people come up and start conversation with me, and I find it’s easy to talk to people when you have a shared interest, common goal, hobby, passion, etc. Pokemon Go can make you more comfortable in social interactions, help to break the ice, and put you in the “right place, at the right time” to meet new friends or potential romantic partners.
Pokemon Go does just that, it makes you GO places. You might find new places nearby that you’ve never visited, or it may encourage you to take a road trip, day trip, weekend trip, etc to go discover new pokemon. While playing the game, you might stumble upon new restaurants, museums, nature trails, parks, or other exciting places. Travel is fun! And Pokemon Go gives you another excuse to get away, take a vacation, take the scenic route, relax, and reconnect with nature while exploring new places and trying new things.
Pokemon Go is fun, relaxing, and addicting. Ignoring the social, psychological, and health benefits of playing the game, the game is just plain fun. The obsession to “catch them all” and to find “rare” Pokemon is a huge draw that keeps you wanting to play more and more. Just imagine if Shiny Pokemon get introduced sometime in the future, or special limited time events with special exclusive Pokemon to catch. This obsession to keep playing, keep seeking out new places with new pokemon, and “catch them all” is what keeps you motivated and interested in the game and continues to reinforce the “good habits” (exercise, social interaction, etc) that come from playing the game each day.
Pokemon Go is free. Yes, there is a cash shop, but you definitely don’t need to spend any money to enjoy this app. You can just visit your closest pokestop, and sit there for an hour or two collecting the items you need. Once again this just encourages you to keep getting out there. It’s win/win.
Pokemon Go is good exercise. It’s even being used in nursing homes to help the elderly. Gamers are not known for a love of working out or healthy habits. I’m no exception. But Pokemon Go makes me want to exercise in order to play the game. I went from being sedentary, to now walking 5 to 7 miles almost every day. I couldn’t tell you the last time I walked even a mile, let alone 5+ miles. Almost daily. Two days ago we walked ten and a half miles which so far is the farthest/longest I’ve walked while playing Pokemon Go. Of course, I am hoping to lose weight. Who doesn’t want to be more fit and healthy right? But even if that never happens simply from walking a few extra miles, I’ll tell you, this exercise has already had several benefits. The main benefit it has had is curing me of my insomnia.
Pokemon Go will help you sleep better! If you’re not used to physical activity (like me), and going through a “hard time” where your mind is just turning non-stop most nights, Pokemon Go will make you fall asleep from the physical exertion and exhaustion that comes when you increase your activity levels. The last 2 weeks I’ve been sleeping like a charm, when most of June was spent in angst and anger and disappointment and hurt feelings, I no longer have TIME to think about that. Pokemon Go keeps me busy! Keeping busy keeps me happy!
Pokemon Go will improve your mood! Exercise creates endorphins which are scientifically proven to create feelings of happiness and euphoria. It also as I mentioned helps “clear” (or otherwise occupy at least) your mind which makes you forget about your worries and troubles. It gets you out into the sunlight and sunlight is also scientifically proven to boost your mood. It helps you connect “spiritually” with nature, or helps you connect “emotionally” to other people. It reminds you you’re not alone. Pokemon Go is a comforting experience for anyone dealing with loss, death, grief, heartbreak, or other traumas.
Yes, there have been some scary stories in the news recently about Pokemon Go, either from neglect and a lack of paying attention to one’s surroundings, such as walking into traffic, falling off a cliff, or criminals using Pokemon Go to identify Poke Stops and wait for passer by to mug/rape/attack/whatever. There are also cases of people playing Pokemon Go at inappropriate times such as while working or driving. – but these incidents are few and far between when compared to the millions of players who are benefiting in some way from playing this game.
Pokemon Go means different things for different people, but for me, it has given me that little boost of motivation that I need to be more active and get out in my community.
If there’s one thing that I love in a game, it’s a branching plot and multiple endings, as you’ll see from many of the games reviewed or news given here on this website. So I was really excited when Pixel x Pixel Games emailed me yesterday to promote their new Action-RPG.
This game looks really great for retro game lovers. It was clearly made with a lot of love and fond memories of someone growing up in the 90s playing all of the classic games.
I’ll just include the message I received from Pixel x Pixel Games below because it pretty much highlights all of the features that I would want to highlight about this game. I’ve bolded the bits that I thought were the most exciting. Check out what Pixel x Pixel Games has to say about Guardian of the Rose below.
Guardians of the Rose is a story of high adventure, taken on by a small group of companions, that are seeking to overthrow the Great Witches that have assumed control of the kingdom. You are a newly christened member of the Royal Guard, the magic-keepers of the king. With the Royal Guard now tainted by witchcraft you have no choice but to take it upon yourself to form a new Guard that will overthrow the witchcraft that has enslaved the kingdom. Encounters with river spirits, groundlings, giants, and dragons alike are some of the adventures that will befall you.
Open-Ended Adventuring – The world is laid out specifically so that you can choose to explore in any direction you want. You can choose to progress the storyline at your own pace while immersing yourself inside the lore and sidequests of the kingdom. These sidequests are not your typical “save my chicken” type quests but instead are designed to make the player feel like he is making a significant difference in the lands around him.
High Fantasy pitting Magic vs Witchcraft – Magic was taught to the people by a legendary hero that saved the world from the Great Witches long ago. Ever since, witchcraft has been outlawed and users of the craft have been hunted mercilessly by the Royal Guard. Now that witchcraft has risen to power again, you are tasked with saving the Kingdom but you have no magical ability like the great heroes of times before.
Compelling Story – Guardians of the Rose was heavily inspired by the classic tales of Homer, Viking Sagas, and high fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings and Winds of Fate. Not only is the main storyline compelling but there is a focus on enveloping the entire game in epic world lore.
Choose your own way to play – The player must choose what path to take, good or evil. The only goal of the game is to restore peace to the land. How it is done is up to the player. You can choose to incite revolution from the stealth of the shadows or you can wage all out war. With a completely customizable stats and skills system there is very little the player does not have control over.
Multiple Endings – Depending on how you play the game, which path you take in your exploration of the lands, and who you decide to party with, the game’s story and ending can change fairly drastically.
Guardians of the Rose is a story-driven 2D action adventure RPG. It controls like a modernized, fast-paced version of old-school Zelda and Gauntlet games with the RPG elements of the Elder Scrolls Series.
Along with the inspiration from classic books and stories the games style was inspired by old school Arcade games that I would play as a kid at Pizza Hut and the local bowling Alley.
Check out the press release provided by Pixel x Pixel Games below:
- Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/broc/guardians-of-the-rose-story-driven-2d-action-rpg
- Developer: Pixel x Pixel Games
- Platform Availability: DRM-Free Download; Steam and all of it’s counterparts for PC, Mac, and Ubuntu/Tizen (Linux); Xbox One and PS4
- Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Socials: Kickstarter, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine
Guardians of the Rose is a story-driven 2D action adventure RPG.
- Controls like a modernized, fast-paced version of old-school Zelda and Gauntlet games with the RPG elements of the Elder Scrolls Series.
- Inspired by the Classics of the 8-bit and 16-bit Generations
- Pixel Art Graphics and Chiptune Sounds
- Hidden Secrets around every corner
- Compelling, charming characters
- Open World Exploration
- Epic Boss Fights
- Long lost magical Artifacts
- Choose how you complete the story: wage all out war, incite a revolution, or something in-between
- Alternate Endings based on how you play the game
The illegal art of Witchcraft has tainted the Royal Guard and brought ruin upon the kingdom. A small group of the Royal Guard has slaughtered the King’s family and taken control of the kingdom. It is now up to you and a small group of members of the Royal Guard that calls themselves the Guardians of the Rose to save the kingdom. Your small band of allies has to work together in secret to cause a revolution in the kingdom. One slip up and you will be on the run from the Royal Guard and wanted by relentless bounty hunters.
And you, a boy with no magical ability, are left with the task to save the kingdom. Will you choose to taint yourself with witchcraft or will you choose to search out legendary magical items to use in your struggle to save the kingdom? Explore the Unfellable Forest while avoiding being trampled by Sand Giants and Unfellable Beasts. Fight off sea serpents and other creatures of the deep that are terrorizing sea port towns. Venture into the snow-ridden Mountain Lands and discover hidden temples in the wild forests.
(see kickstarter lore for more information on Guardians of the Rose’s Story)
HISTORY OF PIXEL X PIXEL GAMES
My uncle taught me how to play Mario and Duck Hunt on the NES when I was 1 or 2 years old. Shortly after, he gave me his NES when he was shipped off to Desert Storm. I’ve wanted to make video games ever since. I’ve been drawing and selling my art to strangers and my mom’s coworkers since I was 3 years old.
I was a graphic designer/web developer before becoming a stay-at-home dad in 2012 when my son was born. In late 2012 I published my first flash game to Mochimedia. After working on a couple more games in ActionScript I realized that I had arrived to the Flash party after everyone else had already left. I then continued practicing making games on Unity with C# for a couple of years and now have been developing Guardians of the Rose inside of Game Maker Studio using their in-born coding language GML.
Download all the screenshots, gifs and the trailer as a .zip file:
Something a lil bit different today. RPGs and Mobile games are all well and good – but sometimes you just want something different right?
Sometimes you just want to be a dolphin and fly through the air doing barrel rolls and back flips while solving puzzles and eating fish. For that, I recommend Ecco the Dolphin.
Ecco made his first appearance on Sega Genesis. The title was a huge success and spawned many sequels and spin offs including Ecco JR, Ecco 2 – The Tides of Time, and Echo Defender of the Future. There was also another Dreamcast version in the works which never saw the light of day before Dreamcast’s untimely demise. There are also handheld versions, Sega CD versions, Playstation 2 versions, and a PC and Xbox port of the original game.
Title: Ecco The Dolphin
Genre: Platformer / Adventure / Mascot game
Platform: Originally Published On Sega Genesis but now available on PC
Release Date: 1992
Where to Buy: $2.99 for the PC Version from Amazon They also have the original Genesis version with prices ranging from $1.99 to $69.99 for condition of the cartridge, box, manuals, etc which raise the collector’s value.
Overall: 57 / 80 71% C- “Good Game for Girls”
Concept: 8/10 Ecco is a young dolphin who lives a carefree life with his family and friends in a small bay until one day a friend challenges him to a dare to see how high he can jump in the sky. Ecco jumps so high that he causes a sea storm which causes all of his friends and family to be sucked up into the sky. Now Ecco must search for clues to help save his home. To do so, he will solve puzzles, swim at high speeds, and perform aerial stunts and tricks to get across obstacles blocking his path. There will be enemies he must face, as well as new friends along the way.
Gameplay: 10/10 As mentioned above, you must solve puzzles and / or clear obstacles by jumping, flipping, skipping, flopping, or flying across them. There are glyphs in certain areas which hold clues for you to get to the next area and also provide some story and context. You need to eat fish, watch your oxygen level, and defeat enemies while exploring the underwater environment. You can also use sonar to communicate with friendly creatures or obtain a map of the area. In the end, the appeal in the gameplay comes in the form of numerous puzzles and the fun of performing aerial maneuvers or darting through the sea.
Story: 6/10 The story is presented through solving puzzles and tied closely in with the game mechanics. Some terms and game mechanics are actually true to life of the behavior of real dolphins which shows that ample research went into developing these title, as well as a good deal of imagination and fantasy elements as well. Overall, while the story is good, and does entertain, it’s mostly a solitary journey through sea and space with an emphasis on puzzle solving and immersion. Story takes a back seat to the fast, and more action oriented gameplay mechanics.
Characters: 6/10 As mentioned above, for most of this journey you are alone. Remember that cyclone that sucked up all your friends? You do occasionally come across NPCs to interact with, but it’s clearly not the focus of this series. Since most of the “characters” are Glyphs – this makes them highly impersonal and not very memorable. But Ecco himself is a very interesting character – I don’t know of any other games in which you play as a dolphin.
Graphics: 8/10 Although dated by today’s standards, Ecco had some truly beautiful graphics for its time. The graphics really made it feel as if you were exploring a lonely, tranquil, and somewhat oppressive feeling ocean. Throughout the evolution of this series, Ecco has always pushed the limits of whatever console hardware he had available at the time. This is most evident in the dreamcast version which features extremely realistic looking character models.
Music: 8/10 The music and sound effects in Ecco also fit well with the atmosphere and mystery of the game and help build immersion.
Replay Value: 5/10 – While its a linear game, its novelty and unique gameplay, characters, and setting, make it a memorable and enjoyable experience that will be worth revisiting to play multiple times. There’s really no other similar games out there which means if you want to play a similar game you’ll have to replay the few available Ecco games over and over. However, once knowing how to solve the puzzles and ins and outs of the story, it does take a little bit of the mystery and fun away for the next play through.
Overall: 57 / 80 71% C- “Good Game for Girls”
Our new alternate winner is Ccaminha – Congrats, an email will be going out shortly to inform you of your prize. Please reply to that email letting me know you’re interested and I will send over the key.
EDIT: TatsuKaji never claimed his prize, so we will hold another drawing for an alternate winner sometime this weekend (Approx 3/20/16).
We’ve gained a lot of members since announcing this contest, so anyone that posts between now and Sunday will go into the drawing.
EDIT: The contest is now over. Congratulations to TatsuKaji – please check your email and reply back to receive your free steam key. If you’re not interested, or already have the game, please also reply back so I can draw an alternate winner. – If I don’t hear back within a week I will draw another random winner.
Title: Broken Age
Genre: Point and Click Adventure Game
Release Date: January 2014
Where to Buy: Steam
Overall: 74 / 90 82% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”
Concept: 10/10 – The Point and Click genre was really popular back in the 90s, but then it just faded away. In a record breaking kickstarter, Tim Schafer, creator of other Point and Click titles such as Grim Fandango, Psyhconauts, and the Secret of Monkey Island, successfully funded his return to gaming by reaching his kickstarter goals for Broken Age, his first new game in over 16 years.
Broken Age was hyped that it was supposed to revitalize the genre and bring it into the modern age. Most critics say that it fell short of it’s expectations – however, I really enjoyed this game.
Gameplay: 8/10 It features cute story book styled graphics and typical point and click game mechanics. Interact with your environment, solve puzzles, talk to NPCs etc. The puzzles are challenging and thought provoking and you want to keep playing because of the cute characters and story. However some of the puzzles can be frustrating at times and there will be times when you spend time just using every item or talking to every NPC and back tracking back through places trying to find if you’ve missed something. This can sometimes take away from the fun and screw with the pacing of the game, but it’s much better and much preferred than a game in which the puzzles are too simple.
Story: 7/10 There are two games in one essentially as you switch control between the different characters freely throughout the game. In one world you’re in a very primitive like setting where the people believe in offering tribute to monster-like “gods”. In the other world you’re in a scifi setting, in a spaceship with robots. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so I’ll keep it brief / vague. The story is very cute, in some points it has child like innocence but it’s always tinged with a deep sad and lonely feeling. At first the story doesn’t seem connected, but the more you play, the more things fall into place. It can sometimes be annoying when the story progression is held up when you get stuck on a challenging puzzle. Also for over a year, the game was incomplete, Chapter 2 did not release until April 2015. It is provided for free and is not DLC. However, since when many of us first played the game, we were left waiting with an open-ending for what seemed like much too long. My biggest complaint with the story is simply that it can be jarring switching between worlds/stories. Still I loved solving all the mysteries and how slowly and carefully the story was revealed.
Characters: 10/10 In the primitive world you play a very strong willed African-american girl which is a refreshing choice of characters as minorities and females are often under-represented or relegated to mere sidekick status and rarely ever appear as the main hero. She challenges the beliefs and ways of her people. She dares to ask questions and be different
In the space world, you play a lonely little boy who is fed up with his mundane routine boring life. While the ship provides him with toys, food, and even a “mother” and “father” figure, it is no replacement for human interaction. It also tries too hard to protect and keep him save, never letting him “Grow up” or take risks or challenges for himself. It’s like he lives in a bubble where everything is the same, day in day out. Until one day when he finds a hidden door in the ship which leads him to new worlds.
Graphics: 10/10 The graphics are really unique and cute. Everything looks handpainted or like it came from a storybook or “pop-up” book or like “paper craft” or scrapbooking. I liked this approach because you don’t see it often in games.
Music: 10/10 The music is composed by Peter McConnell who also did the music for Psychonauts. It features a beautiful score with soft melodic harmonies which fit well the cute/childlike graphics. Critics have called this some of Peter’s best work. I really like how light and “airy” the tracks sound full of violins, flutes, clarinets, cellos, etc. It almost sounds “dreamlike” in a way, or like a fairytale. I also like how both the music and the graphics juxtapose themselves against a story which seems fairly childlike but is tinged with sadness and isolation.
Voice Acting: 10/10 – No expense was spared for the casting of this game. It features big budget hollywood actors such as Jack Black, Elijah Wood, and talented voice over artist Masasa Moyo.
Replay Value: 1/10 Given the nature of this game, I’m not saying, I’d never ever replay it… but certainly it would diminish the enjoyment of the game on multiple playthroughs since you’d know all of the answers to the puzzles and already know the plot and story. Since it’s a linear and also fairly large and lengthy game, I’d say it’s one you’d visit maybe once every 5 to 10 years for nostalgia’s sake but beyond that I don’t see much replay value here.
Overall: 74 / 90 82% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”
And we are giving away a FREE Steam key for Broken Age to one of our lucky readers. This contest begins now 2/27/2016 and will end on 3/5/2016. To enter simply leave a comment on any blog or forum post. Make sure you have a valid email tied to your username as I will be using that email to send the key to the winner. I will also post winner’s name to this post no later than 3/6/2016. Thank you and goodluck!
*By providing your email, you will also receive one email each saturday with a summary of posts. I never put ads or any garbage in the emails and only send new post summarys for that week. I also never sell your email. You can also unsubscribe at any time by clicking unsubscribe from the email.
Have you been trying to justify an Amazon Prime Membership? Well if you’re a gamer, here’s the perfect reason to join Amazon Prime! I’m going to join next time before I purchase a new release or preorder another game. I already use Amazon when I want a physical copy of a game anyways (still mostly rely on steam for the digital, though I think this discount also applies to digital stuff too!), so why not take advantage of this awesome Prime benefit?!
This is not just a “sale” or an “offer” – This is a FEATURE – a permanent benefit to being an Amazon Prime Member.
You will get 20% off all new releases if you purchase within 2 weeks of launch date or also receive 20% whenever you preorder a new game!
Let’s do the math. Most new release titles go for $55 to $65. 20% of $55 is $11 and 20% of $65 is $13. Which brings the cost of the game down to $44 to $52.
That’s a large savings, but it’s not ideal for everyone. Amazon Prime Membership is $99 a year. – In order for gamers to benefit from this discount they would need to purchase at least 9 new release games a year.
Amazon Prime does have a slew of other benefits though – Free shipping alone could be worth it for people who use Amazon often. In addition, I for one, would love to have the Amazon drones deliver my package within hours of my order. Unfortunately that feature is not available in my area just yet – but Amazon does plan nation wide rollout of their same day delivery program in the near future. I live in an extremely rural area – It takes me 45 minutes to an hour to drive to walmart or gamestop or best buy or similar game retailers – and thats one way. Factor into that the time spent wandering through the store, time spent in line, time spent in traffic, etc. and Amazon’s delivery service looks very attractive.
They also have a streaming service similar to those of Hulu or Netflix that is exclusive to their Prime Members. I recently paid iptv, where I can get all my favorite tv channels.
Perhaps now is the best time ever to join Amazon Prime – especially if you are a gamer.
You can learn more and sign up at https://www.amazon.com/prime
IMPORTANT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU CAN NOW LEGALLY BUY AND PLAY THIS GAME ON STEAM. RE-Released with new art work as “Princess Maker 2 Refine” You can grab the game, and learn more about the release on my news article here: Princess Maker 2 Refine Now Available in English on Steam for the PC.
Princess Maker 2 is part of the Princess Maker Franchise – Note – none of these games were ever released in English. Princess Maker 2’s translation was mostly complete – 99.99999% when their licensing agreement fell through and also the game met tough criticism (by American media and press outlets) from people that viewed it as too pedophiliac in nature despite there being absolutely no sex scenes in this game. The (western) world was just not ready for Princess Maker 2 (and may never be ready either).
There are many websites which offer Princess Maker 2 (in English) as “abandonware” however; it is the wish of the creators and those involved in the (failed) localization that you never download or play this game (you can google about that too, there’s copies of letters from people involved in the project all over the internet, in which they remind us that this is NOT abandonware and to not “pirate” the game. — So Take that as you will. It’s a little bit different from a “Fan Translation” in which you can still support the creators by buying the original game and “patching” it with the english translation – in order to play Princess Maker 2 (in a language you can understand), you’re going to have to pirate it – I’m not putting a link here, I’m not condoning it, I’m not promoting it – I’m just telling you, it’s out there, if you search for it and if you care to play it. And that that is the only way to play this game in a language that you can read and understand.
There are many similar, but ultimately inferior, games which have been developed by English speaking fans, drawing inspiration from the Princess Maker franchise. These games include but are not limited to Cutie Knight Deluxe, Prince Maker, Long Live the Queen, and Spirited Heart Deluxe. I recommend checking them out, they’re still great games, but I found myself constantly comparing them to Princess Maker, and found them to be inferior to it in every way (art, story, number of activities, number of endings, variety of things to do, etc.) – That is not to say they are bad games – I own them all and love them – but they are no Princess Maker.
Anyways, Princess Maker 2 is a great game – as are all the other games in the series which I have supported and purchased despite not being able to understand them. There’s even a (relatively) new mobile game – in Korean language which I play on Bluestacks (an android simulator). As far as I know there’s no plans to bring those games to an English audience any time soon. The same people who fan translated Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side (which I reviewed here by the way) – had indicated interest in Princess Maker 4 or 5 translation – however, to my knowledge that translation has not even begun yet. Many other translations have begun, but never gotten further than intro or menu translations for any of these games. I sincerely hope, maybe someone in the fan translation community might visit my little blog one day and see that there is a “need” to translate these games which have no hope of ever being commercially released outside of Asian territories.
With all of that out of the way, here’s my review of Princess Maker 2:
Title: Princess Maker 2
Genre: Life Sim / Raising Sim / Dating Sim / RPG
Release Date: 1993 Japan Only
Platform: (all different kinds, but the one I’m reviewing is the PC version) (It was also on Sega Saturn, PS2, and more consoles)
Geeky: 1 star
Sweetie: 5 hearts
Overall: 77/100 77% C+ “Good Game for Girls”
Concept: 10/10 You raise a daughter from the age of 8 to 18. You see her grow and change as you manage her schedule in different ways, and you also battle in turn based rpg fights and dungeon crawling elements (I think that feature is unique to Princess Maker 2 – I know some of the other games don’t include the battling / dungeoneering elements.) You lead her to her destiny in dozens of different endings. Her sprite will change to reflect her mood, her condition, and her age as time goes on.
Gameplay: 10/10 You set your girl’s schedule choosing different tasks for her such as cooking, magical battle, dancing, etiquette, visiting the palace, reading, etc, etc. There’s probably about 20 different options to choose from. You can also choose to give her a break by giving her some allowance to go shopping in town, or splurging and taking her on a vacation. She’ll randomly encounter different people, sometimes they will attack her, other times sell or give her items, or sometimes just chat with her all of which may effect her stats. You can also choose to explore dungeons for treasure, items, and more which greatly alter her stats. There’s also a dressup element to the game and what you have her wear also effects her stats. All of these stats and her relationships with all of the other characters are taken into account when deciding what ending you will receive.
Storyline: 7/10 You are a war hero who defeats a demon – the gods are so thankful to you that they grant your lifelong wish for a family – you are all alone, and unmarried. Now you become a single father to a very young cute girl who needs your guidance. The plot is up to you! Will she become a powerful fierce wizard, a war general just like daddy, or a princess in the palace, or maybe she’ll even fall in love with you and become your wife! (which is why the game was so opposed in America lol – dunno why they couldn’t just remove that one ending and release the game still – but whatever, I’m not in the game industry so I dunno all the details, just what I’ve read online. Seems like such a waste to have completed all that work and spent money localizing this game and then cave to media pressure and pull the plug at the 11th hour.) It’s a very loose gloss-over type of plot, that doesn’t get very deep while playing the game, but that branches into dozens and dozens of endings and hidden scenes and lets you chart out your own destiny.
Characters: 6/10 – Most of the characters are not really well fleshed out – It’s not about them it’s about your daughter! You have a cute “demon” butler that assists you (or maybe I’m thinking of one of the other princess maker games) anyways he’s cute and provides some comic relief, but ultimately their character development is pretty low. The other characters you meet, like the guards and prince, and king, etc never really feel very well developed either. — Despite not really having any character development, somehow, it is still an awesome game, you “write” your own story, and decide who your “princess” is. It gives you great freedom of choice on unprecedented levels.
Graphics: 4/10 – They’re “cute” but the graphics in the later installments of this game, are not only “higher quality” but a hell of a lot more “attractive” either “kawaii” (cute) or “sexy” etc. — The characters and graphics in this game, are by no means “ugly” – but their age is definitely showing! There’s also lack of animation of the (large “portrait”) sprites. The smaller sprites you see in training are detailed and animated. There are numerous kawaii cut scenes to unlock with more detailed artwork – but even that artwork is rather pixelated and not as vivid as many other games in this genre. I can’t really give this a high score in artwork. Even the background environments are drab looking. There are other games from the 90s which look way better than this, so it’s not just that it’s “old” either.
Music: 4/10 Uhm, the music was not that great. I think it was just due to the limits of the technology at the time of release. It also was not very memorable.
Customization: 10/10 – Your girl’s figure will change as she grows, she may become athletic looking, frail, fat, strong, etc. She will wear different clothes, even her breasts will change in size, and of course each year she will change and grow more and more. It’s awesome for dressup game fans. Highly recommend.
Kawaii Factor: 10/10 – despite the outdated graphics, there’s some seriously cute moments between you and your daughter. And despite being pixelated she’s still adorable. Actually she reminded me of myself. lol. I have long brown super thick naturally curly hair – so if there ever was an anime character that looked like me, it’d be her haha which helped me to “identify” and “immerse” into the game lol. She grows and evolves into a supposedly beautiful woman – but the art style kinda misses the mark there for me – but still – adorable adorable little game.
Replay Value: 10/10 – Multitude of random events, dozens of ways to plan your schedule, people to talk to, dungeons to explore, and dozens of endings to unlock (I think it has 20 or 30 different endings) — So yes, you will want to keep replaying this game to achieve 100%.
Overall: 77/100 77% C+ “Good Game for Girls”