Princess Maker 5 Review

Title: Princess Maker 5

Platform: PC

Release Date: May 2018

Developer: Gainax

Publisher: CFK

Genre: Raising Sim/ Life Sim / Dating Sim

Geeky: 3/5

Sweetie: 5/5

Overall: 61/80 76% C “Good Game for Girls”

Gameplay: 8/10 This is the last Princess Maker game in the series, aside from some online and mobile spin offs that were released later. As such, you can expect that the gameplay is much more advanced than previous Princess Maker games. Princess Maker 5 brings back the adventure system, previously seen in Princess Maker 2, allowing you to fight in simplistic rpg battles and search for treasure. It does not unlock until later in the game.

It is also the first time that you can select a female character to be the parent – Although if you play as a female, you cannot get the ending where the princess marries you (the parent).

Perhaps more importantly, there are many new activities that your daughter can participate in, compared to previous Princess Maker games. I felt that the gameplay more closely resembled Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side (which I reviewed here.)

You select a week’s worth of activities for your daughter. She will attend public school and have club activities but she will also have free time for you to schedule part time jobs or extra lessons to enhance her stats. On the weekends you will take your daughter out to try to reduce her stress or experience special seasonal events.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

Like Tokimeki Memorial, you can see which events are happening by reading a paper that lists new events. You can have cube set a reminder on the day of the events so you don’t forget important dates. But the game will not automatically prompt/navigate you to the event so you still have to pay attention and remember when and where to go for the event.

Gameplay feels slow. Especially the first year. It feels repetitive and slow building your stats, and very few random encounters or events. But as I entered my 2nd year, that began to change. Suddenly, classmates/love interests began to invite my daughter out on dates, or suddenly teachers and employers invited my daughter to special events. Now it felt more interesting and exciting.

But still, ultimately, this game is long, and slow, and while this type of gameplay is best enjoyed in small bursts, because of the repetition and monotonous gameplay, it also is a game that doesn’t get interesting until several hours in. I spent over 6 hours in the first year… If like most princess maker games this one goes until the daughter’s 18th birthday, then this game has over 70 hours of gameplay, per playthrough, times 50 endings…. staggering… definitely a highlight of the game — but the gameplay is so monotonous that many people may never reach all 50 endings.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

How could I give an 8/10 to a monotonous boring “dull” game? Well because of the added features the game presents, this game is the most realistic child rearing sim, and gives unprecedented freedom and control to the player. Your daughter grows in new ways never present in the previous princess maker games, and she grows more independent with her own hobbies and interests and desires and things become more complicated, it brings back the adventure system, and the new dating/events system seemingly borrowed from Tokimeki Memorial. All of these are an improvement over most of the gameplay features in previous princess maker games.

The game gives you unprecedented freedom to raise any kind of daughter you want, even if you want her to be a cosplaying anime fan who loves going to idol concerts. Seriously, she can become interested in just about anything you can imagine. lol.

Story: 5/10 I think part of the reason the game is so slow is that it has almost no story. You just literally keep clicking and waiting/hoping something changes/happens. Which doesn’t happen for several hours until you’ve been pumping up your stats. The opening movie is not translated or subtitled for the english release on steam. It seems that maybe it may have had at least an interesting introduction. I think from what I can tell, the daughter is a demon maybe. It says it began from bloody events that happened long ago. Seems to hint at a curse, and then from there I haven’t a clue as to what is going on, but you see cube fly away with the girl. The girl also has a special hair clip that lets her communicate with you and allows you to watch the girl while she’s away. Every once in awhile the girl talks about seeing spirits or fairies and other supernatural things. But I’m now about 10 hours into the game and there’s really no overall story, or direction, or plot, it’s basically an open ended sandbox game. Plot isn’t necessary in games like this, but since I play games for their stories, I think that’s why I feel bored while playing this game since it lacks an overarching plot of any kind.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

Characters: 10/10 I really do like the characters. They are not strong from a story standpoint, but they feel very real, and their interactions and dialogues with each other are very cute. The independence of your daughter and new complex ways in which she can develop and grow make this the best daughter of all.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

Graphics: 7/10 The artwork put me off at first, for years even before this official US release, I would see pictures of this game, compare it to 4 which was my favorite Princess Maker game, and just think YUCK!… But oddly… in the 10 hours I played the game, I now find it cute and charming. I’d played 4 years ago on my nintendo DS, even though I couldn’t read any of it. I loved that art style, and at first found this new art style for 5 to be a huge turn off. But after playing the game, I’ve changed my tune. I suggest if you like me, hate the way Princess Maker 5 looks, just give it a go, it’s a great game, and the artwork is strangely cute once you get used to it!

There’s this little fat boy, which normally would be like a blech, but I dunno there’s something sooo cute about him. He reminds me of the fat lil asian boy from Disney’s “Up” and there’s another little boy that looks like he could be straight outta card captor or some other sugary sweet shojo anime.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

The daughter was what I found most unattractive, but watching her study, work, and play, I’ve realized she is the most “real” and endearing of any of the daughters in previous games. I love my little princess.

Music: 3/10 – I really dislike the opening song – it’s awful. blech. But the rest of the music is “OK” I guess. just kinda average to me really.

Voice Acting: 10/10 – the voice acting is very cute 🙂 I’m glad they kept the original Japanese voices in the game.

Replay Value: 10/10 – over 50 different endings and the variety of things to do within this game give it excellent replay value.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

Princess Maker 5 Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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Viz Media and Rose City Games Partner to Create Video Games

rosecity

vizmedia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

VIZ MEDIA AND ROSE CITY GAMES PARTNER TO LAUNCH A NEW PUBLISHING PROGRAM FOR INDEPENDENT VIDEO GAMES

 

The First Original Game To Be Published Is The World Next Door

Portland, OR, and San Francisco, CA, February 6, 2018 – Rose City Games and VIZ Media announce a partnership to debut original, narrative-driven games. VIZ Media, publisher of popular gaming adaptations for POKÉMON, SPLATOON, THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, HOMESTUCK, MONSTER HUNTER and more, will deepen its robust connection to the gaming world. Rose City Games, a leader in the rapidly-developing indie game scene, will introduce new and diverse voices from the world of indie games to the massive pop culture audience VIZ Media has cultivated since its founding.

The first title to be published by VIZ Media will be the supernatural action/adventure game, The World Next Door, developed by Rose City Games and featuring character designs by illustrator Lord Gris.

“It’s no secret that anime and manga fans love video games,” says Brad Woods, Chief Marketing Officer, VIZ Media. ”We’re excited to be able to bring an entirely new offering to our audience. VIZ Media has always been fan-first, and the team at Rose City is the perfect fit for developing games that our audience will love.”

“We’re very excited to collaborate with VIZ Media and the amazing creators in our indie game communities,” say Will Lewis and Corey Warning, Co-Directors and Co-Founders of Rose City Games. “The ability to pursue multiple original titles as independent developers is huge for us, and this partnership presents the potential to expand the worlds we’re creating beyond games.”

The World Next Door is a narrative-driven game that centers around Jun, a rebellious teen girl trapped in a parallel world inhabited by magical creatures. Inspired by the emotional storytelling and thrilling action of both anime and indie games, players can expect to meet and develop friendships with an eclectic cast of characters while uncovering the mysteries hidden within this world.

The World Next Door is currently in full production with a planned release on PC. VIZ Media is slated to release two more games developed by Rose City Games over the next few years, and is currently accepting publishing inquiries from developers with games at all stages of production. Stay up to date with the game’s production at theworldnextdoor.com and on Twitter at @worldnextdoor.

 

Press Contact:

Sandra Lanz

sandra@rosecitygames.com

Erik Jansen for VIZ Media

erik@medialab-pr.com

Publisher Contact:

Eric Eberhardt

ericeberhardt@viz.com

About VIZ Media, LLC

Established in 1986, VIZ Media is the premier company in the fields of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing. Along with its popular digital magazine WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, DRAGON BALL, SAILOR MOON, and POKÉMON, VIZ Media offers an extensive library of titles and original content in a wide variety of book and video formats, as well as through official licensed merchandise. Owned by three of Japan’s largest publishing and entertainment companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is dedicated to bringing the best titles for English-speaking audiences worldwide.

Learn more about VIZ Media and its properties at viz.com.

About Rose City Games

Rose City Games is a full-service game studio partnering with innovative brands to create original, interactive experiences. Based out of Portland, OR, they specialize in the development of new and existing IPs to tell stories through games. Their mission is to make better games, by assembling teams of passionate developers for whom hard work, authenticity, and creativity are a top priority. Founded by indie game community organizers Will Lewis and Corey Warning in 2015, the studio has produced a game jam event for Cartoon Network, helped launch Headmaster for PlayStation VR, and activated the local development scene by organizing the Portland Indie Game Squad.

Learn more about Rose City Games at rosecitygames.com.

Follow Rose City Games on Twitter for updates: twitter.com/rosecitygames

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Viz Media and Rose City Games Partner to Create Video Games was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

The Best Upcoming & New Release 2018 PC Games for Girls

Back in the 90s I barely played PC Games, because so few existed that appealed to my tastes. There were exceptions of course, Torment, Fallout 1 and 2, Baulder’s Gate, Icewind Dale, King’s Quest (and other Sierra titles), Ever 17 (and anything else by Hirameki International), Petz, Black and White, Creatures, Graduation 95, and a handful of other gems that weren’t available on my consoles.

But largely, console gaming was the highlight of my childhood. That’s where all the anime games or JRPGs or story rich games were, especially in the 16 and 32 bit eras, which still remain my favorite gaming period of all time. Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, Saturn, PS1, PS2, and Dreamcast, the majority of my favorite games, still to this day, lived on one of those great consoles.

But nowadays, I barely play console games anymore. Occasionally there may be an exclusive that catches my eye, such as Persona 5 on PS4, or Tokyo Mirage Sessions on the Wii U. I even bought a Wii U just for that game in fact.

But now, so many games are cross platform, and so many people like me, who grew up in the 16 and 32 bit eras are making their own indie games now such as To the Moon, Always Sometimes Monsters, Rakuten, Undertale, etc. This completely changes the gaming landscape. Now PC is by and far my preferred gaming “platform” of choice.

And where once, JRPGs reigned on Consoles, they now thrive on the PC or even on mobile devices, and in the past 5 years we’ve seen a huge explosion of visual novels and Otome games as well on both PC and mobile – and barely any of those have been released (at least in English) on consoles.

Where once the PC had almost no games that appealed to my tastes, now suddenly, more and more each year, I find the PC to offer so many games I want to play that I don’t have the time, nor money, to possibly play them all! I have over 700 steam games already (and a handful on Origin, and about 50 more on GOG, and then of course my old CDs from the 90s which have yet to get released digitally.) And that’s not taking into account the PC’s ability to emulate the console games I own (probably around 300+ games there too). And emulation is perfectly legal as long as you own the original games, which I still do.

This puts the number of games I can play on my PC right now today, without buying a single thing, at well over 1,000 games! — How many of those games I’ve actually played, is probably around 25%, and how many I’ve beaten to completion / all endings etc, is probably like 5%. lol. But the point is, there has never been a better time to play girl games on your PC. If you’re a girl, there’s plenty of games that you should check out on PC. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago; my how the landscape has changed!

Here is a list of games due out in 2018 that are on my radar! I’ve selected these games for one of the following reasons: Decisions Matter, Branching Plot, Multiple Endings, Cute/Kawaii Graphics, Excellent Story, Innovating (or at least really fun) Gameplay, and Customization. If you look for the same qualities in your games, check out the list below. Warning, it’s long.

This list is not in any order – largely it’s sorted by release date, because that’s how I was browsing the games while researching this post.


Sea Dogs

Our first recommendation reminds me of Horizons New Dawn, one of my all time favorite super nintendo games.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/764670/


Sorcery Jokers

This visual Novel Has Some Beautiful Graphics

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/703730/


Til the Dawn, Waiting

This looks sad, and also features animals, a powerful combination to tug at any heart strings

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761760/


Franky the Bumwalker

Super cute and colorful adventure game that probably doesn’t take itself too seriously.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761310/


Dragon Cliff

This indie RPG features an extesnive crafting system and city building aspects as well as cute retro graphics.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/758190/


Stunt Corgi VR

If you’re lucky enough to have a VR headset you might like this title that lets you create obstacle courses and watch a cute corgi try to navigate the courses you create.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/665080/


Project Bits

If you like rhythm games, you might like this one with cute anime artwork. Plus it’s free to play.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/581150/


The Mind Hero

An anime visual novel where you help 8 different characters overcome their trauma. It aims to teach psychology inside a video game. It’s also free and features a comic book style.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/502050/


Katyusha

This looks to be a very emotionally engaging and beautiful pixel retro style RPG. The developers have said that the game uses real-life world war 2 letters that were written by soldiers to their families.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/749160/


Battletech

The ability to customize everything about your mechs and the appeal of mecha genres from decades of anime such as macross, robotech, go lion, voltron, evangelion, gundamn, etc, make this appeal to me, despite the more dark realistic graphics. The gameplay looks fantastic. And who doesn’t love giant robots?

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/637090/


In The Valley of Gods

Explore pyramids in this narrative adventure.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/687440/


Villages

This game aims to balance the skills and economy of its players so that they are forced to work together. Sounds promising. Let’s see how that works once the game releases.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/749820/


Grow Bot

This just looks so utterly adorable!

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/661680/


Boyfriend Dungeon

With a name like Boyfriend Dungeon, how could this not make our list? It’s an otome dating sim and hack n slash RPG adventure, where the boys are weapons.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/674930/


The Iron Oath

I am beyond excited for this game! True, it doesn’t have the visual aesthetic that I like, but nearly everything about the gameplay appeals to me greatly! Decisions matter, the guild management sounds fun, every character has a back story. Characters die / perma death, you recruit new characters, I’m ready to play this awesome looking tactical RPG.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/699330/


Living the Deal

Business Management and Life Simulation Game. This one is high on my wishlist (despite how hideously ugly the characters look lol).

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/647550/


Wolf Gang

Play as cute wolves chasing cute sheep in a game which promises unlockable content and character customization.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761040/


Freedom Planet 2

Furrie fans and fans of old school Sonic games still love the original Freedom Planet, and soon the wait is over for the much anticipated sequel.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/595500/


The Forgettable Dungeon

Co-op Action RPG that you can play with up to 15 friends.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/375810/


Next Up Hero

This MMORPG has some unique gameplay features, such as no healing, except for when you die. When you die, you come back as an “avenger” and can heal other players, until you decide to take over one of their corpses and rejoin the fray. When you die, someone can also take over your character. So don’t get too attached.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/613280/


Leilani’s Island

This super colorful platformer looks like a lot of fun and has a great brightly colored retro style.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/664640/


Sentou Gakuen: Revival

This is an MMORPG Visual Novel. All of the characters in the novel are other players just like you. Not sure how that will work out, but it’s innovative and different – that’s for sure. And that alone makes me curious enough to want to play this one.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/405680/


Dungeon of Zaar

Dungeon of Zaar has a great style, and some fun looking gameplay mechanics including pvp and local multiplayer.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/613590/


Wytchwood

Wytchwood looks absolutely beautiful and the crafting and exploration gameplay mechanics really appeal to me as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/729000/


Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

They promise that choices will truly matter in this RPG inspired by D&D and featuring pirates on the high seas.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/560130/


Cyberdimension Neptunia 4

A new Neptunia game, because why not? I love the cute graphics and silly nonsense storylines of these games.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/632350/


Jenny LeClue

I love the handdrawn artstyle here. But what I love even more is that decisions and choices matter and “permanently” influence other “characters” (by that I think the Devs mean in sequels or episodic content that will be created.) The Devs also say that “The goal is for everything to be interactive, to reward players who poke and prod at every last item and object with insight, secrets, and humor.” Which fits my playstyle anyways. Exploration is often my favorite part of gameplay.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/319870/


Tunic

They don’t have much information available. But you play as a fox in a colorful world.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/553420/


Transference

This is a VR game although it’s not listed as requiring a VR headset to play so that remains to be seen. If I’m able to play without a VR Headset (because I don’t own one yet), I’m going to be all over this game. It has a deep “psychological” story. Your choices matter. The Devs say “The choices you make from every angle ripple through time and space, as you learn their story.” – I’m extremely interested in this game – maybe even enough to break down and buy a VR headset if it requires one.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/647570/


Skull & Bones

This must be the year of pirate games. This is the 3rd such game to make my list. You start out very low, and then recruit your own gang of pirates and customize everything about your ship, as you grow your infamousy and riches. You can play alone or with up to 5 players.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/370010/


Donut Country

This somehow reminds me of Katamari, except instead of rolling things up, you’re a hole and you swallow things, and the more things you swallow the bigger your hole gets, allowing you to swallow even larger things. I love Katamari, so I suspect I’ll love this game too. The cute colorful graphics also appeal to me.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/702670/


Wattam

Speaking of Katamari, here is a new game from Katamari’s creator. In this game you explode everywhere. The bigger your explosion, the more friends who come to play. The graphics are super cute, things like frying pans, bacons, eggs, poo, etc all with cute little anime faces drawn on. It’s very colorful. And there’s nothing else like it.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/702680/


Darksiders III

If you’re a fan of the first 2 Darksiders games, the 3rd installment is due out in 2018.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/606280/


Lost in Harmony

They’re hailing this as the first musical runner – but I don’t think it is, because I distinctly remember a game on PC a few years ago that let you run to any MP3 on your PC. But well regardless of if it’s first or not, it looks fun. You can create your own levels, as well as customize your characters.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/509400/


Just Us

Animal breeding, farming, crafting, fishing, foraging, and probably a pretty deep philosophical story about a couple questioning if they’re the only people left in the world after a catastrophic event.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/612660/


Lost in Bardo

Pretty looking pixel game with a philosophical story and puzzle solving gameplay.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/741730/


Jengo

A gorgeous looking point n click adventure paying hommage to many 90s retro games.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/671430/


Chiffa 2

Play as a cute little fox trying to save his best friend, a chicken, from a big bad wolf.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/563600/


OSM Old School Musical

The crazy looking chaotic gameplay and colorful retro graphics make this rhythm game stand out from the rest

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/398030/


Orcish Inn

Very cute survival game in which you farm, build, and manage a tavern.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/533800/


College Days

Visual Novel with some very pretty artwork.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/467700/


Astrologaster

Interesting concept for a game, you cast and interpret astrology charts as a doctor to answer your patient’s questions. I’m kinda interested in astrology (especially numerology (not necessarily related to this game just as an aside)) so my interest in this title is piqued by sheer curiosity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game about astrology before.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/742520/


Village Monsters

Animal Crossing clone, looks cute, fun, and relaxing.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/679830/


Where Cards Fall

This looks fun, and seems to have a fairly decent story about childhood memories shaping our perspectives as adults.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/589450/


Alone Without Her

A story where your choices matter about a man who survives while his wife dies in an experiment that would freeze them for 1,000 years. The concept sounds similar to Passengers, which I saw last year and rather liked, so I’ll probably enjoy this story too.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/527560/


Miracle Mia

This game looks very colorful and cute.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/608670/


Cursed Lands

For the first time in any Winter Wolves game you can sleep with more than one love interest. The devs say – However, they also caution you to be ready to deal with the consequences of that decision. You can bluff and intimidate enemies in this RPG / Dating sim hybrid.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/758320/


Fault Silence the Pendant

Takes place 5 years before the events in Fault Milestone One

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/487500/


Xaiga Wars

Visual Novel with Very Cute Graphics

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/727960/


A Near Dawn

A Psychological Visual Novel / Point n Click adventure with full voice acting and multiple endings.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/728170/


Unto The End

This game looks both beautiful and challenging, and it also features choices and consequences that change the story of the game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/600080/


Once Upon a Coma

I love the art style of this game. I’m betting the truth at the end of the story is also pretty sad.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/733210/


Broken Reality

Colorful Adventure Game which is set in a parody world based on the 1990s internet. Cut ads with your katana, collect likes to upgrade your social media accounts to reach new worlds, purchase upgrades, and make new friends. The Devs promise a game with no violence as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/757480/


We the Revolution

Fun looking political simulator based on the French revolution.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/736850/


Dodgeball Rising

Cute looking anime style multiplayer dogeball game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/687580/


Riverbond

Gorgeous looking little voxel game with lots to explore and collect

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/459370/


Kitten Super Adventure

I actually promoted this game awhile back I’m excited because it looks to combine Spyro with Adorable kittens.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/347530/


Mineko’s Night Market

Play as a cute girl, in a cute Japanese inspired world, full of cats! Extensive crafting system, fun mini games, and a market where you can sell anything you make or find. I’m definitely picking this game up!

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/762940/


Indivisible

From the dev team that brought you Skullgirls comes a new 2D adventure, with music provided by the composer of Secret of Mana.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/421170/


The Eldritch Zookeeper

Raise horrible monsters in this simulation game inspired by Themepark World and Dungeon Keeper

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/654960/


Battle of the Bands

Another visual novel game. This one doesn’t look terribly good to me, but I will play it before passing judgement.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/467710/


Spoxel

Looks quite similar to Terraria. I love Terraria… but I wonder what this game has that will differ enough from Terraria to make me want to purchase yet another minecraft clone.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/746880/


Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass

Colorful little RPG with an Adult Story

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/706560/


The Gardens Between

Beautiful puzzle game with time travel and nostalgia.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/600990/


Knights and Bikes

This charming adventure game is full of nostalgia and looks fun, especially in multiplayer. It’s from the creator of Little Big Planet and Tearaway Unfolded which I loved both of those games, so I have pretty high hopes for this one as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/592480/


Rainswept

Love, Relationships, and unresolved trauma? Sign me up for that. 🙂 This looks to have a fairly deep and depressing story.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/772290/


Booth

I have a feeling this game will play like Papers Please or Beholder. You work in a food inspection booth, how you react to NPCs determines your fate and changes the story and endings.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761350/


Futurust

A hand-drawn point n click adventure game about robots.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/745980/


My Girlfriend

A visual novel in a highschool setting with cute girls.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/467690/


Ciel Fledge

Basically Princess Maker – Which I have reviewed here. I need more Princess Maker in my life, so heck yeah, I’ll be buying this.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/738270/


The Luckless Seven

Visual Novel that differentiates itself from the rest with an innovative card game system.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/433370/


The Last Night

Absolutely beautiful looking scifi game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/612400/


Echo Tokyo

Dark Visual Novel set in a dystopian Tokyo

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/506640/


Tiny Thor

Colorful looking retro platformer where you throw Thor’s hammer to attack your foes.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/541310/


City Game Studio

Manage your own gaming company

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/726840/


Prehistoric Kingdom

Jurassic Park simulator anyone?

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/666150/


The Adventure Pals

Cute Comical and Colorful little platformer

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/396710/


Deiland

Anime sandbox game with farming and quest mechanics similar to Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/760620/


Warped Reality

Cyberpunk Visual Novel with truly lovely anime inspired artwork

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/604030/


Ooblets

OMG I almost forgot about this game. I remember when it was first announced, and now, the wait is almost over, as it will launch some time in 2018

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/593150/


Reality Raiders

Perhaps inspired by Secret of Evermore and Chrono Trigger, this little indie RPG lets you travel through different periods in the past to understand your present and shape your future.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/671770/


Mystic Destinies Echoes

This visual novel has a somewhat realistic painterly style and takes place in Atlantis.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/721550/


Snares of Ruin

6 Romanceable Ladies. You can form platonic or romantic relationships. How you interact with them determines the flow of the story.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/766940/


Detective Case and Clown Bot: The Express Killer

This point n click has cartoon-network or simpsons esque animation. It probably doesn’t take itself too seriously either.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/711920/


Beavers Be Damned

Cute 2 player Co-Op game where you play as cute beavers avoiding crazy obstacles as you try to build your dam.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/764570/


GNOG

Adorable colorful puzzle game that takes place inside monsters’ heads. Seems to have an emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving. My only concern is it may be quite short as it only has 9 levels.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/290510/


I Saw Her Standing There

Colorful kinda abstract looking action/puzzle game with over 300 levels to explore. The devs say that their game is “about love, death, and pancakes”.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/453910/


Wonder Wickets

Colorful and Cute Miniature Golf game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/598640/


Dab on Em Haters

Celebrity Vlogger Simulation with cute pixel graphics – Caution this one has explicit insults and hate speech, but that’s kinda the point of the game. Pick which topics to vlog about, then respond to your comments. The goal is to like positive comments while “dabbing” negative comments. (Do you know how old this game makes me feel? I thought dabbing was a thing kids do with their arms for selfie pics, that some football player started. Since when did Dabbing become a negative word? lol. I’m too old for this game. lol.)

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/769060/


CasinoRPG

I actually mentioned this game in a roundup of Casino Simulation Games – It used to be a web browser based game, and now it’s coming to Steam. I don’t know what if any improvements or changes have been made between versions. It’s a city building simulation that lets you build, run, and play in your own casino.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/658970/


Midnight Quest

Very cute looking point n click adventure game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/698450/


Heroes of Arzar

Cute, free anime collectible card game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/628190/


Meanwhile

Well, I had never heard of this comic or the author, Jason Shiga, until just now. The art style kinda reminds me of the Oatmeal. Apparently this comic creator incorporates puzzles and choose your own adventure elements into his comic books (maybe similar to the goosebump novels I read as a kid back in the 90s? lol). I’m curious to check this game, and some of his comics, out now.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/714980/


Love Story: The Beach Cottage

I usually don’t play hidden object games – I know a lot of girls love them, it’s just never been my cup of tea. But this one sounds intrigueing because of the sad story. A woman very late in her life (50+) returns to a beach home to execute her deceased father’s final will. She hasn’t been back in this house for over 40 years, and she will relive memories of her first lost love and become stronger in the process.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/770880/


Survived By

This is an MMO Bullet Hell Game with Permadeath. After you die, you come back a little bit stronger as one of your descendants. It says there are different descendants to collect. Might be interesting, although probably also very frustrating too.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/606140/


I Love My Brother

While many readers will be put off by the nature of this story being such a taboo subject, I’ve included it in the list anyways for a few different reasons. 1.) It’s a visual novel. 2.) You play as Beth (a girl) 3.) This makes it an Otome Game. 4.) It’s a game told by reading entries in Beth’s Journal 5.) The journal is full of cute colorful stickers, beautiful handwriting, and other charming graphics. 6.) The story doesn’t bother me that much. Some of my favorite Korean Dramas have that incest component, such as 90 Days Time to Love and Autumn in my Heart. 7.) Little Sister Kana is one of the greatest visual novels of all time. 8.) If the game handles the story tastefully, and doesn’t make it just a raunchy taboo fantasy, there’s potential here for a very sweet and sad love story (such as in the games and Kdramas I’ve mentioned above). 9.) For all of those reasons I will give this game a shot.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/769210/


Sister’s Love

I can’t tell if this game is the same as the one above or not. It also is about a brother and sister in love. Different names though. It’s also told through a journal, although the stickers and graphics in the journal look different. In this one they have a more mature/romantic look, and in the other a more bright colorful cheery innocent look. Anyways it’s included for the same reasons as the above.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/771520/


Maze of Adventures

The retro style colorful graphics in this puzzle game look quite cute.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/766740/


Lunch Truck Tycoon 2

Open World Simulation Game that lets you manage a food truck. I want some street tacos now lol.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/660120/


Nantucket

I don’t really approve of hunting whales and dolphins (IRL), but the game sounds fun anyways. Loosely based on Moby Dick, this game allows you to customize your ship and crew as you sail around the world to hunt Moby Dick, in what they call a whaling strategy game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/621220/


Ascendant Hearts

Humorous Parody Visual Novel with some lovely graphics that pokes fun at itself as well as the genre.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/595730/


Dude, Stop

I don’t really know if there’s any point to this game lol. People seem to think it’s funny. At least the developer thinks he is funny. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. But it’s strange, and dares to be different, so it earned a spot on our list anyways. The point of the game is to do the opposite of whatever the developer (narrator) tells you to do, or not, it’s up to you. His narration changes as you play depending on your choices. Make him angry and he will yell at you.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/574560/


Cicadas

I really love the artwork in this visual novel. Cicadas are annoying though. I distinctly remember hating that sound effect in other visual novels (I think Tsukihime used them? I can’t recall which novel it was now, but it talked about it being hot in the summer and the cicadas hissing. And it had this horrible cicada sound effect and no background music at this part, and it drove me crazy.) — Anyways here’s another visual novel with probably more equally annoying cicada buzzing sound effects. PS: I always thought Cicadas were a Japanese thing – until last summer when I heard them in real life, here in Western Pennsylvania. They apparently only come up from their burrows once every 17 years – Thank god because they are annoying AF. And I have a phobia about insects. — I’ll still play this beautiful visual novel, despite my fear and loathing of Cicadas (or insects in general lol).

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/710840/


My Big Sister

I kinda feel like this game is trying too hard to be dark and edgy and “cool”. The character you play as is a 12 year old girl (although the devs can’t seem to decide if she’s 8 or 12 as they make reference to her being 8 as well). She tries to rescue her 19 year old sister after they are both kidnapped. The graphics are cute, but the writing looks like trash. How many 12 year olds cuss like sailors? They say she has a sarcastic playful attitude and that she’s not as scared as her big sister – but still, that seems too much. This game’s script looks terrible and that’s just from the screenshots and trailer. Random explicit words for no reason at all do not make your game more “adult” or “dark” or “edgy” or “cool”. In fact, it kinda makes your game the opposite of those things. Of course, occasionally well timed explicit words can add to the feelings/emotions of a story. But when there’s 3 or 4 expletives used within a 6 sentence paragraph, that’s way too many. Which is a shame, because the graphics and actual gameplay look very nice.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/733300/


Spring Breeze

Chinese Visual Novel (with English subtitles) where you date twin sisters and experience university life in China. I feel this translation and writing may be subpar, but the graphics are really pretty, so depending on the price, it may still be worth checking out. Sounds short. 10 scenes, and only 2 endings.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/692790/


Tale of Toast

Very cute looking free-to-play MMORPG. It promises to not be pay-to-win as the only micro-transactional items will be things like transferring to another server or buying cosmetic only items such as pets and costumes (that do not grant stat bonuses). It has optional PVP and procedurely generated dungeons. It uses a classless system and includes crafting and exploration.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/640150/


FEN: Prologue

Survival game that has you dumpster diving for resources. Cute pixel graphics and a procedurely generated world.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/736830/

As an aside, there’s another game, simply called FEN that will release at the end of the month as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/771170/


Foxus

Beautiful game where you play as a fox, doing things foxes do, hunting rabbits, exploring the forests, etc. It reminds me a lot of Shelter 1 and 2 (dunno if it’s by the same dev team, or just inspired by such games though).

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/644130/


Skelattack

Play as an adorable skeleton and his best friend, a cute little bat in this rogue like, where monsters in the dungeons are friendly and human invaders are the enemy.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/605800/


Talk to Saki

An idle visual novel game, where time passes in real time. You type questions to Saki using keywords, and check in on her every day. New conversations happen each day.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/771100/

(as an aside, there’s also a game called Talk to Aya that came out about 2 months ago and is $1.99 on steam. Aya is more “my type” because she reminds me of myself. While Saki is very athletic and outdoorsy, Aya is an indoors type who loves manga.)

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/731930/


The Pirate’s Fate

Over 300 choices that matter with 45 different romances in this gorgeously animated furrie game.
http://store.steampowered.com/widget/553480/


Stage Fright

This game meshes together 2 very different genres, rhythm and horror game. The better you play, the harder the game tries to scare you and the more difficult the game becomes.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/771470/


MatchyGotchy

Adorable Colorful Virtual Pet Game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/772700/


The Red Strings Club

Interact with customers as a bartender with a story presenting moral dilemmas and decisions about happiness and the means to obtain it.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/589780/


The Scent of Summer

Virtual Reality Game (VR Headset Required) where you walk home with a cute anime girl.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/778260/


Iconoclasts

Cute platformer with a heart wrenching story.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/393520/


Staxel

Adorable anime voxel farming game, similar to Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/405710/


Lost Sphear

From the creators of I am Setsuna

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/525240/


OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes

Super cute and colorful game based on the cartoon network show of the same name.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/680700/


My Time at Portia

Seems to pay hommage to Rune Factory, Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, Atelier, Mana Khemia, and other similar gaming series

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/666140/


Wildlife Park Remastered Gold

Includes remastered versions of Wildlife Park and Wildlife Creatures. You can train, breed, research, and catch various animal species.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/664120/


Zweii The Arges Adventure

Beautiful looking humorous JRPG from XSEED with tons of minigames and a leveling system that involves eating or hoarding and trading food for better food.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/427680/


Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds

This beautiful looking indie RPG pays homage to many great 90s and early 2k RPGs. It includes minigames, crafting, and city building aspects as well as traditional turn based RPG combat.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/556740/


Luvocious

3 games in one. The first is a dating sim/visual novel. The second is more of a traditional JRPG/Dungeon Crawler. The final one is a scifi setting with gun based gameplay. Each with an anime and retro feeling.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/714730/


Dead in Vinland

I’m already sold just by this feature right here “Build your community of up to 14 playable characters. Meaningful choices will alter the relationships in your team and the story. Expect romances, hatred and betrayals!” – But in addition to that, it has a huge world with over 150 maps to explore and more than 150 items to craft as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/573120/


Onmyoji

Very colorful and beautiful strategy game set around the characters and stories within Japanese folklore.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/551170/


Dust and Salt

Decisions matter in this narrative adventure game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/766630/


Egypt Old Kingdom

City Building and Political Simulation in Ancient Egypt.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/646500/


Celeste

Beautiful little platformer with plenty of secrets and mysteries to unravel.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/504230/


Grisaia Phantom Trigger 4

The story that began with Fruit of Grisaia continues in this new installment

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761670/


Timber Tennis

Cute and colorful pixelart in an online or local multiplayer tennis game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/321160/


My Life as a Maiden

Cute looking visual novel where you play as the only boy (disguised as a girl) at an all girl’s school. (This theme is done to death in these games, but the nice artwork may be enough to make this one worth picking up as well.)

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/754840/


Melancholy Republic

Decisions matter as you take the role of a young heroine trying to run the country after her father’s assassination in this JRPG inspired indie game with an excellent soundtrack performed by a live orchestra.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/436240/


Ultimate Arena: Showdown

The graphics look a bit crude, but the game seems wacky and different, and fun, and does feature large amounts of character customization.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/757160/


Clumsy Knights

Very cute little indie RPG with an extensive crafting system

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/765360/


YumeCore

This looks cute and colorful, although a bit nonsensical and crazy.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/771240/


Make Sail

Build Sailboats, sail to other islands to gather materials to make better sailboats, and rinse and repeat.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/417200/


Slave Story

Cute anime style game where you play an indie game maker and interact with a cute anime girl.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/736520/


Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

A collection of short stories from authors all over North America

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/447120/


Minotaur

Point n click game with nice anime style artwork and dark story.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/680590/


Soul Saga

Gorgeous looking indie game inspired by classic JRPGs

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/251590/


Mhakna Gramura and Fairy Bells

This is by the same author as Fault Milestone One and apparently, at one point, these visual novels were all books? Hundreds of years ago? Like in real life? I was not aware of that. This is a kinetic novel meaning there are no choices, no branching plots, and only 1 ending. However it is beautiful and part of a very popular series of visual novels. The story is mentioned in several of the games, but only recently has the full text been discovered because the book is hundreds of years old. This makes it kind of an interesting way to preserve history.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/753220/


Fatal Twelve

Another very beautiful looking visual novel with female protagonist.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/620210/


Bacon May Die

Very colorful brawler game with cute little pigs. Customize your pig and fight off hoards of bacon hungry zombies. It looks cute and has a good sense of humor as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/646240/


Serment – Contract with a devil

Indie tactical RPG and Dating Sim hybrid with lots of cute anime girls.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/632900/


Final Fantasy 12 Zodiac Age

A remake of FFXII with a few new gameplay mechanics.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/595520/


Foto Flash

This may be similar to Sonicomi which I reviewed here.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/778610/


CHUCHEL

Cute funny little puzzle adventure game with adorable characters.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/711660/


Startup Freak

This game lets you simulate many aspects of building a startup conmpany, from designing your office, hiring team members, researching and developing new products

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/722660/


Into the Breach

Interesting looking strategy/simulation game with mechs and time travel.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/590380/


Mulaka

Action RPG with gameplay similar to Zelda and based on ancient Mexican lore.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/623640/


Scythe

Boardgame with strong focus on faction choice and strategy.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/718560/


RPG in a Box

If you’re looking to create your own games, RPG in a Box may be an alternative to the popular RPG Maker series.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/498310/


Guardians of Arcadia

A very cute anime indie game inspired by classic JRPGs

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/456140/


Shots Fired

Explore with your cellphone, take photos for buzzfeed (fuzzbeed), and avenge your wife and daughter (and reclaim your tv) in this pixel based action adventure game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/650120/


Episicava

Anime styled episodic visual novel

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/618430/


Toe Jam & Earl: Back in the Groove

The original games on Sega Genesis are some of my favorite childhood memories. Days and weeks on end spent playing with my best friend.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/516110/


Griftlands

It seems decisions matter quite a bit in this cartoon style indie RPG

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/601840/


Omina Mortis

I like the concept of this game, which is basically a visual novel in story book format; however, it is clear English is not their first language. Their steam store description needs help, and if that’s any indication as to the quality of the writing within the actual game, this game may be nearly unplayable. For example the description says: “In Omnia Mortis you will be confused by a tangle on the edge of mystic and action detective that will be fully solved only after multiple passing the game.” – I’m already confused just by reading this description LOL. I get that they meant to indicate it has multiple endings, or “only after passing the game multiple times” or “only after multiple play throughs” but “only after multiple passing the game” sounds really awkward and incorrect as a native English speaker… and I’m still not sure what they’re trying to say with “on the edge of mystic and action detective” – What does that even mean? — Concept seems good – but they really need to hire some English language play testers and proofreaders. Hopefully with enough proofreading and playtesting, this will end up to be a nice game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/644340/


A Song in the Void

This seems far too short, clocking in around 6 hours of gameplay, but it seems innovative by the fact that every aspect found within the game reacts and grows with the music.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/746900/


Earthlock

Inspired by Retro RPGs of the late 90s, Earthlock looks like a great upcoming indie game. You can also grow trees to bring kittens into the world which sounds pretty cute.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761030/


Moonlighter

Cute pixel RPG with procedurely generated dungeons and shop keeping elements

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/606150/


Rain or Shine

Very cute looking VR game that requires a VR headset

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/714610/


DragonFangz

A challenging rogue-like dungeon crawler with adorable anime graphics

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/749850/


Love Bites

Visual novel about vampires. Appears to have 2 playable characters (1 male and 1 female) and 4 romance options (2 male and 2 female)

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/617970/


Into Oblivion

A drinking simulator where you mix and drink virtual drinks with other players and bet who will get sick first to earn coins to get new items from the shops to customize your characters.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/618990/


Prisma and the Masquerade

Absolutely gorgeous looking platformer with a female protagonist and orchestra soundtrack.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/544470/


Long Gone Days

Awesome looking visual novel with shooter elements and gorgeous anime artwork.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/510540/


Samurai Forge

A collectible card game with an interactive story that changes according to players’ decisions

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/617350/


Swordart Online Fatal Bullet

A Multiplayer game based on the famous Swordart Online anime.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/626690/


Marie’s Room

Seems to have an interesting story about childhood friendship, perhaps with a few twists and some drama. A bit of mystery too.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/648390/


Movie Studio Tycoon

Select a genre, choose your script, hire and train directors and actors, compete with other studios to win awards.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/630440/


Orwell Ignorance is Strength

This political thriller aims to warn us about how we give and how others use our private and personal information and how such information can be misinterpreted and to what lengths people or our governments will go to to protect us from perceived threats within this information.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/633060/


Parkasaurus

Colorful Cute Dinosaur “Jurrasic Park” Simulation game where you travel back in time to collect dinosaur eggs, and switch to first person to handle dinosaur rampages.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/591460/


The Swords of Ditto

I love the graphical style of this cute little indie Co-op RPG.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/619780/


One Helluva Day

Another interactive fiction game where English is clearly not their native language. Hopefully the game will be proofread and play tested sufficiently because judging from the steam description, the creators struggle with English grammar. Aside from questionable writing and formating, the concept of the game looks promising. You play as a business owner trying to save his failing company, as well as trying to save the world. There are multiple endings, and you can either work together to help other characters, or take advantage of them to achieve your goals. How you work with others, determines which endings you receive.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/603680/


Monmusu

Adorable anime graphics in this free to play game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/533540/


Secret of Mana

Remake of one of the best SNES games of my childhood.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/637670/


Detective Gallo

Humorous point n click adventure game with a cartoon duck as the hero.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/556060/


Austen Translation

This solo or multiplayer rogue like marriage simulation borrows heavily from various visual novel mechanics

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/706880/


Speed Dating for Ghosts

Cute looking dating simulator by a former Bioware developer.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/746400/


Roguemance

A roguelike pixel game that pokes fun at relationship drama

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/742530/


Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Story heavy open world historical RPG with player choices and consequences.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/379430/


The Longest Five Minutes

Humorous pixel RPG where the main character has amnesia right before the final boss fight.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/504110/


Wandersong

Colorful cute indie game where you play as a traveling bard.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/530320/


Crossing Souls

Colorful retro inspired game set in 1980s California

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/331690/


The Seven Districts of Sin

Short cute visual novel with some nice anime artwork and 9 different endings to discover.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/782190/


A Case of Distrust

Play as a female detective in this 1920s visual novel.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/717610/


Catmaze

Cute indie anime pixel sidescrolling adventure game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/620220/


Monster Garden

Cute, very short (1 hour per play through) game with multiple paths and multiple endings with over 15 monsters to meet. You can’t meet them all on a single play through which adds some replay value, despite still being a short experience.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/719660/


The Painter’s Playground

Create or collect 2D artwork and trade it in an online marketplace with other players

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/722330/


Card Crawl

Dungeon Crawler played with a deck of cards. Solitaire like gameplay with deckbuilding mechanics.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/745000/


Opus Rocket of Whispers

Indie hand-drawn painterly styled game with an emotional post-apocalyptic storyline.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/742250/


Feudal Alloy

Cute looking indie action RPG with robots.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/699670/


The Forbidden Arts

Anime style action platform adventure game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/735060/


We Were Here Too

Emotionally charged Co-Op adventure game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/677160/


Minion Forest

Adorable monster raising game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/767340/


The Best Upcoming & New Release 2018 PC Games for Girls was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Heart of Crown Boardgame and PC Videogame Review

Update: 12/21/2017 – The developers of the PC version of Heart of Crown reached out to me via email and wanted to provide support for some of the issues I encountered, as well as to let me know about new features that are underway, such as full screen mode (currently in the beta client), and a tournament that will take place next year to celebrate the international release of Heart of Crown. They also wanted to let me know that there are (text based) chat rooms available on the Discord server (and I’ve adjusted the score for community based on that feedback). Overall, it is encouraging to see an active Dev team who seem to really care about improving the game and connecting with the community. 🙂 I hope they continue to work on polishing up the PC version of the game, but as I said already in my original review, yes the game has issues, but at the price point of $19.99 (at time of this review) it’s a great game and still a lot of fun, and a worthy purchase.


Original Review Below:


I recently picked up both the board game and steam versions of Heart of Crown, a kawaii anime deck building card game. I love the artwork and the theme of the game (multiple princesses vying for the throne). It reminded me a lot of one of my favorite anime (RE:Zero) so I was instantly drawn to this board game when I attended the Pittsburgh Steel City Comic Con 2 weeks ago. (although I actually purchased this one from the large game store, Mr. Nice Guy Games, at the mall nearby the convention center). And then a few days after that, the PC game released on steam, so imagine my excitement having only just heard of Heart of Crown days prior and being hyped by my new kawaii gaming find. As you will learn in this review, I am happy with both purchases, but each has it’s own unique pros and cons. Find out which version of Heart of Crown is right for you in the reviews below.

Gameplay Explanation:

The gameplay is simple, although it can be confusing at first, and both the manual included in the boardgame, as well as the hidden and horribly confusing tutorial in the PC game, make this gameplay seem much more complex than it actually is.

I will try to briefly describe the gameplay, please bear in mind my experience with this title is still limited to just a handful of play sessions.

To understand the gameplay we must first understand the different card types. Largely these consist of one of the following:

Princess Cards – these cards are available for purchase once you reach 16 points. There are 6 different Princesses in the base game (maybe more in various expansions). Each princess has unique abilities, some passive (always in effect) and some that you can activate during your turn. These abilities may give you advantages such as viewing your draw pile, drawing extra cards, forcing opponents to discard a card, or so on.

The objective of the game is to choose a princess whose ability matches your play style and then “back her” by acquiring points to put her on the throne. I’m not in front of either version of the game at the moment, but I believe the amount needed to back a princess is 21. (might be 20 or 25, somewhere in that range).

When this happens, a “coronation ceremony” will occur. At this time, any other players take one final turn, and if able to do so, may also back and crown a princess. If no other players can put a princess on the throne, you win. However, if another player also gets enough points to back and crown a princess the game enters sudden death where the first player to reach 30 points wins.

But how do you get points you ask? That’s where the other cards come in handy.

Territory Cards: these cards grant you coins (think of it as taxing your people for living in your lands). Coins are used to purchase items from the common shared area known as the market place. Note that cards obtained from the market place go to your discard pile. This is rather quirky and different from most other games I’ve played where they would automatically go to your hand or your draw pile. When you reach the end of your draw pile, your discard pile gets shuffled and becomes your new draw pile, allowing you to finally use the cards you have purchased. Coins may also be spent to activate abilities on some cards.

Action cards – these cards have abilities that affect you or other players such as declaring war to lower their points, or forcing them to discard a card, or allowing you to draw more cards, or take a card from the market place.

Character Cards – these cards all feature a different character, such as a duke, maid, etc. who will grant or sometimes subtract from your total points value. After you have backed a princess, you can play these character cards by placing them under your princess card.

There are also 2 special mechanics in this game.

Keeping Cards: 1 is the ability to “keep” up to 3 cards in your hand by placing them over your kingdom cards (territory cards that were used to back your princess) you cannot keep a card greater than the point value of the territory cards holding it. But by keeping a card, it allows you to use that card on a later turn instead of automatically discarding it at the end of your turn when you would normally discard all of your cards.

Chain Cards: The other interesting fact is that you can chain cards together, some cards have a yellow arrow. This means you can play another card. This is most commonly seen on territory cards.

Putting it all Together:

So the basics of gameplay go like this, draw your cards, play territory cards to get coins, then choose cards from the market place that go to your discard pile. As you run out of cards in your draw pile, the discard pile gets shuffled and turned into the new draw pile, and you may get lucky and draw the cards you purchased from market. Once you reach 16 points, choose a princess to back by carefully considering her special abilities. Continue to play territory cards and purchase more cards from the market – you’re likely going to be looking for cards to increase your point total. Be the first person to reach enough points to crown your princess. Other players may challenge you, so be ready to be the first player to reach 30 points and win the game, or win automatically if no one else can crown their princess after one more turn.


 

Score Card:

Board Game Version

Overall Score: 52/80 65% “D” “Average Game for Girls”

Geeky: 1/5 – the anime theme and cute girls are the only “geeky” thing here. There is little to no strategy involved with this game, no customization, no legacy, no story, no complexity, no hidden things to explore, etc. Just a straightforward, simple, cute family friendly game with great artwork.

Sweetie: 5/5 – And that great artwork is enough to score it a 5/5 on the sweetie meter. Combine that with the theme of the game, a game about princesses, and you have one of the cutest games ever.

Breakdown:

Value for What’s Included: 7/10 – You get a lot of cards, with gorgeous high quality art work, a beautiful box to store the game in, and a lengthy detailed full color glossy manual. However, that manual can be confusing and overwhelming to new players. There is no play mat, card sleeves, tokens, figures, or other goodies, but I still think overall, I feel satisfied with what was included at the $40 price point. Note there are expansions you can buy that add new cards and new features as well.

Initial Learning Curve: 5/10 – setting up the first time and learning what to do can be frustrating. But once you jump into your first game, it really isn’t so bad. Therefore, the learning curve difficulty is somewhere in the middle. It may turn off some casual gamers, but is still simple and friendly enough for family game night or to introduce to your non-gamer friends.

Gameplay: 7/10 – it’s simple, short and sweet. Most games take under 20 minutes to complete. There is a nice variety of cards, from abilities, to characters, and plenty of opportunity to interact with other players. However, the game length is quite short and there’s not much complex or exciting / enticing to help enhance replay value. I think this game will be fun once or twice a month, but don’t see it being a “weekly game board night” staple, when other games offer greater replay incentives and more for even the most seasoned and veteran gamers to discover on multiple playthroughs. Still, if you have young kids, or a significant other who is obsessed with “the kawaii life” they will love this cute little anime game. I bought it simply because I love how cute it is, and I’m not disappointed!

Artwork: 10/10 – I love the artwork, for me it really sold me on this game – Picked it up in a board game store I had never visited before, and had not heard of the game, and bought it simply because of the cute anime girls lol.

Interaction With Other Players: 4/10 – I feel like this is solidly in the middle somewhere. There are plenty of action cards and abilities to play against your friends. But it’s not as social as let’s say cards against humanity nor as encouraging of attacks and alliances as say Munchkin,

Fun: 7/10 – It’s short and sweet, it’s cute, it can be confusing, but as soon as you play the first few games it becomes (almost too) simple. I mean let’s take it for what it is, it’s not a legacy game that is meant to be played in multiple sessions like gloomhaven. It’s not a strategy game like catan, it’s just a simple cute card game with anime graphics and a cute concept.

Replay Value: 6/10 – Will I play this again? Absolutely. Does it change, or evolve, offer strategy,  customization, different classes, things that can make each replay different, unique and exciting? Nope. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to replay it. The artwork is cute, and the small minimum time investment is a big plus. Easy to squeeze a game in here or there whenever the chance arises.

Overall Score: 52/80 65% “D” “Average Game for Girls”


Score Card:

PC Game Version:

Overall: 75/100 75% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

Geeky: 1/5 – In my two hours thus far with the game I have encountered bugs, bugs, and more bugs. Well not bugs per say, more like “What were they thinking?” Poorly designed User Interface, Hidden Tutorials, lack of Fullscreen mode, and many more “WTF” moments that reek of bad design and development decisions.

Sweetie: 5/5 – It’s still cute though and sure to appeal to all fans of anime or kawaii lifestyle culture!

Story: 6/10 The PC version adds some story segments that you can unlock. They are somewhat misleading in calling this a campaign mode as there is no interactivity, it’s more like comics that you can view. It has absolutely no other effect on gameplay. Story is there, and it’s a nice bonus. But a lot more could have been done here.

Characters: 8/10 – The princesses, as always are very cute, and the campaign story mode helps endear the characters to us more.

Gameplay: 7/10 I can’t for the life of me get multiplayer to work. When I purchase a game, I expect it to “just work” – not to have to sit there messing with my firewall and computer settings. I’m not the only one with this issue as you can see on the support forums. And due to the type of game (kawaii) the target audience (children and young adult females) is not tech savvy enough to have to be expected to deal with this. I get errors about open ports, turning things off/on, trying their recommended settings, changing the settings, nothing works.

So although this is a multiplayer game, I’m only able to play it against NPCs. If I were able to get multiplayer to work, there are ranked matches and ongoing leader boards and other awesome features, and of course the benefit of being able to play Heart of Crown if you don’t have anyone to play with in real life.

Without multiplayer working, the gameplay takes a huge hit in my opinion. However, it did teach me how to play the boardgame. And it wasn’t by way the terrible tutorial that I learned this with. The game hides the tutorial from you, it doesn’t make it obvious. In your first play through that thing should pop up and introduce you to the game, and pop up at each step. But apparently their programmers couldn’t even figure this out – also couldn’t figure out how to program it so multiplayer works out of the box (I have over 600 steam games, and this is the only game I have trouble trying to create or join a room in multiplayer).

Anyways I digress, back to that hidden horrible tutorial, no they couldn’t have it auto guide you through (with an option to exit it of course) – no they expect you to just know to click the “help” icon. And you have to remember then to keep clicking the help icon after you complete each step. It’s terrible for new players. The learning curve and directions are 10,000 times worse in the video game than they are in the actual card game.

Once you figure out WTF you are doing, it’s fine. The game rounds go by speedy and snappy. The artificial intelligence AI is no where NEAR challenging – I’ve read other reviews on steam that they can’t beat the computers, and I’ve just thought to myself, WTF is wrong with you. I beat them every time, as someone who is a complete newb to this game. – FYI my first time playing Heart of Crown was actually with the video game as I had not yet gotten to play the board game I had purchased. So no, it’s not just because I had exposure/experience to the game before. — Of course, granted, maybe these reviewers, don’t know / didn’t see the hidden tutorial, because without that, it really is impossible to know WTF to do. As horrible and terrible as that tutorial was, it was in fact useful. It just needs to be implemented and integrated in a much more obvious, in your face, way to help you your first time.

Anyways, once you figure everything out, gameplay is exactly the same as the physical board game, so bonus points there for maintaining the look and feel of the original card game now in a digital, supposedly online multiplayer, format with rankings and a leader board, and music and some semblence of a story – those are all good / nice things, just the way it’s presented is absolute trash and terrible from a new user experience.

Learning Curve: 1/10 – too hard, see comments above about how the user interface and tutorial need some SERIOUS work in future patch updates hopefully.

Artwork: 7/10 – I want to give this a 10/10 I really do – but once again, it’s so poorly presented. There is no full screen mode – or if there is, like everything else in this damn game it’s hidden somewhere and not obvious how to enter full screen. So they have you select different resolutions, but they all look pretty bad honestly, at least the ones that fit my screen nicely. You can rightclick hold over a card to enlarge it to read it and see it clearly but it still doesn’t look as crisp and clean as the actual boardgame artwork. — It is however still very cute and kawaii so gotta give it some points there.

Music: 10/10 – the music is good. I don’t think it’s 10 out of 10 good, but I’m trying to pad my review a bit to more accurately reflect that I do actually enjoy this game.

Interaction With Other Players: 10/10 – no chat room (built into the game), they do have optional discord servers set up. EDIT: Devs reached out to tell me there are (text based) chat options available in the discord servers, and the Devs are in the server too and offer support as well as interact with the community which is a big plus. I do have Discord on my PC (but typically only play on it with a handful of friends), but hearing that the Devs are active on their own servers makes me want to check it out. The impression I get is that the small Dev team seem to really care about this game and listen to feedback and provide support which has changed my mind significantly about the community within the game. And I’m excited about the tournament features and leader boards and ranking. It really enhances this game and makes it competitive and exciting and enhances replay value too – Especially if we can win rare cards or something from this upcoming tournament. 🙂

I’m shy though and don’t like to use voice chat that much with strangers. Anime fans are typically introverts like myself, so it seems like lack of a chat room is a bit of a draw backI’ve also seen others complaining about this in the forums. – See Edit Above.

Then again, I can’t even get multiplayer to work at all period, so for me this is like a 0 out of 10 honestly, but I’m giving it the benefit of a doubt. This part still holds true although the Devs seem to want to help me get it working and to be fair I hadn’t tried using the support system before coming on my blog here and complaining lol. Although I did take a look at the support forums and other people having the issue and trying to trouble shoot based on feedback they were given which didn’t seem to work for me, and I saw other people had refunded the game via steam due to multiplayer issues, so to me this still seems like maybe a poorly designed function. Other “room” based games like Terraria and 100% Orange Juice that use seemingly similar multiplayer features just work right out of the box. I would expect the same from Heart of Crown, or any game I purchase.

Fun: 10/10 – I’m still giving this a 10/10 despite the numerous flaws. I paid $19.99 and I feel extremely satisfied with that purchase, even just playing it against the not very smart NPCs that I easily trounce.

Replay Value: 10/10 – I played my first day with this game over 2 hours. Will play again. If I get multiplayer to work, I’d play every day of my life. Just like the card game, this one does not offer much incentive to make you want to replay it, except it does have rankings and leader boards. There is potential here for a smart dev (they have not shown themselves to be too smart thus far however) to add additional gameplay elements like tournaments, rare cards for rewards for high rank, and so on.

EDIT: Actually the Devs seem really nice and seem to really care about the game, and have told me there will be just such a tournament taking place next year 🙂

It is a new game, just released less than 2 weeks ago, so I’m hoping the devs address some of the massive issues plaguing the PC version of this game right now – but even if they don’t I’ll still play it and enjoy it, bugs and all. The fact it is a PC game, and on a platform like steam, increases my likelihood to play this, because no downtime to set up the play area, and the fact I only have people to play the physical game with on weekends, this means if I want to play more Heart of Crown through the week, the PC version is my go-to. I sincerely hope the devs fix things up and that the community for this game grows. I love Heart of Crown despite my somewhat harsh review. But it has issues that people should be aware of before parting with their money or sitting down to play.

Heart of Crown Boardgame and PC Videogame Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Win a Razer Blade Gaming Laptop – 12/13/17

Enter To Win at: https://player.me/?invite=geekysweetie

Player.Me is giving away some awesome epic gaming loot this holiday. The contest will have 2 very lucky winners who will win one of every tier that has been unlocked so far.

The winners are determined as follows:

1 winner will be chosen by random draw.

a 2nd winner will be chosen based on the number of referrals he has earned.

Some of the prizes at stake include a Razer Blade Gaming Laptop, Nintendo Switch, and PS4 Pro, just to name a few!

Full Prize Breakdown:

Currently Unlocked Tiers:

Razer Blade Gaming Laptop

Logitech C922 / Elgato Streamdeck

SNES Classic

Tiers that Remain Locked At Time of this Posting:

Nintendo Switch

PS4 Pro

Xbox One X

Razer Phone

Each Tier unlocks at an additional 50,000 sign ups.

So sign up at https://player.me/?invite=geekysweetie

and help spread the word to unlock more tiers.

a Blade from Player.Me Enter at: Ends December 13th 2017.

Win a Razer Blade Gaming Laptop – 12/13/17 was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

How DDoS Attacks Impact Gamers

Ever since the infamous DDoS Attack on Sony’s Playstation Network back in 2011, the gaming industry has seen a sharp increase in DDoS Attacks including but not limited to attacks on Warcraft, League of Legends, Xbox, Nintendo, Microsoft, and many more. Game servers need to give special consideration when it comes to implementing DDoS protection.

A DDoS Attack or Distributed Denial of Service Attack, is a strategy which attempts to shut down a network by flooding it with traffic. The traffic often comes from a group of systems which has been infected with a virus or trojan. These attacks typically happen due to the gaming server having outdated, misconfigured, or conflicting security settings which the hackers can then exploit to execute their attacks.

Everyday more than 150 million people around the world play online games; online gaming has soared into a multi-billion dollar industry with players from North America, Asia, Europe, and all around the globe logging in and connecting simultaneously. The game servers are usually tested to withstand a certain threshold of activity, and new servers added or closed as the game ages and audience and traffic changes. However, a gaming server can easily be over taxed by sudden spikes in traffic, making it a juicy target for DDoS attackers.

Often times, single player or competitive teams are also targeted by DDoS attacks when it comes to online gaming tournaments. Some players use these attacks to get an unfair advantage, while others use it as a ransomware attack where in the player must pay money to remove the threat. We even see these types of attacks on Twitch and similar streaming services where a group will flood a user’s twitch stream to interrupt their gameplay and live stream. Since many people are “professional gamers” and earn a livelihood by streaming or competing in gaming tournaments, these attacks cause lost of wages as well as frustration.

Gaming is a prime target for DDoS attacks because so many games require online connectivity, and so many gamers have an emotional connection to their favorite games which increases frustration and havoc when the attack hits. Gaming servers are also easy to disrupt, because you do not need to fully take a server offline to render it unplayable. Attackers can simply disrupt the server to the point where lag renders the controls unresponsive and interferes with gameplay.

In the case of Sony, gamers took the company to court and won a class action lawsuit costing Sony millions of dollars. This proves that Gaming networks are liable and responsible for delivering uninterrupted service and taking appropriate precautions to help mitigate such attacks.

Also, as Sony has proven, it’s not just PC games which come under DDoS attack. Console games and even mobile games are also at risk.

Gaming servers often require special consideration when it comes to implementing security measures to help mitigate these attacks. Since many DDoS bots are becoming more sophisticated and mimicking human player behavior, many gaming companies are forced to decide between stricter security measures which could trigger false positives and block access to the game for many legitimate players, or to lower their defenses and make the game widely accessible to players all over the world, but at the risk of also being accessed by bots and attackers.

There are three basic types of DDoS attacks:

Volumetric Attacks are the most common type of DDoS attack. They work by throttling the bandwidth causing the servers to shut down by flooding them with high volumes of constant traffic.

Protocol Attacks target the infrastructure and resources of a server, such as the firewall and load balancers.

Application Layer Attacks target security vulnerabilities in Apache, Windows, and OpenBSD. These attacks mimic human behavior and perform a slow and steady string of seemingly innocent requests that overtime will cripple the server.

How Can You Protect Your Server from DDoS Attacks?

You can help protect your gaming servers from DDoS attacks by implementing additional security software or services such as those offered by KODDoS. KODDoS protects you from DDoS attacks by detecting and blocking the attack in less than milliseconds ensuring that your servers remain online and without interruption of service. You also have access to a team of DDoS experts 24/7 who work to monitor incoming attacks and implement solutions in real time or on demand giving you around the clock DDoS protection.

KODDoS works to protect against all types of DDoS attacks by using many layers of filtration to mitigate the attacks. They have a large 400Gbps network, which once the traffic hits their network, they apply ACL rules to block malicious traffic at the edge of the network.

The traffic then reaches a scrubbing center and is filtered based on different signatures and predefined traffic patterns. Each packet is analyzed to ensure no malicious traffic reaches the client’s servers. These methods work to protect against layer 3/4 attacks as well as layer 7 attacks which are harder to detect and which target applications and web servers using only a small amount of bandwidth.

They have a full range of DDoS solutions ranging from plans for web hosts, VPS networks, remote servers, or enterprise dedicated servers. With pricing starting at just $39.99 a month.

You can also contact them for a free consultation to help decide which of their services are the best fit for you.

Check them out at https://koddos.net/

How DDoS Attacks Impact Gamers was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

eSports and iGaming – A Match Made in Heaven

For the past quarter of a century or so, the concept of eSports has grown from humble beginnings to become the world’s latest major sports phenomenon. When you look at the size of the industry today, it’s hard to believe that the earliest large-scale competitive gaming event took place less than thirty years ago.

Back then, competitive gaming events were few and far between, but they still managed to attract thousands of participants to sprawling event spaces in order to pit their high scores against one another on iconic arcade games like Space Invaders and Donkey Kong. Around that same time, Walter Day was busy setting up Twin Galaxies, an organisation that promoted competitive gaming and worked in conjunction with the Guinness Book of World Records to keep tabs on the very best players from around the globe and, of course, their high scores. In turn, this lend to the creation of American TV show Starcade, on which contestants would try to beat each other’s records on a particular arcade game, plus we even started to see eSports segments used a plot device in major motion pictures like Tron.

Looking back, it really was a taster of things to come and set a foundation for further evolution throughout the 1990s, when home video game consoles started to replace arcade halls as the prime choice of gaming entertainment. Then, around the turn of the millennium, the internet changed everything.

The Rise of the Internet… and iGaming

dota 2 international championships, esports, igaming, gambling, casino, casinos, online casino, online gambling, betting on esports, online gaming, gaming championships, gaming tournaments, professional gamers, professional gaming, World of Warcraft, Counter Strike, Arcades, Console Gaming, Retro Gaming, Igaming, I Gaming, Live Streaming, Live Stream, Live Streams
online-poker-ranking-reliable” (CC BY 2.0) by Chingster23

Advances in technology, particularly broadband, meant that more people could enjoy faster and more convenient internet connections than ever before. And, naturally, with this newfound power at its disposal, the world started gaming on a whole new scale.

It wasn’t long before we saw the birth of iGaming, a brand new industry that sought to emulate the thrill of the casino floor for a growing online audience. By 2010, the entire iGaming market was worth approximately $22 billion and had diversified to include a wide range of casino games and a multitude of online sports bookmakers. Both new and established iGaming businesses alike found themselves in constant competition for their own slice of their market, seeking new ways to engage players and differentiate their service from the rest of the pack – which now includes offering betting options on eSports events.

But that’s not all. Industry competition has led to remarkable innovations in a relatively short time, with perhaps the latest being the integration of live streaming technology. Operators like 32Red live casino have set a template by investing heavily in their provision of high-quality video streams, whereby players can log in to their account and watch a live link to a real table with a real dealer.

Compared with standard, computer-generated gameplay, you have to say the 32Red approach offers a much more engaging experience for the casual gamer, which is why newer sites such as 188Bet and Jackpot 247 have quickly followed suit and developed their own suite of live dealer games. For all brands, it’s becoming less of an option and more of a necessity to stay at the forefront of the industry.

Live Streaming for eSports

dota 2 international championships, esports, igaming, gambling, casino, casinos, online casino, online gambling, betting on esports, online gaming, gaming championships, gaming tournaments, professional gamers, professional gaming, World of Warcraft, Counter Strike, Arcades, Console Gaming, Retro Gaming, Igaming, I Gaming, Live Streaming, Live Stream, Live Streams
esports” (CC BY 2.0) by sam_churchill

The same concept of live streaming technology, which was originally focussed on online poker rooms, blackjack and other casino games, is now being applied to eSports events. This allows fans to log in, place a bet and gain access to a live stream of the event itself to watch the action unfold as it happens. In fact, this is often the most stable and secure way of actually being able to watch a live eSports event.

But what games are actually available to bet on? As with iGaming, the range of the eSports industry has continued to expand at a rapid pace in recent years, and we’re at the point now where almost all multiplayer gaming tastes are catered for. From sports titles like Madden and Fifa to battle arena games like World of Warcraft and Counter-Strike, more and more recognized tournaments are emerging that allow players to compete against one another for big money prizes. Last year’s Dota International Championship, for example, offered a total prize pool of $20 million, which should give a better feel for the type of scale we’re dealing with here.

For the players, competing at the highest level involves meticulous training, precise timing, and skillful execution under pressure. For die-hard fans, the fact that the evolution of iGaming services has led many bookmakers to host a dedicated eSports section on their website certainly adds an extra layer of appeal. The ability to place an occasional bet on the outcome of important tournaments and individual matches as they take place offers a much more engaging experience for eSports fans.

And, given the rate at which the eSports industry is expanding, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if more iGaming operators started to sit up and take notice of the opportunity to cover this lucrative new realm, sooner rather than later.

eSports and iGaming – A Match Made in Heaven was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Raises the Bar

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Raises the Bar

Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood

Guest Post by Michael Lan at Anime Zeal

When you think of MMORPGs, it’s no surprise for the big three to come to mind: World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, and Final Fantasy XIV. Up until recently, I would say these three have been pretty evenly matched with the exception of Guild Wars 2 not seeing as much popularity as the other two. But with the release of Stormblood, I would say Final Fantasy XIV has taken the lead!

If you haven’t seen the official launch trailer yet, check it out here!

Stormblood is the second major expansion after Heavensward. The first installment of Final Fantasy XIV in 2010 ended up as a failure as it drastically failed to meet expectations. Since then, the next three installments and expansions, A Realm Reborn, Heavensward, and Stormblood have all been massive successes.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood follows the story of the Warrior of Light played by yourself, the player character. Stormblood focuses on the conflict between Eorzea and the Garlean Empire that has oppressed the land of Ala Mhigo for 20 years. See the new sights that Stormblood has to offer with this tour of the East.


With Stormblood, we see a complete revamp to the combat system with new features and functionalities. This allows for a much more dynamic battles and gives you the ability to be more involved. Strategizing based on your fellow players’ roles and skills will also be crucial for taking down the realm’s most powerful bosses.

If you thought that was cool, just wait till you try out the new DPS jobs, Red Mage (RDM) and Samurai (SAM). I mean, just look at them! With so much versatility and heavy damage dealing respectively, RDM and SAM just feel so impactful and fun to play.

FFXIV Stormblood Review

If you’re thinking that the other jobs have been left in the dust, not to worry! Every job in Final Fantasy XIV is getting a revamp with Stormblood. This means new skills and actions for a completely new feel! Below, you’ll find a video of every job’s actions, including RDM and SAM.

With new challenges in the form of dungeons, raids, and all kinds of new enemies and allies alike, you’ll be in for one heck of a ride. Stormblood increases the level cap from 60 to 70 so even if you were completely maxed out in Heavensward, there’s still so much more to do! Acquire new items, weapons, armor, mounts, and of course, we can’t forget about glamour now can we?

FATEs now have an added feature called Twist of Fate. Here, you get bonus every time you dispose of a special enemy. In this case, you get a dramatic boost to the amount of experience gained from FATEs. So let’s hope this makes leveling our jobs to the new level 70 cap much easier!

The first major expansion, Heavensward, gave players the opportunity to fly across the skies in Heavensward areas with flying mounts. And now with Stormblood, the ability to explore surface and deep swimming in new areas as well as old ones has been introduced.

FF14 Stormblood

If Stormblood didn’t sound awesome before, I bet it sounds pretty darn awesome now, right? Just like with flying, in order to unlock swimming you just have to go through your main scenario quests. Time to get to exploring the world beneath the surface of the realm of Eorzea. See all the underwater sights and don’t forget to take some beautiful snapshots with /gpose!

If you’re new to Final Fantasy XIV or have never played it before, now’s the time to at least give it a try. It really is the complete package: an amazing story, intricate design, fascinating lore, an expansive world, engaging combat and mechanics, and a friendly and helpful community. I thought I had seen it all with Heavensward but Stormblood takes the cake!

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Raises the Bar was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

ASUS ROG Strix – Asus – ROG GL502VT 15.6″ Laptop – My New Gaming Laptop and My Recent Experience at Best Buy

Please Note: This is not a sponsored post. I am not being compensated by Best Buy to write this. I did receive an email from Best Buy wanting me to complete a survey (for a chance to win a gift card) regarding my recent purchase. But then I thought, the comments I made in the survey, might make for a good Blog Post for my readers here, especially if supplemented with some info about the Laptop itself.

It’s tax refund time. Like most Americans, instead of saving, investing, or putting this money to good use, it’s time to go have FUN! (yes, I know, not smart or responsible of me lol.) My last laptop was purchased at Sam’s Club for around $750 back in 2013. It was just a “mid-range” “budget” laptop. In no way was it a “gaming” laptop, except that I researched and selected a model with a dedicated graphic card and enough RAM to play most games at the time back then on “medium” settings.

Prior to that laptop, I did in fact have an Alienware and it did last 7 or 8 years, compared to 3 to 4 years, being able to play newly released games on medium settings. However, I paid over $2000 for said Alienware. So then it occurred to me, that I could just buy “throw away” laptops, for less than half the cost, and just upgrade (to another “throw away” or “mid-tier” laptop every few years as needed.).

So when I got my tax refund, I set out to find just such a laptop. a mid-tier “throw away after 3 years” “gaming” laptop. My goal was to stay below $800. I was not expecting much in this price range. I was not looking for a “true gaming laptop”, just something that could “play without crashing” on medium settings.

What I got for under $800 is so much more than a “throw away” laptop. It’s actually a legit Gaming Laptop!! Not only can this system play a 2016/2017 AAA gaming title on “medium settings” without crashing; it can even play them on high settings.

I purchased this item as an open box (former store display) from my local Best Buy. Here is the same model available online – and where you can check to see if it’s available as an Open Box either online or at your local Best Buy. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-gl502vt-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i7-12gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-black/5090905.p?skuId=5090905

I would say, keep an eye on Best Buy’s pricing even if you do purchase this item and after bringing it home. Here’s my little Best Buy story. I purchased the Asus ROG Strix on 3/28/2017. At that time, the price on the “Satisfactory” Open Box model at my local Best Buy store was listed at $806. When I went to checkout, the associate working at Best Buy told me that the price was actually $899 (still before taxes, etc. After taxes it was actually $960 (which yes, was over my expected budget.)

I still thought $899 was a good buy for a $1200 gaming laptop with great reviews all over the internet (some of which reviews I will share with you later in this article). So I didn’t give too much push back on that price and just accepted it as is.

The associate had tried to tell me it was the same computer / same model / everything, but that they had 2 or 3 in the store and had sold the one listed at that price. But my receipt still said “Satisfactory Open Box”, and that’s what the pricing on the website supposedly reflected – for my specific store location even. I felt somewhat jaded but still happy to save $300.

The next day, I was once again reading the reviews about the laptop on Best Buy’s website and I discovered the item was on sale now, and as such, the price on all models, new, or open box, had been lowered.

I called and asked if they would be willing to price match the newer pricing. I was told “yes” but I was still skeptical because they wouldn’t even honor the original supposed price on the website (it was not a website price; it was for my local store “In-store only” price for an open box model available at my store marked as being in the same condition as the one I purchased.)

It is a 45 minute drive to my nearest Best Buy, so after work, I made the journey back to my Best Buy. This was yesterday, on the 29th of March 2017, with hopes that they would in fact honor the new lower pricing. It did take a bit for them to lookup whatever they needed to in their computers, and I could sense some resistance, but overall, both the manager and cashier at customer service were polite and professional. And I walked out of it feeling respected and valued as a customer, and with a refund of $201.69 to match the new lower pricing.

Now today when I view the item, it’s up to $765 instead of $711.

So that’s why I’m saying, keep an eye out for this. I guess their prices change every day??? It’s strange to me, and kinda shady, but you can’t deny the awesome savings you get by shopping at Best Buy.

If you print out the website pricing for your local store, as well as show them your order history on their own website/app on your mobile phone, there’s little they can do to argue (IE they can’t tell you it’s a different model or part number, because it’s right in your order history on your phone, etc).

Overall, I would shop at Best Buy again, especially for Open Box products. I also was in a few months ago and snagged a Sony HDTV open box model for under $120 and have been very happy with that purchase.

One thing I absolutely love about Best Buy is their return policy. They let you take home any product in their store for 15 days, try it out as much as you’d like, and return it for a full refund within 15 days (or 14 days for cellphones). This is amazing when buying a gaming PC, because you can actually make sure your games are going to run the way you expect!

Per Best Buy’s description this model features the following gaming specifications:

Nvidia Geforce 970m Graphics Card

6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ mobile processor

12GB RAM

1TB Hard Drive to store all your games

And best of all, it weighs less than 5 lbs!

I know this laptop is NOT “future proof” — The Nvidia 970m graphics card now ranks at number 11 overall according to http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/ — making it well on its way already to becoming a “mid-tier” gaming rig. But for the price I got the open box Asus ROG Strix for, at just $711, it still blows anything else in that price range out of the water.

Nvidia Laptop Graphic Cards April 2017 http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/
Nvidia Laptop Graphic Cards April 2017 http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/

Here is a look at the Nvidia 970m performance when comparing to the newer Nvidia 10xx cards. This information is from http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp%5B%5D=2981&cmp%5B%5D=3595&cmp%5B%5D=3548

Nvidia 970m vs Nvidia 10xx
Nvidia 970m vs Nvidia 10xx Comparison from http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp%5B%5D=2981&cmp%5B%5D=3595&cmp%5B%5D=3548

And according to Notebookcheck.net which I always heavily rely on when looking at new laptops, the 970m is still considered to be a “high-end” Graphics card. – So while it is in no way as powerful as the Nvidia 10xx cards, it can still hold its own on nearly any game out there right now. Interestingly enough, the benchmarks on Notebookcheck.net show the 970m performing on nearly equal footing with the Nvidia 1050 Ti.

Nvidia 970m Benchmarks
Nvidia 970m Benchmarks from Notebookcheck.net

Notebookcheck.net also lists the FPS (frames per second) for popular 2016 and 2017 games for the Nvidia 970m in the following chart. This chart shows that Nvidia 970m can play many 2017 games on high or even ultra graphic settings while achieving 40+FPS.

Notice on some games, you’ll want to lower the graphic settings to medium to achieve 40FPS. While on other games, you can play in high or ultra and attain 60+FPS. It’s subjective as to the type of game. Not all games “need” 60FPS.

For example, if you play a lot of First Person Shooters or Action games, especially ones with PVP against other players online, you will want higher Frames Per Second so you can out perform your competition. But, if you mostly play RPGs – which I assume is true for my readers here, 40FPS is a perfectly acceptable frame rate without any lag or choppiness. Anything below 30FPS will be noticeably laggy and possibly unplayable.

Nvidia 970m 2017 Review
Nvidia 970m 2017 Review

We all know that processors are not the main thing to consider when shopping for a Gaming PC. Intel is getting ready to launch their 8th generation of Intel Processors, deemed Coffee Lake later in 2017. This follows up Kaby Lake which was released last year. However, my ASUS ROG Strix has a chip from 2015 called Sky Lake. But according to Networkworld.com, “Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors: No performance gains The new chips are pretty much even with the last generation.”Source: networkworld.com http://www.networkworld.com/article/3155403/computers/intels-new-kaby-lake-processors-no-performance-gains.html

Still my ASUS came with the Intel I7 Quad Core, compared to the similarly priced Dell XPS that I was considering which had less RAM and only an I5 Processor (but a slightly better graphics card): http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1050-1tb-8gb-hybrid-hard-drive-black/5709801.p?skuId=5709801 

I actually would have bought this Dell instead of my ASUS, if it had more RAM. That said, the important thing to consider when buying a gaming laptop, is the graphic card. So I would’ve taken the I5 with the Nvidia 1050 over the I7 with the 970m.

I also really love Dell. I have had very positive experiences with their customer service — which began as a negative experience, but was made more than right for me, years ago when one of the first XPS came out, I had the highest level of protection/warranty, and after weeks of frustration, (and venting on blogs/social media), I was contacted by a customer advocate who worked at Dell and was upgraded to a newer iteration of the XPS. (This was probably 10-12 years ago now) But that experience stuck with me and made me very loyal to Dell for a number of years.

For the price point, or for those tech savvy enough to upgrade their own RAM this laptop at just $799 for a brand new (not Open Box like my Asus) gaming laptop is a great buy! I went into Best Buy with the intention that if my Open Box ASUS was already sold out, that I would be bringing this Dell XPS home instead. And both machines have great reviews!

According to this discussion over on Gamespot’s forums, there is absolutely no benefit (for gaming) of buying an Intel I7 over an Intel I5! https://www.gamespot.com/forums/pc-mac-linux-society-1000004/what-are-the-gaming-benefits-of-an-i7-over-an-i5-31603230/

However, the extra processing power is useful for video editing and other things that many games may be interested in (such as for editing youtube Let’s Plays, and so on.)

When it comes to deciding how much RAM you need in a gaming PC, most laptops in the “under $800 range” feature 8GB of RAM (such as the Dell XPS indicated above); and this may very well be enough for your gaming needs, as many popular titles from 2016/2017 list 8GB as the minimum required RAM that a laptop needs.

But my ASUS came with 16GB, and like I said, the RAM ultimately was the Tie-Breaker deal for me when it came to deciding between the Dell or the ASUS laptops.

PCGamer recently did a blog post about “How much RAM do you really need for gaming?”. They say 16GB is the “Sweet Spot” for PC Gaming right now. (Article published February 2017).

We consider 16GB to be a nice sweet spot for a solid gaming system. It should be more than enough to run your games and multitask as needed. You’ll also want at least 16GB if livestreaming is a priority for you. The ability to run and stream a game on one monitor while responding to chat questions, playing music, and doing whatever else in another is definitely the kind of task list that would benefit from an extra bit of RAM headroom.” – Source: PCGamer http://www.pcgamer.com/how-much-ram-do-you-really-need-for-gaming/

Some, but not many, games are also now starting to launch while recommending more than the “standard” 8GB of RAM. For example Quantum Break (recommends 16GB), Batman Arkham Knight (recommends 12GB), and Star Citizen (recommends 16GB). These certainly won’t be the last games to recommend an increased amount of RAM. So if you don’t know how, or just don’t want to, install more RAM yourself later, you may want to consider opting for 16GB now to help “future-proof” your laptop.

Having the laptop now for the past 2 days, and trying some of my own games in high settings, I am very happy with my purchase, especially at just $711 (almost 50% off the retail suggested price of $1159.)

I did a lot of research prior to, and after, purchasing my ASUS ROG Strix 15.6 Inch Gaming Laptop. Here are some interesting reviews. Please note some of these reviews reference different configurations than the one I reference in my own review. It is important to consider all of the above options: Graphics Card, RAM, and Processors when buying a gaming laptop. The most important thing to consider is the Graphics Card.

Asus ROG Strix Reviews

Best Buy’s reviews consistently mention “washed out” colors or “back light bleed” on the screen. In my opinion this is not true. To me, the colors look very vivid, bright, rich, and clear. There also a lot of reviews complaining about lack of an SSD (solid slate drive). I don’t mind waiting a few minutes for my PC to start, so I dunno if I’d really care whether it has an SSD or not. — On the other hand, Bestbuy’s reviews consistantly praise the performance, price, and gaming capabilities of this laptop. It currently has a 4.4 star rating out of more than 300 reviews. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-gl502vt-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i7-12gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-black/5090905.p?skuId=5090905 

Tech Radar’s review praises the “vibrant” screen (a direct contrast to the above Best Buy complaints), Full HD Gaming Capabilities, and Speakers. Tech Radar says the Asus ROG Strix GL502 “strikes the perfect balance between portability and power”.  http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/laptops-portable-pcs/laptops-and-netbooks/asus-rog-strix-gl502-1326519/review

Amazon User Reviews show 3.9 Stars out of over 400 Reviews once again complementing its powerful gaming performance. https://www.amazon.com/15-6-inch-GL502VM-GeForce…

Here is a Youtube User’s Review of the Asus ROG Strix:

PC Authority also praised the Asus Rog Strix, stating that “it’s hard not to recommend a gaming laptop that won’t break your wallet or your back.”  https://www.pcauthority.com.au/Review/431060,review-asus-rog-strix-gl502-gaming-laptop.aspx

Gadget Review has a nice in depth review of the Asus ROG Strix as well. The only things they critized were the “okay” speakers, and large bezels around the screen. (I do agree, it seems as if this laptop could actually fit a 17 inch screen in the amount of plastic used around the actual 15.6 inch one. Reducing this “edge” would make the laptop even more portable and lighter and less bulky. and it does seem like a poor design choice when many other competitors are offering edge to edge screens now.  http://www.gadgetreview.com/asus-rog-strix-gl502vt-gaming-laptop-review

LaptopMag.com Refers to the Asus ROG Strix as a “mini Behemoth” and praises almost every aspect of this laptop in a very detailed review at http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/asus-rog-strix-gl502vt-ds74 

Shack News calls the Asus ROG 502 “Premium in Every Sense” http://www.shacknews.com/article/95859/asus-rog-gl502vt-ds71-review-premium-in-every-sense

You can also check out the product information for the GL502VT from Asus’ website here: https://www.asus.com/us/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/ROG-GL502VT/ 

Sticky Trigger gives the Asus ROG an 8 out of 10. http://www.stickytrigger.com/tech/review-asus-rog-gl502/ 

ASUS ROG Strix – Asus – ROG GL502VT 15.6″ Laptop – My New Gaming Laptop and My Recent Experience at Best Buy was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Video Games by the Numbers

 

Like many of my readers, I have been playing games for over 3 decades now. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of hours spent playing games like Super Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country on my SNES with my friends, or time spent immersing in the stories of RPG classics back in the 16 and 32 bit era such as Lunar on the Sega CD or Zelda on the SNES and N64.

Video games have a long history and continue to entertain new generations of kids who are growing up gaming, just like they did back in the 80s and 90s.

To celebrate video games, the team at The Monitor Monitor has put together this infographic of consoles, the number of games produced for each console, and sales numbers for the top selling games on each console.

Please note that the graphic is sorted by manufacturer, then number of games produced, not chronological order.

Enjoy!

(Infographic published with consent from The Monitor Monitor)

Video games by the numbers

Video Games by the Numbers was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News