Jack Gardner

 
Has science gone too far? Last week, KFC India uploaded a teaser for their newest innovation: Gamers Box 2.0. This strangely compelling item is a boxed meal and drink combo with half of a gaming controller protruding from either end. Customers can make use of a slot on top of the box to fix their smart phone in place and have a ready-made gaming set up along with their food. 
 

 
Despite the name, I can't find any evidence of a Gamers Box 1.0 (the only search results are for a 2004 horror film called Gamerbox 1.0). The Gamers Box 2.0 operates wirelessly with bluetooth technology, so people who obtain it can use it right out of the... right beside the.... I guess just use the box period.
 
 
There's no word on when or if the Gamers Box 2.0 will be coming to the west. Would you buy one if it did? I have to admit that I have a morbid curiosity to see what it would be like to try playing games with a box filled with chicken. I've done a lot of things in my life, but that hasn't been one of them... yet. 

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How To Use The Extra Life Email System
We try to make it as quick and pain-free as possible for you to spread the word about Extra Life and even ask for donations.  Once you log into your Extra Life account, you can take advantage of our email system to send out recruitment or donation emails to your friends and family.  A direct email sent to your contacts that expresses why you participate in Extra Life will go a long way in helping you hit your fundraising goal.  Follow the steps below to use our Email Address Import Tool to help you reach out to your donors.
 
Log into your Extra Life account (participant page) by clicking "Login" in the top right corner From your fundraising dashboard, click on Send Donor Invitations & Updates (screen shot) Click on "Import From Webmail" Choose your address book Sign into your email account. A list of your email contacts will populate. Import all contacts, personalize your message (or use the one we wrote for you), and hit send!  
If you have any issues or questions along the way about importing your email contacts, please contact us.

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Team Captain 101
So you've taken on the responsibility to be an Extra Life Team Captain - congrats! It's a big responsibility so we're here to help you along the way.  Below you will find some tips discussing everything from how to recruit new team members to motivating your mates to fundraise.  
Customize your Team Page
Similar to your individual Extra Life page, when you create a team and become the team's captain, you are also given a Team Extra Life page to manage.  Make sure you customize the Team Page with a group picture, information about your overall mission, and even set a team fundraising goal.  If you're feeling up to it, you can even customize your team page to offer special incentives for your team members (i.e. anyone on the team who raises $X will receive a personalized video of me singing Michael Jackson).  Get creative and have fun!
Rally the Troops
To people like you and me, it just makes sense to sign up for Extra Life.  We get to do what we already love doing, all while giving back to help sick and injured kids in our own communities.  Your friends, family and community members may not have heard about Extra Life and be a little hesitant to join your team, but with a little convincing (and maybe some bribery), they'll join your ranks in no time.
People are more likely to rally behind something that is for a good cause and something that you can speak passionately about.  Share with your prospective team members why you're participating in Extra Life.  Let them know why this is so important to you and ask for them to play alongside you.
Lead by Example
If you're excited about Extra Life, then your teammates will be also.  Set the course for your fundraising campaign by setting reachable goals and being active in asking for donations.  Assign fun tasks to your team members like talking to local businesses or making a social media post.  Issue challenges to bring in new team members or raise $20 over the weekend.  Every bit helps!
Connect with other Teams in your Area
Everything is more enjoyable when you have others to share it with! Visit the Extra Life Community Hub discussions to tell people about your team, ask for best practices and share ideas.  Who knows, you may recruit some new teammates while you're at it.
 
If you can't create one, join one!
Creating and managing a team seem like too much? You can always just join a team! Consider joining one our top teams on the Extra Life page or visit the Extra Life Community Hub discussions and ask if anyone is recruiting!
Always have Fun
Remember - the task you take on by joining Extra Life is a life-saving one, but it's a fun one as well! Don't take things too seriously and have a good time.  You'll be making memories not only with your teammates, but also for the kids you are helping create miracles for.
 

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Accepting Offline Donations
Do you have a donor that would rather give you cold hard cash or a check for your fundraising page? No sweat - we make it easy for you enter offline donations and send them into us to process.
 
Follow these steps to enter the donations onto your fundraising page:
Log in to your Extra Life fundraising page Click on "Donations" in the black toolbar at the top of your screen and then click "Add Offline Donations" Fill out the donor information and click the “Add Donation” button Send the donations to us!  Our mailing address is:          Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals         
         ATTN: Extra Life         
205 West 700 South         
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
 
The donations show in “Donations Received” section where they can be edited or deleted at any time. Individuals must use their own email addresses or the original donor associated with the email address will receive credit for the donation.
Offline donations entered into the system will show up on your personal page and thermometer, but will not be credited to the main event total until received and processed by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
 
For Cash Donations: For security reasons, we highly recommend that you do not mail cash. We recommend obtaining and sending a money order or cashier’s check.
 
For Check Donations: Send check donation as soon as possible so it can be deposited into your fundraising page as soon as possible.
 
If you have any issues or questions along the way, please contact us.

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Tips For A Great Game Day
The time has come. You’ve registered, recruited supporters and donors and maybe even teamed up with a crew. You’re about to Extra Life. This gaming charity event is not for the faint of heart! Team Extra Life at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals wants to help you safely and enjoyably cross the finish line.
 
Get shut-eye: A runner wouldn’t pull an all-nighter before a marathon, so don’t slack on your Z’s the night before yours. Basic motor skills (the kind you, Gamer, desperately need) and mental endurance plummet with every hour you skimp. Be just as disciplined with keeping up on your comatose state as you are perfecting your game. And remember, if you are tired... go to bed. Get up later and finish then. Drink up: Water is your new best friend. Even breathing requires H2O. Stay hydrated by keeping a nice, big 32-oz. water bottle by your side and fill it up five to six times throughout your 24—err, 25-hour trek (that’s right). Limit caffeine until you absolutely need it. That Venti cup of Joe or those Monster drinks should be a last-ditch emergency effort, not a plan of action. Nosh well: Treat your body like an engine. You wouldn’t put maple syrup in your car’s tank, so don’t put starchy, sugary, processed foods in your own. Stock up on energy-producing brain foods such as fruit, veggies, complex carbohydrates and lean protein. Keep nuts and fruit by your side instead of that family-size bag of Cheetos. Fuel your body right, and it will perform at those high speeds and long hours you need it to. Hit the pause button: Take breaks! Stretch. Walk about. Chat with a friend for a few. Powering through does not equal toughness in this game. Rest your eyes from the screen, stretch your muscles and take a jog around the block (or the house) every hour or two to get your blood flowing and keep your brain alive. Feeling sleepy? Get some zzz's. Seriously. You can always pick up where you left off after some rest. Brighten the mood: Playing in a dark room might seem cool at first, but that’s not going to fly at 4 a.m. Keeping the lights bright during the wee hours can help “trick” your brain into making less melatonin, the sleep hormone naturally produced when the lights go out. But if your body is screaming for a nap, listen to it. Join a team: Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, going it alone will have you wind up like the lone, sickly antelope at the back of the stampede. Keep up your motivation, increase your enjoyment and further your success by participating with friends and family — or strangers! Remember, you can also split all 25 hours amongst several people so consider a five hour-long party with five friends. Remember the cause: Finally, don’t forget why you’re doing this! This is 100 percent For The Kids. Revel in the fulfillment of helping sick and injured children across North America. You are saving lives, one hour at a time. Keep up the great work, and have fun! Want more tips and tricks on how to have an epic game day? Check out the community discussion right here on Community Hub.
Extra Life and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals strongly supports healthy and safe gaming. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s gaming, please visit www.cmch.tv for resources on healthy gaming habits for kids.

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Four Simple Steps to Make your Extra Life page more Effective
We've put together four simple steps to help you make your Extra Life fundraising page more appealing to prospective donors. Take 15 minutes and follow these four steps to help tell people what you're doing (Extra Life), why you're doing it (For The Kids) and who you're doing it for (your local Children's Miracle Network Hospital).
Step 1 - Say Cheese

 
Start with a picture - sounds simple right? Nothing says "you" to prospective donors more than a picture of...well...YOU! Think of your picture as your greeting and first impression. Having a nice picture at the top of your page is more inviting to your friends and family members than our logo or a picture they aren't familiar with.
 
Step 2 - Think about your goal
By default, Extra Life fundraising goals are set at $100, but since you're taking the time to read this, you're obviously no default Extra Lifer. The more your goal means to you, the more it will matter to your donors. Jeromy Adams, the founder of Extra Life, set his goal back in 2011 for $5,415; the total of $5 for every day his friend Tori spent fighting leukemia before she passed away. It was an ambitious goal and one that made him nervous, but it meant something to him.  It turned out that it meant something to his donors, too and who helped him almost DOUBLE his goal.
 
You don't need to have a personal connection to your children's hospital in order to set a good goal. Maybe you set a goal to raise $10 for every healthy year of your own childhood or a quarter for every child treated at your local children's hospital!
 
A good goal is going to help shape your entire Extra Life campaign and it's going to give you more interesting things to talk about when making your appeal to your donors. It's also going to feel much more gratifying to you when you reach and exceed your goal, too.
Step 3 - Your Story
After you have added your picture and personal goal to your fundraising page, it's time to explain why you're raising funds for your local CMN Hospital through Extra Life. Our best advice to you is to keep it simple.  
 
Have a personal story or connection to your local children's hospital? Share it with your donors.  Feel free to delete all of the default text and make this your Extra Life. You don't need to explain everything about the whole Extra Life program. Just explain who you are, what you're doing to raise money and that all of the dollars you raise will stay local in your community. You may also want to explain your fundraising goal and tell your donors how much you'd appreciate their help reaching it.
Step 4 - Add a Video
Some of the most successful Extra Life fundraisers share one common approach; they share their reason for participating in Extra Life in the form of a video.  Look back at your personal narrative, prepare a few words, look right into your cell phone camera, hit record and let er' rip!  Tell your visitors why you are playing games to heal kids.
 
You can upload your video to any popular video service like YouTube or Vimeo and then add it to your Extra Life fundraising page.  Feel free to share it on your social media pages, too!  If you have time, consider updating your video regularly as you get closer to the day of the Extra Life event, tracking your progress and sharing your excitement about the people who donated to your campaign.
 
Here is some amazing video from Extra Life United 2017.
 
We might not all have stories like his, but we do have a story. Whether you know someone treated at a CMN Hospital or are just thankful for having been lucky enough to never step inside a children's hospital, what matters most is that you're genuinely sharing your story, your feelings and your mission with your donors.
 
That's it - you've done it! If you followed the steps above, you've set yourself up for a successful Extra Life year.  Now it's time to play games, heal kids.
 
Have an awesome layout from a previous year? No problem! Import your page from a previous year! 

Marcus Stewart

 
For years, I’ve curiously eyed Farming Simulator as an intriguing oddity. Unlike more whimsical takes on farming like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley, this series presents the profession in a realistic light. I used to wonder “Who wants spend hours cutting grass and driving a slow tractor in a boring, real world?” I doubt I’m alone in that thinking, and while outsiders may laugh at Farming Simulator, the series boasts a strong and dedicated following of players more than happy to sow and reap the digital fruits of their labor. What about these games appeals to the fanbase? 
 
I had an opportunity to unleash some of my long-burning questions to Martin Ravo, PR representative at developer Giants Software. In turn, I gained some insight about the staff’s cultivating background and the franchise’s unique fansbase of actual farmers. We also touched on how real-world agricultural advances could affect the series’ future. 
 
So I've always wondered. How do you guys go about choosing what new crops to add? What separates one crop from another in terms of which is more interesting to grow? Is it the type of location where it needs to be grown or the method that goes into growing it? 
 
Martin Ravo: There are various factors, actually. Of course, we get feedback from our community. We also see where people are playing. We usually add new maps to the game with expansions over the new game, and then it might make sense to have the crops in there that fit with the new environment. 
 
Of course, it's also the amount of time we need to implement it. Because let's say you put a completely different new crop in there, and we don't have the equipment for it. Then you also need to add the equipment, which makes things a bit more complicated. So let's say for the sunflowers. We put them in and you use similar equipment for what we already had, but you have different headers for the harvesters, so we had to add these too. So it's not just the crops. It's other things that are coming with the crops, so we have to consider this. 
 
On the other hand, if you wanted to include new equipment, [then] that could also be one of the factors. Like, "hey, this thing looks cool, let's put it in the game," but then let's say it's a harvester for some other crop that we don't have in the game yet - then we would need to add the crop. So it kind of goes hand in hand. It's location [and] community. We could think that maybe we want to focus on a different community for a different area because the game is, by now, like a worldwide phenomenon. So we have Eastern Europe and Scandinavia [with] Europe our strongest market. United States, South America, Australia; people are playing it everywhere. Also Asia, we're also there. Eventually, we would like to get something in the game for everyone. But one step after another.
 

 
And speaking about that phenomenon. What do you think it is about Farming Simulator that grabs people? Because I always feel like from the outside looking in you kind of look at it and you're like "Well why would I want to do that?" But I hear so many people say that when you pick it up and you start playing, there's something about it that just grabs you. What do you think that is about the series?
 
Ravo: Again, I think there are various things. You feel rewarded very quickly. You start playing it and then [maybe] you realize how you have to do something, then instantly you're like "oh cool, now I know how to do it so now I'm going to go on and maybe do the whole field." And then you sell your crops; you get money; and then you go, "what am I going to do with this money now?" You spend it or you think about how to spend it. It's kind of a constant flow, and you also don't have a lot of negative emotions. It's not like as in some other games where you feel frustrated because you lost or something like that. 
 
There's kind of almost a relaxation factor to a degree of like "Oh, I just got my farm. I can just plant these things..."
 
Ravo: You're going with the flow.
 
Yeah. It’s rewarding but you can just kind of chill out.
 
Ravo: Yeah. There's actually one example that I had here at E3 where some guy said he wouldn't ever really consider himself as a gamer that much. He's here at E3, but still. He said "you know, I don't play that much. I'm not really like the typical gamer." Then he told me he played the game [for] 400 hours. So you don't consider yourself a gamer? And I think there's kind of a group that are not really seen as gamers by other companies or maybe by the media, but they do like to play video games now. It's [a different kind of] video games. Not the games that have been known for years, but they also like to play games. And they enjoy [Farming Simulator]. They don't want to mess with other players, play online, and get defeated or beaten by the computer.

Kill things.
 
Ravo: Yeah. They do enjoy video games, but a different style of game. And of course the third group [that loves Farming Simulator] are the farmers. We have a lot of farmers who play, people who grew up on a farm, and they love the tractors and all the other machines. That's also why we work closely with all the manufacturers [of farming equipment]. We have over 80 brands licensed so far, and we try to recreate them as authentically as possible with good graphics and parts that are moving so that everyone who knows these tractors can be proud of them. "oh, this is a tractor I always wanted on my farm and I can now play it in game, I really don't have the money for it," it's like in the racing games when you buy a big sports car, and then you go on the racetrack. You couldn't do that in real life. But here in Farming Simulator, as a farmer, you can also try out different tractors and kind of find your favorite tractor. 
 

 
Are the manufacturers of the equipment super involved? Do you have to always go back to them to make sure the tractor feels the way its supposed to and they go, "okay, that's right," or, "you need to fix this, this isn't quite right?”
 
Ravo: It's more about the visuals. I’m not so much involved with it... but when it comes to how they look like, we're really in a constant dialogue with them. For example, I work for PR marketing, so when we do screenshots in early versions and suddenly someone notices that there's a sticker or a logo missing where it should be on the machine or there's one part that is sticking out a bit or maybe even they've changed the machine. That also happened. We put the machine in the game, and then the manufacturer changed the machine afterwards and we're like, "oh we can't release it like that because it doesn't look like that anymore." So we got feedback from them and then we removed that part and changed it so it looks like the machine when it actually came out. So it's more about the visuals. When it comes to the handling, I would say the only way they could give feedback is when playing the game.
 
Do they ever come in to playtest and see how it feels?
 
Ravo: Yeah because to be honest, we're kind of tuning the machines up to the launch because it's a long process. So if you would play them [a] month before the game comes out, they would feel sluggish anyways. So it's like just right before launch basically when the machines get tuned and we fix them. But in general, I think they are quite happy with how the machines feel in the game. It's more about the visual aspect and we really need to work closely with them.
 
Does anyone on the team get to drive any of the real machines? For research purposes?

Ravo: Yeah, of course. And not just for research. I mean, a lot of our employees were actually farmers or they come from a farming background. Some were modders before; farmers that modded their favorite tractor into the game. Sometimes we reach out to them and [get them to] work for us. So we have several people with a farming background. Not just a handful- it's actually probably more than 50% that do know a lot about farming and they've been on a farm or their parents were farmers. So that's where we also get some feedback. 
 
That's an interesting little scene that I don't think a lot of people aware about: gaming farmers. I don’t think many people would put those two together even though why not? Why wouldn't a farmer want to play video games? Especially now in this modern generation, younger farmers grow up with video games. That's interesting to me.
 
Ravo: To be honest, I think there are a lot of farmers out there, let's say all of them, generally, [that] love their job. Or I would hope that people love their job, not just farmers but everyone. They love farming, they are farmers because they love it, and that's also how we want to treat them with the game. I think when the game came out, a lot of people were kind of smiling and laughing like “what? A game about farmers?" But farmers do take their jobs seriously, and we also take the game seriously. They know that when they play the game. It's something they can be proud of because the machines are recreated in authentic way. 
 
Also, the workflow itself: cultivating, harvesting, all these kinds of things; they treat the genre with respect. It's the same with other games too. I always say football players play football games, soldiers play combat games, soccer players play soccer games. It's their job, why would they [want to] play in the evening? Because the game [is] fun, and they know something about it. It's the same with the farming game. If you put a farmer in front of Farming Simulator, he knows what he has to do. Someone else has to kind of work his way through it first. So they just sit down and they can relax and it doesn't feel like work for them.
 

 
It's the best case of, "oh, I can actually do this work without actually having to physically go out there and bust my butt trying to get the job done." And it's cool for newcomers, people who have never been on a farm. Do you guys have a big fanbase of people saying, "hey, I don't know what that's like at all and this is my only real window into that world because I don't have a farm or I've never seen one?" Because I feel like farming’s become less and less in the public perception a little bit. And this kind of brings that to the forefront, at least in video games, for younger players.
 
Ravo: I think you mean there's a lot of players who learn a lot about farming who play our game. We do simulate things. Even I learned a lot about the processes and the workflow. Like how to make silage, when to make it, and get told off when I use a plow on the wrong side when I [make] a screenshot. Then I'll ask them, my co-workers, “okay, why would we use it like that?" and then I understand it better. And I think [there's] a lot of things you can learn about, and it's quite an interesting topic, actually: how the farming industry is changing at the moment. 
 
There's a lot more technology getting into the machines. Tractors are almost robots by now, to be honest with you. I imagine this robotic alien, we place so much technology in there. But then again, it's not just about pressing a few buttons. You have to know a lot [about] how to optimize your yield or which height you actually have to harvest. Weather, for example, is also something [along with] GPS-controlled tractors. There's so much going on in the genre. It's going to be interesting for the next few years even with our game because of course we also keep track of all these things. 
 
Is that something you keep in mind? You're always having to pay attention to the industry as it evolves to try with every new entry to have it as relevant as possible. And with things becoming more mechanized, do you think it's an issue of players not being able to hop into a tractor and drive it around anymore because eventually you just hit a button and just kind of program it to do its thing? If manual labor in general becomes less of a thing?

Ravo: It could be. I don't know, I would have to talk to the guys who know more about the industry itself, but that's kind of what I see right now. Technology [is] being used more and more in all these machines and we have to see where it goes. I mean generally, it's assisting a lot, it also increases productivity usually. But what I just saw recently, we also have like farm days where we also get to try out these tractors for example...
 
You go to a farm?
 
Ravo: Yeah. And it's not that easy. It's easy in our game to drive a tractor than it is in real life. And what I'll say is I still have a lot of respect–”still” is the wrong word–I would say I have even more respect for farmers now after playing the game and then reading up on what they actually have to know. And the thing is, to them, it's not a game. It's their life, and their income depends on what they do. If you do something wrong, you get less harvest and you get less income. So it is really vital for them to know all of these kind of things. It's just insane what you have to know as a farmer, to be honest. 
 
So what would you say to someone that's never played Farming Simulator and has always been curious? What would you describe as the hook to get them interested?
 
Ravo: I would just say if you want to have a good time and relax, give it a try. Because the one thing I really like about the game is that it doesn't tell you what you have to do. You make the decisions. You decide what you want to do next. You decide the pace you want to go with. Nothing really stresses you out, and that's like something I would say like you would give it a try and then you will feel like instantly getting pulled in. 
 
A memory that I always have is when I wanted to catch up with an old friend of mine, an ex-colleague from another company. I said, "hey, let's have a Skype chat!" and he said, "well, you work [on] Farming Simulator now, right?" and I was like, "yeah, I do. We can do Skype but we can also do Farming Simulator at the same time.” Turns out he had already played it like 80 hours and that evening his plan was to mow some grass for the cows and I could help him with that. So we ended up doing a chat on Skype and mowing grass at the same time. He mowed the grass, I picked it up, and we fed his cows and suddenly three hours were gone. So you can have a good time with friends in the evening. You can have 16-player multiplayer and you don't have to beat each other all the time. You just have fun together.
 
 
If you want to flex your green thumb and till the fields, you can pick up Farming Simulator 18 now for Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, iOS, and Android. Farming Simulator 17 is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. 
 
This interview has been edited for clarity. 

Naomi N. Lugo

 

Immediately, Strange Brigade establishes the kind of game it wants to be. There’s a delightful narrator guiding your way and describing the various baddies you’re about to face. Those enemies materialize in the form of a deluge of classic movie/Skull Island monsters. Our heroes fight threats to civilization itself in a 1930’s “safari into danger.” It’s marvelously over the top and an homage to the films of yesteryear and adventure itself.
 
At E3 2017 I got the chance to demo Strange Brigade in its early form. While playing, I spoke with the the developers about the film influences behind it as well as the tone they were going for. Movie series like Indiana Jones and The Mummy were cited, as well as the bold stylings of Saturday Matinee. Strange Brigade is not meant to be taken too seriously, and the devs stressed the mix of action, comedy and spookiness to create the ongoing atmosphere of an "upbeat action adventure."
 
 
The map I played had a mixture of ruins with tombs and a whole lot of mummies and other undead. Puzzle elements were present with secret areas with extra loot to be found. Gameplay will be enjoyable for those well versed in taking on many enemies and finding creative ways to destroy waves of ‘em. I played solo, but could see the appeal of co-op.
 
Strange Brigade may prove to be a game without any extraordinarily unique features, but the attention to aesthetic detail will keep it fun. It’s thoroughly charming, and the focus on co-op for up to four players will extend its playability.
 
We don’t have a release date yet for Strange Brigade, but it will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. 

Jack Gardner

 
In 2009 casual gaming was gaining steam. Flash games were all the rage, mobile was taking off, and Zynga was the new hotness with Farmville dominating Facebook. Then, as the year was drawing to a close, a small development team in Finland with 51 games games under its belt released what might possibly be their final game: Angry Birds. We all know what happened after that. 
 
Angry Birds has been downloaded and played over one billion times - ONE BILLION! With numbers like that we have to ask the question seriously: Is Angry Birds one of the best games period?
 
Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative.     Outro music: Bad Piggies 'Rise of the Piggies' by OC/DC (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03335)   You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it!
 
If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod 
 
New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday

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July has come and gone! With less than 100 days until Game Day, we've started rolling out a few fundraising power ups, including the exclusive Extra Life Platinum t-shirt. We’ve also released new improvements to mobile fundraising - you’ll be able to do more with the Facebook and mobile apps and personalized email signatures than ever before! 
Extra Life | Trove Pack
We want to give a big shout out to everyone who helped us raise money by purchasing or spreading the word about the Trove Mega Menagerie Pack that benefitted Extra Life. Because of you, Trion Worlds is donating a total of $40,000 For The Kids! That’s freakin’ incredible! 
 

Fundraising Power Ups
We’re constantly adding new things to the Extra Life experience and are happy to announce that a few of our fundraising power ups are now LIVE! The Extra Life phone case and platinum t-shirt are exclusive items only available to our fundraising all-stars. Check out the complete list of fundraising power ups here! We'll be adding more power ups soon!
 

 
Game Day is Less than 100 Days Away
Now that we are inside the 100 day sprint to Game Day, remember that it’s never too early to start fundraising or recruit team members. Get started now! Every minute, 62 kids are walking into the doors of our hospitals – let's make sure they have the resources to provide the best treatment possible. Can you set a goal to raise $10 per week between   now and Game Day?
 

 
New Mobile Fundraising Tools
We’ve made some improvements to the Extra Life mobile fundraising toolkit! Make sure you check out the mobile app, Facebook app, and brand new ‘email badge’ that generates a LIVE thermometer in all of your emails. You can view them by logging into the participant dashboard or downloading the app from the app stores (iOS and Android). 
 

Miracle Treat Day
 
Huge thanks to all of the Extra Lifers in the United States who made it out to their local Dairy Queen to celebrate #MiracleTreatDay on July 27. $1 or more from every blizzard purchased was donated to your local CMN Hospital. Canadian Extra Lifers, your chance to get in on this sweet action is August 10! Visit MiracleTreatDay.ca for more information!
 

 
The Extra Life community has been coming together in a truly wonderful way in 2017. You’re showing the world what makes Extra Life so great, whether that’s by getting a friend into your Game Day shenanigans or by surpassing your fundraising goal and gunning for more. Let’s all keep that energy going by pushing forward for fun, fellowship, and – as always….
 
For The Kids,
 
Mike, Liz, Lou & Jeromy
Team Extra Life
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
 

Jack Gardner

 
Tomasz Wacławek, the creator of the stylish, turn-based Ronin, has released a new game that draws heavily on Dark Souls while using an open, inviting aesthetic. Immortal Planet places players in the shoes of an ancient warrior who emerges from cryosleep with no memories only to find an entire planet full of immortal sentinels. In order to escape this tomb world, players will have to make use of spells, special items, and carefully timed attacks. Survival depends on unearthing as many mysteries and secrets as possible.
 

 
Wacławek describes Immortal Planet as “a love letter to Dark Souls” in that players will live, die, and repeat, but in a manner that's enjoyable. The main hook of this action RPG is the ability to see an enemy's stamina. Timing attacks when enemies lack stamina and are vulnerable is the key to succeeding in the frozen halls of Wacławek's world. Levels are designed with shortcuts and progression in mind, much like the Souls-Borne series, so players won't have to memorize entire areas by rote in order to make it through. 
 
Oh, and each area will feature a challenging boss that go through multiple transformations to truly test every player's mettle. 
 
 
Immortal Planet is available now on PC. 

Jack Gardner

 
Last week, the NeoGAF community spotted something peculiar. Nintendo had filed a trademark in Europe for something that looks exactly like an N64 controller. Not only that, but the image appears to be in the same style as the minimalist versions found on NES and SNES Classic packaging. The filing even lists "video game apparatus" several times pertaining to the trademark's purpose. This trademark filing seems to indicate that Nintendo has plans to launch a miniaturized version of the N64, possibly as soon as next year.
 
Take this with a grain of salt, however. When it came to the SNES Classic, rumors spread only a couple of months before its announcement. This trademark, if it is for a future N64 Classic, would be a tremendously early sign of something that might not even be confirmed until June of 2018. 
 
There has been some speculation that the trademark might be for the release of more N64 titles via digital distribution. That doesn't quite line up with the wording of the trademark which seems to imply a physical device.  
 
The SNES Classic releases September 29 and will ship new units until the end of 2017. After that, if this trademark is accurate and the pattern from this year holds, Nintendo will shift production over to the N64 Classic. 
 
What do you think? Would you be as excited for an N64 Classic as the previous two micro consoles from Nintendo?