Jo Ellen
After the completion of the 4th annual Extra Life United event, my family and I are in awe of all the Extra Life community has accomplished. I wanted to write and share this note on behalf of the Enmon family.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Extra Life GAMERS! Somehow these words just do not seem to be adequate enough to thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for Extra Life. The amount of money that was raised this year was phenomenal – Eleven million plus is just amazing. We never could have dreamt that “the little girl from Orange, Texas would leave such an amazing legacy”.  
 
Our family had such a wonderful time meeting so many new gamers, returning gamers, spectators, and their families at Extra Life United at Children's Hospitals Week.
 
What a year for amazing things to happen - raising eleven million plus dollars in 2017; raising $40,000 at Extra Life United leaving Jeromy Adams speechless on stage, as well as having in attendance a Cow, Fairy, Unicorn, Dinosaur, a bottle of Hot sauce and many illuminating hairstyles! WOW just WOW, all of this and more will be cherished and remembered.
 
 
 
As we reminisce about the past years, we cannot help but continue to thank Jeromy Adams and his family for his Dream!  What a dream ride it has been and continues to be! We can only imagine what the future will hold for Extra Life and #forthekids.

 
 
We want to send a great big THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts to Liz, Mike, Lou, Jeromy and staff for planning such a wonderful event. To Tori’s Angels, we say THANK YOU, for providing your expertise to the process and to the event to ensure that it ran smoothly.
 
Our family has discussed the event in great detail and we have an announcement. This year the Enmon Family will be awarding  ELU Scholarships to applicants, to help defer some cost of the Extra Life United / Children's Hospitals Week trip in 2019! We hope that by helping in different ways, that perhaps some of the burden will be lifted for those who may otherwise be unable to make it to ELU in 2019. We will keep you posted as details become available.
 
Thank you again for all of the love you continue to give to our family.
 
Victor & Jo Ellen Enmon
Christin & Justin Hommel, Corbin and Adilyn
James and Stormy Enmon




LeaveIt2Beaver
Hey Extra Life Community -
 
We have some exciting news to share! In an effort to help make fundraising more fun, more accessible and ultimately easier, we’ve added two new applications to the Extra Life experience. Now you can fundraise through Facebook or on the go from your phone!
 

Extra Life Facebook App
Fundraising has never been quicker or easier than with the new Extra Life Facebook App. It installs in just a few seconds and allows you to opt-in to automatic status updates, upload Extra Life profile and cover pictures and ask your entire Facebook network for donations in just a few clicks. To start fundraising through the Extra Life Facebook App, login to to your Extra Life account, and click "Fundraise with Facebook" in the participant dashboard.
 

 
Extra Life Mobile App
Manage and share your Extra Life experience on the go with our new Extra Life mobile app. This free app lets you fundraise and connect with others through SMS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Email. You can update your Extra Life page and check your fundraising progress all from the palm of your hand.

Download the app here: iPhone | Android
 
We’ve also spent the last couple of months improving the mobile experience on the Extra Life website so give the new apps a try. We want to hear what you think so send any feedback and ideas to community@extra-life.org or comment below and let us know!
For The Kids,

Mike Kinney
Team Extra Life
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Jack Gardner
Growing out of a prototype conceived for the Super Nintendo, Super Mario 64 hit the gaming landscape like a thunderbolt of Italian stereotypes in 1996. Shigeru Miyamoto had managed to push back the launch of the Nintendo 64 from its prime holiday release window in 1995 to give a handful of precious months to finish development on Super Mario 64. It was a massive gamble, but the release delivered a landmark example on how to create a 3D platformer on consoles that shaped generations of games and gamers. 
 
Looking back on it over two decades later, can Super Mario 64 still be considered one of the best games period or has time taken its toll?
 
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: Super Mario 64 'Toadstool's Groove' by Tetrimino (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03215)
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is 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
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Runbow pits up to nine players against one another online in variety of game modes that use color to create and destroy platforms in a variety of interesting ways. the general premise can be summed up in the phrase, "if you can't see it, it doesn't exist." Waves of color splash across the screen and the platforms that match the current screen color vanish until the next color sweeps the stage. It's a simple premise, but the execution makes it special.
 
While up to nine players can play together online at one time, the Switch version of Runbow supports up to eight players in local co-op with the PlayStation 4 supporting four players. Together, players can compete in Run, Arena, or King of the Hill modes in either private games with friends or open your party up to other players from around the world. 
 
Runbow also has a single-player Adventure mode with over 140 different levels that take players on a quest to save Poster District from the villain Satura. A separate challenge mode is available that has players swallowed by a gigantic creature and attempting an escape from the beast's colorful innards. Both modes can be tackled solo or with friends.  
 
The more players splash around in the colorful world of Runbow, the more fun stuff they can unlock. In addition to concept art and costumes, there are 19 unlockable guest characters, including Shovel Knight, CommanderVideo, Shantae, and Lilac.
 
 
While Runbow originally released in 2015 on the Wii U and PC (as well as last year in 2017 for Xbox One), the Switch and PlayStation 4 versions have had a bit of a bumpy road to release. The Headup Games and 13AM Games teams have apologized and pushed back the release date that has yet to be specified. The two studios stated that the delay was to spend more time optimizing the game for each respective system. The delay is "just a matter of weeks" according to the developers, so hopefully it doesn't leave too many people flustered. 

Jack Gardner
Neutronized might not be a huge name in the gaming industry, but they've been steadily working on quirky, interesting projects since 2010 from their Italy-based studio. In 2016, they released a cat-focused platformer called Super Cat Tales for iOS (or Super Cat Bros. on Android). Super Cat Tales drew heavily from the heyday of 90s platformers with many people drawing parallels between the mobile title and the high points of that generation like Super Mario World and Kirby's Dream Land 3. Professional reviews, like those from Touch Arcade, gave the game perfect scores with headlines like "Don't Paws, Play This Nya-ow."
 
Super Cat Tales was about Alex the cat on an adventure to reunite with his siblings. The sequel stars Alex and company taking on the evil Lord Iridium and his army of tin soldiers that have attacked Neko Land with a fleet of clockwork airships. The robotic forces of Lord Iridium seek a special metal hidden within the feline's planet and is rumored to be the power that holds the entire world together. Using the different powers and abilities of the various cats that join Alex in his fight, players must traverse the world and thwart Iridium's plans before the invasion destroys everything.
 
Is it really any surprise that the bigger, richer sequel to a highly praised title would be even more impressive? The team at Neutronized have upped their game visually and the trailer really showcases that change. As players progress through an overworld filled with stages from various lands, they'll encounter a variety of new mechanics and situations. At one point, the trailer shows the grizzled cat Sergeant McMeow piloting a clockwork tank through a robotic factory.    
 
Overall, Super Cat Tales 2 just looks like a really good time, and you should keep an eye on it.
 
 
Super Cat Tales 2 will release sometime in 2018 for iOS and Android.

Jack Gardner
All aboard the HMCS Britannic for a foray into madness courtesy of the mysterious Mr. X. The ship has all the modern conveniences as well as the ability to fly and travel through time. Also, any one of the other guests might be out to kill you. Looks can be deceiving in Murderous Pursuits, a game of refinement, role-playing, and, of course, MURDER.
 
Murderous Pursuits puts players into a given section of the Britannic with up to seven of their friends who have taken the identities of other ship guests. Without drawing too much attention to yourself either from ship guards or other players, each guest must hunt down and kill their rivals in creative and sneaky ways. Of course, you should try not to make too much of a scene, since it might draw the attention of the guest stalking your trail. Take your time to explore the space, find insane (but concealable) weapons, and find the right time and place for your target's demise. 
 
Developer Blazing Griffin will be launching the game next week, but hopes that the open beta they have planned for this weekend can help iron out any remaining wrinkles in their game. The beta will begin tomorrow, April 20, at 7pm EST/4pm PST and run until Sunday, April 22, at 12am  EST/9pm PST. You can install the beta client from the title's Steam page. 
 
 
Murderous Pursuits releases for PC on April 26.

Jack Gardner
Frostpunk gives players the task of guiding the growth and survival of New London, the last city on Earth. In order to survive in the face of an unending winter that has largely wiped out humanity across the globe, the final remnants of the human race have turned to using the power of steam. 
 
Starting from a collection of shelters in a somewhat sheltered valley, players guide New London to greatness and sustainability by managing the expansion of the city, deciding on the policies regarding food, water, and the most precious resource of all: heat. Players will be responsible for deciding how heat is distributed throughout their city, a power that can mean the difference between life and death. 
 
As the city grows, more conflicts and problems will arise from the general population. Players will have to establish laws and policies that govern the populace. Do you prioritize healthcare or building maintenance? Do you make sure everyone is fed even at the cost of increasing police presence? 
 
Another wrinkle on top of everything else, the population has to have hope. Everyone in New London is well aware of the precarious nature of their survival. The more desperate the situation becomes, the less hope people have and the more likely the city is to revolt or have various problems. As players progress, small decisions will add up and lead to decision points that will alter the entirety of society forever. How far is too far to maintain order and stability in a city that represents the last shot at the survival of the species?
 
Once players advance to a certain technological level they can explore the surrounding world by sending out expeditions into the blinding frozen wastes. These are risky endeavors that could go down in flames and ice or discover a treasure trove of new citizens, technology, or resources. It can be hard to get society to that higher tech level, but the higher end of the tech tree brings automated drones and airships that can be a huge boon to New London.
 
 
Frostpunk releases on April 24 for PC .

Jack Gardner
Surprising most of the world, MapleStory's recently announced sequel, MapleStory 2, won't be a deep dive into the sticky situations of the Canadian syrup industry. Many expected that the sequel to the long-running, free-to-play MMORPG would abandon its side-scrolling roots for a more serious look at the syrup allegory hidden within the maple-flavored heart of its setting. However, the sugary spirit Nexon has presented in the sequel's trailer seems to be quite different from what some were expecting. 
 
Instead, MapleStory 2 will focus on crafting and advancement in social prestige while bringing the series into 3D. Of course, this doesn't mean that all vestiges of the once cutting syrup exposé originally suspected by certain segments of the public will be absent. The name itself hews closely to the original, and the series retains the lighthearted and colorful nature that always spoke of the deliciousness of pancakes or french toast lavished in syrupy goodness. True, that particular style might be drawing more from Minecraft than the mechanical underbelly of the syrup industry, but it's certainly more tonally consistent with the wider whole of MapleStory 2 than what we can only imagine would have been an increasingly dark journey into the depths of corporate cover-ups and staggering quantities of embezzled syrup. 
 
 
MapleStory 2 looks adorable and fun regardless of what one might have expected prior to the announcement. Players can sign up for the beta until May 6, and the beta itself will run from May 9-16.

Jack Gardner
Square Enix continues the trickle of Kingdom Hearts III news with a new trailer that shows off a collection of mini-games based on the handheld LCD systems that were popular in the 80s. Players take on the role of Sora and Mickey as they complete various tasks related to original Mickey Mouse cartoons from back in the day. 
 
The trailer shows four different mini-games titled The Barnyard Battle, The Karnival Kid, Giantland, and Musical Farmer, respectively. 
 
 
The Classic Kingdom trailer comes courtesy of the Kingdom Hearts Union X fan event being held in Anaheim, California. 
 
Kingdom Hearts III will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The release date has not officially been revealed quite yet, though there are hints that it could be coming sooner rather than later. I'd put money on us learning that information sometime during E3 2018. 
 

Jack Gardner
Pokémon Go released in 2016 as part of a collaboration between Nintendo and Niantic Labs, a game developer that grew out of a Google initiative designed to explore the potential uses of the technology used to create Google Maps. The mobile phone game caused an unprecedented fervor in the general public, gaining a worldwide following in the hundreds of millions. Though plagued by technical issues at release, becoming the subject of criticism for the public behavior of the player base, and botching some high profile events, Pokémon Go continues to receive updates and has maintained a consistent base of support from around 65 million people. 
 
Given the sweeping social impact Pokémon Go had, would it be fair to call it 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: Pokémon Silver 'Lucky Coin' by Schtiffles (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03476)
 
Kevin Slackie can be found on Twitter @KSlackie talking about game design and meeting Ray Wise.
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is 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

Marcus Stewart
Sixty seconds. That’s how long each life lasts in Minit, a unique title that puts a spin on Zelda-esque design using devious time management. As a hero doomed to exist in one-minute intervals, players must make the most of their time to unravel the mysteries of the black and white world. Though the experience winds up being as brief as the title suggests, it's time well spent. 
 
Beginning each life at the hero’s house, the goal is to explore as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Once time expires, the character dies and players restart back home. Exploring far off areas only to be kicked back to the beginning sounds restrictive, but I loved the fun sense of urgency this creates. A satisfying feeling of accomplishment arises in trying to quickly map out the world. The best reward, though, comes in obtaining new equipment. 
 
Items such as a sword that cuts through obstructing bushes or speed-boosting shoes save precious seconds. They also open up previously inaccessible areas, creating new routes to hasten treks. Life may be fleeting, but thankfully progress is permanent; each new item becomes an lasting part of the inventory. That means that despite repeatedly starting anew, significant gains are made. The relief in finding a breakthrough tool with just seconds to spare can be exhilarating.  
 

 
Minit’s most inventive aspects directly play into its time limit. One elderly NPC takes ages to reveal the location of a secret spot. To allow time to read his full message, players must find a faster way to reach him. Another segment involves finding a character’s lost credit card by playing a cute game of “hot and cold”. Though the entire game acts as a race against the clock, I would have liked to see more situations that more directly, and creatively, challenge player speed. Minit’s puzzles are perfectly acceptable, though few stand out as anything special. 
 
The final boss stands as my biggest gripe in terms of not taking advantage of the timer. Though a solid fight, it ignores the game’s urgency by allowing players to restart at the exact spot in the fight that they died. Not to armchair design, but can’t help but feel the boss should instead be dropped by a single, tough-to-find weakness that you only get one minute to uncover. 
 
Though Minit hides a decent amount of side content that players must go out of their way to find (including a secret-laden dungeon), the critical path ends much sooner than I would have liked. In fact, there’s no indication that the end is near until the boss falls and the credits roll. Maybe this premise would lose steam in a longer game, but I can’t help but feel Minit wrapped up when it was just hitting its stride. 
 
This brevity does highlight Minit’s lack of a real story. The game begins, you assist random folks who sort of point the way, then then defeat a final foe you didn’t know existed until it appeared. That’s barely a complaint, though, as a narrative was the last thing I cared about with this game. 
 
 
Conclusion:
 
Every bite-sized run through Minit is an engrossing endeavor. The time limit creates an effective hook that makes an otherwise solid adventure more engaging. However, the short length,  inconsistent use of the clock, and sparse storytelling sometimes makes Minit feel like a neat proof-of-concept rather than a fully realized game. Despite these complaints, I had a good time–even if it lasted as long as my hero’s lifespan. 
 

Jack Gardner
Look, it's not a big story, but it's not every day that a developer sends a picture of a golden toilet to your inbox. 
 
At Rezzed, the London-based game industry event, developer Two Point revealed the exclusive item that people who sign up for their (free) promotional Hospital Pass. That item was, of course, a solid gold bowl of glory and bowel movements. The item has been a secret since Two Point Hospital's announcement back in January. 
 
To unlock the golden toilet, prospective players will need to log onto the Two Point Hospital website, sign up for Hospital Pass, and buy the game at launch. After that, the toilet of dreams can be a part of your fictional hospital. 
 
Two Point Hospital is the spiritual successor to Theme Hospital designed by the people who made the original with more creative freedom than ever before. It takes a comedic approach to sickness and making people well with a variety of fictional maladies and treatments. The entire production has a Wallace and Gromit aesthetic that's immediately pleasing and amusing. 
 
 
Two Point Hospital will release sometime later this year for PC.