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Marcus Stewart
Take one glance at Terrorarium by Stitch Media, and it’s impossible not to think of Nintendo’s Pikmin. Both games share a similar premise with a lone traveler utilizing an armada of diminutive aliens to overcome obstacles. Terrorarium veers left, though, by encouraging the willful destruction of your cute companions as opposed to building their numbers. The result almost feels like a spoof of Shigeru Miyamoto’s lovable plant buddies that, with time, could become a respectable counterpart. 
 
Players control the Gardener, an elderly, and perhaps sadistic, woman in command of an army of tiny creatures called Moogu. These cute critters can be gathered together, told to wait, and lobbed at obstacles. Moogu come in a variety of types sporting unique abilities. Gassy Moogu, for example, can inflate themselves to allow the player to float. Spicy Moogu ignite flammable objects such as wood and plantlife. Two types of Moogu can be carried at a time, with additional types coming from eating the fruit of Moogu trees.  
 

 
While Pikmin values building items and growing an army, Terrorarium revels in the concept of self destruction. Stages usually require players to sacrifice Moogu, whether it be using them to trigger explosive vegetables or offering a set amount to the end-level tree. When Moogu die, the remaining horde use the corpses to spawn new Moogu. That means you’ll need to intentionally slaughter Moogu in order to get more of them. End-game messages reinforce this theme by teasingly asking the player how many Moogu died for their success or outright calling them monsters. 
 
Just because death is often the answer doesn’t mean you should completely throw caution to the wind. If Moogu multiply too much, their large numbers will overwhelm the player which leads to Game Over. A meter on top of the screen represents the maximum number of Moogu allowed per stage. Thus, Terrorium becomes a balancing act of skillfully growing and depleting Moogu supply.  
 

 
Stages present a series of environmental puzzles to overcome. Some obstacles can only be traversed by the Gardener or the Moogu. One stage featured two routes: one filled with water while the other was a spike pit. The Gardener can cross water but Moogu cannot. Conversely, spike pits are a no-go to players but a non-issue to Moogu. The solution came in having the Moogu wait on the edge of the spiked path while I crossed the water to the other side. I then beckoned the Moogu across the spikes to the end goal. Most of the introductory stages I played were similarly easy and decently entertaining. One of the more devious levels forced me to continually sacrifice Spicy Moogu by tossing them into a long series of spiked logs. Corpses piled up in a hurry, and since Moogu are attracted to corpses, I had to reach the end faster than the Moogu could reproduce.
 
Terrorarium’s 20+ stages aren’t the most visually interesting (especially compared to Pikmin’s charming “little person in a giant world” theme), but players can build their own in the Maker Mode. The editor puts all of the game’s assets at player’s fingertips with levels being made from scratch or from three presets: Mountain, Dungeon, and Sprint. Mountain stages are designed to be tougher from the outset. Dungeon focuses on more complicated, puzzle-like layouts. Lastly, Sprint levels encourage speedy playthroughs. Creations can be uploaded to Steam Workshop where other homemade stages can be downloaded to play. The easy-to-use tools make slapping levels together a breeze, and players can instantly hop in them for quick test runs. 
 
 
Terrorarium taps into some of Pikmin’s magic but seems to differentiate itself enough to stand on its own. The premise has potential, so hopefully the later stages ratchet up the challenge and creativity. I’d also like to see additional types of Moogu added to the final game as there’s only a handful at the moment. 
 
Terrorarium is currently for sale in Steam Early Access with a release date to be announced at a later time. 
 
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
Extra Life has had a busy couple of weeks between keeping on top of RTX, VidCon, and most recently San Diego Comic-Con. We were able to set up our booth just outside of the Esports Gaming Lounge in the Marriot Marquis Ballroom. This positioning gave us the opportunity to reach out to the hundreds of visitors visiting the lounge area to participate in open gaming and organized play. The event was sponsored by State Farm, HyperX, Team Liquid, and Mixer with production by Greenlit Content and Rekt Global. The streamed events from the Esports Gaming Lounge averaged about 16,000 viewers per day. 
 
As you might imagine, the team had their hands full keeping on top of everything. Thankfully, we had the assistance of the San Diego Extra Life guild and their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, Rady Children's Hospital. From the start of the event until it wrapped up, their hard work brought in almost 400 new participants for Extra Life 2019! The cast and showrunners of SYFY's Van Helsing also stopped by to say hello and learn a bit more about what Extra Life does. It was pretty surreal seeing and talking Extra Life with actors like Aleks Paunovic and Jennifer Cheon as well as showrunner Jonathan Walker. It was crazy exciting! 
 

 
Extra Life had a stream going for the duration of Comic-Con that went from 10am - 5pm each day. In total, with the help of our guild members, Extra Life managed to raise over $10,000 USD in donations from the stream alone. Not only that, but we raised a bit shy of $2,000 USD from Mixer Embers, or chat donations, during the stream. Some of the event's biggest donors were State Farm, who generously donated $5000 USD and Team ShackNews who gave $1,337 USD all going to help sick and injured kids across the United States and Canada. All told, we managed to raise over $12,000 while streaming at San Diego Comic-Con and we very much consider that a win. 
 
Extra Life's Senior Manager Lou Adducci and Extra Life Ambassador Comicstorian both went onto the official Dungeons & Dragons San Diego Comic-Con livestream to talk about tabletop gaming and Extra Life. The official Dungeons & Dragons Extra Life team set a goal of $300,000 USD for its members, and they have already raised over $26,000 USD! It's a great segment that you can watch for yourself. It contains some really interesting stories about Comicstorian playing D&D in the army and how integral the game is to the kids in Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Lou also did a great job talking about what Extra Life does for the kids and what our plans are in the lead up to this year's Game Day.   
 

 
A huge thank you to the San Diego Extra Life guild who turned out in force with the support of Rady Children's Hospital. It was awesome seeing you pull together hundreds of strangers by telling them about how they can play games and help kids through Extra Life. We couldn't have done San Diego Comic-Con without you all. You're amazing. 
 
One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. If that sounds intriguing, learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Zak Wojnar
After the 2014 release of Wolfenstein: The New Order, developer MachineGames followed up with a stand-alone expansion, The Old Blood. Likewise, after Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, publisher Bethesda is gearing up for the launch of a new title in the series. While not the Wolfenstein III fans are eagerly awaiting, Youngblood still takes some big risks with the aim of shaking up the status quo for this high concept spin-off.
 
The biggest addition to Wolfenstein: Youngblood is the inclusion of two player co-op. While the game can still be played solo, multiplayer brings a host of new opportunities for both tactical stealth and chaotic action alike. Wolfenstein has always been strategic and difficult, but Youngblood adds a whole new layer of jolly cooperation to the proceedings. In addition to these new gameplay possibilities, Youngblood also takes big risks with the storyline, being set in Nazi-occupied France twenty years after the end of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. A line of dialogue in the demo says B.J. Blazkowicz is the man who killed Hitler, while trailers identity America as the "Liberated United States," presumably alluding to events from a future game which hasn't officially been announced yet. It's a bold approach, but one with exciting potential for storytelling as the series moves forward.
 
The E3 floor demo paired me up with a stranger, and we were dropped into a level set on a French city street. Cast in the roles of B.J.'s twin daughters, Soph and Jess, players must fight and sneak their way behind enemy lines while searching for their father, who has gone missing in the region. The demo began with a stealth section, but it only took seconds for my co-op partner to trigger the alarm, so I switched from my silenced pistol to a heavy-duty shotgun, and started blasting Nazis into oblivion with a non-stop hailstorm of large-caliber firepower.
 

 
Almost immediately, I was struck by one of the biggest changes to Youngblood: enemy health. While regular enemies can still be dispatched with a few well-placed bullets, bigger baddies (which are frequently encountered) can take a comical amount of punishment before going down for good. Perhaps this was done to emphasize co-op team work, but it comes across as a way to artificially inflate difficulty. Then again, my co-op partner wasn't exactly a world champion Wolfenstein player, so it might not feel so unbalanced when playing with a trusted friend. Still, there's nothing that can justify the obtrusive enemy health bars which make the game look like an RPG and dilute the cinematic presentation which has consistently made Wolfenstein stand out from its peers. One positive change appears to be the new XP system; rather than performing specific (and sometimes obtuse) tasks to upgrade specific abilities, killing Nazis earns XP, which translates into skill points which can be spent on a variety of skills, though the specifics of the skill trees were not part of the E3 2019 demo.
 
As the demo progressed, me and my partner blasted our way through multiple waves of enemy troops, utterly decimating checkpoint after checkpoint, putting the Nazis in their proper place. dead under the boot of righteous justice. Though I had to revive my companion multiple times, he still came in handy when I needed a bullet sponge to draw the attention of the big enemies while I scavenged for ammo; by the end, though, he started to get a grasp on the game, and we eventually became a well-oiled, two-pronged killing machine.
 
Alas, the demo came to an unceremonious end at a potentially exciting juncture. We came to a choke point with a mounted laser gun and a sizeable assortment of Nazis down below. My partner dutifully took a position on the mounted gun, and I ran off the bridge, jumping into the fray, prepared to blast my way through the enemy while my guardian angel rained death from above. Midway through my bold flying leap off the bridge, the game froze and the demo crashed to the desktop. Well, that's one way to end a demo!
 

 
E3 demos crash all the time, and the builds shown to the press and the public aren't necessarily the most recent. Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a promising game with lots of potential, though some of its design choices had me second-guessing the priorities of developers MachineGames and Arkane Studios. Then again, with Arkane, it takes more than a 15-minute vertical slice to make an earnest judgment on the game's quality. Either way, I'm still excited to play Wolfenstein: Youngblood all the way through with a co-op partner by my side to see how the whole adventure shakes out.
 
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
We here at Extra Life are pleased to announce a special collaboration with SlugFest Games, the creators of The Red Dragon Inn, High Noon Saloon, and Kung Fu Fighting! tabletop games. The fine folks at SlugFest Games have been longtime supporters of Extra Life. Their community has been passionate in its support of Extra Life, with members reaching out to the tabletop developer every year for assistance with streams and Extra Life events. SlugFest Games has been more than happy to provide that support. In an official announcement of our collaboration, SlugFest Games wrote, "We’re always pleased to see just how many of our fans are putting in the work to support their favorite charities, and we’re grateful that those fans invite us to be a part of that!"
 
For 2019, SlugFest Games has something special planned that's sure to catch the attention of its tabletop gaming community. A unique promotional card is being offered by the company to Extra Life streamers. The Water of Life card was created as a limited time item for use with The Red Dragon Inn game! Fittingly, the card will give everyone a bit of extra life in-game when played. SlugFest Games will be sending the card to streamers interested in highlighting The Red Dragon Inn to give away to their viewers and donors. This is especially exciting to us with Tabletop Appreciation Weekend next month - maybe it's time to make some special board game streaming plans?  
 
  
 
If you plan on playing The Red Dragon Inn during any of your livestreamed Extra Life events this year, reach out to support@slugfestgames.com! Please include your name, address, a description of your livestream plans, and a link to your Extra Life fundraising page. The people at SlugFest Games will be happy to send you copies of the card to help with your events.
 
If you aren't planning to livestream for Extra Life, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for tabletop streams from people in the board gaming community! Watching their shows, spreading their reach through social media, and donating to their causes could be your ticket for some Water of Life for your very own (as well as the good feeling from knowing you're helping kids in and around your community). Not sure where to find those tabletop streamers? Head over to SlugFest Games' Twitter or Facebook since they will be amplifying streamers in their community for the foreseeable future! 
 
Finally, we just want to say thank you to SlugFest Games who took the initiative to design and print these cards out of the goodness of their hearts. We also want to say thank you to The Red Dragon Inn community for all of the support they show us every year. It's incredible to see that passion turn into an actual part of one of the games Extra Lifers play regularly. You are all the best.  
 
We encourage everyone who hasn't registered for Extra Life 2019 to head over to our handy sign-up page. If you want to know more about Extra Life, head on over to extra-life.org to learn how to play games and help sick and injured kids in Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the United States and Canada. 

Jack Gardner
Cuphead might just be one of the most memorable games to come out in the last few years. Hitting Xbox One and PC in 2017 four years after being announced and undergoing a difficult development process, the Contra-like side-scrolling shooter captivated audiences with its charming and controversial art style, tight gameplay, and engaging soundtrack. With very few games existing with a comparable aesthetic, Cuphead stuck in the brains of everyone who even briefly experienced it. Studio MDHR's first game stands with a perfect score on Steam and almost universal acclaim.
 
A couple years after release, is Cuphead one of the best games of all-time?   
 
Joining us to help answer that question this week is none other than friend of the show, voice actor, podcaster, and game critic extraordinaire Marcus Stewart. 
 
Each week on The Best Games Period, 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: Kirby's Return to Dream Land 'Cocoa 'n' Cookies' by jdaster64 (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03922)
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well!
 
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
 
One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Dungeons & Dragons has a long and storied history in the gaming community. The brilliant and fantastical innovations Gary Gygax and his team brought to the game have enthralled and entertained players and dungeon masters alike for 45 years. That made it a huge deal when Wizards of the Coast, the company that owns and expands upon the wonderful worlds of D&D, got involved in Extra Life back in 2013.
 
The support both the Dungeons & Dragons community and the team behind the game have shown us over the years is nothing less than extraordinary. 2019 will be the seventh year dungeon masters and players alike take up their pens and papers to support Extra Life. All told, these efforts have raised over $600,000 USD for sick and injured kids in Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the United States and Canada. This year, they aim to far surpass their previous work with a staggering goal of $300,000 USD. 
 
The creativity the team brought to fundraising stands out as one of the coolest parts of what Dungeons & Dragons has done for Extra Life. Over the years, Dungeons & Dragons has developed and released multiple modules and adventures for players to run during their Extra Life Game Day marathons. While having specialized Game Day content would have been incredible enough, Dungeons & Dragons went the extra step of making all proceeds from the sale of their specialized modules go toward Extra Life! 
 
 
So far, there are five unique adventures and supplements available for tabletop gamers to play through DMs Guild. The first is a full-on adventure to enter a forbidden valley in the mountains and the chance to come face-to-face with Kwalish, the eccentric inventor behind some of D&D's strangest items. The Lost Laboratory of Kwalish makes for a fun and varied adventuring experience that presents unique and interesting challenges for players to overcome, as well as fun roleplaying opportunities for the DM. The adventure itself seems well suited to being slipped into a pre-existing campaign as an engaging and memorable sidequest, especially if your DM loves to throw Kwalish's eccentric items at the party. 
 
Volo's Waterdeep Enchiridion presents an excerpt from Volo's Guide to Waterdeep updated for 5th edition D&D. It consists of a chapter excerpt from Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and serves as a handy guide to the city for players who might not want to share their precious hardcover books or might not want to purchase the full adventure for updated Waterdeep information. While perhaps not having the versatility of the other offerings from Dungeons & Dragons, it's invaluable as a tool to navigate the city of splendors. 
 
The Tortle Package gives players an entirely new location to adventure in or to incorporate into their campaigns, the Snout of Ongmar on the isle of Chult. People who purchase the supplement also receive the information necessary to play as tortles, humanoid turtles with a particularly distinct culture. As a cherry on top, The Tortle Package includes a dungeon called Dangwaru, the Typhoon Palace. Even if you aren't planning to run a campaign in the Snout of Ongmar, this collection of information and gameplay will undoubtedly be useful in crafting your own adventures.
 

 
If you're looking to spice up your D&D campaign with a fun, unofficial race, One Grung Above has just what you've been looking for. The Grung were a race of frog people in second edition Dungeons & Dragons that were left behind by the passage of time. However, the unique race of amphibians stuck in the mind of Christopher Lindsay who was given the opportunity to design a small packet about the Grung for Extra Life and ran a campaign of Grung adventurers on the Dungeons & Dragons Twitch stream.  
 
Finally, The Lost Kenku presents the most comprehensive adventure of the bunch. Tasked with tracking down a kenku thief in the jungles of Chult, players stumble upon a much larger danger lurking in the dark mists of the dangerous island. Something sinister stirs among the townsfolk of Weirding and the adventurers who enter the town must solve the mystery or perish. With a town full of strange folk, an unorthodox mission target, and an ever-deepening sense of wrongness, The Lost Kenku is an excellent way to kick off a campaign with a satisfying bang. 
 
 
If that weren't enough, Dungeons & Dragons does even more! They have set up a small store where tabletop gamers can snag a cool shirt/tanktop/sweatshirt/hoodie with designs unique to the Dungeons & Dragons Extra Life team. Plus, all proceeds from the shirt sales go to Extra Life, too! So you can look snazzy, show your passion for D&D, and feel good that your money is going to help sick and injured kids all at the same time. It doesn't get much better than that. 
 
Dungeons & Dragons has a vibrant streaming schedule on Twitch. They frequently host excellent content for both Dungeon Masters and players, as well as people who just want to enjoy the stories that come out of the amazing campaigns put together by the folks behind D&D. In past years, Dungeons & Dragons broadcast campaigns that featured the content released to support Extra Life. It's been amazing to see and we can't wait to see what they have in store for this year's Game Day. 
 
A huge thank you to the Dungeons & Dragons team for giving so much of their effort to help kids in hospitals across North America. We can definitively say that Extra Life would be a lesser event without them and the amazing community they help bring into the event every year. It's mind-blowing. Here is to an even more amazing 2019, D&D!   
 
You can join the Dungeons & Dragons Extra Life team to support your local children's hospitals and be sure to follow those fine folk on Twitter to see what new and marvelous things they have coming in the future. 
 
One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. If that sounds intriguing, learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Marcus Stewart
Creating a truly multiplayer shooter that differentiates itself feels nigh impossible given the sheer glut of games in the genre. Lemnis Gate (previously known as Convergence) by Canadian developer Ratloop Games may well pull it off. This inventive shooter combines elements of time travel and turn-based mechanics to create a truly fresh and mind-boggling take on a well-worn genre.
 
Lemnis Gate’s core gameplay revolves around a difficult concept to explain so let’s start with the basics. The game is a hero-based first-person shooter that pits up to four opposing players against each other. Instead of controlling one individual character, each player commands an entire squad from a roster of 7 heroes (so far). Like similar games, Heroes sport specific traits and loadouts, such as one focused on laying down traps. Players win matches by completing their respective missions. In the bout I played against game director James Anderson, I needed to destroy one of three objectives. Anderson’s job was to protect them. Still with me? Good, because that’s where the simplicity ends. 
 
Like a tactical RPG, matches play out with each player taking turns to perform actions. Turns grants players 25 seconds to move anywhere and do anything on the map. Whatever you decide to do, every action is recorded and saved as a repeating loop that constantly replays itself every turn. I use my first turn to run down a hallway, enter a room containing the objective, and destroy it. That action will repeat itself in subsequent turns–unless something interferes with it. 
 

 
It’s Anderson’s turn next. After witnessing my move, he counters by taking a quicker route to the same hallway that my past self will soon arrive in. He lays a proximity mine. When my Hero  enters that hallway he’s blown to bits. This means he never gets to destroy the objective as he had before. My previous outcome has been erased from time. 
 
If that sounds complicated it only gets crazier. Now that Anderson’s counter is in play I have two options for my second turn. I can either chase after one of the other objectives instead or try to neutralize his previous action. I choose the latter. I take a different route and locate Anderson’s character in route of setting his proximity mine. I gun him down before he reaches his planned destination. Events have once again been altered. 
 
Since my second loop interfered with Anderson’s first loop, that means MY first loop proceeds unimpeded. My first Hero destroys the objective as before. Loops will continue to stack like this as players try to outwit one another. Once all of the turns are expired, a match that took several minutes to set up plays out in 25 seconds in real-time. Loops collide and interfere with each other–a cool scene to watch unfold–and whoever successfully pulls off their mission wins. 
 

 
Like chess, Lemnis Gate is a game about planning multiple moves ahead by predicting/manipulating your opponent’s actions. As such, the game lends itself to a variety of strategies. One tactic Anderson regularly used against me was to stand in a doorway or corridor and unload fire. If I were to enter those areas, I’d be met with a barrage of bullets–a smart play for cutting off key areas. However, friendly fire is enabled so you have to keep your own moves in mind too, lest you fall prey to yourself. Anderson once bit the dust by crossing paths with a shotgun blast fired by his own time looped hero. This design also means players are essentially playing alongside multiple versions of themselves as teammates, something Ratloop refers to as “Auto Co-op”. 
 
Up to four players can enjoy Lemnis Gate on a single screen with one controller. There’s no split-screen whatsoever; players simply pass the gamepad between turns. This makes the game extremely accessible since you won’t have to worry about having enough controllers for everyone. Everything looked and played well, an impressive feat given that Lemnis Gate has only been in development for less than a year. 
 
Though I largely sucked at the game (playing against an experienced developer didn’t help either), I had a blast with Lemnis Gate. As a shooter it plays competently, but more than anything I was in awe at the level of strategy at play. Once I got my head around the concept I found myself thinking of new, better tactics I couldn’t wait to try out. 
 
 
Lemnis Gate is one of those games you have to play yourself to truly appreciate/understand. There’s no release window for now but 2020 would be the earliest launch period with PC and potentially consoles as target platforms. Until then, multiplayer shooters fan looking for a shake-up should definitely keep Lemnis Gate on their radars. 
 
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

Marcus Stewart
Those attending IndieCade’s booth during E3 probably heard the pitch for Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble loud and clear: “Tired of waiting for Nintendo to make a new Advance Wars? Check out Tiny Metal!” That battle cry from Area 35’s enthusiastic hype-man about sums up the project. Though I’ve never played Advance Wars, I love turn-based strategy and Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble feels like a respectable take on the genre. 
 
Full Metal Rumble is a sequel to 2017’s Tiny Metal and, like any good sequel, promises to be bigger and better than its predecessor. Like Advance Wars, players control armies made up of a variety of infantrymen, tanks, and assault vehicles, among others. Anyone familiar with the genre will pick up on the game mechanics immediately. Every turn, players push their units across a grid-shaped battlefield to complete objectives like wiping out enemies or capturing rogue headquarters. The map is largely hidden from view by a fog–or really blocks–of war that makes careful scouting a necessity. Players gradually reveal surroundings as they advance, meaning they must balance offense with a reactive defense until they’re within spitting distance of targets. Stepping onto a hidden tile occupied by a foe will cause said enemy to ambush the player. 
 

 
Units have four offensive options: Attack, Assault, Lock On, and Special. Attack does exactly what you’d expect. Assault deals less damage but pushes defending targets a tile away. Lock On allows multiple units concentrate fire on a single enemy, which can be useful against hardier foes. Specials are powerful abilities that appear periodically. An example would be a buff that increases the attack, defense, and movement of nearby allies. As units take down enemies they’ll Rank Up, becoming increasingly more powerful. 
 
Taking down foes isn’t the only job to focus on. Players generate coins each turn which are used to purchase more units. Capturing buildings becomes vital as owned structures will pump out additional units, resources, and currency. This eliminates the need to rely solely on the beginning factory, plus new recruits won’t have to trek from the start of the map. Individual units consume fuel and ammo, which are resupplied at friendly factory or city tiles. Keep that in mind as mismanagement of these tools could leave soldiers without the resources to defend themselves. Terrain matters as well. Some tiles, such as tundra, boost defense. Units hunkered in forested tiles are tougher to hit while mountainous tiles can’t be traversed at all. 
 

 
The campaign features 39 maps that weave with what Area 35 describes as a “twisting” and dramatic narrative. Three distinct characters share the spotlight. One searches for her lost brother, another hunts ancient, powerful artifacts, while the third pursues a mysterious adversary. A Skirmish mode lets players focus purely on the action across 77 maps of varying types and sizes. Those who want to test their strategic mettle against other would-be General Pattons can do so in a head-to-head online multiplayer mode. 
 
As a fan of the genre, Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble didn’t surprise me, but it proved to be a competent and enjoyable experience. As I made my way across a winter-themed map I engaged with enemies while churning out reinforcements in the background. The game hits many of the genre’s sweet spots like the satisfaction of strategically leading an army against decently challenging opposition. 
 
 
Those looking for something to fill the long empty void left by Advance Wars can pick up Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble right now on Nintendo Switch and Steam. 
 
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
The Fantasy Iron Chef tournament nears its conclusion. Arakiel decides to interfere in the name of his new god. Sean waits in line for a waffle. Pribi implements the distraction necessary to begin the prison break-heist of South Gate's fortress. 
 
We Wanted Adventurers is a liveplay Dungeons & Dragons podcast that follows a motley trio of unlikely heroes as they bumble into adventures both big and small across the fantastical continent of Nevarrone. For the uninitiated, a liveplay podcast features an unscripted recording of a traditional tabletop roleplaying game, with all of the goofs and drama that comes with the territory. If you've never listened to the show before, here's a handy playlist to get you caught up.
 

 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. You can follow the show on Twitter for updates. Let us know what you think of the show! 
 
New episodes of We Wanted Adventurers will be released every Wednesday
 
One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. If that sounds intriguing, learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Last week, thousands flocked to Anaheim, California to attend the tenth annual VidCon event. From July 10 – 13, showgoers were able to rub shoulders with the major players on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms that foster video content. On top of a chance to meet some of the best creators in the industry, VidCon attendees could participate in a wide variety of fun activities like obstacle courses, themed experiences, panels, and games.
 
Of course, Extra Life had to be a part of the show, too. We were able to hold a presence there with the help of the Orange Country Extra Life Guild, who turned out to staff the booth and talk with people at the con. Sadly, we didn't have a human claw machine this time. However with the help of our incredible volunteers, we were able to engage with an incredible number of people despite all of the incredible attractions surrounding Extra Life booth. 
 
 
Logan, one of Extra Life’s national champions from Children’s Hospital of Orange County, was able to make it out to VidCon along with us. Logan has a rare heart condition that he has lived with since birth and have necessitated multiple open heart surgeries throughout his life. You might remember Logan from his time helping to serve as the face of Extra Life at E3 both last year and again this year. For a long time, Logan has been a fan of Jack Douglass, a YouTuber better known as jacksfilms. We were able to help Logan meet Jack at VidCon this year. Seeing the two connect stood out as a really heart-warming moment from a weekend full of amazing things.
 

 
When the dust settled on VidCon, we had signed up over 700 new participants people for Extra Life. That’s freaking amazing! We want to extend a HUGE thank you to the people who volunteered their time to help us make that happen from the Orange County Guild. Your help really meant the world to us and helped to put together a hugely successful presence at VidCon. We couldn’t have done it without you, so thank you.
 
We also want to thank VidCon and the awesome creators we were able to meet who met with us. Here’s hoping that 2019 was just the beginning with bigger and better things waiting for Extra Life in 2020.
 
Let’s go forward together and keep fighting…
 
For the Kids!

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