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Found 56 results

  1. Marcus Stewart

    Review: Florence

    Finding love for the first time can be the best thing to ever happen. Just ask Florence Yeoh, a 25-year old aspiring artist, who feels trapped in her monotonous daily routine. Her office job bores her. An overbearing mother routinely hounds her about finding a boyfriend. Life appears generally unfulfilling–until she stumbles upon a charming musician named Krish. Their friendship soon blossoms into something more, and Florence’s world expands as a result. Mountains’ debut title takes players through the ups and downs of this relationship, delivering a message that’s moving in its sincerity. Florence and Krish’s short and sweet journey takes about 30 minutes to get through. Despite its whimsical presentation the story comes off as overwhelmingly honest and written from a place of experience. Nothing feels heavy-handed or contrived. I related to Florence’s high of unlimited hope during her initial honeymoon period. Watching the pair have their first fight while grocery shopping felt comically on-point (the first grocery trip with a partner will always be a minefield for conflict). If you’ve experienced even a mildly serious relationship, odds are Florence’s tale will resonate on some level. The couple’s happy times are genuinely heartwarming, but the story makes its biggest impact during the rough patches. Primarily because it does a great job of portraying how things have to get worse in order for life to become better–much to our chagrin. Discussing specifics without spoiling is tough. However, the conclusion wonderfully illustrates the little ways that love helps us grow beyond just living happily ever after. I’m no pessimist, but I walked away from the game with an even greater positive outlook on relationships overall. Despite the heavy doses of mushy stuff, Florence is still a video game–a good playing one at that. The inventive and varied touch controls charmed me with how they successfully game-ify the elements of dating. For example, conversing on the first date requires piecing together the puzzle of a dialogue bubble. The more dates that occur, the easier the puzzle becomes–a brilliant method of illustrating Florence’s growing comfort around Krish. Other interactions range from emotionally affecting to just plain cute. I smiled while designing Florence’s childhood art pieces. Turning a clock and watching photos of her friends gradually age and drift apart bummed me out in its truthfulness. Gameplay even teaches the give and take couples go through each day. When Krish moves in, deciding which of Florence’s belongings to box up in order to make room for his stuff acts as an effective exercise in compromise. Rapidly completing word bubbles to out-talk Krish during a fight made me consider easing up to balance the debate. Despite having no idea why they were arguing, for some reason I didn’t want to appear domineering. Who knows; you just might discover a little bit about your own behavior as a girlfriend or boyfriend. I’d be remiss to not praise Florence’s presentation. In short, the comic strip-esque art design and animations look fantastic. A phenomenal soundtrack primarily consisting of piano and violin arrangements effectively convey emotional turns in place of voice acting. The score stands alongside my favorites of the year. I even left the game idle at times just to enjoy it. Conclusion: Florence paints an honest and affecting love story backed by imaginative gameplay. Depending on your love life, past or present, the game can easily strike an emotional cord at several spots. Tack on charming interactions, top-notch music, and a digestible length, and Florence stands as one of the most thoughtful and touching experiences of 2018.
  2. Marcus Stewart

    Feature: Review: Florence

    Finding love for the first time can be the best thing to ever happen. Just ask Florence Yeoh, a 25-year old aspiring artist, who feels trapped in her monotonous daily routine. Her office job bores her. An overbearing mother routinely hounds her about finding a boyfriend. Life appears generally unfulfilling–until she stumbles upon a charming musician named Krish. Their friendship soon blossoms into something more, and Florence’s world expands as a result. Mountains’ debut title takes players through the ups and downs of this relationship, delivering a message that’s moving in its sincerity. Florence and Krish’s short and sweet journey takes about 30 minutes to get through. Despite its whimsical presentation the story comes off as overwhelmingly honest and written from a place of experience. Nothing feels heavy-handed or contrived. I related to Florence’s high of unlimited hope during her initial honeymoon period. Watching the pair have their first fight while grocery shopping felt comically on-point (the first grocery trip with a partner will always be a minefield for conflict). If you’ve experienced even a mildly serious relationship, odds are Florence’s tale will resonate on some level. The couple’s happy times are genuinely heartwarming, but the story makes its biggest impact during the rough patches. Primarily because it does a great job of portraying how things have to get worse in order for life to become better–much to our chagrin. Discussing specifics without spoiling is tough. However, the conclusion wonderfully illustrates the little ways that love helps us grow beyond just living happily ever after. I’m no pessimist, but I walked away from the game with an even greater positive outlook on relationships overall. Despite the heavy doses of mushy stuff, Florence is still a video game–a good playing one at that. The inventive and varied touch controls charmed me with how they successfully game-ify the elements of dating. For example, conversing on the first date requires piecing together the puzzle of a dialogue bubble. The more dates that occur, the easier the puzzle becomes–a brilliant method of illustrating Florence’s growing comfort around Krish. Other interactions range from emotionally affecting to just plain cute. I smiled while designing Florence’s childhood art pieces. Turning a clock and watching photos of her friends gradually age and drift apart bummed me out in its truthfulness. Gameplay even teaches the give and take couples go through each day. When Krish moves in, deciding which of Florence’s belongings to box up in order to make room for his stuff acts as an effective exercise in compromise. Rapidly completing word bubbles to out-talk Krish during a fight made me consider easing up to balance the debate. Despite having no idea why they were arguing, for some reason I didn’t want to appear domineering. Who knows; you just might discover a little bit about your own behavior as a girlfriend or boyfriend. I’d be remiss to not praise Florence’s presentation. In short, the comic strip-esque art design and animations look fantastic. A phenomenal soundtrack primarily consisting of piano and violin arrangements effectively convey emotional turns in place of voice acting. The score stands alongside my favorites of the year. I even left the game idle at times just to enjoy it. Conclusion: Florence paints an honest and affecting love story backed by imaginative gameplay. Depending on your love life, past or present, the game can easily strike an emotional cord at several spots. Tack on charming interactions, top-notch music, and a digestible length, and Florence stands as one of the most thoughtful and touching experiences of 2018. View full article
  3. Jack Gardner

    Super Cat Tales 2 Looks Fur-nomenal

    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.
  4. 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. View full article
  5. 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
  6. 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 View full article
  7. Jack Gardner

    The Best Games Period - Episode 89 - Threes

    Asher Vollmer programmed Threes in a shockingly short amount of time in 2013, but then assembled a team that would come to be known as Sirvo to refine the idea over the next year. Threes humbly released in 2014 for $2 on iOS and Android. Since then, people have been playing it like crazy. Mobile developers point to it as one of the best puzzle games out there. What is Threes? It's a game where players slide together 1s and 2s to make 3 and two 3s to make a 6 and so on. Despite it's seeming simplicity, the first player to reach the "end" only managed it a couple of months ago after years of playing the satisfying sliding game. So what's the deal with Threes? Is it one of the best games period? Naomi Lugo joins as a co-host to get to the bottom of this conundrum. Outro music: Threes 'Threes Is the Bees Knees' by timaeus222 (http://ocremix.org/song/26532/threes-is-the-bees-knees) 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 You can follow Naomi on Twitter @NaomiNLugo where you can find her thoughts on Detective Pikachu and Isle of Dogs. You can also find her work on Extra Life (that's here!) and Twin Cities Geek! New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  8. Asher Vollmer programmed Threes in a shockingly short amount of time in 2013, but then assembled a team that would come to be known as Sirvo to refine the idea over the next year. Threes humbly released in 2014 for $2 on iOS and Android. Since then, people have been playing it like crazy. Mobile developers point to it as one of the best puzzle games out there. What is Threes? It's a game where players slide together 1s and 2s to make 3 and two 3s to make a 6 and so on. Despite it's seeming simplicity, the first player to reach the "end" only managed it a couple of months ago after years of playing the satisfying sliding game. So what's the deal with Threes? Is it one of the best games period? Naomi Lugo joins as a co-host to get to the bottom of this conundrum. Outro music: Threes 'Threes Is the Bees Knees' by timaeus222 (http://ocremix.org/song/26532/threes-is-the-bees-knees) 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 You can follow Naomi on Twitter @NaomiNLugo where you can find her thoughts on Detective Pikachu and Isle of Dogs. You can also find her work on Extra Life (that's here!) and Twin Cities Geek! New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  9. Monument Valley 2, the sequel to the well-received (and super pretty) MC Escher-esque mobile puzzle game, launched as a surprise iOS exclusive during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference this past June. Given Monument Valley's availability on both Apple and Android devices, fans of the latter platform worried about how long they'd have to wait to get their crack at the sequel (if at all). Turns out not for much longer, as the game arrives on Google Play on November 6. Unlike the first game, Monument Valley 2 features two characters, a mother and child, that players must navigate across the mind-bending environments. Just like the previous title, though, the sequel boasts a calming pastel color palette and a serene soundtrack. If you're an Android user, are you looking forward to Monument Valley 2? How did you feel about the first game?
  10. Monument Valley 2, the sequel to the well-received (and super pretty) MC Escher-esque mobile puzzle game, launched as a surprise iOS exclusive during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference this past June. Given Monument Valley's availability on both Apple and Android devices, fans of the latter platform worried about how long they'd have to wait to get their crack at the sequel (if at all). Turns out not for much longer, as the game arrives on Google Play on November 6. Unlike the first game, Monument Valley 2 features two characters, a mother and child, that players must navigate across the mind-bending environments. Just like the previous title, though, the sequel boasts a calming pastel color palette and a serene soundtrack. If you're an Android user, are you looking forward to Monument Valley 2? How did you feel about the first game? View full article
  11. Telltale Games has revealed the release date and trailer for the upcoming part two of Batman: The Enemy Within. Titled 'The Pact,' the second episode of the five episode series focuses on the aftermath of a mysterious assassin's latest handiwork. Explosions across Gotham shake the city to its very core. Batman attempts to track down the culprits behind these misdeeds, but finds himself up against a foe that might even stump the Dark Knight himself. Meanwhile, John Doe traps Bruce Wayne in a complicated scheme - and the only way out is to follow it through. Beginning with episode two, Telltale will be launching all episodes on all platforms simultaneously. We reached out to Telltale for clarification on whether that simultaneous release schedule will extend to other Telltale game series or if it is limited to The Enemy Within. We will update with an answer. Episode Two 'The Pact' launches October 3 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Mac. In addition, the first two episodes of the series will become available on iOS and Android-based devices that same day. The boxed version, which Telltale has taken to calling the 'Season Pass Disc,' will also release in stores on October 3. The disc unlocks all previous episodes as well as all future episodes as they release. View full article
  12. Telltale Games has revealed the release date and trailer for the upcoming part two of Batman: The Enemy Within. Titled 'The Pact,' the second episode of the five episode series focuses on the aftermath of a mysterious assassin's latest handiwork. Explosions across Gotham shake the city to its very core. Batman attempts to track down the culprits behind these misdeeds, but finds himself up against a foe that might even stump the Dark Knight himself. Meanwhile, John Doe traps Bruce Wayne in a complicated scheme - and the only way out is to follow it through. Beginning with episode two, Telltale will be launching all episodes on all platforms simultaneously. We reached out to Telltale for clarification on whether that simultaneous release schedule will extend to other Telltale game series or if it is limited to The Enemy Within. We will update with an answer. Episode Two 'The Pact' launches October 3 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Mac. In addition, the first two episodes of the series will become available on iOS and Android-based devices that same day. The boxed version, which Telltale has taken to calling the 'Season Pass Disc,' will also release in stores on October 3. The disc unlocks all previous episodes as well as all future episodes as they release.
  13. So real life messaging can be a little boring. Typically we're stuck with white screens, a standard font with an occasional emoji. Well, Android users now have the option to add a little flavor to their messaging setup with Persona 5 IM App. The app allows for users to replace their factory messaging system with one similar to the in-game styling. It's capable of everything you're used to while messaging like viewing, sending, receiving, deleting messages as well as receiving notifications. Apparently there are also different color settings. At the time of this article's publication, the reviews for it are averaging at 4.7. It does, however, come with the following disclaimer, "installing this app does not make you a Phantom Thief, will not give you special powers and will not force you to go to bed early every night." View full article
  14. So real life messaging can be a little boring. Typically we're stuck with white screens, a standard font with an occasional emoji. Well, Android users now have the option to add a little flavor to their messaging setup with Persona 5 IM App. The app allows for users to replace their factory messaging system with one similar to the in-game styling. It's capable of everything you're used to while messaging like viewing, sending, receiving, deleting messages as well as receiving notifications. Apparently there are also different color settings. At the time of this article's publication, the reviews for it are averaging at 4.7. It does, however, come with the following disclaimer, "installing this app does not make you a Phantom Thief, will not give you special powers and will not force you to go to bed early every night."
  15. If you were a Sega fanatic back in the day and have been searching for an inexpensive (read: free) way to relieve those memories, Sega just might have something for you. Sega Forever, which launched today, is a free collection of classic games for download on iOS and Android devices. The collection's library spans the Master System to the Dreamcast and everything in between. Each title features wireless Bluetooth controller support, leaderboards and saves. The site promises new releases every month, and kicks off with Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Phantasy Star II, Comix Zone and Kid Chameleon. While the games are all free, they do contain in-game ads, so the experience certainly comes with that caveat. Players will have to pay a one-time fee of $1.99 in order to dismiss ads from a select game permanently. Game controls from consoles transferred over to mobile devices also aren't always the smoothest, so allowing players to decide if a port is worth $1.99 is probably one of the more consumer-friendly ways of implementing this retro gaming program. You can find out more about Sega Forever by visiting its official website. If you want to experience an insane blast from the past, check out the website's hyper-90's launch trailer. What do you think about Sega Forever? Let us know how you feel about playing your favorite Sega classics on the go! View full article
  16. If you were a Sega fanatic back in the day and have been searching for an inexpensive (read: free) way to relieve those memories, Sega just might have something for you. Sega Forever, which launched today, is a free collection of classic games for download on iOS and Android devices. The collection's library spans the Master System to the Dreamcast and everything in between. Each title features wireless Bluetooth controller support, leaderboards and saves. The site promises new releases every month, and kicks off with Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Phantasy Star II, Comix Zone and Kid Chameleon. While the games are all free, they do contain in-game ads, so the experience certainly comes with that caveat. Players will have to pay a one-time fee of $1.99 in order to dismiss ads from a select game permanently. Game controls from consoles transferred over to mobile devices also aren't always the smoothest, so allowing players to decide if a port is worth $1.99 is probably one of the more consumer-friendly ways of implementing this retro gaming program. You can find out more about Sega Forever by visiting its official website. If you want to experience an insane blast from the past, check out the website's hyper-90's launch trailer. What do you think about Sega Forever? Let us know how you feel about playing your favorite Sega classics on the go!
  17. Pokémon Go may not dominate the public consciousness the way it once did, but that hasn't stopped Niantic from improving the game with updates. The company announced two big (and free) updates are heading to mobile title. Gyms are receiving a massive overhaul to make "ownership more collaborative" and encourage players to interact with their gyms in new ways. Prestige and training no longer dictate how Gyms operate. Players can instead store Pokémon in six permanent slots, with challengers battling a Gym's monsters in the order they were assigned. A new motivation system impacts a Pokémon's CP by lowering it with each defeat. However, friendly trainers can boost motivation by feeding defending Pokémon berries. The Gym's Photo Disc can now be spun to obtain items (just like with PokéStops) and Badges can be earned and leveled up by interacting with your team's Gym. Raid battles allow trainers to face powerful Pokémon in 20-player strong battles with raid bosses. These timed events temporarily take over Gyms, and defeating these bosses will reward valuable new items as well as the chance to capture the boss. Players will also be able to invite friends into private raid groups using a custom code system. Keep an eye for these changes to start rolling out in the coming weeks. You can read more about the updates on the Pokémon Go blog. If you haven't opened Pokémon Go in a while, are these changes enough to lure you back in? UPDATE: Raids in Pokémon Go have now fully rolled out and are available to all players at level 5 and above! View full article
  18. Pokémon Go may not dominate the public consciousness the way it once did, but that hasn't stopped Niantic from improving the game with updates. The company announced two big (and free) updates are heading to mobile title. Gyms are receiving a massive overhaul to make "ownership more collaborative" and encourage players to interact with their gyms in new ways. Prestige and training no longer dictate how Gyms operate. Players can instead store Pokémon in six permanent slots, with challengers battling a Gym's monsters in the order they were assigned. A new motivation system impacts a Pokémon's CP by lowering it with each defeat. However, friendly trainers can boost motivation by feeding defending Pokémon berries. The Gym's Photo Disc can now be spun to obtain items (just like with PokéStops) and Badges can be earned and leveled up by interacting with your team's Gym. Raid battles allow trainers to face powerful Pokémon in 20-player strong battles with raid bosses. These timed events temporarily take over Gyms, and defeating these bosses will reward valuable new items as well as the chance to capture the boss. Players will also be able to invite friends into private raid groups using a custom code system. Keep an eye for these changes to start rolling out in the coming weeks. You can read more about the updates on the Pokémon Go blog. If you haven't opened Pokémon Go in a while, are these changes enough to lure you back in? UPDATE: Raids in Pokémon Go have now fully rolled out and are available to all players at level 5 and above!
  19. 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. Learn more in our best practices section! 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
  20. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series made some waves when adventure game developer Telltale Games teased it at the tail end of last year. We now have a narrower release window with the series set to premiere this spring on consoles, PC, Android, and iOS. Much like Telltale's Game of Thrones, their Guardians of the Galaxy series will tell a new story set within the universe seen in the films. Familiar characters such as Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot all return with a redesigned that aims to fit them in with the art style of Telltale's vision. The new tale follows the galactic group of reluctant heroes as they discover an artifact of immense power following a climactic encounter. Each member of the team has a competing interest in the item, but so does an enemy who represents the last of a dying race who will hunt the team to the ends of the galaxy to obtain it. The Guardians will be traveling to a wide number of locations including Earth, the starship Milano, the hollowed out space titan skull called Knowhere, and beyond to locations not seen in the films. Borrowing from the films (and Telltale's natural affinity for including fantastic musical accompaniments to their games), the Guardians of the Galaxy series will feature a licensed soundtrack of its own to help players slip into the retro-camp fun in store for them. today at PAX East in Boston at 6pm in the Albatross Theater, so if you are at the show be sure to stop and give it a look. Telltale Games will be hosting a panel discussing their creative process on the title. Those who can't be there in person can check it out live on Twitch. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series premiers on March 17 at SXSW in Austin, TX at the Paramount Theater. Telltale will be hosting a Crowd Play event where attendees can help decide what decisions are made on the big screen during the live gameplay via their mobile devices. In order to attend, interested people will need to obtain either an SXSW or SXSW Gaming badge and seats will be available on a first come, first serve basis. The voices for the Guardians of the Galaxy series won't be the same as the ones from the movies. Instead, Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights, The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series) will take on the role of Star-Lord, Emily O'Brien (Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor) tackles Gamora, Nolan North (basically all games with voice acting, Uncharted) becomes Rocket Raccoon, Brandon Paul Eells (Watch Dogs) gives life to Drax, and Adam Harrington (The Wolf Among Us, League of Legends) groots his best as Groot. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 releases on May 5 and with a narrower release day centered on this spring, I'd be willing to bet Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series will be releasing around that same time, possibly in late April.
  21. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series made some waves when adventure game developer Telltale Games teased it at the tail end of last year. We now have a narrower release window with the series set to premiere this spring on consoles, PC, Android, and iOS. Much like Telltale's Game of Thrones, their Guardians of the Galaxy series will tell a new story set within the universe seen in the films. Familiar characters such as Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot all return with a redesigned that aims to fit them in with the art style of Telltale's vision. The new tale follows the galactic group of reluctant heroes as they discover an artifact of immense power following a climactic encounter. Each member of the team has a competing interest in the item, but so does an enemy who represents the last of a dying race who will hunt the team to the ends of the galaxy to obtain it. The Guardians will be traveling to a wide number of locations including Earth, the starship Milano, the hollowed out space titan skull called Knowhere, and beyond to locations not seen in the films. Borrowing from the films (and Telltale's natural affinity for including fantastic musical accompaniments to their games), the Guardians of the Galaxy series will feature a licensed soundtrack of its own to help players slip into the retro-camp fun in store for them. today at PAX East in Boston at 6pm in the Albatross Theater, so if you are at the show be sure to stop and give it a look. Telltale Games will be hosting a panel discussing their creative process on the title. Those who can't be there in person can check it out live on Twitch. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series premiers on March 17 at SXSW in Austin, TX at the Paramount Theater. Telltale will be hosting a Crowd Play event where attendees can help decide what decisions are made on the big screen during the live gameplay via their mobile devices. In order to attend, interested people will need to obtain either an SXSW or SXSW Gaming badge and seats will be available on a first come, first serve basis. The voices for the Guardians of the Galaxy series won't be the same as the ones from the movies. Instead, Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights, The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series) will take on the role of Star-Lord, Emily O'Brien (Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor) tackles Gamora, Nolan North (basically all games with voice acting, Uncharted) becomes Rocket Raccoon, Brandon Paul Eells (Watch Dogs) gives life to Drax, and Adam Harrington (The Wolf Among Us, League of Legends) groots his best as Groot. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 releases on May 5 and with a narrower release day centered on this spring, I'd be willing to bet Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series will be releasing around that same time, possibly in late April. View full article
  22. Most people know Dream Theater as a progressive metal band from the mid 80s that has released albums on and off for the past thirty years. While that would generally lead to a band fading into obscurity, Dream Theater does not go quietly into that good night. The band has partnered with Norwegian indie developer Turbo Tape Games to create a game based on their 2016 album The Astonishing. The game, titled The Astonishing Game, allows players to take part in the album's rock opera storyline, which delves into a conflict between artists and a totalitarian government. It features digital likenesses of the band members and various other musicians as they do battle with the machines of an empire to win over the general population. The turn-based strategy game allows players to choose to side with the musicians or the authoritarians. The game comes with a single-player campaign and a multiplayer mode to challenge other Dream Theater fans (or those curious about what a Dream Theater game would be like). On top of that, players can be eligible to win prizes by playing The Astonishing Game. Those who play can win tickets to upcoming shows, backstage passes, signed merch, and more. The rules for winning prizes can be found on Turbo Tape Games' website. You can grab The Astonishing Game on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
  23. Most people know Dream Theater as a progressive metal band from the mid 80s that has released albums on and off for the past thirty years. While that would generally lead to a band fading into obscurity, Dream Theater does not go quietly into that good night. The band has partnered with Norwegian indie developer Turbo Tape Games to create a game based on their 2016 album The Astonishing. The game, titled The Astonishing Game, allows players to take part in the album's rock opera storyline, which delves into a conflict between artists and a totalitarian government. It features digital likenesses of the band members and various other musicians as they do battle with the machines of an empire to win over the general population. The turn-based strategy game allows players to choose to side with the musicians or the authoritarians. The game comes with a single-player campaign and a multiplayer mode to challenge other Dream Theater fans (or those curious about what a Dream Theater game would be like). On top of that, players can be eligible to win prizes by playing The Astonishing Game. Those who play can win tickets to upcoming shows, backstage passes, signed merch, and more. The rules for winning prizes can be found on Turbo Tape Games' website. You can grab The Astonishing Game on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. View full article
  24. There are games tinged with strangeness and there are games that revel in oddity that make their way into mainstream gaming, but I recently discovered a developer that seems to have cornered the market on bafflingly bizarre mobile games. Usaya, a Japanese developer that has been working on small games for iOS and Android since 2013, thoroughly earns its title as weirdest mobile game developer. I took the last few days to play some of their most popular titles and here is what I found. 採用セヨ!【キモい候補者を面接だ!】 Like most of Usaya's library, their first game's name isn't officially translated on the app store, but Google's translation dubs it "Hiring Ado! 【Interview a cheap candidate! 】". The game text of Hiring Ado! was never translated into English either, so I learned everything about it purely through trial and error. The basic premise has players interviewing candidates for a job and sorting the candidates as quickly as possible. However, some of the applicants are aliens and can't be allowed at work. The aliens are distinguished by their variety of vegetable, squid, mushroom, or typical green heads. Players have a set amount of time to get through candidates without hiring an alien or booting a human. The gameplay might be very simplistic, but the visuals will, uh, certainly stick with you. ちくわ猫~超シュールでかわいい新感覚、無料にゃんこゲーム~ The second game in Usaya's mobile lineup feels perhaps the closest to what a normal mobile game might be. The title translates roughly to "Chikuwa cat ~ Cute new sense with super surreal, free Nyanko game ~" and that's a pretty apt description of the game itself. Chikuwa is a Japanese food roll, and Usaya's chikuwa cat jumps from chikuwa roll to chikuwa roll. Players must try to go through as many rolls as possible, timing their jumps perfectly, before running out of lives. A boss encounter occurs every so often in which the titular chikuwa cat must smack into the boss a few times before continuing. The minimalist presentation definitely sets it apart from Hiring Ado!, while the gameplay reminds me of jumping from barrel to barrel in Donkey Kong Country. So far, you might be thinking that these aren't terribly odd. The alien game was a bit weird, but this second game seemed relatively normal. Strap yourselves in, dear reader, because we are about to go a bit silly. うさぎと牛乳瓶 Have you ever dreamed of saving cute, little rabbits horrifically trapped inside of empty milk bottles? Then Usaya's "Usagi and milk bottle" is the game for you! Players have a set amount of time to swipe the screen, pulling cartoon rabbits out of their glass prisons. Use caution while saving those animals, however, because someone has left live grenades in a few of the milk jars! If you throw them in with all the rabbits... well... no one wants that to happen. There are also small humans and human-bunny hybrids that have found themselves in the same predicament as the rabbits? I think they might give point bonuses or extend the remaining time, but I'm not entirely sure since everything is in Japanese. It's such an odd concept, but the visuals come across as so endearing that it just makes you give a bemused smile. Daikon Joshi Usaya's fourth game, Daikon Joshi, has a very simple, straightforward description in the app store: "In this action game you play as a high school girl who climbs up a radish." That is exactly what the game is about. I don't know why or for what purpose, but the world this high school girl inhabits houses radishes of increasing height. Players make her climb each radish by tapping on the screen. Reaching the top in record time is made more difficult by obstacles like protruding radish roots. It's... um... quite something. I don't know whether to laugh or be subtly creeped out by it. All of these are nothing, however, to the crown jewel and most recent game in Usaya's growing library of peculiarities. My Horse Prince I honestly don't know what to write about My Horse Prince, but it is both the weirdest thing Usaya has made and, as far as I can tell, its most popular game. As opposed to the touch-control gameplay of all their previous titles, Usaya opted to make My Horse Prince a narrative-focused visual novel. The plot follows a girl who goes out to a horse ranch one day to meet cute boys and discovers that she has a strange disease that makes her see human faces on horses and gives her the ability to speak with and understand them. Aaaaaand she finds the horse she is sucked into buying cute instead of mind-numbingly horrifying like a normal person. The reviews of My Horse Prince are overwhelmingly positive. One user by the name of Devin Spencer wrote, "This is the worst game I have ever played. I love it." Another described it as "a hot mess of fun and questionable ideas," and that's a great way of describing it. Usaya clearly meant My Horse Prince to be a comedy poking fun at the visual novel genre and how ridiculous some of the games in it can be - I'm looking at you, Hatoful Boyfriend. There are a few laughs both genuine and nervous to be had in the writing, but I'm not sure how many people can overcome the deeply disturbing human-faced horse. Remember when I said My Horse Prince was Usaya's most popular game? It was so popular that they went back and gave it an update that added three new chapters to the original ten. Let that sink in: My Horse Prince is now a thirteen chapter long visual novel game about a woman who falls in love with a horse. More than anything else, My Horse Prince solidifies Usaya's place as the weirdest mobile developer. I'm glad they're out there being the wild card of the mobile gaming space because some developer has to take that title and own it. All their games are free on the Android and iOS app stores, though some include microtransactions to remove ads. Where does Usaya go from here? I have absolutely no idea, but chances are their next project will be completely unexpected and jaw-droppingly strange. View full article
  25. Jack Gardner

    The Weirdest Mobile Game Developer - Usaya

    There are games tinged with strangeness and there are games that revel in oddity that make their way into mainstream gaming, but I recently discovered a developer that seems to have cornered the market on bafflingly bizarre mobile games. Usaya, a Japanese developer that has been working on small games for iOS and Android since 2013, thoroughly earns its title as weirdest mobile game developer. I took the last few days to play some of their most popular titles and here is what I found. 採用セヨ!【キモい候補者を面接だ!】 Like most of Usaya's library, their first game's name isn't officially translated on the app store, but Google's translation dubs it "Hiring Ado! 【Interview a cheap candidate! 】". The game text of Hiring Ado! was never translated into English either, so I learned everything about it purely through trial and error. The basic premise has players interviewing candidates for a job and sorting the candidates as quickly as possible. However, some of the applicants are aliens and can't be allowed at work. The aliens are distinguished by their variety of vegetable, squid, mushroom, or typical green heads. Players have a set amount of time to get through candidates without hiring an alien or booting a human. The gameplay might be very simplistic, but the visuals will, uh, certainly stick with you. ちくわ猫~超シュールでかわいい新感覚、無料にゃんこゲーム~ The second game in Usaya's mobile lineup feels perhaps the closest to what a normal mobile game might be. The title translates roughly to "Chikuwa cat ~ Cute new sense with super surreal, free Nyanko game ~" and that's a pretty apt description of the game itself. Chikuwa is a Japanese food roll, and Usaya's chikuwa cat jumps from chikuwa roll to chikuwa roll. Players must try to go through as many rolls as possible, timing their jumps perfectly, before running out of lives. A boss encounter occurs every so often in which the titular chikuwa cat must smack into the boss a few times before continuing. The minimalist presentation definitely sets it apart from Hiring Ado!, while the gameplay reminds me of jumping from barrel to barrel in Donkey Kong Country. So far, you might be thinking that these aren't terribly odd. The alien game was a bit weird, but this second game seemed relatively normal. Strap yourselves in, dear reader, because we are about to go a bit silly. うさぎと牛乳瓶 Have you ever dreamed of saving cute, little rabbits horrifically trapped inside of empty milk bottles? Then Usaya's "Usagi and milk bottle" is the game for you! Players have a set amount of time to swipe the screen, pulling cartoon rabbits out of their glass prisons. Use caution while saving those animals, however, because someone has left live grenades in a few of the milk jars! If you throw them in with all the rabbits... well... no one wants that to happen. There are also small humans and human-bunny hybrids that have found themselves in the same predicament as the rabbits? I think they might give point bonuses or extend the remaining time, but I'm not entirely sure since everything is in Japanese. It's such an odd concept, but the visuals come across as so endearing that it just makes you give a bemused smile. Daikon Joshi Usaya's fourth game, Daikon Joshi, has a very simple, straightforward description in the app store: "In this action game you play as a high school girl who climbs up a radish." That is exactly what the game is about. I don't know why or for what purpose, but the world this high school girl inhabits houses radishes of increasing height. Players make her climb each radish by tapping on the screen. Reaching the top in record time is made more difficult by obstacles like protruding radish roots. It's... um... quite something. I don't know whether to laugh or be subtly creeped out by it. All of these are nothing, however, to the crown jewel and most recent game in Usaya's growing library of peculiarities. My Horse Prince I honestly don't know what to write about My Horse Prince, but it is both the weirdest thing Usaya has made and, as far as I can tell, its most popular game. As opposed to the touch-control gameplay of all their previous titles, Usaya opted to make My Horse Prince a narrative-focused visual novel. The plot follows a girl who goes out to a horse ranch one day to meet cute boys and discovers that she has a strange disease that makes her see human faces on horses and gives her the ability to speak with and understand them. Aaaaaand she finds the horse she is sucked into buying cute instead of mind-numbingly horrifying like a normal person. The reviews of My Horse Prince are overwhelmingly positive. One user by the name of Devin Spencer wrote, "This is the worst game I have ever played. I love it." Another described it as "a hot mess of fun and questionable ideas," and that's a great way of describing it. Usaya clearly meant My Horse Prince to be a comedy poking fun at the visual novel genre and how ridiculous some of the games in it can be - I'm looking at you, Hatoful Boyfriend. There are a few laughs both genuine and nervous to be had in the writing, but I'm not sure how many people can overcome the deeply disturbing human-faced horse. Remember when I said My Horse Prince was Usaya's most popular game? It was so popular that they went back and gave it an update that added three new chapters to the original ten. Let that sink in: My Horse Prince is now a thirteen chapter long visual novel game about a woman who falls in love with a horse. More than anything else, My Horse Prince solidifies Usaya's place as the weirdest mobile developer. I'm glad they're out there being the wild card of the mobile gaming space because some developer has to take that title and own it. All their games are free on the Android and iOS app stores, though some include microtransactions to remove ads. Where does Usaya go from here? I have absolutely no idea, but chances are their next project will be completely unexpected and jaw-droppingly strange.
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