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Found 78 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. 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
  8. 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
  9. Threes might be one of the best mobile games ever created and it was designed by Asher Vollmer and his team at Sirvo back in 2014. Since then, Sirvo has been quietly plugging away at Guildlings. Announced over two years ago, the team has made progress and finally issued a release window for this coming summer. One of the big problems that plagued the highly successful Threes was how easily the minimalist design was able to be replicated by cloners and knock-off artists. The market was flooded by these games to the point that some of the clones became headline stories in their own right without any credit ever being given to Threes. With Guildlings, Vollmer and his team designed with a focus on narrative, visuals, and things that are all-around much more difficult to rip-off. Guildlings is about a bunch of teenage rebels who embark on an adventure. Calling themselves Guildlings, they explore the land of Worldaria getting into all kinds of shenanigans. Sirvo has designed Worldaria to be a mix of modern technology and concepts paired with magic. Each of the Guildlings has their own magical powers and access to asocial network run by magic. The locations and regions of Worldaria reflect that magic as well ranging in description from the surreal to the mundane. One of my favorite elements of the world that they have teased so far has to be the Lanternions, creatures that serve as light posts and the defenders of travelers. They're not fast, but that's because they are made heavy with the memories of all the travelers they couldn't save. They're precious and I love them. As the intrepid leader of the Guildlings, players steer their journey across Worldaria and try to figure ways out of any tricky situation in which the team might find itself stuck. The core game consists of exploring an expansive location followed by the time spent traveling to a new location. Players will want to be careful with their decisions, though, because some could have unintended results. At one point, the team was looking into implementing Inkle Studios' Ink language to create an series of interconnected pieces of content, possibly to have a persistent flow of consequences. Inkle was recently in the news for their latest game that uses the same language to power a text adventure on the PlayStation 4. Asher Vollmer and his crew at Sirvo Studios know how to design a solid game and have the track record to prove it, which should be reason enough to get excited about Guildlings. Expect to see the first part of the adventure, titled Guildlings Act One, debut on mobile devices this summer. View full article
  10. Jack Gardner

    Guildlings Releasing This Summer

    Threes might be one of the best mobile games ever created and it was designed by Asher Vollmer and his team at Sirvo back in 2014. Since then, Sirvo has been quietly plugging away at Guildlings. Announced over two years ago, the team has made progress and finally issued a release window for this coming summer. One of the big problems that plagued the highly successful Threes was how easily the minimalist design was able to be replicated by cloners and knock-off artists. The market was flooded by these games to the point that some of the clones became headline stories in their own right without any credit ever being given to Threes. With Guildlings, Vollmer and his team designed with a focus on narrative, visuals, and things that are all-around much more difficult to rip-off. Guildlings is about a bunch of teenage rebels who embark on an adventure. Calling themselves Guildlings, they explore the land of Worldaria getting into all kinds of shenanigans. Sirvo has designed Worldaria to be a mix of modern technology and concepts paired with magic. Each of the Guildlings has their own magical powers and access to asocial network run by magic. The locations and regions of Worldaria reflect that magic as well ranging in description from the surreal to the mundane. One of my favorite elements of the world that they have teased so far has to be the Lanternions, creatures that serve as light posts and the defenders of travelers. They're not fast, but that's because they are made heavy with the memories of all the travelers they couldn't save. They're precious and I love them. As the intrepid leader of the Guildlings, players steer their journey across Worldaria and try to figure ways out of any tricky situation in which the team might find itself stuck. The core game consists of exploring an expansive location followed by the time spent traveling to a new location. Players will want to be careful with their decisions, though, because some could have unintended results. At one point, the team was looking into implementing Inkle Studios' Ink language to create an series of interconnected pieces of content, possibly to have a persistent flow of consequences. Inkle was recently in the news for their latest game that uses the same language to power a text adventure on the PlayStation 4. Asher Vollmer and his crew at Sirvo Studios know how to design a solid game and have the track record to prove it, which should be reason enough to get excited about Guildlings. Expect to see the first part of the adventure, titled Guildlings Act One, debut on mobile devices this summer.
  11. Inkle has made a name for itself in the mobile world with it's branching narrative games. The Sorcery! series wove a tale of blades and blood while 80 Days adapted Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days into a choose-your-own-adventure game. All of these were hailed as some of the finest narrative adventures to be had on mobile with 80 Days garnering Time Magazine's game of the year for 2014. Now, they have announced their first project that will head to the PlayStation 4 which will mark their first foray into the realm of consoles. Heaven's Vault stars Aliya Elasra, an archaeologist on a quest to translate a long lost language and unlock the secrets of The Nebula, a collection of far-flung moons. With the help of her robo-buddy Six, Aliya and the player are free to navigate through The Nebula and pursue its various mysteries. The central hook of Heaven's Vault centers on the translation of the alien script. Using context clues in the environment and some imagination, players will be able to come up with a variety of meanings for the symbols they encounter in various ruins across The Nebula. Every interpretation Aliya makes will have consequences, branching the story with each attempt to decipher what significance the ancient ruins might have once held. Inkle has stated that part of the game will be never being sure that your translation is the correct one. Heaven's Vault will also feature a large cast of characters who react to the different interpretations Aliya makes and also how she interacts with them. These characters are capable of kindness, cruelty, and guile. They'll remember if she's a thief or a liar or if she treats them well. Heaven's Vault will release on PlayStation 4 and PC sometime later this year. View full article
  12. Inkle has made a name for itself in the mobile world with it's branching narrative games. The Sorcery! series wove a tale of blades and blood while 80 Days adapted Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days into a choose-your-own-adventure game. All of these were hailed as some of the finest narrative adventures to be had on mobile with 80 Days garnering Time Magazine's game of the year for 2014. Now, they have announced their first project that will head to the PlayStation 4 which will mark their first foray into the realm of consoles. Heaven's Vault stars Aliya Elasra, an archaeologist on a quest to translate a long lost language and unlock the secrets of The Nebula, a collection of far-flung moons. With the help of her robo-buddy Six, Aliya and the player are free to navigate through The Nebula and pursue its various mysteries. The central hook of Heaven's Vault centers on the translation of the alien script. Using context clues in the environment and some imagination, players will be able to come up with a variety of meanings for the symbols they encounter in various ruins across The Nebula. Every interpretation Aliya makes will have consequences, branching the story with each attempt to decipher what significance the ancient ruins might have once held. Inkle has stated that part of the game will be never being sure that your translation is the correct one. Heaven's Vault will also feature a large cast of characters who react to the different interpretations Aliya makes and also how she interacts with them. These characters are capable of kindness, cruelty, and guile. They'll remember if she's a thief or a liar or if she treats them well. Heaven's Vault will release on PlayStation 4 and PC sometime later this year.
  13. Fueled with a love of retro PC RPGs and the dream of reviving them for the current generation, four Finnish developers put everything on the line to craft Legend of Grimrock. Their creation climbed to the top of the Steam sales charts and spawned both a sequel and a successful Kickstarter for a live-action series (which has yet to materialize). While it certainly has flawed AI and a repetitive environment, Legend of Grimrock deserves another look for the way it brought a dormant genre back to life. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Secret of Mana 'Variations of Fear' by Kylok, Bree, and Trev Wignall (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03647) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  14. Fueled with a love of retro PC RPGs and the dream of reviving them for the current generation, four Finnish developers put everything on the line to craft Legend of Grimrock. Their creation climbed to the top of the Steam sales charts and spawned both a sequel and a successful Kickstarter for a live-action series (which has yet to materialize). While it certainly has flawed AI and a repetitive environment, Legend of Grimrock deserves another look for the way it brought a dormant genre back to life. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Secret of Mana 'Variations of Fear' by Kylok, Bree, and Trev Wignall (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03647) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  15. What if I told you that you had the power to manage and share your Extra Life experience on the go? That this power was available to you and it was absolutely free? The Extra Life mobile 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 View full article
  16. What if I told you that you had the power to manage and share your Extra Life experience on the go? That this power was available to you and it was absolutely free? The Extra Life mobile 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
  17. In 2009 casual gaming was gaining steam. Flash games were all the rage, mobile was taking off, and Zynga was the new hotness with Farmville dominating Facebook. Then, as the year was drawing to a close, a small development team in Finland with 51 games games under its belt released what might possibly be their final game: Angry Birds. We all know what happened after that. Angry Birds has been downloaded and played over one billion times - ONE BILLION! With numbers like that we have to ask the question seriously: Is Angry Birds one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Bad Piggies 'Rise of the Piggies' by OC/DC (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03335) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  18. In 2009 casual gaming was gaining steam. Flash games were all the rage, mobile was taking off, and Zynga was the new hotness with Farmville dominating Facebook. Then, as the year was drawing to a close, a small development team in Finland with 51 games games under its belt released what might possibly be their final game: Angry Birds. We all know what happened after that. Angry Birds has been downloaded and played over one billion times - ONE BILLION! With numbers like that we have to ask the question seriously: Is Angry Birds one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Bad Piggies 'Rise of the Piggies' by OC/DC (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03335) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  19. 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!
  20. 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
  21. South Park made not one but two appearances at Ubisoft's 2017 E3 press conference. The first was the expected update on South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the second was a brand new mobile game. But first, the update: Another trailer called "Time to Take a Stand" was revealed with a focus on the drama driving the plot. Plenty of cameos from the show were had and there were glimpses of combat. Preordering will unlock bonus Towelie content. The game has undergone a slew of delays, with its original release date set for December 2016. The new trailer came with an updated release date, now set for October 17, 2017, for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The title is set to have a playable demo at E3. A mobile take on the South Park universe made a surprise reveal during the conference as well. South Park Phone Destroyer will be a real-time strategy collectible card game set to "create a new brand of mobile role-playing game." It will also feature multiplayer. It has the vague release date of 2017 and will be on both Android and iOS. Are you pumped for the South Park titles? Do you think Fractured But Whole will live up to its predecessor? View full article
  22. South Park made not one but two appearances at Ubisoft's 2017 E3 press conference. The first was the expected update on South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the second was a brand new mobile game. But first, the update: Another trailer called "Time to Take a Stand" was revealed with a focus on the drama driving the plot. Plenty of cameos from the show were had and there were glimpses of combat. Preordering will unlock bonus Towelie content. The game has undergone a slew of delays, with its original release date set for December 2016. The new trailer came with an updated release date, now set for October 17, 2017, for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The title is set to have a playable demo at E3. A mobile take on the South Park universe made a surprise reveal during the conference as well. South Park Phone Destroyer will be a real-time strategy collectible card game set to "create a new brand of mobile role-playing game." It will also feature multiplayer. It has the vague release date of 2017 and will be on both Android and iOS. Are you pumped for the South Park titles? Do you think Fractured But Whole will live up to its predecessor?
  23. 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
  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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