All posts tagged 'Game Reviews'

Hotel Hustle (Switch)

Help a couple of crazy cats run a hotel in Hotel Hustle on Switch. Check in guests, keep them happy, and clean the room when they’re done.  Do this quickly and efficiently to earn points and stars so you can move onto the next level.  Two can play at the same time, too!  It’s similar to other time management games like Overcooked.

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Unplugged: Blueprints of Mad King Ludwig (Boardgame)

The boardgames of Mad King Ludwig continue to shrink. First we had Castles of Mad King Ludwig where players auctioned tiles, placing them to build their own personal castle. Next came the Palace of Mad King Ludwig (reviewed here) where all players work together to finish only a single castle. Now, there isn’t any building at all, only the blueprints. In Blueprints of Mad King Ludwig, players simply draw out their dreams on a piece of paper, in the hopes of catching the king’s eye and his favor. Players are still placing funny shaped rooms into a castle area, but gone are the auctions and money shenanigans of the original Castles of Mad King Ludwig. This slims the game down and keeps it moving at a quick pace. Your opinion of this “flip and write” game will depend on whether you are willing to give up the greater strategic depth of money auctions and associated shenanigans for a faster-paced and shorter over-all game.

Blueprints of Mad King Ludwig
Designer: Ted Alspach
Publisher: Bézier Games
Players: 1-5
Ages: 15+ (although easily played by a 10 yr old)
Time: 60 min
(review copy provided by publisher)

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Goliath Depot (Switch, PC)

Robots in a warehouse, factory, and even the cold icy parking lot are taking over, and it’s up to you to stop them by…closing all the doors and windows?  Hey, who said video games had to make sense all the time?  Goliath Depot is a single screen 2D platform action game that takes inspiration from arcade classics like Donkey Kong, Mappy, Bubble Bobble, and even…Hotel Mario?  But it’s still a pretty good game and is available on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Tell Me Your Story (Switch, PC)

A granddaughter is visiting her grandmother, and while unpacking, she sees some of her grandmother’s trinkets and asks about them.  Turns out in her younger days, her grandmother  travelled around the world and had lots of adventures and experiences!  Re-create her stories and put them in a scrapbook by playing little puzzle mini-games in Tell Me Your Story.  It’s available on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Electronics Puzzle Lab (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Solve switch based puzzles in circuits with Electronics Puzzle Lab.  You might even learn a thing or two about electronics and circuitry along the way.  Maybe.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Cyber Citizen Shockman 3 (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S)

Cyber Citizen Shockman was a series of 2D action platformers back in the 16-bit days.  They starred a pair of superhero cyborg teens (a guy and a gal) who were created by a crazy professor.  They would fight intergalactic baddies with their swords and beam attacks.  The first two were on the PC Engine, which was the Japanese version of the TurboGrafix-16.  The second game was even brought out to the US.  The third game in the series was on the CD add on in Japan.  And now you can play it on modern consoles (reviewed on PS4 here).

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Little Kitty, Big City (Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

In this unique game you play as a regular old house cat.  You are lying on your favorite windowsill when you accidentally roll over and fall out.  You land safely via a string of comical incidents, but now you must figure out how to get back up to your owner’s apartment.  So you must explore the big city below, helping out other animals and causing cat-like mischief as well.  This game reminds me of a mix of Untitled Goose Game, as well as a PS2 game I played a long time ago called A Dog’s Life, which was kind of the same premise except you were a dog doing dog things.  The game also has a bit of a Katamari Damacy vibe with the simple graphics and the Japanese style city setting.  Little Kitty, Big City is available on some current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Kudzu (Switch)

Kudzu was originally a modern day homebrew monochrome Game Boy game.  You could even buy a cartridge for it.  And now you can play it on your Nintendo Switch.  In the game, a mysterious asteroid falls on a mountain nearby a mansion and surrounding farmland, which causes the plants to become sentient.  When the invasive plant species Kudzu was introduced, it takes over everything in a plan to rule the world.  A team of botanists are dispatched to research this phenomenon.  You play as the gardener Max, and it’s up to you to solve the mystery of the Kudzu and save the day.  The game is an overhead action adventure that pays homage to classic titles like The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

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Unplugged: Around the World in 10-15 Minutes (Boardgame)

The Roll and Write genre, where gamers roll dice and use the results to fill in a scorepad, continues to gain momentum. I suspect this is due in part to the low cost of entry. This is particularly true for print and play games. If standard dice are used, all that players need is a printed copy of the scorepad. Variations have appeared over the years, including using a deck of cards to make a Flip and Write game. Around the World in 10-15 Minutes eschews both dice and cards to allow the active player to choose the result for the turn, effectively creating a Choose and Write game. The game sheet consists of a map of the world connected by lines with two icons located on each continent and two on each city. The active player chooses whether everyone moves, marks off a continent icon, or marks off a city icon, with the active player gaining the selected benefit twice. All three choices lead to scoring opportunities and the game runs until one player has visited each continent and returned to their starting city. Points are added and a winner is determined. Since there are no dice or cards involved, the game only requires one maker and one scorecard per player – making it even more travel-friendly. Around the World in 10-15 Minutes is a print-and-play title currently up on Kickstarter until May 30th

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Unplugged: One Page Monster Hunt (Boardgame)

Roll and write games continue to permeate the boardgame market. We’ve come a long way from the days of Yahtzee, where a player would make repeated die rolls and then mark up their scorepad. Current trends still have players marking up their private sheets, but now die rolls are shared by all players, keeping everyone involved in each roll. In a somewhat recent trend, designers have reasoned that if a single sheet of paper has now taken the place of a game board, can’t we also get rid of the game box? The result is a minor explosion of designers publishing their own games in a print and play format. I am happy to stand behind this trend as this style of game is almost always beginner-friendly and, better yet, the game doesn’t take up space on my gaming shelves! One of the recent projects I’ve stumbled across is One Page Monster Hunt, currently finishing up a Kickstarter run, ending May 27th. It has players filling up a dungeon using Tetris-like shapes while trying to manage the attacks of the dungeon’s villainous monster.

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