All posts tagged 'Game Reviews'

Unplugged: Holiday Guide 2019

Happy Holidays! Boardgaming continues to make inroads to wider audiences, and there’s no better time to get (or get your friends and family) into the hobby than an extended holiday break. As we at GamerDad have done for the past 15+ years, it’s time for an annual rundown of recent boardgames well worth your time. Nothing beats the social aspect of in-person gaming with friends. Unlike many digital games, boardgames are timeless, just as good today as they will be years in the future. In that vein, feel free to delve into some past year’s guides like those for 2018, 2017, or 2016. You might not find all these titles at your local mega-mart but many can be found online or in a friendly local game store. Some may argue $50+ boardgames are expensive, but compare that to videogaming (and where multiple copies are required for multiplayer play) or heading out to the movies ($30+ for four people) and the economics of boardgaming shows their true value. For each game I’ve provided the number of players, an approximate MSRP (you might find it lower), and expected time for one game.

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Bee Simulator (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

To bee or not to bee?  Well now you can be a bee in Bee Simulator.  It’s a flying action game where you play a part of a honey bee in a hive, and must fly around a vast park to collect pollen, battle rival bugs, and ultimately save your hive from construction workers who want to chop the tree down where your hive is located.  It’s available on all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Bloo Kid 2 (Switch, PC, Mobile)

Even though Bloo Kid 2 is about as vanilla as a 2-D platformer could be, I still enjoyed it for what it was.  And it reminded me of the games I used to rent back in the day on my Super Nintendo.  As the blue-clad Bloo Kid, you must rescue a baby in a basket from a flying demon.  You’ll travel through five worlds as you hop and bop your way through enemies and secrets.  It’s available on Switch, PC, and mobile devices, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Sparklite (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

The land of Geodia is powered by Sparklite, but when an evil Baron starts mining it to keep all for himself, the land fights back with tremors that change the environment to hinder his mining.  But to stop the mining for good, a plucky young mechanic named Ada will save the day.  Armed with her shapeshifting wrench, she’ll use Sparklite to invent gadgets and gizmos to help her progress in this top-down Zelda style adventure.  It’s available to download on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san: A River City Ransom Story (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

The River City Ransom series sure has gotten a lot of games this year!  First there was River City Girls by WayForward, then River City: Melee Mach!!, which I reviewed earlier.  And now there is Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san: A River City Ransom Story.  It’s kind of a side story starring Kobayashi, one of Kunio’s rivals.  But who is Kunio?  He’s the main character of most of the River City games.  In Japan there is a popular series of video games that has gone back since the 80s starring Kunio.  He’s a hot-blooded high school student who sometimes gets into fights and trouble, but always stands up for his friends and against bullies.  Kunio also likes to play sports and when he’s not beating up baddies, he’s competing in events like soccer or dodgeball.  Some of Kunio’s games have made it to the US under name or graphical changes.  If you’ve ever played a game like Renegade, River City Ransom, Crash N the Boyz Street Challenge, or Super Dodge Ball, then you’ve played a Kunio game!  This new side story game is available to download on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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New Super Lucky’s Tale (Switch)

I have a lot of game consoles, but two that I don’t have are any sort of VR device, and an Xbox One.  I don’t have anything against Microsoft, in fact, the 360 was my favorite console of last generation.  But game consoles are expensive and there just isn’t enough games on the Xbox One or VR titles that would get me to buy one of those.  But one year at PAX I saw a VR game that looked right up my alley.  It was a colorful 3-D game called Lucky’s Tale that starred a cartoon fox who looked suspiciously like my favorite SEGA character (minus one tail).  And after that, there was an Xbox One title called Super Lucky’s Tale.  But now I don’t have to worry about either of those because New Super Lucky’s Tale is now on Switch, a game console I do have!  Since I’ve never played the others, I don’t know what’s new or super about it, but New Super Lucky’s Tale is a colorful and cheerful romp that reminds me of the 3-D platformers you could play in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

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SkullGirls: 2nd Encore (Switch, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One, 360, PC)

Ever since 2012, I’ve always wanted to review SkullGirls.  It’s a 2-D fighting game with cartoony graphics and a cast of very interesting characters.  But for whatever reason, I was never able to review it.  Until now.  SkullGirls: 2nd Encore is now on Nintendo Switch, the first time it’s been on a Nintendo console, and features all the DLC and extras of the original game.  Now I get to see what the fuss is all about, and believe me, most of that hype is well deserved.

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Squidgies Takeover (Switch)

Squidgies Takeover is a downloadable Switch exclusive that mixes physics style gameplay with Lemmings-like puzzles.  Cute little baby alien octopus creatures are venturing out from their mother’s tentacles so they can take over their own planets.  It’s up to you to distribute powers to them so they can safely reach portals in each single screen level.

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The Games of the SEGA Genesis Mini: Part 3

Like I said, I saved the best for last.  These final Genesis Mini games are the ones that impressed me the most, or at least impressed me that they got put on here in the first place!  Most of these games have never been on a Genesis collection before, and some have never been released at all!  So let’s take a look at them!

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The King of Fighters ALL STAR (Mobile)

The King of Fighters is a long running one-on-one 2-D fighting game series featuring characters from SNK’s other brawlers like Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, and more!  And now there is a new game with The King of Fighters ALL STAR.  But surprise surprise!  It’s not a fighting game, but a 2-D side scrolling beat ‘em up!  You’d think that kind of game wouldn’t translate well to mobile devices, but it actually works really well and I’ve had a lot of fun with it.  It’s available free-to-play to download on mobile devices, but reviewed on iPad here.

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