All posts tagged 'Game Reviews'

Very Very Valet (Switch)

Boy they’ll make a game out of anything nowadays!  There are games where you’re a cook, a lawyer, and now you can play one where you park cars!  Valet parking, more specifically.  Very Very Valet is a madcap multiplayer game where you must drive and park cars, and then deliver them back as quickly as possible.

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Incredible Mandy (PS4, Switch, PC, Mobile)

A brother and sister live in a fantasy world and must solve tricky dungeon puzzles based on their childhood fears.  And I’m assuming the sister’s name is Mandy but I’m not really sure as you play as the brother in this one.  Had I not read the press release before writing this review, I wouldn’t have been able to glean so much information about the story, as it’s not really presented in the game at all.  Something about the boy losing his hand in an accident or something?  I don’t know.  But what I do know is that you play as the boy who wears a metal glove which gives him the power to unsheathe swords of light that you can use to solve puzzles and defeat bosses in Zelda-like 3-D dungeons.  It’s available to download on some current consoles, PC, and mobile devices, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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R-Type Final 2 (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, PC)

R-Type is a classic 2-D side scrolling shooter series that was super popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  While these kinds of games were a dime a dozen back then, R-Type stood out with its detailed graphics (at the time), and unique power-up system.  In fact, many consoles back then that had a home port of R-Type would show it off in commercials to demonstrate the power of their system, like the SEGA Master System and Turbo Grafix-16.  Many, many years and sequels later, game maker Irem, creator of R-Type, would release one last game in the series called R-Type Final on the PS2.  Of course it really wasn’t the last in the series, as I do believe they also made a strategy game spin-off.  And even though Irem is sadly no longer in business, R-Type lives on with R-Type Final 2, a sequel nearly 20 years after the last one.  It’s available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Pok Pok Playroom (Mobile)

Pok Pok Playroom is a mobile app with activities for young kids to do.  They’re not really ‘games’ per se, just fun little quiet time things to mess around with.  You pay a monthly subscription and then your kids can play it without ads and you don’t need to go on the Internet to play, so that’s nice.  There are no words so kids can play with no help from parents.  Here’s a list of the games on here so far.  I imagine that in the future, they can update it with more activities.  But for now there are six things to do.  Since there are no words, I gave each activity my own names, just so you know.

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Fire: Ungh’s Quest (Switch, PC)

Ungh is a caveman who is in charge of guarding the fire for his village.  When he falls asleep and lets it burn out, the village elder kicks him out and now Ungh must find more fire.  Shortly after, he comes across a magical tree with seeds that can teleport him all over the Stone Age, but they scatter so now Ungh must search for those seeds and ultimately, a new fire.  Fire: Ungh’s Quest is a really odd, wordless animated point and click adventure style game.  It’s available on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Graviter (Switch, PC)

You are a red ball…planet…alien…thing…out in space, but luckily you have your beloved space kitten (complete with little spacesuit) to keep you company.  But one day a bad black hole monster comes and takes your kitten away from you!  Oh no!  You then find a trail of rainbow colored paw prints.  Could these lead you back to your feline friend?  In Graviter, you’ll use planets to affect your gravity as you fling and swing your way to collect all the pawprints in a level.  This physics and gravity based puzzler is available on Nintendo Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Biphase (Mobile, PC)

Play as a character made up of shapes in this 2-D jumping puzzle game for mobile devices and PC (reviewed on iPad here).  Each time you jump in this game, the background colors change from red to black, and you can land on the opposite color.  Use this simple skill to reach the exit in every level.  Supposedly this game was made to promote awareness of bipolar disorder, but had I not read the press release beforehand, I would never have known.  I think there is a story about it in text before every level, but it flashes by so fast I couldn’t read it.  Proceeds from the game go to helping out the cause, but since the game is free with no ads, I don’t know how that works either.

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Pocoyo Party (Switch, PS4)

Pocoyo is a children’s TV show co-developed by Spanish and British producers.  It kind of reminds me of those old British clay animated kids programs from the 70’s and 80’s, which were also parodied by shows like Saturday Night Live’s Mr. Bill or Aardman’s Pib and Pob.  Anyway, Pocoyo stars a four year old boy and his animal friends, like a duck and elephant, as they play games and learn lessons.  Even though it’s computer animated, it still has that Claymation feel to it.  In the US, the show was on Nick Jr. for a while, but hasn’t been on in a long time.  But I think the show has found new life on YouTube.  Anyway, now there is a multiplayer video game for very young players starring Pocoyo.  In Pocoyo Party, Pocoyo is making invitations for his friends to come to a get-together.  Angry Alien flies by and doesn’t see an invitation for him (Pocoyo just hasn’t drawn it yet).  But Angry Alien gets, well, angry and steals all the invitations.  Now it’s up to Pocoyo and friends to play mini-games to get them back.  Pocoyo Party is available for Switch and PS4, but reviewed on Switch here.

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D&D&D: Dungeons & Dragons and DEI (Tasha’s Cauldron)

I feel like a broken record, but the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game continues to gain traction, particularly with the college/young adult set.  Whether it is streamers, or pop culture icons (I suppose some are both) the hobby continues to make inroads to mainstream culture. The pandemic actually helped, as players turned to digital ways to connect and play with friends.  When the current 5th Edition came out in 2014, it had been greatly revamped to make the game simpler and faster for new players while attempting to reclaim much of the early flavor of the game.  Not content to sit on their laurels, for the past couple years, the makers of D&D (Wizards of the Coast) have gone to diversity training and are now putting out resources and other changes to make the game friendly to people of all walks of life.  The creators have realized that it is just a game, and while it is an important one to many people there is no reason to have rigid rules on the “right” way to handle races, classes, and gender types.  Several recent releases and themes continuing into the summer months give players even more ways to make their fantasy worlds their own.  Kicking off this new direction was Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, released last fall (2020.)

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Bungee Turtle (Mobile)

Bungee Turtle is a pretty generic 2-D platformer for mobile devices (reviewed on iPad here).  You can move left or right, double jump, throw rocks at enemies or hide in your shell.  But the big gimmick in this game is that at certain points, you can jump onto a track that’ll activate a bungee cord, and then you can move left and right and bob up and down on your line, collecting fruit and coins and avoiding enemies and obstacles.

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