I hate to admit it, but I have to say that I’m a little jealous of these game reviewers who have YoutTube channels. Many have achieved quite a bit of notoriety and fame, and are taking the E3 press pass spots I used to be able to get with ease. I worked hard in college getting a degree that would help me do things like this, and even got a good start writing for The Dallas Morning News. But things change and life happens, you know. I guess I could figure out how to do a YouTube channel myself, but with a full-time job and other commitments, plus a lack of time, materials, and knowhow, it doesn’t seem likely. I still enjoy writing reviews and don’t plan to stop anytime soon and I really love writing here at GamerDad, but I’m only human and can’t help but be a little jealous at these upstarts. And to make matters worse, now one of the more prolific long-time YouTube reviewers is getting his own game! Originally on Steam, now you can download Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures on the Nintendo eShop for Wii U!
Spring is in full bloom, and what better way to celebrate than with a video game about being down on the farm? One of the most beloved farm simulation titles, Harvest Moon, has found a new publisher, and therefore, a new name, too. Now called Story of Seasons, the game provides all the farming goodness you’d expect from this long-running series. In the game, you move to Oak Tree Town to start up a farm, raise crops and livestock, and help increase trade in the town as well as make a few friends along the way.
Now you can run your very own horse ranch and take care of horses with Horse Haven World Adventures. It’s a free-to-play simulation game downloadable on iOS and Google Play (reviewed on iPad here). Horse Haven is one part Farmville farming simulation where you buy and place stables, barns, and fields. The other part of the game is similar to a virtual pet simulator as you clean, feed, and take care of your horses.
A while back, Monopoly made news when they announced they were adding different pieces to the classic set. But what they did not mention was that they got rid of my favorite piece: the iron! Now, granted, this was an old timey iron that you didn’t even plug in. But still, for some reason, I liked it, and now it’s gone. I guess that’s progress for you. Now Monopoly is progressing even further with Monopoly Plus. It’s a downloadable electronic version of the classic board game, available for Microsoft’s and Sony’s current home game consoles (reviewed on 360 here). Sadly, the iron isn’t in this one either, but if you enjoy playing Monopoly but don’t like having to count money or keep up with those little house pieces, you may want to check into this.
LEGO Ninjago is a popular line of toys, as well as a long-running action-adventure computer animated series on Cartoon Network portraying the escapades of a group of LEGO ninja friends. Now you can embark on their latest journey on the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita (reviewed on 3DS here). One day, a mysterious villain named Ronin appears and steals the ninjas’ memories with a secret weapon called the Obsidian Glaive. Now it’s up to the four ninja heroes to find their own Obsidian weapons to regain their memories and elemental powers to stop Ronin’s evil plans in this all-new 3D adventure that plays similar to other LEGO titles.
I’m afraid I’m going to age myself here, but back when I was a kid in the late 70’s and early 80’s, if you wanted to play a handheld game, you usually had to settle with a primitive electronic device like Mattel’s Football and Baseball games, or Parker Brother’s Merlin. I didn’t have those, but I did have one of the mini arcade cabinets made by Coleco (mine was Pac-Man of course). All of these games just used LED lights to simulate game graphics. Recently a game designer made his own dot arcade game, and ported it to Wii U. The story behind all this is pretty interesting; just do a search on YouTube for Dot Arcade and you can watch a video about it. Anyway, Dot Arcade is now downloadable on Wii U and has three simple lighted games you can play: Mr. Snake, Dodge Club, and Rally Driver.
Most continuous running games that run rampant on smartphones and tablets are geared toward casual gamers. But now there is one that is just for retro hard-core gamers who grew up on tough-as-nails 8-bit challenges. In Jump ‘N’ Shoot Attack, the president of Earth 4 has been kidnapped by aliens, and it’s up to Louise Lightfoot to stop them! You can download this game on iOS and Android devices as well as Windows phones, but it’s reviewed on iPad here.
When I was a kid back in the 80’s, the Trivial Pursuit board game just came out and it was really popular. In fact, many people, even my parents, hosted Trivial Pursuit parties where everyone would play the game. The only problem was the actual rules of the old board game were not very well designed. If you’ve ever played it, you know how long it can take to get all six pie wedge categories. I found it more fun just to bring the question card box on car trips and read them aloud to pass the time. In fact, when I was in elementary school, one of our teachers had a Junior Edition and would quiz the class in between lessons, during down times, or as a reward. Now the popular quiz game enters the 21st century with Trivial Pursuit Live! And luckily it’s much better designed than the old board game, as it takes the form of a fast-paced trivia quiz game show! It’s downloadable for Microsoft’s and Sony’s home game consoles, but reviewed on Xbox 360 here.
The story behind this game is kind of interesting, as one of the developers worked on this game when he was going through cancer treatments. When the game was finished and ready to go, he got better! In the game, you maneuver a cell in a dark, 8-bit looking world, avoiding obstacles and guiding lost cells to where they need to be. It’s downloadable for iOS and Android devices, but reviewed on iPad here.