games


Game/Life Balance U.S. Podcast #054: Gen Con 2018 Board Game Review Special

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In a special solo episode, Cody discusses his favorite games from Gen Con 2018 and offers some buying recommendations if you’re looking for the latest and greatest in strategy board games. Plus, learn a little about the role-playing game worlds of Starfinder, Arcanis: The World of Shattered Empires, and Savage Worlds. Continue reading “Game/Life Balance U.S. Podcast #054: Gen Con 2018 Board Game Review Special” »


Worst TARDIS Team Ever

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Because it’s out of character for us to want to see good things go wrong, we make a game of wondering what combinations of Doctors and companions would make for the most disastrous adventures. Continue reading ?


Tiny Rebel Games Discusses Doctor Who: Infinity

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We may still be quite some time away from the nebulous time of “Autumn” and this new series of Doctor Who that keeps getting dangled in front of us like the proverbial carrot, but the team at Tiny Rebel Games … Continue reading ?


Game/Life Balance U.S. Podcast Episode 21: Martin-Con 2016 board game reviews

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Cody and Jon played a ton of board games at “Martin-Con” 2016 in Minneapolis, and they have a lot to say about them! Hear them delve into several board game reviews, then review X-Men: Apocalypse and talk a little Jessica Jones on Netflix.

Show Notes:


Legends Podcast #222; Hunger Games: Mocking Jay (sci-fi)

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This episode takes Wing, Op, Beef and Jay from GPR so we can make bad Mocking Jay puns, Oh and we talk about The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay. We have heavy discussion about the tone, the choices of editing, the performance and way much more. Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! these discussion will be spoiler fill and will use an explicit language, so consider yourself warn.

 

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iThing of the Week: Star Trek Rivals and Fast & Furious 6: The Game

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Two of this summer’s biggest films are Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6. Coinciding with the release of these two films are two games for the iPhone and iPad. Both games are free with plenty of opportunities for in-game purchases and have little to offer in terms of enhancing their cinematic counterparts or in gameplay.

Star Trek Rivals, by Elephant Mouse, is a digital card game. Each card has points on each side. Two players place their cards on a nine-square grid with the goal of capturing each other’s cards. The right move will set off a chain reaction, letting you capture multiple cards and win. You can play against your friends or a random match. You can play multiple matches at a time. For a measly sum of 5 gold-pressed latinum, you can reveal your rival’s cards, if you like playing that way. To get more cards you have to buy them. You can sell cards you start with, or you can play for a long time, leveling up and earning credits and latinum, or you can just use your money to buy Federation credits and gold-pressed latinum. There’s no story. The game is just collecting cards and playing matches. You can’t interact with your opponent beyond the match, and you can’t forfeit a game.

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Fast & Furious 6: The Game, by Kabam, has a story—you’re a new, up-and-coming driver who wants to be a part of Dom’s crew. The cast make appearances in the form of pictures; there is no voice acting. Tej runs the garage where you can buy new cars and upgrades. Roman gives you tasks to accomplish in order to move up the ranks. In order to meet Roman’s requirements, you need better cars and upgrades, so you have to take part in various activities like drift challenges and drag ladders. This wouldn’t be so tedious if the controls were better. The mechanics are pushing buttons and swiping the screen when prompted, but the timing is off. If you actually do the action when prompted, you’re too late, and you get penalized. You have to learn to do the action just before you’re prompted in order to win races and get bonuses. By relying on button presses and swipes, the game is a bit dull. The sensation of racing is not present. Since you run out of fuel, you’re limited to playing the game in very short bursts, so it can take a lot of time to advance unless you’re willing to spend your money on gold, the in-game currency.

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While both games are free, to advance in the games you need to succumb to micro-transactions unless you want to spend a lot of your time. Perhaps the micro-transactions would be worthwhile if the games had substance, but they don’t. Star Trek Rivals is a digital card game that doesn’t reflect any Star Trek values or connect to any Star Trek story. Fast & Furious 6: The Game has nice cars, but the game’s mechanics don’t invoke the sensation of driving. Both games are dull, so skip them and play something else.


iThing of the Week: Waking Mars and Ridiculous Fishing

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I’ve been playing games on my iPhone since I got one, but most of the games I played were card games or similarly simple games like Peggle. A game that was released last year, Waking Mars, is more ambitious than Solitaire Golf in scope and mechanics. While I liked the concept of Waking Mars, I didn’t finish it because the size of my iPhone screen was too small. On the flip side, a game I enjoyed on my iPhone, Ridiculous Fishing, is one I can’t stand on my iPad. These two games got me thinking why each game is better suited for a certain iDevice. Continue reading “iThing of the Week: Waking Mars and Ridiculous Fishing” »


iOS Must Have Games

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Earlier, I gave you a list of must have apps for your iOS devices.  If you’re a gamer my list probably bored you.  This list is for my fellow gamers!  So when you get your new iOS device you should take a look at some of these games.  Just remember a lot of these games aren’t free and the ones that are probably have in game micro transactions attached to them.

  1. :Shift: ($0.99) – This is a really fun puzzle game.  In fact it was one of the first I got for my iPhone.  This game regularly goes on sale for free on the app store so keep an eye open.  The game is in all black and white and the puzzle aspect comes into play as users have to ‘shift’ between the black and white spaces to complete puzzles.  Not only that, but you’re racing the clock and an occasional wall of spikes.
  2. Pocket God ($0.99) – If you’ve ever wanted to take on the mantle of a god this is your chance.  In Pocket God you act as the God of a group of island pygmies.  You can choose to be kind and benevolent by giving your people plenty of firewood, food and sunshine.  But, you can also choose to be evil and rain down destruction upon your people.  What is really cool about this game is that the developer adds regular new chapters of content. These new chapters are free after you buy the game.
  3. Jetpack Joyride (Free) – This is a simple game, but very addictive.  The premise is simple you are trying to steal an artifact and you have to escape a facility.  In order to escape you have your jetpack.  While escaping you have to avoid laser beams and bombs.  If you touch them you’re dead.  The game is endless as the path just goes on forever.  Your goal is to see just how far you can make it down the hall.
  4. Angry Birds Space ($0.99 on iPhone/iPod, $0.99 on iPad) – This takes the traditional Angry Birds game and adds a new twist by adding new physics to the game.  Now you can use gravity fields to slingshot your birds in different ways.  I wasn’t a big fan of the original Angry Birds games but the addition of planets and new physics made me a fan of the new game.
  5. Infinity Blade ($0.99) – This game is on sale until Jan 1 so its the perfect time to jump on the opportunity.  This was one of the prettiest looking games I had seen on my iPad and iPhone until the sequel came out earlier this year.  Epic Games does fantastic graphics work on consoles and on iOS devices it seems.  This is an adventure game where you have to duel a variety of enemies.  You can dodge and block their attacks and then swipe on screen to attack from different angles.  For instance if you swipe down to up your character will do an uppercut.  There”s a learning curve to fighting, but once you figure it all out you will have a blast.
  6. Sid Meir’s Pirates ($0.99 iPad) – This is almost a straight port of the old PC game.  If you remember that game and liked it, then you will love this game.  You sail the seas as a pirate trying to find your lost family.  You battle a variety of ships and curry favor with various island governors.  Like most of the other Sid Meir games it becomes very involved and you find yourself getting lost in the details for hours at a time.
  7. Major Mayhem (Free) – This is a game from the Adult Swim folks so you might have seen the ads for it on Cartoon Network.  The nice thing is that its still free.  Its an action scroller and as your character runs across the screen you have to touch the screen to shoot at your enemies.  Occasionally you will have to dodge incoming attacks while fighting your enemies.  As you progress through the game you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade your weapons and change costumes.  This is done with money earned in-game.
  8. Organ Trail: Director’s Cut ($2.99) – No, that’s not a typo.  This game is the Oregon Trail with a zombie twist.  If you liked the Oregon Trail this game will appeal to you.  The zombie encounters can wreak havoc with your party.  This game came to be as a result of a Kickstarter project.  Now its one of the more popular games in the App store.
  9. Slingo Supreme HD ($0.99 iPad) – If you’ve ever played Slingo online in the past this would be fun to you.  The game is a combination of slot machines and Bingo.  I can tell you, I have wasted a lot of time on this game and not realized it.  Once you start playing you lose track of time.
  10. Swordigo ($1.99) – This game is a platformer that reminds me a lot of the older Zelda Nintendo games.  Much of the combat is inspired by Zelda and your task is traverse the kingom to collect items to eventually save everyone.  This game goes on sale from time to time so keep an eye out.  One of the nicest features in this game is that the game features an iCloud save sync.  This means I can start playing on my iPad, take a break and then pick up right where I left off on my iPhone.  Very nice feature that I wish more games had.
  11. Final Fantasy IV ($15.99) – I know you all are looking at the price and thinking that I’ve lost my mind, but bear with me here.  This is a port of the same version of Final Fantasy IV from the Nintendo DS.  As such, the graphics have been improved off the original 2D game from the early 90s.  Also, this game took me about 26 hours to beat when I first played it on my Game Boy.  You can sink a lot of hours into this game.  This game is going to appeal to fans of the Final Fantasy series.  I had a lot of fun with this game if only for nostalgia value alone.