Smartphone and tablet users are constantly hounded by a barrage of gaming apps, most of which are mediocre at best. These apps pass the time when a person is waiting around at the doctor’s office, but they are usually not that great outside of that. Sleuth is a bit different; it’s a game that actually makes a person think. Part trivia, part Wheel of Fortune, and part Pictionary: Sleuth is a creative and addictive game that is a blast to play.
Sleuth gives out four pictures and has the player try and determine a particular “mystery.” A player is initially shown a category, which include people, movies, places, words, history, television, books, and songs. There are then four tiles that appear on the screen. Each tile slowly reveals a picture that gives hints to what the mystery item might be. Above the tiles the answer is given in a Hangman or Wheel of Fortune-type style. A player must start typing from the beginning of the sequence in order to get the answer correct. The letter will show up green for correct and red for incorrect. After awhile, letters will begin to appear in the answer boxes to give the player a bit of a hint.
There is a timer that counts down, and the quicker a player solves the puzzle, the more points he or she ends up receiving. When the time goes down, the points fall as well. Guessing an incorrect letter will also drop points as well as not getting a puzzle at all. A player’s points carry over, so it’s important to try to solve the mystery as quickly and accurately as possible. Players may use in-app purchasing to buy hunches that reveal letters. However, a player can refer a friend and get free hunches.
Players end up competing against each other from around the world because there is a leader-board for the highest scorers. The top month’s scorer gets a Sleuth t-shirt and the top annual winner will get an iPad.
The game is not one of those apps that someone can “space out” and play. One must really think to do well. Puzzles can range in difficulty depending on the player’s trivia skills. The variety of puzzles also can keep a player on his or her toes, since the categories can range from popular culture to geography. The pacing and scoring of the game make it addicting, since guessing wrong or not getting a puzzle correct will decrease the score. It’s easy to go, “Just one more puzzle,” and end up playing for a lot longer.
The best part about Sleuth is its uniqueness and possibilities for play. It’s different from the typical game app because it relies on a player’s knowledge instead of gaming skill. It is geared more for adults, but it would actually make an interesting app for older children as it reinforces spelling, visual cognition, and common knowledge. The game would also be great for parties and gatherings if used on a larger tablet.
Sleuth is developed by SimWave and is available for Android this week and IOS next week. It is free with ads and $.99 without ads.
Overall, Sleuth is a lot of fun. It’s different, challenging, and has a lot of potential. This one is a must-add to your list of game apps.
Just when amiibo hunters out there thought the amiibo exclusive nightmare was over, Nintendo partners with Walmart Stores to release a “Gold Mario” edition Mario amiibo on March 20th. This coincides with the Mario Party 10 launch on the same day. To date, there is no information on preorders. Unlike the other retailer exclusive amiibo, Gold Mario MIGHT be more readily available since they will be shipped to 3,000 Walmart stores for $12.99 each. *update: initial preorders are SOLD OUT*
This special amiibo is part of the “Super Mario Series” which works with Mario Party 10’s “amiibo party” mode. It also works with other amiibo enhanced games like Hyrule Warriors, Mario Kart 8, and Super Smash Bros. The “Super Mario Series” amiibos will be released along side Mario Party 10. We will keep you posted on these an other stories regarding these releases and the Wave 4 amiibos.
Well, delving into Citizens of Earth, a new turn-based RPG from Eden Industries and Atlus, I was only expecting it to be a short, basic, easy game that may or may not be fun. It turns out to be a prime example of not judging a book by its cover. What is seemingly a small digital title hides what easily could have been a full retail release, yet it only costs a quarter of the price. Citizens of Earth offers much more than your average AAA games released today.
Within the first few minutes of starting the game I was already hooked on its charm. Even more so after the next few minutes when a clever parody of a well known coffee chain surfaces, Moonbucks. The first few groups of enemies including Cappuccinerds and Decaffinators already had me laughing to myself, even further as the story continued, with more zany enemies and characters to be discovered. The game is definitely not short on witty puns and references to other fabled video game franchises that will have you cracking up whilst playing. There is no rigidly set way for how you choose to continue on, with many side quests and challenges to complete. One must also pay careful attention to detail, including what is revealed as clues, many times only being revealed once and could leave you wandering the world aimlessly in hopes of finding what is required. Although there is a HUD available for the current section of the map there is no overall world map. Combined with the default zoom level, the intricate and specific ways that many areas need to be accessed add to the overall challenge. There were some minor bugs that made it a bit more confusing, like part of Chapter 3 was showing it still needed to be completed, while chapter 4 had already been finished. The game itself crashed a couple of times but the auto save is very liberal, leaving little to no progress lost.
As the Vice President of the World, your quest begins with investigating all the strange on goings in your hometown. As you progress, you recruit more citizens to help on your journey. They also are responsible for not getting your hands dirty, as the VP, they will fight all you turn based battles while you cheer them on (no the battles aren’t automatic, the VP just becomes an NPC cheerleader during them). In total, there are 40 citizens that offer varying degrees of quests to recruit. Not only does each one have a level that increases with XP earned in battle, they also have unique talents that also increase with talent XP. Some of these talents are required to progress while others are very helpful, such as fast travel, difficulty slider (which offers differing bonuses base on setting), and removing obstacles on the map. Combat is basic turned based, with 3 citizens of your choosing, partaking in battles. As with their talents, each have unique combat skills, an unlock more through experience, the depth and variation of which can greatly alter the outcome. The voice acting is intentionally cheesy, yet puts shame to some other big name video game appearances of late that were rather lackluster. The VP especially, left me constantly reminded of an Adam West type performance.
Overall, Citizens of Earth is an intricate, detailed, fun filled experience. Those that may scoff at it for its appearance of a small or indie game are truly missing out. Some have said it’s a knock off or a lower version of games of old, yet it is nothing of the sort. Of course there are similarities based upon the game’s inspiration, but it has enough merit to stand on its own. I enjoyed all 43 hours and 3 minutes that it took to achieve 100% completion and now that I have a full idea on the layout and progression, I look forward to a second play through. Those looking for a throwback, turn based RPG cannot go wrong with Citizens of Earth, especially at $15.99 (or less with PS Plus and Steam sales). So hop to it and save the world today.
It’s been a while since I’ve played point and click adventure games; they were a childhood staple for me. Most kids had either a Gameboy or a console, both if they were lucky, for me it was adventure and educational computer games. I grew up in a strict household where if we were having fun we better be doing something that wasn’t making our brain rot so that’s how I ended up playing lots of point and click games. From what I remember most of those games probably wouldn’t be much fun for me today, but those mystery and puzzle games had always been fun to figure out. Apart from Nancy Drew I hadn’t really ventured in the point and click adventure game genre since but Broken Sword 2 has refreshed my curiosity.
Definitely not for kids it’s the second game in the Broken Sword series which revolve around the adventures of George Stobbart and Nico Collard. The remastered game is available in both PC and mobile devices in download format. In this installment Nico goes with George to investigate a carved Mayan stone she came across while investigating a drug ring. When she goes to a professor’s house to get more info George is knocked out and she is immediately abducted. The game has you step in the shoes of both Nico and George to unravel a strange conspiracy that puts their lives in danger and might have the fate of the world rest in its balance.
The controls are easy to figure out in both mobile and computer with options to look, talk, pick up, and interact depending on the nature of the thing you’re clicking on. With simple controls you’re free to examine and figure your way through the game. One of the things that has always been frustrating for me was the common stuck feeling I always got when playing through these types of games, but Broken Sword 2 has hints to help you through the game when you need a nudge. My favorite thing about the hint feature is the games give you escalating hints that go from slight nudges to detailed instructions on what to do the more hints you ask for, which allows you to still get the satisfaction of figuring things out and not have to consult walkthroughs if you hit a brick wall.
This game is hard enough to not be a one sitting game, requiring me to stop playing halfway through so I don’t finish by the time the sun rises again. According to Steam I played for 8 hours, your experience may vary.
Perhaps what made my game drag out so much was the witty dialogue and excellent voice acting, which had me pick every talking option with the other characters. If you’re like me in that aspect you’ll enjoy some of the jokes throughout the game, one of my favorite involves a tequila worm I picked up, and you have the option of showing it to most characters you encounter in the game with Stobbart himself seeming to notice his strange attraction to the worm as the game progresses. Everything else is top notch too. This game came out in the 90’s so there’s only so much you can remaster until it loses its old fashioned charm, and to me it seems tweaked enough to still feel like a game from the era but enough retouching to make the game look like a really good version of its old self. The cut scenes are some of the most gratifying things you get out of the game and push you to see how the story ends. The new game even comes with a prequel comic, a great bonus for such a satisfying game.
So what I’m saying is you should definitely check out the remastered version of Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror, it’s a great game. If you want to watch the trailer be mindful that it might contain some spoilers.
Over the weekend, Nintendo said that they would announce a new character coming to the new Super Smash Bros. Turns out instead of one, we got three reveals. That’s right, Nintendo decided to give us three characters in one trailer, one returning veteran, two completely brand new to the series. Take a look at the trailer.
Finally, the reintroduction of Captain Falcon. We all knew he would be back, he’s been a staple character since the first game, but sure took their sweet time in bringing him back. But the main focus of the trailer was the two new characters, both from the Fire emblem series. Introducing Robin and Lucina.
Lucina, a character many fans have been clamoring for, and Robin join both Marth and Ike from the Fire emblem series. All four look to have very different playing styles considering they are all swordsmen from the same game. The variety is welcomed and they all look like fun fighters to use. Chrome, another Fire emblem character, was also shown in the trailer but it seems that he won’t be a playable fighter. Nintendo even made a slight jab at him not getting a chance until it showed him appearing to be either an assist trophy or part of someone’s final smash. Lastly, the trailer showed a female version of Robin would also be available as a costume option.
With this new trailer, the roster climbs to 36 making it the largest roster of the series. This isn’t the end of character announcements as we can still expect a few more. Still waiting for Jigglypuff to return and hopefully a few more newbies but as even as of now this is a superb roster. Super Smash Bros on the 3DS releases October 3 and the Wii U version releases this holiday season.
PAX East 2014 was my fourth PAX but my first time going as Media. As always, PAX East was a great experience! Every year PAX East is held in Boston, so I enjoy being able to see another part of the East Coast while checking out all the video games.
This year I got to see many different video games, the most notable of which included This War of Mine from 11 Bit Studios, Sniper Elite 3 and Defense Grid 2 from 505 Games and Hidden Path Entertainment, and Framed from Loveshack Entertainment. All of these games were very different from one another but brought a lot to the table to create an enjoyable experience. This War of Mine allows you to gain insight into the struggle of a war torn country from a very individual level of trying to survive day to day. Sniper Elite 3 brought a new and fun entry into shooters with absolutely amazing and awe-worthy graphics. Defense Grid 2 was an amazingly fun tower defense game that doesn’t fail to keep you on your toes. Framed was a very unique entry with a puzzle style journey through a mystery. I plan to get all of these games the minute they’re available and I highly recommend each and every one of them.
Of course, there was far more to see during PAX East as the expanse of the show floor and panels is ginormous! 2014 was definitely the year of the indie games for PAX East. The presence of AAA games seemed to be a bit light and I was quite worried when I saw the schedule, but PAX East did not disappoint.
An organization I would definitely like to highlight is Operation Supply Drop. As an Army brat (my parents served in the Army for a long time) and having a lot of friends in the military, it definitely makes me happy to see an organization that makes it their mission to help out the troops. Operation Supply Drop does just that and more. I met with Captain Stephen Machuga of the US Army and Charity Founder. Captain Machuga, as well as everyone at OSD’s booth exhuded passion and enthusiasm about their mission to bring “video games to soldiers in combat zones and military hospitals.” Being in a combat zone, in military hospitals, and other areas where soldiers serve can be extremely stressful so OSD does their best to make “fun where there is none!” There was never a dull moment at the booth while there or passing and I’ve seen so much enthusiasm from the gaming community to help their cause. It’ll be very interesting to see how OSD expands and grows further to be such a great presence for our troops. For more information about their cause and how to help out, check out their website at www.OperationSupplyDrop.org, their Twitter @OpSupplyDrop, and their Facebook page at Facebook.com/OperationSupplyDrop.
I also got to check out numerous booths on the show floor which is always exciting. GUNNAR Optiks never disappoints with their selection of gaming eyewear. I even snagged myself a pair from their Intercept line in Ink (purple). I always get a pair of GUNNARs every time I go to PAX East and absolutely love them. Whether I’m gaming or staring at a computer screen, GUNNARs help reduce the strain in my eyes. I’ve also found that their line of sunglasses are absolutely wonderful and are far better than all of the other sunglasses that I own.
As always, PAX East was a great experience and I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance. It’s worth the fun and craziness and the video game culture galore! Everyone is excited and happy to be there with so many things to do with such a short amount of time!
Although I may not attend next year, you may be able to catch me at PAX South and PAX Prime next year. I, also, plan to be at Otakon this summer and Baltimore Comic Con this fall.
Did you go? What did you think of PAX East? Is there anything from my experience at PAX East that you’d like to hear more about? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @LadyLoveMonster!
As everyone has already said it’s hard to believe and year has gone by, but with no complaints E3 media day is back! Per usual Sony followed Microsoft and this year both knew the focus would have to be bringing next gen gaming hype to their respective console. Here’s Sony’s Press Conference in it’s entirety if you missed it courtesy of IGN.
Without going too deep into each title here are the high notes from the presser and leading off the conference was this new Destiny Trailer.
The big announcement for Destiny was that starting this Thursday there will be Alpha access for the game and the Beta will begin July 17th. Also announced was a Destiny PS4 bundle including a new “Glacier white” PS4, Destiny and a 30 day trial of PS+. The white PS4 will be released along with the game on Sep. 9 and has the same specs and the others so other than a color change nothing new is being added.
Next Andrew House introduced the new gameplay trailer for the The Order 1886.
If you don’t know The Order was introduced last year at E3 and is a game about a group of knights protecting the world from monsters like the one you saw above.
Also shown was a new indie game called Entwined. Entwined is brought to you by Pixel Opus, a combination of recent graduates from Carnegie Mellon and San Jose State university.
Entwined, according to the speaker, is a game about “two souls in love.” Throughout the game you’re guiding these souls through sequences and upon clearing levels will have them come together to create a dragon. It’s a cute little game that’s out now in the Playstation store for $9.99.
Infamous Second Son made a repeat appearance this year, but its big announcement was the standalone DLC coming in August featuring “Fetch.” Alongside it was the announcement and premiere of Little Big Planet 3.
One of the biggest reveals was Bloodborne. You might remember a the game being called Project Beast and is Hidetaka Miyazaki’s, director of the first two souls games, new title. If you’re a souls fanboy like me you probably can’t wait for this game to come out.
Far Cry 4 came out with a gameplay trailer as well, but the most interesting part was the drop-in co-op at the end of the trailer.
Far Cry 4’s co-op is called guns for hire and the best part is you don’t have to own the game to play it. If you have a friend that wants to play with you and he doesn’t own it or you’re the one wanting to join you just drop in and play like you’ve always had it. You also get all the experience from that session as well.
The coolest game of the show was a game called No Man’s Sky by indie studio Hello Games.
I don’t even know what to do in the game, but every time I see the trailer I just get extremely excited. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t get ruined by the impending hype train that is E3 reveals and expectations.
If you haven’t seen the press conference you really should give it a look. It’s full of cool and interesting things coming to the system in the coming months. Last of Us is getting a remastered release, Ratchet and Clank the movie was premiered, GTA V is coming to next gen and you can upload your PS3 or Xbox 360 save data. It’s going to be a great, guys.
More towards the end of conference Sony took a backseat from games to introduce some of the new hardware coming out like Playstation Tv and project Morpheus.
Playstation Tv allows you to play a huge library of Playstation games with just the device and a Dualshock 3 controller. As for Mopheus more and more developers are starting to play around with it and the PS4 camera giving their VR headset a pretty bright outlook.
Rounding out the evening were two trailers for the upcoming Batman game, Batman Arkham Knight, and a new trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Overall I really enjoyed Sony’s press conference. While the PS4 still isn’t a must have these games should be more than enough to help you make your decision regardless of whichever console you choose.
June looks like it will be our first slow month of 2014, and I’m sure our wallets will thank us. Never fear though, each console has at least one awesome game releasing this month. So, if you’re not busy with Watch Dogs at the moment, check out this month’s new releases.
Ultra Street Fighter IV (PS3, 360)
1001 Spikes (PS4, Vita, PC)
Call of Duty: Ghosts – Invasion DLC (Xbox One, 360)
Hyper Dimension Neptunia PP (PS3)
Murdered: Soul Suspect (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC)
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (Vita)
PlayStation Vita Pets (Vita)
War Thunder (PS4)
Worms Battlegrounds (PS4)
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Tomodachi Life (3DS)
Enemy Front (PC)
EA Sports UFC (PS4, Xbox One)
Pushmo World (Wii U)
Divinity: Original Sin (PC)
Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3, Vita)
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (Vita)
GRID Autosport – June 24 (PS3, 360, PC)
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (PC)
The Swapper (PS4, PS3, Vita)
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, Wii U, 3DS)
Valiant Hearts (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)
Sniper Elite 3
Sniper Elite 3 (PC)
My picks for the month are WildStar, Sniper Elite 3, and Murdered: Soul Suspect. What will you be picking up this month?
Inspired by Adventure Time, Minecraft, and Legend of Zelda, May’s Loot Crate has to be my favorite so far! Loot Crate is a monthly subscription box filled with nerdy goodies – toys, stickers, t-shirts, etc. It’s like getting nerd Christmas every month! This month featured a Legend of Zelda t-shirt. If you look closely, it’s Link made out of words. My very favorite item in this Loot Crate was the Adventure Time tin. Not only do you get an awesome character tin, but you get a blind bag figure inside. My tin was Fionna and I got BMO inside! This was my favorite because those are two of my favorite Adventure Time characters.
A very close second for favorite item is the Legend of Zelda key chain. It doubles as a bottle opener and it has a picture of the famous scene, “It’s dangerous to go alone…” I always love when Loot Crates come with practical items. Another item worth mentioning was a Minecraft blind bag “hanger,” which I guess works as a key chain because the ring on it is sturdy enough for one. I got a skeleton.
Other items in this month’s Crate are tons and tons of stickers from Polaris and Maker studios, as well as a soundtrack for the talk show The Friend Zone.
One strange thing about this month’s Loot Crate, however, is that it didn’t come with the usual monthly magazine that explains what came in it and the occasional article. Maybe it was just a mistake and they forgot to put it in my Crate?
Either way, I would consider May’s Loot Crate to be my all-time favorite so far. If you like what you see, Loot Crate is $20 per month, including shipping. Go to LootCrate.com to sign up and be sure to follow Loot Crate on Facebook for discounts and contests.