Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Gaming: Video Game Releases in June 2019

***WARNING:  Some of the videogames I feature are rated T (teen) and M (mature).  I celebrate the technology and the skillset -- seriously -- of these games.   I respect that every family makes their own decisions for what games are played in their house.***

After the bumper year that was 2018, it might seem unlikely that 2019 can top it. There are some fantastic releases lined up though, from Bioware’s action MMO Anthem, to a new Pokemon game from Nintendo. 

Moving into June and we see the return of a beloved classic. Let’ take a look at the video game releases for June 2019.

  • Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled (PS4, Xbox One, Switch) - June 21
  • Phoenix Point (PC, Xbox One) - June
  • Judgment - June 25

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

5 Easy Boardgames for your Game Night

For most of us, learning a new board game is the least exciting part of game night. Rulebooks can be overwhelming, and just because you’ve read the rules cover to cover doesn’t mean you fully grasp the game.
That’s why board games that are easy-to-learn can be a breath of fresh air. And while the cardinal sin of game night will always be opening a game for the first time and reading the rules aloud to your glassy-eyed friends, there are several games that can be learned in ten minutes or fewer.


If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a professional code-breaker, this is the perfect game for you.
At a glance, Decrypto, designed by Thomas Dagenais-LespĂ©rance, appears to share a lot with the hit word game Codenames. There are two teams of players, with one player from each team giving clues to guide their teammates in picking the right words. However, the similarities end there.
Players are divided into two teams, each of which has a screen with their four secret words. Simultaneously, one player from each team draws a code card with a series of three numbers from 1 to 4 that indicates the exact order in which their team must choose their secret words. Then, they give three clues to guide their team to guess the right words in the right order.
Here’s the twist: the opposing team is taking notes on the other team’s clues, and they get a chance to crack the code first. Early in the game, they will have little idea of what the other team’s secret words are. But over time, patterns will emerge in the clues and one team might successfully crack the code.
This head-to-head game of codebreaking is fun whether it’s played for keeps or for laughs, and it’s great with a big crowd.


Arguably the game that started the current trend of Tetris-like titles, Uwe Rosenberg’s Patchwork is the perfect example of “easy to learn, hard to master.”
Each player works to create their own quilt by purchasing differently shaped tiles using buttons, the game’s currency. The tiles are placed randomly in a circle on the table, and a pawn is placed at one point on the ring. On your turn, you may purchase any of the three tiles clockwise from the pawn. This leads to simple yet agonizing decisions as you must consider not only how a tile fits in your quilt but also what tiles your opponent will be able to acquire on their turn.
Because there is no randomness aside from the initial setup, this can be a battle of wits—or if you prefer, you can play more casually as you admire your growing quilt. This is a two-player game with plenty of depth that is easy to play over and over.


Designed by Mac Gerdts, Concordia puts players in the roles of leaders of Roman dynasties as they vie for various trade routes and commodities in ancient Rome.
A glance at the board may give you an impression that you’re in for a half-hour rules explanation, but I can teach you most of the rules right now:
Players earn points in a variety of ways, including constructing buildings in different cities, earning money, and obtaining colonists. You are given a hand of starting cards, and you can purchase more cards throughout the game. Each card does two things: it allows you to perform an action, and it scores you points at the end of the game for a certain category. By purchasing more cards with specific scoring conditions, you can control the way you play and earn points. On your turn, play a card and do what it says. Once you have played a card, you cannot play it again until you choose to pick up all of your cards. That’s it!
The result, however, is a cunning game that is full of difficult choices and a variety of strategies. There are many ways to play this quintessential eurogame of trading and settling in ancient Rome.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

2019 Summer Trend Is Retro Board Games On Your Phone

Beloved board games like Scrabble, Monopoly, and Battleship hold a special place in our hearts. These "retro games" are now making a huge comeback this summer on your mobile phone.

While some argue board games are outdated, it’s quite the opposite: Classic games are enjoyed by adults today not only for their entertainment value, but for their impact on many different areas of culture. Here are a few interesting facts you may not know about these retro amusements:

  • Parker Brothers prints 30 times more Monopoly money every year than the United States prints real money.
  • Scrabble is an official sport in several African countries, including Senegal and Mali.
  • The phrase “back to square one” takes inspiration from the game Chutes and Ladders.
In a recent world-wide survey of over 3,000 adults, games like Bingo and Monopoly remain favorites well into adulthood. Here’s a sample of the survey results:
  • The #1 worldwide favorite board game is Bingo with 56.6% citing it as their favorite
  • A very close second is Monopoly with 56.3% citing it
  • The #3 favorite board game is Yahtzee with 34.6% citing it

Companies like Fort Mason Games are bringing classic board games back to life on our mobile devices. Their Lucky Scratch mobile game,  a free to play scratch-off and match game that rewards players with real prizes, is tapping into America’s love of nostalgic board games with its new daily live Bingo with a modern twist – awarding real prizes to winners instantly and digitally.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Gaming: Video Game Releases in May 2019

***WARNING:  Some of the videogames I feature are rated T (teen) and M (mature).  I celebrate the technology and the skillset -- seriously -- of these games.   I respect that every family makes their own decisions for what games are played in their house.***

Yep, it's May already which means we have a whole new batch of of game releases to get excited over.  Let's talk about worlds, features and what to expect.

Rage 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - May 14

“Rage 2” will revisit the story told in “Rage 1” and confirm what happened after the original game's divisive ending. ... “Rage 2” takes place 30 years after the events of the original game, and the world – complete with vegetation, swamps, and biomes – is no longer a wasteland.

    Team Sonic Racing (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) - May 21
    Team Sonic Racing is a racing game in which players race against each other in multiplayer racing using fifteen characters from across the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. ... In the latter case, it allows players to work together as a team to win races by sharing power-ups and speed boosts

    Little Friends: Dogs & Ca
    It's time to meet your new Little Friends! These adorable puppies and kittens can't wait to meet you in the first pet training game for Nintendo Switch.  Play with up to 3 pets at once and own up to 12. Get to know their personalities and feed them their favorite food. Play with your pet using their favorite new toy or take them out for walks and compete in the flying disc tournament, using the Joy-Con™ motion controls or Nintendo Switch touch screen. Each pet has its own personality, behavior and looks. Look after your pet to develop a bond and grow your friendship. Dress them up in more than 600 stylish accessories to make them look their best. Care for your new furry friend to develop a long-lasting friendship.

    Tuesday, April 30, 2019

    Gaming: Team Sonic Racing – 5 Awesome Features You Need To Know About

    ***WARNING:  Some of the videogames I feature are rated T (teen) and M (mature).  I celebrate the technology and the skillset -- seriously -- of these games.   I respect that every family makes their own decisions for what games are played in their house.***

    Sumo Digital are returning with their third Sonic kart racing title, but with Team Sonic Racing, they’re mixing things up quite a bit. New elements are being introduced, new mechanics are going to be in play, while several ones from the older games are being dropped, as Team Sonic Racing looks to craft a new style of kart racing experience. As we look ahead to its launch on May 21st, in this feature, we’ll be taking a look at fifteen things you need to know about the game.

    Characters in Team Sonic Racing will fall into one of thee categories: speed, power, or technique, with each of these three having their own characteristics and attributes. Speed class characters will, as their name suggests, be speedier, while power class characters will be able to smash and drive through obstacles on tracks. Meanwhile, technique class characters will be able to drive over rough terrain without slowing down.


    Why this focus on classes, though? Well, in a big shake-up to the formula, Team Sonic Racing is putting great emphasis on co-op play. Players will be part of a team of racers, who must work together to perform better. Paying attention to the performance and actions of your teammates will be key, while mechanics such as sharing power ups with team members will also come into play.


    So what’s the composition of the races in light of this focus on co-op? Each race will see twelve competitors in total, who’ll be divided into four teams of three. Any character can be in any team, while players can also choose to have three of a single character being in a single team as well- though of course, given the focus on classes and co-op play, that might not be ideal in most situations.


    Here’s another way Team Sonic Racing is setting itself apart from other kart racers, which also ties in with its focus on co-op racing. Races in Team Sonic Racing won’t be won on the basis of your positioning, but rather your team’s total points. As such, working together and performing well as a team will be key to victory.


    Sega and Sumo Digital have looked at quite a few games to serve as inspirations for the co-op-based gameplay of Team Sonic Racing. For starters, the idea came to them from Sonic Heroes, whose team-centric gameplay was used as a point of reference. Meanwhile, the developers have also cited the likes of Splatoon and Overwatch as inspirations.


    Unlike Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, which also allowed players to take control of boats and planes, Sonic Team Racing will focus on cars, and cars only. The developers say they have done so because they felt having vehicles other than cars didn’t fit with the game’s team-based gameplay, which is something that they wanted to emphasize a lot.


    But other vehicle types aren’t the only thing Team Sonic Racing is dropping. No, unlike its predecessors, Team Sonic Racing will only feature characters from Sonic, and not from other Sega franchises. So while previous Sonic kart racers have featured characters from the likes of Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio, here, it’s all about Sonic and his friends (or enemies).

    SOURCE: https://gamingbolt.com/team-sonic-racing-15-things-you-need-to-know-before-you-buy

    Tuesday, April 23, 2019

    Gaming: Rage 2’s latest trailer shows "insanely wild open" World!

    ***WARNING:  Some of the videogames I feature are rated T (teen) and M (mature).  I celebrate the technology and the skillset -- seriously -- of these games.   I respect that every family makes their own decisions for what games are played in their house.***

    The newest trailer outlines what an “insanely wild open world shooter” it is  Bethesda has released a new trailer for Rage 2 showing off all of the wild and wonderful possibilities at your fingertips in the game.
    “You know how most games have either guns OR cars OR open worlds OR superpowers? RAGE 2 says ‘nah’ to OR and ‘hell yeah’ to AND AND AND AND AND,” says the video description.
    The game is bursting with features to make players feel like a superhero.

    Check out this trailer!

    Rage 2 is going to be as nuts!
    Rage 2 is out May 14 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

    Tuesday, April 9, 2019

    5 Easy Family-Friendly Game Night Ideas

    We love hosting a good old-fashioned game night. It’s so much fun to get together with family or friends and laugh the night away – without spending a dime. Sure there are board games that cost $30 or more, but you don’t have to buy a new game every time you have people over. There are plenty of ways to keep the cost of game night low while keeping the laughs abundant.

    Here are 5 free or cheap ideas for your next game night.

    Card Games

    1. Egyptian War
    This is probably my all-time favorite card game, and I don’t think that I have ever won even once. It is similar to regular war in that the object of the game is to take possession of all the cards in the deck. This game could last 5 minutes or 5 hours depending on the course of the game and the aggressiveness of the players. Read the rules for the game, also known as Egyptian Ratscrew.

    2. Spades
    If you want to play a card game and you have exactly four players, I highly recommend the game of Spades. I like this game because you can play with a partner which often adds even more excitement to game night. Check out the Spades rules to learn how to play.

    3. Spoons
    This game is played by sitting in a circle with one less spoon in the middle than there are participants (kind of like musical chairs). Each player starts with 4 cards in their hands. The goal is to get 4 of the same rank. As a deck of cards is passed around the circle one card at a time, your goal is to find a desired card and then discreetly exchange it for one you want to discard from your hand. Once you get 4 cards of the same rank, discreetly get a spoon from the middle. When other players notice that a spoon is missing from the the middle, they all must attempt to grab a spoon as quickly as possible in order to not be the only one left without one.

    Classic Games

    4. Pictionary
    Not an artist? No worries. This game is actually more fun if you can’t draw. Get ready for loads of laughter when your team can’t decipher if what you’re drawing is a banana or an airplane! You can create your own game set with a white board and some fun words to draw written on small pieces of paper, or you can buy the actual Pictionary game (made by Hasbro) for around $30.

    5. Charades
    You can never go wrong with a classic game like charades. Simply split into teams and then have one person from each team act out a movie, book, or TV show to see who can guess the answer. This is a great game for introverts who want to be less shy.

    6. Telephone
    One person starts the game by whispering a sentence into the ear of the person sitting next to them. They whisper what they think they heard to the person on the other side of them. This continues until the sentence gets to the last person. At that time, the person says out loud what they think they heard. This is a great game for kids, particularly for kid’s birthday parties, but adults can have fun with it too!