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.