Category Archives: Games

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes #Game #Review

I’ve finally found my first VR experience that I just don’t want to leave.

It’s a game called Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, and they aren’t joking when they say to keep talking.

Keep Talking is a MultiPlayer game with one player in the VR (the bomb defuser) and the other players in the real world (with a manual).

The bomb defuser is locked in a room with a bomb. The bomb has a countdown, a limit to how many mistakes can be made, and an X number of modules.
These modules range from colored wires to word games and from buttons to mazes.

The catch is that the defuser doesn’t know how to solve any of them without the manual…which is in the hands of the real world people, and with constant communication, the two parties try to solve it all before the bomb explodes. The defuser can’t see the manual…and the manual readers can’t see the bomb.

I’ve spent 7+ hours playing this over the last few days, and am immersed in the experience.

Be sure you and the other players have good communication, and won’t get annoyed when you’re screaming at each other for failing at seemingly simple tasks.

Crosswords With Friends

Crossowords With Friends is the latest Zynga word experience to hit mobile devices, and it’s a fun play…for a few minutes.

I’ve had the game for a couple of days, and am hit with a problem. They give you a daily puzzle for free…but it only takes me about four and a half minutes to finish it…so of course I head to the calendar and play older puzzles.

But like most games, older puzzles aren’t free and cost “10 coins” a piece. Thankfully they start you off with a nice sum of coinage, but it wasn’t long until I plowed through all of that too
It’s only been since the weekend, and I’m already 88 puzzles in (thankfully they let you earn coins as well).

The good news is, while all of them are Entertainment themed, due to a partnership with “People”, there is also a daily overall theme, and don’t let the names fool you…the clues and puzzles are just way too simple, regardless what day of the week it is.

  • People Sunday
  • Movie Monday
  • TV Tuesday
  • Wayback Wednesday
  • Top 40 Thursday
  • Sports Fan Friday
  • Smartypants Saturday

The app is available now on Android and iOS.

Video Game Hall of Fame Finalists

The video game Hall-of-Fame opened in 2015 with a hall that was headlined by Pac-Man, Pong, and Super Mario Bros, and rounded out by Tetris, Doom, and World of Warcraft.

A year later The Sims, The Oregon Trail, The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders, and Grand Theft Auto III were added to the prestigious list.

And on May 4th they will announce this year’s inductees, but for now they’ve just announced the nominees, and if it were up to me here is the Class of 2017:

  • Pokemon Red and Green – This is the only one that was nominated before, both in 2015 and 2016, and was the start of a generation of outstanding video games
  • Windows Solitaire – We’ve all been bored and opened this one up, even when we didn’t know how to play (at first)
  • Tomb Raider – Had a greater reach than just video games, leading to movies starring Angelina Jolie in the lead role
  • Mortal Kombat – We all remember when we successfully executed that finishing move to perfection and buried our opponents
  • Donkey Kong – Barrel rolling gorillas remind me of my time spent in the Congo
  • Wii Sports – This was the first game that really changed the “Human movement video game” world, and the start of a great YouTube era of “people throwing controllers through their televisions”

The remaining six nominees are:

  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Myst
  • Resident Evil
  • Street Fighter II
  • Portal

Now if previous predictions are an indicator, you can successfully say that I will be wrong on all six of my picks.

Xbox Game Pass

Two and a half years ago Electronic Arts launched EA Access, and finally Microsoft and Xbox is catching up to the future of gaming.

In the next few months Microsoft will be rolling out “Xbox Game Pass” and for $9.99/month you get access to a full library of games.
They are promising over 100 games from the Xbox One and 360 collections, and a rotating stock to choose from.
And as long as you are a subscriber you can continue playing whatever you download.
Meanwhile, these games are not streaming and laggy, but rather downloaded to your device like standard games.

And while services like this usually include only second-tier games, they are promising some big names on opening day including Halo 5Payday 2, and SoulCalibur II.

Guitar Hero Live

Yup, the game came out 15+ months ago, but I finally got around to playing it so here are my thoughts:

The Gameplay experience is a step up from previous games, as performing in front of a “Live Crowd” and hearing them react to wrong notes is a lot more fun than just a generic background.

Meanwhile, the Setlist was pretty decent, with three songs from the 1900s and then a nice mix of 2000s and 2010s, as well as a range of styles from Indie to Metal.

But then you turn to the controller, and where all the issues begin:

  • Personally I’d prefer a wired controller for this sort of game because the wireless one doesn’t work great.
    With the dongle plugged in behind my Xbox (in an open area) it wouldn’t read all the signals, and when moved to the side USB port I experienced better results, but still an occasional missed note.
  • To that effect, the brand new controller I got was defective, with the downwards clicker only working 50% of the time. This was tested out of game as well, with generic scrolling through menus…up worked fine, down was spotty.
  • New controls: Changing from the original five colored keys they moved to six Black and White keys, three up-three down, this up/down black/white style sometimes made it difficult to read on the screen (especially when using a “Power Up” and you’d have blue flashes across the screen). The clunky controls, with a line in between up and down, made it more difficult to do “combos” in which they wanted you to hit both at once with the same finger.

This game is overall pretty bad and gets a 4.5 out of 10, I’d go for one of the older ones…if they worked on the One.

Guitar Hero Live Poster

Super Mario Run

When this game came out on December 15th, the number of downloads was through the roof, with 2.85 Million on Day 1.

Nintendo and Mario have been exclusively together for so many years, and now they were finally going out of their way to join the mobile platforms.

But when I downloaded the app and played through the first three levels, I wondered to myself: “This is what we waited for”?

A spin-off on the classic “Temple Run” theme, of your character moving on their own and you simply tapping on the screen to jump, Super Mario Run lets you run through boards chasing after Bowser in an attempt to save the Princess.

When I reached level 1-4 I found out that the game wasn’t really “Free”, and to unlock the rest I needed to pay $10 for another 21 levels…and trust me when I say that the three levels they give you to try doesn’t smell of “high level gaming”.

Now I am sure that thousands of people will dish out the money for this, and do it time and again with each level release, but the game in its current stage just isn’t worth it.
It’s not particularly exciting once you get past the “I’M PLAYING MARIO AGAIN” portion of things, and it’s just another mundane iOS game.

I personally find it to be a 4.5 out of 10.

Super Mario Run

Hess Trucks

The Hess Truck is back, and it’s better than ever.

Every year Hess rolls out their latest truck in what is probably the easiest way to make money year after year.
They are not a toy company, but an oil and gas company, who just so happens to put out a yearly truck, just in time for the holidays.

I like the tradition. Those that collect them have something to look forward to year after year, and quite frankly, the trucks are really cool to play with.

When I was a kid I had a few of them, and I remember them to this day…and with the roadside Hess locations gone, is it bad that every kid knows their name because of the yearly song?
Nope. That just sounds like good marketing.

I had a few of these trucks including:

  • 1995 Truck with Helicopter
  • 1998 Rec Van with Motorcycle and Sand Buggy
  • 1999 Space Shuttle Transport

If I wasn’t such an adult, I would still buy this every year, and recommend it as a good gift for kids ages 6+, just visit them online at hesstoytruck.com, and remember that Energizer batteries are included!

Hess Truck 2016