Archive for Gaming

Reviews By Kids, For Kids: Undertale

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Undertale – The Fallen Human

Undertale was released on September 15th, and since has spawned a massive fan base obsessed with the ingenuity of creator Toby Fox’s character design, musical talents, and copious amounts of detail. Using 8-bit style graphics, Undertale tells the story of a child who falls into an underground world of monsters, and they must make their way through their kingdom in order to return to the surface.

The game is absolutely outstanding, on some popular websites being named one of the best games of all time. It is made in the RPG style, having a simple end goal and turn-based combat system. However, Fox creates a new aspect to the combat, giving players the opportunity to spare their opponents instead of killing them. The entire journey can be completed without killing a single monster, and through these choices, the story bends in certain ways. Every friend in one playthrough could be an enemy in another, subtly making the player anxious about every choice they make.

The amount of detail in every single area of the game is incredible, with every object having interesting, sometimes comical descriptions. Hidden bits of text and dialogue are still being discovered, two months after the release, due to the characters having countless ways to be interacted with.

The design of the characters is one of the highest points of the game, with their physical designs and personalities feeling almost real, especially combined with the amount of optional dialogue. Ranging from skeleton brothers to amphibian scientists to a spear-wielding fish, the characters are memorable, and the player is forced to fight every single one.

The other area that Undertale shines in is the music construction. Costing nearly $10 for the soundtrack alone shows that some definite work was put into it, as well as listening to it during the game. The intricate, upbeat melodies create fantastic battles, enhancing the gameplay tremendously. The calm, simple music inside of towns and environments can change the mood entirely. The songs are a major contributor to the popularity of the game, in addition to the detail.

Undertale is incredibly enjoyable for almost all audiences, and the bonds created with characters and places influence the player critically. However, the story and characters are the best parts of the game, with the gameplay mechanics being somewhat tedious at certain points. But the best parts are outstanding, and the playtime is not too long. It is expertly designed, formatted, and created, easily making it one of the greatest games of our time.

~Review by Berreh.

Highly recommended. 10/10. Good for ages 10+. Some language, some blood. Much humor, a good amount of reading. Requires extreme determination, dexterity, reflexes, and eye-hand coordination.

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Want more?

Undertale website

Undertale wiki

Undertale on STEAM – UNDERTALE! The RPG game where you don’t have to destroy anyone.  $10

Undertale STEAM community – Welcome to UNDERTALE. In this RPG, you control a human who falls underground into the world of monsters. Now you must find your way out… or stay trapped forever.

Undertale fan art – DeviantArt (there’s a lot!)

Have you played Undertale? What’s your favorite ending? Character? Song? Is Frisk a boy or a girl? Is Sans a human? Is Undertale the ‘best game ever’? Tell us what you think! (Please post spoiler warnings if needed!)

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E3 2015: Nintendo Direct: Reaction – A family of gamers

Nintendo E3

E3 2015: Nintendo Direct

The kids and I were eagerly anticipating Nintendo’s E3 show. We all raced into the living room at 1 minute of, kicked on AppleTV, went to E3.nintendo.com on my iPhone, and grabbed a seat on a sofa for the about-to-start livestream.

So many games! What a jam packed hour! Muppets. StarFox, Mario, amiibo, Zelda, Metroid, Fire Emblem, and more!

Here’s a recap, and our reactions.

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FingerTag multiplayer app – Play with your kid!

We released a game!

This was a family effort. We had the idea for FingerTag over 3 years ago, and after talking about it for a long time, we started development. Everyone pitched in.

BabyChao and Mom designed the artwork. Mom created the artwork files on the computer. Dad did the coding. Berreh and Fire did play testing. (A lot of play testing.) Chao did the music, and overall app design.

There are lots of 1 player app games out there, but what if you want to engage with your child? What if you don’t want to just give them a screen to play on, to entertain themselves – what if you want to play WITH your child?

My daughter and I invented this game because we wanted to play together, and we got tired of playing air hockey. There wasn’t really anything else that we could do together on my phone.

Now, with FingerTag, she can play with me on 2 player, or she can play with her three brothers on 4 player. Or she can play with mom and dad on 3 player.

It’s a fast-paced, silly, fun game. And you can play anywhere, anytime, just for a quick smile or a giggle.

Part of the fun is being able to hit the color item that you chose, and part is trying to block the other player from being able to hit their color.

It’s simple, yet silly, and we almost always laugh and smile when we play together.

We play while we’re waiting for big brother’s band concert to begin. We play while waiting for our food to arrive at the restaurant. We play while we’re waiting for our turn at the doctor’s office. We play if they’re bored at grandma’s house and we need a quick pick me up.

Sometimes we play instead of flipping a coin – if you win, I have to do dishes, if I win, you have to do them.

We were torn over how to release it – whether to charge $.99 for it, or make it free. But, I wanted no ads on the app, so if you’re playing with your kids, you don’t have to worry about accidentally launching an ad. (We will also be releasing a free version, with ads, very soon.)

It was a fun and educational experience for us. And as a bonus, if we make a little money, the kids get to go out for pizza. #winwin

So give FingerTag a try! It’s available on both the App Store and Google Play. And let us know what you think!

Just play with your kids.

(Warning – you may want to trim your fingernails, first. It can get a little hairy with 4 people all tapping and poking and stabbing all at the same time.)

What apps do you like to play with your kids? What would you like to play with them? And, let us know if you’ve designed an app with your kid!

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Review: Wreck It Ralph

For family fun last Saturday night, we decided to watch the animated Disney movie Wreck It Ralph. We all love video games, and the premise – of a downtrodden villain growing weary of doing villainous things, and wanting more – seemed appealing.

My kids mostly play their video games online on their PC, or on their consoles, or on their smart phones or ipods.  When I was a kid, if we wanted to play — we grabbed our quarters and cold hard cash, met up with friends and headed to the local arcade. To spend hours dropping quarters into machines.

But, what really goes on INSIDE those arcade video games?

And thus begins the story, of an 8-bit villain, wanting to be a hero…

wreck-it-ralph

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What’s Hot: Nerdy Nummies

Yesterday we had reason to celebrate. Son #1 got a big envelope from the college of his choice. He was accepted, and received a sizeable scholarship.

Me: “What should we do to celebrate?!?!”

Kids: “Go out to dinner!!”

Me: “No! We’re poor – we have to save for tuition!!”

My 10 year old daughter: “Let’s make a cake – just like Nerdy Nummies!”

Me: “Huh?”

My 10 year old daughter: “YouTube, Mom, come on…” *commence rolling of the eyes*

Unbeknownst to me, my girl has been watching hours of Nerdy Nummies on YouTube. And, she put it to good use – she made a chocolate cake, frosted it, put frosting in a plastic baggie and decorated it all fancy – all by herself.

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Top E rated video games for kids – 2012

Today is Cyber Monday, and there’s only 28 days left until Christmas! Time to get cracking on holiday shopping. While the older crowd is playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Halo 4 and Assassin’s Creed III, you need some ideas for games for kids 10 and under.

The hottest video game item right now is the new Nintendo Wii U, just released on 11/18. The Wii U Basic/White has a retail price of $299.99, while the Wii U Deluxe/Black’s retail price is $349.99. I’m looking to buy one for our family for Christmas, but they are sold out everywhere – online and in stores. Checked eBay this morning, and the average selling price of a new Wii U deluxe is $900! One actually sold on 11/22 for $12,700!  Insanity. Again. The same thing as when the original Wii was released – everyone snapped them up to sell on eBay, and none were available to buy and wrap up for Christmas. I’ve got the phone numbers of 5 local stores on hand, and am hoping to get lucky and find one at retail price before 12/24. *crosses fingers* (For week of 11/8, Nintendo sold 400,000+ Wii U’s, 300,00 Wii’s, 275,000 DS’s, and 275,000 3DS’s.)

Here are my latest lists on the top selling and top rated video games that are appropriate for kids – all with an ESRB rating of E or E 10+. Everything is sorted by console, to make it easier for you.

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No Karma Koin for Christmas for us (a.k.a. NEXON, you could have done better)

Last year my kids requested NX Cash / Karma Koin for Christmas. In case you don’t know, NX Cash / Karma Koin are cards you can purchase at stores that have scratch-off codes on the back that you redeem for in-game cash for NEXON games. Like Maplestory, or Mabinogi. Or Vindictus, Combat Arms, Dragon Next, Dungeon Fighter, or Atlantica.

I bought $25 for each kid – $100 worth. We scratched off, then entered the codes the morning after Christmas Day, bought a couple of items, then went to sleep, plotting which of the magnificent Cash Shop items we would buy tomorrow.

The next morning, we woke up, logged in, and the kids started buying.  Except for my daugher, my girl. She logged in and ALL her NX was gone. Gone!? 23,910 NX just disappeared!?

I logged into the NEXON site to check the account history, and SOMEONE had bought octopus legs, through the MTS, with all the missing NX.

Somehow, someone had managed to hack into my girl’s Maplestory account within 24 hours of redeeming her Karma Koin, even though her computer has Norton 360 and Malwarebytes on it. Read the rest of this entry »

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