Rival Stars Racing Mobile Game Review

I just finished my review of another game, Horse Haven, which you can read here.

Rival Stars Racing is another similar, yet different, horse breeding, raising, and racing game. I just also learned that it is soon coming to Mac and PC so if you’re the type who doesn’t enjoy mobile games, you might be interested in the PC version with enhanced graphics and additional features.

What makes Rival Stars Racing so great? The first thing that really stands out is the genetic system, allowing for stats and colors/markings to be passed down from parents to foals. read more

Love Live All Stars Anime Rhythm Game

The sequel to KLab’s smash hit Love Live School Idol Festival, Love Live All Stars takes it to the next level with fully animated Live2D characters that dance around on the screen.

Like its predecessor, Love Live School Idol Festival, Love Live All Stars is a card collecting rhythm game with cute anime girls to collect.

The new installment in Love Live has a few key differences from the original, most notably is the animation. There’s also costumes you can unlock for your girls to wear and a new voltage gameplay system that allows you to score more points. read more

CocoPPa Dolls New Anime Mobile Dressup Game From The Creators of CocoPPa Play That’s A Lot Like Love Nikki Dressup Queen.

‎CocoPPa Dolls

‎Make the fashionable outfits with friends all over the world ! Change clothes freely with your moving avatar. Let’s become more fashionable together! _____________________ Dress-up with everyone “”Unit outfit”” ! You can create “”Unit outfit”” with your friends with the avatar you made. The “”Un…

I’ve been playing a new mobile Dressup game called CocoPPa Dolls. As its name suggests it is by the creator of CocoPPa Play although this new title plays a lot more like Love Nikki or Romantic Diary than CocoPPa Play.

The gameplay is simple. You play Gacha to get new items for your avatar to wear. Some Gacha are time limited and some have rare items and others are always available with less rare items.

Ok so I know what you’re thinking. That sounds just like CocoPPa Play but that’s about when the similarities end.

From here you have a few different unique features… Let’s look at them briefly. Pictures may not be related to the text here I’m just sharing cute screenshots I took while playing. read more

A3! Actor Training Game Review

I had previously played the Japanese version briefly of A3! Act, Actor, Addict, an otome simulation game that puts you in the role of a young woman looking for her father who went missing 8 years ago.

Cybrid has now released an English version of the game, which is good, because this one has almost no gameplay, and tons of reading (as most Otome and Visual novels). Which is why I only played the JP version very briefly, because I can’t read Japanese, and with little gameplay, and no story (since I couldn’t understand it) it became boring quickly. But now that it is in English, I’m enjoying it quite a bit. read more

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World PC Game Review

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World is a brand new game by Koei Tecmo Games to celebrate 20 years of the series. Wow has it been that long already? I still remember the first 2 games way back when. And you know what else I remember, a little-known Nintnedo DS offshoot game in the Atelier Series called Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island which came out about 10 years ago.

So why Am I mentioning Atelier Annie? Because, if you’ve ever played it, then you know what to expect from Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists. Both games are unlike any of the rest of the Atelier Games, and instead put you in a role of managing a city and completing missions to advance.

Nelke has some really negative reviews – at least on Steam, but I purchased Nelke anyways, on a hunch it’d be like Atelier Annie, and you know what, I’m not disappointed. If you liked Annie, you’ll like Nelke. Conversely, if you hated Annie, you’ll hate Nelke, and if you’ve never played either game, well there’s only one way to find out then, and that’s by giving it a go for yourself.

The reviews on steam are complaining how different Nelke is — and to some — how boring it is… But honestly Atelier Annie was one of my favorites in the series. I loved the humorous story / humorous main character, and yes, I enjoyed the more “Sim Like” gameplay of building a city.

Nelke is not without flaws however; Unlike Annie, it lacks the humor and charm, and feels a bit dry and dull so far in the story. I’m 4 hours in at this point… which brings to another flaw, in that 4 hours in, I’m still in the tutorial… This game is very very very linear in the tutorial… Like almost everything will be on lockdown… for a long while… expect your first 8+ hours to be linear AF….

After that though there really is a TON of stuff to do in this game. It is NOT boring at all. You can craft items, gather materials, build new buildings, talk to your villagers, discover new recipes, sell items in your shops, and invest in new routes and tools to use in your adventures. There are simplistic turn based combats and different characters to recruit to your village.

You have to complete some required, and other optional tasks within a set number of days within the game. This can make it difficult and frustrating, so save often and in multiple save slots to try to minimize time lost if you miss a goal.

The game either runs slow on my laptop, or just is really slow by design, to the point where its a little frustrating. It may just be my laptop though and can probably be improved if I adjust some settings.

The main complaint a lot of people have is that while exploring you do nothing but watch your characters walk by on the screen. They will converse, gather items, and occasionally run into random enemy encounters. The battles are also slow and tedious. I do agree with these basic gameplay flaws. However, they don’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the other aspects of city building and mission completing and watching my city grow and evolve based on my decisions and choices made in where to invest and what to build next, etc.

The graphics are insanely adorable as always with the Atelier series.

Unlike a lot of the other games in the Atelier Universe, this one does not have English voice acting. I do like to have the original voice actors, but I also sometimes like to have an English cast too. I was disappointed they didn’t offer both.

I assume replay value is high because each city you build will be pretty unique and you will attract different stores, different npcs, and different quests based on how your city is developing.

All and all I’d rate the score card like this:

Title: Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists – Ateliers Of The New World –

Platform – (for this review The PC version was used.) It’s also available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Where to Purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FMZZYK1?tag=amz-mkt-chr-us-20&ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-org00-win10-other-nomod-us000-pcomp-feature-scomp-wm-5&ref=aa_scomp

Geeky: 3/5 – Points for bringing back some of the popular characters from this series over the past 20 years.

Sweetie: 5/5 – For the casual gameplay and kawaii art

Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Gameplay: 7/10 – I do love the sim aspects, having been a huge fan of Atelier Annie (easily one of my top 3 games in the Atelier universe). But I do agree that the game is slow and the wait for the payoff/reward is pretty steep. The game also doesn’t run great, can’t tell if it’s just my PC though maybe.

Story: 3/10 – I’m not loving the story, or lack there of. I’m 4 hours in and there’s not much of any story to be found; it does keep hinting at solving a mystery about a fruit from a legendary tree. But compared to other Atelier games the story feels less engaging so far.

Characters: 10/10 – I love seeing popular characters from the Atelier games return all in a brand new game. I also love the new characters that were created just for this game.

Voice Acting: 7/10 – The original Japanese voice cast does a great job and sounds super cute, but where’s the dual English voice acting? A bit disappointing especially for a 20th anniversary edition, you’d think they would have put a little more time and effort into the localization on this one. It feels cheap and rushed to not have both to choose from.

Music: 10/10 – Always love the music in the Atelier games, and Nelke doesn’t disappoint here either.

Replay Value: 8/10 – I think replay value will be very high, but I’m not looking forward to dredging through 5+ hours of linear handheld tutorials each time.

Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who does not mind slower paced casual simulation games, or to anyone who remembers playing Atelier Annie on the DS. I like Atelier Annie a lil bit more because of the humorous story; but Nelke’s story may pick up and become more interesting. I may come in eventually and update my review scores if I find the story to improve as I get further into the game. Gameplay wise though it is almost identical to Atelier Annie, so if that’s your thing, be sure to check Nelke out.

Food Fantasy Game Review

Food Fantasy is a brand-new cooking RPG and card collecting game from the creators of Love Nikki Dressup Queen. It combines many different styles of gameplay such as allowing you to research new recipes, gather ingreedients, explore the story, battle monsters, and collect cards known as “food souls” to add to your party or put to work in your shop. I’ve been playing since the game launched a few days ago and thought I’d share with you my initial thoughts of this cute little free mobile game.

Title: Food Fantasy

Genre: Cooking Simulation, Restaurant Management Card Collecting / Battling, RPG

Publisher: Elex

Release Date: July 2018

Price: Free

Where to Get:

IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/food-fantasy/id1366072359?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.egg.foodandroid&hl=en_US

Geeky: 1/5 – There’s not much “geeky” about this game. If you like cooking mama and can imagine a mash up of cooking mama with love live, then you can imagine something like Food Fantasy. Mostly I can’t give high marks because the combat is very basic and mostly automated and not very engaging or challenging. I don’t see this having wide appeal unless you like cute things or love games like cooking mama.

Sweetie: 4/5 – I think girls will like the simulation aspects the best. When the game starts you can select a cuisine style to specialize in, you can research new recipes, decorate your restaurant, and you can collect cute “food souls” that can work as staff in your restaurant, or be added to your battle party. I can’t give it a 5 for appealing to girls because the story is quite weak.

Overall: 49/60 82% B- “Very Good Game for Girls”

Gameplay: 4/5 – I’m on the fence about the gameplay aspects. It is a unique and fun game for sure. But I think the combat system leaves much to be desired. But combat is not really the main focus of this game. This game tries to be a jack of all trades, but is really a master of none. There are better RPGs, better card collecting games, and better cooking games out there – but none of them combine all 3 of these things…

When the game starts you select a small thumbnail image to represent you. – Other cooking games often let you customize an avatar character and add dress up options – since this game is by the creators of dressup nikki I was surprised, and a little disappointed not to see such features in Food Fantasy as well. – But there are some female “avatars” (thumbnails), and some “fantasy” type ones – for example my avatar is a black cat with little chef hat lol. It’s pretty cute.

After naming yourself and choosing your little thumbnail picture, you’re shown a tutorial and introduced to a few characters and shown some background story. Through the tutorial you will experience many things. First you will select one of three cooking styles which will determine your first recipe – and I’m not sure if they will have an effect on other recipes you can obtain or give you a boost to certain recipes.

Next you get to fight some monsters and progress through various missions. Sometimes some monsters will drop ingredients that you need for cooking. – they don’t seem to drop often enough though.

Back in the restaurant you can assign staff to cook food or wait on customers. Different characters give different bonus effects to your restaurant. Customers will come and go to your restaurant even while not playing, or while adventuring and exploring other parts of the game. You will need to periodically check in to cook new dishes and collect your tips and other aspects of restaurant management.

You can decorate your restaurant with cute items which in some cases grant bonus effects when placed in your restaurant.

You can also improve your dishes by leveling them up by making them over and over again, or by adding spices and other items to each recipe. In addition to improving existing dishes, you can also research and develop new dishes if you have enough ingredients.

The final aspect of the game is the “card collecting” in the form of summoning new “food souls” which as mentioned can be assigned as staff or assist you in the battle field. The cards range from common to ultra rare. Drop rates seem generous, I summoned an ultra rare food soul, Peking Duck, early in the game without spending real money. There are also numerous special events, such as the launch party that will award ultra rare food souls for completing specific tasks and missions.

You can then take these food souls into battle – but the battles are really rather dull and not a very fun aspect of the game. You can tap to remove status ailments from your party members or tap to interrupt the boss from using powerful special moves, but largely, it’s more automated and you sit there watching your food souls fight, and the difficulty level is quite low. I have not lost a single match yet.

Story: 3/5 The story is very weak and poor, and there are some awkward phrasings and some questionable translation issues. I feel the story has potential to be interesting, but it’s not yet. Basically, you summon a food soul who has no powers and they tell you she is an empty shell and that usually such food souls are discarded, but you feel bad for her and take her in, because you feel responsible because you were the one who summoned her. She vows to help and often tries to protect you even though doing so without any powers would mean sacrificing herself. She is frustrated and wants to grow stronger, but you’re told it is impossible. – If I have to guess, she probably does have some special power or something, that’s how these stories usually go. Right now, the story is slow and dull, but perhaps things will get more interesting – I’ve only been playing for 2 days, maybe an hour each day, so I’m still in the beginning stages of the game. But thus far, not really impressed with the story.

Characters: 5/5 – The characters are super cute, and there is a mix of male and female characters which is rare for these summoning types of games. Also every food soul has an English Voice Actor (or Actress), and if you don’t like the English voices, you do have the ability to select the Japanese ones as well. This is a really nice plus, I haven’t seen many of these summoning games that bother to add English voice acting. The artwork is adorable, and of course it’s all inspired by various food and beverages which gives it a nice theme.

Graphics: 5/5 – Graphically this game is quite nice with a unique storybook like style. The anime style food souls and npc characters are all very cute. The backgrounds are really detailed and lovely. I can’t find anything to complain about here.

Music 3/5: Some of the music and sound effects sound recycled from love nikki? Or at least very similar in style.  It’s average at best. Nothing really stands out, but thankfully nothing is annoying, although like most mobile games it can be repetitive at times.

Voice Acting: 5/5 – I love that there’s English Voice acting – and some of them are quite good. I also equally love that they’ve left the option to switch to the original Japanese voice actors at any time as well. Great touch. I know they spent a lot of money licensing the original cast, as well as hiring all new voice actors for the English release. This shows me they care about the fans, and about the game, and it was just a really nice surprise and does set the game apart a bit from other summoning games out there.

Crafting: 5/5 – I love that you can research new recipes. This game reminds me of several other much larger cooking/crafting games such as the Atelier series of games, or Mana Khemia, or Kamidori Alchemist Meister.  The crafting aspects are probably the highlight of the game. In that regard though there are probably a dozen other mobile games which do a better job – If you’re looking for similar games check out anything by Kairosoft, Nippon Cafeteria, Sushi Spinnery, or Ramen Master being 3 that focus specifically on food – while other Kairosoft titles apply the same game mechanics to other jobs/roles. Or check out other cooking and restaurant management games such as I love Pasta and I love Coffee – which I reviewed here. Or of course, I’m sure you’re familiar with the famous Cooking Mama games. Even though these other games may have more in depth crafting/management aspects, I still give food souls a 5 in this area. Out of all the different aspects of this strange little game, I think the cooking and simulation aspects are the strongest and most fun elements.

Customization: 4/5 – You can decorate your restaurant, assign staff, and choose your food specialty. But most other mobile restaurant simulation games have a dressup aspect and I miss that here.

Cuteness: 5/5 – The food souls are super cute and the graphics and voice acting take that cuteness to the next level.

Replay Value: 5/5 – With the special events and wide variety of things to do, from battling, to cooking, to decorating your restaurant, to collecting food souls, to inventing new recipes to serve in your restaurant, or progressing through story missions, this game has a lot to offer and will keep you busy.

Overall: 49/60 82% B- “Very Good Game for Girls”

Viz Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty Book Review

I received this book for free in exchange for a review. Thoughts and Opinions are my own.

Neko Atsume is a popular idle clicker style mobile game where you leave food out and close the app, and open the app later to find different kitties have come to your garden to sample your food. The object of the game is to “collect” all the different kitties who will come and go in and out of your garden and do various cute things on your screen. The simplistic artwork and simplistic gameplay launched this mobile app to stardom levels with over 50 million users around the world having installed the app.

The success of the mobile game spawned a whole franchise of toys, home goods, pet products, even a live action movie. So it’s no surprise there are new activity books by Viz featuring the cute kitties! The first book I will review is Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty. As the name suggests, it’s a cute collection of poems with illustrations featuring the collectible cats of the Neko Atsume mobile game. There’s also stickers in the book that let you keep track of your kitty collection and personalize it with names and other details. See the stickers below:

A Haiku is a type of Japanese Poem that features 3 “phrases” with a rhythm that’s defined by the syllables in each phrase. The first phrase will have 5 syllables, the next will have 7, and the final phrase will have 5 again. Thus creating a rhythm of 5, 7, 5. Many Haiku create a relationship between two objects and focus on observing everyday objects and occurrences. Many Haiku also focus on seasons, so it’s quite fitting that this book Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty breaks the book into short chapters each featuring a collection of Haiku showing us what the kitties are doing in each of the four seasons. In spring we see them playing with flowers or napping in the sun, in winter we see them playing with Christmas decorations. There are also some Haiku in the book which don’t seem to reflect a season at all, such as kitties hiding in tunnels or playing with toys, kitties just being kitties, which they do year round. Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Season of the Kitty features over 100 full color pages sure to charm you and brighten your day.

My favorite Haiku in Neko Atsume Kitty Collector features a kitty begging for more meat treats. I love this one because my own kitties always beg for treats. I joke that my kitties need an intervention, they are like treat-addicts. So reading this haiku and seeing the simple illustration warmed my heart because I immediately thought of my own kitties in real life. In fact, at several points in the book I was thinking “That’s just like my cats!” This book is definitely for cat lovers! In fact, it’s so cute and would make a great gift for any cat lover — even if they’ve never played Neko Atsume.

It could also be a great book to teach young kids about Haikus. You can have fun showing young kids this book, counting together with them as you read each line of the Haiku, and enjoying the cute and funny artwork and seeing what the kitties are up to in each Haiku.

My only complaint with the book is that some of the Haiku feel a little forced to fit the rhyme scheme, with random “meows” thrown in it feels like at times just to match the syllable formula of the haiku. Regardless of this small complaint, the book is so cute and charming that I’ve already read it front to back and re-read my favorite Haikus again and again. Reading these little poems is so relaxing – just like the relaxing gameplay of the Neko Atsume mobile game that started it all.

Once anyone reads this cute collection of poetry, they won’t be able to resist catching Neko Atsume fever and delving into playing the game or collecting the toys and other related merchandise.

If you’re looking for a great gift for a cat lover, or just looking to feed your own collection of Neko Atsume Goodies, be sure to pick up a copy of Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty today. For just $10.99, it would make the perfect gift for that cat lover in your life, or maybe that cat lover is you! 🙂 Curl up with a nice cup of tea and kitty in your lap and enjoy the cute illustrations and see what mischief the kitties in the book get up to each season.

You can bring the kitties home for yourself on March 13, 2018!

You can buy Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty at any of the following retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Rightstuf

*It looks like Rightstuf is selling the book ahead of the other retailers, and for a bit cheaper too (currently “in stock” and just $8.24 at time of this posting)

Princess Closet : Otome games free dating sim

Princess Closet : Otome games free dating sim

I’m testing a new plugin that will let me more easily share app recommendations with my readers. The first app I’m going to recommend is Princess Closet by Ciagram. It is an otome game available in both the IOS and Google app stores.

What I like about Princess Closet is that you don’t have to spend real money on cash shop items to reach the good ending. You can also read a few stories each day for free, making it possible to play the game without having to invest any money.

Read the full description and see screenshots below. This info was taken from QooApp. But this app can also be downloaded via the Google Play and IOS stores without using Qoo App.

Get Princess Closet on IOS Here: https://itunes.apple.com…

Get Princess Closet on Android Here: https://play.google.com…

Download

Description

◆Princess Closet will give you your Super Happy Ending for free

-A dating sim for girls where you can enjoy the love story without paying!

-Get the Super Happy Ending for free!

-Advance smoothly with no tedious missions!

-You can read 5 romance Stories every day for free!

-A game for girls who want to play otome games without spending any money!

Invited by a member of the popular fashion brand “Princess Closet,” you have been transformed into a “fashion model.”

Work together with the ultimate handsome boyfriend towards becoming a top model!

Your encounter with your dashing boyfriend… is the beginning of a romance that will change your life!

◆An extravagant cast of voice actors! Their voices will draw you deeper into this world

This romance game includes an extravagant cast of voices actors for the four handsome male leads.

You will be able to experience their sweet, charming voices as if they were right next to you!

With no real ambition in life, you luck out and manage to get a job at a large company.

Although not overwhelmingly dissatisfied, you are bored by the daily, unchanging routine work. And you find yourself wondering, “Am I okay with the way things are?”

Your only small relief from all of this is fashion.

That is, until the day that “Leo,” the up-and-coming fashion brand designer, suddenly appears in front of you.

At that moment, you never suspected that your encounter with him would change your life drastically…

“Fashion and romance will change my life.”

A dating sim game for girls who want to experience heart-throbbing romance, while enjoying fashion!

-If you love dating sims, otome games, games for girls, or romance games.

-If you are looking for romance novels, visual novels, online novels, light novels, romance comics, romance manga, or shoujo manga.

-If you are looking for sweet, romantic dating sims or stimulating dating sims.

-If you are looking for visual novels with sweet romance storylines.

-If you are looking for free otome games you can enjoy without paying.

-If you are looking for a game where you can experience romance with princes, aristocrats, CEOs, or celebrities.

-If you like situations that include a cute childhood friend with an adorable accent.

-If you are looking for dating sims with great art and graphics.

-If you want to experience forbidden love at the office.

-If you want to be a princess and experience your own Cinderella story.

-If you are looking for marriage games where your handsome boyfriend or lover proposes to you.

-If you are looking for adult games with keywords such as contract, secret, seduction, and fate.

-If you respond to keywords such as fated love, adult visual novel, or forbidden love.

-If you like popular dating sims for girls that are free.

-If you don’t mind dating sims that contain boys love.

-If you are looking for otome games where you are surrounded by handsome guys.

-If you want to find your perfect husband, boyfriend, or lover in the ultimate otome game.

-If you are looking for someone to marry who is handsome, a celebrity, an heir, prince, charismatic, or rich.

-If you like otome games as well as comics, manga, anime, or BL.

-If you have a husband, boyfriend, or lover, but you want to find someone who is more perfect for you.

-If you love romance dramas and are looking for romance apps.

-If it is your first time using a romance app and you want to find a romance app for girls that you can play for free.

-Free installation

-Uninstalling the app or clearing the cache will reset player data.

[…] read more

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp Nintendo Mobile Game Review for IOS and Android

Title: Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

Developer: Nintendo

Genre: Simulation

Release Date:

Price: Free with optional in-game purchases

Where to Get:

IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/…

Android: https://play.google.com/…

Overall: 56/70 80% “B-” Very Good Game for Girls!

Geeky: 5/5 – Animal Crossing has a huge cult following because of its unique and strange gameplay and quirky cute characters. There is so much to do and see and it all takes place in an ever evolving changing persistent world that keeps you playing for hundreds or thousands of gaming hours.

Sweetie: 5/5 – Very few games come close to being as cute as animal crossing with its chibi anthropomorphic citizens and bright colors. This game is full of charm and wonder.

Gameplay: 8/10 – Animal Crossing is finally on mobile, which quite frankly is where this franchise has always belonged. It just makes sense as a mobile game given the style of gameplay which it innovated back in 2005. Now almost 12 years later, technology has evolved to where mobile makes the most sense for these types of games, having it with us in our pockets and purses, playing it on commutes, or while waiting in line at a busy store, or while at an appointment, or those few moments before sleeping or getting out of bed.

Animal Crossing is best enjoyed in these little breaks and little moments. It’s also best enjoyed when played often as things change and happen in a living breathing world inside of your game. There are holidays and special events and animals come and go in and out of your areas. Having it on your phone puts it always at your finger tips.

If you’ve never heard of Animal Crossing before (which is highly unlikely but just in case lol), Animal Crossing’s gameplay consists of quiet, calming activities, and cute, and quirky characters, who are, as you have probably guessed by now, animals.

These animals may ask you to complete quests for them and in exchange give you random furniture and clothing. You can also craft your own furniture and clothing as well. Certain games in the series even score you and award you more items and points for decorating your home such as Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer.

In fact, collecting these things and dressing up and designing has always been a big draw to the series. But it’s not the only thing that players love. Many players love to spend hours fishing, gardening, or catching bugs in the game. You can use them as items to trade with NPCs to complete quests or give them to other players or display them in your home or the museum, or sell them for bells (the game’s currency) to buy new items.

Buying new items is addictive too, every day you turn on your game, you will see new items to purchase. Only available for that one day, and completely unique to just you. Not that the same items won’t appear again for you, or for other players, but this particular “collection” of items is unique to you. You may have on one day, a boom box, kitchen sink, and pink sofa, while your friend may have a dining room table, expensive rug, and statue of Link from Zelda. – Of course some items are more rare than others, and since friends can visit your home, you can show off all your rare items and score bragging rights.

Nearly everything about these games are customizeable, from your character’s gender, name, appearance (initially determined by answers to questions presented when first starting the game), to your home, to your world around you. This also is another big draw to these types of games.

New animals will appear and disappear from time to time in your world. This also increases incentive to stay active and stay in touch with your favorite NPCs. After an NPC leaves (in the traditional versions of this game, not sure about mobile), they will send letters to you and sometimes give you gifts.

The games also feature night and day and weather cycles which add more variety to each play through. What you do on any given day is up to you! There is no objective, no goal, no ending, no progression it’s just a sandbox, a living breathing world for you to explore and interact with each day.

This sounds like a huge plus – and in many ways it is, but it can also be a drawback as there is very little urgency or pressure or nothing really compelling you to keep pushing forward. Many times my love for these games starts strong, but 3 or 4 months in and I find I’m barely logging in, but without fail always 6 months later I’m back to being addicted and wanting to play daily. My interest in these types of games goes through spurts like that. I think I burn out from the casual nature, but then find myself wanting to relax and enjoy a cute game and gravitating right back to it, for the same reason that I left it in the first place. It’s almost a double edged sword.

Anyways now that I’ve given you the basics of the franchise, let’s talk about what Animal Crossing Pocket Camp does differently than the other games in the series. For starters, as the name suggests, the entire game takes place in the great outdoors. You’re given a campsite you can decorate. And you have a camper trailer that you can decorate both inside and out. You travel and visit other animals (or visit your friends) and you can take quests, craft, shop, and do all the good basic animal crossing stuff.

Some areas will be blocked from exploring initially. You need to either pay leaf tickets (special in game currency obtainable with real money (but quite often also given for free as quest rewards), or get the help of friends to enter these new areas.

New areas open sometimes for special events like right now there’s a Christmas area where you can get more candy canes to help craft the time limited Christmas themed items which you need 5 friends to help you unlock.

You can link the account to your nintendo account or link your facebook and twitter to find more friends! 🙂 Playing animal crossing with your friends is now easier than ever.

So those are a few of the positive features.

On the downside, they’ve removed the actual houses, so that’s a bit disappointing for those of us who liked modeling our homes.

Also my biggest gripe is too much is just “handed” to us. In previous games, we each had a random fruit. In this game, when I get to the tutorial, I’m given tons of different fruits I can hoarde to plant back at my own campsite. Making the need to work with friends less important in this game.

I also don’t know / haven’t tested how inviting a friend over to your campsite works and how or if you can communicate with them and what activities you can do together. I feel like it may be more limited than in the other games, but maybe I’m wrong.

Other than that, the game offers a feeling of playing the console and handheld Animal Crossing games right on your mobile phone.

Story: 4/10 – Story has never ever been Animal Crossing’s strong suit, and I think for me personally, that’s why I get bored of the games so fast and have an on/off love/hate relationships with them. I play games primarily for story above anything else. So lack of really much to offer here makes it a bit dull to me.

Characters: 10/10 – The characters are charming and cute and have always been the best part of the animal crossing games.

Graphics: 10/10 These graphics look just as good as any Animal Crossing game I have ever played, and it’s a free mobile game, now that’s impressive!

Music: 5/10 Music is just sort of average. Nothing to write home about. Sometimes it can be cute and catchy, other times repetitive and annoying. Depends on my mood and the song in question.

Replay Value: 9/10 – The very nature of Animal Crossing as a franchise is a slow and steady journey meant to be enjoyed through several (often times daily) small playing sessions. Animal Crossing offers much to do, from fishing, bug catching, gardening, to crafting, to shopping, to collecting, to decorating your home and dressing up your avatar. However, it does get repetitive because of the slow and lackadaisical gameplay style. – Which don’t get me wrong, that gameplay style has also always been the game’s strong suit and its unique charm, and what makes it so much fun. There also are time limited goals, time limited items, and time limited quests to complete which will keep you logging back in. However, it’s also the type of game you can play for 10 hours a day for 6 months straight and then feel bored of. It’s much better to enjoy it about an hour a day, as if you immerse yourself too long, you will burn out quickly. But kept in small doses, you will be playing this, or any other animal crossing title for years to come. Now that animal crossing is on our mobile phones we are all doomed to be playing it religiously for the foreseeable future. And future updates will make this even more enticing.

Overall: 56/70 80% “B-” Very Good Game for Girls!

Other Games You May Like:

Castaway Paradise – pretty much an animal crossing clone. It was fun, but ain’t no animal crossing. Now that animal crossing is on mobile, I see no reason to play this.

Animal Days by Gree  Sadly this is no longer around, but probably one of my all time favorite mobile games, you should check it out since there’s still a wealth of images and info available online with a quick Google search; it’s interesting to read about just because of how unique and fun it was. It had the cute animals, moving in and out of your village, and most excitingly, you could BREED your animal villagers to create new villagers. There were time limited release villagers, and all kinds of really cute things to decorate your home, and a cute story too. I was sad when it closed. I heard they underestimated how popular it was going to become and couldn’t manage well with the production schedule for new releases and updates. I wish someone would buy the code from them and revive this project, but it’s been dead for 5 years now, so it’s not likely to happen. I would rather play Animal Days by Gree over even the best Animal Crossing game, because the breeding and randomized aspects make me so excited.

Happy Street – “sort of” a clone of animal crossing, but completely different gameplay, still, animals at random move into your village, and you fish and mine and craft and so on. but yeah, just it’s different, it’s more like mobile clicker type gameplay, but it has the same charm and theme as animal crossing and is a fun and different enough game that you should play both! 🙂 — There’s also a version of this put out by Line Play, and the name is escaping me right now. Same game / user interface, but different graphic assets and run by different companies. It still has cute animals moving in and out of your village and same gameplay mechanics. I think Happy Street was marketed more and took off more rapidly, and thus the Line Play “clone version” is a lot less widely known – might be worth checking out for you if you love Animal Crossing or Happy Street though!

Seabeard – This has a huge massive open sandbox world and captures some of the unique gameplay aspects of animal crossing.

Line Play – for the fishing and dressing up and decorating and kawaii style.

Pre-Registration Begins for English Version of Captain Tsubasa Dream Team Anime Soccer Game

The folks over at KLab Inc. sent me their press release announcement for the English version of Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team. Captain Tsubasa is a very old and popular anime about soccer. I have not watched it yet, though I’ve heard a lot about it.

I get a lot of Press Releases in my inbox each day, and I don’t always share them here, but this caught my eye with a ton of great giveaways and special events. The fun started yesterday and you only have a short time to take advantage of some of these awesome freebies for new players.

The timing of this Press Release was also timely and the content relevant to my current life. I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve not been updating here as frequently the past few months.  I began seeing someone over the end of the summer, and we’ve spent every weekend together ever since we met, and about a month ago now we made it “official”.

Weekends used to be when I’d work on my blog and schedule posts to go out through the week. But now with a more active social life my blog has been on the back burner. Hopefully I’ll get enough stuff scheduled up over thanksgiving and xmas breaks to kick off the new year with lots of great new game reviews and blog updates.

The new boyfriend happens to live and breathe soccer. He plays and watches it or coaches and teaches it almost every day (and when it’s not super cold outside I go and watch him play). He’s also from Peru and Peru just made it to the World Cup last week, for the first time in my boyfriend’s lifetime, so he’s very excited about that.

We are as different as night and day. He’s the typical jock, and I’m the typical geek, both in appearance and interests. But he’s not really the “typical” jock because he’s very attentive and sensitive and warm and kind hearted. He told me he wants to better understand me / my hobbies / interests because It’s what I’m into and important to me. (He even told me he’d come to my next doll meetup with me LOL. How many “jocks” would subject themselves to that?)

He’s geeky too in his own way, but much more of a closet geek. He dressed up as Captain America for Halloween, and we just saw Justice League together last weekend. But he’s been saying for awhile he wants to watch an anime with me (he’s never watched any before). I’ve been debating what anime to show to him, and then this Press Release came in and brought Captain Tsubasa back to the top of my mind. It’s older and has “bad” art compared to many newer anime, but I think it might be the perfect anime for my soccer loving boyfriend.  And I think I would enjoy the slice of life elements of the series as well. Maybe I’ll even get him to download the new game and play it with me when it comes out next month.

Anyways be sure to check out the Press Release below from KLab Inc, and pre-register to play Captain Tsubasa Dream Team to take advantage of all of the special events going on right now!

Pre-Kickoff Campaign for Global Version of “Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team” Starts Today!

Global Version Planned for Release in December 2017

KLab Inc.

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Magikarp Jump – Free Mobile Virtual Pet Pokemon Game Review for IOS and Android

Overview: 10/10 Magikarp Jump is a cute, free, seemingly innocent Pokemon Game for Mobile IOS and Android devices. The gameplay is very simplistic and reminiscent of Monster Rancher in that you take home a pet to train and raise and enter league battles. Pretty basic stuff, right? But actually it is perhaps one of the darkest Pokemon Games of all time, because for the first time ever, your Pokemon can die! There is no going back into their Pokeballs, and no amount of healing from Nurse Joy can bring a KoiKing back after he has become lunch for a wild flying Pokemon.

Stardew Valley Review

As mentioned in another post here, I spent much of this past weekend playing Stardew Valley on the PC. Stardew Valley is a game that harkens back memories of popular retro games such as Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. The game is fun and relaxing… however, like most games in this genre, the gameplay can get tedious and repetitive at times. Stardew Valley also suffers significant development delays and setbacks, which is not surprising considering the entire game, from the graphics, to music, to programming, was all made by just one person. It doesn’t get anymore “indie” than that. Despite these few small flaws, the game is one of the highest rated Steam games of all time with nearly 50,000 Overwhelmingly Positives since its release in February 2016. If you’re still wondering if Stardew Valley is worth playing, read my Stardew Valley Review below.

Title: Stardew Valley

Developer: ConcernedApe

Publisher: Chucklefish

Platform: PC (also recently released for Xbox One, PS4, and soon to be released for Nintendo Switch)

Genre: Farming Simulation

Where to Buy: PC Version on Steam Here.

Release Date: February 2016

Geeky: 2/5  –  This is a low budget indie game, so you won’t see triple A graphics here. And given the genre and nature of farming simulation games there isn’t much action going on. I also feel the controls and UI are clunky, to the point of detracting from the gameplay (read more about that later in this review). However, given that 1 man made everything in this game, that’s pretty impressive and worth an extra star at least for effort!

Sweetie: 4/5  – Everything about this game exudes charm and cuteness. However, the characters feel impersonal and the story a bit lacking, costing it to lose 1 heart for “sweetie” factor.

Overall: 60/80 75% D- “Average Game for Girls”

Concept: 8/10 It’s hard to believe this game has been out for less than a year; it’s so wildly popular and became an instant fan classic, that even games by fully staffed development teams have not made nearly as successful games or seen as many sales or positive reviews in years worth of time. And day by day new fans come to experience Stardew Valley for their very first time and fall in love, and continue to share their experiences. I was somewhat late to join the party, starting back in maybe July of 2016.

At that time, people were growing restless with lack of progress made on features that had been promised such as multiplayer. Here we are another 6 months later, and there’s still no word on when multiplayer will be added, just simply that it is in the works. The game has received several updates and improvements, including finishing “routes” for “new” characters (The characters were already present, but now you can date more of them).

And that’s important because really… the game of Stardew Valley is like the game of your life. Stardew Valley’s open sandbox environment and multiple choices and decisions that you will make, all shape what will happen. Will you get married? have kids? Choose a life of adventure exploring dungeons, fishing all day, or focus on rebuilding your grandfather’s farm? Or maybe just sit at the tavern, playing games, and wasting your virtual life – the choice is yours.

Although the game starts slow, once it picks up, there will be numerous choices you must make (which you’ll start to notice around maybe Fall of the first year or so)… Things such as deciding if you want to let fruit bats live in the cave near your farm or if you want to use the cave to grow mushrooms. Hopefully by Fall of the first year you’ve had time and resources to upgrade your house or add new buildings that let you craft new recipes and add new gameplay elements such as making pickled vegetables, fruit preserves, wine, cooking meals from your crops in your new kitchen, etc. Characters at times may also ask you questions which may impact the game or change their friendship towards you, such as asking you what types of books you like to read, etc. Lil bit by lil bit you will begin to see how YOUR farm in Stardew Valley differs from that of your friends’ farms. (Or how it will differ for you on subsequent playthroughs).

There are also numerous in-game events held throughout each season such as festivals, cooking contests, dance parties, and more. If you’ve been working on your social skills in the game and making friends, or even romances, these special events will be even more special, having someone to share them with.

You start with little in way of resources to begin the game and with little to do. When I first started playing, it was tedious. It felt like work, like real life. It was made somewhat worse by bad controls and UI… However now, as my first year in Stardew Valley draws to a close, the game has me firmly hooked. I couldn’t believe I stayed up until 1am playing it lastnight, and I want nothing more than to go home and play it again as soon as possible. — Soon you will be able to take Stardew Valley with you everywhere you go with the Nintendo Switch! For many, this means starting all over from scratch though and replaying through these tedious first few hours of gameplay as I seriously doubt it will sync your game saves — though it would be awesome if it did!

Stardew Valley is slow paced, and definitely not for everyone. There is some combat; however, at least on the PC, the combat is simple and basic at best, and involves no strategy, and just mindless clicking. The controls also make any actions, from combat, to fishing, to farming, a real pain at times. However, despite these flaws, Stardew Valley shines because of the charming retro vibe and relaxing gameplay mechanics. It’s one of the best casual games around and guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy. It is just simply a “Feel Good Kind of Game”.

Gameplay: 6/10 If you’ve ever played a Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game then you will be right at home in Stardew Valley. The basics of gameplay include planting, watering, and harvesting crops, conversing with townsfolk, dating/marrying a townsfolk, upgrading/decorating your home, exploring dungeons, collecting and crafting items, and joining in various events. — It was also marketed as an “Online or Multiplayer” farming game (which drew many fans who have long dreamed of an Online Harvest Moon — however, that feature, which arguably is the game’s MAIN feature, is still no where to be seen and with no estimated release date a year later.

I’m critiquing the gameplay for the PC version right now since it’s the only version I have played as of time of review. While the features of the gameplay would get high marks here in terms of the vast amount of things to see, do, choices and consequences, and customization, the score ultimately suffers due to terrible controls and UI. Please note for this review I play on a laptop and do not use a mouse. I am a keyboard only user. As such, there are some things that just DON’T work. Period.

Like for example, I read that to put bait on a fishing pole you left click the bait then right click the fishing pole, but nothing happens when I do this. Luckily, you can fish without bait, but with some tools you aren’t so lucky. I assume that loading the slingshot with stones also works in the same fashion but can’t figure out how to load it with ammunition either which makes it completely useless to me. At the fall grange faire, the controls for fishing were different than fishing on the main map too! In the main map I can use my button shortcode which is C as opposed to mouse clicking, — this for some reason does not work at the fall grange faire and you have to use the mouse (in my case keep in mind, I’m using my laptop’s “touchpad” which you can click/scroll/operate like a mouse.) —

I have read that PS4 controllers will now work in Steam so I may have to try that and hope they are supported in Stardew Valley. I also do have a usb mouse – but given that I play largely from my bed, it makes finding a place to put the mouse a challenge. I am surprised because quite simply, this is a casual game. If I were expecting to smoothly play a triple A title without a mouse, from my bed, well that would be my own fault for having unreasonable expectations… but the truth is, there’s nothing here that should require finesse or skill.

And it’s not just a little bit cumbersome, it’s that things completely don’t work in some cases as illustrated above at worst. At best, I find myself constantly turning away from my target while fighting in the dungeon, or watering an empty square next to the plant I’m trying to water. Or I’ll forget I have an axe equipped and accidentally kill a crop I’m trying to work with (OK so that last one is my fault 🙂 lol).

The gameworld is not that large, but you walk really slow, which makes it seem a bit larger (Please note for this review, I’m critiquing the default map, not the new ones added in after release). You will also find that you get weak from exhaust and/or injuries easily when you first begin playing, and that even adding new weapons, armor, and accessories, doesn’t seem to speed up combat as much as you might hope.

Despite these weaknesses, the gameplay is actually fun and enjoyable with a wide variety of things to do and see. In fact, there’s often not enough in-game hours in a day to do everything. I love rainy days in the game so I can go fishing or explore the dungeons without wasting half a day tending to my crops. I also love that as you continue to do something in game, such as fish or fight monsters, you gain levels of proficiency with different skills and at certain levels, these skills branch off and force you to choose a path, with different pros and cons, which further customizes your experience from that of your friends – and also greatly adds to replay value.

There could be some other features added that would further enhance gameplay, difficulty and challenge, such as making certain foods expire – would also create need to use the preserve machine — or making for example icecream melt after so many in-game hours. As it stands right now you could buy or grow an item in year one, and eat it 5 years later without risk of getting sick, etc. They could even add a temporary debuff “Food Poisoning” that would wear off after so many in game hours.

Story: 6/10 – Well the story is that you write your own story. You decide exactly what you want to do, who you want to be with, and shape your own virtual life. It offers a ton of customization and the story does branch and reveal different routes based on who you date and other decisions you make within the game, but largely, by the end of the first year, the story has felt weak and bare bones at best. The in-game events do help to spice things up however, I suspect that after the first year they will be less exciting since you’ve already seen them. — However, it makes up for this in the amount of customization, freedom, and exploration that these open world sandbox games are best known for. Watching slowly as your farm takes shape and beginning to set a path for yourself and discover how to make your farm uniquely your own is truly the best aspect of this game, and that will become even more of a big selling point once multi-player finally gets implemented so you can visit friends’ farms.

Characters: 6/10 – Well, there’s a lot of them, but none of them are terribly interesting… They will recycle through the same dialog over and over. In the beginning, as to be expected, many of the characters are distrustful of you (You’re a stranger afterall!), and so they do not talk about anything meaningful or overly deep. Getting close to people, just like in real life, takes time. Relationships take work, and Stardew Valley is no exception to that rule… I have yet to see if the characters, or story for that matter, get more interesting past the first year, but with well over 30 hours of real life put into the game, that’s more time than one should be expected to “wait and see” if things improve.

Right now my highest relationship, according to the fortune teller at the fall grange fair, is with Shane, one of the newly added routes in a recent update. He is sorta the Tsundere type. Rough on the outside. He often plays guitar in the tavern. He likes Hot Peppers, Spaghetti, and Pizza for presents, and he is a cold unfeeling jerk lol. At least initially. I think there may be more to him, which is why I was curious to pursue him. I think his route shows the most promise for “character development” if written correctly. It will be nice to see him warm up and hopefully be less of a jerk over time lol.

Other characters seem to pay homage to various Harvest Moon games, there’s a guy named Linus (not dateable) living in a tent who reminds me of Gustafa from Harvest Moon on the Gamecube. There’s Harvey who is a doctor, Demetrius a scientist (who at time of this review is not dateable), Sebastian who is a stereotypical Emo/Goth guy, Alex a fitness nut,  a Magician (I don’t believe he’s dateable either), Clint who is a Blacksmith, and Elderly couple. The tavern workers, a Museum worker, a Carpenter (female), Goth girl, Librarian (female), and a handful of others.

Despite not having much “depth” to the characters (at least after almost a whole year of time passing in game), the characters themselves are charming, and always busy and on the move. They breathe life into the game and keep it feeling active and bustling year round. Not only these human characters, but the animals on your farm, the monsters in the dungeon, and even just little touches like birds and butterflies randomly flying or a squirrel quickly climbing a tree, or a rabbit running through the bushes, they all make the game seem… living. It seems as if every character has a mind of their own and a life of their own. This is a big plus and part of the game’s unique charm.

Graphics: 8/10 – Keep in mind, this is an indie game that wanted to go for a retro-vibe. If you’re not a fan of “outdated” graphics, RPG Maker style games, and Isometric Top-Down view style games, then this is not the game for you. — That said, Stardew Valley is for you if you grew up with the 16 bit Harvest Moon games, don’t mind “indie-retro” games, like to customize the appearance of your character, and like “cute” bright graphics.

Everything about Stardew Valley is exceptionally charming. And there is a lot of work that went into everything from the tile sets used in town or your farm, to the dungeons, character portraits, or animations. As mentioned above, the environment really feels almost like it’s alive somehow, with so many small details and little touches, falling leaves, wind, rain, animals, and background animations that really add to the charm and little extra love that was poured into this game.

I’d like to see maybe a tad more detail on the character sprites, and even more options added for character customization and more interior decorating items, or more various monster designs and not just recolors – but that’s just a wishlist, already, the artwork is pretty great if you’re a fan of pixel style games.

I did take off a few points for the following:

  • It gets pretty hard to see where I’m going at night. I dunno if it’s my monitor settings – and I am well aware you can craft items like torches and etc to brighten things up, but I get pretty lost.
  • Also some items can be hard to see if they’re behind trees, or other tall graphic items, and this too, can at times cause you to feel “stuck”.
  • Lastly, back to the UI again, it is just a lil bit clunky and could use some refinement.
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