Hi, Welcome to my Review of Pokemon Shield. I know the title says Pokemon Sword and Shield, but I only have Pokemon Shield. I figure the games are similar enough that I can use this review to help people thinking about purchasing either version.
Pokemon Sword is similar to Pokemon Shield, but Shield is the version I chose to buy. Pokemon Sword’s Legendary is better overall, focusing on attack, while Shield’s Legendary focuses on defense.
And let’s be honest Pokemon Sword’s Legendary has a better overall design – a Pokemon that carries a sword in its mouth looks way cooler than a Pokemon whose neck scruff is vaguely shaped like a shield lol. So why did I buy Pokemon Shield instead of Sword? read more
Back in the 90s I barely played PC Games, because so few existed that appealed to my tastes. There were exceptions of course, Torment, Fallout 1 and 2, Baulder’s Gate, Icewind Dale, King’s Quest (and other Sierra titles), Ever 17 (and anything else by Hirameki International), Petz, Black and White, Creatures, Graduation 95, and a handful of other gems that weren’t available on my consoles.
But largely, console gaming was the highlight of my childhood. That’s where all the anime games or JRPGs or story rich games were, especially in the 16 and 32 bit eras, which still remain my favorite gaming period of all time. Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, Saturn, PS1, PS2, and Dreamcast, the majority of my favorite games, still to this day, lived on one of those great consoles.
But nowadays, I barely play console games anymore. Occasionally there may be an exclusive that catches my eye, such as Persona 5 on PS4, or Tokyo Mirage Sessions on the Wii U. I even bought a Wii U just for that game in fact.
But now, so many games are cross platform, and so many people like me, who grew up in the 16 and 32 bit eras are making their own indie games now such as To the Moon, Always Sometimes Monsters, Rakuten, Undertale, etc. This completely changes the gaming landscape. Now PC is by and far my preferred gaming “platform” of choice.
And where once, JRPGs reigned on Consoles, they now thrive on the PC or even on mobile devices, and in the past 5 years we’ve seen a huge explosion of visual novels and Otome games as well on both PC and mobile – and barely any of those have been released (at least in English) on consoles.
Where once the PC had almost no games that appealed to my tastes, now suddenly, more and more each year, I find the PC to offer so many games I want to play that I don’t have the time, nor money, to possibly play them all! I have over 700 steam games already (and a handful on Origin, and about 50 more on GOG, and then of course my old CDs from the 90s which have yet to get released digitally.) And that’s not taking into account the PC’s ability to emulate the console games I own (probably around 300+ games there too). And emulation is perfectly legal as long as you own the original games, which I still do.
This puts the number of games I can play on my PC right now today, without buying a single thing, at well over 1,000 games! — How many of those games I’ve actually played, is probably around 25%, and how many I’ve beaten to completion / all endings etc, is probably like 5%. lol. But the point is, there has never been a better time to play girl games on your PC. If you’re a girl, there’s plenty of games that you should check out on PC. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago; my how the landscape has changed!
Here is a list of games due out in 2018 that are on my radar! I’ve selected these games for one of the following reasons: Decisions Matter, Branching Plot, Multiple Endings, Cute/Kawaii Graphics, Excellent Story, Innovating (or at least really fun) Gameplay, and Customization. If you look for the same qualities in your games, check out the list below. Warning, it’s long.
This list is not in any order – largely it’s sorted by release date, because that’s how I was browsing the games while researching this post.
Our first recommendation reminds me of Horizons New Dawn, one of my all time favorite super nintendo games.
This visual Novel Has Some Beautiful Graphics
Til the Dawn, Waiting
This looks sad, and also features animals, a powerful combination to tug at any heart strings
Franky the Bumwalker
Super cute and colorful adventure game that probably doesn’t take itself too seriously.
This indie RPG features an extesnive crafting system and city building aspects as well as cute retro graphics.
Stunt Corgi VR
If you’re lucky enough to have a VR headset you might like this title that lets you create obstacle courses and watch a cute corgi try to navigate the courses you create.
If you like rhythm games, you might like this one with cute anime artwork. Plus it’s free to play.
The Mind Hero
An anime visual novel where you help 8 different characters overcome their trauma. It aims to teach psychology inside a video game. It’s also free and features a comic book style.
This looks to be a very emotionally engaging and beautiful pixel retro style RPG. The developers have said that the game uses real-life world war 2 letters that were written by soldiers to their families.
The ability to customize everything about your mechs and the appeal of mecha genres from decades of anime such as macross, robotech, go lion, voltron, evangelion, gundamn, etc, make this appeal to me, despite the more dark realistic graphics. The gameplay looks fantastic. And who doesn’t love giant robots?
In The Valley of Gods
Explore pyramids in this narrative adventure.
This game aims to balance the skills and economy of its players so that they are forced to work together. Sounds promising. Let’s see how that works once the game releases.
This just looks so utterly adorable!
With a name like Boyfriend Dungeon, how could this not make our list? It’s an otome dating sim and hack n slash RPG adventure, where the boys are weapons.
The Iron Oath
I am beyond excited for this game! True, it doesn’t have the visual aesthetic that I like, but nearly everything about the gameplay appeals to me greatly! Decisions matter, the guild management sounds fun, every character has a back story. Characters die / perma death, you recruit new characters, I’m ready to play this awesome looking tactical RPG.
Living the Deal
Business Management and Life Simulation Game. This one is high on my wishlist (despite how hideously ugly the characters look lol).
Play as cute wolves chasing cute sheep in a game which promises unlockable content and character customization.
Freedom Planet 2
Furrie fans and fans of old school Sonic games still love the original Freedom Planet, and soon the wait is over for the much anticipated sequel.
The Forgettable Dungeon
Co-op Action RPG that you can play with up to 15 friends.
Update: 12/21/2017 – The developers of the PC version of Heart of Crown reached out to me via email and wanted to provide support for some of the issues I encountered, as well as to let me know about new features that are underway, such as full screen mode (currently in the beta client), and a tournament that will take place next year to celebrate the international release of Heart of Crown. They also wanted to let me know that there are (text based) chat rooms available on the Discord server (and I’ve adjusted the score for community based on that feedback). Overall, it is encouraging to see an active Dev team who seem to really care about improving the game and connecting with the community. 🙂 I hope they continue to work on polishing up the PC version of the game, but as I said already in my original review, yes the game has issues, but at the price point of $19.99 (at time of this review) it’s a great game and still a lot of fun, and a worthy purchase.
Original Review Below:
I recently picked up both the board game and steam versions of Heart of Crown, a kawaii anime deck building card game. I love the artwork and the theme of the game (multiple princesses vying for the throne). It reminded me a lot of one of my favorite anime (RE:Zero) so I was instantly drawn to this board game when I attended the Pittsburgh Steel City Comic Con 2 weeks ago. (although I actually purchased this one from the large game store, Mr. Nice Guy Games, at the mall nearby the convention center). And then a few days after that, the PC game released on steam, so imagine my excitement having only just heard of Heart of Crown days prior and being hyped by my new kawaii gaming find. As you will learn in this review, I am happy with both purchases, but each has it’s own unique pros and cons. Find out which version of Heart of Crown is right for you in the reviews below.
The gameplay is simple, although it can be confusing at first, and both the manual included in the boardgame, as well as the hidden and horribly confusing tutorial in the PC game, make this gameplay seem much more complex than it actually is.
I will try to briefly describe the gameplay, please bear in mind my experience with this title is still limited to just a handful of play sessions.
To understand the gameplay we must first understand the different card types. Largely these consist of one of the following:
Princess Cards – these cards are available for purchase once you reach 16 points. There are 6 different Princesses in the base game (maybe more in various expansions). Each princess has unique abilities, some passive (always in effect) and some that you can activate during your turn. These abilities may give you advantages such as viewing your draw pile, drawing extra cards, forcing opponents to discard a card, or so on.
The objective of the game is to choose a princess whose ability matches your play style and then “back her” by acquiring points to put her on the throne. I’m not in front of either version of the game at the moment, but I believe the amount needed to back a princess is 21. (might be 20 or 25, somewhere in that range).
When this happens, a “coronation ceremony” will occur. At this time, any other players take one final turn, and if able to do so, may also back and crown a princess. If no other players can put a princess on the throne, you win. However, if another player also gets enough points to back and crown a princess the game enters sudden death where the first player to reach 30 points wins.
But how do you get points you ask? That’s where the other cards come in handy.
Territory Cards: these cards grant you coins (think of it as taxing your people for living in your lands). Coins are used to purchase items from the common shared area known as the market place. Note that cards obtained from the market place go to your discard pile. This is rather quirky and different from most other games I’ve played where they would automatically go to your hand or your draw pile. When you reach the end of your draw pile, your discard pile gets shuffled and becomes your new draw pile, allowing you to finally use the cards you have purchased. Coins may also be spent to activate abilities on some cards.
Action cards – these cards have abilities that affect you or other players such as declaring war to lower their points, or forcing them to discard a card, or allowing you to draw more cards, or take a card from the market place.
Character Cards – these cards all feature a different character, such as a duke, maid, etc. who will grant or sometimes subtract from your total points value. After you have backed a princess, you can play these character cards by placing them under your princess card.
There are also 2 special mechanics in this game.
Keeping Cards: 1 is the ability to “keep” up to 3 cards in your hand by placing them over your kingdom cards (territory cards that were used to back your princess) you cannot keep a card greater than the point value of the territory cards holding it. But by keeping a card, it allows you to use that card on a later turn instead of automatically discarding it at the end of your turn when you would normally discard all of your cards.
Chain Cards: The other interesting fact is that you can chain cards together, some cards have a yellow arrow. This means you can play another card. This is most commonly seen on territory cards.
Putting it all Together:
So the basics of gameplay go like this, draw your cards, play territory cards to get coins, then choose cards from the market place that go to your discard pile. As you run out of cards in your draw pile, the discard pile gets shuffled and turned into the new draw pile, and you may get lucky and draw the cards you purchased from market. Once you reach 16 points, choose a princess to back by carefully considering her special abilities. Continue to play territory cards and purchase more cards from the market – you’re likely going to be looking for cards to increase your point total. Be the first person to reach enough points to crown your princess. Other players may challenge you, so be ready to be the first player to reach 30 points and win the game, or win automatically if no one else can crown their princess after one more turn.
Board Game Version
Overall Score: 52/80 65% “D” “Average Game for Girls”
Geeky: 1/5 – the anime theme and cute girls are the only “geeky” thing here. There is little to no strategy involved with this game, no customization, no legacy, no story, no complexity, no hidden things to explore, etc. Just a straightforward, simple, cute family friendly game with great artwork.
Sweetie: 5/5 – And that great artwork is enough to score it a 5/5 on the sweetie meter. Combine that with the theme of the game, a game about princesses, and you have one of the cutest games ever.
Value for What’s Included: 7/10 – You get a lot of cards, with gorgeous high quality art work, a beautiful box to store the game in, and a lengthy detailed full color glossy manual. However, that manual can be confusing and overwhelming to new players. There is no play mat, card sleeves, tokens, figures, or other goodies, but I still think overall, I feel satisfied with what was included at the $40 price point. Note there are expansions you can buy that add new cards and new features as well.
Initial Learning Curve: 5/10 – setting up the first time and learning what to do can be frustrating. But once you jump into your first game, it really isn’t so bad. Therefore, the learning curve difficulty is somewhere in the middle. It may turn off some casual gamers, but is still simple and friendly enough for family game night or to introduce to your non-gamer friends.
Gameplay: 7/10 – it’s simple, short and sweet. Most games take under 20 minutes to complete. There is a nice variety of cards, from abilities, to characters, and plenty of opportunity to interact with other players. However, the game length is quite short and there’s not much complex or exciting / enticing to help enhance replay value. I think this game will be fun once or twice a month, but don’t see it being a “weekly game board night” staple, when other games offer greater replay incentives and more for even the most seasoned and veteran gamers to discover on multiple playthroughs. Still, if you have young kids, or a significant other who is obsessed with “the kawaii life” they will love this cute little anime game. I bought it simply because I love how cute it is, and I’m not disappointed!
Artwork: 10/10 – I love the artwork, for me it really sold me on this game – Picked it up in a board game store I had never visited before, and had not heard of the game, and bought it simply because of the cute anime girls lol.
Interaction With Other Players: 4/10 – I feel like this is solidly in the middle somewhere. There are plenty of action cards and abilities to play against your friends. But it’s not as social as let’s say cards against humanity nor as encouraging of attacks and alliances as say Munchkin,
This review honestly has been long overdue. I’m sure many of our readers already play Line Play everyday. This cute anime-styled game has been popular for a number of years now. It offers everything you could want in a dressup game, pets, cute outfits, rooms, fishing, minigames, and even chat rooms. There’s tons of stuff to do and new items being released constantly into the game which gets updated quite often with new cute things to collect, new minigames, or limited time events.
Geeky: 3/5 – Although it is saccharine overload at times, if you’re not opposed to a “cutesy” game, then Line Play actually has a ton of features and is more robust and in depth than a lot of other anime dressup games. There are also a lot of skill-based minigames which provide a fun challenge and way to earn in-game currency. It does however sometimes suffer connection issues or lag which is why I can’t rate it higher.
Sweetie: 5/5 – This game oozes charm and cuteness at every corner. It also partners with big-brand names you know and love such as Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon, Disney, and Show by Rock, as well as offering tons of options to customize your avatar, your room, even raising cute pets! It also has a journal system and chat rooms making it almost a social network as much as it’s also a game.
Overall: 60/80 75% C “Good Game For Girls”read more
I began playing Smite with a friend last week. It’s my first time playing a MOBA game. I’ve avoided them because I heard how competitive they can be, such as league of legends. I’ve been playing it for a few weeks, but only last week for any real length of time or effort. Sorry if you played with me the last few weeks; I’m sure that I cost you to lose some matches, because I had no idea how to play for the first few weeks. I still don’t really, but I’m getting at least a little better. It does have a kinda steep learning curve, well for me at least. You have to understand, I typically go for “artistic” games which emphasize story over action – in fact some have no action at all, while others have “turn based combat” – so for me to be in real time combat and have to be “situationally aware” also known as “standing in stuff is bad” lol, well it takes some getting used to!
But eventually, you do get used to these things. And when I stopped dying every five seconds, and learned how to play, and also, bought a mouse (I was playing only with keyboard at first), well then I began doing better, and having fun.
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbone
Developer: Hi-Rez Studios (they’re also the publisher of this game)
Geeky: 5/5 – High marks for achievement systems, variety of characters, classes, game modes, UI system, fluid controls, skill system, items and inventory, and production values.
Sweetie: 3/5 – High marks for character customization and “cute” graphics and characters. Loses a few points for no story (not that games like this need one).
Overall: 69/90 77% C+ “Good Game for Girls”
Concept: 10/10 After about “20 hours” of play time, here are my initial thoughts on this game. First off, it’s free which is great! There’s lots of different game modes which makes it fun. You can play with people online, which could mean, you can group up with your friends, or join a search to get matched with random users online, and then also either play against friends, random users, or even AI computer controlled opponents. There are a ton of different characters, fitting different “roles” such as tanks (called guardians), mages, rangers, assassins, melee DPS, or hybrid roles. Not only are the roles diverse, but so are the characters’ appearances, and made even more diverse by unlocking or purchasing dozens of different “skins” for each character. There are achievements, both within the game, as well as steam trading cards, and different ways to progress through the game. You get rewards even just for logging in every day (like a lot of free or mobile games give to their players), so you could unlock different characters and/or costumes without having to purchase from the cash shop if you wanted.
Gameplay: 8/10 – As I mentioned, there is a tiny bit of a learning curve if you’ve never played a MOBA, or if you’re not used to fast paced competitive and action oriented gameplay. However, through trial and error, you’ll quickly learn to play (and not stand in stuff) (and learn when to run back to base to heal lol).
In the game’s defense, there is a really nice tutorial that walks you through many different game modes. I should have spent more time in the tutorial before rushing out to play with other people online, but let’s be honest, playing with other people is more fun.
There are different game modes including Arena, where you kill gods and minions or escort your minions to the other team’s “goal” (which is a giant portal), while defending your own portal. The other game modes all involve pushing past the enemy defenses by destroying their towers and defending your towers. The other game modes differ in how many “lanes” each map has. Some only have one lane, while others have 2, or 3 lanes.
Some game modes allow you to choose which character you want to play as, while others randomly assign a character to you. You have to be fast to select your character, for one thing, you’re timed, but more importantly, if someone else chooses that god, it becomes unavailable to you for that match, first come, first served.
The different characters all have different abilities and different strengths and weaknesses, so finding one that matches your play style, can be a bit of trial and error at first. I prefer rangers because I can attack and be mobile at the same time, and I can let others take the brunt of the damage.
Anyways, gameplay typically consists of dividing up who to go where in the “lane style” games. You’ll likely be asked to help defend and push through one of the different lanes. Since most matches have more players than lanes, you might have another player to assist you, but not always. The game however, will spawn minions for you (as well as for your opponent), and you can let them charge ahead to take the damage from the enemy towers while you help destroy their towers, gods, and minions.
If at any time, you find yourself overwhelmed, your minions defeated, or low on mana or health, you can return back to your base to heal and also to purchase items, equipment, or upgrade your skills (you can also upgrade skills outside of the base too but inside the base you can take a few minutes to plan your next move.). You can also set skill and item purchases to “auto” which is the default setting. This allows you to not have to worry about remembering to spend skill points or gold, but forces you to give up the customization aspects of building your own character. Because of the fast action nature of this game, I find it easier to just leave everything on auto which lets me focus on the action instead of worrying about the particulars of my character.
These “lane style” games end whenever one team’s “Titan” has been destroyed. To reach the titan you must focus on defeating towers and phoenixes. There are also smaller camps of monsters that award various buffs to your team members.
Arena is much more “free for all” – it’s a small map with no lanes, no towers, no phoenixes, etc, just you against the other team, in an almost olympic sport like event as you try to feed minions into the opponent’s portal while keeping minions out of your own, and killing as many enemy players as possible to earn more points. The arena matches end whenever one team’s point total is taken to zero. The team who still has points remaining is the victor.
In all game modes, your character will always start at level 1 and then quickly gain experience and gold. As you gain levels your character becomes stronger and you can spend skill points to upgrade their abilities or use the money you’ve earned to buy new gear.
There are ranked matches and “tournament seasons” as well for more competitive players – I’ve not tried these features yet.
As mentioned, the game lets you play online with friends, with random users, or with, or against, artificial intelligent “bots”.
There are also special in-game events that unlock gods for you to play temporarily or award you with new skins, icons, and achievements.
Story: 1/10 – There’s really no story, which is no surprise given the nature of the MOBA genre. There is some loose overarching theme and a bit of backstory for each character – the main idea being that they are all different gods from different cultural mythology, ranging from African, Egyptian, Roman, Chinese, and many more. This concept is rather interesting, but by no means has any real impact on the game.
Characters: 8/10 – Although there is no story (aside from a brief blurb about the mythos that your character represents), so no character driven dialogue or much personality here (aside from each character being voiced and having numerous taunts and sayings that they will repeat as you play), there are a ton of characters.
Character customization is also fascinatingly high in this game, both from a visual standpoint (if willing to spend money in cash shop or work to unlock skins), but also from a technical standpoint by allowing you to choose your characters’ skills and progression as well as equipment each game.
There are dozens of different character classes as I mentioned above, ranging from melee, to tanky types, to ranged or magical DPS. Each one, although maybe similar to some of the others within their “class”, also displays it’s own unique abilities and strengths and weaknesses.
Many characters will be locked and unavailable to you unless a special event is going on, or you choose to purchase the character via the cash shop or with special in-game currency.
Graphics: 9/10 I’m giving this high marks due to the different skins, also the animations and effects are cute and clever. The graphics aren’t amazing by any means, but they’re not bad either, about average, or what would be expected of “next gen” games these days. The graphics show a lot of personality and endear the characters to the players.
Music: 8/10 The music is actually pretty good! But I have to deduct a few points just for a lack of variety in the soundtrack, either through a low number of tracks available, or a general feeling of “sameness” between a lot of the music. However, the music is fitting well with the theme, of mythology and gods and mystery. It has a large and vibrant feeling like you might expect when walking through temple halls dedicated to Zeus or Ra or some other long forgotten god.
Voice Acting: 7/10 The characters are all uniquely voiced and it adds more personality and charm (something this game has in spades). Your characters will spout off short one-liners when you take down an enemy, when they get defeated, or when using different abilities. There’s not a ton of voice acting, and there aren’t any deep, emotionally driven lines delivered here, but the charm that it adds to the game makes it that much more fun and unique.
Replay Value: 10/10 – This is a game that you pick up and play for 20 minutes, or easily sink several hours into at once. There are so many different characters to try, as well as different ways in which to customize the abilities and equipment of those characters. Combine that with the several different game modes and the ability to unlock achievements, skins, and new characters as you continue to play. This keeps the game fresh, exciting, and accessible which makes replaying the game very enjoyable.
Platform: You can play it directly in your computer browser. Or they also have a mobile app for both android and IOS when you are on the go.
Where to Get the Game: It’s free to play and you can find the apps or browser version at the official website. Link at top of this post.
Overall: 84/100 84% B “Very Good Game for Girls”
Geeky: 5/5 The ability to lead huge troops and the skill tree and city building aspects make this game high on the geek list.
Sweetie: 3/5 It’s a “pretty” game, but there’s not much “cute” – there’s also not much customization as far as appearances go. The story although funny, is mostly just there to move you through the quests and progress through the game, and not there to give you a sense of who’s who, why your kingdoms are at war, or about the lore or setting in the game world.
Concept: 9/10 Stormfall is a smart, sarcastic, witty, funny browser game which offers a large variety of quests, areas to explore, massive scale combat, ability to customize which research you take on, an awesome musical score and beautiful lush graphics with voice acting by a smart-alec narrator. While it does little to innovate the strategy genre, it is still a fun game for anyone who loves these city building types of games, and the high production values will keep you entertained, while daily quests and lots of things to see, do, build, and explore will have you replaying this game often.
Gameplay: 10/10 Like most strategy games, there is a city building aspect which the game introduces early on. You build farms to feed your troops, iron mines to get materials to arm your troops, and earn taxes to help fund your troops. You build libraries to research magic, and other structures to help build new types of weapons, armor, and unlock new units to add to your armies.
There’s also a skill tree element called the “Art of War” where you can customize which talents you learn, learning them in different order will branch off to letting you learn different skills, such as fortification, bows, thieves, trading, smuggling, etc. This is where a lot of the initial strategy comes into play.
The tutorial really helps new players jump right into the game and learn the mechanics. The narrator keeps the game entertaining and gives it a fresh perspective. From research, to city building, to intrigue, alliances, and battles, this game offers many options to let you take charge of your kingdoms.
The user interface is clean and intuitive, and combat feels dynamic but yet not overly complex or frustrating. The game has a good sense of balance between building and researching and battling to progress your kingdom.
Story: 7/10 – This game cracks me up – it is so funny LOL. You’ll see the humor right away within the first few seconds of the tutorial. The humor is accented by great voice acting! I’ve never seen a strategy game take such a sarcastic approach. It’s very refreshing! It makes it stand out in a sea of similar mobile games. It makes it unique and memorable and keeps me playing for longer. Beyond the humor though it seems like not much is revealed about the world, characters, lore, history, or setting of the game.
Characters: 3/10 The only character that’s given much personality is the narrator. I kinda feel this is a missed opportunity, as your advisers could have been given much more personality, and dialog even if it was only written and not voiced. I also think the game is missing a gameplay element by not letting you “recruit” advisers or having some bonuses/enhancements for different advisers, or aging/dying/marrying/mentoring etc of advisers, like many other games in this genre offer.
Graphics: 10/10 – The game is brought to live with beautiful detailed 3D environments and rich fantasy artwork and animation.
Music: 10/10 – For a little mobile/browser game, this game has some seriously wonderful music. It reminds me a lot of the music from Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. Very pretty and the same “fantasy” vibe. It’s very dramatic music. There’s a good variety too, from very intense drum solos, to calming harp-like music.
Voice Acting: 7/10 – I’m surprised there’s voice acting throughout much of the game, and it’s actually pretty good. I like the tone, humor (at times), and deliverance throughout. However, very few of the key characters in the game are voiced and voice is given primarily through a narrator.
Community: 10/10 – Whether it’s chatting in game, forming alliances, recruiting your friends, joining a league, trading at the market, or using the official forums this game has a great sense of community that offers a break from the routine tasks of managing your kingdom.
Replay Value: 10/10 The daily quests, and sheer amount of things to build, do, and learn about this game make it worth logging in daily to work on your kingdom.
I’ve been playing 100% Orange Juice, a cute little anime-style board game, with my friends, as well as playing it solo in campaign mode, quite a bit the last few days. And we’ll probably play it again tonight too. What I love about this game is that as you play you earn stars (the in game currency) and the characters can level up, which lets you unlock new costumes and new characters.
The characters all have their own stats, such as HP, ATK, and DEF, and there are cards which you can unlock to add to your deck which can further enhance these stats or help you take advantage in battle. This makes replay much higher than a regular board game. Of course, the cute anime graphics, bright colors, and bright royalty free music really add to the overall appeal of this game for any anime or retro videogame fan.
100% Orange Juice can be played by up to 4 players together online. If you don’t have 3 other friends to join you, each empty seat will be filled in by an NPC (computerized opponent) or you can search for and join other players waiting in the lobby.
Concept: 10/10 100% Orange Juice is a crazy, zany, quirky, charming, and addictive little board/card game. It has many different modes to play in. For example, you can invite up to 3 friends to join you in a multiplayer game in the lobby, or you can play the campaign mode to see each character’s story, or you can play the game by yourself against the computer in free play mode where you won’t be interrupted by the story segments. Each mode rewards you with stars (the in-game currency) which allow you to add new cards to your deck, purchase characters, or other exciting enhancements to add into your game. Some of the rewards are locked at different levels, which makes you want to play more to level up to get the best rewards. There’s also limited edition rewards that come into the shop and sell out which makes you want to keep playing so you don’t miss any goodies.
Gameplay: 9/10 The matches feel just a touch long to me (Each match takes about 35-45 minutes) – I’d like the ability to be able to “fast-forward” some of the animation and the NPC turns, especially in the single player modes. Overall though, the gameplay is really fun. You roll a single dice to dictate how many squares you’ll move. You can also play cards before you begin each turn. There are different types of cards including: Trap Cards, these cards are ones that you place on the board for other players to land on usually with negative effects, though I have seen “trap” cards (cards you place on the board) that allow you to collect stars or warp or other things as well. There’s also Battle Cards, these cards can only be used in battle, and typically they increase or decrease the stats (ATK, DEF, EVASION, etc). Lastly, there’s (what I would call) Personal Cards, these cards are used by you to heal your character, roll two dice, get stars, or deal damage directly to another player.
As you move around the game board, there’s different types of squares that you can land on. For example, a blue square (or “drop” square) will make you roll a dice and you lose that number of stars. The green squares let you draw an extra card. The red squares generate an NPC for you to battle, and sometimes turn into “boss squares” where if you deal the final blow to the boss, you’ll get a huge amount of stars. The purple squares teleport you to another area on the map. The grey “metal looking” squares are basically “safe spots” where nothing will happen to you. The yellow square allows you to roll a dice and collect stars equal to that number.
Lastly, if you land on a square with another player or NPC, you can enter into a battle with that player. Battles consist of rolling a single dice (or sometimes playing a battle card if you have one). You roll for both attack and defense. Your character’s base stats and any card effects are then added into your dice rolls. Your scores are then subtracted from your opponent’s scores. For example, if your opponent rolls a 4 attack roll, and has a character with +2 base attack, and plays a card granting him +1 attack, his total attack score will be 7. If you roll a 4, and have a character with +1 defense base stat, and no defense granting cards played this round, your total defense is 5. So you would take 2 damage subtracted from your total HP. It would then be your turn to attack, and your opponent’s turn to defend, and the same principles would apply again. You can choose to roll Evasion instead of defense, but you must score HIGHER than (not equal to) your opponent’s attack roll – otherwise you take full damage (0 defense). However, even if you defense is higher than your opponent’s attack score, you will always take at least 1 damage when you defend, and a successful evasion will allow you to not take any damage at all. If you lose all of your HP you will be knocked out and your opponent will steal your stars. After being knocked out, you will have to roll a specified number or higher to revive and rejoin the game which sets you back quite a bit from the competition.
The objective of the game is to pass by your home point after fulfilling different objectives. After you complete the first objective, which is to collect 10 stars, you may then choose your next objective each time you go home. This can be winning a certain number of battles, or having a certain number of stars. The first player to clear 6 objectives will win the game, while 2nd-4th place will be determined by how many objectives the others have completed, as well as stars, and battle wins in case of a tie. When going home, your hit points are also fully restored, which makes finding your home base a key part of your gameplay strategy. Sometimes, depending on the game board, your home point may be inaccessible except by trying to land on the purple warp squares and praying that it puts you on the other side of the game board. To make it even more challenging, home points can change “owner” (reflected by the color) at any time. You can only use your own home point, so you have to keep track of where your home point (which matches your character’s color) is located at throughout the game.
Story: 7/10 If you like humor, you’d probably rank this score higher. Don’t get me wrong, I like to laugh too. But I much prefer more “serious” or “dramatic” types of stories. This is a bit like “low-brow” “slapstick” humor, but it is cute and “Otaku-pandering” and it gets the job done. I think it’s pretty cool that every character has their own stories. Once again, increasing that sweet replay value. Especially when you get into the unlockable characters and DLC – there’s probably over 30 different characters and each have their own campaign (story) modes.
Characters: 9/10 The characters are also very cute and each one has it’s own unique personality (and story). If you’re a fan of other games by OrangeJuice (which are mostly “bullet hell” games) then you will recognize many of the characters from their other games. For me, not having played those games, the characters are new, but still very loveable. The animation and expressions and enthusiasm each character shows throughout the game is really endearing, even if the story and character development is a bit weak.
Graphics: 8/10 As mentioned, 100% Orange Juice features adorable anime graphics, which yes, maybe aren’t the highest quality, but they add to the overall cute-ness of the game. They are a little bit pixelated, and the characters are very simplistic in design – however, the ability to customize your characters with different outfits, or unlock a multitude of dozens of new characters, as well as the expressions, animations, and personality of each character make it a very “kawaii” game.
Music: 8/10 It has a good soundtrack – although not enough different songs, which can lead to it becoming repetitive if you play many games of 100% Orange Juice in a row consecutively. The tracks that are there though are really cute and catchy. I just wish there was more of them – if there was, this would get a perfect score.
Voice Acting: 7/10 – Well the voice acting isn’t great lol – but it’s funny. It’s all “Engrish” (Japanese people badly mangling the English language lol). There’s not a lot of voice acting, but it’s still something a little extra to add to the Otaku-Pandering nature of this game. Most people use the term Otaku-Pandering in a negative sense, but I love Otaku-Pandering games, so I mean no offense by it. I think it makes the game even more quirky and lovable for any anime fan.
Replay Value: 10/10 There’s so many different things to do, modes to play, stars to collect to unlock a huge variety of in-game content and bonuses, level up your characters, get new cards for your deck, unlock new characters, get cute costumes and outfits, go through campaign mode with every single character, and then of course, the most fun part, play the game over and over again with your friends. This is a game with almost infinite replay value. The matches are short enough (usually around a half hour) that it’s a perfect pick up game when looking to kill time, but the amount of time you could spend trying to get 100% competition on the game is probably hundreds of hours.
For under 7 bucks at regular non-sale price, I can’t recommend this game enough. It’s well worth the money. The money you pay for this lil game will more than come back to you in gameplay value, especially if you have friends to play with online.
You have got to see this super kawaii (cute) new game! Especially if you’re a fan of Spyro the Dragon, or if you just REALLY love cats – Luckily, I’m a fan of both, so I think that this game is super adorable!
Even if you don’t want to donate, if you like cute stuff, you can just go look at all the adorable screenshots and video demos.
Here is one of the demo and promotional videos which helped the game to already be greenlit by the steam community. And beneath the video are some features which I mostly copied and added some commentary to from their indiegogo page. I really hope this game becomes a reality 🙂 It is maybe the cutest game to ever come to Steam.
(This is a feature that is still in the experimental stage and is planned to be in the final version, where you can enjoy being a kitten with other players, show off your customized kitten, have races, contests, you name it!)
– Rich Storyline
(You can check out the IndieGoGo for the story details. To me it sounds a bit silly, immature, but still want this game just for a cuteness factor)
– Large Explorable Worlds
(The size of each level will vary and present different obstacles/tasks to complete).
– Interactable Objects, NPC’s, Etc.
(Some object will be around just for fun while others will be main keys to progressing further in the game or opening portals to the other playable areas).
(Puzzles can vary from “Activate the buttons” to getting through multiple areas with move able objects that need to be in a certain patter. Puzzles will change with the levels.).
Overall Score: 53 / 80 66% D “Average Game for Girls” – NOTE: If we ignore lack of story and not a strong variety in characters, the score would be 53/60 or 88% B+ “Very Good Game for Girls” which more accurately reflects my own enjoyment of this game.
Overview 10/10: This is one of the most addictive and fun and quick little IOS games in my library right now. A Game of Dice is a fast paced online boardgame available for IOS and Android. Not only is the game free, but it also hosts tournaments in which you can win $100 usd if you are able to get 10 consecutive wins in a row at the master level. It’s a game played with other people from all over the world and, from what I’ve seen, there’s never any waiting for a game match while searching for players, so it’s very active, and full of people waiting to play with you.
Gameplay: 10/10 The premise of the game is very similar to boardgames such as Monopoly. You roll dice and move around the board collecting properties; as you pass the start line, your properties level up and the rent charged to players who land on them increases. If you roll 3 doubles in a row, you go to jail, where you can either pay, or roll a double to get out. The board itself is very small, and it is a bit disapointing that the board is always the same regardless of if you’re in a rookie match or a master tournament. I think it could do with some more levels with more advanced boards. But one of the pluses of having a small board is that the game moves incredibly fast.
The twist of this game comes in the form of very shrewd competitive gameplay. Initially when you begin, if a property is unowned, it’s yours, free and clear. The twist is that should another player land on your property, after paying your rent, they have an opportunity to take over your city, if they have what’s called a take over certificate.
Now these certificates can be bought for cash (real money), or earned through gameplay. You might think it is unfair or game breaking – but the game does have some mechanics in place for damage control. They limit the number of certificates a player can have at any given time to 3 certificates.
Who goes first is chosen at random, and if you get stuck going last, you’ll be given a free take over certificate to help you catch back up. There are squares in the game where you can get additional certificates for free if you land there, or squares which allow you to teleport to and claim an unowned city as well.
The other twist to this game is that it is also a card game. You can take with you 9 cards, which you can customize. Some take money from your opponents, some let you roll more dice, or guarantee a double, others even allow you to claim more cities.
You can summon new skill cards using gems – a special currency, which you can either earn while playing or buy for real money.
In addition to your skill cards, you also draw cards for different stat-enhancing dice sets and characters. You can also upgrade, enhance, and combine skill, dice, or character cards to further increase the bonuses from them. Gold is the currency used to perform these enhancements and is sorta the “Default” or “free” game currency.
Similar to Monopoly, the object of each match is to be the last man standing by making your opponents go bankrupt.
Lastly, there’s another currency called “Joy” which allows you to enter higher level tournaments, purchase “gems”, or “Invest” in your properties during a tournament (which will greatly magnify the cost of rent should an opponent land on your squares).
You win Joy by winning a tournament or sometimes through random events and cards. Higher level tournaments award you with more Joy for your victory.
Graphics: 8/10 – Cute and colorful anime graphics, with high quality artwork on the cards and fully animated “retro” “chibi” styled sprites while in game. Could do with some more variety, there doesn’t appear to be enough characters to summon for this type of game. User interface is good, and the overall experience is very nice.
Music: 6/10 – Music is good, but man, it gets old. There also are some characters that are voiced (in English even), and other characters are not. There’s an anouncer and other vocal cues too. Just wish there was more variety in background music, like different tracks that it would randomize through, or higher level tournaments having different tracks, etc.
Storyline: 2/10 – When you first start the game, you’re presented a story, but it doesn’t really take root within the game. Well this is not a story based game. Monopoly does not need a story to be “fun” right? Still would like to see them implement some more story elements, such as unlocking more story scenes as you level up which you can choose to watch at your leisure.
Characters 4/10: There seems to only be a handful of characters, maybe 6-7 “4 star” or lower characters, and a few “5 star” “exclusives”. I think they need more characters and more variety overall; but each character has destinct advantages and disadvantages in bonuses and enhancements given to gameplay. The artwork is also in the style I like (anime).
Community: 7/10 – Each game is live with other players. There is no chat function, and even if there was, a vast majority of players are from overseas and likely wouldn’t speak english. You can’t trade with other players, and there’s no user marketplace. But the fact that each game pits you against 2 other real live humans in real time is very exciting.
Have you heard of Yo-Kai Watch? This Nintendo franchise is releasing for the first time in North America next week and here’s everything you need to know about the million selling anime and videogame series.
Title: Yo-Kai Watch
Publisher: Level 5 and Nintendo
Release Date: November 6th, 2015
Concept: From what I can see, this looks very similar to pokemon, except you can control a party of 3 cute monsters simultaneously in a single battle. You use your stylus to search different areas until you find a Yokai and you then have the opportunity to befriend them. You raise and train the Yokai to make them stronger. There’s 200 different Yokai to find.
Last Week Nintendo released an English demo on the Nintendo E-shop which you can download for free here.
Story: The story of Yo-kai Watch is that Yo-kai are mischievous spirits which exist in the real world, though unseen by humans. One day your character helps a ghost who grants them a special watch to detect the presence of Yo-kai. Yo-kai are not ghosts, monsters, or pets. Instead Yo-kai is the Japanese belief that all objects, both living, and inanimate possess a “spirit”. These Yo-kai sometimes come from humans, or sometimes animals, or sometimes even every day objects. Unlike Pokemon, there’s really not a grand quest or anything; instead it’s a story about innocence and discovering a magical world that’s always been there but has been hidden to most people.
Graphics: The graphics in Yo-Kai Watch are cute and there are a large variety of Yo-Kai to befriend within the game. The colors and images are very sharp and it’s all done in a cute anime style.
There are also a number of anime, manga, and toys and other merchandise that go along with this series. Nintendo hopes to create the next “pokemon craze” and make a lot of money off of merchandising – which has been working quite well for them overseas. Let’s see if this series takes off as well in North America.
Also, the first game, does not have different versions like Pokemon having different monsters in each version and encouraging trading amongst players. This is one feature I will miss and really the main draw of Pokemon for a lot of gamers. However, it looks like the 2nd game, which is already out in Japan, does have two versions and may focus on different Yo-kai in each one, making trading necessary to “catch em all”.
I read that you can choose a male or female player character, but have no further info on if the player characters can be further customized.
If you happen to be going to PAX in Australia you will get hands on time with Yo-Kai Watch and get to see the premiere of the anime before it goes live in December.
Last of all, Nintendo lists this title as 2 players. I assume it will feature battling eachother’s Yo-kai similar to Pokemon Battles.
Note: This is only a Preview. I’ve no hands on experience with this game; I just wanted to make my readers aware of this adorable little indie title. It is still in development, and no “public” beta test will be held – they are only allowing those who backed their now closed Kickstarter campaign to test the game. So the rest of us will have to wait. When it releases, it will be a cross platform game available on all current gen systems including PC, PS4, Xbone, and WiiU.
Churbles is a fully 3D game, and the latest developer blog post details how the environment will work.
“We are currently working on a system that allows you to control how your guild hall layout develops, which will allow for procedural dungeon generation later on. It also allows turn-based combats to occur anywhere, not just pre-built arenas.”
The game also features local multi-player (and I’m sure it will also probably have online capabilities as well).
“Using their Guild Hall as a base of operations the player selects a location based adventure for their Churbles to embark on. Each location or dungeon is free roaming and can be expanded through story progression and diligent exploration. Enemies can be found freely roaming the world, spoiling for a fight. Some battles must be fought, while others can be avoided through story-based decisions or clever sneaking.
As play continues more and more Churbles will want to join your founder and the Guild Hall to help protect Churble World. With 3 different classes to choose from, each with 3 distinct styles of fighting and 7 different weapons styles you will be able to develop any sort of team you desire. Want 3 different Warriors? What about a Mystic who charges into battle with a two-handed ax? Or a rogue who has a fondness for casting spells? With over 63 different combinations it is all possible!
Skills can be learned through leveling up your weapon skills, heroic paths, through story events, and the acquisition of legendary tutors and items. In fact, over the course of its career a Churble will learn a great many skills and it is up to the player to create combinations of moves that will perform best with the other Churbles making up the party.
Boss battles are a huge focus of Churbles game design. Each one is intended to be challenging, innovative, and unique; this isn’t a matter of tank, heal, dps, success. Drawing inspiration from the best and most memorable boss battles throughout gaming history, we are creating encounters that have the player (and their Churbles) thinking and acting outside the box.
Churbles takes some of the best features of JRPGs, such as cute and exciting characters, outrageous villains, and over-the-top attacks, and combines it with some of the best elements of western RPGs, like rich customization of both the characters and play styles and streamlined gameplay that focuses more on playing the game and less on grinding.
But what really makes Churbles unique is the ownership the player will feel over their Churbles. Every Churble has its own personality that determines its affinities for different abilities -as well as interactions with other Churbles- and even the player! Everything from fur and eye color to armor and weapon skins can be selected by the player. The Guild Hall where the Churbles rally between their adventures is not just a quest hub: It is their home. Churbles eat, sleep, play, and train in the Guild Hall, which you the player will help design and build.”