Dragon Quest Builders for the Playstation 4

What is an interesting way to get your whole family into the role playing game genre while still keeping the little ones excited about open world sand box style gaming, in the same vein as Minecraft?  The answer is the new Dragon Quest Builders game where you play a hero who must rebuild a destroyed kingdom, block by block castle by castle, city by city.  This may sound like a daunting task, but for those of us with a creative mind and a builder’s spirit, it is within reach.

The story is that there was a great battle generations ago, and after such, a hero was tricked into joining forces with a great evil.  The evil Dragon lord took away mankind’s ability to build and imagine, scattering the remains of humanity across the planet.  Your job to rekindle this builder’s spirit and imagination with the help of the Goddess at your side, as well as your own imagination.  The game itself is huge and wide open, able to be explored and built or broken down at will.  There are familiar characters from the Dragon Quest series including Slimes and Dragons, and a familiar art style similar to previous iterations of the Dragon Quest series, with an anime feel instead of the block-y computer graphics of Minecraft.

What is most fun about this game in my opinion is its ability to bring video game players of various genres together into one game.  Those who enjoy a more story and plot driven games will enjoy the ability to rebuild the world to its former glory, completing quests for other characters and defeating enemies.  While those who love open world sand box games will enjoy the building of places itself.  From humble beginnings of one bedroom homes, to kitchens and blacksmiths, to full size castles, the world is literally yours to play in.  The interface itself is easy and the controls are simple to master.  You have a set inventory of materials which can be used to build new places and materials.  Dragon Quest Builders is available now and retails for $59.99.

Foodie Fun and More in Papa’s Sushiria

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Certain games get everything right. Papa’s Sushiria is one of those special titles, representing a winning combination of multiple genres. In Papa’s Sushiria, players will work every job at a sushi restaurant. Taking orders, cooking rice, and preparing desserts has never been this exciting.

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Papa’s Sushiria is the latest installment in a decade-spanning series of restaurant management games. First, there was Papa’s Pizzeria, followed by a dozen other highly specific diners. Where Papa’s Pancakeria and Papa’s Wingeria might’ve struggled, Papa’s Sushiria shines. That’s because there are very many ways to make sushi. And as the head chef, we get to discover all of them.

Playing Papa’s Sushiria on Poki is about so much more than making food. Upon starting a new adventure, players can create their own character. Surprisingly, this game offers more customization than I’ve ever seen. There are literally trillions of possibilities, thanks to hundreds of different hairstyles, facial hair options, glasses, and colours galore. Players can even adjust the eye spacing and mouth height, among other facial features, to create themselves in the game. Earning money opens up a whole new world of outfit possibilities, with different shirts, pants, shoes, hats, belts, and jackets. Basically, there’s an extremely detailed dress-up game within Papa’s Sushiria from POKI!

Once our character is created, it’s time to get to work. There are multiple stations in the restaurant, each of which has its own challenges. Taking orders is the first step in the process, and it’s the simplest. All we have to do is listen to the customer and send their order to the kitchen. Then, we can start the cooking process. As the chef, we’ll start by pouring rice into the rice cooker. Green and yellow markers on the cooker indicate when the rice is half-finished and fully done. If our timing is wrong, the customer won’t be happy!

The build station is where we can complete most of our chef duties. During our first day at the restaurant, we have somewhat limited access to fillings and toppings. There are carrots, salmon, and tuna, among other fresh ingredients. When adding ingredients onto the rice, we must spread them carefully. Real chefs take pride in their work, and we should, too. It takes a steady hand to perform this task perfectly. As such, younger gamers might have a tough time drizzling sauces and slicing the rolls evenly.

After the sushi is made, we’ll craft a drink for our customer. The beverage must include milk, a type of tea, and flavored bubbles. When the drink is complete, our full meal will be ready for the customer.

Each well-prepared meal results in tip money. At the end of each day, players can spend their cash on new items and decorate the restaurant. With so many unlockable items, the end of each workday offers a whole new experience. We can play Foodini’s mini-games for special prizes, collect stickers, and watch a parade with everyone we meet at the restaurant. Let’s make food and much more in Papa’s Sushiria!

Mincraft at Best Buy @BestBuy @Minecraft #ad

Minecraft is one of the my son’s favorite games.  My husband, not as much, but he is learning (and also learning how much of an old man he is sometimes).  You can build and explore exciting new worlds with Best Buy’s assortment of Minecraft games and collectibles.

Minecraft is a game about placing blocks and going on adventures.  Where players can use their imagination, they can bring anything their digital heart desires to life. This translates into a robust level of online shared works to explore.  Visit randomly generated worlds as well as build amazing things from the simplest of homes to the grandest of castles.  Minecraft is less of a game and more of a digital revolution.  Play in Creative Mode with unlimited resources, or mine deep in Survival Mode, crafting weapons and armor to fend off dangerous mobs. Do all this alone, or with friends.  Co-Op mode is a blast with a family member or a friend.  My husband honestly didn’t see the point in Minecraft until he sat down and played Co-Op with the kiddo. The games are very family-friendly, and great for kids and adults of any age.  The toys and collectibles make great gifts for anyone already into the game or just getting their feet wet.

Best Buy carries a large assortment the assortment of Minecraft products – this includes an Xbox One S console bundle, additional Minecraft games, and Minecraft toys and collectibles.  The coolest being (of course) the Xbox One S console bundle, which includes not only the Xbox One S 500GB console, but also Xbox Wireless Controller, Minecraft: Xbox One Edition Favorites Pack, Minecraft Builder’s Pack, Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta,  and also 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial.  The Xbox One S is the same as an Xbox One but is now powered up with 4K Blu-ray, 4k video streaming and HDR all this while being 40% smaller.

Moana: The Movie, the Games

moana app

Moana, the newest animated film from Walt Disney Pictures, is still filling theaters around the world. It’s one of the top-ranked movies of the year, beloved by critics and audience members of all ages. If you haven’t already taken your children to see it, I confidently recommend doing so. Older children, teens, and thrill-seeking adults can enjoy Moana in 3D, which offers an entirely next-level type of entertainment. However, the story and 2D visuals are captivating enough that the non-3D movie is very much worth seeing.

After watching Moana at the theater, a great way to stay connected is through video games. These days, sites like Poki offer countless web games for free. On Poki, each game is sorted into categories, which makes it easy to find exactly what you want. Today, I’d like to share what my child has been playing lately: Moana games from Poki!

The Moana games on Poki are a subsection of the movie games category, which includes hundreds of titles. Some of the most popular movie games are based on Frozen, Cars, or Spider-Man. But the hit film of today is Moana, and there are many exciting adventures to discuss.

Moana Waialiki is a Pacific Island princess. To be more specific, Moana is Polynesian, and she is beautiful. When the movie was first announced, there was much discussion surrounding this new type of Disney royalty. Feminists and open-minded citizens everywhere praised the choice to showcase diversity on the silver screen. As a result, we have a movie and now many games that center around the proud Motunui native. The Moana dress-up games on Poki highlight her unique culture and clothing. The fabrics, dress styles, and jewelry are all based on authentic island fashion. Players will learn about Oceania while playing, as these games take place 2000 years in the past, just like the movie.

There are also different types of Moana puzzle games, including hidden-object and jigsaw challenges. In Moana Hidden Letters, players will use a magnifying glass to find the alphabet on the beach. In Disney Moana Puzzle, gamers must unscramble memorable scenes from the movie. Every puzzle piece is a small part of the big picture. This type of gameplay lets us relive iconic movie moments with Moana and Maui.

Have I mentioned that the Moana soundtrack was co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda? That’s right—the award-winning composer and star of Hamilton helped pen the music for Moana. Best of all, some of Poki’s Moana games feature real music from the movie. When playing Kakamora Kaos, gamers are bound to be inspired by the movie’s original soundtrack. The orchestral symphony will charge the coconut-wearing pirates on their massive ship. Instead of playing a game on the computer, it will feel like you’re a part of the film!

After watching Moana, playing these games is the next best thing. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, the Moana titles on Poki are so much fun that they stand tall on their own. It’s time for your children to play with the Polynesian princess and her demigod companion Maui.

Pokemon Sun and Moon for the Nintendo 3DS

If you have been under a rock for the last few months, Pokemon is back and in a big way.  With the recent release of Pokemon Go and the most recent release of Pokemon Sun and Moon, all your gaming needs can be met trying to catch them all.

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In Pokemon Sun/Moon, you follow along a young trainer as he or she moves to a new region the Alola region, which looks like a tropical Pacific Island.  Upon moving here, you quickly start your adventure to become a Pokemon trainer, and one of the best ones there is at that.  You first pick out your starter Pokemon, choosing from Rowlet (Grass-Flying), Litten (Fire), and Popplio (Water). Each of these are cute little critters who pack a mean punch.  Whichever you pick, you are in for a good time, so no need to stress over this first choice.  As you progress through the game, you learn some new moves called “Z Moves”, which are a way for trainer and Pokemon to act in unison and perfect harmony to release devastating attacks on your opponents (which there are many of).  Your opponents range from the evil Team Skull, to wild Pokemon hidden in the tall grass and waters of the area, to other trainers- there are more then enough chances to try out your new moves.

This game is fun for gamers of all ages, although reading is needed in order to progress and make heads or tails of the story, so be aware those very young will not be able to get too far without some help from mom or dad.  Early readers should be ok with the game, however, the reading is not overly advanced.  Game play is also easy to pick up and understand, as the main mechanics are catch Pokemon, battle Pokemon, and continue on with your quest.

There are many side quests available along the main character’s journey, such as finding specific Pokemon in certain areas, to helping find special items or people in one place.  In regard to which game you should pick up (Sun or Moon) the real decision is which legendary do you like more- the sun based Solgaleo or moon based Lunala?  Other then that, the games are identical in story line and players from either version can trade with one another.

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon retail for $39.99 each and certainly should not be missed.

Jotun Valhalla Edition and Axiom Verge for Nintendo Wii U

Today we are going to look at two of the plethora of cool Indie titles for the Wii U, Jotun Valhalla Edition and Axiom Verge.  An epic Norse adventure game and a mind bending side scroller which questions your trust in the programmers of the game.

nintendo games

First up is Jotun, Jotun Valhalla Edition follows the story of Thora, a Viking warrior who has suffered an inglorious death.  This means she can not enter Valhalla. As such, Odin offers her another chance to prove herself worthy of Valhalla by battling various gods and defeating them.  You begin the game in Ginnungagap, a Norse limbo which acts as your central point between various levels.  Each has lush hand drawn designs and characters.  Every level acts as a puzzle in itself, as well as an exploration chance to find a God’s weapon.  These weapons then make each boss battle easier to get through, some times, later in the game these are even necessary to defeat some tough baddies.  This game has a “new school”, artistic vibe and an old school, boss rush game play. It is perfect for new gamers as well as older ones.  What I really like about this game is its lush settings, designs, and the Norse driven story which is a relatively fresh area in gaming.

Axoim Verge video game

Next up is Axoim Verge.  Axoim Verge, looks familiar at first glance, a 2d side scrolling Metroid-vania style game where the hero explores a huge area piece by piece.  But that is where the similarities end. With nine massive non linear areas which are unlock-able,  tons of weapons, tools, and equipment (the most memorable of which is a glitch-er tool which, when used, causes game elements to break and either open up new areas, turn enemies into health power ups, or even have enemies turn into assistants).  This not only opens up new elements of game play and gives players a new way to analyze an area, but also opens up new portions of the area and has you question where this game’s setting is. Is it the future, an alien world, or a glitch virtual reality world?  Either way, we had a great time exploring it and can’t wait to unlock more weapons, areas, and tools.

Jotun Valhalla Edition is available now for $14.49 and Axoim Verge for $19.99 through the Nintendo eShop on the Wii U.

Pele: Soccer Legend

soccer games

Want a more wholesome game for your kids to enjoy? Pelé: Soccer Legend is a new, free-to-play sports game on Poki. It’s got 3D graphics that look good on every computer—even on budget laptops. The gameplay is fun, and you only need to press one button to play. What’s not to love? From what I’ve experienced, Pelé: Soccer Legend is nothing short of amazing.

The Athletic Premise
Pelé is a hero to millions of soccer fans. Even those who didn’t watch him in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s know of his greatness. In Pelé: Soccer Legend, your kids can experience the early days of Pelé’s career. That’s because this game actually takes place on the streets of Brazil! Instead of competing on a typical soccer pitch, players get to score goals in back-alley “arenas.” This is a fresh way of reinventing the soccer genre, because it looks different than every other game. And it feels quite different, too. When kicking towards the goal, you can bounce the ball off of anything nearby! It’s really fun to aim at the wall and try to ricochet the soccer ball into the goal. There’s also a car behind the net, which you can aim at for funny surprises.

So Many Kicks
Pelé was an innovative athlete. He didn’t just kick the ball like everyone else. In Pelé: Soccer Legend, your children can learn all of Pelé’s memorable moves, like the mind-blowing bicycle kick. At certain points during each level, players will have the opportunity to try a new type of shot. There are more than a few ways to kick the ball towards the goal. At the end of the round, you’ll be asked to complete a bonus shot. This challenge is extra fun and worth extra points!

Another really cool feature of Pelé: Soccer Legend is the star himself, Pelé. During the game, the Brazilian legend will give you tips on how to score! His picture will appear on the screen with special advice about kicking the ball, outplaying defenders, and using bonuses. For young fans, this can be really inspirational.

Easy to Hard
Learning the basics of how to score is simple: swipe to kick. But, as you might expect, Pelé: Soccer Legend has some very hard levels that you can play here. In the beginning, inexperienced players might score easily during their first few attempts. That’s because the first couple of rounds are designed to teach you how to play. After getting a grasp of the different kicks, players will encounter entire teams of defenders. That’s when things get tough. Thankfully, there are a bunch of power-ups that make winning much more attainable. Older players might not need the power-ups, but they help a great deal.
A Fantastic Goal
Pelé: Soccer Legend is more than just a sports game. It’s designed like some of the most successful mobile games, with addictive levels, unlockable items, and fun surprises. Even if your kids aren’t fans of Pelé just yet, they’re destined to enjoy the action in Pelé: Soccer Legend.

Skylanders Imaginators – The Newest #Skylanders Video Game

new skylanders game

Skylanders are back with Skylanders Imaginators, and this time they need some of your imagination to save the day.  Kaos is once again causing problems in the Skyland, and Eon needs you to defeat him and the Magic Mind he used to create new Doomlanders.  This Skylanders differs from previous iterations in the series in a pretty cool way- you can now create your own Skylanders. Nothing but your creativity will hold you back with your new Skylander creations. With the help of Senseis in game which specializes in one of ten different techniques, you can also train your Skylander to defeat Kaos and his minions.  As with other games in the series, all previous Skylanders can be used with the Imaginators game including Super Charger vehicles and traps (both of which are functional in race mode).

new skylanders game

In total there are 31 new senseis to collect, as well as Creation Crystals which save the Skylanders you create. This allows you to call upon their help whenever needed.  In addition to new Skylanders, there are also a few surprises. You can now use Kaos in game, and purchase his collectable toy as well.  In addition to Kaos, Crash Bandicoot is making his first Skylanders appearance with his own unique fighting abilities including his whirlwind spin, TNT crates, and yo-yo Sky-Chi attack.

The main concept behind Imaginators is the ability to build your own Skylander Imaginator.  This Imaginator can be customized in appearance, ability, sounds, and even appendages.  Each edit is done on the fly in game through a series of easy to navigate menus.  Scattered throughout each level in the game itself are items which can be used to build and rebuild your character as you please.  Use an air horn for an ear, a snake for an arm, even a chain for a tail and s’mores for a staff. Choose to have color coordinate everything to fit together nicely, or simply mix it up to make your Imaginator your own.  The gameplay is easy to pick up and play, hack and slash gaming where exploration is encouraged and villains are colorful and different.  Each level has a theme, and each level has an end boss who must be defeated to progress.

The starter set includes a portal, the game itself and a minimum of 2 senseis and an Imaginator crystal to make your own Skylander.  The start set retails for $74.99 and is available nationwide now.