Pandemic [Board Game Review]

Board Game Review: Pandemic | Board Games | Gaming | Pandemic | Game Review | Pandemic Review | DoublexJump.com

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This game has been on our radar for quite some time. We’ve heard nothing but good things about the board game and it was really different from other board games we’ve played. The biggest learning curve for us, I believe, was to remember that it was a cooperative game rather than a competition between all the players.

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Playing a cooperative game was a nice change of pace though. Especially since we normally play just the two of us, most competitive games are harder and would be more fun if there were more of us. Of course, the first time we played (and learned) Pandemic, we played with our cousin Kat.

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Yes, Kat was a great addition to the board game, giving us another to bounce ideas off of and a third voice to help interpret the rules. The main objective of the game is to find cures for four deadly diseases before the population of the world succumbs to them. To do so, you need to find enough “data” on each disease — also known as collecting enough city cards of the same color — and bring your findings to a city with a research center. Once you do so, that particular disease will have a cure. With a limited number of turns determined by the player deck, it’s definitely a challenge!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
“Interpret the rules.” That’s code for Kris reading the rules and trying to explain it to us while Kat and I played with the game pieces. The rules are a lot of fun though. Once you start playing, the game is easy enough to understand, but it’s difficult. We played so many games – with just us or with three people – and I think we won twice.

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Yes, we do not have a great win streak with this game so far. Speaking of the game pieces, there is a bit to set up. Aside from the character pawns — each of which represents a certain role with a special ability or two — there was also the disease tokens, the outbreak and infection rate tokens, and the two deck of cards. The player deck consisted of the many cities you could travel to and the infection deck indicated which city became more infected at the end of every turn.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
To set up the game, you need to spread the virus around a bit so you can, you know, have something to cure. This is done by taking nine cards from the infection deck and, depending on their color – red, blue, yellow, or black – you need to place the virus block on those places. One infection on three places, two infections on three other places, and three infections on the last three places. Now, if a place has three infections already and they get infected again, an outbreak occurs. A place can’t have more than three infections so all the connecting places will end up getting one infection. Get seven outbreaks and the game ends.

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All of the characters start in Atlanta at a research center along with a handful of cards from the player deck, indicating cities that they can charter a flight to. Working together, players must visit cities to start eradicating diseases. When you visit a city, you can take away a virus block as one of your actions. Players can take up to four actions during their turn, including traveling to another city, building a research center, or sharing knowledge with another player that is in the same city as them. Sharing knowledge is crucial, as it enables players to share city cards of the city they are meeting in. Collecting enough city cards of the same color is key to curing the diseases once and for all. During some of our games, we tended to assign a “disease” to each player, saying one would do her best to collect enough blue cards and another to collect black cards as a goal to find cures.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Depending on which character you choose, you have special skills as well. For example, I personally loved being the Medic because instead of taking away one infection in a city per action, I could take them all away as one action. It helped out a lot, but… we still lost the game a lot. And, honestly, I think we even fudged the rules a couple of times accidentally too. We still kept losing though, but it was a fun challenge nonetheless!

Pandemic gets a rating of…
Skip It | Try It | Buy It

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Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King [Video Game Review]

Blossom Tales | Video Game Review | Video Games | Nintendo Switch | Doublexjump.com

Title: Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
Developer: Castle Pixel
Publisher: FDG Entertainment
Platform:
 Nintendo Switch
Category:
Action, Adventure, Role-Playing, Platformer
Release Date:
December 21, 2017
How we got the game:
Downloaded it on the Switch

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While I’m a little late on this train, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Blossom Tales, especially from fellow gamers who also enjoy the Legend of Zelda franchise. Indeed, this game has some nods to one of Nintendo’s flagship IPs, and it was fun picking them out as I enjoyed the game itself.

gameplayBlossom Tales’ controls are intuitive. As the main character Lily, you explore and travel throughout the Kingdom of Blossom to rescue it from an evil wizard’s clutches. The analog stick is used to move while Lily’s weapons, shields, and items are assigned to the A, B, and X buttons. The gameplay has been likened to the Super Nintendo’s A Link to the Past, and Blossom Tales gives way to that same sense of discovery.

The game itself is a “story” that a grandfather is telling his grandchildren. Said grandchildren are not afraid to call their grandfather out on details that may seem too silly and their influence are able to change the story as you play. Small choices pop up here and there, such as the grandchildren deciding what kind of monsters Lily needs to slay in order to proceed. The “story” aspect of the game is charming rather than intrusive, and I enjoyed the little recap the grandchildren and grandfather give the player whenever they return to the game after taking a break.

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Blossom Tales has such fun graphics, the art style being pixel-perfect. The colors are bright, painting the scenes beautifully while you explore the vast locations around the world as the main character.

The music was wonderful as well, really drawing you into the story as you explored the world. The cities, dungeons, and boss fights all had different and appropriate tunes, allowing you to be in the moment and focus on your current situation.

storyBlossom Tales is a story that a grandfather is telling his grandchildren, Chrys and Lily, much to their delight. The story stars a new Knight of the Rose, “Sir” Lily (as demanded by the grandchildren), in the Kingdom of Blossom. Shortly after Sir Lily was knighted, the king’s evil wizard brother puts the king into a deep sleep in an effort to take over the kingdom.

Thus begins Lily’s epic adventure to search for the three ingredients that will be needed to awaken the king again. Considering the rest of the knights seem to be incompetent, it takes the new recruit to explore and find the items. With her sword skills and special items, Lily will thwart all sorts of enemies as she braves through dungeons in order to rescue the king and kingdom.

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Blossom Tales is a cute game, one that is fun and easy to get into. While the story itself is fairly linear, there are a few choices throughout the game that you can make to change the course of the story. It’s a great game for anyone who wants a charming, relatively short action-adventure platformer, whether it’s for the first or seventh time.

Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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Animal Crossing New Leaf [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Animal Crossing New Leaf | Nintendo | Nintendo 3DS | Animal Crossing | Game Review | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Title: Animal Crossing New Leaf
Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development, Monolith Soft
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform:
Nintendo 3DS
Category:
Simulation
Release Date: 
November 8, 2012
How we got the game: 
I bought it when it came out many moons ago

 

 

 

If you know me, then you know Animal Crossing is one of my favorite games ever. I recently got into the mood to play Animal Crossing New Leaf again and realized the only Animal Crossing game I’ve reviewed on this site is Happy Home Designer. So, I visited my New Leaf town, which is apparently called, “Kalos.”

Gameplay | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

Like the Animal Crossing games before it, New Leaf isn’t too different in gameplay. You have your human villager move into a town inhabited by various animals. The goal is pay off the debt on your house, upgrade said house multiple times and paying off that debt, all the while decorating your house, collecting various items to boost the town and make friends with your many villagers.

The shops can upgrade depending on how much money, or bells, you spend there. There’s a general store, garden shop, clothing and shoe store, the post office, and more. Some of these shops don’t open until you meet certain other requirements in the game, though none of it is hard.

You’re also mistaken as the new mayor of the town so you can do some extra stuff – like created public works projects or put certain ordinances into effect. There are four ordinances – beautiful town, night town, early town, and bell boom town. Beautiful means no weeds will appear and your villagers will water and plant more flowers on their own (even if you stop playing your game for a while). Night owl and early bird are as it sounds – villagers and shops will either wake up and go to bed earlier for the early bird town or they’ll stay up later and wake up later in the night owl town. Bell boom makes everything more expensive, which in turn allows you to make money faster.

I personally have the night owl town on so I can go to my private island at night and collect the various beetles and sharks. I make anywhere between 100,000-200,000 bells per trip.

The public works projects are fun as well. Granted, the villagers don’t do much to help it out – it’s basically more money for your to put into the town yourself. Still, it adds more depth to the town. You can add a fountain, benches, and best of all, bridges. Each town layout is large and there’s only one bridge connecting the two halves over the river that splits them up. I personally picked a town map with a bridge on the right-hand-most side. Now I also have a bridge in the middle and on the left to make it even.

While I wish the villagers did more and had more of a variety when it comes to personalities (even though there are a decent amount of personality traits), I find them amusing all the same. I love each and every one of my villagers and will not let any of them leave until I get their picture. Then they can move on so I can collect more villagers.

New Leaf also has “Welcome Amiibo” which I haven’t used. There’s a campground where you can visit certain NPCs in a trailer and buy some of their stuff. You can also put an Amiibo in and they can become a villager in your town. New Leaf allows nine villagers in your town, but you can have ten if it’s from an Amiibo.

I haven’t tried this yet because all my Amiibos are still sealed. Someday, when I open them, I will add Boo into my town or something.

Graphics & Music | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

As always, the graphics in this game are great. On the 3DS (I play on the 2DS XL), they’re crisp and bright. The water rippling in the ocean and river are satisfying, the flowers sparkling when watered are great. Everything about this game is aesthetically pleasing to me and the various themes of furniture and such are too much though I’m determined to get it all.

The music is one of the best parts of this game, I think. There’s a new song every hour and it’s so relaxing and calm. I love playing this game whenever I’m stressed or having a rough week. It’s easy to get absorbed into this work and not feel better afterward.

Replay Value | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

There’s always something to do in this game even after you “beat it” and pay off all your debt. There are so many things to collect – furniture, clothes, bugs, fish, fossils – and the villagers especially are the most fun (and difficult) to collect. I’ll be going back to this game forever and forever.

Animal Crossing New Leaf gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! 

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Cuphead [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Cuphead | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | Gaming | Game Review | Cuphead Review | DoublexJump.com

Title: Cuphead
Developer: Studio MDHR
Publisher: Studio MDHR
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Action, Arcade, Platformer
Release Date: 
April 17, 2019
How we got the game: 
We bought it on the Nintendo Switch eShop

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Cuphead originally came out in September 2017 for PC and the Xbox One, and it had always been on our radar after seeing playthroughs of it on YouTube and Twitch. Considering it recently came out for the Nintendo Switch, Rachel and I figured it was the perfect time to try it.

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We kept saying we’d get the game and now that it’s out on our main console, we decided to finally give it a go.

Gameplay | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

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Cuphead is a run-and-gun boss rush kind of game. There is light platforming, some side-scrolling levels for your characters to run through, taking down a plethora of enemies in their way while collecting the occasional coin to spend on upgrades for your weapons and health.

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These particular levels are few and far between, but they’re a lot of fun. We got stuck on the very first level because we’re apparently terrible at the game, but we had a good time nonetheless. So much happens on screen and there’s a lot to keep track of – the various enemies, constantly shooting your gun (or finger gun, if you will), jumping and dashing over platforms, and keeping an eye out for coins to collect or anything pink to parry on. This entire game was made without using the color pink except on a select few objects which you can parry.

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After getting demolished on the run-and-gun levels, you do start to realize that there’s a pattern to all of the enemies’ locations and behaviors. It tests your memory as well as your skills with the controls. Control-wise, you use the analog stick to move Cuphead and Mugman left to right, as well as being able to control which of the eight directions you can shoot your finger guns. The four main buttons are for jumping, dashing, shooting, and your special attack once you build up your super meter.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
As mentioned before, parrying allows you to fill your super meter faster. The more you hit enemies with your gun, the more your super meter will fill up. Parrying helps with that, though I’m not good at it. The bosses themselves are challenging, but a whole lot of fun. With each try, we get a little farther until we get so loopy that we need to take a break. Luckily, there’s more than one place to go to on the main map. Areas are blocked off but you usually have a choice between two or three levels to hop into. So, if you get stuck, you can take a break from that but still keep playing.

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The boss rush fights were each in stages, with the choice of having two difficulties — simple and regular. Gathering coins from the run-and-gun levels to spend on weapon upgrades are key to developing strategies to defeat the bosses. You can mix and match between different types of finger guns, switched easily on the fly with the L/SL button, as well as determining what the best defense would be, whether it’s having an extra hit point or becoming invulnerable while dashing.

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All of the power-ups are useful in their own way, but there are definitely some that fit better for certain stages than others. Of course, this is all trial and error, which is part of the fun. Also, the extra hit point is nice, but it slightly decreases your attack power if you have it on.

Graphics & Music | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Mimicking the old cartoons, Cuphead’s graphics are charming and make me feel like I’m watching Mickey Mouse cartoons from years ago. While the themes in Cuphead aren’t quite as innocent as Mickey Mouse, the images and short dialogue remind me of those cartoons. The art style is a little wacky but the images flow smoothly even in the middle of the boss fights.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I absolutely enjoy the aesthetic of this game, especially the various boss designs. They all have their own special charm and unique personality. Of course, mimicking the old school cartoon is definitely a plus.

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The music is a lot of fun, and the sound effects are so satisfying. The music itself matches the levels, but it’s also subtle enough to not kill your concentration when you’re going up against the bosses. You’ll probably also be shouting and laughing at the screen for the levels over the music anyway, but if you take the time to listen, it’s pleasant.

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The sound effects are pleasing as well. I enjoy the various sounds when you parry something or even just the finger gun noises. It’s a great experience overall.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

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The story of the game revolves around the brothers Cuphead and Mugman, who got into a bit of trouble when they wandered into the Devil’s casino and gambled away their souls. The two begged for another way they could pay off their debt to the devil, and the devil decided that if the two could bring the souls of others who owed him, then the devil would let Cuphead and Mugman off the hook.

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The Elder Kettle warned them of the Devil and his casino, but greed overcame Cuphead must to Mugman’s warnings. Thus, begins a journey for the two of them to battle so many characters in their world… killing them and forcing them to work with the Devil.

Replay Value | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

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Cuphead has some fun replay value, what with it having single and co-op modes and a couple of different difficulty settings for the boss fights. The boss fights themselves can be a challenge, and there are different combinations of weapons and defensive mechanisms that you can try on different runs.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I can definitely see myself playing this again. While it’s difficult, the boss battles are fun to pick up and play if you’re looking for something fairly mindless, yet challenging. Plus, with the co-op mode there are plenty of opportunities to play with various people.

Cuphead gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

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Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch [Mobile Game Reviews]

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

We all know and love Rollercoaster Tycoon. We used to play it on PC all the time when we were kids and even now it’s fun, especially for the nostalgia factor. Did you know it’s a mobile game too?

Mobile Game Review: Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch | Mobile Games | Video Games | Gaming | Game Review | DoublexJump.com

Rollercoaster Tycoon is a pretty famous game. Everyone has played it on the computer at one time or another – at home, at a friend’s house, or even in a computer class at school. This game is a classic and well known for creating obnoxious rollercoasters that kill people. Seriously, if you haven’t made a rollercoaster and then watched your customers fly off to their death, you’re missing out.

I don’t have the game anymore. I haven’t played it in so long. It came out for the Nintendo Switch fairly recently, though I have yet to get it. I found the next best thing though (please note the sarcasm) – Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch on my iPad.

This game is similar to the other Rollercoaster Tycoon games. You build a theme park and the goal is to make it the best it can be all the while keeping your many customers happy. To build the park you need rides, of course, and various stations like restrooms, restaurants, gift shops, maintenance for rides, janitors, and more. Each of these and the rides need to be placed strategically in your park. Each has its own radius. For example, a janitor stall will only clean the area within the radius. You can get more and pay to upgrade everything so the radius will grow, you can earn more cash from it, and the customers will be happier.

This all sounds fine and fun, right? You build your park, make customers happy, collect the cash, build more stuff. However… there’s no “shop.” You can’t go to one place and buy a certain ride or an ice cream kiosk. Everything comes in the form of cards. Like, trading cards.

You can open “packs” of cards each day and you’ll get random cards. These are rides, buildings, decor for the park, anything and everything you need to create the best park ever. Once you have the card you want to build, you need to spend the amount of money on it in order to actually build it. So, you have the merry-go-ride card, but if you don’t have 10,000-dollars (or however much it is) then you can’t use the card until you make more money.

This goes for upgrading places as well. If you want to upgrade your merry-go-ride to widen the radius and build it stronger so it doesn’t break down after two days, you need to get that card three times, for example. Then, you have to pay even more money to upgrade it even though you have all the cards.

Now, all of this sounds fine in theory. However, because the cards are random, your park can get pretty messed up. I have one rollercoaster in my park because I haven’t gotten any coaster cards. My customers are super pissed at me because I only have two janitor stalls that cover not even a quarter of the park. The place is littered with trash but I can’t upgrade their radius or buy a new stall or 12 because I haven’t gotten any janitor cards. I looked it up, too. Apparently, the janitor stalls are rare. Why? Why would those, of all things, be rare? But bathrooms? I’ve got you covered for the entire park as well as the parking lot!

Needless to say, once I turn on the game and collect my money from the rides, there’s not much for me to do. I can only reorganize my park so many times just to keep myself playing while I wait for more cash to come in so I can buy more rides and such. Even then, everything is so expensive so if I have the money to buy another ride or two, well I want to upgrade something I already have and that costs twice as much as those two new rides. So, I’m going to save my money and wait.

The tutorial is brutal. It’s so long. It’s a mobile game – I think I can figure out how to play myself. Once you get through that though, there’s nothing to do. It’s a waiting game until you get cash and a crapshoot until you get what cards you need.

I had a hard time wanting to go back to this game and keep playing it for the sake of this review, though I don’t regret giving it some of my time.

Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch gets a rating of…

Play It | DOWNLOAD IT | Delete It

Overall, Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch isn’t a bad game. It’s mindless enough that if you’re chilling on your iPad watching TV, you can just collect your money and go. Or, if you’re OCD like me, reorganize your entire park. Still, the gameplay is shortlived. I can’t imagine it’ll stay on my iPad for much longer now that this review is done.

Have you played Roller Coaster Tycoon Touch before? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Quest for the Golden Duck [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Quest for the Golden Duck | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | Gaming | Game Review | Nintendo | DoublexJump.com

Title: Quest for the Golden Duck
Developer: Bigosaur
Publisher: Milan Babuskov/Bigosaur
Platform:
PC, Nintendo Switch 
Category: 
Action, Party, Multiplayer, Arcade
Release Date:
January 23, 2019 (PC)February 22, 2019 (Nintendo Switch)
How we got the game: 
We downloaded it on the Switch

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This was a really random — and cheap — game that we found on the Nintendo Switch’s eShop with the intent to give it a shot while doing our Switch anniversary stream last month. We never got a chance to play this game then, but we did recently.

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We saw the name of the game and thought it was brilliant. After seeing it was only 99-cents (at the time we bought it), we figured we’d give it a shot. What do we have to lose?

Gameplay | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Turning this game on reminded me of a Pac-Man arcade cabinet. The objective is to collect all the coins scattered in the maze. You control your character from a birds-eye view and avoid any enemies while collecting the coins. Different enemies have different patterns — some go straight after you, some go in random directions, some are a mixture.

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You can play alone or with up to three friends. You collectively collect the coins all the while avoiding the enemies in the adventure mode, as Kris said. Be careful though because if one of you gets hit by an enemy, you all die. You share lives and if you run out, it’s game over. There’s no saving in the middle of the dungeons (there are five levels, each seems to be about 15 or so stages long) so if you game over, you have to start the dungeon from the first level again.

 krismii
There is a timer bonus for each stage, so if you are able to collect all of the coins in each level before that timer runs out, you’ll receive bonus lives. There is no consequence for not completing the level before the timer runs out, though. The stages get more difficult as you progress, with more enemies and more coins to collect, but they also tend to give you plenty of power-ups.

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Power-ups include clovers to turn you invisible for a short amount of time, gems to make you invincible for a short amount of time, and bombs that don’t explode but freeze your enemies for a short amount of time. In addition to the adventure mode, there’s a versus mode. One can be a good guy while the other player can choose an enemy to play. The mode plays the same as the adventure mode except you’re not on a team and you’re running away (or trying to catch) your friend before all the coins are gathered.

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You can mix up how many players are on each side as well, considering that the game offers each player the choice in which character to be, whether one of the heroes or one of the enemies. In the versus mode, I opted to play as the guard dog to try to catch Rachel’s knight. The versus maze also spawned one each of the enemy characters — a skeleton, a hooded skeleton, and another guard dog — for my side to get Rachel. Whether that same amount of NPCs spawn no matter how many player characters are there, we’re not sure.

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To be honest, I didn’t think that was a little fair considering the other players are smarter than the AI. Despite being the dog, who normally only chases you if they see you but otherwise only go in a straight line, Kris just chased me no matter what. So it made it all the harder to dodge her and the AI.

Graphics & Music | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
The graphics of this game are cute, reminding me of smoother 8-bit graphics. The levels are interesting, each maze unique but clear when it comes to showing where the twists and turns are. Every character — whether on the hero or the villain side — looks unique and it’s easy to tell where every player is.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The graphics are definitely cute. You can play as a ninja, knight, boy, or girl. The enemies include a dog… so that’s always a plus.

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I liked the music as well, although it did sound more epic than the game itself. The game was a little silly, and the loading screen music reminded me of Mission Impossible while the music for the levels was a little more upbeat and fast-paced to go along with the collecting theme.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
There wasn’t much to the sound effects either. Children clapped when you won the level (seriously – it sounded like royalty-free applause from the Internet) and your character made a “d’oh” sound when they were caught by an enemy. Though there was no effect for the characters moving or picking up coins, which made it a little less satisfying.

Replay Value | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
While the levels remain the same, there is replayability in this game with the multiplayer aspects in the adventuring mode and the versus mode. The game goes up to four players with both modes, and it’s a fun little game to play during a game night with friends.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s fun to play with friends, yeah. I don’t think it’d be as fun alone. However, there aren’t many levels and they’re quick to get through. So, it’s a fun game to play once in a while, but once you beat it, you might not pick it back up again for quite some time.

Quest for the Golden Duck gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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Arcade Spirits [Video Game Review]

2019_Kris_Video_Game_Review_ArcadeSpirits

Title: Arcade Spirits
Developer: Fiction Factory Games
Publisher: PQube
Platform:
Windows, MacOS, Linux
Category:
Visual novel/Dating Sim
Release Date:
February 12, 2019 
How we got the game:
Bought it on Steam

krismii
I had never heard of Arcade Spirits before Rachel and I discovered a Let’s Play of it on the ProJared Plays YouTube channel. We haven’t finished his entire play through of it just yet due to me getting interested enough in the game to play it myself. And, honestly, I freaking love it. A visual novel set in an arcade with a fun story and fantastic characters had me sold almost immediately!

gameplayBeing a visual novel, Arcade Spirits does not have difficult gameplay. Rather, the most action you do is choosing your choice in a small list of answers at certain points in the levels. Yet, there are plenty of options and dialogue choices for you to make, even if sometimes the menus of choices aren’t that long. Indeed, there were some menus that only gave you two choices aside from a basic option.

Each choice that you made would help develop your avatar’s personality, whether it be Quirky, Steady, Kindly, Gutsy, or Basically. The choices indicate which answer goes with which personality trait, but there is an option in the short tutorial that allows you to hide the indicators so you have less of a chance to “gamify” your personality. Every multiple choice set would have a Basically answer, while the other few options would point toward one type of personality or another. When speaking with other characters, some would prefer certain types of responses over others, but there are no bad choices. You cannot get kicked toward a Game Over screen for the “wrong” choice (except for a couple of instances where you have to really try for a Game Over).

Not only are there no bad choices, but the game is clever enough to remember your choices in later levels. In Level 1, you may help a little girl at the arcade who will then remember you in Level 7 and want to help you in return. Certain choices  from the beginning of the game — such as why you decided to get a job at an arcade — pop up as motivation for other choices in the game, as well as interactions with other characters. Visual novels, especially dating sims, have branched paths with the choices you make, but Arcade Spirits is the first game in my memory to actively have earlier choices be referenced to and the reason as to why choices later on happen.

My other favorite aspect of this game? In the beginning, you can actually choose if you want flirting and romance, a slow-burn romance, or just friendship. Considering I’m asexual, this is huge to me. I like slower romance, but the fact that there is a route where I can just befriend every character so we’re all working to save the arcade is fantastic!

graphics-music

The graphics of this game is just so much fun! The characters are really well-done, as are the backdrops of each scene. Most of the backgrounds have small, animated touches that both draw you into the scene while not being too distracting from the character(s) are are interacting with. I was also impressed with the customizable avatar. There aren’t any choices with clothing and only three hair styles — short, medium, or long — but skin, hair, eye, and clothing colors are whatever you’d like them to be. Your avatar is featured in several scenes no matter what crazy color combo you choose. Most importantly, you can choose the pronouns you go by, which was also something really nice to see.

Being a video game about… well, arcade and video games, the sound effects were on point. The music was subtle but went really well with the game overall, each scene having its own ambiance sounds. I really enjoyed the partial voice-acting and quips from all of the characters. A couple of my favorites were two dudes who owned the book and doughnut shop next to the arcade. The voice actors were phenomenal going back and forth with each other!

storyThe gist of the story is that your character has lost another job and feels that… it’s rather normal. The avatar’s backstory involves their family always having to settle with what they had, and the avatar seemed to be resigned to that fate. They do not have a real dream to follow, prompting their roommate to suggest a special app that helps their user stay organized and in control of their life. This app then searches for the avatar’s “dream job” which lands them at an arcade called the Funplex.

The Funplex has interesting and dynamic characters to meet and befriend, and woo if you so choose to, ranging from your fellow coworkers to some of the arcade’s regulars. As the avatar, you try to figure out your dream, the reason as to why you decided to join Funplex’s team, and in doing so, you do your best to protect the Funplex from collapsing or being sold to a bigger arcade tycoon.

And that’s just the first half of the game. I fear I’ll spoil the finale if I continue. The story itself is heavily focused around dreams and finding out who you are and what you want out of life. The writing is both impressive and thought-provoking, with humor and some serious topics thrown in to keep everything in balance.

replay-value

Considering all of the routes — romance, friendship, all the characters — and plethora of dialogue choices you can make, this game has amazing replayability. At the time of this review, I’ve done one romance option and am currently exploring the friendship route, but there are a couple of other characters I’d like to get to know and romance down the line. Right now, I’m just eager to get back to the game!

Arcade Spirits gets…
5-lives
5 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! If you like this post, please share it around!

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