Picross Puzzle Game

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

I enjoy my fair share of puzzles and logic games that help exercise the mind. Am I necessarily good at them? No, but I still get them done eventually and have fun doing so. 

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Word Search puzzles are fun. I’ve always been a fan of Sudoku. I love word puzzles (just not crosswords or word scrambles unless I have a word bank) and jigsaw puzzles. One type of puzzle I recently got into was Picross.

I had never heard of the game before until Pokemon Picross came out in late 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS. To this day, I’m not very far in the game. It of course has “energy” so if you use it up you need to wait a certain amount of time before you can play again. That said, I often went into puzzles, got stuck, and exited out of them to try a new puzzle. Thus, using up my energy in just a few minutes without actually accomplishing anything.

I understood the concept of the game pretty well though. The numbers on the left side and the top needed to match in the order and the numbers couldn’t touch each other. For example, if the grid is 12×12 and the numbers are 2 and 10 in that order, then you know automatically the row will have two colored squares, an X, and then then ten colored squares to fill up the rest of the row. Those rows, that equal the amount in the row, are the easiest to figure out. From there, you can figure everything else out.

Of course, it’s not easy to explain the game through a blog post. Even in person I have a hard time explaining the rules of the puzzle. It’s just something you need to play and practice in order to understand what to do.

I found a Picross app on my iPad and I’ve been playing it for a few months now. There are nearly 2,000 puzzles. There are two packs containing 64 puzzles, five packs containing 100 puzzles, and two packs containing 400 puzzles. I’ve completed them all and am about halfway done with the first 400-puzzle pack. I need to complete all those puzzles into order to unlock the second and final 400-puzzle pack.

The funny this is, while writing this post, I went onto the app to count the puzzles and noticed they updated the game. I thought I was going to beat the game fairly soon but they added a new pack that has 225 puzzles. So, I guess I’ll be playing for a while longer.

There’s a hint option for each puzzle that costs 250 coins (which you get by completing the puzzles). When I first started playing, I used the hint option a lot – to the point where I ran out of coins and I just needed to scratch my head and really think until I got more coins.

Now, though, I have a ton of coins because I haven’t needed to use the hint button in a long time. It’s amazes me how much your brain can learn and figure things out when you do the same thing over and over again. Even if I get super stuck, I sometimes exit out of the game and immediately jump back into it. Right away, my mind finds what I was missing just a minute ago.

While I have nearly 800 puzzles left to solve, I’ve completed more than half of what’s on the app. I’ve been playing for months, but it tracks how long you’re on the app for. According to it, I’ve played the app for almost four days. This means that it’s taken me a little less than four days to solve all the puzzles I’ve solved. I’m pretty impressed with myself.

Picross isn’t an easy puzzle to solve or to even understand in the beginning. I never thought Picross would be my go-to puzzle, but I’ve been enjoying it more than I thought I would. I definitely need to look up the Picross games on the Nintendo Switch and give those a try.

Do you play Picross? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Online Features: Yay or Nay? [Debate]

Debate Online Features | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Online capabilities and features have become pretty staple when it comes to video games nowadays. All of the current generation of consoles have some sort of online network that allows you to link up and play with friends not only in your own living room but around the world. While there are certain features that I would like to see expanded when it comes to online capabilities, I believe video games as a whole have become better with online access.

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Online features are a huge step for gaming. Gaming is, after all, about connectivity and getting to know other gamers. However, while it’s great to get to be able to play games with my long-distance friends, I think I could do without the online features. I like being able to play through the game on my own and have friends beside me to play some local co-op so we can talk to each other in person.

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Sometimes local co-op isn’t that feasible, though, but online lets you still play together. It’s best when there is a decent chat system or you’re able to talk through microphones, of course. Being able to play online with others does promote community and being social. Another perk is games being able to be patched if there’s an issue with them. Companies are able to directly send the fixes to games via the Internet and, while they may take some time to download, it’s better than trying to get a cartridge of the game fixed.

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Playing together in-person isn’t always doable, but neither is playing online sometimes. Most often than not, when we play online, we have a hard time getting the volume just right. I remember when we had tried to played Minecraft online with our brother-in-law on the Xbox. Our headsets didn’t work even though we just bought them. Which is another thing, it’s super expensive to buy the headsets and mics just to be able to communicate with your friends. And don’t even get me started on the lag – when you spend a while setting everything up and then you don’t even get the chance to play.

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Well, yes, but our WiFi can be special that way, haha. As for the headsets, we probably didn’t set them up right because we had no idea what we were doing back then, especially when it came to the Xbox. In the majority of cases, online gaming is pretty smooth since the Internet is such a huge part of everyday life. Depending on how you play, it doesn’t have to be too expensive to play with online friends as well. Discord has plenty of options to talk and hear each other while playing, usually on PC but you can also have it set up with the laptop’s integrated webcam while playing console games.

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Our WiFi is special, yeah, but lag is everywhere and happens to everyone. Take Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, for example. The online features for that game are awful with the lag and that’s not just us. Smash is such an awesome, universal game, and we can only play in local co-op without wanting to rip our hair out.

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I think Smash Bros. Ultimate is an exception rather than the norm since Nintendo, for as awesome as they are, haven’t quite figured out the online capabilities for that game. With that said, we’ve had good luck with Mario Kart and battling and trading Pokemon with the Let’s Go titles. You also can’t forget about the phenomenon of games like Overwatch and Fortnite, not to mention World of Warcraft and other MMORPGs that wouldn’t be able to function without online. New genres came into existence thanks to online features, and being able to share those games with friends everywhere is such a big positive outcome thanks to online networks.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Fair enough. Though those are all games we don’t play. Having online is great and all and I have done it here and there, but I could do without it.

Which side are you on? Let us know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Detective Pikachu Pokemon Cards

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

It’s no secret that I love Pokemon cards. I have little clue how to play the trading card game, but I love collecting them and organizing them. I’m super excited for the Detective Pikachu movie and they’re coming out with Pokemon cards based on the movie!

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The Detective Pikachu Pokemon cards are set to come out on March 29, 2019. Though, I believe, that’s Japan. It think they’ll be out everywhere else by April 6, 2019. (Unless things changed and my wires got crossed somewhere.)

As of right now, the set is going to have a total of 26 cards – 18 normal and 8 secret. The secret cards are, of course, still secret. However, Serebii has shown the 18 known cards. Some Pokemon are well-known such as Bulbasaur, Charmander, Jigglypuff, and of course, Detective Pikachu. There are some other Pokemon that I’m surprised to see have cards made from the movie such as Slaking and Morelull. However, I’m assuming they’ll have a decent part in the movie.

All the cards look pretty cool! I’m excited to try to collect them all especially since there’s only 26 (as of right now). My wallet may not like it so much and neither will my binders filled with Pokemon cards because… well, I’m running out of room.

I definitely need to sit down and go through my cards again.

Something else I need to do? Make a list and try to collect every single Pokemon card known to man. I doubt that will ever happen, but I can sure try.

Do you get Pokemon cards? Will you be getting this set? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Octopath Traveler Prequel and Sequel

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Despite how many new games there are, we’re still trudging along with some other favorites. As a blog that does game reviews, we find ourselves sometimes rushing from game to game, but it’s always nice to take the time to fully enjoy a game that we love, like Octopath Traveler.

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Why, yes, we are still playing Octopath Traveler. Despite the Nintendo Switch RPG coming out last July, we’re still going with the game on our first play through. At the time of this writing, we only have three of the last chapters to go.

With that said, we’re excited to hear about a prequel to the game, but it’s coming to the Android and iOS. That’s not bad at all, considering how the market for mobile games is growing, but I’m here lamenting over how my Android — as wonderful as it is — does not have a big enough screen to let me properly fawn over the art style of the game. Not for the first time, I’m wondering if I should buy a tablet for mobile games.

At the moment, the prequel is slated only for release in Japan later this year — so I’m not in quite the rush to get a tablet — but judging by the popularity of Octopath Traveler, I believe we’ll be seeing an international release at some point. That’s my hope, at least, considering how wonderful the teaser trailer looks:

Not only does the gorgeous music make me want to turn Octopath Traveler back on, the updated battle mechanics look fantastic. It seems as if, instead of just choosing four people for a battle party, everyone is invited in on the fun with the opportunity to switch between the front and the back lines during the fight. I would have loved to see  something like that in the original Octopath Traveler.

There’s also talk of a sequel for the game, which I’m very excited for and hope that we see some familiar faces in it. I’d love to go on another adventure with the characters that we’ve learned to care for in the original, but I don’t think I would complain if the sequel puts us in the same location with the art, music, and game mechanics.

Are you interested in the Octopath Traveler prequel? What would you hope to see in a sequel? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Words with Friends [Board Game Review]

2019_Board_Game_WordsFriends

krismii
Words with Friends is actually the board game version of one of the many games that was on Facebook. I assume the game still exists on Facebook, but I honestly haven’t logged on in ages. Words with Friends is based off of Scrabble and was an interesting game to go back to for us.

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Words With Friends is a popular mobile game, one that I used to play endlessly with friends and strangers. I love Scrabble though never played it much because I was never any good at it. We’re playing the Words with Friends version because our Scrabble is the original edition and the game is totally falling apart.

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The game is fairly simple. Using the random tiles you pull from the bag — starting with seven — you create words on the board. Your word must branch off of the tiles of existing words already on the board, and you tally up the points of your word using the numerical value on each of the tiles. The more common a letter — such as A or S — the less points it is. Letters such as J or Q are worth more.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
There are a certain amount of each letter in the game as well. For example, there are 12 E tiles but there’s only one Z tile. This is depending on how often a letter is used in words. We played two games – one we totally fudged and changed the rules halfway through. Admittedly, we’re rusty on the actual rules and ended up making rules up as we went along because… why not?

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The important thing is we had fun! Seriously, we were trying to determine how to add up the score of the words, be they acronyms, additional words that were made with whatever word we were adding to the board, math in general… It was a bit of a mess. Our second game was, admittedly, more fun since we decided to have the words be game-centric.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Apparently, you’re not supposed to have acronyms but we did it anyway because they were in the dictionary. So… right or wrong, we played it our way. The second game was more intense. We wanted gaming terms and it was definitely hard to get started. Once we did though, the game sort of breezed through and, if I do say so myself, we did a pretty good job.

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I think we did a good job as well. At the very least, we were more creative with our words, even if we did get a little silly at the end of the game. In the beginning, I was so close to having the word “Nintendo,” but I was missing a couple of tiles and there wasn’t a spot on the board for it, so I had to abandon the idea. Rachel, on the other hand, was able to use all of her tiles for the word “unlocked,” which was great!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Kris was kind enough to let me put down “unlocked.” There was one spot on the board I was able to use it on so I could use the letter “D,” which was already on the board. She was able to take the spot, but I went into the fetal position and she gave it to me. Thus, the rest of the game was filled with cheating because whenever she needed a certain letter, I just found it in a bag and handed it to her. Still, it was a lot of fun and we definitely need to play Scrabble more often.

Words with Friends gets a rating of…
Skip It | Try It | Buy It

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

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Pokemon Trio-Type Challenge

Challenge Complete Pokemon Trio Type | Nintendo | Pokemon Challenge | Video Games | Gaming | Gaming Challenge | Video Game Challenge | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Last month, Rachel and I decided to put a new twist on our Pokemon games. Generally, both of us go on our journeys in the core series with well-rounded teams — Rachel usually has an idea as to which types and Pokemon she wants, while I just go and collect Pokemon of different types that I think are pretty cool. For this challenge, we were each randomly assigned a trio of types that we could use, as well as a random region to go through.

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Kris had to only have Pokemon that had the types Ground, Dark, and Dragon on her team. I was only allowed Normal, Electric, and Bug on my team. We also randomly generated which region we’d be in. Kris got a Hoenn Pokemon from the generator so she played Alpha Sapphire. I got a Unova Pokemon so I played White 2. It was… actually harder than we thought it would be.

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While I’ve trained my fair share of Ground and Dark type Pokemon, Dragon was a type I wasn’t too experienced in and it was a bit difficult to find Pokemon that fit those three typings. I played by the rule that if at least one of a Pokemon’s types matched one of my three, then I could use it, such as Numel being Fire and Ground type. I also caught a Swablu due to its evolution being part Dragon. My Nincada, on the other hand, will never evolve as it’ll lose its Ground typing if it becomes a Ninjask.

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I played a little differently than Kris. I wanted all my Pokemon to exclusively be Bug, Electric, or Normal. So, my party consisted of Stoutland, Audino, Karrablast, Shelmet, Galvantula, and Tynamo. So I had at least two Normal, two Bug, and two Electric. I look at the game guide and made up my team before I started playing to make sure it was doable. The thing was, I went through the first five gyms with just Stoutland and Audino because the other four weren’t available to catch until later. At that point, the grinding to get the other four caught up in levels was a pain.

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My way of playing was just to go through the adventure naturally and only catch those that had at least one of my typings (with the occasional Zigzagoon when I needed HM help). The first three gyms I only had Mightyena and Nincada, and I was able to catch Numel, Swablu, Cacnea, and Trapinch later. Grinding was definitely annoying, and I found myself with fainted Pokemon much more often in trainer battles than I ever have before due to the type weaknesses. You have to keep your team a little over leveled to account for their type weaknesses, which slows down the game play a bit.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, my Pokemon fainted a lot more than I usually let them too. As for HMs, I actually didn’t need to use any until after the fifth gym. It was surf – that Audino can learn – and strength – that Stoutland can learn. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to actually beat our games within our challenge timeline. I breezed right through the game up until right before the sixth gym where I needed to grind a lot. Though I plan on continuing to play this file and play at my own pace. I want this team to go through the Elite Four!

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Oh, yes, I’m planning on continuing this file as well. We’re just about ready to face the fifth gym leader, so we’ll see how that goes! Aside from the grinding, it’s a fun challenge to try. Out of my team, Mightyena and Nincada are the only Pokemon I’ve trained before. The others are all brand-new to me, so giving them a chance in battle is definitely interesting. I wouldn’t mind trying a challenge like this again!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree, this challenge has allowed me to branch out with new Pokemon. I rarely have Normal or Bug Pokemon on my team. I would definitely try this challenge as well too. We’ll have to remember this idea for another time… Maybe even for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield down the line!

What did you think of the challenge? Did you try it? Let us know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Sword & Shield Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Like a couple of weeks ago, this Friday’s Favorites post is dedicated to a wish list. With Nintendo’s latest Pokemon direct, there is so much speculation and hope about the newest Pokemon games coming out, Sword and Shield. Here is what I wish to see in the games.

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True Co-Op

I have no idea how plausible this is. However, when the Let’s Go duo was released and boasted a co-op mode, Rachel and I were disappointed at it. Granted, it was fun seeing another trainer run around with you in the over world and help out with battles, but it wasn’t what we expected or wanted. I would love to see a co-op mode where your trainer is exploring and battling on their own, but your friend’s trainer is still there in the over world doing their own thing as well. I want to experience the journey with my friend’s avatar there beside mine, even if all we get is just seeing the other avatar running around. Of course, granting us the option to do double-battles together, each with our own Pokemon, against NPCs would be awesome. We’re able to go online with Smash and Mario Kart together — why not Pokemon? (Or would this be too close to a Pokemon MMORPG?)

Pokemon Following the MC

I don’t remember seeing Pokemon following the main characters around in Sword and Shield’s footage from the direct. I understand that not all the footage was from the game and the game itself wouldn’t be finalized just yet, so I’m remaining optimistic that they keep the option of having your Pokemon follow you around as you explore the region. It was adorable, fun, and since random battles seem to be back rather than over world Pokemon, it’ll help the game seem more alive.

A Good Story

I want to be completely invested in the plot line of Sword and Shield’s adventure. I’m sure it’ll boil down to the world needs to be saved by your young MC, but still. Give me a story to truly care about. I adored the story lines involving the regions’ legendaries in the earlier generations, especially Johto and Hoenn, and I severely miss the extra oomph that the stories received in the third-tier games. Speaking of which…

A Third Game

This is obviously a long way off, but I would love it if Nintendo went back to bolstering the story lines of the games with a third game for the region. Crystal and Emerald were some of my favorites and I was seriously disappointed that Black 2 and White 2 existed instead of Pokemon Gray for the Unova region. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon didn’t bring much of anything new to the Alola region, and poor Kalos was skipped out entirely when a plot line involving Zygarde could have been created to balance out X and Y. I’m hoping Sword and Shield will break the trend of “sequel” games for the Galar region and give us a more in-depth story with a third Galar game.

Are you looking forward to Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield? What are you hoping for in the new Pokemon generation? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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