Flashback Friday: Dogz II

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

If there’s anything else I’m passionate about beside video games, it’s animals. One of my earliest video game memories involves a certain computer game about virtual dogs.

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Dogz II was one of the very few — if there were any others — game programs on the solitary computer in my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. When I wasn’t trying my hand at the SNES (or bothering my uncle to play said console), I was probably playing with the virtual dogs on the desktop.

Dogz II was one of the many installments of the Petz franchise developed and published by P.F. Magic back in the mid-nineties. Since then, sequels have been published, up until Dogz 5 and Catz 5. The games were virtual pets that you take care of from puppies and kittens to adults and, in the later installments of the series, you could breed and raise their offspring from newborns.

This particular installment was one of the simplest. You were able to adopt one of a handful of breeds, name them, and then care for them. Toys and food were available to let you interact with the pet, and your mouse icon turns into a hand to pet, snap to call over, and pick up your pet. Aside from the playpen mode, where your dogs are in the windowed mode of the game, you can also let them run around on your desktop.

Supposedly, you were supposed to let them loose on the desktop while you’re working, but I’d be hard-pressed to get any work done while watching my virtual dog chase my cursor, dig holes into my background, or carry around the icons. Of course, I’d never get mad at the dog — it was too cute!

Despite the Petz games being for Windows 95 or so, rather than Windows 7 or 10, I still have my CDs of Dogz II and Petz 5. For kicks, I tried to install Dogz II on my Windows 7 laptop, and guess what?

It works:

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Now I’m trying to decide if I want to dive down this rabbit hole and adopt a virtual pup or two to have running amok while I work…

Have you played any of the Petz games? What did you think of them?

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Mystery & Puzzle Games

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

Halloween is my least favorite holiday. Yet, whenever this holiday comes around, I find myself in the mood to play certain games.

Mystery and Puzzle Games | Video games | gaming | pc games | DoublexJump.com

I’m a huge fan of mystery and puzzle games. I’ll admit, there hasn’t been a lot of mystery-orientated games I’ve played. I’ve mostly stuck with Ace Attorney and Professor Layton. Most recently, Kris and I played A Case of Distrust on the Nintendo Switch, which was a lot of fun. It was a visual novel mystery game similar to Ace Attorney, but less choices to make and things to do.

I typically have Twitch or YouTube on in the background while I work and lately I’ve been re-watching one of my favorite YouTubers play some of the Nancy Drew games.

They’re so bad, they’re good. The voice acting isn’t great, the graphics aren’t well done, and some of the context of the puzzles don’t make any sense. Yet, I definitely want to try playing these games myself.

I found the collection (I assume it’s all of the games – there are a ton) of the Nancy Drew games on Steam.

I certainly don’t have enough games on my backlog right now (nope, not at all) so getting a couple Nancy Drew games is no big deal, right?

I’m not sure if I’ll get them anytime soon, but I definitely think they’d be fun to stream sometime.

Have you played any of the Nancy Drew games? What are some of your favorite mystery and puzzle games? Let me know in the comments below!

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Multi-Platform Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Being a gamer is an expensive hobby. It doesn’t help that, sometimes, awesome games are available in multiple platforms, either as updated versions or just ported to a system that may be better suited for it.

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Do you have any games on multiple platforms?

We have Stardew Valley, Death Road to Canada, and Undertale on the PC through Steam, but all three of those games are available for the Nintendo Switch as well. Fortnite is available on all consoles of the current generation (and all of them can now play together, finally). PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is also another game that crosses platforms.

Then there are ports of games — such as the Legend of Zelda: Windwaker and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — that get updated for the next generation console.

Assuming you enjoyed the original game, are you the type to buy games for multiple platforms, if you have them? Or the updated ports when they are released?

We have gotten Death Road to Canada for the Nintendo Switch when it came out, mostly to make it easier to play with friends. However, we’ve been toying with getting Undertale and Stardew Valley for the Switch as well, especially since the Switch makes it a little easier to take those kind of games on the go. To be honest, if Undertale came to the Switch before PC, we probably would have just gotten it for the Switch. Stardew Valley is in the same boat, but the PC version does have the co-op mode…

With that said, there are so many other games that we wish to play and buy that are already stretching our wallets thin. I suppose if a game we own is ported to another platform, we’d prefer if it was substantially updated to make it worth buying again.

Any games that you’ve bought multiple times for different platforms?

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Flashback Friday: SimCity

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Rachel and I tend to really enjoy simulation games, a genre we’ve been exploring more outside of the Sims. On that note, this Flashback Friday is dedicated to another installment in that franchise, SimCity!

Double Jump | Video Games | Nintendo | SimCity

SimCity was originally released in 1989, and has since spawned on many different platforms, from consoles to the personal computers to portable and online versions to many spin-offs. It’s a city-building simulation, where the player starts with a piece of land and develops residential, commercial, and industrial buildings for the citizens to thrive. The player acts as the mayor and must provide services to the citizens — like hospitals, schools, and police stations — to keep them happy (low taxes also help).

While I’ve never played the original port on the SNES, I have played SimCity 4 for the PC. It’s not the best but, like many simulation games that I’ve played, strangely addicting. You’re in charge of districts that are part of one region. All the roads snap to a grid and all the zoning must be attached to the roads. Supposedly SimCity 4 has servers and you compete with others online for the highest score for your city, but the servers have never worked when I’ve played. Fortunately, the online competition isn’t too important to me, but I know for some it was a deal breaker.

Nevertheless, SimCity is a fun waste of time and just feeds into my love of simulation games, and the Cities: Skylines that just came out on the Nintendo Switch this month remind me of them. One day I’ll remember to download Cities: Skylines!

Have you played any of the SimCity games? What did you think of them?

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How We Play The Sims

How We Play The Sims | The Sims 4 | PC Games | Gaming | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

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The Sims is a widely known series. With now 4 generations in the franchise, people seem to find bigger and better ways to play the game. When it comes to playing The Sims – or playing God – we tend to have our own styles of keeping track of our many families and their neighborhoods. Then, of course, you have the various challenges that people create and try out as well.

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I think Rachel and I both tend to start off with sim versions of ourselves, which is something that we both have in common. I do, however, enjoy using mods in my games, mostly ones that tend to have to do with enlarging the amount of playable sims in a household or catering more to showcasing the sims’ personalities with their traits. While I enjoy Sims 4, I do miss the amount of traits that Sims 3 had incorporated with their game engine.

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I enjoy using that cheat to add more to the family as well. Sometimes I like to have a lot of kids and it’s just unrealistic (these days) to have them move out right away. I like seeing them all together in one household and get frustrated when there’s too many of them for me to control. Lately, though, I’ve been trying to play without the cheats. I’ve been making my sims do things the hard way and learning skills as they do them instead of having them read books while I fast forward time and type “max motives” until their skills are maxed out.

krismii
I try to play mostly without cheats as well, but I’ve been known to let my sims get ahead a little in their skills when I first start playing a new game. Starting my new sim at level 3 of cooking and logic isn’t cheating too badly, I don’t think, haha. In Sims 4, I also like to cheat to give my sims an extra trait or two to help round out their personality, especially since personality and emotions are supposed to be one of the main focal points of that game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yeah, that’s totally fair. I’ve noticed I experiment more with The Sims 4 though. I used to always create myself, max out my skills, and then just write books all the time. Then I’d get jealous of my own Sim and stop playing for a while. Since you can actually go to work with your Sims with certain careers, I like to do that as well. I love the detective field since that’s what I wanted to be when I was younger. Now I write murder mysteries. So it’s fun to play as a Sim who can solve cases with you… even though it’s nothing too elaborate.

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I like to play out the careers as well, but I’d rather manage a household full of sims with different careers. The “rabbit hole” careers — where the sims just go to work and disappear for a few sim hours — are great to me since I can just throw some sims at work while focusing on the others for a while. I personally always liked the self-employment careers, like writing, painting, and gardening, so I always had a goal to work towards with my sims.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree with that as well. It depends on how many people you have. If you’re just playing the one character though, it’s great to go to work with them so you’re not just sitting there. Then again, you can work on the house a bit. Either way, the possibilities to play the game are endless.

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By the sounds of it, Rachel, you play a little more by the book, so to speak, with a sim and their family. I tend to throw a bunch of friends together and see what kind of chaos happens with the mods and cheats! And this doesn’t even touch on all the sim challenges that are on the Internet!

How do you usually go about playing The Sims? Which version is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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[Game Review] Minit

Game Review: Minit | PC Games | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Title: Minit
Developer: Vlambeer
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform:
Steam, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One
Category:
Single player adventure, puzzle, arcade
Release Date:
April 3, 2018 (Steam, Playstation 4, Xbox One); August 9, 2018 (Nintendo Switch)
How we got the game:
Bought it on Steam

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Minit is quirky little game where you play it in intervals of sixty seconds, or a minute. The idea seemed intriguing, prompting us to download it for steam, then lo and behold, it was announced as being released for the Nintendo Switch.

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Even though we got it a little while ago, we finally got the chance to try it out. We weren’t disappointed.

gameplay

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Minit is simple in gameplay and concept, but challenging to pull off. You move around as a little character that we had dubbed Bill due to Rachel believing he looked like he had a duck bill. You have a key to use whatever item you’re holding, which is usually a sword, and you navigate through the world and trying to progress while only living for sixty seconds.

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The sword is used to hit enemies, trees, and bushes around you in order to progress. You can eventually throw your sword like a boomerang once you get a certain item. There are a few items throughout the world you can collect, though we didn’t get to them all.

 krismii
The gameplay is fairly open-ended like that. While there are certain items — such as coffee to give you a little strength boost and flippers to allow you to swim — that we felt were needed to progress, other items were more optional. It truly gives you different ways to explore and challenge yourself to solve the game’s plot.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Right. There are faster shoes you can buy if you can find seven coins. We couldn’t find the coins so we never got the shoes. Sure, we could have gotten more done in our minute, but we still beat the game anyway. There are many different areas you can explore and you can add a couple of “houses” to you home. So, when you die, you’ll start at the home again which is handy to have so you don’t have to backtrack again.

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With the fact that you only have a minute to progress, the different houses as your save points certainly come in handy. Along with that, elements of the gameplay stay put as well from minute to minute, so you don’t have to rush through too many puzzles during each life.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
While the gameplay is repetitive, the developers did a great job making it so it’s not too frustrating.

graphics-music

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Minit is adorned in black and white, simple graphics with more sound effects rather than music. It worked with the arcade style of the game, and we were definitely move focused on doing as much as we could in sixty seconds rather than admiring the graphics and music.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The graphics definitely worked well for the game though. They were simple and I feel like the black and white helped our focus. Since the time is so limited you don’t really want to spend a lot of time exploring and staring at the colorful backgrounds in awe. So it worked.

krismii
One of the best parts about the graphics and sound effects, in my opinion, were the slight differences when the life clock was ticking down to zero. As the clock started from ten seconds, little sweat drops jumped off of Bill and the sound of a pounding heart was a subtle sound effect, ramping up the tension for the last few seconds of Bill’s current run.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree with that. It really added some tension to it even though you know you’re going to come right back. I did enjoy the sound effects of the sword when you hit things. I don’t know why, but that was satisfying for me.
story

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Minit is about an unfortunate soul who picked up a cursed sword. With this cursed sword, he is doomed to live only a minute at a time. He must progress as far as he can with every minute to reach the sword factory and lift the curse from the sword.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s up to your protagonist to push past the constant death screen and continue his quest from his home, finding shortcuts, items, and solving simple puzzles.

replay-value

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Minit is a fun little game that is easy to pick up and keeps you going with testing you on how far you can get with each minute. Aside from multiple items to find throughout the runs, there is also a harder mode after you beat it the first time, cutting your time from sixty seconds to forty seconds.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We missed a lot of the items our first time around. I wouldn’t mind going back to try to get them just to see how “easier” the game would be. I also wouldn’t mind trying it on hard mode, especially now we know what to do.

Minit gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Flashback Friday: 101 Dalmatians Escape from DeVil Manor

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone! I hope your July has been wonderful!

July is nearly over and, with it, probably the dog days of summer. Considering what the topic of this post is, that pun was definitely intended. Today, we’re diving way back, over twenty years ago, for a PC game that I used to love as a kid.

Video Games | Double Jump | PC Games | Retro Games | Disney | 101 Dalmatians

A couple of weekends ago, I was dog- and house-sitting for our neighbors. While relaxing with the dogs one evening, I stuck on Disney’s animated 101 Dalmatians and was amused to realize that the goldendoodle was enraptured with the movie, especially during the Twilight Bark scene. Her poodle-beagle mix sister sang along with the Twilight Bark.

It reminded me of an old PC game, Escape from DeVil Manor, that came out in 1997, over twenty years ago. While the characters’ animations — Cruella, Horace and Jasper, and the puppies — were based off of the Disney cartoon, the plot was based on the live-action version of the movie that came out a year before.

I remember playing the game often enough. You controlled two of the dalmatian puppies, Patches and Whizzer, as you tried to do what it says on the title. It was a point-and-click puzzle adventure, with the cursor lighting up on items that are clickable. You’d have to avoid Jasper and Horace, or set up traps for them, as you navigated around the manor. If you got caught, you were thrown into the billiard room.

There were a couple of ways out of the mansion, one of which was from the billiard room, which tended to be my go-to escape route. After actually escaping the manor, the puppies were in a mine shaft and pursued by Cruella DeVil, just like the video game that Roger created in the live-action film. Using explosive barrels from the back of your cart, you had to blast the old mad lady from the mine shaft to be arrested by Scotland Yard.

It was a cute, quirky game, one that was perfect for a little Disney- and dog-loving kid like myself. It’s something that I definitely want to try finding again, probably through an emulator, just for the nostalgia!

Have you played Escape from DeVil Manor? What did you think?

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