Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!
The first few weekends of a new year tend to be spent playing the new video games that you may have gotten during the holiday season. Whatever you’re playing, I’m hoping you’re having a great time!
You’ve all heard of this game, I assume? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (usually shortened to PUBG) is a multiplayer online battle royale that took the video game world by storm last year, despite being only in Steam’s beta mode until December. Steam has over 24 million copies sold, while the Xbox One version sold over one million copies in just three days after its release.
I’ve never really played a shooter game. They weren’t the types of games that we had in our house, with us growing up with family-friendly Nintendo consoles. However, Rachel and I have seen Let’s Play from some of our favorite Twitch streamers and YouTubers, and we wanted in on it. PUBG was one of the first games we bought and downloaded on Steam, and we finally got the chance to play it the other day.
We, uh, didn’t do too badly? We don’t think so, anyway, haha! We took turns doing the solo player campaign, and our gaming styles showed through with our strategies. Rachel did very well with looting and trying to avoid others while making her way to the safe zone. I was interested in finding a gun as quickly as possible and exploring enough to find someone else to try to take them out. Neither of us got any kills, but I did get hit points in a couple of matches! Rachel, with her hide-and-sneak strategy, tended to last longer than I did.
We’d like to be able to play together in a duo match soon, but I believe you’d need two separate Steam accounts and games for that. Considering we each got a couple of Steam gift cards for Christmas, perhaps we’ll splurge on that at some point. Another option would be to wait until there is cross-play between the Steam and the Xbox One versions of the game. We shall see!
Have you played PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds? What do you think of it?
Title: Dream Daddy Developer: Game Grumps Publisher: Game Grumps
Platform: PC (Steam)
Category: Visual Novel
Release Date: July 20, 2017
How we got the game: We bought it
The Game Grumps are a popular channel on YouTube, with a plethora of different gaming videos with rapid uploads. Sometimes their commentary is a bit NSFW, but if you can overlook that, they’re entertaining. When Dream Daddy was announced, we thought it sounded like a random and, perhaps, silly concept. However, we were quickly impressed with not only the quality of the game, but with the gender and sexuality diversity within it.
We’ve only played one other visual novel game before and it was another dating sim based on a group of YouTubers. It was an amazing game and we had a feeling Game Grumps wouldn’t disappoint.
Dream Daddy is a visual novel, so the game controls are simple. Players read along with the story and, whenever they’re available, choose multiple-choice answers that will determine how other characters feel about you and, in some cases, how scenes will play out.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Some of the choices are difficult, some aren’t. Based on what you answer, the Daddy you’re currently with will either get happy at your response or sad. This all determines whether you get a good ending or bad ending for them.
You are able to go on a couple of dates with each Daddy, with most having mini games that you need to complete to help boost your date score. The date scores, along with the choices made during the multiple-choice responses, help to determine the kind of ending you receive. The game itself is mostly point-and-click, but remembering certain details about the characters and their backgrounds will help you make the correct choices to get the good endings.
I found the mini-games to be the most clever part of the game. There’s a fun Pokemon battle kind of game as well as game that mimicked Bejewled. Some were pretty creative and others… we just didn’t understand and didn’t do well with. Still, they were pretty cool.
The graphics were so much fun in this game! The scenery was beautiful, especially during the date nights with the eligible bachelors of the game, but also with the characters themselves. No one looked alike and their expressions were always on par.
I think that’s my favorite part about visual novel games. I love seeing the expressions on the various characters. Each one was unique as were their houses and the various scenery of each date. I also loved the fact that you could customize yourself. Apparently, if Kris and I were boys, we’d have red hair and green eyes.
Red hair, green eyes, glasses, clean-shaven, and named Dean Jay. That was our Dadsona, haha! Considering your character was completely customizable, I was definitely impressed with the level of graphics and the programming that enabled your custom Dad to be present by the dialogue box whenever he spoke. The music was on point as well, with some talented scores and mood music whenever it was called for.
Yes, the music was great. I especially loved the opening theme on the main menu. Every time we played, I got it stuck in my head.
Upon beginning the game, you create yourself, a single father. You and your daughter have just moved into a cul-de-sac and now you have to meet and get friendly with all your neighbors, who also happen to be fathers, most of them being single.
While the main goal is to make friends, as per your daughter, you can connect deeper with the fathers via Dadbook, a social media platform for dads. With Dadbook, you set up and go out on dates with the other fathers, getting to know them better as you decide who you ultimately want to pursue.
We went on two dates with each Dad and then on the third date we had to choose who we want to hook up with. Of course, you can go on three dates with one Dad right away. Or you can go on two dates with some, one date with others, and zero dates with other guys. There’s no right or wrong way to go about your love life.
Dream Daddy has a couple of different endings per character, not only with the date-able dads but also with your daughter. If the multiple endings are not enough reason to replay the game, then the plethora of dates and mini-games would certainly help. The graphics, music, and even the characters’ backstories and development arcs are also fantastic points to keep playing this game until you uncover all of the achievements.
We’ll certainly be going back to the game to try to get the good ending with all of the Dads. We also wanted to get the bad ending with our daughter. Well… we don’t want to, but we’re still curious as to what happens.
Dream Daddy gets…
5 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Title: Death Road To Canada Developer: Rocketcat Games Publisher: Rocketcat Games
Console: PC (Steam)
Release Date: July 2016
How we got the game: We bought it
Death Road to Canada was one of those insanely popular games when it first came out last year. Rachel and I were skeptical of it, especially since many of our favorite YouTubers were playing it around Halloween, thinking that it was some horror game. However, it’s actually rather silly, even with the slightly gruesome thought of your character being eaten by zombies.
And it’s not even gruesome at that… the graphics are very cartoony and pixelated that it makes the game look almost cute. It took us a while, but we finally sat down to play the game ourselves.
In Death Road to Canada, you take control of a character trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. The levels of the game are trying to maneuver around and survive against zombies while looting houses, buildings, and other areas on your way to Canada. In between the levels, your character is in their car (or walking if the car breaks down), allowing them a brief moment of respite to attempt to heal any wounds, chat for a moment, and for random events to play through.
As you’re looting, you want to be on the lookout for various weapons, as they can break and some swing harder than others, as well as food, gas for your car, and medical supplies. The various scenarios that play out are random chat snippets, but can also sometimes be multiple choice. For example, you may come across a cabin in the woods. Do you have a member of your team stay on watch all night? Or do you all go to sleep? Or maybe you just keep driving.
Characters can also have different perks and traits that will affect their personality, which can in turn affect the consequences of events and multiple choice scenarios. Perks also affect the characters with their starting equipment and stats, such as morale, loyalty, fitness, and mechanical. Many of these effect how hard your character can attack, how many hits it’ll take for them to fall, and how well they can use certain weapons.
In a way, it helps you strategize, but it’s hard to strategize for a game that’s completely random. You can certainly determine which character in your party would be better for the decision ahead, but it might not always work. Still, it’s fun to customize a character as yourself.
Even as yourself, however, you never have full control of their stats and personality. There was one play-through that Rachel and I were playing where Rachel thought it was a good idea to steal not once but twice from random NPCs. Due to that, my Kris character got fed up enough to leave during a random event, taking half of the food with her. The two-player mode turned into a single-player game without our input! It was definitely a unique gameplay element.
Both the graphics and the music are rather quirky. The graphics are pixel-y, which is paired nicely with a game about zombies. Despite the setting of the game being the zombie apocalypse, there isn’t much gore except for some cartoon-like zombie brains and guts. Being a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously at times, the graphics don’t seem to take it too seriously either, and it works.
If this game had realistic graphics, I probably wouldn’t be playing it. It adds a certain charm to the game, though it’s hard to customize your character. There are face, hair, and clothing options, but they’re hard to see because everything looks grainy. And it’s also easy to lose your character in a swarm of zombies all the same size as you.
That may be the point, actually, to give the game an extra challenge. You’re fighting in a zombie apocalypse, you’re not supposed to look pretty, haha! The music and sound effects go well with the graphics, keeping the tone of the game generally lighthearted despite the situation. It’s easy to focus on the game and not get too distracted by the music which, considering you’re trying to survive against zombies, is a plus.
The music is definitely lighthearted, yeah. It’s got a fun beat and I think it’s a perfect match for the kind of graphics it has. Plus, you wouldn’t expect it from a zombie game, but it works.
This game is pretty simple when it comes to a “story.” Zombies have overrun the United States, but Canada seems to be zombie-free. You’re trying to travel from Florida to Canada without dying.
Ideally, you’ll have a car to help shorten the travel time and to get to abandoned houses and buildings to loot for weapons, food, and gas. You can meet up with and help strangers and companions alike, but while they’re useful in helping against the zombies, they may stretch your resources thin.
It’s like a “choose your own adventure” kind of game where every decision you make can either make or break your chances to win.
This is a fun and, oftentimes, ridiculous game. With so many random events, traits, perks, and character attributes, no game is alike. It’s difficult, but not frustratingly so, making you want to keep going rather than rage quit. It’s a game that I don’t mind picking up for a quick round at any time!
Yes, this game is easy to say, “One more round!” as it makes you so determined to win and get to Canada! It’s a fun game to pick up at any time and doesn’t take too long to play (unless you actually win).
Death Road to Canada gets… 4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Rachel’s and my Steam account has been getting more of a workout lately, which is awesome. One of the games that’s getting the most love at the moment is a visual novel called Dream Daddy.
…Yeah, I know, the name threw me off a bit too when I first heard about it.
Dream Daddy is a visual novel dating sim game that was released on Steam this past July. It was developed and published by Game Grumps, a popular gaming YouTube channel that Rachel and I occasionally watch.
The premise of the game was that you play a single dad who searches for and romances other dads. It sounded a little silly to us when we first heard about it, but it was always highly rated both on Steam and from social media. The graphics looked fun, with the character designs and the interface of the game, and Rachel and I don’t mind visual novels, so we thought we’d download it.
Holy crap, it’s so much fun!
The writing is phenomenal, especially the relationship between your main Dad character and his daughter! There’s obviously a lot of love put into the script, and the reactions and dialogue can be so genuine and natural that Rachel and I have found ourselves spewing out lines before they show up in the text box.
Aside from the little “dates” that your character does with the other dads, there’s obviously an underlying story for each character, from your own character and his daughter to the “brooding dad” to the “goth dad” to the “youth minister dad” and beyond. While the characters start off as stereotypes, they develop and grow throughout the game enough so Rachel and I have a hard time picking favorites.
But my absolute favorite aspect of this game is the diversity. Right off the bat when you’re creating your “Dadsona,” you get the option of creating a transgender character. I’ve never seen a video game character that’s transgender, and to see the representation just gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. The other dads in the game represent all sorts of different family dynamics, with the single dad, the divorced dad, the transgender dad, the gay dad, the bi dad, and it was fantastic.
Rachel and I are definitely looking forward to completing this game and uncovering all the stories of the characters!
Have you played Dream Daddy? Are there other visual novels you enjoy?
While Rachel and I grew up playing mostly Nintendo games, we have grown to try out games from all sorts of developers and on different platforms. In particular, I am exploring more PC games whenever I want to take a break from the Nintendo Switch or 3DS. While a keyboard and mouse work just fine for PC games, I definitely wanted to get a nice PC controller.
Rachel and I are trying out more PC games, but we’ve grown up with consoles and controllers in our hands. After hunting around for a bit, we found the ZD T gaming controllers for PC, Android, and the PlayStation 3. We were only interested in the PC aspect of the controller so we could have a more comfortable time playing our Steam games.
We recently tried out the controllers for the first time while playing Death Road to Canada. The handles fit comfortably in our hands with us able to reach the buttons we needed with ease. There were plenty of buttons to fully customize the controls for the game, with the controller having the familiar template with the A, B, Y, and X buttons.
I was really pleased with the way the controller handled and it was a blast playing Death Road to Canada with Rachel with them! We were a little hesitant with using wired controllers, as wireless seems to be the way to go nowadays, but the wires were nice and long, allowing us to play easily on the couch after hooking up the laptop to our television. The controllers were able to be used as soon as we plugged them into the laptop — after the drivers were found and installed by the laptop, the controllers worked wonderfully!
I’m looking forward to using the controller on plenty of other Steam and PC games!
Do you have a PC or other gaming controller that you like using? What’s the brand?
Some of you may know that I run the Sunday school program at the church I attend and grew up with. Last Sunday was the first day back after summer break and we did a fun exercise to catch up with one another and find out what we have in common.
I downloaded a puzzle template that had 12 pieces on it and cut out each individual piece. Then I gave the kids a piece and made them talk in one-on-one groups. They had to discover two things they had in common with each other (so they could each write something different on their puzzle piece).
They each did multiple pieces so that they had a chance to talk to everyone in the class, including the teachers.
I did this exercise with them in an attempt to get to know them a little better. These kids range in ages, but the group I had was mostly in upper elementary or just started middle school.
I sat down to talk to one boy. Even though he’s been coming to Sunday school for years, he didn’t seem to want to talk. I was his last person and by then I think he was just done with the exercise.
I kept asking him, “What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite food? Season? Holiday?” He was giving me nothing and whatever he answered, I said the opposite.
Finally, he said he enjoyed Pokemon.
I had known this but completely forgot about it. I said I liked it too and he was eager to write “Pokemon” down on his puzzle piece.
Then I asked about Minecraft. I don’t know why that game was the first to pop in my head, but it was. He said he used to, but hasn’t played it in a while. Well, that’s great because I haven’t played it in a while either. So I wrote “Minecraft” on my puzzle piece.
Once everyone was done, we colored our puzzle pieces to make them stand out and look unique since I’ll be trying to tape them together.
I drew dark green squares on my Minecraft piece and colored the background a light green. Just as I finished that, the boy came up to me, proudly I may add, and showed me his Pokemon piece. He had decorated it to look like a Pokeball. I proudly showed him mine and we laughed how we decorated our pieces to look like the games without knowing that’s what the other was doing.
After class was over, we ended up talking a lot about Pokemon Sun and Moon.
It was a good class, probably one of the best I’ve had in a while with that group (and when I say that, I mean they’re good kids, but they’re all growing into teenagers and it’s driving me crazy).
I just love connecting with other people who have the same video game interests as you do. It’s something fun to talk about and you really get to know other people that way.
Have you ever connected with someone else through video games? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!
Steam is an awesome digital gaming platform, and Rachel and I have been trying to get more use out of it lately. We have a handful of games on the platform that we’re trying to give more love during our down times. Below are a few of the games that are on our “to-be played more” Steam list.
Player Unknown Battlegrounds
I do not play shooter games. Like, at all. It just wasn’t a genre that I grew up with. Nintendo, with most of its kid- and family-friendly games, didn’t have too many games in that genre available as I started gaming. However, Rachel and I found out about Player Unknown Battlegrounds through a few of our favorite YouTubers, and the fast-paced, tense, kill-or-be-killed situation looks like so much fun!
Dream Daddy is a dating sim game that is unique in so many ways. We were a bit perplexed at first when we heard that the main premise is a single dad dating other single dads, but only because it’s not a typical dating sim scenario. Developed by Game Grumps, another YouTube channel that we occasionally watch, we are in love with the writing, the graphics, the music, and the characters themselves. It also just gives me warm and fuzzy feelings to see the inclusiveness and canon gay and transgender characters in the game — those representations are so important!
The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is one that I’ve kind of fallen out of lately. However, with Sonic Mania, it seems to be reviving and I’m definitely interested in trying out the game. The trailers themselves seem so nostalgic for the old-school Sonic games that I’m eager to see what Sonic Mania will bring to the franchise.
A game Rachel discovered fairly recently, Lumo is a puzzle, isometric adventure game. Featuring a little wizard-looking character, you make your way out of rooms full of puzzles. The music and graphics look utterly charming, and it seems casual enough to do a couple of rooms at a time.
I’ve been going through a lot of my games lately whether they’re for the Switch, Wii U, PC, Xbox, etc. There are simply too many games to play and not nearly enough hours in the day.
So, naturally, there’s a new game I want to add to my list…
Slime Rancher is an Indie exploration game created by Monomi Park. It recently came out on August 1, 2017 and can be found on Steam and Xbox for about $20.
This game has been getting quite a bit of hype lately. It came out about a month ago, but I’m just learning about it now.
In an odd way, it seems similar to Harvest Moon, just not as casual. Slime Rancher is more action/adventure and has… well, slimes.
The game is in first-person mode as your character moves off into the galaxy to be just what the title suggests: a slime rancher. Using nothing but your vacpack, you harvest crops and wrangle slimes all the while exploring the land and discovering new slimes.
The slimes are cute, the graphics look great, the music is fun, and the overall idea of the game sounds entertaining. It’s on the cheaper side and the game has raving reviews.
This is definitely a game I want to get soon and try out for myself.
Have you tried this game yet? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!
Rachel and I are generally Nintendo girls, having grown up with the consoles (and having the adults around us always call video games “Nintendo” no matter what kind of games they were). Fairly recently, though, I’ve been wanting to get more into the PC gaming scene, having used to play a couple of MMORPGs and now looking more into Twitch and games like Stardew Valley and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground. With that, I’ve been more interested in PC gaming accessories, like pretty monitors…
Gamers generally want to be as immersed as possible in their video game worlds. Take a look at all the virtual reality consoles and games that are on the market nowadays.
Recently a friend of mine told me about this gaming monitor from Samsung, the Samsung CHG90. This massive screen that would keep you in the game without the need for virtual reality headsets. Just take a look at this baby:
Spanning about 49-inches wide, it’ll probably be difficult to just to find the space for the monitor, but isn’t it gorgeous? Imagine the expanse of Minecraft’s landscape or being able to keep an eye on your surroundings in PlayerUnknown’s Battleground. It’s pretty pricey, though, coming at a whopping $1499.99 — for that amount of money, you could probably get a nice dual, or even triple, monitor set up.
It’s a nice dream for a P.C. gamer!
What do you think of this computer monitor? Too much or would you like a chance to experience how it would work with one of your favorite PC games?
We’ve been going back and forth between playing our Switch Games and living out perfect lives on the Sims 4. This month I thought we’d go back to when Rachel and I had first gotten hooked onto the Sims series with Sims 2.
The Sims 2, first published in 2004, is the second installment of the Sims franchise published by EA Games and developed by Maxis. Like the original Sims, the Sims 2 is a real life simulator where the player controls the characters and aids them in living their lives day to day.
The game itself was released on a plethora of platforms, most notably the PC but also the Xbox, the Playstation 2, and Nintendo’s GameCube, Gameboy Advance, and DS. It was a commercial success, smashing records with its release, and sold over 13 million copies over all platforms by March 2012.
The Sims 2 allows the characters — the Sims — to age through life cycles, such as child, teen, and adult, with a 3D game engine. Players customize the Sims’ looks and personalities before throwing them into a world where they can get jobs, develop relationships, and grow old or die unfortunate premature deaths. The game allows the players to play the role of a god, choosing and manipulating every aspect of the Sims’ lives, or just letting the Sims choose their own fate however their personality dictates they would act.
Besides the base game, the Sims 2 had expansion packs to greatly expand the gameplay. For example, Pets included dogs and cats, Nightlife boasted clubs and a dating system, and Seasons brought weather to the Sims’ world. Expansions tended to bring new life forms for the Sims, such as PlantSims, Vampires, and Witches. Stuff Packs were also developed and sold separately, bringing new items to decorate the Sims’ world with.
Since then, the franchise has evolved to The Sims 3 and most recently The Sims 4, each bringing new content to the franchise. Despite initial glitches and problems with the games’ releases, the Sims franchise continues to be a success.
Have you ever played the Sims 2? What did you think of it?