This Thanksgiving weekend was a much needed break from all the work and worries of my life. For a few days I could sit back with my friends and family, share a delicous meal, and consume a crapload of entertainment. So here's a bunch reviews that pretty much sum up my vacation.
WarioWare Inc: Mega Microgame$
Platform: GameBoy Advanced
For those who don't know, the WarioWare games are minigame compilations. The twist is that the games are very, very short (like, no longer than 5 seconds) and happen in rapid succession with a limited number of failures allowed before game-over. As you play, the games become faster and harder. So the game has a very arcade-like feel where the goal is mostly about clearing your highest run instead of just passing through the story. (Though the story is incredibly insane, just like the minigames.) It's also a great game to pick up if you want to see how to make intuitive controls as well as clear conveyance in a game.
My sister introduced me to this simple little puzzle game, and it probably ate more time than I'm willing to admit. Basically you connect as many of the same-color dots as possible in the allotted time/turns. If you connect a closed shape, you eliminate all the dots of the same color. As simple as it sounds, it's very addicting since it has that "just one more go..." feeling to it. It's also free and doesn't beg for in-app purchases.
Marvel Avengers Alliance
This game should be called Marvel Energy Systems: The Game. Everything you do in the game costs some kind of resource that takes time to refill. A lot of time. Too much time. Even something as simple as leveling up requires experience, in-game currency (one of 4 currencies in the game), plus "training time" to accomplish. Additional heroes cost a ton of rare currency (that takes a ton of time AND luck to get) so you're pretty much stuck with Hawkeye, Iron-Man, and Black Widow. All of this can be sped-up or unlocked by in-app purchases or pestering your friends via social media. This is a real shame, because besides all the timers, social, and commercial junk, the actual game part isn't bad. the battle system is surprisingly deep for being so simple and the PvP was fairly strategic.
Papa John's Pizza
Platform: Delivery Pizza
Papa John's is a step above regular Pizza Hut pizza and a step below stuffed-crust pizza from Pizza Hut. It's nothing too fancy, but order some garlic butter and some cheesy bread and you got yourself a solid meal. They also deliver on Thanksgiving, so that was pretty sweet.
Eh...it's a game that tries to be more of an RTS, but there isn't much complexity or depth to the game. It has a kind of Pokemon theme going (gotta collect and level-up em all!) and cutesy art, but beyond that it isn't anything special.
Layton Brothers: Mystery Room
Platform:Mobile/Tablet (recommended for Tablet)
From the creators of Professor Layton, this game revolves around solving murders for Scotland Yard through crime-scene analysis and good old fashioned deductions. Though the game has the Layton name, it's more like the Ace Attorney games. The wonderfully colorful and cartoony art masks the gruesome murders (one victim lies in a pool of blood with an axe in his face) and the fantastic noir-ish soundtrack is fittingly jazzy, somber, chaotic, creepy, or suspenseful as needed. Seriously. The game is on the easy-side, (there's actually no way to lose and the game tends to hold your hand or repeat itself) but once my verbal accusations literally began attacking a perp's testimony, I was sold.
Apples to Apples
Platform: Card Game
This game is only as good as the people you play it with. If you play with a funny bunch, it's a blast. If you play with a a group of wet noodles, it's pretty awful. I had fun with this adjective-to-noun matching game and the group was a riot! Some of the best matches of the night included Pure-Cocaine, Touchy Feelly-Helen Keller, and Charming-Me.
Platform: It's a movie, stupid.
What was advertised as a movie staring a dumb-looking snowman and a goofy reindeer actually tuned out to be an ok musical about two princess sisters. And one of the princesses has ice super-powers. And a dumb-looking snowman and a goofy reindeer occasionally do things but it's not as annoying as it looks. The songs are decent, the first few minutes had me hooked, but the ending felt rushed an hokey. Some of the animation was off in some areas (Sven the reindeer was particularly wonky) and the world felt oddly stiff and lifeless (snow seemingly suspended in space, no trees swaying or snow dropping in the wind). Kind of a disappointing movie when compared to Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph.
Platform: Mobile/Tablet (highly recommended for Tablet)
This game! It's something like a mystery-thriller short story mashed together with an adventure game mixed with an Alternate-Reality Game. You navigate the world through the text that details your character's (Anna's) actions instead of actually controlling where she goes. It sound boring on paper, but it's remarkable how much it feels natural for this game. Every once in a while there's music or a simple interactive element, but much of the game comes from piecing together the clever (and actually challenging) puzzles you come across. At certain moments the game even feels unsettling or creepy. I found myself not wanting to read a line of text out of fear of where it would take me. While it might not be considered a "game" in the traditional sense, Device 6 is really a one-of-a-kind experience.
I didn't have any. And that's