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Christ Centered Gamer Blog

This blog contains non-gaming related reviews and random ramblings

Kingdom Hearts III Out of Context

As I noted in my review, Kingdom Hearts III is a fantastic game. But it's certainly not without its weird moments...

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The Best Multiplayer Games - Board, PC And Console

If you like playing alone, there are many games where it is just facing the mobs, mini-bosses, side quests, and main bosses. It is a lot of fun, and when you play a game well, or you really enjoy the gameplay, it is hard to imagine a day when you didn’t love the game. As you play more, you learn more about how to play online securely, the details that you shouldn’t share, and how to remain anonymous. And eventually, you might find yourself safely ensconced in a guild, team or just enjoying playing the same game with the same people regularly. 

The Best Multiplayer Games - Board, PC And Console 

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Co-ops and multiple players bring a more social aspect to any game. And it is pretty cool chilling with your friends, catching up and then, of course, destroying either each other or the opposition in a game. 

There are some games that are hailed as the best two-player board games, console, and PC games. 

So let’s take a look!

Payday 2 

You can’t, shouldn’t and won’t rob a bank in real life. But Payday 2 will let you and a friend do just that. You can pay with up to 4 people which is pretty good. You will be playing with alarms, case the joints and try to steal as much from the banks as you can before the police arrive. This game is tension-filled, and you have to stick to the plan. Unlike the movies where one person always goes rogue, you’ll be making a clean getaway… maybe. 

PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2

This is for both local and online. Lego games are highly rated because they are a lot of fun. You can play with anyone of any age too. Most Lego games are co-op, but Marvel Super Heroes has a little bit of an edge. You can play as pretty much any character, which is a nice touch. The gameplay is well done, and the cutscenes are carefully prepared. 

PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Call of Duty WW2 Zombies

This is a stark contrast in comparison to the last game on the list. The CoD games are a lot of fun, and pretty intense, but with this one, you and up to four friends can play against some brain-eating enemies. Each wave gets more powerful, with more bodies running your way. But of course, you can only get hold of more powerful weapons by powering forward and opening up new areas of the map. Coordination and communication will see you clear it thoroughly. But you’re going to die, a lot. 

PS4, PC, Xbox One

Legendary

Doesn’t take too long to play the game from start to finish. It is a deck-building board game. So, in essence, you will draw 6 cards and use the power they provide to battle opponents. Be they villains, new heroes, henchmen and beyond. Legendary is a Marvel-themed game, so it makes a neat collector's item for people who are big Marvel fans, or people who enjoy a deck-building game. The mastermind and the plot are selected by the players at the start of the game, and you can set the difficulty too. The game changes and remains something you can play multiple times because the luck of the draw is a big deal here. There are expansions to this board game too. 

Monster Hunter World

An online co-op that has a rep for not being super friendly when you first start playing. However, after you have been around awhile it you’ll be taking out the bigger monsters with teams of players. It can feel like the online system is a bit disjointed and takes too long. But once you get over the fact you need to go through a few steps before you can even get online, and that you have to watch/clean the cutscenes… Well, there is a lot to get used to, but in general, it is a really great game. 

PC, Xbox One, PS4

 The Best Multiplayer Games - Board, PC And Console

Photo by Mateo Vrbnjak on Unsplash

Bananagrams

People have loved Scrabble for years. It works well for two players and up. Games can last for ages too. But if you want to break out of the box that Scrabble puts you in the Bananagrams is the way to go. It is more competitive because rather than be a turned-based game, you are looking to race to be the first to use all of your letters in a grid. And if you are a fan of the kitch, it comes in a banana-shaped bag, and you have to yell Bananagrams when you complete your crossword grid. 

Snipperclips

This is a two-person puzzle game. It’s super smart, and you will waste plenty of time with your buddy messing about with the main gimmick - before you even get into the meat of the game. You will both have control of a 2D toon, and you can cut pieces out of each other. Sounds gruesome but looks cute. You cut the pieces out that overlap. Due to the cutesy feel, this can be played by younger kids too. You take one Joy-Con each from the switch, and away you go. 

Switch

A Way Out

Most games at least give you the option to play alone, but A Way Out throws that rule into the sea. It is designed with two players in mind, and you can feel that when you play it. You are two criminals trying to find a way out of prison. You’ll be squeezing and shimmying up tiny wall gaps, finding exit routes by passing tools to each other, playing basketball and Connect Four. 

There is a lot to do, just you two. 

PC, Xbox One, PS4

Rivals For Catan

You probably already have this in your board game stash, or perhaps Settlers of Catan. If not, don’t worry. Where Settlers isn’t great for two players, Rivals works really well. This card game lets you start out with your own principality, with 6 different regions - which are already arranged. Two settlements are connected by a road, each settlement needs to gain extra resources and expand as they go. Each settlement and city are worth different points, and so it goes. It is a lot of fun and works really well for game nights. 

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

This is a game for casual gamers. You can drop in and drop out, and just spend some time shooting some grunts and trading goods. If you are really into the game, you can head for some mega bosses and start coordinating to clear more content. There are mega-rare loot drops, and who doesn’t love some epics? 

PS Vita, Xbox 260, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, PC

Don’t Starve Together

Never has a more heartwarming title been created. Sharing the imminence of death is comforting in many ways. You’re both going to die, but at least you can do it together, right? This game is about resource gathering and creating bases for you both. You can split up the tasks between you and your co-op buddy and get everything done nice and quickly. Ideally, you just want to survive. The cartoon style day of the dead animation keeps the game light enough, and the tasks are enjoyable. 

Ps4, PC, Xbox One

Gaming has always been a great way to spend time. And the more social the game, the more immersive it can be. Fortnite, WoW, WoW Classic, HoTS, and LoL are all a testament to the power of playing in groups. So if you aren’t always keen on branching out and sharing the load, it might be time to grab one of the games above and get started.

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The Perfect Computer Accessories for Your Gaming Habits

If you enjoy video games, then you know how important it is to get the perfect computer accessories. If you want to be fully immersed in the experience of gaming, you have to remove yourself from the external environment.

There are many different ways to do this. Comfort has to be your top priority if you want to experience your videogame lifestyle fully. You need to make sure you purchase the ideal mouse that fits your hand shape and the type of gaming that you do. 

You absolutely need a high-resolution monitor so that you can stand the right distance away from your screen and see all the details that you need. And that there is no denying that the ultimate gaming chair will make a huge difference in your overall experience.

The Ideal Mouse

When you begin to research the best ergonomic mouse for your gaming activities, you’ll be amazed at the variations that you find. You can have different sizes, types, and shapes. You can get a mouse that has a cable or is Bluetooth connected or has a laser. 

You can find one that is vertical, or horizontal, or lays flat like a magic pad. It may take some experimentation to find out which one works the best for the type of game that you want to play, but once you do figure it out, you’ll be amazed at how much difference it makes in your gaming experience.

A High-Resolution Monitor

For gamers, the visual experience is a massive part of what allows them to immerse themselves into the storytelling aspect of the journey. To dive fully into this concept, you need to buy a high-resolution monitor. The production quality of video games these days is phenomenal. To appreciate all the details that go into the programming, you need a high-resolution monitor to make it shine. 

The Ultimate Gaming Chair

If you’re like most people, then you play your video games while you are sitting down. In fact, you may spend more time sitting down then doing anything else. Because of this, how important do you think it is to buy the perfect gaming chair

If there is one expensive purchase that you should make, it should be your chair. There are even options for chairs that have speakers built-in or motors that vibrate different parts of the chair, depending on what kind of video game you’re playing.

People entertain themselves in different ways. Videogame culture is a fascinating group to be a part of. But to totally immerse yourself in any videogame, you have to be as comfortable as possible for long periods. Knowing this, expect to invest in all of the necessary accessories.



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Top 5 Educational Indie Games

 

Top 5 Educational Indie Games

Gamification is a major trend in education. Educators realize that if they don’t do something to engage the students on a higher level, they lose their influence and authority as teachers. They have to keep things fun for the learners!

Many teachers and parents are still afraid of games, though. They believe that the students get distracted and addicted. What most of them don’t realize is that with the introduction of educative games, the students can process and retain information more effectively. They develop important skills that boost their capacity to learn. 

Even if they get consumed by the gaming process, what’s the worst thing that could happen? They might get interested in taking game development courses online and turning their passion into a career. That’s not bad at all.

For now, let’s talk about the top Indie games of educational value.

5 Best Indie Games PC: Teacher Approved

  1. Stardew Valley

Privileged life is great! We have access to all the food we like, whenever we want it. We don’t need to grow our own food on farms; we get it ready to eat. But there’s a downside to that privilege: people stop appreciating the effort that goes into the production of everything we eat. A game can help them understand.

The player of Stardew Valley inherited an old farm from their grandfather. Now, they have to learn everything from scratch. They will have all kinds of responsibilities that change according to days, seasons, and years. They cannot accomplish everything in a day, so they will learn to set priorities. 

  1. Universe Sandbox

This game is a realistic space simulator. It’s built on the principles of gravity, material interactions, collision, and climate. The players explore the space while understanding how these principles work.

Did you know that most students hated physics? The reason for this is simple: the lectures are stacked with formulas and information they need to memorize. They don’t understand most of what they read in the textbook or they hear in class. Only a small percentage of students in a classroom can visualize and understand how these principles work in reality. The remaining students rely on high-quality assignment assistance to get passing grades. It’s hard for them to study because they don’t see the practical side. This game helps them to overcome that issue. 

  1. Kerbal Space Program

This game allows you to build and manage your own space program. You can create spacecraft and operate them.

It’s a fun game that helps students to understand the complexity of space research. They learn to appreciate all the information about the Universe that they hear during the lectures. They understand what it took for scientists to get that information. And they want to learn it, so they could play this game more successfully.

  1. Crayon Physics Deluxe

Physics puzzles that look like childish crayon drawings? They work for most students! With this game, they see what it would be like if their drawings would become real objects. They can draw anything, and they will see it come to life on the game board. With ropes, wheels, levers, and other objects, the sketches will have to play with the rules of collision and gravity. It’s a great way for students to understand how the concepts of physics work in the world that surrounds them.

  1. Lingotopia

The graphics are a bit weird, but that doesn’t make the game less enjoyable to play. For young language learners, it’s perfect. This is how the story goes: a little girl is shipwrecked on a weird island. She has to explore it and find a way to communicate with the inhabitants if she wants to go back home. They speak a foreign language, so she has to learn it.

The languages you can learn through this game are Spanish, Russian, German, Japanese, French, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, and English. The community contributes to the database, too. So far, Dutch, Icelandic, and Tlingit have been completely translated. You can get partial translations in many other languages, and you can make your own contributions.

Everybody Loves a Nice Game

The best Indie games 2019 are not a threat to a student’s intellectual growth. On the contrary - they help them develop particular skills that enhance the learning process. The games we listed above are educational in their nature. They are built with the intention for the player to learn something new. But even the “time-wasting” games, as teachers like to call action games, help students to develop skills of coordination and time management.

We should stop seeing games as something that prevents proper functioning. When we play the right games at the right dose, we’ll only benefit from them.   

BIO:

Robert Everett is a gamer, blogger, and word traveller. He’s also an avid online learner. Robert used to be a lazy person who spent most of his days in front of the TV, but he learned how to be productive. Now he’s accomplishing a lot in a single day.

 

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100% Unofficial Fortnite Pro Guide

Thank you Quarto Group for sending us this book!

This is a book that teaches Fortnite players how to become a pro at the game. It teaches players the art of speed building, how to build a good base, the best strategies, and much more.

This book tells the readers about emotes. It shows what they look like, and when to use them. It also talks about a lot of epic things that happened in the history of Fortnite: Battle Royale. It will explain you many ways that you can bend the rules. It tells you that you can play the game however you want to play the game, so that you can have fun as well as everyone else who is playing with you.

The only problem with this book is that it is outdated. Fortnite is one of those games that changes or has something added or removed every few weeks, so that makes this book incorrect in some of the things that it says in it. When this book was made, it was season 7. As of this review, season 10 just came out. It is a little more up to date than the first book (the 100% Unofficial Fortnite Essential Guide), which was made in season 5. Other than that, the book is great.

I think that any Fortnite players that want to become a pro (probably all of them) should read this book. If they just want to become a master builder, then this book would help them. If they just want to know how to properly raid an enemy base, they are covered. This book covers stuff from battle tactics to just organizing your inventory. This book is very useful, but I still think that you should read the first book before reading this one, that the first one covers the basics, while this one contains more advanced things.


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5 Ways Gaming Can Affect Your Eyesight

You have likely played some type of game today on one of your many various digital devices.  From games like Angry Birds to Call of Duty, video gaming is a mainstream part of today’s culture.  

However, playing video games for extended amounts of time can cause physical damage to your body.  Your eye health, in particular, should be your main concern.  

Take a few moments to read through some of the most common ways in which excess gaming can affect your eyesight, and go forth with new knowledge. 

Problems focusing

Focusing on words you see on a piece of paper is much different than what your eyes go through when you play video games for hours.  Your eyes are used to focusing in on one depth and angle to read and write, but gaming requires much more from your vision.  

Gamer eyes are required to refocus on a dime, and long hours of play can really wear your eye muscles down.  You may experience problems focusing even after you turn the game off. It helps to limit your exposure. 

Issues with dry eyes 

Gamers tend to get tuned in to their chosen activity, and blinking becomes a bit of a distraction.  Hardcore gamers can go for quite some time without blinking their eyes.  

Though it may have seemed like a gift when you were young, allowing your eyes to dry out on a regular basis will likely cause vision problems in the future.  Remember to take the time to blink when you play games, and keep your most effective weapon on point.  

Eye irritation 

Eye irritation is a common effect of excess gaming.  Not blinking, constantly shifting your focus, and staring at the contrast of the screen for too long can really leave your eyes in a world of irritation.  

If you have kids who love gaming, it’s helpful to set a timer for breaks in screen time.  Every 20 minutes, make your kid take a break. Step away from the game, and go find something else to do for at least five minutes.  Taking a break will give your eyes time to rest, reducing your risk of inflammation and irritation.  

Computer Vision Syndrome

Using any digital device excessively can cause you to suffer a physical price.  You may experience pain in your neck and shoulders, headaches, and unusual fatigue after playing video games for a long period of time. 

Computer vision syndrome is not compartmentalized solely to the excess use of computers.  You may also experience these symptoms from gaming.  

There are some positive things

There are some positive aspects of gaming.  When done in moderation, gamers can really improve their eye’s abilities.  Gamers can see things quicker and more fine tuned than the average watcher. 

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Kingdom Heartbeats

Thank you Materia Collective for sending us this digital album to review!

Kingdom Heartbeats features ten electronically remixed tracks from the popular Kingdom Hearts franchise. This album has been produced by Roborob and features some excellent vocals in some of the tracks.

The album begins with a nearly two minute shorter version of the intro song: Simple and Clean. Though the original tracks fall under the electronic dance music category, these remixes kick it up a notch. Tension Rising from Kingdom Hearts II is the second song and the remix amplifies it but stays true to the original battle music. The 13th Struggle from Kingdom Hearts 2 has also been tweaked for this album and it too sounds true to form and is nicely done.

Most of the tracks are from Kingdom Hearts 2 and Sora’s Theme has not been neglected. You’ll find a longer and tweaked version on this album. I have no idea what the Japanese singers are saying in the song Passion, but it sounds great. The menu music Dearly Beloved is so beautiful and should have been left alone. Although the remix is good, I still prefer the original.

Kingdom Hearts 3 gets some representation with Face My Fears. After that opening song, the first game is re-visited with some enhanced theme music from Traverse Town. Kingdom Hearts 2 takes the spotlight again with the upbeat battle music, Sinister Sundown. The album concludes with a much faster and dubstep version of one of my favorite tracks, This Is Halloween. Although interesting, I still prefer the original version.

Fans of Kingdom Hearts and electronic dance/dubstep music should definitely check out Kingdom Heartbeats. This album is available digitally for $10 and can be yours in MP3, Flac, and other lossless formats. A limited-run physical edition will be available in September for $20. If MP3 format is good enough for you, it’s also available on Amazon for $8.99.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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The Best FIFA 20 Players

The top 10 or top 20 of anything can be a highly subjective rating. Even when the rating depends on goals scored or blocked, passes completed or assists made, there is still the simple matter of likability. Some players, no matter how good they may be technically, just aren’t popular because they’re a horses behind.

A perfect example of this is Megan Rapinoe. Although she led the U.S. Women’s Team to a championship in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, her extreme attitude turned a lot of people off. Even if you agreed with everything she said, the way she said it was too ugly for most people to put up with. She needs to be reminded that FIFA is not the League of War where the object is to utterly destroy the other side.


Fédération Internationale de Football Association


Voting is going on right now for the top spots and will continue until August 19, 2019, for the Best FIFA Men's and Women's Players and Coaches. The awards will be given out once all the votes have been tallied and the results published. If you’re looking for more information on the best FIFA 20 Players altogether you can follow the link for a complete rundown of them and their stats. Be aware though that the stats given are temporary at this point and still subject to change.

One of the great things about FIFA is its openness to both men and women players. In the United States, for instance, the NFL is only open to male players. While there are certainly females involved in the game, they’re relegated to the sidelines as cheerleaders. They’re pretty and lots of fun to look at, but they’re not in the game.

In FIFA, women are definitely in the game. Returning to our previous example of Megan Rapinoe, whatever you may think of her, good or bad, there is no arguing the fact that she is in the game. She’s not on the sidelines in any way, shape, or form. She is one of the best women players in the world and she and her team won the championship fair and square.

They didn’t show much sportsmanship in the process, but that’s a different story.


Paid To Play


The women’s teams get paid to play too. That is important to note. Leaving aside for the moment of how much they’re being paid compared to the men (an economic question best settled by the bean counters in the back room), they are being paid. Furthermore, they’re being paid enough to make their living at it. That means they can survive on their player’s salary without having to moonlight at another job. It’s not nearly as much as men are being paid, but again, that’s for the bean counters to worry about.

In many ways, it is similar to the bad guys in the VR game High Noon, where the men and women have an equal chance to be part of the ravening horde trying to overrun your town. If both men and women have an equal chance to be the hero or the villain, whether it’s in sports or in a video game, then you can safely say that equality has pretty much arrived.


Choosing The Top 20


Choosing the top 20 players in FIFA is an emotionally charged issue. Everyone has their personal favorites; scoring, kicking, dribbling, etc., notwithstanding. It all comes down to personality. The inspirational story of Eric Abidal is a case in point.

In 2011, he underwent surgery to get rid of a tumor on his liver. Just two months later he was out there on the pitch playing in the UEFA Champions League Final. Then a year later he underwent another surgery, this time a full liver transplant. A year later he was back out there with his team playing a full 90 minutes.

Regardless of anything else you might think about Abidal, you have to admire his raw courage, determination, and guts to face those kinds of odds and make a full come back anyway.


It’s Not All On The Pitch


Why are footballers so passionate about the game? It’s because FIFA is full of examples of personal strength and dignity in the face of monumental struggles and obstacles, not all of them out on the pitch.

The players showcase the best of human nature as well as the worst. They represent all of us in our constant, eternal struggle to be better than we are. What’s not to love about that?

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Games as a Tool to Improve Students Behavior

Ever since their invention, games have been seen as only a tool for entertainment. But, plenty of research and case studies have shown that games can be beneficial in many ways. Of course, the benefits will depend greatly on the game choice, as well as the time the person spends playing them. Even so, games can definitely lead to good things like good behavior, boosted critical thinking skills, etc.

In fact, this goes so far that there are currently scientifically proven advantages of playing games. According to research, games can increase memory capacity, provide pain relief, help dyslexic kids with reading, help limit trauma, etc.

That being said, it is about time that we all learn how to use games to our benefit. When it comes to students and behavior, here are the ways the good game can yield positive results.

1.  Students Can Learn While Playing

When a student plays teaching games, these games can help them understand the new concepts, learn new skills, and use their knowledge in practice. Games are a known way of boosting fresh knowledge, which is why they are so widely encouraged in the world of education.

Based on the choice of a game, students can learn quite a lot by playing. With the right approach and some quality educational games, teachers can create an interesting and inspiring teaching atmosphere. When you add some versatility to the study process, students are more likely to feel motivated to learn.

This is where games come really handy.

Games as a Tool to Improve Students Behavior

2.  Games Provide Learning Practice

Games aren’t an educational material on their own, but when combined with it, they provide an excellent opportunity to practice. When students are faced with a challenging new material to grasp, they can benefit a lot by some ‘mental exercise’. This is especially useful in cases where the students learn rules, structures, and vocabulary.

In such cases, the repetitive exercises in textbooks are simply not engaging enough. That’s where teachers have to include a new, fun element to boost the student’s motivation and therefore, behavior in the classroom.

3.  Games Help Students Learn New Skills

There are so many games nowadays, there’s no limit as to how much a student can learn by playing. Many skills can be developed with the help of games, such as creativity, critical thinking, teamwork, and even good sportsmanship. All this leads to a more developed individual with better behavior and learning habits.

For example, when a student plays guessing games, he’s boosting his critical thinking skill and his circumlocution improves while he has fun. Moreover, by allowing students to play games, teachers can literally watch their creativity and tweak the education to fit every individual student.

There are even games that help with the writing skills. Students will still order from Edu Birdie when they lack of time to write a paper, but with some good writing and vocabulary games, they can work on this skill, too.

4.  Games Help Students Boost Their Memory

Memory games are an excellent way to boost the memory skill. When combined with material that the student needs to master, these can give the student a positive look toward the process of learning. If learning is fun, the student will be more likely to engage in it.

Games as a Tool to Improve Students Behavior

There are plenty of games that boost the memory in students. Some of them are so fun, they stick into their memory for years. With the right game and material-playing combination, teachers can help students master structures and vocabulary much easier.

Moreover, some games feature stimuli that will aid the students in remembering vocabulary words, such as mimics, acting words out, using clues, calling out answers, etc. As you can see, there’s no limitation of the fun. As long as you can find different games to play, you can engage the students and boost their behavior toward learning.

5.  Games Grab the Attention of Players

The concept of playing a game is engaging and fun. To students who are stuck most of their days in a classroom and have to spend hours studying from books, this is the best break they can get. So, since games are actually beneficial in terms of mastering the material and building new skills, why not use them to boost the motivation, too?

Games are known to grab the attention of those who play them. If students are too tired or lazy to study from books and textbooks, they might enjoy being more active and having fun. Instead of the standardized classes and exams, an addition of some games can be truly refreshing.

Final Thoughts

The education has improved a lot in the past few decades. We’ve found new things to teach the youth, but also new ways to engage them and help them memorize. The burden the educational system puts on children is immense and, even though its goal is to prepare them for the future, it still has to be relieved from time to time. As it turns out, games are the way to do this.

Author’s Bio:

Joshua Robinson is a teacher with eleven years of teaching experience. As an educator, he has worked with children from the youngest age up to high school, constantly inviting new, modern ways into his classroom. Thankfully, he takes the time off to share his results and tricks with others.

 

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100% Unofficial Fortnite Essential Guide

Thank you The Quarto Group for sending us this book to review!

This book is a guide to Fortnite players who had just started playing the game. It provides lots of tips and tricks to help you survive a good amount of time in a match. If you don't already know, Fortnite is a Battle Royale game, so the tips that this book gives are very nice to know when you are being attacked by another player.

This book is very useful, but it is also very outdated. When this book was made, it was in season 5 of the game. As of this review, it is in season 10. That does matter a lot, because the creators of Fortnite have removed and added some weapons and features since then.

This book helps you decide what gaming platform you want to play Fortnite on, learn the controls, helps you decide if you want to play Battle Royale or Save the World mode, and so much more. It tells you what to do when you encounter another player, stumble into a build battle, and how to use your weapons and conserve your ammo. It tells you what building materials to use, their advantages and disadvantages, and also what every item and weapon can do. It provides a description of a weapon, how easy or hard it is to find, and where to find them. It also tells you how to build a base and how to invade other bases as well. It also describes each location and tells the reader how many players usually land at that location.

I think that this book is very useful and whenever I play Fortnite: Battle Royale I use these techniques and I use the hints and tips that it gives me. There is also another book like this one called the 100% Unofficial Fortnite Pro Guide. If you read this one and use it, then you should also read the Pro Guide.



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Best Xbox One Games For Kids In 2019

 Are your kids into Xbox One? Then maybe you are looking for games suitable for young players. Here is the selection of the best Xbox One games for kids in 2019.

Top Five Best Xbox One Games For Kids In 2019

Top Five Best Xbox One Games For Kids In 2019

If your child loves your new Xbox One, don't you hurry to ban them from playing. There is a massive choice of best Xbox One games, which are suitable for young children. These games will help your child to delve into an exciting fantasy world and wind down. 

  1. Spyro Trilogy

All kids love dragons. Especially those which breathe fire and burn things. So, the Spyro Trilogy will be a perfect adventure for your child. This bright and fun game will let your child explore realms, solve puzzles and test their skills at completing various missions. Don't forget to install a parental control app to manage screen time of your kiddo.

  1. Sonic Mania Plus

Classics never die. That’s why your child will enjoy playing Sonic Mania Plus. The Plus version of remembered Sonic Mania includes additional characters and modes as well as secrets and hidden paths that your child will need to uncover. This blue hedgehog won’t leave your little one disappointed!

  1. Unravel Two

Another beautiful game the younger gamers can play is Unravel Two. Small creatures made of yarn and called Yarnys are going on a quest to find a magical spark, lost by two people. During their journey, they help other adorable Yarnys with their tough challenges. Your child may control both little creatures or invite a friend to play for another Yarny.

  1. Stardew Valley

The Stardew Valley is an old farm with overgrown fields and abandoned household. Will your child be able to restore it? The game covers 30 characters living in a community and five different areas, where your kid will practice their farming skills and discover the benefits of slow life in the valley. Your offspring can also invite friends to play and explore the mysterious place together.

  1. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2

Co-written with brilliant comic book author Kurt Busiek, this game will capture your kid's attention. With their favorite Superheroes and their powers, your child will have to fight infamous Villains and surpass challenges. Eighteen amazing different locations will provide an unforgettable gaming experience for small Marvel fans.

Top Five Best Xbox One Games For Kids In 2019

 

 

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The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Volume 2 (N-Z)

Author: Brett Weiss
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Hardcover book
464 full-color pages
Over 375 games covered
MSRP: $49.99

Thank you Schiffer Publishing for sending us this book to review!

As I mentioned in my SNES Omnibus Volume 1 review, I was blessed to grow up as video games did, and played tons of Atari, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and got my Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in what was probably early high school. Based on the release date of Super Mario All-Stars as mentioned in this book, I believe it was 1993.

This book celebrates this generation of gaming by devoting one or two pages to each and every game in the SNES library. This volume covers every game in alphabetical order, starting with ‘Natsume Championship Wrestling’ and ending with ‘Zoop’. I highly recommend you check out Volume 1, as well as this one.

The first few pages include a foreword, where the technical specifications of the SNES are discussed, as well as a brief summary of the competitive landscape surrounding the system’s release. There is also a preface, where the author talks a bit about his love for the SNES, along with his rationale for making the SNES Omnibus series into two books, rather than one. The game compilation itself starts on page 12.

Each page is in full color, with the title, publisher, developer, game type, and release year all notated at the top. Under that is the box art, a picture of the cartridge, and a general description and summary of the game. If it’s particularly good or bad, you might find some commentary there, too. Sometimes they will compare the game with its Sega Genesis counterpart, if there was one. There are also screenshots, and some titles may have promotional art or a picture of an ad as well.

Other than the general overview, each page also includes a ‘Notable Quotable’, which is typically an excerpt from a review, sometimes modern and sometimes classic, or a comment from a famous YouTuber, game developer, or industry veteran. Some games also feature one or more ‘Insider Insight’, which is a story of how that game impacted one of the many contributors. There are eighty-seven people listed as contributors on pages 453-457. Having been recently honored by an entry in the Superstars of 2019 Walter Day Trading Card collection, it was really neat to see other Trading Card holders mentioned in the credits. There are also articles that go in-depth about the Super Game Boy, which is an accessory I treasured since I also loved playing Game Boy games on my TV, and Super Metroid, one of the greatest games of all time. There is also a bibliography.

Reading through this lovingly crafted archive, I was reminded both of the many great games that shaped my adolescence, and also the many that I remember looking at fondly but never having the chance to purchase for myself. I had a job in high school, so I worked for my games – but no kid can afford everything, so something always had to give. Thankfully, I often had great success scouring the used games at my old Blockbuster Video, which no doubt saved me a pretty penny in these early days before GameStop (as FuncoLand was the only used game store around).

A few notable games that I either own or owned, or borrowed from friends which are covered here include:

Pocky & Rocky (big garage sale win!)
Rampart (played at a friend's house as a kid)
Robotrek (love this game!)
Secret of Evermore (recent acquisition!)
Secret of Mana (one of the best games on SNES)
Shadowrun (borrowed from a friend - love this game!)
Soul Blazer (a friend of mine had this game when I was young. If anyone is willing to sell for a reasonable price, please let me know!)
Star Fox
Star Fox 2 (SNES Classic only)
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting (I have so many wonderful memories of this game!)
Super Castlevania IV (SNES Classic/Wii VC)
Super Double Dragon (garage sale find)
Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts (I played this at a friend's house, and now own it on SNES Classic)
Super Mario All-Stars (my SNES came with this and I loved it!)
Super Mario Kart (I love all of the sequels, but this one never really worked for me)
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES Classic only)
Super Mario World (love this game! I got all 96 stars)
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (mind-blowingly good game!)
Super Metroid (one of the best games ever. Borrowed a friend's copy as a kid. I never owned a cart, but I own it now on SNES Classic and Wii VC)
Super 3-D Noah's Ark (Okay, I never played the SNES version, but we reviewed the Steam re-release!)
Super Punch Out!! (borrowed it from a friend as a kid, now own it on the SNES Classic)
Super R-Type (I remember playing this at a friend's house)
Super Scope 6 (never had one, played it once, but it looked really cool!)
Super Star Wars (played at a friend's house, and years later it was a garage sale find!)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (I never owned this, but have good memories playing with friends)
Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety (garage sale find)
Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits (a friend gave me an unopened copy!)
Wing Commander: The Secret Missions (I played a friend's copy. Great game, but even better on PC!)

And, of course, the awesome Super Game Boy, which has a dedicated article about it.

As an aside, many, many games of that era would call themselves 'Super' if they were on the Super Nintendo. If you want proof, pages 228 through 312 all deal with games that start with 'Super'.

This book is an excellent retrospective, and reminded me of several games that I wanted to pick up when I was younger, but never had the chance, as well as some new ones I hadn’t heard of. I had no idea Paladin's Quest was a good game. I had no idea that the NBA Jam games were popular because they were good (I've never been a sports game person). I ended up getting some new-to-me SNES games recently, including Secret of Evermore, thanks to reading more about them in this book. I'm sure my wife is thrilled!

If you want to be tempted to hunt down old games, or simply long to read about more games from arguably the greatest video game console of all time, then you owe it to yourself to check out The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games Volume 2. If you are a collector, or simply love the SNES, then I highly recommend that you pick up this book and its companion volume. It may be pricey, but it’s worth every penny.


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How to launch your indie game in 2019

The gaming world is one of the most popular industries among today’s internet users and technology savvies. Video games are extremely fun and engaging and can take you to a completely different universe.

It is extremely interesting to observe how the graphic design and the functionalities of video games have changed over the last decade. From classic popular games like Pac-Man or Super Mario which used to thrive among gaming enthusiasts many years ago, to VR games. Thanks to technological advancements and the rise of machine learning, game developers have been empowered to create games that take players into an exciting digital world. These days, video games have evolved so much to the point where they offer a complex digital world with a multitude of possibilities for gaming enthusiasts.  

With the developments in the gaming industry, people are spending more and more time on video games, especially when there are thousands of video games out there and thousands more are created every year. Thus, the increasing demand for video game localizations. But, expanding into international markets would require a great deal of effort, particularly if you are an indie game developer. Budget wise, is it feasible to market your product into different languages?

Fret not, there are affordable options to localize your game. You can certainly minimize your spending if you target specific markets that essentially speak the same language—this would be a good start. You can also collaborate with a good translation and localization agency and ask for advice on how to cut back the costs of your game translation and localization needs. This is something most consumers are forgetting, you can always ask them to configure the service in such a way that it would turn into a win-win scenario. With this in mind, it would certainly be wise to localize your game or you might suffer embarrassing setbacks that might affect the playability of your game altogether (this is specifically true for games that are highly dependent on dialogue).

And of course everyone can remember the phenomenal video game translation fail of Zero Wing’s opening cut scene, “all your base are belong to us”, an improper translation turned meme that has entered legendary status, it all worked out for Sega at the time but nowadays mistranslations are just annoying. To avoid these embarrassing mistakes, one must certainly consider game localization services in order to ensure that your game projects its intended meaning. You would not want a twelve year old kid laughing at your blood, sweat and tears would you?

Indie games don’t differ much from startups, you will initially have a tight budget but once you get your dedicated following of game enthusiasts—by utilizing game translation, it will be generally easier to shell out budgets for other necessities. And as someone who grew up mesmerized by in game dialogues it would be a shame to see it foiled by mistranslations.

So, you are a game enthusiast yourself and you have decided to use your passion for gaming and your skills to create your first indie game. Creating and launching your own indie game can be exciting and rewarding. Perhaps not in terms of money, because most indie games are not profitable for developers, but creating a game that becomes popular among gaming lovers will give you a lot of personal satisfaction. Here’s everything you need to know to create a successful game, build your audience, and have a successful launch.  

Know your budget and stick to it

The first thing you need to keep in mind when creating your own indie game is your budget. Whether you have a lot of money to put into the creation of the game or a small budget, you need to know right from the beginning what costs you should expect and how much you can afford to pay.

Depending on your budget, you will be able to gather your team and discuss money. If you are creating the game together with your friends, chances are that you can all agree to be paid after the game is launched and becomes popular. However, if your team will contain employees that you have to pay, you must make sure that your budget allows you to pay for their work comfortably.

Play games to learn

Perhaps the most exciting part of creating your own game is using your passion to do it. So, you are a game enthusiast and love spending hours in front of your computer to enter the digital world of the video game you are playing. However, being a good player doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to create your own game.

When learning about game development, you must see the games you play from a different perspective. Analyze what you like about the games you play, what offers a good user experience, which graphic design is more eye-catching, and perhaps even why you prefer a game over another one. You can use your experience as a gamer to create your own indie game.

Create a unique indie game

The fun part about creating your own indie game is the fact that you can use your previous experience as a gamer, your passion for video games, and your ideas to create a whole new digital universe.

Nowadays, every day you can hear about new games being launched from mobile games to PC and console games. However, while some have very poor graphics and user experience, others can be amazing but they are just a copy of a famous game which has already been launched. Thus, creating a successful indie game can also come to creating a unique one. Don’t be afraid to use your ideas and personal preferences as a gamer to create an indie game that represents you and offers the gaming experience you would like to have with other games.

 

Create a game website

The key to a successful game launch is to start preparing your strategy months before the release date. Your game’s website can be the most important part of your marketing strategy. It will not only be the place where you can update your audience with any information about the development process but it can also help you build a community for your indie game. You should consider hiring a professional outsource web development team to help you create an engaging website for your game. The website should include detailed information about your indie game, a development blog to build a game community, a news section where you can post all updates, your social media accounts, and contacts. The most important thing your website should have is the store section where you can sell your indie game.  

Create an amazing game release video trailer

A promotional video trailer for your indie game can play a huge role in how popular it will become among gaming enthusiasts. It is the first thing that can make people find out about your game and raise their interest in playing it once it is launched.

Your game trailer should have the most eye-catching images, engaging background music, and fast-paced animation all combined.  However, you must pay attention to the length of the video trailer. It shouldn’t be longer than 1 to 2 minutes because it can either bore the viewers or reveal too much information about the game which can decrease their interest in downloading and trying your indie game. The first few seconds from your trailer are the most important ones because they are meant to catch the viewer’s attention. Thus, make sure to include the best information about your indie game at the beginning of the trailer.

 

Capture engaging screenshots

Capturing engaging screenshots from the indie game also plays a huge role in your marketing strategy. The screenshots from your game will be the visual content that you will shave on your social media accounts and website. Those images should be high-resolution and capture the best parts of the story of your game. However, they should never reveal too much information to not make your audience lose their interest.

Choose an eye-catching app icon

The app icon of your indie game is also extremely important in catching your audience’s attention. Moreover, an eye-catching app icon can have a vital role in your App Store listing and optimization which will influence your app’s ranking and discoverability.  

 

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Safety Tips For Parents With Gaming Kids

Gaming has certainly evolved over the last decade.  Kids don’t use their consoles solely for gaming anymore.  An extensive interconnected network of millions of gamers is available for playing any time of the day or night.  

You can talk, text, send emails, send pictures, watch streaming movies/television, play games, and more from the access granted through one gaming console.  This means that parents have a heightened sense of danger, and must pay closer attention to what their kids are doing.  

Make use of the parental controls

Get to know your child’s preferred console.  All modern gaming consoles come equipped with the option of parental controls.  

Dig into the specific options you have for your child’s platform, and set them to your liking.  Here is where you can place a password on purchases from the online game stores, and keep your kids from blowing money without permission. 

Stay interested in what your kid is doing on their console

You can’t maintain full control of your child’s gaming until you really know what it’s all about.  Educate yourself on the various gaming platforms available, and understand what each machine is capable of doing.  

Stay interested in your child’s gaming likes and dislikes.  It’s helpful to be able to connect with your kids on this level, especially if gaming is something they really enjoy.  

Set time boundaries for your gaming kids

You should never just let your kids play video games for twelve hours straight.  It’s not good for their body, and it’s definitely not good for their eyes.  

You can experience vision loss from extensive exposure to screen time.  Use the parental control settings and your own verbal reinforcement to limit your kid’s screen time.  Consider their age and maturity while calculating just how long they can play each day/week.  

Have a conversation about cyberbullying

Your first instinct is likely to teach your kids what to do if someone is bullying them, but it’s important to remember that your kid may be the bully.  Teach them that it’s bad form to verbally abuse their competitors, no matter the setting.  

Gamers can be pretty unforgiving, so keep an open line of communication when it comes to your child’s gaming connections.  Some kids may not be responsible enough to use a headset.  Others are mature enough to be trusted.  Gauge your child before granting them free access.  

Maintain control over game choices 

Play a game before ever allowing your child to play it.  This is the best way to monitor the content your kids are really being exposed to during gameplay.  Use your judgment after playing to decide whether or not your child is mature enough to play the game in question.  




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Unofficial Minecraft Life Hacks Lab for Kids: How to Stay Sharp, Have Fun, Avoid Bullies, and Be the Creative Ruler of Your Universe

Thank you Quarry Books for sending us a review copy!

Minecraft Life Hacks Lab for Kids is a book that teaches kids some things about communication skills, building self-confidence, and much more. It has some stuff to do and build in Minecraft, and some stuff to do in real life.

There are two chapters: Life Hacks: Acquiring Skills and Life Hacks: Applying Skills to Projects. Chapter one teaches children skills (hence the name) like emotional empathy, problem solving, and much more. Chapter two teaches children ways to use those skills. For example, you would make an animated movie in real life, as well as a short film in Minecraft.

This book has twenty-four labs (twelve in each chapter), which are things that you can do. In every chapter, there are 6 in game labs, and 6 labs to do in real life. Most of the things that you have to do in real life have something to do with what you do in-game. As an example, you had to draw a map of a house, and then building the house you drew in Minecraft. It made you build your character as well, and it had you fill it with positive messages to gain self-confidence. A lot of the things you do in Minecraft relate to the real world. It makes you build a farm, but the farm has to be the same style of farm that you can find in the real world. It also had you build a democracy, which was interesting. My favorite thing to do was building a roller coaster that described me. I put lots of work into it, and it turned out very well.

Overall, this book was fun to work on and I loved building some of the things, and then testing to see if they work, and then fixing them if they don't work correctly. The only thing it had wrong was the estimated time that it takes to build something. The book said it would take one to two hours to do something, but I was able to do it in ten to fifteen minutes. Other than that, the book is great and I think that lots of people who enjoy Minecraft should read it and use it as well.


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Wholesome Games That Can Be Enjoyed With Friends And Family

One of the most worrying things about being a gamer in 2019 is the deluge of stereotypes that the gamer community finds itself battling against. Let’s face it, video games (and the people who play them) are no stranger to controversy. From political outcry over violent games like Mortal Kombat and Duke Nukem to the frankly abysmal display of behavior in “Gamergate”, there’s a lot to reinforce the stereotype that so many gamers rail against. No matter how old, well educated and morally centered we may get, no matter how much we may read the Bible and try and lead lives that exemplify Christian values we can still find ourselves tarred with the “stereotypical gamer” brush. The popular image of an antisocial, basement dwelling and aggressively male teenager living out violent or misogynistic fantasies through their games is, tragically, one which still pervades in our popular culture today.

Wholesome Games That Can Be Enjoyed With Friends And Family

This is such a shame as many of us are far from this stereotype. We are nice, socially well adjusted, morally and spiritually sound people. Some of us may see gaming alone as a way to let off steam after a busy and stressful work day. But we also enjoy playing fun and wholesome games with friends and family.

With this in mind, we’re going to look at some fun and wholesome games that everyone in your family and friendship group can enjoy! We’re going to look at a wide range of games so that no matter what your hardware or personal preferences you’ll find something that you, your friends and your family will enjoy playing...

VR Games

What is Virtual Reality? It’s a technology that has fascinated us for decades, allowing software developers to create immersive digital worlds which users can just dive into. While VR lends itself naturally to gaming, it’s currently hard at work in a number of different industries facilitating employee training, creating safe combat simulations for the military and even transforming the way in which we shop. You could be forgiven for thinking that VR gaming is a solitary pursuit, but there are plenty of VR games you can play with friends and family for an experience that, while immersive can bring you together with the people closest to you...

VR Pictionary (Steam VR / Oculus Home)- A technologically advanced spin on a party game classic. It works in exactly the same way as the board game except with VR you can draw with much more artistic license using different brushes, a wide range of colors and even 3D effects. It can be used with Tilt Brush or Quill.

The Playroom VR (PS4)- If you own a Playstation VR set, the good news is that you already have a copy of The Playroom VR. It includes a fun array of mini VR party games which offer a combination of co-operative and competitive games. It’s a great way to get to know the capabilities of VR and enjoy it with special people.

Mass Exodus (XBox One)- A single VR player plays the role of a Seeker, an android tasked with the job of tracking down four rogue robots… That’s where the other players come in. Your friends will have fun confounding the seeker as it searches the factory floor for the mischievous bots.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (multiple platforms)- Ever wondered if you and your loved ones would be able to safely defuse a bomb together? Of course you have! Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a preposterously fun game that puts the VR player in a room with a ticking time bomb… And it’s up to the player’s friends to help them solve the puzzles to disarm it. Clear communication between players is the key to success, making it not just fun to play with friends and family but a potentially awesome team building tool for work or business colleagues.

AR Games

In the age of the cell phone, everybody’s a gamer! Even if you don’t have the time or cash to dedicate to serious hardware, as long as you have a smartphone you can play fun games with friends and family via AR or Augmented Reality. These combine digital elements with the world around you to create experiences that exist in the real world and the game world simultaneously. The Pokemon GO craze that swept the nation a while back was a great example of this. 

Today, of course, everyone’s in on the act. Although the Pokemon game is still as popular as ever, there are many other great AR games that can make for fun activities with friends and family. Jurassic World has its own AR game as does Ghostbusters and now Harry Potter is in on the act with Wizards Unite which encourages players to track down magical creatures in their neighborhood while also solving puzzles and expanding on the mythology of the beloved franchise.  

Don’t feel like tracking down ghosts, dinosaurs or nifflers in your apartment complex? How about raising a virtual pet with My Tamagotchi Forever. That’s right, the beloved cyber pet of the late ‘90s is back and cuter than ever. You can work with friends to keep your Tamagotchi happy and healthy or compare your virtual pets with others’.

Co-Op Games

I don’t know about you guys, but for me when it comes to family friendly co-op games, anything with Lego is a win. The licensed Lego games (starting with Lego Star Wars back in 2005 are just bursting at the seams with fun challenges and their own idiosyncratic charm. There are many, many franchises that have been given the Lego treatment from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to DC and Marvel Superheroes to Indiana Jones and, of course, more Star Wars games than you can wave a lightsaber at! They’re easy and intuitive to pick up yet hard to master. Your four year old can play them while your forty year old friends can really sink their teeth into some of the games’ meatier puzzles and collection challenges.

Speaking of cute, lovable things. We can’t have a conversation about couch co-op without mentioning LittleBigPlanet 3. Ostensibly a simple yet satisfying platform game, it takes on a whole new dimension when playing with friends and family. You can create and explore one another’s levels, download levels made by other users around the world and work together to navigate them. All with an infinitely endearing art style that people of all ages will love. 

If, however, you like this dynamic but would prefer to move it to a more familiar environment, look no further than Super Mario Maker 2 which was just released last month on the Nintendo Switch. You can design levels in the familiar multicolored mushroom-centric universe and watch your friends navigate them or download one of the millions of levels which have already been created by gamers all over the world. 

Competitive Games

As fun as it is playing collaboratively with your friends, your loved one or your spouse… let’s face it, sometimes you just want to prove who’s best. The trouble is that the majority of competitive games are off-puttingly violent for some or at the very least less than appropriate for younger members of the family.

The good news is that there are a great many competitive games that eschew violence for family friendly fun. Needless to say, Mario Kart is always a win! Even those who don’t usually enjoy racing games can’t deny the charm of racing adorable characters from the Mario-verse (or their own Mii characters) around on little buggies across a wide range of tracks taken from various eras of the wider Nintendo Universe. While ostensibly a fighting game Super Smash Bros. is a more family-friendly button basher which is also a cornucopia of Nintendo references and easter eggs which devotees of the Nintendo brand will get a huge kick out of. Ever wanted to see Ryu from Street Fighter mix it up with Sonic the Hedgehog and Pikachu?

Looking for something with the gameplay mechanics of a shoot ‘em up but without the violence so that kids can enjoy it? You should definitely get to know Splatoon. It offers all the fun of firing paint guns at your loved ones… Without the humongous dry cleaning bill.

Puzzle Games

What could be a better way to bind with friends and family than by pumping some neurons together? Puzzle games are a great way to keep your mind sharp, and there are many that you can enjoy with other players, too!

Fans of PC and PSOne classic Myst will get a huge kick out of The Witness on PS4 which similarly dunks you in a digital world and forces you to use your problem solving skills to navigate it. It’s definitely too big a challenge for just one brain.

Or if you like your gaming worlds more retro flavored you could do worse than check out Fez, a NES-era inspired puzzle platformer that the whole family can enjoy.

Who said that gaming had to be an unhealthy, unwholesome and antisocial activity? 

 

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What are the Best Games For Teenagers?

It’s little wonder than the average age of a gamer is 33. They were coming to age just as video games really began to take off, and once they were on the hook, it was unlikely that they were going to stop. After all, games have just continued to get better and better, and in many ways, they’re “better” for people than watching TV shows and movies, which are passive experiences. When it comes to gaming, they’re involved every step of the way. Studies have shown that gaming can also have a positive impact on teenagers, especially older teenagers, as it develops their cognitive abilities, and, despite what people think, their social skills too -- they’re rarely playing by themselves, after all.

If you’ve got a teenager of your own, or are indeed a teenager yourself, then take read below, where we outline some of the best types of games for this age bracket. 


All Things Sport

It’s true that children should be spending more time in the outdoors than they currently do. It seems like when we were younger, we were always outside -- but times have changed. Even though crime is lower than what it was in decades past (it’s practically at an all-time low), perception of crime has gone up. And that’s what counts to parents. So if teenagers aren’t able to go out and play sports with their friends anymore, then they should at least be able to play them at home (and also with their friends). Get your child the latest soccer, basketball, or NFL game, and you’ll be keeping your child interested in sport, and they’ll be more likely to play when they’re older.

On the Roads

Everyone says that being a teenager is all fun and games, but it’s really not. For starters, you’re not able to do anything by yourself. You’re under your parent’s control, and you can’t even drive (or if you can, you probably don’t have a set of wheels). If gaming is about feeding the imagination, then look at introducing your teenager to some driving games. There’s a lot of fun to be had by playing drift hunters, for example. They’ll love being in control of the vehicles that are available in the game, even if they’re not yet old enough to have one in real life. In fact, that might make the game even more enjoyable for them!

Hollywood Goodness

There’s nothing that captures the imagination like a trip to the cinema. You’re transported into a magical, Hollywood-sprinkled world, one that is hard to resist. If you see a movie that you love, then it can be a bit of a buzzkill to leave and return to everyday life, can’t it? In this day and age, though, the magic can just keep on coming. If a movie is at all magical, you can rest assured that there’s a game that’s based on the movie. There are Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Spider-Man games and much more than you can play. The out and out best has to be Lego Star Wars, however. It’s just super fun for teenagers (and, come to think of it, the whole family). 

Raising their own Family

What better way to prepare teenagers for the trials and tribulations of adult life than by...letting them play a game where you look after a family, and there are zero consequences? OK, The Sims might not really be all that relevant when it comes to actual parenting responsibilities, but it is fun. And the positive sides of the games seem to go beyond just what’s enjoyable -- there’s an element of elevated thought processes that are involved in the game too. There aren’t too many games where you get to create your own world from scratch.

In the Warzone

There has been a lot of negative talk about the use of weapons in video games, and some of it is justified. Grand Theft Auto, for example, isn’t right for kids -- it paints a terrible picture of violence. But that doesn’t mean that anything with a gun is wrong. Take war games, for example. They’ve probably had a more positive impact on teenager’s understanding of violence than people give credit for. There’s a storyline and honor and respect for the military in these video games -- and these are things that some teenagers are lacking in. 

Conclusion

Virtually every game can be fun when you’re a teenager, but the ones above are the best. If you’ve got to buy a birthday present soon, try one of these! 



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How Board Games Help Your Brain?

brain

Games played on a surface or board with counters or pieces are made to move around that board which contains some pre-marked areas according to some rules are known as board games.

Board games are of different types and have various genres. They have been quite popular among youngsters. Such games are often entertained in Evening or House parties. Board Games Land provides detailed information on such games.

Board games cover a wide range; beginning from basic childhood games such as Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly to thought-provoking games such as Chess to adult games such as Splendor, Dixit, etc. Thus board games are made eligible and entertaining for all ages. Apart from just fun board games do carry other values too and the majors are given below:

  1. Fun value

Playing board games brings forth fun and lightheartedness amongst the sordid realities of life. It helps avoid boredom and act as a means to cut off time.

  1. Lower blood pressure

It helps release endorphins that help to relax muscle thus keeping up a good blood circulation which in turn helps the blood pressure to be low.

  1. Stress reliever

It acts as a healthy distraction. It is the best way to sit back and relax because it brings about happiness which results in lowering down the stress level.

  1. Brings laughter

Board games promote the secretion of endorphins also known as ‘happy cells’ that helps bring about laughter and causes happiness. 

  1. Therapy treatment

These types of games help improve motor skills and used as a treatment of trauma, coordination, nerve functions, etc. It can be used both for children, adults, recovering patients, etc.

  1. Strengthens immunity

Negativity and stress inhibit the strength to fight diseases, thus positive thoughts and enjoyment which come along with board games release certain chemicals which boosts up one’s immunity. Board games also give rise to survival genes which gets activated and help brain cells live longer.

  1. Reduces the risk of mental diseases

These types of games reduce the tendency of cognitive dissonance that is a cognitive ability which becomes the cause for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Board games keep the brain working smoothly and cognitive functions lubricated, declining the risk of such diseases 

  1. More active

Board games help speed up the responses in day-to-day life issues. It helps in quick judgement, immediate responses and targeting locations, etc.

  1. Strong memory

Board games help development hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, thus it helps memory formation and complex thought process to enhance.

  1. Child development

It enhances the development of a child in many ways. Starting from logical and reasoning skills; critical thinking it ranges up to spatial reasoning, communication and verbal skills, ability to concentrate, focus, etc. Hence, it helps in shaping the personality of a child.

  1. Increases patience

It helps to set a winning target thus building up strategy and be patient at times of failures which happens easily in a playful environment.

  1. Increases intimacy

It brings together strangers, old friends as a team or help in the familial bonds that may have been weakened.

Conclusion:

In this world where all are heading for monetary luxury and becoming digitalized in all fields including gaming and entertainment, board games maybe unknowingly but do play a very important role. It also helps build self – confidence and develop a sense of creativity too. At times it isn’t possible for kids to go out and play on the grounds or for adults to go for a walk but they can, of course, play board games at regular intervals.

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Between Earth and Sky (Music from "Chrono Trigger")

Between Earth and Sky (Music from "Chrono Trigger")
By Julia Henderson
Published by: Materia Collective
Julia Henderson: Producer, Arranger, Lyricist, Vocals, Mix Engineer
Alejandro Hernández: Mastering Engineer
Lorenzo de Sequera: Album Art

Thank you Materia Collective for sending us this album on MP3 to review!

Chrono Trigger is one of those rare games that actually deserves all of the unbridled praise that it gets. It was also a capstone on the total domination by the 1990s Squaresoft during the Super Nintendo era of RPGs, and is an absolute classic still worth playing today. One of the many ways in which Chrono Trigger excelled was in its music.

It's funny; during this era, Nobuo Uematsu was king of the Final Fantasy music empire, and while he did contribute to Chrono Trigger's soundtrack, the majority of the truly memorable tracks came not from him, but from Yasunori Mitsuda's excellent compositions. It is from these that Julia Henderson takes her inspiration in the development of this album.

It is only six tracks, and just over twenty-three and a half minutes long. Thankfully, the price is quite reasonable at only $5 on Bandcamp; at that price, it's well worth it.

Memories of Green is music you hear early in the game and is a perfect song for the first track. It's the overworld song from 1000 A.D., which is where you start. It's also mellow and has a mysterious mood. Julia does a great job on the synthesizer and flute, but her voice, where she adds vocals to an otherwise instrumental piece, is remarkably good. Her voice is hauntingly beautiful, in an appropriate way. The other artists who join in, on the violin and clarinet, all come together to make a beautiful piece.

The next track is Battle with Magus, which has always been my favorite track in the game. The titular character is also one of my favorites. This one starts off slow and quickly ramps up into the heaviest song on this collection (and rightfully so). It's a lot of fun, and has no words but plenty of vocals to act as instruments in their own right. It is an excellent homage to an excellent song.

Corridors of Time is once again more mellow, with piano, and Julia's beautiful voice once again anchoring the song. It goes into a bit more later in the song, adding bass and guitar. It does a good job keeping the tone of the original in this arrangement.

After this is Schala's Theme, which is a critical song that sets the tone for a very important part of the game. Here, Julia once again sings along, this time with an oboe and violin. It's another beautiful song, and I enjoy it quite a bit.

Wings That Cross Time is the second-to-last song on this album, and probably the most thematically unique. Rather than being orchestral like most of the other tracks, it's played in a smooth jazz arrangement. It makes sense, as the song is much more melancholy in-game as well. Julia sings quite a bit, but with few actual words, instead relying on phonetic sounds that fit the moment of the song. I like it, but it probably departs from the source material the most of the songs in this album.

The final track, World Revolution, is frankly a must-include song in any Chrono Trigger sampler, and this most certainly does not disappoint. It is the final boss music and a glorious rendition at that. It is complete with heavy synthesizers, vocals, and a solid horn section to bring it home. And a flute is called upon when needed also. This song sticks quite closely to the source material for the first half, then lets you down gently as the song wraps up.

This short album does an excellent job of picking up arguably the six most important songs in all of Chrono Trigger and giving them the most lovingly inspired arrangements I could have imagined. I normally am not a fan of vocal arrangements in general, as I mostly prefer instrumental music, but they did as good of a job as anyone could have with these six songs. The production quality is also excellent; despite them being MP3s, I found the sound to be quite good. I imagine the FLACs available at Bandcamp would sound even better. I also love how each song flows, one into the next - while they can be enjoyed in a shuffle fashion, I would strongly discourage that; this is a short album, and should be listened to in one sitting, consecutively. And when you do, your love for one of the best games of all time may come rushing back to you.

Bravo, Julia Henderson. Bravo. If you love Chrono Trigger as I do, do yourself a favor and check out this fantastic album here.


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Can Undertaking Video Game Translation as You Play Add to the Gaming Experience?

Perfecting your translation and language skills needn't be a bore. With the right approach, it can even be fun! Video games offer a terrific opportunity to hone your proficiency in another tongue while taking part in some healthy competition. Additionally, there are so many genres to choose from and devices to use for gaming that nearly anyone can find something to capture their interest. When you find something that you enjoy, playing it in order to practise your second language will hardly seem like learning at all.

What Are the Advantages of Video Game Translation?

Aside from the obvious reason that improving your video game translation prowess will give you a competitive edge, there is another reason to take part in this enriching experience.

Both the gaming and translation industries are growing by leaps and bounds. The market for video games is expected to be worth around 90 billion dollars by 2020. Further, annual spending on professional translation services is expected to reach over 56 billion dollars by 2021. If you have ever considered a career in mobile and video game translation or even app translation, there has never been a better time than now.

Understanding Video Game Localization

Gaming provides an atmosphere of learning that is dynamic. When you are playing, you become immersed in what you are seeing and hearing. This hyperawareness of your surroundings within a game can help you learn localization skills quickly.

Games that are based in other cultures, for example, will incorporate regional landmarks, symbols, street signs, and other visual details that might typically be overlooked. Localization services work hard to make these as realistic as possible. These seemingly small inclusions taking place in the background offer an excellent opportunity to perfect your localization skills by taking note of them.

Additionally, many app localization professionals and game developers have created different versions of popular games to reach across global boundaries. Spotting these features can be a game in itself. Are you eagle-eyed enough to pick up on any differences between two different versions of the same game? This is particularly fun for unearthing the use of colloquialisms in different languages.

Gaming Is Motivating to Language Learners

Some people value competition more than others, but for some reason, nearly everyone enjoys the sense of satisfaction that moving up to the next level brings. This dopamine rush that seems to be a universal experience among gamers is one of the best learning tools at your disposable.

When you become involved in a game you are really interested in, you naturally want to understand what is happening so you can progress. This determination can potentially drive language learning faster than any other method. It's like being dropped off in a foreign country with nobody who speaks your language.

To survive, you need to develop skills and understanding quickly by learning some basic words and symbols. It is likely that you will instinctively gravitate to someone you can communicate with (even on the most rudimentary level) who will help you understand things better. This brings us to another essential part of the gaming experience: communication.

Basic Communication Will Make You a Better Translator

Communication is the fastest way to improve your translation skills in gaming and nowhere is this more obvious than in massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMO's). These games are dependent on communication with other players from all over the world.

What's more, players are so involved in trying to beat specific parameters that learning takes place super-fast. Communication happens in real time, so there are not a lot of opportunities to stop and think about what you want to say and how you should say it. Also, because of its anonymous nature, interacting in the virtual world removes a layer of self-consciousness in even the shyest and most introverted people.

Making mistakes in the chat box is no big deal, and the sense of camaraderie that develops among players is one of the most critical aspects of this type of gaming. The negotiations that take place offer a kind of shared experience that is unique to gaming. Not only does this make you a better gamer, but it helps you to meet people who will help you be a better translator. Your language skills will stay fresh, and you will probably learn a lot of the jargon and slang of your second tongue in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take.

Gaming and Language-learning: Conclusion

Gaming is one of the most efficient and enjoyable ways of immersing yourself in a new language. It offers the ability to fast-track your learning while giving you a broad overview of the nuances of a different culture.

If you intend to make translation a career choice, the opportunities available in app strip translation, app description translation, and mobile and video game translation are abundant. The entire virtual world is at your fingertips.

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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