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Cheryl Gress Editor-in-Chief

Married to IBJamon since 1999. Spawned two girls and a boy.

Learning from Failure

Learning from Failure

We’ve been streaming games often but irregularly for a while. We’ve met the requirements for Twitch Affiliation and are blessed with over 1133 followers and 7 subscribers as I’m writing this. We really appreciate those who drop by and chat with us on our streams and support our ministry, Thank you!

For the past few months, I’ve been a member of a steaming site that promotes various streams and encourages their members to watch streams from their community. It’s a give and take system. By using this service our viewership and membership grew but the community wasn’t very active. Not many of the members of this site speak English so they couldn't understand what I was saying or read the game's dialogue.

Upon reaching the streaming hours and viewership numbers, I was given the opportunity to apply for Twitch partnership. While waiting for the approval process I was trying to stream when I could guarantee I could get the viewer count high enough to maintain the requirements.

Twitch did not approve our partnership application, and rightfully so. Our community is lacking and I want to focus on that moving forward instead of viewer count. Additionally, I would like to involve our Twitch followers in choosing what games we play and stream. If we get enough subscribers, I would like to be able to purchase and stream community selected AAA titles that are not sent to us to review.  Here's the link to out Twitch channel.

I would also like to get to know and support other streamers by participating in more raids and hosting of channels. Sticking with a regular streaming schedule will be another priority. I’ll lean towards evenings so I can still enjoy the nice weather and walk my dog several times a day before the bugs come out.

By not having to focus on channel viewers and requirements, a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I look forward to just playing and enjoying games while chatting with those who hop onto our channel. Again, we appreciate your support and company!

We have a couple of Jackbox titles to review and would love to host a family game night. Anyone care to join us and assist in the reviewing process? If this takes off, maybe we can schedule a regular family gaming night.

I hope these are steps in the right direction. Please share any and all feedback, we’re all ears!  

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Latest Offerings from Penny Arcade!

Thank you Penny Arcade for sending us some nice gaming gear!

Penny Arcade has been around for a while and I am most familiar with their comics. They also have a huge forum, games, shows, podcasts, and a cool shop! We were recently sent some swag that we did an unboxing for.

Their featured item is the Animal Crossing New Horizons pin set. This $30 set of four pins includes Tom Nook, his two pupils Timmy and Tommy, KK Slider, and Isabella. If you’re a fan of this popular series, these 1.5” tall pins are super cute and sure to brighten your day!

The canvas WASD tote bag is pretty spacious at 20” wide, 15” tall, and 5” deep. The fabric handles seem pretty sturdy, but I’ll have to do some grocery store testing when they allow us to use environmentally friendly bags again. There’s a zippered pouch or extra inventory slot on the inside of this tote bag.

We were also sent The Legend of Zelda Retro Lanyard which sells for $10. The rupees, swords, keys, shields, bows, hearts, potions, compasses, and flutes on it are sure to bring back many positive memories. It’s dual sided with red and blue variants. To go along with the Zelda themed lanyard, we were also sent Link and Zelda Triforce pins that measure at 1.75” and sell for $15 apiece.

The final item sent our way is the Grey Video Games Crewneck Sweatshirt. It’s so soft inside and I can’t wait to wear it, but it’s currently 90s this week so I’ll have to hold off until the fall. This $45 sweatshirt is an 8 oz. cotton polyester blend with raglan sleeves and extra-thick print. It sports a Penny Arcade tag on the bottom too.

If you’re in the market for Geeky goodies, be sure to check out Penny-Arcade.com. I noticed they also sell pride and pronoun pins if you’re interested in sharing your sexual orientation and/or preferred pronouns with random strangers.

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Negative Reviews Happen

At Christ Centered Gamer we get sent a lot of games to review and have an impressive backlog as a result. Some of them we ask for, but many games show up in our Inbox unexpectedly. We love working with indie developers to help them promote their otherwise overlooked labors of love. For the most part, we enjoy playing the games sent to us. According to our Steam Curator page the majority of our reviews are positive.

Every year, we release a Christmas Buying Guide, which highlights current games that are both fun and family-friendly. Quite frankly, this is not an easy task. It’s easy to find games that meet one criteria, but both takes some serious effort. Violence, language, sexual, and occult content are prevalent in many games. Those are usually the titles that get talked about the most at game shows. Other games can be played in front of children, your pastor, or grandparents without offending them. Sadly, those types of games are usually not very fun to begin with.

Before we implemented our dual score system, we used an average score which often propped up Christian and family-friendly games while overly chastising games that are Teen or Mature. While our current scoring system is not perfect, it does a pretty good job.

One of our recent reviews, Starclaw: Battle of StarSpace Nebula, scored well morally, but fell flat when it came down to the game/fun factor score. The developer did not take this review lightly and filed a copyright/slander case against us on Google. More on that later! As reviewers, we really do want to enjoy our time with games, but that’s not always the case. Even still, we try to find the positives and aim to offer constructive criticism for the developers to work with to improve their current and/or future games. If a game is patched, we’re willing to take another look at it to verify that the issues have been addressed and will add a blurb in the review. Per our Code of Ethics we will not remove negative reviews or alter them for financial gain.

Reviews are opinions, which everyone has their own. We have comments open on our reviews where people can share things they agree or disagree with us on as long as their language is kid-friendly. When we were threatened with a copyright infringement claim and ordered to remove our review and Twitter post, we pushed back and defended our First Amendment right of free speech.

I want to thank our Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter users who have supported us through this ordeal. It was never our intention to disgrace or ruin this developer, but we have the right to express our honest opinions on the games we review. Doing otherwise would be lying (Exodus 20:16) and betraying our readers. As of this post, there have been multiple articles and several YouTube videos covering this ordeal.

I hope and pray that the developer has learned not to abuse the DMCA and to take this experience to heart for his future projects. He did post a public apology. I hope that he finds forgiveness and redemption as the Internet can be a harsh place to learn life lessons. I also hope that his future projects are a success. We have enough anger and violence these days. I encourage everyone to read and apply Proverbs 10:12 which states “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”

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In the Garden: An Illustrated Guide to the Plants of the Bible

In the Garden: An Illustrated Guide to the Plants of the Bible

Thank you Karen Campbell Media for sending us this book to review!

On the third day of creation, God created plants, trees, and kinds of vegetation. The Bible is full of references to various trees, plants, and flowers. In The Garden provides Biblical references, useful information, and beautiful water color illustrations to all of the plant life mentioned in the Bible.

This hard cover, 128-page book is broken down into four sections: Trees & Shrubs, Edible Plants, Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, and Flowers. There is also a guide on how to grow your own Biblically inspired garden, a calendar of Jewish growing seasons, an index of plants, and an index of scripture references.

In the tree section, I found it helpful that Noah’s Ark was made from acacia wood or shittim as it’s referred to in scripture. While it’s hard to pinpoint the exact plant used to make Jesus’ crown of thorns, the author suggests that it may have been made from Sarcopeterium spinosum, which was readily available in Rome and quite malleable.

When it comes to edible plants, I had no idea that barley is valued at a third of wheat. The young boy’s provisions of fish and barley loaves were meager, but fed thousands that were listening to Jesus’ message! Plants like spikenard, which was imported from India were quite costly. This was the base of the ointment used by Mary to wash Jesus’ feet.

Myrrh gets a double mention as the New Testament version is most likely Commiphora. It’s interesting to note how Christ’s life began (Matt 2:11) and ended (Mark 15:23) with Myrrh. When Jesus was offered the vinegar mingled with gall, he turned down an opioid painkiller. It’s quite humbling to know that Christ carried our sins without any physical or spiritual help.

Saffron is mentioned in Song of Solomon. It’s still an expensive spice and now I know why. It takes four thousand blossoms to make one ounce of saffron!

Though many of the plants mentioned are specific to Israel with its rocky ground and two seasons, some of them can handle our four season calendar year and climate changes. The Biblically inspired garden guide is quite helpful in recommending hearty plants that can remind us of their Biblical roots. If you know anyone with a green thumb, I’m sure they’ll find this $13.99 book fascinating.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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One Beat Angel FFVII

One Beat Angel

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

My husband and I are fans of the Final Fantasy games and music. We have attended multiple live orchestral performances and own several Distant World and Black Mages/Earthbound Papas CDs. When I played and beat Final Fantasy VII on PC, I swapped out many of the original game songs to the Black Mages versions. By doing so, I made a great game even better! Before going any further, I must admit that I have not played the remake. With many gamers playing the remake and enjoying its music, it only makes sense to release an enhanced version of the soundtrack. Roborob delivers a nice selection of songs from this epic game in One Beat Angel FFVII.

I enjoyed and reviewed Roborob’s Kingdom Hearts remake album, Kingdom Heartbeats. I recognized many of the tracks but it’s been a while since I played a Kingdom Hearts game so I’m not as familiar with the music from that series. Since I’m a fan of Roborob and Final Fantasy VII, I jumped at the change to review One Beat Angel. For the most part, I have no regrets. While this is an enjoyable 11-track album, I prefer the original and Black Mages versions over this.

Just like the Final Fantasy games, this album opens up with a spruced-up version of the prelude song which is quite fitting. The second track Fight On! Takes the iconic battle song to a new level. If you’ve won a battle in a Final Fantasy game, you’ll recognize the Victory Fanfare song. The Mako Reactor song is instantly recognizable even with the dubstep additions. Who Are You is also given an electronic dance music facelift in this album.

With the album called One Beat Angel, it should come as no surprise that One-Winged Angel is overhauled as well. Aerith’s theme is probably my least favorite song on this albumn since it’s not recognizable until the very end. On the flipside, the peppy Chocobo Theme doesn’t stray too far from the original score. On That Day Five Years Ago brings the seriousness back with some nice beats. Roborob’s rendition of Cosmo Canyon is decent, but I have to give the nod to Pandoh’s dubstep version. The finale song, JENOVA does not disappoint and brings this entertaining album to a close.

You can purchase a digital version from Bandcamp for $10 or physically for $15. The MP3 album is also available on Amazon for $8.99. If you’re a fan of Final Fantasy VII and dance music, it’s worth checking out!


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Field of Hopes and Strings

Field of Hopes and Strings

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

Deltarune Chapter 1 is a free spiritual successor to Undertale. Toby Fox has worked his magic again by producing a fun game with good humor and an excellent soundtrack. In turn, String Player Gamer did an awesome job sprucing up the soundtrack in a fourteen-song collection called Field of Hopes and Strings which is a play on Deltarune’s theme song, Field of Hopes and Dreams. Both Fields of Hopes and Strings and the original soundtrack are available on BandCamp.com for $7 each.

Fields of Hopes and Strings is about forty minutes in length and has a nice sampling of songs from the OST which contains forty tracks. Many of the omitted songs are less than thirty seconds long. The symphonic metal styling of the chosen songs is superb and fans of Toby Fox and Deltarune should give this album a listen.

Here’s a breakdown of the track list:

1. Fanfare 0:13
2. The Legend 1:55
3. Field of Hopes and Dreams 3:22
4. Chaos King 3:36
5. Scarlet Forest 4:46
6. Empty Town 2:12
7. Friendship 3:23
8. Lancer 3:39
9. The World Revolving 3:26
10. VS Susie 2:38
11. Rude Buster 3:32
12. Darkness Falls 3:29
13. Before the Story 4:31
14. Don’t Forget 1:31

Many of the tracks are longer than the originals and the violin and guitar playing is top notch as usual. Lancer’s theme song went from 48 seconds to more than three and a half minutes long in this album. The credits song, Don’t Forget has the vocals performed by TeraCMusic.

I can’t wait for the next installment of the Deltrarune series. Until then, I’ve got some lovely music to listen to. Keep up the great work Toby Fox and String Player Gamer!


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Think Like a Dog

Think Like a Dog

Thank you Lionsgate for sending us a screener to review!

Oliver is a twelve-year-old genius whose parents are considering separating. To comfort him in these difficult times is his dog, Henry. Oliver also has a friend Xiao, in China, who plays online VR games with him. Xiao is also quite smart and is an accomplished hacker.

At this year’s science fair, Oliver shows off his mind-reading device. A fictional technology tycoon named Mr. Mills is in the audience and Oliver wants to make a good impression on him. Although the experiment didn’t go as planned, Mr. Mills (Kunal Nayyar) is impressed with Oliver's work and sees potential in it. At home, Oliver fine-tunes his project and with the help of a friend, hijacks a satellite to give the mind-reading device enough power. This move doesn’t go unnoticed by government officials. The project is a success and Oliver can hear his dog’s thoughts while wearing a special collar.

As it turns out, Henry is quite smart, talkative, and funny. Henry’s simple views on life are quite insightful and may help in repairing Oliver’s parents' marriage. There’s a school dance coming up and Oliver needs to work up the courage to ask his crush to the dance. The rest of Henry’s plans to rekindle Oliver’s parents’ romance revolves around them being at the school dance to hear their wedding song.

Oliver's date doesn’t go as planned, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a happy ending. You’ll have to see this 91-minute film for yourself. It’s pretty family-friendly and contained an OMG. I don’t recall any other language other than Oliver being told several times throughout the film that he needed to “grow a pair.” If you like movies where animals talk, you’ll probably enjoy this film. It’s just as corny as the rest of them.


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Canmixs Smart Watch

Canmixs Smart Watch

Thank you Canmixs for sending us this product to review!

I’ve been using a Garmin Vivofit 2 for the past few years. I like the step counting and prodding to get moving when I’ve been sitting still for too long. The Vivofit 2 also monitors my sleep, calorie burning, and menstrual cycle through the accompanying Android app. The Canmixs Smart Watch can do all of that and more for under $50.

The app is downloaded through a QR code in the instruction manual. For what it’s worth, my phone still scanned as virus free after installing this unsigned app. In order to unlock menstrual/ovulation cycle tracking, you’ll have to specify your gender as female in the app.

The build quality is nice and the soft rubber wrist straps are comfortable with plenty of size settings. I did find the metal clasp a little uncomfortable as it pressed into my wrist when typing. The 60g weight is noticeable, but not uncomfortable. The proprietary USB magnetic charging cable works nicely, I’m not sure how easy it will be to replace so I hope it doesn’t get damaged or lost.

There are a few watch faces to choose from, so that’s nice. I like the 240x240px watch face; it’s bright and easy to read. The ability to get SMS, Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail notifications is nice. I’m not sure why, but the Bluetooth connection would often break and I had to reconnect it through the app multiple times a day. The ability to remotely snap a picture is nice.

An option to disable the vibrating or enabling a "Do Not Disturb" mode would be nice for uninterrupted sleep. Sure, you can charge it at night, but then it wouldn't monitor your quality of sleep.

The IP67 waterproof rating is a bit contradictory on the Amazon product page. The IP67 rating states that the device can be dropped into a meter of water for up to thirty minutes. There’s a picture of a man in a pool wearing the watch with a disclaimer saying “Note: Never let it contact with water.” I have showered while wearing the watch and it still works.

I noticed some discrepancies with the step counting, heart rate tracking, and blood pressure monitoring. When I went for a walk with the Canmixs on my left wrist and the Vivofit 2 on my right wrist the step count of the Canmixs was 695 steps higher than the Vivofit 2. After doing a Ring Fit Adventure workout, my Switch Joy-Con said my heart rate was 91 while the watch said it was only 76. Given that the measurement was taken right after a workout, I would believe the Joy-Con measurement. For measuring my blood pressure I’m going to have to trust the reading of our Omron device which read at 110/56 compared to the watch’s reading of 138/92. My blood pressure has always been on the lower side.

In the end, it’s a nice watch for the price, but I’d take the measurements with a grain of salt.


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The Road to Edmond

Thank you Tripp Fuller for sending us a screener link to review!

The Road to Edmond was released in 2018, but now it’s available to watch on Amazon Prime for free. The movie begins with a young youth pastor named Cleo who is forced to take a 2-week sabbatical for telling one of his students that God loves her just as she is when she came out as gay. Cleo’s stance of acceptance goes against his church’s doctrine and that’s why he’s being reprimanded.

Not sure of what he did wrong, Cleo decides to clear his head by packing some camping gear and heading out on his vintage Schwinn bike without a particular destination in mind. On a rest stop, Cleo declines the advances of a lady, and later witnesses his bike getting ran over. The guy who ran over the bike is named Larry and he’s on a road trip with his father’s ashes. Without any better transportation options, Cleo decides to join along for the ride.

Please note that the rest of this post contains spoilers.

Larry is very talkative and tries to cheer up Cleo with crude humor and insightful questions. Having a religious background, Larry asks Cleo for his “Jesus Pitch” and it’s not very convincing. In fact, Cleo’s faith is shaky and on the road trip Larry gets him to swear, drink, and try marijuana. They even go to a gay wedding.

Though the movie praises Cleo for being accepting and open-minded, I found it sad that it depicts a youth pastor becoming corrupted with worldly ideas instead of Biblical truths. God loves you the person no matter what, but your sins against Him are repulsive. Sure, God loves someone with homosexual temptations who resists to do His will instead, but when you fall prey to them, you spit in His face.

Because of the sexual humor and foul language, I don’t recommend this movie for younger audiences. Evangelical Christians won’t like the message. People who celebrate pride month will probably enjoy this film though.


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Jason Gress
I was the other one to watch this screener with my wife, Cheryl. (We watch most movies together.) Whether intentional or not, th... Read More
Sunday, 17 May 2020 11:50
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Financial Uncertainty From COVID-19 and How You Can Help!

Financial Uncertainty From COVID-19 And How You Can Help!

Many jobs and companies are being impacted by this pandemic. Lord knows how many businesses will be able to re-open after COVID-19! Though we have seen some drops in Patreon and donations, we’re still doing okay financially. Since many large audience venues are canceled, we don’t anticipate doing any more conventions this year. Considering that the church that supports us financially is under severe financial strain, we should brace for the possibility that we’ll be losing funding from them. We need to conserve our funds to cover website hosting, upcoming console releases, and paid reviews.

On a positive note, we have had more time to play games and have been chipping away at our enormous backlog! We have been doing lots of streams and have been adding videos to YouTube on a regular basis. Though we have been putting more work into the site, we don’t see much for it financially since we don’t have thousands/millions of subscribers. If you don’t follow us on YouTube yet, please consider doing so! As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, we’re transparent about our finances - http://www.christcenteredgamer.org/2020-finances/.

We’re now Twitch affiliates which allows people to subscribe to and support our streams for $4.99/month. Did you know that there’s a way to subscribe to us on Twitch for free? If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get many Twitch benefits for free including new games every month. Check out https://twitch.amazon.com/tp If you don’t have a Twitch account, you should get one!

If you’re an Amazon Prime and Twitch member, would you consider using your free Twitch Prime subscription to support our ministry? Just go to https://www.twitch.tv/christcenteredgamer and click on the purple Subscribe button that has a crown on it.

Another free way to support us would be to use our Amazon smile link - https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-3233632
If you’re in the market for digital PC games, we have a Humble Bundle link that gives a % back to us without any additional cost to you! https://www.humblebundle.com/store?charity=76005

Thank you for your support in these troubling times. Stay safe and remember that God is still in control!

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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I Still Believe

I Still Believe

Thank you Lionsgate for sending us a digital screener to review!

I Still Believe is based on the true story of Jeremy Camp’s college days before he became a popular Christian artist who sold five million CDs. This film was supposed to be released in theaters on March 13, 2020, but those plans were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Christians and fans of Jeremy Camp’s music can support this film by renting a premium video on demand on sites like Amazon for $19.99. The digital rentals are good for 48 hours.

This film has a star-studded cast including Gary Sinese and Shania Twain as Jeremy’s parents. Jeremy Camp is played by KJ Apa who does not lip-sync, but puts his own spin on the popular Christian hits sung throughout the movie. I must confess that I’m not familiar with Mr. Camp’s music (despite owning a CD!) so none of the songs performed in it sounded familiar to me. It’s really fascinating knowing the inspiration of two of his hit songs “I Still Believe”, and "Walk by Faith”.

The events in the movie are based loosely on Jeremy Camp’s written biography, I Still Believe. Some artistic liberties have been taken. In the film, the love triangle is between Michelle Henning, Jeremy Camp, and his musical mentor, Jean-Luc La Joie. In reality, the love triangle was with a friend from Jeremy’s Bible study instead.

Without giving away too much of the story, this movie depicts the genuineness of Jeremy’s faith in God and love for his on-and-off again girlfriend who eventually became his wife despite her health issues. It’s amazing how God uses people and how miracles still happen. This film is pretty family-friendly though some blood is shown.

I recommend checking out this film that will certainly pull at your heartstrings. It’s a shame that it didn’t debut in the theaters, but you can still enjoy it if you have high-speed internet.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Metal Trainer

Metal Trainer

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

The Pokémon franchise has been around since 1996 and has been producing best-selling games almost yearly since then. I started with the first generation of Red, Blue, and Yellow games. Ro Panuganti, who specializes in video game covers, takes tunes from the Red and Blue games and puts a heavy metal spin on them. The end result is a nine-track digital album that provides over twenty-five minutes of heart pumping music to catch Pokémon to!

It’s been years since I’ve played Pokémon Red/Blue, but I still recognized the first tune, Pokémon Master, right off the bat. It’s the theme song, electrified! The second track named Viridian is the Viridian City music overhauled. The guitar playing is fantastic! The third track, Wild Encounter, has some nice sound effects and really spruces up the wild Pokémon battle music. Pokémon Hospital begins with a lot of background noises including chatter and ER machinery before revealing a soothing remake of the Pokémon Center music. The Mt. Moon track is true to the source material and keeps the sense of danger and the thrill of exploration. The sixth track, Cerulean, takes the upbeat city music and jazzes it up a bit. I wonder how many people would recognize it if it was set as hold music?

The seventh track, Lavender, is the longest track at nearly five and a half minutes long. I must say I like this version much better than the original game’s town music. The mysterious mansion music is the eighth track dubbed Mansion. Again, this rendition improves upon the original in my opinion. The final track, Gym Battle, is a souped up version of the iconic Gym Battle music.

This album is available digitally for $7 on multiple platforms and audio formats. It’s worth picking up for fans of old school Pokémon games and heavy metal.

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Sonic The Hedgehog

Thank you Paramount for sending us a digital screener to review!

There have been many movies adapted after popular video game franchises. Sadly, most of them are not very good. This film had a rocky start after fans heavily criticized Paramount’s original design of the blue blur. Sonic’s final appearance looks much closer to Sega’s design with the exception of his arms being blue instead of cream colored.

Sonic is voiced by Ben Schwartz and he does a great job with bringing out the attitude that gamers have grown to love. While Sonic is often cocky, there’s a lot of loneliness shown as he must remain hidden from humans while living on Earth. In the fictional town of Green Hills, Montana, Sonic watches many residents of this small community without being detected (for the most part).

When Sonic lets his emotions get the better of him, he causes a mass loss of power and the government calls upon Dr. Robotnik to discover the source. Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Eggman is quite funny and he provides a lot of humor in this film as expected.

With the help of a cop that Sonic dubbed the “Donut Lord,” they head to San Fransico to retrieve Sonic’s Rings. On this journey, a beautiful friendship is born, and some valuable life lessons are taught to both Sonic and the police officer (James Marsden), whose real name is Tom.

This film is family-friendly for the most part. There is some violence with most of it taking place in a bar fight that Sonic started. Language is pretty mild as I recall the start of a curse word being cut off before it’s said in its entirety.

Overall, my family enjoyed this movie and wouldn’t mind owning it in the near future. The Blu-ray is available for a little over $20 on Amazon. I’ll probably wait for a sale though. Fans of the Sonic franchise will enjoy this film and the hinting of a potential sequel.

Buy it on Amazon for $22.99

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Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle - Part 1

Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle - Part 1

Thank you Thinking Man Films for sending us a screener to review!

The book of Exodus documents many of God's miracles from the twelve plagues of Egypt to guiding the Israelites in the desert and parting the waters allowing them to cross on dry land. Director Cecil DeMile was so inspired by this book that he made the movie The Ten Commandments twice! I have fond memories watching the 1956 Charleston Heston version and these movies have also inspired film maker Tim Mahoney to create the Patterns of Evidence series. Sadly, many of these miracles are downplayed or considered mere fairy tales in today’s society. The Red Sea Miracle aims to determine where the parting of the waters occurred and the path that the Israelites took to eventually get to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments.

Before seeing this film, you should watch Patterns of Evidence: Exodus and Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy to understand the non-conventional timeline they use for dating these events. Like the previous films, Tim interviews several Egyptologists and scholars on their thoughts on where the Israelites went and where the parting of the waters took place.

There are two schools of thought on how epic of a journey this truly was. The Egyptian theory is that there was 50,000 or less Hebrews and they didn’t travel too far before having shallow water part before them. The Hebrew view is that there were roughly two million Israelites who traveled a great distance for about a month before having a large body of water parted for them.

The goal in this two-part movie series is to break down the six-step journey. This film focuses on the first few objectives including determining where the departure point was, the direction they were heading, the size of the desert they crossed, and where the detour was before arriving at the dead end. The sea was parted at the dead end and there are many theories on where that took place.

The evidence provided to state their case is very convincing and it seems like they are on the right track given the teaser clips for the second half of this film series. I look forward to seeing remnants of Egyptian chariot wheels and other relics now covered with coral reefs. The Red Sea Miracle part 1 will be in theaters nationwide on February 18th. Part two will be coming to theaters in May of 2020.

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Arctic Dogs

Arctic Dogs

Thank you LionsGate for sending us this Blu-ray to review!

Arctic Dogs begins with a flashback of Swifty (an arctic fox) all dressed in white and nobody noticing him because he blends in so well in the snowy town of Taigasville. He wants to be noticed and recognized like the delivery dogs that the town kids all look up to. In the present day, Swifty works at the delivery company, but not as a delivery dog since he’s underweight and under-qualified.

His childhood crush, Jade, needs a package urgently delivered, but she missed the shipment time because Swifty covered her with snow on his way to work that day. Without his boss’s permission, he offers to deliver it personally. By doing so, he jeopardizes his job and the town’s safety.

I won’t give away any spoilers in case you plan on seeing this film. With that said, there are a couple of political messages worth noting. The premise of being something that you’re not designed to be is very politically correct these days, but oftentimes, restrictions are in place for a good reason. Swifty isn’t even twenty pounds and struggles pulling packages weighing more than he does. Perhaps there was some logic in the company not taking his dream position seriously.

Global warming is another theme present in this film; however, the arctic town’s heat wave can be pointed at the walrus nemesis instead of carbon-imprinting humans. The walrus is voice-acted by the legendary John Cleese. Other popular actors lend their voice talent, including Jeremey Renner (Swifty), James Franco (Lemmy), Heidi Klum (Jade), Alec Baldwin (PB), and Angelica Houston (Maureen).

The animation is well-done and looks great. It’s a shame that the writing falls flat at times. There was only one scene where I chuckled. If you’re looking for a funny film, you’ll definitely want to look elsewhere. I appreciate the message of honesty and being true to yourself, but I’m not a fan of promoting being whatever you dream of even if you’re not qualified to do so. There’s nothing wrong with teaching kids to be realistic.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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The Moses Controversy

The Moses Controversy

Thank you Thinking Man Films for sending us a screener to review!

Many Christians believe wholeheartedly that Moses wrote (with God’s guidance) the first five books of the Bible. Exodus 24:4 states that Moses wrote what the Lord instructed him and in John 5:46, Jesus mentions that Moses wrote about Him. Many agnostic and non-Christian scholars don’t believe that Moses wrote the Torah since the Hebrew language used in the dead sea scrolls didn’t exist during the Exodus.

How could God’s word have been preserved accurately in Moses’ lifetime? Oral tradition changes over time and if the Torah can’t be trusted, what credibility does the rest of the Bible have? Investigative film maker, Timothy Mahoney, travels around the world to find answers for several questions and determine if it is possible for Moses to truly be the author of the Pentateuch and how it was done.

This two and a half hour film is very informative and gathers input from Archaeologists, Egyptologists, Christian and Jewish scholars. In order to validate Moses as the author of the Torah, a suitable language that was like Hebrew had to be used, the origin of it in the region of Egypt, and used during the Exodus’ time period.

The key to solving this puzzle was discovered by an Egyptologist named Flinders Petrie. Unlike many archaeologists, he was looking at relics with a scientific mindset instead of a profitable one. Flinders and his wife, Hilda, discovered the Proto-Sinaitic script in the winter of 1904-1905. To understand the significance of this discovery, I recommend watching this film, since I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

If you haven’t seen Patterns of Evidence: Exodus, I recommend watching that movie first. That documentary focuses on a timeline discrepancy that’s heavily relied on for this film. Both of these films are thought provoking and it’s great to have your faith bolstered by science instead of “The Bible says so.”

In the end, my faith was strengthened by this film. Though I didn’t doubt Moses’ authorship, it’s fascinating to see how it could be validated with science. Today's Hebrew was not around during Moses' lifetime, but its origins were. The alphabet is something we truly take for granted, and yet it’s a gift from God that has been used to solidify and translate His word to thousands of dialects.

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Heating Pad for Back Pain and Cramps Relief - Extra Large [12"x24"]

Heating Pad

Thank you Dongguan Emily Trading Co., Ltd for sending us this heating pad to review!

Getting old isn’t fun. I discover random aches and pains without origins other than my age. For example, my left hip started hurting the other day for no apparent reason. It’s not like I ran a marathon or fell. Thankfully, I had this heating pad handy!

The device is simple to use with only three buttons to press. The power button is where you start or end to turn the device on or off. The other two buttons control the temperature and timer functions. The temperature starts at 95 degrees Fahrenheit and goes all the way up to 158 in 9 degree intervals. The timer can be set from fifteen minutes to two hours in 15-minute intervals. Setting the timer to one hour at night was perfect for my sore hip as the warmth felt good and it didn’t have to be on after falling sleep. When I woke up in the morning, the pain wasn’t completely gone, but it was much better.

The padding is super soft and very comfortable. With the detachable cord it’s washable too! Another advantage of the detachable cord is that it can break away if accidentally tugged on or tripped over. This item is also covered by a five-year warranty so it’s nice to hear that the manufacturer stands behind this product.

When it comes to cramps, the heat feels really nice and distracts from the pain significantly. Chocolate is another nice distraction, but I’m not allowed to eat milk chocolate on the keto diet. I’m not a fan of bitter dark chocolate either. I’m glad this heating pad will help ease the cramping as I’m waiting for the Ibuprofen to kick in.

As I get even older I’m sure I’ll be using this heating pad more and more. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m glad to be prepared for my next random ailment.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Abominable

Abominable

Thank you Universal for sending us this Blu-ray to review!

Abominable tells the story of a teenager named Yi who stumbles upon a Yeti on the rooftop of her apartment complex. The Yeti escaped from some bounty hunters and longs to go back to his home on Mount Everest. It’s quite a trek since Yi and her family are from China. At first, her cousins Peng and Jin were not on-board with escorting the yeti they dubbed Everest back home. As it turns out, they have quite the magical adventure along the way.

My family enjoyed this film in the theater and we’re happy to own it now as it’s very heartwarming. It teaches the value of family and is safe for all ages. There are some instances of tranquilizing and Everest is injured in the beginning of the film. There are some references to Buddhism and the characters believe that their ancestors watch over them from the stars.

Along with the movie, there are several bonus features to enjoy including:

Marooned – A lonely space robot tries to leave the moon and return back to Earth. If only he had some help. There’s a great message here about determination and sacrifice.

Show & Tell - Everest tries to show the other yetis about the neat things he has learned about on his adventure including playing violin, basketball, and love.

There are also a few deleted scenes that are roughly animated, but fully voice acted. The making of/inspiration behind Abominbale is also fascinating to watch. Aspiring artists will enjoy watching how it was animated and videos teaching people how to draw the characters. It’s also cool to see how the voice acting is done. There’s even instructions on how to make the pork buns that everyone loves in the movie.

If you’re looking for a heartwarming film to show your family, look no further than Abominable. It’s available on Amazon for less than $23 in Bu-ray and has 4K and 3D versions available.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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The Unbreakable Unity

Thank you Scarlet Moon Promotions for sending us this digital album to review!

Hiroki Kikuta is a famous composer known for his work in Secret of Mana. The Unbreakable Unity is a one-track album with a thirty-nine minute song that’s heavily influenced by Secret of Mana. The song opens with a wind flute-like instrument and a sense of mystery. Other instruments like a xylophone, oboe, and harp chime in along with other synthesized instruments.

My part-time job is seventeen miles away and with the morning traffic, it can take between thirty-five to forty-five minutes to arrive at work. The Unbreakable Unity is the perfect commuting song as it’s very relaxing and eases road rage a bit. If my commute exceeds forty minutes, this song loops smoothly.

The upbeat sections make for great overworld or traveling soundtracks. Perfect for driving past acres and acres of farmland. Some parts of the song are more mysterious as if you’re exploring some ancient ruins or an abandoned temple filled with hostile monsters or ferocious wildlife. This section makes driving though construction zones with lane closures and detours more interesting.

Many of the themes repeat throughout the song, but they are switched up to keep things interesting. I often envision myself exploring an eerie forest or open fields with frequent stops to battle bad guys. If you enjoyed Secret of Mana and its music, you’ll definitely appreciate this album. Fans of SNES-style game music should give it a listen too.

The Unbreakable Unity is available digitally for $9.99 on bandcamp. You can purchase it in MP3, FLAC, and other formats. Though $9.99 is a bit pricey for one song, but it is nearly forty minutes long. If you’re still on the fence about it, you can listen to it in its entirety on the bandcamp page.

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2019 Christmas Buying Guide

2019 Christmas Buying Guide

Here’s our 2019 Christmas buying guide!  Below are our favorite gadgets and family appropriate titles we have played throughout the year.  More reviews can be found on ChristCenteredGamer.com! Each game is given a gameplay score for the overall gaming experience and a moral score for how suitable it is for younger gamers.   The Amazon and Humble Store links will benefit Christ Centered Gamer by giving us a small % of the sale.

Platform Title Game Score Moral Score Buy it!
PC & Switch Super Phantom Cat 86% 98% Steam
PC Rupert & Riley Shipwrecked 88% 94% Steam
PC, PS4, Xbox One WRC 8 90% 100% Humble Store
PS4, Switch Lapis x Labyrinth 86% 86% Amazon
PC, PS4, Switch, Vita Miles & Kilo 84% 90% PlayStation Store
PS4 Kingdom Hearts 3 91% 86% Amazon
PC, Switch Blazing Beaks 86% 93% Nintendo eShop
Switch Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening 93% 95% Amazon
Switch OlliOlli: Switch Stance 84% 96% Nintendo eShop
PC, Xbox One Aftercharge 80% 94% Microsoft Store
PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One Pig Eat Ball 86% 88% Humble Store
PC, Xbox One Trail Makers 80% 90% Humble Store
VR Audio Trip 84% 86% Steam
VR Space Junkies 88% 82% Humble Store
VR VR Ping Pong Pro 86% 100% Humble Store
Hardware SK Hynix Gold SATA 1TB SSD N/A N/A Amazon
Headset Mixcder E9 Wireless Headset N/A N/A Amazon
PS4, Switch, Xbox One Toast Customized Console Cover N/A N/A ToastMade
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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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