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Cheryl Gress Editor-in-Chief

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

Stepping Up or Selling Out?

Stepping Up or Selling Out?

We’ve been running this niche site for over twenty years now.  We do have some paid reviewers, but many like my husband and I are still volunteer.  We’re blessed to have our basic expenses like server hosting fees covered by the generosity of Patreon and Paypal supporters.   Our paid reviewers get a small sum of $25 per review, which is more of a gesture of appreciation than a sustainable living wage.  

This month, my husband’s employer gave him an ultimatum to be vaccinated or unemployed come February.  Given that we have natural immunity from recovering from covid, we feel that his mandate is both unnecessary and unconstitutional.  With a potential job loss in the near future, we have to evaluate our financial situation. 

My husband and I both work since this site doesn’t generate much income.   We’re happy to keep it running as we see it as a worthwhile ministry to help parents and Christians determine which games are suitable for their family. 

We’ve recently been blessed with over 3,000 Twitch followers.  With a milestone like that comes opportunities.  This week we’ve been offered a sponsorship opportunity for Raid Shadow Legends which I realize is a meme at this point.  With that said, it’s hard to turn down an extra $150 when the site typically brings in $400/month.  Would we be selling out to do streams of this nature?   Other Streaming opportunities from Daredrop and Compassion International hit my mailbox this week as well so I’ll be looking into those.

Currently, YouTube and Twitch streams do not provide us with any income. We have yet to get a payout from either platform.  We really appreciate our Patreon, Ko-Fi, and Paypal donators.  We still have yet to get our first Subscribestar supporter.  As a way of saying thanks to them, we’ll be posting a game giveaway code every day this month.  Thanks for your encouragement and support!    

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All Creatures Great & Small

All Creatures Great & Small

Thank you PBS for sending us the season one Blu-ray!

All Creatures Great & Small starts off in Glasgow, Scotland in the 1930s. The main character is James Herriot who wishes to become a veterinarian instead of having to do manual labor to make ends meet. Just when all of the nearby opportunities fizzled out, he receives a letter for an interview in Yorkshire Dales. After travelling hours by train and bus, he’s coldly greeted by the owner of the practice, Siegfried Farnon. The housekeeper, Mrs. Hall, insists that Siegfried gives James a chance.

James almost loses his job on the first night as the townsfolk pressure him to try their local ale and discovered that he can’t hold his liquor. Despite some blunders, James proves that he is hard working and more than capable of caring for the town’s pets and farm animals alike. Throughout the seven episodes of season one, you’ll see animals being born, operated on, and euthanized. If you’re squeamish, you’ll want to turn away during those scenes.

Siegfried has a brother, Tristian, who wishes to enter the veterinary field but is more interested in partying and pursuing women than studying. When Tristian is in town, both him and James try to earn Siegfried’s favor which is no easy task.

The characters are likeable and there are multiple love triangles. Though sex before marriage is implied, nothing is seen. Other than some gambling and light-hearted wagers, the last moral issue worth mentioning is that there is some mild language (d*mn).

Though my husband called this a girly “Hallmark” show he watched a good majority of it by his own free will. My daughters joined in towards the end too. I look forward to checking out the next season which is supposed to begin next year. This season ended on a bit of a cliffhanger.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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2021 Christmas Buying Guide

Here’s our 2021 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!
PS4, Switch Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ 90 94 Nintendo
Switch Game Builder Garage 88 88 Amazon
Windows Insurmountable 88 92 Steam
PS4, Stadia, Switch, Windows, Xbox One Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 86 94 Amazon
PS4, PS5, Switch, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S Monster Truck Championship 90 94 Humble Store
Windows Police Simulator: Patrol Officers 90 92 Humble Store
PS4, PS5, Switch, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 86 97 Amazon
PS4, Switch, Windows, Xbox One Roguebook 90 87 Humble Store
PS4, Switch, Windows Space Invaders Invincible 86 88 Nintendo
PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S Super Destronaut DX-2 85 94 Nintendo
Switch Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury 90 90 Amazon
Switch Tadpole Treble Encore 90 96 Nintendo
PS4, PS5, Switch, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S The Smurfs – Mission Vileaf 85 92 Amazon
PC Audeze Mobius Headphones     Amazon
PC Corsair 5000D AIRFLOW Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case      Amazon
Switch Fixture S1 Switch Pro Controller Grip and Carrying Case     Amazon
  Jooki Generation 2     Website
PC ROCCAT Kone Pro Air Wireless Gaming Mouse     Amazon
PC ROCCAT Pyro Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard     Amazon
PC ROCCAT Torch Studio-Grade USB Microphone     Amazon
PC Xbox One Turtle Beach Recon Xbox Controller     Amazon
PC Turtle Beach Recon 500 Wired Gaming Headset     Amazon

 

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tomtoc Urban Minimalist EDC Sling Bag and Switch Pro Controller Case

 

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Thank you tomtoc for sending us the Urban Minimalist EDC Sling Bag and Switch Pro Controller Case!

Tomtoc was founded in 2016 and they pride themselves on designing fashionable and tech-savvy products for protecting your digital gear. They have a wide range of products for laptops, tablets, the Nintendo Switch and other gadgets.

We were blessed with an opportunity to review two of their products which are the Switch Pro Controller Case and the Urban Minimalist EDC Sling Bag. Both products are well designed and are bound to last a while.

Here’s a quick break down of each product:

Switch Pro Controller Case –$17.99 on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

Game controllers can take a beating from kids, animals, and traveling. They’re not cheap either so you should take care of them to get your money’s worth. When our kids were growing up, one of them took a liking to a PlayStation controller and damaged the rubber joystick by chewing on it. Had it been in a protective case like this one, it would have stayed in better shape!

The red clasp is easy to use and secure to make sure the case is on snug. We tried using third party controllers and the only one that came close to fitting was the PDP afterglow which left a small gap, but did close. The other brands did not work whatsoever. I would recommend this case strictly for the Nintendo Switch Pro controller.

Charging your controller while sheathed is possible since the charging port is accessible through the case. This protective case can be a battery saver while traveling since the buttons will not be triggered in transit.

Bottom line: If you have teething kids, gnawing pets, or travel a lot: protect your controller with this device!

tomtoc Urban Minimalist EDC Sling Bag and Switch Pro Controller Case

Urban Minimalist EDC Sling Bag - $38.99 on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

While not designed specifically for the Switch, this tactical bag has plenty of room for it along with its charging cable and accessories. There are lots of pockets though none of them are ideal for organizing the tiny cartridges. The Cordura ballistic fabric used in this bag is waterproof, durable, and resistant to tearing.

I like the look and feel of the rubberized zipper grips. Inside of the front ouch is a tick ribbon with a hook on the end of it that would be ideal for carrying a set of keys. If you’re prone to losing your keys, this is for you!

This bag can be worn as a shoulder sling (the straps are adjustable to make it longer or shorter as needed). I prefer to wear mine as a fanny pack. There are multiple colors available including black (reviewed), gray, and white. The black model is a little bit cheaper though.

Tomtoc stands behind their products with a one year warranty. If you register your product using its unique serial number, you can get an additional year of coverage free of charge! As of this review, there are coupons available on Amazon that can save you between 10-12%. Tomtoc’s website also has promotions that include a free USB thumb drive or 20% off.

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NoSweat Disposable Liners

NoSweat Disposable Liners

Thank you NoSweat for sending us review samples of hat, face shield, and visor liners!

NoSweat is based in Minnetonka Minnesota and all of their sports-themed liners are manufactured in America. All thirty-one NHL teams are using their products on a regular basis. In addition to the NHL, athletes in the NFL, MLB, PGA, and WTA use NoSweat inserts consistently too.

NoSweat has products for baseball, biking, football, golf, hardhats, hockey, lacrosse, tennis, and even VR headsets! If you’re a fan of their stuff you can advertise for them by wearing branded t-shirts, hats, and using their thermos’ offered on their web store.  

Out of the samples sent our way, the only set I was able to use were the ones designed for baseball hats. I don’t own any face shields or visors. I have a couple of lighter-colored hats that have unsightly brownish stained front liners since I haven’t used any liners previously. It’s worth noting that these liners are only designed to be used three to five times apiece.

Installation is pretty straightforward though it will take some adjusting to get it to fit just right. Their design is flexible and universal. Do not cut the product or it will break the functionality of the sweatlock beads. The liners are not incredibly sticky so you don’t have to worry about the liners leaving residue behind on your headwear. On the flipside, they probably won’t stay on much longer than their intended number of uses. Your head pressing against the liner will keep it in place though.

Like many items, the more you buy, the cheaper they become. The liners come in packages of 3,6,12, and 25. The three pack sells for $9.99 or $3.33 each while the twenty-five pack sells for $34.99 or $1.40 apiece. They have subscription plans available if you become a regular user of their products. If you’re tired of sweat buildup in the hats or helmets you wear, you should definitely look into NoSweat’s products!

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The Addams Family 2

The Addams Family 2

Thank you MGM for sending us access to a digital version of the film to watch!

My family saw the first computer animated Addams Family movie in the theaters in 2019. The film was mildly entertaining, but mostly a disappointment. I’m happy to report that overall we found this sequel to be better than the original movie on many fronts.

The Addams Family 2 begins at Wednesday’s science festival which has many uninspiring science projects including the typical baking soda volcano. Wednesday’s entry is quite fascinating as it transfers the intelligence of her octopus, Socrates, into her Uncle Fester. When it comes time to announcing the winner of the science fair, Wednesday is visibly disappointed when everyone is given a participation trophy. The professor takes note of her disappointment and consoles her while asking for her data so he can improve upon her work. Wednesday tells him it’s a family secret.

Gomez Addams also takes note of his daughter’s disappointment, but she rebuffs any attention and consolation he offers her. In an effort to strengthen the family bonds, Gomez and Morticia decide that a family road trip is in order. Instead of bringing the family closer, a wedge is further driven between Wednesday and her family. Apparently she discovers a mix-up of babies at the hospital she was born in and wonders if she is even an Addams.

Without giving away any spoilers, there are some good lessons about the importance of family and accepting who you are. The relationship between Wednesday and her brother Pugsley is quite humorous though many of their squabbles are deadly and should not be practiced between siblings in real life. Pugsley is approaching puberty and is taking note of the fairer sex and his Uncle Fester offers sage advice since he’s been on three first dates and written a book about his experiences. There is some sexual humor that may go over many kids heads (but not my teenagers!).

Most of the star-studded voice actors reprise their roles for this film including Charlize Theron as Morticia, Bette Midler as Grandma Addams, and Snoop Dogg as Cousin It. If you’re a fan of the original TV show and enjoyed the 2019 film, you’ll want to check out this sequel.

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The Boss Baby: Family Business

The Boss Baby: Family Business

Thank you DreamWorks for sending us a Blu-ray to review!

This film takes place thirty years after the previous one and all of the babies have grown up now. Tim is a stay at home dad with an over-active imagination. His mega-successful brother, Ted (the star in the previous movie) is a busy CEO and showers Tim’s family with lavish gifts instead of his presence at holidays. Tim’s second grader daughter, Tabitha, is growing up and no longer finds his antics humorous. Tim is afraid that they are growing apart. The youngest daughter, Tina, is an agent at Baby Corp. The school that Tabitha attends may be part of the reason that she is growing distant from her dad. In order to investigate matters Tim and his brother Ted must infiltrate the school as youths.

In his youthful form, Tim goes by Marcos Lightspeed and befriends his daughter. She confides in him and he learns her true feelings about him. Marcos/Tim and Ted also learn about an evil plan that will allow babies to rule the world without their parents getting in their way. Despite their years apart, Tim and Ted must set aside their differences and work together to save the world.

The main theme of this movie is that just because people grow up doesn’t mean they have to grow apart. That’s a great message. From an appropriateness standpoint, it’s worth noting that you’ll see some butts. There are a couple of moments where Ted is naked, but there are objects conveniently placed that prevent seeing anything between his legs. Many computer animated films are promoting the LGBTQ agenda and I did see a rainbow bumper sticker on one of the cars.

Other than those issues, there’s much to like about this film. The voice acting cast is great with Alec Baldwin, Jimmy Kimmel, and Lisa Kudrow reprising their roles. James Marsden is now voicing Tim and the villain is voiced acted by Jeff Goldblum. The animation is well done and the writing is great. If you enjoyed the first movie you should definitely check this one out.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Civilization’s Quotations: Life’s Ideal

Civilization’s Quotations: Life’s Ideal

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

Throughout the highs and lows of life, most Christians turn to the Bible for wisdom and guidance. The book of Proverbs has so much great advice from one of the wisest people to have walked this Earth (King Solomon). Civilization’s Quotations: Life’s Ideal has many wonderful quotes from various famous people and religious figures like Abraham Lincoln, Aristotle, Buddha, Churchill, Confucius, Einstein, Emerson, Gandhi, Pascal, Socrates, and more. Some Bible verses make it into this publication as well.

The table of contents is broken down by topics that you may be seeking wisdom on. Are you planning on getting married? If so, you can find some advice ranging from “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing” Proverbs 18:22 to “There are no premature babies, only delayed weddings.”-- American proverb

We all have different views on the state of the world. Here are a couple of quotes from this book: “Nothing is certain in this world except uncertainty.” – Old proverb and “We brought nothing into this world and it is certain we carry nothing out.” 1 Timothy 6:7

I’m aware of The Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12 “Whatsoever ye would have others do to you, do ye even so to them.” I was pleasantly surprised to see this same principle in other religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, and other proverbs.

I always try to look for the bright side of things and this book has some interesting quotes on jokes. “Many a friend was lost through a joke, but none was ever gained so.” --Czech proverb I think many comedians would have to disagree with that one. Thomas Aquinas once said “It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes." I bet he was fun to hang around with.

If you’re looking for well-rounded inspiration for many of life’s situations, I highly recommend checking out Civilization’s Quotations: Life’s Ideal. It’s a little pricey at $22.95, but handy to have on hand.


(Amazon Affiliate link)

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Milk & Honey

Milk & Honey

Thank you Crowder Music for sending us a digital album to review!

I first heard of David Crowder Band when they played for the youth group (I was a leader) at Harvest Bible Chapel. This was around the time of their Can You Hear Us album which I highly recommend if you haven’t listened to it yet. Their music ranged from alternative rock to bluegrass and everything in between. I was heartbroken when the band broke up, but am happy to hear that the members are still making music. Since the breakup, I have bought albums from the previous band members, The Digital Age, along with David Crowder’s records that go by Crowder Music.

Crowder Music’s latest album Milk & Honey is pure gold as there are no bad tracks in my opinion. The first song, “Good God Almighty”, has a title that I’m so used to hearing as a blaspheme but it’s wonderful to hear it in a good context. This is a very uplifting and powerful hymn. “In the House” has a pop feel to it, but it’s got a great message about God’s love and peace that He offers. “He Is” has a nice blend of piano and a tiny bit of country. The title song “Milk & Honey” has bluegrass roots and is quite catchy.

Higher Power is something I would expect to hear at a Christian dance club. Sweet Jesus takes things in a whole different direction with a smooth pop vibe that reminds me of something Usher would sing. God Really Loves Us is a beautiful piano ballad praising God’s love for us. Who’s Gonna Stop The King is a pop hymn that gives God the glory He deserves. Better Than Sunshine has a melody that reminds me of something that I would hear on a paradise island. Glory, Glory (God Is Able) has a 1920’s sound to it that’s bound to get your foot stomping to the beat. Hallelujah For Every Broken Heart sings about seeking God when all else is lost. This song mostly consists of piano and clapping. The final track, The Anchor is another piano-driven tune that sings about God being our hope in tough times.

This twelve-track album sells for a little over $12 physically on Amazon and you can own it digitally for under $10. It’s also available on vinyl for $24 if that’s your preference.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Flexclip

Flexclip

Thank you Flexclip for providing us with a one-year business membership!

There are many programs available for editing movie clips. My kids laugh at me for still using Microsoft’s Moviemaker software for editing our YouTube videos. Flexclip was developed by PearlMountain Limited and have over three million worldwide users and nearly four hundred thousand registered accounts. Over six hundred thousand videos have been made/downloaded using their online tools.

Through the website, you can create a video for free and use various tools including their converter, trimmer, compressor, and recorder. In total, there are four plans available and they all have different features and limitations. The Free plan allows one stock (premade) video and twelve projects. This plan is limited by 480p SD downloads and the video length can’t exceed one minute. The freely made videos will have a FlexClip intro on them. The $5.99/month Basic plan lets you make three-minute 720p HD movies. There is still a one stock video limitation, but you can have an unlimited number of projects.

The Plus plan is $9.99 a month and allows you to use five stock videos and they can be up to ten minutes in length. The videos are offered in Full-HD 1080p. Like the previous plan, you can have an unlimited number of projects.

The Business plan is $19.99 a month and offers 1080p Full-HD downloads and an unlimited number of projects too. The videos can be up to thirty minutes long and there are no limitations on the number of stock videos per project. All of the paid plans have annual subscription discounts and allow the users to display custom watermarks on their videos.

When creating your video you can work from scratch or use one of their many available templates. Many popular themes like Open House, Marriage Proposal, Recruiting, Memorial, Sales Promotion, and Tutorial templates are only a couple of clicks away from completion. You can also use template specific platforms like TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

If you want to create your video from the ground up, you’ll have to choose between a Storyboard Mode or Timeline Mode. High-speed internet is recommended for uploading big movie files! There are lots of various backdrops and music tracks available. I like how the background music is sorted by genre and the selection is top notch; I had a hard time narrowing down which track to use! Be warned that some of the music is copyrighted so your YouTube videos using these tracks may not be monetized!

There are many animated elements to use including various emojis, actions, thought bubbles, and popular phrases. It should be noted that there are some “pride” and “omg” options available. I enjoyed inserting animated gifs to make the video more appealing.

Overall this website is easy to use and has a lot of readymade images, templates, and sound loops to make professional videos. Check out the free plan to get a feel for how easy it is to use and then advance to the paid plans if you like what you see.

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Fallen Hero

Fallen Hero

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

It’s no secret that I love the music from Undertale and have reviewed many different renditions of the songs from this game. If you enjoyed Ferdk’s interpretations of Battle Against a True Hero, Hopes and Dreams, and Spider Dance, you’ll want to hear Ro Panuganti’s versions in this album. I was impressed with Ro Panuganti’s Pokemon album, Metal Trainer, and looked forward to his progressive metal take on Undertale. While it doesn’t dethrone String Player Gamer’s version as my favorite, it’s still a solid album.

Fallen Hero has 24 tracks with the guitar being the most dominant instrument used. You’ll still hear drums, keyboard, violin, and other percussion instruments too. All of the songs were instantly recognizable and brought back fond memories of playing this game.

Here’s a full track list:

1. Once Upon a Time 02:25

2. Fallen Down 01:12

3. Ruins 03:25

4. Enemy Approaching 02:52

5. Ghost Fight 02:10

6. Home 03:26

7. Heartache 04:58

8. Snowy 03:38

9. Bonetrousle 02:49

10. Waterfall 03:31

11. Run! 03:01

12. Spear of Justice 03:39

13. Battle Against a True Hero 05:30

14. Metal Crusher 02:15

15. Another Medium 06:00

16. Spider Dance 02:33

17. Oh! One True Love 01:35

18. Dogsong 02:43

19. Death by Glamour 05:11

20. Bergentrückung 01:16

21. ASGORE 04:23

22. Your Best Nightmare 06:11

23. Hopes and Dreams 06:00

24. MEGALOVANIA 04:56

This is a pretty good sampling of Undertale songs as you’ll hear the opening theme song, battle music, boss music, and songs from peaceful moments in the game. There are over 100 tracks in the OST and songs chosen for this album are exceptionally done.

This approximately 80-minute album is a must-have for any progressive rock-loving Undertale fan. The asking price is a reasonable $10 and can be purchased digitally on Bandcamp in MP3, FLAC, ALAC (Apple Lossless), AAC, Ogg Vorbis, WAV and AIFF formats. It’s a dollar cheaper on Amazon for MP3 format only.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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From Gamers Magazine

From Gamers Magazine

Thank you From Gamers Magazine (published by Guidefall) for sending us a digital copy to review!

From Gamers Magazine was successfully Kickstarted in April of 2021 and the inaugural issue was released in May and physically shipped out in June. The funds received from the Kickstarter cover the costs of making two issues and the next one is set to release later this year.

The goal of From Gamers Magazine is to prolong the lifespan of printed gaming media while bringing back the passionate voice of gamers that is no longer present in other media outlets. From what I’ve read of this 56-page magazine, I think they’re living up to these goals.

Along with crediting the Kickstarter backers, you can expect to find a few ads promoting various games, gaming magazines, and podcasts. You’ll also find insightful previews, reviews, and opinion pieces. There are informative articles that talk about the history of Far Cry and opinionated articles on how to improve the Halo series going forward and a list of game franchises to bring back. I like how the articles have QR codes to scan to view official trailers for the games being discussed.

The game reviews are well written and have a breakdown on the bottom of the page indicating the strengths and weaknesses a title has. There is a big numerical score awarded as well with a 10 being the highest available. This first issue has reviews for Bravely Default II, It Takes Two, Monster Hunter Rise, Outriders, and Persona 5 Strikers.

At the end of the magazine you’ll find a QR code for pre-ordering issue #2. Print copies for the first and second issues can be ordered from the website for $12 (free shipping in the United States). There is a limited number in stock so if you prefer holding and reading magazines in your hand, act fast! Digital copies are $4.99.

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Lizard Skins Controller Grips

Lizard Skins Controller Grips

Thank you Lizard Skins for sending us review samples!

Lizard Skins was founded in 1993 and their initial focus was making handlebar grips and long finger gloves for use in mountain biking. Since then, they have branched off into baseball, hockey, lacrosse and most recently, video game accessory grips. We were recently blessed with the opportunity to review PS4, Switch, and Xbox One controller grips. We were also sent a 4” x 6” cut to fit sheet which can be used to add grips to your mouse or anything else you want a better grip on.

The controller grips are pre-cut and are relatively easy to install. Each package includes an alcohol wipe packet and illustrated instructions. The cut to fit sheet includes a grid transfer sheet so you can trace and cut the grip as needed.

When applying the grips you’ll have to pay close attention to making sure that air bubbles are not being formed in the process. The product is pretty forgiving and lets you re-align it a few times without losing its stickiness. During my unboxing video I realized that I placed a grip on the wrong side of the controller and was able to remove and re-apply it without any issues. Naturally, I edited that mistake out of the video.

Each grip style is offered in multiple camo and color options. The camo options include black (and white), phantom (grayish), and wild fire (black, red, and white). Solid colors include black, blue, red, green, orange, yellow, and teal. The PS4 and Xbox One controller grips are similarly priced at $16.99 for solid colors and $17.99 for camo. The Joy-Con grips are $11.99 for solid colors and $12.99 for camo.

Though I found the Switch Joy-Con grips nice, the Xbox/PS4 grips are pretty much essential. I was recently playing on a non-gripped controller and longed for the increased grip and sweat absorption of our Lizard Skins equipped one. I look forward to installing more grips and equipping our next-generation controllers with them as soon as they’re available.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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AUKEY Car Cup Holder Phone Mount

AUKEY Car Cup Holder Phone Mount
Manufactured by: Aukey
Release date: July 22, 2020
Price: $14.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you Aukey for sending us this product to review!

My current and previous cell phones have been LG (G7 ThinQ and V60 ThinQ). The G7 was smaller and lighter and worked well with a magnet mounting system. One magnet went on the phone’s case while the car’s mount used the other magnet. When trying the magnet system with the V60 the magnets would fall off of the case (while driving which is always fun!) and the dual screen mode was a bit cumbersome with this method.

Since my minivan has several cup holders to spare, I thought I’d give the AUKEY Car Cup Holder Phone Mount a try. When I got it, there was a $3 off coupon. As of this review, that coupon is no longer available. The normal price is $18.99. There are cheaper options available, but I haven’t been let down by an Aukey product yet.

The design is solid and well-engineered. The back of the cellphone holder has a rubber-like texture that won’t scratch your phone. The side clasps can extend and retract with the push of a button on the left-hand side. The bottom is extendable in a similar fashion with its button being on the backside. Rotating the phone is possible with the socket connector on top.

The gooseneck is sturdy and flexible. I was worried my phone would gradually sag, but that has not been an issue thankfully. The cup holder portion can have its width adjusted by twisting the knob below the gooseneck.

All in all this product works as advertised and I have had better luck with it using my dual screen phone compared to the magnet system I was using previously. If you have a larger phone and an extra cup holder, give it a try!

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The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

 

Thank you Paramount for sending us a screener to review!

SpongeBob Squarepants has been around since 1999 and is still going strong. Now that my kids are getting older, I haven’t watched it on TV in a while. The main characters are still there and the 3D rendered versions of them look great.

There are some impressive cameos in this film including Keanu Reeves and Snoop Dogg. Another new character is King Poseidon who is super paranoid about his appearance and is desperately seeking out a snail to use its slime to remove facial wrinkles. Poseidon posts a bounty for someone who can give him a snail amidst the shortage of them.

SpongeBob’s pet snail is exactly what Poseidon is looking for and Sheldon J. Plankton seizes this opportunity to get SpongeBob out of the way so he can finally get the secret recipe for Krabby Patties. Plankton’s wife, Karen, humorously reminds him that SpongeBob has thwarted all of his previous attempts.

With SpongeBob and Patrick on a road trip, The Krusty Krab is unable to operate. Mr. Krabs is losing money that he covets more than anything. Even Squidward comes to realize how much of a valued employee and friend that SpongeBob is.

Although there are some good lessons about selflessness and friendship, there are some moral concerns in this film. On their road trip, SpongeBob and Patrick will encounter cowboy zombies and learn how addicting gambling can be. There is some minor name calling (boob).

Many of the characters have known each other since childhood. They met at a summer camp called Camp Coral and it sets up the upcoming series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years nicely. I’m not sure why the spelling is inconsistent between the movie and television series.

If you’re a fan of SpongeBob Squarepants you’ll definitely want to check out this 91-minute film. It’ll be available to view on demand in March of 2021.

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Conspiravision: Deus Ex Remixed

Conspiravision: Deus Ex Remixed

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

Deus Ex was originally released in 2000 and this album was released to coincide with its 20th anniversary. While Deus Ex doesn’t look great by today’s standards, it was a revolutionary first-person shooter (FPS) for its time. The story is engaging and the ability to upgrade your augmented body adds strategy to the gameplay. While violence is always an option, you can opt to simply knock out most of the foes if desired.

The electronica background music for this title is phenomenal. I remember extracting the Unreal music files and burning it to multiple CDs since I really enjoyed the music from this game. Not all of my favorite tunes made it onto Conspiravision: Deus Ex Remixed, but most of them are there.

This album consists of seventeen tracks ranging from three to four minutes apiece and will keep your ears happy for over an hour. Alexander Brandon did a fine job staying true to the original songs while giving them all a nice tune-up.

If you play this album in order, you’ll be treated to the iconic menu music followed by training tunes. From there you may recognize theme and battle music from Liberty Island, UNATCO, Battery Park, New York Streets, Lebedev’s Airfield, Paris Club, Duclare Chateau, The Synapse, Majestic 12, Oceanlab, and Area 51. The ending theme and credits music is also provided for your listening pleasure.

You can own this tribute to video gaming history in MP3 format for $9 on Amazon. If you prefer lossless formats like FLAC you can get the digital album on Bandcamp for $10. Physical CDs are also available on Bandcamp for $15. Fans of this series should definitely give this album a listen and consider adding it to their music library!


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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ViraShield

ViraShield

Thank you Moving Life LTD for sending us a review sample!

Things have certainly changed since the arrival of COVID-19. Masks are required to enter public places, restaurants are either closed or running at reduced capacity, sporting events can only be viewed on television screens, and the list goes on. Public transportation in close proximity with others is a risky endeavor that is unavoidable for some professions. If you’re concerned about traveling in these uncertain times, ViraShield by Moving Life LTD is worth looking into.

ViraShield is a portable plastic enclosure that works well in cramped seated environments. While I didn’t try it on a plane or a train, it did work well at my church which has connected padded seats. While I was inside of my plastic bubble I was able to hear the preacher/sermon clearly. Despite the wrinkles in the plastic, I was able to read the song lyrics on the LCD TV panels adequately. Standing while singing was a little awkward as this device is intended for seated environments. If you do have to stand while it’s deployed, it can balance on your head just fine.

One of my biggest concerns was reception. How would people react to me using it? I sat in the back row at church to not draw too much attention, but I was still greeted with a wave and a smile. My co-workers on the other hand found religion by saying things like “Oh G-d” or “Oh my G-d” while seeing me use it.

Unfortunately, the ViraShield did not help at my work environment. This is a major bummer since I’m one of the few people required to wear a mask at all times since I don’t have a private office. Those with an office can take off their masks when their doors are closed. I got permission to do so while using the ViraShield but upon deploying it, I quickly realized that I couldn’t read my computer screen very well through the wrinkled plastic. In order to see clearly, I had to press my face against the plastic which is more suffocating than being muzzled with a mask. While using the ViraShield you don’t feel any shortness of breath, but once you’re out the feeling is just as exhilarating as removing a mask.

Another benefit of the ViraShield is a dust-free environment. I thought I would attempt to do something difficult like applying a screen protector on my 15.6” gaming laptop with it. I have previously attempted installing three screen protectors with multiple bubbles (from plastic versions) and a bent corner from a tempered glass one. Because of the limited amount of space, I wound up using the Virashield as more of a canopy throughout the process. While this current screen protector is the best application yet, there are still a couple of immortalized dust specs trapped underneath it.

dust speck

In the end, my feelings on the ViraShield are mixed. I wasn’t expecting a warm reception by others, but your mileage may vary on that. With it I did the best screen protector application, but it wasn’t perfect and I’d probably recommend a bigger dome/environment for that particular use case. However, if you want protection while traveling or sitting in close quarters, the ViraShield has you covered (pun intended). Electronics viewed inside of the device will be clear as day, but reading through the wrinkled plastic is challenging for things with small fonts outside of it. If you're still interested, the ViraShield is available on Amazon for $89.99.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Loot Gaming December 2020 "Best Of" Crate

Loot Gaming December 2020

Thank you Loot Crate (Affiliate Link) for sending us a review sample!

Loot Crate is an interesting service that surprises you with random stuff delivered to your door for a monthly fee. There are many different themes available including gaming, anime, film/TV, and Pop Culture. Each of those themes are further broken down into sub categories for die-hard fans of particular games, movies, anime, etc. They also have apparel only crates available. Those are broken down into subcategories including hats, tees, socks, underwear, wearables, and more. The Loot Gaming Boxes we have been getting have usually included some clothing, art prints, pins, and other nifty trinkets from popular game franchises.

We recently received and unboxed the “Best of” December Crate and here’s what we found inside:

  • An art print from DOOM Eternal
  • Destiny Crucible Socks
  • Elder Scrolls USB LED Soul Gem Lamp
  • Pac-Man Blinky Drawstring Bag
  • Trophy Pin

I can usually find information about the crates on LootCrate’s website, but the December crate doesn’t have an entry. I didn't recognize the inspiration behind this month's art print, but thanks to a YouTube comment it has been identified as coming from DOOM Eternal. The trophy pin is vague, but fitting for the “Best of” theme. Like the other pins, I don’t plan on wearing this one either. The Soul Gem lamp is awesome and makes my computer desk look nicer. I also adore the Blinky drawstring bag and have to figure what to put inside of it. I look forward to wearing the Destiny socks.

Each crate is said to have at least $50 or more worth of items inside. I wouldn’t pay that much for the stuff I got, but the monthly cost of $28.95 is reasonable and I can definitely see the contents being worth that much. If you subscribe for three or six months, the cost is reduced by 9% and 11% respectively.

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Loot Gaming November 2020 Beast Crate

Loot Gaming November 2020 Beast Crate


Thank you Loot Crate (Affiliate Link) for sending us a review sample!

Loot Crate is an interesting service that surprises you with random stuff delivered to your door for a monthly fee. There are many different themes available including gaming, anime, film/TV, and Pop Culture. Each of those themes are further broken down into sub categories for die-hard fans of particular games, movies, anime etc. They also have apparel only crates available. Those are broken down into subcategories including hats, tees, socks, underwear, wearables, etc.

We recently received and unboxed the November Crate and here’s what we found inside:

• Beast Pin
• DOOM Eternal Cacodemon Stress Ball
• Fallout Art Print
• Fallout Silicone Oven Mitts
• The Elder Scrolls Art Print
• The Elder Scrolls T-Shirt



I can definitely see myself wearing the shirt and using the oven mitts. While the mitts are functional, they’re thinner than my current neon green set. I still think they’ll handle the task of removing freshly made hard boiled eggs from my Instant Pot just fine though! The Doom stress ball is nifty and thankfully, I’m not super stressed so I don’t know how much use it will get. Given that it's made out of foam, it wouldn't survive my puppy's jaws for more than five minutes. To avoid that from happening, it looks nice on our shelf in the office along with the art prints.

Each crate is said to have at least $50 or more worth of items inside. I wouldn’t pay that much for the stuff I got, but the monthly cost of $28.95 is reasonable and I can definitely see the contents being worth that much. If you subscribe for three or six months, the cost is reduced by 9% and 11% respectively.

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'Till Kingdom Come

'Till Kingdom Come

Thank you Abramorama for providing us with a screener to watch!

‘Til Kingdom Come is a documentary about the strange political and religious partnership between the United States and Israel. In the 1980s Evangelicals were often viewed as KKK/white supremacists by Israelites. In 1983, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein founded the Holyland Fellowship of Christians and Jews which is now known as International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Their goal is to build bridges of understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews. Not long after its founding, some popular televangelists like Pat Robertson and John Hagee supported this ministry with over four million in donations through telethons and other financial gifts. Through these gifts, poor people in Israel overlooked by the government are given food items and care that they could not afford on their own.

Binghamtown Baptist Church in Kentucky is located in a poor county with nearly half of the children living below the poverty line. This church, in their own words, "indoctrinates" the youth about the importance of the Jewish people and Israel's role in the end times. They fully believe in the promise of Genesis 12:3 in receiving blessings from God by blessing Abraham’s people. They have raised thousands in supporting Israel and continue to do so faithfully because of this promise. Interestingly enough, they are doing well financially even with the economy in a downturn. Their associate pastor, W. Boyd Bingham has miraculously survived cancer and dedicated his life to serving the Lord faithfully. He’s also depicted cleaning his guns and shooting targets in a forest.

Meanwhile in Palestine, a Christian church is experiencing a decline in membership due to the political unrest and loss of territory. Through Trump’s presidential run, he relocated the US Embassy to Jerusalem and granted Israel settlement rights to the West Bank. Although Christians and Jews have different views on religion, when partnered together politically they are an unstoppable force.

If you want to see how this all plays out, check out the 76-minute documentary when it becomes available!

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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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