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Christ Centered Gamer Blog

This blog contains non-gaming related reviews and random ramblings

Why you should consider using parental control on your child’s iPhone

It is becoming increasingly more important to use parental control on your child’s phone. Your child could be using the phone for a lot of different things that you do not want your child to be exposed to. Let’s take a look at why you should use parental control on your child’s phone.

Using parental control on your child’s phone

It is very easy to track a cell phone, and that is very beneficial for parents with a child that is old enough to use a phone. It is very easy to track a cell phone without your child even knowing, which means you can keep an eye on what your child is doing with his or her phone without the child knowing you are tracking it. 

It is not hard to track someone’s cell phone any longer. Once, this required a particular hacking skill, but nowadays, there are many apps and platforms that allow you to do this very easily. Any parent can learn how to track their kids’ phones without having to get their permission first. By doing so, you can monitor the geographical location of your child or keep an eye on what they are using their phone for.

With good spying software, you can do the following:

-      GPS Tracking: You can use it to keep an eye on where your child is.

-      Text message tracking: You can use it to view incoming and outgoing text messages to see who they are texting and what they are texting.

-      Browser history tracking: You can see what your child is doing on the internet and what sites the child is visiting.

-      Other data: You can see a lot of other data. This could, e.g., be what apps your child is installing.

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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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Are Virtual Items Valuable and How We Got Here

Today, we can’t imagine a world without video games that entertain us in our free time.

We came to a point in which video games are not only for amusement nowadays. They can also help us make some serious cash along the way. 

Some in-game items can bring you a lot of money if you get lucky enough to get them from loot boxes. The most expensive CS:GO skins list has shown us that their loot system is one of the best in the current market. 

We learned a lot only by observing what Valve does so well and figured out that such a model of the economy has a high potential for making large profits.

The main question is, can you take advantage of such a system and earn some money along the way?

We’ll help you understand this type of economy better and give you the necessary skills to take advantage of it.

How Items Generate Value in Virtual Environments

This economy is complex. The demand for items will, in most cases, determine the price tag on the items. This kind of economic model will generate a high value on rare in-game items in the virtual environment.

How does this happen? Is there something you can do to increase the value of your inventory?

The rarity levels and the public demand are the factors that will determine the in-game item’s value. There’s not much you can do to increase the value of anything in your possession aside from acquiring those that are in-demand.

If an item is highly desirable by the players, its price will automatically go up. Like with any other product, the in-game items are worth only as much as they’re popular in the community.

It might seem that a virtual item can’t be too expensive as it is not a solid object. However, we could see in many examples that even a virtual item stored on our computers can have a very high value.

A few of them might even go higher than $100000 in the sales price, which is a ridiculous amount of money for such items.

Games With Most Valuable in-Game Items

We can find many examples of games that have high-value items in their in-game economy.

The first one, already mentioned above, is Counter-Strike Global Offensive. CS:GO has a loot system that awards the players by giving out cases and drops in which they win weapons skins and knife skins, which have added value due to their rarity. 

The value of some knife skins can go as high as $10000. The reason for such a high value of knives and their skins is their rarity levels and a high place on the players’ wish list. 

Players love knives in Counter-Strike, and they would do anything to grab some of the most famous skins for themselves.

Another good example of items sold at high prices is World of Warcraft. Some inventory items in this game require a lot of time and effort to acquire. Thus, having one can make you richer in real life.

There’s an example of a sword sold back in 2012 for $16000, which was unheard of up until that point. Since then, the players offer their inventory items on websites specialized in selling them. 

The Economy Around Virtual Items

The option for selling and buying virtual items online has created a one-of-a-kind economy.

The number of sites specialized in selling these types of items has grown exponentially over the years, and they are now successful businesses. 

Just like with any other online store, you can browse their offer through a well-designed and user-friendly interface. If you desire a rare skin or a weapon in a specific game, you can have it if you’re ready to pay for it, rather than spend time grinding to get it. 

Alternatively, if you’re looking to sell your in-game items, you can also offer them on those sites and make some incredible profits. 

If you own something with a high market value, why not take advantage and make some money along the way. It’s the 21st century, and the internet has given us options for getting rich without having to do traditional work.

Why shouldn't we use the opportunity given to us?

Buying and Selling Virtual Items

Buying and selling such items online is now a lucrative business that many are trying to start online.

Nowadays, you can find websites that are intermediaries between the buyers and the sellers without having any of the items in their possession. These sites offer some of the most popular skins and weapons for online games at competitive prices.

If you’re looking to sell your inventory, these sites are an excellent platform for you to do so. Most of them have customer support that will guide you through the whole process and ensure that your resources are safe throughout the process.

In many cases, players buy rare items, store them in their inventory, and wait for some time for a price to go up. 

A limited number of rare items create a drought after they’ve all sold out, and after some time, they become more valuable than before. It’s almost like investing in gold. You buy it and wait until the time is right to scoop up the profit. 

If you have enough money to back up your plans, you can consider trying this type of investment and enter this new market. 

Conclusion

Precious in-game items created a new market that has a high potential for economic growth. 

The gaming industry has made billions over the years by generating them and making games more exciting. Their success opened a world of possibilities for the players to make some money on items they’ve acquired by grinding away in the game they love.

Would you like to exploit this possibility and make some serious money?

Go and check your game inventory. Maybe there’s something valuable without you even knowing.

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The most unbelievable Minecraft modes content creators have come up with

If you’ve been following gaming videos and livestreams over the past few years, you are probably aware of the massive Minecraft revival that occurred in 2019. It paved the way for numerous new streamers and content creators, who gained fame by jumping on this trend at the right time and introducing their own spin in these videos.

It's been two years since this event occurred and Minecraft continues to be a big part of the mainstream. Content creators today know the importance of introducing unique elements to their gaming videos, such as warzone hacks, since thousands of creators online play the same game. 

One of the best ways Minecraft gamers have made their content stand out is by creating their own versions of the game,which they either introduced to the world or played. Most of these versions have also been made available to the public by their programmers, so if you are tired of the original game, give these a try.

The most unbelievable Minecraft modes content creators have come up with

The World Changes Regularly by Dream 

Dream is undoubtedly one of the biggest names today in the online Minecraft community. He has 17 million subscribers and is famous for his speedrun videos. 

In this custom plugin, the world is coded so that it keeps changing after a specific interval of time. While at the beginning you'll have 5 minutes before everything transforms, the amount of time reduces as you keep playing. This version is sure to keep you on your toes because one second you will be cooking food in your furnace, and the next, you will be stuck underground among stone blocks. You must be quick and not spend too much time on any task. Creating a nether portal is also sure to be difficult, and you will need as much obsidian as you can carry to create a portal wherever you emerge.

A block is generated everywhere you look by GeorgeNotFound

GeorgeNotFound is one of the three regulars in Dream's videos and has his own channel with almost 6 million subscribers. The title is pretty self-explanatory: in this version of the game, a random block develops wherever you look. Because it’s random, this could mean a diamond ore, lava, terracotta, stone or basically anything else that exists in Minecraft. This might seem pretty cool since you can now find diamonds by just standing on the surface. But the issue is, the block can change as soon as you or someone else looks at it again. Even chopping down a tree and collecting wood becomes extremely difficult, and you are in constant danger of being burned by lava.

The spooky difficulty by Fundy

Fundy is an extremely creative programmer with nearly 3 million subscribers. His content is both entertaining and funny, and he also spends weeks and months coding new Minecraft modes. Though he does not always try to beat the game in these modes, he introduces all the features, and often other creators make videos about beating them. 

The spooky mode that was released towards the end of 2020 makes this pretty scary game terrifying. Fundy made it so that the world is extremely dark at night and sort of misty during the day time. You always have a torch in your left hand that shows you what is in front of you. He also inserted numerous scary sounds, which could pop up any time and have you jumping out of your seat.

Additionally, he created two terrifying monsters, one of which can randomly appear at your side and destroy you if you look in the wrong direction.

The most unbelievable Minecraft modes content creators have come up with

The hardest difficulty by Slimecicle

Slimecicle is another member of the international Minecraft community on YouTube and Twitch. He has over 2 million subscribers, and in December 2020, released a mode referred to as the "hardest" difficulty in Minecraft. While coding, he made many changes to the game which make it extremely interesting and tremendously challenging to play. Let’s look at a few of the numerous features of this version. One of the funniest changes is that, if you chop wood, you only receive items like apples and sticks that you usually get from leaves. To get wood, you must chop down leaves, making it incredibly easy to gather stacks of logs. Coal, one of the essential items in Minecraft, damages you, so you must stay away from it.Be prepared for angry polar bears that spawn anywhere and attack you in a frenzy of rage.Slimecicle made crafting incredibly confusing too, so that you create a crafting table out of cobblestones, and lo and behold, it works as a furnace.

One of the coolest things about this Minecraft version is that if you place a golden apple atop a golden block, it will create a huge crater that leads to the centre of the Earth. Once you find your way to the bottom, you will get a ridiculously long and powerful sword with which you can effortlessly kill your enemies.

Dungeons and Dragons By Tulok The Barbarian

Dungeons and Dragons is a classic game from the glory days of PC gaming.

What makes it so good? Well first of all, it’s old-school: you’re getting an original experience. It also has one of the most immersive soundtracks out there. You can get lost in the game world for days at a time. Then there is the gameplay itself. Players were able to build their own characters and explore the open-world environment on their terms. 

Now gamers are recreating the magic in Minecraft. Tulok the Barbarian, for instance, has modified Minecraft so that he can recreate his most cherished Minecraft experiences. The emulation recreates many of the features of the original, including the undead, of course.

Summing up

Minecraft is known as the game where you can do anything. Today, skilled programmers have taken this to the next level and created fantastic, unimaginable versions of this well-loved game. If you manage to beat these challenging modes, we bet it's going to feel really good. Maybe you will even achieve some fame among the Minecraft community.

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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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5 Features That Make A Christian Game Awesome

Are you a gamer? What particular game do you play? What features and qualities do you enjoy the most?

Most people, especially the youth, are fond of gaming. There are various types of gaming applications. However, the most popular one is an adventure video game. Now, what makes it so fun, entertaining, and addictive?

Almost every kid or teen is a video gamer. Perhaps, you often see a bunch of street boys going to an Internet café. There, they challenge each other, playing in real-time multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, they spend almost the entire day just playing.

Then, what about Christian game apps? Yes, there are. Do you know any? Let us know some of them and what makes them attractive.

Types of Gaming Apps

Educational Games

  • Alphabet Games

This type of game is mostly for kids like preschoolers who are learning the alphabet. 

So, here are some examples:

  1. Write Uppercase Letters
  2. I Spy Alphabet
  3. Learn ABC
  4. Connect ABC

  • Number Games

Like alphabet games, number games are also best for children. Parents can let their kids play these at home. Also, teachers can incorporate these into the classroom lessons. 

Then, we have the following as examples:

  1. Numbers Ice Cream Attack
  2. Comparing Numbers Quiz
  3. Ordering Numbers 11-20
  4. Ski Racer: Even Numbers

  • Skill Development Games

These games can be any classroom-related game applications. They intend to develop skills that the subject requires. 

Now, examples are as follows: 

  1. Colorfy: Coloring Art Game
  2. Vocabulary Spelling City
  3. Typing Race Master

Problem Solving Games

  • Puzzle Games

This type of game exercises the player’s skill in solving puzzles. 

Then, these are some examples:

  1. Jellipop Match
  2. Fishdom
  3. Wood Block Puzzle
  4. Pirate Treasures
  5. Scrabble Go

  • Card Games

Many people are fond of playing cards. Good thing, game developers have made card games available on mobile! 

So, here are some of them:

  1. Solitaire
  2. Hearthstone
  3. Poker Games: World Poker Club and Reigns

  • Strategy Games

This game type focuses on developing the player’s skill in planning. Specifically, it emphasizes building a strategy or tactic to win the game. 

Now, below are some examples:

  1. Clash of Clans
  2. Clash Royale
  3. The Escapists
  4. Shredder Chess

Video Games

 

  • Adventure Games

 

This type of game is perfect for those looking for challenging gameplay. 

Specifically, it involves fast action and war. It brings the player into exciting situations. For this, there is a combination of puzzle-solving and reflex testing as a challenge. 

Examples are the following:

  1. Grand Mountain Adventure
  2. Genshin Impact
  3. Crashlands
  4. 80 Days

  • Arcade Games 

Arcade gaming is a competitive type of game. For instance, it topped a mobile gaming competition in 2016. 

Now, this type offers short gameplays and instant challenges. It is different from other games that feature a story or content.

Then, these are a few examples:

  1. Fruit Ninja
  2. Space Frontiers
  3. Subway Surfers

  • Role-playing Games 

This category includes games with longer gameplays. Also, it has journeys, long storylines, and various characters. 

So, these are some examples:

  1. Ragnarok
  2. Dungeons and Dragons
  3. House of the Dead
  4. Pandemic: A New Challenge 

  • Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Games 

This type of game involves two teams of players. They compete against each other on a battlefield.

Precisely, each player controls a single character. It has unique abilities that improve throughout the game. Significantly, it contributes to the overall strategy of the team.

Now, here are some examples:

  1. DOTA
  2. Arena of Valor
  3. Defense of the Ancients
  4. Heroes of the Storm

Some of the Most Popular Mobile Games We Play     

Pokemon Go

Are you familiar with Pokemon? Specifically, it is a Japanese anime television series. It features the adventures of Ash Ketchum and his Pokemon, Pikachu.

In its developed mobile game, the player discovers a whole new world. Unlike that in the series, the game allows for extra navigation of the locations. Specifically, the player can view places far and wide.

Besides, one gets to discover more Pokemon characters. To catch one, target a Pokemon. Then, throw the Poke ball.

Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush is a popular puzzle video game. 

In particular, the goal is to swap colored candies to match three similar colors. A match of four or more colors creates power-ups with a larger board.

Around 2014, more than ninety-three million people played this game. Consequently, it made a revenue of almost five hundred million dollars in three months.

Angry Birds

Who hasn’t tried playing this? Almost everyone has, right?

Specifically, this game series involves multi-colored birds. They try to save their eggs from their enemies, the green-colored pigs. The goal is to destroy the pigs’ support beams using a slingshot.

Significantly, it generated more than two billion downloads in January 2014. Then, it increased to over three billion in July 2015. This success made it the most downloaded freemium game series of all time.

Assassin’s Creed

Assassin’s Creed is an action-adventure video game. 

To be particular, it depicts a fictional struggle between the Assassins and the Templars. Assassins fight for peace with free will. Meanwhile, Templars work for it through order and control.

Furthermore, the game features historical and science fiction involving fictional characters. They relate to real-life historical events and figures.

Minecraft

Minecraft is a sandbox video game. It is the best-selling video of all time. Notably, it sold two hundred million copies. In 2020, it had a hundred and twenty-six million active users monthly.

A player explores a blocky world with infinite terrain. Also, he discovers and extracts raw materials and craft tools or items. Besides, he builds earthwork structures.

Examples of Christian Games  

Bible Bingo

Most of us play bingo. It is indeed one of our favorite games. Did you know that the Bible has its version?

Specifically, the mechanics are the same as in any typical bingo. However, instead of numbers, this game uses Bible verses. The game flashes a biblical passage. Then, cross out all verses that serve as references for it. 

Bible Crossword Puzzle

This game is similar to any crossword puzzle that we know. In particular, there is a set of questions to answer. Then, you have to input the words into the intersecting tiles of letters.

However, this game uses biblical terms instead. These may be characters, places, events, or the like.

Bible Crush

Candy Crush is a favorite of most gamers. Are you one? Surprisingly, there is also a crushing game for the Bible.

The concept is the same. However, instead of candies, Bible Crush uses fruits and plants. Also, there is a bonus. Specifically, it includes a trivia question at the end of every level.

Bible Hangman

Hangman is a guessing game. Typically, it uses paper and pencil. A player thinks of any word, phrase, or sentence. Then, the other tries to guess it by suggesting letters. There is a limit of guesses.

Generally, Bible Hangman is the same. However, it employs biblical books, persons, events, and the like.

Heroes Bible Trivia

Heroes? Yes, the Bible has heroes! 

They are characters like Adam, Moses, Jacob, Abraham, and others. How? They have traits and deeds that make them significant for people to know. Of course, the list includes Jesus, the ultimate superhero of all.

Now, this game educates the player about the life of biblical icons. It does this in the form of trivia questions for him to answer. With every correct answer, he collects power effects that he can use to upgrade further.

It is an educational yet fun way of knowing the heroes of the Bible. Instead of spending too much time on useless games, why don’t you choose this one? While enjoying the thrill of the game, you learn facts.

Indeed, it’s like studying the Bible already! You don’t have to worry about having an overdose of addiction for this. The more you enjoy playing, the more you gain knowledge.

5 Features That Make A Christian Game Awesome   

Nonfictional Content

Most video gameplays comprise fictional characters, places, ideas, or events. In contrast, a Christian game uses nonfiction elements. Notably, it is one of the best things about this type of play.

Because of this, there is no room for deception and misleading. In essence, everything the user learns from the app is a piece of truth.

Integration of the Bible, History, and Faith

Unlike secular gaming apps, a Christian game incorporates religion and spirituality. That is, it touches on sacred truths from the Bible. It introduces biblical teachings, personalities, cultures, and occurrences. 

More particularly, it educates the player on a certain Bible hero, place, or event. He gets to know his life, challenges, and significant acts. 

Eventually, it leads him to God. He increases his knowledge about Him. The more he plays, the more he grows in His likeness. Hence, it develops his faith.

Stunning Yet Nontoxic Graphics and Sounds

Christian games are at par with other popular gaming apps. Like them, they have excellent graphics and sounds.

Unfortunately, most secular adventure gameplays are harmful to health. For instance, most players of Mobile Legends develop eye problems. It is because of the extremely rapid motions that demand close attention.

Fortunately, Christian games are more eye-friendly. They do not have optically demanding graphics. Also, their sound effects and music do not pollute the ear and the brain.

Educational Value with Fun and Entertainment

Undoubtedly, Christmas games provide educational value. It teaches about the Bible and enhances spirituality.

But at the same time, the player enjoys the game. There are exciting puzzles to exercise the brain. Also, there are fun quizzes to challenge memory and stock knowledge. Still, there are exciting trivia to learn.

Excellent Gameplay

Significantly, Christian games do not go behind in terms of technical features.

Specifically, it has excellent input controls. It works well with keyboards, mouses, gamepads, joysticks, and the like.

Moreover, Christian games are compatible with most devices and operating systems. They work well with both Android and Apple systems. 

Finally, Christian games have a fast loading time. Like other video games, it has advanced graphics and animation technology. Hence, it prevents lagging.

Bio

Heroes 2 : The Game is a Bible trivia game released by the Hope Channel. It is a sequel to the game, Heroes, which was released way back in 2013. The latest game version is on its new 3D animation, comes with unique features, and has more challenging Bible questions in four languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. The game is available on both iOS and Android.

5 Features That Make A Christian Game Awesome

 

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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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Evolution Of Halo

Evolution Of Halo

Any serious gamer would be familiar with the Halo series. But if, for some reason, you aren’t aware, Halo is a Microsoft-exclusive video game that focuses on the adventures of Master Chief and his AI sidekick Cortana as they battle against the alien forces of the Covenant to prevent the extinction of life in the galaxy. With its impressive performance and visuals, it is the perfect game for an Xbox or a specialist gaming PC.

The game has undergone a lot of change since its first release back in 2001, so now’s the time to talk about the evolution of Halo.

Early development

Bungie began development on a new video game in 1997 with a working title ‘Monkey Nuts’ before it was changed to ‘Blam!’. The game was planned as a real-time strategy (RTS), but Bungie soon decided the game was suited to this genre. This decision led them to change tack and go in the third-person shooter (TPS) direction.

Thanks to inside contacts at Apple, the developers were able to get a meeting with an impressed Steve Jobs, who agreed to showcase the game at the 1999 Macworld Conference & Expo. At this time the game still didn’t have a final name, so Bungie had to bring in a branding firm to help. They suggested ‘Halo’. This went down like a lead balloon with the developers - nobody liked it, complaining it was too “on the nose” in regards to the ring world the game was based around. At Macworld, Steve Jobs announced that Halo would be released for MacOS and Windows.

Despite this, in June 2000, Microsoft purchased Bungie and Halo was announced for a day-one launch title for their first games console, the Xbox. At E3 2000, Halo was shown as a TPS but after their acquisition, Microsoft pushed for the game to go down the FPS route - a rarity for consoles at the time. //H2:

The original trilogy

Halo: Combat Evolved

On 15 November 2001, Halo: Combat Evolved (CE) was released in North America in line with the launch of the Xbox. Initially Bungie developers felt uneasy about the ‘Combat Evolved’ subtitle, with some labelling it “stupid”. However, this was added by Microsoft to better describe the game and compete with other FPS games.

The game provides players with a first-person experience of a 3D environment, predominantly set on the ring-like world - Halo. It follows the adventures of lead character Master Chief (or John-117) pitted against the enemy forces of the Covenant, a group of allied alien species. Aided by the United Nations Space Command (UNSC), it’s up to the player to navigate their way through the missions and destroy the Halo ring before it’s weaponised by the Covenant to destroy all sentient life in the galaxy.

The player is equipped with a heads-up display (HUD) that registers both allied and enemy movement, and Master Chief’s shield charge (the traditional health bar), which automatically recharges if the player takes no damage for a brief period.

The player also has access to a range of vehicles throughout the campaign and on multiplayer, including armored 4x4 Warthogs, Scorpion tanks and various alien craft.

Halo: CE came with a split-screen mode, allowing two players to journey through the campaign together (co-op). The game’s multiplayer allows for up to 16 players - four per Xbox using a ‘System Link’ feature. With the game launched before the introduction of online multiplayer service Xbox Live, gamers had to play together through a local area network (LAN). Despite this limitation, Halo: CE is thought to have one of the best multiplayer experiences.

Sales for Halo: CE were a slow burner but it’s long-tail sales rate saw it become very successful commercially. It sold more than 5 million copies over three years, and it was sold alongside more than half of all Xbox consoles sold in the first two months.

Halo: CE has received critical acclaim, being regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time. With many publications posting review scores of 10/10, it was also up for numerous awards.

Marking exactly ten years since its release, Halo: CE was re-released in 2011 as Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. This version came with highly enhanced graphics and supported the online multiplayer mode, which was previously lacking.

Halo 2

The sales figures posted from Halo: CE were impossible for Xbox to ignore. Fans worldwide were anticipating a sequel, especially with Master Chief’s hint at the end of CE that the fight was only getting started. Thankfully they didn’t have to wait too long - at E3 2002, Xbox announced that Halo 2 was in production.

Halo 2 was released worldwide on 9 November 2004. The campaign picks up directly after its predecessor: a Covenant Elite commander is punished for his failure to prevent Master Chief destroying the Halo ring. He is given the rank of Arbiter and acts as one of the game’s many antagonists - alongside the parasitic species, the ‘Flood’, the Covenant leadership and Covenant Brute, Tartarus. Halo 2’s campaign sees the player journey through a number of locations across the galaxy, including the Covenant's planetoid station, High Charity, another Halo ring and our very own planet Earth.

Unlike its predecessor, the Halo 2 campaign alternates between two storylines - one following Master Chief and the other as the Arbiter. Both act as playable characters throughout the game. Master Chief’s HUD is similar to Halo: CE, just without the health bar. When playing as the Arbiter, the player can activate a camouflage feature for a short time.

Halo 2 again features a multiplayer system. With the successful launch of Xbox Live, this was the first game in the series to have fully functional online multiplayer. Players could find online games and also socialize through voice chats.

This also marked the beginning of downloadable content for Halo, where players could buy extra map packs. It also gave Bungie the ability to fix bugs and glitches found after the game’s release and distribute them to their playerbase.

A remastered edition of Halo 2 was released in November 2014 as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One.

Halo 3

It was never intended for Halo to be a trilogy, but the success of the franchise made it inevitable. The Halo series had garnered a hugely passionate fan base across the world. Very shortly after Halo 2 released, Bungie began work on Halo 3.

The final installment of the original trilogy was released on 25th September 2007. However, fans who had preordered the Xbox game Crackdown had the opportunity to get an early hands-on look with the game’s beta version. This was beneficial to Bungie, who could act upon feedback from players before finishing development.

The campaign is centered around “Finishing the Fight”, continuing the war between Humanity and the Covenant. Following on from the events of Halo 2, Master Chief joins forces with his previous adversary, the Arbiter. They fight to destroy the Ark, a huge artificial structure that can activate all Halo rings and is constructing another ring to replace the one destroyed in Halo: CE

Spin-offs and prequels

Halo 3: ODST

Halo 3: ODST was launched as the fourth installment of the Halo franchise on 22 September 2009. It was the first Halo game not to feature Master Chief as the main protagonist.

The campaign takes place during the events of Halo 2 and is set entirely on Earth, in the city of New Mombasa in Kenya, Africa. It follows the story of a lone Orbital Drop Shock Trooper (ODST) called Rookie as he awakes from a crash landing to discover what has happened to his squad.

While this game does not feature an online multiplayer matchmaking system, it does introduce ‘Firefight’. This is a game mode in which the aim is for the player to battle against increasingly strong waves of Covenant enemies to score points and survive as long as possible. Multiplayer firefight supports up to four players who share a pool of seven lives, which are replenished every five rounds.

Halo Reach

Announced at E3 in 2009, Halo: Reach was to be the last in the series developed by Bungie and the prequel to the original trilogy. Gamers who owned Halo 3: ODST had access to Halo: Reach’s multiplayer beta - which alone garnered between two and three million players.

Halo: Reach was released on 14 September 2010 and takes place shortly before the events of Halo: CE. Set on Earth-like human colony Reach, it follows a group of Spartans called Noble Team who are tasked with seeing off the Covenant in their efforts to destroy the planet. After it becomes inevitable that Reach will fall to the hands of the Covenant, it is up to the team to transport AI Cortana to the UNSC Ship we see in the events of Halo: CE.

The playable character in Halo: Reach is simply called Noble Six, a lone wolf who is a person of few words - they have no dialogue in the campaign.

Due to the dreary nature of the storyline, the feel of the game as a whole has a darker tone. Bungie introduced a redesigned game engine and hired an expert in motion capture to creative more realistic animations for the characters.

Halo: Reach came with online multiplayer matchmaking, Forge and Firefight - seemingly a culmination of all Bungie had introduced during their time developing Halo games.

Drawing critical acclaim again, Halo: Reach served as the perfect prequel to the series but also a great farewell to Bungie. It beat Halo 3’s record in sales, making $200 million on day one.

Halo in the strategy genre

In 2009, Halo dipped its toes into the strategy genre with developer’s Bungie initially planning for the game to be an RTS. Microsoft has published two Halo games in the RTS genre: Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2. The former was developed by Microsoft-owned Ensemble Studies who had previously experience in the strategy arena. Halo Wars takes place from a bird’s-eye view. Players can build bases, which in turn produce vehicles and troops to fight against their opponents.

After receiving a positive reaction to Halo Wars, Halo in the RTS scene went quiet. It wasn’t until 21 February 2017 that Halo Wars 2 was released, developed by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly.

343 Industries takeover

From 2011, Microsoft entrusted 343 Industries with the development of future Halo games after Bungie separated from Microsoft. Named after Halo character 343 Guilty Spark, the studio is dedicated exclusively to the Halo franchise.

343 spearheaded the development of the remastered editions of Halo: CE and Halo 2. They also introduced a new Halo series, the Reclaimer saga. This series would continue to follow the adventures of Master Chief as he fights against new enemies. Halo 4 was released in November 2012, with its successor, Halo 5: Guardians, released October 2015. There has been a much more mixed reaction to the 343 Industries’ titles compared to the original trilogy.

The future: Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite will see Master Chief return to the ringworld after battles on the planet Requiem and the betrayal of AI sidekick Cortana. Originally slated to release alongside the Xbox Series X/S, the title has been delayed until late 2021. While fans are understandably disappointed about the postponement, it’s worth noting that 343 Industries is taking the time to get the development of the game right.

Summary

By the time Halo Infinite is released in 2021, Halo will have been going for 20 years. This is hugely impressive and is testament to the extremely passionate and large fanbase that it has accumulated over the years. Halo has become so popular that it has not only dipped into multiple genres, but other media has also been created with the brand. There are books centred around it, and there is even a TV show in development. With its ability to evolve and diversify, one thing’s for certain: Halo is a juggernaut of the video game industry and it certainly isn’t going away soon.

Author Bio: Oliver Griffiths has a passion for film, video games and technology. He can be found at Tillison Consulting running a number of clients’ digital marketing campaigns across all sectors and platforms.

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10 Best Gaming Laptops for Students

10 Best Gaming Laptops for Students

Learning on the go has become the norm in recent years. While studying is important, it’s also important to take frequent breaks and have some fun playing your favorite games. With that, let’s take a look at some of the best gaming laptops which you can get as a student.

  1. Acer Aspire E15

The Acer Aspire E15 line provides a comfortable balance of power and utility for both K-12 and academic students. It features 12-hour battery life, a dedicated MX150 graphics card, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB SSD coupled with a 4-core processor. It is a great laptop line designed for students on a tighter budget.

  1. Asus VivoBook

If you’re looking for a lightweight laptop with good gaming performance, Asus VivoBook has you covered. It comes with an AMD 4-core processor, Radeon Vega 8 graphics, 128GB SSD, and 8GB DDR4 RAM. This laptop will allow you to comfortably work on your student projects and games without issues.

  1. Dell G5 15

Students with a little more money to spend should consider Dell’s G5 15 as a gaming/studying laptop. This laptop comes with Intel’s i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, 512GB SSD, and 16GB DDR4 RAM. It’s a good option for students who use 3D modeling or graphic design software.

  1. HP Pavilion 14

If a sturdy and well-built casing is what you’re after, this is the machine for you. HP Pavilion 14 comes with Intel i5 processor, integrated graphics, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 256GB SSD storage. This is a great choice for students who write papers frequently and need a good, sizable laptop to work with. Getting in touch with top essay writing services available online can also make writing papers and essays much more comfortable.

  1. Acer Chromebook 315

Not every gamer will be into the latest titles, which rely on Ray-Tracing and Acer understands that. Their Chromebook 315 is a great choice for students who enjoy pixel-art and indie games while working on their school projects. It comes with a dual-core Intel processor, integrated graphics, 32GB SSD, and 4GB DDR RAM.

  1. Microsoft Surface GO 2

Students who like to take their laptops to classes and use them for presentations should consider this option. Microsoft’s laptop comes with an Intel M3 processor, integrated graphics, 8GB DDR RAM, and 128GB SSD. It’s a 2-in-1 laptop that can double as a tablet, making it great for studying, gaming, and playing multimedia.

  1. Lenovo IdeaPad L340

Lenovo’s L340 is a great balance of raw gaming power and value for money given the setup of its components. It comes equipped with an Intel i5 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 512GB SSD. This laptop will cover all of your online gaming and student needs for the foreseeable future.

  1. Acer Nitro 5

Touted as a gaming laptop by Acer, Nitro 5 is a great machine for students who spend all day at their computers. Nitro 5 features an Intel i5 or AMD 4-core processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 or AMD Radeon RX 560, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 256-512GB SSD. It is a powerful piece of technology for students who like more modern games.

  1. Dell Inspirion 15 5000

Students in need of a high-quality display and a touchscreen should consider this laptop by Dell. It comes with Intel i7 processor, integrated graphics, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 256GB SSD. It is a solid, sizable laptop great for both studying and gaming.

  1. Lenovo IdeaPad 310

Lastly, IdeaPad 310 may not be the beefiest machine on our list, but it’s still a classic. It has a 6th gen Intel processor, integrated graphics, 8GB DDR RAM, and 2TB HD space. While it won’t let you play the latest games, it will still work great with older titles and serve as a great studying machine.

Conclusion

If you’re shopping for a budget gaming laptop that can double as a studying platform, these machines will work great for you. Make sure to check each one out and compare their prices in your region and with different sellers. You’ll settle for your next student gaming laptop before you know it.

Bio: Henry Mcdowell is a writer, editor, blogger, and tech aficionado. He has a passion for writing, which he expresses through articles and essays published on various outlets. Henry also likes to game in his spare time.

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Stay Safe with GameZod when Trading or Buying CSGO Skins

Gamezod

Do you play CSGO? If you do, you will know the value of item skins in the game. In CSGO, players get to collect item skins, and the best thing is that you can also buy or sell CSGO skins online. You will see a price difference in different item skins, as some are more popular than others. You can save time and effort by buying skins online, as you will be able to get the skin of your choice directly. But is it safe to buy CSGO skins online?

If you are planning to buy skins online, it is very important to choose a trustworthy site. You can easily get scammed by someone if you don’t pay attention, and this is the last thing you would want to happen. People can run away with your money, and they can even take your account by asking for the username and password. Logging in to your account on a reliable website isn’t an issue, but if you do it on an unreliable platform, you can lose your account. 

Some sites as for personal details that aren’t even required, and sharing your personal info with an unknown third-party service provider can be an issue. There are a lot of ways in which you can get scammed; however, you are unlikely to face any issues if you choose the right site. But how to choose a trustworthy CSGO trading site? In the next section of this article, we will discuss how you can find a safe platform to buy, sell, or trade CSGO skins

Visit GameZod to find a safe CSGO trading site

On GameZod, you will find lists of various gaming-related sites, and there is a category for CSGO on the homepage. In this category, you will find the best CSGO trading sites, and you will also find sites where you can buy or sell item skins. If you choose a site from the listing on GameZod, you are unlikely to face any of the above-mentioned issues. 

All sites mentioned on the platform are safe for users, and you are likely to have a pleasant experience while making a purchase on them. On these sites, you will find several options to choose from, and you will easily be able to find the skin you want to purchase. You can purchase skins safely by paying for them, or you can trade skins to get your favorite ones. 

Selling an item skin you don’t like can also be a good idea, as you can use the money to buy a skin you like. Some skins go for high prices, so you can get a good amount of money if you own a popular skin. CSGO skin prices can vary depending upon their popularity, launch year, appearance, and platform on where they are sold. On GameZod, you will find multiple sites on the list, which means you can easily compare prices as well. 

Conclusion 

If you have read this article carefully, you will know how to find a reliable CSGO trading platform. Buying CSGO skins can be a good idea as you won’t have to rely on your luck to get your favorite skin. You can directly select the item skin you love and get it by paying for it. If you don’t want to spend money, you can trade skins to get the desired item. Now that you know where to find the best trading sites, let’s find the item skin you love and rock the game. 

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The War With Grandpa

The War With Grandpa

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

The War With Grandpa is a star studded comedy featuring Robert De Niro, Uma Therman, Rob Riggle, Cheech Marin, and Christopher Walken. The grandpa (Robert De Niro) is a widower who is struggling to get by since his wife passed away. Most technology eludes him like self-checkout registers at stores and smart phones. After a legal scuffle, he agrees to live with his daughter’s (Uma Therman) family though the transition won’t be easy for either of them. The grandson, Peter, is forced to give up his room and relocate to the attic where he shares living space with mice and bats. It goes without saying that Peter is not happy with his new accommodations.

After sharing his struggles with his friends, he follows their advice and declares war on his grandpa to get his room back. At first, his grandfather brushes off the declaration of war and first couple of pranks. Upon realizing that Peter won’t be giving up, he decides to fight back as long as they agree to no collateral damage and no tattling on each other. Let the games begin!

Prepare for some funny pranks though a couple of them involve obscured nudity. Grandpa has a tendency of dropping his pants unintentionally. Thankfully, any naughty bits are obscured by conveniently located plants. There is also some language including hell and *ss.

Though the themes of bullying and revenge carry through the movie, the ending is heartwarming and shows the value of familial love. The lesson of war being brutal and having many casualties is also true. Another takeaway is the importance of keeping your word.

Overall, my family enjoyed watching this ninety-five minute movie together. If you have a house full of pranksters, they’ll be sure to enjoy this film. The asking price of $23 on Amazon is reasonable for the Blue-ray edition.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Hydragun

Hydragun

Thank you Hydragun for sending us a review sample!

In August we agreed to review the Citysports Massage Gun. At the time the massage gun was $160 (it’s now $99.99) and since we didn’t get reimbursed as promised we returned it and got our money back. Because we found the massage gun useful, we bought a $79.99 Chirogun out of pocket (It now sells for $117). Not only is the Chirogun half the price, it has thirty speeds instead of twenty and fifteen replacement heads compared to Hydragun's six. 

Hydragun reached out to us to do a comparison between their $299 product and the Amazon offerings. To be honest, many of the massage guns available on Amazon look similar and it makes you wonder how many of them are manufactured at the same factory and have different stickers and LEDs added to make them slightly different.

Though Hydragun is a relatively new startup from Singapore, they back their products with a thirty-day return policy and a 1.5 year warranty. The Chrirogun only offers a 1 year warranty.

Hydragun claims to be quiet and its noise level ranges from 30 to 50dB. It’s on par with our other massage gun so I can’t really say it’s any different in that respect. The Aerospace grade aluminum shell gives the Hydragun a nice feel, but it also makes it a few ounces heavier than the competition. The nanoscale silicon wrapped handle gives it a nice non-slip grip which comes in handy if you use this massage gun after working up a sweat.

The battery life can last between three and six hours depending on which of the six speeds you run it on. The bottom three LEDs on the back of the gun let you know the battery level. I’m happy to report that the AC adapter has outlet configurations for United States and European electrical sockets. There are six speeds that range from 1300 to 3200 RPM. The Chirogun maxes out at 3200 RPM divided between thirty speed levels.

Hydragun

The Chirogun offers a mix of fifteen plastic and foam attachments. The Hydragun offers six with a couple of them having a (thin) stainless steel coating. The foam ball head is ideal for larger muscle groups including glutes, quads, lats, and traps. There’s a plastic and a steel flat head and these are good for wide areas including pecs and back muscles. The bullet head is designed for inner joints, feet, and deeper penetration. The fork head can be used on the back and medium muscle groups like forearms and calves. The last head is a steel round head for larger muscle groups that need a harder massage.

There’s no doubt about it, the Hydragun is nice and definitely helps relieve sore muscles. However, it does have a hefty price tag. I have seen promotions on their website for $49-$70 discounts so be sure to look into the promotions before completing your purchase. If you’re still unsure about the quality, check out the reviews page for endorsements from various world champions as well as reviews and testimonials of satisfied customers.

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Taking a Breather

Twitch break

Believe it or not, but running a game review site isn’t all fun and games.  Surprising right?  Streaming first impressions is mutually beneficial for our reviewers and visitors.  Our reviewers can refer back to the video for the game’s story and their first impressions.  Our viewers can see if the game is interesting enough to consider buying.  Since I don’t like showing too much of a game without spoiling it, I try to only stream the first hour or so to avoid going into spoiler territory.  While this approach is thoughtful, it’s counter-productive. 

By providing several streams a week we’re trying out several new games and not getting enough time to go back to finish their reviews.  Currently, I have thirty-five games assigned to myself (Yikes!).  I like to compare these streamed games to boxes of cereal.  I keep opening up new boxes of cereal and need to finish them up before they go stale.

To help me catch up on these backlogged games, I’ll be taking a break from regular streaming until next year.  There’s a lot on our plates and many of us are working full or part time jobs while still maintaining this site.  If you are blessed by the work we do, please consider supporting us on Twitch (we currently have 0 subscribers and Amazon Prime members can subscribe for free!), Patreon, Subscribe Star (Nobody has used this yet!), Ko-fi, Paypal, or Giving Grid.

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Insert Coin: Inside Midway's '90s Revolution

Insert Coin

Thank you UberStrategist for sending us a screener to review!

Insert Coin is a documentary about the rise and fall of the popular arcade game making company, Midway. Though Midway has been around since 1958, this film covers the 80s through their bankruptcy in 2009. The 1981 acquisition of Bally is also discussed with their rivalry with Williams. These companies combined are well known for their pinball and early video games like Defender, Joust, Robotron 2084, and Rush. In the mid-80s people were getting tired of the copycat and low-quality games and as a result, the industry was losing its audience.

In 1988, the recently re-branded Midway released Narc which was an arcade hit and stirred up some controversy with its bloodiness and dismembering of body parts. Smash TV did well in the theaters but Midway had to learn from a mistake of teasing the gamers about a nonexistent hidden area (Pleasure Dome) and shipped out ROM chips to actually add it to the game. Countless quarters were spent trying to find that mystical area.

It’s interesting to know that a successful arcade game was one that generated $700/week. NBA Jam was such a success that the arcade machines were deemed defective because their quarter holders were filled to capacity! Their most popular franchise, Mortal Kombat is covered in detail with its over-the-top violence and backlash for it. The film adaptation is also covered. Mortal Kombat was so edgy that Nintendo removed the blood from their SNES release. SEGA left the game intact to attract an older audience.

As the console systems took off, arcades became less popular. In 2001 Midway phased out their coin operated machines and closed their doors for good in 2009. They have made some great games and seeing their inspiration and backstories in this documentary is truly fascinating. Some of the executives and game developers have unbridled tongues so you may want to think twice before letting young kids watch this movie. There's also a lot of violence and blood/dismemberment shown in the game footage too. If you’ve enjoyed Midway games, you should check out this film on demand or at virtual cinemas!

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8 Reasons Why Gift Cards from Gift Card Summit Are Your Best Gift Idea

Gift cards are quickly becoming a popular gift idea. If you don't know what a person will like or they already have everything you can think of, the perfect solution is a gift card from Gift Card Summit. There is something for everyone on your Christmas list, even if they live across the country. Gaming, movies, live stream services, and general cards that can be used at almost any location, gift cards from Gift Card Summit offer you the chance to give a gift that everyone will be happy with.

Great for Gamers

Whether it's a new piece of gaming equipment or a software addition, gamers are always looking for the next step up that will give them an advantage over other players. When it comes to this type of gift, odds are, if you aren't a gamer yourself you will buy the wrong thing. This is when a gift card from Gift Card Summit for your favorite gamer will come in handy.

Ideal for Shut-Ins

Gift Card Summit gift cards are an ideal gift for shut-ins who do much of their shopping online. General gift cards are are easy to purchase as a gift for a loved one and even easier to use especially online. Gift Card Summit gift cards can be used to buy a special item for fun or leisure, or they can be used for basic necessities. The beauty of gift cards is that the recipient is in charge of what they buy and when they make their purchases. 

Use Online or In Person

Gift cards can be used just like a credit or debit card. The primary difference between a gift card and the others is that most gift cards do not come with a chip. You have the option of using them online, over the phone, or in person. With the right card, you can buy almost anything from anywhere. With more and more stores offering virtual shopping, gift cards are becoming one of the most popular gifts around

Easy to Mail

Gift cards are a great choice if you have to send gifts across the country. Bulky gifts can take weeks to deliver through the postal system or via a bulk package carrier like UPS. Instead, gift cards travel in a regular size envelope and will arrive at their destination in less than a week, in most cases. Even if they are mailed in an odd-sized envelope, they will arrive much faster than if you were sending a larger gift. Even better, digital gift cards from Gift Card Summit are extremely easy to send. 

Several Cards Can Be Used at Once

Another benefit of gift cards is that you can use all of them on one purchase. Whether you are buying online or in the store, you can use all or some of your gift cards for your purchase as long as they aren't associated with a specific service or company like Netflix or Amazon. It's easier to double up on cards when you are purchasing an item in a store or over the phone.

Works Just Like a Pre-Paid Credit Card

Gift cards work just like a pre-paid credit card. Many gift cards work just like pre-paid credit cards allowing you to reload them again and again. This is a great idea if you have a student who is away at school. They can buy whatever they need and when their funds get low, you can reload them by purchasing a refill card and transferring the funds. It makes it extremely easy to make sure your student always has what they need.

Choose Your Amount

Many gift cards have a set amount they can be loaded with. Amounts can start with $5 or $10 and go as high as $500 or higher depending on what type of card you are purchasing. Reloadable cards can be purchased for a wide variety of amounts as well. Being able to choose the desired amount allows you to give exactly what you want without having to worry about cutting someone's gift short.

Easily Transferable

If you are the recipient of multiple gift cards, you can always pass them on to someone else. Gift cards do not come with a name printed on them so there is no need to provide an ID or pin when using them. This makes it easy for you to pass them on to someone on your list who you may not know well enough to buy the perfect gift. Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, and Netflix cards are great ideas if you plan on handing your gift cards off to someone else.

At Gift Card Summit, you can find almost any type of gift card imaginable. You can shop for everyone on your list in just a few minutes instead of spending hours waiting in line at the store or going through online shopping sites. Take a few minutes and make your list and then place your order. Be the Santa that everyone loves this year by giving gift cards from Gift Card Summit to the ones you love.

 

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Five Latest Online Gaming Trends For 2020

 

Five Latest Online Gaming Trends For 2020

As the world progresses towards better technology and improved skills, we are experiencing a massive gaming industry transformation. Faster internet, better consoles, and the gaming community's growth have made 2020 one of gamers' best experiences.

With a whopping 164 million people hooked on online gaming, primarily due to COVID-19, it is increasingly becoming one of the mainstream industry of the year 2020. Let's see below how the gaming industry is evolving and what are its latest trends.

The following are the lastest online gaming trends for the year 2020:

  1. Video Game Streaming

A new trend that is very famous now in online gaming is the streaming of video games. Twitch and YouTube are currently the largest platforms for these video game streams. Last year people viewed streams for more than 2.5 billion hours on Twitch, while on YouTube, viewer hours were more than 700 million hours.

The platforms do not restrict to only professional streamers, but anyone can stream any game they want for their viewers. These streams could contain streamers completing a walkthrough of a single-player game or playing an online multiplayer game with friends. Popular games like League of Legends, Fortnite, World of Warcraft, and more have seen a massive spike in viewers as most people stay home during the pandemic.

New games are being released, requiring the person to grind for several hours before being competitive. In such a case, people leave the grinding and watch their favorite streamer grind to see what it looks like on a competitive level.

If this is happening to you, but you still want to play games like World of Warcraft competitively, in that case, you have the option to buy wow accounts safely from authorized websites. That will supersede your ranking so that you can stay ahead of other players and catch up to players on a high level in an instant. Many websites sell accounts for reasonable prices, and they are 100% safe and verified.

  1. Cross-Platform Gaming

Another trend that is very popular these days is cross-platform and cross-progression. Cross-platform is when games allow their players on one console or device to match up and play with players on other consoles. Many famous multiplayer games enable cross-platform so that people can play with their friends or other online players.

Most of the same games provide cross-progression, which allows you to keep your account if you have switched from one console to another device. Players on the PlayStation can now match with players of Xbox and PC. Even if it's an excellent option,  many games choose not to allow cross-play functionality. Many do not want to play with players from another console or device because the skill gap might be higher on other devices.

  1. Online Dealer Games

The year 2020 has also been an awful year for gamblers who used to play casino games and win massive amounts of money from it. Due to the global pandemic, almost all of the casinos closed their operations. But these gamblers do not have to worry anymore as the internet can now give you access to the same gambling games on an online platform.  Games such as slots, poker, blackjack, slots, and roulette are available to play online. These gambling websites allow you to play and gamble your money on any game you like.

Similarly to real life, you will be playing against other players who also have money on the line. The online gambling industry is booming as well. More than two billion people play these online dealer games, easily accessible on most devices, including smartphones.

  1. Mobile Gaming

Everyone has access to a smartphone, and every smartphone has games on it. Mobile gaming was a viral trend last year as it allowed people to play from anywhere, be it their office, college, or home. Because of the global pandemic, mostly everyone is staying at their home. However, this has increased the trend of mobile gaming to be even bigger than before.

Most people in a household do not have access to a console or a PC, but everyone has a smartphone. These days, many popular game companies have now integrated their games to play them on most mobile devices. The launch of the 5G network to many phones and areas has increased the internet speed so that gamers can play these games on lower ping. Mobile Gamers have access to all kinds of games, like board games, casino games, action, sports, and much more.

  1. Remastered and Remakes

There have been triple-A title games that were released and impacted the gaming community in the past. Even though popular sequels of acclaimed games are released, everyone wants to play the classics to feel nostalgia. Video game companies have considered this and are now releasing remakes and remaster of old classic games.

The remastered and remakes of cult-favorite games are getting popular these days. Many video games like Demon Souls, Final Fantasy VII, FFXIII, Resident Evil 2 and 3 went through the remaking process. Moreover, there are remastered games like Dark Souls, Uncharted and Last of Us. These allow players to revisit their childhood games with a new touch or newcomers to try the game's best version. Remastered Games and Remakes have secured many units over the past years profiting many gaming companies.

Conclusion

Many gaming companies have seen this global pandemic as a source of profit. Some gaming platforms like Steam had over 20 million online concurrent users on March 15, 2020. Since people want an activity that explores their creative ability and provides them with stimulation, gaming is the possible source which fulfills their need.  It is no wonder that new genres and various games continue to be pushed to the audience as players stay home during the pandemic.

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Oligase

As a Christian who’s interested in bridging the gap between faith-based entertainment and entertaining execution, I look forward to big-budget productions that can nail Christian themes while still being something that can work in a secular space. While not necessarily a huge blockbuster (premiering at an online version of a Filipino film festival earlier this week), director John Valdes Tan adapts Filipino author Pio Arce’s Oligase for film. Endorsed by CBN Asia (the Asian chapter of the Christian Broadcasting Network), it’s a film that shows the uncomfortable struggle of an indigenous girl who wants to leave her tribe in order to pursue an education.

Based on the indigenous tribe of the Matigsalug tribe in the Bukidnon province of the Philippines, Oligase is a legend of a mythical demon of fear, who consumes innocent children that dare to learn outside knowledge of the tribe. In essence, this legend is shown to be a deterrent to leave, but protagonist Laha stumbles across a school when selling crops with her mom in town. Inspired by the teacher Connie (and disbelieving of the Oligase), she longs for the day when she can leave the village and educate herself.

Laha’s plan is settled as she realizes that she has been forced in an arranged marriage to the village chief, and runs away with farmhand Salantay in order to escape to the city. Unfortunately, this causes problems for Salantay, who is forced to leave the village and head to a bible school that his father went to; Salantay’s dad is known as one of the only people in the tribe to be able to read, and has been chastised for it.

Laha’s life continues to spiral up and down as while she does receive her education, a series of unfortunate events cause her blessing to be a curse. She is raped by Connie’s husband and forced on the streets as a prostitute, trying to find a way out of her situation. Meanwhile, Salantay learns about the misconceptions of the Oligase, and that while demonic spirits are out to prey on the tribe, the Lord Jesus is there to cast them out.

As a novel, Oligase is a heartfelt effort to shine a light to the indigenous Filipino’s plight. The author of the original novel worked with the Matigsalug for decades and wanted to explore their culture and lifestyle in a way that would be digestible to the metropolitan Filipino. In his journey, Arce also wanted to use this opportunity to evangelize and share Jesus’ love to those who need it the most, and to change the hearts and minds of the people within the provincial areas by providing assistance as well as education to these areas.

The film dances around this idea in the beginning and end, with the Gospel story being uttered by Salantay and Laha in the final scene. The cinematography of the scenery is done quite well, as the directors do a great job of showcasing the provincial Filipino areas of the Manobo tribes as well as the city of Davao. For someone who would want to travel to the Philippines, it does a great job with highlighting the lush areas of the place. It’s neat to see that most of the actors are from the Matigsalug tribe itself, and most of the performances contribute well to the film. The raw nature of some of the inexperienced actresses complement well to the gritty nature of the movie, though I couldn’t help but laugh at the actor portraying Chief Pinon. It was almost comical for the few scenes he has.

Unfortunately, this does get into “the book was better” territory (even if the novel isn’t available outside the Philippines currently), as the character development feels rushed, especially in the middle. I understand that the director wanted to emphasize the metaphorical horror of fear by stressing the unfortunate world of human sex trafficking in the Philippines, but due to the hour and 40 minute runtime, feels like it lingers a little too long in these areas. It doesn’t help that (most likely due to budgetary reasons), almost a third of the book is excised. I might not have noticed it if I didn’t read the novel, but considering this omission includes the redemptive arc of Laha finding faith from a passerby as she’s smuggled into Japan, it’s quite apparent. (For context, the film stays solely in the Philippines, specifically the Bukidnon and Davao areas.) This also cuts back on Salantay’s arc as a budding pastor, as a lot of his scenes are gone, making him a bit of a flat character in comparison to Laha.

In terms of content, I would probably peg Oligase to something like a hard PG-13, to the point where I was surprised that CBN Asia would allow the director to show some of it. There is some uncomfortable subject matter involved in Laha’s journey as she is violated by multiple men. Thankfully, nothing explicit is shown, but the scene where she is raped does portray the man getting half-naked (while Laha is fully clothed, the implications are there). There’s also a montage of her time in a brothel with some indecent acts beginning and implied to have a sexual ending, including a forced threesome with an adult film director. None of these scenes are played in a titillating light, and it’s constantly shown that Laha wants to escape from this accursed lifestyle.

The tribal practices also might cause some to squirm, with the death of a horse shown (though just the end when people finish stabbing its remains). There are some scary sequences concerning the Oligase itself, who is portrayed as an old, imposing creature with a frightening countenance, normally accompanied by a jumpscare. While almost the entirety of the film is spoken in dialects of Tagalog, there are some English instances of the word a** and s***. The translated subtitles include every PG-13 swear except for f***. I would recommend this film to older teens and adults who want a look into the life of the provincial Filipino, and who can deal with something as intense as The Passion of the Christ in terms of faith-based entertainment.

If you’d like to watch Oligase, you can do so for free until December 13 through the Mindanao Film Festival channel.

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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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