Monument Valley 2


Monument Valley 2 is a surreal, beautifully interactive work of art, a moving story, and a wonderful experience. Don’t get this if you’re into hardcore puzzles or vast realms of content. Do get this if you’d like a low-stress game that lets you marvel at beautiful vistas of pixels or if you enjoyed the first game.

Monument Valley 2, from ustwo games, has been out for a few months, but I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I played (and reviewed) the first version. That game was interactive, mysterious, immersive, and magical.

I am happy to tell you that Monument Valley 2 is just as good. “Just as good,” though, has some modifiers — an obvious downside of the original Monument Valley was the lack of content. It’s about an hour or two to play through it the first time. Monument Valley 2 has about the same amount of content. Knowing this, I consciously rationed my play to spread the game out over four days. This second game’s gameplay has a distinct lack of challenge to it. The puzzles seem to be there for show. I only remember feeling challenged at three points in the entire game.

Now for the good stuff.

The characters are Ro, her unnamed child, and several ghosts. Ro and her child explore Monument Valley, working together and separately to solve puzzles and discover themselves.

The art is just as wonderful as ever. Beautiful new mechanics, an emphasis on plant life and water, and a consistent theme throughout levels even improve on the original. I don’t really have anything to say about the art that I haven’t said before — magical, minimalistic, surreal, etc., etc. I could not stop playing the game on the first few occasions I started it up — the old familiar “just one more level,” for slightly different reasons. The game was so beautiful I only wanted to see more.

The music is even better than the original game’s. In this game, sounds create an immersive effect that pulls you into the story. At the beginning of the game, text even states that “this game is best played with sound.”

The story is quite a lot more immersive. Simple motions, sounds, and memories included in the game imply a level of emotional depth and attachment that wasn’t so obvious in the first game. This second story is far more open-ended, but it is much, much more relatable. I’m not saying that the first game’s story was bad. It wasn’t. But this one informs the level order, the level design, the characters’ journeys, and your sense of Monument Valley’s history. When compared to this story, the first story seemed like it was written in as an afterthought.

The gameplay mechanics are still easy to understand and use. There’s a pretty cool new ability to draw the sacred geometry that Ro and the child create. It has me incessantly striving to make my geometry even prettier.

I rate this a 4/5, because there is still not enough content. This irritates me deeply. All I really want is more Monument Valley, but even when they released this new game, I didn’t get what seemed like my money’s worth. Four more levels at least, please, and I’ll throw all my money at ustwo games.


The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Image result for legend of zelda wind waker

Review by: coolkid73

The Legend of Zelda is a video game series everybody has heard of, whether you’re a gamer or not. In 2003, The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker was released for the Nintendo Gamecube. It was then re-released in 2013 for the Wii U under the name Wind Waker HD.

In this game, Ganon has returned and has kidnapped Link’s sister. Link must now travel to several different islands, get items, and defeat enemies. This game uses anime style graphics to make it cartoony, which is only in the Gamecube original. The Wii U remaster upgrades to HD graphics.

One of the biggest alterations between the versions is the huge triforce hunt near the end. The locations of the triforce shards are switched, and so are the locations of some other items. The soundtrack is a mixture of calm, upbeat, chaotic, and adventurous songs. The Wii U remaster upgrades some of the songs to sound more realistic.

If you are new to Zelda games, this is the game I recommend you try out first. If you ask me which version I prefer, I would have to say the Gamecube original because that’s the one I grew up with, but most other people prefer the Wii U remaster. This game is fun, so I give it a 10/10.

Fun fact: If you own an older model of the original Wii, you can play Gamecube games on your Wii. You will need a copy of the game you are playing, a GameCube controller, and a GameCube memory card to play. You’ll know its an older model because it has four controller ports and two memory card slots at the top.

Dye Review

Image result for Retrolink SNES USB controller

Review by: jakobsherman

Dye is a fairly new indie game about a white blob who jumps around to color stuff. I know, an engaging plot. But what this game loses in story it more than makes up for in game play. This game plays excellently, especially with a controller. If you’re using a keyboard, well, it’s not that great. I decided to use my Retrolink SNES USB controller. I had a problem using it in game, so I downloaded JoyTokey, a free application that reads controller inputs and converts them into key presses. If you go this route, make sure to get the application from JoyTokey’s website, or else you might be at risk of a virus.

Dye is very good for what it is. It is easy to compare to Super Meat Boy for their tough game play and tight platforming. In Dye, you will die. Like a lot. In fact, for the best experience, I recommend creating a mindset where you’re okay with dying. Otherwise, prepare to rage. This game is perfect for any one looking for a retro game similar to things like Mario World, but with a modern twist. There is a ton of content in this game, especially if you’re going to one-hundred percent or speed run it. In the newest patch, there’s even a speed run counter, so I encourage you to run through it.

I picked this up recently, when it was on sale for less than four dollars, but I would recommend picking it up now while it’s on sale, and maybe even getting the bundle with the soundtrack for only a dollar extra. This game’s presentation is very nice. There are things in this game called Pigments, which are basically this game’s main collectible. The more you collect these, the more the levels fill up with color.

In conclusion, I would recommend picking this up now while it’s cheap, but otherwise, you should probably get it anyways, unless you don’t like this genre. I give Dye a solid 9.2/10, for it’s solid, yet difficult game play.


Game review of “Super Mario World”


Review by: jakobsherman

Super Mario World was a game released in 1991 by Nintendo. This is a game that would go down in history as one of the best games to ever hit shelves in stores, and for good reason too. Many people praise this game for it’s complex yet simple gameplay. This game mostly revolves around jumping around and collecting power-ups (Mario’s version of items). The game does an excellent job of teaching you these mechanics without shoving them in your face with a tutorial like many other games. Most 2-D Marios are good at this. They show you how to dodge Goombas by letting them kill you, or rather, making you fly off the screen.

This game, however, has some flaws when it comes to that. For example, it teaches you nothing about the different Yoshi powers. Speaking of Yoshi, this is the first game to feature Yoshi, the iconic green dinosaur who’s famous for eating things, and then turning them into eggs. Yoshi sort of acts as a power-up in this game. You find him and other power ups by hitting a question mark block with your fist, although many believe it’s your head. One of these power-ups is the feather, which gives you a cape which lets you fly and glide by jumping once in a sprint. This however allows players to skip near levels entirely.

The difficulty of this game, in my opinion, is unbalanced and sometimes unfair. This is mainly due to the huge difficulty spike around the third world. Worlds are basically just a group of singular levels. At the end of each world you enter a tower and fight one of the eight Koopalings, each being one of Bower’s children. These levels range from haunted houses to underwater sequences to grassy plains, to caves with what seems like endless amounts tunnels. Nearly half these levels, have secret exits that lead to switches that help you in other levels, and even unlock more levels themselves. There are a total of 29 secret exits in this game, and there’s even the star world with five more levels and the special world with levels like Tubular which take hours to complete due to their difficulty. At the end of the last world, you finally face Bowser in his castle in a fight to save Peach from his grasps.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a retro game to play without a deep story or just a fun time, whether it be a quick play through or an one-hundred percent one with lots of content, I recommend Mario World. I give this game an 8.7/10.

Warhammer 40,000 Battle Report!


By: fealtytokhorne

Warhammer 40,000 is a miniature war game, and every time you play it, you and your opponent(s) conduct a battle, so a battle report is simply a small description of how your battle went down. My brother and I played a small game using the Warhammer 7th edition rules, along with the Kill Team expansion. For the curious, Warhammer is on its 8th edition, which was released last week. If you wish to get into the game, then I recommend that you look the the 8th edition core rules, here:

When we started the game, we placed each army in one corner of the battlefield. I played a Skitarii (Cyborg Men) army, and my brother played an Ork army (Sci-Fi Orcs). My army consisted of some infantry with 3 special weapons. My brothers army had 10 Orks in a Trukk (Trukk is the correct spelling in this case).

I took the first turn, and simply moved two groups towards two corners.

Next, my brother moved his Trukk around the building, and disembarked seven orks, the leader was placed near the back of the Trukk, and the rest were placed near the center plateau. From there, he managed to kill one of my troops on the hill, and failed to conduct suppressing fire onto my sniper.

After that, I moved some of my troops onto the hill and also moved some of them onto positions near the small defensive line near the left side of the battlefield. All of my infantry, as well as all of my special weapons, took shots at the Orks. They managed to kill five, which forced my brother to take a morale check. He managed to pass the morale check, and it moved onto his turn.

On my brother’s next turn, he moved the Trukk around the hill. Then he disembarked, and had every single one of his Orks throw grenades. Almost every one of them missed, except for one, which killed one infantry model on the hill. Near the end of his turn, he charged one Ork at one of my Skitarii and killed him.

On my third turn, I simply moved my infantry a few inches and shot at the Orks, as well as at his Trukk. I killed all of them except two: the leader, and one Ork charging at the hill.

On my brother’s turn, he threw a grenade with the charging Ork, which killed one guy on the hill. He then charged and killed another guy, and consolidated behind the hill.

On my turn, I moved my Skitarii near the Ork leader’s hideout. One of them moved into point blank range with the Ork that was hiding behind the hill and failed his shot.

On my brother’s turn, he failed a break test and removed the Ork hiding behind the hill. He then ended his turn.

On my turn, I moved my Skitarii up to the leader’s hideout (the grey building) and shot him twice, killing him and ending the game.

The Western Fringe and the Eastern Hearth, Part 1


By: Fealtytokhorne

Hi there,

I am currently working on a world for my Dungeons and Dragons campaign, which is somewhat inspired by Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage Trilogy and the period of history known as the Westward Expansion. The entire theme of the world is exploration, with conflict and intrigue mixed in. Below is a small outline of the world, including a small, detailed description of one of main countries. All other countries, as well as other powers, will be mentioned in my next post.

The World:
The terms the “Western Fringe” and “Eastern Hearth” describe the two main bodies of land in my world. The former describes a large continent, where two main superpowers (Lanius and the Lands of Divinity (L.O.D)) duke it out. Connected to the Fringe via the Iron Horse (see below) is the Eastern Hearth, which is the homeworld of the Lands of Divinity. Along with these two powers are the Company, which is supposed to be loyal to the L.O.D, but serves itself, as well as the Deaths Merchants, a group of two-bit rogues who hire themselves out to do shady services.

What is above is only a small description of the world. Below is a more detailed description of the Lands of Divinity:

Lands of Divinity

  • Government: Theocracy
  • Population: 10,678,070

The Lands of Divinity are composed of one main island and two small colonies. The state is ruled by three priests of Elinsth: God of Trade, Invention, and Industry, and two priests of Talin: God of War and Righteous Death, and is subjected to the considerate influence of the leader of the Company, Sandford Fleming. (The Company and Sandford Fleming will be explained in my next post). The third priest of Talin, who publicly resisted the influence of Sandford, has recently died as a result of very mysterious and very natural causes

The Lands of Divinity has ascended to its current position of power as a result of two gifts, given by Elinsth and Talin respectively. These gifts are the Iron Horse and Deaths Dust, which allows warriors to kill from afar.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas


Review by: coolkid73

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the seventh game in the Grand Theft Auto series released in 2004 for PlayStation 2, and in 2005 for PC and Xbox. A high definition remaster was later released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2015. This game is set in the fictional city of San Andreas, and follows Carl “CJ” Johnson and his friends Ryder, Sweet, OG “Jeffery” Loc, and Big Smoke as they try to rid the city of a rival gang. This game is addictive to play and is loads of fun.

The best part of the game is the music. While in a car, you have access to various radio stations. One is a talk show, and the rest play music. This game uses rock, reggae, heavy metal, gangsta rap, and various other genres of music. All songs used in the game are real songs made by real people.

This game has loads of missions, involving stuff like beating up drug dealers, stealing crates of guns from a guy’s house, catching and killing a guy, stealing a famous rapper’s rhyme book, and so much more.

This game has loads of fun missions and loads of weapons, like batons, golf clubs, and, of course, guns. This game is fun so I give it a 10/10. I hope you try this game yourself.