Beautifully art-directed, responsive and fun, this game finds me playing it way too much. And it's not just a sandbox: there are oodles of quests, interesting characters and bikes to unlock along the way.
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The “Amen! Game,” a Bible trivia version of Bingo from 1973.
My daughter got a Mini OgoSport Discs set as a gift last March and we finally broke it open last week. It has quickly tied first place with bocce ball as our new favorite outdoor summer game. Like miniature portable trampolines, these 12-inch discs can send the “ball” (a rubber stringy pom) bouncing higher than a hundred feet and are perfect for a game of Ogo-style volleyball (volleying without a net or formal rules). You can also throw a disc like a Frisbee, or play it like paddle ball without the attached elastic string. Lightweight and small enough to toss into a backpack, I look forward to packing it up the next time we head for the beach.
Mini OgoSport Discs
by Ogo Sport
$28 Buy one on Amazon
Nintendo issued a brief statement tonight on the death of Satoru Iwata, the gamer and programmer who served as the Japanese gaming company's fourth president and CEO. Read the rest
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At Medium, Jay Allen deconstructs the demand for "objective game journalism" sometimes found among those uncomfortable with their hobby's growing status as an art form.
Reviews of art relate the experiences and opinions of the critic. As art is engaged emotionally and playing a video game is an experience unique to each person, that engagement is a one-off experience. Any attempt to describe that experience, no matter what the critic may intend, is deeply personal.
There are no objective metrics to describe this experience. With apologies to Terry Pratchett, there is no atom of emotion, or molecule of entertainment. While scores out of 10 or ratings out of five stars are popular in criticism of consumer art, they are arbitrary evaluations. Contrast this with the sort of benchmark testing Consumer Reports does on dishwashers, which are experiments measuring physical qualities under fixed conditions.
The belief that games (or movies, or books, or anything else) can be evaluated by objective criteria perhaps strikes you as laughable. If so, you might pause to remember that many people sincerely believe that only objectively-measurable things are worthy of reflection. To them, games may as well be dishwashers.
Bocce ball is my favorite game to play on a long summer evening. A simple lawn game that is at least 7,000 years old, bocce ball has no set up, takes a second to learn, and is a competitively addictive game. What I love most is that it gets my family/friends and me to enjoy fun time outdoors.
Here are the rules in a nutshell: The game traditionally comes with eight balls – four green and four red – as well as a much smaller white ball called the jack, or pallino. Someone tosses the jack across the lawn. Then players take turns bowling their ball towards the jack. Whoever gets closest to the jack scores a point. First person or team to score seven points wins the game. It’s that simple! But if you want a bit more detail on the rules, you’ll find them inside the game’s black bag, or you can check out this nicely illustrated WikiHow page.
Note: This particular brand offers a "standard set" (3.5" diameter poly-resin balls) and a "full size" set (3.93" diameter poly-resin balls), both which come in a black carrying case. I prefer the extra weight of the full size, which gives the balls a much better feel and roll, and they cost just a dollar more.
Love Letter is a game that can take you from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs and vice versa
Would you do anything for love? More importantly, would you do anything for power? Are you willing to betray your friends and family for the chance? Well, you probably shouldn’t. But, if your answers were yes, there’s a game made just for you. Love Letter is a deceptively simple card game. In fact, there are only 16 cards in the entire deck. The object of the game is to get a love letter to Princess Annette of the City-State Tempest. To do this, you must either either eliminate all of your opponents or have the highest card value at the end of the round.
Love Letter is a game that can take you from the lowest lows to the highest highs and vice versa. You can lose on the first turn of the round only to come back in the next round with a decisive victory. There’s no greater thrill than seeing your opponent’s shoulders sag with defeat.
This is a fast-paced, approachable card game that offers a surprising level of strategy for such a small deck. A game can be completed in five to ten minutes, making it the perfect game to take on the go or play in your break room. Each card has a nice illustration of the character and the overall design evokes a sense of Shakespearean drama. One thing to note is the cards are susceptible to damage over time. So, if they’re going to be used heavily, I would recommend getting card protectors for your set. – Agustin Guerrero
by Alderac Entertainment Group
Ages 8 and up, 2-4 players
$7 Buy one on Amazon