The Mario Party franchise has evolved over the years, getting more streamlined and fun with each iteration. Mario Party 10 is no exception, and is fun for folks of all ages. Is it the perfect Wii U game? I wouldn’t go so far as to answer that with an emphatic “yes” – especially if you own more than one other Mario Party game; however, it does a great job in terms of accessibility and fun, and if you have never played a Mario Party game before, it is a worthy addition to your Wii U games collection, thanks to its universal appeal. Sure, there will be others who will utter “been there, done that” under their breath – and while that may be true to some, there are some great new features which shake things up.
When I attended the Canadian Videogame Awards back in November, I kept seeing Frima Studio’s Chariot during the nomination announcements for a number of different categories1. I was intrigued by this interesting-looking platformer. Frima was nice enough to send me a copy (PS4) to review, and I can safely say that it deserved every nomination that it received. Smallest Thumbs also joined in on the fun to help me test out the couch-cooperative mode – and she was quite happy about that.
It doesn’t take an astute person to note that Zelda has one of the most iconic soundtracks in gaming ever. The melodies that signal intrigue or payoff have seeped into the general gaming culture, and the Fairy Fountain theme even made a cameo in Scott Pilgrim vs the World. In a marketplace that can sustain multiple touring companies playing videogame soundtracks, an all-Zelda show is a no-brainer.
When I was younger, I used to goof around on Commodore Pet computers in school, learning the basics of programming. This curiosity extended to my home life when my parents brought a Commodore 128 into our home. Sure, there were plenty of great games, but it was fun to make my own small diversions – it instilled a great sense of self-confidence and satisfaction. Even in university I took a few Computer Science courses to address my programming bug. With the accumulation of various responsibilities as I got older, my mindset slowly migrated towards that of a game player rather than a game maker – and with languages being different than what I grew up with, the pull has been minimal.
And it’s not just me; there is so much to consume in terms of apps that the lure to simply play is strong – even in kids. Recently, I was introduced to a programming language called Ruby. This introduction was brokered via a book written for a younger crowd, but is a valuable resource for adults as well. With a simple (yet effective) storytelling style, Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids (written by Eric Weinstein, published by No Starch Press) enlightens readers on the basic concepts of programming through Ruby, and is engaging and fun enough to captivate and inspire a younger audience.
By now everyone (including your Mom) has probably heard of Minecraft, a game that has transcended beyond what would appear at first glance to be a simple open-world sandbox game to become an international phenomenon. Millions have played it on PC, then on console and now on tablets and handhelds, with the latest delivery platform being the PlayStation Vita.
Despite being playable on almost all gaming devices and millions of YouTube channels full of Minecraft “Let’s Play” videos, I myself have had very limited experience with this title. I had originally played the demo on PC and after a short play-through I kind of found myself at a loss, wondering what the point was. I just didn’t get it; what was the appeal to this low poly-count game with no set objectives? Now, several years later, I’m going to give it another go with 4J Studios’ Minecraft: Playstation Vita Edition to see if I can find the magic behind this game.
For ten years now I have been hearing DS fans drone on about how great Kirby: Canvas Curse was – a game designed to show off the capabilities of Nintendo’s first stylus interface. Navigating Kirby through a treacherous world by drawing paths for him to follow wasn’t a pitch that got me enthusiastic enough to try the game for myself, but now that Nintendo has revisited the concept for the Wii U’s Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, I just had to give it a look.
Like many people, I had always thought that Pong was the first video game. With its simplistic beeps and boops and green bars, it was known as THE gaming experience of the 70s. There is much debate over which game wins the title of “very first video game ever”, but according to the documentary World 1-1, it was Spacewar!