Chucklefish is pleased to announce that ConcernedApe’s smash-hit, farming RPG will be arriving on the Google Play Store on March 14th, when it will be playable on Android devices.
In our digital world there is a big, ongoing discussion about the balance of technology and in person interaction in our lives. This applies to all ages but like a lot of things the debate heats up when it concerns our children. A lot argue that too much screen time is detrimental to children’s growth both educationally and socially. But with the right balance you can use technology to your kid’s advantage. Join us as we enter the wonderful world of Rooftops.
This book starts by showing the main character, Kevin, glued to his iPad. However, he forgets to do his homework and loses the privilege of using it. In the absence of his tablet he starts looking out the window of his room and seeing all the rooftops in the city. He starts seeing interesting things that eventually make him want to go explore outside.
His parents take him out for a walk and head to the neighborhood park. There Kevin gets to interact with other kids who also see fun things from their windows. At the end Kevin learns that there are fun things to do that don’t include his tablet and is excited about exploring the world around him.
Rustbot Studios is a brand new studio founded by two brothers, Juan and Carlos. They are primarily focused on developing applications that tell stories and Rooftops is their first children’s book.
We at Rustbot Studios believe in the positive impact of technology when used responsibly and in accordance with more traditional, healthy habits. We don’t believe in demonizing mobile tech, which is a ubiquitous, complex, and relatively new interactive experience that cannot be shunned with blanket statements without considering all its nuances and implications for the future of the human experience, especially at an early age.
As a parent who’s glued to my own technology, this is definitely a topic that I’m doing my best to instill good habits in my kids with. Balancing outside, learning time, and screen time can be difficult – especially when your child latches onto a piece of tech.
My eldest, now four, has had a kid’s Kindle since he was 1 and he played baby apps on my old first gen iPad prior to that. (You know, those baby apps you just smack to interact with? lol) He now has to do sight words and have outside or non-screen play time every day in order to earn his video game or Kindle time. (He just got the new 10″ Kindle for his birthday he’s super hyped about!). Luckily he’s not so attached to it that it’s an issue when we cut down screen time.
I think that this book is a great way to illustrate to kids the idea of balance and try to excite them about the world outside a screen. Hopefully that the developer makes many more to tackle even more hard to explain concepts early on. The art for this was great and the options for narration and reading along are great. I would definitely read these kinds of books with my kids in the future.
Grab the app on the App Store and read it with your kiddos today!
Get ready to rage at a really simple game y’all! Chicken Pox is an adorable little mobile game available on iOS and Android that just released today. It’s developed by Nosy Jones, an indie studio based in Australia. This is their first title to release and brings together talented contributors from more than 12 countries – including Australia, France, Germany, Ukraine, Czech Republic, South Africa, England, Brazil, Sweden, New Zealand, Argentina, and the United States.
You play as a chicken named Pox and drive around obstacles to pick up eggs. The races are timed and courses make pictures you can share at the end. There’s also hidden blue eggs that turn into in game currency, rude sheep and cows who won’t get out of the way, and unsafe automatic farm gates that like to slam shut in your face (how rude). You’ll also be able to unlock airport and ocean environments later in the game.
You play via just one finger! Just point and Pox follows your finger through whatever path you take. You literally can’t get any simpler controls wise. Only thing you need to do is make sure you give obstacles a little more room because it’s very easy to ‘fat finger’ yourself accidentally into some flowers or a cow.
There are vehicles and character decorations like hats and glasses you can purchase in game to change things up. Yes, that means there’s micro transactions but you can also just get things by finding the blue eggs and claiming achievements to get in game currency. Plus there are daily gifts so you do not have to spend any money ever on this game if you don’t want to.
And of course you can connect this game to Facebook and share the fun with your friends!
So I installed the game before release, late Monday night, so that I could get a good feel for it before writing this. I wanted to be able to tell you about my experience with the game versus just about it releasing. So here we go.
This game is freakin’ adorable. Super easy to play yet tricky enough that I raged a few times last night on a harder level. When you run out of gas taking too long on a map you’re offered the chance to watch an ad or pay with eggs to get more. Your lives, designated by gas cans, are lost if you fail to complete a map and you have a healthy amount of them to begin with that regenerate on a long timer (like 1 per 5 hours).
I’ve played through several levels of the game and am enjoying it. I plan to keep it around and collect all the things. ALL OF THEM! So obviously I recommend you go download and give it a try now.
We picked up Nintendo Labo for some summer fun and it’s amazing! Check out the very first of our “Quick Reviews” section on YouTube where we will bring you reviews that are short and sweet.
The fact that Nintendo Labo provides the most thorough step-by-step instructions I’ve ever seen is amazing. At eight years old, Hailey was able to complete these without any assistance at all.
Nintendo Labo has kept her entertained doing one project each day so far. Then she spends the rest of the day showing everyone in the house what she made, and how it works with the game apps.
As a parent my absolute favorite part about Nintendo Labo is the discovery aspect of each creation. This isn’t just a pile of cardboard, there are high-tech sensors as well, giving my daughter an awesome educational experience as well. She is as excited about learning how things function as she is about playing the games. Clean up is easy too as any unused parts can just get tossed in the recycle bin.
We have enjoyed our time so far with Nintendo Labo and I believe you will too. This isn’t a sponsored ad. I picked this up with my own money, but if you use our link to pick up your set it helps us keep doing what we’re doing.
You can pick up Nintendo Labo on Amazon. Use our affiliate link to support the site or just click the image below to shop for Nintendo Labo and start having fun!
As soon as I heard about the Pokémon GO Plus, I grabbed every game I could part with and went to GameStop to preorder. Niantic hadn’t released a whole lot of details on how the peripheral device would work, but I knew it was supposed to make playing easier, so I was on board. Like many who was excited to get their hands on the accessory, I was disappointed when I heard they were pushing back their original release date from late July until September. However, I waited patiently, have been using it for a few days now, and have come to my opinions on the currently in low supply device.
8/10 Would buy again.
Pokémon GO Plus is a freaking godsend and I can’t sing its praises enough. Get your hands on one as soon as you can. It has made Pokémon GO fun for me again. If you’re someone who stopped playing because it became a grind, or because you just didn’t have time for it, Pokémon GO Plus might just be what you need to get back into the game.
Pokémon GO Plus is available at most retailers that sell games for $34.99.
According to Pokemon Go Hub, an upcoming update for Pokémon Go has been data mined, and will include a Buddy System. Reportedly, the system will allow you to choose a Pokémon to walk along side you. The app will show the Pokémon walking alongside your avatar, flying alongside your avatar, or sitting on your avatar’s shoulder, depending on the Pokémon. As the Pokémon travels with you, it will be earning candies. This will be key in helping evolve Pokémon and therefore filling up that pesky Pokédex.
As listed by Pokémon Go Hub, this is what we know so far:
If this report is true, it’s going to renew some people’s interest in the game. I know I haven’t been playing as much, just because it’s become frustrating to try to catch new Pokémon. It’s also difficult to evolve many Pokémon. Especially considering a Magikarp takes 400 candies to evolve. I’m extremely excited for this update and can’t wait for it to release.
You’ve been hearing about it ad nauseum, and you’re shaking your head at the bands of kids trespassing on your property in search of the Pokemon that’s apparently hiding in your backyard. You put up this meme:
Nevertheless, at least half the people walking down the street with their phones are clearly not 10, either. Some of us even have jobs. So what is the deal with Pokemon Go? Why do you hate it so much? Why does it feel so invasive? Why is everyone playing it in inappropriate places? Well, before you out yourself as the grumpy old person yelling at kids to get off your lawn, here’s what you need to know:
Pokemon Go is a free app available for smartphones, an “augmented reality” game from The Pokemon Company and Niantic, Inc. This basically means that it puts virtual gameplay onto a map of the real world, and players interact with both. Pokemon Go is designed to get people out and about, to make them happier and healthier. It does this by generating virtual “pocket monsters” (that’s what Pokemon stands for), well known from previous Pokemon games and thus already favorites with fans, that appear on the phone screen.
Players catch Pokemon with a flick of the wrist – throwing a virtual Pokeball toward the target. In addition to roaming Pokemon, the game also includes PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms. PokeStops are basically stationary rings that you can spin to get free items such as Pokeballs, which are used to catch Pokemon, along with eggs, which hold Pokemon inside and can be hatched if you do a certain amount of walking, and other enhancements. Gyms are places where players can battle each other. If you win a battle, you can take over the gym.
Playing Pokemon Go is easy. Open the app, and the GPS finds your location. Your screen shows you which Pokemon are close, and where nearby PokeStops and Gyms are located. Start walking. You’ll find Pokemon along the way. At level 5, you can join one of three teams – Instinct (yellow), Mystic (blue), or Valor (red). Think of it as being sorted into a house at Hogwarts – your identification becomes tied in with these groups.
Pokemon Go is a game of discovery. It makes people get out and explore their neighborhoods, and it encourages socializing. My son has actually been getting off the couch this summer and going outside. Last night I took him to Ravinia Festival for an outdoor musical concert, and he talked to at least ten people about the game. We went to the zoo, where I’ve been volunteering every other week 20 years, and I didn’t recognize half the PokeStops because they were at statues and landmarks I’ve ignored in all my visits there. I had no idea they existed. In my hometown, I discovered a war memorial I must have passed 100 times, and never noticed before.
Anecdotes already abound about how Pokemon is helping people’s mental health. And it’s giving local businesses a boost. Because Pokemon Go is so popular, entrepreneurs are trying to figure out how to utilize it for their own purposes and small businesses are seeing an uptick in sales from people coming in the door to find Pokemon. Pet shelters and museums and retailers are advertising the presence of Pokemon to get people in the door. (If you are looking for ways to leverage the popularity of the game, I recommend making an in-app purchase; spend $1 – 100 PokeCoins- and set off a lure, which will attract Pokemon and customers for 30 minutes after you activate it.) Also, T-Mobile just announced that data used to play Pokemon Go will not count towards its users’ data allowance.
Ultimately, the addictive appeal for Pokemon can be a good thing. The goal of hatching eggs is already making more inroads than my Fitbit Alta in getting me to walk places, and I’ve never seen my son so excited to go places that might have Pokemon. The zoo! The botanic garden! The hardware store down the street, which has a gym! And there will be more ways for small businesses to leverage the game’s popularity, too, such as sponsorships that will turn them into portals.
As with any other engrossing app, Pokemon Go has people looking down at their phones instead of ahead. This can cause problems, because people not paying attention can cause accidents and such (although that traffic accident supposedly caused by someone playing the game is totally false, bad things are happening to players who are careless or who are putting themselves in danger). In addition, Pokemon tend to spawn everywhere, even places that aren’t necessarily friendly to the public, and Gyms and PokeStops can be located in unexpected locations.
This is because, by the way, Niantic put out a previous game called Ingress, in which users submitted “portals” to be included on the virtual map that’s now basically being used for Pokemon Go. There are rules for these submissions, so PokeStops and Gyms do not interfere with private property, emergency services, or schools. Not all of these locations are completely current because things change so often in the real world, which is why players may end up in locations that don’t truly exist anymore (Please note: you can now submit requests to create portals in the game).
There are other issues (for example, click here for the word on the game’s overly broad permissions ask). Different Pokemon are found in different locations, and at different times of day. So it can very well be dangerous for some people to play. I know a white man who feels uncomfortable loitering around parks where women and children are clustered. I’ve heard stories of black men who feel the game is too dangerous for them to enjoy, given the present climate. I’ve heard tales from physically disabled people who literally cannot access places where where Pokemon are found. It is not a perfect situation.
In the nine or so days that the game has been available, there’s been been a lot of buzz on the Internet, and much of it is bad. Any obsession, enjoyed without rules and not in moderation, can of course be dangerous, and there is etiquette to be learned and followed. The game is new, and people haven’t thought about the consequences of their actions yet (most of them have never heard of Ingress, so they don’t have experience with a game of this type). On the other hand, Pokemon Go gamers have been called many bad names by people who don’t understand the game’s appeal. The Internet is judgey, as usual. The comments sections should not be read.
If Pokemon Go players are encroaching on your space, you have every right to say something. If they are breaking rules by sneaking in someplace that requires paid admission, that’s wrong. It’s true that there are currently PokeStops in some places that might be viewed as inappropriate – those places were put on the map by previous Ingress players and are only now being deemed offensive because of the number of people playing Pokemon Go. No one even noticed them before. In the past, however, Niantic (once a part of Google) has been responsive about removing them. The people who placed portals in these places most likely had good intentions – bringing people in, for example. It doesn’t mean players are being forced to use those stops, though. As more people play, and as everyone understands the problems of having Pokestops in these locations, things will change.
But in my experience, it is both possible to stay out of the way of people while I’m playing Pokemon Go, and also be tolerant of people who are, after all, simply enjoying a fun little game that is getting them out and about. Just give players a little time to adjust. I’ll also remind the naysayers that the novelty will wear off – and although there will be updates and changes (an announcement about trading and other improvements has already been made), Pokemon Go – which is, after all, a fun game but not a really great one – will be much less appealing in the winter. At least, here in Chicago. If you live in Florida, you may be out of luck.
If some kids do cross your lawn in search of Pokemon, feel free to channel the spirit of the game. Instead of yelling at them, why not ask them about it and make some new friends?
I admit it. Lately, I haven’t been playing that many games. Oh, I still dabble in Clash of Clans or Super Mario Maker once in a while, but life – and work – keeps getting in the way, and I was never any good at gaming anyway. I do play enough that some Facebook quiz, trying to guess my gender, age, and income level via the apps on my phone, seems to think I’m a 32-year-old married man with a $52,000 per year salary. In reality, I’m a middle-aged single mom trying to eke out a living as a freelance writer, working from my laptop at home, baking Alton Brown recipes for fun.
In other words, I’m a perfect candidate for Future Crazy Cat Lady. Enter Neko Atsume.
Preparing me for my upcoming feline-friendly career, Neko Atsume is a cat-collecting game. You must have seen it. It’s a non-game kind of game, which is pretty much perfect for the amount of brain cells I have alive in my head by the time I’m ready to do anything fun.
My son, through the kids at his school, introduced me to this free mobile game. But it doesn’t matter. I would have found it some other way. For one thing, my college alumnae pet group (I went to a women’s college) is obsessed with Neko Atsume, and I’m always getting on to Facebook to find my feed littered with advice on how to get certain cats, or just people posting screen captures of the cats in their yard. I played this game for two months, off and on, before I actually got interested in it.
I don’t get it. There is no reason this game should occupy me the way it does. I mean, you buy stuff. You put it out in your yard. Cats show up. They go away, leaving gifts behind that you can use to buy more stuff. That’s literally it. Nothing else happens.
Yet there’s something very Zen about Neko Atsume. The stakes are low. If you leave, there are no consequences. No one attacks you while you’re gone. There’s no action whatsoever. There are cute kitties, sometimes with bags on their heads (isn’t that adorable?). Because they are drawn to different objects, it’s almost like they have personalities. You make them happy by providing items they like. It’s like virtual love, with the minimum amount of energy expended.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. Heck, I’m late to the party. Plenty of people have spent time pondering this simple game’s popularity, and many others have jumped on the bandwagon. Academics and comedians have weighed in. Blog posts have been written. Buzzfeed has done a list (because of course they have). There’s a Tumblr (duh). There’s a sub-Reddit. The cats have been ranked. Recipes have been created. Heck, I learned to capture screenshots on my Android phone just so I could share pictures of my collected cats. I don’t even share pictures of my REAL cats (much).
For those of us aspiring future multiple-cat-owners-about-to-be-raided by-the-humane-society, Neko Atsume is perfect. These cats don’t pee where they’re not supposed to, or need to go to the vet to have their teeth cleaned, or shed fur all over all my black yoga pants (I’m looking at you, Beasley), or steal tuna off the counter (I’m looking at you, Elsie).
I think I like being a virtual cat lady. It’s at least a touch less pathetic than being a real one. Right? Right?