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    Frostpunk: What will you do to survive?

    The only way I’m getting snow here in Florida
    Frostpunk wallpaper with city overview and weather balloon

    It’s been almost two years since Frostpunk first released. So, naturally, I’m just now getting around to playing and writing about it. Over the years I’ve watched a fair bit of gameplay on Twitch and knew it was something I would enjoy. I finally gave it a go after getting a chance to try it out on the PS4 release. And now it’s got brand-new DLC called The Last Autumn.

    What Is It?

    Frostpunk is a resource management simulation game where you have to build a city and survive the elements. It’s made by 11 bit studios who make other fantastic games I love like This War of Mine, Moonlighter, and Children of Morta. And it’s available on PC, PS4, and Xbox – so pick your platform and get to playin.

    With the base game, you build your city around a coal-powered generator. Research, set laws, build, and explore your way to survival… or perhaps doom. All while balancing hope and discontent of the people.

    In order to do anything in the game, there is a cost. Buildings take wood, steel, and maybe some research or workers. Laws cause discontent or hope and make an impact on how your people go about their lives. They also unlock special buildings. Research takes time but unlocks upgrades, building types, and other necessary skills to keep your city from dying. Exploration also takes time but gives you people or supplies, or both.

    Balance is key in Frostpunk. You have to keep a good eye on all your production for the times when blizzards come and you need the generator to work triple time or stockpile so you can upgrade and expand when bringing in groups of refugees. Maybe you’ll be really good at it and there will be no discontent… probably not though, people seem to hate soup round here.

    Okay, I beat that. Now what?

    DLC you say?! Other scenarios?! Yup, we got those. There are several scenarios you unlock by surviving 20+ days. And if you beat those, there’s an endless mode with different difficulties. Not enough? How ’bout customizing the difficulty of all of these modes? STILL not enough? Well fine then.

    In late January, a new prequel expansion where you work to build the generator that is used to survive after the freezing cold arrives. This expansion is practically a whole other game in the same story, built on the same mechanics but capable of being its own stand-alone title.

    And if you beat this and still want more then you’ll be happy to hear there is another expansion coming sometime this year called Project ‘TVADGYCGJR’.

    What did you think, Divine?

    If you’ve read my other articles, you know I’m a fan of 11 bit studios game This War of Mine. I think the studio does a great job telling stories and building games with solid mechanics. Frostpunk is no exception. I subconsciously put off playing this game cause I knew I’d get sucked in quickly, and I had CompTIA exams to get done ha!

    So far I’ve played about 72 hours between the PC and PS4. I enjoy the ability to change difficulty levels and the different scenarios available. I haven’t gotten a chance to play Last Autumn yet cause money doesn’t grow on trees, but I’ve watched enough to know it’s just as awesome as the rest of the game.

    This style of game is right up my alley and like I said, it’s been executed beautifully, so of course, I’m going to give it a glowing review. 10/10. If this style of game is not your usual jam, you might still enjoy it for the story and if you bump down the difficulty you’ll probably enjoy it more. Just like the snow and ice, the game is pretty unforgiving if you don’t pay attention.

    How much is this addiction going to cost me?

    If you’re smart, you’ll catch it on sale either on steam or through sites like Fanatical. Full price it’ll take $30 for the base game. You can then get a season pass for $35 (usually on sale) which gives you Frostpunk Rifts, The Last Autumn, Project TVADGYCGJR, a digital artbook, and soundtrack. Or you can bundle it all together currently for $50.

    There’s no accounting for the time you’ll sink into it though, that’s priceless.

    DISCLAIMER: I received a review copy of the PS4 release but purchased the PC version after falling in love with the game. This is my honest review of an awesome product. Thank you!

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    Console Gaming Isn’t Quite Dead Yet

    There’s something comforting about console gaming. Although the systems have gotten better and formats have changed, the machines themselves work pretty much the same way with every generation—you buy the games (either as a physical disk or cartridge, or through a digital marketplace), install them, update them, and play. You have an actual box, dedicated controllers, and probably a library of games you actually own and can use forever even without an Internet connection, if you wish. And with each succeeding generation, you also get more power; the recently announced next iterations of the Sony PlayStation and Xbox promise 8K resolution and historically high frame rates.

    The media has been predicting the death of video game consoles since about 2012. And it’s true that cloud-based mobile gaming—high-octane content live-streamed to our devices in an instant through services like Google Stadia—is coming on up. Our music and our movies long ago became tied to streaming services like Spotify and Netflix, decimating our CD and DVD shelves. So why not expect the same to happen to our video games, especially when you can already buy and play games on your phone for $1 while console games cost $60?

    The prognosis for cloud gaming is indeed good: Zion Market Research reports that the cloud gaming market is expected to grow around 27 percent through 2026, to an expected annual revenue of almost $7 billion. In the meantime, 83 percent of computer and video games were sold in digital form in 2018, compared to 17 percent in a physical form. As a result, the death of the next console generation was predicted by industry-watchers long before we had any news that Xbox Series X was coming.

    But does the rise of cloud gaming automatically mean the death of consoles? Okay, yes, it’s likely—eventually. Microsoft is testing its xCloud service and Sony is investing in PSNow—moves that show that the big gaming companies are already planning for a digital future. Even today’s physical games are now enhanced with DLC and subscription services, allowing for continuing revenue streams that manifest digitally.

    But instead of one technology destroying another, it’s very possible that this is a case in which a rising tide lifts all boats—at least, for a little while longer. After all, the gaming audience seems large and diverse, with a Pew Research study finding recently that 6 in 10 Americans enjoy video game time across all age ranges. In fact, adventure, shooter, RPG, sports, racing, and sim game players made up less than half of people who play video games, yet many of these are what Limelight Networks called dedicated gamers—and these gamers are the ones that buoy console sales.

    Cloud gaming is seriously convenient in many ways, from eliminating the need for updates to seamless streaming on multiple devices. But there are drawbacks as well, including data caps and a dependence on Internet providers. In this moment, though, cloud gaming can’t always match the power, versatility or party aspect that a console offers—although it probably won’t be long until that is the case.

    Given that, it may be too early to declare the demise of console systems. There’s just something solid and safe about them. Plus, having more options for new gaming experiences available for play is good and healthy. There just might be room for everyone, using different platforms for different situations. Bring on the next console generation—let’s enjoy it while it lasts!

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    The Mommy Gamers Podcast Episode 193: Carrie’s Meaty Balls

    In before January is completely over…whew! Carrie and Marcia are on track for at least one podcast a month for 2020. If you’ve ever questioned just how much content could possibly be packed into a short half hour show THIS is the podcast to listen to.

    The ladies chat about Death Stranding, The Witcher 3, Animal Crossing New Horizons, Sea of Thieves and a ton of other games. TV chats run amok as well with Star Trek: Picard, The Good Place, whatever that new Dracula show is on Netflix, and Lego Masters. 

    To wrap up the show we chat goals for 2020, the new Byte app, and something about some Jersey guys meaty balls. 

    Love the podcast? Toss us a tip and get some fun rewards. There’s a Patreon support level for everyone starting at $1 to just say a little thank you for making this show, up to this weird foot picture one that is probably a joke…find out if it’s a lie here: https://www.patreon.com/themommygamers

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    The Outer Worlds

    A gorgeous, replayable adventure that won’t take you a year to explore
    The Outer Worlds Cover Art

    I know I’m not the first one to say it, but it really is nice to play a stunning game that doesn’t overtake my life. The Outer Worlds is everything I hoped it’d be. It’s beautiful, it has a great story, and you can play through it in a weekend. And then play it again a different way the next time.

    This game was brought to us by the people responsible for games like Fallout: New Vegas (Obsidian) and L.A. Noire (Virtuos). It’s no surprise then that it has both looks and brains. New Vegas was always my favorite Fallout game. I’m not sure why but it was the first one that really sucked me in and actually made me pay attention to the story. As such, I was eager to get my hands on The Outer Worlds once I found out about it (Which honestly was right before it’s launch. Why didn’t anyone show me earlier huh?).

    The Premise

    In The Outer Worlds, you awake from hibernation on a colonist ship that was lost in transit to Halcyon, the furthest colony from Earth located at the edge of the galaxy, only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy it. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter various factions, all vying for power, the character you decide to become will determine how this player-driven story unfolds. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.

    Obsidian Entertainment

    Due to the nature of the story being played out based on your choices, you get the opportunity to play the game again. And each time you can build a different style of character and make different choices to make the game fresh enough to not get boring. If you’re anything like me, you’ll put it down for a while between play-throughs which makes it better the next time around.

    The game is filled with plenty of colorful characters, with a full range of love and hate to go ’round. You will have to choose whose needs to put above others along whatever moral compass you choose to follow. I had a difficult time remaining neutral and I’ve noticed it’s pretty much impossible for everyone I watched play the game as well.

    So should I buy it?

    Yes, duh. Seriously, if you don’t want to for budget reasons, wait for a sale. But definitely pick this up at some point and play it. It is everything you want in this style of game: it’s gorgeous, it runs well, the story is great, and you have an actual impact on the result. It’s no wonder the lowest score it’s gotten is an 82/100 (pretty darn good in this overly critical world of ours).

    You can purchase this game for PC, PS4, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. And if you pick it up in the Epic Store don’t forget to use Jaxboxchick for your creator code 😉

    *This article contains an affiliate link. Using the Creator Code Jaxboxchick or Links to the Epic Games Store, The Mommy Gamers earn tiny bits of money to help keep the site going. Thanks!

    **We received this game free for review purposes.

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    Thanksgiving Served up In Automachef

    Get into the holiday spirit with new recipes and more in the new free update for the resource management puzzler.

    Automachef is getting into the holiday spirit with the launch of a free Thanksgiving themed update available today. The update includes three new levels, Thanksgiving related recipes and a new machine for budding Automachef engineers.

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