My Time at Portia is a simulation sandbox RPG developed by Pathea Games and published by Team17 Digital Limited. It was successfully funded during the fall of 2017 on Kickstarter and is currently in early access for the PC.
Rad Rodgers was a successful Kickstarter project that made $30k more than it’s original $50k goal. It promised the return of 90s platforming games made with modern technology. After watching Jax play it for a little while I can say this game did deliver on it’s promise of a 90s plattformer. All the way down to it’s difficulty.
I managed to get a copy of Rad Rodgers and loaded it up. The graphics are cartoony and bright just as you would expect for a game like this. Controls were slick and precise. Beautiful and lush worlds graced my screen as Rad and his partner, Dusty, took to the stage. I was prepared for difficult, and was met with a nice challenge. Not too overly frustrating the game captures the nostalgia of games like Commander Keen or Earthworm Jim. It’s hard enough to keep you playing, but not so hard you quit.
One element I was not prepared for, was Dusty. Dusty is a grizzled video game cartridge that LOVES to break the 4th Wall. Not quite as funny as Deadpool, but just as annoying. We get it, you’re in a video game. We don’t need the constant reminder. Dusty does have his own section in the game where he has to go into the games code and find missing assets in order for Rad to reach new parts of the levels.
The world design is almost like a Metroidvania with no clear indication of which way to go. Eventually the game has a natural way of getting you pointed in the right direction while making you feel like you found it yourself. The worlds are pretty large and have secret areas as well as hidden items throughout. There aren’t a ton of worlds though and most gamers can probably beat this game in around 4 hours. Serious collectors will go back and replay to get those completionist achievements.
Rad Rodgers gets a lot of things right. Most “retro” games these days tend to focus on graphics and difficulty. Rad Rodgers manages to have a great looking game, with solid graphics and excellent gameplay. There is some customization in the game which I feel is neat, if you don’t want Dusty cussing up a storm or don’t want to see a ton of blood, there’s a “Kids Version” of the game which tones all of that down. This makes for a welcome addition for parents who want to give their kids something to play.
If you’re looking for a fun throwback to when times weren’t as scary, Rad Rodgers will take you there. Fun, funny, and challenging, Rad Rodgers is a delight to be around. Dusty, however, can be kind of a jerk.
The reviewer was given a code of Rad Rodgers for review purposes. Rad Rodgers is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One
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I play A LOT of horror games. I also have a wife and a baby so my gaming time is limited to nighttime after everyone is asleep. Lights were out, Astro headphones were on, game was loaded up. I was ready to dive into the world of Perception. What I was not ready for, was how messed up this game would be.
Perception is from The Deep End Games and published by Feardemic.A successful Kickstarter helped make this game possible raising over $160,000 to help finish the games development. Made by a dev team of former Irrational Games employees that worked on Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite, Perception is a first person perspective horror game played through the eyes of a blind woman. Yes, a blind woman. She uses echolocation to see things in her environment and it makes for some truly terrifying scares.
You play as Cassie, a blind woman who has been called to a manor in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Through the use of echolocation, her footsteps, her hearing and her cane you can get a great sense of the manor. This is where the gameplay really shines. Having this forced sense of… ‘Perception’ really makes you appreciate all the subtleties that appear on screen. Movement is very fluid and Cassie can use her cane to help her see what is around her. Be warned though, use the cane too much and The Presence will come after you. What this game does incredibly well is it’s scares. Because of the use of sound is so important in this game when a loud noise happens, Cassie quickly turns around in the direction of the sound. Making you feel just as nervous as she does. Perception is spooky, creepy, and downright scary. Multiple times when I played I had to stop playing because I would get so scared that I would wake my sleeping wife and baby.
Cassie moves through standard first person controls. She walks at a brisk pace and the use of her cane and echolocation are both easily accessible. As mentioned before though, use too much of the cane and you be hunted by “The Presence”. What makes the gameplay interesting is that if you want to not be hunted, you simply don’t make a lot of noise. There is enough atmospheric sound to keep your echolocation working but it makes for a creepier vibe as you can’t see much of the manor.
The game is short, linear, and has some predictable scares but there is also a great narrative. Perception focuses more on telling a story than trying to scare you. You can use Cassie’s “6th Sense” to see your next goal which feels like it takes some of the frighting parts away. At the same time it’s what you don’t see that can be really scary. As creative humans our imagination can be worse than the real thing.
Perception is out now for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One at $22.99 and for a game like this, it’s a great value. You’ll enjoy a wonderful story while being creeped out. Just remember to keep a small light on.
Oniri Islands:Children of the River is a co-op adventure from Tourmaline Studio coming to tablets in winter of 2017. With only one day left the Oniri Islands Kickstarter project has surpassed their goal, meaning this beautiful adventure and exploration game will become a reality. You still have time to get in and help them reach their stretch goals, and collect fun rewards like having your name added to the game credits, stickers, digital art goodies and more!
My daughter Hailey and I recieved acess to a demo of Oniri Islands as well as prototypes of the Mina and Tim figurines. Mina and Tim are “smart toys” that we moved around our tablet to explore the world of Oniri Islands. The cooperative play aspect of this game is such a fun feature. Hailey and I each took control of one of the figurines and worked together to travel through maze like sections, dodging quicksand, and working together to solve puzzles. In addition to using the toys to move around, they also were used to unearth items, and collect and carry quest items. We did not recieve the masks for the characters, but based on the demo they have secret powers tied to them that help players interact with the environment in fun and unique ways.
Hailey just turned seven years old last week and she seems to be the perfect age for this app. She did get a little frustrated with a couple of the puzzles, as the demo version we played lacked a lot of guidance. However, I got the feeling that Oniri Islands is meant for exploration and creative thinking, and together we were able to put our heads together and figure out each challenge. While the demo we played was fairly short, I was very impressed with the way the story flowed. Between the lovely music, awesome visuals inspired by other games I love like Animal Crossing and Zelda Wind Waker, I look forward to adventuring through more of the Oniriverse.
To learn more about Oniri Islands visit their Kickstarter page here, and if you decide to back this wonderful game make sure to tell them The Mommy Gamers sent you!
*The Mommy Gamers recieved a demo of Oniri Islands and prototypes of the figurines for review purposes.
Pine is an action adventure game from developer Twirlbound. The game has been in production for a couple of years and recently hit the Steam Greenlight community. They also have a Kickstarter going currently that looks like it will absolutely hit the goal set. One of the cool things about this game, aside from the fact that it looks amazing, is how the game recognies the way you play and fight and how the creatures and the world will adapt to YOU. I personally am pretty excited to watch how this game evolves leading up to release. Check out my gameplay of their short but sweet pre-alpha demo here:
Check it out on the Steam Greenlight Community here: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=808846636
In this extra special episode Marcia and Desirai are joined by composer, audio director and sound designer Marty O’Donnell. Marty is best known for his work on games such as Myth, Oni, Halo, and Destiny. They chat about music, kids, VR, Highwire Games, and Echoes of The First Dreamer, a musical prequel to Golem currently on kickstarter.
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“You’re the guy who is with Jeremy London, aren’t you? The zombie guy?” The security guy for the celebrity room seemed star struck when he noticed my writing partner Jason Robbins and myself’s presence. Jason confirmed our identity and the tattooed mountain of manhood pulled back the curtain to escort us so that we didn’t have to wade through the throngs of fans waiting to meet Jeremy and the other cast members of Kevin Smith’s “Mallrats” at Pensacon in Pensacola, Florida.
When Jeremy saw us, he hugged us all and made certain to introduce us to Joey Lauren Adams who is best known as Alyssa from “Chasing Amy.” We got settled in his area and people smiled and asked each other where they knew us from. We had to be someone if we were in the “Mallrats” area. An older man walked by and looked at Jeremy’s headshots and posters, pausing long enough for me to nod to him, trying not to freak out when I said, “Mr. Cummings…”
His familiar soothing voice responded, “Hello there!” Jim Cummings, the voice of Darkwing Duck just said hello to me. What is my life?
Every bit of this is thanks to a new short film I helped write called, “Monsters Anonymous.” In the film we sit in on a group therapy session where the classic movie monsters of the 1930’s try to cope with modern audiences not finding them scary. Frustrated and irritated with the continuing popularity of zombies, they learn a powerful lesson at the end regarding relevancy from the very zombies they vilified.
Just a few months prior, I almost gave up. In my journey to make a better life for my little girl, it seemed like I was making negative progress and it wasn’t fair to her due to many personal setbacks and tragedies.
Then randomly my writing partner sent me the idea and partial script for “Monsters Anonymous,” asking for help fleshing it out, it didn’t surprise me none. He had done this kind of thing before and I love the challenge. He explained he would be given a little money to produce a short with the members of an acting class he was in.
I liked the idea so I agreed to rewrite it for him. I added jokes, restructured the scenes, and inserted new characters to make it more lighthearted and when Jason received my draft work, he said it was one of the funniest things I had ever written. I explained that it was just my first pass on it, but Jason gets excited and can’t help himself sometimes. The next day he told me that he sent it to everyone including his acting teacher, “Mallrats” and “Party of Five” actor Jeremy London.
It wasn’t until we were in Jeremy’s home working out the ending that he had come up with that it hit me that this was real. After the story meeting, he and his wife lead us out telling me that “Monsters Anonymous” was one of the funniest scripts he had ever read and this is the guy who read “Mallrats” before filming, which is one of my favorite comedies.
The last few months have been incredibly surreal. Just a few months ago, I wrote a letter to myself entitled, “I Hope,” where I basically asked myself if this was all going to work. I asked if my little girl would ever get to see the type of life I want to provide for her. Now, I have co-written a movie in the living room of the lead actor in the movie that got me wanting to write movies, Jeremy London.
The star of Kevin Smith’s first movie, “Clerks,” Brian O’Halloran has agreed to star in it and there is so much more I want to be able to tell you, but at this stage, I cannot.
I understand that this short film alone will not bring me to my dream of providing my princess with a better life while doing something I’m passionate about, but I’m a whole lot closer than when she was born and it feels amazing.
If you have ever felt like a dream of yours is out of reach, please believe me when I say that you can do it. Right now we are running a Kickstarter campaign to get funding for “Monsters Anonymous” and at certain levels you will have the opportunity to spend the day with us as we shoot the film. You will be able to get professional zombie make up and be an actual member of our cast, but the real value will be in the experience. There is nothing more inspiring than to be with a group of passionate people who want nothing more than to create.
No matter who you are or what you want to do with your life, take a deep breath. If you can complete that breath, you still have time to achieve your dreams.
Let’s face it, there’s no end to the range of projects looking to get funded on Kickstarter. After all, one man’s quest to make Potato Salad has already raked in over $60,000 in backing with more than a week still left to go. That being said, Kickstarter is still home to some more altruistic projects such as Tyto Online, a new educational MMO game in development from Immersed Games.
“We are not your average educational gaming team. We are not trying to make learning fun. Learning is already fun,” says Lindsey Tropf, Founder & CEO of Immersed Games. “Our vision was born from the realization that all games, even games like World of Warcraft, are amazing learning tools. You learn and care about rich, detailed information, without even trying. We wanted to harness that experience to learn something that mattered outside of the game world.”
In Tyto Online, Earth has been rendered uninhabitable, forcing an evacuation of the planet’s surviving population. As one of these refugees, players are brought out of cryosleep as students of Tyto Academy, a futuristic school tasked with helping to learning from Earth’s past to help recreate its future. Players will team up for various missions, which will include solving puzzles, decrypting historic records, exploring alien landscapes, and leveling skills, all while learning real-life information during and after each quest. One example sends players on a mission to discover why the ant population in one particular biodome seems to be acting very strange and then inexplicably dying. Over the course of the mission, players will discover the ants had fallen victim to a fungus, essentially turning them into zombies. The mission data then goes on to describe similar cases of a “zombie fungus” existing on Earth.
With a little more than two weeks left to go, Immersed Games has received just over $21,000 in backing of its $50,000 Kickstarter goal for Tyto Online. Stretch goals being offered include additional character customization options, a “Water Balloon” PVP arena, and additional biodomes, with scalable educational content for multiple grade levels, including potential continuing education beyond grade school and high school.
Sure, it’s no potato salad, but teaching kids real science through video games is also less a lot less likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth.
To support Tyto Online click here.