The Mommy Gamers

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    Pokémon GO Plus: The Good and The Bad

    Pokémon GO Plus

    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.

    The Good

    • Wearing it: Pokémon GO Plus comes with two options for a person to wear it. You can either clip it on your person, or wear it on a bracelet. I love the options, but I have chosen to wear it as a bracelet. It’s lightweight and more comfortable than most watches I’ve worn in my time. I also think it looks pretty cool, as it looks like a cross between a Pokéball, and a map marker on Google Maps.


    • Ease of use: Once paired with the Pokémon GO app, the Pokémon GO Plus makes playing so much easier. The device will vibrate and flash with a green light when a Pokémon is near. Then, all you have to do is push the button on the device for a chance to catch the Pokémon. If the device flashes with different colors, it means you caught the Pokémon. If it flashes red, it means the Pokémon ran away.


    • Pokémon GO Plus will vibrate and flash blue if you pass within range of a Pokéstop. Again, pressing the button on the device will count as “spinning” the Pokéstop in game, rewarding you with items. However, if the device flashes red after trying to “spin” the Pokéstop, then it means you have already traveled too far away from the Pokéstop in order for the spin to count.


    • Niantic’s peripheral also makes hatching eggs easier. While the device is connected via Bluetooth to the app, it acts as a pedometer. No longer do you have to worry about whether or not the app is “counting” how far you’re traveling due to it’s not always so reliable GPS. The Pokémon GO Plus counts your steps that are then read in the app as distance traveled. If someone were so inclined, they could lie on their couch, shake the device, and hatch all the eggs their heart desires.


    • Using other apps: While Pokémon GO is connected to the Pokémon GO Plus via Bluetooth, you can back out of the app and it will run in the background. This means you can use other apps on your phone and still catch all the Pokémon that come into range.

    The Bad

    • Battery Life: Since the app has to be connected via Bluetooth in order for the Pokémon GO Plus to work, it does cause a little more strain on the battery. It’s very easy to keep the app going all day to maximize on the Pokémon extravaganza, however, be prepared to charge your phone more than once a day if you do this.


    • Disconnects after a time: I’m sure they put this in as a way to help save on phone battery life, but it can become annoying to keep going back into the app to reconnect the Pokémon GO Plus.


    • Running out of Pokeballs: Since it’s so much easier to catch Pokemon with Pokémon GO Plus, be prepared to run out of balls more quickly. I accidentally went through 100 balls in just a little over a day. However, if you’re someone who lives close to a ton of Pokéstops, then Pokémon GO Plus will make it much easier for you to keep up your supply of Pokéballs without having to throw money at microtransactions.

    The Verdict

    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.

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    Pokemon Go Is Getting A New Update

    The New Buddy System Will Be Amazing

    Pokemon Go

    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:

    • Pokemon Buddy System is using the same server side distance calculation as the one used for Pokemon Eggs
    • Walking your Pokemon Buddy will award you with candy. The amount of candy is yet to be determined.
    • You can walk the same Pokemon Buddy multiple times, but there is likely a daily limit for obtained candy
    • You can walk with only one Buddy Pokemon at a time
    • There are various looks of Buddy Pokemon
      • Medium size
      • Big size
      • Flying next to you
      • Rests on your shoulder

    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.

    If you haven’t already, check out Episode 135 of the podcast, where we discuss our feelings on Pokémon Go. Are you excited for this update? Let us know in the comments below, and on Twitter!

    Apps, Games
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    The Mommy Gamers 138: Blade Ballet

    The Mommy Gamers Episode 138: Blade BalletIn Episode 138 Desirai and Carrie were joined by Emma Larkins, player relations lead for Blade Ballet at DreamSail Games. Blade Ballet is “is a local and online multiplayer robot battle video game of whirling destruction” out now for Play Station 4 and Steam, and the first game for DreamSail. The ladies also discuss Pokemon (yes…we’re still on this), Ghostbusters, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Steven’s Universe and much much more!

    Pokemon, Ghostbusters, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Steven’s Universe and much more.

     Interested in supporting The Mommy Gamers? Earn exclusive rewards by becoming a patron on Patreon. Remember, you can subscribe to The Mommy Gamers podcast for FREE on Google Play MusiciTunes and Stitcher or you can access The Mommy Gamers app through Podcast Box on iTunes or in the Amazon app store for Android. Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter, and Facebook too!

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    The Mommy Gamers 135: Pokémon Go

    The Mommy Gamers Pokemon Go Podcast Eevee Trick

    Yup. You know it, we know it. It’s what everyone is talking about right now. This is our mostly Pokémon Go podcast. We talked about other things too but you’ll need to listen to all the Pokémon talk to get to it. Enjoy!

    Interested in supporting The Mommy Gamers? Earn exclusive rewards by becoming a patron on Patreon. Remember, you can subscribe to The Mommy Gamers podcast for FREE on Google Play MusiciTunes and Stitcher or you can access The Mommy Gamers app through Podcast Box on iTunes or in the Amazon app store for Android. Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter, and Facebook too!

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    Gaming As Therapy: How I Got Through My Divorce


    My divorce will be final next week.

    I know, I know. How did my ex-guy let an amazing woman like me get away? Someone who is willing to spend hours playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and rarely complains if he logs too much time on the Xbox? Someone who’d rather be immersed in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and gets press passes to C2E2? Well, let’s just say that relationships are complicated, and what happens in Vegas apparently stays in Vegas.

    Almost a year since we broke up our 13-year marriage for good, I am finally at peace with the world. My gift to myself during the breakup process was an Xbox One at launch, and it was probably the best thing I could have bought for myself.

    When I became single again, I suddenly had more time for myself. I no longer have to cook two separate meals for dinner (my ex is a vegetarian), or do the things my husband wants to do (I get nightmares after watching “The Walking Dead”). I still have my son most days, but he’s at an age where all he thinks about and talks about are Minecraft and Clash of Clans. The other night, I was dealing with an editorial emergency and every 10 minutes, literally, he’d come in and ask me if I was done yet and when could I go into Animal Crossing and start catching feathers and could I get him a green one and don’t I know that Festivale is only ONE DAY each year. Now he knows how I feel when I nag him to clean his room.

    But basically, I’ve had more time for gaming. Not much, but a little is better than nothing.

    The great thing about gaming is that it takes up a lot of your brainpower and energy, or it can be relatively mindless and engrossing if that’s what you need. I don’t have time to stew about anything else when I’m playing a game, even if it’s just a free iOS app timewaster. Initally, when I was going through the stages of grief and anger and resentment, this was a huge relief. I spent a lot of time doing things that distracted me from focusing on the end of my marriage 24/7, and I think that was healthy. (Full disclosure: I also watched a shit-ton of “Doctor Who.” And “Sherlock” and “Arrow.”)

    I know there are many critics of gaming who see kids playing shooters and think that’s a major cause of violence, but I think the opposite. I think playing games, if you’re already a mentally healthy person, gets the negativity out of you. I no longer feel like taking a BFG to my dear ex. I took that bad energy and used it to destroy demons. Killing the enemies in the game, whether the Covenant or zombies, was a metaphor for my own life – I’m getting rid of the things IRL that are bringing me down.

    My soon-to-be-ex-husband and I now have a pretty good relationship. I can’t forget what he did, but I can forgive. I can appreciate his good qualities – the ones I fell for in the first place, back in the day – and the class he’s shown in making things easier for me since we split. We talk, we make decisions about our son together, he comes over and changes the lightbulbs I can’t reach, and sometimes we go to Chipotle to get tacos (steak for me, Sofritas for him) and catch up. Every person, gamer or non-gamer, should have that kind of relationship with her ex. Gaming  made it easier for me by letting me vent my frustrations somewhere safe.

    We all heal in different ways, in our own time. Here are the games I credit for keeping me sane during this dramatic and difficult time:

    • Plants vs. Zombies 2 – mindless time-traveling fun fighting zombies with the cutest sunflowers and peashooters you’ll ever see. Since I could play this in small doses this is still my travel game of choice.
    • Halo 3 – Halo 3 is a bonding experience for my kid and me as he carries me through missions – I’m terrible at FPSes, but working on it! We picked this Halo because it was the copy we could find. (And for the record, I know this and Titanfall are rated M+, but I also play the games and I know what my child can handle – no Grand Theft Auto for him.)
    • Animal Crossing: New Leaf – There’s such an amazing online community, and this is the one game that I actually play socially with people other than my son.
    • Pokemon X – My kid has Pokemon Y, so we trade back and forth and he helps me when I am stuck.
    • Ninjatown: Trees of Doom – This is an Android and iOS game that I still play even years after it came out, because it’s so cute and fun and I am still trying to break 2100 feet. You climb trees, jumping or flipping from one to the other, with ninjas, fireballs, and other obstacles in your way.
    • Titanfall – Ok, it was just the beta and we got in on it late, but wow. I admit to lifting my kid’s “no screen time” punishment for one day so he could check it out before it went away.
    • Dance Central – One other great distraction for me during this period was exercise – I love Zumba and S.W.A.G. When I can’t go to the gym, this is pretty fun and I enjoy laughing at the pictures the Kinect takes of me in my Cookie Monster PJs as I try to copy the moves.
    • The Last of Us – At least, I played this until it became too much for me – which, frankly, wasn’t that far in. As it turns out, the type of person who can’t make it through an episode of “The Walking Dead” certainly won’t be able to get through this. But the anticipation of being able to play it because I had more time all to myself was worth a lot. And there’s nothing better to remind me that life could be worse!



    Games, Video Games
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