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  • Tango Fiesta

    As a kid growing up in the 70's and 80's I think I was exposed to some of the greatest movies and games that were ever released.  The proof I have of that is that today Hollywood is remaking most of the films, and the game industry is paying homage to the games and the movies on a regular basis.  The latest title to do this is Tango Fiesta by Spilt Milk Studio, a top down twin stick shooter that recalls the days of Smash TV and the co-op play of Gauntlet.

      The game is set in a world where the events of almost every 80's adventure movie actually happened to a man named John Strong, it is up to you to prevail against the forces of evil.  Commando, Predator, Die Hard, Robo Cop, Running Man, and more are referenced.  You even get to play as characters modeled after the heroes of those iconic flicks.  There are 6 different characters to choose from as you start out your adventure.

      There are 2 seperate game modes to pick from Arcade and Story Mode, each playable with up to 4 players local co-op.  The modes are basically thee same, Story takes you through the 5 worlds in order while Arcade mixes things up a bit.  Each world consists of 3 different levels and a boss.  In each of the levels you must complete a specific objective - either destroy some buildings, helicopters or shut down communications towers.  The other main difference is that in Story mode you are able to pick a primary, secondary and throwable weapon - arcade you are limited to primary and throwable ( your secondary is automatically chosen for you ).

      The weapons locker in the game is a bit limited at the start of play, but as you play through the game you will unlock a more powerful arsenal.  Using each hero, getting a specific number of kills, killing off bosses will all increase your fire power.  But this increased popwer doesn't come cheap.  Each new weapon will have to be purchased with gold that is recovered from enemies that are killed in game.  With several weapons costing over $100k, and only getting $200 for most kills, there is a bit of grinding involved on getting some of the best guns.

      Game play is pretty straight forward.  At the start of each level you are shown the objectives you need to clear before you are dropped into the level.  It is then up to you if you want to just run to them, clear them out and move on, or spend time destroying lots of enemies that will keep re-spawning.  For the most part you won't have to worry about health or ammunition, as you will see certain enemies with little flags above them saying that they will drop the different resources.  But unfortunately they don't always drop what you need, or anything at all.  This doesn't usually present a problem until the later worlds when you start to become swamped with enemies.

      Tango Fiesta can be played solo, but it is exponentially better the more friends you have playing with you.  Not only does it make it easier to clear the higher worlds, but it is just a lot more fun slaying throngs of foes with your buddies.  But bringing friends along for the ride will present a few problems as well.  Friendly fire is on, so you have to make sure you knkow where you are shooting at all times.  Not only that, but you all play on the same screen, so if someone falls behind, they will fall off the screen.  This can be a bit disorienting for them, so you will have to make sure that everyone keeps up.  And with some characters markedly slower than others, this can take a little extra team work.  Unfortunately you will have to gather your friends in your game room to play because the title lacks online multiplayer support.

      No matter if you are looking for a game to play with your friends for a while, or something to pick up to relive the glory days of 80's action flicks, Tango Fiesta will scratch that itch.  It is available now on XB1, PS4, and Steam.  The title has a sticker price of $9.99.

    Sniper Ghost Warrior 3

    C I Games recently released the 3rd game in their Sniper Ghost Warrior series, aptly named Sniper Ghost Warrior 3.  Now before I get too deep into this review I have to lay a few cards on the table.  The first is that I have not played either of the first two games in the series.  The second is that I was taught to shoot by a Marine Corps Sniper who served in Vietnam, then rotated back to the states to become a Scout Sniper instructor.  While I am not a complete expert on ballistics, I do know my way around a weapon.  So with that out of the way - let's begin.

      The game begins with a prologue mission, which serves to set up some back story for our main character, John North and act as a basic tutorial.  You are introduced to different types of movement, weapons, attacks, ammunition, and the equipment you have at your disposal.  The mission centers on John and his brother Robert, another sniper, when they are sent on a classified mission to scout and clear an enemy base.  But things don't always go as planned.

       Fast forward a bit and our story continues.  John is now in Georgia - the country, not the state - and he is on assignment to help out the locals and destabalize the seperatists.  This assignment takes on a lot of different roles.  Your missions will vary from intellegence gathering, hostage rescue, termination of most wanted targets, and creating general chaos.

      The regions that you operate in also contain dozens of points of interest for you to explore.  These points contain different smaller missions for you to complete.  Some may require you to save civilians, some have you track down needed supplies, while others simply serve as fast travel points around the area.  Regardless, they add some depth and more time that you can spend in the world.  These side missions will also help you increase your skill, gather supplies so that you can craft resources and help you explore the landscapes.

      Most of your traveling is designed to be done in your car.  Your exit your safe house, hop in your ride, drive to your mission, park and go through the objectives.  Once complete, you exfiltrate the area, return to your vehicle and drive back to the safe house to get your next set of orders.  Unfortunately, things tend to go pear shaped when you really don't want them too.  Many times once you complete a mission and return to where you stashed your ride it has vanished.  This means you are left to run back to a fast travel location or in some cases all the way back to your safehouse since you are not able to grab any of the other cars that are in the world.
      You can work straight through the story and be done with the game or take your time doing the optional side missions and hunting the most wanted targets as you like.  This offers a bit of variety in the flow of the game.  It will also allow you to travel between the different regions of the game, explore more, earn and find more of the weapons of the trade.

      One of the most crucial aspects of the game is the shooting mechanics.  It is after all a sniping game.  Most of the weapons you use you will have to take distance, elevation and wind speed into account prior to your shot.  Only a few high powered / high tech sniper rifles are immune from these factors.  You will also have to take enemy armor into your calculations.  At 100 yards you may be able to get away with a headshot against an enemy wearing a helmet, but at 400 + yards that same shot will require armor piercing rounds to ensure a killshot.  It is  nice to see kinectics and ballistics taken into account.  The other interesting aspect is that each round fired through a silenced weapon will degrade the attached silencer until it is destroyed.  The only way to counter this is to repair it in between missions when you are at your safe house, or carry repair kits with you.
      The amount of noise you make can influence if the enemy hears you, but this seems to vary a lot.  I have been crouched and had an enemy on the far side of an objective take notice of me and one that was less than half his distance to me pay no attention to me.  I have also been able to run full speed up to enemies over 30-40 meters and they didn't bat an eye before I was able to "stealth" kill them.  If you are spotted, you can usually go prone and simply vanish.  If things do go sideways with your mission and a fire fight breaks out, if you are able to move your position, and don't return fire for a minute or so the AI figures you have bugged out and they continue their regular patrol patterns.

      Graphics in the game are really good.  There is a good diversity of enemy types and they are rendered well.  Environments are set up beautifully, and there are a few very interesting destinations used as set pieces.  The slow motion kill shots are well done, but can get a bit repeatative if you are only going for head shots, and let's face it - we are all trying to pop them like ripe melons for the extra points.  The music is upbeat, regional tunes that go well with the setting.  The sound effects also help to enhance the game astetic whether it is the howling of the wind, or the howling of the wolves, you will begin to feel like a lone sniper on a mission where survival is solely up to your skills.
      As fun and interesting as this title is, it does suffer a few setbacks.  The 1st is one that you will see right off.  Really long load times when you start up the game - like start up the game and go make a sandwich long.  These usually only happen at the start of each session, but they are very frustrating.  Next, as I mentioned, there is a good chance your vechile will not be where you left it.  Also multiple times as I played I encountered the same bug.  I would shoot someone, the game would go into the slow motion kill shot and stop just before bullet impact and I was taken back to the moment right before I pulled the trigger.  This means you have to re-adjust and try the same shot 3 to 4 times.  You can also clear objectives, get an in game notification they are cleared and then get shot my a random enemy that has been re-spawned.  The story is interesting, if not predictable, but will give you many hours of engaging gameplay.
      Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is out now on XB1, PS4, PC, and Wii U.  You can pick it up now with a season pass that includes extra content for $59.99.  I reviewed the game on XB1.

    Sniper Ghost Warrior 3: A Review

    If there’s one thing I love about video games, it is the storytelling. Almost all games that I play or have played involve it in some way or another. Whether it is the massive story arches and connectivity of the Mass Effect series, or the small side quests that lead to relatively nothing in the Elder Scrolls, I love the quest for quests. And when given this game, I can tell you, I was excited. A Far Cry style open world FPS-RPG from a sniper’s perspective, what an awesome sounding game!
     (CI Games)
    And what an awesome let down.
    After a 40GB install, I expected the game to load and run smoothly, yet it surprisingly took multiple minutes(close to 7 min. every time) to load. And then, it still wasn’t at full quality I expected of a 2017 release, even at Ultra settings. Disappointing, but they may fix this in future patches.
    The story line of the game is lackluster as well, about an inconceivable mission gone awry when two Marine snipers(who are brothers) are sent to a mission alone(which, as a writer for a military based site-this notion bothered me),  and predictably, one brother is kidnapped and made rogue by a terrorist group, from which you must rescue him. Sniping up the terrorist chain of command until you can find him.
    A saving grace of the game is the customization aspects and their effect on gameplay. Manufacture ammo, and customize your weapons, and see how they change the way you maneuver and where you take your shots. I noticed, with one rifle, I would take much more conservative shots, and with another I’d play a lot more aggressive. It depended on what rifle and attachments I used.
    My final opinion of the game is that, as a FPS, this game is pretty good, the sniping mechanics of wind and distance, as well as the ability to customize and manufacture weapons, ammo, and add-ons is very enjoyable. Yet, the story and the graphics could be better. They left too much for my mind to criticize while playing the game.
    I would recommend this to a person who likes sniping and/or open world games, and doesn’t really care about it being a cookie-cutter story.


    Last year GameStop announced that they were going to enter the game publishing arena.  They were doing this through GameTrust - a PR firm that would help developers get their titles to market.  The newest title to roll out under this label is Deformers, a game that was developed by Ready at Dawn.

      It is hard to put Deformers into a category, because the game contains 2 different genres.  There is a soccer game ( Form Ball ), so it could be placed in sports - but it also has Death Match and Team Death Match modes, so it can also be added to action.  For ease we will put it under the broader category of party games.  

      In the game you play as a blob and will pick one of several skill sets.  They will increase your speed, endurance, shooting skill, etc. Unfortunately there is very little diffence in preformance no matter which skill you pick.  So it is down to the game mode you decide on.  Form Ball is effectively soccer.  You and your teammates try to outscore the other team by getting more goals.  Youo can rush into the ball and "kick" it, or you can pick it up and carry it to the enemy goal.  You can also just ignore the ball and take out your opponents to gain extra XP and make it a bit easier to score.  Team Death Match and Death Match just remove the ball and place you on different maps where the only objective is to vanquish the enemy.  They do add in special attacks that you can grab if you are quicker than your foe.

      As you complete games you level up, earn XP, earn coins and gain the ability to purchase new Deformers and accessories.  These "upgrades" are purely cosmetic.  You can buy new skins for your blob, but that will not improve their skills, the only thing that will do that is to play the game and improve your skills at the game.  But you will have to deal will some frustrating hurdles along the way.

      When you start up the game for the first time, you are greeted with the game choices, there is no tutorial, no local multiplayer mode where you can learn the controls.  You have to jump into an online game to even see how the game plays, let alone figure out the controls.  The 2nd hurdle is finding an online game.  The title gives you the choice of searching for a game of a specific type or just any Deformers game.  Even searching for any game it can take 10 - 15 minutes to find a match depending on the day and time.  Even then there may only be 1 or 2 other people in the lobby.  I played on the XB1, so things may be different on other platforms.

      The graphics in Deformers are good.  The arenas are well rendered and vary well between areas.  If you play several games back to back you will probably end up playing the same map as there is not a large library.  The skins for the blobs are cute and really make the game interesting.  There is a wide variety of goofy animals to unlock, and accessories to add on to them.  The graphics do take an odd turn if you play online splitscreen.  The screen is split horizontally 50/50, but if you play 2 players, each screen takes up about 70% of the top or bottom of the screen (1st player top left, 2nd player bottom right) . This means that the screens overlap a little in the middle and there are black bars in opposite corners.  It makes for a very awkward playing experience. The music goes well with the game, but doesn't stand out.

    Deformers is out now on XB1, PS4, and Steam.  You can pick it up for $29.99.

    Lost Grimoires - Stolen Kingdom

    Artifex Mundi, the company that has been bringing their hidden object PC games to consoles, has released another one of their titles to the XB1.  Lost Grimoires - Stolen Kingdom, is the latest of their catalogue to make the migration to the console world, and it is a title in a series that has not yet been seen there.

      The story starts out with you returning home after being away for many years.  Your father disappeared, your mother passed away, and you were raised by a family friend, the kingdoms alchemist.  He trained you as his apprentice for years so that one day you may take his place in helping out the kingdom.  But once you return home you quickly realize that the kingdom is not the peaceful place it was when you left.

      The gameplay is similar to the previous titles from the developer.  You must find objects in hidden object puzzles and complete mini games to advance the story.  One thing that sets this title apart from others is your alchemy abilities.  You will have to find objects and transmute them to create spells.  To transmute items you will have to play a mini game where you place the elements in the proper position of a ring puzzle.  But this game is lacking a few items that we have seen in previous titles.

      Stolen Kingdom features a main story that can be played in either casual or expert mode.  Missing this time around is an epilogue.  There is also no alternative to the hidden object puzzles.  This cuts down on the variety and the re-play value.  Since there is no change in the hidden object items or placement, when you play through on the higher difficulty, you can breeze through it fairly quickly.  This means that you can get throughboth difficulties in under 4 hours.
      The graphics are beautiful.  There are multiple locations that show you all different aspects of the kingdom from the simple town square to the opulent throne room.  The music plays well with the scenery and helps to heighten the suspense where needed in the story.

      Lost Grimoires - Stolen Kingdom is out now on XB1 and has been available on PC for a while.  You can pick it up on your prefered platform for $9.99.  


    As a teen I used to spend hours in the arcade pumping quarters into Gauntlet.  This was an amazing 4 player co-op dungeon crawler where you had to battle enemies and share supplies.  It always made the game more interesting when someone joined the game and would grab all the health potions and food - even if they didn't need it.  That type of game play is directly reflected in the new game from Powerhoof.  Crawl pits "co-op" players against each other for honor, money, glory, and the chance to escape but there is a hitch - only one player is actually alive.

      You start the game in a room with all four players alive - either you and 3 friends, or you and computer controlled bots - where you must battle to the death.  The suvivor will continue the quest to defeat the main boss.  Those that met an early death need not dispair, you are not out of the game yet. You become a spirit capable of possessing traps and summoning monsters to kill the hero.  If you are able to kill the hero, you regain your humanity, become the hero and try to complete the quest.  The last hero takes your place as a spirit and the cycle comtinues.  While in hero form you will have access to a blacksmith where you can buy weapons, potions and new moves provided you have the gold.  The ghosts can earn wrath, which is used in between floors to upgrade the monsters you summon.  The monsters will evolve and take on more powerful forms as you progress.

      To get to the final boss, the hero must be level 10 to open the portal.  You only gain XP when you are playing as the hero.  If you reach the portal and are not level 10 you will have to find stairs to the next level.  If you are level 10 and decide to go after the boss, the 3 spirits can posess the boss to impeade your progress.  If you fail against the boss, you will be transported back into the dungeon.  You have a total of 3 tries against the boss before the game will end automatically.  

      The controls scheme is fairly simple.  No matter which form you are in you have 2 attacks, so there isn't a difficulty curve to learn.  One nice thing they have built in is that your character will get tired if you constantly attack, so you can't spam the attack button to win all your fights.  You will have to move around during battles to avoid getting killed by your 3 foes.  

      Graphics for the game are 100% old school.  When you first fire up the game you are greeted with a screen that tells you to Insert Coin.  Do not let the look of the game deter you from playing, there is a lot of fun to be had in this title.  The background music is a mix of upbeat adventuring tunes and creepy music that sets the tone for the dungeon.

      This game can be played solo.  You start out as the hero and you face off against 3 computer controlled bots.  When you starrt out you can even select their difficulties.  So you can play against a team of easy opponents, hard foes, or even mix it up to vary the experience.  Where this game really shines is when you have 3 othere friends jump in with you to play.  The trash talking and competition is off the charts.  Unfortunately the game only supports local multiplayer, so if your friends aren't close by you, theree is a chance you will miss out on some of the best gameplay the title has to offer.
      Crawl is available now on XB1, PS4, and Steam.  You can pic it up on the platform of your choice for $14.99.

    The Crow's Eye!

    Set against a backdrop of psychological terror, The Crow’s Eye is a first-person puzzle adventure in which you will use your wits to escape the abandoned Medical University of Crowswood, while investigating the mysterious disappearances of students and faculty 20 years earlier.
    Developer: 3D2 Entertainment 
    Publisher: Nkidu Games
    So while the wife and kid were taking a nap, I decided it was time to try out this horror game that I picked up the other day! At first glance I expected a game that was going to make me wake up the family with my childlike screaming and heavy breathing through dark and damp hallways. While this was the case in a few instances, overall the game did not have that scare factor that I had expected. (This is noted on the description of the game, that if you are looking for the surprise jumps and scares, you may be in the wrong place)
    I believe that I had roughly 2 instances of being actually startled by something in the game. One was when I was nonchalantly grabbing a key and a work jumped on my screen(in game of course) and the other when an ominous tone came into my speakers randomly. 
    Unfortunately this game, while interesting and somewhat addictive (until you get too frustrated to continue) does leave something to be desired. The storyline is a bit hard to follow with the addition of multiple characters over time, and the random creepy guy who seems like he is from the past, but is talking to me as I am playing. I would have loved at least a few scary things around some of the vents and corners, but I can't ask for that if that is not what they intended. 
    The quest line, while somewhat linear, does bring into play a bit of guesswork, and not in a good way. This guesswork created a very frustrating 10-15 minutes of sitting there wondering what I missed and where I have been on my very basic map. 
    Overall, I would recommend this game to someone who enjoys mysteries, doesn't harp too much on the quality of graphics, and the person who wants to play a horror game without really being terrified. 
    The Crow's Eye is available as a Steam Download! Check it out here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/449510/

    Boost Your Gamerscore Quickly with No Skill

      I will admit that for the first few years I was playing on Xbox I didn't pay attention to those achievements that popped up on the bottom of my screen.  Sure, I knew they meant I just completed some task, but I wasn't out chasing that little ding and trying to get every game I played to 100%.  But then a few people I gamed with commented about my low gamerscore, so I decided to see what I could do to improve it.
      It turns out if you have the time, and a little extra money, you can jump your gamerscore by about 20,000 points in a single weekend.  You read that right, 20 K, and the best part is you don't even have to be that good of a player to do it.  I have completed all the titles within, and many can attest to my mediocre gaming skill set.
      In order for you to get the maximum score in the shortest amount of time it will help if you have an Xbox One and an Xbox 360, or at least access to one.  You can grab most of the 360 titles used on disc with some searching brick and mortar stores, or just order them from the internet.  Once you are done with them you can add them to your collection, trade them back in, resell them to other achievement hunters, or trade them to a friend who needs a boost.  The Xbox One games are available digitally, and once you buy them, they are yours forever, so you will want to check the weekly Xbox sales for these titles as you will probably only play the game once.
      Also before you start playing, if you are going to try and boost your score quickly, you should also check out achievement hunting websites like TrueAchievements.com or XboxAchievements.com - these sites will show you what achievements are in each game, and how to grab them quickly.  

      Now for the Xbox 360 Titles : 10 K, about 18 hours
     Avatar - The Last Airbender : 5 - 10 minutes to complete
     Backyard Football 2010 : 2 hours to complete
     Backyard Sports - Rookie Rush : 2 hours to complete
     Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons : 2-3 hours to complete
     College Hoops 2K6 : 2 hours to complete
     Contrast : 2 hours to complete
     Forza Horizon 2 - The Fast & the Furious : 2 hours to complete
     Major Legue Baseball 2K6 : 2 hours to complete 
     NBA 2K6 : 2 hours to complete
     NHL 2K6 : 2 hours to complete

     Xbox One Games : 13 K, about 21 hours
     #IDARB : 2 hours to complete
     Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition : Under 1 hour to complete
     Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons : 2-3 hours to complete
     Contrast : 2 hours to complete
     Cubot : under 1 hour to complete
     Contrast : 2 hours to complete
     Energy Cycle : under 1 hour to complete
     Forza Horizon 2 - The Fast & the Furious : 2 hours to complete
     NBA 2K17 - The Prelude : 1 hour to complete
     Pneuma - Breath of Life : 2-3 hours to complete 
     The Bunker : 2 hours to complete
     The Little Acre : 2 hours to complete
     Three Fourths Home : 2 hours to complete
      This is by no means a complete list of easy achievement games, but it does contain many of the quickest ones.  As an added bonus, the games that are on the list also have good stories, are fun to play, and don't require a lot of grinding.  You can also complete each title in one sitting without much difficulty.  If you are looking for games that you can complete easily but will take up a bit more time, I can add a list of those as well.

    Downward Spiral: Prologue First Thoughts

    Downward Spiral: Prologue 
    Downward Spiral is a VR Specific Game which can be purchased from Steam and found at http://store.steampowered.com/app/574940/ Developed and Published by 3rd Eye Studios Oy LTD. 
    ABOUT THIS GAME (Direct information from Steam Game Link)
    Downward Spiral: Prologue is inspired by 70’s sci-fi movies and modern TV series; it’s the most immersive journey in VR, has distinct style, intense deathmatch, gunpowder smelling action in zero gravity and mystery you have never experienced before. It’s the first game released using new innovative way of moving freely in VR space without players suffering from motion sickness. Built by award winning industry veterans. 
    -3 game modes: Solo, Co-Op and Deathmatch
    -Intense Deathmatch in zero gravity for up to 8 players
    -15-30 minutes long Journey mode, the most immersive journey ever, especially in online in co-op
    -New Innovative way to move freely in VR without suffering motion sickness
    -Play with or without room-scale
    -Music by lead singer and composer of HIM, Ville Valo.
    Downward Spiral: Prologue is the first installment of very ambitious Downward Spiral Anthology Series. Every game will have different main characters, story and setting but are knitted together with the unsettling backstory which will open episode after episode.

    Initial Thoughts From RealHorsePlay!
    Downward Spiral: Prologue is an anti-gravity VR experience.  This game does a great job at making you feel like you're in space with both it's design, and the way you have to get around.  
    It's different having to control yourself by pushing off of walls/rails around you, but I enjoy it.  Being able to explore an abandoned space station, finding very little here and there, left me curious.
     I wanted to keep playing and to discover what it was that had happened.
     Overall, I had a great time with what I was able to play and would go deeper into the game if I could!  My only personal issue is that my body is not used to the movement that you have to do in this game.  When your brain knows it's standing, but the eyes make it think that it's moving, can feel a little weird at first.  I think this is a great game!
    Check out RealHorsePlay on Social Media 
    YT - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjwryqmZtOCVHDXjTidBYYw
    Twitter - https://twitter.com/RealHorsePlay
    Once again - You can find this awesome game over at http://store.steampowered.com/app/574940/ 
    If you have a VR Set - We recommend this game as one you should own! 
    Be sure to check out the developer's website over at http://www.3rdeyestudios.fi/ for any up dates or new releases! 

    Air Guitar Warrior for Kinect

    Like some Xbox players, I have been trying to find a reason to really love my Kinect.  When I first got my 360 I was thinking it was going to be great, but more and more I was disappointed by the games that utilized it.  It was a gimmick for than anything.  And the system integration has been sketchy at best.  It has become more of a quicker way to turn my system off as I am cleaning up for the night, than a gaming tool.  I will occassionally use it record some of my semi-par game play, but that is about it.

      Very few companies even pay attention to the Kinect these days, which is why I keep an eye out for new releases from Virtual Air Guitar Company.  Their games draw you into the game with camera and allow you control the action with the motion sensors.  Their newest release is no different.  Air Guitar Warrior for Kinect lets you live out your rock god fantasies while never leaving the comfort of your home.

      As the title suggests you will pick up you invisible axe and battle waves of enemies.  Your skill and technique will directly impact your performance, but don't fret, you don't have to actually be able to play to do well.  There are four distinctly different attacks that depend on your hand placement on the neck of the "guitar" and how fast you strum.  Hand placement decides on if you are playing lead or rhythm and your strumming speed will vary between fast and slow.  The catch is that each part has a limited amount of ammo, so you can't just constantly use strong attacks, or attacks that are weaker but have a larger damage radius.  You will have to vary your attacks if you want to clear levels with 100% efficency and your health in tact.

      The game is at heart a side scrolling shooter.  You will mount anything from a dinosaur to a viking ship or and eagle and enemies start to attack as the hard rocking original soundtrack plays in the background.  You will play along and shoot foes down before they have a chance to get close enough to attack you.  You don't earn points through out each level, but at the end of the level you are shown the number of each type of enemy you dispatched and give you a level completion percentage.  You will also gain XP which levels up you character.

      The game is divided into albums, each of which has 5 tracks.  There are 4 levels and one final album boss.  Once you complete all 10 albums, you can replay them on a higher difficulty.  As you progress through the campaign you will also unlock new guitars that have different firing abilities.  Some are tied to the albums that you playing, others just look really cool.  Either way, the new weapons add to the replay value of the game as you can try to best all the levels with each one.

      The kinect integration into the game is pretty much seemless.  You will appear on screen in all of your rocking glory.  The strumming and hand positions are picked up without an issue.  Navigating the menu between albums can be a little clunky at times, but works with the kinect or you can just flick your controller once or twice.  Also since you are playing guitar and not moving around, the kinect only really needs to pick up your upper torso so the game doesn't require you to have a large space cleared.  An added bonus of this game is that if you wear any sort of fitness tracking device on the wrist of your strumming hand you will rack up a nice little workout when you play.

      Air Guitar Warrior for Kinect is a fun game for all of those that like to rock out on their imaginary guitars when nobody is looking.  It can also double as a light exercise program.  You can grab it at the Xbox store for $19.99.  The title is a little pricey, but I have to admit that it is a fun game to just pick up and play for 5 - 10 minutes when you need to unwind.  But you may also find yourself jamming out for an hour and stopping only when your body says you need to take a break.

    Surgeon Simulator PSVR Gameplay - Slightly Original Coop Calamity

    Slightly Original Presents: Coop Calamity Surgeon Simulator Gameplay on PlayStation 4 VR. 
    Bossa studios was nice enough to send us some free Surgeon Simulator merchandise in response to our feedback for the initial release of the game. So to show our appreciation we made this video of us playing this extremely fun game! 
    For more information on Surgeon Simulator visit Bossa Studios http://www.surgeonsim.com/
    Be sure to Like, Comment and Subscribe the channel to show us your support. Or disdain, whatever blows your hair back. 
    Slightly Original stars Scott and PJ and is a video game centered comedy channel. On Slightly Original we provide humorous opinions, facts and news about video games, technology, television and movies.
    You can see us LIVE every SUNDAY NIGHT 830pm EST on https://www.twitch.tv/slightly_original
    Stay up to date by following us on Social Media!
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/SlightOriginal
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slightoriginal/
    Player.me: https://player.me/slightly_original

    Military Appreciation Month Fundraiser - Teespring OSD Shirt

    It is that time once again, May is just around the corner which means Operation Supply Drop will be kicking off their Military Appreciation Fundraising campaign. The first leg of the campaign has already begun with a limited t-shirt hosted by Teespring! 100% of the proceeds go directly to support the OSD mission.
    Act quickly as this shirt will only be available for 7 days so be sure to pick up yours before its too late. The shirt is available in the following colors: gray, red, purple, white, and green. We think the green looks pretty awesome, but we may be a little biased. 
    The design consists of the American flag with the words #WEAREOSD layed into the bottom two stripes. This hashtag represents the family that Operation Supply Drop has built. #WEAREOSD stands for the unity between the organization and its dedicated membership. Front Towards Gamer is proud to be a direct result of that loving relationship. We wouldn't be here without it.
    Visit the Teespring campaign here and pick yours up today!


    Brawlhalla Tournament - June 3rd and 4th

    FTG is happy to announce its first of many gaming tournaments benefiting Operation Supply Drop! This will be a 16-man, single elimination Brawlhalla tournament.
    The awesome people over at Blue Mammoth Games have always shown great support towards Operation Supply Drop and their mission. On several occasions they have donated all proceeds from their salute emote directly to the cause. We'd like to build upon that relationship by hosting our own tournament where we will be raffling off salute emotes to the viewers in OSD Twitch chat!
    As the gaming community for OSD, our goal is to host regular tournaments to bring awareness to the cause: helping active duty and veterans. 
    This tournament is not meant to be MLG level, but bring your A-game! First and second place will received prizes and we'll be doing other random giveaways throughout the length of the tournament so be sure to stick around!
    For tournament rules and to sign up click here. 
    *Note* You must be registered for FrontTowardsGamer.com in order to sign up.
    Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more events, gaming and veteran news, and community updates!

    Dark Arcana : The Carnival

    Artifex Mundi has once again reached into their vast library of hidden object puzzle games and released one on consoles.  Dark Arcana : The Carnival is no ordinary trip to the circus, but when was the last time you had a normal day?

      You arrive at a traveling carnival to speak with a fellow police office standing next to a young girl.  Her mother was kidnapped while they were visiting the carnival and it is up to you to save her and discover what is really going on under the big top.  But as soon as you walk into the venue something seems very out of place, but exactly what is not obvious right away.

      Once again you are treated to a story filled with twists and turns as you work your way through this point and click adventure.  Not only will you have to deal with hidden object puzzles but there are also a wide variety of puzzle and mini ga,es that you will have to deal with to unravel the mystery.  Like previous games you can skip puzzles that are too difficult for you, and there is an option to the hidden object games.  This time it is a card matching game called Monte Carlo, where to clear hidden objects you must match like adjacent cards with specially marked cards.

      The graphics in the game are on par with the rest of the catalogue of games.  Each location is skillfully depicted and is an interesting mix of mystery and macabre.  The music and sound effects escalate the level of suspense throughout the game.  The  hidden object layouts are well done and will cause you to have a keen eye, but not pull your hair out looking for obscure named items.

      No matter your skill level you will get several hours worth of game play out of this title.  There is the main story and an epilogue to complete.  If you are going to 100% the game, it will require at least 2 play throughs of the main story and 1 of the epilogue.  Considering the sticker price of the game is $9.99, you will more than get your money out of it.

    A Slightly Original Conversation - Heliborne Community Manager Anthony Keeton

    This week the guys talk about PC Flight Sim Heliborne with Jet Cat Games' Community Manager Anthony Keeton. We talk about communities, games in beta/development, our love of games, and what it takes to be a community manager. Some really great information for those wanting to break into the industry as a Community Manger or a content creator. 

    Steam Link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/433...

    Slightly Original - 5 Minutes Rage - First Impression

    In this weeks First Impression the Slightly Original guys talk about Indomitus Games' 5 Minutes Rage. A 1980's style beat'em up/sports game with giant freaking robots! One of the most fun Couch Coop games we have played in a very long time. Available on for Windows through Steam. Beta Sign up located on link below. 
    BETA SIGN UP: http://www.indomitusgames.com/5-minutes-rage

    6th Annual 8-Bit Salute: Military Appreciation Month - 1-31 May, 2017

    The 6th Annual 8 Bit Salute: Military Appreciation Month is almost here.  The event will begin on May 1, 2017 and run through May 31, 2017.  During this event streamers, active-duty military, Veterans and civilian supporters all across the world come together to help raise funds for Operation Supply Drop and our mission of supporting Veterans.  This support is through online gaming, community fundraising events and simple donations to help us with our cause.
    Want to help? Here’s how:
    1) Visit our Fundraising page noted below and sign up:  
    Gamers wanting to Fundraise HERE
    Non-Gamers Fundraise HERE 
    2) Click on the “Start a Campaign” or “Fundraise” button to create your fundraising page.
    3) Choose if you want to create an individual fundraiser (just you) or a Team fundraising page (if you have a community that wants to create their own page under the main team page)
    4) If you are a gamer, make sure you fill out this form so we can get your streaming dates on the 8-Bit Salute calendar (we will do this for you along with promotion during your stream from our social accounts):  Schedule Date Here
    Extra Information
    *Need Images, use ours HERE
    *Need alerts? If so, let us know by emailing us at info@8bitsalute.org
    *You can find all gaming streams scheduled for 8-Bit Salute Military Appreciation Month Calendar HERE 
    Final Thoughts
    *Just want to donate to support the cause?  Do that here:  http://8bitsalute.org
    *Use social media?  Great make sure you use the hashtag #WeAreOSD during the entire month of May on Facebook and Twitter.  Trending is a good thing so we can truly support those we all are here to support
    If you have other questions, don't be shy to email us or reach out directly to:  @obiwanshinoobie @DBLDeathDealer @RobocoxTV or @SgtCactus
    Pinned / Featured

    FTG Announces April Giveaway

    As you all know, we LOVE to give back to our amazing community that gives so much to us!
    Our FTG April Giveaway has officially begun! Our Giveaway winner will be chosen at random using the Gleam Giveaway program
    VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINK TO ENTER: https://gleam.io/7LwMK/front-towards-gamer-april-giveaway
    This month we are giving away a game of your choice ($60 Value) and we wish you all the best of luck! 
    This giveaway will go from April 3rd - May 1st!
    Hint- Submitting a video of yourself via YouTube with the FTG Logo will give you the most chance of winning!


    Good luck to everyone! Be sure to stay tuned for more challenges, giveaways, and community events!

    The Inner World

    Headup Games has recently published a Studio Fizbin game on consoles that has been available on PC for a while now.  The Inner World is a family friendly puzzle game that is strong on story, contains thoughtful puzzles, and will keep you laughing no matter your age.  It is one of those games that you can play with your children and not have to worry about something popping up that shouldn't.

      The Inner World is the story of Robert, a young orphan who is taken in by Conroy, the leader of the land of Asposia.  Asposia is a land that resides within the hollowed out center of another world.  Robert isn't like the other citizens of Asposia, but there is nothing wrong with being a bit different.  While Conroy is busy giving a speech you a polishing his most valued possesion - a fosfos medallion.  Unfortunately, you accidentally drop the necklace down the garbage shoot.  Being the ever faithful child / servent you fling yourself down the chute to save the necklace for your mentor.

      What follows next is a great adventure where nothing less than the fate of your world hangs in the balance.  You will meet new friends, uncover the true history of Asposia, and discover your origins.  The game is essentially a point and click adventure, but there is so much more to it than that.  The conversations that you have with other characters will open up other branching topics that will move the story along.  It may also be the only way to get hidden achievements.  The puzzles in the game range from easy to figure out to head scratchers.  

      Gameplay is simple.  You control Robert for most of the game, and have him collect items, and use them to further his quest.  Fairly often you will have to combine several objects to try and get you out of a bind.  The great thing is that the game calls you out if you are just trying to toss things together.  I can't count the times when I was stuck I heard " That's just a random guess isn't it?" or similiar phrase after multiple failed attempts at combining things.  It makes sure there is humor even when you might start to be getting frustrated with the game.

      I have to say I loved the dialogue in this game.  Let's all admit that when there is text to read, or someone talking in a game 9 times out of 10 after a while we skip through it an hope we are not missing a vital plot point - we have all done it.  This game I was right there through all the conversations.  Many of them had me laughing, and there were even a few that had me raising an eye brow at the dark humor that was slipped in.  Jokes that would go over a younger players head, but were clearly there for the seasoned gamer.  The graphics are also stunning.  The art is hand drawn and the attention to detail shows.  While there isn't a lot of action in the game, the cut scenes are very well done and the overall feel of the game is highly polished.

      The Inner World is now out on XB1 and PS4 for $14.99.  If you are a PC gamer you can grab it on Steam for the same price.

    Slightly Original - Binding of Issac Afterbirth+ Nintendo Switch

    In this installment of Slightly Original - First Impressions, the guys talk about The Binding of Issac Afterbirth + on the Nintendo Switch. This is the first time that Scott has played the game so hilarity ensues. 
    Slightly Original stars Scott and PJ and is a video game centered comedy show/podcast. On Slightly Original we provide humorous opinions, facts and news about video games, technology, television and movies.
    You can find us every Sunday at 830pm EST on Twitch

    20 Questions with Ernesto Rodriguez, Walking across America for 22 a Day

    Welcome back gamers, veterans, supporters and readers! Thanks for stopping in and reading 20 Questions here at the new Front Towards Gamer!

    This edition of 20 Questions will be with Ernesto Rodriguez (ER) Veteran with the Army for 4 tours of duty. After a long hard battle with the "system" and researching online he found a 2012 report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stating that an average of 22 veterans committed suicide every day because of mental health issues stemming from PTSD, traumatic brain injury or simply the stress of transitioning from military to civilian life. Surviving suicide twice Ernesto understands what his brothers and sisters face and wanted to assist. After that he picked up his American flag and started walking, with a goal of walking across America. Currently in California, about one month away from finishing.

    My name is Ernesto Rodriguez, I am a 15 yr Army Combat Veteran. I just got out in March of 2016 and started walking across the country for Post Traumatic Stress within the Veteran community and the 22 average veteran suicides that occur daily.
    1) What was your first video game?
    ER) My first console was the Atari 2600 and i believe the first game i got was Asteroid. I have been hooked on gaming ever since. I have quite a collection of games and consoles and used to frequent arcades when i was younger. My favorite arcade game back in the day was Dragons Lair.
    2) Why did you join the military sir?
    ER) To be honest it was out of boredom in my job before the service. I was in basic training when the towers fell and just like most of America i was angry and my sense of pride for our country tightened, that is why I stayed in so long. My original plan was to stay in long enough to get the GI bill and go to acting school, that obviously wasn’t in the cards.

    3) What did you take away from your service sir ?
    ER) A sense of duty and purpose. to protect those in need and to truly understand the service to others was the most fulfilling thing a person can do with their life.
    4) What is Nerdesto22 ?
    ER) Nerdnesto is just a nickname because of my love for pop culture, Sci-Fi  comics video games Etc. the 22 is to symbolize the 22 fallen everyday

    5) What is 22 a day, and what does it mean?
    ER) 22 a day is the average veteran suicide rate. it is based off of a skewed 2012 census that came up with that number. In my opinion it is higher. At this point that number is more of a symbol for people to recognize how high that number has gone and educate those that don’t know.
    6) What is the best way to help 22 a day?
    ER) Be involved with your local veteran community. It is surprising how effective just involving yourself and being proactive in your communities can be. Spend 22 min a week with a veteran just listening and you may save a life that day.

    7) How can I get more involved with 22 a day?
    ER) Visit your VA hospitals or volunteer. go to retirement communities (the suicide rate is higher above the age of 60) or just talk to someone who has served.
    8)  Where did you stay at night?
    ER) I have been lucky enough that most nights a hotel will donate a room, but I have also had to sleep under the stars. Rest stops, camp sites, even just on the side of the road.

    9) How long did it take you?
    ER) I started Nov 11 (Veterans Day) and will be done by mid April.

    10) What was the hardest part of your walk across America ?
    ER) The Desert in California was a Beast. Your mind goes to weird places when you are alone for that long. the heat and sun didn’t help either.

    11) Did you have doubts about finishing, how did you overcome then?
    ER) I wake up everyday and want to go home. there was not one moment where I didn’t want to turn back, but a community of people grew from this and all the messages of love and encouragement kept me walking.

    12) What was the scariest moment you came across on your trip?
    ER) Getting Clipped by a Semi on the interstate wasn’t fun. Luckily it was a rainy day and my arm slid right off the container and threw me in to soft muddy dirt.

    13) How did people receive you in smaller towns, did you notice a difference vs cities?
    ER) I would say smaller communities have been a bit more welcoming. it is actually the difference in states that has been the most prominent. Texas was the most friendly.

    14) What was your favorite part about your trip?
    ER) Way to many to name off, but flying in a T6 Texan in Midland Texas sticks out. And shaking Stan Lees Hands. those are my personal ones. when it comes to the community. Helping Homeless veterans and also meeting a world war 2 vet in West Texas that was driven out specifically to meet and sign my ruck sack.

    15)  Would you do it all over again?
    ER) I would in a heartbeat. not specifically for the walking but all the connections i have made.

    16) What was your first job?
    ER) I was a Buss Boy at an Italian restaurant when i was 15.

    17)  How long did you last & What did you learn from the first job?
    ER) Didn’t last too long and I learned how to clean a table lol

    18) Which Bond is your James Bond ?
    ER) They all have their merits, but I gotta go OG and sat Connery

    19) Kirk or Picard?
    ER) Han Solo! lol

    20) If your going to be stranded on an island and can only bring two items you own, what would they be? 
    ER) An Axe and a copy of The Little Prince

    21)  If you can meet with one person from now or the past and ask three questions, who would it be and what would you ask them?
    ER) Van Gogh and I wouldn’t ask him anything. I would just sit there and watch him paint and drink. I think his art spoke for itself.
    22) Would you rather fight 100 sheep sized bunnies or 1 bunny sized sheep?
    ER) 1 sheep, they are lazy I think I could take him out pretty fast.
    23) What is your favorite weapon to fire?
    ER) My M4 was great. It was pretty decked out.

    24) Do you own any guns currently? What guns?
    ER) I do not own any. I have nothing against having any, just not really someone that would go shoot often.

    25) What is your favorite Disney movie?
    ER) Star Wars now that its owned by them.
    Was fantastic speaking with Ernesto Rodriguez in this edition of 20 Questions. Was an honor, and big thanks to Ernesto for taking the time while walking.  Please take a minute and reach out to a veteran, active duty or donate to 22 a Day. Thanks for reading folks see you next time!
    Are you a veteran or concerned about one? Call the Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 or visit veteranscrisisline.net


    an·ox·e·mi·a (ān'ŏk-sē'mē-ə) n. An absence of oxygen in arterial blood 
      This is just one of the ways that you can die in the new game just released by Badland Games that bears the name of the affliction.  Anoxemia is a story driven exploration game that will have you questioning the game world around you.

      You play as Dr Bailey an underwater explorer whose job it is to gather plant specimens.  You are not alone in your quest, you are accompanied by an operations drone named ATMA.  ATMA will help you through the use of sonar and as your only light source in the ocean depths.  After something happens to the erest of your crew you must complete your mission with only the help of of ATMA.

      Your mission is not just a walk on the ocean floor though.  Besides trying to find the sea grasses, you will also have to find more oxygen for your suit as well as power for the drone.  There are also upgrades scattered across the ocean floor.  Unfortunately you are not alone in the big blue ocean.  There are large mines and underwater munitions leftover from the war that will hamper your progress.  You also have to avoid acidic waters and other toxic environments as they will sap you of your energy.

      The game controls are on point.  This is good because there are many times when you will have to manuever between multiple obstacles that can kill you and precision is key.  There is a slight amount of learning to be had, but after a few deaths you will understand how things interact with each other in the environment.
      The graphics in the game are dark, but that is because they are trying to replicate what it is like deep below the surface of the ocean.  I don't have have a problem with the in game graphics, while a bit dark, they play very well with the environment and the story.  What I do take issue with is all of the promotional graphics that were released before the game came out on XB1.  For some reason there were no in game screenshots released for this game, and that can be a bit misleading if you haven't seen the game on other platforms or the developers website.
      Anoxemia is out now on XB1, Steam and PS4 for $7.99.  If you are looking for an interesting, story driven adventure game this is one to add to your wish list.  The levels will keep you on your toes and it is a journey worth taking.

    20 Questions with RobocoxTV Community Director at FTG (Featuring Video Answers)

    Welcome back gamers, veterans, supporters and readers! Thanks for stopping by and reading this edition of 20 Questions here at the New Front Towards Gamer!

    This round of 20 Questions will be with RobocoxTV (RC) Active Army and Community Director at Front Toward Gamer. 
    1) We all had that first video game experience that hooked us in one way or another, what was your first video game moment?
    (RC) Have to say that my first real gaming experience that got me HOOKED, would have to be when I played counter strike on an old like big tube desktop computer. This was back when we had mouse-wheels still lol, and like AOL dial up, and some people may remember the 6 disk installation CD that you had to use for counter strike - ahh i love those times.

    2) What was your first online game? did that change everything for you?
    (RC) Counter strike was my first online game, and yea, it changed everything haha, got me hooked!

    3) What do you do in the army?
    (RC) I am a 13 Series, Artillery. I currently work in Recruiting for the time being though - but that time is soon to be over.
    4) Why did you join OSD?
    (RC)  I joined OSD because it seemed like a great organization to be a part of. They constantly had moving parts which were moving in the right direction towards helping others and I love that.

    5) What are you most proud of so far in life sir?
    (RC) My daughter - 100% I am excited to see where she goes in life and what she wants to do.

    6) If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?
    (RC) Shit, I would have to say...Green Lantern - not that I like the story or anything, just because he can think of things and then they appear. I guess if he loses that ring or whatever than it’s all for naught.

    7) What does the current you tell a 16 year old you?
    (RC) Invest in Facebook, and, there is a cop shooting radar on Rt. 40 when you are like 18 (save myself a few bucks)

    8) What was your last job?
    (RC) I worked as a forklift operator. 

    9) How many times did you crash or drop something on the forklift, we won’t tell, it will be between you and me?
    (RC) For legal purposes, and I don’t know what the statute of limitations is on something like this, but let’s just say there was this place I worked that, if you crashed and damaged a product, you would be given 3 days absence and a drug test, if you pass the drug test, you get paid for those 3 days. SO, I may or may not have crashed once or twice on purpose and gotten 3 free paid days off. I was a terrible person.
    10) Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?
    (RC) Duck Sized Horses, because, I can imagine myself running through them kicking frantically. Hell, I could even tape a few of them to the bottom of my shoes like little horseduck rollerblades.

    11) What would you do if you won the lottery? what is that first 24 hours like?
    (RC) Ok, so if I won the lottery I would travel, 100% all over the world, mainly the Buddhist culture area’s like Thailand and stuff like that. I LOVE those places. But the first 24 hours, I would hire a security team to watch my family and myself and immediately make sure I get all my legal stuff in order to collect properly.

    12)  Best movie you saw in last few years? and the top 5 all time?
    (RC) Best movie in last 5 years, I believe it has to be….The Accountant. I love that the movie was just action packed, it left my wife and I with a cool feeling at the end.  Top 5 of all time though, Shawshank Redemption, Green Street Hooligans, Godfather 2, American History X, I can’t think of another one lol, I don’t even think those are my top 5 because I just LOVE so many movies but those are the best ones that came to mind.

    13) What is the weirdest item I find in your refrigerator right now?

    14) If you could trade places with any other person for a month, famous or not, living or dead, with whom would it be? and why?
    (RC)  Well obviously not dead because that would be shitty, trade with them and just, be dead for a month =P. I think I would trade with my wife, because then I would be able to experience the awesomeness that is being married to me.

    15) What has been your favorite video game Easter egg over the years?
    (RC)  World of Warcraft used to have this glitch to get into certain areas of Orgrimmar (Horde Main City) and it would lead you to this secret area with an NPC named after one of the developers that had passed away in real life. It was cool and a bit somber to see that. 

    16) What was your first video game Easter egg?
    (RC) I think Counter Strike - they let you go through the walls and everything in private lobbies - sometimes you get deep enough into the level and you find some little cool poster on the wall explaining the developers names and contact info and stuff.

    17) What was your first job every? how long did you last?
    (RC) Pilot Gas Station - I worked as a maintenance man through high school - I think I was there for like 3 years. I got fired for walking around with a Mop on my head while the boss was away - turns out he watches the security videos...dick.
    18) What is the weirdest item within arms reach right now sir?

    19) What was your first tattoo? and last one?  (Images of both please)
    (RC) First tattoo was this little Chinese symbol for COURAGE, it was on my shoulder and it hurt like hell lol, we used to call it the “Running man” because of how it looks, it is since covered up.
     My latest tattoo is the Bod hi Tree (The tree where Buddha found enlightenment) on the front of my leg (shin).

    20) In your opinion what shooter changed everything for FPS in video games?
    (RC)  Counter Strike - 100%, that game has stood the test of time with the same maps, same guns, same feel, FOR YEARS!

    21) Mash up map, if you could merge two BF maps which two would you merge?
    (RC) Golmund Railway and Rogue Transmission - so much snipes.

    22) What is your favorite map and game mode from a video game?
    (RC) Favorite map would be - Slums - and game mode would be 1v1 Gamebattle Search and Destroy on Black Ops 2, Good times, good times.

    23) What was the last game you played?
    (RC) Last night I stayed up stupid late playing Wildlands, I actually saw you online but was deep in a heated battle playing against some purple guys with a car that does wheelies. Wtf.

    24) What was the last song you song?
    (RC)  I’m in love with the shape of you - that ed sheeran song, I sang it to my buddy at work here when we went across the street to starbucks cause it was awkward and people were around us so I made it even more weird.

    24) What 2 things within arms reach will you take with you if you are going to be deserted on a island? has to be within arms reach and no phones (no signal out there)
    We had a great time chatting with RobocoxTV for this round of 20 Questions. What two items would you bring with you? Share with us below in the comments.


    6 Things About Gaming Your Parents Don't Want You to Know!

    6 Things About Gaming
    Your Parents Don't Want You to Know

    1. Gaming can Actually Improve Vision and Attention
    Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences Daphne Bavelier studies have shown that Video Games actually affect perception, attention, and cognition. Studies have also shown that video gaming enhances low level vision and attention by increasing the ability to monitor multiple objects at one time. Because of the large amount of activity that gaming puts on the brain and eyes, playing video games after eye surgery or receiving glasses can speed up the process of recovery. So next time your parents say you will go blind staring at that screen, remind them that it may actually help.

    2. Gaming can Physically Change your Brain for the Better!
    Scientists in Berlin conducted a study using a Video Gaming Group (23 Members) and a Control Group that did not play video games. They were asked to play Super Mario 64 (Takin’ it back!) for 30 Minutes a day. Both groups were then given an MRI and the Gaming group showed increases of Gray Matter in the brain, prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum. For those, like myself, that are not neurosurgeons, those are the areas for planning, hand motor skills and memory formation (among others). (Trust me, I had to Google! it)

    3. Gaming can make you YOUNG AGAIN!
    Ok, maybe not physically Research from the University of Iowa has shown from a study of 681 healthy individuals, ages 50 and older (This one is for you, mom and dad), that 19 Hours of strategy and mind teaser games delayed a range of cognitive skills up to 6 years for some individuals, with a minimum improvement of 1.5 years. So, for all of you who don’t have the ability to run and gun in Call of Duty and the likes, just play some brain teaser video games and if you play enough, you might be able to hop back into the FPS world!

    4. Gaming makes you more social!
    With nearly 50% of teens able to say that they played some type of video game “yesterday”. It is easy to say that most didn’t play alone. As a matter of fact, 65% of teens play video games with people in the same room as them, and 27% play with their friends online! This doesn’t mean they always play together, but with the ease of access to online play these days, kids are far more likely to become more social, or at least horrible trolls who know more about my mother than I do.

    5. Sports games make you better at sports, or at least try harder.
    Ok, this may be a stretch, but who are we to argue with the science? Studies by Cheryl Olson of Parents.com led her to believe that players (mainly boys) learn and attempt new moves/sports from things they have tried on video games. This increased interest in improving online has leaked into the real world. I wish I could have said the same about my times playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater, I think i had a good 20 minute manual down. No chance.

    6. Video Games can help with Depression.
    When people play video games, brain scans show the most active parts of the brain are the rewards pathway system, which is associated with motivation and goal orientation, and the hippocampus, which is associated with learning and memory. These are the two main parts of the brain that don’t activate when people are suffering from depression.

    So long story short! Get on those chairs and play some games! They are good for your health!
    That is a really biased opinion on my part since I LOVE playing video games, but I hope that I have provided you with enough ammunition to defend your right to slay dragons, and defeat your sworn enemies in the digital world, without being bothered!
    Thank you all for reading, be sure to sign up as a member on our website and check out our monthly community events that focus around gaming! You can also join us on Discord on our extremely active channel which can be found here: https://discord.gg/0WgmmHOcoEmHGmua and you can find us on Twitch.tv at www.Twitch.tv/OperationSupplyDrop

    FTG Community Director

    8 Reasons Video Games Can Improve Your Child. (2017). Parents. Retrieved 26 March 2017, from http://www.parents.com/kids/development/benefits-of-video-games/?slideId=37208
    15 Surprising Benefits of Playing Video Games. (2017). Mentalfloss.com. Retrieved 26 March 2017, from http://mentalfloss.com/article/65008/15-surprising-benefits-playing-video-games
    Lenhart, A., Kahne, J., Middaugh, E., Macgill, A., Evans, C., & Vitak, J. (2017). Teens, Video Games and Civics. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Retrieved 26 March 2017, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2008/09/16/teens-video-games-and-civics/
    Science, L. (2017). Brain Teaser Games May Slow Aging Mind. Live Science. Retrieved 26 March 2017, from http://www.livescience.com/29246-brain-games-slow-mental-decline.html
    TEDxCHUV - Daphne Bavelier - Your brains on action games :: News :: University of Rochester. (2017). Rochester.edu. Retrieved 26 March 2017, from https://www.rochester.edu/news/video/bavelier-tedx-2012/
    Video Games Improve Vision, Study Says. (2017). News.nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 26 March 2017, from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/090329-video-game-vision.html
    Why Playing Video Games Can Actually Be Good for Your Health. (2017). Time.com. Retrieved 27 March 2017, from http://time.com/4051113/why-playing-video-games-can-actually-be-good-for-your-health/

    A closer look at Death Squared

    Death Squared is a Puzzle strategy game on PC, PS4, Xbox 1 made by SMG studios, launched March 13 of this year.
    Once the main menu is loaded you will notice how easy, smooth and simple it is with 3 options to choose from. Making sure you are going to find what you need. When I picked the story mode it loaded a report on the screen with a voice in the background, a computer voice. It jokes around with you as you ask it to load a game or test routine.   With two modes to pick from Story (2 square boxes, 1 or 2 player) and Party (4 Square boxes,1 to 4 player) you can face endless puzzles with hours and hours of fun. You can do a local mulitplayer but sadly no online play as of yet.

    The idea is simple and basic, you have to move your two square boxes to the matching color circles on the ground.  Your left joystick moves the Red Square box and your right joystick moves the Blue Square box. You have obstacles to navigate and edges that you can plummet to your death from.
    In some rounds moving one of the Squared boxes will move blocks around near the Squared box. Hidden mines, moving walls, lasers, traps, mustaches, and more! The game makers went beyond the basic obstacles when devising ways to stop your progress in this game. As each round loaded I thought I would be able to figure it out easy, but some of them even got me thinking. While I still have not finished it yet, I am sure some of you out there can breeze by all these levels. 
    In round 5 I came across some lasers that would kill your box of opposite color from the laser. You had to use same color box to shield the other box. This was very fun to figure out and try and beat.

    Well looks like we can carry each other too. You have to use each other to move around and sometimes carry each other. Check out what I came across in the 8th round of play.

    The party mode allows you to play with 4 Square Boxes. This is even harder as you must use all 4 of the Square Boxes as a team and timing is very key as you will see in this video. You have to do things in a certain order or not everyone can complete the level.

    Overall it is a fun game with hours of play value, while it does seem to border on repetitive, the voice overs from loading computer and test subject offers great comic relief. The jokes poke fun at your current situation from repeated fails to almost making it to the end of a level. You can make it dance in game and add logos to the little Square box, two more ways to enjoy this far beyond its simple concept.

    Final verdict great fun puzzle game that can be enjoyed solo or with a group that knows what it is and pokes fun at its simplicity.  This would be a great party game and challenge to our thinking outside of the box so to speak. 
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