Category Archives: Gaming

The Sims Mobile App is Coming Soon!



EA has announced that The Sims Mobile is coming soon. It will be available on the Google Play Store and the App Store eventually.  As of the time I am writing this blog, The Sims Mobile is only available in Brazil.

If you want to be among the first to know when The Sims Mobile will be released, you can give EA your email address, birthdate, and let EA know the country you live in. This will result in EA sending you email with news about this game (and potentially other games as well).

In The Sims Mobile, players can create unique Sims with distinct appearances, hairstyle, outfits, and accessories. You can choose their personality traits and life goals. Players can personalize a Sims home layout and can decorate it. The app allows players to host and attend parties with other Sims.

Shape your Sims’ families over multiple generations. When your Sims accomplish their career goals and retire, you’ll be rewarded with Heirlooms that unlock hobbies and careers for future generations, allowing new Sims to tell deeper stories.

The Sims Mobile has dialogue options. Players get to choose from three options and direct what their Sim will say to another Sim. It appears that the three options are very different from each other, which will give players something to think about before making their selection.


Blizzard Updated the World of Warcraft Profile Site



Blizzard announced that they have updated the World of Warcraft profile site. It now contains a lot of information that wasn’t included in the previous version of the Profile site. The changes make it easier for players to quickly view specific information about each of their World of Warcraft characters.

The main character screen mirrors what players see in game, so the information you see about your character’s gear makes logical sense when switching from in-game to the Profile site. Players can view the enchants, transmog info, gems, enhancements, and stats of their gear at a glance.

The Profile page now shows the Achievements that each of your characters has earned. The Profile page dashboard shows how close you are to earning 100% on any area of Achievements. Those areas include: General, Quests, Exploration, Player vs. Player, Dungeons & Raids, Reputation, World Events, Pet Battles, Collections, Class Hall, Scenarios, Legacy, and Feats of Strength.

It is now possible to see your full pet collection on the Profile page. There is a section at the top of the page that shows the Pets that are currently in your Battle Pet Slots. The rest of the pets are in order by favorites, and then by level. You can also view your Mounts from the Profile page. They are listed in order of rarity.


2017 World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees Announced



The Strong Museum at the National Museum of Play announced the games that are the 2017 World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees. These four games are the third class to be inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

The World Video Game Hall of Fame at The Strong was established in 2015 to recognize individual electronic games of all types – arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile – that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture in general.

The games that have been inducted into the World Video Games Hall of Fame this year are: Donkey Kong, Halo: Combat Evolved, Pokemon Red and Green, and Street Fighter II. These games emerged from a field of 12 finalists that also included Final Fantasy VII, Microsoft Windows Solitaire, Mortak Kombat, Myst, Portal, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, and Wii Sports.

Donkey Kong was released in 1981 and became Nintendo’s most profitable game to that point, selling an estimated 132,000 arcade cabinets. Donkey Kong introduced the world to Mario, who became the star of numerous other games and one of the most recognizable video game characters in the world.

Halo: Combat Evolved was created by Microsoft. The game was released on Microsoft’s Xbox system in 2001. More than 50% of the consoles sold with the launch game Halo: Combat Evolved. The game sold more than six million copies and inspired a number of sequels and spin-offs, as well as novels, comic books, and action figures. The science-fiction, first-person shooter game combined an intricate storyline, memorable characters like Master Chief, and a dynamic multi-player experience.

Pokemon Red and Green created a multinational cultural phenomenon when it was relased on Nintendo Game Boy in 1996 as Pocket Monsters Aka (Red) and Midori (Green). The game challenged players to collect 151 unique monsters, and Nintendo coined the catch-phrase “Gotta catch ’em all!” As of 2014, the Pokémon franchise has encompassed more than 260 million copies of its games, 21.5 billion trading cards, and numerous spinoffs including more than 800 television episodes and 17 movies.

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was released by Capcom in 1991. It helped to spark an arcade renaissance in the 1990s. The game inspired numerous sequels and an entire genre of one-on-one fighting games. Capcom sold more than 60,000 original cabinets and a staggering 140,000 cabinets and game conversion kits of the company’s “Champion Edition,” making it one of the top-selling arcade games ever.


Pokémon GO Worldwide Bloom



Niantic announced a new, very short, event that started this afternoon. The event doesn’t appear to have an official name, but the announcement uses the phrase “Worldwide bloom”. This is the first Pokémon GO event that does not immediately appear to be connected to a real world holiday.

The Worldwide bloom event includes “an influx of Grass-type Pokémon”. There are no specifically named examples, but the image that goes with this announcement shows a Bulbasaur. Players will just have to go outside and see what Pokémon appear. The event ends on May 8, 2017.

In the past, the events in Pokémon GO came with a lot of extras. In addition to there being an increased chance for players to encounter certain types of Pokémon, there were chances of having something good hatch from eggs. Some events gave players extra Candy, and others made the Lures on PokéStops last longer than they usually do.

This event, which is shorter than most Pokémon GO events, doesn’t offer any of that. It does appear to offer the opportunity to catch lots of Bulbasaurs, one of the most adorable Pokémon in the game. That’s good enough for me to go outside and play Pokémon GO. Maybe Niantic is going to start giving players random weekends dedicated to specific types of Pokémon.


Twitch Introduces Twitch Affiliate Program



Twitch has introduced the Twitch Affiliate Program.  It is for streamers who are not part of the Twitch Partner Program, but who are striving toward that goal. Twitch will decide which of their non-partnered creators is eligible for the Twitch Affiliate Program.

Introducing the Twitch Affiliate Program, which helps us expand that commitment to include tens of thousands of non-partnered creators. The program allows eligible streamers to start earning income on Twitch while building their audience, and provides a stepping stone to bridge the gap between emerging streamer and Twitch Partner. At launch, Affiliates will be able to start Cheering with Bits on their channel so their communities have an on-platform choice for showing support.

Twitch streamers cannot apply to be in the Twitch Affiliate Program. Twitch will invite streamers who qualify to sign up for it. Invitations are expected to roll out gradually over the next several weeks.

Qualifications include:

  • At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days
  • At least 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days
  • An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days
  • At least 50 followers

Twitch will provide participating Affiliates a share of the revenue Twitch receives from Bits equal to 1 cent per Bit used to Cheer for them, subject to certain terms and conditions. Twitch Partners get Custom Cheermotes – Twitch Affiliates do not.

Twitch Partners payout timeframe is 45 days, and payout fees are covered by Twitch. Twitch Affiliates payout timeframe is 60 days, and the Affiliate has to cover the payout fees themselves.


King Partners with Moschino to Launch Candy Crush Capsule Collection



King, the creators of the Candy Crush game, have partnered with Moschino and the acclaimed creative director Jeremy Scott to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Candy Crush franchise. Together, they are launching a limited edition colorful capsule collection comprised of “summer festival must haves”.

Candy Crush is a game that is played by millions of people around the world. The partnership with Moschino, a fashion house at the forefront of merging pop culture with fashion, brings fans of the Candy Crush franchise an opportunity to show they are fans of the game by wearing the styles from Moschino’s Candy Crush Collection.

The collection will be available exclusively on Moschino.com until the collection sells out. The designs were created by Jeremy Scott, Creative Director for Moschino. The collection includes a backpack ($650 USD), a phone case ($70 USD), and swimwear for men and women ($250 USD and $300 USD).

The celebration of Candy Crush’s fifth anniversary will culminate at the exclusive Moschino Candy Crush Desert Party during the Cochella music festival, where the entire space will be transformed into a Candy Kingdom. Key visuals and moments from the game will be brought to life with tangible props that will be as vibrant in-person as they are on screen.


Nintendo Reveals Games for Nintendo Switch



Nintendo revealed a list of games that are coming out for Nintendo Switch. The games were revealed in a video that was posted on Nintendo Direct (which has more details).

ARMS is a fighting game where players equip two customizable ARMS per fighter. The ARMS range from standard gloved ARMS to curved weapons like boomerangs. Each ARM has a special attribute like fire, ice, or electricity that activates when delivering a punch. The game can be played as 1-v-1 matches or 2-v-2 matches. A new character, the super-fast, ramen-armed Min Min has been revealed. This character is exclusive to Nintendo Switch.

Splatoon 2: Salmon Run has a new four-player co-op mode. Players can team up to battle the new Salmonid species. When players fail in co-op mode, their teammates can revive them by inking them on the battlefield. Splattoon 2 launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on July 21, 2017. There are three new amiibo figures for the game – a new Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy, and Inkling Squid – which will all launch on the same day and grant special limited gear in game.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will launch on April 28, 2017. It will include more characters, karts, and tracks unlocked from the start than any other game in Mario Kart history. Traditional racing and redesigned battle modes can be played in Local Wireless mode with up to 8 players and Online or LAN mode with up to 12 players. Nintendo will be hosting two Mario Kart 8 Deluxe online tournaments in game.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers launches for Nintendo Switch on May 26, 2017. It includes all the classic characters and two new fighters: Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. A “Way of the Hado” mode lets players throw HADOKENS with first-person motion controls.

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition will launch in the Nintendo eShop on May 11, 2017 (and stores on a later date). It includes the Super Mario Mash-Up pack along with new multiplayer play and control options.

These are just a few of the games coming to Nintendo Switch. In addition, Nintendo announced some new games coming to Nintendo 3Ds and some new amibos. The Nintendo Switch Standalone Dock will be available for purchase starting on May 19, 2017.


Pokémon GO Eggstravaganza 2017



Niantic announced that the Pokémon GO Eggstravaganza has started. It began today, April 13, at 1:00 PM PDT. The event will last through April 20, 2017. The announcement doesn’t specifically mention Easter, but the egg reference makes me think that this is Pokémon GO’s Easter holiday event.

During the Eggstravaganza, a greater variety of Pokémon can be found in 2km Eggs. Those are the Eggs that require the fewest kilometers of walking in order to make them hatch. It seems to me that the 5km Eggs, and the 10km Egg tend to hatch more interesting Pokémon than the 2Km Eggs do, so more variety on the 2km eggs will be fun.

I just put a 10km egg into my only Incubator yesterday, so it is going to take some work for me to get that one to hatch so I can put a 2k Egg into the Incubator. If only I had waited! The Eggstravaganza doesn’t change the variety of Pokémon that hatch from the 5km or 10km eggs.

Players will earn more Candy during the Eggstravaganza, and will level up even faster with double XP. Niantic suggests that players use a Lucky Egg (which gives players double XP for 30 minutes) during the Eggstravaganza – to maximize their XP. If you don’t happen to have a Lucky Egg, Niantic says you can purchase one in the in-game shop for 50% off during the Eggstravaganza.

Players are asked to share the Pokémon that they hatch on social media, using #PokemonGO. Niantic also would like players to share their stories.


Star Wars: Battlefront II Trailer Leaks Ahead of Official Release



Star Wars BattlefrontSince Lucasfilm sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney, the new owners of the Star Wars brand have been busy producing new media across the spectrum of movies, television, novels, comic books, and video games. The first big post-Disney video game based in the Star Wars universe was Star Wars: Battlefront, a game that allows players to experience a number of team-based combat scenarios based on events depicted in the Star Wars films.

The original Battlefront was a massive success, prompting the development of a sequel, Battlefront II. One of the big features fans felt was missing from the first Battlefront was a single-player story mode. A trailer for Battlefront II that recently leaked online will make those story-mode missing fans very happy. The trailer (which has since been taken down) appears to show a playable female character, believed to be a downed Imperial pilot. The implication of the short dialog snippet included in the trailer is that Battlefront II will cover this character’s story. It’s also believed that the events depicted in the game take place in the Star Wars timeline after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and before Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

No release date for Battlefront II has been announced. The first Battlefront game was released in November, 2015, just ahead of the release of The Force Awakens. It’s likely that Battlefront II will see a similar release window, as the next Star Wars movie, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, will be released in December, 2017.


Blizzard Announced StarCraft: Remastered



Blizzard announced something that should evoke plenty of nostalgia for those of us who remember playing StarCraft against our friends at LAN parties back in the day – StarCraft: Remastered.  It is an upgrade of the original StarCraft game and its award winning expansion, StarCraft: Brood War. This could inspire those who stopped playing StarCraft to get back into the game.

We’ve remastered our units, buildings, and environments, improved game audio, and broadened our supported resolutions. Illustrated interludes bring the struggles and victories of heroes like Artanix, Fenix, Tassadar, Raynor, and Kerrigan to life like never before. Most importantly, the strategy gameplay that StarCraft perfected years ago remains unchanged.

In StarCraft: Remastered, players will be able to zoom out for a Battlecruiser’s view of the battlefield. They will also be able to zoom in to see fine details – such as “the veins on a Mutalisk’s wings.” The original StarCraft soundtrack and dialogue has been re-recorded and rejuvinated. There are race-themed comic book interludes that tell the original story with a fresh coat of paint.

Players can choose from Terrans, Protoss, or Zerg. Players need to finish the campaign portion of the game first, and then can battle against their friends or team up with other players online.

In the StarCraft Forums, there is a post in which Community Manger Traysent provides some clarification to players about what version of StarCraft will be free. “The original game will be free. The HD version will be an upgrade you can buy.” Kotaku reported that StarCraft: Remastered will be due out later this summer.