PechaKucha of the Day

I’m so happy to see this come out, a PechaKucha app! It’s a super simple idea, to have an app that shares a new PechaKucha presentation each day, and having played with it for a bit, it does just as advertised, with minimum fuss. I especially like the portrait images used for that day’s presentation (you can also scroll down to watch previous presentations). Give it a download, it’s free! And here are more details form the latest PechaKucha global newsletter.

Shadowverse

First off, yes, this is absolutely a Hearthstone clone, but one I’m really getting into. Produced by the makers of GranBlue Fantasy (and I think it’s set in the same world) what initially grabbed me more than Hearthstone is the fact that it has a campaign, and also just the general art of the game – I’ll admit to not being a huge fan of Warcraft’s cartoony fantasy world. As far as playing, yes, it’s incredibly similar to what you’ll have experienced in Hearthstone, but with a few slight differences here and there that although I can’t say necessarily make it better, do make you strategize a bit differently. Since it’s free-to-play and I’m still new to it, who knows if I’ll soon get to a point where it won’t be fun unless I start buying card packs, but for now I’m having quite a bit of fun playing it.

Hidden My Game By Mom 2

One of my favorite games from last year was the mobile gem Hidden My Game By Mom — it’s true, just check my favorite media of the year list — and I’m so happy to see that a sequel has just come out. Like the first one, it’s free (with ads), and so no reason to not give it a try. It’s a fairly simple hidden object game, but with fantastic art and a funny as hell setting.

Dragon Quest II

So yeah, after playing through the first Dragon Quest game, I couldn’t wait to play II, and so that’s what I’m doing. So far (a couple of hours in), I’m enjoying it as much as I did the first, and it’s nice to be building up a party (although I didn’t mind at all playing solo in the first game). I’m also playing it on my iPhone, which I really feel is a great way to play these. Grinding certainly feels like less of a grind when it’s something you’re doing during your commute. 

Dragon Quest II

So yeah, after playing through the first Dragon Quest game, I couldn’t wait to play II, and so that’s what I’m doing. So far (a couple of hours in), I’m enjoying it as much as I did the first, and it’s nice to be building up a party (although I didn’t mind at all playing solo in the first game). I’m also playing it on my iPhone, which I really feel is a great way to play these. Grinding certainly feels like less of a grind when it’s something you’re doing during your commute.

Dragon Quest

Even though I have a big amount of respect for the series, I don’t actually have that much experience with Dragon Quest games – the first one I played was DQ8 on PS2, and then I played a bit of DQ9 on DS, but didn’t get super far in it. This year I played a bunch of Dragon Quest Heroes, and liked it for what it was (Dynasty Warriors-like with more RPG elements and pretty graphics), and then played the Dragon Quest Builders demo. So after all of this, it was a couple of days ago when I watched a recent documentary from NHK about the series (in celebration of its 30th anniversary) that I just got in the mood to go and play the very first game, which I had bought for iOS a while back, but hadn’t really played much. I started the game again, and 2-3 hours later I was still playing. Two days later, I’ve reached the final castle, and am just in need of a bit more grinding before I’m ready to face the final boss. And yes, I’ve already bought Dragon Quest 2 (the DQ games on iOS are currently on sale). As for the quality of the iOS version, I’m not crazy about using a virtual pad to move around, but I do find it convenient to play (I’m playing on iPhone this time), and I’ve gotten used to it.

Super Mario Run

I’ve been loving this. Sure, the fact that you need to be online at all times is an annoyance in that it prevents me from playing while on the subway, but it doesn’t change that the gameplay itself is hugely satisfying, and once you get past all of the levels, it’s also quite fun to concentrate on getting all of the special coins in each level. I think that “Toad Rally” is a pretty neat mode too, and find myself playing it much more than I thought I would. Currently my favorite character to use is Peach, who was also my character of choice in Super Mario Bros. 2.

Bullet Hell Monday

I’ve been playing this new bullet hell shooter for iOS called Bullet Hell Monday, and having an absolute blast with it. It was created by Masayuki Ito, who has already created two other iOS shmups — .Decluster: Into the Bullet Hell and .Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne — but this is the first of his games that he releases as free-to-play. The great news is that it’s a very forgiving F2P, and as you can tell from the visuals pictured here, it’s a visual treat. I really love the abstract aesthetics in use, and the gameplay — although pretty typical of iOS shooters — feels right. I’ll definitely be picking up the two .Decluster games as well.

Bullet Hell Monday

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I’ve been playing this new bullet hell shooter for iOS called Bullet Hell Monday, and having an absolute blast with it. It was created by Masayuki Ito, who has already created two other iOS shmups — .Decluster: Into the Bullet Hell and .Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne — but this is the first of his games that he releases as free-to-play. The great news is that it’s a very forgiving F2P, and as you can tell from the visuals pictured here, it’s a visual treat. I really love the abstract aesthetics in use, and the gameplay — although pretty typical of iOS shooters — feels right. I’ll definitely be picking up the two .Decluster games as well.

Oink Games

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I’ve been on a card/board game kick of late — my wife suggested she’d like to play some with me, and so I went out and picked up a few things that I thought might be good for us to play (Hanabi, Sushi Go, The Hobbit Card Game, Mr. Jack Pocket, Art of War — I used to have a rather large collection back in Tokyo, but I sold it all to friends when I left, only keeping my two editions of Love Letter).

One thing I never paid much attention to while I was in Japan were card games made by Japanese designers (well, not counting games that have been published in the west, like the aforementioned Love Letter). Last week I posted about indie publisher Manifest Destiny, and as my wife was looking for info on games online, she pointed out all the lovely card games of Oink Games (they’ve also produced a few iOS games). Most if not all of their games seem to be pretty import friendly, as the card themselves don’t have any text on them, and so it’s just a matter of finding the rules in English.