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Skylanders Trap Team (Tablet Review)

By : Cindy Lennox on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 | 9:00 AM

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Skylanders Trap Team is the fourth major release for the Skylanders series created by developer Toys for Bob and publisher Activision, but the new release also marks a monumental occasion for the franchise. Skylanders Trap Team will be the first game in the series to make an appearance on tablet devices. The game will come with an all new portal, characters and new ways to play the game, and developer Vicarious Visions has managed to cram a full-fledged game into the tablet version. Skylanders Trap Team is the first game of its type to make its way to tablet devices, and the team behind the game were able to knock it out of the park on their first attempt with the series on a new platform.

In Skylanders Trap Team, players head back to the world of the Skylanders to battle against the forces of Kaos once again. Tons of villains have escaped their imprisonment at the Cloudcracker Prison, thanks to Kaos, and it will be up to players to team up with the Skylanders and use the power of an element known as Traptanium in order to find, defeat and capture the escaped baddies and return them to the prison. The game's storyline is full of good humor that the series is known for, and the new narrative sees the return of series favorite characters including the hilarious Captain Flynn. Skylanders Trap Team features another fun storyline for fans of the series, and the tale is just as entertaining on the go with tablet devices as it is on home consoles.

Skylanders Trap Team
gives fans all new ways to enjoy their favorite video game franchise. Skylanders Trap Team introduces new Trap Master characters that battle with massive weapons perfect for taming and capturing bad guys. Players can capture defeated enemies inside of the all new Trap figures available in the game's starter pack and sold separately. Once a villain has been captured, players can use the baddies to play the game, access new areas and unlock some powerful new abilities. Villains don't play like a typical Skylanders character. Some of the villains are actually more powerful than Skylanders, and some also have special abilities that offer active boosts to characters even after the villain has been switched out in favor of a different character. Villains do operate on a timer, so players need to only bring the bad guys out when they are needed. Some other cool features exist for the villains including villain exclusive missions and an ability for the characters to yell back at players through the speaker on the game's new portal.

Skylanders Trap Team
on tablets comes with much of the same content seen in the console version of the game. The title is compatible with all previously released figures and also works with the 50+ figures that have been added to the new release. The new title not only includes a new storyline for the Skylanders universe, but players will now be able to head to the Skylanders Academy to find all sorts of missions and new ways to play including the dangerous Battle Arena missions, a fun card game variant known as Skylanders Skystones Smash, horde like missions known as the Kaos Doom Challenge and more. Players will also find new ways to customize their characters with new hats and the introduction of trinkets for more customization options. The new items can even be equipped to villains for some pretty funny results.

The tablet version of Skylanders Trap Team offers some new features not available in any other version of the game. The all new wireless Traptanium Portal of Power allows players to bring figures to life in the game, but the tablet version of the game has the only portal that connects via Bluetooth. This allows the portal to be completely portable and easy to take on trips to a friend's house or on vacations to enjoy the game away from home. The tablet version also includes a special docking station that allows players to easily place their tablet standing up and play with the Bluetooth wireless controller that is also included in the tablet version's starter pack.

Skylanders Trap Team
on tablets can be played with on-screen touch controls or with the wireless controller that comes packed in the tablet version starter pack. The built-in controls for the game work decently, but as with most tablet games, the controls still feel a bit awkward while simultaneously holding a tablet, and the controls also cover part of the screen while playing. The new wireless controller designed specifically for Skylanders Trap Team makes playing the game on tablets a whole lot more enjoyable and desirable. The controller is small and requires two AA batteries to operate, but the buttons don't tend to stick like players would see in cheaper tablet controllers, and the controller feels very lightweight and comfortable to use during long gaming sessions.

The tablet version of Skylanders Trap Team is compatible with a wide range of tablet devices, and the game is easy to install and play. The game requires a single download to play on tablets, and a download key does come packed in the new game's starter pack. Compatible tablets for Skylanders Trap Team include Apple iPad 3rd Generation, iPad 4th Generation, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Air, Kindle Fire HDX (7” & 8.9”), Google Nexus 7 (2013), Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro (8.4”, 10.1”, 12.2”), Samsung Galaxy Tab S (8.4”, 10.5”), Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) and Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, so most tablet owners should be able to download and enjoy the game on their preferred device.

Skylanders Trap Team can be an expensive investment for fans of the series. The new starter pack is valued at $74.99 and is required to play the game on tablets, since it is the first release on the platform. The starter pack is a pretty good value though, since it comes packed with the game, two Skylanders figures, two Traps, the wireless Traptanium Portal of Power, wireless controller and other cool items. Additional Trap Masters will set gamers back $14.99 each, individual toys cost $9.99 and additional Traps cost $5.99 each. Skylanders Trap Team delivers many hours of exciting gameplay for its high cost though, and fans can rest easy knowing the time and money they invest in characters today will pay off with compatibility in future releases for the Skylanders series.

Skylanders Trap Team on tablets matches up well with the home console version of the game. While the tablet version doesn't look quite as good as the next generation version of the game, Skylanders Trap Team still packs a whole lot of high quality content for a tablet release that most other mobile games simply can not compare with. The sound design in Skylanders Trap Team for tablets is strong as well, but players would likely get better sounds from their home console setup if available. Players looking to enjoy Skylanders Trap Team on tablets will no doubt see a dip in the graphical and sound qualities of the game, but the flexibility the game offers to players to enjoy the game on the go more than makes up for any shortcomings the game may have in its presentation.

Skylanders Trap Team makes a more than impressive debut on tablet devices. The game packs nearly all of the content seen in the console version of the game into a mobile form, and the inclusion of a Bluetooth Traptanium Portal of Power and wireless controller in the game's starter pack makes the title a good value and a highly flexible release that few other tablet releases can match up with. Skylanders Trap Team is by far the best tablet game to release this year. The game doesn't quit hold up to the console version in terms of graphics and sounds, but everything else about this release is fantastic. Skylanders Trap Team is a game that all age groups can appreciate, and a tablet release makes the title available for more gamers than ever before. Look for Skylanders Trap Team on tablets this holiday season!

Skylanders Trap Team is now available from all major retailers and can be purchased for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Tablet. Skylanders Trap Team is rated E by the ESRB for Cartoon Violence & Comic Mischief. For more information on the game, check out the official Skylanders Trap Team website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Trap and Play as Villains
  • Explore the Skylanders Academy
  • Over 50 New Figures
  • Tablet Exclusive Features

Game Information:
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Toys For Bob
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS & Tablet/iOS (reviewed)
Release Date: October 5, 2014

Score: 10 out of 10
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Skylanders Trap Team (Video Game Review)

Skylanders Trap Team is the newest release for the highly popular toy and video game series from developer Toys for Bob and Publisher Activision. The fourth entry to the franchise introduces a new game mechanic that once again changes how Portal Masters will explore the Skylands. In Skylanders: Swap Force Kaos destroyed the Cloudcracker Prison and freed all sorts of baddies that now roam around the Skylands. The Portal Master (player) must use an all new Portal of Power and traps built from the powerful traptanium element to capture the villains and bring peace back to the world of the Skylanders.

Each release in the Skylanders series has produced a brand new game mechanic that introduces a new type of character and way to play the game. In Skylanders Trap Team, players will have access to special traps that can be used to capture defeated enemies that are turned into fully playable characters upon their capture. Each trap is based around one of the game's eight elemental categories, and each can house up to 40 different villains at a time. The game also includes the all new Villain Vault that can house trapped villains inside the game to make more room for villains in the player's traps.

Trapped villains can be summoned in battle just like any other character. Some of the villains have powerful abilities that can make them even better than the actual Skylanders characters. The main drawback with using villains is a timer that countdowns to the full depletion of a villain's energy. The villain will need to be placed back in the trap when the timer runs out, and the villain will regain energy over time to be used again. One neat feature allows Portal Masters to summon a villain, use the villain's special power and immediately switch to a Skylanders character while still having the villain's ability active for the new character. Villains also get special missions to access within the game for special rewards. It's also worth mentioning that the trapped villains will yell through the built-in speaker of the all new Traptanium Portal to add a bit of humor to the game heard outside of the in-game audio.

There are a host of other new features included in Skylanders Trap Team in addition to the new traps and playable villains. Players will want to head to the Skylanders Academy between missions to rest, meet new characters, gain information about what to do next in the game and maybe even find an important secret hidden within the grounds of the school. The school also introduces players to new Battle Arenas, where players can battle enemies in special areas full of traps and hazards meant to offer some of the toughest training available at the academy. Portal Masters can also enlist in music classes at the Skylanders Academy with each Skylanders character performing a different musical number with The Skaletones band.

Skylanders Trap Team brings back a mini-game introduced in Skylanders Giants known as Skylanders Skystones. Skylanders Skystones Smash is the new game and pits the player against a rival in a collectible card game. The player controls a team of heroes and battles against a second player in control of a group of bad guys. The new card game is much more fast-paced and exciting than its previous iteration, and even though it likely won't attract any Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone fans to come play Skylanders Trap Team, it is a good way to add more collectibles to the game while giving a fun distraction away from the main game.

Another brand new game mode for Skylanders Trap Team is the Kaos Doom Challenge. The mode is similar to horde modes seen in many other games with players facing off with endless waves of enemies in an effort to survive for as long as possible. The Kaos Doom Challenge does reward players with some nice prizes for surviving many waves of enemies, so it's a good way to rack up on some rare items and maybe even find some loot not available anywhere else in the game.

There are plenty of collectibles included in Skylanders Trap Team to give the game even more replay value. One such item are the troll radios that can be found scattered around the Skylands. The radios can be pretty annoying at times, as trolls are apt to be, but seeking out and destroying the radios can give players some extra cash and some special rewards. Hats return in Skylanders Trap Team to give players a fun way to customize their Skylanders, but Skylanders Trap Team also introduces trinkets to add even more flair to these already colorful characters. It's also worth noting that both hats and trinkets can be equipped to villains to produce some pretty hilarious results as well.

Most players will want to pick up the Skylanders Trap Team starter pack with the release of the new game. The all new Traptanium Portal is required in order to use traps and the newest Skylanders Trap Team figures, but the starter pack also comes with some other perks. One of our favorite new characters named Food Fight is included in the starter pack. This little guy is mean and green and blasts his opponents away with a variety of tomato based attacks. Snap Shot also comes in the packs and is one of the best new Trap Master characters that can be used to capture villains within the game. The starter pack also includes two elemental traps, stickers, trading cards, a character poster and a trap collection tray that is perfect for holding all eight of the new traps introduced in Skylanders Trap Team.

Skylanders Trap Team
introduces over 30 brand new characters and over 50 new figures total. The additional figures include 16 Trap Master characters. Some of our favorite in the set include the Undead warrior known as the Krypt King, who can get in a bash with the best of them with a large sword capable of dealing devastating amounts of damage, and Wildfire, whose powerful flame based attacks will have enemies cooling off inside of a trap in no time. One often overlooked feature in Skylanders Trap Team is the introduction of the all new Minis characters. These tiny characters were introduced in the very first Skylanders video game, but the characters get their own figures and are fully playable in the game for the first time ever in Skylanders Trap Team. The figures come two characters to a pack and includes our favorite Spry, the miniature Spyro the Dragon character, and Mini Jini.

The presentation featured in Skylanders Trap Team is once again top notch for its genre. Part of what makes the Skylanders series so special and be definitively more enjoyable than series like Disney Infinity are the excellent characters, diverse worlds and amazing gameplay. The majority of the new characters are fun to play the game with, and some even change the way the game is played with a wide range of attack options and controls. Some of our favorite characters ever introduced in the series are included in the new game, and each figure reflects well in the game as seen from the high quality figures outside of the game. Captain Flynn returns to take players on an exciting and hilarious journey through the Skylands, and the world looks better than ever while playing the next generation game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The Skylanders series just seems to be getting better and better with the launch of Skylanders Trap Team. The new title introduces all new playable characters with the Trap Masters, Minis and playable villains. Players will have tons of character options to explore the new game with, and there are several new mini-games that add a whole lot more excitement to the game including the Kaos Doom Challenge and Skylanders Skystones Smash. Skylanders Trap Team is a fun game for all age groups, and it should once again be one of the most popular video game purchases this holiday season. Skylanders Trap Team proves that being bad is too fun to resist. Look for Skylanders Trap Team on your favorite console today!

Skylanders Trap Team is now available from all major retailers and can be purchased for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS. Skylanders Trap Team is rated E by the ESRB for Cartoon Violence & Comic Mischief. For more information on the game, check out the official Skylanders Trap Team website.

Game Features:
  • Local Multiplayer 1-2
  • Trap and Play as Villains
  • Explore the Skylanders Academy
  • Over 50 New Figures
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: Toys For Bob
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One (reviewed), Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii & Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: October 5, 2014

Score: 10 out of 10
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Giant Spacekat Reveals New Details for Revolution 60 on PC

Giant Spacekat has announced that Revolution 60 will be coming soon to PC. In the meantime, players can now purchase the game for iOS devices at the discounted price of $3.99. Are you ready to learn more and jump into the adventure ahead that takes place years into the future? Read on.

From the Press Release
Indie game studio Giant Spacekat announced today that the Kickstarter-funded and the critically acclaimed iOS game, Revolution 60 will be coming soon to PC and is expected to launch later this year. The team is also pleased to announce that the iOS version of the game is currently on sale in iTunes store at a price of $3.99 / €3.59 / £2.49. Revolution 60 is a story of intense character conflict where the main character lives or dies based on the player’s choices. The branching narrative takes gamers through 26 different battles - including four mini-boss battles - eventually leading them to a combination of 24 different ending variations and providing hours of replayability.

“We couldn’t be happier to announce Revolution 60 is coming soon to PC,” said Brianna Wu, Head of Development at Giant Spacekat. “Bringing Revolution 60 to PC has been something we’ve wanted to do since we first started development and we look forward to sharing the Revolution 60 universe with a whole new community of players.

Years in the future, in Revolution 60 an American orbital weapons platform has drifted off course, threatening an international incident. Chessboard, a special ops group led by an artificial intelligence, has tasked a team to rendezvous with the station and regain control. In this crucial mission players are cast as Holiday, a Chessboard assassin who must decide if her loyalty is to her friends or to the mission. Featuring a fully voice acted all female cast, players undertake a series of missions, and make difficult moral choices that have significant effects on the game outcome so that every ending is different.

For more information about Revolution 60 and to download the game at the new sale price of $3.99 / €3.59 / £2.49 please visit here.

To learn more, visit the official Revolution 60 website.
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Defense Grid 2 (Video Game Review)

Defense Grid 2 is the follow-up release for Hidden Path Entertainment's highly successful tower defense title from 2008. Defense Grid: The Awakening surprised many in the industry with a successful Kickstarter campaign and a full release that has been one of the most beloved games from a crowd funded source. Defense Grid 2 builds on the success of that original title with new enemies, maps, game modes and more. The tower defense genre is crowded with plenty of new releases dropping every month, but Defense Grid 2 may be the best of the bunch.

Defense Grid 2 adds a brand new and more detailed storyline for the series. The new release reveals a narrative for the franchise with plenty of history for the in-game world and some protagonists that players can get invested in. The main campaign is still full of the voices of artificial intelligence commenting on the action on-screen and giving players tips to be successful in the title, but the game does offer enough of a storyline outside of missions to make players want to continue playing through the entire narrative.

Defense Grid 2 is heavily based in the tower defense genre. The game makes some improvements over the franchise's initial release, but the game is an obvious purchase for fans of the tower defense genre. The game offers multiple objectives and ways to win matches during gameplay, but mechanics are still based around building towers in order to clear waves of enemies while blocking lanes and making things as difficult as possible for the AI controlled baddies. Defense Grid 2 also adds multiple leaderboards rankings to give players even more to aim for beyond clearing the game's main campaign.

Defense Grid 2 features multiple play modes including online multiplayer. The traditional game modes still have players protecting a central location while using towers to clear enemies, but the new release also allows players to team up in cooperative modes or battle each other in competitive modes. Players can also head online to download custom levels from the game's online store for even more hours of fun gameplay.

Defense Grid 2
packs a lot of content including 21 original levels, and the main campaign in Defense Grid 2 will take most players around four hours to complete. Additional new content for the title include new towers such as the powerful booster tower that can clog lanes and make nearby towers more powerful, increase firing range and more. There are also close to 20 different alien enemies to deal with in the game including the annoyingly fast Racer aliens. Defense Grid 2 includes a good variety of enemies and some unique levels that will have players enjoying the game's main campaign from start to end.

Defense Grid 2 is built on a new engine with improved graphics for next generation consoles. The game looks good and runs smoothly with a steady frame rate. Fans of the series will enjoy the new graphics and content, and the team behind the game is offering a special edition download of the game on Steam that includes The Art of Defense Grid 2 art eBook, The Making of Defense Grid 2: The Complete Story Behind the Game from author Russ Pitts eBook and the A Matter of Endurance short story. The content offers even further insight into the world of Defense Grid 2 that fans of the series will want to read for themselves.

Defense Grid 2 is one of the better tower defense games to ever release, period. The game packs plenty of new content including a campaign with over 20 different levels, plenty of new enemies, upgrades, towers and more. Additionally, the game is built on a new graphics engine and packs visual improvements for the series, and a new storyline to make the game's main campaign even more exciting. The tower defense title doesn't do much to draw in players that don't already enjoy the genre, and a few balance issues and annoying enemies make the title not quite perfect, but the release is a very solid game that Hidden Path Entertainment can be proud of. Defense Grid 2 is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam.

Defense Grid 2 is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam and can be purchased for $24.99. Defense Grid 2 is rated E by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence & Mild Language. For more information on the game, check out the official Defense Grid 2 website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer 1-2
  • New Enemies, Characters, Levels and More
  • 21 Stages
  • Steam Trading Card Support
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: Hidden Path Entertainment
Publisher: 505 Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One (reviewed), PC, Mac & Linux
Release Date: September 23, 2014

Score: 8.2 out of 10

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Chariot (Video Game Review)

Chariot is a new physics based puzzle platformer from indie developer Frima Studio. The title is currently available for next generation platforms on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and will be available for Xbox LIVE Gold members for free in October as part of the Games with Gold promotion. Whether gamers pick up the new title for free or the usual $14.99 price, they are sure to love the cute charm and humor present in the game along with fun puzzle design all built around the simple concept of pulling a chariot through levels while gathering gems and purchasing new upgrades. Chariot is a fun game to play alone or with a friend in local co-op sessions, and fans of the puzzle platform genre shouldn't hesitate to try out the new release.

The narrative in Chariot is all about a young Princess on a mission to find a proper burial site for her father, the king. The only problem is that the king is already dead, and his grumpy spirit not resides inside of a heavily ornamented chariot that must be pulled through multiple levels in order to inevitably find the king's royal tomb. The Princess can be joined in the journey by her fiancé is cooperative sessions, and there is plenty of humor in the game regardless of how many players are in the game at one time. Chariot's fun storyline and strong voice acting from the deceased king go a long way in making Chariot an entertaining experience for all age groups.

Gameplay in Chariot revolves around moving a large chariot over gaps, up hills and across hazards. The player has access to a rope that can be wrapped around the wheels of the chariot to pull the device forward, swing across gaps or use to pull the ride up a hill. The game begins with some very simple puzzles that teach players basic controls of the game, but the game later introduces all sorts of hazards that can kill the player or destroy the chariot. The game does a good job with progression of difficulty, and it's rare, if not impossible, to break a level where a puzzle becomes impossible, so Chariot is definitely a very well designed new title.

In addition to moving the king through levels to an exit at the end of stages, players have the secondary objective of collecting jewels and treasures located throughout levels. Players will want to find the different jewels in levels in order to purchase new items later in the game. There are smaller, common jewels seen throughout the entire levels, larger and more valuable jewels that are more difficult to grab, jewel skulls for some neat unlockables and item blueprints to unlock new items at the in-game shop. The cart must run over the items to be picked up, and a large portion are difficult puzzles that require some complex maneuvers to obtain. Additionally, there are secret exits in some levels that can be used to access new areas.

Despite having strong puzzle design and a whimsical storyline, perhaps the best trait of Chariot is the game's excellent presentation. The game features fun graphics, bright color designs and funny character animations. The game's graphics combines with good sound design including great, tone setting themes and nice voice acting from the king in the game. Chariot also supports couch cooperative multiplayer, where the game changes to accommodate two players in a single session. The game's controls are a bit strange and have a slight learning curve that will take players a little of time to adjust to though. Chariot is still one of the most polished indie games to release in 2014, and puzzle platformer fans will really enjoy what the game has to offer players.

Chariot is an entertaining and whimsical title that is fun for gamers of all ages. The game presents physics based puzzles that have a good sense of progression without ever being too difficult. The game features a great presentation that includes fun cooperative multiplayer and fun environments brimming with secrets ready to be discovered. Not every gamer will appreciate the cute art style, and the game does have some iffy controls that hold the game back somewhat, but the minor problems won't keep players from having fun with the new title. Chariot is out now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Chariot is now available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and can be purchased for $14.99. Chariot is rated E by the ESRB for Mild Fantasy Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Chariot website.

Game Features:
  • Local Multiplayer 1-2
  • Solve Physics Based Puzzles
  • Upgrade Chariot and Build New Mining Items
  • Colorful Cartoon Designs with Fun Themes
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: Frima Studio
Platforms: PlayStation 4 & Xbox One (reviewed)
Release Date: September 30, 2014

Score: 8.7 out of 10

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Slender: The Arrival (Video Game Review)

Slender: The Arrival is a new survival horror title from Blue Isle Studios and Midnight City. The release comes a year after the game first arrived for Steam with brand new console content that expands on the game's storyline with expanded missions. The game is a fun title with plenty of scares, but a bit of repetitive gameplay and some frustrating sections of gameplay upset the game's immersiveness and makes the game not nearly as fun as it could have been. Horror fans will still enjoy the release though, and the game marks the first appearance of the Slender Man on consoles, so it's well worth a look for gamers that have yet to experience this horror series.

Slender: The Arrival arrive two years after the initial release of Slender: The Eight Pages in Summer 2012. The new storyline follows a realtor named Lauren that finds herself running for her life instead of selling her friend's home as she thought she was doing when heading to work that day. The game delves deeper into the Slender Man mythology, as players learn more about how the terrifying entity came into existence and where the character first appeared throughout history. The narrative is interesting for fans of the Slender Man and all of his creepy pasta inspired antics.

In Slender: The Arrival, players navigate a variety of new locations including abandoned houses, sunny hillsides and dark caves. Players experience the game armed with a flashlight and camcorder as the only means to see through the darker areas of the game, and enemies seen through the game are essentially invulnerable and must be avoided at all costs. This musters up real feelings of horror, dread and tension for players during the game, as they are completely helpless against the monsters lurking nearby.

Many objectives throughout the game boil down to running through a centralized area in search of a collection of items needed to progress through the area. These include missions such as finding and starting all of the generators in the mines level in order to power a way out of the haunted caves. Unfortunately, this makes Slender: The Arrival feel fairly repetitive and also similar to the original game that had players tracking pieces of paper in the woods in order to complete that title. Slender: The Arrival is scary enough so that players will not really notice the repetitive nature of the game while playing, but once the game has been completed for the first time, players will notice the game feels a bit like a bunch of fetch and collect quests combined for an hour or two of gameplay.

Slender: The Arrival also has some problems in enemy design. Slender Man does a good job of scaring players through different sections of the game with his trademarked static feed that picks up the closer the enemy gets to the player. Other enemy encounters in the game are less frightening and more annoying though. The mines level of the game has players running from an enemy that is unfairly quick and can come out of nowhere to slash the player to death and force a restart. When the deaths start mounting up, the game begins losing its magic to the point players will be brute forcing their way through the chapter and start enjoying the game again.

The new content extends Slender: The Arrival by about an hour. Players will experience two new chapters for the game's main campaign in the new content. The content isn't console exclusive, and it can be downloaded on Steam for owners of the original game. Players will experience extended levels and battle against an all new servant of the Slender Man enemy that is sure to scare the crap out of all players.

Slender: The Arrival does a fantastic job of setting an atmosphere that is exciting to explore for gamers. The title looks good and fantastic sound design will have players constantly turning and looking to see what is behind them. Dripping water, creaky floorboards and more make each step taken in the game something to fear. Slender Man himself is just as creepy, and seeing his dark silhouette out of the corner of a player's eye is more than enough to send the player scrambling away in the darkness.

Slender: The Arrival is a horrifying experience that has finally made its way to consoles. Gamers will want to pick up the new release to experience all new content that has been created just for the new release. Players will learn more about the history of the Slender Man in the new title, and there are plenty of scares to help players overlook the shortcomings the game presents. Slender: The Arrival is a horrifying thriller experience that should be experienced by all fans of the horror genre. Look for Slender: The Arrival on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC today!

Slender: The Arrival is now available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Steam and can be purchased for $9.99. Slender: The Arrival is rated T by the ESRB for Violence & Blood. For more information on the game, check out the official Slender: The Arrival website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Includes Extended Levels and Storyline for Consoles
  • Discover the Secrets of the Slender Man
  • Steam Trading Card Support
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: Blue Isle Studios
Publisher: Midnight City
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed) & PC
Release Date: September 23, 2014

Score: 8 out of 10
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Neverending Nightmares (Video Game Review)

Neverending Nightmares is a new indie horror title from the mind of Matt Gilgenbach of Infinitap Games. The title takes players on a psychological horror adventure through the nightmares of a young man named Thomas. Players will be terrified as they experience countless deaths and plenty of horrific abominations that always send to lead to something even worse during the next dream sequence. Neverending Nightmares is a thought provoking game that touches on very dark issues including suicide and mental illness, and it tells an interesting story that players will want to see through until the end. A few annoying encounters and some questionable controls distract away from some compelling gameplay, but Neverending Nightmares is still a game that all fans of the horror genre should check out for themselves.

Players take control of a young man named Thomas in Neverending Nightmares. Players run from one nightmare to another inside of Thomas' mind, and nothing is ever as it seems. Thomas' nightmares seem to always revolve around the horrors of his childhood including the death of his sister, and players will also experience shocking events from the inside of an insane asylum. The game features a branching storyline with multiple endings so that players will ultimately need to choose an ending for themselves in order to find out what has really happened to Thomas, but the narrative always seems to be interesting no matter which paths are chosen.

Gameplay in Neverending Nightmares is simplistic enough for even the most casual gamer to pick up and play. Players control Thomas in 2D environments and can only run through levels and stop to interact with certain objects. The game uses a selection of colors that has only important items in color, so the majority of the game is seen in black, white and the occasional spatters of bloody red. Thomas has an invisible stamina meter that drains, as the character runs. The character gets out of breath easily, and players will need to slow down once the character starts panting and wheezing. This creates a sense of frustration when traveling across long hallways when no enemies are present, since players will just want to get to the next area and find out what is behind the next door instead of constantly slowing to catch their breath.

Neverending Nightmares uses additional steps to slow players down beyond the main protagonist's stamina. Staircases are littered throughout the game, and players must walk slowly up or down them in order to progress through to the next room. Only one time throughout the game does anything noteworthy happen on staircases, and the slow travel can easily frustrate players. The game also introduces enemies later in the game that can only be moved past while slowly walking across the floor without making any noise. This means players will be forced to slowly walk through the entire chapter in fear of having an enemy come out of nowhere and rip their throat out. It's unclear whether the developer chose to force players to play the game more slowly to lengthen the game's short campaign that can be completed in just a couple of hours or if it is used to make the game more tense, but many players will be frustrated with certain sections of the game regardless of the intent.

Neverending Nightmares does a good job of setting up scares throughout the game. The title isn't simply full of jump scares, as the creepy environments and unsettling imagery present throughout the game goes a long way in making players feel uneasy even when nothing scary is actually happening. Players will die many times during the different chapters of the game, whether by design or accident, and things just seem to get darker and scarier the longer the player remains in a dream.

The presentation of Neverending Nightmares is fairly strong. The game looks good and runs smoothly. The art style is reminiscent of a cross between the famous paintings of Van Gogh and the book Where the Wild Things Are. The use of black lines across the screen create a haze that makes things difficult to see while also letting players know that things are about to get scarier the harder things become to see. The game's control scheme is fine and easy to play with keyboard or controller, and some nerve wrecking themes helps further establish the tone the game's creepy environments and characters already do a wonderful job of providing to players.

Neverending Nightmares is a short game that will last players only about 3-4 hours and 1-2 hours with each consequential playthrough. The game contains 9 chapters in total and 3 different endings. The game does feature a chapter select screen that makes finding the game's different endings more easily than it would otherwise be. Neverending Nightmares made us jump out of our seat multiple times while playing, so we really think horror fans will enjoy the new title. Neverending Nightmares is immersive and full of horrific surprises, and only a few questionable design choices hold the game back from being a must play for PC and Ouya gamers. Neverending Nightmares is out now on Ouya and Steam.

Neverending Nightmares is now available for Ouya and Steam for PC, Mac and Linux and can be purchased for $14.99. For more information on the game, check out the official Neverending Nightmares website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Branching Storyline and Multiple Endings
  • 9 Horrifying Chapters
  • Steam Trading Card Support
  • Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer & Publisher: Infinitap Games
Platforms: Ouya, PC (reviewed), Mac & Linux
Release Date: September 26, 2014

Score: 7.5 out of 10
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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Video Game Review)

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a new release from developer Monolith and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the same team that made the gaming industry pause and take notice to the Batman Arkham series. The new release is very much akin to its predecessors, only the game stars a completely original character named Talion, and players will be battling against nasty Uruk abominations rather than popular DC Comics antagonists. The new release is an open world adventure with enough side quests and main campaign missions to keep players enthralled in the action for up to 30-40 hours. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an exciting release that could be considered the best game based around the Lord of the Rings series that has ever released.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor attempts to follow closely to the storyline present in J.R.R. Tolkien's works and is set between the narratives present in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. The game stars a former Ranger of Gondor who has gained many abilities of the wraith after he and his family is executed and the warrior is revived to extract his revenge on the forces of Sauron. The game's plot is interesting and full of interesting characters including some new ones that help push the storyline forward at an exciting pace. Longtime fans of the Lord of the Rings series will be able to point out flaws and plot holes all throughout the game's narrative, so the title isn't the most accurate representation of Middle-earth, but the game is still easily enjoyable for anyone but the pickiest fans of the popular fantasy setting.

Gameplay in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is presented in an open world fashion, so that players are free to explore Monolith's version of Middle-earth and complete the game's 20+ hours worth of main storyline missions at their own pace. The missions include interactions with some memorable characters such as Gollum or Celebrimbor, master blacksmith and creator of the Rings of Power. The cutscenes during and between missions are interesting and voice acted very well. There are a good mix of objectives present in the main campaign missions featured in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, but battling against the Uruk is the primary attraction of the game.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was developed with the use of a new tool known as the Nemesis System. The new platform is prevalent in the next generation and PC versions of the game and make each encounter with an enemy something truly special. Nemesis keeps tracks of battles so that enemies can change, level up and progress right along with the player. Should a player defeat an enemy, the enemy may return later in the game in an enraged state following the literal scarring the player left on the enemy Uruk. Likewise, an Uruk general can level up and gain new abilities in combat after defeating a player in combat, and the enemy will even gain some new taunts following the victory that are sure to get players excited for a rematch. The incredible new system is one of the most impressive developments to come around recently for any game developer. The intelligence of an AI enemy to remember player encounters and react according to how the fight played out the first time helps make Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor a truly memorable experience.

Combat in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is similar to that of the Batman Arkham series, and while it doesn't present anything truly revolutionary, it's still a strong battle system that could see Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor competing for Game of the Year considerations when all is said and done. The game features free flow combat in which players will attempt to chain together attacks before landing impressive execution attacks on damaged enemies. Players will almost always be outnumbered in combat, and plenty of counter attacks are available for players to combat these unfavorable odds. Animations in combat look fantastic, even when the player has to cut an attack mid-strike in order to counter a different enemy. The game also incorporates a variety of enemy types and gives enemies many different skills and abilities so that one battle is never just like another.

Talion has access to two distinct skill trees in the game. Players can choose to level up and acquire moves from the Ranger of Gondor path to learn abilities that help players learn stealth tactics and assassination type moves useful for cutting down on the number of enemies before ever being detected, or players can learn wraith related moves that simply make the character difficult to kill and powerful enough to combat even the largest foes of the Uruk armies. Despite having access to all sorts of awesome moves and skills that will make players feel like a true badass in combat, the game never seems to get too simple, as death is always waiting for a player that charges into a overwhelming encounter unprepared.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor has an excellent presentation that begins with excellent voice acting. Talion is voiced by the talented Troy Baker that seems to be in every Game of the Year candidate over the last few years, and there are plenty of other impressive performances from the rest of the cast as well. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is full of exciting fantasy themes that rival those heard throughout the exciting Peter Jackson films. The game's graphics are also impressive and include ultra high settings on PC for gamers with high end gaming rigs to fully enjoy all the game has to offer.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an excellent title and the best Lord of the Rings based game to release for any platform in the last decade. The title offers exciting combat, an interesting take on the world from J.R.R. Tolkien and multiple hours of gameplay that will have players happy to complete main story quests and track animals alike. The most devoted fans of the franchise may take issue with some of the game's writing, and there are plot holes in the game to be sure, but no gamer could argue that the title's combat is anything but extraordinary. Journey through the world that Tolkien created in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor out now for next generation consoles, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC and can be purchased for $59.99. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is rated M by the ESRB for Blood and Gore & Intense Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien Series
  • Master the Powers of Ranger and Wraith
  • DLC Support
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: Monolith
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 & PC
Release Date: September 30, 2014

Score: 9 out of 10

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Now Available

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions have announced that gamers can now purchase Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor in the US and Canada on consoles. The game is also available worldwide on Steam. Are you ready to learn more and start your journey? Read on.

From the Press Release
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) and Monolith Productions announce that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be available today in stores throughout the US and Canada, on digital console in the Americas, and on Steam worldwide. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a third-person, open world action game that introduces players to the next epic saga of Middle-earth as they embark on a dark journey through Mordor, set between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Featuring the innovative Nemesis System, the game is available at retailers and via digital download for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft for the suggested retail pricing of $59.99 and on Windows PC for $49.99.

In Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor players become Talion, a Gondorian Ranger of the Black Gate who is slain alongside his family on the night of Sauron’s return to Mordor. Resurrected from death and inextricably linked to a Wraith Spirit, Talion ventures on a quest of vengeance and discovery to unearth why he has been denied the peace of death. Players uncover the mystery behind the Spirit that compels him, discover the origins of the Rings of Power and confront their ultimate Nemesis.

The game introduces the innovative Nemesis System, through which every enemy encountered in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is procedurally generated and unique to each player, from appearance, to personality type, to strengths and weaknesses, to distinct enemy missions. Players will use Talion’s Wraith powers to manipulate and corrupt the wills of enemy Uruks and gain power to raise their own army in order to match Sauron’s forces on the field of battle.

“Monolith’s goal with the Nemesis System is to push the action genre forward with a unique gameplay mechanic that allows the player to experience Middle-earth in a way that is deeply personal,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The team and technology powering the Nemesis System helped us develop an emotional investment between each player and their enemies, which creates a truly memorable gaming experience unlike anything that’s been done before.”

Earning more than 45 awards and nominations at E3 2014, including “Best of E3” from, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor tells an original story that aligns authentically within the Middle-earth canon. On their journey into the Black Land, players will encounter familiar faces that help them along their path, including Gollum and other notable Middle-earth characters.

All players of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will receive access to the Dark Ranger Pack upon purchase, including The Dark Ranger Character Skin and the “Test of Power” Challenge mode, where gamers demonstrate their strength in combat as they bring down an exclusive legion of Sauron’s forces and display their best score on the challenge leaderboard. The Season Pass for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, priced at $24.99, provides all new story missions and a new playable character, plus exclusive access to the ‘Guardians of the Flaming Eye’ Orc Warband mission and early access to The Trials of War. These include the Test of Speed Challenge Mode, Test of Wisdom Challenge Mode and Endless Challenge Mode, as well as the ‘Lord of the Hunt’ and ‘The Bright Lord’ story missions. Players will also receive additional content not yet announced.

For those playing on PlayStation®4, there are two exclusive missions available: the Blood Hunters and Flesh Burners missions. For more information on this live content, visit

The Palantir app is the result of a partnership between WBIE and Wikia, the social universe for fans by fans. Palantir syncs to the live game, revealing additional layers of information, insights and fan-authored content to create a unique second-screen experience. It is available for download via the App Store here.

WBIE and Monolith Productions worked in partnership with NVIDIA for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on PC, to deliver an optimal experience for all PC gamers and users of NVIDIA technology. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is developed by Monolith Productions and is rated M for Mature.
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Falling Skies: The Game Now Available

By : Amanda Dyar on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 | 2:20 PM

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Little Orbit has announced that Falling Skies: The Game is now available for the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii U. The game can be purchased for $39.99 and takes place in the same gritty world as the television series with RPG events that take place in the show's third and fourth seasons. Read on to learn more.

From the Press Release
Little Orbit, a worldwide video game publisher, today announced that the game based on the popular TNT sci-fi drama, Falling Skies, has launched and is now available at retail on Xbox 360® and PlayStation® 3 and via digital download on WiiU™, Steam, PSN® and Xbox Live®. Set in the tense, gritty world of the critically acclaimed series from Amblin Television, Falling Skies: The Game is a turn-based, tactical strategy RPG set between the epic events of the TV show’s third and fourth seasons. Falling Skies: The Game is now available at retail and via digital download for a suggested price of $39.99 USD and is rated T for Teen by the ESRB.

After the destruction of the Espheni’s Boston Tower in the third season of the hit TNT series, the 2nd Mass stumbles onto the wreckage of an ambushed convoy. Among the survivors is an engineer who claims he can create a destructive weapon that will aid in the human resistance against the Espheni invaders, but it will require them to undertake several risky operations to collect all the components he needs. What sounds at first to be a simple salvage mission becomes more than the team has bargained for… the aliens are everywhere.

Players will help the original cast of Falling Skies in their resistance against the Espheni invaders. Set between the epic events of the show’s third and fourth seasons, the game allows players to navigate through an open-ended series of side missions to collect resources and build new weapons for their squad. Armed with the best gear to head the human resistance, players will assist Tom and Ben Mason, John Pope, Maggie and Anthony in this thrilling untold chapter of the war for humanity’s survival!

Key Features:
  • Squad-based tactical combat with a non-linear campaign – take different approaches to achieve mission objectives.
  • Action-packed, new storyline that introduces Falling Skies to new fans and integrates the favorite characters of existing fans.
  • Map randomization and dynamic AI give players a fresh challenge to conquer in every mission!
  • Rescue and recruit from human survivors you encounter, then level up and customize your squad members’ skills, weapons and equipment.

To learn more, visit the official Falling Skies: The Game website.

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