Try-It Tuesday: THE DEADLY TOWER OF MONSTERS

Today I sampled a 2016 retro sci-fi game called THE DEADLY TOWER OF MONSTERS that pays humorous tribute to such classics as King Kong, Flash Gordon, Planet of the Apes, Forbidden Planet, and the stop-action animation of Ray Harryhausen.

This top-down shooter plays like a 1970s B-movie that’s been re-released on DVD. A “director’s commentary” offers gameplay narration that lampoons video game and sci-fi cliches, while we “watch” (play) the adventures of space explorer Dick Starspeed and the mysterious Scarlet Nova.

I’m not usually a fan of isometric button-mashers, but as someone who grew up with science fiction movies and who writes science fiction, I loved this game. The demo was free on PS4 but I may have to buy the full game, which is available on PS4 and PC. Rated “T” for teens. Price: $14.99 (as of 10/10/2017).

~ J.L. Hilton

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Try-It Tuesday: MURDERED

My first Try-It Tuesday game for October is the ghostly MURDERED: Soul Suspect developed by Airtight Games and published in 2014 by Square Enix.

Ronon O’Connor is a detective who must solve his own murder from beyond the grave in Salem, Massachusetts. This is a third-person mystery story game that mixes a bit of Ghost Whisperer with The Crow and Dick Tracy.

It felt a lot like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story without any actual choices. I would have enjoyed MURDERED more as an open-world action-adventure game with fewer quicktime events and cutscenes. Supernatural powers, like poltergeist and possession, were cool concepts but underused.

~ J.L. Hilton

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Try-It Tuesday: JOB SIMULATOR

For this weeks’ Try-It Tuesday, I not only tried a new game, I tried the PSVR for the very first time with JOB SIMULATOR by Owlchemy Labs.

In JOB SIMULATOR, it’s 2050 and robots are fascinated by the lives of the humans they’ve replaced. Players can experience amusing “re-enactments” of what it’s like to be a chef, office worker, convenience store clerk, and auto mechanic. I couldn’t use the PSVR for very long without feeling nauseous, but I still had fun.

~ J.L. Hilton

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Try-It Tuesday: THE CREW

Starfish central gaming joined me from the UK via PS4 party chat for this week’s Try-It Tuesday livestream of THE CREW, an action-driving game developed by Ivory Tower and published by Ubisoft in December 2014.

I barely scratched the surface, but THE CREW seems to be a fun combination of story, mini-games, vehicle customization, and open world exploration from coast to coast across the US, with landscapes and landmarks that offer a vivid road trip simulation.

The game can be played alone or with a crew of friends. And, unlike other MMOs, there doesn’t seem to be much of a chance for players to harass or grief each other.

THE CREW 2 is scheduled for release in March 2018.

~ J.L. Hilton

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Try-It Tuesday: UNRAVEL

This week I tried UNRAVEL, a side-scrolling puzzle platformer made by the Swedish company Coldwood Interactive and published by Electronic Arts in February 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. As of this writing, it’s on sale for $9.99, or $7.99 for Playstation Plus members.

This is a very sweet game with a soothing soundtrack that reminded me of Journey and Flower. Similar to Little Big Planet, you play as a little doll. This one is made of yarn, aptly named “Yarny,” who unravels as you travel through the world. Yarny’s yarn is an important part of the experience, used to lasso, climb, pull weeds, swing, and build bridges.

My 13-year-old fell in love with it right away and we are planning to livestream the entire game in the future.

~ J.L. Hilton

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Try-It Tuesday: Disney’s FROZEN Free Fall: Snowball Fight

My youngest daughter joined me for Try-It Tuesday on my Youtube channel this week. We played Disney’s FROZEN Free Fall: Snowball Fight, a two-player puzzle game available for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC, that promised to turn our living room into an “epic puzzle matching battle.”

Think head-to-head Bejeweled or competitive Candy Crush, with each player’s game board taking up about 1/2 of the TV screen. After you make crystal combos, characters throw snowballs at each other — or water balloons if you choose the summer environment instead of winter — and additional combos can result in a block or a dodge.

The game is free to play, so long as you only want to be either young Anna or young Kristoff. Grown Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Marshmallow or any other characters, require in-game purchases. Single-player mode also available, with 195 free levels.

~ J.L. Hilton

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Try-It Tuesday: NO MAN’S SKY

This week, I tried out the epic 2016 space exploration game that disappointed everyone.

Honest trailer
Angry Joe review
No Man’s Sky trailer vs reality

~ J.L. Hilton

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Try-It Tuesday: PREY

I played the free demo of PREY, the first-person shooter and sci-fi survival horror game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game was released in May 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and I recently downloaded the free demo on my PS4.

I’m not usually a fan of horror games, but I enjoyed PREY. It seemed more creepy than horrifying, more atmospheric than outright gory, but it may ramp up with further play, I don’t know.

PREY delivers jump scares disguised as loot (my weakness) via alien “mimics” who can take the form of innocuous items like coffee cups and trash cans. There’s also an element of crafting, breaking down various bits of trash to create new items, though I didn’t explore this much in the demo.

The controls and game mechanics are similar to the Dishonored games (also by Arkane Studios), which involve a lot of stealth, climbing, jumping, reading in-game content, and somewhat clunky first-person combat.

I might consider playing the full game, after I finish Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, and if I ever stop playing Fallout 4.

~ J.L. Hilton

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Try-It Tuesday: inFAMOUS Second Son

This week we meet Delsin Rowe in inFAMOUS Second Son, the 2014 action-adventure game by Sucker Punch.

While I’m not usually a fan of cutscenes, third-person perspective or games that rely heavily on climbing/jumping mechanics, for some reason it works for me in the inFAMOUS franchise. I might just continue playing this one, after I’ve finished Dishonored 2, my second playthrough of Fallout 4, and Death of the Outsider (coming in September).

~ J.L. Hilton

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Dishonored 2 begins August 2

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Next month, I return to Dunwall with Dishonored 2, streamed via Youtube and Playstation Network.

I’m giving away an official Bethesda Softworks Dishonored 78-card tarot deck during my first stream August 2, 2017. This is the original promotional deck, offered with pre-orders of the first Dishonored game in 2012.

Subscribe to my channel JEWELSMITH and click the bell icon to be notified when I begin the stream, or you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Viewers who comment “A Game of Nancy” in the chatroom during the Wednesday livestream will be entered in a random drawing. The winner will be announced in the comments section of the Youtube video after the end of the livestream and must contact me within 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary, free shipping to anywhere in the world.

Only one entry per person, regardless of how many times you say “A Game of Nancy” during the livestream.

Click here for how to play an actual Game of Nancy. 

~ J.L. Hilton

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