Game Review: Eyes

The game eyes is a horror game that has the player navigate through a mansion in hopes to find twenty money bags. If you get the twenty money bags through the door your free, but there is a catch. The house consists of one spirit that wanders around trying to ensure that you do not leave.

There are three floors and to find the money bags you must search in cupboards, drawers, and shelves. 

This game is different from every other game because around the house there are symbols of eyes drawn on the walls and when you collect them they show you what the spirit sees. This can help you tell what floor the spirit is on and if it is safe to leave the room or not. 

When the spirit is within ten feet of you everything around you will start to rattle, you will start to hear heavy breathing, and rats will start coming out of the floorboards. 

Overall the CGI in the game is very well done and looks realistic. The plot and goal of the game are very intriguing. The game is very fun to play especially in the dark and I would recommend this game to anyone who likes jumpscares. 

-Sanjana S.

Game Review: Marble Duel Review (Xbox One)

Marble Duel on the Xbox One is a fun, competitive, indie game. Players take turns shooting marbles in order to match three or more rows together. A similar game would be Candy Crush one of the most popular mobile games. Players progress through a story game mode with hundreds of levels, each becoming progressively more difficult.

Every five missions or so, a new monster will challenge the players. Each Monster has a different play style, which the players need to adapt to in order to win the battle. In order to overcome these challenges, players can unlock new abilities and marble types. For example, I used up to four different marble types in my matches. The first two were pretty simple, red and white marbles that were the default marbles, used for attacking your enemy. The next marble I unlocked was the green marble, which gave me health on three marble stacks or more. The second to last marble type I used was the blue marble, which gave me a blue shield that would protect me from enemy attacks. The final marble type I unlocked was the purple marble, otherwise known as the power-boost marble. This marble does exactly what the name says, and boosts the players’ power.

I really enjoyed the variety in all of the marbles that players could use, it added a lot more strategy into the game. Players could also level up their character in the campaign, giving them more health, attack damage, etc. This was a perfect way to reward players for completing certain quests and missions. On top of the campaign, there also was a multiplayer game mode. However, I don’t think it was available on the Xbox version, because it would not let me get into a game. This might just be due to the lack of activity on the Xbox version. That brings up the problems I had with this game. After I unlocked the final marble, I wanted to keep playing the campaign. Unfortunately, the enemies became incredibly difficult to beat, they seemed to always get the right marbles, as well as knowing what is off-screen. After the enemies became more and more difficult, the missions also felt very repetitive and slow. If the producers of Marble Duel could just release the player vs player game mode, it would add so much variety and excitement. I feel like players should be able to choose their difficulty for the campaign, a new player will lose interest if it is too hard.

In the state it is in now, Marble Duel should remain as a mobile game. I feel like it is too early to release it on all of the consoles, as well as PC. I hope the developers can edit and add to this game because it is really fun! Overall, I enjoyed playing Marble Duel, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this game.

-Daniel C.

Minecraft Speedrunning

Nearly everybody who has ever played a video game has played Minecraft before. However, it turns out that less than 3% of people who have played Minecraft have ever beaten the game by killing the Ender Dragon. However, there is a somewhat small community in Minecraft called the speedrunning community, where the goal is to beat Minecraft in as little time as possible. Although a lot of skills can be applied to speedrunning, however, most of it is luck, as a perfect seed is required to beat the game in a short period of time. As of right now, the world record is held by a speedrunner by the name of Illumina, who beat the game in a whopping 13 minutes and 58 seconds. So how do they do it?

To start off, finding the perfect seed and a decent spawn is the most important factor. When hopping on to a speedrunners stream, you will commonly see them reset their seed and load up a new world. This is because people who are going for the world record do not have time to play a seed that is bad (ex. ocean spawn). Some ideal spawns include villages, natural structures, and other things that could save the player some time while still providing adequate resources. Next, skill and efficiency are key. This is where the skill factor comes in, as the player has to be able to defeat mobs and gather resources at a fast pace. Such only comes from practice and skill.

The speedrunning community, although does not have a lot of people who try and join in on the fun, seems to have a massive audience. One such speedrunner known as Dream (who turned out to fake his speedruns) is one of the biggest faces on YouTube today, and is one of the biggest Minecraft Youtubers. His famous Minecraft Manhunt series where he speedruns the game (not nearly as fast as world record pace though) with other players trying to hunt him down and stop him from beating the game, is one of the most popular series on Youtube, with each video racking up millions of views.

Although the amount of speedrunners in Minecraft is slim, the audience for it and the respect that the top speedrunners get whenever they make history is massive. It almost seems as if a new record is broken every week, and who knows how speedrunning may change with the next major update. However, no matter what, the community will stay strong and people will continue to speedrun Minecraft for years to come.

-Jeremy L.

Game Review: El Hijo – A Wild West Tale

El Hijo is a top-down stealth game, following a small boy as he explores his western town. Players will go through each level getting past different obstacles and enemies, such as bandits, wild animals, etc. I really enjoyed play El Hijo, the graphics were clean, the gameplay was smooth and exciting, and it kept me entertained for a long time. 

I really want to talk about the graphics in his game. With a clean and minimalist approach, the game felt fresh and exciting. It was very calming, and the relaxing music and nature sounds were a great touch. Here is a preview of the game:

I also liked the different character designs that helped add spice to the game’s look. For example, the main character has bright colored t-shirts and jeans, which allows him to pop out in the darker areas. As for the bandits, they wear all black, which allows them to blend into the darkness and surprise players at any moment.

The gameplay of El Hijo was exciting at certain points, and calming at others. The game started off peacefully, as you explored the church the boy lived in. Later on, you are being hunted and chased by bandits. I enjoyed both parts of the game, and I thought that this mix was really well done. The game kept me intrigued for a long time, and each mission had a different feeling to it. 

I usually run into small issues in most of the games I play, whether it is the controls are weird, the game does not run well, etc, etc. But El Hijo did not have any mistakes. The game ran beautifully on my computer, the controls were super easy to learn, and there were no glitches or bugs.

With both thrilling and relaxing gameplay, beautiful graphics, and 0 bugs or glitches, El Hijo was an amazing game. I really think this stealth game is underrated, and I would love to see the game grow. I think adding more missions and dlcs to this game would be a great idea, and I can not wait to see what the developers add. I rate El Hijo a solid nine out of ten.

-Daniel C.

This is the Zodiac Speaking Game Review

This is the Zodiac Speaking Game Review

This is the Zodiac Speaking produced by Punch Punk Games, is a complicate4d yet thrilling murder mystery game. Operating as a news journalist stationed in San Fransico California, players hunt down and attempt to catch the lucid Zodiac killer. Solving riddles, finding clues, and chasing a deranged killer, this game is a thriller-horror like no other.

I first would like to talk about the actual ambiance and look of This is the Zodiac Speaking. This game has very unique animations, that make the game look spooky and mysterious. On top of that, the music in the game added to the mood of the game a lot. I started up This is the Zodiac Speaking and immediately started hearing creepy music, that sounded straight out of a horror game. With this feeling, it was the perfect game to play during October and the spooky season.

The game itself was very fun. Playing as the news journalist, I searched for clues and hints to try and get a lead on the Zodiac. Starting in the journalists’ house, I solved clues about where the Zodiac’s last location was, and where I could find him. Driving to that location, I searched around a large national park and was actually able to see the killer. I followed him for a while at another location. Though this may seem very easy, it was not. I spent a good hour trying to solve all the different clues,

That leads me to the problems I had with This is the Zodiac Speaking. The game was incredibly difficult on the controller. The sensitivity on my controller was much too high, and that lead to me spending a lot more time than I needed to on certain clues. On top of that, I was not able to change the sensitivity of my controller anywhere in the game settings. Not only this, but the controls were very weird. It took me a while to get used to them, and some directions were very unclear.

Besides these few problems and the difficulty of the game, I personally really enjoyed This is the Zodiac Speaking. I think it is a great game to get into the spooky season with. If you like solving mysteries or finding murderers, I think this game would be perfect for you. I think adding a multiplayer aspect to this game would be a perfect idea. Pairing up with a couple of friends and hunting down the Zodiac sounds like a really fun Idea. Once again, I really enjoyed This is the Zodiac Speaking and would rate it an eight out of ten.

-Daniel C.

Game Review: Pokémon X and Y

Pokémon is a game in which you catch creatures called “Pokémon” and battle with them. Each “Pokémon” has their own types and abilities. It’s an extremely popular game that was released in 1996 by Game Freak Inc. Over time, however, there has been different versions of these games.

Pokémon X and Y was a new version of Pokémon, and the story was based in France. It was known to be the first ever 3D Pokémon game to be released and brought a new perspective to the game. It was also known for Mega Evolution, a temporary type of evolution that made your transformed your Pokémon into stronger ones. They also introduced the all new Fairy-type Pokémon.

The game story is about you (and your friends!) trying to stop the criminal organization: Team Flare. Team Flare has a view of the world that humans, and Pokémon should be destroyed so the world could return to a peaceful state. The only people that would live, would be Team Flare.

I think the story was pretty OK, and climax was AMAZING. Near the end of the story, you get to see the new legendary, the fairy type Xerneas (Pokemon X) or the flying/dark type Yvetlal (Pokemon Y). I think the design was great, and both are overall probably my favorite legendries in Pokémon.

However, some people say that the story was rather undeveloped and rushed. At the beginning of the story, it starts off really slow and boring and as you progress, it picks up really fast.

So do I recommend Pokemon XY? Yes, and I would give it a 7.5/10. Pokemon XY brought Pokemon to a new level, and the game is played by thousands every day.

-Siriam V.

Game Review: Pokemon Black 2 and White 2

Of the many generations of Pokemon games, the 5th generation is the most controversial in the quality of the games. While Pokemon Black and White are generally considered a solid game, the sequel is often up to further debate. 

The game design of Pokemon Black and White 2 closely resembles the prequel and is based on the same region two years after the events of the first game. The game contains the amazing sprites and animations that made the first games so visually appealing to the player while continuing to develop the established story. The game also includes earlier access to many of the Pokemon from older games, giving those fans another chance to use some of their favorites. Overall, the game maintains some of the good aspects, although has some glaring issues in the context of a sequel. 

One major complaint of the game is that it feels too similar to the first. About half of the game has you progressing through the same general locations as the first game, and while some minor changes were made, it still detracts from the experience overall. Another major drop in quality was the integration of the story and evil team. While the prequel had a fleshed out story with interesting ideals, the sequel lacks some of the fundamentals of good lore-building. The story was generally empty and did little to improve or change any of the story that was already established, making the evil team battles and story quests feel completely pointless, leading to a game that doesn’t feel up to par with the previous game. 

In general, I personally feel as if the game isn’t worth playing compared to the prequel. The game, although it is a Pokemon game, still lacks many qualities that make it an enjoyable experience when compared to the first. The game could still be a worthwhile play if you enjoy the outlandish lore of the game but I would personally rather recommend other games such as the prequel or the previous generation of DS games. My rating for this game would be a 6/10 as the game is still very visually appealing and maintains core design concepts. The game had potential but the lapses in story development and similarities to the first significantly worsen the overarching experience.

-Benjamin L.

Total Tank Simulator Game Review

Total Tank Simulator, made by 505 Games, is a military strategy game. Players command huge armies to fight against other nations. Players can pick from a wide variety including the USA, Germany, Poland, Italy, etc. After choosing a nation, players can play campaigns, online, or sandbox. For my playthrough, I decided to play as the United States and chose to play the campaign game mode. In this game mode, you will go through multiple battles, each level having different enemies for you to face. Each of these new enemies will use different troop types as well as different strategies.  In order to defeat these enemies, players must strategize and attack plans. Players must decide where they are going to attack, and what they will use for the attack. 

On my first mission, I was still getting used to the controls and strategies. I decided to send all of my troops in a certain direction. My troops did not last that long, and I had to redo the mission. I replanned and attacked from multiple locations, and was able to defeat my enemies. I continued to play the campaign missions, and I was able to unlock more and more troop variants. 

Total Tank Simulator reminded me a lot of a Totally Accurate Battle Simulator. In each game, players choose different types of troops and vehicles to try and battle against other players or enemies. Both games have very similar playstyles and animation. In Total Tank Simulator players could choose from a large variety of troops and tanks. Players would unlock these different troops the further they progressed in the campaign. Each variant of the tanks had strengths and weaknesses, and players needed to balance out the different troops they used on the battlefield. There were also different “buildings” that players could place down. These buildings continuously spawned troops or vehicles. These buildings were very valuable, and I tried my best to defend mine.

After playing the campaign for a while, I decided to try out sandbox mode. I found this game mode to be extremely fun, and it definitely was my favorite. This game mode unlocked and gave you every single troop in the game. It also allowed you to change the game settings and give you unlimited money. This game mode can help players try out and choose their favorite troops. It also is a way for players to mess around and spawn in huge amounts of fo enemies. I really enjoyed the giant warfare aspect in the sandbox mode, making it my favorite game mode in Total Tank Simulator. Overall, I really enjoyed Total Tank Simulator. The game was extremely fun and exciting. I found both the campaign and sandbox game mode to be very addicting, and I could see myself playing the game for hours on end. I hope Total Tank Simulator adds a feature to be able to play with your friends. I can not wait to see what is added to the game and would rate it a solid 9 out of 10.

-Daniel C.

Game Review: Jackbox Party Pack 7

Jackbox is one of the most popular party games available on the internet, and this new edition is certainly not a disappointment with many good games. The $30 pack includes 5 different mini games, including a 3rd version of popular game Quiplash.

Of the available games, 3 of the 5 are great games that are easily replayable, especially in larger groups. The latest version of Quiplash, a game where you answer question prompts, is very intuitive and fun with many tweaks to create a fresh experience. Another amazing new edition is Champ’d up. The game focuses on drawing and creating your own champions which they fight in an arena and the winner of a specific topic is voted for by the audience and other players. The game allows people to take many creative approaches and players can do as they please. The third great game in this pack is Talking points, where you effectively have to present various slides made by other people. While not for everyone, this game is very fun and can lead to some hilarious moments.

In my opinion, I feel as if the other games don’t live up to the standards. The last two games are a game where you work as devils to disrupt human life and the other where you have to guess prompts using limited words. The games feel clunky overall and while still good, are inferior to the three mentioned before making the pack not great value-wise.

Overall, I would recommend this version if you don’t own any other versions of the game. I would rate it an 8/10 as while there are many great games, it is hard to justify the price of $30 when there are many other great Jackboxes you could get on a sale for much cheaper.

-Benjamin L.

Geometry Dash Game Review

Geometry Dash is a game developed by a Swedish developer by the name of RobTop, and it was released in 2013. It is a rhythm-based platformer game that includes 21 official levels and over 60 million user-created levels. This game can be found on the app store, google play store, and Steam.

Geometry Dash is known for being a rage game, as whenever one dies within a level, they have to start all the way back in the beginning. This process can become very tedious and frustrating for many players. However, the feeling one gets from completing a difficult level overrides all the frustration caused by it. 

Levels in this game follow a rating system that ranges from easy, normal, hard, harder, insane, and demon difficulties. The hardest rating, demon, is divided up into easy demon, medium demon, hard demon, insane demon, and extreme demon. These hard demon levels have been the main cause for one of the largest parts of the Geometry Dash community: the demon list. The demon list is a list of the top 150 hardest levels in the game. If one has over 64% on any one of these levels, their name is displayed on the level’s leaderboard. This has prompted many players to start grinding out hard levels that take a lot of skill and patience to beat. 

Although Geometry Dash is not a multiplayer game, it has definitely brought me and some of my friends closer together through playing it, and even after over seven years since the game’s release and nearly four years since the latest update, millions of people still actively play the game to this day.

-Jeremy L.