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Author: Holly Scalzo
Fans of NBC’s Parks and Recreation will remember Ben Wyatt’s meltdown in season four when he spent some downtime from his career perfecting calzones, making a five-second stop-animation film, and working on The Cones of Dunshire, his delightfully dorky and complex board game that all the other characters thought was a massive cry for help. It came as no surprise that many a viewers’ interest was piqued by that episode, and that folks wanted to bring it to life. A prototype was available at last year’s Gen Con, and now efforts to bring Ben’s awesome fictional nerdiness to fruition are stronger than ever.
According to Entertainment Weekly, a playable version of The Cones of Dunshire may soon be available to regular nerds everywhere as long as they have $500 and a dream. Mayfair Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign to collect $300,000 in order to bring a deluxe edition of the game alive, and copies of the game will only be given to backers who pledge at least $500. Even if you can’t afford that (and who can?) there are various donation levels with corresponding swag packages — $20 can get you a Cones of Dunshire poster and a pin, for example. Starting at $650+ the rewards become more complicated with various caches of goodies including the game, t-shirt, baseball hat, pin, poster, tokens, stickers, figures, flags and bases, Parks & Rec replica script, etc. And add-ons, oh the add-ons!
Check out the Kickstarter for the scoop on the game, what’s included, a complete list of rewards, and pictures of the whole kit and kaboodle. As of this writing, the campaign has raised $21,000 towards its goal and appears to be well on its way with a little under two months left. If they do achieve their goal, Mayfair Games expects to ship The Cones of Dunshire out to backers sometime in or around July of this year.
The Mario Kart 8/Mercedes GLA commercial is still as terrifying now as it was three weeks ago. But now, the terror is closer than ever. Nintendo has announced that the DLC will be available in the US this Summer:
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 20, 2014
Look at that picture! Mario’s nefarious, wild-eyed and angry expression is only a prelude to his murderous overtures. Like he’s going to pull off to the side of the road and pretend he has car trouble. Then, when someone stops, he’s going to stab them with a hook and shove them into the GLA’s roomy trunk. The 14.9 cubic foot trunk of the GLA has enough space for Bowser, Yoshi, and Princess Peach. With the seats folded down, the trunk expands to 29.5 cubic feet, enough room for Donkey Kong too… if he sees something he shouldn’t have.
In an attempt to be cute, both Nintendo and Mercedes-Benz Japan have actually done more to haunt my dreams than It, True Detective, and that one episode of The X-Files with the inbred cannibal family combined. Well, that’s not totally true because each of those is pretty disturbing. But this is close.
Mercedes-Benz has bought the best product placement imaginable by brokering a deal with Nintendo to add its new car, the GLA, to Mario Kart 8 as free DLC within Japan later this Summer. It hasn’t been officially announced, but the GLA kart will most likely be available elsewhere, too.
In itself this isn’t the terrifying part. The stuff of nightmares is actually to be found in the commercial advertising the car’s placement in the game. At thirty seconds long, it starts out with Mario hopping into a GLA and inexplicably going through the first level of Super Mario Bros. (never mind that there are no cars in that game) and when he reaches the castle at the end, well, you kind of have to see it for yourself.
I apologize for making anyone else see this, but I think it’s kind of like the video in The Ring — if I don’t make someone else view it, I may die.
Pushmo World will be released for Wii U on June 19
Pushmo World, developed by Intelligent Systems, is coming to the Wii U on June 19th. It is the third game in the Pushmo series, which also includes 2011’s Pushmo and 2012’s Crashmo. What’s different, and notable, with this game is that it is the first game to be playable on a console, rather than previous entries which were available only for the 3DS.
Similar to its predecessors, “Pushmo World finds players pushing, pulling, and climbing blocks to solve a collection of more than 250 new puzzles.” Billed as a game with wide appeal, for kids and more advanced gamers alike, “players are tasked with solving three-dimensional block-based puzzles by moving blocks to climb to the top of structures. As the game progresses, the puzzles get larger and more complex, with some massive, screen-filling creations resembling familiar objects, animals, and even classic Nintendo characters.”
New to Pushmo World is the World Pushmo Fair, which is an in-game community space wherein players can download and share new puzzles they create using the Pushmo Studio. The developers will be adding new puzzles to the game through the World Pushmo Fair as well ensuring a “near-endless amount” of puzzles for Pushmo World.
To celebrate the upcoming release, Nintendo is discounting Pushmo (to $4.69) and Crashmo (to $5.99) in the 3DS eShop now through June 13th at 11:59 AM ET. Pushmo World will then be available the following week in the Wii U eShop for $9.99.
Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs is now available in stores, but Conan O’Brien gave the world its first look at the game in last Thursday’s installment of his “Clueless Gamer” segment. If you’re unfamiliar with these segments, the title of them and the fact that it’s Conan should tell you all you need to know. Watch as he plays and reviews the game, imparting words of wisdom applicable not only to video games, but to life as well, such as “…the best way to solve a crime, sometimes, is to start a new crime.”
“Virtual, eventual, equality. That’s the dream!”
As you may know, two weeks ago Nintendo upset everyone with their omission of a same-sex relationship option in the upcoming North American/European release of Tomodachi Life, a Sims-ian life simulator. Not a simian life simulator — this isn’t Planet of the Apes. But there’s a game idea, Nintendo. Trademark!
Anyway, last week on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, America’s favorite chimney sweep, the delightful Brit Mr. Oliver, discussed this story on his program. With Nintendo’s promise of future inclusion despite their massive oversight that gay people exist, watch as beloved Nintendo characters like Mario, Link, and Zelda celebrate the announcement in this clip.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver airs on Sunday nights at 11:00 PM on HBO (but not tonight, he’s on vacation #FortnightOfIgnorance).
Revenge of the Swine! Angry Birds Star Wars II announced
From the secret, frozen, underground laboratory of Rovio, located somewhere in Finland, comes their latest Angry Birds incarnation, a sequel to the super-popular Angry Birds Star Wars of last year. This new game, Angry Birds Star Wars II, will be released on September 19th and will be available for download from all mobile app stores. The game also features a couple new twists in the gameplay.
In addition to new stories, levels, characters, special powers, and “new sides to fight for,” Rovio has proudly announced an interesting gimmick called “Telepods.” Made by Hasbro and available come September wherever toys are sold, Telepods will allow you to teleport your favorite characters directly into the game using, presumably, magic. You can also customize your slingshot lineup as well as choose which characters to include in that launch. There will be 30 collectable Telepods, so start saving up your nickels now, kids.
So many Telepods to play with, of course, means that there are over 30 “never-before-seen” Angry Birds Star Wars characters to play with, AND…OMG, GET THIS: “Another first for the series is that you can choose your side! Players can choose to “Join the Pork Side.” (more…)
Writer Rumble is the first game that GameFly, the video game version of Netflix, has produced. The premise of the game is very simple: choose a character and get ready to play Boggle (or Scramble With Friends) as a variety of monsters make their approach. Sticks and stones won’t break their bones, but words do have the power to destroy them. As you quickly search for words in the board area, keep an eye up top as well where the “action” is taking place, and make sure you’re keeping pace with all the ghouls headed your way. (more…)