Author: Holly Scalzo

Shades Review: Do Mess Around With the Guy in the Shades


Lovers of puzzle games and easy-peasy mobile games will enjoy a fun new challenge with the recently released Shades, a puzzle game from Uovo that bears a resemblance to Tetris, except instead of using differently-shaped blocks, Shades requires players to consider the color of a series of rectangular blocks when placing them. The blocks are all uniform in size and shape; however, they are all different shades of one color (sort of like virtual paint swatches) which must be stacked to ultimately create rows of a single shade. Complete rows disappear, a la Tetris, and earn extra points as well as clearing the way for more blocks falling from the top, while like-shaded blocks stacked on top of one another meld together into a single block of the next darkest shade. Points accumulate through the placement of blocks, whether they blend into another shade, and when rows disappear. (more…)

Posted in Mobile, Reviews, Top Story |

Calzones For No One: How Mayfair’s Cones of Dunshire Kickstarter Campaign Flopped

As we reported in January, Mayfair Games, the publisher of Settlers of Catan, took to Kickstarter with the dream of making Cones of Dunshire, a fictional board game from the Parks & Recreation universe, into a real game. Fans of the NBC show and of intricate and/or confusing cooperative board games rejoiced. It seemed like an impossible task to raise $300,000 to create a deluxe version of the game… and it was. So Mayfair canceled their original campaign and relaunched it in early February with some adjustments, including a lowered project goal ($125,000) and reworked pledge levels and rewards. Even at the reduced levels, it still took at least $400 (and a dream!) to reserve a copy of the game. As before, additional goodies and enhancements to the game were available at higher pledge levels. For example, backers would receive the game at $400, but at $550 they would receive the game with metal “Hero Bases,” and at $700 they would get the game with metal figures.

During the original campaign, pledges were slow to come in and it did not appear that Mayfair would meet its goal in the 60 days allotted. The second Kickstarter, which after a 30-day run ended on March 12th, fared no better. At its conclusion, Mayfair had raised $48,696 from 194 backers, only reaching 39% of its goal.

So how did it all go wrong? (more…)

Posted in Opinions, Tabletop Games, Top Story |

This parody is yours… watch 8-Bit Scarface now

First you collect the coins, then you get the power-ups, then you rescue the princess.

The most recent 8-Bit Cinema short features the classic 1983 film Scarface, which starred the once-amazing and now-terrifying Al Pacino as iconic drug lord Tony Montana. Fans of 8-Bit Cinema’s other works will know what to expect… Awesomeness. For everyone else, these shorts retell movies with 8-bit stylized graphics, appealing to both movie people and video game people, as well as lovers of cartoon violence everywhere.

“8-Bit Scarface” is modeled after the 1987 Tradewest game, Double Dragon, a side-scrolling beat ’em up with Tony in place of the Lee twins. Viewers familiar with the live-action Scarface will not be disappointed with the illustrious scenes included in this portrayal.

So say hello to his little friend, as well as the infamous chainsaw scene, and never forget, the world is yours.

Posted in Gaming Etc., News |


Conan, Marshawn Lynch, and Gronk walk into “Clueless Gamer” to play Mortal Kombat X

“Gronk, use your bumblebees!”

Another segment of Conan O’Brien’s “Clueless Gamer” aired Thursday night, guest starring Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks and Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots. If you’re anything like me, you don’t really know who they are and don’t really care. Evidently, there’s some sort of important American Football match this weekend that their two teams are playing, and as sort of a preamble to such frivolities, Conan invited them to square off against each other playing the soon-to-be released Mortal Kombat X.

While not as amazing as some previous “Clueless Gamer” segments, this one had its moments. See what horrific thing made Lynch briefly walk off the set and which allegedly gave Conan “a sexual thrill”! See what made Conan curl up on the floor in the fetal position! See one female character punch another in her downstairs lady-nuts!

Mortal Kombat X is set to be released April 14. Until then, enjoy this clip featuring Ferra-Torr, Kano, Cassie Cage, D’Vorah, Quan Chi, Raiden, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero.

Posted in Gaming Etc., News, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

Mayfair Games wants to make Cones of Dunshire game from Parks & Rec a reality

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.

Posted in News, Tabletop Games |

Mario Kart 8 Mercedes GLA DLC officially coming to US this Summer

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:

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.

Posted in News, Wii U | Tagged


Mercedes Japan is bringing the GLA to Mario Kart 8 in this creepy commercial

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.

[Source: IGN]

Posted in News, Wii U | Tagged

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.

Posted in 3DS, News, Wii U | Tagged