Author: Holly Scalzo

Nintendo UK will send you random packages in the mail… let’s hope they skip the Bob-Ombs

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Have you ever noticed all the ads for companies that offer a monthly (or weekly) subscription for a box of random goodies? If you watch TV regularly, you must have seen at least one of these commercials. They have them for makeup and beauty care products, dog treats/items, snacks, video games, razors, tea, candy, toys/collectibles, books, baby samples, and even multiple places that will send you recipes plus all the ingredients you need to cook that meal. There’s probably even a bunch that I don’t know about. Or don’t want to know about. It’s possibly a little out of control, but people love getting packages and random surprises, so I can see the appeal.

Now Nintendo UK is throwing its hat into the monthly subscription box ring. As an alternative to the popular Loot Crate, which sends out nerdy toys, collectibles, and clothes, Nintendo is set to launch their own box — the “N-Box” (which should really look into maybe having a different name) — which will offer Nintendo items and merchandise featuring iconic characters.

MCV is reporting that the N-Box “will feature toys, clothes and other merchandise inspired by and branded with Nintendo icons such as Mario, Zelda and Pokemon” and that the boxes “are expected to be available individually, with gamers also able to subscribe to a three-, six- or 12-month plan.”

The N-Box is expected to debut pretty soon, and for now will only be available for UK consumers. Yet another reason to be jealous of the UK.

Posted in 3DS, Etcetera, News, Wii U |

It’s Always Blocky in Minecraft… because Rob McElhenney is directing the movie

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Have you heard? Word on the Internet is that there’s going to be a Minecraft movie coming out… sometime. There’s really no information on it just yet. But here’s one thing we do know, the director of the film has been announced to be It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Rob McElhenney.

McElhenney has mad credits on Sunny for creating, writing, producing, directing, and starring as Ronald “Mac” McDonald… not to mention snagging colleague and funny lady Kaitlin Olson. The announcement was made in a succinct blog post from Mojang, which offered no other information about the project. While McElhenney’s ascension to the position remains a temporarily confusing but delightful mystery, we have noticed some fun similarities between Minecraft and several recurring Sunny characters.

Minecraft aficionados will certainly remember the Creepers, which are very reminiscent of the infamous Green Man (Charlie Day’s Charlie, high out of his mind, in a full-body green spandex suit), who first debuted in the season three episode “The Gang Gets Invincible.” And who can forget Day Man and the creepily suggestive Night Man, which viewers may recall from Charlie’s weird musical, “The Nightman Cometh,” from the end of season four. Both characters seem to parallel the protagonist “Steve” and the mysterious Enderman.

With these concurrent elements in mind, McElhenney now seems like a natural fit for the film. It almost begs the question, was Notch just a huge Sunny fan all along?

Posted in Etcetera, Mobile, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

Go Set A Watchbird… and watch the first gameplay trailers for Angry Birds 2

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Fresh from Rovio’s mystical ice castle comes a new addition to the Angry Birds roster. Angry Birds 2 arrives in app stores for iOS and Android devices tomorrow, July 30th, and two new trailers released late last night give a glimpse at some of the action. Fans of the franchise will see some par-for-the-course gameplay that looks fairly similar to the original game. Some slight variations on the formula can be seen in the trailers including giant inflating pig heads, different lush scenery, new fortifications that the pigs are hunkered down in, lots of dynamite, and what looks to be some wheeled contraptions a la Bad Piggies, also known as the franchise’s Bad Spinoff.

Fans of the slingshot genre will know what to expect, while those new to society who have just been released from prison will be confused that although there have been about 37 incarnations of Angry Birds, this one is entitled number two. (It is thus because it is a direct sequel of sorts to the original, and the other games all have different wacky themes which make them different somehow.)

Anyway, as I am the Senior Angry Birds Correspondent, I think it’s my place to just throw in here that if they’re still so angry, they should probably seek counseling. It’s just not healthy to hang onto that rage, you guys. You can find both gameplay trailers after the break. (more…)

Posted in Mobile, News | Tagged


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Escape from the Man-Sized Cabinet: Stephen Colbert’s Excellent Text Adventure

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Stephen Colbert will be returning to TV soon. And just in time, too. As The Daily Show draws to a close with Jon Stewart at the helm, an old familiar sadness — which I first felt at the end of The Colbert Report — has crept back into my life as another door shuts in the era of damn fine fake news reporting. I wish Jon Stewart well, and also ask that maybe he come over for Shabbos dinner some time (Spoiler: It will be Arby’s).

Although we don’t know what’s next for Mr. Stewart, fans of Stephen Colbert can begin to live again, damnit, for he will return to our television screens in September. The character Stephen Colbert’s Colbert Nation may be gone, but the man Stephen Colbert’s Colbert Nation is just beginning! Just two more months, people! During his onscreen sabbatical, however, he has been busy behind-the-scenes preparing for his new hosting gig with tweets and hijinks and posts on The Late Show site. His most recent engagement with his cabal of Colbert-ites is in the form of a really awesome point-and-click text adventure game that reminds me of a Choose Your Own Adventure book. But much better because in those books I was never locked inside of a cabinet so long that I DIED.

So check out Stephen Colbert’s Escape from the Man-Sized Cabinet and save Narnia a public domain fantasy kingdom from an evil wizard. Do what I did and read it in your head in his voice. Play it a few times to make sure you hit all your options. It’s the American way.

Posted in News, PC |

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

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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 |


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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 Etcetera, 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 News, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged