Genre:  Puzzle
Platform:  Mobile

I don’t play very many games on my mobile phone.  I have a Samsung Galaxy S5, but it is a work phone and therefor don’t like to spend much time with it.  We have a hate/hate relationship.  I think the Galaxy S5 is a solid phone, though.  I just don’t like the 24-hour availability that comes with it.

However, I do play Triple Town from time to time.  This is a cute little puzzler.  You start with a fairly blank plot of land.  You may have a couple of trees, bushes or a house or two.  Your goal is to upgrade items on the screen and fill it with as many highly upgraded items as you can.  You upgrade items by matching three of the same.  Three grasses make a bush, three bushes make a tree, three trees make a house, threes houses make a bigger house, etc etc.

The challenge is in the bears that you will also need to place from time to time.  They will get in the way of the items that you want to place and move from spot to spot every turn.  You can trap three bears in one spot and create a church.  Three churches make a cathedral and so on.

Each game only lasts 5-10 minutes, so it’s fun on the go.  It’s a fun game and I would recommend that you try it at least once.  I guess it’s also available on Steam, so I’m looking into that soon.  I hope they give you larger areas to play with than you get with the mobile version.

Chey’s Top 25 – #7 – EverQuest 2

 

Genre:  MMORPG
Platform:  PC

I started playing EverQuest 2 the day it was released.  I lived in Hawaii at the time but was in Wisconsin visiting friends and family.  It was November of 2004.  I had long been an EverQuest 1 player and was excited for the upgrade.  I would not be disappointed and would end up playing this game for over 1,000 hours.

EverQuest 2 takes place hundreds of years after EverQuest 1.  The game is a massively multiplayer online role playing game, or MMORPG, or MMO for short.  You create a character from scratch and fight your way through the world, either on your own or with other players.  As you fight, you get better items and abilities.  New areas are available to you as you level up.  The character creation process is fun and they give you a good amount of customization.

EQ2 fixed many of the problems that plagued EQ1 such as, you know, QUESTS.  EQ1 was often called NeverQuest as the quests were fewer and hard to find.  There were no indicators showing who had something for you to do.  Instead, you were forced to talk to every NPC (non-player character) and see if they might have something for you.  EverQuest 2 fixed this.  There were icons above the NPCs that had quests to offer.  And there were thousands of them.  And I did thousands of them!

The graphics were also excellent for the time.  EQ2, however, would always be compared to another small game that came out at the time – World of Warcraft (WoW).  EQ2 actually came out a couple of weeks before, but WoW would eclipse EQ2 in the MMO community.  The result was actually positive for EQ2 players as a lot of the more novice players played WoW, leaving us with a more mature player base and a more enjoyable experience.  If you ever played WoW, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

The world of Norrath was huge and exciting.  They regularly added content and expansions.  I still play from time to time, but my character, a brigand (rogue) is currently level 95.  I’m not sure what the cap is now, but it was 95 the last time I played.  It is easy to level up, which some saw as a negative, but I thought was more fun.  It was also a more solo-friendly game than EQ.  Again, there is a lot of debate about whether this was good or not.  I personally preferred it, but others thought it ruined what made EQ1 so great – socializing with other players.

The crafting system in this game is also the best I’ve played.  It;s more like a mini game than a mundane crafting system.  And the items you create are actually useful and better than what you can get in most spots.  I have a chef that I leveled up to at least level 90.  There is also player and guild housing, which can be fun if you want to sink the time and (in-game) money into it.

As I stated, the game is still around and I believe it’s free to play now.  If you’re looking for a fun MMO with a LOT of questing and leveling, check it out.  I’d love to see others enjoy this game as much as I did and experience before it’s gone.  There was going to be an EverQuest 3, called EverQuest Next, but after Sony sold the franchise, it was scrapped.  That’s too bad, in one way.  In another, I’m kind of glad because I just don’t have the time and energy to go through another obsession like I did with EQ2.

Nintendo sale

I just got an email from Nintendo stating that a bunch of their best games are on sale for $19.99.  This is not a bad list.  Here are some of the 3DS highlights:

  • Luigi’s Mansion – Dark Moon
  • Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time 3D
  • Animal Crossing – New Leaf
  • Nintendogs and Cats
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • Mario Party – Island Tour
  • Yoshi’s New Island

There are also a bunch of Wii U games as well.  See their page here:

http://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-selects?eid=Selects2-3DS_833fe959643c33ebf9dfa683d4232b2b

Oldies but Goodies – Ducktales

Genre:  Platformer
Platform:  NES

I was a big fan of the Ducktales cartoon as a kid.  In fact, I have the entire series on DVD and it is still a great cartoon today.  I was excited to see that they turned it into a video game back in the NES games.  I played through this one quite a bit as a kid.  You played as scrooge.  Someone came in and stole your money and it was up to you to get it back.  As was the case with the cartoons, you traveled around the world in search of your treasure.

The game featured a neat control room which let you select the levels you wanted to play.  It was a map of the world.  You could visit the Amazon, arctic, Transylania (my favorite level), the moon and more.  You had the assistance of your crew – Launchpad, Gyro, Huey, Dewey and Louie and more!  Each level was fairly large and had its fair of challenges and secret areas.  You were armed with your cane, which doubled as a pogo stick so you could stomp the baddies.

The graphics were pretty good for an 8-bit game and the soundtrack was catchy.  I loved everything about this game.

This game has since been remastered for the XBox and the graphics received a much improved facelift.  The story is pretty close to the original game, with a few additions that add to it.  See the difference in graphics below:

Ducktales remastered

If you liked the original, you’ll like this one as well.  However, I will still likely play the original from time to time just for a bit of nostalgia.  There was also a Ducktales 2, but I don’t think I ever played that one.

 

Stinkers – Zuma Deluxe for the XBox 360

Genre:  Arcade
Platform:  XBox 360

I love Zuma.  It has entertained me for 100’s of hours on my PC or laptop.  This is a great game.  It’s very simple – you shoot colored balls at the other colored balls to match at least three and clear them.  So I was excited to play it on my XBox 360 quite a long time ago.  FAIL.  This is a terrible port of a game.  Of course, you use your 360 controller.  However, the controls are just awful.

You need to use the thumb sticks to control the cursor, but it is really hard to use.  I don’t understand why they chose to make this game difficult.  You have to hold the position with your thumbs to shoot the ball, but it requires a fair amount of pressure from your hand.  This means that it is slow and painful.

I was really good at Zuma on the PC using a mouse.  With this version of the game, I am horrible.  I can’t get past the third level.  Which means that this game is no fun.  I do not recommend anyone play it as you will be frustrated and disappointed.

Games with Gold Sept 2016

August is almost over, so it’s time to look at September’s free Games with Gold from Microsoft.  The games are:

-Earthlock, Festival of Magic – Sep 1
-Assassin’s Creed Chronicles – China – Sep 16
-Forza Horizon – Sep 1
-Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – Sep 16

I plan on downloading all of these.  Earthlock is a new game coming out on September 1.  It is a turn-based RPG of some sort.  I see Harvest Moon being tossed around with it, so it’s likely a similar style game.

I have played and enjoyed Assassin’s Creed 1, and I expect to enjoy China as well.  I’m not sure what is different about the Chronicles series versus the regular, though, but I’ll find out!

I haven’t played a Forza game yet and I’m looking forward to playing the first Horizon game.

I don’t know anything about Mirror’s Edge.  I do know that this is the sequel in the series, but that’s it.  It’s free, so I’ll try it out.

Hidden Gems – Pogo Island

Genre:  Card and Board, Arcade, Word, Puzzle
Platform:  DS

I believe I have expressed my satisfaction with Pogo.com previously on this site, so it’s no surprise that I really enjoyed this compilation of 5 different Pogo games, Pogo Island for the Nintendo DS.  This game contains a couple of my favorites – Word Whomp, Tri-Peaks Solitaire, Phlinx, Squelchies and Poppit.  Each game is fun in its own right and I can easily play them for hours on end.  This is a great game for travel for me.  Just pop it in and the time on planes just flies by (pun intended).

This game also lets you collect tokens as you play and upload them to your Pogo account, which is a nice bonus.  If you’re a fan of Pogo games or just solitaire games in general, I think that you will really enjoy this one.  I happened to have found it by accident in a GameStop one day and picked it up immediately.  I had never heard of it before, so it was a true hidden gem.