Fans of classic adventure gaming can mark the date of the re-birth of the genre: October 17, 2006. That is when the first episode of all-new Sam & Max adventures was released on PC to critical and commercial success. It was followed up by five other episodes and two additional entire seasons, all from the original creators of the series and somehow living up to (or exceeding) the original series’s quality.
In my review of The Outer Worlds a few months ago, I noted that while the PC version was one of my favorite games from 2019, the Nintendo Switch port was a ‘hot mess’ of technical and performance issues that made it a hard game to recommend.
This Holiday Season will be unlike any we have previously experienced, and gift-giving will be too. After all, people feel the financial pinch and, many of us are spending more time in our homes than ever. Here are some of the items that might make meaningful and practical gifts this year. You might see something for you, too!
Back in 2007 Telltale Games released the critically acclaimed six-part Sam & Max series for the PC, with later editions bundling all episodes for releases on consoles. For myself and other fans of classic adventure games, this was a revelation – the original game creators back with new entries that reinvent the entire genre and modernize classic characters. Eventually, three full seasons of Sam & Max were released and they were all great – but that first season absolutely stunned the gaming world. And now they’re back looking better than ever!
At my house, our kids watch enough TV, so when it comes to playtime, we try to look for screen-free toys. Jogoball from Yogibo is a new toy that combines a Bluetooth speaker, motion recognition, and smart audio to provide fun for the whole family. Pre-orders are already live, and orders will start shipping on November 5th.
The Outer Worlds from Obsidian Entertainment was my favorite game of 2019, and I already replayed it on PC in early 2020. It was an excellent role-playing game with tons of great shooter and melee combat, fantastic writing and characters, and storytelling. It has now arrived on the Nintendo Switch as an absolute hot mess of a full-priced port.
A few weeks ago, I was excited by the announcement of another large update/patch for Neverwinter Nights on Android, and now PC game fans who use either iOS or Android can celebrate the release of two major games! Neverwinter Nights is out for iOS devices, and Civilization VI is available for Android after releasing for iOS back in late 2017. I have played both of these new releases and highly recommend them! Neverwinter Nights is the classic 2002 PC role-playing game that got an ‘Enhanced Edition’ from Beamdog a few years ago that updated the game for modern computers and…
VIZIO announced today that they’ve teamed up with Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics to be the official HDTV and soundbar partner for the highly anticipated Marvel’s Avengers video game. VIZIO’s HDTVs are optimized for gaming thanks to their IQ 4K HDR processors as well as the ProGaming Engine. Paired with a VIZIO soundbar, you’ll be ready to game.
It has been more than a year and a half since Beamdog released the 2002 classic RPG Neverwinter Nights for Android on Google Play. The patch includes usability, graphics, and performance in addition to a host of bug fixes. This follows another huge patch nearly a year ago that similarly improved the graphics and gameplay experience.
Nearly seven years ago, we reviewed the PC & PS3 release of Bioshock Infinite. While there were a few niggles with the game, we saw it as a great entry into an already classic series. Now the game (along with the entire Bioshock collection) has been ported to the Nintendo Switch, so let’s see how it looks and plays in 2020!
For fans of classic PC role-playing games, few games evoke as much love and loyalty as the original Fallout 1 & 2 from the late 1990s. So in late 2017, when ATOM RPG arrived for the PC, it was met with much anticipation and excitement. In the last couple of years, the developers have been making improvements and filling out some gaps, and now the full game has arrived for iOS devices and will soon also be available for Android!
When most people think about buying digital games for their PC, they immediately think of Steam, and perhaps GoG (Good Old Games) if they are into classic games. But more recently, Epic Games, known for their games Unreal and Gears of War and the widely-used Unreal Engine, has launched their own store.
We seem to have hit another golden era of Vampire games – the early 2000s gave us Vampire: The Masquerade Redemption and Bloodlines, and recently we have seen a few games announced or released including Vampyr, Vampire: The Masquerade The Coteries of New York, the upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 and the adventure RPG, Nighthawks.
While I have been critical of a couple of releases (Star Wars Jedi Outcast and Wolfenstein Youngblood in particular), in general, last year was an excellent time for PC gamers who were looking to get in some modern portable console gaming.
If I had to choose a list of ‘desert island games’, in my top five you would find Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. As I said in my ‘Netbook Gamer’ retro review, “Jedi Knight II is my favorite of the entire Kyle Katarn saga, my favorite Star Wars game, and my favorite first-person shooter.”
Point and click adventure games had a heyday back in the 1990s with Monkey Island, Sam & Max, Grim Fandango, Broken Sword and more. Then about a decade ago we saw a resurgence as TellTale games brought us a renewed look at Sam & Max, and many other excellent adventures followed.
I have always been an ‘update first and ask questions later’ kind of guy, but every now and then an update arrives that hits at something critical me – and that is the case with MacOS Catalina. Because it is incompatible with 32-bit applications, everyone has known that older applications would be in danger – but for me an entire industry seems to have been waiting for the last possible moment: music production.
Over the past two weeks the world has been in an uproar about NBA 2k20, a basketball video game that comes out yearly with what could be considered minor gameplay changes, but updated rosters. However, minus a few grievances, NBA 2k20 has been my favorite of the franchise in recent years.
As the title implies, those are just a few of the retro-feelies UNIS’s Pong coffee table will fill your home with. Alas, it is not all retro here my friends. Oh, no. UNIS ripped the classic game right out of its ATARI cartridge skin then stretched, molded, and modernized it into a sweet piece of functional furniture.
Remember the rainy days and long nights spent sitting in front of a small, glowing cube that weighed more than you while clutching a small rectangular controller? I do.
It has been nearly eighteen years since release and almost a decade since my ‘Netbook Gamer’ retro-reviews here, but my love for the Jedi Knight games from Raven Software has not waned and I replay them at least annually. Now I will have to make more time for these playthroughs because Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy are coming to the Nintendo Switch!