My Top Ten Games of 2016: #8

 My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!

#10 Pokémon GO
#9 Skylanders Imaginators

#8 Stellaris

stellaris banner

We officially crack into my Top Five Games of the Mid-Year with Stellaris. Though it ultimately fell a few places in my final ranking, that’s more a testament to the incredible line-up from the second half of the year than any failing on how much I enjoyed this grand strategy space game.

Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy titles were always a cut above what I could enjoy, steeped in deep complexity and complicated interfaces. Stellaris rises above all that with an awesome sci-fi theme to create a surprisingly accessible grand strategy title. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2016: #8”

Why Skylanders Academy is a Big Step for Kids Games and Media [Pixelkin]

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What makes a successful brand or franchise aimed at kids? Often the first piece of media that entices children or young teens is a movie, television show, or toy line. From there companies can expand with multiple forms of media and merchandising – including video games.

Video games have reached an odd era when it comes to kid-friendly brands. In the 90s and early 2000s, a major video game tie-in was pretty much guaranteed, and many of these games were extremely well-produced and successful. But gradually the games declined in quality and were rushed out the door as games became much more advanced. Many major toy and kid-focused companies all but abandoned gaming – until mobile.

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My Top Ten Games of 2016: #9

 My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!

#10 Pokémon GO

#9 Skylanders Imaginators

top ten

I’ve been playing Skylanders games since the 3rd one back in 2013. I’ve really enjoyed the series’ simple 3rd person action gameplay and huge variety of powers and play styles with dozens of figures.

Previously I would grab the Skylanders games on sale months after release and clean up on deals and BOGO offers. But with Skylanders Imaginators, the sixth in the series, I was ready to jump in at launch. Now it’s the first Skylanders game to make my Game of the Year list.

More than anything else, this was the game my daughter was finally old enough to really enjoy. Any game that can have us play together, and be a legitimately fun game to play, garners high praise from me. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2016: #9”

My Top Ten Games of 2016: #10

 My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!

#10 Pokémon GO

pokemon go

There’s a first damn time for everything – including a mobile game on my Game of the Year list. It’s the first time a mobile game has made my coveted list since I began making them four years ago.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy mobile games. I have a ton of fun playing digital board games like Lords of Waterdeep and Small World, and dabble in ports of Heroes of Might and Magic III and Dungeon of the Endless.

But never has an original mobile game captured my attention like my #10 game. Leave it to Pokémon to finally break the barrier. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2016: #10”

Pokémon Sun and Moon Review [Pixelkin]

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A lot is riding on Pokémon Sun and Moon. Pokémon popularity is at its highest point since its inception in the 90s, thanks to its 20th Anniversary and hit mobile game Pokémon GO. Yet we haven’t seen a new, non-remake Pokémon title in three years.

Pokémon Sun and Moon represent the largest shift in the series we’ve ever seen. These are still classic monster catching and battling games aimed at kids, but the numerous improvements and new island setting make Pokémon Sun and Moon a hugely successful entry in the popular franchise.

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Planet Coaster Review [Pixelkin]

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Creating your own amusement park should never go out of style. Frontier Developments’ new self-published title Planet Coaster captures the magic of roller coasters and theme parks from classic games like RollerCoaster Tycoon and Sim Theme Park. Planet Coaster succeeds as a modern update to a classic formula thanks to intuitive controls and an aesthetic that keeps everything light and fun.

Planet Coaster includes three main ways to play: Campaign, Challenge, and Sandbox. In each mode you start with a large tract of land, several rides, and a few thousand dollars. Guests pour into your park, each with their own needs and wants. It’s your job to satisfy them all (and take their money) while researching and building new rides and venues.

READ THE FULL REVIEW AT PIXELKIN

The Best Skylanders: Imaginators Figures from the Launch Wave [Pixelkin]

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With a sixth game in as many years, the Skylanders crew has had to create an astonishing amount of new toy figures. While each Skylanders game has its own unique gimmicks, playing with new and old figures is still the main draw of each entry.

Skylanders: Imaginators features one of the most enjoyable new twists in being able to create your own customizable Skylander. Yet the new Sensei and Villain figures shouldn’t be ignored; they are some of the best figures we’ve seen yet.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT PIXELKIN