Artifact – Valve’s Newest Game

Artifact – Valve’s Newest Game

Valve finally revealed the day they plan to break their 5-year dry spell of not releasing any games. On November 28, Valve will be releasing the game Artifact. It’s a card dueling game comparable to Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone.

It seems that Valve couldn’t resist tapping into the profits that come from virtual items. One interesting thing to consider, is whether Valve will greedily follow other publishers and let players buy cards directly from them from them with real money or will Valve rely on some other system to distribute cards and profit off the players trading them on the steam marketplace. Similar to how all the heroes in Dota 2 can be played for free, but they are locked behind a paywall in League of Legends.

The lore from the game is directly involved with Dota 2. There will be Heroes and other content Dota fans are familiar with directly placed in this game. It’s extremely similar to how Blizzard took lore from their most popular games and built it into Hearthstone.
The game is also planning to come to mobile phones later next year. It looks like Hearthstone finally has some decent competition in the mobile world.

As far as the gameplay is concerned, we don’t know much yet. But it will most likely be similar to Magic the Gathering (as almost all online card games are.) I doubt we would see a giant like Valve release a game that is risky to be well received. After all, they have done well focusing on perfecting and polishing standard genres of video games.

One important thing to note is that the creator of Magic the Gathering allegedly helped design Artifact.

The game will be showcased during PAX West 2018 where we will get to observe the gameplay and some lucky fans will get to experience it first hand against each other.

We will have to wait to see how this all pans out. I know I’m excited. Maybe this game will convince Value to finally release HalfLife 3.

The State Of Gaming

The State Of Gaming

As an avid gamer, I have been following the scene since the early 2000s and have seen everything change. As time progresses, the older classic games are becoming more popular and the new ones are appearing every day. Publishers are continuing to do what they have always done; re-releasing games to profit off of their previous successes. We are seeing bigger companies doing this with Blizzard revealing that “Classic Vanilla World of Warcraft” is the works. They say they are updating the games code so that it performs as well as their modern engine does, but they don’t want to change the feel or alter the gameplay. Everyone that has dabbled in MMOs has probably played vanilla WOW at some point and others, including myself, have invested countless hours into it.

There are still plenty of new games emerging and knocking the kings off their thrones. Recently, we have seen the “Battle Royale” genre take off and reach top 10 on all consoles. With PUBG on PC, and Fortnite on console, battle royale is currently the most popular and the most recent genre of games to exist. With opportunities for skins and paid items, these games are very profitable for publishers so expect even more clones to emerge.

Mobile gaming has been in my heart for many recent years. With not enough time to dedicate to playing on console or pc, I have been playing games on my phone during my commute and when I have down time. I’m still playing my favorites like Candy Crush and Mario, but I have been tempted to pick up PUBG and experience battle royal for myself. It’s definitely more competitive than I am used to, but I may enjoy the change of pace.

Although, to be honest my drive for gaming has dipped over the years. I now prefer to spend my time engaging and developing relationships with others than I do glued to the screen. Hunting level ups can only hold my attention for so long before I long for another source of entertainment and enjoyment.

It’s a-me, Super Mario Run!

It’s a-me, Super Mario Run!

If you could remember just one game from your childhood the most, most likely that video game has to do with anything Mario. Having delivered lots of fun and memories for children and adults alike since its creation in the early 1980’s, the world of Mario has now revolutionized into the digital age and has now gone mobile with Super Mario Run! Gone are the days when you could not play Mario anytime and anywhere you wanted. With Super Mario Run, you could be in a car, plane, train, or on the toilet and still enjoy your daily dose of Mario. Having said that, here is what makes the Super Mario Game so much fun, and has made it into one of the most popular games in Mario history.

Making the Jump to Android
When the game was first introduced to the public in December of 2016, it was only made available for iOS devices. However, not to bore you with facts, but the numbers show that there are twice as many android users as there are iOS users. So, making the leap to Android was a no-brainer for the creators and developers of the game. In fact, making the game playable for Android devices opened up the game to an estimated one billion users on the Android platform alone. It safe to say that Mario is swimming in coins after making the jump to Android. Now that the boring facts are out of the way, let us get into what makes the game itself irresistible to play.

Playability is “Wa-hoo!”
A unique characteristic of Super Mario Run that puts that game in a class of its own when compared to other games, is how easy it is to play. We are not just talking difficulty here, but the controls and playability of the game. The game itself was designed with easy to use functionalities, so much so, that you can play it while being occupied in another hand. With simple taps to control Mario as runs forward automatically, the only challenge is being able to tap correctly in order to have Mario make cool jumps and spins to gather coins and reach the end!

“Let’s-a go, Game Modes!”
In Super Mario Run, you are able to play between three different game modes to binge play off of. The three game modes are World Tour, Toad Rally, and Kingdom Builder. In World Tour, your goal is to Run and jump to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser’s clutches, nothing new. However, you must run through castles, ghost houses, and a total of 24 courses located across 6 worlds to reach Princess Peach. With the Toad Rally game mode, you are able to show off your Mario skills by competing against your friends and people from across the globe. Players get a higher score by for the highest score as much coins as you can by the end of the run, the player with the most coins is the winner. With the Kingdom Builder game mode, unsurprisingly, you get to build your very own Kingdom. The way you do this is by mixing and matching your own buildings and items to create your own unique kingdom. With hundreds of 100 kinds of items to choose from, the creations are endless.

“Mama Mia! In App Purchases!”
With today’s mobile device games, one thing that can really make or break the game is the quality and quantity of in app purchases available. Most of the time, a game will in app purchases that are either too expensive or, barely enough to choose from. But of course, with Super Mario Run, you are given countless purchases with fair prices that will not leave you looking at your bank account and saying, “Mama Mia!” To name just a few of the options you have to choose from in the game, you can choose to buy a World Tour, which unlocks all courses and worlds, you can also buy more characters to play with, more courses in Toad Rally, and even more buildings and decorations in Kingdom Builder. Once again, the options are endless.

“Thanks for-a playing my-a game!”
To sum this game up as best and as simple as possible, Super Mario Run is a game that will bring back childhood memories or create new ones, hours on end. When it comes to the Mario genre in general, it’s hard to say that you will get bored easily. Well, Super Mario Run is no exception to that fact. So, with that said, Let’s-a go play Super Mario Run!

Check out Super Mario Run!

Keeping Your Phone Secure

Keeping Your Phone Secure

In this article we will describe some of the best apps you can use to keep your phone secure and healthy. We will be focusing on the android versions of these apps but most of them are also available on IOS.

Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus: Web Security & AppLock
Kaspersky’s free mobile antivirus app boasts a multitude of features. It keeps your phone virus free by running scans for viruses, malware, trojans, and spyware in the background without bothering the user. A firewall in employed to prevent users from accessing phishing and shady websites they may not want to visit. Calls and texts from known spam phone numbers are automatically blocked. If you do get a call some a phone number you don’t recognize, the best thing to do is search it on a reverse phone lookup website and see what other people have experienced.

Another great feature is AppLock. It lets you lock applications down behind a passcode so that no one else who uses your phone can open them. That means if you have some private pictures or naughty messages, you can make sure no one else can see them.

Opera Free VPN – Unlimited VPN
Opera offers a speeding fast VPN for both Android and IOS. The VPN offers servers in five different locations and unmatched speeds when compared to other free VPN services. The VPN also has built in ad and tracker blocking to increase privacy for the user. The VPN connection is fully encrypted from end to end to ensure protection from eaves dropping threats and attackers. However, there is a catch. Torrenting and other peer to peer traffic is not allowed over the VPN. There are some great VPN services that allow torrenting like IPVanish. Additionally, Opera has not stated if they have a no logging policy and they do not have a canary in case of privacy evasion action from a government. While that may be a problem for some, this VPN is still an amazing product for the average user.

CCleaner
Piriform is now offering its popular desktop app, CCleaner, on mobile devices. The app allows users to clean unnecessary files and improve the performance of their device. CCleaner automatically knows what log files and caches can be deleted from your phone to free up storage space. You can also schedule automatic cleans at a specific time or have the app clean your phone when it is not in use. There is a pro version of the app that adds some additional features and removes ads. CCleaner is a necessary app for keeping a phone running like new.

Memory Booster
Memory Booster is a great app that helps improve your phone performance by freeing up RAM. When a device is running low on memory, it may run slow or crash. This app will free up your memory and keep your phone running like new. Memory Booster also lets you control which apps are allowed to run in the background and will automatically kill off resource hogging apps.

Accu​Battery
AccuBattery is the doctor for your phone. Its goal is to keep your battery heathy by monitoring vitals and encouraging you to charge your phone in the most secure way possible. This app will let you know when a particular app is consuming all of your battery life. You won’t have to recharge your phone multiple times a day if you follow the instructions in this app. It is honestly a lifesaver for keeping your phone feeling fresh.

Top Games of All Time

Top Games of All Time

Wondering what the best phone games of all time are? Well you came to the right place.

Subway Surfers  is an action packed thrill ride. Collect as many coins as possible while avoiding challenging obstacles. The controls are simply swiping left and right. You won’t have to tilt you phone while playing. This game turns a simple idea into tons of fun. Definitely a must have for any type of phone game enthusiast.

Gunship Strike 3D lets you take control of a powerful Apache gunship and blast your enemies into pulp. Realistic levels and tons of available ships keeps gamers coming back for more. The beginning levels are simple but as you go they get much harder. Strategic missile placement is necessary if you want to progress far into this game. The amazing 3D HD graphics blew me away the first time I tried this game. A++

Candy Crush Saga is a great game for casual and hardcore games alike. I never knew matching candies could be so much fun. The puzzles start off easy but progress to where I have to strategize with my friends the best way to complete them. The graphics look great and there always seems like there is a new level to challenge myself to. The only bad thing about this game is the micro-transactions. They limit how many levels you can attempt each day unless you want to shell out a few dollars. This game is a classic but can be a bit hard on your wallet.

slither.io is my favorite game in the “io” realm. It lets you battle to the death against actual people in an online match. Starting out as a small snake, you have to eat blobs that make your body larger. Watch out because there are always other people trying to eat you. See if you can become the king of the match.

8 Ball Pool, Miniclip’s most popular game, is now on phones. Challenge your friends or play against a random opponent in this action packed game of pool. Put chips on the line or compete in tournaments to see if you are the best at pool. The game has a great aspect of progression in which you level up as you play. This is definitely my favorite real life phone game to play.

Temple Run is a game where you are being chased by monkeys in a mystical temple. Don’t fall down or trip because that means you life will be over. Gain power-ups that make you invincible and give you more time. With simple controls, this running game will keep you entertained for hours. While there is a high-score system, all you have to do is pay a ton of money for power-ups and you could be number one. It’s a bit disappointing in my eyes.

Hill Climb Racing is just what is sounds like. You are attempting to climb a hill in a race against the clock. The only problem is your car tends to flip over. Do you think you can beat everyone to the end in this action packed racing game? Or maybe you aren’t about being number one and would rather collect all the different vehicles and complete every level. Whatever you prefer this game has. It is simply amazing.

Fruit Ninja® brings the action to the kitchen. Slice up fruit with your finger and see how many collaterals you can get. Customize the background and your knife to your heart’s content. There is so much content in this simple game. The graphics are great and the challenge is great too. But watch out! If you hit a bomb your game is over.

Getting Back Into Gaming

Getting Back Into Gaming

As all of my old fans know, I was a World of Warcraft fanatic. To keep it simple, that game was my life. But I have grown up a bit and no longer have hours to dump into a game. Don’t get me wrong, I still hop on World of Warcraft at least once a week but I don’t spend hours thinking up strategies, researching what I should play next, or spend the majority of my day in a team speak channel. I just don’t have enough time.

I do, however, have a new passion. I was reluctant to admit it at first, but truly at the heart I have been become obsessed with my phone. Every day on the train to and from work I have been spending my time playing games on my phone. They do a great job of capturing my attention and wasting time. Just like World of Warcraft did back when I played it in high school.

Phone games brought back my love for gaming and they made me want to start blogging about gaming again. So that’s why I deciding to bring back this blog. To discuss my love for games again and share it with all of you.