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Disney’s “Where’s My Mickey?” is a fun new game for mobile users

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Disney has just released a fantastic game for smartphone and
tablet systems titled "Where's My Mickey?" The game is the spiritual
successor to the wildly popular and highly successful "Where's My Water?"
series. Technically this is the third major iteration of the game.
"Where's My Perry?" introduced new physics and motion elements to the
water-puzzle genre. The new title introduces other gameplay elements that are
also unique to the genre, this time featuring Mickey Mouse as the central
character.


Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc.
All rights reserved

The visual style of the game is very stylistic. Mickey is
pie-eyed yet in color, he is drawn with strong shapes and sharp angles yet
never loses his personality. The look and stages featured in the game are
inspired by the new Mickey Mouse cartoons produced by Paul Rudish. These
cartoons will be featured on the Disney Channel starting June 28th
.


Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc.
All rights reserved

While none of the actual game levels are based on the
cartoons, there are many parallels that can be drawn between them. The first
stage in the game, "When life gives you lemons …," features Mickey
setting up a beachfront lemonade stand on a hot summer day. This stage is
reminiscent of the boardwalk adventures of Mickey and Donald Duck from the
"No Service" episode of the cartoon.


Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc.
All rights reserved

The stages all have an introductory animation and ending
animation that helps tell the story of why Mickey is in desperate need of
water. There are plenty of funny visuals and sound effects to keep players
entertained through the various puzzles.


Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc.
All rights reserved

In case you've never played any of the "Where's
my…" titles, let me try to describe the basic gameplay elements. Each
stage is made up of single screen levels, there are 20 levels for each stage.
"Where's My Mickey?" is made up of three stages, each with a central
theme. There are also bonus puzzles that can be unlocked by thorough players.


Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc.
All rights reserved

In each stage water has to get from point A to Point B.
Gravity takes care of most of the moving as players try to dig paths through
"dirt" on the screen using their finger. There is usually only one
correct way to get the water to its destination. Players are rewarded with
points for the amount of water that reaches the finish as well as how quickly
they did it. If not enough water reaches the end or if it falls off of the
screen, then the level has to be restarted. The solutions for each stage are
never a straight line.


Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc.
All rights reserved

Players are encouraged to pick up 3 little cartoon stars
along the way for bonus points. There are also hidden collectables buried in
the earth that players are encouraged to find. These collectables are hidden by
a mischievous Pluto. Players that find all of the hidden objects are rewarded
with bonus levels and other surprises.


Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc.
All rights reserved

"Where's My Mickey?" introduces several new
elements to the genre. There is wind and clouds in various stages of the game.
Players cannot control the wind or the clouds in the main stages but both work
together to help solve puzzles. Wind pushes clouds and clouds can be used like
a reservoir for water. Players can fill a cloud with water and let the wind
blow the cloud over a gap or obstacle, players can then squeeze the cloud and
ring the water out. There are also plants on several stages. Water can be used
to make plants grow. Plants can create barriers to hold water back or even
bridges to carry it.


Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc.
All rights reserved

There is also a new element that acts like lava and can burn
down plants and turn water into acid. The red liquid is called "Fizz"
and requires its own strategy to use. An expansion pack featuring Goofy is
available for 99 cents. The stages called "Van Goofy" and "Ship Wrecked!" actually
reverse the gameplay from "Where's my Mickey?" They have players
trying to get Fizz to Mickey while avoiding water. The additional challenges
are easily worth the modest price. Those that have larger devices like the iPad
or Windows Surface can get the game plus the XL levels which take advantage of
the extra screen real estate.


Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc.
All rights reserved

Disney has created a fun game with a solid challenge for
both beginning and advanced players. It is a perfect game for short increments,
like while waiting for a turkey leg at The Magic
Kingdom
, but also has enough depth
for gaming marathons. I cannot recommend this game enough for mobile users.

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“Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion” game coming this summer

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Adventure Time Pirates of the Enchiridion

“C’mon on, grab your friends … ” A new Adventure Time game is coming out across multiple platforms.

Copyright Cartoon Network / Outright Games Ltd. All rights reserved

In this open world game, Finn and Jake will be sailing on a raft (Named Jeff) through the flooded land of Ooo to solve the mystery of why water engulfed their home and to help others & get in hijinks along the way. With a ragtag gang of friends (From a vampire, to an Ice King, to a little robot) Finn and Jake will travel from the melting Ice Kingdom to the Fire Kingdom and fight in turn-based combat like an RPG.

Copyright Cartoon Network / Outright Games Ltd. All rights reserved

The trailer shows off some absolutely gorgeous character models and environments. I’m particularly enchanted by the gorgeous Candy Kingdom that’s briefly shown in this footage. The art design sticks close to the show, but brings with it a soft, sweet design rarely seen in adventure games. Which is a refreshing thing to bring to the table. Likewise, it’s a joy to see the characters translate to 3D so well. Outright Games has done some fantastic work here with their art design.

Copyright Cartoon Network / Outright Games Ltd. All rights reserved

Likewise, the voice cast for the show will be reprising their roles as characters in the land of Ooo. And they’ll have a lot of lines to record. Not only can you control Finn and Jake, but you’ll be able to play as BMO and Marceline as well. You can upgrade these characters to unlock unique abilities for combat and the map holds plenty of fun mysteries too. With side stories and secret locations, this seems like a game that’ll have hours & hours of fun.

Copyright Cartoon Network / Outright Games Ltd. All rights reserved

What strikes me particularly about this game is how much it resembles Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. This is no coincidence. Adventure Time have a history of being direct corollaries to Legend of Zelda games. “Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!” ‘s gameplay references “Zelda II: The Adventure of Link” and “Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom” has the same top down look & combat stylings as “Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.” With this in mind, it’s absolutely delightful to see a Wind Waker homage with a series like this. Wind Waker was a gamechanger for the Legend of Zelda series, and it feels like “Pirates of the Enchiridion” will be a gamechanger for the Adventure Time games.

Copyright Cartoon Network / Outright Games Ltd. All rights reserved

‘Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion’ will be out July 17th for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. 

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Do you like treasure hunting and/or cooking soup? Then Pokemon Quest is the game for you

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Pokemon Quest

Immediately after the Pokemon press conference on May 29th, the mobile-switch cross platform game Pokemon Quest was available to download on the Nintendo eShop (with the mobile device version debuting later this month). Curious about the ‘Free-to-Start’ game, I snagged a download and started playing.

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Pokemon Quest is a game that feels best letting itself auto-run. You check in several times a day to see what Pokemon have appeared at your camp (The conceit behind this game is that you’re a treasure hunter & Pokemon flock to you to fight their brethren in your honor. They also sometimes just come by because you make really good soup. What can I say?). With the Pokemon at your disposal, you build a small exploration team much in the same style as the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game series. And you then set them out to fight other Pokemon in open levels. From these battles, you win power stones (which allow you to upgrade your Pokemon’s health & attack power), and ingredients to lure other Pokemon to your camp.

You may’ve taken notice use of the term ‘Free-to-Start’ earlier in this article. That’s because — like many mobile services — this game offers add-ons for purchase. I don’t see any age limit on the Nintendo Switch version to take away ads for purchases (which many mobile games have chosen to add. See Disney’s own ‘Disney Crossy Road’) but the Pokemon Company may be expecting parents to set their own controls over the switch with the parental controls available on the system.

Copyright 2018 Nintendo. All rights reserved

Still, the game is typical in mobile game fare for trying to wring money out of players. Energy to play the game costs P tickets, which you can earn 50 a day … or you can just buy. The game gives you an amount to start with, shows you how to use them to speed up your game, and then takes you to the shop where you can see an advertisement to buy it — along with Pokemon furniture to help your team.

These packages can go up to $30 and include Pokemon in-game items & exclusive furniture. And while Pokemon Go offered items in bundles like this, it’s still odd to see in a Pokemon game — let alone a Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch (albeit, this is a cross-platform game). The game itself doesn’t seem to have any sort of hard-pay line for gameplay, though. I’m up to the fifth world in my game without making any purchases. And while the game difficulty has dramatically ramped up, likely to encourage purchases, it’s still completely manageable to play without paying.

Copyright 2018 Nintendo. All rights reserved

In that sense, for a free game, it’s really cute & enjoyable. The graphics are pleasing and colorful. And if you return to camp, you’ll find all the Pokemon you’ve befriended hopping around adorable decorations. Sometimes stacking on top of each other, other times following each other around in what seems like games of tag.

The ‘cooking’ mechanic to encounter a random Pokemon makes encountering them feel less like gambling and more like strategy. By cooking certain recipes from materials you find on missions, you can draw certain types of Pokemon to your camp. Cooking in certain pots (unlocked by playing through the game) can draw higher powered Pokemon at the cost of more materials. And waiting while your energy fills up means running out of ingredients (At the point of the game I’m at, about half-way through) doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Copyright 2018 Nintendo. All rights reserved

All in all, I’d say, if you have access to this game, check it out and see if it’s for you. There doesn’t seem to be cross platform support for other Pokemon games. But as a standalone, it’s a cute, fun blip of a game. The hard ‘end’ of the levels within surprises me, especially since it seems to end with 150 Pokemon (out of the over eight hundred available). So I’m not sure what there is to get out of it when you get to the end level outside of getting every Pokemon. But it’s still a fun, very casual strategy game. Just keep an eye on purchases if your children decide to play. 

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“Pokemon — Let’s Go, Pikachu !” & “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Eevee !” to come to the Nintendo Switch this year

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Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu

During a conference in Japan earlier this week, the Pokemon Company revealed three new games : A mobile and Nintendo Switch cross platform game, “Pokemon Quest,” with graphics similar to Crossy Road and some absolutely adorable furniture in a “free to start” format; and for the Nintendo Switch, “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Pikachu !” and “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Eevee !”

Taking inspiration from gameplay styles from the popular “Pokemon Go” for mobile devices, “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Pikachu !” and “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Eevee !’ adopts the thrown Pokeball system. By using one controller with the Switch system, you can make a tossing motion to throw a Pokeball and capture a cute critter for your team.

Copyright the Pokemon Company. All rights reserved

Additionally, you can buy the “Pokeball Plus” accessory to act as an additional “Joy-con” controller for your Switch to capture Pokemon. Then load a Pokemon into your pokeball, and take it out on the go.

From there, with the accessory, you’ll be able to interact with the Pokemon you have inside. Although current information doesn’t offer whether we’ll have more options than putting Eevee or Pikachu in the Pokeball Plus, the footage seen in the linked trailer is absolutely adorable.

The game itself seems to be a remake of Pokemon Yellow, a game released twenty years ago for the Game Boy Color. You explore the Kanto Pokemon region, and seem to be limited to the 150 Pokemon available when that game was out (Well, 151, if you were lucky, or good at exploiting glitches). But these games ditch the random encounters of mainline Pokemon games and adopt the overworld encounters of Pokemon Go. What Pokemon you see on the overworld is what you get.

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Additionally, Pokemon can follow you around and you can ride some of them. In footage, we see a trainer riding a giant Onyx (i.e., a giant snake made out of rocks. Who wouldn’t be comfortable riding on that?) and followed by a starting Pokemon, Bulbasaur. Although in these two games, you start instead with the series mascot Pikachu, and the evolution Pokemon Eevee, which can evolve into several different pokemon. You can also put little outfits on them. Which is – frankly — incredible.

Likewise, this seems to have local multiplayer. Hand the left Joy-con to a friend and let them enter your game. Or if you’re feeling really lonely, put the left Joy-con in your hand and pretend you have a friend while controlling the new trainer that arrives. What a fun time!

You and your friend can then team up to capture Pokemon together, or go exploring together- And you can have Pokemon you capture in Pokemon Go (of the original 151 Pokemon) arrive in your game. You can also send “Presents” back to your Pokemon Go game, including a possible new form of Pokemon as the trailer discusses.

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“Pokemon — Let’s Go, Pikachu !” and “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Eevee !” will be arriving on the Nintendo Switch this November. Likewise, a new Pokemon game will be released in the second Half of 2019. With a Mario movie in development and theme park additions on the way, it’s sure to be a busy year for Nintendo. 

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