FUSE Countdown

FUSE Countdown

FUSE Countdown, from Renegade Game Studios, is a standalone expansion to their game FUSE, a card game focused on defusing bombs.

In FUSE Countdown players draw cards with various requirements needed to defuse the bomb. They then roll dice to meet those requirements such as color or new icons. An added twist is that if you are unable to defuse it by dice rolls you would then have to draw and resolve a spark card. Another difference between editions is that this one adds special powers to your characters. Now, this isn’t a necessary component to the game but it does make for some interesting twists to the gameplay, keeping it fresh. The complexity is much higher though with those spark cards. They basically act like extra bombs that must be resolved if you have hopes of winning.

I never played the original game but based on conversations I’ve had with players that had this is the far superior version. Renegade Game Studios have done a fantastic job of taking a simple concept and making it unique. The original seems to play very similar to the Back to the Future Dice Through Time, which I DID play. BTTF Dice Through Time though took a good amount of time to play right but with FUSE Countdown games only take about ten minutes (according to the RGS site). That is quite accurate considering that you have a ten minute timer running during the game.

Overall we found the game to be quite simple to figure out and fast paced. We had a great time with this one, however due to several poor dice roles we lost nearly as many games as we won. If you are looking for something quick paced and easy to learn then this will be a great purchase.

Lootbox Lyfe+

Lootbox Lyfe+

Lootbox Lyfe+ is a Metroidvania title from Ratalaika Games that features a red blob that learns abilities by picking up chests called Lootboxes.

Ratalaika Games brings another title with a retro look and feel to it with Lootbox Lyfe+. When i first read the name of the game my mind immediately went to the days of Lootcrate. The game is listed as a Metroidvania title and for those that don’t understand the reference it is regarding overall gameplay and style. It means you have a side scrolling platformer that is full of danger, traps and quick action. The name comes from NEW classics Metroid and Castlevania.

Graphically the game fits the retro style that Ratalaika has become known for and offers distinct changes to the area as you transition between zones. The controls grow more and more refined as you progress in the story. Starting out you have to unlock the ability to move, later the ability to jump and so on. Many traps can be dodged and others run through if you don’t mind taking the hit on the way. This mechanic of adding abilities is an interesting twist. I laughed out loud when I realized that you had to unlock the ability to move. Overall I found the game to be challenging and much more entertaining than some of their other titles. Worth the play if you are a fan of platformers or more importantly the Metroidvania genre.

Intruders: Hide and Seek

Intruders: Hide and Seek

The ultimate match of Hide and Seek is upon us in Intruders: Hide and Seek from Daedalic Entertainment and Tessera Studios.

In Intruders: Hide and Seek, from Tessera Studios and Daedalic Entertainment, you play a young boy on vacation with his family and almost immediately get thrown into a tutorial about learning the mechanics behind Hide and Seek in the came. Some of these are calming your nerves, walking quietly and remaining unseen. The story picks up from there as intruders break in and kidnap your family.

The mechanics are quite intuitive and have some real depth, more than I originally expected. The graphics are interesting because you have some items with a surprising amount of detail where others are less so, like the skins for the family member. While three dimensional there wasn’t enough shading or gradients to really give their faces life so they felt flat. The version I was able to play for this review was on the Xbox One Series X. Where I think this game appears to excel is in the VR version I was unable to play, seemingly ramping up the tension even higher. Overall I found the game did a great job of blending the atmosphere to the tension with their use of lighting and audio. If you are looking for high tension game where you are trying to save your family then you will enjoy this one for sure.

Meg’s Monster

Meg's Monster

The team at Odencat bring Meg’s Monster, a Junior Roleplaying Game that feels like equal parts Pokémon and Undertale.

Meg’s Monster, from Odencat, starts as you play an adult that is revisiting the site of an industrial accident. You’re there to investigate how the accident ties to the birth of a red star in the sky and to trigger memories of things that you have forgotten. After finding a transmitter with your mother’s voice on it you jump back to the accident in your memory as you fall to a junk pile and are found by two monsters. Roy, the monster that becomes your friend and protector later on, is a brute that loves to eat magical slime. His friend that meets you with him likes to eat human children. He tries to eat the younger version of yourself and makes you cry. Those tears, or something tied to them, causes a near catastrophic event that risks tearing apart the world. He plays it off as a joke and convinces Roy to help find your home while working on his own agenda.

Graphically the game looks like a much more polished version of Undertale, especially since some of the characters look almost identical to characters from that game. Combat and other controls are quite simple but some hit boxes for interacting with objects can be a bit finicky. The actual combat system itself though looks and feels like the classic Pokémon game. The parallels between Undertale and Meg’s Monster don’t end there either. Fans of Undertale will get a kick out of this but it is an entirely different game. I found that the game’s story became tedious early on and took too much time and effort to get through to return to gameplay but that overall gameplay was smooth. This game will be good in smaller doses but could easily become dull if playing a longer session.

Akka Arrh- another Atari Recharged title

Akka Arrh

Artari has returned with another Recharged reboot title and this time it is from the cannon firing Akka Arrh!

Atari and Jeff Minter have teamed up again to reimagine or recharge their classic AkkA Arrh for current generations. You play a turret that shoots bombs with some massive areas of effect. These shots when hitting an enemy turn that enemy into another explosion of similar size and shape and can lead to some massive chain reactions. The fights are chaotic and can be a little hard to follow with the constant explosions.

With super bright imagery the came looks like a stoner’s dream or if a bad trip, then their worst nightmare. If you suffer from light sensitivity then I would suggest avoiding this title. I played it with a migraine and it made the head pain worse by the time I stopped. This was before I learned there is a way to toggle the visual mayhem off. It made a huge difference. Atari fans will enjoy the classic playstyles and those without light sensitivity will enjoy the effect. I personally found the game to be repetitive too early into gameplay. This early into the game should continue to be fresh and engaging. Hard pass from me on this one.

Fashion Police Squad

Fashion Police Squad

Mopeful Games is a small indie studio responsible for a new FPS that is called FPS or Fashion Police Squad. Did these three designers pull off a win?

In Fashion Police Squad you play as Des, an officer with the local Fashion Police with a penchant for the dramatic and the fabulous. Your first case of the day sends you into an area besieged by men in drab business attire and you must correct these crimes against fashion. Your weapons consist of guns and belts that make your enemies more fabulous once defeated. This is the first title Mopeful Games has created that I am able to find and what a way to hit the scene.

This is Des himself. Our hero and purveyor of fashion related puns. He is damn hilarious. I legitimately laughed out loud, alone in my living room while I played. His puns were masterfully crafted and delivered. If you hate puns though you may want to avoid this game.

Gameplay is smooth and intuitive, whether switching weapons or making the perps fabulous. Visuals are in a retro style that exceeds the quality of the old school like Wolfenstein 3D or even Doom. If you are looking for something that will make you laugh while still giving a challenge then this is a great choice. I don’t remember the last time a game was THIS enjoyable!

Prison Tycoon: Under New Management

Prison Tycoon

Ziggurat have ported the classic Prison Tycoon sequel Under New Management to current generation consoles and have included free dlc with it!

Ziggurat brought back the classic Prison Tycoon Under New Management to current generation consoles along with the free dlc Roll Call. This dlc allows players to edit the appearance of prisoners and guards alike. Players are literally building the prison from the ground up. This includes running electrical lines, building bathrooms and some rooms that you typically wouldn’t see in a proper prison. I’ve never heard of a prison that had a dance floor, especially one equipped with neon lights and a DJ. Well, maybe in a cartoon but even then I’m not so sure.

Tycoon games rarely convert over to console very well due to most involving a user interface that is simply too complex for the system. Prison Tycoon is one of the rare exceptions. The navigation between the menus (without using a tutorial) felt surprisingly intuitive. Graphics leave something to be desired on “next gen” consoles but they aren’t bad either. The most difficult thing to figure out is how to optimize your income and I can tell you the trick, or at least what worked for me. Focus on the cells themselves, the nicer they are the more income you’ll bring in per prisoner. Once you realize that it becomes quite simple. That brings us to the second largest hurdle- building the perfect prison itself. Finding a balance between each of the buildings and their amenities is where the real challenge lies.

Overall I found the game to surprisingly entertaining as I tried to build the craziest prisons I could while still turning a profit. My biggest complaint though is the engagement level. Playing in smaller doses helps because maintaining the prison itself becomes quite repetitive as you continue to fine tune the prison.


20th Century Studios


Recently the fine folks at 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios- their home page is here) had sent me codes to several of the movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on them with you. Part 1 was all about Underwater and Part 2 focused on The New Mutants. Part 3 we talked about The Personal History of David Copperfield. Part 4 discussed The Empty Man. Part 5 talked about Nomadland and Speed 4K Ultra HD. Part 6 discussed The Night House and Free Guy. Part 7 focused on The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Part 8 had The Last Duel. Part 9 discussed Ron’s Gone Wrong and Part 10 talked about The King’s Man and Summer of Soul. Part 11 discussed Nightmare Alley and West Side Story. Part 12 highlighted Death on the Nile and Part 13 talked about The Bob’s Burgers Movie. Part 14 highlighted Barbarian and See How They Run. Part 15 discussed Amsterdam and Part 16 talked about The Banshees of Inisherin and The Menu. We have returned for Part 17 to share our thoughts on Empire of Light!

Empire of Light

This film centers around a cinema in the 1980’s where the white manager falls for her black employee and dealing with the racism and hate of that time period. The overall performances are fantastic despite the depth provided for those characters. The film felt like it was more meant to showcase the experiences of the black male and not on the person himself. Overall this film missed the mark and was quite dull in terms of story but I appreciated the quality of the performances.


Warner Bros


Recently the fine folks at Warner Bros (their home page is here) had sent me copies of some of their movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on them with you. For the first part of this series we talked about Scoob, Birds of Prey, The Way Back, Goonies 4K, Beetlejuice 4K, Full Metal Jacket, Sherlock Holmes 4K and Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows 4K. Part 2 ‘twas massive and discussed V for Vendetta 4K, 300 4K, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy 4K, The Hobbit Trilogy 4K, Blade 4K, Bill and Ted Face the Music, Tenet and The Wolf of Snow Hollow. Part 3 talked about Wonder Woman 1984, The Little Things and Judas and the Black Messiah. Part 4 discussed Tom and Jerry the Movie and Godzilla Vs Kong. Part 5 was all about Wrath of Man, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Space Jam. Part 6 had discussed Mortal Kombat and Those Who Wish Me Dead. Part 7 discussed In the Heights, The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It, Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 20 Years of Movie Magic edition. Part 8 discussed A Clockwork Orange, Space Jam: A New Legacy and Shawshank Redemption. Part 9 talked about The Suicide Squad and Reminiscence. Part 10 discussed The Outsiders, Cry Macho, Malignant, the Many Saints of Newark and the Mad Max film collection. Part 11 talked about Dune, Matrix: Resurrections, The Batman, Dog and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Part 12 discussed Elvis, DC League of Super Pets, The Lost Boys and Poltergeist. Part 13 shared some classics with 8-Bit Christmas, Casablanca, A Christmas Story, Three Thousand Years of Longing, The Polar Express, Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Part 14 had Don’t Worry Darling and Part 15 was discussing Black Adam. We are back with Part 16 and Bones and All, House Party plus the 4k release of Training Day.

Bones and All

What limited trailers I had seen hinted at something dark happening in the story of this film but focused on a central theme of travelling and love. There was nothing in them I saw that indicated that this is a love story about two cannibals. Despite feeling a little misled at the start I wasn’t upset. The film was great over all. I found it odd how well the love story mixed with horror but they blend perfectly.

Training Day (4K)

As expected from the title, this is the 4k release of the Training Day, the same film that Denzel Washington won an Academy Award for. Despite it’s age the film still holds up just as well as it did back when it first came out.

House Party

Listed as a “Remix” of the 90s classic film of the same name, this is truly a reboot. This time around our characters are played by a new cast and a throwing the party in the home of Lebron James. They are both house cleaners and failing party planners assigned to clean the James house. They decide to throw a party and things get a bit nuts. Overall we found the film to be enjoyable, laughs aplenty with a few dragging moments.

Which of these Warner Bros films have you had the chance to see? Which was your favorite? Let us know on our Twitter!

Go Go Pogo Girl

Go Go Pogo Girl

Ohsat Games has released their love letter to 90’s platformers with Go Go Pogo Girl, a game about a girl and her stolen pogo!

Ohsat Games is a company I never heard of until I played this game. Their entire catalogue looks like games that would have been made for the consoles of the 90’s and Go Go Pogo Girl is no exception. The world around our pogo jumping hero looks very similar to the original Green Hill Zone in the first Sonic the Hedgehog but will a more limited color pallet. The enemies are mostly little blobs that run around or jump in your path. The game is very forgiving when getting injured, allowing the younger crowd to play the game without fear of a game over.

The story follows our hero as her prized pogo is stolen from the trophy case while she sleeps. This begins her journey to reclaim the toy, collecting gems along the way. The controls are simple and intuitive as is the story. The graphics are smooth despite the retro nature of the graphics. I found the game to not only be enjoyable but loved the fact that it was so easy to play that my youngest would be able to enjoy it.