Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Are you smarter than a 5th grader

Are you smarter than a 5th grader is the quiz show turned video game that uses children as trivia support.

Are you smarter than a 5th grader is a quiz show centered around topics found in grade school education and proving how useless some of it is. The American Education system is nowhere near where it should be and I suspect this is secretly what the show’s creation was meant to highlight. Of course there are questions that everyone should know like how to convert tablespoons to teaspoons or millimeters in a centimeter but there are some truly useless answers there as well.

Each player answers the questions as best as they can, get it wrong and the show/game is over. You start with two questions for each grade and a final eleventh question that covers sixth grade topics. Answering the sixth grade question means you are truly smarter than a fifth grader. For a trivia quiz show it’s not bad. The actual show gave time to meet the students who would help you answer your questions and the game does as well. The problem here is these are fake kids so I’m not interested in their written commentary about their lives or schooling. Perhaps if they allowed the spot to be filled by an actual player instead of an NPS then I would care more about them.

Graphically the game is crisp, free of glitches and some solid rendering. It definitely fits in the current generation of graphics engines. Controls are very simple, only requiring the letter based buttons once in the game. Overall I had a good time with the game, pushing myself to answer without the “cheats” made it more challenging too. If you like trivia you will enjoy this one.

Endling Extinction is Forever

Endling Extinction is Forever

In Endling Extinction is Forever you play a lone fox that must do everything she can to not only survive but also keep her kits alive along with her.

Produced by HandyGames and Herobeat Studios, Endling Extinction is Forever is a game that centers the story around keeping a mother fox and her kits alive in the diminishing wilderness. The first day of survival is escaping from a burning forest to then give birth in your den. On day two you must hunt to keep your strength up, either killing rodents or fish and taking them back to the den.

As the baby foxes get older and start to venture outside the den one is taken by a trapper and it is up to you and the fluffballs to retrieve it. Time is of the essence because the trail grows cold quickly. Additionally the surroundings change as time goes on, streams that were once traversable become polluted and no longer have fish to feed the family. It’s up to you to keep the four of you alive.

Graphically the game is on par with other indie titles and could have been much improved with a bit more details on the foxes themselves. Without knowing they are kits the baby foxes don’t really have any distinguishing features that make it obvious they are foxes. The controls are simplistic but fluid. Overall gameplay was good but added stress as you continued to play by forcing you to pay attention to the babies and keep their health up as a priority. The subtle changes to the environment really show the effects of humans on the environment is a sobering realization as I played will make you think about your foot print on the world. I suspect this was their intention. Overall it is a solid game with an important message that more people need to hear.

One Hand Clapping a mic centered game

One Hand Clapping

Put your singing voice to the test in a game that is NOT a rhythm game, like Rock Band, with One Hand Clapping.

Have you ever played a platformer where you used your voice to play and not just your hands? One Hand Clapping is the game that tests your voice to the limits. HandyGames brings us this adorable platformer where your voice brings the light and allows you to soar to new heights. As you move your character around the levels you must sing into an attached microphone to activate lights, levers and even helps you fly higher (when carried by an owl).

The game description hints that you will not be penalized for making mistakes. It says this and yet has these imposing shadow people that give you the feeling that you are going to die if they touch you. This team has done a fantastic job on the ambiance because I was so tense around these creatures and I did not want to put the claim to the test. The game could easily be win for players of all ages but I feel the requirement to make noise almost nonstop detracts from the game as a whole. The intention is for players to explore their own creativity and musical talent while playing. If you are like me and most of your game time is after the kids are asleep this is a bit more difficult to do without waking them up. However I do see an opportunity here that I just might explore. My youngest loves to sing and dance. I can give her the mic and do the platforming myself. Sounds like a great chance for some game related bonding.

Pile up! Box by Box game review

Pile Up

Pile Up! Box by Box is a puzzle platformer from HandyGames where you play an adorable box that uses other boxes to complete puzzles.

HandyGames is back with another family friendly title, Pile Up! Box by Box, a platformer where collecting boxes and keys are your goals. You play as a box that navigates a world of water and cardboard to solve puzzles. Visually the world looks very similar to that of Paper Mario and there is nothing that would make me question if my children should be allowed to play it.

Puzzles are quite simple in the solutions but trying different approaches makes them more worth it. One of the levels has a puzzle that requires moving four boxes from one area to another and each area has bomb boxes. Picking up bomb boxes cause them to explode but if you nudge them you can get them into place without having to find all of the intended boxes. There does not appear to be a story for the game outside of the quests you must complete per level but those are more of a guided objective. Controls are easy to pick up but hitting the wrong button at the wrong time is always a concern. I found the game to be quite enjoyable and I am looking forward to sharing this with my family!

Skydrift Infinity a jet racing game

Skydrift Infinity

HandyGames brings us Skydrift Infinity, a racing game with striking similarities to Hydro Thunder Hurricane, but with jets and planes instead of boats.

Recently HandyGames shared a copy of Skydrift Infinity with us for the purpose of this review. As with all of situations we have agreed to share our thoughts on the game but have not agreed to any predefined opinions. Similar to most other racing games you start with a single course and as you place in that race you then unlock others. Experience earned goes towards unlocking skins and other planes/jets as do various challenges that need to be completed. Unlike most racing games this one is more similar to the Mario Kart games in that you pickup power ups as you fly and use them to either remove the others from your path or give you some sort of edge against them.

Visually the game is sleek and the terrain is full of features that will distract your attention from your flight path. The controls are fluid, allowing you to move about the course and around obstacles without too much effort. Of course if you fail to avoid an obstacle and crash you respawn seconds later pointed in the correct direction, allowing you to resume the race with minimal fuss. There really is no story to speak of but the gameplay overall is fast paced and quite a bit of fun, even better is when playing with your friends.

This game is a must for racing fans or fans of flight simulators, especially if you enjoy dogfighting because the powerups make attacking the other planes on your course more enjoyable than winning the race itself and with enough bullets you’ll be able to do both (most of the time)!