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Fortnite is one of the biggest games in the world. In fact, the only reason it isn’t THE biggest game in the world is that Minecraft is still a thing. I know a lot of parents have allowed their kids to play this new gaming juggernaut and feel lost because they don’t really know how to use the parental controls. Below are the most important Fortnite parental controls that a parent will need to know if their child is playing on iOS or Android.

Editor’s note: If you want a deeper dive into Fortnite we have two guides on our site. The first is a general overview for parents that want to know what the game is all about. The second guide contains tips for new Fortnite players (or for parents to give to their kids if they get frustrated early on.

 

Turning off Voice Chat

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by pressing the + button

Open the Options Menu by highlighting the box with the Gear in it and pressing the A button.

 

Navigate to the Audio tab (The icon looks like a megaphone with sound waves coming out of it) by pressing the R button

Navigate to the “Voice Chat” option and toggle it On or Off by pressing the left or right buttons on the D-pad.

 

Note: There are a number of other audio options that you can adjust in this menu as well.

 

Automatically Reject Friend Requests from Strangers

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by pressing the + button

Open the Options Menu by highlighting the box with the Gear in it and pressing the A button.

 

Navigate to the Account tab (The icon looks like a pawn in chess) by pressing the R button

Navigate to the Automatically Reject Friend Request option and toggle it  On or Off by pressing the left or right buttons on the D-pad.

 

Chat Profanity Filter

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by pressing the + button

Open the Options Menu by highlighting the box with the Gear in it and pressing the A button.

 

Navigate to the Account tab (The icon looks like a pawn in chess) by pressing the R button

Navigate to the Chat Profanity Filter option and toggle itOn or Off by pressing the left or right buttons on the D-pad.

 

Lifetime Refund Requests

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by pressing the + button

Open the Options Menu by highlighting the box with the Gear in it and pressing the A button.

 

Navigate to the Account tab (The icon looks like a pawn in chess) by pressing the R button

Highlight the Submit a Request button and click it using the A button.

 

Note: You only get three Refund Requests EVER. Make sure that you talk to your kids and figure out how the accidental purchase was made so you can limit those situations in the future.


Where these tips useful? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Fortnite is one of the biggest games in the world. In fact, the only reason it isn’t THE biggest game in the world is that Minecraft is still a thing. I know a lot of parents have allowed their kids to play this new gaming juggernaut and feel lost because they don’t really know how to use the parental controls. Below are the most important Fortnite parental controls that a parent will need to know if their child is playing on iOS or Android.

Editor’s note: If you want a deeper dive into Fortnite we have two guides on our site. The first is a general overview for parents that want to know what the game is all about. The second guide contains tips for new Fortnite players (or for parents to give to their kids if they get frustrated early on.

Turning off Voice Chat

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by highlighting the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars) and pressing the X button. 

Open the Options Menu by pressing the options button. 

Navigate to the Audio tab (The icon looks like a megaphone with sound waves coming out of it) by pressing the X button. 

Navigate to the “Voice Chat” option and toggle it On or Off by pressing the X button. 

 

Note: There are a number of other audio options that you can adjust in this menu as well.

 

Automatically Reject Friend Requests from Strangers

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by highlighting the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars) and pressing the X button. 

Open the Options Menu by highlighting the box with the Gear in it and pressing the X button. 

Navigate to the Account tab (The icon looks like a pawn in chess) by pressing the X button. 

Navigate to the Automatically Reject Friend Request option and toggle it On or Off by pressing the X button. 

 

Chat Profanity Filter

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by highlighting the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars) and pressing the X button. 

Open the Options Menu by highlighting the box with the Gear in it and pressing the X button. 

 

Navigate to the Account tab (The icon looks like a pawn in chess) by pressing the X button. 

Navigate to the Chat Profanity Filter option and toggle it On or Off by pressing the X button. 

 

Lifetime Refund Requests

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by highlighting the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars) and pressing the X button. 

Open the Options Menu by highlighting the box with the Gear in it and pressing the X button. 

Navigate to the Account tab (The icon looks like a pawn in chess) by pressing the X button. 

Highlight the Submit a Request button and click it using the X button. 

 

Note: You only get three Refund Requests EVER. Make sure that you talk to your kids and figure out how the accidental purchase was made so you can limit those situations in the future.


Where these tips useful? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Fortnite is one of the biggest games in the world. In fact, the only reason it isn’t THE biggest game in the world is that Minecraft is still a thing. I know a lot of parents have allowed their kids to play this new gaming juggernaut and feel lost because they don’t really know how to use the parental controls. Below are the most important Fortnite parental controls that a parent will need to know if their child is playing on iOS or Android.

Editor’s note: If you want a deeper dive into Fortnite we have two guides on our site. The first is a general overview for parents that want to know what the game is all about. The second guide contains tips for new Fortnite players (or for parents to give to their kids if they get frustrated early on.

 

Screenshots courtesy of SnapperCharbs Gaming!

Turning off Voice Chat in Fortnite

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by clicking the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars)

Open the Options Menu by clicking the box with the Gear in it

Navigate to the Audio tab by clicking the Audio Icon (The icon looks like a megaphone with sound waves coming out of it)

Toggle the “Voice Chat” option On or Off by clicking the arrows

Note: There are a number of other audio options that you can adjust in this menu as well.

 

Automatically Reject Friend Requests from Strangers in Fortnite

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by clicking the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars)

Open the Options Menu by clicking the box with the Gear in it

 

Navigate to the Account tab by clicking the Account Icon (The icon looks like a pawn in chess)

 

Toggle the Automatically Reject Friend Request option On or Off by clicking the arrows

 

Turn on Chat Profanity Filter in Fortnite

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by clicking the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars)

Open the Options Menu by clicking the box with the Gear in it

Navigate to the Account tab by clicking the Account Icon (The icon looks like a pawn in chess)

Toggle the Profanity filter option On or Off by clicking the arrows

 

Lifetime Refund Requests in Fortnite

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the Lobby screen by clicking the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars)

Open the Options Menu by clicking the box with the Gear in it

 

 

Navigate to the Account tab by clicking the Account Icon (The icon looks like a pawn in chess)

Click the Submit a Request button

 

Note: You only get three Refund Requests EVER. Make sure that you talk to your kids and figure out how the accidental purchase was made so you can limit those situations in the future.


Where these tips useful? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

 

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

 

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

 

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Fortnite is one of the biggest games in the world. In fact, the only reason it isn’t THE biggest game in the world is that Minecraft is still a thing. I know a lot of parents have allowed their kids to play this new gaming juggernaut and feel lost because they don’t really know how to use the parental controls. Below are the most important Fortnite parental controls that a parent will need to know if their child is playing on iOS or Android.

Editor’s note: If you want a deeper dive into Fortnite we have two guides on our site. The first is a general overview for parents that want to know what the game is all about. The second guide contains tips for new Fortnite players (or for parents to give to their kids if they get frustrated early on.

 

Turning off Voice Chat in Fortnite

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the main Fortnite page by tapping the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars)

 

Open the Options Menu by tapping the box with the Gear in it

 

 

Tap to the Audio tab icon (The icon looks like a megaphone with sound waves coming out of it)

Select the “Voice Chat” option and toggle it On or Off by tapping the arrows. 

 

Note: There are a number of other audio options that you can adjust in this menu as well.

 

Automatically Reject Friend Requests from Strangers in Fortnite

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the main Fortnite page by tapping the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars)

Open the Options Menu by tapping the box with the Gear in it

Tap the Account tab icon (The icon looks like a pawn in chess)

Toggle the filter “On” or “Off” by tapping the arrows

 

Turn on Chat Profanity Filter in Fortnite

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the main Fortnite page by tapping the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars)

Open the Options Menu by tapping the box with the Gear in it

Tap the Account tab icon (The icon looks like a pawn in chess)

Toggle the filter “On” or “Off” by tapping the arrows.

 

Lifetime Refund Requests in Fortnite

 

Open the Settings menu in the top right of the main Fortnite page by tapping the Menu icon in the upper right hand of the screen (three stacked horizontal bars)

 

Open the Options Menu by tapping the box with the Gear in it

Tap the Account tab icon (The icon looks like a pawn in chess)

Tap the “Submit a Request” button.

 

Note: You only get three Refund Requests EVER. Make sure that you talk to your kids and figure out how the accidental purchase was made so you can limit those situations in the future.


Where these tips useful? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

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Fortnite Beginner's guide

by: Jonathan Goosetree of InkedGaming.com

Fortnite has taken the gaming world by storm.  Gamers of all types are joining the craze as it is playable on PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS. With often 300,00 viewers or more on Twitch, Fortnite is currently the most popular title in gaming. If you’re looking to jump into the action, our beginner’s guide to Fortnite will make sure you hit the ground running.

There are a few aspects of Fortnite which set it apart from any other game. In almost all other Battle Royale, FPS, and Third Person shooter games, players only need to work on their skills with weapons. In Fortnite however, building and gathering resources are just as important as weapon skills. You may be thinking this sounds intimidating and that Fortnite might be too complex for your family. Fortunately, we are here to help.

Our Fortnite Beginner’s Guide will be broken down into two main sections: The first focuses on farming materials and building beginner level structures, with the second part focusing on the early, mid, and late stages of the game.

Use that Pick Axe!

Fortnite

 

Fortnite has three types of materials: wood, stone, and metal. Each has a different purpose and different in-game statistics. Wood has a five-second build time per panel, with 200 health, stone has a 12-second build time, with 300 health, and metal has a 20-second build time, with 400 health. Wood is the most commonly used resource, as it is used for exploring and fast cover. Stone is better used for when you have time to build a fortification in the mid-game, and metal should be used exclusively in the late game, as it is the only material that can withstand a blow from an RPG (Rocket Powered Grenade).

Materials are gained by swinging your pickaxe at various targets. One thing many new players miss, in spite of its importance, is the blue circle that appears on screen when you are attacking a resource. Swinging your pickaxe where this circle appears acts as a critical spot and striking near it will yield more materials per swing. The easiest way to strike the circle is to start in the middle of the tree or structure, then moving straight down with your mouse or thumbstick. Using this tactic, you will hit the blue circle almost every time.

It is always important to have enough materials to build when the situation calls for it, whether exploring or when being fired on by an enemy and protection is needed. Being caught out in the open without enough materials to build cover is often a deadly mistake. This is why farming materials efficiently is a crucial skill for any new Fortnite player. When moving from one area to another, always be aware of your surroundings and plan your route accordingly. You should not stray too far out of your way to farm a single tree or area. Instead, try to choose the path with as many trees along the way as possible. Knowing what to farm is also important, as larger trees and wood pallets provide the most materials per swing for wood, and vehicles are most efficient for farming metal. One important tip is that you should never finish chopping a tree completely, as a disappearing tree is a dead give away of your position to potential enemies!

You, the Builder

Now that we know the different types of materials and how to farm efficiently, let’s go over what those materials are used for. Materials are used to build four different shapes or panels: walls, floors, ramps, and roofs. Knowing when and where to use each shape and for what purpose is key to becoming a skilled builder in Fortnite. Your first few games of Fortnite should be focused on farming materials in a remote part of the map and practicing building. With three different types of materials and four panels, you will need enough practice to where you can switch between all 12 options in a split second.

Now that selecting the desired materials and panels is second nature, it’s time to learn what to do with them. Building is used for three main purposes: exploring, fast cover, and building forts in the mid to late game. Exploring in Fortnite means building ramps or floors to reach places that would otherwise be inaccessible. Common examples of these would be building a ramp to reach a loot chest in an attic or building a bridge to move between two buildings. Wood should always be used for exploring because it does not need to withstand enemy fire.

Building fast cover, which is one of the most important skills in Fortnite, can be used defensively and offensively. If you are out in the open and an enemy begins firing at you, quickly build walls and ramps for cover (Wood should also always be used for this). Something important to note is that although wood panels have a 5 second build time, during the build time there is a blue indicator for the panel that will immediately obstruct your enemy’s vision. This obstruction of vision is often more important than the finished panel itself, as you will have moved to a new location before the five second build time is over.

Ramps can be used either offensively or defensively. Building a ramp to run into the second floor of a building can often save your life as well as preserve precious materials because you will not have to build more panels to use for cover. Ramps are often used as an offensive tool as well. If you are moving out in the open and encounter an enemy, quickly build a ramp. Moving to the top of the ramp allows you to peek over with your medium to long range weapons and take cover when needed.

A slightly more advanced form of building is combining multiple panels to form structures. There are many different sizes of structures players use. The most basic structure is known as a 1×1 structure. This is made by building 4 walls with a roof or ramp panel in the center. Most often used when out in the open, this structure provides 360-degree protection, with the roof or ramp panel allowing the player to peek over the sides. The 1×1 structure is the most basic of examples and there are many more advanced patterns that can be found online. These more advanced structures are primarily used in the mid and late game, where players build extremely high towers in the ever-important battle for high ground.

The Fortnite Beginner’s Guide to The Early Game

Fortnite glider

Fortnite has three different phases, early, mid, and late game. The early game is generally viewed as the time from when you first drop into the map until after the first storm circle closes. Knowing where to drop is the most important part of the early game. The named areas of the map have better loot and thus attract more players. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to avoid these areas and drop on a hilltop somewhere in a remote area that is away from the path of the bus. This way you can avoid firefights and practice building until you have a few games under your belt.

When you are ready to land in the more populated areas and go for better loot, it is important to start memorizing where the loot chests are. Chests are often in the attics of buildings, which can be found by listening for their shimmering sound effect. If you drop into an area with buildings at the start of the game, you should always land on the roof and break through with your pickaxe in hopes of finding a chest. If you are lucky, you may get a good weapon at the start and get an easy kill on another player who has not yet had a chance to loot anything. You can also reach attics in other houses by destroying ceilings and building a ramp. However, you must be careful to not destroy the ceiling the crate is resting on, or the crate will be destroyed as well. If you loot a chest with a shield potion right after landing and hear another player, consume the shield potion as fast as possible before engaging. The extra health will give you a considerable advantage. Most important in the early game, but important throughout all stages, is to always be active. You should always be looking for loot, planning your most efficient path, and checking around for enemies, never move around without purpose or using materials when unnecessary.

The Fortnite Beginner’s Guide to The Mid Game

 

After the first circle closes, we head into the mid-game. In the mid-game any remaining players will probably have a decent inventory of weapons and shields, so be ready for a fight. It’s important to have a balanced inventory at this point. A balanced inventory consists of a shotgun for short range, an assault rifle for medium range, and a sniper rifle or assault rifle with a scope for long range, as well as some consumables.

It is also important for the mid and late game to play around the enclosing storm properly. If you are in between the safe zone (The safe zone being the center circle) and the enclosing storm, you can use the storm as protection from behind. Try to move towards the safe zone as the storm closes in. However, it is possible that some players in the storm will fire upon you, so don’t treat the storm as complete protection. If you are already in the safe zone as the circle starts to close, take or build some cover and try to pick off any players moving in. These players will be caught between having to stop and return fire, risking damage from the storm, or continuing to run and being unable to fight back. This advantage should most often net you an easy kill. Also, be sure to farm some stone and metal when the coast is clear, as you will need these materials for your fort in the late game.

The Fortnite Beginner’s Guide to The Late Game

Fortnite female character

If you have made it to this point, then congratulations! Late game is the most adrenaline pumping phase of the game and begins when there are roughly 10-15 players remaining. If you are outside the safe zone, you should focus on getting as close to the center as possible. This is important because in the late game you will need to build your final fort, and you do not want to construct it somewhere that will end up in the storm before the game ends. Constructed with stone or better yet, metal, your fort should be three to five stories high. Three stories are the minimum and should be made if you are low on materials (Be sure to keep some materials in reserve so that you can rebuild destroyed panels). If you have a healthy amount of materials, then a five-story fort is ideal. A five-story fort will usually give you the high ground advantage while allowing you to hear the footsteps of enemy players on the ground. Since every player should have a sniper rifle or long-range weapon at this point, whoever controls the high ground has the advantage.

Once you have your final fort constructed, try to get a feel for where the remaining players are. As a new player going for the win, it’s best to let other players fight it out and eliminate each other. If you see two other players in a firefight, wait for one to take out the other before engaging. The winning player will most likely be low on health and an easier target. Keep moving and avoid peeking from the same spot or moving in patterns, keep your movements random to avoid becoming predictable. The late game is especially nerve-racking so keep your cool, focus, and wait for your opponent to make a mistake and you will be in a good position to take home the win.

Fortnite Victory Royale!

On the surface, Fortnite looks like a simple game but as you can see, there is more than meets the eye. Fortnite has many other features and advanced strategies not mentioned in this guide. Gaining confidence as you progress and learning more about the game is half the fun. As you play, try to remember in each game what worked and what didn’t. Learn from your mistakes, follow our guide, and with some beginner’s luck, you will surely be on your way to your first Fortnite Victory Royale.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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At this point just about every parent in North America (and beyond) has likely heard about the game Fortnite. It has been all the rage in recent months and shows no real sign of slowing down. Kids are even playing Fortnite while they are in classes at school! I’ve had a number of parents reach out to me with questions about the game, how it works, and what they should know about it.

Take a look below for our Parent’s Guide to Fortnite! We included all of the questions parents have asked us and more. Sound off in the comments if you have other questions!

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite is a third person shooter developed and published by Epic games that is taking the world by storm. Many people who think of Fortnite recognize it for its wildly popular Battle Royale mode, but that was actually a recent turn in the game’s development. It was originally developed by Epic games as a third person action game where players spent the day roaming the map gathering materials (and fighting zombies) and then returning to their home base, or fort, and building walls, defenses, etc.

It was originally revealed during the Spike TV Video game awards in 2011 and Epic has been slowly developing it ever since.

What is Fortnite: Battle Royale?

Fortnite: Battle Royale is a free-to-play game mode that uses airbus to drop one hundred players onto an island map that is surrounded by an encroaching storm. Players are tasked with gathering weapons, gear, and other equipment and forced to fight each other. The last player standing is the winner.

The game forces interaction between players in a few ways. First, the map is only so big and the resources aren’t infinite. This forces players into conflict immediately. As the match continues the storm will actually close in on the island and take out anyone caught in it. This constantly shrinks the battlefield and forces players to fight as opposed to playing the waiting game on the far corners of the map. Many players liken the game to the Hunger Games franchise.

It is far and away the most popular way to play Fortnite. It has been a smash hit almost from the minute the game mode launched. Its massive popularity has led to it being featured on shows like Good Morning America and the Today Show. Its also a huge hit with gamers who enjoy watching players stream games on services like YouTube and Twitch. It was only just recently that the Twitch Streamer Ninja set a new record for Twitch streams by having over a half million viewers when he was playing Fortnite: Battle Royale with the rapper Drake.

What is the Fortnite Save the World Mode about?

Fortnite’s Save the World mode is what remains from the originally announced version of the game.

Fortnite is set on modern-day Earth. The story is that a worldwide storm appeared suddenly and caused 98% of the world’s population to disappear. They were replaced by zombie-like creatures that constantly attack the remaining population.

Epic Games has said that they view the Save the World mode as a cross between the building game Minecraft and the cooperative shooter Left 4 Dead. Fortnite has groups of up to four players cooperate on varied missions on randomly generated maps. They collect resources, build fortifications, protect survivors, and build weapons and traps to fight waves of creatures.

Players earn rewards for each mission they complete. They can use their rewards to improve their character by giving them new weapons, traps, etc that they can build so they can take on more difficult missions.

How much does Fortnite cost?


Fortnite’s Save the World mode is part of a premium package that costs $39.99, although there is a deluxe version that includes additional content for $59.99. Epic Games has indicated that they will be releasing it as a free-to-play game sometime in 2018 though.

Fortnite: Battle Royale is a free-to-play game. As such, it does include in-game purchases. Players can buy a virtual currency in the game that they can spend on cosmetic skins, emotes, and dances that they can use to express themselves and their personality in the game. These purchases have no impact on the game itself though. There is no way to spend money in Fortnite to give yourself an advantage.

Can our kids play Fortnite with strangers?

Yes.

Both the Save the World and Battle Royale modes allow for random multiplayer games that include strangers.

The Save the World game mode lets players group up with up to four other players. They can choose to invite their friends to play with them or group up with random other players.

The Battle Royale game mode is built around a group of a hundred players competing to be the last player standing. Players can play solo or with a squad of two or four players. The squads don’t have to include friends, though. Instead, you can choose to randomly queue in squads with strangers.

This is going to end up being a big deal for parents who are concerned about the outside world having access to their children online. It is pretty hard to avoid without some very serious discussions about only grouping up with friends. I do recommend using the parental control settings on your console, PC, or Mac to disable the voice chat. This will go a long way to limiting the lines of communication.

Where can you play it?

Fortnite is currently available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The Battle Royale mode is also available on mobile devices (iOS and an Android version is on the way).

There is a growing movement calling for Fortnite to be brought to the Nintendo Switch, but there has been no confirmation as of the date that this guide was written.

How is Fortnite rated by the ESRB?

Fortnite is rated T for teen.

Content Descriptors: Violence

Other: Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB (Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
 This is an action game in which players build forts, gather resources, craft weapons, and battle hordes of monsters in frenetic combat. From a third-person perspective, players use guns, swords, and grenades to fight skeleton-like monsters (husks) in ranged and melee-style combat. Players can also defeat enemies by using various traps (e.g., electric, spikes, poisonous gas). Battles are highlighted by frequent gunfire, explosions, and cries of pain.

A PSA for Parents about Fortnite and School

 


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Engaged Family Gaming podcast image

Hello and Welcome to Engage!: A Family Gaming Podcast! This is episode 121. This week we are talking video games.

Host:

Stephen Duetzmann @EFGaming

Co-Host:

Jonathan Tomlinson

This week the EFG talks about the family friendly Nindies announced at GDC and answers some basic questions about Fortnite!


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Check out this episode!

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So. You have a Nintendo Switch. You’ve got all the important games: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart Deluxe, etc. Here are some suggestions for more games to play that won’t break the bank!

Fortnite

(FYI Fortnite is a free to play game which is why I’m including it for  under $20. The above bundle is actually $30 and includes a bunch of different stuff.)

It’s really impossible to talk about inexpensive games on the Nintendo Switch without addressing the fortress sized elephant in the room. Fortnite is free. And it is everywhere. Chances are very good that your kid has been bugging you to play Fortnite for a while if they aren’t playing it already. The Switch is a great place to play it.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a farming simulator with a LOT of extras.  There is a dungeon with randomly generated floors full of loot and an abandoned community center that you rebuild through offerings to tiny beings that live there. Fishing is just about the best part of the game with a simple yet challenging minigame. Like many other games in the genre, you can court citizens in town and spend whole seasons looking for a specific item. This is a great game to get lost in and is a steal at $19.99 on the Switch.

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight is a side-scrolling action platformer, with many items to find and powers to unlock. This game easily can take 40-50 hours to complete with the expansive map and numerous bosses. You take on the role of a mask-wearing beetle (I’m not entirely sure what he is) wielding a nail to take out the foes that are encroaching your town.

This is a very difficult game, but there is a lot of content here to keep you coming back. Completing challenges is a big part of the draw here and there is a LOT of content to explore.

The Messenger

Simply put… The Messenger is a modern response to the Ninja Gaiden series from the NES era. Sabotage Studio is a team full of people who love that game and have gone out of their way to show their reverence in game form.

It isn’t an easy game, but the experience is well worth the effort. The soundtrack alone is worth spending time with the game. But, exploring the different levels AND playing with the time travel mechanics are rewarding.

This is definitely a game that needs to be on your radar.

Wizard of Legend

Wizard of Legend is an amazing cooperative combat game. It is also the best Avatar: The Last Airbender game ever made. You play as a wizard who use various elemental spells to travel through mazes and battle monsters. This is a challenging game for sure, but dying is part of the fun!

Might Gunvolt Burst

Mighty Gunvolt Burst

Mighty Number 9 was a pretty big disappointment. I know our house had high expectations that it would help fill in the gaps that Mega Man’s absence left behind. All was not lost though. Mighty Gunvolt Burst is a crossover game that includes Both Beck from Mighty Number 9, but also the hero from Azure Striker Gunvolt. This is a simple,  inexpensive game that delivers on all of the promises that Mighty Number 9 made.

Picross S / Picross S2

Picross S Link

Picross S2 Link

Picross is a great puzzle game for people who are on the go. It is easy to pick up and learn, but hard to master. Picross S1 is a steal for the price and you can get both S1 and S2 for under $20. If you are a fan of puzzle games I would recommend that you get this game!

Yoku’s Island Express

Link

In Yoku’s Island Express, you play Yoku, a dung beetle and the new postmaster to the island Mokumana. During your platforming journey, you will meet many colorful settings and characters. But there is a catch, unlike most platformers, your main character can’t jump. Instead, you traverse the world using pinball-like paddles to get around. Yoku has a fairly short campaign, clocking in around 6 hours.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Another decade has come and gone. We played more games than we could ever name, but there were ten of them that stood out above the rest. Take a look below for our list of the best family friendly video games of the 2010s!

Minecraft

Minecraft

The number one game on our list of the best family games of the decade is Minecraft!

It stands at the top, not just because it is one of the best selling video games of all time, but because it has managed to be the default game for so many of our kids for almost the entirety of the last decade.

Minecraft manages to be a learning game, a creative tool, and a survival horror game all at once. This is an unbeatable achievement.

Even more surprising is the fact that Minecraft has been continually evolving the entire time. Fans who step away from the game for any considerable amount of time return to find new systems and features. They added bees and beehives just this past month!

Minecraft is, without question, the only game that could sit at the top of this list. In fact, it’s arguable that it could hold a place at the top of the list if we extended it back to the beginning of video games. It is just that good.

Fortnite

Do I think Fortnite is a better game than some of the others on this list? No.

But, is stands at number two because of its unquestionable impact on the games industry and on our kids since it’s release.

Fortnite has provided a digital playground for millions of kids and let them connect with their peers in a more family friendly environment than in Call of Duty lobbies.

Our kids play the game. They do the dances. They compare achievements. And they have all collectively created a new language while they were at it.

Detractors will say it’s a bad game, but they are wrong. It’s a great game that commits to providing a consistent stream of content with a fun core mechanic. I’d say that everyone needs to give Fortnite a shot, but I have a feeling that everyone already has.

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go Logo

There is, arguably, no other game in history that has had the real world impact that Pokémon Go has.

Millions of players have caught Pokémon since its release and, while it has slowed down, it shows no signs of going away.

The summer launch of Pokémon Go caused huge crowds to assemble at parks, historical sites, and even businesses.

Pokémon Go players, in short order, logged enough miles walking to catch and hatch Pokémon that it equaled the distance to Pluto! (Which is very far away, obviously).

This kind of release will likely never happen again, and there is no doubt it was one of the best gaming experiences we’ve had this decade.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Long time EFG fans will know that this is one of my favorite games of all time and that means that the games above it have to be pretty significant in order to leave Breath of the Wild in the 4th spot. That isn’t to say that this isn’t one of, if not THE, best video games Nintendo has ever made though.

Breath of the http://engagedfamilygaming.com/reviews/family-video-game-review-legend-zelda-breath-wild/Wild was our game of the year in 2017 and it faced stiff competition from Horizon: Zero Dawn.

It earned its place because it took the Legend of Zelda franchise in a bold new direction by eschewing the linear path of item collection and temple dungeon completion in favor of an open world that could be tackled in any order. Open world games are by no means new, but this was a welcome addition to Zelda and I can’t wait to see where they take it next.

Shovel Knight 

Shovel Knight Moonshot

This wily Kickstarter from 2013 is still alive and kicking. In fact, Yacht Club Games just released the last parts of the Shovel Knight Treasure Trove this past month.

Shovel Knight does an amazing job of taking all of the things that we love about old school platformers like Mega Man, Duck Tales, and even Castlevania and smashing them together into a wonderful, cohesive whole.

Shovel Knight is a fun protagonist whose adventures are silly more often than not, but packs some serious challenge. The other games in the treasure trove are all wonderful and feature different knights from the first game in their own wild adventures; each with their own mechanics and stories.

It’s hard to find a better value than Shovel Knight Treasure Trove and it is easy to recommend it to anyone, especially folks looking for an old school challenge!

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Spider-Man was our game of the year in 2018, and would easily hold its own against other games of the year that we’ve announced in the past.

Insomniac Games was the perfect developer to bring the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to life. They were able to capture the true essence of what makes Spider-Man a fun hero to watch and to play: the traversal.

Swinging around New York City looking for backpacks, finding crimes to fight, and battling with super villains was a blast from the very first second until It’s emotional end.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The phrase, “Let’s settle it in Smash!” is very common in our house, and I can’t imagine that it is uncommon elsewhere.

The Super Smash Bros. series has been around since the Nintendo 64 era and it continually grows in scope and in popularity. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lives up to his name and its fan base is huge as it is the best selling fighting game of all time.

There are obviously members of the Super Smash Bros. community that prefer earlier games like Super Smash Bros. Melee. But, as far as we’re concerned it is the best game in the series.

It’s often difficult to recommend fighting games to anything other than fighting game fans. Smash is the exception I can recommend this game to anyone that owns a Nintendo switch and feel comfortable that they will enjoy it.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

This is an “oldie,” compared to some of the other games on this list, but it’s no less amazing.

Super Mario Galaxy flipped the Mario formula on its head by turning every level into a sphere (or series of spheres connected through space). This created all sorts of interesting design space for the designers to mess with.

Each new “planet” was a joy to behold.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 came along in 2010 and took that same formula and turned the volume up to 11. It improved the original in every single way AND added Yoshi to the mix.

I sit awake at night wondering why Nintendo hasn’t remastered this one and put it on the Switch, because it would be an amazing addition to the systems already stacked lineup.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Link Legend of Zelda Mario Kart 8

The Mario Kart series has slowly grown to be the biggest game in their stable of exclusives. Ever iteration is met with thunderous excitement and delivers fun that the entire family can enjoy!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the definitive version of the very best that the franchise has to offer.

Every track is masterfully created (or recreated) and the music is jazzy and fun in all the right ways!

Not only that, but the deluxe version includes the DLC that introduced Link and Isabelle to Mario Kart and made the case for the next game to just be called, “Nintendo Kart.”

This is the first game I recommend to families who buy the Nintendo Switch. It is an absolute must own.

Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure

It is impossible to talk about the biggest family games of the last ten years without starting with Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and his friends kicked off the entire toys to life genre and initiated an entire generation of gamers with its light action RPG gameplay.

Countless families (including us!) still have bins upon bins of these figures just waiting for their kids to have a bout of nostalgia.

The Toys to Life craze is definitely over, and lots of parents are happy about it, but there is no denying the impact it had. 


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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The Nintendo Switch is wildly popular, and Nintendo is pairing it with an online subscription service similar to both Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus. Their service, called Nintendo Switch Online, launched in the fall of 2018 and is a great value for families looking to get more out of their Switch experience. 

The Pitch

Nintendo Switch Online is an annual subscription service that is required into order to play Nintendo Switch games like Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online. It also includes bonus features like access to cloud saves, and access to a suite of NES and SNES games. Subscribers also get access to exclusive sales offers and Switch online exclusive games like Tetris 99. 

Nintendo Switch Online is an annual subscription service that is required into order to play Nintendo Switch games like Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online. It also includes bonus features like access to cloud saves, and access to a suite of NES and SNES games. Subscribers also get access to exclusive sales offers and Switch online exclusive games like Tetris 99. 

How Does it Work? 

Nintendo Switch Online is a subscription based service that can be purchased annually, or in smaller increments. The service needs to be maintained in order to continue the benefits and maintain access to the features. 

The service includes: 

Online Play – Online multiplayer gaming using the Nintendo Switch Online platform

NES and SNES – Nintendo Switch Online – Nintendo Switch Online members have access to curated library of more than 60 NES and Super NES classic games. The collection initially only includes NES games, but was updated a year later to include SNES titles. The curated library of games will grow over time. These games also include online competitive/cooperative play with friends. Certain games (like Super Mario Bros.) even include the ability to virtually pass the controller back and forth.

Save Data Cloud – Subscribers can back up their save game data to the cloud. This makes it easier to retrieve their save data if they lose their Switch or start to use a new one. It is worth mentioning that some games aren’t compatible with cloud saving. The most noteworthy examples are Pokemon Sword and Shield and the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

Smartphone App – Nintendo has released a smartphone app (available for iOS and Android). It syncs with the subscriber’s Nintendo account and includes some minor enhancements for different Switch games. You can also use it to use voice chat with your Nintendo friends as you play. (Certain games, like Fortnite, circumvent Nintendo’s app and allow voice chat through the game software itself. This isn’t universal though.)

Special Offers – Subscribers will have access to exclusive sales and product offerings. They have included controllers, discount game vouchers, and even an exclusive game (Tetris 99). 

How Much Does it Cost?

Nintendo Switch Online can be purchased annually, quarterly, or monthly. The service also has a 7 day free trial. 

Annual Subscription: $19.99

3 Month Subscription: $7.99

1 Month Subscription: $3.99

Nintendo Switch Online also has a Family Membership option where up to 8 Nintendo Accounts can share an online subscription for $34.99 annually. 

Advice

This service is a great value for families. The cost is relatively low at $20 a year and it includes a wide array of free games to play.

If your kids aren’t interested in the NES/SNES games and only play Fortnite, then this is a service you can likely avoid. Fortnite doesn’t require an active subscription to play.

Other Guides

There are a ton of other premium video game services out there so we wrote guides for all of them.  Take a look below:

A Parent’s Guide to EA Origins Access

A Parent’s Guide to EA Access

A Parent’s Guide to the Xbox Game Pass

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Now

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Plus

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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