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E3 2018

Kids React: E3 2018 Pixark Trailer!

E3 2018 is over and the EFG Staff has gone out of our way to share OUR thoughts. But, we wanted to reach out to some kids and see their thoughts!

 

Evan – 12 years old

It looks like a heavily modded Minecraft that was slapped together with ROBLOX and some RPG. It looks cool, but I don’t really know how different it will be compared to Minecraft. It looks pretty cool even if I’m more excited about other games.

 

Jacob – 9 years old

This looks like a cool game, but It also looks like a fantasy Minecraft game, I’m not really interested in this one.

 

Brynne – 8 years old

OMG I love it! Why can’t I  have it? It looks awesome and I really want it! It has all these cool characters and it looks just like Minecraft, but its even cooler! Wizards and Dinosaurs and DRAGONS! It’s really awesome. I wish I could get it!

 

Jeremiah – 9 years old

It’s a pixel game of ARK?

 

Claire – 9 years old (From The Family Gamers!)

It’s cool and it reminds me a little of Minecraft. I like it.

 

Asher – 7 years old (From The Family Gamers!)

I like it and it’s like Minecraft except not as blocky.

 

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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KingdomHearts III logo

E3 2018 is over and the EFG Staff has gone out of our way to share OUR thoughts. But, we wanted to reach out to some kids and see their thoughts!

 

Evan – 12 years old

I’m really hype for Kingdom Hearts III. I just need more time to finish all of the other games in the series. The games are all long and tough. The graphics for KHIII look awesome, but I think some of the scenes they showed off may have been pre-rendered cut scenes.

I think I will like the combat system even though it is different from Kingdom Hearts I.

Jacob – 9 years old

I usually don’t like Kingdom Hearts games, but this one has Frozen in it. That’s one of my least favorite movies. That makes it worse. But, the special edition console does look pretty cool.

Brynne – 8 years old

I didn’t really like it because it had all these different characters and I didn’t really think it was that cool. It didnt seem amazing. The characters seemed like they were all over the place and I didn’t really know what was going on.

Jeremiah – 9 years old

What’s with all the Disney Characters? It looks good (graphically).

Asher – 7 years old (From The Family Gamers!)

It’s like your’e part of the Pirates of the Caribbean and all the different version – Like part of all the different Disney things.

Claire – 9 years old (From The Family Gamers!)

I really like it and I think it’s cool even though it wasn’t the best thing I’ve seen.

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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Kids React – E3 2018 Beat Saber Trailer

E3 2018 is over and the EFG Staff has gone out of our way to share OUR thoughts. But, we wanted to reach out to some kids and see their thoughts!

 

Evan – 12 years old

I can’t get as hyped for it as I want, because we don’t have PSVR. But, maybe if they’ll put it out on Mobile VR or Xbox Kinect it would be awesome. The game looks like a lot of fun and the music in the trailer was great.

 

Jacob – 9 years old

Beat Saber look like a fun game, but the only problem is that it looks really hard. You would have to be really good at it to play it I think.

 

Jeremiah – 9 years old

Whoa! What?!? That’s so cool! I wish we had VR.

 

Claire – 9 years old (From The Family Gamers!)

I think it’s really really cool because its like you’re a Jedi but you’re playing Amplitude.

 

Asher – 7 years old (From The Family Gamers!)

It’s like you’re a Jedi and a Sith in one person so they’re just using red and blue.

 

Brynne – 8 years old

I really liked it because you had swords that you could move around and you had to match it up with the exact block colors. I think it’s really cool. Almost like a puzzle. And I’m really, really, really mad that it can’t go on Xbox, but it looked amazing. So I guess my parents will have to get me a PlayStation.

 

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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Spyro_Reignited_Trilogy

Spyro is coming back this Fall and you won’t have to buy a single toy to play as him! The Spyro Reignited Trilogy is coming out on September 21st, 2018. I went hands-on with the remastered games while we were at E3 and came away very impressed.

The Spyro Reignited Collection is a package that includes fully remade versions of Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Toys for Bob, the company behind Skylanders, has lovingly remade these games from the ground up without any of the original assets or source code. They originally reached out to Insomniac Games, the original game designers, for some of that data, but it had all been lost in an office move. This was a pretty significant pain point for the Toys for Bob team because they wanted to make sure the game was as authentic as possible. They solved that problem by creating a software development tool that they affectionately referred to as “Spyro-scope.” This tool ran alongside an emulated version of each of the original games and kept track of things like speed, jump height, etc.

I was able to play the available levels twice and I couldn’t help but smile throughout. I never played the original games, so I don’t have any emotional attachment to them. I expected my time with the games to be fine, but I was caught off guard by how pleasant the game was. Everything on the screen was soft shapes awash in bright colors. It all got me very excited to play these games for the first time with my kids this fall.

The Reignited Trilogy will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 21st. They wouldn’t talk about a Nintendo Switch version yet, but I would be stunned if it didn’t find its way there at some point.


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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General Grievous

EA doubled down on the beleaguered Star Wars: Battlefront II today during their EA Play live event. Battlefront was released last year amidst controversy over its aggressive loot box system. It fell short of sales projections, angered fans, and (worse) reportedly brought the wrath of Disney themselves down upon them.

They could have left Battlefront hanging and dedicated resources elsewhere, but they appear to be dedicated to writing the ship. They specifically mentioned the rough start that the game had during their portion of the event! They announced additional content for their game, but not before issuing a long apology in response to the backlash over the highly publicised “loot box” controversy. They didn’t directly apologize, but they acknowledged player feedback and confirmed their commitment to fixing their monetization system.

They are making significant additions to the game over the remainder of the year include a new Season of content built around Solo and the addition of characters from the Clone Wars era.

Solo: A Star Wars Story Season Out Now

Solo may not have been the box office success that Disney wanted it to be, but it is still a Star Wars movie. That all but requires an season of content for Star Wars Battlefront II.

A new update will go live on June 12th that will include that season’s content.

 

Clone Wars Heroes and Villains

They also announced future content that features planets and heroes from the Clone Wars era. The Clone Wars took place between the Attack of The Clones and Revenge of the Sith movies.

The heroes and villains include General Grievous, the leader of the droid army, Commander Obi Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker (before his turn to the dark side of the Force). They teased maps and game content on planet Geonosis, but they didn’t give any hard details.

The Loot Box Issue


Both EA and DICE have a long way to go redeem themselves in the eyes of the gamer public. EA has had a history of using microtransactions in many of its popular games, as well as what feels like shoe-horning them into titles where none would really be appropriate. What made Star Wars Battlefront’s microtransactions so grating is that player progression was otherwise limited by requiring long hours of gameplay, and even then its microtransactions were randomized, encouraging large quantity purchases in order to get the character that the player was set on acquiring. This lessons learned from Battlefront 2 have the gamer community in a wiser place. It does appear though that EA has cut or dramatically reduced microtransactions in many of its future titles in other series, but only time will tell if EA keeps to what was learned the hard way with its future games.

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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unravel two logo

Unravel Two from Coldwood Interactive was announced during the EA play event today, and it is available for download right now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Origin.

EA held their annual EA Play event this Saturday, They showed off a wide array of games from Madden 19 to Star Wars Battlefront II, but seeing Yarny on screen got everyone in the room here to bolt upright. We loved the first game, even if it was a little hard.

The biggest difference this time around (aside from the fact that its available on PS4) is that Unravel Two features local co-op play. As you can see in the trailer above Yarny has been lost, but finds a friend and makes an instant connection. Yarny and his new companion need to use that newly formed connection in order to complete obstacles and overcome platforming challenges. Fans looking to connect with their friends online should beware though. This is a local co-op game only. There is currently no option for online play!

Co-op play isn’t required though. You can play the game alone, but you will have to control Yarny’s blue friend yourself. We’ll have to play the game to see whether or not that is too awkward for inexperienced gamers to manage. We’ll have a review available ASAP on Engaged Family Gaming.

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 Official E3 2018 EFG Roster!

The Electronic Entertainment Expo is just around the corner and EFG is going to be there. The entire team has been hard at work preparing for a full week of INSANE coverage. We’re going to grab every little bit of family gaming news from that show floor and share it with the world!

Here is how it is all going to play out.

  1. The convention press conferences take place starting on Saturday and run until Tuesday morning. We’ll be publishing news updates for every family-friendly game announced during the conferences.
  2. The show takes place from June 12-14. We will have a team at the show taking pictures, video, recording audio, and posting their impressions of the games we are playing.
  3. Every morning From Monday through Friday you will be able to wake up to a Special edition of Engage! A Family Gaming Podcast with updates from the previous days show.
  4. We’ll be launching our YouTube channel this week as well so be sure to keep your eyes there for trailers, game impressions, and other cool videos from the show.

Let’s introduce the team, shall we?

The Away Team

EFG is going to have five people scouring the show floor to help find all of the great families games that E3 2017 has the offer.

Stephen Duetzmann – Editor in Chief

Stephen has been running Engaged Family Gaming for five years now and he is very excited to be leading the troops into the wilds of E3. He is a father of three (ages 12,9,5) and a lifelong gamer. He is ready to head to E3 for the second time and go bananas finding great games to tell you about!

Jesse Hennessey – Associate Editor

Jesse started his gaming career at the ripe old age of 8, with the Dungeons and Dragons red box set. Over thirty years and hundreds (thousands?) of table top, play-by-mail, console, live-action, computer, mobile and online games later his wife still tells him every day, ‘You know its 1am right?’.

With a love for RPG’s of all types he started participating in LARP’s in high school, and has owned and run one for over a decade. He started his family at a LARP in Y2K, when he ran down his future wife in the woods, and she killed him…with necromancy.

Jesse spends a large portion of his gaming time teaching his daughter to play games both old and new, table top, console, online and live-action. As a family they deal with the difficulty of overcoming both ADHD and ODD to make sure she learns to play fairly and safely in each unique gaming environment.

 

 

John Wrobel – Resident Project Manager

I believe that I am currently the prototypical representation of the casual gamer. I don’t have as much time as I would like play all the games that I want having two elementary schoolers, so being able to get the most value out of what I play is very important to me.  This applies to the video games we buy as a family as well as the multitude of board games that we have in the house.  I think that is what makes what is done here on this site so important to me.  Having a reliable resource to go to in order to make decisions around what we spend our time with is very important as it saves us a tremendous amount of time, money and headaches.

Getting the opportunity to cover E3 with our Editor in Chief was an opportunity that I could not pass up for three reasons.

  1. Someone has to be there to keep our Editor in Chief out of trouble

  2. We don’t have In-N-Out Burger in CT

  3. See #1. (Editor’s note: This is factually correct)

Drew Habersang – Associate Editor

Drew Habersang is a novelist and blogger from Manchester, Conn. He’s a lifelong gamer and unrepentant nerd with a nigh uncomfortable passion for all things “Destiny” (1v1 me bro!). He can best be described as a something very cool and manly with the soul of Mario and the heart of something even cooler like a dragon or whatever I dunno just make it sound awesome, Steve! Habersang has a BA in Political Science from UConn, and has been a guest lecturer at both UConn and the University of Hartford on narrative and storytelling an was a featured storyteller at The Mark Twain House. Drew enjoys console and table top gaming, discussing politics, and “Tea, Earl Grey, hot.”

James Pisano – Producer

At his day job, James Pisano is a partner and Creative Director at Blue Moon Studios, a commercial ad agency. Since James has been a passionate gamer his whole life, he jumped at the chance to become a contributing producer at Engaged Family Gaming. In 2017, James attended E3 for the first time with EFG, and saw the unfortunate lack of information tailored to parents trying to guide their children through the labyrinth of what is “new and cool” in games and geek culture, while making sure they aren’t being exposed to inappropriate content. This ignited James’ passion to bring informative and insightful information to EFG’s audience. Using video, research, and the written word, James is looking forward to helping families the world over come together over the games we all love, with an informed mindset. See you all at E3 2018 and beyond!!!

Home Base

The members of the home base team will be helping with logistical support, production assistance and all sorts of other jobs that we won’t think of until it is way too late.

Jonathan Tomlinson – The Man behind the Curtain

Jonathan started as an intern in high school at WPLR then went on to Connecticut school of Broadcasting. After his training he went on to WEBE108 and AM600WICC. After being replaced by his computer overlords he started his own podcast network and it’s selftitled flagship “Six Pack Nerds” and produces “Engage! : A Family Gaming Podcast” as The Man behind the curtain as well as other tasks. He owns all the systems and is a software hobbyist.

 

 

Linda Wrobel – Contributing Editor

Video games and gaming as a whole was not a large part of my childhood experience. I was given my first exposure to what some would consider traditional gaming in high school with an attempt playing D&D ( which overwhelmed me).  Little did I know that eight years later I would be bitten by the gaming bug by participating in a LARP campaign, which then led back to D&D with friends, and board games.  Now that I have two young boys, becoming more informed to what video and board games are age appropriate and worth our time has become more of a priority. Being an elementary school teacher shapes my perspective of games geared to children and families.  My interest has evolved into a drive to delve deeper into the family gaming world and share my experiences and thoughts with others.

 

Jenna Duetzmann – Contributing Editor

I am a 40-something year old Mom to three wonderful children ranging from ages 4 to 11. All 3 of my children love to play games- board games, video games, tabletop games, and card games! If it has rules and you can play it, they will gravitate towards it.

I grew up playing classic board games with my family and friends and enjoyed many an evening learning card games from my parents and their friends. Even though video games were reaching peak popularity when I was a child, my exposure was very limited. I got to play Frogger on a friend’s Atari and I watched my cousins play Zelda, Super Mario, and about a million different sports games on their various systems. I tried to play the games, but unfortunately I was terrible at them. Old school video games were hard!  And, since I didn’t have a system of my own to play on, I never got to practice. But, never fear, eventually my husband (our wonderful Editor in Chief) gave me my first video game system. It was a Nintendo 64. I played what was soon to become my favorite game EVER on that system- The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. That purchase sparked my interest in so many more games!

My background is in the field of Education and we use my knowledge as a way to incorporate learning experiences in a fun way in every game we play. I love how every game has the potential to inspire learning. They can teach everything from literacy and math skills to teamwork, cooperation, sharing, hand eye coordination, social behavior, etc. The list of things our children can learn through games is endless, and it is my goal to use Engaged Family Gaming to share that learning potential with all of our readers, listeners, and viewers.

 

Michael Duetzmann – Contributing Editor, the Infinite Co-host

Mike has been Stephen’s player 2 as soon as he was old enough to pick up a controller. A stay at home dad, he has turned his interest in game design and writing towards researching family friendly games while still being a devoted father and husband. He is no stranger to the gaming table and has experience with tabletop games, collectible card game, and video games.

 

Sound off in the comments and cheer us on!

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 Official EFG E3 2018 Predictions Post

We turn everything into a game here at Engaged Family Gaming. Every year we make predictions about what will be announced during the E3 press conferences and compete to see who got things right. This year four members of the EFG team had predictions. Take a look below and let us know in the comments who you think is going to win this year. We’d love to see your predictions, too! Drop those in the comments as well!

E3 2018 Predictions

Drew

  1. There will be a Ghosts of Tsushima gameplay demo. I will see it and very nearly pass out.
  2. Nintendo will FINALLY show off Metroid and Pokémon as well. I will see them and very nearly wet myself.
  3. That rumored new Fable game will be announced. I will hear of it and very nearly cry actual tears of joy.

Michael

  1. In engine gameplay for Metroid Prime Switch
  2. Release Date for Kingdom Hearts 3
  3. Season/Year Date for Final Fantasy 7 remake

Crazy – Nintendo will announce a switch RPG set in the Earthbound universe

Stephen

  1. Nintendo will not say the word Metroid during their presentation.
  2. Microsoft will announce Fable and one new IP
  3. Gran Turismo will be announced

Crazy – Microsoft will announce a new console-exclusive JRPG IP

Jonathan

  1. Animal Crossing Announced
  2. More Nintendo Labo announced – 3
  3. A new style of Joy-con

Crazy – N64 Classic


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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