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Bungie Announced Destiny 2: Forsaken!

By: Drew Habersang

Bungie finally revealed its next Destiny 2 expansion, Forsaken, today and, boy oh boy, are there LOTS of changes coming.

 

New Raid & Raid Location: The Dreaming City

While not exactly tight-lipped on the new location, Bungie was understandably vague when talking about the new raid. One comment of note from Bungie highlighted that this raid will have more bosses than any previous raid in Destiny. What they have said for certain is that the location in which the raid takes place is also intended to be the location for much of the endgame content.

New Game Mode: Gambit

Gambit is a wonderfully strange mashup of PvP and PvE (Player vs Player and Player vs Environment respectively). Two teams of four fight in separate “Prison of Elders” style arenas, collecting ‘motes’ to power up a central terminal. The goal is to be the first to defeat all enemies and bosses. Most interestingly, it appears that opposing teams will be able to cross over into each other’s arena and cause mayhem. Sweet.

Annual Pass

Destiny reveal a new “Annual Pass” offering as a new way to deliver content. Presumably for a fee, Annual Pass owners will get access to the three expansions planned after “Forsaken” is released this fall. The Forsaken Expansion will cost $39.99 and the Annual Pass will cost $34.99.

Gear Collections & In-game Triumphs

FINALLY Bungie is bringing back progress & achievement logs and, for the first time, is providing a kiosk for previously collected weapons and armor sets.

Bungie stopped short of further details offering coly that the abundance of questions relative to answers inspired by this reveal was “by design”.

Bungie. promised a full story reveal during next week’s E3. We will be on the scene and will report back on everything we find!

 

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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Overwatch-Characters

Overwatch is celebrating its second anniversary as I write this. It has been wildly successful since the day it came out and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. It boasts 27 diverse characters (each with their own dedicated fan community), 40 million players worldwide, and an eSports league that includes teams owned by the likes of Bob Kraft. That is, clearly, not enough, though. Overwatch is going to be expanding into the world of toys.

Hasbro is in the Mix

Hasbro and Activision Blizzard announced a partnership today that lists Hasbro as the master toy licensee for the Overwatch franchise. They will be creating a wide range of toys, board games, and other products using Overwatch characters. The announcement press release wasn’t very heavy on details, but we do know a few things.

The official Overwatch Twitter account tweeted out a message that Overwatch themed NERF Rivals guns will be coming sometime next year. The tweet, embedded below, doesn’t show us ANYTHING about the guns that they are making, but I think some of them are pretty obvious. I assume that we will see Soldier 76’s assault rifle, Tracer’s paired pistols, and Reaper’s shotgun pistols. There are 27 characters that each have distinct weapons, so I am sure we’ll see some interesting choices. The only real restriction I can think of is that the Rivals line shoots ping-pong ball like ammunition so that does limit the kinds of weapons they can use. Hanzo’s bow, for example, doesn’t fit into that mold.

Hasbro does more than just NERF though. They are also really good at action figures.

Overwatch LEGO

Activision Blizzard has announced that they have entered a partnership with LEGO to release a variety of building sets at several different prices. They haven’t made any official announcements about what those sets will be (unfortunately), but the fact that they are happening at all is exciting enough for me and my kids. I suspect that the minifigures will be a big part of the draw for these sets. I know they won’t, but I hope that there will be some sort of box set that I can buy that will include them all.

It looks like Overwatch is going to keep expanding all over the place. It’s already a pillar of the video game space and it will soon be in our toy boxes. When will they get around to making it a movie?

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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Engaged Family Gaming podcast image

Hello and Welcome to Engage!: A Family Gaming Podcast! This is episode 131. This week we are talking video games! First, our Crew talks about the newly announced Nintendo Switch Online Service. Then, after the break, Trevor Stricker from Mightier.

Stephen Duetzmann @EFGaming

Co-Host:

Jonathan Tomlinson

Guest:

Trevor Stricker, Mightier

Around the Horn

Wizard of Legend

Destiny Warmind

 

Topic

Nintendo Switch Online

Interview with Trevor about Mightier, a service that uses video games to help treat children with mental health problems!

 

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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Xbox Adaptive Controller Will Make Our Digital World More Accessible

There is a saying that says if you know one person with a disability, then you know exactly one person with a disability. Each person’s needs are unique and this created a special challenge for engineers who are making adaptive equipment to help them overcome challenges and participate in activities that many of us take for granted. The video game space has been particularly challenging in that regard. No one really thinks about how complex the controls in our games have gotten over the years. The Xbox One controller, for example, has over 17 buttons spread out over its surface. Some of them being face buttons that are intended to be pressed using a thumb, while others are triggers that need to be pulled using a pointer finger. The input variety is a potential problem for folks who may lack the use of all of their digits. But the challenges go beyond that. Controllers are heavy so it can be incredibly challenging for some someone with weak arm muscles due to injury or a degenerative illness to hold them for long periods.

There are some groups that have sprung up to help overcome these challenges for some people. The Able Gamers is one such organization. They formed to help build custom solutions for gamers with disabilities and to advocate on behalf of them with game publishers and console manufacturers. Unfortunately, their reach is limited. Custom setups can be incredibly expensive and require complex technical skills to build and maintain. This prevents them from helping as many people as they would like to.

Microsoft has stepped up to the plate to give organizations like theirs a wonderful tool. They have officially announced the Xbox Adaptive Controller. It’s a remarkable device that will open up the wide world of video games to a population that has desperately wanted to play but has been held back by unwieldy controllers and hesitant manufacturers.

It was partially leaked a few days ahead of its official announcement and when I saw the images out of context I was very concerned. How useful could this device be? It was a white box with a D-pad and two giant buttons. I had no idea how it would be useful to people with disabilities. The official announcement clear all of that up for me. The Adaptive Controller is more of an adapter/hub for additional control devices than it is a standalone controller. The back of the device is a long line of jacks to attach different devices like buttons, pedals, joysticks, and all manner of other mechanisms. The idea is to facilitate whatever kinda of custom setup a disables gamer might need without having to manufacture something specifically for them.

We can’t forget that this controller is being manufactured by Microsoft. Say what you will about them, but they are experts at designing, manufacturing, and delivering high-quality consumer electronics at scale. I have a hard time believing that a small company with less leverage would be able to produce a piece of equipment like this and sell it for $99.99.

Microsoft wasn’t alone either. They worked with several other Third Party developers like Logitech and Quadstick.

This aligns perfectly with Microsofts Gaming For Everyone initiatives. Microsoft’s CEO Jenny Lay-Flurrie wrote a blog post to help announce the device. In it she wrote, “In the long term, we believe that designing with and for people with disabilities will lead to innovations in ubiquitous inclusive computing. In the short term, it’s about ensuring that accessibility is woven into the fabric of how we design and build. Accessibility isn’t optional.”

Accessibility. Isn’t. Optional.

These words should be a call to action to all hardware manufacturers to step their respective games up.

Its rather fitting that this was announced on Global Accessibility Awareness Day. This is a day that is intended to encourage everyone to think about how we can reach a future where people of all abilities are able to enjoy our increasingly digital world together. Microsoft took a big step today. Here’s hoping that others will follow them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wizard of Legend

Release Date: 05/15/2018

Available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch

Price: $15.99

Developer: Contingent99

Publisher: Humble Bundle


If I took all of the best parts of Gauntlet and mashed them up perfectly with Avatar: The Last Air Bender I still don’t think I would have a game that is as good as Wizard of Legend.

I spent a lot of time playing cooperative games with my brother when we were kids. One of our favorites was Gauntlet. Neither of us were particularly good at games (he has since gotten much better than me) so we needed to work very hard to even clear a few maps. It was a challenge for us, and it was frustrating, but we would talk and plan for hours about how we would try to work together. The local cooperative play in Wizard of Legend evoked so many of those same feelings. I was terrible, and so was my oldest son. But, we both desperately wanted to be better, and, eventually, we did just that. It was a wonderful experience that we’ll both remember for a long time.

It may have been hard to succeed, but it wasn’t hard to play. We were both able to weave our basic spells into powerful routines that crushed our enemies as we whirled around the screen. Over time it became more like a dance than anything else. This dance became more complex as we earned more chaos gems during our runs through the game and used them to buy newer, more interesting, and more powerful spells.

There is no real story per se. You play as a wizard, or pair of wizards, who is completing a set of trials. These trials consist of a set of procedurally generated levels that follow a pattern of two basic stages attuned to an element (fire, ice, or earth) followed by a grand wizard boss. This pattern repeats three times. The key is that you don’t get a chance to recover health or save your progress in between stages. If you die, then your run is over and you have to start over. The only things you can keep are the chaos gems that you earn for defeating enemies.  The spells you buy each fit into an element which helps determine their behavior and the type of damage they deal. Balancing the spells in your load out to make sure that they match both your play style and the types of enemies you expect to be facing is critical. This is especially true because many of the spells in the game affect your movement.

Each of these procedurally generated levels is populated by monsters that appear in patterns depending on the shape of the room. Some of the enemy groups can be brutally unfair, but skillful play and the appropriate spell selection will usually help bail you out. The enemy variety is lacking though. Many of them look like the same monster with a very small variation in powers.

At some point I have to talk about the name though right? I’ve been avoiding it, but I can’t just ignore it.”Wizard of Legend” is, as a title, about as inspired as soggy toast. It does a terrible job of cluing players in to the game that they will be playing. Here’s hoping that enough players can look past the name to get to the great game that lies behind it.

Family Gaming Assessment

Wizard of Legend is rated E 10+ by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence.

It was rated PEGI 7 “because it contains violence that lacks any apparent harm or injury to fantasy or mythical beings and creatures and non-realistic looking violence towards characters which although human are not very detailed.”

I think these ratings are accurate. There is no doubt that it is a violent game, but all of the action is directed at inhuman monsters.

Playability

Wizard of Legend is accessible. It doesn’t require complicated button combinations to move around the map and attack enemies. It is, however, very hard and will likely be frustrating to younger gamers (or older ones for that matter) who are easily frustrated.

There is a fair amount of text to read. You need it to help understand what your spells do. But, it isn’t essential. Younger gamers could get by with help from a more experienced reader.

Conclusion

I would recommend Wizard of Legend to a family that is looking for a challenge to take on together. Its ideal for siblings or a parent-child combo that enjoy playing games together and coordinating strategies. I truly enjoyed my time with my son while playing this game.

Buy it on the Humble Bundle website here.

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The 2018 World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees

The Strong National Museum of Play has announced the 2018 World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees. Final Fantasy VII, Spacewar!, Tomb Raider, and John Madden Football we selected among twelve finalists for the prestigious award.  This is a prestigious honor that has been bestowed upon a very short list of games including Pong, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., and Sonic The Hedgehog.

All of the games that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame “have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general.” Take a look at the list below for this year’s deserving inductees.

Final Fantasy VII

 

Square Co.’s Final Fantasy VII took the already popular Final Fantasy series to new levels of technical achievement and story development when it debuted in 1997. It introduced 3-D computer graphics; full-motion, video cut-scenes; and a deep, complex storyline to the franchise. The game sold more than 10 million units, making it the second most popular game for the Sony PlayStation. “Final Fantasy VII is widely acclaimed as the game that broke Japanese role-playing games into mainstream popularity across the globe,” says Curator Shannon Symonds. “In addition to its technical achievements, it also introduced the world to memorable characters—such as protagonist Cloud and villain Sephiroth—who have appeared in other game franchises and myriad media.”

Spacewar!

Steve “Slug” Russell, a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Tech Model Railroad Club, worked with others at MIT to create Spacewar! in 1962 on a PDP-1 minicomputer. The game featured two starships firing torpedoes at each other, and its competitive aspects helped it to spread from computer center to computer center across the globe. This early video game inspired the first mass-market arcade video game, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell’s Computer Space. “Spacewar! was not a commercial game but it helped to launch the multi-billion-dollar video game industry,” says Jon-Paul Dyson, vice president and director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games. “It also spurred computer users of all types to think about creative new uses for computers and helped turn the computer into the most powerful plaything ever created.”

Tomb Raider

Combining the best elements of action-adventure games with platform games and puzzle-solving, Tomb Raider (1996) provided gamers with a unique cinematic 3-D universe, leading-edge graphics, and a female protagonist who remains an iconic figure in gaming. Largely thanks to the character of Lara Croft, and Angelina Jolie’s theatrical portrayal of her in a blockbuster movie, Tomb Raider enjoys a widespread appeal among gamers and non-gamers alike, and currently heads a franchise that has sold more than 63 million units worldwide. “The Guinness World Records cites Lara Croft as the ‘most recognized female video game character’ of all time,” says Curator Shannon Symonds. “The character is not without controversy for her early status as a sex symbol, but she’s evolved with the franchise to become the epitome of a strong female hero.”

John Madden Football

 

Electronic Arts redefined the modern sports video game with its 1990 reboot of John Madden Football. The new game moved beyond its sports game predecessors that emphasized statistical modeling, transforming the virtual gridiron into an action game that thrived on individual confrontations between virtual players. The game created a pop cultural phenomenon that has sold more than 100 million copies since its debut. “John Madden Football’s action-oriented game play has changed the way we play and consume sports video games—and even the way actual sports games are broadcast,” says Jeremy Saucier, The Strong’s assistant vice president for interpretation and electronic games. “It’s yearly, updated release of the game has modeled the path to success for franchises in other sports such as soccer, hockey, baseball, and basketball.”

 


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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God of War Screenshot 1

By: Drew Habersang

***Mild spoiler warnings for those who want to stay spoiler free – I’ll be discussing game elements and largely avoiding plot, but there will be a few very small reveals – consider yourself warned.***

God of War -is back and it is better and more different than ever! 

In the previous games, Kratos ascended to Godhood in an all out one man war of vengeance against the Greek pantheon who betrayed him. This time around, Kratos is battling the Norse Gods and their underlings, but for entirely different reasons.

For those of you not familiar with the franchise thus far, don’t sweat it. The latest entry in the series is a soft reboot that leaves enough room for newcomers to get somewhat familiar with the story. Rest assured, you’ll have a deeper more meaningful experience if you’ve played the previous three playstation releases, but it’s hardly a requirement.

Until this release, apart from a few minor variations, the series has stayed close to the form and style of the first game. And, while fans would no doubt have been entirely fine to leap into another round of God-slaying, this game takes a decidedly different tone. Like many popular franchises that have gone the soft reboot route, the new God of War includes a number of open-world RPG elements. Kratos has evolved from the previous games and now has levels, armor, loot and different equipment, and his equipment will affect Kratos’ ability to take on various threats in their unique environments. Enemies in the new God of War have levels as well and these scale as Kratos levels up.


Note that, while these shifts constitute massive changes, the core of the game remains unchanged. Kratos is still absolutely brutal death dealer, but the tone of the game has changed considerably. The modulation in tone is largely thanks to the addition of Kratos’s son, Atreus. Kratos’s unhinged fury has been tempered into patient calculating resourcefulness. These changes are largely observable through Kratos’s relationship with his son, Atreus. Kratos has in no way abandoned the violent tendencies that made him a horrifying revenge-monster. However, with his young son Atreus to protect and guide, we also get to see Kratos patiently (most times) mentoring his son as they both discover more about the world around them and each other.
.

Kratos as a dad is spectacular and his relationship with his son is the emotional core of the game. This almost goes without saying, however, this is where to storytelling really excels. What could have easily been an overwrought predictable maudlin “escort journey the game” is instead handled with deftness and subtly. My favorite scenes are spare in dialogue and disarmingly sincere. Kratos still wrestles with his past. The game acknowledges this, yet gives him a way to redemption by way of his son, Atreus.  If nothing else, Kratos is determined to guide his son toward a different path than the one Kratos chose for himself.


The original game was intentionally bawdy and fantastically violent. In this latest iteration, the quick-time sex events (seriously) and over-the-top violence have been replaced with something far more sincere – Kratos holds his son’s tear streaked face in huge blood-stained hands as they both cope with unspeakable grief and it is, without a doubt, a most natural and necessary evolution.

I’ve loved every game in the God of War series but this one managed to incorporate emotional scaffolding upon which new stories can be built.

I’m already chomping at the bit for the follow up.


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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Playstation Plus logo

It seems like everyone is starting their own premium gaming service these days. It can be tough for parents to be able to tell the difference between Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus, and all the others. We can’t let that stand here at EFG so we wrote up a big ol’ guide for all of the premium services so our readers can tell them all apart and understand the costs and benefits of each one.

Take a look below for our guide to PlayStation Plus!

The Pitch

PlayStation Plus is a subscription service for PlayStation that is required in order to play online multiplayer games over the PlayStation Network. The service also includes periodic discounts on digital purchases through the PlayStation Network. It also includes a suite of free PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, PlayStation  Vita, and PlayStation VR games that are available for free each month.

How Does it Work?

PlayStation Plus is a subscription service that must be maintained in order to keep using it. The service grants its members access to the following:

  • Online Multiplayer gaming using the PlayStation Network platform
  • A suite of free games available for download each month for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. These games can be downloaded to the PlayStation 4 hard drive at any time, but you can only play them if you have an active PlayStation Plus subscription.
  • Periodic discounts on digital games sold on the PlayStation Marketplace. The games you purchase using a discount made available during a PlayStation Plus subscription will remain playable even after the subscription expires.

How Much Does it Cost?

PlayStation Plus can be purchased yearly, every three months, or monthly.

Advice

There isn’t much advice to give. If your family owns a PlayStation 4 console then this is required for online play. It is, however, a pretty good value because over the course of a year the free games available through the program will add up to a significant value.

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 Access

A Parent’s Guide to Xbox Live Gold

A Parent’s Guide to Xbox Game Pass

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Now

A Parent’s Guide to EA Origin’s Access


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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PAX East 2018: Living My Childhood Dreams with Sleep Tight from We Are Fuzzy

Every kid I know build pillow forts and pretended to defend their living room from something. Sleep Tight  by We are Fuzzy gives us the chance to relive those childhood memories in video game form. I was fortunate enough play a lengthy demo of the game and I came away very excited.

Sleep Tight is a twin stick shooter at its core. Players control one of a group of awesome kids, each with our own special abilities and starting weapons. The goal is to defend your living room from monster attacks each night. You do that my spending each day building defenses like pillow forts and setting up foam dart gun turrets to hold off the attackers. Once night falls you run around your room eliminating foes as you try to survive for one minute.

One. Minute.

That’s doesn’t seem like a long time, but when an unending army of monsters is attacking for that entire time it feels like an eternity. The challenge is amped up even further by your limited ammunition supply. Resource management and careful planning are key. I thought that would undermine the fast action, but it didn’t. I had to use everything available to me to be able to survive each wave. I barely survived my first few waves and eventually ran into a night where my defenses were overwhelmed (#steveisbadatvideogames). I wasn’t frustrated though. I knew what I did wrong in my demo right away and adjusted my plan immediately.

Another thing that helps Sleep Tight stand out from the crowd is the gorgeous visuals. The team is comprised of a group of developers including  Maxx Burman, whose credits include Far CryLeague of LegendsWestworld, and Titanfall. Disney character artists, including Dylan Ekren, who worked on Wreck It Ralph and Zootopia, and Ubisoft designer Oscar Mar, whose resume cites the Far Cry and Rainbow 6 franchises. It is easy to see why this game looks so awesome when you look at that pedigree. When I spoke to them at PAX East they told me that they wanted to make a game that looked like a Pixar movie come to life. Mission accomplished!

Sleep Tight is coming this summer to PC and to the Nintendo Switch and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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

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