Home » Archives for Stephen Duetzmann
Author

Stephen Duetzmann

Stephen

See my review for Turbo: Super Stunt Squad.

Mike

There is an adage that there are no bad games, only bad experiences. A lot of fun times can be had with some definitively bad games. When I owned my very own PS2, I went to the electronics cabinet of the local game store bristling with birthday money. I had narrowed down to two choices: Devil May Cry…. and Eve of Extinction (E.O.E.)

You do not remember EoE? That is fine. Neither do I. I just know that I spent full retail on a forgettable action/brawler with frustrating quick time events, instead of quite possibly one of my favorite PS2 games of that year.

John

Starfox 2, go figure that it never got published in real life.  The Switch made me glad that I never plunked down real money for this game as an individual.  It is confusing, awkward and has no business being in any game lineup.

Jonathan 

I have zero love for 99% of the Atari games. They are so rudimentary now that other than missile command or pong I can care less.


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!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Nintendo announced the voice cast for the upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated film during the September Nintendo Direct. It will release in theatres on December 21st, 2022 in partnership with Illumination (The company behind the Secret Life of Pets and the Minions).

The Announcement Video

Miyamoto was on hand to announce the voice cast. Video Source: IGN YouTube

The Cast

The full cast list that has been announced so far is below including links to their respective IMDB pages is below.

Anya Taylor-Joy

Anya will be immediately recognizable as the lead from the Netflix show Queen’s Gambit. I’ll admit. I didn’t give this casting choice a second thought until I watched clips from her role as Gina Gray in Peaky Blinders. I felt like she talked more with her facial expressions and her hands in Queen’s Gambit (which you obviously can’t do while voice-acting). I’m not worried at all after watching her play Gina. It’s going to be fun to watch her play off of Bowser (or at least I assume it will be Bowser. We have no idea what the plot details are).

Princess Peach (voice)
Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt needs no introduction, but it is worth remembering that he has done voice work before. He played Emmet in both LEGO movies.
Mario (voice)
Jack Black

Jack Black’s voice is immediately recognizable and will do a wonderful job bringing Bowser to life. Remember that Bowser is often played off as a somewhat childish and incompetent villain while also being a giant dragon… turtle…. thing. This is perfect casting.
Bowser (voice)
Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen doesn’t often play rules that are suitable for kids. But, He can play the lead role well. If Nintendo is hoping to spin off Donkey Kong movies (which they would be foolish not to), then Seth is a good call.
Donkey Kong (voice)
Keegan-Michael Key

Obama’s Anger Translator is playing Toad.

That’s all I need to say about this.

Toad (voice)
Charlie Day

I didn’t know that I wanted to see Chris Pratt and Charlie Day play off of one another. But I do. I really really do.
Luigi (voice)
Fred Armisen

Fred Armisen is one of my favorite character actor’s from SNL. He does a great job being a guy who is a little out of touch with things… and I can’t wait to see what they do with Cranky Kong.
Cranky Kong (voice)
Kevin Michael Richardson

Kamek is the wizard Koopa that is often seen as a parental figure for Bowser. I never imagined one to have such a deep voice. But, I would listen to Kevin Michael Richardson read the phone book. So this sounds great to me.
Kamek (voice)
Sebastian Maniscalco

I guess they decided to make Spike Italian. Sure! Sounds great to me!
Spike (voice)
Charles Martinet

Charles Martinet has been the voice of Mario for years. So he is being rightfully included in the voice cast as a cameo. I imagine that it will be somewhat like the cameos that Stan Lee did in Marvel movies before his, unfortunate, passing.
(voice)

The Internet Sure Did Have “Feelings” About Chris Pratt

The internet erupted with opinions the second the announcements were made. The biggest rift however was between commenters who had opinions about Chris Pratt and his casting as Super Mario.

The crowd speaking out against him is divided into two camps.

The first group is speaking out against him because of his social views. He is a member of a church that has taken some VERY strong Anti-LGBTQ stances. He hasn’t spoken out in support of these beliefs, but he hasn’t exactly spoken out against them either. I, personally, don’t know what’s going on inside his head. And I have a difficult time judging him for things he hasn’t said, but I can’t blame people who feel that way. Either way, it definitely explains some of the outcries.

The second major group is one that is angry that Nintendo didn’t choose Charles Martinet to be the voice of Mario in the movie since he has been the voice of the character for decades in the video games. I can’t agree with this at all. I love Charles’s work. He has provided the voice for Mario for my entire life. HOWEVER, Mario doesn’t talk in his games. He emotes. He expresses joy, frustration, fear, and excitement. I cannot IMAGINE listening to him actually speak in the Mario accent for 2 hours or more. I think it might actually hurt.

Why Cast Celebrities At All?

I’ve seen this argument pop up online as well and I just find it odd that Super Mario Bros is where we draw the line? This has been done for decades. Major Hollywood studios are far too risk-averse to cast voice actors who are, essentially, no names with the larger public.

Go and test it. Ask on Facebook if any of your friends know who Charles Martinet is. Then do the same with Chris Pratt. The studio’s decision will be pretty clear at this point.

What do you think? Sounds off in the comments.

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!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Streaming, whether it be video games, cooking, or just live conversations, has never been more popular. More and more of our kids are hopping into live stream channels every day and it is important that we help them understand how to behave there. 

The most important thing to remember is that while live-streaming does give more of a personal connection between a streamer and their audience that doesn’t mean that the streamer is their audience’s “friend.” They are not really much different from a radio DJ or a TV weatherperson. The only difference is that they have an easier time responding to people. 

That ease of response makes people feel comfortable in their channels and can lead to some embarrassing results. Below are some guidelines for how to interact with streamers that you can keep in mind while you talk to your kids about the streamers they watch.

Great Guidelines to Share With Your Kids

  1. Don’t call a streamer by their first name unless they tell you that you can. This implies a level of familiarity that your child doesn’t have. You should encourage your child to use the streamers screen name or handle instead. 
  1. Subscriptions buy entertainment. They do not buy access. Many people on the internet believe that subscribing to a channel on Twitch or to a user on Patreon should grant them more access to the content creator. Sometimes they even think that it makes them “friends.” This just isn’t the case. A Twitch subscription grants you access to more content from the creator, but it doesn’t mean that they should give you more access to their personal life. 
  1. The very first thing your child should do when they start to watch a new stream is read the rules. This will let them know what kind of channel they are in, what the expectations are of them, and what the environment will be like. This will be a great way for your child to know if the chat will be safe for them. You should tell your child to be wary of streamers with no rules. These streamers can have pretty toxic communities. 
  1. Every channel has different rules for how to behave there. If your child spends time in those channels they will learn those rules. They should not, however, try to enforce those rules unless they have been chosen to be a moderator by the streamer. This can add to confusion in the chat and make it harder for the moderation team to do their work and interrupt the stream for everyone else. 
  1. Teach them to interact more with the chat than they do with the streamer. The streamer is performing for a group of people and shouldn’t be expected to talk to everyone. Instead, the community is supposed to form around the streamer and talk amongst themselves. 

The below video is a panel hosted early on during the pandemic. It features a diverse group of streamers with years of experience. They talk a lot about how users should behave while watching streams and talk a lot about the experiences they have had. It is an enlightening video for anyone who watches streams regularly.

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!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Introduce us to your favorite character that you made for a game?

Stephen

I spent a few years playing Dragonrealms, a text based MUD run by Simutronics. I played a dwarven paladin named Deutz Anadeuz (I don’t really know where the name came from.) Over time he turned into a bit of a nerd. He tried to learn skills that didn’t make a lot of sense for him to learn from a power perspective just for the sake of knowing them. Eventually he even began to worship the god of libraries, Lemicus. It was a lot of get into his head and figure out how to would respond to the different things that happened in the game. This is especially true because of how different he was than the rest of the paladins in the game.

Mike

Sometimes, the short lived games create the most memorable characters. I played a D&D single day adventure where everyone swapped roles from the usual game we were playing at the time. Instead of the Swordmage Private Investigator…. I was a halfling professional wrestler dressed in crocodile hides. It was Ebberon, it makes sense for the setting.

John

My LARP elven adept Shenk, because sometimes you need to not think about the details and just kill necromancers.

Linda

My favorite character hands down is my elven healer from LARP Tianna. She is/ was a character that I played for about a decade. Should I have the opportunity to play again, she may yet be played again.

Tianna is a wild elf who has faced a dark force that threatened to destroy the world.  She was given a feather artifact that allowed her unique powers, and eternal life, and entrusted to be its bearer. Tianna is the foster mother to a dragon, and with the power of the feather was able to keep him safe until his hatching.

Jonathan

Well My LARP character is known as Jaques Battleforge and has been nicknamed Happy Dwarf. Weird cause how can you see a smile under a beard….


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!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Video games have never been bigger. The industry is growing in leaps and bounds and is showing no signs of slowing down. Our kids play them, talk about them with their friends, and even watch people play them on YouTube and Twitch.

This is a great opportunity for us to connect with our kids, and we definitely think you should take it. Below is a list of three reasons why you should!

You Can Learn About the Games They Play


Showing an interest in the games our children play allows us to build new connections and experiences through play. Kids love to share their favorite things with people and they will definitely want to share their games with you. This is a great way to connect with them and build lasting memories.

Games are a great form of personal expression, and you can learn a lot about someone by the kinds of games they play and the way that they play them. Learning about the games your kid likes to play opens a window through which you can view their interests and examine their inner workings better than conversation ever can.

You Can Keep a Better Eye on the Content

Sometimes it is tough to know what kinds of content are included in a video game without playing it for yourself. Showing an interest in what your child is playing will give you greater access to the games they play.

Knowing what is in the games they play will also help you understand what to look for in other games and will help you give constructive feedback on the games they want to play. This way you can suggest alternatives to what your child wants to play than outright banning them. Being able to suggest Fortnite over Call of Duty: Warzone and have a real explanation for why because of your personal experience is a great way to overcome objections to your decisions relating to acceptable content.

You Might Even Like Them!


There is nothing more amazing than finding a new joy or interest by accident. Games have changed so much that they are hardly recognizable now from even a handful of years ago. There are even new genres that would not even be thought off when we were growing up that are now commonplace for younger gamers.

You only get the chance to find these surprises if you play video games with your kids! So get in there!

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!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

I’ve been thinking a lot about adventure games recently. It is a genre that has had its ups and downs over the years but definitely has a place in the market. I sat down and wrote out a wish list of adventure games I wanted to play with my kids.

Here are my picks! What are yours?

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic may be past the peak of its cultural significance. But, the audience is definitely still there in spite of the show ending after nine seasons.

I can easily see an episodic adventure game where the mane six would venture around Ponyville solving puzzles. Pinkie Pie could even provide some fourth wall breaking humor.

Adventure Time

This one just seems too obvious. There have been tons of action-based video games based on this (immensely popular) TV show, but none of them has really expressed the quirky humor of the show in the right away. The adventure game format is perfect because it would let players take their time while exploring some of the hilarious locations. 

Heck. The word adventure is in the name of the show!

Winnie the Pooh

This is impossible, but I would love to see it for the location alone. I would love to play a game where I direct Winnie the Pooh around the 100 Acre Wood. The characters are iconic and there is plenty of material available considering the movies, books, and TV shows. A man I can dream can’t he?

Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb may have, tragically, come to an end in cartoon form, but I can’t help but think that an episodic adventure game highlighting their summer vacation hijinks would be amazing.

Navigating their home and neighborhood solving puzzles using weird contraptions would fit perfectly with the theme of the show. A meta-plot containing Agent P and Doofenshmirtz would be icing on the cake.

Scooby-Doo, Where are You?

Ok. Look. Scooby-Doo is never going to go anywhere. You might think he’s gone. But, there has been a new movie every year for a while now. We might as well take the opportunity to take the adventure game formula and apply it to a mystery.

The idea of having a series of seemingly unrelated capers that are all tied together by some interesting narrative threads is very interesting. The Scooby gang doesn’t exactly have a lot of depth but that type of scenario would be a great opportunity to develop it a little bit.

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!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us onFacebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Stephen

I love Street Fighter. I’m terrible at it, but I love it. I really fell in love with the game when I started playing Street Fighter II: World Warrior on the SNES with my next door neighbors. We would play for hours. I still remember how excited I was when I was finally able to to a fireball as Ryu. I worked at it for a long time, and when it clicked I was hooked.

Mike

Street Fighter. There is something so satisfying with a well paced, but on the slower side, 2D fighting game. The Street fighter series has always been a very approachable fighting game for me, and my brother will forever be my opponent.

A nod also goes to the Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a Two Player (Plus) Fighting game where all my nerd dreams came true.

John

Looking back, my favorite two player game of all time has to be Contra.  My brother and I spent countless hours playing this game to the point that we both could play it start to finish without losing a life.

Linda

My favorite two player game is Fox in the Forest.  I rarely play games that are only for two players, but this one has a style that brings lots of nostalgia. Fox in the Forest is a trick taking game, and that mechanic is a family favorite. The extended family are huge fans of the card game Setback, which is also trick taking. The familiarity of the mechanic as well as the beautiful storybook artwork makes it an easy favorite.


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!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Video game publishers are constantly experimenting with ways to earn additional revenue for the games they release. One of the most common methods we see them use is a model where the base game is free to play, but some features are locked behind purchases (that can vary in size). In many cases these purchases are small (some are a dollar or less). We call these Micro-transactions. Some of these purchases are quite large and can be more than a full-price console release. We call those macro-transactions. 

The features hidden behind these transactions can be anything from experience boosts (that help players gain power faster) to cosmetic items that change the way a character, their weapons, or attacks look. 

Sometimes though, these transactions include the ability to directly increase your character’s power and improve their chances of winning against other players who haven’t spent money. These are often called “Pay to Win” mechanics (or p2w) by the gaming community at large.

This is very common in mobile games, but can easily find its way into console games as well (it is just more rare). The gaming community at large is very quick to call out companies for including these types of mechanics in their games (you can look up the commentary on the launch of Star Wars Battlefront 2 if you want to see what some players said). 

Most recently, these mechanics have found their way into the newly released Pokemon Unite. This is an interesting case because the Pokemon brand is incredibly strong with kids (and adults), and the game is free to start. This means it is very easy for our kids to get into the game and start playing with people who have spent a large sum of money to be more powerful than everyone else. 

This isn’t a problem by itself as long as our kids are having fun, but p2w mechanics do create some situations we need to be careful of.

First, p2w mechanics encourage kids to want to spend money on the game. They do this because the more money they spend the more of a competitive advantage it gives them.This can help them win more matches, and will be especially important if they intend to play in the game’s ranked mode. 

Second, it also means your kid is likely to come across a player who has spent a LOT of money in order to be as powerful as possible. This will make it difficult to complete against those players and can make it frustrating, 

 I think it is worth noting that this doesn’t mean these games can’t ever be fun, but we, as parents, do need to be vigilant and make sure we help our kids identify these mechanics and make good decisions. 

The best way to do this is to ask our kids questions when they ask to spend money on a game (especially one that was free to begin with). We should ask them things like, 

“What exactly are you buying?”

“What will that currency you are buying be used for?”

“Are you buying something that will make you stronger in the game?”

These types of questions will help your family make better decisions and will help your kids think about what they are doing. You can even have real discussions about whether or not these are the kinds of games they want to play. This will likely save you and your family time and money in the long run. 

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!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Stephen

My favorite game to watch is Street Fighter V (or any other game in the series for that matter). There is just something about watching high level competitive Street Fighter tournaments that I find exciting. I especially like to watch the matches when they take place in front of a loud audience (like at EVO). That produced moments like the one in the video below. Nothing can really top that for me.

Mike

Overwatch. I love the game design and the intricacies of group composition and communication, but I am terrible with shooters involving other players.

Linda

Hands down my favorite game to watch was Horizon Zero Dawn. I generally do not play console games, and a game like Horizon is well beyond my skill (as well as beyond what I am interested in delving into). The story told in Horizon Zero Dawn is captivating and has twists and turns that kept me checking in. The visuals of the game were also gorgeous and made it a pleasure to watch.

Jonathan

Games like Celeste and Shovel Knight. I just stink at them even if I buy them. I need to try Hollow Knight again.


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!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Minecraft mods on PC number into the thousands, especially if you’re playing the Minecraft Java Edition. The vast majority of the mods available to download from places like CurseForge – a modification repository that’s used for a number of popular games, including Minecraft, World of Warcraft, and Kerbal Space Program – are, for the most part, fairly innocent.

Mods that are available through Minecraft Bedrock Edition, which is probably the version of Minecraft that your kids are playing on console, mobile, and PC, are vetted by the Mojang team at Microsoft to ensure that they are both high quality and family-friendly.

Not all mods are made equal, mind you, and CurseForge ensures that all of those mods are available to download… for good and ill. One of these not-so-great mods is the Jenny mod that’s available through CurseForge on PC and via APK (Android Application Package) for Android OS devices. In theory, you can also purchase a version of this mod through in-game currency.

The Minecraft Jenny mod is a NSFW (not safe for work) unofficial Minecraft mod that introduces an in-game “girlfriend” for Minecraft players that simulates adult interactions. Yes, those kinds of adult interactions. It’s becoming an increasingly popular mod that runs in “Creative” mode. Now, Jenny can be your “bestie,” but that’s not why parents need to be paying closer attention to children downloading this particular mod, of course.

Minecraft Bedrock Edition doesn’t allow unofficial mod installation, so the best way to ensure that kids aren’t going to download and install Jenny is to make sure that Bedrock Edition is the version of Minecraft that they’re using. Java Edition has some excellent mods, including the Redstone mods on CurseForge, but it does require extra intervention. There are no parental controls available on CurseForge, so use discretion.

Jenny might be available for bestie status, but she certainly wasn’t coded just for those purposes. Be cautious.

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!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us onFacebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
2 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail
Newer Posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More