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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to many video games: PvE/PvP

PvE/PvP: Shorthand for Player Versus Environment and Player Versus Player. The phrases describe the type of interaction players will experience in the game and where they receive feedback and interaction from. Many games have both PvE and PvP components to their experience, each gaining benefits to the other.

PvE

Player Versus Environment (PvE) interactions are situations in which one or more players collaborate to interact/overcome a computer-controlled threat or problem.

Wii U Splatoon screenshot
Tower Control – one of the game modes in the ranked battles!

PvP

Player versus Player (PvP) puts players in competition with each other, often providing a direct threat or problem to each other. PvP often provides a short play experience for players, but since they involve other people they cannot be paused or stopped early without disrupting the experience for other players.

Entire PvE narratives have been designed as tutorials to bring players into the PvP experiences (eg. th story mode for many first-person shooters ).

Examples:

  • Splatoon is PvP: Players are shooting other players with paint and trying to send them back to start point for your team.
  • Super Mario Odyssey is PvE: Your challenges in the game come from the environment not other players.
  • World of Warcraft contains both PvE and PvP: most of the content in the game is PvE, but players can opt into a PvP experience or enter specific PvP battlegrounds.

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

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

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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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between February 7th through February 13th.

Tuesday, February 9th

  • Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption- Switch
  • Hexagon Defense- Switch
  • My Universe Pet Clinic: Cats and Dogs- PS4, Switch

Wednesday, February 10th

  • Choices That Matter: And Their Heroes Were Lost- Switch
  • #SinucaAttack- Switch

Thursday, February 11th

  • Aground- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Healer’s Quest- Switch
  • Little Nightmares II- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Negative: The Way of Shinobi- Switch
  • On the Road: Truck Simulator- Xbox One
  • Summer Catchers- Switch
  • The Flower Collectors- Switch
  • Tri6: Infinite- Switch
  • UnderMine- Switch

Friday, February 12th

  • #1 Crosswords- Switch
  • Endurance: Space Action- Xbox One
  • Halloween Forever- Switch
  • Rover Wars: Battle for Mars- Xbox One
  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury- Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

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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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between January 31st through February 6th.

Monday, February 1st

  • Glyph- Switch

Tuesday, February 2nd

  • Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition- Switch
  • Destruction AllStars- PS5
  • Ys IX: Monstrum Nox- PS4

Wednesday, February 3rd

  • Habroxia 2- PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Thursday, February 4th

  • Byakko-tai Samurai Boys- Switch
  • Conarium- Switch
  • Flying Hero X- Switch
  • Football Cup 2021- Switch
  • Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds Story- Switch
  • How to Take Off Your Mask Remastered- Switch
  • Kowloon High-School Chronicle- Switch
  • Nuts- Switch
  • Odysseus Kosmos and His Robot Quest- Switch
  • Skyforge- Switch
  • Station Manager- Switch

Friday, February 5th

  • Arrog- PS4, PS5
  • Glittering Sword- Xbox One, Switch
  • Roombo: First Blood- Xbox One

For the Grown-Ups

  • Control: Ultimate Edition- PS5, Series X (Tuesday, February 2nd)

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: Ys IX: Monstrum Nox

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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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between January 10th through January 16th.

Monday, January 11th

  • Arcanoid Breakout- Switch
  • Grand Prix Racing- Switch
  • Radio Commander- Switch
  • Top Gun Air Combat- Switch
  • Yumemidori Nostalgia- Switch

Tuesday, January 12th

  • Dead Ground- Switch
  • Epitaph- Switch
  • Five Night’s at Freddy’s: Core Collection- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Mahjong Adventure- Switch
  • S.U.M.: Slay Uncool Monsters- Switch

Wednesday, January 13th

  • Galactic Trooper Armada- Switch
  • Get Over Here- Switch
  • Glitch’s Trip- Xbox One
  • Gorilla Big Adventure- Switch
  • Hed the Pig- Switch
  • Space Aliens Invaders- Switch
  • Table Soccer Foosball- Switch
  • The Pillar: Puzzle Escape- Switch

Thursday, January 14th

  • Down to Bermuda- Switch
  • Fantasy Tavern Sextet: Vol. 2 Adventurer’s Days- Switch
  • Four in a Row- Switch
  • Life of Fly- Xbox One, Switch
  • MXGP 2020: The Official Motocross Video Game- PS5, Series X
  • Rhythm Fighter- Switch
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Shadow Gangs- Switch

Friday, January 15th

  • Curling- Switch
  • Jet Kave Adventure- Xbox One
  • Writhe- Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Definitive Edition

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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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between December 27th through January 2nd.

Monday, December 28th

  • Cube Raiders- Switch
  • Dungeon Limbus- Switch
  • Hell Sports- Switch
  • Professor Lupo: Ocean- Switch
  • Quell Reflect- Switch
  • Void Source- Switch

Tuesday, December 29th

  • Wingspan- Switch

Wednesday, December 30th

  • Back to Belt- Xbox One

Friday, January 1st

  • Hitori Logic- Switch
  • Speed Truck Racing- Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: Wingspan

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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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between December 20th through December 26th.

Monday, December 21st

  • Killer Chambers- Switch
  • PBA Pro Bowling 2021- Switch
  • Smart Moves- Switch
  • Traffix- Switch

Tuesday, December 22nd

  • Isolation Story- Switch
  • Override 2: Super Mech League- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Super Meat Boy Forever- Switch
  • Super Smash Brothers Ultimate Sephiroth DLC- Switch

Wednesday, December 23rd

  • Solitaire 3D- Xbox One

Thursday, December 24th

  • Elliot- Switch
  • JDM Racing 2- Switch
  • Kauil’s Treasure- Switch
  • Kingdom Tales- Switch
  • Kolumno- Switch
  • Spirit Arena- Switch
  • The Last Dead End- Switch

Friday, December 25th

  • Bit.Trip Beat- Switch
  • Bit.Trip Core- Switch
  • Bit.Tripi Fate- Switch
  • Bit.Trip Flux- Switch
  • Bit.Trip Runner- Switch
  • Bit.Trip Void- Switch
  • Candy 2048 Challenge- Switch
  • Dungeonoid- Switch
  • Match Three: Pirates! Heir to Davy Jones- Switch
  • Super Sports Blast- Xbox One

Saturday, December 26th

  • Cube Life: Island Survival- Switch
  • Door Kickers- Switch
  • DungeonTop- Switch

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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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between December 13th through December 19th.

Monday, December 14th

  • Jigsaw Fun: Piece it Together- Switch

Tuesday, December 15th

  • Boot Hill Heroes- Switch
  • Collection of Saga: Final Fantasy Legend- Switch
  • Dark Grim Mariupolis- Switch
  • Dicey Dungeons- Switch
  • Shakes on a Plane- Switch

Wednesday, December 16th

  • Colossus Down- Xbox One
  • MXGP 2020- PS4, Xbox One
  • SYNTHETIK: Ultimate- Xbox One, Switch

Thursday, December 17th

  • Body of Evidence- Switch
  • Defentron- Switch
  • Elemental War TD- Xbox One
  • Gems of Magic: Lost Family- Switch
  • Mercenaries Blaze: Dawn of the Twin Dragons- Switch
  • Traditional Tactics Ne+- Switch
  • Unto the End- Switch
  • Wilmot’s Warehouse- Xbox One
  • Yum Yum Line- Switch

Friday, December 18th

  • 60 Parsecs!- Xbox One, Switch
  • 60 Seconds! Reatomized- Xbox One
  • CATTCH- Xbox One
  • Dark Arcana: The Carnival- Switch
  • Freddy Spaghetti- Switch
  • Shikaku Shapes- Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: Collection of Saga: Final Fantasy Legend

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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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between November 22nd through November 28th.

Tuesday, November 24th

  • Just Dance 2021- PS5
  • Monster Truck Championship- Switch
  • Professor Rubik’s Brain Fitness- Switch
  • Tracks: Toybox Edition- Switch

Wednesday, November 25th

  • BFF or Die- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • My Aunt is a Witch- Xbox One, Switch
  • Out of Space: Couch Edition- Xbox One, Switch
  • Star Renegades- PS4
  • Strike Force 2: Terrorist Hunt- Xbox One, Switch
  • Towaga: Among Shadows- Xbox One

Thursday, November 26th

  • In Celebration of Violence- PS4, Switch
  • LoveKami: Divinity Stage- Switch
  • Nordlicht- Switch
  • Picklock- Switch
  • Picross S5- Switch
  • QV- Switch
  • The Alto Collection- Switch
  • The Explorer of Night- Switch

Friday, November 27th

  • Girabox- Switch
  • More Dark- Switch
  • Tiny World Racing- Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week

Today’s pick of the week has to go to Picross S5 in my opinion. Picross is one of my favorite puzzle games and with over 400 puzzles, this one will keep you busy for a while. I will eventually be adding this game to my collection as soon as I’m caught up. I am currently in the middle of S3 and so I still have to finish two games before getting to it.

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 holidays are approaching quickly and some amazing new games have come out this year. There are so many more games than we can fit into one article, so if you need more ideas check out the links at the bottom to other articles that may inspire your gift shopping or wish list creation!

It’s All About the Video Games!

The best place to start is with the games. Our fancy consoles are just paperweights without them.

Multi-platform Games

Some of the most popular video games in the world are multi-platform games. This means they are made to be played on more than one of the major consoles. Below are some of the best multiplatform games released this year:

Minecraft Dungeons

Minecraft is probably the biggest game in the world. Minecraft Dungeons is a spin-off that features an isometric action RPG like Diablo. It was one of our most anticipated games coming into the year and it did not disappoint. Dungeons is particularly note worthy because it is a great multiplayer game that families can play together.  It is worth mentioning that this is a digital game unless you purchase the “Hero Edition” for Switch, Xbox One, or PS4.

Hades

Hades is one of the biggest surprises in gaming this year. Super Giant has made great games in the past, but Hades really is something special. 


You play as The son of Hades as you attempt to battle your way out of … well… Hades. The action is wild. The weapons are cool. And the rogue-lite elements are well designed. Every time you die you are sent back to the main hub to get a bit of story content before you are thrown back into the action.

It is worth mentioning that this is a digital-only game, so the only way to purchase it for anyone is to get them a gift card for their console of choice. 

Star Wars: Squadrons

Star Wars is a perennial favorite. I know some “fans” say it is dying, but there are ALWAYS going to be people, especially kids, that are hungry for more Star Wars stuff. Squadrons is great for three reasons. First, it is a great fighter pilot simulator where you alternate control of imperial Tie Fighters and Rebel X-Wings. It does a great job of being modern, while also respecting the nostalgia for classic space shooters like Rogue Squadron and X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter. Lastly, it is a budget title with free content updates planned (It’s only $40 compared to the usual $60!)

Console Exclusives

One of the major factors that influences what brand of console people choose is the slate of exclusives the system has. Below are some of the noteworthy console exclusives for each system.

Nintendo Switch

Super Mario 3D All Stars

Super Mario 3D All Stars is a collection of three Mario games from the past: Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64), Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube), and Super Mario Galaxy (Wii). Not much has been done to remaster them (if anything at all), but they are all great games in their own right and this is a great way to get them into your kids’ hands! This collection is only available until the end of March, 2021 so don’t let this one slip away!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

What can be said about Animal Crossing: New Horizons that hasn’t been said already? This game was a cultural phenomenon this year, in part due to its wholesome nature and relaxing gameplay. If your family has a Switch (or is getting one) and doesn’t have this game yet, then I would put this right at the top of the list!

Clubhouse Games 51 Worldwide Classics

When this was announced I was VERY skeptical. This reminded me of a LOT of the Shovel-ware that was released en-masse during the Wii era. But, I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that Nintendo has lovingly crafted this collection of minigames and board game experiences. This is a great game for families that enjoy light board games like Yahtzee (called Yacht Dice in Clubhouse Games). The low price point ($40) doesn’t hurt either.

PlayStation

There are several PlayStations out there right now (I discuss them below), but the good news is that most of the biggest games will be playable on all of them. Here are two great suggestions for PlayStation games for families:

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Marvel’s Spider-Man was our Game of the Year the year it came out. It was an amazing game that nailed what it would feel like to Switch through New York fighting crime (at least as far as we can tell. ;)) Miles Morales is a follow-up that takes place on the same map, save that it takes place over the Holidays, and features Miles Morales on a journey to figure out how to be Spider-Man. This is a shorter experience than the first game (I finished it in about 10 hours), but every second of it is intense and the payoff at the end is well worth it.

The PS5 version is $70, but it includes a download for Spider-Man Remastered. This is a great chance for a newly minted PS5 player to experience the original if they missed it.

Falls Guys: Ultimate Knock Out

Fall Guys came out earlier this year and took the world by storm as a fun social game to play before Among Us ate its lunch. Regardless, this is an adorable multiplayer game that combines the action of silly physical challenge game shows like Knockout with the battle royal format. This game is a LOT of fun and the rounds are short enough that your family can take turns passing the controller and laughing at the hijinks.

Xbox

This is a tough one to write this year. Xbox really didn’t release any new exclusives this year that should be included here. They are building for the future with all of the studios they bought in the last 2 years, but those investments haven’t paid off yet.

That isn’t to say that the Xbox is bereft of great games though! The best recommendation we have here is to take the price of a game you WOULD have bought for the Xbox and buy a game card for Xbox Game Pass. Giving Xbox game pass is giving the gift of unlimited access to hundreds of games on the service.

Which Console To Buy?

Nintendo Switch

New consoles are here!!! Nintendo doesn’t really care though. The Nintendo Switch has been the best selling console for the last 23 months running and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. There are two variations on the Switch console to choose from. The pros/cons are below.

Switch

This is the original Switch. The system has been available and going strong since 2017. It retails for $299.99 and the big bundle this year comes with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (which is amazing). This version of the Switch can be put in its charging dock and used on the family television, while also taken out of the dock and played in handheld mode. If you think your family will take advantage of both modes of play, then this is the Switch to get.

This is also the right Switch to get if you think multiple people will want to play. Nintendo games are great for multiplayer gaming (Mario Kart, Mario Party, Smash, etc) and the original Switch is the right way to go to support that.

Switch Lite

The Switch Lite is a great little device. It eschews the dock and the ability to play the game on the television in favor of being more compact, and cheaper (by $100!) This is a great option for kids who have no interest in playing games on the TV, or for a secondary Switch if you already have one and you want a second so two people can play different games.

Sony PlayStation

Sony has three different options available right now. Two of them are different models of the PS4, the third being the brand new PS5.

PS4/PS4 Pro

It seems like the whole gaming world is excited about the next generation of consoles, but now is a GREAT time to pick up a PS4 if you don’t have one already. Sony is going to continue to release games for PS4 for years (including games like Horizon Zero Dawn: Forbidden West). The library of amazing games is massive (and getting less costly as time goes on).

PS5

The PS5 is an amazing piece of hardware. It is fast. It can pump out some insane visuals. The Dual Sense controller is very, very cool. The problem is going to be availability. They are exceedingly hard to get your hands on this holiday. Sony simply could not make enough to accommodate the demand considering the manufacturing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Xbox

Xbox One S

The Xbox One is a great console that has been around for a very long time. But, it is still a great time to pick one up. The Xbox One S should be readily available and very inexpensive throughout the holidays. It will be a great home console for kids who was excited to play Minecraft with their friends.

Xbox Series S

The Series S is designed to be the least expensive console in the new generation. It comes in at $299.99 and is more powerful than the Xbox One S, but less powerful than the Xbox Series X. This is a very small console that is a great entry point into console gaming for families who don’t have, or aren’t in the market for a 4K television.

Xbox Series X

The Series X is purported to be the most powerful console on the block right now. There aren’t a lot of games that push it to its limits yet, but is a very impressive piece of technology. This, like the Series S and the PS5 will also be pretty tough to find this year.

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

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between November 15th through November 21st.

Tuesday, November 17th

  • Bubble Bobble 4 Friends: The Baron is Back- PS4
  • Five Dates- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Mars Horizon- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Professor Rubik’s Brain Fitness- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Pure Pool- Switch
  • Truck Driver- Switch
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire- PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Wednesday, November 20th

  • Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond- Switch
  • Nexoria: Dungeon Rogue Heroes- Switch

Thursday, November 19th

  • Art Sqool- Switch
  • Azurebreak Heroes- Switch
  • Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead- PS4, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Cake Bash- Switch
  • Cape’s Escape Game- Switch
  • Dreamo- Switch
  • Educational Games for Kids- Switch
  • Eldrador Creatures- Switch
  • Fantasy Friends- Switch
  • Karma Knight- Switch
  • Outbreak- Switch
  • Party Games: 15 in 1- Switch
  • Poker Club- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X
  • Star Renegades- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • The Casino: Roulette, Video Poker, Slot Machines, Craps, Baccarat- Switch

Friday, November 20th

  • Brawl Chess- Xbox One, Switch
  • Fall Gummies- Switch
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity- Switch
  • Katamari Damacy: Reroll- PS4, Xbox One
  • Micetopia- Switch
  • Ramp Car Jumping- Switch

For the Grown-ups

  • Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch (Tuesday, November 17)

Jeff’s Pick of the Week

As you have probably figured out by now, I am a huge Nintendo fanboy and I always try and buy the latest and greatest (and sometimes not so great) Nintendo titles. This week, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is coming out and I cannot wait to play this game. There is currently a demo on the Nintendo Switch eshop and if you are unsure, I suggest to try it since the save file transfers to the game when you buy it. I have only played the first level, but I cannot wait to play again and have been waiting for the full release to really delve into it. This looks at the story from Breath of the Wild before Ganon took over the world and you get to play as the four champions, Link, Zelda, Impa, and probably a few surprises.

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

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