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It is no surprise that Nintendo has been very successful with its handheld and console hybrid, the Nintendo Switch. In 3 years, the Nintendo Switch has sold almost sixty million units. That puts it as Nintendo’s 7th best-selling console and 3rd best-selling home console when handhelds are taken out of the equation. With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X come out at the end of this year, people are wondering where that leaves the Nintendo Switch. Will it be left in the dust of these better performing, higher operating systems? Or, will it continue to be the juggernaut that it is. Even though we are quite a few years away from the next Nintendo console being released, here are some ideas I want Nintendo to consider for the Switch or whatever the next console will be.

1. It Still Needs to be a Hybrid Between Handheld and Console

            One of the biggest selling points of the Nintendo Switch is that it can be played on a television like any other console, or you can play it as a handheld system. I believe that whatever system Nintendo comes up with in the future must still have this feature. Nintendo’s next console will not be as successful without this feature. I also do not think it will be called the Switch 2. Nintendo has a habit of giving their consoles unique names. The one time they tried to keep the same naming convention for a console (Wii U) it was a complete failure and is the lowest selling Nintendo console of all time.  If Nintendo’s next console does not “switch” between handheld and television play, it will be a huge step back for Nintendo.

2. Better Online Infrastructure

            It is no surprise that Nintendo’s online infrastructure is severely lacking. In even some of the simplest games that do not require a lot of extensive action, Nintendo games will still stutter along and dip in framerates. It does not bode well when EVO, one of the largest game tournaments in the world, cancelled the Super Smash Brothers Ultimate tournament because it could not reliably run on Nintendo’s online system. If Nintendo wants to compete against these more powerful systems, it needs to be able to take its games online with better quality and not have all of these hurdles that need to be jumped over. The next Nintendo console needs to allow headset to be used through the controller so that you can talk to your friends while you are playing. It should not require the use of a separate app as a means to talk to each other while playing a game.

            Nintendo also needs to not have as many restrictions on their online play. Allow more than one island in Animal Crossing or allow my friends to be able to send more than 3 gifts to me during a day. Also, if my friends and I want to play some Super Smash Brothers online, allow us to put in a couple of computers so we can have a full four-person game going. It was really surprising when Super Mario Maker 2 came out and Nintendo’s original plan involved not being able to play online with your friends. I also do not understand why we still cannot play games like New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe online and can only play them locally.

3. Bring Back the Virtual Console

            When the virtual console debuted with the Nintendo Wii, it was a gamechanger for Nintendo consoles at the time. Finally, we would get the chance to play these legacy titles without having to hook up an older system. They were also fairly inexpensive to buy through the Wii’s online store. Most first party games were released through this system and even involved other systems such as the Sega Genesis, Turbografx 16, and Commodore 64. They then proceeded to release the virtual console on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. For some reason, this all stopped with the Nintendo Switch. They do have the NES and SNES Online, but you must have Nintendo Switch Online in order to play these games. You must also be able to connect to an internet connection every 7 days to continue to use them. The virtual console would give Nintendo the chance to sell the games separately without an online subscription. This would be hard to implement on the Switch currently because a lot of companies went and made their own collections of their games.

4. Achievement/Trophy System

Credit: www.playstationlifestyle.net

            It still amazes me that Nintendo has not implemented an achievement or trophy system into any of their consoles. Xbox, PlayStation, and Steam all of trophies or achievements built into their games and I believe that adds a lot of replay value. Most first party Nintendo games will have some sort of achievements already inserted into the game, so why not just add the format into the system as the whole. If a game is a multiplatform game, they already have to come up with trophies and achievements for the other systems and Nintendo already implements them into most of their games, it would not take a lot of work to add them in to whatever Nintendo is planning to do next. I am a huge fan of achievements in games. Whenever the sound or graphic goes across the screen, it gives me the feeling that I accomplished something, and I have to immediately go and check what I achieved.

5. More Perks for Their Online Service

This reasoning coincides perfectly with a better online infrastructure. Currently, you pay $20 to be able to utilize the Nintendo Switch online and their library of NES and SNES games, but it could be so much more. I would love for Nintendo to allow a free game every month like PS Plus or Xbox Games with Gold. The NES and SNES games are great, but I think it overwhelms people when they see how many games there are. If they could tie this in with a possible virtual console so that the developers and publishers get some amount of compensation, it could be a huge success. I doubt that we would ever see Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy VI on their library of NES and SNES online games. Square Enix may find it more enticing to allow people who join for that month to be able to play the game that is being given away. If Nintendo took the same approach as PlayStation and Xbox, they could easily charge $60 like their competitors. The only problem would be improving their online and adding these perks.

These are just a few of the perks I would like to see added to Nintendo’s next system or even implemented into the Switch’s future. I do not think the Nintendo Switch will struggle with the competition coming out with their more powerful machines. It will continue to be successful due to its portability and unique characters that only Nintendo can bring.


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

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The PlayStation 4 is easily Sony’s most profitable home console to date, so where does the Japanese giant go after winning the 8th generation of gaming? The obvious path to continued success would be to just stick to their strengths, which in Sony’s case is the production of high quality, story-driven single player exclusives that court a more mature audience. But is that all that PlayStation can exceed at, or is there still room for innovation and the potential to reach an even broader audience with their next console? Here are the top 5 things we want to see from the PlayStation 5:


1. PROMOTE MORE ALL AGES CONTENT

Sony has undoubtedly taken notice of the massive success that the Nintendo Switch is currently enjoying, and there are at least two lessons that can be learned from this. The first lesson is that all ages content is a viable path to profitability. While it is unlikely that any platform holder will achieve what Nintendo has in the family-friendly video game market, Sony should not cede this territory completely to Mario and his posse of cute and cuddly mascots. 


Nothing quite matches the pure endearment and nostalgia that gamers feel towards Nintendo’s stable of characters, but many forget just how deep Sony’s bench of kid-friendly properties really is. Ape Escape, PaRappa the Rapper, MediEvil, Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, Little Big Planet, LocoRoco, and Patapon are just a few of the more whimsical franchises that could make a big comeback on the PlayStation 5. While some of these titles, such as Jak or Ratchet, are not not quite as innocent as Pikachu or Kirby, all of them fall under the general umbrella of being family-friendly. Sony could easily leverage the cross generational potential of these titles by appealing to both kids and their nostalgic parents. 


The biggest hurdle here isn’t making the games, but the company’s commitment to marketing them properly. Sony has in fact released several family-friendly first party titles on the PS4, such as Concrete Genie, the MediEvil Remake, Everybody’s Golf, Dreams, and Astro Bot Rescue Mission. It has been shown time and again that while Sony is willing to produce these games, they never seem to allocate much of their marketing dollars to any of these titles, which in turn forces almost all of them to fly under the radar. It may be true that these games will never reach the sales heights of God of War or The Last of Us, but Sony must have noticed that the recent Crash Bandicoot N’Sane Trilogy, which was a timed exclusive on PlayStation 4 and which features a character that is strongly associated with the PlayStation brand, has gone on to sell over 10 million copies worldwide. Clearly, the market is there.


2. PORTABLE DEVICES AND REMOTE PLAY

The second lesson that Sony can learn from the success of the Nintendo Switch is that people like to take their home console games on the go and are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a device that allows them to do so. To be clear, Sony is no stranger to the portable gaming space, as they have released two handheld consoles, the PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation Vita. The Vita in particular shares many similarities with the Switch, suchas the ability to play console-quality video games outdoors as well as the ability to play on a home TV, via PlayStation TV. While these features are not quite as refined as those on the Switch, the Vita was far more ahead of its time than many realize. Unfortunately, the device was a financial flop for Sony, mostly as a result of its overpriced and proprietary memory cards and the company’s inability to effectively market the product. 


It is unlikely that Sony would attempt another handheld console with its own dedicated library of games, but a companion device built around remote play on the PlayStation 5 would be a fantastic option for those gamers who enjoy the versatility of the Switch, but who also prefer sort of games that are available on PlayStation. Remote play is already a feature that is available on the PlayStation 4, but the experience is unreliable to say the least. It is unclear which devices are best suited for this feature, and even those that work require gamers to take a DualShock 4 with them on the go. Couple this with unreliable wifi connections in public spaces, and the ability to jump into a game like Horizon Zero Dawn for fifteen minutes while on your break at work is fantasy for all but a very select few. Even for those who can connect, devices like smartphones or tablets, which are not build specifically with gaming in mind, are poor substitutes for something like the Nintendo Switch.
Rather than leaving the hardware side of remote play to the whims of third party manufacturers, I think the best option for Sony is to release their own dedicated handheld companion device for the PlayStation 5. Like the Switch, and specifically the Switch Lite, the screen and controls should be built into the device itself as a single unit to eliminate the need for any additional hardware. If at all possible, the device should have the ability to log into one account on the console remotely while allowing family members logged into a different account at home to use the console uninterrupted. 

While Sony has not made any public statements regarding plans to produce such a device, there are signs that they may already be considering something along these lines. Months ago, a patent filed by Sony for a Switch-like device leaked online and was met with widespread excitement from fans, hopefully signaling to Sony that commercial interest for a dedicated handheld device is there. Combine this with Sony’s acquisition of Gaikai, a company created with the specific purpose of developing streaming and remote play technology for video games, and Sony may very well be gearing up for some kind of third foray into the portable gaming market.


3. INNOVATIVE FEATURES THAT MATTER

Few consoles emerge from a generation without at least some gimmicky features or peripherals to their name, and the PlayStation brand is no exception. These experiments occasionally yield true consumer-pleasing features, such as the dual thumb-sticks on the original analog PlayStation controller (later refined to become the DualShock controller) or the PSone’s portable LCD screen, but more often than not end up as little more than cute but forgettable novelties, as is the case for the PocketStation, EyeToy, and many others. This is due in large part to the fact that the way in which players interact with their games has been iterated upon for decades and has arrived at a place in which more refinement just doesn’t seem necessary. The graphics have gotten better, the AI has gotten smarter, and quality of life features have improved, but the core of what it means to play a game is roughly the same now as it was at the launch of the NES, which renders many “new and unique” features tedious or annoying, both to players and to developers.


For the past few months, Sony Interactive Entertainment and PlayStation 5 lead architect Mark Cerny have been touting the new DualSense controller and its advanced haptic feedback technology as a major leap forward in player immersion, claiming that gamers will feel resistance in the trigger buttons when pulling back a bow, or that gamers will feel a noticeable difference when driving on a smooth surface rather than a muddy one. While this technology sounds promising, the most important factor here is whether or not developers will take advantage of these features. In recent memory, Sony has invested in PlayStation Move controllers, a finger track pad on the back of the PlayStation Vita, and both a touch pad and light bar on the DualShock 4. With the exception of the Move controllers, which have found new relevance with PlayStation VR, all of these features have gone underutilized by most developers (the touch pad is little more than a large rectangle-shaped button in the middle of the controller), which begs the question: what is the point of investing in these kinds of features?


None of this is to say that these features are inherently bad, or that Sony should be discouraged from pursuing them. To the contrary, the DualSense controller sounds quite interesting and has the potential to increase player immersion exactly as Mark Cerny has described. We as players are more than open to new and innovative features that can help create previously unknown gaming experiences, but the features have to actually accomplish that, not merely show potential in the abstract. The reality is that most developers design games for multiple platforms, and they generally cannot commit the time or dollars necessary to fully utilize the unique features of a single platform. This means that it will be up to Sony’s first party studios to realize the potential of the DualSense controller and any other unique features that the PS5 may have. It’s easy to see how the feel of the changing texture of the road can be used in the next Gran Turismo game, or how the tension of pulling back a bow can be used in something like The Last of Us. But matters are further complicated when we consider the inevitability of more Sony-produced games going to PC or other platforms, as we are now seeing with Horizon Zero Dawn, Death Stranding, and future installments of MLB The Show. How long will Sony’s first party studios really spend capitalizing on unique features once the PlayStation ecosystem expands to PC and beyond? Only time will tell. 


4. SEPARATE PLATINUM TROPHIES FROM MULTIPLAYER MODES

Long time gamers will know that there is a difference between beating a game and seeing everything that it has to offer. Most games offer much more content outside of the main campaign, including side quests, collectibles, and difficult enemies that can only be defeated after a player spends hours upon hours honing their skills. Trophy hunting is not for everyone, nor should it be, but there is something innately satisfying about extracting every bit of value from a particular gaming experience. Within the PlayStation ecosystem, a “platinum trophy” is the trophy that players earn only after every other trophy for that game has been unlocked. Earlier in this article, we went over how most of Sony’s first party games tend to be very story-driven single player titles. But many of these titles also feature additional multiplayer modes, which means that the game will include trophies tied to the multiplayer. As previously stated, a platinum trophy cannot be earned unless all of the trophies for that game are unlocked, which presents a whole host of problems for players.  


The most frustrating byproduct of tying trophies to multiplayer modes is that the ability to earn the platinum trophy for a game becomes entirely dependent on the existence of an online community which will inevitably dwindle over time. This puts a virtual timer on a given game, and makes unlocking platinum trophies near impossible for people who revisit these games, or visit them for the first time, years after their release. This is bad enough for online-only games like Warhawk, but at least in that case people went into the experience knowing that the game is entirely dependent on multiplayer. The same cannot not be said for The Last of Us, which is a game known primarily for its world, story, and characters, and yet requires the player to participate in approximately one hundred and sixty online matches to earn the platinum trophy. In practice this forces primarily single player gamers to sign up for PlayStation Plus just to have access to the necessary multiplayer matches. Not only is this frustrating for people who don’t like multiplayer, but they must now pay extra money just to have the ability to potentially unlock the platinum trophy for a game that is known almost entirely for its single player campaign. 
The simplest solution would be for Sony to mandate that all games with both a single player and multiplayer mode, whether they are from PlayStation Studios or third party, must separate the multiplayer trophies from single player ones. It’s actually not uncommon for a single game to have different sets of trophies, as downloadable content usually comes with its own trophies rather than adding to the trophy list of the base game. Multiplayer games could simply ship with this separation in place from the start, and maybe even include a second platinum for the multiplayer mode alone. This kind of feature may actually be coming, as Sony has already spoken about how consumers will have the option to download only single player or only multiplayer content of a particular title onto their console if they so choose. This is likely a memory-saving feature to allow for more space on the console’s solid state drive, but it does  indicate that Sony is aware of the difference in priority between single player gamers and multiplayer gamers. Hopefully that awareness will extend to the trophy system as well. 

5. LEGACY   

With digital game purchases on the rise, the further refinement of streaming technology, and even platform holders like Sony and Microsoft putting their first party titles on PC, the next generation of video game consoles may in fact be the last. While Sony is still likely to release a product called the PlayStation 6 sometime within the next ten years, the PlayStation 5 may be the company’s last traditional console, and as such, it should place a special emphasis on the legacy of the brand. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, such as through the revival of long dormant franchises or through legacy backwards compatibility. There are many gamers who grew up on the PlayStation 1 and 2, and who perhaps fell out of gaming during the PlayStation 3 and 4 era, that are now adults with young children of their own with whom they want to share their childhood games. The launch of the PlayStation 5 would be the perfect time to capitalize on this market, as older millennial gamers with misty-eyed memories of the good old days are primed and ready for a shot of nostalgia to the heart.   

Focusing on the past should not be done at the expense of creating new franchises, but there is no denying that the recent string of remakes of popular PlayStation 1 and 2 games is a strong indicator of what the audience wants. People seem to really love the Final Fantasy VII Remake, so why not bring back the Legend of Dragoon or Wild Arms? Everyone is hyped for the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 Remakes, so why not bring back Cool Boarders or Jet Moto? Call of Duty Warzone seems to be a hit, so why not bring back SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals? Tetris 99 came out of nowhere and people loved it, so how about a new Lumines or Fantavision game packed in free with every PS5? Or what about rebooting long dead, but cult classic franchises like The Getaway or Primal? 


Even if Sony isn’t willing to spend money on reviving some significant number of their old franchises, giving players the option of backwards compatibility would go a long way. It’s already been revealed that PS4 games will work on the PS5, but the mostly credible insider known as HipHopGamer has gone on record saying that the PS5 will feature full, enhanced backwards compatibility with all legacy consoles as well. In addition to this, we did see a few patents leak online a year or so ago that would indicate that Sony was seriously pursuing legacy content on the PS5. Will this be done through remasters? By putting legacy content on PlayStation Now? By allowing for some or all PlayStation 1, 2, and 3 discs to run on the PS5 console directly? We’ll just have to wait and see. The possibilities really are endless for Sony to capitalize on their legacy catalog, and there has never been a better time to get the gang back together again. 


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

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On the EFG Show (our weekly family gaming talk show on Facebook), Stephen and Jeff are ranking every NES and SNES game available on the Nintendo Switch Online service. They will play a new game each week, talk about it during the show, and determine its place in the overall ranking live!. Join us at 9:00 EST on Engaged Family Gaming’s Facebook page every week to see where your favorite game will end up!

1. City Connection

City Connection is based off of an arcade game by Jaleco that came out in 1985. In the game you control Clarice in a Honda City Hatchback as she travels the world to look for a boyfriend. Your job is to drive over sections of the road from the 12 stages and change the color of the road. While you are driving, you need to avoid the police cars and cats that show up in the road. There are 12 stages, but I could not get past stage 1! This game is difficult! You can make your car jump over gaps in the road, but I could not determine if you could jump from a lower part of the stage to a higher part.

2. Eliminator Boat Duel

In Eliminator Boat Duel, you are controlling the red boat as you race against the green boat. It’s that simple. When you first start the game up you can choose from three different difficulty levels. Each difficulty level pits you against a different racer. Easy mode puts you against Seasick Sidney, normal against Aquarius Rex, and hard against Surfer Bob. Between each set of races you win money that you can use to upgrade your boat. There are supposedly other racers past the original three, but I could not get that far! It’s pretty tough. If you lose three times it is game over so you have to learn quickly! Eliminator boat Duel had the honor of being the first game that Stephen and Jeff played so it will forever be the first number 1 game on the list even though it will likely fall down in the rankings.


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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between May 24th and May 30th.

Tuesday, May 26th

  • Minecraft Dungeons- PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Wednesday, May 27th

  • Ailment- Switch
  • Missile Command: Recharged- Switch
  • Ninjala- Switch

Thursday, May 28th

  • Atomicrops- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Fly Punch Boom!- Switch
  • Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special- Switch
  • Hill Climbing Mania- Switch
  • Resolutiion- Switch
  • Sega Ages: Thunder Force AC- Switch
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Synaptic Drive- Switch
  • Turmoil- Switch

Friday, May 29th

  • Adam’s Venture: Origins- Switch
  • Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Flux8- Switch
  • Genetic Disaster- Xbox One, Switch
  • Georifters- Xbox One
  • WildTrax Racing- Switch
  • XCOM 2 Collection- Switch
  • Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition- Switch

Saturday, May 30th

  • #womenUp, Super Puzzles Dream- Switch

For the Grown-Ups

  • Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Kollection- PS4, Xbox One, Switch (Tuesday, May 26th)
  • Bioshock: The Collection- Switch (Friday, May 29th)
  • Borderlands Legendary Collection- Switch (Friday, May 29th)

Jeff’s Pick of the Week

This week is the week of remasters and remakes with Borderlands and Bioshock coming to the Switch for adults. You also have the T rated XCOM 2 collection coming to the Switch. My most anticipated remake coming out this week is Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition. I never played the original release on the Wii and have only played the New 3DS version for the first few hours. I am super excited to give this game another chance. The upgraded visual look and the additional story elements will make this a great RPG to spend playing during the month of June.


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

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between May 17th and May 23rd.

Tuesday, May 19th

  • Golf With Your Friends- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • The Wonderful 101 Remastered- PS4, Switch

Wednesday, May 20th

  • Cannibal Cuisine- Switch

Thursday, May 21st

  • Aqua Lungers- Switch
  • Arrest of a Stone Buddha- Switch
  • Fluxteria- Switch
  • Lost Artifacts: Time Machine- Switch
  • Pushy and Pully in Blockland- Switch
  • Red Wings: Aces of the Sky- Switch
  • What the Golf?- Switch

Friday, May 22nd

  • Animal Up!- Switch
  • Concept Destruction- Switch
  • Sokobunny- Xbox One
  • Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris Month 1 Edition- Xbox One

For the Grown-Ups

  • Wasteland 3- PS4, Xbox One (Tuesday, May 19th)
  • Maneater- PS4, Xbox One, Switch (Friday, May 22nd)
  • Saints Row: The Third Remastered- PS4, Xbox One (Friday, May 22nd)

Jeff’s Pick of the Week

My pick of the week goes to the remaster of The Wonderful 101. This game was originally released in August of 2013 on the Wii U. Since the Wii U only sold 14 million units, the developers, Platinum Games, put out a Kickstarter earlier this year and the goal was funded in under 24 hours. If you are fans of physical games, you are going to have to wait. Due to the current state of the world, the physical versions of the game were delayed to June 30. But you can still get your hands on a digital copy if you have no preference.


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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This week Stephen, Amanda, and Linda are joined by a VERY special guest: Keri Engel! They’re all here to talk about learning with video games during the Covid-19 crisis!

This podcast is sponsored by:

ReadyPlayerMom – mixer.com/readyplayermom

The Virtual Economy Podcast

Around the Horn

Stephen – Streets of Rage 4

Amanda – Wintermoor Tactics Club

Keri – Animal Crossing

Topics

Learning With Digital Games: a Guide for Educators and Parents During the Covid-19 Crisis!

Primary

Slice Fractions

Intermediate

Prodigy

Lightbot

MT. MULTIPLIS

Secondary

Argument Wars

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More From Jonathan on Facebook

Music from https://filmmusic.io

“Android Sock Hop” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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

Tuesday, May 12th

  • Huntdown- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Jet Lancer- Switch
  • Star Wars Episode 1: Racer- PS4, Switch
  • Tabletop Racing: World Tour Nitro Edition- Switch

Wednesday, May 13th

  • Deep Rock Galactic: Game Preview- Xbox One
  • Island Saver- PS4, Switch
  • Potata: Fairy Flower- PS4, Xbox One
  • Super Mega Baseball 3- PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Thursday, May 14th

  • Armed 7 DX- Switch
  • Carnage: Battle Arena- Switch
  • Cooking Simulator- Switch
  • Kholat- Switch
  • Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee- Switch
  • Satazius Next- Switch
  • TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2- Switch
  • Wolflame- Switch
  • Zenge- Switch

Friday, May 15th

  • Dungeon of the Endless- PS4, Switch
  • Emma: Lost in Memories- PS4, Switch
  • Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix- Switch
  • Kakuro Magic- Switch
  • The Eternal Castle: Remastered- Switch
  • Thy Sword- PS4, Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week

My pick of the week goes to Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee on the Nintendo Switch. This is a remake of the game that came out on the original Xbox in 2001. You will guide Munch in his quest to rescue other creatures that are being used as test subjects. It is up to Munch and Abe to save Munch’s species from extinction and to help Abe rescue his Mudokan buddies. Will Munch and Abe be able to save themselves? Play Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee to find out!


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

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By: Keri Engel

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, families are finding themselves stuck at home and adopting new routines. As families juggle working from home and remote learning, many are struggling to keep children entertained and mentally challenged. While schools have been great at adapting on the fly it cannot be ignored that there are high school seniors who need to keep their brains active for college and kindergarteners who should be in school learning reading fluency. Through Continuity of Learning plans, it is the job of educators and parents to fill in these gaps in engaging ways and this is where digital games can help.

This is where the guide Learning with Digital Games: A Guide for Educators and Parents During the Covid-19 Crisis, written by myself and Ryan Schaaf, will be valuable.

The guide is broken up into three main categories: primary, intermediate, and secondary to ensure that the needs of all learners are met. Games are tagged based on subjects, skills, and how accessible the game is to a child. Parents can utilize the labels supported play, guided play, and independent play to plan out how and when to introduce their learner to the game.

Educators and parents see that learners are struggling with the motivation to complete classwork. It is difficult to remain dedicated to school work when surrounded by the comforts of home and the accessibility of distraction. One of the most prevalent distractions for children are video games and why shouldn’t they be? They’re colorful, they’re engaging, they provide challenges and tell stories. If learners can sink their teeth into something that is engaging and enriching then everyone wins.


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

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Summer Game Fest, a months-long serious of game announcements, live shows, in-game events and playable demos has been announce by Geoff Keighley. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Covid-19 is forcing everyone to change their plans.

“Bringing the world together to celebrate video games from the comfort of home. Summer Game Fest is a season of digital video game events from publishers, select playable content, in-game events, and more to be announced.”

Summer Game Fest

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) normally depends on E3 to help kick off the summer with a week long extravaganza each June. Hundreds of games are announced and almost all of the major players in the space participate in some way. But, this year’s show has been cancelled (and rightly so) because of pandemic concerns.

Geoff Keighley, the man behind the annual Game Awards show has stepped in to fill the void this year (and maybe permanently?). The Summer Game Fest will run from May through August and will include everything we have come to expect from E3 and more including In-game events and playable demos.

The schedule is going to be posted soon so we’ll be sure to post that here and talk about it on the EFG Show AND our Podcasts to make sure you are as up to date as we are!

Participants

  • 2K
  • Activision
  • Bandai Namco
  • Bethesda
  • Blizzard
  • Bungie
  • CD Projekt
  • Digital Extremes
  • EA
  • PlayStation
  • Private Division
  • Riot Games
  • Suare Enix
  • Steam
  • Warner Bros.
  • Xbox

This list is pretty great, but I can’t help but notice that Nintendo is missing from the list. Here’s hoping that they will end up being included as the list continues to grow over the summer.

The Hype Trailer

Seriously. Just watch this and tell me you didn’t smile?

Now comes the fun part.

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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This week Stephen and Amanda are joined by a VERY special guest: Rebekah Valentine from GamesIndustry.biz! They’re all here to talk about MMOs and why we play them!

This podcast is sponsored by:

ReadyPlayerMom – mixer.com/readyplayermom

The Virtual Economy Podcast

Around the Horn

Stephen – Sentinels of Freedom – Review

Amanda – Animal Crossing, Final Fantasy XIV

Reb – Animal Crossing

Animal Talking

Topics

MMOs

Free to Play MMO list on EngagedFamilyGaming.com

World of Warcraft

Final Fantasy XIV

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Music from https://filmmusic.io

“Android Sock Hop” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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