Category: Video Games

Game Review: 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix for WiiWare


Guest Review written by Justin Lowmaster (a.k.a The Husband)

I’ll have to be honest as say I was a bit nonplussed when I started playing 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix. The first mini-game involved using the wiimote to grab a basketball in a 2d sideways view and toss it into the hoop. This is on the same system where I can use motion controls to mimic throwing a real basketball into a hoop in 3d. Many of the games have similar controls schemes. It wasn’t until I unlocked a puzzle game that I found one I really liked. There’s a grid of pipes and there’s oil flowing according to certain rules and you have to anticipate which oil derrick it will exit from. I enjoyed that one.

I didn’t have time to unlock all the games for the review, but the unlocking system provides replay value. The first few games are automatically unlocked. The rest you can buy with points you earn. Any points you gain while playing any game go into a point pool, win or lose. This allows you to play a game as much as you want to unlock more games, without having to master each game, if you happen to dislike one. But if you match or surpass the point threshold of any specific game you get bonus points.

There are a variety of games types and I found a few more I enjoyed while unlocking the ones I did. I do wish the games gave you a clue as to game genre before unlocking it, such as Puzzle, or Sports, or Action, etc.

Some of the games are played will using the wiimote, while others are a bit difficult to play with the wiimote. The games themselves are good mini games and would be fun to pass some time in line, or waiting for things, but one tends to not take a Wii on the go with them. I would recommend you get this game on a DS or Android or iOS or other device before you get it for the Wii. I downloaded the game free for my Nexus S and played some of the same games on there, and I preferred it. The advantage of the Wii version (or other paid version) would be the lack of ads. Something to consider.

Overall, I’d rate this game good, just take into account the platforms you can play it on before paying for the game. You can see a video of the game for yourself here and if you are interested in learning more, check out the game site here.

Disclaimer: I received the above product mentioned for review as a member of the Game Review Network. No compensation was received.

Wii: My Sims Agent Review

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Justin Lowmaster’s thoughts…a.k.a My Husband

I’ve been able to play good portion of My Sims Agents and I have had fun with it. The core of the game is solving mysteries and mini-puzzles of various types. It’s an adventure game, a puzzle game, and a detective agency management game all  wrapped up into one.

The games starts off with the player investigating some simple mysteries around town, but solving these hints at a larger story. Soon you become an official agent with a headquarters and everything. Your headquarters is where you control all the ‘sims’ aspect of the game. You can recruit new agents and decide where in your building they will have their desks at. On each floor you can arrange furniture and decorations with augment the skills and abilities of your agents.

You send your agents on cases that come in. You choose who to send not only based on their skills, but each agent has certain likes, dislikes, and personality traits that you can consider before deciding who to send. As the agents go on cases, their dialogue will give you ideas of what they like and dislike. During the cases, you will receive updates via the cell phone. Sometimes you will be asked for advice on how they should proceed. You are given some options and they will try what you suggest. This keeps you involved in the cases, so you aren’t only getting updates, but you can interact. If you decide not to reply, they will make a choice on their own.

Also at HQ, and anywhere else with a mirror, you can change your appearance. You can wear agent gear, street clothes, and other fun outfits. As far as I know this doesn’t effect game play, but being able to modify your appearance (and how you sound) can be fun.

While your detectives are on stake-outs and hunting monsters (or possibly hunting monsters with stakes, that might be in there), you roam the city searching for cases and following the clues that dig deeper into the underlying mystery that lies just below the surface of the city, festering like a sore, infecting the good citizens with fear and uncertainty. While I have not yet been able to play the whole of the game yet, solving cases seems to require many similar things each time; looking for clues, following footprints, and questioning witnesses. This doesn’t mean it gets boring. A large part of what makes it interesting to me is that with each case, more and more of the darkness that hides in the seedy underbelly is brought to light. Also, while exploring the map, if you look around carefully you’ll fine crates and treasure chests, and other secret places, which unlock new furniture, clothing, agents, and more.

While on cases, you’ll have to solve mini-puzzles to get clues. Some are mechanical puzzles where you must places wires, gears, cogs, and other parts to get a machine working. Picking locks requires you to move pieces around a grid to allow the key to pass through, and when analyzing evidence, you must place different colored balls (chemicals) onto a grid in such a way that none of them have any dots left on them. Placing one beside another removes a dot. As the game progresses, these get tougher and require more brain power to solve. There are also parts where you must use your tools to move objects around so you can get your character to otherwise inaccessible locations.

The game has a lot of humor in it, and does not suffer for it. It’s silly and quirky, but in a good way. It keeps it light and fun.

I’ve very little trouble with the controls. They are simple, intuitive, and respond well. A minor issue is when choosing what to say in a conversation, you can’t click options with the pointer, you use the nun-chuck stick to select. That works just fine of course, but I don’t see why you can’t select with the pointer, and if you try without knowing, you might say something you didn’t mean. I don’t think it will mess you up much before you figure it out. Another think that got me for a moment was arranging furniture in the headquarters. I wanted to place a poster on the wall, and I could not figure out how until I rotated it and the available spots appeared on the wall.

Overall, I am enjoying My Sims Agents. I like solving puzzles and unraveling mysteries. I plan to finish the game and I hope that it stays challenging and interesting. I think it will.

*My Thoughts*

I also am a huge fan of this game! Note that I grew up playing almost all of the  available Sims games so I knew without a doubt I would love this one too! I give this game 4 1/2 stars!

You can purchase this game for around $30.00-40.00 and know that it’s also available for the Nintendo DS!

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of My Sims Agent to review from Electronic Arts. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Wii: Sims Animals Africa Review

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I’m a big Sims fan so I was pretty excited to get a hold of one of Electronic Arts latest Sims games, SimAnimals Africa . This game is available for both the Nintendo Wii as well as for the Nintendo DS, today I’ll be reviewing the Wii version of the game.
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In this game you’ll find that your were chosen to restore the good energy, peace if you will, to the land. You’ll do this by completing various missions available in each specific territory in Africa.

The missions aren’t too hard. You’ll find that you need to befriend certain animals to utilize their special skills.  In order to befriend each animal, by feeding, petting, and playing various mini games with the animal you choose. Some of the animals that you’ll find in SimAnimals Africa include Zebras, Lions, Elephants, Hippos, and other most known animals that can be found in that part of the world.

The controls are very Sim like, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about if you’ve played a Sim game before. I liked the twist on SimAnimals Africa because not only can control the area in “God mode” but you can also play as any of the animals you befriend. There’s an excellent tutorial when you start your game that will be extremely helpful in understanding the controls.

SimAnimals-Africa-001The music is great! I could listen to the sounds of Africa all day long! The graphics are also very fun and cartoon like, exactly what I would expect from a game like this.

I love the educational aspect of this game. I like how per say that when the lions needed fed, they eat the Zebra. I’ve played some games in the past where all the animals were friends and the meat eating species just didn’t eat the other animals. You can also mate the animals in order to grow a depleting population. Don’t worry, there’s just nuzzling, nothing explicit in any way.  I like that through this game kids are taught responsibility of caring for the world around them.

Overall,  I think this game is best for younger children. I believe with an older audience, that they’ll lose interest rather quickly after the various missions are completed.

You can purchase the Wii version of this game for around $35.00

** They also have a version of this game for the Nintendo DS**
Portable players will have several additional exclusive animals to play with, including parrots, meerkats, and cheetahs, and you’ll be able to talk to the parrot via the DS microphone and have him repeat what you said back to you.
Disclaimer: I was givenSimAnimals Africa for the wii system to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone.

Wii: Boom Blox Bash Party Review

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Personal Thoughts by my husband Justin Lowmaster…

bbloxWhen I first heard about Boom Blox Bash Party, I was very excited. I’m a big fan of the original Boom Blox game. We bought the original the day before my daughter was born and played it for hours and hours that day. It helped us relax.

Boom Blox Bash Party has all the same things that made Boom Blox great, and so much more. The main game play modes all revolve around blocks of some sort. In some levels you must carefully deconstruct towers (ala Jenga), while in others you win by throwing balls to knock down towers. Bash Party adds stacks of new modes and ways to interact with the blocks. New modes include paint levels where you color blocks to match them, space levels where the goal is to explode blocks outside an area floating in the void, and undersea levels where you have to toss blocks up to the surface without letting them touch the ground. New interaction ‘toys’ as they are called include a cannon you light and aim, a slingshot where you grab blocks (or the block animals) and fling them, and a new kind of ball, the Virus Ball.

1In Bash Party there are also a few new block types aside from the standard bomb blocks (explode when hit) and chemical blocks (explode when two or more of these touch). The new blocks include Book Bux which add in-game money to your total (more on this later), Change Blox which morph from one block type to another, and the new Virus Blox. Virus infect other surrounding blox when exploded or when they are hit a Virus Ball (or touch another virus block). Infected blocks can spread like zombies in a crowded city under the right conditions. Activated virus blocks go poof and chaos ensues as whatever they were supporting collapses (like modern society when zombies run around biting people).

The Boom Bux allow you to unlock various items in the level building mode as well as unlocking levels. One of my complaints in Boom Blox was if you couldn’t beat a level, you were stuck (in that area at least) until you managed to get past it somehow. This happened and until a friend visited and we managed to beat a certain level. Before that, whole sections were unplayed. With Boom Bux you can unlock the next level in any given section after the currently unlocked level. No longer will you spend hours cursing at the skeletons attacking the kitties that you just can’t quite defeat. You can skip that level and move on, and take on the challenging level later.

The multiplayer levels are just as solid as the single player ones, but you get to have fun with your friends. Knock down each others towers, remove blocks hoping that the tower stays up just a little longer and crashes down on the next player, or work together to get a gold medal on all types of levels. Whether single player or multi-player, there are a lot of levels shipped with this game.

boom-blox-bash-party-20090319021258149_640wNow, the most important part of any game is: Is it fun? Just like Boom Blox, Bash Party is hours and hours of fun that anyone can enjoy. In fact, Bach Party, with the addition of connecting to Nintendo Wi-Fi, can provide a nearly unlimited number of levels. Played all the levels that came with the game? Just click the button and choose from the highest rated, newest, or random levels other players have created. Once you finish that level, you are given a chance to rate the level. This lets the best levels rise up, while still giving the new ones a chance to see the light of day.

I think Boom Blox Bash Party is a fantastic game for anyone. It’s easy to grasp the controls and concepts of the levels and I’ve never played any Boom Blox game with a single person who has said they disliked the game (and yes, everyone I played with had the ability to speak). There’s no need to play Boom Blox before playing Bash Party, but they are both great games. If you get one, get Bash Party because of the new features, but you’ll get the benefit of lots more levels if you get both.

Boom Blox Bash Party retails for 29.99 and is rated E for everyone.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Boom Blox Bash Party for review from Electronic Arts . This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.