Video Game Recommendation: Undertale

undertalePlatform: PC

Rating: Teen

Genre: Role Playing Game, Puzzle  

First Released: September 2015

Part of a Series? Nope! Play away!

Brief Synopsis:

“Welcome to UNDERTALE. In this RPG, you control a human who falls underground into the world of monsters. Now you must find your way out… or stay trapped forever.”

Commentary:

In Undertale, there’s three routes you can take depending on how you approach battles. There is Pacifist (kill zero enemies), Neutral (kill some enemies), and Genocide (kill all enemies).

I’m going through the Pacifist route as I’m playing and holy Hera is it hard. It keeps you at level 1, 20 HP the entire game because you don’t earn any experience to level up. You have to figure out each enemies’ quirks to figure out how to convince them to not want to fight you anymore so you can spare them. Sometimes I’ve had to run back many, many screens to buy more health items because bosses are too hard to get through without healing!

Overall, it’s super, super fun though! I’ve been really enjoying it despite its difficulty and the conversations characters have with each other are hilarious (Especially Papyrus’ terrible puns. I can’t get enough of those). It also has moments that you don’t expect to kick you in the feels. You’ll know them when you get to them.

(Quick note, make sure you have plenty of healing items before getting to the “final corridor!” I only have a few and I have to hope that’ll get me through the final battle. Eek!)

When you have 10$ to spare (or a really really awesome parent), I seriously recommend grabbing it on Steam!
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Ashe

Explore!

Summer is a perfect time for science! There’s so much to explore! The flora and fauna, the weather, the earth itself! Everything is so alive and vibrant and ready for discovery!

While the outdoors are a great place to discover and explore, there’s a ton of science-y fun to be had inside too! Check out the Vortex for bi-weekly Maker Challenges such as marble roller coasters, snap circuits, popsicle stick chain reactions, and constructing a paint pendulum. Witness chemical reactions with Sharpie Tie-Dye and Science Fun! Learn some computer science in the Studio with Robots. Get up close and personal with some H20 during Outside Water Games!

Image result for water splash

Want to try some science at home? Be on the lookout for Fountaindale’s upcoming STEAM Box Kits and explore from the comfort of your own home!

 

Video Game Review: Stellaris

stellaris

Platform: PC

Rating:  Ages 10+

Genre: Strategy

First Released: May 2016

Part of a Series? Nope! Get it on Steam (hopefully during one of their sales) anytime and dive in!

Brief Synopsis:

“Explore a vast galaxy full of wonder! Paradox Development Studio, makers of the Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis series presents Stellaris, an evolution of the grand strategy genre with space exploration at its core.”

Commentary:

Are you impatient? Then this DEFINITELY isn’t the game for you. It’s super interesting, but there’s a lot of waiting in between actions while you’re waiting for your scientists to survey planets and your military to find new planets for your scientists to survey!

It’s a space strategy game where you are at the head of an alien race and desire to expand your empire across the universe. Encounter space pirates, hostile aliens and even some friendly ones.

So far in my case, I’ve only really encountered hostiles. They keep destroying my army! Rude! I’M JUST EXPLORING GUIZ. SERIOUSLY. CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS? (The answer is eventually. If you try hard enough? I’m apparently not very good at this. /sobs )

So how do you win?

Per the Stellaris wiki

There are three ways to achieve victory in Stellaris:

 

  • Domination, which requires you to own 40% of all colonizable planets. Planets owned by vassals count but those owned by allies and Federation members do not.
  • Conquest, which requires you to conquer or subjugate all other empires. Fallen empires do not need to be conquered.
  • Federation, which require the federation which you’re a part of to own 60% of all colonizable planets.

 

Any empire, even an AI empire, can end up meeting the victory conditions, though the AI ignores their existence and may thus only win as a result of other priorities. However, if an empire is a vassal or protectorate, they cannot claim victory under any circumstance.

The game can be continued even after an empire claims victory.

To me, this doesn’t matter too much because I just enjoy the journey, rather than trying to get to certain win conditions. My favorite part so far is discovering new planets and meeting new aliens! (Even if some of them kill my military D: I’ve since learned to have two fleets and split them. One in one direction, and one in the other!)

Need help getting started? It’s definitely overwhelming at first! But super fun once you get into it. Here’s some links for you to explore.

Now go out and colonize some planets!

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Ashe

Marvel Heroes 2015: Free to Play

Can’t get enough of Marvel Superhero movies? Sick of waiting for the next one to come out? Already voted this week in our Superheroes Vs Villains Showdown? Guess what! There is a free PC game available called Marvel Heroes 2015.

It is available for download with or without Steam.

What is Steam?

Steam is a video game storefront client available on Windows, Mac and Linux; you buy and download the games through Steam. What’s nice about all this is that the games you purchase for your computer are all in one place! Never purchase a game twice because you can’t remember if you’ve bought it already or not (I’ve been there, it’s not fun)! They will all be there in your game library.

Don’t want to download Steam? That’s okay! Here is a link to download and play the game without steam.

Have or want Steam? Go here instead.

To play Marvel Heroes 2015, download Steam on your home computer. (Sorry to any Linux users out there though, Marvel Heroes is only available on Mac and Windows)

Marvel heroes

Image: Steam

To begin playing, you will have to create an account with Marvel Heroes. You can do so here.

Now for the big question:

Why should you play this?

It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the Marvel Universe. You get to play as a Hero and defeat the bad guys! Hydra and many other Marvel Baddies are still out there and they must be stopped! While they have a very wide variety of who you can play as, in the beginning there are only a few you can choose from. They are:

  • Captain America
  • Black Panther
  • Punisher
  • Black Widow
  • Luke Cage
  • Human Torch
  • Colossus
  • Cyclops
  • Storm
  • Hawkeye
  • Rocket Racoon
  • DareDevil

You can play any of these heroes for free up until level 10.

There are three ways to unlock heroes:

  • Upon reaching level 10, you will get a special key that lets you unlock any hero you so desire (even ones that aren’t on the above this list!).
  • On your second login after 24 hours of your first login, you get a login reward of enough game money, eternity shards (ES), to buy one hero (or maybe even two if you go for the 200 ES heroes).
  • Play the game and as you defeat enemies, they will drop ES. You also sometimes get more ES as login rewards but it will never be as much as your second reward.

For a full list of characters you can choose from to play as click here.

To help you decide who to choose to play as go Marvelbase.com. This site lets you see all the possible abilities each character has.

I’m stuck! I’ve looked at all the abilities and I’m having decision anxiety!! What do??

Well, until after you hit level 10, you can play as any of the starter heroes. Play around with them, see whose abilities you like more. Who’s more fun to defeat baddies with?

What? You want a character that’s not on the starter list?

Even though I can’t make the decision for you, I can give a little advice. Whenever I get stuck on picking someone to play as, I tend to choose the character I have the biggest emotional attachment to. I’m the type of person that even if they have the CRAZIEST MOST OVERPOWERED SUPER DUPER ABILITIES EVARR, if I didn’t like the character, it wouldn’t be very fun. I have to like the character (I chose Winter Soldier for those wondering btw).

So look over that list one more time. Who’s your favorite? What Marvel character can you absolutely not live without? There’s your character. Pick them. When in doubt, let your heart decide.
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Ashe