Kingdom Hearts

Catch Up On the Entire Series with Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far

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Square Enix wants to make sure you’ve had as many chances as possible to catch up on Kingdom Hearts. They announced the biggest compilation bundle yet for PlayStation 4, Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far.

The Story So Far packs together three previously released bundles into one super bundle. It’s available October 30 for $39.99.

Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far is notable for including last year’s Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix bundle, as well as the one piece missing from that bundle – Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.

Unpacking the various bundles reveals the following games (or cutscenes, where noted) included in The Story So Far.

  • Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
  • Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
  • Kingdom Hearts 368/2 Days (cinematics)
  • Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (cinematics)
  • Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD
  • Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage
  • Kingdom Hearts X Back cover (movie)

The last three entries were specifically included from the 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, which launched last year.

Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far is available to pre-order now. The Kingdom Hearts series is rated E10+. The very long awaited, highly anticipated sequel Kingdom Hearts III is due to launch on January 25, 2019.

mickey mouse

Celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 90th Anniversary with 40,320 Piece Puzzle

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Board game and toy company Ravensburger have unveiled a unique, commemorative puzzle celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 90th anniversary. The one-of-a-kind puzzle is called Mickey Through the Years, and features nine decades of hand-drawn images and photos over 40,320 puzzle pieces.

The puzzle box weighs over 50 pounds and retails for $600. Once fully assembled, it’s over 22 feet long and 6 feet high, making it the largest Mickey puzzle in the world. As evidenced by its size and cost, this puzzle is not for the faint of heart. It’s estimated to take approximately 600 hours to fully assemble.

It ties the largest non-Mickey puzzle in the world, which also happens to be a Disney-themed puzzle designed by Ravensburger.

“Over 40,000 puzzle pieces celebrate Disney’s most iconic character in Mickey Through the Years,” said Thomas Kaeppeler, President of Ravensburger North America. ͞”We worked with Disney’s designers and artists to create a challenging puzzle and one that is equal parts art to keep the most persistent puzzlers going as they complete each image of cherished scrapbook memorabilia throughout Mickey’s amazing 90-year history.”

mickey mouse

The puzzle is made up of 10 different quadrants of 4,032 pieces each. Each quadrant depicts a different decade in Mickey’s history, beginning with his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in 1928. Examples include The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol in the 1980s. The final quadrant is a unique sketch that celebrates Mickey’s 90th anniversary, along with friends Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy.

The official celebration of Mickey’s 90th anniversary takes place November 18. The Mickey Through the Years puzzle is available to purchase via Amazon, Disney, Ravensburger, and select hobby stores today. It has a suggested age of 14+.

disney villainous

Disney Villainous Review

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Publisher: Wonder Forge
Age: 10+
Players: 2-6
Game Length: 45-60 minutes
MSRP: $34.99

A good villain usually makes for a good story, and one of Disney’s strengths throughout every era was its memorable cast of villains. Some, like Maleficent, have even become more popular than their heroic rivals. Yet we’ve never seen a tabletop game that focuses solely on the darker side of the Disney universe, until now.

Disney Villainous is an elegantly constructed, asymmetrical card game where you play as one of six classic Disney villains. Each villain has their own deck of cards, player board, and goals, all of which reflect their sinister machinations in each film. Being bad never felt so good.

Off With Their Head

Players begin by selecting one of six infamous villains: Captain Hook, Maleficent, Jafar, Ursula, Prince John and Queen of Hearts.

disney villainousEvery villain is tasked with completing their own objective, ripped straight from the films. Jafar has to unlock the Cave of Wonders, hypnotize the genie, and bring both he and the lamp to the Palace, while Captain Hook needs to defeat Peter Pan at the Jolly Roger.

Each turn you move your player marker onto one of four locations on your player board. Each space has several different actions available, from playing cards to gathering power and vanquishing heroes. Choosing where to go and how to utilize both your cards and your limited actions each turn is a delightful puzzle.

At the same time, you’ll need to draw from the fate deck of your opponent’s heroes to foil their plans, while they do the same to you.

Choose Your Fate

While the villains are trying to get their various objectives done, those pesky heroes are always in the way. One of the actions allows you to draw from your opponent’s fate deck of heroes, select one of two cards, and play them on the top portion of their player board. Heroes cover up half the actions, weakening that villain’s options, as well as including debilitating effects specifically designed to undermine that villain – such as discarding Maleficent’s curses or stealing power from Prince John.

The fate deck is a lot of fun and helps alleviate the multiplayer-solitaire problem that frequently crops up in these kinds of games. It provides a high level of interactivity between players, and leads to some fun table talk as players see who’s doing well and work to thwart them.

disney villainous

The card art, player board, and player pieces are absolutely lovely. Disney fans will be satisfied to find classic art depictions of movie scenes and characters on each card. The foldout player board looks fantastic and the pieces are gorgeous 3D color-coded symbols of each villain. As great as the components are, the modeled plastic cauldron that holds the power is cheap by comparison.

With each villain having unique rules and cards, some of them play far more complex than others. Prince John and Maleficent are very straight-forward, while Ursula’s need to apply Binding Contracts to defeat heroes and only ever having access to three locations at a time creates a much more difficult scenario.

The balance between villains seems fine – almost every game I played was very close. Though Maleficent won every game she was played in, regardless of who played her. A complexity rating for each villain would have been very welcome, though the guide pamphlets do a decent job explaining their unique play styles.

The Rating

Villainous has a recommended age of 10+. Despite being a Disney game it’s complex enough to make it suitable only for older kids, teens, and adults. The fact that the most recent villain is from 1992 is a big clue that it skews to an older crowd than most Disney games. The game is easy enough to teach, but each villain has its own rules to learn and strategies to employ, and you have to pay close attention to what your opponents are doing.

disney villainous

The Takeaway

Villainous is a fantastic and cleverly designed card game. Each villain’s deck and strategy is richly thematic and expertly tied to their respective films, and the fate deck is an effective way of adding deliciously diabolical player interactivity. Hugely recommended for Disney fans looking for their next favorite card game.

Find Disney Villainous at Amazon, Target, and other retailers. 

nintendo switch family showdown

Win a Trip to LA in the Nintendo Switch Family Showdown Contest

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In what feels like a blast from the game show-laden 1990s and early 2000s, Nintendo and Disney are partnering for the Nintendo Switch Family Showdown Contest. The contest is open now and ends July 1.

Families can apply for the contest by submitting a one-minute video. The video should explain why they are big Nintendo fans (and presumably how marketable and charismatic your family is). Four families (of up to four) will ultimately be selected to compete in the Nintendo Switch Family Showdown. Contest winners will earn a 3-day trip to Los Angeles as well as the chance to meet the teen stars of the Disney Channel.

Contest entry will end July 1. The Nintendo Switch Family Showdown will air later this summer, starting August 27, on the Disney Channel, Disney XD, and the DisneyNOW app. On the Showdown, the winning families will compete in a series of gaming challenges on a Nintendo-themed set.

Examples of challenges include finding collectibles in Super Mario Odyssey, competing head-to-head in Mario Tennis Aces, and showing off the dance moves in Just Dance 2018. The competition is mean to be fun and family-friendly, using modern video games as an anchor to bring families together and make for a fun spectator sport.

Video submissions are open now, and close July 1. The Nintendo Switch Family Showdown will air beginning August 27 on the Disney Channel.