Hey Pixelkiners, we have a week full of reviews for you.

First up is Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the ten thousandth game in the Call of Duty franchise. Okay, all kidding aside, Advanced Warfare does bring some new stuff to the series. There are lots of futuristic gadgets, vehicles, and weapons to play with. Players like it for the intense multiplayer that requires fast reflexes and high time commitment. But did we like it? Not really. It’s really violent and really pro-military. If you like the rest of the Call of Duty games, this is probably going to be another hit. It just wasn’t our cup of tea.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is another solid sequel that doesn’t have any surprises in store. Like the rest of the Civ games, Beyond Earth puts the player in charge of the economics, politics, and general expansion of a civilization. This one takes place in the future, after humans have fled a barren Earth. It’s a complex game that takes a lot of strategy to master. Definitely one for more mature players. If you like strategy games and want to try your hand at colonizing deep space, this is a solid choice.

And finally, one more game came across our radar this week: the completely ridiculous and awesome Sunset Overdrive. Like Call of Duty, Sunset Overdrive is rated M—but it takes mature content to a whole new level. The enemies have been mutated by a toxic energy drink, and the violence is totally cartoonish—with as many bright colors and gooey explosions as possible. Along with some other un-mutated humans, you’re trying to escape Sunset City—but the game is mostly about having fun in a post-apocalyptic playground. This game has a lot of foul language, for sure. But the violence is so over the top that we actually recommend it over the more realistic Call of Duty. It’s also way more creative.

NHL, FIFA, NBA, Madden… a lot of big sports games launch this time of year. Sports games can be great for family game night too, if you like a little healthy competition. If you’re torn between too many choices, we have a great write-up detailing what you can expect from each of these new games.

We were thrilled to be at the Indie Game Revolution Launch Party at Seattle’s EMP last Friday. Indie Game Revolution features tons of awesome independent games that you can play at the museum. If you’re interested in the history of independent games, and where they might go in the future, this exhibit is a must. To see some footage of the launch party and get revved up, check out our video documentary.

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.