Eric Watson

Eric Watson

Eric is a freelance writer who enjoys talking about video games, movies, books and Dallas-based sports teams. Every week he watches a random film from his collection of several hundred DVDs and live tweets about it @RogueWatson. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla. He lives near Fort Worth, Texas with his wife and daughter, two dogs, two cats, two fish tanks, some hermit crabs and a bookshelf full of Transformers.

dire wolf digital

Dire Wolf Digital Bringing Six Hit Board Games to Digital

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Dire Wolf Digital announced an exciting lineup of board game digital adaptations from some of the hottest tabletop games of the last several years. The digital versions will include PC and mobile versions, starting with Raiders of the North Sea (Renegade Game Studios) in the next few months.

Dire Wolf Digital are the developers of digital collectible card game Eternal and co-developers (with Renegade Game Studios) of the Clank! board game series. They’ve previously adapted board games Lanterns: The Harvest Festival and Lotus to PC and mobile.

“Bringing some of the hottest fan-favorite tabletop games to digital platforms is an exciting opportunity, and doing it in partnership with some of the industry’s best and brightest is an honor and pleasure,” said Scott Martins, President and founder of Dire Wolf Digital. “These are the games we’re playing ourselves, so making sure they come to life in digital form in a way that’s as great as they are on the table is our focus and an absolute must for us.”

At this time only Raiders of the North Sea was given a tentative release window. Other announced adaptions include: Mage Knight (WizKids), Root (Leder Games), Sagrada (Floodgate Games), Yellow & Yangtze (Grail Games), and Wings of Glory (Ares Games).

Mage Knight is sprawling, dense, but rewarding RPG simulator by renowned board game designer Vlaada Chvatil. Players take on the role of the titular mage knights and explore new territory, battling monsters, leveling up, and building their deck of spells and abilities. Dire Wolf’s partnership includes all of WizKids’ properties, such as Dice Masters and HeroClix.

Root is a war game featuring four asymmetrical woodland forces vying for domination. Sagrada is a dice-drafting game where players build their own stained glass window using colorful dice to fill out their own unique puzzle. Yellow & Yangtze is a tile-placement strategy game from legendary designer Reiner Knizia, a modern evolution of his own 1990s strategy game Tigris & Euphrates. Wings of Glory is a miniatures war game featuring biplane dogfighting in World War 2.

Dire Wolf Digital also recently announced a partnership with Penny Arcade to produce a new physical Clank! board game based on Acquisitions Incorporated. The new version, Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated, will feature an ongoing campaign.

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Mario Maker, Zelda, Star Fox Coming to Nintendo Selects

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Three classic Nintendo 3DS games are joining the Nintendo Selects discount program: Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, and Star Fox 64 3D. All three games will be available for $19.99 and sport the Nintendo Selects packaging starting Feb. 4.

Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS is the portable version of the Wii U hit that lets you make your own Super Mario levels. The editor includes four distinctive eras and dozens of items and special effects to create an infinite and endlessly replayable list of 2D levels. The 3DS version includes touch screen controls and 100 pre-assembled courses in the Super Mario Challenge. It’s rated E for Everyone.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is a 3D remaster of the 2000 classic sequel to Ocarina of Time. Link must race to save the city of Termina from destruction at the end of a crashing moon, using time-travel to help people, solve quests, and explore dungeons. It’s rated E10+.

Star Fox 64 3D is a remake of the 1997 Star Fox game for the Nintendo 64. Control Fox McCloud’s Arwing starship as you blast your way through the planets of the Lylat system and square off against the evil Dr. Andross. The 3DS version includes the original 64 Mode and a new 3DS Mode which includes improved balancing and objectives. A more difficult Expert mode can also be unlocked as you play. Star Fox 64 3D is rated E10+.

Nintendo Selects is an excellent way to pick up great first party Nintendo games for cheap, though currently there are no Switch games in the program. Other Nintendo Selects games include Super Mario 3D Land, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

roblox

Roblox Hires Online Safety Expert as Director of Digital Civility

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Fortnite is getting all the attention, but online free-to-play game Roblox is still one of the most popular gaming destinations for young people around the world, with an active user base in the millions. Much of that crowd is under 18. Roblox Corporation has made numerous steps to ensure online safety, a top concern for parents whose kids enjoy exploring virtual worlds.

The Roblox Corporation has recently hired British online safety expert Laura Higgins as its Director of Digital Civility (the staff page lists her as Online Safety Operations Manager). Higgins has 20 years of experience working with online safety and educational organizations like the South West Grid for Learning. Higgins will work to create a safe, fun, productive environment for players, as well as develop educational resources for parents.

“Because Roblox is rapidly growing into one of the most popular places for kids and teens to hang out and play online, we have a duty to make sure that when they use our platform they can explore their creativity freely and safely,” said Higgins. “We have an opportunity to engage with young people in a unique way, and I hope that by listening to them and giving them a voice, we can help shape their positive behaviors both online and offline. I am beyond delighted to be joining this world-class team of innovators, and I look forward to working with external partners around the world.”

Roblox’s new Digital Civility Initiative will work to improve programs for parents, enhance user experience, and extend Roblox’s educational work with schools.

Roblox originally launched on PC way back in 2006 as a building creation game using Lego-like blocks. It’s also available on mobile devices and Xbox One. The ESRB has rated the Xbox One version E10+ for Fantasy Violence.