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.

little shopping

Little Shopping Helps Teach Preschoolers Counting Skills on Switch

Posted by | News, Switch | No Comments

While many games on the Switch are kid-friendly, few are explicitly educational, and even fewer aimed at the under six crowd. Little Shopping is a counting game for toddlers and preschoolers to teach and foster counting skills. It’s out today on Switch for $1.49. Best of all, there are no ads or microtransactions.

In Little Shopping, your preschooler can shop at four different kid-friendly stores, such as grocery, pet, and toy. They have a shopping list to identify which products they need to buy. Then they’ll need to pay the appropriate amount in coins. The touch screen controls let your little one drag the items they or coins they need.

Using coins for counting is a tool that kids will learn throughout their early years in Kindergarten and first grade.

Little Shopping was developed by Polish company Baked Games and published by Ultimate Games S.A., a Polish producer best known for Ultimate Fishing Simulator. Baked Games has developed a number of kid-friendly mobile titles, including Guess Word, Theater Tales, and Pet Care.

Little Shopping is available today on Switch. It’s also available on the Polish App Store and Google Play digital mobile stores. Naturally, it’s rated E for Everyone.

toejam & earl

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Review

Posted by | PC, PlayStation 4, Reviews, Switch, Xbox One | No Comments

Available On: PC (Win, Mac, Linux), PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One

The honeymoon for nostalgia-fueled Kickstarter video game projects has long since passed. Older games and genres from the 80s and 90s inspired a treasure trove of multi-million dollar projects, to varying degrees of success. Despite the digital gold rush, I never expected one of these Kickstarter fruits to bear a new ToeJam & Earl game, let alone it be quite good.

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is the fourth game in the bizarre but strangely memorable 90s series. But it’s also a triumphant recreation of the 1991 original, which has all the early trappings of a solid roguelike dungeon crawler, that happens to star a pair of funky aliens. While some gameplay elements are quite frustrating, Back in the Groove is dripping with 90s charm, lots of replayability, and fantastic co-op.

Read More

Mario Day

Celebrate Mario Day with Nintendo Switch Mario Bundles

Posted by | News, Switch | No Comments

Yesterday, March 10, is also known as Mario Day. Mar.10 – get it? Nintendo is celebrating this year with special Nintendo Switch bundles featuring the mustachioed plumber. Thankfully the sale extends beyond the day, ending next Saturday, March 16.

The Mario Day promotion bundles digital downloads of Mario games with a Nintendo Switch purchase. It’s only available at participating retailers: Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. The suggested bundle price is $329.99. The normal cost of a Switch by itself is $299, so it amounts to a 50% savings on a full priced Mario game.

To qualify for the promotion, add the Switch console and any one of the below Mario games to your shopping cart, and you should see the savings applied.

One of five Mario games can be selected from the following:

  • Super Mario Party
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

Note that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Switch bundle has previously been available.

If you already own a Switch you can still take advantage of the Mario 10 promotion. Digital download Nintendo eShop codes sold at retailers and retail websites can be redeemed for those same Mario games for $39.99 each.

“What better way to celebrate Mario Day than by playing some of the most popular Mario games on Nintendo Switch,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior VP (and soon to be President and COO) . “This promotion is a great option for consumers who want to pick up Nintendo Switch and some hit games at a value price.”

The Switch bundle promotions are available both in store and online. The digital Mario sale by itself is only available at retailers who sell digital codes. The Mario Day sale ends March 16.

gog

GOG Welcomes the Lord of Terror with Diablo Rerelease

Posted by | News, PC | No Comments

Digital PC game store GOG added a seminal classic of PC gaming to its library: 1996’s Diablo. For the first time you can now purchase Diablo outside of Blizzard (or retail), for $9.99. It does not include the 1997 Hellfire expansion, which was released by a different company.

Like many of GOG’s rereleases, Diablo has been closely preserved to its original release, with 20 FPS SVGA graphics. Up to four players can journey beneath Tristram together through direct IP connection or the older version of Blizzard’s Battle.net multiplayer lobby. Note that playing online requires opening up ports and your firewall as Diablo predates modern online safeguards.

A few tweaks and updates have been included to support modern PCs, including Win 10 support and proper upscaling for higher resolutions.

While not the first dungeon crawling loot fest, Diablo is often considered the grandfather of the entire genre. Play a warrior, rogue, or sorcerer and explore randomly generated dungeons, fight monsters, and nab loot. Diablo was a huge success that begat an entire genre of co-op hack ‘n slash games that persists to this day.

Diablo was the most requested game on GOG. To this day it’s often voted as one of the best and most influential games of all time. Though its gameplay hasn’t aged quite as well, with clunky controls and muddy graphics. Diabl0 2, released in 2000, was a massive improvement in every way, and is even more highly regarded. Diablo 2 is currently available via Blizzard’s store.

Diablo represents the first of several classic Blizzard games that will make their way onto GOG. The partnership is due to the fact that these games’ older infrastructure prevent them from being sold and played via Blizzard’s modern Battle.net digital storefront. Blizzard’s solution is to remake them, such as with 2017’s StarCraft Remastered and WarCraft 3 Reforged, coming later this year. The original Warcraft 1 and 2 will be coming to GOG as well.

Diablo is rated M for Mature.