card battler

Four Great Deckbuilder Card Battlers For Fans of Slay the Spire

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Slay the Spire’s successful year-plus Early Access run and launch last year helped popularize an exciting new genre. While “card battler” could be used to describe digital adaptations of collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh, it’s increasingly used to describe RPGs, roguelikes, and strategy games that happen to use cards to represent items, buildings, or abilities.

If you’re looking for more excellent card battlers besides Slay the Spire, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites.

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Pokémon GO Making Quarantine-Friendly Changes to Play from Home

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When many states and countries around the world are sheltering in place during the global coronavirus pandemic, playing a game the requires walking around outside is probably not a great idea. To adjust to this new normal, Pokémon GO is adding several changes that make the AR mobile game easier to play without leaving your own home.

First, everyone will receive one daily bonus Field Research task. Every day at midnight you’ll receive a bonus task without having to spin a PokéStop. The tasks will focus on activities you can do at home.

Buddy pokémon will send gifts to you from PokéStops if you’re running low. You can then send these gifts to friends online.

The Remote Raid Pass will allow you to join any raid on the Nearby screen, without having to physically be near the raid site. The number of Remote Raid Passes that can be used in a raid is currently limited.

In the future, when it’s safe to get together again, the power level of remote users will be reduced. Remote Raid Passes can be purchased for 100 PokéCoins. As an initial bonus, a special 1 PokéCoin bundle also includes Remote Raid Passes.

Finally, pokémon can be powered up faster using candy and stardust, and items will overlap to add their duration. The XP-granting Lucky Egg normally lasts for 30-minutes at a time. Soon you can activate up to 24-hours worth of Lucky Eggs. Watch that phone battery!

Niantic has not announced when these changes will go live. More new updates, such as improved battle screens, are also coming soon. Pokémon GO is free-to-download on mobile devices.

Ada and the Lost Horizon is a Collaborative Storytelling Game Using Social Media

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YA author Leila Sales has one solution for keeping us busy during the pandemic lockdown: a collaborative storytelling game called Ada and the Lost Horizon, which kicked off April 9. Read the full instructions for the interactive story game.

All you need to play is an internet connection, and access to social media sites. The story unfolds every other day via Sales’ Instagram and Twitter accounts at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern. Each scene ends with a task, where readers and participants can submit their answers via social media using the hashtag #AdaAndThe LostHorizon. After 24 hours, Sales will select one of the tasks and incorporate it into the story, where it will appear in the following scene.

The story began with a girl named Ada waking up and finding her younger brother Teddy missing, along with a mysterious ransom note. The story and language are suitable for children, though anyone under 13 needs to have parent or guardian permission to post their task completions.

The designer encourages participants to use items and objects around their home to complete tasks, turning the story into a series of scavenger hunts. Tasks will be rated based on the following criteria: 1) creativity and imagination, 2) contribution to the narrative, and 3) using real subjects outside of a computer or phone screen.

Leila Sales is the author of seven YA novels, including the upcoming The Campaign releasing in August 2020. She runs her own book development business, The Book Engineer, that helps authors, agents, and editors collaborate and meet their goals.

Pokémon GO Social Distancing Includes Halving Hatch Time, Doubling Gym Distance

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A game that forces you to walk around outside is probably the last thing we need to be playing during the coronavirus pandemic. To help alleviate these issues (avoid losing players), Niantic is making several changes to Pokémon GO.

“We have always believed that our games can include elements of indoor play that complement the outdoor, exercise and explore DNA of what we build,” states Niantic. “Now is the time for us to prioritize this work, with the key challenge of making playing indoors as exciting and innovative as our outdoor gameplay.”

Adventure Sync works indoors just as much as outdoors, tracking steps taken to hatch eggs as long as you have your phone while doing chores or exercising. Future changes will improve Adventure Sync with indoor movements.

Hatching eggs is now much easier, as the requirement for hatching all eggs placed in incubators has been halved. This should fit perfectly with the annual Springtime egg event, which doubles the amount of candy upon hatching, and increases the length of Lucky Eggs to one hour. Unique Field Research rewards include encounters with Alolan Exeggutor and Azumarill, and flower hat-wearing Pikachu will appear in the wild. The Spring event ends April 16.

The distance to interact with Gym battles has also been temporarily doubled, including spinning them as PokéStops from much farther away. For some reason, that double distance does not apply to regular PokéStops, however.

The GO Battle League offers PvP battling from the comfort of your own home. The walking requirements for admission have been reduced to zero, along with discounted prices on poké balls and incense.

Pokémon is free to download on mobile devices.

Disney Mirrorverse Is an Action-RPG Launching on Mobile

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Mobile developer Kabam, along with Disney, have announced Disney Mirrorverse. Disney Mirrorrverse is an action-packed world of Disney and Pixar characters, releasing on mobile devices later this year.

In Disney Mirrroverse, players unlock, assemble (and most likely, purchase) souped-up Disney and Pixar characters called Guardians. Teams of Guardians must defeat waves of enemies in real-time combat by unleashing each character’s special abilities.

“Disney Mirrorverse represents a brave reimagining of iconic Disney and Pixar characters and stories, and we’re delighted to be working with Kabam to bring this original universe to life for players,” said Sean Shoptaw, SVP, Games and Interactive Experiences at Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “This stunning new adventure will appeal to Disney fans and die-hard RPG fans alike, and we can’t wait to show players what’s on the other side of the Stellar Mirror.”

“We are beyond excited to bring so many amazing Disney and Pixar characters together, and to present each of them in a heroic light that fans have never seen before,” said Tim Fields, CEO, Kabam. “Over the coming months, we’ll be working closely with our friends at Disney to tune and polish this immersive and engaging adventure.”

Disney Mirrorverse is currently in beta testing in select regions. You can sign up for updates at the official website.

Minecraft Education Edition

Minecraft: Education Edition is Free for Educators to Support Online Teaching

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Schools around the country and the world are closing to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means many students and teachers are using online tools for education. Microsoft is helping teachers and students stay connected by offering Minecraft: Education Edition for free to all educators through June 30.

In order to qualify, teachers will need to have a valid Office 365 Education account, and fill out this form. You’ll also need to make sure your school is eligible. If you receive access, you can download Minecraft: Education Edition for Windows, Mac or iOS (iPad). If you don’t have a valid account, or just want to check it out, you can still download the game and try a free demo lesson.

Microsoft has also put together a remote learning toolkit that includes 50 lessons, activities, and projects that educators can use with Minecraft: Education Edition. A new category of educational Minecraft worlds are also available in the Minecraft Marketplace. All of these worlds are free to download through June 30.

“Distance learning requires students to be engaged in content in news ways,” said Becky Keene, Minecraft certified trainer and educator. “As they work remotely, they need to have activities and environments that motivate them to learn. Minecraft supports almost any content area, and students can show me their learning without missing a beat!”