summer games flower

5 Games to Beat the Summer Heat

Posted by | Feature, Mobile, PlayStation 4, Xbox One | No Comments

Temperatures are at an all time high, another school year is in the books and Game of Thrones had another epic finale. It must be summertime again. While Pokemon Go is doing its best to get us outside and enjoying the summer sun, it doesn’t hurt to take a break with some cool air conditioning and your gaming platform of choice while recharging your phone battery.

We’ve gone ahead and outlined a few titles, both new and old, that will help you escape the heat in the toasty days to come.

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky is one of the most ambitious games to ever hit a console platform. It revolves around exploring the vast expanses of the universe thousands of lightyears in every direction. You’ll be able to explore 18 quintillion planets (just trust us, that’s an 18 with a lot of zeroes behind it), and while we don’t know how much variety we’ll see in those environments, it’ll still be easy to spend a night exploring the stars.

Players will be able to discover new planets, plant life, and animal species and get naming rights that will be visible to every other player in the game. All you have to do is get into your space ship, pick a spot on the horizon and travel.

You can start your own Star Trek like expedition on August 9th, and while it’s worrisome that this is developer Hello Game’s first foray into a title of this size, Sony’s support should make No Man’s Sky something to keep an eye on.

summer games no man's sky


People love Banjo Kazooie, so much so that they poured more than 2 million dollars into a Kickstarter campaign to develop a spiritual successor, Yooka Laylee. It’s scheduled to come out this Fall, so why not get ready for the release by playing the game that inspired it?

It’s one of the N64’s most charming platformers, and leaves players in a good mood every time they play it. It’s in the running for the highly contested ‘best 3D platformer on the N64’ throne. Banjo Kazooie has an incredible amount of charm through the hilariously voiced characters and incredibly catchy music playing throughout the game.

I’m not one to usually mention numerical scores as a valid point to my argument, but Banjo Kazooie currently has a whopping 92 on Metacritic. You can experience childlike wonder all over again with Banjo as part of the Rare Replay on the Xbox One.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

It’s been six years since Metroid: Other M was released on the Wii, and most fans of the franchise don’t consider that a true entry in the series. So, how long will it be until we get to satisfy our craving for some arm cannon action? Not long, technically.

The new co-op shooter Metroid Prime: Federation Force is hitting the 3DS on August 19th, and while it’s been getting trashed left and right for not being the Metroid game everyone wanted, it does look like an enjoyable multiplayer experience. You take control of a space marine going on different planetary missions for the Galactic Federation. You don’t get to play as Samus Aran, but, developer Next Level games has said she will show up.

If it’s anything like The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes, it’ll offer a lot of good times around the 3DS local play circle. While the multiplayer Zelda title failed to provide a quality single player experience, it did offer a tremendous amount of fun when you had three players to conquer dungeons with. Let’s just hope that Nintendo has learned their lesson and added download play so that more players can jump in without having to own the game themselves.

summer games abzu


This underwater exploration game was one of the hidden gems of this year’s E3. While it didn’t get as much coverage as other titles, the people that did play it loved every minute of it. And the best part is that it’s out in a few weeks.

Abzu takes you to a world not often explored in gaming: the deep blue sea. You take control of The Diver as you investigate underwater caverns, kelp forests, and the deeper depths where you discover thousands of species of underwater creatures.

The game is gorgeous, taking on the style of similar titles Flower and Journey with vibrant colors and mesmerizing uses of both light and shadow. Taking a slow swim with a school of bluestripe snappers is reason enough to give Abzu a try. It hits the Playstation Network and Steam on August 2nd.


The cost of a typical spa day can add up quickly, so if you don’t have it in the budget and need a quick way to unwind, it’s time to sit down with Flower.

It’s an indie title that only lasts a few hours for a quick playthrough, and yet it’s one of the best indie games on Playstation 3. Developed by Thatgamecompany in 2009, Flower doesn’t challenge you as much as it attempts to soothe your senses as you journey through fields, valleys, and cities as a petal.

As one of the most gorgeous experiences in modern gaming, Flower takes advantage of the Playstations sixaxis controller to guide the flower petal. Sony re-released Flower on the PS4 and Vita for a cheap $7. If you haven’t had the chance to explore this beautiful game, then now’s the time.

from the makers of Banjo Kazooie

[Podcast] Gaming With the Moms #3: Get Ready for Eeeeeee! (E3)

Posted by | News, Podcasts | No Comments

Check Out Technology Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Gaming With The Moms on BlogTalkRadio

Welcome to episode #3 of the Gaming With the Moms podcast, where we talk about family-gaming news and issues—and we occasionally/often go off on crazy tangents about geeky topics like Riker’s beard). Nicole Tanner, our host and Pixelkin’s managing editor, leads the conversation. This week we talk about violence in video games and other topics, including E3, the big industry convention.

Please subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our RSS feed! We’ll be forever grateful. Also, you can download the episode here.

In this episode:

  • The people behind the beloved Banjo Kazooie game are coming out with a new game called Yooka-Laylee. A chameleon and a bat team up in this great-looking 3D platformer.
  • A leak! There are going to be new Star Wars figurines for Disney Infinity.
  • Microsoft has announced they’re going to make modding (modifying) Minecraft much easier. They’ve also announced the name of their new browser will be called “Edge.” Somehow this discussion morphs into a fight about how good the band U2 is.
  • Children’s TV shows can be annoying. How you decide what you can put up with (it’s not easy sometimes).
  • Simone and Linda had dinner with Jerry Holkins and had a lively discussion about Assassin’s Creed: Unity. We go on a rant about whether it makes sense to hide in haystacks, in closets, or in both.Assassin's Creed Unity
  • We talk about the video games we’ve been playing: Peggle Blast (Simone), Broken Age (Courtney), Year Walk (Nicole), plus the usefulness of walkthroughs. And why it’s always good to play hard puzzle games with a friend.
  • Although violence in video games sometimes looks bad to non-players, most video game players actually experience the violence in video games in much the same way that chess players do—as just a part of playing the game and trying to be a good competitor. (And yet, how we wish there were more creative games like SplatoonPortal, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney that don’t involve “killing” things.)
  • Some video games are really funny, like the indie game I Am Bread, in which you’re a piece of bread trying to toast yourself, and a game that’s a favorite of Courtney’s, Octodad: The Dadliest Catch.
    Octodad Dadliest Catch

    Octodad: Dadliest Catch is fun and funny.

  • Not everyone is going to enjoy video games. And that’s okay. But we live for the day when “gamer” carries the same type of (mellow) connotations as “movie fan” or “reader.”
  • Somehow we get off on a long tangent about the myriad Star Trek series on TV.
  • We talk about the merits of an article in Gamasutra in which the author complains about the tyranny of popularity—how being popular makes games more popular, but it’s hard to break in and become popular in the first place.
  • We talk about Steam, an excellent place to buy video games on the Internet, and why it’s great. Especially with the new increased ability for games to ban players.
  • The June E3 conference is the place where many new games are announced. There’s a new press conference for PC games planned for E3. If you like being the first among your friends to find out when games are coming out, you can watch the streaming press conferences—or just wait for Pixelkin’s coverage of E3, because we’ll be watching and posting articles the whole time.

This podcast was recorded in the studios of the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle. Music by Pat Goodwin at Novelty Shop Creative. Nicole Tanner, Linda Breneman, Simone de Rochefort, and Courtney Holmes participated in this podcast. Thanks for listening!

And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our RSS feed!