Category Archives: Video Games

Thank you University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Many thanks to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro LIS Alumni Association (and Lynda Kellam) for having me at their event today.  My slides for my speech are above and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me!

REVIEW: Inclusion for iOS

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Perhaps it’s related to my age and how I was brought up in the Nintendo era of gaming, but I’ll never fully adjust to tapping on a screen to play a video game.  That’s why only a few iOS and Android games have caught my eye.  So many games for iOS or Android try to replicate the controller based playing experience and they fail miserably.  It is the games that take the iOS and Android enviroment and use it to their advantage that catch my attention.  Inclusion is one of those games, and boy oh boy does it do it well.

What is it?  
The unbelievably addicting numbers game where you’re pitted against the clock in an effort to reach the goal before time runs out. The screen begins to fade away while your fingers feverishly press the numbers in hopes of reaching the goal.

iOS Simulator Screen shot May 19, 2013 11.03.08 AM

What makes Inclusion work is the simple design.  As you can see above, the screen where you spend most of your time is easy on the eyes.  For a game that requires you to add and subtract quickly in your head, the great design helps you focus on the math.  And trust me, this is a good thing (coming from someone who is horrible at math).

At first Inclusion feels like a game you will play in quick 5-10 minute spurts.  But after you get into it, you find that 30 minutes to an hour has gone by as you try to keep beating your high score.  That’s what keeps me coming back to the game…I always want to top my high score and get my name on the Game Center leader boards.

For parents, you couldn’t ask for a better iOS game to give your tween or teen. Inclusion is high on learning, but even higher on fun.  “Educational games” like this are the ones that succeed in finding an audience. ****

Inclusion is (as of today) 99 cents, and it’s one of the best 99 cents I’ve spent on an iOS game.  Highly recommended.

Get it here at the App Store
Read more about Inclusion here

**** I put “educational games” in quotes because 1) I really dislike that term and 2) Inclusion isn’t an educational game, but instead a fun game that has a few educational elements and 3) I couldn’t think of anything better.

 

 

REVIEW: Wii U

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Before I start this review, I have to say one thing: I love everything that Nintendo does.  I am going to do my best to give you an honest review of this system and not let this get in the way but….I mean, c’mon.  Mario and Zelda are so awesome.

THE GOOD

  • Nintendo TVii is so very rad…..and I already have a smart TV.  For the past two years I’ve loved my Google TV.  Of course I’ve had complaints with how it is set up but I overlooked that…until I got my hands on TVii.  The design is beautiful, simple, and makes watching TV actually quite fun.
  • Google Wii Street U is awesome.  I haven’t had any situations where it has totally helped me out but being able to use the tablet controller as a sort of viewfinder into a totally new world?  Pretty cool, especially for someone like me who’s moving to a new city.
  • And the games.  I have two: Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Brothers U.  They’re not the best games in the world, but they’re fun.  And that’s why I’m playing video games in the first place…to have fun.
  • Speaking of fun, one more thing: this thing is a BLAST when you have at least 3 people playing.  An absolute blast.

THE BAD

  • Nintendo is pretty horrible at going “social” with the gaming experience.  I find the Miiverse to be very clunky and not really engaging.  Sure, it’s cool to type notes or draw doodles and share but who really cares in the long run.  I don’t.
  • There are still some layout and design kinks they need to work out in regards to the Wii U menu and how players can find things.  I find myself going in circles sometimes when what I am looking for should be right under my nose.
  • And the games.  Like I said above, I only have two and not many of the other ones impress me that much.  I am most excited about the games Nintendo is making and those will eventually come out.  For now, I’d love to see other game developers make some neato things that really make use of what the Wii U can do.

THE VERDICT

  • Overall, Nintendo’s gonna come through and deliver some great stuff.  It will take a lot of time but trust me…they always come through.
  • Would this be good for libraries?  You bet.  It is a social gaming experience.  Get the deluxe set and enough controllers to have five people playing at once.  People will dig it.
  • Will it last?  Nintendo stuff always seems to last despite Microsoft and Sony doing bigger and better things with their systems.  Nintendo has focused on the same thing that they always do with the Wii U….fun games….and this will continue to pay off for them.