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HuniePop Review

Developer: HuniePot Publisher: HuniePot Platform: PC – MangaGamer, Steam I never would have thought that HuniePop was going to be a game that I’d be playing for over 11 hours until 2 in the morning. At a glance, it looks like your […]

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Ostrich Island Review

Developer: MeDungeon Publisher: MeDungeon Platform: PC – Steam You know, I never really expected to play a game where you control an ostrich – but the concept is adorable! Ostrich Island begins with an ostrich who has their head buried […]

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Hexcells Review

Developer: Matthew Brown Publisher: Matthew Brown Platform: PC – Steam Every single year tons of new puzzle games launch – and I play a great deal of them. So many fall on established styles and therefore fail to draw my […]

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Leah’s Top Five Played 3DS Games of 2014

Over the years, the 3DS has grown to become one of my favorite gaming systems ever. There are just so many incredible games that have been released on the system so far, and there are plenty more to come (especially […]

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Alpaca Party Review

Developer: Meow Puff Games Publisher: Meow Puff Games Platform: Android, iOS (coming soon) When we at Pixel Pacas first saw Alpaca Party on Kickstarter, there was absolutely no hesitation before pledging towards the project. After all, we obviously love alpacas! Thankfully, it did […]

 

HuniePop Review

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Developer: HuniePot
Publisher: HuniePot
Platform: PC – MangaGamerSteam

I never would have thought that HuniePop was going to be a game that I’d be playing for over 11 hours until 2 in the morning. At a glance, it looks like your typical mediocre anime dating sim. There are plenty of those floating around, so why bother with HuniePop?

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Ostrich Island Review

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Developer: MeDungeon
Publisher: MeDungeon
Platform: PC – Steam

You know, I never really expected to play a game where you control an ostrich – but the concept is adorable! Ostrich Island begins with an ostrich who has their head buried in the sand. That’s you. After it quits being a scaredy cat the journey begins. Each level is fairly small and all that’s required is to get from point A to point B (with a great deal of collectibles in between).

The game is incredibly odd at first glance and even in play still seems strange. After all, there’s a button dedicated to digging your head in the sand as well as kicking. You’ll kick a lot if you want the highest score. Kick treasure chests to open them, or kick palm trees to knock the darn things over and collect what they drop. Your main goal is to collect big ‘ol ostrich eggs but there are tons of other prospective goodies.

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Although Ostrich Island may seem incredibly short and linear, you’ll eventually discover the progress gating. This ostrich needs to gain some skills (such as jumping higher or swimming) before proceeding. It’s a bit annoying since all you really want to do is goof off. It’s around this point that the cohesiveness also starts to disintegrate. Suddenly you’re in a dungeon! For some reason there are skeletons running around that kill you! It’s nonsensical in an annoying way given you have limited lives.

It’s safe to say that Ostrich Island is far less aimless than similar animal-controlled games like Goat Simulator. There’s definite purpose. For a while I even let myself get hooked on trying to collect all level items, hats, skins, and achievements. Really, your enjoyment of it will be derived by how much fun you have unlocking stuff versus how well you handle glitchy jumps, annoying progression gating, and the like. Ostrich Island is an odd bird indeed.


Score: 2

2 out of 5 alpacas


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Hexcells Review

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Developer: Matthew Brown
Publisher: Matthew Brown
Platform: PC – Steam

Every single year tons of new puzzle games launch – and I play a great deal of them. So many fall on established styles and therefore fail to draw my attention. Hexcells, on the other hand, provided a fairly unique experience and has captivated many. Now there’s a whole series of games for fans to enjoy. So how is this very first puzzler?

Simply phenomenal. The concepts at play are incredibly simple, which is almost necessary for a good puzzle game. Each stage presents players with a variety of hexagons laid out so they touch one another. Some include numbers on them. Your goal is to activate adjacent cells equal to the number on a hexagon. It might sound a bit weird at first but the quick tutorial stages make the goal understandable.

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With a bit of knowledge under your belt Hexcells throws a handful of increasingly difficult puzzles your way, adding more considerations along the way. Mistakes are allowed but if you make to many you won’t get enough points to continue on. There aren’t a ton of stages in all, which is the biggest letdown. Then again, the game is only $2.99 to begin with.

Hexcells excels at providing a fun and simple puzzle game that requires some careful thinking along the way. By the end I didn’t quite get the hang of it, but it was still enjoyable to work through each included puzzle. If you absolutely love the game then check out its sequels: Hexcells Infinite and Hexcells Plus.


Score: 4

4 out of 5 alpacas


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Leah’s Top Five Played 3DS Games of 2014

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Over the years, the 3DS has grown to become one of my favorite gaming systems ever. There are just so many incredible games that have been released on the system so far, and there are plenty more to come (especially with all the cool stuff that was just announced during the most recent Nintendo Direct!). While it’s rare for me to jump on new game releases anymore, the 3DS is an exception judging by my Activity Log. So, let’s check out my top five played 3DS games of 2014!


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5. Tomodachi Life

I was pretty excited when Nintendo first announced that they were bringing Tomodachi Life to North America. The Nintendo Direct that showcased it was incredibly zany and weird – how could you not love a game like this? While Tomodachi Life didn’t end up meeting my expectations in the end, I still had a lot of fun having in-game versions of my family and other characters interact with each other in hilarious situations. Oh, and I was able to marry Naoto Shirogane, so that’s a plus.

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4. Disney Magical World

Disney Magical World is one of those games you probably think is supposed to be aimed towards the youngsters. Well, it might be, but it’s still surprisingly entertaining and offers a lot for the older crowd. It feels a lot like a Rune Factory game, which is a series I love, so Disney Magical World definitely clicked with me. Plus there’s tons of customization! I still haven’t “beat” Disney Magical World because it’s such an expansive game, but maybe I can get around to doing that sometime this year.

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3. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

I think the original Theatrhythm Final Fantasy was one of my favorite games of 2012. So, it’s no surprise that I took an immediate liking to its sequel. Everything in Curtain Call has been improved upon from its predecessor. It also offers tons more songs, Quest Medley mode, and a very entertaining Versus Battle mode. All of these combined make for a lot of time spent with the rhythm game. Now Theatrhythm Dragon Quest has been announced, and while I’m not as big a fan of Dragon Quest like I am with Final Fantasy, I know I will probably play that a lot, too!

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2. Fantasy Life

Fantasy Life is one of those games that I had no idea I would be spending so much time on. There’s just so many sidequests and whatnot to delve into! In fact, I’ve been messing around with non-story stuff so much that I still haven’t beat the main game. I am pretty close to beating Fantasy Life, though, only because I’ve decided to shift my attention from mastering every Life and fulfilling requests for a brief moment.

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1. Pokémon Alpha Sapphire

Ah, of course a Pokémon game is number one on my list (though my playtime is not nearly as much as the hundreds of hours I used to spend on each individual Pokémon game). In any case, I still easily succumb to the series’ siren call and buy each and every iteration. And how could I resist a blast to the past with a Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire remake? Alpha Sapphire has definitely given me a healthy dose of nostalgia while still offering plenty of new additions, and in my playthrough, I’ve barely scratched the surface. Maybe if I ever have the time, I’ll try to actually catch ‘em all.


There you have it, folks. 2014 was a pretty awesome for the 3DS. Now here’s hoping that 2015 is just as great, or perhaps even better!

Alpaca Party Review

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Developer: Meow Puff Games
Publisher: Meow Puff Games
Platform: Android, iOS (coming soon)

When we at Pixel Pacas first saw Alpaca Party on Kickstarter, there was absolutely no hesitation before pledging towards the project. After all, we obviously love alpacas! Thankfully, it did meet its goal and now the world finally gets to see the adorable, fluffy fruits of Meow Puff Games’ labor. But is there more to Alpaca Party than just cuteness?

The main gist of Alpaca Party is, well, to throw the ultimate alpaca party. In order to do so, you must buy party favors, upgrade your tunes, and invite different alpacas. All this requires coins, which is simply done by shearing your grooving partygoers when their wool grows long enough. At first, you’ll only be getting alpacas that give very little coins. But as you continue upgrading your alpaca license, you’ll be able to invite rarer alpacas that give out tons of coins.

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There’s also an extra little mini game that Alpaca Party offers called Floaty Alpaca, which plays exactly like Flappy Bird. While Floaty Alpaca does offer coins, it’s nowhere near the amount that you’re able to earn by simply shearing your alpacas in the main mode. It is a nice and charming distraction, however!

Honestly, that’s pretty much all the gameplay that Alpaca Party has to speak of. However, there’s something oddly addictive about it. While I’m doing other things, I’ve been letting Alpaca Party run on my phone on and off since its debut in late December in order to shear my alpacas and earn coins. It’s such an exhilarating feeling when you’re finally able to afford a new party favor or alpaca license! Though the best part, of course, is finding a brand new, super cute alpaca to add to your dancing menagerie.

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So far, Alpaca Party is only available for Android devices. iOS users need not fret, as Alpaca Party should also be available for them soon enough. In any case, if you’re looking for something adorable, captivating, and different, then definitely download and check Alpaca Party out. Best of all, it’s free!


Pink Score: 3

3 out of 5 alpacas


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Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Tale of Orpheo’s Curse Review

Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Tale of Orpheo's Curse

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Developer: Viacom New Media
Publisher: Viacom New Media
Platform: PC – DOS, Macintosh

Are You Afraid of the Dark? was one show on Nickelodeon that both enticed and frightened me during its run. Until recently I’d never realized any games existed for the series. Yet, a lone point and click adventure was released! Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Tale of Orpheo’s Curse places you in the shoes of the newest storyteller hoping to join the Midnight Society. Depending on how you “tell” the tale determines whether they let you in or not.

It’s actually a really cool framing for a digital episode of the show. Of course, you can only tell “The Tale of Orpheo’s Curse” but it changes depending how you play. Screw up and the other kids become excited or disappointed over the turn of events and give you hints on how to get things back on track. Of course, this framing is at the sidelines and most of your time is spent with the stars of this story: Terry and Alex.

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These two siblings have somehow found themselves at Orpheo’s Palace – a run down theater which used to show magic performances. Of course, somehow they get in and discover that Orpheo is apparently alive and well and wants to use them in his sinister trick. As you explore you’ll discover hidden rooms, a variety of different, but mostly simplistic puzzles, and a surprising amount of danger. With that said, as a game targeted to Nickelodeon’s audience it’s not tremendously challenging.

What impressed me most about The Tale of Orpheo’s Curse was not its mix of FMV and CG animation (as that was suddenly quite hip at the time) but simply how user-friendly it is. Whenever you lose the game offers an immediate return to where you had just been. In fact, if you complete it in one sitting you’d never have to save once. This surprising convenience helped lessen the pain of a final chase sequence and other little flubs. If you like Are You Afraid of the Dark? or even just the early era of 3D adventure games then definitely find a copy of Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Tale of Orpheo’s Curse.


Score: 4

4 out of 5 alpacas


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Marcus’s Favorite Games That Didn’t Actually Launch in 2014

I play far more video games than any person should in a year time span. Despite this, one person could still never hope to play everything out there. Along the way I miss a great deal of new releases – but also have an immense backlog to chip into! As such, today I’m presenting a list of the coolest games I played this year that came out prior to 2014. Some are fairly recent while others not so much, but all are worth celebrating!

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2014 Reviews in Review

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2014 is over! Wow, what a year it has been in regards to video games and my relation to them. Ever since I began reviewing my feelings about games have changed – but more importantly so have my habits. Last year was probably the first when I fully realized that the more I review the less time there is to play just for fun. But isn’t reviewing fun? Certainly, the titles reviewed are almost always selected by me… yet there’s something different about playing with the intent of writing. Work is work, no matter what, and maybe it’s a bad thing to combine my main hobby with work to such an intense degree.

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Marcus’s Off the Beaten Path 2014 Game of the Year Picks

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Last year I didn’t quite understand the need for “Game of the Year” awards and this year I’m still of the same mindset. It’s great fun to celebrate what we believe are the best titles released in a year time span – but often those choices seem far too constrained across big media outlets. With that said, it does seem like this year includes more lists full of different choices and that’s exciting!

I’ve already posted a top 10 GOTY list for Game Podunk, but a few titles were either played too late or above an M rating. And a few, well, maybe I just forgot… How can you forget a favorite game of the year? When you play over 200 in 365 days it can become seriously challenging! Here’s a few titles to complete my personal GOTY awards.

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Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut Review

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Developer: Tikipod
Publisher: Tikipod
Platform: PSN – PS4, Vita PC – Steam

Zillions of games out there attempt to mimic retro consoles and computers. Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut is one of these games, although it takes after the ZX Spectrum far more than a NES or SNES-like title. With harsh colors and barely distinguishable pixel creatures, your goal in this twin stick shooter is to shoot your way to safety.

Rock Boshers DX is enjoyable in its simplicity. Every stage has an entrance, exit, collectables, and often a puzzley challenge to solve. Although it starts off incredibly easy with killing off slow zombies it quickly ramps up in difficulty. Despite the very simple premise you’ll actually have to play levels multiple times to finally do what’s required. Despite the mostly classic and simplistic controls, or because of them, there’s a lot of fun to be had.

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Another high point of the game is the storyline. You are Queen Victoria and for some reason you’re in space. It’s nonsensical concepts like this which used to thrive in gaming’s heyday so it fits perfectly. All the in-game text is flavorful and even provides hints for how to solve stages. Unfortunately, the sound bytes become bit grating with their loud repetition.

Sure, the visuals might be of a style that’s hard to discern and some of the sound effects are annoying. Still, these are part of the atmosphere when making a realistic Spectrum game. Rock Boshers DX is a ton of fun, takes 3 to 5 hours to beat, and still includes some bonus levels with goofy names like “Cheese Dreams.” I thoroughly recommend it but you can give the original prototype a try first to see if this game’s for you.


Score: 4

4 out of 5 alpacas


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