Interview: PlayStation First and the Gaming Community

Hour of Code has come and gone; the reviews are jumping all around the interwebs (my own is coming shortly). But was it enough for your kids? Did your spawnlings savour the taste of coding … and then ask for more? And is coding really enough for them to start their career in-game development?

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PAX Australia 2015 (Part 2): Indie Video Games Steal the Show

PAX – where Gamers go to Loot.

Walk the exhibition hall and the first thing thrown at you is every big name in the video game industry, and more. The hype is about new and upcoming games; the atmosphere is about promoting the most unreal gaming experience.

In between all the glitz and glory are the indie developers, stealing all the tweets. Part 2 of my PAX review is aimed squarely at the video games: the games planning to conquer the world… and the ones I predict will succeed.

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Amiibo-geddon Is Here!

If you thought the Nintendo Wii U was unpopular or that Disney Infinity and Skylanders characters ruled the cute little video game figures market… wrong! Nintendo released Wave 4 of their amiibo figures today, and people were waiting in line to get them. I was at the Toys”R”Us in Cary, North Carolina, and there were at least 40 people in line. I got in line at 9:15 a.m. for the 10:00 a.m. opening, but some people had been waiting in line for hours!

Wave 4 amiibo line at Toys" R"Us
Waiting in line for Wave 4 amiibos at Toys”R”Us. Photo: Maryann Goldman.

My experience was very orderly. Toys”R”Us handed out purchase tickets for the desired figures. This store had 38 Greninja figures, and I got ticket 33. Woohoo! I was doing that estimate-how-many-people-are-in-front-of-me thing and was worried.

Toys"R"Us Wave 4 amiibo purchase ticket. Photo: Maryann Goldman
Toys”R”Us Wave 4 amiibo purchase ticket. Photo: Maryann Goldman.

As we stood in line, we discussed which figures we wanted, what our game plan was for hitting all the stores with exclusives, and the heat. Although the shopping experience was similar to Black Friday, it felt more like Red Friday as we melted in the heat and worried about getting sunburned.

One mother even had a special sheet that her son prepared for her to make sure she went to the right stores in the right order and secured the correct amiibos. Wow!

amiibo wish list
Amiibo wish list prepared by child. Photo: Maryann Goldman.

Let’s be clear: My 12-year-old son, Joey, is the reason I was in line. He started talking my head off about the Wave 4 amiibo release a week ago and asked me to, “Please, please, please go get them.” I did my best.

So what did I get?

At Toys”R”Us, I got Silver Mario and Greninja.

Toys"R"Us amiibo figures
Amiibo figures from Toys”R”Us. Photo: Maryann Goldman.

At Best Buy, I got Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy, and Charizard.

Best Buy amiibo figures
Amiibo figures from Best Buy. Photo: Maryann Goldman.

And at Target, I got Jigglypuff.

Target amiibo figure
Amiibo figure from Target. Photo: Maryann Goldman.

Joey will be pleased, although he is still hoping for Meta Knight and Rosalina/Luma, which came out in Wave 3 back in February. They are going for $50 or more now on Amazon and eBay. Gulp!

If you missed out on the amiibos you wanted today at your local store, you can try Amazon, but make sure to follow their ordering instructions and time intervals. Also, I previously ordered a Japanese marked Pac-Man from Amazon, and I can report that it works just fine with our United States Wii U.

GeekMom Plays: Mech Mice Episode 1

The GeekMom Plays series features GeekMoms playing video games in a Let's Play style.
The GeekMom Plays series features GeekMoms playing video games in a Let’s Play style. Videos can be found on the GeekMom YouTube channel. Image: VIP and Tim Post

Since my husband and I are playing more video games together in an effort to have a cheap date-night, the kids are pushing our buttons (Controller buttons! Get it?) for games they can play. This week, my 7-year-old daughter (whom I normally refer to as VIP, but has chosen the code-name Jaguar Girl) and I play through a level of Mech Mice online.

Mech Mice is currently in beta. Most of the eight levels in the first chapter are available to play for free during the beta testing period. I am happy that Hyper Hippo, the production company behind Mech Mice, has let kids try out the game before parents are asked to buy it. During beta testing, a Founders Package is available for $20 that purchases all chapters of the game that will be released. The Founders Package will not be available after the game is released October 8.

During our Let’s Play video, Jaguar Girl plays the game while I explain some of the basics. I talk about the turn based tactical aspect of the game, the movement spaces, and how the game will be presented when it is released. Jaguar Girl likes the game and is very happy to play even the easy levels. As a parent, I probably wouldn’t play this game when there are other turn based-tactical games available that are geared more toward adults.

Tune in for more on Mech Mice Let’s Play Videos soon! While you are waiting for the next level of Mech Mice, check out our last (much less kid-friendly) GeekMom Plays: The Walking Dead 500 Days.