General Gaming News Bits

Pokemon Go Plus

The Pokémon GO Plus is an accessory now available to accompany your Pokémon GO gaming. The small bluetooth device is simple to use, featuring just one color-changing button on the face. It pairs up with an iPhone or Android phone and the Pokémon GO game. The Pokémon GO Plus can be clipped on or strapped to your wrist with the included adjustable wrist strap.

Pairing Pokémon GO Plus is done through Pokémon GO’s settings. Once you pair it, you will see the Pokémon GO Plus icon on the gameplay map. If a Pokémon is nearby, the Pokémon GO Plus button flashes green and the device vibrates. On screen, you see it point out to an estimated area where the Pokémon is with a red line. Click the button and it will start to pulse white, where you have a random chance to catch the Pokémon. If you’ve successfully caught it, the button will flash in different colors. If you miss catching the Pokémon, it will pulse red a moment and will let you know onscreen that the Pokémon got away. The Pokémon GO Plus will also light up in blue when a Pokéstop is nearby. Click it and it easily collects items at the Pokéstop. The other useful function, and phone battery saver, is having the Pokémon GO Plus count steps while your phone is in your pocket (good for your Pokémon buddy and egg hatching). That’s about all the interaction with the game and the Pokémon GO Plus device. So what are some advantages, and disadvantages, of using the Pókemon GO Plus?

Pokemon Go Plus

The Pokémon GO Plus is a quick and easy way to capture those pesky and repeated Rattata and Pidgey Pokémon. But don’t expect them to be dead giveaways. In fact, it seems the odds are against you in randomly being able to successfully catch them, versus you trying with your own Pókeball throw. You also lose the visibility of what’s happening on screen. When you click on the Pokémon GO Plus, you don’t see anything on screen change, other than a small notification that says whether you were successful or not in catching the Pokémon. There aren’t any animations or indication of experience points earned (but yes, you still do get experience points for catching Pokémon with the Pokémon GO Plus). At times, the Pokémon GO Plus did point out there was a Pokémon nearby before the Pokémon appeared on screen. Yet, at other times a Pokémon was on screen and the Pokémon GO Plus took a few seconds to acknowledge it. If you also attempt to catch a Pokémon the old school way (with a finger swipe), the Pokémon GO Plus will have to be paired again via the on screen Pokémon GO Plus icon and a button press on the device. When you click on the Pokémon GO Plus when it is blue, for a Pokéstop, it will show the items you got from it onscreen. Note that one regular Pokéball will be used per Pokémon encounter with the Pokémon GO Plus. You have that one random chance to catch it or not. There are some inconsistencies with what shows on screen, but that may not be a deal breaker, being that you probably have your phone tucked away when using the Pokémon GO Plus.

So the Pokémon GO Plus has it’s advantage in helping you save phone battery life by not having to access your device all the time, avoid the bother of a Pidgey or Rattata encounter, and sometimes helps to discover a nearby Pokémon quicker. There are inaccuracies sometimes in when it detects Pokémon and the catch rate feels lower than usual for common Pokémon. Having a Pokémon GO Plus doesn’t provide a surefire way to catch a Pokémon. I doubt you would want to take the risk of catching a rare Pokémon with a Pokémon GO Plus. The Pokémon GO Plus has a clip on the back or you can unscrew it to place a wrist strap backing on it. The wrist strap is a multi-colored cloth material and considerably thin – not a particularly cool design. The Pokémon GO Plus is powered by an included, replaceable battery (CR2032).

The Pokémon GO Plus has a $34.99 MSRP and was released on September 16, 2016. Initial inventory on Amazon (http://amzn.to/2cSxHn3) and GameStop seems to have sold through quickly. So demand was, unsurprisingly high at launch (and there is definitely eBay price gouging happening at launch). 

Pokemon Go Plus

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HoloGrid Monster Battle AR game

Once a dream of Star Wars fans, gamers and Wookies, playing with tabletop holographic animated monsters is finally getting real. Monster-chess augmented reality gaming is just about here with HoloGrid: Monster Battle. Thanks to veteran visionaries Phil Tippett, movie monster crafter, and HappyGiant, an indie game developer composed of former LucasArts, ILM, Hasbro and Pileated Pictures vets. Today Phil Tippett and HappyGiant announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for HoloGrid: Monster Battle. This new augmented reality collectible card game comes from the original source of the holochess gaming concept in Star Wars. How exciting is it that we have finally have made it to the point of possibly playing it and on virtual/augmented reality platforms such as PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Magic Leap? Read on below for more details on HoloGrid: Monster Battle and how you can have a hand in making it real.

About HoloGrid:Monster Battle, from today’s announcement:
HoloGrid: Monster Battle’s gameplay is similar to Collectible Card Games (CCG’s) such as Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone, but uses physical playing cards to trigger Augmented Reality creatures and a gameboard. Players will be able to play head-to-head, either locally or remotely, and offline, non digital play is possible as well through a physical board that will come with the product. A “Hybrid” Board Game, Collectible Card Game (CCG), and Digital Game in one, it delivers to players a new type of gaming experience.”

HoloGrid Monster Battle AR game

Creatures are designed from the hands and imagination of Phil Tippett, who has created many of the memorable fantasy characters seen in Star Wars films, Jurassic Park, Robocop, The Force Awakens, and more. Using a very cool sounding technique called Photogrammetry, Phil Tippett and HappyGiant digitally capture the hand crafted monsters. 

“We’d been doing experiments with Photogrammetry, but more on museum level artifacts,” said Mike Levine, President of HappyGiant. “At the same time we began exploring doing projects with Tippett, we had the idea, ‘What if we tried this on some creatures?’ The results blew us away. That’s really where this idea was born.” “And it’s the exact same technique we used on The Force Awakens,” added Tippett.

HoloGrid Monster Battle AR game

HoloGrid: Monster Battle pits players against each other with the goal of defeating Champion monsters. Unique spells and attacks enable monsters to unleash battle techniques. If you have played games collectible card strategy games such as Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, or Eye of Judgment, you may be familiar with some of the mechanics. Summoning monsters through the use of collectible AR cards, players will be able to take-on battles in local matches (and possibly online matches with Kickstarter goals reached). A boxed product containing cards, tabletop mat and phone/tablet stand help bridge the virtual reality space with the aid of your Android or iOS device.

HoloGrid Monsters

“We’re excited to be launching this Kickstarter with Phil Tippett and his studio, and bringing to life a game so many of us have always wanted to play,” said Levine, “This is our first step into a new world of AR gaming, and while we are launching it on mobile initially so everyone can play it, our long term vision is to bring it to emerging AR and VR platforms.”

HoloGrid: Monster Battle is being crafted for iOS and Android platforms, but with the Kickstarter campaign the developers hope to reach stretch goals to propel it to platforms such as PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Magic Leap, PC and Mac.

Support HoloGrid: Monster Battle and visit the Kickstarter page here. Watch a trailer from HoloGrid: Monster Battle below. May the 4th be with HoloGrid: Monster Battle and make it happen!

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Ghostbusters 2016 game

With the Ghostbusters film set to release on July 15, Activision has two ghost-busting filled games to bring the experience home, or on the road. For PS4, Xbox One and PC gamers the Ghostbusters game will be a third-person action RPG, supporting up to four local co-op players. The unique abilities of each character will make for some Gauntlet-like ghost hunts. This current-gen console and PC release of Ghostbusters will be available starting July 12 and takes place after the events of the new film.

In Ghostbusters: Slime City, for iOS and Android gamers, Ghostbuster gamers team up for “asynchronous co-op.” Watch for proton pack crafting, HQ upgrades, rewards, leaderboard challenges and more. Ghostbusters: Slime City is targeting a July release for mobile devices. 

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Tatum Games Kickstarter is live!

by GamingBits Guest on April 4, 2016

in General Gaming News Bits

Tatum Games KickstarterDon’t be the last guy in line to back the world’s first collaborative collectible card game! Tatum Games Kickstarter is live and wants you to join forces against evil! Tatum Games Kickstarter is now live at http://kck.st/233DZU2 . Back Tatum Games now and be a part of a team to see the greatest Collectable Card Game come to life. More collaboration, improved game play and more strategic challenges to maximize fun and team effort!

Tatum Games is overwhelmingly grateful for your donation, and appreciates you making your donation on the very first day of their Kickstarter campaign. Why is it so important that you donate today? Because the fate of the campaign lies in your hands! Kickstarter’s observer algorithms evaluate thousands of attributes of a campaign, from the pictures and language used to the rate of visitors and contribution size. If it meets certain criteria, the Kickstarter will be “featured” on Kickstarter’s homepage, increasing visibility and thus the likelihood that the campaign will be a success. Even if Tatum Games doesn’t meet the criteria to be featured via the algorithm, it may still get enough traction to be selected as an employee favorite because of your donations.

If you participate on day one of the Kickstarter campaign, you’ll get insider information, tips, and gifts that are exclusive to early donors. Furthermore, you’ll have the chance to be a part of the dialogue going into creating this revolutionary gaming application! Your hardened confidence in Tatum Games will inspire others to participate in their campaign, and the more fans and excited gamers Tatum Games have as followers and inspiration, the better the game will be. Your early support will drive the momentum of Tatum Games’s Kickstarter! Plus, your early donation also enables Tatum Games the opportunity to hear your opinions and feedback early on in the Kickstarter campaign, giving more time to implement change and brainstorm ideas.

Tatum Games Kickstarter is now live here at http://kck.st/233DZU2

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PlayStaiton VR Launch Bundle

Amazon’s pre-orders for the PlayStation VR Launch Bundle went out in a flash on Tuesday. If you were among the left out, you have another chance (and a few tips) on pre-ordering this afternoon. Amazon sent out emails and posted on its Amazon Games Twitter page that another set of PlayStation VR Launch Bundles will be available for sale at 2pm PST today. Below are the details sent from Amazon.com:

“Thank you for your continued interest in ordering PlayStation VR from Amazon.com! We understand that many customers were disappointed that we sold out so quickly, and we have good news for you. We’ve received additional allocation and the PlayStation VR Launch Bundle will become available to pre-order again starting today, Thursday March 24, at 2:00 PM PST.

Purchases are limited to 1 per customer. Please make sure you’ve updated your credit card and shipping information to help you move quickly through the checkout process.

Quantities are still very limited so please act quickly for your best chance at reserving your PlayStation VR.”

Besides having your credit card and shipping information ready to quickly check out, some customers reported they had quick access from the Amazon mobile app to purchase. So you may want to have that option ready too. Here is the link, so get your itchy gaming finger ready for 2pm PST (5pm EST!) today:

Pre-order the PlayStation VR Launch Bundle here from Amazon.com.

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