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I've never been much of a fan of motion control when it comes to video games (though I was a fan of the Power Glove in looks, not function), and the past decade or so proved that. The Wii felt gimmicky, and that thing that Sony made that looked like a massager with a ping pong ball attached was just goofy. Looks aside, the problem always was genuinely related to the fact that motion control just never seemed to work as advertised, and that stifled the intended fun. It's taken a lot of time, but with the Nintendo Switch, motion controls do work now, and with the release of ARMS, the full potential of the new Joy-Con controllers is front-and-center for a game that makes fighting more fun than it probably should be. In fact, ARMS is just fantastic.

When the first two Skylanders games were released, I played them both (and reviewed the first, Spyro's Adventure, six years ago), but our girls were too young to get in on the action. When the sixth installment of the franchise, Skylanders Imaginators, was announced last year, I thought that the craze had passed us by, but then two things happened: The Netflix Original Series Skylanders Academy, and the release of the Nintendo Switch. The former introduced the kids to a world that they became enamored with, and the latter offered up a new platform to use - one where I was able to go hands-on thanks to some preview events. Then the folks at Activision hooked us up with a Starter Pack for Xbox One, and enthusiasm for Skylanders officially took hold, just in-time for the release of the latest expansion, the Cursed Tiki Temple Level Pack.

Sony Pictures' Smurfs: The Lost Village hits theaters this weekend, and just in-time for the latest cinematic release (a CGI reboot of sorts), Sony Pictures Television Games has release Smurfs Bubble Story. Available now for iOS and Android, the new mobile game was developed by Tic Toc Games in Burbank, and I've had a chance to go hands-on with it over the past week or so here at Rock Father HQ. A freemium title (free-to-play with in-app purchases), I made it up to around  level 15 or so (I'm currently on level 23) before it asked me to buy credits. Adding a story and "collectible" digital Smurfs to the mix, it's exactly the type of smooth, quick-play experience that you'd want from a bubble popper. Check out the launch trailer below...

The folks at Winning Moves Games have done a fantastic job of keeping the spirit of the classics alive with their series of retro board games - reproductions of the classic original versions that generations have grown up on. They've done Candy Land, Ouija, LIFE and many more, and one of our favorites here at Rock Father HQ is Classic Sorry! A reproduction of the version originally sold in the U.S. by Parker Bros. (now Hasbro) beginning way back in the 1930s. Winning Moves' Classic Sorry! is a featured pick in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine.

Leslie Scott's JENGA is a true classic - an iconic party game that's legendary status was achieved in relatively short order. Providing families with nearly four decades of fun, the point of the game has always been to go bigger - and while the towers may have been limited only by the 54 stacking blocks in each set, nothing has stopped various licensees from keeping that spirit of "bigger" alive... by making the blocks bigger. JENGA GIANT is one of the latest incarnations of the classic game, with the JENGA GIANT Genuine Hardwood Edition being the tallest authentic wood JENGA game available. The GIANT blocks included with each set are eight times bigger than the original, making this a ton of fun for kids and grownups alike! JENGA GIANT is a featured pick in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide here at THE ROCK FATHER Magazine.

Sunday, July 26 2015 18:18

App Review: MARS POP Bubble Shooter

When it comes to casual gaming, I'm still old-school enough that I prefer things on a console - but I do have some apps in rotation on the multitude of devices available here at Rock Father HQ. We've got Windows, iOS and Android at our disposal, but I tend to think that the games usually run smoother on iOS (despite my overall lack of fondness for Apple). Outfit7's new MARS POP Bubble Shooter is a true cross-platformer - available for just about any device. Reviewed from my iPad Mini, Mars Pop is unique in that its a real-time bubble shooter in which players can take on a live opponent. Players are teamed randomly, or from Facebook friends, and the battle is on. Check out the gameplay video below...

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