Pokemon! How Two Libraries Scored Major Points With A Game Craze @ Programming Librarian

pokemongoAre your patrons still crazy for Pokemon Go? If so, then you’ll want to check out “Pokemon! How Two Libraries Scored Major Points With A Game Craze,” a presentation for Programming Librarian recently hosted by Cari Rérat (the Director at Pryor Creek’s Thomas J. Harrison Pryor Public Library) and Darcie Smith (the Community Outreach Librarian at British Columbia’s Prince George Public Library).

During the presentation, they discuss how Pokemon Go has helped bring new patrons to their libraries:

Wondering how you can use your library’s status as a PokeStop or gym to your advantage? Two librarians share how they’re using the excitement around Pokemon Go to revitalize programming and introduce new patrons to the library.

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Max Brooks is Writing an “Official” Minecraft Novel for Mojang

minecraftThere are probably lots of novels based on Minecraft on your shelves, but Mojang has announced they’ve partnered with Max Brooks to produce a series of official novels based on the blockbuster game.

Brooks is best known as the author of World War Z, an “Oral History of the Zombie War” that was recently adapted into a movie starring Brad Pitt. But Brooks is also the author of The Harlem Hellfighters (which features many of the same events and people as this Fall’s Battlefield 1) and The Zombie Survival Guide. He’s also the son of legendary parodist Mel Brooks and Oscar-winning actress Anne Bancroft.

The first novel will be titled Minecraft: The Island, and according to Mojang Blog, readers should expect “cuboid Robinson Crusoe, but madder: a hero stranded in an unfamiliar land, with unfamiliar rules, learning to survive against tremendous odds.”

“I’m very excited to be part of this new venture,” Brooks said. “Finally I can justify all those hours I’ve spent playing Minecraft.”

It’s not known when Minecraft: The Island will be released, but it’ll be published by Del Rey Books.

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 26, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is yet another three-way tie.

Believe it or not, Bungie released the original version of Destiny nearly two years ago. After building up a devoted fanbase that continues to obsessively play the shooter to the this day, the developer launched the game’s final expansion this week. The Rise of Iron expansion will be exclusively available to download from the PlayStation Store and Xbox Games Store, but players who haven’t yet jumped into Destiny’s universe should pick up Destiny: The Collection this week for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. In addition to the original game and Rise of Iron, The Collection will also include all of Destiny’s previously released expansion content… Expansion I: The Dark Below, Expansion II: House of Wolves, and The Taken King. Destiny: The Collection is highly recommended for all your patrons who love shooters.

Also recommended this week is Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition, which technically made its debut during the Xbox One’s launch period. The Definitive Edition is a collected edition that includes all 26 characters and 20 stages from the game’s first three seasons, as well as a pair of bonus games (Killer Instinct Classic and Killer Instinct 2 Classic). Fans of fighting games will definitely enjoy seeing it on the shelf.

Finally this week, Atlus published Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, a side-story to the original Shin Megami Tensei IV, for the 3DS. Fans of the weird world of Japanese RPGs will enjoy the chance to check this one out.

All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

New Release Round-Up

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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 19, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is expanding this week thanks to the beginning of the “Fall Gaming Season.” With more than a dozen new titles this week, there’s something to recommend for everybody.

The NFL season kicked off two Sundays ago, so let’s start with some new sports games. EA Sports released Madden NFL 17 a month ago, but the publisher was back this week with NHL 17 for the PS4 and Xbox One. If you’re more of a basketball fan, 2K Games released NBA 2K17 this week for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Soccer supporters will also get a new simulation this week with the release of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. And the checkered flag goes to NASCAR Heat: Evolution, which was released for the PS4 and Xbox One this week. All four games always score very well with gamers and would make a good addition to any collection.

Far away from Earth’s athletic fields is the planet of Far Eden, an interstellar colony that’s been overrun by villainous robots in Microsoft’s ReCore. Developed by Armature Studio, with additional idea work by Keiji Inafune, ReCore lets players fight back as Joule Adams, a resourceful woman who has her own team of robotic helpers. ReCore is available for the Xbox One.

Finally this week, a trio of re-releases will reintroduce gamers to a few beloved franchises. BioShock: The Collection will bring BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite together in a single package for the PS4 and Xbox One with improved graphics and exclusive commentary by Ken Levine and other developers from Irrational. Meanwhile, Capcom’s Dead Rising also makes the leap to the PS4 and Xbox One with improved graphics. And Square Enix and Nintendo collaborated on a brand new localization for the 3DS release of Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past, an absolutely massive RPG that was originally released in 2001.

All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

New Release Round-Up

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Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes Review @ School Library Journal

keeptalkingandnobodyexplodesIf the traditional Smash Bros/Mario Kart/Minecraft rotation has your gaming group in a funk, you might want to try something different and check out Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, a two-person bomb defusal game from Steel Crate Games. The developer explains how it all works pretty well on the game’s official website:

One player is trapped in a virtual room with a ticking time bomb they must defuse. The other players are the “Experts” who must give the instructions to defuse the bomb by deciphering the information found in the bomb defusal manual. But there’s a catch: the experts can’t see the bomb, so everyone will need to talk it out – fast!

Writing a review for School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox, Teen Librarian Alanna Graves was also happy with the chaotic camaraderie created by Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes:

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, created by Steel Crate Games, was recommended to me from a colleague when I asked our staff if they knew of a fun game where players work together to defuse a bomb. I was not disappointed with this recommendation.

The game can get really dramatic as the timer ticks closer to zero, and voices tend to get louder as anxiety increases!

I’ve played a few rounds of Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes and I’ve got to agree, it’s a great game for any group of players.

VGL Review… Batman: The Telltale Series

batmanthetelltaleseriesTelltale Games has embarked on their biggest project yet with the release of the premiere episode of Batman: The Telltale Series. Following both Batman and Bruce Wayne, the publisher wants to tell the kind of Batman story that you don’t often see in games.

I recently reviewed Batman: The Telltale Series for Warp Zoned, and while some of the scenes drag a bit (especially the lectures from Alfred), I can’t wait to explore more of Gotham City in the future:

I’ve never played a Telltale game before, but Batman: The Telltale Series felt like a good jumping off point for their patented combination of dialogue choices and Quick Time Events. Even with the inclusion of a “Finishing Move” meter, it felt like the Quick Time Events were a bit pointless. But I liked that the conversation choices let me mold my Batman into a noble hero, rather than the psychopath he’s sometimes depicted as (even if many of the choices do boil down to “Punch A Mobster” versus “Punch A Mobster Really Hard”).

The first episode of Batman: The Telltale Series is currently available to download for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

A “Season Pass Disc,” which contains the first episode and a one-time download code for future episodes, is also now available for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 12, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, a turn-based RPG for the PS3 and Vita.

Published by XSEED and developed by Falcom, Trails of Cold Steel II is a tactical turn-based title where the fate of the kingdom is at stake and only a plucky band of outsiders can save the day. Players interested in obscure Japanese RPGs will definitely be interested in this one.

Also of note this week is Just Sing, Ubisoft’s singing spinoff of the Just Dance franchise. Available for the PS4 and Xbox One, players will be able to sing (or lip sync) along with songs from Britney Spears, Sia, Justin Bieber, and others. Best of all, Just Sing can easily be used during an open gaming program because it doesn’t require a microphone peripheral. Ubisoft has released a companion app that’ll turn any smartphone into a microphone.

All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

New Release Round-Up

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