Video Game & Entertainment News

Parents need to know that “Wargroove” is a turn-based, fantasy strategy game with a Japanese animation aesthetic available for download on the PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Windows PCs. It contains a multiplayer mode that can be played locally or online (players are randomly matched with opponents or can search friends with a friend code) and offers voice chat through popular online voice chat service, Discord. Discord users are automatically connected to the online “Wargroove” community, which means they could be exposed to profanity, inappropriate conversations, and bullying. Built in tools let players create and share their own maps and mini-movies online; to do the latter, players must agree to the game’s EULA (End User License Agreement) which states that while developer Chucklefish is dedicated to protecting kids from exposure to content deemed obscene, racist, or bullying, user-created content isn’t monitored by the company. While players use swords, catapults, and other weapons to destroy opponents, the pixel art of the game eliminates the possibility of blood and gore being shown, and defeated enemies simply vanish from view.

Parents need to know that “Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order” is an action/adventure game available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. Players take on the roles of various icons from the vast stable of heroes and villains of the Marvel Comics universe, teaming up to defeat a cosmic threat to all of reality. The game’s roster features a widely diverse cast of positive characters with a range of different powers, abilities, and personalities, all putting differences aside and working together for the sake of a greater purpose. Comic book style combat is constant, with lots of flashy and spectacular visual effects, but little to no blood or graphic violence. Some of the characters’ costumes can be a bit revealing and suggestive, like their comic book counterparts. Extra downloadable content, including additional characters, costumes, and story content will also be available for purchase for the game via a Season Pass add-on.

GenCon is the premiere convention for board games in the country. Taking place this weekend in Indianapolis, many companies release their newest games at the event. What are the hottest games for 2019?

Parents need to know that “Dragon Quest Builders 2” is a creative building experience for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The game is a sequel to 2016’s “Dragon Quest Builders,” and has a focus on building wrapped within an old-fashioned Japanese role-playing game. The player’s customizable avatar takes on quests — such as building a house or sowing a field with seeds — from non-player characters, then goes out into the world to gather resources and fight monsters using magic and melee weapons. Combat’s mild and viewed from a raised perspective, with monsters disappearing quickly after being defeated. Strong themes of friendship, community, and providing help to those who need it run throughout the story, with subplots showing how people — including villains — can change for the better if they embrace the right ideas. Players also get to exercise their imaginations and be creative as they freely build not just what other characters have requested, but anything they like by crafting the elements they need and assembling them according to their whims.

Parents need to know that “Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled” is a cartoony racing game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Players use missiles, bombs, and boxes of TNT to take out the competition, resulting in explosions, crashes, and, in some instances, characters being lit on fire. But all of this is done with a silly, cartoony look and feel. There’s also some juvenile humor: A character picks his nose and eats it, and seagulls use some rocks as a bathroom. Otherwise, there’s no sex, cursing, or references to drugs and alcohol, save for what you might hear if you play online, where communication isn’t monitored.

Parents need to know that “Super Mario Maker 2” is a game about making games exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. It provides players with tools and tutorials to create, edit, and share their own side-scrolling “Super Mario” levels. Players will be part of a moderated community of game makers encouraged to support and provide positive criticism on each other’s work through a system of likes and text comments. The cartoon violence is limited to what players encounter in most side-scrolling “Mario” games, with player characters hopping on goombas and koopa troopers, kicking shells off the screen, throwing fireballs at enemies, getting poked by spikes, and being burned by flames. Keep in mind that the difficulty is largely unpredictable, with both Nintendo-designed and player created levels ranging from short and very easy to longer and extremely challenging. Note, too, that a Nintendo Online membership is required to access online features.

Parents need to know that “Outer Wilds” is a downloadable sci-fi exploration adventure game for Xbox One and Windows-based PCs. Players explore a star system, stuck in a time loop, uncovering clues to the situation and also using knowledge from previous loops to extend their exploration in later attempts. Gameplay’s relatively straightforward, but certain aspects, particularly flying, require extra practice and coordination. There’s little in the way of violence or blood, though the nature of the story means that the player will die frequently and start over without anything graphic or gory being shown.

LOS ANGELES - The Electronic Entertainment Expo has never been subtle. But the event, hosted by the trade group representing the video game industry - the body designed to present the community's best image to Congress and the public at large - got right to the point this year in its on-site messaging at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It was even selling the slogan on $20 branded T-shirts ...

Internet trend that baffles most parents isn’t slime or even unboxing videos. It’s livestreaming: when people broadcast themselves live over the internet. Even more baffling? When our kids become obsessed with watching these videos, which can be anything from gamers like Ninja playing Fortnite to a Russian talk show to a guy in China doing his homework. With over 15 million daily visitors and 2 million live broadcasts happening at any given time, the internet’s reigning champ of livestreaming is Twitch TV.

LOS ANGELES - Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is taking a break. He doesn't do that often, but he is forced to briefly stop and relax while the backdrop is changed for a commercial he is shooting in Long Beach. As he scrolls through his phone, he looks up and notices a middle-aged crew member staring at him. "Can I please take a quick picture with you?" the man whispers, knowing he shouldn't be asking ...

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