Mar 1, 2011

Top 5 Tuesday: Video Games

I love video games but I have to admit, I am not very good at them. I guess I can be classified as a casual gamer. Lucky for me that hand-held games and cellphone apps continue to grow in popularity. This means that there are a lot of quick-play games to choose from for someone who can't stand to devote a hundred hours on an impossible RPG. Instead, I like to collect and play puzzle, strategy, and simulation games. Here are my picks for Top 5 Tuesday.

I recently acquired Magical Drop III from WiiWare. I definitely have no regrets. I've been a fan of Magical Drop for a long time. I've played the first of the series in the arcade and own the Gameboy Advanced version.

I can't believe that this equipment is more than a decade old!

The third installment of the series follows the same formula as the first, but now they have included four different types of gameplay. How is it possible to to make an awesome game even more awesome?! Well, bloggerinos, they have done it! The games modes include 2 player versus, infinite level, computer versus, and story mode. The levels are challenging enough for veteran players yet easy for first timers to pick up on. But don't get too comfortable, the levels advance quickly and you have to think fast!

There are lots of sexy ladies in this game. Yikes! What are those? Implants?!

I'm not sure what version this is, but it looks like this is multiplayer. Man... this really looks like a lot of fun. Any other Magical Drop fans out there??

All of this paired with adorable graphics definitely makes it hard to resist. The game has a lot of replay value, I've owned it for a couple of weeks now and defeated some of the modes already. But I keep coming back to the game because its a lot of fun. The "Survival" mode is definitely challenging. The spheres keep appearing until your character dies... In normal mode I'm only able to reach level 9. In hard mode... only level 3...

2. Elebits (Wii). It was hard for me to find a review of this game because I think its difficult to describe. Whenever I go to the game shop this game keeps catching my eye with its really attractive and mysterious cover.

From what I understand, the game is a fusion between We Love Katamari and Hide and Go Seek. The premise of the game is to collect creatures called "Elebits" which are hiding within a room or environment. You begin with limited abilities on your quest and can only life small objects as you look for the Elebits. Your powers grow as you collect more Elebits. Soon you'll be able to lift larger objects to help you complete your mission. The description doesn't make it sound fun, but I'm sure the cool graphics make it fun. Look at this really cute image I found!

I'm receiving this game via an online trading site called! I can't wait until it gets here!

3. Gardening Mama (Nintendo DS) can probably be considered to be the prequel to the Cooking Mama series. It takes a few steps back from the kitchen and into the garden. In this version of the game, your mission is to grow plants for recipes and recreation.

Whoa! Double rainbows?! I think I'll like this game!

I think the idea for this game is pretty awesome especially if you don't have a green thumb. This virtual garden might even inspire you to start a real garden – which would be even cooler!

4. Diner Dash (Mac/PC/various) is the love child of two things I like  very much: video games and food. Although it may not look like it, this is a serious strategy game. In a nutshell, its a point-and-click game where you have to get your character, Flo, to wait tables with the correct orders. Its not as easy as it sounds because there are more than a handful of obstacles that make the game both fun and challenging. These included catering to character seating preferences (mature patrons prefer not to sit near the rowdy whippersnappers or loud cellphone-talkers), charming yet clumsy families that spill all their food, and business types that demand quick service to get back to their busy-body-corporate lives, and more. Whoa! This sounds a lot like real life!

In Diner Dash 3, there's a virtual paper doll feature for the main character, Flo

I know its corny, but I really love the cheesy graphics. They remind me a lot of the doodles I would make in the margins of my notebooks and drawing attempts in MS Paint. Good times! All of this is paired with fun music and sound effects to get your blood boiling and your brain spinning.

I found out that Diner Dash 5 was released recently. I still need to play 3 and 4!

5. Zuma (various) is your typical run-of-the-mill color coded puzzle game but with a very unique spin on it (literally speaking!). The game layout is from a bird's eye view and navigates through a spiral. Weird I know! The premise is to match the colored spheres until the timer runs out. The appeal of the game definitely has to be the graphics and music. I think the game works best on my iPod with the spin dial. It feels the most natural for the game play.

This is one of the easy levels. See? A spiral :)

This is kind of what it looks like when your character is dying... think fast! It gets insane!

Gosh! When you begin to lose, the music turns into a sacrificial chant. You get the feeling that you will perish in the gateway of fire! Intense yet fun!

I knew I wouldn't be disappointed because Zuma was created by my favorite game company of all time Popcap Games. They're completely original and constantly surprising their fans with their releases such as Peggle, Bookworm, and Bejeweled. I have yet to check out Plants VS. Zombies. I highly recommend all of their games!

If you've played any of these games, please feel free to comment and start the nerdfest :)


Gale said...

These are exactly the types of games I could see myself enjoying! I'm so into puzzle and strategy games. And I always loved the hand held stuff especially with just how compact and mobile it is. And it's funny because lately I've been getting back into it hehe. It's been a long while for me. Thanks for sharing this list Sarah! :D

Dave said...

Zuma has always been a fun puzzle game. Since you have a Nintendo DS, another great puzzle game I suggest is Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. Think of a puzzle game and an RPG rolled into one. However, everything boils down to a puzzle mechanic that players similar to Bejeweled.

On another note, the Game Boy Advance is home to my favorite puzzle game of all time, Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo. I know that this title also came out on the PS One and later on, it was also released on Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade but I always liked playing it on a portable. I always liked portable gaming. Out of my entire collection, I have the most games for my GBA which is a little over 70 games.

I've never played Magical Drop but I have Puzzle Bobble on the Neo Geo Pocket Color and I've also played Bust-A-Move. They are all classics.

If you like quirky games like Katamari Damacy, I would suggest Loco Roco and Patapon on the PSP.

Wii Ware also has a couple of unique platformers like Lost Winds, Cave Story. Another good one you could pick up in the stores is Klonoa.

Over the past five years, the puzzle genre exploded. If you look at the Playstation Store every Tuesday, new puzzle games are releasing on an almost bi-weekly basis. If they are not direct puzzle games, they are usually some hybrid between puzzle games and other genres like top down shooters and adventure games. Pixel Junk Shooter is a good example of this.

If you like the i-pod type games, also check out Playstation Minis. They are called minis because they are smaller than the average download and are meant to be played in bite-sized chunks. They all vary in quality but there are some gems out there if you look closely.