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Free Game Spotlight: Viridi

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Developer: Ice Water Games
Publisher: Ice Water Games
Release Date: Aug. 19, 2015

I have no idea why in the world I kept seeing articles pop up for this game, but it seemed for awhile they were literally everywhere. I think that we even joked about it during one of our meetings. Viridi is a much more an experience than a game, in my opinion. However, I remembered seeing it and it is free, so I downloaded it and ‘played’ for a few days.

You nurture a pot of succulents (plants).

You can load up the game and you get to pick your first planting experience. You pick your pot. I picked the concrete colored one with the crosses around the border. I was prompted to pick a grouping of plants and I picked the most colorful group, with the Agave ‘Blue Glow’ in the center. I was brought to a screen where I was able to pull the weeds from my plant (which is a bit confusing for an indoor plant) and watered my growing plants. I named the snail that moves around the lip of my pot Bubba, after my dog, and I have fun spraying him with water. I have no idea why. You can pull plants out and plant new ones. I obtained my ‘weekly free seed’ of Senecio roweyanus, which I promptly planted at the edge, because it looked cool.

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Upon returning to the game, you can pull more weeds and water your plants. They grow; faster than a normal plant, but still fairly slowly. So I checked out the nursery, which is just their ‘Main Menu’. You can purchase (with real money) a number of different types of seeds (at least .09 cents, at most .39 each) that you can add to your pot. Dig up any plants you don’t want and purchase more locations to place more pots. For $3 you can purchase the key to the Cat House (another pot location) and $5 gets you The Key to the Apartment (another pot location) thus giving you 3 pots of plants to look after.

It is very much a meditative experience. It is beautifully designed and the music is soothing. I do love that each plant is explained. It’s official name, common name, native location and subtle details of each plant are listed. It’s adorable and probably amazing for someone who knows far more about plants than I do. I sat down fairly stressed today as I was looking back in on my plants and do find myself much calmer and more relaxed. If you want to relax and love plants or pretty things, this is the game for you.

You can find it here.

Free Game Spotlight: RoShamBo Arena

By: TheBizCliz

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Roshambo Arena is a free-to-play, arena fighting game with a lot of awesome features. It is a basic striking game, based off the classic rock, paper, scissors. Released in July by Blam! Games, this is their 25th game creation since the company was founded in 2009. You can find their games on all platforms. One such game is A Gnome’s Home: The Great Crystal Crusade.

In this game, you start off choosing your character name and gender. You start in a tutorial to show you the basic concept of the game. Each round, you battle out boxing style, but instead of just boxing, you battle over classic rock, paper, scissors. The first person to KO their opponent wins the round. However, you also have perks that can allow you to have a more powerful attack, block and a ton more. Each round you earn teeth, which are used to buy stuff for your character, including clothing and helmets. You also earn XP for every win, which allows you to rank up your attack, health, and defense to make you the ultimate boxing champ.

In Roshambo Arena, you have the choice to play through the story or go online and try your rock, paper, scissor skills against the world. The online ranking system starts at bronze and you work your way up to gold. If you choose just to play the story, you rank your way up through the city to become the best.

Some other modes include tournaments where you can enter at a certain cost, battle through the tournament and win double the amount put in. Another mode I am personally looking forward to is groups, which is coming soon. This will allow you to party up with your friends to make the game a little more entertaining. Since it is a free-to-play game, you should have no issue getting your friends to download and join in once the mode is added.

Roshambo Arena can be downloaded through the Steam market, and is a super small download at 229MB. I believe that anyone of all ages can enjoy this game and is very quick to learn because the skill level isn’t high. For the little bit of time I have put into this game, I genuinely enjoyed it and I hope you do too!

Free Game Spotlight: Warframe

Free Game Spotlight: Warframe

Dev/Pub: Digital Extremes
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: Mar. 25, 2013

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Warframe, according to the website, is a free-to-play, co-op action sci-fi game set in an ever-evolving open world. You are a Tenno, a warrior who is able to master the Warframe armor, and you are summoned to save the solar system from the Grineer, who are using their armies to take control.

One thing that makes this game so great is the fact that you have several Warframes to choose from. The Warframe is a suit of armor that protects you from enemies and provides you with unique abilities. It basically makes you the type of character you would like to play. A few examples include: Ash, a stealthy suit with lethal abilities; Atlas, the brawler suit, which can altar the environment with incredible force; Ember, a magic user type suit that uses fire to conquer enemies; and many more.

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There are three factions within the game: the Tenno, the Grineer and the Corpus. The Tenno have been cryogenically frozen for centuries and awake to find that their solar system has been taken over by their sworn enemies, the Grineer. The Grineer are militarized humans who are driven by fear and seek to eliminate the Tenno. Finally, the Corpus are a reclusive faction who seek old and ancient technology in order to build new weapons with which to fight both the Tenno and the Grineer.

When you log in for the first time, you see that the graphics are amazing and the gameplay is smooth. The tutorial mission ends when you find your ship, but, to get there, you have to learn how to fight in both melee and ranged situations, loot, and hardcore parkour. This is definitely an MMO that’s worth checking out.

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You can download it from the Warframe website, Steam, the PlayStation Store (site currently down) and the Xbox Store.

Free Game Spotlight: Snake.io

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Credit: Amelos Interactive

Developer: Amelos Interactive
Platform: Google Play  &  iOS

Snake.io is the spiritual successor to the Miniclip minimalistic games Agar.io and Slither.io. It is apart of the fine tradition of relaxing and chill mobile games meant for waiting in line at the grocery store or ignoring your rude cousin at a family gathering. I was never the greatest fan of Agar.io. I enjoyed its minimalist design and how easy it was to just continue after inevitably dying over and over and over again. However, I think where Snake.io shines and where Agar.io failed to really reach me is that Agar.io was too aggressive to me, too stressful.

There certainly are ways to be tactfully aggressive with Snake.io but mostly it feels like we’re all just swimming along in this weird world where we’re all just trying to eat yummy colorful dots. The tactics in the game, for me, don’t come in until I reach a large enough size where I can surround other players and slowly close in on them until they are forced to collide with me and then I eat their souls, yummy.

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One of my more successful runs.

Snake.io is just a simple game and it doesn’t pretend to be anything more. There are calls for some improvements like adjustable controls and there are criticisms of their offline mode that the bots are too easy. It’s not an original game. It directly uses the visual model of Agar.io and the game play of Slither.io but, despite the fact that it isn’t the original, I definitely prefer this version with a much cleaner game design, more accurate movements, and minimal lag.

Free Game Spotlight: Star Trek Timelines

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Free Game Spotlight: Star Trek Timelines

Dev: Disruptor Beam
Platform: Android, iOS, Browser
Release Date: January, 2016

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Credit: Disruptor Beam                                                                                                 

The free-to-play strategy mobile game, Star Trek Timelines, centers around the idea that a strange anomaly has caused different timelines and realities of Star Trek to merge together, obviously causing conflicts that the player must resolve while they explore the galaxy.

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Credit: Disruptor Beam                                           

The player resolves these conflicts by constructing an away team with the relevant skills and traits to solve the problem in different ways. You can choose characters that will try to resolve conflict diplomatically or you can choose characters that use weapons to gain control over a situation. The game is full of choices which align you towards different characters and groups as you agree or disagree with them. The player gets to level up these characters as they complete missions and collect new crew members with different specialties as the game goes on. The game is made up of these away missions, space battles, and faction missions. All in all, there is a lot of game play to be had in Star Trek Timelines.

Star Trek Timelines is visually impressive with beautiful cutscenes and an interactive, colorful, and detailed galaxy map. One of the most immediate things I remarked on the game was just how well produced it was. Every time I enter the game, I’m greeted by the treat that is John de Lancie’s voice acting as the character Q. There is so much polish on the production and interface of the game that it is understandable why I keep hearing about it.

I do feel however that though the game is well produced in many areas that the mechanics are not as rewarding as the external aspects of the game. And though the game can be a lot of fun, there are some downsides. Read the rest of this entry