In praise of Homerun King™

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I don’t play many games on any platform, but on occasion a ‘pick up and play’ title may grab me. Homerun King™ is that game of the moment and has been for a few months now, to the point that I am exceptionally good at it.

It requires a huge amount of concentration to continually hit homeruns and even more to hit decent homeruns that bring the points in. This concentration requires focussing your eyes to see exactly when the ball leaves the pitcher and the trajectory it is taking, and then timing your swing to perfection. It is a physical kind of movement that can be strangely tiring, but with practice you can be hitting 20 out of 20 homeruns and gradually increasing your best scores as you increase your player and bat powers.

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This is not an easy game to describe and it appears to be far too simple when you just look at the screenshots, but there is a lot to learn and a lot of adjusting to get better over time. And over a long period of time this game becomes extremely addictive to the point that at least a couple of plays a day are required.

When I said I was exceptionally good at it at the top, I wasn’t being an idiot about it. I am almost ashamed to say that I have hit 43,119 homeruns to date, but less so to admit that I am at the very top in some other areas. I need to get out more…

Available for iOS and Android.

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Trailers for 11 Nintendo Switch games


We’ve collected the trailers for all of the games below. There are still many details to be filled in before the Nintendo Switch launches on March 3rd — notably, only a few launch games appear on this list. So expect to see more trailers and announcements in the coming weeks… More at The Verge.

I do hope Nintendo does well with the Switch, but it’s amazing how hard success in the gaming industry is to predict.

The Super Retro Boy


Retro-bit has been re-making classic consoles for many years now, and their latest is the Super Retro Boy. It’s designed to look and feel a lot like the original Nintendo Game Boy — and pretty much nails it. The prototype I played felt satisfyingly chunky and the plastic had a familiar texture to it. Of course, it’s not a straight design copy. For one, that would probably get lawyers involved. For another, a straight copy wouldn’t have the buttons and color screen that make this “super.” If anything, it felt a little too light… More at The Verge.

That looks really nice and appears to fix the problems in the original.

Six 8-bit Mega Man games come to mobile, and…


The original six NES Mega Man games have been released on iOS and Android devices, and you’re better off not buying them. We’re very sorry to be a bummer about this, but it’s best you hear it from a friend.

The idea that the games have had their speed “adjusted” is somewhat misleading, as the reality is that the framerate on these new releases is abysmal. The games themselves have also been edited a bit from the originals… More at Polygon.

That’s a real shame.

Predator 21 X Gaming Laptop: $8,999

You knew Acer’s wonderfully overdone Predator 21X gaming laptop was going to cost a pretty penny, but probably not this much. The PC maker has revealed launch details for its 21-inch desktop replacement, and the system will cost a mind-numbing $8,999 when it ships in February — you may have to choose between this and a nice used car… More at engadget.

And you thought the new MacBook Pro was expensive.

Space Marshals 2


Just as I was saying that I don’t pick up many new apps and games anymore, I discovered Space Marshals for just 79p at the moment (80% reduction) and it is absolutely brilliant!

Well worth a punt at this price.

The sci-fi wild west adventure in outer space continues with Space Marshals 2. This tactical top-down shooter puts you in the shoes of specialist Burton in his struggle against the criminal elements of the galaxy.

This isn’t your ordinary dual-stick shooter. The emphasis is on tactical combat and stealth, rather than just spraying bullets, and there’s a story!

The most coveted cartridge ever


None of this would’ve happened had Jennifer Thompson not gone thriftin’. This was in April 2013, and she was browsing clothes and $1 DVDs at the Steele Creek Goodwill in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, when she noticed it behind the glass counter. The video game title sparked a memory, a Yahoo article about the rarest games in the world. Jennifer carefully drove her ’99 Honda Accord across the street to McDonald’s, just to use the restaurant’s Wi-Fi to make sure she hadn’t been wrong. She then crossed the street again and purchased the game for $8 from the $30 she had in her bank account, praying the clerk wouldn’t recognize what it was and stop her… More at ESPN.

Great story.

Rayman Classic goes free(ish)


Rayman Classic has recently dropped to free and this price will stay forever. It is ad-supported, but if you want to lose them $0.99 is a fair price for a true classic.

• EMBODY Rayman, your favorite hero born in 1995
• REDISCOVER the fantasy cartoon worlds of the original game: The Dream Forest, The Band Lands, The Blue Mountains, The Candy Castle…
• RUN, dodge, jump, punch your way through the various levels of this classic platform game.
• UNLEASH Rayman’s special powers from the telescopic fist to the helicopter and defeat hostile creatures.
• SEEK OUT & FREE the Electoons to complete each level and restore the cosmic balance.
• HELP iconic and funny side characters in each world: The fairy Betilla, Tarayzan, Joe the extraterrestrial.
• DEFEAT each and every boss (Moskito, Mister Sax, Mr Dark…) in epic showdowns to free your friends.
• BEAT the Hardcore mode with one single life or choose the Casual mode for infinite tries.

Microsoft Solitaire Collection finally comes to mobile


The World’s #1 Solitaire game is now on iPhone and iPad!

For over 25 years, Microsoft Solitaire Collection remains one of the most played games of all time and is now available FREE for your iPhone or iPad!

The Microsoft Solitaire Collection offers FIVE of the best Solitaire card games in one app! More here.

Imagine how many hours have been wasted at work playing this game, and now we can do the same anywhere. The one area I’m not convinced by is the $1.99 premium fee when December ends.