Emperor's New Groove is Not So Groovy

Disney makes movies children love, but unfortunately they don’t seem to spend the same kind of time and attention in their game division, which results in uneven game packages based on movies. Most children will want the games because of whatever movie characters are displayed on the box, but often the game is discarded shortly thereafter because it just isn’t good enough to hold their attention. The Emperor’s New Groove: Groove Center is just such a game. It has one good game, one really weak game, one mediocre game, and a ridiculous so-called creativity center. The game opens with Evil … Continue reading Emperor's New Groove is Not So Groovy

Myst III: Exile is Puzzle Vengeance

When I first played Myst so many years ago, I enjoyed myself so thoroughly I thought that one could not improve upon this greatness. When Riven came out years later, I was certain of it. Now, after much hype (which even included a film trailer at last year’s E3, no less), Myst III: Exile is here. Would this new chapter in the Myst saga be as great a puzzle experience is its initial predecessor, or would this be another cheap attempt to cash in on the Myst legacy? Only some serious playing time would reveal the truth. First off, I … Continue reading Myst III: Exile is Puzzle Vengeance

Red Faction is a Shot Above

I have a great affection towards the guys at Volition for their amazing Freespace series on the PC. It was this series that continued the space combat action that I grew up with in Wing Commander, and lasted for two great games. But recently they decided to direct their efforts to the first person shooter genre with Red Faction, a game which has been receiving a lot of hype. Fortunately the hype is definitely worth it, as Red Faction is definitely the best single player FPS the PlayStation2 has in its library. I was easily attracted to the main storyline, … Continue reading Red Faction is a Shot Above

Magical Ballroom, More Mundane than Magical

Beauty and the Beast Magical Ballroom is part of the Disney Princesses series of games geared toward girls 5 and up. Disney is trying to fill the huge gap that exists in the games-for-girls market. The Magical Ballroom is a decent offering, but I doubt seriously that a girl over 9 will enjoy it. The game opens with a movie sequence telling of all the changes in the castle since the movie. The child signs in by typing her name on a scroll, which is saved for return visits. Then Belle greets the child and explains the four rooms for … Continue reading Magical Ballroom, More Mundane than Magical

Blue is an Artistic Dog

Blue’s Art Time Activities is the latest offering from Humongous Entertainment in conjunction with Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. It features the popular characters from Blue’s Clues. The game is for children 3 to six-years-old and teaches the basic tenants of art while providing several areas for different types of creative play. The overall theme of the CD-ROM is that Blue is having a really big art show and the child needs to help various characters finish their pieces in time for the show. The child can, of course, create his/her own works for the show as well. Steve, Blue’s live human … Continue reading Blue is an Artistic Dog

Escape from Monkey Island Has Appeal

Yes, friends, your old pal Guybrush Threepwood is back for his fourth appearance, but this time he’s in 3-D! Guybrush, now married to the beautiful but dangerous Governor Marley, returns to his old stomping grounds on Melee Island(TM) (all of the islands in the game series are trademarked for some reason) to find most of the pirates gone, and his wife declared dead. You must help save her mansion from being destroyed, and sail forth to try to find lawyers to help your plight. Of course, nothing is that easy, as you must figure out how to accomplish necessary tasks … Continue reading Escape from Monkey Island Has Appeal

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea Has Girl

Return to the Sea is part of the Disney Princess series of games aimed at girls ages 5 and up. And this is a good game. It isn’t as sexist or simple as some of Disney’s other titles aimed at girls. There is a choice of five games or activities to play in Return to the Sea. Melody, the daughter of the ever-popular Ariel from The Little Mermaid, is the central figure in all the games. Melody’s Daring Dive has Melody diving for gems in the ocean. Girls have a choice of three different ocean scenes and game play has … Continue reading The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea Has Girl

Majesty is Medieval Mayhem for Mac

Reviewer’s Note: Rarely have I found a game so engaging as I’ve found Majesty to be. I was compelled to finish every level to the bitter end, and finishing some of them was quite bitter indeed. Still, in spite of the absolute obsession I had over Majesty, I do recognize that the game has its flaws. Nonetheless, no matter what bad things I might say about it, know this: I love this game. Feel the Love: Majesty is a wonderful combination of a simulation game (SIM) with artificial intelligence (AI) and a role-playing game (RPG). The mix makes for a … Continue reading Majesty is Medieval Mayhem for Mac

4×4 Evolution is Evolved Muddin’!

Recently my fellow GIN-mates asked me, "Hey Jevon man, so what do you want for Christmas this year?"Â To which I humbly responded, "My friends, my friends, take heed to this wise parable. These kind of answers take time and careful thought. I mean you just can’t go blurting random Christmas wish lists right off the top of your jabroni with hardly any serious thought at all. I mean think about it. This great holiday only falls on us every 365 days. Therefore in order to achieve the true inner peace and happiness of receiving gifts during this special time … Continue reading 4×4 Evolution is Evolved Muddin’!

Mia 2 Makes Science Cool

The long quest to find a children’s title that actually makes science fun has ended. There are a myriad of programs out there that teach reading and other more basic subjects, and even more that are little more than entertainment wrapped in the cloak of educational software. But a program that could teach children the subject of science, and be fun at the same time, would be a gem; it would be worth five GiN Gems to be exact. Mia 2: Romaine’s New Hat is such a program. Right from the start I was enthralled by the exquisite graphics, the … Continue reading Mia 2 Makes Science Cool

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