ESH | Jackbox Party Pack 5 Review

Jack­box Games has been putting out some qual­ity party games for some time now. I would eve go as far as to say that they rev­o­lu­tion­ized the party video game genre with the release of the orig­i­nal Fib­bage. After sev­eral new entries, there’s always the chance that they could be run­ning out of ideas. Not every pack of games has been lived up to the high highs of the series as a whole, but I am pleased to report that The Jack­box Party Pack 5 has some fresh new games that keep me con­vinced that Jack­box Games still has the magic touch in cre­at­ing awe­some party games. Let’s go through each of the entries in The Jack­box Party Pack 5 indi­vid­u­ally to dis­cuss what makes each of them great.

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Review | Death Road to Canada

Canada always seems to be the goal of post-apocalyptic trav­el­ers seek­ing respite from the assault of the undead. I sup­pose the rea­son­ing is that it’s cold-enough up there that the zom­bie hordes won’t be able to cope, but Death Road to Canada offers a much more silly and awe­some expla­na­tion for this. I won’t dis­cuss this here, you’ll have to make it to the bor­der your­self to find out. Instead, let’s talk about the goofy jour­ney that Death Road to Canada puts you through in this pixel-based brawler.

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ESH | Oh… Sir! The Hollywood Roast Review

Video games always seem to involve char­ac­ters resolv­ing their prob­lems with their fists or guns. Some­times, is it a smarter choice to use your words? This is the hypoth­e­sis that Oh… Sir!! The Insult Sim­u­la­tor and Oh… Sir! The Hol­ly­wood Roast seek to answer. Tak­ing a brand new spin on fight­ing games, these games pit two char­ac­ters against one another in a bat­tle of words that can only end with one victor.

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ESH | TWD Season 3 ‘From the Gallows’ Review

Start­ing up the final episode of sea­son 3 for The Walk­ing Dead, I had a hard time imag­in­ing the endgame Tell­tale had in mind. The main antag­o­nist of the sea­son had already been dealt with and the fate of Rich­mond seemed pretty set in stone. There were cer­tainly a few sur­prises in there, I’ll get to that in a bit, but after fin­ish­ing up Javier’s story, I felt like they didn’t quite make good on what made this sea­son unique: The flash­back sequences and your rela­tion­ship with David. Despite this, the thrills are still there and some dif­fi­cult deci­sions still had to be made in Episode 5: From the Gal­lows, which make this a rea­son­ably good sea­son of Telltale’s break­out adven­ture series.

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ESH | Demon’s Crystals Review

Mind­lessly blast­ing bad­dies is always a good way to wind down when you’re not in the mood for some­thing a lit­tle heav­ier. Demon’s Crys­tals is a twin stick shooter that’s not look­ing to break any new ground, but the mechan­ics are just good enough that it’s suit­able for some short bursts of fun. Boast­ing a sim­ple main cam­paign and six mul­ti­player types, Demon’s Crys­tals doesn’t have a lot of depth, but for the five dol­lar price tag, you’ll get enough silly fun to last you and your friends a few nights.

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ESH | TWD Season 3 ‘Thicker Than Water’ Review

One of the best things about Telltale’s take on The Walk­ing Dead has always been mak­ing dif­fi­cult deci­sions. I’ll often find myself strug­gling with decid­ing what might be the best choice in these games, even with this third sea­son. Episode 4, titled Thicker Than Water, def­i­nitely asks you to make some deci­sions, but very few of them hold the same weight as ear­lier ones. The main plot is def­i­nitely build­ing to an epic con­clu­sion, but there wasn’t a whole lot of nar­ra­tive progress across this fourth episode.

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ESH | TWD Season 3 ‘Above the Law’ Review

It’s been a hot sec­ond since the last time we checked in on Javi and the gang in sea­son 3 of Telltale’s The Walk­ing Dead series. The sec­ond episode left us with quite a cliff hanger hav­ing found Javi’s brother, David, as one of the lead­ers of the New Fron­tier group. This third episode picks this thread back up and spends a large por­tion test­ing where your loy­al­ties lay and task­ing you with mak­ing yet some more dif­fi­cult deci­sions. While episode 3, Above the Law, seems a bit more busi­ness as usual, there are still some intense moments that make it a decent episode of the cur­rent season.

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Review | Fire Emblem Heroes

Back when Nin­tendo announced they were going to start devel­op­ing some games for mobile plat­forms, my mind instantly went to the Fire Emblem series. The turn-based strat­egy series seemed per­fect to pull out of your pocket and play for a few min­utes. Nin­tendo, even on their mobile out­ings, pol­ishes all of their games to a high sheen and Fire Emblem Heroes is no dif­fer­ent. The main ques­tion to be answered here is if t has been able to over­come the free-to-play traps that gen­er­ally make me bounce off of sim­i­lar smart phone titles.

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ESH | Toby: The Secret Mine Review

Atmos­phere, in my hum­ble opin­ion, is one of the most impor­tant things a game can cre­ate. Back in 2010, Play­dead intro­duced us all to a puz­zle plat­former than oozed atmos­phere and cre­ated a sur­pris­ingly tense 2-D expe­ri­ence with Limbo. Since then many devel­op­ers have tried to recap­ture the magic of this game by mim­ic­k­ing its aes­thet­ics or game­play. Com­ing from this stand­point, Lukáš Navrátil cre­ated Toby: The Secret Mine as a solo project. While it doesn’t quite recap­ture the tense feel­ing of the game it was inspired by, there are some good moments to latch onto here.

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