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Slick Mobile Snowboarder, Alto’s Adventure, comes to Android Feb. 11th

 

Alto’s Adventure, one of my first picks from this year’s ongoing IGF examination, is coming to Android on February 11th.

And it’ll be free.

Because piracy on Android is absurd.

I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with it since I play absolutely nothing on my phone these days but I can’t ignore how pretty it looks. The gameplay reminds me a little of OlliOlli but, hopefully, without the complex trick and score system this time around. I’m not looking for a challenging and meticulous combo system on a phone. Sliding through mountainous landscapes, jumping and flipping just to see the sights is plenty enough of a mobile game for me.

Stand up and play games on purpose at PAX South

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I spent a lot of my life working retail in one form or another. On those long days of standing at a register or running a thousand times around a sales floor I’d daydream about a “cushy desk job”. A faux leather chair and a fake woodgrain desktop are all I need to be happy, I’d say to myself. When I finally did get a desk job in 2012 it quickly came to ruin my body in all the ways you’d expect and more.

To help out I upgraded to a standing desk solution — an olla podrida of IKEA parts and spare books — but now I daydream of something new: a real standing desk. I haven’t pulled the trigger on any brand yet but I’ve been mighty impressed by The UPLIFT Desk for a while. They were one of the first conversion desks I saw that was able to mechanically rise from seated to standing height and in the pantheon of competitors they’re one of the more affordable.

Why do I even bring this up? Because ergonomic office supplier, The Human Solution, is going to be at PAX South this weekend showing off the UPLIFT desk and how it can be beneficial for work and play. It doesn’t sound appealing, I know, but it’s even easier to stand and play than it is to stand and work. Once you get sucked into the game you tend to forget you’re standing just like you aren’t actively thinking about how you’re slouching on a couch while playing.

It’s great to finally see someone getting out there and talking up these products and this mindset to gamers. We’ve all been beaten over the head about monitor height and posture adjustments on the job and we should probably keep that stuff in mind while playing. So if you’re in San Antonio this weekend (and PAX badges aren’t totally sold out) go stand up and play games deliberately, not because they’re attached to stand-up kiosks.

Game Boy Style Pokemon Nanoblocks up for Pre-Order

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Do you like LEGOs but wish they were really tiny? You’ve probably seen Nanoblocks popping up at your local hipster toy stores and museum gift shops but I didn’t realize there were so many more varieties out there. While the Game Boy colored Pokemon above are up for pre-order at Play-Asia right now, there are already full color versions available.

There’s also a super sized Seregios from Monster Hunter, Kamen Rider, chibi Transformers and a few of those cute creatures from Dragon Quest that seem exceedingly appropriate now that Dragon Quest Builders is nearly out. Speaking of, have you seen that Dragon Quest Builders demo yet? *Self Prosplosion!!!*

“Minecraft meets Dragon Quest” in Dragon Quest Builders Demo

Dragon Quest Builders, otherwise referred to as the Minecraft/Blue Slime mashup, is nearly out on Sony platforms in Japan. In anticipation Square Enix released a fairly lengthy demo which I grabbed immediately and jumped right into. Here’s just over an hour of mostly straightforward gameplay with a little plodding confusion at the end. Right after I finished recording I solved my own problem so I’ll be back with a follow-up if there’s anything exciting left to see in the demo.

How Upgrades, Fusion and Litho-Stones Work in Spelunker World

As I’ve been playing more and more Spelunker World online I’ve met a few people who don’t understand how the crafting and upgrading system works. I’d expect that from the Level 1 or Level 5 players but I’ve found people into the 20’s that didn’t know you could upgrade your gear.

The game isn’t totally esoteric but there’s a lot going on and there isn’t a clear tutorial on how it all works. If you never risked poking all the buttons you could easily miss out on the most satisfying part of the game: the loot grind. There is nothing like spending an hour getting through a stage and coming back later with beefed up gear to breeze right through it.

So for anyone out there mystified by Rare Materials, item fusion, level caps and Litho-Stones, I made this video. It’s as broad an overview of the gameplay loop as I could come up with. I may have gotten too into it towards the end and started talking a little fast but, lucky for you, I’m here to answer your burning questions.