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ARCHIVE 4 (04/06/2016 - 10/26/2016)
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10/26/2016 - Episode 120: Bad Luck [Play Episode 120]
Technical difficulties made this week's episode a little rushed. We got a super late start, after finally getting things set up to record on a different computer than usual. Hopefully the audio level and quality is at least similar to normal. For many reasons, most of which weren't talked about here, it was an all around bad luck day.

But it's not all bad! Episode 120 is here! We talk about new releases, the Xbox Games with Gold for November, listener email, and some news. News includes a pre-recorded segment from a few days prior, after the reveal of the Nintendo Switch, where Addie and I talk about the new console -- what's known, what isn't, and our general impressions.

In another pre-recorded segment, I have initial thoughts on Blues and Bullets episode 1 (PS4) and Mafia III (PS4). I also talk a little more about Wasteland 2 (PS4) and Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice (3DS). Addie and I then talk about Broken Age (PS4), which she finally finished this weekend. Following that, in a pre-recorded review segment that starts around the 42:30 mark, I have reviews of two more IFComp 2016 entries.

To wrap up the show, I've included several more tunes from the latest Phoenix Wright. Due to many factors, we don't have a quiz or a new top ten list this week.

Mentioned in this episode:

You've probably already seen the Nintendo Switch reveal video on YouTube

IFComp 2016 entry Sigil Reader (Field) can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry Color the Truth can be played online

Episode 120 is also available as an MP3 here.
10/19/2016 - Episode 119: How To Survive a Zombie Apocalypse [Play Episode 119]
You won't want to miss this week's top ten list. Addie reads through these ten great tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse, courtesy of my friend Justin on Facebook. Some day, you'll thank us!

IFComp 2016 coverage continues this week, in a pre-recorded review segment that starts around the 37:25 mark. We also have a few mini-reviews for other entries from listener Nikhil, which I read during our email segment a bit earlier, at around 33:38. Other email includes game updates from our listeners, plus two new questions of the week. First, has there ever been a game or game series that you've played back-to-back for the purpose of getting ready for the release of the latest game in the series? Two, what's your favorite death sequence or death quote in a video game? Write in and let us know!

In an increasingly rare on-topic moment for Addie, she talks about an educational quiz game called Kahoot! It's her Mobile Game of the Week, but apparently it can also be played online. Then in a second pre-recorded segment, I have a short review of Gears of War 4 (Xbox One), which is a great start to a new Gears trilogy. Oh, and with Halloween just around the corner, we once again plug our own Halloween-themed interactive fiction, Hallowmoor and A Trick-or-Treat Adventure, which you'll find linked below the show notes for this episode.

Mentioned in this episode:

IFComp 2016 entry The Shoe Dept. can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry Stuff and Nonsense can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry A Time of Tungsten can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry The Skull Embroidery cannot be played online

My Halloween-themed game is Hallowmoor
Addie's is A Trick-or-Treat Adventure

SNL can teach you how to eliminate debt
Here's what the real Sid Meier looks like
Addie likes Kahoot! Here's their Twitter

Episode 119 is also available as an MP3 here.
10/12/2016 - Episode 118: A Pack of Lies [Play Episode 118]
This week, Addie throws honesty out the proverbial window in pretty much every segment of the podcast. She seemed to enjoy herself, and it kept her talking, but don't get too excited when she announces the release of Portal 3.

After a Steam code give-away for Suda51's The Silver Case (fill in the blanks by solving simple show-related trivia questions), we do news, new releases, and email. Email includes Jason's response to last week's question about mobile game genres we need to see more of, and Pawel writes in with hands-on pre-launch impressions of PlayStation VR.

In gaming chat, we talk more about Stacking (Xbox 360) and Wasteland 2 (PS4). My pre-recorded segment breaks records when it comes to the longest pre-recorded segment ever. It starts at around 27:04 and runs until almost the end, a whopping forty-eight and a half minutes. Half of my three-day weekend was spent playing and reviewing Interactive Fiction Competition games, so that makes up the entirety of this oversized segment. In total, there are six reviews, or seven if you count the joke game about toilets. Since it ran so long, I didn't bother preparing a quiz or a new top ten list. Maybe next week.

Mentioned in this episode:

IFComp 2016 entry 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry The Little Lifeform That Could can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry Steam and Sacrilege can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry 500 Apocalypses can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry Detectiveland can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry Night House can be played online

Episode 118 is also available as an MP3 here.
10/05/2016 - Episode 117: A Wild Hamburglar Appears [Play Episode 117]
Unlike last year and the year before, I actually made time to play some of the entries in the annual Interactive Fiction Competition, which is going on now. This pre-recorded segment starts with a few thoughts about interactive fiction in general and the competition in particular, at around the 36:27 mark. Hopefully I'll be able to include more IFComp reviews as the competition continues. In a later segment, I have ongoing thoughts on Wasteland 2 (PS4). Addie's gaming time was limited over the past week, but she played a lot of Disney Crossy Road.

Early in the episode, after some off-topic updates, we give out the final two codes for free copies of Retro City Rampage DX -- one for Playstation and one for Steam. Like last week, the codes have a few blanks to fill in by answering a few simple show-related trivia questions. Most of them are easy to get just by looking at our prior show notes. If you're the lucky listener to redeem either of these codes, please write in or message us on Twitter so we know.

After news, which includes this week's new releases and the free Playstation and Xbox game line-ups for October, we have quite a bit of listener email. You too can write in and have your email read and discussed on the show. Let us know what you're playing, give us your opinion about some recent happening in the world of video games, or answer one of our prior Questions of the Week. This episode, we ask two new questions. First, has there ever been a game where your opinion changed, for better or worse, based on the opinions of other people after the fact? Second, what kinds of games do you most like to see on mobile platforms (phones and tablets)? Is there anything you feel is underrepresented on mobile? One of our long-time listeners has embarked on a journey to create interesting mobile games, and he's looking for opinions.

Closing out the episode this week is a new top ten list. This time, I'm counting down the most interesting games that were food and beverage product tie-ins. This includes fast food. Any theory on what will take the top spot?

Mentioned in this episode:

IFComp 2016 entry Cactus Blue Motel can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry All I Do Is Dream can be played online
IFComp 2016 entry Black Rock City can be played online

PlayStation Plus October 2016 free games
Xbox Games With Gold October 2016 free games

Episode 117 is also available as an MP3 here.
09/28/2016 - Episode 116: That's How Sonic Dies [Play Episode 116]
Free game codes return this week, with a give-away for Retro City Rampage DX on Steam (PC/Mac/Linux/MS-DOS) and PlayStation (PS4/PS3/PSP/Vita). It's just one of each this week. Will you be the lucky listener to solve the puzzle, fill in the blanks, and redeem one of the codes? If not, we're giving away two more codes the same way next week, so be sure to listen!

We talk a little about the annual Interactive Fiction Competition, which is just around the corner. These text-based adventure games are always free and range in quality from great to abysmal, and there's a possibility I may review or discuss some of them during the competition. After that, Addie reads this week's new game releases with her own commentary. Then our one listener email for the week is full of content, including an answer to last week's QotW about games with mismatched elements.

We have no quiz or top ten list this time, but game chat is abundant. My pre-recorded segments include a wrap-up on Recore (Xbox One), short spoiler-free reviews of Gone Home (PS4) and Bound (PS4), a quick update on Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice (3DS), and opening thoughts on God Eater Resurrection (PS4) and Wasteland 2: Director's Cut (PS4). Addie's Mobile Game of the Week is Smash Bandits (iOS). Following that, we talk about the two other games she's playing. Those are Alice: Madness Returns (Xbox 360) and Stacking (Xbox 360).

Mentioned in this episode:

More upcoming PS4 and Vita games at Limited Run Games
The 2016 Interactive Fiction Competition is about to begin
Check out Pawel's review/guide of Oceanhorn

Episode 116 is also available as an MP3 here.
09/21/2016 - Episode 115: The Console Wars 2016 [Play Episode 115]
Occasional guest-host Bill joins us this week for an oversized episode full of game discussions. We relegate most of this to a post-recorded segment that appears late in the show, although it's as long as the main show, so that happens about halfway through the episode. That starts with a new top 10, courtesy of Bill, where he lists out the ways Xbox One has recently gotten a proverbial leg up on the Playstation 4.

This leads into a general discussion about the Sony vs. Microsoft console war (sorry Nintendo; you're not even involved). After this, Bill catches up on several months of gaming, with some talk about Wofenstein: The New Order and The Old Blood, the previous Wolfenstein on Xbox 360, The Banner Saga, Zombi (the PS4 version of ZombiU), Gone Home, To the Moon, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, The Order 1886, The Last of Us Remastered, Life is Strange, The Cave, Costume Quest 1 and 2, Broken Age, and Remember Me.

Our usual segments before that include this week's new game releases, listener email, and a new Question of the Week. Write in and let us know if you've ever played a game that had some element or aspect that just didn't fit. Music that didn't match the tone of the story? Some gameplay hook that just didn't even need to be there? We'll talk about that on a future episode.

Addie's Mobile Game of the Week is Hay Day (iOS). In my pre-recorded segment, I have a wrap-up for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4), opening thoughts on Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice (3DS), and my impressions so far of Recore (Xbox One). We also have a review of Roguelands (PC) courtesy of listener Christian. If you'd like to record a short two or three minute review of a game you've recently played, send it to us in .MP3 format (or whatever) for use in future episodes!

The music at the end includes a few tunes from this latest Phoenix Wright game.

Mentioned in this episode:

All about adventure game Skulls of the Toltecs at Wikipedia
Addie's Mobile Game of the Week is Hay Day, on iTunes

Episode 115 is also available as an MP3 here.
09/14/2016 - Episode 114: Fewer Buns [Play Episode 114]
News for this week includes the PlayStation 4 Pro, the release of PS4 firmware version 4.0, and the announcement of mobile game Super Mario Run. After a long list of this week's new releases (which is made even longer by a tangent discussion about Black Friday), we read this week's one and only listener email. It's about Fallout 4 and Skyrim mods not coming to PS4 after all, and a bit about earning trophies or achievements in games.

My pre-recorded segment is a review of point-and-click adventure Deja Vu II (GameBoy Color), and a partial review of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4). I haven't quite finished this latest Deus Ex, but felt it was time to give more than just surface-level impressions. With luck, I'll wrap it up for next week with some final thoughts.

Addie and I then talk about the recently-released Ghostbusters game again (PS4), and Addie talks briefly about Roblox (PC) and Splatoon (WiiU). This leads into a new top ten list. This week, I count down my favorite point-and-click adventure games, with a few obligatory honorable mentions. This week's ending music is a selection of tunes from Deja Vu II.

Mentioned in this episode:

All about classic PC/GBC adventure game Deja Vu II at Wikipedia

Episode 114 is also available as an MP3 here.
09/07/2016 - Episode 113: Hey Kids! Don't Sell Your Games [Play Episode 113]
Featured this week are a podcast-related new top ten list, a challenging round of video game "Who Am I?", and a bit of monologue about retro game collecting. First, though, it's the usual segments: news, new releases, and email. News this week includes the free games line-up for September, for PlayStation Plus and Xbox Gold subscribers, which we just missed last week due to recording a few days early.

My pre-recorded segment includes more brief thoughts on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4), which I'll still be playing a week or two more. Also, I finished Deja Vu (GameBoy Color on Retron5) and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PSP on PlayStation TV), so I have reviews for both. Addie's first Mobile Game of the Week for her new iPad is Tiny Tower (iOS). Apparently it's pretty great.

This week's ending music is a selection of tunes from retro classic point-and-click adventure game Deja Vu.

Mentioned in this episode:

All about classic NES/GBC/PC adventure game Deja Vu at Wikipedia

September 2016 PlayStation Plus line-up at PlayStation Blog
September 2016 Xbox Games with Gold line-up at Major Nelson's Blog

Episode 113 is also available as an MP3 here.
08/31/2016 - Episode 112: The Inserration [Play Episode 112]
Despite recording this episode earlier than usual, we have plenty to talk about. For Addie, it's more Roblox (PC), more Minecraft (PS4), and her Mobile Game of the Week, Word Trace (iOS). My pre-recorded segment is a No Man's Sky wrap-up (PS4) and a review of classic 8-bit action adventure game Xexyz (NES). In a second segment, post-recorded and added to the episode afterwards, I have opening thoughts on three more games I started playing. These are Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4), Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PSP), and Deja Vu (NES).

Eight-year-old Heath, Addie's younger brother, is also back with a new episode of Mini-Gamers. It's episode 13, and as usual, he goes from game to game quickly. Unless I missed one, this includes Tennis in the Face, Headlander, Seralim, Minecraft, Bakugan Battle Trainer, and Armikrog.

In off-topic or tagentially-related discussions, Addie is amazed that people can actually build a PC, I discovered a few DOS 3.5" disk-based games in some old boxes for my collection, I explain Hatsune Miku to Addie, and she recaps the plot of her favorite commercial. Also, a new top-ten list this week is about all the ways that games are easier now than they used to be.

The ending music is a selection of tunes from Xexyz. For such a great game, the music is less memorable and more repetitive than many other NES classics. Still, it seemed appropriate after reviewing the game.

Mentioned in this episode:

All about NES game Xexyz at Wikipedia

Episode 112 is also available as an MP3 here.
08/24/2016 - Episode 111: Smells Like the Valley [Play Episode 111]
More off-topic stuff than usual opens this episode of the Video Game Generations Podcast. Part of that is due to Addie's well-intentioned question about my favorite books, which I answer thoroughly; not too thoroughly, though, because I can think of a dozen more favorites I didn't even mention.

After Addie reads the news and new releases, we have plenty of listener email to read and discuss. This includes questions about kids and their attraction to games based on movies and other non-game IP, a Playstation humble bundle, the games our listeners are playing, and answers to last week's QotW about which thing would be more welcomed: reviews or impressions of games outside my comfort zone (fighting, sports, racing, etc.) or more retro game coverage. Our new Question of the Week comes from email as well. As a gamer, how do you keep from getting sore and uncomfortable while playing? Do you have a tip to share? Or is it just a matter of getting up to stretch frequently?

My pre-recorded segment is a final wrap-up on Suikoden II (PS1), and my continued impressions of No Man's Sky (PS4). Addie talks about two games. These are Best Fiends (iOS) and NoNo Islands from Illusion Labs (iOS), the latter of which is her Mobile Game of the Week.

We ran out of time to include my latest top ten list, so we'll try to do that next week. Oh, and if you listen after the music, you might want to check back next week to find out whether or not Addie wins the donut bet.

Mentioned in this episode:

The Capcom Playstation Humble Bundle
Hyperion by Dan Simmons at Amazon.com
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge at Amazon.com
Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance at Amazon.com

Episode 111 is also available as an MP3 here.
08/17/2016 - Episode 110: Good Job Being Me [Play Episode 110]
We have no quiz or top ten list this week, but in its place early in the show, it's the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine awards! It's a brief off-topic bit where I name DS9's most deserving characters in several categories: most changed, most annoying, most useless, and best acting. Guess which character gets the coveted Wallace Shawn award.

Then we have news, new releases, and email. Christian's android-based mobile game AsteroidDefense has been released. Pawel keeps it brief this week with his thoughts on Murdered: Soul Suspect and Shutshimi. Finally, good friend Bill (who needs to return as a guest host again) answers our recent QotW about favorite Double Fine / Tim Schafer games.

Game talk begins with my pre-recorded segment, in which I have very favorable opening thoughts on No Man's Sky (PS4). Next week, I hope to dive deeper into a discussion on the game's systems and what I'd like to see improved. After that, Addie and I talk about Stacking (Xbox 360) and Ghostbusters (2016/PS4). It's always nice when Addie has more to say about recently played games, but back-to-school could mean that her time will become even more limited.

In a half-formed, open-ended Question of the Week, I'm looking for opinions about what would be a better choice for the podcast: getting back into more retro games for review and discussion (NES, SNES, Genesis), or sometimes leaving my comfort zone and trying out games in genres that usually don't appeal to me (sports, racing, fighting, strategy, and multiplayer-only). Write in and let us know your thoughts on the matter, or for any gaming related reason. Email makes up an important part of the show.

Mentioned in this episode:

My space exploration browser-based epic StarLock
It's no longer playable, but here are some screenshots

An article about Myst-like one-man creation The Eys of Ara at IGN
Check out listener Christian's Asteroid Defense game for Android

Episode 110 is also available as an MP3 here.
08/10/2016 - Episode 109: Pose Little Yarny [Play Episode 109]
Did you know that a limited edition of Unravel for PS4 and Xbox One was recently released in small quantities as a BestBuy exclusive? I managed to get one, only to find out that the box only contains the Yarny figure. It doesn't actually come with the game, which they provide separately as a download code. We already have it digitally, and due to a mix-up in the process, I ended up with two codes. Both are given out in this episode, but as of posting this, the first one is already redeemed. If you're quick, and if you want Unravel on PS4, listen for the second code a short ways into this episode.

After news and new releases, it's our Fall Games Preview segment. It's that time again, when many big new games are scheduled for release in the last few months of the year. At the end, I share my top five most anticipated games coming out this year. Write in and let us know yours! Then, our solitary email this week is a great, thorough answer to last week's QotW about your favorite Double Fine games.

In game talk, Addie talks briefly about the multiplayer mini-games in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS) and Stretchmo (3DS). My pre-recorded segment wraps up Resident Evil 5 (PS4) after playing the two extra story missions. I also finished Lichdom: Battlemage (PS4), which I review in the same segment.

To end the show, this week's top ten list, inspired by Resident Evil, is my favorite zombie-themed games. This includes a few obligatory honorable mentions. So enjoy, and we'll see you next week!

Episode 109 is also available as an MP3 here.
08/03/2016 - Episode 108: Walking and Talking Patty [Play Episode 108]
With Addie away on vacation this week, we recorded most of this episode Saturday afternoon. There wasn't much news at the time, but we do cover this month's free Playstation Plus games and the new games releasing this week. Email includes an answer to our recent QotW about games that surprised you, plus a final decision (maybe?) on the "honorable mentions" debate.

Addie started playing two games, so her "what we're playing" contribution is opening thoughts on Double Fine's Headlander (PS4) and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS). I have a brief bit to say about Mighty No. 9 (PS4), and a pre-recorded segment that includes an update on my ongoing year-long play-through of Suikoden II (PS1 on PSTV) and a review of Resident Evil 5 (PS4).

Instead of a new top ten list, Addie takes my video game console quiz. Play along and find out how well you know the makers and decades of launch for twenty consoles of prior generations. Our Question of the Week, devised by Addie, is to let us know your favorite Double Fine game. That's very specific, I know, but it was a spur of the moment choice.

Mentioned in this episode:

A console timeline up to the 7th Generation
Comprehensive console history with photos

August 2016 Free Games With Playstation Plus at the Playstation Blog

Episode 108 is also available as an MP3 here.
07/27/2016 - Episode 107: Seven Flags [Play Episode 107]
Early in this week's episode, we try something new. Recently, Addie has been a little too quiet at the start, so I decided to get her involved with a mini-quiz, where she must think of games that feature a certain detail or subject of my choosing. This may be a returning segment, since it seemed to help this week.

Before we read this week's email, news includes next month's free Xbox Games With Gold and the new games releasing this week. My pre-recorded segments are about my initial impressions of Resident Evil 5 (PS4), plus reviews of three games I finished -- Christopher Brookmyre's Bedlam (PS4), Broken Sword 5 Episode 2 (Vita), and Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma (Vita/PSTV). Addie's Mobile Game of the Week is Little Alchemy (iOS).

A new top ten list this week is about games from this console generation that seem very underrated. As for last week's QotW about games that surprised you, we're carrying that forward another week, since our next episode will be recorded three days earlier than usual. It'll release next Wednesday, though, as usual. If there's a game you didn't expect to like, but your tried it and liked it after all, write in and let us know.

This week's ending music comes from Bedlam, one of the games reviewed in this episode. It's only a small sample of the awesome music in this unique first-person shooter.

Mentioned in this episode:

A collection of articles about Firewatch
A collection of Nintendo NX rumors at IGN
August 2016 Free Games With Gold at Major Nelson's Blog

Episode 107 is also available as an MP3 here.
07/20/2016 - Episode 106: He Goes Blub Blub Blub [Play Episode 106]
After news and new releases, this week's listener email provides us with several topics. These include Pokemon Go, Firewatch, an ongoing discussion about top ten lists, more great short games to finish in one or two sittings, the NES Classic Edition, underrated games, and responses to last week's QOTW about handheld vs. mobile gaming.

After my brief opening thoughts on Christopher Brookmyre's Bedlam (PS4) -- the game, not the book -- and a brief update on where I am in Zero Time Dilemma (Vita), I have a pre-recorded review of The Technomancer (PS4). I think it's destined to be another underrated gem. Addie's Mobile Game of the Week is Circle (iOS), from Ketch App.

Following that, Addie talks a bit about her ongoing efforts to collect all the ties in Octodad: Dadliest Catch (PS4). This leads into her list of the top five plot holes in Octodad. Once we wrap that up, Heath returns with Mini-Gamers Episode 12 where he talks more about Octodad, Yasai Ninja (PS4), and Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS). He also insists on doing a "guess the game character" quiz, proving he's a much better guesser than I am, apparently.

Our Question of the Week for listeners is about games that surprised you. This doesn't have to be just underrated games you enjoyed. Maybe it's a well-liked game that didn't seem as if it'd be your kind of thing, yet you played it anyway and ended up really enjoying it. If you have such a story to share, write in and let us know!

Mentioned in this episode:

You know who makes awesome, underrated games? Spiders!
Nintendo made the NES. What happens next may shock you!

Episode 106 is also available as an MP3 here.
07/13/2016 - Episode 105: The Fish Plays the Flute [Play Episode 105]
This week's lone email gives me a chance to talk about the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series again. Also, Addie isn't sure whether Avatar is a kid with magical wind powers, or tall blue aliens. We get that sorted out, though.

First up in game chat is my pre-recorded segment, which includes opening thoughts on Mega Man Legends (PS1), The Technomancer (PS4), Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma (Vita), and spoiler-free thoughts in a sort-of review of Playdead's Inside (Xbox One). Addie's Mobile Game of the Week is Pokemon Go (iOS), of course, because it's everybody's Mobile Game of the Week it seems. The two of us spend some time talking about that, with Addie explaining how it works.

In a feature this week, I present my list of favorite games that can be finished in one or two sittings, prompted by last week's question from a listener. It's a long list, so it doesn't fall under the "top-10" umbrella, but hopefully it'll provide a few good suggestions for different kinds of games on different platforms, if you're looking for something short but substantial.

Our Question of the Week to listeners is a little open-ended. What are your thoughts on mobile gaming (phones, tablets) versus handheld gaming (Vita, 3DS)? Is handheld gaming on the way out as mobile gaming rises, or can both continue to survive? Do you play on Vita, PSP, Gameboy, DS/3DS, or do you stick to your iPhone and Andriod when on the go? Let us know your thoughts, so we can continue the discussion.

Mentioned in this episode:

Average game completion times at HowLongToBeat.com

Episode 105 is also available as an MP3 here.
07/06/2016 - Episode 104: Bird Olympics [Play Episode 104]
Listener email is a big focus of this week's episode, with questions about shorter vs. longer games and speedrunning games. Also included are comments about my habit of including honorable mentions in my Top 10 lists, watching stuff on YouTube, Sony's E3 press conference, System Shock on Kickstarter, a listener's favorite open world games following on my lists from last week, the trouble with Darksiders, challenging puzzles in The Talos Principle, and more. Our Question of the Week also comes from email. Write in to let us know if you've ever just gotten bored playing an otherwise good game. Maybe some hundred-hour epic grabbed you at first, but you lost interest entirely, before finishing?

Game talk is mostly my pre-recorded review of last year's open world Mad Max (PS4). Addie's latest Mobile Game of the Week is Mahjong Adventure (iOS). Neither of us played much else since the last episode.

In honor of Mad Max, though, this week's Top 14 (including the honorable mentions in the list, per Pawel's suggestion) is all about Max. Listen to find out my Top 14 all-time Max's. Maxes? Plural of Max. Whatever. Yes, it's as silly as it sounds. And of course, the episode starts as always with a little off-topic warm-up, followed by news -- this week's new game releases, and the PlayStation Plus line-up for July.

Mentioned in this episode:

Summer Games Done Quick
LDShadowLady's channel on YouTube
July 2016 Free PS+ games announced at PlayStation Blog
A remake of the original System Shock is up on Kickstarter

Episode 104 is also available as an MP3 here.
06/29/2016 - Episode 103: Bring Me Light [Play Episode 103]
We're light on news this week, but there are plenty of new game releases for Addie to describe incorrectly. With so many coming out this week, though, she opted to skip a few and just defer to me instead. Xbox Games With Gold for July have been announced, so we list those too. In email, Bill writes in after a long absence to talk about our one hundredth episode, and to provide his list of all-time top-ten favorite games — a standing invitation for all listeners. Without a new Question of the Week this episode, we're sticking to last week's question. Top-tens are fun, so email us to suggest a category or topic for a future top-ten list!

Speaking of that, my featured top-ten this week is not one, not two, but three lists of my top ten favorite open worlds in games. These are (1) the top ten open world and semi-open world games set in a real-world location, (2) the top ten semi-open world games in a fictional setting, and (3) the top ten open world games in a fictional setting. That's a pre-recorded segment late in the show.

Addie's Mobile Game of the Week is Disney Crossy Road (iOS). It was a busy weekend for her, so that's all she played, other than more Clash of Clans (iOS). In my pre-recorded segment, I include brief updates on a few games I'm playing, plus a review of Playstation classic Echo Night (PS1 on Vita). I also discovered that the Vita allows for complete per-game controller remapping. Playstation TV has more limited remapping options, but on Vita I was able to map Echo Night controls to work just like modern dual-stick first-person games.

The ending music this week includes a few short tracks from Echo Night.

Mentioned in this episode:

July 2016 Xbox Games With Gold announced at Major Nelson's Blog

Episode 103 is also available as an MP3 here.
06/22/2016 - Episode 102: #Octothorp [Play Episode 102]
This week's feature is a new top-10 list of favorite female protagonists in video games. There's also a bit of discussion about future top-10 list ideas. Our Question of the Week for listeners is to suggest topics that would make interesting top-10 lists.

Before that, in my pre-recorded segments, I review Mirror's Edge: Catalyst (PS4) and Submerged (PS4). Also included are my opening thoughts on Mad Max (PS4), Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed (Vita), Echo Night (PS1), and State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition (Xbox One). Addie's Mobile Game of the Week was a surprise to me. It's Clash of Clans (iOS), which has really captured her interest lately. She also briefly talks about Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) and My Sims Party (Wii).

I guess these notes are backwards, but before all that, it's news, new releases, and email. We're also happy to report that all three game prize bundles from episode 100 have been received by the winners. We're thinking of doing more give-aways in the future, but on a smaller scale. Nothing definite has been decided or planned, so nothing to announce just yet.

Mentioned in this episode:

An article about the return of Phantom Dust at IGN
Thread about the PS4 Neo release on Reddit

Episode 102 is also available as an MP3 here.
06/15/2016 - Episode 101: Zombies vs. Old People [Play Episode 101]
News from E3 press conferences makes this another oversized episode. In two pre-recorded segements, I recap each of the five big publisher conferences. Later, it's a top 10 list of the most exciting game reveals and demos from E3. But we aren't done yet. Next week, we'll have more news in an E3 wrap-up, including your emails about what you liked most or what disappointed you about E3 this year. That's our Question of the Week.

In email this week, we hear from a new listener for the first time, there's a bit of happy-dancing from the winner of our Xbox game bundle give-away, another top 10 favorite games list, E3 reactions, one listener is playing DS games 999 and the Phoenix Wright series, and we get opposing views about whether or not The Witcher 3 is an unquestionably better game than Fallout 4. We also take a Vita game name quiz late in the show, which also comes to us via email.

Addie did very little gaming since last week, but I have a shorter-than-usual pre-recorded segment about what I'm playing. This includes a wrap-up on Republique (PS4), opening thoughts on Mirror's Edge: Catalyst (PS4), and brief mentions of other games I started, including Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PS1) and Broken Sword 5 Episode 2 (Vita).

Mentioned in this episode:

A game bundle winner did the Dance of Joy
The start of a Fallout 4 No-Guns run on YouTube
Play board games, online, for free, at Board Game Arena

Episode 101 is also available as an MP3 here.
06/08/2016 - Episode 100: The Big One Zero Zero [Play Episode 100]
This week, we choose the winners in our big game bundle give-away! We'd announce the names of the lucky listeners here, but Addie decided it should be a surprise. You'll have to listen to get the results. Boxes will ship out today, to the winners.

It's a normal episode for the most part. We have tons of email this week, plus news and new releases for Addie to speculate on plots. It turns out, most of the new releases this week feature robots of some sort, according to Addie. Some actually do! In our two feature segments, we talk about our hopes for E3 (which is just a few days away), and our top 10 games of all time. This includes answers from several listeners as well, although it turns out it's difficult to choose just ten, or choose just one in a series, or even to put them in a specific order.

Addie talks briefly about what she's playing: Mario Kart 7 (3DS), Plants vs. Zombies (Nook), Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (Xbox One), and Mr. Jump (iOS). In my pre-recorded segment, I talk about Fallout 4: Automatron (PS4), Crimson Shroud (3DS), Republique (PS4), plus a review of Adam's Venture: Origins (PS4).

The after-music ending bit this week is pretty long. Let's just call it... an interesting bit of time travel. Now, we're almost ready to take our vacation, ride some roller coasters, and zip down some water slides, so until next week, enjoy!

Episode 100 is also available as an MP3 here.
06/01/2016 - Episode 99: Bowl in a China Shop [Play Episode 99]
Only a few days remain for entering our upcoming game bundle give-away. Next week is our 100th episode, so part of our discussion this week is a small bit of planning for that. We also talk about summer plans and vacations in our opening off-topic segment.

After news, the free PlayStation Plus games list for June, and Addie guessing the plots of this week's new game releases, we have a few listener emails. This includes Fallout 4 and Witcher 3 talk, an answer to last week's QotW about kids playing or seeing M-rated games, and a suggestion that Addie's Antics are a good thing! Late in the episode, I give honorable mentions to a bunch of great games that didn't quite make my all-time top-10 list. The actual top-10 is planned as a feature for next week.

My pre-recorded segment is mostly a review of the new Doom (aka Doom 2016 or Doom 4 - PS4). Then it's Addie's turn. Her Mobile Game of the Week is Two Dots (iOS). She also talks about games played with her step-brother Nathan -- Dark Souls 3 (Xbox One) and Halo: The Master Chief Collection multiplayer (Xbox One). I guess this ties back into last week's QotW, but it sounds like she didn't get too far in either one. She also played Roblox Wheel of Fortune (PC?), but that sounds self-explanatory.

We have two Questions of the Week for our 100th episode. First, do you have any hopes for E3 this year? The big video game convention is fast approaching, and we're going to talk next week about what we'd like to see announced or covered. Also, what are your all-time favorite games ever? Do any from my "not quite the top 10" list this week make the cut for you? Write in and let us know!

Episode 99 is also available as an MP3 here.
05/25/2016 - Episode 98: Smooth Crimical [Play Episode 98]
News this week includes the good (new game releases and announcements) and the bad (a studio closes, and is Nintendo doomed?) Xbox Games With Gold have been announced for June 2016, so we go over those. In email, we meet our youngest, newest listener (congrats to Pawel and his wife on baby Bruno), plus thoughts on the latest Fallout 4 DLC, Uncharted 4, and general podcast feedback.

In our question of the week, inspired by thoughts on last week's discussion about whether or not it's okay to let kids play or watch M-rated or even certain T-rated games, we want to know your thoughts and advice. To what extent -- and age -- should kids be kept away from violence and mature themes in video games? Now's your chance to share parenting advice, or if not a parent, at least your opinion on the subject.

Addie's "mo-bile" game of the week is another from Ketch App: a game called Twist (iOS). She also fills me in on Google mini-games, including her recent favorite, Zerg Rush. In my pre- and post-recorded segments, I review Uncharted 4 (PS4) and Albedo: Eyes From Outer Space (PS4), after finishing them both (platinum trophies, too). They're two very different games, but guess which one I liked more? Don't worry; I stay clear of spoilers.

Mentioned in this episode:

We're giving away game bundles. See the Official Rules.

Episode 98 is also available as an MP3 here.
05/18/2016 - Episode 97: I'm The Boss [Play Episode 97]
Our final two code words for the upcoming game bundle give-away are in this week's episode. If you want to win a bunch of video games, listen for the code words, and check out the official rules at http://www.vggpodcast.com/contest100/rules.html. Speaking of free games, if you're the lucky listener who redeems a code I read out this week for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris on PS4, email us so I can give you its season pass DLC code also!

This episode is a little on the shorter side, since we had no listener feedback to read in this week's email segment. We do have news and new game releases, an aside about when kids begin to understand the difference between video games and reality, and a new kind of quiz for Addie late in the show. It would have been even shorter, but Heath was ready for another episode of Mini-Gamers, the podcast within the podcast, where he talks briefly about the games he's been playing: Broken Age (PS4), Super Smash Bros. (3DS), Ratchet & Clank (PS4), Pokemon Rumble World (3DS), and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (PS4).

Addie describes her plan to build a theme park in Minecraft, and she introduces a new segment of her own creation, called "Addie's Mobile Game of the Week." Her pick this week is Cooking Fever (iOS), which she's very much enjoying. In my pre-recorded segment, I have a wrap-up for Severed (Vita), an update on Suikoden II and Albedo: Eyes From Outer Space (PS1 and PS4, respectively), and my initial thoughts on Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4). I'm pretty far in UC4, but haven't quite finished it, and wasn't ready for a more detailed review. But don't worry. Even when I do, I'll keep it spoiler-free.

This week's ending music is Drake's theme from Uncharted 4. Enjoy!

Episode 97 is also available as an MP3 here.
05/11/2016 - Episode 96: The Secret Government [Play Episode 96]
Topics this week include the common problem of new PS4 games arriving with discs rattling around loose in their cases (and a possible fix, if you're brave enough to try it), recently-announced release dates for a few upcoming games, yet another rumor about Nintendo's NX, this week's new game releases, brainstorming on how the actual winner selection process will work for our upcoming give-away, and more.

For our listener question (QotW), we want to know your favorite game reboots, or games in which they decided to drop the number and subtitle (ex: the new Hitman is just "Hitman", Tomb Raider came back as just "Tomb Raider", and Doom 4 is really just "Doom"). Next week or on a future episode, I hope to put together a top-ten list of reboots.

In email this week, it's an answer to our recent QotW about games with difficulty spikes that made you give up, excitement for Uncharted 4, a possible solution to the mystery of how I ended up with Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare on PS4, and a reminder that our youngest listener is almost here (congrats again to Pawel and wife).

Addie has been playing KetchApp's mobile game Stack this week (iOS). Tiles move quickly across the top of a tile stack, and you have to tap in time to stack that tile. If it wasn't lined up perfectly, the excess is lost, and the top of the stack becomes that much smaller for the next tile. Addie enjoys it. In my pre-recorded segments, I have opening thoughts (doubling, most likely, as my closing thoughts) on the single-player component of Battleborn (PS4), an update on Severed (Vita), initial thoughts on Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space (PS4), and reviews of Alienation (PS4) and The Park (PS4).

To wrap up, Addie takes my Portal 2 Trivia quiz. I ask ten multiple-choice questions about the game to test her knowledge about one of her all-time favorites.

Two more contest code words are given this episode. Next week is the final week for code words, after which the give-away opens up for entries. If you want a chance at winning a big bundle of Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo games, check out the official rules: http://www.vggpodcast.com/contest100/rules.html

Mentioned in this episode:

How to re-seat loose PS4 discs without opening the case
The developer of Superhot shares a city with listener Pawel.

Episode 96 is also available as an MP3 here.
05/04/2016 - Episode 95: It's Like Hockey-Soccer [Play Episode 95]
This week, Addie learns about military time (aka 24-hour clock notation), and we both discover that we're not quite sure what curling is (as a sport). Other topics include the delay of Zelda for WiiU and NX, the next Call of Duty, the bright side of the almost-certain-to-happen PlayStation NEO, and the ridiculousness (and difficulty) of having to set up an EA Origin account just to play a certain PS4 game online.

In other news, we have the list of free PlayStation Plus games for May, and Addie tries to guess the plots of this week's new game releases. In email, it's Ratchet & Clank, Freedom Wars, Severed, Life is Strange, and another answer to last week's QotW about late-game boss battles that were impossible to beat. Oh, and the drinking mini-game from Watch_Dogs. Supposedly Ubisoft did patch it to make it easier, but those of us who got the trophy before that will always remember the frustrating nightmare that it entailed.

In give-away news, our sixth pair of contest code words are given in this episode. Also, the final three Steam game keys are given (SpeedRunners, DiveKick, and Kingdom Rush). Some of the Steam codes from the last couple of weeks may not have been used, so please let us know if you redeem these or any prior ones. They're single-use codes, meaning the first listener to use them is the lucky winner.

My pre-recorded segment is a wrap-up on the Ratchet & Clank reboot (PS4), and my opening impressions of Severed (PS Vita). Addie also talks about Costume Quest 2 (PS4), which she finally finished, and a little about Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (PS4/XBO).

Rather than trivia or a quiz or a guessing game this week, I present my top ten list of hacking mini-games that have appeared in video games. This is followed (as usual) with a few honorable mentions that didn't make the list. Oh, and this week's Question of the Week (QotW) is about the PlayStation NEO (formerly known as the PS4K or PS4.5 -- eventually to be known as whatever non-Matrix name Sony chooses, kind of like they did with Morpheus/PSVR -- but I digress). There are ways to see this in a positive light, but we're curious about what you think.

Mentioned in this episode:

PlayStation Plus free games for May 2016 at the PlayStation Blog

Episode 95 is also available as an MP3 here.
04/27/2016 - Episode 94: Stormy Weather [Play Episode 94]
A storm came through our area right as we were starting this episode, so this week's show includes plenty of unexpected sound effects. It's okay for the most part, but expect a few instances of background noise, including a constant barrage of hail during a couple early segments. We've been pretty lucky up until now with bad weather while recording, but it had to happen sooner or later.

This week, we give out two new code words for our Episode 100 Game Bundle Give-Away. See the official rules using the link below. Also, it's the second to last week for our Steam code give-away. If you have a Steam account, try out those codes before any other listener, since they'll only work for one account.

In news, we go over the just-announced Xbox Games With Gold line-up for May, followed by new game releases for this week. Late in that list, the noisy weather prompts us to speed through them a little faster, but before that, Addie makes a guess at what she thinks each game is about. After recording, Nintendo announced that the "NX" won't be launching until March 2017, which would have been a great news topic, but we'll have to include that on the next episode, a week late.

After listener email, I include less noisy pre-recorded segments: my wrap-up on Dark Souls III (PS4), my impressions of the Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo (PS4), and my opening thoughts on the new Ratchet and Clank game (PS4) in a partial review. We followed this with one round of video game "Who Am I?", but this was cut from the show partly because of the noisy weather, and partly because it went on for way too long with Addie entirely stumped until I finally gave her a few completely obvious clues. Next week, we might try a more traditional trivia-based quiz.

Mentioned in this episode:

Video Game Generations is now on Google Play Music
An article about Suda51's next game, Let It Die, on IGN
Here are the official rules for our upcoming game give-away
More info about May 2016 free Games With Gold at the Xbox Wire

Episode 94 is also available as an MP3 here.
04/20/2016 - Episode 93: There's This Guy... [Play Episode 93]
This week's topic-filled episode starts with our usual off-topic updates, a brief time travel segment, and a pseudo-rant about how long it takes for developers to produce and ship out physical rewards on successful Kickstarter campaigns after the game has aleady been done and out for weeks or months. We also talk a little more about our upcoming big game bundle give-aways, with some added brainstorming on future contests to keep the free stuff going. On that note, two more STEAM keys are given out this week, for Steamworld Dig and Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition. They're one-use codes, so the first listener to use either or both will be the lucky winner. Write in and let us know if that's you!

After news, we talk about the new games releasing this week. It also felt like a good time to talk about release dates for many of the biggest games scheduled for the weeks and months ahead. This gets fairly foggy later in the year, so we'll do it again when more release dates for this year's most anticipated games have been announced.

This week, my pre-recorded segment is all about Dark Souls III (PS4). After that, Addie talks a little about Slither.io (PC, iOS), a free multiplayer "snake" game she enjoys and recommends.

In listener email, we hear from a long-time listener for the very first time. Our recent QotW about your favorite music gets plenty of responses this week too. Other listener topics include top picks for past PlayStation Plus games (in response to an email from last week), one listener's experiences creating his first game, and the merits of our quizzes and tangents.

Speaking of quizzes, video game "What Am I?" returns this week but proves that we're a little rusty at it now. We also have a new Question of the Week for listeners. Write in and let us know what game was just too difficult for you to finish. Did you get stuck at the last boss in some game you otherwise enjoyed? Was the last level a frustrating nightmare, so you just gave up? We'll read those responses -- and whatever else you want to share regarding past topics or nearly any game-related topic -- on the next episode.

Mentioned in this episode:

A page collecting some of my earliest TRS-80/CoCo Games
PlayStation NEO (aka 4.5, aka 4K) is all but confirmed
Have you heard of the hip-hop musical Hamilton?
An online game of Snakes at Slither.io

Episode 93 is also available as an MP3 here.
04/13/2016 - Episode 92: Video Game Give-Away [Play Episode 92]
We've pretty much established the rules for our upcoming game bundle give-away now. Even though the official rules page isn't ready yet, you can get the details early in this week's episode. Hopefully by next week, that page will be up. Basically, listen for two code words in each episode from 90 through 97, then send one email containing all the code words and a couple other pieces of important information (including your shipping address) before episode 100. The deadline is Sunday, June 5th, at 11:59 PM CST, but you can't enter until after episode 97, when the final codes are given. You'll also let us know which bundle you'd like to win, and that's pretty much it. Only one entry per household.

This week's free STEAM game codes are for The Fall and System Shock 2. Since we weren't notified whether or not last week's Wizardry codes were claimed, those are given out again just in case. They're one-use codes, so the first listener to redeem them on STEAM wins them.

After that, it's news and new game releases, followed by email. We have plenty of listener feedback this week, covering topics like Star Wars Battlefront, last week's QotW about your favorite kinds of music, favorite games from PlayStation Plus, are video game easter eggs still "a thing" for gamers who don't celebrate Easter (blame Addie for that tangent), and the best ways to play all past Legend of Zelda games.

First up for "what we're playing" is my pre-recorded wrap-up for Tom Clancy's The Division (PS4) and my review (spoiler-free... I think) of Quantum Break (Xbox One), which, spoiler, I absolutely loved. Then, Addie talks about what she's playing. That's Portal again (PC), and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (Xbox One... I think).

On episode 100, we'll be giving away:

An Xbox Game Bundle
And a Nintendo Game Bundle
And a PlayStation Game Bundle

Mentioned in this episode:

Hundreds of great video game remixes at Overclocked Remix
The page on ELO's concept album Time on Wikipedia
Upcoming WiiU free-to-play game Lost Reavers

Episode 92 is also available as an MP3 here.
04/06/2016 - Episode 91: Tangentially [Play Episode 91]
We're still brainstorming about our 100th episode game give-away this week. The current plan is to offer three prize bundles of around thirteen games each -- one for various PlayStation platforms, one for Wii and 3DS, and the last for Xbox 360. Listeners would send in codes after episode 99 (maybe sooner, since ten episodes of code words may be too many), and indicate which of the three prize packs you'd like to win. We still have thinking and planning to do, but hopefully we'll have official rules nailed down soon, complete with photos of the prize packs.

We're also giving out game keys redeemable on STEAM. Listen for two keys given out in this episode, for Wizardry 6 & 7, and Wizardry 8. These come courtesy of friend and occassional co-host Bill. We have several more to give away in the coming weeks. They're one-use codes, so first person to use them gets them.

In game discussion, Addie talks a little about Knight Squad (Xbox One), Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PS4), and a free set of online games at Roblox (PC). Mini-Gamers returns this week for its tenth episode, where seven-year-old Heath talks about what he's playing, including Hyrule Warriors Legends (3DS), Witch and Hero 2 (3DS), and Deadly Tower of Monsters (PS4).

In two additonal pre-recorded segments, I talk briefly about a few games I've played just a little, followed by my own wrap-up on Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PS4). Also included, finally, is my review of Tom Clancy's The Division (PS4). I haven't quite finished it, and I haven't tried any multiplayer or dark zone stuff yet, but I should wrap that up in the next week or so.

This episode's Question of the Week comes from listener email. Let's talk about music; any kind of music. What do you listen to? Do you have any musical recommendations? Favorite songs and favorite bands? Write in and let us know! Speaking of music, this week's ending music comes from the Day of the Tentacle soundtrack, rather than our usual original MIDI tunes.

Mentioned in this episode:

Day of the Tentacle soundtrack is on YouTube
A short Day of the Tentacle Remastered documentary

Addie played a bunch of games at a site called Roblox
These are your free PlayStation Plus games for April 2016
Details on the PS4 system update 3.50 at the PlayStation Blog

Episode 91 is also available as an MP3 here.
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