Consoles Gaming

‘Apex Legends’ Season 9: New Legend, Map Updates, and So Much More

Look at the tweet posted above – it’s a clear indication of just how fervent the Apex Legends player base is due to the release of an entirely new season of content. The latest batch of updates that have been thrown into Respawn Entertainment’s mega-popular battle royale shooter are beyond major – Season 9 (which is also referred to as “Legacy”) has expanded the game even more via a new mode, a new legend, a new weapon, and so much more. To say that the current Apex Legends hype is real would be a severe understatement.

Players have become so used to going to war alongside their two crewmates against 19 other competing three-person squads. With the addition of the new mode called “Arenas,” players who want to get into explosive skirmishes on a much smaller scale have something made especially for them. Arenas pits two teams of three against each other across multiple rounds. This mode is essentially about emerging alongside your teammates as the last team standing – the road to victory entails using the materials acquired during previous rounds to upgrade your weapons so you’re better equipped to body the competition during the next one. Winning three rounds and being ahead of the enemy team by two points is the name of the game, so be prepared to go extra hard or go home now that Arenas has gone live.

Along with a new mode comes a new Legend with ties to an integral Titanfall 2 character. Say hello to Kairi Imahara aka “Valkyrie.” She just so happens to be the daughter of a villain you came across in Titanfall 2 known as Viper, which connects Valkyrie to the game’s expanded universe. The “Winged Avenger” is quite the force to be reckoned with thanks to her ability set – she can send out a swarm on mini-rockets to disrupt her foes, use a jetpack to go airborne, and utilize an ultimate ability that allows her to launch into the air for a skydive that can even bring her allies along for the ride. You can look forward to beasting with Valkyrie and mastering the game’s new Bocek Bow in tandem thanks to Apex Legends’ Season 9 update.

So far, we’ve taken a look at this update’s delivery of a new mode, legend, and weapon. But thankfully, that’s not all. The map of Olympus sees a few changes of its own that include new drop locations, changed lines of sight for gameplay, and an unknown parasitic plant that will surely make its presence felt. As for Ranked mode, World’s Edge will be included as the first included map while Olympus will step in to take its place afterward. And just like every season before it, Season 9 offers a batch of worthwhile rewards via a new Battle Pass. There’s a ton of unlockables to nab, such as Music Packs, Skydive Emotes, and skins like the Crafty Kitsune Rampart and Legendary Demon’s Whisper Wraith. The biggest reward of all comes to players that hit level 100 of the new Battle Pass, which is the Legendary Reactive Bound in Bone Devotion skins. Season 9 of Apex Legends has pretty much changed the landscape of the game as a whole and looks to be maintaining the strong sense of player relevancy it’s held onto since 2019.

Consoles Gaming

The Biggest Games Releasing in May 2021

This year sure is moving fast, isn’t it? We could’ve sworn it was February about a week ago (shout to Bobby Shmurda!). The summer is rapidly approaching and all, but there’s a bunch of big games to play before Hot Girl/Boy Summer officially kicks in. For the month of May, gamers can look forward to exploring a village full of morbid creatures, competing with rugged outlaws in a bid to steal some treasure, and revisiting a sci-fi RPG that sports several welcome upgrades for the last- & current-gen consoles.

Resident Evil Village – May 7 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Google Stadia)

Ethan Winters went through hell and back during his horrifying trek through a creepy plantation in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. After saving his wife and escaping all the horrors that existed there, Ethan enjoyed a newfound life with her and their first baby. However, their peaceful existence gets disrupted when former friend Chris Redfield invades their home. After that traumatic event, Ethan is forced to venture through a village filled with Lycans, bloodthirsty sisters that can turn into flies, and a massive vampire lady that’s all too ready to sap your life force dry. Resident Evil Village takes the series back to a first-person viewpoint so you can experience a wealth of new beasts in terrifying locales up close.

Hood: Outlaws & Legends – May 10 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

One of the few new IPs that’s set to hit consoles this year comes from publisher Focus Home Interactive and developer Sumo Newcastle. Hood: Outlaws & Legends is a multiplayer-focused endeavor that pits two teams against each other in a bid to steal some lofty treasure first. Players will get to choose from a roster of uniquely talented legends that have the skills needed to push their team to victory. Careful character coordination is needed amongst you and your teammates during intense matches that devolve into plenty of bloodletting and narrow escapes. Hood: Outlaws & Legends looks to be the next multiplayer addiction you’ll definitely want to tap into.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition – May 14 (PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

Bioware’s magnum opus is undoubtedly the Mass Effect series. Fans of the sci-fi, action RPG franchise walk around sporting N7 tattoos and hitting up conventions in their finest Commander Shepard cosplay. The first three games in the series are considered legendary, so it’s no surprise that each title is finally getting the remastered treatment. Mass Effect Legendary Edition spruces up the visuals in a major way and makes a multitude of quality of life adjustments that makes the gameplay infinitely better than the original games. You’ll be happy to know that driving the M35 Mako will be less of a chore now that it controls even better. Package that with improved combat mechanics & loading times and you have a remastered collection that’s certainly a must-have.

Biomutant – May 25 (PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

An official release date for this unorthodox action RPG has alluded curious gamers for a long time – Biomutant was first revealed in 2017, so it’s definitely been in the works for a good while now. But after years of development work and a few developer updates here & there, Biomutant is finally getting ready to drop into gamers’ laps. For those not in the know, this brand new IP gives players command over a mammalian warrior that must navigate a world packed with rival mutated animals. There’s a ton of factors that go into determining your custom character’s stats, so you’ll need to develop them carefully so you can survive Biomutant’s dangerous enemy encounters. Your karma also plays a huge part in how everyone responds to you in Biomutant’s vast world, so tread lightly or enact mayhem if you so choose.

Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster – May 25 (PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

One of the most grueling JRPGs on the PS2 is this demon-filled classic. Now that game is finally making its way over to three more consoles in remastered form. The visuals have gotten spruced up, the option to listen to either Japanese or English voices has been implemented, and an easier difficulty mode & the ability to save whenever you please helps ease the pain that comes with trying to complete this gem. For those that are fine with confronting the original high challenge factor that comes with this JRPG, you’re free to tackle it if you so choose. First-time players and veterans alike should prepare themselves for a whole lot of clashes with demons and conversations that may result in bringing them over to your side.

Console Ports

RWBY: Grimm Eclipse – Definitive Edition – May 13 (Nintendo Switch)

Subnautica – May 14 (Nintendo Switch)

Days Gone – May 18 (PC – Steam)

Rust – May 21 (PS4, Xbox One)

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries – May 27 (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One)

World’s End Club – May 28 (Nintendo Switch)

Consoles Gaming

The 10 Best Video Game Console Startup Sequences

Gamers know this familiar scenario well – your parents decided to reward you for getting good grades by copping you the video game console you’ve been itching to get since forever. You rip open the gift wrapping, lose your mind, and exclaim your love for Mommy & Daddy while you unbox your newest piece of living room/bedroom hardware. 

The magic truly unfolds when you power on that new system for the very first system. Fireworks go off in your brain and your heart beats a mile a minute once your audio and visual senses are treated to the opening intro graphic from your new console. Video game startup sequences evoke feelings of heavy nostalgia and always bring forward a flood of memories for those that spent much of their lives playing their favorite consoles.

We revisited our childhood and came away with 10 of the best video game console startup sequences. It’s time to get all warm and fuzzy inside as you get to see and hear these cool cinematics all over again.

10. Nintendo Entertainment System

We’re guessing a whole lot of you didn’t even know this sequence existed. And that’s because the young and impatient children we all used to be had no time to sit through these types of things since we were ready to play some games ASAP. But the more curious lot who turned on their NES without putting a cartridge in got to see this cool little animation play out. The chiptune music prepared you for a world full of 8-bit wonder and the sight of Mario & Luigi running on screen is definitely a nice touch.

9. Game Boy Advance

This sequence was filled with pure joy and it only lasted a good four seconds. The logo quickly flashes onto the console’s small screen while splashed in a nice variety of bright colors. While the familiar letters are getting adorned in a nice shade of blue, a catchy jingle plays out in the background all the while. Nintendo sure has a way of putting memorable console startup sequences together, don’t they?

8. PlayStation 2

This brief cinematic is still impressive to this very day. It always felt as if you were floating in space and looking down on the vastness of space below you. Once you really got going with the PS2 and started racking up a whole bunch of saves across your Memory Card, blocks that represent those games would appear during this sequence. What’s truly mind-blowing about that whole intro is the fact that the longer you played a particular game, the taller the memory tower for that game would be. True anxiety would kick in while you waited for this sequence to end – if it took a bit too long, you knew your PS2 was likely going extinct.

7. Sega Dreamcast

This intro could totally be used to reach a plane of existence that encompasses maximum peace and calmness. That’s because the audio that accompanies it is so soothing to the ears and soul. It always sounds like raindrops are softly landing on the pavement as the clouds begin to open up. In reality, the console was booting up as you were getting ready to catch a whole bunch of dubs during another intense set of Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

6. Sega Saturn

The Sega console that came before the Dreamcast is the Saturn. And the sequence that played out for that one was a whole lot more powerful and impactful when compared to the one its successor is known for. Watching a flood of shards come together to form the Sega Saturn logo was and forever will be quite the mind trip. You just knew you were in for something special when this sequence came to a close.

5. Xbox

The technicians that put the Xbox together made sure to make Microsoft’s first video game console come off like the most impressive machine anyone had ever seen. Alongside the original Xbox’s massive size was this equally major initiation sequence. We’re sure a bunch of you guys let this intro rock in the dark so your whole room could get that neon green shine for just a few seconds. This intro still hits hard and marked another step forward for gaming when the original Xbox launched.

4. Xbox 360 (Original Startup)

When that big white globe popped up on your TV screen, you and your band of Halo 3 multiplayer hobbyists had a lot to look forward to. That circular logo circled around for a bit until it got adorned by the signature “X” that still defines the Xbox brand to this very day. The brighter shade of green was a nice touch and that recognizable whooshing sound cue that brings this sequence to an end is quite fitting.

3. Nintendo Gamecube

Rhythms that are delivered via a xylophone immediately catch the average person’s attention. Nintendo must have gotten the memo about that fact because they decided to create a catchy jingle with that beloved instrument for their cute purple box back in the day. While that intro played out, you got to witness a parade of smaller purple boxes come together to form the Nintendo Gamecube’s unmistakable logo. The extra secret sounds you could activate during this sequence are just as good as the original, too.

2. Sega Genesis

“SAYGAHHHH!” The wonderful chorus that emanated from Sega’s 16-bit juggernaut will forever be embedded into 90’s babies’ memories. The best factoid about the Sega Genesis’ intro sequence is that there are so many of them to enjoy. Besides the unforgettable intro that Sonic the Hedgehog ran across, there’s a near-limitless array of alternate intros that perfectly embodies the Sega Genesis’ massive game variety.

1. PlayStation

This is the undisputed GOAT of video game console startup sequences. There can be no other cinematic that takes the top spot. Sony came into the video game console war with the most powerful weapon of all with the very first PlayStation. This thing rang off in living rooms across the world as a bass-heavy jingle kicked in and had everyone in your neighborhood wondering what you were up to. The slick transition to the black screen that featured the PlayStation logo is and forever will be hard to beat as far as console intros go. Side note – we’d definitely sweat extra hard when that aforementioned screen lingered a little too long.

Consoles Gaming

10 Sega Games That are Worthy of a Remake

Do you know what pains the hearts of gamers everywhere? Having to sit back and watch while their favorite publishers ignore their lineup of classic franchises that still have plenty of life left in them.

While there are a few gaming institutions that have made the wise decision to bring retro IP’s back to life (THANKS FOR THE NEW GHOSTS ‘N GOBLINS GAME, CAPCOM!), there are still a good number of companies that still choose to ignore the greatness sitting within its massive franchise vault. In the case of Sega, the Japanese gaming giant is making an effort to revive some of the games that put them on the map. Through partnerships with other talented publishers and development studios, IPs like Streets of Rage, Panzer Dragoon, The House of the Dead, and even Alex Kidd are making a welcome comeback in sequels and remakes. Even Sega’s signature fighting game juggernaut Virtua Fighter is making a grand return, which fighting game aficionados are most definitely checking for.

That whole trend got us to thinking – what other classic Sega IPs are well deserving of a remake? We peered into Sega’s massive vault and built up a list of games that could be revived with a new coat of paint, quality of life changes, and the same likable gameplay mechanics that made them so great in the first place.

1. ‘Sonic Adventure’

2. ‘Sonic Adventure 2’

Go ahead Google the term “Sonic Adventure remake” and prepare to be disheartened about what pops up first. You’ll spot a massive Reddit thread that alludes to Sega reportedly canceling remakes for Sonic’s classic Dreamcast outings, which were rumored to be in development and prepped for a 2015 release. But apparently, the immense failure of Sonic Boom led to the cancellation of both games. Sega shouldn’t just abandon ship on these highly requested remakes, however – it should hand out this lofty joint project to a development team that’s capable of freshening up the visuals, music, and incredibly lively platforming the original games are known for. With the power of current-gen consoles, remakes of both Sonic Adventure titles would truly realize their full potential and reflect the amazing quality tied to the platforming remakes that brought Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon back into the public eye.

3. ‘Skies of Arcadia’

A JRPG that’s all about sailing the unfriendly skies as a pirate crew sounds amazing, right? Well, that’s pretty much what Skies of Arcadia is all about. The trio of Vyse, Aika, and Fina are still remembered fondly thanks to their critically acclaimed, sky-faring adventure on the Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube. It sucks that this game never got a sequel (reports say that Skies of Arcadia wasn’t a big hit commercially). With the recent trend of JRPG’s getting a new lease on life via remasters/remakes, we reckon it’s time that Skies of Arcadia got the very same treatment. The game’s jovial feel, classic turn-based combat system, and pirate ship battles were celebrated back then and they could be even better with a whole new coat of graphical paint splashed onto it. The RPG genre is still a force in this day and age, so a Skies of Arcadia remake would easily be accepted.

4. ‘Jet Set Radio’

5. ‘Jet Set Radio Future’

Did you know a brand new Jet Set Radio game was in the works at one point? A development studio by the name of Dinosaur Games created a visual proof of concept for another entry entitled “Jet Set Radio Evolution.” And to the surprise of no one, it looked incredible. But sadly, it never transitioned from its conceptual phase to full development. After seeing the Jet Set Radio spiritual successor called Bomb Rush Cyberfunk in action, we got the thinking – isn’t it about time Sega handed off the reins to remakes for its Jet Set Radio games to a worthy and willing development studio? If Dinosaur Games is willing to hop back into the cel-shaded world of Sega’s rollerblading gems, then we reckon they’d pump out some fine remakes for both games in the series. We miss Beat and the rest of the graffiti-spraying gang, so it’s about time they made a return for modern gamers and the old heads that still remember them.

6. ‘Comix Zone’

The concept of Comix Zone was cool back then and it’s still pretty unique to this very day. Players traversed through all types of varied environments as they hopped between actual comic book panels. The visuals look like they were ripped right out of a 90’s graphic novel and getting to beat up waves of baddies as the artist that drew them in the first place was a creative approach to playing as the protagonist (Sketch Turner is such a cool name, by the way). After seeing how great Streets of Rage 4 ended up being, we’d love to see Comix Zone get the very same updated treatment. Add a few new moves to Sketch’s arsenal to improve the combat, change up the puzzles a bit, and speed up the movement transitions between panels and we’d be all the way down for a Comix Zone remake.

7. ‘Vectorman’

8. ‘Vectorman 2’

Sega’s forgotten orbot was actually slated for a grand return back on the PS2 at one point in time. But for some strange reason, it got shelved. It’s been such a long time since we’ve last seen Vectorman running around and blasting enemies with his spark-based abilities. Sega should bring their green, eco-friendly robot back by handing out the development duties for Vectorman and Vectorman 2 remakes to a quality development studio. Even though WayForward is known for crafting 2D animated games that adopt retro mechanics, we’d still love to see them take a stab at improving upon the solid foundation established by the first two Vectorman games. Just imagine how much better both games would look with a vastly improved 3D art style.

9. ‘Gunstar Heroes’

Shout out to Treasure – the Japanese development studio will forever receive praise for producing some of the most action-packed games we’ve ever seen and had the pleasure of playing. One of the Sega Genesis titles that put them on the map is Gunstar Heroes, which is a run & gun shooter that delivered one of the best co-op experiences during the 16-bit era. There’s still so much fun to be had just running around and blasting everything in sight as Gunstar Red and Gunstar Blue. We even adored the sequel Gunstar Super Heroes, but we’d be all the way down for a proper remake of the original. We gotta mention WayForward here again as they strike us as the right team for the job – their work on Contra 4, Aliens: Infestation, and The Mummy Demastered is proof that the development studio can handle a full-fledged Gunstar Heroes remake.

10. ‘Beyond Oasis’

Every time we look up, an often forgotten and sometimes underrated game gets a remaster/remake out of nowhere. We never thought we’d see new and improved versions of Shadow Man, Destroy All Humans!, and the Turok games, but here we are. As far as little-known games that would make for a great remake goes, we’d be all the way down to see Beyond Oasis make a random comeback. If you never played it, you’re clearly missing out – it’s a classic top-down, action RPG that sports gorgeously animated visuals and a storyline that’s inspired by the tales contained within Arabian Nights. These days, a lot of development studios have been creating beautifully visualized 2D games that hearken back to the good old days of gaming. We’d be overjoyed if the team behind Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine) handled the remake duties for Beyond Oasis.

Consoles Gaming

Why Valorant Needs a Banning System

Games like Rainbow Six: Siege have a banning system, which happens to be crucial to the game’s meta. A banning system is basically a tool developed by the game’s devs that restricts what characters players can use. This is super crucial when playing ranked, especially in a team-based game like Valorant. I love Valorant but I strongly believe that if it doesn’t put in a banning system soon, things will take a turn for the worse. Like how can you have a game that’s so strict about players aborting a match or going AFK, but not have a banning system? When you have a game that’s so focused on teamwork and strategy like how Valorant is and not have a banning system, the game can become super stale and the true competition is eventually watered down.

You might be asking yourself why this is so important? Well, that’s because when you have an OP Agent like Breach who can just pick up the Judge shotgun and pull off easy kills with it, Valorant becomes less about proper strategies and more about relying on the cheesiness of a particular character. Adding in a banning system can ensure that the game’s skill ceiling remains high and allows for the gameplay to still be entertaining as matches become less predictable.

Knowing Riot Games, the studio will most likely go through with a banning system since it’s very responsive to its community and realizes how useful that tool could be for their esports presentation. Imagine if the current pandemic came to an end and an American Valorant team was forced to go up against an international one and that team decided they wanted to ban meta agents like Jett, Killjoy, Raze, or Sova. In that case, I would totally put my money on the international team getting the win. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players make up a majority of Valorant’s pro player base and I believe two to three years from now, we might not see them competing in Valorant’s esports league anymore. That’s due to the fact that we’re in an era of young kids that will become masterful at Valorant and easily overtake the pro players that are currently dominating.

Valorant pros are leaning on the fact that there is a set meta, so introducing a banning system will hopefully shake things up! 

Consoles Gaming

16 Games Like ‘Ghost of Tsushima’

You gotta hand it to Sucker Punch Productions – the Sony first-party studio went in a completely different direction after wrapping up its Sly Cooper & Infamous franchises and ended up notching another win in the process. That shocking victory came in the form of Ghost of Tsushima, an amazing ode to classic samurai films and the war-torn struggles of Japan’s feudal period. The game’s open-world looks fantastic, its battle mechanics are tuned to perfection, and the tale of revenge told throughout it hits all the right notes in order to get its hooks into players.

Chances are you’re one of the millions of Ghost of Tsushima players that completed their journey and are now on the lookout for something similar. We chose 16 games that include some or even all of the elements that the PS4 gem excelled at – a fun approach to open-world exploration, an engrossing tale, action-packed battle sequences, worthwhile side content, and a strong focus on melee weapon mastery.

The strong lineup of games we’re about to recommend you are guaranteed to pull you in just like Ghost of Tsushima.

1. ‘Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’

Ghost of Tsushima provides a worthy challenge to most gamers who are capable of handling it. In the case of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the difficulty attached to its shinobi-themed adventure is far more overwhelming. But if you’re up to it, you’ll get a kick out of cutting down a myriad of foes as the katana-wielding Wolf. You can go stealthy to eliminate most of the opposition and engage in close encounters in order to disrupt their posture to land the killing blow.

Buy Now, $44.50
2.’ Horizon: Zero Dawn’

While there aren’t any intense sword clashes to engage in here, Horizon: Zero Dawn still offers players a fully-realized open world with a whole lot of worthwhile content to enjoy. As Aloy, you’ll set out on a quest to discover who you truly are and where you originated from. And while you’re out exploring the wild, you’ll use a wide variety of weapons as you come to blows with mechanical beasts. Aloy’s a super agile and formidable hunter, so you’ll enjoy hunting down and taming robotic creatures in beautifully realized environments.

Buy Now, $49.99
3. ‘Onimusha’ (series)

Capcom’s Onimusha franchise is still worth spending some time with in this current day and age of gaming. Instead of locking swords with human enemies, your main adversaries come in the form of bloodthirsty demons. Each of the games within the series tasks you with bringing an end to them and their leaders with a huge arsenal of weapons and elemental abilities. Seek out the remaster of the first game and be sure to take a look at the sequels whenever you get a chance to do so.

Buy Now, $23.83
4. ‘Assassin’s Creed’ (series)

Ubisoft’s long-running action/adventure IP that’s all about Assassin’s vs. Templars has changed dramatically. The first few entries are mostly focused on pulling off silent kills, while the entries that arrived with the introduction of Origins have implemented more action-heavy battle sequences. The one element that connects every series entry is a deep focus on exploring different periods of history and encountering real-world figures along the way.

Buy Now, $37.53
5. ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor/War’

Sauron’s army of orcs may appear unstoppable at first glance. But with the melee mastery and spiritual connection to a powerful wraith powering your vengeful Ranger, Sauron’s threat becomes a lot easier to handle. The two games that allow you to seek out your revenge as Talion employ a Nemesis system, which keeps track of the strongest enemies you encounter and builds natural rivals out of them should you fall in battle with them. By the time you enter the sequel, you’ll have a ton of fun building up an Uruk army of your own to take down Sauron’s forces.

Buy Now, $10.98
6. ‘For Honor’

For Honor has grown into quite the force since launch. Over time, it’s added a wealth of new warriors to master and online multiplayer modes to hop into. If Ghost of Tsushima’s combat stylings appealed to you, then you’ll naturally gravitate towards the samurai clan. That’s not the only coalition of warriors you can utilize, however – For Honor gives you the opportunity to cut down the opposing army as knights, Vikings, and even the Chinese Wu Lin.

Buy Now, $7.64
7. ‘Samurai Warriors’ (series)

The developers behind the ongoing Dynasty Warriors franchise also produce a line of games that follow the Sengoku period of Japanese history. You’ll be given access to a huge assortment of mighty warriors that are spread out across several melee disciplines and get to test them out on hundreds of hapless victims. The simple act of cutting down waves of foes on your own or with a friend throughout the “Warring States” era of Japan is an incredibly fun history lesson worth checking out.

Buy Now, $59.99
8. ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’

Geralt of Rivia is quite the boss within the medieval fantasy realm he ventures through. The third game in The Witcher series is his largest one to date and offers hours of fulfilling adventures to hop into. Wild Hunt features an incredibly engrossing storyline and a ton of side content that’s just as absorbing as the mainline questlines. The mature themes that accompany everything you’ll do in this game are perfect for water cooler conversations, which should excite those who’ve also gotten caught up in deep debates over the Netflix series based on The Witcher series.

Buy Now, $33.49
9. ‘Nioh’ (series)

Nioh mashes up the grueling gameplay attached to the “Soulsborne” subgenre with a setting that’s inspired by feudal Japan. Both games in the series pit you against human foes and supernatural beings called yokai. There’s a whole lot of fighting to embroil yourself in and you’ll definitely need to stay on your toes as even the weakest of foes can catch you off guard. Making good use of all sorts of weapons and even getting the chance to rely on yokai abilities of your own are two elements that lie at the heart of the Nioh series.

Buy Now, $69
10. ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’

Here’s another “Soulsborne” inspired title that employs finely tuned melee encounters. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order puts you in the boots of a young Jedi Padawan named Cal Kestis, who ends up on the run from the Galactic Empire. During your universe-spanning adventure, you’ll swing your lightsaber around as you take on everything from Stormtroopers to native beasts. Utilizing the powers of the Force alongside your lightsaber swings is immensely enjoyable.

Buy Now, $19.99
11. ‘Way of the Samurai’ (series)

The Way of the Samurai series offers “Choose Your Own Adventure” plotlines that allow for a ton of replayability. Each series entry places you in the role of a wandering ronin that finds himself getting caught in the middle of a struggle that can play out however you see fit. You’ll get a whole lot of playtime out of navigating every storyline possibility and putting your sword skills to the ultimate test.

Buy Now, $37.31
12. ‘Tenchu’ (series)

Moving through the shadows and getting rid of your foes as a formidable ninja sounds like an interesting proposition, doesn’t it? Doing all that as Jin in Ghost of Tsushima is a blast and performing those same tasks in the throwback Tenchu games is just as fun. Rikimaru and Ayame still get top billing as two of gaming’s greatest ninjas as you can put their vicious skills to good use within a digital recreation of 16th-century feudal Japan.

Buy Now, $23.40
13. ‘Aragami’

We got some more assassin-themed awesomeness for you here with this next entry. Aragami sets you up as a shadow spirit that can rely on the power of teleportation, a raven companion, and a set of bells that can lure enemies in for the kill. One hit can take you out, so you’ll need to map out every movement and pull off your kills as quietly as possible in a bid to stay alive. Aragami hits all the right notes as a modern-day nod to stealth games of the past.

Buy Now, $42
14. ‘Omensight: Definitive Edition’

Omensight: Definitive Edition incorporates a murder mystery into a Groundhog Day scenario that will enrapture you from the jump. Every time you come back to life on that fateful day, you’ll need to gather your clues and keep investigating what it takes to prevent an apocalyptic event. As you map out your path towards saving your world from certain doom, you’ll employ a wealth of swordplay skills that come into play within a fluid combat system. The magic abilities that come into play and the time-manipulation powers that come your way also play a huge part in how you choose to vanquish your foes.

Buy Here for $19.99 on PC
15. ‘God of War’ (2018)

2018’s God of War may not feature samurai wars and gorgeous Japanese landscapes, but it throws you in an open world that’s full of enemies to clear out and interesting personalities to interact with. Kratos is joined by his son Atreus, who aids him in battle with his bow & arrow skills in tow. Unlocking Kratos’ huge array of powers during his and his son’s journey through a mythical world ruled by Norse Gods will shock and amaze you from start to finish.

Buy Now, $19.49
16. ‘Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time’

Old heads who are old enough to remember Samurai Jack’s incredible animated series should definitely give this game a look. Not only is it surprisingly better than your average officially licensed title, but it also pays homage to the series it’s based on by adopting its signature art style. Jack’s magic katana, other enemies’ weapons, and even his bare hands can be used to land sick combos on everyone that makes the mistake of trying to stop him.

Buy Now, $39.99
Consoles Gaming

5 Beat ‘Em Up Games That Are Due for a Comeback

Doesn’t it always feel good to be right in the middle of a genre renaissance in the world of gaming?

Every few years or so, a once fledgling game type becomes hot all over again thanks to a singular title that masters the basics and evolves in satisfying waves. Fighting games were definitely in the dark ages for a while until Capcom helped the genre thrive once again thanks to Street Fighter IV, for instance. And a large number of indie developers have revived old-school gameplay mechanics for platformers, shoot ‘em ups, and a wealth of other genres in their respective releases. In this day and age, beat ‘em ups are on the rise and it looks like the simple act of beating up thugs on a side-scrolling plane is back in style.

Streets of Rage 4, River City Girls, Fight’N Rage, and The Takeover are clear examples of the beat ‘em up genre’s return to relevance. And with brand new DLC on the way for SOR4 and the all-new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge in the works, things are certainly looking up for the genre that once dominated your local arcade. Now that this movement is in full swing, there are a few other beat ‘em up classics that deserve to join the party via a brand new entry altogether. We’re ready to juggle baddies in the air with our buds, consume food off the ground, and save the world with nothing but our punches & kicks in these five dream games.

1. ‘Final Fight’

Cody, Guy, and Haggar have come a long way from their initial crusade against the Mad Gear Gang. Their continued efforts to protect the citizens of Metro City have taken place across a myriad of games and have even resulted in them gaining guest spots on the ever-increasing Street Fighter roster. All three street pugilists have been joined by other saviors, such as Lucia, Maki, Carlos, and Dean, while they’ve clashed with familiar faces. Poison, Rolento, Sodom, and the rest of Metro City’s unsavory individuals have always needed to catch these hands and feet in the name of justice.

While we love seeing the Street Fighter series constantly show love to Cody and the rest of the gang, we think it’s time for them to star in their own game once again. A fresh entry into the Final Fight series would be the best thing ever, don’t you think? Capcom would make our day, week, month, and year if they put a strong effort towards this IP revival. We’d be down for a new Final Fight game that features every playable character, adds in a few new ones, throws in some branching paths to increase the game’s replayability factor, and spruces up the visuals for a modern audience.

2. ‘X-Men’

Comic book beat ‘em ups came a dime a dozen back in the day. The Punisher, Batman Returns, and Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage deserve all the props for being some of the best games out there. But the undisputed king of that particular lineup of beat ‘em ups has to be 1992’s X-Men. It was always heaven on Earth when you and five other players got lucky enough to smash Sentinels in the rare six-player arcade cabinet. This iconic beat ‘em up is actually based on the pilot episode for X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men and is still remembered fondly to this day.

Do you know what would be so dope, though? A non-Konami development team producing a brand new X-Men beat ‘em up that adopts the visual stylings of the 90’s cartoon series. This dream game would practically be dripping in nostalgia as it takes old heads back to their childhood. A roster that consists of Wolverine, Cyclops, Beast, Gambit, Rogue, and Storm (plus Jubilee and Bishop as extra unlockable characters) would be ideal for this playable dedication to the 90s X-Men animated series. Beating up some Sentinels and taking on Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants all over again sounds like an enticing proposition. Someone at Marvel Games needs to get the guys and gals behind Streets of Rage 4 on the phone ASAP!

3. ‘Alien vs. Predator’

In 2020, Disney finally managed to get its hands on 20th Century Fox and add its franchises to its massive vault. Two of the biggest IPs from that acquisition are definitely Alien and The Predator, which are two extraterrestrial beings that have earned tons of fan goodwill since being introduced to the world at large. And while we’re happy to see both characters pop up in new games of their own (Aliens: Fireteam and Predator: Hunting Grounds), we think Capcom should reach out to Disney to get another playable project off the ground – a sequel to their Alien vs. Predator beat ‘em up.

The original Alien vs. Predator enraptured us back in the day as it features a cool mix of playable humans & Predators, a fun combat system that relied on the use of melee & ranged weaponry, and explosive clashes with hordes of vicious Xenomorphs. Capcom and the powers that be at Disney need to work together to get a new game centered around slashing and blasting aliens off the ground. Getting to save the planet all over again as the Predator Warrior, Predator Hunter, Major Dutch Schaefer, and Lt. Linn Kurosawa would be so ill. And you know what else this new beat ‘em up should come with? A playable version of the original! The fact that the first Alien vs. Predator never got ported to consoles is damn near criminal.

4. ‘Golden Axe’

We’re sure most of you guys enjoyed beating up Death Adder and his army of minions across the mainline Golden Axe games. Those titles exuded everything we adore about Conan the Barbarian and all those other fantastical franchises that focus on mythical beasts and half-naked warriors. Sadly, the Golden Axe IP took two major L’s in the form of Golden Axe: Beast Rider and the cancelled prototype that was supposed to be a whole new entry in the series. The overwhelming success of Streets of Rage 4 should push Sega to hand off the Golden Axe series to the same teams behind that game so they can strike lightning twice.

A brand new Golden Axe beat ‘em up just needs to add a few new melee combos into the mix, more rideable mounts, additional magic spells, and even more Death Adder troops to cut through. The premise behind the Golden Axe games have always been simple and straight to the point – group up with your friends and cut down all of your adversaries in the most brutal ways possible. Bring everyone back from the first three games and The Revenge of the Death Adder arcade entry for this proposed new Golden Axe game, Sega! We’d be forever grateful for that.

5. ‘Guardian Heroes’

And for the final dream beat’ em up revival on our list, we’re reverting back to Sega for a second time. While not as popular as Streets of Rage and Golden Axe, Guardian Heroes still gets its flowers and adoration to this very day. This Sega Saturn beat ‘em up did things differently by offering players a massive array of playable characters, a super hype combo system, branching storylines, and the ability to switch to different planes on each battlefield. Guardian Heroes also implemented RPG elements that made it feel that much deeper than your average beat ‘em up.

If Sega’s willing to refresh Guardian Heroes for a brand new audience, we’d totally be down for it. A prospective sequel would be awesome if it came from the creative minds at WayForward or Dotemu. If either of those development teams got the nod for this job, it’d be smart for them to keep the anime art style intact, make sure the playable roster count is enormous, and give us even more baddies to hack & slash to death. A brand new Guardian Heroes has all the makings of being another cult classic in the making.

Consoles Gaming

Epic Games Nets $1 Billion in Funding for Metaverse Growth

To say that Epic Games is a financial goldmine would be a massive understatement.

The game publisher/development studio powerhouse rose to prominence thanks to the Unreal Engine and Unreal Tournament, which paved the way for the company to become a money-making juggernaut due to Fortnite’s immense success. At the moment, Epic Games is valued at $28.7 billion. And judging by a recent round of funding, it looks like the established gaming operation will become even more profitable as time goes on. On April 13, Epic Games proudly announced via a blog post that it just got done completing a $1 billion round of funding. One of the largest investments came from Sony Group Corporation with $200 million – this latest batch of funding follows another investment from Sony that resulted in Epic netting $250 million in July of 2020, which was reported by PC Gamer.

“Epic continues to deliver revolutionary experiences through their array of cutting edge technologies that support creators in gaming and across the digital entertainment industry. We are excited to strengthen our collaboration to bring new entertainment experiences to people around the world. I strongly believe that this aligns with our purpose to fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Group Corporation. Some of the other companies that chose to invest in Epic Games’ further growth include BlackRock, Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford, Luxor Capital, etc.

Tim Sweeney, CEO and founder of Epic Games, noted that this latest round of funding will play a huge role in furthering its “Metaverse” growth efforts. “We are grateful to our new and existing investors who support our vision for Epic and the Metaverse. Their investment will help accelerate our work around building connected social experiences in Fortnite, Rocket League and Fall Guys, while empowering game developers and creators with Unreal Engine, Epic Online Services and the Epic Games Store,” Sweeny stated. Seeing as how Fortnite has morphed into the ultimate crossover gaming experience, it comes as no surprise that a ton of outside entities are hitching their financial wagons to Epic Games’ continued success.

When the term metaverse gets mentioned, visions of an interconnected virtual world that requires a single login for all of Epic Games’ thriving titles come to mind. Imagine a future where players hop into a game session that allows them to seamlessly move between Fortnite, Rocket League, Fall Guys, and any other future gaming IP’s the company chooses to develop next.

Epic Games is certainly going through a lot at the moment. The gaming entity is doing its best to keep pushing Epic Games Store as the go-to marketplace for PC games and smack dab in the middle of an antitrust lawsuit against Apple. Judging by the two tweets posted above, Tim Sweeny is quite unbothered by recent reports of his company bleeding money due to its decision to give free games to users of its digital gaming storefront. And with the stacks of cash coming in from Fortnite on the regular, it looks and sounds like Epic Games’ financial wins will far outweigh its mounting losses.

Consoles Gaming

16 Games Like ‘Resident Evil’

The term “survival horror” entered the lexicon of gaming once Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise first scared the hell out of everyone back in 1996. Carefully exploring spooky locales, managing your precious resources, and dealing with a vicious array of bioweapons describes the horrifying experience that comes with playing a Resident Evil game.

Over the years, the series has split its focus between a third- and first-person camera viewpoint in an effort to present its brand of horrors in new ways. Thankfully, most of the series entries have worked to a satisfying degree in that regard. If you’ve found yourself yearning for games like Resident Evil that adopt either of those main character camera settings, then allow us to offer you some assistance. The 16 games we compiled for this list present the sort of survival horror goodness that exemplifies Resident Evil.

1. ‘Silent Hill’ (series)

Capcom graced the world with Resident Evil as the king of its signature sub-genre. Obviously taking note of that series’ success. Konami sought a piece of the survival horror pie by introducing the Silent Hill franchise. And ever since the first series entry arrived in 1999, survival horror fans have thrown plenty of praise upon the majority of its mind-bending adventures. The first four series entries are worth returning to if you can find them, plus you should give the remake of the first game (Silent Hill: Shattered Memories) a good look as well. If you have the mettle needed to navigate a small town full of nightmare fuel and a mysterious mist, then the Silent Hill series should definitely appeal to you.

Buy Now, $90
2. ‘Dead Space’ (series)

Does the thought of fending off multi-limbed Necromorphs and other types of hideous creatures within the lonely confines of spaces freak you out? Then be prepared to confront those fears when you step into the Dead Space series. You’ll step into the space boots of Issak Clarke, who’s forced to shoot down and dismember monstrous beings known as Necromorps. And while you’re doing so, you’ll be treated to Issac’s morbid visions and do everything in your power to survive in the darkest corners of space.

Buy Here for $17.44 on PC
3. ‘Dino Crisis’ (series)

Capcom realized it had a goldmine on its hands when it mastered the survival horror genre. That’s probably why it chose to switch out its zombie menace for reptilian baddies when it brought Dino Crisis into the fold. The first two games in the beloved series follow Regina as she dodges some daunting dinos. It’s hard enough shooting down some of the game’s faster reptiles, but it’s even tougher when you learn that they can knock your weapons loose. Be sure to check out the first two Dino Crisis games and do yourself a favor by avoiding the third one altogether.

Buy Now, $64.99
4. ‘The Evil Within’ (series)

Imagine how much scarier one’s inner demons can be when you’re forced to confront them head-on. The Evil Within series presents that harrowing prospect as you run through a distorted world and come up against the physical embodiments of psychological horrors. Both games adopt the revolutionary third-person gunplay introduced by Resident Evil 4 and add a collection of outlandish beasts to strengthen its winning formula. The Evil Within games will stick with you long after you’ve beaten them.

Buy Now, $84.95
5. ‘Shadows of the Damned’

If you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription, then you might want to go on ahead and give this super slept-on third-person shooter a try. Shadows of the Damned is a hilariously raunchy game that looks and sounds like the exploitation films of old. As demon hunter Garcia Hotspur (WHAT A NAME!), you’ll put your transforming (and talking) gun to good use against the Lord of Demon’s loyal servants. If you loved Resident Evil 4, then the gameplay feel of Shadows of the Damned will take hold of you and never let go.

Buy Now, $37.99
6. ‘Daymare: 1998’

Daymare: 1998 certainly wears its inspirations on its sleeve. As a clear nod to the survival horror games of the late 90s, this game pits you against an army of nasty creatures as you explore a small town stricken by a horrifying incident. There’s tons of blood and gore on deck in this one – blasting apart your mutated foes with a wide assortment of firearms means a whole lot of red plasma will regularly splash across your screen. Just know that the limited availability of everything you need to survive lies at the heart of this modern throwback.

Buy Now, $12.99
7. ‘Parasite Eve’ (series)

Shout out to the old creatives at Squaresoft that birthed this fun amalgamation of survival horror elements and RPG-inspired combat mechanics. As a New York City police officer named Aya Brea, you’ll need to brave the horrors concocted by a being that’s looking to destroy humanity through spontaneous combustion. The games that follow Aya’s initial adventure stick close to the theme of contending with hideous mutants via a mix of active movement and turn-based battles. Parasite Eve is pretty much Resident Evil meets Final Fantasy, which is a marriage that should excite you.

Buy Now, $119.99
8. ‘Deep Fear’

If you can get your hands on a Sega Saturn that’s compatible with Japanese exclusives, then you need to go out of your way to spend a few hours with Deep Fear. This survival horror escalade is all about taking control of an ex-Navy SEAL named John Mayor, who must endure all sorts of human and mutated dangers within an underwater research facility. Deep Fear features some innovative features that place it above older survival horror games, such as the ability to aim while moving and using items without having to select them from a menu.

Buy Now, $40.49
9. ‘Dying Light’

Never mind the Dead Island franchise – the Techland developed zombie-filled adventure you’ll want to busy yourself with is this one. Dying Light takes place entirely from a first-person perspective and incorporates parkour exploration as you swiftly move across a Middle Eastern quarantine zone. In the daytime, your usual array of the undead menace shambles toward you. But once evening falls, far more formidable versions of those same zombies make their presence felt. You’ll need to jump, dive, and assault the zombies that come your way if you choose to spend some time with Dying Light.

Buy Now, $30.09
10. ‘The Last of Us’ (series)

Once you’ve come to know what The Last of Us’ Joel and Ellie are all about, you’ll most likely add the game to your list of the greatest of all time. The first game offers the most rewarding and highly emotional escort mission of all time as you protect your young cargo from merciless humans and rabid creatures that have been stricken by a mutated fungus epidemic. Once you’ve completed the first game in the series, head into the second one and prepare for the gut punches it will inevitably deliver.

Buy Now, $17.99
11. ‘Days Gone’

If you enjoyed the overwhelming zombie hordes that ran you down in the fourth, fifth, and sixth Resident Evil games, then you’ll most definitely enjoy what Days Gone has to offer. This PlayStation exclusive puts you in the role of Deacon St. John, who hops on his trusty motorbike in an effort to find his missing wife. While venturing through a post-apocalyptic version of Oregon, you’ll run into cannibalistic creatures known as Freakers. And once they gather in droves, look out! Things definitely get a whole lot dicier from that point forward.

Buy Now, $19.99
12. ‘Alien Isolation’

Having to constantly hide and keep your distance from a super-intelligent Xenomorph is the epitome of terrifying. As Ellen Ripley (daughter of the Alien film’s leading heroine, Amanda Ripley), you’ll set out across a myriad of space stations in an effort to find out what happened to her mother. Unfortunately, that also means you’ll have to contend with killer Working Joes and an enormous alien that definitely has it out for you. Alien Isolation brings the horror of having to deal with an extraterrestrial threat right to your face in first-person.

Buy Now, $24.97
13. ‘Alan Wake’

There’s a good reason why a lot of fans are clamoring for a sequel to this memorable supernatural romp. Alan Wake follows a novelist who’s trying to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding his wife’s disappearance. This caper transports him to a small town that throws him headfirst into a series of events that are lifted directly from his latest novel. Taking down a slew of shadowy baddies known as “Taken” and exploring some creepy whereabouts are what you should expect from your time spent with Alan Wake.

Buy Here for $24.99 on PC
14. ‘Condemned’ (series)

The Condemned games still hold a special place in retro gamers’ hearts due to how slept on they still are to this day. With a smart mix of first-person exploration, crime scene investigations, and weighty hand-to-hand combat, this underrated series offers a satisfyingly creepy expedition through fittingly dark locations. There may not be any undead horrors to contend with in these games, but you’ll still get treated to some of the best (worst?) jump scares you’ll ever come across in a survival horror game.

Buy Here for $14.95 on PC
15. ‘Metro’ (series)

Based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novel, the Metro series follows a man named Artyom, who ventures into a world that’s been devastated by nuclear war. All three games in the highly-rated FPS series set you on a journey through the Metro tunnels and outdoors locales – you’ll need to put all your survival skills to good use as you encounter dangerous regimes and vicious creatures known as the Dark Ones. The latest series entry (Metro Exodus) takes players on an even grander journey across a wide expanse that’s filled with even more hostile humans and bloodthirsty monsters.

Buy Here for $99.71 on PC
16. ‘Obscure’ (series)

The Obscure franchise certainly lives up to its name since they’re not the most well-known survival horror experiences out there. Both titles are worth spending some time with, especially if you have a friend in tow since they enable co-op playthroughs. You and a friend will have to band together and endure all sorts of infected horrors within the confines of a tortured school setting. If you decide to play either game on your own, you can switch between each of the playable characters and get familiar with all of their signature skills.

Buy Here for $14.99 on PC
Consoles Gaming

16 Games Like ‘Pokémon GO’ to Play Right Now

When it was released in 2016, Pokémon GO had an impact on the world like most developers only their dream that their own games could have anything close to. Within five days of its release on July 7th, Nintendo’s market value increased by an unfathomable $9 billion, and by July 22nd, Nintendo gained another $8.6 billion in market value. This, despite the fact that Nintendo did not even produce the game. From its July release to the end of 2016, it had been downloaded more than half a billion times worldwide.

The game brought an insane number of eyes to augmented reality technology in gaming and location-based technology in general. As a result of players walking around looking for Pokémon, physical activity was promoted and incredibly, local businesses even benefitted.

Developers have certainly taken full advantage of the extra attention on AR games and in the past few years, a ton have been released. If you love Pokémon GO and want to experience something in the same lane, we’ve compiled a list of 16 games like it for you. In alphabetical order, here they are.

1. ‘Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs’

Angry Birds has been a staple in mobile gaming for a long time now, over a decade in fact. Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs is the latest in the main series and it’s one of their classic puzzle games. If you’ve played an Angry Birds game before, you kind of know what to expect with an AR version. Seeing foundations topple right in your own home is a fun experience and is well worth checking out.

2. ‘AR Dragon’

Developed by Talking Pet and released in September of 2017, AR Dragon sees the player take on the role of taking care of a pet dragon. Seeing your own dragon in the environment around you with augmented reality really adds immersion to the game. You’ll have to feed your dragon, play with it and train it. This is today’s answer to the Tamagotchi.

3. ‘ARrrrrgh’

This one can also be played in the home or pretty much any other environment. The idea, as you might be able to guess from the name, is that you’re looking for some hidden treasure that you’re able to find with the help of a pirate-style map. It’s a simple one but is really heightened by the fact that you’re walking around your own home looking for gold.

4. ‘Clandestine: Anomaly’

This game has received some criticism for its narrative being a little clustered, but even if you just take the gameplay at face value with the storyline put aside, it’s definitely worth checking out. Clandestine: Anomaly sees the player defending against an alien invasion that seems like it’s happening right there in the world around you. Your offensive and defensive tactics here matter, so choose them wisely.

5. ‘dARk: Subject One’

This game is one of a few on the list that uses Apple’s ARKit technology, which is a development platform that helps developers add augmented reality into their games quickly. dARk: Subject One is a horror game that borrows from sci-fi because there is a parallel universe that you must enter to try to look for someone. Having things going on right in your home definitely adds a layer to the fear that this one induces.

6. ‘Geocaching’

Described by developer Groundspeak Inc. as the world’s largest treasure hunt, Geocaching is unique because it involves real-world objects. Basically, you go onto the app and once you tell it where you’re located, it will tell you where your nearest geocache is. Solving mini puzzles on the game will give you hints as to where your nearest geocache is located. You can also make friends with people online who are on the same mission as you.

7. ‘Ghostbusters World’

Specially similar to Pokémon GO, in Ghostbusters World, your job is to take down ghosts. Developed by FourThirtyThree Inc., if you’ve seen any of the Ghostbusters films, your experience with the game will undoubtedly be enhanced because there are some of the same ghosts in it. In fact, the game was developed with the moviemakers, so expect a lot of crossover elements. Despite this, even if you’ve never seen one of the films, you’ll be able to enjoy this. You can either go it solo or team up with fellow Ghostbusters nearby.

8. ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is one we highly recommend for fans of Pokémon GO because it’s actually developed by the same people, Niantic Studios. That’s clear when playing the game too, but not in a way that would have you feeling that it’s too similar. From the start, you pick whether you want to be a Professor, Auror, or Magizoologist. Instead of other people’s Pokémon, here you battle mythical beasts. Instead of Pokéstops, there are Inns. There are a bunch of real-world locations where you can discover artifacts and meet characters from the franchise.

9. ‘Ingress’

Just like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Ingress is another creation by Niantic Studios, the same developer that brings you Pokémon GO. It’s actually their first AR game. For that reason alone, it’s probably worth giving a try. On the app, you’re an agent whose job it is to discover portals around you. When you find one and get XM (Exotic Matter, a mind-altering energy discovered by European scientists that’s taking over the world), you can either be part of The Enlightened or The Resistance. The former tries to dominate mankind, and the latter fights back against The Enlightened.

10. ‘Real Strike’

Real Strike turns the environment around you into a military base and is basically an augmented reality first-person shooter. If that doesn’t sell it to you, not much else will. You can records videos onto your phone and combine them with this game to make it seem as though you’re shooting whatever’s in front of you. Perhaps this one has some tricky real-life implications and a teen in America got in trouble for making it seem as though he was shooting some of his classmates, but as long as you’re using it for some light-hearted fun, you’ll be fine.

11. ‘Run an Empire’

Launched in October of 2018, Run an Empire was made with the hope of getting people to explore their cities and get some exercise at the same time. The concept of the game is that any area outlined with hexes in the game are areas that if the player walks/jogs/runs around, they will capture. It gives people an incentive to get out there and get their heart rate up with a fun little concept that adds some competition to things. Get your local friends in on the fun and compete for the areas around you.

12. ‘Sharks in the Park’

To play Sharks in the Park, you’ll need to be in an area slightly bigger than the average living room. Ideally, head to your local park to get the full experience here. As the name suggests, it’s based underwater, and the aim is to capture schools of fish. The faster you run (or swim), the more you catch. Simple.

13. ‘Temple Treasure Hunt’

Another treasure hunting AR game, Temple Treasure Hunt turns your world into a temple filled with ancient artifacts that it’s your job to discover. You can share a treasure trail with a friend and hunt the same treasure together.

14. ‘The Machines’

In a world where augmented reality games become increasingly popular, The Machines is widely regarded as one of the better ones, largely due to its graphics. Players command Champions and must think carefully about their position in the real world because it affects how well you’ll do in battles within the game. Playing against the computer is fun enough, but the game also offers a multiplayer option.

15. ‘The Walking Dead: Our World!’

Simply put, this game is a must-play if you’re at all into The Walking Dead, the TV show. Developed by Next Games, you’ll immediately recognize the feel of the game if you’ve seen the show, and some characters will even appear. Essentially, this is a zombie apocalypse as an AR game. There are many of these around, like Zombies Everywhere and Zombies, Run!, but this is heralded as one of the better ones. As with any great game, you can play alone or with some friends in the co-op mode.

16. ‘WallaMe’

Developed by Wallame Ltd, you’ll feel a real sense of community while playing WallaMe. Using the app’s AR, you can leave virtual messages or images on walls around you in a graffiti style and anyone else that utilizes the app will be able to see them. You can either have fun drawing things of your own or explore the world around you to see what other people have drawn. If drawings around you are scarce, perhaps get a few friends to download the app and draw things in a certain area, finding a new and fun way to communicate.