The Roundup: Kimono Cats Rules, What to Know About Tears of the Kingdom, City College Games Education Event, Destiny 2 Bling, Sega Buys Angry Birds Studio and so much more!

By Ronald Gordon

Hello and welcome back to the Roundup! It’s the Critics Circle’s method of disseminating the works of interns and members alike to give them a shout out! With April past its mid-point, there’s a lot of Spring releases I’ve personally been looking out for. One is the second installment of Coffee Talk, a game about running a cafe with mythical entities Hibiscus & Butterfly as your guests. Having already played the demo, I can tell the second episode will feature equally engaging and personal topics of discussion. Moving on, this week we’ve got a review from Makeda, Giovanni’s news on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Angry Birds being bought by Sega, and so much more! 

When it comes to casual games, Makeda Byfield can be easy to please. As long as you have cute cats and fun minigames like Kimono Cats does, she’s hooked! As a simple Apple Arcade offering, Kimono Cats doesn’t have a lot in terms of life-like graphics or strategic play, but what it does bring to the table is hours of fun with cats and mini games galore: “Kimono Cats feels like a summer fair or festival that features classic games like whack-a-mole (with Japanese masks instead of moles), card matching games, and more. I particularly enjoyed “dango-catch,” a mini-game that required players to catch falling Japanese dumplings on a stick.” With a large assortment of entertaining games, Kimono Cats kept Makeda occupied for hours on end, and it’ll probably keep her stuck for more hours to come!  

Rovio, the studio behind the ever-famous Angry Birds, is about to be brought under Sega’s wing. As Stephen Totilo writes in his Axios article, Sega’s acquisition of Rovio could mean a lot more in terms of collaborations and monetization of their mobile games. “Purchasing Rovio will give Sega access to one of the best-known gaming franchises in mobile. Angry Birds, like Sega’s Sonic, is aggressively licensed beyond games, with its cast of avians featured in merchandise and movies. In its announcement, Sega said the purpose of the deal was to tap Rovio’s mobile and live game expertise, including the Finnish company’s Beacon platform for running live-service games.” After the massive success of Angry Birds, it’s no wonder that Sega wants to try and expand into mobile through an already-successful studio. The near future in terms of Sega’s expansion into mobile games looks as bright and Totilo puts it all into perspective, saying,, “That’s the move behind Sega-Rovio, Savvy-Scopely, last year’s Take Two buy of Zynga, and Microsoft’s actual stated goal for buying Activision Blizzard. The biggest prize there, Microsoft says, isn’t Activision’s Call of Duty but the King division’s Candy Crush Saga).”

For those that were excited to see Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League hit shelves soon, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. Giovanni Colantonio wrote an article for Digital Trends, detailing how “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will no longer launch this May as planned. The upcoming co-op game has been delayed nine by months, kicking it to a planned February 2, 2024, release date.” Despite it having already released several trailers and plans for content, it seems like the Suicide Squad can’t seem to defeat the villainous power of postponements. Writes Giovanni,“The delay isn’t too much of a shock. Earlier this year, the game got its own dedicated Sony State of Play livestream showing off its gameplay. The presentation received a tepid reaction from fans, who criticized its looter-shooter hooks, always-online component, and bland third-person shooting. Following the show, Bloomberg reported that the game had been internally delayed. Today’s news backs up that claim.” While I am saddened to hear the news, I do hope this delay has devs put time and effort into shifting gameplay toward something more engaging to fans. 

As always, if you’re on the hunt for Destiny 2 news, Whitney Meers has you covered! This time around, her article details a fanmade site that allows anyone to show off their loadouts to friends and foes alike. In the never ending quest for a great build, players are now able to display what they’ve gathered in their time playing. “The site, which a Reddit user shared to the DestinytheGame subreddit last week, lets Guardians quickly show off their in-game loadouts, including mods, armour, weapons, and other information pertinent to developing S-tier builds in the FPS game.” Seeing Destiny 2’s community come together not only to help others see what types of meta exists within the game, but also to show off their bling for others to admire, is heartwarming and engaging. For those that might be struggling to figure out what piece of armor benefits what playstyle, there’s assuredly plenty of other players with similar builds who can show off how different items combine into more powerful armor/weapon sets. Writes Whitney, “In an undated update to the original post, the author suggests it’s been a ‘crazy 24 hours’ but that the site is now live for mobile devices. At the time, they said the site had more than 6,000 website visits, 500 authenticated users, and more than 150 loadouts created and liked.”

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is at the center of every Nintendo fan’s mind, but when it comes to what you should know going into it blind, Scott Stein brings what’s important to the table. “You may want to avoid spoilers about the new game, but not all that much has been revealed. Zelda games tend to have an aura of mystery. That being said, there are already several Tears of the Kingdom trailers — the latest is embedded below — and a 10-minute gameplay video to comb through.” In his article, Scott gives a brief reminder that spoilers aren’t entirely something to worry about when it comes to Zelda games, which are already an elusive breed of games in general: “Also, most Zelda games can be enjoyed without playing previous adventures, although Tears of the Kingdom looks so much like a companion to Breath of the Wild that you might want to play that (again) now to get warmed up.” Tears of the Kingdom, which is already expected to be one of the year’s biggest hits as soon as it hits the shelves, still has plenty of time to gather traction from fans old and new. I’m at least hoping that speedrunners or dedicated players don’t spoil anything for those who play at a slower rate like I do, but I have some fear in terms of that happening. 

Finally, join Karila Warner (with Harold in chat) on the Circle’s Twitch stream tonight around 8 pm EST for a discussion of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Beyond The Circle

We often like to cover what’s going on in the creative world of universities and colleges. After a very successful Waffle Games last week, the City College of New York offers everyone a free, public discussion about bringing games into the classroom. It’s this Thursday (tomorrow) via Zoom! If you’re interested in hearing the details about how games can be implemented in a classroom, now’s the time, thanks to City College’s partnership with Games for Change, Microsoft, and Urban Arts. Sign ups for the virtual panel will end on tonight, with the panel itself happening on the 20th from 5 pm – 6:30 pm. Sign up now.

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