Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Among Us, a Look at the Big Game Tweens and Teens are Playing Right Now

If you work with tweens and teens, you’ve probably heard them talk about the game Among Us. Maybe you’ve heard them talk about someone being an Imposter or using the word Sus, which is short for suspect. Today my 11-year-old and I are hear to tell you about the newest game rage for our target audience.

Among Us is a game that you can download and play for free on your mobile device. You choose a character, enter a public game, and you are given little tasks to do while you try and figure out who among us is the impostor. The setting is a space ship, which is one of my favorite parts. You can either be a crew mate or the impostor. Let’s take a quick walk through.

A Beginner’s Guide to Among Us

When you launch your game, you are given some choices, such as your character color and few characteristics. You will also name your character. I named mine Bob because I’ve always like that name – it’s a palindrome.

You will then select to host or join a game. I have never hosted a game, I always just join one. Your game can be public or private. To join a private game you need a code. For libraries looking to connect virtually with tweens and teens you’ll want to look into private games.

When the game begins, you are then told what your role in the game will be. Remember, you will either be a crewmate or an impostor.

What Among Us is and Why It’s So Popular

You will either be told that you are a crewmate or an impostor. If you are the impostor, your goal is to not get caught. If you are a crewmate, your goal is to stay alive and find the impostor and eject them out of the game. That’s right, you can get killed. And if you are the impostor, you can kill people. This is me, getting brutally killed.

In the mean time, you are given a variety of tasks to do around the space ship. The quotation marks are where your various tasks are located.

You will also have discussions with other players and vote on who you think the impostor is.

If you correctly guess the impostor, they are ejected out of the game and you win! If no one correctly guesses the impostor, everyone loses and the impostor wins.

It’s a pretty simple game. And as you cans see, it’s pretty simple graphics. But it’s a lot of fun and very popular right now.

How Among Us Became So Wildly Popular

Like with other popular games, there are a lot of great programming ideas you can do to tie in with this game and it’s popularity. For example, you can use oven bake clay to make Sus charms and figures. You can do the same with Shrinky Dinks. In fact, most craft ideas you have that are character based can easily be modified to utilize Sus characters. I’ve already seen a lot of Among Us products for sale online.

If you haven’t checked it out and you like to play games, give it a go. You won’t be alone. It’s one of the most popular games of 2020 – well since Animal Crossing New Horizons.

Things I Never Learned in Library School: Can You Copyright a Dance Move? A discussion of Fortnite

thingsineverlearnedinlibraryschoolAs someone who works with teens, Fortnite has been on my radar for a while. Last week, Thing 2, who is almost 10, started trying to teach me all of the Fortnite dances so we looked up some YouTube videos for the first time to really look at them. The YouTube video I found showed each Fortnite dance and where in popular culture the dance came from. Epic Games has created a game that includes dance moves that you can trace back to particular people, TV shows, or moments in popular culture. One of the most popular parts of this game was not created by them, but is really just an archive of fun and popular dance moves. Which begs the question: what type of responsibility do the creators of Fortnite have to give proper credit and monetary compensation to the creators of those dances?

fortniteEvery Fortnite Dance and Where it Comes from

It was interesting to me that just a few days later, an article appeared on Forbes asking whether or not you can copyright a dance and if Fortnite should credit the creators of the dances. As a librarian, it was a question I had asked myself while watching the YouTube video. It is a question that a lot of people are asking, and as a librarian, I think it’s an important question for us to pay attention to.

Fortnite Profiting Off Dance Moves: Is It Legal? – Forbes

Fortnite’s use of viral hip-hop dance moves has some artists grumbling

And yet I know that we frequently do dances or the names of dances appear in songs with no such attribution. You can do the mashed potato, you can do the twist . . . but do you know where those dances came from? Who started them? What about twerking? I am a librarian, but I am not a copyright librarian or lawyer, and the discussion of copyrighting dance moves is a new and interesting concept to me.

Who Owns a Dance? The Complexities of Copyrighting Choreography

The world of dance is a world that has always fascinated me personally. I took dance lessons up until the time I graduated high school and I continue to love and support dance. I have seen every season of So You Think You Can Dance (Darius was robbed this past season) and I am also really enjoying the new World of Dance (have you seen Michael Dameski?). And yet, I have never thought about or seen the idea of copyrighting dance moves or choreography discussed. But it does make sense. Every year So You Think You Can Dance talks about their Emmy winning dance routines from previous seasons. And yet every dance contains a variety of moves that are just the basic moves of dance, whether it be a pirouette or the robot. New choreography always contains some of the very basics of dance combines with some new ideas. It’s how you put those traditional moves together in new and exciting ways that matter.

To make the Fortnite situation even more complicated, the discussion is also a discussion about cultural appropriation. You see, most of the dances that appear in Fortnite can be traced back to a variety of black artists or characters, like rappers Snoop Dogg and 2 Milly and characters from shows like Scrubs and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Chance the Rapper in particular has spoken out about Fortnite and the issue of cultural appropriation.

Is ‘Fortnite’ Appropriating Black Culture? – LADbible

‘Fortnite’s’ continued appropriation of culture and lack of diversity

A huge part of teen librarianship is simply talking to teens about the things that they like, and Fortnite is definitely one of those current things. I’m glad that I have this information so I can help prompt my teens to think about the issues of copyright and cultural appropriation. I don’t have answers, but I can help lead my teens into think about the things they love in new and complex ways.

Video Games Weekly: Sonic Mania

Sonic the Hedgehog is game series that was first released in 1991 on Sega.  Since then, there have been many Sonic games for a variety of consoles.  The majority of the games are fast-paced 2D platform jumpers, but like any other popular videogame series, there have been a few Sonic games that dabbled in other genres like racecar and fighting games.  Sonic is considered a “classic”, and the newest game in the series is something you should know about.

YouTube Trailer:

Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC

Rated: E

Single or Multiplayer: Both, but multiplayer is local play only

Storyline: The storyline isn’t very obvious unless you are familiar with the game already.  Players control Sonic, a blue hedgehog that has a need for speed.  He runs around collecting gold rings, jumping on enemies, and saving all of the animals that have been captured by the evil Dr. Eggman.

I want to mention that Sonic Mania isn’t a remastered edition of previous Sonic games, but it isn’t a completely new game either. Instead, the creators selected some of their favorite levels from former Sonic games, creatively gave them new twists to make the game interesting, as well as created brand-new levels. They also decided to keep the retro 16-bit art style from the old Sonic games, which may be appealing to gamers who grew up playing Sonic, but may deter new players.

Gameplay: Unlike other platform jumper games, Sonic requires a little less strategy and a lot more luck. That is because the game is incredibly fast-paced! The goal of the game is to beat every level by jumping through obstacles, jumping on small enemies, and defeating the boss at the end. This all has to be done in under 10 minutes per level, otherwise you lose a life!  Since there is such an emphasis on speed, Sonic often curls into a tiny blue ball and whizzes so fast around the screen that I can barely keep track of where he is on the screen. This is what makes Sonic fun, but it can also be frustrating for some gamers like me who like to collect *everything* in video games or who prefer to have more control over their character’s movements. To be honest, I can’t play Sonic for very long because the fast pace and whizzing gives me a headache.

Sonic Mania has three different types of “games”. The first one is called “Mania Mode”, which is the storyline. There are about 12 special areas, each with two “acts” (levels).  While you can technically have two players play together in Mania Mode, I don’t recommend it. This is because the camera only focuses on Sonic (Player One), and since the point of the game is to move Sonic as quickly as possible through obstacles,  Player Two is always left behind in the dust. The only time Player Two will feel useful is during boss battles, but that’s hardly enough engagement time for me to consider the storyline to truly be multiplayer.


The second type of game is “Time Attack”. This is where you can replay levels and try to beat your personal best times. This is the only “online” interaction where you can post your times on online leaderboards.

Finally, there is “Competition” where two players can race each other. This was by far my favorite part of the game because competition can be FIERCE. If you have gaming programs, this game might be appealing to teens, but keep in mind only two players can compete at a time.

Audience:  Anyone who grew up playing Sonic will love this game. As for teens, I feel like it’s a gamble. I’m sure a few teens love Sonic, but I don’t think this game is good for teens who are new to playing video games. It’s incredibly fast-paced, hard to control, and I can see where they would get easily frustrated. Especially because the bosses are quite difficult compared to the much earlier Sonic games.

Verdict: I would recommend buying a copy for circulating collections, but it appears you can’t buy a disc version at the moment. If you purchased the “Collector’s Edition”, you pay $70 for Sonic statue, cartridge cast with a gold ring, collector’s box, and the digital code to download the game.

As for teen gaming programs, I recommend asking your teens. If they’re really into Sonic, then this might be a good choice especially because the game only costs $20 on online console stores. You can also have them demo the game by playing it for free online: http://www.freesonic.org/ or http://www.allsonicgames.net/

Pricing: Can only be purchased online. $20 on the Xbox Store, PlayStation Store, Nintendo, and Steam for PC

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian

Video Games Weekly: Slime Rancher

August is a slow month in the gaming world.  Most AAA video game developers have released their blockbuster games at the beginning of the summer season, so this week I’m going to focus on another indie game that you may not have heard of. Slime Rancher is a first person adventure game created by Monomi Park, and is the developer’s first video game. It’s simply adorable, and great for all ages!
YouTube Trailer:

Xbox One and PC

Rated: E

Single or Multiplayer: Single

Storyline: Your character’s name is Beatrix LeBeau, a young adventurer who decides to start her own slime ranch on a faraway planet. The ranch was formerly owned by Hobson Twillgers, who mysteriously disappeared after leaving electronic notes around the planet. Since the planet is only occupied by Beatrix and slime, the storyline is minimal, and players do not have to “beat” the storyline in order to progress in the game.


Gameplay: Similar to Stardew Valley, there isn’t necessarily a right or a wrong way to play Slime Rancher.  The goal of the game is to make as much money as possible so Beatrix can build up her ranch, as well as try to create unique slime species. Players have to strategize in how they will spend their day, feed their slime, and harvest resources.

Beatrix is armed with a Vacpack, which can suck up and spit out slimes, food, water, and these gem things that slime drop called plots. The vacpack is the only way objects can be moved in the game, and is used to harvest resources so they can be spat out back at the ranch.  The ranch has a variety of plots which can be built up to include slime corrals, gardens, chicken coops, and many other types of plots.  Players have to be strategic in where they place their slimes, because certain species of slime need specific habitats.


I know this game sounds odd, but what makes it fun is how the game instills a burning desire to build up the ranch, gain access to new areas, and how freaking adorable the slimes are. They make cute cat-like noises, and you can combine slimes to make different kinds of slimes! It’s kind of like a weird kid version of Darwin’s theory of evolution, but you know, with slime.  There are some enemies thrown into the game called The Tarr that eat other slimes, and players can accidentally create a Tarr slime if they breed their slime incorrectly.


Audience:  This game is suitable for all ages. I recommend this game to kids and teens who want a “first person shooter” experience but without the violence.

Verdict: Sadly, this game is only available on the Xbox Store and Steam. Recommend this to parents who want to let their child play a “first-person shooter” but they’re too young for war games.

Pricing: Can only be purchased online. $20 on the Xbox Store https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/slime-rancher/c2nc88m7nwz1?wa=wsignin1.0

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian

Video Games Weekly: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy


The first video game that I played and loved back in the mid-90s was Crash Bandicoot.  I wrote all about how awesome it was in my very first VGW post for TLT, so you can imagine my surprise when I learned the creators of Crash Bandicoot came out with a remastered version (which includes three games in one) this summer!

YouTube Trailer:


The difference between a remastered game and a new game is the remastered version is the exact same game but with updated HD graphics.  Remastered games get a lot of criticism in the gaming community because it seems like a cheap way for game developers to make a ton of money without doing a lot of work.  How do I feel about remastered games? I’m not sure. On one hand, I love that I can go back and play all of these old games on my new system, especially because I don’t own a PlayStation 1 anymore. But, it does seem like a lot to charge $60 for this game when it isn’t exactly new…but look at the graphics!


Rated: E10+

Single or Multiplayer: Single

Storyline: The main character is a bandicoot named Crash, who was a creature designed by an evil doctor named Neo Cortex.  Crash lives with his sister and a floating mask named Aku Aku on an island near Australia. Neo Cortex wants to destroy Crash and conquer the world, and it’s up to the player to defeat Neo Cortex to save the world.  This is the basic premise for all three games, but Neo Cortex has different minions in each game.

Gameplay:  Crash Bandicoot is a 3D platform jumper where on some levels Crash has to run left to right and some are bottom to top.  While players can simply beat the levels, each level has bonus items like gems for completing unique challenges like destroying all of the boxes in one life or a relic for beating the level under a time limit.  I have forgotten how insanely difficult this game is, especially the first one!  My favorite game in the trilogy is Crash Bandicoot Warped (the third one), because it adds more moves like double jump, belly flops, and BAZOOKAS.

They also added a secret level in this remastered version that originally wasn’t included in the first rendition of Crash Bandicoot because the creators thought it was too hard. As if the original levels weren’t hard enough…

Controls: The remastered version gives you two control options: you can use the + button to move just like in the original games, or you can use the joystick to move around. Personally, I hated the joystick because it wasn’t as accurate as the + buttons.  You don’t have to change the controls in the options menu, which was a nice feature.  Still, it took some adjusting because the majority of modern games on the PS4 use the joystick.

Audience:  This game is great for kids around 8+, families, and teens. I also think this game is great for grown ups like me who played the original in the 90s!

Verdict: Snag a copy of this game for your circulating collections, but only when it’s on sale. There’s no way it is worth $60 because it isn’t a brand new game, just a remastered version.

Pricing: $40 on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Crash-Bandicoot-N-Sane-Trilogy-PlayStation/dp/B01NAGTKX3/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1500851018&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=crash+bandicoot&psc=1

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian

Video Games Weekly: Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a popular indie game that had been released on consoles earlier this year, although it has been available on PC platform since 2016.  It’s a role-playing farming/country life game, and while that sounds pretty boring, it’s actually pretty fun!

YouTube Trailer:

PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Rated: E10+

Single or Multiplayer: Single

Storyline: You have inherited your now deceased grandfather’s shabby farmland in a small town called Stardew Valley. Not only is your farm decaying, the village’s Community Center is in ruins and a large company called Joja is trying to take over the town!

Gameplay:  There isn’t a good or bad way to play Stardew Valley. Players generally try to fix up the Community Center because they can get special items and unlock special areas around town.  The second thing players try to do is get married.  There are certain villagers whom you can marry if you have enough friendship hearts, and it doesn’t matter what gender the player is.  I chose to marry Elliot, a sensitive soul who lives on the beach who is trying to finish writing a novel.


Players have to strategize how to spend each “day” because they have a certain amount of energy.  There is plenty to do in one day like raise animals, plant crops, go fishing, mine the caves, collect items to fix up your farm and town, or talk to villagers. Some villagers have their own mini story arc, but there isn’t an overall way to “beat” Stardew Valley because the game is open-ended.  Most players try to make money as fast as possible so they can expand their farm and purchase expensive items.

Players also have to consider what items are available during the day because some items are available during one season like Fall.  There are 28 days in every season, and four seasons are in a year.  Every month has two celebrations where players can get special items.

Now, if this game sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because it’s like an indie version of the popular Nintendo game known as Harvest Moon.  In my opinion, it’s better than Harvest Moon because it improved the game mechanics and leveling system that made Harvest Moon so frustrating to play.

Like I said, there isn’t a way to beat Stardew Valley.  I got as far as about the end of my third year before I got bored of it, which translates to about 60 hours of gameplay.  What I liked most about this game is the casual pace (although the start of the game is very slow and you just have to trudge through), and that I could listen to the radio or an audiobook while playing the game.  I listened to both books in the An Ember in the Ashes series while playing Stardew Valley, and I will probably pick up the game again once the third book in the series comes out!

Audience:  Like any role-playing game, Stardew Valley will have a niche audience because it is a slow paced, relaxing game.  If you are a gamer who liked Harvest Moon, I highly recommend Stardew Valley. However, if you are a player that likes video games with a lot of action, I do not recommend playing this game. 

Verdict: I recommend getting a copy or two for circulating collections. This is not a game for programs because of its slow pace and the fact that it is single player.

Pricing: $30 on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Stardew-Valley-Collectors-PlayStation-4/dp/B01N199PG7

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian

Video Games Weekly: Magikarp Jump


The mobile game Pokemon Go was all the rage during Summer 2016, but its popularity was short lived due to missing features, unpopular decisions, and lack of communication between creators and users.  This summer, Pokemon quietly released a new game for Summer 2017 called Magikarp Jump, although I do not believe it’ll be as popular as Pokemon Go.  Nevertheless, this is a cute mobile app to recommend/play with kids, tweens, and teens who are still hardcore Pokemon fans.
YouTube Trailer:

Android and iOS Devices

Rated: No official ESRB rating, but I’d give it an E

Single or Multiplayer: Single

Storyline: If you don’t know anything about Pokemon, you might be a little lost as to why this game is so popular.  Magikarp is a Pokemon that looks like a goldfish, and all he does is flop around.  Magikarp is beloved because as useless as it is in combat, it is very adorable looking.  One reason why trainers tend to keep Magikarps around is if you manage to gain enough experience fighting while using Magikarp, it’ll eventually evolve into Gyarados.


Magikarp Jump is a game dedicated solely to the fandom’s love for Magikarps.  Rather than running around collecting different kinds of Pokemon, players are only given Magikarps to level up by gaining jumping power (JP).  Players can compete in leagues in order to win badges.  There are currently six leagues, although Pokemon may create more in the future.  The game overall is silly and riddled with inside jokes for dedicated Pokemon fans to appreciate.

Magikarp League

Gameplay:  There are three ways to get JP for your Magikarp.  First, players can have their Magikarp eat food while swimming around.  All players have to do is tap the food swimming around in the tank:

Magikarp Tank

Second, players can “train” their Magikarps.  Players have to tap their device as fast as possible in order to get the most amount of JP.

Magikarp Training

Finally, there are random events that can grant extra JP, but that is only if the player makes the correct choice.  If the player makes a wrong choice, their beloved Magikarp can get eaten by a Pidgeotto!

Magikarp Event

A new element in this game is how players can only train their Magikarp to a maximum level which correlates with the trainer’s level.  Once Magikarp reaches their maximum level, it has to retire and the players begin once again with a new baby Magikarp. This in turn encourages players to spend coins and diamonds (the game’s currency), which can be earned slowly for free or purchased with real money.  I personally haven’t spent a dime in this game, which is nice because many mobile games make it impossible to progress without spending real money!

Magikarp League

Players can also use diamonds to unlock tank decorations, power ups, or friendship items. These “friendship items” bring other Pokemon to cheer your Magikarp on during battles, as well as give other bonuses.  These speciality items can be purchased at a very slow rate as players earn diamonds for free, or they can be purchased right away using real money.

Magikarp Pikachu

Audience: Kids, tweens, teens, and adult Pokemon fans will enjoy this small quirky mobile game.

Verdict: A fun game to encourage your patrons to play during the summer.

Pricing: Free, with the option to purchase in-game currency.

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian

Video Games Weekly: Overcooked – One of the Best Teen Game Night Games You’ve Never Heard Of


It took me a whole month to finally beat Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and I’m happy to say it’s by far one of the best games of 2017.  Now that I’m done playing that game forever, I am moving on to more casual games.  This week, I have discovered probably one of the best games (that isn’t Super Smash Bros) for Teen Game Night that you may have never heard of.

YouTube Trailer:

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch

Rated: E

Single or Multiplayer: Multiplayer, up to 8 players for maximum chaos

Storyline: In the beginning of the game, there is a Spaghetti Monster Apocalypse where chefs have to feed its ginormous appetite in order to save the world.  It’s impossible to do, so the chefs go back in time to train for preparing a variety of meals.  Sounds ridiculous? It is.

For those of you who are Game of Thrones fans, the main menu music is strikingly similar to Light of the Seven.  You can’t unhear it!

Gameplay: Players are given the task of completing food orders in a restaurant.  Each level has complicated obstacles which pushes players to work together in order to complete orders.  When I say “work together” I don’t mean calmly explaining your strategy, I mean yelling at the other players, so be sure your program space is separate from reading areas in your library.  At the end of each level, the team’s score earns them 1-3 stars, which can be redeemed to unlock more levels.

Overcooked has two functions that make this game perfect for Teen Game Night programs. First, the game emphasizes teamwork, which is something that I prefer to have in my Game Nights over competitive games like Super Smash Bros.  My teens who don’t have a lot of experience playing video games are often intimidated by other teens who will clearly beat them, so I try to make my program more inclusive by providing co-op games.

Controls: The second reason why Overcooked is perfect for Teen Game Night programs is the controls.  This game can accommodate up to 8 players by using only 4 controllers.  How?  You have two players share one controller.  Here’s an example from Overcook’s Twitter:


If you can imagine how difficult this game is when using one controller per person, imagine how hard it is when you only have HALF on a controller!  It is chaotic, there is a ton of yelling at each other, and it is incredibly fun.  This game gives you the perfect opportunity to match up your gamer and non-gamer teens while guaranteeing both parties will have fun.  If you want to see an example of the chaos, I recommend checking out this Let’s Play video.

Audience: Families, teens, or any group of people who want an massively fun local co-op game.

Verdict: A must-have for Teen Game Nights.

Pricing: Ranges from $20-$40 depending on the platform. Check Amazon or your console’s online store for prices.

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian

Video Games Weekly: Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the launch game that was simultaneously released with Nintendo’s newest console, Nintendo Switch, which came out in mid-March.  In my opinion, Breath of the Wild is by far the best game in 2017, although I have been playing it on my Wii U, not the Switch.  I still am not wholly convinced to spend $330-$400 on a Switch, but I’ll keep you posted if I ever cave.

YouTube Trailer:

Platform: Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo Switch

Rated: E10+

Single or Multiplayer: Single, but the kind of game where friends can come over and enjoy watching you play

Storyline: Like any other Zelda game, you play as Link, a destined soldier/hero who was just woken up after a 100 year slumber.  100 years ago, Link and Princess Zelda attempted to seal away Calamity Gannon (the bad guy) with the help of Divine Beasts (imagine steampunk-ish robots), but failed to do so and now Calamity Gannon rules Hyrule.  When Link wakes from his 100 year long slumber, he has discovered that he has lost all of his memories of the people he fought with and the events that happened 100 years ago.  The only tool Link has to recover this information is a Shiekah Slate (which looks strikingly similar to a Nintendo Switch or a smartphone…) which can help players find towers (which unlock areas of the map), shrines (gives players spirit orbs which can be redeemed for hearts or stamina), and items.


Gameplay: Unlike former Zelda games, Link is not given a sword that lives permanently in your inventory.  This game is more like a survival game where players have to forage around in order to find any weapons, shields, bows and arrows, and cook food for hearts.  These weapons deteriorate as you use them, so players have to be extra strategic when fighting enemies.

This game is long because players don’t have to follow the main storyline.  In fact, I’ve sunk in about 30-40 hours of gameplay and I think I’m only 25% through the main storyline.  This is because the game encourages you to explore the vast and gorgeous world of Hyrule, and I find it even more fun to explore rather than follow the storyline.  There is plenty to do besides the storyline, ranging from locating the towers/shrines to a large variety of side quests.  I don’t think I’m going to “beat” the game anytime soon because there is so much content and beauty to get through!

Controls: I’m playing the game on the Wii U, so I have no idea how the controls are on the Switch. In my experience, the controls on the Wii U are a little difficult to grasp because it utilizes every single button on the Wii U GamePad, and that can get very confusing.  It took me awhile to get used to, and even then I tend to confuse the – and + buttons because they bring up different menus.

Audience: I recommend this game to teens and adults who are fans of Zelda games, because I think it’s one of the best Zelda games in the last 10 years.

Verdict: Highly recommend for circulating collections. I don’t recommend this for Teen Game Nights because it’s only one player and not easy to pick up for amateur players.

Pricing: $60 on Amazon

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian

Video Games Weekly Disney Emoji Blitz


This week, I was going to review the new Legend of Zelda game, but due to a shipping mix up, I haven’t received my copy yet!  So, this week is about a “freemium” game that I have been addicted to for the past few months called Disney Emoji Blitz.  If you shop at Walmart, you might have noticed Disney has started a new line of emoji merch, and that is directly related to this game.

YouTube Trailer:

 Platform: iOS and Android Devices

Rated: Not officially rated by the ESRB, but I personally would give it an E

Single or Multiplayer: Single, but you can link your Facebook profile to enter a weekly high score competition with your friends.

Gameplay: The game is exactly like Bejeweled and Candy Crush.  What you do is move emoji characters to align three in a row in order to get points. If you align more than three emojis, you get special power ups that can clear many emojis at a time. You also choose which special Disney emoji character you want to play with, and each of these characters have a special move responsible for clearing many emojis of the emojis at once.  You only get 60 seconds per round, so try to get as many emojis as possible!

Image: https://cdn3.recombu.com/media/mobile/Apps/Disney/Disney1_w720_h423.png

Unlike Bejeweled and Candy Crush, this game also puts random items on the board for you to try to collect at the bottom.  Some of these items are rare, but are more likely to appear depending on the specific type of Disney emoji you are playing with.  There are many different types of “item collections” to keep you occupied, as well as special events.

Image: https://jaysenheadleywrites.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/img_9178.jpg?w=1355

It’s Free to Play…Sort of: This game is called a “freemium” game, which means the game itself is free, but players are encouraged to spend real money in order to progress quickly in the game.  In this case, Disney Emoji Blitz tries to get players to spend money to unlock special Disney characters and lives.  The game limits players to getting a maximum of 5 lives at a time, which essentially means you get to play 5 games then have to wait for your lives to regenerate.  Players also have to watch a few ads or can opt out of watching ads in exchange for more lives, but the good news is all of the ads are kid-friendly.

Image: https://www.google.com/search?q=disney+emoji+collections&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiA_-qRlc_SAhXLqFQKHcrxD3MQ_AUIBigB&biw=1432&bih=679#tbm=isch&q=disney+emoji+blitz+emoji+board&*&imgrc=Knndl1sr2TR08M


Sending emojis on your phone: The other bonus to playing Disney Emoji Blitz is when you unlock emojis, you can use them outside of the game.  You can add them to your keyboard, and from what I’ve tested they work on text messages and Google Hangouts.

Images: https://19807-presscdn-pagely.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/c15/41/Disney_Emoji_Blitz_Android_3.png Image courtesy of Daily Dot



Audience: This game is for anyone who wants to play a quick game on their lunch break, or any Disney fan.  It’s easy to play, and it gives you cute emojis.  What’s not to love?


Pricing: Free! Look for it on your app store!

Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!

By: Alanna Graves
Twitter: @LannaLibrarian