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Cary's Pretend Christmas Present Party 2022!

On 11/30/2022 at 08:36 AM by Cary Woodham

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Merry Christmas!  I’ve got some presents for you all!  Game reviews I’ve recently written over at!  Just what you always wanted right?  Anyway, please click on the links and read as many as you can, and maybe post a ‘like’ or comment or two.  I’d appreciate it.  And also in the comments section, give me a pretend Christmas present, and I’ll reply with one for you, too!  It’s fun when it’s fun.  It can be anything you like, it’s the thought that counts…literally!  OK let’s begin!

Hallmark 2022 Video Game Christmas Ornaments

Hallmark always has a wide annual selection of new Christmas ornaments and series, and in the past few years they’ve even done video game related ones!  This year they had even MORE than ever (my wallet is still crying), and I got most of them, so I thought I’d share them with you here.

The Jackbox Party Pack 9 (PS4)

If you have a bunch of people over to play games during the holidays, but not enough controllers to play with everyone, then Jackbox has you covered!  Their latest batch of party games is out, and all you need are cell phones or tablets to play them!  Just connect to on any mobile device and enter in the room code and you’re in!  It’s pretty simple and works well, and in some games, even people who don’t have cell phones can be part of the audience and participate, too.  The Jackbox Party Pack 9 is available on most anything that can play games, but reviewed on PS4 here.  Let’s take a quick look at the five games on this collection.

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway (PS4)

For several generations, youngsters have enjoyed watching shows on the Nickelodeon cable channel for kids.  Heck, even when I was a little kid back in the 80’s, I enjoyed watching Nick shows such as You Can’t Do that on Television, Danger Mouse, and Double Dare.  Even more recently I’ve been known to watch shows on that channel like Invader ZIM and The Penguins of Madagascar.  My younger brothers would watch shows on Nickelodeon, too, such as Rugrats and SpongeBob Squarepants.  And now kart racing and Nickelodeon fans can have fun together with Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.  They’ve added a few characters and tracks, but most of it is the same as before.  But there is one new improvement the other Nick kart games lacked: ACTUAL VOICES!  Really gives the series the much-needed personality this type of licensed game requires.

C.A.R.L. (PS4)

Back in the early to mid 90s, many PC owners got their games via shareware.  With shareware games, you usually could pick up a free disk at a computer store or in a magazine.  The disk would have demos of games you could try, and if you liked them, there would usually be info on how you can order the full game, or even get a shareware catalog!  Keep in mind this was before the internet was big.  Many popular games back then started out as shareware: Commander Keen, Jazz Jackrabbit, heck even Wolfenstein!  If you want to play a new 2-D platformer that has that old ‘shareware’ DOS PC feel, then C.A.R.L. is for you!  C.A.R.L. stands for Computer Automated Resource Locator (acronyms are a running gag in this game).  You are a robot equipped with a blaster and you must infiltrate a robot factory owned by a engineer who wants to take over the world.

Car Mechanic Pinball (Switch)

Get ready for one of the weirdest pinball games I’ve ever played!  In Car Mechanic Pinball, you play pinball to fix up cars.  But instead of tossing balls around with the flippers, here you toss a CAR around!

Pretty Girls Escape (PS4)

Play a fun color matching block puzzle game while being accompanied by cute anime ladies in Pretty Girls Escape.

Rule No. 1 (PS4)

Rule No. 1 is a first person shooter that’s more like a obstacle course testing ground for your FPS skills than anything else.  You play as a sassy yet attractive lady who must shoot everything in a single small rectangular area.  Enemies come in waves, and you are scored on how many you can shoot before your health runs out. 

Super Woden GP (PS4)

Top down viewed racing games have always been a staple in arcades and consoles, with titles like Super Sprint, World Rally, Micro Machines, RC Pro-Am, and many more.  And now there’s Super Woden GP for modern consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

reky (Switch)

“reky” is a isometric maze puzzle game where you must guide a ball through a minimalistic maze to get from point A to point B.  There are colored blocks in the mazes that you can move to certain spots by pressing the A button.  When your ball is over one of those colored blocks, you can absorb that color with the X button.  You can then transfer that color to another white block, and then move that block with the A button to hopefully move forward.  But your ball can’t be on colored blocks for them to move.  There are nearly a hundred of these maze puzzles to solve in reky, and it’s available on pretty much anything you can play a game on, but reviewed on Switch here.

Maze Blaze (Switch)

You are a futuristic soldier in a maze and you must find your way to the exit all the while shooting enemies and collecting helpful items.

And that’s all for now!  Thanks for reading and posting ‘likes’ and comments on my reviews.  That’s the best Christmas present you can give!  But don’t forget those pretend presents, too!  Later!  --Cary




12/03/2022 at 09:30 AM

I check out the Hallmark stores every year now for any new arcade cabinets. None this year but I saw something my friend would love on your list, Pinky and the Brain. Oh, when I saw that Genesis, I almost bought it. I think I have more nostalgia for the arcade than the SNES/Genesis years. 

My gift to you is a Portable Couch Console Snack Holder.

Cary Woodham

12/04/2022 at 08:07 AM

The Pinky and the Brain ornament was hard to get.  I only got it because I reserved it!

I have more nostalgia for early 80s arcades.  By the time the SNES came out, Street Fighter 2 was dominating arcades so I didn't play arcade games as much.  Although I still played a lot of titles like Konami's beat 'em ups like TMNT and The Simpsons.

You know what's funny is that in real life, I never eat when playing games.  I don't see how people do that and keep their controllers clean.  Plus I only have two hands.

Your pretend present is a real life Borderlands square robot.  I forget his name, but in Poker Night 2, GlaDOS is the dealer and the robot is playable and she calls him Juice Box.  So that's your present: Juice Box the Robot.


12/07/2022 at 02:30 PM

I can't help but snack during gaming. I worry about crumbs getting in the controller, but it's par for the course. I get the munchies while gaming. 

Ha ha. It's CL4P-TP, or Claptrap. I like Juice Box though. Funny thing about GlaDOS. I was thinking of her voice because I was listening to the audio book of Murakami's 1Q84 and the voice of one of the characters sounded just like GlaDOS. I don't think it was the same voice actor though. 

Cary Woodham

12/09/2022 at 08:23 AM

If you've ever watched the Pacific Rim movies, the computer voice in that one is the exact same voice as GlaDOS.

The only other thing I remember about Juice Box the Robot is that in Poker Night 2, when GlaDOS comes out to deal the cards, when Juice Box sees her for the first time he says, "Hubba hubba!"  Of course, GlaDOS isn't too pleased at that.

One other Borderlands thing in Poker Night 2 is that one of the stages is a bar from that game and the bartender is some kind of creepy mime/clown lady.  

One thing that creeps me out about Amazon's Alexa is that she apparently knows Dr. Wily on a first name basis and also says she "doesn't speak with GlaDOS after what happened." Hmmm.


12/10/2022 at 09:24 AM

Yeah, I heard that right away when I saw Pacific Rim. 

That was Moxie, the bartender and mother of Scooter and Ellie in the Borderlands games. 

Interesting. I'll have to research Alexa to see what that's all about. 

Cary Woodham

12/12/2022 at 06:49 AM

A few years ago I got one of those Alexa hockey puck things for super cheap (like 20 bucks), so we just played around with it for a while, asking her funny questions, making her do fart noises, etc.  Now they want you to use her to operate everything in your house.  I can flip the light switch myself just fine, thank you.


12/17/2022 at 09:14 AM

I got one for Christmas a few years ago. We asked it questions and my girlfriend started using it for music. But after a while, it got creapy and we got rid of it. I can just see it ordering stuff for me online just because I said something. It hears everything. 

Cary Woodham

12/18/2022 at 07:47 AM

That's why I'm glad I only spent 20 bucks on the Alexa hockey puck. It's turned off and unplugged now!

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