Sunday, April 6, 2014

APP REVIEW: Dehumanize Your Friends

This is the first of hopefully many Android app reviews, but it certainly deserves to be the first because this is a really cool idea and descent game. If you were to just see the logo or name you probably wouldn't be able to figure out what it is. That's probably because the creators have had to change the name and logo for the app a couple times due to copyright issues.

It would have a lot more downloads and be all over the place if it was called Cards Against Humanity for your Chromecast...because ladies and gentlemen that what it is!

For those of you who've been living under a rock or passing on all social get-togethers for the last few years, Cards Against Humanity is a card game similar to the children's game Apples to Apples but for adults...yes! In the traditional playing style, each player has 7 cards with various nouns or verbs on them. Each round, every player selects a single card that best answers a question or fill in a blank on a separate single card selected at random for all players to see. The player who drew the random single card that all other players are replying to then selects the card he/she thinks is the best fit. You really just need to play the game once to understand how it's ridiculously fun!

Anyway, now that you're all caught up! Dehumanize Your Friends works with the Google Chromecast (another product that if you don't know what it is you're beyond saving at this point) and essentially makes Cards Against Humanity completely digital. Everyone playing must have the game app (link to DL below) as well as the Chromecast extension app installed...all totally free! You then open Dehumanize Your Friends, click the "cast to Chromcast" icon in the top right of the screen, create a user name (hopefully a funny one), and then select you're "ready." Once everyone's connected, the first user who started this process can select to start the game! Everyone is automatically dealt their cards, the prompt card is displayed on the TV, and users just select their cards by tapping them and they are randomly displayed on the TV next to the prompt once all are selected. The "card czar" (name for the user picking the winning card that round) then selects on his/her screen the winner, and it rotates on.

Amazingly simple and makes the game a lot smoother and more fun in my opinion! A group of 5 of us played it the other night and it worked 90% of the time. The app is a little buggy at times, booting someone out of the game or freezing; however, I found these issues to be rather infrequent and resolved by closing and killing the app anytime there was an incident.

The original game, according to their site, is distributed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license, meaning it can be used and remixed for free, but can't be sold without the creator's permission. With that I should hope support for this to continue to improve and maybe even some more creative competitor apps to pop up. In the meantime, have your Android friends over for some fun!



MOVIE REVIEW: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

-----NO SPOILERS-----

As a very casual comic book fan and very large superhero movie fan, I sometimes have to make sure I don't walk out of movies like this one with the "pizza review." That is to say, not just loving it because it's a superhero comic book movie and so even a bad one (like bad pizza) is still a superhero comic book movie...get it?

While that might be the case for a lot of early generation comic book adaptations, that certainly isn't the case for Marvel's latest here! Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the sequel to the 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger we all were hoping for...and have come to expect in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In that vein, it's just as much a sequel to the first Cap movie as it is to The Avengers, but still very much in the context of Steve Rogers.


So without rambling on and on about the details of the film I'm going to try and keep it brief with these two statements: Winter Soldier has non-stop action and awesome plot. Done! That's the gist of why this movie is so awesome! You have a major character from the Avengers universe die, a huge secret concerning the inner-workings of S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed, characters you thought were dead are still very much alive...sort of, and we get to meet some new heroes that are definitely here to stay for future films! If you're a die hard fan of the comics, there's plenty to get your nerd heard thumping, but if you're just a casual watcher of the films there's still plenty of badassery to be had also! 

With all that said, I feel one of the best parts of Winter Soldier was that it solidified Cap as probably the most badass Avenger we have. Yeah sure we knew he was awesome from the first movie and he kicked tons of Chitauri butt in The Avengers, but I never really saw him as more than a patriotic soldier who believed in his duty and doing good until this film. Stark is a rich, funny, genius; Thor is a god; Banner is a hard hitting genius; Black Widow is sexy, sexy, and kicks tons of butt; and Hawkeye is Hawkeye, but now I view the Cap as really the embodiment of all those things now...just think about it and comment below!


STINGER: Well, it's a Marvel film so I shouldn't have to tell you that YES there's a stinger...two in fact! The post-credits (second) stinger directly relates to the ending of the movie and is definitely worth sticking around for but really doesn't require any explanation. The in-credits (first) stinger is the one that will make your nerd heart flutter, even if you don't understand it all. It relates to the MCU as a whole and ties more directly to the story going into Avengers: Age of Ultron (due out 2015). As I said before, I am only a casual comic book fan so I didn't entirely understand all that was shown...especially the very last scene. However, luckily our friends over at IGN have some nerds that have done their homework and can enlighten us! I will warn you though, it has some minor potential spoilers for the plot directions of the MCU and even for X-Men: Days of Future I have your attention yet?! Good! Now enjoy:

One last thing (because I feel it's so relevant to this franchise and so impressive at this same time) is how the movie performed, according to it set a new record for the month of April by grossing $96.2 million through it's opening weekend. That breaks the previous record held my Fast Five and makes it the fifth highest opening for a Marvel film. Needless to say, I think Marvel is going to have enough money in the coffers to continue with Phase Two and beyond!