Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"

What We're Playing

In this regular series of posts, Jimmy Pires gives you the latest information on both online and console-based games!

What We're Playing, May 5, 2020

You wake up in an unfamiliar place. You look around. The only thing you see is a faint light illuminating the stone wall, given off by a half burnt candle.

It’s cold, and the ground is wet. Then you hear it. A shriek you had wished you’d never hear again. You know you have to run, but the fear of it paralyzes you. Your legs are like stones, but you can’t die like the rest of your family. You beat it before, but lost so much in the process. Where will it attack from? The candle snuffs and everything goes black. As your eyes quickly adapt to the dark the Banshee swoops towards you. Roll for initiative.

Tabletop RPG’s, or role playing games, are games where participants describe their characters' actions through words. Players choose the actions of their characters based on how they want to portray their character to the group. A die is then rolled after a choice has been made to determine the outcome of their choices (high rolls mean high chance of success). For example, someone who is playing as a Neutral-Good Cleric would decide to feed a thief when they stole from them, because the thief told them they were stealing to feed their family.  Within the rules, players have the freedom toimprovise and their choices change the outcome of the game (that same thief could come back later and help you solve a problem you were having). The entire game is managed by the Dungeon Master. They choose the setting of the adventure and what types of monsters or people interact with the adventurers. 

Role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder have been increasing in popularity with every year that passes, and for good reason. It’s a great way to catch up with friends and have a stress free few hours filled with fantasy! The best part about it is you can do it completely free! There are PDF’s of the different campaign books online, but the easiest way to do it is with the Roll20 website. It offers everything you need to get started hosting your own campaign, or you could even join one with complete strangers! 

I highly recommend it for anyone who loves to read or write themselves. Imagine every time you play you’re given a starting template for what's happening in the world. Then you and the other members of the campaign all make decisions (both good and bad) and they influence what direction the story goes in. It’s like having five authors in a room trying to write one coherent story together. It’s always full of laughs and enjoyment.

How does the site work? It’s a hub where you can store characters and campaigns, and it's very user friendly. The roll20 page has a crash course for anyone who wants to get more information on how to start!

For anyone who is leery about starting, remember - the adventure starts with you stepping outside your comfort zone.

Check out if you’re looking to get started!


What We're Playing, April 28, 2020

Drawful 2

Jackbox Games has been making party games since 1995, but has become more popular the past few years with the increase in online streaming. With everyone stuck at home Jackbox Games has released its Pictionary type game called Drawful 2 for free!

How do you play?
Every player is given a different silly phrase they must try to draw out, but be careful you can't erase anything! The pictures are then shown one by one to all players who attempt to guess what the original phrase is based on your drawing. Once the guesses have been made everyone votes on which one they think is the actual phrase. You are awarded points when people select your guesses, or guess your drawing correctly.

The Jackbox series are popular because, much like a board game, only one person needs to own it. But all the participants can play it from the comfort of their own homes. All you need is a phone or computer with internet access. The games are quick, about 15 minutes each, so players don’t have to dread those three hour long games like with Risk or Monopoly. And although you may want to win, it’s the type of game where you’d find yourself laughing at drawings and phrases people create rather than focusing on the points you are receiving.

For those of you who have never attempted or even thought about playing a game remotely, the company has released a blog tutorial on how you can play it with friends over different video conference platforms.

This game is a blast and I highly recommend you give it a chance, especially with it being free!

If you enjoy it the company puts out a “party pack” of different games every few years, so you could check those out too!

What We're Playing, April 13, 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

On Friday, March 20th Nintendo released its newest addition to the Animal Crossing games with New Horizons, a title exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. For those of you who have never played, or even seen an Animal Crossing game before it can be described as a social simulation game. You create a character and move into a new town whose residents are all anthropomorphic animals. While living in this town you are tasked with decorating your home as well as the landscape around you. Additional activities include gardening, building, fishing, bug catching, fossil hunting, and much more.


The series is one of the most popular Nintendo franchises with over 33.7 million copies sold world wide. 

What makes the game so popular?

It’s fun, relaxing, and easy. This genre of game makes it so any person regardless of age or gender can get lost in ornamenting your own town. One of the best parts about the game is it is played in real time, using the system's internal clock to simulate day and night as well as trigger special events for holidays! 


There are no required objectives for the game, so you aren't pressured to meet any deadlines or spend countless hours grinding for better loot or abilities that other types of games have. But if you feel like exploring the landscape of your town you can collect different bugs, fish, and fossils to display in your town's museum.

The game offers a calming single player experience but still allows you to connect online with up to eight friends. You can invite them over to your town or you could visit them in theirs! And for those of you who share a Switch you can play with up to three other people on the same console. 

While you are quarantined at home taking care of yourself, why not take care of your very own town as well!

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