Joined 01/23/2012

Web developer and all-around geek.

473 Posts

In this episode, we talk about the new Netflix sci-fi film, Extinction! In Extinction, Michael Peña plays a man who has recurring nightmares about a terrible disaster... and then disaster strikes! Will his dreams help him and his family stay alive?

But first, we talk about what we've been playing and watching over the last month.

We've taken a short break from our classic game reviews, but that ends soon! We'll be back soon with our review of Kid Icarus, and we have a new Cheerful Ghost Games Club event up for our next review, Kirby's Adventure!
Travis gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Travis gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Candy Box is a tricky game to explain. Jon told me about it. the other day and I tried it out, and I was initially very confused. It's a candy counter that constantly goes up right? And you can either eat or throw the candy? That's all? What's the big deal? But you realize something else is behind the initial facade when a merchant (who looks like the fourth Doctor in ASCII) shows up to sell you things. The game does not tell you what you can do, and the merchant is no different. You don't have the option to buy things until you have the candy for it. But when you buy a wooden sword, you get your first glimpse into this game's surprisingly complex mechanics.

I don't want to give too much away, because the discovery of what the game is all about is part of the fun. But in brief, Candy Box is an RPG/Adventure style game. Candies and lollipops are your currency, which you use to buy things for quests. But on top of that you're managing your income of candies and lollipops like you might in a Cookie Clicker style game, only in Candy Box you don't have to keep clicking. Part of the game is idling, especially at first, so it's a good game to kinda keep open and flip back to every hour or so.

Candy Box 2 is more of the same, but things are balanced better, and the gameplay has way more depth. Definitely play the first one before you play the second one. Again, I don't want to say much about the changes in the sequel because so much of the fun is in discovering what you can do.

I found myself wholly engrossed by these games. They aren't super long, you can complete both in the span of a couple of days, but a significant chunk of that is idling while waiting for your candy/lollipops to build up. But there are multiple wikis, walkthroughs, and Youtube let's-plays of it. There are arguments over the best strategies for accomplishing certain tasks. The game is written in javascript, and there are a few instances where it really seems like the developer expects you to cheat by using your browsers developer console to find the right values for something (but you don't have to).

There's so much depth here that a review can't, and shouldn't, show. This review is short, intentionally, because going into too many specifics would ruin it (I may have already said too much), and it's an ASCII based game so a lot of things reviews normally talk about (environment, graphics, sound, controls) don't really apply here. It's stick figures and buttons and a strange, compelling, satisfying gameplay loop.

If you haven't played these games, you need to play them right now!

And you can play them right here:

We're back in this episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio with a look at Deadpool 2, just in time for next month's home release. In this episode, Jon attempts to predict the plot of Deadpool 2 without having seen it, and Tim and Travis struggle to keep talking about DP's antics through fits of laughter.

I'm home sick with food poisoning but I set an alarm for 10:55 EST because I knew this trailer was coming out at 11. It was worth waking up for.

We've known for a little while that NEXT was coming, and that it was going to be the biggest update yet, and include more fleshed out multiplayer (the Atlas Rises update gave us a very rudimentary version with "glitches in the simulation" that were other players). This trailer is our first real peek inside.

The NEXT update is free, no paid DLC here, and it launches along with the Xbox One version coming the same day, July 24th.

UPDATE! I initially listed the changes I could see in the trailer, but Sean has posted some info on the Playstation blog. Here's a peek at the changes:


  • Team up a small team of friends and explore the universe together, or be joined by random travellers.

  • You can help friends to stay alive, or prey on others to survive.

  • Tiny shelters or complex colonies that you build as a team are shared for all players.

  • Fight as a pirate or a wingman in epic space battles with friends and enemies.

  • Race exocraft across weird alien terrains, creating race tracks and trails to share online.

  • Character customisation allows you to personalise your appearance.

Visual Overhaul

  • The game is fully playable in third or first person, both on-foot and in ship.

  • Planetary rings and improved space visuals make space more beautiful than ever.

  • Dramatically improved planetary terrain generation, ground textures, water and clouds bring the environment to life.

  • Significantly more detail added to ships, NPCs and buildings.

Unlimited Base Building

  • Bases can now be built anywhere on any planet.

  • Dramatically increased base building complexity and size limits.

  • Hundreds of new base parts.

  • Own multiple bases.

Command Freighters

  • Assemble and upgrade a fleet of frigates and command them from the bridge of your freighter.

  • Send your fleet out to into the universe, or deploy them to help you as you explore a specific system.

  • Improved freighter base building allows a truly custom capital ship.

  • Invite your friends aboard and take on challenging multiplayer missions from the Galactic Commision Station on your bridge.

I'm looking forward to the lore that ties all this together. How can we suddenly see other simulation test subjects? Are there still multiple galaxies (which could fracture the playerbase and limit multiplayer)? What other small fixes and changes are there? Lots of questions are still present but this should stimulate your appetite for more No Man's Sky!

Sean's full blog post:

Travis gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
Travis gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
TinyBuild was kind enough to give Cheerful Ghost a key for this game for our review. Thanks TinyBuild!

In Punch Club, you play as a boxer trying to make his name in the ring, and in unlicensed fights. And you fight mutant alligators. But while it may seem like a boxing game, it's really not. It has more in common with tycoon games, and the old Dope Wars games that came out around the turn of the century.

You essentially have to manage your sleep/energy/hunger/etc while making sure you have enough time to get to matches, and making sure you have enough money to do what you need to do. You can select the stats you want to improve by the different exercises at the gym, and you need to pick skills for your fights that match well with the stats you're strongest in, but you don't actually get to control the fights.

And that gameplay loop really works. It's a satisfying resource management game. The only issue I had with it was that the default may be a *little* too taxing. There's an easy mode that's just way too easy, but the normal mode can get frustrating early on.

That frustration dies down after a couple hours, though, but crops back up sometimes when you really don't want it.

I also really wish we could actually control the fights. I feel that this addition would provide a nice action break between the grindy-by-design life sim parts. I'm not complaining about that grind, it's a fun game loop and it pays off, but some variety would help here.

Overall, however, this game really works and I definitely recommend it.

As for the port: I played this most on PC, as that was the original (along with smartphones) and I wanted to compare the two. But the Switch port really holds up. Everything runs perfectly smoothly, and looks as you'd expect. The controller mappings feel natural after only a couple minutes. The only issue I have with the port is that, while the game runs on iOS and Android with touch controls, there's no support in the Switch version for the touch screen. The controls are great but some repetitive tasks like moving around on the map and selecting your skills in fights could be greatly improved and sped up by using the touch screen.

This is, however, a minor complaint. I may actually prefer the Switch port because this just feels like a curl-up-on-the-couch-with-a-handheld game to me. This is odd, because I don't prefer handheld gaming, but I recommend playing this one in handheld mode. It's the same controls either way but it feels more personal and engaging that way.

If you have a Switch and want a fun, low-pressure game to play to take a break from stomping goombas and gliding around Hyrule, this is a great game to have.
I did a quick review of Aliens: Colonial Marines a couple years back to see if it was as bad as people said it was. I didn't thik it was, but it did have some problems. Read more here:

That review wasn't a deep dive, nor was it meant to, but the biggest issue I still had with it was the buggy enemy AI. At least it felt buggy. The Xenomorphs just seemed to run around like morons. The embedded gfycat video above is an example.

Well, jamesdickinson963, a modder working on an unofficial patch for the game, may have found a very simple answer. As it turns out, that seems to be caused by a typo in the game's settings file (PecanEngine.ini). The game shipped with an ini that had the word "tether" misspelled in a crucial line, and it seems that this prevented the enemy AI to change to new patrol locations even if it saw you, so they would keep running in their previous areas trying to find a way to you but couldn't.

Gearbox has released quite a few patches over the years to fix things, including a massive 5gb patch that cleaned up quite a few issues. But oddly, this was never addressed.

Fanatical currently has the game for $2.99 if you want to try it out for yourself.

Here's the original post about this discovery on moddb:

And PC Gamer's coverage:

In this episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio we’re going to bring you the second and most important part of our two part Solo: A Star Wars Story Review. Tim couldn't make it for the last review, so we get his thoughts on Solo and some comments about what we said in the last episode.

We also talk about the future Star Wars movies we may see, and how Solo's somewhat limited box office take might mean for those.
It’s back baby! I just picked mine up at Walmart.

If you’ve been holding out, as of this posting they are available at Target and Walmart locations, on, and

Check out for more updates as more stores get it or they sell out, but it seems your best bet is getting it in person.

In this episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio we talk all about E3 and what we thought the highlights were. We’re not covering everything, just the parts that stuck with us. At the end of the show we hand out who we think came away with the best of show!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Smash is back in a big way with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It will have every fighter from every Smash Bros. game including Ridley from Metroid (see the video above).

You can use a Game Cube controller and all Amiibos can be used.

There are also some changes and tweaks to the mechanics that you can learn about, along with everything else about the game, in this 25 minute video:

Super Mario Party
This one is interesting. A bunch of new, fun looking mini-games as you'd expect, but this one brings in extra functionality if you use multiple Switches. The downside being that to use it, you need multiple Switches but still. It's neat. This one feels like it really bridges the gap between the Switch as a handheld and the Switch as a home console.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses
I've never played a Fire Emblem game so I'll rely on comments to tell me how exciting this announcement is. The trailer shows what looks like a really pretty and very capable turn-based strategy game. I got real Valkyria Chronicle vibes from this which is a good thing for me.

Other tidbits
Those three are really the big ones, but there were more announcements. These stood out for me

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is getting DLC:

  • Fortnite and Hollow Knight are out now on the Switch. Soon, you'll be able to play Fortnite on Amazon Echo I bet.

  • Octopath Traveler has another demo out now

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