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This is the nooz center for all things games!

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Here, we'll be putting game descriptions, reviews, tips, and more! If you want one of your favorite games to be featured, email maanitgoel@gmail.com or elias.timmins@gmail.com. You know the drill.

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Jurassic World: Alive

Brought to you by Lego Ant

This is a free app by Ludia that's very similar to Pokemon Go. Basically, you walk around and find creatures, and then you can get those creatures and level them up and battle them and stuff, just like PoGo. However, personally, I think this game is much better, for various reasons. First of all, you can catch dinosaurs from much farther away, 150 meters to be exact. This makes gameplay much better, since you don't always need to be walking around, though it will help you a lot. Additionally, instead of having to ifnd gyms, you can battle whenever you want by pressing the 'battle' icon at the bottom of the screen. In JWA, as we'll call the game from here on out, once the player is in range of a dinosaur, they use a drone to shoot darts at it, thereby getting DNA, which can be used to create the prehistoric creatures along with leveling them up later on. Another thing that makes this game different is that once you get enough DNA, you can combine two other dinosaurs to get a hybrid.

RATING:

Since it glitches and sometimes takes a while to load, not to mention the amount of battery it drains, I'll give this game a hefty 92% score. That's pretty good.

Get the game?

Should you get the game? Well, I think that any game that I give over 80% is worth considering, and anything over 90% is a definite must-get. Though the app store says this game is rated for ages 17+, I highly disagree with that. There is nothing, nothing at all, that makes this game be more than ages 10+. And I give it that high of an age limit solely since you have to sometimes walk around to get dinosaurs. There is no blood, absolutely no bad words (after all, there's no conversation feature in the game), and nothing inappropriate overall.

Tips!

Let's start from the very beginning. When you first open the game, it'll take quite a while to load. Once it does, you'll make an account and go through the tutorial. To start with, there will be three creatures to get DNA from, and you get to pick one. There'll be a large theropod, which is the Majungasaurus, a small theropod that you may recognize from the first Jurassic Park movie, which is obviously the velociraptor, and then a large reddish horned creature on four feet, the Einiosaurus. Tap on the velociraptor. Once the loading gif of a drone is gone, there will be an overhead view of one of the velociraptor, since that's the one you tapped on. On the raptor, you will see a small white circle with a dot in the middle. Place your finger at the bottom of the screen, and slide it around until your pointer is on the dot. Release. The tutorial should take you through this. It'll talk you through how to battle and a few other important things to.

Now focus on getting more creatures. Ones with blue circles underneath are rares, and ones with yellow circles are Epics. The higher their rank, the more powerful they are. Now I'll leave you to play for a bit.

Mid-game strategy

I started using these strategies once I had about 45 creatures, when I was in battle arena 3, S.S. Arcadia. By now, you probably know a lot about the game, so I'll skip over the obvious stuff.

BUILDING THE BEST TEAM

This is where it gets interesting. If you don't have any epics yet, don't worry. I didn't get my first epic until around about that time, maybe a little later. In fact, I only have two at the moment I'm typing this. In arena 3, things start getting a little difficult. An opponent with a high level raptor can easily take out at least two of the three necessary creatures and highly damage a third with just that one creature. But despite what it seems, they're not invincible.

Many online forums separate the creatures into three types, including Glass Cannons and Tanks. Personally, these classifications weren't that useful to me- but then I made some of my own, too, which are very helpful. The basic types of creatures I've figured out so far are Slowers, Tanks, Glass Cannons, Defenttackers, and Multi-Strategens. The name 'Slowers' is self-explanatory, including creatures such as the Stegosaurus or the Amargasaurus that have an ability that decreases the speed of the opponent. Tanks are also pretty self explanatory, being creautres that can take a lot of damage, which makes them useful even if they're not very good at attacking, such as creatures like the Euoplocephalus and the Ankylosaurus Gen 2. Glass Cannons is the name given to creatures like raptors by online forums, since they can dish out a lot of damage, but die quickly. Defenttackers are creatures like the Allosaurus, who have a relatively good amount of health and give a relatively good amount of damage. These creatures aren't especially important for a team, but in some cases can be pretty useful. Finally, there's the Multi-Strategens. These creatures have various useful abilities, like the Ankylodon. The reason all of these categories are important is so that you can figure out how to make the best lineup for your team, taking into account that the app randomly selects four out of the 8 creatures on your team. My recommendation is to have two slowers, two tanks, two glass cannons, and two multi-strategens. However, if you're at that level of the game with little to no epics, chances are you don't have very many effective multi-strategens either. In this case, fill in as many of the two m-s spots that you can with m-s's, but then fill the remaining one or even two with Defenttackers. And once you get epics, start replacing the Defenttackers. Once all off those are gone, look at your multi-strategens abilities. If it has a slowing ability, you don't need one of the other slowers you have, so remove the worst slower on your team. If it has a lot of health and armor, or maybe shielding abilities, replace your worst tank, etc. Next, replace one glass cannon (unless it's your only one), and then replace one tank (unless it's your only one). Anyways, my point is, once you get one or two or even three epics, GET THEM ON YOUR TEAM. Trust me, even if their abilities don't look that good at first glance, they're epics for a reason. But don't do the same thing with rares- sometimes they're worse than the commons. Additionally, always try to have a velociraptor on your team, especially if it's relatively high-leveled, since only a better velociraptor is faster.

BATTLE STRATEGIES!

Whenever I have a slower on my lineup in a battle, I always make sure to put that out first. This is especially effective in Arena 3, since many players think that glass cannons first are best, since they can get out a lot of damage if the opponent is unprepared. Glass Cannons are usually some of the fastest in the game, but if you slow them down on the first turn, you can easily kill them without even losing a creature of your own. However, if you're in the middle of a battle, having just killed an opponents creature, and they whip out a velociraptor or something else that's fast, probably don't use a slower, unless it can take a lot of damage, almost like a semi-tank. Otherwise, the opponent can get in two hits before yo ucan slow them down. Still, if you have a creautre with not much health left, don't just not switch, thereby letting the opponent kill that creature. Instead, switch with a tank, which will give you enough time to kill the opponent's fast creature without dying first.

However, in arena 4, players usually start catching up on these strategies, many times putting slowers or sometimes even tanks out first. If both you and your opponent have a slower first, don't panic and switch. Chances are that they have about equal strength, even if the opponent's is a few levels higher. If you play well, you can still get in a lot of damage in, maybe even killing it. In arena 4, I usually try to leave my fast glass cannons as backups, only to use in the very end. This way, your opponent will be weak and unsuspecting, and you can easily finish them off. However, this isn't always the best strategy. Say there's a T-Rex (the Epic one) who has about 500 hp left, but on its next turn it can use its highest attack to killa creature in one attack. If all your creatures are too slow, except for one, even if it's a glass cannon, use the faster one so the opponent can't get any more damage in with that creature. But if there's two creatures that are fast enough, I try to use the one that's not a glass cannon, or if both of them are glass cannons, then the less fast one.

FEATURED CREATURES

I'll add a new creature here once a week. Today's is... the Stygimoloch (Epic)!

Many online sources say Stygis are one of the most useless epics, and maybe shouldn't even be one at all. Why? If you play with them for a while, you'll see (though it takes quite a few incubators to get one). You have to use basic attacks for two turns before the Instant Charge, since the impact and run option isn't useful til the Stygi's almost dead. However, I wuickly figured out a great strategy. If you have a close matchup with a creature, and yours dies first but you can finish off the opponent's in one hit, choose the Stygi. Then, use a minor stunning strike to kill it, and hopefully you'll be faster than the next creature the opponent brings up. Use the minor stunning strike again, and the return attack won't kill you in one go (usually). Then, even if your Stygi isn't the faster one in the matchup, you can still beat the opponent if you use the instant charge, which usually stuns the opponent, and then you can repeat the pattern, or if your Stygi can be taken out in one hit, do the impact and run. This almost always works. But never, and I mean neeeeveeer, start a battle with the stygi, no matter what. Trust me.

Well, I've got to go for today. I'll be back to lay out more tips tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Magic: the Gathering

The Triweekly MTG with W

On Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, W posts his thoughts about the card game Magic: The Gathering.
MONDAY, AUGUST 6
"The Core 19 Draft Format and Standard"

So many people have been talking about how mediocre the Core 19 draft format is. However, it really isn't terrible considering there are ten archetypes and around five well-represented ones. Those are W/U Artifacts, W/R Go Wide, U/G Unblockable, W/B Life Gain, and U/R Spells. Of course, the one in specific everyone is talking about is W/R Go Wide, which is so well represented with cards that pump your whole team like Trumpet Blast, Inspired Charge, and Heroic Reinforcements and 2-for-1 cards with tokens attached like Goblin Instigator and Gallant Cavalry. Basically, as the youtuber The Mana Leek pointed out, it's either draft boros or lose. However, feel free to try out new strategies. I've seen people go 4-0 with strange decks like Jeskai and Mono-Green and Mono-Red.
Now, let's talk about Standard.
I'm getting vibes that people are getting sick of Goblin Chainwhirler. It's a 3/3 first strike for 3 red which has an insane ETB trigger, which on its own is great in the early game and in the late game. Also, many people have been speculating about the possible mono-green or Gruul elf deck in Standard. With cards like Elvish Clancaller and Elvish Rejuvinator, an Elf tribal deck could potentially finish off an opponent on turn 5 or 6.
These are short articles--don't expect an essay. However, these articles are triweekly, so look forward to the next one.