Skewed 'n Reviewed http://sknr.net Movie News and Reviews Mon, 04 May 2015 14:21:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What Will Windows 10 Bring To The Xbox One, And Will It Finally Bring Respect To PC Gaming? http://sknr.net/2015/05/04/what-will-windows-10-bring-to-the-xbox-one-and-will-it-finally-bring-respect-to-pc-gaming/ http://sknr.net/2015/05/04/what-will-windows-10-bring-to-the-xbox-one-and-will-it-finally-bring-respect-to-pc-gaming/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 14:21:24 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77978 With the recent news that Windows 10 will be making its way to the Xbox One in 2015, one has to wonder what this combined with the arrival of DirectX 12 will bring to the system.
While the impact of DirectX 12 has been widely and hotly debated, the introduction of Windows 10 will be a good thing for players who game on PC as well as console as well as console players looking for more connection with their PC based friends.

Being able to stream games from an Xbox One to a PC is just one of the new options being touted as well as the ability to have cross-platform gaming become a reality. This has been tried a few times over the years so I will take this with a wait and see attitude but if it does work, and can be applied in a large scale down the road, then this is a potential game changer for the industry. Having a huge new field of options for online game matches is something to look forward to but I would love to know how the issue of keeping PC based players from dominating some games will be interesting. The controls and power of a PC system can for some games give a real advantage to some players.

That being said, this is just one more step to blurring the line between console and PC systems to some and to others, underscores the love/hate relationship Microsoft has had with the PC as a gaming platform.

Many have said that Microsoft has put their attention on Xbox gaming at the center of their business plans and as such have left PC gamers feeling like an afterthought as their needs have largely gone without being addressed.

However the upcoming DirectX 12 and Windows 10 releases seem to be a way that the gaming community can find some common ground with one another as well as see improved performance and features in their gaming system of choice.

What the long term future of the features will offer is still to be decided, but at least for now, Microsoft seems determined to ramp up their Xbox One system and have it play nice with their PC neighbors, which could be a win-win for all of us.

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New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Images For May 4th http://sknr.net/2015/05/04/new-star-wars-the-force-awakens-images-for-may-4th/ http://sknr.net/2015/05/04/new-star-wars-the-force-awakens-images-for-may-4th/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 13:58:27 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77975 Happy May 4th. From Variety Fair we have some new images for you to enjoy. Which one is your favorite and why?

11212755_10153243046227243_988547182581558697_n11183459_10153243046202243_8060666035505872260_n11183459_10153243044577243_5832212662137901358_n11150411_10153243046292243_968009620261289240_n11148585_10153243046242243_7304241999335161647_n10658654_10153243046527243_3649165230968831066_o

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From Wolfenstein To Wolfenstein The Old Blood: The Game Series That Just Keeps Going And Getting Better http://sknr.net/2015/05/04/from-wolfenstein-to-wolfenstein-the-old-blood-the-game-series-that-just-keeps-going-and-getting-better/ http://sknr.net/2015/05/04/from-wolfenstein-to-wolfenstein-the-old-blood-the-game-series-that-just-keeps-going-and-getting-better/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 13:33:15 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77970 More years ago then I like to admit, I remember sitting down at an Apple II computer and playing a game called Wolfenstein. It was for the time a bold and visionary game that had of all things color, limited speech, and an engrossing story.

In the era where green and yellow monitors ruled, the game was so addicting, my friends and I would play in the school library for hours at a time before and after school.
The story of a prisoner trying to escape a castle filled with Nazi’s was for us the pinnacle of gaming at that time as it was easily the best game available.

This changed with Return To Castle Wolfenstein came out and offered upgraded gameplay, a pass system, and the ability to bribe guards as you attempted to place a bomb under Hitler himself. Who among us why played it were not forced to reset the bomb timer along the way?

With the advent of Shareware came Wolfenstein 3D which in the early days before video cards would at times make players ill with the bright colors and walls.

As more episodes followed and became Spear of Destiny in retail locations, it was clear that this was a franchise that was near and dear to consumers. BJ Blazkowicz became a gaming icon and even family friendly Nintendo ported the game over, but with caveat of replacing the dogs in game with rats so nobody had to argue about killing them.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein and then Enemy Territory brought the series into the new era and anyone with a good DSL connection remembers how much fun the online battles were and how much fun it was to take on the bad guys in eye-popping 3D.

In 2009, we were treated with Wolfenstein which gave players options as to which path and missions they took and offered what was for me a very challenging final battle, but one that I truly enjoyed upon completion.

Last year saw the release of Wolfenstein: The New Order and with it the lack of multiplay. The game did more than make up for it with 20+ hours of epic gameplay and a very entertaining story that featured an alternate reality where the Naziss won and continued to thrive into the 60s, that is until our hero returns to settle the score. The game featured some great action and very adult content, but the real winner for me was blasting bad guys in a Lunar Base as this really appealed to my Sci-Fi loving nature.

We will soon get the latest chapter in the series, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. The game is a prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order and over two different storylines will fill in some of the adventures of BJ as he does what he does best, blasting Nazi’s.

Expect more amazing graphics, intense moments, and some truly creepy enemies as this is what the series is best known for. Gamers will also be able to use a knife and a hatchet as well as a wide-range of weapons to dispatch their enemies.

As a fan of the series from the start, I look forward to seeing what the game will offer and enjoying more of the great gameplay the series has been known for. I would be curious to see what multiplay would look like in this new game but for now, I am more than content with some more fun adventures saving the world.
Look for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood on May 5th with the physical version to be released on May 14th.

More information on the game as well as trailers and video can be seen here.

Check Out The Main Site For The Game

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We Talk Rogue One, The X-Files Reboot, Razer Smartbands, Gaming News And The Avengers http://sknr.net/2015/05/01/we-talk-rogue-one-the-x-files-reboot-razer-smartbands-gaming-news-and-the-avengers/ http://sknr.net/2015/05/01/we-talk-rogue-one-the-x-files-reboot-razer-smartbands-gaming-news-and-the-avengers/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 14:32:34 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77967 We talk upcoming movies and tv shows as well as Razer Smartbands gaming news on the latest episode of BJ Shea’s Geek Nation on KISW FM.

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If Microsoft Is Stating That DirectX12 Is Not a Cure All For The Xbox One, Why Do Fans Still See It As The Magic Pill? http://sknr.net/2015/05/01/if-microsoft-is-stating-that-directx12-is-not-a-cure-all-for-the-xbox-one-why-do-fans-still-see-it-as-the-magic-pill/ http://sknr.net/2015/05/01/if-microsoft-is-stating-that-directx12-is-not-a-cure-all-for-the-xbox-one-why-do-fans-still-see-it-as-the-magic-pill/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 13:14:50 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77963 Ever since it was announced that DirectX 12 would be a large part of the Xbox One and would bring a host of new features and performance boosts to the system, many fans saw it as a game changer in their battle with Sony.

PC users are told that they can expect a 20% more efficient PC as it will decrease demands on a GPU which will also improve frame rates, resulting in a faster and smoother gaming experience.
Some see this as the magic pill for the Xbox One which will allow it to overcome some of the issues it has had with not being able to run many games in 1080 resolution and often lagging behind the PS4 in terms of resolution and speed in comparable games.

However Microsoft’s Anuj Gosalia has stated that he does not believe that Direct X 12 will necessarily change this or offer up better graphics. Instead Gonsalia sees the update as a tool that will allow developers to better use the hardware.

That is a very cryptic response as on one hand he is saying do not expect a graphical revolution while at the same time he is saying that the hardware will become more efficient.
Even Phil Spencer himself has said that Direct X 12 will not dramatically change the graphical abilities of the system but would instead make development easier.

While future games will benefit from this update as developers will have new ways of creating the games and doing graphical textures, the fact that the GPU and CPU remain the same is a bit of a limitation. While they can make them more efficient, they cannot increase the power of the units. This may seem like a contradiction but I see it like this. We cannot do the latest Call of Duty in 1080 resolution, but we can decrease the load times and make the game run smoother and look a bit better.

So where does that leave Xbox One fans who have looked to DirectX12 as the magical cure all to performance concerns?

It leaves them with an update that will improve their systems but will likely still leave the Xbox One behind their rival in terms of power and performance.
Some have said that PC users are who will see the most benefit from DirectX 12 which will in turn make PCs a more appealing platform for many gamers although one does have to have the hardware and be willing to take on the increased cost of gaming on a PC versus a console.

In the end, DirectX12 will be an improvement and a big marketing push for Microsoft, but aside from making existing Xbox One owners a bit happier, I do not see it as something that will encourage the masses to go out and buy an Xbox One system. Quality games/exclusives are the key to this, and while Microsoft looks to the upcoming Halo 5 to boost their sales, Sony is continuing to sell the PS4 at a brisk pace.

Here are some supporting quotes and links for the article.

I got asked early on by people if DirectX12 is going to dramatically change the graphics capability of Xbox One, I said it would not,” said Mr. Spencer in an interview with The Inner Circle. “I am not trying to rain on anybody’s parade. The CPU, GPU, memory that are in Xbox One do not change when you go to DirectX12. DX12 makes it easier to do some of the things that Xbox One is good at, which will be nice and you will see improvement in games that use DX12.”

http://www.kitguru.net/gaming/anton-shilov/microsoft-directx-12-will-not-dramatically-improve-xbox-one/

So are they lying? Or is Phil doing the usual flip flop of saying one thing then saying another?

Here is another Phil moment.

http://xboxonedaily.com/2014/12/directx-12-wont-improve-xbox-performance/

and more.

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/184768-head-of-xbox-warns-gamers-not-to-expect-dramatic-improvements-from-dx12

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Krinkle Krusher http://sknr.net/2015/05/01/krinkle-krusher/ http://sknr.net/2015/05/01/krinkle-krusher/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 12:28:32 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77959 Krinkle Krusher is a tower defense game that brings new ideas to the table that just do not work in it’s favor. By that I’m not saying it’s bad that’s my rage speaking from how difficult the game gets.

Visuals: It’s pretty generic when it comes to visuals, I kinda got a mobile game feel more than a Ps4 game feel. I’m actually really surprised this isn’t a mobile game it would’ve been really admiring to the game. Like I said though it’s pretty generic when it’s comes to visuals there’s nothing left to say about them really, the same goes for the music.

Game mechanics: It’s a tower defense game where you try your best to destroy the Krinkles °The enemies of the game° at first glance I assumed you had to use the controller game pad to make the traps for the Krinkles and whatnot but unfortunately that’s not the case you have to use the analog sticks which makes moving a hassle when you have a tiny cursor and you have to be really quick to not get the Krinkles near your castle. You get different powers throughout the game like fire and purple magic you can run out of the magic and that can be really bad when you have to get rid of the Krinkles in two hits, but it’s so hard when the controls are so quick and hard to handle. There are bosses which is even worse towards the controls.

Story: I really hope you aren’t expecting The Last Of Us or The Witcher type sort of story. I don’t even think I was paying attention to the story due to the voice actors being ever so annoying and giving me a headache everytime they told a lack luster of a joke. You’re a glove who has to kill Krinkles, there’s a Wizard who acts as the moderator much like the owner of the house of Plants vs Zombies.

Verdict: Krinkle Krusher is a wannabe mobile game that doesn’t work well on ps4 I’m not sure if there’s a Pc version that has much better controls but if there is I’d wanna know. There’s so much potential here I’d love to see a sequel that makes changes to the controls. So my final opinion is don’t check this out unless there’s a better version released soon.
2 stars out of 5

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VENTRILO AND QUAKECON® 2015 TEAM UP FOR EIGHTH ANNUAL ‘ULTIMATE POWER UP’ SWEEPSTAKES http://sknr.net/2015/04/30/ventrilo-and-quakecon-2015-team-up-for-eighth-annual-ultimate-power-up-sweepstakes/ http://sknr.net/2015/04/30/ventrilo-and-quakecon-2015-team-up-for-eighth-annual-ultimate-power-up-sweepstakes/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 05:01:41 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77957 Three ‘Ultimate Power Up’ Winners to Receive $10,000 each in Cash Prizes

April 30, 2015 (Rockville, MD) – Ventrilo, the premier group voice communication program used in tournaments and multiplayer games, returns to QuakeCon 2015 to sponsor the eighth annual ‘Ultimate Power Up’ sweepstakes. As part of the sweepstakes, one hundred lucky QuakeCon attendees will be entered into a drawing for their chance to be one of three randomly selected winners to each receive a $10,000 cash prize.

QuakeCon 2015, the ultimate video game festival, will take place on-site at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, TX on Thursday, July 23rd through Sunday, July 26th. Doors to QuakeCon will open on Thursday, July 23rd at 10:00am and will remain open through 12:00pm on Sunday, July 26th.

“Once again, we’re thrilled to welcome Brian Knapp and the amazing team at Ventrilo as official sponsors for the eighth annual QuakeCon sweepstakes where the world’s most passionate gamers will have the chance to win a share of $30,000 in prizes,” said Tim Willits, studio director at id Software. “As QuakeCon celebrates its 20th anniversary, we’re thrilled to have the support of Ventrilo year after year. It’s always really fun to have the opportunity to give back to the fans that continue to make this event possible every year.”

“We’re excited to return to QuakeCon this year and once again provide fans the opportunity to win their share of the ‘Ultimate Power Up’ prizes,” said Brian Knapp, president of Flagship Industries. “For more than a decade our group voice communications technology has been connecting players together, and we’re pleased to show our appreciation to the gaming community that has helped make Ventrilo what we are today.”

The ‘Ultimate Power Up’ winners will be randomly selected on Saturday, July 25, as part of the QuakeCon tournament finals event on the Ventrilo Main Stage. A total of 100 coveted tickets will be awarded to attendees throughout each day of the show through QuakeCon contests, random drawings, and other events.

QuakeCon Exhibit Hall Hours are:

Thursday, July 23rd: 10am – 6pm

Friday, July 24th: 10am – 6pm

Saturday, July 25th: 10am – 6pm

The free event is open to general admission attendees thanks to the support of id Software and Bethesda Softworks, as well as the QuakeCon volunteer staff and the 2015 event sponsors and exhibitors.

To pre-register for QuakeCon today go to: registration.quakecon.org. For more information on QuakeCon 2015 visit www.quakecon.org.

QuakeCon Ultimate Power Up Rules:

QuakeCon 2015 registered attendees who are 18 years of age and older AND are legal residents of the United States, its territories and possessions and the District of Columbia are eligible to participate. No purchase necessary. A total of 100 raffle tickets will be distributed throughout the QuakeCon event. Additional information about contest rules, eligibility, restrictions and requirements will be available at www.quakecon.org.

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron http://sknr.net/2015/04/30/avengers-age-of-ultron/ http://sknr.net/2015/04/30/avengers-age-of-ultron/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 04:32:33 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77954 Marvel continues its cinematic dominance with their latest release, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”. The film once again teams Iron Man (Robert Downey JR.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Window , (Scarlett Johannson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), as the deal with the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. after the events of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.

The film opens with a visually amazing action sequence where the heroes raid a Hydra base as they attempt to retrieve Loki’s spear from the evil organization that is bent on world domination.
While researching the spoils of their raid, a pair of enhanced siblings, (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olson), have managed to exert their influence on one of the team which in turn leads to a bold experiment to create an ultimate guardian of humanity named Ultron who will protect the Earth from all manner of enemies from beyond.
Things do not go as planned s unbeknownst to the Avengers, the artificial A.I. they recovered from Hydra soon builds an army and declares an all-out war on the Avengers and eventually all of humanity.

Tasked with stopping a clever enemy who can switch his conscious to any number of bodies the world over, Ultron (James Spader) leads the team on a deadly game of cat and mouse with the fate of the human race hanging in the balance.

The film is darker and bolder than many of the previous Marvel films but still maintains plenty of humor to lighten the tension. The supporting cast is very good, especially Samuel L. Jackson who steals the scenes whenever he appears.

There were a few sub plots and romantic themes that seemed a bit muddled and some aspects of the story were not fully developed and came to conclusions fairly abruptly, but the film is a shining triumph despite the issues.

The leads work very well with one another though some characters such as Thor were given storylines that really never developed and the same goes for some of the questions left unanswered since the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The visual FX were amazing as seeing it in IMAX 3D really made the action leap off the screen. Director Josh Wheedon paces the film well despite a few instances where things drag along.
The action sequences are the bread and butter of the film and they are frequent and truly spectacular to behold.

Spader does a great job bringing a depth to Ultron which helps him avoid being the stock super villain. He mixes the soul of a poet and scholar with the tantrums of a child which makes him a compelling, captivating, and downright deadly opponent.

The newer characters do well and hopefully we will see them developed more in “Avengers: Infinity War” which is currently in the early stages of development.

For now, Wheedon, Marvel, and the talented cast have created an epic summer action film which is everything you would expect from a super hero movie and more.

4 stars out of 5.

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron http://sknr.net/2015/04/30/the-avengers-age-of-ultron/ http://sknr.net/2015/04/30/the-avengers-age-of-ultron/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 04:04:28 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77949 Why are you reading this? Seriously. Why are you here? I mean, don’t get me wrong. Thank you for the page hit (tell your friends, please), but you and I both know there is not much I am going to be able to tell you that will change the fact this movie is awesome, especially with Joss Whedon at the helm. You know it, you haven’t seen it. I know that you have no idea just how awesome it is. But, since you’re here, I might as well give you a spoiler free glimpse into one of the most anticipated films of 2015.

Avengers opens with the whole team back working together fighting against Hydra (yep, they’re still around). The Avengers has tracked down Loki’s scepter and found that it is involved in testing on the “enhanced”. Now they are trying to find out what use it is and recover it in the process.

They recover the scepter in what passes for short order for the Avengers, and bring it back to the Avenger’s base (formerly Stark Tower). Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) have been given permission by Thor to study and learn from the scepter before it returns to Asgard. Tony discovers that the scepter basically contains an artificial intelligence that vastly surpasses Jarvis, and the two scientist attempt to try and utilize it for Ultron, an abandoned peace-keeping program. Only when he is brought to life, Ultron sees the means to achieving peace in a slightly different manner.

The Avengers are pushed into action as Ultron destroys Jarvis and invades the internet on his quest to bring peace through destruction. Ultron focuses on evolution as the key to peace and seeks out to make a better version of himself. But can the Avengers stop him in time?

Of course they can. We do have a whole schedule of future Marvel Cinematic Universe film releases, which includes two more Avengers movies. But it’s not to say they won’t come out changed. Possibly short a member, or two.

The movie was great. Were their flaws? Yeah… possibly… I am not sure. Clearly the MCU has deviated from the comic universe, so you can’t really complain about consistency with the source material. I am sure there were goofs and revealing shots, or even downright blatant mistakes. But who cares. The movie continues the tradition of progressively good films from the MCU. I appreciated the fact that you were able to get more background on some the members of the Avengers who don’t have their own movie to explain origins. Also, the many connections you see appear from the other movies, and TV show, is amazing. It is clear that Marvel has built, and continues to build, a very intricate series of movies, TV series, and even video games to tell one giant overarching story involving the Infinity Stones (of which another makes an appearance in this movie, but I won’t say which one). It is all very genius, and I for one can’t wait to see where we land when the smoke clears.

So why are you still reading? Get out to the theater. Watch it. Then watch it again. And again. I was lucky enough to catch it a few days before release, but I am headed back opening weekend and the next weekend as well. It’s that good, folks. Though, I am still not sure it beats Guardians of the Galaxy in my book.

4.5 stars out 5

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Rustbucket Rumble http://sknr.net/2015/04/30/rustbucket-rumble/ http://sknr.net/2015/04/30/rustbucket-rumble/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 12:57:54 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77946 Let’s face it. Recycling is something we do because we know its right to help the Earth we live on. But it really isn’t very exciting to think of our recyclables becoming new material. Sure, we all know that our recycled paper can become new notebooks and packaging without tearing down new trees, and that’s damn cool. But the thought lacks a certain entertaining element to it. Rector Studio must have thought that this was unacceptable when endeavoring to create Rustbucket Rumble, a game that could change your mind about the entertainment value of scrap metal. So, does using left over pieces of metal to create an enormous fighting robot interest you? Yes? Then Rustbucket Rumble may just be the casual action game you are searching for.

In the story, humans made a mess of the earth and left for greener pastures on a new planet. Left behind were machines that once served them without reserve. Left their own devices (rimshot), the arch-rivals robotic heads of the Robotic Engineering Depot (aka the Red Team) and Blucom Discarded Plastics and Metals (I think you can see this is the Blue Team) decided they could have their own robot battles. Each company is now searching for materials they can use to build a gigantic and powerful robot to blast the opposing team into nothingness.

This 2D, side-scrolling, team-based combat game is fun to play when you’re in the mood for a bit silly fighting. There are six different robot fighters; each equipped with their own stats and weapons. With bombardier, brute, engineer, grunt, ninja, and sniper models, there is robot with its own fighting style for everyone. Working as a team, three players must attack the opposing company and – literally – turn them into a scrap heap. Once the enemy becomes nothing but scattered recyclables, you can collect and bring them back to your base to help contribute to the construction of your team’s giant robot. There is a catch, though; there’s always a catch. You have a limited amount of time to do so as each player’s robot has a set time to re-spawn with full health after being deconstructed down to scrap.

Speed and thinking ahead are key in Rustbucket. Using a keyboard to control your robot can slow you down, so I highly recommend using a game controller if you have one available. Making your moves as fast as you can is vital, especially if you are playing one of the slower, heavy-duty robots.

Each robot’s stats are simple and to the point. Health and speed are clearly marked, and each one’s abilities are fairly easy to execute after working through the tutorials. Playing 3v3 is fun because there aren’t too many players hogging up the map; there’s already enough chaos with the recycling taking place on each side. The only thing that I found lacking in this simple, yet amusing game is a chat feature. There really isn’t a whole lot of time to talk during the fights, but having a few key or button-set words would be helpful for teams to coordinate better. Despite this, I was impressed by a few players helping each other out after someone was scrapped.

The colorful maps are reminiscent of children’s TV shows like Bob the Builder. Rustbucket is really for any age, but it definitely has kid-friendly vibe to it. I could see it being the type of game that schools would encourage their students to play during computer classes, mostly because it puts a very positive, and cool, spin on recycling in a very subtle way. When playing, there are no written, or spoken, messages that preach the recycling memo. It’s just all about the fun of trying to build a giant robot to decimate your opponent.

As the game progressed, and being turned into scrap metal for the opposing team’s robot a few times, I became determined more than ever to destroy the other team in order to complete my robot. But Rustbucket Rumble is one of those games that is fun to play in half-hour intervals, or when you’re not in the mood to get submersed in the more technical games. For what it is, though, Rustbucket Rumble is a very entertaining casual fighter game that lets players release some energy. I recommend playing the game to see for yourself how it can help you maybe change your opinion and find that recycling isn’t so boring after all.

4 out of 5

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