Features

7 quick play video games you should try now

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Video games can be great for dramatic storytelling and immersive hours-long experiences. But there are days when you just don’t have the time or the mental bandwidth to dig into a long RPG or gigantic open-world action adventure.

Sometimes, you just want to take off your thinking cap, rely on your lizard brain, pick up and play a game for 15 to 30 minutes, and have fun. Here are seven of the latest video games that let you do just that.

Puyo Puyo Tetris (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4)

It’s two classic puzzle games combined into one cute, clever, and colorful package! Match four of the same shaded blobs to pop them, as you do in Puyo Puyo. Place tetriminoes to fill out horizontal spaces and clear lines, as you do in Tetris. Play against AI or another human opponent. Multiple game modes allow you to choose one gameplay style or juggle both tasks for mind-bending chaotic fun. Throw in power-ups to mess with your opponents for more heated yet good-natured competition.

Injustice 2 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android)

Just saw Wonder Woman and feel the urge to fight as the powerful Amazon princess? Play as her or any of the other iconic DC heroes and villains in this super-sized, spectacular fighting game from the Mortal Kombat creators (kreators?). Clash and smash through destructible environments as Batman, Superman, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and even Sub-Zero of MK fame. The new Gear System lets you customize your fighter in all sorts of souped-up combinations. Stick around for the story mode, too!

Dead Cells (Microsoft Windows)

Mix the upgrade system and difficulty of Dark Souls with the 2D platforming and level progression of Metroid into a randomized action dungeon crawler, and you get the superb Dead Cells. Hack and slash enemies with all kinds of crazy weapons like auto-targeting lightning whips and deployable buzzsaws and machine gun turrets. Blow up bosses with an assortment of magic spells. The fun is in improvising, since after getting the equipment blueprints and learning the skills, you won’t know exactly what weapons and powers you’ll have until you start a run.

Strafe (PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, macOS)

Miss the guns-blazing action of classic first-person shooters like Doom and Quake? Strafe can give you that old adrenaline fix you’ve been craving. Mow down waves of monsters with outrageous firearms in randomly generated labyrinthine levels. And as the title implies, you need to be moving left and right constantly to survive the onslaught. Relive 90s PC gaming and all its gory, polygonal glory in bite-sized chunks.

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows)

There’s a lot of things to get lost in when you play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but the biggest time sink for many fans has to be the in-universe card game Gwent. With its surface-level simplicity hiding complex systems underneath, it’s no surprise that it got turned into a standalone video game. Like other collectible card games, you build a deck to engage in tactical turn-based battles with other players. It’s free-to-play and in open beta right now, with a full-featured story mode promised for the 1.0 release.

Flinthook (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows. macOS)

Plunder the ill-gotten gains of space pirates in Flinthook. It’s a cartoony 2D action platformer where you swing into action with your trusty grappling hook. Weave your way through ever-changing pirate ships, dodging and dispatching goons in slow motion, so you can unlock treasure chests and new abilities. You’ll have to pick what skills you can use for every marauding mission, so choose wisely, especially when you take on the buccaneer bosses. Looting booty in bursts is fun in Flinthook!

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (Microsoft Windows)

Put your survival skills to the ultimate test in this Battle Royale-inspired massive multiplayer online shooter. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds packs 100 or so players into a plane and forces them to parachute onto a sprawling island littered with deadly weaponry and janky vehicles. The goal? Be the last person or team standing by any means necessary. The twist? A blue laser wall of death gradually constricts the play area, killing anyone who remains outside it. With regular airstrikes, loot drops, and randomized gear placement on the island, the unpredictability and forced engagements make for the tensest moments and the wildest stories.

SEE ALSO: 5 of the Best Free-to-Play Console Games

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Features

#PlayApartTogether: Embracing lockdowns and social distancing

Stuck indoors? Well, time to play video games.

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Video games have always been a great way to pass time on any boring day at home. In any normal circumstance, you just need your healthy amount of online play each day before doing anything else. But obviously, you’d rather be out of the house and embracing the outside world with all your errands and meetups. A perfect balance, as all things should be.

And then, the entire world was hit with a virus that you could contract by touching anything. Your home country restricted travel to your dream destination for fear of contracting the virus. Furthermore, you can’t even leave your own home without putting yourself in danger of contracting it too.

Suddenly: classes are suspended, people are now on work-from-home arrangements, malls are closed. Next thing you know, the entire metro is under quarantine and you are forced to stay indoors unless you absolutely need to be outside.

When the coronavirus stepped in to plague the outside world, all you could do was wait. And in waiting for this virus to be handled, you’re looking for something to do to pass the time. All while getting some interaction with your friends who are also stuck indoors. Luckily, if Zoom meetings are not enough, the World Health Organization suggests something even I thought was unthinkable:

Play Apart, Together

In essence, the World Health Organization wants everyone to find something to pass the time while you’re indoors. Because of the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the WHO backs an initiative from the gaming industry to #PlayApartTogether. The purpose of this initiative was to encourage people to play video games while practicing social distancing to slow the spread of the virus. When I first heard about this, I thought, “wait, really? The WHO wants us to play video games now?”

That’s because a year ago, the WHO had deemed video gaming addiction as a mental disorder. They deemed people who are addicted to video games as people who can’t control how long they play, that it takes over their life completely. A lot of people older than most millennials think that playing video games is just a waste of time — when you can just play basketball outdoors instead of NBA 2K20. It makes sense, but it’s an extreme way of looking at it considering you can count the number of news reports citing video game-related casualties.

But because the world is experiencing a pandemic of epic proportions, they suggest that it’s one good way to pass the time. So how have people dealt with lockdowns and social distancing through video games?

Tom Nook has had a field day since launch

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released last March 20 for the Nintendo Switch. Even before the world plunged into the COVID-19 madness, the game already received a ton of buzz before its launch date. As soon as the game dropped, people went crazy and started buying it online (at least for people in countries already under lockdown) and started groundwork on their lovely islands.

It didn’t take long before people start to craft amazing houses, beautiful island landscapes, and catching sharks. Yes, you read that right: SHARKS; you can catch sharks in the game.

(c) Nintendo

What made it extra special was how people and used the game to interact with their friends and customers alike. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen people post in-game tributes of their loved ones and idols who have passed away.

Others used the game’s online features to visit their friends’ islands and engaging in many activities like watching the meteor shower. If that wasn’t enough, we even had the Ayala Museum and 100 Thieves drop designs for apparel for everyone to use for free.

TWICE RUN 20X20 Navy Blue – Dahyun

I even got to the point of replicating some TWICE and BTS merchandise as designs for my sweaters and hoodies. This game opened its doors to an audience for all ages, bringing the world closer than ever. That is, of course if you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to do all of these.

Sports at a standstill? Not on 2K’s watch

When Utah Jazz center and reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, things weren’t the same. At that moment in time, the NBA had already suspended the games scheduled for that day, provided that the game didn’t tip-off yet. It then escalated into talks of suspending the NBA season indefinitely or possibly cancelling it all together.

Several other major sports leagues in the United States, and even across the world decided to suspend tournaments. Sports was at a standstill, and the void must be filled in somehow.

And then, the Phoenix Suns decided to simulate their postponed games on NBA 2K20. Obviously, these were far from how the actual players played for their teams, but everybody was having fun with it.

It came to a point that NBA 2K decided to host a Players-Only Tournament as a way to generate donations for a charity of their choosing. Other than that, they even decided to simulate the remaining games and provide scores at the end of each playing day.

You know what they say, “ball is life.”


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

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Entertainment

PumaPodcast: Go Hard Girls

A podcast about women in sports sharing their inspiring stories

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We believe women can do what men can do. This is why we’re hosting “Go Hard Girls”, the first podcast dedicated to sharing stories of Filipina athletes. Produced by PumaPodcast, it reimagines the sports industry if it was better for women while inspiring us to make our own mark in our respective fields — be it sports or somewhere we excel.

“Go Hard Girls” is hosted by sports reporter, award-winning writer, and gender equality advocate Ceej Tantengco. Together, let’s celebrate women making their own mark!

Note: Episodes will be regularly updated. They are arranged from newest to oldest.


Episodes

Episode 5: Big Mom Energy with Josie Gabuco

Filipina boxer Josie Gabuco has won five straight gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games. Even more impressive? She did it all while being a single mom.

Episode 4: Nesthy Petecio Knocks Down Barriers

Let’s get intersectional! World amateur boxing champion and SEA Games gold medalist Nesthy Petecio opens up about mental health, being a lesbian athlete, and why she’s stronger for all her struggles. What better way to celebrate Women’s Month?

Episode 3: No League of Their Own

The Philippines prides itself on being a basketball-loving nation, yet there’s no pro league for women. What happens to our Filipina ballers after college? How does this affect the Gilas Pilipinas Women’s program? And what do the athletes want (and don’t want) from a league? The NU Lady Bulldogs get candid in the third and final episode of our series on women’s basketball.

Bonus Episode: Ella Fajardo of Gilas Pilipinas

At just 16 years old, Ella Fajardo helped win the Philippines its first FIBA medal in the women’s division. In this special bonus episode, Ella and Go Hard Girls host Ceej Tantengco talk about her experiences as a Filipina baller in the USA and why the new generation of female athletes are speaking up for equality like never before.

Bonus Episode: Live and unfiltered with the NU Lady Bulldogs!

NU Lady Bulldogs’ Coach Patrick Aquino, UAAP Finals MVP Jack Animam, and Go Hard Girls host Ceej Tantengco sit down with PumaPodcast CEO Roby Alampay for a roundtable discussion. You’ll hear stories from behind the scenes of Go Hard Girls and what their dreams for women’s basketball are.

Episode 2: The MVP Who Almost Didn’t Play

UAAP Finals MVP Jack Danielle Animam didn’t play basketball until she was in high school. We look at what her story tells us about the state of youth development for women’s basketball, and speak to Girls Got Game about how they empower young girls through sports.

Episode 1: The Greatest Winning Streak Nobody Talks About

Five straight, undefeated seasons. 80 straight wins. The NU Lady Bulldogs did all that from 2014 to 2018. We look back at where and how the Lady Bulldogs’ hardcourt dominance began. The team tells us in their own words about the big moments and untold stories of the Greatest Winning Streak Nobody Talks About.

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PumaPodcast: Conservative Ako

A podcast about female pleasure and sexuality

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In this generation, sex-positivity is a must. We believe we need to talk about sex and pleasure, two equally important topics relating to health — physically, emotionally, and sexually.

Hence, we’re hosting “Conservative Ako”, the first-ever podcast about female pleasure and sexuality, produced by PumaPodcast. “Conservative Ako” is hosted by Rica Cruz, a licensed psychologist, and sex & relationships therapist.

Together, let’s break barriers by giving voice to questions that Filipinas have always been afraid to ask.

Note: Episodes will be updated regularly. They are arranged from newest to oldest.


Episodes

Special episode: Love under lockdown – advice for couples together 24/7

During this COVID-19 quarantine, many couples are stuck with each other at home, 24/7. And it can take a toll on any relationship. In this special episode of Conservative Ako, sex and relationships therapist Rica Cruz gives some advice.

Episode 6: The first time you have sex *doesn’t* have to be painful

 

How do you put on a condom? Why should you use lube? And how do you know where the right hole is? Licensed psychologist and sex & relationships therapist Rica Cruz fields questions about first-time sex, and tells us that contrary to popular belief, having sex for the first time *doesn’t* have to be painful.

Episode 5: Having sex for the first time — how do you know if you’re ready?

Having sex for the first time is a milestone for many people. So how can you prepare for it? And how do you know if you’re even ready for it? Our guests share their thoughts and experiences with licensed psychologist and sex & relationships therapist Rica Cruz.

Episode 4: Oral sex techniques… and why some women don’t like getting eaten out

How can you give great blowjobs? And what techniques should your partner know so you can get eaten out in the BEST way? Listen for tips from licensed psychologist and sex & relationships therapist Rica Cruz and her guests. Of course, there are some women who don’t like cunnilingus at all. Rica explains why

Episode 3: Oral sex is yummy! And you should STILL use protection

Do you remember the first time you tried oral sex? Both giving and receiving? Licensed psychologist and sex & relationships therapist Rica Cruz goes on a trip down memory lane together with her guests, and they extol its virtues and benefits. A reminder though! Oral sex still puts you at risk for sexually transmitted infections. So how do you protect yourself against it?

Episode 2: Tips for self-pleasure, and dealing with guilt surrounding masturbation

Do you feel guilty when you masturbate? You’re not alone. Licensed psychologist and sex & relationships therapist Rica Cruz talks about how society puts this burden particularly on women, and how they can deal with it. Plus, tips on getting those juices flowing with just you and your hand, in your room.

Episode 1: Masturbation, and getting to know the female genitalia

Licensed psychologist and sex & relationships therapist Rica Cruz hosts a discussion about self-love and self-pleasure in the first episode of “Conservative Ako”. How did she and her guests discover masturbation? Plus, a lesson on the parts of the female genitalia. Because how can you make yourself feel good without knowing where and what things are in the first place?

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