Samuel McConnell

Games commentator

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.

Though he spends a great deal of his time at his day job helping people with their computer troubles, he carves out as much time as he can to play video or board games, or to tinker with his home cinema.

Labels that apply to Samuel: Gamer, nerd, geek, techie, trekkie, whovian, cinephile.

Ways to Connect

This year has been a fantastic year for gaming, but there have been a few games that have really captured my attention.

I’m excited about the new Star Wars movie coming out tonight. And, although Star Wars is primarily a movie series, there have been dozens of games set in the Star Wars universe.

 

Telltale Games

Minecraft is one of the most surprising hit games in recent memory. The game was developed initially by a single person, and had an incredibly simple design. When you started the game, you were dropped into a randomly generated world built out of 3D cubes, and you could remove and replace these cubes to build whatever you wanted. Later, crafting, enemies, villages, and multiplayer were introduced to the game, but the basic premise of gathering resources and building with them remained unchanged. The game has no narrative or characters to speak of.

bagogames / Flickr / Creative Commons

Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and with that, the biggest shopping season of the year. This is typically when all the biggest games are released.

The Xbox One has a few big exclusives this holiday. Halo 5, which I talked about a few weeks ago, and the sequel to 2013’s fantastic reboot of the Tomb Raider series. The new game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, is a cinematic adventure with a story that should be at turns tragic and uplifting, but with the tight, responsive gameplay the series is known for.

'Halo' Is Back

Nov 5, 2015

The Halo series is big business. Really big. Almost every release in the series has broken sales records. Up through 2012’s Halo 4, the series had sold nearly $3.5 billion worth of games, not counting tie-in novels, toys, soundtrack albums, or a ton of other licensed goods.

bagogames / Flickr / Creative Commons

I’ve always enjoyed the music in video games. It's often an important part in setting the tone, whether it’s a happy, jazzy anthem in Sonic the Hedgehog, or an ambient, moody piece from Silent Hill.

There’s a new game on the horizon that is so big that, in all likelihood, it will never be fully explored. The game is No Man’s Sky, and it is literally bigger than our galaxy.

Samuel McConnell / KMUW

Super Mario Maker is a hard game to evaluate because, at its core, it’s more of a tool than a game. You use it to create levels for Super Mario Bros., and then upload them to the internet for other people to play. It’s more akin to reviewing a bottle opener: without bottles to open, what good is it? But with Super Mario Maker, the actual creation of the levels is at least half of the fun.

fleur-design / Flickr / Creative Commons

Now that school is starting, kids are hopefully scaling back on video games and spending some time studying. But some of my favorite games of all time I actually was exposed to through school, and were fun enough to disguise the fact that I could actually be learning through gameplay.

There’s been a lot of talk lately that 2015 is a banner year for video games, one of the best in recent history, and I tend to agree. We got the New 3DS, Splatoon, Metal Gear Solid V, Batman: Arkham Knight, and a huge slate of highly anticipated games yet to come out this year, including Star Wars Battlefront, Halo 5, Fallout 4, Super Mario Maker, and Rock Band 4.

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