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Saying goodbye to 2022 and looking forward to 2023 at F5
posted on: Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year!


We made it to the end of another year! It is the last day of 2022 and in keeping up with tradition it is time for me to write the end of year / look ahead post. Each year I like to call out some of my favorite gaming experiences and give a little insight into what the future may hold for F5 Games. So, grab your favorite New Year's beverage and settle in for the F5 Games 2022 year in review.

F5 Game Awards for 2022

The "Welcome Back Old Friend" Award - Gran Turismo 7



It was a long time coming, but in 2022 Gran Turismo returned to form and delivered one of the most impressive, and immersive, simulations ever. The thrill of racing incredible cars around gorgeous tracks has never felt, or looked, better than this. GT7 is definitely the game that I played the most in 2022, and with dozens of cars left to collect, and online racing to compete in, I'm sure that will continue into 2023.

2022 also represented the 25th anniversary for the Gran Turismo franchise and just a few days ago I came across this 25th Anniversary Trailer that takes me back and also highlights how far this franchise has come over the years.


The "Best Game that I only finished a quarter of" Award - Elden Ring


Elden Ring is a masterpiece, it is the culmination of the 'Souls' series and an incredible expansion into the open world format that should not be missed. The sense of exploration and discovery is incredible in Elden Ring and I was absorbed with it for weeks after its release. But then I hit the wall. I'm sorry, I just don't have the time, or skills apparently, to overcome some of the difficulty spikes in this game. Bravo to you if you do, I'm sure there are even more incredible experiences that I will never see in Elden Ring because I just can't reach them. But even the limited part I did experience was enough to make a lasting impact.


The "I Can't Believe This Is On the Switch" Award - Bayonetta 3


I am a big fan of Platinum Games, especially the Bayonetta series. Bayonetta is brash, loud, dangerous, and stylish like almost no other character in gaming, and I love that she has been able to star in two top tier games so far, and that Platinum, Nintendo, and Sega have been able to keep her story going. Bayonetta 3 released this year and it was one of my most anticipated games for 2022. I am happy to say, Bayonetta does not disappoint.

One of the first things I thought while playing was 'how is this game running on the Switch?'. The graphics are fantastic, the action is (mostly) fluid, and the design is literally out of this world. The scale of the encounters in Bayonetta 3 are so over the top and bombastic that I am continually shocked at what I am witnessing.

Another aspect of Bayonetta 3 that I greatly appreciate is that it doesn't punish you for not being the greatest action gamer in the world. You can absolutely push through the story with a basic grasp of the combat mechanics and some decent dodging, but you will probably end up with some stone and bronze medals like I have. The grading system that pops up at the end of each combat encounter is the perfect way to show the player there is more to learn, a higher grade to strive for, without punishing them and forcing a restart. Who would have known Bayonetta had a soft heart after all.

In short, Bayonetta 3 is a triumph for the action genre and should not be missed.


The "Honorable Mention For Best Enhancement/DLC of the Year" Award - The Witcher 3 and Doom Eternal


The Witcher 3 is one of the best games ever made.

No other game has been able to place me in a strange and foreign land like the Witcher 3. Its story is compelling, combat is engaging, side quests are better written than most other full games or movies, and its mini game was so good it started its own franchise! There is just nothing like it.

I am happy to say that in 2022 I finally completed the main story arc for the Witcher 3, and it was a fantastic ending. I decided to wait on exploring the DLC campaigns until the PS5 upgrade was released and I am glad that I waited. The new graphical upgrades and quality of life improvements make a great game even better. If you have somehow not picked up this gem yet you definitely need to give it a shot now.


The other honorable mention for 2022 goes to the two Doom Eternal expansions, the Ancient Gods part 1 and 2. While these were technically released last year I started playing them this year on my PS5 and they are awesome. The combat is so tight and so fast that you may forget to breathe and the landscapes are so over the top 80s metal and action movie that you can't help but smile. It's just all a ton of fun and it runs and plays better than ever on the new consoles.

F5 Games News

2022 was a fairly quiet year from us. We have made a couple small updates to Blackjack Masters but otherwise we haven't had too much to share; that should all change in 2023 though. We currently have 4 games in our release pipeline for 2023 across the Infinity Game Table and mobile devices!

Our first release of 2023 will be a new arcade game name Block Breakerz! This is a 4 player ball breaking game that plays like a cross between Breakout and Hungry Hungry Hippos! It is a blast to play and will have you and your friends begging for 'just one more round'.

After Block Breakerz we will be releasing the next game in our card series, Texas Holdem Masters! Up to six players will be able to duke it out on the green felt and see who is the best poker player.

Both Block Breakerz and Texas Holdem Masters should be available in the first half of 2023 so keep an eye on our website and on Twitter for updates in the coming weeks. We also have two other titles in the pipeline for the second half of 2023 but we'll keep those close to the vest for a little while longer.

That's it for this year, thanks for reading, and playing with us in 2022!. We are very grateful for all of you and wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year in 2023!

Cheers!

Modern Warfare 2 Gameplay Trailer Brings the Action
posted on: Thursday, June 09, 2022


Summer is here, the days are longer, the weather is hotter, and the game industry hype is shifting into gear! Today we get our first look at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 gameplay in their world reveal trailer and it looks as bombastic and out of control as you might imagine.

So grab a Red Bull and strap into your chair because this is going to be a wild ride.



Blackjack Masters Party is now available for your iPad!
posted on: Thursday, March 17, 2022


Now you can take the party with you anywhere with Blackjack Masters Party for iPad!

Blackjack Masters Party is a four-player version of our highly rated game Blackjack Masters that allows you and 3 friends to gather together and have an authentic blackjack experience at home or on the go. Blackjack Masters Party will help you to learn 21 and practice your blackjack skills while playing with your friends or on your own. Learn when to split your hand, whether or not you should purchase insurance, and when is the best time to double down. The game also keeps track of the card count with each hand so you can practice your card counting skills.

Game Features

  • Local Multiplayer: Play with 1-4 players at a time and get an authentic Blackjack experience.
  • World Tour: Start in Atlantic City and play your way around the world! Unlock up to 6 casinos with different tables and card decks.
  • Basic Strategy: Learn the best move to make for each hand with Basic Strategy helpers.
  • Card Counting: Hi-Lo Card Counting helpers teach you when to vary your bet based on the state of the game.
  • Real Casino Rules: Double Down, Split to 2 Hands, Dealer hits soft 17, Insurance Pays 2:1, Blackjack pays 3:2, and a 6 Deck Shoe
  • Small Fry to High Roller: Start with a stack of $1000 and build it up to over $25,000!
  • Drop in and Drop Out: Players can jump in or leave the table between each hand.
  • Now available to be played anywhere with your iPad
  • No Ads and No In-app Purchases, just a great time for you and your fiends




How to Purchase

You can always search for Blackjack Masters Party on the App Store but why not just tap the giant icon above and let us take you right to the store ourselves! Blackjack Masters Party is only $3.99, which is less than one hand of Blackjack at a casino, and it will let you and your friends play as much as you want, anywhere you have your iPad!

We are so excited to have Blackjack Masters Party available for iPad and we can't wait for you to play it. If you pick up the game please let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook.


Blackjack Masters Party
Blackjack Masters Party World Tour Update is now available on the Infinity Game Table™ by Arcade1Up
posted on: Wednesday, February 09, 2022


It's time to take your Blackjack game on the road with the new World Tour update for Blackjack Masters Party! With this new update you can unlock 6 casinos from around the world, each with their own table design and card decks. Can you make it all the way to Monte Carlo?

Blackjack Masters Party has been a great success for us on the Infinity Game Table™ by Arcade1Up and we are really excited to release this update for our players. In addition to the new casinos we have also polished the game by squashing bugs, improving animations, pumping up the sound volume (based on player request) and added some new gameplay helpers.



This update adds Blackjack Basic Strategy helpers to the game that will help players learn the best action to take for their hand in the earlier casinos. Blackjack Basic Strategy is based on the statistical odds of success for any given player hand and the visible dealer card. While playing with these helpers players will be able to check their 'gut' before hitting one more time.

Blackjack Masters Party Features

  • Local Multiplayer: Play with 1-4 players at a time and get an authentic Blackjack experience.
  • World Tour: Start in Atlantic City and play your way around the world! Unlock up to 6 casinos with different tables and card decks.
  • Real Casino Rules: Double Down, Split to 2 Hands, Dealer hits soft 17, Insurance Pays 2:1, Blackjack pays 3:2, and a 6 Deck Shoe
  • Basic Strategy: Learn the best move to make for each hand with Basic Strategy helpers.
  • Card Counting: Hi-Lo Card Counting helpers teach you when to vary your bet based on the state of the game.
  • Small Fry to High Roller: Start with a stack of $1000 and build it up to over $25,000!
  • Drop in and Drop Out: Players can jump in or leave the table between each hand.
  • Designed exclusively for the Infinity Game Table by Arcade1Up


How to Purchase

It couldn't be easier to get the party started. Just fire up your Infinity Game Table™ and look for the icon below in The Store. Tap on the icon and then tap on the price button to start the purchase process. Blackjack Masters Party is only $4.99, which is less than one hand of Blackjack at a casino, and it will let you and your friends play until the wee hours, whenever you want!



We are so excited to release the Blackjack Masters Party World Tour update for Infinity Game Table™ owners. If you play the update please let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook.


2021 Recap and a Look Ahead to 2022
posted on: Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year!


It is the last day of 2021, and hopefully better days are ahead. I have been writing an end of year post since, at least, 2015. I have always seen it as a way to recap the year and look forward to what is to come, but last year, I just couldn't do it. 2020 was such a difficult year that it seemed like writing a post about video games was just wrong somehow. This year, however, we're back. While 2021 has definitely had its share of problems as well I believe that there truly are better days ahead and that the end of the pandemic is here. So, grab a drink, get comfortable, and let's take a look back at 2021 in gaming and talk about what might be coming our way in 2022.

F5 Games News from 2021

I am happy to say that we have some F5 Games news to discuss from 2021, in fact we had a great year. Blackjack Masters has continued to do well for us on iOS and Android but the biggest news for F5 this year was our collaboration with Arcade 1Up and the release of their Infinity Game Table. We were a Kickstarter backer for the Infinity Game Table product because, as soon as I saw the Kickstarter video, I knew it was something I wanted to develop for. I love the idea of having a large, shared, multitouch gaming space to design around and I wanted to do what I could to make it a reality. After launch we reached out to Arcade1Up about developing for the IGT and they graciously agreed! In August we announced the collaboration and in November we released Blackjack Masters Party for the Infinity Game Table! The launch of Blackjack Masters Party has been one of the best in our history and we couldn't be happier about how developing for the IGT has turned out.

But, Blackjack is only the beginning! We have multiple new game ideas in the design phase for the Infinity Game Table in 2022 and our next game is already heavy in development. So there is a lot more coming in the new year from F5 Games!



F5 Game Awards for 2021

2021 has been a mixed year in many respects. While the 'next generation' has technically started it has been slow getting out of the gate. With console supply problems and a lack of truly next-gen games it has felt more like when you upgrade your PC and want to see how well it runs all your old favorites than a standard new console generation. With that said, there have still been some great gaming experience this year and while I have continued my pattern of playing fewer and fewer games each year I still have a few that I would like to celebrate.

Here we go...

The "Don't Call It A Comeback Award" - Metroid Dread



There are games that have long development cycles, and then there is Metroid Dread. Dread was originally intended as a sequel to the GBA Metroid Fusion and was planned to appear at E3 in 2005! After numerous setbacks and delays it was decided that the technology of the time just wasn't up to the challenge of presenting Dread the way it was intended. And so, it sat for 15 years, waiting for the time to be right.

Thankfully, that time was 2021 and Metroid Dread completely delivers. All of the classic Metroid gameplay is reborn in Dread and married to fluid new controls and fantastic action. The new EMMI enemies stalk you through world and instill a genuine form of Dread in you every time you cross paths with them.

Metroid Dread was a long time coming, but it was definitely worth the wait.


The "Victory from the jaws of Defeat Award" - Halo Infinite


Halo Infinite had some development issues of its own. After a few lackluster sequels Halo was in need of rebirth. But, when it was unveiled in late 2020, Halo Infinite didn't instill much hope. While the concept of a more open-world Halo was intriguing it was clear that the game wasn't fully baked, and there wasn't enough time to get it ready for a release that Christmas. Thankfully, Microsoft gave 343 the time they needed to achieve their vision and Halo Infinite released this November to rave reviews and a great reception from gamers everywhere.

While I haven't made it very far into Infinite at this point I was really blown away by the opening areas. It felt great to be back in the boots of Master Chief and taking it to the Covenant Banished. I also really appreciate the dialog between Master Chief and his pilot companion, it felt very fitting for the year we have just completed. Sometimes we all need a Hero to help pick us back up and get us back on the right path.

Here's to Halo being back on the right track again.


The "Polishing a Diamond Award" - Monster Hunter Rise


Ah, Monster Hunter. I was a late comer to the Monster Hunter obsession, my first game in the series was Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Wii U. I fell hard for MH3U and easily sunk over 100 hours into mastering its weapons and conquering its motley crew of monsters. Since then, however, I haven't been able to recreate that magic with any of the sequels, until this year with Monster Hunter Rise.

Monster Hunter Rise, for the Nintendo Switch, does so much to streamline the Monster Hunter experience. The quality of life improvements that began in Monster Hunter World are cranked up to 11 in Rise and it really makes the entire experience so much more enjoyable. When you combine that with the improved mobility, awesome array of weapons, and always challenging monsters, Rise is definitely not a game to be missed.

With all of the gameplay already available in Rise, and the upcoming expansion SunBreak this Summer, there is a great chance I will still be out hunting monsters this time next year. If you haven't yet, give Monster Hunter Rise a try.


Looking ahead to wonderful new year in 2022

I really feel that better things await us all in 2022. On the gaming front, there are some great releases scheduled; Elden Ring and Horizon: Forbidden West in February, Redfall and Starfield for Xbox, and hopefully the Breath of the Wild Sequel, Bayonetta 3, and Metroid Prime 4 for the Switch. Assuming things continue to trend in the right direction we should have a banner year for gaming in 2022.

As I mentioned at the top of the article, we also have a lot of great things planned for 2022 at F5 Games. We are finishing up an update for Blackjack Masters Party and we are also hard at work on our next all new game for the Infinity Game Table. We are finally getting back to one of our favorite genres and working on an all new RPG! We can't wait to share more with all of you about what we are working on but we want it to be a little further along before we start giving out details. You'll just have to stay tuned here and on Twitter for more updates in the new year.

That's it for this year, thanks for reading, and playing with us!. We are all very grateful that you are here with us on this journey. Here's to the end of 2021 and a fantastic 2022!

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas from F5 Games
posted on: Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The last few weeks have been a blur. Since the launch of Blackjack Masters Party for the Infinity Game Table it seems like things have been moving at a million miles an hour. Blackjack Masters Party has had a very successful launch, actually one of the most successful in our history, and we couldn't be happier with how the game is performing. Since launch, we have been hard at work on an update to the game that should be available in January, as well as work on our next title that will hopefully launch in the first half of 2022. Things are busy.

Today, however, I want to take a minute to step back and enjoy this moment, and the season of Christmas.

It is very easy to get caught up in the 'hustle and bustle' of the Christmas season. There are parties to throw, shopping to do, gifts to wrap, it can all become a bit overwhelming. But I believe it is important to remember what this season is really all about.



Jesus Christ was born in a manger to bring light back to the world. He made of himself the most perfect gift that could ever be given. It is the gift of his life, and ultimately his death, that redeemed us and opened the gates of Heaven to each and every one of us. The miracle of His birth is what brings us together at Christmas. His gift of self is what we, ever so poorly, try to celebrate with the gifts that we give each other. It is through Jesus alone that we can understand and experience the true joy of Christmas.

With that in mind, I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas from all of us at F5 Games.

F5 Games is an independent game developer in Tulsa Oklahoma. We strive to create the very best in tablet and mobile games.