Tag Archives: Gaming

Feeling Board

Despite being a habitual video gamer, I still enjoy the old analogue games we used to play in the old days – before everything took batteries or came with a plug attached. Actually, I’m probably thinking back to a time when you had to fit your own plug.

Risk and Monopoly were two games that were often dug out during the caravan holidays of my youth. In fact a game of Risk could fill an entire holiday, mired in a perpetual stalemate as it often was.

I liked the idea of Cluedo, but preferred its Asian cousin Mysteries of Old Peking. I’m sure it has been re-released under a new name recently, but I don’t know if it still has the little red strip of plastic for reading coded messages – a form of technology employed by The Transformers to hide their tech specs.

The Great Escape followed the plot of the movie, in board game format. It was so complex with so many objectives to manage, I reckon you could trade in an afternoon’s play for a GNVQ in Prison Escapology.

A lot of board games have been replaced by more convenient and more portable app versions. This is fine, but much like how reading an ebook loses some of the tactile pleasure of a tree-book, they’re not quite the same. I reckon the world is more than big enough for both of them anyway, so I’ll keep on chucking those dice.

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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Gaming, Holidays, Technology


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Ghost In The Machine

Rather unhelpfully my laptop was playing up at the weekend, though luckily it wasn’t anything that needed more than a graphics card driver update. Relatively simply games with only 2D graphics were running in slow motion, which was frustrating. My PC is no gaming powerhouse but it has always been adequate for my needs.

One of the games that I’ve now been able to go back to is ‘Analogue : A Hate Story.’ By no means a new release, it’s one of those games I downloaded in a Steam sale and hadn’t got round to spending much time with. Harking back to old ZX Spectrum/BBC Micro adventure games, the interface is largely text based with some pointing and clicking. Your character is investigating the circumstances surrounding the fate of an abandoned spaceship. You use the restricted interface to gradually piece together the events that led up to the ship being in the state you find it. The only ‘person’ onboard is the ship’s AI (artificial intelligence) who takes the form of a young girl.

I’m about halfway through the game and things have just taken a very interesting twist. When you only have one person to speak to, you take their opinions as fact – after all, there is nothing to compare them with that could contradict their statements. As I have been digging through the archives and logs on this ghost ship, I’ve now found a second witness to what took place and what happened to the passengers.

This new character has a very different take on the people and events described in the letters and documents I’ve been reading up until now. Having this second opinion has made me question and challenge what I had previously assumed to be true. Soon I will have to make a decision as to who I will side with.

Overal, the game may be low on action but it slowly drip-feeds you a fascinating story. The limitations of the user interface really helps with the pacing here. In addition, the ambient electronic soundtrack also gives it a great atmosphere, as you float through space onboard an empty ship. There are shades of ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ in this game and I might have just spent the last few hours talking to HAL’s daughter.


Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Books, Gaming, Movies, Sci Fi


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I’ve just started playing Zenonia on the 3DS, well the DSi version, downloaded via the Nintendo eShop. Since Nintendo don’t bother to put their own action RPGs on the eShop (Zelda, I’m looking at you – and emulated Gameboy Color games don’t really cut the mustard) then Zenonia is a good alternative.

The Korean text has been reasonably well translated, though some of the dialogue seems oddly structured. However, there’s nothing like the ‘All your bases are belong to us…’ of Megadrive days gone by. When setting out on a new quest though there is that perpetual dilemma faced by all Dungeoneers – which class to choose?

When I used to play Gauntlet, I’d usually be Questor the Elf, fastest character with the fastest shot. Unfortunately he also had the weakest armour. Here, my choices are Warrior, Paladin or Assassin – but at this stage I’m not sure how the classes differ. The main differences are aesthetic now, but could have huge consequences later in the game. I could cheat and check online, or I could take a chance and let the fickle finger of fate decide how my character will develop as his adventure unfolds.

I’m feeling lucky about this quest, so I’ll take a chance. Now where do I sign up to become an Assassin…?

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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Gaming, Sci Fi


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Catching ’em All

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting and fun day, not just because it’s a Friday, but because it’s the European release day of the two new Pokemon games : Black and White 2. Like fish fingers in custard, you either like this series or you don’t. It’s not really something that you go for in small doses. The novelty of these latest games is that they are sequels that follow on from the previous editions, instead of being set in a new region of the fictional Pokemon world with a new cast of characters. The games are repetitive to some and comfortably familiar to others – I am in that latter camp. I’m a sucker for grinding RPGs that steadily feed you a trickle of positive reinforcement and new features. Pokemon games are typified by this so I’ll be choosing Pokemon White 2 tomorrow since I went for the original White version last time around.

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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in Gaming, Monsters


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