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Play "Ennuigi," starring a depressed, smoking Luigi

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In Josh Millard's excellent "game" Ennuigi, you are invited to "spend some time with a depressed, laconic Luigi as he chain smokes and wanders through a crumbling Mushroom Kingdom, ruminating on ontology, ethics, family, identity, and the mistakes he and his brother have made."

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Felicia Day's "You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)"

Felicia Day's memoir You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) starts off as a cute, snarky story about how a quirky upbringing turned Day into a nerd superhero; by the end, it's become an illuminating, frank look at the commercial realities, injustices and insecurities that everyone trying to earn a living online must confront.Read the rest

Scientist studies Diplomacy game to reveal early signs of betrayal

Cornell computer scientist Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil analyzed messages sent between players of strategy game Diplomacy to tease out early signs of future betrayal. A computer algorithm then predicted betrayal correctly 57 percent of the time, which is way better than the players themselves did.

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We Are Legion: a battlefield game with no limit on army size

The gameplay video preview starts out mildly unimpressive, showing soldiers in their dozens milling around, unable to even go diagonally. Then it starts zooming out.

Ancient China, 220 AD. China is in disarray and within years the population plummets from 60 million to less than 20 million. Massive war involving millions of men devastates the land. When General Huangfu Song 義真 was asked how he got around the unit caps to build such massive armies, he replied “小馬是世界上最好的開發商” which in the barbarian tongue of English means roughly, “What the %$#^ are unit caps, this is war!”

Forget about micro. Forget about build orders. This war is about one thing. Ridiculous, uncompromising, seething masses of blood hungry warriors massacring each other by the hundreds every second.

There is no unit cap. Control armies of hundreds of thousands, even millions. Send orders to a single unit, or send orders to a million units. Frantically maintain control of your resources across epic sized maps, while constantly building out your fleet of barracks to churn out millions of more units.

There's something genuinely scary about the sheer number of sprites getting wiped out there! I humbly suggest that rather than Chinese antiquity, this game instead be recast as LEMMINGS: TOTAL WAR.

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Quick strategy game: Eight Minute Empire: Legends

To address the obvious, strategy games are notorious for taking exhaustive amounts of time to play, but Eight Minute Empire: Legends ($20) streamlines traditional rules to such an extent that it is possible to complete a game in just eight minutes. Or so one would hope. Some degree of agonizing over choices will still slow a game down, but it is entirely possible to complete the game relatively quickly. To the original game Eight Minute Empire, the “Legends” subtitle introduces a pretty standard fantasy setting and artwork. However, we are spared unnecessary lore and backstory. It also adds additional rules to vary game-play while still sticking to the time-sensitive nature suggested in the game’s name.

Setup of the game consists of laying out four island gameboard pieces in any scheme the players desire and player armies occupy the same regions at the outset of the game. Actual combat is minimal and the impetus instead is on maneuvering around regions and islands so as to outnumber opponents at endgame. Each player turn begins with a card being chosen from six which lay face-up and have a scaled price attached to them. Players have limited funds, which do not replenish. As one card is chosen, all cards of higher price slide down the scale and a new card is flipped up to occupy the highest price-point. Players can pay the high price or gamble on cards still being available for a lower price when their next turn comes around. Cards are all unique and give an immediate action and a lasting ability. Actions serve to allow movement, add armies, build a new city, or eliminate an enemy army in a contested region. Abilities continue for the remainder of the game and can increase movement, provide bonus armies, give immunity to attack, or in some way increase endgame victory points. The cards are themed around fantastical creatures and sublime landscape-realms. And all the artwork is exceedingly pretty.

No two games will be alike as there are many upon many slight variations and additional content that can be added to a game, from portals to dragon quests. And, thankfully, this content is included with the base game. The modular game board tile configurations vary the arena and each of the four tiles is two-sided with a different island realm on the reverse. Additionally, if you're anything like me, you can make up some house rules to slightly alter your gaming experience and even if you develop a poor house rule the game will be over in eight minutes. It is as good playing head-to-head as with three or four players. It is a simple game to learn and every beginner should easily become a legendary emperor at least once in less than an hour. Much as I sometimes prefer those more complex and risky board games, the straightforward play of Eight Minute Empires: Legends allows for replay, experimentation and many chances to win. – Stephen Webb

Eight Minute Empire: Legends
by Red Raven Games
Ages 13 and up, 2-4 players
$20 Buy a copy on Amazon

See more photos at Wink Fun.

The Dwarven Lord of Kickstarter

How sculptor and Dwarven Forge founder Stefan Pokorny raised $6.5 million—and gave you the dungeon of your dreams Read the rest

When online security is literally a roll of the dice, which dice do you use?

My search for an easy way to generate strong passwords and passphrases led me to the "Diceware" method Cory wrote about on Boing Boing. This was no game. I needed serious dice.Read the rest

Watch this guy solve a 7x7 Rubik's cube in record-breaking time

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Australian speedsolver Feliks Zemdegs has set a new official world record for the shortest time in which to solve a 7x7 Rubik's cube: 2:23.55.

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New owner will cover Ouya's pledges to game developers

ouya-a-99-hackable-android-game-console-designed-by-yves-beharIndie game console creator Ouya was bought by gaming peripheral company Razer. Problem! Ouya pledged indie devs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Solution: Razer will cover the tab.

Run Boy Run: fabulous music video packed with scenes and sprites ripped from 8- and 16-bit classic games.

This cover of WoodKid's song is by Victorians, and with a video by Odislaw, is the perfect antidote to "Pixels." Can you list all the games that the hero from Karateka leaps through?

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Trials Frontier: a well-designed motorcycle world exploration game

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Beautifully art-directed, responsive and fun, this game finds me playing it way too much. And it's not just a sandbox: there are oodles of quests, interesting characters and bikes to unlock along the way.

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The Post-It Note company's obscure boardgames

High adventure in the world of high finance! Wait! Don't fall asleep just yet…Read the rest

The “Amen!” Game: 1970s Christian board game, scanned online for you to play

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The “Amen! Game,” a Bible trivia version of Bingo from 1973.

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OgoSport Discs let you play volleyball, Frisbee, or paddle ball

My daughter got a Mini OgoSport Discs set as a gift last March and we finally broke it open last week. It has quickly tied first place with bocce ball as our new favorite outdoor summer game. Like miniature portable trampolines, these 12-inch discs can send the “ball” (a rubber stringy pom) bouncing higher than a hundred feet and are perfect for a game of Ogo-style volleyball (volleying without a net or formal rules). You can also throw a disc like a Frisbee, or play it like paddle ball without the attached elastic string. Lightweight and small enough to toss into a backpack, I look forward to packing it up the next time we head for the beach.

See more photos at Wink Fun.

Mini OgoSport Discs
by Ogo Sport
Ages 4-99
$28 Buy one on Amazon

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who launched Wii, dies of cancer at 55

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Nintendo issued a brief statement tonight on the death of Satoru Iwata, the gamer and programmer who served as the Japanese gaming company's fourth president and CEO.

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Humble Game Making Bundle: name your price for amazing game dev tools


Joel writes, "Humble Bundle is currently offering a massive amount of game development tools for a very tiny price. Several game engines, art tools, asset packs to help make your games, and more are all in the pack for $10-12."

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49 Boxes: a most incredible shared experience

Michael Borys' magical participatory experience is art, and puzzles, and story, and music—and so much more. Read the rest