Combo Pool: simple, amazingly addictive browser game


Combo Pool is simple and great fun: use the arrows to aim your ball, and hit c to fire it.

It's a game where you throw colored marbles against each other. If two marbles of the same color make contact, they merge and upgrade to the next color. Your lifebar diminish with the number of balls on the field. If you lifebar is empty, you enter in a sudden death mode, and your last ball must save you by removing some balls.

Controls : use arrows left-right to adjust direction, and key "c" to launch a ball. Click on the game to give it focus if buttons doesnt work.

It's made with Pico 8, a "fantasy console" that enforces strict technical limitations on what your games can do. The result is a growing library of perfectly-designed, disciplined 8-bit style game projects. They're often tantalizing suggestions of how good the video games of an 80s childhood should have been, but weren't.

You can cheat by only ever firing straight up, but even then you can get in trouble because of the number of balls that form on the axis. Other suggestions for refining the game: allow players to hold the button to determine how powerful a shot to release, and have a button to hold that allows more refined angles.

Here's my best score: Read the rest

Power Glove oven-mitt


Celebrate the golden era of useless-but-cool-looking gamer peripherals with the Power Mitt, a $15 oven mitt that comes in lefty or righty. (via Wonderland) Read the rest

Farkle is a fun dice game


Farkle is a simple dice rolling strategy game that we sometimes play. If you have Yahtzee or Tenzi at at home, you can use the dice and these rules. If you don't have dice, Amazon is selling the Farkle dice game for $5. For that, you get five dice, a plastic cup, rules, and a scoring pad. Read the rest

Illegal "Warranty Void If Removed" still ubiquitous: they're on the Xbox One S


The tamper-evident "Warrant Void If Removed" stickers violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, which allows device owners to take their gadgets for service at independent depots without voiding their warranties. Read the rest

Tarot decks curated


Fuck Yeah Tarot Decks is a tumblr dedicated to the resurgence of interest—tinged as it is in irony and self-reflection—in divinatory decks and the many awesome franchises and tropes they can be adapted to. The amazing thing you see above? $1 at Dollar Tree. [via Metafilter] Read the rest

Vast collection of Amiga games, demos and software uploaded to Internet Archive


The world's first psychedelic computer enters the universal library. And it all runs in the browser, meaning you'll never have to hunt for Workbench disk images again. Read the rest

Nintendo Power at Internet Archive (Update: Nintendo yanked it)


Every issue of Nintendo Power published between 1988 and 2001 is available at the Internet Archive. With all the tips, tricks and maps, one can "behold crudely drawn comics of Battletoads," writes Rob Dean.

Update: Nintendo yanked it. Boo! Read the rest

"Augs Lives Matter": Black Lives Matter co-opted for a scifi game, but creators claim coincidence


When you've been caught appropriating that hottest of cakes—the name of a contemporary political movement—one has two fair options: either (1) take your work seriously and make a case why it's clever/smart/funny/interesting, or (2) apologize and fuck off. But Andre Vu, the "global executive brand director" of forthcoming sci-fi videogame Deus Ex:Mankind Divided, thinks he has a third way out: to claim it's a coincidence.

A back-and-forth with BioWare designer Manveer Heir led to Vu’s comments and other defenses of the campaign slogan. Vu chalked up widespread interpretations of "Augs Live Matters" as piggybacking on the similarly named social media movement to an out-of-context "hate wagon."

"You are criticizing our integrity and the fact we try to abuse of recent event when it isn’t the case," Vu wrote in response to Heir’s criticism that the ad was "a bad look... These words were thought in our game way before the current events," Vu said. "Unfortunate coincidence for sure."

How on Earth does he expect to be taken seriously?

The game, which tackles issues of segregation in a futuristic dystopia, already raised eyebrows after the company making it put out a bizarre statement reassuring players that 'Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s portrayal of government-mandated segregation is presented "as neutral as possible,"' as if apartheid itself were a subject upon which neutrality was a reasonable position.

Looking forward to Deus Ex:I Love My Augness, And Yours and the sequel Deus Ex:Oh My God JC It's A Bomb Read the rest

Fantastic DIY miniature Nintendo Entertainment System


Daftmike made a fantastic miniature Nintendo Entertainment System that's 40% the size of the original. It consists of a Raspberry Pi inside a 3D-printed case that he designed and a selection of mini-cartridges containing NFC tags that are read by the Raspberry Pi. Beautiful work!

NESPI (daftmike)

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8-Bit Cinema: great films reimagined as classic video games

animation (1)

We've featured David Dutton's 8-Bit Cinema many times over the past 8 years, but this astounding showreel demonstrates that his canon is wider, deeper and cooler that you might realize. Read the rest

Card Caddy: a card-game box that's also a discard pile

Card Caddy is a cool invention: a $6 snap-lock case that holds your card-game cards securely in your bag, but unsnaps and reconnects to form its own discard pile; a hole in the case lets you tell at a glance which game you have in it. Read the rest

Dungeon Morph: make an infinite role-playing dungeon with dice


Each face of a Dungeon Morph die features an interlinking section of dungeons, caves, wilderness or medieval city: simply push a set of five together and remove and re-roll as needed to create a never-ending map for your adventures.

DungeonMorph Dice Adventurer Set [Amazon link; see also the other sets]

They also come in the form of a square deck of 90 double-sided cards.

There's something about this sort of thing that throws a hook into my brain and reels me in. Read the rest

Olympics to companies: mentioning "Olympics" in social media is a trademark violation


The US Olympics Committee has sent a letter to companies that sponsor athletes but don't sponsor the games, warning them that mentioning the Olympics in social media is a trademark violation. Read the rest

Young man reiterates need for "Trump in America" after in-game defeat


In this homophobic NSFW rant, a young gentleman who had lost a game of NBA 2K16 explains to his team-mates why the outcome demonstrates the need for Trump in America.

Illustration: Veciits

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Watch language evolve as little sims wander around a grid of islands


Language Evolution Simulation is exactly that, showing words changing little by little as time passes in a tiny world with three islands. It's agent-based, which is to say that it models little computer folk interacting with one another to simulate the little mutations that add up over time.


If an agent intersects with another, selects a word from the own vocabulary and tells that. The neighborhood receives and adds that word into its vocabulary as

- Mutation of a vowel sound with 0.1 probability

- Mutation of a const sound with 0.1 probability

- Compounding with another word with 0.1 probability

- Without any mutation

There's nothing to do but watch words change, but it feels like the underpinning of a very strange computer game about culture.

I love agent-based models; check out this simulation of political cliques I made. It randomly generates several personalities, who then go around and bicker or flatter one another. It's very bland and primitive, made in Flash, and the "next turn" text is rather fiddly to click. But I've always had plans on expanding it into a more fully featured game. Read the rest

Cosplay at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International: 10 amazing fan portraits

A cosplayer at Comic-Con on July 22, 2016 in San Diego. Source: IMGUR, photo by Matt Cowan

San Diego Comic-Con International has concluded for 2016, but these amazing photos of dedicated cosplayers at the event will live on.

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Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space


Osprey Publishing, the UK-based military history publisher beloved by wargamers and toy soldier nerds for their amazing Men at Arms series (which lovingly details the uniforms and accoutrements of war), has been expanding into gaming in a big way recently. They've been responsible for the increasingly popular skirmish-level dungeon-delving miniatures game, Frostgrave, the hugely popular Bolt Action (which they distribute through a publishing partnership with Warlord Games), and a growing number of excellent miniature rules sets covering everything from historicals to fantasy, sci-fi, and horror.

Another notable thing they've been doing is re-vamping existing games that had a lot of promise but had some rules problems, or component issues, or some other crippling flaw that limited their appeal on their first release. They've been re-doing these games in gorgeous new editions. One such game is Odin's Ravens, which I previously reviewed here. They also recently released a lovely, revamped edition of the very trippy The Ravens of Thri Sahashri, a Japanese cooperative card game where players enter the mind of a character and try and repair her memories and guide her to safety before she goes insane with ravens eating her mind. Another notable example of this revitalizing of a promising title is their recent "Ultimate Edition" of Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space.

The lovely and unusual components and packaging of Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space.

Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space is a card-based hidden movement, hidden identity game of deception and bluffing. Read the rest

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