Atari was once a giant of video game innovation, but now it's a troll -- a company that produces nothing except legal threats -- and its latest project is to get the US Patent and Trademark Office to give it the right to decide who can make haunted house games, and charge the lucky few for the privilege. Read the rest
The internet is addicted to Slither.io, a startlingly compulsive multiplayer mashup of the classic "Snake" game and Tron's "Light Cycles": block other snakes with your body, watch them explode into a cloud of orbs, then eat the glowing remains in order to grow longer and larger. It's a game of fast reactions, split-second decisions and low-latency internet connections.
Naturally, then, I wondered what it would be like as a text adventure. Read the rest
On the always excellent Expanding Mind podcast, we hear from Jeremy Crawford, one of the designers of the new 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons.
"We discuss identity, the multicultural multiverse, Eastern Orthodoxy, and the sacred absurdity of terrible dice rolls," says host Erik Davis.
Rocket Lee writes, "In Bloc by Bloc: The Insurrection Game, players struggle together to overthrow a repressive government and liberate a randomized city that changes with each game. To win, players must build barricades, loot shopping centers, occupy strategic locations, clash with riot cops and defend liberated zones before time runs out and the military arrives. Each player is also dealt an individual faction agenda and those with Vanguardist or Nihilist agendas are secretly playing to win the game alone." Read the rest
Retro Report did a short feature on the moral panics about D&D in the 1980s. It's a fun, 13 minute look back at the moment when D&D totally changed a bunch of kids' lives, only to be vilified and literally demonized by opportunistic members of the religious right. Read the rest
Beginning in July 2014 and continuing to April 2015, someone (possibly Ian Bogost) maintained an obsessive Tumblr site about whether Ian Bogost, an eminent and brilliant video games critic and editor of a spectacular series on everyday objects, would buy a pressure washer, and if so, which one. Read the rest
The 64 is a crowdfunded rebuild of the classic Commodore 64, to ship with an as-yet-unannounced collection of games and software from the beloved gaming platform. Read the rest
I love playing clever puzzle games with friends and for years my go to company has been ThinkFun. They’ve just released a title with the claim of “teaching the basics of computer programming without a computer”. The designer of Code Master is an ex NASA virtual reality simulations programmer named Mark Engelberg and I think he’s hit his mark.
Like most of ThinkFun’s games, it comes with an ingenious, well-ramped set of levels that teaches new mechanics as you go. Even though the later levels are driving me batty, the “Huzzah!” moments encourage me to keep playing long after I should have gone to bed.
You play the role of an adventurer who needs to collect gems on each level before escaping through a Portal. To aid you in your quest you’ll need to “write a program” that moves your hero across the map.
To write the program you’ll need to order a random set of movement tokens that allows your avatar to travel on appropriately colored paths.
For the level shown above, you’re movement tokens are 1 red, 1 blue and 2 greens and must be placed in the following order to make it from start to finish.
This particular level may seem simple but believe me – the game ramps to insane levels of difficulty!
Early on you’ll be introduced to special paths that only allow your Avatar to move in the direction the arrows are pointing and Loop paths that bring your Avatar back to his current position. Read the rest
Eve Online ("spreadsheets in space") is the infamously intricate massively multiplayer space trade/conquest game where real cash can be exchanged for in-game currency , making the battles fought there consequential in a way that sets it apart from other games. Read the rest
Kolejka ("Queue") is a popular satirical Polish board game that lampoons life under Stalinist rule; the Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has banned publisher IPN, the Polish "Institute of National Remembrance," from distributing its Russian version of the game unless they remove "anti-Russian" elements that are "excessively critical" of the USSR. Read the rest