Do you remember when I wrote about Gondola? Did you tragically lose a half a day to its rapacious mechanisms?
Well, I nearly didn’t get this piece about SpaceChem written. I didn’t want to stop playing long enough to write it. So be careful, it’ll eat a chunk of your day (or even days) and it’ll eat twenty bucks. You might also be afflicted with high levels of intellectual stimulation and fun. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It’s taken me a while to really nut out what it is that I do not like about achievements.
Achievements commoditise gameplay. They turn fun into commerce.
The 13th IGF is drawing to a close this year, and the list of finalists provides some very stiff competition, particularly with the likes of Minecraft and SpyParty in the mix.
Check out the list of finalists, and maybe even try one or two of them out.
I’d seriously sweated for my midterms. Astrology, dialectic and calligraphy, I felt I had in the bag. Arithmetic and geometry, well, I figured I could get by on geometry with the extra-credit work that I’d done.
Incantation, though. Why had I taken incantation – one of the toughest branches of magic – this year instead of something like botany? Pride? The lure of being able to bend the forces of nature with a well-tuned wand? Whatever it was, I just knew I was going to make a poor showing on my midterms, and I had a lot to make up before the finals. I didn’t dare wash out.
All in all, I’m glad I picked up Academagia: The Making of Mages. I played it right through, and I had an awesome time with it.
Today was to be the announcement of an Australian R18+ rating for games – or lack thereof. Today it is a lack, because unanimity is required, and one State Attorney General held back.
If we accept that a ratings system for films, television and suchlike are necessary to protect children, then it is likewise necessary to have parity by applying the same ratings categories to games. The average age of gamers is now 35 – the same average age as that of film-goers.
Every month a number games that would rightly earn an R18+ rating (if one were available) and be restricted from sale to minors are instead categorised as MA15+ and permitted to be sold to under-18s.
The appeal of mercenary company simulators is somewhat more broadly-based than other gaming genres, as they tend to (more or less) successfully blend strategic, tactical and logistical tasks into an appealing framework. Choose your work, or your targets, select your personnel, make sure everyone’s equipped, fed and getting paid, fight your battles – and maybe get some looting and pillaging in on the side.
Here are my pet picks from the genre, in no specific order.
This is sort of awkward. I don’t want to tell you about this game.
That’s because I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Let’s pull some adjectives out of the bag. It’s refreshing, surprising, haunting and surreal.
Got that? Good. Play it now!
For the rest of you who are still here, I’m wondering quite how to describe this without giving you the wrong impression.
One of the great frustrations I have with the gaming industry is … well, games that don’t work.
Not just issues with drivers, hardware configurations, and system specs and all of that, but games where the gameplay is simply broken in some fundamental manner.
For the last little while, I’ve been meaning to write something about Minecraft. About how the limitations breed creativity and how simple, approachable, and rock-solid systems (even though it is a rolling alpha) provide a supportive foundation for complex creation.
I’ve been thinking about The Sims 3 and Bioshock 2, and Dragon Age and other titles which I just haven’t picked up (and it doesn’t look like I am likely to). I know why that is. It’s the DLC/addons.