Tag Archive: Games

Reactions from PAX East 2012

April 9, 2012 7:50 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Along with the pictures I took at PAX East — mostly of the predictably solid tabletop and arcade sections — here are some brief thoughts and reactions:

  • Played a couple hours of D&D with some pre-rolled characters. That was more fun than I expected.
  • The expo floor and PC freeplay were both a lot bigger this year, which meant that the storefront and tabletop areas got shrunk. In fact, the tabletop area was packed for most of both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Tried to get into the Diablo III line, but it was super long every time we showed up, even first thing on Easter Sunday.
  • In fact, the PC freeplay sessions were limited to a mere 30 minutes this year, which was really not long enough to get a good session in. We heard rumors of a lot of political turmoil around the PC
  • Driver: San Francisco has a really cool premise, and I enjoyed the driving physics a lot.
  • We played a whole lot of tabletop. Power Grid is interesting, but it’s lonngggg, and I can understand the criticism of calling it “Excel: The Game”.
  • Small World is fantastic; I would have bought it immediately if it wasn’t $60.
  • Magical Athlete is way more fun than it deserves to be.
  • Saboteur was a wonderful game for a group of 8 people who all only sorta knew each other.
  • The Omeganaut finale of Crokinole was inspired.
  • Boy am I glad PAX East will be in Boston for ten more years. I was worried that after this year, it’d move elsewhere on the east coast. Nice to know it’s staying.

StarCraft 2 review

July 31, 2010 4:41 pm Published by 1 Comment

I’ve now played StarCraft 2 for two days. I’ve finished five missions on the single-player campaign, and played a handful of co-op multiplayer games. If you had asked me to describe the game based on the Beta, I would have said it was just StarCraft HD. Higher resolution, more beautiful, some new tech, but the gameplay is identical. The single player campaign, though, is where this game really shines. The original StarCraft’s single player was essentially a series of levels that got steadily harder and had some story connecting them. The sequel turns makes the stages non-linear, introduces credits as reward for some stages that you can then use to hire mercenary units when you’re in a bind for near-instant help or spend on research to improve units, and secondary objectives in some missions allow you to earn alien research points you can use to improve buildings. The original game only had ten Terran missions, and I’m willing to bet there are triple that in this game. Plus there are probably seven hundred achievements.

The multiplayer is fun, but you kinda need to be a semi-professional to do well at it. As Splatta said the other day, that seems too much like work.

Rainslick Precipices

May 22, 2008 7:32 pm Published by 2 Comments

I just paid the low low price of $20 for the brand new Penny-Arcade videogame, On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One. After playing the ten-minute demo, I’ve decided it was a bargain. Features: great art (both 2D and 3D, including seamless transitions between the two), absurd situations, fun and simple RPG-like gameplay, and a black sense of humor without equal.

Support webcomickry in all its forms, buy a copy for yourself. Available right now for PC Windows, Mac, Linux and on XBLA.

Update: I realized that I didn’t make it clear enough that (at least in Windows) you can do things in this order: 1) Download, 2) Enjoy the demo, 3) Pay, 4) Enjoy the remainder. And no downloading is necessary between steps three and four.

Solitaire probabilities

October 10, 2007 9:12 am Published by 1 Comment

For some reason, I’ve been thinking about Klondike solitaire probabilities a lot lately. Primarily, I’m wondering what the likelihood is that a game will have zero legal plays. I’m certain it happens, but it’s got to be pretty rare. It’s a complex game, though, so here’s my plan towards solving it:

  1. Given two non-ace cards, what is the chance that one cannot be placed on the other, using standard Klondike rules?
  2. Given three non-ace cards, what is the chance that none can be played on any other?
  3. Given seven…?
  4. Given two (three, seven) cards, what is the chance that there is no legal play (placing one on another or moving an ace to the foundation)?

There are more steps after that involving the eight deck cards, but it gets pretty complicated pretty quickly. I’ll be happy just getting this far.

Wii reviews

November 20, 2006 7:42 am Published by 5 Comments

I know that Brian got a Wii after camping out overnight. I know that Chris and Nomad were planning on showing up at their local Target at midnight. A co-worker of mine says he’s sore today from playing Wii Sports (bowling and tennis) with his wife for 4 hours yesterday. (He’s going to bring it into work tomorrow, and we’re hooking it up to the projector.) I’m interested in your reviews.