Showing posts from July, 2020

Nostalgia remastered

Cult classic Chex Quest advertisement/videogame back in HD Back in 1996 I was 21-years-old. I made a lot of questionable decisions that year. It's the privilege of youth, to make questionable decisions. One of mine may or may not have been to buy a box of cereal to get a videogame-cum-advertisement that featured a man dressed like a woven rice cereal, giving Doom the E for Everyone treatment through four or five levels.

And yes, children, you had to buy the box of cereal. Not because there was a code inside. No. We had the internet, but it wasn't the internet we have today. It was the internet where you needed to use a landline telephone to connect. It was the internet that, if you picked up that telephone line while someone was online, it sounded like two demon possessed robots having an argument about where to eat dinner. And your sister couldn't get phone calls if you were online, so "you can't tie up the phone all night!" It was the 90s. So you had to bu…

Gone Home, but in space

Fullbright Company's exploration adventure game, Tacoma, free this week
When I taught a game documentation class as an adjunct at Shawnee State, one of the things I tried to get my students to understand was the way video games have changed over the last 40 years. Many of us older gamers remember the games on our Atari and Nintendo systems as being extremely difficult. There was a time when I thought that was just me being a kid, but going back and attempting to play those games confirmed that – nope – it wasn't just me being a kid. Those games are insanely difficult!  There is a reason for this. The developers of those early home console games were coming at game design from a completely different angle than many modern game designers. When they started developing games, the market was made up of arcade machines. Machines that the proprietors of those arcades wanted you to keep pumping quarters into. What's the best way to keep a kid dropping his coins into the slot? Make…

Three free games from Epic

Freebie Friday Sunday Last week Epic Games only had one freebie title, Hue. Conan Exiles had been on that list, but dropped off for an unexplained reason. Maybe we'll see it at a later date, maybe not.   This week Epic seems intent on making up that disparity with three free games. Between now and next Thursday you can pick up Killing Floor 2, Lifeless Planet: Premier Edition, and The Escapists 2 at no cost. Simply log-in to your Epic account (or create one) and add the games to your cart before checking out. The games will be available in your account to download after you install the Epic Games Launcher (if you haven't already).  Killing Floor 2 and The Escapists 2 are sequels, and should give you more of what you expect if you've played previous games in the series. The Killing Floor series are cooperative first-person shooters from TripWire Interactive where players face off against ZEDs, zombie-esque genetically manipulated "clones" with different abilities …

Frogs in Loveland

In Loveland, Ohio, along the banks of the Little Miami River, people claim to see Frog Men. Since at least the 1950s, if not earlier, the Loveland Frog has been a fixture in the imaginations of people living in this small, quiet, river town. Like with most legends, there are some variations  in the first story associated with the Loveland Frog. What we do know is that the witness, identified in many accounts as a Mr. Robert Hunnicutt, encountered the creatures he saw along the banks of the Little Miami River in the early morning hours (3:30 to 4 AM in some versions) during the Spring or Summer of 1955. Depending on the source, the night in question may have been in March, May, or July. He saw three or four creatures, either along the side of the road, on a bridge, or standing under a bridge, again depending on the source. Regardless of when, exactly, or where along the river, the tales do agree on what followed. Hunnicutt got a good look at the creatures from his vehicle. He describe…

Fighting an alternate reality WWII

Broken Lines brings engrossing TRPG to PC and Switch Tactical role playing games (TRPGs) are an interesting genre. Usually aimed at the “hard core” gamer demographic, at higher levels and harder settings they can require chess-like planning, forethought, and troop coordination. Resource management, party makeup, and terrain advantages can all play into a successful campaign, or lead to a crushing defeat. It's the kind of game that appeals to those who love to crunch numbers and consider strategy. These aren't the types of games where you go in swinging a sword and screaming “Leroy Jenkins!” You have to think about how a fight could play out, and set it up in advance so that it plays out to your advantage.
Sometimes, though, you just want to see a story play out and focus on group dynamics. If you want to go that route – maybe before you come back and challenge yourself on a more difficult setting – Broken Lines, a new TRPG from developer PortaPlay and publisher set i…