Good Job, Brain!
is a weekly quiz show & offbeat news podcast. "We here are nuts about trivia. And we are darn sure there are people out there who share our unusual obsession. Are you in a weekly pub trivia team? Do you relish beating your friends at Trivial Pursuit? Do you blab out the answers at the gym when Jeopardy! is on? And don't you just loathe badly worded questions? Ggrrrahhhh! Then this podcast, fellow trivia nut, is the ultimate mental nutrition for your very big brain.
For about three years, the A.V. Club ran Sawbuck Gamer
, a regular column reviewing the week's most notable free and cheap games across all platforms, from web games to handhelds to console downloadables. It's a treasure trove of content, especially since more literary sister site The Gameological Society took the helm
, and it's publicized great desktop projects like the luscious platformer Frogatto
), feature-rich Super Mario Bros. X
), the evocative faux-web Digital: A Love Story
), interactive fiction gem Rover's Day Off
, and the hyperkinetic RunMan: Race Around the World
). But if you're in the mood for something more immediate, why not start with a list of all the original column's free A-rated online titles? [more inside]
Monopoly Is Theft. The antimonopolist history of the world’s most popular board game.
Derek Smart has been making games for over 20 years. He sold his first games in plastic baggies at hobby stores. Yet his longevity is somewhat of an anachronism. Many gamers today don't even know who is is, in spite of the fact that his games have sold well enough to keep his company in business since 1992. And the games themselves, well they're mostly terrible. Especially his first, Battlecruiser 3000AD. The Verge
takes an in-depth look at the hotheaded perfectionist millionaire game developer whose impenetrable
, terminally overhyped
games sparked one of the most legendary flamewars in internet history
In 1998, a Playstation game called LSD: Dream Emulator
was released in Japan. The game had no goals except for wandering around and exploring a dream world from the first person perspective. [more inside]
The Ohio State University Marching Band, in its October 6 game against Nebraska, decided to pay tribute to video games
Broken on Purpose: Why Getting It Wrong Pays More Than Getting It Right
- 'It doesn’t end with Facebook, either. Being broken pays off, so social media is often deliberately broken. In fact, nearly every major social network, site or app has greedily pursued this logic.' [more inside]
The First Hero
is a very short (~10 minutes) but wonderful point-and-click game set in the realm of the Greek gods, with lovely artwork and music.
or System Shock 2
but have trouble running them on a modern computer?
A user over at the French-language Ariane Thief
forums has uploaded
a pair of unofficial patches that not only allow the games to run well on modern hardware, but also update the games' underlying Dark Engine
to greatly improve graphics.
So far, Kotaku has a short write-up
on the patch but otherwise this is still breaking news. Dedicated Thief fans at TTLG are currently putting the release through its paces
to see what the updated engine is capable of.
Thief 2 v.1.19 patch (apparently also supports Thief 1)
- Thief 2 HD Patched Demo
System Shock 2 patch
- SS2 HD Patched Demo
(Thiefy stuff previously, previouslier.)
Got a few hours to kill and want to spend a little time in gaming history? Don't have anything else to do until 2013? Check out Anacreon: Reconstruction 4021
), one of the earliest 4X
games ever made, dating to 1987-88. The original version was DOS-based, but the creator, George Moromisato, released a Windows version in 2004 which has significant updates. [more inside]
Knee Deep in a Dream: The Story of Daikatana [more inside]
Stephen Totilo of Kotaku tries to determine the correct chronology
for all the games in the Super Mario
Is your elementary school youngster struggling with math? Are they a visual person? Would math games and videos help them learn? Enter Math Playground
, to assist with problem solving and real world math. Try the enticing logic game Sugar, Sugar
or beef up your math word problem
skills. There are plenty of games
to help educate while entertaining.
Metafilter loves escape games
. Why not come to Beijing and play one for real
Illustrator Jed Henry and woodblock printmaker David Bull recently collaborated on a set of videogame-inspired woodblock prints
in the ukiyo-e style
. Just recently funded through Kickstarter
, the prints are already underway
. There are videos of the creative process here
and at the bottom of the first link.
I’m about to tell you a story about videogames, kitchens, and internet forums that has a happy ending. Stop laughing, I’m serious.
- A woman gamer declares Gaslamp Games's Dungeons of Dredmor forums awesome.
Ben Kuchera, a video games journalist who has written for Wired
, Ars Technica
, and now the Penny Arcade Report
, discusses the seedy underbelly of Kickstarter promotion
Fans of flora versus undead violence rejoice! Plants versus Zombies 2 has been announced for Spring 2013
. However all is not well at PopCap games, with a recent layoff of 50 employees, or 10% of its staff
, citing the increased popularity of Free-to-play, social and mobile games
. Somewhat stickily amongst those reported laid off was Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan
Even if you don't have a fondness for building-sized, stomping war machines, you might find this detailed interview and pictorial
about the process of designing, from concept to texturing, a mech
From BLENDO Games
: Thirty Flights of Loving
, the very strange sequel to the equally strange Gravity Bone
. [more inside]
Sony is closing its Liverpool Studio
, previously known as Psygnosis
, developer of the WipeEout
and Lemmings games (DHTML version
). The studio created games for 28 years, first gaining attention in the Amiga era for it's high production values and stunning box art
The Games We Play. [SLYT]
And you thought you were the only one.
Until We Win's LordKat, who sounds like Anthony Bourdain, looks back in anger (and fondness) on the Top 10 Hardest Adventure Games
. [more inside]
Electronic Arts allegedly in talks to sell to private equity; would "do a deal for $20 a share". [NYP
] [Int. Business Times
]. The markets appear to think there's at least some substance to the rumour, as EA shares jumped more than 7% to $14 in early trades on Thursday morning and have remained at around $13.75. [Google Finance chart
"Now that the Hulk has closed his eyes, shoved wax down his ears and is holding his nose, he is immune to the attacks of the space-ants. No, really. Just picture that scene for a moment and be glad that it didn't find its way into any of the Hulk movies." VGJunk takes a look at the baffling Incredible Hulk text adventure game
. [more inside]
There seems to be a recent golden age of genuinely terrifying indie horror games that experiment with new ways to upset you. Slender
[PC/Mac, free], is based on the creepy Slender Man mythos
and has been garnering rave reviews
and videos of terrified reactions
as you try to escape the being that draws ever closer. The 4th Wall
[free or $1 on Xbox/PC] is a even more abstract take
on existential dread. SCP Containment Breach
[PC, free] features the very disturbing Sculpture
(even the picture in that link will creep you out) from the SCP series
, it follows another SCP game - The Staircase
. And there is more - Which
[PC, free] has you stumble in the dark
[PC, free] places you in the shoes of a girl in an abandoned art gallery
, and Candles
[free, Win/Mac] is all about atmospherics
. On top of that, there are some cheap independent commercial games that generate great scares, such as Lone Survivor
] and the now-famous Amnesia: The Dark Descent
[PC/Mac/Linux, $20], whose upcoming sequel A Machine for Pigs
, may have the best title of any game.
TableTop’s Fiasco episodes may be the greatest roleplaying documentary made to date. ... Not only are the two episodes it takes to show their session a joy to watch (and they are a pleasure) but they succeed in something that is really difficult to do: capture the essence of a game session. (previously) [more inside]
, a hugely ambitious 1998 first-person shooter based on the Jurassic Park franchise, is widely regarded as a disappointing failure
, remembered mainly for its pioneering physics system and innovative boob-tattoo-based health bar. With his bourbon-smooth voice and an encyclopedic knowledge of the game's history, bugs, and quirks, "Research Indicates" leads us on a fascinating tour through one of the buggiest games ever commercially released
. [more inside]
Would you like to watch a moving work of art
while you skate your face right off your head
? Zineth is a completely free student game, available on Mac and PC
filmed a scene
. It was shown to the next team
. They had 1 hour and 1 take to re-create it from memory. The video that
team made was shown to the next team, and so on and so on
Both inside and outside the walls of Facebook, the story of social games has become one of dead geese and golden eggs, flatlined growth, formulaic games and shady practises. Many warned that the sector was slowing down, but sometimes giants need to fall. It needs to get bad enough before people start to really consider what's next... So what comes next?
Garbage Gods Part 2
: ionustron has posted a follow-up to his post from last year
regarding his twist-tie figurines. More images from this new set can be found here
Tomb Raider: Anniversary
, a remake of the original Tomb Raider
, had an interesting bonus feature: the designers of Tomb Raider Anniversary and Tomb Raider discussed the differences in the two games, the process of the remake and what it was like creating the game in 1996. Youtube playlist
"Two days ago
I purchased one of only two Nintendo PowerFest 94
cartridges known to exist. The purchase took 74 emails, 27 months, 6 phone calls, 5 failed meeting attempts, 1 sack of cash, and some additional twists and turns to finally complete."
I See What You Did There: Software Uses Video to Infer Game Rules and Achieve Victory Conditions.
A French computer scientist has constructed a system that successfully divines the rules
to simple games just by using video input of human players at work.
is a one-day Japanese game jam that takes its name from the "stupid hair" or antenna
of anime characters. Every session has a theme; previous ones include Albatross
, and Travel
. The fifth one
started a few minutes ago; the theme is "Yoshida", a common surname. [more inside]
was a titanic "electronic" tea time BBC general knowledge quiz show in the late 1980s, presented by heartthrob Debbie Greenwood
(now a regular on QVC UK) with the aid of a BBC Micro called Eugene. Two teams of teenagers represented their schools as they battled for supremacy playing a random selection of arcade games like skateboarder 720 degrees
, the ultimate prize an Acorn Archimedes
. Now, the nail-biting encounter between Armthorpe School in Sheffield and Montagu School of Kettering is on YouTube [parts 1
The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled
that people can resell used software licenses
. Rock, Paper, Shotgun speculates
about what this will mean for gaming, an industry which has embraced digital distribution wholeheartedly.
Atari, the first successful arcade video game company, would have been 40 years old today. The blog Arcade Heroes takes the opportunity to look back over 40 years of arcade gaming (from Atari and other companies) with flyers and video. Part 1 (1970s & 80s)
- Part 2 (1990s to present)
. (WARNING: huge pages ahead with lots of flash videos.)
Shards of Equestria is a set of 270 fan-made Magic: The Gathering cards based off of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (made by MeFi's own XQUZYPHYR, via Projects)
Savage Worlds of My Little Pony (PDF version recommended, requires Savage Worlds game system books) is a roleplaying game based on the show, using Pinnacle Games' Savage Worlds system. Notable for its tenent against violence, which punishes characters who pursue violent solutions to problems.
MLP: Roleplaying is Magic (PDF) is another roleplaying game using a custom system.
MLP: Clash of Realities is a miniatures combat game played on computer. Game system plugin for Lackeyccg. Setup instructions
MLP: Fighting is Magic is a slick-looking, upcoming fan-made fighting game. Demo videos: Applejack test, general demonstration, Fluttershy is not OP
Ponykart is an upcoming, fan-made Mario Kart-style driving game. Demo video.
My Little Investigations is an upcoming, fan-made Phoenix Wright-style investigation adventure game. Playable demo.
Cutie Mark Crusade is also a work in progress, and a more traditional adventure game. Playable demo. Demo video. [more inside]