Showing 1 - 10 of 19 posts found matching keyword: games

"One of Superman's powers," read the crossword puzzle clue.

"That's too vague," I said. "Superman has, like, every power. That's why they call him Superman." Looking up from the paper, I asked my mother, "What power do you think of when I say 'Superman'?"

She thought about this for a minute then answered, "X-ray vision."

I was surprised. "That's the first power that comes to mind? He's stronger than a locomotive, faster than a bullet, and he can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He can fly. In addition to telescopic and microscopic vision, he also has super senses of hearing, touch, and smell. He has heat vision and cold breath. His brain processes information faster than a computer. He can throw his voice with super-ventriloquism. He has such incredible control of his muscles, he can change his physical appearance at will. He can vibrate through solid objects and travel through time. He can kiss you so hard, you forget stuff. And he is never, ever wrong. Despite all that, the first power that comes to your mind when you think of Superman is his ability to see through stuff?"

Mom nodded. "Yep."

I'll be damned if that wasn't the right answer for the crossword puzzle.

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I took yesterday off to play board games. For about 7 hours, I played games of Dominion, Shootin' Ladders, Dread Curse, Smash Up, and King of Tokyo. Some of those games I like a lot (King of Tokyo) and others not so much (Dread Curse), but I didn't have a lot of luck with any of them on Saturday.

I lost every game we played, sometimes because of bad strategy (Dominion), sometimes because of bad luck (King of Tokyo), and sometimes because everyone else at the table was gunning against me (Dread Curse). I came in dead last in every single game. Whee?

Thank goodness for the oncoming football season. At least when someone taunts me about my team losing, I'll know that there wasn't anything I could have done to score more points.

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3. The story of Mr. Tom Spy

Mr. Tom Spy was dedicated to his craft: he peeped on everyone everywhere. Blindly wandering wherever the peeping opportunity took him, he shadowed a Rogue out of the City and followed a Magus into the Woods. That proved to be his undoing.

Although Mr. Spy was good at looking at things such as tombstones in The Graveyard, he was terribly unprepared when things looked back. A Living Doll chased Mr. Spy all the way back to the City, where Tom conned an Alchemist into buying "his" doll for one gold piece.

Mr. Spy returned to the Woods only to discover that the Magus had left. Night fell suddenly and the Woods soon filled with horrible creatures like the Crypt Keeper. In no time at all, Mr. Spy was attacked by a Wolfen and infected with the dread disease of Lycanthropy.

Rushing back to the City unaware that he was being followed, Mr. Spy hoped to use his gold piece to buy a cure. However, Fate was not to be so kind. While Mr. Spy was distracted by a City Rat, a menacing Werewolf fell upon him and killed him. The End.

3 (cont'd). The story of Lady Valkyrie

The Valkyrie began her quest to purge the world of evil in the Ruins. Knowing that money was the root of all evil, she headed to the City, where she killed the City Rat and convinced the City Patrol to clean up the streets.

The good Lady Valkyrie next headed to the Graveyard, where she prayed and had her Life restored. She next ventured to and drank from the Fountain of Wisdom, improving her Craft.

Emboldened, she headed into the Crags, where she befriended a Beastmaster and a Magpie and a found a Magic Mace and Horns of Power (as well as a useless Lodestone). The mysterious even Ymir's Glow empowered her with spells! Defeating a Wind Rider, she proceeded to defeat the Lord of the Eyrie and take his precious Rage Talon. The End.

...

Talisman, game three. (Games 1 and 2 here.) I've decided that I enjoy writing these little character vignettes more than I enjoy playing Talisman.

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A word about Spartacus (the board game, not the movie or any of the television shows or the historical figure or even the video game):

I really want to like Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery. But I don't.

This is probably a case of sour grapes. I've played the game 6 times, and each time I've fared increasingly worse. Five of those six times, I've been tasked to play as Batiatus. I don't know who he was historically (he won Peter Ustinov an Oscar in Stanley Kubrick's film), but in this board game he sucks balls. He's the only character who starts with an income deficit, a situation rapidly and repeatedly exploited by experienced opponents.

Maybe it is possible to win with Batiatus. Maybe I'd fare better playing with people who wouldn't take advantage of Batiatus' built-in disadvantage. Maybe I've only lost over and over because — as has been suggested by friend Chad — I suck at the game. Whatever the case, I swear that I will no longer play Spartacus. Few games are fun enough for me to lose them over and over and over again, and Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery isn't one of them.

That is all.

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1. The story of Dwarfy McDwarf

Dwarfy McDwarf was a self-centered dwarf from the Crags in search of adventure. Dwarfy wandered into the Highlands where he bravely dared Narrow and Icy Paths. Dwarfy slayed Harpies and Hippogrifs galore, gaining tremendous Strength in the process. Dwarfy's exploits in the Highlands earned him several Followers, all of whom quickly succumbed to the deadly dragon's breath of the Dragon King.

Dwarfy headed to the Dungeon to test his mettle. Dwarfy found an abundance of gold, weapons, armor, and trinkets in the Dungeon. Nothing in the Dungeon could survive Dwarfy's unmatched Strength. After a brief detour to avoid the Dungeon Torturer, Dwarfy easily beat the Lord of the Dungeon in single combat.

Determined to find a real challenge, Dwarfy marched undaunted to the lair of the Dragon King, pausing only long enough to engage the services of a Tavern Maid. In the end, the Dragon King presented little challenge for Dwarfy, and Dwarfy assumed the Crown of Command and lived happily ever after. The End.

2. The story of the Necromancer

The evil Necromancer left the Graveyard and soon found a powerful Skull Wand. He sought out the Village Mystic in search of more power. The Mystic unexpectedly turned the evil Necromancer good, forcing the Necromancer to relinquish control of the Skull Wand.

The good Necromancer wandered the region in search of a method to restore his evilness. The Necromancer was eventually joined by an unlikely Follower, Red Riding Hood, whose "help" would ultimately prove a bane. The Necromancer returned frequently to the Village Mystic, who eventually relented and turned the good Necromancer evil again.

By this time, a very Crafty Assassin had found the abandoned Skull Wand and made off with it. The evil Necromancer vowed to track down and overpower the Assassin to recover his precious Skull Wand, but he knew that he would have to improve his Strength and/or Craft before confronting the Assassin.

The evil Necromancer visited the Dungeon in search of Strength and Craft, but was soon chased out empty-handed by a powerful Battlehulk hunting Red Riding Hood.

The evil Necromancer searched the Outer Region in search of Strength and Craft, but was soon chased out empty-handed by a powerful Fire Giant hunting Red Riding Hood.

The evil Necromancer roamed the Highlands in search of Strength and Craft, and here he collected countless objects, survived two Avalanches, earned the loyalty of several followers, and effortlessly defeated the Eagle King. Despite all these adventures, the evil Necromancer was unable to ever gain any Strength or hone his Craft or find any sign of the Skull Wand ever again. The End.

...

I played my first two games of Talisman this past weekend. You can probably tell which of the two games I enjoyed more.

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My mother received a Striiv Smart Pedometer as a birthday present this year. For those who don't know, a Striiv is essentially a gigapet that leverages all the tricks of an annoyingly addictive Facebook game in order to motivate people into moving around more. It's a video game that you play by walking around.

For months, Mom has been pacing around the house, walking up and down the stairs, and trotting out to the mailbox and back. This earns "energy" that she can use to run the buildings her little Farmville knock-off. All that exercising and she still won't go with me when I go for my daily dog walk. I suspect that this is because she can't hold a leash and stare at teh screen of her Striiv at the same time.

I've been playing video games for nearly 40 years from the comfort of my own couch, and I just don't see the fun in walking as a gaming experience. If any little electronic devices are going to fool me into exercising, we'd better be killing aliens or stealing cars. If my eyes are going to be glued to a screen, my butt is going to be glued to a chair.

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Several times a year, I help a comic-shop owning friend of mine open and sort shipments of Magic cards. For those of you who don't know, Magic is the social activity of choice for youths who aren't athletic enough for sports, smart enough for chess, or socially aware enough for girls.

Back in his day, they slept in their ties

Naturally, most of the people who work in this sweatshop operation are Magic players interested in getting a first look at the new cards. Rare is the migrant employee who, like me, focuses on the job and not the cards. Rarer still is the employee on Social Security benefits. In fact, there's only one.

Pat Todd is the tortoise of the Magic-sorting game. He has two speeds: slow and slower. I suspect that part of his efficiency problem is that he has to squint at all the cards.

That said, I'll take working with Pat Todd over the average Magic player any day. While Pat Todd doesn't move fast enough to work up a sweat, at least he understands the value of hygiene.

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I love game shows, especially the classics. This genre was "reality" television before Jersey had a shore. Obviously, Jeopardy! is my favorite, but I also like Password, Match Game, and Family Feud with Richard Dawson not Ray Combs, Louis Anderson, Richard Karn, or Steve Harvey. (John O'Hurley is okay.) One show I cannot stand is Wheel of Fortune.

Wheel of Fortune comes on immediately before Jeopardy!. Since I don't care to watch Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, or TMZ because I have the un-American attitude that celebrities are people too, this means that I get my share of watching poor Pat Sajak being subjected to a series of idiotic stutterings from contestants who have already over-taxed their brains by thinking of an adjective to describe their family during the brief interview segment. Sajak is a Real American Hero considering the amount of stupidity he has to wade through.

True example of why Wheel sucks: For the first week of May, the show is "Going Green" by moving its production from Los Angeles to Portland. (How trucking tons of energy-sucking equipment hundreds of miles up the Pacific coast encourages environmental conservation is a thought-exercise left for the viewer, apparently.) The first show of the week features three contestants who are, respectively, a recreational fire-eater, a Bigfoot enthusiast, and a girl who enjoys inhaling nail-polish remover fumes every night. During an early puzzle, the Bigfoot enthusiast spun the wheel and landed on a trip, but lost the opportunity when the letter "D" she asked for was not on the board. The paint-thinner sniffer then spun the wheel and landed on the "Jackpot," but lost the opportunity when the letter she excitedly shouted wasn't on the board, either. That letter? "D". This is not what I call entertainment.

Both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune actively test potential contestants to see if they qualify for an appearance. I suspect that Wheel auditions only Jeopardy! losers. It seems that the ability to think is actively discouraged for Wheel contestants.

Wheel has a strictly "once-in-a-lifetime" appearance rule, preventing contestants who are actually good at the show from having a second chance at playing. On the surface, this is a good rule because, believe it or not, watching people spin a wheel once, ask for a "T", then shout a common phrase to win the puzzle is every bit as boring television as watching every contestant ask for the same letter. The side effect of this policy of eliminating the competent players is that you end up with a contestant pool filled with people whose hobbies include swallowing fire, chasing Bigfoot through the woods, and hufffing acetone; exactly the same cross-section of America that loves Wheel of Fortune.

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Three or four times a year, I'm employed to open and sort packs of Magic: the Gathering™ cards. Usually, as I stare at the typical variety of Dragon Whelps, Defiant Elves, and Goblin Balloon Brigades, I think to myself, "who would want to play with these cards?" Now I wonder no more!

Introducing the most awesome card ever: basement cat.

Play a Boomerang to see this dead cat bounce!

I was completely unaware that Wizards of the Coast bought the rights to publish Pet Sematary-themed cards, but it was a great idea: when it comes to Magic, dead isn't just sometimes better! I've always said that the best cat is an undead cat, and now I can play with my very own. Thanks, WotC!

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Move over chocolate and peanut butter, you've got company. I was supposed to be updating the website this weekend, but instead I spent all day playing Dungeons and Dragons the way it was meant to be played: as a pinball machine.

The future is now.

Bally/Midway released this TSR™ Dungeons & Dragons™ cabinet 25 years ago, and I can attest that it is still all awesome. I haven't had this much fun playing pinball since high school. Though to be honest, I haven't played that much pinball since high school.

If you think role-playing games and pinball machines make an unlikely combination, consider the technological odd couple presented by pinball machines and the internet: specific details about this cabinet, its innards, and its marketing materials can be found online at the Internet Pinball Machine Database. Thank you, internet.

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To be continued...

 

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