Browsing CategoryVideo Games

Interactive Fiction: The Ark

Control Room You stand within a spherical room bisected by a transparent floor. The curved surface of the glossy black wall is periodically interrupted by strips of pale blue light. These maze-like patterns are the room’s sole source of illumination. Around the center of the room is a ring made of a flat pane of transparent material held up by thin, transparent supports connecting to the floor. In the center of the room, there is a hatch in the floor. It’s the classic start to a text-based adventure game, or in this case, a work of interactive fiction.  In The Ark, by Matthew Marcus and Devi Acharya,…

Ghost Trick

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  I can finally add another game to the short list of video games I’ve actually beaten — Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective! (Do yourself a favor and try NOT to look this up on Wikipedia and spoil yourself.)  A good friend recommended this mystery/puzzle game for the Nintendo DS a few months ago.  You play from the perspective of a man named Sissel who was apparently shot dead just moments ago and has become a ghost.  The freshly deceased Sissel has no memories of who he was or why he was murdered.  He learns that as a ghost, he has…

The Art of Video Games at the EMP Museum

We were pretty excited when we first heard about an upcoming Smithsonian exhibit called The Art of Video Games in late 2011.  We were less excited when we found out the featured games would be chosen by online vote.  We were more excited when the curators gave a talk about the exhibit at MAGFest 2012.  And we were less excited again when our friends reported that the exhibit was just okay. In the end, we didn’t make the trip to D.C. to see the exhibit before it ended in September of last year.  Then, to our surprise, we found that the exhibit…

MAGFest 11 Re-cap

It’s been nearly a month since MAGFest, but I’d still like to give a brief re-cap for those of you who might be curious about the event, or be easily persuaded into attending next year.  It really is a great event with a fun, laid-back atmosphere.   Thursday MAGFest begins on Thursday, but we didn’t want to spend the money for an extra night at the hotel.  But it was clear on Facebook that the party was already getting started by our friends that went up ASAP!  We spent the day packing and buying/baking snacks for the hotel room.   Friday…

The Secret World Goes Subscriptionless

Fans of this year’s modern MMO The Secret World have been expecting this kind of news for a while — the game is transitioning to a “Pay Once, Play Forever” model.  Despite tons of hype and delivering a unique, high-quality game, TSW has struggled to compete with 2012’s other big MMO releases, Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2, both of which were free-to-play on launch.  From what I’ve read, a lot of people feel that free-to-play is the “future” of all MMOs, and Funcom’s gamble of using a subscription-based model on the cusp of that change unfortunately hasn’t paid off. The…

OUYA

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  Have you heard about the OUYA?  It’s a new video game console that was pitched through Kickstarter and got a TON of support.  They asked for just under $1 million, and received over $8.5 million in pledges!  The OUYA is being promoted as an “open” console, for both players and developers.  Here are some key points: The console is only $99. All games are free-to-try, enough for you to determine if you want to pay for a full experience.  Models include free demos with paid full versions, subscriptions, and DLC. Every console will come with all the development tools necessary to…

TNNS

One of the nice things about having a blog is that I sometimes get the opportunity to use it as a platform to support my friends that are doing cool things.  One of those friends is a programmer, and he has been working on a mobile game called TNNS which is now available for purchase! TNNS is sort of Breakout meets minigolf meets tennis.  You control a paddle that slides up and down one side of the screen, and your goal is to keep the ball in play while collecting stars in and around the obstacles on the other side.…

MAGFest

Having a hard time coming up with something to talk about today (and wanting to just cozy up and relax with the storm outside), so why not a brief post about MAGFest? We don’t have a lot of really cool events out here on the East coast, but we do have MAGFest.  Short for Music and Gaming Festival, MAGFest is a 4-day festival that takes place every January in DC.  In addition to panels and special events, MAGFest has a number of featured areas that are open 24 hours a day during the entire event, including LAN gaming, tabletop gaming,…

Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator

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  Well, we finally did it.  We played Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator!  Artemis is a multi-player networked computer game where each player mans a station on a spaceship, very Star Trek-style, completing missions in space.  It’s kind of like a more realistic video game version of Space Alert, my favorite board game.  For my birthday, my husband went ahead and bought the game for me and organized a get-together of enough friends to play the game! The big thing about Artemis is that it’s not a particularly accessible game.  You need at least three players, each with their own computer (plus one…

Indie Game: The Movie

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Indie Game: The Movie is a documentary that follows two teams of independent game developers as they wrap up development on their games.  The movie came out in January to rave reviews, and early this month it was released on Netflix streaming.  We finally checked it out over the weekend and were not disappointed! The two teams followed in the film are the developers of Super Meat Boy (Team Meat, comprised of Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes) and the developers of Fez (Polytron, comprised of Phil Fish and Renaud Bédard).   The film covers the final crunch and launch day of…