Monday, 27 February 2012

On Stuff 27/02/2012

The Crushing and Inevitable Weight of Reality Bearing Grimly Down

In my not-a-new-year's-resolution I wrote that I hoped to make a decent length blog post every couple of weeks. If you count something that I'd already written most of, a follow up to a post from September 2011, something I originally wrote for a site other than this blog and an incoherent jumble of thoughts, I'm doing pretty well on this (on average). If you don't then I've written a pathetic one proper piece in two months. Take your pick!

On Defense Grid: The Awakening

I thought I knew tower defence: that gooey little sub-genre that flows perfectly into the mould of short-term-addictive, long-term-disposable browser games. That guilty pleasure that I can dip into when I want something nerdy and satisfying, but that I'd never write something about. Something fun, but never deep or amazing. That's what I knew about tower defence.

67 hours and counting in Defense Grid: The Awakening says that I didn't know tower defence.

It wasn't meant to be this way. This was a little foray in between "proper" games. Something that I picked up in the Potato Sack (I think), that I could put a few hours into and then move on and forget. Even if it did get addictive I certainly wouldn't be raving about its inventiveness and - am I really writing this - story and character.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

On Stuff 01/02/2012

Dream Games

It shouldn't be news to anyone that being ill is unpleasant. While thankfully only afflicted by an irritating cold/flu/headache thing, I've been reminded yet again how useless being under the weather makes you feel, something I always forget until the cloud is actually over my head. In my case, the silver lining of that mixed metaphorical cloud is that having a cold often gives me very vivid dreams, whereas normally I remember dreams only occasionally and abstractly. This morning's one started excellently, with me as some kind of parkour film star, before going downhill when my friend's Mum attempted to deliberately run me over in what I believe was a Renault Clio.

On a Roguelike: Diaries of Dredmor

Back in murky yesteryear of 2011 a little game called Dungeons of Dredmor, one of a gradual new wave of accessible and mainstream - or at least widely talked about - roguelikes and roguelike influenced games (roguelikelikes if you will), was released to moderate acclaim. The hallmark of the genre is the procedurally generated environments in which your adventures take place and the unpredictable and often amusing consequences that the player's freedom of interaction with these varied environments results in. Dredmor manages the near heroic feat of presenting a friendly, funny and familiar gaming experience, while compromising little of the distinctive, emergent experience that all good roguelikes have at their core. Let no grumpy, nerdy, I-played-nethack-before-you-were-born forum dweller convince you that Dredmor is dumbed down or has little to offer beyond a role as some "my first roguelike" gateway drug.