Modart is a fanware implementation of Modern Art, one of the best Reiner Knizia's auction games. Each player is an art broker and speculator, buying paintings low to sell high. It has been published in multiple languages, in different editions. Unfortunately the US, Mayfair edition is the ugliest of them of all. The Brazilian, Nordic, and German editions are all unique and beautiful. However, the most intriguing is the Japanese edition, with stamps rather than paintings.
Tabletop Tuesdays: Modart Softboard Game
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Wed, 12/19/2012 - 05:06.|
Tabletop Tuesdays: Cross-Platform Boardgames
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 02:06.|
Goko is an ambitious online boardgame portal. As of now they have three games: Dominion, Forbidden City, and All the King's Men. All the King's Men is a hybrid tile-pushing RTS by Goko -- an original game. The other two are boardgames. Each game has an AI and a tutorial; Thus Goko offers play with with people or the AI. Forbidden City is an light edge-matching tile game that is published exclusively as a digital edition -- there is no retail cardboard edition. More importantly, Goko's implementation of Donald X. Vaccarino's Dominion, is the best digital implementation to date.
All the games are free and playable without registration. Since the games are implemented in HTML5, they run on numerous platforms. I wish Goko the best, because their "coming soon" is highly impressive, if they can keep up the same level of polish for their future boardgames.
Tabletop Tuesdays: Meaty Intro Wargame
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 17:19.|
Ars Victor is an innovative, light war boardgame that has surprising strategic depth for a simple game. Ars Victor uses Richard Borg's popular Command and Color system and, adds Richard Sivél's Friedrich movement system and Mark Herman's command points, which are common in card-driven wargames. The Command and Color system is in use by several games and expansions, including the Memoir '44.
The core gameplay of Ars Victor is similar to that of Memoir '44. You manage a hand of cards that dictate what units you can move on a hex map and you roll custom dice to resolve combat. The differences are few but definitely game-changing. The map is made up of nine modular, double sided pieces that form a 9x9 grid. Because of variable locations on the 9x9 grid, terrain orientation, and the front/back side that one can use, there is huge variability in map setup.
Find Me a Good One
|Submitted by costik on Wed, 09/12/2012 - 19:27.|
Find Me a Good One is a student project from a duo at the Parsons School of Design; as with many student projects, it's quite short. It's a sort of puzzle platformer, though the platforming difficulty is minimal, with hand-drawn, surreal graphics depicting a sort of dreamworld.
The backstory is that your brother is asleep and beset by nightmares; you must enter the dream world to find friendly creatures and bring them back to repel the nightmares. If you don't do so, the nightmares apparently abscond with your brother. But you are not required to do this; you can simply explore the world, and there's no "game over" when your brother goes away.
It's pleasant, but more the germ of an idea than a full game.
Find Me a Good One is a 2012 Indiecade nominee.
The Daily Grind
|Submitted by costik on Wed, 09/05/2012 - 18:19.|
Cart Life bills itself as a "retail simulation," and a priori, you may expect it to be a conventional sim/tycoon style game in which you buy merchandise, set prices, and consider your profit your score -- a conventional, if somewhat dull kind of game. It is nothing like that at all.
Actually, it is an interactive narrative with a crafting minigame, brutal time pressure despite its essentially slow pace, and curiously emotionally compelling. In addition, it has richer and more artistic subtext that any bombastic, big-budget commercial release.
You play either as Melanie, a recently divorced woman starting a coffee cart business, whose chances of gaining custody of her daughter depend on her business success; or as Andrus, a somewhat lonely Ukrainian immigrant running a newsstand, who must make enough each week to make the rent on his SRO hotel room, or be rendered homeless. This ups the emotional ante, of course. A third character, Vinny, a bagel vendor, can be unlocked for a $5 payment to the developer.
Super Adventure Pals
|Submitted by costik on Sat, 07/21/2012 - 17:59.|
Super Adventure Pals is much like a classic SNES platformer, with a strong debt to Super Mario Bros., but executed not with nostalgia but with freshness, as if the genre were still young.
It has an RPG element as well, with characters you talk with between levels who provide quests, and a level-up system that allows you to increase either your combat skill or health with each level. In a nice touch, increasing combat skill changes the look of your weapon, and increasing health changes the color of your hat. The dialog is light and charming, and the story, such as it is, somewhat absurd -- the villain has stolen your beloved pet rock, which is why you're pursuing him.
Tabletop Tuesdays: Lone Wolf Gamebook Player
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 07/17/2012 - 13:10.|
Seventh Sense is a gamebook reader by David Olsen of the Project Aon, a Lone Wolf gamebook fan volunteer group. Seventh Sense uses Project Aon's digital depository of Lone Wolf gamebooks and adds rich features such as bookkeeping, savepoints, dice rolling, commentaries, and more. As you recall Lone Wolf is an award winning which-way gamebook series by Joe Dever. After winning the 1982 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons tournament at the Origins Game Fair in Baltimore, Dever left the music business for gamebook design and writing. He wrote Flight from the Dark in 1983, which would become the first out of 28 Lone Wolf gamebooks, spanning more than 14 years. Flight from the Dark sold 100,000 copies in the first month, while the entire Lone Wolf series sold over 9 million copies in 18 languages until it went out print in 1988. However, the entire Lone Wolf series is available online via Project Aon with Dever's blessings, and books 1-17 are being reprinted by Mongoose Publishing with bonus materials.
Robot Taco! Taco!
|Submitted by costik on Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:33.|
Robot Taco! Taco! is a nicely tuned puzzle platformer in which you play a robot with a detachable head. When detached, the two can move independently; the head can fly and shoot laser beams to destroy enemies, while the body can jump. If the body jumps into the head as it flies over head, they reconnect, and it becomes a "super jump," allowing access to higher platforms.
Much of the puzzle solving involves using the capabilities of the two items in combination. For example, in the level shown in the illustration here, when the red button is held down, the red barriers are removed, freeing the enemies there; the trick is to position the head to shoot at them before using the body to jump on the button, switching quickly back to the head; you can kill only one of the enemies, the other will approach the body from the other side, so you must switch back to the body and platform up to the head. (The enemies can fall, but not jump, so the other will be trapped at the bottom level.)
|Submitted by costik on Sun, 07/08/2012 - 19:27.|
Photon Baby is an excellent puzzle platformer, with NES-ish graphics and an interesting puzzle style. You play a little fellow with a sort of gun; while babysitting, the child you were caring for was kidnapped by a vampire bat, and you evidently have to fight through thirty platform levels featuring vampires and bats to get the brat back.
Vampires wear differently colored capes; some surfaces of each level are colored lines. You bullets are gray when fired, but take on the color of one of these lines; and a vampire can only be killed by a bullet the color of his or her cape. This is where the puzzle aspect comes in; you must figure out how to slay each vampire, given the organization of the level, and the positions of the colored lines.
|Submitted by costik on Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:04.|
In Nanu Planet, you play a pig-like alien explorer who, in the process of crash-landing on a strange planet, gets separated from your sweetie, whom you spend the game trying to find.
The planet, like Korea, is divided into two hostile countries, with a demilitarized zone between them; you land in the DMZ. Theoretically, the game is teaching you something about the history and current state of Korea's division (the game was funded by a Korean government agency and Samsung); however, the connection to the real world is fairly notional, and it's best considered as a charming, if somewhat awkward, graphic adventure.