Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Nanoblogging Is Your Microblogging - Episode 2

5. I Was Going to Write a Review on the New "You Don't Know Jack" Game But Then I Was Asked to Do a Review for JIG So I'll Just Link to It...

6. More Jack, No Coke
On a related note, I managed to win a copy of the You Don't Know Jack electronic tabletop game in an eBay auction. I thought it'd be all sorts of fun to write up a review of that, to pair with the above new release. You know, comparing the new 2011 computer game with the fantastic game technology of 1998. But then I realized, why do I need to wait to review it? I already played this thing way back when at my piano teacher's house. In a nutshell, it's that same Jack humor (just, you know, from 13 years ago), but in a stack of colorful question cards. Two to four players play (no solo mode, I don't believe), and the screw option is still in play. After you enter in the five-digit question code (so the computer knows which answer is correct), read the question, open the trapdoor to reveal the answers, and buzz away. It's a ten-question game. Aaand review done. But hey, another toy for random get-togethers.

7. Everything You Loved About Chemistry Class with Half the Calories
If you haven't played it yet, you really need to give Zachtronics' SpaceChem a go. Like most of Zachtronics' other releases, SpaceChem is a "game for engineers", meaning most of the puzzles revolve around developing a system to complete a task that works on its own after you set it into motion. In this case, most of the action is bonding (or unbonding or rebonding) chemical compounds by laying down pathways and commands for your little transporter doohickeys to follow (I'd call them by their proper name, "waldos", but that'd make less sense). To be honest, the entire system is crazy hard to understand, but some good effort is put into a tutorial and levels with gradually increasing difficulty, two things notably missing from most Zachtronics titles. But when you experience that moment when all the weird symbols and flashing colors make sense in one earth-shaking moment, you'll be hooked. Then you'll come to another dead end and struggle for a while. It's a fairly simple cycle. Anyway, I tell you all this (1) because it's a good game, (2) because JIG is giving away a few copies. You just need to solve a few puzzles. I helped make them. Yay! Contest ends March 5.

8. Finally, A Few Quick Words on Portal 2
The preorder's up. And I swear, in the last bit I'll blab about Portal until the game comes out, I'd like to repost a photo of something I found to be quite useful lately:

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