Observations of games at the weekend

So I’ve set up this WordPress blog.  I think I’m going to try and update it on the weekend… weekdays tend to be a little unpredictable as far as free time goes.  Right now I should be able to take advantage of not being in crunch, so the hours I’m doing aren’t always hugely outside of core hours.  My Windows Live blog doesn’t give me satisfying stats… I think I may let that go fallow.  Facebook is where I update for just friends and family – this I want to try and keep for developer thoughts.

Civilization Revolution

Played quite a bit of this weekend and last.  It is a really good turn based strategy game, and I have had fun playing it.  There are a ton of cool touches that have made me laugh and smile.  The advisors pushing each other out of the way when you skip them before they finish.  There are some funny gifts you get given now and again like dancing bears, jugglers and dancers.  They have made use out of a collection mechanic by having a big museum with busts of various leaders, pivotal people you meet through the games you play, and models of the wonders that you have built over the games you have played.

There is a slight curve on the user interface that I’m not sure I’m all the way through yet – and perhaps that’s why when I jacked up the difficulty again this morning and tried another scenario that I started to see the games numbers.  You know how in the Matrix when Neo starts seeing the world around him as green text flying around?  Well certain predictable patterns that were there in previous levels are not… and the virtual dice would seem to roll against you a little more often.  Perhaps I see this because I’m a developer and know what I’m looking out for.  After all artificial intelligence in games is more about creating a believable illusion of being smart, then academics actually trying to make something smart.

I will go back to it no doubt, the game has unbelievable depth.  If you want to get a kid interested in history this would be a game to give them to play… it actually has historical documentation, pictures and even media clips of the various resources and people that make up the game.

Fable II – Knothole Island Expansion Pack

Fable II is a great game, go buy it.  ;0)  Seriously, despite being part of the team and having played the game in the various states it has been in – to still be wowed and awed by it even after it stole so many unpaid hours of my life shows that the game must be good.

Danni, my wife, loves the game.  She loves the controls, the art, the style and humour of the game.  She finds the menu a little fiddle and because she plays on my gamertag sometimes has to have the orbs and stuff switched off, but apart from that it has been a game that turned the head of a casual / Sims 2 player to a role playing game… which is saying something.  The people who have complained about the lack of depth in reviews just plain didn’t go looking for it.

She is loving the island so far, apart from the dexterity challenges (flit-switch squash, timed run through flames, etc).  I guess the pack is probably aimed more at the hardcore – I think I could do the challenges and find them more fun then frustrating.  The ones who are most likely to know how to download content, have a hard drive, etc I guess are the hardcore anyway.  The extra places to visit and other content like the new potions and enemy variants are cool for all though.  It should be enough to make you want to keep Fable II and not trade it in for a bit longer!

Geometry Wars I

Still on the original Geometry Wars… the other day something in my head clicked and I managed to push through a previous upper score boundary.  That game is awesome, easy to pick up and hard to master.  The whole pushing A button a bunch of times to try again is genius for an arcade game like that.  Still looks beautiful today, without a doubt a modern classic.

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One Response to “Observations of games at the weekend”

  1. netflow Says:

    I urge you to go grab a big foam sword and start beating the lionhead execs over the head until they release fable2 for the PC. I can’t take much more of hearing about this game and not being able to play it

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