Tuesday, 04 March 2014 18:12

The Socially Awkward Survival Guide

The world from a troglodyte's eyes

Have you ever wondered why your friend doesn't want to go to a club with you?The supermarket? The mailbox? Why is this timid friend so terrified of other people? Here's a handy guide to the world through the socially awkward person's eyes:

Published in Tekk
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 18:03

Time Waster - Flappy Bird'

I hate this game. I'm not convinced that there is anyone who actually likes it. Devious in its simplicity, 'Flappy Bird' is a tablet game where you tap the screen to control a fat little bird as it attempts to fly between gaps in pipes. That's it. That's all there is to it, and it's mind bogglingly difficult.

The best I've managed thus far is four pipes, friends have done seven, and a friend-of-a-friend has purportedly made it to 99. Whatever.

Published in Tekk
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 20:20

Time Waster - Shape Fold 2'

Puzzles can be fun if they somehow manage to dance along the line of not being too infuriatingly difficult or mind-numbingly easy. That's a hard balance to maintain for anyone. Too hard and people rage quit and never come back; too easy and you're done, with no reason to try for more.

'Shape Fold 2' is a really interesting game that combines moving shapes triangles of various degrees and polyhedrons of varying shapes and sizes - that are hinged together and getting them all to fit in a predestinated larger shape. You have to have decent spatial comprehension. Fortunately, if you move wrong, the pieces won't lock into place. You can (almost) never lock yourself out of solving the puzzle (I found at one point I had to restart because I the block I needed to fold a certain way wouldn't fit because of a locked piece) so basically, you could flail around until pieces started to fit and then have a better idea of how to win.

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 01:18

Time Waster - Deep Sea Diver 2'

In 'Deep Sea Diver 2,' you are surprise, surprise - a deep sea diver searching for treasure. You've gotten some hot leads about where to find some treasure. 

This is a mouse-only game where you can dive deeper and longer and ward off more difficult opponents.

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Thursday, 27 December 2012 20:59

Read All About It

A year at the Maine Edge

It was the end of 2011. I was sitting in the Nexxlinx cafeteria, sipping an energy drink and wonder what exactly my life was trying to pull. I had lost my job at Wal-Mart, I had moved out my apartment and back into my parent's basement. It was three in the morning, and my soul-sucking job as an Electronics Arts customer service representative was doing nothing for my morale. I had hit rock-bottom. One of my sole joys was wandering over to the Maine Edge kiosk and perusing the myriad, interesting articles. It was a paper written not by industry-hardened individuals, but real people. There was an honesty and openness that you generally don't find in a paper.But they didn't have a video game section.I, having years of experience in running off my mouth in a grammatically-correct fashion, decided to throw one of my college papers in their direction. I figured I had nothing to lose, because what was one more 'no' in a world that insisted on dragging me into the silt of depression?

Published in Tekk
Thursday, 09 August 2012 07:08

The Goodship Wafflechop

Loose lips sink spaceships 

A bit of backstory: I've been playing a crapton of 'Sins of a Solar Empire,' and one of my favorite pastimes is giving my ships incredibly dumb names. Normally this would be the end of it. But my imagination decided to wander off with my keyboard, so instead of me telling you about why this game is real-time, slow-burn strategy gold, I'm going to share a short tale of those unfortunate enough to be stuck serving on one of my ill-named behemoth capital ships.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:07

'Rhythm Heaven Fever': better than 'Guitar Hero'

I guess I'm having trouble deciding what to say about 'Rhythm Heaven Fever.' It's a great name! Definitely. If I made a game I wouldn't hesitate to put any of those three words in the title. I'm taking a break from 'screenwriting' (sitting in the dark listening to 70s Japanese smoke-rock and thinking about Michelangelo Antonioni) to write this review, and it is hitting me that 'Fever' might be a pretty good name for a movie about a lonely guy that works in a mill. 'Rhythm' is also, maybe, not terrible.

Segue: 'Rhythm Heaven Fever,' though, is decidedly not cinematic. It is all game and no blockbuster. It's simple. It's a rhythm game - like 'Rock Band,' yeah - in which many of the songs can be completed with one button and none of them require more than two. You never have to do anything other than either press A or press A and B at the same time. With a Wii Remote, pressing A and B at the same time is a lot like squeezing your controller, which is not a coincidence. 'Rhythm Heaven Fever' is not concerned with videogame controllers so much as distinct inputs: There are no As and Bs; there is The Button, and The Controller. In this song, press The Button to shake your tambourine, and squeeze The Controller to smack it; squeeze to catch an incoming piece of candy, press to swat away an incoming spidermonster.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:05

Allegorically Speaking

A legend from the dawn of the decade

Cobbled together from legends and stories that former Peons have told, this is the tale of but one serfdom in the kingdom of Obnoxious Game Place.

Once upon a time, there was a happy serfdom in the kingdom of Obnoxious Game Place. With high taxes and an oppressive army that stood watch over their vassals, it was rare to see such a happy little village in the Game Place domain. Through hard work and dedication, they carved out a life for themselves in the harsh political climate. While the serfs didn't have much to call their own, they had each other, and they supported each other the best they could to do the best they could in spite of their harsh conditions.

Published in Tekk

NEW YORK To impress kids these days, it's not enough to make another video game. Mere action figures won't do, either. So Activision is merging the two.

With 'Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure,' Activision is using some of its 'Guitar Hero' technology in a new venture that's part handheld toy, part digital entertainment. Aimed at kids, 'Skylanders' is among the latest and most ambitious game in a growing genre that blends a child's physical world with a video game and online media.

The new game marks Activision's latest stab at a must-have holiday hit, less than a year after it killed off its iconic 'Guitar Hero' franchise. Although Activision Blizzard Inc. still has hit titles such as 'Call of Duty,' people are increasingly turning to free or cheaper games on mobile devices and social networks and buying fewer expensive video game discs that account for a large chunk of Activision's business.

Published in Tekk
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