Tag Archives: gaming

Old Game, Current Favourite

chess

It’s often said that the oldest games are the best, and if you look at some of the classic games played today, many of them have ancient origins. Chess is a great example, though the current form evolved in the 1400s in Europe, there is evidence to show similar games dating back to 6th century AD in India, from where it spread to Persia. Roulette has also been linked to a game that Roman soldiers would play with a chariot wheel and many gambling games have been linked to Ancient China and Greece.

Even the humble game of bingo has historic origins. The earliest game recorded that bears similarity to bingo as we know it today is the ‘Lo gioco del lotto del Italia’ which was played during the 1500s. It had a similar format to bingo games today, with each player having a card with nine columns and three rows.

In fact the same game is still played in Italy today. – A lottery style game played in Italy in the 1500s. It proved to be so popular that it was soon being played in other European countries. The game card bore quite a strong resemblance to the bingo cards we see today. It had nine columns and three rows, with numbers on some of the spaces. Players listened as the numbers were called out and covered up matching numbers on their cards with a wooden counter – the win went to whoever first covered a complete row.

Today, the internet is full of bingo sites offering a wide array of bingo games and fun features. If you play on a site like www.costabingo.com you’ll see that things haven’t changed much, except it’s even easier to play online bingo as you don’t have to mark off the numbers yourself. And of course, the prizes have reached staggering amounts. Though there are still small amounts to play  for, you can also choose to join in the progressive jackpot games and those that offer guaranteed jackpots – like the Costa Crazy game on a Friday which is free to play, even though it has a £10,000 jackpot!

Whatever kind of gaming you’re into bingo is a game that’s great for people of all ages. For some it’s a great way to unwind at the end of the day on the way back from work, for others it’s the social side of the bingo chat rooms that they enjoy the most.

There are so many bingo sites online now that they all compete to get new players to sign up with them and offer great welcome bonuses to get players off to a great start. Most sites will match or double the first amount that a new player puts into their account. These first deposit bonuses can really boost your account balance significantly. Then there are always other promotions to take advantage of – such as special games that tie in with big events or changes in the seasons. Keep an eye on the promotions tab of the site you join to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.

With all these incentives to play, it’s not surprising that the traditional game of bingo is now more popular than ever.

 Photo credit: 
Image by JamesBrown2013

Tabletop Game Review: Arcana

by Zeb Larson

arcanaArcana is a game that I can’t quite seem to explain why I like so much. It’s not the best game that I’ve ever played, nor is it especially easy to teach. The rulebook can be frustratingly oblique at times and some of the action is very luck-driven, something I’m not wild about in games. In spite of everything I’ve just said, I really like this game, and I’m going to do my best to explain why that is. The game has an interesting bidding mechanism, gorgeous artwork, an oddly compelling backstory which has just enough holes to allow you to fill them in and some very enjoyable player interaction.

For those who haven’t played, Arcana is a 2 to 4 player card game set in a city called Cadwallon. Players take the role of guilds, such as the Ferrymen, Thieves, Architects and so on as they bid for control of treasure, notable personalities and locations. Players begin the game with a deck of 11 cards which has a number of personalities and a treasure card as well. The game is played by bidding on different cards which are in play in the center. Each card has an assigned point value, with treasures worth 1, characters worth 3 and locations worth 5. The starting guilds are all somewhat different from each other, though not markedly so. Each will have a couple of high cards in one area and be lacking in another, and each is able to win a tied bid based on the type of bid. For example, the Guild of Blades wins all bids in which swords are the relevant statistic.

arcana setupThe game is played like so:

The Rundown on Nvidia’s Shield

Written by Brett Reistroffer

nvidia-shield

After recently announcing the launch price point for their first foray into the handheld gaming market, video chip maker Nvidia’s Shield was made available for initial pre-orders this week. Here’s a rundown on the mobile device and what it will bring to the gaming table.

-The device will launch for $350, no bundles or deals have been announced.

-The release date for the Shield has been set for June 30th, according to the pre-order pages on both Newegg and Gamestop, but has not been officially confirmed by Nvidia.

-For games, the system will play any Android based software, as it runs on the newest version, 4.2.1 Jelly Bean, along with the ability to stream Steam games from your PC wirelessly to the handheld unit. Although, you are going to need a beefed up gaming computer capable of playing games like Skyrim, Arkham City, and Dishonored in order to take full advantage of the feature.

-Games played on the handheld can be streamed directly to a TV using a mini-HDMI connection. This includes games streamed from your PC, although it would be often easier to stream your PC gaming directly to your high-def television set without a ‘middleman’ component, but this at least offers a new way to go about it.

-Users can connect their Google Play account to the device, allowing access to the service’s full complement of music, movies, shows, books, magazines, and games.

nvidia-shield2

-The unit will sport a fairly impressive body of hardware, which includes:

  • -A Tegra 4 GPU that uses a quad-core ARM architecture with 2gb of dedicated RAM
  • -A 5 inch 720p retinal quality touch-screen display
  • -Full motion sensing
  • -Wireless N, Bluetooth, and GPS
  • -For storage, 16gb flash memory and a MicroSD card slot
  • -Input/Outputs for: Micro USB 2.0, Mini-HDMI, Stereo Headphone jack with microphone support
  • -And of course, a full controller built into the device itself

At the initial price point, the handheld won’t be a fast moving product and will mostly likely market itself best to gamers on the more hardcore spectrum. However, it would be easy to see the device’s simplicity and ease of integration into the all-important living room area as a platform on which it can eventually break into the mainstream gaming market.

OfficialWebsitefortheNvidiaShield

Pre-Order at:

Newegg

Gamestop

 

Bungie’s New Project Revealed!

Written by Lance Alexander

So this looks interesting!
It doesn’t go into detail about… well, much, but it’s still enough to whet our appetites and get us excited for more!

Some of those enemies look really intense!

Aliens Colonial Marines: Not worth the bandwidth required to pirate it

Written by Lance Alexander

aliens-colonial-marines-logo

I was very excited about this game, excited to a point where I was rabidly following any update I could find. Like an addict, I had to get my fix. So to say that this game was unfulfilling is a polite understatement. This is a game that was so vastly disappointing to me that it’s taken awhile to calm down enough to write about it.

Let’s talk about the good things, because it will be brief. Aliens Colonial Marines started off on a good note. Sure, the graphics were disappointing after such a long development cycle, but it’s forgivable, at first, because your just so bloody EXCITED to start playing. Again at first, it’s good. It’s atmospheric, it uses the sounds and lighting in great ways. You feel tense, and it’s perfect. It’s the kind of Aliens game that you’ve been waiting for.

Sadly, for single player, that’s about where the good things end. Multi-player provides a decent experience, even if the weapons are terrible and the game types are dated. Imagine the multi-player as Left 4 Dead, where all the Zombies have been removed and you’re just playing against special infected. It’s fun, and it provides its thrills, but eventually you do start to feel drained by it.

aliens-colonial-marines

Unfortunately for everyone, this is where the good things end. As is typical for the more recent additions to the Aliens video games, this is simply another disappointment in a long string of disappointments. The game engine is weak, to a point where it’s more common for the game to glitch out and break down than work properly. The weapons, as previous mentioned, are terrible. At first, the pulse rifle is pretty great, and in single player it is legitimately the go-to weapon. Things like the flame thrower, smart gun and turrets are a blast, but eventually, like everything else, they simply fall way short of the mark. The AI is a disaster. The aliens in single player are so predictable that you can count on them to ALWAYS make a bee line for you unless your playing in co-op. Your ‘friendly’ marine AI is so bad it almost seems like they take pleasure in watching you get mauled to death. They don’t help, and they will literally watch an alien beat you to death without doing a single thing to save you. Worse, you can actually shoot THROUGH your teammates as if they weren’t there, and vice versa, the aliens can leap through the AI characters like they were phantoms. The hit boxes are a wreck, with the only consistent thing being that head shots don’t count as head shots. Character animations are choppy, to be nice about it, and how they interact with the game world is so terrible that it’s common for you to ‘trip’ on a rough edge in a level and get insta gibbed by fall damage.

PlayStation 4 Specs Leaked!

Written by Lance Alexander

Recently the PlayStation 4, Code Named ‘Orbis,’ had it’s system specs leaked to Kotaku in the form of some 90 PDF files. This leak was brought to us by ‘SuperDae,’ the same individual who attempted to sell two Xbox 360 dev kits on Ebay. Meaning, my dear friends, that the authenticity of this leak is highly probable.

So what has Sony got in store for it’s fan base in the next console generation? Take a gander at this;

System Memory: 8GB
Video Memory: 2.2 GB
CPU: 4x Dual-Core AMD64 “Bulldozer” (so, 8x cores)
GPU: AMD R10xx
Ports: 4x USB 3.0, 2x Ethernet
Drive: Blu-Ray
HDD: 160GB
Audio Output: HDMI & Optical, 2.0, 5.1 & 7.1 channels

Now, this IS a dev kit. So you can assume that there will be some slight changes between now and the PS4’s release date. Like you won’t need two USB 3.0 ports, as much as you may want them, because that’s just for internal testing purposes, and the HDD will probably be bigger, etc, etc. I don’t know anything else at this time (like will it support backwards compatibility) but when I hear anything, I’ll send the information on down the line!

Till then, game on people!

What might be a PS4

What might be a PS4

Family Guy Online Canceled!

Written by Lance Alexander

fgo_logo

No big surprise here; Family Guy Online is canceled. This game just went into open beta not to long ago, and now it’s being outright canceled with no hope of ever returning.

Not a game I was particularly interested in, but it had some positive hype. So whats the reasoning behind this unfortunate turn of events?

Well sadly for the developers, not even having Seth McFarlane’s blessing could save them from what was apparently a very, very poorly designed game. The script was about as good as a typical Family Guy episode but hearsay has it that the gameplay was painful to deal with.

 

Read the nitty gritty here.

 

FGO_Stewie_MegaphoneQuest

 

Why The World Needs a Pokemon MMO

Written by Chris Guyton

TGG_Epi_11_Pokemon_MMOThe recent news that Family Guy Online will be shutting down its servers in January and the MMORPG world losing yet another contender, I began pondering about the state of the genre. While games like World of Warcraft have consistently held on to subscribers, it is interesting that other MMOs have failed horrendously despite attempting to draw people in by taking bold steps such as making the games free to play. WoW has remained the dominant title in the world of MMOs for years, quickly overshadowing classics such as Everquest from the moment it was released back in 2004, and continues to accrue new subscribers every day. Even titles that derive their source material from other mediums that are popular in the nerd world, such as the comic book inspired DC Universe Online and even Star Wars: The Old Republic, have paled in comparison to the almighty WoW and went free to play almost as quickly as they were launched. Final Fantasy XIV, which has been cited as one of the worst games in the series, also shut down its servers recently, and Square is planning a relaunch in hopes that a new version of the game might gain more ground (Conversely, Final Fantasy XI still maintains quite an impressive amount of subscribers, although still significantly less than WoW). Its almost a wonder that so many publishers continue to dip their feet in the MMORPG waters, considering the fact that coming close to WoWs 12 million user mark is a feat that almost seems impossible at this point.

Black Ops 2 DLC Official Release

Written by Lance Alexander

Looks like that leak was legit, here’s the Official Preview video from Treyarch on Blops 2: Revolution DLC

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct – Gameplay Trailer

Written by Lance Alexander

It’s Awful. So Awful.

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct isn’t a game I’m looking forward too. It’s not that I don’t find the idea of a Walking Dead FPS to be interesting, but I’ve had concerns about this game from the very moment I heard it was in development. This gameplay trailer doesn’t alleviate any of my concerns, in fact despite secretly hoping it would defy my admittedly low expectations this has only served to make my opinion of this game sour more.

I’m not talking graphics or frame rate, this is apparently footage from an early alpha build after all. Simply based on the gameplay mechanics it’s showing off, I’m not impressed. It’s not showing anything innovative or interesting. It’s the same gameplay mechanics we’ve seen a million times in a million other stealth games. But since it’s being made by Terminal Reality, the same studio that brought us such games as the abomination ‘Star Wars: Kinect,’ I can’t say I’m surprised either.

My griping aside, hopefully Terminal Reality will take the massive amounts of negative criticism this video has already received on Youtube to heart. If not, each and every copy of this game should come with hand written letters of apology.