Game Review: Lucky Pirate

Lucky Pirate is a Facebook game. That means that it is unfortunately infected with the bane of my existence, the enthusiastic “share with others” bullsh*t.

Beyond that though, it’s not a game really. It’s more of an extended bonus round from a slot machine.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun and slightly addicting.

The general premise is that you get keys to open pirate chests. Each of these chests contains either gold coins, power ups, or nothing. That’s it. You get 5 keys in the first room, 4 in the next, etc.

Your objective is to 1) gather the most coins to get the top score/free lives 2) collect “prize” items to complete collections which can be traded for power-ups 3) level up 4) poison your friends feeds with your information.

Now, I have found myself enjoying the game immensely. Why? Because it’s an extended bonus round in a slot machine. And I’ve actually found strategy built into it. The strategic deployment of power-ups actually does increase your chances of getting more coins and therefore a higher score. The music isn’t annoying (wait while I check to see if I’ve turned off the music – no, it’s on).

The female pirate is fully-clothed. You might not think this is a big deal, but when you’ve played “Pirate Booty” or any number of slot machines, it is. It’s a huge deal. She’s pretty, attractive, and *not* showing cleavage or all of her leg. So kudos for that.

What does enticing your friends do for you? You get spare lives and someone to race against for “top” leader position in the weekly races. Um, that’s pretty much it. Maybe you can give power-ups? I don’t know. None of my friends play it and I’m not about to invite them.

All in all though? Not much going on. But I’m intrigued enough to play more than once per day. Not enough to give them money for anything in-game, but enough to play.

And to say: Recommended.

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Game Review: Peggle

Peggle from Popcap Games

Not Recommended.

I bought this game strictly because there were so many people on the net who praised it, calling it “addictive” and fun.

I’m on level nine. I sure hope it starts being fun and stops being tedious by level 10. That’s as much time as I’m willing to give it.

At its most basic, Peggle is the unholy union of Breakout and Plinko. That means once you fire the ball, just sit back and watch it.

You can’t control the “paddle” at the bottom. You can’t affect the ball in any way. And sadly, you don’t even get the company of Bob Barker or Drew Carey. Heck, I’d be happy if there were simply a chance of winning back the dosh I shelled out for it.

The level design is colorful and the music doesn’t make you want to stab your eardrums out, so on basic mechanics and interface, it gets and A.

For actual game play, this is a solid D minus. I’ve played slot machines with more to them. I’ve only hung in for this many levels to give it a fair shot.

Don’t bother with this. Go play Robot Unicorn on Adult Swim instead.

If you’re foolish enough to still want it, here’s a Powell’s link to the DS version:

I’m An Anonymous Woman Gamer

I’m An Anonymous Woman Gamer

“The first rule is: try to avoid pronouns.” A tall order, especially when it comes to the basic act of writing. And taller still given that Brittany (whose full name and publication she wishes to remain anonymous) has worked in editorial media for several years. “I mean, of course you end up using them. But if it’s on Reddit or The Guardian online-anything with comments or feedback-it’s the same: you’re going to get shit if readers figure out you’re female.”

Since the internet’s explosion into the mainstream, the idea of harassment has been thrown into the same semantic cyber-danger pot as “chatroom predators,” “identity theft,” and “Craigslist personals”. But as online experiences which have long been solitary become increasingly community-based, receiving abuse via interactive technology has become, it would seem, a given-and widely-absorbed into women’s online routines.

This most excellent post discusses the fact that most gaming spaces are not safe for women gamers. In fact most social media sites aren’t particularly safe for women. It’s a sad fact of life, but it’s not right and it’s not something that should be ignored.

I turn off chat functions as soon as I enter spaces. After too many “will you be my GF?” and less … appropriate comments, I got sick of it and just avoid it. I shouldn’t need to do that. I also shouldn’t have to play with a male avatar to avoid these things either.

It’s hard enough to make good connections via the web. It’s even harder when you’re subject to harassment simply for being female.

Free Book: Trigger Happy

“I thought I’d try an experiment, and give away for free an “ebook” version of my first book, Trigger Happy, with no “digital rights management” whatsoever. It’ll work on anything that can read a PDF.

Trigger Happy is a book about the aesthetics of videogames — what they share with cinema, the history of painting, or literature; and what makes them different, in terms of form, psychology and semiotics.”

This looks really cool. You can download it for free, or leave a tip in the tip jar. (Click the heading to get to the site.)

Steven Poole’s Blog (Via Boing Boing)

Article: Top 100 Games from the Seventies

Okay, I’m a child of thee 80’s, but I’ll say this: I remember most of these. I don’t know if they were just still around when I got to the age to play with them, or if I was just behind the times with cheap parents, but I do. I still have some of them. And the ones I don’t have my best friend does. There are things on here like Mastermind and Rubik’s Cube. And some things I don’t recall, but that’s because the list itself is British in origin. It’s still fun to look at, especially after the glut of Christmas.

URL: Top 100 Toys From The 70’s or Thereabouts

LucasFan Games Reproduces Maniac Mansion

Now, since I never played the original, I’m not going to be the best judge of how good this version is, but I think it’s fascinating that someone loved the game enough to make it function on a newer computer. There are a few games I miss from my Atari 2600, but I haven’t found anyone who’s programming the games I loved yet. There are, of course, versions of Breakout and such. There’s even a CD ROM of games which I don’t remember from the arcades and only one I remember from the console (Mission Control – Man, that was always a hard game).



Check out the article at:

http://www.wired.com/news/games/0,2101,66109,00.html

Game Review: Orisinal.com

Okay, just to give you fair warning. I love free on-line games. I’m addicted to the little buggers. I’ve even been known to buy one or two depending upon how much fun I think they are.

Orisinal.com is an archive of flash games that appear simple when you’re first playing them. It sneaks up on you that they’re a lot harder than they seem. There’s Dare Dozen – the object of which is to toss eggs up nest by nest to the top. It looks easy. It most definitely is not an easy game. It takes timing, skill and a good sense of trajectories. The nice thing about it is that you can just leave it up and switch back to whatever you’re supposed to be doing and it won’t affect the game in the least.

Bubble Bees, another game from the site, has a simple premise: catch the bees in bubble. You have a time limit, but every 500 points you get more time. Thus, you can continue the game. There’s a catch. Each bee is only worth 10 points if you catch it alone. If you catch 2 you get 100 points, if you catch 3 you get 500 points. Suddenly, the simple premise gets harder. It’s a lot of fun and rather addictive, like all the games on the site.

This is a personal artist’s portfolio, so the games aren’t available for sale, but there is a small store of mugs and clocks. The artist in charge of the whole deal is Ferry Halim. There’s not much more to know.

Give the games a whirl at: Orisinal