videogames

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Simon Says (Magnavox Odyssey, 1972)

Simon Says: Their ubiquitous gaze haunts me to this day . . .Simon Says: Their ubiquitous gaze haunts me to this day . . .I was unable to cajole my son into playing this game with me, but since there is a kitty cat on the Überlay I was able to lure my three year old daughter into playing it. She enjoyed it so much, that she requested to play it again on three separate occasions since.

Simon Says is best played with three people. Two people each handling a controller and a third person who plays the role of Simon. Simon draws one of the provided off-screen accessory cards, reads it and says aloud: "Simon Says: fine the (body part indicated on card)". The players have to move their PlayerSpots from their starting square to the corresponding body-part on one of the colorful Überlay children or one of their strangely legless pets. The person who gets their PlayerSpot to the correct spot first, gets to keep the card. The person with the most cards wins the game.

If the person playing Simon chooses to make it so, then the role of Simon can be played as a crafty trickster, sometimes omitting the words "Simon Says" from the command phrase. The rule being, of course, that if Simon doesn’t say “Simon says” than nobody is supposed to move their PlayerSpot at all or suffer terrible consequences, such as the loss of a card. Being the playful, tormenting father that I am, I tried it that way but quickly discovered that I should probably wait until she turns four before trying to “fake out” my daughter. It just pissed her off in a very, “Why must you cause me such pain, Daddy?” kind of way. I changed the rule to Simon having to say “please” for a command to be followed. This was more easily understood by my daughter because it’s something my wife and I are drilling into her in real life. She enjoyed chirping back at me "You didn't say 'please'!" whenever I tried to trick her.

Matt Barton's picture

What is your favorite genre of videogame?

Mark Vergeer's picture

SHMUPS - Third Person Perspective Shooting Games - Part 1

What is it about these physics-defying games that makes them one of the most long lasting genres around?

Introduction
Shoot‘em ups (SHMUPS) are a very specific kind of videogame that everybody will recognize, a type of game where you control a maneuverable weapon – often in the form of a spaceship – stopping enemies from destroying you or your bases. Control is often fairly limited, four- or eight-way control, but sometimes only sideways, combined with one or more fire-buttons. One of the most well known incarnations of the game is Space Invaders and a lot of later games all seem to be inspired by this old granddaddy of SHMUPS from the late 1970’s. Even non-gamers know what Space Invaders is about, often describing a modern day SHMUP as ‘being like Space Invaders’.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Play-Asia Affiliation for Armchair Arcade

In order to replace the void left by our affiliation with the now defunct Lik-Sang, we have entered into a relationship with Play-Asia. You can check it out under our "Merchandise and Special Offers" section or try it out below:

  Play-Asia.com - Buy Video Games for Consoles and PC - From Japan, Korea and other Regions!

Search affiliate Play-Asia for great deals on Videogame and Computer Hardware, Software and Accessories!

Bill Loguidice's picture

The PC Games Business and Why Things Don't Have to Get Better

Commodore SuperPET: Photo by Bill LoguidiceCommodore SuperPET: Photo by Bill LoguidiceGamasutra has another interesting "Analyze This", this time on "The Current State of the PC Game Business". While prior to the Nintendo Entertainment System's (NES) ascension, it was common and logical to believe that computers would negate the need for a dedicated game machine, since the late 80's the trend has fully reversed where it became fashionable to say that console gaming will kill off PC gaming. While that hasn't happened and will never happen, the "Analyze This" feature does have comments from analysts that indicate that PC gaming has become and will remain a large niche in light of console dominance, which is frankly hard to argue against.

While perhaps not as bold of a statement as it once could have been, I will agree that PC gaming will never again overtake console gaming and will remain nothing more than a third or fourth option in terms of mass market/mainstream development and sales. It's actually unfair to the PC to make the comparison, because the PC is a tremendous general purpose device, while a console is primarily designed to play games. Yes, the newer the console, the more stuff it seems to be able to do - play movies, music, display photos, etc. - but it's primarily thought of and primarily used as a game player. Someone looks at a PC and does not immediately think "game machine". They think "word processor", "e-mail", "Internet", "IM", etc., or simply "COMPUTER", all likely well before they think "game machine" (save for the hardest of hardcore).

Modojo names Top 15 GB Games

Mobile gaming blog Modojo recently featured an article on the Top 15 GB Games.

I enjoyed how they kept their list to only the old-school black and white GB games, but disagree with several of their choices.

However, they did make a few decent ones. Here's one of them.

Gargoyle's Quest This spin-off title takes it's main character from the famous Ghosts n' Goblins series. However, you won't be playing as Arthur, but instead as the fiesty gargoyle Firebrand. Firebrand is destined to become the Red Blaze, the mighty savior of the Ghoul Realm, and defeat the evil King Breagar. The gameplay differentiates between an overhead world map, and side-scrolling combat levels with light RPG elements. Missing out on this wonderful GB gem is a shame that's not so easy to live down.

Doom RPG gives Cell Phones a Wizardryish Delight

So I've settled into Portland, OR quite nicely and one of the first things I do is get a hell of a deal on a Motorola RAZR V3 Cell Phone. After fiddling with the customs settings and downloading a custom ringtone (We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister, of course), I decided to download a cell phone game that isn't exactly new: Doom RPG.

To my utter shock, it turns out to work. I never thought crossing Doom with Wizardry would end up being a fun game, but Doom RPG succeeds for the most part.

Matt Barton's picture

The Best-Selling Computer and Console Games

Answers.com has a great list of best-selling computer and console games that's well worth a look if you're curious about the sales figures of your favorite games. While it'd probably be a stretch to call this the "definitive" list, my guess is that it's about the best we're likely to see until software retailers start keeping (and reporting) more accurate figures. I commend them for doing an excellent job. There are listings here for a large number of systems, including the Atari 2600. Check it out!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Historical Thoughts on Computer and Videogame Collecting

Commodore's SuperPET: From the collection of Bill LoguidiceCommodore's SuperPET: From the collection of Bill LoguidiceIt was back on February 7, 2006, that Matt Barton and I collaborated again publicly for the first time since early 2005. Of course we were working together behind the scenes to kick-start Armchair Arcade's rebirth prior to that, but the now defunct Computer Collector Newsletter's 100th issue was where some of the more observant Armchair Arcadian's would first catch a glimpse of what was to come again. In the interest of historical preservation, I present what was eventually published in that newsletter's 100th issue, complete with edits and changes by newsletter editor, Evan Koblentz:

Matt Barton's picture

"You're Not Worthy": A History of Over-the-Top Game Ads

Infocom's Brain Ad: But Mom, I asked for King's Quest!Infocom's Brain Ad: But Mom, I asked for King's Quest!Gamesetwatch is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs, if for no other reason than they consistently post great stuff like Game Ads A-Go-Go: Visual Hyperbole, a look at silly game ads that put the hype in hyperbole. What I want to know is why videogames are so prone to over-hyping. Unfortunately, the hype works like a feedback loop, so that every new product has to up the ante with even more hype. The new Madden game? Oh, I guess it's probably even more realistic than actually being on the field...At least Nintendo had the sense to scale down the "Revolution" and go with something a wii bit more sensible.

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