Matt! Show us a Pic of your new TV!

Chris tells me you got a big one. Care to put up a snapshot and tell me which one it is =).

Posted by jeff on 1/20/04 at 7:41PM • linkcomment (11)

Star Chamber

After being reminded of it by Penny Arcade, I've been playing around with a pretty cool new online-only collectible card game called Star Chamber. It's a neat combination of 4x turn-based strategy (think Master of Orion - the old one, not the crappy new one) and collectible card gaming (think Magic: The Gathering). And I don't mean that it has a strategy game with a card game sort of tacked on - i.e. Etherlords - the cards actually affect the overall game; you don't just enter into little side card-battles to settle skirmishes encountered on the overworld map. The client is a free download, and once you sign up (also free) you can play around with sample decks in solo play.

The client and UI seem pretty solid and well designed, and I'm having a blast in the solo demo games, so I think I'm going to get their $20 starter deck deal soon (14 packs, 210 cards). The game has been very well reviewed, especially for an independent company, with the primary complaint being "not enough players online yet." Hopefully, with me and other Penny Arcade readers (c'mon, Chris, you know you want to ^_^ ) playing, we can remedy that.

Anyway, I highly recommend trying the tutorials and solo mode, even if you don't intend to spend any money. It's a unique and enjoyable experience.

Posted by martin on 1/20/04 at 1:10PM • linkcomment (2)

Very Bad Thing

I donít know how many of you read GameSpot, but they can be interesting at times, if not just a little biased.... But anyway, I have always found the bad reviews to be more fun than the good ones for two reasons. (1) they are entertaining and (2) they donít make me buy anything.

So today I look at it and there is a review for a game called "Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing" which has a whopping score of 1, the lowest possible. I suggest you read it, it is really funny. It turns out that the "racing" is supposed to be you in a big rig with cargo trying to outrun the cops. But the trucks are only cabs, so they donít have cargo. There also arenít any cops, or anything around. Well, there is the other truck, the one you are supposed to race against. But it doesnít move, or do anything really, so it doesnít exactly count. None of the terrain actually acts like terrain, you go right over hills as if they were flat. Trees, bushes, buildings and bridges are intangible, not that it matters because you can go down and through whatever the bridge was going over. There are no level boundaries so you can go off to limbo freely.

But the best part is when I went to go look at the company who made it. First, the publisher is a company called GameMill, which doesnít have a website, press release or anything actually to have Google tell it. The developer is called Stellar Stone, and they are much more interesting. They offer "from scratch development of video games" and other such services for a fraction of the cost because they do everything in Russia. Only half of their website has content, and most of it is repetitive. But the kicker is the support page, where they have a patch for Big Rigs. It is called "Big rigs: Over the road racing Patch 1.0". Think about that for a second. When have you ever seen an "upgrade" for a game that was marked 1.0? (and Martin, donít mention ADOM, ok?) Makes you wonder what the retail version is.

There is also a pretty funny reader review at GameSpot, I also suggest reading it. And as you can probably tell, I do not have any work yet, so I can write a really long post about almost nothing. This is fun....

Posted by chris on 1/20/04 at 7:16AM • linkcomment (4)

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