Blog Archives

Do Androids Dream of Electric Algebra?

Those aren't her eyes.

Sentient is a bit of a weird one. By plugging robots into your mainframe — and doing your best to keep things orderly when their growing awareness starts to kick back — you hope to position your company at the forefront of the sentient revolution. It sounds like the first act of a robot uprising story, not a game designed around basic algebraic operations.

It doesn’t help that the game’s setting is about as substantial as chalk dust. As a thought experiment, my gaming group redesigned the whole thing on the spot to be about trying to persuade our pal Geoff to do us a favor, wherein his mental states — things like “playing Angry Birds right now” and “has another question about the rules” — might begin to affect our collective mood. It worked just fine.

But that’s where Sentient sets itself apart, because in spite of its insubstantial fluff and algebra-based gameplay — or perhaps thanks to it — it’s a surprisingly excellent filler.

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Thump!

Yeah, it's ugly and tilted. That's what happens when publishers don't put out forward-facing box images. The whole world suffers.

The best thing about Clank! is that it’s a deck-building game, which is one of those phrases I didn’t see myself using, right alongside “I wish I could take the bus more often” and “Cabbage tastes better when burnt.” And yet it’s the gospel truth. Clank! is a good game, maybe even a great game, and largely because it’s a deck-builder.

Then again, the worst thing about Clank! is also that it’s a deck-building game, so there’s that.

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Ten Minutes to Kablooie

In the "kablooey" vs. "kablooie" debate, I've only come down on the side of the latter thanks to Hamster Huey.

Only a few weeks ago, I offered a review of five-minute game Meteor, arguing that it was one of the easiest games to put on the table for its brevity, simplicity, and real-time goodness.

Well, that review was apparently a thrown gauntlet, because I’ve been challenged to take a look at FUSE, another real-time game — ten minutes long this time — which I will never again type in all caps.

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