Archive for the ‘Games’ Category


iApprove: The Impossible Quiz.

February 17, 2009

Another piece of interest from The Meming of Life, this one very different: a Flash quiz with a few twists.  It starts out with fairly basic questions (with less-than-obvious answers), but quickly degrades into odd puzzles and occasional nonsense.  It’s great entertainment, and will certainly stretch your brains in ways that you’re not used to.

Check it out at


An update on the Animal Crossing grass problem.

January 25, 2009

No update yet on whether the ACCF developers actually plan on doing anything about the grass, although it doesn’t look good so far; preliminary conversations with techies reveal that the Animal Tracks grass-loss feature is working “as intended”.  Not that this has stopped dedicated petitioners.  Josh Thomas has launched another petition, which has gathered over 1500 signatures so far and is still going strong — if you’re concerned about grass loss and haven’t signed this one already, by all means, do so.  Maybe the techies will get the message.

And if they don’t, we will have to move on to the next phase: mailing our signatures, along with plastic turds, to Nintendo headquarters.  That ought to convince them of our sincerity.


iApprove: Risus.

January 21, 2009

There are a lot of tabletop RPG systems out there.  Like, really a lot.  Most of which don’t really mesh.  Consequentially, if you want to do multiple RPGs, not only do you have to read and memorize all these different systems, but you have to pay for them all.

Risus: The Anything RPG sidesteps both of these difficulties.

Firstly, it’s free, saving you from spending fifteen-plus dollars each time you want to play a different genre.  Secondly, it is, as the title suggests, a universal system (though it is designed mainly for comedy).  You can play virtually anything with it, even pre-existing RP universes if you’re so inclined (the legality of this is uncertain if you do not own a guidebook for said universe).

While there are a large number of universal systems available, Risus is without doubt the easiest I have ever seen.  Rather than using the stat/point/ability systems common to many RPGs, everything in Risus is neatly compiled into “clichés”, or character archetypes.  Rather than points, each player receives ten dice (real or imaginary) which they can invest into various clichés.  For example, a character can put four dice into Wizard, four into Poet, two into Pulp Action Hero and one into Marine Biologist.  Adding a cliché automatically equips you with all the necessary tools of the trade and the ability to attempt anything that the archetype could possibly do – cast spells, write poetry, swing over ravines by a whip, or identify lesser porpoises, for example.  To attempt something, roll the dice you’ve invested in the relevant cliché and compare your results to the difficulty number.

There are a few other bonuses – upgrading dice, for example, or taking a crippling weakness for a bonus die – and you may have to modify it for some universes, but it is without a doubt the simplest and most humorous system I know of.


DoNotWant: Extreme Grass Loss in Animal Crossing.

January 13, 2009

Houston, we have a problem.

It comes in the form of grass.  Specifically, the grass that covers the ground of our towns in Animal Crossing: City Folk — or rather, fails to cover.

City Folk was designed with an interesting feature: the grass is destructible.  Any time you walk over a patch of grass, then save and quit the game, a certain amount of damage is recorded to that patch of grass.  The idea behind this was that over time, grass would wear down, creating natural pathways wherever you walked.  Avoid walking in those places, and the grass will regenerate, so you don’t have to worry about your town going bald.

At least, not if you’re a single player playing only once a day.

For the rest of us, who can’t do all our playing all at once and/or actually SHARE the game with other people, our towns are losing their grass in a matter of weeks.  And not just the path grass.  Our entire towns are going bald, as certain features of the game require us to run over the entire thing to take advantage of them.

Great, huh?

The players of Animal Crossing aren’t taking this lying down.  (Well, some of them are, but we call them “weenies”.)  They have a complaint thread on the Club Nintendo message board and a petition to get the problem fixed.  If those don’t work, we’ll be sending in our game copies for full refunds.  Because seriously, I’m not taking this rubbish.


iApprove: Mario Paint Composer.

January 12, 2009

I love eight-bit music.  I also love music that can be composed.

With Mario Paint, you can use the Compose feature to easily assemble eight-bit music.  The program uses a colorful graphical interface where the tune is dependent on the elevation of each note, and each type of sound is represented by a unique icon, so it’s incredibly easy to tell what you’re putting there — or at least, easy in the sense of composer programs.  They tend to elude me rather painfully.

One technical downside is that there are no half- or quarter-notes; you need to set the tempo to the smallest possible increment and place your other notes in corresponding positions to get the timing you want.  Not that this has stopped people from doing incredible arrangements of Never Gonna Give You Up, Through the Fire and Flames, and Thriller.

I ask you, what could possibly be more nostalgic to the young adults of today than 80’s music that sounds like an early Nintendo arrangement?


iLOL’d: Describe A Character SMeyer Style!

January 3, 2009

Over at the Twilight Sucks forum, people are relentless.  They have a lot of problems with the book series Twilight, with the behavior of its author, and occasionally with some of its fans.

Fortunately, they know how to take things with a sense of humor.

One of their funnier endeavors has been the Describe A Character SMeyer Style thread.  Less a mockery of Stephenie Meyer than some good old-fashioned silliness (by this point, anyway), the thread is an ongoing game where forum users choose any character from any source and describe him/her, using flowery prose and positive adjectives in an effort to make the character as sexy as possible.  One unspoken rule seems to be “the sillier, the better” — characters have ranged from Spongebob to the TARDIS to House.

Since the forum requires signup to access, I can’t provide a link, but here’s a sampling: my personal favorite entry.

“The tall, tall, very tall bushes swayed in the landscape behind him, caught by a light breeze and jittering quietly. Sitting in front, in perfect contrast to their forest green was a man in faded, cherry red. Sitting flat on his well-rounded posterior, grass cradling his overalls carefully and lovingly, his mustache whispered against the subtle wind, each well-crafted hair catching the sunlight and holding it close, warming his smiling face. His plump nose wiggled softly as he sniffed at the air, capturing the scent of pasta in his smooth nostrils. Standing up awkwardly, he patted the dirt off his behind, and hopped excitedly, allowing a cheerful sound to escape from beneath his brusque mustache. His leathery soles slapped the dirt as he took off at an Olympian pace, faster and faster, gaining ungodly speed. He thrust his muscular arms out at his sides, forming makeshift and yet perfect substitutes for the wings of which his angelic form had been so wrongfully robbed. Finally, he leapt into the air, and oh how mighty and beautiful a leap it was! He landed upon the ground some distance away, finding the pasta close by. Searching around carefully, and deciding he was alone, he began to gobble it up with haste, but even as his face became more and more smeared with rigatoni and meat sauce I couldn’t help but become lost in his ocean blue eyes. I found myself yearning to pick every singular hair of his mustache clean, and stroke his round, protruding belly. Heaven help me if I ever reached for the straps of his overalls, for God himself could not stop me then.”

Should you try this game for yourself, be warned: you may need a long shower afterward.


iApprove: Animal Crossing.

December 28, 2008

Ohh, what a long time ago it was that I was first introduced to Animal Crossing. Or at least, it feels like it, despite the fact that it’s only been a year and three days. But what a ride this sweet little game has taken me on in that time.

It seemed so innocent at first. A cute little game, with cute little humans for main characters and cute little animals to interact with. What could be more innocent? More simple? More Zen?


Animal Crossing is so much more than a simple child’s game. It’s an ongoing commitment. For that matter, everything in the entire game is about commitment. You’re committed to paying off your mortgage to Nook (and you HAVE to, because if you don’t your house will never get any bigger and the one you have certainly isn’t big enough to hold all your furniture). You’re committed to filling up the museum (because Blathers looks at you with those big owl eyes and begs you to contribute things). Even the wandering “townies” give you commitments: take this package to Ruby, and can you please do it by 6 PM?

What’s worse, you’re committed to playing every day (not so good around the holidays, which is exactly why I haven’t been doing it). If you don’t, weeds grow, your flowers wilt, the animals notice your absence (“3 weeks! That’s how long you’ve been gone!” *grouse grouse grouse*), and… well, things really start to suck.

And the craziest thing about all of this is that you like it. This loony game is so cute and so engaging that you have absolutely no problem with giving it an hour or more of your life every day just so that you can deliver packages to cute little animals or rearrange the furniture in your house or collect new furniture or buy overpriced paintings from a traveling shyster. Yes, PAINTINGS are the pinnacle of excitement in this game — well, that and fishing for sharks, which you can do while standing on the cute little beach with your cute little fishing pole.

It’s a crazy game, but there is so much love.