Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Game on

The Boy despairs of my gaming preferences. If it doesn't require at least 1Gb RAM and come on six CDs, it isn't worth the time of day.

He thinks Luddite, I say classically minded. Minesweeper and Tetris are horrendously addictive. Further up the ladder of complexity, the original Lemmings can still never be beat, even if it's a lot harder now to play the original DOS game on an XP computer. I mean, anything where the background music can segue effortlessly from electronic beepy 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' into electronic beepy 'The Good, the Bad & the Ugly' can only be art.

More accessible to a modern PC, and written in very much the same spirit, is Flea Circus (thanks to friend David C for introducing me): it's still all about getting your little creatures from A to B avoiding various obstacles and using a limited set of props. It's a bit like plotting a novel. You know where you're starting from and you know where you want to end up. How you actually get there, goodness knows.


  1. Charlie and I used to play fiercely competitive Minesweeper when we should have been writing tiddlers. I would go for lunch and come back to find he'd beaten the Expert high score on my PC (it would say 'Your Mum'), and I would then spend hours trying to reclaim it. Eventually someone told me you could change the high scores by editing the ini file and I did that one day on his PC (154 seconds: Jo's Mum). He was loads better at Minesweeper than me, and I'm not sure he ever worked out how I did it.
    Ah, we knew how to make our own fun in those days.

  2. And young'uns today won't believe you.

    I only recently found that if you've selected a mine and click a square next to it with both buttons together, then the entire safe area clears in one go. Though if you've selected wrongly then you die, so it's to be used with caution.

  3. I managed to knock 20% off my best-ever expert score when I discovered that 'doubleclick' mouse trick. A heavy session the night before, however, and some shaky hands does make it easy to click the wrong button. A bit of a shock when you confidently click and then die instantly.

    Sadly my gaming days are long gone. Fond memories of hours spent on my ZX Spectrum, Jetpac, Jetset Willy, et al, and then all-day deathmatch Doomfests and DUke Nukem (at a consultancy company I once worked for in the 90s) are distant memories. The occasional whipping on my nephew's playstation is all I'm left with - sad really.

    Glad you liked the beer can recipe BTW. And there is a splendid book out about gaming which Nicki wouldn't let me get for the shop: 0752226258. I had to be dragged away from it at a recent trade fair...

  4. Thank you for confirming my suspicions about consultancy companies. And The Video Games Guide ... hmm. Might end up on someone's Christmas list!


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