I don’t play a lot of games on my phone these days, because a lot of them are touchscreen-controlled garbage, bad knockoffs of games that I didn’t really want to play in the first place or microtransaction-infested pits of misery and despair.
However, once in a while a game comes along with none of those issues. A game where you can pay once and just play it; a game where you’ll never see an ad, never be asked to pay again and not be bugged every ten minutes to “rate 5 stars on the App Store”.
And sometimes that game is even good! Here’s Take It Easy, by Ravensburger.
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Take It Easy
Any time you undertake a project like this, you have to accept that some elements of it are just going to be less of a “spectator sport” than others.
Such is the case with today’s Atari ST game, the not-much-to-look-at-but-fun-to-play Shanghai by Activision, an adaptation of Mahjong Solitaire that makes use of the ST’s built-in graphical user interface GEM as the foundation of its aesthetic. This was not at all an unusual approach back in the day, and is akin to more modern PC games running on Windows 95 and beyond making use of a windowed interface and standardised Windows controls. Not the most beautiful look, no, but perfectly functional — and a lot more intuitive to those who perhaps don’t play a lot of games.
Compared to more recent adaptations of Mahjong Solitaire, Shanghai is fairly limited, but it nonetheless remains a pleasingly relaxing, Zen sort of experience. Once you figure out how to read the screen properly, that is…
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Okay, I got it wrong. I have not yet finished Hand of the Heavenly Bride, nor was I near to doing so.
Well, actually, that might not quite be true. But I have been getting a little distracted on my way to what I can only assume is the final boss: first with grinding to get Bianca up to a similar level as my protagonist and their children, and subsequently with the subject of today’s article.
Many RPGs today concentrate primarily on their core mechanics, with their optional content involving those same mechanics: challenging combat, deep dungeons or hard-to-find items. But the Dragon Quest series, like Final Fantasy, is one that has always incorporated minigames into the mix, with their own completely separate ways of playing. And it’s that I’d like to talk about today.
Continue reading Delving into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #6
My most-played and arguably favourite Nintendo DS game is not a big first-party release from Nintendo, nor is it a title that is talked about particularly frequently in general.
It is, however, a game that everyone who actually played has extremely fond memories of — and with good reason. The trouble is, it’s all too easy to dismiss it as yet another piece of shovelware — something the DS wasn’t exactly short of, particularly later in its lifespan.
I am, of course, referring to Agenda’s 42 All-Time Classics, also known in North America as Clubhouse Games, and in its native Japan as Daredemo Asobi Taizen (loosely translated, Everyone Wants to Play). This is a title that, if you have a Nintendo DS to hand, I strongly recommend adding to your library, because it will keep you and your friends busy for hours.
Continue reading Nintendo DS Essentials: 42 All-Time Classics