Lost Cities [App o' the Mornin']

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The original tabletop version Rainer Knezia’s Lost Cities, originally released in 1999, found a loyal following, and even migrated to the Xbox about 5 years ago. The premise and design of Lost Cities is very simple. There are five archaeological “expeditions”, each represented by a different color: white, red, green, blue, and gold. Within the [Read More...]

Papers Please [App o' the Mornin']

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I have no idea whether to recommend Papers Please: A Dystopian Document Thriller (Steam/Lucas Pope, PC/Mac: $10) to you or not. It’s intended for a very particular kind of gamer and its elements and retro visual style are guaranteed to drive the majority of players away before the first game-day is over. But if you [Read More...]

Pandemic [App o' the Mornin']

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Four diseases are spreading across the planet, and your goal is to find the cure for each in this adaptation of the award-winning co-operative boardgame. Pandemic (F2Z/Z-MAN Games, iPad: $6) is a tense game, with many ways to lose and one way to win: cure four diseases by matching sets of cards. Along the way, [Read More...]

Child’s Play Charity Sets New Record

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When the creators of the popular web comic Penny Arcade created the Child’s Play initiative in 2003, they had no idea how big it would get. That first year they raised $250,000 in toys and money for kids at the Seatlle Children’s Hospital to “make the holidays a little bit brighter for the kids in [Read More...]

The Retro-Cartoon Stylings of Cuphead

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If this game plays half as amazing as it looks, we’re in for a treat.  Cuphead in ‘Don’t Deal With the Devil’ is a side-scrolling action game hand-animated in the style of a 1930s Fleischer Brothers cartoon. Here’s how the designers describe it: Cuphead is a classic run and gun that centers around 1-on-1 fights [Read More...]

Simulating the Mundane, And What It Means

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One of the stranger backwaters of gaming is niche simulation: using lush 3D engines and expansive environments to simulate everyday tasks like driving a bus, fixing an airplane, collecting garbage, or planting corn. These are not training simulators (which are a different thing), but entertainment products. I don’t mean strategy games, which have a puzzle-like [Read More...]

NSA Now Spying on Gamers

A member of the NSA's crack WoW surveillance team.

Those Pandaren are pretty shifty looking. Your tax dollars at work: NSA employees playing World of Warcraft because something something something TERRORISM! ProPublica has a report on data collection and surveillance of online gaming groups at WoW and Second Life. (Wait, people are still playing Second Life? That’s just kind of … sad.) The fear [Read More...]

Which New Game System Should You Buy: Xbox or PlayStation?

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I’ll keep it short: neither. In a year, maybe, you can consider getting into the new generation of consoles by buying either an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4. From what I’ve seen, I’d lean towards the Xbox One, because I prefer the Microsoft ecosystem, it has better multimedia features, and Microsoft has a better [Read More...]


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