Day 38 - all work and no play makes Moz a dull boy

by PaulEMoz in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I'm off work for the first half of this week, and part of my book work has revolved around thinking up suitable questions to ask people.  It takes much more time than you'd think!  I've finally got questions out to all of the initial batch that responded positively, which means I can concentrate on writing and more prep work.  But before that, as a bit of a break, I've been playing a few games today.  I haven't had proper gaming sessions... I've just been testing out the new laptop.

To be honest, I haven't got many games that will actually give it a real workout.  If I want to play most modern games, I tend to play them on my XBox 360.  So it was really just a matter of seeing how some of the games I own actually run on this baby.

First up was Hydorah, Locomalito's amazing free homage to Nemesis/Gradius and other arcade shooters of the Eighties.  If you haven't downloaded this yet then you're quite mad, and I challenge you to go and do so now.  I love it so much, I paid for a limited edition disc version.

Prepare to meet your nemesis.  What?  At least I didn't use "It's R-Type of game"!
Hydorah is a horizontally-scrolling shmup, so I was expecting good things from my nice wide screen.  And I wasn't disappointed at all... it looks stunning.  It really is like playing a top-quality arcade shmup.  It's difficult but fair, there's plenty of variety in the levels, and it's just such good fun to play.  I urge, nay, implore you to go and get it if you don't already own it.  And think about lobbing something in the lad's tip jar while you're there, something of such high quality really deserves it.

Next up, I went on a bit of a Minter-fest.  Inspired by my post of the other day, I loaded up Steam and installed a couple of The Yak's most recent efforts - Space Giraffe and Gridrunner Revolution.  Although both are fairly simple games, they're renowned for shifting a lot about the screen in glorious/horrendous technicolour, depending on your viewpoint.  Both games benefitted substantially from the extra processing power and screen real estate... a good amount of time passed very quickly indeed.

Gridrunner Revolution.  I actually know exactly what's going on here.
From there, I hopped onto my iPhone for some more Minter goodness.  Llamasoft have so far released seven games on the iPhone and iPad, and I own them all.  They're cheap, and are among the best iOS games you can find.

First of all, I went from Gridrunner Revolution on the PC to Gridrunner on the iPhone.  And whereas Revolution changed the game mechanics of the original substantially, iOS Gridrunner goes back to the basics... to a degree.  Naturally though, there's a twist, which in this case comes in the form of extra weapons and classic arcade sound effects.  In fact, if you close your eyes while someone else is playing it, you could be forgiven for thinking you'd stepped into your own version of Narnia, located in an Eighties' seaside arcade.  Fast and frantic, Gridrunner is easily one of the very best iOS games available.

Gridrunner (iOS).  I actually know exactly what's going on here.
Then, I went with Minotaur Rescue.  Based on the game mechanic found in Gridrunner Revolution but with Atari VCS graphics, it's a phenomenal shooter, once you get your eye in.  The controls take a bit of time to master, but it's worth the effort, and if you click with it you'll have a tremendous time.

Finally, I moved back to the PC for one of my all-time faves... Sid Meier's Sim Golf.  Now, I know that Sid Meier is a genius... but I haven't really got on with many of his games.  Mine is but a feeble brain, incapable of processing all the commands needed to win at the likes of Alpha Centauri and Civilization.  Similarly, I have no great love for The Sims series of games.  But Sim Golf?  Pure, unadulterated joy.

I could have made the first hole a little easier... but why?
I've written about it many times before in different places.  Suffice to say, it's my desert island game, the one I could play until the end of time as it has infinite potential as you set about building and refining golf courses over a variety of locations and landscapes.  It's not something I'd play non-stop for weeks, but I can always come back to it for an hour or two and know I won't be sick of it.  That said, I had problems running it on my Windows Vista laptop... with the new Windows 7 rig, it just works.  Brilliant.

So, that was good fun.  I enjoyed myself.  Tomorrow, it'll be time to crack on.  I've got questions out with all the positive responders now, and have one reply to work on.  Things have slowed down a bit... my last three e-mails have received no responses.  It may be that the addresses are dead by now, or at least aren't checked very often, but it's a little bit of a downer.  Still, that just means I have to look elsewhere for the time being.  I have a few people in my sights...