XCOM: Enemy Unknown
(Available for Xbox 360 and PC)
I'm seeing all sorts of reviews and suchlike for XCOM, and a lot of them are playing the nostalgia angle. I didn't play the original XCOM, so I have the luck of being able to talk about this game purely for the game's merits. I'm a sucker for a certain type of small-squad strategy game. 4-6 brave soldiers facing the unknown in turn based combat, with base building in between. It's like something ripped directly from my brain. Sometimes I like to just sit there and look at the battlefield and ponder my next move, before a flurry of clicks and choices. I highly recommend Iron Man mode no matter what difficulty you're playing. It means to take-backs for your choices, and sometimes your choices will be bad. When you lose a squad member you put significant time into levelling you feel responsible. I refuse to rename my squad members to anybody I know or I'd be unable to risk soldiers for victory.
That said the game isn't perfect, I'm playing on PC and sometimes the camera will be niggly and refuse to co-operate (learn the keyboard shortcuts folks) and there's a weird thing where whenever you uncover a group of aliens they basically get a free turn which is dumb (but not game-breaking). Just take uncovering the Fog-O-War slow and steady.
(Available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone)
I've decided to walk for charity (http://www.starlightfundraising.org.au/mirvac_nsw I notice none of you slobs have donated for my run yet). Now as a bona fide fattie, fattie, boombalattie. I decided to at least do a little training before hand. I decided to try Zombies, Run! as a training tool. Tonight was my first run, the game itself is simple, keep your earbuds in and run. The story plays automatically and weaves into your regular playlist. I really got into the story, and found myself liking the characters involved. I am not by nature a runner, there's too many bouncy parts of me for that to be a comfortable proposition. But today I managed 5k in less than an hour. Maybe that's not fast for you, but for me it near brought me to tears. I was surprised that my body didn't aggressively attack me for trying to move so far so quickly. I'm sure I will pay for it tomorrow, and double the day after. Even so I'll keep you guys updated. My next target will be 5k in under 50 minutes, assuming I don't get eaten by zombies. OH! Also if you finish the mission before your run is over they have a survivor radio station. Pretty funny stuff. If you want something to make your afternoon walk more interesting give Zombies, Run! A go.
(Avaliable for tabletops in PDF and book form)
I gave Fiasco its own post the other day so you can just go back in time and check that one out. I wanted to give Pathfinder a shout out because I am enjoying a wonderful glut of gaming. I am GMing Three Groups at the moment:
Kingmaker, always a pleasure things are getting pretty politically complex. Plus I got to use my Kermit voice for a village of Grippli.
Skull & Shackles, an unfortunate chicken incident had to put our game on hold this month, but my players are loving the piracy on the high seas.
Jade Regent, just enjoyed its first session and I got to attack the players with Goblins and out of control caravans, giant water bugs and shapeshifting psychos. This is going to be fun. Also playing with the narrative style a little bit. A GM gets the same joy that a comedian or a magician gets. Where you know what's about to happen and the players don't and you know their minds are going to be blown. The best part is the players get that moment too!
I'm playing in:
Rise of the Runelords: Seeing a new GM figure out where the rabbits are hidden is magical for me. It creates a sustainability to the game. Brett is becoming a great GM, if he offers you a place in a game snap it up.
Legacy of Fire: GREAT FLAAAAAAAMING EYEBROWS! Need I say more? Darren is a craftsman and always finds a different angle for combat.
Way of the Wicked: I haven't played this one in MONTHS. DANIEL >:(. My alchemist must perform his experiments. Daniel's a great GM and absolutely embodies the spirit of saying "Yes". Unless the question is "Are we playing this week?" :-P