Tag Archives: late entry

How to be surprised by a 10-year-old game

This is yesterday’s entry – I was travelling all yesterday evening and have been doing THINGS today. I’m not sorry. I AM NOT. Also this is about games, so jog on if you have no interest.

Doing that whole long-haul thing yesterday allowed me more time to explore the games I have littering this here Tiny Laptop. Between bouts of watching Penn & Teller’s Bullshit (more on that later, most likely), I had a bit of a muck about with a few games I have installed. Eventually, after dicking about with the likes of Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment I settled on one I’d never heard of, but had recommended to me a long time ago: Anachronox.

I put about an hour and a half into it, and I’m not about to go talking about the game itself as I really do feel like I’m a long way off even scratching the surface, but it does have quite a lot going for it. The one thing that really struck me – that really stuck with me – is something I didn’t even notice for half an hour.

Such is the thoroughly thought-out nature of this game – so complete is its world, so fleshed-out is its fiction – that the cursor (the mouse pointer you use to click things in the game, on Windows, on OSX etc) is actually a character. There is a narrative reason why there is a floating pointer device going about its business around the main character. The mouse pointer is introduced; it has a history and motivations of its own.

This is an aside – something that like I said, I didn’t even notice for a while. But at the same time this is one of the best things I have ever seen in a game. It’s witty, it’s clever, it’s funny and – probably most importantly of all – it makes sense. On one hand it’s the kind of thing I’d want to see more games adopt, but then on the other I do think the impact of this method of getting the player more immersed in a game would be neutered if everyone was doing it.

So even if I never go back to Anachronox again, at least I’ve bore witness to one of the great, forgotten things that those hidden gems out there are daring enough to do.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prattle

Fear and confusion from a hotel room

Apologies I missed yesterday – this was written then, but I wasn’t about to pay twenty fucking quid for internet access. I haven’t read it since yesterday, so it may well be awful and half-baked.

Where were you when the world ended? I was sat in a hotel room across the road from Gloucester Street (or Road, I can’t be bothered looking out of the window) tube station. I had just eaten a hearty, healthy meal of a chicken and mushroom slice and a scotch egg (26% of your daily saturates? NOM), with dessert of a double Double Decker waiting for me and a freshly-made coffee on the side. When the world ended, I was surrounded by deliciosity.

Even so, it didn’t manage to soften the blow that David Cameron was set to become our next Emperor. What is it the kids say? Oh yeah: FML.

I’m not as angry or full of despair as I was the other day – and I realise I’m going back on what I said about no more political posts, but hush down. I am still worried though, but more than anything I’m angry: at that yellow bastard for talking me into voting for his stupid, pointless party. These may well be words I eat as it comes out that it’s the most perfect unison of governmental parties in the history of the universe, but right now I’m as clued-up as the news, which is “not very much”. So baseless speculation it is:

Nick Clegg will be nothing more than a voiceless face sat next to Plumboy McToff, waiting silently until his party is dismantled from within by wheelings and dealings of Tory rats. The country will be into a financial spiral of Death and Destruction for those of us with little-to-no money and the Liberal Democrats – partners in this – will have no say on the matter. Blah blah other negativity – you get the picture.

It’s just a speculative fiction. I’m not placing any bets right now.

On a lighter side, it is funny to watch this on BBC’s rolling coverage. They have no idea what’s going on, and they’re even talking about how Brown was just caught in traffic as if that’s actually some kind of news. Le sigh.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prattle