Despite the complexity of Stuff’s Latvian Gambit opening strategy, this game is going to end in failure. Why? Because the opponent is a computer that can calculate every possible move Stuff might make in the future of the game. Stuff’s comparatively modest calculations are no match for the machine. If you really enjoy being beaten, try Thinking Machine 4, a chess sim that shows you its calculations while you play. Be warned, once the ‘wow’ factor wears off the effect of watching yourself being soundly defeated is soul destroying.
What if we took casual gaming to the next level? That’s Charlie Brooker’s idea in today’s Guardian column.
The biggest growth area in videogames right now is the “casual gaming” market. For “casual”, read “mainstream”. Effectively, this means games the average human being can relate to: anyone who’s lived in a house can grasp what The Sims is, for instance; anyone who’s played tennis knows how to swing a Nintendo Wii remote. Grand Theft Auto might not look like a casual game, but it certainly appeals to a wide demographic, namely anyone who’s ever fantasised about going berserk in a city (ie 98% of the population).
He goes on to suggest games such as Super Squabble Champ IV and Boundless Libertine Plus. Well worth a read.
Posted in gaming
Tagged casual, Charlie Brooker, games, gaming, Grand Theft Auto IV, GTA IV, Guardian, Nintendo, SIMS, Wii, Wii Tennis
Microsoft is launching a range of new colours for its Arc mouse and to celebrate Stuff is giving away a couple of the regular old black numbers (plus Explorer mice and LifeCams). All you have to do is pick up a copy of Stuff* (available at all good newsagents) and follow the instructions. It’s free to enter and there are a ton of other goodies up for grabs too: an Xbox 360 Elite, SanDisk Sansa View and loads of flash storage and games. All competition entries are picked at random, so there’s no benefit in sending us pictures to prove your loyalty to the world’s biggest-selling gadget magazine (except that we might put them up on the blog – thanks SungHo Choi).
*March issue, Middle East edition only
Posted in computing, gadgets, gaming
Tagged Arc, competition, Elite, Explorer, games, LifeCam, mice, Microsoft, mouse, sandisk, Sansa, View, win, xbox 360
Not to be outdone by Stuff’s own 100 greatest games list (October 2008), gaming magazine Edge has put together its 100 Greatest Games To Play Today. Well worth a look if you’ve been playing games for ages (or want to catch up on some of the best).
When it comes to Guitar Hero we’re all rock gods, sent from the musical halls of Valhalla to power-chord our way round the rockin’ world. But put a real guitar in our hands and we start trembling, frantically wondering where the bright red and yellow buttons have gone. Zivix wants to change all that with the Headliner. It’s a real electric guitar that uses sensors in the fingerboard that make it a compatible game controller. Guaranteed to make you look cooler while blasting Through The Flames and Fire on expert.
Actually, the big news is that the UAE is getting its first Microsoft Surface, but the idea of a load of suits running amok in the Xbox 360 corner of Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3 Emirates Business Lounge is too precious. The new ‘e-zone’ is to get gaming stations, a custom-made racing simulator (from Xbox 360) and Microsoft’s Surface – that touch-sensitive computer that lifestyle photography models from the 1970s are so keen on (watch the promo videos). All that launches on March 10, and Stuff will be checking it out sometime in April if we don’t make it to the launch event (which we probably will, just to see if we can break the Surface).
UPDATE: Hands-on action with MS Surface at the airport here.
Posted in gaming, miscellaneous
Tagged airport, Dubai, emirates, games, gaming, Microsoft, surface, terminal, terminal 3, xbox 360
Next time you need to ask a favour of the IT department, stroll into the office wearing an Asteroids tie. The geeks on server duty will bow down before you, unblock YouTube and order you a new 24in flatscreen HD monitor for your budget spreadsheets. And your US$25 goes further than that… you can also stave off the unwanted advances of the typing pool by donning the Tetris tie. And we thought Amazon was only good for eBook readers.
An interesting exercise in adding a touch of class to the generic and otherwise bland world of video game covers. Artist Olly Moss puts a Penguin’s classics spin on some classic electronic gaming titles.
Remember the old light-gun NES game, Duck Hunt? We spent hours in front of the TV, wrapped in camouflage, screaming, ‘Die, duck, die!’ We’ve grown out of our mallard menacing ways, but this toy may bring them all back. Load the Duck Hunter pistol with batteries, let the duck charge on the barrel for 10 seconds, then launch him over your head. The duck flies in circles, giving you 30 seconds to nab him thrice with the gun. If you’re on target he drops dead. If you miss, he still drops dead when the batteries will run out. That’s what we call win-win.
[Check out more flying stuff at Interactive Toy Concepts]
For those of us non-gifted musicians, Guitar Hero has always been music to our tone deaf ears. Touch a few multi-coloured buttons in the right order, and you’ll soon get that totally real virtual crowd frothing at the mouth for more rocking tunes. We always knew it was going to sell some copies, but with over US$1bn in sales since its release in 2007, it’s become the highest-grossing game ever produced. Activision are sure to be headbanging their way to the bank tonight.
[Head on over to Edge for the full story]