Wednesday, April 27, 2005

So Many Trains, So Little Time

BoardGameGeek lists almost 200 boardgames that have railways and/or trains as a theme of the game. I just piched up Age of Steam, a highly-rated train game, and that makes 4 of my 120 boardgames about trains. (The others are Transamerica, Ticket to Ride, and TTR: Europe.)

Age of Steam is published in the USA by Winsome Games, a small game company in Pittsburgh, PA. Too bad they suck, despite having such a well-regarded game associated with them. It turns out that because of some late-production design changes, the board for AOS has a misprint and some of the rules are incorrect. No big deal, right? Winsome has produced a 2nd edition of the game with everything tidied up. Well, here was their quick fix for all those saps who were unfortunate enough to pick up a copy of the 1st edition.

Not cool at all.

I mean, why make the internet (and your customers) the enemy? Just post the damn 2nd edition rulebook online, and throw a bone to the customers who paid nearly $50 for a copy of your flawed little game. Where is the harm in that?

Monday, April 25, 2005

GBA Nethack?

Well, not yet, anyway:

After wasting several hours playing Nethack, the greatest video game of all time, I decided that there must be a GBA port somewhere. It turns out that not even the venerable and versatile Game Boy Advance can handle the memory requirements of good old NH. Furthermore, the game uses many different keyboard commands, so the GBA's relative paucity of buttons makes inputting commands nearly impossible.

Kudos to Jeff Lait! He's written POWDER, a roguelike for the Game Boy Advance. Though I question the choice of name, this game does a decent job of recreating an authentic dungeon crawl.

Now that the Nintendo DS has had some time in the public eye, where are all the enterprising hackers for my portable Nethack? The DS touchscreen ought to make a menu-driven command system a snap. As for the memory requirements, I don't know if the new handheld is up to snuff, but let's see what we can dig up.

Where are you, Grand Theftendo?

I'd been worried. Back in October, BoingBoing posted a blurb about a homebrew version of GTA for the NES, but the site hadn't seen any updates in a long time. I was afraid of the worst: vaporware. No, turns out that Brian Provinciano's just had a busy time at work lately, and he just recently released a high-level assembler for the NES. All you coders go get busy making the 8-bit goodness for the rest of us!

Don't got a nintendo? Don't worry: with a Game Boy Advance, a Flash Cartridge and PocketNES, you're ready to geek out on all your favorite Nintendo games. Bionic Commando, anyone?