Monday, November 09, 2009

The Latest Time Sinks

Here is another in a continuing series of updates on how I'm spending my precious decompression time... Perhaps there are others out there enjoying the same diversions or have others they'd like to share:

  • Kremlin: I'm slated to play in a six-player game of this at BGG.Con, so I went ahead and ordered the version still in print in Switzerland, which supposedly has the original, superior version of the rules, but drastically inferior components. I haven't actually received the game yet (undoubtedly my copy is strapped to the back of a rum-toting St. Bernard somewhere near the Matterhorn), but arranging the order was quite an adventure. Strangly enough, whenever I look up Kremlin on BGG, the banner ads ask me to click here to line up a Russian bride. Yikes.

  • Gratuitous Space Battles (pictured above): I was doomed from an early age after seeing the original Star Wars in theaters (1977?) to love things that go boom in space. At $20, this game gives you lots of that, and really not much more, though its still quite fun. You do get to customize your fleet by deciding which of the many weapon types goes into each of the many hardpoints on each bristling gargantuan, give each ship some very basic directions, then hit the play button and get ready to take screen shots. If you don't have time for Sins of a Solar Empire, but want to spend 15 minutes watching a huge fleet battle, this is your game.

  • Torchlight: Another $20 PC game... essentially an unholy marriage of Diablo with Saturday morning cartoons.... or, perhaps its Angband on LSD. Whatever it is, I am enjoying it. There are three character classes, each with three skill trees. Each character has a primary pet, that can run back to town for you to sell loot while you keep diving. The quests are quick and full of technocolor excitement, with the boss monsters being suitably huge and ridiculous, surrounded by tons of minions to stack like cord wood. My ancient, circa 2004 PC somehow grinds along just fine with all the whistles turned on, so no worries there. If you like your RPGs light, violent, and colorful, look here.

  • SkyBluePink: While looking for a variety of opaque and transparent dice to replace the ridiculous cardboard battlebox in Axis and Allies: Guadalcanal, I stumbled upon this interesting board game component seller. I know there are a few of these merchants on the web, but this one seems particularly well stocked and reasonably priced for those looking for such trinkets.

  • Prince Valiant: Hal Foster's Prince Valiant is probably my all time favorite comic strip, and this new collection consolidating the strips from 1937-1938 is very well produced. Just reading these again makes me quite excited to play Britannia at BGG.Con next week.

  • Heroscape Wave 10.5: Finally, after around 400 unique figures or so into the system we get the Sasquatch. Sasquatch vs. Ancient Red Dragon? Hmmm... Probably not much of a fight there. Sasquatch vs. Elf Princess with Stick... That sounds more like it. I did quite enjoy the old Six Million Dollar Man episode where Steve Austin fought Big Foot... but I digress. Of course, the formerly promotional figures being included in the set is just awesome fan support. Still, part of me hopes there won't be much more to this game system. My closet just can't take much more.

Alright... that's probably enough blog real estate to consume with one single post. Hey, I didn't even mention the new Panzer General on X-Box 360 (which is good). Oh well....

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6 Comments:

At 7:12 PM, November 10, 2009, Blogger Fred Bush said...

Ooh, Britannia. If you want to get a local game going, let me know...

As for Torchlight, my friend Greg has been raving about it, and is currently splitting time between that and Angband. So I'd say you're spot on in your analysis.

 
At 11:11 PM, November 10, 2009, Blogger Brian said...

My timewaster is protector. A desktop tower defense variant.

 
At 12:51 PM, November 11, 2009, Blogger Rob said...

Dragon Age is consuming my free time.

 
At 6:31 PM, November 11, 2009, Blogger Chris said...

I can't believe you didn't mention Titan Quest, Ben. I'm hurt.

 
At 11:36 PM, November 11, 2009, Blogger Ben said...

Oh yeah... Well... It has been a week or so, and honestly I sort of get it mixed up in my brain with Torchlight because they are so similar. Both are Diablo clones, and I'm playing mages in both. Titan Quest has awesome coop, and Chris and I have been having great fun going through the early levels. I do enjoy the Greek mythological setting. Anyone with Steam should join us!

 
At 10:28 AM, November 13, 2009, Blogger Anne said...

Rob: so you like DragonAge? I was contemplating getting it...

 

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