I have a long history with Infocom games (“text adventures” was what I called them as a kid, and “interactive fiction” is the new name). People still write these games, did you know that? There’s a big archive and an annual competition. I haven’t played any of the non-Infocom variety, though I think I ought to try one. I have copies of all the data files for all the original Infocom games from the 80s, and for years there has been an open-source program to load these files and let you play the games.
Over this holiday break, I played through all the tutorials in one of my newer DS games Panzer Tactics. It’s a very engrossing turn-based war game, very much along the lines of Advance Wars. Panzer Tactics clicked much more with me, though, and I grasped how to deploy my units intuitively pretty quickly. I think I can take this experience back to Advance Wars as well, and have more fun with it, too.
I’ve bought my first computer wargame, called Korsun Pocket, from Matrix Games. I wanted to share a short section from the manual, because it gets me pretty excited to play and so I thought it would be a good illustration to share:
The Eastern Front - January 1944.
Another severe Russian winter and months of devastating retreats have forced Manstein’s once mighty Army Group South to its knees. Weakened by innumerable losses and defeats, the 8th Army and 1st Panzer Army desperately defend a tenuous portion of the Dnieper River in a salient 50 kilometres west of the city of Cherkassy.
My interest in the World Wars, and my recent reading of The Guns of August (Tuchman), led me somehow to look into the wargaming universe. I learned that there is of course a sizable community of computer wargamers and developers, and I took a look around the landscape and selected a few to zero in on. Some of these are on my Christmas shelf, and some I pirated so I could read the manual and get a feel for how it goes.
I actually had time to play some Gameboy games today! I have quite a backlog, which will surprise no one who knows me, and it felt good to give it some attention.
My father-in-law got me Advance Wars for Christmas, and I love it! I was afraid it would be confusing, but the designers have succeeded in making it very accessible. Any game that hides complexity with an accessible and fun interface, and especially good tutorials, becomes addictive – it’s a rule somewhere.
Hall of Fame Game M.U.L.E. To Be Ported To PC [Slashdot]
M.U.L.E. was one of my favorite games. It’s like the modern real-time strategy games we have now, except that it was fun. I’ll definitely be checking this out.