.the ramblings of a radman.

Tag: gaming (Page 1 of 4)

Happy Chaos Rings II Day! — Also, The Ides of March

It’s the Ides of March, and you know what that means! It’s time to open our Ides of March presents! Hey, wait… why did you get me a sharp, stabby thing? Ow! That really hurts!

Wait, I get it. You’re trying to draw a parallel to the most important Ides of March gift of all: SQUARE-ENIX releasing CHAOS RINGS II ($17.99 for iPhone/$19.99 for iPad)!

CHAOS RINGS is a series of JRPGs (that’s a role-playing game in the Japanese–rather than Western–style, such as FINAL FANTASY or CHRONO TRIGGER) exclusively available on iOS. While the original was not as robust as most traditional SQUARE-ENIX RPGs, it had an engaging story, beautiful graphics, incredible music, and a rather intelligent combat system the focuses on pairs of heroes taking on monsters individually or as a duo, inflicting (and receiving) damage based on if they were paired up or not. It is actually a very fun system that requires players to decide if they wish to do one action on their turn with significant performance gains (at the risk of taking more damage, as attacks will hit both characters), or take two separate, but weaker, actions and potentially split the attacks between the two characters.

Since CHAOS RINGS was initially released, SQUARE-ENIX has followed it up with a prequel that delivered much of the same gameplay as the original, but with (mostly) new characters and a larger campaign that was added to over time via regular updates. CHAOS RINGS Ω ($11.99 for iPhone/$14.99 for iPad) was an excellent little taster to hold over fans of the series while they waited for a true sequel. Well, that time has arrived. Late last night, CHAOS RINGS II was released into the App Store. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but considering how excellent the first two games in the series were, I’m expecting great things. I highly recommend fans of the series scoop this up quickly.

Also, to celebrate the death of Julius Caesar (and probably the release of CHAOS RINGS II), SQUARE-ENIX has also put the original CHAOS RINGS on sale for the day. Pick it up for the iPhone for $3.99 and the iPad for $4.99.

UPDATE (3/16/12): CHAOS RINGS Ω is now also on sale. You can grab it for $4.99 on the iPhone and $5.99 on the iPad.

Cool, crisp air and pumpkin beer (and Mario)

Fall came early this year, as we finally got some much-needed rain on Saturday, breaking summer’s back. We were at Woodyard BBQ with our neighbors, one of whom is Lezlie Revelle. She was playing open mic at Woodyard BBQ (which was a lot of fun, and I recommend checking it out) and, in honor of Irish Fest in Kansas City this past weekend, she played several Irish ditties, which really made my day.

After our meal, Autumn was craving chocolate, so we went to Russell Stover’s and then back to the neighbors’ home to start watching Game of Thrones. Dave (neighbor and bestie) and I have read the books, but have wanted to wait to watch the series together with our wives. We weren’t disappointed. The first 15 minutes lived up to my expectations of the book, and throughout the episodes, we were both pleasantly surprised by how faithful it is. The ladies were quite impressed, as well, by the writing, the acting, and even the subject matter.

We ate a (very) late dinner while watching the second episode and listened to the rain pour down upon us. I had just picked up my yearly batch of pumpkin beer and brought over two bottles for everyone to try: O’Fallon’s and Schlafly’s. O’Fallon’s has long-been my favorite beer of all time, but I’d never had Schlafly’s. It’s very strong, both in flavor and alcohol content, but I still prefer O’Fallon’s. Schlafly’s spices completely overpowered the pumpkin, which is (in my opinion) the most important part of the beer.

The next day was one of those perfect fall days that make you want to sit on your porch and watch the world change while reflecting on the year. There’s something about fall that always evokes the most nostalgic part of me. I think it’s the scent in the air of leaves and rain and the feel of a cool breeze that brings it to me. I always think of high school football and carefree days of yesteryear. I spent most of the day playing Super Mario Galaxy with Liam and enjoying the weather. We went out to dinner again with the neighbors to get as much time in before Dave left for work again on Monday. After dinner we watched another three episodes of Game of Thrones, each one more exciting than the last. I’m really looking forward to episode 6, as I’m pretty certain I know what awesomely horrific scene it will contain.

Monday was another lazy day. Stan, the husband of my wife’s co-worker came over to replace the brake line on my car and I finished Super Mario Galaxy, by finally nabbing the 120th Star. Now I can play as Luigi, but I’ll save that for the next time I want to play through the game again. I started up Super Mario Galaxy 2 and can honestly say it is a better game in every way so far. It builds on the original so well, that it’s unbelievable that it was originally envisioned as Super Mario Galaxy 1.5. The music is fantastic. The levels are ingenious and much less repetitive than the first. The only flaw in the game is the story, when compared to the first, but that is easy to overlook, as I care much more about the gameplay—which is phenomenal.

It’ll probably be my game of choice for the next few weeks. Hopefully I can complete it 100%, as well. It should be easier, thanks to Avery being able to help more than hurt when assisting as Player 2.

Tonight, I think I’m going to have another O’Fallon and sit outside for a bit to enjoy the weather. Maybe go for a walk and think about what it was like playing the original Super Mario 3 when I was younger, as the leaves changed outside and the air turned and I got nostalgic for Super Mario 1 & 2, a glass of grape juice in my hand.

Blockbuster loses another customer

Netflix has been eroding Blockbuster’s profit margins for quite some time, but it wasn’t until today that I saw confirmation that Blockbuster just doesn’t get it. I have been extolling the virtues of Blockbuster over Netflix for years, partially due to the in-store exchange option, and partially due to bonus free game rentals.

For example, when I started with Blockbuster, I could exchange my movies received by mail at the store for any free rental I wanted and the next movie in my queue would be sent immediately. However, after several months of this, Blockbuster decided to go beyond getting rid of late charges and instead decided that any rental by a TotalAccess subscriber could be kept indefinitely. The catch: no longer would Blockbuster send out the next DVD in your queue until you return the movie rented in-store.

This was something I could live with, as I still got to rent whatever I wanted, but it did increase the down time I had between movies. But, I was still able to rent two movies or games each month for free, thanks to the coupons given to me as a TotalAccess subscriber. This was great, because there were so many games out there that I wanted to try, but didn’t want to buy unless I knew they were worth it. This was an excellent feature of Blockbuster’s plan, but it recently fell apart.

Tonight, I returned a game to Blockbuster and rented another. During the checkout process, I was informed that I had late fees. This was news to me, as I haven’t had late fees since I started as a TotalAccess subscriber. It was then explained to me that about two weeks ago, Blockbuster changed the terms of their game rentals. Up to this point, every game I rented had no late fees unless kept 7 days beyond the return date, at which point it was converted into a purchase. However, now every day past the initial 5-day rental period is a dollar and then the rental is converted into a purchase.

Thankfully, I was told that I don’t have to pay the late fees, since I wasn’t told about the change, but it didn’t stop me from deciding to quit Blockbuster in exchange for Netflix. i don’t get to rent games, but it’s cheaper and I can have unlimited streaming to my computer and Xbox. It’s a shame that Blockbuster doesn’t get what makes Netflix so profitable. It’s not about finding new ways to charge the customer, but rather making the customer want to use your product more than the others. Let’s hope that Netflix never loses sight of that goal after Blockbuster is dead and gone.

Triple Word Score!

The iPhone has been for some time the perfect device for a number of different applications, though not all of them seem as readily obvious up front. However, once the first board games began appearing on the device, it became quite clear that asynchronous multiplayer turn-based games would be a perfect fit. UniWar, Monopoly, Lux. All have been fairly successful implementations of turn-based gaming on the iPhone.

However, the iPhone truly excels when multiple versions of the same product exist and can compete for your hard-earned money. This recently became the case when NewToy Inc. challenged the reigning heavyweight in the board games on iPhone arena, EA. The board game at stake? Scrabble.

Here’s a breakdown of the two versions:

Scrabble – The heavyweight champ — EA brought this game to Facebook as an app and then put it on the iPhone and tied the two together. This was kind of a big deal, as that meant that the number of potential opponents grew much larger thanks to the larger userbase of Facebook. Another nice feature of this version of the game is that the app can actually show you what your highest-scoring move is at any time. The down-side? You might be tempted to let the game play itself, and may account for the reason that the only game I was able to find currently available said “no smartphones allowed”. All-in-all, this is a rather impressive application visually and its feature-set has piqued my interest for sometime. If you love Scrabble, and you want to play with friends that don’t have iPhones, then this is the app for you.

Words With Friends – The challenger — When I saw this app announced today, I did a double-take. First of all, it came from the team that brought you the highly-acclaimed Chess With Friends. Secondly, it was gorgeous in its simplicity. With the same basic interface as Chess With Friends, and very basic interface for the game itself, it managed to completely recreate the game of Scrabble without actually looking like a Scrabble board (an important piece of the puzzle, as EA has the rights to the Scrabble artwork and would very likely defend them vigorously). Notifies you when it is your turn via e-mail, just like Chess With Friends (a feature that I can find no notice of for EA’s Scrabble, though surely it’s an oversight and is on its way).

Ideally, I’d like to see push notification for both apps, but in its current state, I’ll accept what they give me. So long as I can play Scrabble without having to pick up all those tiles I knock on the floor when I “accidentally” throw the board across the room in frustration, I’ll be happy.

Just scan the iPhone, please

I know, I know. I promised I’d get these to you yesterday. But I was busy. Honest. I was definitely not playing Boom Blox and watching Torchwood.

Anyway, if you’re like me, you’re always looking for a way to reduce the number of things you have to carry around. Likewise, if you’re like me, you’re constantly trying to make your iPhone be the only thing you have to grab when you walk out of the house. If the DMV ever lets you get a digital driver’s license app for the iPhone, my wallet is history.

I picked up the latest in wallet- and keychain-reducing apps yesterday, and believe me when I tell you that this is bound to be one of my most used apps.

Currently, I’m a Blockbuster Total Access subscriber. All my friends use NetFlix, but I use Blockbuster for a couple of reasons. One, I can take movies I’ve received in the mail and exchange them at the store for an instant free rental. I used to be able to get the next movie in my online queue immediately, but they’ve since changed that behavior so that you can keep the movie rented from the store for as long as you want. Second, I get two free video game rentals every month. The rentals can actually be used on anything in the store, but I prefer to rent video games, as I already get plenty of movies. Before I go to the store, I download the coupon to my iPhone (as it’s just a bar code generated as a JPG). Some days, if the iPhone feels I am worthy, the clerk can even scan the barcode right off my screen instead of typing in the number. Of course, I still need to get my Blockbuster card out of my wallet so it can be scanned, otherwise I can’t actually rent anything.

Enter CardStar. This application lets you pick any of those pesky little keychain shopper discount cards, membership cards that have a barcode on them to scan, and really any other series of letters and numbers you’d like, and store them on your iPhone, where they can be scanned right off the screen. Sounds cool, right?

So far, the only drawback is that the app doesn’t always succeed at automatically deciding which barcode language it should display it in. But, as long as you’ve got the original card, it’s super-easy to just test the different options and examine the card to see which one matches. I haven’t tested it in the real world, yet, but I have scanned the images with the barcode reader on my computer to determine that it works perfectly.

The catch? Some cards don’t say what the number on your card is, requiring you to either know how to read barcodes yourself, or have a barcode scanner on a computer that you can use to determine the correct numbers to enter into your iPhone. Still, though, if it just gets those pesky member discount cards off your keychain, I’d say it’s worth it.

Also, it’s free.

Collection of awesome

Today has been an almost non-stop day of awesome on the Interwebs. So before I begin my bombardment of all things iPhone, I thought I’d give the rest of you some entertaining and/or informative links (some of which may still pertain to the iPhone).

With that out of the way, let’s get started, shall we?

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Google has been hard at work on the development of some awesome new technologies in preparation for the ratification of the final HTML 5 standard. In the interest of viewing 3D graphics directly inside of a web browser, a proposed open standard for doing so is currently being developed. Called O3D, it allows you to view gorgeous 3D graphics from inside your web browser, without ever having to fire up another application. While it currently requires you to install a plug-in, I believe the ultimate goal is to have it become a part of HTML 5 before ratification so that all HTML 5 compatible web browsers will be able to pull it off out of the box. Check out the demo site here.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Speaking of HTML 5 and the reason that I discovered O3D, Google has also posted a demo page of what YouTube will look like once HTML 5 is complete and Flash will no longer be required to quickly & easily embed video. If your browser supports the HTML 5 draft (Safari 4, Firefox 3.5, Google Chrome), then check this out. While the site looks much the same, you’ll notice that right-clicking on the video no longer brings up the Flash Player contextual menu, indicating that that video is playing entirely through the browser’s built-in capabilities (no plug-in required). This will greatly reduce the memory footprint of your browser and should speed up your computer considerably when visiting sites that were formerly very Flash heavy and can move to HTML 5 methods, instead.

Also, if you were interested in seeing what O3D could do, but don’t feel like installing the plug-in, the YouTube demo I’m talking about is a walkthrough of the O3D demo page.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

This particular clip is more entertaining due to the fact that Steve Wozniak is in a low-budget, body shop commercial. Since he’s hilarious, I recommend taking a gander.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Also, Rule 34 has no exceptions. Moving on.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Now, I love me some giant robots. I always have, and I always will. I even liked that movie Robot Jox, and it was frakkin’ terrible. No, really. Just awful. But, it had giant robots. So I loved every minute of it. The exception to that rule is when giant robots are combined with Michael Bay. Cause then you get “Michael Bay Blows Up Egypt in Slow Motion” (commonly known as Transformers 2), which is utter crap and painful to watch. That being said, one of my favorite uses of giant robots is to put gamers in control of them so they can destroy anything and everything they see. MechAssault on the Xbox was one of my favorite games. Chromehounds was pretty cool, as well, though a lot less frenetic. However, all current-gen mech games have a grand-daddy. And that game is MechWarrior. Well good news to all of you that have played it, and to those of you that just plain love giant robots. MechWarrior is getting a reboot.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

And lastly, in this long line of crazy, ridiculous, nerdery: iPhone 3.0 has a feature that has been kept quiet until today. That feature is HTTP Live Streaming. Now some of you are going to say, “What?” Others will say, “Who cares?” Still more of you will say, “My iPhone already does streaming.” To all of you I say, “Shut up and let me finish!”

HTTP Live Streaming is a technology that should finally allow for a standards-based streaming method for video content (this goes back to HTML 5 and Google’s YouTube demo of said feature). Essentially, what it means is that video content can be downloaded in 10 second chunks and then played back, meanwhile grabbing the next chunk or two or three before the current chunk is finished being viewed. On top of that, instead of sending the video using technology that is consistently blocked by most firewalls, or requires a plug-in and therefore eats up system resources, HTTP Live Streaming will be sent to your computer using the same packets that web sites are downloaded to your browser with and will (hopefully) be a part of the HTML 5 standard when ratified. The best part is that if you switch from EDGE, to 3G, and then to Wi-Fi while watching a video, rather than having to re-buffer the clip because you changed network types, your iPhone will be able to automatically grab the chunk that befits the quality that will give you the best image without stuttering for your current connection. And since the sections are only 10 seconds a piece, you don’t have to wait long for the quality to improve if you suddenly find yourself in range of a Wi-Fi network while watching your favorite web series.

The best part? If this tech takes off, there’s a chance that a television network could use it to stream their channels directly to your Apple TV, allowing you to subscribe to only the channels (or shows) that you want without having to pay for an expensive cable TV or Dish subscription to get 10 channels you want and 100 you don’t.

To read more about this, go here.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

That’s all for now, folks. If I have time today, I hope to hit you up with some reviews and recommendations of the iPhone apps I’ve been spending the most time with as of late (or at least that I think are awesome and feel you should, too). See ya starside!

Kill Your Television

Update: I did not write this, this was taken from the Marathon series of video games.

i have been roland, beowulf, achilles, gilgamesh; i have been called a
hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the world goes
dim and cold. i am a hero.

she has been nameless since our birth; a constant adversary, caring for
nothing but my ruin, a sword drenched in my blood; forever my greatest
and only love. she is the dark one; the enemy and lover without whom
my very existence would be pathetic and vulgar. her eyes steam and boil
in the night (she is fantastically beautiful yet i cannot stand the sight
of her). our relationship is complex and perhaps eternal.

we met once in the garden, at the beginning of the world and unaware of
our twin destinies (not the garden of Genesis, but another; forgotten,
untended and now choked with weeds, unvisited except for ourselves).
we matched stares across a dry fountain, and i recall her smiling at me
before she devoured the lawn and trees with a translucent blue flame and
tore flagstones from the path and hurled them into the sky screaming my

our reunions there are epic battles fought without quarter, often in
the dark as the moon is seldom visible and the sun never. i powder a
granite monument in a soundless flash, showering the grass with molten
drops of its gold inlay, sending smoking chips of stone skipping into
the fog. she splinters an ancient oak with a force that takes my
breath and hurls me to the ground. she leaves and i lie in the slow
rain of burning slivers of wood, staring at the low, dark clouds,
craving our next meeting.

iPhone App Week

This Next week, I’m going to be bringing you a number of reviews of iPhone apps I’ve been using lately. But before I do that, I wanted to point out a few apps I’ve been on the fence about but think would make really great additions to my collection.

Oregon Trail – This is essentially the same game we played as kids (assuming that most of my readers are past their childhoods) on Apple IIGS and IIE computers in grade school. However, the graphics have received a complete overhaul (even compared to the more robust Mac version from 10-15 years ago). The nicest part of this game is the addition of a number of new mini-games instead of just hunting and rafting the river at the end of the game. While I haven’t purchased this one yet, it’s at the top of my list as I know my son will enjoy it and am looking forward to wasting my day away placing my “friends” into my family and laughing as they die of dysentery.

Myst – With graphics that appear to be from the DVD-rerelease of Myst in the Anniversary Collection and a new touch-screen interface that makes playing this game extremely easy, this has been heralded as the best version of Myst yet. While I was rather partial to RealMyst from the early ’00s, I can’t argue that this game is flooding my brain with memories of trying to solve a number of puzzles that were just difficult enough (and too difficult in terms of that blasted audible puzzle, though I still blame that on not being able to play with proper headphones in a quiet home) to keep me engaged for hours. I hope that this game is successful enough that the sequels will see a rerelease, as well.

Pocket Tanks Deluxe – I have not yet played this game, but I own the Mac version and wasted a great many hours on it back in college. My son loves the Mac version, as well. This is actually the most robust artillery game I have ever played. With a variety of weapons randomly generated for you and your enemy to choose from, the variety of every battle is guaranteed. As you play the game, you will need to adjust your aiming (as well as your thinking) based on which weapon you’re using. I highly recommend this game to anyone that loves artillery games, has played this original Mac version, or who just plain wants to waste several hours of their life blasting away at their friends and family (two-player pass-and-play is included).

Chronicles of Inotia: Legend of Feanor – Since the release of the iPhone, I have been waiting for an iPhone version of Diablo. I have been teased with games like iDracula (which is more like Geometry Wars meets Van Helsing) and have been very nearly satisfied with Underworlds (for which a more robust review will be coming). But Chronicles promises a very uncomplicated and direct type of Diablo clone. Simply tapping to move and to attack, with a minimalist HUD to enhance usability of the touchscreen and an anime/J-RPG art style, I’ve long been looking at this game as a way to pass the time. Perhaps once finished with Underworlds, I will look to this to fill the gap left behind.

The Quest – I have long been a fan of The Bard’s Tale series of games. For those that have never played a Western-style RPG but rather only played J-RPGs like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, Western RPGs focus more on the view of the world through the eyes of the player. While Oblivion and Morrowind are often cited today, when I was younger the king of kings was The Bard’s Tale series. Gameplay for this game can be difficult to explain if you’ve never played RPGs from this era/category. So I recommend checking out the lite version.

Orions: Legend of Wizards – This particular game I’ve been looking at for a long time. The primary draw is the concept of a card-based strategy game that I can take with me everywhere. The pick-up-and-play nature of the game is also a big draw, as receiving a phone call or having to do actual work does not result in starting over or losing progress. While the game is not as robust as say Magic: The Gathering, it certainly does appear to satiate the desire to play something extra-nerdy where manipulation of stats to your advantage will be a key skill.

Last Cannon – What at first appears to be a simple missile command-style game quickly evolves into so much more. With a dark story (that of you manning the final cannon on your planet in an attempt to fend off the invading alien hordes), a puzzle mechanic based around destroying groups of enemies of the same color, and simple controls, this game has quickly garnered excellent reviews. For only 99¢, I still don’t know why I haven’t purchased it yet. It will be on my iPhone soon.

UniWar: Turn-based hex-strategy game for iPhone

If you’ve ever played Nectaris (a.k.a. Military Madness) before and you liked it, then you’re in for a treat. UniWar for the iPhone is a brilliant little game that elegantly captures the style and feel of the above-mentioned game, but with beautiful graphics, and excellent touch-screen controls. The premise is simple. Using your base and a handful of units, conquer all of the enemies bases and destroy all of their units before they do the same to you. First you move, then they move, then you, etc., etc.

Sounds simple right? It is. Until, of course the enemies start coming faster than you can destroy them and because you made a mistake here and a miscalculation there, suddenly they’ve got the high ground and are devestating your troops.

Of course, that’s what makes the game fun. There are so many different tactics you can use and if you’re already familiar with Nectaris, then you already know all of them. The touch-screen controls make the game quick and easy to play: tap unit to select, tap to move, tap again to confirm or, if you like, tap enemy to open fire. While a contextual menu pops up any time you tap on an enemy and updates once you’ve moved it, you rarely have to use it, instead tapping on the appropriate hex on the battlefield will accomplish exactly what you want, and it’s very intuitive. Another nice feature is the ability to speed through an opponent’s turn (when playing the computer) yet still see what’s going on as it happens.

As a brilliant bonus, the devs have made available four different gameplay types: online multiplayer, you vs. iPhone, Hot Seat multiplayer, and Campaign mode. The best part about the online multiplayer is that you can also play against bots and against opponents that have the game on a different phone (i.e. Palm OS or Microsoft Windows Mobile).

Perhaps the most important reason you should be buying this game right now is because it is currently available for only $0.99. It’s just an introductory price. Once the sale is over, it’ll cost $8, so you better buy now if you’re interested. And if you are, be sure to leave a comment on the post, or use the form on the About Me/Contact page so that we can play against each other.

Beer, buddies, & board games

Got a chance for a Guy’s Gaming Day this weekend, because my wife is awesome and loves me. Starting shortly after noon, my cousin Andrew, friend Jeff, and I all sat down to play Shadows Over Camelot.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing this game before, I highly recommend it. There have been a number of great board games that pit players not against each other, but against the game itself: Warhammer Quest, Lord of the Rings, and The Omega Virus. However, what makes Shadows Over Camelot unique is the potential that one of the players may be a traitor, secretly trying to undermine the various quests that the knights set out to achieve. Worse, once accused, the traitor loses some abilities and gains others, making the timing of his accusation a delicate proposition. Worse, since there may be no traitor at all, mere mistrust of one another can make some quests more difficult to defeat.

The game was exciting. Andrew turned out to be a traitor and Jeff and I barely won the game from him. It was an incredible first-time play. Jeff told me that the gameplay ideas in Shadows Over Camelot had been taken to the next level in the Battlestar Galactica board game. I’m looking forward to picking it up soon.

The second game that we played was Pandemic, a game about a global outbreak of four different diseases and the research team fighting to stop them. The game is brilliant in its design, due to the fact that the Epidemic card can cause all cities that have already been infected get placed back on the top of the deck to become infected again. This can lead to outbreaks that spread diseases quickly. Worse, the 9th outbreak ends the game, as does the depletion of the deck. This keeps the game a desperate race to keep the diseases under control long enough to find the cures. It gets hectic as the number of outbreaks climb and the cards in the deck dwindle.

My brother-in-law, David, joined us for this game. We played two rounds. The first one was a Beginner-level game (which places four Epidemic cards in the deck) and we were slaughtered. Absolutely devestated. All four Epidemic cards came up in the first half of the deck. Gonoherpesyphillaids wiped out all of Asia and North America in minutes. It was an excellent learning experience and made the second round much easier.

In the second round, we got extremely lucky. We raised the difficulty by adding a fifth Epidemic card, but they were so well spaced that we were able to prevent outbreaks. With only two cards left in the deck, Jeff cured the final disease and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Later that evening, we played several rounds of Munchkin: Impossible (one of the 7 billion variations of the card game Munchkin, this one with a spy theme) sans Jeff. We were up until 3 am playing and had a blast.

Jeff and Andrew have been known to play lots of board games, so I knew they’d have a good time. But David is generally uneasy to try the various games we like to play. The fact that he enjoyed them as much as he did made me feel optimistic that he might play with us again in the future.

If you have any interest in checking out these games for yourself, I’ve linked to them on Amazon above (where available), but you can find much more info at BoardGameGeek, as well.

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