video games

I play a lot of video games. I also tend to write a lot about said video games. Yes, I am a pathetic nerd.

Replaying Nox, Again

I have never bothered to create a top-ten list of my all-time favorite video games. Maybe I should since it seems the only way to get people to read your Web site is to organize everything into numbered lists. In any event, were I ever to compile such a list Nox would be somewhere in the top five for me.

After a recent upgrade to Windows 10 (excellent by the way), I was going through and making sure all my treasured old programs still worked. In the process I booted up my GOG.com version of Nox and noticed it had some issues. After much searching and fruitless forum posting I finally found a workaround. In case you are wondering, you need to install a game mod called "Nox SDL." You can download the patch here. Once I got the game running, it wasn't long before I was sucked back in to my fourth play through of the game.

This game is so great. I don't know about you, but I immediately realized that when I could play with my character stripped down to his briefs:

Nox in Underwear Mode!

Beating the game would be difficult, but you could play the entire game running around like a crazed streaker if you so chose.

Haunted House Text Adventure

Type 'HELP' for a list of verbs. Download Print Char 21 Apple II Font.

Back in the late 80s, I learned much about computer programming from this book: Write Your Own Adventure Programs For Your Microcomputer. This is the same book that I used as a guide when creating Malfunction for my Apple IIgs back in 1988.

2010 Best of the Year

Well it's the first day of the New Year. This day means different things to different people. For my wife it means washing off the post-New-Year's-Eve-bash Sharpie moustache that she woke up with this morning. For me it means it's time to assess what I thought was the best of the media I consumed this past year.

Get Lamp DVD

Get Lamp Packaging What you see pictured here is some of the DVD packaging for the independently produced documentary film about text adventure games, Get Lamp. In the digital age, packaging matters and the creators of Get Lamp went above and beyond in creating a DVD package that satisfies collectable object fetishists like myself. The inner gatefold sleeve is covered with a nostalgic fantasy illustration that looks like it came straight off of an Atari 2600 cartridge. The DVD also came with a fancy numbered and editioned coin (mine's number 1540), which would seem kind of cheesy (alá the tin coin that came Ultima V) but is actually very well crafted and, dare-I-say cool. All this comes together in a well made cardboard DVD case that alone almost justifies the $40+ dollar price tag.

Video Games Are Derivative? No!! Okay, yes.

Ya know, I love me them video games. I would go so far as to argue that video games are, well... can be, art. However, I have to admit that even the best video games are a bit lacking in the originality department. Take, for example, this screen shot from Yahoo showing three upcoming games:

Video games are derivative.

Stubble-faced muscle men abound in the video game world.

"Dippy Golf" - Another Apple ][ Game I Wrote as a Kid

After posting Malfunction, my text adventure game for the Apple ][, I have been spending a whole bunch of time tinkering with my old Apple ][ software creations. Another one of my better creations was a golf game that I titled, Dippy Golf. This game featured nine holes which were loaded in from external graphics files and, even more impressive, was the use of audio samples of my voice! The game worked but still felt somewhat unfinished, so I decided to complete the game and post it here on the Pages of Fun!

Retro-Gaming Continued: Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango Box Cover

My overview of the video game classics continues with the LucasArts adventure game, Grim Fandango. In many ways Grim Fandango can be seen as the high point of point-and-click adventures. The genre, at least as a commercially viable entity, has since retreated into the more uncomfortably geeky corners of gaming world—the gaming world's parent's basement as it were. Rather than calling these adventure games, these keepers of the flame prefer the term interactive fiction. The hardest of the hardcore scoff at the notion of representational graphics cluttering up the ASCII purity of a command prompt. However, even these holdouts can't deny the artistic vision and narrative brilliance of Grim Fandango.

If it wasn't for the fact that the game requires a user to click and solve puzzles, Grim Fandango has the makings of a Pixar-type animated feature. We all know the tried and true Pixar formula. Take a group of non-human things: ants, toys, cars, fish, etc. Anthropomorphize them, and show us the secret workings of their society when the people aren't around. In the case of Grim Fandango, we get to see the secret life of Mexican Day of the Dead statuettes.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Screenshot from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Well, I just finished The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and I have to say that it does live up to the hype. I've always noted that whenever they come up with top ten lists of the greatest games of all time, this one is always near the top of the list. And by they I mean game reviewers and critics... you know, those bespeckled nerds who provide the four pages of non-advertisement content in the video game magazines. By the way, is it me, or is the top-ten list the primary literary device of these publications? Whatever happened to the plain old 500 word, rhet 101 essay about a topic of interest? If Swift were alive today would he be known for his Top Ten Most Modest Proposals... year after year, number one would always end up being Citizen Kane.