Category Archives: Games

Which Old Game Would You Bring Back?

AirWolf asked:

What PC game of old would you like to bring back from the grave, give a fresh start and re-release (or just be able to play!) – and why?

Oh, man… you just can’t replace the classics!

If I could do anything, I wouldn’t reboot or update a favorite game – but bring it back to its last “best” state.

I think a good game plays well forever, and that (too often) newer versions can destroy what made a game work so well for you in an earlier edition.

So, I just found out about JummMan Forever the other day – and I’m thrilled that it’s a project that’s actively shipping code to platforms (with more major platforms coming). I loved Jumpman Jr. on the Commodore 64, and have played it through emulators over the years.

The developer is doing a great job at bringing back what he loved, but while I appreciate some updated graphics coming down the pike… I wouldn’t mind seeing and playing with the “old graphics” either.

I am so grateful I was around for the classic home video games – because I think they’re all timeless. Not all simple, not all perfect, but they obviously worked well enough that I’m still playing a few of them to this day.

Which Old Game Would You Bring Back?

What Type of Games Should Kids Learn to Play?

Patron George Barrett is interested in kids and their early gaming years. You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions!

When you introduce your child to gaming, will you show him/her the classic games from the NES era, or let him/her discover them for his/herself if it develops as a personal interest whilst playing the current games?

This is actually an easy one to answer, George. I’m sure that at a very early age, Baby Pirillo will start being introduced to educational games. There are so many great ones out there that teach little ones everything from hand-eye coordination to counting to reading and back again.

Once s/he is old enough, our child will be allowed to choose their own path with most everything in life… including gaming. That’s not to say Diana and I won’t provide guidance, of course. It’s not like the child will be given free reign to do things that are simply not appropriate. But I would never “force” my child into doing things that I prefer instead of what they would choose.

Yes, of course I’ll show off the old-style games. I’ll also help him or her check out the latest MMORPG or FPS (at the right age) if that’s what they’re into. Heck… maybe the kid won’t be into games at all. Instead — Lord help me — my child could be a huge sports fanatic like my Dad and brothers. Maybe s/he will prefer to play instruments, or plant a garden with Mommy or want to cure cancer.

Whatever our child is interested in — be it games or sports or music — we will do our level best to nurture that passion and help it to grow.

What about all of you? How would you answer this question?

What Type of Games Should Kids Learn to Play?

Is Gaming Getting More Exciting?

George Barrett asked:

As you are a casual gamer, do you think the gaming industry was more exciting/interesting 15-20 years ago than it is now?

My perspective on this topic will likely be a LOT different than a hard-core gamer would have. Personally, I do think that gaming was more exciting back in the day. Think about it: the rapid pace of advancement back then was astounding. What has happened recently in the gaming world that had that level of excitement and a huge WOW factor due to how groundbreaking it was? Go ahead and think on that… I’ll wait…

Yes, graphics get incrementally better. A storyline for a hot new game may be great… but is it fresh and exciting and DIFFERENT? The style of game play changed so drastically very quickly back in the good old days, you know?

What do all of YOU think about this?

Is Gaming Getting More Exciting?

How Does Net Neutrality Affect Gamers?

Huang Weihong asked:

With Net Neutrality being thrown out of the window, will online gamers and heavy Web users suffer in terms of service (and even monetarily)?

It’s quite possible, but… that’s why I’m an advocate for competition in the marketplace.

Who knows? Maybe a “new Internet” will rise up and kill off what we have today?

This is definitely a great topic for debate. What do all of you think?

How Does Net Neutrality Affect Gamers?

Elite CommandAR Smartphone Game Controller Review

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of AppGear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I first experienced augmented reality, I was rather amazed. Through the computer's camera lens, I was able to see something that really wasn't there in real life. But, it was there! But, it really wasn't. 

You could talk about augmented reality to someone who has never experienced it first hand, and that would still not be enough to explain just how transformative an experience it is. I've tried, too — explaining that it's a lot like finally being able to see something like an imaginary friend. With special glasses, a completely different world opens up to you. 

I see "AR" apps aplenty, but few as immersive as I would want them to be. As someone who is more of a casual gamer, I definitely appreciate gaming experiences that are simple to understand, visually compelling, and addictive. 

I picked up the AppGear Elite CommandAR, inserted the required array of batteries, plugged the audio cable into my smartphone's headphone jack, installed a compatible game, and… was firing away at moving targets within moments. Then, I was laughing — having almost too much fun, spinning around my home office and trying to target these floating orbs that weren't really there.

Elite CommandAR in Action

It was the controller that made all the difference to me, to tell you the truth. I've played AR games on smartphone surfaces alone — and while they're certainly fine, there's something to be said about holding onto an object that further thrusts you into an experience that an augmented reality world can provide. 

The Elite CommandAR was light enough to hold onto for a period of time without introducing too much fatigue. Of course, I'm really not accustomed to holding my arms out or up for anything for tasks that take longer than a minute — and, yes, this toy gun (despite appearing like it would work with a single hand) was designed to be held by both hands. The trigger could be pulled comfortably by either pointer finger — but the other controls were positioned and optimized for left-handed operation (while holding onto the gun's grip with your right hand). 

The trigger was quite responsive; I never felt like there was a delay in between the time I'd press a button and something would happen on-screen. Same goes for any of the other controller buttons. 

The suggested games, themselves, were engaging enough to keep me from wanting to put the plastic pistol down! I found myself walking to a more open space (than what's available to me in my home office), spinning around to fight virtual enemies through a very comfortable viewfinder — my smartphone. 

And that's the kicker: not only does it work well with iOS, but Android as well. Too many products these days are locked into a single vertical. This way, you could battle a friend in the 2-player co-op mode and not have to be running on the same smartphone platform.

Elite CommandAR Smartphone Game Controller Review

So, yeah — you could continue to play games on that single flat screen device. But when it comes to first-person shooters… I tell ya, I'd rather be holding onto something that feels like a gun instead of merely tapping a screen. It's far more compelling an experience that way — and the Elite CommandAR provides a perfect compliment to software that's easy to manage and plays well.

I'd much rather play a game on my smartphone than connect to a cumbersome console. With Elite CommandAR, I was untethered and free to take the screen with me wherever I wanted to play. Mobile gaming, as I've been saying for years, will kill consoles eventually — and these types of accessories serve to bring that future into the present. 

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iPad Arcade Cabinet

Are you a classic gamer? Do you own an iPad? You might be surprised how easy it is to build an arcade cabinet for you iPad so you can play your favorite classic arcade games in their original and intended form.

The iCADE started as an April Fool’s joke by ThinkGeek that caught on. The demand for this product was overwhelming, so they partnered with ION to make it come to life. Now available for $99 on ThinkGeek, the iCADE makes it possible for you to play classic games on your iPad as they were originally played at an arcade.

The cabinet itself takes very little time to assemble. It takes about 15-20 minutes and once you’re finished you have a very handsome table-top arcade cabinet. The first and second generation iPads are both supported, and any future version of the iPad should work as well so long as the form factor doesn’t change dramatically.

The one downside to the iCADE is the relatively small number of games that current support it. Thought you have 100 titles through the Atari’s Greatest Hits app, more game developers should jump on board and create apps that allow this kind of bluetooth control. In order for the iCADE to be anything more than a decorative iPad stand, you need to purchase Atari’s Greatest Hits for the iOS and install it on your iPad.

The cabinet itself looks great, and would no-doubt add a touch of nostalgia to any room where it resides. The joystick and buttons have the same classic look and feel you would find in any larger cabinet and they really work. A lit coin slot is a nice touch that lets you know the iPad is bluetooth connected and ready to go.

Overall, the iCADE is a fun accessory if you’re serious about classic gaming. You are required to purchase Atari’s Greatest Hits through the iTunes App Store for your iPad, which adds roughly $15 to the $99 cost if you decide to grab all 100 games.