Have you ever played Pandemic II? If you haven’t, you can play here and curse my name five hours later when Madagascar closes its port. I’ve never played the game before, so when one of my friends started playing it this afternoon, I found the game and started playing. The object of the game is to evolve a disease to wipe the entire world population. You have to do this intelligently. If you make it too noticeable too quickly, countries will shut down their airports and ships and borders, and the disease can’t get into the country. If you don’t make it contagious enough, the disease won’t spread. If you’re unlucky, the world will find a vaccine before you manage to kill everyone. Striking a balance is key. If you’re new to the game, you’ll probably find yourself wiping out only one part of the world or only parts of the world that can be traveled by land and then curse yourself when Peru, Argentina, and Madagascar close their borders. Don’t give up too soon. Keep playing and tweak your strategy and you’ll figure out the best way to evolve your disease. I spent the better part of an afternoon doing this when I should have been working on my script (Oops) but finally infected everyone in the world with intelligence. I’d say the world would be cured of stupidity if everyone weren’t dead in the game. Maybe ignorance is bliss after all.
Trivial Pursuit and the age game
I visited my uncle recently for his birthday. While eating cake and ice cream, I noticed that my uncle had some of the Trivial Pursuit cards. This struck me as unusual since he didn’t seem like the type to enjoy the game. But there they were, several boxes of the original Genus cards and a Young Players edition sitting on a table, probably untouched for years.
Curiosity got the best of me, so I pulled a stack of cards out of the Genus set and started sifting through the cards, wondering how old they were, asking my brother some of the questions that he may know along the way. I managed to narrow the possible release dates between 1976 (thanks to a question about the 1976 Olympics) and 1990 (thanks to a question about East Germany) but didn’t have time to go through the entire stack.
Enter Wikipedia! Wikipedia says Trivial Pursuit was released in 1982, and the Young Players edition was released two years later. Yes, this is intellectual cheating, considering I probably could have figured it out by going through the whole stack, but as the game wasn’t mine to start with, it’s the best I can do.
My new hobby: figuring out the ages of things by context.
This still doesn’t answer why my uncle had a set in the first place. I’d say for his kids, but they were really young back then, and they’re not the type to like trivia games. The mystery continues.
Ninjas > Pirates
I have this theory that you can test people’s romantic compatibility by testing their ninja/pirate compatibility. I believe ninjas are superior; therefore I’m best suited with someone who also believes in the superiority of ninjas.
This game I found today adds to my growing mound of evidence of the ninja’s superiority. It’s not rock-paper-scissors (or even rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock). It’s Monkey-Pirate-Robot-Ninja-Zombie. In the game, ninjas beat pirates by karate chopping them. I rest my case.
If you’ve been paying attention to the Internet over the past two days, you probably know that you could play Pacman on Google’s homepage. Now that the two days of the playable Google doodle are coming to an end and companies all over the world start unblocking Google search, you may find yourself being productive again. You may find yourself wanting to procrastinate again, despite the many ways to procrastinate online.
Here’s one more if you want to extend your Google Pacman-playing days. Someone put Google Pacman on a non-Google site. Enjoy. I was on level three before getting interrupted repeatedly.
Update: Google has kept Pacman on their site. Hooray!
I know, I know, I’ve been a bad Sushi and still haven’t written up the Neil Gaiman event. The Debian games are eating my soul, though.
In one game, Five or More, you remove marbles from a board by lining five or more of them up in a row. However, if you don’t remove them from a board in a given turn, three more marbles are added to the board. Since the game tells what marbles are going on the board next, you can plan strategically and decide what to move where with a catch. The marble can only roll. It can’t jump or skip anywhere. Since you don’t know where the marbles are going next, there’s also an element of luck involved, which has led to much frustration on my part toward the end when the board is nearly full and I have only a few possible moves but even fewer that would be beneficial.
Then there’s Same GNOME, where you try to clear the board. If you remove n touching blocks of the same color at a time, you gain (n-2)^2 points, so it’s to your advantage to clear the chunks of lower (or no points since you can’t remove individual blocks) value just to remove huge chunks. My highest individual chunk is 961 points, and this game earns huge nerdity out of me because I try to maximize the number of points at a time. So far my high score on the small board is over 3,000. That’s the only size I can stand to play on because the medium and large boards have to be expanded to the full screen in order to be visible to me.
This system also has versions of Minesweeper and Tetris. I played Minesweeper in phases in Windows, mostly during exam time when I was in school. It was a wonderful way to put off studying, and Tetris was another great way. Now that I’ve discovered all the games, could the end of my writing career be nigh? Forget Leechblock; I need something to block the games.