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Showing posts from August, 2015

Queen Elizabeth I's Execution Confusion [Scratch game]

Something different: my first Scratch-programmed game, inspired by what may be history's worst ever paperwork nightmare - that occasion when Queen Elizabeth I accidentally signed the death warrant for Mary Queen of Scots, as it was mixed up with all her other documents. I know, happens to me all the time. At least, that's her story - while it's frankly a rubbish excuse for an execution, it's a great excuse for a game...

As your ministers place their warrants before you, sign those deserving of death with your quill, - but beware! beheading the more popular celebrities of your reign will dent your popularity, so make sure you don't sign them, and some treacherous ministers might try to trick you into signing your own warrant.

Remember to dip your quill in the inkwell whenever it runs out.

Although Scratch is a fantastic BASIC-style programming system, for the moment it is Flash-based which means PC only. Apologies to Apple users - but hopefully there will be an HTML-5 …

Dig For Victory [Review: Waking Mars]

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"Amani, this is Liang. I've been exploring these Martian caverns for ten hours now and I'm reaching a conclusion about the nature of this game. The discovery of a smooth-walled vertical cavern running through many layers of the map confirms my hypothesis: this is not a naturally occurring structure but a tribute to the classic BBC Micro era game Exile."

Waking Mars is a game for mobiles, tablets etc. with impressive scope. As astronaut Liang, you explore a network of caves with your jetpack, searching for a missing robot and discovering an ancient ecosystem as you go. In order to progress, you'll need to understand the relationships between the different life forms (your computer assistant, ART, is keen to point out that they are not technically plants or animals), and use this knowledge to increase the biomass in each area.

Gameplay video by Youtube user 1Retrodroid

The gameplay area is huge, and after you've taken the first few steps the game becomes non-linea…

Living Doll [Humans]

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The end is in sight for Humans - possibly in more ways than one, as the final episode approaches tonight. My thoughts: The quality of the drama in this series has been superb throughout - acting, script, characterisation - and I've really been drawn into the story.

Ruth Bradley as DI Karen Voss

The focus has been on the human drama rather than the technology, and the themes of slavery and individuality have continued. I was worried at the beginning that Humans was just a mash-up of other android movies or TV series but this has just been the background allowing a particular story to be told.
There have been plenty of plot twists and revelations, some predictable but some unexpected. I look forward to the ending even though I suspect it will not be a happy one, and once it's over I will be looking for the original Swedish series Real Humans to compare while I wait for series 2.