Heroica

Lego, quite a while back, came out with games. I’ve been interested in them since I first saw them, but never had a chance to play them myself. That changed today, as my son received one of the Heroica games as a Christmas present. It is the Waldurk Forest set.

If you don’t want to read all I have to say, I’ll sum it up like this, I think the game is incredible.

Like any other lego set, the first step is to build it. The game “board” is made up of small plates, and on each are different pieces to build the setting of the overall game. There are also some small pieces to put together to keep track of stats and inventory for characters. And there are little microfigures to represent the heros and monsters. These are smaller than the normal lego mini-figs and they don’t have arms or legs that move. The head is also fixed on. They are just a single piece. In this set there are spiders, which are also a single molded piece.

This is a very basic role playing game. Included in this set, are a Ranger, Druid and Barbarian. They represent different classes of characters. They each have a special ability. The set also comes with a number of weapons that can be purchased and when a player uses them, it grants that player a single use of the special ability of a different character.

The plates that make up the board can be connected in different ways. The set came with two different “mission maps” that show different ways to lay out the game. It incorporates the monsters, potions, gold and treasure chests which can turn out to be gold or the loss of health. The end goal can be killing a certain monster or reaching a certain point on the mission map. The mechanics are very easy and my kids (ages 8-12) picked up on how the game works quickly.

If there is such a thing as a gateway RPG, this is it. What has me really excited is that it’s all pretty much standard lego parts. We can take pieces from other kits that the kids already have, and build larger boards. The instructions encourage kids to try changing up the rules and seeing how that impacts the game. It’s a game that follows the basic lego philosophy. Not only is the board configurable, the rules are as well. My son and I have already talked about creating our own potions and modifying other aspects of the game.

I’m extremely excited about the potential of this whole platform. There is so much here that I think is going to be a lot of fun for me and the kids.

Lego is great about making sure kits have all the pieces. But somehow in this one, the core of our die was left out. It’s a 6d and there are square pieces to afix to each side. We have the square pieces, just not the part they connect onto. I wanted the kids to play with the images they’d see rolling the proper die with the kit, so I wrote a little javascript page to allow them to “roll” the dice. It’s at http://geeksinaction.org/roll. It has worked very well for the games we’ve played so far. Of course Lego customer service is awesome and they say we’ll have the missing piece within a week. Ordering it was dead easy.

I’m a huge fan of lego. Their normal set, mindstorm and now Heroica. They are a great company, offering some really amazing products.

Under 6 hours left for Humble Bundle

So the Humble Bundle is a set of 6 games that run on Windows, OS X and Linux. (It started as 5 games but a 6th has been added) You can get all of them for whatever you feel is an acceptable price. You can designate who will get the money you pay – developers, charity or some mix of the two. They are all indie games that would sell for over $80 if you payed full price for each – you can have them for any amount you see fit to pay. But the clock is ticking that there is not a lot of time left.

The games are DRM free and whatever you choose to pay gets them for any or all of the platforms supported. I downloaded all 6 for Win and Lin last night. You can pay via paypal, Amazon or Google Checkout. Here is a list of what is available in the bundle.

iWarrior

I don’t have an iPhone, and unless something really unexpected happens, I don’t ever intend to own one. But I did find the White African review of iWarrior to be very interesting. iWarrior is a game created and developed completely in Africa, by a team of developers in Kenya and Ghana called Leti Games. Sounds like it may be a little rough around the edges, but this is all one more sign to me that mobile is where tech is making inroads in the developing world. For a long time I thought it would primarily be netbooks but I’m becoming more and more convinced that large parts of the world are going to skip right by that development and join us all as mobile become the heart of our computing world.

Classic Arcade Sounds

A couple kids, in the early 80s, made cassette tapes of themselves playing video games at an arcade. Now those tapes have been made into mp3 files and you can listen to them here. This is the coolest thing. I can picture the games, what’s going on, the other games near by – all of it. Just awesome.

If you only listen to 1 – Video Games 8 – Track 5 – Reactor. I only knew one place to play that, the Peter Piper by Metro Center. Some of the best music and very novel style of play. I used to go there just for that game.

WoW

I’m on a bit of a video jag here – but these are just too awesome to pass up. A Toyota commercial that is so full of awesome I can’t stand it. Mr. T is second – and dang it, it’s almost as good as the LAW GIVERRRR!!!. William Shatner is third with his shaman – which would be super cool if it wasn’t put up against Mr. T. So unfortunately it’s just regular cool.


Game Night

We had a guys game night at work last night. There were 4 xbox 360’s networked together and each with their own projector. We also had 2 wiis on projectors.

The bulk of the time on the 360s was spent playing Halo 3. We had 12 controllers – so we had 3 people at each xbox and did a little tournament. I was bowling and golfing on the wii while that was going on. After things wound down I played some halo team slayer – it was 4 on 4. I’ve never played any xbox game before – or halo on the pc – so I pretty much got my butt kicked.

While one of the xboxes was idle I hooked up my gamecube and played some mario kart. It looked pretty bad being up right after looking at a hi-def game. And there were guys willing to race, but no one who has played too much. So it wasn’t challenging. Not like when I played over at the Hampsters years ago.

There was pizza and soda and it was a really great time. Below is a slice of the action.