Is This The Future Of Tabletop Gaming?

Everybody loves a good tabletop game. From huge RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, to classics like Monopoly and Yahtzee, nothing can compare to an evening spent with good friends and a board game. As our modern lives get busier, it is often hard to make time in our schedules for tabletop gaming with friends. Well, here’s a place that has done all the arrangements for us. Check out Guardian Games.

Guardian Games is an enormous game store in Portland, Oregon. It has thousands of tabletop games to purchase, and tons of games to try out free in the store, with plenty of tables set up to be used for gameplay. And that’s not all. What about coffee, beer, and pizza to keep you energized while you play? Their on-site bar, called “The Critical Sip,” sells tap beers, ales, and the like. You can show up with your friends, or meet some new pals. There’s no better way to start a new friendships with like-minded nerds than with a good tabletop match.

Is this the up and coming future of tabletop gaming? Will a store like Guardian Games be coming to your town soon? I surely hope so. Imagine a place where anyone could go and buy any game on a whim, or just hang out with fellow nerds and enjoy games, drinks and quality time. Not only would this be fun, but playing tabletop games is healthy and engaging for the mind, and spending real time with friends creates tangible community and lasting connections.

What do you think? Do you see a future for the tabletop community in places like this?

Thousands Of Copies Of “The Worst Video Game Ever” Buried In The New Mexico Desert

Have you ever hated a game so much that you rage quit? Me too.

Have you ever hated a game so much that you buried truckloads of that same game in the middle of the New Mexico desert?

In 1983, The New York Times reported 14 trucks delivering secret cargo to a landfill in New Mexico. The cargo? The E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Atari 2600 cartridge. Known as “the worst game ever” to many people, sources describe the video game as “badly programmed, utterly boring, not following the plot of the movie and very frustrating to play.” Atari was desperate to get E.T. out before Christmas, as it was a very popular movie at the time, so they spent only 5 weeks producing it. It simply wasn’t long enough to make an acceptable game.

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Despite the success of the movie, the game was very badly received and Atari suffered huge financial losses. Over five million of the games were made, and less than one and a half million were sold. It also turned out that Atari had created more copies of the game than there were Atari 2600s in existence at the time. It was released Christmas of 1982, and many copies were returned, and the game given terrible reviews.

This was the beginning of the end for Atari, shortly afterward the entire video game industry crashed.

James Heller, who used to work for Atari, told the Associated Press he was instructed to get rid of over 700,000 Atari games “as quickly and inexpensively as possible” in 1983. Besides ET, some other things dumped in the New Mexico landfill were Atari consoles, and games such as Centepede, Missile Command, Asteroids and Defender.

Xbox Live’s Larry Hryb told BBC that he expected they were “buried out of shame.”

For many years, there was no proof of this, and it the “Atari Dump” became simply an urban legend. However, in 2014, the City of Alamogordo granted Fuel Industries access to the site, and they were eager to debunk the myth and make a documentary about their findings. They found over 1,300 cartridges and consoles, however only a limited amount of material could be retrieved, the rest of the is buried much deeper than expected.

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Now, 30 years later, most of these “worst games ever” from the dig have been sold on Ebay, for around $108,000. The Alamogordo News recorded that the city sold 881 of the game cartridges, gave 100 to the documentary crew and donated 23 to museums. One of these E.T. games from the dig is on display at the Smithsonian.

The dig site is a landmark on the Roadtrippers’ website.

The full documentary is called Atari: Game Over. Watch the trailer for it here!

The Reason You Need To Play ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ Right Now 

Mech Dinosaurs. Need I say more?

Horizon Zero Dawn is an wonderfully crafted, open world RPG. The storyline is intriguing, the scenery is amazing. In this game, you play as Aloy, an inspiring and empowering female lead. Once an outcast because of her unusual birth, she becomes a brave, and then a seeker after she runs and wins the proving in her village. This is her story. 

This game is worth playing for the machines. They are so amazing. Watching a Tallneck tower above you 100 feet high, overriding the Watcher so it chases other machines and barks like a little dog, riding a Strider through the beautiful open world, there are so many different types of machines to meet and fight.

If you’re in the market for a great RPG, an adventure game, or just something that’s new and different, this one will do it for you. Check it out. You will not be disappointed. 

Have you played Horizon Zero Dawn? What did you think?

Which Video Games Shaped Your Childhood?

I have always appreciated video games. My involvement with the online community didn’t begin but only a couple years ago, and I have really enjoyed the interesting people and comradery of online gaming. Here are a few games that shaped the way I look at gaming today, and got me interested in video games when I was young:

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Ah, the intriguing and mysterious Carmen Sandiego. I wanted to be like her. She was so good at being bad! This was the beginning of my interest in spies, mysteries, and games such as L.A. Noire.

Pokémon Gold

Of course, Pokémon on the Gameboy Color. A childhood love that has never died. I just received Pokémon Moon for Christmas this year! I also have Pokémon print tights that I wear proudly in public. I will always love Pokémon.

Math Blaster Episode 1: In Search of Spot

This was the first alien game I ever played, beginning my lifelong passion for games like Xcom2 and Dead Space (okay, Math Blaster to Dead Space may be a bit of a stretch.) This is a learning game, where you play an astronaut and solve math equations to get about in space to save your little alien friend who was kidnapped by the evil trash Martian.

Street Fighter 2

We had a babysitter who allowed us to play Street Fighter 2 while we were at her house. Thus began my love with fighting games such as Mortal Kombat  and of course, The Street Fighter series. I just mashed buttons, of course, as a 5-year-old, but this made winning so much more celebratory!

Age of Empires 2

I adored Age of Empires 2. Building armies, attacking enemy cities, taking over the world! With all the different playable civilizations, diverse resources to gather and buildings to construct, it was such an exciting venture. I am now playing Civilization 6 non-stop, it reminds me so much of Age of Empires 2.

Goldeneye 007

I was terrible at this game. I was always dropping my gun and had to resort to slapping my attacker. Every time I see this game being played it brings back great memories of the splendid game I was awful at. I enjoy first person shooters now, Like Rainbow Six Siege, and they are much more intense than they were back then, that’s for sure!

What about you? What were some video games that you loved when you were young?

First Thoughts on Ghost Recon: Wildlands Open Beta

Let’s talk about the Ghost Recon: Wildlands beta. I spent the last couple days playing it both co-op and single player with AI, and I am loving it so far!

The cut scene at the beginning lays out a very interesting storyline that I can’t wait to be a part of. You, and your elite team of “ghosts” are tasked with infiltrating Bolivia to dismantle the Santa Blanca drug cartel.

The game is open world and the map is absolutely beautiful and huge. The open world game style creates a fun experience, because there is always missions to do and so you never feel lost. You can choose to follow the main story, or do any number of side quests you stumble on.

Wildlands is a challenging game. You can get killed in just a couple shots, so stealth, sniping and marking targets is important. It’s not all “guns blazing” all the time. I have really enjoyed all the different types of objectives, weapons, and vehicles there are available to use. There are also smaller, subtle things I enjoyed about it, like the regular everyday civilians just trying to live their lives in the towns, and the car radio station that had the comedians telling jokes. This was a nice change of pace, and provided a little chuckle!

Another thing that I have really enjoyed about this game so far is the community. I have met a couple of really awesome players that I plan on teaming up with again, which is a nice change from the toxic community on Ubisoft’s For Honor game that can make it unenjoyable.
Overall, I really enjoyed this open beta and am looking forward to digging more into this when the full game comes out!!

Did you play the Wildlands open beta? What were your thoughts?

Lego Marvel Superheroes: A Great Game for Two 

When my now-husband and I started dating, I was terrible at video games, but I always wanted to play with him since I knew it was his favorite thing to do. At the time I was bad at basically anything requiring hand-eye coordination, but we were looking for a fun two-player game.

Enter Lego Marvel Superheroes. A silly, multiplayer puzzle game, you can play as all your favorite Marvel characters, and the hilarious dialogue and funny cut scenes (similar to the Lego movie) make it a unique game to play.

This game itself isn’t super hard, but it is challenging enough to be fun, and there are puzzles and different types of missions. Each superhero has their own special abilities that you need for certain levels in the game.

Play as your favorite superhero, and fight your favorite villian! There are tons of villians to fight, including: Winter Soldier, Mystique, Venom, Red Skull, and of course, Loki!

So, are you that person looking for the game to play with your video-game-challenged partner? Look no further. This superhero game is here to save the day!

Have you played any Lego games recently? What did you think?

Science Fiction Authors That Were(n’t) Ahead of Their Time

I love science fiction. Its why I play video games. Exploring new worlds, killing aliens, space travel, life on Mars, all the things that may or may not ever be possible to humankind right at my fingertips.

I ran the idea for my blog post of the day: “Sci-Fi Writers That Were Ahead of Their Time” past my husband this morning, and he told me that these authors weren’t AHEAD of their time, that they were ON time, and we wouldn’t have science fiction as it is today without them.

So here is my top four list of science fiction authors that were ON time, and we have sci-fi as we know it because of them:

Jules Verne: This popular author is most well-known for his stories “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” If you haven’t read these books, you have undoubtedly seen one of the numerous movie adaptations. The thing that I think is the most amazing about Jules Verne is that he lived in the late 1800’s, before any of the technology for the ideas in his books would have ever been imagined. He was just curious about what was under the sea, and inside of the earth.

HG Wells: Author of “The Invisible Man,” “War of the Worlds,” and “The First Men in the Moon,” his titles are slightly spooky and I’m sure pretty alarming at the time, before people had ever heard of anything like this! Giant aliens attacking the earth? An invisible man?

George Orwell: I’m not exactly sure if Orwell should be on this list, as I would probably say that his books are more political commentary than actual Science-Fiction. However, his book “1984” is an amazing and terrifying classic. Perhaps not the first of its kind, but I believe it had an influence on Science-Fiction, as well as popular and political culture. Some movies that carry a similar tone to his book are: “12 Monkeys,” “Blade Runner,” and “Total Recall,” not to mention Ray Bradbury wrote his classic story, “Fahrenheit 451,” only four years after Orwell’s “1984” was published, so Bradbury may well have been influenced by Orwell’s writing also.

Ray Bradbury: “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles” are amazing full length books, descriptive and imaginative. The “Martian Chronicles,” written in a journal-like format, is an interesting story about a family’s life on Mars. My all-time favorite book by Bradbury is “The Illustrated Man.” This is a short story collection, based on a man’s enchanted tattoos. The unique idea is intriguing, and every sci-fi story within is captivating. Many people don’t like short story collections because they’re not detailed enough to get pulled into, but each story in this collection is unique and captivating from beginning to end.

Thinking about these creative men being the first to have the science fiction idea is astounding to me. Thank you for your work gentlemen, and creating my favorite genre as it is today.

What do you think? Who are some other great authors that made science fiction what it is today?