Maybe it was the way the sun faced, maybe it was some kind of dark arts, but this month’s Playup seemed to be all about the tabeltop games. There were three tabletop games juxtaposed against two video games. That’s not to say that one kind of game is better than the other, it’s just more gaming to go round. There were plenty of people to try the games out too, from curious adults to somehow-able-to-beat-me-before-knowing-multiplication year olds. It was good to see so many people on a Saturday session for some gaming, but let’s get to what was on show.
If ever there was a ‘regular Playup game’, it would be Blocaganda. The game involves moving your agent around a board and placing tokens to construct various shapes, known as policies. Policies bring in votes, and whoever ends up with the most votes wins! Recently, the game got new ‘political favour’ cards which act like activated powers, and Eeshwar has made quite an effort to put as much stuff into the game as humanly possible. Just hurry up and release it already!
You stay up to date on Blocaganda from the official blog!
Bear Jumper (working title)
If ever you’ve felt the desire to be a bear and occasionally jump, I have good news for you! Bear Jumper has you run through procedurally generated terrain while gunning down rogue penguins, the most evil creations on the planet. While the game was extremely early in development (like, a week), it already sported a high-score system that had me trying to see how far I could get again and again. If this much could be made in a week, I’m super excited to see what else this game brings to the table with more development.
Today was the day of tabletop at Playup, so it only seemed fitting that Wes should come down to show off Glitz. Imagine Jenga with gems, but instead of pulling bricks out, you’re building up your gem hoard 4 bits at a time until it inevitably collapses. It’s a devilishly simple idea, and it captured the attention of myself as well as a few kids in the room, so Wes got plenty of feedback. One piece of feedback that was handed out was to use tweezers, and by the time I came back around to see the game again, tweezers were in full use (great news for my giant fingers).
You can keep up with all of Wes’ mischievy over at his facebook page!
Screen Fighters (working title)
Screen Fighters took a few tries for me to understand, but it was built off one hell of a concept. You play as a pirate ship, and as the name alludes to, you try and dominate the screen with your perspective. You shift the partition by collecting treasure chests and shooting at your opponent, but shots don’t travel in world-space (ie., they just fly straight across the screen). Add in the crazy camera movement and occasional pirate-camera-powers, and you’ve got a game worth following… Once we can, that is.
Perhaps the most ingenious game of the day, Monte Carlo is like Texas Hold ‘Em with better rules. The game is played with a deck of cards with a goal associated with it, like making a flush or straight. The thing is, the board has multiple rows to play with, and you can modify the values of the cards on the table to your advantage. If you’re smart enough, you can change the state of the board to work in your favour while blocking everyone else. The best part is that you don’t lose any money while playing it, so it’s better than poker!
Once again, Playup Perth was a great event to see the latest unknowns from the local scene. It was fantastic to see kids there too, getting them into games at a young age like their parents before them (probably). The next Playup is just around the corner, and it’ll be happening at Perth’s very own video game museum, The Nostalgia Box! Who knows, someone could bring along a reimagined Pac-Man and have it going right next to Pac-Man.