Category Archives: Blog

Photo by Stephen Edwards

The Music That Nobody Likes: Carter and me

I took a while to warm up to Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine. Didn’t know that much about them, didn’t really care for the name, didn’t like that the person I knew who listened to them most was my housemate Doug, who tended to go straight for all those Madchester bands that all those floppy-haired baggy idiots listened to.

The first chance I had to see Jim Bob and Fruitbat was at Huddersfield Poly in 1990, and instead I opted to sit outside the gig, working the till. I didn’t hate what I heard through the doors, and I seem to recall being quite taken with the slightly muffled sound of their cover of the Pet Shop Boys’ Rent, but that was it.

And then over the next year I grew to love them. Continue reading The Music That Nobody Likes: Carter and me

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Oh Hi: why in games, simplicity rules

The best games are often the ones built from the simplest systems. Tetris is an obvious example; five basic shapes and the imperative to fit them together without any gaps. The rules of chess can be grasped quickly, but the possibilities are close to endless. And while it’s only really a game in name only, Conway’s Game of Life can generate impressive, complex patterns from just four rules.

Oh Hi (or 0h h1; it doesn’t seem entirely certain) is the latest game in this sort of vein that I’ve come across, and it’s quite glorious. Created by Martin Kool of Q42, and based on an existing logic puzzle called Takuzu (and sometimes known as Binairo), it’s a browser-based HTML5 puzzle that’s a bit like Sudoku, a bit like Threes and a bit like that good old Windows staple, Minesweeper, and it’s eaten into a quite frightful amount of my time over the last couple of days. Continue reading Oh Hi: why in games, simplicity rules

My talented friends and their video games

I’m fortunate to have some really clever friends who sometimes make excellent things, and often these things are video games. Some of them do it for a living, and some ought to be doing it for a living but somehow manage to do it in their spare time instead. One of them has just released a game, and another has a game out at the end of next week, and I figured that I ought to give them both a mention, because both titles are genuinely worthy of your attention. Continue reading My talented friends and their video games

Gridland

gridland

I do enjoy a game that leaves you to work things out for yourself. Gridland , desciribed by Doublespeak Games as  “a weird little time-waster”, appears to be a fairly ordinary match-three sort of puzzle game, like ZooKeeper or, if you must, Bejeweled. You click on a pair of adjacent items to swap their positions, and if by doing so you create a line of three or more identical items, they’re removed and more drop down to replace them. Continue reading Gridland