Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about what it means to add stakes to games. Do they just remove intrinsic enjoyment? Can the old fashioned "arm slap" add anything to games like Dobble? Antes and wagering have existed for a long time (e.g., in Magic the Gathering), but we don't think of them in other gaming contexts. We also discuss Arthur Chu, the Jeopardy hero, not without precedent in his desire to win games (and money). Hint: you should always play to win. Rym describes what he would change in Nidhogg (it's not perfect).
Nidhogg is a fantastic, simple, two-player orthogame that exemplifies the "genre" so well defined by games such as Pong, Spacewar, and Outlaw! Local multiplayer and simple direct competition are seeing a renaissance that will only continue throughout 2014. In other annual news, Nintendo is suffering heavily from the Fiscal Year of Luigi (and their corporate culture that creates excellent hardware that almost no games actually use), and Torchbearer works wonderfully via Google Hangout. In personal news, we've all but stopped playing games that require teaching others, and encourage tabletop gamers everywhere to actually read the rules to games.
Tonight on GeekNights, back and bad, we talk about the games we played at MAGFest this year (where we appeared on four panels). Dig Dug, Hansa Teutonica (fun, deep), Coup (meh), Ginkopolis (getting a full show), Citadels (smart people ruin this game), Cheaty Mages! (light and fun), Jungle Speed Safari (sucks), Glory to Rome, and Eclipse with expansions (alliances ruin Eclipse: never use them).
In the news, Greg Martin - who you probably know from his work but not his name - has passed away. Also, The Stanley Parable is a wonderful idiogame (or "entertainment software" or "an interactive amusement" or whatever kind of "game" you want to call it). We further answer a listener question about political or direct-attacking games.
Tonight on GeekNights, we review two board games after some first playthroughs: Homesteaders and Tammany Hall. They're both pretty good. Check out some memories of Doom and the 3DS gets an update that almost no one will care about.
Tonight on GeekNights, we consider yard games like Bocce, Cornhole, Horseshoes, and Badminton. These games share certain characteristics: they must be reasonably deep orthogames, have shallow learning curves, and provide contextual social opportunities yet not require them. Rym reviews Ingress (it's a Candy Box), and Scott takes a guess that Pandemic: The Cure doesn't fall too far from the tree. We posit on why anyone even bothers to play Pandemic. Rym has Google Glass.
Tonight on GeekNights, we tell you a little about Burning Con 2013: The Pentaclagon! We also have some photos from the con, including the Burning Photobooth! In the news, don't buy Castellan, and don't buy Dungeon Roll.
Tonight on GeekNights, we consider the best game to play while pooping: Neuroshima Hex! In the news, PS4 owners lose backward compatibility with headsets, and Yoshi's Cookie is being removed from the virtual console.