Comms in Games
Tonight on GeekNights, we discuss comms in games. Text chat, voice chat, open versus restricted, and the like. In the news, Pentiment is available, and Rym is obsessed with Disco Elysium.
Marvel Snap (2022)
Tonight on GeekNights, we review the surprisingly elegant Marvel Snap. Released this year on phones and PCs, it's essentially a flavor of Knizia's Battle Line (2000), itself in a narrow class of similar games of a shared lineage.
In the news, Ross Chastain changed the meta in NASCAR with "Some Video Game Shit," Embracer rebranded Square Enix Montréal as Onoma before immediately shutting Onoma down, Dwarf Fotress with Graphics is coming in December, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 disabled Steam Family Sharing, a feature you should probably be using.
Tonight on GeekNights, we review Unknown Worlds' Moonbreaker (2022). It's a turn-based digital miniatures game that shares a lot of lineage with Hearthstone, Magic, and possibly Neuroshima Hex (at least in terms of the net effect of some of its mechanics). It's all right, but it has a lot of issues and remains in early access.
In the news, Discord's Watch Together shows you ads and is broken by adblock (and also doesn't actually work very well), Discord launches a cheaper Nitro Basic, Rym is playing a lot of Overwatch 2 which itself is struggling with its new free-to-play model that you can ignore if you just pay for the game, and GUNDAM Evolution is terrible.
Online Game Servers
Tonight on GeekNights, we discuss the history and current state of online game servers. Rising primarily out of competitive FPSs like Quake and Counter Strike back in the day, they were often the only way to play with a reliable community of people. There weren't matchmaking or friend lists or anything like that.
In the news, Rym and Emily are back from PAX where they did a panel on losing, Scott is back from Costco, the Nintendo Direct had a bunch of things to talk about, and GeekNights will have a roughly three week hiatus between Rym and Emily biking 500 miles and Rym going on a business trip.
Single Player Tabletop Games
Tonight on GeekNights, we consider single player tabletop games. Distinct from Solitaire and Simple Games or Solitaire Puzzles, expanding on our discussion of The Number of Players, we look at what it takes to have a regular old tabletop game for one. We cite Why No One Will Game With You in the course of this, but there are plenty of great single player experiences (so long as they are official rules and the game was designed with a solo mode in mind).
In the news, Blades in the Dark continues to be fantastic, Cult of the Lamb is moderately disappointing to Rym, Moonbreaker holds promise, the fake Amazon-buys-EA story was debunked before we even saw the bunk, and Disney is throwing the weight of its intellectual property around with a high-production TCG: Lorcana.
Tonight on GeekNights, we consider casino games like Roulette, Poker, Craps, Blackjack, and Slot Machines. In the news, Unity is having significant woes, Cult of the Lamb looks cute, MultiVersus is something we will review in the future, Nintendo is just like every other games company, Gen Con struggles with the evil government of Indiana, and TwitchCon again requires masks.
Streaming Games (to devices, not Twitch)
Tonight on GeekNights, we consider streaming games. Not to Twitch, but to devices. From Google Stadia to Steam Link to Steam Remote Play to adjacent game library services like Xbox Game Pass it's a space that continues to evolve. In the news, blue states in America are trying to save lives, Scott geekbites Nobody Saves the World, Asmodee sells Keyforge, Ubisoft kills 15 multiplayer games, Counter-Strike is still the #1 game on Steam by a wide margin, Pokemon cards are now easy to get, and video cards are now easy to get.