“In honor of this glorious, beautiful, multitude of games that are just begging to be played, I’ve set up a few tabletop roleplaying games with some new pieces of genre fiction. I tried to pick out games that have been written recently, and none that originated in the 70s! Take a look, and maybe support a game or two. We’ll start with Fantasy, diving right in with games and books that go from epic to short, historical to urban, so take a deep breath, and let’s dive in.”–Linda H. Codega, “Play the Plot: Tabletop Games for Your Favorite Fantasy Book.” Tor.com. October 5, 2020.
“RAND researchers developed Hedgemony, a wargame designed to teach U.S. defense professionals how different strategies could affect key planning factors in the trade space at the intersection of force development, force management, force posture, and force employment. The game presents players, representing the United States and its key strategic partners and competitors, with a global situation, competing national incentives, constraints, and objectives; a set of military forces with defined capacities and capabilities; and a pool of periodically renewable resources. The players are asked to outline their strategies and are then challenged to make difficult choices by managing the allocation of resources and forces in alignment with their strategies to accomplish their objectives within resource and time constraints.”—Hedgemony
“NetHack is one of the oldest and arguably most impactful videogames in history, as well as being one of the hardest roguelikes currently being played by humans. It is procedurally generated, rich in entities and dynamics, and overall an extremely challenging environment…”
I’ve only played this casually, but it’s very complex. It might be a fun project to learn a little bit about artificial intelligence. Or, you might simply wish to play the game yourself.
Worth a look. It’s free and runs on pretty much any computer you’d want to use. Almost everyone will want to get a version with graphic tiles.
“Blade Runner is a point-and-click adventure, a genre that was still very popular on PCs at the time of its release. Games like Beneath a Steel Sky had already used the format to tell Blade Runner-inspired cyberpunk stories. Given the usual state of movie adaptations, a Blade Runner adventure game wouldn’t necessarily have been anything to get excited about.‘Blade Runner’ really does make you feel like a detective
What Westwood did with the license, however, was inspired. The game isn’t a straight retelling of the movie. (Harrison Ford’s Deckard is nowhere to be seen.) You play a detective named Ray McCoy on the tail of replicants linked to vicious animal murders. While the story takes place at the same time as the movie and involves some of the same locations and characters, it plays out in parallel without intersecting too strongly. This was a great decision for a narrative adventure, allowing the game to evoke the movie without feeling predictable.-Sam Byford, “The resurrected Blade Runner game is a genuine classic.” The Verge. December 18, 2019.
Blade Runner is currently on sale for $8.99 until January 2nd, 2020, at 2 PM UTC. And, if you are into free (as in beer!) games, and who isn’t, you could also download the previously mentioned Beneath a Steel Sky for nothing.
But, there’s a catch. GOG doesn’t provide much help getting these games installed on a Linux system. I didn’t see any instructions, but let me save you some time. I documented what I did to get it to work, and now, you have the very instructions that should be on the GOG website, but are somehow, inexplicably, not there. We’re going to use Blade Runner as our example, but while I was looking into how to get this thing running, it was apparent that these problems happen on the Linux platform with many of GOG’s games.
Installing & Getting the Games to Work
Before starting, let’s make life easy for ourselves and get an outdated audio library that is needed in order for the game to launch.
- Go to the Debian Package website, so you know what you are installing: https://debian.pkgs.org/9/debian-main-amd64/libsndio6.1_1.1.0-3_amd64.deb.html
- Download the binary package: http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian/pool/main/s/sndio/libsndio6.1_1.1.0-3_amd64.deb
- Install it by either (1) opening it with Software Install, assuming you are on Ubuntu or another Debian-flavor of Linux that uses it, or save it to your Download directory, then:
$ dpkg -i libsndio6.1_1.1.0-3_amd64.deb
You’re also going to need Simple DirectMedia Layer 2, which you can install the standard way, through the repository:
$ sudo apt-get install libsdl2-net-2.0-0
Now, with those preliminaries out of the way, let’s get to the task at hand, shall we? Download the Blade Runner file from the GOG website. Open a terminal:
$ cd Downloads $ chmod +x blade_runner_1_0_varies.sh $ ./blade_runner_1_0_varies.sh
After installation, it should be in your Show Applications, which is in the bottom right corner for people using the standard Gnome window manager, and then, select the game you’ve just installed, if it isn’t Blade Runner.
Or, maybe you’ve learned to love the terminal, you could launch the game from the command line by opening a terminal:
$ cd GOG\ Games/Blade\ Runner/ $ ./start.sh
The game should launch from this point. If not, contact GOG and …Good Luck!
Relicblade combines the action of tabletop wargaming with the flexibility of tabletop role-playing games. Each player controls a group of characters as they battle in the ruins of the sundered world. Characters are represented by finely detailed 30mm miniatures accompanied by Character Cards that detail the character’s unique abilities.
From frozen ice caves in the far north, to vast coastal keeps, the adventure is limited only by your imagination.”—Relicblade
“The year is 1872…
…Phileas Fogg has wagered he can circumnavigate the globe.
Hundreds of journeys, thousands of routes. Travel by steamer, express train, airship, hover-car, hydrofoil, gyrocopter, camel, horse-back, hot-air balloon…
Can you make it in 80 Days?—80 Days
“After a secretive agency in New York is invaded by an otherworldly threat, you become the new Director struggling to regain Control. This supernatural third-person action-adventure game will challenge you to master a combination of supernatural abilities, modifiable loadouts and reactive environments, while fighting through a deep and unpredictable world.—Control
“Wingspan in a competitive, medium-weight, card-driven, engine-building board game from Stonemaier Games.”-Aaron Zimmerman, “Wingspan review: A gorgeous birding board game takes flight.” Ars Technica. March 16, 2019.
For some reason, I thought I had put this on this blog before, but I don’t see it. So, thought I’d remedy the situation.
TIS-100 is the Guitar Hero of high-level assembly language programming. A restrictive set of commands, storage capabilities and other constraints that make this very challenging. My favorite review:
“A great game to play for when I want to feel stupid.”
If you are a programmer, nerd or enjoy logic puzzles with not much hand holding, this game is for you. Recommended.
Exactly what it says on the tin. The only one I’ve played in Faster Than Light (FTL), which I like and is very difficult to win.