Once upon a time not so long ago there lived in a nondescript suburban house in an inconspicuous neighborhood in a quiet Mid-Western town a fellow named Robert John Smith, and he was boring.
New set of videos on my YouTube channel showing off an obscure old Mac game, Zroids.
I suppose what stands out to me about Zroids looking at it 16 years after I first played it is how it had such a wonderful concept, and yet so lacked what it needed to actually make it great.
To my knowledge no new maps were ever published beyond the ones included in the first (and only) release of the game, and while there was a fair amount of variety in its gameplay (albeit not as much as in its sister Steel Fighters, which is still available from ColdSteel Software), there was very little balance. There’s one weapon really worth using (it isn’t hard to tell from a glance at the videos which one it is), a few that are moderately effective, and a bunch that are useless unless the weapons are restricted enough that they don’t have anything decent to compete with. One of the game’s neatest features, the terrain destruction, is one of the less accessible and useful aspects of the game; you have to go out of your way to make cubbyholes that are effective, and it’s hard to think of circumstances where your time wouldn’t have been better spent hunting down other players. The AI is pretty mediocre (destructible terrain didn’t help it any, at that), and unfortunately the split-screen aspect of the game was not something the Macintosh has ever been very conducive to.
So, there’s a few good reasons why this is a forgotten Mac game. But if you’re able to set the critical mindset aside, get over the loss of potential that was there, and allow yourself to make what you can of it, there was still a good amount of fun to be had here.
“Whatever you do for somebody else is never wasted.” – Me
Here’s a 45 minute (approximately) video of me playing the first mission of the classic Mac game “Missions of the Reliant”. There’s a *lot* of downtime, due to ship repairs, etc., so keep that in mind when you watch. Maybe later I’ll make a more viewer-friendly version with all of the long bits where nothing much is happening chopped out; if I do, that one will probably go up on YouTube.
Here’s a link to a Sporcle quiz I put up the other day, challenging people to select all of the non-modern countries/decoys in the list.
There are a few real winners in there, such as “LEGOLAND” and “Facebook”.
Every now and again I write a little bit of nonsense, as a form of amusement. For maximum comedic effect, I prefer listening to it being read out loud by the classic Macintosh voice “Princess” (though any kind of computer text-to-speech would probably be entertaining enough). Here’s a collection of some of my greatest works. Continue reading “Fun Balderdash”
Uploaded a Youtube video of me playing a round of the classic Mac game by Peter N. Lewis, “Greebles”. It was a little tricky to get the recorder set up without it interfering with the gameplay; I did a take before this one, but it was so choppy I decided to try again with a lower resolution.
I’m pretty well on my game most of this time, but start burning out near the end. Dying so many times in level 10 was pretty pitiful play on my part (I got greedy and careless). The AI is hopeless when it comes to strategy or long-term planning, but on reflexes and tactical encounters it’ll beat you every time.
While Domination is in many ways a superb RISK clone with a superior feature set, I’ve found that there’s a surprising deficit of top-quality maps. Without speculating on why this is the case, I thought I’d provide my insight in to what I feel makes a great map. Continue reading “Thoughts on Domination Maps”