Monday, March 10, 2008

No time for BIG GAMES… But a little time for little games

This past weekend has been spent mostly not playing console games or keeping up with my Scrabulous and Scramble opponents.

But, I have been doing at least some gaming. The only Facebook "game" I seem to be able to play by cell phone is poke. I've been engaging in a weekend long poke war battle with a good friend of mine from the east coast. Basically every hour or so I receive a "poke" from my friend (experienced as a buzz on my cell phone that lets me know that a new SMS has arrived) that I then respond to by opening the text message and responding with the letter "p" to poke him back. It's mostly like a staring contest in that there is no real strategy. Mainly one person needs to either live with the annoying "you have been poked" status message at the top of his or her Facebook profile, concede, or poke back. Childish? Yep. But it still can be incredible fun if you use your imagination. In the current match, I know that my friend is going through a period of intense crunch time and is working pretty much 7 days per week. I know that while he's in the zone he only has short periods of down time to do a few "fun" tasks. And I think it's cool that one of those things he thinks to do is poke me from across the country.

The other game I played this weekend was Apples to Apples. It's a light-weight party game that is great on many levels. First, and foremost, it is easy to learn by jumping in and playing. Secondly, it is entertaining. Finally, the core mechanics of game play are fun enough that people can jump in or leave at any point and still have the same amount of fun (and doesn't upset the flow or balance of the game for the people who are taking it more "seriously"). The game is played with two sets of cards: Green cards (adjectives like "grotesque") and red cards (nouns like "Nuclear Weapons", "Macaroni and Cheese", and "Bruce Willis"). Each turn a judge turns over a new green card. All other players select from their hand of seven red cards the noun that they think (based on their subjective knowledge of the judge) will best exemplify the adjective. The judge then (ideally with elaborate and entertaining commentary) decides which noun wins, and the person who submitted that noun collects the green card and scores a point. The player to the left of the judge becomes the next judge, players draw to seven red cards, and the game progresses until a player reaches an agreed upon point total.

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