Wednesday, 20 March 2002

Not that I’m a games obsessive or anything

Listening to:

Louis Armstrong and his orchestra playing That Rhythm Man, a recording made in New York on 19 July 1929. Louis Armstrong is such a star.

Two new games

I recently acquired a couple of new games. The first is Combat Mission, a tactical level simulation of WW2 combat on the Western Front after D-Day. It’s quite an amazing game, featuring 3D graphics in combination with a real dedication to historical accuracy. For instance, the fact that the Sherman tanks that the US used were prone to catching on fire at the least provocation (well, being shot at by German tanks, usually) is modelled, as is the fact that their steel plating was initially of somewhat low quality. The only advantage they had over their German counter-parts in the Tutorial scenario that I played was that their turrets could swing into position faster. The game also models infantry, artillery and other armoured vehicles. Being animated in 3D does make it rather visceral. After seeing the devastation a pair of tanks could wreak on enemy infantry, I actually felt quite horrified by it all.

The other game is much gentler, and sociable to boot, being a board game, rather than a computer game. It’s Carcassonne, and is really quite snazzy. A game (for two anyway; I’ve yet to play it with more) plays out in under an hour, and features the laying of square card tiles on the table, and the strategic placement of little wooden figures, representing your attempt to control various abstract resources. The game mechanics are very slick.

Others’ reviews for both games are linked to from my reviews page.

Finally, link from the BBC, saying that a study has shown that playing computer games is good for a child’s development and general education. If that’s true, they must be good for my development and education too!