A busy month, I suppose

December 6, 2009

Well, it occured to me just now that the most entertaining games (to me at any rate) are those that have little extras that make me laugh – often surprising little interactions between the ‘characters’ in the game or between them and the player.  Bioware RPGs are particularly noteworthy for this, and their new Dragon Age is a real masterpiece.  I was reminded of this just now when playing (just one more turn!) a little bit of Mr. Meier’s latest version of Civilization (the product that drove Avalon Hill out of business by stealing the name of an Avalon Hill game…).  It’s a fantastic and frustrating game, of course, as every version has been, but what made me laugh out loud was  Gilgamesh’s  negative reaction to a trade I had proposed.  I haven’t been so happily surprised since the first time I discovered that the mercs in Jagged Alliance reacted both to being searched (“That will cost you dinner and a movie!” says Fox) and to being ordered to shoot a buddy (“This is highly irregular.  Oh, well.” says Grunty).  I take back almost all of the extremely rude things I’ve said about Mr. Meier over the years when I’ve ended up losing a game I really thought I was winning.  I even forgive him for his taking all the pleasure out of Railroad Tycoon by redesigning it.  That reminds me – I hope I have time tonight to fire up the continuing career of Captain Bloodnose and terrorize the Spanish Main for an hour or so before bed.  The redesign of Pirates! was perfect.