Why wouldn’t you play games?

04/04/2010

Would you rather have the child of a god or that of some acne-scarred artisan?  Which child would you rather be?  Jumping through fire is good for you anyway.  Games are good for you, because they are harder than not doing them.  It’s that old protestant work ethic that could have ruined my slacker dream were I not able to subvert it towards something you might think is pointless.

Why pretend to conquer worlds when you could really be stacking shelves?  Why live in a fantasy of power and importance when you could er… well I’m sure you can work out where that’s going.  So yes Good Works and helping the less fortunate and eating a great meal and sex and sunshine are all great.  They make us feel good.  That’s because of chemicals and electricity in our heads.  Working, succeeding, failing, saving every day in the fictional worlds that we also inhabit triggers the same feelings and they are ultimately the same chemicals and electricity.  Have you looked up lately?  I mean, it’s fucking vast out there and so whatever you’re doing with your time it hardly makes much odds.

Well I seem to have said that.  Right.   Last October we were forced to move house.  It was a bad time, loss of control.  Loss of a home.  Loss of stability.  Lots to do…

BUT

There’s only so many days you can face booting up the computamabob and watch as Firefox opens up the many, many tabs of Gumtree ads and estate agent websites.  Only so many times you can cycle between “why am I wasting my time looking at these houses when I haven’t got a job?” and “why am I wasting my time looking for a job when I haven’t got a house?”  Only so many times you can wake screaming in the night shaking with rage and bellow “WHY GOD DID YOU GIVE ME THIS IRON CLAW INSTEAD OF A HAND?  YOU SHALL PAY FOR THIS AND THEN YOU SHALL DIE!!!!!!” before you realise that it’s time to take a break, take stock, and take it out on the pixels that live at the bottom of the garden.  Er I mean hurt virtual people.

Evil Genius is a god-game/base-builder er… it’s a game where you are the villian in a hodge-podge Spy-Fi comedy parody world.  It’s very much like Theme Hospital but with poison-gas traps.  You build your secret base under a mountain, with locker rooms for minions, a generator, a research lab, training… all the stuff you need to build an evil empire.  The bits of machinery are sometimes funny in themselves.  You’ll be dogged, DOGGED I TELLS YA, by loads of stupid tourists and secret agents.  So you build hotels and casinos to distract them, and traps to catch the unwary.  Oh yes the traps… SUCH FUN!  Setting it up so that the FOOLS get blown around and then… shall we say… removed?  No, let’s say “KILLED” and THEN removed to the morgue in a body bag so as not to upset the tourists.  Actually, I had to amend one of my amazing chains of traps cos far too many of my minions were getting caught in it.  They’re supposed to know better idiots.  I mean I wish I knew better idiots. Or commas.

Yes! Pretending is good, pretending is fun, and the fun I had from Evil Genius mostly came from role-playing and laughing a laugh bwa-ha-ha mine is an evil laugh.  I could have fixed that trap-chain a lot earlier, but watching the foolish minions snuff it… well that just seemed like part of the job.  Unusually (er probably) for a game like this you the player are actually represented in the game world.  There’s a little guy walking around who is actually you.  All he can do is walk around, but his presence boosts the loyalty of those present.  The only real action he can do is to kill a minion.  THAT boosts the loyalty of the surrounding peasants an’all.  As does letting them watch you torturing prisoners.  God, don’t tell Alan Part^H^^H^H^HTitmarsh about this game.

There’s the occasional graphical glitch including one that really freaks me out which is occasionally one of the tourists seem to have the top half of their bodies stretched into a horizontal plane, all jitterry.  Eugh.  I really find it disturbing for some reason.  Now I don’t have a screenshot, nor have I actually played the game for a while.  It’s there though, on the Steam list.  I know I was running out of room on the island.  I needed to expand and for that I needed to increase my infamy.  (I’ve already miniturised and stolen the Eiffel Tower – I keep it in the generator room, my engineers redouble their efforts in it’s presence.  Maybe it’s cos it looks like a series of exponential curves.)  It’s a world to which I will return.  Lovely to look at, really really great soundtrack.  It got me through a bad time.

I only paid £1.74 for it cos I am a patient evil genius.  However, that was last November.  Where were you maaan?  Well, you’ll just have to suck it up souled-out-sista, cos them days is go-o-one.  However, lovely Lewie of Savygamer points us to  Evil Genius, PC where it can be yours for £3.27.  Well sort of.  That’s the page for the game.  The sale itself is here and says teh game is yours for $4.99.  Whatever a $ is.  It’s a string isn’t it? So why the float. Just confusing.  Well this sale gave me the spur to write something about the damn game.  Made me do it in a hurry too.  Where are all the great insights into GAME AI then?  Eh?  No-bloody where that’s where.  Sheesh.

Blimey and I nearly forgot to mention that this reminded me of villainsupply.com which was a comedy “evil ebay” that has gone now as you’d guess if you look at the url…

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2 Responses to “Why wouldn’t you play games?”

  1. Eccentrica said

    Brilliant stuff 🙂

    Those graphical glitches are really disturbing. Theme Hospital had one where it would spew out an apparently infinite number of patients suffering from Bloaty Head, much too fast to get them all to the head popping machine, so the corridors would fill up rapidly with unhappy macrocephalics. Nothing for it but to reboot the playstation grrrr.

    • Doggy said

      Yeah that was in my head too. Funny that they are essentially the same game in a different skin. They even have the same sort of sense of humour. I really need to FRAPS some screenshots hongu.

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