Liz & J.A. play the Sims: Episode 4 – The Date Part 2 – I kissed a guy and got some pussycat


I never read the Twilight books or watched the movies but I assume they went something like this. On part two of Liz and J.A.’s date, Liz’s hygiene isn’t getting any better perhaps that is why J.A. desperately wishes to become a vampire, however, when he finds out what it takes to become one he will wish he hadn’t. After the ordeal a mysterious cat appears which J.A. recruits into a feline version of the black lives matter movement.

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Liz & J.A. play the Sims: Episode 3: The Date Part 1: I took a whores bath at the club


With the boyfriend out of the house on the first day of his new job, couch potato millionaire, Liz decides it’s the perfect time to call up her FWB J.A. for a 9am date.

Unfortunately, she was in such a hurry to get out of the house and away from the unwanted puppy that she forgot to take a bath, brush her teeth or take care of any of the other hygienic things Sims need to do.

Meeting J.A. at the Club, Liz decides this is a good time to take care of all these things in the bathroom while J.A. decides to tend bar in the empty club, sounds like the beginning of a magical date.

Liz & J.A. play the Sims: Episode 2: Why won’t this damn dog leave?


In our last episode our couch potato millionaires found a job. Now before heading off too sleep they decide to play with their loving dog. Unfortunately, they have what was at first a sweet playful guest, a cute puppy, but now it just won’t leave.

What’s is the secret of this puppy? Nothing they do will get it to go away. Does this puppy have powers even greater than the game itself?

Liz & J.A. play the Sims: Episode 1: Couch Potato Millionaire finds a job


Liz Poisonkiss and J.A. Laraque are playing the Sims 3 and the Sims 4. Why, we are not sure, but they are recording it like a reality show and seem to be having fun doing so and so here are some of their adventures in their respective games.

In episode one in the Vicariously household the self proclaimed couch potatoes decide that their luxurious home and millions of dollars is all well and good, but at least one of them needs to find a job. Strangely enough we find in the world of the Sims certain job professions just don’t match up to the real world.

Little Computer People

little computer people
It might have inspired The Sims and that happily forgotten Tamagotchi craze, but David Crane’s Little Computer People was far from a commercial success back in 1985. Surely the atrocious cover art couldn’t have helped much…
little computer people
The game itself though remains fresh, unique, innovative, pretty brilliant and beautiful in a way only those chunky Commodore 64 games can be.
little computer people
And did you know that its complete title is Little Computer People Discovery Kit and that it was also known as a House-on-a-Disk? Oh, I see…

Empire Deluxe

Empire Deluxe (1993) title screen

If ever there was a game that could be pointed to and accredited for the “just one more turn” phenomenon in gaming, Empire Deluxe is it.  Released in 1993 by New World Computing, Empire Deluxe was an advanced and enhanced version of Empire: Wargame of the Century, which in turn was a version of Empire, first released in 1977 and coded in FORTRAN.  The early version of Empire was crude as the platforms it ran on, but was still addictive.  The 1987 Interstel Corporation release, Empire: Wargame of the Century, had the advantage of Mark Baldwin‘s graphic user interface, making it visual appealing, which helped the game garner “Game of the Year” honors from the influential Computer Gaming Magazine.  This success helped propel Empire Deluxe‘s sales forward, having the advantage of both a built-in user base as well as being a high quality game.  In fact, Empire Deluxe sold well, and remains a favorite game for many PC gamers, earning a spot on GameSpy.com’s “Top 50 Games of All Time” list.

Box art for Empire Deluxe

Box art for Empire Deluxe

Game play of Empire Deluxe is very familiar, as it should be considering it is the great-grandaddy of the entire RTS genre.  Each player starts with one city, and needs to develop his military strength to conquer the surrounding territory.  Military units are varied, and include infantry, armor, transports, destroyers, cruisers, submarines, battleships, aircraft carriers, fighters, and bombers.  Targets have differing defensive and offensive values, and not every city is easily conquered.  (In fact, conquering cities lowers their production capacity, and if a city changes hands often, it becomes almost useless as a source of production.)  Combat is straight-forward, with the winner moving into the loser’s square upon victory.  Exploration is key, and as players start on an island, building up a naval task force (with both exploratory and combat vessels) is necessary to achieve victory.

Empire Deluxe screen shot

Empire Deluxe screen shotEmpire Deluxe had three modes for aspiring world conquerors: Basic, Standard, and Advanced.  The Basic Mode was set up for beginners, with limits to the number and types of units available, simple production rules, and the elimination of the “fog-of-war” obscuration of the game map.  The Standard Mode used the “fog-of-war” feature, added a few more complications to the production rules, and permitted the use of a few more military units.  The Advanced Mode unlocked all the military units (from infantry to bomber!), added rules for terrain effects on movement and combat, presented the most complications for city production, and opened the game map to its largest size (200×200).

Rear box art for Empire Deluxe

Rear box art for Empire Deluxe

Some of the game industry’s brightest minds worked on custom maps for Empire Deluxe, including Will Wright (The Sims), Trevor Sorenson (Star Fleet), Don Gilman (Harpoon), and Noah Falstein (Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis).  It seems obvious that the game’s influence throughout the industry is noticeably vast!  If you’ve never played a game of Empire Deluxe, you’re missing out on a piece of retro gaming history.  Between its history significance and the happy memories it invokes, Empire Deluxe is a true retrogaming classic!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxgI9LfahK0[/youtube]

SimCity: The City Simulator

Sim City - PC - Box

If there ever was a game that you weren’t really sure if you were playing a game or using an educational tool…but you didn’t care because it was so much fun, SimCity: The City Simulator was it.  Published by Maxis Software in 1989, SimCity was written by a young Will Wright (he of the incredibly addictive The Sims fame), and would go down as one of the most influential and popular games in gaming history.

In SimCity, players had to construct an entire metropolis starting from nothing but a bulldozer and random terrain.  Along the way to full city status sims begin to populate your city and make demands.  They may need more housing or shopping centers; perhaps crime is rampant and a police station is needed; maybe frequent brown outs are creating a demand for a new power station; perhaps your sims are bored and want a stadium…and so on.  Meanwhile, the city needed just the right level of taxes to encourage growth, yet still pay for all those fire and police stations.  Random emergencies could wreak havoc on your city, with tornadoes devastated entire zones, earthquakes leveling buildings, airplanes crashing and resulting fires requiring immediate response.  If you guided your city with a steady hand, your tax coffers filled up and your sims considered you Simsville’s best Mayor ever.  If you failed to keep on top of the ever-changing developments within your city you could find yourself in the ranks of the unemployed.

Sim City - Amgia - Gameplay Screenshot -

Although the core of the game was designed for open-ended gameplay, the game also included scenarios which revolved around achieving a specific goal within a certain time period.  These were based on both past situations as well as possible futures that urban planners had already had to solve or were in the process of planning for.  The past scenarios included dealing with crime-ridden and an economically-depressed Detroit in 1972; a post-earthquake San Francisco in 1906, and rebuilding Hamburg at the end of World War II (this one was only in the IBM PC, Amgia, and Atari ST version).  Future scenarios included Boston suffering a nuclear plant meltdown and Rio de Janeiro flooding from global warming.  There was even a fantastic scenario based upon the classic Godzilla movies, wherein the player had to rebuild Tokyo after an attack from the King of the Monsters.  Further scenarios were released in the SimCity Graphic Set 1: Ancient Cities and SimCity Graphic Set 2: Future Cities.

Sim City - Amgia - Gameplay Screenshot -

The path to SimCity’s initial release wasn’t an easy one.  Originally titled “Micropolis,” Will Wright, its creator, developed it for the Commodore 64, a platform he had previous success in with the now-classic, Raid on Bungling Bay.  By 1985 the game was ready to go, but he couldn’t find a dance partner willing to publish it, as the powers-that-be struggled with its open path gameplay and lack of winners versus losers.  He believed in the potential of what he had coded, so he partnered with Jeff Braun (a successful publisher of font packs for the Commodore Amiga) and founded Maxis Software in 1987, and sought the rights to publish his game with his own company.  After two more years of code changes and legal wrangling (which included cementing Broderbund Software as Maxis Software’s distribution agent), SimCity was brought before the gaming public.

Sim City - Amgia - Gameplay Screenshot -

Interestingly, although Will Wright had originally coded Micropolis for the C64, the first platforms SimCity was released on were the Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga, followed by IBM PC (MS-DOS) and then the Commodore 64.  EventuallySimCity: The City Simulator would be ported to the Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore Amiga CDTV, Amstrad CPC, and even the Super Nintendo.   The game was, of course, a smash hit, and garnered several gaming awards, including: Best Computer Strategy Game (Video Games & Computer Entertainment), Game of the Year (Computer Gaming World), Best Consumer Program (Software Publisher’s Association), and many, many more.  Its legacy is also well-recognized, earning a top ten position on the still-respected Computer Gaming World’s 150 Game of All Timelist.

 

Sim City - Amgia - Gameplay Screenshot -

The legacy of SimCity is more than just accolades, as its incredible success motivated Maxis Software to publish many variations on the theme: SimAntSimIsle,SimCopterSimLifeSimFarmSimEarthStreets of SimCitySimTown, and SimSafari.  Maxis even picked up the publishing rights for two similar Japanese games, A-Trainand Yoot Tower (which was renamed SimTower to take advantage of the sim-craze).  SimCity also spawned several sequels and remakes, including SimCity Classic(updated for Windows), SimCity Enhanced CD-ROM (which added FMV to the SimCity experience), SimCity 2000SimCity 3000, SimCity 4, and SimCity Societies.  And, of course, there is a direct link between Will Wright’s SimCity: The City Simulator and his epic seller, The Sims (and all its subsequent sequels and expansion packs).  Clearly,SimCity had a huge impact on the gaming universe.

Sim City - Amgia - Gameplay Screenshot -

Sadly, Maxis Software did not last as an independent company.  Although Maxis had been partnered with Broderbund since its inception, by 1995 they hired their own sales team and launched their IPO, taking Maxis public for the first time.  Unfortunately, the buzz from SimCity 2000‘s success had long worn off, and the pressure to fulfill the stock analysts’ projections took its toll on the company.  Wright and the other designers were pressured to abide by a strict deadline in 1996, with Maxis’ management team demanding all four games in development by released.  The designers complied, but the games they published that year did not catch the gamerverse on fire (I’m looking at YOU, SimCopter), and the share price of the new company which had such an incredible history slide precipitously.   In 1997, Electronic Arts made $120 million stock offer that they couldn’t refuse, making Will Wright and Jeff Braun very wealthy young men.  For his part, Braun became the biggest shareholder of Electronic Arts, and gave him the ability to invest in a variety of technology companies.  As for Will Wright, the money afforded him the time to do what he most loved – and did best – in developing new games.  Thanks, Electronic Arts!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzHVcvZw_7Q[/youtube]

If you’ve never played SimCity: The City Simulator, you’ve missed out on an integral piece of gaming history.  For a retro gamer, it’s still as fun as it always was, which is a sign of just how well it was crafted by Will Wright.  Between great gameplay and a long-lasting legacy, SimCity deserves to be on anyone’s best games of all time list.  Pick up a copy and see for yourself!

Magisterrex has been gaming since the days of Pong and still owns a working Atari 2600. He tends to ramble on about retro games, whether they be board games, video games or PC games.  If you’re into classic old school gaming check out his blog here

Games for Girls?

Do you really want to see a new achievement every time your girl finds a lost black sheep? If you are one of those guys stupid enough to share your Facebook account with your girl you are gonna look like a complete and total loser.~J.A. Laraque

Games for Girls?

You might wonder why I added the question mark at the end and the reason is because I am not sure if these games are really the ones girls enjoy and play the most, but after doing some research it appears many girl games put these games on their top list.

games 4 girls

So here is how this is going to work. You will get three first takes from me. The first take is the general take on the game. The second take is the positive friendly take and finally the third take is the evil chauvinistic take. Enjoy

The Sims

General: The Sims allows gamers to control their in-game avatar and pretty much everything around them including the house and everything inside it. This game is like taking care of a pet, but the pet is human. The Sim’s offers tons of gameplay options, add-on’s and simple yet interesting fun.

The Nice: The Sims is perfect for women to show their creative side. Let’s face it, 9 times out of 10 a girls is better at creating and running a home than a guy and they have that maternal instinct and strength of will to take care of the Sim.

The Evil: This is the perfect training vessel for future domestic servitude. The only problem with the Sims is she might think you will actually buy all the crap she fills her virtual house with. Perhaps dating sites should have a built in Sim’s game because depending on how the house and the SIm she created is presented could tell you a lot about the woman and her crazy factor. This game is also good because it keeps you busy while you play manly games like Gears of War.

Farmville

General: The Facebook game where you run a farm. You can plant all types of crops and build your farm up to be pretty big. There is also a social aspect where you can trade food and supplies and there are tons of little gifts and events through the year.

The Nice: This is a pretty good intro game if your girl has never played games and strangely enough it can make your World of Warcraft quests seem a lot less stupid when she is collecting dough to bake a pie. The social aspect is great as she can share her achievements with friends and the game runs on almost any PC.

The Evil: Do you really want to see a new achievement every time your girl finds a lost black sheep? If you are one of those guys stupid enough to share your Facebook account with your girl you are gonna look like a complete and total loser. Also, think of all the real chores she could be doing around the house instead of on a virtual farm and finally, 7 out of 10 Farmville players can barely cook in real life, down home indeed!

Dance Dance Revolution

General: Before Rock Band or Guitar Hero there was DDR, the game where you have to dance (or step) to the beat to achieve points. This game is fun in a group and can serve as a good workout as well. All you need is a little room and a love for music and you’re set.

The Nice: Forget Wii Fit at least with DDR you can have some interesting music while shaking it to the beat. Just imagine the love of your life shaking it on the dance floor just for you. This is a great game to team up together and have some fun before you show off your skills to your friends.

The Evil: If you combine bad J-Pop with the lack of rhythm your girl has you are in for a world of hurt. You will be forced to watch the painful display of your woman flailing around the living room knocking things over only to have to tell her she did well. Honestly, the thing to do is bypass all this and get her that sexy stripper pole workout thing. At least with that you can YouTube it and become an internet star.

Mario Kart

General: Go Cart racing at its finest. Mario Kart puts the character of Super Mario Bros. behind the wheel where you can race across a ton of different lands from the Mario universe. The gameplay is fun and the tracks are beautifully designed. This is a great game for all ages and skill types.

The Nice: Mario Kart is the kind of game that will little practice you can become good at it and it is designed to give you friendly competition. Girls will like the Mario world and the cute characters like the princess and Yoshi and will get into the gameplay that offers a scalable challenge without being harsh on first timers.

The Evil: Remember how bad your girl played Super Mario Bros.? How she would contort her whole body when trying to turn or jump the character. Do you really want to put another woman behind the wheel and worst yet she will want you to play. Now the question is do you own her in the game and sleep on the couch or let her win and listen to her playful ribbing for the next 20 years. What if she beats you fair and square, what then, you know murder is illegal right?

World of Warcraft

General: The ultimate MMO. You can create a character from a list of races and classes and play in an immense world of fantasy. Not only will you have tons of things to do, but tons of people to do it with. World of Warcraft can be almost anything you want from a challenging experience to a social outlet where you cook and search for treasure. Seriously, everyone is playing this.

The Nice: Sure it may take some time to get her started in the World of Warcraft if she was never before a gamer, but it can be worth it. If you are a fan of the game then the best thing is to have the person you love spending time with you loving something else you like spending time with. Plus, most girls pick support classes and are notorious for finishing all the quests and events so that can come in very handy for you and maybe even your guild.

The Evil: Do you really want to be a teacher? Honestly, you are looking at three outcomes. One, she will never get the game right and make you look bad and bother you all the time to help her. Two, she will quit out of frustration and hate you for it, but she won’t dump you, oh no, she will force you to quit the game. Third, she becomes too good at the game and it takes over her life even more than it does yours. Her holy priest is picked over your hunter in the guild you helped to create and so she is turning you down for sex so she can finish all the holiday quests. See, this is why you live alone as long as humanly possible.

Do you see what I did there?

All joking aside there will always be games that appeal to one segment of the populous over the other, but is there really such a thing as a girl’s game anymore? I have seen and know many women of various ages that enjoy all games from the Farmville’s to the Call of Duties. Boys will most likely dominate gaming for the foreseeable future, but in that sea of testosterone you will find gamer girls doing the same thing we do, kicking ass and getting our asses kicked.

Tyler Chester: Appular

Appular logo
Appular logo

Name: Tyler Chester

Company: Appular

Profession: Public Relations

Favorite Classic Game: The Sims

Quote: I’ve always been into simulation games for a while now and it keeps me pretty busy. The Sims 1 for PS2 was really the first game that started my gaming habits. I had an original PS2, the “fatty” of them all. I think I actually got it right on release, not sure. I’m sure you can consider The Sims as a classic, right? At times it can be frustrating, and I still remember you didn’t have the ability to create multiple floors which was a draw back. Now today, The Sims series is huge like really huge. You can build like four floors today, that’s just completly insane. With all the add-ons today their is no limits with The Sims. That’s why I keep coming back to it now and then. I’ve had my fair share of house building with The Sims 3, so many tools, so little time!


Games Coming Out For PC In October 2010

Lego Universe
Lego Universe

Games Coming Out For PC In October 2010 by Honorabili

Borderlands Game of the Year Edition, October 5 2010

I beat Borderlands the first day I got it and it became just a continuous grindfest to replay it over and over, so past the first week it just died to me. A lot of people that later played it say it got better with the DLC but I was never willing to pay for that. This pack includes all the DLC but I’m skeptical because they’re always developing DLC for games like this…

Tropico 3 Gold Edition, October 5 2010

This includes the original Tropico 3, which is totally worth owning, and the expansion Tropico 3: Absolute Power, which keeps adding replayability to this great game. El Presidente… the people, they love you! A game which lets you play the role of a dictator is always a lot of fun. 😀

Medal of Honor, October 12 2010

This looks like a Battlefield and Call of Duty (Modern Warfare) clone but hey we might not see anymore MW from the people who made MW1 and MW2 so it might be time to suck it up! Could be fun so long as the server system is well implemented. Click here to view the trailer for this game.

The Guild 2: Renaissance, October 14 2010

Europa 1400 The Guild is probably one of the best games ever made for PC but few people in the US know it. The Guild 2 was relatively weak compared to the original and it had a different set of bugs in it. However that may be, both the original Guild and the Guild 2 are two great games that involve you playing something like the Sims mixed with the diplomatic scheming that would make Machiavelli proud. This expansion adds more functionality (and often a patch as well) to the original game which is already a time vacuum, despite its problems.

Arcania: Gothic 4, October 12 2010

First off, Jowood made this which is a really good thing. The previous Gothic games have been praised by many of my gamer friends (the ones that I respect) as great RPGs. Nice to see this franchise is not dead.

Fallout: New Vegas, October 19 2010

I heard from people that this was made by some of the original people who made the first Fallout games and that’s a good thing. I still believe that Fallout should NEVER have become an FPS game (even with its LIGHT RPG ELEMENTS). The teaser videos make me think a lot of New Reno from Fallout 2 as well as Wasteland, what Fallout is based on. Let’s see…

Lego Universe MMO, October 26 2010

The good people from NetDevil made this MMO and it looks fun from the videos I’ve seen of it. Yeah, it might be a kid’s game but from my experience NetDevil puts out pretty good MMOs. Auto Assault is still my favorite MMO game of all time.

***

Well, that’s the list of stuff that I care to look at next month. Hopefully none of it will be a disappointment like Civilization 5 was (more on that soon).