Episode 28: Kerbal Space Program & Setting goals in sandbox games

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This week we talk about the up and coming Indie sensation Kerbal Space Program. This game has us blasting into space and planning our next goals. We talk about how we set our own goals and why that type of gameplay is rewarding for people willing to set their own goals. To the Mun!

Episode 27: Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed & Game tutorials

crabCast_episode_027_400Another week, another exciting game. This week, the PC game we took a look at was Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed. This harkened us back to our Nintendo 64 Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing days in 8th grade when we had time to play every level in every game (got you there, we still do this). Then, we talked a bit about tutorials and how this game made the egregious error of not having any kind of a tutorial at all! We were so worked up we forgot we already talked about tutorials in an earlier crabCast. Fun game, but, come on guys, get a tutorial going so we know how to do tricks!

Episode 18: Zombie Road Trip & Zombie popularity

This week we talk acrabCast_episode_018_400bout a mobile game called Zombie road trip and are reminded quite forcefully of Ski Safari and Jetpack Joyride. Then we try a light discussion on why zombies are so darn popular anyway. It dissolves into the usual rant about monetizing (kidding).

Episode 17: Pandemic and Boardgaming

crabCast_episode_017_400After a terrible start where everyone ruins the intro we jump into a show where we talk about our first ever board game, Pandemic. Pandemic can get in your grill and make you mad, it brings you together only to tear you apart later after your will has been crushed. The mechanics are genius and we discuss it in depth. We then started talking about our jump into board gaming and what board games have to offer to a otherwise PC, Console or Mobile gamer.

Episode 16: Hotline Miami & Challenging morals

crabCast_episode_016_400Hotline Miami was getting a lot of attention for it’s 80′s styled graphics and extreme violence presented in a top down shooter. The game was fun and we all had good things to say for the most part (except the terrible ending ), but it led us into a discussion about our moral codes and how violent games can challenge that code. Do games that push our moral code effect the games we play and what actions we try to take in the more violent or questionable games we play? We try to answer.

Plus: New Uncles, Cute alternatives to violence, Choosing your morality in games that don’t judge, and ruining friendships in Munchkin

Episode 15: Pudding Monsters & Replay Value

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Straight out of our nightmares of food left in the back of the fridge long enough that it becomes self aware is a mobile (Andriod, iOS) game called Pudding Monsters. This game has us talking about sliding jello pudding to solve puzzles. After that discussion we decided to talk about the difference in monetizing a game with procedural levels vs. designed levels and how either strategy can be successful.

Episode 14: The Legend of Grimrock

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This week we looked at an new take on an old-school dungeon crawler: The Legend of Grimrock. This game challenged our gaming skills and our friendship but we battled through and asked ourselves the question: When is difficult too difficult?

PLUS: we talk about a recent board game night, video game frustration, and at one point James discusses his possible addiction to Percocet.

Episode 13: Swingshot & the pitfalls of monetization

crabCast_episode_013_400This weeks game turned out to be a pretty polarizing one. Swingshot on iOS and Android got us going and led us into a deep dark pit where James schooled us all monetizing mobile games. When the dust settled we all knew we didn’t like this important side of the business.

Episode 12: Bastion & The importance of story

crabCast_episode_012_400Bastion was getting a little too much coverage for the Media Crab team not to dig in and see what this game was all about. It turned out that Bastion had us all hooked on a great storyline so we decided to talk about what great stories can do to make solid mechanics and great design and pull it all together into a great experience.

PLUS: We talk about crabfest for far too long, the history of the name MediaCrab, and get into Majora’s Mask theories when we talk about that game again.

SPOILER WARNING: we talk a lot about Bastion’s story this week. Most of the things are minor, but at 35:00 we talk in detail about the ending. It only lasts until 36:30 and we warn heavily during the show.

 

Episode 11: Ski Safari, Jetpack Joyride & Incentives and Achievments

crabCast_episode_011_400Another couple of mobile games this week both in the genre of high scorning and procedural levels. Ski Safari and Jet Pack Joyride both have their strengths but which holds up under our scrutiny our review process? With two games with no endings we talk about what games can do to keep us coming back for more.