I’ve been on a kick lately. Printing and playing games, designed by random people on the Internet with just PDF resources and what I have on hand. These games are lower budget than your boxed systems, have less fancy mechanics (generally) and usually aren’t multi-player.
That is often okay for me. I have a really high tollerance to game fatigue, which many of the people I live and visit with do not. Often it’s enough to crack open one semi-complicated game, or two less complicated ones and have a short evening of fun for them. For me, I could play for hours and with some of my friends in town, I often do.
This style of games suits me nicely, because I can pick up a game, start playing it. “Pause” it while I do something else, and come back to it without having missed a beat. No turns to figure out and watch other people play through. Just me, some dice, maybe some meeple, a pen and some time.
Saving on Games Prints
Recently I decided that I wasn’t going to foot the bill for all the ink and paper usage for these things. My little home Brother MFP was not going to cut it. Besides, Kinkos is right down the road and can also laminate, give me a wide variety of paper types (including water proof!). They also save me the hassle of having to print them, and muck with them. Someone else does that. They’ll even call me if there is an issue with the look or the print.
While they may not be cheaper than DIY, it certainly isn’t expensive. I had Austerity (board and cards), Bargan Basement Baythsphere (of Beachside Bay), Utopia Engine, and Under Falling Skies printed, laminated, etc, for less than $20. They were ready the next day and looking great.
While I’m not isolated in these times, it’s nice to know that I can do the equivelent of a nice Sunday crossword, but more my speed, when I have a bit of time to myself.
I think once I’ve played these games, I’ll go and get a couple more put together. I already have Supermarché and Four Against Darkness. Ada Lovelace: Consulting Mathematician looks like a great teaser and there have been really good reviews about Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden. These should all be relatively easy to pick up and get going.
Life continues to be a relaxing, if busy, time on Sea Breeze. Major infrastructural improvements have been made to the island, making it a much more upscale environment for the residents. Recently, we’ve acquired permitting to install paths, add or remove to river coastlines, install waterfalls, even build mountains and cliff faces. We promise to our residents to use these permits sparingly as to not destroy the natural beauty and ascetics of the island.
A bit of board game backstory, here: I’ve been loosing weight for more than a year, now. Part of what helps motivate me (amongst other things) is something we set up quite recently. Every week, I choose a sub 50 dollar “wellness win” to help motivate me with a non-food reward. Many of these wins have been almost entirely board games.
I own quite a few board games. It is a problem some would love to have. I enjoy many of them, and some I haven’t even been able to play, yet. Despite this, I keep looking for my next “fix”. Right now, it’s roll and writes and print and plays.
So, should I do with these games? I am planning on pulling out every game from our overstuffed closet and evaluating the need/love of a game, sorting it into piles. Essentially, I need to weed out the cremé of the crop, and sell/donate the rest. Honestly, though, I never thought I’d be in one of these guys shoes, so early into my adventures in the world of board gaming.
New Board Games Rules
- The game must be a up to five player game. This allows for everyone in my immediate family to play at once
- This rule is relaxed for print-and-play, solitare-style games
- The game must have a general “complexity” score of 2.2 or less at BoardGameGeek
- Games with expansions either need to have good storage mechanisms (Wingspan) or be small enough as to not have that issue
- More “fiddly” games with lots of peices are to be purchased less in favor of more travel appropriate games (we often transport games to grandma’s house, I hate loosing parts)
With this initial set of rules, I will be able to weed out games that may be fun, but difficult to manage. Storage is at a premium, and we have plenty of games to pick from. The onus is on games that we really enjoy, versus learning new mechanics.
NO. This post is not about Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If that’s what you’re here for, sorry to disappoint.
I’ve been a long time fan of the Animal Crossing series. It’s a great, colorful, “safe” and generally wholesome experience that also is fun to play. While recently, the New Horizons release has charged everyone’s attention, it’s nice to see people are still paying attention to the other iterations of this amazing series.
In the original GameCube version, the player can find or buy NES games. These allow you to place a cartridge and console to actually play an emulated version of that game. While amazing, there is a slightly more rare feature that I don’t believe was ever realized after the game came out.
In addition to the NES games you can find. There is also a “blank” NES. When placed, it looks just like the other games, but it doesn’t have any cartridge on top, indicating a game available. When you interact with it, it would always just say you had no available software to play on it. For most people, like me, that was enough.
Hacking an Animal Crossing
A Github user named James Chambers did a deep dive of the functionality of this feature and discovered something interesting. It turns out that the blank NES was actually designed to load specially crafted ROMs from the GameCube memory card. This would allow you to play a further selection of games. Probably designed to be utilized as part of a promotional deal or similar. Sadly, I don’t think this was ever realized after release.
Not to be deterred, James decided to see if you could actually load a ROM from the memory card and get it to work. After some further debugging and technical digging, they found that the emulator included was actually pretty complete! You can play many NES games with little issue inside of Animal Crossing!
It is always fascinating when people pick apart old games and see how they tick. Often they find interesting, clever or strange methods of making the game work on limited hardware resources. This article just proves that even old games can have surprising features, hidden deep within the code for someone to discover later in life.