modern culture since 1991

Wings over Sealand


Archive for the ‘games’


It’s nice when people listen 0

Posted on September 14, 2012 by RevStu

Charadium II is now the rather more descriptively- and catchily-titled Draw Mania.

We don't know if anyone's still playing Draw Something, but better late than never.

New challengers required 0

Posted on September 11, 2012 by RevStu

Come on, readers. Over 100K and Deborah Hare's the only one even putting up a fight.

(Put "WoS" or something in the friend request so I know you're real.)

Some people are on the pitch 58

Posted on September 05, 2012 by RevStu

As regular readers will know, we've always been keen admirers of Bruce Everiss's almost-unparallelled videogames-industry knowledge and expertise. So we've been thrilled to recently see him storming back to the cutting-edge as chief of marketing for David Darling's new company Kwalee, which has hit on the genius idea of making it big in the ultra-competitive App Store market by employing a vast team of staff to come up with two-player-only knockoffs of ancient board games.

The well-documented problem with the App Store, of course, is visibility. To have a chance of getting your game noticed you need it to get lots of great reviews, and when your games are extremely mediocre and competing against hundreds and hundreds of existing clones of the same thing which DO offer single-player play as well as online, the chances of that happening are slim.

Unless you cut out the middleman and write the reviews yourself, of course.

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SUPER-EXCITING VIDEOGAME NEWS! 12

Posted on August 09, 2012 by RevStu

Hell Yeah! finally has an official release date – October 3rd in Europe – and will be coming out for the PC as well as for XBLA. This is the first proper gameplay trailer.

Start saving the spare Microsoft Points from your paper round now (you'll need 1200), because it's freaking awesome. And I should know, because I made some of it.

The (no) golden age of gaming 6

Posted on June 22, 2012 by RevStu

We've highlighted before the un-over-stateable awesomeness of how many top-quality releases regularly go free on the iOS App Store. Today is one of those days when a whole motorway pile-up of great games for zero cash arrives all at once.

If you have an iThing of any kind, or are even just thinking of getting one in the future, get your iTunes on and download every one of these now:

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Sometimes it’s horrible being right 13

Posted on June 06, 2012 by RevStu

I was scurrying around in the WoS Archives this evening looking for something else, and I stumbled across this. It's a piece from April 2000 for now-defunct games-industry trade paper CTW, in which I interviewed Andy Smith of Future Gamer, the email magazine that eventually evolved into GamesRadar.

Marvel through your tears, viewers at the eerily accurate foretelling of the state of games journalism that was about to unfold.

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The greener grass 14

Posted on May 15, 2012 by RevStu

Sometimes – okay, quite often – I'm rather jealous of my good chums over on the world-conquering PC gaming site/shopping list Rock, Papers, Hot Gun. I enviously eye their devoted millions-strong audience, weighty peer credibility and enormous paycheques, and think "If only Podgamer could have lasted more than three and a half hours without everyone stabbing each other", and other such wistful regrets.

Then I remember that if I was on RPS I'd have had to devote part of my one precious and irreplaceable life to playing Diablo 3, and everything's alright again.

A few of my favourite lines from this morning's Eurogamer coverage:

"What all the Diablo 3 Error messages mean, and what to do about them"

"UK launch video, images, Iain Lee, people in wizard costumes"

"Though the downloader may show 100%, please allow some time for it to fully complete."

"The server is full. This is likely due to high login traffic. The only solution is to keep trying to log in."

"If you're still running into this issue, there may be an error in your foreign language appdata files. Some players have found a workaround, but please be aware the steps they provide are not something we can currently support."

"Error 3004, 3006, 3007, or 300008 – There are a number of possible causes for these errors."

The future of videogaming, there, viewers. No thanks.

How I Was Made 22

Posted on May 05, 2012 by RevStu

If they spend any amount of time browsing through Wings over Sealand, alert readers may well find themselves noticing a number of recurring themes popping up throughout its pages, and one of the commonest is a violent contempt for nearly all videogames journalism. This is because, not to put too fine a point on it, nearly all videogames journalism is a crime against humanity. (Either in the literary, ethical or sociological senses, and usually all three.)

Practiced largely by cynical-yet-incompetent careerists who regard themselves as essentially the games industry's door-to-door salesmen – rather than as a safeguard standing between the industry and the public, protecting consumers from wasting their money on terrible products – the dismally low standard of nearly all videogames journalism was and remains the reason why your correspondent felt the need to take the job on for himself, so that at least on occasion it might be done halfway-properly.

And if the 21-years-and-counting career that followed that decision isn't a reason to hate videogames journalists, then this reporter doesn't know what is.

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Fuck the C64 65

Posted on April 29, 2012 by RevStu

The 30th anniversary of the ZX Spectrum has sparked a flurry of nostalgia pieces in the games press, many of which for some reason can't help comparing the Sinclair machine to its main American competitor. And since the games press is a dictatorship of dullards, the C64 has come out on top in most of them, invariably helped by a colossally biased selection of judges.

Eurogamer, for example, takes a big dump on the Speccy's birthday cake by calling on Julian Rignall (editor of a C64 magazine), Steve Jarratt (editor of a C64 magazine), Gary Penn (writer on a C64 magazine), Gary Liddon (writer on a C64 magazine), Jason Page (a C64 coder) and Paul Glancey (writer on a C64 magazine) – with only some three-year-old quotes from the sadly-deceased Jonathan "Joffa" Smith holding up the Speccy's end of the debate – to come to the startling opinion that it deems the C64 the superior machine. Last month's Retro Gamer reached a similar conclusion for much the same set of spastic-faced reasons. ("Whine bleat SID chip wah wah wah.")

But fuck all of them, because they're all cunts and they can suck our dicks.

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How to lose $210m in two seconds 19

Posted on March 31, 2012 by RevStu

If your fingers exert even the slightest amount of pressure on the pulse of the mobile-gaming zeitgeist, the image below is going to set your deja-vu-sense a-tingling.

If there's one thing you can't accuse App Store developers of, it's being slow to rip off a success story. In this case, the success story in question is the astonishing overnight smash-hit Draw Something, which exploded into the news so dramatically that notorious idea-pirates Zynga (the same company who shamelessly cloned Tiny Tower) actually opted to pay a rumoured $210m for the company who made it rather than just banging out their own hasty barefaced knock-off like they usually would.

The game in our picture is functionally all but identical to Draw Something, except with more features. You get extra drawing tools and lots more colours to play with, and there are extra game modes on top of the straightforward turn-based picture exchange of OMGPOP's No.1 phenomenon. (Which in fact barely qualifies as a "game" at all, but that's another feature entirely.) The funny thing, though, is that it ISN'T a knock-off.

It's a game that came out two months BEFORE Draw Something, is basically exactly the same but superior to it in almost every way, yet has conspicuously failed to earn so much money that its bewildered creators can do little but giggle all day at their insane good fortune. Why? Well, of course we can't say for absolute certain. But we'd be happy to wager a pretty substantial amount of money on the fact that some complete dogturd-brained demi-wit decided to lumber it with the name Charadium II.

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The voice of the people 8

Posted on March 22, 2012 by RevStu

We've written before about the democratisation of criticism, and how it's all but obliterated genuine videogames journalism. Here's what the phenomenon has brought us, in the shape of some reviews of Angry Birds Space, which was released today.

Click to enlarge if you can't read them. (NB Unlike Amazon, you do actually have to buy/download a game on iTunes before you can review it.)

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Shopping with Burke and Hare 24

Posted on March 08, 2012 by RevStu

To be honest, I thought I was bound to have missed the boat. When you hear about fire-sale bargains on the internet, you tend to find that they're long gone by the time you actually get to the shops, cleared out by swarms of discount locusts. But when I took a wander into Bath city centre today after reading of GAME and Gamestation's last-throw-of-the-dice stock clearance, I didn't exactly have to fight through crowds.

That didn't, by any stretch, mean that they were out of the good stuff, though.

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