Plasma Pong

I promised Jimmy I’d try not to distract him with computer games that would appeal to him while he’s revising. It turns out I lied.

I’ve just discovered Plasma Pong. It’s like Pong – you know, two paddles, a ball, that whole lark – except it mixes the genre up with some of the fastest computer models of two-dimensional fluid dynamics to put a completely new twist on things. The paddles and the ball are in a tank of coloured fluids, in which ripples can be created (by, for example, the movements of the paddles and the ball). Better yet, by holding one or the other mouse button, the player can "inject" fluid into the arena, suck it out into a vacuum, or blast a shockwave out. It starts pretty tame, with players trying to "push" the ball past one another, but as ripples and currents begin to appear, players have to work fast to manipulate the ball to get it past their opponent.

Sorry Jimmy.

A Quick Game Of Munchkin

Last night’s Geek Night was fun. I’m sure Andy would agree. Faye, Claire, Andy and I opened with a game of Settlers Of Catan on an oversized island and with the Cities & Knights expansion. Claire encountered a problem that her port-claiming strategy often gives her difficulty with: getting stuck, pinned in the corner of the island. We all suffered from a lack of sheep, owing to an over-reliance on Faye and I’s monopoly on the few good pastures. I ended up winning, stealing the last two victory points by building longest road.

We also had a game of Munchkin, at Andy’s insistence, which turned out to be a great deal more fun than I’d remembered. A friendly early game had us all climb our way up to level 9 without too much backstabbing, saving our cards to male life very difficult for one another in the final few fights. Faye was first to threaten us with a chance to win, forcing help from us with her Kneepads Of Allure, but Claire ensured that her monster was already dead by the time she got there. A few rounds later, Andy got lucky and came up against crabs, and nothing we could do could stop him from hack ‘n’ slashing his way to victory (if only I’d had a Wandering Monster card: I was carrying a Plutonium Dragon that might have caused him to think twice about standing his ground). Backstabbing as usual, of course, but all in the most friendly ways, and the whole game lasted less than an hour and a half, proving at long last that it is possible to have "a quick game of Munchkin."