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Category ArchiveGames

Games by Spencer on April 21, 2008

And Now for Something Completely Different

Greetings all,

I received this interesting math trick via e-mail and wanted to pass it along. It is quite ingenious. Grab a calculator or if you really want to, or go ahead and do this in your head. This does not follow the order of operations so do each operation in full before going to the next step:

  1. Take the first three digits of your phone number (NOT including area code)
  2. Multiply by 80
  3. Add 1
  4. Multiply by 250
  5. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number
  6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again
  7. Subtract 250
  8. Divide by 2

Recognize the answer?? Again, I thought this was very cool and something different from my house hunting stories. Take care!

UPDATE: So on second look, this really isn’t all that clever.  It’s just a roundabout way of multiplying your first 3 digits by the necessary 10,000 and then adding your last four digits.

Games by Spencer on March 5, 2008

GOTW – Balloon Invasion

Balloon Invasion

Game of the Week – Balloon Invasion

I know that it has been a while since I’ve had a GOTW entry and for that my apologies.  This latest game is something I found online in the last couple of days and am currently hooked.  This is a cross between a Tower Defense like game and a shoot ’em.  You’re primary goals are to destroy all of the balloon enemies while protecting your primary turret.  Throughout the game you earn prestige and this allows you to upgrade your main weapon as well as purchase the ability to use other weapons and support defenses.

The game isn’t overly complex and is fairly easy to get the hang of the controls and options.  However, the levels can get quite difficult and over time it is not just good enough to beat a level; you have to do so while excelling in order to earn upgrades for the next levels.  You are able to go back to previously conquered levels to attempt to get a higher score and ranking.

Games by Spencer on January 29, 2008

GOTW – Tower Defense

Vector TD

Game of the Week – Tower Defense

Tower Defense is more than just one game, really. It has become an entire genre of games. The overall principle is the same for each: build up a set of defenses against waves of enemies. You earn money by defeating the different levels allowing you to purchase new towers and upgrades. With the dozens of variations out there, most games carry a unique style of game play and offer different levels of difficulty.

The one that got me started and hooked was Vector TD. One of the things I like about this game is that every few rounds or so, you got a “power up” of sorts where you can extend power or range to your defenses, add 5 lives, or add interest to your bank account. While it may be tempting to add power or range, the key is interest and if you only add that and are frugal with your spending at the beginning, you can finish with more money than you know what to do with.

The link above isn’t to one particular game but a repository of most of them out there. You should be able to find a few that you like. 🙂 A couple of suggestions outside of Vector TD:

  • Desktop TD
  • Flash Circle
  • Antbuster
  • Bloons 1 & 2 (TD games based on the Bloons game from last week)

Let me know what you try out so I can as well if I’ve not played it.

Games by Spencer on January 22, 2008

GOTW – Bloons

Game of the Week – Bloons


Sorry I’m a bit late in this week’s game, but due to the movement of the blog to a new location I’m a little behind.

This week’s game is Bloons, created by Ninja Kiwi.  Bloons is a fun game involving a monkey and some darts (as promised in the previous GOTW post).  The goal is use a set number of darts to pop the required percentage of balloons on the screen.  Each level differs in the number of darts and number of balloons you have to pop.  To add to the fun, there are different types of darts hidden in some balloons to help you pop the rest.  Other balloon types include bombs, ice balloons and for all of us Star Wars fans, a light saber balloon.

This game has become wildly popular that they have created a secondary website: BloonsWorld.  This site allows users to create their own levels and you can play until your hearts content.  Or you can play any one of 3 current player packs of some of the best levels.  There is even a Tower Defense game based on Bloons that is equally fun, and may be covered as a separate game altogether.

So, if you want to monkey around and pop some balloons, head on over to to Bloons and have a blast!

Games by Spencer on January 12, 2008

GOTW – Conquer Club

Game of the Week: Conquer Club – www.conquerclub.com

This week’s game is one of my favorite computer hobbies right now and has been for about a year.  Conquer Club is an online version of the popular board game RISK.  The rules are very similar but the developer has added a lot more flexibility.

The first big addition you’ll notice is the addition of dozens of maps.  Instead of just playing on the original RISK board, members of the community have worked hard to create many different and clever maps to enhance the players’ experience.

Beyond the maps, there are countless combinations of game options: 2 – 8 players, team games, fog of war (very difficult, you can only see armies that border your direct territiories), different objectives to win the game, and options for speed and how turns are made.

Trust me, this can get very addictive.  But at the same time, it takes only a few minutes to make a move and then you have 24 hours before you have to make another one (or longer depending on settings).  It is completely free or you can purchase premium membership for $25 a year and that gives you the ability to play in an unlimited number of games concurrently (free gives you 4 concurrent games).  Even if you aren’t or weren’t a big RISK player as I wasn’t, this game is a lot of fun.

If you sign up and choose to play, my user name is sgstanton.  Look me up and we can either join a game as enemies or as a team.

Next week’s game involves a monkey and some darts… if you guess it, you rock!

Happy Conquering and I’ll see you on the battlefield.

Games by Spencer on January 4, 2008

Game of the Week (or longer)

So, as I mentioned in my New Year’s blog, a new feature that I want to start adding is my Game of the Week (GOTW).  This may not be each and every week, but should be fairly regular.  Games can range from different consoles (but right now primarily ones online will be featured) and will be an eclectic collection of old, new, cheesy, and anything else that may be tickling my fancy at the time.  For the first game, I’m reaching way back to the early nineties, well before the popularity of the internet.  So without any further adoo…

GOTW – Legend of the Red Dragon

Legend of the Red Dragon (L.O.R.D.) is probably one of the oldest and most popular games during the height of BBS (buletin board system) access.  First, for those who don’t know, BBS was in many ways the predecessor to the internet during the time that the internet (known then as ARPAnet) was only for use with universities and the military.  BBS systems were always accessed through dial up modem and all programs (known as doors) were text based.  Any graphics had to comply with ANSI characters and you had to have a terminal program that would support it.

L.O.R.D. itself is a text based role playing game.  When you first started, you create a character (magician, theif, warrior) and then you have options to help build up your character.  It’s a little like Dungeons and Dragons but can be played on a much larger scale with people from around town (or more depending on the reach of the BBS).  You would venture into the forest to beat up on creatures and gain gold and experience.  You could slaughter other players in the field, either in an on-line battle or while they were offline as well.  If your character died, when you log on the next day you came back to life so no permanent damage took place.

There was a place to buy weapons, armor, an Inn to rest at night.  Characters could even get married in the game or try to woo the ultimate non-playing character… Violet (or Seth Able if you are a female character).  There were also add-ons that BBS operators could add that would allow an even more diverse virtual world.  All in all, for a text based game, it was and still is a lot of fun to play.

Now that BBS systems are nearly dead, there are only a couple of places left where you can still play L.O.R.D.  The best one I have found is Nuklear LORD and it is free to play.  You can either use telnet in Windows or through a Java browser on the Nuklear website.

Next week I’ll introduce you to an online community game that takes a popular board game and really brings it to the next level.

Games by Spencer on February 9, 2007

Best Video Game Ever!

Final Fantasy XII Box Cover


That’s all I can do to explain the very best video game I’ve ever played. I had grown up on the original Nintendo and loved the Zelda series ever since. I had never gotten into Final Fantasy at all until Final Fantasy XII (FFXII) was recommended by a friend at work.

I asked for it for Christmas, and of course, my wonderful wife got it for me. I’ve been working on the game ever since (mainly while Kylah’s working) and I have been completely amazed. The story is engaging (follows a Star Wars-esque theme in some ways). The character development is incredible for a video game. The graphics were awesome, even still on the PS2. The gameplay is innovative yet challeging. Music and cutscenes helped set the mood throughout.

The game has a complete re-playability, one of the things I loved about the Zelda series; the ability to go back after time and replay the game. When I do come back and re-do FFXII sometime, I will use a guide of some kind and do all of the side quests as I’m sure I missed a ton of them.

I’ve never been amazed by a video game such as I have with this. If you have a PS2 and like RPGs at all (even just a little), I completely recommend this game.


Games by Spencer on November 28, 2006

Do You Like Riddles?

A friend of mine sent me a link to a site that is a set of riddles.  So far they’ve been fairly fun and challenging and I think they could take up far much more time than they probably should.  If you enjoy puzzles where one answer leads you to another puzzle, check this out:


If you need any help, there are forums with all spoilers removed to the best of the authors’ ability.  I am also willing to help where needed, of course leaving out spoilers myself.

Leave a comment and let me know your progress.  Up to this point, I’ve finished the first 10 and have taken a break.  Have fun!

Games by Spencer on March 24, 2006

Old School Video Games

Recently, I’ve had a nostalgic look back on one of my favorite past times as a kid, video games.  I was a Nintendo and SNES fan and played the games constantly.  If it had to do with Mario, Link, or Ryu I was there!

Since it has been so long since I’ve played my most loved games, and my old consoles (if my parents even still have them) are back in Colorado, I’ve started downloading emulators and old ROMs for the games I owned and started playing them again.  A number of observations have arisen.

First, I still love these games.  They are classic and timeless.  The graphics aren’t anything compared to what is available today, but it doesn’t matter, the concept of the games far surpasses most of what is avaiable now.  Second, they have gotten a little easier, but still provide for many hours of entertainment.  Super Mario Bros. 3 has most of my attention at the moment.

In order to enjoy these games a little more, I even used a Christmas gift certificate to Fry’s (for those of you not familiar, Fry’s is an electronics store similar to Best Buy but definitely geared more to the computer geek at heart.  I could spend hours in that store and not get bored… I could also probably spend about $10,000 on computer stuff and peripherals without breakin a sweat) to buy a game pad… one that looks exactly like my PS2 controller.  Ahh, it’s almost heaven.  Being able to play my old NES games on my computer with a controller, rock on!

I’ve got the NES working just fine but am having a little trouble with the SNES, specifically not being able to find Super Mario World or Super Mario Kart, two of the greatest games ever made (Kart almost killed my college career, worst two semesters ever!).  So, I may just have to ask my parents if they still have it and if they can send it to me.  Playing those games on my big screen; I’d never want to leave the house, and I’d be fully entertained during those nights Kylah hast to work.

Another good emulator source is MAME (multiple arcade machine emulator) where you can dowload ROMS for many classic and neo-classic video games that you would find in arcades.  Here my attention sways to Killer Instinct 2.  I don’t know why, but of all fighting games, I’ve liked this one the best.  If I can get it working at home, I’ll be going for those Ultra Combos once again.

Ahh, just thinking back to all of these games puts a smile on my face.  What were some of your old favorite video and arcade games??  Post a comment and tell me all about them.  I’m sure I’ve even forgotten some other favorites.

Have a great weekend all and game on!