Memes have ruled the internet for the past few decades, sparking a wildfire following among users. Thousands of memes are introduced each day online, hoping to become the next big thing in pop culture. When tasked to create a game for our first prototype, Sunshine and I decided, “what better way to capture the attention of gamers than with pop culture references that surround them each and every day?”
Self-titled, “Meme”, is a roll-and-move, press-your-luck, grid movement, card-driven game. The game is set up through multiple phases:draw phase, tile flipping, card phase/chance phase, and then finally the movement phase. Each player starts of opposite sides of the board, and through these phases, you are attempting to reach the opposite side of the board. The board setup is similar to a chess board, with alternating colors of tiles spread throughout the board. The game requires the board, 64 tiles, 30 six-sided dice, six red and green tokens, and your own character pawn.
Example ridiculous card from “We Didn’t Playtest This At All”
There are also two decks of action cards that have special abilities linked to memes and can heavily influence the game. There are multiple different types of cards in your deck. Bonus cards which can help advance the player towards their goal.Troll cards are used to mess with opponents and try to deter them away from their goal. With chance cards, you roll your die to determine whether the card was beneficial or not. Lastly, Derp cards generally have ridiculous actions that add humor to the game, similar to some of the cards in the card-based game “We Didn’t Playtest This At All”.
As of right now, the game is optimized for two players, but is open to the possibility of four players with some tweaking.
Zombies. They’re one of the most overused themes in the 21st century so far, but they make up for some of the most fun entertainment around. For our first game, we tried our hand at Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson and Alex Fernandez. We also tried playing Carcassonne, but didn’t have enough time to finish. I felt that since we didn’t traditionally finish the game in its entirety, so I do the session report for Zombie Dice. The concept and mechanics are relatively simple. The game runs off a press-your-luck, dice rolling mechanic. Each player assumes the role of a zombie, and what do zombies love most? Brains. The goal of the game is roll 13 brains and eat the most brains possible. There are 13 dice in total and out of those, you choose three dice at a time. On each die, there are there possible outcomes: run away, brains, and shotgun shots. Obviously you want to avoid the shotgun, because that leads to death, and death is not very good as a zombie. The footsteps indicate that the human has ran away and you can re-roll the die and try to get brains. There’s no limit to how many times you roll, but you cannot re-roll shotgun shots. Once you roll three of those, you lose all accumulated brains for the turn and die for the round. Once someone rolls 13 brains, the rest of the turn order is done for one more round to give the others an opportunity to catch up.
My opponents for this session were Mike Phe, Andrew Soto, and Peter Pham. It was the first time Mike and I played the game, but we picked up the game pretty easily. For my first turn, I rolled five brains while Mike rolled seven, Peter rolled six, and Andrew ended up getting shotgunned. This first turn ended up giving us a false sense of how quick the game was going to finish. For our subsequent turned, we tried to play aggressively and died from the shotgun. We ended up rolling small amounts for the rest of the game and ending our turn in order to shield ourselves from the blast. It taught us to know when to play safe and when to try to gamble. Luck was not on my side. I rolled many brains, but lost them all from shotguns. I didn’t stray far from my original roll I seemed to attract bullets. Mike was a classic safe player. He tried to roll a couple brains, then end his turn each time. Peter and Andrew were both a mixture of safe and aggressive. When they saw an opportunity to roll more safely, they tried for it, but more times than not the shotgun caught up with them. Eventually Andrew ended up winning even though we all had the chance to catch up, which was surprising since he ended up dying the first turn. It shows us that the game is heavily influenced by chance and gambling.
The game itself was pretty fun and I would love to play it again. It does give off the vibe as not a very serious game. It doesn’t require as much of a time commitment as most board games and can be played very lightheartedly.
Board Game Geeks link: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/62871/zombie-dice
While perusing the Internet Arcade listings, I happened upon one particular game that interested me: WWF Superstars. The World Wrestling Federation has changed its name, and its roster has evolved over the years changing into a completely different brand, however there was something that urged me to play the game.
Upon starting the game, there were no instructions whatsoever to play the game. For computer illiterate people, this would probably have been a nightmare and most likely would have given up. But after fiddling around with my keyboard, pressing the TAB key led me into an options menu, where I eventually learned that I could enter the game by inserting a coin with the 5 key, and pressing the start button with the 1 key. In gameplay, I used the arrows to control my character, and CTRL and ALT to punch and kick. A combination of the two would grapple the enemy and perform any number of different moves, such as tosses or throwing them into the ropes. The game didn’t last that long, since I ended up losing the second match.
Playing on an emulator brings nostalgia to the player and they’re able to reminisce about the great games they used to play in their childhood. However, emulation is what it is; it can only imitate the original. Without the original controls and cabinet, there is only so much to the game. In most cases, the game won’t be able to run in its best form, as the hardware on our computers are not the same as the original arcade cabinet. The sound from WWF Superstars was atrocious, and had me begging to mute the game. The controls will be much different on a keyboard, but by having a joystick peripheral, some of the original design may be replicated. All in all, emulation is a great tool to bring about old games and some of their glory, but it cannot truly replicate the experience of the game itself.
Scott, J. (November, 2014). Internet Arcade: WWF Superstars: Free Streaming: Internet Archive. Internet Archive. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/arcade_wwfsstar
Image credit to http://s.emuparadise.org/MAME/flyers/wwfsstaru.png