FOLLOW US ON:
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Amazing ‘naughty’ French card game about sex from the 1960s
04.19.2018
09:42 am
Topics:
Tags:


Est-ce que celà vous regarde? // Does this concern you?
 
Here’s a ribald glimpse of the swinging Sixties from the land of yé-yé, la France! The title of this card game is La Grivoise, which translates as “The bawdy wench” or something like that. The women initiate the action by taking a red card and reading aloud the question to the men, who answer with the blue cards. I think. The notion of mixing and matching answers has some vague resemblance to Cards Against Humanity but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
 

 
On the package, pictured above, the text reads, “Un jeu marrant! pour rire et s’amuser,” which means, “A funny game! To laugh and have a good time.” My French is OK, but I must confess I didn’t understand everything. I used Google Translate where I wasn’t sure, so don’t blame me if the English renditions of the phrases suck. The pictures and the general vibe are really all you’re gonna need, though.

You can actually buy an English “deadstock” version of this game on Etsy that appears to be identical. It costs only $8.99, which is kind of a steal if you’re in need of a sexy card game ASAP.
 

 
There are more cards, and you can see the entire set in the Flickr photostream of “patricia m,” who for years ran the indispensable Agence Eureka blog.
 

Un homme ferait-il votre affaire? // Would a man do your thing?
 
More after the jump…...

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
04.19.2018
09:42 am
|
Big in Japan: Cheesy vintage ads for arcade and video games from the 1980s
03.20.2018
10:49 am
Topics:
Tags:

01japvid.jpg
 
That moment in Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner hears a voice saying “If you build it, he will come” was really bad financial advice. You gotta advertise that sucker first before people will show up to hand over their hard-earned greenbacks. No matter how shitty the ad might be, the punters still gotta see what they’re getting first.

These cheesy vintage gaming ads from 1980’s Japan offered consumers a sense they were hot, sexy, in control, and (apparently) tough as fuck. Video games were a globalist wet dream. Here was a product like sport, movies, television, and pop music that created a global culture that offered the same experience to thumb-bandits in Tokyo as it did to those, in say, Moosefart, Montana. Here was the next evolutionary step from pinball machines.

History, traditional culture, and social standing were no longer the dominant forces in shaping young people’s lives. It was now about who could afford to buy a games consul and spend their money in gaming arcades. It was a revolutionary moment, unlike these ads for the likes of Nihon Bussan, Sega, and Capcom, which relied mainly on text, hot young women, muscled-up beefcake guys and dayglo bright colors to sell their shit.

 
05japvid.jpg
 
06japvid.jpg
 
02japvid.jpg
 
More vintage ads, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
03.20.2018
10:49 am
|
Depeche Mode, the Flaming Lips, others re-record their own songs in ‘Simlish’
02.13.2018
12:32 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
Back before the intricacies of the thoroughly made-up ancient language of Dothraki in Game of Thrones entranced the more dorkish among us, that same sort of person spent his/her time immersed in Simlish, a language that was created for the world of the Sims, a popular franchise created by Maxis that was first released by Electronic Arts in 2000 in which users, in the act of ensuring that their anonymized suburb dwellers took out the trash on time, often ended up ...... neglecting to take out their own trash on time (that’s how I processed the experience of playing the game, anyway).

The Sims was enough of a sensation that it spawned some sequels, such as The Sims 2 in 2004 and The Sims 3 in 2009. By the time those franchises got going, the concept of Simlish had gotten embedded in enough people’s minds that someone, most likely Maxis audio director Robi Kauker or EA music marketing honcho Steve Schnur, had the idea of enlisting some top music acts to record some of their songs in the language. (Noted spud Mark Mothersbaugh was also hired to compose the music for The Sims 2, but there was no Simlish component to his contributions.)

The expansion pack The Sims 2: Open for Business, released in 2006, featured songs by several well-known acts, all of which shared the trait of having their most fruitful period occurring well before the year 2000. Depeche Mode released a Simlish version of “Suffer Well,” off of 2005’s Playing the Angel. At least that was a new song at the time—joining them on the The Sims 2: Open for Business soundtrack were Kajagoogoo, with “Too Shy” and Howard Jones, with “Things Can Only Get Better.”
 

 
Later expansion packs saw the inclusion of such Simlish classics as “Future” by Cut Copy, “Free Radicals” by the Flaming Lips from their 2006 album At War With the Mystics, “Take Out the Trash” by They Might Be Giants off their 2007 album The Else, “Violet Stars Happy Hunting!” by Janelle Monáe, and “Na Na Na” by My Chemical Romance. You can consult a complete list of Simlish music here.

To get an idea of what a Simlish song would sound like, here’s a bit of “Na Na Na” in English and then the same portion in Simlish:
 

Drugs, gimme drugs
Gimme drugs, I don’t need it
But I’ll sell what you got
Take the cash and I’ll keep it
Eight legs to the wall
Hit the gas, kill em’ all
And we crawl, and we crawl, and we crawl
You be my detonator

Trubs nibby trubs nibby trubs
Weys a neeba
Westu nell anzu bar will enash and za weeba
Da megs eeba za
Mental ras gibba na
Ebwee ga ebwee ga ebwee ga
Du bas an doobie sa

 
In a press release, you can find the rather anodyne quotation from David Gahan, which runs, “Depeche Mode has always been open to new ways of sharing our music, but re-recording a Simlish-language version of ‘Suffer Well’ just sounded completely bizarre. Of course, that’s why couldn’t resist doing it.”

Here are some of the primary highlights from the Simlish songbook: 

Depeche Mode, “Suffer Well”:

 
Lots more after the jump…...
 

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
02.13.2018
12:32 pm
|
Rudy Ray Moore, Mark Mothersbaugh, Timothy Leary, Steve Albini, David Yow in ‘Duelin’ Firemen’


David Yow and Steve Albini on the set of ‘Duelin’ Firemen’ (via Bogart9)

The video game Duelin’ Firemen would have blown minds if it had been released in 1995. Think the Jodorowsky Dune of games. Much of the cast is straight out of the pages of Mondo 2000 or Fiz: Rudy Ray Moore, Rev. Ivan Stang, Mark Mothersbaugh, Timothy Leary, David Yow, Steve Albini, the Boredoms, Terence McKenna, Buzz Osborne, and Tony Hawk all had parts to play.

But unlike other worthy computer games that were actually produced in order to suck away vital months of my adolescence, such as DEVO’s Adventures of the Smart Patrol and the Residents’ Bad Day at the Midway, Duelin’ Firemen never passed from becoming into being. All that remains is a seven-minute trailer and a seven-inch record with David Yow on one side and the Boredoms on the other, both embedded below. From 23 years ago, here’s Rev. Ivan Stang’s account of the shoot:

12.21.1994- Run-n-Gun! filming
by Reverend Ivan Stang

I’ve been in Chicago for the last week, and although I took the modem with me, I never had time to plug it in. I was being an actor in a CD-ROM interactive video game called DUELIN’ FIREMEN being produced for the 3D0 system by a group of SubGenius filmakers and computer animator/vr programmers called Runandgun. It’s a combination of multiple-choice filmed scenarios and v.r. game situations, all taking place in Chicago while the entire city burns to the ground. I have played two roles in it so far—first an evil Man-In-Black and second, Cagliostro the evil 1,000-year old Mason whose spells started the fire. What sets this game apart from anything else I’ve ever seen is the TOTAL MIND-RAPE HILLBILLY SPAZZ-OUT STYLE of it. It makes Sam Raimi look like D.W. Griffith by comparison… makes Tim Burton look like Ernie Bushmiller. It is sick, twisted, weird and ‘Frop-besoaked like nothing on earth. It stars Rudy Ray Moore aka DOLEMITE as the main fireman with cameos by Tim Leary, Mark Mothersbaugh, Terrence McKenna, David Yow of Jesus Lizard and all manner of local Chicago freaks and jokers. (YES! I spent the week WORKING with DOLEMITE. We DO BATTLE in a scene and you get to “PLAY” us in the game section. Now is that cool or what. Of course, you’re probably too SOPHISTICATED to even KNOW who Rudy Ray Moore IS!!! (None of the crew did, although the winos outside the set recognized his VOICE.)) The real stars are the animation, fx and sets. It’s like a LIVING-SURREAL CARTOON from the mind of a CRAZY MAN (in this case, director Grady Sein). The Runandgun crew are like this commune of crazed hillbilly technoids. I had the time of my life. The game won’t be finished till July ‘95, though.

Stang

 

 
The trailer’s quality reminds me of the way videos looked on the screen of my Macintosh Performa during the late Nineties, except that back then they were about the size of a matchbox. What I’m trying to say is: prepare your mind and body for ugly fat-pixel video…

Watch after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
12.22.2017
06:57 am
|
‘60 Minutes’ loses its shit over D&D (not the demogorgon, though), 1985
11.14.2017
09:17 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
I’ve never really cottoned to 60 Minutes. I’ve always thought their approach was rather heavy-handed, pushing a simplistic line through bullying interviews and repetition of facts that might be considered innocuous when viewed in a sober frame of mind. One of the best takedowns of the 60 Minutes method comes from the talented writer Michael J. Arlen, who published a lengthy critique of the show in The New Yorker in 1977—and his criticisms stand up perfectly well in the present day, in my view. (You can read Arlen’s piece in his 1981 collection The Camera Age.)

In 1985 the show turned its attention to Dungeons and Dragons, and the results were predictably overwrought. The 1980s were an unusual time of “moral panic”—over drug use and satanism, sexual lyrics in rock songs and D&D and drunk driving—there was hardly an aspect of teens’ lives that parents couldn’t blow up into a huge threat to the safe and featureless suburbanism in which so many of the teens lived.
 

 
The 60 Minutes reporter on the case is Morley Safer, whose very calmness is an ideal conduit for the moral panic at issue. He idly puzzles over the funky-looking dice—one young enthusiast tells him that the 4-sided die is mainly used for damage from daggers and darts—before getting to the condemning testimonials, most heartbreakingly the sister of a teen who had committed suicide. An alarmist psychologist is trotted out—this one employed by the University of Illinois—I’m sure that such people would never use the moral panic to enhance their own bank accounts, no sir.

Fortunately, Gary Gygax himself is on hand as well, to supply a reasonable analogy to Monopoly, in which the money lost isn’t real. With the perspective of decades, it’s all too clear that D&D may at best have been a symptom of deeper problems like alienation and loneliness, rather than a driver of violent deaths.
 
Watch after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
11.14.2017
09:17 am
|
Buy your very own Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup can chess set
11.10.2017
11:11 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
According to Hans Ree’s book The Human Comedy of Chess, there was an occasion in the mid-1960s when Marcel Duchamp played a game of chess against Salvador Dalí in public, to a soundtrack provided by the Velvet Underground, at the behest of Andy Warhol. The context for this remarkable event was the display in 1965 of a work of Duchamp’s called “Hommage à Caïssa,” a readymade featuring a chessboard. The incident merits direct quotation, so here it is:
 

At the vernissage on the roof of the building on 978 Madison Avenue, Duchamp played a game of chess against Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol had the band Velvet Underground sent to provide background music. After the game, chess pieces were sent into the air by balloons.

 
It’s notable that Warhol himself didn’t play in the game—I can’t find a reference to Warhol playing chess anywhere, which doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

An early work of Warhol’s dating from 1954 is entitled “The Chess Player”—it looks like this:
 

 
It’s speculated that the work was executed at one of Warhol’s coloring parties, which were hosted at the trendy Serendipity 3 café.

After having been bombarded with multiple factoids involving Andy Warhol and chess, you will surely be primed to purchase the Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup Can Chess Set, which has recently been made available by Kidrobot and The Andy Warhol Foundation:
 

This chess set features Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans as chess pieces on a pop of color chess board complete with felt accents. Each vinyl 3-inch Campbells soup can is labeled and printed on top with its corresponding piece to bring a pop art look to any game room.

 
Because the pieces are very difficult to distinguish from one another, they have little labels on the top with the words “ROOK” and “KNIGHT” or whatever.

Those on a tight Christmas budget will be disgusted to learn that the groovy plaything has a price of $499.99. Surely your landlord/mortgage officer will cut you a break this Christmas season?
 

 

 
More after the jump…...
 

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
11.10.2017
11:11 am
|
‘Aliens are never eliminated’: Amazing 1979 ‘Alien’ board game
06.20.2017
11:27 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
We’ve noted before that the merchandising arm connected with Ridley Scott’s original Alien movie of 1979 didn’t seem to know anything about the movie. (For example here are a bunch of trading cards Topps put out, with bland text that seems pretty clueless about what’s actually in the movie.) 

Apparently nobody had gotten the memo that Alien was an R-rated thrillfest in which an alien creature gorily bursts through the chest of one of the characters—this movie was clearly not intended for nine-year-olds, which made the attempts to market the movie to nine-year-olds all the weirder. (Actually, I myself was nine years old when Alien came out—I didn’t see it, but I vividly remember a classmate of mine telling me all about it. Obviously the chestburster scene was the main thing he talked about.) 

So here’s another kid-targeted mindfuck…. an actual Alien board game, put out by Kenner!
 

 
On BoardGameGeek, the world’s greatest resource for board game enthusiasts, the user reviews for this game are all over the map, and it’s easy to see why. A glance at the board reveals that the game is probably a pretty lazy rehash of Parcheesi, which is basically true. (If you were given a single day to design a board game as a tie-in for, say, Kong: Skull Island, you’d probably end up with something along the lines of Parcheesi, too.) But at the same time, there are some clever touches.

The object of the game is to make your way through the Nostromo to reach the Narcissus space station. Each player has three Astronaut tokens and one Alien token. You roll dice and move players around, and a player can use his or her Alien to take out the opposing Astronauts. Now right there you have an instant contradiction: The whole point of the Xenomorph is that nobody “controls” the fucking thing. It is inherently uncontrollable. The dictates of symmetrical gameplay that would have reigned in the 1970s meant that you couldn’t have one player as the alien and other players representing the Nostromo crew members, which is how the game probably should have been designed. 

Anyway, I mentioned clever game design. The main feature I wanted to point out was the introduction of “air shaft” pathways that are only available for the Alien to use. I like that idea quite a bit. Parcheesi doesn’t have that feature, right?

Also, in the game instructions there appears what is maybe the greatest sentence ever to appear in an instructions manual for a game designed for kids. The sentence is: “Aliens are never eliminated.” Eek!
 

 
It’s interesting that the understanding of Ripley as a movie character for the ages had not solidified yet. Sigourney Weaver’s image doesn’t appear anywhere on the box. Here’s an interesting custom logo that Kenner must have cooked up for the game:
 

 
If you paid the original price for this game in 1979, you lucked out by obtaining what would eventually become a collector’s dream acquisition.

Continues after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
06.20.2017
11:27 am
|
Board game based on John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ looks AMAZING
05.08.2017
09:11 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
T-shirt design company Mondo has announced a product it will be releasing for Halloween, and it’s a reeeeeal good one: a board game version of John Carpenter’s 1982 classic The Thing, in which Kurt Russell does battle with a shape-shifting alien lifeform that is causing havoc at an Antarctic research station.

The full name of the game is The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31. The game is a collaboration between Mondo and USAopoly’s games division Project Raygun. In a cute touch, the Mondo “exclusive version” will be limited to 1,982 copies in honor of the year the movie was released.
 

 
Players can choose one of a dozen characters from the movie, and there is surely a social detection component to the game, in which players must “gather gear, battle The Thing, expose any imitations ..., and escape Outpost 31.”

This is actually not the first board game based on The Thing. In 2011 Mark Chaplin released a self-published game that also used the movie’s plot as an inspiration for gameplay.
 

 
Only thing I don’t get is, what part of the game do you say, “You gotta be fuckin’ kidding”?
 

 
via Nerdcore
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
|
05.08.2017
09:11 am
|
In this Motörhead video game, Lemmy thwarts enemies with his Jack Daniels-fueled bad breath!
04.25.2017
12:32 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
In 1992 Kaitsu Software, in what seems to have been the only game they ever put out, released a game for the Commodore Amiga using as its protagonist the greatest and drunkest frontman in rock history, Lemmy Kilmister.

Yes, Motörhead finally had its own video game.

Unfortunately, Motörhead was far from a great game. It was a bit derivative and it lacked any music by Motörhead, which seems like something you’d definitely want to have. It was one of those side-scrollers where you beat up your foes as you move from panel to panel. The game was heavily inspired by Golden Axe, a popular Sega franchise that had been delighting gamers since 1989. However, the gameplay of Motörhead was pretty good and it had a healthy dose of humor to enhance the experience.
 

 
In the game, Lemmy awakens from a bourbon-induced blackout to learn that his bandmates have been kidnapped. He has to progress through a series of music-related levels in which he must vanquish foes representing various genres (goth, country, acid house, rap, karaoke). In the “Nashville” level there’s a character who looks suspiciously like Dolly Parton, and the goth sequence, called “Enter the Morgue,” has a character who just might be mistaken for Robert Smith. Here’s an account of Lemmy’s capabilities, described by Mark Winstanley in the (mostly positive) review of the game that appeared in the January 1993 issue of Amiga Power magazine:
 

Lemmy can punch, headbutt, swing his guitar or use halitosis attacks, always assuming he’s loaded up on cockles or Jack Daniel’s first. By collecting magical Motörhead talismans he can unleash a devastating musical chord or summon up helpful demons, ranging from a tasty lass who distracts his opponents for a bit, up to WWF’s very own ‘Undertaker’, who just plain kills everyone.


 
It’s true: the game absolutely does literalize the metaphor of guitar-as-axe—indeed if you play the game that’s about 80% of what you’ll be doing, whacking people with a guitar. And yes, there is a feature where Lemmy knocks out his enemies by merely breathing on them! Amazing.

Between the levels you can scoop up power-ups or something on a vehicle, which is generally a motorcycle but in one instance Lemmy is perched atop a tractor! Another time (after the karaoke level) instead of his usual “hog,” he rides a bright red motorcycle clearly based on the one in Akira.
 

An amusing array of graphical elements from the game. My favorite bit is the “glug glug” icon which is the most Motörhead video game thing EVER.

Interspersed between the main levels are easier minigame modules—one of them is a copy of Root Beer Tapper called “Beer Frenzy” in which Lemmy is obliged to scamper all over a barroom lapping up brewskis. Drive responsibly, kids! 

More ‘Motörhead’ the video game, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
04.25.2017
12:32 pm
|
‘Secret Hitler’: Board game of the year (from the same people who sold you a box of Bullshit)
03.27.2017
02:32 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
A few years ago, I was living in New York City but had struck up some friendships in Cleveland, where I would eventually relocate. I had heard about this funny game Cards Against Humanity and it had struck my fancy, so I plunked down 25 bucks in some virtual kiosk and got myself a set. At a New Year’s Party in Cleveland a few months later, I unveiled it to the assembled revelers, and it rapidly became the dominant activity of the party. A few months later, and it was hard to find a party where it did not get mentioned as a possible activity.

Cards Against Humanity, the self-styled “party game for horrible people,” was the brainchild of multiple people, one of the most prominent of whom was Max Temkin, who has now teamed up with video game producers Mike Boxleiter and Tommy Maranges to find out if they could create a “social deduction” board game with the addictiveness of CAH.

My money says that they have.

The subject of an attention-getting Kickstarter that amassed nearly $1.5 million, Secret Hitler became available to consumers around the time of Donald Trump’s inauguration, which certainly speaks to impeccable timing on the part of Goat, Wolf, and Cabbage LLC, the company that is distributing the game. The game made a minor splash in late February when they shipped a free copy to all 100 U.S. Senators, thereby making explicit whatever metaphorical connections to the daily headlines may have been buzzing around your brain. 

As with Cards Against Humanity, the people behind Secret Hitler have taken a staunchly populist and what might be termed anti-corporate approach—and the two games are united by a similar sense of cheeky humor. In both cases users have been encouraged to print up their own sets of the game for free, if they so choose. Here’s the GitHub online implementation of the game. To celebrate Black Friday in 2014, the CAH people invited people to send them six bucks in exchange for “Bullshit,” which is exactly what they ended up receiving.
 

 
In the game, it’s Germany 1932, and the Liberals are pitted against the Fascists (one of whom is Hitler). The Fascists know which players are Fascists (and by extension, which players are Liberals), but the Liberals don’t know what side any of the other players is on. Gameplay varies according to the number of players (5-10), but in most versions Hitler does not know who his (or her) supporters are.

Every game begins with a clever ritual in which all players close their eyes, and then, on a given cue, Fascists open their eyes and ID one another. The game comes with an app in which a recorded message by Wil Wheaton guides you through the process.

The game proceeds by repeatedly naming a President who must select a Chancellor, the two of whom then must collaborate to place Liberal or Fascist policies on the board. Both sides have two paths to victory: if the Liberals place 5 policies on the board, they win, and the same is true of the Fascists, except they need 6 policies. The Liberals can win by assassinating Hitler, and the Fascists can win if they manage to get Hitler elected Chancellor after sufficient information about the players’ identities has been distributed (that is, after three Fascist policies have made it onto the board).

Basically, at every point in the game, all players will be claiming to be Liberals; the trick is to track game moves to figure out who is actively pushing Fascist policies and who has been forced by circumstance to promote them against their will.
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
03.27.2017
02:32 pm
|
Page 1 of 16  1 2 3 >  Last ›