My childhood contained two Christmases I most remember. The first was spending winter in the snowy mountains of Newfoundland, Canada. — This has little relevance to the article, but it sets the mood rather well. — The second memory – and the more important glimmer of my past – was opening the best gift ever: a Nintendo Entertainment System. As I played Super Mario Bros. for the first time, I felt an odd sense of euphoria. The world filled with wonder and possibilities; and I knew I was special and super lucky to have this gift. Later in my life, this type of joy occurred three more times: finding a twenty dollar bill at an exhibition fair, winning the grand prize from a granola bar package, and receiving an orbital scan from a Planets starship above a world of indigenous Insectoids. These last moments appear as mundane but they felt like Christmas.Continue reading
Your First Move
A gender-neutral computer voice with hints of a high-class accent speaks through the intercom, "Commander, a medium freighter has been commissioned. Its captain is awaiting orders." A creolized accent comes from the radio, "Hoy, come in. Dis be Capt'n Johnson o' ECS Twenty-Three Hundredths. The hold be empty. We gutegow. Waiting on you, Bossmang. The 200-Kiloton lady be hungry."
On Turn 1, your empire controls a single Medium Deep Space Freighter and its first mission has rippling implications throughout the entire game. A well calculated move is required to set a strong pace so you’d better “put your best foot forward.” It equates to setting your feet in the blocks at the starting line of a hundred metre sprint. The one in the front is called your power foot and it generates a hundred percent of your forward momentum; your starting freighter is your Planets power foot and it determines the speed and direction of your economic develop.Continue reading
A Tactic for People Who Want to See More Sunlight
On occasion, my wife and kids look over my shoulder, peek at my computer, and ask, “Why are you staring at those little dots?” They are baffled that I engage in such an antiquated computer game and perplexed why I am so captivated by images of circles. I also consider the same questions and ponder my reasons for my dedication. I don’t know the answer, but I’ll continue to play at least until I do.Continue reading
(The following is a rebuttal to “Seeing Purple and Red“, by Talespin. The opinion is that of the author, and does not necessarily reflect that of the Planets Magazine as a whole.)
Hands Off My Minefields, Dammit!
My esteemed colleague has raised several points in his article, and it’s true that there are factors that need addressing. The prevalence of short-form Planets games alongside the rise of the new PPQ system (which I’ve referred to as the New Nu Queue, to spare confusion) certainly creates new questions of balance and game flow. Steady advances under solid logistics and impeccable defenses are no longer tenable in non-Classic, non-Standard scenarios.Continue reading