Tag Archives: Games

Tabletop Review: Paranoia – Trust your friend the Computer

As a follow up to my wonderful time at Regncon, I will regal you with a tale of Paranoia. A table top game I played for several hours with a random gang of fantastic fellows. With a very fun and good game master.

But before you can continue with the article make sure you have ultra violet clearance. Anyone without the proper clearance will is considered a terrorist and will receive a summary execution.

Always follow the rules if alpha complex and the computer is your friend. Happiness is mandatory.

*Spoilers* ultra violet clearance reading this is considered treachery. You won’t disappoint friend computer will you?

I started of by exiting a cloning chamber, putting my feet on the cold floor. As a TOS pops up in front of my face. Introducing me to the wonders of friend computer and the joys of working in alpha complex. Quite outrageous really. I had to click yes on a pop-up window in front of my eyes. This annoyed me a lot, so I opted to poke the guy next to me in the ear instead. He was very distraught about that, so I did it again instead of ticking of yes. There system did not like this one bit and a pesky terrorist star popped up over my name. Apparently five turns you into an enemy of friend computer. As we wetter getting out bearings, a horrible rumble shock the foundation. So I headed for the door, but before I could exit a very rude lady in red came offside inside and demanded that I put on a black jumpsuit. seems like being dressed in mosaic bars is not acceptable. Since I’m infrared and all. We were also handed a standard issue mop. Which I was explicitly told had to be taken good care of it.

Outside I came into a long corridor, where a slightly inoperative cleaning bot sat and whined, barley moving. As a gang of reliable trouble shooters, we decided to do the best we could go help the poor thing. I kicked it very hard, twice. Only to be greeted with a horrid sound. One of the other fellows decided to talk to it, hoping that the poor sod could tell us. It simply replied with another whine. At this point another fellow pushed his hands in under the machine. To see if he could wriggle out the thing that was stuck. The bloody machine nearly took his hands off instead. We decided to push it towards maintenance instead after a friendly suggestion from friend computer. Suddenly a wild terrorist appeared running towards us. Which caused one of the others to squeeze his ever wet sponge, pooling up a puddle on the floor. Which caused the five star terrorist to take a nasty stumble. Followed by a nasty beat-down until he died. For the good deed he got rewarded with exp. Whatever that is.

Paranoia is the latest iteration of the game. Which does the best it can to combine witty dark humor and the everyone is out to get you mentality. Backstabbing is to be expected followed by brutal murders, no matter how inconsequential the task. 

The character creation is an interesting affair. Pick a skill your good at, such as athletics +2, which will then cause the one left of you to have -1 to that stat. Until at least 5 skills have been picked. Then pick three adjectives to describe your character. Which you then pass over to the person on the left hand side, so he can reverse one of the adjectives. Such as nice is turned into mean instead. 

Meanwhile skill checks are done with six sided dices, where one is friend computer. Take the skill, combine it with a stat above and roll the combined sum worth of dices. To dodge, you can use athletic and violence. Every time a five hits five our six, it counts as a success. Even if the computer notice you. Being seen is bad and removes a point of moxie. Lose eight and you’ll go of on the deep end.

Eventually mutant powers manifest as well. Which is handed out by the GM and is represented with cards. Doing good and positive things brings exp, which can increase skills or number of clones. You’ll be number one in no time. It’s not like the other people in the party will put a knife in your back and take the glory for your accomplishments.

Gear, mutant powers and the rest of the goodies comes in a pack of cards. We never really touched on combat, and ran a simplified version. Apparently the game box comes with a GM screen, a funny clones introduction manual to alpha complex and a booklet with a very tongue in cheek adventure, which I roughly introduced above, and a stack of character sheets. After all I can’t spoil all the fun. Unless you want to.

Njål Sand

Haven Editorial: Autism in Gaming

I know Autism awareness month has passed, but there is something I’ve wanted to say to our follows, our readers, our viewers, and anyone who happens to stumble across this lovely little place I own and manage.

I am Autistic, a lot of people don’t understand what it means and for the most part I am still learning about the quarks I have with it. It makes me obsessive over things, in this case gaming, I love gaming! Card games, board games, even digital games. I also obsess over schedules and plans it’s why I get annoyed a lot by my team.

But what I hate, and not just a simple loathe but a real hate, is how we are viewed by society. A lot of people consider us broken, that we aren’t special, or don’t fit in. Now don’t misunderstand me with this, there are people out there worse off than me.

I’m known as a high functioning autistic person. This means that I have a lot of the social issues an autistic person has, but I can still function as a human being for the most part. I generally don’t do things that make me uncomfortable and I like to follow a strict regime for pretty much everything I do. As I mentioned earlier I obsess about games.

People worry and say that games and Autism are bad, I don’t think so. I like games because of the structure it provides in a very unstructured world. Like the person in the Kotaku article said.

For some, games offer structure, for others escape. Still others find themselves inspired to dive to depths in games that would go unexplored by others.

I personally prefer Role-playing games because I can understand how the flow of conversations will go.  A lot of the time I misunderstand sarcasm because I have issues with not understanding certain social ques.

I am able to live my life though as a somewhat normal person, thanks to me identifying my issues and having a way to cope. But it’s no cake walk, because I live in a world where I am treated differently by a lot of people simply because of how my brain is. That bothers me, the worst part is I am clever and I understand this and why they are doing what they do.

Even now working at my job, people are keen to treat me a bit nicer simply because of it. I am only getting healthcare in the United States because of it. People have the audacity to judge people with Autism also because of their obsessions, putting us down, treating us differently, and it bothers me.

Hell, we got an entire month dedicated to helping people become more aware of Autism but all it does is reinforce the labeling we have been given by society. I never asked for it, I never wanted it. I just wanted to live my life as a average person and until I had to return to the United States I was doing just that.

Yes, Autism is a mental illness and there are people less fortunate than I am with it, severe cases that need constant help and support. But at the same time, this is not something I wanted. I didn’t want to be born this way; I didn’t want the labeling that came along with it. I’ve been fortunate to avoid most of the worse parts of the issues that come along with it, the bullying for example.  I got lucky because I was home-schooled after a while.

I guess what I am trying to say here, and avoiding the point is. I game because it’s my way of coping; it’s my way of understanding and helping people understand. Gamers-Haven is a place I created so people from all walks of life, religion, and genders. So that they can be welcomed with open arms including people who are Autistic like myself. I know not everyone out there is bad; I genuinely know and understand that my views are a tad bit bias because of my experiences and understanding towards the situations at hand. But others like me, none of us wanted what life dealt us. It’s why I avoid a lot of social situations, it’s why I game, It’s why I genuinely keep people out of my life. Because society has made Autism a defining factor for people who cannot show the world what they are capable of because that label is all they see.

The only reason I even write this, is so everyone can see. I may be an Autistic person, but I am also a person who has created a marvelous little website among the few friends I have to achieve something we all strive and yearn for.

A world where everyone can be accepted for who they are and not viewed with labels society places upon us.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Adam Wolfe

The Adam Wolfe game was intriguing. Developers were knowledgeable and planned the game out well.  To start, when first opening the game one knows immediately that it’s a mystery type game. The colors, back ground, decor, and Adam Wolfe himself (star of the game) shows it to be a mystery.  The advice on using headphones is a definite. Adam Wolfe opens up by stating he is an investigator of the super natural. He lost his sister Alley several years earlier and has been searching for her.  Immediately you know this is one of the achievements to be completed….to find his sister.

During the game several characters are introduced and are keys in helping to solve the mystery.  The game pulls you into the drama that unfolds in hoping to find answers and solutions to the end results….finding Alley.  There’s lots of obstacles to overcome and to find.  Some are easy, others are not.

There are four sections to complete before you reach the end.  All four sections have multiple puzzles to complete before you reach the end.  What I found, was the puzzles continued to improve with each section.  In the first section, I noticed some of the puzzles were not very instrumental in explanations as to what the player is supposed to do in completing them.  Took a few minutes to figure out there was actually a tutorial which I personally did not know was there till midway through the first section.  Once I learned of the tutorial it was easier to understand what each puzzle was about and there were also solutions to the more difficult ones.  I do feel it would be beneficial to add this to the opening of each game so players know where to find help if they need it.

The second section was similar but much improved on how to solve and complete the puzzles.  I really enjoyed the seek and find items.  some items were in different colors and it took me a few moments to figure out why.  Example of this would be hammer in red, vase in red, and other object words like ball in white.  The red meant to take the hammer, break open the vase and grab the object (ball) inside which one could not find.  Please understand I don’t exactly remember what the object inside was so the ball is just an example. You’ll need to play the game your self and find out.

The third and fourth part of the game had improved significantly on understanding the puzzles.  What I found different from most puzzles was the fact this particular one had you getting into a zodiac and diving under the water by the Golden gate bridge.  I’ve never had a puzzle do that before.  Being an old diver myself, I really enjoyed that.  The only puzzles I did not find appealing, at least for me, was the fights.  It was not well received as I had no idea what I was supposed to do.  there was a bar on top the screen with a fist.  The assailant had me pinned and I had to keep hitting the button and keeping it above a certain point to win.  I actually went to the help screen to figure out what I was supposed to do but it was not very specific so after about ten minutes of pushing the button I was finally out of that mess.  I do feel this needs to be addressed along with one other things (next paragraph) and the game will be perfect.

After completing all the sections I was looking forward to seeing Adam reunited with his Sister Alley.  Instead, Adam was stuck inside an hour glass (which had to be broken to break the cycle) with no way to break it!  His Sister kept apologizing as she was “tricked” into saying his name which was supposedly his demise.  The ending was not what I expected.  More or less a cliff hanger.  After finally completing all those sections I felt the ending should of been better.  It would of been nice to put the demons in their place, rescue the sister and be reunited.  Perhaps Adams little sister, after being taken by these demons and forced to be part of their world when she obviously wanted nothing to do with them, could of been beneficial to Adam in future games.  She could of been a big help to Adam in his supernatural detective work.  Instead all we see is Adam dying in an hour glass, an upset sister apologizing for putting him there, and all his detective friends racing in.  Was he rescued or not?  Are they reunited or not?  Think the story needs a better ending.  Other then that I thought it was a very good game.

-Kathryn Clatworthy