of Games 2
Development Corp., go
to the web site
98/ME/2000/XP, 800 x 600 or higher graphics
resolution, free hard-disk space for temporary
8 or higher for network play (included on CD),
An Internet connection for online play (optional),
a mouse/trackball with Immersion TouchSense® for
haptic effects (optional)
I got game. In fact I got Zillions of Games 2!
mind the play on words. Zillions of Games is actually 48
games for all you board game lovers who find yourself less
and less in the company of real people and more and more
with your on-line brethren. From classic Chess and Checkers
to that back-seat-of-the-car-with-your-big-brother favorite
Tic-Tac-Toe, this little piece of software has digitized
versions of many of the old standard board games and a
few that I'll bet you've never even heard of.
Chinese checkers? How about a game of Chinese (or Korean
or Thai or Burmese) Chess? If you want some time alone
how about one of those solitaire games where you have to
move marbles from one hole to another (Pogo?) until you
only have one left. There are at least 4 versions of that
classic (my mother-in-law is addicted to this one).
the oldest strategy games, "Go", is here too.
One of the best ways we humans learned to conquer each
other was by first training our brains to think well ahead
of our opponent’s. We miniaturized the battlefield
with scratches in the sand and used stones to represent
the enemies’ armies. Go is a 4000 year old Chinese
strategy game played with marbles on a grid. The object
is to obtain territory by maneuvering your pieces to empty
spaces on the board and capturing enemy pieces by surrounding
them before they are able to surround you.
Some games you may never have heard of like Nim and Hip
and Go-Moku. These are easier versions of the strategy
game along the lines of Tic-Tac-Toe. There is a maze game
and an ancient game called Towers of Hanoi where several
disks of concentric sizes must be moved from one peg to
another, but you can only move one disk at a time and each
disk must be smaller than the one it is being placed on.
Remember those long family vacation drives when you were
a kid? Invariably you drove your parents to the point where
they were throwing just about anything in the back seat
to keep you busy and invariably one of those things was
this little puzzle with little square slidey pieces and
you moved them back and forth and around and around until
you got them all in the right order and made a picture?
Well, we've got one of those here too, and trust me, just
because you are a little older this one is no easier than
it was when you were six.
The help menu in each game provides you with basic instructions,
game strategy and even the history of the game including
its origin and any back story of note. There's nothing
like knowing the trivialities of a game to intimidate opponents
with your vast knowledge and expertise.
In the Variant menu of each game you will find all the
available board sizes and configurations while the Play
menu allows you to get hints, switch sides (I like doing
this when I'm losing against the computer, although it
rarely helps in the end) and even take back your last move
(something I do a lot come to think of it).
The Options menu allows you dumb down your computer opponent
to Push Over level, which may help rebuild your self confidence
a bit if you get tired of feeling the way you did in the
back seat of that car and your older sibling was beating
the crap out of you with every tic, tac and toe. Now, I
don't want to give you the impression that these games
are too hard, on the contrary, they are just as difficult
or as challenging as you want them to be. Take my advice
though, while you are in the options menu turn off the
music, and depending on the game being played, the sound
effects too. I won't go into any detail, but you'll be
happy I pointed it out once you start playing.
And since these are digital versions, Zillions of Games
2 tracks every move made by you and your opponent, with
a play by play screen to the right of the board, and will
replay your victories (humiliations in my case) as though
you had videotaped the entire battle with an overhead camera.
Now 48 games is not a zillion and although you can play
for hours and hours by yourself, it is not for that reason
that the word zillions has been used. As you may have gathered
you can log on to an Internet session (or host your own)
and play your favorites with all your online buddies (or
make a few new ones from across the sea) giving you zillions
of possible games to play. Logging on through a dial-up
or high-speed connection is a simple process. I had no
trouble finding worthy opponents online and the server
side of Zillions of Games 2 seems to be well supported.
Now all I have
to do is make sure my brother never finds about this
software or it’s on-line play features
because the last thing I need is to have those memories
relived, even in the digital world of online gaming. Highly
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