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[Comments] (1) : Hm, the first entry of 2005. What to say? Something profound--but not too profound. Perhaps a convocation for the new year, something to usher in peace and goodwill. Or I could just squander it by talking about games.

Hey, you know what games are cool? The ones by Steve Hardt. I've played his masterpiece XEvil for years, enjoying its ingenious set of moving parts, cartoony ultra-violence, and randomly-generated 2D playing field. Only recently did I learn that XEvil is Steve Hardt's second released game. XDeathlord was written earlier. It's got the same fun-style (there must be some German word for that) as XEvil, but in a vehicular combat mode instead of a personal combat mode. As such, it uses the X and Y axes instead of X and Z. I haven't been able to really get into the game yet, though, and I'm not sure why. Hopefully it's just my short attention span.

Steve Hardt also wrote a PalmOS game called TREADS, which I haven't tried out yet but it kind of looks like a more refined version of XDeathlord. The screenshots show Steve Hardt's game design philosophy, which I think is sorely lacking in a lot of the games I play for Roundups: a flexible set of techniques to use towards your goals, and lots of random variation within well-defined parameters. Almost every game I like has one or both of those traits (the rest I like because of minimalist simplicity), but they seem uncommon in the games I test for the Roundups. Not sure why.


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