Games (pt. 3)
Plus! is garbage. If you have the $50.00 to pick it up, don't! Spend the money on something a little more productive like alcohol or marijuana. Even if you have the $0.19 for a blank CD and your friend has a copy of it, DON'T TAKE IT! You'll regret it! I heard rumors that it had a lot of little add-ons such as additional wallpapers, schemes, sounds, etc. I didn't care about any of that. I was in it for the games. While installing, in true Microsoft fashion, they give you a preview of what the add ons are. They don't have a lot to say because there just isn't a lot of new stuff. Somewhere in there they mention three new games. Three? That's it? I was expecting a pack of at least 8-10 super fun Linux style games with great replayability. What I got were three really terrible games.
HyperBowl looked like it was going to be really cool. I was actually psyched to play. Bowling is fun. Games are fun. It seemed like the perfect combination. Somehow they managed to make the game no fun at all. For starters you have complete control of the ball all the way down the lane. That's not how real bowling works! I've noticed that usually when you go to a bowling alley you have to stop steering the ball sometime before you hit the pins. Preferably before the foul line as to not piss off the people working at the lane and the people bowling with you.
Another thing about this game is that there isn't any sound. That seems weird. I would think that there was something wrong with my sound card but everything else works just fine! A bowling game without the sound of a bowling ball hitting the pins is pretty boring. Even Atari bowling had sound.
There are a bunch of places you can bowl besides a bowling alley. You can bowl in ancient rome. I guess you have to do something to unlock some of the other levels but after these two levels I felt no need to continue playing.
What I expected: A really cool 3D bowling game.
What I got: A really uncool 3D bowling game.
Russian Square starts up with the most annoying techno music I've ever heard in my life so I hated it from the very start. It's the only one of the three Plus! games that operates in a window and doesn't take up the whole screen so I suppose that's a plus. The actual game itself isn't that bad. It's a logic type game along the same lines as the Rubix Cube. The object is to line up colors and eliminate them, making the square smaller. The quicker you do it the more points you get. This has the most replayability of any of the Plus! games but the sluggish loading time and horrible music are a big turn off. I would prefer to keep a Rubix Cube on my computer desk and use it if I ended up getting bored.
What I expected: An nerdy guy eating Borscht.
What I got: Basically a 2D Rubix Cube.
You know that game you hated when you were a kid? Well it's back. And it's still not fun. Adding fancy graphics and miserable sound to this childhood dud certainly hasn't changed it at all. Of all the crappy kids' games Windows XP had to choose from why on Earth did they choose this one? Why not 3D Hungry Hungry Hippos or Vitrual Pick Up Sticks?
What I expected: Something involving David Bowie.
What I got: Crap.
The main problem with Windows XP's games is that they would all be very easy to recreate without a computer. Who doesn't have a deck of cards? Is Solitaire that hard to set up? Instead of Internet Backgammon why not Internet Axis & Allies? Remember that game? It used to take like three hours to set up and all damned day to play. Something like that would be cool. Instead of a game that is like any crap game you could get at The Dollar Store give us something that would be difficult or impossible to play without a computer. Everyone could find someone to play checkers with, playing it online is not necessary. Finding the people to play five-player Axis and Allies now that's a different story.
Here's what you would need to play some favorite operating system games:
Game: Solitaire (Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP)
What you need: A Deck of playing cards. If you don't have one they could cost anywhere up to $3.00.
Game: Jigsaw Puzzle (Mac OS)
What you need: A jigsaw puzzle.
Side note: This may be the worst operating system game of all times. The maximum difficulty setting includes 35 pieces! Thirty-five! There's no timing, no points and no high score. Also there's only one picture... a map of the planet Earth! Gee... where is this flat-edged polar region supposed to go? And this other piece that has all of Europe on it... where in God's name does that go? Not to mention that you can't laminate it and hang it on your wall when you're done. That's the best part!
Game: HyperBowl (Windows XP Plus!)
What you need: $2.00 for shoe rental, $5.00 lane fee and $1.00 bus fare to get to a bowling alley. This is taking for granted that you have at least one arm with three fingers on it, of course.
Game: FreeCiv (Linux)
What you need: A barren Earth-like Planet and the ability to control an entire civilization over the course of five thousand years.
Next time I conclude my critical look at Windows XP and focus more on some of the millions of other things that I can bitch about.