Showing posts from 2018

Onomatocodeia - Episode 01 - Crazy Climber

In the first episode of Onomatocodeia, Arcade Castle looks at the first board game adaptation of a video game in the form of Crazy Climber, the board game by Bandai from 1981 as part of their Party Joy board game series.

Crazy Climber ( クレイジークライマー ) is an arcade title released by Nichibutsu in 1980 in Japan and 1982 in the United States via Taito. The arcade title has you, the player, climbing a series of towers, navigating hazards, and attempting to reach the hovering helicopter at the roof. Crazy Climber has seen a number of ports over the years (including the Famicom, Sharp X68000, Playstation 2, Playstation 4, and the Nintendo Switch), as well as a number of sequels (Crazy Climber 2, Hyper Crazy Climber, Crazy Climber 2000, and Crazy Climber Wii).

However, in 1981, the board game adaptation was released in Japan. With a cardboard skyscraper that nearly reaches two feet in height serving as the game board, players will be encountering one another as often as they encounter the haz…

Episode 16 - Carmen Sandiego Double Feature!

In Episode 16, Arcade Castle takes a look at another giant in the Edutainment industry: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? A facts based learning game at heart, WitWiCS has players tracking V.I.L.E. henchmen across the planet and, later, both time and space, as they attempt to stop these henchmen from stealing iconic cultural icons, items, concepts, buildings, geographic locations, and more by gathering clues, answering questions, and following the trail of the V.I.L.E. henchmen until they are captured and placed behind bars. If you are a good enough A.C.M.E. Detective you may find yourself on the trail of Carmen Sandiego herself and finally answer, once and for all, just Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, issue a warrant for her arrest, and place her in jail and stop her crime syndicate for good.

Additionally, Arcade Castle takes a look at a series of bookends, or sorts, for the Edutaiment franchise, by looking at the earliest and the most recent entries in the Carmen Sandieg…

Episode 15 - Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley

In Episode 15 of the podcast, The Arcade Castle finds itself, once again, on a journey through another oregon trail licensed board game by Pressman in the form of The Oregon Trail Board Game: Journey to Willamette Valley. Having played The Oregon Trail Card Game and The Oregon Trail Hunt For Food Card Game in prior years (and on Episode 04 and Episode 08, respectively), The Arcade Castle has mixed expectations when bringing this game to the table.

In The Oregon Trail Board Game, players are uncovering the trail from Independence, MO to Willamette Valley, OR. As they traverse the wilderness of 1800s America, players will find hunting grounds, ford rivers, locate forts and towns, and brave the elements as they attempt to successfully reach Oregon. However, the trail is full of hazards and, as supplies dwindle in their covered wagons, will they best the calamities that befall them, or end their trip in a shallow grave on the roadside?

As players play the Oregon Trail Game they will place t…

Episode 14 - The F-Zero Knight League Real Racing Simulation Game

As the sun blazes down on Kentucky without mercy, Arcade Castle cools down by blazing down miles of asphalt at 900+ miles an hour as they play the early 1990s board game adaptation of F-Zero! Based off of the seminal Super Nintendo game that boasted Mode 7 graphics & wowed gamers in 1990, the F-Zero Knight League Real Racing Simulation Game does its best to capture the look and feel of F-Zero in a board game!

In the F-Zero Knight League Real Racing Simulation Game (hereafter FZKLRRSG), players race one another throughout the five courses of the Knight League, attempting to win as many races as they can to score the most points to win the game! Players have a 'hand' of cards to manage their speed and health as they navigate the hazards of each track in the Knight League. Players can push their luck to try and get in first place, but if they are not careful, they may find themselves a fiery wreck on the racetrack.

In Episode 14 of The Arcade Castle Podcast, John and Patrick pl…

Episode 13 - Food Themed Kickstarter Card Game Double Feature!

Continuing the adventures from Episode 12, Arcade Castle looks at two more Kickstarter games, this time in the form of food-themed card games. The first game Arcade Castle examined was a card game based off the 1982 arcade smash hit Burgertime. Following this, Arcade Castle had dessert in the form of Robots Love Ice Cream, based off a mid 2010s IOS phone game.

The Burgertime Card Game attempts to overcome the challenge any developer faces when they try and adapt a typical arcade title into a board game or card game: how does one take the often "easy to learn, lifetime to master" simplistic gameplay of many arcade titles and make it a compelling and strategic game for multiple people to play. Does Burgertime successfully create an enjoyable dish, or bring something to the table that deserves to be tossed into the trash?

After Arcade Castle digested Burgertime, they decided to get some dessert in the form of Robots Love Ice Cream. Based off a Space Invaders-esque IOS game, RLIC …

Episode 12 - Megaman The Board Game (2015)!

Riding the high that was Rollercoaster Tycoon, Arcade Castle gets on board their next ride in the form of the Megaman Board Game by Jasco Games, approved by Capcom, backed by 2,639 backers on Kickstarter to the tune of $415,051, developed for over two years, and released in 2015! (*phew*) But as the ride begins for Arcade Castle, a ride, unbeknownst to them, that will last for hours and hours and hours, can Arcade Castle survive until the ride is over?

In Episode 12, Arcade Castle tackles the Megaman Board Game, which attempts to capture the essence of the Megaman series through custom dice, challenge decks, and modular board. However, the centerpiece of the game, and the main selling point via this board game's creator--Jasco Games--is the board game's miniatures. But, as Arcade Castle begins hour 3 of the Megaman Board Game, they begin to question if the miniatures even serve a purpose beyond window dressing and discuss the real question: has anyone ever played an eight playe…

Episode 11 - Roller Coaster Tycoon

Surviving the Cold War of Episode 10, Arcade Castle takes a break from serious topics and takes a trip to the amusement park thanks to Parker Brothers and their 2002 board game adaptation of the Roller Coaster Tycoon PC video game from 1999!

As Arcade Castle starts acquiring properties through auction, they cast a dubious eye towards the "Parker Brothers" publisher and the similarities to one of their other titular board game titles. However, as the game progresses and patrons ride rides, events occur in the park, and victory points pile up, Arcade Castle starts to see that there is more here than a "opoly" derivative.

However, as the play progresses to the games end, Arcade Castle starts to see the scales tip in favor of luck and random events vs. player strategy. Undeterred, Arcade Castle develops a few key rule modifications and component upgrades that push the excitement factor of the Roller Coaster Tycoon Board Game to the MAX!

In this 2002 adaptation of the 1999…

Episode 10 - Odyssey II - Conquest of the World

Amid rising tensions, Arcade Castle chills with a Cold War Simulator on the Odyssey II from 1981. Utilizing a mathematical formula from the C.I.A. and real world scenarios torn fresh from the headlines (well, fresh in 1981 anyway), Magnavox created Conquest of the World. The third (and final) entry in the Master Strategy Series by Magnavox, Conquest of the World takes advantage of the expanded memory on the video game cartridge to create a 1v1 games that implies additional strategy on the screen and, when coupled with the board game portion of Conquest of the World, provides a in-depth gaming session for players picking up the joystick and board game. Or so Magnavox claims...

In this episode of the Arcade Castle Podcast, John and Patrick play another weird blending of video game and board game courteously of Magnavox. Pulled from the annals of time, Arcade Castle finds an interesting time capsule. A video game board game that blends elements of RISK and AXIS & ALLIES yet requires p…

Episode 09 - Arcade Double Feature #1! Pitfall! and Jungle Hunt!

In this episode of the Arcade Castle Podcast, we take the first word of our podcast quite literally by playing two arcade themed board games released by Milton Bradley in 1983: Pitfall! and Jungle Hunt. As Arcade Castle plays two jungle themed board games intended for players far younger than they, can they survive the hazards of the trail? Or succumb to the pitfalls and traps?

In Pitfall!, players move forward or backward along the surface, jungle trail, or the underground, cavern trail in their attempts to collect enough treasure to prove themselves as an adventurer brave enough to climb the mountain at the end of the game to collect the diamond. However, as players brave the jungles and caves of Pitfall! they must overcome a variety of hazards that include voracious crocodile, rolling logs, fires, cobras, and the eponymous pitfalls. If players are brave enough to enter the underground caverns, they may find themselves face to face with the vicious scorpion and may find themselves st…