Beating the lockdown drum until there’s no more air in it

Donkey Konga (2004)

Looking back on a miserable 2020, I have to say it’s pretty impressive that my family and I were in lockdown for several months now and we never ended up killing each other. Now, I didn’t have it as bad as others; there were four of us living in the house and we all generally kept to ourselves anyway, until hostile lunchtimes and dinnertimes of course.

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The Many Jobs of Mario

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The Many Jobs of Mario (2019)

Now in his thirties, and still exhibiting no signs of a mid-life crisis, it’s not beyond the remit of a talented man like Mario to have had many different job titles and roles behind him. Actually, you’d have to say that some of Mario’s travails throughout his glittering life are so wild and out there, that him entering a go-kart tournament against his eternal enemy Bowser is now entirely normal. A man so travelled and so adept surely can’t escape the romantic attention of the Princess much longer, can he? All the same, given the rate he goes through jobs, you’d think Mario would be able to afford better clothes than his patchy dungarees.

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I coulda been a game dev contender

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Donkey Kong Country (1994)

Game design. The one thing that we’ve always wanted to do. Well, not all of us. Most young lads growing up wanted to be footballers or astronauts of course, but I was aware of my limitations early. As a result, even in my most wildly unrealistic fantasies, I was still essentially a no-name code monkey. Isn’t that sad?

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Billy Mitchell is the Machiavellian villain of our times

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Donkey Kong (1981)

I’m not destined to be a great Donkey Kong player. In fact I’m probably a bit of a disgrace to the name of Donkey Kong. My first bad high score came when I was playing through Donkey Kong 64 and it became apparent that in order to beat the game, I’d have to beat an arcade perfect Donkey Kong conversion. Not only that, but I’d actually have to beat it twice, with one life each time, and it was harder the second time round. This is where I recorded my second bad high score, and my third, all the way through to my seven hundred and fifth, after which I burst into tears of failure. And I honestly can’t remember any other game ever making me do that.

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6 of Gaming’s Most Depressing Game Over Screens

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of Gaming’s Most Depressing Game Over Screens (2014)

I don’t care how good a retro gamer you are, every single one of us has had to choke down the indignity of witnessing the Game Over screen in games – the more dull-witted gamers have probably had to suffer this embarrassment time and time again. NES-era Game Over screens tended to be simple white-text-on-black-background affairs and more often than not were plagued with some questionable grammar (even apart from “Game Over” itself, as if that phrase makes any sense).

But as games became more imaginative and interactive, the Game Over screens followed suit. Here are six of the more depressing retro Game Over screens that many of us have had to sit through before we could endeavour to try again. Whichever of the games on this list you’ve played, you’ve probably seen the Game Over screen to it at least a dozen times. Enjoy!

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