If you’re a gamer and a geek, then undoubtedly you’ve amassed a grand collection of wondrous treasures, from boxes and books to cartridges and discs. While some of these items may be considered mundane or even relics of geek ages long past, we all know that it goes against our very nature to part with such great gifts of enjoyment, even if we’ve never taken the shrink wrap off yet! Join us this week as we delve into our geek closets and discuss games of all types – purchased, played, and otherwise. Clear off the table, charge up those controllers, and for God’s sake read some damn instructions as you prepare for a brand new episode of Monkey in the Cage!
With Halloween fast approaching it would be remiss of us here at… wait. Did you hear that? Was that a scream, or just the wind? Hmmm… maybe we should split up and investigate to cover more ground, or better yet stick together and try to survive! Join us this week as we get more into the mood for the bestest of best holidays and talk about the joining of two exciting forms of entertainment – Horror and Gaming! We cover it all, with some wackiness in between, so make sure your cardio is up, bring along some competent friends, and be careful of fatal camera angles as we talk Horror in Gaming on this week’s episode of Monkey in the Cage!
So, I can’t really pinpoint when it was exactly that I became a fan of Cthulhu and H.P. Lovecraft. I believe it was someplace where my years of gaming, reading fantasy novels, and my first few trips to San Diego Comic-Con intersect where my interests really started to zero in on the most famous of the Elder Gods. However, I must admit that I am currently just a casual fan of Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, having read only a small portion of the collected works, but I find myself really inspired by the themes and imagery of close to 100 years of Lovecraft. My Society of Odin d20 game is arguably Call of Cthulhu in Steampunk clothing, but hey, it’s my game world! Although I’m a newcomer to the fan community, I definitely bring enthusiasm with me, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite Cthulhu/Lovecraft things in hopes of spreading the madne… er… literary interest!
With WonderCon this weekend, I couldn’t help but think of Lovecraft. I do remember the first Lovecraft-inspired read of mine as being a comic book that I picked up at SDCC, The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft. Essentially, it’s about Lovecraft as a pulp writer in the 20’s, but an unfortunate series of events has led to him having writers block… which happens to be cured by Lovecraftian horrors!! The comics are great, and Ron Howard has the rights to a film, but that ownership has been going on three years now… Maybe Ron needs some meat spiders to make a visit and get the ball rolling!
This past week’s podcast on board games, Ramses said “Once a cultist, always a cultist” in reference to a game of Munchkin Cthulhu we all played a couple of months back. One of the greatest aspects of this version of Munchkin is the Cultist class. The more cultists in play, the stronger they ALL are, receiving a +2 for each one. Plus, with the ability to turn other players into Cultists against their will, the rules state that if all players become cultists, the game ends with the highest level player winning. Needless to say, Ramses and I teamed up and let the madness spread. That’s what Cultists do!
Definitely on my list of must-haves/must-plays is the Arkham Horror Board Game. It’s in the collection here at the studio, but considering my willingness to spend money on things I don’t necessarily need, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I add this game (and it’s multitude of expansions) to my personal game collection. According to BoardGameGeek.com, the point of the game is for a team of investigators to clear the City of Arkham of monstrous horrors and prevent one of eight randomly drawn Ancient Ones from entering our world. Players can upgrade their characters, equipment and spells in their efforts to keep the world safe, but what is this!!! It only requires a minimum of one player!?! Looks like learning to play will be educational and satisfying, unless my brain melts first.
I could go on and on and list numerous Cthulhu related anythings to you unfortunate readers, but I’ll leave you with the ski mask. You can find them all over the internets and while prices vary, it’s really worth the cost… everyone needs one…everyone………eeeeevvvveeeerrryyyoooonnneee…..
Do you love being a Slum Lord and driving everyone into bankruptcy? Perhaps you prefer attempting to save the world from simultaneous E. coli, Bird Flu, and Gonorrhea outbreaks? Or is a night of inadvertently insulting your friends in the name of fun your cup of tea? If you answered yes (or no) to any of the above, then do we have the podcast for you! Join us this week as we discuss traditional vs. niche board games whilst narrowly avoiding certain death! It’s Robert with the knife in the podcast studio on this week’s shiny new episode of Monkey in the Cage.
In this day and age of online gaming and social media, we geeks have it sweet in the ability to jump on our PC’s or consoles with people from around the world and wreak havoc upon AI foes or one another in any number of settings no matter what time of day it is. Whether it’s banding together for a raid in World of Warcraft, or failing miserably to save the world in a game of Pandemic, one of the best gaming experiences a gamer can have is when teamwork with you closest friends brings sweet, sweet victory or amusingly humiliating defeat.
Join us this week as we shotgun blast your ears with our numerous (and we mean numerous!) experiences with Co-Op gameplay. From video games to board games to tabletop RPG’s, we hit it fast, hard, and chaotic, just like Leeroy Jenkins himself. Plug in and listen up, because the Co-Op memories just keep coming!
I love the new year. My type A, OCD-addled personality loves how perfect January 1st looks on the calendar. We all have resolutions, even if you’re the type of person who doesn’t “believe” in them, it’s a great time to set some goals and make some improvements. So here are my geek-related resolutions for the new year!
Go To the Movies
I can’t tell you the last time I went to the movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the movies it’s just hard to get out. However, with so many awesome geek movies on the horizons we are going to have to sneak away once a month or so. Here’s my Top 3 Must-Sees:
The Avengers coming May 4, 2012:
Batman: The Dark Knight Rises coming July 20, 2012:
The Hobbit coming December 14, 2012:
Play More Games
It must be noted that this does not mean buy more games. We have a walk-in closet chock full of awesome games that have yet to be played! Here’s my Top 3 Must-Plays:
I loved Battleship as a kid and when I saw this new variation of the game I immediately impulse-bought it! I wanted to get my Captain Maul Mal on but the guys seemed meh about the whole thing. So lack of interest and wait for it… laziness sent this one to the shelf o’ “how long have we had that game!?”
When I first heard of this series my inner voice yelled, “Didn’t you learn anything from Twilight!? Don’t believe the hype!” But I quickly quieted that voice and hopefully clicked the purchase button. I am about five chapters into the first book and so far I am liking it! Katniss Everdeen is no Bella Swan and that alone makes this series far superior to Stephenie Meyers’ dreck.
I own all four hardcover volumes of this series: Welcome to Lovecraft, Head Games, Crown of Shadows, and Keys to the Kingdom but just haven’t found the time to read them. When I first started hearing buzz about this series I was very intrigued. It’s written by Stephen King’s son and that makes him a legacy in my book. I picked up World War Z for a similar reason and Max Brooks impressed the hell of me. It was also optioned for a television series on FOX and although it didn’t get picked up (much to my dismay) Cryptozoic is making a board game based on the series this year.
When I heard that this book was originally conceived during a NaNoWriMo project I knew I had to pick it. Writers write whether it’s National Novel Writing Month or not but I like the idea of setting aside a special time to chase that manuscript that is always rattling around in my head. Erin Morgenstern did just that and I am beyond curious to see what she came up with. Oh, and Matt, I know you got your hopes up but it’s not a sequel to Night Train.
So, fellow geeks resolve along with me to get some checks on that old to-do list! What are you looking forward to accomplishing in 2012?