28 November 2009

You Don't Know...

Listening to: Jermaine Stewart, "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off." Dedicated to/from a friend, High Entropy. They just don't make songs like this anymore. And probably for good reason. Sample lyric: "But I'm not a piece of meat, still you like my brain."

We have discovered the greatest party game since, well, Catchphrase? My list of fantastic group games is pretty short but this one has vaulted into the top five immediately. Buzz! is a Jeopardy style triva game for the Playstation 3 that allows you to go head to head with up to seven other people.

The questions range from super easy to slightly obscure but never too difficult. And even if there are a string of easy questions, most of the game modes reward you for answering quickly so it's still very competitive at all times. The controllers that come with the game are like phasers and are wireless, effective, and easy to use. Basically if you like trivia (and aren't quite hardcore enough for Trivial Pursuit), this is a really great compromise and everyone can be involved and entertained, even if they're not directly playing.

There have been a few versions of Buzz in the United Kingdom but the series has only made its way Stateside recently. We played Buzz Quiz the other night but the more recent version, Buzz World is far better. Throw in downloadable content, fun character animations, the ability to make customized quizzes, and it'll be the best sixty dollars you can spend on a Friday night.

The only bad part about Buzz is that it requires a Playstation 3, a television, and the game -- not to mention friends. But for something this exciting, it's worth befriending PS3 owners. So yeah, I'm taking applications now for new friends, but only ones with Playstations please.

Okay and the other thing that has consumed our Thanksgiving week is Papaya Farm. My friend Lil'Ho got her iPod Touch and insisted that we play this game. So I joined after she told me that you can steal each others' vegetables and fruit. I'll play just about anything that involves theft. So Papaya Farm is similar to Farmville or that zoo thing you've seen (way too much) on Facebook. I've avoided these games successfully until now so this was my first foray into that world.

Basically what happens is you plant things, wait for them to grow, steal the occasional fruit from your friends, and then wait a few days to level up so you can repeat the cycle with new seeds. I've decided the game is totally inane but somehow it's fired up my competitive juices. For example, I was upset as all hell when I tried to steal some potatoes and got bit by a friend's dog, thus losing 200 hard won respect points. My sister sets her phone alarm in order to make sure she harvests her crops before anyone can log on to steal them.

My favorite part of the game is participating in serious talks with other players while your other friends wonder if you've gone loony. "Hey! Come over and plant something in my friend patch. And water my plants please." Or "What do you think we should do with this carrot blender, use it or give it away?"

Basically the game is a total time waster, requires no skill or strategy, doesn't really reward you as you progress, and goes against everything I stand for in games. Yet I play because I refuse to be left behind. I even downloaded Mafia Wars and Epic Pet Wars for an evening before deciding that one stupid time sucker is plenty. I hate you Papaya, but I can't quit you. If you are a fellow farmer, please friend me so I can get enough points to buy a dog to ward off would be thieves. Thanks.