The Spirit Of The Zipit Lives On

As many of my readers may know, I’m a big fan of Kickstarter. I’ve backed a metric tonne of half-baked projects and bad ideas, and I love that we have platforms that allow us to shoot for the moon and try crazy things. You may also remember the Zipit. It was by far my most popular series of articles, and the porting work I did is still used by a few die-hard fans. It’s been nearly a decade since, and the age of

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Woeful is The Hacker Who Knows Everything

We live in a magical time for computer users. Hardware is cheap and plentiful, processors have been stagnant for a decade, and the cycle of constant upgrades has finally stopped. My main development laptop is a Dell Latitude e6510 that was released about 5 years ago. It’s not even the top model with the nice i7 processor. It’s just a solidly performing i5 laptop I picked up for 200$ off-lease in 2012. I threw an SSD into it and stopped worrying about performance. I

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JSON Game List Viewer (Android)

“Why is there a resume.JSON format and not a gamelist.JSON format?” I thought to myself this morning. This afternoon I wrote out a first draft of the gamelist.JSON format, and this evening I wrote an android application for viewing gamelist.JSON files. You’ll never again have to use closed or proprietary formats when cataloging your games. This is a game list viewer application. It allows you to view gamelist.JSON files created in any JSON gamelist generator. It also downloads icons from

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JSON Resume Viewer for Android

JSON Resume Viewer is a native Android application for viewing resume.JSON files natively on Android devices. Yesterday, I had dental surgery. I woke up this morning with an aching jaw and a day off from work. Unable to sleep nor concentrate on video games, I decided to check something off the ole software todo list. Flash back to a few months prior. I had found myself interested in the resume.JSON format, but there were no android apps to display it in a readable fashion.

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Review: Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut

Shantae: Risky’s Revenge is a bit of an aberration. Oh no, it’s not a bad game, not at all. It’s a great game. It improves upon the original in many ways. And yet, I rate it slightly below the original. It’s the rare case of an excellent sequal to an excellent game being somehow better and yet worse than the original. screenshots2014-07-16_00094" title="" /> The original Shantae was a terrific (if a bit backtracky) metroid-vania for the Game Boy Color. It was

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Review: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

I first played through Ocarina of Time about a year and a half after it’s release. It was the spring of 2000, and I had purchased an N64 on eBay during my first year of college. I was enthralled. So was my girlfriend at the time. My grades surely suffered, but it was worth it. This was the greatest game of all time, an experience unrivaled. I held it on that pedestal for over a decade. A year later when Majora’s Mask was released,

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Review: Shantae (GBC)

It’s been nigh almost 13 years now since Shantae snuck out onto the Game Boy Color. All this time, I had assumed from the box art and gameplay screens it was a simple 2d side-scroller. It appeared to be critically lauded for the tight gameplay mechanics and bright colorful graphics. And for 13 years that’s what I thought. I held that misinformation in my head tightly, like a clutch full of jewels. Shantae (and its 2 direct sequels) was just another side-scrolling affair on

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The Android Can't "Open All Your Bookmarks in Tabs" Conspiracy

If you’re reading this on your laptop or desktop computer, it’s likely you’re on a web browser. If you’re using Firefox (like I am), or Chrome, or Safari, or damn near any web browser available today you’ll have the option to open a folder of bookmarks in separate tabs at once. There appears to be a concerted effort to not allow this functionality on Android (I can’t speak for iOS, no longer a user.) Answer me this, fellow crackpot internet

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Remixing Continues: Boss Fight!, Casual Katamari, Guitar-ish Thing?

So the remixing of Creative Commons content into my games continues. I’ve derived the basic formula for the game’s components into base functions, and sub-classed these into sets of mini-games. I do love those mini-games. At any rate, you can see below there’s quite a few twists that have come out of my remixing efforts thus far, with many more to come. As always, you can grab the newest code (or compiled APKs) at the GitHub page here. The game variant select screen:

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Remixing Open Source Games With Creative Commons Content

One of the great things about open source is that you’re free to modify and redistribute it in whichever way you like. This is real creative freedom that I support. All of my apps and games are open source. A while back, I helped fund the opening of some game music and art assets to the public. Being in the public domain (or having a Creative Commons license as these art assets now do) allows for public remixing and free use of the content. Gotta

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Review: Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for game remakes. I went all in on Ducktales. I hope that Rescue Rangers is next. So when I saw Castle of Illusion was on sale on Steam, I knew I had to give it a shot. I was immediately whisked away to a time long past. Twenty four years ago, reading a games magazine. The back page would advertise the best game that month, or at least the game that paid the most to get the best

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Review: Super Mario Galaxy 2

Three and a half years. That’s how long it took me to review Super Mario Galaxy 2. A new console generation is a full two years in, graphics have improved everywhere, cell phones are more powerful than the original Wii console. And yet, here I am, jumping up and down because I finally beat Galaxy 2. It was quite a journey. For those looking for a review, here’s the short version. Mario Galaxy 2 is just a new set of awesome levels for Mario

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Review: The Wolf Among Us

The Wolf Among Us is an excellent point and click adventure game from Telltale. That statement alone is enough for many folks wondering whether to pick it up. For everyone else, let me assuage your fears. The Wolf does not disappoint in any area. Each of the 5 episodes will last you about 2 hours, so right off the bat you know you’re in for a ten hour adventure. That’s not short for an adventure game, but not particularly long either. Honestly, you won’

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Review: Steamworld Dig

Wishing you had a game to play that filled you with moments of joy? Have a couple bucks? I highly recommend you spend it on Steamworld Dig, which is proof that a game doesn’t need to be long to be memorable. My experience with the game took just over 4 hours. That’s not to say I played my usual one hour per day. Oh no. From the time I got off work Friday afternoon and loaded up the game to the time I saw

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Review: Final Fantasy XIII (Steam Edition)

I remember the demo. In the brief period before I was banned from the PSN network I would download game demos. When the demo for the thirteenth installment in the Final Fantasy franchise dropped 5ish years ago, I downloaded the multi-gig demo right away. Ok, so it was more like the 25th Final Fantasy game, but it was the 13th official integer numbered installment. I didn’t care for it. Now it’s out on Steam and I put 53 hours into it over the course

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Review: Eye of the Beholder (GBA)

Can a game be so epically bad that it comes around the other side of the spectrum and becomes good again? Eye of the Beholder for the Game Boy Advance had me asking this question again and again. It started on an airplane this weekend. Stuck in a cramped space with no internet and constant noise for 4-8 hours will drive you to some interesting distractions. That’s not the whole story though, it really started over 20 years ago. I was in junior high school,

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Review: Kid Dracula (Game Boy)

Kid Dracula is a charming and inventive platformer for the original Game Boy. Like most platformers of its era, Kid D is light on story and heavy on challenge. Luckily, there’s a password system and a fun life collecting bonus game between levels. Dracula(cover)" title="" /> While Kid D doesn’t present itself as a Castlevania game, the pedigree is clear. This is Konami on the brink of greatness, a mere two years before Symphony of the Night graced our shores. Many of the same

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Review: Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link

When I was a child, Zelda 2 was very important to me. I was a very poor child of 7 with a very rich neighbor, and every so often he would invite me over to play. We never played video games, but his gold Zelda cartridge always caught my eye. I knew I had to have a NES, and a gold Zelda cartridge. Two years later (4 years after the NES was released) I finally saved enough money to buy one. I was 9 years old.

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Review: Dark Castle (MacOS)

Do you hate the comforts of modern platform gaming? Long for a time before Jill of the Jungle and Commander Keen showed us how smooth and responsive a PC game can be? Do you enjoy attempting to emulate versions of MacOS from the 1980s? Then have I got a game for you! Dark Castle is a classic MacOS platformer that first showed the world what decent 2d platforming could be on a classic Mac. It’s also a reminder of just how far we’ve come

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Review: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

Flashback to 2002. My trusty GBA had served me well since launch. Many a long lunch hour had been spent playing super mario advance at work (don’t feel too bad for my long distant employer, I was an intern in the advertising/tobacco industry.) I read an article about an upcoming Castlevania game, Aria of Sorrow. “Man, they’re putting out a lot of Castlevania games” I thought to myself, and continued reading whatever corporate trash gaming PR mag they had in my small town.

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