Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Review

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures game box shot

It is Christmas day, 1980, and I am six years old. I go running through the house, rich with the smells of festive cooking, past beaming adults, trailing behind me a full stocking, to sit on my Gran’s bed and open my presents. Tearing feverishly at the brightly coloured paper, I hope against hope that my hearts desire is nestled inside. And it is: Luke, Han and Leia come tumbling out onto the duvet in all their plastic glory and I am filled with the glee that only a child on Christmas morning can know.

In years since I have lost interest in Star Wars. Long before the prequels, without fanfare or particular reason I simply started to find Tolkien and Star Trek more interesting. As an adult, I left behind my childish things. Even the nostalgia worn thin: when I sat and watched A New Hope with my daughter recently, I consumed it like any other fun family action film. But when I opened a box and found the detailed, hand painted X-Wing miniatures inside for one moment, one brief flicker in time, I was back on that bed again, surrounded by the garish confetti of Christmas paper, trying to still my beating heart. Continue Reading…

Cracked LCD- Dungeon! in Review


The first hobby game I ever bought was TSR’s Dungeon!, a game that’s seen a couple of editions over the years including a newly released one from Wizards of the Coast. I was six or seven and on vacation with my mom and dad at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Some family friends and their two kids were with us, and we wound up in a game shop at some point. I saw Dungeon! and had to have it. The parents thought it’d be a good idea to get us something to do in the hotel room, and that’s probably about where my birth as a game player occurred. I can still vividly remember playing the game and thinking how weird the monsters were- classic freakout D&D monsters like black puddings and such. Continue Reading…

Halo 4 in Review


When I think of what makes Halo great, I think of things like simple, accessible shooter gameplay built on a rock-solid foundation of impeccably balanced and specialized weapons leveraged in sandbox-y encounters that invite me to develop strategies and overcome impossible odds. I think of raucous multiplayer battles that feel more like schoolyard games than uber-macho paramilitary kill-fests. I’m put in mind of epic vistas and setpieces where I’m taking down a massive enemy vehicle single-handedly or riding out across an alien terrain in a cool tank. Then there’s the sweeping, portentous music and the particular sound of it all- from the announcer that says “Sssslayer” to the report of one of the game’s ubiquitous assault rifles. These things are all part of what Halo is to me.

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Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes in Review

I didn’t spend a lot of time gaming as a kid, very little, actually, but when I did, I played adventure games. My dad had a PC for his side business and I spent a good chunk of one year’s annual summer visit parked in front of that PC’s orange and black display, eating chilled Skor bars and playing Space Quest. In fact, due to a rather unfortunate lack of understanding of the concept of saved games, I got rather adept at playing the game up until the part where you had to ride your space motorcycle thingy across the desert and not hit any rocks. Eventually I learned how to save my game and could progress even farther in the story of Roger Wilco.

Since those days, adventure games have occupied a special place in my heart, with the combination of laid back style and ability to tell stories not easily told in other genres making them a genre filled with games that I’m always happy to try. Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is definitely laid back, despite the grisly subject matter, and it certainly has a story that would be difficult to tell in other genres. It’s also quite strange, yet endearing at the same time. It probably won’t be for everyone, but if you don’t mind your games being a little on the strange side, it’s well worth checking out.

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A Game for Halloween: Amnesia, The Dark Descent


Usually at Halloween I settle for a horror film or some board games. This year is different. This year we have people visiting who aren’t interested in either. So while I’m going to have a great time later celebrating the evening with my kids, I needed to make my own private adult Halloween for myself, late in the night. I settled on a ghost story (Dark Matter) and a horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I started reading and playing early, of course, so I’d be in the thick of the action on the night itself. After everyone else was tucked up in bed, I sat alone in the cold and the darkness, exploring the terrible secrets of Brennenburg Castle.

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #149

No High Scores Podcast Logo

Image: Filomena Scalise /

I am a terrible person, this cannot be denied. And it’s because I’m terrible that I flat out forgot to post yesterday about our 149th episode. I blame Windows 8 and the fact that what free time I had was devoted to installing it (along with the prep work that required). I’m hoping, in the days ahead, to write up some thoughts about Microsoft’s latest, but in the meantime you’ll have the full gang back together for JTS149, which features Bill’s thoughts on Dishonored, Brandon’s dive into The Walking Dead Episode #4, and my “final” thoughts on XCOM. (I’m sure it’ll come up again.) Bill also gives us an update into his activities with Conquistador Games, so boardgame fans shouldn’t miss that. Tomorrow, the project they have in the hopper, sounds promising!

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Telling Tales on Telltale

Walking Dead from Telltale iTunes Page

A couple of weeks ago, after all the great reviews here on No High Scores and a heartfelt recommendation from Lucy James, I bit the bullet and bought Telltale Games’ Walking Dead: Episode 1 for my original iPad. I figured it might put a bit of a strain on the hardware so before buying I looked at the iTunes page, which you can see reproduced above. It said nothing about iPad 1 compatibility issues in the bottom left where the requirements are, or the description, so I went ahead and bought it.

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Calendar Man – Week of 10/29

This week, games continue to get out of the way of the Halo 4/ Black Ops 2 juggernaut and game lovers everywhere are all the better for it. Assassins Creed gives its take on colonial America, Professor Layton gets his first 3D adventure, Criterion takes Need for Speed for a test drive and men in tights take to the ring yet again in WWE ’13.

Games, games, games!

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Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate Booty in Review

I don’t know at what size or at what point what we traditionally call “DLC” gets magically transformed into an expansion pack, but make no mistake, Borderlands 2′s first piece of story related content, Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate Booty is a full fledged expansion pack, giving players thirsty for more Pandoran mayhem a healthy portion of new areas to explore, guns to find and enemies to kill.

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Worlds of Borecraft

World of Warcraft - a dull blade

Like most teenage video game addicts in the late 80’s, I fantasized about being able to play my favourite games online along with my friends and any number of random strangers. In those days doing such a thing on an average home computer was absurdly beyond the reach of technology. It wasn’t long before commercial multi-user games appeared though, such as Shades, a game I longed to try but sadly I was unable to convince my parents to invest in a modem for that sole purpose.

I eventually realised the dream while I was at university, where I started playing an obscure multi-user game called Nanvaent. It still exists, basking in the same text-based glory that it had back in 1996. I played Nanvaent and played it hard over the next seven years, eventually becoming a “creator” or coder. Indeed I suspect it was instrumental in my failing to complete my doctorate, and equally instrumental in ensuring I was able to salvage a career as a programmer from the ashes of my academic dreams. And once I’d made that switch, I never touched the game again.

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