Middle Aged Gaming


Introduction
Welcome to the first issue of Middle Aged Gaming!  This is the gaming newsletter for the original gamers, who are now middle aged.  While this newsletter will not be solely about classic games, it will have a classic slant to it.  After looking around the internet, I noticed most video game journalism out there is aimed at the younger gamer.  But what about us video game pioneers (man that makes me feel so old), the ones who started gaming with Pong or Atari?  Well, here is a newsletter for the rest of us.  We will talk about new games and systems as well as the ones we grew up with.  Anything gaming will be covered here from consoles to arcades to pinball to memorabilia.  Even if we are middle aged, it does not mean we do not still game, we just game with slightly diminished skills.

What is a Middle Aged Gamer?
You  may ask what is a middle aged gamer?  It is more than just a gamer who is middle aged.  It is a frame of mind, it is having a sense of history.  While a big part of being a middle aged gamer is remembering the past, it is also about the present and the future.  It is understanding that you may not have the skills you once had, but it does not stop you from wanting to play the latest games.  Here are a few things that will make you realize you are a Middle Aged Gamer:

    *If you still feel more comfortable with a joystick than a gamepad.

    *If you remember when handheld gaming was playing Blip.

    *If you refer to your reading glasses as gaming glasses.

    *If you finally gave in and restarted a game at a lower skill level, so you could beat it. 

    *If you have clean thoughts about blowing a NES cartridge.

    *If you remember Mario before he rescued the princess.

    *If you were excited about being able to play Atari 2600 games on your Ipad.

Look for more observations such as these in each issue.  A big part of this newsletter will be taking a humorous look at being a middle aged gamer.  While you may not like that your teenaged child can whip you at most video games, it is better than the future when you become a Geriatric Gamer.  Yeah, one day you will be sitting on your porch telling you grandchildren about when video games were a quarter at the arcade and having them ask you what an arcade is.

Classic Gaming and the Ipad
One of the benefits of being a middle aged gamer is you can buy yourself the latest gaming device and not have to get your parent's approval (assuming you are not still living with your parents).  You may need your spouse's approval, but that is a whole different story.  But I digress.  One gaming device that is an easy sell to the whole family is the Apple Ipad.  I know that it is not really a gaming device, but who are we kidding?  That is like saying you bought that cell phone only for emergencies.  Then you went and signed up for the unlimited plan because you have a ton of emergencies.  That and the family computer you bought so you could pay bills online and your kids can do their homework.  While you do pay your bills and they do some homework, we all know that it is a small fraction of the time spent on it.  Since you were able to justify those two purchases with your spouse, an Apple Ipad should be pretty easy.  You can tell them about its many uses from a music and movie player to a book reader to an internet browser.  Point out stories about how schools are using them.  A few stories about how businesses also use them is also good.  Once you convince your significant other that is is a good purchase, you can start looking at the real reason you bought it.  No, not for the cool factor.  Yeah, it does boost your social standing a bit.  And you look less desperate than the middle aged guy in the expensive sports convertible that has the wind blowing through what is left of his hair.

One of the best things about the Apple Ipad is the amount of not only classic games but games with a classic feel.  So many of the games have simple controls, much like the games of yesterday.  One or two buttons and a virtual joystick is all most games need.  No dozen buttons to try and navigate with.  Not flinging around a controller like some crazed sorcerer.  And with kids in college or getting close, the low price of Ipad games is a big draw.  There are literally thousands of free games and even more games that are either a buck or a few bucks.  You would be hard pressed to find any games that are more than $10.00.  So check back each month as I point out a few Ipad games that are must haves.  This month, I will leave you with two of my favorite games, both of which are dirt cheap!

Dungeon Raid

I know that at first glance, you will say it is just another match three game.  But once you play this game, you will find it has more depth than almost any match three game in the ITunes store.  It also has more replay value than most games.  What sets it apart from other games is you do not just match up three of an object to clear the board, you are building a character.  Match three shields and you fill up your shield gauge, which when full will give you choices of power-ups.  Match three potions and you fill up your hit points.  Get the idea?  And as your character gets stronger and you add on more and more power-ups, the foes also get stronger and more plentiful. 

One of the best features of the game is the hundreds of items that you can use to customize your character.  From tons of different armor to hundreds of weapons and magic potions, you will find there are an endless variety of ways to customize and strengthen your character.  Want to make your character super strong?  There are tons of ways to deal out the damage.  Is defense more your interest, there are hundreds and I mean hundreds of shields, helmets, armor and more to build up.  And you can add spells to make you regenerate hit points and repair your armor.

 Unlike many match three games, you are not forced to just match in a straight row.  This is not Bejeweled or any of the many games that limit how you can match.  In this one, you can literally go crazy.  As long as the pieces can be connected, you can keep connecting.  It is possible to match an entire board if you get lucky.  And with the swords, the more you match, the more damage you do to your foes.  And on later levels, that means alot.

 

Granted, the only real enemy are skulls.  But as the game progresses, the amount of hit points they have and the amount of damage they do increases.  And the number of skulls also increases.  But you are not just fighting skulls, there are also boss skulls that have many unique abilities.  Some teleport, others can only be killed certain ways, some change your health potions to poison.  The variety is staggering and on later levels, it is not uncommon to be battling two or three boss skulls at a time.

There are two different versions of the game.  The first is Dungeon Raid lite which is essentially the original game without all the special monsters.  It is free and is a great way to try the game.  The second game is the full version and costs $2.99, which is a steal.  Be warned that this game will suck hours out of your life, it is that good.  But on a plus side, it also will keep you from buying a ton of other apps as you will find yourself playing this one more than any other.  I cannot recommend this game enough.

Tapper World Tour

Take the classic arcade game Tapper, add new artwork by famous animator, Don Bluth (who also did the animation for Dragon's Lair) and you have a great retooling of a classic.

 


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Arcade After Dark Tom Zjaba

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