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Subject: I love my Geekbuddies rss

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Marc P
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I selected most of my Geekbuddies on the basis of some correspondence between their game ratings and mine. In some cases, however, I added Geekbuddies because they leave thought-provoking comments with their ratings. This combination can result in a wonderful range of opinions on a game.

This is the particular instance that led to these thoughts, but I've seen it time and again.

Thanks, guys (and dolls)!
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Some Guy
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What is really cool is that I don't know you, you were not one of my geekbuddies ( you are now ) but all the folks in your example are my geek buddies too.

Awesome.
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"GAME OVER, MAN. GAME OVER!"
Denmark
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I think there might be a problem with the link.
What I get, is the comments from 2 of my geek buddies...
They rate the game a 7 and 7,5, not exactly a wonderful range of oppinions...
So I guess you´ve set up the link so that people get THEIR OWN Geek buddy analysis of Space Alert.
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"GAME OVER, MAN. GAME OVER!"
Denmark
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jonjacobmoon wrote:
What is really cool is that I don't know you, you were not one of my geekbuddies ( you are now ) but all the folks in your example are my geek buddies too.

Awesome.


I had the same feeling, but then... See above...
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Marc P
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That's pretty funny
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Marc P
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Let's try again, then. Cut 'n Paste, suckas!

Geekbuddy Analysis for Space Alert

Shawn Low
10
Battlestations in COOP mode!!

This game is a crazy hoot to play. The setting: a spaceship that is scanning the area that it has warped into. Players listen to a series of prerecorded alert sounds that trigger off events. They then program a hand of cards (ala roborally) in order to deal with the threats. This includes moving around, firing weapons, powering weapons etc.

Once the 10 minute soundtrack finishes, players then resolve all the threats and programmed cards. This is where the fun begins. Erroneous and uncoordinated programming, ship damage etc all add to the tension and agony as players see if they manage to survive the threats.

Great looking components. Fairly easy turn structure. Quickish game. Lots of replaybility. Pity it's so hard to find in English! CZG had a hit with Galaxy Trucker last year and they someone manage to top that this year! Well done.

Aldie
9
Amazing fun - I really love this game!

HiveGod
8
So much more than a mere game -- this is an amazing artifact, a tool, in the exercise of teamwork, planning, and unforeseen consequences. Seriously -- it could be used for real-life team training.

But before you wave off because you're worried you'll be forced to play this with your boss at a corporate retreat, know that it's tense, trying (in the good way) and most of all fun. The theme is hard sf enough to feel serious, with just a dusting of levity that never becomes cartoony (something that turns me off of Galaxy Trucker).

I was worried the audio track would be goofy and kitschy, but instead I found it to be brilliantly immersive.

Can't wait to play it again!

PS. I fully expect this to hit 10 for me...

Glamorous Mucus
8
Very, very impressed with the design of this game.

But unsure whether I actually like it. It's befuddling at first, which may be its downfall or may be the key to its longevity.

I slapped a rating on the thing just so my comments would show up. Rating could skyrocket or plummet with more play - neither would surprise me at this point.

[Update] Bumped rating up a point after a much more successful session. I'm eager to play more.

caesarmom
7
Interesting game, but REALLY stressful! Need to be careful that group dynamics work well, otherwise can be frustrating for all concerned.

Modboy
7
Cool cooperative game where players listen to a CD which alerts them to incoming or on-board threats that they need to handle. As you're receiving incoming data you need to work as a team: players program their actions: move left, up, down or right, shoot laser, refeul laser or shields, launch robots, etc.

Once the CD track stops playing you run through everybody's programmed moves one by one. The planning phase can become chaotic and if one person played a card wrong it could have dire consequences. Looking forward to playing more scenarios because the first 3 I tried seemed too easy (although good for learning the system).

hibikir
6
The problem with this game is its narrow appeal. It's a fun game if played with 5 players that are extroverted, willing to talk over each other if needed, can think fast and that like a bit of chaos.

If any of that is missing, the game experience will not be all that great, so I really don't see myself playing this one all that often.

dietevil
5
Just not my kind of game, nothing wrong with it per se.

sisteray
5
I should first mention that I like Coops, realtime games, and enjoy many preprogrammed games, I also am dying for a great Sci-fi game. This seemed like a no brainer to me. I won't deny that fans of pre-programming games will probably get a kick out of this. Lots of logistics to deal with. This is all about coordination. But it is this coordination that ultimately makes the game fail for me (though there are other factors as well). In order to effectively muscle through this it is best to set up a captain that knows the system. He makes all the decisions, everyone follows orders. Then what is there for me to do...?

The timing compels the game so that you aren't overly min-maxing, but a good captian will piece together the easy logistics of it all. Despite the time pressure, I never felt an overwhelming sense of urgency or tension.

It is cool to see the way it plays out in the end, but in some ways it reminds me more of Light Speed where you have the game playing phase and the scoring phase. Because these elements of play and results are so heavily separated, I ended up feeling a bit bored about halfway through the results phase. To me this feels like a test where you wait for your paper to come back to find out the results.

There are times in the game where there just isn't much you can do, and you feel like you are waiting around for something to happen. This tightens up more as you play the more advanced scenarios. But, when you've made your decisions, it is back to waiting again.

Thematically, it is great. I love the specific damage. I love the robots fighting the internal struggle. Coordinating the power supply is entertaining. It really works as a fun sim and as a great experience. It is great to watch it unfold.

It is best to set up a poor communicator as the captain. A good captain will make it too easy, a bad one will make it more difficult.

Honestly, the most fun thing about this game is pretending that there are interoffice politics. "Oh, you're gonna get written up for that", "Thanks for the assist, I'll put it in the report", "Do you know how much that's going to cost the company?"

That said, I just wish it were actually exciting. It isn't necessary, but I'll occasionally play other people's copies.

I should also should mention that the CD is really annoying. I find it difficult to understand what is being said sometimes; especially when players are talking to each other, trying to figure out should be done.

mdp4828
4
Let's see... Roborally (programmed actions), meets Pandemic (cooperative), meets Space Dealer (real time), the three mechanics I hate most. The game doesn't get a worse rating because it's short enough not to waste much of your time if you happen to have to play it.

CortexBomb
2
To be bluntly honest, I'm not a particular fan of co-op games, and programmed actions aren't really my bag either. Surprise, surprise, Space Alert didn't really work for me.

The game has a nice theme and pretty solid art and components. The premise is fairly straight-forward: players are hanging out on a space ship with 2 decks and 3 rooms each. In each room, there are big buttons that do things like charge the shields, and fire the guns at the various space beasties that are attacking. Guns are often too weak to kill the space critters, so firing in cooperation with the other players is often critical. Energy can run out quickly, so someone has to take care of recharging stuff lower in the ship. The goal is to survive the onslaught (primary) and take trophies (secondary).

What will probably make or break the game for the average person is the way actions are carried out, which is via programmed actions on individual player boards, and which is done "secretly," but with each player being allowed to tell everyone else what it is that they're doing. Because of the timing required for all of the moves, the table quickly becomes a mish-mash of questions, answers, and card placements. What generally ends up occurring as a result during the actions is entertaining gaffes which cascade and create all sorts of problems further down the line. It's sort of amusing, but it's also annoying to me in that making an effective plan almost requires someone giving orders to the table, or at least some sort of system because it is way too chaotic to deal with input from 4 other people at once about what they're planning to do and what they have in their hands.

For some reason I want to liken it to a cocktail party from hell: 4 people are trying to talk to you at once while an out of control DJ is barking out nonsense through his microphone, which is annoying everyone in the room. Meanwhile the exterior of the building is being ravaged by wild animals which the guests are occasionally taking potshots at with their assault rifles.

I dislike most co-ops in general because I simply cannot invest myself in the experience as a game, I win, I lose, it largely feels like pushing bits around and seeing what happens. I dislike Space Alert with particular vehemence because there is so much specific communication required to do anything effectively, and yet 5 players are required which makes adequately communicating everything with the whole table incredibly frustrating. Playing with fewer would do little to clear the muddle, since then players are assigned multiple boards, which increases the amount of things to mentally process. Not my thing, at all.
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