Angry Robot

Conspiracy Culture

Hm, I’d never heard of this bookstore on Queen West. Worth checking out.

Fallout Retrospective

I’ve never played Fallout or Fallout 2 but this brought me up to speed, sorta.

Some iPhone Game Reviews


Thanks to Ram for tipping me off on this one. It’s an RTS at it’s simplest; it’s a fast-loading, fast-playing game that is nonetheless strategic. In other words, a one-hitter for strategy nerds. There’s a Galcon Lite for free that may serve your needs, or the $5 Galcon proper offers multiplayer and several different game modes.

Toy Bot Diaries
This is an excellent platformer based on grappling hook and magnetic boot gameplay. The controls (accelerometer and touch) are perfect, and the art and levels excellently made. Just an all-round great game. $4.

Aurora Feint: The Beginning
An inventive puzzler with RPG elements, like Puzzle Quest without the story. It’s fun, well-designed, imaginative and free.


Blue Skies
A top-down arcade helicopter shooter controlled via accelerometer. I haven’t played much of this one, but what I have played I have loved – I have a feeling after a couple more hours logged I’d move it into the must-have category. $3; free Lite version is fairly robust with 7 levels.

Field Runners
There are a couple free tower defense games in the App Store that are like meh, and then there is this one. It’s $5, very slick and has one major flaw: there’s only one level. You can keep playing for ages, but the enemies will just march in a straight line toward your base, meaning it doesn’t really require a lot of strategy, just gradual accumulation of towers. Word on the street is that a free update will add levels, which will be a Good Thing.

Tap Tap Revenge
Very pretty rhythm tapping game. It’s free, but marred by Apple’s restrictions on 3rd party apps – namely, you can’t tap along with your own music.

This is a port of a Sega CD game. It’s an old school Japanese RPG. I was thrilled to see something a little more hardcore for the iPhone, so I shelled out the $5… and haven’t really played it much. Perhaps hardcore games don’t work well on the iPhone, perhaps I have enough of them on my DS & PSP, perhaps I have simply overdosed on JRPGs of late. Perhaps a little of each.


Sudoku (EA version)
You know what’s really annoying? Slick, well-executed animation that makes you wait for it to finish before you can keep playing. That, and paying $10 for something that is now $2. That, and there being so many sudoku apps now that even thinking about trying some of the other ones makes me want to take a nap.

Cube Runner
This is a simple, free, 3D, accelerometer-controlled flying game. By simple I mean the graphics are from 1986. But it’s good for a few minutes, and … see how ‘free’ lowers one’s standards?

Billy Frontier
Long-time mac developer Pangea has a bunch of games on the iPhone and while I’m sure some of them are good, this isn’t one of them. It’s okay, I guess – more or less a western-themed mini-game collection. But it’s slow to load and crashy, which gets in the way of the quick-fix entertainment it’s meant to provide.

Well, that’s it for now. I’m fascinated by the trunkload of racing apps out on the ‘Store now, so that may be the next thing I, er, take for a spin.

Debate with Laugh Track

This is so weird:

Why can’t the whole campaign be a comedy-off?

28 Days Later

Hello, Robot! The break from you has been invigorating. You were probably happy to be left alone for a while, too.

I’ve been fairly obsessed with elections. In Canada, ours just wrapped up, and the enlightened pragmatist must be happy with the results: Conservative minority. The Conservatives are trying to say that since their minority is larger than before, it’s an empowering victory that means Canada supports them. Well, what were they gonna say, “we fucked up?” If only we got press releases like that in politics. Truth is, they botched things and now they’re right back where they were before, only now they can’t call another election for a while, in which time the Liberals will replace Dion with what we can only assume will be a more appealing candidate. Who will it be, though, I wonder?

My politics slot me into the extreme bottom left corner of this scale. I’m a small-state leftist. I don’t like the state intervening in people’s lives, yet I do believe we have an obligation to support those going through tough times, and I believe there are spheres of life in which the profit motive has no place. I consider large corporations more of a threat to the typical citizen than the government, yet I’m a huge fan of small business.

Yeah, what are you gonna do. I guess I’d be an anarchist if I thought any of the anarchist models would actually work in real life. So I’m not pretending I have all the answers. Hell, if the best Plato could come up with is the artist-hating Republic, yours truly isn’t going to sort this shit out.

Anyway, let that be a circuitous way of explaining how I was considering voting Green. I had generally been scared away from the Green by a) hearing they actually were more conservative than the NDP and b) thinking voting green would simply drain seats from the NDP (true). But I quite liked their platform and leader. Unfortunately, you can’t look at the Canuck political landscape without seeing a massive splintering of the left vote contrasted with a consolidated right vote that, not coincidentally, is in power. I hope mandatory voting and proportional representation make their way to Canada soon. Not holding breath tho.

On the US side, Obama gives good speech and all, but the policies are actually fairly conservative from the Canadian point of view. He’d be better than McCain, that’s for sure. It’s like Captain Okay vs. Decrepit Lizard Man and Crazy Lady – you gotta go with the Captain. And the campaign has been entertaining as hell, which has kept me glued to TPM and 538 to see what awesome garbage Team Lizard is selling today. And of course The Daily Show and Colbert are totally killing it. The writing on those shows is phenomenal.