Wednesday, August 27, 2003

  • THE THING: The game called: Safari Jack Remix.

          A few simple rules...
              You get playing in minutes.
                  Easy and novel.

    Ah, another Cheapass Game. They make nifty stuff. For someone who collects games (like me), it's nice to have ones like Safari Jack for many reasons... let me count the ways...

    First, it's a nifty concept: You and an opponent are competing on safari -- you are each trying to collect the most animal samples. Safari! What could be more fun! OK, maybe 2 or 3 things, but it's still a fun, wild concept.

    Second, it's easy. A turn is just: pick a card, lay down a card, and move one space. There are 4 different terrains, and you need to place a terrain card adjacent to one of the same type. OR, you can place the card face down -- it acts as a 'base camp', which is a sort of wild card. If you get on a space that has a point value, you get that many points. You cannot move onto the tile you just laid down, so there is some serious strategy involved. Once someone gets to 15 points, the safari has been won... scoop up the cards and shuffle again.

    Third, it's quick. A game lasts about 11 to 13 minutes. The first game or two might take a little longer, but once you get into the swing of things, you can zip through a game. You can run through a few rounds on a lunch hour.

    Fourth, it's cheap! Five bucks! All you get are the cards and the directions in the pouch. You need to add tokens to act as your little safari venturing dude, and 2 sets of counters to mark the points that have been claimed. Some people whine about not getting all the necessary pieces, but it keeps the price down, and I always enjoy personalizing my cheapass games with my own tokens and counters. I went out and bought some glass-bead-nugget things in red and yellow to mark the two teams, and I made little safari-dude hats to march around the tiles. It's almost as if they were made for it. (Or at least I like the think so.)

    Fifth, it's small! It's part of the Cheapass Games Hip Pocket series. All the games are hip, AND fit in your pocket (thus, it's an appropriate name...)... hardly as large as a deck of cards. So, they are easy to tote, and easy to store.

Final Score on the Chris Worth Scale: $9.95. The game is actually just $5!! That is a steal. If you play it five or ten times, it's found its value... I hope you'll play this one a lot more...

Monday, August 25, 2003

  • THE THING: This TV show: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge
          Japanese game show
              entertaining painful stunts
                  redubbed in English.
    Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (MXC) is on the Spike TV network (it used to be TNN, which used to stand for The National Network, which used to stand for The Nashville Network... I think).

    Is it so wrong to enjoy watching people subject themselves to horribly painful stunts?

    I have no idea of the actual point of the show, because they change it from the original Japanese. The show is a dubbed-over portrayal of a show called Takeshi's Castle. They contestants have to get through bunches of obstacles to get to the castle. All are hilarious. The Spinning Surfboard of Death. Sinkers and Floaters. Brass Balls. Basically, they are all ways to beat up the contestants. They have to wear a helmet, so they generally don't get TOO hurt.

    The dubbing obviously has NOTHING to do with the original dialogue. They replace the original speech with rapid-fire lewd comments and single entendres. It's just funny.

    When they first had it on, there was a 4 hour marathon, and I think I sat through every episode.

    It will be a long time until I get sick of this show.

    But, I am easily pleased.

    Just watch it.