Friday, October 25th, 2013
Computer Game #2: “Warcraft II” (1996)
Long before World of Warcraft borgified the internet, Warcraft was a clever and humorous real-time strategy game where you chopped down trees, built castles, raised troops and raided your buddies’ kingdoms. While you could take on the missions laid out like chapters in a sprawling narrative, the real fun of the game — as always — was playing against your friends, no matter where they were. Warcraft II’s battle.net helped coordinate team play in the early days of the web, and enabled you to join forces with a co-worker and beat up your brother in Baltimore. Good times.
Monday, October 7th, 2013
Computer Game #9: “Starcraft” (1998)
Blizzard didn’t invent the Real Time Strategy (RTS) game, but they perfected it with Starcraft. Set in the far future, humans and two very different alien races battled for control of the galaxy. You could run any of the three races (each with their own unique strategies) and play against up to 8 other gamers, in teams or individually, over LANs or on the Internet. Find resources, build factories, create armies and launch attacks against your opponent, while they tried to do the same to you.
With Starcraft you could build and control hundreds of units, all with different abilities, sending them in battle or ordering them to lie in wait to ambush your buddies. Like every other game, ever, it was best when played against friends, talking trash in text or in person (although the Koreans apparently took it to a whole nuther level with professional teams.)