Google Maps Quest

For April 1st Google is pulling several pranks but the best is by far the Quest option on Google maps. Simply visit google maps and on the right click the “Quest” option next to the standard “Satellite” option.

Wow, I really do live in the middle of nowhere! I love how many of the surrounding areas seem right at home on an 8-bit questing map.

(Click for larger image)

The 8bit fun continues on street view as well.  I don’t remember painting my house red…

Gunpoint Preview: Best Indie Game Of 2012?

I’ve been beta-testing a new game recently and it’s too good not to share – you know, in a quick review, that is, not the actual game.  Gunpoint is a “game about rewiring things and punching people” according to creator Tom Francis. Which actually sums up the cunningly simple idea behind this superhero spy game that equally rewards thinking and aggression.  Not to mention it gives one a peek at the wit baked into this indie game.

So here’s the premise: you are spy tasked with retrieving vital info from a secure data terminal.  You are armed with your basic Spiderman spy gear that lets you leap and fall great distances as well as climb walls. Cool but the fun part is that you also get a crosslink device that can rewire lights, security doors, elevators, surveillance cameras and more.  As an example, you could wire the elevator door to the lights on a level with a guard so that your arrival kills the light and send the guard over to the light switch while you slip by undetected…  Or sneak up to pounce on him from behind and punch him in the face! The choice is yours.

Here’s another example from fellow beta-tester and reviewer Will:

I’m standing at the window of a building. Across a small alleyway stands another building, with a guard, above me, looking out. I’m safe now, but when I move my cursor into the space between the buildings, it turns red, telling me that I’ll be seen as soon as I step (or leap) outside. He’s in pouncing range, and I’ve upgraded my leap enough to propel me through the window, but there’s no chance I’ll cross the distance before he puts a bullet in me. I could shoot HIM, maybe, but I’ve still got objectives left in the level, and no time to clear them before the sniper shows up, blocking the exit.

I slip into Crosslink mode, look at my options. I’m in luck! The switch behind me is on the same circuit (devices on different circuits can’t be linked together, usually) as the lights on his floor. I hook my switch to his lights, exit Crosslink, and flick it. Lights go out, he turns around to turn them back on, and as soon as his back is turned, I pounce, crashing through the window and slamming my fist into his face. Awesome.

But those are simple examples.  You can chain together several devices to cause some pretty creative mayhem.  Think rube goldberg machine and you get the idea.  The great thing about Gunpoint is the number of “i wonder if…” ideas that actually work.  Spoiler Sentence: Watching a guard raise his gun at my head only to trigger a door that knocks him unconscious instead of tragically ending my illustrious spy career: priceless.

Pricing and release date have yet to be set, but trust me: you want this game.  It achieves an excellent balance of clever puzzles (for you) and traps (for them) with enough superhero action to feel like a real spy.

UPDATE: After many delays, Gunpoint is now available for just $9!

Alienware Gaming “Netbook” Launches This Weekend

dell_alienware_m11x.jpgDell showed off it’s smallest Alienware iteration at CES last month but details were scarce.  Now the leaks have been put together here for your enjoyment.  There was some anticipation when everyone believed the the pocket gamer would start at $999.  However the recent news of a $799 base price has a lot more people interested.  Of course Alienware has historically offered a few options to help customers up that base price.

Dell Alienware m11x specs:

  • Screen: 11.6″ 1366×768
  • Weight: 4.39lbs
  • CPU: 1.3Ghz Core 2 Duo SU7300 (also a Pentium SU4100 option)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GT335M GPU + switchable integrated graphics (most likely 4500HD)
  • Ports: 3 USBs, an HDMI, DisplayPort, mini FireWire, VGA and a SIM slot
  • Battery life: 6.5 hours with integrated graphics; 2 hours gaming

The m11x will be the first Intel CULV processor to be matched up to a discrete graphics card AND the first gaming rig in the 11″ form factor.

Get those credit cards ready!  :D

Chris Matthews & Howard Dean Call Each Other Crazy

This video is hilarious!

If more news was like this A) more people would watch and B) we’d have a more honest government

War is breaking out among liberals, and the entertainment value might make Avatar look like a test signal.

Just make yourself comfortable, sit back, and watch Chris Matthews and Howard Dean go after each other on this evening’s Hardball. Dean was floating the absurd argument that by choosing Scott Brown over Martha Coakley, voters were sending a secret coded message that they really wanted a health care bill . . . more liberal than the current Obamacare version.

Matthews calls Dean out on his lack of logic, and the pair wind up trading accusations of craziness.