Dragon’s Lair on Android

My wife has become addicted to Candy Crush on her Kindle Fire. Seeing her indulging her addiction made me wonder if I should look for a game to play on my Kindle Fire. I don’t game much on the Kindle as I don’t find the controls that accessible (I have the Atari collection, for example, but I can’t really do any serious gaming on it because the controls are so unwieldy). Still, I decided to look and I found something I’ve always wanted: Dragon’s Lair.

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I have always wanted a home version of Dragon’s Lair. I’ve wanted it for a couple of reasons. One is that I like the game. The other is that I’m no good at it and I need a home version that doesn’t require quarters so I can learn to last more than five seconds. I’ve never been able to find this home version. Even the PC versions I bought didn’t work. I think this was because they were always a system behind whatever system I was using and I was no good at hacking them. But that is now moot, because the Android Dragon’s Lair is the port I have been waiting for. It is even better, actually. Not only does the Dragon’s Lair app have the arcade version, an exact translation of what you found in the arcade, but it also has a home version, which includes deleted scenes.

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I was quite pleased with those options. I was also quite pleased with the controls. Dragon’s Lair doesn’t really require aggressive controlling, so controlling wasn’t a problem. I got much further through the game my first time through than I ever did in the arcade. It looks pretty good as well.

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Now this Dragon’s Lair will put a hurting on your Kindle storage. After it originally installed, it had to download additional data, and I think that data was 5 gig, more than half my 8 gig Fire HD. That aside, it is the best version of the game I have personally had, and I’m quite happy with it. You can get it for a reasonable $4.99 in the Kindle App store. There is also a Space Ace app as well. I did not see Dragon’s Lair 2, but hopefully that will be coming soon. Until it does, I highly recommend the original.

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And don’t forget to check out my book Arcadian, which describes my original experiences with Dragon’s Lair in the arcades!

The Space Invaders

I couldn’t make it to this year’s California Extreme arcade game convention, and I’m super bummed about it, not just because I missed a chance to play some great retro games, but also because I just learned about a great documentary that was shown there. That documentary is called The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time.

I haven’t gotten to watch this documentary yet, but I will later this week and will write a review on Retroist.com. I can tell from this trailer, though, that I’m going to love it.

If you want to beat me to it, you can get The Space Invaders from both Amazon.com as well as from the director’s web site. Check it out and let me know what you think!

The History of SNK

I’m not sure if Neo-Geo machines got a mention in the final chapter of Arcadian or not, but I remember seeing them in arcade during my high school years.  I also remember being aware of the home console.  I never played either, but I was interested in them.  I was particularly interested in the memory card feature.  I don’t know how it actually worked, but I thought it allowed you to take the arcade game home with you.  If that’s not how it worked, it is how it should have worked.

I remained interested enough in the Neo-Geo to watch this short doc on the rise and fall of SNK.  If you were a Neo-Geo fan (or just a casual observer like me), check it out.

 

Invasion of the Space Invaders

So I’m on a video game book jag, and I can’t get off it without mentioning this one: Invasion of the Space Invadersby Martin Amis.

Just the author and title are enough to give us some pause here.  The author is apparently a well-known literary writer.  I have to take that from other folks, because I’ve neither read any of his books nor heard of him, but that’s what I’ve been told.  The title is a tautology.  Invasion of the Space Invaders?  Of course they’re invading.  They’re invaders!

There are apparently some real gems in the book as well.  I say apparently because the book is out of print and used copies are going on Ebay for as high as $200, putting it far out of my range.  But here are some of the quotes I’ve dredged up:

PacMan player, be not proud, nor too macho, and you will prosper on the dotted screen.

There is something wilful, is there not, something voulu, about putting the last coins you own into one of these squat monsters . . . that is part of the spur. What more eloquent and effortless way of showing that you don’t care, that nothing matters? . . . Money has never looked cheaper. It looks disposable, throwaway stuff.

Before . . . these tribes of spacefaced conquered would brood about God, Hell, the Father of Lies, the fate of the spirit, with the soul imagined as an inner being . . . But now the invader is a graph shadow swathed in spools and printouts, and he wears an alien face.

Yeah, that’s a little more esoteric than I got with Arcadian.  That prose, together with the fact that the author has disowned the book and Steven Spielberg wrote the intro, has made this book quite a highly sought prize.  I’m not going to plunk down the $200 to get it, but if you do, let me know how it is.  And if you’d just like a sample, you can find it here.

Wikipedia’s List of Video Game Books

Researching the Pac-Mania books led me to Wikipedia’s list of books about video games.  I knew there were a lot of such books, but I never knew there were this many.  Some of the books are technical, covering game design, but a lot are history or memoir or “how to beat” books.  I’ve read or at least seen several on the list, such as Extra LivesThe Ultimate History of Video Games, and Racing The Beam.

The only bad thing about this list?  Arcadian is not on it!