My Turn

God has taken to walking into the room, looking at the screen of my iPad, shaking her head, and then walking out again.

Maybe it’s ’cause she doesn’t like to hear me swear. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t like to see me upset. Maybe it’s that at those times I’m just not very good company. What she’s been seeing on the screen is a game called “Strategery.” I play it way too much and have done so almost since I first got the iPad. It’s kind of an addiction.

And it doesn’t make any sense that I keep playing. The basic mechanic of the game is great, and the graphics are fairly nice, but almost everything else really sucks. There’s a bunch of different options you can set that can have a fairly significant impact on the game. I’ve settled on a set of them that seem, to me, to be the best trade off between giving me control over my in-game destiny and making it just too tedious to bother. I should probably go with the too-tedious settings and then maybe I’ll stop playing.

So with the settings I’ve chosen: The game generates a random map on which to play and assigns random starting positions to four computer players and me. About 80% of these starting setups are essentially unwinnable or are only winnable if you get lucky on the dice fairly early in the game. Given that it’s a “strategy” game, I don’t see any point in playing a setup that will be decided early almost completely on luck. Of the remaining twenty percent, about two-thirds are so easy to win that it’s more like exercise than fun, you just go through the motions until you’ve done enough repetitions for the game to be over. And in the remaining five percent or so of games the dice can still go wildly against you and you can lose in the most seemingly improbable ways that have little or nothing to do with how well you’re playing.

But I haven’t found anything that fills its niche better, so I keep playing, keep swearing, and keep dying just a little bit inside. God tells me there are much better things I could be doing with my time, but she hasn’t actually told me to stop. I wonder if I would if she did.

RSS feed


No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.