Your Move

Board games. Video games. Anything but mind games. KMUW commentator Sam McConnell explores the latest (and the time-tested) world of games.

Your Move can also be found on iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.

fleur-design / Flickr / Creative Commons

Now that school is starting, kids are hopefully scaling back on video games and spending some time studying. But some of my favorite games of all time I actually was exposed to through school, and were fun enough to disguise the fact that I could actually be learning through gameplay.

Samuel McConnell / KMUW

I really enjoy playing tabletop RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, but I rarely get around to playing them.

When I was younger, I played weekly. But now I play with people who are in their 30s and 40s. You need to schedule an entire evening or even a whole day around playing the game, and finding a day that everyone can come over without having to hire babysitters or take time off of work... well, if it happens once a year I consider myself lucky.

Normally, gamers who are excited for an upcoming blockbuster title have to wait until the game’s release date to get a good taste of it. However, with the upcoming game Destiny, gamers had a whole week to play, even though it’s not released until September.

Destiny is a first-person shooter, developed by Bungie, which is best known for the Halo series. In the Destiny beta test, you get to play the first bit of the game, exploring a part of Russia that is under enemy control.

Ryan Somma / Flickr / Creative Commons

The summer has been pretty light on new game releases, so instead I’ve gone back to play some of my old favorites. Recently I’ve been playing the first game in the Mass Effect trilogy, which came out for the Xbox 360 and PC in 2007. / Google Images / Creative Commons

Music in video games has come a long way from the bleeps and bloops heard in the very first games.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, is the biggest video game industry trade show of the year. Last week at the Expo, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all showed off the games they’ll be releasing in the next 12 months.

Sam McConnell

There are some games that I’ll almost always buy, simply because of the name. Super Mario. Street Fighter. The Legend of Zelda. Pokémon. Final Fantasy. Mario Kart. It isn’t just because of brand loyalty, but rather that the quality of these games is always of such a caliber that I’ve never felt disappointed. So when Mario Kart 8 came out last week, I didn’t wait for a single review before I rushed out and bought it.

Last year, way back when I was at PAX East, I played an early demo of a game that I got very excited about. The game, called Transistor, came out on Tuesday and I’ve had a chance to spend a little time with it.

In this game, you play as a fiery-haired singer named Red who narrowly escapes her would-be assassins, called The Process.

Fletcher Powell / KMUW

I play games on my Nintendo 3DS pretty often. Some games are better suited to portable systems, and the 3DS has a few features completely unique to it.

Maybe my favorite of these is called StreetPass. When your 3DS is off, in your pocket or backpack or wherever, it periodically sends out a ping using its wireless radio. If there is another 3DS in range, it will receive that ping, the two systems will exchange data, and a little green light on the top of the 3DS will light up to tell me I’ve StreetPassed with someone.

Bart Brunscheen

I’ve talked a lot about board games here, but, you know, board games are expensive. Some of the games I’ve mentioned cost upwards of $50. And some other games I’ve played, with all of the expansions added, cost well above $100.

This is comparable to video games, sure, but finding copies used or deeply discounted can be a problem. Many board games simply fall out of print instead of being sold for less than the asking price. For many people, they’re simply unaffordable.