I first heard about Braid last year when I attended Free Play 2007, the independent games expo here in Melbourne, in my capacity as Planet Nerd‘s roving reporter. Braid creator Jonathan Blow was the keynote speaker, though I missed his address and only caught him on an excellent panel about game design. The key thing that piqued my interest was repeated mentions of its “rewind” feature; this isn’t really a new idea – it’s been used in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, for example – but for it to be included in a game by an independent developer of Blow’s calibre certainly piqued my interest. Having been thinking about recently, I was doubly interested in the game when it was released this week for Xbox LIVE Arcade.
Once you get past the lovely prose and gorgeous painted visuals (by David Hellman of one of my favourite web comics, A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible) you quickly discover that this game is like an art-rock version of Super Mario Bros. You jump from platform to platform in a series of “Worlds”, jumping on the heads of diminutive enemies (who resemble Grug more than anything else), and trying to collect the pieces of puzzles which illustrate the game’s backstory. Read more
It’s been a while, I know; the web site is undergoing a redesign behind the scenes, which is why things have been a bit quiet there. But I had to let you know about an upcoming gig at the Melbourne Museum for Science Week!
Yes, science week is only a week away, and on Friday, August 24, the Museum celebrates in uniquely Melbourne style with “Not the Nobel Prize”. Four scientists will present their theories – but only two of them are presenting real science! A panel of comedians, consisting of Tommy Dean, Claire Hooper, Sue-Ann Post and yours truly, will have to figure out which is which.
Personally, I think I have an unfair advantage…
Tickets are $12/$10, and the show kicks off at 7pm. You need to book, and the number to call is 13 11 02. There’s an unconfirmed second show at 9pm on the same evening, which likely will depend on numbers.
For more info, check out the Museum’s web site or head to the Comedy Festival site’s gig guide.
And don’t forget, there are still a few more weeks of the Channel 31 programming featuring me! You can catch Planet Nerd on Thursdays at 10pm, and TheatreGames LIVE on Fridays at 10pm.
Until next week, keep your Ockham’s razor nice and sharp!
This is a heads up to those of you in Melbourne that this Thursday, June 7, is the premiere of Planet Nerd, a new variety show hosted by Dan Walmsley covering everything geeky, nerdy and interesting – and featuring me! It’s true – geek is chic, nerd is the new cool, and you can dive right in to a whole geeky universe of fun with Planet Nerd! The first episode features one man’s tale of anguish over the iPhone, the Weekly Whedon with Simon Barber, and the real deal with roleplaying conventions in a documentary presented by yours truly, Ben McKenzie, kickin’ it live on location.
Planet Nerd screens at 10pm on Thursdays from June 7 to August 30 on Channel 31 in Melbourne. If you’re not in Melbourne, you can still get a taste by hitting the Planet Nerd web site at http://planetnerd.tv and checking out some of the clips we’ve posted on the Interweb.
Hope you all had a lovely World Environment Day on Tuesday – I spent mine at CERES 25th birthday!