Puzzling Encounters: Lock & Key

The Point and Click Adventure genre leans a little too heavily on one very simple puzzle which I’ll refer to here as the Lock & Key: finding Thing A and applying to Thing B in order to proceed.

To be clear, things A and B can be a wide variety of things, a ladder and a wall, a photograph and a person, an ostrich and a sandwich toaster, or an actual key that corresponds to an actual lock. We can all thing of a few dozen examples, if pressed we could probably come up with that many from the same title. Grim Fandango, Machinarium, the Discworld game series, to an extent one could argue The Room, all make heavy use of this basic set up. Why?

Well, ignoring for a moment the fact that it is very simple and easy to put together in game, from a game design perspective it’s no bad thing either. It’s an un-failable task, you can’t get it wrong, you can only keep trying. It’s an obstacle to be overcome, to face the next obstacle, and the next one, and the next one. Occasionally you’ll see something different, I’d just like to offer a few suggestions of how we can shake up the genre.

Monkey Wrench? Really?

Continue reading “Puzzling Encounters: Lock & Key”

Kickstarter Highlight – Rogues to Riches

Do you like rogues?

Do you like riches?

Would you like to be going from rogues to riches?

Look no further, we’re back once more with another inexplicably imaginative Kickstarter Highlight.

Kickstarter Highlight


Rogues to Riches – a Game for the Criminally Imaginative

What is it?

With this Kickstarter campaign launched by Sam Fraser, Rogues to Riches is a storytelling card game for a small group of 3 to 5 players, where you have to basically create a story as to how you were able to steal the riches. Who owns these riches? Your opposing players do, of course – But they also have Trap cards!

I’m sorry, I really couldn’t resist explaining to the world that this game contains trap cards.

To overcome the trap cards, you have gear cards and you have to devise a believable plan as to how you’d get into your opponents base and how you’d defeat the Trap cards. Furthermore, the person who is being stolen from has to decide how to defend their lair with their Trap card.

The game is won by logic being dictated by the remaining players, who vote up or vote down the plans.

It’s a very simple game logic, which is basically a stripped back storytelling game, not giving you quite as much freedom as some games of this type, but for good reason. There are limitations to what you can do: But it’s your imagination that’ll see you through.

Look at these wonderful, criminal masterminds just having a right old jolly together!


How much do they need?

They are asking for $16,500 Canadian Dollars. At the time of writing, they are up to $6,883 with 27 days to go, pretty impressive if you ask me.

They have actually made a lovely graphic showing what it is they need the money for, which is broken down below!

Well, that’s a good enough breakdown!

Inside of the box you’ll receive:

– 56 Gear Cards,
– 48 Trap Cards,
– 22 Riches Cards,
– 12 Lairs,
– Blank gear & trap cards- 2 dice


What do backers get?

  • Pledge $1 or more

    Thank You Email and Downloadable Rogues to Riches lite – You’ll get a link to download a Print and Play (PNP) version of Rogues to Riches. You’ll be able to check out the artwork and the gameplay. It will have fewer cards and Lairs than the manufactured version, but it will be enough to play at least a few games.

    Estimated delivery: Sep 2014
    Pledge $10 or more

    Signed Card – I’ll send you a Rogues to Riches card in the mail, signed by me and artist Julianne Harnish. Your card might be one that’s not available in the PNP version. You can choose a Trap, Gear, or Riches card. Includes PNP files.

    Estimated delivery: Oct 2014

    Pledge $43 or more

    Game reward tier – One pristine copy of Rogues to Riches. May it brighten your days. Canada, the US, and Western Europe only. Includes PNP files.

    Estimated delivery: Jun 2015
    Some of the awesome gear cards you can play. I especially need me a Beast of Burden!

There we have it then, for just $1, you can get a downloadable version of the game! Excellent, huh? Plus it’s an extra $1 towards the official release of this game. You can’t beat that for value, right?

What do you think of the concept behind a storytelling card game? I’ve played one before at Kitacon and it was absolutely incredible – So this to me is an exciting game and yes: I don’t mind being criminally inventive just for the sake of a card game!

So, what do you all think of this weeks Kickstarter Highlight? Come join us again next week and as always, please do keep talking with your comments in the comments section below!

Kickstarter Highlight – Lil’Bot, the little robot that could


Have you ever wanted a little robot companion?

Did you ever want a little robot that could..?

Have you ever just been interested in robotics but with no educational way into it, found it quite tricky?

Then look no further, it’s clearly time for another Kickstarter Highlight!

Lil’Bot, the little robot that could

Click here for the kickstarter campaign

These are the emotions that this little bot displays! How cute!

First of all, let me stop to say this is just adorable. This is simple a balancing robot, which isn’t unheard of, but it’s been designed in a way that children can get into the logic and programming aspects of robotics… And believe you me, it’s an awesome skill for a kid to learn.

With Arduino and Raspberry Pi, Makey Makey and much more out there, it’s getting to be a competitive market for these fun learning aids. However, there is certainly room for a balancing robot to join the giants.

How cute these balancing robots are these days… and what a lot of features it has!

With a programming interface that is made up of visual blocks for coding in, children and non-programmers who are just looking to dabble will get a first hand experience of programming their own Lil’Bot.

Just take heed: This little baby takes either 7 or 8 (Undecided) AA batteries, so you’ll need to make sure you’ve got sufficient battery power!

How much is needed?

But, let’s be serious for a second then, what does the creator of the Lil’Bot want for his time?

He simply is asking for $15,000, of which $9,194 has already been pledged towards this project, with 29 days to go as of the time of writing this post.

$15,000 is quite a low ask for a Kickstarter campaign and because of the type of project this is, along with the credibility of the creator, this is looking to be a successful project regardless.


What’s the rewards?

That warm fuzzy feeling. But in seriousness, here are the rewards on offer.


  • Pledge $1 or more

    Thank you! I appreciate your interest. You will be posted on projects updates. You can also help by spreading the news about Lil’Bot through your favorite social media.

    Estimated delivery: Jun 2014
  • Pledge $25 or more

    An “official” Lil’Bot shirt. You will have a chance to specify a child size (XS/S/M/L/XL) or adult size (S/M/L/XL/XXL) before delivery.

    Estimated delivery: Jul 2014
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $30 or more

    A kit for Lil’Bot’s emoShield, the Arduino-compatible shield that lets your robot express its emotions. This shield can also be used with Arduino Uno and similar boards for your robot-psychology experiments. This requires soldering a number of SMD and through-hole components. For intermediate to advanced hobbyists.

    Estimated delivery: Aug 2014
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $40 or more

    Lil’Bot’s emoShield, the Arduino-compatible shield that lets your robot express its emotions. This shield can also be used with any Arduino Uno and similar boards for your robot-psychology experiments.

    Estimated delivery: Aug 2014
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $40 or more

    A bare Lil’Bot printed circuit board. This requires soldering of two QFN chips and many SMD and through-hole components. The board can be used to build a Lil’Bot or other kinds of robots, balancing or not. For the seasoned hardware hacker only.

    Estimated delivery: Jul 2014
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US

These are some fun rewards for someone who’s interested. If you’re interested in just finding out more about the project as it is worked on, simply donate whatever you want and choose the $1 tier reward.

What do you think about a balancing robot as an educational aid for children? I think it’s awesome, as a child I always wanted little robots. Since then, I’ve played with many crazy robots that have done some funny things. Sometimes, though – It’s nice to take a step back, remember your childhood and enjoy that learning experience all over again.