Author: Rene Marin

Play Duplicate Bridge

“Duplicate Bridge” by Alfred Sheinwold, Dover Publication, New York, NY, 1971, originally published in 1954, 158 pages, Library of Congress Number: 75-156814, Reprints ISBN: 0-486-22741-3.

In this book you will learn about seating assignments, shuffling the deck, bidding, and how to play the cards. You’ll also you learn strategies and about traveling score slips, entering the score and moving to the next round. Match points are counted differently and just totaling the points is not enough when figuring out the private scorecard to get to your total score. Chapter 2 of this book is excellent talking about the general principles of tournament play.

In duplicate bridge safety is not enough, and it pays to play for the advantage. But don’t forget there are ethics and etiquette involved in play of this type. In this book you will learn who your true opponents are and all about fail numbers and hair-trigger doubles. Do Bill Gates and Warren Buffett play this style? Perhaps not, or perhaps they do, I am uncertain but it is quite competitive. There are standard principles of bidding, offensive bidding in duplicate, and competitive bidding during the same. You may not know this but there are special bidding conventions also. In this book it gets all into that as well.

If you are bridge player you need to learn how to play bridge different ways, that’s what makes it so intriguing, and one of the best card games sports there is. Some people think that bridge is only for old people, trust me when I tell you that isn’t true. After you read this book you’ll see why. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.


Simcity

Time is passing, and every decision you make has a future consequence. Your assistant, Dr. Wright, can help you make the right decisions. Just ask! Surprise catastrophes also threaten your growing city like fire, earthquakes, airplane crashes, even a giant Koopa who has a nose for industrial pollution!

Will you build the ideal city? Or will disgruntled citizens leave you with a ghost town?

SimCity was released for the Super Nintendo in 1991, being one of the first games released, right after the initial three (Mario World, F-Zero and Pilotwings). There really is not a whole lot to say about the story; You have been elected mayor of a barren land form (Plus some water) and your goal is to turn it into a Megalopolis of 500,000 citizens. Sound easy? It’s not.

The Graphics do fit within the game well and by themselves they are genuinely above average. The music is just simply great as the game play fits perfectly within the game structure. Making it all blend together very nicely, making this very enjoyable to play.

This game was not a showcase for the SNES’s graphic capabilities, nor was it meant to be. Nonetheless, there were some pretty cool effects here like when the seasons change every three months, thus changing the color of the forests from green to brown to white. The ”zones” do not look as they would in real life, especially when they are first built.

Airports and Seaports look pretty nice. It is also fairly easy to tell what is going on, which is always a plus for example when a zone needs Power, you will see a lightning bolt flash on and off it. Some structures are also animated, the Industrial Zones in particular.

To be honest, until you get to Metropolis (100,000 citizens), the music is really kind of annoying but before that, the Disaster theme will be one of the best you will hear. The music does seem to fit whatever stage of development your city is in. Of course, when the music does get annoying, it really does not help.

Sound effects wise, there’s a really slim selection, besides the clicking of icons and the placement of zones. Sometimes you get a rail car starting up, or a Plane taking off (Or crashing down, right before that cool disaster music). Other than that, there is not really a whole lot to the sound effects through out the game.

While it is true that the game would really benefit from a mouse device, this game predated the SNES mouse by a year or so, so that was not an option. In spite of this, the game controls really well, and there’s quite a bit to do, even in the light of this game’s sequels, Simcity 2000 and 3000. You can set game speed, wreak disasters on your city at will (Though you can not invoke the almighty Nuclear Meltdown… ), or go to Dr. Wright for some advice.

Of course, in order to accomplish your goal, you will have to listen to your citizens, and give them what they want. The Icon interface allows you to access this info whenever you need it. As far as building your city goes, it’s really simple: Just click on the structure you want to build, find a place for it, push a button, and “BAM” there is your structure.

While it’s not really a story, the basic premise was very original for its time. You are the mayor of a city that you have to guide to Megalopolisdom. Keep in mind that Story was not a very important part of video games in 1991, not that the premise would have been any different. But let’s face it, it is not the story that will keep you playing this game.

Quite honestly, I’m of the belief that pulling off a Megalopolis the right way is the single toughest feat in all of video gaming. And the Big Money Code you probably already know about does not really make it any easier. As with any game of its kind, you have to go slow and build up a solid financial base before you can build at any sort of decent pace (As such, you spend a lot of time with the Game Speed set to Fast, just waiting around). The Big Money code can make this faster, but not any easier trust me.

Admittedly, there is not a lot to do after you beat this game. Of course you probably never will beat the game, in the Megalopolis sense. If you get bored, you can challenge one of 6 scenarios, in which you are given a city with a problem ranging from the mundane (Traffic, Crime) to the near catastrophic (Nuclear Meltdown). You have a set period of time 5 or 10 years to make the situation right.

It is quite a challenge to stay within your budget for this amount of time, given that you will probably lose several hundred dollars a year, besides having to improve the city. Before you beat them, it’s fun to play the game a lot, but afterward you really get kind of sick of it.

This was really the first Sim game that spawn all the others, and it is still one of the best. The functional graphics, ”Unique” soundtrack, great control, and of course, the disasters, make this a game you will want in your collection if you are a fan of the Simulation genre.


Free Browser Games

Starting Your Own Restaurant, the Gameplay

In Restaurant City players are in charge of their own fully functioning restaurant. Each player starts out small with several tables, chairs, and stoves. Before the game can begin users have to hire some of their Facebook friends to work for them. A quick click on their avatar and then desired job will accomplish this task. Once all of the waiters, chefs, and janitors have been assigned players are ready for business. Restaurant City has a helpful Open Hours feature that allows players to choose opening and closing hours to fit into their playing schedule. This option prevents users from having to rush and log back in simply to check on their restaurant. There are various shifts available for managers to choose from. Each shift has a coin fee. Shorter shifts earn more profits since they’re cheaper. Players can schedule their employees to work any length of time from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Employees complete tasks automatically following their assigned duties. Janitors clean up spills, waiters serve meals, and chefs stay busy behind the stoves cooking. Players take on more of a managerial role so the gameplay is fairly slow paced. Coins and XP are earned through leveling dishes, serving customers, and visiting neighbors. Players spend most of their time using strategy to boost their rank, collecting necessary ingredients, and decorating. Each restaurant has a popularity number. The more satisfied customers the higher the rating will go up. Users have to figure out how to balance the staff in a way that will serve all of the incoming customers in a timely manner. Customers who have to wait too long will walk out and decrease the restaurant’s popularity rating.

The Ingredient Hunt

Restaurant City has a very diverse menu. It’s divided into four categories consisting of a starter, main, dessert, and drink. Players can serve customers Tuna Steak with Vegetables, Russian Cappuccino, Lobster, Hamburger and Fries, Pink Lemonade, Mango Pudding, Pork and Apple Chops, Chocolate Cake, Beef Enchilada, or Strawberry Milkshake. In order to cook a variety of meals, ingredients are needed. The ingredient market is limited and very expensive. There are only three items are on sale per day for coins. The rest of the ingredients require Playfish Cash to purchase. If a player doesn’t want to spend real money for common items like water, ice, bread, butter, flour, sugar, cheese, and eggs than they have to rely on their neighbors and other methods to obtain them. Players can receive ingredients daily for free by logging in and correctly be answering the Food Quiz. The questions often vary from real life cooking techniques to food trivia. It’s quite challenging. This is a unique feature in the game that educates players in a fun way. In Restaurant City an option to a garden is available similar to the game Pet Society. Players can grow their own fresh ingredients. The garden lot expands as a user levels up. Although it’s a nice touch there is no choice in the type of seeds that you can plant. A mysterious bag of unmarked seeds will produce random spices, vegetables, or fruit when ripe. New dishes can be learned and leveled up to increase XP when all the required ingredients have been collected. Neighbors can assist in the hunt for ingredients as well.

Checking Out the Competition

In Restaurant City friendly competition and friendship work hand in hand. Players can visit their friends’ restaurants to help out or take a trip to a random street to see how other restaurant moguls businesses are operating. Visiting neighbors can earn coins, XP, and a free ingredient. Remove trash from their floor like spilled soda cans, discarded pizza slices, and banana peels by clicking on them. Sometimes their restaurant may have a nasty leak, a blazing fire, a penguin invasion, a sleeping bear scaring away customers, or giant mushrooms in the garden that requires immediate attention. The first time a player visits a new neighbor they earn one free ingredient. This makes neighbors an essential part of gameplay. Users must rely on friends to earn a significant amount of XP to level up and to receive ingredients which can be tedious at times. Players can also trade ingredients with each other by clicking the Ingredient Trade icon. For some players who do not like to depend on their friends to advance in games constantly joining neighbor adds lists and bargaining for ingredients can be exhausting. All neighboring restaurants on the street are ranked in order by popularity. This system lets players know exactly how their restaurant measures up when compared to their buddies. Restaurant City takes full advantage of its multiplayer aspects allowing users to travel to random streets with players who are not neighbors and rate their restaurants.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

The customization in Restaurant City is exceptional. Everything can be personalized from a player’s avatar to the minuscule details in the building’s exterior. Users have the option of keeping their avatar basic or personalizing it. Give your avatar a rock star Mohawk, a Princess Leila hairdo, villain attire, or cool shades. The game has dozens of various themes to choose from including a Roadside Diner, Saloon, Moroccan, Medieval, Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Psychedelic 60s, and Victorian style. There are also some fun unexpected designs like the UFO, Zombie, Ghost, Anime, and Princess available. It’s possible for players to create any kind of restaurant they want. The necessary basics like chairs, tables, stoves, toilets, and even drink dispensers come in an assortment of customized styles. Depending on the theme or desired look users have hundreds of items that they can add to renovate their restaurant. Click and drag new patterned tile floors, colored wallpaper, arcade machines, dividers, walls, aquariums, stereos, and arcade machines. The outside of the restaurant can be redesigned also. Change the building size from a small size to a behemoth building base. Attach various roofs or use decorations like a roving spotlight, balloons, lanterns, flags, flowers, canopy, menu signs, bouncer, benches, robot chef, and a magical unicorn. A very cool feature in Restaurant City is the music player that can be customized as well. Users can change the default elevator melody that plays over and over again to a catchier tune. Choose from the classic Pineapple Overture, upbeat My Irish Heart, Asian-inspired Delicate Spring, Latin Fiesta Brothers, or the cool mellow Lounge Lizard Slide.


Shape or Color

Are you fed up with endless in-game purchases that lead you nowhere but purchasing even more?

Did you remember paying lots of money for that weapon to be able to fight harder monsters and bosses?

Or alternatively, you had to grind for gold coins for almost a week to be able to get that weapon, how did it feel?

Did you miss the old games you paid once to own the game? There were nothing like “pay to win” then…

A lot of free games are as you know, pay to win; you simply install the game and play until you are stuck at a hard level or boss fight. Here you either need to grind for hours for required items to pass the level or you need to spend real money to buy items to give you an edge!

Some games are paid and they still offer you advantageous in-game items in exchange for your money!

Or you know some of the free games give you in-game coins if you watch their advertisements, very clever, isn’t it?

Shape or Color is a paid game for Android on Google Play store. There are no in-game offers. You just pay once and you play the game forever, just like in the old days.

Gameplay is pretty clear:

There are 3 shapes in the game; circle, square and triangle.

There are 3 colors in the game; purple, red and yellow.

Dropping gems are randomized with one of these shapes with one of these colors.

You need to focus and collect the right gem.

But be careful because your gem is regularly randomized as well!

To collect the right gem, you need to focus on 2 indicators;

One of the indicators shows if you need to collect same shaped or same colored gems as your gem.

Sometimes you need to collect same colored gem while sometimes you need to collect same shaped gem.

This indicator shows you which one to collect.

And the other indicator shows how many seconds left for your gem to transform. You need to take an eye on this indicator as well.

Don’t confuse your gem with other gems.

You are a bit bigger than other gems, that is the only difference!


Mafa Games

At Mafa games, you will find all sorts of games on their website. They range from Barbie games to ones involving our favorite cartoons. Dress up games as well as cooking games are a hit with everyone. Hey, who doesn’t love a little virtual cooking experience? The time limit and management of workplace is the perfect formula for one to enjoy a game. Sometimes these games are a little competitive, but that’s where the fun part lies. Keeping aside the above-stated games, you will also find Makeover games where you can enjoy turning the girls from rags to riches and basically get to be their fairy godmother. If you are a big fan of Elsa from Frozen, you will be delighted to know that there is a whole section arranged in particular for her games – you will find almost all of the other categories summed up in this. Make up games are also popular among the masses. So be sure to check them out sometime.

Why You Should Choose Mafa games For Gaming

  1. Easy Navigation. Since all of these above-mentioned categories are grouped accordingly on Mafa games, you can easily navigate through them and find something of your choice. If you are looking to play some makeover games, you can head over to the tab and you will find that all of the makeover games are listed in order of their release dates.
  2. No Need Of Signing Up. The best part is that you do not need to register on the website to play games. You can have access to all of them without the Signup process. Isn’t that great? Now play all you want without going through the hassle of signing in and out multiple times.
  3. Multiple Tags. So far, we have seen Makeover, Cooking, Makeup, Dress Up, Cartoon, Barbie and Frozen. But the game tags just don’t stop there. There’s a whole new section of game tags for you to discover. All of it is arranged in order so that you will gain access to them in no time.
  4. Saves Effort. Tired of having to open a game and play just to find out that it is wasn’t what you thought it to be? Don’t worry. We’ve got your back. At Mafa.games, you also have sections devoted solely for the best girl games available on the site. This means that you do not have to go around looking for that one game you’ll like. We have it done already for you so the most you have to do is make a choice.
  5. Get To Know What Is Hot. In case you are done with all of the best games on the site, what next? No worries, there are always new games popping up on the site so you are never bored. You can get to know what’s hot by going over to the ‘New’ tab on the screen.


Video Game Tester

Let’s find out!

  • OK, so if it is even possible to get paid to test video games, how much can you make?

Video game tester salaries start at the bottom at about $18,000 annually and go all the way up to $55,000. This translates to about 8 – 14 dollars an hour. Keep in mind, usually these are temporary positions. Still, not bad for a job you can do literally naked in some cases.

  • I’m looking over my report card right now, and I see lots of F’s and absolutely no A’s or even B’s. Will video game companies ask about my grades?

Luckily for you, in the video game industry, being a tester is considered an entry-level job, and does not require a college degree. However, if you are trying to become a game designer or programmer then I suggest you start hitting the books more; it’s a high paying and competitive business!

  • I live in the middle of nowhere, and my only connection to humans not riding goats for amusement is the Internet. Can I STILL become a game tester?

As little as 10 years ago, if you wanted to become a video game tester you would have to live in a big city where major game studios were located, for example Chicago, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles… etc.

However, now there are work- from- home- video game testing opportunities that are yours as long as you have a console and or an Internet connection. Hurray for modern technology!

  • OK, so now that we know that video game companies don’t care about my lack of academic excellence, what qualifications are they looking for?

Focused: You have to be able to pay attention and focus for long periods of time, even when you are bored with a game. This seems fairly ironic to me when you consider that video game player stereotypes tend to be loopy ADHD candidates. I would know, I’m one of em!

Attentive To Detail: Part of the job is learning how to spot bugs, and then make that same bug happen predictively. Again, again, again, and AGAIN.

Good Communicator: You will be working with a development team, and will need to be able to express precise steps that you took in order to make a bug in the game happen.

“Well dang man, I was just kind of messing around for a while and suddenly everything went black! Hello? Are you guys still there? Guys?”

This will not do ^

Positive Attitude: Like any business, video game companies are looking for candidates with great attitudes who like to work hard. Again, very ironic when you look at most of the population on x-box live, as they are hardly model citizens.


Animal Games For Mobile Devices

Goat Evolution – Clicker Game

If you are looking for cool animal games and you like goats, then Goat Evolution is one crazy and entertaining game. There is no doubt that goats are hilarious animals – they scream funnily, climb trees and even mountains. Goat Evolution stimulates a situation in which mutations start happening to the crazy goats – you will combine goats to evolve them and discover their most curious and bizarre forms. If you think goats are not crazy enough then this is your chance to make them even more extreme. The graphics of this cool game are brilliant and amusing, its gameplay is interesting and challenging, and the overall experience is pretty addictive – once you’ve started playing Goat Evolution it’s not going to be easy to stop!

My Talking Tom

My Talking Tom is another excellent game if you’re into cool animal games. In this game you will get to adopt your own talking cat and take care of it lovingly and carefully. You will dress your cat, feed it, take it out for walks, play with it and basically do anything necessary to keep it happy, satisfied and pampered. My Talking Tom is your opportunity to develop a loving relationship with a cute virtual pet, and in case you never had the chance to have a real pet, then this game can be a wonderful substitute.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds is one of the most popular mobile games in the world nowadays, and it has been played, and still is, by millions of people. For those of you who still haven’t tried to play Angry Birds – you should know that it is very, very addictive. Angry Birds belongs to the physics gaming genre, and it revolves around the angry birds who want to take revenge of the evil pigs by destroying their defenses. It has intuitive and friendly controls, but it’s by no means a simple game – it has some challenging levels and difficult missions, but once you’ll start playing it, putting the phone down will be the hardest mission of them all.


Candy Crush Saga Craze

Firstly, Candy Crush comes with somewhat interesting story line. Many would say, it is indeed childish and cartoonish but just as in most online adventure games, the game gives users a different experience from their story telling element. Many people do find Candy Crush characters cute and funny. As ironic as it may sound, many users are still curious what happens next although we do know what kind of story line we are being presented here.

Simple user interface that makes it easy for users to appeal to mass market majority. Anyone with half a brain would be easily ‘turn-on’ by the first 30 levels and you find players of all age groups, playing Candy Crush. The graphics user interface ( GUI ) for this game deceives the majority that this is indeed an easy game. When you get to the higher levels you discover that level of difficulty increases exponentially and one finds themselves repeating the same level multiple times. It either drives / motivates you to move forward or breaks you by testing your patience.

Social networking element. Like most mobile games, the social networking element adds additional emotional feelings into the experience. When your friends start sharing achievements, the peer pressure mounts when your scores are publicly announced. It is common to have a few friends that constantly directly or indirectly brag about how great they are. Definitely an emotional button is pressed which normally motivates to work on your achievement.

Continuity of content. As in most big online games, regular updates in content keeps the game and eco system alive. Their developers King.com has constantly made efforts to constantly give users a reason not to get bored and keep you busy scratching your head on how to complete these levels. The level of frustration is often sufficient to make you conduct online purchases, to aid in the level completion. The punch line is just spending real money for aid doesn’t guarantee that will complete the level which may add to further frustration. So which category do you fall under?


Speed Card Game

Setting Up The Play

Deal both players five cards to form their hand. Then deal 15 cards to each player, these cannot be looked at yet, set them aside as the draw pile for each player. If you want to use jokers make the draw pile 16 for each player. Make two five card stacks in the center of the table. The final two cards are set face down between the replacement piles.

How The Game Is Played

The players start the game by flipping over the two cards in the middle of the table. The goal is to play a card from your hand that is either higher or lower regardless of the suit. If, for example, one of the cards is a “9”, you can play an “8” or a “10” on it. The ace can be played on a king or two making it a continuous loop of options. There are no “turns” so as soon as those cards are flipped over players begin playing their cards in order. When you lay down a card you pick up another one from your draw pile so you always have five cards in your hand. If neither player can play, each player at the same time flips over a card from the two stacks in the center and the game resumes. The player who depletes their draw pile and runs out of cards first is the winner. If you are using jokers they are wild and you can play any card on top of a joker.

Variations of the Game

Because the game is learned through friends or family members, speed card game rules vary. It is not uncommon to encounter rules that only exist for a certain family or set of players. One such variation is the four card game, which makes it easier for players to hold a hand but is also difficult because there are fewer options to choose from. Another is “doubles”. Aside from being able to lay down a “4” or a “6” if the card is a “5”, a player can also match it with another “5”. Using jokers allows a player to choose whatever he or she wants it to be. Often, jokers are not used as one’s first option but rather as a last recourse when one has run out of cards to play on hand or as a winning card.

Versions of “Speed”

The Speed card game is one of those two player card games that become addictive. People create their own versions of it but some of the more popular are the “three and four way speed”, California Speed, Spit and Strategy. The three and four way speed is played with three and four persons respectively. California Speed is also known as Super-Speed in Wisconsin, Speed 2 in Texas, Rush in Missouri, and Speed 3 in Kentucky. Though the Spit card game follows the same basic Speed card game instructions, it is known as a more challenging and longer version of the game. Strategy refers more to the arrangement of cards at the start of the play. The game after all is called “Speed”, which takes into consideration how fast you can lay your cards down. There are card tricks that you can use to help you win a game of strategy. For example a hand with one “2”, two “3s” and two “4s” should be arranged 2, 3, 4, 3, 4 in that order instead of 2, 3, 3, 4, 4. You still have to lay one card at a time, but this will increase your chances of winning at the Speed card game.


Green Lantern Games

Hollywood tends to simplify the back-stories of comic book characters, and deliver their most basic elements to the general public. An epic tale that takes place somewhere in the universe pales in front of a story that is set on Earth, since this is the only type that humans can handle, or maybe, this is what Hollywood wants us to think. A Green Lantern game with this direction will cause a great disservice to his character and myth.

The Planet Oa is the very essence of the mythology of this character. This space sector 0 is home to the Green Lanterns, totaling 7,200 of them. They are the oldest and wisest (as what they think) beings of the universe, and they are known as the Guardians of the Universe. You heard this right. There is not only one such guy, but literally thousands of them, and they function as the intergalactic police force that guards the universe. The comics show off all the wild creatures and amazing planets that the DC Universe is made up of. Therefore, this should be present in a Green Lantern game and not ignored.

The hero’s world is so huge that it creates unlimited possibilities for video game projects. Imagining what a grade-A art direction group could achieve on a Green Lantern game can be both mind-boggling and mouth-watering. Sky is the limit in the literal sense of the word. It would be a big waste of potential to just stick to the film or comic license.

The Green Lantern’s most vital tool is his imagination, though the ring is quite important as well. Whatever they desire becomes a reality and this should be shown by a game on this subject. This is certainly a difficult job, but if the game does not give unlimited options to the gamers for ring constructs, this might as well be considered as a failure, as seen by a majority of this super hero’s fans.