Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Mad, Mad Day

Well, the big Zynga sell-off was an April Fool's Day joke after all. This resulted in huge sighs of relief, followed by serious gritting of teeth. On with the games!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Sad, Sad Day

It seems that EG24 has been sold to Zynga, who will continue the site but require users to pay for the "privilege" of playing games and/or buying items to use in the games. I suppose all good things must come to an end. I, for one, will really miss the camaraderie I've found at EG24. It was never really about the games, after all.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Another "T'was the Night Before Christmas" (one year later)

zoz 12/24/11 7:19 PM
OK, it's a bit late for this, but I'm not sure where else to post it (other than my blog [shameless plug]). Anyway, for whatever reason, the spirit moved me to write

T'was the Night Before Christmas at EG24

T’was the night before Christmas, and all o’er the world
Escape Gamers played Yalcin’s offerings which swirled
through the ether that magically transmits them to
the computers of people just like me and you!

While children were nestled all snug in their beds, 

with visions of iPods and such in their heads,

their Moms and their Dads were completely engrossed
in the games the EG24 team would post.

They played Tesshi-e games and Café-Café
and, once done with those, they continued to play.
There were great games from SSSG, as always,
and Gongtats again gave a challenging maze.

And Rhosus and Abroy and Wild Harmony
and all of the other great game-makers we
all love to play live with our friends when we may
were there to delight us this Christmas Eve day.

And, if someone’s craving a game more bizarre,
Minoto, Sakura, and Detarou are
just waiting with scenarios so surreal
that when the game ends heads continue to reel.

But wait! What was that? That noise up on the roof?
It sounded like sleigh-bells and, I don’t have proof,
but I swear I heard someone exclaim to his crew
of sleigh-pullers, each one of whose names that he knew:

“Now Rambler! Now, SwissMiss!, now premiere and small-tool!
On, nokra! On, Leroy! On, Anya (Stu) and all
the gamers who volunteered to make this haul!
Now Dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

Now it seemed it was time for Mom and Dad, as well,
to pry themselves from their computers so they’ll
be ready when St. Nick materializes
here and, in his hunger, asks them where the pies is.

(Old St. Nick it seems never had proper schooling,
so his grammar makes some folks think that he’s fooling,
when really all this old elf wants is a snack
so once more his great journey he can attack.)

And then, there he was! Just standing right there!
How did he get in? And do we really care?
He did have a Screwdriver there in his hand,
and any Escape Gamer can understand

The magic that one can perform with this tool;
like breaking in houses. But still, as a rule
would you expect Santa Claus to be that cool?
I know that I would. He’s nobody’s fool!

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his task,
and filled all the stockings, then turned and he asked:
“I know you are EG fans so I presume, you would know where I’d find a WalkThrough for Small Room?”

So Mom and Dad gave him the info he sought,
and he thanked them and then without another thought,
he placed one finger to the side of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

Before this tale ends I must add one more thing: “Happy Christmas to all, and to all great gaming!”

Thursday, December 30, 2010

T'was the Day of Minoto

T’was the day of Minoto and here, in my house
I sat watching my laptop, caressing the mouse.
My pencil was sharpened, the paper was where
I could reach it as soon as Minoto was there.
I should have been thinking of house chores; instead,
I let visions of Minoto swirl in my head.
As I stared at the screen that was there in my lap,
I nodded a little, just for a brief nap.

When out of the screen there arose such a clatter
I roused from my nap to see what was the matter.
I jumped and the laptop fell down with a crash
And all of Minoto spilled out in a flash!
The light of the laptop became a faint glow
That shone on the creatures that scampered below.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear
But the newest Minoto, and live! And right here!

Yes, there in my room was a scene that I knew
Could only have come from Minoto. It’s true!
The little Pink Mousy was goading the tot
Who brandished a weapon while blindfolded, not
A good thing for the Green Kitteh, paws in the air,
Who desperately hoped for some help from somewhere.
As I looked at the key, I knew just what to do.
I picked up that key and looked right for more clues.

The key (it is key) could be used on a chest
Where a waste water pump had been having a rest.
So I picked up the pump and, again, I moved right.
And opened a locker and got a big fright!
A yellow amorphous big monster was stuck
In the locker and couldn’t get out! Oh, what luck!
So I moved to the right yet again and I found
A pink claw-footed tub and a grate on the ground.

And some flowers that bloomed in a pool that was round.
And the waste water pump sucked the waste water down
From the tub, thus revealing a giant Megaphone.
And I knew that, for now, I should leave it alone.
So rightward I went on my ongoing quest
To solve these strange riddles, and thus pass this test
To figure out why all these characters were
In my house doing things that were causing a stir.

And there on my floor was a table and box
The box was a gift that was locked with a lock.
And by this small table a Pink Bunny stood,
As he looked at the mess on the floor. Oh, not good!
So back to the first scene I ran and I gave
The Pink Mouse the Megaphone so she could save
The Green Kitteh from gun-wielding Baby who shot
At the Pink Mouse, but this Baby’s bullet did not

Harm the Mouse. Not this “bullet”, it couldn’t do harm.
It was dieting medicine from the Fat Farm.
When it’s swallowed the excess fat can be consumed.
I know just who can use this! That monster entombed
In the locker. I’ll give it to him, and I do.
Well, wonder of wonders, that Monster turns to
The little plump sun who runs off (yes, he must)
But he leaves me a broom to clean up all the dust.

As the broom clears the mess by the table I see
Underneath all the clutter, there lies a small key!
Now this key is designed to be used from afar.
As a remote control on the door of a car.
So I use it and open the car door and see
On the driver’s seat there is a driver for me!
I know just where to use it, yes I’ll use it for
Unscrewing the screws that held grate to the floor.

So I do and I find a black cord that I know
Is a cord through which electricity can flow.
Now quickly I take the cord back to the wall
Where there’s a wall-socket right there amidst all
The creatures and all the devices I know
Have all come here from the land of Minoto.
I plug in the cord then remove all the screws
Then I go to the right where the green plant has used

Wrapping paper to make a quite stylish chapeau
Which he gives to me after I clear all the snow.
The Paper now holds a quite lovely Bouquet
Of flowers that lived in the round pool where they
Concealed the chip that fit the big green machine
That moved the chess pieces, the knights and the queens
And the Blue Horse of Chess, with it’s simple smooth shape
That perfectly fit the gift package so tape

Was removed by the Pink Bunny who, with aplomb,
Tore open the gift box and then pulled out a bomb!
Oh, no, this can’t happen, not here in my house!
“You must leave at once!”, I exclaimed as Blue Mouse
Looked at me and he winked and then gave a soft whistle
And away they all went like the down of a thistle.
And at that I awoke. Was this all just a dream?
Were the characters here doing things as they seemed?

As I pondered these questions, my screen caught my eye
And the Pink Bunny winked and then waved his goodbye!
And I heard voices say, as he faded from sight,
Merry Christmas to all from Minoto! Good night!

Flowers to MegiPoland and to Shuchun and, yes, even to Yalcin! Thanks to you all for all the great games!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monkey and Secret Army 6
Minoto Meets Dr. Seuss

“I am not criminal” said she
“I’m just a juice-head, don’t you see?”
Boy Monkey answered “Is it true?”
“Then oh, such fun things we will do!”

“But ‘ere we set out on a lark
Let’s find the crook, he’s in the park!”
(Apparently, they did not see
The Crab of such enormity

Who just behind them clapped his claw,
While Monkey Girl just sipped her straw).
I took a key. A key I took.
And it is key, it is! I looked!

I used that key upon a lock,
A lock that locked a big grey box.
I opened it and took a look.
What did I see? I saw a hook!

A Safety Hook with one big crook.
Construction Pup will use this Hook
To sort through old junk, big and small,
And extract an enormous Ball.

“Air Cleaner” that will clean the air
Of particle and smell, but where
Could this Air Cleaner clean the air?
Why near the Sun, right there! That’s where!

The Sun is plump. The Sun is fat.
The Sun is so plump and fat that
It needs a rest, so down it sat.
And so it sits, and that is that.

It sits upon the Weighing Thing.
The Weighing Thing then pops a spring!
And then this Weighing Thing does fling
A Bar with metal glistening

In rays of Sun so plump, so fat.
(But that’s enough, we’re done with that.
We really shouldn’t make such fun
Of Anti-anorexic Sun).

But this Air Cleaner is not done
Oh no, it must go save the one
Who dresses like a Pirate, he
Who once was caught, but now he’s free!

From stogie puffing Moai-Head
That Head that fills us all with dread
Who solemnly just sits and waits
For what, you ask? Why, for his fate.

I use the Bar to move the Rock
The Rock that the big Cave did block
The Rock I moved out of the way
So Mr. Bear could come and lay

In his snug Rock, his big Bear Lair.
He left the tree just standing there
And Bee who hovered in the air
Dropped a splinter right down where

It sat with durability,
This splinter that came from the Bee,
And had six sides, six sides we’re told
To fill a six side slotted hole.

Meanwhile, I found an Angel who
Said Turtle helped her, yes it’s true.
This Angel had a broken jar
And she’d been searching near and far

To find a plug that has six sides
A hexagon that smoothly slides
Into the six-side slotted hole
That mars her jar, and make it whole.

Part two (of two) now continues

Now Pirate Boy hops on the Ship,
The Ship that floats in its Ship Slip,
And brings a Barrel out so we
Can use the Bar to set it free

Within the barrel lies a Box
A Box that tightly tied string locks
Oh ho, but this string will not stay
For Crab with Claws cuts it away!

Inside the box, that had the string
Is Medicine for eyes that sting
I wonder who’d need such a thing
As drops to end eye-suffering?

Not Mr. Bear, no he’s OK
Not plump fat Sun, oh no, no way
Not stogie smoking Large Stone Head
And Angel has blue eyes, not red.

Let’s give those drops to someone who
Can really use them, and will do
Most anything we ask them to
If we make his poor red eyes blue

The Mountain sheds such tears of joy
They fill the Angel’s jar, oh boy!
They make it Holy (not with holes!)
So she can cleanse the Turtle’s Soul,

Because the Turtle helped her when
She needed help, he was her friend.
And then the Monkey Boy appeared,
Speaking words that were so weird.

Even in Minoto Land
We usually can understand
The gist of what is written here
But not today, not me, I fear!

“When you expect the answer from”
The Monkey says, while Turtle hums
“the meaning to which you have the
signboard of the park” and then he

Asks Turtle if he is a crook.
And then implies Police will book
The Turtle in the jail if he
Does not speak Truth, and truthfully.

The Turtle said the reason then.
And what that reason was, my friends,
Was that he could not easily
Play in the park, and that’s why he

Renamed the park with his own name.
He called it “Turtle Park” and claimed
That his acts came from innocence.
He did not mean to give offense.

And so another episode
Comes to a close in Minoto
Until next week, it seems, my friends
This story’s done, this is THE END!

Recently, a manuscript was uncovered by Art Historians probing the depths of an image by M.C. Escher. Themanuscript, whose author is unknown, is reprinted in its entirety below.

Surrealism in Minoto: A Scholarly Treatise on the Influence of Surrealism on Minoto (or the other way around), Using Monkey and Secret Army 5 as a Model.

Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur.

“Get Uncle Combover out of the ground by setting his hair on fire with the fire fairy”
- kitkatfox, The Walkthrough

beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella
- Isidore Ducasse

Monkey and Secret Army 5 opens with the statement, “If the transmitter is stopped, the crab will regain consciousness”, followed by a scene featuring a shark swimming in a small pool flanked by a Medal Machine containing a miniature Air Balloon and an Artiste Elephant bearing a striking resemblance to Man Ray (one of thepioneers of Surrealism). One also must not neglect the overt reference to Salvador Dali’s Elephants Click here for an image

The use of the Shark imagery is not new to Surrealism. In 1938, Marcel Duchamps created an exhibit which opened with “”Salvador Dalí's Rainy Taxi (an old taxi rigged to produce a steady drizzle of water down the inside of thewindows, and a shark-headed creature in the driver's seat and a blond mannequin crawling with live snails in the back)”
- Wikipedia

In the third scene of Monkey and Secret Army 5, we unlock a box containing a fox dressed as a trainer who loves animals, and who proceeds to free the shark from it’s small pool. This shark goes on to perform several tasks that can only be described as Surreal. For example, use the shark on the log to get a round wooden piece
and Save the poor turtle from the house (saw him free with the shark)
- kitkatfox, The Walkthrough

The use of Surrealism in Minoto is not limited to plot, but extends to the way items are described, such as “Fairy of Fire: Fairy of reviving fire,” “Key: It is key,” and “Yellow Key: Key colored to yellow,” which describes the result of a Surrealistic transformation in which a key is used once, then painted yellow and used in an entirely different lock.
And who can forget the scene, so eloquently described by kitkatfox (above) in which Uncle Combover is removed from the ground by the use of fire and then described as “Uncle: It relaxed in the soil”?

(To be continued below)

Lost Manuscript: Continued

These and many other descriptions remind one inevitably of the Rene Magritte paining, “C’est ne pas une pipe.” In which a painting of a pipe is captioned (translated from the French) “This is not a pipe.” Click here for an image

A particularly disturbing scene is the one in which Uncle Combover is placed on the gullotine, only to have “A little long hair” sliced off. The infamous Surrealist movie “Un chien andalou” (Andalusian Dog) by Luis Brunel andSalvador Dali opens with just such a scene. In the film, a knife is positioned in front of a living woman’s eye and the scene is cut jarringly to a shot of the knife slicing open an eye, which happens to be that of a dead cow. The impact of placing Uncle Combover on a guillotine operated by a very dark Satan is surely no less traumatic.

In yet another scene that could have been conjured by Dali or Max Ernst, the “little long hair” is painted red by the ElephantArtiste so it can be used as a wire to short out the transmitter. All of these non sequiturs ultimately lead to a scene where Girl Monkey, still sipping her refreshing beverage, is released by the Crab as Boy Monkey enters the scene in a Superman outfit.

The following conversation then takes place:
Girl monkey [Where had you gone?.]

Boy monkey [I was eating the banana. ]

Boy monkey [Why was it happy?]

Boy monkey [Are you a true culprit?]

Girl monkey [ ,,,,,,,,,,!!!! ]
Finally, the Girl monkey becomes silent, and we are left to wonder, “Who is the real culprit?”

Like Minoto, Surrealism embraced idiosyncrasy, while rejecting the idea of an underlying madness. Later, Salvador Dalí explained it as: "There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad."

There is only one difference between Minoto games and all others. The others are not Minoto.

The manuscript ends here.

Monkey and Sniper 3 SingALong
To the tune of "A Day in The Life" by the Beatles

I played a game today oh boy
About a crab encircled by police
And though Ape Herr was not around
Well I just had to laugh
Big Crabs can be so daft
The Crab demanded naming rights
And management right of the park as well
A crowd of police stood and stared
They'd seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If woman Ape’s life could be saved

I saw a film today oh boy
The police might have to choose last resort
Uncle Combover ricocheted
Strange bottle at his feet
Eyes that look like threes
Minoto turns us on

Took key, opened a box,
That had formerly been locked
Got a small wheel and a withering tire,
And used the pump while mouse kept jumping higher.
Put the wheels on chipmunk’s ride
So he easily could glide
To his friend who had been waiting there,
Leaving me the shoes where it can dash

I gave the shoes to little sun
Who wore a helmut while he had his fun
He knocked the log off of the tree
So I could take it to
Police sniper Fox who guarded the big pencil grinding box
It became sharp ahead

The pencil staked a string so She
Could help the yellow chick to cross the road
Knocking a small jar to the ground
I was some Medicine
That causes growth to End.
I gave it to the Shaggy Dog
(His hair was growing and could not be tamed)
The hair growth halted so the Green
Hair-Cutting Dog could stop
and his Secateurs could drop onto the research lab’s bluefloor
And I could pick them up

And use them on the Bunny’s box
Whereupon Scary Head popped up so high
That Pink Bunny could now hop hop
and knock the Honey Comb
Right in front of Bear
Who dropped small play equipment

Took Toy and gave it to
The pink Pilot Mouse who flew
Over where a rescue rope was lowered
To let the Blue Mouse climb on board
Took the Ball the Blue Mouse used
To play hopscotch on the two
Kittehs who seemed quite oblivious,
and the Ball morphed to a Transparent Round Plate.

I took the Plate to Research Lab
It caused a Ghost to startle Doctor Who
He dropped his Glasses on the Floor
So I could give them to
Uncle Combover who put them on and drank his Secret Brew.
He dropped the Strong Cork, too.

Gave Cork to Sniper Fox
Who then used it in his Glock
And then Time decreased and all the Cops
Used Hard Measures so the Crab would drop
The Girl Ape held in the air
At that moment Sniper sniped
But the Cork was light and didn’t work
Crab got mad and called the Coppers Jerks
The combat has begun…

Sniper end. Only one method. To be continued...