Since it seems that nearly every movie released during the summer months gets made into a game, it's only a matter of time before events in this week's comic become reality.
Those of you who think that a game based on SiCKO might be a good idea, you're not alone. The folks at Maxis made a game called Sim Hospital back in the mid 90's. Not to be confused with Theme Hospital that was made by Bullfrog Games (and distributed by Electronic Arts, the folks that control Maxis and the Sims franchises) Sim Hospital was a simulation that was meant to demonstrate to city and government leaders the challenges of balancing the costs of providing quality medical care with the needs of the community. While I've played Sim Hospital, I don't recall if it was ever sold in stores. It's certainly a much more cerebral exercise than Theme Hospital, which populates its wards with cartoon figures with imaginary maladies.
Yep, this week marks the 100th Gamecreature cartoon. It's only fitting that I use the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane. Actually, the bigger milestone occurs in 4 weeks when I hit my 2nd anniversary of drawing Gamecreature. How time flies!
Speaking of milestones, I've graduated from Captain Archer's Enterprise to Captain Kirk's starship. And the ship not only has shields and more fire power, but it's more maneuverable, too. The enemy ships (Klingons, this time) are more formidable as well, but another added benefit of the jump in technology is that it's easier to lock onto specific systems on an enemy ship, allowing me to disable an enemy's weapons or engines to make combat easier.
The user manual is not very easy to use. I had to do a mission to use a cloaked ship, and no where was I told how to do this. Hello, trial and error! Speaking of controls, can you imagine a starship where you have a control for repairing damaged systems, one for long-range scan, and a single button that will instantly blow up your ship all in the same place? I've lost count of how many times I've had to restart a mission because I initiated self-destruct when I was trying to get repair teams to fix the weapons systems. Evidently, there is a way to cancel self destruct, but that is not nearly as easy as starting it - like the cloak, I couldn't find it in the user manual. If anyone does have a copy of the game and can find these useful tidbits, let me know.
Even so, now that I have a ship that can move and really kick some Klingon butt, I'm finally getting into the swim of things in this game. I'll keep you posted.
When I took computer math in High School, the hot game was Star Trek, a text-based game that used math and vectors to wage starship battles across imagined star systems. In it you went from sector to sector, finding Klingons and blasting them to atoms. The game became quite challenging as the Klingons ganged up on you and your own resources dwindled. A few years later, Sega created the Star Trek arcade game to coincide with the release of the Star Trek movie. When I played it, I was suprised (and a little pleased) to find out that the Sega game had little to do with the film and was really just an updated version of the classic Star Trek game that we played on my school's teletype. It's great fun, but the wheel control takes a bit of getting used to. 25 years later and I have laid my hands on Star Trek Legacy. So far, I'm still in the early days of the Federation, commanding Captain Archer's Enterprise. The thing maneuvers like a brick and there are no shields. Hopefully the ship's performance will improve in the later years of the Federation. Like the earlier Star Trek games, this game is all about finding the enemy ships and blowing them out of space. Only time will tell if it'll take me back to those early days of the first Star Trek game. But I'm willing to take the ride. If you're a true Star Trek geek like me, you'll get a kick out of this game.
Next week is the 100th Gamecreature comic. Does anybody care?