What does that tell us?
- dead-tree comic writers are old
- their comics are really really really not funny ever
- they are so out of ideas
- newspapers are truly on their way out
- oh my god traditional comics are so bad (Get Fuzzy and maybe Frazz excepted)
- quit reading newspapers, get on the internet, and by the way get an Android phone; it is now better than the iphone*
- you should do what you want on New Year's; partying for the sake of partying is just as lame as buying christmas presents for the sake of buying christmas presents.
* so I've got an Android phone now. And I like it better than the iphone. I'm biased because I work for Google and the open Android Market is better ideologically than the apple-approved App Store. But in case those reasons do not convince you:
- the hardware is just as good as the iphone's
- driving directions is maybe the killer app; it is literally a Garmin
- haptic response (it shakes a little when you press a button)
- voice-powered everything
- i've already found a game I'm hooked onto (Robo Defense)
I think the tides are turning, and these are the first days that android > iphone. As more developers make more android apps, this will only get better. New phone? Make it an Android.
And speaking of games, I will list reasons that Cranium is not a good board game:
- most of the time is waiting. You sit out half the time or more (when it's not your turn). This is the good ol' American Risk-Monopoly-Clue model, and as we all know, it quite sucks.
- even in the time that is not waiting, you spend a lot of time reading instructions. 4 colors times 4 types of card per color = 16 games to learn. Even if you know them, other people don't, so you must explain them all. Compare that to Pictionary, where you pull a card and you know what to do immediately.
- the roll-and-move structure is flawed. You feel screwed by a random god when someone rolls a purple and jumps you.
- the inner-track-outer-track is terribly flawed! Given that you win the card, say, 80% of the time, what other game gives you such an easy way to lose big instantly? Miss your first question on the first brain, get on the outer track, and well I guess maybe you might win the next game. (I've heard that later Cranium editions have skipped the outer track, so I guess they've fixed this one.)
- the brain-in-the-center win condition feels like molasses. Oh hey I got all the way around, I'm going to win! ... in four turns, maybe. Bleh!
- as I've mentioned, you win the card 80% of the time. So when you lose it, it feels really bad. And some cards are orders of magnitude harder than others, so sometimes you will randomly lose.
- Charades and Pictionary are roughly equivalent games. Trivial pursuit is not; figuring out the answer to a question is less fun than acting a charade. "Word worm" is also not. Spelling bee? Really? Are you saying it's as much fun for a team to pick one person to spell a word, as it is to draw and guess a Pictionary?
- the cards are dated, already. I am 23 years old. If a game is going to come in hip flashy colors, but still have songs and actors from before I was born, that is a flaw. Thrice in the last game with me, my sister, my mom, and my uncle, we had to skip a card because it was too old. Are families supposed to play this? How will the kids have a chance?
- the clay goes stale. Don't make a perishable game. Didn't we learn from The Grape Escape?
- finally, it takes a long time.
Boy, I did not think I could actually come up with this many reasons. Err, have fun playing Cranium at your New Year's parties tonight! (for the record, if you're looking for better games: Catch Phrase, Time's Up/Identity Crisis, uhh Pictionary or Charades, and if you like word games then Bananagrams or of course Boggle.)