Rindis' Game Trade 2011
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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And now... it's time to start finding out how much I'm spending on games in 2011.

Last year totaled up to ~$600 (I still need to go back and correct last year's list for WoW: Cataclysm). I figure this year's will drop below that, though money is starting to look better again.
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1. Board Game: Lost Dice [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Board Game: Lost Dice
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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2/14/11
Bought: 10


The February Games for Geekgold list had a great entry with a record-setting number of bonuses as the amount of geekgold collected went up. As the main prize was for a gift certificate to the game store of your choice, I chipped in 10.

I didn't get the main prize, but I did get one of the physical prizes, which showed up at my door 2/28. It looks potentially cute. I wish the rules didn't constantly say 'it's just like' a game I don't know anything about.
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2. Board Game: Captain's Log #1 [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Board Game: Captain's Log #1
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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3/3/11
Bought: $5

I have a pretty good collection of Captain's Logs, and have managed to get my collection back to #8 (starting when the current one was around #29).

I don't know if they're planning on doing more, or when, but ADB just released CL #1 as a PDF on e23. At $5, that was practically an impulse buy.

It's just scans of the original, so it's not as clean as you get used to in regular PDFs, but it looks pretty good. Mark has a copy, which I've borrowed before, so this isn't actually new content for me either.

I hope they put out #2 soon.
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3. Board Game: Captain's Log #2 [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked]
Board Game: Captain's Log #2
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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3/10/11
Bought: $5

Another early Captain's Log released on e23, another $5 impulse purchase.

This time, it's not one I'm previously familiar with, so I had some reading to do.

The SSDs were all various CCs, which appear in main-line modules now. However, they do show the evolution of SSDs. In CL#1 the SSDs are the primitive form with no charts, just the main ship display. The ones here have pretty much the same layout as the Commander's SSD style, but it's not fully formed yet.

Almost all the scenarios later appeared in S1 or S2, the main new one here is "Refiner's Fire", which goes with the fiction piece. The story is fairly good, but I think there's some poor jumps of logic, and a seeming contradiction early on.
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4. Board Game: Captain's Log #3 [Average Rating:8.67 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.67 Unranked]
Board Game: Captain's Log #3
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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3/21/11
Bought: $5

And Captain's Log #3 in PDF form e23. This is turning into a steady drain on my wallet. At least once they get past #7 I can stop getting them....

The early SFB fiction tends to be okay. The best yet is "Objective: Juggernaut" from #1, followed by "Refiner's Fire" from #2. Not that "The First Round" from this one bad, but it's not as interesting to me.

Two SSDs that have never appeared elsewhere: a modified D7 and a modified O-CA. One is used in the headline scenario, and the other for the last of a set of scenarios tracing the career of pirate "Deth" O'Kay. Those scenarios have never appeared elsewhere, and overall the number of non-reprinted scenarios is high.

CL#3 suffered from some major chunks of text going missing (about two pages worth in three chunks). These are not corrected (it would require re-doing everything from scratch), but at least the correction sheet is part of one unified package in this form.
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5. Board Game: Anzio [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:3416]
Board Game: Anzio
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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3/24/11
Received: $0

My roommate Dave isn't as heavy of a wargamer as I am, but he comes by it from the same place: his dad.

His dad is getting rid of a fair chunk of his collection this year, and offered them to the rest of his family. Dave apparently is the only one really interested, and is going to end up receiving all of them; some he will keep, some will go to the rest of the group (we handed around a list so people could say what they're interested in), and some will go on eBay (proceeds to be split with his dad in that case).

The first care package arrived last Thursday. The one game in it that I had asked for was Anzio: it turned out to be 3rd Ed, and is only partially punched. Dave is keeping for himself Victory in the Pacific (I would have asked for it if I hadn't already known Dave wouldn't let it out of his hands), two copies of War at Sea (Second Edition), Midway, a Battleline and an AH copy of Wooden Ships & Iron Men, and Zulu Attack.
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6. Board Game: Captain's Log #4 [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Captain's Log #4
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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4/5/11
Bought: $5

Captain's Log #4, courtesy of e23. I actually vaguely remember this one, Colin must have gotten it way back in the day, and I got a chance to read through some of it.

It's technically thicker than the first three, but the bulk of it is taken up by the consolidated Addenda for Commander's Edition SFB. If there's anyone out there still playing that edition that doesn't have this, I say they should get it just for a cheap PDF copy of that. But I doubt there is any such person, and I would encourage them to go to Captain's Edition, which this was the first step towards.

There's a number of signs of the evolution of the format I'm used to. The first page has a masthead on it that is the same as used on the first 1986 edition of F&E (same year of production). The two SSDs are for a pair of unique ships that I don't care much for, but they're in the full 'Commander's SSD' format this time.

The early CLs were really just vehicles for scenario publishing. This is where that changes, with a mere nine scenarios (instead of ~25), but the first five are grouped into a pair of mini-campaigns; something I'd like to see more of. Though... the first mini-campaign (which goes with the headline fiction) seriously needs a date change. It's supposed to be the first use of the Hellbore Torpedo, and is dated several years late for that by the current timeline.
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7. Board Game: Magic Realm [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1198]
Board Game: Magic Realm
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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4/8/11
Received: $0

Magic Realm
The Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings: Friends & Foes
Lord of the Rings: Sauron

The third care package arrived, and had two items for me. (If you're paying attention, the second package had nothing for me, though Mark picked up a couple items.) The bulk of the package was normal wargames, but I ended up with the long-celebrated Magic Realm (which I didn't pay that much attention to it when it initially came out, but reading articles later made it sound very interesting. I naturally immediately downloaded the fan-produced 3rd Ed rules, and I've poked my way though parts of it.

The other was the 2001 Lord of the Rings, with two of the expansions. I kind of wonder if any cooperative game with a single situation (as opposed to many of the celebrated solitaire games) can have long-term legs, since it should be vulnerable to 'solving'. But the Sauron expansion (player as Sauron instead of game system as Sauron) is in there, and we'll have to see just how good it is as a game as it is. My first review of it looks potentially interesting; but it also gives a strong sense of just being a bunch of simple systems given LotR names.
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8. Board Game: Star Fleet Battles: Commander's SSD Book #5 [Average Rating:7.05 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.05 Unranked]
Issue: Captain's Log #5
James Lowry
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Sunnyvale
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4/20/11
Bought: $5

And now the classic of the early Captain's Logs is on e23: Day of the Eagle. It contains three fiction pieces set on the day of the Romulan invasion of the Federation during the General War. All three are good, with, at most, minor inconsistencies. There's only five scenarios, including an update of SH2, The Surprise Reversed (I believe that version is what's already in Captain's Edition). Two of the scenarios were reprinted in S2, leaving only two new ones overall.

There's more Commander's Edition Addenda (whew, no wonder Captain's was known as the Doomsday Project), and a timeline of the SFU. The timeline has grown a lot since then, but I don't think there's a lot of places that have the full version, so this is still a good resource.

No SSDs this time.
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9. Board Game: Imperium Romanum II [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:3827]
Board Game: Imperium Romanum II
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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4/21/11
Received: $0

And now the fourth box from Dave's dad has shown up. The first time I played with Mark and Jason, I was highly desired as a third player for Imperium Romanum II. We played the two early three-player scenarios, and it's a good game. I've been occasionally poking at eBay for the last five years so I'd have my own copy to study and play around with.

Now, I have a completely unpunched copy....
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10. Board Game: The Civil War 1861-1865 [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:1214]
Board Game: The Civil War 1861-1865
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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4/29/11
Bought: $5

The Civil War 1861-1865
Captain's Log #6

The fifth and final box came in with one game for me: Victory Games' The Civil War. I've never gotten to play it, but it well regarded as the classic grand strategy game of the ACW nearly 30 years later. My dad is among the fans of the game, and I'm very happy to have my own copy.

The same day, ADB put out Captain's Log #6: B-10 Briefing on PDF. I remember it fairly well from when it came out, though I couldn't afford a copy at the time. I was surprised to realize most of the scenarios ended up in Module R5.

The fiction story, A Meeting of Giants, is relatively simple, without much plot beyond the course of the battle, or a lot of characterization. However, the situation is nice and dramatic and attention grabbing, with the Andromedans crashing a meeting between the Klingons and Federation to sign an alliance against the Andromedan menace. So a B10 led squadron is teamed up with a Fed SCS group and CX to fight a pair of Dominators. Grand fun.

While the fiction is short, there's a lot of fun background information about B10s in there, including diagrams of the flight decks of the carrier variant.
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11. Board Game: Star Fleet Battles: Commander's SSD Book #7 [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked]
Issue: Captain's Log #7
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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5/5/2011
Bought: $5

This is the last of the 'old' Captain's Logs that I don't have. From #8 on, it gets into the Captain's Edition era, making this the end of the Commander's Edition.

The fiction story is fairly good. I have some plot/pacing problems with it, but it works. There's five new scenarios, and I think only a couple of them have been reprinted since. It has the first appearance of a few pages of data on the officers of on a Klingon battlecruiser (since reprinted in a couple places), and four SSDs are included, all republished since (in R2-3 I believe). At this point Nexus magazine had been shut down, so all the features from there, like term papers moved over to CL... including F&E coverage.
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12. Video Game: Crusader Kings [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:1414]
Video Game: Crusader Kings
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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5/24/2011
Bought: $0

Crusader Kings
Crusader Kings: Deus Vult

Paradox Interactive has decided to promote the upcoming Crusader Kings II by giving the original game and its expansion to everyone who already has a log in to their forum. As I had one from the days when I was playing lots of Europa Universalis and Europa Universalis II, I got their newsletter with the offer.

I'd already been looking at getting the new game, and this is just going to make it a bit more likely....
 
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13. RPG Item: GURPS Imperial Rome [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:3313]
RPG Item: GURPS Imperial Rome
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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6/3/11
Bought: $11.75

GURPS Imperial Rome
Merrie England: The Age of Eleanor

I got both of these from an auction here at RPGGeek. I don't have anything for the Mongoose RuneQuest (/Wayfarer), but it the Merrie England supplement is about a time period that has always been of interest to me (I'm currently reading a biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine). I still didn't want to spend the cost plus shipping just for it, but when it got no bids, and I won GURPS Imperial Rome, I offered to buy it since I was spending on shipping anyway.

Both look good at first glance, and it's nice to finally plug another hole in my historical GURPS collection!
 
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14. Video Game: Final Fantasy IV [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:148] [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy IV
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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6/5/2011
Bought: $21.84

For some reason, I didn't think to put this one in immediately. Unfortunately, it is something of a sad story.

We got a bunch of used games dumped on us a while back, and I finally got around to stopping by GameStop and seeing what we could get for them in trade in. Answer: almost nothing. They aren't interested in games from previous console generations, and they're pretty much out of the PC game market entirely. That left a single PSP game still in shrink, and they have a 24-hour hold on anything in shrink, and it would be about a buck when they took it. Once I can get through with some scanning and such, I'll put up an auction GeekList here.

Anyway, while we were there, Smudge and I looked over the used DS game section. She has a DS that has hardly ever been used, as all we had for it is FFIII, which we both think is okay, but never grabbed us. Given how much the plot is praised in FFIV, we go that.

The next week, she went on a trip to A-Con in Texas, and took the DS with her for the plane flight. She really liked FFIV, and thinks she was about half-way through. Unfortunately, due to a combination of a lack of room at her seat, the flight being late, and a need to get to a bathroom, she left the DS (with FFIV inside) on the plane as she rushed to get to her connecting flight.

So, now we have a DS charger, and no DS. And a FFIV box and manual, and no cartridge. I'm looking around to see what it would take to get another first-gen DS (so it can also play GBA games).... soblue
 
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15. Video Game: Sword of the Stars Complete Collection [Average Rating:8.26 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.26 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Sword of the Stars Complete Collection
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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6/13/11
Bought: $7.98

I got the base game of this as part of a pile of cast-off games some friends handed us some months ago. I didn't realize that this particular title was a 4X game instead of an RTS until a week ago.

I spent a weekend compulsively devouring it, and being annoyed with the very RTS style combat. But in the end, I considered it a good, but by no means great, game, and contemplated buying my way through the expansions. It turned out that the Complete Edition was no more expensive than one of the expansions. So, I hit 'notify me of price drops' and continued contemplating whether it was worth $20 to me.

The next day, GamersGate announced a 60% off sale for that week.

Sold.
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16. Video Game: Europa Universalis III: Complete [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Europa Universalis III: Complete
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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6/18/2011
Bought: $3.74

I'm an old fan of the Europa Universalis series. I had told myself to actually play through a full 400-year game of II before spending on a newer version. But at $4, I'd be crazy not to get it....
 
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17. Video Game: Sins of a Solar Empire [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:643]
Video Game: Sins of a Solar Empire
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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6/19/11
Bought: $10

I found a cheap gem-case copy of this while browsing through the video game section of Target. Considering that I've heard a number of good things about it, I picked it up.

I managed to leave it in it's case till the following weekend, which was a long one for me. In a technical sense, it's quite good, but I consider it too much RTS and too little 4X for my tastes.
 
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18. Video Game: Birth of America 2: Wars in America [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:2731]
Video Game: Birth of America 2: Wars in America
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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6/29/11
Bought: $0

And Paradox does it again. This time they celebrated the release of Pride of Nations, by giving away the development team's previous title, Birth of America 2.
 
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19. Video Game: Rome: Total War Gold Edition [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Rome: Total War Gold Edition
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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7/24/11
Bought: $7.48

Rome: Total War Gold Edition
Rome: Total War – Alexander
Altered Beast (1988)

I've been meaning to try the Total War series for quite a while. Rome in particular has been high on my list because of my interest in the Roman Empire. GamersGate had a good special on it, and after debating for most of the week, I finally got it on Sunday.

While I was at it, I got the ancient fighting game Altered Beast that was on sale for $1.50. Pure nostalgia and furry fandom, as I remember the Amiga version of the game from my days at Mira Costa College.
 
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20. Video Game: Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:1877]
Video Game: Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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7/25/2011
Bought: $8.67

Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun
Victoria: Revolutions
Victoria II
Victoria 2 Interwar Artillery Sprite Pack
Victoria 2 Interwar Planes Sprite Pack
Victoria 2 Interwar Sprite Pack
Victoria 2 Old Vic DLC

...And then the next day, GamersGate starts a weeklong Paradox Interactive sale.

That wouldn't necessarily have gotten me, but they also had a daily deal for everything Victoria and Victoria 2 as an 80% off package deal....
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21. Video Game: Might and Magic 6-Pack [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Might and Magic 6-Pack
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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8/8/2011
Bought: $11.98

Might and Magic 6-Pack
Heroes of Might and Magic IV Complete

Okay, a sale at Good Old Games on all their Might and Magic titles demanded I get something.

I was tempted by Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete, since I only have the first expansion. I was also tempted by Heroes Chronicles, which is a compilation of all the little campaign boxes 3DO used to milk the HOMM III engine. I also made sure that my copy ofHeroes of Might and Magic Compendium was working adequately under DOSBox.

So, I got the Might and Magic 6-Pack to pick up the first five games (I have VI on original CD), and HOMM IV so I can finally find out what all the fuss was about.
 
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22. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:153]
Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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8/18/2011
Pre-ordered: $50.38

GMT strikes again!

Japanese military history is one of those things that I've been interested in for a while, mostly fueled by playing Nobunaga's Ambition II. A game on the campaign that created the Tokugawa Shogunate was pretty much a must buy.

Seeing additional details on it only confirmed me in my 'must have decision. Focusing the game around keeping the various clans motivated seems very appropriate for this campaign.
 
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23. Board Game: Federation & Empire: ISC War [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Board Game: Federation & Empire: ISC War
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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8/19/2011
Bought: $102.35

Federation & Empire: ISC War
Star Fleet Battles: Module R11 – Support Ships
Captain's Log #36
F&E Bases Sheet

Money has been a little tight, so I was unable to get ISC War right when it came out. But with the arrival of three-paycheck month, I made up for lost time.

I'm years behind on Captain's Log, but I plug away at it when I can. I've also never entirely caught up with SFB products I like. And the new sheet just full of bases for F&E is only completely new component for F&E2010, so I'm starting to upgrade my existing set.
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24. Video Game Hardware: Nintendo DS Lite
Video Game Hardware: Nintendo DS Lite
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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8/20/2011
Bought: $108.24

After the household DS was lost recently, I started looking around at getting a replacement. Since I wanted an older one for the GBA compatibility, I figured getting a cheap used one wouldn't be too difficult.

Nope. The DS Lite is still going for a minimum of $60 used.

So, looking through the local Toys R Us, they turned out to have a couple of Lites for $100. It's not a great deal for a new one, but it's not bad, and the color I wanted, and if anything goes wrong, it's easy to return.
 
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25. Video Game: Uru: The Complete Chronicles [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Uru: The Complete Chronicles
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Microbadge: Star Fleet Battles fanMicrobadge: Fascinating!Microbadge: Legendary Monthly Video Game Geek Review Contest winnerMicrobadge: KHAAAAAAANNNN!!!!!Microbadge: ASL fan
8/27/2011
Bought: $4.99

Smudge and I enjoyed Riven, and Exile, with Smudge in particular being a fan of the series (adventure games are right up her alley). By the time Uru came out, money was in tight supply, and I was not paying much attention to the video game scene at all. We knew it came out, and wanted it, but things never came together.

A 50% off sale at GOG is more than enough reason to fix that lack. Now if Smudge can just get some time away from multiple projects....
 
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