Saturday, March 30, 2013

Some Shinies to Share

I was so distracted by International TableTop Day that I almost forgot to post this blog entry! I've been having a great time today--I spent a good five plus hours at my favorite local game store (the excellent and amazingly wonderful The Wandering Dragon. Everyone's so great there, I love it!). Luckily, I came home for dinner and Doctor Who, so I remembered to post this! 

I’m currently home for Easter, and my mom needed some help fixing a few earrings yesterday, so we went to Michael’s to buy some supplies. While I was there, I saw some cute clock and birdcage charms so, naturally, I snatched those up. I will take some better pictures when I get back to my apartment (and my camera), but here’s a taste of the steampucky jewelry that I made.

Birdcage Necklace

I began by selecting two different chains, and laying them so that one was longer than the other. I added the clasp, and then the charms. The heart clock is attached by a smaller section of chain, while the birdcage and the oval gear charm are attached with rings. The beads and clock in the center are attached on a pin and ring. The cell phone pictures don’t adequately represent the detail in the charms, but you get the idea.

Here, you can see the two different chains I chose.
Here's a close-up of the necklace!
Here's a (blurry) picture of the necklace on.

Clock Earrings

These earrings are pretty simple, but I like them a lot. I used a brass clock charm and each of the colors of beads (brass, bronze, and silver). I attached the charm directly to the earring, and then attached the beads to two pins. I then bent the end of the pin around some brass chain, and attached the chains with the beads to the earrings. If you look really closely, you can also see me wearing these earrings on the Wandering Dragon Facebook page!
For some reason, Blogger keeps rotating this and I can't fix it! Aurgh!

Hope everyone else is having a great International Tabletop Day (or just day)! If anyone has any idea how to keep Blogger from rotating my photos, let me know!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Etsy Tuesday: Books!

I've been marathoning the Lizzie Bennet Diaries all day. I haven't watched the show before, but I am loving it! So this week's Etsy Tuesday is about themed on classic (or quasi-classic) books!

The first classic book I ever read was Dracula (which you might not count as a classic, but I do). I was one dark fourth grader. Of course, a fair amount of the book went over my head, but I still enjoyed it the first time I read it. Thus, my first pick for this week's Etsy Tuesday--a Dracula book purse! I love book purses, and this one come from the aptly named BookPurses store. I really like the handles, and the cover is awesome.

$46.00 USD
This little necklace is cute, and priced really reasonably. Considering the success of Sherlock, I know a lot of you out there would be interested in a Sherlock Holmes book-cover necklace. It's a nice, simple little piece that I would love to own. It's sold in the The Gothic Geekery store, which has other options in books, as well.

$18.00 USD

Something that I like the idea of if the alteration of books (see the book purse above). I try not to think to much about what happened to the pages and the stories, though. It hurts my heart a bit. But the products are really, really cool. This iPhone charging dock is really cool, and I enjoy the color scheme. I'm not sure it was actually a copy of The Tale of Two Cities (I remember it being much shorter), but that might be better. I means that a book wasn't gored. The piece is sold at the Uncommon and Nice shop.

$47.00 USD

This last piece is a Peter Pan print on an aged page from the book. I have seen a lot of artwork on book pages in my travels on Etsy, but I think this is my favorite. It's simple, but it still looks classy. You can also still read the text, which is important to me. The Circle Wall Art shop had a lot of other really great prints and decals.

$21.21 USD
See you all later this week! I'm doing a review of the barcade I visited for my 25th birthday party, and maybe showing you all what i have in my Etsy shop so far--if I finish these crafts in time!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lack of Internet Means Lack of Posts

Hi Everyone!

Last week was my Spring Break, which I spent at my parents' house. While I was there, my devices refused to connect to their internet for whatever crazy reasons. This, of course, meant that I wasn't able to do any updates. I have been working on some things, though, one of which I hope to post by Saturday. And I will have an Etsy Tuesday up tomorrow! Thanks for your patience!

In other news, here is a print posted by Jen at EPBOT yesterday. I love it and wanted to share it with you all:

The 8x10 print is by Genevieve Santos, and you can buy it here for $20.00 USD.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My Favorite Heroines

Hey everyone! I made a list of my favorite heroines to put up on International Women's Day, and then completely forgot and put up an edition of Gamer Drama instead. So, here I am, fixing that oversight. Here are my five favorite heroines, from all types of media. Following that, I asked my friend Gabrielle to give me her list of five heroines and, boy, did she deliver. I briefly considered going back and making my descriptions longer, but then I looked at all the work I have to do, and decided that you'll have to just enjoy hers more than mine :).

1. Alanna of Trebond and Olau (The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce)

Alanna was my first real hero. I read the Song of the Lioness quartet when I was in fifth grade, and I wanted to be Alanna. I made myself a sword out of cardboard, and imagined myself on all sorts of adventures. She's powerful, has realistic flaws, and taught me about the value of hard work. She's talented at many things, but had to work or overcome fears to reach that level of aptitude. She has successful relationships, she has relationships that crash and burn, but she's always confident. Part of the reason that the reader becomes so attached to Alanna is that you follow her journey every step of the way, from an eleven-year-old page to blooded knight and King's Champion. Alanna's a loyal friend, an unmatched knight, and my own favorite hero.

2. Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

I spent many years with Buffy Summers, and while sometimes she would annoy me (see most of Season 6) she was always able to step up and defeat the Big Bad. Buffy has some problems and some flaws, but is more realistic for them. These issues are never permanent, and she is able to overcome issues and develop as a character. She can sometimes be the reluctant hero, but will always end up doing her duty. She's surrounded by friends who keep her from becoming The Job (see the AU in the episode The Wish), and that is ultimately what keeps her invested in it. Her friends and family remind her that the world is worth saving when things get bad. She's dedicated to those around her, even to the point of making the ultimate sacrifice to save the world (not that that lasted long, but still. Good intentions).

3. Zelda (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

In Ocarina of Time, Zelda becomes one of the coolest heroines in video games (probably the coolest if you count only NPCs). Zelda proves herself to be strong, responsible, and capable--except for that little issue where she gets kidnapped near the end. We'll ignore that, though--a trophe is a trophe, and I don't think it takes much away from what she does up to that point in the game. She was able to keep her head while fearing for her life and set our hero on his journey, she guided him later--at great risk to herself--and gave him the tools he'd need to do his part. She's even the reason he lives through the end of the game: otherwise, Link would have died as the castle crumbled. I thought that Sheik was the most bad-ass character ever and, when he was revealed to be Zelda in disguise, I knew I had found a new hero.

4. Silk Spectre II (Watchmen)

Yes, yes, the costume is a little tight, but what superhero's isn't? Silk Spectre II/Laurie may seem like a strange character to put on this list, but hear me out. She's tough, and doesn't flinch when facing a hall of bad guys (or a fiery building). She holds her own in a fight. She embraces her sexuality, but not in a way that's over the top. And she stands up for herself, and refuses to be taken advantage of. All around, a great heroine.

5.  Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings)

As one of three women featured in the Lord of the Rings triology, I became attached to Eowyn pretty early on. She's the only human woman you see, and she actually does something that contributes to the greater good. Galadriel is the Elven sorceress, and therefore unattainable, but you could be Eowyn. Of course, the character is much more fleshes out in the movie. She seems a little out of her league, at first, but rises to the challenges that are put before her. She's attracted to Aragorn, but it doesn't define her. Most importantly, she's the only one at the Battle of Pelennor Field who can defeat the Witch-King of Angmar--an essential part to the victory over Sauron. Why can't we all just be Eowyn?


When Amanda asked me for a list of my top five heroines, I thought it would be pretty easy. But then I actually tried to narrow it down, and I realized I couldn't decide. Not because there aren't a plethora of awesome female characters out there, but because I had trouble coming up with women that serve as the driving force of their own story(arch) without being totally cliche and bland or something. Because let's face it, finding truly strong, admirable female characters is a hard task. There are tons and tons of nifty female characters, but finding ones I'd genuinely call "heroine" isn't nearly as easy. So the following list is in no particular order, and every so often, there are a few caveats. But these all come from various aspects of my nerdry and niche interests. And before you get all angry and huffy at me, I didn't include Buffy because while I'd never say her character is bad, and I do think she's a kickass heroine, I just don't like her as her as much as the ones I went with- I'd want to hang out with all of the ladies on my list, but I wouldn't want to hang with Buffy. That being said, then,  if you aren't familiar with the characters or stories I'm about to address... well, think of a line from this first lady. (Hint: SPOILERS)

1. River Song (Doctor Who

The caveat for her is when I found out she's Amy and Rory's daughter, I was less excited every time she had a scene or was being mentioned. So maybe part of why I my rating of her went down a few notches has to do with my visceral hate for Amy Pond- the thought of River Song coming from her loins shook me beyond belief (believe me, I was filled with anger and despair for a good couple hours). But, you can't help what family you're born into*, and Rory is a pretty awesome dude to have making up part of your zygote. So, half of her ancestry aside, River Song is one of the cleverest, wittiest, badassiest characters I've ever met. All you need to hear is that trademark, " 'Ello, sweetie." And you know the rest of the episode is going to wash you over with so much awesome, you may want to shower when it's over. Sure, she's one of those impossible characters, in the sense that there really isn't anything she's not good at (although we've never seen her try to cook... maybe her weakness is a grilled cheese sammich). But it works for her, and isn't remotely exhausting (as it can be in other situations).  She does so many important things for the story, and being the Doctor's wife (and Amy and Rory's daughter, for that matter) is a very minimal part of that- she helps the Doctor and his companion(s) get out of myriad pinches, provides all sorts of tantalizing teasers for the audience, and is almost always a step ahead in a given situation. And if she's not entirely in control, she takes control, rather than sit back and panic. The moments where she's panicked or upset are some of the most intense moments I've had as a television viewer, because if River f***ing Song is freaked out... it's time to freak out. She's magic- and not in the hokey sense. I admire her intelligence, her ginormous skillset, adaptability, and perseverance. This last one, especially, because her other trademark line, "Spoilers," is just so utterly moving, when you think about it- the first time we meet her is the last time she's alive (in the sense that her actual body is walking around and stuff), and every time we see her subsequently, the knowledge of her eventual fate and what leads to it lies in the background. "Spoilers," isn't just a way of protecting The Doctor- it's a way of protecting herself. 

*I also really had a lot of trouble buying the bit where they ret-conned her as being this uber best friend that had never made an appearance before and then all of a sudden we're supposed to believe she'd been around since Rory and Amy had been kids. That, I try not to even think of- it was just so utterly stupid, was completely unnecessary, and again, there hadn't been any sign this third party had existed until that episode aired. Maybe I would have liked that if it had been written better, but it wasn't, so I don't. So sue me.

2. Emma Woodhouse (Emma by Jane Austen)

I'm going to cheat a little with this one. My first exposure to this character was through the movie Clueless, but be it Cher via Alicia Silverstone, Emma through Gwyneth Paltrow, or the Emma Woodhouse of the pages of the book itself, I've always been drawn to this character. I admire Cher's/Emma's strong desire to see everyone else around her happy, her skills in navigating within the constraints she's under, and her ability to admit fault or being incorrect (once it's shown to her). Also her introspection. She's a thinker, and a giver, and in terms of admirable female characters, she deserves a lot more props than she gets (in my obviously quite humble opinion). Sure, she wants to get married, but she doesn't take just any marriage, and would have been okay not marrying at all in order to care for her dad. Caring for her dad is gendered, too, sure, but hey, she couldn't own her own house, so being an "independent woman" back in her time was impossible. For the time period, Emma really pushes the boundaries of what was considered proper; and Cher is a great modern woman- recall that she does have high academic standards, and while she may argue her way up the GPA scale, the fact that she's being encouraged to do this in the current academic world is STILL, like twenty years after that movie was made, kind of batsh*t. Women negotiating for what they want? Perish the thought! Also, Emma Woodhouse's relationship with Mr. Knightly is one of the greatest love stories I've seen because it's not about a man sweeping a woman off her feet or rescuing her. It's about a strong woman realizing how important to her someone is and going for it- a friendship that turns into a love so strong, it's all they can do to run off and marry each other right away. But they don't, of course, in part because it would hurt other people about which Emma cares so much. I like her a lot more than the usual Jane Austen favorite, Lizzie Bennet, something I get flack for, but listen up. Any time Emma Woodhouse messes up, it's because she has purely good intentions- her snobbery comes from her compassion and affection for those she cares about (like, for example, deciding Mr. Martin isn't good enough for Hariet), not some inherent sense of betterness. Lizzie Bennet is both prideful and prejudiced (which c'mon, folks, shouldn't be anything new), but Emma is sincere and earnest, warm and gentle- but she has a fierce determination to help those she loves that isn't very common in the way she does it. Because I also get sick of the self-sacrificial lambs, and that's not really what Emma is. She's earnest and giving, but not to a ridiculous extent that makes you feel like you're about to retaste your lunch. 

3. River Tam (Firefly)

Oh, Firefly. I kind of want to cheat here, too, and put all four major female characters from that show down in one paragraph, but I'll focus on River because she's the one that moved me the most. (Also, I named my dog after her and my first pick- a double-nerd-entendre, I call it, muahaha.) She's entirely complex, and mysterious in a not-sexy way- the kind of way that makes you go, "Da fuuuuuu.....?" in like every episode at least once. She too proves herself a major badass when necessary, and even if you don't love the movie, who can honestly say they weren't totally overwhelmed with triumph when they show her standing in the sea of Reavers she had just mowed down by herself? If you didn't think that was major cool, stop reading right now and bury your face in a bowl of thumbtacks. Thanks. Anyway, she's also able to care for others, to the point where she'd give herself up to protect them- a few times in the show, and of course that aforementioned thing in the movie (and it's not in the eye-rolling/ vomit-inducing way mentioned above). She's this paradoxical combination of strength and grace, kindness and ironclad determinism, wisdom and childlike wonder... She just pulls a body in and makes one want to just sit in the same room to see what would happen. Sure, maybe with some body armor, but to see, nonetheless. I loved watching her grow and blossom, find herself amidst all the chaos of living on Serenity, and in spite of all that had been done to her. Like any other Firefly fan, I'm major bummed we won't ever know what she was going to do, or more about what had happened. However, as she stands, she's probably my favorite character on the show because she kept me guessing the whole time- and instead of it being bad writing, it was because the writing was so friggin' great. And while mental experiments could be considered a copout for a quirky character, the way this developed made her immensely strong, not weak. She hadn't offed herself, and she never actually hurt anyone she loved. And she was an allegory for so much going on around her- she highlighted some of the best and worst characteristics of the others on the ship, sometimes in herself, sometimes for pointing them out verbally. It may seem strange I'd pick a character so reliant on her brother, but I don't see it as a gendered relationship, I see it as a fiercely strong familial bond, a love between siblings that could destroy a space ship. Her relationship with Simon is one of the best bonds between characters I've had the privilege to see, and I only wish I could ever be that close to my own siblings. 

4. Molly Grue (The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle) 

Also a character in a book I was first exposed to via film- the animated version of this book is still one of my favorite movies ever; the book remains one of my favorite books. Even as an adult, I recognize how good the story is. I love Molly because she's straight-forward, and imperfect. She's not the sweetest, kindest person, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty, the grime washes away and her spirit and heart are clean and pure. Her reaction when she first sees the Unicorn still makes me cry, whether I'm rereading the book or rewatching the movie (and it's a little different between the two, sure, but still just as gripping) (and need I point out, I have a good third of the book memorized, and all of the movie- so recrying... yeah...); also her reaction when the Unicorn is first transformed into a human (before her name Amalthea is given)- both show her honesty, strength, humanity, and compassion. Molly is awesome because she makes no pretense to hide that she's out for herself, but she never lets her own goals hurt others, nor is she afraid to care or show that she cares for others. And her inner tenderness comes out especially when she handles Amalthea and Prince Lir and their relationship. She's unconventional, but not because she's doing something like peel a potato with a teaspoon (although, "Cut away from yourself, not toward," and aimed at a prince is pretty telling of her bold nature)- she's unconventional because she adapts in order to survive and achieve her goals (see a pattern in these choices?), and she doesn't ask for more than she deserves; she's unconventional because she's not young and pretty, but rather somewhat older and worn (or at least experienced and beaten down); she's unconventional because she's wise without really conceptualizing or comprehending it, and what to her seems sort of "duh"ish is actually rather insightful or even brilliant- but she's by no means arrogant about it, either. On that note, she's humble when it's particularly important, otherwise she's extremely confident and self-assured (but again, not in a really haughty way). She's pragmatic and thinks things through, but she also still has a heart. And she recognizes and accepts her faults and flaws- something given more depth in the book, of course, since we're given windows into her thoughts, but it still comes across in the movie. I think she'd be really fun to have around- and reliable. She'd be the most loyal, dependable friend a person could have.

5. Jill Valentine (Resident: Evil series)

Another one I wish I could pick more than one lady from the same thing- tough choice between her and Claire Redfield. I at least mean the games, though- the movies... Meh... Anyhoo, so Jill. Talk about a kickass woman. And c'mon, she's the "master of unlocking" and stuff. Heh. But seriously, folks, what's not to love about her? And let's think about her and also how she's portrayed together, kay? She's smart, has a good skillset, is a good shot, adapts, and hey, for a female with a gun, she's pretty well-covered, skin-wise. I mean, holy crap, her boobs aren't flying around everywhere! Sure, she has a tube top and skirt in RE3, but that outfit is less suggestive than the tshirt and minishorts Lara Croft has in the original Tomb Raider games (bounce, bounce, bounce). Granted, her resourcefulness comes, to an extent, from whomever is playing as her, but the thing is, that resourcefulness is actually programmed into her by the game developmers. In other words, the game helps you figure it out so you can control her, but she's supposed to do all the things you make her do- so she'd be doing them, anyway. I know that doesn't make much sense, but meh. She, too, demonstrates all sorts of adaptive skills and yet a willingness to care for others. She is most definitely a survivor to which there aren't many matches. And can I just throw this out there: She's a special ops, paramilitary member. As in trained and kickass in physical fields systemically dominated by men. Not only does she hold her own around what had to be some major sexism and misogyny (note: pure speculation, of course, but c'mon, look at the sexual assault/ rape stats for women police officers and members of the armed forces. Yeah. ZING! So more like an educated guess), but she excels, even. So it's no wonder she'd be one of the few survivors in any of the unfortunate circumstances of the games. Sure, she may get help, but what makes her a strong heroine and admirable character is she admits when she needs it- hubris doesn't cause a downfall, and that's part of why she survives. She doesn't expect others to carry her, no, but she can fully admit when she needs assistance in getting up those God forsaken stairs or out of the room with the falling ceiling. Maybe her dialogue could have been better (I love puns, but even I can admit some of the one-liners, especially from the first RE, are kind of unforgivable), but you can't blame someone in the middle of a zombie virus outbreak for attempting to be humorous. Also, she's defined entirely by her own identity, not by her relationship(s) with another (or other) character(s), male or female. And for her to get her own survival horror game (RE3) is pretty unheard of, even now- survival horror is still a huge sausagefest.   

Friday, March 8, 2013

Gamer Drama: A Story Critique of Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Ghostbusters: The Video Game 

    I finished playing Ghostbusters: The Video Game over a year ago (this, this review is a little less detailed than normal), but this game was so much fun I had to include it in an edition if Gamer Drama. I played the Wii version with my boyfriend over the period of a month or so. The game is actually pretty short, but we were living in different cities so he visited ever other weekend. Having to wait to play more of the game was a real killer, as I found it really absorbing and completely hilarious.

     The game takes place after Ghostbusters II, and the Ghostbusters are living large as official contractors in New York City. They've done so well, in fact, that they've decided to expand the business and hire a new recruit (or recruits, if you're playing co-op). Manhattan has been experiencing significantly increased amounts of ghostly activity, and the Ghostbusters--with the help of Dr. Illyssa Selwyn--discover that there is something much bigger going on. You travel to the hotel, library, and museum--among other places--and capture a wide variety of ghosts and mini-bosses using a ton of new, cool tools in your proton pack. Each of these areas works as a "node" in a mandala that will allow the ghost world to break into the real world--part of a scheme by the game's Big Bad, which will turn him into a god (like Gozer the Destroyer). You kill the baddie, save the girl, and save the world--and have lots of fun doing it.

The Setting
       This game is set in the Ghostbusters world, shown in the two movies. Everything is an animated version of the settings from the movies, rendered in a cartoon-like style. Most of the areas are places that we are familiar with from the movies (some more intimately than others), but many are newly created for the game. It's that bit of nostalgia, though, that helps create the realism of the game's settings. Each area in the game has distinctive types of ghosts for you to battle, new challenges to overcome, and more resources to implement. Easter Eggs and horror movie tropes also help, making the environment seem familiar and friendly (even when the ghosts are trying to get you).
       The environment is nicely detailed, especially considering the animation style of the game. The maps are reasonably open, allowing for me to get lost once or twice (and adding to the environment). There are cellars and corners to explore, and plenty of puzzles to solve in each area. The background and items can get a little glitchy at times, though, taking you out of the game. 

The Characters
      The characters that matter in this game are the NPCs, most of which are a little flat (since you're assumedly familiar with the Ghostbusters and most of the supporting cast). Your character is a silent protagonist, more along the classic depiction of such a character. You're known as "Rookie" (or variants of), and you don't have very many qualities other than being the new guy and carrying a proton pack.
       Dan Akroyd tells us to think of this as the "third Ghostbusters movie," and the characterization is definitely in line with that of a second sequel. There's an introduction and a little characterization for Dr. Selwyn, and the Ghostbusters act according to their established characters (Venkman's the same slightly sleezy womanizer, Egon spouts off pseudo-scientific babble that is somehow still funny). All the characters are humorous and enjoyable to spend time with, but the game certainly isn't a character-driven story. 

The Payoff
     Ghostbusters: The Video Game is a fun romp through the Ghostbusters universe. The story line is formulaic, but fun nonetheless. You know what you're getting into with entertainment from the Ghostbusters franchise. Still, the game doesn't try to cheat you of payoff, or pull any fast ones. You get the conclusion you have worked for while playing the game. I turned off the console fully satisfied. 

Grins and Gripes
  • I can't imagine playing this game on anything other than the Wii. Using the Wii-remote mimics using the proton pack, and really brings you into the game. 
  • As a briefly mentioned earlier, the game can be a little glitchy. I got stuck in a few things (like Stay Puft's arm) and had a few ghosts just...sit there. 
  • One of the "goals" of the game is to avoid property damage during each level. I sucked at that--purposefully. It was way too much fun to run around blasting everything with your stream. Everything explodes, and its extremely satisfying. 
  • The combat can get a little monotonous--there are only four ways to beat and capture bad guys, and you use these throughout most of the game. 
  • While some of the low-level baddies look kind of silly (like the librarian ghosts), the bosses look pretty awesome (I particularly enjoyed the Spider Witch).
Rating: 8/10

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: Geek Battle (the Game)

I bought Geek Battle to play at my friend's birthday party. The guests were basically all unabashedly nerdy folk, and I had only read good reviews about the game. It was on sale on, so I snatched it up and waited eagerly to bust it out at the party.

Which is actually an accurate way of saying it. Because the game was a bust.

A serious bust. I'm sure at least 70% of the players were pissed that we ever started playing it, everyone was raging about one question or another by the time we were done, and the number of bitter nerds in that room was a larger proportion than the number of bitter nerds on the internet. The only thing that saved the night was abandoning the game and drinking lots of alcohol.

I had read that the rules to move the game pieces (roll a D6 to move, read a question matching the space color and then, if you get the question right, roll a D12 to move again) were often unfair and made answering questions correctly not all that important. Since I thought that this ruined the purpose of the game, you answered a question to move off start (your choice of category) and then rolled if you answered right. Then, for your next turn, you would answer the question corresponding to the space that you landed on in the previous turn.

The questions to move were awful. We actually had more fun being outraged at the questions than answering them. Nearly 60% of the questions were way too easy (offensively simple), 10% were strangely difficult (and not in a good, challenging way), and the rest were alright. Many of the "way too easy" questions unnecessarily provided multiple choice answers--with obnoxiously incorrect options. Of course, that left 30%--with most of the questions in this group falling into the "Geek Battle" category.

During a Geek Battle, two players (from two different teams, if you're playing with teams) go head-to-head and answer questions. For example, one Geek Battle asked the players to list all movies and TV shows inspired the the original Star Trek series. The geek battles were by far the best part of the game (though there were some weird questions in there--one asked the players to name all the members of the Big 10 sports conference. Not very geeky.)

The game pieces are these strange, generic superhero pieces. They're a little unsettling, cliche and--more importantly--too large for the spaces. We used different polyhedral dice as game pieces, instead (Go team D4!).

We didn't end up finishing the game. In fact, what we did do was rage quit it, then go through all the cards so you can see some of the questions that were most offensive to poor little geeky hearts.

  • Which of the following superheroes never joined the Avengers?
    • Spider-Man
    • She-Hulk
    • Batman
    • Thor
  • Regular milk chocolate M&Ms have come in six colors since 1995. Name four. (There are at least four questions on M&Ms in this game. Why??)
  • What food did the 1980s cartoon series declare was the favorite of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
    • Burgers
    • Pizza
    • Spaghetti
    • Protein Bars
  • What fictional metal bonded to Wolverine's skeleton makes his bones nearly unbreakable?
    • Adamantium
    • Unobtanium
    • Carbonite
    • Mithril
  • Apple CEO Steve Jobs was known for wearing what color turtleneck?
  • What kind of animal is Sega's video game hero Sonic?
  • In Avatar, the Omaticaya Clan of Na'vi that Jake Sully joins make their home in a giant what?
  • Which character alignment is not possible in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 3.5? (It seems like a good question until you get to the multiple choice answers).
    • Lawful evil
    • Chaotic neutral
    • Awfully evil (REALLY?!?!)
    • Neutral good

Obviously, from the review above, I do not recommend this game to anyone who is actually a geek--or, really, to the general population. I would give it a 3/10, mostly due to the "Geek Battle" category. If they published a companion game that was just Geek Battles, I would probably buy it and play it. Currently, though, I have two thoughts for the game's future: 1) give it to Goodwill, or 2) re-write most of the questions.

Do you have better questions than those listed above? (God, I hope so). If so, leave them in the comments and I'll incorporate it into my own new edition of Geek Battle!