Horizons: Big Brain Wolf

August 6th, 2011 by | No comments

I love puzzles so after completing Puzzle Agent 2 in a few hours I found the game Big Brain Wolf on Steam and bought it to work as a fix to my endless hunger for puzzles. I’m going to be comparing it to Puzzle Agent 2 as a frame of reference. The story in Big Brain Wolf is stupid and one you probably won’t find yourself caring much about, but the puzzles are superb.

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Horizons: Pirates, Vikings and Knights II

July 30th, 2011 by | No comments

If you’re looking for a game like Team Fortress 2 that’s also based on Valve’s Source engine (like Garry’s Mod), but you find that to be lacking in the pirate department, here’s something you’re sure to enjoy: Pirates, Vikings and Knights II. The game is a lot like TF2 in that you play against others online (or on a local network), but this time you’re not using guns. Well, one or two, but only if you’re playing as a pirate. As a Monkey Island fan, you’ll probably want to do so, in which case you have several other weapons at your disposal, including a homicidal homing parrot. The other two classes, Vikings and Knights, are fun to play as well, and word is that all of them are getting a few extra characters to play with soon. Best of all, it’s free to play on Steam!

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Horizons: Pirates captured a Romanian Ship Captain

July 24th, 2011 by | No comments

If I may…

If this was a movie plot, I would probably go see the movie! I’m not too fond of my people, but a Ship Captain which shares the same country origins with me? Sweet!

The situation, however, is not so sweet. Pirates seized an Italian tanker off Benin with a crew of 23 in the Gulf of Guinea Sunday, the Benin navy said. Navy commander Maxime Ahoyo told AFP that after receiving distress signals from the vessel, the navy sent two patrol boats in pursuit of the pirates.

“We are closely monitoring the situation”, he added.

Earlier, the Italian news agency ANSA first reported the capture of the Rbd Anema e Core and its crew comprising 20 Filipino seamen, two Italians and a Romanian captain.

It said three pirates managed to board the ship, which was carrying fuel, 23 nautical miles south of Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin.

I hope those people are okay. This is a bit ironic, really… I can finally brag about someone from my country, the Captain of that tanker… and he gets captured by pirates >.<


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Horizons: Mermen

July 16th, 2011 by | No comments

Last month we had an article on mermaids and to keep things equal and not being accused of being sexist we are going to take a look at mermen today. They are not that different from their female counterparts; They are also overgrown fish with a human upper body – in this case a man’s obviously.  There are many different myth about mermen depending on where you are in the world. In Greek mythology they have a beard, seaweed hair and a trident. In Irish mythology they are extremely ugly creatures with green teeth, pig-like eyes, green hair and a red nose. Elsewhere they are known to be handsome and magical creatures that can cure illnesses, lift curses and brew potions. Sounds like a splendid fellow to have around.

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Horizons: Garry’s Mod

July 10th, 2011 by | 2 comments

If you find we’ve been a bit lax with updates as of late, it’s likely because we here at the blog have discovered Garry’s Mod. It’s a sandbox game in which you can build things, but more importantly, you can shoot each other in multiplayer (or do other fun things, but mostly shoot each other). The only thing you need for it to work is a game using the Source engine, such as Team Fortress 2, another fun game that is now free on Steam. Then purchase a copy of Garry’s Mod and you’re ready to waste many hours of your life! Do you play Garry’s Mod? Any maps you want to recommend to your fellow Monkey Island fans? Perhaps you’re even working on a Monkey Island mod? Do let us know!

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Horizons: Prosthetics

July 2nd, 2011 by | 1 lonely comment

Here’s a weird question for ya scurvy dogs: Have you ever thought about loosing a limb?

Sinister, maybe… dark, a bit… but if it does happen one day, what are you going to do about it? Sure, it is unfortunate but, with all due respect towards those who already deal with this situation, there’s no reason why you can’t make something cool out of it!

Would you like a hook? Or a pegleg? Did you know they (still) come in various shapes and sizes?

First things first, wikipedia is on a roll:

A pegleg is a prosthesis, more specifically an artificial limb of carved wood fitted to the remaining stump of a human leg, as often seen in pirate movies. Wooden peg legs have been replaced by more modern materials, though some sports prostheses do have the same form.

Peg Leg Sam (Arthur Jackson) (1911–1977) American blues musician was one of the few famous land lubbers that had such a thing! Even to this day you can see brave people wearing a pegleg (in various designs) or a real hook!

Here are some “reviews” by people who know about these solutions or who live with them:

I know a person with a prosthetic hook, which is operated by a cable connected to a brace around her shoulders to operate the mechanism. She helped my wife and I pack, and, by God, she had no trouble wrapping things in paper, closing boxes, using the tape dispenser to seal things closed, etc.

Granted, she does have on functional human hand on the other arm, but most of what she did required the use of both and it didn’t slow her down in the least. Practice and skill in using a single, multi-function hook is a greater boon than having a bunch of attachments each of which requires its own skill to operate. In fact, from what I understand, the “fake hand” prosthetics are either non-functioning, or masks a hook underneath — prosthetic hooks are quite common. – Azrael Brown
I do recall hearing about a one-armed chef who had a custom-made set of knives that attached to his prosthesis. – Faint of Butt

Ever heard of a prosthetic fishing rod? Find out more here.

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Horizons: ScummVM

June 25th, 2011 by | 1 lonely comment

ScummVM might very well be the best program ever developed in the history of anything. It’s a free program that allows you to run old adventures on newer computers, provided you have the original games of course. It started out as a project to enable old LucasArts adventures to be played on today’s machines, but it has since moved far beyond that and now supports a lot of other games – mostly adventures. That includes some of my favorite games like ‘The Legend of Kyrandia‘ series and ‘Simon the Sorcerer‘ 1+2.

“ScummVM supports many adventure games, including LucasArts SCUMM games (such as Monkey Island 1-3, Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max, …), many of Sierra’s AGI and SCI games (such as King’s Quest 1-6, Space Quest 1-5, …), Discworld 1 and 2, Simon the Sorcerer 1 and 2, Beneath A Steel Sky, Lure of the Temptress, Broken Sword 1 and 2, Flight of the Amazon Queen, Gobliiins 1-3, The Legend of Kyrandia 1-3, many of Humongous Entertainment’s children’s SCUMM games (including Freddi Fish and Putt Putt games) and many more.”

The complete list is huge though and you can check it out here. So if you’re in the mood for a little nostalgia with an old game you haven’t played for years because you can’t get it to work ScummVM is your friend.

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Horizons: The Wager

June 18th, 2011 by | No comments

Here’s an interesting game that you may not have tried out yet: The Wager. It’s a free (!) indie game that has you sailing the seas to discover and explore islands in return for coin. On your journey you meet with lots of unexpected occurrences, such as a ship full of ghost pirates. It’s not a long game, but it will keep you entertained for a bit, so it’s ideal lunch/coffee/whatever break material. Interesting tidbit: the game is made by the duo Surprised Man, one half of which is Peter “SurplusGamer” Silk, who you may have seen around the Mojo part of town.

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Horizons: Sails

June 13th, 2011 by | No comments

Here’s a question for you: How old are the sails anyway?

The proto-Austronesian words for sail, lay(r), and other rigging parts date to about 3000 BC when this group began their remarkable Pacific expansion.  The earliest known depictions of sails are from ancient Egypt around 3200 BCE, where reed boats sailed upstream against the River Nile‘s current. Ancient Sumerians were using square rigged sailing boats at about the same time, and it is believed they established sea trading routes as far away as the Indus valley. Greeks and Phoenicians began trading by ship by around 1,200 BCE. Square sails mounted on yardarms perpendicular to the boat’s hull are very good for downwind sailing; they dominated in the ancient Mediterranean and spread to Northern Europe, and were independently invented in China and Ecuador. Although fore-and-aft rigs have become more popular on modern yachts, square sails continued to power full-rigged ships through the Age of Sail and to the present day. Triangular fore-and-aft rigs were invented in the Mediterranean as single yarded lateen sails and independently in the Pacific as the more efficient bi sparred crab claw sail, and continue to be used throughout the world. During the 16th-19th centuries other fore-and-aft sails were developed in Europe, such as the spritsail, gaff rig, jib/genoa/staysail, and Bermuda rig, improving European upwind sailing ability.

In an interesting recent development, an elderly trawler, TS Pelican, was fitted with what are thought to have been the unorthodox riggings used by the Barbary pirates in the 16th century. The resultant performance has been remarkable, with the Pelican sailing, at speed, over 20 degrees nearer the wind than any square rigger.

If you want to know more, including the parts of a sail and common materials, check out the wiki page.

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Horizons: Mermaids

June 5th, 2011 by | 5 comments

After seeing Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look a mermaids. I don’t mean that in a pornographic way, but where the myth of them originated from, because it is a myth. They don’t exist, do they? Anyway, we’ll dig into that as well. Mermaids are those big fish with a woman’s upper body instead of that of a fish. They live in the sea (duh!) and the most popular myth is that they lure sailors close by singing a beautiful song. When the poor sailors, who are enchanted by the song,  gets close the mermaids drag them underwater to drown. What they get out of that is beyond me. Maybe they have a weird fetish and just do it for pleasure, but there are also other stories.

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