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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Retro Reflections: On making Magic Carpet a family bonding experience


Retro reflections by Matt S.

My family generally ends up playing a fair few games over Christmas. Not just video games, mind you, but board games too, and as a bonding experience it’s hard to go past either. I have unforgettable memories of intense games of everything from the classic board game, Power Grid, through to Boom Street (Fortune Street) on the Wii, the Buzz quiz game on PlayStation 2 (we really need a new Buzz game), and I’ll never forget the howls of anger and laughter my brothers and I had over perhaps the most intensely competitive game we ever got; Super International Cricket on the SNES.

This year we got stuck right in to Keep Speaking And Nobody Explodes; a VR party game in which one person can see a bomb through the VR goggles, and the other players (who can’t see the bomb) need to communicate with the VR goggles player to tell him/ her how to disarm the bomb (because they have the bomb defusal manual which the VR goggles player can’t access). In the same vein as charades and Pictionary, it was a true party game of the highest order, and I can’t recommend it enough to people that do like to play local multiplayer games.

It got me thinking back to other games that I played as a kid with the family, and one that really stood out was Magic Carpet. It’s not a game that you’d think is a multiplayer experience (though it had a multiplayer mode via LAN, back in the heady early days of networked computer gaming, I never did play it in multiplayer), but I have very fond memories of my dad and I playing that game through from start to finish, in the single player game, by sharing the controls.

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Retro Reflections: On making Magic Carpet a family bonding experience
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