August 24, 2010
How is it that I’ve gone over two years without ever once mentioning the Illithids (aka, Mind Flayers), the betentacled humanoid monsters from Dungeons & Dragons? It’s a freaking travesty is what it is, and one that I intend to rectify RIGHT NOW.
A full Mind Flayer overview should probably be a topic for a separate post, so for now I will just say that these psionic monsters were invented by Gary Gygax for the original 1974 version of D&D, and they have been included in every edition of the iconic role playing game since (currently in its 4th Ed.).
“Mind Flayer” is one of several designs by ComfyCushion that take classic D&D monsters and present them as hypothetical team mascots. Others include: “Displacer Beasts,” “Umber Hulks,” “Owlbears,”, and “Gelatinous Cubes.” I kind of want them all, but then again, I am a tremendous nerd. It is a nerddom that know no bounds!
May 3, 2010
It’s been quite a while since I posted anything out of my own collection of cephalopodabila (yeah, I’m pretty sure I just invented a new word there), but that is not because I am out of stuff to post. Heavens no! While it’s true that my current state of unemployment has encouraged me to do a lot of “virtual collecting” recently, I still own plenty of awesome ceph-stuff that hasn’t made its way onto the blog yet.
This 500 piece jigsaw puzzle was produced by Iron Crown Enterprises in 1997 as part of their Middle-Earth Puzzles series. “The Way Is Shut” depicts a very octopus-like interpretation of the Watcher in the Water, Tolkien’s tentacled lake monster from The Fellowship of the Ring. (Well, it appears to have at least twelve arms, but but it still resembles an octopus more than anything.) This version of the Watcher is by artist Ted Nasmith and was originally produced for ICE’s Middle-Earth Collectible Card Game.
January 6, 2010
December 29, 2009
We had a marvelous Christmas here at ISK headquarters, and if you celebrate I hope you did too! This year was Kid Indie Squid Kid’s first Christmas, and even though he is a little too young to know what was going on, it was still very exciting. Family came to us, so we didn’t have to worry about traveling with the baby, and that turned out to be ideal, because I seem to have the virus and/or secondary bacterial infection that WILL NOT DIE.
It will come as little surprise that there were a number of cephalopods underneath our Christmas tree. Here’s a rundown of all the loot…
- Imaginext 3-Headed Sea Dragon Gift Set
- Imaginext Ocean Squid
- Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion (by Fantasy Flight Games)
- orange googly-eyed plush octopus
- Young Mad Scientist Alphabet Blocks (by Xylocopa from ThinkGeek)
- polymer clay tentacle pendent/ornament (by bunny X productions)
Well, I think that’s it for now. I’ve been unplugged for a week so I got to ease back into things, you know?
September 18, 2009
August 21, 2009
August 19, 2009
Remember board games like Monopoly, Clue, and Candy Land? Arkham Horror is nothing like those games. In fact, Arkham Horror leaves those games quivering in the corner, gibbering incoherently at mind-shredding visions of extra-dimensional terror. Also there are tentacles.
Published by Fantasy Flight Games, the epic board game specialists, Arkham Horror is based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and the extended Mythos he created. It’s the 1920′s, and the university town of Arkham, Massachusetts (as wall as the neighboring communities of Dunwich, Innsmouth, and Kingsport) is beset by cosmic forces that are determined to rip through the thin boundary between our world and any number of strange and terrible outer realms. The goal of these Ancient Ones, as you might imagine, is to devour all of humanity. In this cooperative game, the players are all investigators working together to find clues, fight monsters, and arm themselves against the teeming servants of these ancient gods. With a little skill and no small amount of luck, they just might succeed in preventing the awakening of such horrific beings as Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth, and even Cthulhu himself.
Arkham is a sprawling game with hundreds of bits, and rather complicated rules. It blurs the line between board game and role playing game (in fact, it is based on the Call of Cthulhu RPG). You select a character representing one of many period archetypes—the reporter, the professor, the private eye, etc.—, and each has a special ability, a range of skill points, and stamina and sanity points that represent their physical and mental well being. You can obtain weapons both mundane and magical, spells, artifacts, and allies to help you the other investigators survive the dangers that lurk around every corner.
All you need to play is the core game (recently back in print!), but there are, at present, six expansions (the two most recent, Black Goat of the Woods, and Innsmouth Horror, are not pictured above) which add new cards, characters, monsters, board segments, and rules variations.
You can pick up Arkham Horror at your Friendly Local Game Store, or, barring that, the game and all expansions are currently available for purchase at www.fantasyflightgames.com.
July 30, 2009
I’ll admit that, for a geek, I know very little about video and computer games, and I know even less about the world of independent game design. However, what kind of Indie Squid Kid would I be if I didn’t acknowledge indie game designer Miguel Sternberg of Spooky Squid Games Inc.? Miguel is the creator of two cephalopod themed games—both were made in conjunction with Artsy Game Incubator, an event that encourages the Canadian indie game community (of Toronto and Montreal, at least) to develop and hone their gamemaking chops.
Night of the Cephalopods! is a “survival horror game with old school pixel art graphics and an innovative fully voiced dynamic narrative system.” Having mistranslated the sinister Octinomicon, you must survive until dawn, fighting tentacled horrors armed with only a shotgun. (Um, you are armed with a shot gun, the cephalopods are armed with, well, their arms.) All the while, your every move is narrated in grand Lovcraftian fashion. Here’s some sample game play…
Cephalopods Co-Op Cottage Defence is Miguel’s follow-up-in-progress to Night of the Cephalopods! It is a two-player, cooperative game “featuring a lady scientist, her clockwork valet and hundreds of squidy things.” Surviving the night is again the goal, but this time it seems you must also defend your laboratory form eldrich invasion.
Both games can be downloaded at AGI.
All this came to my attention by way of Rock, Paper, Shotgun.