As a kid I loved “kick the can” and “capture the flag“, and for a while I tried the indoor “LASER TAG” craze, where I acquired a taste for hurdling obstacles while trying to annihilate real living players with a little red dot that was registered as a “hit” and tallied during the game. I was pretty good. Then, years later while living in Baton Rouge, I became heavily involved with “paintball“. Yes, I was one of those good ol’ boys who ran amok in the Louisiana bayous sweating like crazy, swatting mosquitoes and running like hell and ducking through the cypress swamps with eye goggles and my CO2 paintball rifle wanting nothing more than to nail a green-paint-filled paintball smack dab in the middle of someone’s chest. Paint balls hurt!
Now — in an attempt to reinvent the thrill of the hunt all over again — I’ve become enamored with “UberStrike“: a high-tech HD paintball-like computer game played in a virtual world against other UberStrike members of all ages on servers scattered all over the world. Obviously, shoot-em-up games are not for everyone.
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UberStrike cost $9.99 on the Apple App store, but it is also available for the PC and directly online. Games can either be played (like capture the flag) in a RED-team vs. BLUE-team mode, or in an all-out free-for-all mode where anything that moves is fair game. The UberStrike online forum is very helpful to newcomers seeking tips and tricks to help them progress from level to level: your mentor can be an incredibly talented teenager or a retired ex-SEAL. You’ll never know. Credits that can be used to upgrade (rent) equipment are gained during battle. Or, some folks choose to pay for them at the UberStrike store using real money. Cash credit players are sometimes frowned upon by the game purists, who prefer to earn their outfitting upgrades during play. To me, both viewpoints are acceptable: the biggest and baddest weaponry in the world won’t help you one bit from getting massacred by experienced players using the simplest of weapons.
One aspect I like about UberStrike — unlike paintball and many other shoot-em-up video games available in the marketplace — is there is absolutely not one single drop of blood spilled during UberStrike game play. Ever. However, the first-person point of view of yourself being blasted off a roof and falling to the ground and twitching for several seconds is truly ghastly.
Modern technology has brought 3D HD games to our desktops like never before, a far cry from the pioneering text-only games like “Zork“, created way back in the early 80s.
I really like UberStrike. But — again — UberStrike might not be your cup of tea.
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Tim says: I got a kick revisiting the “Zork” link. When I bought that game for my Radio Shack Model 4 TRSDOS computer back in the early 80s, it was my first computer game ever. I became so addicted to it I called in sick from work for 3 entire days. “You have made the TROLL very, very angry. He is running at you with his rusty sword. Thick red saliva is drooling from his lips. This is not a happy TROLL! What do you want to do? Never mind. You’re dead.”
Doesn’t get any better than that.
Tim says: I accidentally trashed the dozen or so comments for this post. My bad.