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Power Grid Board Game Review

In Power Grid, a new power market has opened up and everything is up for grabs. Compete against other power suppliers as you work your way towards becoming the biggest power supplier in the land. Build power plants and control the market for raw materials such as garbage, oil, coal and uranium. Connect cities to your power grid before others do and become the greatest power magnate!Power Grid is a strategy board game designed by Friedemann Friese and is a remake of the German board game Funkenschlag. Each player represents a power supply company trying to connect as many cities as possible to its power grid. To do so, you will have to build power plants to supply enough electricity to power your cities; own enough resources to run the power plants; and earn enough funds to connect the cities and buy the power plants and resources.Each game of Power Grid is played on a board featuring a map of a region hungry for power. The base game comes with 2 maps: the USA and Germany. Each map shows the cities that can be connected to your power grid and the connection fees between the cities. For example, it is cheaper to connect Washington with nearby Philadelphia than it is to connect San Francisco to Seattle. The board also contains a grid showing the raw materials (coal, oil, garbage and uranium), how much is available and how much they cost.There are 4 actions each round in your quest to power the most cities (the game ends when a player connects a certain number of cities, determined by the number of players). Firstly, players take turns to bid for power plants. These plants can be powered by materials such as oil, coal, garbage, uranium and wind. Each power plant also has different efficiencies (being able to power a different number of cities), but you pay for that efficiency by spending more to buy the more efficient power plants.There is an order to the bidding process. The player with the most connected cities each round get to bid for power plants first. However, this is balanced by the fact that they will be the last to buy raw materials and connect cities. Buying raw materials involves grabbing coal, oil, garbage or uranium from the board at their current price. There is a raw materials market that changes depending on supply and demand. The materials replenish at a fixed rate each turn, and are consumed by players using the related power plants. The more of each material is available, the cheaper it is.Connecting cities involves paying connection fees and placing your tokens on the connected cities. There are clusters of cities on each board where the connection fees are pretty cheap, but building in those areas means competing against more players who also want to take advantage of the cheap connections. Power Grid also divides the game into 3 phases: starting, growing and matured phases. Progressing from one phase to the next changes the amount of raw materials that are replenished each round, and also increases the number of players who can connect to each city.The last action in the round is to power your cities. You use up the required raw materials and earn cash depending on how many cities you powered. You can then use this cash to buy more power plants and resources, and connect more cities the next round.Power Grid is mainly about efficiency and strategic planning. The goal is to power as many cities as you can, and the player who is the most efficient and can do it the fastest will win. Also, how much are you willing to bid for that attractive power plant? Should you spend your limited funds connecting choice cities first or overbidding for that new power plant? Is it worth it to spend a bit more to connect to distant cities in order to cut other players off from a city network? Should you target cities in cheap but congested networks or go for the isolated expensive ones? These are questions you need to always keep in mind, and the answers will change depending on how your opponents play as well.The game also has expansion boards and power plant sets. New boards include France, Central Europe, China and Korea, and each introduces interesting aspects to the game. For example, the order in which power plants are revealed in the China game reflect’s the country’s planned economy. Similarly, there are 2 resource markets in Korea to reflect the separate North and South economies, and the North Korea resource market doesn’t have uranium (right…).Overall, Power Grid isn’t too challenging a game to learn. The mechanics are pretty straightforward and easily grasped, though it might take time to master the efficiency and fund-allocation required to be really good at it. The game takes just over 2 hours, and is one of few games that can play up to 6 players without losing its appeal or taking too long.Complexity: 3.5/5.0Playing Time: 2.0 to 2.5 hoursNumber of Players: 2 to 6 players

Video Gaming in Our Lives

Video games have become a big part of nearly all family’s lives, whether it is the children playing, or the parents. There are all kinds of video games, children’s, adults, violence, adventure, first shooter, online, etc…. I could mention more, but I think you get the point; there are video games for just about any personality.Even though there were video games before Pong, a computerized version of ping pong, or as some call it, table tennis, it has been touted as the first video game to come out. Without a doubt, it was the first to become “red hot” among the first gamers. Since its inception, the gaming world literally exploded. Video gaming has become a very lucrative business among young and old alike. It has even been made into a popular genre with the entertainment world. Several major motion pictures have been made using video game themes, such as several versions of Resident Evil and Doom. On the other hand, video games have been derived from major motion pictures, such as Transformers. Television has also had its hand in helping the video game industry with such favorites as Transformers, which was a cartoon long before it was a movie.VIDEO GAMING PROS AND CONSVideo gaming has become one of the most successful industries, but, as with most successes, come doubts, fears, and even dismay. Many feel its effects in the society, particularly on the younger generation; have both positive and negative consequences. Studies have found that, used in moderation, they have positive effects on the mental and physical development of children. Some of the positive aspects of video gaming are hand and eye coordination, mental acuity, educational value and a means for otherwise shy, introverted children to interact with others. One negative aspect is becoming so involved, one tends to neglect the rest of the world. Another is that some individuals tend to confuse fantasy with reality. Video games have been named in cases where individual(s) stray from reality, and in extreme cases, used as a crutch for wrong-doing.Violence in video games has become a major issue, particularly in children. Some have expressed concerns that the violence can bring out violent behavior in individuals, young and old alike. While it has been proven that video games have a healing effect, they also have an effect on weak minds.VIDEO GAMING RATING SYSTEMIf you are concerned with whether the games you kids are playing are appropriate, consider checking the ratings. E rated games are for everyone. They include games such as sports video games, Mario Brothers, SpongeBob Squarepants. Consider age appropriate games created from movies, such as Madagascar, to fall in this category.T rated games are for teens. They offer graphics that are a bit more detailed, and could have some violence and sexual graphics, but with no graphic gore.M games are rated mature. These would be for adults only, with more gore, sexual context and graphical killing. Grand Theft Auto is a fine example of an M rated video game. Other M rated video games would include war games where there is a lot of killing and gore.Even with this rating system listed above, children still choose the ones that are rated as not suitable for them. They can always find ways to play with those types of video games rather than the ones which are more age-appropriate.Bottom LineVideo games are here to stay, whether they are played on Nintendo’s, WII’s, the PC or in arcades. Our children will be constantly subjected to video games, so “parental responsibility” should be a key phrase in all parents vocabulary. As for adults, to each his own.

Video Game Beta Testers – Can I Really Get Paid To Play Video Games?

Many people make a living as a video game beta tester. What this means is that they get paid to find bugs in beta versions of upcoming video games. The reason for this is quite simple. For the game company, it is financially beneficial to pay professional game testers to thoroughly test a game and all of it’s features so that it meets consumer expectations, and so that it is the best quality that can possibly be achieved.Generally speaking, here’s how you get started: you contact a few game developers & game companies and you persuade them to hire you as a beta tester. In a nutshell, that’s basically what needs to be done. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately though, it is much easier said than done.The best way to “persuade” these companies and developers is by showing them your overwhelming amount of expertise in the video game industry; things like your skill level as a gamer, your ability to accurately document glitches and bugs, your ability to follow instructions to the letter, and so on and so forth. Occasionally, it means making them an offer they can’t refuse, such as testing a few video games for free (GULP). Why test them for free? Well, to get your foot in the door and show them that your a dedicated tester that just loves to play video games. Remember, they are looking for true blue game testers that can be remarkably efficient when testing video games.When you begin landing video game tester jobs, you are generally sent a free copy in the mail as well as a questionnaire and “report” to fill out. Typically, you’ll be given an assignment to complete that either involves beating the entire game from start to finish or playing one level over & over & again. It really just depends on the information the developer needs.Once you get your assignment, it’s time to go to work. Complete the assignment, fill out the form or questionnaire, and then mail it back to the game developer. It’s important to be fast with your video game testing and, at the same time, you must be professional as well. With that being said, get the work done quickly but make sure it is done accurately and without mistakes. After they have received your report, you will be issued a check in the mail. Typically, the checks are paid every other week to the video game beta tester.To be a good game tester, you have to have an eye for detail, as well as the ability to play certain parts of a game repeatedly. At the same time, you have to be able to properly document errors and glitches that you find, which will be done via the bug reporting form.When it comes to getting started and finding your first video game tester job, there are two paths you can walk. Path 1: You go out on your own and do everything completely by yourself without any help from anyone or anything. Path 2: You research and read through the numerous resources & testing guides in order to find a “tried, tested, and proven” approach that others have achieved success with. Obviously, the path you choose is up to you, but personally, I’d go with option 2. Why? Because video game testing is an industry made up of teams, not solo gamers. Plus, why would you want to “reinvent the wheel” when you can just improve upon it?There you have it; a quick & simple guide on how to get paid as a video game beta tester.


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