In which, our GameCell attendees screamed more than ever, we talked about Fasnachts, and what Jesus has to do with doughnuts:
“What do you think of Lent?”
“Ever give something up for a little while? Maybe videogames?”
Veterans (Alex, Caleb, Jeff, and James) plopped around my living room and reflected on these questions. Newcomers, Owen and Mason warmed up to the discussion after I explained that Lent basically starts with Fasnacht Day.
“Want a Fasnacht?” I asked.
Vince provided an enormous tub full of them for us to enjoy (thanks, Vince!).
We discussed the value of giving things up so that you can allow more mental and spiritual space within us to be yielded to Jesus. And to that effect, we looked at how Jesus rode into Jerusalem: on the back of a baby donkey.
Jesus got a young donkey and rode it, just as the Scripture has it:
No fear, Daughter Zion:
See how your king comes,
riding a donkey’s colt.
“So why do you think Jesus chose to come into town on a tiny donkey that could barely carry him?” Jeff responded right away: “Because he wanted to show his humility?” ”Good answer!” I said.
We talked about how this was a way of a King declaring peaceful intentions. And then I may have read too much (sidenote: keep things focused instead of trying to cover too many bible stories at once). I got a few of blank stares after reading the “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies” bit. Though, asking them what they thought about that concept, I got some solid answers. Some dudes caught how that connected to Jesus sacrificing himself for our benefit. Guys asked a bunch of questions for clarity, too. So I know nobody fell asleep!
“Anything you want prayer for?” I asked. No hands. “Okay we’re gonna pray for Vince and his coworker in the hospital. Cool?” Bowed heads.
The Pick For Owen: Toto Temple
“Owen, you’re the new guy. I have a perfect game for you where you get goat powers.”
He responded, “Okay, cool. But I have to leave by 8:30.”
“Okay. That leaves twelve minutes. New plan. Here’s a game where everybody has to grab a goat and hold onto it as long as possible:”
Toto Temple is crazy fun. It’s a four-man game of keep-away on a single screen. Think Smash Bros meets Halo’s oddball and you’ll know exactly what’s up. Players can get straight to competitive competency in a few seconds. And most wonderfully, the version we played is presently free on PC. Download it! This version is just a single bare-bones stage. But it’s quite fantastic. And it will probably get a lot of use as we wait for the final PC version to come out.
The official release is supposedly system-exclusive on Ouya and launches “this Spring.” But I suspect a Steam release isn’t too far behind. Either way, if you’ve got a PC and four 360 controllers, you should be playing this with your friends ASAP.
Mason’s Pick: Rogue Legacy
I didn’t know for sure that Mason was gonna make it. So I didn’t pick what I thought would be perfect. Fortunately, he felt drawn to Rogue Legacy, the Castelvania-ish roguelike (“roguelike” means random level layout and permanent death) which is all about storming a castle to grab as much gold as possible for future generations. Everything your character gains before they die goes to the next “heir” as you pick up the game and again. It’s a smart level-up loop. And Mason seemed to love it. He seemed pretty disappointed that it’s not on Xbox 360.
James Plays My First Game Ever: The Hard Night (NEW!)
I made a game. Seriously. It’s all text (Twine). But I think it’s pretty fun for a short bout. The guys laughed.
Go ahead and try it out. It’ll only take about five minutes to play through and discover the multiple endings.
It’s been a while since Alex picked a game, especially being the longest-standing GameCell attendee. So I made sure to pick out a game that appealed to a couple of his interests” “In this game, you’re a big strong black man who beats up bad guys Devil May Cry style.” I said. “Yes. That one.” Alex Said. And all of that gets summed-up in this screenshot:
And why all the Screaming….
Tim Hilbert showed up with a pizza and Stromboli from his workplace. So it’s safe to assume we forgave him for being so late! To commemorate his arrival, we turned to what’s become our offical GameCell go-to: Samurai Gunn
As players got more and more comfortable with Samurai Gunn, the intensity of each match led to more and more excited of a response from our resident loud guy. If you’ve ever played a game with Tim that he loved, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with his hilariously explosive reactions (to success or failure).
If my neighbors are reading this, I apologize for all the noise.
Everybody seemed to be having more fun than usual. Alex Carter kept saying “THIS IS THE BEST GAMECELL EVER!”
Due to structural circumstances, GameCell went way late into the evening. Some of our guys started asking about sticking around for the night at about 1am. I realized it might be time to send everybody home.
The guys don’t believe me when I tell them next time we get together, we’ll be playing a game that’s “even more fun than Samurai Gunn”: Towerfall Ascension. We shall see…