Saturday Crapshoot: The Unicorn Killer

Richard Cobbett at

Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, we head out to catch a real criminal!

In the world of PC gaming, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime and casual gaming companies willing to churn out games about some staggeringly inappropriate things. Like this - a casual game based on a real-world killer, currently serving his time. Fun! His name is Ira Einhorn, and he evaded justice for 25 years after beating his ex-girlfriend Holly Maddux to death and stashing her corpse in his closet to fester. Yes. Really.

This is the story of how he was captured. According to Real Crimes: The Unicorn Killer.

Smart Casual - How PopCap conquered casual gaming

Graham Smith at

Following the news that PopCap has been purchased by EA. We've decided to bring you a feature on the mammoth casual games developer that originally ran in PC Gamer UK issue 220.

Sitting on the floor of Benaroya Hall in Seattle, I’m depressed as hell. I’ve come to the Casual Connect Conference 2010 to hear the makers of casual and social games share their ideas, but in three days of lectures I haven’t heard a single idea about games.

Instead they’re talking about how designers don’t matter. They’re talking about how psychological tricks can turn their audience into zombies. They’re talking about how to use metrics to better monetise your mum. This isn’t just the industry’s business men and women talking, either; these are the people who actually make the games. At a point in history when a new and huge mainstream audience is trying computer games for the first time, our ambassadors aren’t interested in talking about how to make something fun.

Bejeweled 3 Review

Kim Richards at

I’ve been in a trance-like state for the last two hours, subconsciously creating rows of identically coloured gems and breathing in time to visual cues, while the sound of falling rain coerces me into a deep, meditative state. Bejeweled 3’s new Zen mode is remarkable.

Confessions of a Zuma Blitz obsessive

Kim Richards at

Right now, I should be writing about my terrible addiction to Zuma Blitz. Realistically, an article like this should take me no time at all. But it’s taken me four long hours to confess to you the depth of my obsession. Why? Because every time I write a sentence, I’m drawn back to my web browser and before I know it, I’ve clicked ‘Play Again’. ‘Research’, I mumble, over the sweet sound of plinking. Research into a basic colour-matching game that I’ve already sunk 30 hours into.

Garden to galactic dominion in Eufloria

Robert Hathorne at

Whether it's Sins of a Solar Empire, Rise of Nations, or Grand Theft Auto, my very nature compels me to virulent conquest throughout any potential dominion like a tyranid swarm. Nothing is more satisfying than the sight of my player-color ominously enveloping a map. Unfortunately, many of the games that allot such maniacal pleasures are quite the time-sink, which is why I was so thrilled when I discovered Eufloria a few months back. It's all the blind land consumption I want, without the advanced features that require a greater time investment.