International Games Week October 29 – November 4

International Games Week

Clapper Game donation

Posted on November 7, 2016

clapperInternational Games Day would like to thank Bridgeside Interactive for donating 20 codes for the two-player cooperative rhythm and clap game currently available for iPad, Clapper. Players perform five different types of claps with their partners, recognized via the device camera, to the beat of the music.

Take a journey through the jungle as you unlock new songs in this interactive musical game! Clapper offers four levels of difficulty, making it a great for beginners and experienced players of all ages.

Register here to win one of the 20 promotional codes for this digital game. You must be registered for International Games Day to be eligible for this free donation. Registration for the drawing will close on November 11th. 

Thank you Bridgeside Interactive for supporting International Games Day!

Game Review: Cheap Ass Games: Pairs & Unexploded Cows Review

Posted on November 3, 2016

Jeremy has degrees in Game Design and English and is currently working on his Master’s degree in Library Science at UNT. As the Programming and Outreach Assistant at the UNT Media Library, Jeremy uses his knowledge, skills, and connections within the gaming community to create engaging, creative, and educational events for students in the UNT community.

What do you get when you cross a Pair, a Cow, and a whole lot of Nonsense? A ton of free games from Cheapass Games! Haven’t heard of them? We have, and I can tell you, their games are great. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Pairs: As a fan of Patrick Rothfuss’s work, Pairs came onto my radar very early. I had the privilege of watching it as it came into being through Kickstarter and watching one of the artists, Shane Tyree, create some of the illustrations. When I heard they were also doing a Girl Genius deck, the fate of this game was sealed for me. I was even more excited when I discovered it was a fantastically designed game.

Pairs has a number of draws to it. First, is its simplicity. Like most games produced by Cheapass Games, Pairs is small and easy to play. With a simple yet strategic press your luck mechanic, Pairs offers an experience that is both easy to pick up yet mentally engaging.Pairs

The second draw is how many variants can be played with the same deck. The triangular style deck (1x1, 2x2, 3x3…) allows for over fifteen different games to be played with just one deck and at most a set of chips or chits to bet or keep score with.

Additionally, there are over a dozen different versions of artwork for the game pulling from many different fandoms, creating with each a different experience or providing for a different variant. Like I mentioned before, the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss was connected to this project from the beginning. Two of the deck designs are based upon the world from the book. They even added a Princess and Mr. Whiffle version as well. Some other versions include the Muses deck from Girl Genius, a baby Cthulhu deck called “Shallow Ones”, and a deck based upon Professor Elemental, the steampunk rap artist from the UK.

Check out Pairs here.

Unexploded Cow: Very few games can claim to successfully combine the themes of science, history, and economics into a single game, and still remain short, simple, and fun for a wide range of audiences. Unexploded Cow does this with a healthy dose of ridiculousness and strategic tomfoolery.

Could solving the problem of a Mad Cow epidemic in England, and an overabundance of unexploded bombs in France be as simple as bringing the two together?

Unexploded cowsIn this game, players take turns playing cow cards, and paying the cost of procuring the cows. Then at the end of each turn, a bomb may be found. As the game proceeds, players will keep paying money to the central pot, while collecting money each time a bomb goes off. Once all the cities have been cleared, the player who has made the most money wins!

I love this game for a few reasons. The period style, yet silly cartoon illustrations do a great job highlighting the theme, and the general ridiculousness of it. The gameplay is simple enough to learn and creates a depth of player interaction that many games lack. Unexploded Cow is a game I find great for mixed age groups. It easily creates fun and interesting moments that will make any game night memorable.

Check out Unexploded Cow here.

What’s bigger than Global? SPACE!

Posted on October 31, 2016

In a previous post, Philip Minchin mentioned another inter-library activity for this year's event. Well, it's a pretty amazing one!

IGD has another new sponsor for the year: Henry Smith, creator of the legendary indie local-cooperative tablet & phone game Spaceteam!

Spaceteam is a game where people with Android and iOS devices connect to each other (yes, Android and iOS play together!) over a local wifi network and... you know what, I shouldn't be trying to describe it, watch this video.

It is completely free (there are in-app purchases and/or a supporter's subscription, but those are optional and only add cosmetic stuff - nobody will need to pay anything to participate!) and it doesn't snoop on players.

It's made by a bloke with AAA pedigree (he's worked on the Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Dead Space series), who quit to make his own independent games because of some pretty cool ideas about how game making could work.

It's a bit rowdy, but a wonderful way to get people interacting. And it can even be used for literacy purposes - Concordia University commissioned a version that uses the 1000-5000 most common English words instead of the silly randomly generated pseudo-sci-fi terms. Trailer here!


If all goes well, we will be the first event IN THE WORLD to use a brand new feature of the as-yet-unreleased version 2.1 of the software - Special Events. This will enable us to track everyone who registers as playing Spaceteam (not the ESL version, sorry) as part of IGD, tally their achievements, compare who gets furthest and generally connect people in different places and time zones.

(I might not be able to run the Global Gossip Game this year but I wasn't going to let IGD go without SOMETHING to connect us all together if I could help it!)


In addition to setting up this global special event for us, Henry has generously agreed to donate memberships of the Spaceteam Admiral's Club. If you'd like these, contact Henry at

Thanks, everyone - and remember, the game is completely FREE to users and works on Android and iOS phones and tablets, and is available in many languages, making it one of the most accessible video games around. Download it with some colleagues now and give it a try! Helpful tips on getting the game working are here.


Pokémon Go Halloween Event!

Posted on October 26, 2016

Pokemon Go Halloween

Ghosts, psychics, and skulls, oh my!

This week, October 26th-31st, Niantic has released its first Pokémon Go event in the spirit of Halloween and all the spooky fun the holiday inspires.

While exploring the world, there are three major changes that are in effect for this event. Instead of the typical Pidgeys and Rattatas found everywhere, Halloween-themed Pokémon are in abundance! This includes, Gastly, Drowzee, Meowth, Cubone, Zubat, and all of their evolutions.

In addition, as a sweet treat, all Pokémon caught, traded, or evolved provide twice the candies during this Halloween event.

Lastly, and probably most excitedly, walking around with your buddy Pokémon produces candy four times as fast! This means walking a Magikarp provides a candy every .25km, much like everyone’s favorite little yellow buddy, Pikachu.

Get out and catch them all this weekend, and don’t forget to sign up for the Pokémon Go library gym map!

Global Gossip Game not proceeding this year (BUT…)

Posted on October 26, 2016

In years past, Philip Minchin has single-handedly organized and managed IGD's Global Gossip Game. Here is a message from the man himself regarding this year's event:

By now it's probably obvious (or you could say it's no... Secret) [groan] that the Global Gossip Game isn't going to happen this year.

I am sorry (and saddened myself) - it's just been a relentless year. New family demands, the inflexibility of full-time working hours (even for a particularly flexible and awesome employer), long commutes every day, putting our home on the market, AND health problems have meant that I just wasn't able to make it happen.

The good news is that I do plan to be around for the 10-year milestone next year, and bigger and better than ever. The GGG is too silly and lovely not to run again. Especially if we can finally line up... certain exceptionally awesome libraries that have tried to participate in the past but not always been able to make the scheduling work.

The even better news is that I plan to make this possible by creating tools that anyone can use to run Global Gossip Games, or any other kind of similar multi-location sequential event they like. A lot of the organising I've had to do has been the kind of tedious clerical work that computers were made for - and while I've managed to automate a lot of it, there's been a lot more I didn't have the skills to code.

To make these tools happen, therefore, I may be running a small crowdfunding campaign - keep an eye out after IGD is over and, if you've enjoyed the GGG in the past and/or hope to play it again, throw in whatever you can, whether a few bucks, a bit of a signal boost, or something else.

(Alternatively, if you know a coding and/or design hotshot who would be interested in helping make a quirky tool for the sake of something random, ridiculous, and beautiful, please put us in touch!)

So there's bad news this year, but (hopefully) good and better news for next year... and, oh yes, some AWESOME news for THIS year about what I have managed to organise instead. But that's so exciting it needs a post of its own... coming soon!

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