Programmer’s Nightmare at the Island of Misfit Games

Programmer’s Nightmare was the first game we played at the first
Island of Misfit Games last month. It worked rather well! Most people
said they would play it again, and some were quite enthusiastic.

I agree with most of the brief review below, especially “interestingly
unpredictable, but long term strategy is still possible”.


Programmer’s Nightmare
Innovative Tom Jolly-designed game in which the players use cards
representing computer instructions to create something resembling a
computer program, but with the important different that players have
controlling interests in particular cards. These interests control
whether the instructions execute or not when the program counter
reaches them. Various wild effects make matters interestingly
unpredictable, but long term strategy is still possible. Downside is
the rather simple presentation, some ambiguity in the rules for some
of the cards and above all, the regrettable artifact that some players
are eliminated (when they run out of bits or life points) quite some
time before the game ends. [6-player Games] [Jolly Games]

Chumby woes and salvation

Our newish Chumby One, which was doing duty as an alarm clock, is
suffering some kind of hardware failure. We’ve had to draft our old
beanbag Chumby from the living room again while we figure out how to
get the new one repaired.

We really like the convenience of the hardware volume knob on the
Chumby One, which was a gift from a friend, but the sound on the old
beanbag Chumby is strikingly better than that on the new one (stereo
vs. mono) and even than my netbook, so I’m thinking we should keep the
old one in the bedroom for falling asleep and waking to music. Then we
can leave the old one downstairs, where we have lousy radio reception
in many rooms, and I’m always looking for a portable device on which
to listen to NPR and the BBC. The Chumby One can do that handily,
because it has a battery, which the perforce stationary beanbag Chumby

So if you’re thinking of buying a Chumby, ask yourself what you want
it for. Portability and convenience? You want the Chumby One.
Listening to music with decent audio quality? Spend a bit more on the
beanbag model.