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Saturday, February 7: Twisted List: Video Games

Martin Sargent

I'm the kind of guy who loves everything to be brand spanking new. I buy a shiny new Lexus every year, I never wear the same shirt twice unless it's made of a meshlike material, and I still love to dance to the New Kids on the Block at clubs that have just opened. Same goes for the video games I play.

  • Beat Ball (http://www.imphenzia.com). A new take on the arcade classic Breakout. It's fresh, exciting, and terribly action-packed! Actually, it's just Breakout set to techno and ambient music, but it's somewhat reminiscent of playing Arkanoid at a rave.

  • Fly or Die (http://www.gamedale.com). I love video games with brilliant titles. That's why this one is right up my alley. The object of the game is to fly, or you could die. You've never seen anything like it. Adam Sessler of Extended Play writes, "It will start a revolution in the game space comparable only to the birth of the first-person shooter." I played this game after a particularly intense round of Beat Ball and worked off 15 pounds. I haven't done that since Richard Simmons came out with "Sweating to the Oldies, Part Three." I don't know how Chubby Checker wasn't built like a stick!

  • Pickman-3D (http://www.alawar.com). Here's a game with a concept that makes you say, "Why didn't I think of that? I'd be a millionaire!" The concept: Merge the arcade classic Pac-Man with the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. That's the crux of the game. It's a whole lot like Pac-Man 3D, except that in the intro it says you're in a fortress full of orcs rather than a maze rife with ghost monsters. I've got an eighth-level awfully good Pickman!

  • Super Methane Brothers (http://www.digitalfan.com). You've all heard of Super Mario Brothers, but how about these guys? It's just like the original Super Mario, except with this variation on the old Amiga game: Instead of being a plumber, you're apparently part of a sibling extermination duo that fires methane gas at bugs. It's pretty brilliant.

  • Atomic Superball, the Chicken Edition (http://www.tetriscity.com). The game is very similar to Breakout, but with a mind-bending twist: You need to kill a chicken before advancing to the next level.

Do Video Games Belong in Gym Class?

Dave Roos

Geeks and gym class do not mix. Mention the words dodge and ball to any member of The Screen Savers, and he's likely to respond with a tragic tale of wedgies past. One school in California has added highly entertaining and mildly aerobic Dance Dance Revolution machines as a substitute for less entertaining exercise options, such as floor hockey and laps.

"My waistline has gone down by 1 inch," one satisfied gamer says. "In, like, two weeks, I've lost 15 pounds," adds another formerly pudgy player.

The machines, which cost $8,000 a pop, are apparently mobbed with students who complain when gym class has to end.

Do video games belong in gym class?

Yes 32%

No 68%

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