Oppo BDP-105D: Audiophile Blu-ray Player

The Oppo BDP-105D is one of the biggest, heaviest, most expensive Blu-ray players you can buy, but with a quality and feature list to match – including audiophile stereo reproduction. I recently got one of those to replace my PS3 and assorted other players, so here’s a mostly enthusiastic review with a brief description of … Continue reading “Oppo BDP-105D: Audiophile Blu-ray Player”

The Amazing Clinometer

Peter Breitling’s Clinometer is a small but sophisticated and very useful application for iOS, Android & Windows Phone. Using the various motion sensors built into these devices, it turns them into multipurpose (in)clinometers that can measure any surface’s three-dimensional angle relative to the ground. The picture below shows the two main display modes: a simulated … Continue reading “The Amazing Clinometer”

Cubist Lords of Waterdeep

Playdek’s latest iOS board game adaptation is Lords of Waterdeep, a worker placement game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. The board game itself is quite recent, published in March 2012 – click “Product Details” to download the original PDF rules. There was some apprehension regarding the fairly simple design that shares very little … Continue reading “Cubist Lords of Waterdeep”

Windows 8.1: Much Ado About Nothing

Yesterday Microsoft released Windows 8.1 as a free update for Windows 8. I dutifully updated but found it barely worth the effort. Endlessly hyped as the fixed version of Windows 8, the one that would finally realize the original vision and convince desktop users of its brilliance, Windows 8.1 is in fact nothing of the … Continue reading “Windows 8.1: Much Ado About Nothing”

Small World 2 Review

Small World is a strategy game about territory control, similar in concept to Risk yet quite different in execution. The 2009 board game was designed by Days of Wonder, most famous for the Ticket to Ride series. In the evolution of board games, Small World’s closest relative is not classic 1959 Risk itself but rather … Continue reading “Small World 2 Review”

Space Hulk Returns

Space Hulk has recently arrived on Steam, with an iOS version soon to follow. This isn’t the first electronic adaptation of the classic 1998 board game, but unlike the 1993–95 versions it’s an almost literal translation of the board game, of the kind you often see on iOS but very rarely on Windows. Specifically, Space … Continue reading “Space Hulk Returns”

Civilization V: Brave New World

Brave New World, the second expansion to Sid Meier’s Civilization V, is finally upon us. I was quite fond of the original game and its first expansion, Gods & Kings, so I was very much looking forward to this one. Unfortunately I’m somewhat disappointed, as I’ll explain below. But first, here’s a rundown of information … Continue reading “Civilization V: Brave New World”

Eclipse: New Dawn for Strategy Games

Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy is Big Daddy Creations’ recent iOS port of the popular 2011 board game. Thematically, Eclipse is a space 4X game and insofar resembles many PC classics of that genre, most famously Master of Orion by SimTex. Mechanically, however, Eclipse is a Euro-style board game, and that’s where things get … Continue reading “Eclipse: New Dawn for Strategy Games”

Zen Pinball & Pinball FX2

Zen Studios makes digital pinball games for a variety of platforms, marketed as Zen Pinball on Apple iOS and Sony PlayStation 3 & Vita, and Pinball FX2 on Xbox 360 and lately Steam for Windows. The popular series boasts numerous licensed Marvel Comics and Star Wars tables. Within the realm of digital pinball, Zen hews … Continue reading “Zen Pinball & Pinball FX2”

Windows 8, the Desktop Smartphone

Should you have made the mistake of installing Windows 8, this is what you’ll see: Look, a gigantic smartphone on my desk! The new Start screen, full of colorful blinking tiles, informs you that the weather in London is “mostly cloudy” and that “aging Yankees face lots of questions.” Microsoft faces lots of questions, too, … Continue reading “Windows 8, the Desktop Smartphone”