I grew up admiring (and occasionally entering) GAMES Magazine’s contests. They required persistence, mental flexibility, and (especially in the pre-Internet era) both an encyclopedic knowledge and the resourcefulness to know where to look stuff up when that knowledge failed you. And the satisfaction of finishing one was always sweeeeeeet. To be perfectly candid, I pretty well ripped off an actual GAMES contest–several of them, in fact. For every December issue, they used to publish a “best of the year” issue and the cover would always be a visual mash-up of the games and the contest would require readers to deconstruct and/or decode it.
I knew I wanted to start by challenging people to identify bits from the games; the challenge was thinking up another challenge to layer on top of that. Using the initial letters of the games was an obvious idea–but what to do with them? Somehow the idea of related words with a game-related theme floated to the surface, and after dismissing a couple of ideas I came to the railroads from Monopoly. Three of them were decently-sized words (or, in one case, a phrase) which wouldn’t necessarily be easy to unscramble. And, by releasing them one word at a time starting with “Reading” it wouldn’t be obvious what the common thread was until the final stage (especially since the letters in “Reading” and “Short Line” had many possible anagrams).
Finding the games to make up the individual clues was harder than I expected. I had to find games that were well-enough known but not too easy overall–or at least, components which had bits where the name of the game could be deduced, such as the apple from Newton. By the way, I now know that relatively few games start with “N” (except in the wargaming world, where there are plenty of Napoleon games, but I wanted to avoid anything that obscure).
And so to the answers:
Deep Sea Adventure
Great Western Railroad
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
Oh My Goods!
Tiny Epic Zombies
Nations: the Dice Game
Legends of Andor
I’m the Boss
And the contest answer is: B&O! Stay tuned for the winner announcement tomorrow!
Who won the contest?
you meant resistance and not robo rally right?
Still haven’t seen who won. I’m guessing I didn’t since I never heard from you guys 😛