February 2006 – One of my good friends here in New York is Duncan, who I’ve known since our days in the mid-90’s writing Star Wars games at LucasArts. His friend started the company GameLab which writes great smallish games. They do lots of short games — games for when you have an extra 15 minutes to waste, rather than the epic immersive games like Halo or Red Alert.

GameLab hosted a non-electronic games night, i.e. board games and card games. I got to see their office space and It was a gamer’s fantasy come true. In a grim looking building near Canal Street, we walked up two flights of stairs to a door with a huge pixellated Space Invaders image on the door. “This must be the place.” I walked in and every visible surface was covered with something related to games, comics, or computers. Bookshelves were filled with Japanese Manga, Marvel and D.C. comics, and also a huge collection of old hand-held electronic games like the Mattel Football. There were dozens of programmers and artists putting the last touches on their work before relaxing to an evenings entertainment of pizza, card games, and idle banter.

We played one hand of The Family, a card game where you play Mob bosses trying to eliminate your competition before they eliminate your. Pretty good, but not as fun as Kill Dr. Lucky. Kill Dr. Lucky is similar to Clue, but instead of trying to find the killer, you are trying to do the evil deed. Corner Dr. Lucky in a room without witnesses and attack him with weapons on hand. Or if no weapons are around, at least try to poke his eye out. But your opponents have their own vendettas against the poor doctor, and will try to foil your plans in order to take the honor. A humorous game to top off a pleasant evening.

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