Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Some Like It Hot Seat

Over Thanksgiving break, Alex and I played a casual ode-to-olden-tymes match of Heroes of Might & Magic III. It was a miniaturized version of the kinds of Heroes games we used to play in high school or over summer breaks. Alex chose the smallest map size and only three players, but after we half-drunkenly chased away the evil, CPU-controlled Orange player, it was enough to remind me how much I liked playing turn-based video games.

The term "Hot Seat" is a negative term in the land of multi-player computer games, where "Real-Time" is considered a more advanced style of game design. Even these newfangled European board games, like Settlers and Race for the Galaxy, try their best to spice up the turn-based process with sub-turns and simultaneous actions. "Hot Seat" computer games are to modern video games as Monopoly is to whatever board game Jason most recently purchased.

Heroes of Might & Magic is like Monopoly in many ways. The X-Large map games with multiple CPU players are rarely played to the very end, and even though it becomes clear which Hero isn't going to last, it takes turns and turns and turns before inevitability catches up to that player. And yet, for some reason, I find that game very fun. When it comes to boardgames, I'll probably choose modern to Monopoly every time, but when it comes to computer games, I still enjoy the Hot Seat.

Of course, the Monopolyest of Hot Seat video games isn't Heroes. No, that award goes to the one-and-only Aerobiz Supersonic (Air Management II), because to this day, despite the number of times we've played this game on emulator, I have never finished a game.

Sigh... I miss Aerobiz Supersonic. (Though not this much)


  1. Seriously though, Hot Seat is like, one of my favorite ways to play MP. Real Time is for losers. Also lets make an Aerobiz sequel, I'm sure we can do it.

  2. I was just talking to Alex about this concept recently. I wasn't even aware there was a term for this game-play style, and I expect that with the current explosive growth of personal laptop ownership, the demand for this style is much less. After playing Heroes with Alex, though, I'm sold.

  3. I think my love for Hot Seat games like HM&M is the reason why my brain has never adapted to the reflexes needed in Red Alert, Total Annihilation, Warcraft, or Starcraft.

    I miss my Master Gremlins. :(

  4. I like Aerobiz would make a good phone app.

  5. Dear God this game is LOOOONG.