Sunday, October 9, 2011

Omegathon Junior!

The twins turned 8 recently and each wanted their own sleepover birthday party. Tom wanted his videogame themed, so I was put in charge. Since he had his circle of friends had all professed being SO awesome at videogames, I decided to put this to the test. I hope the penny arcade crew will forgive me for totally ripping off the Omegathon, their awesome contest held at Pax.

I wanted to have games that were easy to pick up and play, had play sessions under 5 minutes (because 5 minutes * 6 games * 6 kids, plus time for practice sessions, was going to be all time would allow for), and most importantly, covered a range of periods of gaming history.

We played 6 games, and the 6 boys were awarded between 1 and 6 points depending on their rank on each game. Final round was worth double points, and then the points were totalled.

Here's an account of what we put together. It was a TON of fun, the boys had a blast, and it was easy and inexpensive to put together.

Round 1: Pong

Well, to be accurate, it was "single player handball" on an APF TV Fun machine, my first game system that dad bought back in ~1978. It has several game modes, including a single player "handball". Since the rheostate on my player2 side was giving me trouble, we went with singple player, and then the kids competed to see who could score lowest in one minute of gameplay.

Round 2: Ladybug (on Colecovision)

The kids *loved* this game despite none of them having seen it, and especially loved discovering the secrets to the game (bonuses/extras/specials with the color changes over time, etc).

Round 3: Time Pilot (on Xbox360)

Moving forward, I picked this one because it's easy to pickup and fast to play. Also comparable in ways to Geowars, which we'd play later on.

Round 4: Peggle (on iPad)

Most of the boys had played this in one form or another. Another hit.

Round 5: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved

They liked this game too, but only one of the boys had played it before and had somewhat of an advantage as a result. Maybe could have picked something obscure.

Round 6: Fruit Ninja Kinect

I left this one for last as I knew it'd be a double-point round, and the big push for the finish, and thus a chance to work off all the birthday cake sugar. It was hysterical to see them all pouring every last ounce of energy into the game's final seconds. (I'd post pics, but by this point kids were in their PJs and some parents might be paranoid about half-naked pics of their kids being posted).


In the end, Tom and one of his friends tied for the lead position.

All the kids were given trophies, which Alisa ordered a couple weeks ahead of time and which were dirt cheap. Here's a pic of one of them.

Anyhow, I hope this gives some other parents an idea to do the same sort of thing. The kids were already talking rematch at next year's Omegathon Junior when they went home the next day.