Arcade Castle: A Gaming Podcast

Welcome! You've reached the home of the Arcade Castle Podcast, a podcast that looks a little at video games, a little at board games, and those things that got a little bit of both. While most podcasts tend to look at the latest and greatest, we have opted for a far darker path through the sprawling realms of digital and analog games. For lying between the two genres is a pile of games few dare to play, games that often defy categorization. Bizarre chimeric creations and licensed games abound here. Found in thrift stores and online, studying these games will be a global effort a countries across the planet send these objects to the Arcade Castle for examination. Why do we do this? To determine how well these board games capture the essence of their parent franchise. To see how the strategies, gameplay, game mechanics, player challenges, and player roles are translated from the digital realm of video games to the analog base of the board game. Can we learn anything about design and gameplay by comparing how a single franchise is represented in two different mediums? Can one inform the other? That, and who doesn't love board games and video games?
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Arcade Castle: A Gaming Podcast





All Episodes
Now displaying: 2017
Aug 16, 2017

In Episode 07, Arcade Castle plumbs the depths of early text-based adventure gaming as they play a modern adaptation of one of the earliest video games ever made: Adventure/ADVENT/The Colossal Cave Adventure. While Adventure has seen many adaptations and modifications since its creation by Will Crowther in 1975, does this board game adaptation from 2013 deserve a place in the Well House, or cast into the Bottomless Pit?


In The Colossal Cave Adventure, players traverse the rooms and passages of The Colossal Cave and face the hazards and dangers therein in a quest for treasure. As players uncover mysterious items during their trek in The Colossal Cave, they will find these strange items are key to surviving the trials and tribulations they will face as well as finding the treasures housed within the cavernous passages and rooms of The Colossal Cave. As players acquire treasures, a race begins as players attempt to protect their treasures and deposit them in the Well House. The first player to deposit three treasures in the Well House can rightly call themselves the master of The Colossal Cave, and winner of the game!


In this (somewhat delayed) episode, Arcade Castle looks at a board game adaptation of an oft overlooked genre: text-based adventure games. Can you take a game that solely relies upon text as a user interface and successfully create a three dimensional board game that relies, in part, upon a GUI? Further, how can a developer take a solo experience and adapt it into a multi-player experience? 


Episode Outline


00:00 - 10:00: Arcade Castle gives a general overview of text-based adventure games and The Colossal Cave Adventure. Additionally, they discuss text-based adventure games and their progeny, old and new, and their experiences playing them.


10:00 - 20:00: [Once Upon A Powerup] Arcade Castle gives a more detailed history of the circumstances behind the creation of Adventure and The Colossal Cave Adventure as well as its impact upon the industry.


20:00 - 35:00: Arcade Castle takes an in-depth look at The Colossal Cave Board Game. Detailing the contents, rules, and gameplay, they examine the challenges faced when codefabing a text-game into a board game.


35:00-50:00: Arcade Castle gives their final thoughts on The Colossal Cave Board Game. They look at where it succeeds and where it fails in codefabing The Colossal Cave from digital text into cardboard and plastic. They also compare it's success rate in this process with games looked at in prior podcast episodes.


If, after listening to the podcast, you desire more, you can find us at:

Additionally, you can find us on Itunes (and a number of podcast services), Twitter, Facebook, BoardGameGeek, and Instagram!

You can contact us at:

Also, if you like the new theme song, check out Tony Robot!


Apr 19, 2017


In Episode 06 (or Episode 01, Volume 02 if we are going by comic book rules), Arcade Castle tackle the high risk, high reward world of high finance and stock speculation in The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt. Buying stock in Mcdonald's, WoW, and more, Arcade Castle struggles to avoid bankruptcy and boredom in this financial the Odyssey II from 1982!


In The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt, each player, or team of players start with $100,000 dollars and attempt, over the course of five years, to go big, go home, or go broke. Throughout the Level 1 version of the game, players buy and sell stock, and  try to understand the cause and effect between stocks and world events that occur periodically throughout gameplay. Will Arcade Castle see $_$ ? or -_-?


In this first episode of Season 2 of the Arcade Castle Podcast, CasualJohn and Patrick examine another entry in the Master Strategy Series that were released in the early 1980s on the Magnavox Odyssey II. After The Quest For the Rings proving a surprise hit for Arcade Castle, will this entry in the series prove as enjoyable? Or will Arcade Castle's stock in this series tank with The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt?


Episode Outline:


00:00-17:00: Arcade Castle discusses the video games they are currently playing, discuss their favorite finance-based video games on a variety of consoles, and give an overview of The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt and the Master Strategy Series.


17:00-27:00:  Arcade Castle discusses the components of The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt and include a new segment: Insert Coin to Play, with recorded audio of their gameplay of The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt.


27:00-42:00: Arcade Castle discusses the base gameplay of The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt in length, who they think the audience was for this game, some of the technical issues they have with the game, their recommendations, and final thoughts on the second game in the Master Strategy Series that has been placed before Arcade Castle.


If, after listening to the podcast, you desire more, you can find us at:

Additionally, you can find us on Itunes (and a number of podcast services), Twitter, Facebook, BoardGameGeek, and Instagram!

You can contact us at:

Also, if you like the new theme song, check out Tony Robot!


Mar 13, 2017

"The game has been in production for a long time, because we've been working really hard to make sure that it is something that Portal fans will enjoy. But it's not Portal. You're not playing the video game in a board game, because why would you want to do that? It's a separate experience, but it's still very much Portal." - Sara Miguel (Cryptozoic Games)

Ah...well...I guess we don't need this episode of the podcast then...

Grape Cake


1 9 inch pan

Butter and flour for preparing cake pan

2 eggs

2/3 Cup of sugar

4 Tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted

1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 Cup milk

1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

3/4 Teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of Salt

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Grated zest of 1 orange

10 ounces of fresh, purple grapes

Confectioner's sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Generously butter and flour the pan, tapping out any excess. Set aside.

3. Beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 minutes. Add the butter, oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until blended.

4. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Add lemon and orange zest to bowl. After dry goods are throughly mixed, add to wet ingredients. Mix until thoroughly blended. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes.

5. Stir about 3/4 of the grapes into the batter. Spoon prepared batter into cake pan.

6. Place pan into center of oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then sprinkle the top with remaining grapes. Bake until golden brown and cake is firm (about 40 minutes, with a total baking time of around 55 minutes).

7. Let cake cool. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Serve at room temperature.


Episode Outline


00:00-15:00 - Arcade Castle discusses the Portal video game series.

15:00-35:00 - Arcade Castle Turns it's attention to the Portal board game. They look at the components, rules, and gameplay.

35:00-50:00 - Examining the strategy behind Portal (the board game) they determine how well it succeeds at capturing the video game in a board game format. They discuss improvements and modifications to the board game (from components to rules) that would make the board game more closely align with the video game.

50:00-65:00 - In today's breakdown discussion, Arcade Castle talks about what developers should put more emphasis upon when creating a video game licensed board game: theme, or, mechanics.


If, after listening to the podcast, you desire more, you can find us at:

Additionally, you can find us on Itunes (and a number of podcast services), Twitter, Facebook, InstagramBoardGameGeek, and you can contact us at:

Also, if you like the new theme song, check out Tony Robot!


Jan 10, 2017

The Oregon Trail - Card Game Box


Ignoring the advice of our guides, Arcade Castle sets out on the Oregon Trail in the middle of winter. Will this poor decision cause their journey to end before it even starts? The Oregon Trail: Card Game sets out to capture the early computing phenomenon that is The Oregon Trail. Created by Pressman and distributed exclusively by Target, The Oregon Trail: Card Game became a mini-phenomenon in its own right as nostalgia fueled gamers clamored for the card game based on the game they spent many an' hour playing in libraries and school computer labs. But does this card game deliver it's players safely to Willamette Valley, or does this game die of dysentery right outside the town gate?


In The Oregon Trail: Card Game, players attempt to traverse 50 sections of trail on their way to Oregon. However, players will face a variety of calamities such as disease, broken wagons, and privation. In addition, players will attempt for ford a number of rivers, with failure causing the loss of life and life-saving supplies. With forts and towns few and far between, will players see success on the Oregon Trail? Or will they simply find themselves another casualty along the trail, an epitaph their only reward?


In Episode IV, the Arcade Castle examines this 2016 card game based on the 1974 edutainment hit, The Oregon Trail. Fighting the crowds to locate a copy, Arcade Castle get the game to the table to see what all the hubbub is about. Did Pressman capture the collective nostalgia-fueled memories of many a' gamer and distill them into an exciting card game? Or is this yet another video game casualty in a long line of terrible licensed game adaptations that are more cash-grab than card-game?


Episode Outline:


00:00-12:00: Arcade Castle discusses the phenomenon that was The Oregon Trail in the 1980s and 1990s, the gameplay, as well as touching upon the history of MECC and some of the other games they published beyond The Oregon Trail.


12:00-32:00: An in-depth examination of The Oregon Trail: Card Game, the contents, and it's gameplay. In addition, Arcade Castle compares and discusses how this card game captures (or fails to capture) the strategy and gameplay of The Oregon Trail.


32:00-49:00: Continuing their discussion, Arcade Castle looks at how the card game and video game dictate how the player interacts with, their assumed roles, and expectations placed upon the gamer when playing each game in turn. Can a middle ground be found between the two? Can the mechanics of the card game be tweaked to better represent The Oregon Trail?


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