Two years of Pro tips

Two years ago today, I had a vision. A site where I could tap into the vast amounts of video game information I've accrued over the years and put it into an easily digestible format, based on an Internet meme, which was, in turn, based on a particularly clumsily-worded spot in a magazine.

And now, two years and 544 tips later, I'm taking a bit of a break to dabble in some other projects. Does that mean that this site is dead? Probably not, but I definitely need to take a little bit of a breather.

Thanks for visiting!

Pro tip: Dealing with meaningless stats

Take a look at this screenshot from the arcade version of Tetris

Over on the right you'll see your 'stats', or a representation of the Tetriminoes you've had to deal with in Bar Chart form. My guess is that it's there if you're playing Single Player so that the right side of the screen won't be blank.

Now take a look at this screenshot from Galaga

Once you end your game, you're presented with your 'Hit/Miss Ratio', which tells you how accurate you were with your shots.

What do these things have in common?

Mostly that they don't really mean anything. It might be kind of interesting to know your accuracy, or if your Tetris puzzle gave you lots of Z pieces, but you can't really do anything useful with the data, and it won't really make you a better player.

So don't sweat it.

You now prossess 500 pro tips

It's kind of hard for me to believe that in October of 2008 I started this site with little more than a screenshot and a terrible meme. And now, just shy of two years later, we're up to 500 genuine tips, tricks, and codes.


So, to celebrate, I started up my copy of Bookworm Adventures Deluxe and typed the word "celebrate" (without quotes) to make Lex don a party hat and set off some fireworks.

How fun!

Pro tip: Becoming an amateur cartographer

One of the games I used to play a lot was Hero of the Golden Talisman for the Commodore 64.

But, as much as I played it, I never really got very far. Lots of the passages look alike, and it's real easy to get lost.

For some reason, it never dawned on me that I should have made a map, like this one (drawn by Michael Lambert and available here).

Which would have helped me figure out where I was, where to go, and how big the game actually is.

Any time you play a game with a moderately complex, maze-like layout (Metroid, I'm looking at you), drawing a map is a great way to keep track of where things are. And, no, they don't have to look great, they just need to be good enough that you can read and interpret them.

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