It's mid-October and I still don't feel very "Halloween-y" yet. I guess I've never been one to partake in spookathons and other annual events around this time, but I have at least been enjoying the Super Best Friends Halloween content throughout October (I've been following it on the list I maintain, so feel free to check that out if you need some horror game ideas of your own this month).
As for horror games I'd be interested in trying personally, the top item on that short list would be the soon-to-be-released Fatal Frame V: Maiden of Black Water. I've been following the series since the beginning and was a little put out by Nintendo's decision not to localize IV for the Wii outside of Japan, so I'm glad they acquiesced for this one. It promises to be terrifying with its use of the WiiU GamePad to represent the Camera Obscura: an idea that must've seemed an obvious destination for the series after ZombiU's similarly suspenseful application of the WiiU's divisive peripheral. I'd also like to check out Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (it's been sitting in my Steam library for a while), SOMA and Stasis eventually, but it's a low priority for me. There's a few big 2015 names I ought to be getting around to before the end of the year, if possible.
North & South
Today's game choice has nothing to do with the fact that I've been watching a lot of Drunk History of late and everything to do with how it's an American Civil War strategy war sim game that's actually a lot of fun with its relative simplicity and darn goofy besides. It's certainly no "Gettysburg" or "Gods and Generals" or any of those serious historical war dramas angling for a Best Beards Academy Award.
North & South is a French game from our old friends Infogrames - presently butchering classic properties as Atari SA - which in turn is based on a Belgian comic about United States history: Les Tuniques Bleues ("The Bluecoats", but then I guess you don't need a whole lot of French class to work that one out). It depicts a comedic take on the American Civil War and allows the player to jump in at any point between 1861-1864. As with other historical war simulators, the year the player chooses will shift around everyone's resources and armies to approximate where both sides were at logistically speaking when that year began. The player can also add "events" that can be beneficial or detrimental to either side, and determine whether or not the player takes part in the game's various "action" modes. It's also a great looking game for its era, making the excellent choice of going all-in on its source material's comic book art style, which not only makes the game's graphics and animations look sharp and distinctive but doesn't make the game look hopelessly dated some twenty-six years later. It was released on a number of systems, including the NES, but the ST and Amiga versions are probably the most presentable.
So that's North & South in an anachronistic nutshell. While it doesn't exactly sport the strategic complexity of any given Paradox Interactive game, it does offer some addictive multiplayer wargaming in brief and breezy sessions. If the action stages aren't to your liking and you want something closer to Risk, the game's built-in "board game" mode is happy to oblige you. While the diehard strategy games fans at the time didn't much care for it - remember, this was released on a number of home computers that were well represented by the sort of heavy, number-based strat-sims that became synonymous with "PC gaming" before Steam made it cool again - there were a generation of younger Civil War nuts (that can't be a very big group) that loved its simple but fun mechanics and goofy Gallic charm.