Morris, Johnson lead the way

first_imgJAMAICA Hoerman Cup player Sean Morris and Delroy Johnson yesterday parred the 18-hole course at Sandals Golf and Country Club to sit atop the leaderboard with scores of 71 each on the opening day of the Jamaica National Amateur Golf Championship at Upton, St Ann.Morris and Johnson, a former Hoerman Cup player, lead a field of 60 golfers vying for the national amateur title, which is being played outside the Corporate Area for the first time in its 24-year history.Tracking Morris and Johnson are Sandals-based Zandre Roye, two over par, 73, and Jonathan Newnham, three over, 74, entering today’s second round of the three-day Labour Day weekend tournament.Playing alongside Roye, the fourth group to tee off yesterday morning, Morris promised to turn up the heat today on an already hot but windy course.”It’s a three-day event and, as such, I eased into the round this morning. I have some new equipment in the bag, which takes a while to get used to.”It was a bit tricky with the wind gusting up to 20 miles per hour, at least a constant 10, playing on tiny greens. Regulating the greens can be challenging, a bit tricky. Your short game has to be in good nick, and I have always had a good short game,” warned Morris, a Jamaica Hoerman Cup player since 2004.Newnham, though three shots behind joint leaders Morris and Johnson, is backing himself to rally today.”There were some positives. I hit the ball really well, but didn’t score well, but there are positives going into tomorrow. If I can tighten my short game, I will have a really good chance by Monday,” Newnham said.Newnham teed off in the third group, which included former Sandals-based former Caribbean junior champion, Romaine Evans, who had a terrible start, 12 over par.David Mais, tournament director, said the turnout was affected somewhat by the funeral of a member of the golfing fraternity, which clashed with the first day.”A lot of the Constant Spring players were out attending the funeral of Rodger Braham, a member of the JMMB team and a keen golfer who played at Constant Spring,” he said.last_img read more

PocketRun Pool and Other Great Zach Gage Mobile Games

first_img Trade In Your Nintendo Switch For a Better Battery (With a Catch)Get Used to ‘Fortnite’s’ Powerful Mech Suits Stay on target I have a lot of thoughts on mobile games. It’s my job, and my pleasure, to have a lot of thoughts on all video games, period. But I especially have a lot of thoughts on mobile games. I witnessed the entire modern era of the subcategory emerge about a decade ago on the original iPhones. I watched mobile games disrupt the dedicated gaming handheld business with its speed and convenience. I balked as mobile gaming’s gross free-to-play economic tactics infected even AAA console games. And, without exaggeration, I’ve probably reviewed nearly 500 individual mobile games for iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and even Windows Phone.So I have a bunch of mobile gaming opinions, and these days most of them are pretty negative. After a creatively fertile first few years of innovative touch controls and unbelievably easy digital distribution for smaller games, eventually the entire market unfortunately just devolved into gross free-to-play cash grab clones. Not even Nintendo could push back against the prevailing wisdom that the only acceptable mobile games are “free” ones designed with malicious psychological traps to suck infinite money from players after the fact. Mobile gaming as a platform still has great reach and potential, but there are so few pure mobile games left.That’s why I’ve always enjoyed the work of Zach Gage, awesome indie mobile game designer. Gage’s games understand that the best mobile games are immediately fun, easy to play with one thumb, deceptively deep with their mechanics, and work best when drawing from game types everyone has heard of. They’re casual games. But being casual isn’t an excuse to not be artful, smart, original, ethical, and well-designed.AdChoices广告Take for example Pocket-Run Pool, the newest Zach Gage game out this week on iOS, and what I described as “the most Zach Gage-ass premise for a video game I’ve ever heard.” It’s a billiards game. You hit balls at other balls to knock them in holes. Everyone knows that. And the physics are very realistic. You feel that you yourself are to blame for a bad shot before it even finishes.But from that familiar base small yet smart tweaks turn Pocket-Run Pool into an enjoyable mobile game. Adjusting the cue with your thumb, and then swiping from the side to hit, makes shots feel precise. Instead of playing against an unfairly all-powerful or purposefully nerfed computer, you’re playing for high scores by sinking as many shots as possible with a limited number of scratches and chances to miss. And score values for pockets are constantly rotating, so that combined with the inherently chaotic nature of how the balls break (unless you’re playing that week’s standardized puzzle break) means your pool skills are always put to the test in new and creative ways. See also Pool Panic coming soon to Nintendo Switch.And so it is with pretty much all of Zach Gage’s games. Familiar casual clubhouse gaming concepts mechanically flipped on their heads to remind you why they are so beloved in the first place, topped off with cute and pleasant minimalist visuals and music.Modern solitaire variants Sage Solitaire and Flipflop Solitaire are more fun that what you’d find in most casinos. In an App Store overflowing with word games, TypeShift and SpellTower still shine. Really Bad Chess is chess but with randomized pieces, which is a concept smarter than most chess players. And fishing/shooting game Ridiculous Fishing (developed along with other mobile gaming luminaries like Greg Wohlwend and Vlambeer) might be a top ten greatest mobile game of all time.Even the pricing models for most of Gage’s games are Mobile Gaming Done Right. There are typically free versions with ads and affordable one-time fees for fully featured premium versions. Even if you’re engaging with in-app purchases like extra chances to screw up, you aren’t bullied into staying on the hook forever to keep having fun.Gage really clicked for me as an artist though when I checked out some of his non-gaming art a few years ago. “Glaciers” was an art exhibit here in New York showcasing a series of e-ink screens each displaying the top three Google auto-complete answers for certain search phrases. Presumably, these three-line tech-powered poems would slowly but surely change over time alongside Google’s algorithms.Shakespeare truly never wrote anything as beautiful and elegant as “Against the Law to offend someone. Against the law to write on money. Against the law to leave dog in car.” or “All my friends want to do is smoke weed. All my friends want to do is party. All my friends want to kill themselves.” Whether it’s a breezy little puzzle game on your phone or art installations mining humanity from modern monolithic tech systems, Gage’s design craft is just impeccable.I’m still unsure about the future of mobile games. They’ll probably keep on existing since people still keep buying smartphones. And the lines between “mobile” and “traditional” games will just get blurrier as smash cross-platform success like Fortnite become more common. But if you want to play in an oasis of what mobile games simply should be, and not what they depressingly are, check Pocket-Run Pool and any one of the awesome mobile games of Zach Gage.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more