The perfect game

StarCraft is the perfect game. It resembles an interactive, time-based game of chess with a choice of three distinct races, two of which are incredibly detailed and very alien. Pieces range from pawns to kings and are far from simple. The three most basic units include a) small doglike aliens that race on all fours through the terrain, only to be confronted by b) ancient, energy-based humanoids, which can summon wolverinelike “energy blades” from their wrists, and who are faced with c) a machine-gun-wielding, futuristic Marine. And these are just the pawns!

When traversing the technology tree, upgraded buildings give upgraded attack units. A rook could be compared to an alien animal that burrows underground only to send a spine ripping through the earth, a regal four-legged walker that generates then discharges a destructive ball of energy to a mobile and incredibly powerful siege tank.

As I became a more advanced player, I was able to summon wizards to create storms of lightning or build an armada of starships. All of these units spoke to me, obeying commands and taking damage incrementally per hit. When a unit received enough or too much damage, it would explode in a shower of sparks, dissolve or scream while reduced to a puddle of blood and guts. That’s a good game.