Sunday, January 10, 2010

UpChuck Burgers

UpChuck Burgers
Motto: "Up with Chuck"
Image: Chuck, a hunk of beef, dripping juices
Target Nitch: cheap cheap cheap

Created by the people who brought you the memorable "OutHouse Bottled Water" campaign.  They are trying to capitalize on the latest economic trend of joblessness.  They emphasize efficiency and return on the dollar.  UpChuck sells first to the consumer, sells the leftovers, seconds, and returns out the back door, and ultimately cycles everything else into fund raising kits for kids to go door to door selling their burgers and shakes and fries. The location moves frequently with little notice so you need to be alert to check this one out.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Microvor - A new restaurant concept

Motto: The localist food in the universe.
Image: A spoon containing grass, ants, leaves and a cute mouse.
Target Nitch: people who really care.

Local is in.  Microvor is taking the localvor revolution to it's logical end.  This restaurant service brings you a meal made entirely from food that's found no more than 100 ft from where you live. Make a reservation and the Microvor chefs will arrive at your doorstep with their aprons, attitudes, and nets. They spread out to make creative and unique meals just for you from the food found in your yard, your home, your basement, your attic, your bed sheets.  Anything edible is fair game for their knives and their acute and creative minds.  No-one will every eat a meal like yours again!

These chefs are in it for the love of it. If you have a house you get the super fresh ingredients (grass, spiders, mice, moss), of whatever you have living in or outside of your house.  If you live in a leaky 4th floor walkup they'll love the challenge of creating a unique meal from your native flora and fauna before the food inspectors catch up to them.

Microvor is pricey but unique. It's so unique that each franchise comes with a film crew, a slot on the Food Network, and a whole set of liability waivers fully tested in court.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Let's put on a show with Will

Only Shakespeare can be Shakespeare, but without you even Shakespeare can't be Shakespeare.

You are the stage manager at the Globe theater in London.  Will has a premiere coming up in a week but no script, no props, and no hope.  He's spending his time drinking and sleeping under the tables in the few local taverns that will still let him in.  But the show must go on and it's up to you!

You start out with a simple quest.  Will has lost the pages of the play all over the Globe and you need to find them and put them in order by opening night.  After mastering collating you advance to the next level which adds the challenge of getting enough money to pay the actors.  Creativity in obtaining money is highly rewarded.  Morality is not.  The longer you play the more challenges that get added.  They include:
- knife fights,
- riots,
- fire bombing of the theater during a performance,
- food poisoning,
- A change of venue to the dungeon in the tower of London,
- Lawsuits and endless discussion by people claiming that Shakespeare isn't Shakespeare, but they are Shakespeare.

To finally beat the game you have to find the tavern where Will has spent all night drunkenly cutting up the latest script into individual words.  You must to reassemble them into a play that is at least as good as the original.

There are expansion packs for each of his plays and ultimately a pack that lets you write your own Shakespeare play.  If you can convince the game AI that Shakespeare wrote the play you win!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vampire Barbie Riding Club

We all know the checkered history of the Barbie Riding Club series.  It started well with the simple "Don't fall off or the Clowns will get you" edition. It soared up with Pastel Pony, Magic Dolphin, and Space Shuttle editions.  Alas, it faltered, trying to expand it's scope with the Banana Slug edition, and the NFL addons.  Everyone agrees now that the Absolute Vodka sponsored Lindsey Lohan Life Coach special edition was ill-timed.  But new life was injected with the co-marking deal with Grand Theft Auto.  This game tops them all.  Not only does Barbie show how dynamic, independent, and strong she is, she learns how to live at the top of the food chain, AND finds that the life of the undead is filled with subtle economic lessons cleverly structured throughout the game.

After mastering the initial challenge of becoming a vampire you learn the steps of making stealth attacks on strangers, how to mix drinks (1 part O to 2 parts A is a good place to start), and how to train a pony that smells the stink of hell on you.  You learn to avoid daylight and learn which cover-up cosmetics to use if you stay up too early and you have to cover up the burned stump of your hand for a day or two.  Remember that everything you do gives you twice as many points if you do it on a pony!

In advanced play you learn the fundamentals of multi-level marketing by turning two of your friends, who each turn two of their friends and so on.  When there are enough vampires to saturate the market territory and the vampire wars start you learn how to sneak up on old "friends", how to point out the very fine print in those old contracts, how to place the blame on others, and how to go to ground for a century or so until the coast is clear.  You learn what makes losers losers and what a winner needs to do to be sure she wins.  These real world lessons can be learned painlessly (at least for you).  Don't forget that there are plenty of opportunity to put in the seeds for sequels.  Think of Zombie Barbie Riding Club, or Werewolf Barbie Riding Club.