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RPS: The Game

Penny Arcade isn't the only gaming site with its own electro-video-amusement. In collaboration with Kunal Joshi - as in, he wrote it and mailed it us, and we stuck it up online - we bring you RPS: The Game.

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We like to think of it as the natural evolution of Rock Paper Scissors, by introducing a Shotgun, which has a random chance of appearing in the last second and if you can grab it then, trumps everything. We'll get Dual Wield for V2, I'm sure. Until then, we've got our exclusive RPS tactical guide to the exclusive RPS game exclusively beneath the exclusive-cut.

1 ) Rock Paper Scissors originates as an early attempt to simulate the Prussian/Hungarian conflict of 1842, where the Prussians armed their grand imperial forces with Rocks. However, a Russian-funded Hungarian counter-attack with Paper lead to the complete rout of the Prussian forces and the later capituation of Prussia to the Parisian commune. Scissors was added later for game-balance purposes, in a move which offends historical purists to this day.

2 ) Paper wraps Rock.

3 ) Rock blunts Scissors.

4 ) Scissors cut Paper.

5 ) Shotgun blows everything to shit.

6 ) The philosophical debate of why Paper wraping rock should be any worry at all to the rock has continued to rage ever since the game's creation. "Oh no! I've been wrapped. Whatever am I going to do? I know - continue exactly the same as before, because you're just bloody paper". Defenders of the Paper/Rock counter-attack can only point at the Prussian/Hungarian conflict of 1842, which some historians have argued may be entirely fictional.

7 ) Scissors cut paper. This seems fair enough.

8 ) Rock blunts Scissors also seems to be on fairly sound grounds.

9 ) The traditional game of Rock Paper Scissors is one of psychology. You have to look for subtle clues in your opponent's demeanour that may suggest which way they'll turn. A little forward planning can pay enormous dividends. Try and sneak into your opponents house and examine their room. How many pairs of Scissors do they have in the house? Do they have a Rockery? Is there an enormous oragami person who they use as a surrogate spouse? All of these things can help you discern which way they'll turn in the heat of an RPS match.

10) If you can't manage to do that, prepare the battlefield carefully. By leaving Rocks, Papers and Scissors lying around the room, you can pick up clues of what's going to be played by which way your opponent's eyes turn at a crucial moment. Be sure to wear a blindfold to prevent giving away similar tells. There is no flaws in this tactic, and anyone who points out one should be shunned socially.

11) If you can't do that, try a direct approach. As directly "Are you going to play Scissors?". If they say yes, and you believe them, play a rock. If you don't believe them, don't play a Rock. You can work out whether they are lying or not by means of looking them in their eye and shaking their hand firmly. If they're lying, they'll avert their eyes and their grip will not be firm and manful. If you have no hands, a ducking stool can be used instead, which will also work out whether they're a witch.

12) If your opponent is a witch, the game continues as usual. However, if you were playing Cribbage, you'd be able to collect 10-bonus-witch-opponent-points.

13) When you kill an enemy, its corpse will rebound around the level. The screen is divided into seven invisible bands, and making the enemy land in each will lead to one of the seven gems of the spectrum. If you collect all seven gems by this method, you gain an extra life. If you get them in order, across all levels, you'll unlock something or other.

14) Actually, shit, that was Rainbow Islands.

15) The Scissors! Get the Scissors! Go for it, quick... oh, DAMN. He went Rock. Man!

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The all-seeing eye of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the voice of many-as-one.