Sunday, August 25, 2013

catching features

for all of you who are not land navigation (known to its friends as landnav) buffs, i will tell you that a catching feature is a thing on the map, something long, like a river or a wide cliff or even a fenceline and while you might be aiming at a big rock or a bridge or something, you can be off by a couple of degrees over some distance so it's often smart to aim off to one side of the thing you want to get to and then turn and follow your catching feature to it.

or maybe you'd prefer to go around the swamp instead of through it so you figure you'll just go that way until you catch the stream and then turn toward your objective.

last week when i was looking at landnav things on the web, i came across this cool little game called catching features. it only runs on windows machines (although it will run on a mac with bootcamp) and it crashes more often than i would like it to, but i am enjoying it.

it has a free demo version, which is what i've been playing.

it is hard to learn the controls but all in all it does a pretty good job of duplicating what it's like to be out in the woods with a topo map and a compass and not have much clue where you went wrong. you'll spend a lot of time hiking (and in the game you go MUCH slower on a steep uphill) up hills to see if you can get a view of the landscape and see if maybe there's a road or something you can follow to take you back to the area you want to be in.

you know, so you don't get lost.


anyway, if you like that sort of experience, you will enjoy this game.

the full version is only forty dollars (us) and includes the ability both to play in multiplayer mode and the ability to upload maps to the server and practice on those, as well as play on a number of different courses that others upload.

i may ask santa for one.

because i LOVE being lost in the woods.

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