Celestial Pick – Artemis Armada

627777583This week’s Celestial Pick, the best geek bet for Cleveland this weekend, is Artemis Armada IV, a local gaming convention dedicated to a unique, locally-authored game. Armada, April 6 to 8, is the yearly convention for the computer game Artemis, designed by local programmer and game designer, Thom Robertson.


Artemis is an intense simulation of starship adventure with players manning the consoles of the weapons, navigation, science, communications and engineering stations, not to mention, the captains chair. Each year, crews from starships across the nation pack their ever-more-complex gaming rigs into the car and make their way to Cleveland for adventure, camaraderie and a battle royal. This year’s Armada theme is “The One With The Whales” and gamers will be attending workshops on making their bridges more complex, adding DMX effects, mission scripting and more. Some bridges are truly approaching cinematic quality. A $25 day pass is a great way to discover this game and experience the best on offer from its most dedicated crews. Got your own crew already? The $270 Crew Pass is the way to go, getting your entire crew in for the entire weekend. Armada will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Beachwood at 3663 Park East Drive, Beachwood, Ohio 44122. Learn more:




If a weekend of starship combat isn’t your thing, the 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival (CLIFF) is taking place April 4 – 15, 2018 at Tower City Cinemas and select neighborhood screening locations. If you love cinema and surprises, then this is your geeky ticket all week.  Tickets are on sale now. Individual tickets can be purchased on each film’s page. There are several nerdy offerings buried in the schedule. You will find a few on the slate of family films. The 2016 Swedish film Up in the Sky jumps out. Loaded with hijinks, puppets, space rockets, and robots, Up in the Sky (Upp i det blå) tells the story of Pottan, a young girl accidentally dropped at a recycling center instead of pony camp. She soon discovers their secret spaceship. Showing at Tower City Cinemas, Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 3:50 PM, Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 1:00 PM, and Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 5:20 PM.

Also on the family film slate, ZOMBILLENIUM, is a 2017 French film based on the French graphic novel centered on a Halloween-themed amusement park fully employed by real vampires, witches, and zombies. Showing at Tower City Cinemas, Friday, April 13, 2018 at 3:35 PM and Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 11:25 AM.

Much of the more serious, murderous and spooky fare crowd the after hours slate. The shorts are especially intriguing. On the After Hours Shorts Program 1 is a little gem titled All Kids go to Hell which tells the story of two orphans to adopt them. It is showing at Tower City Cinemas Friday, April 06, 2018 at 11:30 PM. On the slate of After Hours Shorts Program 2 is a curiosity titled M.A.M.O.N. Monitor Against Mexicans Over Worldwide. It is the story of latinos falling from the sky onto the Mexican US border in an alternate reality with some strong relation to our own. M.A.M.O.N. Monitor Against Mexicans Over Worldwide is showing at Tower City Cinemas Saturday, April 07, 2018 at 11:30 PM.

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