I’m not a hardcore gamer. I play games very occasionally. I’d like to spend more time doing it. But I think I’ll save it till I retire. Games are bound to be super-awesome then and I’ll have loads of time to waste.
Here are 5 games that have caught my attention for various reasons, and they all have things going for them that I think make them at least mildly interesting for anyone involved with interactive things of one shape or another. And I reckon you can drop all 5 of these into gamer conversations without fear of someone saying they’re shit – I could be very wrong on this though.
It’s a lovely looking platform game. All cutesy and painty-styled. But the big twist with the game is that you can muck around with time. When you die you can rewind time and go back to where you were. Or at any point you choose you can just do a quick rewind or ffwd. But depending on the level it works slightly differently each time. It’s quite hard to explain, I’m not even sure I fully grasp it, but this video helped…
It gets absolutely amazing reviews everywhere. I’m sure a lot of it is because it’s taken a classic format and done something to it that everyone is just going ‘damn I wish I’d thought of that first…’.
Equally I’ve always been a big fan of the idea that the web and computers allow us to mess with the standard laws of time and space (like being able to warp to different bits of a supermarket using just a search box). But it’s hard to get your brain to think of paradigms that don’t have real world equivalents.
We need more things like Braid that abuse our expectations of normality.
Which is a beautiful anti-segue into something that’s all about the wonders of physics, motion and gravity. Crayon Physics Deluxe has been seen millions of times and is hardly new. But in case anyone hasn’t seen it…
There is actually a playable sort of prototype (PC) that you can get from the website. But the deluxe version isn’t ready yet.
And if that’s all a bit crayony for you, perhaps Little Big Planet on the PS3 might be more your thing. It just looks stunning. And there’s a huge part of the fun which is creating your own worlds / levels and characters.
Here’s a drool-inducing gameplay montage:
It looks like it could be the awesomest thing ever.
But back to basics for now. I love simple games. They’re the games I can relate to best. Ones that don’t take hours of investment. Ones where I don’t need to learn anything. Games that are just instantly loveable and fun.
Step up: Coign of Vantage. It’s a simple little online game, that’s fiendishly brilliant. All you have to do is rotate your point of view until a picture appears. This picture won’t do it any justice at all:
It’s just lovely. And the way that it introduces ‘how to play’ is a lesson to us all. Absolutely beautiful. I’m certain that the game has a directly educational benefit too, in terms of both spacial recognition and manipulation of 3d environments.
Please take a couple of minutes out to go and have a play. It’s fab.
And finally Music Catch. This is just so calming and soothing and wonderful. Again massively simple. Just collect little shapes. But it’s the way that it uses the music to generate the gameplay that’s really sweet…
And you can play it right here, in the page. How good is that!
The music it comes with is perfect too. You can download a desktop version for a small price, this includes a number of tracks, as you play you unlock more. Or you can load up your own MP3s as the soundtrack to generate the gameplay. Nice.
If you want to keep up with casual games online, this site looks to be really good – I found it when researching music catch.