And the game looks great too. The Wario franchise has always had some neat interface innovations, this looks to continue that tradition.
There was one thing that disappointed me a bit; the clip looks embeddable (as a bit of Flash) from the YouTube page. I almost peed my pants when I thought that I could embed the clip and it’d shake my blog to bits when someone played the video from my post. But unfortunately not. Or at least the embedding didn’t work at all for me.
This has been featured by the always on-the-ball fellows at Adverblog, but thanks to Iain at Moo for the tip off.
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…
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.
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.
I know lots of people know about The Flight of the Conchords, and I know that it’s not new. But there are a few people who’ve either not heard of it, or for some reason resisted. This post is for you.
I’m loving it so much I feel the need to evangelise…
For me FOC takes the slow, dark, slightly depressing humour of The Office, and manages to fuse it with the surreal nutsness of The Mighty Boosh in a spectacularly funny way. And the characters all possess those fundamental human flaws and quirks that we can all relate to, but it’s done a bit more subtly and less painfully than something like Peep Show.
And the songs. I’m not normally a funny song kind of person. But I love the way these guys burst into song with a totally unexpected genre and mutate it into something that’s laugh out loud funny.
Hip hop gets lampooned quite a lot, but this is so superior to most efforts. Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros:
And Inner City Pressure bears more than a passing resemblance to someone…
And the songs / sketches make perfect YouTube fodder. Their clips have millions and millions of views which can’t hurt in terms of creating buzz and awareness.
I’ve been a bit of a sceptic about interactivity and FMCGs. Most of the time they just create digital litter.
Maybe it’s just because I’m a big fan of crisps. But Walkers seem to be doing some peculiarly interesting things around conversations and their brands.
Firstly the brilliant ‘Do Us a Flavour’ campaign. (If you’ve not seen it, they’re getting people to submit new flavors of potato chips. If you submit the winning flavour you get £50k and a 1% share of the profits from the new flavour).
The site’s got a lot of shortcomings. It doesn’t handle duplicates at all well, and the searching isn’t up to scratch. But it obviously doesn’t matter that much to people: 130,000 pages of entries – 6 to a page – gives almost 800,000 flavours submitted. That’s bloody incredible.
But they deserve it. They’ve built the campaign around a great question. A superb conversation starter. I’ve ended up two or three times now in conversations where people have got really excited about coming up with interesting new and bizarre flavours of crisps. And debating what would actually sell. What’s likely to win. Etc. etc. etc.
It’s a brilliant user generated content idea becuase anyone can do it. You don’t have to have any technical skills whatsoever. It’s just about imagining something. And something that almost all of us will have an opinion on whether we’ve thought about it before or not.
Once the submissions round is over. They’re going to manufacture the judges favourite top 6 flavours and let the public choose which of them wins. Generating trial / sales and driving even more conversations. As a genuinely integrated campaign I think it’s quite brilliant.
And now they’ve re-launched Monster Munch crisps. But they’ve not made a new version. Instead they’ve reverted to the old one.
What’s so clever about this is that they’ve tapped into a conversation that’s been going on for decades amongst crisp fanciers. Everyone knows that the old Monster Munch were bigger. They were ‘the biggest snack pennies can buy’. And they had really cool big monsters advertising them. It’s the kind of thing that pops up in those terrible ’50 reasons why things aren’t as good as they used to be’ nostalgiawank TV shows.
Anyway they’ve made them like they used to be again. And I love the ‘old’ flash on the top corner of the pack.
And if you’re wondering how big they are now. This is how big…
Apparently there’s a new website coming soon too. I’m not holding out a lot of hope for it being the next brilliant thing online. If they follow the normal FMCG template it’ll be all about the monsters. Maybe some flims? Perhaps embeddable / sendable monsters? Monster games? I hope they do something really nice though. Building on what they’ve done so far.
And just in case you don’t remember the original Monster Munch monsters from the TV ads…
I’ve been wearing it for 3 days straight. And I can’t take it off. It truly is the finest sweatshirt I’ve ever owned. I don’t normally get like that about clothes. And I loved it without hesitation before seeing the video (in case you were wondering).
Another bonus point for YouTube! It’s completely bonkers that I can find a video of my new favourite item of clothing on the web.