So, I haven’t been posting for the last few days because of college work – but I’m back now and ready to roll up my sleeves and start anew. Well, this week I’ve got a slew of smaller games that I’ll be talking about – also I want to provide folks with a heads up that I’ll actually be doing a weekly review for the Able Gamers Foundation – so I’m super excited for the opportunity! I’ll keep people posted, and I’ll be reposting any review done there 48 hours after they’ve been submitted. Now – onto today’s game shall we?
Now, for those of you who’ve been following [ and for those of you who are new ] as an aspiring game developer I’ve grown a little bit of a love affair with this game app:
Game Dev Story is a mixture of RPG/Sim Game and it’s truly an addictive experience if you like simulation games. The graphics are definitely retro and the gameplay is simple enough, but actually learning how the game works and the strategy behind getting the best scores on your games is the real challenge of the game, which is why I got so hooked. You play as the owner of your own game development studio.
Create games, train your staff, and try and become an award winning game studio!
Working really bytes... unless you're gaming!
If that sounds fun then you’ll probably love Game Dev Story.
Now let’s break the game down in terms of it’s accessibility, because that’s the important part I love to focus on as a designer. I will start off by saying, that while the gameplay is sort of slow, the game is educational, simple to play, has heartwarming graphics, and definitely a game anyone should check out once.
Here’s some gameplay to see how it works:
Game Dev Story has one-touch controls perfect for physically impaired or one-handed gamers.
Graphics are vivid and color variations are different enough that colorblind gamers won’t have a problem with playing this game.
Large print text for vision impaired gamers.
Musical audio, but all directions and gameplay updates via text. Deaf gamers will be able to definitely grab this game and just play, without fear of missing valuable information.
Simple gameplay is not only educational [ helps learn financial saving/spending business concepts ] but makes it easy to play for many players.
Game time pauses for every time you make a change – helps physically impaired gamers play without fear of rushed decisions/gameplay.
Large buttons for easy touch controls.
Repetitive music score, while nice at first, can get old – but can be muted.
The game development process goes by quite fast, and while nice, when the Free version only let’s you go 5 years into development – it can feel like a much shorter experience than desired.
The game becomes far more difficult, not in gameplay, but in strategy. It’s a definite toss up when trying to determine which genre and style of game will sell well together – which may make the game harder for cognitively impaired gamers to be truly successful in the game.
No real story to the game, so the only incentives are trying to get your popularity and games to win rewards – but that’s a fun experience in and of itself!
Overall though, this game is a heartwarming throwback to the retro-sim games of old – and a wonderful experience to pass the time as a designer. If you’re interested I would totally recommend grabbing up the FREE version from either Android or the Apple App Store. This version will last you for about 2 1/2 hours of gameplay, but if you really grow hooked to the experience you can purchase the game for $3.99 on the App Store and $2.50 on the Android Market – and design till your hearts content – FOREVER! I hope that the game will get updates and perhaps some expansions in the future – but this is definitely a very simple, joyous experience I think any gamer looking for an educational, fun, and accessible game experience will enjoy!
If you enjoy Game Dev Story – I’d definitely recommend checking out the other simulation games that Kairosoft has to offer. They’re all easy to play and easily accessible – and I think that’s what more and more games need to have. Check ’em out!
Well, with the prices of gas sky-rocketing to 4+ dollars here in recent weeks, it got me to thinking about something that I love and wish we had – space travel. You know, because honestly, if we’re dealing with a natural resource issue on Earth perhaps we can start to mine planets for their resources? – maybe even find new ones we never knew existed? – well, that’s pretty much the job description of this week’s game protagonist: John Rochard.
Rock is hard. John Rochard is HARDER!
Rochardis the first game designed by Finland based Recoil Games – and it’s a great first step into the world of console development. Rochard has all the bells and whistles of a console puzzle and action game, and while I did find some issues with the accessibility of the game, the game overall is an enjoyable and rewarding experience that you’ll remember for quite a while. Here’s hoping that that trend carries over into future Recoil Gamestitles. Now, onto Rochard:
What is it? How do you play? etc.
Well, you play as the leader of a space mining crew named John Rochard. Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to guide John around and help search planets in search of a mineral known as turbinium. Rochard carries around a gravity-bending gun which you can use to help solve puzzles, access areas, defeat enemies etc. depending on the tasks at hand. Now I’ve only played the demo, and while it was shorter than I expected – it was an experience that definitely kept me wanting to see more of it – so that’s a bonus I think for any game.
Here's looking at you Gravity. Do your stuff.
The art design is lovely. Warm, bright, and meaningful color schemes truly give this game a touch that makes it worth checking out. It’s got a style akin to a steampunk/sci-fi comic book and I totally live for games like that. The dialogue between characters is witty and engaging and it’s completely subtitled, which makes for a wonderful experience for deaf gamers. The game gives you a nice tutorial using text to describe the actions you need to take, which helps deaf gamers gain accessibility to playing this game. The music is fantastic too – the opening cinematic really set me up for a joyous experience, and despite some qualms that I had, the game was one I’ll definitely be picking up.
Now, let’s get on to the accessibility listing, because obviously, there were problems:
Deep, interesting, and invested storyline in a gravity puzzle game.
Characters are truly charming and memorable. Rochard is a treat.
Music is fantastic. I swear the game made me feel the gritty electro-vibe.
The cinematics [ the few I saw via the demo ] were wonderful, and really added to the depth of gameplay as well as storyline.
Puzzles are engaging and difficult enough to challenge players.
Fast-paced action puzzler is something gaming needed: Rochard delivers.
Full subtitled dialogue, as well as tutorial instructions for new actions.
I'm just sailing, sailing on an ocean of gravity... there ain't nobody else but me...
On the PS3 version the joystick movement is really loose, and unfortunately, I didn’t find in the options menu where that could be changed. This game requires a lot of precision movements and placements in order to access specific areas, quick reflexes to fend off enemies, etc. and so mobility impaired gamers will severely struggle with timing and movement issues. In order to fix that, a control sensitivity setting would have been nice [ but perhaps it’s just in the demo and I’m unsure for PC or Mac versions. ]
Color-blind gamers may have issues with the environments. Examples include when gravity is turned off, the entire environment turns into shades of blue, etc. but most color schemes in Rochard are vibrant and distinct enough to combat that – if any color-blind gamers have any problems please let me know. I’d love to receive personal feedback from your perspective.
Cognitively impaired gamers will have a difficult time with this game – the puzzles are actually quite complicated once you get deeper into the physics pool that this game provides and can cause issues for some players certainly.
So, overall, it’s a great little physics based puzzle game – and despite the few hiccups in accessibility, Rochard, is definitely a must see. I’m hoping that the PC version provides a little more assistance for gamers with mobility issues, but like I said, if you can get passed that – the game is truly rewarding. It’s got a slew of levels and interactive moments and it’ll definitely be one I put on my PSN download list in the future. You can catch it on Steam, PC, Mac, and PSN right now for $ 9.99 or for $14.99 on Steam you can get the game and the soundtrack as well [ and it’s fantastic! ] Thanks Recoil Games for such an enjoyable and rewarding gaming experience – I’ll be venturing into the great unknown of space for quite some time thanks to you!
So I’ve sort of been on this whole love of foreign country games, and rightfully so. I think it has something to do with spring break [ and that thing I’m not usually acquainted with – sunshine ] I’ve just been musing – thinking about how glorious it would be for me to just be lounging somewhere peaceful. Perhaps I’ll think about going to a small little island somewhere off the coast of nowhere and just get lost in my peace and serenity – and then I realize… it’s just a dream, and I wake up.
Ahh... all alone. Now where's my hammock?
Well, if any of that made you think of the many maddening moments we all have during dreams, I’d invite you all to check out Swedish developers Cockroach Inc. and their delightfully mysterious indie title called The Dream Machine. It’s unique design, deeply interesting storyline, and odd enchanting characters make The Dream Machine a must check out. The game is divided into chapters and you can easily purchase each piece individually, but what I love is that they let you play through the whole first chapter for FREE.
Now, why do I love this game?
Well first of all – there’s the art style. Anders Gustafsson and Erik Zaring made this whole game out of clay and cardboard, which is why it charms it’s way into my heart as one of the most enjoyable artistic experience I’ve ever had in gaming. They have some fantastic little flash game experiences on their website, but The Dream Machine stands out. It’s a dark, yet engaging little art piece. The gameplay is point and click adventure game, but there’s a sense of narrative and mystery novel that I haven’t seen in games in a while. It may be simple gameplay, but it’s such an intriguing experience that you won’t let go.
Can I help you? Look into my eyes!
Gustafsson and Zaring made some very distinct choices that I feel makes The Dream Machinesuch a far reaching accessible title, and I hope that my fellow gamers appreciate them:
No audio needed, except music is great, which is a shame for deaf gamers.
Point and Click for mobility impaired gamers.
Easy gameplay with difficult puzzles and problem solving.
An above screen inventory setup
Slight highlight and wording when you glide over clickable objects.
There were only a few issues that I found with the game in terms of accessibility, but it’s a stylized deal – not necessarily gameplay issues:
Difficult puzzles, while great overall, problematic for cognitively impaired.
Color scheme may make it difficult for colorblind gamers to play areas.
Text is rather small so it can make for issues for vision impaired gamers.
The game is filled with a rather deeper, darker, mature sort of storyline.
Now while that last one really isn’t an issue with the gameplay, it’s more of a warning for players. The game is a deep cerebral experience and it often mentions disturbing mysterious dream sequences and I’ve encountered a few slews of curses within the text so far [ I’ve only played through Chapter 1 ] but the game is amazing with all things considered.
Now, currently, their website is selling the FULL game [ All 5 Chapters ] for € 13.00 [ but more chapters will be added later ] It will require you to make an account with The Dream Machine‘s website to actually buy the game, but the game is entirely allowed with Cloud save access and allows you to play from any computer anywhere! It’s truly a dream game and a special little experience. I highly recommend checking out Chapter 1 and seeing what you personally think, but Cockroach Inc. has officially made a warm spot in my heart for noir/mystery art games. They’ve not only made an artistic masterpiece, they’ve also made it a highly accessible experience that any gamer should experience at least once.
I always find it a charming experience when I can find games made from foreign countries that can make me smile. In this month’s case of The Humble Bundle – I think I’ve found a new love in a game design company. Now you all may have been around when I touched on Machinarium during my Point and Click Adventures post , and let’s just say if you liked that you’ll certainly love the package that the Humble “Botanicula” Debut gives you.
Created by Czech Republic indie company Amanita Design these games are fantastic, whimsical, and will charm their way into your hearts with their simplistic, engaging, and emotionally heartwarming gameplay. The glorious thing about it all, is that you pay what YOU want for the Bundle – and your donations go to a wonderful cause – we’ve been through this routine before with past Humble Bundles if you’ve followed my blog. I’m telling you now they’re wonderful money-saving, cause caring little bundles and you should really check them out.
In the Humble Botanicula Debut you’ll receive the following:
Kooky – An indie movie by Amanita Design
Windosill – if you pay over the average donation – which is 8.77 as of now
So, now to try and examine each one, in short, to prove you get your money’s worth.
In the newest release from Amanita Design, you play as a quirky little gang of misfit tree creatures [ one looks like a stick, the other an acorn or seed, one looks like a fruit, etc. ] and you must guide them about this fantastically artistic world to save their forest homeland from spider invaders. Does this sound fun yet? – well it should! The game has a sense of whimsical charm I haven’t seen in ages, and it’s point and click storybook humor and gameplay make it not only simple, but a game that can be enjoyed by players of all age groups.
One small step for seeds - one giant leap for a forest.
I really have nothing bad to say about this game, because it doesn’t have dialogue from what I’ve experienced, and if it’s anything like most Amanita Design games, they’ve taken into account deaf players and either added no necessity for sound, or some sort of written or picture instruction [ in Machinarium, they used picture instructions so I’m leaning on the same vein. ] The colors are vivid and the animations are child-like and gorgeous. The mechanics are easy enough via point and click mechanics – so if you’ve got a mouse, even those with limited mobility will be able to play this game.
We're your friends! We're your friends! We're your friends till the bitter end!
The color scheme is the only thing that scares me, not being color blind I don’t know how this will affect colorblind gamers, but there’s quite a few spots where I felt that the colors of the background and items tended to have similar color tones, and that may cause some issues, but the characters and backgrounds I feel are vivid enough to counteract that. If any color-blind gamer gives this game a shot, let me know your personal opinion. I would love to hear it from a person who’s had first hand experience. Overall though, the game is charming and can be played by practically anyone – I totally endorse it as a must see game.
Some of you have probably already heard of my ringing endorsement of Machinarium, but in case you haven’t, please check out my post on Point and Click Adventures.
If there ever was a game that I could honestly say had an almost Salvador Dali feel to it then it would have to be Samorost, but it’s sequel brethren Samorost 2 is no different. Now in Samorost 2 you play as a little man who’s dog has been kidnapped by alien invaders. They’ve taken your dog and now you must fly off to go on a grand quest to save him and find a way to return home. This basic and charming premise leads to one of the most heartwarming and light-hearted stories I’ve seen in ages.
Excuse me, but umm - have you seen a dog about Mr. Aardvark?
Now the games difficulty can become a bit tedious, as this point and click adventure game doesn’t hold your hand. You’re not told what does what, and you’re not told what items you can click on – so you’re sort of shooting in the dark, but I think that’s the joy of point and click adventure games. It’s a puzzle from the moment you walk into an environment. The game really has no dialogue, except for some sounds here and there, and so it can be played rather well by deaf gamers. The game is, once again, for all ages too. It provides a whimsical and exhilarating change of pace from the stereotypical game culture of FPS’s and MMO’s that we have floating around today.
Oh Wise Big Head! Me and my pup want to go home!
The color schemes are great, vibrant colors with distinct tones to separate one object from the other without being too offensive to the eyes. Samorost 2 is truly a treat, and I suggest anyone who loves any of these games today to seriously check it out. If you’re unsure still and you want to give the game a whirl you can try out the demo – or try out the full version of it’s predecessor Samorost. It’ll truly be a surrealist gaming experience that I feel you’ll cherish in your heart for a while.
Now Kooky isn’t even a game, but rather, it breaks from the traditional design medium of Amanita Design by being a MOVIE. This movie has everything going for it, and while at first I was skeptical of having an indie game company design and produce an indie film, I was proven wrong with my foot in my mouth when I watched the trailer. If you personally loved the movie “Where The Wild Things Are” or have ever watched any Muppet/puppet based movie – you’ll probably love Kooky.
A picture of the Kooky puppets from a museum exhibit
Kooky is a tale about a little teddy bear who gets lost from his owner, and must travel across a forest in search of him. This basic principle has been done before, by many successful franchises [ in fact I’m pretty sure Winnie The Pooh was made off the idea of adventuring to find Christopher Robin ] but my point is this – this movie will captivate you. The movie is captivating, in my eyes, because of the use of materials and the use of Czech actors actually portraying the English speaking roles. The accents portrayed give a wonderful tone to the movie, and the puppets are gritty, odd, and out-of-this-world unique.
You can see Kooky in all of it’s glory in both the Czech/English Dub, or you can watch it in Czech with English subtitles – and to think you can get this ALL of these for less than 10 dollars? I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the whole thing, and you should too. Here’s the trailer to show you how amazing of an experience you’re bound to have:
[ Yes, that’s Jeremy Irons being Narrator ^_^ If that doesn’t sell you… ]
If you’re looking for a completely bonkers, unusually artsy experience well then look no further than Patrick Smith of Vector Park and his odd-ball game of Windosill. The game look like it came out of a child’s nursery, if it was the nursery of a famous artist of course. My point is this game will be odd, I’m certain of it – but after playing the demo I’m completely intrigued. There are a couple of issues I have with the game that limit it’s accessibility, but overall it’s grand.
Well, this is a look into a person's closet...
The first would be the color tones. I’m in love with the artwork that Smith has portrayed, but the rooms often carry very similar color tones, and for color blind gamers that can make differentiating items difficult to determine. The other is that, because there is no instruction what so ever you’re tossed in blindly to finding out how to access new areas – what items do, etc. It’s a very odd game to say the least, but it’s a beautiful game and if you’re looking for something oddball to pass the time I’d definitely say you should be glad to pick this up.
So there you have it folks! Four fantastically artistic indie games that are both simple to play and beautiful to look at, and one intriguing childhood whimsical film that I’m exceptionally excited about. You can grab all of these for less than 10 dollars currently and you’re donations are not going to waste either. You’ll be aiding the World Land Trust, an organization that works to promote conservation of our world’s natural rain forests. So please, if you’re in a gaming mood and in a giving mood – I suggest stopping over and checking out the Humble “Botanicula” Bundle.
You’ll be glad you did. The Bundle is going to be running for 13 more days so get your button clicking fingers ready and pay what you want for a fantastic good time!
Well, I’m always a fan of etherial sorts of gameplay, and today’s game is no exception to that. I’m fascinated when a game can take a simple design aspect like light, and transform it into the base medium for their game. Now some of you may hate me today [ in fact I’m sure many of you will if you don’t own a PS3 ] but today’s game is a PSN exclusive for now… unfortunately. I wish I could provide this game to anyone and everyone, but alas, there WILL be PC and Mac versions later this year. So now, please, before I ramble on any further – how about we get some Closure?
The light will guide you home...
I remember seeing closure back at PAX ’09 [ Yeah, it’s been a while ] and when I first checked out this game by Tyler Glaiel, Jon Shubbe, and Christopher Rhyne [ The trio of Eyebrow Interactive ] I was fascinated by the initial concept, and in fact, it was one of the first indie games that really strengthened my desire to step into this industry. [ Thanks guys! ]
Three years later, and now they’re a indie game sensation. They’ve won countless indie game awards, and honestly, when you look at Closure – you can see why. Closure is this artistic, musically enthralling, light puzzle game and it’s got so much going for it that I’m scared to even say a word about it.
Left or Right - Oh for the love of Light I can't choose!
The gameplay mechanics are really nice. I always love when you can port onto a game and your controls feel fluid and simple. The game only requires the use of three buttons too: x, square, and triangle. I’m hoping that the Mac and PC versions only require a point and click interface – it would provide much more accessibility. The game is intriguing on all fronts, whether it be the alluring art design from Shubbe, or the dark and pulse pounding musical tones from Ryhne – this game has a ton to keep you entertained.
The great thing is that, while in some cases and puzzles you have to follow the light around, I felt like there wasn’t a severe sense of urgency. If I failed I could simply start over again, and there was no real penalty or game over screen. The color scheme of the monotone black and white was a brilliant choice – considering that it aids colorblind gamers and makes the visuals actually pop quite nicely. There isn’t a real requirement to play this game with sound, but the sound definitely adds to the games allure – so deaf players will be sadly missing out if they don’t have hearing aids. I merely tried the demo, and I’m already hooked. They managed to take a game I had witnessed back when they first started conception – and turn it into a real masterpiece.
Lights... Camera... Action!
Accessibility, for mobility impaired gamers, is where it gets tricky. The game is simple, and so it’s refined mechanics make it easy to go from one button input to the next. The downside though, is that in many of some of the beginning puzzles [ and I presume further on ] you actually have to follow the light, and while I’m sure it can be done with one hand on the analog stick – it makes for precision timing issues and that can lead to the failure of a level multiple times. The game is forgiving though, and allows you to replay levels as many times as you need, which is a refreshing thing to see game designers put into console games. I hate ‘Game Over‘ screens, I prefer “Continue at your leisure‘ games.
I thought it was something back in ’09, but give them a while and they really did a fantastic job. The game is accessible to almost everyone, considering that there’s no dialogue instructions or need for sound to play. Blind gamers will be sadly out of luck due to this lack of audio instructions, and the fact that you need to be able to see the puzzles to complete the worlds, but overall, it’s accessible which is a great thing. There’s definitely a sense of losing yourself though, which can be a bummer for some gamers. The lack of light in levels can cause you to fall off into the vast black spaces, or cause you not to be able to see the full map of where you need to get to.
I need a little Closure in my life.
One aspect that I really loved was the idea of having multiple characters in multiple worlds, so each world advancement, your character gains a new persona to aid it through the light defying levels. I love this game and quite honestly, I’ll probably be buying the full game the moment I have enough to splurge on it. You should definitely check this game out if you’re a puzzle fiend, are into artsy games, and you love deep, enjoyable indie game experiences – Closure is most definitely for you.
Aside from a few minor down points this game is all upside, and I’m totally endorsing it as a highly accessible game that, when you get the opportunity, everyone should try out. I can’t wait for the game to come to PC and Mac so more players can try it out, but if you’re hankering for a wonderfully immersive and innovative puzzle game give yourself some Closureat the price of $14.99 on PSN – or you know play the free demo before you go splurge that cash on an awesome game.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some light bending to do and some puzzles to thwart…
You know, on occasion, I find some really interesting games that I just feel compelled to comment on. I’d much rather introduce them early than wait to catch up with the masses. Today is no different, which is why I’m not waiting till Tuesday to post this. Today I’ve got a lovely little artistic game called I Saw Her Standing There… by Krang Games.
I Saw Her Standing There… is a puzzle game with tons of artistic appeal. It looks so simple, but the story is fun and engaging. You play as a small stick icon in love with a fellow icon and as you approach you realize there’s a twist to this love story…
I Saw Her Standing There… But Then She Was A Zombie.
This game has something definitely going for it: humor.
Each level is like a segment of your avatar’s devotion to his zombie fiancee. The game mechanics can be a little cumbersome, but it’s a fun enjoyable experience for such a simple game. The puzzles involve you having to lure your zombie fiancee into a containment cage. It sounds simple, but it can actually be quite difficult due the WASD/ Arrow Key movement. As you advance throughout the game, the game adds other controls too, including a spacebar for a gun to fend off offensive zombies.
... I love you... You nom me... I don't care if you're a zombie...
This game is adorably charming, and I’d highly recommend it for someone who’s into games that are driven by a narrative concept in a game. It’s the narrative of this love story that drives you to continue from level to level, and the simple design of the game makes it easier for many players. Color blind gamers won’t have a problem with the game, and neither will deaf players. The only demographic that will have a major problem is motor impaired gamers, because it can be quite difficult with the control scheme.
I kind of wish it was a point n’ click situation, but alas, the game still delivers on a beautiful premise. The game is a testament to how sometimes simplicity can definitely mean more. There are 15 levels, so it can be a short, sweet love fest of gaming. The game is so much simple fun that I don’t really have much more to say…
… all I will say is that the ending will definitely be a surprise, and I hope that you love your virtual zombie bride as much as I enjoyed playing this new indie title. It is definitely an artistic title to say the least. I would love to see this title become bigger and better, maybe even garnish a phone/tablet game. You can play it for free though here:
Well, it’s finally happened, after all of the browser/app based games I’ve been promoting on this blog I finally get around to promoting some console nuggets to share with the gaming universe and today I’m extremely excited to be bringing you:
Have you ever wondered what it might be like if the movie E.T. if it was rated R instead of rated G? – Well, that’s kind of what you’re getting in Warp by Trapdoor Inc. The synopsis is pretty much exactly the same, but with fun little gameplay quirks. You play as Zero – a cuddly little alien test subject that a group of scientists found in some random crater. They take you back to their labs and remove your power core – and thus, it’s a game of stealth, evasion, and puzzle-solving to escape the compound and remove all evidence of Zero’s existence from the poor scientists hard drives.
Zero. He's my hero - so adorable, and yet, so unassumingly vicious.
Sound fun yet? – oh, well what if I told you this game was rated M for Mature and that one of the core mechanics was that you use a “FRAG” warping ability to possess soldiers and scientists and EXPLODE THEM?! – Sound interested yet? Now, certainly, this game is not for everyone. There’s curse words a-flying and pretty comical blood splatter physics that occur after every possession, but the game is fun if you can take the funny and comical with the darker, more adult content.
Now let’s move on to the meat of most of my posts – the accessibility.
I have to admit when I first attempted to grab the controller and look at Warp. I was skeptical, because most [ if not all ] console games require two hands to play. This game was no different, but it did have a small amount of button inputs which makes for easier controlling. Most moments are spent navigating and teleporting through rooms and hallways, and evading guards, laser turrets, and scientists – but the story has some fantastic comedy and depth to the very simplistic story. The ‘warp‘ ability only requires the touch of the X button and most actions are prompted on the screen, so it makes the gameplay easier for you to recognize when to press which input.
Help! Help! - There's something cuddly trying to kill me!
A little yellow dot signifies the distance that Zero can ‘warp’ to from one sequence to the next, and it’s not a huge distance, so you’ll have to plan your move accordingly. There is a way to format the view of your screen to a specific tones – so that colors can be more vibrant, softer, etc. – so depending on your preference that will help visibility.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any subtitle suggestions in the options menu [ but perhaps that’s because I played the demo ] but not having subtitles, or any sort of follow along text support really cuts down the playability for deaf gamers enjoyment. You can still enjoy the game certainly, but it makes the game more difficult if you can’t hear guards in hallways, hear laser paths, etc. So what next?
Simple control scheme makes for easier play
Visual change options makes for easier vision for vision impaired
Deep and comical storyline makes for fun and exciting new game
Puzzles are complex and deep enough to keep simple mechanics challenging
Challenge maps to hone skills
Checkpoints are frequent and rewarding
Zero subtitles or deaf impaired assistance
Dual handed controls [ though one-handed may be attempted. ]
Precision required on some puzzles due to fast paced warping.
Small print via most on-screen text makes for difficult instruction reading.
The point is – Warp is a great game. It’s fun and comical, although morbidly toned. There’s something infectious about that little cute alien Zero that just makes you want to squeeze him. Though watching as he bursts all cuddly from some scientists chest prompted me to suddenly think about what Alien would have been like if it had been made as a Disney movie.
The puzzles are challenging, the challenge rooms are fun and there are leader boards that you can compete with others online with. There are upgrades available and collectables to discover – and it’s just a real bloody good time! I’m truly satisfied with this game, in fact, it’s one of the few games lately I feel EA has gotten spot on as far as entertainment lately. Zero disappointments from my new pal Zero! So, if you’re hankering for a good ol’ fashion puzzler that will keep you hooked by the seat of your warping little britches – I suggest you check out Warp.
You can pick up Warp for PSN, XBLA, or PC and it’s going for about $9.99 – so for 10 dollars you can tell your friends you just had the most violently fun E.T. experience that you could possibly have. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles it needs to to be fully accessible, and it’s by no-means fully accessible on consoles, but the simplistic controls and engaging puzzles make for a wonderfully dark romp of fun!
Hey there folks, so I know I just posted a Game of the Week yesterday, and I realize that this game is late notice – but today is Easter, and what kind of gamer would I be if I didn’t celebrate the holiday in some kind of style by giving you fellow gamers a joyous, heartfelt experience of gaming to go along with this occasion. Today I’m bringing you a game some of you folks may have heard of, but never have taken the time to play. Trust me, I do it a lot. It’s normal. You hear about a game, and then you’re like:
“Oh, that game sounds amazing – too bad I can’t afford to play it.”
– and so you wait, and then you’re like the last person to experience it – and rewarding feeling of discovery is gone for you. Oh – right – enough with my ramblings and carrying-on-abouts! Time for the gaming and the naming, shall we? So tonight I’m going to be talking about an adorable little indie gem of a game:
Bunni: How We First Met
I am King and you are my foxy minions!
Now this game does a lot of things right in terms of accessibility and this is why I think it should be well noted. Here’s how it works, essentially Bunni is a game that revolves around resource management and maintenance of an island [ that is presumably haunted by other wandering soul Bunni’s ] – in order to stay alive and appease the spirits of the island you have to build a bunny civilization and maintain the delicate balance between the needs of the spirit world and the needs of your own.
Did that synopsis suck you in yet? No. Drat. I need to work harder at this! Well how about if I mention that the art direction is adorable and simple and it’s user friendly with all of the colorations being bright and distinct enough that it won’t affect colorblind gamers play? – or how about the addition of full subtitled directions? Point and Click accessibility, etc., etc. This game has so many things going for it I suppose I’ll just have to list them all:
Full written and subtitled directions for deaf gamers
Color scheme is conducive to all players visual fields
Point and Click makes the game easier for mobility impaired gamers.
Icons for items that appear to point you in the right direction on the map
Tracing Resource Bar at the Top of Screen
Here’s a tutorial of how it plays out [ sorry, it’s the best quality I could find ]:
There are sound cues for when things drop, but it’s not really necessary to play the game. It may make it more difficult for deaf gamers, but the game is still fully playable and fun. The game draws you in by only giving you so many options at the beginning, but as you complete tasks and build new structures – new building opportunities arise. This is where the manic gamer in me comes out – if I’m given new options to explore with, or new places to venture to I want those experiences! This game will keep you on your toes with it’s random requests from your ghost relatives, fending off deer and monsters from your trees, etc. and that’s the joy of it really.
I am your adorable King. Cuddle me and bow before my snuggles!
I have to admit I’m not often a huge fan of resource management games, but there have been quite a few that have struck me lately and Bunni is no exception – so please, feel free to spend what ever you have left of this lovely Easter evening enjoying the cute, fluffy, cuddlesome joy and become a King of the Bunni in:
You can play it for FREE on Kongregate, but be warned, unless you have a user account [ which is totally free by the way I suggest getting one ] it won’t save your game progress, otherwise, it’s totally a wonderful experience and definitely a game that I endorse during this holiday season. Thanks folks, and as always, happy gaming!
Well folks, the wonderful MolyJam 2012 has come and gone, and now only the games remain. This quirky, out-of-the-box, off-the-wall range of ideas from the odd mind of a green pixel named Peter Molydeux, has brought some amazing concepts and, shall we say, very unique array of indie games from all over the world. There are so many that it certainly hard to cover ALL of them in detail within this one post, but I’m going to try and cover some of my favorites throughout this post. I hope you enjoy these odd titles as much as I did.
I haven’t had a chance to play all of these an most of these are Windows run games [ I learned from experience folks ] but if you’ve got the time and energy to take a look at some of these indie gems I totally suggest it. I’m only going to present a few of them, primarily ones that have content you can view here, but there’s so many that honestly you’re just going to have to gauge for yourself. Here goes, welcome to the world of Peter Molydeux and what his oddities have created.
Molydeux Tweet: “What if you lived in a world where all guns are required to be plugged into wall sockets? Now THAT would be a tactical shooter wouldn’t it?”
All of these games are very simple, and most have surprisingly accessible mechanics involved. The most interesting aspect that I find comes from game jams like this, and why I feel we need to do this more often, is because it breaks us from the mundane. It tears us away from our FPS universe of game design which we, unfortunately, live in today. The games that I’ve posed here [ and the hundreds that were submitted worldwide ] are games that evoke something in us. An emotion comes over us and we’re invested in the game. Watch. You’ll see.
You may think that playing a game with a bear who needs constant affection, or playing a scarecrow who can’t move but desires love from another living creature is a boring concept for a game. Everyone has rights to their own opinions, but what intrigues me about these games [ all of the ones submitted to MolyJam ] is that they took simple concepts and made them into meaningful and intriguing games. So, whether you’re a ‘hardcore’ gamer and wouldn’t dream of touching an indie nugget for the life of you – or you’re a light-hearted video game savant who loves games for the art of it all – I severely suggest checking out the entire listing of MolyJam games.
Many of these games can be played from your computer, but some have added accessibility by allowing for use of a controller of your choice [ PS3, XBox – anything with a USB cord ] Now these are just a small sampling of the games that were submitted over the 48 hour period of MolyJam and so if you’re curious you can go and check out ALL of the submissions and download the games for FREE here:
Note: Now folks, let us remember, these games were made in 48 hours. If you’re expecting high-end quality production value I’d try and lower your expectations. Some of the games are incomplete, lack certain physics standards, etc. Don’t let that take away from the enjoyment or the experience. These games are more about the fun and the emotion they evoke than anything else.
In closing folks, this past few days of playing these 48 hour nuggets of awesome has inspired me to truly start working on my own concepts as well and taking them from paper to actual production level. I’ll be using GameSalad, and or GameMaker, and so I’ll keep you folks posted as to when I begin that lush journey into the sea of indie building. I hope you all enjoy these games and get something out of their messages:
Games can be simple, evoke emotion, and have more meaning to a player than mere achievements and trophies. The days of old are gone. It’s time to open up a new slate and share ideas, meaningful ones, with the world.
Hey there folks! So today – to build off of my Tech Talk argument of yesterday, I figured I would give my developer folks a heads up [ because unfortunately I can’t attend – but you might! ] So, if you haven’t heard yet, there’s a funny little faux Peter Molyneux Twitter account out there and it’s posted up some really odd and intriguing game concepts under the tag Peter Molydeux. I figured this was a wonderful idea and so I wanted to share it with fans. Essentially here’s the deal:
People all over are going to be running a 48 hour gaming jam to come up with ideas based on these game concepts that greenpixeldeux has come up with. Thanks though, goes to Anna Kipnis of Double Fine Productions suggesting the game jam.
Reading his Twitter feed, some of the concepts are incredible and I would love to see the outcome of the games! I mean, they are off the wall and cooky. Some are so off the beaten path that I shudder to think how someone would make a game out of something that odd. Here are just a few to get you understanding the insanity and fun of this event at hand:
“Imagine, you play a baby in a pram and can only see your parent’s faces. Studying those faces deeply is the key to true progress”
“Game in which you can only progress during one minute silences. You need to find creative ways to keep the nation having 1 minute silences.”
“Imagine carrying a radioactive baby in a pitch black environment, your baby would act as a torch. Rocking the baby intensifies the glow etc”
“Game in which you must comfort children on a plane who are afraid of flying, game mechanic is similar to spinning plates.”
“What if your tummy rumbling created earthquakes? In a world where food is rare.”
If you are interested in joining the efforts of this wonderful game opportunity then here’s what you need to know:
You can just click your city of preference and go directly to their Facebook sign up sheet. I’ll be following up with this as it goes along and I can’t wait to see what kind of games come out of this wonderful idea! I’ve heard of game jams before, so they’re not uncommon, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a Twitter account used in this way to promote the operation of game design. It’s a neat feeling knowing that there will be possibly thousands of designers attending and huddling in different cities all over the world and using these small suggestions via a faux Twitter account to make interesting, innovative and brilliant new IP’s. I can’t wait to see the end result – but what’s the best part you ask?!
Peter Molyneux will be ATTENDING the LONDON MolyJam!
The whole thing is apparently going to be live streamed from the MolyJam website so I’ll keep people posted about that. I am so stoked for this, and it’s a shame I can’t attend, but I never hesitate to be excited for my fellow gamers.
I say happy programming and designing to all of you who manage to attend this awesome experience! I, for one, am not going to let the lack of my jam session access deter me though. I am definitely going to be using inspiration from some of these tweets for future reference and perhaps future game concepts. Thanks Peter Molydeux – your epic oddities and whimsies about what gamers deserve – are awesome.
Much more follow up on this in the days to come!
UPDATE: This was a promotional video for the Game Jam release via the Twitter last night: