Posts Tagged ‘casual’

Wot I Think: Castle – Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

By John Walker on June 25th, 2014.

Oh Richard, you're so smooth.

I am not here. I’m back to full-time on RPS in a month, in the meantime up to all manner of secret projects the likes of which would make you far too excited. And in my time away, I’ve not had cause to worry one bit about my co-owned business, in the hands of my phenomenally talented colleagues. Well, until I noticed something pretty serious had happened. A Castle-based PC game had been released on Steam, and not A SINGLE WORD has been written about it. WHAT IN THE?

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Plant Vs. Zombies: Farm For Your Life

By John Walker on May 8th, 2013.

First of all, I’m bringing you the most important news: there’s a game whose name is Farm For Your Life. Let’s not let that get buried under any other information I might provide after this point. Farm For Your Life.

Other interesting factors, albeit ones that pale in comparison, are that you can buy it right now, or… earn it for free.

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Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of Dementia

By John Walker on April 26th, 2012.

What explanation could there be for this ghostly dog? Oh, it's a ghostly dog.

What is it with games and classic literature? Ever since I’ve been doing this ridiculous job, I’ve been plagued by the utter nonsense of companies who take a 19th century novel, then tear half the pages out and replace them with a child’s home-made comics about aliens. It’s as if there’s a wanton conspiracy to ensure that anything that might be a serious work of literature be allowed nowhere near a game. Although of course, perhaps I’m letting myself get a bit too worked up over a hidden object game based on Sherlock Holmes. You could also argue that it’s an excuse to link to a Kickstarter at the bottom of the post, just because I want to play the game, but if you did I’d punch you square in the nose.

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Wot I Think: Dark Strokes – Sins Of The Father

By John Walker on February 27th, 2012.

Oh, sorry, come on in.

I feel a weight of the pointlessness of trying to convince a hardcore gaming audience to give their money and time to a casual game. Clearly there’s a lot of prejudice, a lot of it earned by the crappy nature of so much of the casual market, the rest I’d argue pure snobbishness on the part of gamers. Obvious breakthrough exceptions, invariably published by PopCap, can crossover, but otherwise words like “hidden object” tend to have people click straight past. I think it’s a shame, because I just had a lot of fun playing Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers.

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Monster Munch: Dead Hungry Diner Demo

By John Walker on January 11th, 2012.

If only Buffy would have tried this.

If you were attempting to find casual gaming gold, you might well think about trying to create a game at the midpoint of Plants Vs. Zombies and Diner Dash. That’s pretty much what Black Market Games (created by a group formerly from Dark Water Games, they of Dogfighter) have done, with Dead Hungry Diner. A game in which two canny orphan twins realise the best way to thwart the zombie apocalypse is to feed them. In a restaurant. In a graveyard. You can check out the first eleven levels to see if that works for you via the demo.

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Majesty: HHiiddeenn OObbjjeecctt IInn 33DD

By John Walker on November 30th, 2011.

They're hiding the reason I want to play.

The other day I was arguing that all new game trends trend toward adventure. What I’m saying is, adventure gaming is the natural form of game, to which all games aspire. And so it is that the infinitude of the casual gaming market is all gradually forming itself from a void into a desire to be adventures. They’ve just got to take that one leap of realising that adventures are really hard work. Another step closer for the hidden object genre is Elementary My Dear Majesty!, for which a demo is now available.

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Proto-Adventure: Pahelika Revelations Demo

By John Walker on November 24th, 2011.

Pathetica more like. AHAHAHA!

I have a theory. If you took some babies, raised them isolation – perhaps on the Moon – and gave them no cultural input at all, they’d still eventually develop adventure games. They’re like an inevitability, an unavoidable direction for things to head toward. Don’t believe me? Look what’s happening to the so-called casual market, as every game type starts morphing into proto-adventuring. You can’t get a match-3 these days without it trying to include an inventory. Hell, look at the painfully mediocre L.A. Noire, and its almost sweet attempts to invent the graphic adventure genre as if it had never happened in the 80s/90s, thus making all the same tiresome mistakes as they did in their earlier days. As for the hidden object genre – it’s like a pupa, waiting to emerge. Unfortunately, some of those attempts to convert to a beautiful butterfly are still a little, well, awkward. They’re moths. One such moth is Pahelika Revelations.

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Give This A Go: Tiny Bang Story Now £7

By John Walker on May 24th, 2011.

Play it!

Gosh, this is excellent news. When I first wrote about indie puzzle/adventure The Tiny Bang Story I wanted only to sing its praises, but I was held back by what seemed just too high a fee for such a short game. I’m so delighted to say that the game has been relaunched on Steam, now at the perfect price of £7, and there’s even a demo. This is a lovely game that a genre description does not fairly summarise. While it’s a combination of casual adventure and hidden object, I want you to throw your preconceptions and prejudices aside. This thing is heartfelt and sweet. Have a read of my article about it here, but substitute the price concerns for, “BUY THIS IF YOU HAVE ROOM FOR LOVELINESS AND JIGSAWS IN YOUR LIFE.”

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Preview: Python’s The Ministry Of Silly Games

By John Walker on December 3rd, 2010.

God doesn't appear in nearly enough games.

We don’t often cover Facebook games on RPS. I’ve a feeling that’s going to start changing as they become more involved, more inspired, and less like another Farmville clone. And one example of a bit more imagination going into a game is The Ministry Of Silly Games, an official Monty Python-themed project that seems to combine about seven hundred and sixteen genres.

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Bejeweled 3: Bejewelier

By John Walker on November 1st, 2010.

Encouraging gambling! The end is nigh!

I’ve just done some made up maths, and by my calculations every single human being on Earth has bought Bejeweled at least twice, even though Zoo Keeper is way better. It’s by far the most widely known match-3 game, and has made PopCap richer than God. Then came the rather improved Bejeweled 2. And next the wildly missing the point Bejewled Twist. Today they’ve announced Bejeweled 3, which they describe as “the first true sequel to [the] beloved flagship franchise in more than six years.” But what are those three matching gems up to now? And might they have made the improvement that could make me take it more seriously?

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Impressions Of Drawn: Dark Flight

By John Walker on October 1st, 2010.

It's not that cheery of a game.

Ever since I played the trial version of Drawn: Dark Flight, I’ve wanted to go back to it. It seemed special. Having now finished it, I can confirm it is. Created internally by casual game distributors Big Fish Games, it doesn’t seem to have received its deserved coverage, so here’s some now.

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PopCap Unveils Zuma’s Revenge

By John Walker on August 18th, 2009.

Revenge!

PopCap have just released the chains holding us back from letting you know they’ve a new game on the way. A follow up to Zuma, called Zuma’s Revenge, it’s a reinvention of the frog-spitting ball-matching puzzler that PopCap say has lots of new bits and bobs in fancy new graphics. New modes, new mechanics and new power-ups. Possibly new contention from Puzzloop fans. The original sold an incredible 17 million, which by our calculations means everyone at PopCap is carried to work on golden thrones, where they spend their days playing real-life games of Bejeweled with real-life jewels, which they then stuff down their pants while laughing. Video and full press release for the new game below.

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Magical Spell: Bookworm Adventures 2 Announced

By John Walker on July 16th, 2009.

That's what Lex says. Clearly we don't think so.

I don’t mean to be controversial, but I think all people who prefer Peggle over Bookworm Adventures should be sliced into ham and banished to the moon. Wait, no, that’s not true. I do mean to be controversial. Because of course it’s ridiculous to even compare the two games, just because they’re from the same developer. One is a game about bouncing a ball and pretending any positive results were due to skill, and any negative were random bad chance, and the other is the intellectual pursuit of personal betterment through challenging word puzzles. Chalk and cheese – it’s madness to say that one is better than the other even though one is. By the by, PopCap have just announced there’s to be a Bookworm Adventures 2 in a month! Hooray. We’ve already started pathetically pleading with them for review code, and will bring you all the information as soonfully as possible. (Peggle is of course great – I suppose – and don’t forget there’s a new free WoW version.)

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