Posts Tagged ‘casual’

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

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

Plant Vs. Zombies: Farm For Your Life

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of Dementia

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Dark Strokes – Sins Of The Father

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Monster Munch: Dead Hungry Diner Demo

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Majesty: HHiiddeenn OObbjjeecctt IInn 33DD

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Proto-Adventure: Pahelika Revelations Demo

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Give This A Go: Tiny Bang Story Now £7

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.”

Preview: Python’s The Ministry Of Silly Games

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bejeweled 3: Bejewelier

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

Impressions Of Drawn: Dark Flight

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

PopCap Unveils Zuma’s Revenge

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Magical Spell: Bookworm Adventures 2 Announced

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.)

Read the rest of this entry »

The Only Thing Missing Is Janet Ellis

Don't try and complete it in your head - I've cropped out some of the pieces. Thank goodness I said, eh?

I’m not going to hold it in any longer. I don’t care what anyone thinks, I’m just going to… bloody say it. I like jigsaw puzzles. There. Think what you like of me, I just like them, and I’m not going to change for you. That’s how come I just used up all of my free hour with Infinite Jigsaw Puzzle.

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s The Magic Word, Tommy?

He's trapped inside a book, wouldn't you know.

While there are far too many identikit casual games, one area they’re constantly short of is spelling-based games. Oh, be off with your yawns. Bookworm Adventures is clearly the greatest of them all, by leagues, but a cute, playable runner up is always welcome. Tommy And The Magic Words is almost that.

Read the rest of this entry »

As You Wish

Just one more thing.

The demo of casual-me-do incarnation of The Princess Bride is available for your trialing pleasure. Worldwide Biggies‘ release is a kids’ game, and being casual, of course it’s all very familiar. By some sort of miracle there’s no match-3, but the other two staples are present and correct. It does, however, feature some original cast members. Details below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ancient Quest of Saqqarah

Ancient Egypt in a casual game? How can that even work?!

With one of the most confusing press releases ever, Game Club Cafe have announced the “soft release” of their latest casual-em-up, Ancient Quest of Saqqarah.

“Yes, that’s right! Khufu says that the soft launch of our major puzzle game is today! He may be a blue magical monkey, but he’s hardly a liar.”

It begins. Fortunately, the game itself is a lot simpler, and rather fun.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mystery P.I: The Acceptable Face Of The Pixel Hunt

Play along at home!

Bearing in mind I make a career out of slating crappy adventure games forcing you to hunt for one sodding pixel in the middle of a busy screen before you can advance to the next tedious conversation and discover you were supposed to click the clipboard on the fridge before the Captain would give you the next assignment, or whatever backwoods misery it may be, it makes little sense that I enjoy Mystery P.I..

PopCap’s, er, “versions” of the Mystery Case Files-inspired casual genre are especially well put together, and yet remain nothing more than giving you a list of objects to find in a cluttered screen. It’s the sort of activity that would more normally go ignored in a bumper book of puzzles, perhaps glanced at once all the mazes were complete and fishies reunited with clumsy, tangled fishermen. And yet… cannot… resist. Which is to say, last month PopCap released a sequel to Mystery P.I., The Vegas Heist, and I just noticed.

Read the rest of this entry »