Play Journal 2013-05-18: Dot Dot Dot

by Thom Kiraly

Khaba – As of yet unreleased puzzle game from Hello There. Got to play a couple of levels and give some feedback when a friend, the game’s level designer, paid a visit. The most interesting thing about playing a puzzle game with someone watching was that I had nowhere to hide. The social context prohibited me from abandoning the game (i.e. being lazy and quitting) and I had to stick with it even when I had a hard time figuring out some levels. This was actually pretty helpful. Sometimes, I think I don’t give these sorts of games an honest try, and that is, of course, a shame were I to miss out on something great…

Dots – One of two games in this journal entry that I picked up from the Kill Screen playlist (I do seem to pick up a lot of stuff from there), Dots is a slim 60 second dot-matching game. It’s perfectly designed to be played on a smartphone. The fact that you always know exactly how long a play session is helps a lot — 60 seconds, no more or less. Another thing I discovered was that it allows simultaneous playback from other apps, which means I can play while I listen to a podcast. As an avid podcast listener, I appreciate this…

Dots - iOS game

Behold: the beauty of Dots

Ingress – I didn’t actually play this so much as I was a bystander. This is an Android-exclusive ARG and since I don’t own an Android device, a friend showed it to me when we were out walking. I’ve always been a fan of location-based games, but I’ve always felt that they’re designed to be used in urban areas that are larger and more densely populated than anything we have in Sweden. It never really kicks off if you’re one of maybe 5-10 players in a town of hundreds of thousands, you know? Now, Reality Games, on the other hand…

Shadow Cities – I used to play this game quite a bit, but the grinding bored me and I quit. I was drawn back into it as a direct consequence of being exposed/introduced to Ingress. Though I’d reached level 9 in my previous periods of playing the game, I was a bit rusty and I got called out in the team chat for making irritating rookie mistakes two days in a row. I haven’t dared to open the app since then. By now, this game is mostly played by veterans and they know more or less everything there is to know about Shadow Cities. I don’t feel up for the challenge and investment getting seriously involved in the game would entail…

The Struggle – I participated in a very early playtest of an idea for an RPG. Let’s just say that you could tell it was early on in the process. The feedback session was really good, though,  and after we were done, I thought better of the game than right after we’d finished testing.

Mass Effect 3 – I’ve gotten out of the rut that was the first few hours of the game and have now passed the 10-hour mark. The speed is picking up, but I’m considering not going for completing so many side missions. Seriously, the time I spent on the Citadel (a lot of it in an elevator) was exhausting…

Vesper.5 – Still at it. Tomorrow, I get to look at a green thing. If I remember to play…

Vesper.5 - green thing

Monaco – My partner in crime kept bugging me on Facebook while I’m at work, so I had to yield. We were significantly better this time around, but once I got over my self-congratulatory fit, I realized this was because we had played some of the levels before. Anyway… I still like Monaco a lot and hope to play it with more people. If you’ve read this long, find me on Steam (HongKongStuntman) and we’ll take Monaco in style…

Impossible Road – To finish this entry: another one of those Kill Screen playlist recommendations. People compare it to Super Hexagon, which is a game dear to me, and I can see what they mean. Impossible Road is a lot more unpredictable than Super Hexagon, though, and I have a hard time making any real progress (also, the music isn’t nearly as good). My top score is 75, which I guess is OK (top 5%), but most games don’t get past 30 or 40 points. The gameplay is also a lot more deliberate than Super Hexagon’s. Where Super Hexagon throws stuff at you and you react in one way and one way only, Impossible Road allows for some sort of planning. The player can adjust and reconsider during the game and that doesn’t happen as often or in as broad gestures in Super Hexagon…


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