5 August 2013

Little Games

When I finally bought my first proper smartphone last winter, I thought I might end up playing plenty of games on it. Welp, it didn't really happen that way. I tried out some, but, as it turned out, it's very hard to actually make an interesting and playable game for a small touchscreen device. Also I was mostly trying out free games, which, basically, tend to be less about making good games than they are about trying to induce you to pay micro-transactions to proceed in the game...

In the early days I played Zen Pinball a little. That's a pretty fun way to waste a few minutes. I also played Blood Brothers for a while. They tote it as an RPG, but it's really nothing of the sort. It's mainly about collecting different units, with a very thin story progression and automated combat with almost no interaction tucked on top, and it gets pretty darn boring pretty darn soon.

Recently, though, I spent a few weeks in the country without my consoles, so I figured I should try some more phone games. I even bought a couple bigger games, Mass Effect Infiltrator and Bard's Tale. Did I end up playing them, or even trying them? Nope. The time was never quite right, and I spent much of the time pretty much exhausted from all the chores that needed doing around the house. I did, however, waste some time with a few free games.

I actually tried out the classic Nethack for the first time ever. The Android port I played worked reasonably well on the phone, and it's not as huge a battery drain as many modern games. I didn't play a lot of it, though, mostly 'cause it's bleedin' hard.

Then there was Robot Unicorn Attack 2. That's a pretty fun and addicting little sidescrolling platform game. While the game itself is deceptively simple, there are goals you have to complete in order to progress in ranks, which in turn gives you new customisations for your unicorn and stuff. I played it for a while, but sometime getting close to rank 20 the goals began to be simply unbeatable with my skills, which put me off the game.

Lastly, probably the game I ended up playing most over the last few weeks was, perhaps a little surprisingly, the My Little Pony game. This is basically a pretty simple village building game, with mini-games you have to play to raise the pony inhabitants levels. There are goals you have to complete to proceed the story, which is loosely based on characters and concepts from the Friendship Is Magic series. There are some social elements involving giving gifts to friends (you can use your Facebook account to connect), but for some reason this has seemed to be broken much of the time I've played the game, leaving me unable to visit other people's villages or receive gifts from them (assuming anyone's sent any — I know a few of my friends have played the game at some point, though of course I can't know whether they've been active lately). Luckily you can skip some of the goals involving social interactions by spending jewels earned in the game... All in all it's a fun enough game to spend a few moments on every now and then.

Now, though, I'm back home with my precious consoles. Hopefully I'll get a chance to play some real games soon enough...

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