Monday, 23 February 2015

Casual Picks 10: Google Play Games Level 20 Edition (Part 1)

A long time ago back in 2012, I tried to conceal a largely indulgent post about my reaching 20K Xbox Gamerscore by embedding this fact about myself in some analysis about player behaviour. This time I'm going to celebrate reaching Level 20 in the Google Play metagame by analysing my mobile gaming career and reviewing any games that haven't made it into a Casual Picks segment before.

I am classed as a Pinball Wizard without playing a single pinball game. I am skill.
Well first off let's have a quick look at my genre breakdown. High score based Arcade games and skill based Action games seem to dominate. I'm not even entirely sure what is meant by a 'Casual' game that makes it casual above and beyond the general casual nature of mobile games. I've yet to figure this out. Generally I think genre categorisations on many mobile platforms leave a lot to be desired, but that's possibly an article for another time. Let's just say that I don't accept that Angry Birds: Transformers counts as a racing game, nor does Clash of Clans count as an Action game. Sheesh Google! (Apple has it's weird listings also).


There's more complicated enemies than the standard one-hit grey mobs you see here for you to pummel.
Although it is listed as an Action game, I regard games with a competitive leaderboard like this to be arcade games above all else. I honestly wish they would just use multiple tags for games rather than trying to find a unique box for each game. Oh well. I've been playing this mobile version of One Finger Death Punch for about two weeks now and I think I'll easily get just as long out of it again. I would heartily recommend getting the PC version offa Steam if you'd rather have mouse controls instead of touch ones but both games are great. You play a stick man kung fu hero of a 2D plane, fighting of hordes of stickmen who relentlessly attack from both left and right. The core gameplay alone was enough to make me play the PC game for days on end with its compulsive Game and Watch style gameplay on steroids but the mobile version throws in daily league tables and some new other tweaks and additions which enhance or hinder the experience depending on your taste. The FTUE on the mobile version is also very irritating but it'll be no more than a distant memory before you know it. Ker-Pow!

Carrying on with the Arcade theme I guess, we have...

Crossy Road - Hipster Whale - Arcade
This game is worth downloading just to see what happens when chicken and car collide.
This sweet little game is what Flappy Bird would have been like if Flappy Bird was fun or well made (Yes! I went there!) and it's just a particularly unforgiving version of Frogger which uses touch controls. That's it really. Other than trying to beat your highscore the rest of the appeal of this game is collecting other characters to cross the road with. Each new unlocked character can change either the appearance of the level (The penguin makes it snow, for example) or how the move/death animations look. You can pay a tuppence or three to unlock them directly or you can unlock random characters from an in game Gumball machine by collecting coins. Not much depth or strategy but it's an ideal casual game (ah, so maybe that's what that means?) because as well all know,  you can't have steak every day.

...you know what, I'm only realising now that I've played a lot of games that I've never talked about on 103% to make it to level 20. I'll have to continue this journey in a future installment. Those two should keep you going for a while anyway.