Strategy games come in many different forms and involve different things. It is good to change the setup of strategy games because it will make peope want to play the game more. If these strategy games aren’t unique, people will not want to play them. Some might ask you to think about numbers or ways to build or solve something. Some might even ask you to use sugar.

Sugar, Sugar is a game featired on addictinggames.com. In ths game spilly sugar is a bad thing, and putting the sugar in the cup is a goodthings. To do this. draw lines to guide the sugars to their happy sugar cup place. The game starts you off at level 1 and you progress from there. As the level increases so does the difficulty of each level. The first level shows a cup sitting on the edge of a ledge and the cup says 100. To the left of the cup you are given instructions that tell you to draw with your mouse to get enough sugar in the cup. Underneath the cup are more words that say if you get stuck you can hit the reset button. At the top of the screen, in big bold letters, reads sugar, sugar. When the level begins, sugar begins falling from the “sugar, sugar” words. To beat this level you simply draw a line from the words where the sugar is falling to the cup. Once the sugar lands in the cup the number on the cup decreases. When the cup reads 0, you have completed the level.

All the levels follow this routine but there are some tricks and challenges along the way. Level 2 gives you two cups in which you just perform the same task as level 1. Level 3 has a couple of changes. There are 2 cups that read 100 but one cup in white and the other is red. The instructions on the side of screen tells you that white sugar goes in the white cup and red sugar goes in the red cup. This may catch you off guard at first because they is not red sugar. However the level puts two red circles that are linked together on the screen. To beat the level draw a line from the white cup to the sugar and another line from that sugar to the red dots and then to the red cup. The levels after this are on the same lines but the directions are slightly different.

This was an interesting way to set up a strategy game. It uses sugar. I believe that gamers should continue  to think about how to present games to people in a new and exciting way. They need to constantly think about what things will draw what type of people in. Will it be color, sound, or even the name of the game?

http://armorgames.com/play/10638/sugar-sugar

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Which would you rather do? Sit down and play videogames or stand? Growing up I played videogames while sitting. It started with the Nintendo 64 and evolved into the Playstations, Xbox, and Gamecube. The only difference between these game systems is the name. Other than that they operate the same way. More recently, we see videogames being transformed. Instead of sitting on the couch with the game controller, we are suddenly being asked to stand in order to play these games that we enjoy so much.

The Wii and the Xbox Kinect are changing the way that we play games. They require you to stand and move your body around. The Wii provides a fun, active, and intuitive experience. These games give you the feeling of playing your favorite sports activities, and adventures that put a sword in your hand like never before, your own body’s movements are used to interact with the games in fun and delightful ways. The Wii Remote Plus controller is the heart of the motion gaming experience on the Wii console. It responds to motion and rotation for enhanced control as you move around, swinging, swiping, thrusting, or turning the controller. With the Wii Remote Plus, your gaming experience instantly becomes more active and immersive than you ever thought possible. Every Wii console comes packed with one Wii Remote Plus controller. To enhance the fun of the Wii, get additional Wii controllers to have more friends and family members play together.

The Wii comew with a Nunchuk which you hook up to your Wii Remote Plus. This accessory adds even more flexibility in compatible games. The Nunchuk has similar motion-sensing technology, along with two buttons and a Control Stick. This allows you to move characters around while performing more specific and complex actions with the Wii Remote Plus controller. Every Wii console comes packed with one Nunchuk, but you can buy additional Nunchuk accessories to get more players gaming together. The Nunchuk is not the only accessory available for the Wii. A range of other unique accessories provide new ways to play Wii games. some of the accessories include the Wii Wheel accessory to race with, or the Classic Controller Pro accessory if you are looking for an old school gaming experience. There are many exciting options available.

The Xbox Kinect is similar to the Wii because there is no controller, gadgets, or gizmos. It’s just you and your family getting off the couch and into the action. This controller-free gaming means full body play. Kinect responds to how you move. So if you have to kick, then kick. If you have to jump, then jump. Once you wave your hand to activate the sensor, your Kinect will be able to recognize you and access your Avatar. Then you’ll be able to jump in and out of different games. Once again anyone can play and have a blast. And with advanced parental controls and movies for the family, Kinect promises a gaming experience that’s safe, secure and fun for everyone.

I personally enjoy these new form of games and do not mind standing up to play. I don’t necessarily acknowledge the fact that I am even standing. I just know that I am up doing something fun with my family and friends. In addition my body is getting the exercise that it was deprived of for many years. I believe that more games on the lines on the Wii and Xbox Kinect should be created. They can be an asset to all that play. So which would you rather do?

Jenga is a game of physical and mental strength. It is enjoyed for its simplicity and this simplicity is probably the main reason for its success. It is the second most popular game in the world-after monopoly. Over fifty million games have been sold worldwide, and this game can be played with a variety of groups. People can play with friends, family, classmates, and one can even play by themselves! Both kids and adults can play this game and there’s no sense of it being categorized as a children’s game or an adult game, which is great because it makes the game universal. And for a “board” game to be universal is kind of rare. Also, on a side note, I really do not know where to exacty categorize this game. It’s obviously not a video game and it is not a board game, for board games are defined as a game in which counters or pieces are placed, removed,  or moved on a premarked surface or “board.” I am not sure what exactly to put it under. Does it have it’s own category? I really do not know (if you do know please comment!). Anyhow, this game is nothing extraordinary in terms of design or complexity. And the fact that this ordinary game is so massively popular is beyond amazing! It’s mind boggling because not many games can say that. I cannot think of a game that looks as ordinary as Jenga or has the same simplicity that has this world-wide appeal. It is also amusing to think that a game of stacking plain wooden blocks made it so big in the gaming industry. It goes to show that simplicity sells and a game does not need to be complex or fancy to sell or to be fun. Just like the game  pick up the sticks. It’s an extremely simple game, it is similar to Jenga in the way that you must remove a piece without disturbing the other pieces, but it did not gain as much popularity as Jenga. But, nonetheless, in my opinion, it is a fun and entertaining game. Now to discuss the rules and procedures of Jenga.  During the game of , players take turns to remove a block from a tower and balance it on the top. Players need to create a taller structure that becomes more unstable over time. The winner is last person to successfully remove and place a block. As stated above, the game is simple. It only contains 54 wooden blocks. Nothing else. With the blocks you need to stack them on top of each other in 18 levels in groups of three.  When you stack them up they need to be placed adjacent to each other along their long side and perpendicular to the previous level.  After the tower is built, the game begins. Players are only allowed to use one hand while pulling out a block from the middle of the tower, which makes it difficult. One cannot balance the tower with their other hand either. This is where the mental aspect comes to play. Players need to be able to use strategy to choose which block to carefully take out that would not make the other blocks fall down, and they also need to place that block back on the top of the tower, again, without making the other blocks fall down. One must be able to choose a block wisely and precisely. They must also be able to have a steady hand for if one’s nerves gets in the way, then their hands may shake a bit, and this can cause them to lose them the game.  While playing an array of emotions and feelings are present, such as nerves, excitement, and competition. People never want to be the one to make the tower collapse, unless, of course, you have a weird obsession or agenda to make the blocks fall or you just like knocking things down I don’t know (haha). 

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At this point, the Halo franchise is old news. The companies behind it have already produced a trilogy and three spin-offs. On top of this, they have confirmed they will be creating another trilogy. If you weren’t keeping count, that’s a total of nine games. NINE GAMES! At what point is enough enough? Why do the producers insist on continuing to “beat a dead horse”?

The answer, obviously, is money. They keep making Halo games because their consumers keep buying them. Sure, the original trilogy (Halo, Halo 2, and Halo 3) were amazing games and deserved all the credence they received. The story was totally original and one of the most memorable and entertaining narratives in video game history. Not to mention, Halo 2 defined online multiplayer. It was the most widely played online console game of its time, and its multiplayer set the stage for what was expected from other shooters like Call of Duty and Gears of War.

However, the game creators weren’t satisfied with just being known for this epic trilogy. They insisted on making spin-offs. Halo 3: ODST presents a story from a perspective other than that of the trilogy’s main character (Master Chief), and the story takes place at the same time as the story from Halo 3. Halo Reach serves as a prequel to the original Halo trilogy. And lastly, Halo Wars takes the Halo universe and incorporates it into a real time strategy game. The fact that the producers totally shifted genres and turned a first person shooter into a real time strategy game shows that they will stop at nothing to keep making Halo games, and to build on their profits.

This idea can be further seen in how they have recently confirmed that they will be making another Halo trilogy, which continues the story from where Halo 3 left off. The issue I have with this is that the ending to Halo 3 does everything in its power to make players think the Master Chief has died. It would have been a fitting ending to the trilogy if it happened this way, but the producers were not satisfied. Instead, they chose to “resurrect” the Master Chief and completely alter how Halo 3 seemed to have ended in order to make another trilogy.

It is a shame that people continue to buy Halo games. If they did not, the producers would certainly not keep making them, and the “dead horse” would finally be left alone. For me, my biggest issue with them continuing to make Halo games is the fact that the novelty and creativity has totally disappeared. Outside of the RTS, the game’s mechanics have changed a minimal amount. Not to mention, the weapons and characters have also been the same throughout. As they continue to churn out games, it appears as if the designers no longer care or try. This makes me think they only keep making Halo games because of greed.

I sincerely hope that other game designers learn a lesson from the Halo franchise and know their limits in regards to making sequels. The companies behind video games need to have a better understanding of when their game’s novelty wears off. If they follow Halo’s lead and continue to make sequels and spin-offs, then all they are doing is taking advantage of their customers. The gaming industry should value and appreciate their customers, not take advantage of them due to their greed.

Amongst the glut of games (web and console alike) only appealing to certain fans of certain things, exists one that ask a little more.

The object of this game “Kanye Zone” is to, as a mighty blue orb, prevent the head of Kanye West from touching a purple circle, known as his “zone”, for “cash”.

To play this game you have to have;

-fingers

-time

-access to a computer with internet access

To understand that point of this game, you have to be;

-familiar with Kanye West

-familiar with the lyrics to whatever that song is

Sure. Whatever. It’s pretty fun. There’s not much to “understand”, but it at first left me a titch irritated.

Namely because I don’t care for Kanye West.

As a musician, I’m uninterested and not at all impressed.

As a person, I’d sooner hang out with Mel Gibson.

As the subject of a web game, sure, why not. I don’t know what the deal with his “zone” is or why we should keep him out of it and frankly I don’t care.

If you have an avid aversion to something, in this situation, it’s difficult to separate that thing you don’t like from that game you’re trying to play. Why play it in the first place ? Because it’s sort of fun and you sort of find satisfaction in imagining yourself inconveniencing a celebrity you hate ?

On a broader note, no matter how aesthetically pleasing a game or anything is, the ugliness still remains so very obvious to the pooper at the party.

http://www.kanyezone.com/

 

Dys4ia is an autobiographical game created by designer Anna Atrophy. The game functions as a series of 16-bit mini games that tell an interactive stories about challenges faced by transgender people. The challenge of Dys4ia does not come from enemies or puzzles; it is trying to feel empathetic towards someone with whom you probably couldn’t relate otherwise.

The challenge that faces Dys4ia is to make a seemingly alien lifestyle something that anyone can understand and relate to. In this respect, the game succeeds. The game revolves entirely around the day-to-day struggles of a transgender person. Functioning less like a traditional game and more like an interactive narrative, Dys4ia makes empathizing with transgender paper very accessible.

Listening to Anna’s embarrassment at having to shave her face or be referred to as “sir” or “Mr.” showed the frustration of transgender people. Everyone feels insecure about their physical appearance from time to time, but to constantly feel as though you are stuck in a body that does not correspond with your gender identity sounds soul crushing.

As the player navigates the life of Ms. Atrophy, they experience distinct spheres of the transgender experience, including personal, social, and medical aspects. Through each encounter, a sense of alienation and powerlessness is pervasive as the player listens to those in unable to understand what Anna is coping with.

Dys4ia is not completely bleak. As the game progresses, soon Anna starts to experience (slowly but surely) positive changes in her life. Things start small, like the beginning of breast development or having the nerve to correct people on how they refer to her. Eventually, the player is left with a beautiful sentiment of feeling optimistic and being on the right track to developing into the person one is meant to be.

Check it out here:

http://www.gamesforchange.org/play/dys4ia/

When I last left off, I had just finished talking about how one of the characters, Kanji Tatsumi, is used to talk about homosexuality. Now, we shall look at another character who talks about sexism.

Naoto Shirogane

The other character I will talk about is Naoto Shirogane. Let’s start similarly to Kanji. Based on the picture above, what do you think Naoto is like? His posture kind of hints at being somewhat formal and smart. He appears quite serious and determined. When you first meet him, he’s introduced as the “Detective Prince”, a high school detective that has been asked by the Inaba Police Department to help with the recent murders. He’s also quite perceptive, being one of the first people to noticing patterns in the cases, such as the Midnight Channel and the recent kidnappings. (When a person appears on the Midnight Channel, they are reported missing for several days before you rescue them). His manner of speaking is also quite formal, and he takes his job quite seriously. So it appears the first impression was correct. So, what am I getting at here? Well, in the list of first impressions above, there is one thing incorrect. Can you figure out what’s wrong?

It’s the very first word: “His”. Naoto Shirogane is actually a female. However, this isn’t a “let’s make a gender-neutral looking character” situation, sort of. While indeed her design is gender-neutral, they had a reason to; she was disguising herself as male. Her main reason for this is that she was trying to escape the sexism present in the police force. She is already a high school student working alongside the police; she didn’t exactly have high respect from fellow officers. The other members of the force view her as a child of sorts, and that she probably shouldn’t be involved. The only reason she is is that she’s good, and has solved many cases. However, if she revealed herself as female to the police force, she would be taken even less seriously, and probably wouldn’t even be able to work with the police.

Her Shadow also reinforces this. In fact, when we encounter her Shadow is when we discover that she is indeed female. Her Shadow references her desire to be male, like all other famous detectives found in novels and the media. The Shadow also refers to her desire to no longer be treated like a child. Throughout the game, she acts rather mature, representing her desire to be taken seriously. However, several members of the police force still treat her like a child, because she still somewhat acts like a child. For example, at this point in the game, the police had, more or less, considered the murder case as closed. Naoto was unsure about this, and persisted on the case. This persistence made her peers feel she was acting childish.

Like with Kanji, the inclusion of Naoto’s character sends another message to the player without being incredibly blunt; this message being that sexism is still around today. Instead of doing the usual method of displaying it, the game showed just how far a character would go to avoid it. In order to avoid the sexism present in the work force, a female was willing to pretend to be male, and possibly, willing to have a sex change. I think even fewer games tackle this issue when compared to homosexuality, but there’s a simple reason for that, which actually makes things somewhat ironic. That simple reason? Sexism. Sexism is the reason why it is hard for a message about sexism to be delivered through games. If a game tries to deliver a message about sexism, a majority of gamers, being male, might take it as being “feminist”, so they will either ignore the message or not play the game at all. Essentially, Naoto was used to deliver a message about sexism without flat out showing it to us.

There are several other characters in Persona 4 which also deliver messages. For example, Rise Kujikawa delivers a message about celebrities. Her Shadow shows a fear of hers; she fears that people only like her for her popularity. People only want to know “Risette”, the version of her that appears on stage, and not the actual Rise. With characters such as this, Persona 4 is able to tell a story that is further reinforced by its characters. All of the characters have desires and fears that the player gets to see, as well as faults they want to correct. Over the course of the story, you see these characters grow and become different than when they started. This is an aspect of character development that I feel many games lack, and an aspect that helps make Persona 4’s story shine.

Note: Extra Credits actually did pretty much a whole episode talking about Kanji, and a bit about Naoto. You can watch it here.