As I have already talked about in a previous posts, Evoland provokes many nostalgic feelings towards past adventure games and movies. Here, I hope to expand on this thought, discussing different ways that Evoland uses nostalgia. Zach Whalen edited a book on nostalgia in video games in 2008, and within it there is a chapter … Continue reading “Use of Nostalgia to Make Evoland “Cool””
As I have already talked about in a previous posts, Evoland provokes many nostalgic feelings towards past adventure games and movies. Here, I hope to expand on this thought, discussing different ways that Evoland uses nostalgia. Zach Whalen edited a book on nostalgia in video games in 2008, and within it there is a chapter by Sean Fenty entitled “Why Old School is ‘Cool’: A Brief Analysis of Classic Video Game Nostalgia. When talking about what motivates a nostalgia in games, he proclaims “Designers must motivate players to put forth the effort involved in playing. They need to set goals and give rewards; they need to set up a situation that will make players want to succeed at the game and want to learn the rhythm of things”(25). He takes it a step further by saying if this is not accomplished, then the game will not foster nostalgia, but will be forgotten.
With this in mind, it is worth looking at some games/ movies mentioned in Evoland: The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Skyrim, Lord of the Rings, Mario, Diablo, and League of Legends. All of these games are popular titles with significant name value. All the games mentioned successfully achieve what Fenty sets down. Thus, Evoland, not in a manipulative sense, uses the success of other games to drive its own success. It plays off nostalgic feelings established by prior games and implements them in a way to make its own game more playable.
In addition, Henty uses the term “playing the past” in his chapter. This also applies to Evoland as further in the game, the player must go back in time in order to advance the gameplay. This takes the game back to the older graphics, again promoting thoughts of older games with 2d graphics. This, to paraphrase Henty, causes players to yearn for the game, as they represent the past while also giving the players a chance to play in the past. As such, Evoland, despite being a new game, invokes the same feelings as the classics, thus putting it in the same nostalgic category of “cool”.
Whalen, Zach, Laurie N. Taylor, and Sean Fenty. Playing the Past: History and Nostalgia in Video Games. Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 2008. Web.
The term “casual game” hardly applies to this sword swinging beauty of a game. Infinity Blade III could easily be sold on console and flushed out into a full RPG. The game already has depth and incredible graphics, because of this I question the title of “causal.” When we hear the term “casual” we think … Continue reading “Mobile is not Casual”
The term “casual game” hardly applies to this sword swinging beauty of a game. Infinity Blade III could easily be sold on console and flushed out into a full RPG. The game already has depth and incredible graphics, because of this I question the title of “causal.” When we hear the term “casual” we think of Flappy Bird and Doodlejump. Games that are inherently simple and easy to play. Infinity Blade has an original yet simple concept similar to other mobile games yet it branches out in a direction that no other game had ever tried. By forcing you to practice over and over and buy new gear and level up your characters this game no longer feels causal.
There is a big difference between causal and mobile games. These two game types are often roped together. I believe this a misconception that grew out of the limited capabilities that mobile games had during their early years. Apps were just a way to entertain yourself when you had a free second. They consisted of the basics, because that all we thought we needed. I would argue that the Infinity Blade series changed the mobile gaming scene by showing everyone just how complex and stunning apps can be. The series is a trilogy and it was wildly popular. People would play it as religiously as console games, anxiously awaiting the next episode to be released. Infinity Blade broke the mold and proved that a mobile game does not have to be casual.
Infinity Blade III incentivizes you to play more with complex side plots and powerful rewards for diligence. There are legendary weapons that can be collected and used to fight off the evil “deathless” the player can only acquire them through hours and hours of gameplay. The game can be completed without the need to spend real money or wait crazy amounts of real time for upgrades. It is a full game, it is not casual, it is just mobile.
I played Telltale’s The Walking Dead on my iPhone. Despite the connotations that typically surround mobile games, The Walking Dead is anything but a simplistic, time-wasting experience. Instead, the game functions as a sort of next-generation choose your own adventure, with the player’s decisions and relationships with in-game characters shaping the course of the story. Beyond this, actual gameplay … Continue reading Game Log #5 (The Walking Dead): Is This a Mobile Game? →
I played Telltale’s The Walking Dead on my iPhone. Despite the connotations that typically surround mobile games, The Walking Dead is anything but a simplistic, time-wasting experience. Instead, the game functions as a sort of next-generation choose your own adventure, with the player’s decisions and relationships with in-game characters shaping the course of the story. Beyond this, actual gameplay is limited to occasional swipes to navigate and interact, and The Walking Dead ends up sharing more similarities with a movie than it does with anything else. It even progresses in a series of episodes in the spirit of The Walking Dead television program on AMC.
Is The Walking Dead a mobile game? Intially, I would have to say that no, it is not a purely “mobile game.” While I played it on a mobile device and had the ability to be physically mobile while I played, its length and price run counter to the short and sweet characteristics typical to most iPhone games (I recognize that countless hours can be poured into certain mobile games, but I am referring to how many of these games are designed to be played in short, incremental sessions in moments of boredom). At a length of 5 episodes and a 22 dollar price tag to purchase all the installments in a bundle, the The Walking Dead certainly resembles a full-fledged game experience that one would find on a PC or a console. This is due to the fact that the game was made for these platforms along with the iPhone version that I played.
On the other hand, I also have trouble defining The Walking Dead as a purely console or PC game. The fact remains that I did play it on a mobile device. While I occasionally played it in long stints, I also used it as a time killer just as I would utilize Angry Birds or Bloons Tower Defense, with some of my gaming sessions admittedly occurring during visits to the restroom. The mobile version of The Walking Dead also has an in-app purchase system for acquiring the different episodes, and I will profess that this turned me off from playing beyond the first episode. In-app purchases tend to push me away from continuing to play a game as I feel as though I am missing part of the experience due to a paywall. The reaction I had to The Walking Dead was similar to ones I have had to countless pay-to-win apps that I have downloaded and quickly deleted in the past.
So the question remains: is The Walking Dead a mobile game? I would have to conclude that in this case, there is not a real distinction to be made. In the same way that viewing a film on a phone may not be as “full” an experience, will lesser visuals and sound, the film can still be watched on the device regardless. The movie, at its core (title, dialogue, plot etc..), remains the same movie regardless of the screen it is watched on. I think this is an effective way of thinking of The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead treads the line between console and mobile categories, but in this case there does not seem to be any reason to make a distinction. Telltale interactive even designed The Walking Dead with an engine specifically designed for multi-platform compatibility, and I think it is safe to assume that to them, the game was never strictly meant for one platform over another. To the developers, multiple platforms ensured maximum players and profit.
While I understand this may not be the most revolutionary of conclusions to make about the game, the fact remains that The Walking Dead is neither a console nor a mobile game. It’s both.