122 points, 12 votes
if: A couple of years ago a friend gave me a football management game which was written and played entirely within Microsoft Excel. It was, of necessity, somewhat simplified – you changed the team each game based on injuries and tiredness, gradually made money and used it to replace your players with those with better stats (well, “stat” singular; it was just one number) then watched your team climb the divisions through results based on those stats with just a slight added element of randomness. Just plugging through the routine and gradually watching all the numbers go up was necessarily limited but weirdly addictive. While playing Game Dev Story I was acutely aware that in terms of complexity, it was very much closer to that football management game than to, say, Sim City. For at least the first two thirds of the twenty year lifespan of my imaginary game company it was a brilliant experience. Some of that was from the same basic enjoyment of watching the numbers go up, some was from its presentation, but the largest element was probably from its propensity for games industry satire – deliberate satire on the part of the makers, deliberate satire on the part of the player, but also an accidental, light touch satire which it just consistently seemed to generate almost every time something happened, every single success or failure a damning indictment on the tastes and actions of someone out of the industry workers and/or the fans at large.
Jamescobo: Ten hours of fun for $4 doesn’t sound like that great of a deal, especially compared to the value proposition offered by about 468438432038464 other games on the app store. On the other hand, it’s a game that lets you make a game called ANUS LANDLORD. You’ll definitely burn out quickly but those 10 or so hours where the game has its hooks in you are a magical blur of whimsy and profanity.
Sgt Biscuits: This thing functions as like a surrogate girlfriend to me, in that it provides a means for me to make unacceptably shit, offensive jokes without needing to have a “woman” there so I’m all “in a comfort zone” with to the point where I have “no filter”. I paid $800k getting a renowned children’s artist in to devise an art style for my romance simulator. I then titled it “Shrub Rapist”. It shifted 4.9 million units. This game is Japanese, right?
The 14 character limit is kind of a drag though, if there was a bigger limit you could get cracking mileage out of making up lots of pretentious modern game names with colons in them, instead of not even being able to fit the “2” in when you make a cash-in straight-to-DS shovelware sequel.
Polyphonic: Also known as the week I accidentally stayed up until 3am every night and was a complete wreck at work.
govern yourself accordingly: The fact that i’m now taking extended bathroom breaks to play this while at my ACTUAL JOB AS A DEVELOPER is super weird.
That being said, I’m really happy that Dong Collapse was a massive hit.
antexit: Other notable failures: My foray into dating simulators for the 8-bit market, Lonely Too Fat, was far ahead of its time. I also overestimated the demand for the town simulator Fuck Your Face 3 and rushed it prematurely into the marketplace near the end of its console’s lifespan. The golf arcade game Cup My Balls was greeted with confusion in the press and the cool reception City of Pubes received in the same season nearly did me in. Thank god I had a surprise cash infusion with the one-off bookstore simulator Fuck Cunt Book. The rest is history…
In describing GDS, I tell people it’s a game where you run an office, which sounds boring (and it mostly is) but you get to engage in videogame nostalgia and make up funny titles. See? It says Fat Fuck Guy is popular with 12-13 year olds! So if you’re as entertained as I am by giving profane, offensive, obscene or ridiculous titles to mundane objects, it’s a godsend. A little bit of game holds a mechanic together which allows me to make myself laugh with my tourette-y jokes without alienating my loved ones.
ZS: Sure, after the first 20-year cycle, the replay value is pretty much destroyed, and once you’ve managed to release a single million-selling game, you can pretty much coast through the rest of the game without trouble. But the first 6-8 hours of gameplay are totally addicting, great for killing train rides and very much worth 99 cents.
s1ocki: this game plateaus so hard. once you do okay once, it’s easy peasy street and there’s nothing new for you to do or new challenges to face. Kinda lame.
Euler: When my dating life game “The Quims” made the hall of fame, I knew BumweiserWare had finally reached the top.
Craig G: Of course I know it’s just A Rockstar Ate My Hamster with ‘funny’ names for games, but damned if I didn’t sink a lot of bus/waiting room/office lunch break hours into trying to even get a game that scored a 30.
forksclovetofu: Dude, if i paid you 2.4 mil you don’t get to say “I don’t know if I’ll do well this time”. It’s 2010; designers are a dime a dozen. In good news, the Toot Toot harbor motion franchise is in full bloom and I expect an NYT trend piece shortly.
JimD: BOOBS! Game BOOBS story! Game Dev BOOBS! LOL!
93 points, 7 votes
jon /via/ chi 2.0: For an ubiquitous app game, Angry Birds is incredibly designed and thoughtful.
Dayo: Do not not not understand the appeal of angry birds
HI DERE: Angry Birds is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too addictive
Autumn Almanac : Angry Birds is the sort of game you play out of compulsion, not necessarily for enjoyment.
Forksclovetofu: I’ve referred to Angry Birds as “the game non-gamers like” which i guess is sorta… gamist? Bottom line is that it’s a poor man’s Boom Blox with noxious sound design. I’ve not been able to play more than ten levels cause it bores the hell outta me.
Ledge: I played this a hell of a lot so i must have got some kind of enjoyment out of it… the birds are fun characters and it was a challenge to beat all the levels but ultimately i ended up frustrated, feeling like luck played too large a component in whether or not you got the pixel perfect placement necessary for gold starring a level.
JimD: I can’t explain why I haven’t got bored of this, because in a sense I was bored as soon as I started playing. It really doesn’t feel very different to any number of flash games that have gone before, but perhaps it’s one of those situations where the game is just a perfect fit for the format. Angry Birds is exactly the kind of non-game you want for a 15 minute train journey and that’s where most of my gaming happens these days. The constant drip feed of new levels is a plus too.
Polyphonic: I bought Angry Birds for some reason and regretted it immediately. So joyless.
ilxor: I’d be kidding myself to deny it: this game has its moments.
Zappi: Angry Birds is boring as hell, wtf people
NOTE: early on in the polls, I had volunteered to help Forks pull quotes for a few games. one of them was this game which I totally loved and had as my #1 and still play literally to this day, so I ended up pulling a ridiculous amount of quotes and stills from threads. out of sheer fanboyism I am going to include most of them here in a shameless ploy to boost this game’s prominence/pagerank, or at least help draw it into line with the traffic inexplicably attracted by the entry about The Settlers.
75 points, 5 votes, 2 TOP GAME votes
Z_S: if iPad were NES, 9 Innings, GameDevStory and maybe Drop7(still haven’t played it) would be the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt pack-in
Mordy: 50% baseball sim game and 50% card collecting extravaganza, 9 Innings 2011 hit the pleasure center of my brain that loves collecting better and better cards while combining that with the best sports mechanics I’ve yet seen on the iPhone. It was hopelessly addictive and even with season ending bugs (I had two, the second of which actually ended my interest in 9 Innings 2011) it was still great enough to be my 3rd favorite game of the year.
jamescobo: In sheer value terms (price : amount of enjoyment derived), 9 Innings 2011 may well be the biggest gaming bargain I’ve ever found; it’s months and months and months later and I’m STILL ducking out to play this game compulsively even though it still won’t let me check my swing. For a game which wiped out 100% of my progress during FirstUpdateGate, that’s a pretty substantial accomplishment.
The thing about 9 Innings is that it is perfectly designed to be playable at any moment in the day. baseball can be broken down into so many component parts which serve as gameplay milestones (“oh I’ll just play one AB/inning/game/season/etc.”) + brilliant virtual-d-pad-less portrait mode allowing for one-handed play (perfect for playing while standing on a bus/ducking out for a smoke/”oh man I just drew a platinum Albert Pujols” *frantic masturbation*)+ controls streamlined to remove anything which isn’t fun to control (fielding) while absolutely nailing everything else to within seven decimal places = a good excuse to play is never hard to find. Then you get into building a team and then you get into card collecting and then all of a sudden it’s seven AM three days later and you’re still playing.
bnw: played the shit out of it
Will M.: Thank god this game doesn’t track how many hours I played it because enough games have made me feel embarrassed about that this year. And I probably played this more.
The rest of my team isn’t that spectacular. I can’t seem to get good cards for SS and LF.
Haven’t really bothered with the bench. What sucks with combining cards is that I’ll combine 3
gold cards and get another stupid fucking coach that I already have. Or an ugly cheerleader.
Tracer Hand: the real way to rack up points is the real man’s way – by playing Homerun Mode for like three hours straight til you can’t see. HR Mode is totally idiotic – i feel like a pavlovian dog or something – but after a tense game it feels so sweet to just bash em out of the park.
– the difference in style between difft pitchers is terrific. some curveballs loop slowly in, others snap tightly.
– the stealing mechanic should actually work; as it is, it’s just chance
– defensive substitutions, please!
– stamina depletion of opposing relievers, please! it’s not fair that my guys’ tiredness lasts through to the next game, but their guys magically “heal” overnight. it takes away one of the great strategic satisfactions of baseball: wearing down the relief corps so that the next day your opponent’s no. 5 starter gets left in the game too long
– it is a bit too easy. i’m now into the next season (2011) and i didn’t get a chance to switch it up to “hard”
– i love how in the world series everyone seems to play a bit better
– i think howie kendrick has to have the best player photo (although i am partial to josh beckett’s come-hither, kenny powers-esque pose)
20 points, 3 votes
silby: Fits perfectly on a touch device. Part of the joyful trend of really simple games turned into great experiences with the careful application of graphic design and soundtrack (see Canabalt, Robot Unicorn Attack, Eliss). The in-game tips note: “Sometimes Solipskier goes so fast he loses his headphones. Don’t be alarmed, just listen to the wind and ride hard!