Mondays are usually slow for news as people start to stir for the coming week. Therefore, every Monday, we will address one topic to start the week and get discussion flowing. It stimulates the week like a cup of coffee, hence the title.
Multiple news outlets have noted the increased prominence of mobile and social games, to the point more than one person has wondered if the traditional console will go extinct. Simplistic, easy-to-learn games that can be played in five-minute spurts have grabbed the attention of many who just don’t have the time to involve themselves in a sixty-hour epic. Even those who do can find themselves playing Angry Birds or a similarly simple game on occasion, and we here at Gaming Bus aren’t that different.
This week’s question:
Do you play any mobile or browser-based games? If so, which ones and how often do you play them? If not, what do you find yourself playing instead recently (i.e. in the past two to three months)?
Nathan Wood: I don’t normally find myself playing mobile- or browser-based games, and this generally stems from the fact I like to play something deeper that neither platform really offers on a consistent basis. However, this did change recently, at least on the mobile platform, because of one little title. That special game is Super Hexagon by Terry Cavanagh of VVVVVV fame, and for a good reason. It utilizes everything that mobile gaming has going for it—the whole pick-up-and-play, just-one-more-go addictive play style—bundled with fantastic audio and visuals that may lead to your eyes bleeding and many, many seizures. I have lost countless hours now to that game and I couldn’t care less.
Outside of that, the last few months have seen me play Sleeping Dogs (twice), which I love and may be one of my favorite sandbox/GTA style games in a long time. I’ve also replayed Borderlands in preparation for Borderlands 2, which I picked up yesterday, and wow, it’s everything I wanted and more. Gearbox has really hit a stride (except for Duke Nukem Forever, but hey, at least it came, right?), and I’m eager to see what they can do with Aliens: Colonial Marines. As much as people tend to complain about the game industry, including myself, there are just so many good quality games coming out almost all year round that some must find it hard to keep up. I know I have, and taking a gander at the line-up for the rest of the year, I’m not too sure I’m ever going to have time for sleep.
Connor Horn: To be honest, no. That’s not to say that I haven’t tried, though. When I got a tablet recently, I tried to get into the mobile gaming frenzy, including giving Angry Birds a go. However, it all felt very simplistic to me. Having been raised on deeper, more involved games, it’s kind of hard to transition to one-note games that don’t offer much depth or variety. I understand the attraction of simple and addictive games, but they just aren’t my style. For me, until tablets start playing host to titles of more complexity or replay value, I probably won’t be using them for gaming.
As for the games I’ve been playing recently, League of Legends is a constant companion of mine. I’ve also been spending a good deal of time playing Minecraft. In my opinion, Mojang’s weekly snapshot format is an addictive way to keep the game fresh and interesting; just when things start to hit a routine, they add something crazy like the Beacon and it’s all up in the air again.
Aileen Coe: I play a few mobile games when I’m out and about and don’t have other portables on me (I usually don’t). I play Bejeweled Blitz mostly when I want something quick and mindless that I can put down at any time. I also play the occasional round of Words and Scramble with Friends. I did recently snag Adventure Bar Story, which is right up my alley since it’s kind of like a portable Atelier game or Recettear (what can I say, I like my JRPGs), though it’s not quite as refined as those. Otherwise, I prefer to play other systems when they’re available.
In terms of other games, I’ve mainly been working my way through my backlog. I finally started Mass Effect and am still in the process of playing through it so I can get to the next two games in the series. I played through some Torchlight to get my loot fix in while waiting for the second game. In addition, I started playing Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon while waiting for Awakening to come out here.
Christopher Bowen: I have almost no use for browser-based games as I have better things to be doing with my browser than playing games. I don’t play as many PC games as I’d like because the time I spend on my PC is usually used working or doing something else that an adult would call “being productive.” When I do play on a PC, I play a real game, one that requires an executable and all of that stuff. Browser games tend to be lighter fare, which I frankly don’t have the time for.
On the other hand, while mobile gaming isn’t a large part of my day, it’s still at least there. Whether it’s Doodle Jump while on the john or a quick run through whatever Kairosoft game I’m playing, mobile games tend to toe the line between a quick time waster and portable gaming for when I don’t have my 3DS or PSP on me.
M. Ngai: I’m kind of the opposite of Chris in this case since I don’t use my phone as a gaming device, but I do occasionally spend some time playing a browser-based game. Every now and then, I play Super Mini Puzzle Heroes on Nick.Com—and yes, I’ve also tried my hand at the Chrome version of Angry Birds. I just happen to find the former more fun. Even on this front, though, I tend not to game very much; it’s just that one is still greater than zero, so to speak. On the whole, most of my portable gaming is still done on my 3DS, and any other gaming I do tends to be on more traditional devices.