Week 3: Games to Play


I am waiting for the Game Lab to be ready, so we will play these games slightly out of order. This week's games were originally Week 4 games, but hopefully by the end of this week you will have access to the games I'd like you to play for next week.

This week you will play several web games to remind you of the benefit of simple, clear gameplay. The first is a toy-based game similar to thecrayon physics puzzle structure. The game, called Manifold, employs a single toy and clean graphics to create an engaging experience. This is another action puzzle game that follows this model:

This type of game employs a simplified board game model. Like Chess, for example, the toys have only a few limited and distinct movements and the environment (or board) must compliment the challenge of succeeding in the game. Games like Manifold are like Chess with one piece and hundreds of possible boards. This is where digital games offer advantage of physical world games, manufacturing multiple environments costs little in the digital environment.

The second game is a somewhat niche, hidden object game, called the Crimson Room. The game integrates problem solving in games like the Zork (played in class) and King's Quest series (we played King's Quest IV in class too) in a kind of story-discovering model. Your goal is to escape the room. You must discover objects to escape.

This game follows a kind of narrative model.

This is conceptually not similar to other narrative games in the non-digital space. Consider mad libs (omit a word and let us create a new story), crosswords (connect a bunch of words and then obscure them, providing only clues about them) and word jumbles (construct all the possible permutations from a predetermined set). Word jumbles are the lease related, but them frame the process well. What is interesting about these games is the Marco-Polo scenario. As you get closer, you know you are getting warm and receive feedback about your success.