Friday, July 15, 2011

Online Games

I'm working my way slowly through Casual Game Design by Gregory Trefry. I'm a big fan of Trefry after listening to his presentation at ALA Techsource on Big Games in libraries. I'm about halfway through and so far, this is a fantastic book. I'm really interested in literature that focuses specifically on casual games, and I'm not finding much in the scholarly databases. But I think these will be the most successful types of online games in libraries when ones like Michigan's and Arizona's aren't successful.

One of the most useful (and distracting!) pieces of this book are the example games that are mentioned briefly or discussed in-depth. I wanted to share the online ones, some of which I have been sampling. Some are easily available without signing up or downloading anything, but many require you to download a trial version. I will include a brief note on why it was mentioned in the book.

  • Peggle- plays Bethoven's 9th Symphony at the end of each level with stars and rainbows and glitter, gives the player a feeling of accomplishment

  • Bloons- fun game on computer, but doesn't translate well to mobile phones as player must use finger, which blocks view

  • Plants vs. Zombies- they made the zombies almost as cute as the plants to keep the game light (I'm totally addicted to this one, it's a nice balance of strategy and action)

  • 4 minutes and 33 seconds of Uniqueness- an art game where the point of the game is to just be the only person in the world playing it for that long

  • Cooking Mama and Snapshot Adventures- turning everyday activities into a game

  • Mystery Case Files- Huntsville - I don't remember why this was mentioned, but I enjoyed it and it has potential for a new library game

  • Solitaire- first casual computer game, most widely played casual game, example of a sorting game

  • What to Wear- a Facebook game that uses opinions of many players for score

  • Snood, and Luxor- Matching/sorting games

  • Memory- object game

  • Bejeweled- object/matching game, very simple but fun

  • Tetris- object game, sorting game

  • Diner Dash- little role-playing (in comparison to Dungeons and Dragons, which is lots of role-playing

  • Azada- lots of mini-games, different types of puzzles, has created a developed world with beautiful graphics and story

  • Lego Fever- he talks about being involved in its development and how not having enough rules doesn't work

  • PuzzleQuest- matching and role-playing

  • Drop 7, Scrabble, Bookworm, Wurdle- sorting games